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#ResistTrump: Call your senators TODAY about the hasty, inadequate vetting of Trump’s cabinet picks

Ok, but its battery life is incredible!

This week, as most of you are undoubtedly aware, the GOP is trying to ram through Trump’s cabinet picks without giving senators or the Office of Government Ethics enough time or information to properly vet them, much less “extreme” vet them.

Call your senators TODAY to tell them you think this isn’t right.

Get phone numbers and other contact info for your senators here.

Wall-of-Us, a site that promotes “weekly acts of resistance” against Trump and his GOP allies, offers this sample script (which I’ve modified a little) to use when calling your senator. You may want to say something along these lines when talking to senate staffers:

Staffer:  [_________]’s office, how can I help you?

Caller: Hi there, I’m a constituent of Senator [________]. Can I please speak with the staffer who would be handling his/her’s position on Trump’s cabinet picks.

Staffer: I’m happy to take down any comments you may have. Can I ask for your name and address … ?

Caller: Sure. [Gives name/address]. Can I ask who I’m speaking with?

Staffer: Yes, this is [_____________].

Caller: Thanks, [__________] I am … deeply troubled that many of Trump’s cabinet picks have not been vetted by the Office of Government Ethics. Is Senator [___________] aware that Walter M. Shaub Jr., the Ethics Director … sent a letter Saturday, January 7th expressing his concern? That letter states that cabinet picks are always vetted before their hearings. This makes sense, because the Senators have to know about potential conflicts of interest before they vote to give these cabinet members immense power in our government.

[I’m also troubled by reports that the various cabinet picks have in recent years donated nearly a half-million dollars, directly or indirectly, to senators who will be voting on their confirmation.]

What is  Senator [______________] planning on doing about it? Has he/she made a statement expressing his/her concern?

Some more background on the ethics issue:

Ethics official warns against confirmations before reviews are complete

The WaPo reports:

A top ethics official has warned that plans to confirm Donald Trump’s top Cabinet choices before background examinations are complete are unprecedented and have overwhelmed government investigators responsible for the reviews.

The concerns prompted Democrats on Saturday to call for delaying the confirmation process, but Republicans signaled they are unlikely to budge on the eve of a slew of hearings in the Senate.

Some Trump Cabinet picks have given big bucks to senators voting on their confirmations

CNBC reports:

Several of Donald Trump’s Cabinet picks who face potentially tense upcoming hearings on Capitol Hill have donated hundreds of thousands to the senators who will vote on their confirmations.

Five of Trump’s choices who will face Senate committees — secretary of State pick Rex Tillerson, Education secretary choice Betsy DeVos, Labor secretary pick Andy Puzder, Commerce secretary pick Wilbur Ross and Transportation secretary pick Elaine Chao — have contributed $449,559 combined to current senators’ campaigns or outside groups supporting them, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

If you can’t call, writing a personalized email is also effective. See my posts here and here for more advice on how to call/write your reps.

And here’s some advice on calling politicians if you have social anxiety.

See my post here for a schedule of all the cabinet confirmation hearings this week.

See more Resist Trump Today posts here.

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Falconer
Falconer
3 years ago

I did it. I did it.

I called my Senators.

Now I have to go lie down and unwind.

For some reason, Senator Alexander’s DC office phone is always busy, so I had to call his local office.

Scildfreja Unnýðnes
Scildfreja Unnýðnes
3 years ago

Great job, Falconer! You did it! You deserve a treat!

http://vignette4.wikia.nocookie.net/mlp/images/c/c9/Fluttershy_Spike_Present_S2E10.png

I suggest that everyone modify the script a little bit, if you feel up to it. Don’t want to call in with just another form letter. Don’t be afraid to just call and read, though! Just get out there and be heard!

Falconer
Falconer
3 years ago

We got a full week of this.

I can do this for my job. I can call all over the place. Why do I get so twisted up inside at the prospect of calling my representatives?

Weird (resist trump today) Eddie
Weird (resist trump today) Eddie
3 years ago

They can’t take time to vet… they gotta get going… THEY GOT STUFF TO TEAR UP, PEOPLE TO TORMENT AND HOPE TO CRUSH!!!

MrsObedMarsh
MrsObedMarsh
3 years ago

Yay everyone who called up senators! I just got done placing what will hopefully be the first of many calls. My senators happen to be good progressives, but they’re both waiting for comments from their constituents before they release strong positions (especially against specific people), so I’m glad I took the time to call. Thank you Mammotheers for encouraging me to do it!

Ooglyboggles
Ooglyboggles
3 years ago

I did it. I feel awkward as hell but yay I did my part.

Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
3 years ago

Good job, everyone! Keep their staffers busy.

One of my senators is Mitch McConnell, from whom I expect literally worse than nothing, but I will call him tomorrow anyway. Might as well let my rage go somewhere.

Axecalibur: Middle Name Danger
Axecalibur: Middle Name Danger
3 years ago

Called 1, mailbox full! Good sign, right? Left a message with the 2nd

eli
eli
3 years ago

I called the good one to say thanks and keep up the good fight.

But the other one is newly elected. I’m not quite sure who to call. The one on the way out or the one on the way in? Anyone know offhand?

Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
3 years ago

@eli

The one on the way in.

eli
eli
3 years ago

Thanks, POM.

I’ll add it tomorrow if I can manage. It will not be a call to say thank you.

I have a new health plan and need to actually use it this time, which means finding a doctor. Hopefully tomorrow I’ll be able to find someone, anyone, who can see me before March. It’s not urgent, more inconvenient. I hate making telephone calls much.

Moocow
3 years ago

As a Cali resident, I don’t want to dogpile our representative who’s already been adamantly against much of the Trump administration bullshit. So I’ll probably write an email expressing my concerns (but mostly just reminding them that they have my support)

Also , related to this, nothing makes my blood boil more than blatant, unapologetic hypocrisy and double standards. Apparently Mitch McConnell sent a very concerned letter about Obama’s picks. Apparently, the same Mitch McConnell is trying his hardest to rush through Trump’s picks.

So democrats sent him his own fucking letter.

http://crooksandliars.com/2017/01/schumer-trolls-mcconnell-resending-0

http://occupydemocrats.com/2017/01/09/democrats-just-hilariously-trolled-hypocrite-mcconnell-rushing-trump-nominees-without-ethics-vetting/

The phrase “comedy is based on misery” has never been more true.

Falconer
Falconer
3 years ago

Oh my, moocow, that’s hilarious.

Handsome (Punkle Stan) Jack

@Moocow

*cackles*

Banananana dakry
Banananana dakry
3 years ago

@Moocow
Schadenfreude can be so sweet sometimes, neh? Especially in regards to someone who so richly deserves it.

Seconded on the CA residency. We know how they stand already and it’s largely on our side. My other concern would be my home state of Ilinois, but they voted in Tammy Duckworth, which is all in all good. Although the Representative in my mom’s district (the one I grew up in) is Republican, my very Democratic mom has said he’s a decent guy and was one of the first to criticize Dumpy the Talking Yam.

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee

They’re already saber rattling for war with Iran I think. I saw some of an interview on CNN today. I can’t find it on their website but a Republican was being interviewed about that story about the US firing warning shots at Iranian boats. He kept talking about how Iran is acting up because they’re being emboldened by the nuclear deal and how the Trump administration and the GOP is going to take that back and be all tough with them. There was no one else to provide any balance. It was just Wolf Blitzer and a war mongerer chatting away. It just gave me that same vibe that I got watching the news just before the Bush administration started to come out with their plans to invade Iraq. I have a very, very bad feeling.

Iseult The Idle
Iseult The Idle
3 years ago

FiveThirtyEight reminds us about one of those un-vetted Cabinet appointees:

Between 2003 and 2005, the oil and gas company Infineum reported $53.2 million in sales to Iran. During that time, Exxon Mobil had a 50 percent stake in Infineum. Also during that time, the U.S. had sanctions on Iran as a state sponsor of terrorism. Rex Tillerson, a top Exxon executive at the time of the deal and later its CEO, is now President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee to run the State Department. [USA Today]

Jules
Jules
3 years ago

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee

They’re already saber rattling for war with Iran I think. I saw some of an interview on CNN today. I can’t find it on their website but a Republican was being interviewed about that story about the US firing warning shots at Iranian boats. He kept talking about how Iran is acting up because they’re being emboldened by the nuclear deal and how the Trump administration and the GOP is going to take that back and be all tough with them. There was no one else to provide any balance. It was just Wolf Blitzer and a war mongerer chatting away. It just gave me that same vibe that I got watching the news just before the Bush administration started to come out with their plans to invade Iraq. I have a very, very bad feeling.

Idiots! Idiots! Of course in the short term the hardliners in Iran are lashing out because they actually lost some of their stranglehold over everything in the government. Why? In part because of the Iran deal! THIS IS GOOD. They had an election and the Iranian people flooded the pool with so many…well, I’ll just call them “non-hardliners,” that the guardian council couldn’t “vet” them all (aka reject 99% of anyone not hard line enough) and so many of them got through. This propaganda that Iran was “emboldened” because Obama was “weak” and made any kind of actual deal is idiotic (nonnegotiable, uncompromising, one-sided demands do not count as a deal or diplomacy). No, those Iranian officials being reactionary because the deal worked and it cost them politically.

The GOP immediately declared the deal terrible (many of these people hadn’t even read it yet!) just because it happened on Obama’s watch and they couldn’t have Obama being perceived as having done anything good (that and because we have our own reactionary hardliners). I just saw a woman check out the book “Unholy Alliance” the other day. Almost couldn’t bite my tongue.

The deal only happened because the stars aligned and the people involved were the type to embrace diplomacy over saber rattling, namely Obama/Rouhani, Kerry/Zarif (though multiple countries were involved).

We often think of “saber rattling” as all talk, but I clearly remember the news counting down to us bombing Iran back when Ahmadinejad and Bush were in charge and the former was calling for nukes and declaring Israel should be wiped out. That guy got elected (and then “elected”) because people over there were (understandably) too dispirited with politics and didn’t vote.

When Rouhani met his promise to resolve the nuclear crisis and people felt the economy over there might actually improve (everyone the world over cares about jobs), it helped motivate more people to vote and get involved (despite the hardliners’ efforts to shut down their opponents and prevent them from even speaking), thus the all important assembly of experts was mostly de-extremist-ized (though I’m highly skeptical they’ll actually choose a moderate Supreme Leader, if one even exists), and the parliament now has a significant number of non-hardliners.

People need to come to grips with the fact that Iran will only improve politically (in terms of human rights and its relationship with the U.S. and it’s allies) either a. via violent, horrific regime change with no guarantee of a better system (after all, they did just that in ’79 and look what they got out of it), or b. veeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeery slowly.

And I haven’t even talked about the deal itself: significantly delayed Iran gaining a nuclear bomb and got UN inspectors in (though I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a secret facility; I’m sure the CIA is working on that). No one has been able to say what they would have done that would’ve been so much better, even hypothetically, just braying over and over (unfortunately an effective tactic) that it’s terrible and they would have done better – without any justification.

Sorry for the rant. I just had to get it off my chest I guess.