Suggestions/additions welcome. Don’t see your issue, event or organization? Send it to me.
The number of phone calls to Congress has fallen. If you’ve taken a break (I am one of these people) step it up again! If you’ve kept up the intensity, good job and thank you for the hard work!
Top priority: ACA (Obamacare) is in danger. Claims that it might not pass the Senate appear to have been a feint to undermine opposition. Senators are hammering out the details in secret, without open hearings, and plan to rush the legislation through. Please see the first action item below to see what you can do.
- Thursday June 15thfrom 6 pm to 8pm Vermont Farmers Food Center local food supper at Vermont Farmers Food Center – support local farmers
- Saturday June 17 from 10am-noon – TD Bank Rutland protests continue (we’re on the corner, at the apex of the streets – if you’re looking directly at the stand-alone booth or at the side of the building you may not see us) https://www.facebook.com/events/782080125284082/
- Tuesday June 20 at 6 pm Castleton Indivisible location TBD
- Saturday July 1 Virtual Rise up 5K – https://localraces.com/rise-up-5k/rise-up-5k-burlington-vt $45 fee. Registrants receive race shirt and bib. Can be run (or walked) from any location you choose. You can run, jog, or walk on the road, on the trail, on the treadmill, at the gym or on the track. Or you can join a Rise Up group run in your area being organized on these Facebook Event pages (https://www.facebook.com/pg/riseup5k/events/). 100% OF NET PROCEEDS WILL BE DONATED TO THESE BENEFITING CHARITIES:
- Women’s Rights: Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Inc.| The Center for Reproductive Rights
- Climate Change: Natural Resources Defense Council
- Immigrants’ Rights: The National Immigration Law Center
- LGBTQ Rights: The Trevor Project
- Civil Rights: The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Foundation| The Southern Poverty Law Center
- Sunday July 2 Impeachment March – http://www.impeachmentmarch.org/sister-marches.html Please let me know if you hear of something local
- Governor Phil Scott signed historic racial justice legislation, H. 308. https://www.acluvt.org/en/press-releases/aclu-statement-response-governor-scott-signing-h-308-law
- Governor Phil Scott has joined the “U.S. Climate Alliance, a new bipartisan coalition of states committed to meeting the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement” http://governor.vermont.gov/press-release/bipartisan-group-governors-leading-climate-change
- The “Vermont Attorney General Thomas J. Donovan, Jr., joined a coalition of seven state Attorneys General to oppose the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) March 29, 2017 order allowing continued use of chlorpyrifos on food. Chlorpyrifos, a widely-used pesticide on food crops – including those consumed by infants, young children and pregnant women – has been shown to negatively impact proper development and functioning of the central nervous system and the brain.” http://ago.vermont.gov/focus/news/vermont-attorney-general-t.j.-donovan-joins-opposition-to-epa-order-on-toxic-pesticide.php
- “Governor Scott signed into law S.135, a bill that creates a state-administered retirement program” http://www.vpirg.org/news/gov-scott-signs-retirement-security-bill/
- Vermont made progress on several important pieces of legislation in 2017 http://www.vpirg.org/news/2017-legislative-accomplishments/
- DC and Maryland Attorney Generals plan to sue for violating anti-corruption clauses in the Constitution https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/dc-politics/dc-and-maryland-to-sue-president-trump-alleging-breach-of-constitutional-oath/2017/06/11/0059e1f0-4f19-11e7-91eb-9611861a988f_story.html?tid=ss_tw&utm_term=.2a10bde49213
- “White House’s social media director Dan Scavino has been warned after a tweet violated the Hatch Act” http://www.cnn.com/2017/06/09/politics/office-of-special-counsel-hatch-act-dan-scavino/index.html?sr=twpol060917office-of-special-counsel-hatch-act-dan-scavino0733PMVODtopLink&linkId=38548707
- “Media advocacy groups file ethics complaint against Montana Republican who “body-slammed” reporter” http://thehill.com/homenews/house/336137-media-groups-ask-for-ethics-probe-of-montana-candidate-for-reporter-assault
- 45’s administration reversed its delay on implementing certain energy efficiency standards following a lawsuit by NY Attorney General Schneiderman https://twitter.com/AGSchneiderman/status/869651183295766529
- “SCOTUS agrees to hear Ohio voter purge case. Ohio has purged 2 million voters since 2011, more than any other state” https://www.thenation.com/article/as-the-gop-convention-begins-ohio-is-purging-tens-of-thousands-of-democratic-voters/
- “Illinois passes automatic voter registration bill” http://thehill.com/homenews/state-watch/335555-illinois-legislature-passes-automatic-voter-registration
- “Breitbart ads continue to fall. https://digiday.com/media/breitbart-ads-plummet-nearly-90-percent-three-months-trumps-troubles-mount/ We can still help Sleeping Giants get rid of the rest of the ads by following these instructions: 1) go to Breitbart and take a screenshot of an ad next to some of their content, 2) tweet the screenshot to the company with a polite, non-offensive note to notify them of the placement, and 3) tag @slpng_giants so they can keep track of the progress. That’s it! We can also follow them on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/slpnggiants/” https://roganslist.blogspot.com
- “Senate Republicans rejected the education budget cuts proposed by Betsy DeVos. http://www.rollcall.com/news/policy/senate-republicans-reject-devos-proposed-education-cuts” https://roganslist.blogspot.com
- For more good news, see http://www.peaceisloud.org/small-victories/
NEW ITEMS REQUIRING ACTION in no particular order – there are a lot, but that’s because I know that people are interested in different things. Pick the issue that you’re most concerned about, and take action.
1 Ben Wikler, the Washington Directory of MoveOn, has identified the Senators most susceptible to persuasion regarding the passage of the AHCA. https://twitter.com/benwikler/status/872918918419165185
- Action: Contact your friends/relatives in these states and ask them to contact their senators to: Demand public hearings, Insist upon the inclusion of the health care initiatives that the AHCA is cutting, Protest the intentional efforts to sabotage the ACA, Protest the passage of a bill that will result in anyone losing coverage and/or will not guarantee people with pre-existing conditions won’t see higher premiums, and to protest any bill that eliminates funding for Medicaid. (To strengthen your argument, see how much premiums would increase and how many people would lose health coverage in each state under TrumpCare. https://www.indivisibleguide.com/resource/impact-of-trumpcare-by-state/) (And if your friends need tips for what to say on the phone, see the sample script https://www.indivisibleguide.com/resource/stop-trumpcare-senate-call-script/)
- TN – Lamar Alexander 202-224-4944
- WV – Shelley Moore Capito 202-224-6472
- LA – Bill Cassidy 202-224-5824
- ME – Susan Collins 202-224-2523
- TN – Bob Corker 202-224-3344
- AR – Tom Cotton 202-224-2353
- AZ – Jeff Flake 202-224-4521
- CO – Cory Gardner 202-224-5941
- SC – Lindsey Graham 202-224-5972
- NV – Dean Heller 202-224-6244
- AK – Lisa Murkowski 202-224-6665
- OH – Rob Portman 202-224-3353
- Action: Write sample letters to the editor, send them to your friends in the above states, and ask them to send their own stories into their local papers.
- Action: Apparently, if you type “Friends in Tennessee” into Facebook, you’ll get a list of residents in Tennessee to call to ask them to contact their senators about the AHCA.
- Action: For the extra dedicated, here’s the contact information for the Senate staffers assigned to healthcare com/staffers/ and https://www.indivisibleguide.com/resource/senate-health-care-staffers/
2 HR 2851, the “Verify First Act is both an anti-Affordable Care Act (ACA) and an anti-immigrant bill. The bill would deprive ELIGIBLE immigrant families, including those with citizen kids, from accessing the ACA and seeing a doctor when they get sick. It also would hurt the ACA by keeping young, healthy, immigrants from participating in the marketplaces, something which helps keep premiums down for everyone. HR 2581 is Anti-Immigrant. This is a dangerous bill that puts up roadblocks for both citizens and immigrants to obtain timely, affordable health insurance. It would strip away provisions that provide for a person to obtain subsidies for enrollment in an Affordable Care Act plan while they work with Department of Health and Human Services to verify their U.S. citizenship or immigration status. The people most impacted are U.S. citizens who were born abroad or naturalized. The bill also affects many immigrants, especially those newly arrived or certain victims of domestic violence and trafficking survivors. HR 2581 is an ACA Sabotage Bill. One of the ways that Republicans continue to sabotage the ACA is by adding uncertainty to the system and by trying to de-stabilize the marketplaces. This bill would make it harder for young, healthy, and ELIGIBLE, immigrant families from participating in the marketplaces. This is an attempt to weaken the marketplaces and could lead to higher premiums for everyone.” https://www.indivisibleguide.com/resource/tell-representative-vote-no-verify-first-act-h-r-2581/
- Action: Contact US House Representative Peter Welch 802-652-2450 https://welch.house.gov/contact/email Script: I’m one of the Congressmen’s constituents in Vermont and I am calling to ask him to vote ‘no’ on the Verify First Act, HR 2581. Thank you.
3 As mentioned above, Governor Scott has joined the US Climate Alliance.
- Action: Contact Governor Phil Scott 802 828-3333 or http://governor.vermont.gov/contact-us/message to thank him for joining the Climate Alliance and to encourage him to back-up his commitment with groundbreaking legislation.
4 As reports mount that Attorney General Sessions might have lied about a third contact with Russians in the months leading up to the inauguration, he abruptly cancelled his public testimony before Congress tomorrow. https://thinkprogress.org/sessions-cancels-testimony-f8874373e4f Senator Leahy has condemned Sessions cancellation and called on the AG to reschedule. https://twitter.com/SenatorLeahy/status/873864443268149248
- Action: Share your thoughts regarding Sessions’ apparent unwillingness to face the public with the Department of Justice. https://www.justice.gov/contact-us
5 The Department of Justice is using our tax dollars to defend 45 against allegations that he has violated the emoluments clause of the Constitution. http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/337210-doj-lawyers-argue-trump-can-accept-payments-from-foreign-governments?rnd=1497052482
- Action: Share your thoughts on this misappropriation of government funds with the Department of Justice. https://www.justice.gov/contact-us
- ContactChairman Burr (R-NC) (202) 224-3154 and Vice Chairman Warner (D-VA) 202-224-2023, to demand a public hearing: (202) 224-1700.((from https://roganslist.blogspot.com)
6 Last week, “the Intercept published a leaked National Security Agency report that recounts a Russian military intelligence cyberattack against a voter registration software company. According to the report, Russian government hackers appear to have used “data obtained from that operation to … launch a voter registration–themed spear-phishing campaign targeting U.S. local government organizations.” On one level, this story was not particularly surprising. Even before the Intercept article, we knew—based upon previous news reports, as well as a January report from American intelligence agencies—that hackers working on behalf of the Russian government were targeting state and local voter registration databases. And there is nothing in the NSA report or the Intercept piece that supports the idea that Russian hacks against election offices and registration system prevented anyone from voting or changed vote totals in any way. (It always bears repeating that the voter registration system and vote tallying systems are different. An attack against the registration system will not change vote totals on a voting machine.) But the leaked NSA report adds disturbing details to this knowledge, making it clear that the attacks against local election offices and the voter registration system were even more extensive than was previously known and that they came after President Obama personally told Vladimir Putin to “cut it out.” In other words, we cannot assume America’s election infrastructure is somehow immune to cyberattack. It’s wishful thinking to believe something that happened in Ukraine or Bulgaria couldn’t happen here. Despite the alarms raised by these revelations in recent days, there has been little discussion of solutions.” https://www.brennancenter.org/blog/it-time-members-congress-step-and-protect-our-election
- Action: Contact your Congressmen
- Sanders Local office 802-862-0697 https://www.sanders.senate.gov/contact/comment
- Leahy: Local office 802-863-2525 https://www.leahy.senate.gov/contact/
- Contact US House Representative Peter Welch 802-652-2450 https://welch.house.gov/contact/email
- Script: I’m one of the Congressmen’s constituents in Vermont and I am calling about the Intercept story indicating that Russia attempted to penetrate our voter registration software. I’m asking the Congressman to take steps to ensure that our voting system is safe from interference. Thank you.
7 NBC is airing Megyn Kelly’s interview of Alex Jones, of Infowars, who peddles so-called fake news (lies), including, most heinously, the story that the victims at Sandy Hook Elementary were actually actors.
- Action: Let NBC know what you think of this http://www.nbc.com/contact-us
- Action: Let Megyn Kelly and NBC know what you think via Twitter: @megynkelly and @NBC. Use the hashtag #ShameonNBC
8 “White House may have broken ethics rule by retroactively giving Bannon waiver” http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/336038-white-house-may-have-broke-ethics-rule-with-retroactive-waiver-report
- Action: Contact your Congressmen
- Sanders Local office 802-862-0697 https://www.sanders.senate.gov/contact/comment
- Leahy: Local office 802-863-2525 https://www.leahy.senate.gov/contact/
- Script: I’m one of the Congressmen’s constituents in Vermont and I am calling about the White House retroactively giving Bannon a waiver, in what appears to be an ethics violation. I’m asking the Senator to voice his disapproval for yet another failure on the part of the current administration to uphold basic ethical standards. Thank you.
9 As mentioned above, DC and Maryland Attorney Generals plan to sue for violating anti-corruption clauses in the Constitution.
- Action: Contact VT Attorney General T.J. Donovan 802 828-3171, or Vermont Attorney General’s Office, 109 State Street, Montpelier, VT 05609-1001, and ask him to join the DC and Maryland lawsuit.
10 The coverage of climate change in network news fell in 2016. https://www.mediamatters.org/research/2017/03/23/how-broadcast-networks-covered-climate-change-2016/215718
- Action: Demand that the media cover the stories that you care about:
- Webform http://www.nbc.com/contact-us
- Email email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, etc.
- Tweet @nytpolitics, @nytimes, @CNN, @MSNBC, @FoxNews, @CBSNews, @NBCNightlyNews, @washingtonpost, @ABCpolitics, etc.
- Contact individual journalists/shows (this is more effective than contacting network), like @megynkelly, @Morning_Joe, @wolfblitzer, etc.
- Write letters to the editor and share on social media
11 As mentioned above, Governor Phil Scott signed historic racial justice legislation, H. 308.
- Action: Contact Governor Phil Scott 802 828-3333 or http://governor.vermont.gov/contact-us/message to thank him for signing H.308.
12 “The FCC is considering allowing robocalls that go directly to voicemail. Three (2) state attorneys general publicly oppose this: http://thehill.com/policy/technology/336372-states-push-fcc-to-not-allow-straight-to-voicemail-telemarketing-messages 1) MA: Maura Healy (D) One Ashburton Pl, Boston MA 02108-1518. 2) KY: Andy Beshar (D) 700 Capitol Ave Ste 118, Frankfort KY 40601-3449. 3) NY: Eric Schneiderman (D) The Capitol, Albany NY 12224-0341. Let’s also contact our own state attorney general about this issue if they are not one of these three.” https://roganslist.blogspot.com
- Action: Contact VT Attorney General T.J. Donovan 802 828-3171, or Vermont Attorney General’s Office, 109 State Street, Montpelier, VT 05609-1001, and ask him to publicly oppose the FCC’s plan to allow robocalls that go directly to voicemail.
The following items are taken verbatim from https://roganslist.blogspot.com
13 The EPA House budget hearing is Thursday, June 15 at 1:00 EDT. Let’s call our representatives and tell them to fully fund the EPA and to keep up the good work at EPA’s National Vehicle and Emissions Laboratory and keep the Vehicle Greenhouse Standards in place. Our friends at the lab have given us more information: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B0k1qCMVpKZpYVdWQS10a2JJWE0/view
14 “The Trump administration’s policy of ignoring the oversight requests of Democrats and rank-and-file members has earned it a powerful enemy: Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley.” http://www.politico.com/story/2017/06/09/chuck-grassley-trump-oversight-requests-239354 Let’s thank Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) for taking this obstructionism to task: https://www.grassley.senate.gov/contact
15 Vice President Mike Pence tweeted out that with the leadership of our dear president, “we will rescue the American people from the disaster of Obamacare”: https://twitter.com/VP/status/873610371818565635 Now would be a good time to let the VP know what you think of this: The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, NW, Washington, DC, 20500
16 Following the Forbes article on the topic, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is examining the Eric Trump Foundation for possible malfeasance: http://www.politico.com/story/2017/06/09/eric-trump-foundation-new-york-attorney-general-eric-schneiderman-239358 Let’s thank AG Schneiderman for taking the situation seriously enough to look into it:https://ag.ny.gov/contact-attorney-general
17 The Sportmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) Act is scheduled to be discussed on June 14 at 10am by Subcommittee on Federal Lands of House Natural Resource Committee. Despite the friendly name of the bill, it includes allowing the killing of wolves in dens and does not reflect the needs of sportsmen. http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/news/press_releases/2017/sportsmens-bill-06-07-2017.php Let’s contact our representatives if they are on the Subcommittee on Federal Lands before June 14 to let them know we are aware of and oppose this bill. https://naturalresources.house.gov/federallands/
18 Trumpcare backer and white nationalist bankroller Greg Gianforte won his special election in spite of physically assaulting a reporter asking him about Trump’s health care bill. Today, he will plead guilty to those charges. (http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/337190-gianforte-to-plead-guilty-to-assaulting-reporter) We cannot allow someone who has confessed to using violence in response to being asked a simple question by a journalist to sit in the House of Representatives. Let’s call our representatives and demand they immediately begin the procedure to expel him from Congress.
19 Tennessee has become the first state to offer free community college to almost all adults. http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2017/06/11/532003646/free-community-college-for-all Let’s use this information and contact our own state governor and representatives to see if we can’t help make this happen everywhere in the country.
20 The St. Louis Cardinals baseball team is hosting “Christian Day” at their home game on July 30: http://m.mlb.com/cardinals/tickets/info/christian-day Once that idea has sunk in, please turn your attention to their invitation to former player Lance Berkman to be their featured post-game speaker: http://mlb.nbcsports.com/2015/11/10/exclusive-lance-berkman-talks-about-persecution-tolerance-and-transgender-people/ Berkman has expressed anti-LGTBQ+ views and is perhaps best known for saying, “To me tolerance is the virtue that’s killing this country…” Please take a moment to let the Cardinals know what you think of tolerance: St. Louis Cardinals, 700 Clark St, St. Louis, MO 63102
21 In celebration of World Refugee Day on June 20th, the Stand With Refugees campaign will focus on placing calls to our MoC from June 12th-16thto tell them that we want policies that support our refugee population. We can join in by visiting http://www.standwithrefugees.us/ or by texting “stand” to 313131 to set up a reminder to call our MoC.
22 The resistance organization Daily Action, made popular through its daily action text alerts, has launched a Daily Action Book Club to help educate and inspire us to keep going. Each month, participants can discuss readings with the author and learn how each selection relates to our current political climate. We can learn more about the book club and check out previous months’ reading selections at their website https://dailyaction.org/book-club/
23 One thing James Comey made clear in his testimony as that there is no doubt that Russia interfered in a U.S. presidential election. That’s unacceptable, and it seems obvious that Donald Trump at minimum isn’t concerned enough about it. But a bipartisan coalition in Congress is fighting to sanction Russia and make it harder for Trump to lift those sanctions. http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/senate/336928-dems-play-hardball-on-russia-sanctions Let’s call our members of Congress and tell them we support tougher sanctions on Russia and checking Trump’s power to let them off the hook.
24 Speaker of the House Paul Ryan is using the “new at this” defense for Trump: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-russia-ryan-idUSKBN18Z2A1 WHAT? Let’s let Speaker Ryan know what we expect of our president: H-232 The Capitol, Washington, DC 20515
25 Senator James Risch (R-ID) got really focused on the word “hope” in Comey’s testimony: http://www.nbcnews.com/card/sen-risch-questions-meaning-word-hope-n769771 We can let Senator Risch know what our hopes are: 483 Russell SOB, Washington, DC, 20510
26 Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) has scolded Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price for “deliberately misleading” us about health care reform: https://mobile.twitter.com/SenBobCasey/status/872891627936903168 We can thank Sen. Casey: 393 Russell SOB, Washington, DC 20510 and then echo his sentiments to Sec. Price: The US Dept of HHS, Hubert H Humphrey Building, 200 Independence Ave, SW, Washington, DC 20201
27 Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) spoke with tremendous clarity and power to Sen. Orrin Hatch about the Senate health care process during the Senate Finance Committee meeting: http://www.cosmopolitan.com/politics/a10001393/claire-mccaskill-trumpcare/ Let’s thank Sen McCaskill for standing up for all of us: 503 Hart SOB, Washington, DC 20510 and then echo her concerns to our MoC
28 Trump is moving to make temporary surveillance powers permanent. https://www.aclu.org/blog/speak-freely/trump-hypocritically-moves-make-temporary-surveillance-powers-permanent Let’s tell our MoC’s that we oppose this.
29 Trump wants to return two diplomatic compounds in the US to Russia. The compounds were seized by the Obama administration in response to the Russian election hacking. http://thehill.com/policy/cybersecurity/336755-senators-press-trump-admin-not-to-return-compounds-to-russia Let’s contact our own senators to let them know we do not the compounds returned, especially during these Russia/Trump investigations. We need to let them know this is on our radar.
30 Trump has openly admitted that firing James Comey eased pressure from the Russia investigation, it would be completely inappropriate for him to then nominate the next FBI Director especially when his appointee, Christopher Wray firm has done legal work for the Trump family, not to mention “his history of partisan activity, as well as his history of defending Trump’s transition director during a criminal scandal makes us question his ability to lead the FBI,” http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-fbi-idUSKBN18Y1K2 Let’s call our Senators and ask that they fully vet and scrutinize nominee Chris Wray.
31 U.S. Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) have called on the South by Southwest (SXSW) festival to relocate out of Texas until the anti-immigration law is repealed there: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jun/08/sxsw-austin-senators-anti-immigration-law-repeal Let’s join these Senators in asking this of SXSW: SXSW LLC, PO Box 685289, Austin, TX, 78768
32 On the floor of the Senate, California Senator Kamala Harris was interrupted by Senators McCain and Burr and asked to be more courteous: http://www.sacbee.com/news/nation-world/national/article154961384.html Please let’s thank Senator Harris for continuing to stand up for finding the truth: 112 Hart SOB, Washington, DC 20510
33 Trump has nominated Jeffrey Bossert Clark for top environmental attorney. Clark was the attorney for BP when they litigated the oil spills. http://www.businessinsider.com/trump-nominates-lawyer-who-defended-bp-after-2010-oil-spill-to-top-doj-environmental-post-2017-6 Let’s tell our senators that we do not approve of an industry-advocate representing our environment.
34 Saudi Arabia has been repeatedly criticized for air strikes in Yemen that have caused extensive civilian casualties and shows no sign of changing its policies. Yet Donald Trump is moving forward with a $110 billion arms sale to the Saudis. A bipartisan group of senators is proposing legislation to block this sale, and a vote on it is expected this week (http://www.politico.com/story/2017/05/23/rand-paul-saudi-arabia-arms-sales-238730). Let’s contact our senators and representatives in support of S.J. Res. 42 and H. J. Res. 102, blocking Trump’s big arms sale to Saudi Arabia: http://www.codepink.org/110billion
35 Tesla’s Elon Musk and Disney’s Bob Iger resigned from Trump’s business advisory council in protest of Trump’s withdrawal of the US from the Paris climate accord. https://www.forbes.com/sites/maggiemcgrath/2017/06/05/donald-and-the-c-suite-the-ceos-still-serving-on-trumps-advisory-councils/#24dfeb6d476f Let’s tell the remaining members that it’s time to follow suit. Use this handy contact list from our friends at Wall of Us: https://www.wall-of-us.org/ba
36 NOAA is taking public comments through July 6 regarding the proposed seismic oil and gas surveys in the Atlantic Ocean (aka “Atlantic blasting”). http://www.noaa.gov/media-release/comments-sought-on-proposals-for-atlantic-geophysical-survey-interaction-with-marine We can submit our comments here: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2017/06/06/2017-11542/takes-of-marine-mammals-incidental-to-specified-activities-taking-marine-mammals-incidental-to and we can write to: Jolie Harrison, Chief, Office of Protected Resources, Permits and Conservation Division, 1315 East-West Hwy, Silver Springs MD 20910.
37 The Dept of Justice has been engaged in what some legal observers characterize as “aimless docket reshuffling,” pulling immigration judges from around the country and sending them to detention centers or cities with large immigration backlogs: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-immigration-judges-exclusive-idUSKBN16O2S6 This aimlessness is striking in the case of New York where there is a 2-year waiting time for immigration cases, yet eight judges have been reassigned from overwhelmed NY courts to detention centers in Texas and Louisiana: http://www.wnyc.org/story/why-new-yorks-immigration-court-even-busier-fewer-judges-under-trump/ We should, at the very least, query the motives of the DoJ in this apparently irrational shuffling of judges–Dept of Justice Comment Line: 202-353-1555
38 Scott Pruitt, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency has overstated the growth of coal jobs by more than a factor of ten and is also spreading misinformation about the Paris climate accord: http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory/ap-fact-check-pruitt-blows-smoke-coal-jobs-47851988 Let’s let Pruitt know that we know he is lying: EPA, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave, NW, Washington, DC 20460
39 U.S. Congressman Clay Higgins (LA) said of terrorism suspects, among other fiery statements, “… kill them. Kill them all.” http://www.newsweek.com/clay-higgins-terrorism-kill-them-all-621066 Let’s express our thoughts to Rep. Higgins: 1711 Longworth House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515
40 U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley has said that the Russia needs to know there are consequences for election meddling: http://www.cbsnews.com/amp/news/haley-says-international-community-is-concerned-about-russian-election-meddling/ Please take a moment to ask Ambassador Haley what the consequences are: https://usun.state.gov/contact or United States Mission to the United Nations, 799 United Nations Plaza, NY, NY 10017
41 “Atlantic Blasting” is a term for the disruptive seismic studies that oil companies want to use in the Atlantic to search for oil deposits. http://www.greensboro.com/news/us_world/trump-administration-proposes-seismic-surveys-for-atlantic-drilling/article_fa9cbe58-b46c-572d-8cee-fe20a96506d1.html Let’s tell our MoC’s that we oppose Atlantic Blasting.
42 Representative Devin Nunes has retained his sign off power on subpoenas for the House Intelligence Russia investigation, even though he had previously recused himself http://bit.ly/2rZ7byo Let’s give Representative Nunes a call to let him know that this clear violation is further indication that it is time for him to step down from the Intelligence Committee: (202) 225-2523 We can also contact the other House Intelligence Committee members, asking them to call for his resignation: Majority Members: https://intelligence.house.gov/about/hpsci-majority-members.htm Minority Members: https://intelligence.house.gov/about/hpsci-minority-members.htm
43 Trump is reportedly about to announce critical changes in US policy toward Cuba. The Latin America Working Group, a long-standing coalition promoting human rights, peace, justice, and sustainable development in US foreign policy, calls on us to stand with the 55 senators who have reintroduced the Freedom for Americans to Travel to Cuba Act and oppose Trump’s imminent plan to roll back Obama’s policies toward Cuba. The Latin America Working Group which brings U.S. civil society groups and citizens together to influence U.S. policy to promote peace and justice in Latin America, suggests a script and provides information for calling, emailing, or tweeting both our reps and the White House to say that we support continued engagement with Cuba http://lawg.org/action-center/78-end-the-embargo-on-cuba/1845-its-now-or-never-stop-trump-from-reversing-travel-to-cuba .
44 One of Trump’s longest lasting legacies will be the judges he appoints in federal court. The Supreme Court gets most of the attention, but the appeals and district courts have the final say on the overwhelming majority of decisions, and Trump has a huge number of vacancies to fill there. Among his picks so far is John K. Bush II for the Sixth Circuit. (http://www.courier-journal.com/story/news/politics/2017/05/08/donald-trump-taps-louisville-conservative-john-k-bush-court/101426196/) John Bush is an unacceptable choice for a lifetime appointment. He has a long record of homophobic and misogynistic comments, has engaged in conspiracy theories about President Obama and likened a woman’s right to choose to slavery, and has actively sought to weaken laws to limit the influence of money in politics. Let’s review this summary of his record from the Alliance for Justice, and then call our senators and tell them we want them to vote NO on John Bush.
45 Kim Weaver, the Democratic candidate seeking to unseat racist bigot Rep Steve King in Iowa, has withdrawn from the race. While personal reasons figured into the decision, it seems quite clear that she has been bullied on multiple fronts. She claims that she has received death threats, and that her supervisor told her that the recent budget cut in the state office where she works was a “punishment” for her candidacy. http://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/2017/06/03/kim-weaver-withdraws-her-candidacy-iowas-4th-district-race-congress/368389001/ We’d like to get some answers about what happened here, because if these claims are true, they are unacceptable for any candidate to face. Weaver has told her story; let’s call on the Iowa Democrats to look into these issues and stand behind their (former) candidate: @iowademocrats on Twitter; email: email@example.com; Tel. 515-244-7292.
46 We can check “We are Still In” for a list of states, cities, counties, higher education, businesses and investors that have signed on to the Paris Agreement. http://wearestillin.com/ Let’s look for our own localities, companies we work for and companies where we have investments. Let’s contact them if they haven’t signed on yet. Remember: we can sign on ourselves individually at https://iamstillin.org/
47 College and university students, staff, and faculty are joining forces to demand that their leaders develop a “unified, national academic climate initiative,” work with states and cities to lead US efforts to fight climate change, and agree on measures to bring campuses into accord with the Paris Agreement. Those of us with academic affiliations can sign an open letter at: http://academiaunited.org
48 The House is expected to vote soon on the Davis Oliver Act HR 2431 which would put many of Trumps immigration policies into law including penalties for sanctuary cities. It would also authorize the hiring of 12,500 more ICE agents thereby greatly increasing the number of arrests and deportations. http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/immigration/335933-davis-oliver-act-would-make-trumps-immigration-agenda-law-of Let’s call our representative and tell him or her we oppose the Davis Oliver Act.
49 Trump is preparing to roll back the mandate for birth control coverage through an Interim Final Rule http://bit.ly/2raUcsr Right now, it is under review with the Office of Management and Budget. Le’ts give them a call to voice our objection to this awful rule. 5Calls has the phone number and script available for us: https://5calls.org/issue/reckIQJIa1InOluqr
50 Privatization of Air traffic Control (“ATC”): The major domestic carriers all support the privatization plan, with the notable exception of Delta Air Lines. Delta released a study in 2016 indicating such a move could increase traveler costs by 20 to 29 percent.“Proponents have claimed that privatization would lead to cost savings for consumers,” the study stated. “But no evidence has yet been produced to show that privatization would reduce costs. In fact, nations that have privatized ATC have seen operational costs increase at a much higher rate than has been seen in the U.S. under the FAA.” http://abcnews.go.com/US/privatizing-air-traffic-control-trumps-proposal-expected/story?id=47841115 Trump insists that it will be cheaper. We know from the past that he doesn’t rely on good data. He can’t privatize without consent of Congress. Let’s ask Congress to propose a private study to determine if this benefits our travel or hinders it before we act on such an extreme change. Let’s get the facts.
PETITIONS/SURVEYS/ETC. taken verbatim from https://roganslist.blogspot.com
- We can find all categories of environmental and wildlife actions (petitions) at the Center for Biological Diversity. http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/action/alerts/Let’s browse the actions, sign a couple of petitions and adopt one of the causes as our own. We can be alert for any news or articles about our adopted cause. Let’s tell our MoC’s about our cause.
- Let’s add our name to this Common Cause petition demanding an independent investigation into Russia’s meddling with our elections: https://secure2.convio.net/comcau/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=1963
- Sierra Club and Climate Parents want us to join them in condemning Trump’s reckless withdrawal from the Paris Agreement and his appalling abandonment of American climate leadership: https://sierra.secure.force.com/actions/ClimateParents?actionId=AR0080046
- According to a draft of Trump’s new birth control coverage exemption, any employer, school or insurance company would be allowed to opt out of covering contraception based not only on religious objection but on any moral objection as well. Even massive for-profit companies with no religious affiliation would be able to deny birth control coverage to their female employees. Let’s sign this petition to support birth control access for all women: http://petitions.moveon.org/keystoneprogress/sign/i-support-birth-control.
- Let’s join Center for American Progress, Sierra Club, National Resources Defense Council, League of Conservation Voters, Environment America, Oxfam, Climate Nexus, Environmental Defense Fund, Climate Reality Project, Organizing For Action, Union of Concerned Scientists, Interfaith Power and Light, World Wildlife Fund, Resistance Manual, Chicago Women Take Action, National Health Law Program, Moms Clean Air Task Force, Defend our Future, and tell the 194 countries still in the Paris Agreement that we, the people, are still in. https://iamstillin.org/
THINGS TO KEEP AN EYE ON
A right-wing think tank is trying to undermine legislation meant to preserve Native American identity for children. When children have to be removed from their families, this legislation ensures efforts to keep them within the tribal network. By working to undermine this legislation, this think tank harkens back to the days when native children were taken from their communities to force them to assimilate, in an attempt at cultural genocide. https://indiancountrymedianetwork.com/news/politics/right-wing-think-tank-trying-bring-indian-child-welfare-act/?utm_content=buffer306de&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer
GROUPS TO FOLLOW/SUPPORT
Artists’ Imperative is an event-series for local artists to comment on the election of 45. https://www.sevendaysvt.com/vermont/a-performance-about-potus-from-artists-imperative/Content?oid=5956733&utm_content=bufferd6df1&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer Upcoming events will be posted on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/ArtistsImperative/
Last week, I heard Ginny Sassaman, president of Gross National Happiness USA speak at the Truth in Governance march in Montpellier. I was impressed by her comments regarding the significance of “trust in government” to our personal happiness and her suggestion that we develop a new economic model that defines happiness/wellbeing for all as the goal. As we struggle to keep up our spirits/energy during this time, it’s important to think about happiness, what it means to be happy, and how we can accomplish it. These resources will be crucial in the days to come. https://happinessparadigm.com/2017/06/10/united-in-our-unhappiness-united-in-our-solution/ and http://gnhusa.org/charter-for-happiness/
VIPRG was also at the Truth in Governance march. They have several exciting campaigns right now to fight climate change and to promote government reform. http://www.vpirg.org/
Phone-bank for Archie Parnell in a South Carolina House special election. https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeSTB4w31ArQXn9tLdVZMYbeCAimcTF69nX1uYYwXV17Dakgg/viewform
The Georgia election is on June 20th. Help push Jon Ossoff over the line by phone banking. https://electjon.com/volunteer/
A one-night art show last week showcased the work of New Americans (recent immigrants and new citizens) in a fundraiser for refugees. This fantastic, outside of the box thinking is a great example of the kind of work we can be doing. https://www.sevendaysvt.com/LiveCulture/archives/2017/06/07/an-art-benefit-envisions-home-for-vermont-refugee-resettlement-program?utm_content=buffer32c15&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer
For those who use Twitter, Snopes has put together a list of “verified” alt/rogue accounts. These are accounts run by government employees who are protesting the gag order by using anonymous Twitter accounts to communicate with the public. http://www.snopes.com/2017/06/01/alts-and-rogues/
Inspirational a story about one man’s online fundraising campaigns to eliminate lunch debt in Seattle http://money.cnn.com/2017/05/30/news/economy/school-lunch-shaming-seattle-campaign/index.html?sr=twCNN053117school-lunch-shaming-seattle-campaign1015AMVODtopPhoto&linkId=38191763
“Back in February, Fortune published photographs of how the US looked before the EPA. http://fortune.com/2017/02/28/how-the-united-states-looked-before-the-epa/ With the withdrawal from the Paris agreement and Scott Pruitt’s attacks on our environment, let’s take a few minutes to remember visually what we are fighting for.” https://roganslist.blogspot.com
“One of the things that Americans Resisting Overseas does is share art from resisters around the world. The overseas group, JustFolk, submitted this moving song, which they describe as “an anthem of the resistance”. If you are looking for something positive to share this week this could be a good option. https://americansresistingoverseas.com/2017/06/07/art-resist-coma-tonight-todd-kolod-sings-the-resistance-from-spain/” https://roganslist.blogspot.com
“One of the pussyhat co-founders has a new project for the knitters among us! “The goal is to knit blankets from 2,000 miles of yarn — the projected length of the border wall — over the next three months. “ http://mashable.com/2017/06/05/welcome-blanket-refugees-pussyhat-project/ For more info on how we can participate: https://www.welcomeblanket.org/” https://roganslist.blogspot.com