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Call Your Senators To Support the Nomination of Debra Haaland for Secretary of the Interior

Call your two Senators to voice support for the nomination of Debra Haaland for Secretary of the Interior.

Haaland, who was elected to the House of Representatives in 2018 for New Mexico’s 1st District, is a member of the Laguna Pueblo tribal community and a fluent speaker of Keres, a Native American language. [Scroll down for a link to her page on Ballotpedia.] If she is confirmed, she would be the first Native American to run the Department of the Interior as well as the first Native American to serve in a presidential cabinet.

It’s long past time to entrust the department to a Native American. As Julian Brave Noisecat points out in a February 25, 2021 Op-Ed in the Washington Post, the Department of the Interior “manages much of the land and resources taken from native nations and maintains relationships between those nations and the U.S. government.”

We’re sure you’ll be shocked–shocked!–to learn that a fair number of GOP Senators, particularly those who are extra-beholden to oil and gas interests, flipped out over Haaland’s nomination and tried to sink it. The Op-Ed mentioned above identifies their efforts for what they are. Here’s a key passage:

“What Haaland actually brings — and what the Republican Party seems to consider so dangerous — are experiences and perspectives that have never found representation in the leadership of the executive branch. In fact, Republicans’ depiction of the first Native American ever nominated to the Cabinet as a “radical” threat to a Western “way of life” revealed something about the conservative id: a deep-seated fear that when the dispossessed finally attain a small measure of power, we will turn around and do to them what their governments and ancestors did to us.”

Link to the full Op-Ed, which is titled Opinion: Why Senate Republicans fear Deb Haaland:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/02/25/senate-republicans-deb-haaland-nomination/

Haaland’s nomination hearings took place last week, on Tuesday, February 23, and Wednesday, February 24, and were overseen by the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. As of Saturday, February 27, the nomination awaited a committee vote.

Despite GOP squawking, Haaland is likely to be voted out of committee and succeed in a Senate floor vote.

One big reason for that is Democratic West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, who chairs the relevant commitee, has publicly stated he will support Haaland’s nomination.

Cites: https://www.cnn.com/2021/02/24/politics/haaland-senate-confirmation-hearing-day-two/index.html

Manchin’s blessing greatly improves the odds that Haaland will become our next leader of the Department of the Interior. If all 50 Democrats vote yes and no Republicans do, the Dems still win thanks to Vice President Kamala Harris, who would cast the tie-breaking vote in favor.

So! If you are a West Virginian, this is a good reason to call Manchin and thank him, for once. [We’ve asked, and will continue to ask, residents of Arizona and West Virginia to put in extra effort in calling their Senators to support Biden’s nominees and initiatives: https://onethingyoucando.com/2021/02/25/live-in-west-virginia-or-arizona-then-its-extra-important-that-your-democratic-senators-hear-from-you-late-february-2021-joe-manchin-edition/%5D

Also! If one or both of your Senators sits on the chamber’s committee on energy and natural resources, it’s extra-important that you call.

Here’s a link to the full, current list of members, but we’ll also name them below:

https://www.energy.senate.gov/members

Majority members:

Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Chair

Ron Wyden of Oregon

Maria Cantwell of Washington

Bernie Sanders of Vermont (an Independent who caucuses with Democrats, the party that holds the Senate majority)

Martin Heinrich of New Mexico

Mazie Hirono of Hawaii

Angus King of Maine (an Independent who caucuses with Democrats, the party that holds the Senate majority)

Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada

Mark Kelly of Arizona

John Hickenlooper of Colorado

Minority members:

John Barasso of Wyoming (minority leader)

James Risch of Idaho

Mike Lee of Utah

Steve Daines of Montana

Lisa Murkowski of Alaska

John Hoeven of North Dakota

James Lankford of Oklahoma

Bill Cassidy of Louisiana

Cindy Hyde-Smith of Mississippi

Roger Marshall of Kansas

Standard stuff:

You’re only calling your two Senators for this one, as weighing high-ranking nominations within a president’s administration falls to that chamber.

Before placing your call, please check the social media feeds and press release sections of your Senators’ websites to see what they’ve said, or failed to say, about Haaland and her Department of the Interior nomination. 

Find your Senators’ contact information, and help others find their Senators’ information, here:

whoaremyrepresentatives.org

Sample calling script, which you can tweak as you like:

“Dear Senator [Firstname Lastname], I am [Firstname Lastname] from [town, state, zip code]. I am calling to voice support for nominating Deb Haaland to lead the Department of the Interior.

It is past time to give this top leadership post to a Native American. Period. Full stop. If confirmed, Haaland would be the first Native American to hold it. She should not be the last.

I am confident she would do a superlative job with managing our country’s ample natural resources. I also support Haaland’s and President Biden’s prioritization of conserving and protecting land, rather than opening it to commercial exploitation, and I support approaching the department’s mission with an eye toward mitigating the effects of climate change.

[If one of your Senators is Joe Manchin: I see that you publicly voiced support for Haaland’s nomination already. I thank you for acting in this way, and using your power in this manner. It is what I want you to do.]

Thank you for taking my call.”

See the Ballotpedia links for Deb Haaland and for the Ballotpedia page specifically about her nomination to the Department of the Interior:

https://ballotpedia.org/Debra_Haaland#Nomination_for_secretary_of_the_interior

https://ballotpedia.org/Confirmation_process_for_Debra_Haaland_for_secretary_of_the_interior

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Support Merrick Garland’s Nomination By Calling Your Senators Today, Especially If They’re on the Chamber’s Judicial Committee

Please call your Senators and voice your support for the nomination of Merrick Garland as United States Attorney General, which should be voted out of the chamber’s Judicial Committee today.

We at OTYCD asked you to make a pro-Garland call last week. We’re asking you to call again because the Senate Judiciary Committee is expected to vote today (Monday March 1, 2021) to move his nomination to the floor for a full Senate vote that will take place sometime this week. There’s no date given yet for the Garland floor vote, but we’d ask you to call your Senators then, too.

Cites for the March 1, 2021 floor vote date at the tail of this story:

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2021/02/22/live-politics-updates-merrick-garland-hearings-joe-biden-neera-tanden/4538108001/

You’re only calling your two Senators for this one, as weighing high-ranking nominations within a president’s administration falls to that chamber.

Before placing your call, please check the social media feeds and press release sections of your Senators’ websites to see what they’ve said, or failed to say, about Garland and his AG nomination.

Find your Senators’ contact information, and help others find their Senators’ information, here:

whoaremyrepresentatives.org

If one or both of your Senators belong to the chamber’s Judicial Committee, it is extra-important that you call today.

The list of 2021 Senate Judicial Committee members is linked below, but we will also list them in full.

https://www.judiciary.senate.gov/about/members

The Senate Judiciary Committee as of February 2021 is under Democratic Party control and consists of:

Chair Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois

Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont

Senator Dianne Feinstein of California

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island

Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota

Senator Chris Coons of Delaware

Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut

Senator Mazie Hirono of Hawaii

Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey

Senator Alex Padilla of California (Governor Gavin Newsom appointed him to finish Kamala Harris’s term)

Senator Jon Ossoff of Georgia

As of February 2021, the Republican minority members of the Senate Judiciary Committee are:

Ranking Member Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa

Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina

Senator John Cornyn of Texas

Senator Mike Lee of Utah

Senator Ted Cruz of Texas

Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska

Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri

Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas

Senator John Kennedy of Louisiana

Senator Thom Tillis of North Carolina

Senator Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee

Sample calling script is below, but we wanted to point out–you are not obliged to use it. You certainly can use it word-for-word but if you don’t like some or all of it, please! Restyle it as you wish.

The script:

“Dear <Senator Lastname,> I am <Firstname Lastname> from <town, state, zip code>. I’m calling to ask you to support the nomination of Merrick Garland as United States Attorney General.

He has the experience and the competence to lead the Department of Justice through the many challenges it currently faces, including investigations of the January 6 Insurrection at the Capitol Building, rebuilding the civil rights division, and restoring confidence in the DOJ after four years of attempts, some successful, to politicize it under Trump.

<If one or both of your Senators are Democrats on the Judiciary Committee: I understand you are on the Senate Judiciary Committee, which votes on Garland’s nomination today. I trust that you will vote in favor of advancing it.>

<If one or both of your Senators are Republicans on the Judiciary Committee: I understand you are on the Senate Judiciary Committee, which votes on Garland’s nomination today. I hope that you will vote to advance it, and I am asking you to do so.>

Thank you for taking my call.”

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Are You Able to Donate Blood? Now–Yes, Now, During A Covid-19 Lockdown–is a Great Time to Give

Are you able to give blood? Now–yes, now, when many states are imposing Covid-19 lockdowns–is a great time to give.

As noted in previous reposts, the need for blood donations remains acute. With COVID-19 still out there wreaking havoc, blood banks are unable to hold the blood drives that they depend on. We’ll continue to repost this story monthly until the pandemic abates.

Story is here:

https://onethingyoucando.com/2020/03/25/are-you-able-to-donate-blood-now-yes-now-during-a-covid-19-lockdown-is-a-great-time-to-give/

Already did this? Did as much as you can with this? Don’t want to do this today? Check here and also here:

https://onethingyoucando.com/want-to-do-more/

https://onethingyoucando.com/your-2021-to-do-list-there-are-no-more-off-years-only-less-intense-years/

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See the Full List of Sitting Senators Who Are Up for Re-election in 2022 (Updated February 2021 to Reflect Who Voted to Acquit Trump in His Second Impeachment Trial)

See the full list of sitting senators who are up for re-election in 2022.

If you bookmarked this post after it first appeared on November 4, 2020, you might have noticed the updates already. We’re formally republishing it to alert all followers to the new information and to give ourselves the option of making the updated story our pinned tweet (Our Twitter handle is @OneThingYCD).

We also noted which GOP Senators who are up in 2022 voted to convict Trump in his second Impeachment trial; those who intended to vote to overturn the November 2020 election results but changed their minds after the January 6 Insurrection; and those who joined the 147 Republicans who lived through the Insurrection and voted to overturn, regardless.

See the updated story on the full list of Senators who are up for re-election in 2022:

https://onethingyoucando.com/2020/11/04/see-the-full-list-of-sitting-senators-who-are-up-for-re-election-in-2022-yes-were-moving-directly-to-this-now-today/

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Watch The Amber Ruffin Show on Peacock

Need to chill out and laugh? Watch The Amber Ruffin Show on Peacock.

Extra! After we wrote and filed this story, Variety reported that NBC, owner of Peacock, would try airing a few episodes of The Amber Ruffin Show on NBC proper in the 1:30 am slots.

The wording of the story isn’t the clearest, but it seems like the original Amber Ruffin episodes that debut on Friday, February 26 and Friday, March 5, 2021 will also air at 1:30 am. Technically speaking, that’s early on Saturday morning, but most people would consider that rull late on Friday night.

Anyway. When we at OTYCD saw Ruffin’s tweet about NBC’s scheduling move, we reshuffled our publication schedule to let y’all know about it. If you can stay up late tonight and a week from tonight and watch The Amber Ruffin Show at 1:30 am, please do!

Cites: https://variety.com/2021/tv/news/amber-ruffin-show-peacock-friday-nbc-1234911447/amp/?__twitter_impression=true

Original story text follows:

We at OTYCD keep telling you about the importance of making self-care part of your activism. Aside from suggesting you watch and support Jon Oliver and Last Week Tonight, and offering a few book recommendations, we haven’t given you specifics on ways you can relax.

Ok, we have one for you. Please watch The Amber Ruffin Show on the Peacock video-streaming service.

Amber Ruffin rose to prominence on Late Night with Seth Meyers and films her eponymous show in the Seth Meyers studio at 30 Rockefeller Center. Ruffin is funny as hell and has mastered the inherently tricky art of talking about social justice and combatting racism while still making jokes that work.

The Amber Ruffin Show debuted in September 2020. It appears weekly, and each episode is about 30 minutes long. New eps tend to go live on Fridays or Saturdays.

Here’s a few Amber Ruffin clips we loved.

The Election Has Amber Feeling Catatonic:

Why We Need a White History Month:

Some good news: Peacock has picked up The Amber Ruffin Show for at least ten more episodes in 2021.

Cites: https://deadline.com/2020/12/peacock-extends-order-the-amber-ruffin-show-1234653420/

Obvious fact that we’ll point out anyway: If The Amber Ruffin Show‘s going to earn more episode orders, more people have to watch it, share clips from the show, and enthuse about it on social media.

So hey! Please watch The Amber Ruffin Show. It’s an utter delight AND it has real substance woven into the jokes.

Link to the Peacock streaming network page on The Amber Ruffin Show:

https://www.peacocktv.com/stream-tv/the-amber-ruffin-show

Link to the YouTube channel for The Amber Ruffin Show:

Buy merch from The Amber Ruffin Show:

https://www.nbcstore.com/search?q=amber+ruffin

Follow Amber Ruffin on Twitter:

@ambermruffin

Follow her co-host, Tarik Davis:

@tarikrdavis

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Live in West Virginia or Arizona? Then It’s Extra-important That Your Democratic Senators Hear From You, Late February 2021 Joe Manchin Edition

Live in West Virginia or Arizona? Then it’s extra-important that your Democratic Senators hear from you, the late February 2021 Joe Manchin edition.

We at OTYCD weren’t expecting to rerun this story so soon. It originally appeared on February 2, and it’s about how important it is for folks who are represented by Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona to speak up for less-conservative ideas, nominees, judges, what have you:

https://onethingyoucando.com/2021/02/02/live-in-west-virginia-or-arizona-then-its-extra-important-that-your-democratic-senators-hear-from-you/

We’re putting it up again over news that West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin has evidently decided to vote against the nomination of Neera Tandren to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

Tandren has an established habit of winding up conservatives, Republicans, and Trumpistas on Twitter. She has been scrubbing her Twitter account, and says “I deleted tweets because I regretted them.”

She has also said before a Senate committee, “I know there have been some concerns about some of my past language on social media, and I regret that language and take responsibility for it… I deeply regret and apologize for my language.”

Cites: https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/white-house/white-house-budget-chief-nominee-apologizes-past-tweets-n1257158

In a brief search for potentially nasty Tandren tweets, we at OTYCD couldn’t come up with much beyond what seems like weak tea, especially when her “nasty” tweets are compared to tweets by Donald Trump (since banned from the platform) and other Republicans who habitually court scrapes on Twitter.

A December 2020 piece on Slate includes this paragraph:

Tanden loved the nickname “Moscow Mitch” when it was applied to the Senate majority leader in 2019, a “Voldemort” whom she also accused of “fiddling, while the markets burn.” She’s described Maine Sen. Susan Collins, a key swing vote on confirmations, as “the worst” and, in a statement following Brett Kavanaugh’s 2018 Supreme Court confirmation, labeled Collins “the chief advocate for Judge Kavanaugh, offering a pathetically bad faith argument as cover for President Trump’s vicious attacks on survivors of sexual assault.” Much else of what she’s tweeted about Republican senators has been lost in a recent deletion of about 1,000 tweets.

Full story here: https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2020/12/neera-tanden-omb-mean-tweets-senate-republicans.html

A November 2020 story from The Daily Beast features this passage:

Neera Tanden, president of the Center for American Progress, has deleted over one thousand tweets from her personal Twitter account since the beginning of November. A number of them, since recovered by The Daily Beast, contain comments directed at powerful lawmakers on both sides of the aisle that could turn a relationship to ice before her Senate confirmation hearing to lead the Office of Management and Budget takes place next year.

And that’s exactly what seems to be happening to Tanden.

Tanden deleted some, but not all, tweets from her account lambasting prominent lawmakers like Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Sens. Joni Ernst (R-IA), and Susan Collins (R-ME), and praising their Democratic challengers. It’s unclear when exactly Tanden deleted them, but many of the tweets were available at least until the fall, according to the Internet Archive.

“Can people on here please focus their ire on McConnell and the GOP senators who are Up This Cycle who enable him: Cory Gardner, Collins, Ernst, Cornyn, Perdue, Tillis And many more,” Tanden wrote in a since-deleted tweet from June 2019 about the seven Republican senators.

When Collins’ re-election appeared troubled, Tanden vowed to treat her challenger, Sara Gideon, “like a long lost relative” and “work hard to help her beat Susan Collins.”

She deleted the tweet sometime after Nov. 5.

Full story here: https://www.thedailybeast.com/neera-tanden-mean-tweeted-gop-lawmakersuntil-she-needed-their-votes

If something worse and unquestionably attributed to Tandren emerges from a rummage of her Twitter history, we might change our tune on this aspect of things. For now, we don’t see it.

Evidently, the Republican squawking over Tandren’s tweets was enough to fluster Manchin and nudge him to declare himself a “no” before her confirmation hearings have been scheduled in the Senate.

See a screenshot of Manchin’s statement. In this context, “Today” means February 19, 2021:

I think you all see the problem with this, yes? By signaling his willingness to tank Tandren’s nomination over “mean tweets” that were deemed “mean” largely by Republicans, Manchin is teaching the GOP that he will reward an effort to scuttle other Biden nominees as well, no matter how qualified they might be.

If we’ve learned anything from the last few years of a McConnell-controlled Senate, we’ve learned that while party members might have acted in good faith at least some of the time in the past, the GOP is most definitely not doing so any longer.

Their efforts, their outlook, their very cores are collectively marinated in bad faith, and that is by conscious choice. They do not care about serving the public. They do not care about doing what’s best for the country. They care about holding power by whatever means they can, and when they’re out of power, they care about undermining those in power, and wrenching that power away from them for the sake of it, because they believe they’re the only ones fit to hold it, even though they consistently misuse it.

In other words, Manchin is being played. And his stance is a wee bit rich coming from a guy who voted to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court and confirm Jeff Sessions as the United States Attorney General.

Cites:

https://www.vox.com/2018/10/5/17939302/brett-kavanaugh-vote-joe-manchin

https://www.manchin.senate.gov/newsroom/press-releases/manchin-votes-to-confirm-doj-attorney-general-nominee-jeff-sessions

Manchin also voted to confirm Bill Bar as US AG, but to his credit, he later expressed regret in public over his “yes” vote.

Cites: https://www.cnn.com/2019/05/01/politics/democrats-support-barr-reevaluating/index.html

This is the good news, and it might be part of why he remains a conservative Democrat instead of switching to the GOP: He is able to change his mind, and able to admit his mistakes, and he’s brave enough to admit his mistakes with cameras rolling and news microphones in his face.

A side note: Kyrsten Sinema has said nothing about her opinion of the Tandren nomination, but Manchin’s “no” could be enough to kill it under the current circumstances of a 50-50 split in the Senate.

Also, Sahil Kapur (@SahilKapur) of NBC News tweeted on February 19 that Biden would not withdraw the Tandren nomination, and included a link to his NBC story on the matter:

Biden says he will NOT withdraw the Neera Tanden OMB nomination after Manchin’s opposition. “I think we’re going to find the votes to get her confirmed.”

Link to Kapur’s story on Manchin and the nomination:

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/white-house/joe-manchin-comes-out-against-neera-tanden-biden-s-omb-n1258387

Anyway, where we’re going with this–if you live in West Virginia, please call Senator Joe Manchin and ask him to reconsider. If you have friends in West Virginia, nudge them to make the call.

If you aren’t a resident of West Virginia and don’t know anyone who is, please signal-boost this story on social media instead. If you are not his constituent, do not contact him! Leave the phone lines free for those who are.

If you have a West Virginia friend or family member who needs help finding Manchin’s contact info, get it here:

Find your Senators’ contact information, and help others find their Senators’ information, here:

whoaremyrepresentatives.org

And here is a sample script for West Virginians to use when calling Manchin:

“Hello Senator Manchin, I am <Firstname Lastname> from <town, state, zip code>. I’m calling because you announced your intention to vote against Tandren’s nomination to lead the Office of Management and Budget before her confirmation hearings have even been scheduled.

I am asking you to withdraw your public opposition to her nomination and revert to a neutral position.

I’m making this ask because while I commend your desire to foster bipartisanship in the Senate–it is an honorable aim–I feel that opposing Tandren is not the way to do it.

I understand you made your decision after reviewing some of Tandren’s available tweets. I have sought out what I can and while what I found was combative and forceful, and sometimes distasteful, I have yet to see anything in her tweet history that truly crosses the line. For example, I didn’t see any threats to harm or kill anyone, or threats against family members of her targets. I don’t recall any uses of serious slurs.

I have an additional concern with regard to the behavior of your GOP colleagues. Unfortunately, a large contingent of them seem to be determined to call out the faults of Democrats in a loud voice and with no hesitation, while at the same time pointedly ignoring the offenses of their fellow party members, no matter how egregious they might be.

For example, GOP folks called out California Governor Gavin Newsom–rightly!–for dining at an elite restaurant under state pandemic restrictions that would have barred such conditions, but many of the same people have been silent or have defended Texas Senator Ted Cruz for vacationing in Mexico while his constituents suffered and even froze to death during a once-in-a-century winter storm that crippled the state’s electrical grid.

My concern is if you heed Republican complaints about tweets of Neera Tandren’s that they considered mean, what is to stop them from screaming in public over the slightest alleged provocation by a Democrat, knowing that their screams might persuade you to side with them? In other words, what safeguards have you adopted to ensure that you will not be manipulated by bad actors?

Thanks for taking my call.”

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Read a New York Times Story on How the Democrats are Analyzing Why They Lost So Many 2020 Downballot Races

Read a New York Times story on how the Democrats are analyzing why they lost so many 2020 downballot races.

Well, we got the big prize, the most important prize, the one which–if we had to pick only one, we would pick. We elected Joe Biden and ushered Trump out of the Oval Office. That was great, and you helped make it happen.

But… the Democrats lost a mess of 2020 downballot races that we thought we would win. Races that Democrats reasonably thought they would win.

Of the 12 races (ultimately 14) included in the Crooked Media Get Mitch or Die Trying Fund, the Dems won four, and two of those were Georgia races that went to January 2021 runoffs. Of the Tier 1 “Don’t Fuck It Up” candidates, the ones considered most likely to succeed, two of the three triumphed: John Hickenlooper won in Colorado, and Mark Kelly won in Arizona.

Neither of the Tier 2 candidates (“Come Back Kids”) triumphed.

Two of the three Tier 3 (…So…Close) candidates made it, but those two were Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, who benefitted from a runoff that received a full-court press of attention from vigilant Democrats across the United States.

None of the five Tier Four (“Long Shot”) candidates won. [Mike Espy, a Mississippi candidate for Senate, was a later addition to the lineup.]

Worse still, Democrats lost more than a dozen seats in the House of Representatives, and most of the losses were among incumbents who were first elected in the blue wave of the 2018 midterms.

We at OTYCD were, by turns, baffled and pissed off by the 2020 downballot outcome, but recognized that the reasons behind the losses wouldn’t be clear right away, and needed study.

The COVID-19 pandemic certainly accounts for some of it. It created a rare instance in which doing the responsible thing–cancelling events and avoiding campaign techniques that require close contact with strangers–put Democrats at a disadvantage. The GOP largely embraced the stance of the then-president in treating the virus as if it didn’t exist, and campaigned like it was 2016. The Dems learned from that experience and found ways to canvass and hold events safely. But COVID-19 can’t explain all of the losses.

A February 20, 2021 story in the New York Times doesn’t provide “A-ha!” answers, but it gives an update on how far the Democratic party has gotten with finding those answers.

Titled Democrats Beat Trump in 2020. Now They’re Asking: What Went Wrong? covers how party leaders, pollsters, and other experts have recognized that what happened to the downballot races was a big problem that requires some dedicated research. They are, in other words, attempting a so-called “autopsy” of 2020, even though their presidential candidate won decisively.

See the New York Times story here:

The story is paywalled, but we’ll offer a few takeaways:

The Democratic Party is not happy with its overall 2020 election performance and recognizes the importance of figuring out what the heck actually happened and allowing that information to shape their strategy for 2022.

The Democratic party 2020 election autopsy is being led by four groups: Third Way, Collective PAC, End Citizens United, and The Latino Victory Fund. We will include websites and social media handles for all four at the tail of this story.

Republican party leaders are not pursuing their own 2020 autopsy, “citing the general lack of appetite among G.O.P. leaders for grappling openly with Mr. Trump’s impact on the party and the wreckage he inflicted in key regions of the country,” according to the article. If you want to view that cynically, the Republican failure to examine its own 2020 mistakes could give Democrats an advantage, provided they sift out good information about why they lost downballot races, and are able to act on that information effectively in 2022.

Related, more narrow assessment projects are ongoing:

“Democratic and Republican officials alike found serious shortcomings in their survey research, especially polling in House races that failed to anticipate how close Republicans would come to retaking the majority. Both parties emerged from the campaign feeling that they had significantly misjudged the landscape of competitive House races, with Democrats losing seats unexpectedly and Republicans perhaps having missed a chance to capture the chamber as a result.

The chief Republican and Democratic super PACs focused on House races — the Congressional Leadership Fund and House Majority PAC — are both in the process of studying their 2020 polling and debating changes for the 2022 campaign, people familiar with their efforts said…

Several of the largest Democratic polling companies are also conferring regularly with each other in an effort to address gaps in the 2020 research. Two people involved in the conversations said there was general agreement that the industry had to update its practices before 2022 to assure Democratic leaders that they would not be caught by surprise again.”

2022 will be the first election cycle in a long time that won’t be dominated by an outsize personality such as an Obama or a Trump.

Again, the link to the full NYT story:

Websites and social media information for the four entities that are leading the Democratic Party 2020 examination. Monitor them for news of progress on the investigation.

Third Way is a political think tank. See its main website:

https://www.thirdway.org

See its About page:

https://www.thirdway.org/about

Like Third Way on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/ThirdWayThinkTank

Follow Third Way on Twitter:

@ThirdWayTweet

The Collective PAC is a political action committee (hence the PAC). See its main website:

https://collectivepac.org

See its About page:

https://collectivepac.org/about/

Donate to The Collective PAC via ActBlue:

https://secure.actblue.com/donate/collective-pac-general?refcode=webhit

Like The Collective PAC on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/thecollectivepac

Follow The Collective Pac on Twitter:

@CollectivePAC

End Citizens United is a political action committee (PAC).

See its main website:

https://endcitizensunited.org

See the End Citizens United “About” page:

https://endcitizensunited.org/about-us/

Donate to End Citizens United through ActBlue:

https://secure.actblue.com/donate/eculavaf?refcode=website-header

Like End Citizens United on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/StopBigMoney

Follow End Citizens United on Twitter:

@StopBigMoney

The Latino Victory Fund is a progressive organization devoted to fostering Latino representation in government. See its home page: https://latinovictory.us

See its About page:

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Support a Bill That Would Repeal Limits on Deducting State and Local Taxes (aka SALT Deductions)

Support bills making their way through Congress that support repealing limits on deducting state and local taxes, aka SALT deductions.

One of the many forms of villainy that the Republicans shoved through in their 2017 tax bill was a cap on deductions for state and local taxes, which are shorthanded to SALT deductions.

Until the 2017 bill passed, taxpayers could deduct the amounts they paid in state, local, and property taxes when filing their federal taxes. The Republicans changed that to cap SALT deductions at an annual maximum of $10,000.

The GOP did this, pretty much, to stick it to wealthy residents of blue states that tax people enough to underwrite services that ensure the place is livable and modestly functional by 21st century standards. Taking away SALT deductions inflicts unnecessary pain that undermines a state’s ability to run itself and provide for its people.

The SALT deduction cap needs to go, and go yesterday. Fortunately, there are bills wending their way through Congress now that will kill the cap.

The bill’s full name is “To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to repeal the limitation on the deduction for certain taxes, including State and local property and income taxes.”

The House of Representatives version, sponsored by Thomas Suozzi of New York’s 3rd District, is H.R. 613.

The Senate version, sponsored by Chuck Schumer of New York, is S. 85.

Both versions were introduced in Congress on January 28, 2021.

Today we at OTYCD ask you to call all three of your Members of Congress (MoCs) and ask them to pass the bill that repeals the cap on SALT deductions.

Before calling, please check your MoCs’ social media feeds and the press section of their websites, to see if they’ve said anything about the bill. If they have, include a reaction to their statement in your call.

Find your MoCs here:

https://whoaremyrepresentatives.org

Sample script: “Hello [House Rep/Senator Lastname,] I am [Firstname Lastname,] from [town, state, and zip code]. I am calling to ask you to pass [H.R. 613/S. 85], a bill that would repeal the cap on state and local tax deductions, which are better known as SALT deductions.

The Republicans pushed the $10,000 cap through in the much-hated 2017 tax bill, evidently to punish people who have the audacity to live in states that strive to provide modern services to their residents. People in California and New York tend to take the biggest hit–imagine that?

[If you are represented by Schumer or Suozzi or both: I see that you sponsored [H.R. 613/S. 85]. I thank you for stepping up and devoting your energies to righting this wrong.]

As a taxpayer, I find it reasonable to deduct state and local taxes from the amount I pay when I file my annual federal taxes. I also support competent government and I recognize the role of taxes in providing the funds that allow government to do its work. For all these reasons, I want the bill to become law.

Thank you for taking my call.”

Learn what SALT deductions are:

State and Local Tax (SALT) Deduction

See the Govtrack.com page on H.R. 613:

https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/117/hr613

See the Govtrack.com page on S. 85:

https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/117/s85

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Call Your Two Senators and Support the Nomination of Merrick Garland as United States Attorney General

Please call your two Senators and voice your support for the nomination of Merrick Garland as United States Attorney General.

Confirmation hearings for Garland are scheduled to begin today, Monday, February 22, 2021.

While Garland might not be an absolutely perfect nominee (and it should be said that the perfect nominee does not exist), he’s a strong one. He gained experience in investigating domestic terrorism when he ran the Department of Justice (DOJ)’s probe of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing; that experience should enhance the DOJ’s current efforts with regard to the January 6 Insurrection at the Capitol Building.

Cites: https://www.cnn.com/2021/02/19/politics/garland-challenges-attorney-general-hearing/index.html?utm_medium=social&utm_term=image&utm_source=twCNNp&utm_content=2021-02-19T23%3A03%3A03

Garland remains as well-liked as he was when President Obama nominated him to the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS). One of the reasons then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was determined to deny Garland a hearing was he knew that if he did get one, he would almost certainly win enough votes to ascend to the highest court in the land. Four former U.S. attorneys general–two Republican appointees and two Democratic appointees–are among 150 alumni of the DOJ and similar organizations who signed a letter in support of Garland’s nomination.

Cites: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2021/02/19/merrick-garland-nomination-backed-2-bush-attorneys-general/4513774001/

Many feel Garland is well-fitted to depoliticize the DOJ after the grave institutional damage inflicted by the Trump years. His to-do list would also include rebuilding the DOJ’s civil rights division, which Trump minions did their best to shred.

Cites:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/12/10/case-merrick-garland-attorney-general/

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-senate-justice-garland-idUSKBN2AJ16S

We at OTYCD expect to ask you to make a pro-Garland call today; when the Senate Judiciary Committee votes to move the nomination to the Senate floor; and a third time when the Senate floor vote is imminent.

You’re only calling your two Senators for this one, as weighing high-ranking nominations within a president’s administration falls to that chamber.

Before placing your call, please check the social media feeds and press release sections of your Senators’ websites to see what they’ve said, or failed to say, about Garland and his AG nomination.

Find your Senators’ contact information, and help others find their Senators’ information, here:

whoaremyrepresentatives.org

If one or both of your Senators belong to the chamber’s Judicial Committee, it is extra-important that you call.

The list of 2021 Senate Judicial Committee members is linked below, but we will also list them in full.

https://www.judiciary.senate.gov/about/members

The Senate Judiciary Committee as of February 2021 is under Democratic Party control and consists of:

Chair Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois

Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont

Senator Dianne Feinstein of California

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island

Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota

Senator Chris Coons of Delaware

Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut

Senator Mazie Hirono of Hawaii

Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey

Senator Alex Padilla of California (Governor Gavin Newsom appointed him to finish Kamala Harris’s term)

Senator Jon Ossoff of Georgia

As of February 2021, the Republican minority members of the Senate Judiciary Committee are:

Ranking Member Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa

Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina

Senator John Cornyn of Texas

Senator Mike Lee of Utah

Senator Ted Cruz of Texas

Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska

Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri

Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas

Senator John Kennedy of Louisiana

Senator Thom Tillis of North Carolina

Senator Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee

Sample calling script:

“Dear <Senator Lastname,> I am <Firstname Lastname> from <town, state, zip code>. I’m calling to ask you to support the nomination of Merrick Garland as United States Attorney General.

He has the experience and the competence to lead the Department of Justice through the many challenges it currently faces, including investigations of the January 6 Insurrection at the Capitol Building, rebuilding the civil rights division, and restoring confidence in the DOJ after four years of attempts, some successful, to politicize it under Trump.

<If one or both of your Senators are Democrats on the Judiciary Committee: I understand you are on the Senate Judiciary Committee. I expect you to take Garland’s confirmation hearings seriously and do your job both as a committee member and a Senator.>

<If one or both of your Senators are Republicans on the Judiciary Committee: I understand you are on the Senate Judiciary Committee. I expect you to take Garland’s confirmation hearings seriously, and in particular, I expect you to ask substantiative, questions that might be antagonistic but are still within bounds, and I expect you to avoid grandstanding and bloviating about current or potential investigations of Hunter Biden and Trump.>

Thank you for taking my call.”

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Help Texans By Joining Efforts Led by Beto O’Rourke, Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, and Sylvia R. Garcia

Help Texans afflicted by the unprecedented winter storm and the failure of the state’s power grid by joining efforts led by Beto O’Rourke, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Sylvia R. Garcia.

As you’re probably well aware, in February 2021, Texas was hit by a ridiculously punishing winter storm–a once-in-a-century sort of thing that easily wreaks havoc on a place designed around the premise of adapting to punishingly hot temperatures.

The worst part is the state’s power grid, which is deliberately and explicitly disconnected from America’s national grid to avoid federal regulations, pretty much folded in on itself. The same sentiments that drove the powers-that-be in Texas to embrace deregulation made those same folks indifferent to the need to winterize the system.

Cites: https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2021/feb/18/facebook-posts/yes-aversion-federal-regulation-drove-texas-isolat/

https://www.texastribune.org/2021/02/17/texas-power-grid-failures/

Some Texan elected officials have proven themselves utterly useless. Instead of rolling up his sleeves and calling in favors to help his suffering constituents, Senator Ted Cruz planned a family vacation to Mexico to escape from the storm and its aftermath. He is being dragged relentlessly and entirely correctly for his imperious act.

Cites: https://www.politico.com/news/2021/02/18/ted-cruz-cancun-texas-weather-crisis-469760

Beto O’Rourke, who challenged Cruz in 2018 and lost by 1.5 points, has nevertheless done the work of a sitting Senator, and more. He activated his Powered by People network of volunteers and trained them to make wellness-check phone calls to Texas senior citizens. According to a February 18, 2021 tweet from his main account (@BetoORourke), they reached more than 784,000 people:

BIG THANKS to the volunteers who made over 784,000 phone calls to senior citizens in Texas today. You helped to connect them with water, food, transportation, and shelter. And you made sure that they knew we were thinking about them and that they matter to us. Goodnight!

As of February 21, 2021, Powered by People has no additional welfare-check phone banks are planned. The home page of its website features a huge blue button to hit to donate to PbP, which will in turn distribute funds to local Texas organizations that are actively helping people as you read this.

Here’s the link to the Powered by People main website:

https//poweredxpeople.org

If that option doesn’t appeal to you for whatever reason, O’Rourke’s Twitter feed is brimming with news and information, in English and Spanish, about other organizations you can support that are actively helping Texans.

Again, his handle is: @BetoORourke

Democratic House Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York’s 14th District has rolled up her sleeves to aid Texas, too. On February 19, 2021, she announced on Twitter (her handle is @AOC) that she, working hand in hand with House Rep Sylvia R. Garcia (@LaCongresista), who represents Texas’s 29th District, had raised more than $2 million for aid to Texas through a dedicated ActBlue link.

AOC’s ActBlue link to support relief efforts in Texas is here:

https://secure.actblue.com/donate/aoc-social-20210219?refcode=tw20210219

AOC’s Twitter feed also contains updates on the Texas relief efforts led by she and Garcia, including calls for volunteers and other news. Again, the two relevant handles are:

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: @AOC

Sylvia R. Garcia: @LaCongresista

Please help in whatever manner you can. If you can’t give money and are unable to volunteer, please signal-boost the efforts of O’Rourke, Ocasio-Cortez, and Garcia.

Whoops, late addition: The Cut, part of New York magazine, has a good article called How to Help People in Texas Right Now. It cites specific mutual aid societies and food banks to donate to, plus volunteering opportunities for those who live there:

https://www.thecut.com/2021/02/how-to-help-people-in-texas-right-now-donate-and-volunteer.html

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