Voters: ‘Don’t Take the Bait’

Remember to get out and vote. Election Day is Tuesday, November 6. Here in Pennsylvania, the polls open at 7 am and close at 8 pm.

Nel's New Day

Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) came up with a new diversion today. He doesn’t want people to notice that the Republicans plan to get rid of pre-existing conditions on health plans and eviscerate Social Security and Medicare. He doesn’t want people to notice that the national debt is ballooning and the deficit is rapidly increasing because he is giving money to the wealthy and big business that he had promised to use for help to the other 80 percent. And he certainly doesn’t want people to know—right before the midterm elections—that they will suffer from his new policies. His strategy is to tell them that he is taking care of the non-existent immigration problem.

Today he told today that he plans to sign an executive order to overturn an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to strip people in the United States of their citizenship. The Fourteenth Amendment that specifically stated that almost…

View original post 1,058 more words

Rights’ Relief from Courts – Sometimes

The federal judiciary is much more than just the US Supreme Court.  There is also the Federal District Courts as well as the nine appellate courts. Thousands of cases are heard at these two lower levels of federal courts every year whereas only about 100 cases are heard by the US Supreme Court.  In some cases, as noted in Nel’s New Day blog, democracy and concern for the welfare of people still reign. Here is a sampling of these cases.

cropped-statue-of-liberty.jpg

Rights’ Relief from Courts – Sometimes

via https://nelsnewday.wordpress.com/2018/05/28/rights-relief-from-courts-sometimes/

Democracy from people often comes from court decisions. After Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) suspended democratic action by blocking any discussion for President Obama’s nominee for a Supreme Court Justice, SCOTUS moved away from people’s rights with Neil Gorsuch’s nomination by Dictator Donald Trump (DDT). Fortunately, the Supreme Court makes fewer than 100 decisions per year while courts across the nation can rule on constitutional rights in thousands of cases.

Recently, five Supreme Court justices removed rights from workers when five justices determined that employees must settle disputes through individual arbitration behind closed doors rather than through class action in open court. The decision worsens an earlier ruling allowing corporations to avoid class-action lawsuits from consumers. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg read part of her dissent from the bench:

“The court today holds enforceable these arm-twisted, take-it-or-leave-it contracts — including the provisions requiring employees to litigate wage and hours claims only one-by-one. Federal labor law does not countenance such isolation of employees. Trying to arbitrate such claims individually would be too expensive to be worth it, and “the risks of employer retaliation would likely dissuade most workers from seeking redress alone.”

Federal labor law permits employees to work together in improving their conditions and fight low wages, harassment, and discrimination, but the court states that companies can use arbitration clauses, forced on employees if they want the job, to ban joining together in legal actions. Employees must now fight individually against violations of minimum-wage laws, refusal to pay overtime, and requirements to work off the clock. Few private attorneys will take cases for so little money.

The day after this Supreme Court ruling, the National Labor Relations Board delivered an opposing position, that employees have the right to organize, bargain collectively and “engage in other concerted activities for the purpose of collective bargaining or other mutual aid or protection.” According to the Board’s interpretation of Section 8, an employment agreement requiring employees to resolve disputes by arbitration or on an individual basis is an unfair labor practice. The question now will be what opinions supersede others.

In a Supreme Court’s decision that states can legally bet on college and professional sports, Justice Samuel Alito said that each state has the right to act on its own if Congress does not regulate sports gambling. Next year, the Supreme Court will hear a case on when federal law trumps state law.

After churches in Morris County (New Jersey) received almost $5 million for repairs, the state Supreme Court ruled that the state constitution forbids using public money for religious purposes. A year ago, the Supreme Court allowed taxpayer monies to be used for repair of a church’s playground in Missouri, but the ruling did not address houses of worship. The case may go to the Supreme Court.

A federal court in California ruled Friday against Education Secretary Betsy DeVos in deciding that the agency violated privacy laws by using the Social Security Administration to analyze loan forgiveness for students defrauded by Corinthian Colleges. The court ordered debt collection from defrauded students to stop after DeVos stated that only part of federal loans would be forgiven. DeVos is supporting other for-profit colleges. She appointed the dean of DeVry to head a team to investigate these schools, including DeVry. She has also frozen protections for students and reduced loan forgiveness relief for students defrauded by these schools.

Gavin Grimm, a transgender student, fought for years to use the bathroom in high school, and a federal judge ruled the school officials of Gloucester County (VA) violated his constitutional rights for stopping him from using the bathroom matching his gender identity after the 4th Circuit Court sent the case back to the lower court.

Judge Orlando Garcia, Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, ruled that the state must comply with the federal National Voter Registration Act (“NVRA”) (or “motor voter” law) and the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution.

Construction on the final 18 miles of the Bayou Bridge pipeline in St. James (LA), located in an area called Cancer Alley, has been halted after a judge ruled that state regulators violated guidelines in issuing a coastal use permit. Town residents would have no way to evacuate after an explosion or other pipeline failure emergency, a fact not considered in the state’s permit. The company building the pipeline faces a legal challenge for its U.S. Army Corp of Engineers permit through the Atchafalaya Basin, a National Heritage Area and massive river swamp. The 5th Circuit Court began to hear this case the beginning of May, but pipeline builders are already cutting down old growth cypress trees.

DDT cannot block people from his Twitter account, according to a federal judge who wrote:

“The President presents the @realDonaldTrump account as being a presidential account as opposed to a personal account and, more importantly, uses the account to take actions that can be taken only by the President as President.”

DDT can mute people’s accounts so that he doesn’t have to look at their comments.

Another DDT sign came down when a New York State judge ruled that the name “Trump Place” can be removed from a high-rise condo. The bad news is that the condo cannot change its name, and the sign will stay until two-thirds majority of the condo association agrees to remove the signs. DDT’s name has already been removed from three Manhattan buildings and hotels in New York, Toronto, and Panama.

A New York appeals court refused to allow DDT to stay a defamation case by Summer Zervos regarding her claim that DDT sexually assaulted her. At this time, DDT can be deposed in the case, and lawyers can proceed with pretrial discovery, including demands for documents. In addition, Stormy Daniels’ lawyer, Michael Avenatti, said he’s vetting two more women on their claims that DDT gave them large hush-money payments. Zervos will subpoena documents from the Trump Organization about DDT’s alleged mistreatment of women, recordings from the archives of the president’s former reality show, and surveillance footage from the hotel in which Zervos says she was attacked.

The third federal judge has ruled against DDT over cuts to the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program. The judge wrote that ending grants two years early was “arbitrary” and “capricious.” The 73 organizations receiving grants will have to follow DHS’ new requirements to focus on abstinence programs for continued funding while the eight suing organizations will not.

White supremacist Jacob Scott Goodwin has been found guilty of malicious wounding, nine months after he battered a young black man in a Charlottesville (VA) garage before his victim, 20-year-old DeAndre Harris was attacked by other white supremacists who broke his arm and injured his spine. Other attackers are awaiting trial. At the same event, another white supremacist deliberately drove into a crowd, killed Heather Heyer, and injured more than another dozen people. Two days after Goodwin’s guilt was established, white supremacist Alex Michael Ramos was found guilty of “malicious wounding” in the same attack. Both men face 20 years in prison. Two other men face trials for the assault.

Muslim-American Yonas Fikre is suing the government for putting him on its no-fly list to blackmail him into being an FBI informant to provide information about his place of worship, Portland’s largest Sunni mosque. His lawyer, Brandon Mayfield, has asked a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court to continue the suit that had been dismissed after the government removed Fikre’s name from the list stopping him from returning to his home in the U.S. Judges were irritated by the DOJ sudden offer to stop the appeal by promising that Fikre won’t be put back on the list for the same reasons as in 2010. They asked why the DOJ does not think that Fikre deserves declaratory relief after his marriage was destroyed and his business was disrupted. Mayfield has been awarded a $2 million settlement after the FBI wrongly arrested him as a suspect in the 2004 Madrid train bombings and subjected him to the same unconstitutional actions as the government did to Fikre.

Ben Carson, HUD Secretary, is the next cabinet member to be sued. A rule requiring communities to examine and address barriers to racial integration established in 2015 mandated assessment of local segregation patterns, barriers to fair housing, and planning to correct the problems. Carson called desegregation efforts “failed socialist experiments” and suspended the rule. The lawsuit asserts that Carson did not provide for public notice or comment opportunity. Carson said that the process was too burdensome. In addition, the lawsuit claims that HUD violated its duty to guarantee that federal funds promote fair housing—for example, giving millions in HUD grants to white suburbs in Westchester County that refuses affordable housing.

The next branch to be covered is the legislature.

Nel's New Day

Democracy from people often comes from court decisions. After Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) suspended democratic action by blocking any discussion for President Obama’s nominee for a Supreme Court Justice, SCOTUS moved away from people’s rights with Neil Gorsuch’s nomination by Dictator Donald Trump (DDT). Fortunately, the Supreme Court makes fewer than 100 decisions per year while courts across the nation can rule on constitutional rights in thousands of cases.

Recently, five Supreme Court justices removed rights from workers when five justices determined that employees must settle disputes through individual arbitration behind closed doors rather than through class action in open court. The decision worsens an earlier ruling allowing corporations to avoid class-action lawsuits from consumers. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg read part of her dissent from the bench:

“The court today holds enforceable these arm-twisted, take-it-or-leave-it contracts — including the provisions requiring employees to litigate wage and hours claims…

View original post 1,334 more words

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 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…

View original post 1,133 more words

Trump Surrounds Himself with White Supremacists

Nel's New Day

It’s the 21st century, and white supremacists are controlling the White House. After World War II, the nation was “great” because the United States had defeated Nazism during World War II. Less than a century ago, neo-Nazis are a key component in leading the country.

steve-bannonSteve Bannon, de facto president, has received a great deal of press, including posts in this blog. Readers of Breitbart.com learned about the high “black crime” and the “Muslim hordes” beating down the gates of “Western civilization.” Readers also learned that women who use contraceptives are ugly, but that’s another story.

stephen-millerSenior advisor Stephen Miller made a huge name for himself on last Sunday’s talk shows by explaining that the supreme power of and last word in U.S. government is DDT—a position of czar. College roommate of Richard Spencer, a major white supremacist leader, Miller fiercely advocates for “ethno-nationalism,” a way of claiming the superiority…

View original post 1,146 more words

photograph of the face of the Statue of Liberty

The Statue of Liberty is an Egyptian Woman

 

photograph of the face of the Statue of Liberty

The Statue of Liberty, aka “Lady Liberty” or “Liberty Enlightening the World.” Photo Courtesy of Microsoft Word.

 

In light of Trump’s ban on refugees and immigrants from Muslim countries, I thought you might be interested to know that Lady Liberty is actually an Egyptian (i.e., Muslim) woman.

Here are some highlights about Lady Liberty.

Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright Speaks Out

 

wp-image-1484154189jpg.jpg

Madeline Albright, Former Secretary of State under the Clinton administration and Joanne Tosti-Vasey at the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

Madeline Albright, a refugee herself, is spot on in her condemnation of Donald Trump’s Executive Order banning immigration and entry of refugees from Muslim countries. Even if Friday’s executive order is only “temporary,” it plays right into the hands of ISIS and is based on fear and fear alone.

 

As Franklin D. Roosevelt said in what I believe was his most famous Fireside Chat, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” Creating policy based on fear puts us all at risk, hurts our economy, and threatens our democracy.

I believe everyone should read Ms. Albright’s statement. Trump’s fearful executive order does not reflect our American values. Once read, please go to the link at the end of her statement and add your name to this statement:

“We are a country of immigrants with a long, proud legacy of providing safe refuge for those seeking freedom and opportunity. Walls, bans and divisive politics don’t represent us. We can’t—and won’t—be silent while some at the top target the most vulnerable among us.”

Speak up now.

Central Oregon Coast NOW

By now, I’m sure you’ve heard about the executive order on immigration and refugees that the President signed on Friday. It bans Syrian refugees from entering our country, suspends the entire refugee program for 120 days, cuts in half the number of refugees we can admit, and halts all travel from certain Muslim-majority countries.

I felt I had no choice but to speak out against it in the strongest possible terms.

This is a cruel measure that represents a stark departure from America’s core values. We have a proud tradition of sheltering those fleeing violence and persecution, and have always been the world leader in refugee resettlement. As a refugee myself who fled the communist takeover of Czechoslovakia, I personally benefited from this country’s generosity and its tradition of openness. This order would end that tradition, and discriminate against those fleeing a brutal civil war in Syria.

There is…

View original post 349 more words

Trump’s Tax Return Petition on WHITEHOUSE.GOV Website 

​Just after Trump was sworn in, every petition on the Whitehouse.gov website was stripped.

 Eighteen hours after the “installment” ceremony, thete were five petitions posted. They deal with a call for

  1. Trump to release his tax forms;
  2. Trump to place all of his businesses in a true blind trust,
  3. Trump to resign immediately due to violation of the emoluments clause; 
  4. To have the government repeal the National Firearms Act (a gun rights,  2nd amendment petition); and
  5. To have the government allow American farmers to grow hemp again to “create jobs and rebuild the rural economy.”

This first one went up soon after every pettion to President Obama disappeared. It was the one on Trump’s tax returns. Here’s what it says:

Immediately release Donald Trump’s full tax returns, with all information needed to verify emoluments clause compliance.

Created by A.D. on January 20, 2017

The unprecedented economic conflicts of this administration need to be visible to the American people, including any pertinent documentation which can reveal the foreign influences and financial interests which may put Donald Trump in conflict with the emoluments clause of the Constitution.

As you can see in the quote, it has already received  111,624 signatures by 8:15 am on January 20, 2017. That’s a little over 20 hours after Trump took the oath of office. 

I had heard about this petition about 7 pm EST on January 19. I signed it then. I was near the 25,000 point in the signatures.  Now it’s moving exponentially. 

For those who haven’t signed these petitions in the past,  the White House agreement for these petitions is that when the petition receives more than a hundred thousand signatures,  the president will give a response. 

Let’s make it a groundswell and keep pushing. If we get millions of signatures, Trump may realize that this call for releasing his taxes is not just a journalistic concern. It’s a concern of, for, and by the entire nation.

Do it now. Sign and then share. Thanks

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

What to Do This Week of Jan 1, 2017

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.”

This morning I received an email copy of a blog from one of the bloggers that I follow. She had reblogged a posting from another blogger (Jennifer Hofman). Ms. Hofman has created a weekly to-do/action list on what you can do to support our brothers/sisters/cis-gender friends, neighbors, and colleagues against the right-wing backlash we have seen with the incoming presidency of Donald Trump.  Actions dealing with “free speech, the right to practice a religion, the new right to be married to my wife, to dissent, and privacy” are just some of the areas on which this weekly to-do list focuses.

This week she suggests we all contact the chairs of the US Senate Committees that are tasked with processing and holding the confirmation hearings on Donald Trump’s cabinet nominees for the Departments of State, Justice, Education, Health and Human Services, Labor, and Treasury as well as the Office of Management and Budget.  All of these departments have an effect on the civil rights, safety, and daily lives of people here in the US as well as for people around the world.

Ms. Hofman states that these nominees create a significant risk of our lives.  She says,

“[We] will have a president… whose incoming cabinet has deep ties to foreign leaders, big oil, and racist ideology. For anyone who isn’t white, straight, male, and worth more than a million dollars our, incoming leadership appears to care little about you.

But this is not who we are. We still have a voice. “If you feel hopeless, it’s because you’re not doing enough.” When I wake up filled with dread, these words remind me– don’t fret, just do more.

Do something.“

I agree!  Make these calls today!

So here is this week’s TO-DO List.

What to Do This Week of Jan 1, 2017

Actions for Democrats, Independents, and Republicans of conscience

There are two weeks until DJT takes office

The intention of this weekly document is to make clear suggestions for action backed with well-considered research. You don’t need to do them all–just the ones that align with your values and abilities. If an issue doesn’t affect you, consider whether you would support this issue on behalf of other Americans and act accordingly.

Although these topics have been well researched and 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/

Happy New Year

This is a long one. But we’ll start with good news and end with a whole slew of more good news, okay?

The power of our voices

First of all, with less than 24 hours notice, the people opposed an effort to gut the independent congressional ethics committee in favor of self-policing and–get this–it WORKED. Although most news sources are crediting djt’s statement with the abrupt change of course, insiders are saying it was public outrage that did it, specifically phone calls.

Congresswo/men want to be reelected. When you speak up, they listen.

The risks ahead of us

On Jan 20, we will have a president who doesn’t respect the constitution, whose advisers deal in conspiracy theories and fear mongering, and whose incoming cabinet has deep ties to foreign leaders, big oil, and racist ideology. For anyone who isn’t white, straight, male, and worth more than a million dollars our, incoming leadership appears to care little about you.

But this is not who we are. We still have a voice. “If you feel hopeless, it’s because you’re not doing enough.” When I wake up filled with dread, these words remind me– don’t fret, just do more.

Do something.

How to act strategically

Which brings us to this week’s action checklist. As Americans of conscience, the most important issue for action is the senate’s cabinet confirmation hearings.

We must oppose djt’s many nominees who have unprecedented conflicts of interest that risk the integrity of our democracy. The good news? Speaking up might effect change since the senate needs 51 votes to confirm, and Republicans hold only 52 spots. Don’t assume your senators will make the right choice for our country. Be clear and unyielding.

Make calls. It works. Based on the advice of my own senator’s staff, make these calls before hearings begin on Jan 10. This means right now, for each cabinet appointee you feel is unfit to serve, there are two specific actions to take:

  1. Tell the Senate committee chair (Republican) you oppose the nominee.
  2. Tell the Senate ranking member (Democrat) you oppose the nominee.
  1. Optional: You can also call your own two senators to let them know.

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

The following seven people are the Senate Democrats’ official “oppose” list. I’ll be suggesting more in next week’s email. Appointments with an asterisk* were major donors to djt campaign and/or PACs.

  1. Oppose Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson for ties to Exxon and Russia (source)

Committee: Foreign Relations Committee (more deets)

Call: Chair Bob Corker (R-TN) 202-224-3344

Call: Ranking member Ben Cardin (D-MD) 202-224-4524

Script: I am calling to oppose Rex Tillerson for Secretary of State. His ties to Russia and Exxon are a risk to our nation’s integrity and security.

  1. Oppose Attorney General nominee Jeff Sessions for racial bias and opposition to LGBT rights (source)

Committee: Senate Judiciary Committee (deets) hearings on Jan 10 and 11

Call: Chair Chuck Grassley 202-224-3744

Call: Ranking member Patrick Leahy 202-224-4242

Script: I am calling to oppose Jeff Sessions for Attorney General because I believe in the rights of gays and lesbians and people of color.

3. Oppose Health and Human Services Secretary nominee Tom Price for his opposition to the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”). (source)

Committee: Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (deets) Note: this is the same committee as for Betsy DeVos and Andy Puzder (below), so combine them if you wish.

Call: Chairman Lamar Alexander 202-224-4944

Call: Ranking member Patty Murray 202-224-2621

Script: I am calling to oppose Tom Price for Secretary of Health and Human services. I believe we should be expanding health care coverage for Americans, not making it more difficult to access and afford.

4. Oppose Education Secretary nominee Betsy DeVos* for her support of diverting tax dollars to private schools. (source)

Committee: Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (deets)

Call: Chairman Lamar Alexander 202-224-4944

Call: Ranking member Patty Murray 202-224-2621

Script: I am calling to oppose Betsy DeVos for Secretary of Education. I believe my tax dollars should fund a robust and free primary education to all Americans. Her plans would leave public schools even more underfunded.

5. Oppose Labor Secretary nominee Andy Puzder* for his opposition to workers rights and fair wages (source) (implications)

Committee: Hearing on Jan 12 (deets) Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions

Call: Chairman Lamar Alexander 202-224-4944

Call: Ranking member Patty Murray 202-224-2621

Script: I am calling to oppose Andy Puzder for Labor Secretary. I value fair wages and worker’s rights, and Mr. Puzder seeks to weaken both.

  1. Oppose Mick Mulvaney’s appointment to Director of Management and Budget Office. (source) (opinion)

Committee 1: Senate Budget Committee (deets)

            Call: Chairman Mike Enzi 202-224-3424

            Call: Ranking member Bernie Sanders 202-224-5141

Committee 2: Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs (deets)

Call: Chairman Ron Johnson 202-224-5323

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

Script: I am calling to oppose Mick Mulvaney’s appointment. I believe in honoring our country’s financial obligations and supporting affordable healthcare.

7. Oppose Treasury Secretary nominee Steven Mnuchin for his history of predatory business practices (source)

Committee: Senate Finance Committee (deets)

Call: Chairman Orrin Hatch 202-224-5251

Call: Ranking member Ron Wyden 202-224-5244

Script: I am calling to oppose Steven Mnuchin (m’NOO-chin) for Treasury Secretary. I believe someone in this role needs to have a history of solid ethics and integrity.

Edit: I got an email from someone asking for clarification [on why we should be calling Senators who do not directly represent us]. Normally senators don’t want to hear from non-constituents. Here’s my reply:

Yes, that is absolutely 100% normally the case. However, we’re contacting them specifically in their role as leaders of the senate committee that will be vetting a cabinet member. Because of this, they absolutely need to hear from all constituents. It is also useful to contact one’s own senators about who you’re opposing, but for cabinet positions, we’ve got to tell the committee leaders how we feel and what we value.

Recommended reading

Not normal

Good news

At last! I promised a whole slew of good news, so here is your reward for making all those phone calls. You did make those calls, right?

Housekeeping

  • If you’d like to subscribe for this weekly message, please visit this link.
  • To see archives of What To Do checklists, click here (and scroll to the bottom)
  • If you’d like to contribute, click here.

Final action

Spread the word! Please share any or all content in this message today (no attribution needed).

Tweet: Seriously awesome action checklist for this week! https://goo.gl/UTwsEH

Facebook: This is a seriously awesome way to take action! Sign up for the What To Do action checklist and make positive change today! https://goo.gl/UTwsEH

We’re stronger together!

 

 

Graphic of a government building saying that the Electoral College member should not be bound by party but by voting of the candidate who is qualified.

Letter to Electoral College Members

 

Graphic of a government building saying that the Electoral College member should not be bound by party but by voting of the candidate who is qualified.

The Electors need to join the 156 “faithless” electors in our nation’s history by putting country above party.

 

 

I received an email asking me to write to some or all of the electors across the country in the 2017 Electoral College. I decided to just focus on the 21 Trump electors here in Pennsylvania.

I took their letter and did some customization.  If you want to do the same, you can go to http://directelection.org to get the instructions and letter to customize and send out yourself.  Note, these letters MUST get to the recipients before Monday, November 19 before they vote.

Here’s what I said  in the letters I just put into the mail:

I am writing to you in your capacity as a presidential elector. I don’t envy the responsibility that you bear during these difficult times when we face a new split between the popular and apparent electoral votes. While I believe that Hillary Clinton’s popular margin of victory, over 2.5 million votes nationwide, ought to convince the electors to vote for her, I am writing to ask you to choose her for a different reason: that the Electoral College was designed specifically to bar people like Donald Trump from the presidency.

Our presidential system, conceived in 1787 and not amended since 1804, empowers the electors to use their wise judgment to choose our president. Whatever we may think of this system now, there were sound reasons for it at the time.

Among these reasons for the Electoral College is to ensure that the incoming president has the requisite qualifications, abilities, skills and ethics to do the job. As Alexander Hamilton wrote in the Federalist Paper 68:

“The process of election affords a moral certainty, that the office of President will never fall to the lot of any man who is not in an eminent degree endowed with the requisite qualifications.”

Donald Trump continues to demonstrate that he lacks the necessary qualifications and skills for the presidency.

There are many reasons to reject Donald Trump as unfit to be president. I will name just one: he will pervert our standards of law and ethics by using the presidency to enrich himself and his family. He has been sued more than any candidate in our history. On November 18, he agreed to pay $25 million to settle lawsuits alleging fraud at his “Trump University.” Since the election, he and his children have continued to pursue their business interests with foreign leaders.

And now Mr. Trump has stated that he will not announce how he will handle this conflict until after the Electoral College meets. This, IMHO, is a major concern because you, as my elector, have limited, if any, information to make a qualified vote on this grave ethical and constitutional issue.

As Richard Painter, President George W. Bush’s chief ethics lawyer from 2005 to 2007, has pointed out, Donald Trump’s hotel in D.C. would violate Article I, Section 9, Clause 8 of the Constitution, which bars officers from receiving profit or gain from foreign powers. We don’t even know the range of his interests because he has refused to release his tax returns or place his companies in a true blind trust. Let’s not inaugurate a president whose greed destines him for impeachment.

I am grateful for your service to our nation as an elector. You may, in fact, believe that Donald Trump would make a better president than Hillary Clinton or anyone else. But if you share my fear that Trump would weaken and shame our country, then I encourage you to exercise the power granted you by the Constitution and join the 156 “faithless” electors in our nation’s history by putting country above party and blocking Donald Trump from the presidency.

Hamilton would have wanted you to do so.

So would I.

Thank you!