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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.)

Members: 9
Latest Activity: yesterday

Discussion Forum

Robert Mercer's psyops behind the extremist takeover

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Ruth Anthony-Gardner Mar 2. 3 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

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 k.h. 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

Action alerts and talking points

Started by Grinning Cat. Last reply by Grinning Cat Feb 14. 3 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

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 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,

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on March 20, 2017 at 3:33pm

Today's 2 page letter is too long to fit in a comment. Part 1

I urge you to oppose Trump’s budget in the strongest terms possible. This war budget is evidence, along with much other evidence, that a fascist takeover looms. This is profoundly disturbing and terrifying. Please read Anis Shivani’s Salon article, “Trump and Mussolini: 11 Key Lessons from Historical Fascism”.

Consider these trends as evidence of emerging US fascism:

1. Trump’s war budget. His most influential advisor, Steve Bannon has publicly claimed we’ll be at war in the South China Sea and the Middle East, urging people to gird for a bloody Christian war against Islam (as well as secularism). Trump reorganized the National Security Council to empower Bannon.

2. Attacks on constitutional rights and on ethics enforcement within government.

3. Sacrifice of common good for corporate profiteering.

4. Deep corruption and almost universal conflicts of interest, such as Trump advisor Carl Icahn getting a radical rules change to the U.S. renewable fuel mandate policy for his immediate profit of over $500 million.

5. Demonization of minorities and an “enemies list” approach.

6. Attacks on free press, and the steady stream of lies such as inventing a “Bowling Green massacre” to justify anti-immigrant policy.

7. “Deconstruction” of the administrative state — Bannon’s stated goal, shown in the appointment of cabinet members poised to gut the departments they’ll head — and signing the “Comprehensive Plan For Reorganizing The Executive Branch”.

8. Destruction of church/state separation.

 

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on March 18, 2017 at 10:04pm

Today's letter to the Senate:

I urge you to oppose the Trump budget proposal. The Republican budget plans will kill more Americans per quarter than have died from al Qaeda or ISIS-inspired terrorist attacks in the last 20 years. We need a federal budget that is not rigged for billionaires and big corporations.

Trump’s massive unnecessary $54 billion defense spending increase only makes sense as gear-up for the Steve Bannon’s religious war. Mick Mulvaney, director of the Office of Management and Budget, said a key priority would be “restoring our nuclear capabilities,” meaning more money for nuclear weapons. The new low-yield tactical nuclear “tailored for limited use” weapons, which the Defense Science Board recommended, will not enhance deterrence but undermine it. It sounds like the “more flexible nuclear enterprise” envisioned will be Trump bullying the world with tactical nukes in hand. Such Trump “negotiation” with foreign powers will quickly lead not only to Bannon’s war but also to global Armageddon.

President Ronald Reagan declared that “a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.” Former Defense Secretary William Perry has argued that even a single nuclear detonation would have dire social and political consequences “beyond what people understand.”

Eliminating the Chemical Safety Board, the federal agency that investigates chemical accidents, puts American lives at risk. That watchdog agency is one of the best bargains in Washington, broadly improving safety for only $12 million a year. The 18 other agencies eliminated is also appalling. The budget would also fully privatize the air-traffic control system.

Funding reductions to the EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance signals to polluters that they can break pollution laws because no one will be watching. People will get sick because the EPA won't be able to adequately protect public health.

I urge you to oppose Neil Gorsuch for Supreme Court. Gorsuch signaled his view that religion can be used to justify real harm to others, including the denial of access to healthcare services. This ominous position undermines true religious freedom.  In E-mails, Neil Gorsuch praised Hans von Spakovksy a leading Republican activist behind voter suppression efforts.

I urge you to oppose S. 370, which would abolish the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Oppose as well any Trump executive action to attack the CFPB.

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on March 18, 2017 at 10:04pm

Today's letter to the House:

I urge you to oppose the Trump budget proposal. The Republican budget plans will kill more Americans per quarter than have died from al Qaeda or ISIS-inspired terrorist attacks in the last 20 years. We need a federal budget that is not rigged for billionaires and big corporations.

Trump’s massive unnecessary $54 billion defense spending increase only makes sense as gear-up for the Steve Bannon’s religious war. Mick Mulvaney, director of the Office of Management and Budget, said a key priority would be “restoring our nuclear capabilities,” meaning more money for nuclear weapons. The new low-yield tactical nuclear “tailored for limited use” weapons, which the Defense Science Board recommended, will not enhance deterrence but undermine it. It sounds like the “more flexible nuclear enterprise” envisioned will be Trump bullying the world with tactical nukes in hand. Such Trump “negotiation” with foreign powers will quickly lead not only to Bannon’s war but also to global Armageddon.

President Ronald Reagan declared that “a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.” Former Defense Secretary William Perry has argued that even a single nuclear detonation would have dire social and political consequences “beyond what people understand.”

Eliminating the Chemical Safety Board, the federal agency that investigates chemical accidents, puts American lives at risk. That watchdog agency is one of the best bargains in Washington, broadly improving safety for only $12 million a year. The 18 other agencies eliminated is also appalling.

Funding reductions to the EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance signals to polluters that they can break pollution laws because no one will be watching. People will get sick because the EPA won't be able to adequately protect public health.

I urge you to oppose H.R. 1031, which would abolish the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Oppose as well any Trump executive action to attack the CFPB. 

Comment by Joan Denoo on March 18, 2017 at 5:20pm
Comment by Thomas Murray on March 18, 2017 at 2:43pm

Grinning Cat,

I hope you do not mind me inserting this.

Arts Advocacy Day

http://www.americansforthearts.org/events/arts-advocacy-day

"Trump Administration’s proposed FY2018 budget shows eliminating funding for the National Endowment for the Arts and other federal cultural agencies."

http://www.americansforthearts.org/news-room/press-releases/america...

also:

https://www.arts.gov/

Comment by Grinning Cat on March 17, 2017 at 4:13pm

I'm back to making frequent phone calls to my congresscritters.

To the House: opposing HR 1313, the genetic testing mandate financial bludgeon, misleadingly named the "Preserving Wellness Programs Act" (more about that in Ruth's letter below).

To the Senate:
- Opposing S.J.Res. 34 that would allow Republicans to discard essential internet privacy protections by a simple majority vote (again, more in Ruth's letter below), and
- opposing the American Health Care Act (repeal of Obamacare). (I took Daily Kos's suggestion and didn't give specifics to my Republican senator. They say quite a few Republicans are against it, for reasons quite possibly different from yours or mine.)

(Interesting how Republicans' bills tend to have the most Orwellian names!)

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on March 15, 2017 at 4:04pm

Letter to House for today, also not mailed yet.

I urge you to cosponsor and support HR 179, the Miners Protection Act. Coal miners worked in terrible conditions and many sacrificed their health as a result of their work.  They took lower wages to secure a healthy retirement. Now congress must act to make the funds available.  The plan put forward in the bill does not require taxpayer dollars.

I urge you to oppose the Preserving Wellness Programs Act. If enacted, the legislation would mean that employees who refuse to submit to a genetic test as part of their office’s voluntary wellness program could lose out on up to a 30 percent reduction in health insurance costs. That could add up to $5,433 more a year in premiums.  A broad coalition of consumer health and medical advocacy groups fear the changes the bill would enact would also undermine basic privacy provisions of GINA and the ADA in the process. A broad group of privacy advocates warn that this could create a 'Gattaca'-like precedent. 

I urge you to oppose H.J. Res 86, introduced by Rep. Marsha Blackburn, which would expand the Congressional Review Act to strip away privacy protections established in October by the Federal Communications Commission with broad bipartisan support. It would allow lawmakers to repeal Obama-era privacy rules by a simple majority vote in the House and Senate and would prevent the FCC from establishing similar regulations in the future. H.J. Res 86 would strip away rules that prohibit internet providers such as Comcast and Verizon from collecting and selling virtually any subscriber data, including browser history and app usage, without prior user permission.

I urge you to oppose H.R. 1259, H.R. 1364 and H.R. 1461, which are a blatant attempt to undermine the ability of federal employees to do their jobs effectively to best serve veterans and other taxpayers. They would

• Remove protections and gut the pensions of workers who are wrongfully fired, harassed or intimidated by managers;

• Give Veterans Affairs officials the power to take back compensation employees have earned;

• Make it more difficult for employees to work with managers to address issues on the job;

• Let management at the VA have the upper hand by radically shortening the time unfairly fired VA workers have to prepare their cases; and limits the time unfairly fired workers can appeal to just seven days

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on March 15, 2017 at 4:03pm

Letter to Senate for today, (excepting that I missed the post office deadline because my car wasn't properly dug out).

I urge you to reject Scott Gottlieb to be the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) commissioner. He is entangled in an unprecedented web of Big Pharma ties, and spent most of his career dedicated to promoting the financial interests of the pharmaceutical industry. Gottlieb has advocated dangerous deregulatory approaches to the review process for new medications. In exchange for getting medications to the market faster, Gottlieb is willing to accept a greater degree of uncertainty about safety and effectiveness at the time of approval. He also has favored looser restrictions on off-label promotion. Gottlieb’s appointment would accelerate a decades-long trend in which agency leadership too often makes decisions that are aligned more with the interests of industry than those of patients. If Gottlieb is confirmed, he would be the most interest-conflicted commissioner in American history, by far.

I urge you to oppose S.J. Res 34, which would expand the Congressional Review Act to strip away privacy protections established in October by the Federal Communications Commission with broad bipartisan support. It would allow lawmakers to repeal Obama-era privacy rules by a simple majority vote in the House and Senate and would prevent the FCC from establishing similar regulations in the future. S.J. Res 34 would strip away rules that prohibit internet providers such as Comcast and Verizon from collecting and selling virtually any subscriber data without prior user permission.

I urge you to work creatively with other Senators to address the increasing control over national security by men never confirmed by the Senate. The Founding Fathers intended Senators to guide national policy, not extremist civilian outsiders with a religious war agenda.

 Steve Bannon remains on the NSC’s Principals Committee, while the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is only a part-time participant. Less than a month after much-admired Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster became national security adviser, Steve Bannon appears to be more in control of U.S. foreign policy than ever. A lightly credentialed acolyte of Bannon, deputy national security adviser Sebastian Gorka, seems to have more influence with Trump than McMaster, a decorated lieutenant general.

Their Strategic Initiatives Group appears to operate inside the White House as an Alt-National Security Council, promoting Bannon’s support for an anti-E.U. nationalist Christian right Europe, as a prelude to escalating a “clash of civilizations" war against Islam. Through their Academic spokesperson Joshua Mitchell, the SIG clearly signals that Europeans who favor economic integration, ethnic pluralism and military deterrence of Russia are no longer regarded as U.S. allies.

 

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