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Believe It, You Matter, Part III: The Parable of Eating Less Meat

This OTYCD entry originally posted in June 2017. In the lead-up to the midterms, we’re re-running important posts. Please click on the announcement from Sarah Jane to learn why you’re not seeing timely daily posts.

 

Believe it, you matter. Every little thing you do to push back against Trump matters, no matter how small. 

 

Eating less meat is, generally speaking, a good idea. It’s better for your health and it’s better for the planet, because raising animals for meat demands more resources than growing plants for food.

 

But what if you can’t quit meat entirely for the rest of your days? What if you need it for health reasons, or cultural reasons, or hey, you just like meat too much to give it up once and for all?

 

Despite what some nasty, one-upping vegans and vegetarians would have you think, if you make a conscious choice to eat less meat, and you faithfully commit to making a change, that’s a win. Even if you never give up meat entirely, that’s a win, because you thought the matter over, you chose to eat less meat, and you stuck to your choice to eat less meat.

 

You are part of the resistance. Many of us–those behind this blog included–cannot devote ourselves to the resistance full time. We have jobs and family obligations and housework and a host of other demands on our time. There are some days when we don’t have the chance to do anything at all to advance the cause. (If WordPress forced us to write fresh posts every day instead of banking evergreen posts at our leisure and bumping them forward as needed to make room for breaking news, this blog would not exist.)

 

And there are some people who can’t advance the cause as often as they might like. Maybe they live in an environment where it’s not safe to resist Trump openly. Maybe they have crazy-demanding job or school schedules. Maybe they’re 24/7 caregivers. Maybe they’re disabled. Doesn’t matter why, it just is, and they have to work around it.

 

The point: As long as you’re doing something, you win. Even if it’s not as much as you want to do. Even if it’s not as much as you think you should do. Even if it’s not as much as your neighbor did, or your cousin did, or your best friend from your Indivisible group did.

 

Resisting Trump is not a competition, nor should it be. Something is better than nothing, no matter how small that something is. We should celebrate every contribution that we make in the effort to push back against Trump. All of it helps.

 

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Candidates · Choose Your Core Four · Elections · Read, Educate Yourself, Prepare · Russian Scandal, Emoluments Clause · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends

See This List of Members of the House Freedom Caucus So You Can Vote Them Out in November

ThisOTYCD post originally appeared in June 2018. In the lead-up to the midterms, we’re re-running important posts. Please click on the announcement from Sarah Jane to learn why you’re not seeing timely daily posts.

 

See this list of the current sitting members of the House Freedom Caucus, so you can vote them out in November.

 

The House Freedom Caucus is the most far-right group of Congresspeople within the House Republican Conference. While not everyone in it is thoroughly terrible–Michigan’s Justin Amash is clearly, and refreshingly, possessed of a functioning spine–they engage in shenanigans on the regular.

 

A recent notable beclownment was its drafting of articles of impeachment against Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in late April 2018.

 

North Carolina Rep Mark Meadows characterized the document as a “last resort” if Rosenstein continued to rebuff requests for information about Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Trump’s involvement with Russia.

 

Anyone with a functioning brain realizes the HFC is trying to undermine Rosenstein, Mueller, and the probe. Reporting on the draft simply credits it to the HFC, and only names Meadows specifically in connection with the document.

 

News stories on the matter say nothing about who, exactly, drafted it, so we are left to infer that everyone in the HFC approves of it, even if they might not have personally worked on it.

 

In light of this, we’re devoting this post to listing every current, sitting member of the HFC so you can help vote them out in November 2018. If these folks represent you, you’re probably already well aware of their records. If they don’t, it’s worth learning about them and looking into helping their Democratic opponents. (Every member of the House of Representatives is defending their seats this fall, assuming they’re not retiring.)

 

Several of these names will be familiar from an earlier OTYCD post on eleven House GOP members who called for investigating Andrew McCabe, James Comey, Sally Yates, Hillary Clinton, and assorted Department of Justice personnel for bias. We have repeated information from that post where appropriate.

 

The HRC does not publish or otherwise identify its members. What you see below represents the best list available as of April 2018.

 

 

Justin Amash, representing Michigan’s 3rd District. As stated above, Amash is unusual for displaying consistency as well as a spine. Let’s be clear here–his politics are odious, but he does have that going for him. He also appears to vote more often with the Democrats, but that’s largely a function of him rejecting legislation because it’s not conservative or far-right enough for his tastes. Make of that what you will.

Amash is running for a fifth term. The primary takes place August 7, 2018. He will face one Republican challenger. There are also two Democrats and an Independent in the mix. The Cook Political Report rates the seat as Solid Republican.

 

 

Joe Barton, representing Texas’s 6th District. In November 2017, he announced that he would retire from Congress after a three-decade career in the House of Representatives. This statement came soon after news broke of his involvement in extramarital affairs. It should be said that no one has accused Barton of sexual misconduct or harassment, and the affairs were consensual. Regardless, he felt it best not to run again.

 

Democrat Jana Lynne Sanchez will face Republican Ronald Wright and Libertarian Jason Harper in November. The Cook Political Report rates the seat as Solid Republican.

 

Read OTYCD‘s post on Democrat Jana Lynne Sanchez:

https://onethingyoucando.com/2018/05/26/keep-an-eye-on-jana-lynne-sanchez-who-is-running-for-a-texas-house-seat-in-2018/

 

 

Andy Biggs, representing Arizona’s 5th District. He’s running for his second term. Five Democrats are running in the August 28, 2018 primary. No Republicans have stepped up to challenge Biggs; the filing deadline is May 30. The Cook Political Report rates the seat as Solid Republican.

 

 

Rod Blum, representing Iowa’s 1st District. He’s running for a third term, and he looks especially vulnerable. The 1st was a battleground district in 2016, and Politico has listed the race as one of the top 10 House races to watch in 2018. Four Democrats and a Green Party member will appear in the June 5 primary. The Cook Political Report rates the seat as a Toss-up.

 

 

Dave Brat, representing Virginia’s 7th District. He first gained notoriety for his improbable defeat of the powerful GOP incumbent Eric Cantor. Brat won’t face any Republicans in the primary, but two Democrats and a Whig Party member (yes, you read that right, the Whig Party) will appear in the June 12, 2018 primary. The Cook Political Report rates the seat as Lean Republican.

 

Mo Brooks, representing Alabama’s 5th District. He’s running for his fifth term. The June 5, 2018 primary features one other Republican and a Democrat. The Cook Political Report rates the seat as Solid Republican.

 

Ken Buck, representing Colorado’s 4th District. He’s running for a third term. Two Democrats will meet in the June 26, 2018 primary; he has no Republican challengers. The Cook Political Report rates the seat as Solid Republican.

 

Ted Budd, representing North Carolina’s 13th District. He’s seeking a second term. He will face Democrat Kathy Manning and Libertarian Tom Bailey in November. The Cook Political Report rates the seat as Lean Republican.

 

Warren Davidson, representing Ohio’s 8th District. He won a special election in 2016, won the general later that year, and is running again this fall, where he will compete against Democrat Vanessa Enoch. The Cook Political Report rates the seat as Solid Republican.

 

Ron DeSantis, representing Florida’s 6th District. He’s retiring from his House seat in order to run for governor of Florida. Three Democrats and five Republicans will appear in the August 28, 2018 primary. The filing deadline is May 4. As of September 2017, Nancy Soderberg had the most cash on hand among the Democrats. The Cook Political Report rates the seat as Solid Republican.

 

Scott DesJarlais, representing Tennessee’s 4th District. He’s running for a fifth term. He faces one challenger in the August 2, 2018 primary, which will also have three Democrats and an Independent. The Cook Political Report rates the seat as Solid Republican.

 

Jeff Duncan, representing South Carolina’s 3rd District. He’s running for a fifth term. Two Democrats and a member of the American party will run in the June 12, 2018 primary. The Cook Political Report rates the seat as Solid Republican.

 

Matt Gaetz, representing Florida’s 1st District. He’s running for a second term. Two Democrats and two other Republicans will meet him in the August 28, 2018 primary. The Cook Political Report rates the seat as Solid Republican.

 

Tom Garrett Jr., representing Virginia’s 5th District. He sent mixed signals in late May, saying he wouldn’t run for a second term, and then saying he would. His re-election campaign appears to be on. He will face Democrat Leslie Cockburn, who won the most votes at the May 5, 2018 primary convention. Independent John Harris is running as a write-in candidate. The Cook Political Report rates the seat as Lean Republican.

 

Louie Gohmert, representing Texas’s 1st District. He was first elected to the House in 2004 and is running again. He will face Democrat Shirley McKellar and Libertarian Jeff Callaway in November. The Cook Political Report rates the seat as Solid Republican.

 

Paul A. Gosar, representing Arizona’s 4th District. He is running for a fifth term. Three Democrats and a Green Party member will run in the August 28, 2018 primary. The Cook Political Report rates the seat as Solid Republican.

 

Morgan Griffith, representing Virginia’s 9th District. He’s running for a fifth term. No challenger will meet him in the June 12, 2018 primary, but two Democrats and an Independent will appear. The Cook Political Report rates the seat as Solid Republican.

 

Andy Harris, representing Maryland’s 1st District. He is seeking a fifth term. This is a crowded field. Six Democrats, including Allison Galbraith, two other Republicans, and a Libertarian have committed to the June 26, 2018 primary. The Cook Political Report rates the seat as Solid Republican.

 

See the OTYCD entry on Allison Galbraith:

https://onethingyoucando.com/2018/04/08/support-democrat-allison-galbraith-whos-running-for-a-house-seat-in-maryland/

 

Jody Hice, representing Georgia’s 10th District. He’s running for a third term. The May 22, 2018 primary includes three Democrats, two other Republicans, and an Independent. The Cook Political Report rates the seat as Solid Republican.

 

Jim Jordan, representing Ohio’s 4th District (he’s also co-chair of the HFC). He was first elected to the House in 2006. He will face Democrat Janet Garrett in November. The Cook Political Report rates the seat as Solid Republican.

 

Raúl Labrador, representing Idaho’s 1st District. He is running for governor of Idaho in 2018. Republican Russ Fulcher and Democrat Christina McNeil will face off in November.  The Cook Political Report rates the seat as Solid Republican.

 

Mark Meadows, representing North Carolina’s 11th District (he’s also co-chair of the HFC). He’s seeking a fourth term. He will face Democrat Phillip Price in November. The Cook Political Report rates the seat as Solid Republican.

 

Alex Mooney, representing West Virginia’s 2nd District. He’s running for a third term. He’s competing against Democrat Talley Sergent. The Cook Political Report rates the seat as Solid Republican.

 

Gary Palmer, representing Alabama’s 6th District. Like Mooney, he’s running for a third term. The primary happens June 5, 2018, but Palmer and Democrat Danner Kline are the only ones on the ballot in each case, and there are no candidates from other parties this time around. The Cook Political Report rates the seat as Solid Republican.

 

Steve Pearce, representing New Mexico’s 2nd District. Pearce is in New Mexico’s gubernatorial race, leaving the House seat free in 2018. The primary takes place June 5, 2018, and features two Democrats and four Republicans. The Cook Political Report rates the seat as Lean Republican.

 

Scott Perry, representing Pennsylvania’s 4th District. In February 2018, the state’s Supreme Court threw out the old Congressional district map, deeming it illegally gerrymandered. What was the 4th now covers much of what was the 13th district. Perry does not appear to be running again, and the Democratic incumbent under the old map, Brendan Boyle, is seeking re-election in the 2nd District. Got that?

Democrat Madeleine Dean will face Republican Dan David in November. The Cook Political Report rates the seat as Solid Democratic.

 

Bill Posey, representing Florida’s 8th District. He first won election in 2008 and is running again. The primary is set for August 28, but only Posey and Democrat Sanjay Patel are on it, with no one from the smaller parties in the mix. The Cook Political Report rates the seat as Solid Republican.

 

Mark Sanford, representing South Carolina’s 1st District. If the name sounds familiar, yeah, this was the guy who melted down as governor of South Carolina over extramarital affairs. Remember “hiking the Appalachian Trail”? Yeah, he’s that guy. Anyway, he won the House seat in a special election in 2013 and is running again. He faces two other Republicans in the June 12, 2018 primary. Two Democrats will appear as well. The Cook Political Report rates the seat as Likely Republican.

 

David Schweikert, representing Arizona’s 6th District. He’s seeking a fifth term. The August 28, 2018 primary is crowded on the Democratic side, with five candidates, but clear on the Republican side, with Schweikert the only choice. The Cook Political Report rates the seat as Likely Republican.

 

Randy Weber, representing Texas’s 14th District. He’s hoping for a fourth term, and is facing Democrat Adrienne Bell and Libertarian Don Conley III. The Cook Political Report rates the seat as Solid Republican.

 

See OTYCD‘s post on Adrienne Bell:

https://onethingyoucando.com/2018/05/26/support-adrienne-bells-run-for-the-house-seat-in-texass-14th-district/

 

 

Ted Yoho, representing Florida’s 3rd District. He’s running for a fourth term. Three Democrats will run in the August 28, 2018 primary. The Cook Political Report rates the seat as Solid Republican.

 

 

Choose the Democratic challengers of any of these folks for your Core Four:

https://onethingyoucando.com/2018/04/08/choose-your-core-four-for-2018/

 

 

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As for cites on the House Freedom Caucus…

 

Read about the HFC’s drafting of articles of impeachment against Rod Rosenstein:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-allied-house-conservatives-draft-articles-of-impeachment-against-rosenstein-as-last-resort/2018/04/30/d78af412-4c97-11e8-b725-92c89fe3ca4c_story.html?utm_term=.5a0ab3b10263

http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/384217-impeaching-rosenstein-some-republicans-are-talking-about-it

 

Read the actual articles of impeachment against Rosenstein, obtained by the Washington Post:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2018/05/01/republicans-highly-political-articles-of-impeachment-against-rod-rosenstein-annotated/?utm_term=.402747613668

 

 

Read a USA Today Op-Ed on how the impeachment effort against Rosenstein represents a violation of ethical rules and an attempt to hobble Mueller’s probe:

https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2018/05/02/impeachment-articles-rosenstein-sabotage-russia-probe-column/572548002/

 

 

Read a CNN story on a Democratic member of the House Judiciary Committee decrying the HFC’s shens:

https://www.cnn.com/2018/05/01/politics/david-cicilline-rod-rosenstein-impeachment-cnntv/index.html

 

 

Read stories about Rod Rosenstein standing firm in the face of the HFC’s threat:

https://www.citizen-times.com/story/news/local/2018/05/02/mark-meadows-rod-rosenstein-extortion-justice-department-mueller/573291002/

 

 

And read some background on the HFC:

http://time.com/4718360/freedom-caucus-donald-trump-what-to-know/

Action Alerts · Call Your Members of Congress · First Amendment, Defending a Free Press · Russian Scandal, Emoluments Clause · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms

Call Your MoCs, Demand Justice For Saudi Journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and Ask Them to Pressure the White House to Do Better, Dammit

Call your Members of Congress (MoCs) to demand that they do everything in their power to deliver justice on behalf of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and ask them to pressure the White House to do better than their current piss-poor reaction.

 

On October 2, 2018, journalist Jamal Khashoggi entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to collect paperwork he needed to marry his Turkish fiancé.

 

He never came out.

 

A team of Saudi assassins are accused of killing Khashoggi. We won’t repeat the details that Turkish news sources are reporting; they’re startlingly gruesome. Suffice it to say that Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, the Saudi leader colloquially known as MBS, saw Khashoggi and his writing as an irritant.

 

Saudi officials maintain that Khashoggi left the consulate through a back entrance, but he has not been seen since October 2. Virtually no one in the world intelligence community doubts that Khashoggi is dead, and virtually no one doubts that he was assassinated.

 

As this post is being prepared, there’s word that the Saudis might be working on a new story that acknowledges Khashoggi’s death but characterizes it as an interrogation gone wrong. Ahem.

 

Khashoggi’s alleged murder is a gross affront to all that is good and right. He wrote for the Washington Post and had deep connections to Saudi society, giving him insights that few could match. He was uniquely positioned to see the flaws of his native country, and he was uniquely equipped to name and describe those flaws. Also, he had adopted the United States as his home-in-exile. He held a green card and paid taxes.

 

Trump and his administration have done an unusually piss-poor job of reacting to the Khashoggi situation, which is saying something. While Trump promised unspecified “severe punishment” if Saudi leaders are responsible for Khashoggi’s death, he also bought the Saudis’ current spiel about Khashoggi’s fate and their role in it, and he showed that he valued the U.S.’s arms deals with Saudi Arabia more than upholding the bedrock American value of free speech. In an October 13, 2018 interview with 60 Minutes, Trump said, “I don’t want to hurt jobs. I don’t want to lose an order like that,” he said. “There are other ways of punishing, to use a word that’s a pretty harsh word, but it’s true.”

 

See a Time magazine article that quotes Trump reacting to the Khashoggi situation:

http://time.com/5424150/trump-saudi-arabia-arms-deal/

 

Several news outlets have highlighted the fact that the Saudis give the Trumps a lot of money. Here’s a CNBC piece about Saudi patronage of Trump hotels:

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/08/03/saudi-guests-boosted-revenue-at-trumps-new-york-hotel-reversing-drop.html

 

Here’s a Washington Post opinion piece by Jennifer Rubin about Trump family connections to the Saudis, in which she cites reports that MBS bragged that he had Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law, “in his pocket”:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/opinions/wp/2018/10/16/whose-interests-is-trump-looking-out-for-in-saudi-arabia/?utm_term=.238d5f11fa63

 

And if you’re wondering if Trump’s entanglement with the Saudis and their copious fonts of cash looks like a violation of the Emoluments clause of the Constitution, read these October 17 tweets from Jonathan Ladd, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution:

 

The fact that most in the political establishment except liberal activists has decided to pretend the emoluments clause doesn’t exist and allow a president to accept massive foreign bribes puts them in a weak position to claim that the Senate and SCOTUS must always stay the same.

If you want evidence that constitutional arrangements evolve over time, and practice, for better or worse, doesnt always match the original intention, just look the the emoluments clause. It’s original intention and interpretation until 2015 was that foreign bribes were forbidden
How did we effectively repeal the emoluments clause? Through the amendment procedure in the constitution’s text (2/3 of congress + 3/4 of states)? Nope. We just decided to ignore the text and tradition.
The best procedure to enforce the emoluments clause is impeachment, but the president’s party in Congress just decided that they didn’t care about foreign bribes, Constitutional text and tradition be damned. So now that Constitutional clause is unenforced and dead.

 

Also see Charlie Pierce’s fire-breathing opinion piece in Esquire that flatly accuses Trump of violating the Constitution because his connections to Saudis and their money evidently restrained him from giving them both barrels when the Khashoggi news broke:

https://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/a23872355/president-trump-saudi-arabia-jamal-khashoggi-emoluments-clause/

 

So, here’s what you can do. Call your members of Congress–your two Senators and your House Rep–and demand substantial action on Khashoggi.

 

The impeccable and exquisite Celeste Pewter (@Celeste_Pewter) got there first on Twitter with calling scripts, which we’ll reproduce below. Scroll down to learn how to show your appreciation for her work.

 

Once you have made your calls, describe your experience on Twitter using the #ICalledMyReps hashtag.

 

A note on saying the Saudi journalist’s name: Kah-sho-gee is perfectly fine.

 

If your House Rep is on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, it is extra-important that you call. Check this link to see if he or she is a member (click the blue button at the top to pull up the Republicans and the Democrats):

https://foreignaffairs.house.gov/subcommittee/full-committee/

 

If one or both of your Senators are on the chamber’s Committee on Foreign Relations, it is extra-important that you call. The full list of members is below:

https://www.foreign.senate.gov/about/membership

 

Here is Celeste Pewter’s script for House of Representatives members:

 

Here is the script for your Senators:

 

 

You can show love for Celeste Pewter in many ways.

 

You can follow her on Twitter: @Celeste_Pewter

 

You can tweet about calling your Senators, using the #ICalledMyReps hashtag.

 

You can follow @ICalledMyReps on Twitter.

 

You can adopt a vulnerable incumbent Democratic Senator by checking out The Road to 2018, an organization Pewter created. Read about it here:

 

https://onethingyoucando.com/2018/08/08/support-the-road-to-2018-which-defends-democratic-senators-2/

 

You can follow The Road to 2018 on Twitter: @Roadto18

 

And you can subscribe to her peerless newsletter, It’s Time to Fight:

http://itstimetofight.weebly.com

 

 

Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the button on the upper right of the page. And tell your friends about the blog!

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Welcome Independents, Libertarians, and Typically Republican Voters Who Plan to Vote for Democrats In 2018

This OTYCD post originally appeared in June 2018. In the lead-up to the midterms, we’re re-running important posts. Please click on the announcement from Sarah Jane to learn why you’re not seeing timely daily posts.

 

Welcome Independents, Libertarians, and typically Republican voters who plan to vote for Democrats in 2018.

 

We live in weird times. We have a manifestly unfit person sitting in the Oval Office. The second that Trump finished the oath of office on Inauguration Day 2017, his business entanglements put him in violation of the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution, making him impeachable.

 

Still more evidence for impeachment has piled up since then, but the Republican-controlled Congress hasn’t started to begin to consider thinking about bestirring itself to do its job and remove Trump from office.

 

Once upon a time, Republicans did the right thing and threatened President Richard Nixon with impeachment over the Watergate scandal, prompting him to resign. Today, tribalism is stopping the Republicans from doing the right thing with Donald Trump. It’s shameful. History will judge them harshly for it, and so will voters.

 

Some Alabamians who normally vote Republican realized that staying home would not be enough during the December 2017 special election for Senate. Some–admittedly a minority–went to the polls and voted Democrat for the first time in their lives to do their bit to stop Republican Roy Moore from winning.

 

People across the country who don’t normally vote for Democrats are coming to the same conclusion that Republicans in Alabama did. They’re watching Trump’s antics, and watching Congress do nothing, and realizing they have to act by voting for candidates who will do what their party will not.

 

They’re starting to speak up publicly as well. Consider this March 2018 piece from The Atlantic, by Jonathan Rauch and Benjamin Wittes, of Lawfare, who both describe themselves as “true independents”. Bluntly titled Boycott the Republican Party, it counsels Americans to methodically vote for Democrats to send a message to the GOP in hopes of getting it to straighten up and fly right (pun not intended):

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2018/03/boycott-the-gop/550907/

 

Key quote:

“So we arrive at a syllogism:

(1) The GOP has become the party of Trumpism.
(2) Trumpism is a threat to democratic values and the rule of law.
(3) The Republican Party is a threat to democratic values and the rule of law.

If the syllogism holds, then the most-important tasks in U.S. politics right now are to change the Republicans’ trajectory and to deprive them of power in the meantime. In our two-party system, the surest way to accomplish these things is to support the other party, in every race from president to dogcatcher. The goal is to make the Republican Party answerable at every level, exacting a political price so stinging as to force the party back into the democratic fold.”

 

On June 7, 2018, the Washington Post reported on a poll that shows that around a quarter of Republicans favor candidates who will act as a check on Trump.

Here’s the piece:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/politics/wp/2018/06/07/a-quarter-of-republicans-say-they-want-candidates-who-will-be-a-check-on-trump/?utm_term=.db5e5358b5a8

 

And here’s the key passage:

“Perhaps the most interesting part of this poll, though, is that more than a quarter of Republicans want candidates who will act as a check on Trump. On net, Republicans were 11 points more likely to say that they would be turned off by a candidate acting as a check on Trump, but it’s still the case that 27 percent would be encouraged to vote for a candidate willing to check Trump. That even as Republicans support candidates who support Trump on policy issues. By more than 60 percentage points, Republicans are more likely to support candidates that stand with Trump on taxes and immigration. But they’re nearly split on candidates who stand up to Trump generally.”

 

And since we at OTYCD drafted and queued this piece, more longtime GOP supporters have publicly defected and called for others to join them.

 

Steve Schmidt, a high-ranking GOP strategist who helped elect George W. Bush, worked on John McCain’s 2008 campaign, and Arnold Schwarzenegger’s gubernatorial campaign in California, quit the party. On June 19, 2018, he tweeted (and it’s now his pinned tweet):

29 years and nine months ago I registered to vote and became a member of The Republican Party which was founded in 1854 to oppose slavery and stand for the dignity of human life. Today I renounce my membership in the Republican Party. It is fully the party of Trump.

 

Read stories on Schmidt quitting the Republican Party:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/veteran-republican-strategist-steve-schmidt-renounces-gop/2018/06/20/7bcf53fe-74c7-11e8-bda1-18e53a448a14_story.html?utm_term=.872cc10a5f60

https://www.yahoo.com/news/steve-schmidt-helped-run-republican-212844307.html

 

 

On June 22, 2018, prominent conservative George Will, who won the Pulitzer Prize for commentary in 1977, put out a blunt column installment in the Washington Post titled Vote Against the GOP This November.

 

He hasn’t decided he likes the Democrats. He doesn’t, and he won’t. His call to vote Democrat this fall is intended as the corrective Trump needs, and which the GOP-controlled Congress has been too feckless to give. Here’s the final paragraph from the piece:

 

“In today’s GOP, which is the president’s plaything, he is the mainstream. So, to vote against his party’s cowering congressional caucuses is to affirm the nation’s honor while quarantining him. A Democratic-controlled Congress would be a basket of deplorables, but there would be enough Republicans to gum up the Senate’s machinery, keeping the institution as peripheral as it has been under their control and asphyxiating mischief from a Democratic House. And to those who say, “But the judges, the judges!” the answer is: Article III institutions are not more important than those of Articles I and II combined.”

 

 

Read Will’s full column:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/vote-against-the-gop-this-november/2018/06/22/a6378306-7575-11e8-b4b7-308400242c2e_story.html?utm_term=.97ccad43bccf

 

 

This is where you come in.

 

If you know someone who doesn’t normally vote for Democrats, but who gets that they must in 2018 in order to right the GOP and provide a check on Trump, you need to be welcoming and gracious toward them.

 

In other words, don’t be an asshole, and be extra-careful not to come off as an asshole to these people.

 

Don’t assume they’ve gone all liberal and progressive because they’re going to vote for Democrats this fall. They haven’t.

 

Respect the fact that these folks wouldn’t vote this way under normal circumstances.

 

Respect the fact that they think differently about politics than you, and respect the fact that they’re doing what needs to be done for the sake of our country, and our democracy.

 

Also, keep your interactions pleasant and fun. Don’t bring up politics unless they do, and if they do bring up politics, let them lead the conversation. Be supportive. Commiserate.

 

After Labor Day, start talking about plans to go to the polls together. Offer a ride. Offer to have lunch or buy a drink after you both vote. If it makes sense, offer child care or offer to cover a shift for your friend if it will help them reach the polls on November 6, 2018.

 

Also, do not say “Thank you”. Seriously. It’s not appropriate because it could be read as insulting.

 

Think about it–should you get a cookie for stepping up and blocking a wannabe dictator from destroying our democracy? No, it’s the right thing to do. If someone has decided it’s time to cast a punitive vote against their home party, they would definitely be offended at the notion that they deserve praise for doing it.

 

Instead, you can say, “I look forward to the days when we can go back to disagreeing with each other.”

 

If you want to show lasting gratitude to those who don’t normally vote for Democrats, but are doing so to send a message to the GOP, you can do this:

 

You can promise to listen to them.

 

Not just now, in the breach, but going forward, too.

 

Listening to them does not mean agreeing with them. It does mean making a good-faith effort to hear out those who don’t share your view of politics, and trying to understand them.

 

 

Here, again is the March 2018 piece from The Atlantic that urges Republicans to boycott the GOP and vote for Democrats:

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2018/03/boycott-the-gop/550907/

 

 

And here, again, is the June 2018 Washington Post story on the poll on what sort of candidates Americans are likely to support in the midterms. In addition to 25 percent of Republicans favoring candidates who would provide a check on Trump, the story says that voters, in general, were 25 percentage points more likely to vote for a candidate who promised to push back against the president:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/politics/wp/2018/06/07/a-quarter-of-republicans-say-they-want-candidates-who-will-be-a-check-on-trump/?utm_term=.db5e5358b5a8

 

 

Read December 2017 stories from Newsweek and the Washington Post on how Republican affiliation has fallen by five points since Trump was elected:

 

http://www.newsweek.com/trump-scaring-voters-republican-affiliation-dips-year-election-poll-730604

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/politics/wp/2017/12/11/a-lot-of-americans-spent-2017-bailing-on-the-republican-party/?utm_term=.d6e51e7a9cc0

 

 

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Uncategorized

Learn Which 36 Governorships Are On the Ballot in 2018

This OTYCD entry originally posted in January 2018.

 

Learn which 36 governorships are on the ballot in 2018.

 

In addition to hundreds of Congressional races, 2018 is a big year for governorships. No less than 36 of the 50 posts will be contested. As of January 1, 2018, 17 sitting governors intend to run and 17 others won’t run again or are term-limited out.

 

A total of 26 of those 36 governorships are held by Republicans, which creates a huge opportunity for Democratic pickups.

 

The situation also creates opportunities to break Republican trifectas and maybe create a few new Democratic trifectas.

 

A trifecta happens when one party controls the governorship and both chambers of a state’s legislature. If a majority of states muster trifectas, those states could call a Constitutional Convention and rewrite the basics of how our country is governed.

 

Maneuvering America toward a Constitutional Convention has been a long-term goal of some right-wing groups. Frustrating Republican trifectas should factor into your concerns as a voter and a citizen.

 

What follows is a list of the 36 governors’ races, and notes on whether the incumbent is running.

 

Alabama: Republican incumbent Kay Ivey is running. She was sworn in in April 2017 after the previous governor, Republican Robert Bentley, resigned following a scandal that could have ended in impeachment. Alabama has a Republican trifecta.

At least six Democratic candidates will run in the June 5 primary.

 

Alaska: Independent incumbent Bill Walker is running for his second term. He won in 2014 with 48.1 percent of the vote.

As of January 1, 2018, no Democrats had declared they would run in the August 21 primary.

 

Arizona: Republican incumbent Doug Doucey is running for a second term. He won in 2014 with 53.4 percent of the vote. Arizona has a Republican trifecta.

At least two Democrats will run in the August 28 primary.

 

Arkansas: Republican incumbent Asa Hutchinson is running for a second term. He won in 2014 with 55.4 percent of the vote. Arkansas has a Republican trifecta.

As of January 1, 2018, no Democrats had pledged to run in the May 22 primary.

 

California: Democratic incumbent Jerry Brown is term-limited out. California has a Democratic trifecta.

At least ten Democrats will run in the June 5 primary, including lieutenant governor Gavin Newsom and former Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

 

Colorado: Democratic incumbent John Hickenlooper is term-limited out.

At least nine Democrats will run in the June 26 primary, including House Rep Jared Polis.

 

Connecticut: Democratic incumbent Dan Malloy has chosen not to run for a third term. Connecticut has a Democratic trifecta.

At least five Democrats will run in the August 14 primary.

 

Florida: Republican incumbent Rick Scott is term-limited out. Florida has a Republican trifecta.

At least seven Democrats will run in the August 28 primary.

 

Georgia: Republican incumbent Nathan Deal is term-limited out. Georgia has a Republican trifecta.

At least two Democrats, including Stacey Abrams, will appear in the May 22 primary.

 

Hawaii: Democratic incumbent David Ige will run for a second term. In 2014 he won with 49.5 percent of the vote; his nearest competitor got 37.1 percent. Hawaii has a Democratic trifecta.

At least two other Democrats will meet Ige in the August 11 primary.

 

Idaho: Republican incumbent Butch Otter chose not to run for a fourth term. Idaho has a Republican trifecta.

At least three Democrats will run in the May 15 primary.

 

Illinois: Republican incumbent Bruce Rauner will run for a second term. He won in 2014 with 50.3 percent of the vote, four points ahead of his Democratic rival.

At least seven Democrats will run in the March 20 primary, including Chris Kennedy and J. B. Pritzker.

 

Iowa: Republican incumbent Kim Reynolds will run for her first full term. She was sworn in in May 2017 when the sitting governor, Terry Branstad, became the U.S. ambassador to China. In 2014, running as lieutenant governor alongside Branstad, the two drew 59 percent of the vote to the Democrats’ 37.3 percent. Iowa has a Republican trifecta.

At least eight Democrats will run in the June 5 primary, including physician and former Iowa Democratic Party chairwoman Andrea “Andy” McGuire.

 

Kansas: Republican incumbent Sam Brownback is term-limited out. Kansas has a Republican trifecta.

At least seven Democrats will run in the August 7 primary.

 

Maine: Republican incumbent Paul LePage is term-limited out.

At least 13–yes, you read that right, 13–Democrats will run in the June 12 primary.

 

Maryland: Republican incumbent Larry Hogan is running for his second term. He won in 2014 with 51 percent of the vote; the Democrats got 47.2 percent.

At least nine Democrats, including former NAACP president and CEO Ben Jealous, will run in the June 26 primary.

 

Massachusetts: Republican incumbent Charlie Baker is running for his second term. In 2014, he won with 48.4 percent of the vote to the Democrats’ 46.5 percent. He might do better this time around; he has the highest popularity ratings of any sitting governor in America.

At least three Democrats, including Newton Mayor Setti Warren (no relation to Elizabeth Warren), will run in the September 18 primary.

 

Michigan: Republican incumbent Rick Snyder is term-limited out. Michigan has a Republican trifecta.

At least eight Democrats will run in the August 7 primary.

 

Minnesota: Democratic incumbent Mark Dayton declined to run for a third term. Minnesota has a Democratic trifecta.

At least six Democrats will run in the August 14 primary.

 

Nebraska: Republican incumbent Pete Ricketts is running for a second term. In 2014, he won with 57.2 percent of the vote to the Democrats’ 39.3 percent. Nebraska has a Republican trifecta.

As of January 1, 2018, no Democrats had signed up for the May 15 primary.

 

Nevada: Republican incumbent Brian Sandoval is term-limited out.

At least three Democrats will appear in the June 12 primary.

 

New Hampshire: Republican incumbent Chris Sununu will run for a second term. In 2016, he won with 48.8 percent of the vote; his Democratic competitor got 46.9 percent. The state has a Republican trifecta.

At least one Democrat, former Portsmouth mayor Steve Marchand, will run in the September 11 primary.

 

New Mexico: Republican incumbent Susana Martinez is term-limited out.

At least four Democrats will run in the June 5 primary.

 

New York: Democratic incumbent Andrew Cuomo will run for a third term. He won the 2014 election handily, getting 54.3 percent of the vote to the Republicans’ 40.3 percent.

As of January 1, 2018, no other Democrats had announced they would run in the September 11 primary.

 

Ohio: Republican incumbent John Kasich is term-limited out. Ohio has a Republican trifecta.

At least six Democrats will run in the May 8 primary, including Richard Cordray, former head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

 

Oklahoma: Republican incumbent Mary Fallin is term-limited out. Oklahoma has a Republican trifecta.

At least three Democrats will appear in the June 26 primary.

 

Oregon: Democratic incumbent Kate Brown will run for her first full term after being appointed in February 2015 and winning a special election in 2016. The previous governor, Democrat John Kitzhaber, resigned over an ethics scandal. In her 2016 race, she garnered 50.7 percent of the vote. Her nearest rival, the Republican, got 43.5 percent.

As of January 1, 2018, no other Democrats had agreed to appear in the May 15 primary.

 

Pennsylvania: Democratic incumbent Tom Wolf will run for his second term. He won his first decisively in 2014, getting 54.9 percent of the vote to the Republicans’ 45.1 percent.

As of January 1, 2018, no other Democrats had agreed to appear in the May 15 primary.

 

Rhode Island: As of January 1, 2018, Democratic incumbent Gina Raimondo had not yet decided if she’ll run for a second term. Rhode Island has a Democratic trifecta. In 2014, she pulled in 40.7 percent of the vote. Her nearest competitor, a Republican, got 36.2 percent.

If she runs, Raimondo will meet at least two other Democrats in the September 12 primary.

 

South Carolina: Republican incumbent Henry McMaster will run for his first full term after being appointed in 2017 when Nikki Haley left to serve as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. South Carolina has a Republican trifecta.

At least three Democrats have committed to the June 12 primary.

 

South Dakota: Republican incumbent Dennis Daugaard is term-limited out. South Dakota has a Republican trifecta.

At least one Democrat, state Senator Billie Sutton, has signed up for the June 5 primary.

 

Tennessee: Republican incumbent Bill Haslam is term-limited out. Tennessee has a Republican trifecta.

At least two Democrats will run in the August 2 primary.

 

Texas: Republican incumbent Greg Abbott will run for a second term. He won decisively in 2014, getting 59.3 percent of the vote to Democrat Wendy Davis’s 38.9 percent. Texas has a Republican trifecta.

A total of ten Democrats have committed to the March 6 primary.

 

Vermont: As of January 1, 2018, Republican incumbent Phillip Scott had not decided if he would run for a second term. In 2016, he received 52.9 percent of the vote to the Democrats’ 44.2 percent.

At least two Democrats will run in the August 14 primary.

 

Wisconsin: Republican incumbent Scott Walker will run for a third term. In 2014, he won 52.3 percent of the vote to the Democrats’ 46.6 percent. Wisconsin has a Republican trifecta.

Wow! At least 14 Democrats will face off in the August 14 primary.

 

Wyoming: Republican incumbent Matt Mead is term-limited out. Wyoming has a Republican trifecta.

At least one Democrat, former state Rep. Mary Throne, will appear in the August 21 primary.

 

Check out Ballotpedia’s page on the 2018 gubernatorial races:

https://ballotpedia.org/Gubernatorial_elections,_2018

 

Donate to Ballotpedia ($18 corresponds to the cost of writing a single article):

https://ballotpedia.org/Ballotpedia:Donate

 

Like Ballotpedia on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/Ballotpedia?ref=br_tf

 

Follow Ballotpedia on Twitter:

@ballotpedia

 

Read a November 2016 Politico story on how Democrats hope to make pickups in gubernatorial races:

https://www.politico.com/story/2016/11/2018-governors-races-democrats-231815

 

Read a July 2017 New York magazine story on the same topic:

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2017/07/democrats-could-make-major-gains-in-governorships-in-2018.html

 

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Leave a Comment and Push Back Against Trump’s Attempt to Limit Protest In Washington, D.C., October 15 LAST CHANCE Edition

Push back against Trump’s attempt to limit protests in Washington, D.C., by leaving a comment on the proposal before the Monday, October 15 deadline.

 

Because this came up quickly and the deadline is Monday, OTYCD will feature this action daily between now and then.

 

Every time Trump does something horrible, which is often, word soon breaks on social media about a quickly organized protest in D.C. on public land. And certainly, you are aware of the nightly #KremlinAnnex protests at Lafayette Square, near the White House, which have been going since summer.

 

Trump, being Trump, doesn’t give a damn about the First Amendment and is trying to limit the ability to protest in the nation’s capital.

 

If this goes through, it would curtail the ability to protest on land that belongs to the National Parks Service (NPS). That includes the National Mall, the Lincoln Memorial, Lafayette Park, the Ellipse, the White House Sidewalk, and areas along Pennsylvania Avenue, including sidewalks near Trump’s hotel in D.C.

 

It would curtail protests by letting the NPS impose waiting periods on granting protest permits; charge fees for erecting barricades, restoring grass, and similar effects of large gatherings; give the police more latitude to arbitrarily end a protest; and ban long-term protests such as #KremlinAnnex, among other moves.

 

Follow the links below and leave a comment against the proposal, and do it before Monday, October 15 if you can.

 

Please note, however: When you submit a public comment, your words and any info you give to submit the comment will become part of a public record.

 

If you have gone to a protest in D.C., please talk about your experiences in your comment. Stress how vital it is to have the right to engage in free speech, as enshrined in the Bill of Rights, in its very first amendment.

 

Please alert friends and family who have attended protests, even if they haven’t yet managed to go to one in D.C. If these new regulations go through, they will set a bad precedent that could affect protests closer to home.

 

Lastly, follow Ben Wikler on Twitter (@BenWikler) for updates on this matter. He’s the Washington, D.C. head of MoveOn.

 

Here is the link to the ACLU’s page for submitting comments to the NPS:

https://action.aclu.org/petition/dc-restrict-demonstration-rights?redirect=DC-protest-plan&ms_aff=DC&initms_aff=DC&ms=181010_freespeech_DCprotests_BLOG&initms=181010_freespeech_DCprotests_BLOG&ms_chan=web&initms_chan=web

 

 

Here also is the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund’s background page on the NPS proposal:

http://www.justiceonline.org/take_action_now_stop_trump_new_laws_to_crush_protests_in_washington_dc#/5/

 

 

Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the button on the upper right of the page. And tell your friends about the blog!

 

Action Alerts · Community Activism · Marches and Protests · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends

Leave a Comment and Push Back Against Trump’s Attempt to Limit Protest In Washington, D.C., Oct 13-14 Edition

Push back against Trump’s attempt to limit protests in Washington, D.C., by leaving a comment on the proposal before the Monday, October 15 deadline.

 

Because this came up quickly and the deadline is Monday, OTYCD will feature this action daily between now and then.

 

Every time Trump does something horrible, which is often, word soon breaks on social media about a quickly organized protest in D.C. on public land. And certainly, you are aware of the nightly #KremlinAnnex protests at Lafayette Square, near the White House, which have been going since summer.

 

Trump, being Trump, doesn’t give a damn about the First Amendment and is trying to limit the ability to protest in the nation’s capital.

 

If this goes through, it would curtail the ability to protest on land that belongs to the National Parks Service (NPS). That includes the National Mall, the Lincoln Memorial, Lafayette Park, the Ellipse, the White House Sidewalk, and areas along Pennsylvania Avenue, including sidewalks near Trump’s hotel in D.C.

 

It would curtail protests by letting the NPS impose waiting periods on granting protest permits; charge fees for erecting barricades, restoring grass, and similar effects of large gatherings; give the police more latitude to arbitrarily end a protest; and ban long-term protests such as #KremlinAnnex, among other moves.

 

Follow the links below and leave a comment against the proposal, and do it before Monday, October 15 if you can.

 

Please note, however: When you submit a public comment, your words and any info you give to submit the comment will become part of a public record.

 

If you have gone to a protest in D.C., please talk about your experiences in your comment. Stress how vital it is to have the right to engage in free speech, as enshrined in the Bill of Rights, in its very first amendment.

 

Please alert friends and family who have attended protests, even if they haven’t yet managed to go to one in D.C. If these new regulations go through, they will set a bad precedent that could affect protests closer to home.

 

Lastly, follow Ben Wikler on Twitter (@BenWikler) for updates on this matter. He’s the Washington, D.C. head of MoveOn.

 

Here is the link to the ACLU’s page for submitting comments to the NPS:

https://action.aclu.org/petition/dc-restrict-demonstration-rights?redirect=DC-protest-plan&ms_aff=DC&initms_aff=DC&ms=181010_freespeech_DCprotests_BLOG&initms=181010_freespeech_DCprotests_BLOG&ms_chan=web&initms_chan=web

 

 

Here also is the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund’s background page on the NPS proposal:

http://www.justiceonline.org/take_action_now_stop_trump_new_laws_to_crush_protests_in_washington_dc#/5/

 

 

Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the button on the upper right of the page. And tell your friends about the blog!