Goth Panda

February 1, 2017

A Flood of Faxes

Since this weekend, all of Sen. Toomey’s mailboxes have been full, at all eight of his offices. Believe me, I tried them all. So I have been faxing all. eight. of. his. offices. Six faxes a day.

On Monday and Tuesday, I sent him the same letters I had sent the night before: demand Steve Bannon’s resignation, oppose Tillerson, oppose DeVos, oppose Sessions, support S.Con.Res.4., and speak out more strongly against the Muslim Ban Executive Order. By this time, he had come out with a lame statement about how he agreed with the order but thought it should have been carried out better, which, no.

Today, I was able to get through to leave two voicemails at his D.C. office. In the first, I expressed my outrage that the Senate Finance Committee Republicans (Toomey is on this committee) changed the rules and held a vote without a quorum and with no Democratic senator present. The Democrats were boycotting the vote because both Mnuchin and Price had lied under oath. As a recently ordained parliamentarian, I have no idea how this was legal and I think it is outrageous. I also put in a last minute call to ask him to oppose Tillerson, which went unheeded in the afternoon Senate vote confirming him.

Tonight, I faxed the same six letters, except I left out the oppose Tillerson one and substituted another complaint about the Senate Finance Committee’s actions this morning.

I have not been ignoring my other representatives, either. On Monday, Sen. Casey got a demand Bannon’s resignation and an oppose Tillerson (which he did in the vote today). Yesterday and today, I also added in a request that he personally (and all of the Democrats) vote against the Supreme Court nominee and filibuster if necessary, and another one that he withhold consent and refuse to act on the nominations or any new legislation until the Executive Order is overturned. Yesterday, I called both him and Thompson asking them to demand Bannon’s resignation.

I also called Casey three times today, twice to reiterate the withhold consent and oppose the Supreme Court nomination, and once to ask him to oppose the repeal of the Cardin-Lugar anti-corruption law, which was one of my 5calls.org. Apparently this law ensures that oil companies must disclose the payments they make to governments for the right to drill for oil, to safeguard against corruption. The House passed the repeal today, because of course they did.

Rep. Glenn Thompson also got a fax asking him to co-sponsor and support H.Con.Res. 15: Asserting that Congress should expend the resources necessary to investigate thoroughly the nature and extent of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, including whether there was collusion between persons associated with the Russian government and persons associated with the presidential campaign of Donald J. Trump to influence the outcome of the election. But let’s just say I’m not holding my breath.

January 30, 2017

Action Recap

On Thursday, I did my 5calls after work, and left messages for Sen. Casey and Sen. Toomey to 1) say no to the border wall, 2) stand up for immigrants and refugees, and 3) stop the silencing of government scientists. In all of these cases, I was unable to stick to the script; I especially went off on “the border wall” which became “the ridiculous border wall which is a pointless waste of taxpayer money.” I also faxed Toomey again about opposing Sessions and DeVos.

On Friday, I called Rep. Thompson’s office to ask him to oppose H.R. 621, which allows the federal government to sell off Federal lands. Thompson is on the Natural Resources Committee, where this bill has been referred to. My 5calls for that day to Casey and Toomey were to stand up to Trump’s baseless claims of voter fraud. I was able to leave a message for Casey at his Washington office, but all of Toomey’s voicemail boxes were full; I tried all of his state offices and his Washington office and was unable to get through.

So over the weekend, I waged a fax campaign.

On Friday, I faxed Toomey six letters: oppose Trump’s voter fraud claim, oppose Price as Secretary of Health, oppose Devos, oppose Pruitt, vote against H.R. 7 (the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act of 2017), and sponsor/vote for S.Con.Res. 4 (A concurrent resolution clarifying any potential misunderstanding as to whether actions taken by President Donald Trump constitute a violation of the Emoluments Clause, and calling on President Trump to divest his interest in, and sever his relationship to, the Trump Organization). I also called Casey to oppose H.R.7, and faxed him again to oppose Price.

On Saturday, Toomey got another fax: speak out against the Executive Order that is totally discriminatory against Muslims, even though the administration denies it. Thompson’s voicemail by this time was also full, so he also got the fax about the EO. I also sent one to Casey for good measure, although he had already spoken out against it by that point.

On Sunday, I faxed Toomey another six letters: call out Steve Bannon and demand his resignation, oppose Tillerson, oppose DeVos, oppose Sessions, support S.Con.Res.4., and speak out against the Executive Order. Toomey was too busy attending a Koch fundraiser in Palm Springs this weekend, so he has not made a statement about it yet. Thompson got the faxes about Bannon and the EO, and I sent Casey the EO one and one asking him to oppose Tillerson. He has already said he won’t vote for Sessions, DeVos, or Pruitt.

FYI, while I have already prepaid for fax service through Gotfreefax.com, which I recommend, FaxZero.com allows you to send free faxes to your Senators and Representatives, with a helpful contact list with all of their fax numbers. This is a great way to get a message through when the voicemail boxes are full.

January 25, 2017

Action Update

Today I found a new website called 5 Calls, which gives you issues and scripts for calling your representatives. I made all of the phone calls they recommended for my zip code, although I didn’t always use the scripts provided:

  • Called the Army Corps of Engineers Civil Works Department to protest the Dakota Access Pipeline
  • Called Sen. Casey and Sen. Toomey to ask them to oppose Betsy DeVos, Tom Price, Scott Pruitt, and Jeff Sessions. The site asks you to call both of your representatives and the chairs of the Senate Committees, but from what I have heard, you should just contact your own representatives. Other Senators and Representatives don’t care about your opinion if you are not their constituent.
  • Called Casey and Toomey to ask them to oppose the repeal of the Affordable Care Act

I think there is nothing much we can do to oppose some of the horrible Executive Actions that are flooding out this week. The only thing I can think of is make more donations to the ACLU. Any other ideas?

I am also following the new protests that are developing, including the April 15 Tax Day March and the Scientists March on Washington (Date TBD). I have already booked a hotel for April.

January 24, 2017

Action Updates

I haven’t posted in a few days, but I have been busy! On Inauguration Day, I avoided the media. I was in meetings most of the day, and I just had one moment, when I looked at the clock around 12:15 p.m. where I thought, that’s it. It’s done.

Mike and I turned our social media profiles black. We also participated in a spending boycott on Inauguration Day, another small, symbolic act.

On 3:00 a.m., we got up to go to the Washington D.C. Women’s March. We got on the bus at 4:00 a.m. and didn’t get back until around midnight on Saturday. This was my first official protest march (other than taking back the night in college), and it was a lot different than I expected.

By now everyone knows that there were many more people than expected. The out-of-town buses parked at RFK Stadium and we chose to walk instead of take the Metro to the Mall. From what we heard, it took about the same amount of time, since the Metro was so crowded. We had lots of company along the way. I didn’t have a pink pussy hat, but they were all over. I felt a little left out.

Hands Off

Inaugurate, Investigate, Incarcerate

As we got closer, the crowds got bigger.

Grabs Back

Tiny Hands

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Because there were so many people, we never even got close to the stage. For a while we could see one of the screens, but we couldn’t hear the speeches. I’m still not sure who was even on the program. Instead, we talked to our fellow marchers and admired all of the cool posters. Mike’s favorite was “Shut the f**k up, Donnie, you’re out of your element.” And I saw on Twitter afterwards that Steve Buscemi took a photo with the guy carrying that sign!

2017-01-21 10.41.15

2017-01-21 10.43.24

For a political rally, the mood was very different than I expected. There were groups representing a variety of causes, and everyone I saw was polite, calm, and respectful of their fellow marchers. Everyone seemed like they were having fun, even though there was a lot of gallows humor and sarcastic bitching. Despite the crowds and being tired and sleep-deprived, I thought it was a very positive experience overall, and I am definitely looking forward to attending another one. Although I have to admit I’m worried that a protest that is organized by men will be a less pleasant experience. I will be happy to be proven wrong, gentlemen.

2017-01-21 14.04.24

On Sunday, I recovered from the march. I think the next one is planned for April 15, and I’m planning to spend the weekend instead of just going down for the day.

Yesterday, we went to our local Democrats’ Candidate School to learn about open positions in local government and how to run for them. Apparently in our area, it is hard to find enough people willing to run for these kinds of things, so I have volunteered to run for any local office that needs a Democratic candidate. Not sure what will happen yet, as the process to get on the ballot starts in a few weeks.

Today I resumed bombarding my legislators about the cabinet nominees. Tillerson was approved by the committee, and now goes to a vote by the full Senate, so I emailed both senators asking them to oppose him. Apparently Sen. Toomey has said he will vote yes, and no word from Sen. Casey yet. So I let Sen. Toomey know I was very disappointed, and reiterated my request to Sen. Casey.

I also faxed letters to Sen. Toomey asking him to oppose DeVos, Pruitt, and Sessions, since Sen. Casey has already said he would vote no on all of these. I found out from our local action group that DeVos’ billionaire family has donated to Toomey’s campaign, so I’m not sure how much of a chance there is he would vote against her.

I also faxed letters to both Senators asking them to oppose Price for Health Secretary. I’m pretty sure I could find reasons to oppose every single one of the cabinet nominees, but these five strike me as the most important right now.

January 19, 2017

Daily Action Update

Today I emailed Sen. Casey again about opposing Price as Health Secretary. Casey announced that he had reservations about Price but hasn’t outright said he won’t support him, so I thought I’d resend this. Casey has already publicly opposed Sessions, DeVos, and Pruitt.

As for Sen. Toomey, I sent him an email asking him to support the Presidential Conflicts of Interest Act. Sen. Casey co-sponsored this, so he doesn’t need reminding about it. I still can’t believe as of tomorrow our “president” will be violating the Constitution as soon as he takes the oath, and no one in the government seems to care much.

I thought my Representative might be feeling left out, since I have been sending so much mail to my Senators. So I faxed him a letter urging him to oppose repeal of the Affordable Care Act. I faxed the same letter to Toomey as well, for good measure.

I turned my social media profile pictures black for the inauguration day, a protest that is very small but still….