We Are The Majority

10,669,187

Trump lost the election by 10,669,187. Yes, he lost to Hillary Clinton by almost three million. But to say that he lost by only three million neglects the millions of people who voted for other candidates. So let me show you the math:

65,844,610 (votes for HRC)

+7,804,213 (votes for third parties or write ins) 

= 73,648,823.

Trump received 62,979,636 votes.

73,648,823 (votes against him)

– 62,979,636 (votes he received)

= 10,669,187.

To put that in perspective, that’s just about the same as the populations of Hawaii, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Montana, Delaware, South Dakota, North Dakota, Alaska, Vermont, and Wyoming added together.

Why does this matter when it doesn’t change the results? Because we need to get out of this mindset that we “lost.” We didn’t. We are the majority.

The Women’s Marches bore that out, and showed the new administration that they do not have a mandate. According to an unofficial study undertaken by University of Connecticut professor Jeremy Pressman and Erica Chenoweth of the University of Denver, the protests brought out between 3.3 and 4.6 million. (Those estimates are still being revised, so numbers may change.) We certainly showed the new administration that we will not go quietly into that good night.

Oh – and for those of you who have family members in your Facebook feed saying that they *never* protested when Obama was inaugurated, you can let them know that in 2009, there were approximately 311,500 protesters nation-wide.

Memory is a funny thing, isn’t it?

Let’s stay motivated, engaged, and active!

Action 1: Oppose Nominations

This week we are all about nominations. Here are the nominations that are up for consideration this week, with committee names and members – but please call both of your senators about these nominees. They will almost certainly pass out of committee and to a floor vote – which means that this action is super time sensitive. If you’re interested in the Senate confirmation process, here’s a user-friendly article about it. But basically the committee “reports” on the nominee first, and then the nominee is voted on by the Senate as a whole. Below I’ve listed the nominee, the committee members, the issues about the nominee, and a script. Look for your Senator to see if he/she is on any of the committees – but even if not, call both of your Senators about the nominees.

Again: call YOUR Senators. It may be tempting to call all of the committee members. But they will listen to their constituents – and if you aren’t a constituent, that’s not you. Focus your energy on your representatives.

Monday
Rex Tillerson

Monday at 4:30 the foreign relations committee will vote on Rex Tillerson.

 

Barrasso, John R WY 202.224.1724
Booker, Corey D NJ 202.224.3224
Cardin, Ben** D MD 202.224.4524
Coons, Christopher D DE 202.224.5042
Corker, Bob* R TN 202.224.3344
Flake, Jeff R AZ 202.224.4521
Gardner, Cory R CO 202.224.5941
Isakson, Johnny R GA 202.224.3643
Johnson, Ron R WI 202.224.5323
Kaine, Tim D VA 202.224.4024
Markey, Edward D MA 202.224.2742
Menendez, Bob D NJ 202.224.4744
Merkley, Jeff D OR 202.224.3753
Murphy, Chris D CT 202.224.4041
Paul, Rand R KY 202.224.4343
Portman, Rob R OH 202.224.3353
Risch, James R ID 202.224.2752
Rubio, Marco R FL 202.224.3041
Shaheen, Jeanne D NH 202.224.2841
Udall, Tom D NM 202.224.6621
Young, Todd R IN 202.224.5623

Missouri Senators:

Roy Blunt (MO-Republican) 202-224-5721

Claire McCaskill (MO-Democrat) 202-224-6154

Script: I am disgusted that the nominee for Secretary of State would have such significant ties to Russia. With the ongoing investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia, and Russia’s proven involvement in our political process, Mr. Tillerson does nothing to assure the American people that our government has any interest in protecting us. I ask Senator ____ to vote no on Tillerson for state.

Tuesday:
Ben Carson

Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs considers Ben Carson at 10:00.

Brown, Sherrod ** D OH 202.224.2315
Corker, Bob R TN 202.224.3344
Cortez-Masto, Catherine D NV 202.224.3542
Cotton, Tom R AR 202.224.2353
Crapo, Micheal * R ID 202.224.6142
Donnelly, Joe D IN 202.224.4814
Heitkamp, Heidi D ND 202.224.2043
Heller, Dean R NV 202.224.6244
Kennedy, John R LA 202.224.4623
Menendez, Bob D NJ 202.224.4744
Perdue, David R GA 202.224.3521
Reed, Jack D RI 202.224.4642
Rounds, Mike R SD 202.224.5842
Sasse, Ben R NE 202.224.4224
Schatz, Brian D HI 202.224.3934
Scott, Tim R SC 202.224.6121
Shelby, Richard R AL 202.224.5744
Tester, Jon D MT 202.224.2644
Tillis, Thom R NC 202.224.6342
Toomey, Patrick R PA 202.224.4254
Van Hollen, Chris D MD 202.224.4654
Warner, Mark D VA 202.224.2023
Warren, Elizabeth D MA 202.224.4543

 

I could wax poetic about why Carson is wholly unfit to lead HUD, but this article written by Mark Linton, who held various senior positions at HUD during the Obama administration, pretty much sums it up. (My favorite: “Would we accept a celebrity chef in charge of the Pentagon?”)

Missouri Senators:

Roy Blunt (MO-Republican) 202-224-5721

Claire McCaskill (MO-Democrat) 202-224-6154

Script: I am calling to ask the Senator to vote no on Mr. Carson for HUD. He is totally unqualified to lead this important agency. As the Senator knows, HUD is not only in charge of housing – but it also has a number of economic initiatives that are intended to help rural America. Certainly the Senator is interested in helping rural America – particularly since many of Missouri communities are rural. I urge the Senator to vote no on his nomination, and I’ll be watching this closely.

Tom Price

Finance Committee Considers Price at 10:00.

Bennet, Michael D CO 202.224.5852
Brown, Sherrod D OH 202.224.2315
Burr, Richard R NC 202.224.3154
Cantwell, Maria D WA 202.224.3441
Carper, Thomas D DE 202.224.2441
Cardin, Ben D MD 202.224.4524
Casey, Robert D PA 202.224.6324
Cassidy, Bill R LA 202.224.5824
Cornyn, John R TX 202.224.2934
Crapo, Micheal R ID 202.224.6142
Enzi, Michael R WY 202.224.3424
Grassley, Chuck R IA 202.224.3744
Hatch, Orrin * R UT 202.224.5251
Heller, Dean R NV 202.224.6244
Isakson, Johnny R GA 202.224.3643
McCaskill, Claire D MO 202.224.6154
Menendez, Bob D NJ 202.224.4744
Nelson, Bill D FL 202.224.5274
Portman, Rob R OH 202.224.3353
Roberts, Pat R KS 202.224.4774
Scott, Tim R SC 202.224.6121
Stabenow, Debbie D MI 202.224.4822
Toomey, Patrick R PA 202.224.4254
Warner, Mark D VA 202.224.2023
Wyden, Ron ** D OR 202.224.5244

Tom Price has a number of issues. As you might have seen, he’s been in the news because of some funny business – he bought some shares of a stock of a medical device company, and then a few days later introduced legislation that would delay a regulation that would have negatively impacted that medical device company’s profits. Uh oh. I think we caught a swamp monster! Chuck Grassley (R-Ia), who’s on the Finance Committee, is a big supporter of the STOCK Act, and he could slow the nomination down.

Other things about Price: He famously said that “not one woman can’t afford birth control.” (Forgive the double negative.) He’s also been a huge supporter of dismantling the ACA. You can see how he’s voted on issues here. You should probably sit down before you read it. He actually voted no on giving federal employees 4 weeks of paid maternity/paternity leave. And for expanding Children’s Health Insurance Program. And for mental health parity. His votes are all there for the asking – just take a look. Here are some additional articles to give you more flavor.

Missouri Senators:

Roy Blunt (MO-Republican) 202-224-5721

Claire McCaskill (MO-Democrat) 202-224-6154 

Script: I am calling to ask Senator ____ to vote no on Tom Price for HHS. Tom Price is currently under an investigation for potential insider trading; his nomination is just more evidence of the corruption and the self-dealing that seems to be the running theme of the Trump cabinet picks and the new administration. I am disgusted that a proponent of changing medicare and medicaid – as well as dismantling the ACA is the person chosen to head this agency. The Senator has never said that he/she was intending to change medicare or medicaid, but if Price is given the opportunity to lead this agency it’s clear from his past policies that he’ll do just that. I expect Senator ___ to vote in the best interests of Missourians and vote no on Price.

 

Jeff Sessions

Judiciary considers Sessions at 10:00. Committee members:

Blumenthal, Richard D CT 202.224.2823
Coons, Christopher D DE 202.224.5042
Cornyn, John R TX 202.224.2934
Cruz, Ted R TX 202.224.5922
Crapo, Michael R ID 202.224.6142
Durbin, Dick D IL 202.224.2152
Feinstein, Dianne ** D CA 202.224.3841
Flake, Jeff R AZ 202.224.4521
Franken, Al D MN 202.224.5641
Graham, Lindsey R SC 202.224.5972
Grassley, Chuck* R IA 202.224.3744
Hatch, Orrin R UT 202.224.5251
Kennedy, John R LA 202.224.4623
Klobuchar, Amy D MN 202.224.3244
Leahy, Patrick D VT 202.224.4242
Lee, Michael R UT 202.224.5444
Tillis, Thom R NC 202.224.6342
Whitehouse, Sheldon D RI 202.224.2921
Sasse, Ben R NE 202.224.4224
 

Hirono, Mazie

D HI  

 

So, Sessions’ appointment has gotten sufficient attention that going on about it here is probably unnecessary. Suffice it to say that his past positions and votes cause many to question whether he would be fit to lead the Justice Department. If you’d like to see a very thorough analysis of his positions, check out the ACLU’s testimony here. In particular, many don’t realize that as the Attorney General of Alabama, he brought a case against a particular company that was later found to be wholly without merit; in fact, the judge who dismissed the matter found that the “the prosecutorial misconduct is so pronounced and persistent that it permeates the entire atmosphere of this prosecution and warrants a dismissal of these cases” and that the “court can only conclude it is dealing with either intentional and deliberate misconduct or conduct so reckless and improper as to constitute conscious disregard for the lawful duties of the Attorney General and the integrity and dignity of this court and this Judge.”

That doesn’t seem like someone who should be in charge of Justice.

Missouri Senators:

Roy Blunt (MO-Republican) 202-224-5721

Claire McCaskill (MO-Democrat) 202-224-6154

Script: I am calling to ask the Senator to oppose Jeff Sessions for Attorney General. As the Alabama Attorney General, Senator Sessions committed prosecutorial misconduct so severe that over 30 ethics professors have provided the Judiciary committee with their opposition to his nomination. His actions as a prosecutor raise serious questions about his abuse of prosecutorial power, and that is unacceptable in an Attorney General. Once again, we are seeing the nomination of a person who’s ethics and motivations are in question. This is a recurring theme for the current GOP, and I’ll be watching to see how the Senator votes on this nomination.

Betsy DeVos

HELP considers Betsy Devos at 2:30 on 1/24 * Postponed until 1/31 at 10:00 am. Committee members:

Alexander, Lamar * R TN 202.224.4944
Baldwin, Tammy D WI 202.224.5653
Bennet, Michael D CO 202.224.5852
Booker, Corey D NJ 202.224.3224
Burr, Richard R NC 202.224.3154
Casey, Robert D PA 202.224.6324
Cassidy, Bill R LA 202.224.5824
Collins, Susan R ME 202.224.2523
Enzi, Michael R WY 202.224.3424
Franken, Al D MN 202.224.5641
Hassan, Maggie D NH 202.224.3324
Hatch, Orrin R UT 202.224.5251
Isakson, Johnny R GA 202.224.3643
Kaine, Tim D VA 202.224.4024
Murkowski, Lisa R AK 202.224.6665
Murphy, Chris D CT 202.224.4041
Murray, Patty ** D WA 202.224.2621
Paul, Rand R KY 202.224.4343
Portman, Rob R OH 202.224.3353
Roberts, Pat R KS 202.224.4774
Sanders, Bernie I VT 202.224.5141
Scott, Tim R SC 202.224.6121
Warren, Elizabeth D MA 202.224.4543
Whitehouse, Sheldon D RI 202.224.2921
Young, Todd R IN 202.224.5623

If you didn’t see DeVos’s hearing, it was fairly horrifying. Senator Warren asked her about her ability to be the top cop against fraudulent universities (a la Trump) and DeVos demurred – basically saying that the people she hires will figure out what to do. But most alarming were her answers about whether private and public charter schools should be held to the same standards as public schools under the IDEA (individuals with disabilities in education act). Although she was firm in her non-answer to Senator Kaine’s questions (did Pence prep her?) it’s clear to me that she doesn’t believe private schools, even those that receive federal funding, should have to adhere to the IDEA. So parents of kids with disabilities may pay into the system, and there may be excellent private and public charter schools that would take vouchers for kids that don’t have special needs… But students with special needs would not need to be accommodated by private or public charter schools. So their choices are….? And don’t get me started on how her system does nothing for kids in rural America.

Missouri Senators:

Roy Blunt (MO-Republican) 202-224-5721:

Claire McCaskill (MO-Democrat) 202-224-6154

Script: I am disgusted by the answers that I heard at Betsy DeVos’s confirmation hearing. It is unacceptable that federal funds would be used to pay for private or public charter schools that do not have to adhere to the IDEA. Ms. DeVos clearly has no understanding of what it is like to be a parent of regular means, who has to make difficult choices about education and finances. I ask that Senator Blunt vote no on Ms. DeVos. If he votes for her, I expect him to support equal education for all of Missouri’s residents. I’ll be watching his reaction to this closely.

Action 2: Meet Up

Make an appointment to see your senator/congressperson. You may have heard that MoveOn is planning to have Fight Trump Tuesdays, and encourages people to visit their representatives on Tuesdays. You can check http://www.moveon.org to see if there’s an event in your area. If you’re in Missouri, you can attend a Mobile Office to get your feet wet. Senator Blunt has mobile offices throughout the state, where you can meet with a staffer to discuss your concerns. Although they used to be sleepy affairs, they are now wonderful events to meet fellow interested citizens. Check this page for Mobile Offices near you. This week there is a Mobile Office in St. Louis County in Eureka on Tuesday morning at 9:30; Reynolds, Texas and Shannon counties also have events this week.

 

Action 3: Sign a Petition

The petition page at https://petitions.whitehouse.gov has a number of petitions that are worth supporting right now. One asks DT to divest; the other to release his tax returns. I expect more to be filed, so this is a place to check weekly.

But I’ll be honest. In the past, any petition that got over 100,000 responses got an official response from the white house. I don’t know that we should expect that. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t show them that we care about these issues; we also show our legislators that we care, and giving them solid numbers to work with makes their job easier.

Action 4: Get Local, Baby. (Or Oppose Missouri Senate Bill 28)

For those of you outside Missouri, take five minutes to find your representatives in your state legislature. Find them, put their number in your phone, and give them a call. If they’re progressive, ask them what you can do to help or what bills are coming up that they are concerned about. If they’re not, google a progressive organization near you and call them to see what’s on their mind and what they can use constituent support on.

For those of you in Missouri: Call Your State Senator to Oppose MO Senate Bill 28

The Missouri Senate is considering a bill, Senate Bill 28, that would convert our medicaid funding into a block grant. Supporters say that having the federal government give us a block grant means that we would have more control over how that money is spent. But SB28 could cut Medicaid funding pretty dramatically; under federal proposals, states will see a decrease in funding by 30-40%. And while we’re talking about block grants – which are popular with the new administration – let’s just be clear about what that is. A block grant is just that – a chunk of money. It’s pre-set and won’t change if a health care crisis emerges. Pandemic flu? Massive storms/floods? The grant won’t change. Our costs as a state will change, however. Who will bear the brunt of the increase in costs? The most vulnerable – children, pregnant women, and seniors that depend upon Medicare. If this issue speaks to you, check out http://www.keepourcare.org – a project of Missouri Health Care For All, which you should also check out.

Find your Missouri State Senator here.

WHEW!

Okay, team. That’s a lot, I know. And it might also seem like we’re talking a lot about nominations when there are tons of other bills out there floating around that are really worrisome. I know. I can relate. But here’s the thing – nominations are time sensitive and they are on the Senators’ minds. (To test this, I called this morning to see if there are any other legislative issues that my Senator has or wants constituent feedback on; the answer was an exhausted sounding “Oh man – we are just swamped with nominations, so I don’t know…”.).

If you want additional projects for the week, don’t forget about our past actions! You can access them just by scrolling through the lists that I create each week. Pick a topic, and pick up the phone.

Let’s get to work.

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