Thursday, January 17, 2019

Thursday 1/17 Call to Action


Thursday 1/17

The GOP shutdown continues. The majority of the GOP and Trump are proud to sabotage the economy and workers when they don’t get their way. Trump’s own economists have doubled projections of how much economic growth is lost each week by the shutdown.
During an interview on the Fox Business Network, Hassett, the chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, noted that White House economists had originally miscalculated the rate of damage in part because they failed to account for government contractors.”

Federal workers are tapping their retirement funds.

Domestic violence shelters that rely on federal funding will be forced to begin shutting their doors and closing down hotlines. 
““About 1,300 to 1,500 women are killed every single year by their intimate partner,” Southworth says. “That is domestic terrorism. If we have the audacity to shut down those lifesaving services in the alleged name of security and safety, that’s appalling. It’s unconscionable.””

A bipartisan group of the most moderate senators are now attempting to appeal directly to President Trump to reopen the government for three weeks while negotiations continue over funding for border security. The group so far, Politico reports, includes Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Rob Portman (R-OH), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), and Chris Coons (D-DE).”

We are feeling the effect of climate change in MN, and we need climate action now. 
Climate change means the state will be buffeted by more supercharged weather — heat waves, droughts, deluges, wind storms, flooding and even wildfires. But for Minnesota, it’s primarily a winter phenomenon. The state’s famous winters are warming 13 times faster than its summers, said Tracy Twine, an associate professor in the University of Minnesota’s Department of Soil, Water and Climate.”

“The Democrats’ first order of business as they took control of the 116th Congress was introducing H.R. 1, the colossal “For the People Act.” This 571-page behemoth of a bill covering voting rights, campaign finance reform, ethics improvements, and more was a perfect reminder of just how much power the Constitution gives Congress to make elections better in this country and, sadly, of how partisan the question of election reform has become.”

All five MN House Democrats are co-sponsors of this. You can thank them. (Thanks D.R.)

If your MoC is GOP, start pressuring them to support this.

General Services Administration ignored constitutional issues over Trump’s D.C. hotel.
According to the report, the GSA recognized that President Trump's business interests presented issues related to the Constitution's emoluments clauses, which prohibit presidents "from taking payments from foreign governments or individual U.S. states," the Washington Post explains. But the GSA did not address those issues, the report says, which was "improper because GSA, like all government agencies, has an obligation to uphold and enforce the Constitution."

Special Election! All hands on deck!
State Senator Tony Lourey was chosen by Governor Walz as Human Services commissioner. That leaves an empty seat in the Senate. It is important that we work hard to make sure a Democrat wins that seat in the special election coming up on February 5th. Tony Lourey’s son, Stu Lourey is running to fill his father’s seat. Stu Lourey has worked as an aide to Sens. Al Franken and Tina Smith and he comes from a family of public servants. His grandmother was former Senator Beck Lourey. Stu Lourey will be running against Representative Jason Rarick, a Republican who already represents half of the district.
Republicans have a two-seat edge in the Senate pending the Feb. 5th election. Check out Stu Lourey’s campaign page. Use those skills you honed this past summer/fall and help him get elected.
Check out Majority Leader Steny Hoyer’s schedule for the House of Representatives https://www.majorityleader.gov/floor-res…/the-weekly-leader…
Klobuchar-202-224-3244
Smith (202) 224-5641
House of Representative switchboard: (202) 224-3121




Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Wednesday 1/16 Call to Action

Wednesday 1/16
Walz Plans to Counter Shutdown Effects
Here it is, the 25th day of Trump’s partial federal shutdown. Average Americans are feeling the squeeze of the president’s tantrum. Governor Walz has taken steps to help Minnesota employees who are affected by this. Yesterday, Gov. Walz held a news conference at the State Capitol along with state officials, members of the faith community, and lawmakers. Watch that here: https://youtu.be/m-Kw6PCX4Cg
As the partial shutdown goes on, Walz will implement a plan to help Minnesota workers. That plan includes protecting critical health and food services, monitoring SNAP to ensure it remains solvent and that those in need get signed up, consulting with Native American tribes to assess their needs, and holding the federal government accountable for behaving like a bunch of petulant babies.
See Walz’s graphic here: https://www.facebook.com/GovTimWalz/posts/1133442160162671
https://blogs.mprnews.org/…/walz-preps-state-strategy-to-c…/
Environmental Legislation at The State Capitol (From Indivisible Minnesota Legislative Action)
There are two things to keep track of here at the Capitol.
First, Governor Walz has decided to review a court appeal designed to block Enbridge’s $2.6 billion oil pipeline project. The new Commerce commissioner, Steve Kelly, announced that he would “take another look” at the appeal. Hopefully Gov. Walz and Commissioner Kelly are just being thorough and are reviewing the information so that they can agree with appeal that was created under the previous administration. I think they would benefit from your opinion about this, so why not call Gov. Walz and Commissioner Kelly and tell them that the pipeline is a terrible idea for Minnesota.
http://www.startribune.com/walz-orders-review-of-commerc…/…/
https://powershift.org/…/side-science-asking-mn-gov-walz-su…
Contact information for the Commerce department: https://mn.gov/commerce/about/contact/
Governor Walz: https://mn.gov/governor/
Second, the new chair of the Energy and Climate Policy and Finance Division, Representative Jean Wagenius is holding hearings about Minnesota’s need to address climate change. If you hold the Earth’s well-being close to your heart, be sure to have your voice heard as Rep. Wagenius holds hearings about climate change at the Capitol. The first meeting was yesterday but there is still time to attend on Thursday, January 17th.
This page will give you more information about the hearing on Thursday and has transcripts, audio, and video of the hearings from Tuesday.https://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/Committees/archives/91021
Here is an interesting article about how the fossil fuel industry managed to get the media to think climate change was debatable. (grrrrr!)https://www.washingtonpost.com/…/how-fossil-fuel-industry…/…
While we were all talking about hamburders, the EPA quietly placed the head of the Office of Children’s Health Protection on administration leave for no apparent reason. Sneaky and shameful. https://www.nytimes.com/…/epa-etzel-children-health-program…
Attorney General Nominee William Barr
Yesterday was the first day that the Senate Judiciary Committee questioned Attorney General nominee William Barr. He managed to avoid answering anything substantial from the Democratic Senators. Our own Senator Klobuchar did a great job and seems to be looking more and more presidential (…) Questioning continues today. Feel free to call Sen. Klobuchar and thank her for being awesome. Unfortunately, there is little to be done about blocking Barr from this appointment. Read more about it here: https://www.newsandguts.com/barr-pressed-on-muellers-fina…/…
Special Election! All hands on deck!
State Senator Tony Lourey was chosen by Governor Walz as Human Services commissioner. That leaves an empty seat in the Senate. It is important that we work hard to make sure a Democrat wins that seat in the special election coming up on February 5th. Tony Lourey’s son, Stu Lourey is running to fill his father’s seat. Stu Lourey has worked as an aide to Sens. Al Franken and Tina Smith and he comes from a family of public servants. His grandmother was former Senator Beck Lourey. Stu Lourey will be running against Representative Jason Rarick, a Republican who already represents half of the district.
Republicans have a two-seat edge in the Senate pending the Feb. 5th election. Check out Stu Lourey’s campaign page. Use those skills you honed this past summer/fall and help him get elected.
Check out Majority Leader Steny Hoyer’s schedule for the House of Representatives https://www.majorityleader.gov/floor-res…/the-weekly-leader…
Klobuchar-202-224-3244
Smith (202) 224-5641
House of Representative switchboard: (202) 224-3121
MN Legislators: https://www.leg.state.mn.us/leg/legislators
Resistbot: https://resistbot.io/
Governor Walz https://mn.gov/governor/
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Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Tuesday 1/15 Call to Action

Tuesday 1/15
No Wall- Make Those Calls!
Trump is mobilizing his people to barrage Congress with pro-wall calls. I watched an interview with Congressman Colin Peterson earlier this week where he stated that his offices have received significantly more calls supporting Trump’s border wall than opposing it. If you want a budget and not the wall, call your members of Congress today. Even if they have openly opposed the wall (which our senators have done), call and offer them your support.
For the THIRD time, Senate Democrats refused to cave to Trump's dumb wall demands. While you’re on the phone, let Sens. Klobuchar and Smith know you appreciate it - positive reinforcement is rare on Capitol Hill.
Want to learn more about this? Check out this page from Indivisible. https://indivisible.org/…/trumps-latest-temper-tantrum-and-…
Minnesota Legislature
The wheels are turning in St. Paul and Minnesota Democrats are hoping to get some good legislation passed ASAP. Part of the Democrat’s “Values Agenda”(read more about that here: https://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/sessiondaily/Story/13455) are two bills to improve gun safety in our state. HF8 will increase criminal background checks before gun purchases. HF9 will help keep guns out of the hands of people who are a danger to themselves and/or others. Today, you can give your state House member a call and voice your support for these two bills. Next, call your state senator and tell them that SF72, Shoot First, Ask Questions Later, the Stand Your Ground bill being introduced by Sens. Ruud, Lang, Utke, Mathews and Ingebrigtsen, is dangerous and should not get a hearing.
https://www.facebook.com/101928606548259/posts/2404590006282096/
http://www.startribune.com/minnesota-lawmakers-activist…/…/…
Enbridge Pipeline #3 -From Watch Your Reps Mn
Governor Tim Walz and Lt. Governor Peggy Flanagan are considering ending the appeal against line 3 (basically allowing the pipeline to move forward) though it does nothing good for MN in the long term and puts sensitive areas at risk. Give Gov. Walz a call today and tell him “No” on line 3. 651-201-3400 https://www.twincities.com/…/walz-decision-on-proceeding-w…/
Forum News Service Briefing
Governor Tim Walz and legislative leaders took turns fielding questions from the Capitol press corp during the annual Forum News Service's briefing held Monday, January 14. Lawmakers agreed on the importance of finding some areas of agreement early in the session to build a positive repport. Watch it here: https://youtu.be/1xwTUqqOmTE
Special Election! All hands on deck!
State Senator Tony Lourey was chosen by Governor Walz as Human Services commissioner. That leaves an empty seat in the Senate. It is important that we work hard to make sure a Democrat wins that seat in the special election coming up on February 5th. Tony Lourey’s son, Stu Lourey is running to fill his father’s seat. Stu Lourey has worked as an aide to Sens. Al Franken and Tina Smith and he comes from a family of public servants. His grandmother was former Senator Beck Lourey. Stu Lourey will be running against Representative Jason Rarick, a Republican who already represents half of the district.
Republicans have a two-seat edge in the Senate pending the Feb. 5th election. Check out Stu Lourey’s campaign page. Use those skills you honed this past summer/fall and help him get elected.
https://www.stulourey.com/
From Rogan’s List:
James Hines of Sierra Club has reported, “I just got off the phone with several of the executive staff at the U.S. Dept of the Interior which oversees the National Park Service and other federal land management agencies. They tell me that the White House wants to keep America's national parks closed and not staffed for as long as possible. The reason is that this will allow mining and oil drilling companies to set up their operations in our national parks without any national park service personal oversight How sad is this, using America's national parks as a political game to get what the extraction industry both domestic and foreign companies to get what they want. @POTUS open and staff America's national parks.” Despite the shutdown, the Dept. of the Interior continues to issue permits:https://www.theguardian.com/…/us-oil-drilling-government-sh… Let’s make sure that our MoCs know that this is not how we want this to play out. Save our national parks!
Check out Majority Leader Steny Hoyer’s schedule for the House of Representatives https://www.majorityleader.gov/floor-res…/the-weekly-leader…
Klobuchar-202-224-3244
Smith (202) 224-5641
House of Representative switchboard: (202) 224-3121
MN Legislators: https://www.leg.state.mn.us/leg/legislators
Resistbot: https://resistbot.io/
Governor Walz https://mn.gov/governor/

YOUTUBE.COM
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Monday, January 14, 2019

Monday 1/14 Call to Action

Monday 1/14

The shutdown goes on.  This is day 24, the longest shutdown in history.  So far, no national emergency has been declared.

One small thing to do is to ask representatives to resolve expiring HUD contracts for low-income renters.

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/white-house/because-shutdown-more-1-000-affordable-housing-contracts-have-expired-n955971

Now that Democrats have power in the Minnesota House and the Senate is within one vote, it's worth tuning back in to Minnesota politics, if you haven't.  Consider subscribing to the Morning Take newsletter, which gives very brief updates every morning (with links) to important political issues in Minnesota.

https://wccoradio.radio.com/bois-olsons-morning-take-newsletter

The FBI was investigating whether Trump was "acting at the behest of and somehow following directions, somehow executing their will" after he fired Comey.

https://www.cnn.com/2019/01/14/politics/trump-fbi-debate-investigation/index.html

Klobuchar-202-224-3244
Smith (202) 224-5641
House of Representative switchboard: (202) 224-3121
MN Legislators: https://www.leg.state.mn.us/leg/legislators
Resistbot: https://resistbot.io/
Governor Walz https://mn.gov/governor/

Friday, January 11, 2019

Friday 1/11 Call to Action

Friday 1/11
William Barr
William Barr is Trump’s next nominee for Attorney General (AG), replacing Jeff Sessions who was fired in November and Matthew Whitaker who has been acting Attorney General since then. Barr was AG before during the George H. W. Bush presidency. He played a big roll in getting Bush to pardon six officials from Ronald Reagan’s administration, including Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger, for crimes associated with the Iran-Contra affair.
More recently, Barr sent an unsolicited memo to the Justice Department that denounced special counsel Robert Mueller’s inquiry into Trump’s obstruction of justice. He also believes that Trump was right to fire James Comey and that there was more justification for the Department of Justice to investigate Clinton’s role in approving a 2010 sale of U.S. uranium stockpiles to a Russian energy company in what is commonly known as the “Uranium One” deal, than for investigating any potential collusion between President Trump and Russians.
Our own senator, Amy Klobuchar, who is on the Senate Judiciary Committee, sent out a tweet earlier this week that Barr was refusing to meet with her because of the partial shutdown (??). Her public outing of his behavior worked because he finally agreed to meet. After meeting with Barr, Klobuchar reported that Barr may not allow Mueller’s full report to be released.
It seems to me that William Barr is a terrible choice for AG. No wonder Trump picked him. Today would be a good day to call and let Senator Klobuchar know that she should fight to keep Barr from being appointed as our next AG. Since Republicans have a majority in the Senate, there is not much that we can do to stop this, but it’s still worth making a stink. This is yet another reason we need to make electing good people in 2020 a priority.
Trump A.G. pick advocated pardons by Bush; bashed Mueller probe https://www.msnbc.com/…/trump-a-g-pick-advocated-pardons-by… via @msnbc
Sen. Warner: Barr should be withdrawn as Trump A.G. nominee http://www.msnbc.com/…/sen-warner-barr-should-be-withdrawn-… via @msnbc
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Have you been worried about Justice Ginsberg’s health? Watch this video and feel better!
Don't panic! Ruth Bader Ginsburg recovery time completely normal https://www.msnbc.com/…/don-t-panic-ruth-bader-ginsburg-rec… via @msnbc
Check out Majority Leader Steny Hoyer’s schedule for the House of Representatives https://www.majorityleader.gov/floor-res…/the-weekly-leader…
Klobuchar-202-224-3244
Smith (202) 224-5641
House of Representative switchboard: (202) 224-3121
MN Legislators: https://www.leg.state.mn.us/leg/legislators
Resistbot: https://resistbot.io/
Governor Walz https://mn.gov/governor/
YOUTUBE.COM
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Thursday, January 10, 2019

Thursday 1/10 Call to Action


Thursday 1/10

Trump is threatening his shutdown could last “months” or even “years”. If this continues even a few more weeks, we will see hunger in this country skyrocket. The Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) will run short on funds, as will school meals. Nutrition aid for women, infants and children (WIC) has already run out of money. On Tuesday, Trump’s USDA announced that it had scrambled to be able to pay for February SNAP benefits.  There hasn’t been any word on March, and SNAP will end altogether if the shutdown continues on. 
Minnesota also is trying to get a handle on how long its state agencies can operate without federal dollars. Myron Frans, the commissioner of Minnesota Management and Budget, said his state has contingency plans for short-term shutdowns that last for days, but not months.
“Those people need that money,” Frans said of the Minnesotans who depend on federally funded programs. “What do we do? How do we plan to help these people when payments get cut off?”

The Food and Drug Administration inspects 80% of the U.S. food supply, but as the shutdown continues on, the FDA has suspended all routine inspections of domestic food processing-facilities. An increase in foodborne illnesses could be on the rise. 

““The government shutdown that President Trump has proudly taken credit for is having a painful impact on over 800,000 federal workers’ paychecks, our national parks, food safety, low-income families, our system of regulatory safeguards and enforcement, and much more,” said Lisa Gilbert, vice president of legislative affairs at Public Citizen.
All those effects could wear down consumer and business confidence, further cutting into the economy's momentum.”

The Democratic-led House approved a bill Wednesday to reopen the Treasury Department, Internal Revenue Service and Small Business Administration, among other federal agencies.
The chamber voted 240-188 to advance the measure, with eight Republicans bucking party lines to back the bill, which is the first of four bills expected to be brought to the floor by Democrats.”

Continue to thank our Senators and DFL MoC for keeping this shutdown a priority. If your MoC is GOP, keep the pressure on them. 

Yesterday Betty McCollum introduced the Health Care for All (H.J. Res. 17) constitutional amendment guaranteeing universal healthcare for everyone. 

Thanks to Congressman Dean Phillips for cosponsoring HR 8, requiring universal background checks on all gun sales. Tell your MoC to cosponsor this bill.

Here’s a look at what is happening at the state level. The DFL has unveiled the “Minnesota Values Agenda”.

Check out Majority Leader Steny Hoyer’s schedule for the House of Representatives https://www.majorityleader.gov/floor-res…/the-weekly-leader…
Klobuchar-202-224-3244
Smith (202) 224-5641
House of Representative switchboard: (202) 224-3121


Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Wednesday 1/9 Call to Action

Wednesday, January 9th
U.S. Carbon Dioxide emissions saw biggest spike in years
While we are distracted by Trump, a report has come out stating that carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in the United States have increased this year by 3.4%. The U.S. is the second highest CO2 polluter on this planet and these numbers suggest that we will not be able to meet President Obama’s goal of curbing emissions to 26% under 2005 levels by 2025. What’s the culprit? More extreme temperatures have created an increase in use of electricity to heat and cool our homes. Diesel trucks that move goods across our country and airplane travel are also culpable. Let’s not forget that Trump rescinded the Clean Power Plan designed to help reduce the U.S.’s emissions. He has slashed regulations on pollution producing companies, and allowed oil and gas drilling on protected lands.
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-46801108
This report is another big environmental bummer. There seems to be a lot of them lately. What can we do? Until we change who represents us, not much. Starting now, let’s take steps to win the majority in the state and federal government by encouraging good people to run, and improving public relations for the Democratic party. We need to talk to our members of Congress and let them know that we want legislation that helps curb our reliance on fossil fuels and encourage green innovation. If we can win back the majority in the executive and legislative branches in 2020, we need to have good bills written and ready to be passed and implemented ASAP.
Democrats block foreign policy bill over shutdown fight
A bill that included sanctions against the Syrian government and support for Israel and Jordan was stalled yesterday when 44 Democratic senators voted against it. The majority of Senate Democrats have vowed to stop any legislation from happening until there is an agreement to end the partial government shutdown that is in it’s 18th day. Both Senators Klobuchar and Smith are on board. You can call them today and thank them for keeping this shutdown the focus in Congress.
https://thehill.com/…/424437-democrats-block-foreign-policy…
Fact Checking Trump
Trump was on television last night. I did not watch it, but the consensus seems to be that it was the same old string of lies he’s been telling over and over. Here is an article that fact checks his statements. if you are so inclined. https://www.washingtonpost.com/…/fact-checking-president-…/…
Here’s Speaker Pelosi and Sen. Schumer’s rebuttal. https://www.washingtonpost.com/…/8f518b8c-1363-11e9-ab79-30…
More importantly, why not read this article that highlights some of the workers affected by this government shutdown. https://www.washingtonpost.com/…/single-moms-small-busine…/…
Be sure to read this article from David Frum.
Trump Has Defeated Himself
The president, trapped without a decent exit in a predicament of his own making, will yield everything and get nothing.
https://www.theatlantic.com/…/archive/2019/01/trum…/579850/…
MN Legislature welcomes its most racially diverse group of lawmakers
Our state legislature reconvened yesterday. This new group of legislators is the most racially diverse group Minnesota has ever had. Nice work Minnesota! Good luck lawmakers!
https://www.twincities.com/…/mn-legislature-welcomes-its-m…/

Check out Majority Leader Steny Hoyer’s schedule for the House of Representatives https://www.majorityleader.gov/floor-res…/the-weekly-leader…
Klobuchar-202-224-3244
Smith (202) 224-5641
House of Representative switchboard: (202) 224-3121
MN Legislators: https://www.leg.state.mn.us/leg/legislators
Resistbot: https://resistbot.io/
Governor Walz https://mn.gov/governor/
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