Action Alerts · Call Your Senators · Ethics · Fighting Bigotry, Racism, Sexism, Homophobia, Transphobia... · First Amendment, Defending a Free Press · Online Privacy, Net Neutrality · Public Education · Read, Educate Yourself, Prepare · Russian Scandal, Emoluments Clause · Separation of Church and State · Stand for Science · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms · Support Immigrants and Refugees · Voting Rights, Fighting Voter Suppression

Keep Calling Your Senators to Oppose Terrible Judicial Nominees (Not Just SCOTUS)

Keep calling your senators to oppose terrible judicial nominees (not just those for the Supreme Court of the United States).

 

Team Trump’s assault on the judicial branch through nominating terrible far-right candidates hasn’t gotten much attention on this blog because it’s a slow-moving, ongoing crisis.

 

One Thing You Can Do tries to focus on just that–one thing you can do every day to push back against Trump. Sticking rigidly to one thing has proven increasingly difficult as the Trump administration has aged, but we’ve mostly managed it. The judges issue has suffered the most from this practice.

 

Mitch McConnell is not limiting his manipulations to SCOTUS. He deliberately held open dozens of vacant judgeships under Obama and is frantically shoving as many nominees through as he can during the current Congress.

 

This is extra-disturbing because with the GOP in Congressional control, it’s the judicial branch that’s saved us from many of the worst excesses of Trump.

 

Cramming the courts full of young Trump appointees, all of whom receive lifetime appointments, threatens to warp our judicial system and pervert justice for decades to come.

 

You won’t be surprised to learn that most of these bad nominees are getting through on party-line votes.

 

We wrote about this once before after seeing ads on CNN that urged Republicans to support McConnell’s scheming. His most recent desperate move, which ended in the eleventh-hour withdrawal of a nominee who had racist writings in his past, reminded us we should write another post that you can bookmark and revisit.

 

First, know that as long as the GOP has control of Congress under Trump, they are trying to force through far-right nominees, several of whom are seriously problematic and some of whom are unqualified (seriously, they’ve tried to push through people who got an ‘unqualified’ rating from the American Bar Association).

 

The most recent failed nominee, Ryan Bounds, was an extra-insane situation because he was from Oregon, and that state’s senators had both refused to return their ‘blue slips’ on the nominee.

 

That means that Bounds had not earned the support of either Senator from Oregon.

 

In the past, if even one Senator withheld a blue slip, that ended a judicial nominee’s candidacy. McConnell was determined to steam ahead with Bounds in the absence of both blue slips, which has never happened in the history of the Senate.

 

The only reason Bounds was stopped is a GOP Senator, who had seen the racist writings, refused to support him. McConnell, realizing he did not have the votes to confirm, withdrew.

 

So, how to stay on top of the judicial nominee crisis? First, get on Twitter if you’re not already and follow:

 

@civilrightsorg

 

@DSenFloor

 

@cspan

 

The first will alert you to bad nominees. The other two will tell you when they’re headed to the floor.

 

Also follow @Celeste_pewter if you aren’t already. She is on top of bad nominees and will alert you to them as they appear.

 

Second, check this link and see if one of your Senators is on the Senate Judiciary Committee. (You’ll have to scroll down for the membership.)

 

https://www.judiciary.senate.gov

 

If you have a Senator on the committee, then it’s extra-important that you call to oppose bad nominees.

 

You can also check the committee’s Nominations page to learn about what’s in progress on that front:

https://www.judiciary.senate.gov/nominations

 

You should call both your Senators to oppose, but it’s crucial to call members of the committee early and often, in hopes of stopping bad candidates from advancing to a floor vote.

 

We can’t write you a blanket script because each bad nominee is bad in his or her own way. We can teach you to compose your own, however.

 

In checking the Twitter accounts listed above, look for:

 

The rating the nominee has received from the American Bar Association. If the person is unqualified, say so. If McConnell is rushing the nominee through so fast that the ABA hasn’t had time to issue a rating, say that, and demand that nothing go forward until the ABA can give a rating.

 

Whether or not one or both of the nominee’s home Senators has returned a blue slip. If anyone refuses, say so, and cite that as a reason to oppose.

 

If the nominee has hesitated to affirm bedrock rulings such as Brown vs Board of Education, Griswold vs Connecticut, Roe vs Wade, etc. Some nominees have given alarmingly muddled and evasive answers to questions along these lines. The only acceptable answer is ‘yes, these landmark cases were correctly decided.’

 

If civil rights and reproductive rights orgs say, flatly, that ‘Nominee X sucks and should not be on the federal bench for life,’ believe them and act accordingly.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Action Alerts · Community Activism · Ethics · Fighting Bigotry, Racism, Sexism, Homophobia, Transphobia... · First Amendment, Defending a Free Press · Health Care · Marches and Protests · Online Privacy, Net Neutrality · Protect the Environment · Public Education · Russian Scandal, Emoluments Clause · Separation of Church and State · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms · Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) · Uncategorized

Attend a #SaveSCOTUS Event Between Monday July 9 and Friday, July 13, 2018

Attend a #SaveSCOTUS event between Monday, July 9, and Friday, July 13, 2018.

 

Team Trump intends to announce the name of its Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) nominee on Monday, July 9, 2018.

 

A team of organizations, headed by the good folks at Indivisible, have planned a week-long series of actions to protest the nominee, who will no doubt be a hard-right extremist.

 

See the website below to find an event near you:

http://savescotus.indivisible.org

 

 

Download the #SaveSCOTUS toolkit, which includes tips on how to plan a local #SaveSCOTUS event:

https://savescotus.indivisible.org/toolkit/

 

 

Visit Indivisible’s main website:

https://www.indivisible.org

 

 

Donate to the Indivisible Project:

https://secure.actblue.com/contribute/page/indivisibleproject?refcode=homepage

 

 

Like the Indivisible Guide on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/indivisibleguide/

 

 

Follow the Indivisible Guide on Twitter:

@IndivisibleTeam

Common-sense Gun Laws · Community Activism · Marches and Protests · Public Education · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends · Voting Rights, Fighting Voter Suppression

See When the March For Our Lives Summer Tour Will Be Near You

See when the March For Our Lives summer tour will come to a city near you.

 

Between June and August 2018, March For Our Lives–the advocacy group created by survivors of the Valentine’s Day shooting at Margery Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida–is conducting its Road to Change tour.

 

They intend to register as many young people to vote as possible and encourage them to come out and vote in the 2018 midterm elections, which take place on Tuesday, November 6.

 

The tour started in Chicago on June 15 and will make more than 50 stops in more than 20 states. It will also hold events in all 27 of Florida’s Congressional districts.

 

As we prepare this post, only the June dates are listed on the March For Our Lives website, with a note that July and August dates are “coming soon.”

 

June stops will focus on the American midwest and will include St. Louis, Missouri; Sioux City, Iowa; Janesville, Wisconsin (home of Speaker of the House, Republican Paul Ryan); Minneapolis, Minnesota; and Bismarck, North Dakota, among others.

 

See the link to Road to Change tour dates:

https://marchforourlives.com/tour/

 

 

See the main page for March For Our Lives:

https://marchforourlives.com

 

 

See its Take Action page:

https://marchforourlives.com/take-action/

 

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 the March For Our Lives Action Fund:

https://marchforourlives.com/donate/

 

 

Register to vote through March For Our Lives:

https://marchforourlives.com/vote-for-our-lives/

 

 

Like March For Our Lives on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/marchforourlives

 

 

Follow it on Twitter:

@AMarch4OurLives

 

 

Read news stories about the unveiling of the March for Change tour:

https://www.cnn.com/2018/06/16/us/parkland-students-tour-chicago-rally/index.html?utm_source=twCNN&utm_medium=social&utm_content=2018-06-17T01%3A30%3A11&utm_term=image

https://www.npr.org/2018/06/16/620486174/parkland-survivors-launch-tour-to-register-young-voters-and-get-them-out-in-nove?utm_source=twitter.com&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=npr&utm_term=nprnews&utm_content=20180616

 

 

Action Alerts · Public Education · Vote with your Dollars

Remember Philando Castile by Following His Example–Pay His Schoolchildrens’ Meal Debts (Great Update, February 26, 2018)

Carry on the good work of Philando Castile by doing what he did–pay for the breakfasts and lunches of kids in his school cafeteria who could not afford their meals.

 

Great update!: As of February 26, 2018, the Philando Feeds the Children YouCaring page had erased the meal debts of the entire St. Paul Public Schools K-12 system.

 

Read the update posted to the page on that date:

St. Paul Public Schools System has 56 schools.  K-12.  And this fund, PHILANDO FEEDS THE CHILDREN, just paid off the lunch debt for all of them!!!!

That means that no parent of the 37,000 kids who eat meals at school need worry about how to pay that overdue debt.

Philando is STILL reaching into his pocket, and helping a kid out.  One by one.  With your help.

Your donations will fill that pocket for years to come.  Thank you for your generosity.

If you’ve already donated, tell yourself thank you.  From every parent of 37,000 children– THANK YOU!  You’ve made an enormous difference in their lives.

 

 

Original blog text follows.

 

Castile was shot and killed on July 6, 2016, by a police officer who pulled him over in greater St. Paul, Minnesota, for a broken tail light. Castile’s girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds,  live-streamed the aftermath of the shooting on Facebook. Her four-year-old daughter was in the car. Castile was 32. The officer who killed him was tried on second-degree manslaughter and other charges and found not guilty. He was fired the same day the verdict came down.

 

Castile was well-loved by the children at the J.J. Hill Montessori magnet school, a public school for pre-kindergarteners to fifth graders in St. Paul. The cafeteria supervisor would often pay for the breakfasts and lunches of students who could not afford their meals.

 

Inver Hills Community College professor Pam Fergus launched a fundraiser in his name: Philando Feeds the Children.

 

It’s on the YouGiving fundraiser platform. As of September 3, 2017, it had slightly exceeded its goal of $50,000, which was extended to cover the meal debts of the entire St. Paul public school system. The fundraiser will remain open into November.

 

If the scope of the fundraiser changes again we’ll update this page accordingly, and we will update it in November to note when the fundraiser closes.

 

Update, November 12, 2017: The fundraiser has been updated. Goal is now $999,999, and will help all public schools in St. Paul and beyond. As of this date it has raised more than $94,000.

 

This OTYCD entry originally posted in September 2017.

 

Donate to Philando Feeds the Children:

https://www.youcaring.com/jjhillschoolandotherschools-914378

 

 

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!

 

 

Read a piece from The Root on the fundraiser:

http://www.theroot.com/philando-castiles-legacy-of-helping-his-students-pay-fo-1798685076?utm_source=theroot_twitter&utm_medium=socialflow

 

 

Read about the killing of Castile (warning–some links may show videos of the confrontation, and may show the aftermath):

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/philando-castile-shooting

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2017/06/21/what-the-police-officer-who-shot-philando-castile-said-about-the-shooting/?utm_term=.53018e4bb705

http://www.cnn.com/2017/06/20/us/philando-castile-shooting-dashcam/index.html

Community Activism · Ethics · Fighting Bigotry, Racism, Sexism, Homophobia, Transphobia... · Protect the Environment · Public Education · Read, Educate Yourself, Prepare · Russian Scandal, Emoluments Clause · Save These Tools · Stand Up for Norms · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends · Vote with your Dollars

Save This Tool: whatdoidoabouttrump.com

This OTYCD entry originally posted in May 2017.

 

Bookmark What Do I Do About Trump, a clearing house of resistance resources.

 

Many anti-Trump lists, sites, services, and social media accounts have sprung up since the election. Most are good, but some are better.

 

What Do I Do About Trump, an all-volunteer effort, stands out for its depth and breadth. It’s the digital equivalent of a Trump resistance supermarket, except it’s a supermarket where half the aisles are full of cool stuff you heard of once and forgot about, or had no idea existed.

 

The site also stands apart from its competitors for offering two dedicated sections of note:

 

Inspiring Friends, which explicitly recognizes the value of recruiting your friends to join you in your activism

 

Protect Yourself, which gives you resources on how to protect yourself “if some of Trump’s campaign promises become reality”.

 

Fair warning: Set aside an afternoon and get your bookmarking finger ready. You’ll be disappearing down the rabbit hole, in a good way.

 

 

Visit the whatdoidoabouttrump site:

http://whatdoidoabouttrump.com

 

 

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 whatdoidoabouttrump on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/WhatDoIDoAboutTrump

 

 

Follow it on Twitter:

@WDIDAboutTrump

Community Activism · Marches and Protests · Public Education · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms · Vote with your Dollars

Support Striking Teachers in Arizona and Watch the #RedForEd Hashtag

Support teachers who are striking in Arizona, and watch the #RedForEd hashtag for news on the state-wide strike.

 

Arizona is the latest state whose teachers are striking not just for better pay but for fundamental changes in the way the state funds public education.

 

They will start their walkout on Thursday, April 25, 2018.

 

Arizona has cut taxes every year for 25 years, and its Republican governor, Doug Ducey, took a pledge not to raise taxes when he was a candidate.

 

Ducey has offered to raise teacher salaries by 20 percent by 2020, but the teachers are not satisfied. It only addresses one of their demands, and they fear that Ducey’s revenue projections are off and he won’t be able to deliver on the promise.

 

 

The teachers’ other demands include:

 

Reducing class sizes to a ratio of 23 students to one teacher

 

Returning to pre-2008 education spending levels

 

Yearly raises until the state’s teacher salaries meet the national average

 

 

 

To stay on top of developments, check the #RedForEd hashtag.

 

 

Twitter handles to follow include Indivisible Southern Arizona (Justice Alliance):

@Indivisible_SAZ

 

 

Arizona Educators United:

@AZEdUnited

 

 

The Arizona Education Association:

@ArizonaEA

 

 

 

You can also donate to a YouCaring page that will assist striking teachers. First order of business is getting them gift cards for gas so as many as possible can drive to Phoenix to rally outside the governor’s office. As of 9:30 EST on April 25, the campaign had raised almost $1,400 of its $5,000 goal.

https://www.youcaring.com/southernarizonateachersaidedthroughpalfandtea-1174971

 

 

 

Read an Arizona paper’s primer on the walkout:

http://tucson.com/news/local/q-a-how-walkout-by-arizona-teachers-is-expected-to/collection_07d836a2-4897-11e8-9166-976a878010cb.html#2

 

 

 

Here is a Vox story on the conditions that led to the walkout:

https://www.vox.com/2018/4/25/17276284/arizona-teacher-strike-tax-cut-funding-data

 

 

 

See a Phoenix New Times story on how the walkout could unfurl and end:

http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/news/smear-campaign-arizona-teachers-strike-walkout-pay-10352914

 

 

 

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!

 

 

 

Read about teachers’ and volunteers’ efforts to prep meals for Arizona students who receive free and reduced-price lunches, so they don’t go hungry during the walkout:

https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/arizona-education/2018/04/25/teachers-and-volunteers-making-sure-600-000-students-dont-go-hungry-during-walkout/547787002/

http://kjzz.org/content/636804/food-available-500-sites-during-arizona-teacher-strike

Common-sense Gun Laws · Community Activism · Health Care · Public Education · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms

Support Students for Changes, an Advocacy Group Started by Marjory Stoneman Douglas Students

Support Students for Changes, a nonprofit advocacy group started by students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, site of the deadly shooting on February 14, 2018.

 

Cofounded by three survivors of the attack that killed 17 of their peers and teachers, Students for Changes focuses on three things: gun safety, mental health, and school safety. The ultimate goal is to create a world where deadly school shootings are memories and not ever-present threats.

 

 

The pinned tweet on its Twitter page as of early March 2018 stated:

This Nonprofit Organization is started and led by Marjory Stoneman Douglas students. We’ve made this for the express purpose of connecting and consolidating the efforts of students nationwide to change our current policies and societal notions.

 

 

During the same period, its Twitter feed thanked Delta Airlines for rescinding the group discount it had offered to National Rifle Association (NRA) members, thanked Kroger, Walmart, and L.L. Bean for raising their minimum customer age for gun sales to 21, and promised to keep fighting after the Florida state senate passed, then quickly revoked, a two-year ban on the AR-15 semi-automatic rifle.

 

 

The founders intend this to be a student-led movement, and they encourage the creation of chapters in schools across America. As of March 4, 2018, SSC is filing to become a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit.

 

 

Visit the Students for Changes webpage:

https://www.studentsforchanges.org

 

 

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 Students for Changes:

https://www.studentsforchanges.org/copy-of-make-a-donation

 

 

Like it on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/studentsforchanges/

 

 

Follow it on Twitter:

@students4c