Call Your Members of Congress · Community Activism · Read, Educate Yourself, Prepare · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends

Read This New Yorker Piece on What Calling Congress Achieves

Read What Calling Congress Achieves, a New Yorker piece that explores that question and gives a history of Americans calling their Congressional representatives.

 

It’s a long read, but a good one. The author not only explores what works and what doesn’t and why, and what a Congressional office would consider a “flood” of phone calls, she goes back to the late 19th-century beginnings of calling Congress.

 

The story is festooned with tasty little anecdotes and wonderful bits of evidence that calling and emailing Congress actually does something.

 

This paragraph, for example:

 

For political watchers, the most striking thing about this outpouring of political activism is its spontaneity. “If Planned Parenthood sends out an e-mail and asks all their donors to contact their Congress members—that’s honest, it’s real, it’s citizen action,” Fitch said. “But this thing was organic: people saw something in the news, it made them angry, and they called their member of Congress.” At this point, he paused and informed me that he was “not one for hyperbolic statements.” But what was happening was, he said, “amazing,” “unprecedented,” “a level of citizen engagement going on out there outside the Beltway that Congress has never experienced before.”

 

And this one:

 

Perhaps the most striking shift so far, though, has happened on the Democratic side of the aisle, in the form of a swift and dramatic stiffening of the spine. In the past month, at the insistence of constituents, the party line has changed from a cautious willingness to work with the White House to staunch and nearly unified opposition. “If you ask me, before the calls started coming in, someone like Neil Gorsuch”—Trump’s pick for the vacant Supreme Court seat—“would have passed with seventy-one votes,” said one Democratic senator’s chief of staff, who has worked on the Hill for close to twenty years. “Now I’d be surprised if he gets to sixty.” More generally, that staffer noted, the newly galvanized left is suddenly helping to set the Party’s agenda. In thinking about Cabinet nominations, Democratic members of Congress had planned to make their stand over Tom Price, then the nominee for Secretary of Health and Human Services—until their constituents chose Betsy DeVos. “That was not a strategic decision made in Washington,” the staffer said. “That was a very personal decision made by all these people outside the Beltway worrying about their kids. We’re not managing this resistance. We can participate in it, but there’s no chance of us managing it.”

 

Oh, and this one:

 

Republicans, of course, can’t manage the resistance, either—and, so far, they are struggling to figure out how to respond. Some have merely expressed frustration that so many calls are apparently coming from out of their district or state. But others, including Senator Marco Rubio, Senator Cory Gardner, and President Trump, have tried to discredit concerned citizens by claiming that they are “paid protesters,” an allegation supported by precisely zero evidence. Still others have expressed disingenuous outrage over political organizing, as when Tim Murtaugh, a spokesperson for Representative Lou Barletta, of Pennsylvania, criticized “the significant percentage who are encouraged to call us by some group.” And other legislators simply turned out not to like their job description. “Since Obamacare and these issues have come up,” Representative Dave Brat, of Virginia, said last month, “the women are in my grill no matter where I go.” In an apparent effort to dodge such interactions, a number of Republican legislators, including Representative Mike Coffman, of Colorado, and Representative Peter Roskam, of Illinois, have cancelled or curtailed town-hall meetings. Other G.O.P. legislators have allegedly been locking their office doors, turning off their phones, and, in general, doing what they can to limit contact with their constituents.

 

…but enough quoting. Go enjoy it for yourself.

 

Read What Calling Congress Achieves:

http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/03/06/what-calling-congress-achieves

 

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!

 

Subscribe to the New Yorker:

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Call Your Members of Congress · Ethics · Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS)

Support Elizabeth Warren’s Call to Create a Code of Ethics for Members of the Supreme Court

Note from Sarah Jane: I wrote and queued this post before Brett Kavanaugh was nominated to SCOTUS. Senator Warren’s call, and the bill drafted by Senators Blumenthal and Murphy are that much more needed now.

 

Support Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren’s call to create a code of ethics for sitting members of the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS).

 

It might surprise you to learn this, but the nine judges who serve the Supreme Court are not bound by an explicit, formal code of ethics.

 

As with so many other things in a small-d democratic government, norms prevail. It is simply assumed that Supreme Court judges would conduct themselves impeccably, and would not do anything that would make them look partisan.

 

Well, guess what? Not all of them do, and the problem predates the Trump administration.

 

The late justice Antonin Scalia attended political retreats run by the notorious right-wing donor Charles Koch. He dined and hunted with then-Vice President Dick Cheney and declined to recuse himself from a SCOTUS case that involved him. He accepted more sponsored trips than any of his contemporaries on the court, and when he passed away in 2016, he was found dead in bed at a Texas hunting lodge owned by someone who had recently been involved in a potential SCOTUS case.

 

Warren complained after Neil Gorsuch, the man Trump appointed to Scalia’s seat after the GOP schemed to prevent hearings on President Obama’s choice, Merrick Garland, spoke at a September 2017 lunch at a Trump-branded hotel that was sponsored by the Fund for American Studies, a conservative group.

 

Without an ethics code in place to guide him, Gorsuch was free to say yes, but it would have been smarter for him to decline. It had ‘bad optics’ written all over it.

 

The fact remains, however–judges on lower courts are bound by ethical codes, but SCOTUS members are not. The example of Scalia, a smart man who stupidly dismissed claims of conflict of interest in the case involving Cheney by saying, “I do not believe my impartiality can reasonably be questioned,” and “If it is reasonable to think that a Supreme Court Justice can be bought so cheap, the Nation is in deeper trouble than I had imagined.”

 

You can be the most principled, ethical person who ever walked the earth and if you enjoyed the extracurriculars that Scalia did, it’d still look hinky. Because dammit, they look hinky. Why even go there?

 

With Trump stampeding norms like they’re houses of cards and Jenga stacks, it’s probably time to spell out, explicitly, what so many other past and current SCOTUS members understand without needing explainer documents. It’s time for a SCOTUS code of conduct.

 

Back in April 2017, Senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy, along with House Rep Louise Slaughter, introduced the Supreme Court Ethics Act of 2017. If passed, it would address the problem. The bill is S. 835 in the Senate and H.R. 1960 in the house.

 

Sample script for your MoCs: “Dear (House Rep/Senator Lastname,) I am (Firstname Lastname, of town, state). I am calling to ask you to support Senator Elizabeth Warren’s call to create a formal code of ethics for sitting members of the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS), and to ask you to support bills now in Congress that would create the code. Both bills are named the Supreme Court Ethics Act of 2017. In the Senate, the bill is S. 835, and in the house, it’s H.R. 1960.

We live in charged times, and Neil Gorsuch agreeing to speak to a conservative group at a Trump hotel property is the sort of thing he can do, but shouldn’t. His accepting the offer shows bad judgment on his part, and the last thing we want in a SCOTUS judge is bad judgment. Surprisingly, while members of lower courts are formally bound by a code of ethics, the nine who sit at SCOTUS are not. Given the off-duty adventures of the late Antonin Scalia and others, I think it’s time to support the creation of a set of binding guidelines that detail what SCOTUS members can and can’t do. It would improve the reputation of the court by giving it a means to show the public that it is fighting partisanship and the perception of partisanship. Thank you for listening.”

 

 

Read about Gorsuch’s speech, Senator Warren’s reaction, and calls to create an ethics code for sitting SCOTUS members:

http://thehill.com/regulation/court-battles/352920-gorsuch-speaks-at-trump-hotel-event-despite-criticism

http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/358163-warren-gorsuchs-links-to-koch-brothers-are-an-ethics-problem

https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/11/01/supreme-court-ethics-problem-elizabeth-warren-opinion-215772

 

 

Visit the website of Fix the Court, a nonpartisan advocacy group that calls for ethics rules for SCOTUS:

https://fixthecourt.com

 

 

Like Fix the Court on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/FixTheCourt/

 

 

Follow it on Twitter:

@FixTheCourt

 

 

Donate to Fix the Court:

https://fixthecourt.com/donate/

 

 

See the GovTrack entries on The Supreme Court Ethics Act of 2017, both the Senate and the house versions:

https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/115/hr1960

https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/115/s835

 

 

Read about the late Antonin Scalia’s adventures away from the court, and his refusal to recuse himself in the Cheney case. In particular, see the 2016 New York Times article that included a sidebar that showed how often the nine justices travel:

http://www.cnn.com/2004/LAW/03/18/scalia.recusal/

 

Action Alerts · Call Your Senators · Common-sense Gun Laws · Senate Bills, Federal · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms

Call Your Senators and Support S. 2974, Which Would Modernize How the ATF Tracks Guns Used In Crimes

Call your senators and support S. 2974, a new bill that would modernize how the ATF tracks guns used in crimes. 

 

Informally called the Crime Gun Tracing Modernization Act, it was introduced in late May by Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy and Florida Senator Bill Nelson (who, by the way, is up for reelection in 2018 and needs your help).

 

It would allow the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) to build a computerized database of gun records.

 

What we’re going to tell you next will sound too borked to be true, but we assure you that it is.

 

When the ATF needs to trace a gun that was used in a crime, they have to rummage through cardboard boxes and pull paper records by hand.

 

Seriously. In 2018.

 

Do we need to tell you that this is a needlessly antiquated system that only makes it easier for those who commit crimes with guns?

 

Things are the way they are because a segment of American gun owners who are really closer to being gun fetishists fear the notion of the government having an accurate list of who owns guns.

 

You’ll be shocked, SHOCKED to learn that the National Rifle Association (NRA) is against any initiative that would do what S. 2974 promises to do, squawking that it would violate Second Amendment rights.

 

The bill, if passed, would give the ATF three years to build a functional computerized records system.

 

Please call your senators and voice support for this bill. And if Leahy or Nelson represent you? Call to thank them as well.

 

Sample script: “Dear Senator [Lastname,] I am [Firstname Lastname of town, zip code]. I am calling to ask you to support S. 2974, which would modernize the way America keeps and searches records of firearms sales. Right now, when the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms needs to track the records of a gun used in a crime, they have to rummage through paper records. For real. No joke. That’s nuts. S. 2974 would allow the creation of a computerized database. That, in turn, would help the ATF pin down information faster, help solve crimes faster, and might prevent more crimes from being committed with the same suspect gun. It’s long past time to drag gun-tracking into the 21st century. This bill should make that happen. Please support it. Thanks.”

 

 

See the GovTrack page on S. 2974, which was introduced on May 24, 2018:

https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/115/s2974

 

 

Read a Sun Sentinel article on Senator Bill Nelson’s co-sponsorship of S.2974:

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/politics/fl-reg-gun-database-bill-20180601-story.html

 

 

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!

 

 

Read a March 2011 MPR article on how building an accurate electronic database of gun records was seen by some as controversial and sensitive. It references an earlier records modernization bill that ultimately failed:

https://www.mprnews.org/story/2011/03/20/tracing-guns-firearms-part4

 

 

A note: We at OTYCD intend to nurture and encourage the movement sparked by the Margory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting by devoting one post at least every other week to gun safety-related issues.

 

The reason that the NRA has a death grip on Congress, and in particular, GOP Congressfolk, is that NRA members get off their asses and call if there’s a whisper of a muttering of a hint that a law might pass that could impose even the slightest imposition on ownership of guns in America.

 

That’s what the politicians are afraid of. It’s not just that some of them get metric buttloads of money for their campaigns from the NRA. Those who embrace the NRA’s outlook pounce on their phones and berate their representatives the instant they think their beloved guns are under threat.

 

So, yes, it’s on us to shout back.

 

We have to adopt the tactics of those who support the NRA.

 

We have to call our representatives often to make it damn clear that the status quo is unacceptable, and we want common-sense gun safety laws.

 

OTYCD will start out with one weekday post every two weeks, at minimum, that has to do with improving gun safety and pushing back against the NRA.

 

We do this in honor of the Parkland victims, and all victims of mass shootings in America, and everyone who has been fighting to change our laws on firearms all along.

 

If Trump finally bows to the will of Congress and imposes the sanctions against Russia for messing with the 2016 election, we will switch to devoting one post per week to these issues.

 

Honor the victims of the Parkland shooting, and all other shootings, by stepping up and calling your reps about common-sense gun safety laws, and by supporting politicians who have low grades from the NRA, and voting out those who do the NRA’s bidding.

 

#NeverAgain. For the love of all that is right and good, Never Again.

Call Your State Legislators · Community Activism · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms

Live in Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, or Maine? Ask Your State Legislators to Kill, Rescind, or Defend Against a Call for a Constitutional Convention

Do you live in Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, or Maine? Ask your state legislators to kill, rescind, or defend against a call for a Constitutional Convention (Con Con).

 

We at OTYCD have written about the long-term right-wing goal of calling a Con Con. The idea of a Constitutional convention isn’t inherently bad, but what its far-right advocates want to achieve IS inherently bad, and needs to be stopped.

 

The best way to stop a Con Con is to elect more Democrats to state legislatures–the entities that can put the call forward, and cancel the call as well.

 

On November 6, 2018, voters in several states did just that–they elected more Democrats. In seven states, they elected enough Democrats to flip one or both legislative chambers from red to blue.

 

In May 2018, we at OTYCD explained how to find out if your state legislature had passed a resolution in support of a Con Con, and explained how to ask your state legislators to rescind the resolution. It’s definitely doable; Nevada, Maryland, and New Mexico all rescinded in 2017.

 

In this post, we’re cross-checking the newly flipped legislatures against the map provided by the pro-Con Con people, so citizens in those states can ask their representatives to rescind a resolution or kill bills that are in progress.

 

We’ll be reproducing some language from that blog post to illustrate these points.

 

But first! If you don’t know who your state house rep and state senator are, go to the link below and plug in your address and zip code to get their names:

https://whoaremyrepresentatives.org

 

Also, we should start with the good news: on the pro-Con Con org’s map, states colored green have passed the resolution. None of the states that flipped one or both of their chambers on Tuesday are green on that map.

 

New York flipped its Senate properly blue at long last. New York state is also blue on the Con Con map–that means active legislation was in at least one chamber in 2018.

 

Unfortunately, the map does not identify which of the two chambers the bill is in. (Theoretically, a blue state could have bills in both.)

 

New Yorkers should call or email their state legislators, explain what a Con Con is, and explain there’s a bill in at least one of the state chambers in 2018. Say that you want that bill halted, or better yet, killed.

 

 

The newly flipped Minnesota House is in a blue state on the Con Con map (its Senate is in GOP hands). It’s not clear which of the two chambers the bill is in, but Minnesotans should call their state house rep, explain about the Con Con, and ask them to kill the bill or remain on alert to kill it.

 

New Hampshire flipped both its chambers to Democratic control on Tuesday. It’s on the pro-Con Con map as a yellow state, which means legislation has passed one chamber.

 

As with the blue states, the map does not identify which of the two chambers has passed the bill. It’s also not specified when that yellow-state chamber passed the bill; it could predate 2018. It could predate 2018 by a lot.

 

New Hampshirites should contact their state reps, explain what a Con Con is, and explain that a pro-Con Con bill has passed one chamber, but it’s not clear which, or when. Say you oppose a Con Con resolution, and that you want your state reps to vote no on any Con Con resolution bills that might arrive on their desks.

 

Maine and Colorado flipped their state senates. Both appear on the pro-Con Con map colored white, which, by inference, means there’s no legislation pending there at the moment, and the states don’t appear to be current targets of the org.

 

Even still, it’s probably worth it for Mainers and Coloradans to call their state senators, explain what a Con Con is, and explain that while the state is not currently a target, you want your reps to oppose any attempt to push the initiative. It’s the project of a far-right-wing org called COS Action. COS stands for ‘Convention of States.’

 

 

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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Call Your Members of Congress · Marches and Protests · Russian Scandal, Emoluments Clause · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms

Continue the Work of the No One Is Above the Law Protests: Call Your MoCs to Demand Whitaker Recuse and Demand Investigation of Sessions’s Departure

Continue the work of the No One Is Above the Law protests: Call your members of Congress (MoCs) to demand that Matthew Whitaker recuse from the Mueller probe, and demand investigation of Sessions’s departure.

 

You got the call and answered it. You were out there at 5 pm local time at your No One Is Above the Law protest site. Thank you.

 

The next step is to carry on the work by calling your MoCs and demanding the following:

 

That acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker recuse himself from the Mueller probe; and demand investigation of the circumstances of Jeff Sessions’s exit from the Department of Justice (DOJ).

 

Whitaker is problematic on several levels, not least that an office of this level of importance requires the Senate to weigh in. Trump is evidently trying to avoid scrutiny by making him Acting AG. But, in a November 8, 2018 opinion piece for the New York Times, Neal Katyal and George Conway (Kellyanne Conway’s husband, btw), flatly assert that the move is unconstitutional.

 

Key paragraphs:

It means that Mr. Trump’s installation of Matthew Whitaker as acting attorney general of the United States after forcing the resignation of Jeff Sessions is unconstitutional. It’s illegal. And it means that anything Mr. Whitaker does, or tries to do, in that position is invalid.

Much of the commentary about Mr. Whitaker’s appointment has focused on all sorts of technical points about the Vacancies Reform Act and Justice Department succession statutes. But the flaw in the appointment of Mr. Whitaker, who was Mr. Sessions’s chief of staff at the Justice Department, runs much deeper. It defies one of the explicit checks and balances set out in the Constitution, a provision designed to protect us all against the centralization of government power.

If you don’t believe us, then take it from Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, whom Mr. Trump once called his “favorite” sitting justice. Last year, the Supreme Court examined the question of whether the general counsel of the National Labor Relations Board had been lawfully appointed to his job without Senate confirmation. The Supreme Court held the appointment invalid on a statutory ground.

 

Full article here:

 

Even if it was legal to appoint Whitaker, he has known biases against the Mueller probe, and they are on record. Those stated biases would legally compel him to recuse.

 

But Whitaker says he has no intention to recuse:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/trumps-acting-attorney-general-matt-whitaker-has-no-intention-of-recusing-from-russia-probe-associates-say/2018/11/08/a5bc8d90-e370-11e8-ab2c-b31dcd53ca6b_story.html?utm_term=.7c669d2b9229

 

As for the Sessions thing–the reason we need to ask for an examination of his exit is it appears to be a firing, but we need to clarify what happened. A firing requires elevating Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein to the role Sessions left. The wording of his resignation letter indicates he did not leave of his own volition–ergo, he was fired.

 

Celeste Pewter (@Celeste_Pewter), as always, is on top of it. What follows are her scripts for calling your House Rep and your Senators. Scroll down for word on how you can show your appreciation for Pewter.

 

Before you call, check Celeste’s Twitter feed, in case she’s issued updated scripts. Also, check the social media feeds of your MoCs, to see if they’ve made a statement on either matter. If they have, mention it in your calls.

 

Also! Before you call, check to see if your House Rep or one or both Senators are on their chamber’s Judiciary Committees. If they are, it’s extra-important for you to call.

 

Senate members listed here:

https://www.judiciary.senate.gov/about/members

 

House members listed here:

https://judiciary.house.gov/subcommittee/full-committee/

 

Lastly–why it’s important to call. Going into the streets to protest is important and necessary. Backing those protests up with specific demands for your representatives makes for a one-two punch.

 

Here is the script for your House rep:

 

You can show love for Celeste Pewter in many ways.

 

You can follow her on Twitter: @Celeste_Pewter

 

You can tweet about calling your Senators, using the #ICalledMyReps hashtag.

 

You can follow @ICalledMyReps on Twitter.

 

And you can subscribe to her peerless newsletter, It’s Time to Fight:

http://itstimetofight.weebly.com

 

 

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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Action Alerts · Call Your Members of Congress · First Amendment, Defending a Free Press · Russian Scandal, Emoluments Clause · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms

Call Your MoCs, Demand Justice For Saudi Journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and Ask Them to Pressure the White House to Do Better, Dammit

Call your Members of Congress (MoCs) to demand that they do everything in their power to deliver justice on behalf of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and ask them to pressure the White House to do better than their current piss-poor reaction.

 

On October 2, 2018, journalist Jamal Khashoggi entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to collect paperwork he needed to marry his Turkish fiancé.

 

He never came out.

 

A team of Saudi assassins are accused of killing Khashoggi. We won’t repeat the details that Turkish news sources are reporting; they’re startlingly gruesome. Suffice it to say that Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, the Saudi leader colloquially known as MBS, saw Khashoggi and his writing as an irritant.

 

Saudi officials maintain that Khashoggi left the consulate through a back entrance, but he has not been seen since October 2. Virtually no one in the world intelligence community doubts that Khashoggi is dead, and virtually no one doubts that he was assassinated.

 

As this post is being prepared, there’s word that the Saudis might be working on a new story that acknowledges Khashoggi’s death but characterizes it as an interrogation gone wrong. Ahem.

 

Khashoggi’s alleged murder is a gross affront to all that is good and right. He wrote for the Washington Post and had deep connections to Saudi society, giving him insights that few could match. He was uniquely positioned to see the flaws of his native country, and he was uniquely equipped to name and describe those flaws. Also, he had adopted the United States as his home-in-exile. He held a green card and paid taxes.

 

Trump and his administration have done an unusually piss-poor job of reacting to the Khashoggi situation, which is saying something. While Trump promised unspecified “severe punishment” if Saudi leaders are responsible for Khashoggi’s death, he also bought the Saudis’ current spiel about Khashoggi’s fate and their role in it, and he showed that he valued the U.S.’s arms deals with Saudi Arabia more than upholding the bedrock American value of free speech. In an October 13, 2018 interview with 60 Minutes, Trump said, “I don’t want to hurt jobs. I don’t want to lose an order like that,” he said. “There are other ways of punishing, to use a word that’s a pretty harsh word, but it’s true.”

 

See a Time magazine article that quotes Trump reacting to the Khashoggi situation:

http://time.com/5424150/trump-saudi-arabia-arms-deal/

 

Several news outlets have highlighted the fact that the Saudis give the Trumps a lot of money. Here’s a CNBC piece about Saudi patronage of Trump hotels:

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/08/03/saudi-guests-boosted-revenue-at-trumps-new-york-hotel-reversing-drop.html

 

Here’s a Washington Post opinion piece by Jennifer Rubin about Trump family connections to the Saudis, in which she cites reports that MBS bragged that he had Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law, “in his pocket”:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/opinions/wp/2018/10/16/whose-interests-is-trump-looking-out-for-in-saudi-arabia/?utm_term=.238d5f11fa63

 

And if you’re wondering if Trump’s entanglement with the Saudis and their copious fonts of cash looks like a violation of the Emoluments clause of the Constitution, read these October 17 tweets from Jonathan Ladd, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution:

 

The fact that most in the political establishment except liberal activists has decided to pretend the emoluments clause doesn’t exist and allow a president to accept massive foreign bribes puts them in a weak position to claim that the Senate and SCOTUS must always stay the same.

If you want evidence that constitutional arrangements evolve over time, and practice, for better or worse, doesnt always match the original intention, just look the the emoluments clause. It’s original intention and interpretation until 2015 was that foreign bribes were forbidden
How did we effectively repeal the emoluments clause? Through the amendment procedure in the constitution’s text (2/3 of congress + 3/4 of states)? Nope. We just decided to ignore the text and tradition.
The best procedure to enforce the emoluments clause is impeachment, but the president’s party in Congress just decided that they didn’t care about foreign bribes, Constitutional text and tradition be damned. So now that Constitutional clause is unenforced and dead.

 

Also see Charlie Pierce’s fire-breathing opinion piece in Esquire that flatly accuses Trump of violating the Constitution because his connections to Saudis and their money evidently restrained him from giving them both barrels when the Khashoggi news broke:

https://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/a23872355/president-trump-saudi-arabia-jamal-khashoggi-emoluments-clause/

 

So, here’s what you can do. Call your members of Congress–your two Senators and your House Rep–and demand substantial action on Khashoggi.

 

The impeccable and exquisite Celeste Pewter (@Celeste_Pewter) got there first on Twitter with calling scripts, which we’ll reproduce below. Scroll down to learn how to show your appreciation for her work.

 

Once you have made your calls, describe your experience on Twitter using the #ICalledMyReps hashtag.

 

A note on saying the Saudi journalist’s name: Kah-sho-gee is perfectly fine.

 

If your House Rep is on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, it is extra-important that you call. Check this link to see if he or she is a member (click the blue button at the top to pull up the Republicans and the Democrats):

https://foreignaffairs.house.gov/subcommittee/full-committee/

 

If one or both of your Senators are on the chamber’s Committee on Foreign Relations, it is extra-important that you call. The full list of members is below:

https://www.foreign.senate.gov/about/membership

 

Here is Celeste Pewter’s script for House of Representatives members:

 

Here is the script for your Senators:

 

 

You can show love for Celeste Pewter in many ways.

 

You can follow her on Twitter: @Celeste_Pewter

 

You can tweet about calling your Senators, using the #ICalledMyReps hashtag.

 

You can follow @ICalledMyReps on Twitter.

 

You can adopt a vulnerable incumbent Democratic Senator by checking out The Road to 2018, an organization Pewter created. Read about it here:

 

https://onethingyoucando.com/2018/08/08/support-the-road-to-2018-which-defends-democratic-senators-2/

 

You can follow The Road to 2018 on Twitter: @Roadto18

 

And you can subscribe to her peerless newsletter, It’s Time to Fight:

http://itstimetofight.weebly.com

 

 

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!

Action Alerts · Call Your Senators · Community Activism · Marches and Protests · Postcard Campaigns · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms · Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends

Call Your Senators to Oppose SCOTUS Nominee Brett Kavanaugh, Oct 6 Update

Update from Sarah Jane, Oct 6: The Senate invoked cloture early yesterday. The move closed debate on Kavanaugh’s nomination and started a 30-hour clock leading to the final floor vote.

 

Lisa Murkowski delivered a surprise when she voted no on cloture, which also signaled her intention to vote no on the nomination.

 

Unfortunately, the other three Senators who had been undecided–Jeff Flake, Joe Manchin, and Susan Collins–voted for cloture and stated they would vote yes.

 

I won’t rehash their rationales. I will only remind you that today is the last day to call and oppose Kavanaugh.

 

Yes, you can still do that, provided the vote hasn’t been held when you read this. The Senators can change their minds right up until they formally enter their choices.

 

Odds are too many of them will do the wrong thing. You can still thank those who will do the right thing and make it difficult (politely! Always politely!) for those who will do the wrong thing.

 

Scroll down for calling scripts, which come courtesy of Celeste Pewter (@Celeste_Pewter).

 

Another way to fight is to join an anti-Kavanaugh #NoJusticeNoSeat protest. Several are planned for today across the country. See this link to find one near you:

https://act.weareultraviolet.org/event/no-justice-no-seat_attend/search/?akid=s691842..oEaapt

If you can’t attend, watch and boost the #NoJusticeNoSeat hashtag.

 

Continue to check the feeds of Celeste Pewter (@Celeste_Pewter) and Ben Wikler (@BenWikler) for news on the vote and on protests, respectively.

 

Taking some time away is perfectly legit. This Kavanaugh madness has been long and tiring. If you need my dispensation to get extra rest, you have it. Just please come back. You’ve got to stay here and carry on the fight.

 

Still another good way to direct your energy is to pour it into the campaign of a worthy Democrat or two. You’re familiar with our Core Four strategy, yes? If not, learn about it here:

https://onethingyoucando.com/2018/08/17/choose-your-core-four-for-2018-2/

 

Then get to work. Choose two Democrats per chamber, one incumbent and one challenger for each. Work to make sure Democrats take the House of Representatives and do what you can to help Democrats win control of the Senate (this is a longer shot but it’s not impossible).

 

The Senate is the tougher get. The map favors Republicans. If the Democrats hold all their Senate seats and gain two, they’ll win control.

 

The Road to 2018 showcases incumbent Senate Democrats (and one Independent, Angus King of Maine) who are perceived as vulnerable.

Site is here: https://www.roadto2018.com

The Road to 2018 is one of Celeste Pewter’s projects. She encourages you to adopt a Senator by supporting him or her however you can–donating, phone-banking, canvassing, spreading the word.

 

The most endangered among those shown on the page include Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, who bravely came out against Kavanaugh the day before the cloture vote; Bill Nelson of Florida, who is in a tough battle with Republican Governor Rick Scott for the seat; and Claire McCaskill of Missouri.

 

Several strong Democratic challengers are aiming to push Republican Senate incumbents out of their seats. They include:

Beto O’Rourke, who aims to unseat Ted Cruz in Texas

Kyrsten Sinema, who’s seeking the Arizona seat that Jeff Flake is vacating

Jacky Rosen, who wants to push out Nevada Republican Dean Heller

 

Once you settle on a few candidates to boost, go to ActBlue and donate, then visit their websites and see what other sorts of help they need.

 

Here are links to several past OTYCD stories on Democratic candidates for the House of Representatives. Most are challengers. This is far from a comprehensive list, and probably doesn’t include everyone we’ve written about who advanced to the general; this is just to give you ideas.

 

Katie Porter, California’s 45th District, where she faces Republican Mimi Walters:

https://onethingyoucando.com/2018/08/25/support-katie-porters-run-to-unseat-california-house-republican-mimi-walters/

 

Amy McGrath, running in Kentucky’s 6th District:

https://onethingyoucando.com/2018/08/20/support-democrat-amy-mcgraths-run-for-a-house-seat-in-kentucky-s-6th-district/

 

Gil Cisneros, running for the open seat in California’s 39th District:

https://onethingyoucando.com/2018/08/22/support-democrat-gil-cisneross-campaign-for-ed-royces-old-california-house-seat/

 

Andrew Janz, who is running against Dana Rohrbacher in California’s 22nd District:

https://onethingyoucando.com/2018/06/09/keep-an-eye-on-andrew-janz-whos-running-for-devin-nuness-house-seat/

 

Maxine Waters, who needs no introduction:

https://onethingyoucando.com/2018/06/09/support-democrat-maxine-waters-for-re-election-to-a-house-seat-in-californias-43rd-congressional-district/

 

Mike Levin, who is running for the open seat in California’s 49th District:

https://onethingyoucando.com/2018/06/09/keep-an-eye-on-mike-levin-who-is-aiming-to-push-california-republican-darrell-issa-out-of-his-house-seat/

 

Jana Lynne Sanchez, who is running in Texas’s 6th District:

https://onethingyoucando.com/2018/05/26/keep-an-eye-on-jana-lynne-sanchez-who-is-running-for-a-texas-house-seat-in-2018/

 

Chrissy Houlihan, who is running in Pennsylvania’s 6th District:

https://onethingyoucando.com/2018/05/26/support-chrissy-houlahan-democratic-candidate-for-a-pennsylvania-house-seat-in-2018/

 

Joseph Kopser, who is running for a seat in Texas’s 21st District:

https://onethingyoucando.com/2018/05/26/support-democrat-joseph-kopser-who-is-challenging-republican-lamar-smith-for-his-texas-house-seat/

 

Adrienne Bell, who is running in Texas’s 14th District:

https://onethingyoucando.com/2018/05/26/support-adrienne-bells-run-for-the-house-seat-in-texass-14th-district/

 

Conor Lamb, who is running for a corresponding Pennsylvania seat now that the state has redrawn its maps to be less gerrymandered:

https://onethingyoucando.com/2018/05/18/support-conor-lambs-run-for-a-pennsylvania-house-seat-in-a-march-2018-special-election/

 

Randy Bryce, aka Ironstache, who is running for the seat that Paul Ryan is leaving in Wisconsin’s 1st District:

https://onethingyoucando.com/2018/04/08/support-randy-bryces-bid-to-unseat-house-rep-paul-ryan-in-wisconsin/

 

Same again here as with the Senators. Once you’ve made your picks, donate through ActBlue and contact their campaigns to see how you can help.

 

If you’re a regular OTYCD reader, it’s unlikely that Postcards to Voters is new to you. But! Tony the Democrat says that they’d need to recruit a few thousand more writers before they could consider assisting Heidi Heitkamp in North Dakota.

This is not to imply Tony has a Heitkamp campaign lined up, or even under discussion; he simply said the postcarder army would have to add many more recruits before they could give her the help she’d need to get out the vote across the entire state.

So! How about recruiting new writers to the Postcards to Voters cause? Here’s the FAQ page for Postcards to Voters. Get fluent in these answers, and start convincing others to sign on.

https://postcardstovoters.org/faq/

 

Now, the calling scripts from Celeste Pewter (@Celeste_Pewter). Scroll past them to learn how to show your appreciation for her outstanding work.

 

For Dem Senators who are firm no votes [don’t forget to thank them]:

 

Script for bullheaded GOP Senators who are tilting toward yes:

 

 

Script for Joe Manchin (only call if you live in West Virginia):

Script for Susan Collins (only call if you live in Maine):

Script for Lisa Murkowski (only call if you live in Alaska):
Script for Jeff Flake (only call if you live in Arizona):

Script for all Senators (but only if you live in their home states, please):

Lastly, here are general tips for leaving a voicemail message:

You can show love for Celeste Pewter in many ways.

 

You can follow her on Twitter: @Celeste_Pewter

 

You can tweet about calling your Senators, using the #ICalledMyReps hashtag.

 

You can follow @ICalledMyReps on Twitter.

 

You can adopt a vulnerable incumbent Democratic Senator by checking out The Road to 2018, an organization Pewter created. Read about it here:

 

https://onethingyoucando.com/2018/08/08/support-the-road-to-2018-which-defends-democratic-senators-2/

 

You can follow The Road to 2018 on Twitter: @Roadto18

 

And you can subscribe to her peerless newsletter, It’s Time to Fight:

http://itstimetofight.weebly.com

 

 

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