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Sun Feb 19, 2017, 09:32 PM

Call to Action: Letters to editors to refocus on what Repubs in Congress are doing.

Last edited Mon Feb 20, 2017, 12:13 AM - Edit history (1)

Let's follow the lead of George Lakoff!

We've gotta start seeing all the DT lunacy as a side-show intended to distract us from what Congress is doing to destroy crucial protections and cut off resources that benefit us ALL..

One way to refocus attention is through letters to the editor. Letters expressing horror at the dismantling of a specific protection or cut of a specific resource. Letters telling them they need to keep their eye on the ball and do more reporting about the systematic dismantling of basic protections and decimation of public institutions and funding that benefit us all.

Read Lakoff's "Ten points for Democracy Activists" for guidance on how to frame things:
https://georgelakoff.com/2017/02/10/ten-points-for-democracy-activists/

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Response to pat_k (Original post)

Sun Feb 19, 2017, 09:38 PM

1. i don't disagree with the idea. however,

so far congress has been tilting at windmills rather than pass actual laws. Only two or three have been signed by Trump, one of them being the law allowing Mattis to be Secretary of State. There is a boatload of crazy legislation in the house that they passed but it has not been brought to the floor of the senate.
We better hope that the senate can block the most outrageous bills that comes out of the house. Usually that is what happens. We may not have fillibuster for nominees but it is still in place for regular senate votes. If the dems are united, they can pretty much block most of the bullshit.




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Response to drray23 (Reply #1)

Sun Feb 19, 2017, 09:53 PM

3. Two prong: Letters to editors to refocus media. Lobby Senators to block.

Both avenues need to be pursued.

Bringing attention to what the house is doing, and shifting the "frame" as much as possible to excoriate Republicans in general for destroying crucial protections, etc., is important because we need to take down the Repubs for their bad actions. DT can be destroyed or self-destruct, but if what the Repubs are up to goes unnoticed, everyone will breathe a big sigh of relief that DT is gone, and support for Repubs in general will remain untouched.

Re: Senate. I've been focused on pushing for a commitment to filibuster Gorsuch.

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Response to drray23 (Reply #1)

Sun Feb 19, 2017, 10:49 PM

8. Actually they are doing a lot of sneaky stuff; I have been so focused on the Russia stuff

that I have been just scanning and not paying a whole lot of attention. For example saw this on HuffPo yesterday and it barely registered:

Republicans Are Using An Arcane Tool To Handcuff Federal Agencies
And it could have long-term consequences
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/republicans-cra-federal-agencies_us_58a7776ae4b045cd34c1a44c?

They haven't been passing actual laws, but have been doing a fair amount of destruction with this kind of thing.

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Response to Amaryllis (Reply #8)

Mon Feb 20, 2017, 12:25 AM

13. Every step they take toward destroying crucial protections, public institutions...

... and the few minimal safety nets we have left needs to have a spotlight put on it. I'm poking around for sites that may be tracking and providing info on implications of some of the resolutions that have been introduced and passed. If such a site (or sites" don't exist, I would love to recruit some people to set up some sort of "clearinghouse" that would help people get the low-down on the latest, and status of crap they are working on.

So much is happening I've found it impossible to stay on top of it all. We need resources that make it easy to pull together what we need to know to write good letters. This, coupled with one click access to "feedback" forms, fax numbers... whatever contact info we can find for different media outlets would be great. If you know of any useful sites like this, please send me a DU message.

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Response to pat_k (Original post)

Sun Feb 19, 2017, 09:43 PM

2. Here's my latest

Letter to the Editor:

In Washington, the talks about treason swirl around the White House and that seems like the most important of events; but meanwhile back at the ranch, our very own lege is busy harming Arkansans.

This week the Republicon controlled State Government voted to shorten the time allowed for unemployed worker benefits from 20 weeks to 16 AND to reduce benefits amounts to the advantage of the employer and the state. In addition to less money and time, unemployment benefits will now be taxed as income. Never mind that Trane’s 400 jobs just left the state. Whirlpool too is gone, leaving behind a toxic mess and hundreds of other unemployed workers. I guess there is little surprise in this new law; but it just seems that my fellow citizens need to wake up to the fox in the henhouse!

Under cover of the unsustainable mess in DC, our Republicons are sneaking in a take over of our state judicial system. Right now they are planning to spring this on the voters in the guise of an initiative that curbs contingency fees an attorney can collect for his pro bono work (unless it’s a successful lawsuit.) They want you to think the Republicon lege is keeping those greedy lawyers in their place and the client will keep more of the settlement. Sounds like a good deal for John Doe, right? Wrong.

What it actually does is strip the courts of judicial power and turn it over to politicians.

“The proposed amendment, would limit punitive damages in lawsuits to $250,000 or three times the amount of compensatory damages. Non-economic damages would be limited to $250,000 or $500,000 for all beneficiaries of a claimant who died.”

That is great for corporations; a worker can get killed and the corporate owners are only financially responsible for a pittance of the corporate wealth. A young breadwinner’s lifetime earnings are usually much greater than $250,000; so again, the victim is victimized.

But the real prize of this legislative session would be capturing the judiciary. Instead of the courts acting as a separate and equal branch of government, the politicians would “require legislative approval for any rules of pleading, practice or procedure for state courts.”

This amendment is of course, fueled by the corporate friendly Chamber of Commerce. The Arkansas Supreme Court Justice and State Bar Association are opposed.
Sen. Will Bond called the measure a "wholesale takeover of the judiciary. Don't fill the lungs of liberty with this smoke screen to satisfy folks out there who want to limit a fundamental right, and your right to civil jury trial is a fundamental right."

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Response to WhiteTara (Reply #2)

Sun Feb 19, 2017, 09:55 PM

4. Great Letter!

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Response to pat_k (Original post)

Sun Feb 19, 2017, 10:25 PM

5. This video with George Lakoff very interesting...

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Response to Stellar (Reply #5)

Sun Feb 19, 2017, 10:34 PM

6. Thanks!

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Response to pat_k (Original post)

Sun Feb 19, 2017, 10:37 PM

7. YES! Been trying to say that. But we must be able to bi-focus. Both are important.

 

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Response to pat_k (Original post)

Sun Feb 19, 2017, 10:50 PM

9. Good point! I have been too focused on Russia and missing a lot of stuff. Russia has been a

distraction; necessary, but there are a lot of balls to keep in the air.

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Response to Amaryllis (Reply #9)

Mon Feb 20, 2017, 12:06 AM

10. The two prongs I'm shifting focus to to are:

1) Letters to media (and encouraging others) to refocus on Congress.

Bringing attention to what the House republicans are doing (and state house republicans), and shifting the "frame" as much as possible to excoriate Republicans in general for destroying crucial protections, etc., is important because we need to take down the Repubs for their bad actions. DT may be destroyed, or self-destruct, but if what the Repubs are up to goes under the radar, everyone will breathe a big sigh of relief when DT is gone, and support for Repubs in general will remain untouched.

2) Lobbying Senators to block legislation and SCOTUS nominee (Gorsuch and any future).

Right now, I'm limiting focus to pushing Senators to commit to filibuster Gorsuch (and finding groups that are working on this). Trump needs to put "his guy" on the court to rubber stamp Repub attempts to invoke freedom of religion for corporations to promote institutional discrimination (among other unconstitutional things they are pushing down our throats -- like cutting off funds to sanctuary cities).

Lobbying to Impeach DT nust be on the list, but I'm holding off on that until there is a "line in the sand" high crime (doesn't have to be as "high" a high crime as Bush's torture, but I think the grounds need to be more compelling than what we have so far.)

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Response to pat_k (Original post)

Mon Feb 20, 2017, 12:06 AM

11. Kick Rec Bookmark. Lakoff is brilliant.

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Response to Hekate (Reply #11)

Mon Feb 20, 2017, 04:08 PM

14. Thanks! I hope he gets more and more exposure and adherents.

If more of our progressive leaders internalized his analysis and adopted his prescription for shifting the "conversation," we could go a VERY long way to turning all this around.

I would like to see all of us do a better job of promoting real, progressive, values in our own language, instead of opposing using "their" language. We need to make an effort to extract ourselves from the national obsession with DT's lunacy and get a little obsessed with framing the values embodied in the laws that are under attack in ways that "get through."

We all need practice in this. Old habits die hard and all. Maybe even ask skinner to start a "reframing" topic where interested DUers can share ideas, concrete examples, more effective progressive "memes," letters, and whatnot (would need a better title than reframing tho).

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Response to pat_k (Original post)

Mon Feb 20, 2017, 12:18 AM

12. KNR

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