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TODAY: Help me press Durbin, Duckworth in Chicago on Saudi-Yemen war powers

President Trump has already "increased logistical support" for the Saudi bombing of Houthis in Yemen. Trump Administration officials are threatening to conduct drone strikes against the Houthis. But Congress never authorized this war. Under the War Powers Resolution, a single Member of Congress could force a debate and vote on what Trump is doing. Unfortunately, we haven't got a single Member of Congress to agree to do this yet.

That’s why I'm going to visit the offices of Senator Durbin and Senator Duckworth in Chicago today (February 7th, 2017). I'm going to deliver the Illinois signatures on this petition, urging Durbin and Duckworth to stand up on Saudi-Yemen war powers before Trump can further escalate the war.

Here's how you can help:

1. Call Durbin's Chicago office at 312-353-4952 and/or Duckworth's Chicago office at (312) 886-3506. When you reach a staffer or leave a message, you can say:

"I urge Senator Durbin and Senator Duckworth to invoke the War Powers Resolution to force Congressional debate on Trump's escalation of the Saudi war in Yemen."

When you've made your call(s), please report that below.

2. Sign and share our petition if you haven't already. If you already signed and shared, please share it again.

TODAY 6pm: Use Ted Lieu phone-in "town hall" to oppose Trump's Yemen war!

President Trump has threatened to escalate U.S. participation in the Saudi war in Yemen by conducting drone strikes on Shia Houthi rebels. U.S. military action against Shia Houthi rebels has never been authorized by Congress. That means that under the War Powers Resolution, a single Member of Congress can introduce a privileged resolution to force a debate and vote on U.S. participation in the war before Trump carries out his threat.

LA Rep. Ted Lieu would be the natural person to do this: he's been a leader in Congress on criticizing U.S. participation in the Saudi war in Yemen. But, many Members of Congress see invoking the War Powers Resolution as a dramatic step. We need to show Rep. Lieu that people in Los Angeles want him to do this, that if Rep. Lieu takes this step, people in Los Angeles will have his back.

Today Rep. Lieu is hosting a phone-in "town hall." This gives us an opportunity to engage Rep. Lieu directly.

Just before 6pm Pacific Time, call: 877-353-4701 [toll free.] If you get to ask a question, you can say something like:

"I'm concerned by Trump's threat to escalate the Saudi war in Yemen by conducting drone strikes against the Houthis. This has never been authorized by Congress. I urge you to invoke the War Powers Resolution to challenge U.S. participation in the Saudi war before Trump can carry out his threat."

If you're able to call in, please report your call below, even if you don't get to ask a question. We'll report to Rep. Lieu's office how many people called in to ask for the invocation of Congressional war powers against Trump's threat to escalate in Yemen.

TRUMP THREATENS IRAN - CALL YOUR REP!

Roll Call reports:

the Trump administration escalated its sudden sabre-rattling toward Iran when President Donald Trump directly criticized Tehran in a series of tweets ... Hours after his top national security adviser put Iran “on notice” and other senior administration officials refused to rule out U.S. military action against the Islamic Republic, Trump himself appeared to threaten the Middle Eastern power in a series of tweets — and the words of U.S. presidents carry far more weight than career bureaucrats briefing behind the veil of anonymity

Call your Rep. now at (202) 224-3121. When you reach a staffer or leave a message, you can say something like:

I urge you to invoke Congressional war powers before President Trump attacks Iran. Congress must debate and vote.

When you've made your call, please report it below.

And if you haven't signed our petition to Congress yet, please do that here.

Tell your member of Congress to support Keith Ellison's #NoTPP fair trade policies!

On January 23, the US announced that it was withdrawing from the anti-democratic, anti-worker Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement [TPP] and seeking a reopening of the North American Free Trade Agreement [NAFTA]. The AFL-CIO praised the moves, saying, "Today's announcement that the US is withdrawing from TPP and seeking a reopening of NAFTA is an important first step toward a trade policy that works for working people. While these are necessary actions, they aren’t enough. They are just the first in a series of necessary policy changes required to build a fair and just global economy. We will continue our relentless campaign to create new trade and economic rules that end special privileges for foreign investors and Big Pharma, protect our planet’s precious natural resources and ensure fair pay, safe conditions and a voice in the workplace for all workers."

Champaign County Democrats endorse Congressman Keith Ellison for DNC Chair

Champaign County Democrats endorse Congressman Keith Ellison for DNC Chair

Contact: Robert Naiman, Just Foreign Policy, naiman@justforeignpolicy.org

Champaign, IL – On Wednesday, January 25, the Champaign County Democratic Central Committee voted overwhelmingly to endorse the candidacy of Keith Ellison to be the next chair of the Democratic National Committee. On the weekend of February 24, members of the Democratic National Committee will meet and vote to determine the new DNC chair at the DNC's Winter Meeting. [1]

Democratic precinct committeemen who supported the resolution to endorse Keith Ellison included Urbana Mayor Laurel Prussing, Urbana City Clerk Phyllis Clark, Party Chair Maryam Ar-Raheem, Urbana Aldermen Aaron Ammons and Eric Jakobsson, County Board Member Josh Hartke, former Urbana Alderman Ruth Wyman and former County Board Members Jan Anderson and Robert Naiman.

In declaring their support for Keith Ellison to lead the DNC, Champaign County Democrats join the Democratic Party of DuPage County and Kankakee County Democratic Party, as well as U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth, State Rep. Carol Ammons, State Party Vice-Chair Karen Yarbrough, U.S. Rep Jan Schakowsky, and the Illinois Democratic County Chairmen’s Association. [2]

Conyers-Grijalva-Ellison-Pocan Express Concern About Democracy in Brazil

 On January 18, Members of Congress wrote to the Ambassador of Brazil, expressing deep concern about the current state of democracy and human rights in Brazil.

The letter is here.

 

 

In defense of Keith Ellison: key documents

Link to this file:
http://www.justforeignpolicy.org/node/1708 

MoveOn petition: Stand with Keith - and condemn the smear campaign against him
 
Key Keith documents:
Keith platform:
https://keithfordnc.org/platform/ 
Keith endorsements:
https://keithfordnc.org/endorsements
Keith statement on Medium:
https://medium.com/@ellisonforcongress/listening-more-talking-less-2bb36e171dca

Ilya Sheyman statement in support of Keith Ellison

“As a Jewish refugee from the former Soviet Union, and as someone who’s worked closely with Keith Ellison for years, I know Keith Ellison represents the diverse and inclusive vision the Democratic Party needs to stand for, and I know his commitment to a 50-state deep organizing strategy that the DNC needs.”

 
- Ilya Sheyman, Executive Director of MoveOn.org Political Action
 
 
 

Questions about Honduras for candidates for U.S. Secretary of the Treasury

Given that U.S. policy at the international financial institutions reports to the Secretary of the Treasury, Just Foreign Policy asked U.S. advocates concerned with U.S. policy in Honduras: what questions would you like to ask candidates for Secretary of the Treasury concerning U.S. policy in Honduras?

 What follows is a lightly edited compilation of the responses we received.

 1. Will you oppose funding of Agua Zarca and other harmful dam projects planned over the objections of local communities?

 2. Will you ensure that international law is upheld and that local indigenous communities are properly consulted regarding any planned development projects before IFI support is approved for such projects?

 3. Given that senior Honduran government officials have been involved in planning so-called "Employment and Economic Development Zones," in which several articles of the Honduran constitution, as well as international laws regarding labor and other human rights would not apply, will you oppose any IFI support for such zones, or for projects in them?

WaPo: Foreign policy elite hates Obama for blocking new Syria war

The Washington Post reports that Washington's bipartisan foreign policy elite is united in their passion for a new war in Syria, and is looking forward eagerly to Obama's departure from office, because they see the Obama Administration as the key obstacle to their plans for a new war in Syria.

Reality-based comments like this from Obama Administration officials drive the bipartisan foreign policy elite up the wall:

“You can’t pretend you can go to war against Assad and not go to war against the Russians,” said a senior administration official who is involved in Middle East policy and was granted anonymity to discuss internal White House deliberations.

New York Representative Eliot Engel, who voted for the Iraq war and opposed the Iran nuclear deal is trying to promote a new war in Syria and undermine U.S. diplomacy with a bill that calls for the U.S. to impose a "no fly zone" against Russian and Syrian planes. Engel's bill also attacks the Iran nuclear deal by re-imposing sanctions on Iran that were lifted in the deal.

Call your Representative now at (202) 224-3121. When you reach a staffer or leave a message, you can say something like:

"I urge you to oppose Engel's bill HR 5732. This bill promotes a new war in Syria, undermines U.S. diplomacy, and undermines the Iran nuclear deal."