This is the week to call your Senators about Trump's cabinet picks

This week, the Senate will hold confirmation hearings on nearly half of Donald Trump's cabinet picks, as well as his pick for Director of the CIA. These include many of Trump's most controversial nominees, which has led to accusations that the confirmation process is being rushed to prevent the Senate from adequately vetting them. Below, I've made a list of the most troubling nominees up for hearings this week—as well as states with senators who may be key swing votes on the relevant committees. Remember, the phone number for the Congressional switchboard is (202) 224-3121.

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Removing a US President by impeachment is hard

When people think of ways to protect America from the threat Trump represents, "impeachment" is one of the first things than comes to mind. Unfortunately, as much as I'd like to be able to cheer on every possible strategy for dealing with Trump, removing a US President by impeachment is uniquely difficult to pull off. That doesn't mean we shouldn't think about it how to do it, but in order for an impeachment to have any chance of succeeding, the first step is realizing how difficult it would be.

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Using online ads for political advocacy

I once heard Slate commentator Jamelle Bouie say, on Twitter, that you shouldn't underestimate older black women as footsoldiers for the Democratic party. However, it wasn't until I started running Facebook ads to promote a petition that I started to get this on a gut level.

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Did Trump and McConnell agree to split the cabinet 50/50?

I was going down Wikipedia's list of Donald Trump cabinet appointments, and noticed something odd: six of them (James Mattis, Rick Perry, Elaine Chao, Tom Price, John Kelly, and Ryan Zinke) are more or less the kind of people you would expect to have serving in a Marco Rubio administration. Some technically endorsed Trump, but only after he'd wrapped up the nomination.

You don't have to like Mattis' hawkishness on Iran, or Price's desire to dismantle Obamacare, but if people like them were the entire cabinet, at least you could tell yourself, "at least this won't be any worse than Dubya's administration." The problem is they aren't the entire cabinet. Almost as many Trump appointees are completely off-the-wall:

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A nuclear war is frighteningly easy to start

Previously, I've written about the threat Donald Trump poses to American democracy. Yet, for all the frightening signs we've seen on that front, I doubt it could happen overnight. In spite of his open admiration for Putin's authoritarianism, I doubt he could get America to full Putinism in four to eight years. Probably the worst-case scenario is turning America into what scholars have called a hybrid regime, like Singapore or Russia in the 90s. Many of the other nightmare scenarios Trump could cause—such as provoking a military coup—would probably similarly require a gradual weakening of America's institutions first. But there is one threat that would not take years to play out, that could happen with frightening speed. That threat is nuclear war.

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Announcing the Defend Democracy PAC

I registered NoTinyHands.com on November 9th, the morning after Trump's election. At first, I didn't know what I would do with it—I had a vague idea that it might be a way to communicate with friends about politics without being at the mercy of Facebook's algorithms. Then, as an experiment, I decided to try running some Facebook ads to promote the site. 

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Support Rep. Katherine Clark's Presidential Accountability Act

If you've already called your senators about Trump's appointments, particularly Jeff Sessions, here's something you can you can do to help make life difficult for Trump come January 20th: call your congressional representatives to support Katherine Clark's presidential accountability act. The bill would, in a nutshell, extend federal laws against conflicts of interest to the President and Vice President, and require Trump to take the same steps to avoid conflicts of interest while in office that presidents since Lyndon Johnson have. 

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The threat Donald Trump poses to democracy, in one tweet

I apologize for the clickbait headline, but in this case I think it fits. President-Elect Donald Trump just tweeted this:

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Dean Heller is a perfect example of the kind of Republican you need to call

Yesterday, I got a message on Facebook that said, "I've already called my Rep in Nevada, but I don't think it will make a difference." This is an understandable concern. My response below the fold:

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Script for contacting your senators about Trump appointees

After my post on appointments, I got a number of people asking me for a script they could use for calling their senators. Here's a lightly-edited version of the script I used for calling Dianne Feinstein this morning:

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