Rogan’s List for 03/12/2020

23 mins read

NATIONAL ISSUES

Contact all Federal Members of Congress(includes contact info and links to social media)https://www.contactingcongress.org/
Fax legislators for free:Reps:  https://faxzero.com/fax_congress.phpSenate:  https://faxzero.com/fax_senate.php
Or use Resistbot:  https://resist.bot/
Or use StampsLicked to have messages hand-delivered to our own legislators:  https://stampslicked.org/
White House contact:  https://www.usa.gov/federal-agencies/white-house


COVID-19: On the day that the World Health Organization has declared COVID-19 to be a global pandemic (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus/who-says-coronavirus-is-a-pandemic-uk-and-italy-announce-big-war-chests-to-fight-it-idUSKBN20Y1RF) we have learned that the White House has been classifying briefings on the virus which has “has restricted information and hampered the U.S. government’s response to the contagion”. This also makes these meetings off-limits to government public health experts. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-secrecy-exclusive/exclusive-white-house-told-federal-health-agency-to-classify-coronavirus-deliberations-sources-idUSKBN20Y2LM  In addition, during a House hearing today on the subject, Dr. Fauci and Dr. Redfield were called away to the White House, not to return. https://thehill.com/homenews/house/487014-trump-officials-cut-testimony-short-at-coronavirus-hearingThis unprecedented move did not stop them from testifying that it’s “going to get worse.”  https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2020/03/11/814460233/coronavirus-1-000-cases-now-in-u-s-and-it-s-going-to-get-worse-fauci-says Let’s contact our MoC to say that we are outraged to have our health treated as a political football by an incompetent administration. Scientists among us can also sign on to the Union of Concerned Scientists letter asking for experts to be included and information shared:  https://blog.ucsusa.org/michael-halpern/white-house-removes-public-health-experts-from-coronavirus-discussions



SAY NO TO PAYROLL TAX CUTS: As the number of people in the U.S. with coronavirus increases daily, Trump’s response has been focused on proposals to shore up the economy through payroll tax cuts (a backdoor way of defunding Social Security) and fossil fuel company bailouts. https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/white-house/trump-proposes-payroll-tax-cut-through-end-year-n1154656. The proposal is to extend the cuts to the end of the year, a clear move to make sure the economy doesn’t fail before his re-election. Trump’s proposed payroll tax cut has many problems: 1) It does nothing to contain or mitigate the coronavirus epidemic. It is designed only to boost the stock market, 2) It is a blatant campaign ploy. Trump is proposing the tax relief end after the election., and 3) It gives relief only to those who pay payroll taxes, leaving out the unemployed and millions of non-payroll tax paying workers, many (probably most) of them working poor.  The Democrats have come up with a plan of their own that includes “emergency unemployment insurance and paid sick days for people who have to stay home from work because of the virus; grants to small businesses who lose profits and workers; and housing, food and education assistance.” There are better ways to approach this:  https://www.cbpp.org/blog/far-better-ways-than-payroll-tax-cut-to-contain-viruss-economic-damage Let’s let our MoCs know that we think that the Dems plan is a much more sensible approach, as it goes directly to people affected, not corporations. We can also sign this:  https://actionnetwork.org/letters/tell-congress-reject-trumps-payroll-tax-cut-in-response-to-coronavirus



BAIL OUT THE FRACKERS?:  In a stunning revelation, the Washington Post reports the following: “The White House is strongly considering pushing federal assistance for oil and natural gas producers hit by plummeting oil prices amid the coronavirus outbreak, as industry officials close to the administration clamor for help, according to four people familiar with internal deliberations.”  And the article goes on: “Trump and advisers have been taking calls since Monday from concerned energy sector allies, who have voiced concern and at times exasperation not only about oil prices, but also privately warning against the administration supporting any sweeping paid sick leave policy, according to a major GOP donor and a White House official familiar with the discussions.”   https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/03/10/trump-oil-bailout/ Let’s raise our voices in protest—to the White House, to Congress, and any other way we can think of. 



PRIVATE PRISONS/CORONAVIRUS: As people across the country are taking measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, there are concerns about our vast population of incarcerated people, who are left particularly vulnerable to outbreak. Senator Elizabeth Warren and a group of fourteen other Democratic senators have contacted the U.S. Bureau of Prisons and three private prison operators, questioning their preparedness for the coronavirus (https://bit.ly/2U14JDw). Let’s read through the letters, then contact those same organizations, demanding that they respond to every question posed by the senators: Director Michael Caraval, Federal Bureau of Prisons, 320 1st St. NW, Washington, D.C., 20534. George C. Zoley, CEO, The GEO Group, Inc., Suite 700, 621 NW 53rd St., Boca Raton, FL, 33487. Damon T. Hininger, CEO, CoreCivic, 10 Burton Hills Blvd., Nashville, TN, 37215. Robert S. Marquardt, CEO, Management and Training Corporation, 500 N Marketplace Dr., Centerville, UT, 84014.



STOP THIRD COUNTRY AGREEMENTS WITH EL SALVADOR, HONDURAS, AND GUATEMALA: The Trump administration is currently finalizing plans to send asylum seekers from Mexico and other Central American countries to El Salvador, a place where many people are already leaving to seek asylum and where the U.S. State Department has urged US travelers to “exercise increased caution” because “violent crime, such as murder, assault, rape, and armed robbery, is common.” https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/hamedaleaziz/el-salvador-us-asylum-seekers-plan?. This is part of an enhanced fast-tracking plan, which also includes sending people to Guatemala and Honduras, which U.S. asylum officers and advocates have said is illegal, badly organized and geared to put people in dangerous circumstances. Let’s ask our MoCs what they can do to stop this plan and also invite them to visit the border so they can see for themselves the effects of these dangerous policies. 



NEVER AGAIN APPLIED TO COVID-19: Despite frequent and numerous visitors from China, as of March 10, Taiwan has had just forty-five COVID-19 cases and only one death. These articles explain: “Taiwan has millions of visitors from China and only 45 coronavirus cases. Heres’ how.” https://www.vox.com/future-perfect/2020/3/10/21171722/taiwan-coronavirus-china-social-distancing-quarantine  “Response to COVID-19 in Taiwan: Big data analytics, new technology, and proactive testing.” https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2762689 Let’s share these articles with our Members of Congress, State Legislators, and Governors, and let’s tell them that we want them to establish protocols for a crisis management system so that the US is never again caught flat-footed in the face of a potential pandemic. Look up: https://www.commoncause.org/find-your-representative/



HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO RUTH BADER GINSBURG: “Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has been a tireless advocate for women’s rights and gender equity. This Women’s History Month join Pantsuit Nation and Supermajority in wishing her a happy 87th birthday! We’ll be sending a birthday card thanking Justice Ginsburg for her lifetime of service with a list of all of the signees and your personalized birthday messages!”  Let’s sign here: https://www.pantsuitnation.org/happybirthdayrbg.html
KUDOS TO DICK’S SPORTING GOODS: “Dick’s Sporting Goods said Tuesday it will remove guns from another 440 stores this year, building on its efforts after the deadly school shooting in Parkland, Florida, in 2018.”  https://www.cnbc.com/2020/03/10/dicks-sporting-goods-dks-reports-q4-2020-earnings.htmlOnce again, let’s give Dick’s a big thanks for these efforts:  http://www.corporate-office-headquarters.com/dicks-sporting-goods



TELL NBC TO FIRE HARVEY WEINSTEN ENABLERS: Enough is a Enough Voter Project, which reminds us that violence against women is a voting issue,  tells us that  Harvey Weinstein has been sentenced to 23 years in prison for being a serial rapist. Finally, the justice system is treating privileged rapists like #BrockTurner and #Weinstein just like all other rapists. Women have hit the RESET button on how crimes against women are treated in our justice system. But Harvey Weinstein didn’t commit these crimes alone. https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/harvey-weinstein-sentenced-23-years-prison-landmark-metoo-case-n1154166 He had many enablers, including NBC News’s Noah Oppenheim and Andy Lack, who killed Ronan Farrow’s reporting. Noah Oppenheim and Andy Lack should not be in a position to continue to cover up for rapists like Weinstein. In fact, Oppenheim’s contract was just renewed — incredibly.   We can let NBC News know that the days when men can cover for powerful rapists like Weinstein are at an end. Noah Oppenheim and Andy Lack must go! Phone. Main: 212-664-4444. News: 866-639-7244. Email. tips@nbcnewyork.com.



ELECTION/VOTING
PRIMARIES/CAUCUS CALENDAR:  https://ballotpedia.org/Elections_calendar
OH: POLLING PLACE CHANGES DUE TO CORONVIRUS AND VOTE BY MAIL INFO: Several polling places, especially those at senior residential facilities, have been changed to help limit possible exposure to the Coronavirus. Thousands of voters at over 100 locations will be affected. Polling places will be sanitized, but, if we choose to, we can still vote by mail. We can start by using Absentee Ballot Request Forms here under the “Election Publications” heading. https://www.ohiosos.gov/publications/#abr After printing out  the form, we can mail it to our county board of elections https://www.sos.state.oh.us/elections/elections-officials/county-boards-of-elections-directory/? as soon as we can.  Our ballots must be postmarked by Monday, March 16, or they can be dropped off curbside at our county board of elections on Election Day Tuesday, March 17.  We can check our polling location on the Secretary of State Website here: https://www.sos.state.oh.us/elections/voters/toolkit/polling-location/#gref We can check out this article, which will be updated as needed, to see if our polling place has been moved and to find other helpful related Coronavirus  related information.https://www.news5cleveland.com/news/continuing-coverage/coronavirus/northeast-ohio-polling-locations-changing-due-to-coronavirus


OH: POLL WORKERS NEEDED. COLLEGE STUDENTS AND OTHERS CAN HELP. Since many poll workers are senior citizens who have been advised to avoid public places, there may be a huge, last-minute need for more poll workers. College students whose classes have been cancelled could help fill this gap, and other able-bodied volunteers would also be most welcomed. We can share the need for poll workers widely with college students, and with our friends on social media. To sign up as poll workers, we can go to: https://www.ohiosos.gov/elections/precinct-election-officials/ or call our county board of elections.



LET’S GET RUNNING! “For too long, Republicans have been the only ones competing in local, rural races. Contest Every Race is an unprecedented coalition of organizations working to transform this moment of crisis into long-term change. Our aim is to move local and national politics towards a democracy that works for everyone. When we stop the GOP from running up the score in rural areas, we’ll start winning back state houses, governors’ mansions — and Congress.”  Let’s check out Contest Every Race and learn more and see how we can get involved to get more Democratic candidates out there:  https://contesteveryrace.com/


STATE/LOCAL


ALL: AMERICAN HEALTH CARE FAILURE:  Trump and Pence met with health insurance leaders, who, in theory, will take some steps to cover covid-19 testing and cease “surprise billing” for coronavirus-related treatment, but these measures are far from adequate:  https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/remarks-president-trump-vice-president-pence-coronavirus-briefing-health-insurers/  27 million Americans are without health insurance and millions more are underinsured:  https://www.modernhealthcare.com/insurance/states-health-insurers-address-coronavirus-costs The coming privatization of virus testing will undoubtedly make access more expensive. If for no reason other than concern for our individual well-being, we should demand that our state legislators follow the lead of Washington State and New York and pass emergency legislation that would (A) waive all out-of-pocket costs for patients who seek screening or need care related to the virus, (B) guarantee free testing and treatment for all residents, including the uninsured, and (C) require drug insurers to fill prescriptions for necessary drugs, even if the refill date has not been reached.



MOST:ASK OUR ATTORNEY GENERAL TO SUPPORT THE REVERSAL OF THE ROLLBACK OF THE NATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY ACT (NEPA) (All except WA, CA, NY, CT, DE, IL, ME, MD, MA, MI, MN, NE, NJ, NM, OR, PA, RI, VT) The Attorney Generals of 18 states have asked the Trump Administration to forgo the rollback of the National Environmental Policy Act, and maintain independent environmental impact reviews on major projects, such as highways or pipelines. https://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/487082-18-states-ask-trump-administration-to-withdraw-major-environmental. Let’s ask our Attorney General to sign on to this effort. 



MA: DISABILITY RIGHTS: Last week, the FDA published its final rule to implement a ban on electrical stimulation devices (ESDs), shock devices that function as aversives to manipulate behavior (https://bit.ly/2TCQuVp). In response, the Judge Rotenberg Center and the Judge Rotenberg Center Parents Association have stated that they will fight the FDA’s decision. As disability rights activists point out, the use of shock devices calls into question the broader issue of using aversives with people who have not given consent, including children and disabled individuals (https://bit.ly/2TVPSu9). Let’s contact Massachusetts Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders and tell her that it’s time to speak directly with disabled activists and individuals who have been subjected to aversives, and to collaborate with them on what the next steps should be: One Ashburton Place, 11th Floor, Boston, MA 02108. Phone: (617) 573-1600



NY: PRISON LABOR/CORONAVIRUS: Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced that the state is producing hand sanitizer to help combat the shortage currently taking place. However, the sanitizer is being produced by incarcerated people who are being paid only sixteen cents per hour, and may not be allowed to use the sanitizer themselves, as it is currently prohibited (https://bit.ly/2TZVoMrhttps://wapo.st/2xucavz). Let’s contact the Governor and tell him that incarcerated people should be allowed to use hand sanitizer, especially during a health crisis: The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo Governor of New York State NYS State Capitol Building Albany, NY 12224, (518) 474-8390. We can also contact our state MoC and ask them to pass the Prison Minimum Wage Act (A.1275/S.3138): https://www.news10.com/news/local-news/ny-lawmakers-propose-higher-minimum-wage-for-prison-inmates/



WI: FREE COVERAGE OF CORNOVIRUS INFORMATION FROM THE MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL: As news about the Coronavirus changes rapidly, it can be hard to stay on top of it. Now the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is making staying informed a little easier for us. We can stay up to date with the latest developments in our state through this link: https://www.jsonline.com/story/news/health/2020/03/11/coronavirus-wisconsin-latest-updates-confirmed-cases-cancelations-milwaukee-map-symptoms/5021074002/



RALLIES/GATHERINGS/TRAININGS/GROUP ACTIONS
#TheIdesOfTrump: On March 15, together let’s make history by sending 1 million postcards to Donald Trump telling him he is fired.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aBq9GTAtsyU&feature=youtu.be


DISINFORMATION LITERACY WEBINAR: DemCast has paired up with Disarm Disinformation to present a free webinar on disinformation literacy! On March 18 they will be covering the following topics:  1) What is disinformation and what does weaponized information look like? 2) How can disinformation so easily flourish on today’s social media platforms? 3) What forms is disinformation taking in 2020? 4) How can we fight back effectively as engaged citizens and activists? And 5) What could a network of disinformation-fighters look like?  This is critical information we can all use in 2020!  We can learn more and sign up here:  https://demcastusa.com/2020/03/09/webinar-disinformation-literacy/(h/t Political Charge)



Light UP America: Mark your calendar for March 24 at dusk, and follow Vigil for Democracy to stay updated: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/vigilfordemocracyand Instagram.com/VigilForDemocracy and Twitter.com/vigil4democracy. This is not another march or rally. It’s a thoughtfully designed non-violent direct-action campaign, put together by seasoned activists. While you wait, read George Lakey’s book How We Win, or browse his org’s website: wagingnonviolence.org


READING/WATCHING
Cancel Everything – https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/03/coronavirus-cancel-everything/607675/
Coronavirus fears show how ‘model minority’ Asian Americans become the ‘yellow peril’ – https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/coronavirus-fears-show-how-model-minority-asian-americans-become-yellow-ncna1151671
These are 6 of the main differences between flu and coronavirus – https://www.technologyreview.com/f/615341/flu-vs-coronavirus-6-differences/
The Trump Administration Is Stalling an Intel Report That Warns the U.S. Isn’t Ready for a Global Pandemic– https://time.com/5799765/intelligence-report-pandemic-dangers/


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