CHIP covers 9 million kids, why hasn't Congress renewed it?!

November 20, 2017

Congress still has not renewed CHIP - the Children's Health Insurance Program, an important state and federal program that covers 9 million children and 370,000 pregnant women each year. Despite having two years to renew CHIP, Congress blew the September 30th deadline. CHIP is currently languishing in limbo-land while the states run out of money to pay for it -- which is very bad news for the kids and moms who rely on it.

CHIP is actually a popular program which has enjoyed largely bipartisan support since it was enacted in 1997 but the Republicans are attempting to hold it hostage in yet another attempt to destroy Obamacare. Sigh.

Please call your members of Congress to urge them to reauthorize CHIP immediately. Pregnant moms and sick kids really can't wait.
1. Find your Senator's number here.

2. Here's your script - feel free to revise or use your own words and it's always helpful if you can personalize your comments with your own relevant experience:

"Hi, my name is YOUR NAME and I'm a constituent calling from YOUR TOWN/CITY. 

I'm very concerned that Congress has not extended the CHIP program that provides health insurance to 9 million children - and 370,000 pregnant women each year. These families do not know if they will continue to have coverage and it's likely to run out soon. For the pregnant women, this may mean they do not have coverage when they need it most - like when they give birth! Many of these children are also sick or suffer from chronic conditions.

Congress has had two years to reauthorize CHIP and there's no excuse for failing to renew it when millions of children's lives are on the line. I urge the Senator to do everything possible to ensure that it gets renewed before the end of the year if not sooner.

Thank you for taking my call."


3. Hang up and call the other Senator. Then repeat with your House Rep - find his/her number here.

4. Please share! And I encourage you to tweet and post at your members of Congress about this, too.

Trump Wants to Hike Entrance Fees to National Parks. Say NO!

October 26, 2017

The latest outrage. Trump administration wants to increase entrance fees at our most popular national parks DRAMATICALLY. Entry at these parks currently costs $25 or $30 per vehicle, no matter the season. Under the new rates, entrance would cost $75 per vehicle during the five-month peak season.
Per-person entry fees which are currently $10-$15 would rise to $30 during peak season.

When you're trying to cut taxes for the 1%, I guess you've gotta stick it to the 99% to make up the difference...

Submit a public comment now to say you're opposed to making it harder for anyone who is not wealthy to enjoy these national treasures that are owned by all of us and are supposed to be there for EVERYONE to enjoy.

You can read the full fact sheet here. More on this from NPR. 

Click here to submit your comment. There's a sample comment below but I encourage you to use your own words. 

Please spread the word - the deadline to weigh in on this bad idea is November 28th.

Thanks!

SAMPLE COMMENT---------------------------

I urge you not to raise park entrance fees in this dramatic fashion as it will have the unfortunate effect of making it harder for working class and poor Americans to enjoy our national treasures which are owned equally by all of us, regardless of income level.

While I fully support efforts to fund the backlog needed for maintenance at our national parks, this is not a good way to get there as it will disproportionately hurt lower income Americans.

Please reject this misguided plan.

Thank you for your time and attention.



Don't Let Them Repeal the Clean Power Plan

October 16, 2017


Scott Pruitt, head (enemy) of the EPA, just advanced Trump's Dirty Power agenda by formally filing a proposal to repeal Obama's Clean Power Plan. This is a TERRIBLE IDEA as the Clean Power Plan represents our best chance at reversing climate change by reducing carbon pollution from power plants. Pruitt's repeal would be a blatant giveaway to his close friends, the coal industry and other big polluters who will undoubtedly use some of the money the profits they would reap from it to help fund Trump's re-election campaign. Shudder....

BUT. The government must accept public comments on their proposed repeal before they can move forward with this insanity. 

So YOU need to comment. Publicly.

Here's what you do:

1. Go to: https://www.regulations.gov/comment?D=EPA-HQ-OAR-2017-0355-0002 (this is the specific docket you need to comment on - that long string of numbers at the end is important)

2. Write your comment. I encourage you to use your own words but here's a draft you can edit if you like:

I'm writing to state my objection to Administrator Pruitt's proposal to repeal the Clean Power Plan which would be a disastrous, immoral and short-sighted decision that will seriously harm public health and threaten the future health of our planet. 

Regardless of what Trump says, climate change is real and it is happening all around us right now (to wit, the off the charts destruction caused by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, the record temperatures, brutal wildfires, and unprecedented melting of the polar ice caps...) The Clean Power Plan is one of the most effective tools we have to fight climate change and protect the air we breathe.

Please do NOT put our environment and our health at risk - protect the Clean Power Plan and focus your efforts on reducing power plant pollution and the dire threat of climate change.

Thank you for your time and attention.

3. Click "Continue". On the next page, review the preview of your comment and if it looks, good, at the bottom, mark the checkbox by their disclaimer and hit "Submit." If you'd like, you can enter your email on the next page to get a "receipt" of your public comment.

4. Spread the word. Share this on Facebook and Twitter. Share it via email. Share it via text. The deadline for public comments is December 15th so it's up to all of us to speak out in deafening volume before then. You're welcome to retweet what I shared below or write your own posts/tweets.

Tweet:
Facebook post:

Important Deadline TODAY for NYS Democrats

October 13, 2017

I know you're not all in New York State but for those of you who are, you need to make sure you are registered to vote as a Democrat (just being a registered voter will not cut it) by COB today, 10/13/17, if you want to cast your vote in the Democratic Party primary next June.

If you're not sure you're a registered Democrat, you can check your status quickly here:
https://voterlookup.elections.state.ny.us/voterSearch.aspx

If you're not a registered Dem but would like to help decide which candidate takes on the Republican challenger or incumbent next November, you can register here:
https://voterreg.dmv.ny.gov/MotorVoter/

And you have to do it TODAY or you can't vote in the primary come June 2018.

Please pass it on to any New Yorkers you know.

Thanks!


Progress on Puerto Rico - Jones Act Waived Today

September 28, 2017

I wanted to let you know that Trump has just heeded calls (thank you for calling!) to waive the Jones Act and it's being lifted immediately. Republican Senator John McCain was very helpful on this front, just FYI.


This is an important step in getting aid there more quickly but please keep calling about the bigger picture relief package. And donate :)

Slightly revised script is below. Thanks, guys!

1. Find your Senators' numbers here and your Representative's number here - keep in mind that you may have to try more than one office to get through.

2. When you get through, say, "Hi, my name is ____ and I'm a constituent calling from _____to urge Senator/Representative_____ to speed Puerto Rico's recovery efforts by fast-tracking a special aid and relief package to help the island recover and rebuild. Puerto Rico is entitled to the same aid as any other US state but they're not being treated equally. The island was already teetering on the brink of economic disaster before these two natural disasters and they need all the help they can get. Thank you for taking the time to take my call."

3. Once you've hung up, please consider making a donation to help with the relief and recovery efforts. Here are a few good options:

Puerto Rico Needs HELP - Call Congress Today

September 27, 2017

Now that the zombie healthcare bill has been defeated again (for now), please turn your attention to Puerto Rico which is in terrible shape after getting clipped by Hurricane Irma which left tens of thousands without power and then being hit head on by Hurricane Maria which pretty much destroyed what was left.


Despite Trump's claim that "we're doing a really good job" on Puerto Rico's recovery, sane people report that the response has been slow, inadequate and confused.

The island is largely without fresh water, fuel, cell service, and power. All crops have been destroyed. Flooding was intense. Many structures are either damaged or destroyed. Few hospitals are operational. And it is likely to take many months to restore basic services to the majority of inhabitants. In other words, it's Hell. Here's Vox's summary of the situation.

One of the underlying problems is the Jones Act - an archaic law that prohibits the delivery of fuel and other goods by anything other than flagged US ships and that has been strangling Puerto Rico's economy for a long time by forcing the island's inhabitants to pay roughly twice as much for US goods as people on the mainland. If you'd like to read more about the Jones Act, check out this NYTimes opinion piece, this article in  The Hill, or this USA Today article about it.

Please call your members of Congress today to ask them to help. Script is below.

1. Find your Senators' numbers here and your Representative's number here - keep in mind that you may have to try more than one office to get through.

2. When you get through, say, "Hi, my name is ____ and I'm a constituent calling from _____to urge Senator/Representative_____ to speed Puerto Rico's recovery efforts by waiving the outdated Jones Act that is slowing down relief efforts - this is something DHS has done previously in the wake of natural disasters and we should do it again. I also urge him/her to fasttrack a special aid and relief package to help the island recover and rebuild. Puerto Rico is entitled to the same aid as any other US state but they're not being treated equally. The island was already teetering on the brink of economic disaster before these two natural disasters and they need all the help they can get. Thank you for taking the time to take my call."

3. Once you've hung up, please consider making a donation to help with the relief and recovery efforts. Here are a few good options:
Thank you and please share.

Senate Vote TODAY on Healthcare (Though They Don't Know On What Bill...)

July 25, 2017

Mitch McConnell is demanding a vote today (Tuesday) on whether to begin debate on an as yet unknown healthcare bill - possibly the crappy House version, possibly the crappy Senate version - the whole thing is kinda crazy. Here's more from the Washington Post if you feel like reading.


If you live in a state with one or more Republican Senators, get on the horn ASAP and urge them to vote "NO!" on this measure/bill/thingy/whatever it ends up being.

1. Find your Republican Senator's phone number here - keep in mind you will likely have to call more than one office to get through.

2. When you get through, say, "Hi, my name is ____ and I'm a constituent calling from _____to urge the Senator to vote NO on whatever healthcare bill is brought up today. I don't care if this is a procedural vote, I will consider any YES vote by the Senator a vote to take away healthcare from 24 million Americans (if you get your coverage through an Obamacare plan, mention that now). Thank you for taking the time to take my call."

If you live in a state with Democratic Senators, your job this morning is to get in touch with your friends who have Republican Senators and get them to call 'em. Especially if your friends live in Alaska, West Virginia, Ohio, Nevada, Maine, Pennsylvania, Arkansas, and Arizona (Senator McCain has announced that he will return to DC today despite his brain cancer diagnosis) - all of which have Republican Senators who have "reservations" about the healthcare bill(s).

Email your friends (feel free to forward this message to them), text them, send them a message on Facebook, call them - whatever you think will work best. Make sure to include the phone number look up and the script to make it easier for them to call.

Senate Vote Pulled - Let's Kill This Bill NOW

June 28, 2017

Good news! Thanks to massive opposition from people like YOU, Mitch McConnell (Cecil the Turtle) had to delay his planned vote on the healthcare wealthcare bill.

Now is a perfect time to call your Senators (especially if they are Republicans but go right ahead and call those Dems, too to say thank you for standing up for your health) to remind them that you will not compromise on certain key things in any healthcare bill.

Script is below and our friends at the National Young Farmers Coalition have put together this lovely list of all the Senators' legislative aides that work on healthcare so you can call and email them directly rather than trying to get through on the main number for a nice change of pace!

1. Find your Senators' healthcare aide info in this super helpful sheet from the National Young Farmers Coalition.

2. When you get through, you can say:

"Hi, my name is ___ and I'm calling from ___. I'm calling today to urge the Senator to protect my health and the lives of 24 million other Americans by rejecting any version of the healthcare bill that makes it harder for Americans like me to get coverage or that makes it more expensive for people who are sick, who are elderly or who are female to get coverage. I am also adamantly opposed to any healthcare bill that defunds Planned Parenthood."

If you have a healthcare or Affordable Care Act/Obamacare story of your own, you can also share it with them. Then thank them for taking your call. Always be polite.

3. Repeat with the other legislative aides for your other Senators.

4. Once you're done with those calls, take a moment to email them all directly, too.

5. Share this post with at least five friends who share your politics - ideally, focusing on those who live in states with at least one Republican Senator.


Call, Tweet, Facebook & Email Your Senators To Stop Healthcare Bill

June 26, 2017

Me again. The Senate finally released their secretly crafted version of the healthcare bill and it's really bad! Even the majority of the nation's healthcare industry opposes it...

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (he's the one Jon Stewart always likened to Cecil the Turtle) is pushing for a vote this week but there are rumblings that there may not be enough support for this version of the bill.

WE MUST CONVINCE SENATE REPUBLICANS THAT THIS SHITTY BILL IS A NON-STARTER.

If you have a Republican Senator (or Senators), please call every day to urge him/her to vote "No" until they either vote or decide to cancel the vote. If you're fortunate enough to have Democratic Senators, please thank them for their leadership and forward this post/email to anyone you know in a state with Republican Senators.

1. Find your Senators' phone numbers hereMake sure to call them both. If you need to try their district offices to get through, please do so. 

2. When you get through, here's what you can say: "Hi, my name is ___ and I'm calling from ___. I'm calling today to urge the Senator to protect my health and the lives of 24 million other Americans by voting NO on the AHCA." If you have a healthcare/ACA story of your own, share it with them. Then thank them for taking your call. Always be polite.

3. If you're on Twitter, tweet at your Senators using the hashtaghs #saveACA and #healthcarenotwealthcare

4. Ditto Facebook - post to your Senators pages and urge them to reject this attack on American's health.

5. Share with anyone who shares your politics!

Do You Live in One of These States (Or Know Someone Who Does)?

June 16, 2017

We need to convince at least three Republican Senators to stop the bad healthcare bill from passing in the Senate and protect the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Apparently, they will cast their votes sometime in the next three weeks despite not holding hearings on the bill or releasing it to the public - it's all very hush-hush.

If you live in one of the states below, it is essential that you call both your Senators today and, ideally, every day until they vote on Trumpcare which could be anytime before 6/27.
  • Alaska (Senator Murkowski)
  • Arizona (Senators Flake and McCain)
  • Arkansas ( Senator Cotton)
  • Colorado (Senator Gardner)
  • Maine (Senator Collins)
  • Nevada (Senator Heller)
  • Ohio (Senator Portman)
  • West Virginia (Senator Capito)
If you don't live in one of those states but have friends or family who do and support the ACA, please forward this email to them now and ask them to call.

1.  Call 844-432-0883 (MoveOn's number) and follow the prompts.  

2. Once you get through, here's what you can say - feel free to improvise: "Hi, my name is _______ and I'm calling from ______. I'm calling today to urge the Senator to protect my health and the health of other people in our state by voting NO on the American Health Care Act (aka Trumpcare)." Feel free to add your own experience with the ACA if you have anything to share. Always be polite and don't forget to thank the person who takes down your information. Here are some more talking points you can mention if you like.

The AHCA would likely:
  • Take away coverage from 23 million people
  • Gut Medicaid
  • Defund Planned Parenthood
  • Undermine coverage for people with preexisting conditions
3. Post on your Senators' Facebook pages and Tweet at them about the healthcare bill urging them to reject it and protect the ACA.

4. Forward this email to anyone you know in these states.


Help Flip This Montana House Seat

May 09, 2017

We have another chance to flip a Republican House seat! On May 25th there will be a special election in Montana to fill the seat vacated by Republican Ryan Zinke who became Trump's Secretary of the Interior. The race is looking very close and we need to do whatever we can to help Democrat Rob Quist defeat Republican Greg Gianforte for Montana's only House seat.

There are four things you can do to help Quist win:

1. Reach out to anyone you know in Montana and urge them to vote for Quist and to spread the word to their communities. Montana is unusual is so sparsely populated that it has only one House seat so everyone in the state who is registered can vote for Quist on 5/25.

2. Donate to Quist's campaign.

3. Sign up to make calls for Quist's campaign.

4. Share this post on social media and via email to reach more people in Montana.



If you'd like more info, here are some articles about the race.

Roll Call: Democratic Poll Gives Gianforte Single Digit Lead

The Atlantic: Are Democrats Doing Enough to Flip Montana's House Seat?

Montana Public Radio: A Singing Cowboy, A Millionaire And Rifles Dominate Montana Special Election

Call Your Senators about Healthcare

May 08, 2017

Well, we narrowly lost the House fight on the "healthcare" bill (-it passed 217 to 213). While it's deeply shitty, my hope is that the Republicans who voted FOR the horrible AHCA have just signed their own pink slips for 2018. A post about how you can help register progressive voters in swing House districts will be coming soon...

Now the fight turns to the Senate where the Republicans hold a (52-48) majority. We will need to convince at least two Republicans to oppose the "healthcare" bill in whatever form it ends up taking. The Senate is likely to make significant changes to the AHCA before it comes up for a vote so your Senators need to hear from you today about healthcare.


1. Find your Senators' phone numbers here. Make sure to call them both. If you need to try their district offices to get through, please do so. If you live in AK, ME and OH this is especially important because Senators Susan Collins, Rob Portman and Lisa Murkowski are the three Republicans who are most likely to reject the AHCA/be reasonable about this whole healthcare thing.

2. When you get through, here's what you can say: "Hi, my name is ___ and I'm calling from ___. I'm calling today to urge the Senator to protect my health and the lives of 24 million other Americans by voting against any attempt to repeal and replace the ACA." If you have a healthcare/ACA story of your own, share it with them. Then thank them for taking your call. Always be polite. Some other points you may want to mention:
  • The Republican plan that was just passed by the House would take health care away from 24 million Americans over the next 10 years, especially the poor, elderly and SICK people.
  • It would make premiums increase, making it harder (or impossible) for many to obtain coverage.
  • It was pushed through too quickly (again) to allow the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office score it.
  • I will most definitely be looking to the Senator's vote on the healthcare bill when I cast my ballot in the next election.
3. Tweet at your Senators and post on their Facebook pages.

4. Share this email with three people and ask them to take 5 minutes to join you.

URGENT - Call this morning to stop Healthcare Vote

May 04, 2017

This is the bill that will not stay dead. And it's looking like the Republicans have enough votes to pass it - they're going to try later today so it's all hands on deck this AM to stop it!

1. Call your Representative RIGHT NOWClick here to find your Representative if you don't already have her/him in your phone.

2. You may have to try several offices before you get through to a staffperson. When someone does pick up or if you can leave a message, here's your script: "Hi, my name is ___ and I'm calling from ___ to urge Rep. ___ to protect my health and the lives of 24 million other Americans by voting NO on the latest Republican attempt to repeal the ACA." Then thank them for taking your call. Always be polite. If you have a healthcare story of your own, please feel free to share it. Other points you may want to mention:
  • This plan would take health care away from 24 million Americans over the next 10 years.
  • It would end protections for people with pre-existing conditions.
  • It would make premiums increase and coverage decrease.
  • It's being pushed through too quickly (again) to allow the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office score it.)
3. Forward this email to ten friends and ask them to join you in calling their Reps before noon.

4. Share this on Facebook and Twitter - we need an overwhelming outcry!

5. Tweet at your Rep and post on his/her Facebook page, too.

Call THIS AM - Tell Your Rep To Vote NO on New (Even Worse) Healthcare Bill

April 28, 2017

I'm having déjà vu... The Republicans have cobbled together an even sorrier excuse for a health care bill and are pushing it to a vote that may take place TODAY (Friday).

You know the drill - call your Representative this morning and urge her or him to vote no on this monstrosity (which is so awful that the Republicans were careful to ensure that their own healthcare would be exempt from its provisions, by the way.) You can read more about the plan here and here.

1. Call your Representative as soon as the phones open today (Friday). Click here to find your Representative if you don't already have her or him in your phone.

2. You may have to try several offices before you get through to a staffperson. When someone does pick up or if you can leave a message, here's your script: "Hi, my name is ___ and I'm calling from ___ to urge Rep. ___ to protect my health and the lives of 24 million other Americans by voting NO on the latest Republican attempt to repeal the ACA." Then thank them for taking your call. Always be polite. If you have a healthcare story of your own, please feel free to share it. Other points you may want to mention:
  • This plan would take health care away from 24 million Americans over the next 10 years.
  • It would end protections for people with pre-existing conditions.
  • It would make premiums increase and coverage decrease.
  • It's being pushed through too quickly (again) to allow the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office score it.)
3. Forward this email to ten friends and ask them to join you in calling their Reps before noon.

4. Share this on Facebook and Twitter - we need an overwhelming outcry!

Join a Climate March on Saturday

April 27, 2017

Last week we hit a panic-worthy, new carbon threshold, 410 parts per million. And Trump is our "leader". Both excellent reasons to attend one of the Climate marches taking place across the country this Saturday.

You can go to the big one in DC or find a sister march near you.

For those of you here in the Hudson Valley, there are a few to choose from including one in Hudson and one in Poughkeepsie that crosses the Walkway Over the Hudson.

A show of support for climate change action could possibly be helpful right now as some in the White House (including former Exxon CEO and current Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and son-in-law turned advisor, Jared Kushner) are urging Trump not to pull out of the Paris Agreements while others (including EPA administrator Scott Pruitt and Secretary of Energy Rick Perry) are urging Trump to ditch the Agreement because they are incredibly stupid and evil... Read more.

Find a march!


3 Pieces of Good News -- O'Reilly, Chaffetz and Ossoff

April 20, 2017

No action today, I just wanted to make sure you knew that Fox News has finally pulled Bill O'Reilly and the O'Reilly Factor (it's flagship show for nearly 20 years) off the air after losing more than 50 advertisers amid even more reports of sexual harassment and some good investigative reporting showing the lengths the network has already gone to to silence the many women who've accused O'Reilly over the years. Good work, people!

More details about Bill's demise here.

In other happy news, official jerk and Chair of the House Ethics Committee, Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah (the one who continued his rabid investigation of Hillary Clinton's email non-scandal AFTER the election but has declined to investigate Trump and was booed for an entire town hall during the first Congressional recess...) has announced that he will not seek re-election in 2018. He's probably trying to avoid a loss to preserve his ability to run for Governor of Utah down the road but still, we will certainly not miss his smug face and hideous politics.

More details on Chaffetz here.

Also, Democrat Jon Ossoff narrowly lost winning the April 18th special election for Republican Tom Price's vacated House seat in the Atlanta, Georgia suburbs. Ossoff managed to win a truly impressive 48.1% of the vote in a district that has not elected a Democrat to Congress since the Carter administration. Now Ossoff will advance to a run-off election in June against Republican Karen Handel who received just under 20% of the vote in a crowded Republican field. Ossoff's strong showing has bolstered Democratic organizations and progressive groups and thrown the fear of God into Republicans. If you have not already donated to his campaign, you're not too late! Make a gift of any size right now.

More on Ossof's results here. 

What we're doing is making a difference. Enjoy your day!

Call to Stop Gorsuch From Getting a Supreme Court Seat

April 05, 2017

Short version: Call to urge Republicans not to support the "nuclear option" in order to ram Gorsuch through. Dial 1-855-976-1895 and they'll walk you through every step of the process.

This one is from MomsRising.org who provided the phone number and did all the work to figure out the best Republican targets. 

As a Supreme Court Justice, Neil Gorsuch would codify the worst of the Trump Administration into our nation’s laws for a lifetime - something our country simply cannot afford. And with the White House currently under investigation, now is not the time to consider appointing a new U.S. Supreme Court Justice. Whoever heard of the defendant appointing his own judge?

Senate Democrats have the 60 votes to filibuster Neil Gorsuch's confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court. Senate Majority Leader McConnell is expected to take steps to lower the threshold for Supreme Court nominations to a simple majority vote -- the "nuclear option" -- as early as this Friday. But he may well be bluffing. 

More than a dozen Republicans have refused to say they'll support the nuclear option of blowing up the rules of that Senate to ram Gorsuch through. If they lose even three of their own members, then the nuclear option is dead. 

Call now and you will be directed to the office of a Republican lawmaker most likely to be open to these concerns. Tell him/her to vote NO on the nuclear option and NO on confirming Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.

Dial 1-855-976-1895 and they'll walk you through every step of the process.

Neil Gorsuch shaking hands with Donald Trump. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images


Tell Fox News Advertisers to Pull Their Ads

April 03, 2017

It's been a banner week for Fox News - both Roger Ailes and Bill O'Reilly are once again embroiled in sexual harassment scandals.


And former Fox News chairman, Roger Ailes, who left the organization after a similar scandal in July (for which he received a $40 million "exit package"!) is once again the subject of a new sexual harassment suit from Julie Roginsky, a liberal commentator. It's as disgusting as it is easy to believe.

What makes this newsworthy is that Fox News has already lost two major advertiser as a result of these squalid revelations -- Mercedes Benz has just pulled its ads from the network, saying, “Given the importance of women in every aspect of our business, we don’t feel this is a good environment in which to advertise our products right now.” Nutrish, a pet food company, has also made the decision to pull its ads.

We're at a pivotal moment and we need to amplify the pressure on Fox News - the original home of "fake news" by using our power as consumers. Here's what you do:


1. Thank Mercedes Benz for pulling its ads.

Tweet at them, message them on Facebook, or email them. Feel free to use some version of the sample text below.

Sample tweet:@MBUSA thank you for pulling your ads from Fox News in response to the latest round of sexual harassment scandals. I hope @lexus will follow
Sample Facebook and email message:
Thank you for your recent decision to pull your ads from Fox News in response to this latest round of sexual harassment allegations against both Bill O'Reilly and Roger Ailes who are clearly both deeply troubled people who have little to no respect for women. I appreciate  your decision and the message it sends to women and to your customers. 

2. Urge other major Fox News advertisers to pull their ads. There are way more advertisers than this but start here (and leave a comment if you know of others.) Sample comment and tweet are below.

Jenny Craig
  • Twitter: https://twitter.com/JennyCraig
  • Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jennycraig
  • Email: http://www.jennycraig.com/site/contact/ or email: PR@jennycraig.com
Lexus
  • Twitter: https://twitter.com/Lexus
  • Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lexus
  • Email: http://lexus2.custhelp.com/app/ask
Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards
  • Twitter: https://twitter.com/CFPBoard
  • Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CFPLetsMakeAPlan 
  • Email: mail@cfpboard.org, media@cfpboard.org, BOD@cfpboard.org
Sample tweets:
Sample email and Facebook message:

I'm writing to urge you to pull your ads from Fox News ASAP in light of the (most) recent sexual harassment scandals. Host Bill O'Reilly and former chairman, Roger Ailes' behavior is disgusting and completely unacceptable and not something you should allow to tarnish your brand. Thanks so much for your time.

3. Share this post with 5 people.

Demand Nunes' Resignation & A Special Prosecutor

March 29, 2017

Hey guys, this is REALLY important. We must make a huge stink about this and not let it slip past unchallenged.

Last week, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), the Chair of the Intelligence Committee tasked with investigating Trump's ties to Russia held a secret meeting at the White House with a source who revealed that members of the Trump team may have been incidentally swept up in surveillance efforts during the campaign (likely because they were talking to people they shouldn't have been talking to.)

Nunes, who was a member of Trump's transition team and is currently tasked with leading the supposedly impartial investigation into Russiagate, then rushed right back over to the White House to share that news with Trump and with reporters before even sharing it with the other members of his committee. His reasoning was that Trump's getting such a lot of bad coverage that this was the right thing to do!

This is a huge breach of etiquette and also a crystal clear reflection of Nunes' inability to lead an impartial, non-partisan investigation into Trump's potential collusion with Russia. It's quite clear what his goal is - to shield the Trump team from accusations of colluding with Russia to sway our elections. When questioned, Nunes said, "It was a judgement call." Which it was, albeit 100% the wrong judgement call...

Top House Democrats are now calling for Nunes to recuse himself from the investigation which is a good start but not nearly enough. Nunes needs to be removed from the Intelligence committee and they must appoint a special prosecutor to run a thorough, impartial investigation.


Here's what you do:

1. Call your Representative. Find your Rep if you don't already have her or him in your phone. You may have to try several offices before you get through to a staffperson. When someone does pick up, say: "Hi, my name is ___ and I'm calling from ___ to urge Rep. ___ to demand that Rep. Devin Nunes not only recuse himself but that he also be removed from the House Intelligence Committee and that a special prosecutor is appointed to lead a thorough, unbiased investigation into President Trump and his campaign staff's potential ties to Russia. His recent actions clearly show that he is incapable of being unbiased and nonpartisan." Then thank them for taking your call. Always be polite even as our democracy crumbles around you.

2. Email your Representative. Submit a comment through your Rep's website comment form. You're welcome to adapt mine below.

Dear Rep. ___,

I'm writing to urge you to demand that your colleague, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) recuse himself from the investigation into President Trump's ties to Russia.

Nunes' recent actions demonstrate that he is incapable of running an impartial, non-partisan investigation and the integrity of our democracy hangs in the balance.

I also urge you to call for the appointment of a special prosecutor to perform a thorough, free and unbiased investigation into Trump and his campaign's potential ties to and collusion with Russia.

Thank you.

3. Call Paul Ryan. (202) 225-0600. Press 6 to leave a message. You don't get a lot of time so keep it brief. Just say this. "My name is ___ and I'm calling from ___ to urge you to remove Rep. Nunes from the House Intelligence Committee and appoint a special prosecutor to investigate President Trump's ties to Russia." Then press 1 to approve your message and press 1 again to send your message.

4. Tweet at Nunes, the House Intelligence Committee, Speaker Ryan and your Representative and Senators about this. If you have space, use the hashtag #nunesmustresign

You're welcome to recycle or retweet any of the tweets below.


5. Share this with 5 other people via email or social media.

Call ASAP To Protect Your Privacy - Vote Is TODAY!

March 28, 2017

First of all, congratulations on helping to defeat the hateful AHCA last week. It feels really good, right?!

There's still a long fight to protect the ACA from Republican attempts to sabotage it but for now, we'll turn our attention to something much more pressing - Congress is poised to repeal essential regulations that protect your privacy online TODAY.

The legislation passed the Senate by two (Republican) votes last week and the House is moving quickly now to do the same. It's called S.J. Res. 34, a resolution that would invalidate the Federal Communications Commission's privacy rules and prevent the FCC from issuing similar regulations in the future. Wanna guess how the Republican-controlled House is likely to vote????

But we gotta try to stop this thing and there's literally no time to waste -- the vote is scheduled for noon today (Tuesday, 3/28/17.)


1. Call your Representative as soon as the phones open today (Tuesday). Find your Rep if you don't already have her or him in your phone.

2. You may have to try several offices before you get through to a staffperson. When someone does pick up, here's your script: "Hi, my name is ___ and I'm calling from ___ to urge Rep. ___ to protect my online privacy by voting NO on S.J. Resolution 34 later today. I do not want Internet service providers to be able to sell my data without getting my permission." Then thank them for taking your call. Always be polite.

Also, if your Rep. is a Republican member of the House Committee on Rules -- here's the list: Sessions (TX), Cole (OK), Woodall (GA), Burgess (TX), Collins (GA), Cheney (WY), Buck - CO, Newhouse (WA), Byrne (AL) -- he or she has already voted last night to move this forward and you should definitely mention your disappointment with that vote.

3. Forward this email to ten friends and ask them to join you in calling their Reps before noon.

4. Share this on Facebook and Twitter.

Go enjoy your day.

Trumpcare Vote Delayed! Keep Calling And Find An Event Near You

March 23, 2017

Paul Ryan and He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named were forced to pull their scheduled vote on Trumpcare today because they couldn't get the votes they needed to pass it. Which is good!

But the fight is far from over. We need to keep the pressure on to convince enough members of Congress that they do not want to touch this thing with a ten-foot pole.

So. Here's what you do:

1. Tomorrow (Friday) call your Representative AGAIN. It's okay to call them every day. And submit another comment via their web site. And write on their Facebook page. And tweet at them. Keep doing it. See yesterday's post for scripts and sample comments.

2. Click here now to find an event taking place near you. Then go join it. Do it even if it's not your typical thing and you feel nervous or weird about it. It'll be good for you.

I am a recovering shy person and my natural tendency is to avoid rallies, protests, marches and such like the plague. However, I find that when I do go, it feels really GOOD to be there. It buoys my spirit to be around other people who also think what's going on is crazy and unacceptable and want to do something to stop it. The truth is that it's way more fun to resist in the company of others than all by your lonesome :)

Today I was at a pop up emergency room demonstration outside my Rep., John Faso's office in upstate NY. We had a big group of people - some of them nurses and other healthcare providers, some of them farmers, some who are on Medicaid, some (like me) who get their coverage via the ACA and others who just want to stop Trumpcare because it would be a disaster for all of us.

I was glad I went. And you'll be glad if you go, too. Trust me. Find out what's happening near you right now.









Call Your Rep THIS MORNING and Again After He/She Votes on AHCA

Things are coming to a head and the House will likely vote on the reprehensible AHCA at some point today. It's all hands on deck to try to stop this monstrosity.

Here's what you need to do today AND tomorrow.



TODAY: Call your Representative and urge him or her to vote No.

Find your Rep's number(s) here. You may have to call more than one office to get through - phones are bound to be jammed all day but keep trying! Sample script is below.

"Hi, my name is ____and  I'm calling from _____ to urge Rep. NAME to vote NO on Trumpcare when it comes to a vote today. I'm very concerned by the CBO's findings that the AHCA would result in 24 million Americans losing health coverage, including tens of thousands who live right here in our district. If you get your coverage via your state's ACA marketplace, you should definitely mention that now -- "I get my health insurance through the ACA and I am scared that I will lose it." I will definitely be watching to see how Rep. NAME votes today and will remember it when I cast my vote in 2018. Thanks for taking my call."

TOMORROW: Call your Representative and, depending on how he/she voted, either thank them for standing up for your health or let them know you're deeply disappointed and will not be voting for them in 2018. Sample scripts are below for each scenario.

If your Rep supported Trumpcare:

Hi, my name is ___ and I'm a constituent from ____. I'm calling to let the Representative know that I am extremely disappointed in his/her vote in support of Trumpcare yesterday. It is perfectly clear from the CBO's report that this bill will be a disaster for those in our district and America, as a whole. If Rep. NAME truly wanted to represent our best interests he would have voted NO. I will remember his/her vote when I cast my vote next November. Thank you for taking my call.

If your Rep opposed Trumpcare:

Hi, my name is ___ and I'm a constituent from ____. I'm calling to let the Representative know how much I appreciate his/her vote against Trumpcare yesterday. It is perfectly clear from the CBO's report that this bill will be a disaster for those in our district and America, as a whole and I am grateful to Rep. NAME for representing my best interests and those of everyone in our district. I will definitely remember his/her vote when I go to the polls in 2018. Thank you so much taking my call. 

Please don't stop there - you should also submit a comment via their web site and contact them via Facebook and Twitter if you use social media.

Please share widely ASAP!

Demand a Special Prosecutor on Russia & Sessions

March 21, 2017

FBI Director James Comey confirmed on Monday that the FBI is actively investigating ties between Trump's campaign and Russia. He also shot down the ridiculous wiretap allegations Trump made to distract us all from his ties to Russia.

We also know that Attorney General Jeff Sessions lied under oath about his contact with Russian officials during Trump's campaign. Sessions has recused himself from leading the investigation into Trump's ties to Russia, passing that responsibility on to Acting Deputy Attorney General Dana Boente (apparently, it's pronounced BEN-tay). But that is nowhere near enough.

WE NEED AN INDEPENDENT SPECIAL PROSECUTOR TO ENSURE A FULL, FAIR INVESTIGATION.



Here's what you need to do today:

1. Call the Attorney General's Office at 202-353-1555. When you get through, here's your short script:

"Hi, my name is ___ and I'm calling from ___ to urge Deputy AG Boente (BEN-tay) to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate Attorney General Session's possible perjury as well as Russia's interference in the 2016 elections and President Trump's possible collusion. These are obviously hugely sensitive issues of national security that require a thorough, impartial investigation that is not tainted by association with Sessions. Thank you so much for taking the time to listen."

2. Submit a comment through the AG's office's web site. You're welcome to copy my comment below or write your own. In terms of topic, I chose "Messages to the Deputy Attorney General."

"I'm writing to urge you to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate President Trump's ties to Russia and possible collusion in their successful attempts to influence our 2016 elections as well as to investigate Attorney General Jeff Session's ties to Russia and his lies under oath about his contacts with the Russians during Donald Trump's campaign.

Given that AG Sessions has admitted to lying under oath, I do not feel that merely recusing himself will be enough to ensure a truly free and impartial investigation. We need an independent investigator who can perform a thorough, unbiased investigation into these deeply troubling questions. Thank you for your time and attention to this truly urgent matter of national security."

3. Call your Senators and your Representative to ask them to push for a special prosecutor, too. You can use the same script as above and just swap in their name for Boente's name. I'm going to stop suggesting you put them into your phone or address book - if you haven't already done that, you're probably not going to :)

4. Share this action with three friends via email or social media. Then go about your business.

Stop Trumpcare - House Will Vote THIS Thursday

March 19, 2017

The Republicans are moving frightening quickly on their horrible healthcare bill. They're hoping to get it to the floor of the House for a full vote this Thursday so it's all hands on deck to convince your Representative to reject it before then.

This is not a new action but I've updated the script and I'm adding another very important step -- to get three of your friends or family members to contact their Representative about Trumpcare (a.k.a. the AHCA - American Health Care Act) before Thursday.



1. Find your Rep's number(s) here. You may have to call more than one office to get through.

2. Find out if your Representative is on the Budget Committee - see list here. If your Rep. is a Republican (with the exception of these three Republicans who voted against it - Dave Brat (R-VA), Mark Sanford (R-SC), or Gary Palmer (R-AL), he or she has already voted in favor of the bill and you should use the script at the bottom of this post marked with an asterisk.

3. When you reach a staffperson, here's your script (always be polite - they have a really hard job):

"Hi, my name is NAME. I'm a constituent calling from TOWN/CITY. I'm calling to urge Rep. NAME to vote NO on the new Republican healthcare bill when it comes to the House floor later this week.

I'm very concerned by the CBO's findings that the AHCA would result in 24 million Americans losing health coverage, including tens of thousands who live right here in our district. (If you get your coverage via your state's ACA marketplace, you should definitely mention that now -- "I get my health insurance through the ACA and I am scared that I will lose it.")

I am disturbed that this bill would have the worst impact on the elderly and the poor - the very people who need the most help.

In addition, this bill is playing politics with women's health by including a completely unnecessary provision to de-fund Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood provides affordable routine health care services like breast exams and pap smears that help protect millions of women - especially poor women - from cancer. Since Planned Parenthood ALREADY does not receive federal funding for abortions this provision seems spiteful and politically-motivated."


When you're done with your rant, please thank the staffer for taking your call.

3. Then contact your Rep. via his/her website contact form. If you're on Facebook and Twitter, share your thoughts with them there, too.

4. Share this action with anyone you know who shares your politics and then follow up with a phone call or another email to make sure that at least three of those people contact their House Rep. before Thursday.



* If your Representative is on one of the committees that's had a chance to vote on the AHCA already, and voted YES, use this version of the script to let them know you're paying attention to their votes:

"Hi, my name is NAME. I'm a constituent calling from TOWN/CITY. I'm calling to urge Rep. NAME to vote NO on the new Republican healthcare bill when it comes to the House floor later this week. I was extremely disappointed when he/she voted YES to move the AHCA out of committee recently as it is clear that this bill is not in the best interest of his/her constituents.

The CBO found that the bill would result in 24 million Americans losing health coverage, including tens of thousands who live right here in our district. (If you get your coverage via your state's ACA marketplace, you should definitely mention that now -- "I get my health insurance through the ACA and I am scared that I will lose it.")

I am also disturbed that this bill would have the worst impact on the elderly and the poor - the very people who need the most help. 

In addition, this bill is playing politics with women's health by including a completely unnecessary provision to de-fund Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood provides affordable routine health care services like breast exams and pap smears that help protect millions of women - especially poor women - from cancer. Since Planned Parenthood ALREADY does not receive federal funding for abortions this provision seems spiteful and politically-motivated."  

Sign Up for Swing Left and Start Registering Resistance Voters

March 10, 2017

The most important thing is to regain control of the House in 2018 because we're largely powerless to stop Trump unless and until we do that. SwingLeft is doing great work to that end.

Please sign up for Swing Left right now and get involved.


Those of you who are here NY's 19th Congressional District, I cannot urge you strongly enough to start working on registering voters - beginning this Sunday, March 12th.

I will be at the Kingston site for the Register Resistance Voters effort this Sunday (thanks for hosting, Citizen Action of NY).

Come join me or sign up at one of the many other sites to learn how to register voters, get the materials you need and hit the streets. Bring friends!

For what it's worth, going door to door registering voters is basically my worst nightmare (shy, socially awkward people UNITE!) but I am willing to do it because I love America and I do not want to see it go down in flames. I also do not want my kids to have to grow up in a corrupt dictatorship filled with hatred...

So even if knocking on doors is not your idea of fun - and trust me, it is not my idea of fun - it is our civic duty. We have to do it.

Urge Your Rep. To Reject the GOP Healthcare Bill

March 08, 2017

It took the Republicans seven years to craft that?! The new GOP bill to replace the Affordable Care Act is pretty pathetic. Even the name is oddly flat. I was expecting something more like the "Make America Healthy Again Act"?

On the plus side, it's not just Democrats who dislike it. Lots of conservatives are enraged by it, too, albeit for completely different reasons.


Your task today is to urge your Representative to reject it.

1. Find your Rep's number(s) here (and add them all to your activism cheat sheet or create a contact in your phone if you haven't already). You may have to call more than one office to get through.

2. When you reach a staffperson, here's your script (be friendly and polite):

"Hi, my name is NAME. I'm a constituent calling from TOWN/CITY. I'm calling to urge Rep. NAME to reject the new Republican bill to replace the Affordable Care Act. I find it very disturbing that this new bill (the American Health Care Act) would result in many Americans, including those here in our district losing health coverage.

The bill would have the worst impact on the elderly and the poor - the very people who need the most help. Replacing government subsidies with tax credits only helps people who are making enough money to pay taxes. The bill will also take insurance away from millions of individuals and cripple state budgets by phasing out the Medicaid expansion.

In addition, this bill is playing partisan politics with women's health by including a completely unnecessary provision to defund Planned Parenthood which provides affordable routine health care services like breast exams and pap smears that help protect millions of women from cancer. Since Planned Parenthood ALREADY does not receive federal funding for abortions this provision is clearly a spiteful, politically-motivated ploy that will only end up hurting women - especially lower-income women.

I also think it's incredibly irresponsible for the Republicans to be rushing this bill without first having it scored by the Congressional Budget Office so that people can see how much it will cost and how many people will lose coverage."  

When you're done with your rant, please thank the staffer for taking your call.

3. Then contact your Rep. via their website contact form. If you're on Facebook and Twitter, share your thoughts with them there, too.

4. Share this action with anyone you know who shares your politics.

If you'd like to read more about the bill, you can find the full text of the bill here. And below are links to some articles about it.

  • https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/07/opinion/no-wonder-the-republicans-hid-the-health-bill.html
  • https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/08/us/politics/affordable-care-act-obama-care-health.html
  • https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/06/house-gop-obamacare/488168/
  • http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/06/politics/republicans-public-obamacare-plan/
  • https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/politics/wp/2017/03/08/president-trumps-health-care-plan-would-likely-make-health-care-pricier-for-core-trump-voters/

Food for Thought

March 04, 2017

Just wanted to share this piece by former British Prime Minister Tony Blair. I think it's an accurate read on things. Not that I really know what to do to rebuild the center but...

Hope you all have a good weekend. Spend time with your family and friends, unplug, go outside, cook and eat good food.


LONDON — Outrage is easy; strategy is hard. Outrage provides necessary motivation. But only strategy can deliver victory.

The emotional response to the rightist populism sweeping the West is one of protest and dismay. But if there is to be an effective fightback, there has to be a cool analysis of what is happening, why and what can be done.

Politics is being reshaped, and this phenomenon is the same whether it is in the United States or in Europe. At stake in the forthcoming elections in France and Germany will be the future of Europe and, possibly, of European liberal democracy.

The rightist populism, on both sides of the Atlantic, is intent on blowing up traditional conservative politics and replacing it with a new coalition, comprising traditionally left-leaning supporters in working-class communities who feel left behind by globalization and traditionally right-leaning supporters who hate liberalism. Both constituencies believe that traditional culture is at risk from immigration and “political correctness.” Both believe in the nation-state as opposed to international alliances. Both feel let down by the so-called elites and think that the solution is an authoritarian figure strong enough not to care what a biased establishment thinks about him.

This is a revolution that is partly economic, but mainly cultural. The new coalition differs from the old Reagan-Thatcher one, though it has some similarities. Back in the 1980s, working-class voters moved to the right because they felt that the left didn’t satisfy their aspirations for self-improvement. That was a cultural issue, of course; but it was primarily an economic one. It was not so much that they felt fearful as that they felt held back.

Today is different. The modus operandi of this populism is not to reason but to roar. It has at times an anarchic feel. Yet it has also mobilized a powerful media behind it. Its supporters welcome the outrage their leaders provoke. This polarizes public discourse and enhances their sense of belonging, so that even when they’re in government, they act as if they were excluded from it.

Meanwhile, traditional conservatives feel like strangers in their own land. They are unsure whether to play along with the new order on the basis that it will soon pass or to accept that this is a revolution aimed at overturning their authority and fight it.

The causes of this movement are the scale, scope and speed of change. This is occurring economically as jobs are displaced and communities fractured, and culturally as the force of globalization moves the rest of the world closer and blurs old boundaries of nation, race and culture.

The same dynamics are splintering the left, too. One element has aligned with the right in revolt against globalization, but with business taking the place of migrants as the chief evil. They agree with the right-wing populists about elites, though for the left the elites are the wealthy, while for the right they’re the liberals.

This leftist populism is a profound error. It has no chance of matching the populist appeal of the right, and it dangerously validates some of the right’s arguments. This only fuels a cynicism that depresses support for the more progressive parts of the left’s program.

But this left tendency has gained from the seeming paralysis of the center. The parties and politicians of the center have become the managers of the status quo in an era when people want change. So, the center — in both its center-right and center-left camps — is marginalized, even despised.

The question is, will this be a temporary phase, perhaps linked to the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis and Sept. 11, and will politics soon revert to normal, or has a new political age begun?

The party structures on both sides of the Atlantic have their origins in the Industrial Revolution and the debates engendered by that epoch about socialism and capitalism, the market and the state. These parties have endured because the roots they put down were very strong. But now, there are different distinctions than those simply of traditional right and left.

When I was growing up, people like my dad were conservative; and that meant economically and socially. Today, many such voters don’t fit that old stereotype. They may be pro-private enterprise and conservative on economics in traditional terms, but they’re also socially liberal — in favor, for instance, of gay rights. And there are those who used to vote left, but who are culturally illiberal and now don’t mind voting for parties of the wealthy.

Today, a distinction that often matters more than traditional right and left is open vs. closed. The open-minded see globalization as an opportunity but one with challenges that should be mitigated; the closed-minded see the outside world as a threat. This distinction crosses traditional party lines and thus has no organizing base, no natural channel for representation in electoral politics.

Politics in most European countries, and certainly in the United States, is still dominated by the traditional parties of right and left. Under pressure from radical populism, though, it’s shifting more to the extremes, as we’re seeing with the British Labour Party and the French Socialists.

So this leaves a big space in the center. For the progressive wing of politics, the correct strategy is to make the case for building a new coalition out from the center. To do so, progressives need to acknowledge the genuine cultural anxieties of those voters who have deserted the cause of social progress: on immigration, the threat of radical Islamism and the difference between being progressive and appearing obsessive on issues like gender identity.

The center needs to develop a new policy agenda that shows people they will get support to help them through the change that’s happening around them. At the heart of this has to be an alliance between those driving the technological revolution, in Silicon Valley and elsewhere, and those responsible for public policy in government. At present, there is a chasm of understanding between the two. There will inevitably continue to be a negative impact on jobs from artificial intelligence and big data, but the opportunities to change lives for the better through technology are enormous.

Any new agenda has to focus on these opportunities for radical change in the way that government and services like health care serve people. This must include how we educate, skill and equip our work forces for the future; how we reform tax and welfare systems to encourage more fair distribution of wealth; and how we replenish our nations’ infrastructures and invest in the communities most harmed by trade and technology.

Progressives must reach across the party divide, making a virtue of nonpartisanship. Those who feel dispossessed within existing party structures should make common cause, and do so unashamedly. This is exactly what those of us are doing in Britain who are making the case for staying in a reformed European Union.

The politics of the progressive center has not died, but it needs reinventing and re-energizing. For liberal democracy to survive and thrive, we must build a new coalition that is popular, not populist.

Tony Blair, a former leader of the Labour Party, was prime minister of Britain from 1997 to 2007.