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What to do

Trump Taps Rep. Tom Price For Health And Human Services Secretary
HHS nominee Rep. Tom Price plans to repeal Obamacare, privatize Medicare, and cut Medicaid funding.

“What can we do?” people keep asking me. “What can we do to stop Donald Trump?” So many tell me they feel too frozen to do anything to save our democracy.

There is a solution, and it’s not what you think. It’s this: Stop making it about Donald Trump. Shift your focus to the issues — and American values, which are worth fighting for. Call your elected officials and express your opinion. Put their numbers in your phone, and use them.

Do you want to keep Obamacare, Medicare, and Social Security? Do you want Congress to address climate change? You have to remind the people who will be voting for or against any legislation.

No one else is coming to your rescue. If you are constrained from speaking, give money to organizations who will speak on your behalf. (Remember when Ben Franklin said, “A republic, if you can keep it”?) If the only voices your elected official hears are from the opposition, they will vote accordingly. I can’t stress this enough.

  • Are you horrified at the Trump nominations to cabinet positions? Call your elected officials and ask if they’re going to support them. Make it clear you do not support his choices, and say why.
  • It’s better to call the satellite offices than their D.C. locations. They pay more attention to local calls.
  • It’s even better if you write a letter or postcard. (Email petitions and email forms on their websites are almost worthless. Same with tweets, or Facebook comments. Sorry!)
  • One group, called “We’re His Problem Now,” offers a simple call guide. And here’s an action guide someone else put together.

    People say to me, “What’s the point? My senator’s a conservative Republican.” Don’t give up. The Republican leadership asks them how many calls or letters they got against an issue. Yours will help.

    Some people are reluctant to take part for personal reasons — undocumented status, for example. Certainly, no one expects you to take undue risk. But for those of you who are uncomfortable with calling because you’re shy, or you’ve never done it before, get over your discomfort. Your country needs you.

    Remember: Elected officials work for us. There’s nothing unreasonable about telling them what you want them to do.

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Plotting, planning, etc.

drinking_liberally_2

Went to Drinking Liberally last night for the first time in years! We are moving full steam ahead with plans to expand the group and get more active. (I also played Quizzo for the first time ever, and my team won. Hah!)

If you’re in the Philly area, make plans to join us on Tuesdays at 6pm, 6-9 pm at Second Story Brewing Co., 117 Chestnut St. We can help you get involved where you live.

To do list

Lots of handwringing and “what can I do?” going on. For one thing, pick up the phone and call both of your senators and your congress person. (Call one of the satellite offices, it has more of an impact.)

If they’re Republican, even better — because they’re on the defensive today.

From what I hear this morning, everyone’s phones are ringing off the hook, with people demanding they denounce the hate crimes done in the name of Trump. Here is your moment to put a Republican on the defensive.

And if you have a Democratic rep, also demand they stand up to these Republicans. Tell them you want the same amount of cooperation with the Trump agenda that they gave to President Obama: NADA.

Put those numbers in your phone. You’ll need them.

Killing net neutrality–again

Understand net neutrality #google #facebook #twitter #free #android #windows #internet #online #smartphone #ios #apple #education #learning #technology #tablet #ipad #iphone #googleplus #google+ #social #socialmedia  #mooc #opensource #education #instagr

WASHINGTON — Republicans have tucked an anti-net neutrality rider into a government spending bill that would block the Federal Communications Commission from enforcing its open Internet rules.

The provision is just one of many riders in the financial services appropriations bill currently being hashed out by House and Senate negotiators. But as dozens of these unrelated policy measures are dropped, this one is sticking around — a fact that is especially troubling to net neutrality advocates, who worry it may make its way into a final must-pass spending bill, known as an omnibus.

The federal government is currently running on a stopgap funding measure, which will run out on Dec. 11. If Congress doesn’t reach a new agreement, the government will shut down.

The anti-net neutrality language reads:
Keep an eye on this, be prepared to call your reps:

None of the funds made available by this Act may be used to regulate, directly or indirectly, the prices, other fees, or data caps and allowances (as such terms are described in paragraph 164 of the Report and Order on Remand, Declaratory Ruling, and Order in the matter of protecting and promoting the open Internet, adopted by the Federal Communications Commission on February 26, 2015.

On Feb. 26, the FCC approved strong net neutrality rules that reclassify consumer broadband as a utility under Title II of the Communications Act. In other words, it bans “paid prioritization,” a practice allowing Internet service providers to charge content producers a premium for giving users more reliable access to that content.

Advocacy groups are already gearing up for a fight, urging net neutrality supporters to reach out to congressional negotiators.

“Congressional leaders are negotiating behind closed doors — and some are trying to work in language that would reverse the FCC’s historic Net Neutrality ruling,” wrote Sandra Fulton, government relations manager for Free Press, in a recent blog post. “We worked too hard for that win to let anyone undo it — let alone in secret. Real leaders don’t resort to these kinds of dirty tricks.”

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), a member of the House Appropriations Committee, said in a statement to The Huffington Post that Republicans are “trying to use a procedural backdoor to supersede the FCC and ignore the nearly four million Americans that submitted public comments concerning the FCC’s Net Neutrality rulemaking.”

Don’t forget to vote today

voting booth

This is traditionally a low-turnout election in Philly, which is why it’s so easy for conservatives to win. Get out and vote for David Wecht, Christine Donohue, and Kevin Dougherty for state Supreme Court!

There are important races all over the country today. Do your part — get out and vote.

Tell Congress: It’s time that big corporations pay their fair share

U.S. corporations have $2.1 TRILLION in profits stashed offshore – most of it in tax havens. As long as this money is offshore corporations avoid paying U.S. taxes on it. That means the rest of us have to make up the difference.

Congress should require these companies to pay the hundreds of billions of dollars that they owe on these offshore profits in tax havens. This is money desperately needed to make classrooms less crowded, rebuild roads and bridges, find new medical cures, and make America energy independent.

If we close tax loopholes for corporations that ship jobs and hide profits offshore, we can raise hundreds of billions of dollars to reinvest in America.

Sign the petition. Thanks!

Tell them to shut it down

When even the New York Times editorial board says it’s time to shut down the Benghazi committee, it’s time. Their statement followed Rep. Kevin McCarthy boasting to Sean Hannity that the Benghazi select committee was part of a strategy to erode Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. Sign the petition to Chairman Trey Gowdy: Wasting millions of dollars… Continue Reading →

Pelosi credits activists for stopping trade deal

Obama urge al Congreso a aprobar 'fast track' proyecto de ley de comercio

But of course, the fight continues tomorrow. Stay tuned:

The way House Speaker John Boehner structured the process along with the Senate, all three bills had to pass or else the entire package would not advance. (If you’re a gambler, think of it like a three-item parlay bet.)

Progressive Democrats who oppose fast track feared it would pass with mainly Republican votes alongside a small number of Democrats, but they sensed an opportunity on the must-pass trade-assistance bill—since relatively few Republicans would back the legislation, it would be much easier to kill by withholding Democratic votes. And if trade assistance goes down, so too would fast track.
Continue Reading →

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