Friday, May 18, 2018

Friday 5/18 Call to Action

Friday
1. August Is for Taking Away Healthcare
Topher Spiro has sent out a red alert that the GOP in Congress are planning to forgo their August recess to stay in session and decimate our healthcare. Their goal is to gut protections for people with pre-existing conditions, make junk plans permanent, and wave ACA protections. If a state chooses to spend block grant money on Medicaid, this bill will allow healthy people to cash out of their benefit. Republicans plan on using a budget resolution so it can be passed on party line votes. This bill is bad news, people. We need to start making noise about it now.
Read more about it here: https://twitter.com/TopherSpiro/status/996766533887066113
Or here: https://www.buzzfeed.com/…/republicans-know-voters-are-goin…
The good news (I guess) is that we have fought this before. We know what to do, so let’s get started. If you have a Republican representative, let them know you are on to their scheme.
2. Farm Bill Today
The farm bill (HR 2) is bad. Bad. Bad. Bad. The House is planning on voting on it today. Americans from the rural Midwest, many of whom voted for conservative candidates, will be feeling the heat. Keep calling until the vote is done.
https://www.motherjones.com/…/if-house-republicans-get-the…/
The intention of kicking so many people off of food assistance is to recoup some of the money lost by the omnibus budget bill. Adding the work requirement rule to the Farm Bill is so expensive, it will eat up all of those savings. https://www.washingtonpost.com/…/03998746-5a10-11e8-8836-a4…
3. Jason Lewis’ Tiny Town Halls
Representative Jason Lewis of the second congressional district is feeling the heat of reelection. So much so that he has capitulated and is having his first “town halls” since being elected in 2016. “Town Hall” is in quotes because the audience was pre-selected and the venues are tiny (seriously, one of them is in a coffee shop!). If you signed up for a town hall ticket and were denied, you can still send a message to Rep. Lewis. Join your neighbors in Wabasha or Lakeville to protest Lewis’ lack of leadership.
4. Want to volunteer for a campaign?
Here are the candidates in congressional district 2
Angie Craig: https://cd2action.com/congress/
State Congress for CD2: https://cd2action.com/minnesota-house/
Dean Phillips: https://www.facebook.com/deanphillipsforcongress/
State Congress for CD3: https://www.dfl3cd.org/candidates/
Sites to Check:
If Trump fires Mueller or Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, please be ready to take to the streets in protest.
https://act.moveon.org/…/mueller-firing-rapid-respo…/search/
CD2Action https://cd2action.com/, @CD2action
League of Women Voters MN https://lwvmn.org/
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 Dayton- https://mn.gov/governor/contact-us/
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Watch the official video for Twisted Sister's "We're Not Gonna Take It", from their 1984 album 'Stay…

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Thursday 5/17 Call to Action


Thursday 5/17

1. Haspel’s nomination advances
Gina Haspel’s nomination for CIA director has been approved by the Senate Intelligence Committee and moves to a full vote in the Senate as soon as next week. We’ve covered Haspel’s career enough in previous posts to know that this isn’t good and unfortunately not surprising. Continue to let our Senators know what you think of Haspel leading the CIA.

2. Amendment to MN constitution that pits transportation vs. other essential needs
This constitutional amendment is wrong for MN and it is headed for a floor vote today, May 17th. This amendment takes money away from the general fund and puts it towards roads vs. walking, biking, mass transit, which then pits transportation against necessities like education and healthcare. Take action here or call your reps. 

3. Check out more at what is happening at the local level from Watch Your Reps. Once you click on the link you’ll need to scroll down a bit to see what’s happening for today.

4. Public oversight for user data
Christopher Wylie testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday and stressed that their needs to be public oversight for user data. “Wylie then pressed for greater accountability and public oversight of data privacy, comparing it to the need for safety regulations for cars on the road. “When you look at industries that are important -- cars, food, medicine, nuclear power, airlines, we have rules that require safety and put consumers first.””
Congress must act since it has been known that minority voters, specifically African Americans, were targeted by Cambridge Analytica as part of their political propaganda campaign. Protecting minority voting rights and safeguarding our democratic process should be something Congress moves on now. 

Sites to Check:
If Trump fires Mueller or Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, please be ready to take to the streets in protest.
CD2Action https://cd2action.com/, @CD2action
MN02 Congress Watch http://mn02congresswatch.org/
League of Women Voters MN https://lwvmn.org/
Klobuchar-202-224-3244
Smith (202) 224-5641
House of Representative switchboard: (202) 224-3121




Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Tuesday 5/15 Call to Action

Tuesday
1. Farm Bill (HR 2)
The infamous Farm Bill will be up for a vote in the House this week. The Farm Bill began during the Great Depression to help American farmers and address nutrition issues. Food stamps were first introduced (as a bipartisan effort) in 1973. It was considered a win-win. Poor families get to eat food and stores get revenue when those families buy their goods. Over the years, Republicans have made a Herculean effort to villainize families who are struggling to put food on their tables. The last Farm bill (2013/2014) saw large budget cuts to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, the new name for food stamps). This time around Republicans in Congress want to set a requirement that SNAP recipients either work or train 20 hours a week. Let’s first consider that policing this new rule will be very expensive for us taxpayers. Second, the Center of Budget and Policy Priorities says that this bill will increase food insecurity and hardship, especially for children who will be most affected by this rule change.
Also consider that HR 2 will
*Allow federal government to preempt state pesticide laws
*Weaken federal protections for wildlife and endangered species from pesticides
*Exempt pesticides for the Clean Water Act
*Eliminate the Conservation Stewardship Program that provides farmers with resourses to imlement conservation on their farms.
*Allow mining, and oil and gas drilling on agricultural conservation lands
*weaken protections of endangered species from logging
https://www.nrdc.org/…/hyper-partisan-house-farm-bill-shoul…
https://www.sierraclub.org/…/draft-2018-farm-bill-good-for-…
We should all be incensed by this bill! We should be making lots of noise and plenty of calls to our members of Congress. The government’s purpose is to help its citizens. I think our government has forgotten its mission. If you make one call this week, let it be this one.
CD2Action has a great overview of this bill. Check it out here: https://cd2action.com/e…/tell-congress-vote-no-on-farm-bill/
2. Trump vs. The “Deep State”
If you have some spare time, take a look (or a listen-there’s an audio version) of this fascinating article from the New Yorker about how the Trump administration is reshaping government by dismantling its largest sector, civil service. The effects of this will be felt for generations to come.
https://www.newyorker.com/…/2…/05/21/trump-vs-the-deep-state
Sites to Check:
If Trump fires Mueller or Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, please be ready to take to the streets in protest.
https://act.moveon.org/…/mueller-firing-rapid-respo…/search/
CD2Action https://cd2action.com/, @CD2action
League of Women Voters MN https://lwvmn.org/
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 Dayton- https://mn.gov/governor/contact-us/
Paul McCartney - Junior's Farm
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Monday, May 14, 2018

Monday 5/14 Call to Action

1. It looks like a more permanent DACA fix is worth a vote.  From Rogan's list:

The DACA issue has resurfaced again. This time it's House Republicans leading the charge. "Centrist House Republicans are defying Speaker Paul Ryan and planning to force a floor vote shielding Dreamers from deportation, a last-ditch attempt at securing a deal on immigration." GOP leadership is not pleased with this "discharge petition," as this move is called, since it would reduce their control over which DACA plan is approved. "If 218 signatures are collected, the discharge petition would trigger votes on Democratic, Republican and bipartisan fixes to DACA, with a “queen-of-the-Hill” approach. That means the proposal getting the highest number of votes over 218 would be adopted by the House. If there is a tie, the last legislation voted on would be adopted."  https://www.politico.com/story/2018/05/09/daca-congress-vote-republicans-577301 It's unclear what would happen in the Senate, but let's call our House representatives (D and R) and urge them to sign onto this discharge petition. Let's do our part to save our Dreamers.

2. It's worth taking a look at the Minnesota Tax Cuts that the Minnesota House and Senate have passed.

This is in contrast to Dayton's plan of "tax credits for working families rather than rate cuts."

You can call Dayton's office to let him know your thoughts.

https://www.twincities.com/2018/05/11/minnesota-house-and-senate-agree-on-tax-cuts-but-gov-mark-dayton-still-needs-to-sign-off/

3. From Indivisible Minnesota Local

Sunday evening (May 13th) or early Monday morning Call to Action! At the very least, Contact your House Reps and ask/tell them to say No to Line 3 and Vote No on HF3759, a bill that straight up green lights Enbridge's right to Build Line 3. It's time to wean MN off fossil fuels and protect the biosphere. You can also: Join MN350 at the Capitol at 12.30pm TODAY for an hour. Bring signs!


 Sites to Check:
If Trump fires Mueller or Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, please be ready to take to the streets in protest.
http://trumpisnotabovethelaw.org/

CD2Action https://cd2action.com/, @CD2action

MN02 Congress Watch http://mn02congresswatch.org/
https://www.facebook.com/groups/572562169758984/

League of Women Voters MN https://lwvmn.org/

Friday, May 11, 2018

Friday 5/11 Call to Action

Friday
1. Net Neutrality
Democratic senators have called for reinstating net neutrality protections and moved to force a vote on the proposal. A group of senators filed a discharge petition on Wednesday, necessary to trigger a vote to overrule the Federal Communications Commission's decision to revoke internet protections. It is not clear when the vote will take place but it is expected sometime before the end of next week. Even if it passes the Senate, it will be a monumental task to get it passed in the House. Minnesota’s two Senators are already on board so let’s focus our efforts on our congresspeople. You can remind them that 83% of voters support net neutrality rules and voting against the resolution is going against the wishes of their constituents.
http://thehill.com/…/364528-poll-83-percent-of-voters-suppo…
https://www.freepress.net/…/net-neutrality-nutshell-nondisc…
Here’s a calling script from 5 Calls https://5calls.org/issue/fcc-net-neutrality-cra
Besides calling, you can use your social media accounts to send a “Red Alert” about Net Neutrality.
https://www.countable.us/…/4070-sites-go-red-alert-net-neut…
https://www.wired.com/…/your-favorite-websites-are-rallyin…/
Here are some templates for you to use. https://www.battleforthenet.com/redalert/
2. CHIP on The Chopping Block (Again!)
Congress’ omnibus spending bill that was passed in March broke spending caps and increased the deficit. Now Republicans are looking to recoup some of that money by passing $15 billion in cuts. Included in that package are $7 billion in cuts to the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Seriously Republicans! The American Academy of Pediatrics states that these cuts would violate the bipartisan agreement reached by Congress and would cut funding that states rely on when natural disasters hit or economic recessions spike CHIP’s enrollment. When are we going to stop punishing the most vulnerable in America? That’s a good question to ask your members of Congress.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/…/9427de18-5216-11e8-a551-5b…
https://www.rollcall.com/…/republicans-warming-15-billion-c…
Sites to Check:
If Trump fires Mueller or Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, please be ready to take to the streets in protest.
https://act.moveon.org/…/mueller-firing-rapid-respo…/search/
CD2Action https://cd2action.com/, @CD2action
League of Women Voters MN https://lwvmn.org/
This came off a VHS tape of mine. COPYRIGHT Virgin Vision Australia (Virgin Records LTD1988) A later version of this…
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Thursday, May 10, 2018

Thursday 5/10 Call to Action


Thursday 5/10 

1. Dreamer Immigration Vote
Seventeen House Republicans are attempting to force bipartisan legislation on protecting Dreamers from deportation. Assuming all 193 House Democrats signed on they would only need eight more Republicans to advance legislation. If these Republicans can get enough signatures on their petition it could trigger a debate as early as June or July. Now might be the time to remind our representatives that we haven’t forgotten about the Dreamers. 

2. There is a lot happening at the local level. Check this out from Watch Your Reps. 

3. Budget shortfalls
Minnesota has a $329 million dollar surplus. Let’s let our legislators know we want education to be invested in. 
State lawmakers are currently debating a number of possible school funding increases, including new school-safety dollars and Gov. Mark Dayton’s one-time emergency school aid proposal to increase per-pupil funding by 2 percent. Republican legislators have been pushing back on his proposal, placing the onus on districts to make the numbers work without a one-time safety net.”

4. SNAP
“Rural counties and small metropolitan areas crowd the top of the list of U.S. counties that rely most on help from the Supplemental Assistance Nutrition Program, the USDA program formerly known as Food Stamps.”
The SNAP program helps with the very real hunger problem we have in this country. It’s also important for those with disabilities to have access to SNAP. Let’s let our MOC know that this program matters and should not be cut. 

Sites to Check:
If Trump fires Mueller or Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, please be ready to take to the streets in protest.
CD2Action https://cd2action.com/, @CD2action
MN02 Congress Watch http://mn02congresswatch.org/
League of Women Voters MN https://lwvmn.org/
Klobuchar-202-224-3244
Smith (202) 224-5641
House of Representative switchboard: (202) 224-3121



Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Wednesday 5/9 Call to Action

Wednesday
1, Yesterday’s news dump left my head spinning. How about you? I can’t wait to get off the Trump train. It seems more evident every day that the only way to do that is to VOTE THEM OUT.
*Trump pulled the U. S. out of the Iranian nuclear deal despite the consternation of our foreign allies. https://www.vox.com/…/iran-nuclear-deal-trump-withdraw-what…
*Trump’s attorney, Michael Cohen received payments from Russia
Michael Avenatti, the lawyer representing adult film star Stormy Daniels released a memo yesterday that alleges that Cohen received large payments after the 2016 elections from Viktor Vekselberg ($500,000), a Russian oligarch; the pharmaceutical giant Novartis ($400, 000); Korea Aerospace Industries ($200,000) and AT&T ($200,000). Did Avenatti just uncover a big “pay to play” scheme? https://www.cnn.com/…/daniels-lawyer-russian-oli…/index.html
*Gina Haspel Senate Confirmation Hearing Today
Gina Haspel will go before the Senate today as Trump’s nominee to lead the C.I.A. Her history of torture is sure to be a topic of discussion. Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the parricidal architect of the 9/11 attacks, was tortured by the C.I.A. He has asked to send a written statement to the Senate Intelligence Committee about his experience. In the weeks after his capture, Mohammed was subjected to 183 episodes of waterboarding, stripped naked and shackled to the wall with his hands chained above his head and deprived sleep for about a week. He was given water and nutrients rectally, despite the fact that he was able to eat and drink.
Mohammed is a despicable person, no doubt, but the United States should not associate itself with such terrible acts. Especially since it has been proven that these techniques do not garner any reliable intelligence. https://www.nytimes.com/…/khalid-shaikh-mohammed-gina-haspe…
A large array of organizations from the faith, human rights, civil liberties, and open government communities, among many others, have written to the Senate to oppose Gina Haspel’s nomination for CIA Director. If we are in need of cogent arguments to make to our senators urging them to vote against the confirmation of Haspel, we should read their letter-- https://ccrjustice.org/coalition-letter-opposing-gina-haspe… --and then call our senators before the Wednesday hearings.
2. Vote Them Out!
Check out this hand list of ideas on how to get people in your community registered to vote and fired up to make in to the polls in November. https://politicalcharge.org/…/15-ways-you-can-help-get-mor…/
3. Farm Bill
The farm bill will be on Congress’ menu this week. Check out Indivisible for a great explanation of what Republican are trying to sneak in there. It also includes a calling script. https://www.indivisible.org/…/republicans-trying-sneak-cut…/
Rep. Steven King (R-IA) has added an amendment to the Farm Bill that would restrict states from setting their own rules on animal welfare, such as requiring chickens to be kept in non-confining cages. http://www.latimes.com/…/la-ed-king-amendment-farm-bill-201…. This would invalidate rules already on the books of several states, “and some legal experts say it will also invalidate hundreds of state laws on animal protection, food safety and even labor welfare.”
Sites to Check:
If Trump fires Mueller or Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, please be ready to take to the streets in protest.
https://act.moveon.org/…/mueller-firing-rapid-respo…/search/
CD2Action https://cd2action.com/, @CD2action
League of Women Voters MN https://lwvmn.org/
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 Dayton- https://mn.gov/governor/contact-us/
LCD Soundsystem's new album 'american dream' featuring "call the police" and "tonite" is out now: http://smarturl.it/americand…
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