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5/26/17

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  1. Rep. Katherine Clark (D-MA) to Education Secretary DeVos at a U.S. House Appropriations subcommittee hearing:  “I am shocked that you cannot come up with one example of discrimination that you would stand up for students.”   http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2017/05/24/betsy-devos-schools-rejecting-black-and-gay-students-should-still-get-federal-funding/ Let’s remind Sec. DeVos that federal employees have the obligation to hold up federal civil rights laws. Contact her here:   U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20202
  1. Trump's budget proposal violates his assertion that he would not touch Social Security, when in fact Social Security Disability Insurance would indeed receive cuts: http://theatln.tc/2qga51U Mick Mulvaney, the Office of Management and Budget Director, seems to be playing at semantics, arguing "Do you really think that Social Security Disability Insurance is part of what people think of when they think of Social Security? I don’t think so." Let's call Mulvaney to let him know that SSDI and Social Security are a package deal, and that we have no interest in getting rid of this essential program: 202-395-3080 (press 1 to reach the Office of the Director.)  We can also tell our MoC that we need programs to help support those of us who are differently-abled. 

  1. As Trump and the GOP argue that cutting taxes for the highest income earners will stimulate our economy, let's also pay attention to what the data says: https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2012/09/tax-cuts-dont-lead-to-economic-growth-a-new-65-year-study-finds/262438/ We can also cite this 65-year study as we contact our MoC regarding Trump's budget proposal and tax reform. Direct link to study: http://graphics8.nytimes.com/news/business/0915taxesandeconomy.pdf

  1. This past Monday, forty-one Republican Representatives penned a letter to Trump, asking him to appoint a new, pro-life Director of the National Institute of Health http://nbcnews.to/2rwfDFg They argue that the current director's (Dr. Francis Collins) use of embryonic stem cells does not align with Trump's pro-life stance. For those of us who have a Representative on the list, let's give them a call and tell them what we think of their attack on science: http://bit.ly/2rU4uLV

  1. The federal government is set to run out of money to pay its bills even sooner than expected, and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin is urging the House to raise the debt ceiling before they go on recess for the summer. (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/05/24/trump-administration-warns-tax-receipts-are-coming-in-slowly-government-could-run-out-of-cash-sooner-than-expected) We can't afford to let the GOP play claims with the full faith and credit of the United States. Let's call our reps and tell them we want a clean debt ceiling hike with no political brinksmanship as soon as possible.

  1. There are many things to abhor in the President's proposed budget for fiscal year 2018. Even though Congress has to approve the budget and will likely reject many of the items on Trump's "wish list," we should nevertheless be on the offensive. Here's one item to fight against: "The White House has requested that Congress appropriate approximately $42 million to NEH for the orderly closure of the agency." This is unacceptable. The National Endowment for the Humanities does so much for arts and education around the country. Read the NEH's statement on the budget https://www.neh.gov/news/press-release/2017-05-23 and then call your MoCs to make sure they work hard to save this very worthwhile institution.

  1. Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke, who has called Black Lives Matter a terrorist group and has been accused of criminal wrongdoing over repeated abuses and deaths in his jail, is up for a senior position at the Department of Homeland Security... but he's suggested that that job may be in jeopardy after investigate reporting revealed he plagiarized some of this master's thesis. (http://www.cnn.com/2017/05/23/politics/kfile-david-clarke-responds-plagiarism/index.htmlLet’s call Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly at 202-282-8495 and tell him David Clarke's record makes it clear he can't be trusted with more authority. And then let's stand with the people who think it's time for leadership Milwaukee can trust and show support to his challenger, Earnell Lucas, by liking his Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/lucasformke.

  1. David Leonhardt wrote in the NY Times on Tuesday about the House Republican’s handling of the Trumpcare consideration, pointing out that “They did not hold a single hearing, because they knew that attention would have been devastating.” https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/23/opinion/health-care-bill-senate.htmle  It looks as though the Senate is following suit.  By contrast to the 44 hearings  and other public events relating to Obama’s ACA in the Senate alone, Republicans “have invited select people to send feedback to an email address — HealthReform@finance.senate.gov — no later than today.”  Despite the deadline, it is still possible to send comments to this address; we should flood it with our demand that health care not be denied to those who most need it.

  1. A Missouri State Representative, Rick Brattin, said that, “there is a distinction between homosexuality and just being a human being”:  http://www.kansascity.com/opinion/editorials/article149595284.html  Please share our  perspective with Rep. Brattin: Missouri House of Representatives, 201 W Capitol Ave Rm 114-C, Jefferson City, MO, 65101

  1. Our own president cannot be trusted with national security intelligence. He shared information with Philippine President Duterte about the location of two of our nuclear submarines: http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-fg-trump-philippines-20170524-story.html  Please contact your MoC, particularly if GOP, to share your concerns about the impact this will have on our security and the trust of our allies.

  1. The Trump Organization is finding it “impractical” to track the necessary information to abide by the emoluments clause: https://www.theatlantic.com/amp/article/527997/  and http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/white-house/trump-failing-track-foreign-cash-his-hotels-n764061  Perhaps they are discovering why divestment is a good thing for the country after all?  Let’s contact our MoC to remind them how important it is to not further these conflicts of interest with our sitting president.

  1. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson has referred to poverty as a “state of mind”: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-40048192  Let’s share our thoughts about that (particularly concerning childhood poverty, medical emergency poverty, death of a family member poverty) with Secretary Carson at: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 7th St SW, Washington, DC 20410

  1. California governor Jerry Brown has (http://www.reuters.com/article/us-climate-change-agreements-idUSKBN0O42IV20150519)  or is in the process of negotiating international agreements on measures to slow climate change, initating talks with Canada, Mexico, and China: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/23/us/california-engages-world-and-fights-washington-on-climate-change.html  He is also preparing for legal challenges to, for example, California’s tough auto emission standards, standards a dozen other states have adopted.  Let’s encourage all of our governors to follow Brown’s lead but let’s also get climate change and ways to combat it on the agenda of the National Governors Association (202-624-5300), which will hold its next conference in Providence, RI July 13-16.

  1. Apparently either not aware of, or not caring about the Philippines’ abysmal human rights issues when President Duterte's uses extrajudicial violence as a crime solution  (https://www.hrw.org/tag/philippines-war-drugs), Trump called Duterte to congratulate him on his successful drug war:  https://theintercept.com/2017/05/23/trump-called-rodrigo-duterte-to-congratulate-him-on-his-murderous-drug-war-you-are-doing-an-amazing-job/  Let’s remind Trump that this lack of due process is not looked upon kindly here at home, or anywhere else for that matter. 

  1. EPA Director Scott Pruitt says that satellite temperature measurements support his recent claim of the "leveling off of warming” over the past two decades. Scientists called out the EPA head by name in a paper just published in the Nature Journal. "After reviewing temperature trends contained in three satellite data sets going back to 1979, the paper concludes that the data sets show a global warming trend — and that Pruitt was incorrect." http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/epa-scott-pruitt-climate-change-denial-scientific-paper-nature-scientific-reports-a7754871.html  The complete paper is available online here. http://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-017-02520-7 Let's tell Scott Pruitt that we trust our scientists and we want to keep working towards solutions to slow and stop global warming.  Hands off our global warming protection laws!  Pruitt’s main line, 202-564-4700 or via Twitter @EPAScott Pruitt 

  1. Remember the lawyers who rushed to airports when Trump’s first Muslim ban came down? The Department of Justice is going after them. Specifically, the DOJ has ordered the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project to stop providing legal services to immigrants facing deportation. A federal judge has, for now, stopped the DOJ from enforcing its order. https://www.nwirp.org/federal-judge-rules-in-favor-of-nwirp-and-grants-a-nationwide-temporary-restraining-order-protecting-nwirp-and-others-right-to-advocate-for-unrepresented-immigrants/ Let’s share this story on social media, and let’s tell Jeff Sessions that we believe in the Rule of Law—and that includes allowing vulnerable people to have legal representation in court. https://www.justice.gov/contact-us 

Other Actions


  1. Hat tip to americansofconscience.com:  Nestor is a 27-year-old DREAMer who has been at Stewart Detention Center in Georgia for nine months. Originally from South Carolina, he was full of life, a 5K runner, and a college graduate with honors. Now he is in medical detention, feeling lonely and scared. Nestor’s loving parents are not able to visit. While he awaits news about his health and his future in the US, let Nestor know he matters with a kind, colorful, encouraging, or funny postcard. (No money or gifts. Just hugs via mail.) Address: Nestor Daniel Avila Miranda, A# 204-631-097.P.O. Box 248,Lumpkin, GA 31815   Here’s the backstory on Nestor who arrived in the US at age eight with his parents:  http://www.journalnow.com/news/local/in-legal-limbo-former-appalachian-state-student-faces-dwi-charges/article_1642032a-deac-5727-8442-bcf60e09440e.html

  1. As the news of GOP Congressional candidate Greg Gianforte’s assault on Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs in Montana on the eve of the special election sinks in:  http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/politics-news/montana-congressional-candidate-allegedly-assaults-newspaper-reporter-n764421, let’s express gratitude to the three newspapers that rescinded their endorsements of Gianforte: 1) http://missoulian.com/opinion/editorial/missoulian-rescinds-gianforte-endorsement/article_ab947a9d-9220-5dc5-9193-f1ae9ef03c60.amp.html Editor, The Missoulian, P.O. Box 8029, Missoula, MT 59807, 2) http://billingsgazette.com/opinion/editorial/gazette-opinion-we-re-pulling-our-endorsement-of-gianforte/article_34d90b42-545b-5e10-9355-605b7c5cb11f.amp.html Editor, The Billings Gazette, 401 N 28th St. Billings, MT 59101-1243, 3)  http://helenair.com/news/local/independent-record-withdraws-endorsement-of-gianforte/article_0d7d40b6-8d5d-587c-86f7-290a611b53db.html Editor, The Independent Record, P.O. Box 4249 Helena, MT 59604.  Then, let’s thank the Fox News reporter who gave her candid accounting of the events: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/05/24/greg-gianforte-fox-news-team-witnesses-gop-house-candidate-body-slam-reporter.html  Alicia Acuna, Denver Bureau, Fox News, 1211 Avenue of the Americas, NY, NY 10036.  Finally, let’s write to Ben Jacobs himself for enduring this and speaking out about it while trying to get Gianforte to comment on the CBO score for AHCA: Ben Jacobs, Reporter, DC Office, The Guardian , 315 West 36th St., 8th Fl, NY, NY 10018

  1. Sean Hannity's advertisers are responding to our emails, calls and letters by dropping Hannity's show from their advertising.  http://fortune.com/2017/05/25/hannity-loses-advertisers-conspiracy-theory/  Now Hannity is going on "vacation." http://variety.com/2017/tv/news/fox-news-sean-hannity-return-1202444145/  FoxNews is confident that Hannity will be back.  Let's keep the pressure up by contacting 10 more of Hannity's advertisers via their website contact page. We can ask them not to associate their brands with conspiracy theories and hate speech. 1) Harvest Right (scroll to bottom of linked page for online contact form) https://harvestright.com/ ,   2) Hisamitsu Pharmaceuticals (makers of Salonpas) https://www.hisamitsu.co.jp/english/contact.html , 3) Jenny Craig  http://www.jennycraig.com/site/contact/ , 4) John Deere https://www.deere.com/en_US/docs/html/secured/corporate/general_feedback_deerecom.html ,  5) Loan Depot  https://www.loandepot.com/about/contactus , 6) Publishers Clearing House http://pch.custhelp.com/app/ask , 7) UNTUCKit https://www.untuckit.com/pages/contact-us,  8) Astra Zeneca  https://www.astrazeneca-us.com/contact-us/other-requests.html,  9) Boehringer Ingelheim https://www.boehringer-ingelheim.com/contact-form, and 10) Mercedes Benz https://mercedes-benz.custhelp.com/app/ask

  1. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is considering allowing robo-calls to go straight to our voicemail. http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2017/05/24/the_rnc_wants_to_be_able_to_leave_voicemails_without_your_phone_ringing.html  Here's a notice of the public comment period (May 17 - June 2) with link to FCC comment form: http://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2017/db0418/DA-17-368A1.pdf  or write to: FCC, 445 12th St NW, Washington DC 20554 or phone 1-888-225-5322.  We also need to let all our MoC's know that we do not want robo-voicemail in our lives!

  1. Do you work in or have a background in tech? Are you interested in tech policy? If either of these apply to you, the RISE Stronger Science & Technology Policy Working Group could use your help!  This is a great opportunity to connect with other policy-minded individuals in your area of interest, help inform grassroots citizens, and contribute smart policy ideas to the resistance.  Please contact nick.anthis@gmail.com  if you are interested or have any questions. Thanks!  Nick Anthis, Lead, S&T Policy Working Group, RISE Stronger

Petitions to Sign


  1. Here is a petition to Field Office Director Sean Gallagher, ICE Director Sarah Saldana, and DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson to free Nestor Avila, an Appalachian State University graduate in detention facing deportation. Nestor has never been convicted of a crime, and according to DHS' own rules, should never have been given an ICE hold.:  http://dreamactivist.org/petitions/nc/nestor/

  1. Mom’s Clean Air Force wants us to sign this petition to remind our legislators that in light of Trump’s budget cuts, no one voted to make America dirty again:  http://action.momscleanairforce.org/ea-action/action?ea.client.id=1711&ea.campaign.id=70960

  1. Let’s join Credo Action and tell Congress to block and resist Trump’s cruel and heartless budget:  https://act.credoaction.com/sign/stop_trump_budget

Learning


  1. Here’s another meaningful commencement address… A Sikh's Graduation Speech to Unite the World - UC Berkeley Haas Class of 2017:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=unqw44G-Tzc

  1. While we are discussing the budget, we can check out information on the 2014 budget for comparison. Here's how revenue (i.e. income) looks:.http://usafacts.org/the-big-picture/revenue  We can see that different kinds of taxes make up most of our government's revenue. Here's how expenditures (i.e. spending) look: http://usafacts.org/the-big-picture/spending  This shows where the money goes including to which departments. We can bookmark http://usafacts.org/ as an information resource for future facts we may want to know.

  1. “For the Least of These”:  http://www.dirtysexyministry.com/2017/05/for-least-of-these.html?m=1


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         a loosely-federated group of organizations that, in the wake of the
2016 election, are sharing daily or weekly calls to action.
Other member sites are listed here: https://www.actionalliance.co/  --scroll down and click through and you'll find many more opportunities to make a difference.
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Rogan’s List is also part of RISE Stronger’s United States of Resistance






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