Put on Your #ThinkingCAP

Saturday, May 20th

(Adapted from The  Progress Report)

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When every day brings new information about who is involved in this Russia web it can be hard to keep things straight. Luckily, our friends at The Moscow Project straightened things out for us. Read this complete timeline of who knew what about Russia and when. Key points: VP Mike Pence has a strange habit of claiming to only be aware of major issues when they become public; Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Speaker Ryan were briefed on Russia as early as summer 2015; and Rep. McCarthy—the one who said he thinks Putin pays Trump—had already seen reports on Russian hacking when he made that comment.

Action You Can Take Today

#ThinkingCAP. The first episode of the Center for American Progress’ podcast, Thinking CAP is live—and just in time for maybe the busiest news week of all time. On the first episode of Thinking CAP, Michele and Igor talk with Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) about the growing calls for impeaching President Donald Trump and Booker’s moving speech on Tuesday at CAP’s 2017 Ideas Conference. Also on is hear from Ben Wikler, Washington Director of MoveOn.org, who tells the story of MoveOn and online activism and shares how you can sustain the Resistance. Listen here and rate the podcast on iTunes to help other people find it!


EPA Action: Clorpyrifos Danger is Real

Friday, May 19th

(Adapted from Rogan's List)

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Pass the strawberries, hold the pesticides. (Photo: Creative Commons) - See more at: http://pulse.ncpolicywatch.org/2017/04/03/state-ag-commissioner-troxler-pleased-epas-ruling-allow-brain-damaging-pesticide-crops/#sthash.sHfyYQXN.dpuf

Chlorpyrifos is an insecticide that can harm children's brains and nervous systems has been banned for home uses.

On Monday, May 22nd, a new EPA rule (calling for stricter requirements for applying restricted-used pesticides, essentially the most dangerous ones that are still allowable) was supposed to go into effect. But a week ago, May 12, EPA head Scott Pruitt announced he would delay the new rule by at least a year.

The EPA only will allow the public to comment on Pruitt's decision through the end of today, instead of the normal 30-day public comment period.

Action You Can Take Now

Tell the EPA how you feel about pushing off this regulation by entering a comment in the Federal Register:  https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2017/05/15/2017-09386/pesticides-certification-of-pesticide-applicators-rule-extension-of-effective-date

It's not necessary to select a "government agency." You can write your name in the "Organization Name" field.

Tell the EPA that you care about how pesticides are regulated and want our children's health and the health of the planet protected.

The EPA has to approve the comments so you won't see yours posted immediately.


Thank the Justice Dept for Appointing a Special Counsel

Thursday, May 18th

(Adapted from Rogan's List)

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Yesterday, the Department of Justice took a step in the right direction by appointing former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special counsel to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 election and ties between Russia and the Trump administration. (Read more.)

Let’s thank Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein for taking this crisis seriously and doing the right thing.  We can reach him at:  U.S. Department of Justice, 950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20530-0001 or here:  https://www.justice.gov/doj/webform/your-message-department-justice


Tell The Senate: Fulfill Your Oath of Office

 Wednesday, May  17th

(Adapted from Rogan's List)

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U.S. Capital Building, Washington D.C. (Photo via Creative Commons)

Action You Can Take Today


(aka Fun with Twitter)

 
If you're so inclined, there's more tweeting you can do, courtesy of #theresistancetweetsheets:

If you don't tweet yet, you should try it out - it's fast and entertaining.  You can always adapt the ideas in the tweetsheet for Facebook or other social media.

 

 


Ask Ryan and McConnell: Where's Your Patriotism?

Tuesday, May 16th

(Adapted from Rogan's List)

Trump continues to make his actions more and more indefensible, and the Republican leadership keeps defending him. Our voices rejecting this inaction must be heard loud, clear, and ceaselessly.

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Action You Can Take Today

Write a postcard, fax, or call Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan. Contact info is below the letters.

Long form:

Dear _____,

I am an American citizen who loves our country. I am not sure what Donald Trump’s goal is, but the result of whatever he is doing is that he is offending reason, convention, ethics, respect for his constituents—and maybe even the law. Over the past weekhe fired the person investigating him, lied about his reasons for the firing, admitted he did so because of the investigator’s lack of loyalty, and then threatened the subject of his actions on social media. As if that weren't enough, it turns out he also gave highly sensitive intelligence information to the Russians while they were in the Oval Office. I cannot express to you enough how concerned I am about his judgment, mental health and suitability for his role, and, more to the point, for the safety of the country in his hands.

Why do you continue to support him? From down here in regular Americaland, you look awfully bad—either more craven and greedy than can believed or profoundly clueless. And I know you’re not clueless.

Where is your humanity? Where is your love of country? Checks and balances only work if all three branches participate. Do your job. You are putting us all in danger.

Short form:

Dear _____,

I am an American citizen who loves our country. Over the past week, Donald Trump fired the person investigating him, lied about his reasons for the firing, admitted he did so because of the investigator’s lack of loyalty,  threatened the subject of his actions on social media, and gave highly sensitive intelligence information to the Russians while meeting with them in the Oval Office. I cannot express to you enough how concerned I am for the safety of the country in his hands.

Why do you continue to support him? Checks and balances only work if Congress participates. Do your job. You are putting us all in danger.

Tweet/quick postcard form:

Checks and balances only work if Congress participates. Do your job. You are putting us all in danger.

Contact info:

Mitch McConnell
317 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: (202) 224-2541 or (502) 582-6304 or (859) 224-8286 or (859) 578-0188 or (606) 864-2026
Fax: (202) 224-2499 – or use Resistbot

Paul Ryan
H-232 The Capitol
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-0600 or (608) 752-405 or (262) 654-1901 or (262) 637-0510
Fax: (202) 225-2012 or (608) 752-4711 or (262) 654-2156 or (262) 637-5689 – or use Resistbot


Tell the EPA: No Regulation Rollback! Last Day to Submit Your Comments

Monday, May 15th

(Adapted from Rogan's List)

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In the midst of the Comey storm, don’t forget the EPA public comment period, which ends May 15th. In case you're not sure what we're commenting on, the EPA asked for comment on "regulations that may be appropriate for repeal, replacement, or modification" after Trump signed Executive Order 13777, "Enforcing the Regulatory Reform Agenda"

Over 50,000 comments have already been received, and most people are asking the EPA to leave existing regulations in place, arguing that there's no need to roll back environmental protections.

Action You Can Take Today

ClimateTruth.org makes it easy to submit a comment: https://act.climatetruth.org/sign/EPA-regulations/ or you can go directly to the EPA comment site: https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=EPA-HQ-OA-2017-0190-0042.  If you're not sure how to structure your comments, visit the EPA's "Tips on Effective Comments" FAQ page.

 


On Mother's Day: Support the Health of Women Worldwide

Sunday, May 14th

It's Mother's Day. Here's a way to honor your mother by supporting the health of impoverished women worldwide: 
Make a donation to Friends of UNFPA.

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The Trump-Pence Administration’s drastic and irresponsible decision to eliminate funding to UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, directly affects millions of the most vulnerable women and girls around the world. The fact is: cutting funding to UNFPA will cut women’s lives short.

This action does more than defund UNFPA – it defunds women’s lives. 

Eliminating the U.S. contribution will force UNFPA’s lifesaving work to scale back dramatically. Without the U.S. contribution, UNFPA will be prevented from providing lifesaving reproductive health care to 10.5 million women and girls and from reaching 9 million people in humanitarian crises.

UNFPA is the largest international provider of family planning and reproductive health care globally, working in more than 150 countries and territories. UNFPA not only provides essential voluntary family planning information and guidance, but also delivers emergency obstetric care, trains and deploys midwives, works to end female genital mutilation, works to repair obstetric fistulas and prevent new cases, and vigorously combats child marriage and gender-based violence.

From 2014 to 2016 U.S. support allowed UNFPA to provide lifesaving assistance to an estimated 10.5 million people in humanitarian circumstances. In 2016 alone the U.S. contribution for UNFPA’s work prevented more than 10,000 maternal deaths. Additionally, U.S. support helped UNFPA avert 320,000 unintended pregnancies and 100,000 unsafe abortions. It also enabled approximately 800,000 people to voluntarily decide how many children they will have.

We call on the Administration to reverse this decision immediately. Further, we call on Americans to stand with UNFPA. Together we will demonstrate that Americans care deeply about the health and dignity of all women and girls and will act to support them wherever they live.

As the official support committee for UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, every dollar you give is used efficiently to mobilize further funds and action for UNFPA’s lifesaving work. We’re proud of the way we manage our funds, so you can contribute with confidence. Donate here.

Organized under the laws of New York State as a not-for-profit corporation, Friends of UNFPA is exempt from tax under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and contributions are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law. Our Federal Identification Number is: 13-3996346.


Protect Our Citizens, Protect Our Elections: Fund the 2020 Census

Friday, May 12th

File this under the header "important things that are happening while we focus on Comey."

As reported in The Guardian, "In a bill enacted last week, President Donald Trump has given the (US Census) bureau less than half its requested budget increase for 2017. The bureau asked for more money because accurately understanding the US population is expensive. The 2010 census cost the US taxpayer $13bn, which works out at roughly $42 for each of the 308.7 million people that were counted."  According to Five Thirty Eight, this budget "keep(s) spending flat in a year when, based on past 10-year cycles, it should be increasing by 60 percent or more."

 On Wednesday, the director of the US Census Bureau resigned, stating he couldn't do his job without adequate funding. Again, "The numbers from the Census Bureau underpin just about everything we know about the economy, education, health and justice in America. Without them, the US government won’t be making public policy based on public need. That’s an equation that just doesn’t add up."  

Census numbers also affect redistricting. If we want to fight gerrymandering, we must have an accurate census.  

Action You Can Take Today

Tell your members of Congress that you care about the census.  Tell the Commerce Department that you care about the census:  Secretary Wilbur Ross, Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Ave, NW, Washington, DC 20230. 

Bonus Action:

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Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross made light of the dropping of 59 Tomahawk missiles on Syria by saying it was in lieu of “after-dinner entertainment” when China's President Xi visited Trump:  http://time.com/4762582/wilbur-ross-syria-airstrike-after-dinner-entertainment-donald-trump/   

Remind Secretary Ross that bombs are not entertainment: Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Ave, NW, Washington, DC 20230


Support NY Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's Inquiry into Trump/Russia

Wednesday, May 10th

Yesterday, Trump fired FBI chief James Comey, purportedly over his investigation of Hillary Clinton. We're not fooled - Comey was fired because he was investigating Trump and the Trump Administration.  Now, more and more members of Congress, including some Republicans, are calling for an independent investigation of Trump and his Russia ties.

According to today's New York Times, however, there is no clear path to an independent investigation of #TrumpRussia.  The post-Nixon law creating a "special prosecutor" or "independent counsel" expired in 1999.  A "special counsel" would still be under the control of the newly appointed Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who showed yesterday that he and Attorney General Jeff Sessions are in no way interested in finding the truth.  A "special congressional commission" could investigate and create a report, but nothing beyond that.

As a result, it looks like it is up to state officials such as New York's Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who cannot be fired by the President or the President's men, to actually perform that independent investigation. As noted in the Daily News in March, "Schneiderman, a frequent Trump critic, has repeatedly said his office will sue the administration if necessary to protect New Yorkers' and the state's interests."

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Action You Can Take Today

Tell AG Schneiderman that you support investigations by his office into Trump's ties to Russia, potential violation of the emoluments clause, and any other Trump or Trump associate activity that may violate our laws.

Call: 1-800-771-7755
Write:
Office of the Attorney General

The Capitol
Albany, NY 12224-0341

Send an email: https://ag.ny.gov/questions-comments-attorney-general-eric-t-schneiderman

 


Healthcare Heads to the Senate: Keep up the Pressure

Tuesday, May 9th

(Adapted from Rogan's List)

It will be tougher to pass the healthcare bill in the Senate, but it can be adjusted and pass.

Actions You Can Take Today

There are some vulnerable Republican senators. Write to these senators and tell them we will not accept a healthcare bill that leave millions uninsured because of pre-existing conditions, cuts Medicaid for our most vulnerable, and gives tax cuts to the wealthy. You can use this opportunity to tell them what you would like the bill to address, including a Single Payer system. A recent Pew Research Center survey revealed that more Americans are leaning toward government-sponsored healthcare. Even Trump likes a single-payer system: But single-payer is not the same as public option. Many of our legislators will try to turn a conversation about single payer into one about the public option, which would not cover as much.

  • Alaska: Lisa Murkowski, 1900 First Ave Ste 225, Ketchikan AK 99901-6059
  • Arizona: Jeff Flake, 6840 N Oracle Rd Ste 150, Tucson AZ 85704-4252
  • Colorado: Cory Gardner, 102 S Tejon St #930, Colorado Springs CO 80903-2231
  • Maine: Susan Collins, 1 Canal Plz Ste 802, Portland ME 04101-4035
  • Nevada: Dean Heller, 8930 W Sunset Rd Ste 230, Las Vegas NV 89148-5010
  • Ohio: Rob Portman, 37 W Broad St Ste 300, Columbus OH 43215-4180
  • Pennsylvania: Pat Toomey, US Federal Bldg, 17 S Park Row B120, Erie PA 16501-1156, 8)
  • West Virginia: Shelly Moore Capito, 48 Donley St Ste 504, Morgantown WV 26501-5900

Bonus Action:

Congressman Raul Labrador in Idaho sparked outrage at a Town Hall on Friday when he said that “nobody dies because they don’t have access to health care” Since a study at Harvard showed that approximately 45,000 people die annually due to lack of health care: let’s check in with Labrador about his math: Rep. Raul Labrador, 1523 Longworth House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515

And in case you haven't heard, our Congressman, Sean Patrick Maloney, has started the #AdoptADistrict movement in the House, suggesting that Democratic members of Congress hold town hall meetings in Republican districts when the representative for that district won't. Last night, he spoke at a town hall meeting in John Faso's NY-19 district. Hundreds of people stood in line in Kingston to watch congressional leadership in action.  


Tell Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue: Our Kids Need Healthy School Food

Monday, May 8th

(Adapted from Rogan's List)

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(Image courtesy of Gerald G and OpenClipArt under Creative Commons Zero 1.0 Public Domain License)

Trump’s Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue proclaimed (and has had confirmed) new rules that free public schools from the requirements put in place by the Obamas' “Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010.” Perdue wants to “make school meals great again” by allowing schools, starting next year, to discard the calorie, fat, or sodium requirements of the 2010 legislation and ignore its mandate to increase offerings of fruit, whole grains, vegetables, and nonfat milk. (Read more:  https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/01/us/politics/nutrition-rules-school-lunches-michelle-obama.html  )

Action You Can Take Today

Please take a moment to share your thoughts with him:

Sonny Perdue, Secretary, US Dept of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Ave, SW, Washington, DC 20250. 



More Reasons to Investigate Jared Kushner and Trump's Kleptocracy

Sunday, May 7th

(Adapted from Rogan's List)

Yet another Trump disclosure omission:  “Jared Kushner didn't disclose his business ties with George Soros, Peter Thiel, and Goldman Sachs, or that he owes $1 billion in loans…” (Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/jared-kushner-ties-george-soros-goldman-sachs-peter-thiel-1-billion-loan-2017-5 )

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Today, there are reports in the Guardian that Kushner's sister has been pushing Chinese investment in Kushner family properties in exchange for US green cards, most recently yesterday at an event at the Beijing Ritz-Carlton: "Members of the audience of 100 were reportedly told that if they stumped up at least half a million dollars for the project they could become US residents under a controversial cash-for-residency program that is known in China as the “golden visa”."  

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/may/07/jared-kushners-family-criticised-for-touting-cash-for-visas-scheme-in-china

Action You Can take Today:


Contact the Office of Government Ethics and ask that they investigate Kushner now:  https://www.oge.gov/Web/OGE.nsf/Resources/Contact+Us


Good People Don't Have Pre-existing Conditions?

Friday, May 5th

(Adapted from Rogan's List)

Action You Can Take Today

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Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) in an interview with Jake Tapper on CNN distinguished people with pre-existing conditions from those “who lead good lives”:  http://www.cnn.com/videos/tv/2017/05/01/lead-brooks-interview-live.cnn  

Please take a moment to let Rep. Brooks know what you think of his perspective.

Washington, DC Office

2400 Rayburn HOB
WashingtonDC 20515

 Phone: (202) 225-4801

 

Decatur Office

302 Lee Street
Room 86
Decatur, AL 35601

Phone: (256) 355-9400
Fax: (256) 355-9406

Huntsville Office

2101 W. Clinton Avenue
Suite 302
HuntsvilleAL 35805

Phone: (256) 551-0190
Fax: (256) 551-0194

Shoals Office

102 South Court Street
Suite 310
FlorenceAL 35630

Phone: (256) 718-5155
Fax: (256) 718-5156

Twitter: @RepMoBrooks
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RepMoBrooks 
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/RepMoBrooks


And while you're at it, here's a list from Daily Kos of the "24 Most Vulnerable House Republicans Who Voted to Destroy Health Care".  Write to them, donate to their opponents, let them know that this term will be their last.

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Preserve The Separation of Church and State: Contact the White House Today

Thursday, May 4th

(Adapted from Rogan's List, and Project Fair Play)

We know that at least some members of this administration want to blur the lines between church and state, and today Trump is expected to sign an executive order today which does away with the Johnson Amendment.

As noted by Project Fair Play, "The Johnson Amendment is a federal law that protects the integrity of tax-exempt organizations, including houses of worship, as well as the integrity of our elections and the tax code.

This law prohibits tax-exempt organizations—whether a secular group or a house of worship—from supporting or opposing political candidates and political parties. It furthers the original intent behind providing tax-exempt status to nonprofit organizations, which was to ease the financial burden on organizations that operate for religious, educational, and charitable purposes. It was not intended to enable these organizations to more easily engage in partisan politics."

4500+ non-profits have asked the government to keep the Johnson Amendment.  Read what they have to say here.  99+ faith groups have done the same.  Read what they have to say here.

Action You Can Take Today

Tell the White House that you do not support removing the Johnson Amendment.  

Email:

  • president@whitehouse.gov
  • comments@whitehouse.gov

Twitter:

  • @WhiteHouse
  • @POTUS
  • @realDonaldTrump

Facebook: 

  • www.facebook.com/WhiteHouse

Phone:

  • Comments: 202-456-1111
  • Switchboard: 202-456-1414

 


Tell Congress Your Own Healthcare Story

Wednesday, May 3rd

(Adapted from Rogan's List)

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Jimmy Kimmel’s healthcare story on Monday about his newborn son’s heart condition is touching and revealing of so many concerns we all have about making sure our own families have heathcare when they need it.  (Watch now · Read more)

We have healthcare stories, too.  Let’s make sure we tell those stories to our legislators so they can see and retell what these changes in the ACA will do to real people.  Let them know how important this is to all of us and our families: remind them that healthcare is a human right.

Even if we don’t have a compelling healthcare story, we know that we can keep pushing to get better care for more people.  The efforts to repeal and replace the ACA seem to be coming to a head. (Learn more: http://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/331478-gop-struggles-to-find-obamacare-repeal-votes)

Action You Can Take Today

Reach out to your members of congress with your concerns.

Residents of Phillipstown: click links below for contact info:

Senator Chuck Schumer · Senator Kirstin Gillibrand · Representative Sean Patrick Maloney

If you live somewhere else, you can use this link: https://www.callmycongress.com/