Contact Federal Government Officials
1. Amid the Mueller/Russia news, it can be too easy to forget that the humanitarian crisis in Puerto Rico continues to unfold following Hurricane Maria. The Office of the High Commissioner of the United Nations Human Rights division released a statement expressing concern about mounting human rights issues in the face of inadequate response:
http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=22326&LangID=E The experts cited in the report said, ““We call on the United States and Puerto Rican authorities to remove regulatory and financial barriers to reconstruction and recovery. All reconstruction efforts should be guided by international human rights standards, ensuring that people can rebuild where they have lived and close to their communities. Reconstruction should aim to increase the resilience of Puerto Rico’s infrastructure, housing and hospitals against future natural disasters.” Let’s remain in touch with our MoC to make it clear we know this is a crisis in dire need of focused attention in both the near-term and longer-term.
2. The Trump tax plan was supposed to be rolled out today, but like the healthcare bill, it is not quite in a finished state so it is being delayed a day: https://www.politico.com/story/2017/10/31/house-republican-tax-plan-244385 Let’s keep reminding our MoCs that if it includes cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, or does anything to harm any of our most vulnerable citizens or takes away from the middle class to give a break to the wealthy, (no cuts to 401 contributions, keep all state and local Tax (SALT) deductions. keep the mortgage deduction for all houses, not just the ones worth over $801,000) that we are not in support and do not want them to be either. Every delay, every negative element brought to light, makes it harder for this terrible plan to pass, so let's get those phones ringing off the hooks!
3. If, out of deference to his service, we were attempting to give White House Chief of Staff John Kelly third, fourth, and fifth chances, it seems that we can now be done. On Monday night, Kelly gave an interview to Fox News in which he doubled down on not owing Rep. Frederica Wilson an apology after lying about her, praised Robert E. Lee as “honorable”, and said that the Civil War was caused by an inability to compromise: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/oct/31/john-kelly-says-us-civil-war-was-prompted-by-inability-to-compromise Let’s let Kelly know that we do not need his brand of patriotism in the White House: The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, NW, Washington, DC 20500 We can also tweet him: @GenJohnKelly
4. Congressman Joaquin Castro (D-TX) has called for the resignation of the Press Secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, saying that “She lacks any credibility, outright lies to the American people.” This was in response to Sanders’ claim that Monday’s indictments had “nothing to do with the president” and “everything to do with the Clinton campaign.”
https://twitter.com/JoaquinCastrotx/status/925062007900004352 and https://www.dallasnews.com/news/politics/2017/10/30/trumps-texas-allies-mum-indictments-democrats-claim-vindication Let’s contact our MoCs to ask that they second Castro’s demand for Sanders’ resignation.
5. Trumpcare open enrollment starts today (Nov.1) and runs through Dec. 15. The Trumpcare open enrollment is much shorter than for Obamacare. Additionally, Rogan's Listers are reporting that their Trumpcare premiums will cost them up to 400% more per month. Let's be sure to talk about all the negative healthcare elements as "Trumpcare." Trump tweeted over the weekend: "As usual, the ObamaCare premiums will be up (the Dems own it), but we will Repeal & Replace and have great Healthcare soon after Tax Cuts!" (more about his Tweetstorm at NBCNews.) The Republican regime needs to know that in fact, THEY are the ones who own healthcare now and we are not happy with Trumpcare. Let's target our Republican members of congress with our complaints about Trumpcare.
6. Trump’s Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Defense Secretary James Mattis told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that they oppose replacing the current Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF), which technically permits using force only against those responsible for the 9/11 attacks; if it is replaced, as Senators Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and Tim Kaine (D-VA) have proposed, they want no time constraints or geographical limits on the government’s war powers: http://thehill.com/policy/defense/357899-mattis-tillerson-describe-conditions-of-support-for-new-war-authorization The Flake-Kaine replacement AUMF would limit the authorization to five years, at which time it would have to be renewed by Congress. Given the past 16 years of unchecked and often secret US military intervention around the globe without any declaration of war by Congress as the Constitution requires, some constraints would seem necessary. Let’s tell the chair of the Foreign Relations Committee Bob Corker (R-TN) and of MoCs that we don’t want endless, illegal war waged in our name: Sen. Bob Corker, 202-224-3344 or Dirksen Senate Office Bldg., SD-425, DC 20510.
7. As part of his aggressive new strategy to confront Iran, Trump announced recently that he would no longer certify Iran’s compliance with Iran agreement, as required every 90 days. Trump’s action shifted the fate of the agreement to Congress, which may now reimpose sanctions on Iran. Now, 90 American experts in atomic sciences, including a designer of the hydrogen bomb, all three 2017 Nobel Prize winners in Physics, a former director of Los Alamos, and a 2016 Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient, have sent a letter to Congress urging that the Iran nuclear agreement be preserved:
http://allthingsnuclear.org/lgronlund/scientists-letter-on-iran We could let our MoCs that we agree.
8. Special Counsel Robert Mueller has been working hard and we’ve started to see the results of his efforts. This is good news, but technically, the "President has the legal authority to fire the Special Counsel." The closer Mueller approaches Trump's immediate circle of family and friends, the more his position is in danger. Rather than wait for Trump to make this likely move, let's take action. "Both houses of Congress presently have identical bills before them entitled the Special Counsel Integrity Act (H.R 3771 and S. 1741). The bills would allow Muller, in the event of his firing, to appear to a court of three judges within fourteen days. If the firing is found to be inappropriate, Muller would be automatically reinstated to his position. In essence, it takes away President Trump’s ability to unilaterally fire a Special Counsel." https://resistbot.news/fireproofing-mueller-4b056241aac6 Let's contact our MoCs in both houses and ask them to support these bills!
9. A bipartisan group of lawmakers introduced legislation yesterday to regulate bump stocks, the device used by the Las Vegas mass shooter to make semi-automatic rifles fire faster. Another bill has been introduced to bar the manufacture, sale or use of bump stocks entirely: http://thehill.com/homenews/house/358014-bipartisan-lawmakers-propose-regulating-gun-bump-stocks Let’s contact our lawmakers and let them know we want them to do whatever they can to put sensible gun control laws in place, and we would like them to vote for either of these proposals and push for hearings and votes on both of them instead of letting this issue fade until the next massacre.
1. All States - Vote for Science: The organization "314 Action is a nonprofit 501(c)4 that was founded by members of the STEM community, grassroots supporters and political activists who believe in science. We are committed to electing more STEM candidates to office, advocating for evidence-based policy solutions to issues like climate change, and fighting the Trump administration's attacks on science." 314 Action has put together a list of candidates that they endorse that reflect this mission. Let's check out these 314 Action endorsed candidates. Let's stand with them on the side of science and give these candidates our votes on Nov. 7.
2. All states - VOTER I.D: If we have elections next week, let's make sure we have the correct I.D. for our state. Spread the Vote has put together this handy resource for us to use. Let's check to make sure we know which I.D. we will need and be sure to let friends and family in our state know too.
3. All states - COLLEGE STUDENTS: "Young people have the power to make a difference. An important way to achieve this is to make their voices heard at the polls on Election Day." In 2012, the Fair Elections Legal Network (FELN) launched Campus Vote Project (CVP) to focus and expand its work around student voting issues. CVP works with universities, community colleges, faculty, students and election officials to reduce barriers to student voting. CVP's goal is to help campuses institutionalize reforms that empower students with the information they need to register and vote...One of the biggest barriers for students to register and vote is the lack understanding of registration deadlines, where to register (their home or school address), ID requirements, and other information on voting. CVP has developed state-specific guides to help students understand their rights and how to register and cast a ballot in their school or home community. If we are college students, let's find the student information for our state here.
4. CO: A) Jeffco Democrats is seeking volunteers to join its GOTV efforts for the 2017 elections. Phone banking can be done from your home. Email Chair@JeffcoDems.org and ask for a GOTV phone banking list. They have 258 precincts to cover county-wide, and more than 113,000 Democrats to contact, so your help is needed, and B) Colorado Democrats is seeking volunteers to join its GOTV efforts for the 2017 elections. Email Volunteer Coordinator Meike Babel if you can help at email@example.com.
1. ALL: Open enrollment in the Healthcare Marketplace begins today for 2018 insurance packages. The enrollment period ends on Dec. 15. This is a much shortened, and much less publicized enrollment period than in past years due to Trump’s take-aways. Some people will pay less, while others will pay more. The secret to a good policy for next year is taking the time to shop various plans. http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2017/10/30/560836963/shop-around-subsidies-may-offset-your-2018-health-insurance-price-hike Let’s take this info to heart and get the word out that there is not as much time this year. Here’s the link to peruse plans and sign up: https://www.healthcare.gov/ We can also use this toolkit from Get America Covered: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1zqJOgrGdBcfj-ZGA7MIqcLFapKR1tsx170pnkIpaJBw/edit
1. Will Trump fire Special Counsel Mueller? We wouldn’t put it past him. If he does, a swift, strong grassroots protest will be very important. That’s why MoveOn, Center for American Progress, Public Citizen, Indivisible Guide, Common Cause, and other groups are organizing non-violent, rapid-response “Nobody is Above the Law” rallies across the country. These rallies will take place only if Trump fires Mueller. Let’s sign up here: https://www.trumpisnotabovethelaw.org
2. The cruelty of Trump’s deportation machine has been laid bare again by the case of Rosa Maria Hernandez. Rosa Maria is 10 years old and living with cerebral palsy. She and her adult cousin, a U.S. citizen, had to go through an interior Border Patrol checkpoint to get her to a hospital for emergency gallbladder surgery. Armed agents then followed them to the hospital and detained her after she came out of the operating room. She is currently being held in an Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) shelter with no access to her parents and no clear path to release. As Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX) stated, “A small child who just had surgery is not a threat to Texans’ safety or our national security.” http://www.cnn.com/2017/10/26/health/undocumented-child-federal-custody-surgery-trnd/index.html Let’s call the ORR at 202-401-9246 to demand she be let go, and join the ACLU in tweeting with the hashtag #FreeRosa to help the issue trend on Twitter. (H/t Jessica Craven)
3. The NY Times has published a very helpful guide for those trying to enroll in the ACA during this year’s truncated enrollment period from Nov. 1 to Dec. 15:
https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/10/14/us/affordable-care-act-enrollment.html It is worth using our limited access to the NYT to read—and to distribute! —this guide.
4. The Republican regime has chosen large companies over small farmers again: "The Trump administration is rescinding an Obama-era rule that would have made it easier for independent farmers to bring lawsuits against big food companies they raise chicken and other livestock for. The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Grain Inspection Packers and Stockyard Administration last week withdrew an interim final rule a day before it was set to take effect. The rule aimed to make it easier for farmers to bring companies like Tyson Foods, Pilgrim Pride and Perdue to court over what they say are unfair, deceptive and retaliatory practices." We can read more at The Hill. Be informed about and discussing ways this administration is hurting farmers is one way we may be able to find common ground with our conservative friends and family. Let's make sure they know about this.
5. We all know that the number of registered voters is very low in the U.S. as is the number of people who actually go out and vote. There are a growing number of “Get Out the Vote” (GOTV) initiatives, but let’s try to beef up the number of registered voters by following these guidelines from the American Association of University Women (AAUW): https://www.aauw.org/resource/organize-a-voter-registration-drive/
6. “Facebook accounts run by Russian trolls repeatedly called for violence against different social and political groups in the U.S., including police officers, Black Lives Matter activists and undocumented immigrants.” http://money.cnn.com/2017/10/31/media/russia-facebook-violence/index.html Add this to what was learned yesterday about Facebook ads purchased by Russians to sway the election: https://www.cbsnews.com/live-news/facebook-russia-ads-investigation-twitter-google-testimony-senate-judiciary-committee-2017-10-31/ We need to let Facebook know that we users do not want to use a social media platform that cannot be better monitored from such interference with our democracy: Facebook Headquarters, 1 Hacker Way, Menlo Park, CA 94025
7. From Postcards from Kate: There are sexier topics in the fishwrappers today, but superficial interpretations of history can't be ignored. Ta-Nehisi Coates takes on General Kelly's read of the Civil War in this thread, which includes this snappy diss: “Praising Bobby Lee as an honorable man is just sad. Like some kid insisting his deadbeat dad is actually a secret agent away on a mission." And there's more, historically accurate, profound, 140 characters at a time. Read the whole thread on Twitter, and then send Coates thanks via The Atlantic, where he is a correspondent: Ta-Nehisi Coates,
The Atlantic, 600 New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington, D.C., 20037 or @tanehisicoates
The Atlantic, 600 New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington, D.C., 20037 or @tanehisicoates
8. Scott Pruitt's EPA has launched a full out assault on the very Environment it is meant to protect. Fortunately, we now have help fighting back. Former EPA Staffers have written a guide to the EPA, similar to Indivisible's, to help us resist Trump's rollback of environmental protections. It tells us how regulations are made, the required public input process and how it can be used to resist the damage proposed by Pruitt, and how to use other effective strategies. Check it out here and start resisting the EPA's attacks on the Environment. http://saveepaalums.info/a-practical-guide-for-resisting-the-trump-de-regulatory-agenda/
1. When a parent is a match for a child’s much-needed transplant it is an easy call, right? Emory University Hospital has refused because the father broke parole. Following the denial, the child, a 2-year-old boy was rushed to the hospital with an infection; http://www.ajc.com/news/local/boy-rushed-emergency-room-after-kidney-transplant-from-father-denied/epgsckxxpVgDjXOe5eha0M/ Let’s join this Color of Change petition asking the hospital to let this father save his son’s life: https://act.colorofchange.org/sign/emory-do-the-surgery
2. Now that we know that Russians hacked social media to influence the election, the “FEC should require online campaign ads to include disclaimers as to who is paying for them — just like is done for television and print advertisements.” https://petitions.moveon.org/sign/fec-require-political
Marches/events/webinars/Tweetstorms to attend/organize
1. “'If Not Me, Who?' Thousands of Women Plan Their Political Takeover” -- http://time.com/5001389/womens-convention-political-takeover/
2. “Inside the Most Popular Panel at the Women's Convention: "Confronting White Womanhood"” -- http://www.cosmopolitan.com/politics/a13113728/womens-convention-confronting-white-womanhood-panel/
3. “Senator John McCain has issued a veiled critique of President Donald Trump, warning future service members to be wary of “propaganda and crackpot conspiracy theories” and the "seductions of authoritarian rule".” -- http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/john-mccain-trump-speech-conspiracy-theories-propaganda-attack-a8029571.html