Cabinet Nominees

ICYMI: Oppose Rick Perry, Trump’s Pick for the Department of Energy

Apologies for not getting around to this item earlier; it was postponed in favor of other things that arose with stark, sudden urgency. So is life in Trumpland. Perry has completed his hearings and may receive a Senate floor vote today.

Call your senators and oppose Rick Perry, Trump’s choice to head the Department of Energy.

He has the standard odious outlooks on climate change and the EPA, but he stands out for another reason. Perry ran as a Republican presidential nominee in 2012. During a presidential debate, he famously failed to remember the name of the department of energy, which he had promised to eliminate. Continuing his pattern of choosing the worst possible people for each post, Trump naturally settled on Perry for this department.

Since being chosen, Perry has had something of a change of heart about the department of energy. During his confirmation hearings, he stated he “regret[s] recommending its elimination.” And if the New York Times article below is correct, Perry wasn’t aware until after he was tapped that the department of energy handles nuclear issues.

While Perry’s shift in attitude is welcome and encouraging, the country deserves a better-qualified person than he to helm the department. Previous leaders have earned Nobel Prizes (Steven Chu) and served on the physics faculty at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)  (Dr. Ernest Moniz). Perry’s scientific track record is a mediocre string of grades earned at Texas A&M, including a ‘D’ in a course called “Meats”.

Is your senator on the energy and natural resources committee? Then it’s extra-important that you speak up. Check the link below before you call.

http://www.energy.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/members

 

Sample script: “Dear Senator (Lastname), I am (Firstname Lastname, from town, zip code). I am calling to ask you to vote against Rick Perry to head the department of energy. He is woefully underqualified. We need someone who has greater understanding of the scientific issues that the department faces every day.”

 

Here again is the nifty cabinet nominee tracking tool we’ve mentioned before. Remember–you can make calls until and unless the person is confirmed:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1Nx970-5j0ls4aJbmiKqwN0E3OfcpAqhXgM3zyfBZ4TM/edit#gid=667030695

 

Here are a few New York Times pieces on Perry:

 

 

Here are some Washington Post pieces on Perry and his nomination:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/rick-perry-seeks-to-lead-the-energy-department-an-agency-he-pledged-to-abolish/2017/01/18/19b14494-dd0a-11e6-acdf-14da832ae861_story.html?utm_term=.be68d6f33616

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/in-texas-perry-was-all-of-the-above-on-energy-production/2017/01/19/f4d98d66-de26-11e6-8902-610fe486791c_story.html?utm_term=.b988a0457859

 

Here also is an interesting comment on that New York Times story and its limitations:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2017/01/19/the-new-york-timess-rick-perry-story-is-a-litmus-test-for-media-credibility/?utm_term=.b02e5383f8e6

 

And here are some other interesting pieces, including one that mentions the ‘D’ in “Meats”:

http://www.texasmonthly.com/burka-blog/examining-rick-perrys-rex-tillersons-potential-conflicts-interest/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cabinet Nominees

ICYMI: Oppose Ben Carson, Trump’s Pick for Housing and Urban Development

ICYMI: Reposting because while Carson’s nomination has left the committee, the Senate floor vote has yet to happen. You can still call your senators on this. If you haven’t yet, please do.

Call your senators and oppose Ben Carson’s nomination for secretary of the department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Carson, a retired neurosurgeon who ran against Trump for the Republican presidential nomination, had withdrawn himself from consideration for cabinet posts, saying he had no experience in government. Trump evidently convinced him to change his mind.

Carson is correct. He has no professional experience in government, or with the problems that HUD was designed to address. He grew up in public housing in Detroit, and is apparently citing that experience as a qualification to run the federal agency. He appears to think that poverty is some sort of lifestyle choice, and not an endemic problem that only the fortunate and the exceptional can successfully rise above.

Before you call, review this link to the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. Is one of your senators a member? If so, it is extra-important for you to call and express your opposition to Carson running HUD.

http://www.banking.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/membership

 

More on Ben Carson, his nomination to HUD, and how he might reverse gains won under the Obama administration:

http://www.latimes.com/nation/politics/trailguide/la-na-trailguide-updates-ben-carson-won-t-be-joining-donald-1479231990-htmlstory.html

 

http://www.businessinsider.com/pelosi-ben-carson-disturbingly-unqualified-hud-2016-12

 

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/ben-carsons-public-statements-housing-public-policy/

 

http://www.charlotteobserver.com/opinion/editorials/article119494588.html

 

 

This spreadsheet contains a sample script you can use when calling your senators about Carson’s nomination:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1Nx970-5j0ls4aJbmiKqwN0E3OfcpAqhXgM3zyfBZ4TM/edit#gid=0

 

 

An ethics official warned that the Republican rush might force Congress to hold hearings before background checks on the nominees are finished:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/ethics-official-warns-against-confirmations-before-reviews-are-complete/2017/01/07/e85a97ee-d348-11e6-9cb0-54ab630851e8_story.html?utm_term=.7a5ae214e186

Cabinet Nominees · Health Care

ICYMI: Oppose Tom Price as Head of Health and Human Services

ICYMI: Reposted because Tom Price’s nomination is not final yet. Please call your senators to oppose Price if you haven’t had the chance to do so.

Call your senators and oppose Tom Price, Trump’s nominee to head the department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

If Trump and the Republicans succeed in passing laws to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA, also known as Obamacare), and attack Medicare and Medicaid, their destruction will happen under Price’s watch and guidance.

The rank awfulness of Trump’s other picks has allowed Price, a six-term House member from Georgia, to fly under the radar–at least until the last few days, when news broke that in March 2016, Price purchased stock in a medical device company, Zimmer Biomet, and introduced legislation that would help the company a week later. (Scroll down for stories on this topic.)

Consider that Tom Daschle, Obama’s first pick to head the HHS back in 2009, withdrew his nomination over failing to pay taxes on a donated limousine ride. That seems like small potatoes next to buying a stock and championing a law that would benefit that stock-issuing company in the space of seven days. Price has since agreed to sell off stock holdings to avoid conflicts of interest, but still.

Even before that news broke, Price was an exceptionally awful choice for HHS. He is a member of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS), an organization which takes a decidedly skewed outlook on medical issues.

AAPS opposes mandatory vaccination, citing in part the specious and thoroughly debunked claim that vaccines cause autism. AAPS supports laws that require transgender people to use the bathrooms that reflect the gender of their birth, not their actual gender. It has also supported so-called “conscience rights,” which would allow pharmacists to decline to fill prescriptions for emergency contraception and other scripts that might contradict their personal beliefs. You get one guess what the AAPS’s opinion on the ACA is.

It should be said that though Price is an AAPS member, that doesn’t mean he automatically embraces all its stances. But consider that his legislative record has earned him a zero rating from NARAL, Planned Parenthood, the Human Rights Campaign, and the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.

Do any of your senators belong to the Senate Finance Committee? If so, it’s extra-important that you call to oppose Price. See this link to check:

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

 

Sample script: “Dear Senator (Lastname,) I am (Firstname Lastname, from town, zip code), and I am calling to ask the senator to oppose the nomination of Tom Price as head of Health and Human Services. He bought stock in a medical device company one week before proposing legislation that would help that company. He is also a member of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, which cites junk science in standing against mandatory vaccination, and opposes LGBTQ rights and reproductive rights.”

 

Consult the Trump Cabinet Confirmation Tracker on Tom Price and other nominees:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1Nx970-5j0ls4aJbmiKqwN0E3OfcpAqhXgM3zyfBZ4TM/edit#gid=0

 

More on Tom Price’s nomination and the challenges it poses:

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/wp/2016/11/28/trump-to-name-rep-tom-price-as-next-hhs-secretary/?utm_term=.5ea773d749b

 

http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/16/politics/tom-price-bill-aiding-company/index.html

 

http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/17/politics/chuck-schumer-tom-price-may-have-broken-the-law-in-stock-transaction/index.html

 

BBC on the Tom Price nomination: Trump pick accused of insider trading

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-38654226

 

 

 

 

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/whitehouse/trumps-hhs-pick-will-sell-off-stock-to-avoid-conflicts/2017/01/12/aebafb58-d8ea-11e6-a0e6-d502d6751bc8_story.html?utm_term=.564e74a7aad1

 

AAPS opposes mandatory vaccination and points to claims (that have been soundly debunked) that vaccines cause autism:

http://aapsonline.org/american-children-need-access-to-better-vaccines/

 

AAPS opposes transgender bathroom access laws:

http://aapsonline.org/separate-facilities-protect-women-and-girls-states-aaps/

 

AAPS supports “conscience rights,” which would allow pharmacists to choose not to prescribe medications that contradict their beliefs:

http://aapsonline.org/aaps-supports-conscience-rights-in-stormans/

 

From 2009: Tom Daschle withdraws his nomination to HHS:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2009/feb/03/obama-administration-daschle-withdraw-health-secretary

Cabinet Nominees · Fighting Bigotry, Racism, Sexism, Homophobia, Transphobia...

ICYMI: Oppose Jeff Sessions, Trump’s Pick for the U.S. Attorney General

ICYMI: Reposting because you can still call your senators on this. If you haven’t yet, please do.

Call your senators and tell them that you oppose the nomination of Jeff Sessions to the post of attorney general of the United States.

Sessions, you might remember, was essentially deemed too racist for Congress to appoint as a federal judge back in the 1980s.

Few people get less racist over time without deliberately working to think and act in less racist ways. You get one guess about whether Sessions has improved himself over the last 30 years.

The head of the NAACP in Alabama and his colleagues held an eight-hour sit in at Sessions’s Alabama office on January 3, saying they’d stay until he or Trump withdrew his name from consideration for the AG post, or they were arrested. (They were arrested.)

Bonus: Below is a link that shows who sits on the Senate Judiciary Committee. Is one of your senators a member? If so, it’s extra-important for you to call and oppose seating Jeff Sessions as the country’s AG. (Irony alert: Sessions sits on this committee.)

Link to the members of the Judiciary Committee:

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

This spreadsheet contains a sample script you can use when calling your senators about Sessions’s nomination:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1Nx970-5j0ls4aJbmiKqwN0E3OfcpAqhXgM3zyfBZ4TM/edit#gid=0

Background on Sessions:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the … 3e2b08ba1a

Background on the NAACP sit-in:

http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/03/politics/ … index.html

Background on the failed nomination to the federal bench in the 1980s:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the … 394900cb96

An ethics official warned that the Republican rush might force Congress to hold hearings before background checks on the nominees are finished:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/ethics-official-warns-against-confirmations-before-reviews-are-complete/2017/01/07/e85a97ee-d348-11e6-9cb0-54ab630851e8_story.html?utm_term=.7a5ae214e186

Cabinet Nominees

Updated: Oppose Rex Tillerson, Trump’s Pick for Secretary of State

Update: Reposting this item with additional information because the Senate votes on Rex Tillerson’s nomination to the Secretary of State post today. If you haven’t called your two senators to express your opinion, do so now.

The spreadsheet below contains information on how many senators will or might vote on Tillerson:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1e0Q0QKLyjCF4NjNW5rG1F5FDec3buSWMDcfS7la2prs/edit#gid=0

An entirely new post on another topic will go live in an hour or so.

Call your senators and oppose the nomination of Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State.

Tillerson might be the most controversial of Trump’s cabinet choices who is subject to Senate confirmation hearings. He will undergo intense scrutiny, but that doesn’t mean he won’t win the post.

Do not rely on others who share your opinion to tell their senators how they feel. You, too, must step up and make calls.

His company, Exxon Mobil, stands to earn huge profits if the U.S. lifts its sanctions on Russia. Tillerson’s history of oil deals pleased Vladimir Putin so much that he awarded the Exxon CEO the Russian Order of Friendship in 2013. His ties to Russia and Putin were worth arching an eyebrow over before news of the Russian hacking scandal fully broke and spread; it’s alarming given what the CIA and other intelligence agencies have since revealed.

As a global fossil fuel behemoth–it would have the 41st-largest economy if it were a country–Exxon Mobil has little interest in acknowledging the effects of climate change. While Tillerson does not outright deny climate change, he deems it an “engineering problem”.

Tillerson has spent his career with Exxon Mobil. He has no professional experience with diplomacy or public service. The Secretary of State post–one of the most crucial, complex, and sensitive in the cabinet–would place Tillerson fourth in line to assume the presidency.

Before you call, check the link below. It shows the current members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Is your senator one of them? If so, it’s extra-important for you to call and say you don’t want Rex Tillerson to serve as Secretary of State.

http://www.foreign.senate.gov/about/committee-membership

 

This spreadsheet contains a sample script you can use when calling your senators about Tillerson’s nomination:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1Nx970-5j0ls4aJbmiKqwN0E3OfcpAqhXgM3zyfBZ4TM/edit#gid=0

 

More on Tillerson:

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2016/12/13/what-is-the-russian-order-of-friendship-and-why-does-trumps-pick-for-secretary-of-state-have-one/?utm_term=.5af206e377d8

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2016/12/13/rex-tillersons-view-of-climate-change-its-just-an-engineering-problem/?utm_term=.cb0be1bc8638

 

http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/first-read/trump-s-credibility-problem-russia-n694811

 

http://www.businessinsider.com/trump-cabinet-rex-tillerson-russia-hacking-investigation-2016-12

 

An ethics official warned that the Republican rush might force Congress to hold hearings before background checks on the nominees are finished:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/ethics-official-warns-against-confirmations-before-reviews-are-complete/2017/01/07/e85a97ee-d348-11e6-9cb0-54ab630851e8_story.html?utm_term=.7a5ae214e186