Uncategorized

Tell Your Democratic Senators to Stop the AHCA by Playing Hardball

JUNE 27 2017 UPDATE. Some Republican Senators have publicly stated they will vote no. Here’s the thing though–no one has voted yet, and Mitch McConnell will pressure them like whoa to flip to yes, smothering them in carrots and sticks till he gets what he wants.

Please keep up the pressure. We need to convince as many Republican senators as possible to vote no. The 46 Democrats and two Independents are no votes. The more no votes we get, the better.

Also know there are a few public protests and actions planned. All that we know of are planned for Washington, D.C.

 

The People’s Filibuster to Stop Trumpcare: Day One happens today, June 27, 2017 at 2 pm EST and lasts until 7 pm EST. The ‘Day One’ implies they’ll keep doing this day after day. See the event’s Facebook page for updates:

https://www.facebook.com/events/1967200510162386??ti=ia

 

Also planned for Washington, D.C., is Linking Together to Save Our Care, set for Wednesday, June 28 at 5 pm EST. See its Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/events/1941100992803532/?acontext=%7B%22source%22:5,%22page_id_source%22:8934429638,%22action_history%22: [%7B%22surface%22:%22page%22,%22mechanism%22:%22main_list%22,%22extra_data%22:%22%7B%5C%22page_id%5C%22:8934429638,%5C%22tour_id%5C%22:null%7D%22%7D],%22has_source%22:true%7D

 

Lastly, follow Topher Spiro and Ben Wikler on Twitter. They’re very much on top of the AHCA and the evolving protests. We learned about these two events from them.

@TopherSpiro

@benwikler

 

Now the planned text, which reflects what you saw yesterday:

It’s the last week of June. The Senate version of the AHCA has been released. It’s terrible. Republican senators are wavering. This is our last best chance to kill the bill.

For this reason we have cleared the OTYCD decks for the week of every new queued post, except for extra-time-sensitive ones, and we’re reposting calls to action on the AHCA. It’s that important.

Call your Dem Senators, thank them for standing strong against the AHCA, and tell them you have their backs if they play hardball.

Call your Republican senators and tell them you will spend time and money getting their opponents elected if they vote yes on the AHCA. And mean it. Be ready to uphold your pledge.

Call your friends and tell them to call and oppose the AHCA. All this week. Please.

Original text of this post follows.

Are your senators solid Democrats? Ask them to stop the AHCA by playing hardball to combat the furtive, anti-democratic way their Republican colleagues wrote the bill.

The Senate Democrats are united in opposition to the AHCA, the bill that the Republicans intend to replace the ACA, but that doesn’t mean much when they don’t control the senate. The Republicans are showing their colors by tackling the smoking heap of malfunctioning rubble sent over by the House in secret.

It should be illegal to secretly write a bill that remakes one-sixth of the country’s economy and takes away the health insurance of as many as 23 million people, but it isn’t.

The Senate Democrats can do something to protest the anti-democratic actions of the Republicans, however, and you should call and urge them to do it. The Democrats can grind the business of the Senate to a halt. It’s called withholding consent, and doing so makes it damn near impossible to carry through the day-in, day-out work of the Senate.

You might ask, why are the Dems holding back? Why haven’t they moved to withhold consent already? Well, withholding consent is a hardball tactic. It’s not nice. It’s not mannered. It’s using the Senate’s own rules as a weapon. In short, it’s the sort of thing that Mitch McConnell would do. And in the wake of the shooting at the Republican practice for the Congressional baseball game, Democrats are loathe to break the bipartisan let’s-come-together aura.

But, again. The Senate Republicans are working to kill Obamacare in secret. They’re doing it in secret because they know damn well that at least 80 percent of the country would rise up in anger and rain that anger on their heads, individually and collectively. It’s the sort of act that justifies the serious step of withholding consent.

You need to call, and keep calling, to oppose the AHCA, and you need to urge your friends all over the country to keep calling, too.

Now, if your senators are Republican? You know what to do. Call them, call them, call them, and voice your opposition to the AHCA, and specifically voice your opposition to their writing the bill in secret.

If your Republican Senator is one of the 13 men (yes, they’re all men) in the group that’s rewriting the bill behind closed doors, it is extra-important for you to call, call, call, every damn day. See this link and scroll down to the Dylan Scott tweet to see their names:

https://www.bustle.com/p/the-13-senators-working-on-the-health-care-bill-are-all-men-56291

If your senators are Democrats, here is a script to use when you call:

“Dear Senator (Lastname), I am (Firstname Lastname), and I am calling to voice my support for you if you choose to withhold consent for Senate business over the way in which your Republican colleagues are handling the AHCA bill. Working behind closed doors on a law that would, if passed, affect one-sixth of our economy and take health insurance away from as many as 23 million people is unconscionable, and it calls for action. I want you to know that if you choose to withhold consent, and choose to slow or stop the business of the Senate in protest over the way in which the AHCA is being written, I fully support you, and you will have my vote the next time you’re up for re-election.”

 

Read about how Senate Democrats are considering measures such as withholding consent to protest the AHCA:

http://www.cnn.com/2017/06/17/politics/senate-democrats-gop-health-care/index.html

 

Read about the fact that 13 Republican Senators–all men–are rewriting the AHCA:

 

Read about how the Senate Republicans are deliberately writing the AHCA bill in secret:

http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/congress/senate-s-health-care-bill-remains-shrouded-secrecy-n772456

 

Uncategorized

Recruit Your Red State Friends to Call Their Senators and Oppose the AHCA

ANOTHER JUNE 2017 UPDATE. It’s the last week of June. The Senate version of the AHCA has been released. It’s terrible. Republican senators are wavering. This is our last best chance to kill the bill.

For this reason we have cleared the OTYCD decks for the week and we’re reposting recent calls to action on the AHCA. It’s that important.

Call your Dem Senators, thank them for standing strong against the AHCA, and tell them you have their backs if they play hardball.

Call your Republican senators and tell them you will spend time and money getting their opponents elected if they vote yes on the AHCA. And mean it. Be ready to uphold your pledge.

Call your friends and tell them to call and oppose the AHCA. All this week. Please.

IMPORTANT RED ALERT UPDATE for June 2017. Mitch McConnell has invoked Rule 14, which fast-tracks the AHCA in the Senate. Their aim is to pass something before the July 4 recess. The best time to stop this wretched bill is now. If it gets back to the house, something like it gets passed.

We know you’ve called your reps over and over on this, and this isn’t the first time we’ve asked you to take to the phone.But you now need to call your Senators, daily, AND urge your red state friends to call their Republican senators, daily, on this, through the end of June. The AHCA is literally life and death for many. Please make this effort.

 

IMPORTANT RED ALERT UPDATE May 26. Ok all, see this May 25 tweet from Topher Spiro, who writes often on health care issues and tweets as @TopherSpiro:

INTEL: Several GOP Senators have privately said this recess is the test – if they get blowback at home, they’ll tell McConnell it’s over.

We know you’ve called your reps over and over on this. Now it’s time to call your Senators, daily, AND urge your red state friends to call their Republican senators, daily, on this. The AHCA is literally life and death for many. Please make this effort.

Pull out your address book. Identify how many friends you have in red states. Recruit them to call their members of Congress.

In the past, OTYCD has asked you to call friends and family in red states to urge their Republican MoCs to vote against cabinet nominees and legislation. Today, we’re asking you to take some time to sit with your address book, identify who your friends are in red states, and see who among them you can call, email, or nudge on social media to push back against nasty things the Republicans are trying to do.

Living in a solidly blue state is a double-edged sword. Your MoCs agree with you, but it’s the Republicans who own everything at the moment. Republican MoCs in other districts and states won’t listen to you (and rightly so) because they need to concentrate on their own constituents.

The next-best thing you can do, once you’ve done what you can do directly, is urge friends in red states to call their MoCs and speak out.

So, step one: Pull out your address book, or Christmas card list, or whatever database or master list you keep of friends and their contact info. Ideally, this info includes street addresses.

Step two: Identify who lives in red states.

Step three: Rank the red staters in order of how strong your relationship is.

Step four: Now, think. Who have you talked about politics with on this list? How did it go? Reshuffle the list to move those who share your politics, and those who may not share your politics but who seem sane and like to talk politics with you, toward the top of the list.

Those with strong bonds and who share your politics should be on top, followed by those with strong bonds who show an interest in politics, but who might not always agree with you 100 percent. Then come the people with more distant relationships but who share your politics, followed by more distant relationships with politically aware people who seem sane.

Also, be alert to sharp exceptions. You might have someone in your orbit who’s largely apolitical except on a specific issue that damn near consumes them. Many mothers of school-age kids who didn’t care about politics or were only mildly interested got pretty damn interested right quick when Betsy DeVos was nominated to run the department of education.

Sift these single-issue red state folks out and rank them below the broader-interest folks. If you agree with their outlook on their single issue, make a point of engaging with them on that issue alone and sharing action items that would interest them.

Step five: Look at the first group–the people you have strong bonds with and who you share the same political outlook with. How often are you talking to them? Can you invest more time in them? These are the people you want to cultivate first.

And when we say ‘invest more time in them,’ we mean overall. Do NOT make it all about politics! Work on maintaining and strengthening your bond first and foremost. Use the 80/20 rule that social media mavens tout: For every action that serves your goals (in this case, urging your friend to call their Republican MoCs), perform at least four other actions that have nothing to do with your goals. (Bonus points if most or all are in service of your friend. At least half of the four should be.)

Once you feel like you have things humming along with the first group (and take as much time as you need to reach that point–never rush it!), then turn to the second group: the people you have strong bonds with, but who you don’t really talk politics with.

In the course of strengthening and maintaining your bonds with them, try dropping mentions of how you feel about something that the Republicans are trying to do. Don’t be angry, do be factual, and make it clear that you are stating an opinion.

Pay attention to how they react. Stick to the 80/20 rule. Keep watching how they react. If they show a pattern of changing the subject, showing annoyance, or actively shutting down, lay off for a few months and try again. If they ultimately ask you to quit it forever, then quit it forever. It’s more important to show that you’re able to listen to them and honor their requests.

If they show a pattern of reacting positively or even neutrally, stay alert to political events that are happening locally that they might like, and encourage them to go. Maybe it’s a Town Hall meeting with an MoC. Maybe it’s a protest. Maybe it’s giving them a ride to the polls. Think about what they would like best, tell them about it, and if you live close enough, offer to go with them.

Future posts will elaborate on cultivating the more distant red state friends and family on your list. But overall, remember:

Friendship comes first. If you wouldn’t want to invest time in this person if they lived in a blue state, then don’t bother. Just don’t. Don’t treat fellow human beings like a 10-point buck you’re dying to bag and mount on your wall. People can smell that crap a mile away.

Remember the 80/20 rule. For every time you talk about politics or ask them to do something political, you should be doing at least four other things that aren’t about politics, and at least two of those four should be things your friend enjoys.

If they complain that you’re talking about politics too much, back off. Again, see points one and two above. Don’t completely stop talking about politics, mind you, if talking politics is part of who you are. But listen to your friend, give it a rest for a time, and keep your talk to venting rather than you asking them to do something.

This is soft activism, and no form of activism yields results overnight. This is gardening. This is exercise. It takes time. Remind yourself that it takes time, and that it may not pay off as spectacularly as you hope it will. But you will have succeeded in deepening a relationship with another person who you care about, and you will have gotten them to think about and care about making a difference. That’s worth it. That’s always worth it.

 

Action Alerts · Call Your Senators · Senate Bills, Federal · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends

Tell Your Democratic Senators To Stop the AHCA by Playing Hardball

JUNE 2017 UPDATE. It’s the last week of June. The Senate version of the AHCA has been released. It’s terrible. Republican senators are wavering. This is our last best chance to kill the bill.

For this reason we have cleared the OTYCD decks for the week of every new queued post, except for extra-time-sensitive ones, and we’re reposting calls to action on the AHCA. It’s that important.

Call your Dem Senators, thank them for standing strong against the AHCA, and tell them you have their backs if they play hardball.

Call your Republican senators and tell them you will spend time and money getting their opponents elected if they vote yes on the AHCA. And mean it. Be ready to uphold your pledge.

Call your friends and tell them to call and oppose the AHCA. All this week. Please.

Original text of this post follows.

Are your senators solid Democrats? Ask them to stop the AHCA by playing hardball to combat the furtive, anti-democratic way their Republican colleagues wrote the bill.

The Senate Democrats are united in opposition to the AHCA, the bill that the Republicans intend to replace the ACA, but that doesn’t mean much when they don’t control the senate. The Republicans are showing their colors by tackling the smoking heap of malfunctioning rubble sent over by the House in secret.

It should be illegal to secretly write a bill that remakes one-sixth of the country’s economy and takes away the health insurance of as many as 23 million people, but it isn’t.

The Senate Democrats can do something to protest the anti-democratic actions of the Republicans, however, and you should call and urge them to do it. The Democrats can grind the business of the Senate to a halt. It’s called withholding consent, and doing so makes it damn near impossible to carry through the day-in, day-out work of the Senate.

You might ask, why are the Dems holding back? Why haven’t they moved to withhold consent already? Well, withholding consent is a hardball tactic. It’s not nice. It’s not mannered. It’s using the Senate’s own rules as a weapon. In short, it’s the sort of thing that Mitch McConnell would do. And in the wake of the shooting at the Republican practice for the Congressional baseball game, Democrats are loathe to break the bipartisan let’s-come-together aura.

But, again. The Senate Republicans are working to kill Obamacare in secret. They’re doing it in secret because they know damn well that at least 80 percent of the country would rise up in anger and rain that anger on their heads, individually and collectively. It’s the sort of act that justifies the serious step of withholding consent.

You need to call, and keep calling, to oppose the AHCA, and you need to urge your friends all over the country to keep calling, too.

Now, if your senators are Republican? You know what to do. Call them, call them, call them, and voice your opposition to the AHCA, and specifically voice your opposition to their writing the bill in secret.

If your Republican Senator is one of the 13 men (yes, they’re all men) in the group that’s rewriting the bill behind closed doors, it is extra-important for you to call, call, call, every damn day. See this link and scroll down to the Dylan Scott tweet to see their names:

https://www.bustle.com/p/the-13-senators-working-on-the-health-care-bill-are-all-men-56291

If your senators are Democrats, here is a script to use when you call:

“Dear Senator (Lastname), I am (Firstname Lastname), and I am calling to voice my support for you if you choose to withhold consent for Senate business over the way in which your Republican colleagues are handling the AHCA bill. Working behind closed doors on a law that would, if passed, affect one-sixth of our economy and take health insurance away from as many as 23 million people is unconscionable, and it calls for action. I want you to know that if you choose to withhold consent, and choose to slow or stop the business of the Senate in protest over the way in which the AHCA is being written, I fully support you, and you will have my vote the next time you’re up for re-election.”

 

Read about how Senate Democrats are considering measures such as withholding consent to protest the AHCA:

http://www.cnn.com/2017/06/17/politics/senate-democrats-gop-health-care/index.html

 

Read about the fact that 13 Republican Senators–all men–are rewriting the AHCA:

 

Read about how the Senate Republicans are deliberately writing the AHCA bill in secret:

http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/congress/senate-s-health-care-bill-remains-shrouded-secrecy-n772456

 

 

Marches and Protests · Russian Scandal, Emoluments Clause · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends

Join the Impeachment March on July 2

Got another march for you. The Impeachment March, designed to shine a light on Trump’s impeachable offenses, takes place July 2 across America.

The march’s home page lays out three different grounds for impeachment: violation of the foreign emoluments clause, violation for the domestic emoluments clause, and obstruction of justice.

The march endeavors to be a worldwide movement, but as of late June it appears to list only American cities.

 

See the Impeachment March web page:

http://www.impeachmentmarch.org

 

See the list of sister marches:

http://www.impeachmentmarch.org/sister-marches.html

 

Like the Impeachment March on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/impeachmentmarchworldwide/

 

Action Alerts · Health Care · Senate Bills, Federal · Stand Up for Civilization

Recruit Your Red State Friends to Call Their Senators to Vote NO on the AHCA

ANOTHER JUNE 2017 UPDATE. It’s the last week of June. The Senate version of the AHCA has been released. It’s terrible. Republican senators are wavering. This is our last best chance to kill the bill.

For this reason we have cleared the OTYCD decks for the week and we’re reposting recent calls to action on the AHCA. It’s that important.

Call your Dem Senators, thank them for standing strong against the AHCA, and tell them you have their backs if they play hardball.

Call your Republican senators and tell them you will spend time and money getting their opponents elected if they vote yes on the AHCA. And mean it. Be ready to uphold your pledge.

Call your friends and tell them to call and oppose the AHCA. All this week. Please.

IMPORTANT RED ALERT UPDATE for June 2017. Mitch McConnell has invoked Rule 14, which fast-tracks the AHCA in the Senate. Their aim is to pass something before the July 4 recess. The best time to stop this wretched bill is now. If it gets back to the house, something like it gets passed.

We know you’ve called your reps over and over on this, and this isn’t the first time we’ve asked you to take to the phone.But you now need to call your Senators, daily, AND urge your red state friends to call their Republican senators, daily, on this, through the end of June. The AHCA is literally life and death for many. Please make this effort.

 

IMPORTANT RED ALERT UPDATE May 26. Ok all, see this May 25 tweet from Topher Spiro, who writes often on health care issues and tweets as @TopherSpiro:

INTEL: Several GOP Senators have privately said this recess is the test – if they get blowback at home, they’ll tell McConnell it’s over.

We know you’ve called your reps over and over on this. Now it’s time to call your Senators, daily, AND urge your red state friends to call their Republican senators, daily, on this. The AHCA is literally life and death for many. Please make this effort.

Pull out your address book. Identify how many friends you have in red states. Recruit them to call their members of Congress.

In the past, OTYCD has asked you to call friends and family in red states to urge their Republican MoCs to vote against cabinet nominees and legislation. Today, we’re asking you to take some time to sit with your address book, identify who your friends are in red states, and see who among them you can call, email, or nudge on social media to push back against nasty things the Republicans are trying to do.

Living in a solidly blue state is a double-edged sword. Your MoCs agree with you, but it’s the Republicans who own everything at the moment. Republican MoCs in other districts and states won’t listen to you (and rightly so) because they need to concentrate on their own constituents.

The next-best thing you can do, once you’ve done what you can do directly, is urge friends in red states to call their MoCs and speak out.

So, step one: Pull out your address book, or Christmas card list, or whatever database or master list you keep of friends and their contact info. Ideally, this info includes street addresses.

Step two: Identify who lives in red states.

Step three: Rank the red staters in order of how strong your relationship is.

Step four: Now, think. Who have you talked about politics with on this list? How did it go? Reshuffle the list to move those who share your politics, and those who may not share your politics but who seem sane and like to talk politics with you, toward the top of the list.

Those with strong bonds and who share your politics should be on top, followed by those with strong bonds who show an interest in politics, but who might not always agree with you 100 percent. Then come the people with more distant relationships but who share your politics, followed by more distant relationships with politically aware people who seem sane.

Also, be alert to sharp exceptions. You might have someone in your orbit who’s largely apolitical except on a specific issue that damn near consumes them. Many mothers of school-age kids who didn’t care about politics or were only mildly interested got pretty damn interested right quick when Betsy DeVos was nominated to run the department of education.

Sift these single-issue red state folks out and rank them below the broader-interest folks. If you agree with their outlook on their single issue, make a point of engaging with them on that issue alone and sharing action items that would interest them.

Step five: Look at the first group–the people you have strong bonds with and who you share the same political outlook with. How often are you talking to them? Can you invest more time in them? These are the people you want to cultivate first.

And when we say ‘invest more time in them,’ we mean overall. Do NOT make it all about politics! Work on maintaining and strengthening your bond first and foremost. Use the 80/20 rule that social media mavens tout: For every action that serves your goals (in this case, urging your friend to call their Republican MoCs), perform at least four other actions that have nothing to do with your goals. (Bonus points if most or all are in service of your friend. At least half of the four should be.)

Once you feel like you have things humming along with the first group (and take as much time as you need to reach that point–never rush it!), then turn to the second group: the people you have strong bonds with, but who you don’t really talk politics with.

In the course of strengthening and maintaining your bonds with them, try dropping mentions of how you feel about something that the Republicans are trying to do. Don’t be angry, do be factual, and make it clear that you are stating an opinion.

Pay attention to how they react. Stick to the 80/20 rule. Keep watching how they react. If they show a pattern of changing the subject, showing annoyance, or actively shutting down, lay off for a few months and try again. If they ultimately ask you to quit it forever, then quit it forever. It’s more important to show that you’re able to listen to them and honor their requests.

If they show a pattern of reacting positively or even neutrally, stay alert to political events that are happening locally that they might like, and encourage them to go. Maybe it’s a Town Hall meeting with an MoC. Maybe it’s a protest. Maybe it’s giving them a ride to the polls. Think about what they would like best, tell them about it, and if you live close enough, offer to go with them.

Future posts will elaborate on cultivating the more distant red state friends and family on your list. But overall, remember:

Friendship comes first. If you wouldn’t want to invest time in this person if they lived in a blue state, then don’t bother. Just don’t. Don’t treat fellow human beings like a 10-point buck you’re dying to bag and mount on your wall. People can smell that crap a mile away.

Remember the 80/20 rule. For every time you talk about politics or ask them to do something political, you should be doing at least four other things that aren’t about politics, and at least two of those four should be things your friend enjoys.

If they complain that you’re talking about politics too much, back off. Again, see points one and two above. Don’t completely stop talking about politics, mind you, if talking politics is part of who you are. But listen to your friend, give it a rest for a time, and keep your talk to venting rather than you asking them to do something.

This is soft activism, and no form of activism yields results overnight. This is gardening. This is exercise. It takes time. Remind yourself that it takes time, and that it may not pay off as spectacularly as you hope it will. But you will have succeeded in deepening a relationship with another person who you care about, and you will have gotten them to think about and care about making a difference. That’s worth it. That’s always worth it.

 

Action Alerts · Fighting Bigotry, Racism, Sexism, Homophobia, Transphobia... · Stand Up for Civilization · Vote with your Dollars

Help All Out Help Gay Men in Chechnya Escape to Safety

Help All Out, an organization devoted to LGBTQ rights, help gay men escape torture and persecution in Chechnya.

Chechnya is a region of Eastern Europe that is heavily Muslim. On April 1, the Russian paper Novaya Gazeta broke the news that Chechen authorities had rounded up more than 100 gay men, detaining them in camps, and torturing them. As many as three might have died.

When asked about the actions, a spokesperson for Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov reportedly said, “You cannot arrest or repress people who just don’t exist in the republic… If such people existed in Chechnya, law enforcement would not have to worry about them, as their own relatives would have sent them to where they could never return.”

The All Out Action Fund is a 501(c)(4) organization that is partnering with the Russian LGBT Network to evacuate gay men from Chechnya. They have met their initial fundraising goal but it wouldn’t hurt to add your donation.

 

Donate to All Out’s fund to help gay men escape persecution in Chechnya (note–donations are NOT tax-deductible):

https://go.allout.org/en/a/chechnya/

 

Read a New York Times report on the Russian newspaper story:

 

Read a Guardian op-ed about the situation in Chechnya:

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/apr/13/gay-men-targeted-chechnya-russia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Follow Alexandra Erin on Twitter

 

Follow Alexandra Erin on Twitter.

Erin is an author, poet, trans woman and all-round smart person who lives in Maryland and has an exceptional gift for interpreting and explaining Donald Trump, whether he is tweeting madly or reading someone else’s words off a teleprompter. She makes sense when it seems like there is no sense to be made.

Sample her genius by reading this Twitter thread on Trump’s address to a joint session of Congress on February 28:

https://www.kanvz.com/alexandraerin/canvas/1488382193824

 

Follow her on Twitter:

@alexandraerin

 

Read her blog here:

http://www.alexandraerin.com

 

Support her here:

https://www.patreon.com/AlexandraErin

https://www.paypal.com/donate/?token=3OEHAVn8SOrIky4-Et3gYMrIZxIW5Z1nOQZWj5CqEvnfzABpi01GyKbzHqSgZeI3xxfLxG