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Check out All the President’s Profiting, a Project of OpenSecrets.org at the Center for Responsive Politics

Visit and bookmark All the President’s Profiting, a truly astonishing project by OpenSecrets.org at the Center for Responsive Politics.

 

The Founding Fathers were pretty damn clear–they didn’t like the idea of the president using the office for personal gain. Most Americans agree. The notion that Trump might be profiting from serving as president rankles anyone who isn’t a fully marinated member of Cult 45.

 

OpenSecrets.org, a website operated by the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics (CPR), has tracked payment records to assemble a startling picture of how Trump might be reaping personal gains from his rarified position.

 

Titled All the President’s Profiting, it contains 657 entries that detail payments to Trump properties; payments from Trump-related committees; payments from the Republican Party, its candidates, officials, and leadership PACs; and also payments from Democrats.

 

 

See All the President’s Profiting:

https://www.opensecrets.org/trump/trump-properties?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=tw-trump-properties-121417

 

 

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Visit the OpenSecrets.org “About” page:

https://www.opensecrets.org/about/

 

 

Donate to the work of OpenSecrets.org and the CPR:

https://www.opensecrets.org/pres16#nav

 

 

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https://www.facebook.com/OpenSecrets/

 

 

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@OpenSecretsDC

 

 

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Believe It, You Matter, Part XI: Convince Your Friends and Family That They Matter

This OTYCD post originally appeared in July 2018.

 

Believe It, You Matter, Part XI: Convince your friends and family that they matter.

 

If we’re going to deliver the rebuke that Trump sorely needs in November, it can’t be just you who goes to the polls.

 

You can have a broader impact by talking to friends and family about the need to vote in the fall, and helping them complete the steps to make sure they’re able to vote in the fall.

 

First off, you have been talking to them about voting, yes? If not, school yourself with these links:

https://onethingyoucando.com/2017/12/16/smoke-out-your-friends-who-didnt-vote-in-2016-and-cultivate-them/

https://onethingyoucando.com/2018/04/08/believe-it-you-matter-part-v-your-friends-and-family-matter-are-you-talking-to-them-about-voting-in-2018/

 

Talk to them, and keep talking to them.

 

In order to be successful, you may have to do some work for them. Remember how little you knew about elections and government when you kicked into action? Yeah, they might know less, and if you end up giving them what amounts to homework, you can’t be sure they’ll follow through. Take as much of the work out of the process as possible.

 

Let me be blunt. You have to be their voting concierge. Their voting butler. Their voting valet. DO THE WORK FOR THEM AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE. Make it easy.

 

 

Help them learn if they’re registered to vote:

carnivote.org

If they aren’t, help them get registered. That might mean helping them apply for documents they need to obtain IDs. Be prepared to do that. Consider taking time off work to help them.

 

They may not know which races are in play, or who the candidates are. You might need to teach yourself who’s running, especially if your friends and family don’t live where you live. Can you do that work? Can you ready yourself for their questions?

 

They may not know where to go to vote come November 6, 2018. The best way to do that is to look up the website for the secretary of state of your friend or family member’s home state. It should have a section on voting and elections that will help you both find the specific current polling place.

 

They may not know how they’re getting to the polls on November 6, 2018. Help them figure it out. If you can offer to drive them, do it. If you can arrange for cab fare, set it aside.

 

Again, it can’t just be you going to the polls in the fall. You need to encourage as many people as possible to follow your lead.

 

The more who vote, the greater the chances we have to push back against Trump in a fiercely powerful way.

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Make Sure You’re Registered To Vote

This OTYCD post originally went up in April 2017, but with the mid-terms approaching and the stakes rising, we are reposting past posts that discuss key things you can do to push back against Trump.

 

Are you registered to vote? Are you sure? Go to canivote.org and double check.

 

Select your state from the drop-down menu at Can I Vote?, which is a non-partisan web site created by the National Association of Secretaries of State.

 

The site will route you to the relevant web page for your home state government, which will let you check your voter registration status.

 

Bookmark this web site for 2018 and have it ready to give out to friends who might need it.

 

Visit it here:

canivote.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!

 

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Believe It, You Matter, Part X: We May Not Get Everything We Want. Keep Fighting Anyway.

Believe It, You Matter, Part X: We May Not Get Everything We Want. Keep Fighting Anyway. 

 

You might have noticed that people are pissed about the way things are going. You might be one of those pissed-off people. Team Trump and its shitshow of corruption, cruelty, and pro-bully tactics have spurred millions to do more to push back.

 

A fair number of registered Republicans–including some high-profile ones–have left the party and gone independent. Many folks who were never politically active stepped up after the November 2016 election. They went to protests for the first time in their lives. Same again for phone-banking, knocking on doors, donating to causes and candidates, and calling their members of Congress. A small but heroic number found the courage to run for office.

 

It is unprecedented. It is organic. It might be unique in the history of America. And it should continue as long as Team Trump keeps crazy-assing and the GOP keeps shirking its duties to check Team Trump’s fucked-up, hateful, hurtful actions.

 

But! While we are righteous, motivated, and strong, we could still lose.

 

Take the SCOTUS nomination battle. Team Trump and the GOP are determined to ram their choice through before the midterms. We don’t want that. But because Democratic Senators are in the minority, there’s only so much they can do to stop it.

 

They will do what they can. They will fight. And, as we at OTYCD have asked, you should call your Senators and urge them to fight (if they’re Democrats) or vote no if they’re Republicans. Yes, your Republican Senators probably won’t change their votes, but they need to know their constituents oppose them on this, and will work to vote them out if they move a Trump nominee along.

 

But we could lose this one, and losing this one would be bad. People you love will be hurt by a SCOTUS dominated by hard-right judges. People you love could die as a result of a hard-right SCOTUS decision. You could lose your health insurance. Gerrymandering might get a yellow or green light. Voting rights might be curtailed. Parts of the Constitution that annoy evangelical Christians, greedy corporations, racists, and committed bullies could be muzzled and stomped upon. Democracy could be smothered. [Edited to add: This post was written and queued before the Senate approved Kavanaugh by a 51-49 vote.]

 

The answer is to keep fighting.

 

The only way to stop the SCOTUS from being perverted by hard-right extremists is to elect Democrats to the Senate and keep electing Democrats to the Senate until there are enough of them to control the chamber. And once they control the chamber, you need to defend them so they can keep control of the chamber and stop hard-right extremists from getting on the court.

 

If Democrats controlled the Senate now, they could refuse any nominee who’s stupidly hard-right and continue to refuse until Team Trump puts forward an actual moderate. But they don’t, so they can’t.

 

But if you curl into a ball and quit when the news of InJustice EvilJerk’s swearing-in breaks, we all lose.

 

Same again with the 2018 midterms. Things generally look good right now. But we won’t get absolutely everything we want. Simply from a mathematic standpoint, it’s unlikely that every Democrat wins and every Republican loses. There are too many races, at too many levels. There will be losses, and some of those losses might be tough.

 

Plus, there’s an elephant in the room (or, rather, the polling place). Having successfully messed with the 2016 elections, Russia’s hackers will be keen to try again in November 2018, and Team Trump has yet to order the National Security Agency (NSA) to take the steps needed to defend our country from those attacks.

 

Again, if you curl into a ball and quit when news breaks of, say, Iowa House Rep Steve King’s reelection, we all lose.

 

Yes, rest. Yes, unplug. Yes, take time away. You are allowed to have fun. You are allowed to do things that make you happy. Heck, it’s vital. Drafting and sticking with a self-care routine is one of the most important things you can do.

 

Rest. Recharge. Frolic. Forget for a few hours or days, maybe even weeks. But come back. Always, always come back. We need you.

 

And hey, getting mad is OK, too. Crying is OK. Despairing is OK. Feeling the force of your emotions is OK! But come back. Always, always come back. We need you.

 

Trump will go, but you must not.

 

You’ve got to stay here and carry on the fight.

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Defend Yourself and Your Friends Against a Post-Roe World: Stock Up on Plan B and Other Forms of Emergency Contraception

Defend yourself against a post-Roe world by stocking up on Plan B, the emergency contraception medicine you can take in the hours and days after sex to prevent pregnancy.

 

With the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS), countless Americans fear that the Roe vs. Wade ruling will be overturned, reverting legislation on abortion to the individual states instead of allowing it on the federal level.

 

Those who express fear over this possibility are correct. It is, indeed, time to panic and take defensive stances. The far right has been hell-bent on overturning Roe since the SCOTUS decided it in 1973. Evangelicals and other far-right extremists don’t want women to control their own bodies. It’s not about preserving life. It never was. It’s about making women slaves to their fertility. Period. Full stop.

 

We’ve reached the point in this shitshow where it makes sense to buy and bank doses of Plan B, the emergency contraception medication that can prevent pregnancy in the hours and days after an act of penis-in-vagina (PIV) sex. Plan B is the best-known, but those who are over a certain weight should use ella instead. Plan B works less well with folks who weigh 180 pounds or more.

 

Emergency contraception can be effective as late as five days after sex, but it’s best to take it as soon as you suspect you might be pregnant. Emergency contraception is NOT, repeat, NOT an abortificient, aka a drug that causes an abortion. It prevents a fertilized egg from implanting in the lining of the wall of the uterus. If the egg does not implant, it cannot lead to pregnancy.

 

And hurrah hurrah, you can purchase it over the counter (OTC). It costs $40 to $60, generally. If you’re wealthier than most, it’s even more important that you consider building an emergency contraception stash to help friends and family who are less well-off. Being forced to find an extra $40 to $60 is a legitimate hardship for many. If you can step up, please do so.

 

The options below allow you to place your order online, which lets you avoid judgmental and nosy pharmacists who might refuse to fill the script over a “religious objection”.

 

If you yourself are past the point of needing to worry about an unwanted pregnancy, it still makes sense to bank doses to help daughters, nieces, cousins, and their friends who might find themselves suddenly flung into hell in a state with anti-abortion trigger laws.

 

As noted below, Plan B has a shelf life of four years, and the expiration date is printed on the box. Afterpill, another variant, is good for 18 months. There doesn’t appear to be information on ella but the expiration date should be printed on the box.

 

Emily L Hauser (@emilylhauser) had a good, short Twitter thread on this on June 27, 2018 (Note that the coupon linked in the second tweet might be expired by the time this post goes live):

 

Between the election & the inauguration, I bought two rounds of Plan B (the morning after pill) to have on hand should my children or their friends need it in the anti-choice hellscape that I imagined would come into being. We’re a step closer to that hellscape now. 1/2

 

I just called Plan B customer service to confirm the following: Plan B (& other levonorgestrel meds) has a 4-yr shelf life; the exp. date is printed clearly on the box. Here’s a coupon: Here’s info from Planned Parenthood 2/2

 

I’m being reminded that Plan B isn’t nearly as effective over a certain weight. The

alternative is known as ella. Here’s information on the ella morning after pill

Here’s a way to order online [She included this link]:

https://www.prjktruby.com/about/products/ella/

[Here also is an info link about Ella]

https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/morning-after-pill-emergency-contraception/whats-ella-morning-after-pill

PS It’s worth remembering that online information can lose its funding & go missing, be changed, etc & so on. Books are harder to get rid of. This is a terrific resource on human sexuality, geared toward teens/young adults & good for anyone with questions

[She included this link] https://www.dacapopress.com/titles/heather-corinna/s-e-x-second-edition/9780738218854/

PPS A lot of people are talking about how useful this information will be for their daughters – SONS (/people with any reproductive organs) NEED THIS INFORMATION, TOO. Please and thank you.

Another followup for the record: Plan B, ella, & all of their various forms do NOT terminate pregnancies – they prevent pregnancy from occurring in the first place. Here’s information on that: Also for the record, abortion is healthcare & yes I’ve had one.

Later, in the comments, she included a link for purchasing Afterpill, another brand of emergency contraception:

https://afterpill.com

Further along in the comments, another poster included an Amazon link to a generic emergency contraception medication:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00NKMY5E2/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_xEdnBbPECGPX2?th=1

 

 

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Learn to Help Friends and Family Who Want to Do More Than Register to Vote

Learn to help friends and family who want to do more than just register to vote.

 

Sarah Jane here. We at OTYCD have encouraged you to talk to friends and family about voting, and make it as easy and as painless as possible for them to register, learn where their polling place is, and plot how they will physically get to the polls on Tuesday, November 6, 2018.

 

But what if they ask you about doing more than that? What if they’re excited, or concerned, or both about the direction the country is threatening to take, and they want to go beyond making sure they themselves are registered to vote?

 

May we humbly suggest you send them to this very blog?

 

 

Start by sending them to our page on The Most Important Thing You Can Do (we cheated, there’s actually four):

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

 

 

Also suggest they read the third entry in the Believe It: You Matter series, The Parable of Eating Less Meat. It’s about how activism is not a competition, and everything counts.

If you went from doing nothing to doing something, and you do that something consistently, you win. Doesn’t matter how big or small the something is.

Read Believe It: You Matter, Part III: The Parable Of Eating Less Meat:

https://onethingyoucando.com/2018/04/16/believe-it-you-matter-part-iii-the-parable-of-eating-less-meat/

 

 

And if you want to suggest that they subscribe to the blog, we won’t stop you.

 

 

Also encourage them to visit postcardstovoters.org and volunteer to write Get Out The Vote (GOTV) postcards, using their own supplies.

 

Of all the things I (Sarah Jane) have done to push back against Trump since November 2016, writing postcards to voters has been the most satisfying.

 

I can write postcards anytime Tony the Democrat and friends have a campaign going, which is almost always. (The few times when they’re between campaigns, I prep postcards for future campaigns by decorating them with rubber stamps.)

 

Writing postcards to voters doesn’t require knocking on doors, calling people, or otherwise approaching strangers, which is terrifying to an introvert like me.

 

Let’s be clear, though. I do all that stuff, too, and I recommend it, but writing postcards to voters is something I can do whenever I want, for as long as I want, and I can set it aside if need be. I call it my civic knitting–each postcard is a stitch that strengthens democracy.

 

Also? New research shows that hand-writing postcards to voters is just as effective at getting out the vote as canvassing (physically knocking on doors), and sometimes more effective.

 

For more, see this June 22, 2018 piece from Blue Virginia called The Mighty Pen Prevails: In the Digital Age, Handwritten Voter Contact Is a Powerful Secret Weapon:

https://bluevirginia.us/2018/06/the-mighty-pen-prevails-in-the-digital-age-handwritten-voter-contact-is-a-powerful-secret-weapon

 

 

If your friends and family are open to supporting candidates, point them to the OTYCD post on the Core Four Strategy:

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

 

 

Helping eager friends and family learn who’s running for election and re-election in 2018 and find candidates to support is pretty next-level, but if you have the time and energy to do it, we at OTYCD encourage you to follow through.

 

 

 

 

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Let Cindy Otis Teach You to Avoid Being Overwhelmed and Stay Focused

Let Cindy Otis, a former CIA analyst and author, teach you how to avoid being overwhelmed and stay focused in a world where everything seems to be on fire.

 

Otis published an amazing thread on Twitter on June 28, 2018. Read it, save it, memorize it. We’ve reproduced it here, with the emojis removed. Scroll down for more info on Otis.

 

Today seems like the right time to do a thread I’ve been thinking about for a while on how to handle the seemingly never-ending deluge of depressing and disturbing news. My tips are based on my time as a CIA military analyst in which I dealt daily with disturbing content.

 

There are several risks to being overloaded with disturbing/negative content.  [We are replacing her emoji checks with numbers.] 1. Complacency – becoming so used to the deluge that it all starts to seem normal. 2. Paralysis – that is, being so overwhelmed, you can’t figure out what to do/how to move forward.

 

3. Crisis perspective – you get trapped in the Breaking News cycle where everything seems like a potentially world-ending crisis to you. 4. Depression/PTSD – you don’t have to be on the frontline of a war have either/both. Disturbing content is absolutely a trigger.

 

There are also serious physical consequences to living a negative content overloaded life. I had a colleague who didn’t know he had stage 4 brain cancer because the symptoms were the same as our very stressful careers–exhaustion, random fevers, stress, and dizziness.

 

So, what do you do? First, I strongly urge you not to ignore the news/current events. Ignorance is one reason we have this society. It won’t make the problems go away & contributes nothing to their solving. Now that that’s established, here’s how to make it easier to handle:

 

[Numbers from here forward are from Otis.] 1. TAKE ACTION. Volunteer for a food pantry, canvass for a political candidate, donate to a NGO, visit a sick friend. Seriously. Service of some kind in your community lets you be part of SOLUTIONS. You will see RESULTS when otherwise you’d feel helpless.

 

2. Conversely, for those who may take tip #1 to the extreme–know that you alone can’t save the world. Accept your limits. You aren’t a 7/11. You can’t always be open. At the end of every day when I reached my limit, I silently told myself, “I’ve done what I can today.”

 

(Note: Repeating that to myself did not stop me from feeling like I could have done more most days. But it was important to tell myself anyway because I am human. We are human. It’s good we *feel* things.)

 

3. RESEARCH BEFORE PANICKING. Easier said than done, but everything will seem like crisis/earth-ending if you don’t know what has/hasn’t happened before. If it has happened before, it’s can be hugely comforting to know how it was resolved and/or what might happen next.

 

4. GET UP & MOVE. Put the phone away, turn off the TV, log out of Twitter. Go for a walk, sit outside, get some coffee, call a friend. CIA is full of ppl walking the building with a colleague/friend. There’s a reason. Our brains & bodies need breaks from stressful content.

 

5. SET RULES. Because of my work at CIA, I had a rule–I only read fiction at home. I had enough reality at work. In the civilian world, I set blocks of time each day where I turn everything off–no news or social media. Let yourself recharge so you can keep fighting later.

 

6. AVOID DARK HOLES. (I’m sure there’s a joke to be made about that.) It’s easy to get sucked into the swirl of bad news. You watch a gruesome YouTube video and the next one is all queued up to play right after it. Focus on one issue at a time. Deal w/ it before moving on.

 

7. YOU NEED FUN. When there is suffering, war, despair, etc. around you, it’s easy to feel guilty when you have fun, feel happy, have a good meal with friends. You NEED these things. You will be better able to do good in the world if you let yourself have these things.

 

8. TALK TO SOMEONE. Often, we curl inward socially when overwhelmed w/ negative content. It’s a means of protection. One of the great things at CIA was that everyone else knew what you were going through. Whether it’s therapy or talking to your person, talking helps.

 

None of this is easy. I got burned out a lot in my career & many days recently, I’ve felt overloaded by the barrage. I’m sure you have too. But you and I can’t check out. We can’t give up & we need to stay engaged, but we can’t do that if we get overloaded. Keep going.

 

Shout out to who forces me to get out of the house when I start sounding especially doom and gloom!

 

 

Otis posted a follow-up thread on June 29, 2018:

 

Wow. I woke up this morning to find my thread went viral & my inbox was full of messages from ppl. My biggest takeaway from it is that we’re all struggling right now. So, I’ve got a few quick things you can do RIGHT NOW to help survive whatever news dump we’ll get today:

 

1. Read this article by that includes tips from me on how to read the news like an intelligence analyst. It gets at my tip from earlier on doing research before panicking and talks about how to actually do that research. Knowledge = POWER.

(Here is the link she referenced:) http://www.realclearlife.com/media/6-rules-thinking-like-cia-analyst-beat-fake-news/

 

2. Schedule the time you’re planning to unplug today. Write it down so it is more likely to happen. Will you take a walk? Call a friend to talk about anything but the news? Take a power nap? Bake some cookies? Watch your fave trash TV show? Whatever it is, DO IT.

 

3. Look at who you follow on social media. Do you only follow people who perpetuate the crisis mentality? If so, add in some practical folks who provide actionable ways forward and context you need to know. is a must for Americans worried about politics.

 

4. Tell yourself as many times as you need to hear it today — YOU ARE NOT ALONE. YOU CAN DO THIS. WE NEED YOU WITH US. Take care, all.

 

 

Follow Cindy Otis on Twitter:

@CindyOtis_

 

 

Visit Otis’s website:

http://www.cindyotis.com

 

 

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