Community Activism · Good News · Health Care · Thank You Actions

Take a Break Every Now and Again. It’ll Help You Stop Trump.

For your own sanity’s sake, plan periodic breaks from fighting Trump and his ilk.

With so much going on, it might be tough to convince yourself to step away and rest. But you must if you want to fight Trump and the Republicans effectively. No, really. You’ve heard people say ‘This is a marathon, not a sprint’? It’s not a bunch of yap-yap. You can’t go the distance if you don’t slow down to grab some water every now and again.

You need to sit yourself down and plan these respites, and you need to commit to them. Blocking out one day a week where you disengage from the news and from social media to do something you like–be it hiking, knitting, reading, hanging out with friends, or binge-watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer–put it on your calendar and don’t talk yourself out of it.

If you’re having trouble giving yourself permission to take one day off a week, then let us at OTYCD tell it to you straight:

 

“We, your friends at the One Thing You Can Do blog, are telling you, our faithful reader, to unplug and chill out completely once a week. We are giving you formal permission to do so.”

 

Print it out and tape it to your mirror, or your computer monitor, or staple it to your forehead–whatever it takes to get through to you.

If you won’t listen to OTYCD on this, follow Jen Hofmann on Twitter and subscribe to her Weekly Activism Checklist newsletter. She’s a fire-breathing evangelist for self-care.

 

Follow Jen Hofmann on Twitter:

@inspiredjen

 

Sign up for her Weekly Activism Checklist:

https://jenniferhofmann.com/home/weekly-action-checklist-democrats-independents-republicans-conscience/

 

Like her on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/Jennifer-Hofmann-463228547169366/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Call Your State Legislators · Fighting Bigotry, Racism, Sexism, Homophobia, Transphobia... · Health Care · Read, Educate Yourself, Prepare · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends · Vote with your Dollars

Find Out If Your State Has Abortion Trigger Laws and Make Sure They’re Pro-Choice

Does your state have abortion trigger laws–laws that instantly go into effect if Roe vs Wade is overturned? Find out, and urge your state legislators to pass pro-choice laws if need be. 

Trump and the Republicans are hell-bent on overturning Roe vs. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court (SCOTUS) decision that ensured that women will have safe, reliable access to abortion on demand. Trump announced his intention to appoint anti-choice SCOTUS judges and, well, just look at the nonsense that so many Republicans have pursued lately on this front.

If Roe vs Wade is overturned, the power to regulate abortion access goes back to the states. It makes eminent sense, then, to see what laws your state has on its books. Many have put so-called ‘trigger laws’ in place–laws that will ban legal abortion instantly should Roe vs Wade disappear.

Is your state one of them?

First, you should learn how accessible abortion services are in your state right now. NARAL Pro-choice America has created an interactive map that will show you (scroll down a bit to find the map).

https://www.prochoiceamerica.org/laws-policy/state-government/

Mouse over your state to see if it offers strongly restricted access (red); restricted access (pinkish); some access (purple-pink); protected access (purple); or strongly protected access (blue).

Once you have learned how things are now, while abortion is legal on the federal level, go to the link below, find your local chapter of NARAL, ask whether your state has anti-choice trigger laws on the books, and ask what you can do to get them overturned.

https://www.prochoiceamerica.org/about/state-affiliates/

 

You can also use a nifty tool created by the Our States web site that shows you at a glance whether your state is considering anti-choice legislation right now. Click the link below and click on ‘Reproductive Justice’:

https://www.ourstates.org/#ourstates

 

Like NARAL Pro-Choice America’s Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/naralprochoiceamerica

 

Follow NARAL Pro-Choice on Twitter:

@NARAL

 

Donate to NARAL Pro-Choice America:

https://secure.actblue.com/contribute/page/homepage_maindonate/?refcode=mainbutton

 

 

Health Care · Read, Educate Yourself, Prepare · Save These Tools · Stand Up for Norms

Feel Less Alone: Join Gene Weingarten’s Weekly Chat at the Washington Post

Join Gene Weingarten’s weekly online chats every Tuesday at noon EST at the Washington Post.

It pains us to admit that Trump’s victory caused something good to happen, but here it is: Trump’s election convinced humor columnist Gene Weingarten to resume his weekly online Chatological Humor chats at the Washington Post website on Tuesdays.

To be fair, he bills these as mini-chats. He used to do glorious longer chats every week until he accepted a buy-out from the Washington Post, and reduced them to monthlies. The raw post-Trump trauma radiating from his band of regulars convinced him to resume chatting weekly, at least for a while.

He says he’ll chat about anything and he pretty much does, but many of the questions he tackles are, at their core, rooted in the sentiment, “Trump. WTF? WTFF? I just–I can’t believe this.” Weingarten gamely plays the dual role of the voice of sanity and the voice of levity.

Weingarten’s Tuesday chats will do you good. You’ll be (virtually) surrounded by bright, fine, funny people who didn’t vote for Trump, who have come to hear live wisdom and fart jokes from a brighter, finer, funnier person who didn’t vote for Trump. If your schedule allows you to join live at noon EST, make a plan of it. Otherwise, read the transcripts.

 

Bookmark the link to the main Gene Weingarten page on the Washington Post site, through which you can join the latest Chatological Humor:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/people/gene-weingarten/?utm_term=.ec9d1b3c726e

 

Here is a sample mini-chat update:

https://live.washingtonpost.com/gene-weingarten-20170321.html

 

Here is a sample full-length chat:

https://live.washingtonpost.com/chatological-humor-20170328.html

 

Here is a recent Below the Beltway humor column by Weingarten:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/magazine/what-happens-when-a-humor-columnist-discovers-a-lump-in-his-throat/2017/03/24/3d522194-0027-11e7-8f41-ea6ed597e4ca_story.html?utm_term=.f81f070d467b

 

Not that you needed proof that Weingarten can write, but here’s Pearls Before Breakfast, a Washington Post feature story that earned a Pulitzer Prize:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/magazine/pearls-before-breakfast-can-one-of-the-nations-great-musicians-cut-through-the-fog-of-a-dc-rush-hour-lets-find-out/2014/09/23/8a6d46da-4331-11e4-b47c-f5889e061e5f_story.html?utm_term=.c94af1c5c515

 

And if you haven’t subscribed to the Washington Post yet, how about you take care of that now?:

https://subscribe.washingtonpost.com/loginregistration/index.html#/register/group/default?destination=http:%2F%2Fwww.washingtonpost.com%2Fpb%2Fhomepage%2F

 

The caricature of Weingarten appears on his landing page.

Fighting Bigotry, Racism, Sexism, Homophobia, Transphobia... · Health Care · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends · Vote with your Dollars

Subvert the Global Gag Rule on Abortion by Donating to She Decides

Subvert the Republican global gag rule on abortion by donating to She Decides, an initiative that helps women around the world exercise their reproductive rights.

The Dutch government launched She Decides earlier this year after Trump reinstated the Mexico City Policy, which is better known as the “global gag rule.” First put forward in 1984 under President Ronald Reagan, it requires foreign non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to refrain from “perform(ing) or promote(ing) abortion as a family planning method” if they want to receive U.S. funding for family planning programs. “Promoting” is construed to mean the mere discussion of abortion, hence the nickname “global gag rule”–if you want U.S. funds, you can’t even mention the existence of abortion to the people you help.

Since 1984, the global gag rule has come and gone, vanishing when Democratic presidents take office and returning from the dead when Republicans are elected. Trump took an evil, deadly, wrongheaded policy and made it that much more evil, deadly, and wrongheaded by expanding the types of funding that are linked to the global gag rule. Now anti-AIDS and HIV efforts, programs that assist mothers and babies, and other health-related assistance efforts are held hostage as well.

She Decides allows Americans (and indeed, anyone in the world) who wants to push back against the unconscionable effects of the global gag rule by supporting vital programs in developing countries. It channels funds to NGOs that suffer under the Mexico City policy–those that honor and act on straightforward factual information about sexual and reproductive health, and help women exercise the right to choose whether and when to have children, and choose how many they will have.

Donate to She Decides (you can make your contribution in euros or dollars, and you can donate anonymously):

https://www.shedecides.com/the-initiative.html

 

Like the She Decides Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/SheDecidesGFI/

 

Follow She Decides on Twitter:

@SheDecidesGFI

 

 

 

Health Care · Read, Educate Yourself, Prepare

Keep a Journal

Keep a journal, for the sake of your future self.

When the Trump administration is over–and really, it will end–you’ll be surprised how quickly you’ll forget what life was like. You’ll question whether things were that tense, or that intense. You will struggle to remember what it was like to have three to five bombshell news stories to break in one day and have that be normal. You will forget what it’s like to feel like you’re living in a Dom Delillo novel. (We had been living in a bad John LeCarré novel until a young woman named Reality Leigh Winner was arrested for leaking documents. That’s when we shifted to living in a Dom Delillo novel.)

Anyway. You’ll forget what life was like because, to some extent, you will want to, and you will need to. Living under Trump is goddamn exhausting. When it ends, you’ll need to reassign a whole mess of neurons just to give them a much-deserved rest (if you don’t, they might short out on you, so yes, please, do rest your battered brain when the time comes).

But once you’ve had a chance to heal, you’ll need to periodically remind yourself what living under Trump was like. That’s where your journal comes in. If you’re not already keeping one, please start. It can be on paper, or online. It can be public or private. But commit to writing a dated entry at least once a week.

And when you do, try to note just how weird and screwed up these times are. Be honest about what you’re seeing and feeling, and why. Name your emotions, and describe them in detail. Write exactly as much as you need to write and no more, whether it’s two sentences or two chapters’ worth of observations. Refine it if you must, but it’s best if you just disgorge your thoughts and let them stand, and keep doing it, consistently.

Writing this journal will help your future self remember what this time was like, and it will revive your passion to resist when we no longer feel the need to capitalize the first letter of that word.

Good News · Health Care · Marches and Protests · Postcard Campaigns · Senate Bills, Federal

Fight Trumpcare/Defend the ACA, July 29: WOW. Just, WOW.

UPDATE July 29: After midnight EST, three Republican senators, plus 46 Democrats and two Independents, dealt a death-blow to the skinny repeal bill, the last vestige of what’s called Trumpcare.

The three Republican senators who stepped up and stopped it are Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Susan Collins of Maine, and John McCain of Arizona.

This wasn’t just a victory for any American who’s ever been sick or might get sick. It is a victory for democracy with a big D.

Throughout the process, the Republicans consistently shut out the Democrats and tried to get something done without cooperating with them in any way. This is in stark contrast to how the Democrats shepherded the Affordable Care Act into law in 2010.

The senators didn’t just save the health care system and untold numbers of lives last night. They saved the Senate, and they saved the notion that the American government can and does listen to its citizens.

You did this. You share in this victory.

Every single one of you who called, emailed, faxed, protested, and enlisted their friends to do the same, day after day for weeks.

Pressure works. Resisting works.

So you’re probably wondering–what’s next? What is there to do now?

First, know that this thing is merely dead, not really most sincerely dead. A Twitter exchange between Ginger Birnbaum (@gingerbirnbaum) and Andy Slavitt (@ASlavitt) makes this clear:

 

Birnbaum: Did McConnell return the vote to the calendar for a later date?

Slavitt: Apparently he did.

 

So it could still come back to life, but it won’t do so in the next few days at least.

You need to be prepared for Trumpcare to escape its grave.

Are you on Twitter by now? If not, sign up.

Once you are signed up, click on your avatar and then click on ‘Lists’.

Then click on ‘Create a List’ at the upper right.

Name your list ‘Fight Trumpcare’, and set it to private.

Add the following handles to your Fight Trumpcare list. To do this, go to the Twitter home page of each person, click on the vertical trio of dots next to the follow button, and then click ‘Add or remove from lists.’ Check the box. Make sure you see a white check on a blue background. Is it there? Then you’re done and ready to add the next handle.

Add these handles:

@ASlavitt

@TopherSpiro

@BenWikler

@Claire_McAndrew

…plus any other Twitter handles of folks who might belong on this list.

Check this list every day, or every other day, to see what might be happening on the Trumpcare front.

 

Second, spread some love. Did your Senators oppose the bill? Call and thank them. Did they support it? Call and make it clear that you expect them to fight any efforts by Trump to undermine the ACA law.

Also, send thank-you postcards to Murkowski, Collins, and McCain. The first two in particular withstood incredible pressure to move this bill along.

Time to turn that incredible pressure into an incredible showing of gratitude.

Remember: Please put your full return address on the postcards or else they may not be delivered.

 

Susan Collins

68 Sewall Street, Room 507

Augusta ME 04330

 

Lisa Murkowski

510 L Street

Suite 600

Anchorage, AK 99501

 

John McCain

2201 East Camelback Road

Suite 115

Phoenix, AZ 85016

 

Lastly, it’s time for some self-care. If you can’t rest today, schedule a time when you can, and stick to it. Ideally your rest involves staying away from the news and from social media. Do something that has nothing to do with politics.

Thanks again to everyone, everywhere, who pushed back.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fighting Bigotry, Racism, Sexism, Homophobia, Transphobia... · Health Care · Marches and Protests

Tired of Protesting Trumpcare? Look at What ADAPT is Doing and Get Inspired

If you find your will to protest Trumpcare flagging, check out what the disability rights activists with ADAPT are doing, and get inspired all over again.

If you’ve been tracking anti-Trumpcare protests–the marches, sit-ins, and die-ins at Congressional offices, and other events–you’ve seen photos of people in wheelchairs being zip-tied and arrested. Those photos almost certainly show members of ADAPT, a disability rights group that’s been active since the 1970s. (The acronym now stands for Americans Disabled Attendant Programs Today.) The photo in the header of this post shows a 1978 protest in Denver, Colorado.

ADAPT’s actions in the face of threatened Medicaid cuts in the Trumpcare bill have been nothing less than heroic. Read these links:

http://adapt.org/category/media/2017-save-medicaid-coverage/

http://adapt.org/denver-adapt-members-in-police-custody-more-than-24-hours-following-a-59-hour-sit-in/

http://www.newmobility.com/2017/06/adapt-activists-arrested-senate-health-care-protest/

http://www.cnn.com/2017/06/22/politics/protests-mitch-mcconnell-office-health-care-bill/index.html

https://www.vox.com/first-person/2017/6/27/15876442/healthcare-medicaid-cuts-disability-protests

http://adapt.org/time-video-shows-disability-advocates-forcibly-removed-from-senate-protest/

http://adapt.org/the-hill-43-arrested-in-obamacare-repeal-protests-at-capitol/

 

The ADAPT folks are doing amazing work, and they deserve your support, both during the fight against Trumpcare and beyond.

 

Visit the ADAPT webpage:

http://adapt.org

 

Find an ADAPT group near you:

http://adapt.org/getting-involved/

 

Like ADAPT on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/NationalAdapt/

 

Follow it on Twitter:

@NationalAdapt

 

Donate to ADAPT:

http://adapt.org/donate/

 

And here’s your daily July 2017 reminder to stay on stopping Trumpcare:

 

Call your senators. Keep the pressure up. Keep urging your friends across the country to call, too.

It’s especially important to call if any of these people are your senators:

Susan Collins of Maine

Lisa Murkowski of Alaska

Rob Portman of Ohio

Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia

Cory Gardner of Colorado

Dean Heller of Nevada

Bill Cassidy of Louisiana

Jeff Flake of Arizona (but wish him condolences–his father died June 26)

Dan Sullivan of Arkansas

Bob Corker of Tennessee

Lamar Alexander of Tennessee

Richard Shelby of Alabama

Luther Strange of Alabama

Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania

Ron Johnson of Wisconsin

See https://trumpcaretoolkit.org for phone numbers and tweetable statistics about health care coverage loss in these senators’ states.

If your senators are solid Dems, call and thank them for standing firm against the AHCA.

If your senators are Republicans, call call call call call and make it damn clear that you are against the AHCA and you will vote for their opponents come reelection time.