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 11/9/18 


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1.       While we might expect the president to frame Tuesday’s elections as a win for him, despite Democrats taking back the House, we should not ever expect or tolerate his recent spate of emboldenment that led him to oust AG Jeff Sessions and put in an acting AG who has been on record advocating a strategy to subvert the Mueller investigation and who may face legal challenges to be in the position:  https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/415637-5-things-to-know-about-new-acting-attorney-general-matthew-whitaker and https://www.axios.com/trump-acting-attorney-general-whitaker-legal-challenges-a9199197-9817-42b4-8df2-95f92cabc861.html  For the sake of our democracy, we need to tell our MoCs to act now in passing HR 3771/S 1741, the Special Counsel Integrity Act, and S 1735/HR 3654, the Special Counsel Independence Protection Act. We also need to tell our MoCs, both Republicans and Democrats, that they swore an oath to protect our Constitution and our democracy and they must therefore call on Whitaker to recuse himself from the Mueller investigation based on his obvious bias and conflict of interest. No one, including the president, is above the law.

2.      We took to the streets in over 900 protests nationwide on Thursday night because of Trump’s abuse of the rule of law:  https://www.apnews.com/f81e807661a1475babefb889a53be14b   Let’s also make sure our MoC are hearing from us directly about this constitutional crisis.

3.      Another week, another massacre, this time in a bar in Southern California with twelve lives taken: 
https://www.apnews.com/d2737a3853bc4aea8a27c957c75c88ab  As we are contacting our MoC about Mueller, let’s be sure to state, as appropriate, that their inaction makes them complicit or to ask for their continued support in sensible gun legislation.

4.      In addition to threatening the Mueller investigation by demanding AG Jeff Session’s resignation, Trump heightened his attacks on independent journalism by revoking the press pass of CNN reporter Jim Acosta, after he challenged the president on calling the caravan of migrants seeking asylum an invasion. https://www.npr.org/2018/11/07/665497382/white-house-revokes-press-pass-of-cnns-jim-acosta. One of the first steps in any fascist take-over is to discredit the press, which Trump continually calls “an enemy of the people.” https://www.usnews.com/news/at-the-edge/articles/2017-10-26/trump-propaganda-and-the-destruction-of-the-free-press. Let’s demand that the White House immediately reinstate Acosta’s credentials. And let’s tell our MoCs to show their support for independent journalism and the First Amendment by passing H.Res. 179, which upholds freedom of the press.

5.      With the Democrats taking control of the House in January, Richie Neal (D-MA) will be taking over the leadership of the House Ways and Means Committee: https://www.cnn.com/2018/11/07/politics/richard-neal-trump-tax-returns/index.html. While there’s been some appropriate talk of bi-partisanship once the Democrats take the House in January, the president has also warned Democrats against investigating him https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-11-07/trump-vows-war-like-posture-if-democrats-investigate-him. But for the sake of ethics, decency and democracy, this is exactly what they must do. Richie Neal (D-MA) will be chair of the Ways and Means Committee and in the position of requesting the president’s tax returns. We need to make sure that Chairman Neal and the rest of the Democratic delegation know that we have their back and we want to see these returns, as well as complete and thorough investigations of the numerous ethical issues that have faced this administration. Let’s contact Neal, (https://neal.house.gov/contact) as well as our own Rep. and let them know what we’re expecting.

6.      Using the conservative reasoning that these programs promote abortion and encourages illicit sex, Trump’s State Department is pulling support for overseas sexual and reproductive health programs.  https://www.businessinsider.com/state-department-decreases-womens-health-programs-2018-10  We know that these programs and services are essential to women’s health and the consequences could be dire.  Let’s ask our MoCs what they are doing about this. 

7.      And, at home, the Republican administration will allow religious groups, nonprofits, small businesses and some other employers to opt out of a requirement under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to provide birth-control coverage for their employees, a victory for religious conservatives who mounted a years-long legal battle to eliminate the mandate. Under the new set of rules, which take effect immediately, most publicly traded companies and government entities wouldn’t be exempt and will have to continue providing coverage for all available forms of contraception without any out-of-pocket costs. https://www.wsj.com/articles/hhs-to-let-some-employers-opt-out-of-birth-control-mandate-1541634002  While we have our MoCs on the phone regarding overseas’ women’s health, let’s ask about our own at home, too.

8.     In environmental and climate news: a) the EPA no longer has a climate page on its website. We can read about this at Ecowatch. b) Two weeks after it put the case on hold, the U.S. Supreme Court allowed a lawsuit brought by 21 children and young adults against the federal government over climate change to proceed. More at Inside Climate News. c) The NRDC tell us that the EPA is trying to obscure environmentally risky projects. d) The National Butterfly Center, a 100-acre wildlife center and botanical garden on the border in South Texas is threatened by Trump's Wall. Let's read more at NPR. e) A federal court has ruled against Wyoming’s ag-gag laws. More at The Wildlife News. Let's continue to be aware of environmental issues and to give our legislators feedback so they know we are paying attention.

Other Actions

1.       Although the midterms already somehow feel like they were weeks ago, it has really only been three days. There have been many sweet victories, some difficult losses, and some important races still too close to call. Let’s take a moment to say some thanks: to our favorite candidate who won, to our favorite candidate who lost, to our favorite fellow resistor, to our favorite journalist, and to someone in our circles who has pushed beyond her usual boundaries when it came time to get out the vote.

2.      Healthcare is America’s number one issue and it’s that time again. Enrollment is open for ACA healthcare from November 1 thru December 15.  Three red states expanded health care on Wednesday’s election.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/three-deep-red-states-vote-to-expand-medicaid/2018/11/07/6586ae58-e1dc-11e8-ab2c-b31dcd53ca6b_story.html?utm_term=.0269b79ec418 and https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2018/11/07/664661676/a-winning-idea-medicaid-expansion-prevails-in-idaho-nebraska-and-utah  Let’s make sure to use and share this link to sign up for healthcare:  https://www.healthcare.gov

3.      You know what? Everyone is allowed a break. Self-care. Respite. Whatever people prefer to call it. Let’s all take some time to be kind to ourselves, whatever that entails. We should also think about our activism going forward. Here's a great list of questions that can allow us to refocus and redirect "beyond the midterms." 
4.      Last week, thousands of employees at Google offices across the globe walked out in a call for change  (https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/nov/01/google-walkout-global-protests-employees-sexual-harassment-scandals). While mishandling of sexual harassment allegations were at the forefront of many protests and media headlines, the organizers do have very clear, specific demands of Google's executive team: a) end forced arbitration, b) end pay and opportunity inequity, c) create a publicly disclosed sexual harassment transparency report, d) create "A clear, uniform, globally inclusive process for reporting sexual misconduct," e) have the Chief Diversity Officer report directly to the CEO, and f) appoint an Employee Representative to the Board. Let's read about these demands in detail from the organizers of the walkout here, then let's call on executives at Google to meet these requests and create a safer work environment for Google employees around the world. We can contact Google CEO Sundar Pichai on Twitter @sundarpichai or via e-mail at sundar@google.com and Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt on Twitter @EricSchmidt or via e-mail at

5.      Dion Ortiz, 22, one of the Standing Rock/Dakota Access Pipeline protesters, was sentenced to federal prison late last month.  He was targeted as an indigenous Water Protector and is one of the NoDAPL political prisoners.  As a show of support, we can send him mail, love, prayers, and money for his commissary:  Mailing Address:  DION ORTIZ 16559-059, FCI Terre Haute, FEDERAL CORRECTIONAL INSTITUTION, .O. BOX 33, TERRE HAUTE, IN 47808.  We can send money via:  https://www.westernunion.com/us/en/send-money/app/sendinmatestart His inmate number is 16559-059

Election/Voting

1.       ALL:  If we believe our employer may have tried to influence our midterm vote, we can contact The Intercept investigative reporter Lee  Fang at lee.fang@theintercept.com

2.      ALL:  The election is over, but one thing that hasn't changed is our need to build strong progressive infrastructure for the local and state elections that happen every year, elections that choose the officials and policies that affect us most directly. Strong infrastructure starts with strong funding, and Every District is rewriting the book on political fundraising, flipping the script from top-down shakedown-style tactics (we've all been getting too many of those emails!) to bottom-up cooperative grassroots fundraising networks that can outlast the current election cycle and become perennial centers for political organizing. Let's get involved for the long haul!  https://www.everydistrict.us/

3.      GA: The governor's race remains extremely close, with incumbent Brian Kemp up by less than 70,000 votes as of Thursday morning. Democratic candidate Stacey Abrams is vowing to make sure every vote is counted before she concedes (https://cbsn.ws/2F9NdZK and https://www.apnews.com/90bf71450a134b638502ad7564a8271d). Let's help her out: if we or anyone we know in Georgia voted absentee, early, or used a provisional ballot, let's check to see that our votes were counted:1. Log into the Georgia My Voter Page at www.mvp.sos.ga.gov 2. Under "Absentee ballot application," select "Click here for absentee ballot status" 3. Make sure that we see "Status: Accepted." If our Status as anything other than “accepted,” let's contact the Georgia voter protection hotline at 1-888-730-5816.  We can also find other ways to help Abrams here:  https://docs.google.com/document/d/183gBa9FhB3czfUofB-pFriGpJxZgow7kMrcubfVGlA8/mobilebasic  If we  cannot get through to the line, we can fill  out the form at this link https://goo.gl/q6jixU  We can also try the Asian Americans Advancing Justice hotline number at 470-765-8683 as they too are working to have votes counted. If we are already trained to do voter protection work, we can sign up for duty at our home organization.
This race is not over until every vote is counted!!

4.      MI: The Michigan Advisory Committee to the U. S. Commission on Civil Rights is conducting a study of voting rights in Michigan. The Committee is asking that Michigan voters share their experiences with registering to vote and voting in the state by January 1st, 2019. Statements can be sent to:  Regional Programs Unit of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, 230 S. Dearborn, Suite 2120, Chicago, IL 60616; or by email at mwojnaroski@usccr.gov or fax at 312-353-8324. 

 Marches/events/webinars/Tweetstorms to attend/organize

1.       While lauding new pro-science representatives elected and initiatives passed on Tuesday, the Union of Concerned Scientists is already planning its next move, a telephone briefing on Thursday, November 15 from 7:00–8:00 p.m. ET / 4:00–5:00 p.m. PT to propose ways we can defend science and advance science-based safeguards that protect our health, safety, and environment.  To register, go to:

2.      January 19, 2019 is the date of the third Women’s March with the main event to be held in Washington, D.C. with sister marches all over the country.  Let’s find more information here:  https://www.womensmarch.com/2019

Reading/Watching

1.       Let’s check out some of the women that won this week: “With women making up only 20 percent of Congress, there are many types of women — especially women of color — who have never been represented on Capitol Hill. The record-breaking wave of female candidates in 2018 comes with a list of firsts among those women. Here's a list of some of those firsts, which we will keep updating as results come in.”  https://www.npr.org/2018/11/06/664951794/a-list-of-firsts-for-women-in-this-years-midterm-elections

2.      Amid Pervasive Voter Suppression, the Big Winner on the 2018 Ballot was Voting Itself: The ACLU gives us a rundown of the voting protections that were passed in each state: https://www.aclu.org/blog/voting-rights/fighting-voter-suppression/amid-pervasive-voter-suppression-big-winner-2018

3.      A Quick Primer On the Legality of Appointing Matthew Whitaker as Acting Attorney General -  https://www.justsecurity.org/61386/quick-primer-legality-appointing-matthew-whitaker-acting-attorney-general-whitakers-power-influence-russia-investigations/










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