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Follow and Support Christopher Stroop

Follow and support Christopher Stroop, an ex-evangelical who deftly explains the religious right’s baffling infatuation with Trump.

Stroop is a writer, speaker, and postdoc scholar whose evangelical background gives priceless, and frightening, insight into the evangelical mindset. Through his blog, Not Your Mission Field, and his tweets, he sheds light on why Franklin Graham and his ilk have gone all-in on Trump, a twice-divorced, vulgar, areligious, greedy, dishonest, venal, weak-minded would-be autocrat. (Spoiler alert: It has a lot to do with the weak-minded would-be autocrat part.)

 

Read his blog, Not Your Mission Field:

https://chrisstroop.com

 

Follow him on Twitter:

@C_Stroop

 

Support him via Patreon:

https://www.patreon.com/cstroop

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Embrace the Awkward: Learn to Handle All Sorts of Unreasonable People

Want to get better at handling uncomfortable conversations with racists, sexists, bigots, and people who don’t share your beliefs and won’t let it go? Read these Captain Awkward blog posts.

 

If you haven’t heard of this blog, you have a treat ahead of you. Plan on losing an afternoon, because you will be diving deep in the rabbit hole.

 

Captain Awkward might be–no, is–the best personal advice column out there. Better than Miss Manners. Better than Dear Abby. Better than Dear Prudence. And yes, better than Carolyn Hax (sorry, Hax).

 

Blog author Jennifer P. has written several entries and presented guest posts on how to handle encounters with sexists, racists, xenophobes, homophobic and transphobic folks, as well as people who make it their mission to stomp on your boundaries.

 

Here are some good ones to start with:

 

#1083 and #1084: Nazis Are Beyond Awkward, Do Not Engage (a woman dating a man who got a Neo-Nazi tattoo way back when and hasn’t yet had it removed; a woman’s older brother is a jerk who says pro-Nazi things and her family is being dense about it):

#1083 and #1084: Nazis Are Beyond Awkward, Do Not Engage.

 

 

#915: ‘All in the Family Politics’ (She is pro-choice and works for an abortion provider; her future mother-in-law is anti-choice):

#915: All In The Family Politics

 

 

#871: ‘Love and Friendship in the Time of Xenophobia’:

#871: Love & Friendship in the Time of Xenophobia

 

 

#819: ‘Ware the ‘Frozen Chosen’ (dealing with less-than-Christian-acting congregants):

#819: ‘Ware The “Frozen Chosen”

 

 

#710: ‘I Love My Volunteers (But Not the Racist Ones)’:

#710: I love my volunteers (but not the racist ones).

 

 

…and read these guest posts:

 

‘A Post-election Guide to Changing Hearts and Minds’:

Guest Post: A post-election guide to changing hearts and minds

 

‘If I Come Out to My Family, Will They Stop Making Offensive Jokes Already?’:

Guest Post! “If I come out to my family, will they stop making offensive jokes already?”

 

Also, on November 16, the Captain Awkward blog posted a link to a great Southern Poverty Law Center guide on responding to everyday bigotry:

https://www.splcenter.org/20150126/speak-responding-everyday-bigotry

 

 

Visit the Captain Awkward site:

https://captainawkward.com

 

Follow Captain Awkward on Twitter:

@CAwkward

 

Donate to Captain Awkward:

Support/Donate

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Call Your MoCs to Protest HHS’s Proposed Plan to Stop Recognizing Transgender People as People

Call your members of Congress to protest Health and Human Services (HHS)’ proposed plans that would cease recognition of the civil rights of transgender people. 

 

Today’s Trump Administration fuckery comes from a Health and Human Services (HHS) proposal that would essentially cease to recognize the civil rights of transgender people.

 

The Obama administration had done much to issue guidelines and protections for this vulnerable group. On October 21, 2018, the New York Times reported that it had received an HHS memo that suggested narrowly defining gender as the sex assigned to an individual at birth.

 

If enacted, the changes would affect around 1.4 million Americans who have realized their sex and their gender don’t align.

 

Full article is here:

 

 

We can argue why the Trump administration is doing this, and why they’re doing this now. But once again we find ourselves metaphorically coaxing a toddler to put down the matches and walk away from the gas stove. Stop the danger first, then ponder the whys.

 

Here’s a script to use with your members of Congress (MoCs). Before you call, check the social media feeds of your two Senators and your House Rep. Have they said anything at all? Follow the script as written. Have they spoken out in favor of transgender rights, as Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren has? Thank them and mention the platform where you saw the message. Have they spoken against? Firmly, politely castigate them for their stance. Got it? OK, here’s a suggestion for what you can say:

 

“Dear Senator/House Rep (Lastname), I am (Firstname Lastname of town, zip code), and I am calling to ask you to do everything you can to stop Health and Human Services from rewriting the government’s definition of sex and gender to effectively erase transgender people. Recently, the New York Times received an HHS memo that promised to do just that by redefining the meaning of sex so narrowly that it fails to recognize the existence of transgender people.

If HHS succeeds, the department’s needless cruelty will affect the lives of around 1.4 million Americans who know that their gender doesn’t match the sex that they were assigned at birth. Transgender people suffer greatly as it is. The Obama administration took steps to grant them some civil rights protections. We shouldn’t be repealing those protections–we should be strengthening them and expanding them. I urge you to speak publicly against this proposal and draft laws that would reinforce the good work that the previous administration started.”

 

If you are a physician, please contact your relevant professional medical group, or the relevant subcommittee within that group, to urge it to push back against the government’s attempt to make laws that imperiously stomp all over science.

 

If you live in Massachusetts and you haven’t voted yet (early voting started Monday, October 22), please vote YES on Question 3. Voting yes is a vote to defend transgender rights in that state. If we at OTYCD hear about similar ballot measures in other states, we’ll add those here and we’ll note the correct wording to choose to affirm transgender rights.

 

If you can make a donation, consider giving to the Center for Transgender Equality:

https://transequality.org

 

On Twitter:

@transequality

 

 

…and/or the Transgender Law Center:

https://transgenderlawcenter.org

 

On Twitter:

@translawcenter

 

 

Also follow the #WontBeErased hashtag on Twitter.

 

Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the button on the upper right of the

page or checking the About & Subscribe page. And tell your friends about the blog!

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Support Democrat J.D. Scholten’s Bid to Unseat Noxious Iowa House Rep Steve King

Support Democrat J.D. Scholten’s bid to unseat noxious Iowa House Rep Steve King.

 

In the age of Trump, Republican incumbents in garnet-red parts of America are finally drawing Democratic challengers. Steve King leads that list. He’s represented Iowa’s 4th District since 2002, and he’s running again in 2018.

 

He is also a racist. He has enough self-awareness to avoid tweeting slurs or saying them when microphones are live and cameras are rolling, but there’s no doubt–the man is a racist.

 

In a 2013 interview with the right-wing news and opinion website NewsMax, and evidently in the context of discussing legislative protections for people who came to the U.S. as undocumented children, he said:

For every one who’s a valedictorian, there’s another 100 out there who weigh 130 pounds and they’ve got calves the size of cantaloupes because they’re hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert. (Cite is below.)

https://takingnote.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/07/24/no-comment-necessary-drug-mules/

 

 

In 2017, King tweeted praise for a far-right Dutch politician and said, ‘We can’t restore civilization with someone else’s babies.’ (Cite is below.)

 

Most recently, King was revealed as the source of false information that Donald Trump mentioned in a June 22, 2018 event where he tried to smear all undocumented people. Trump claimed that since September 11, 2001, 63,000 Americans had died at the hands of who he called “illegal aliens.”

 

Snopes and the Washington Post traced the claim to a mid-2000s blog post by King, and both laid out evidence that debunked it:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/politics/wp/2018/06/22/the-original-source-for-trumps-claim-of-63000-immigrant-murders-bad-data-from-steve-king-in-2005/?utm_term=.fa80bc5ed3e4

https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/have-undocumented-killed-63000-us-9-11/

 

Where does J.D. Scholten come in, you may ask? He’s stepped up to run against King as a Democrat.

 

 

Scholten is a fifth-generation Iowan, a former professional baseball player, a current litigation paralegal, and a first-time candidate for office. He works Twitter well, and he has the support of the student activists from Parkland, Florida, who got behind him after King’s campaign shared a Facebook meme that mocked Emma Gonzales, a prominent member of the Parkland group.

Read an April 2018 Slate story about how the Parkland activists came to champion Scholten:

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2018/04/can-parkland-activists-help-democrat-j-d-scholten-defeat-iowa-rep-steve-king.html

 

 

But let’s be clear-eyed here. Of all the Democratic candidates for office who OTYCD has featured to date, Scholten might have the toughest climb. King fought off a Republican  challenger in the June 5 primary with ease, beating her 3-to-1. The Cook Political report rates Iowa’s 4th as Solid Republican.

 

King is the longtime incumbent and he’s won re-election after saying toe-curlingly awful things before. It seems that a fair number of Iowans shrug and vote for him (and there are some who grin and vote for him, don’t be fooled). And registered Republican voters significantly outnumber registered Democratic voters in Iowa’s 4th.

 

But as they say, you can’t win if you don’t play. Scholten is suited up and ready to go. Have a look at his campaign site and the links below and consider supporting him.

 

 

See Scholten’s website:

https://www.scholten4iowa.com

 

 

See his Meet JD page:

https://www.scholten4iowa.com/Meet-Jd

 

 

See his Endorsements page:

https://www.scholten4iowa.com/endorsements

 

 

Read a May 31, 2018 Op-Ed in the Sioux City Journal in which Scholten explains why Iowans should vote for him:

https://siouxcityjournal.com/opinion/columnists/j-d-scholten-here-s-why-you-should-vote-for/article_5162d965-a0a2-539a-b3ec-e6971f2fe9c5.html

 

 

Choose Scholten for your Core Four:

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

 

 

Donate to Scholten’s campaign:

https://secure.actblue.com/donate/scholtenhome

 

 

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

 

 

Like him on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/Scholten4Iowa/

 

 

Follow him on Twitter:

@Scholten4Iowa

 

 

Read stories, both from 2017, about why Steve King’s political career doesn’t seem to suffer when he says racist things:

https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/03/why-steve-king-keeps-winning-214913

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/03/steve-king-nearer-the-throne/519336/

 

 

Read a March 2017 Vox piece about King’s history of saying racist things:

https://www.vox.com/identities/2017/3/13/14908184/steve-king-racist

 

 

 

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Support the American Constitution Society, the Progressive Counterpart to the Federalist Society

Support the American Constitution Society (ACS), the progressive counterpart to the right-wing Federalist Society.

 

You might have heard of the Federalist Society. Founded in 1982, it’s a rightward-tilting organization that promotes and fosters like-minded judges.

 

In recent years it has become the de facto selector of Supreme Court candidates and other federal judges by Republicans. John Roberts, Samuel Alito, and Neil Gorsuch all have ties to the Federalist Society.

 

You might be wondering if there’s a progressive counterpart to the Federalist Society. Why yes, yes there is.

 

The American Constitution Society (ACS), founded in 2001, was deliberately designed to serve as a counterweight to the Federalist Society.

 

Being younger than that group, it’s not as far along in its evolution, but it is building a network of progressive-minded lawyers who will defend, per its purpose, “individual rights and liberties, genuine equality, access to justice, democracy and the rule of law.”

 

See its website:

https://www.acslaw.org

 

 

Read its blog:

https://www.acslaw.org/acsblog

 

 

Find an ACS chapter near you:

https://www.acslaw.org/chapters

 

Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the blue button on the upper right or checking the About & Subscribe page. And tell your friends about the blog!

 

Like the ACS on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/acslaw/

 

 

Follow it on Twitter:

@acslaw

 

 

Donate to the ACS:

https://donate.acslaw.org/donate?campaign=homepage

 

 

Read a 2008 New York Times piece on the ACS:

 

Read about the rise and the doings of the Federalist Society:

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/jurisprudence/2017/01/how_the_federalist_society_became_the_de_facto_selector_of_republican_supreme.html

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2017/03/23/grilling-gorsuch-and-fearing-the-federalist-society/?utm_term=.81e8b9c2b091

 

 

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Support Katie Porter’s Run to Unseat California House Republican Mimi Walters

Support Democrat Katie Porter’s run to unseat California House Republican Mimi Walters.

 

To flip the House of Representatives to Democratic control, the party needs to pick up at least 24 seats. Those who know say that the Democrats need to gain at least a third of those 24 in California.

 

Katie Porter has a harder road to walk than, say, Harley Rouda or Gil Cisneros. Unlike those two, whose California Congressional districts the Cook Political Report rates as Toss-ups, the 45th district carries a Lean Republican tag.

 

Republican Mimi Walters, first elected in 2014, has fallen in behind Trump and has consistently voted for bills he likes. That should rankle those in her district, who voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016.

 

Porter is a professor at University of California, Irvine and a protege of Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren. She specializes in fighting home mortgage lenders who mistreat their clients. When Kamala Harris was still the state’s attorney general, she chose Porter to monitor a $25 billion mortgage settlement on behalf of California.

 

Porter has an opening, but she’ll need support to make this happen. Have a look at the links below and see if she’s the right candidate for you.

 

 

See Porter’s campaign website:

https://katieporter.com

 

 

See her Issues page:

https://katieporter.com/issues

 

 

See her Endorsements page:

https://katieporter.com/endorsements

 

 

Choose Porter for your Core Four:

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

 

 

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

 

 

Donate to Porter’s campaign:

https://secure.actblue.com/contribute/page/kp18?refcode=header_donate

 

 

Like Porter on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/katieporteroc

 

 

Follow her on Twitter:

@katieporteroc

 

 

Read additional articles about Porter that predate the June 5, 2018 primary:

https://www.ocregister.com/2017/04/03/all-the-facts-on-katie-porter-challenger-to-rep-mimi-walterss-re-election-bid/

http://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article142177884.html