The Liberal Spirit
The Essence of Freedom and Equality

What Am I Going to Say?

Key Talking Points

Issues and Nominees

On this page, we'll put the key talking points for each of the nominees and issues that Congress will be dealing with.  At the bottom of the page, I've added a sample call script which might be helpful if you've never done this before.  Please remember that this is an all-volunteer effort by one guy on a mission.  At the rate of obfuscation currently employed by Mr. Trump and his band of propagandists, I may not be able to keep up, so if there are any people out there willing to help maintain this page, please let me know either on the Contact Page or by Direct Message on Twitter.  Thanks! 

Nominees

Jeff Sessions (Attorney General)

Note: Hearing scheduled for January 10-11.  See Calendar for event details and list of committee members and then call ASAP.

  • Failed in being confirmed for Federal Bench in 1986 due to history of racist behavior and language. His appointment was blocked by a GOP-majority Senate.
  • Regularly blocks legislative progress by refusing to consent on votes, even for very popular legislation
  • Hostile toward LGBTQ rights
  • Opposed reauthorization of Violence Against Women Act
  • Repeatedly voted against defense authorization bills because of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell)
  • Anti-immigrant, to the extent that the National Review gave him the title, "Amnesty's Worst Enemy"
  • Climate-change denier
  • More than 1,100 law professors have written open letter opposing Sessions' appointment as being "unable to fairly enforce our nation's laws and promote justice and equality in the United States"

It's rumored that some Senators would be happy to get Sessions out of Congress because he's such an obstructionist, but don't let your Senators off the hook.  Tell them that if they support Sessions' confirmation, it will damage their reputation. Sessions is wholly unsuitable for Attorney General. 


Steven mnuchin (treasury)

  • A Wall Street insider with a tarnished history in the housing crisis.
  • Son of a yacht club family, drove a Porsche while at Yale.
  • Former partner at Goldman Sachs (following in his father’s footsteps) before moving into hedge fund management. (Hedge funds, an investment tool open only to the rich, can be incredibly lucrative for their managers, because they provide a 2% management fee along with typically a 20% cut of any investment gains.)
  • Profited off the housing/financial crisis of 2008 by buying a failing CA bank (IndyMac, which he renamed OneWest) and turning it into a “foreclosure factory” - kicking out people who had been the victims of predatory lending. Onewest was investigated and evidence of “widespread misconduct” was found, including illegally evicting homeowners.
  • Like most of Trump’s other nominees, zero experience in public service.
  • Trump’s national finance chairman since April 2016.
  • As Secretary of the Treasury, would be responsible for financial, economic and tax policy. The IRS -- which is allegedly auditing Trump -- is a Bureau within the Treasury Department and so would be under Mnunchin’s control.

The Treasury can and should be a progressive force, helping to reduce income inequality through responsible tax policy and to reduce risky, unethical business practices by supporting financial regulation. We also need a strong IRS to address tax fraud and corporation tax evasion; a weak IRS has a tendency to go after “easy targets” which means avoiding the rich and auditing the poor (or middle class). Mnunchin’s close relationship with Trump, his privileged background, and his track record of unethical business practices make him a radical, unacceptable choice.

Many thanks to @Atrytone4 for compiling and providing this information! 


rick perry (energy)

Coming Soon


Andrew Puzder (Labor)

Coming Soon

Betsy Devos (education)

  • Lifelong advocate for funneling taxpayer money into private schools (through vouchers). This causes public schools to further spiral downward in quality.
  • A leading voice in education in Michigan (thanks to all that Amway money), that state now funnels $1B of taxpayer money to private schools (70% are run for-profit, and most perform below the state average).
  • Actively opposes LGBTQ rights. Has donated to organizations that promote "conversion therapy" (same approach as Mike Pence).
  • Her motto for public schools has been, "defund, devalue and privatize"
  • Would be the first Secretary of Education who has never attended, taught in or sent her children to public schools.
  • Has claimed that her work in education is a way to "advance God's kingdom."  (While I never judge how someone exercises their faith, the comingling of faith and government nearly always leads to trouble.)
  • Owes thousands of dollars in property taxes on her vacation home, won't pay because those taxes support public education
  • Her husband wants to end all property taxes, further starving public education.
  • Pro-school-choice group she ran in Ohio owes $5.3 million in election fines to that state (owed since 2008).

The focus of education should be to improve public schools so that everyone gets a high-quality education from competent teachers.  To promote vouchers and using taxpayer dollars to send children to private schools (where the vouchers typically don't cover all the costs) only bleeds the funding from our system further and guarantees ongoing failures on the public education system. 


james mattis (defense)

Coming Soon


john kelly (homeland security)

Coming Soon

ben carson (housing and urban development)

  • Seriously?
  • Has no public policy background in any of the areas for which his agency is responsible for administering.
  • Was originally approach to run Health and Human Services, but declined. His key aid (Armstrong Williams) explained, "He's never run an agency and it's a lot to ask. He's a neophyte and that's not his strength."  Further, Williams told another news outlet, "Dr. Carson feels he has no government experience, he's never run a federal agency.  The last thing he would want to do was take a position that could cripple the presidency."

HUD requires more insight than having lived in a house in a city. The leader of this agency must be qualified and competent to achieve it's mission, which is to "create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable housing for all."  We fail to see how a medical doctor whose talents are clearly aligned to the operating room can possibly add value here. Ambassadorships are loyalty appointments. Cabinet posts should not be. 


rex tillerson (state)

Coming soon


tom price (health and human services)

Coming soon


Scott Pruitt (EPA)

Coming Soon


Issues

These issues will be updated over time and you may or may not personally agree with my positions.  You are invited to use these talking points if they're meaningful and helpful to you. 

Immigration

For all the bluster about the "wall", immigration on our southern border is not nearly the problem that Trump made it out to be.  There are many more points to be made than I have space for.

  • Between 2009 and 2015, President Obama deported 2.5 million people, earning him the title, "Deporter in Chief".  This is more than any other president has ever done and will be even higher when 2016 numbers are available. 
  • Net immigration from Mexico has been negative in every year since 2008, meaning more unauthorized immigrants go back to Mexico than come to the USA every year.  (Source: Pew Research)
  • Vetting of refugees is rock solid. It takes more than 2 years to arrive in your country of refuge, and the refugee gets no say or choice in where they'll be placed. To say that someone would become a refugee simply to commit acts of terrorism by plotting to come to the US is nonsense. 
  • Refugees:
    • Must pay for the cost of their flight to the USA
    • Receive a stipend of $1,000 to cover their first 3 months in the US
    • Must seek work once settled in the country.

OBAMACARE / ACA

This probably deserves its own page, but let's get started here:

  • It is unconscionable to repeal a healthcare program that insures more than 24 million people without a reasonable replacement plan having been developed. To simply "repeal and figure it out later" is not acceptable.
  • The two most popular aspects of Obamacare (elimination of restrictions on pre-existing conditions and insurance through your parents until age 26) are major reasons why it's more expensive than originally planned. But they are also why everyone has to participate.
  • A majority of Trump supporters didn't take Trump literally on the repeal message and they are now upset that it might actually get repealed.
  • Much of the cost of healthcare insurance is due to the profit motive of insurance companies.  Consolidation amongst major insurers has intensified their greed and offered fewer options to consumers.
  • Before any action is taken on Obamacare, we require Congress to provide their plan for addressing the following:
    • the 14.5 million individuals who will lose their Medicaid/CHIP coverage
    • the 8.8+ million people who will lose their private non-group coverage arranged through the various ACA marketplaces
    • the 700,000+ people who will lose insurance through their jobs because their employers will no longer be required to offer it to them. 
  • These are human lives we're talking about. Our Congress owes us answers BEFORE they act.  

Defense Spending

Coming Soon


Sample Call Scripts

Here are two sample scripts for the same nominee.  The first one I'd use for a senator that is likely to support the nomination, and the second for a senator who I believe would oppose it.  You can adapt for the congressional delegation in your state. 



Hi, 

My name is John Smith and I'm a constituent of Senator ______________.  I'm calling today to ensure that the Senator is fully aware of my views regarding the nomination of Jeff Sessions to be our next Attorney General. 

While Senator _____________ has expressed support for Mr. Trump's nominee, I feel this is a mistake on the part of Senator and wish to express my opposition to this nomination and to his confirmation by the Senate.

As I'm sure Senator _____________ is well aware, Mr. Sessions failed to receive Senate confirmation when he as nominated to the federal bench in 1986, because of his racially insensitive language and potentially racist behavior. This alone would disqualify Mr. Sessions as the highest law enforcement office of the land, but it is not his only failing or fault. 

Additionally, more than 1,100 law professors published an open letter expressing their grave concerns over this nomination and their belief - based solely on Mr. Sessions' legislative and public record - that he is unfit for this office.  I agree wholeheartedly.

We simply cannot trust Mr. Sessions to fairly enforce the laws of our great nation when he has expressed such disdain for so many of them, including equality for LGBTQ and immigrants. 

I would like your assurance that my position has been noted and that it will be communicated to the Senator with clear indication of the intensity of my opposition.  

As I'd like to make a note of this call, could I please have your name and position in senator's office?   Thank you. Can you tell me the name of the Legislative Assistant who typically advises Senator ___________ on judicial nominees?  

Thank you.  I appreciate your help.  

Hi, 

My name is John Smith and I'm a constituent of Senator ______________.  I'm calling today to ensure that the Senator is fully aware of my views regarding the nomination of Jeff Sessions to be our next Attorney General. 

It is my understandging that Senator _____________ has expressed concern over Mr. Trump's nominee, and I am calling to add my opposition to this nominee's confirmation by the Senate. 

As I'm sure Senator _____________ is well aware, Mr. Sessions failed to receive Senate confirmation when he as nominated to the federal bench in 1986, because of his racially insensitive language and potentially racist behavior. This alone would disqualify Mr. Sessions as the highest law enforcement office of the land, but it is not his only failing or fault. 

Additionally, more than 1,100 law professors published an open letter expressing their grave concerns over this nomination and their belief - based solely on Mr. Sessions' legislative and public record - that he is unfit for this office.  I agree wholeheartedly.

We simply cannot trust Mr. Sessions to fairly enforce the laws of our great nation when he has expressed such disdain for so many of them, including equality for LGBTQ and immigrants. 

I would like your assurance that my position has been noted and that it will be communicated to the Senator with clear indication of the intensity of my opposition.  

As I'd like to make a note of this call, could I please have your name and position in senator's office?   Thank you. Can you tell me the name of the Legislative Assistant who typically advises Senator ___________ on judicial nominees?  

Thank you.  I appreciate your help.