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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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Action Alerts · Call Your Members of Congress · Russian Scandal, Emoluments Clause

Call Your House Rep to Complain About the GOP Members of the Intelligence Committee Shutting Down Its Trump-Russia Investigation; Call Your Senators to Support Its Intelligence Committee; Plus a Cameo Appearance by Conor Lamb

Call your House Rep to complain about the GOP members of the House Intelligence Committee trying to shut down its investigation of the Trump-Russia scandal; call your Senators to voice support for the Senate Intelligence Committee’s Trump-Russia investigation; and boost Pennsylvania Democratic House candidate Conor Lamb however you can–that special election is today.

 

Sorry to send this relatively late for a weekday post, and sorry it’s technically more than one thing.

 

Yesterday–March 12, 2018–the Republican members of the Intelligence Committee in the House of Representatives voted to shut down its Trump-Russia investigation, claiming to find no collusion. They did this over the objections of the Democratic members of the committee.

 

At least one Republican member, Florida rep Tom Rooney, stated that Russia was trying to mess with our elections, but wasn’t necessarily trying to help Trump when they did so. The Republicans were able to do this because they hold the majority in the House. They claim they will deliver a report to their Democratic members today.

 

Read about the shutdown:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/trump-russia-investigation-house-intelligence-committee-shuts-down-interviews-latest-a8252846.html

 

 

Read a statement from Democratic House Rep Adam Schiff, a member of the committee:

https://democrats-intelligence.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=361

 

 

Read a Tampa Bay Times story about Florida House Rep Tom Rooney, a House Intelligence Committee member, who expressed the notion that Russia did try to infiltrate our elections, but not to specifically help Trump. (Rooney, who represents Florida’s 17th District, is retiring and will not run again):

http://www.tampabay.com/florida-politics/buzz/2018/03/12/we-have-gone-off-the-rails-rep-tom-rooney-says-as-house-gop-shuts-down-russia-probe/

 

 

To clarify some things: Only the House Intel investigation was stopped. The Senate is still continuing its probe of the matter, and Robert Mueller continues his work unaffected.

 

 

Also recall that the Republicans on the House Intel committee, and particularly its majority leader, Devin Nunes, have handled the investigation poorly, frustrating attempts to do a proper, credible job, and knuckling under to pressure from Trump and the White House. (Nunes was a member of the executive committee of president-elect Trump’s transition team.)

 

 

Step one for you: Call your House Rep and complain about the premature ending of that chamber’s Trump-Russia investigation.

 

 

Important note: Is your House Rep a member of the House Intelligence Committee? Then it’s extra-important for you to call.

 

 

Here’s the list of Republican members of the House Intelligence Committee:

https://intelligence.house.gov/about/hpsci-majority-members.htm

 

 

Here are the Democratic members of the House Intelligence Committee:

https://intelligence.house.gov/about/hpsci-minority-members.htm

 

 

Before you call, also check to see if your House Rep is running for another term in the fall, and tailor your comments accordingly.

 

 

If your rep is a Dem, thank them for their work and encourage them to be ready to restart on November 7, 2018. If your rep is running again in the fall, and you like their work and are capable of making an offer, say that you’re willing to volunteer for their campaign or donate a specific amount of money to it. Be ready to be transferred to the rep’s coordinator of volunteers and/or to someone who handles incoming donations.

 

 

If your rep is a Republican, firmly but politely state you are upset about the Republicans’ handling of the Trump-Russia investigation and its premature end. If your rep plans to run again in the fall, state that their actions have encouraged you to volunteer and donate to their opponent. Make sure to say the opponent’s name. If you gave that rival a specific amount of money as a direct result of the end of the Trump-Russia investigation, give that number as well. Make the consequences clear.

 

 

Sample script for Dems: “Dear House Rep (Lastname), I am (Firstname Lastname from town, state.) I am calling to express my anger over the premature ending of the House Intelligence Committee’s investigation of the Trump-Russia scandal. While I am glad that the Democrats have tried to do the right thing, I am disappointed by the Republicans’ foot-dragging and their general attempts to sandbag the whole thing. I ask you to be ready to reopen the investigation on November 7, 2018, and be ready to do the work that your Republican colleagues would not. [If your rep is an Intel Committee member and you are comfortable offering to donate money or time to the rep’s campaign, say so now.] Thank you.”

 

Sample script for Republicans: “Dear House Rep (Lastname), I am (Firstname Lastname from town, state.) I am calling to express my anger over the premature ending of the House Intelligence Committee’s investigation of the Trump-Russia scandal. Your party colleagues have done an unconscionably bad job here. You should not have tolerated such a mishandling of an important task, and our country might well suffer for it. [If your rep is an Intel Committee member and you are comfortable saying you will donate time and money to their opponent over this, say so, and name the opponent.] I expected better from you, frankly. Please do better going forward.”

 

 

After you’ve called your House Rep, call your Senators and express your support for continuing that chamber’s investigation into the Trump-Russia scandal.

 

 

Before you call, see if either of your Senators are on the Senate Intelligence Committee. If they are, then it’s extra-important for you to call.

 

 

See the Senate Intelligence Committee members here:

https://www.intelligence.senate.gov/about/committee-members-115th-congress-2017-2018

 

Sample script for your Senators, regardless of party: “Dear Senator (Lastname), I am (Firstname Lastname from town, state.) I am calling to express support for the Senate Intelligence Committee’s investigation of the Trump-Russia scandal. I am troubled by the way that the Republican members of the counterpart committee in the House of Representatives handled the investigation and extra-troubled by the way they ended it yesterday. I encourage you and your colleagues to do a proper, level-headed, fair, bipartisan probe of the matter. Thank you.”

 

 

And once you’ve taken care of that, see if you can give one last boost to Conor Lamb, the Democratic candidate for the special election for the open House of Representatives seat in Pennsylvania’s 18th District.

 

At this point, even if Lamb loses, we win, because Trump carried the district by 22 points in 2016, and things are close enough that Lamb’s Republican opponent, Rick Saccone, has needed Trump’s help to try to carry him over the line. It should not be this close, but it is. Regardless, do what you can, however small, to help Lamb defeat Saccone.

 

 

See the OTYCD post on Conor Lamb, which contains background, his Twitter handle (following him helps), donation links, and more:

 

https://onethingyoucando.com/2018/03/11/support-conor-lambs-run-for-a-pennsylvania-house-seat-in-a-march-2018-special-election/

 

 

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 · Community Activism · Elections · Marches and Protests · Read, Educate Yourself, Prepare · Stand for Science · Stand Up for Civilization · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends

Support and Join the Broward County Schools’ February 21 Walk-out to Protest America’s Lax Gun Laws and Its Lack of Mental Health Care Offerings

Support and join the students in Broward County, Florida schools’ walk-out to protest America’s lax gun laws and the lack of effective mental health care treatment. It takes place at noon EST on Wednesday, February 21, 2018.

 

On February 14, 2018, we heard the sickening news about the shooting at Margory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

 

A total of 17 students and staff died at the hands of a former student who we will not name here because we want to keep the focus on the victims and their needs.

 

It was the third-deadliest school shooting on record.

 

But this shooting was different, and it might, at long last, break the death grip that the National Rifle Association (NRA) has on Congress and America’s political system generally.

 

The victims themselves spoke up, on site and on social media, blasting the inaction that allowed the shooting that happened and calling it out in eloquent, emotional, pointed words.

 

Seventeen-year-old senior David Hogg took the breath out of all who heard or read his words: “We’re children. You guys are the adults… Please, take action. Ideas are great… But what’s more important is actual action… saving thousands of children’s lives. Please, take action.”

 

The survivors and their neighbors and friends across Broward County, Florida, are taking action.

 

On Wednesday, February 21, 2018, at noon Eastern Standard Time, students across Broward Country will stage a walk-out to protest toothless gun laws and the piss-poor mental health treatment options on offer in America.

 

Please show your support for the students however you can.

 

If you live in Broward County, Florida, consider joining the walk-out or helping the kids in some way. Maybe bring pizza and bottles of water. It happens at lunchtime, after all.

 

If you are a teacher or a school administrator in Broward County, Florida, join your students who walk out, or at the very least, don’t stop them.

 

If you are students elsewhere in America, see if you can arrange a walk-out for noon your time, whatever time zone you’re in.

 

If you are teachers or a school administrator elsewhere in America, support any students who want to stage their own sympathy walk-outs, and consider joining them.

 

Also maybe see about getting the protestors lunch, if the walk-out overlaps the normal lunch time at your school. Maybe a local restaurant will donate food and drinks.

 

If you can’t physically join a walkout on Wednesday, follow the #DouglasStrong and #NeverAgain hashtags on social media, and spread the word about the walk-out campaign.

 

We at OTYCD intend to nurture and encourage the movement sparked by the Margory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting by devoting one post 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, once again, it’s on us to shout back.

 

We cannot assume our politicians know the right thing to do and will do it.

 

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 goddamn unacceptable, and we want common-sense gun safety laws.

 

So, we at 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.

 

Scroll down for a Washington Post piece on the on-the-spot eloquence of the young Parkland survivors, and also for a full list of the victims.

 

But one more point. Those kids at Parkland said what needed to be said, in the language they needed to use–stark, fierce, unflinching.

 

But they should not have had to do that. No one should have to do that.

 

The scariest thing that American high school students should face is figuring out what they’re going to do with themselves after they graduate.

 

Honor Parkland 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.

 

Read about the heart-piercing eloquence of the survivors of the Margory Stoneman Douglas High School attack:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/the-students-at-floridas-douglas-high-are-amazing-communicators-that-could-save-lives/2018/02/16/b059bd1c-1333-11e8-9570-29c9830535e5_story.html?utm_term=.d80c20a7f6ec

 

 

All 17 victims of the shooting are now identified. See the list:

https://www.cnn.com/2018/02/15/us/florida-shooting-victims-school/index.html

 

Also follow Never Again MSD on Twitter:

@NeverAgainMSD

Action Alerts · Call Your Members of Congress

Call Your MoCs About CHIP, DACA, and the Shutdown, January 22 Update

Call your MoCs about renewing CHIP, finding a DACA solution, and ending the government shutdown, January 22 update.

To recap: 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 2018 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.

Said dithering and mucking lead directly to the government shutdown that started on January 20, 2018

We at OTYCD are asking you to call your MoCs again today.

If they’re Dems, thank them for holding firm and for trying to find work-arounds such as a bill that will fund affected members of the military.

If they’re Republicans, give them a piece of your mind. Tell them to send Trump a version of the Continuing Resolution (CR) that renews CHIP and protects the Dreamers.

Celeste Pewter (@Celeste_pewter), who you should follow on Twitter (you are, right?) has a calling script to use with Republicans:

 

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.

 

 

Action Alerts · Call Your Members of Congress · Health Care · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends

Fight the GOP Tax Bill, December 18 Update: The House Votes Tomorrow

This is your December 18 update on fighting the GOP tax bill.

First, a thank-you to all of you. We at OTYCD have been reshuffling the publication schedule for weeks, bumping planned posts forward in favor of focusing your attention on stopping this bill. We thank you for your patience and your persistence.

So, updates.

First off, if you work in the medical field and you’re near Washington, D.C., think about going to the Protect Patients! protest on Monday (today) and Tuesday:

https://www.facebook.com/events/171649466913533/

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSe3N9q-iLyPBez4_-1DQ2ePutBgqCcA2SFjx3cOfTet-MEiVg/viewform

Now, updates on members of the Senate GOP.

Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee flipped from no to yes. It might be due to the change described in this article–a change that was added after the bill’s language was finalized. Seems hinky:

http://www.ibtimes.com/political-capital/donald-trump-gop-leaders-could-be-enriched-last-minute-tax-break-inserted-final

Senator Marco Rubio of Florida has announced he’s satisfied with some changes that expand the child tax credit, and is now a yes. We’re looking for specific comment from Senator Mike Lee of Utah on his position, but he was pretty much in the same boat as Rubio, and has probably gone from undecided to yes.

Senator Collins appears to be a yes even though the fixes she demanded probably won’t happen.

Senator John McCain is ailing. As of December 16, he was at Walter Reed hospital in D.C. for complications arising from his brain cancer, and the treatment of his brain cancer. The GOP can’t pass the bill without him–the margins are that narrow. This newspaper article from December 14 cites unnamed sources describing him as “looking increasingly frail and said he has not spoken up in recent GOP meetings the way he had before.”:

https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/politics/arizona/2017/12/14/sen-john-mccain-trying-get-rested-up-after-cancer-treatment-friends-say/953222001/

So as of now [we’re typing this on December 16], it looks like the GOP members of the Senate have enough votes to pass this thing in their chamber.

 

Also worth noting: Back on Friday, Politico reported that Speaker of the House Paul Ryan is mulling retirement:

https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/12/14/paul-ryan-retire-speaker-ready-leave-washington-216103

Ryan denied the rumors:

http://thehill.com/homenews/house/364936-ryan-denies-retirement-reports

…but this makes Ryan look like a lame duck. This is good and bad. It means Ryan will be even more hell-bent on getting this thing passed, and he’ll be seen as powerless from now on–a politician who won’t be around to return favors is damn near to useless to his colleagues.

 

The Republicans are steaming ahead despite the rampant unpopularity of their bill:

http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/365135-democratic-poll-shows-tax-bill-hurts-gop-incumbents

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/12/15/16781952/republican-tax-bill-2018-the-weeds

 

It should be noted that during reconciliation, some of the worst provisions in the GOP tax bill were in fact removed (for which you can thank Democrats, mostly). On December 15, Sahil Kapur (@sahilkapur), a national reporter with Bloomberg, tweeted:

Provisions REMOVED from final tax bill, per Hill sources familiar with it: —

Higher ed tuition waiver tax —

Student loan deduction removal —

Medical expense deduction axing —

Johnson amendment repeal —

Fetal “personhood” language

 

…this doesn’t represent formal confirmation, however, and there are still a lot of bad things in the bill.

 

The House of Representatives will vote on the reconciled GOP tax bill on Tuesday, December 19.

When you make your calls, call your house rep first, and then your senators. And ask your friends and family to call, too.

Here is a calling script for your House Rep and Senators, from @Celeste_Pewter, who you should be following on Twitter if you aren’t already:

Here also is a @Celeste_Pewter script for calling your governor, who will definitely be affected by the tax bill:

 

And here are more things you might want to know:

#NotOnePenny has GOP tax bill protests scheduled until December 21 at least. Check this link to find one near you:

https://notonepenny.org/take-action/#events

 

 

If any of these Republicans are your senators, it is super-extra-important for you to call and make your opposition known. They sit on the Tax Conference Committee.

Orrin Hatch of Utah

Mike Enzi of Wyoming

Lisa Murkowski of Alaska

John Cornyn of Texas

John Thune of South Dakota

Rob Portman of Ohio

Tim Scott of South Carolina

Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania

 

If any of these folks are your reps, it is super-extra-important for you to call. All are Republicans, and they sit on the counterpart tax committee:

Kevin Brady of Texas

Devin Nunes of California

Peter Roskam of Illinois

Diane Black of Tennessee

Kristi Noem of South Dakota

Rob Bishop of Utah

Don Young of Alaska

Greg Walden of Oregon

John Shimkus of Illinois

 

 

 

Here also are several other folks aside from @MichaelSLinden, @Celeste_Pewter, @TopherSpiro, and @aslavitt who you should be following on Twitter to stay on top of the GOP tax bill, which is morphing constantly, like a suspect science experiment in a horror movie. Some of these people are old friends from the Trumpcare fights. Some are tax experts.

Ben Wikler @benwikler

Seth Hanlon @sethhanlon

Sunjeev Bery @sunjeevbery

Lily Batchelder @lilybatch

Greg Leiserson @gregleiserson

Chad Bolt @chadderr

 

Here also are two more recent posts that relate to the GOP tax bill and its effects that you should see if you haven’t yet:

https://onethingyoucando.com/2017/12/02/refresh-review-and-prep-for-2018-gop-tax-bill-related-briefing/

https://onethingyoucando.com/2017/12/03/commit-now-to-put-any-tax-benefits-you-might-get-from-the-gop-tax-bill-to-fighting-its-effects/

 

One last note, which we’ve stated before: Even if this bill ultimately implodes and never becomes law, we still need to vote out every Republican that we can in 2018. This whole process has been nothing less than legislative malpractice. They should be punished for aiding and abetting it. Period.

Action Alerts · Call Your Members of Congress · Elections · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends

Fight the GOP Tax Bill, December 15 Update: Keep Fighting

Here’s your December 15 update on fighting the GOP tax bill, with side notes on defending Net Neutrality.

On December 14, Andy Slavitt (@aslavitt) tweeted a good rundown of the state of things:

Vote count on tax bill just got interesting w/ Senator McCain hospitalized now, Collins up in the air & short window before Jones is sat.2/

Word is Pence is planning to cancel international travel next week because he now thinks is vote may be needed.3/

If this is right, it means McConnell is concerned about having only 50 votes. If Corker votes no & McCain can’t vote, focus goes 2 Collins.4

Time is the other factor. The sooner the new Alabama senator is sat, the quicker the will of the Alabama voter will be heard. 5/

The GOP political reality is that post 2018 AL race, the prospects for accomplishing much next year is low. They view their window as now.6/

Defeating the tax bill is an uphill battle, but it means any Senator can change it, there is no room for time to slip, AL voters must be ignored & Collins must accept a promise that can’t be kept. And that’s what they’re planning to do unless they’re stopped./end

 

And in response to this Damian Paletta (@damianpaletta) tweet…

MORE BREAKING: Rubio is now a NO on the tax bill unless Child Tax Credit is expanded. Lee is now an undecided. Hatch concerned.

…which pointed to this Washington Post story:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/rubio-to-vote-against-gop-tax-bill-unless-tax-credit-for-working-poor-is-expanded/2017/12/14/8be53a22-e0f9-11e7-89e8-edec16379010_story.html?pushid=5a32c5bbb0a05c1d000000c8&tidr=notifi_push_breaking-news&utm_term=.fc262481949e

… Ben Wikler (@benwikler) tweeted:

THIS FIGHT IS NOT OVER MELT THE PHONES 202-224-3121

 

Now, we’ve seen this before. Marco Rubio flinches and sputters and whines and goes on to vote how his party tells him to anyway. We at OTYCD will believe he’s serious only when he up and votes no on this thing.

Still. Mike Lee sliding into the ‘undecided’ column is news. And, Slavitt also noted on Twitter:

BREAKING: Word today from the Hill is that has no chance of anything but an IOU before being asked to vote for the tax bill.

…Maine Watch (@CollinsWatch) tweeted on December 14:

. has moved the goal posts on the tax bill so often that it’s ludicrous but this is what she said YESTERDAY: “If the commitments are not kept to me I will not support the bill.”

Will she keep her word and vote no? Who knows?

The answer is the same answer we’ve been giving you every day for weeks now: Call, call, call your members of Congress; encourage your friends and family to call; and when you call your senators, ask them to support efforts to either seat Senator-elect Doug Jones as soon as possible OR delay the vote on the GOP tax bill until he is seated.

Scroll down a ways to locate the standing script for calling your MoCs.

 

Now on to Net Neutrality (with apologies for technically giving you two things you can do, but hey, such are the times). On December 14, as expected, the five members of the FCC voted three to two to begin rolling it back.

First off, please contact FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn and thank her for her full-throated defense of Net Neutrality.

Here’s her email address:

Mignon Clyburn, Commissioner
Mignon.Clyburn@fcc.gov

For that matter, following her on Twitter would be a good way to thank her, too:

@MClyburnFCC

She’s also inviting your responses in her pinned tweet, and inviting you to join her online on December 19 at 2 pm EST:

The majority is ignoring the voices of millions of Americans – I will not. Direct all questions about to me. Will answer top questions online on Tuesday (12/19) at 2pm EST.

 

Celeste Pewter (@Celeste_Pewter) has been doing typical excellent work on the Net Neutrality front, but we at OTYCD want to amplify a specific piece of it:

Don’t freak out.

Yes, this sucks, but the world has not ended. Our Net Neutrality strategy shifts now, and there are still many things you can do, and many things you can support your representatives in doing, to defend it.

But! Be mindful of getting too terribly whipped up. Authoritarian regimes try, deliberately, to burn you out by swamping you with horrors and keeping you spun up and twitchy. You really do need to take breaks, get rest, and come back ready to fight. No joke. If you can feel yourself getting ragged and frayed, step away, do something to relax, and then come back.

Oh yeah, and she’s 100 percent right about staying polite and not indulging in hate-mailing Ajit Pai. It’s a waste of effort, and it’s counterproductive, too.

Here’s what @Celeste_Pewter advised on Twitter just after the vote went down:

First, understand that this is NOT the end. I’ve seen many, many tweets suggesting this vote is the death knell for the internet. That’s simply not true. Read the document I linked in this tweet. This won’t happen overnight.

<This is the document she refers to: http://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2017/db1122/DOC-347927A1.pdf>

2. Understand just what is and isn’t. This video will help. I’m seeing a lot of tweets suggesting means cutting off access; it’s more slowing/throttling access for more $. (Broadly speaking)

3. Now, here are some actionable steps. A. Nix the desire to hate email the FCC. Do people like Pai deserve it? Hell yes. But it’s not going to get anything done. B. Email your House Members/Senators TODAY and tell them you want the ball rolling on a telecoms bill. Script.

B1. I’m getting some questions about HR 4585, and whether we ask electeds to support. Going to say no – the bill address the FCC/rule, and not the root of this problem, which is this should be enshrined into law. Until laws happen, will be a political football.

C. Call your state attorneys general, and ask them how they plan on addressing the FCC’s changes. They’re going to have similar powers to protect consumers from anti-competitive practices. Additionally, ask them to sign off on the letter calling to investigate fake comments.

D. Check out news sites/tech sites for lawsuits about Net Neutrality, and donate to their efforts. Start with places like . Donate to those causes. Spread the word. E. Tell your preferred 2018 Dem candidates, you want them to add to their platform.
<Here is the Wired article she refers to: https://www.wired.com/2017/05/congress-not-fcc-can-fix-net-neutrality/>

Why? Because: A. You want to know what they’ll do about Net Neutrality if elected, B. Making Net Neutrality a leading campaign issue, can very likely encourage even more volunteer/voter interest. (Seriously, I think the DSCC/DCCC should make this a campaign point)

Here’s a script for your governor’s office. I don’t think they’ll do this, but if they tell you this is an issue outside of their jurisdiction, point to Washington state’s announcement as precedent for your call.

Some FAQs: 1. The petitions floating around should be seen as well-meaning ways to spread information, but will have ZERO actual impact. Petitions are designed to be hard. The boards/orgs/whatever you’re filing them to, want to discourage hundreds of random/arbitrary filings.
Credentials: I saw a lot of petition filings when I worked in politics, and they were always, always struck down. The rules are designed to be complex on purpose. (Also, politicians are totally using the petitions to get your info for $$ during campaign season, so there’s that.)  <FWIW, this is another reason why we at OTYCD virtually never ask you to sign a petition.>
2. I know I’ve said this hundreds of times, but please only use social media to rally your followers. Do not use it to contact electeds; their staff don’t have the time to filter thousands of @’s or FB posts, and your point will be overlooked/ignored.
3. The comment portal for this process closed in August. Telling people to post to GoFCCYourself has been doing nothing, and will seriously do nothing. (Sorry, sorry! But it’s true. All the recent posts saying to comment via GoFCCYourself, have made me cranky)
Finally. Take a breath. This is not over BY. FAR. The fight has gotten harder, but there are MANY of us and they are few. It may take until the Democrats are back in power, but we CAN AND WILL do this.
Please, please RT this info. Please spread this info widely; there’s so much bad info going around, I’m worried people will think their efforts have failed, and give up in defeat. FIGHT for the Internet and our right to unrestrained information.
P.S. Don’t let the pro-rollback members of the FCC lie to you. Their proposed alternatives simply do not work, and aren’t “imminently reasonable” as one of them said.

 

Many qs on Markey’s Congressional Review Act resolution re: 1. It DOESN’T hurt to tell your Senator you want them to support his resolution. Go for it. 2. But the process isn’t as straightforward as Twitter is claiming it to be.

3. Yes, it requires a simple majority to *pass* the resolution, but then it goes to POTUS. 4. POTUS can veto. Let’s be realistic: Trump will veto. Then two-thirds in both chambers is needed to overturn that veto. More here:

5. So absolutely say you want your Senators to sign on – and get them on the record – but diversify your approach to this. See my original thread.

An additional script. This is for your SENATORS only, and asks them to support Markey’s Congressional Review Act Resolution.

 

And for your 2018 candidates of choice. Know where they stand, before you support them.

 

And hey! Within hours of Pewter tweeting all this info, the Attorneys General of California, Delaware, Hawaii, Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maine, Mississippi, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Vermont, and Washington state declared that they will sue the FCC over this.

Find your AG by plugging your address into this search engine:

https://whoaremyrepresentatives.org

Is yours one of the AGs who are suing? Thank them, and say you support them.

Is yours one of the AGs who isn’t? Ask them to join the suit. Every little (friendly) nudge helps.

 

Text from previous update posts follow; scroll down for the calling script for the GOP tax bill.

Here’s a December 10 Twitter thread from tax expert Michael Linden that you should see, which lays out what makes this week important:

This coming week is make-or-break for the GOP tax scam. If you have any interest in fighting this disastrous bill, follow along for a state-of-play update. Short version: we CAN still stop this thing. 1/

Here’s where we are: Both the Senate & House have passed versions of the GOP tax scam. They have a lot in common (huge tax cuts for the wealthy & corporations, tax hikes on millions of middle class families) but aren’t identical. 2/

To become law, the House & Senate have to pass identical bills. So to come up with ONE new version that both chambers can pass, the GOP has sent their bills to a “conference committee.” 3/

That Conference Committee is, right now, behind closed doors, ironing out the differences between the House & Senate bill. The bad news is that the bill is much more likely to get worse than it is to get better. 4/

Once the Conference Committee creates a new bill that they think can pass both chambers, both the House and the Senate will have to vote AGAIN. That’s our last chance to . 5/

The Conference Committee is going to have precisely 1 “open” meeting (it’s not much more than a photo op), and that’ll be THIS WEDNESDAY, December 13th, at 2 PM. 6/

it’ll be only a matter of days before the FINAL vote in the House & Senate. Those votes could be as soon as Thursday, but likely will be early the week of the 18th. 7/

That means this week is CRITICAL. If we’re going to stop this bill, Congress needs to hear and feel the backlash. We can stop it either by flipping 10 GOP votes in the House or 2 GOP votes in the Senate. Tall orders, yes, but not impossible. 8/

Here’s a list of 50+ potentially flippable House GOPers. These all have some combination of the following characteristics: •From states that would be particularly hard hit •Voted against ACA repeal •Are in competitive 2018 races We need 10 of ‘em. 9/

In the Senate, our best bets are Susan Collins and Jeff Flake (and it would help if Doug Jones wins on Tuesday). Both were promised concessions that aren’t likely to be in the final bill. Both want to be thought of as “serious” and “independent.” 10/
So, what can you do? 1. Call EVERY day. Especially if you are in AZ, ME, or one of those 50 House districts, but call daily even if you aren’t (Congress needs to feel the backlash everywhere – & they talk to each other). 11/ <Note from OTYCD: Yes, this is one of those times when it is OK to call for days in a row on the same issue.>
2.If you are in the DC area, or can get here, come to the People’s Rally Against the Tax Scam at the Capitol on WEDNESDAY. This is our last best chance to make a lot of noise in DC. 12/
3. Go to a local protest or event. Check out and & for lists of local events. 13/
Bottom line: the GOP knows their tax scam is historically unpopular. They’re hoping that voters will forget about it by next November and beyond. Our best bet to stop the bill is by showing them we won’t forget. /end

 

And here are more things you might want to know:

There might be a GOP Tax Scam protest near you. Check this link to find out:

https://notonepenny.org/take-action/#events

 

In her December 6 update on fighting the GOP tax bill, Celeste Pewter (@Celeste_Pewter) offered talking points that you can use with friends, family, and co-workers:

8. Here are talking points you can include in any contact you share w/ friends/family/colleagues. Key point is that the impact on the deficit could eventually result in cuts in entitlement programs.

 

The Senate has chosen its lineup for the Tax Conference Committee. They will represent the Senate when trying to reconcile the House and Senate versions of the GOP tax bill.

If any of these Republicans are your senators, it is super-extra-important for you to call and make your opposition known.

Orrin Hatch of Utah

Mike Enzi of Wyoming

Lisa Murkowski of Alaska

John Cornyn of Texas

John Thune of South Dakota

Rob Portman of Ohio

Tim Scott of South Carolina

Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania

 

Before that, the House GOP named its tax conference committee members. If any of these folks are your reps, it is super-extra-important for you to call (again, all are Republicans):

Kevin Brady of Texas

Devin Nunes of California

Peter Roskam of Illinois

Diane Black of Tennessee

Kristi Noem of South Dakota

 

Rob Bishop of Utah

Don Young of Alaska

Greg Walden of Oregon

John Shimkus of Illinois

 

 

 

Here also are several other folks aside from @MichaelSLinden, @Celeste_Pewter, @TopherSpiro, and @aslavitt who you should be following on Twitter to stay on top of the GOP tax bill, which is morphing constantly, like a suspect science experiment in a horror movie. Some of these people are old friends from the Trumpcare fights. Some are tax experts.

Ben Wikler @benwikler

Seth Hanlon @sethhanlon

Sunjeev Bery @sunjeevbery

Lily Batchelder @lilybatch

Greg Leiserson @gregleiserson

Chad Bolt @chadderr

 

Here also are two more recent posts that relate to the GOP tax bill and its effects that you should see if you haven’t yet:

https://onethingyoucando.com/2017/12/02/refresh-review-and-prep-for-2018-gop-tax-bill-related-briefing/

https://onethingyoucando.com/2017/12/03/commit-now-to-put-any-tax-benefits-you-might-get-from-the-gop-tax-bill-to-fighting-its-effects/

 

One last note, which we’ve stated before: Even if this bill ultimately implodes and never becomes law, we still need to vote out every Republican that we can in 2018. This whole process has been nothing less than legislative malpractice. They should be punished for aiding and abetting it. Period.

Action Alerts · Call Your Members of Congress · Community Activism · Ethics · Online Privacy, Net Neutrality · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends

Fight the GOP Tax Bill, December 14 Update (Plus Defending Net Neutrality)

Here’s your December 14 update on fighting the GOP tax bill.

Ok, first–We updated all our Doug Jones-related posts last night but we didn’t tweak the December 13 update on the tax bill, so let us first say

YES YES YES YES YES YES YES SO MUCH YES

and

THANK YOU, ALABAMA!

Roy Moore has yet to concede, but multiple outlets confirm that Jones won the December 12 special election for the open senate seat in Alabama by about 1.5 points–a small but solid win, and enough to avoid an automatic recount, which would have happened if the two leading candidates were .5 percent apart or less.

It also looks like Moore cannot request a recount, even if he funds it, according to this entry by Rick Hasen on the Election Law Blog:

http://electionlawblog.org/?p=96376

So, Doug Jones will serve as Alabama’s junior senator until 2020 at least, and the Senate Republican count falls from 52-48 to 51-49, which will hamstring the GOP’s ability to push their agenda. Hooray!

The next step in helping Senator-elect Doug Jones is demanding that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell seat him, or else delay the vote on the GOP tax bill until he can be seated.

There’s precedent for this. When Republican Scott Brown defeated Democrat Martha Coakley in a special election to fill the Massachusetts Senate seat of the late Ted Kennedy in January 2010, Senate Republicans demanded that the pending vote on the Affordable Care Act be postponed until Brown could take his place. Their demands were honored.

Jeremy Slevin, who works with the Center for American Progress, did the Daily Show-style work to unearth video of McConnell and ‘Regular Order’ John McCain’s demanding that Brown be seated before taking the vote on the Affordable Care Act.

Go to @jeremyslevin to see those tweets.

Democrats can, and should, demand the same courtesy for Jones.

When you make your daily call to oppose the GOP Tax Bill, also tell them that they should support postponing the vote until Jones is seated.

Of course that doesn’t mean that Mitch McConnell will do the right thing. The man who held a Supreme Court seat open for the better part of the year will likely see no problem with shoving the GOP tax bill through before Alabama’s Secretary of State finishes the paperwork to certify the results of the special election.

On December 13, the Democrats did indeed call for a pause on the reconciliation process on the bill:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpost/democrats-call-for-halt-to-gop-tax-bill-until-jones-is-seated-in-the-senate/2017/12/13/9c42fe44-e00f-11e7-8679-a9728984779c_story.html?tid=ss_tw&utm_term=.3b9049a3bee6

…but the Republicans might have figured things out. On December 13, Andy Slavitt (@aslavitt) tweeted:

UPDATE: GOP announcing Herve reached a tax deal. The rush is on.

But! Topher Spiro (@topherspiro) tweeted a good point around the same time on the same day:

Could they have a reason to say there’s a deal? Think about it for one second.

I mean, I could have predicted last night they would say they have a deal this morning.

But later in the day, the Washington Post reported that GOP Congressfolk had reached an ‘agreement in principle’ on the tax bill. Spoiler alert: It helps the wealthy and corporations more than it helps the middle class. Read the WaPo story:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/republicans-reach-compromise-tax-plan-expanding-tax-cuts-for-the-wealthy/2017/12/13/4f9ca66c-e028-11e7-bbd0-9dfb2e37492a_story.html?utm_term=.bd380aaff980

Regardless of whether the GOP Congressfolk have an actual deal or not, the answer for you is the same:

Call, call, call and tell your members of Congress to vote NO. Ask your friends and family to call, too. Do it every day until this bill is dead, or passed.

And you’re following @Celeste_Pewter on Twitter, right? In case you’re not, here’s a December 13 tweet-thread you should see:

All, your calls need to be stepped up a notch.

If possible, please make it calls and not emails or faxes. Time is of the essence right now.

Here’s the page with scripts. Updates to come.

4. Your governor’s office may very well tell you: “This is a federal issue, etc.” Counterpoint: tell them how the bill will impact your state, and constituents, and why they need to put pressure on their federal colleagues.

(If there is enough pressure on a specific subject on an elected, they will feel pressured to speak out. I used to monitor the news AND constituent responses for my boss, and make recommendations on issuing statements on issues.)

5. Call/email five friends and family, and explain in straightforward terms, why you need them to do steps 1-3. Make it easy for them. Give them names, numbers, emails and scripts. Tell them exactly what to do and say (but personalize). Then tell them to do this w/ 5 friends.

FAQ, as usual: A. Only use social media to rally your followers. Do not use it to contact your electeds. Their staff can’t ID who you are or where you live via social, so your contact here is pointless.

B. The reconciled version has to go back to both House and Senate for a vote, so you should be contacting both. C. Ask for: 1. A no vote w/ all electeds 2. For the Senate, ask for the vote to not take place until Jones is seated.

D. But understand: 3. The GOP is desperate to pass something, 4. McConnell likely to say no to the Jones request. (But you should still be asking anyway, to see where your Senators stand.)

E. While we want this bill to collapse, if we can at least mitigate some of the damage by getting the worst amendments/language stripped out, it will still make a difference. Make your calls, and make them TODAY.

Details on the bills are still coming in, so if you’re calling now, you can keep it vague (but make sure you personalize). Scripts.

 

Some additional things to do: 1. If your specific field will be impacted (e.g. grad student) write an OpEd and send it into your local paper. Their opinion emails are generally public. 2. Make a video (or write a post) explaining how the tax bill will impact you.

3. Tag your electeds in that video/post. I’ve seen Democratic electeds accounts help boost videos, which helps spread the word. Make your calls TODAY. They’re looking at a vote next week.

 

Repeat text follows, but scroll down for additional information about how best to defend net neutrality.

Here’s a December 10 Twitter thread from tax expert Michael Linden that you should see, which lays out what makes this week important:

This coming week is make-or-break for the GOP tax scam. If you have any interest in fighting this disastrous bill, follow along for a state-of-play update. Short version: we CAN still stop this thing. 1/

Here’s where we are: Both the Senate & House have passed versions of the GOP tax scam. They have a lot in common (huge tax cuts for the wealthy & corporations, tax hikes on millions of middle class families) but aren’t identical. 2/

To become law, the House & Senate have to pass identical bills. So to come up with ONE new version that both chambers can pass, the GOP has sent their bills to a “conference committee.” 3/

That Conference Committee is, right now, behind closed doors, ironing out the differences between the House & Senate bill. The bad news is that the bill is much more likely to get worse than it is to get better. 4/

Once the Conference Committee creates a new bill that they think can pass both chambers, both the House and the Senate will have to vote AGAIN. That’s our last chance to . 5/

The Conference Committee is going to have precisely 1 “open” meeting (it’s not much more than a photo op), and that’ll be THIS WEDNESDAY, December 13th, at 2 PM. 6/

it’ll be only a matter of days before the FINAL vote in the House & Senate. Those votes could be as soon as Thursday, but likely will be early the week of the 18th. 7/

That means this week is CRITICAL. If we’re going to stop this bill, Congress needs to hear and feel the backlash. We can stop it either by flipping 10 GOP votes in the House or 2 GOP votes in the Senate. Tall orders, yes, but not impossible. 8/

Here’s a list of 50+ potentially flippable House GOPers. These all have some combination of the following characteristics: •From states that would be particularly hard hit •Voted against ACA repeal •Are in competitive 2018 races We need 10 of ‘em. 9/

In the Senate, our best bets are Susan Collins and Jeff Flake (and it would help if Doug Jones wins on Tuesday). Both were promised concessions that aren’t likely to be in the final bill. Both want to be thought of as “serious” and “independent.” 10/
So, what can you do? 1. Call EVERY day. Especially if you are in AZ, ME, or one of those 50 House districts, but call daily even if you aren’t (Congress needs to feel the backlash everywhere – & they talk to each other). 11/ <Note from OTYCD: Yes, this is one of those times when it is OK to call for days in a row on the same issue.>
2.If you are in the DC area, or can get here, come to the People’s Rally Against the Tax Scam at the Capitol on WEDNESDAY. This is our last best chance to make a lot of noise in DC. 12/
3. Go to a local protest or event. Check out and & for lists of local events. 13/
Bottom line: the GOP knows their tax scam is historically unpopular. They’re hoping that voters will forget about it by next November and beyond. Our best bet to stop the bill is by showing them we won’t forget. /end

 

And here are more things you might want to know:

There might be a GOP Tax Scam protest near you. Check this link to find out:

https://notonepenny.org/take-action/#events

 

In her December 6 update on fighting the GOP tax bill, Celeste Pewter (@Celeste_Pewter) offered talking points that you can use with friends, family, and co-workers:

8. Here are talking points you can include in any contact you share w/ friends/family/colleagues. Key point is that the impact on the deficit could eventually result in cuts in entitlement programs.

 

The Senate has chosen its lineup for the Tax Conference Committee. They will represent the Senate when trying to reconcile the House and Senate versions of the GOP tax bill.

If any of these Republicans are your senators, it is super-extra-important for you to call and make your opposition known.

Orrin Hatch of Utah

Mike Enzi of Wyoming

Lisa Murkowski of Alaska

John Cornyn of Texas

John Thune of South Dakota

Rob Portman of Ohio

Tim Scott of South Carolina

Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania

 

Before that, the House GOP named its tax conference committee members. If any of these folks are your reps, it is super-extra-important for you to call (again, all are Republicans):

Kevin Brady of Texas

Devin Nunes of California

Peter Roskam of Illinois

Diane Black of Tennessee

Kristi Noem of South Dakota

 

Rob Bishop of Utah

Don Young of Alaska

Greg Walden of Oregon

John Shimkus of Illinois

 

 

 

Here also are several other folks aside from @MichaelSLinden, @Celeste_Pewter, @TopherSpiro, and @aslavitt who you should be following on Twitter to stay on top of the GOP tax bill, which is morphing constantly, like a suspect science experiment in a horror movie. Some of these people are old friends from the Trumpcare fights. Some are tax experts.

Ben Wikler @benwikler

Seth Hanlon @sethhanlon

Sunjeev Bery @sunjeevbery

Lily Batchelder @lilybatch

Greg Leiserson @gregleiserson

Chad Bolt @chadderr

 

In addition, you can call your members of Congress (MoCs) to ask them to defend Net Neutrality–that vote could come on December 14.

We’ve been beating the Net Neutrality drum all year. Below is a post that explains why we need to keep it, and contains a script you can use when calling your MoCs:

https://onethingyoucando.com/2017/12/02/defend-net-neutrality-and-keep-the-internet-a-level-playing-field-for-all/

Now, a refinement of this point. The vote that’s happening on December 14 is NOT a Congressional vote. It’s the five members of the FCC. Two are against repealing Net Neutrality, and three are believed to be for it.

Here are the email addresses of those three. Please email them and ask them to vote to keep Net Neutrality. As always, be clear and firm but unfailingly polite.

Ajit Pai, Chairman Ajit.Pai@fcc.gov

Michael O’Rielly, Commissioner Mike.O’Rielly@fcc.gov

Brendan Carr, Commissioner Brendan.Carr@fcc.gov

 

Here also are two more recent posts that relate to the GOP tax bill and its effects that you should see if you haven’t yet:

https://onethingyoucando.com/2017/12/02/refresh-review-and-prep-for-2018-gop-tax-bill-related-briefing/

https://onethingyoucando.com/2017/12/03/commit-now-to-put-any-tax-benefits-you-might-get-from-the-gop-tax-bill-to-fighting-its-effects/

 

One last note, which we’ve stated before: Even if this bill ultimately implodes and never becomes law, we still need to vote out every Republican that we can in 2018. This whole process has been nothing less than legislative malpractice. They should be punished for aiding and abetting it. Period.