Community Activism · Escape Your Bubble · Ethics · Fighting Bigotry, Racism, Sexism, Homophobia, Transphobia... · Health Care · Marches and Protests · Public Education · Stand for Science · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms

Commit Now to Put Any Tax Benefits You Might Get from the GOP Tax Bill to Fighting Its Effects

This OTYCD entry originally appeared in December 2017.

If the GOP tax bill passes, will you benefit from it in the form of lower taxes? Commit now to put any extra money to the work of fighting its effects.


Yes, the GOP tax bill rewards the rich at the expense of the middle class and the poor. Not too terribly many people who read this will belong to the group who will benefit if it becomes law.


Still. If you are one of those people, think about how you will use that money for good, and use it to fight the ill effects of the bill.


The bill treats waived graduate school tuition as taxable income. Fight this by talking to your alma mater, or a favorite public or private university, about how you can help relieve the burden the bill imposes on grad students. In particular, do what you can to assist grad students from marginalized communities, who will be hit hardest.


The bill removes a tax credit that employers received if they hired veterans. Look around your community, see which organizations are serving veterans and helping them find jobs, and see about pointing your gains in that direction.


The bill removes a tax credit for teachers who buy supplies for their classrooms. Find the neediest public school in your community and commit to underwriting those perpetual costs.


The variants are endless, but we should also mention yet again that in addition to what you choose to do, you should also support and elect candidates who will change the laws, fix the flaws, and help the people who will be hurt by the GOP tax bill.


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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:


Here is a sample mini-chat update:


Here is a sample full-length chat:


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


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:


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


The caricature of Weingarten appears on his landing page.

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

This OTYCD entry originally posted in July 2017.

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).

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.


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’:


Like NARAL Pro-Choice America’s Facebook page:


Follow NARAL Pro-Choice on Twitter:



Donate to NARAL Pro-Choice America:



Action Alerts · Call Your Senators · Health Care · Senate Bills, Federal

Call Your Senators and Tell Them to Vote NO on the 20-Week Abortion Ban Bill

Call your senators and tell them to vote NO on a bill which would ban abortion after 20 weeks. 


This per our friend Celeste Pewter (@Celeste_Pewter), who urged folks to take action on this matter on January 25, 2018 (the day this post goes live).


Called the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, the bill would make aborting a fetus after 20 weeks punishable by five years in prison, a fine, or both.


In the Senate, the bill’s number is S. 2311. The House version is H.R. 36.


The GovTrack page on H.R. 36 gives the bill a 34 percent chance of passage, and gives its Senate counterpart a 26 percent chance of passage.


The bill needs 60 votes to pass the Senate. It is unlikely to succeed. Even still, Pewter has solid reasoning for raising the alarm now, as she details in these January 24 tweets:


Ok, all: remember this? Yeah, red alert time: I CANNOT stress this enough. You need to be bombarding your Senate offices, beginning NOW.


Please RT this. This is one of those situations where I was hoping the bill would just die after being introduced, never to be heard from again, but 2018 is apparently deciding to try my patience.


Here’s the legislation in question. Yes, it needs sixty votes (thank god). But seriously, bombard your Senate offices with calls. We need to send a clear-cut message that we do not accept the Senate screwing around with this.


At some level, this is also McConnell daring Dem Senators in red states to take a stance on this in advance of midterms, which is as exactly as asinine and calculated as it sounds. So. Call and give them the numbers to vote NO.


(If I’m swearing a lot, it’s because 2018 has been really trying my patience, and we’re barely three weeks in.)


Here’s the link to the Graham version of this bill. Note the 7% Skopos rating: I normally shrug for anything under 15% – 20% – which is why I don’t always mention every bill – but given the repeated attacks on abortion from all sides, important to call.


Regarding that last tweet–we found higher Skopos ratings than seven percent on GovTrack for both versions of the bill. And, again, this bill needs 60 votes to move ahead, and it is unlikely to get that many votes.


Still, it is important to raise our voices NOW to our Senators and make it clear that we don’t want this, and they should not fiddle around with such nonsense.


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!



See a January 24, 2018 story from The Hill that discusses the impending vote:


See the page on H.R. 36:


Here’s the GovTrack page on H.R. 36 (the Skopos Labs assessment is on this page):


Here also is the GovTrack page on S. 2311 (this page also has a Skopos Labs assessment):


Follow Celeste Pewter on Twitter:



Check out The Road to 2018, which Pewter is involved with, and which defends vulnerable Democratic Senators:


And check out It’s Time To Fight, an awesome pro-Resistance resource that dispenses daily advice for pushing back against Trump and his ilk:

Call Your Members of Congress · Health Care · Support Immigrants and Refugees

Call Your MoCs to Demand a CHIP Renewal and a Clean DACA Bill, January 18, 2018

Call your members of Congress (MoCs) and urge them to renew CHIP and pass a clean DACA bill, dammit. 

CHIP is the Children’s Health Insurance Program. It covers the medical needs of about nine million American children. Passed in 1997, it expired on September 30, 2017.

Congress should have renewed it before it expired. But Congress is controlled by the GOP, which had other priorities.

Donald Trump deliberately left those covered by the Deferred Access for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program hanging when he pulled the plug on it last year (something he did not have to do) and gave Congress until March to act.

The people in the DACA program are often called the “Dreamers.” Their parents brought them to America when they were small; they are Americans in every respect except that they lack citizenship documents.

Damn near everyone agrees that Congress should fund the doctor bills of poor kids and should not kick out people who’ve lived in America for most if not all of their conscious lives. The GOP is dithering on the first, and Trump and his white supremacist toadies in the White House are mucking with the second.

Please call your MoCs–all three of them–and ask them to knock it off and do their jobs.

Celeste Pewter (@Celeste_pewter), who you should follow on Twitter (you are, right?) has your calling script:

Now, some discussion of how this is tangled up in the need to avoid a government shutdown.

Congress needs to pass a Continuing Resolution (CR) to keep the government funded past Thursday, January 18. They passed a short-term CR late last year that expires Friday.

The CR under discussion in the House of Representatives includes a six-year extension for CHIP, but nothing about DACA.

Not including DACA has enough Congresspeople annoyed–mostly Democrats but including some Senators who have been working on a bipartisan solution–to make them tilt against voting for a CR.

Things are still pretty liquid right now, and are changing by the minute, seemingly.


To stay on top of things we at OTYCD recommend following the Twitter feeds of:


Andy Slavitt (@aslavitt)

Topher Spiro (@TopherSpiro)

Ben Wikler (@benwikler)

And the aforementioned Celeste Pewter (@Celeste_Pewter)


They will have news on CHIP/DACA/government shutdown situation faster than we will.


Here also are some articles from The Washington Post, Vox, Politico, and The Hill on the situation, and on aspects of it:


Below is an opinion piece from the Washington Post on the matter:

Call Your Members of Congress · Health Care

Call Your MoCs and Ask Them to Re-Authorize CHIP

This OTYCD entry originally posted in October 2017.

Call your MoCs and ask them to reauthorize the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which covers about nine million American kids.

Note: This information was originally part of a multi-purpose post published on September 29. We’ve reworked the post and reposted it as a separate, dedicated item so it can continue to circulate until CHIP is reauthorized. Apologies to subscribers, who will receive this as a ‘new’ post.

The latest deadline for the Senate to pass Trumpcare was September 30. That happens to be the same day that the CHIP program expired. Passed under the Clinton administration, the law provides for a program that delivers health coverage to American children in need.

Congress missed the deadline to re-up the 20-year-old law, meaning that funding will stop until the law is reauthorized. About nine million children could suffer disruptions in their health coverage or lose it entirely while waiting for Congress to act.

Here’s a sample script to use when calling your MoCs. As always, please check their websites and social media feeds before you call to see if they have said anything about the expiration of CHIP, and thank or shame them accordingly.

“Dear Senator/House Rep (Lastname), I am (Firstname Lastname, of town, zip code). I am asking you to do whatever you can to reauthorize CHIP, the 20-year-old program that provides health insurance to roughly nine million children. As you are probably aware, CHIP expired on September 30, cutting off funding for the program. Please reauthorize CHIP as soon as possible, and urge your colleagues to do so. Thank you.”


Read about CHIP and its importance:



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

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

This OTYCD entry originally posted in July 2017.

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:


They literally put their bodies on the line to stop Trumpcare, over and over. A total of 117 activists from ADAPT were arrested while protesting the Trumpcare Senate hearing on Monday, September 25, and more were arrested Tuesday, September 26 during a protest outside the Health and Human Services (HHS) building in favor of community integration–a policy that lets disabled people stay in their homes and neighborhoods rather than a nursing facility. (Updated to note that HHS leader Tom Price resigned on Friday, September 29, over spending $1 million in taxpayer money on plane charters and military flights when he could have flown commercial instead.)

See ADAPT’s press release about the HHS protest:


You can help ADAPT by honoring their request for citizens to call the HHS and ask that its top officials meet with the organization about community integration.

Here’s the number for the HHS comment line: 202.205.5445


The link below is not explicitly labeled as a bail fund, but the money raised “will be used by ADAPT to cover the costs of activists from across the country as they continue to fight for civil rights and freedom for people with disabilities and older adults.”

Click it and give generously, please. As of 8:30 pm EST on September 26 they’d collected almost $62,000 against a goal of $80,000.



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


Visit the ADAPT webpage:


Find an ADAPT group near you:


Like ADAPT on Facebook:


Follow it on Twitter:



Donate to ADAPT:


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 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.