Time to call Congress

As many people as possible should have their Senator’s and Congresscritter’s local offices’ phone numbers in their phones. We’ll be getting a lot of use out of those numbers so let’s make it easy for ourselves over the next four years. Calling directly to the local office of your representative works. We need to remember that most Representatives are scared of at least a tough re-election campaign if not a loss and local phone calls are one of the ways that they will gauge if an issue is an easy win or not. Be polite, be nice and be firm.

Also be local. For ACA replacement calls we have a good target list for the Senate:

In the House, it is the 20+ Republicans who represent districts that Hillary Clinton won who should be prime targets for local constituents to call. We’ll also need to make calls to the 12 House Dems who represent districts that Trump won to tell them that opposition will be okay.

So let’s get to calling Congress again.

130 replies
  1. 1
    MomSense says:

    Will call this morning

  2. 2
    bemused says:

    According to TPM constituent calls reports, new wingnut MN Rep Jason Miller, former radio talk show host voted yes on ethics gut. Grateful he’s not my Rep but plan to call my Dem rep anyway.

  3. 3
  4. 4
    raven says:

    Manchin explaining that “many coal miners don’t know where they got their health care but they’ll know who takes it away.” Fucking morons.

  5. 5
    Baud says:


    they’ll know who takes it away.”

    Yeah, it’s the guy they’ll vote to reelect in 2020.

  6. 6
    NotMax says:



  7. 7
    JPL says:

    Cole needs to make a phone call

    Just spoke to Joe Manchin – confirms he will skip Obama’s Hill meeting today.
    “All respect to President Obama, but it’s just wrong.”

  8. 8
    Brian says:

    That’s fine if you have a Dem representative or Senator. But if your congressmen are Republicans call and tell them if they don’t repeal and replace at the same time they’ll lose your vote. Go teabagger on them.

  9. 9
    Ohio Mom says:

    Yes, be nice because you will be calling often and the same people will be answering the phone.

    It’s like befriending the receptionist at the doctor’s office: make a little small talk, make note of their name and little facts about them so you can ask about them later. This *is* politics after all.

  10. 10
    Botsplainer says:


    Not reachable. White trash is content to live that way and is greatly desirous of a system where “them elites is too uppity and need to be brought down to our level”.

    WWC in the Ohio River Valley, Appalachia, the Midwest and south is just fine getting fucked, so long as they can look up to a slick talking white guy in a slick suit, just so long as POC and immigrant populations to the 4th generation are getting fucked harder.

    Scots-Irish tribalism IS evil.

  11. 11
    p.a. says:

    @Botsplainer: With them it’s always a clan thing. Klan thing. Both.

  12. 12
    Ohio Mom says:

    @Botsplainer: I’ve long thought that a problem with Appalachian culture is that it is too easy to assimilate out, you can just become a generic white American when you leave.

    The culture really does place a value on nobody being better than anyone else. When somebody does achieve something, and they leave and no longer identify as Appalachian, it just concentrates that part of the culture which is closed off and misinterprets what it is to be egalitarian.

    And if you are one of those who achieve something, why would you continue to identify? There is no upside to it, you will always be torn.

    Contrast this to other groups where success of one is seen as reflecting on everyone else, and it hard to pretend to not be from your group, whether because of physical characteristics or the sound of your name.

  13. 13
    TS says:

    @JPL: This is why democrats will never have nice things. He thinks staying away from President Obama will get him reelected – a true wingnut will beat him to a pulp. Even with 60 seats in the senate – if one of them is Manchin, dems will lose – every time.

    And I see he goes on the MorningHo Show – shows where his vote is heading.

  14. 14
    JPL says:

    Trump has a new tweet

    Republicans must be careful in that the Dems own the failed ObamaCare disaster, with its poor coverage and massive premium increases….

    Is is possible that Trump doesn’t want ownership, when the repubs take away healthcare from twenty-five million people?

  15. 15
    JPL says:

    @TS: I do think that residents of WV need to call his office.

  16. 16
    ArchTeryx says:

    @TS: So he’s angling to lose re-election by 30 instead of 45 points. Guess whatever helps you sleep at night.

  17. 17
    Belafon says:

    @JPL: Can you give me a link? I can’t get on twitter at work.

  18. 18
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @JPL: It does read that way, doesn’t it?

  19. 19

    OT: Question for Balloon Juice TeXies

    I have been using an older version of WinEdt as my TeX editor since 2006 or so. Should I just get the newer version or are there better substitutes. Thanks!

    Right now I am using Windows10 Pro.

  20. 20
    Barbara says:

    The spreadsheet is so large that it is hard to work with if you are trying to download and sort. From what I can see, most of the Republicans in Clinton held districts are in Arizona, Illinois and California. I think people should call nonetheless, especially in districts that were close, or that voted for Obama, or in which the state is a swing state. I have said this before, as for senators like Manchin and Heitkamp, they will get no dividend from bucking Democratic unity on the ACA. Republicans will still tie them to Democratic positions. They would be like Muslims and Jews who converted to Christianity in the hope of avoiding death during the Inquisition. It didn’t work.

  21. 21
    father pussbucket says:

    Some help for the naive, please: how do you frame your argument in a call to someone who does not represent you? Obviously, it’s not about your vote.

  22. 22
    CaseyL says:

    Pramila Jayapal, who replaced Jim McDermott, doesn’t seem to have her office set up yet. I’ve used the House’s website to send her an email.

    Calls to my Senators’ local offices will have to wait, as they’re not open yet.

  23. 23
    Steeplejack (phone) says:

    @father pussbucket:

    I would say that their vote affects everyone in the country, not just people in their district, and you are very concerned about the national ramifications of [insert hot-button issue here]. And you will be looking where to lend your financial support in the next election.

  24. 24
    JPL says:

    @Belafon: It’s Trumps feed .. He added additional info.

    massive increases of ObamaCare will take place this year and Dems are to blame for the mess. It will fall of its own weight – be careful!

  25. 25
    JPL says:

    Trump campaigned on a better plan for healthcare. Where is his plan?

  26. 26
    JPL says:

    For those who are unable to link to twitter.. This is Trump today..

    Republicans must be careful in that the Dems own the failed ObamaCare disaster, with its poor coverage and massive premium increases……
    like the 116% hike in Arizona. Also, deductibles are so high that it is practically useless. Don’t let the Schumer clowns out of this web…
    massive increases of ObamaCare will take place this year and Dems are to blame for the mess. It will fall of its own weight – be careful!

    He lied. He has no plan.

  27. 27
    kindness says:

    Even here in CA, my Rep is a TeaHaddist nut. Calling won’t help with that one. Better off using my energies where they could work some.

  28. 28
    JPL says:

    Trump can weaken the law by executive action, and it will go unnoticed by MSM.

  29. 29
    SenyorDave says:

    @JPL: Don’t let the Schumer clowns out of this web…

    Does a president-elect traditionally call out specific senators and insult them? Because if that is the norm, then maybe someone can tweet about the latest lies from Fuckface Von Clownstick.

    I would love to hear Obama, after the inauguration, comment on Trump’s lies about his record. Such as crime being at record highs for the inner-cities (they were at 20 year lows, less than half the rate of 1995). What I really want to hear is for Obama to mention the damage of Trump’s birtherism, and how years after the Birth Certificate was produced, Trump was still peddling a racist narrative.

  30. 30
    StringOnAStick says:

    @JPL: No way the ocher ogre wrote that himself, the message is too complicated and displays some logic, however flawed and inaccurate it is.

  31. 31
    germy says:


    But if your congressmen are Republicans call and tell them if they don’t repeal and replace at the same time they’ll lose your vote.

    Why not tell them not to repeal?

  32. 32
    JPL says:

    @SenyorDave: Just remember Trump is a president for all the people. I’d love for Obama to mock him publicly, but it won’t happen.

  33. 33
    Elizabelle says:

    @germy: Yeah. Truly. No repeal.

  34. 34
    Weaselone says:

    Ah. So it looks like the plan at the top is just to slice and dice out a few key components, inject a bunch of uncertainty then watch everything come apart and blame the Democrats for it. Wonder of the House will go for that, or if the wingnuts are just too hot and bothered to settle for anything but a complete repeal.

  35. 35
    Yarrow says:

    Thanks for this, Richard. Why your recommendation to call the local offices? I had a terrible time calling my rep’s local office in November. They had zero info and told me to call the national office. The bored intern answering the phone at the national office gave monosyllabic answers to my questions. I got nothing from her. When I asked about my rep’s town hall schedule, the intern told me to call the local office. I just went in a loop.

  36. 36
    Mnemosyne says:


    I completely disagree. The local Tea Partiers call my solid blue Democratic reps 24/7. Why not make your rep also listen to people who disagree with him/her? It takes 10 minutes of your time, and it’s his/her goddamned JOB to take your call even if you didn’t vote for him/her.

    Again, asshole conservatives call Democrats ALL. THE. TIME. Let’s return the favor and see if we can puncture the bubble the Republicans are living in.

  37. 37
    germy says:

    @Yarrow: Democracy in Action (or inaction)

  38. 38
    hovercraft says:


    “many coal miners don’t know where they got their health care but they’ll know who takes it away.” Fucking morons.

    No shit, the person who told you he would and his band of fellow fucking morons who told you the same thing, that you all voted for overwhelmingly. Talk about truly being representative of your constituents. Asshole fucking morons.
    Yeah I know the salt of the earth, real heartland America, and we’re not supposed to denigrate them. Well fuck that and them for what they’ve done to our country, they deserve what’s coming, I’ll save my sympathy for those who tried to stop it, but are now going to get screwed.

  39. 39
    hovercraft says:


    Cole needs to make a phone call

    And tell him what, jump already?

  40. 40

    @Elizabelle: @germy: I imagine the idea is, by lying, to tie them in further knots electorally. I don’t think this is a very good plan, but I’m guessing it’s what he meant.

  41. 41
    germy says:


    Again, asshole conservatives call Democrats ALL. THE. TIME

    Very true. I remember calling my democratic rep one time, and I could sense the assistant was tense until she realized I was a supporter. I got the impression that she spent most of the day fielding calls from lush rimbaugh listeners.

  42. 42
    Rathskeller says:

    What should we do when we live in an area with a solid-blue representative like Barbara Lee or Jerrold Nadler?

  43. 43
    hovercraft says:

    Here is a link to TPM.

    President-elect Donald Trump told Republicans in a series of tweets Wednesday morning to “be careful!” and make sure that Democrats take ownership of any failures of the Affordable Care Act, as the GOP takes its first steps towards repealing the healthcare law.

    “Republicans must be careful in that the Dems own the failed ObamaCare disaster,” Trump tweeted, apparently warning Republicans to avoid acting in undue haste that might lead to poor optics. “Dems are to blame for the mess. It will fall of its own weight – be careful!”

  44. 44
    germy says:

    @Major Major Major Major: I just can’t imagine calling any rep anywhere and demanding a repeal. Maybe it’s 11th dimensional chess, but I can’t picture it.

  45. 45
    germy says:

    @Rathskeller: Give them encouragement and let them know they have the support of their constituents?

  46. 46

    @germy: I think it’s of a piece with “crossover-vote for Trump in the primary because there’s no way he could win”-style strategic thinking.

  47. 47
    Mnemosyne says:


    Call and thank them for their good work and say they should stand firm. That’s what I do with Adam Schiff and (now) Brad Sherman.

  48. 48
    Yarrow says:

    @Rathskeller: Call them and thank them! The person answering the phone probably doesn’t get many calls from people thanking them and being nice. Also, it’s good to “stiffen their spine” to know people want them to continue doing what they’re doing.

    Asking safe blue reps to be strong and outspoken on things like standing up to Trump, Russian hacking, no changes to Medicare, ACA, Social Security, etc. is also good.

  49. 49
    Barbara says:

    @Yarrow: Yes, call them and thank them. I did this when the ACA passed and they were very gratified. My representative is Don Beyer in Virginia, and I will call his office to thank them. But really, people in Fairfax should be calling wackaloon Barbara Comstock every 30 seconds to remind her that she lives in a blue state.

  50. 50
    Weaselone says:

    Richard, given what you indicated yesterday about the impact of all this uncertainty on the insurers currently in the market or who could enter into the market, and the potential that Republicans could just cut out key aspects of the ACA like the individual mandate and premium support while Trump further undermines it using executive actions, I’m wondering whether complete repeal might be a better option than trying to save a fatally weakened version of Obamacare destined to collapse under its own weight.

    Scenario 1: Full repeal, millions lose health insurance and the Republicans own it. There is at least the potential at some point in the future we get another stab at providing health insurance nationally. All the stressors on the insurance and medical system are still there and the failure of Obamacare is blamed by at least a majority of the population on Republicans.

    Scenario 2: Republicans gut key provisions like the individual mandate and premium support, while continuing to threaten ever more egregious cuts or repeal. Rates skyrocket, insurers flee the market and the ACA pancakes in on itself like one of the WTC towers. The changes the Republicans made make it too complicated a story for our crappy media to cover and the general population to follow. Obamacare and the Democrats take the blame for the failure. That nationwide insurance coverage is impossible becomes an article of faith, never to be revisited before the earth is swallowed by the expanding sun.

    It’s seems like the ACA is doomed regardless of whether the Republicans actually put a bullet in its head or just decide to let it bleed out. In that case, isn’t the best path for us to make sure the Republicans choose a path that maximizes the political damage to them and preserves the possibility of resurrecting a new and improved version at some point in the future? Tell me why this is wrong.

  51. 51
    Barbara says:

    @hovercraft: Thus reinforcing that it is about optics and nothing else. I actually walked out of my departmental meeting when one of our professional Republicans began talking about the House and Senate strategy on health care. I told him that I would let my brother know that he should drop dead before expecting Republicans to care whether he lived or died. I couldn’t take it. It doesn’t matter whether people live or die or go bankrupt. The only thing that matters is whether Donald Trump looks good (with a secondary consideration whether he is persuasive enough to let you maintain the fantasy of not having to go to college or buy a computer to get a good job). Feel good effects of ski vacation rapidly wearing off.

  52. 52
    Juice Box says:

    I called the DC office. Should I also call the local office once it opens?

    The vile Darrell Issa won by less than 2K votes this year in a D+3 district.

  53. 53
    rikyrah says:

    Democrats Must Become the Party of Freedom
    Re-embracing anti-monopoly will reinvigorate American liberty and beat back Trumpism.

    by Barry C. Lynn
    There are many competing interpretations for why Hillary Clinton lost last fall’s election, but most observers do agree that one—economics—played a big role. Clinton simply didn’t articulate a vision compelling enough to compete with Donald Trump’s rousing, if dubious, message that bad trade deals and illegal immigration explain the downward mobility of so many Americans.

    As it happens, Clinton did have the germ of exactly such an idea—if you knew where to look. In an October 2015 op-ed, she wrote that “large corporations are concentrating control over markets” and “using their power to raise prices, limit choices for consumers, lower wages for workers, and hold back competition from startups and small businesses. It’s no wonder Americans feel the deck is stacked for those at the top.” In a speech in Toledo this past October, Clinton assailed “old-fashioned monopolies” and vowed to appoint “tough” enforcers “so the big don’t keep getting bigger and bigger.”

    Clinton’s words were in keeping with Bernie Sanders’s attacks on big banks, but went further, tracing how concentration is a problem throughout the economy. It was a message seemingly tailor-made for the wrathful electorate of 2016. Yet after the Ohio speech Clinton rarely touched again on the issue. Few other Democrats even mentioned the word monopoly.

    The pity is that Clinton’s stance wasn’t simple campaign rhetoric. It was based on a substantial and growing body of research—much of it first presented in the pages of this magazine and since validated by the Obama administration’s own economists—that confirms that consolidation is at the root of many of America’s most pressing economic and political problems.

  54. 54
    hovercraft says:


    The only thing that matters is whether Donald Trump looks good

    The media will do everything in their power, which is a lot, to make sure that he is perceived as being successful.
    The media is treating this as a story about process and optics, how they go about repealing it, while causing the least amount of political damage to themselves. Where in the MSM have you seen coverage of the people who will/are being hurt already? The few instances where they have discussed the “collateral” damage, it has been in the context of people voting against their interests because they didn’t believe he would really do it. Where are the in depth analysis of the people who will literally die when this is repealed unless there is a real replacement. They need to stop covering the Kabuki theater, the fireworks and the smoke and mirrors are all meant to distract us and the media from the fact that real actual human beings are affected and could die.

    Shockingly our media is once again failing this basic test. They have already proved to be skilled fluffers, it’s going to be a long 4 years.

  55. 55
    Weaselone says:


    Mr. Lynn could also have tried to look at her campaign website. Hillary had a fully fleshed vision to compete with Trump’s. The media just didn’t want to cover it when they could show a half hour’s worth of empty podium at a Trump rally instead. Well that and the fact that a big chunk of Americans just don’t find a dynamic economy provisioned with a strong safety net and numerous ladders appealing if the people using the net and ladders are anything other than straight, white males and properly deferential straight, white females.

  56. 56
    germy says:


    it’s going to be a long 4 years.

    Four or eight?

  57. 57

    @hovercraft: The media has been bought and paid for. Expecting them to do anything else will only result in disappointment.

  58. 58

    @germy: Not if we can help it. Two years not four. We need to take back the Congress and the governorships first. Ignore the national media.

  59. 59
    japa21 says:

    @rikyrah: Yes, she said all that, but don’t you realize that this was not an issues/policy campaign. The media never discussed her plans, only her emails.

  60. 60
    Yarrow says:

    @schrodingers_cat: The media is not our friend.

  61. 61
    hovercraft says:

    California democrats are not taking anything for granted, they are ready to fight.

    Dems In CA Legislature Hire Eric Holder As Safeguard Against Trump

    Democratic leaders in California’s state legislature announced Wednesday that they have retained former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to represent them in any legal battles they may face against President-elect Donald Trump’s incoming administration.

    “Having the former attorney general of the United States brings us a lot of firepower in order to prepare to safeguard the values of the people of California,” current Senate President Pro Tempore Kevin de Léon told the New York Times in an interview published Wednesday. “This means we are very, very serious.”

    The legislature expects to challenge federal policy on matters including immigration, the environment and criminal justice, according to de Léon.

    He said that Democrats decided to turn to Holder as Trump began to staff his Cabinet “with people who are a very clear and present danger to the economic prosperity of California.”

    Holder served as President Barack Obama’s attorney general from 2009 to 2015 and currently is a partner at the law firm Covington & Burling.

    In a statement obtained by the Times, Holder said he was “honored that the Legislature chose Covington to serve as its legal adviser as it considers how to respond to potential changes in federal law that could impact California’s residents and policy priorities.”

    Holder is no stranger to challenging Trump. He directly addressed the then-candidate at the Democratic National Convention in 2016, when he argued that America is “already great.” In an interview days later, he wondered if Trump had the “intellectual heft” necessary to be president.

    Holder also reportedly plans to work with national and state-level Democratic political groups on a campaign that will focus on redistricting reform, a major elections issue which tilted the electoral map significantly in Republicans’ favor after the tea party wave of elections in 2010. In October, Politico reported that Holder will work with Obama after the President leaves office to focus on elections that will determine who gets to draw the congressional district maps after the 2020 census.

  62. 62
    rikyrah says:

    The Zombie Eyed Granny Killer is running a survey on Obamacare.

    Follow prompts to support Obamacare.

    (608) 752-4050

    Press 1 to support Obamacare.

  63. 63

    @Yarrow: No and obsessing about the media serves little purpose. Assume that they are going to be a hindrance in achieving any of our objectives.

  64. 64
    germy says:


    The Zombie Eyed Granny Killer is running a survey on Obamacare.

    Follow prompts to support Obamacare.

    (608) 752-4050

    Press 1 to support Obamacare.

    I called and pressed 1 (but I wonder if it’s rigged). The last time they tried it a bunch of commenters here reported going around in circles; hearing a long spiel and then being prevented from “voting”

  65. 65
    Yarrow says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Yep. Getting upset at what they do is a waste of energy. Let them surprise us by committing actual journalism. But as a general rule they are bought and paid for.

  66. 66
    Barbara says:

    @Weaselone: You are misunderstanding the scenario, which is that the Republicans are in chaos and don’t have a plan. In no circumstance should we be suggesting they should just repeal the whole thing. Yes, I get what you are saying, but there are other, better ways to at least try to address the complications you are talking about, but we need to see what they actually are before capitulating.

  67. 67
    Barbara says:

    @germy: They have been running this for a while. It takes forever to get through. Maybe I should call once a day but I don’t have that much time!

  68. 68
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    From TPM, GOP Bill Would Ban Supreme Court From Citing Its Own Obamacare Cases.

    Proposed by Rep. Steve King (R-Idiots) of course. To the lawyers in the house, is such a law even constitutional?

  69. 69
    germy says:


    Maybe I should call once a day but I don’t have that much time!

    That’s what they’re counting on. They really don’t want to hear from us.
    At least Ryan doesn’t.

  70. 70
    Botsplainer says:

    @O. Felix Culpa:

    No. They can take away causes of action and make them nonreviewable, but they can’t state how they can do their work – that would be a violation of separation of powers.

    I’d say that the constitutionality of what he proposes would be slammed on an 8-0 vote.

  71. 71
    germy says:


    But as a general rule they are bought and paid for.

    Those who aren’t were laid off a long time ago. Or should I say “Accepted buyouts.”

  72. 72
    Barbara says:

    @germy: I was specifically referring to the Ryan survey. It’s very hard to get through, even at 2:00 am, which is when I last did it.

  73. 73

    @japa21: this election was not decided by issues, policies, or character. What’s left? We can’t close the hate gap.

  74. 74
    Kay says:

    I can’t wait until everyone who hates the healthcare system (and a LOT of people hate it) will blame Republicans rather than Democrats for everything that happens to them in it.

  75. 75
    hovercraft says:

    If we do our job over the next 4 years, help get ‘approved’ voter ID’s to people in the states they targeted, stay engaged with our voters. One of the big advantages that the GOP has is that they keep their voters engaged and enraged so that when the elections roll around they are already riled up and ready to vote. They have an entire echo chamber set up to maintain this engagement, FOX, talk radio, and in many cases their churches. We on the other hand engage , at most a year out, we start to call, to canvass, where are we the rest of the time. I know it is expensive, the Koch’s have invested millions to seed their philosophy at every level of society, they have even infiltrated ‘liberal’ institutions like colleges. We do not have the resources to create a mirror image of what they’ve done, but we do still have one huge advantage, we are the party of community organizers. The Civil Rights movement did not have a ton of money, but they managed to change a great deal in this country, so much so that much of what the GOP is running on to this day is the resentment that was engendered by the granting of those very civil rights to POC.

    Reverend Barbour in NC has shown that what can be done with diligence and by forming broad alliances with not a lot of money. We have to start right now. I am hopeful that come January 21st former President Obama will help lead the way. We don’t have their money, but we do have the numbers, if only we can get and keep them engaged. Participatory democracy should be an ongoing endeavor, not something we do one day every two or four years.

    The Shitgibbon lost the popular vote badly, we can make him not only lose the popular vote again, but also the EC, hopefully by a landslide. Our fight is against the GOP, but also the media which will try to brand all of our efforts as overly antagonistic and divisive. They all want us to sit down and shut up, as long as we refuse to, we will win. I firmly believe this, because at the end of the day, there are more of us.

  76. 76

    We need an alternative media infrastructure and no Russian humping Nation is not it, and neither is Guardian.

  77. 77

    @Major Major Major Major: We don’t need to close the hate gap. We need to get the people who sat at the sidelines and didn’t vote.

  78. 78

    @Kay: oh, come on, you’re smarter than that.

  79. 79
    germy says:


    I am hopeful that come January 21st former President Obama will help lead the way. We don’t have their money, but we do have the numbers, if only we can get and keep them engaged. Participatory democracy should be an ongoing endeavor, not something we do one day every two or four years.

    Well said. I’m really hoping the pendulum swings back towards sanity, after this experiment with a fucking game show host and failed real estate magnate.

  80. 80
    StringOnAStick says:

    Well, those calls are flooding in, that’s for sure. I’ve tried Sen. Gardner’s local office twice and all lines are busy. He’s one of my senators and I’m getting to the point where I know the voices of who answers the phones in his local office. I’ll keep calling until I get through.

    Here’s an action plan: I copy/pasted the League of Women Voter’s text a few posts down here and put that in an email to my politically active friends, plus a paragraph about also calling to oppose the “repeal and delay” BS and that they’d better only vote for what their Cheeto Jesus promised, which is something “better that covers everyone”, not just trash the ACA with nothing left in it’s place but an empty promise. Your call can have 2 topics for the intern to make note of, so today we can get a two-fer.

    Those of you who have jobs where you can easily do this sort of thing during the day or who are retired are in a much better position than those of us who aren’t, so please make use of it!

  81. 81
    hovercraft says:

    @O. Felix Culpa: @Botsplainer:
    Speaking of an 8-0 vote. Maybe the democrats will show some backbone, we’ll see.

    Schumer Says Democrats Willing To Keep Supreme Court Seat Empty

    Senare Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) on Tuesday night said that if Donald Trump does not select a “mainstream” Supreme Court nominee, Democrats in the Senate will do their best to keep the seat open.

    “We are not going to settle on a Supreme Court nominee. If they don’t appoint someone who’s really good, we’re gonna oppose him tooth and nail,” Schumer told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow. “They won’t have 60 votes to put in an out-of-the-mainstream nominee and then they’ll have to make a choice: change the rules. It’s gonna be very hard for them to change the rules because there are a handful of Republicans who believe in the institution of the Senate.”

    “We are not going to make it easy for them to pick a Supreme Court justice,” he added.

    Schumer said that it is “hard for me to imagine a nominee that Donald Trump would choose that would get Republican support that we could support.”

    Maddow then asked if Schumer would do his “best to hold the seat open.”

    “Absolutely,” Schumer replied.

    Watch part of the interview via MSNBC:

  82. 82
    germy says:


    Even here in CA, my Rep is a TeaHaddist nut. Calling won’t help with that one.

    Why not? Liberal reps get calls from Lush Rimbaugh fans every day. Call him and let him know how you feel. If he gets enough calls like that, it might soften his spine.

  83. 83
    Hitless says:

    @Major Major Major Major:
    I’m assuming that the conventional wisdom will be as follows:

    Any future problems with healthcare are because ObamaCare broke the system. The Republicans are doing the best they can to make quality healthcare available to hard-working Americans, but Obama messed things up so badly that there will be some pain.

  84. 84
    Ruviana says:

    @germy: I did it the last time and did get through to vote. Looks like I’m doing it again.

  85. 85
    Weaselone says:


    You’re definitely correct. I just try to think of what I would try to do if I was an amoral sociopath concerned only with building up my own prestige and power. Making a few tweaks to guarantee the failure of the ACA and then depositing the failure and blame for 20 million plus people losing health insurance at the feet of the opposition party with the help of a credulous and incompetent media seems like a no brainer. Bonus points if I can get the Senate majority leader and Speaker of the House splattered with the same steaming pile of BS.

  86. 86

    @hovercraft: chuck should say that the republicans said we should wait for the people to decide; the people voted for Hillary Clinton; the democrats will only support somebody she nominates.

  87. 87
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    DeFazio, Wyden, Merkley.

    I know they are with us. Militantly.

  88. 88
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Hitless: The vermin of the Village will recite this as gospel.

    Wipe them out. All of them.

  89. 89
    StringOnAStick says:

    @rikyrah: First you have to select 2 to get to Ryan’s question on the ACA, then listen to a stupid speech, but eventually you do get to press 1 to “support President Obama’s health care law”.

    Everyone, do it!

  90. 90

    @Weaselone: It would be easier to just make some tweaks to the law that would fix it and expand coverage, rebrand it after yourself, and watch the media suddenly start reporting on deficit reduction and success stories, but that unfortunately doesn’t kill thousands of people so the republicans would never vote for it.

    EDIT: no idea why that’s bold.

  91. 91
    hovercraft says:

    Here we go. I guess they feel the need to do something about the whole ‘Russia’ thing, so why not investigate the response. I mean that’s the most important thing, right?

    GOP panel to probe Obama response to Russian hacking

    The GOP-controlled Senate Foreign Relations Committee will dig into the Obama administration’s response to Russian hacking.

    The committee — overseen by Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) — will hold a closed-door briefing with administration officials on Thursday.

    Victoria Nuland, an assistant secretary of State; Gentry Smith, the director of the State Department’s foreign missions office; and Danny Toler, a deputy assistant secretary at the Department of Homeland Security will brief lawmakers, according to a notice from the committee.

    The Obama administration announced a slate of economic sanctions late last month targeting the GRU and the FSB, two of Russia’s main intelligence organizations, as well as four individual GRU officers, three companies that provided support to the GRU and six individuals implicated in the campaign.
    Corker and congressional aides said late last year that the committee would probe allegations of Russian hacking, as well as a broader review of the U.S.-Moscow relationship.

    “We are going to systematically walk through the entire Russia issue and fully understand what has transpired,” Corker told CNN at the time.

    According to the committee, the administration has so far refused to provide witnesses for a public hearing.

    In addition to the Foreign Relations Committee, the Armed Services and Intelligence committees are expected to investigate allegations that Russia meddled in the White House race.

  92. 92
    Jeanne says:

    Called my republican rep Charlie Dent and sen Toomey. Gave me nonsense about Tort reform and buying across state lines. I informed them I own small business and am on ACA, that neither of those will help me and what is plan if repealed. I also said disgraceful to push back until 2018 to avoid midterms. They said thank you very much. Hah. Called Casey to thank and push him.

  93. 93
    trollhattan says:

    @JPL: It’s in the pocket not holding his secret plan to defeat ISIS.

  94. 94
    Frank McCormick says:

    Um. I live in Austin Texas and my rep is Michael McCaul. I don’t even have to name my Senators. Explain to me again what my phone call would accomplish?

  95. 95
    Yarrow says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Charisma. Someone made that point awhile ago and it makes sense to me. The winner of all the presidential elections going back to at least Reagan is the person with the most charisma. Democrats need to find someone who’s got more charisma than Trump if they want to win.

  96. 96
    Another Scott says:

    @schrodingers_cat: I don’t have a lot of TeX experience, but have used MikTeX to write a fairly complex document and it seemed fine. It is under active development, and free is good.

    Hope this helps. Good luck!


  97. 97
    Yarrow says:

    @Frank McCormick: Letting them know you are out there. That Democrats are in your state and district. That eliminating Medicare, SS, ACA is unpopular. They keep tallies on that. Nothing will happen if you don’t call. Maybe something will happen if you. It only takes a few minutes.

  98. 98
    Raoul says:

    @bemused: Of course he did. Lewis is a bomb thrower and an a-hole. What worked for his talk radio career somehow worked for his campaign. He only won a plurality of the vote, but now he’ll have incumbency to start the steamroller. (And holy crap, Emmer won re-election in ol Crazy Eye’s district 66/34. Jeepers, as we say here).

    -Raoul (fka RaflW)

  99. 99
  100. 100
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Frank McCormick: I’m in a blue state with a good Dem rep and two very good Senators, and I can guarantee you that the dittoheads and Foxbots call them all the time. If they can find the time to do that just to be annoying, you can find time to call Ted Cruz.

  101. 101
    StringOnAStick says:

    @hovercraft: THIS!!!!!

    I’m doing my part, and if you have time to comment here, then you have time to make some calls at the very least. I just called the Ryan number, got right through, pressed 2 to “discuss” healthcare, and then after listening to the moronic recorded speech (maybe 2 minutes at the most), pressed 2 to vote to support the ACA as it is now.

  102. 102
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    @Botsplainer: Thanks. I suspected as much. What a moran.

    ETA: Excuse me, make that “What an evil moran.”

  103. 103
    hovercraft says:


    But, but, tort reform, HSA’s and buying across state lines will cure everything that is wrong with our healthcare system, I have been told this a million times.

    @Frank McCormick:

    They say they backed off the gutting of the Ethics office because of angry calls from their constituents. Who knows if that’s true, but it can’t hurt. The other thing to bear in mind, is that conceptually almost every GOP voter supports the repeal, but at the same time they all believe that the benefits they gained will not be repealed. It’s one thing to rail against the ACA, but now that people are calling telling you real life consequences of repeal, shit is all too real. With enough calls they may back off. Or at the very least, do as Major x4 says, do some minor tweaks and rebrand it as Trumpcare.

  104. 104
    Kathleen says:

    I called Portman’s DC. office yesterday about the bill that was introduced yesterday. I asked what Portman’s position was on that bill. The staffer told me he was still formulating his position. I then asked if he supported repeal of ACA and expressed concern ovet people who would lose coverage (Vox article offered info I used. ) Staffer immediately launched scripted response about how it will be replaced with economical plan that will benefit all Ohioans. The fact she had a script was a good sign that they’re getting calls. Most times staffer won’t commit to position. I have too much experience dealing with. Rethug reps. Also there is call tonight at 7 to discuss Ohio and ACA.

  105. 105
    Ohio Mom says:

    @Yarrow: Don’t forget to include Medicaid in your list of programs to leave alone!

    Tell ’em no on changing the funding mechanism to block grants — yes on keeping it a Fed match to a state’s contribution.


  106. 106
    germy says:


    pressed 2 to vote to support the ACA as it is now.

    This is why I said it’s rigged:

    The Zombie Eyed Granny Killer is running a survey on Obamacare.

    Follow prompts to support Obamacare.

    (608) 752-4050

    Press 1 to support Obamacare.

  107. 107
    Ohio Mom says:

    @Kathleen: details on tonight’s call?

  108. 108
    Barbara says:

    @Weaselone: At that point, the Democratic strategy is to state that insurance markets obviously cannot be reformed in a way to provide health care to all people and the only way forward is Medicare for all, without abolishing private health insurance. “You see? Even the Republicans can’t make insurance markets work!” (Forgetting for the moment that they were actually trying to make them not work.) Believe me, insurance companies know that when the next reform cycle comes around, how they behaved during the ACA will matter for what happens next. That’s one reason why so many have been willing to suffer losses. And don’t forget, more than a few have managed to make money.

  109. 109
    Juice Box says:

    @StringOnAStick: No need to listen to the speech. When it starts up, just press “1”.

  110. 110
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    You know, I’ve talked to conservatives and it’s bizarre- they utterly loath almost everything the GOP stands for, yet vote for the Republicans anyway and can’t explain it rationally. I don’t even buy racism since they all have good friends who are blacks who are very assertive about social justice (good, as like the one woman whose dating a black guy, ya’ that close). So the whole vote the crooks in, knowing they are crooks and then spin on a dime and scream at Congress about ethics and health care doesn’t surprise me.

    Makes me think the real issue is the Boomers have been conditioned that Democrats are effete communists and they must to vote Republican come hell or high water because the baby Jesus will give them the gay herpes virus, or something.

  111. 111
    randy khan says:

    Putting the numbers in your phone is a fine idea – it will save a lot of time. I’ve done that and posted the local members’ numbers on my Facebook page to help friends do the same. (I also programmed evil Barbara Comstock’s number in my phone, as she’s in a nearby district where she ought to be nervous, and nobody can tell where you’re from when you call from a mobile phone.)

  112. 112

    @Another Scott: I use MiKTeX too. I just finished installing it on my new computer. My question was about the TeX Editor. Which one do you use?

  113. 113

    @Enhanced Voting Techniques: You can be prejudiced against black people without being openly racist against black persons. It’s quite easy actually.

    the real issue is the Boomers have been conditioned that Democrats are effete communists and they must to vote Republican come hell or high water because the baby Jesus will give them the gay herpes virus, or something

    That too.

  114. 114
    Kathleen says:

    @StringOnAStick: Thanks so much for that. I copied and pasted on email I sent to myself so I could keep it handy.

  115. 115
    Barbara says:

    @Enhanced Voting Techniques: There is a tremendous amount of social networking allegiance that has been built up over the years. That allegiance also makes people more reliable voters. One of the mainstays of hard core free marketeers is that loyalty is a dead concept. Young people have internalized that feature of the new social order pretty clearly. That makes them unlikely to vote Republican (there being no other earthly reason for them to vote Republican) but it also makes them less likely to vote at all. Paul Ryan, having never held a real job in the private sector, will eventually learn this too. Of course, many of us might be dead by then . . .

  116. 116
    Another Scott says:

    @schrodingers_cat: It’s been a while, and I don’t have it installed on this particular PC. Hmm… Let me install it again…

    It looks like I used the default editor (TeXworks) in combination with another editor I’ve used for many years (the one built into FileCommander/W) if I wanted to do more generic editing. Notepad++ seems to have decent syntax highlighting, etc., for TeX, also too.

    Hope this helps a tiny bit. It sounds like you’ve got much more experience with this stuff than me. ;-)


  117. 117
    Raoul says:

    I just called Gardner’s Denver office and the person I talked with was reasonably cheerful but wow what a pile of junk. She talked about affordability (which is a real issue) but she said he is working on removing the IRS penalty if your premium would be over 8% of your income.

    That doesn’t get you insured, ma’am I gently pointed out. She spluttered, repeating that affordability is the concern. OK, well work on that, but removing the penalty isn’t the path.

    As i talked more about my own situation, it was clear that we were going to go around and around, so I just emphasised my concerns: guaranteed issue and pre-existing condition cover are essential to people like me who are self-employed. I’m sure she’ll ‘let the Senator know.’

    I have a feeling Amy and I will have a few more rounds of this in future. I’m also considering asking some of my fellow church members in Summit County to set a group appt to meet with an actual health care staffer in the (semi-near, if appt is gettable) future.

  118. 118

    @Another Scott: Thanks anyway! I use WinEdt. I have the old version. WinEdt is good when you are working on lengthy projects like a review article or a thesis or a book.

  119. 119
    Raoul says:

    Also, does anyone know of a reliable and affordable way to send e-faxes? One of the ways I’ve sometimes communicated with Congress is via fax, but either through a former job or from questionable online fax services.

    It’s old school, but they all still have fax #s and it seems like it has more impact than email. Snail mail takes a long time, and on the sort of fast-breaking crapola like the Ethics Office move, much too late to matter (do they still have all the delaying threat detection for USPS to D.C. offices, or has that sped up?).

  120. 120
    Another Scott says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Ah, I see. WinEdt seems to be very full featured and lots of bells and whistles (like bidirectional language handling) that I don’t need, but you might. Still, thanks for the pointer. It might come in handy in the future.

    Best of luck with your search!


  121. 121
    sukabi says:

    @Kay: don’t hold your breath honey, you’ll be needing end of life counseling a death panel.

  122. 122
    germy says:

    @Raoul: Your local library should offer fax services.

  123. 123
    sukabi says:

    @Raoul: there are a bunch of free fax apps on Google play for your phone…don’t know how well they work though.

  124. 124
    Miss Bianca says:

    well, great. All our phone lines are down. Office *and* cell phone. Emails work?

  125. 125
    jenn says:

    @germy: I always call my Representatives/Senators, regardless of what party they’re in. How are they going to know what their constituents think if no one tells them? I may not change their minds, but my opinion is made known.

  126. 126
    workworkwork says:

    @schrodingers_cat: There’s a good open source editor called TeXstudio.

  127. 127
    StringOnAStick says:

    @germy: no, I meant to type “1” here, not “2” and I didn’t see my mistake in time to exit my comment here. I’m home sick with that cold, so while I wrote the wrong thing here, I did the right thing on the phone. So whatif its rigged, it eats up ZEGS cash to have to have such a system in place.

  128. 128
    Frank McCormick says:

    Thanks everyone for the feedback — I’m just having a hard time believing that McCaul, Cruz, and Cornyn give a rat’s ass what anyone to the left of Wallace has to say. Trust me, Republicans in this state believe that they are invincible despite the huge influx of voters from out of state. Even worse, Democrats believe the same thing and consistently fail to nominate and support viable candidates.

    In fact, I firmly believe that it is the latter fact that needs the most push locally — let’s get Texas Democrats and the DNC engaged in defeating the out of control Republicans.

    There is no way that Cruz is going to vote to maintain the ACA; he’s much too invested in its repeal. If he were to actually vote to preserve “Obamacare” (no matter the name), there is no shortage of cray-cray Texan Republicans who to primary him from the the right. Look at our state executives!

    PS Politically, I’ve gone from one extreme to another. When I lived in Chicago, there was no need for me to call my Senators and Representatives — they were already voting the way I desired. Here, except for the token non-gerrymandered districts, the exact opposite is true. (Look at the map for the district I live in to see — Texas -10 — a piece of Houston, a piece of Austin and a whole lot of empty ranch land.)

    NB This is about the ARA — now, yes, the OCE was another story.

  129. 129
    Bokonon says:

    It is pointless calling Cory Gardner about the ACA – all you can expect from him and his staff is the usual smiley evasions (covering for whatever policies the Koch Brothers want him to pursue). I get the feeling that the only purpose for which his office uses constituent calls is to plan the next dazzling media BS exercise. Which is exactly what his staff seem to be passing off right now.

    I am sorry to sound cynical, but Gardner is rising star in the GOP precisely because he is so GOOD at working the media and completely bumfuzzling voters. And most people I speak to here in Colorado seem to be confused, oblivious, or uncaring. The main exception are hard-core right wingers, who actually seem to understand and follow (and complain that Gardner isn’t doing ENOUGH).

  130. 130
    Ella in New Mexico says:

    I’m not gonna do it.

    Phone calls to my POS “Representative” in Congress Steve Pearce will fall on deaf ears, given that our gerrymandered district allows him to care less about anything but being a zombie Republican Cocksucking Hack waiting for all the goodies to fall from the sky because he’s such a loyal Heiler of the Zieg.

    What I want is for every single person in my district to feel the full effects of their stupid, uninformed vote. Even if the rest of our state had a brain, I’m all for letting Pearce’s supporters feel the fucking pain.

    I’m beginning to think that “Let them feel the pain of their stupid decisions” might be a smarter tactic than anything else if we want to take back the Congress within the next 100 years.

    Give them what they voted for. All of it. Let them see and feel the complete impact of what they did by giving us Trump and a Republicans in Congress.

    Then let’s see what happens in 2018.

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