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Wednesday, July 5, 2017

7/5/17

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  1. Politico has reported that Iraqis who provided assistance to the U.S. military will not be automatically exempt from Trump’s global halt on refugee admissions. (http://www.politico.com/story/2017/06/30/state-iraqi-refugees-trump-travel-ban-240158)  These are folks who put their lives on the line to help us, and the Trump administration is treating them like a threat. Let’s call the State Department at 202-647-4000 and tell them we want them to exempt individuals in the Direct Access Program for U.S.-Affiliated Iraqis from the refugee ban. And then let’s call our members of Congress and ask them what they’re doing to make sure we do right by our allies and friends.

  1. “Kate’s Law” (H.R. 3004) which will toughen the punishment for undocumented immigrants, who re-enter the country, passed the House last week and is headed to the Senate.  Speaker of the House Paul Ryan said "This law is for Kate" (who was killed by an undocumented immigrant)  https://www.speaker.gov/general/law-kate and https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2017-06-29/a-kate-s-law-to-deter-violence-that-won-t  Let's tell Rep. Ryan, as well as our own MoCs, that we want to protect ALL our citizens and we are wondering where are the laws for school children gunned down in their classrooms, for citizens at a movie theatre, for students on college campuses, etc. 

  1. Trump's nominee for the top Dept. of Justice civil rights' position is Eric Dreiband whose civil rights record is questionable. This is one they are hoping will not be on our radar. http://www.politico.com/story/2017/06/29/activists-oppose-trump-civil-rights-pick-240112   “Whoever leads the ‘crown jewel’ of the Justice Department must have deep relationships with stakeholders and marginalized communities, and have a deep, abiding faith in our nation’s civil rights laws,” Gupta said. “They must respect the laws that touch everyone, rights that people have literally died for. They must respect the role of what has been called the conscience of the federal government. In all those regards, Eric Dreiband is woefully unqualified to lead the Civil Rights Division.”  Let's tell our Senators that we oppose Dreiband for this important position. 

  1. Russian/foreign interference in US elections must be an *American* issue, not a partisan one. A new report from the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law lays out security measures that can protect US voting systems from cyberattacks. Let’s send the report, via this link,  https://www.brennancenter.org/sites/default/files/publications/Foreign%20Interference_0629_1030_AM.pdf, to our MoCs and our state’s Secretary of State (contact info: http://www.e-secretaryofstate.com/)

  1. The Republican “health” “care” bill, with its deep cuts to the Medicaid program, will put at risk school-based telemedicine, an Obamacare innovation that brings vital medical care to underserved children in rural schools. http://www.politico.com/story/2017/07/03/how-health-care-bill-could-hurt-a-program-beloved-in-trump-country-240157 When we contact our MoCs, let’s add this to our list of reasons why we oppose the GOP’s plans for health care in America.

  1. Two of Trump's judicial nominees, John K. Bush and Damien Schiff, have had their hearings with the Senate Judiciary Committee, and will have their appointments voted on shortly http://n.pr/2s46PG5 Let's make sure our senators know that we oppose both of these nominations. 5calls has more background information, as well as a call script, for each nominee. John K. Bush: https://5calls.org/issue/rec3q0qDDoP4c7yrH Damien Schiff: https://5calls.org/issue/recOy7I82l5NqBw8Y

  2. Trump and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke have announced that they will reconsider Obama's five-year offshore drilling plan which would have limited drilling in the Outer Continental Shelf, and will instead replace it with a plan that instills less limits and regulations http://bit.ly/2sIzWfa The Interior has just opened up the public comment period so that we can share our thoughts on the matter. We can use Sierra Club's link to edit and send a comment: http://bit.ly/2tI982E

  1. The compliance date for the FDA's 2014 menu labeling rule, which would require establishments to post calorie counts on their food products, has been delayed four times now http://bit.ly/2tlArO1 Let's join MomsRising and participate in the FDA's public comment period to let them know that the rule has been postponed long enough and that it should be implemented ASAP: http://bit.ly/2tMA6XJ

  1. Lest we think efforts to sabotage the ACA have diminished, Congress is moving to prevent the IRS from enforcing the provision that requires Americans to have health insurance or pay a tax penalty.  This change would be included in the annual spending bill for the Treasury and the IRS and is thus much more likely to pass than McConnell’s “health care” bill: http://projects.registerguard.com/rg/news/local/35736380-75/congress-moves-to-prevent-irs-from-enforcing-health-mandate.html.csp  It is essential that we call our congresspeople and make sure they oppose the Treasury spending bill, if it ends the individual mandate.

  1. From Postcards for America:  The closing date to comment on the National Monuments "under review" by the Administration is July 10th.  Here’s what we can do to help:  https://www.facebook.com/events/1728999060734027

  1. On June 30, 2017, CMS released the results for the third year (2016) of the reinsurance and risk adjustment programs, two of the Affordable Care Act’s “three R” premium stabilization programs. The 2016 results from the risk corridor program, the “third R” will be announced later this year.  Despite what the GOP says, the report shows that the ACA is working well, not failing. http://www.latimes.com/business/hiltzik/la-fi-hiltzik-cms-risk-report-20170703-story.html  Let’s tell our MoCs that it would be much better to fix the parts the ACA that could use improvement than to replace or repeal it.

State-level actions


  1. MANY:  The Secretary of State in Arizona reversed her position on the request of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity – seemingly after hearing from constituents about their concerns:  http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory/arizona-give-trump-extensive-voter-registration-info-48427994  If your state is not already refusing to participate, please contact your secretary of state and election commission (and governor) to say that the premise of the Commission is false and the request is an invasion of privacy at the extreme.  We can find our SOS and election commission here;  https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1tTkRseESfZ-DSlk7GbcBz_8DDDbxFzOhzrUiOaj11bY/edit#gid=0 

  1. ALL:  And speaking of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, Deputy Secretary of State Luis Borunda in Maryland has resigned from the controversial Commission panel: http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/politics/bs-md-borunda-resigns-trump-20170703-story,amp.html  Let’s thank Mr. Borunda for stepping away: luis.borunda@maryland.gov

  1. CA:  Good news for sage grouse in California: they cannot be hunted during the 2017 season. https://cdfgnews.wordpress.com/2017/06/23/sage-grouse-hunting-suspended-for-2017-season/ Let’s thank the California Dept. of Fish and Wildlife in making this recommendation to protect these birds:  https://www.wildlife.ca.gov/Explore/Contact-Us

Other Actions


  1. Thanks to the courts, it may not be as easy as Trump thinks to roll back Obama-era regulations.  A federal appeals court ruled on Monday that EPA’s Scott Pruitt does not have the authority to impose a 2-year moratorium on EPA methane regulations, a moratorium which would allow oil and gas companies to continue their methane emissions unchecked: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/court-rejects-pruitts-delay-obama-era-methane-rule/  This delaying tactic has been central to Pruitt’s efforts to undermine EPA air and water pollution regulations as well.  We should express our gratitude and lend our support to the coalition of environmental groups who won this suit on our behalf, especially the National Resources Defense Council: https://www.nrdc.org  And, of course, let Pruitt know what we think of this tactic: 202-564-4700

  1. As the celebration of our nation’s founding moves into the rear view mirror, let’s all take a moment to thank someone whose actions are continuing to give us energy: perhaps your MoC, a local official, a local huddle convener, a friend who shares interesting articles with you or cheers on your resistance efforts, etc. This administration is nearing the six-month mark and we need to all keep each other engaged and not dispirited.

Petitions


  1. The Pentagon is reportedly considering canceling enlistment contacts for more than 1800 foreign-born recruits, which would put more than 1,000 of them at risk of deportation - despite their ability to provide badly-needed medical and language services to our military and their willingness to serve our country. (http://theweek.com/speedreads/708531/pentagon-memo-suggests-scrapping-program-foreignborn-recruits-exposing-1000-quick-deportation) This is an outrageous betrayal of these brave young people. Let's join NextGen Climate in urging our members of Congress to put pressure on the White House to keep its word: https://nextgenclimate.org/act-now/protect-enlisted-immigrants/.

  1. Let’s join the National Women’s Law Center in telling the Senate to protect Medicaid: https://act.nwlc.org/onlineactions/bUEuB5QEO0WDMJZl0geMGQ2

 Marches/events to attend/organize

  1. Search for Congressional town halls, protest/rallies, and other events in our area: https://www.risestronger.org/events

  1. If we are looking specifically for town halls or other public meetings with our MoCs, we can also check out Town Hall Project:  https://townhallproject.com/

Reading/Watching


  1. Charles Blow has written a powerful op-ed in the New York Times titled The Hijacked American Presidency. He includes this in his conclusion, “Donald Trump is depending on people’s fatigue. He is banking on your becoming overwhelmed by his never-ending antics. He is counting on his capacity to wear down the resistance by sheer force.” https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/03/opinion/trump-hijacked-american-presidency.html?src=me&_r=0

  1. Fortunately, the judiciary continues to help slow the roll of the Trump administration. In a new ruling, the US Court of Appeals in D.C. found that EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt cannot delay a new rule regarding monitoring and reducing methane leaks:  http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/federal-court-orders-epa-move-ahead-rule-limit-methane-n779396

  1. "Trump has promised religious conservatives he will “get rid of and totally destroy the Johnson Amendment,” a part of the tax code that bars churches from campaigning for or donating to specific political candidates. In a largely overlooked move, House Republicans have taken the most concrete step yet to make that promise a reality." The bill, which included a section that makes it significantly more difficult for the IRS to investigate churches, "was approved by the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government in aThursday vote, as was the bill as a whole, a committee aide confirmed. It will next be considered by the full House Appropriations Committee." Let's keep our eyes on this provision, which blurs the separation between church and state, and has been tacked onto the "sprawling" House’s Financial Services and General Government appropriations bill for fiscal year 2018. http://www.newsweek.com/house-republicans-johnson-amendment-630668


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