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Writing to Congress

Many of us are angry and despairing at the political landscape, especially with the recent unprecedented threats to democracy itself in the United States.

Let's pool our brains and amplify our influence! Letters and phone calls to our elected officials make an impact, even if they don't always do what we ask, since they're ultimately concerned about "reelection, reelection, reelection".

Especially with help from our friends, it's not difficult to write letters calling for specific actions and telling powerful stories. We can share talking points, drafts, and letters we've sent, as well as problems we encounter and replies we get.

(The title refers to the U.S. system, but you're welcome to share how you're communicating with your elected officials in any country.)

If you read this group and haven't joined it, please consider joining! It'll encourage other AN members to be more politically active.

Members: 11
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Discussion Forum

Robert Mercer's psyops behind the extremist takeover

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Bertold Brautigan Aug 17. 6 Replies

Two hundred years ago the founding fathers created three branches of government, assuming that one party wouldn't dominate all three at once, and assuming that the legislative and executive branch actually wanted to govern the country as a…Continue

Tags: changing beliefs, white supremacist takeover, data analytics, psychological warfare, bio-psycho-social profiling

Action alerts and talking points

Started by Grinning Cat. Last reply by Grinning Cat Jun 13. 4 Replies

Where do you find useful information on issues to communicate with your legislators about, or talking points you might not have thought about for calling or writing them?Continue

Tags: representatives, legislators, congresscritters, senators, political actions

How are we doing ? As of February 17, 2017

Started by Joan Denoo Feb 17. 0 Replies

block H.R.958 elimination of the Environmental Protection Agency - Wasteful EPA Programs Elimination Act of 2017, 115th Congress (2017-2018) | (Became law)block Neil Gorsuch for Supreme Court (Hearing is set for March 20)cosponsor and support S200,…Continue

Tags: support, confirmation, oppose, campaign, writing

How To Write Letter to Congressional Representative.

Started by Daniel W. Last reply by kathy: ky Feb 16. 3 Replies

This is a little different, but not much, from how to write letter to Senator.  Again, this info is from wikihow.  There is overlap with the Senator letter writing concept.…Continue

Guide to how to write letter to your senator

Started by Daniel W. Last reply by Daniel W Feb 16. 7 Replies

If we write letters, but don't do it correctly, we might undermine our well-meaning efforts. Here is a simple guideline from wikihow.  Briefly from…Continue

Finding addresses/phones for your Senators and Representative

Started by Grinning Cat. Last reply by Ruth Anthony-Gardner Feb 8. 3 Replies

A few places where you can easily find where to write or call your members of Congress:Official starting points:www.senate.gov - "Find Your Senators" in the upper right (choose your state)…Continue

Tags: phone numbers, legislation, tracking legislation, phones, addresses

Comment Wall

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Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on March 24, 2017 at 4:25pm

Today's letter, same both houses.

I urge you to join Rep. Hakeem Jeffries and Rep. Ted Lieu in calling for the shutdown of ANY agenda item and ANY nominee being promoted by the Trump administration, until an independent investigation and subsequent prosecutions remove all traitors. Without truth there is no trust! I urge you to support the Resolution of Inquiry, authored by Rep. Jeffries and Rep. Lieu, to compel the Trump Administration to publicly disclose information on its Russian ties to the American people

The FBI has evidence that Trump’s people conspired with Russia to take down Hillary Clinton. Experts are saying that those involved could be prosecuted for treason. The scandal ties Trump associates to a Russian campaign to subvert American democracy, with more than circumstantial evidence.

Paul Manafort, Trump's campaign chairman from March through August of 2016, had previously been paid tens of millions of dollars by a Russian oligarch, after Manafort pitched him a plan to "influence politics, business dealings and news coverage inside the United States ... to benefit President Vladimir Putin's government." From 2006 until at least 2009, Manafort was paid exorbitant sums – starting at $10 million a year – by Russian aluminum magnate Oleg Deripaska.

As Manafort rose to campaign chairman of the Republican nominee for president, the Putin government engaged in its own multifaceted campaign to influence U.S. politics and media. Starting in March 2016, Russian Government-linked actors began openly supporting President-elect Trump's candidacy in media aimed at English-speaking audiences.

While Manafort formally left the Trump campaign in August 2016, he reportedly remained in close contact with Trump and Pence. Manafort was a pivotal figure in the Trump transition, helping select the top ranks of the new administration. "I think he's weighing in on everything," a former campaign official said in late November. "I think he still talks to Trump every day. … Pence is on the phone with Manafort regularly."

Operatives for Russia appear to have strategically timed the computer commands, known as “bots,” to blitz social media with links to the pro-Trump stories at times when Trump was on the defensive in his race. Russia also used “trolls,” hundreds of computer operatives who pretended to be Trump supporters and posted stories or comments on the internet complimentary to Trump or disparaging to Clinton, likely working from a facility in St. Petersburg, Russia. They very carefully timed their postings to shift the news cycle away from stories that hurt Mr. Trump. Investigators have yet to rule out coordination between Russian cyberattacks and Trump campaign staff.

The revelation that U.S. officials have information on Trump associates’ collusion with the Russians means we must pause the entire Trump agenda.  We likely have an illegitimate President of the United States currently occupying the White House.

Other than allowing routine governmental functions, there must be a total and complete shutdown of any agenda item being pushed by the Trump Administration.  Congress cannot continue regular order, and must stop voting on any Trump-backed agenda item or any Trump nominee, until the FBI completes its Trump-Russia collusion investigation.

Congress must immediately form an independent commission and appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the collusion allegations with impartiality and independence.   At this point in our nation's history, nothing is more important than finding out whether or not high crimes were committed by associates of Donald Trump or possibly by Trump himself.

Comment by Grinning Cat on March 23, 2017 at 1:05pm

I called Senator Casey's Philadelphia office. According to the staffer, he has finally decided to vote against Neil Gorsuch's nomination to the Supreme court, but has not indicated whether he'll filibuster or use other tactics. I explained why that's insufficient, that the nomination must not be allowed to even come to a floor vote in the Republican-majority chamber.

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on March 22, 2017 at 10:53pm

Tomorrow's letter, same for both houses.

I urge you to reject the Republican budget, not only because it favors excessive military buildup over the well-being, health, and very lives of US citizens, but because, along with a slew of new laws and executive orders, it finalizes a drastic change in US governance. Since the election, we are witnessing a fundamental change: from an overall functional government struggling with pockets of corruption to corrupt strongman rule, which is a kleptocracy.

In other words Trump and the GOP leadership now emulate Putin’s government style, as described by Fiona Hill, the White House's senior director for Europe and Russia in her book Mr. Putin: Operative in the Kremlin.

The political compact Putin made his elite enter into with the Kremlin was an extension of the old Andropov rule from the KGB Fifth Directorate. Rather than resort to pure brutality to keep the masses in line, one could blackmail and extort businessmen. In this way Putin reined in the banking and energy sectors by appealing to them like a mafia protector. Play according to the rules, don’t challenge or taunt the regime, and you could earn and pilfer as much as you liked. Cross the boss, and face the consequences. Russia’s industrialists are thus run like assets of the KGB.

Consider the Republican administration’s moves to privatize public lands, prisons and education, and its proud elimination of regulations protecting citizens from corporate pillage. Corporate insiders appointed to senior government positions are precisely positioned to remove restraints on their own interests.

Consider Trump’s close connection with people who have done serious business with Russian kleptocrats, such as his new Secretary of Commerce, Wilbur Ross. When Ross took over the Bank of Cyprus, he installed Josef Ackermann as chairman, a man who had left Deutsche Bank under a cloud, including a $650 million fine for laundering Russian money. Cyprus banks have a long and painful history of laundering dirty money from Russians involved with corruption and criminality. Deutsche Bank is also Trump’s largest known lender. Trump now owes Deutsche about $300m. He has four large mortgages, all issued by Deutsche’s private bank. Oligarch Dmitry Ryvoloviev, another owner of that Cyprus bank, bailed out Trump when his finances softened, by purchasing an unsaleable Palm Beach mansion for around $60 million more than the market price, before tearing it down unused.

Trump isn’t just an open admirer of Putin’s style of governance, and entangled with Russian oligarchs in business. His political style resembles a Mafia Don. He called out Mark Meadows, who led the conservative opposition to the Republican health care plan, to stand up, saying, "Mark, I'm gonna come after you". "I honestly think many of you will lose your seats in 2018," he said to the other Republicans called behind closed doors, a threat style stereotypic of movie Mafiosi.

Corrupt strongman governance isn’t just un-American, it is economically dysfunctional. MIT science historian Loren Graham points out why Russia’s economy is dependent on resource extraction despite its brilliant scientists and engineers, because corruption inhibits commercializing their creativity. When entrepreneurship means entering a dirty realm of crime, corruption, wheeling and dealing, the conditions necessary for commercial success in technology do not exist.

In summary, the ongoing behavior of Trump and the Republican leadership fundamentally betrays not only core American values but also the Republican Party’s business-friendly roots.

The example of Russia demonstrates why this “new” Republican model of government not only goes against all ideals of a representative democracy, it also seriously cripples a nation’s economy.

I call on you to reject the Republican budget plan.

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on March 22, 2017 at 10:52pm

My last letter was individualized, according to their stated position on  ACA's replacement by Republicare. Here's what I sent to Senator Toomey.

                                                                        March 21st, 2017

Dear Senator Toomey,

According to your March 9th statement, you are considering voting in favor of The American Health Care Act (Republicare) if “some changes” are made. I urge you to vote NO on it.

Republicare’s $880 billion cut to Medicaid is much more than an attack on the poor, working families, children, seniors and people with disabilities. It is an attack on the American people. Medicaid provides vital health insurance protections to seniors in nursing homes and low-income Americans of all ages. Medicaid spends more money on long term care for seniors and people with disabilities than anything else.

Under Pennsylvania’s ACCESS program, schools are reimbursed for the cost of health-related services provided to students with disabilities who are eligible for Medicaid. If federal Medicaid funding is cut or block granted to states, federal ACCESS funding for Pennsylvania’s students with disabilities will no longer be guaranteed.

I urge you to oppose Trump's nominee to head the Securities and Exchange Commission, Jay Clayton, Wall Street’s bailout attorney and a former Goldman Sachs adviser. Clayton's conflicts of interest stem from ties to companies like Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, and Barclays. He’s partner at Sullivan & Cromwell, which had four clients in the last five years who were charged with breaking SEC rules. There's precedent for blocking Jay Clayton. His Sullivan & Cromwell colleague, H. Rodgin Cohen, had to withdraw his name from a senior Treasury Department post in 2009 because of his similarly deep ties to the financial crisis.

I urge you to cosponsor and support the End Racial and Religious Profiling Act of 2017, introduced by Senator Ben Cardin. It takes on not only racial profiling, but profiling based on religion, ethnicity, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, or gender identity. The bill creates create meaningful remedies to prevent profiling. 

Comment by Thomas Murray on March 21, 2017 at 10:08am
Comment by Thomas Murray on March 21, 2017 at 10:06am
Comment by Thomas Murray on March 21, 2017 at 9:52am

I am having trouble posting the full content of the EPA HR:1431 bill....

https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/115/hr1431/text/ih

Comment by Thomas Murray on March 21, 2017 at 9:49am

A bill designed to reduce or eliminate scientists participant in EPA Board titled:

EPA HR:1431http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1109462_bill-making-it-harder-for-scientists-to-sit-on-epa-science-board-advances

Comment by Grinning Cat on March 20, 2017 at 5:45pm

I called my senators earlier today, with what I said before about Neil Gorsuch (disappointing that Casey is still considering his record; it's a STOLEN SEAT!). I again asked the Republican senator to renounce the "nuclear option".

I called on all three of my members of Congress to oppose tRump's deadly "orgy of cruelty" budget blueprint. (Medicare? Meals on Wheels? Home heating assistance? A third of the EPA budget, so polluters know they face no enforcement. But plenty of money to gear up for an Armageddon war! Much more in Ruth's letters below! Eliminate the National Endowment for the Arts, but it's OK to spend $60 million a year so two special snowflakes can stay in Trump Tower and not move to the White House like every other president's spouse and kids. Eliminate PBS, ax Sesame Street, ax All Things Considered, so there'll be less investigation and fact-checking of the average of four lies a day coming from the Republican White House.)

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on March 20, 2017 at 3:34pm

Today's 2 page letter, part 2:

What does Mussolini’s history tell us?

The aim of Fascism is to end democracy.

Given civilized norms in a democratic society, it is always going to be difficult for fascists to muster a majority of citizens. Emergencies are required to cobble together the support of an artificial, frightened majority. Like Mussolini, Trump is trying to make predictions of chaos and violence a self-fulfilling prophecy. This is a staple of all fascist regimes: They bring about disorder, thrive on it, and then claim to be the only ones that can end it.

Fascism, like all forms of government not based on the consent of the majority, requires more and more energy to keep the population under control as time goes by. Once the façade of virile domesticity (“USA! USA!”) wears thin, war becomes the only option to keep the regime going. Fascism always claims that war is not of its choosing, that it is forced into war by others. Fascism relies on fear and violence to activate our most atavistic, violent and primitive selves.

Just as war is inevitable, so is virulent racism. Both go together in fascism. One provides an external enemy while the other provides an internal enemy. It is absolutely key that Trump began his campaign by proclaiming a genocidal manifesto against Mexicans — and then Muslims and Arabs — and has continued to keep it as his central point of action. Because fascism is not competing on an even ideological terrain — most people in any civilized country are not given to violence — it must imagine enemies powerful enough to sustain a majority reaction.

This kind of conspiratorial thinking is a unifying strand which connects many of the ultra-conservative ideologies throughout the past century. The Reds become Jews, then Muslims, then immigrants; substitution is easy. Think Alex Jones. Trump’s Muslim bans were never justified by facts, only conspiracy ideation.

All of Italy’s wars were financially ruinous, and this has also been true of our own wars after 9/11. The faux-religious world war blowing in this war-budget wind will be our country’s economic ruin, though it temporarily bloats fossil fuel and military contractor coffers.

Unlike the 1940’s, you and I face more than cross-continent death, cultural depravity, and economic ruin. Handing over the reins of power to a fossil-fuel loving corporatist police state today risks global nuclear Armageddon and, sometime near century’s end, a world climate unable to sustain civilized society.

Your sleepless and terrified constituent,

 

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