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TALKING POINTS

TEN POINTS OF AGREEMENT FOR ALL AMERICANS

The purpose of this page is to provide you with a list of talking points per major issue or topic so you can talk to voters and be knowledgeable about key issues.

Focus on ideas that under a normal administration would seem obvious, our ten points of agreement:

  1. We deserve a president who tells the truth.

  2. Cabinet members should be advocates for their agency.

  3. Americans want clean air and water and believe in climate change.

  4. Every citizen should be encouraged to vote.

  5. No child should go to bed hungry.

  6. Canada and Mexico are not our enemies.

  7. Russia is not our friend, and is trying to undermine democracy.

  8. The press is not the enemy.

  9. The tax cut benefits corporations and the wealthy, not the middle class.

  10. Children belong with their parents.

HOW WE SPEAK TO ONE ANOTHER, WITH CIVILITY AND RESPECT

 

"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. -- Maya Angelou

  1. Be prepared to listen carefully and try to understand the others point of view.

  2. Praise the person for making sensible statements or ones you agree with.

  3. Double up the praise for asserting American values – love of democracy, respect for the rule of law, decency, civility, care for others.

  4. Be prepared to switch the discussion from politics if person goes ‘out of bounds” eg hate, obvious lies, conspiracy theories. Answer with “we don’t believe the same on that one”’ One of the nicest ones I heard was “It is a beautiful day and we are here together. Let’s not talk about politics”.

  5. Focus and continue to switch the discussion to the relevant talking points --- not the red herrings or attempts to distract.

  6. Avoid any discussion of “both sides-ism” . If a president has committed obstruction of justice per facts in the Mueller report (not indicted because of a belief that a sitting president cannot be indicted), there is no other side. The president is alleged to have committed those acts. It doesn’t matter if a person on the Mueller team was having an affair with a woman and they were exchanging emails about Trump. Stay focused. Say “let’s get back to what we were talking about”.

  7. If the person cites a statistic or assertion that you don’t know about, don’t argue. Instead, say that “that doesn’t sound quite right. Let me check that out for myself. What is your reference?”

CORRUPTION AND CONFLICT OF INTEREST

  • Impeachment proceedings  as a result of Trump pressuring the Ukraine to dig up political dirt on Joe Biden, putting personal gain above the national security of the country

  • Mueller report findings on obstruction of justice, assumed that the president could not be indicted but did leave a strong case for prosecution after he leaves office. Much of the report is redacted and there are outstanding cases still open

  • Trump’s continuing suspicious defense of Russia – most recent is idea of inviting Russia back into the G-7 and pulling military our of Syria to the immense benefit of Russia

  • Hiring/appointing industry lobbyists, people without expertise or competence.

  • Hiring politicians who are hostile to the mission of the Federal agencies they are leading

  • Not holding press conferences, just tweets. How do the American people know what our government is doing?

  • Freezing Federal information and public comments

    • Forest service, scientific databases, census and more. There is slow steady erosion of the quantity and quality of information. The administration has interfered with reporting and engaged in “gag” orders

  • Belittling and trying to diminish our trust in, and respect for, our American institutions and agencies -- CIA, FBI, Homeland Security, Federal Reserve, Federal Elections Committee, Ethics Committee

  • Supported by dark money, a secret source of money – Follow the Money website reports all the financial disclosure information.

LEGAL EVIDENCE OF CORRUPTION AND CRIMINALITY -- REPUBLICANS VS. DEMOCRATS

Republicans have engaged in significantly more criminal behavior than Democrats since Nixon

Executive Branch Criminal Activities as of Sept. 2018

  1.  

    • Republican -- Trump, 1.8 years: 89 indictments, 24 convictions, 2 jail sentences

    • Democrat -- Obama, 8 years: 0 indictments, 0 convictions, 0 sentences

    • Republican -- W: 8 years, 16 indictments, 16 convictions, 9 jail sentences

    • Democrat -- Clinton, 8 years: 2 indictments, 1 conviction, I jail sentence

    • Republican -- Bush 1, 4 years: 1 indictment, 1 conviction, 1 jail sentence

    • Republican -- Reagan, 8 years: 26 indictments, 16 convictions, 8 jail sentences

    • Democrat -- Carter, 4 years: 1 indictment, 0 convictions, 0 sentences

    • Republican -- Nixon/Ford, 8 years: 77 indictments, 55 convictions, 15 jail sentences.

    • For much more hard data: https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2018/9/18/1796668/-UPDATED-Comparing-Presidential-Administrations-by-felony-arrests-and-convictions-as-of-9-17-2018

    • Totals since 1969:

      • Republicans, 209 indictments, 112 convictions, 35 jail sentences.

      • Democrats: 3 indictments, 1 conviction, 1 jail sentence

ECONOMY
  • Tariffs are properly called “import taxes” and are paid by individuals and corporations as part of the price of goods. Money is not paid to the government. 8/18/19 – “The New York Federal Reserve Bank estimates that, to date, the administration’s tariff policy has cost the median earner $831 per year, nearly offsetting the $930 per year benefit from the 2017 tax cut. In the long term, tariffs raise costs for U.S. businesses and consumers, eroding our competitive advantage.”

  • There are signs of recession -- manufacturing dip, inverted yield curve, use of low interest rated to "goose" the economy

  • Continued use of low interest rates during a strong economy means that this "tool" cannot be used during a recession

  • Tax cuts benefited corporations and the top 10%. The tax cuts were paid for by deficit spending that is larger than predicted. There was no trickle down.

  • Individual tax cuts will expire. Corporate tax cuts will not.

  • Tax cuts were used by corporations to buy back stock while there are limited results of investing those gains into the US economy beyond already planned expansion

  • The US economic growth is roughly the same as it was during the Obama administration

  • Job creation is roughly the same as during the Obama administration.

  • The average unemployment rate is lower

  • Farmers -- Losing the world’s most populous country as an export market has been a major blow to the agriculture industry. Total American agricultural exports to China were $24 billion in 2014 and fell to $9.1 billion last year, . Exports of farm products to China fell by $1.3 billion in the first half of the year, the agriculture group said this month.

  • Farmers are receiving a bailout from the Trump administration larger than the GM bailout and are not required to pay it back

  • Canadian wheat exports to China have “rocketed” this year, while exports from the United States have plunged. Potentially losing long term markets for agricultural products.

  • The Trump Economy in 15 charts

EDUCATION

Focus of education department has not been on education. Instead efforts have been directed at  . . .

  • Protecting for-profit colleges that defrauded their students by promising career and job opportunities falsely

  • Avoiding fairness in implementing the court order to implement the student loan repayment rules as dictated by the court

  • Focus on making it easier for college campuses to avoid dealing with rape cases so that boys' are not harmed unfairly

  • Arguing for school vouchers that send taxpayer funding to private and religious schools and tax relief to parents

ENVIRONMENT (NEEDS WORK!)
  • Widespread Impact of deregulation almost everywhere you look.

  • Lawsuits are abounding -- will make a list

  • Message might be that we should treat the earth as a gift to be cherished and protected with gratitude

FOREIGN AFFAIRS
  • Impeachment over Ukraine issues -- Trump withheld Congress-approved aid to Ukraine until the president agreed to publicly announce he would investigate the 2016 elections and Hunter Biden.

  • Withholding US aid to Ukraine and the subsequent scandal has weakened Ukraine in their war with Russia and given Russia the upper hand in their goal to annex Ukraine just as they did when they "took" Crimea. This violates international agreements regarding respecting sovereign borders.

  • Proven Russian Interference by Homeland Security Report and the Mueller report -- 2016 election continuing through the 2020 election

    • Refusal to respond to report of Russian interference or need for the US to prepare

  • Trade War leading to global economic slow down and fueling recession fears in US

  • Lost trust of Allies – respect worldwide is gone, not trusted by Western Europe, Australia, Canada and more

  • Praise and subservience for authoritarian governments and right wing  --  South Korea, Poland, Hungary, Boris Johnson and Brexit, Russia, The Philippines, Saudi Arabia – including support for man who brutally killed a journalist

  • Refusal to defend American tradition as the leading democracy and American values

  • Refusal to honor the agreements of America and made America decidedly less safe, threatening US national security.

  • Unexpected pull out of Syria, abandoning our allies the Kurds, humiliating our military, greenlighting Turkish aggression and handing the region over to Russian influence
  • Acceptance of murder by Saudi Arabian ruler. Selling arms to them that are being used in Yemen. Who knows what else.

  • NATO, United Nations, Paris Climate Accord, Iran Nuclear Deal, Nuclear Arms Treaty with Russia (Russia just had a nuclear problem likely from testing nuclear bombs)
HATE AND VIOLENCE IN THE US
  • Refusal to make any improvements in gun safety in the face of Increased mass shootings

  • Refusal to condemn or act in the face of an increase in hate crimes and speech

  • Refusal to condemn or act in the face of an increase in anti-Semitism and domestic terrorism

  • President insults and incites violence against immigrants, especially those seeking asylum

  • Refusal to pursue any legislation that would provide gun safety such as background checks

  • Continued reliance on the National Rifle Association for guidance on gun issue. That guidance is to not allow information to be collected and to stand in the way of any legislation for gun safety

  • Nearly 40,000 people die from gun violence, including 60% suicides. There were approximately  40,000 deaths from automobile accidents

  • There are 320M guns in the US, one for every person. The lion's share of these guns are owned by 10% of the population

HEALTHCARE
  • Republican budget of July 2019 offered $ 537 B cuts to Medicare and $1.5 T cuts to Medicaid and other health programs. If you, or your family, rely on either of these programs, your resources will be cut.

  • What would you lose if Obamacare went away?

    • Ensuring children up to age 26

    • Refusal to insure any pre-existing condition, as defined by insurance company. Could range from have high cholesterol readings to cancer and other serious health problems.

    • Mandatory preventive care that is helping all of us

    • Access to health insurance for 14 million Americans would go away

    • DOJ is supporting the elimination of the ACA in states that brought suit. The result would be chaos and would have a huge impact on private insurance, which insures 158 million Americans

  • U.S. health care spending increased 3.9 percent to reach $3.5 trillion, or $10,739 per person in 2017

  • Americans on average continue to spend much more for health care—while getting less care—than people in other developed countries -- the chief reason is not greater health care utilization, according to a study from a team led by a Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of P

IMMIGRATION
  • Human Rights abuses by the American Government

  • Stephen Miller, who is in the White House advising the president, leaked emails show that he is a serious white nationalist and is implementing racists policies designed to allow only white immigration and more

  • Separating children from their families and not knowing where they are

  • Restricting asylum so severely that people cannot exercise their rights

  • Detaining children and families in squalid, inadequate facilities -- 70,000 children detained in 2019

  • Using personal data to target community members and deport them

  • Trying to undo DACA -- assistance for children that were brought to this country as children and know no other country

  • Corruption in awarding contracts to providers

  • Trump faking an "emergency" to get what he wants -- to build a wall that will not stop immigration

  • Shutting down the government to bully Congress because they won't give him more money for the wall

  • Taking money from approved military project to build a wall

  • Restricting seasonal labor in tourism affecting the economy negatively

  • Travel industry reports a drop in American tourism

JUDICIARY AND THE COURTS
LIES AND MISLEADING STATEMENTS
  • The president  lies daily, and constantly, about everything issues large and small.

  • It is estimated that he has told over 13,000 lies as of October 2019. it is challenging to count the lies as he tells  the same one over and over and makes minor variations.

  • The number of lies per day, over 13 per day, is increasing.

  • When the daily lying is of this magnitude, nothing said can be trusted even though he must tell the truth some of the time.

  • Republicans lie with him and for him, misleading the public.

  •  “Whataboutism” and/or distraction helps mislead.

  • The president also insults, name-calls, discredits, humiliates, blames

  • The "entertainment" side of FOX news amplifies lies and conspiracy theories

  • The conspiracy theories from the far right, white nationalists are pervasive and integrated into the mainstream now, misleading the public.

TAXES AND BUDGET
  • The US annual 2018 budget outlay is 4.1T and the annual revenues are 3.3T

  • "It has reported that large budget deficits over the next 30 years are projected to drive federal debt held by the public to unprecedented levels—from 78 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2019 to 144 percent by 2049.[1] The United States has the largest external debt in the world and the 14th largest government debt as % of GDP in the world." from Wikipedia

  • The deficit, driven by the 2017 tax cut, is growing exponentially. Deficits are the shortfall -- spending more than you have.

  • Debt is money you have borrowed and need to pay back, with interest.The US debt is scheduled to grow more than 50% under Trump. That means that interest payments (often to foreign governments) will increase as a percent of the budget

  • Corporate tax receipts for the Federal government are at a 75 year low

  • The individual part of the 2017 tax cut is scheduled to expire in 2025. Corporate tax cuts do not expire.

  • The wealthiest 20% received 66% of the tax cut benefit in the first year. By 2027, the benefit will grow to 83%

  • Income inequality is at an all time high

  • The stock market is at an all time high. 51% of Americans have zero invested in the stock market. Some 35% of Americans have indirect ownership in stock through a 401K etc, Only 14% of Americans own stock directly. 15% of the US stock market is owned by foreigners. The growth in the stock market has no impact on many of us.

STATES

  • The US is divided, and polarized, in so many ways now. The most powerful division is the rural/urban divide. Every state looks the same now -- blue in the urban/suburban areas and red in the rural areas. Voters are concentrated in the urban areas.

  • But there are many others. Age divides. Religious divides. Race divides. Gender divides. College divides.

  • In 2019, Republicans would be most unhappy if their child married a transgender person. Democrats would be most unhappy if their child married a Republican.

  • There are many great articles about how Republicans and Democrats are at odds now and also how much common ground there might be

VOTING
  • Fairness – one person one vote (that counts!)

  • Population In US is approximately 320-330 million

  • There are an estimated that there were 245.5 million Americans ages 18 and older in November 2016,

  • About 157.6 million of whom reported being registered to vote, or 64%.

  • The 64% in the US is very low in comparison to other countries.

  • Nearly 136.8 million or 86% of registered voters voted. People who register tend to vote.

  • However, there are a number of states that do not register voters by party.

  • Pew Research Center is researching almost everything. For those of you that want real facts, this is a great place to get started.