Call Your Rep. TODAY Re: Tomorrow's Vote on Trump Investigation

February 27, 2017

Tomorrow (Tuesday) the House Judiciary Committee members will debate and vote on investigating Donald Trump and his administration thanks to Democratic Representative Jerry Nadler's clever resolution of inquiry I wrote about here a couple of weeks ago.

That means you need to call your Representative TODAY to urge him/her to co-sponsor Rep. Nadler's demand that the Department of Justice turn over all relevant material about Trumps ties to Russia and his tax returns.

1. Find your Rep's number(s) here (and add it to your activism cheat sheet or just put them all in your phone if you haven't already - makes calling a heck of a lot easier).

2. Check to see if they've already co-sponsored Nadler's inquiry (111) here.

3.. Here's what you say - remember to be polite: "Hi, my name is NAME. I'm a constituent calling from TOWN/CITY. I'm calling to urge Rep. NAME to co-sponsor Rep. Nadler's resolution (number 111) of inquiry into President Trump's ties to Russia, conflicts of interest and ethical violations, including turning over his tax returns."

The staffer should tell you they'll pass that along (and they may ask for your address), after they do, press them a little for more information by saying, "Can you please tell me if Rep. NAME has already signed on to Rep. Nadler's resolution?"

Unless your Rep. has already signed on to Nadler's inquiry, in which case you should ask them to say thank you, the staffer will just say they don't know. If that is the case, you can close by saying, "Please tell Rep. NAME that I urge him/her to put the safety and sovereignty of our democracy ahead of party affiliation and that I will be paying attention to see whether HE/SHE stands up for our country." Always be polite and friendly.

3. Report back. MoveOn is tracking people's reports of their calls and it only takes a second to share a quick report of your interaction with your Congressperson's staff. 

4. Share this post with anyone you think will join you in calling.

More info below if you'd like it (via MoveOn).

Rep. Nadler's resolution directs the Department of Justice to provide the House of Representatives with any and all information relevant to Trump and his associates’ conflicts of interest, ethical violations, and ties to Russia.

Nearly every day, more and more questions surface concerning Donald Trump’s ethical violations and questionable ties to Russia. Donald Trump has refused to step away from his business interests in any meaningful way. Trump's foreign entanglements are likely unconstitutional. He has repeatedly refused to disclose his financial assets, and he is severely compromised by known Russian interference in our election and by continued revelations about ties that he, his campaign, and his administration might have to Russian officials.

Rep. Nadler's resolution represents one of the best chances we have right now to pull apart Trump's web of corruption and foreign entanglements.

Help Place Ads Urging Congress to Save the ACA

February 26, 2017

Greetings from sunny Costa Rica where I am ostensibly on vacation with my family. Although I have been going for hours at a time without thinking about Trump, I'm still lying awake in the middle of the night worrying about what's happening at home.

So it was nice to wake up this morning (unfortunately, at the crack of dawn - my kids do not even make it until sunrise here) to this fundraising appeal from Ultra Violet about the ads they're placing urging members of Congress to save the ACA - something that two of my friends have actually been pursuing on their own (go Mitzi and go Peter!)

I'm really sick of getting requests for money from nonprofits who don't seem to be doing all that much to counter Trump's threat, but this is one I endorse wholeheartedly!

Since it's Sunday and you can't call Congress anyway, please chip in a little bit to help Ultra Violet place more ads that it will be hard for members of Congress to ignore.

P.S. Those of you who live in my district (NY 19) please let me know if you'd be interested in chipping in to pay for some newspaper ads targeting John Faso at some point in the near future.

Support Jon Ossof's Campaign In Georgia

February 23, 2017

Republican Tom Price left a vacancy in Congress as the Representative for Georgia's 6th Congressional District when he took the post as Trump's head of Health and Human Services (shudder). Although Price won re-election handily as an incumbent, Trump only won Georgia's 6th district by one measly point which means that the Democrat who's running for Price's vacant seat has a real chance of winning in April.

The Democrat in question is Jon Ossof - an investigative film maker and former congressional staffer who worked with civil rights legend John Lewis. Click here for more background on him.

You can help Dems restore a balance of power in the House by supporting his campaign for the upcoming special election on April 18th.

I just donated to his campaign and also signed up to make calls.

You should donate, too. Whatever you can afford will be helpful.

If you're in Georgia, you can also sign up to knock on doors or volunteer in some other way. Here's the link to sign up for volunteer activities.

Please do something to help him win!

Join a Recess Resistance Meeting THIS WEEK

February 20, 2017

Your Members of Congress (MOCs) are back in their home districts this week to meet with their constituents - something that's typically done via large public meetings called townhalls.

Your job this week is to show up. If you disagree with how our MOC's have been representing you, you need to hold them accountable. And if you think your MOC's have been doing a good job, you need to show your support to provide political cover for them.

Please watch this short, sweet video by Robert Reich about why townhall meetings are so important.

Unfortunately, many members of Congress - primarily Republicans - are opting out of townhall meetings because they can't take the heat of an engaged (and enraged) citizenry.

Just look at the awesome job Utahans did with Rep. Jason Chaffetz (a genuine "swamp creature" who is still vowing to investigate Hillary's emails in his role as Chair of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform but seems unconcerned about looking into Trump's ties to Russia and massive conflicts of interest...) at a recent townhall. I've watched this a few times when I'm feeling down and it never fails to cheer me up :)

Here are your marching orders:

1.  Read through the Indivisible guide to Recess Resistance - it's got all the information you could possibly need.

2a. If your members of Congress are actually holding townhall meetings, go to one! Check the listings at the Town Hall project as well as at the Resistance Recess listings by MoveOn to see what's happening If you like what your member has been doing, show your support by bringing a sign and speaking up. If you disagree with what your member is doing, show your disapproval by bringing a sign and speaking up against their actions/votes.

2b. If your members of Congress are too cowardly to hold a townhall meeting, you need to go to whatever alternate meeting or protest is planned (find one here) to highlight the fact that they're not willing to meet with their constituents. You can print out a life-sized picture of your Congressperson's face and glue it to a piece of cardboard with a little handle (or go the full cardboard cut out route if time and funds allow)!

3. Record whatever happens at the meeting. Take lots of pictures of the crowd and of yourself and your friends posing with that cardboard cut out of your member of Congress. Try out Facebook live or just take a regular old video.

4. Share your photos, videos and quotes on social media using the hashtag #resistancerecess and #resisttrump along with whatever specific hashtags might be relevant for your members of Congress.

5. Tweet and email your photos and quotes to local reporters, newspapers and news sites.

For example, we're dealing with a no-show here in NY's 19th congressional district -- our first-term Republican Congressman, John Faso refuses to participate in public meetings or to post his schedule.

So we're having a townhall meeting without him (although he's cordially invited - we really would prefer for him to participate) and inviting the press.

Yesterday, I ordered a life-sized cardboard cut out of Where's Waldo with Faso's face (thanks again for the photoshop help, Phil!) so that people can pose with it for photos. Then they can post them to social media using hashtags like #WheresJohnFaso and #NotSoFaso It's the next best thing to actually being able to meet with him.

Join a Not My President's Day Event

February 19, 2017

Tomorrow is the first-ever Not My President's day tomorrow (Monday) and there are lots of ways to celebrate it.

1. Find an event. There are marches planned all across the country - here's the list. There are also lots of other events being planned - protests, block parties, concerts and more. If you don't know of something happening near you, I encourage you to find a group near you and see what they have planned. Visit Indivisible to find a group near you.

2. Go to the event.

3. Take lots of pictures.

4. Share the pictures on social media using the hashtag #notmypresident and throw in #resisttrump if you have space for it.

That's it!

Call Your Senators THIS MORNING About Pruitt

February 17, 2017

This one is rather urgent as the vote on Pruitt is scheduled for 4 PM TODAY. Phone lines should open up shortly so GO GO GO. And please share widely. If you're in a rush, just scroll down for the link to find your Senators numbers and the script you can use.

Call your Senators first thing this AM to urge them to delay today's vote on Scott Pruitt, Trump's pick for head of the EPA until thousands of emails he exchanged with oil and gas executives as Oklahoma Attorney General are released. Groups requested the release of these emails two years ago (still waiting) and Democrats in the Senate have also requested to view them as part of the confirmation process. A judge just ordered that he needs to release them yesterday but unless we can delay the vote (or stop Pruitt altogether) they won't arrive in time.

And if the vote cannot be delayed, they need to vote NO on Pruitt who is a long-standing enemy of the EPA who will be only too happy to follow through on Trump's orders to "get rid of it." Even workers at the EPA are calling their Senators to urge them to vote No in an unprecedented show of activism. Here's the NYTimes piece about this.

1. Find your Senators' phone numbers here. Make sure to call them both. If you need to try their district offices to get through, please do so.

2. Here's your script: "My name is NAME. I'm a constituent calling from TOWN/CITY. I don't need a response. I am calling to urge the Senator to delay the vote that's scheduled for this afternoon on Scott Pruitt, Trump's pick for EPA chief until he releases his emails per the judge's order. If the vote cannot be delayed, I urge the Senator to vote NO on Pruitt who has no place in the EPA, an agency he has fought against throughout his career. Thank you for taking the time to pass my comments along."

3. Please share this email widely. We've got to stop Pruitt.

4. Two other things you can do to help:

  • Call Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) to thank her for opposing Pruitt (she's the lone Republican who has...) and urge her to use her influence with her Republican colleagues to delay the vote. (202)224-2523 press 0 
  • Call Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to urge him to delay the vote until the court-ordered emails are released. (202) 224-2541 

Support Free Press by Subscribing or Donating (and Call Congress )

February 15, 2017

We truly need an independent press right now -- so we have to put our money where our mouths are.

I was so moved by the Washington Post's role in uncovering former national security adviser, Mike Flynn's treachery and forcing his resignation that I finally got past my childish feeling that I should not have to pay for quality reporting and subscribed to the WaPo yesterday. $100 bucks a year is a tiny price to pay for the preservation of our democracy!

I urge you to join me in subscribing - here's the link.

I also made a donation to the New York Times (I already have a subscription to that via a family member). You should either subscribe or make a donation, too.

And I made a donation to the Guardian not long after the election because I think they do excellent reporting. Perhaps you're also a fan of their reporting? If so, please support the Guardian.

Other places to consider supporting include Slate.

And Teen Vogue has done some of the best reporting around lately. Feel free to suggest other good sites/papers via comments.

Also, if you haven't already done it, please call your members of Congress to urge them to investigate Trump's ties to Russia right now. You can use the scripts in Monday's post or simply say, "I urge Senator/Rep.NAME to investigate President Trump's ties to Russia in the wake of the revelations about Mike Flynn's treachery." And while you're at it, you might as well tell the staffer that you'd like them to demand that Trump release his tax returns.

We need to get to the bottom of this sordid affair as quickly as possible and we cannot afford to "move on" from it as some Republicans have requested.

Demand an Investigation of Trump's Conflicts of Interest and Ties to Russia

February 13, 2017

Considering that Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server required massive investigations and contributed to her failure to win the electoral college, it's ironic that Donald Trump's blatant and unprecedented conflicts of interest and his clear ties to Russia are no cause for concern for Congressional Republicans who have repeatedly ignored requests for an investigation on both counts.

So last Thursday, Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) resorted to a little-used legislative tool to force either a committee debate or a full House vote on this issue. Nadler filed a "resolution of inquiry" asking our new attorney general, Jeff Sessions (sigh) to provide copies of everything that pertains to any criminal or counterintelligence investigation into Trump.

Now they'll either they'll have to launch an investigation or the GOP will have to go on record as saying they do not believe one is needed - which should provide excellent fodder for their opponents' campaigns in the upcoming midterm elections.

Here's what you do today:

1. Thank Rep. Nadler for pushing for an investigation of Trump's conflicts of interest and ties to Russia.

Here are Nadler's phone numbers: (202) 225-5635, (212) 367-7350, (718) 373-3198

Here's your script: "Hi, my name is NAME and I'm calling from TOWN/CITY/STATE. I don't need a response, I just wanted to tell Rep. Nadler how grateful I am for the leadership he's showing in calling for an investigation into President Trump's conflicts of interest and his ties to Russia. Thank you so much."

Twitter is:  My tweet is below in case it's helpful.
2. Urge Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), the chair of the House Judiciary committee to launch an investigation per Nadler's request.
Here are Goodlatte's phone numbers (I got through to DC on my first attempt on Friday morning): (202) 225-5431, (540) 432-2391, (434) 845-8306, (540) 857-2672, (540) 885-3861

Here's your script: "Hi, my name is NAME and I'm calling to urge Rep. Goodlate committee to launch an investigation into President Trump's unprecedented conflicts of interest and his ties to Russia without further delay. This is not a partisan issue, it's a matter of dire national security that requires immediate attention. Thank you for taking the time to pass along my comments." They'll probably ask where you're calling from - you can just say you're not a constituent but are calling with regards to the Representative's role as Chairman of the Judiciary committee.

Twitter is:  My tweet is below in case it's helpful.
3. Contact the House Judiciary Committee to urge the same. 

Phone number is: (202) 225-3951 (I got through on the first try on Friday morning).

Here's your script: "Hi, my name is NAME and I'm calling from TOWN/CITY/STATE to urge the committee to launch an investigation into President Trump's unprecedented conflicts of interest and his ties to Russia without further delay. This is not a partisan issue, it's a matter of dire national security that requires immediate attention. I am very grateful to Rep. Nadler for his leadership on this topic and urge the committee to act ASAP. Thank you for taking the time to pass along my comments."

Twitter is:   My tweet is below in case it's helpful.
If you'd like to read more, here are some articles about this development.

Spread Kindness

February 10, 2017

The middle schoolers at our school started a kindness club a few months ago. It's been a good reminder that even a small act can change someone's day and can ultimately go a long way because kindness grows and spreads. In the midst of all the anger and hatred and fear we're likely all feeling, it's important to remember how powerful kindness is and to follow this simple advice: "Be a little kinder than you need to be."

The middle schoolers created a "Kindness Tree" to help keep track of acts of kindness that they've received, performed, and observed. You write the act down on a heart-shaped piece of paper which then gets taped to the trees branches to form a big, beautiful canopy of kindness leaves.

I think it can help to do something like this that helps remind us of the power of kindness in a visible way. You could start your own kindness tree or simply write things down or you could put a quarter in a jar for each act of kindness and then donate them or use them to buy something to celebrate kindness with your family.

Here are some ideas for ways you can practice kindness on a daily basis - feel free to suggest others via comments if you've got a good one.

  • Tell the people you love that you love them - do it often.
  • Call, email or text someone just to say hi and see how they're doing.
  • Give compliments whenever you think of them.
  • Leave bigger tips.
  • Say please and thank you and mean them.
  • Put coins in the meter (or the laundry machine).
  • Give up your seat on a crowded train or bus.
  • Hold the door open for strangers (or non-strangers).
  • Bring someone coffee or tea.
  • Cook a meal for someone who could use one - just had a baby, sick, or just tired or overwhelmed.
  • Bake cookies for someone who needs cheering up or just to show your appreciation.
  • Make a donation to support a charity or cause you believe in.
  • Clean the toilet at your house if you do not usually clean it (and start cleaning it at least half the time - it's a job that deserves to be shared equally :)
  • Take a loved one's car to the carwash and return it in sparkling condition.
  • Bring someone a giftcard for a store they frequent regularly (this can be a store like Target, it does not have to be swanky.)

I'll close by sharing this poem (thanks for sharing, Sara)

Naomi Shihab Nye

Before you know what kindness really is
you must lose things,
feel the future dissolve in a moment
like salt in a weakened broth.
What you held in your hand,
what you counted and carefully saved,
all this must go so you know
how desolate the landscape can be
between the regions of kindness.
How you ride and ride
thinking the bus will never stop,
the passengers eating maize and chicken
will stare out the window forever.
Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness
you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho
lies dead by the side of the road.
You must see how this could be you,
how he too was someone
who journeyed through the night with plans
and the simple breath that kept him alive.
Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,
you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.
You must wake up with sorrow.
You must speak to it till your voice
catches the thread of all sorrows
and you see the size of the cloth.
Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,
only kindness that ties your shoes
and sends you out into the day to gaze at bread,
only kindness that raises its head
from the crowd of the world to say
It is I you have been looking for,
and then goes with you everywhere

like a shadow or a friend.

Call Congress About These Bills to Boot Bannon Off the NSC

February 08, 2017

Today's action is simple. Call your Senators and your Rep to urge them to support two newly introduced bills (one in the House, one in the Senate) that would prevent Bannon from sitting on the National Security Council.

Call your members of Congress to urge them to co-sponsor the bills to remove Bannon from the NSC.

1. Call your Senators about S. 291 - find their numbers here (fill out your activism cheat sheet if you haven't already done it - you'll thank yourself!)
Check here to see if your Senators have already co-sponsored the bill yet.

If he/she HAS co-sponsored, here's your script: 

"Hi, my name is YOURNAME. I'm calling from YOURTOWN/CITY. I don't need a response but wanted to thank the Senator for co-sponsoring Senator Mark Warner's bill, S.291 to modify the requirements for membership in the NSC because Bannon's presence on the NSC is unprecedented and dangerous and serves no one but him. Please thank Rep. REPNAME for leading on this issue. Thank you so much for your time."

If he/she has NOT already co-sponsored, here's your script: 

"Hi, my name is YOURNAME. I'm calling from YOURTOWN/CITY. I don't need a response but wanted to urge the Senator to please co-sponsor Senator Mark Warner's bill, S.291 to modify the requirements for membership in the NSC ASAP. It does not serves anyone except Steven Bannon for him to have a voting seat on the NSC. It's unprecedented and dangerous and the Senator needs to stop it. Can you please tell me if the Senator is co-sponsoring S. 291 or pass me on to someone who can? Thank you so much for your time."

2. Call your Representative about H.R. 804 - find his or her contact info here (and add it to your activism cheat sheet if you haven't already). 

Check to see if he or she has already co-sponsored this bill. 

If he/she HAS already co-sponsored, here's your script:

"Hi, my name is YOURNAME. I'm calling from YOURTOWN/CITY. I don't need a response but wanted to thank Representative REPNAME for co-sponsoring Rep. Murphy's bill, H.R. 804 to prevent political appointees from serving on the NSC because Bannon's presence on the NSC is unprecedented and dangerous and serves no one but him. Please thank Rep. REPNAME for leading on this issue. Thank you so much for your time."

If he/she has NOT already co-sponsored, here's your script: 

"Hi, my name is YOURNAME. I'm calling from YOURTOWN/CITY. I don't need a response but wanted to urge Rep. REPNAME to please co-sponsor  Rep. Murphy's bill, H.R. 804 to prevent political appointees from serving on the NSC because Bannon's presence on the NSC is unprecedented and dangerous and serves no one but him. Can you please tell me if Rep. REPNAME is co-sponsoring H.R. 804 or pass me on to someone who can? Thank you so much for your time."

If you have time to go the extra mile, please tweet at them, submit a comment via their web form or post on their Facebook pages, too. And put all those addresses in your cheat sheet so you have them handy next time.

Thank These Companies for Doing the Right Thing

February 07, 2017

Today's actions are a delightful change from all the outraged calls we've been making. Instead, we'll focus on saying thank you to all the companies and elected officials who are taking a stand for our rights and speaking out against Trump's hate-driven agenda.

These companies are getting a ton of blowback from the other side about their actions so it's super important for them to get public recognition and support for their actions so do not skimp on your praise!

Here's who you can reach out to to say thanks.

Starbucks for pledging to hire 10,000 refugees worldwide, for reimbursing employees who are part of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program for the fee they have to pay every other year to be part of it, and for continuing to invest in Mexico. More about CEO Howard Schultz's response to Trump's Executive Order here.
Nordstrom for dropping Ivanka Trump's line of clothing and shoes. They did not cite the weeks-long boycott customers have been waging in their decision but it seems pretty clear that's what was behind the move.
Instacart for creating "office hours" with immigration attorneys for employees and their families along with a pledge to expedite H-1B visas and green cards for employees in need. Instacart CEO Apoorva Mehta (who grew up in one of the banned countries) also spoke out publicly and donated $100,000 to the ACLU.
Airbnb co-founder and CEO Brian Chesky made a number of public statements on Twitter opposing the ban, they're coordinating free housing for people in need, and the company is matching all gifts made up to $100,000 (each) to The International Rescue Committee, International Refugee Assistance Project, and the National Immigration Law Center - donate here to have your gift matched.
Lyft for pledging to donate $1 million to the ACLU over the next four years.
Google for creating a $2 million matching gift fund for its employees to support the American Civil Liberties Union, Immigrant Legal Resource Center, International Rescue Committee and The UN Refugee Agency.
Uber despite a slow start, Uber has gotten with the program after a huge public outcry. They've set up a $3 million fund to help their drivers who are affected by Trump's ban and their CEO, Travis Kalanick also announced on Thursday that he has dropped out of Trump's panel of economic advisors in response to said outcry.
If you're on a roll and want to do more praising, you may want to reach out to more of the companies listed in this article and also check out the list of "Brave Brands" by Grab Your Wallet (scroll to the right a bit to see them.)

You can also thank any of the brands that have dropped their ads on Breitbart as a result of the Sleeping Giants campaign. See list here.

I'll do another post soon about more boycotts to join (or threaten).

Filibuster or bust!

February 06, 2017

Short version: If either of your Senators is a Democrat, call them today and urge them to filibuster Trump's Supreme Court nomination, Neil Gorsuch. Find your Senators' contact info here. Scroll to the end of this post for a script.

Call all their numbers until you get through. Don't give up - it may take a while. If you haven't already done it, use this as an opportunity to complete your activism cheat sheet so you never have to look up their numbers again.

This seat on the Supreme Court became vacant during Obama's reign but the Republicans repeatedly blocked his nomination, Merrick Garland, a well-respected, non-controversial choice, mounting a ten-month stonewall to avoid having so much as a committee hearing on Garland. Senate Republicans also threatened to keep their filibuster up for four years if Clinton had been elected.

Now it's time for the Democrats to return the favor, immature as it may be, the alternative is too wimpy to be countenanced.

Legal experts predict that if he's confirmed, Gorsuch will be one of the most conservative modern justices to sit on the Court. As a justice on the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, Neil Gorsuch repeatedly tried to gut the Affordable Care Act's birth control mandate and would have allowed Planned Parenthood to be de-funded. His record shows he's a threat to Roe v. Wade.
Current Senate rules require a nominee to receive 60 votes, eight of which are held by the Democrats. We can't let this life-long position go to Gorsuch.
Call your Democratic Senators today. Tweet at them, post to their Facebook pages, send them a printed letter, a fax, or all of the above.

Here's what you can say (feel free to use your own words, of course) - please note that Gorsuch is pronounced "Gore-sitch":

Hi, my name is YOURNAME and I'm calling from YOURTOWN/CITY. I don't need a response. I'm calling to beg the Senator to filibuster Trump's supreme court justice nominee, Neil Gorsuch. Gorsuch is extremely conservative and poses a serious threat to the sanctity of Roe v. Wade and other women's rights and civil rights issues. 

In addition, you need to show the Republicans that you will not simply roll over after they stole this seat from Merrick Garland by throwing a 10-month tantrum last year.. Please tell the Senator to show some spine - America's future is at stake. Thank you so much for taking the time to pass on my comments. 

Read This Ray of Hope and Pace Yourself

February 04, 2017

Take a moment to read this hopeful take on our current situation. Who knows if it's right but in these dark days, I like the idea of staying open to more optimistic points of view.

I mentioned in my last post that I am a notoriously glass-half-empty kind of person. It's one of my biggest personal failings/challenges.

I fell into a pretty dark place over the past few days. It's scary (not to mention stinky) in there with only Bannon and Trump to keep me company.

Somehow, today is better. The sun is shining after yesterday's snowstorm. I spent a few hours away from my computer cleaning my house - always a surefire mood booster for me. I plan to go for a walk later.

It helps to remind myself that I am not alone in my fear and my anxiety, nor am I alone in my deep love for this country and my commitment to upholding our democracy.

And, fortunately, stopping Bannon-Trump is not all on me. A whole lot of you are doing a pretty FABULOUS job. People are coming out, speaking up, not backing down, keeping it up.

I am particularly impressed by the protesters keeping up a constant vigil outside my Senator, Chuck Schumer's apartment in the heart of Park Slope. Some of them brought actual spines with them :)

It appears to be beginning to bear fruit - Schumer has finally begun speaking more forcefully. He's still way more of a spineless wimp than the progressive firebrand we need but it's a start. We can't all have someone like Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders as our Senator, at least not yet...

As so many people have said lately, we've got to pace ourselves. This will be a marathon, not a sprint.

To that end, I will likely stop publishing posts every day - some of you will undoubtedly be relieved not to be hearing from me quite so often...

And I am committing to spending more time unplugged from my phone and laptop. I also want to spend more time out among other people DOING things - registering people to vote, visiting members of Congress, and just generally anything that feels like it's contributing to my sanity and/or the greater good. Maybe you want/need to do the same?

As my very wise mom-in-law is always saying, we're all in this together, including the people who voted for Trump and the Republicans in Congress. She also reminded me of something MLK Jr. said, "Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."

So let's try not to let Bannon and Trump (maybe we should just call them "Brump"?) drive their wedge any further into the societal cracks they've exploited to get into office. But let's also fight like hell to stop them at every step of the way.

Call, email, tweet these Republicans re: Bannon on the NSC

February 03, 2017

Please contact the following moderate Republican Senators to express your concerns about Bannon's seat on the National Security Council - EVEN IF YOU'RE NOT A CONSTITUENT though it's much better if you are. If you live in one of these states, please forward this to everyone you know in your state. 

1. Make the calls (I provided all the office numbers - you will probably have to try them all at least once to get through).

Here's your script:

"Hi, thanks so much for taking my call. (If you're a constituent: I'm a constituent from TOWN/CITY) I'm calling because I am deeply concerned about Steven Bannon's seat on the NSC and I think the Senator should be, too. I am looking to the Senator to protect the integrity of our democracy and to lead the way on getting Bannon off the NSC, if not out of the White House altogether. And I fully support the movement to impeach President Trump."

2. When you hang up, please submit a comment via their web site's contact page. Here's what I said in case it's helpful and I chose "Homeland Security" as my topic:

"I'm writing to urge you to protect the integrity of our great democracy and the security of our nation by doing everything in your power to remove Steven Bannon from the National Security Council. His seat on the NSC is both unprecedented and extremely dangerous. Nobody whose primary role is political in nature has ever held decision-making power on the NSC before - for good reason. His presence and power put the lives of our servicemen and women at serious risk, not to mention the integrity of our government. I am deeply uneasy about the extent of power Bannon currently wields, particularly given his previous claims of "Leninism" and his goal of "bringing down the state", combined with his well-known reputation as being the driving force behind the white nationalist movement. This cannot stand. I look to you to lead the way out of this dangerous quagmire. Thank you for taking the time to listen to me."

3. Then tweet at them if you're on Twitter. Here's my basic tweet - feel free to use your own words.
"Counting on you to lead on removing Bannon from the NSC - his presence is an unprecedented danger to our national security."


Senator John McCain (R-AZ)
Phone: DC: (202) 224-2235 Phoenix: (602) 952-2410 Prescott: (928) 445-0833 Tucson: (520) 670-6334
Submit a comment:

Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ)
Phone: DC: (202) 224-4521 Phoenix: 602-840-1891 Tucson: 520-575-8633
Twitter: a comment: 

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC)
Phone: DC: (202) 224-5972 Greenville: (864) 250-1417 Columbia: (803) 933-0112 Florence: (843) 669-1505 Mt. Pleasant: (843) 849-3887 Rock Hill: (803) 366-2828 Pendleton: (864) 646-4090
Submit a comment:

Senator Susan Collins (R-ME)
Phone: DC: (202) 224-2523 Augusta: (207) 622-8414 Bangor: (207) 945-0417 Biddeford: (207) 283-1101 Caribou: (207) 493-7873 Lewiston: (207) 784-6969 Portland: (207) 780-3575
Submit a comment:

Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN)
Phone: DC: (202) 224-4944 Chattanooga: (423) 752-5337 Jackson: (731) 664-0289 Knoxville: (865) 545-4253 Memphis: (901) 544-4224 Nashville: (615) 736-5129 Blountville: (423) 325-6240
Submit a comment:

Senator Bob Corker (R-TN)
Phone: DC: (202) 224-3344 Memphis: (901) 683-1910 Nashville (615) 279-8125 Knoxville: (865) 637-4180 Jackson: (731) 664-2294 Jonesborough: (423) 753-2263 Chattanooga: (423) 756-2757
Submit a comment:

Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR)
Phone: DC: (202) 224-2353 Springdale: (479) 751-0879
Submit a comment:

Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE)
Phone: DC: (202) 224-4224 Lincoln: (402) 476-1400 Kearney: (308) 233-3677 Omaha: (402) 550-8040 Scottsbluff: (308) 632-6032
Submit a comment:

I want to acknowledge that this action is not likely to result in Bannon's removal from the NSC. As long as Trump is in power, he's probably on there for good. BUT I am sharing this in hopes that it will help jumpstart the movement to impeach Trump which I think is our short-term goal. As much as I disagree with Pence's politics, I would feel considerably safer with him as President than with Trump as President.

The move to impeach Trump will have to come from the Republicans in Congress and they need to know how deeply uneasy it makes us to have Bannon on the NSC. Knowing that they have the support of the people will make them that much more likely to remove Trump.

Protest the Ban on Muslims - Donate, Call, Delete and Protest

February 02, 2017

Short version: 1. Make a donation to support the ACLU and/or the National Immigration Law Center - they are on the front lines of this battle. 2. Call your Senators and Representative to ask them to speak out against the ban. Click here to see if they've spoken out against it or not and scroll down for scripts. 3. Delete Uber and join SumOfUs in urging the CEOs of the 17 other companies on Trump's economic advisory council to renounce his hateful, unconstitutional ban and quit collaborating with his administration. 4. Join a protest. Find one near you here.

Unless you're living under a rock, you've heard that Trump signed a chilling executive order on Friday banning the entry of immigrants and refugees from seven Muslim-majority countries for 90 days and barring Syrian refugees indefinitely. If it were not transparent enough that this is a ban on Muslims, the order specifically says that it will give priority to Christian refugees over Muslim ones. Bonus points for signing this order on Holocaust Remembrance Day - that was probably Bannon's idea.

Noticeably absent from the list of banned countries were Egypt, the United Arab Emirate and Saudi Arabia - all Muslim-majority countries that have a history of exporting terrorists to the U.S. but also happen to be countries with which Trump has business ties. According to the NYTimes, "In Saudi Arabia, his most recent government financial disclosure revealed several limited liability Trump corporations. In Egypt, he had two Trump companies registered. In the United Arab Emirates, he had licensed his name to a Dubai golf resort and a luxury residential development and spa. Some of these entities have since been closed, and others remain active."

Ironically, these three countries accounted for 18 of the 19 terrorists who perpetrated the 9/11 attacks which were directed by another Saudi, Osama Bin Laden, with the assistance of an Egyptian, Ayman al-Zawahri. So it appears that Trump's ban is not only antithetical to everything America stands for, but it's also wildly inconsistent and self-serving...

Thanks to the quick work of the ACLU, a federal judge in Brooklyn stayed the executive order on Saturday, which temporarily stopped the deportation of refugees and other immigrants detained at U.S. airports. I had made a donation to the ACLU just after the election but when I heard this news, I made another gift - the ACLU will be a crucial champion in the next four years. 

1. Please join me in donating to the ACLU and/or The National Immigration Law Center - they are on the front lines of this fight.

Wonderful protests spontaneously erupted at international airports all across the country and a HUGE crowd gathering at JFK to show solidarity with the people trapped inside by Trump's ban. The NYC Taxi Workers Alliance called for a strike of its 19,000 members (many of whom are Muslims and immigrants) and halted pickups at JFK in solidarity.

But Uber crossed the picket line, announcing that it was deliberately suspending surge pricing at JFK. Uber CEO Travis Kalanick is a member of Trump’s economic advisory board. In justifying the move to his employees, some of whom are directly impacted by Trump’s illegal order, Kalanick said, "We'll partner with anyone in the world as long they're about making transportation in cities better…”

In contrast, Uber competitor, Lyft issued the following statement: "Banning people of a particular faith or creed, race or identity, sexuality or ethnicity, from entering the U.S. is antithetical to both Lyft's and our nation's core values. We stand firmly against these actions, and will not be silent on issues that threaten the values of our community.” Lyft ended by pledging to donate $1 million to the ACLU over the next four years :) Update: in the face of major public backlash, Uber has since backpedaled significantly but the CEO is still part of Trump's economic advisory panel...

2. Urge Uber and the 18 other major corporations who are part of Trump's economic advisory panel to renounce his ban and stop collaborating with his administration. If you have a connection to any of these companies, please also reach out via whatever channels are available to you. If you use Uber, you can delete your Uber account to send a message to Uber's CEO that profits do not trump human and civil rights. You can switch to Lyft or just opt for public transportation if it's an option! Send a message to Uber letting them know you've deleted your account and why - popular hashtags are #NoBanNoWall and #DeleteUber.

3. Call your members of Congress to ask them to speak out against the ban, thank them for denouncing it or scold them for supporting it. Here's the list of who has said something in favor of, against or has stayed silent so far. See the scripts below for the various scenarios based on whether your congressperson has done the right thing, the wrong thing or nothing.

If your Congressperson has not said anything yet:

My name is YOUR NAME and I'm a constituent calling from YOUR CITY OR TOWN. I am appalled by President Trump's recent Executive Order banning Muslim immigrants and refugees from seven countries from entering the U.S. I urge the SENATOR OR REPRESENTATIVE to publicly denounce this extremely un-American executive order and to fully support the effort to repeal it. Anything less is a true failure of the principles we hold dear as Americans. I also urge the SENATOR OR REPRESENTATIVE to do everything possible to block Trump's cabinet picks, including Jeff Sessions, Betsy DeVos, Tom Price, and Steve Mnuchin. Thank you for taking the time to pass my comments along.

If your Congressperson has publicly supported the ban:

My name is YOUR NAME and I'm a constituent calling from YOUR CITY OR TOWN. I am appalled by President Trump's recent Executive Order banning Muslim immigrants and refugees from seven countries from entering the U.S. I am equally horrified by the fact that the SENATOR OR REPRESENTATIVE has endorsed this extremely un-American executive order. I urge the SENATOR OR REPRESENTATIVE to publicly rescind support for the ban ASAP. Thank you for taking the time to pass my comments along.

If your Congressperson has publicly denounced the ban:

My name is YOUR NAME and I'm a constituent calling from YOUR CITY OR TOWN. I am appalled at President Trump's recent Executive Order banning Muslim immigrants and refugees from seven countries from entering the U.S. I wanted to say how much I appreciate the SENATOR OR REPRESENTATIVE's refusal to support this un-American ban and I expect HIM OR HER to back up those words by obstructing the efforts of Trump's administration at every opportunity, starting with blocking the confirmation of his cabinet nominees. Thank you for taking the time to pass my comments along.

4. Join a protest. These are ongoing at airports across the country. Find a protest near you.

Call Congress: Demand Bannon's Removal from the NSC Immediately

February 01, 2017

Short version: Pick up the phone and call your Senators and your Rep this morning to demand that they call for Bannon's removal from the National Security Council. Find their info here if you haven't already got them on speed dial. And if you haven't filled out my quick activism contacts sheet yet, do it today.

If you don't already know that Steve Bannon has made a huge power grab, I almost don't have the heart to tell you because it's so disturbing that it makes it hard to breathe normally, let alone get work done or sleep at night.

 Basically, Bannon is seizing control of our government, firing people (via Trump - it's the one thing he's good at...) like former Attorney General Sally Yates who disagree with his executive orders (and make no mistake that they are Bannon's executive orders), deliberately creating chaos with his Muslim ban to leave everyone reeling, destabilize our institutions and provide a smokescreen for even more ill-intentioned maneuverings (I'm not sure what they are yet), and fanning the flames of conflict and hatred to widen cracks and keep warring factions from banding together to stop him.

Does this picture make you throw up in your mouth a little? Me, too.
Most recently, Bannon got himself a permanent seat on the Principals Committee of our National Security Council (NSC) which is both unprecedented and extremely dangerous. There's also very little staff left in the senior levels of the NSC which is equally disturbing. Though it does not really matter as they'd just be superfluous since Bannon has been making decisions and writing executive orders without involving the rest of the NSC (or any other related branches of government) and refusing to put anything down on paper or to let people outside his tiny circle view or share drafts.

It is chilling. You can read more about it here and here if you like (but don't blame me if you don't sleep tonight.) Also, the fact that Breitbart wrote an "article" about the second link above is probably an indication that he's right on about his "coup" theory. Michael Moore seems to agree.
A 21st Century coup feels right on the money to me, too (though I am definitely a glass half empty kinda girl so...) Meanwhile, what can we do to stop Bannon?

1. Visit your members of Congress to urge them to remove Bannon from the NSC ASAP - bring lots and lots of friends with you. And chocolate. You'll need that.

2. Call your members of Congress with the same request. Find their info here - realistically, you'll have to try all their office numbers at least once to get through since lines are busy and voicemail boxes are always full in the Trumpian era.

 Here's what you say:

"Hi, my name is YOURNAME from TOWN/CITY. I don't need a response. I'm calling to urge the SENATOR/REPRESENTATIVE to remove Steven Bannon from the National Security Council immediately.

 Bannon's presence on the Principal's Committee is unprecedented and inserts a rogue, rabidly partisan, white supremacist influence where it DOES NOT belong. His involvement is putting our national security at risk and is a threat to the lives of our service men and women everywhere. This is not a partisan issue - no President has ever done this before and it needs to be stopped."

I'm not honestly sure what else we can do - if you have ideas, leave a comment!

Protest. Rinse. Repeat.