Action Alerts · Read, Educate Yourself, Prepare · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms

Prepare For A Rapid Response In Case Trump Fires Special Counsel Bob Mueller

Learn what to do if Trump actually up and fires special counsel Bob Mueller. Be ready to act on the spot.

The Minutemen of Massachusetts got their name because they stood ready to muster against their British overseers at a moment’s notice.

This is the modern version of the Minutemen militia–you need to be ready, at a moment’s notice, to muster and defend our democracy if Trump actually does the second-dumbest thing he could possibly do and fires Mueller.

Moveon.org has detailed plans to hold emergency ‘Nobody is Above the Law’ rallies if this happens.

Below is a link to a map with a search tool that will show you where your nearest rally would be held if Trump fires Mueller (and let’s hope fervently that it never happens).

Here also are general instructions from Moveon.org:

Rallies will begin hours after news breaks of a Mueller firing:

  • If Mueller is fired BEFORE 2 P.M. local time —>  events will begin @ 5 P.M. local time
  • If Mueller is fired AFTER 2 P.M. local time —> events will begin @ noon local time the following day
    • This is the general plan—please confirm details on your event page, as individual hosts may tailor their events to their local plan.

 

Again, we at OTYCD hope this plan will never need to be enacted. But we also think it’s a good idea to think about your daily patterns and cross-match them against the map, so you can make sure you can get to what would be the event closest to you.

 

See where your nearest emergency rally would take place:

https://act.moveon.org/event/mueller-firing-rapid-response-events/search/

 

This link includes organizational materials, including training videos, images to share on social media, de-escalation tips, and a downloadable sign:

https://act.moveon.org/survey/mueller-firing-rapid-response-materials/?

Postcard Campaigns

GOOD UPDATE on the Postcard Campaign to GOTV for Democrat Karen Keys-Gamarra

Update: Karen Keys-Gamarra romped to victory in the race for the at-large school board seat in Fairfax County, Virginia. She pulled in 41,519 votes to her Republican candidate’s 21,389. About 70,000 people voted, a number that represents ten percent of voters. Read more about the victory here:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/democratic-backed-candidate-elected-to-fairfax-county-school-board/2017/08/29/ea401f3c-8d17-11e7-84c0-02cc069f2c37_story.html?utm_term=.17453fa8ac4f

http://www.localdvm.com/news/virginia/karen-keys-gamarra-wins-special-election/801076351

Join Tony the Democrat’s postcard campaign to get out the vote for Karen Keys-Gamarra, a Democrat who is running for the school board in Fairfax County, Virginia. 

Tony’s postcard campaigns continue to yield good results, and the postcard-mailing army keeps growing. It’s 4,000 members strong, with volunteers in every state.

Tony and the team haven’t tackled a school board race before. Here’s some comments from the Facebook page on why the team chose to help Keys-Gamarra, and why she has merit:

“Democrats should compete in every single election, in every single filing available. When Democratic voters see qualified candidates who share their values running in all sorts of races, it will inspire greater participation. At the polls, sure, but also in the growing resistance. Local, municipal posts are stepping stones to higher office later. We have a better chance keeping a GOP conservative out of Congress altogether if they don’t get on the rising political star fast track in the first place.”

“[Keys-Gamarra] and her GOP-endorsed opponent could not be further apart on important issues. She is on record in favor of non-discrimination for all students and is against so-called bathroom bills. Karen is an attorney with a family law focus and is often court-appointed as guardian for children who rely on her advocacy of their best interests. She has earned a host of high-profile endorsements which are important for this At-Large seat in Virginia’s largest school district.”

 

To obtain addresses, text HELLO to Abby the Addressbot:

484 ASK ABBY aka 484 275 2229

 

If you want more than 15 addresses at a time or you don’t do texts for whatever reason, email:

Postcards @ TonyTheDemocrat.org

 

And here are the rules. If you can’t comply, please find a different way to help.

General rules that apply to all postcard campaigns:

 

  • Handwrite your postcards legibly.
  • Use cards that are inclusive.  If you buy, print, or make postcards, the images/graphics/photos and wording/quotes/slogans should be issue-neutral/benign/safe.
  • Mail completed postcards daily and do your best to have all of yours written within 3 days of getting your list.
  • Only sign your first name or initials.  (Do not include your return address, email address, last name, or social media handle or account name.)
  • Only write to each voter once.  (Do not contact the voters again for any reason.)
  • Cover addresses before taking photos.  (If you share digital photos of your cards on social media, always cover voters’ addresses.)
  • Keep cards looking grassroots-like.  (Do not print the candidate’s campaign’s logos/graphics/images/photos on the cards.)
  • Stick to the talking points. 
  • Ask us if you have questions.  
  • Have fun!

 

 

Also–do not call the recipient a ‘Democrat,’ because the postcard could be headed for a mixed-voter household. Instead say, ‘Important Voter,’ ‘VIP Voter,’ ‘Esteemed Voter,’ etc.

 

The three things you need to say on each postcard:

Democrat Karen KEYS-Gamarra is running for Fairfax County School Board At-Large.
Election Day is August 29th.
Teachers have endorsed Karen because she is a strong advocate for children.

 

If you have room, you can add something along these lines:

I hope you won’t mind this friendly reminder about an upcoming election.
Karen will protect after-school programs from Donald Trump and Betsy DeVos.
As an attorney, Karen handles family matters.
She works as a court-appointed attorney representing the children’s best interests.
Karen is a Fairfax County Planning Commissioner and volunteers for NAACP and CASA.
This card and stamp are my gifts towards electing a progressive.
Please make a plan to vote Tuesday, Aug 29.
Thank you for your time and your vote!
#Keys4VAkids
Write with us! Email: Join@TonyTheDemocrat.org

 

Most postcard campaigns close, or are considered closed, no later than seven days before the election. Please get your postcards in the mail promptly. And thanks for pitching in!

 

Community Activism · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends

Read “Indivisible” and Join Your Local Group

You’ve probably heard of Indivisible: A Practical Guide for Resisting the Trump Agenda.

If you haven’t had a chance to read Indivisible, download it now from this link:

https://www.indivisibleguide.com/

Like Call the Halls, it was written by former Congressional staffers, and it is available for free. It complements and goes beyond Call the Halls by giving insight into how Tea Party groups managed to be so effective against a highly popular president despite their being so few in number. You can learn from Tea Party tactics and use them, to far greater effect, against a highly unpopular president.

The guide is a living document, which its creators continue to update. Don’t forget to sign up on the Indivisible site to receive them when they happen.

A key point Indivisible makes is to join a local activist group. Since releasing Indivisible online, its creators have added a search engine that will let you find the groups nearest you, as well as register your own:

https://www.indivisibleguide.com/groups-nav

More than 3,000 groups had joined the Indivisible search engine as of mid-January.

 

You can also join Indivisible’s Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/indivisibleguide/?fref=ts

 

…And follow its Twitter account:

@IndivisibleTeam

 

 

Call Your State Legislators · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms

Fight Back If Your State Wants to Pass A Law That Lets Drivers Escape Liability for Hitting Protestors

Is your state working on a law that would lighten or lift punishments for drivers who hit protestors with their cars? Call your state legislators and tell them to vote no or stop progress on that bill. 

Months ago, in the depths of winter 2017, we at OTYCD were grossed out enough to ask readers who live in North Dakota to oppose HB 1203, a bill that would lessen legal penalties for drivers who hit protestors with their cars:

https://onethingyoucando.com/2017/04/21/oppose-a-north-dakota-state-bill-that-would-cheapen-the-lives-of-protesters/

It failed to pass the North Dakota house by a too-close-for-comfort margin of 50 to 41. But apparently some sick individuals who got elected to state office elsewhere in the country thought that HB 1203 was a good idea and introduced their own versions in their home legislatures. (You get one guess as to what their party affiliations are.)

According to a CNN story linked below, these five states have joined North Dakota in pursuing bills that would make it easier for drivers to hurt or kill protestors with their vehicles and escape punishment or receive what amounts to a slap on the wrist. The bill numbers are included:

 

Rhode Island, HB 5690. Introduced in March but has since been held, per the state’s House Judiciary Committee, for more study.

 

North Carolina, HB 330. Introduced in March. It passed the house in April on a 67-48 vote and is now with the state’s Senate Committee on Rules and Operations. It could proceed from there to broader consideration in the state senate.

 

Tennessee, SB 944 and HB 668. The house version is dead, but the Senate version is still alive, sitting with the Senate Judiciary Committee.

 

And so you’re aware:

Florida‘s senate and house introduced bills along these lines in February and March, respectively. Both have since died.

The Texas house introduced HB 250 last month during its legislative special session. It was referred to the House Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence Committee and was still there when the session ended on Aug 15.

 

So, what should you do?

If you live in any of the four states where the bills are not-quite-dead, call your state legislators and make it damn clear that you expect them to let these bills die in committee or vote against them if they come up. If your reps happen to be sponsors of one of these bills, ask them to remove their support. If you live in one of the two states where bills were introduced, but died, call and make it clear that you expect the bills to stay dead. And if you live anywhere else? Call your state reps, mention these bills, and make it clear that you want them to stop any such bill before it starts.

Here’s how to find your state legislators. You have a state senator and a state house rep. Plug your street address into this search engine to find them:

whoaremyrepresentatives.org

 

Sample script for state legislators who are from the four states that have not-quite-dead-yet bills: “I am (Firstname Lastname, from town, zip code). I am asking state senator/house representative (Lastname) to oppose (Bill ID goes here), which would shield drivers from the consequences of accidentally hitting protesters who block a roadway. It was a sick idea before that guy attacked those protestors in Charlottesville, and it’s an even worse idea now. Please do everything you can to stop its progress. If you are a sponsor, please remove your support, thank you.”

 

Sample script for state legislators from the two states where bills were introduced, but died: “I am (Firstname Lastname, from town, zip code). I realize that (Bill ID goes here) has essentially died and can’t become law in the current session, but I am asking state senator/house representative (Lastname) to make sure it stays dead and is not revived in a future session. The bill would have shielded drivers from the consequences of accidentally hitting protesters who block a roadway. It was a sick idea before that guy attacked those protestors in Charlottesville, and it’s an even worse idea now. Please do everything you can to stop its progress. If (State Senator/House Rep Lastname) co-sponsored the bill, I am asking (him/her) to please withdraw support. Thank you.”

 

Sample script for those of us in the 44 other states: “I am (Firstname Lastname, from town, zip code). In the wake of the horrifying car attack on protestors in Charlottesville, I learned that six states had been pursuing bills that would lessen or remove penalties on drivers who hit or killed protestors with their cars. I realize there is no such bill moving through our state legislature now but I am asking State Senator/House Rep (Lastname) to oppose such a bill if anyone tries to introduce one. Thank you.”

 

See the CNN story from August 19, 2017 on states’ efforts to lessen penalties on drivers who injure protestors:

http://www.cnn.com/2017/08/18/us/legislation-protects-drivers-injure-protesters/index.html

 

See a similar story from a British paper (warning: It includes a graphic image from the Charlottesville attack):

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/charlottesville-states-introduced-bills-laws-protect-drivers-run-protesters-texas-florida-tennessee-a7902546.html

 

Read about backlash to these bills after the terrorist incident in Charlottesville that killed Heather Heyer and injured 19:

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory/backlash-gop-bills-shield-drivers-hit-protesters-49234719

 

Read state-level coverage of various laws (warning–some of these stories include links to eyewitness videos taken of the attack in Charlottesville):

http://www.tennessean.com/story/news/politics/2017/02/10/bill-would-make-drivers-immune-civil-liability-protests/97743390/

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/national/article167065952.html

http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-bills-protest-criminal-20170201-story.html

Call Your Members of Congress · Ethics · House Bills, Federal · Russian Scandal, Emoluments Clause · Senate Bills, Federal · Stand Up for Norms · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends

Call Your Members of Congress to Support the Presidential Conflicts of Interests Act

ICYMI: Call your members of Congress to support the Presidential Conflicts of Interests Act of 2017.

Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren introduced it in the senate as S.65; Massachusetts Fifth District representative Katherine Clark introduced it in the house as H.R. 371.

If passed, it would reinforce the Emoluments clause of the Constitution by stating that the president and vice president must divest themselves of any assets that could pose a conflict of interest, and place them in a blind trust.

The law would also apply to those officials’ spouses and dependent children, but not their grown children or their spouses. It would also impose the same disclosure requirements on the president that are required of members of Congress.

In short, it would force Trump to do something that the last several presidents have done voluntarily, because it’s common sense.

 

Here is the congress.gov link to S.65, A bill to address financial conflicts of interest of the President and Vice President:

https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-bill/65

 

Here is the congress.gov link to H.R. 371, which has pretty much the same title as the senate version:

https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/371

 

See this New York Times op-ed from Richard Painter, chief White House ethics lawyer under the Bush administration from 2005 to 2007, on Trump’s stated plans for complying with the Constitution:

See this (not very hopeful) Washington Post article about Warren and Clark’s legislative efforts:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/wp/2017/01/09/democrats-introduce-conflicts-of-interest-act-but-are-unlikely-to-get-a-vote/?utm_term=.e4e1d52a6952

 

Here is Senator Elizabeth Warren’s press release on the bill. It names all its co-sponsors in the senate and the house. Do you see your members of Congress listed? If so, call and thank them for supporting these bills.

http://www.warren.senate.gov/?p=press_release&id=1342

 

 

Call Your Senators · Use Your Power, Recruit Friends

Fight The GOP Tax Bill, November 22 Update

Fight the GOP tax bill, as you have been doing.

We began daily updates on this topic back on November 3. We have woven updated material throughout this post.

Please continue to call your MoCs to fight this craptastic bill.

Bad News: The House of Representatives passed its version of the bill on Thursday, November 16. Read about it here:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/house-poised-to-pass-its-tax-bill-as-senate-plan-suffers-setbacks/2017/11/16/62d92fa4-cad7-11e7-8321-481fd63f174d_story.html?utm_term=.54b6d6df5076

Good News: The current plan is for the Senate to vote on its version after Thanksgiving. This is good news because that gives us more time to fight.

The GOP feels terrible urgency to push through this tax bill for many reasons.

Pressure from donors is one (see link to a relevant story below).

The December 12 Senate special election in Alabama is another. With Republican candidate Roy Moore embattled and compromised, and Democratic candidate Doug Jones on the rise, the odds of the seat flipping blue and reducing the Republican Senate advantage to 51-49 is real.

But here is more good news for those who oppose this highly unpopular bill. The GOP is trying to get it done via reconciliation, which means they can afford to lose only three of their senators (all Democrats and both Independents are opposed–if they represent you and you haven’t yet called to thank them, please do).

Republican Senators Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and Susan Collins of Maine have voiced opposition to the bill. (Interesting point to remember–Collins was the one who sought and won the tax deduction for teachers who buy school supplies for their classrooms, and she succeeded in having the deduction made permanent just last year.)

Other potential ‘no’s who have been silent on the issue (at least as of November 18) are Senators Bob Corker of Tennessee, John McCain of Arizona, and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.

As the days pass, more jaw-droppingly bad aspects of this bill come to light. It’s almost as if Republican MoCs are trying to write a parody of the worst, most unpopular bill they could possibly propose, with tax breaks for private jets, golf courses, and hedge fund managers while taking them away from teachers, graduate students, the sick, the elderly, and the disabled. Except they’re really trying to pass the damn thing.

The Congressional Budget Office released stats that show if passed, the tax bill would force an immediate $25 billion cut to Medicare.

Per a Paul Krugman tweet from Nov 14:

This is awesome: passing the R tax cut would REQUIRE an immediate $25 billion cut in Medicare, plus $111 billion in other cuts (which isn’t legally possible). I.e., the whole exercise is illegal under Congress’ own rules

And Republican senators are also considering repealing the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate within the tax bill, because why not try that again?

This bill is lousy. It blows a $1.5 trillion hole in the deficit, which sets the Republicans up to force unwanted Medicare, Medicaid, and ACA cuts down the line. It lightens the tax burden of the wealthy, and it does so at the expense of the rest of us. The only people who want to see that happen are a fraction of the one percent.

As mentioned in previous posts, the GOP bill would flat-out eliminate the estate tax, a tax that hits the exceptionally wealthy. The tax is also philosophically important. We’re Americans. We don’t want an aristocracy, we want a meritocracy. The estate tax nips aristocracy in the bud. We need to keep it.

The bill would also eliminate tax deductions for medical expenses, state and local taxes, interest on student loans, a tax break that helps teachers buy supplies for their classrooms, and a tax credit that encourages employers to hire military veterans. Tellingly, it keeps the carried interest provision, which allows managers of hedge funds and other financial funds and investment partnerships to be taxed at a lower rate.

In short: The GOP tax bill whacks you and pretty much everyone you know while fattening the bank accounts of people who are already insanely wealthy already, and it encourages the creation of more people like Ivanka, Eric, and Donald Trump, Jr., who were born on third base and genuinely think they hit a triple.

The thoroughgoing lousiness of the tax bill and the GOP desperation to push it through is why we at OTYCD are clearing the decks of scheduled new posts and asking you to focus solidly on opposing this every day until it is dead.

Call, call, call. Yell, yell, yell. Get your friends and family to do it too. We have to let our MoCs know this is wrong and we will not stand for it. 

And again, remember this when your incumbent MoCs are up for re-election. Having to dial for our lives every two or three months is Not On. Thank the Dems who have been doing their damnedest to hold together and raise the alarm. Punish the Republicans who are placing their mega-ultra-wealthy donors above their constituents.

 

Sample calling script: Dear (House Rep/Senator Lastname), I am (Firstname Lastname, from town, state). I am calling to voice my opposition to the GOP tax bill, which was unveiled on November 2. This bill is irresponsible and it benefits the exceptionally wealthy at the expense of every other class that pays income tax. It eliminates the estate tax while taking away tax deductions for medical expenses, student loan interest, state and local taxes, and deductions that teachers use when buying classroom supplies and that encourage employers to hire veterans. It also blows a $1.5 trillion dollar hole in the deficit. I am asking you to vote no on this bill. Thank you for listening.”

 

If you didn’t start following these first four people on Twitter during the Trumpcare fight, do so, and add three more tax experts as well:

@benwikler

@celeste_p

@aslavitt

@topherspiro

@sethhanlon

@michaelslinden

@lilybatch

Slavitt and Spiro primarily cover health care, but they’re covering the tax bill because it affects health care, too.

These folks, particularly the first two, will have news updates faster than OTYCD, which does one new post per day.

 

Other resources follow.

 

Check out the Trump Tax Tool Kit:

https://trumptaxtoolkit.org

 

Check out Not One Penny:

https://notonepenny.org

 

Another note related to Not One Penny: Do you live in New York State? The folks at Not One Penny are holding anti-tax bill rallies on November 20 in Oswego and Auburn, N.Y., and they might be adding more as we type this.

Plug your zip code into the link below to find the event closest to you:

https://notonepenny.org/take-action/#events

 

And here is a bundle of links to relevant stories:

 

The GOP tax bill retains a deduction for golf course owners:

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-11-09/one-tax-loophole-untouched-so-far-the-trump-golf-course-break

 

A majority of the general public seems to recognize that the GOP tax cuts favor the wealthy:

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/60-percent-americans-trump-tax-plan-benefit-wealthy/story?id=50891221

 

The GOP has an extra-strong motivation to pass something, anything, in an attempt to please their donors:

https://www.thedailybeast.com/gop-donors-to-gop-lawmakers-yeah-we-will-cut-you-off-absent-tax-reform

 

Senator John McCain shows his skepticism by calling for normal order, which hasn’t been happening with this tax bill:

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-09-26/mccain-calls-for-bipartisan-tax-effort-just-like-on-health-care

 

White House adviser Gary Cohn likens the earned benefits of Medicare and Social Security to “welfare,” which it is not:

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/11/09/gary-cohn-trickle-down-is-good-for-the-economy.html

 

Still more links to various stories about the GOP tax bill and assorted aspects of the bill:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/11/02/winners-and-losers-in-the-gop-tax-plan/?utm_term=.d004e6b965c6

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/paloma/the-finance-202/2017/11/03/the-finance-202-wall-street-escapes-gop-tax-cutters-unscathed-so-far/59fb725730fb0468e7654095/?utm_term=.7a124f4781ab

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/education/wp/2017/11/02/teachers-spend-nearly-1000-a-year-on-supplies-under-the-gop-tax-bill-they-will-no-longer-get-a-tax-deduction/?utm_term=.dc599785707e

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/the-gops-bill-is-a-sensible-framework–but-still-a-deficit-exploding-tax-cut-for-the-rich-and-corporations/2017/11/02/28b3688c-bffe-11e7-959c-fe2b598d8c00_story.html?utm_term=.62b5bdd7bb78

https://www.axios.com/house-gop-keeps-tax-loophole-for-hedge-fund-managers-2505477999.html

https://www.politico.com/story/2017/11/02/who-pays-more-trump-gop-tax-plan-244472

http://money.cnn.com/2017/11/02/pf/college/house-tax-bill-student-loan-interest-deduction/index.html

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/house-gops-evolving-tax-bill-leaves-retirement-plan-intact/2017/11/01/755e7906-bf77-11e7-9294-705f80164f6e_story.html?utm_term=.acb66b4fc0c4

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2017/11/the-house-republican-tax-cut-is-a-failure-on-its-own-terms.html

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2017/11/the-republican-tax-plan-is-political-suicide.html

Save These Tools

Check Out Gallup’s Presidential Job Approval Center

Check out the Presidential Job Approval Center on Gallup’s web site, which lets you see how popular many 20th and 21st century presidents were on specific weeks of their terms.

The Presidential Job Approval Center is weirdly fascinating and includes everyone from Harry Truman to Donald Trump. But we’re going to direct you to something very specific.

When you visit the site (the URL is posted below), scroll to the bottom. Select “All Presidents,” and select “Richard Nixon.”

Then look to the right, pull up “All Adults,” and select “Republican.”

Now click on the right extreme of the red line.

That will show you how popular Nixon was among Republicans during August 2-5, 1974–the week that he chose resignation over certain impeachment.

Even then, Nixon had the support of 50 percent of Republicans.

Turn that over in your mind for a bit. Even as Nixon was readying to board that helicopter and leave the White House for the last time as president, half of all Republicans still supported the guy. FWIW, Nixon also had the support of 22 percent of Independents and 13 percent of Democrats in his final week as president.

What can we learn from this?

We don’t have to wait for the goddamn Republicans to come around to our levels of distaste for Trump. We can agitate for impeachment while he still remains popular with his party, if it is clear–and it is increasingly so–that the evidence supports impeachment.

This is not to say that we should agitate for impeachment in mid-2017, however. Let Mueller and his team do its work. Let Comey’s testimony sink in. Let the Center for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington’s lawsuits carry forward.

Stay strong. Stay alert. Keep calling your MoCs, and keep asking your friends to do the same. Keep marching. Keep protesting. Keep writing those postcards. Keep fighting the good fight. It matters.

See the Gallup Presidential Job Approval Center’s interactive tool:

http://www.gallup.com/interactives/185273/presidential-job-approval-center.aspx?g_source=PRESIDENTIAL_JOB_APPROVAL&g_medium=topic&g_campaign=tiles