Posted: 21 Jun 2017 05:46 AM PDT
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- Sen. McConnell says that the GOP will have a “discussion draft” of the new healthcare bill by Thursday. http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/politics/ct-gop-trump-senate-health-bill-20170620-story.html Let’s make a promise to ourselves to call/email both of our senators each and every day until the vote on healthcare. Some points to stress: 1) We demand hearings with expert testimony and careful consideration; 2) We demand that all members of the Senate, not just an all-male working group, and including Democrats, are allowed to participate in debate and offer amendments; 3) We demand that any legislation provide equal or better access to affordable, comprehensive health care as the ACA; 4) We demand that certain parts of the ACA be continued, including Medicaid, pre-existing conditions, and no increased premiums for older people; and 5) We demand open hearings. Then, let’s make another call to at least one of the two top-ranking members of the Senate Health, Education, Pensions, and Labor Committee asking the same: Lamar Alexander (R-TN): https://www.alexander.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/officelocations and Patty Murray (D-WA): https://www.murray.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/contactme Then, if you are extra motivated, call McConnell (R-KY): https://www.mcconnell.senate.gov/public/
- Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has indicated that he would like to work directly with the Russians on issues of cybersecurity – even after the Russians used cyber methods to influence our election: http://www.newsweek.com/russia-us-cyber-security-tillerson-627379 Let’s let Tillerson know that we do not need to invite the fox to the henhouse: U.S. Department of State, 2201 C Street NW, Washington, DC 20520
- Keith Hall continues as the leader of the Congressional Budget Office and has spoken up about the unfortunate partisan attacks on the CBO during the health care process: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/19/us/politics/cbo-congressional-budgt-office.html?_r=0 Let’s thank Mr. Hall and his team for persevering in this difficult time: The Congressional Budget Office, Ford House Office Building, Fourth Floor, Second and D Streets, SW, Washington, DC 20515-6925
- The Trump administration has been disturbingly silent regarding the anti-LGBT violence in Chechnya http://bit.ly/2swSf8z http://bit.ly/2oWQnmG Meanwhile, members of Congress have urged Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to condemn the arrests, with no response http://assets.hrc.org//files/images/general/Cicilline-Tillerson-Chechnya.mp4 Let’s check to see if our Reps signed the letter to Tillerson, and thank them if they did http://bit.ly/2sLEUvq We can also contact Tillerson and demand that he speak out against the violence against the LGBT community of Chechnya: U.S. Department of State, 2201 C Street, NW, Washington, DC 20520
- Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) is yet another Republican senator to criticize the secretive process behind the Senate health care bill. http://www.pressherald.com/2017/06/16/susan-collins-criticizes-secretive-process-of-senate-health-care-replacement-bill/ Let’s keep the pressure on and tell our Senators “No hearings. No vote.”
- The Endangered Species Act (ESA) is still be threatened by “reforms.” The nearly extinct Wyoming toad has recovered on the ESA from 16 toads in 1985 to 1500 today. http://www.npr.org/2017/06/19/533203933/wyoming-toads-rebound-as-states-seek-endangered-species-act-reforms Let’s contact all of our MoC’s to remind them that the ESA is important to us. If we’re in Wyoming or just want to express our support for the Wyoming toad, let’s also contact Governor Matt Mead: http://governor.wyo.gov/contact-us
- Thanks to #TheResistanceTweetsheets, we can use these ready-to-go tweets show everyone that we agree with Trump in that Trumpcare is mean! If we are not on Twitter yet, it’s a good time to join! https://resistancetweetsheets.wordpress.com/2017/06/20/trumpcare-is-mean/
- Recent reports indicated that the Russian hacking of election systems hit 39 different states, and U.S. officials are concerned that future attacks may be even worse. https://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2017-06-13/russian-breach-of-39-states-threatens-future-u-s-elections This has become a partisan issue, and it shouldn’t be. Let’s call our members of Congress and our governors and state legislators and tell them that our trust in democracy depends on knowing that our elections are being conducted fairly, and we want them to make securing our election infrastructure before 2018 a top priority.
- Phase 2 of Indivisible’s Phase 2 on the AHCA: We need to create hundreds of “amendments” for Senator Dems to use in their “Filibuster By Amendment” campaign. Indivisible has created this amazing site that will generate one amendment per constituent. We just need to enter our info and a short comment about healthcare. Indivisible hopes to use this site to crowdsource thousands of “amendments” nationwide that our Senators will then use to grind progress to a halt. https://www.ouramendments.org/ Let’s take a moment (maybe 2 minutes max) and complete the form – they’re fighting for us, let’s not make them do it unarmed! THEN – Please share (copy and paste) this post and encourage friends to do the same!
- One Congressional Republican insisted that the real problem with Trumpcare wasn’t that it was taking away health insurance from 23 million Americans, it was that it wasn’t doing enough to stop undocumented immigrants from GETTING health care. http://timesleader.com/news/645200/barletta-trump-reach-compromise-on-health-care-bill Lou Barletta has proposed a bill that would address this by creating serious roadblocks to many citizens and immigrants being able to purchase affordable, quality health insurance, and last week it passed the House in a mostly party-line vote. Let’s call our senators and tell them we are tired of them demonizing the undocumented, and we want them to let this legislation die.
- Now that the special elections in Georgia and South Carolina are over, it’s time to turn our attention to the great fight of the fall, the campaign for governor and the state legislature in Virginia. http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/political_commentary/commentary_by_geoffrey_skelley/democrats_start_with_edge_in_virginia_gubernatorial_race Flippable.org is getting folks organized to volunteer to win back the Virginia state house for the Democrats. Let’s can sign up to get connected to the campaigns where we can have the most impact here: https://www.flippable.org/flipvablue-volunteer. We can also join our local chapters of the Sister District Project, who are pairing up with key races in Virginia and will keep us posted on opportunities to help, here: sisterdistrict.com. And for those of us who would rather write letters than send texts or make phone calls, we can help reach out to voters with the Postcards for Virginia project here: www.postcards4va.com
- There will be at least one more special election to send someone to Washington this year. On December 12, Alabama voters will decide who will fill the rest of Jeff Sessions’ term in the Senate. http://www.al.com/news/index.ssf/2017/05/doug_jones_announces_run_for_u.html You can get updates from Doug Jones, a former U.S. attorney who led the prosecution of the two Klansmen who bombed the 16th Street Baptist Church and is now the most prominent Democratic candidate in the race, here: dougjonesforsenate.com.
- Paul Ryan has another challenger for his seat in the 2018 House election. Democratic iron-worker Randy Bryce has declared his candidacy: http://www.jsonline.com/story/news/politics/2017/06/19/democrat-randy-bryce-challenges-paul-ryan-congress/408301001/ and he is out of the gate with a very moving campaign ad: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F6zAyPRbels&app=desktop His campaign site is here: https://randybryceforcongress.com
- CNN’s Jim Acosta is speaking out about the increasingly closed doors that White House press is facing: http://thehill.com/homenews/media/338458-cnns-acosta-spicer-is-kind-of-useless We can thank Acosta for standing up: CNN, 820 1st St NE, Washington, DC 20002-4243
- We know by now that the Google search function can be “gamed” by tech-savvy types, and that some of them have a pretty hateful agenda. https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/dec/04/google-democracy-truth-internet-search-facebook. So let’s beware of the following site if it pops up in the top hits when we’re searching for further information about activist organizations: https://www.activistfacts.com/about/. Although it presents itself as factual, the descriptions are heavily biased against progressive organizations. For example, ColorOfChange.org,, is entirely dismissed on a very questionable basis: “[t]he group does little more than take advantage of racially sensitive events, often tragic ones, in order to spread its progressive political agenda.” There is some referencing to back up assertions, but significantly, there is no list of authors or editors to take responsibility for the numerous articles. The purpose of this obviously right-wing site is clearly to discredit progressive orgs, foundations, and groups. We can go ahead and read it, but there is no way we’ll accept what this site says as “fact.”
- From one of our own: The president (i.e., mayor), Jeff S. Sieting, of the village of Kalkaska, MI refuses to take his Trump campaign sign off his business. He’s doctored it a bit so he claims it is not a political sign. In addition, his personal Facebook page is full of disturbing, hateful messages. Some in the local community support him, but others are not happy and have organized a peaceful protest on Friday. http://wgrd.com/folks-in-kalkaska-would-really-like-the-mayor-to-remove-his-vote-trump-sign/ Would doctored Clinton or Sanders signs be allowed or would they have had to follow the village ordinance of timely removal of political signs? Let’s show our support for the removal of the sign by calling the village attorney ay 231 947 0400. Then, let’s all call Sieting and ask that he follow the heart of the ordinance and take down the sign. The phone number for the Village office of Kalkaska is 231-258-9191 or use this fax number: 231 258-5622.
- Tonight is Planned Parenthood’s “Pink Out” event. Let’s check here for more information how we can participate (in person and on social media) and to find events near us: https://www.plannedparenthoodaction.org/blog/5-ways-to-pink-out-on-june-21st
- In a tragic situation, police killed Charleena Lyles, mother of four with mental health issues, when they were attempting to help her with a robbery she reported. http://www.businessinsider.com/what-happened-seattle-police-shooting-african-american-woman-charleena-lyles-2017-6 Let’s consider giving to the GoFundMe account set up for her children: https://www.gofundme.com/bdgbc8pg
- MomsRising will be hosting their next telephone townhall tomorrow, Thursday, June 22nd at 9pm ET. http://bit.ly/2rMnvUc The townhall will focus on the mechanisms we have in place to hold sitting presidents accountable, including impeachment, special counsels, and independent commissions. Let’s RSVP and take advantage of this great learning opportunity.
- The Human Rights Campaign has a Welcoming Schools program; a professional development program designed to support our LGBTQ+ students, create a respectful school, and help prevent bullying. There are lesson plans, a starter kit we can download, and we can even request professional development training at our schools. Let’s support diversity in our schools, and make sure we have a safe, respectful environment for all our students http://www.welcomingschools.org/
- Recent protests sparkes a nationwide Rise Up 5K Run/Walk on July 1. Net proceeds go to Planned Parenthood and other women’s rights charities. JOIN US TODAY! RISE UP. RUN. BE HEARD. http://riseup5k.org/
- South Bend, Indiana mayor Pete Buttigieg has come out publicly as gay. http://www.southbendtribune.com/news/local/pete-buttigieg-s-announcement-creates-a-buzz/article_57a803f7-3aeb-50d2-9904-b69039a07ade.html Here is his own essay on why he came out and why now: http://www.southbendtribune.com/news/local/south-bend-mayor-why-coming-out-matters/article_4dce0d12-1415-11e5-83c0-739eebd623ee.html Let’s send emails of support to Mayor Pete Buttigieg: firstname.lastname@example.org and postcards to: Office of the Mayor, 227 W Jefferson Blvd #1400N, South Bend IN 46601-1830.
- Eventbrite – the world’s largest platform for selling event tickets – is profiting from hate and giving hate groups and white supremacists a megaphone, a recruiting tool and a funding stream by letting them host events on the Eventbrite platform. It needs to stop. Let’s join in this CREDO petition: https://act.credoaction.com/sign/Eventbrite_Hate_Groups
- In December 2015, Otto Warmbier visited North Korea as part of a tour group while he was in China. In January 2016, he was tried and convicted for removing a piece of propaganda from the hotel he was in. The North Koreans claim he fell into a coma a month later. He was released and returned to the U.S. in that condition last week and immediately taken to a hospital where he died on Monday. Many questions remain. http://www.npr.org/2017/06/19/533573109/otto-warmbier-dies-days-after-release-from-north-korea The heartache of the family is genuine. Let’s let them know we are thinking of them: The Warmbier Family, c/o Suzy Henke, Director of Communications, Wyoming City Schools, 420 Springfield Pike, Wyoming, OH 45215
- Even as Trump tries to block immigration to the US and proposes draconian cuts in foreign aid, 65.5 million people around the world—half of them children—are forcibly displaced , the largest number since World War II: http://www.unhcr.org/news/stories/2017/6/5941561f4/forced-displacement-worldwide-its-highest-decades.html This, the week of World Refugee Day, we should find out how we can best support those who are doing the hard work of defending and relocating displaced people in the US: the National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (http://www.nnirr.org/drupal/); the Sanctuary Movement (http://www.sanctuarynotdeportation.org/); the National Immigrant Justice Center (http://www.immigrantjustice.org/)
- “The Real Reason Republicans Can’t Answer Simple Questions About Their Health Care Bill” https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/6/20/15821016/republicans-health-care-bill-questions
- Bangladesh is already being impacted adversely by climate change. https://impact.vice.com/en_us/article/tragedy-in-bangladesh-shows-deadly-effects-of-climate-change
- Choices for the GOP – written by George Bush’s chief speech writer from 2001-6: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-gops-hard-messy-options-for-destroying-trumpism/2017/06/19/d6483a56-5517-11e7-a204-ad706461fa4f_story.html?utm_term=.778d1a6c6846
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