Congress, DDT Leaving Washington, DC with Little to Show

This blog from Nel’s New Day is a good source for what has (not) happened to 45’s and the GOP’s agenda as they head home for recess.  When they come back in September, Congress will need to pass the budget and 45 will need to sign it before the October 1 fiscal year deadline. They will also need to raise the debt ceiling to avoid a shutdown of the federal government and a potential financial crisis.

But the number of days of session work in September is insufficient. The US House of Representative will be in session for just 12 days in September — on September 5-8. 11-14, and 25-28. The Senate will be a little more active; they’ll be in session for 17 days — September 5-8, 11-14, 18-20, and 25-29. Note that there is one week — September 18-22 —  where the House is glaringly absent from work. Why?

As Nel questions,

“[What will happen] if the House [and Senate don’t] get around to passing the budget and increasing the debt ceiling?”

Surging interest rates? A return to recession?  Another international financial crisis?  Let’s hope not!

Source: Congress, DDT Leaving D.C. with Little to Show

DDT: Week Ten

Nel's New Day

Other than the fallout from failing to pass Trumpcare and the increasing—and damning—news about Dictator Donald Trump’s (DDT) connection to Russia, the biggest news was his rollback to President Obama’s orders regarding the climate.

Climate: DDT ordered the EPA to repeal the Clean Power Plan by removing new limits on emissions from coal-fired power plants. He claimed that it was for the economy, energy security, and jobs, but the entire coal industry employs fewer people than Arby’s. DDT is preening, but the provisions weren’t to take place until 2022. In addition, a 2007 Supreme Court ruling found that greenhouse gases count as a potential air pollutant, requiring the EPA to regulate them. DDT’s order won’t reverse the decline of the coal industry that has fewer employees than clean energy. Coal’s enemy is natural gas.

Conflicts of Interest: Remember DDT’s blind trust to avoid conflicts of interest? Middle son, Eric, has…

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DDT Issues Second Travel Ban

If we take the “logic” used in DDT’s international immigrant ban to its logical conclusion, DDT could ultimately ban all white men in the United States of America. Here’s the reasoning for this assertion from Slate Magazine using language similar to that which appears in DDT’s revised Executive Order,

1. Whereas research has established that no fatal terrorist attacks in the United States since 2001 have been perpetrated by immigrants or refugees from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, or Yemen;
2. [WHEREAS], at least 22 fatal terror attacks have been carried out in the United States since 2001 by white male United States citizens motivated by white supremacist or otherwise extremist belief;
3. [WHEARAS,] a survey of law enforcement personnel conducted in 2014 found that “sovereign citizens”—adherents of a philosophy with close historic connections to the white supremacist movement—were believed to constitute the single greatest current terrorist threat to the U.S.; and
4. [WHEREAS, by using the logic in the new executive order], until the assessment of current screening and vetting procedures required by Section 2 of this order is completed, the risk of erroneously permitting a white male national of the United States to commit a terrorist act or otherwise harm the national security of the United States is unacceptably high.

 

THEREFORE, DDT and his minions should ban all white men for the same length of time and same manner as described in the revised executive order.

How will he do that? Round up and intern all white men in the US? Isn’t this like the slippery slope of “logic” that created the Holocaust in Nazi Germany? Think for a moment of Martin Niemöller’s (1892–1984) words,

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

 

Let’s NOT go there. The courts need to overturn this and any other immigration ban that 45 puts forward.

We are a country of immigrants. Let’s welcome all. Including people from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen, the people of Iraq who were removed in this revision, and the US white sons of immigrants.

Nel's New Day

Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) has shown that he cares about only three things: making money, revenge, and being admired, but there’s actually a fourth—looking better than his predecessor. From the lies about the size of his inauguration crowds to his level of accomplishments since then, DDT has tried to convince people that everything about him bigger and better than President Obama. DDT’s failures sent him into a rage last weekend that ended up with libelous tweets about the former president being a “bad (or sick) guy.”

At this time of his first term, President Obama had proposed, negotiated, renegotiated, and signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act that brought the nation back from the brink of a deep economic depression. That was after he signed the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act during his first two weeks. DDT has signed a few bills overturning earlier regulations that make the country worse and given…

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heal and shoulder ardboard cutout of Representative GT Thompson

Where is Rep. Glenn Thompson?

heal and shoulder ardboard cutout of Representative GT Thompson

Representative Glenn “G.T.” Thompson (R-PA05): The Cardboard Substitute

Not at the PA 5th Congressional District Town Hall Meeting in the Forum Building at The Pennsylvania State University today.

Neither Representative Thompson nor any member of his staff showed up for the Town Hall Meeting that he was invited to in the 5th Congressional District in Centre County where he lives. This meeting was held during the February 2017 Congressional Recess when he was in the district.  These recesses are designed to give Congressional members time to go home and “tackle constituent concerns” back in the district.

Town halls are often used to help “tackle” these issues in an efficient, open and transparent way.  When a Representative fails to set up a face-to-face town hall meeting, his/her constituents set it up for him/her and invite the Representative and/or his staff. This is what happened here in Centre County today.

Since no representative from G.T. Thompson’s office, including Thompson himself, showed up to answer our questions, concerned constituents talked to his cardboard substitute. The meeting was taped and will be sent to him for his response.

 

About 300 voters in Pennsylvania’s 5th Congressional District showed up at this town hall today to ask Rep. Glenn “GT” Thompson questions of concern. These issues included but were not limited to  sexual assault, Title IX, education,  immigration,  gun safety, ethics, healthcare,  disability,  access to the representative,  and open and transparent government.

I spoke about 47 minutes into the meeting about transparency and about the increase in hate crimes and tension here in Centre County, in the state, and across the country over the last several months. This included telling Mr. Thompson about an incident reported to me in my capacity as Chair of the Centre County Advisory Council to the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission. Two or three days ago, a voter’s tires were slashed in State College by another individual because this voter had a sign inside his car that said, “I support immigrants.”

Here’s the full video of the Town Hall Meeting.

The town hall meeting lasted about 90 minutes. But #WhereWasThompson? Where was he hiding? Was he avoiding his constituents?

Mr. Thompson, or as you like to be called, G.T., you were hired (elected) to represent the entire congressional district. Not just those that you agree with. As your boss, we need you to answer our questions. We are not “paid activists” or “the political opposition” as you seem to think; we are your constituents. We want to hear from you now. We want to know what you think and why you are voting the way you do in Congress.

NOW. Not months down the road. And we want your responses on record. Not behind closed doors.

As Marc Friedenberg told the audience and the Centre Daily Times today at this meeting,

“We’re not protesters, we’re not political opposition, we are constituents and there are a lot of things that we care about,” Friedenberg said. “We care about health care, we care about the environment, we’re very worried about the way a lot of different issues in our country are moving right now, and we’d like a chance to at least know that we’ve been heard.”

And isn’t it more efficient for our concerns to be heard at a town hall meeting?  Especially since your offices are “overwhelmed” by the calls, letters, etc.?

We as your constituents think so.

Update House Passes Bill Making the Hyde & Helms Amendment Permanent + More

Here’s an update to yesterday’s blog on H.R. 7, aka  the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act.”

Last night at 4:49 pm, the House of Representatives by a vote of 238 to 183 with 11 members not voting, passed this ideological, antiwomen’s reproductive healthcare bill. The 238 yea votes included 3 Democrats (Cuellar, Lipinski, Peterson) and every Republican who voted.

I checked out the roll-call vote.  Here are the Ayes. These so called Representatives voted to make the Hyde Amendment and the Global Gag Rule (the Helms Amendment) permanent. And in addition, this vote denies federal subsidies to any person or small businesses who have healthcare plans under the Affordable Care Act that cover abortion. Contact them and express your outrage at their lack of concern for women’s lives.

—- AYES    238 —

Abraham
Aderholt
Allen
Amash
Amodei
Arrington
Babin
Bacon
Banks (IN)
Barletta
Barr
Barton
Bergman
Biggs
Bilirakis
Bishop (MI)
Bishop (UT)
Black
Blackburn
Blum
Bost
Brady (TX)
Brat
Bridenstine
Brooks (AL)
Brooks (IN)
Buchanan
Buck
Bucshon
Budd
Burgess
Byrne
Calvert
Carter (GA)
Carter (TX)
Chabot
Chaffetz
Cheney
Coffman
Cole
Collins (GA)
Collins (NY)
Comer
Comstock
Conaway
Cook
Costello (PA)
Cramer
Crawford
Cuellar
Culberson
Curbelo (FL)
Davidson
Davis, Rodney
Denham
Dent
DeSantis
DesJarlais
Diaz-Balart
Donovan
Duffy
Duncan (SC)
Duncan (TN)
Dunn
Emmer
Farenthold
Faso
Ferguson
Fitzpatrick
Fleischmann
Flores
Fortenberry
Foxx
Franks (AZ)
Frelinghuysen
Gaetz
Gallagher
Garrett
Gibbs
Gohmert
Goodlatte
Gosar
Gowdy
Granger
Graves (GA)
Graves (LA)
Graves (MO)
Griffith
Grothman
Guthrie
Harper
Harris
Hartzler
Hensarling
Herrera Beutler
Hice, Jody B.
Higgins (LA)
Hill
Holding
Hollingsworth
Hudson
Huizenga
Hultgren
Hunter
Hurd
Issa
Jenkins (KS)
Jenkins (WV)
Johnson (LA)
Johnson (OH)
Johnson, Sam
Jordan
Joyce (OH)
Katko
Kelly (MS)
Kelly (PA)
King (IA)
King (NY)
Kinzinger
Knight
Kustoff (TN)
Labrador
LaHood
LaMalfa
Lamborn
Lance
Latta
Lewis (MN)
Lipinski
LoBiondo
Long
Loudermilk
Love
Lucas
Luetkemeyer
MacArthur
Marchant
Marino
Marshall
Massie
Mast
McCarthy
McCaul
McClintock
McHenry
McKinley
McMorris Rodgers
McSally
Meadows
Meehan
Messer
Mitchell
Moolenaar
Mooney (WV)
Mullin
Murphy (PA)
Newhouse
Noem
Nunes
Olson
Palazzo
Palmer
Paulsen
Pearce
Perry
Peterson
Pittenger
Poe (TX)
Poliquin
Posey
Ratcliffe
Reed
Reichert
Renacci
Rice (SC)
Roby
Roe (TN)
Rogers (AL)
Rogers (KY)
Rohrabacher
Rokita
Rooney, Francis
Rooney, Thomas J.
Ros-Lehtinen
Roskam
Ross
Rothfus
Rouzer
Royce (CA)
Russell
Rutherford
Sanford
Scalise
Schweikert
Scott, Austin
Sensenbrenner
Sessions
Shimkus
Shuster
Simpson
Smith (MO)
Smith (NE)
Smith (NJ)
Smith (TX)
Smucker
Stefanik
Stewart
Stivers
Taylor
Tenney
Thompson (PA)
Thornberry
Tiberi
Tipton
Trott
Turner
Upton
Valadao
Wagner
Walberg
Walden
Walker
Walorski
Walters, Mimi
Weber (TX)
Webster (FL)
Wenstrup
Westerman
Williams
Wilson (SC)
Wittman
Womack
Woodall
Yoder
Yoho
Young (AK)
Young (IA)
Zeldin

And here are the Noes. These Representatives voted to protect women’s reproductive healthcare.  Contact these people and thank them for their support of women and their lives.

 —- NOES    183 —

Adams
Aguilar
Barragán
Bass
Beatty
Bera
Beyer
Bishop (GA)
Blunt Rochester
Bonamici
Boyle, Brendan F.
Brady (PA)
Brown (MD)
Brownley (CA)
Bustos
Butterfield
Capuano
Carbajal
Cárdenas
Carson (IN)
Cartwright
Castor (FL)
Castro (TX)
Chu, Judy
Cicilline
Clark (MA)
Clarke (NY)
Clay
Cleaver
Clyburn
Cohen
Connolly
Conyers
Cooper
Correa
Courtney
Crist
Crowley
Cummings
Davis (CA)
Davis, Danny
DeFazio
DeGette
Delaney
DeLauro
DelBene
Demings
DeSaulnier
Deutch
Dingell
Doggett
Doyle, Michael F.
Ellison
Engel
Eshoo
Espaillat
Esty
Evans
Foster
Frankel (FL)
Fudge
Gallego
Garamendi
Gonzalez (TX)
Gottheimer
Green, Al
Green, Gene
Grijalva
Gutiérrez
Hanabusa
Hastings
Heck
Higgins (NY)
Himes
Hoyer
Huffman
Jackson Lee
Jayapal
Jeffries
Johnson (GA)
Kaptur
Keating
Kelly (IL)
Kennedy
Khanna
Kihuen
Kildee
Kilmer
Kind
Krishnamoorthi
Kuster (NH)
Langevin
Larsen (WA)
Larson (CT)
Lawrence
Lawson (FL)
Lee
Levin
Lewis (GA)
Loebsack
Lofgren
Lowenthal
Lowey
Lujan Grisham, M.
Luján, Ben Ray
Lynch
Maloney, Carolyn B.
Maloney, Sean
Matsui
McCollum
McEachin
McGovern
McNerney
Meeks
Meng
Moore
Moulton
Murphy (FL)
Nadler
Napolitano
Neal
Nolan
Norcross
O’Halleran
O’Rourke
Pallone
Panetta
Pascrell
Payne
Pelosi
Perlmutter
Peters
Pingree
Pocan
Polis
Price (NC)
Quigley
Raskin
Rice (NY)
Richmond
Rosen
Roybal-Allard
Ruiz
Ruppersberger
Ryan (OH)
Sánchez
Sarbanes
Schakowsky
Schiff
Schneider
Schrader
Scott (VA)
Scott, David
Serrano
Sewell (AL)
Shea-Porter
Sherman
Sinema
Sires
Smith (WA)
Soto
Speier
Suozzi
Swalwell (CA)
Takano
Thompson (CA)
Thompson (MS)
Titus
Tonko
Torres
Tsongas
Vargas
Veasey
Vela
Velázquez
Visclosky
Walz
Wasserman Schultz
Waters, Maxine
Watson Coleman
Welch
Wilson (FL)
Yarmuth

I did find a video of the Rules Committee hearing on this bill (held January 23, the day before the final vote in the house).  It’s about 90 minutes with most of the speakers in support of threatening women’s lives.

Immediately after the vote, a motion to reconsider was laid on the table. This motion was accepted without objection.  So once they remove this temporary hold, the bill will be sent to the US Senate for review, hearings, and a vote.  As soon as I find out which Senate committee this is going to, I’ll let you know.

You can meanwhile set up meetings, calls, and emails to your two Senators and strongly encourage them to vote against H.R. 7. If you click here, you can find your Senators’ web pages and contact information.  Some of these websites may also include announcements of townhall meetings.  If there is one of these in your area, GO! to the townhall meeting and let them know that women’s lives need to be protected and to vote NO on H.R. 7.

Keep Abortion Legal NOW Round

US House Attempting to Make the Hyde Amendment Permanent

NOW's Keep abortion legal round

The US House of Representative is expected to vote today on the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act,” aka known as HR 7 of 2017. Introduces on January 13, 2017, this fast-tracked bill attempts to block all women from accessing health insurance that covers abortion care.

The Feminist Majority posted information about this bill at 11:50 am ET this morning giving background to what this bill does and how it threatens women’s lives. I’m copying and pasting their blog for you to read.  Once you read this, contact your US Representative and tell him/her to vote no on this very dangerous bill that would make the Hyde Amendment permanent.

House Expected to Vote on Major Abortion Restriction

by on • 11:50 AM

Today the House is expected to vote on H.R. 7, known as the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, a bill that would attempt to block all women from accessing health insurance that covers abortion care. It is a sweeping piece of legislation that touches on a number of anti-abortion policies.

H.R. 7 would make permanent the federal abortion funding restrictions, known as the Hyde Amendment, which Congress typically includes in the annual appropriations bill. The Hyde Amendment denies abortion coverage to the over 28 million women who receive their health insurance through federal programs, such as federal employees, Native Americans, veterans, federal prisoners, and the largest targeted group of reproductive age, low-income individuals on Medicaid.

According to the Guttmacher Institute, nearly 1 in 6 women of reproductive age are enrolled in Medicaid. Of these women, 60 percent live in a state that forbids Medicaid coverage of abortion, meaning they have to pay an average of over $350 out of pocket to access an abortion. The substantial burden forces one in four poor women who wish to terminate an unwanted pregnancy to carry to term.

H.R. 7 would also codify the Helms Amendment, which bans any international organization from using United States’ funds to provide abortion as a “method of family planning,” and has been interpreted to prevent funding even in cases of rape, incest and life endangerment. Under H.R. 7, the United States, the largest aid donor in the world, would permanently deny survivors of war rape access to abortion.

The routine use of rape as a tool of war has been documented in conflicts around the world, from South Sudan to Syria to Nigeria, and constitutes a form of torture. According to the Global Justice Center, 40,000 women and girls are raped in conflict each year, but many more have suffered during specific conflicts. At least 50 percent of survivors are under the age of 18, but in some areas, up to 80 percent of those targeted are children, and many are very young adolescents. The risk of maternal death for girls aged 15 years and younger is twice that of an adult, and these young victims have higher rates of injury, infection or disease related to pregnancy and childbirth. Therefore, for girls raped in conflict, the ability to access abortion has life or death consequences.

Another large group of women who would have their rights to abortion covered health insurance restricted are women who purchase health insurance through the marketplace created by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Under H.R. 7, women who purchased insurance that covered abortion care would not be eligible for tax subsidies. 25 states have already enacted laws that forbid the selling of abortion care in the ACA marketplace. In addition, small businesses that choose health insurance plans that cover abortion would be denied the insurance-related tax credits that apply to small businesses.

Advocates of abortion access fear that eliminating tax subsidies and implementing strict regulations will push insurance companies to stop covering abortion for all women, as they are unlikely to offer a product that so many are effectively barred from purchasing.

H.R. 7 stands in direct opposition to the Equal Access to Abortion Coverage in Health Insurance (EACH Woman) Act that was introduced in Congress in 2015. The EACH Woman Act would restore abortion insurance coverage to all women affected by the Hyde Amendment, as well as prohibit federal, state and local governments from passing laws that restrict private health insurance companies from offering abortion care, as has been done in 25 states.

President Trump’s pick to lead the Department of Health and Human Services, Tom Price, is one of the staunchest opponents of the ACA and abortion and contraception access, opposing private health insurance coverage for abortion, voting to defund Planned Parenthood and co-sponsoring legislation to outlaw abortion, stem cell research, some forms on contraception and in vitro fertilization.

When asked in 2012 what he would say to low-income women who couldn’t afford birth control if it wasn’t covered by their health insurance, he replied, “Bring me one woman who has been left behind. Bring me one. There’s not one. The fact of the matter is, this is a trampling of religious freedom and religious liberty in this country.”

The House has promised to repeal the Affordable Care Act, defund Planned Parenthood, and introduce other anti-abortion measures. Feminist Majority Foundation has a campaign to support the Each Woman Act.

Media Resources: Mother Jones 1/23/17; Feminist Majority Foundation 9/26/16, 8/12/16, 9/28/16, 1/6/17, 1/19/17; Guttmacher Institute 4/9/16;”

Now that you’ve read what’s going one,  contact your US Representative and tell him/her to vote no on this very dangerous bill that makes the Hyde Amendment permanent.

Here’s a sample script from the Women’s Medical Fund in Philadelphia. You can use your own words or do something like this to express your outrage at government interference with your personal medical decisions:

“Hello,

Please tell [REPRESENTATIVE NAME] to vote NO on HR 7! Bans on abortion coverage like H.R.7 interfere with a woman’s ability to make her own decision about pregnancy and parenting.

Regardless of how we access insurance coverage, each of us should be able to live, work, and make decisions about our future, with dignity and without political interference.

Thank you.”

Then once you’ve made your call, send an email to your representative. All Above All has an easy link with basically the same message for you to send.

Call AND write today!

NAACP Report in Opposition to the Nomination of Jefferson Beauregard Sessions to Be Attorney General of the United States

Read and then call your US Senators to tell them to oppose Jeff Sessions for US Attorney General. Do it today!

Central Oregon Coast NOW

Read the entire, shocking report.  Call your Senator now with opposition.  This man cannot be Attorney General of the United States

“From his actions as U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Alabama in the 1980s, to his actions as Attorney General of Alabama in the 1990s, to his twenty-year career as a United States Senator, Sessions’ record demonstrates hostility to principles of equality and justice, and to the core civil rights statutes and legal principles that as Attorney General he would be charged with enforcing.    For this reason, the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) strongly opposes the confirmation of Senator Jeff Sessions to serve as the 84th Attorney General of the United States….

In sum, any fair and objective assessment of Sessions’ record demonstrates that he is neither qualified nor prepared to vigorously enforce the nation’s civil rights laws. ”

ldf-jefferson-sessions-report-in-opposition-final-1-9-2017

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picture of Courtney Dickman

New Bellefonte Council Member and New President ProTempore

Just a quick announcement.  Two weeks ago, Paul DeCusati resigned from Bellefonte Borough Council due to time constraints with his work.  As a result, council needed to make two administrative decisions at our meeting on Monday, January 17.

picture of Courtney Dickman

Courtney Dickman

The first administrative item was to appoint a new member of council to replace Paul.  There were four people interested in the position.  After interviewing them and hearing from the public, Courtney Dickman was selected by a 4-3 vote as the third and newest representative of the third ward.  When she is sworn in on February 7, there will be 5 women (3 Democrats and 2 Republicans) serving on a 9-member council. And for the third ward, 100% of the representatives are women. Which, FYI, is where I was elected in 2015. Congratulations Courtney.

picture of Joanne Tosti-Vasey

Joanne Tosti-Vasey

The second administrative item was to elect a new President ProTempore of the council to replace Paul. I was elected unanimously.  That means that in the rare instances when both the President (Gay Dunne) and Vice-President (Randy Brachbill) are absent, I will be leading the meeting.

 

black sign with a flag at the top. Underneath the flag are the words, "Democracy is Dissent."

What to Do This Week of Jan 8, 2017: Actions for Democrats, Independents, & Republicans of Conscience

black sign with a flag at the top. Underneath the flag are the words,

Democracy is Dissent. A statement declaring that we have a 1st Amendment constitutional right “of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress.”

As promised, I am once again reblogging Jennifer Hofman’s weekly “To Do” list.  This week’s actions focus on more Cabinet-level nominees. These include

  • Ben Carson for Health and Human Development
  • General John Kelly for Homeland Security
  • Scott Pruitt for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
  • Former Texas Governor Rick Perry for Energy
  • Wilbur Ross for Commerce
  • General James Mattis for Defense
  • Mike Pompeo for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)

After making your calls, read the links at the end of the blog to see the good news she lists.  As a teaser, here’s some of the good news she includes:

  • President Obama bans drilling in the Atlantic and the Artic Oceans (for as long as this can last under the new administration).
  • Several senators introduces legislation that would ban discriminatory registries.
  • Charles Feeney, the “James Bond of Philanthropy” gives the last $7,000,000 of his multi-billion dollar fortune to Cornell University to support students doing community service. Other donations over the years have spanned the fields of education, human rights, peace, scientific research, and public health
  • and more…

So read on, make your calls, and enjoy the good news.

What to Do This Week of Jan 8, 2017

Actions for Democrats, Independents, & Republicans of Conscience

The intention of this weekly document is to make clear suggestions for action backed with well-considered research. Although these actions are intended to be helpful, they are still subject to human error. Please do your own research!

If you’d like to subscribe to this weekly action list, please go here:

http://jenniferhofmann.com/home/weekly-action-checklist-democrats-independents-republicans-conscience/

The most important thing this week: Senate confirmation hearings

This is a second dense action list in a row, but I promise you a ton of good news at the end as your reward.

In yet another unprecedented action, most of djt’s cabinet appointment hearings are stacked together starting Tuesday this week. Some will have hearings without a completed ethics review from the Office of Government Ethics. Even if you don’t think this is evasive and creepy, this schedule will make it hard for the OGE, the press, and the American public to understand who the new cabinet leaders are and assess their conflicts of interest.

What you can do is put pressure on the Senate committees so they know we’re paying attention.Yes, making calls can be stressful, but it’s working. Staffers are telling us they’re hearing from lots of people. Never underestimate the power of your voice.

Edited: If you oppose djt skipping the ethics process for the first time in four decades, go to Wall of Us for very clear instructions on how to protest this creepiness.

Here’s their link (and I suggest following them too!) Today (Sunday) Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said no votes would be permitted until ethics paperwork is filed. It is good new, however, depending on when they’re filed, it doesn’t allow committees review the materials before hearings (the way Obama’s administration did eight years ago).

Your voice matters

For each cabinet appointee you feel is unfit to serve, take two specific actions:

  1. Tell the Senate committee chair (Republican) you oppose the nominee.
  2. Tell the Senate ranking member (Democrat) you oppose the nominee.
  3. Optional: Call your own two senators to oppose–especially if you are a Republican.

Note: Do leave a message if you get voicemail or call after hours/weekend.

Make the calls

  1. Oppose Housing and Urban Development Secretary appointee, Ben Carson.

Committee: Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs

Call: Chair Richard Shelby 202-224-5744

Call: Ranking member Sherrod Brown 202-224-2315 (may be full?)

Script: I am calling Sen ____ in his role as the Chair/ranking member of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee. I would like him to know I oppose Ben Carson for HUD Secretary. I’m concerned about Carson’s lack of experience and opposition to this department. (source)

  1. Oppose Homeland Security Secretary appointee, Gen. John Kelly.

Committee: Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs

Call: Chair Ron Johnson 202-224-5323

Call: Incoming ranking member Claire McKaskill 202-224-6154

Script: I am calling Sen ____ in his/her role as the Chair/ranking member of the Senate Homeland Security Committee. I would like him/her to know I oppose General John Kelly for Secretary of Homeland Security. Not because he is unqualified, but I oppose militarizing the US cabinet. (source source)

  1. Oppose Environmental Protection Agency appointee, Scott Pruitt.

Committee: Senate Environment and Public Works

Call: Chair John Barrasso 202-224-6441

Call: Incoming ranking member Tom Carper 202-224-2441

Script: I am calling Sen ____ in his role as the Chair/ranking member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. I would like him to know I oppose Scott Pruitt for EPA Administrator. I’m concerned about his climate denial, anti-EPA lawsuit, and ties to the energy industry. (source)

  1. Oppose Energy Secretary appointee, Rick Perry.

Committee: Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee

Call: Chair Lisa Murkowski 202-224-6665

Call: Ranking member Maria Cantwell 202-224-3441

Script: I am calling Sen ____ in her role as the Chair/ranking member of the Senate Energy Committee. I would like her to know I oppose Rick Perry for Energy Secretary. I’m concerned about his ties to oil, climate denial, and history of opposition to this agency. (source)

Only three more! You can do it!

  1. Oppose Commerce Secretary appointee, Wilbur Ross.

Committee: Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation

Call: Chair John Thune 202-224-2321

Call: Ranking member Bill Nelson 202-224-5274

Script: I am calling Sen ____ in his role as the Chair/ranking member of the Senate Energy Committee. I would like him to know I oppose Wilbur Ross for Commerce Secretary. I’m concerned about his deep financial ties to Russia. (source)

  1. Oppose Defense Secretary nominee, Gen. James Mattis.

Committee: Senate Armed Services

Call: Chair John McCain 202-224-2235

Call: Ranking member Jack Reed 202-224-4642

Script: I am calling Sen ____ in his role as the Chair/ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. I would like him to know I oppose General James Mattis for Secretary of Homeland Security. He may be qualified, but we at a dangerous precedent when militarizing civilian cabinet posts. (source source)

  1. Oppose CIA Director appointment, Mike Pompeo.

Committee: Senate Select Committee on Intelligence

Call: Chair Richard Burr 202-224-3154

Call: Vice chair Mark Warner 202-224-2023

Script: I am calling Sen ____ in his role as the chair/vice chair of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. I would like him to know I oppose Mike Pompeo for CIA director. I’m concerned about someone who supports government surveillance, torture, and religious oppression leading this vital agency. (source)

Still have time?

Last week’s email had seven additional cabinet appointees to oppose–some of whom will have a hearing this week. If you haven’t yet called to oppose them, here’s the link to last week’s document.

Good news

You did it! Here’s your reward: news of actual humans being kind, supporting each other, and standing up for what’s right. We are still a fantastic, diverse country (in case you needed a reminder).

  1. Some Rockettes choose to sit out on inauguration (story from Rolling Stone)
  2. Vermont governor pardons 192 non-violent marijuana convictions (story from NYT)
  3. A&E cancels plans for Escaping the KKK documentary (story from WaPo)
  4. Obama vaporizes anti-Muslim NSEERS program (story from Vox)
  5. A bunch of awesome senators introduce legislation blocking discriminatory registries (press release)
  6. Obama bans drilling in Arctic and Atlantic oceans (story from The Guardian)
  7. Adorable reaction of bystander to lesbian wedding proposal (from HuffPo)
  8. Billionaire donates the last of his fortune to charity (story from NYT)
  9. This will make you tear up. There are GOOD people in the world. (from newsner)

TOLD you there was good news!

Final action

  • Please share any or all content in this message today (no attribution needed).
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  • Facebook: Cabinet hearings start on Tuesday and this list makes it easy to oppose them. Take action today!

Housekeeping

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  • To see archives of What To Do checklists, click here (and scroll to the bottom)
  • If you’d like to contribute, click here.

We’re stronger together!

 

black sign with a flag at the top. Underneath the flag are the words, "Democracy is Dissent."

Nominee Hearings: Make America Corrupt Again

black sign with a flag at the top. Underneath the flag are the words, "Democracy is Dissent."

Democracy is Dissent. A statement declaring that we have a 1st Amendment constitutional right “of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress.”

Some cabinet-level hearings have started. Several others are scheduled over the next two weeks before the presidential inauguration. Most are problematic. Here’s what Nel has to say about these next two weeks.

Check out my other blogs (click here and here) to find the Senate Committee chairs’ phone numbers where you can call to raise your opposition to the problematic cabinet-level nominations.

Meanwhile, here’s what Nel has to say about these next two weeks.

 

Nel's New Day

Writing about the timing for Senate confirmation hearings—at least accurately!—has become almost impossible. A few days, I was bemoaning how Cabinet members are being rushed through without deliberation, but every hour seems to change the GOP game plan. Originally, six Cabinet-level confirmations were scheduled on the same day that the chamber works on the budget (that one that grows the deficit by $10 trillion in the next decade) and Donald Trump (DT) gives his first press conference in six months to divert attention from his nominees. Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) said, “There is a whole lot of: ‘Don’t watch what we’re doing here.” Watchers now, however, can see how the GOP is failing at its job.

The inability of Betsy DeVos (Department of Education) put off her hearing until next Tuesday in the hopes that she can finished her required ethics paperwork. Her investment in a for-profit charter school would…

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