Down Time

Folks, I’m taking the rest of the week off. After yesterday’s events I just do not feel up to the job. We’ve been at this since January 23rd and I feel like I need some time to recharge.

If you’d still like to make some calls today, please revisit some of our recent calls to action here on our website. And thank you for your perseverance.

Thank you for your patience. I’ll be back Monday morning, bright-tailed and bushy-eyed.

WEDNESDAY 6/14/17 CALLS TO ACTION: Happy birthday, Mr. “President”

Today is Donald Trump’s birthday. For anyone else I would say we should be nicer. But he is not ‘anyone else’. So, let’s give him a little present. It just so happens that it’s National Senate Call-In Day also!  Weird how that happened.  Let’s overload the phone lines in Washington.

We need to call our Senators once again. They are saying that phone calls have dropped off and we just can’t have that.

Richard Burr

Thom Tillis

STOP TRUMPCARE IN THE SENATE SAMPLE CALL SCRIPT – From Indivisible

OR

SCRIPT: My name is _________ from __________ in NC. I am calling to let Sen. _______ know that I am absolutely appalled by the way Senate Republicans have gone about crafting their version of the AHCA. Putting this thing together behind closed doors, without input from anyone other than old, white men is unforgivable. If it is anything like the House version, it will be a mean-spirited handout to the wealthiest people in the US while cutting services for the poorest. I am someone who has benefited greatly from coverage under the Affordable Care Act.  I will not vote for someone who has such contempt for his constituents.  Please let the Senator know that I will be working diligently to make sure that he and his Republican colleagues will not be reelected. Thank you for your time.

 

Jeff Sessions

Jeff Sessions’ testimony on Trump and Russia

Jeff Sessions’s testimony raises more questions than it answers

Boy, yesterday’s testimony was a wild ride. “Sessions’s testimony, then, is not likely to lay to rest doubts swirling around his possibly conflicted role, and will probably only heighten them.” I don’t know about you folks, but Sessions’ testimony, compared to James Comey’s last week, seemed less than credible. His refusal to answer questions without invoking executive privilege and without testifying in closed session leads me to think he should be held in contempt of Congress.

Once again, Senator Burr reprimanded Senator Kamala Harris. This time because she cut off the witness, who blathered on after answering a question, in order to eat up more of the senator’s allotted time. This was AG Sessions’ modus operandi each time he was questioned by a Democrat or Independent; run the clock down and get to a friendly questioner. Senator Burr should be ashamed for allowing this kind of behavior in a witness while undermining the authority of a member of his own committee.

Call Senators Burr and Tillis:

SCRIPT: Hello, I am calling from __________ in NC. I am highly disappointed in Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ testimony on Tuesday. His refusal to answer questions is impeding the investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia and their meddling with our elections. I am asking the Senator to use his influence as a member of the Senate to urge AG Sessions to complete his testimony. AG Sessions should answer all the questions posed to him by the Senators or he should be held in contempt of Congress. His refusal to answer outside the confines of executive privilege just smacks of guilt. Thank you for your time.

And one of the standout moments from yesterday’s testimony: Senator Martin Heinrich from New Mexico. He ate Jeff Sessions’ lunch yesterday.  I’ve seen people calling it the Heinrich Maneuver. Nice.

Harris/Heinrich 2020? 

UPCOMING EVENTS:

 

Joint Program Committee & Executive Committee Meetings – Tuesday June 20, 2017 Program Committee 6-7 PM, Executive Committee 7-8 PM at RCDP Headquarters 803 W. Salisbury St. Asheboro, NC

Documentary, FROM THE ASHES – Parkway United Church of Christ on Thursday, June 15 at 6:30PM in Winston-Salem, NC.  The film focuses on how changes in the coal industry impact local communities, from coal miners in Appalachia to families impacted by air pollution caused by coal power plants in Dallas and families around the Buck Steam Station in Dukeville, NC, who received letters from the state of North Carolina in April 2015 warning them not to drink their water.

Let’s Pack the Courtroom for the League of Women Voters –   US District Court 324 W Market St, Greensboro, North Carolina 27401  The trial begins on June 26th at 9:30 a.m. in Courtroom 3.  The League of Women Voters of NC is going to trial over NC’s ridiculously partisan gerrymandering. If athletes play better when the stands are packed with supporters, let’s assume attorneys do, too!

NCDP Unity Dinner (Formerly Jefferson-Jackson Dinner) July 15, 2017 – Details TBA

TUESDAY 6/13/17 CALLS TO ACTION: Smokescreen?

Light up their phones

US Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard “Secessions” III will be delivering testimony in an open hearing in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee today. This comes after a week of saying that he would only testify in a closed session. Be wary, though. Lately, whenever there is high profile testimony to be had it means Congress is engaged in some shenanigans. Last week while former FBI director James Comey was testifying, the House was voting to repeal Dodd-Frank and pass the Financial CHOICE Act, rolling back protections for consumers and allowing banks to, once again, allow for the conditions that crashed the economy in 2008. Yay!

I don’t have inside information, but we do know that the Senate is poised to unleash its version of the ACA repeal. A group of thirteen old white men have cobbled this thing together behind closed doors and plan on pushing it through the Senate at lightning speed. This could be the opportune time to slip it through while we’re looking the other way. Be on the lookout tomorrow.

That being said, Republican senators say their phones aren’t ringing to save the ACA. So, we need to be calling unceasingly. The above link has the contact numbers and names of the health legislative assistants for each office for all 100 senators. If you know someone in another state, share this link and encourage those folks to call their senators.

Trumpcare is not dead yet. How do we kill it?

Information on Stopping Trumpcare from Indivisible Guide

STATE:

Visit the NC 6th District Democrats’ website to sign the petition calling for non-partisan redistricting by our legislators in Raleigh.

 

UPCOMING EVENTS:

 

Joint Program Committee & Executive Committee Meetings – Tuesday June 20, 2017 Program Committee 6-7 PM, Executive Committee 7-8 PM at RCDP Headquarters 803 W. Salisbury St. Asheboro, NC

Documentary, FROM THE ASHES – Parkway United Church of Christ on Thursday, June 15 at 6:30PM in Winston-Salem, NC.  The film focuses on how changes in the coal industry impact local communities, from coal miners in Appalachia to families impacted by air pollution caused by coal power plants in Dallas and families around the Buck Steam Station in Dukeville, NC, who received letters from the state of North Carolina in April 2015 warning them not to drink their water.

Let’s Pack the Courtroom for the League of Women Voters –   US District Court 324 W Market St, Greensboro, North Carolina 27401  The trial begins on June 26th at 9:30 a.m. in Courtroom 3.  The League of Women Voters of NC is going to trial over NC’s ridiculously partisan gerrymandering. If athletes play better when the stands are packed with supporters, let’s assume attorneys do, too!

NCDP Unity Dinner (Formerly Jefferson-Jackson Dinner) July 15, 2017 – Details TBA

MONDAY 6/12/17 CALLS TO ACTION: With a little help from my friends

I’m going to crib some calls to action from other places today because I’ve been busy working on the new 6th District Democrats website and social media presence. Come visit the site, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. We will be adding much more content so check back often.

 

FEDERAL:

From Jen Hoffman’s Activism Checklist, which is always spectacular:

Action: Advocate for healthcare.

Call today. A Senate vote is imminent. Our pressure is working. Speak up for yourself and for those who cannot.

Call: Both of your senators, red or blue (lookup or leave message).

Script: Hi. I’m from _ZIP_ calling to ask _NAME_ to fight for my right to affordable, quality healthcare coverage. Specifically, (list what you want). Ideas:

  1. No gender discrimination and no lifetime caps.
  2. Access to reproductive medicine without cost.
  3. Coverage for all pre-existing conditions.
  4. Cost less than $X per month per person.
  5. Comprehensive Medicare and Medicaid.

Most importantly, share why this is personally significant to you. Thanks!

Action: Advocate for integrity from the US’ highest office.

Call: All three MoCs (lookup or leave message).

Script: Hi. I’m from _ZIP_ and am concerned that our president asked the FBI Director for loyalty and implied that he should stop the investigation of Michael Flynn. Is _NAME_ concerned about this? I expect integrity from our leaders. Could you please tell me what s/he is doing about this lack of integrity? (pause) Thank you.

 

STATE:

From RISE Together NC:

Fair Districts Now!

On Thursday, the Republican leadership in Raleigh rejected Governor Cooper’s call for a special legislative session to fix the glaring, embarrassing, disenfranchising practice of race–based gerrymandering. In numerous court decisions, the state has been told to remedy this blight by drawing new lines. Moore and Berger are thumbing their noses at the courts, at the rule of law, at the voters of North Carolina, and at decency itself. Various bills are already on the floor of the legislature, some with the support and sponsorship of Republicans. We are calling for nothing less than a total shutdown of law-making activities by the legislature. After all, the representatives there were put in office illegally, and as such, have no right to conduct the business of the people.

SCRIPT:

I am a constituent calling from _________ to urge Rep. / Sen. ___________ to immediately go into session, as called for by the fairly elected governor, to remedy the illegally drawn district lines that have been repeatedly rejected by courts. Until such time, the legislature, which was elected following illegal criteria, has no moral authority to pass any laws. Thanks for recording my call.

 

UPCOMING EVENTS:

 

Tuesdays at 10:00  June 13 at 10:00 a.m.  Rep. Walker’s Graham office at 219B West Elm St.  Join us as we take our concerns to the Congressman’s staff for the 16th week.

Joint Program Committee & Executive Committee Meetings – Tuesday June 20, 2017 Program Committee 6-7 PM, Executive Committee 7-8 PM at RCDP Headquarters 803 W. Salisbury St. Asheboro, NC

Documentary, FROM THE ASHES – Parkway United Church of Christ on Thursday, June 15 at 6:30PM in Winston-Salem, NC.  The film focuses on how changes in the coal industry impact local communities, from coal miners in Appalachia to families impacted by air pollution caused by coal power plants in Dallas and families around the Buck Steam Station in Dukeville, NC, who received letters from the state of North Carolina in April 2015 warning them not to drink their water.

Let’s Pack the Courtroom for the League of Women Voters –   US District Court 324 W Market St, Greensboro, North Carolina 27401  The trial begins on June 26th at 9:30 a.m. in Courtroom 3.  The League of Women Voters of NC is going to trial over NC’s ridiculously partisan gerrymandering. If athletes play better when the stands are packed with supporters, let’s assume attorneys do, too!

NCDP Unity Dinner (Formerly Jefferson-Jackson Dinner) July 15, 2017 – Details TBA

Trumpcare is not dead yet. How do we kill it?

The following is a Twitter thread from Ben Wikler, the Washington Director for MoveOn.org. It has been compiled for easier reading. This document provides some background and predictions as to how the Senate is expected to handle their version of the egregious AHCA. It also gives suggestions as to how we can approach our Senators in regards to Trumpcare.

 

TIMELINE: The Senate GOP’s plan is to pass this bill FAST—by June 30. Enough time to fight, no time to spare. Here are the steps. 2/

 

GOP is writing the bill now, in close touch with CBO. Their goal: send it to CBO for official score between now and Tue, unseen by public. 3/

 

;In other words, negotiations are nearly wrapped up on what’s actually in their bill. What’s leaking out is awful. But the bill is secret. 4/

 

They get it back from the CBO with official score ~2 weeks later—& fast-track it to Senate passage w/privileged status, ie no filibuster. 5/

 

The week of June 26, the score will come out, the bill will be made public, the public will scream, and they’ll grit teeth & pass it. 6/

 

NO hearings w/ experts & affected witnesses, NO committee markups, NO consultation with Dems, NO town halls or public forums—undemocratic 7/

 

Senate learned their lesson from the House: silence is golden. Attention is the enemy. Comey testimony provides perfect cover. 8/

 

What I’m hearing on the Hill ranges from “they’re within a vote or two” to “they have the votes.” This is the doomsday scenario. BUT… 9/

 

Unlike the House vote, where most people only noticed the onrushing train in the final 48 hours, we have 3 weeks to make this toxic. 10/

 

Here’s how we meet this moment and kill TrumpCare. 11/

 

PHONES. Senators are telling me that their phones have returned to normal, pre-Trump levels. A few dozen calls a day. That must end. 12/

 

The Bible has some good advice about how to remember the number to call Congress, which is 202-224-3121. Listen to the Bible:

 

in other words, make sure you have this number with you all the time and use it often

Save the 202-224-3121 in your phone as a contact. Put it as a favorite. Say “Hey Siri, remind me to call Congress at 10am on weekdays.” 14/

 

Don’t just call Congress—recruit callers. Type “Friends in Tennessee” into Facebook. You’ll get a list. Ask ’em to call Sen. Alexander. 15/

 

Your friends in TN WV LA ME TN AR AZ CO SC NV AK & OH miss you! Don’t neglect them! Get in touch & ask ’em to call Congress re Trumpcare 16/

 

It’s GREAT to call Congress and leave your opinion. Senate offices circulate call tallies every day. But calls can go even further: 17/

 

When you call a Senate office, ask to speak to the relevant Health Legislative Assistant. Hey look, a list of staffer names! 18/

 

Find your Senator’s Health Legislative Assistant: .

 

When you get through, explain that you’re a constituent and you have grave concerns about how the bill will affect you. Then explain WHY 19/

 

These staffers are human beings. They work on health care because they care about health. Even if their bosses don’t. Tell your story. 20/

 

What you want is for health staffers to be telling their bosses that they’ve spent all day with the phone from freaked-out constituents 21/

 

And then you want to ASK FOR A MEETING, before the vote. With state staffers (or in DC, if you can come). Promise to bring a group. 22/

 

If you get the meeting with your Senator or their staffers, bring a ton of people & make it huge. @MoveOn can help. (DM me.) 23/

 

If you don’t get the meeting, no problem. You should still recruit a group & show up at Senators’ offices. Time to break out the signs. 24/

 

Incidentally, it’s also worth EMAILING the legislative assistants w/personal notes. Here’s how to figure out Hill staff email addresses 25/

 

If I, Ben Wikler, worked for Sen. Murkowski, (I don’t; Chelsea Holt is her health LA), I’d be ben.wikler@murkowski.senate.gov. Get it? 26/

 

So: CALL every day. Ask for health staffers. Email them, too. VISIT local offices—for scheduled meetings or to protest. Bring friends. 27/

 

Find the letters to the editor submission email address for local papers in your state & send them your story, mentioning your Senator. 28/

 

And mark your calendar for the last week of June, esp Wed-Fri. There should literally be round the clock vigils. You’ll be needed then. 29/

 

If you believe that nobody should be denied health care because they’re sick or can’t pay, this is the time to fight. 30/

 

If you don’t think families should be one accident or illness away from bankruptcy, this is the time to fight. 31/

 

If you think a decent society doesn’t abandon those who need help the most, this is the time to fight. 32/

 

Defeating Trumpcare isn’t the end of the battle. We need a system that affordably covers everyone. And we won’t give up if we lose. But 33/

 

this is a moment in politics when lives are on the line. Our extraordinary power as citizens becomes a duty to act. #ProtectOurCare. /end

 

FRIDAY 6/9/17 CALLS TO ACTION: It’s good for me but not for thee

FEDERAL:

As expected, the House passed the CHOICE Act along party lines yesterday.

“Dodd-Frank represents the greatest imposition on our business enterprises than all Obama era regulations combined,” (Jeb)Hensarling said Thursday morning in a briefing with reporters. “In many respects, it was not a response to the financial crisis, but a grab bag of leftist ideas that were waiting on the shelf for quite some time.” 

I know, right, because not wanting banks to grow too-big-to-fail is an idea that only leftists support. And only people on the left are victimized by unscrupulous credit card companies and predatory lenders. Now it’s time to call our senators and tell them to give this bill the boot when it arrives in the Senate.

SCRIPT: I am calling from _____________, North Carolina. I would like to urge Senator_______ to vote “NO” on the CHOICE Act which recently passed the House. No one who has been paying attention for the past 40 years believes that Wall Street can be trusted to look out for the interests of middle and lower income Americans. History tells us that Wall Street will run roughshod over the very people Dodd-Frank and the CFPB seek to protect? The Senator should not be siding with Wall Street and should, instead, protect the interests of the middle and working class constituents who elected him. Thank you for your time.

 

STATE: 

NC House, Senate cancel Cooper’s call for redistricting special session, calling it ‘unconstitutional’ – That’s rich, considering all the “special sessions” BergerMoore called last year to strip rights from workers, municipalities and transgender North Carolinians.

 

 

SCRIPT: I am a North Carolina voter and I am calling to demand a special session to address redistricting immediately. This legislature has dragged its feet long enough in defense of these racist gerrymandering schemes. Now is the time to get to work for the people of North Carolina. Thank you for your time.

Call Tillman and Gunn in the Senate and McNeill and Hurley in the House

Then call:

Senate leader Phil Berger: (919) 733-5708 Phil.Berger@ncleg.net https://www.facebook.com/SenatorBerger/

House leader Tim Moore: 919-733-3451 Tim.Moore@ncleg.net https://www.facebook.com/speakermoore/

 

UPCOMING EVENTS:

Equality March for Unity and Pride – Sunday June 11, 2017 First Ward Park 301 E. Seventh St. Charlotte, NC

Joint Program Committee & Executive Committee Meetings – Tuesday June 20, 2017 Program Committee 6-7 PM, Executive Committee 7-8 PM at RCDP Headquarters 803 W. Salisbury St. Asheboro, NC

Let’s Pack the Courtroom for the League of Women Voters –   US District Court 324 W Market St, Greensboro, North Carolina 27401  The trial begins on June 26th at 9:30 a.m. in Courtroom 3.  The League of Women Voters of NC is going to trial over NC’s ridiculously partisan gerrymandering. If athletes play better when the stands are packed with supporters, let’s assume attorneys do, too!

NCDP Unity Dinner (Formerly Jefferson-Jackson Dinner) July 15, 2017 – Details TBA

THURSDAY 6/8/17 CALLS TO ACTION: What you FEEL isn’t relevant, admiral.

Today is the big day! Former FBI Director James Comey is expected to testify before Congress at 10am. Grab your popcorn. Make some of Ivanka’s Champagne popsicles, or maybe an expensive steak well-done, with ketchup and enjoy the fireworks!

While you’re waiting for the hearing to start, give Mark Walker a call. The CHOICE Act is coming up in the US House soon. If this passes, which it probably will because we have a Congress that puts party before people, get ready for more too-big-to-fail banks crashing the economy. It also will pull the teeth right out of the CFPB, Elizabeth Warren’s brainchild, which protects consumers from predatory lenders, etc.

Call Rep. Mark Walker

SCRIPT: I am calling from the 6th District. I would like to know why Rep Walker believes that Wall Street can be trusted to look out for the interests of middle and lower income Americans. History tells us that Wall Street will run roughshod over the very people Dodd-Frank and the CFPB seek to protect? Why does Rep. Walker insist on siding with Wall Street and not the middle and working class constituents who elected him?

via GIPHY

REPUBLICAN SENATORS DINING, MEETING WITH TRUMP TWO DAYS BEFORE FBI DIRECTOR – Wonder why Marco Rubio and Tom Cotton were having dinner with Trump right before they will be questioning James Comey about Trump’s improprieties. Wonder if he was showing them some kompromat he (or Russia) has on both of them. Pay close attention to these two and how they question Comey on Thursday. (Beware of autostart video)

Comey released a copy of his opening statement yesterday afternoon.

 

Here are some highlights from yesterday’s testimony.

Senator Angus King, Independent from Maine, was not messing around yesterday when he questioned Coates and Rogers. If they have no legal basis to refuse to answer and don’t invoke 5th, are they in contempt? Inquiring minds want to know.

Senator John McCain – Republican from Arizona called it “Orwellian” that Coates won’t discuss something that has already been published in the WaPo.

Here is a good Twitter thread that explains obstruction of justice. Click the text of the tweet to pull up the entire thread.

 

And finally, this is an interesting document I stumbled across yesterday. First, here is some background on it:  ODNI Releases Report

Background to “Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections”: The Analytic Process and Cyber Incident Attribution

 

 

UPCOMING EVENTS:

Equality March for Unity and Pride – Sunday June 11, 2017 First Ward Park 301 E. Seventh St. Charlotte, NC

Joint Program Committee & Executive Committee Meetings – Tuesday June 20, 2017 Program Committee 6-7 PM, Executive Committee 7-8 PM at RCDP Headquarters 803 W. Salisbury St. Asheboro, NC

NCDP Unity Dinner (Formerly Jefferson-Jackson Dinner) July 15, 2017 – Details TBA