What to Do This Week of January 8, 2017
Actions for Democrats, Independents, & Republicans of Conscience
The intention of this weekly document is to make clear suggestions for action backed with well-considered research. Although these actions are intended to be helpful, they are still subject to human error. Please do your own research!
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The most important thing this week: Senate confirmation hearings
This is a second dense action list in a row, but I promise you a ton of good news at the end as your reward.
In yet another unprecedented action, most of DJT’s cabinet appointment hearings are stacked together starting Tuesday this week. Some will have hearings without a completed ethics review from the Office of Government Ethics. Even if you don’t think this is evasive and creepy, this schedule will make it hard for the OGE, the press, and the American public to understand who the new cabinet leaders are and assess their conflicts of interest.
What you can do is put pressure on the senate committees so they know we’re paying attention.Yes, making calls can be stressful, but it’s working. Staffers are telling us they’re hearing from lots of people. Never underestimate the power of your voice.
Edited: If you oppose DJT skipping the ethics process for the first time in four decades, go to Wall of Us for very clear instructions on how to protest this creepiness.
Here’s their link (and I suggest following them too!) Today (Sunday) Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said no votes would be permitted until ethics paperwork is filed. It is good new, however, depending on when they’re filed, it doesn’t allow committees review the materials before hearings (the way Obama’s administration did eight years ago).
Your voice matters
For each cabinet appointee you feel is unfit to serve, take two specific actions:
- Tell the Senate committee chair (Republican) you oppose the nominee.
- Tell the Senate ranking member (Democrat) you oppose the nominee.
- Optional: Call your own two senators to oppose–especially if you are a Republican.
Note: Do leave a message if you get voicemail or call after hours/weekend.
Make the calls
- Oppose Housing and Urban Development Secretary appointee, Ben Carson.
Committee: Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs
Call: Chair Richard Shelby 202-224-5744
Call: Ranking member Sherrod Brown 202-224-2315 (mb full?)
Script: I am calling Sen ____ in his role as the Chair/ranking member of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee. I would like him to know I oppose Ben Carson for HUD Secretary. I’m concerned about Carson’s lack of experience and opposition to this department. (source)
- Oppose Homeland Security Secretary appointee, Gen. John Kelly.
Committee: Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
Call: Chair Ron Johnson 202-224-5323
Call: Incoming ranking member Claire McKaskill 202-224-6154
Script: I am calling Sen ____ in his/her role as the Chair/ranking member of the Senate Homeland Security Committee. I would like him/her to know I oppose General John Kelly for Secretary of Homeland Security. Not because he is unqualified, but I oppose militarizing the US cabinet. (source source)
- Oppose Environmental Protection Agency appointee, Scott Pruitt.
Committee: Senate Environment and Public Works
Call: Chair John Barrasso 202-224-6441
Call: Incoming ranking member Tom Carper 202-224-2441
Script: I am calling Sen ____ in his role as the Chair/ranking member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. I would like him to know I oppose Scott Pruitt for EPA Administrator. I’m concerned about his climate denial, anti-EPA lawsuit, and ties to energy industry. (source)
- Oppose Energy Secretary appointee, Rick Perry.
Committee: Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee
Call: Chair Lisa Murkowski 202-224-6665
Call: Ranking member Maria Cantwell 202-224-3441
Script: I am calling Sen ____ in her role as the Chair/ranking member of the Senate Energy Committee. I would like her to know I oppose Rick Perry for Energy Secretary. I’m concerned about his ties to oil, climate denial, and history of opposition to this agency. (source)
Only three more! You can do it!
- Oppose Commerce Secretary appointee, Wilbur Ross.
Committee: Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation
Call: Chair John Thune 202-224-2321
Call: Ranking member Bill Nelson 202-224-5274
Script: I am calling Sen ____ in his role as the Chair/ranking member of the Senate Energy Committee. I would like him to know I oppose Wilbur Ross for Commerce Secretary. I’m concerned about his deep financial ties to Russia. (source)
- Oppose Defense Secretary nominee, Gen. James Mattis.
Committee: Senate Armed Services
Call: Chair John McCain 202-224-2235
Call: Ranking member Jack Reed 202-224-4642
Script: I am calling Sen ____ in his role as the Chair/ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. I would like him to know I oppose General James Mattis for Secretary of Homeland Security. He may be qualified, but we et a dangerous precident when militarizing civilian cabinet posts. (source source)
- Oppose CIA Director appointment, Mike Pompeo.
Committee: Senate Select Committee on Intelligence
Call: Chair Richard Burr 202-224-3154
Call: Vice chair Mark Warner 202-224-2023
Script: I am calling Sen ____ in his role as the chair/vice chair of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. I would like him to know I oppose Mike Pompeo for CIA director. I’m concerned about someone who supports government surveilance, torture, and religious oppression leading this vital agency. (source)
Still have time?
Last week’s email had seven additional cabinet appointees to oppose–some of whom will have a hearing this week. If you haven’t yet called to oppose them, here’s the link to last week’s document.
You did it! Here’s your reward: news of actual humans being kind, supporting each other, and standing up for what’s right. We are still a fantastic, diverse country (in case you needed a reminder).
Some Rockettes choose to sit out on inauguration (story from Rolling Stone)
Vermont governor pardons 192 non-violent marijuana convictions (story from NYT)
A&E cancels plans for Escaping the KKK documentary (story from WaPo)
Obama vaporizes anti-Muslim NSEERS program (story from Vox)
A bunch of awesome senators introduce legislation blocking discriminatory registries (press release)
Obama bans drilling in Arctic and Atlantic oceans (story from The Guardian)
Adorable reaction of bystander to lesbian wedding proposal (from HuffPo)
Billionnaire donates the last of his fortune to charity (story from NYT)
This will make you tear up. There are GOOD people in the world. (from newsner)
TOLD you there was good news!
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