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Follow Your Congressional Reps on Social Media

Are you active on social media, even a little bit? Are you thinking about signing on?

Please follow the pages and accounts of your Congressional representatives.

Pull up the web pages of your three Congressional reps–your two senators and your house rep. Social media platform logos tend to show up at the top of the home page or the bottom. If they’re not there, try the Contact page.

Most members of Congress are on Facebook and Twitter. If they’re on other platforms and you want to follow them there, go right ahead. But don’t feel like you must follow them on every platform. Do what makes sense for you.

If any of your reps are not on social media, or aren’t on the platform you like best, call their offices and ask them to join. You can bet there’s an intern or entry-level staffer who’s been chewing the rep’s ear off, trying to make their case. If enough constituents call to ask them to get on social media, or on a specific platform, that might change their minds.

Following your reps on social media is worth it. It keeps you up to date on what they’re saying and doing, and lets you know when they might appear at an event happening near you. It lets you show your support for them. And it helps move toward a world in which members of Congress take messages that arrive through social media as seriously as requests that come over the phone or through postal mail.

But don’t forget that for now (early 2017), social media is the least effective way to speak to your reps. If you need to ask your members of Congress to do something, use the phone. Do not use social media. Your message will not get through to them.

If you’re not on social media at all, consider signing up to follow your reps. You can have a private account on Twitter, and you can keep strict privacy settings on your Facebook page.

If you’re not on social media at all and have no wish to be, sign up for their e-newsletters and postal mailings instead, if you haven’t already. You should be able to do this through their web sites.

 

Call Your Members of Congress · Community Activism · Elections · Uncategorized

Refresh, Review, and Prep for 2018 (GOP Tax Bill-Related Briefing)

Refresh, review, and prep for 2018.

Sarah Jane here. The GOP tax bill is now in reconciliation. The House and Senate are expected to vote during the week of December 18. Estimates say it will cost more than a trillion and tax experts say it will transfer wealth from the poor and the middle class to the rich.

The yes votes on the final bill will likely include Lisa Murkowski, Susan Collins, and John ‘Regular Order’ McCain.

This is legislative malpractice.

The bill could yet fall apart. We live in upside-down land now. Who knows?

But even if the bill falls apart in the most spectacular way (oh please yes), the path forward is clear.

All Republican senators have to go.

Maybe there are some decent ones in the House of Representatives, maybe, but the Senate? They all have to go. All of them.

You now have to start thinking seriously about what you will do to help get them out of office.

I’ve wrangled a bunch of links to past posts to cover things you should consider doing, and things you can start doing.

 

First off–if you haven’t seen the page on The Most Important Thing You Can Do, go there and read those four posts. (Yes, there are four Most Important Things You Can Do. #SorryNotSorry.)

https://onethingyoucando.com/the-most-important-thing-you-can-do/

 

Only one-third of the Senate is up for re-election in 2018. Defending Democratic Senators helps the cause just as much as defeating Republican incumbents.

Start scouting for senators who you can donate time and money to in 2018:

https://onethingyoucando.com/2017/11/23/start-scouting-for-senators-who-you-can-donate-time-and-money-to-in-2018/

 

Also, think about which House of Representatives members to support or oppose in 2018. All are up for re-election, and some incumbents are retiring. Watch the Democratic primaries, see who you can get behind, and do it. Again, you need to commit time, money , or both.

https://onethingyoucando.com/2017/11/20/think-about-which-house-reps-to-support-or-oppose-in-2018/

 

Trump and his minions are going to try everything they can to suppress the vote. Once you are sure you’re registered, and once you’ve started talking to friends who were eligible to vote in 2016 but chose not to do so, look into other ways you can support and defend the right to vote.

 

Support Spread the Vote, which helps citizens obtain IDs and other paperwork they need in order to vote in their home states:

https://onethingyoucando.com/2017/11/26/support-spread-the-vote-which-helps-citizens-obtain-ids/

 

Support the efforts of Let America Vote:

https://onethingyoucando.com/2017/11/25/support-the-efforts-of-let-america-vote/

 

Support H.R. 2840, the Automatic Voter Registration Act:

https://onethingyoucando.com/2017/11/27/support-h-r-2840-the-automatic-voter-registration-act/

 

Help Florida’s ex-felons regain the right to vote:

https://onethingyoucando.com/2017/11/25/help-floridas-ex-felons-regain-the-right-to-vote/

 

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Tell Your MoCs to Make Trump Keep Watch on Homegrown White Terrorists

Call your members of Congress and ask them to make sure the Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) program keeps monitoring and prosecuting homegrown white terrorists.

Last month, the Trump administration announced plans to narrow the focus of a government anti-terrorism program run by the Department of Homeland Security.

The CVE covers homegrown terrorist threats as well as those hatched abroad. Trump and his minions floated the notion of changing the program’s name to “Countering Radical Islamic Extremism” and focusing it on Muslim terrorists–seemingly redirecting the program from stopping Neo-Nazis and white supremacists. White racist groups exist, and they and their members have been plotting and committing terrorist acts. The most infamous recent atrocity on American soil was Dylann Roof’s murder of nine worshippers at a historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina in 2015.

Limiting the CVE to Islamic terrorists is a bad idea. Wittingly or not, Trump’s racist statements and his failure to quickly and strenuously condemn incidents such as the Quebec mosque shooting in January, where a young white man killed six, have emboldened  racists. Signaling that the federal government no longer sees attacking non-whites and non-Christians as terrorism will only encourage the sicker individuals among them to lash out.

Important note: Does your House rep sit on the House Homeland Security Committee? Do you have a senator on the Senate Committee for Homeland Security & Government Affairs? Then it’s that much more important for you to call about this issue. Check the committee rosters before calling:

 

House Homeland Security Committee:

https://homeland.house.gov/full_committee/

 

Senate Committee for Homeland Security & Government Affairs:

https://www.hsgac.senate.gov/about

 

Sample script: “Hello, I am (Firstname Lastname, from town, zip code). I am calling to ask (House Rep/Senator Lastname) to push back against the Trump administration’s plan to narrow the focus of the Department of Homeland Security’s Countering Violent Extremism program. Trump evidently wants to change it to focus exclusively on what he calls “radical Islamic extremism.” Doing so would send a signal to the would-be Dylann Roofs of the world that they can attack non-white, non-Christian people and the federal government will look the other way. We need to focus on stopping and prosecuting terrorists regardless of what motivates them. Attacks by white racists can do as much damage, or more, as attacks by Muslims.”

 

Read an Independent article on the planned changes to the CVE:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/donald-trump-cut-white-supremacism-countering-violent-extremism-programme-neo-nazi-counter-extremism-a7558796.html

 

Read the Department of Homeland Security’s main landing page for the CVE program, while it still reflects its broader focus:

https://www.dhs.gov/countering-violent-extremism

 

Read about the suspect in the Quebec mosque shooting:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/quebec-city-mosque-attack-alexandre-bissonnette-1.3958559

 

Read about Dylann Roof’s attack on the Charleston church and his subsequent death penalty sentence:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2015/06/18/for-charlestons-emanuel-a-m-e-church-one-of-the-oldest-in-america-shooting-is-another-painful-chapter-in-long-history/?utm_term=.7c53fb65a5ab

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Fight the GOP Tax Bill, December 15 Update: Keep Fighting

Here’s your December 15 update on fighting the GOP tax bill, with side notes on defending Net Neutrality.

On December 14, Andy Slavitt (@aslavitt) tweeted a good rundown of the state of things:

Vote count on tax bill just got interesting w/ Senator McCain hospitalized now, Collins up in the air & short window before Jones is sat.2/

Word is Pence is planning to cancel international travel next week because he now thinks is vote may be needed.3/

If this is right, it means McConnell is concerned about having only 50 votes. If Corker votes no & McCain can’t vote, focus goes 2 Collins.4

Time is the other factor. The sooner the new Alabama senator is sat, the quicker the will of the Alabama voter will be heard. 5/

The GOP political reality is that post 2018 AL race, the prospects for accomplishing much next year is low. They view their window as now.6/

Defeating the tax bill is an uphill battle, but it means any Senator can change it, there is no room for time to slip, AL voters must be ignored & Collins must accept a promise that can’t be kept. And that’s what they’re planning to do unless they’re stopped./end

 

And in response to this Damian Paletta (@damianpaletta) tweet…

MORE BREAKING: Rubio is now a NO on the tax bill unless Child Tax Credit is expanded. Lee is now an undecided. Hatch concerned.

…which pointed to this Washington Post story:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/rubio-to-vote-against-gop-tax-bill-unless-tax-credit-for-working-poor-is-expanded/2017/12/14/8be53a22-e0f9-11e7-89e8-edec16379010_story.html?pushid=5a32c5bbb0a05c1d000000c8&tidr=notifi_push_breaking-news&utm_term=.fc262481949e

… Ben Wikler (@benwikler) tweeted:

THIS FIGHT IS NOT OVER MELT THE PHONES 202-224-3121

 

Now, we’ve seen this before. Marco Rubio flinches and sputters and whines and goes on to vote how his party tells him to anyway. We at OTYCD will believe he’s serious only when he up and votes no on this thing.

Still. Mike Lee sliding into the ‘undecided’ column is news. And, Slavitt also noted on Twitter:

BREAKING: Word today from the Hill is that has no chance of anything but an IOU before being asked to vote for the tax bill.

…Maine Watch (@CollinsWatch) tweeted on December 14:

. has moved the goal posts on the tax bill so often that it’s ludicrous but this is what she said YESTERDAY: “If the commitments are not kept to me I will not support the bill.”

Will she keep her word and vote no? Who knows?

The answer is the same answer we’ve been giving you every day for weeks now: Call, call, call your members of Congress; encourage your friends and family to call; and when you call your senators, ask them to support efforts to either seat Senator-elect Doug Jones as soon as possible OR delay the vote on the GOP tax bill until he is seated.

Scroll down a ways to locate the standing script for calling your MoCs.

 

Now on to Net Neutrality (with apologies for technically giving you two things you can do, but hey, such are the times). On December 14, as expected, the five members of the FCC voted three to two to begin rolling it back.

First off, please contact FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn and thank her for her full-throated defense of Net Neutrality.

Here’s her email address:

Mignon Clyburn, Commissioner
Mignon.Clyburn@fcc.gov

For that matter, following her on Twitter would be a good way to thank her, too:

@MClyburnFCC

She’s also inviting your responses in her pinned tweet, and inviting you to join her online on December 19 at 2 pm EST:

The majority is ignoring the voices of millions of Americans – I will not. Direct all questions about to me. Will answer top questions online on Tuesday (12/19) at 2pm EST.

 

Celeste Pewter (@Celeste_Pewter) has been doing typical excellent work on the Net Neutrality front, but we at OTYCD want to amplify a specific piece of it:

Don’t freak out.

Yes, this sucks, but the world has not ended. Our Net Neutrality strategy shifts now, and there are still many things you can do, and many things you can support your representatives in doing, to defend it.

But! Be mindful of getting too terribly whipped up. Authoritarian regimes try, deliberately, to burn you out by swamping you with horrors and keeping you spun up and twitchy. You really do need to take breaks, get rest, and come back ready to fight. No joke. If you can feel yourself getting ragged and frayed, step away, do something to relax, and then come back.

Oh yeah, and she’s 100 percent right about staying polite and not indulging in hate-mailing Ajit Pai. It’s a waste of effort, and it’s counterproductive, too.

Here’s what @Celeste_Pewter advised on Twitter just after the vote went down:

First, understand that this is NOT the end. I’ve seen many, many tweets suggesting this vote is the death knell for the internet. That’s simply not true. Read the document I linked in this tweet. This won’t happen overnight.

<This is the document she refers to: http://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2017/db1122/DOC-347927A1.pdf>

2. Understand just what is and isn’t. This video will help. I’m seeing a lot of tweets suggesting means cutting off access; it’s more slowing/throttling access for more $. (Broadly speaking)

3. Now, here are some actionable steps. A. Nix the desire to hate email the FCC. Do people like Pai deserve it? Hell yes. But it’s not going to get anything done. B. Email your House Members/Senators TODAY and tell them you want the ball rolling on a telecoms bill. Script.

B1. I’m getting some questions about HR 4585, and whether we ask electeds to support. Going to say no – the bill address the FCC/rule, and not the root of this problem, which is this should be enshrined into law. Until laws happen, will be a political football.

C. Call your state attorneys general, and ask them how they plan on addressing the FCC’s changes. They’re going to have similar powers to protect consumers from anti-competitive practices. Additionally, ask them to sign off on the letter calling to investigate fake comments.

D. Check out news sites/tech sites for lawsuits about Net Neutrality, and donate to their efforts. Start with places like . Donate to those causes. Spread the word. E. Tell your preferred 2018 Dem candidates, you want them to add to their platform.
<Here is the Wired article she refers to: https://www.wired.com/2017/05/congress-not-fcc-can-fix-net-neutrality/>

Why? Because: A. You want to know what they’ll do about Net Neutrality if elected, B. Making Net Neutrality a leading campaign issue, can very likely encourage even more volunteer/voter interest. (Seriously, I think the DSCC/DCCC should make this a campaign point)

Here’s a script for your governor’s office. I don’t think they’ll do this, but if they tell you this is an issue outside of their jurisdiction, point to Washington state’s announcement as precedent for your call.

Some FAQs: 1. The petitions floating around should be seen as well-meaning ways to spread information, but will have ZERO actual impact. Petitions are designed to be hard. The boards/orgs/whatever you’re filing them to, want to discourage hundreds of random/arbitrary filings.
Credentials: I saw a lot of petition filings when I worked in politics, and they were always, always struck down. The rules are designed to be complex on purpose. (Also, politicians are totally using the petitions to get your info for $$ during campaign season, so there’s that.)  <FWIW, this is another reason why we at OTYCD virtually never ask you to sign a petition.>
2. I know I’ve said this hundreds of times, but please only use social media to rally your followers. Do not use it to contact electeds; their staff don’t have the time to filter thousands of @’s or FB posts, and your point will be overlooked/ignored.
3. The comment portal for this process closed in August. Telling people to post to GoFCCYourself has been doing nothing, and will seriously do nothing. (Sorry, sorry! But it’s true. All the recent posts saying to comment via GoFCCYourself, have made me cranky)
Finally. Take a breath. This is not over BY. FAR. The fight has gotten harder, but there are MANY of us and they are few. It may take until the Democrats are back in power, but we CAN AND WILL do this.
Please, please RT this info. Please spread this info widely; there’s so much bad info going around, I’m worried people will think their efforts have failed, and give up in defeat. FIGHT for the Internet and our right to unrestrained information.
P.S. Don’t let the pro-rollback members of the FCC lie to you. Their proposed alternatives simply do not work, and aren’t “imminently reasonable” as one of them said.

 

Many qs on Markey’s Congressional Review Act resolution re: 1. It DOESN’T hurt to tell your Senator you want them to support his resolution. Go for it. 2. But the process isn’t as straightforward as Twitter is claiming it to be.

3. Yes, it requires a simple majority to *pass* the resolution, but then it goes to POTUS. 4. POTUS can veto. Let’s be realistic: Trump will veto. Then two-thirds in both chambers is needed to overturn that veto. More here:

5. So absolutely say you want your Senators to sign on – and get them on the record – but diversify your approach to this. See my original thread.

An additional script. This is for your SENATORS only, and asks them to support Markey’s Congressional Review Act Resolution.

 

And for your 2018 candidates of choice. Know where they stand, before you support them.

 

And hey! Within hours of Pewter tweeting all this info, the Attorneys General of California, Delaware, Hawaii, Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maine, Mississippi, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Vermont, and Washington state declared that they will sue the FCC over this.

Find your AG by plugging your address into this search engine:

https://whoaremyrepresentatives.org

Is yours one of the AGs who are suing? Thank them, and say you support them.

Is yours one of the AGs who isn’t? Ask them to join the suit. Every little (friendly) nudge helps.

 

Text from previous update posts follow; scroll down for the calling script for the GOP tax bill.

Here’s a December 10 Twitter thread from tax expert Michael Linden that you should see, which lays out what makes this week important:

This coming week is make-or-break for the GOP tax scam. If you have any interest in fighting this disastrous bill, follow along for a state-of-play update. Short version: we CAN still stop this thing. 1/

Here’s where we are: Both the Senate & House have passed versions of the GOP tax scam. They have a lot in common (huge tax cuts for the wealthy & corporations, tax hikes on millions of middle class families) but aren’t identical. 2/

To become law, the House & Senate have to pass identical bills. So to come up with ONE new version that both chambers can pass, the GOP has sent their bills to a “conference committee.” 3/

That Conference Committee is, right now, behind closed doors, ironing out the differences between the House & Senate bill. The bad news is that the bill is much more likely to get worse than it is to get better. 4/

Once the Conference Committee creates a new bill that they think can pass both chambers, both the House and the Senate will have to vote AGAIN. That’s our last chance to . 5/

The Conference Committee is going to have precisely 1 “open” meeting (it’s not much more than a photo op), and that’ll be THIS WEDNESDAY, December 13th, at 2 PM. 6/

it’ll be only a matter of days before the FINAL vote in the House & Senate. Those votes could be as soon as Thursday, but likely will be early the week of the 18th. 7/

That means this week is CRITICAL. If we’re going to stop this bill, Congress needs to hear and feel the backlash. We can stop it either by flipping 10 GOP votes in the House or 2 GOP votes in the Senate. Tall orders, yes, but not impossible. 8/

Here’s a list of 50+ potentially flippable House GOPers. These all have some combination of the following characteristics: •From states that would be particularly hard hit •Voted against ACA repeal •Are in competitive 2018 races We need 10 of ‘em. 9/

In the Senate, our best bets are Susan Collins and Jeff Flake (and it would help if Doug Jones wins on Tuesday). Both were promised concessions that aren’t likely to be in the final bill. Both want to be thought of as “serious” and “independent.” 10/
So, what can you do? 1. Call EVERY day. Especially if you are in AZ, ME, or one of those 50 House districts, but call daily even if you aren’t (Congress needs to feel the backlash everywhere – & they talk to each other). 11/ <Note from OTYCD: Yes, this is one of those times when it is OK to call for days in a row on the same issue.>
2.If you are in the DC area, or can get here, come to the People’s Rally Against the Tax Scam at the Capitol on WEDNESDAY. This is our last best chance to make a lot of noise in DC. 12/
3. Go to a local protest or event. Check out and & for lists of local events. 13/
Bottom line: the GOP knows their tax scam is historically unpopular. They’re hoping that voters will forget about it by next November and beyond. Our best bet to stop the bill is by showing them we won’t forget. /end

 

And here are more things you might want to know:

There might be a GOP Tax Scam protest near you. Check this link to find out:

https://notonepenny.org/take-action/#events

 

In her December 6 update on fighting the GOP tax bill, Celeste Pewter (@Celeste_Pewter) offered talking points that you can use with friends, family, and co-workers:

8. Here are talking points you can include in any contact you share w/ friends/family/colleagues. Key point is that the impact on the deficit could eventually result in cuts in entitlement programs.

 

The Senate has chosen its lineup for the Tax Conference Committee. They will represent the Senate when trying to reconcile the House and Senate versions of the GOP tax bill.

If any of these Republicans are your senators, it is super-extra-important for you to call and make your opposition known.

Orrin Hatch of Utah

Mike Enzi of Wyoming

Lisa Murkowski of Alaska

John Cornyn of Texas

John Thune of South Dakota

Rob Portman of Ohio

Tim Scott of South Carolina

Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania

 

Before that, the House GOP named its tax conference committee members. If any of these folks are your reps, it is super-extra-important for you to call (again, all are Republicans):

Kevin Brady of Texas

Devin Nunes of California

Peter Roskam of Illinois

Diane Black of Tennessee

Kristi Noem of South Dakota

 

Rob Bishop of Utah

Don Young of Alaska

Greg Walden of Oregon

John Shimkus of Illinois

 

 

 

Here also are several other folks aside from @MichaelSLinden, @Celeste_Pewter, @TopherSpiro, and @aslavitt who you should be following on Twitter to stay on top of the GOP tax bill, which is morphing constantly, like a suspect science experiment in a horror movie. Some of these people are old friends from the Trumpcare fights. Some are tax experts.

Ben Wikler @benwikler

Seth Hanlon @sethhanlon

Sunjeev Bery @sunjeevbery

Lily Batchelder @lilybatch

Greg Leiserson @gregleiserson

Chad Bolt @chadderr

 

Here also are two more recent posts that relate to the GOP tax bill and its effects that you should see if you haven’t yet:

https://onethingyoucando.com/2017/12/02/refresh-review-and-prep-for-2018-gop-tax-bill-related-briefing/

https://onethingyoucando.com/2017/12/03/commit-now-to-put-any-tax-benefits-you-might-get-from-the-gop-tax-bill-to-fighting-its-effects/

 

One last note, which we’ve stated before: Even if this bill ultimately implodes and never becomes law, we still need to vote out every Republican that we can in 2018. This whole process has been nothing less than legislative malpractice. They should be punished for aiding and abetting it. Period.

Action Alerts · Call Your Members of Congress

Call Your MoCs and Ask Them to Leave the Iran Nuclear Deal Alone

Call your members of Congress and ask them to leave the Iran nuclear deal as is unless the Iranians actually do something to violate it. 

True to his nature as a chaos orangutan, Trump decided on October 13, 2017 that the nuclear weapons crisis with North Korea wasn’t enough, and he wanted a matching set.

He refused to certify an accord that the U.S. and several other countries had negotiated with Iran to prevent it from acquiring nuclear weapons–this despite the fact that all parties involved, including the U.S. government, agree that Iran is in compliance. Aspects of the accord have to be reconfirmed every 90 days.

He evidently made this move with the approval of his national security team, who counseled him to decertify it without killing it. See this October 3, 2017 piece from The Hill for more:

http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/353759-trump-advisors-urge-him-to-decertify-iran-deal-report

As stated above, Trump really is kindling chaos here. He has articulated no real reason to do what he’s doing being just not liking the status quo. He has no good suggestion on what to do instead. And refusing to certify the deal is NOT, repeat, not, akin to cancelling it. His move won’t have any immediate effect, direct or indirect.

What Trump has done, in effect, is to kick the deal back to Congress, which can choose to impose sanctions on Iran. It shouldn’t impose sanctions because everyone agrees Iran is holding up its end of things. If it did impose sanctions, Congress would kill the accord.

If that happens, the Iranians would probably steam ahead with a program to build a nuclear weapon. This seems almost too obvious to mention, but no one wants a world in which Iran has nukes, and not just because it’s a bad idea to increase the number of countries that have them. If Iran gets a nuke, it’d probably drop it on Israel sooner or later, just because.

It’d probably also increase the likelihood of war with North Korea, because killing the Iran accord would make the U.S. look unstable and untrustworthy. If we walk away from Iran when it was doing what we asked it to do, why should anyone honor any other deal that our nation makes?

So, this is an odd one for OTYCD and for you all, in that we’re going to ask you to call your MoCs and ask them to… do nothing. Explicitly do nothing. If nothing happens, the Iran thing drifts back to Trump’s desk at some point, and he can recertify or not.

 

Sample script for your MoCs: “Dear House Rep/Senator (Lastname), I am (Firstname Lastname from town, zip code). I am calling to ask you to do nothing with the Iran nuclear deal, which Trump just kicked back to you by failing to recertify it. Just leave it be unless we get evidence that Iran is in violation of the deal. To date, the Iranians have complied. Please do not impose any sanctions. If we do that, we will hurt America’s reputation and make it that much more difficult for us to draw and enter international treaties and deals in the future. Thank you.”

 

Read about Trump’s refusal to recertify the Iran deal, the potential fallout from that refusal, and what might happen next:

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/oct/13/trump-iran-deal-jcpoa-sanctions-congress

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2017/10/14/fact-checking-president-trumps-speech-on-the-iran-deal/?utm_term=.79506761ac0c

https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2017/07/trump-iran-nuclear/534597/

https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2017/10/iran-deal-trump-next/542379/

 

Read an August 2017 New York Times piece on how nuclear inspectors agree that Iran is complying with the terms of the accord:

 

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Fight the GOP Tax Bill, December 14 Update (Plus Defending Net Neutrality)

Here’s your December 14 update on fighting the GOP tax bill.

Ok, first–We updated all our Doug Jones-related posts last night but we didn’t tweak the December 13 update on the tax bill, so let us first say

YES YES YES YES YES YES YES SO MUCH YES

and

THANK YOU, ALABAMA!

Roy Moore has yet to concede, but multiple outlets confirm that Jones won the December 12 special election for the open senate seat in Alabama by about 1.5 points–a small but solid win, and enough to avoid an automatic recount, which would have happened if the two leading candidates were .5 percent apart or less.

It also looks like Moore cannot request a recount, even if he funds it, according to this entry by Rick Hasen on the Election Law Blog:

http://electionlawblog.org/?p=96376

So, Doug Jones will serve as Alabama’s junior senator until 2020 at least, and the Senate Republican count falls from 52-48 to 51-49, which will hamstring the GOP’s ability to push their agenda. Hooray!

The next step in helping Senator-elect Doug Jones is demanding that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell seat him, or else delay the vote on the GOP tax bill until he can be seated.

There’s precedent for this. When Republican Scott Brown defeated Democrat Martha Coakley in a special election to fill the Massachusetts Senate seat of the late Ted Kennedy in January 2010, Senate Republicans demanded that the pending vote on the Affordable Care Act be postponed until Brown could take his place. Their demands were honored.

Jeremy Slevin, who works with the Center for American Progress, did the Daily Show-style work to unearth video of McConnell and ‘Regular Order’ John McCain’s demanding that Brown be seated before taking the vote on the Affordable Care Act.

Go to @jeremyslevin to see those tweets.

Democrats can, and should, demand the same courtesy for Jones.

When you make your daily call to oppose the GOP Tax Bill, also tell them that they should support postponing the vote until Jones is seated.

Of course that doesn’t mean that Mitch McConnell will do the right thing. The man who held a Supreme Court seat open for the better part of the year will likely see no problem with shoving the GOP tax bill through before Alabama’s Secretary of State finishes the paperwork to certify the results of the special election.

On December 13, the Democrats did indeed call for a pause on the reconciliation process on the bill:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpost/democrats-call-for-halt-to-gop-tax-bill-until-jones-is-seated-in-the-senate/2017/12/13/9c42fe44-e00f-11e7-8679-a9728984779c_story.html?tid=ss_tw&utm_term=.3b9049a3bee6

…but the Republicans might have figured things out. On December 13, Andy Slavitt (@aslavitt) tweeted:

UPDATE: GOP announcing Herve reached a tax deal. The rush is on.

But! Topher Spiro (@topherspiro) tweeted a good point around the same time on the same day:

Could they have a reason to say there’s a deal? Think about it for one second.

I mean, I could have predicted last night they would say they have a deal this morning.

But later in the day, the Washington Post reported that GOP Congressfolk had reached an ‘agreement in principle’ on the tax bill. Spoiler alert: It helps the wealthy and corporations more than it helps the middle class. Read the WaPo story:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/republicans-reach-compromise-tax-plan-expanding-tax-cuts-for-the-wealthy/2017/12/13/4f9ca66c-e028-11e7-bbd0-9dfb2e37492a_story.html?utm_term=.bd380aaff980

Regardless of whether the GOP Congressfolk have an actual deal or not, the answer for you is the same:

Call, call, call and tell your members of Congress to vote NO. Ask your friends and family to call, too. Do it every day until this bill is dead, or passed.

And you’re following @Celeste_Pewter on Twitter, right? In case you’re not, here’s a December 13 tweet-thread you should see:

All, your calls need to be stepped up a notch.

If possible, please make it calls and not emails or faxes. Time is of the essence right now.

Here’s the page with scripts. Updates to come.

4. Your governor’s office may very well tell you: “This is a federal issue, etc.” Counterpoint: tell them how the bill will impact your state, and constituents, and why they need to put pressure on their federal colleagues.

(If there is enough pressure on a specific subject on an elected, they will feel pressured to speak out. I used to monitor the news AND constituent responses for my boss, and make recommendations on issuing statements on issues.)

5. Call/email five friends and family, and explain in straightforward terms, why you need them to do steps 1-3. Make it easy for them. Give them names, numbers, emails and scripts. Tell them exactly what to do and say (but personalize). Then tell them to do this w/ 5 friends.

FAQ, as usual: A. Only use social media to rally your followers. Do not use it to contact your electeds. Their staff can’t ID who you are or where you live via social, so your contact here is pointless.

B. The reconciled version has to go back to both House and Senate for a vote, so you should be contacting both. C. Ask for: 1. A no vote w/ all electeds 2. For the Senate, ask for the vote to not take place until Jones is seated.

D. But understand: 3. The GOP is desperate to pass something, 4. McConnell likely to say no to the Jones request. (But you should still be asking anyway, to see where your Senators stand.)

E. While we want this bill to collapse, if we can at least mitigate some of the damage by getting the worst amendments/language stripped out, it will still make a difference. Make your calls, and make them TODAY.

Details on the bills are still coming in, so if you’re calling now, you can keep it vague (but make sure you personalize). Scripts.

 

Some additional things to do: 1. If your specific field will be impacted (e.g. grad student) write an OpEd and send it into your local paper. Their opinion emails are generally public. 2. Make a video (or write a post) explaining how the tax bill will impact you.

3. Tag your electeds in that video/post. I’ve seen Democratic electeds accounts help boost videos, which helps spread the word. Make your calls TODAY. They’re looking at a vote next week.

 

Repeat text follows, but scroll down for additional information about how best to defend net neutrality.

Here’s a December 10 Twitter thread from tax expert Michael Linden that you should see, which lays out what makes this week important:

This coming week is make-or-break for the GOP tax scam. If you have any interest in fighting this disastrous bill, follow along for a state-of-play update. Short version: we CAN still stop this thing. 1/

Here’s where we are: Both the Senate & House have passed versions of the GOP tax scam. They have a lot in common (huge tax cuts for the wealthy & corporations, tax hikes on millions of middle class families) but aren’t identical. 2/

To become law, the House & Senate have to pass identical bills. So to come up with ONE new version that both chambers can pass, the GOP has sent their bills to a “conference committee.” 3/

That Conference Committee is, right now, behind closed doors, ironing out the differences between the House & Senate bill. The bad news is that the bill is much more likely to get worse than it is to get better. 4/

Once the Conference Committee creates a new bill that they think can pass both chambers, both the House and the Senate will have to vote AGAIN. That’s our last chance to . 5/

The Conference Committee is going to have precisely 1 “open” meeting (it’s not much more than a photo op), and that’ll be THIS WEDNESDAY, December 13th, at 2 PM. 6/

it’ll be only a matter of days before the FINAL vote in the House & Senate. Those votes could be as soon as Thursday, but likely will be early the week of the 18th. 7/

That means this week is CRITICAL. If we’re going to stop this bill, Congress needs to hear and feel the backlash. We can stop it either by flipping 10 GOP votes in the House or 2 GOP votes in the Senate. Tall orders, yes, but not impossible. 8/

Here’s a list of 50+ potentially flippable House GOPers. These all have some combination of the following characteristics: •From states that would be particularly hard hit •Voted against ACA repeal •Are in competitive 2018 races We need 10 of ‘em. 9/

In the Senate, our best bets are Susan Collins and Jeff Flake (and it would help if Doug Jones wins on Tuesday). Both were promised concessions that aren’t likely to be in the final bill. Both want to be thought of as “serious” and “independent.” 10/
So, what can you do? 1. Call EVERY day. Especially if you are in AZ, ME, or one of those 50 House districts, but call daily even if you aren’t (Congress needs to feel the backlash everywhere – & they talk to each other). 11/ <Note from OTYCD: Yes, this is one of those times when it is OK to call for days in a row on the same issue.>
2.If you are in the DC area, or can get here, come to the People’s Rally Against the Tax Scam at the Capitol on WEDNESDAY. This is our last best chance to make a lot of noise in DC. 12/
3. Go to a local protest or event. Check out and & for lists of local events. 13/
Bottom line: the GOP knows their tax scam is historically unpopular. They’re hoping that voters will forget about it by next November and beyond. Our best bet to stop the bill is by showing them we won’t forget. /end

 

And here are more things you might want to know:

There might be a GOP Tax Scam protest near you. Check this link to find out:

https://notonepenny.org/take-action/#events

 

In her December 6 update on fighting the GOP tax bill, Celeste Pewter (@Celeste_Pewter) offered talking points that you can use with friends, family, and co-workers:

8. Here are talking points you can include in any contact you share w/ friends/family/colleagues. Key point is that the impact on the deficit could eventually result in cuts in entitlement programs.

 

The Senate has chosen its lineup for the Tax Conference Committee. They will represent the Senate when trying to reconcile the House and Senate versions of the GOP tax bill.

If any of these Republicans are your senators, it is super-extra-important for you to call and make your opposition known.

Orrin Hatch of Utah

Mike Enzi of Wyoming

Lisa Murkowski of Alaska

John Cornyn of Texas

John Thune of South Dakota

Rob Portman of Ohio

Tim Scott of South Carolina

Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania

 

Before that, the House GOP named its tax conference committee members. If any of these folks are your reps, it is super-extra-important for you to call (again, all are Republicans):

Kevin Brady of Texas

Devin Nunes of California

Peter Roskam of Illinois

Diane Black of Tennessee

Kristi Noem of South Dakota

 

Rob Bishop of Utah

Don Young of Alaska

Greg Walden of Oregon

John Shimkus of Illinois

 

 

 

Here also are several other folks aside from @MichaelSLinden, @Celeste_Pewter, @TopherSpiro, and @aslavitt who you should be following on Twitter to stay on top of the GOP tax bill, which is morphing constantly, like a suspect science experiment in a horror movie. Some of these people are old friends from the Trumpcare fights. Some are tax experts.

Ben Wikler @benwikler

Seth Hanlon @sethhanlon

Sunjeev Bery @sunjeevbery

Lily Batchelder @lilybatch

Greg Leiserson @gregleiserson

Chad Bolt @chadderr

 

In addition, you can call your members of Congress (MoCs) to ask them to defend Net Neutrality–that vote could come on December 14.

We’ve been beating the Net Neutrality drum all year. Below is a post that explains why we need to keep it, and contains a script you can use when calling your MoCs:

https://onethingyoucando.com/2017/12/02/defend-net-neutrality-and-keep-the-internet-a-level-playing-field-for-all/

Now, a refinement of this point. The vote that’s happening on December 14 is NOT a Congressional vote. It’s the five members of the FCC. Two are against repealing Net Neutrality, and three are believed to be for it.

Here are the email addresses of those three. Please email them and ask them to vote to keep Net Neutrality. As always, be clear and firm but unfailingly polite.

Ajit Pai, Chairman Ajit.Pai@fcc.gov

Michael O’Rielly, Commissioner Mike.O’Rielly@fcc.gov

Brendan Carr, Commissioner Brendan.Carr@fcc.gov

 

Here also are two more recent posts that relate to the GOP tax bill and its effects that you should see if you haven’t yet:

https://onethingyoucando.com/2017/12/02/refresh-review-and-prep-for-2018-gop-tax-bill-related-briefing/

https://onethingyoucando.com/2017/12/03/commit-now-to-put-any-tax-benefits-you-might-get-from-the-gop-tax-bill-to-fighting-its-effects/

 

One last note, which we’ve stated before: Even if this bill ultimately implodes and never becomes law, we still need to vote out every Republican that we can in 2018. This whole process has been nothing less than legislative malpractice. They should be punished for aiding and abetting it. Period.

Action Alerts · Call Your Members of Congress · Elections · Online Privacy, Net Neutrality · Separation of Church and State · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends

Fight the GOP Tax Bill, December 13 Update, Plus Defending Net Neutrality

Here’s your December 13 update on fighting the GOP tax bill, with side notes on defending net neutrality.

The language you see here is largely similar to previous days, but there are some notable updates. Please read on, and thanks for reading.

If you live in Washington, D.C., Not One Penny will be holding a People’s Rally Against the GOP Tax Scam at the East Front of the U.S. Capitol building from 1 pm to 2 pm EST:

https://www.facebook.com/events/100850750707551/

 

Not in Washington? There still might be a protest near you. Check this link:

http://stoptrumptaxcuts.org/events/

 

Politico is reporting that the House of Representatives will not vote on the bill during the week of December 11. The December 8 story opens like so:

The House will not vote next week on a final agreement to rewrite the tax code, though House and Senate negotiators are expected to work through the weekend.

“It will not come up next week, but if it could, I would bring it up as soon as we come out of conference, because I do believe the American people are waiting for a Tax Cuts and Jobs Act,” House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy told colleagues late Thursday in remarks on the House floor.

Full story here:

https://www.politico.com/story/2017/12/08/final-tax-vote-schedule-timeline-287243

 

 

That means they’re going to work on the bill all week. And that means you need to keep calling, and keep urging your friends and family to call, too.

Here’s a December 10 Twitter thread from tax expert Michael Linden that you should see, which lays out what makes this week important:

 

This coming week is make-or-break for the GOP tax scam. If you have any interest in fighting this disastrous bill, follow along for a state-of-play update. Short version: we CAN still stop this thing. 1/

Here’s where we are: Both the Senate & House have passed versions of the GOP tax scam. They have a lot in common (huge tax cuts for the wealthy & corporations, tax hikes on millions of middle class families) but aren’t identical. 2/

To become law, the House & Senate have to pass identical bills. So to come up with ONE new version that both chambers can pass, the GOP has sent their bills to a “conference committee.” 3/

That Conference Committee is, right now, behind closed doors, ironing out the differences between the House & Senate bill. The bad news is that the bill is much more likely to get worse than it is to get better. 4/

Once the Conference Committee creates a new bill that they think can pass both chambers, both the House and the Senate will have to vote AGAIN. That’s our last chance to . 5/

The Conference Committee is going to have precisely 1 “open” meeting (it’s not much more than a photo op), and that’ll be THIS WEDNESDAY, December 13th, at 2 PM. 6/

it’ll be only a matter of days before the FINAL vote in the House & Senate. Those votes could be as soon as Thursday, but likely will be early the week of the 18th. 7/

That means this week is CRITICAL. If we’re going to stop this bill, Congress needs to hear and feel the backlash. We can stop it either by flipping 10 GOP votes in the House or 2 GOP votes in the Senate. Tall orders, yes, but not impossible. 8/

Here’s a list of 50+ potentially flippable House GOPers. These all have some combination of the following characteristics: •From states that would be particularly hard hit •Voted against ACA repeal •Are in competitive 2018 races We need 10 of ‘em. 9/

In the Senate, our best bets are Susan Collins and Jeff Flake (and it would help if Doug Jones wins on Tuesday). Both were promised concessions that aren’t likely to be in the final bill. Both want to be thought of as “serious” and “independent.” 10/
So, what can you do? 1. Call EVERY day. Especially if you are in AZ, ME, or one of those 50 House districts, but call daily even if you aren’t (Congress needs to feel the backlash everywhere – & they talk to each other). 11/ <Note from OTYCD: Yes, this is one of those times when it is OK to call for days in a row on the same issue.>
2.If you are in the DC area, or can get here, come to the People’s Rally Against the Tax Scam at the Capitol on WEDNESDAY. This is our last best chance to make a lot of noise in DC. 12/
3. Go to a local protest or event. Check out and & for lists of local events. 13/
Bottom line: the GOP knows their tax scam is historically unpopular. They’re hoping that voters will forget about it by next November and beyond. Our best bet to stop the bill is by showing them we won’t forget. /end

 

And here are more things you might want to know:

There might be a GOP Tax Scam protest near you. Check this link to find out:

https://notonepenny.org/take-action/#events

 

In her December 6 update on fighting the GOP tax bill, Celeste Pewter (@Celeste_Pewter) offered talking points that you can use with friends, family, and co-workers:

8. Here are talking points you can include in any contact you share w/ friends/family/colleagues. Key point is that the impact on the deficit could eventually result in cuts in entitlement programs.

 

The Senate has chosen its lineup for the Tax Conference Committee. They will represent the Senate when trying to reconcile the House and Senate versions of the GOP tax bill.

If any of these Republicans are your senators, it is super-extra-important for you to call and make your opposition known.

Orrin Hatch of Utah

Mike Enzi of Wyoming

Lisa Murkowski of Alaska

John Cornyn of Texas

John Thune of South Dakota

Rob Portman of Ohio

Tim Scott of South Carolina

Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania

 

Before that, the House GOP named its tax conference committee members. If any of these folks are your reps, it is super-extra-important for you to call (again, all are Republicans):

Kevin Brady of Texas

Devin Nunes of California

Peter Roskam of Illinois

Diane Black of Tennessee

Kristi Noem of South Dakota

 

Rob Bishop of Utah

Don Young of Alaska

Greg Walden of Oregon

John Shimkus of Illinois

 

 

 

Here also are several other folks aside from @MichaelSLinden, @Celeste_Pewter, @TopherSpiro, and @aslavitt who you should be following on Twitter to stay on top of the GOP tax bill, which is morphing constantly, like a suspect science experiment in a horror movie. Some of these people are old friends from the Trumpcare fights. Some are tax experts.

Ben Wikler @benwikler

Seth Hanlon @sethhanlon

Sunjeev Bery @sunjeevbery

Lily Batchelder @lilybatch

Greg Leiserson @gregleiserson

Chad Bolt @chadderr

 

In addition, you can call your members of Congress (MoCs) to ask them to defend Net Neutrality–that vote could come on December 14.

To clarify: The vote will be taken by the five members of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), not Congress. The vote is likely to go 3-2 to repeal Net Neutrality. If that happens, Congress can do things to counteract it.

Here are @Celeste_Pewter’s notes on what to say when talking to your MoCs about defending Net Neutrality (don’t forget to follow her and her project, @roadto2018):

Here’s reason to hope that Congress will get behind finding ways to restore Net Neutrality with legislation: On December 12, Mike Coffman, a Republican House member from Colorado, sent a letter to Ajit Pai, head of the FCC, asking him to delay the vote planned for December 14.

Coffman tweeted a screenshot of the letter, which you can see on his Twitter feed:

@RepMikeCoffman

 

We at OTYCD have been beating the Net Neutrality drum all year. Below is a post that explains why we need to keep it:

https://onethingyoucando.com/2017/12/02/defend-net-neutrality-and-keep-the-internet-a-level-playing-field-for-all/

 

 

Here also are two more recent posts that relate to the GOP tax bill and its effects that you should see if you haven’t yet:

https://onethingyoucando.com/2017/12/02/refresh-review-and-prep-for-2018-gop-tax-bill-related-briefing/

https://onethingyoucando.com/2017/12/03/commit-now-to-put-any-tax-benefits-you-might-get-from-the-gop-tax-bill-to-fighting-its-effects/

 

One last note, which we’ve stated before: Even if this bill ultimately implodes and never becomes law, we still need to vote out every Republican that we can in 2018. This whole process has been nothing less than legislative malpractice. They should be punished for aiding and abetting it. Period.