Community Activism · Fighting Bigotry, Racism, Sexism, Homophobia, Transphobia... · First Amendment, Defending a Free Press · Vote with your Dollars

Donate to the Ida B. Wells Fellowship and Support Journalists of Color

Donate to the Ida B. Wells Fellowship at the Investigative Fund and support promising journalists who are people of color.


Named in honor of Wells, the African-American journalist who investigated and published reports on lynching in America, the one-year fellowship provides $12,000, mentoring, and travel expenses to a reporter of color working on their first substantial investigative story.


One of the goals of the fellowship is to help diversify newsrooms. According to the American Society of Newsroom Editors, less than 13 percent of newsroom staffers and 10  percent of supervisors are non-white. Fewer than 10 percent of newsroom journalists have a working-class or poor background.


The Ida B. Wells Fellowship is offered by the Investigative Fund, which is in turn a project of The Nation Institute, which is devoted to boosting the independent press as well as advancing civil rights and social justice. The Wells fellowship is not restricted to journalists of color.


Read about the Ida B. Wells Fellowship:



Donate to the Investigative Fund (specify it’s for the Ida B. Wells Fellowship):



Learn about the Investigative Fund’s mission:



Apply for the Ida B. Wells Fellowship for 2019:



Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the button on the upper right of the page. And tell your friends about the blog!



Fighting Bigotry, Racism, Sexism, Homophobia, Transphobia... · First Amendment, Defending a Free Press · Vote with your Dollars

Support Fellowships and Programs for Journalists from Poor and Low-income Backgrounds

Support fellowships and other mentoring and training programs for journalists from poor and low-income backgrounds.


One of the most pernicious American media biases is the bias of class. Journalists tend to be mostly white and mostly from middle-class or wealthier backgrounds. Some of the problem happens at the college level–the best J-schools are private and pricey, and too many of the best, most consequential internships are unpaid, and even if they are paid, the publications offering them are usually in New York, an excruciatingly expensive city.


Most talented poor would-be journalists just don’t have the money to afford the best college programs, even with scholarships, and can’t afford to work for free, or for a pittance that will be swallowed up by rent, transportation, and the costs of upgrading their wardrobes.


As a result, American media, and American reporting, suffers from a lack of voices who intimately understand the realities of growing up in poverty, and trying to survive in poverty.


When we don’t have a decent-size population of skilled folks scattered throughout newsrooms and magazine offices across the country, we suffer, because we don’t have sharp minds who can pounce and call bullshit on bullshit government initiatives, such as trying to remake SNAP (food stamps) as a Blue Apron-style monthly delivery of boxed food. (Ok, we have sharp minds calling bullshit on Twitter, but we’d be better off if some of those sharp minds had access to bigger, broader media platforms.)


Fortunately, there are a few programs for budding journalists from low-income backgrounds. We at OTYCD encourage you to support and donate to these programs.


The Economic Hardship Reporting Project is an initiative by the Washington, D.C.-based Institute for Policy Studies. Founded by Barbara Ehrenreich, author of Nickeled and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America and other books that examine poverty in America, it commissions stories which, in its words, “put a human face on financial instability.”


While its webpage does not explicitly describe any formal fellowships, programs, or internships for journalists from poor backgrounds, recruiting and mentoring people who have that experience is one if the EHRP’s goals. Co-editor Alissa Quart says in a July 2016 Washington Monthly piece reproduced on the organization’s website:


“We seek out, and mentor, journalists who are themselves from marginalized backgrounds, helping them push their stories about their communities and their families into the mainstream media.”


The project takes submissions online, and recruits candidates via word of mouth and through co-founder Ehrenreich. They’re also trying to find new voices from inside organizations they work with, like associations of restaurant or domestic workers.  (Classroom aides, school clerks and crossing guards, please?)


Sometimes it’s the money that makes the reporting possible. (The goal is to pay one dollar per word.) Other times, according to Quart, it’s helping reporters understand the codes and behaviors of journalism, which is notoriously hard to crack from the outside.


Often, firsthand experience with economic hardship deepens and improves the reporting, according to Quart, citing the Jezebel piece about resilience as an example. “It had a personal energy and anger that you’re not seeing normally in these kinds of pieces,” said Quart.



See the EHRP’s website:



See its About page:



See the full Washington Monthly piece on the EHRP site:



Also see the Jezebel story about resilience mentioned in the quote above:



Donate to the EHRP:




Princeton University offers a summer journalism program in August for about two dozen high school American students from low-income backgrounds. 2018 will mark its 17th edition.


It’s a ten-day intensive seminar that includes aftercare such as mentoring and assistance with applying to colleges. It covers all the students’ expenses, including travel to and from Princeton.


Donate to the Princeton University Summer Journalism Program:



Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the blue button on the upper right or checking the About & Subscribe page. And tell your friends about the blog!

Action Alerts · Community Activism · Ethics · Fighting Bigotry, Racism, Sexism, Homophobia, Transphobia... · First Amendment, Defending a Free Press · Marches and Protests · Read, Educate Yourself, Prepare · Separation of Church and State · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms · Support Immigrants and Refugees · Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) · Vote with your Dollars

Support the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)

Now more than ever, you need to support the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). 

When Trump was elected, and so many of us were flat on the mat or reeling in shock, the ACLU had its fists up and was ready to fight back.

On the morning of November 9, ACLU President Anthony Romero wrote a letter to Trump, putting him on notice that several of his campaign promises, if enacted, would violate the Constitution, and the 97-year-old nonprofit would dog him mercilessly over any such thing he tried.

It has gone after Trump with vigor and ferocity ever since.

The ACLU takes a lot of crap for sticking up for unpopular people who say unpopular things. If the ACLU hasn’t yet defended someone you find repugnant, give them time. They will.

That doesn’t change the fact that we need the ACLU now more than ever. Romero put his finger on its value in an article in Fast Company when he likened it to the U.S.’s insurance policy.

The organization got a powerful, historically unprecedented surge of support in the wake of the election. It received $15 million in online donations before Inauguration day, and during the first weekend of the Muslim travel ban in January 2017, it took in another $24 million–a sum equivalent to roughly six times what it reaps online in a year.

Trump is attacking bedrock American values on several fronts. The ACLU is, and will continue to be, on the front lines in the effort to push back.

We at OTYCD realize you’ve probably helped the ACLU in some way already. More than 350,000 contributors gave money during that January weekend. But we’re asking you to consider stepping up to the next level.

Given to the ACLU once? Consider becoming a monthly donor. Already a monthly donor? Consider increasing your donation, even if the increase is only small. Not a member yet? Join the 1.6 million who are. Already a member and donating monthly? Urge your friends to do more.

Can’t afford to do anything that costs money? Read up on the ACLU, follow it on social media, and defend it, firmly and unwaveringly, from those who fear and hate it.


Read the Fast Company piece about what the ACLU has done in the wake of the 2016 election:


See its website:


Find your local ACLU:


Read about the history of the ACLU:


Join the ACLU:


Donate to the ACLU:


Become a monthly donor:


Like the ACLU on Facebook:


Follow it on Twitter:



Read about how it took in a historically unprecedented number of donations since the election and following the first implementation of the Muslim travel ban:

Action Alerts · Call Your Members of Congress · First Amendment, Defending a Free Press · Russian Scandal, Emoluments Clause · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms

Call Your MoCs, Demand Justice For Saudi Journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and Ask Them to Pressure the White House to Do Better, Dammit

Call your Members of Congress (MoCs) to demand that they do everything in their power to deliver justice on behalf of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and ask them to pressure the White House to do better than their current piss-poor reaction.


On October 2, 2018, journalist Jamal Khashoggi entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to collect paperwork he needed to marry his Turkish fiancé.


He never came out.


A team of Saudi assassins are accused of killing Khashoggi. We won’t repeat the details that Turkish news sources are reporting; they’re startlingly gruesome. Suffice it to say that Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, the Saudi leader colloquially known as MBS, saw Khashoggi and his writing as an irritant.


Saudi officials maintain that Khashoggi left the consulate through a back entrance, but he has not been seen since October 2. Virtually no one in the world intelligence community doubts that Khashoggi is dead, and virtually no one doubts that he was assassinated.


As this post is being prepared, there’s word that the Saudis might be working on a new story that acknowledges Khashoggi’s death but characterizes it as an interrogation gone wrong. Ahem.


Khashoggi’s alleged murder is a gross affront to all that is good and right. He wrote for the Washington Post and had deep connections to Saudi society, giving him insights that few could match. He was uniquely positioned to see the flaws of his native country, and he was uniquely equipped to name and describe those flaws. Also, he had adopted the United States as his home-in-exile. He held a green card and paid taxes.


Trump and his administration have done an unusually piss-poor job of reacting to the Khashoggi situation, which is saying something. While Trump promised unspecified “severe punishment” if Saudi leaders are responsible for Khashoggi’s death, he also bought the Saudis’ current spiel about Khashoggi’s fate and their role in it, and he showed that he valued the U.S.’s arms deals with Saudi Arabia more than upholding the bedrock American value of free speech. In an October 13, 2018 interview with 60 Minutes, Trump said, “I don’t want to hurt jobs. I don’t want to lose an order like that,” he said. “There are other ways of punishing, to use a word that’s a pretty harsh word, but it’s true.”


See a Time magazine article that quotes Trump reacting to the Khashoggi situation:


Several news outlets have highlighted the fact that the Saudis give the Trumps a lot of money. Here’s a CNBC piece about Saudi patronage of Trump hotels:


Here’s a Washington Post opinion piece by Jennifer Rubin about Trump family connections to the Saudis, in which she cites reports that MBS bragged that he had Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law, “in his pocket”:


And if you’re wondering if Trump’s entanglement with the Saudis and their copious fonts of cash looks like a violation of the Emoluments clause of the Constitution, read these October 17 tweets from Jonathan Ladd, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution:


The fact that most in the political establishment except liberal activists has decided to pretend the emoluments clause doesn’t exist and allow a president to accept massive foreign bribes puts them in a weak position to claim that the Senate and SCOTUS must always stay the same.

If you want evidence that constitutional arrangements evolve over time, and practice, for better or worse, doesnt always match the original intention, just look the the emoluments clause. It’s original intention and interpretation until 2015 was that foreign bribes were forbidden
How did we effectively repeal the emoluments clause? Through the amendment procedure in the constitution’s text (2/3 of congress + 3/4 of states)? Nope. We just decided to ignore the text and tradition.
The best procedure to enforce the emoluments clause is impeachment, but the president’s party in Congress just decided that they didn’t care about foreign bribes, Constitutional text and tradition be damned. So now that Constitutional clause is unenforced and dead.


Also see Charlie Pierce’s fire-breathing opinion piece in Esquire that flatly accuses Trump of violating the Constitution because his connections to Saudis and their money evidently restrained him from giving them both barrels when the Khashoggi news broke:


So, here’s what you can do. Call your members of Congress–your two Senators and your House Rep–and demand substantial action on Khashoggi.


The impeccable and exquisite Celeste Pewter (@Celeste_Pewter) got there first on Twitter with calling scripts, which we’ll reproduce below. Scroll down to learn how to show your appreciation for her work.


Once you have made your calls, describe your experience on Twitter using the #ICalledMyReps hashtag.


A note on saying the Saudi journalist’s name: Kah-sho-gee is perfectly fine.


If your House Rep is on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, it is extra-important that you call. Check this link to see if he or she is a member (click the blue button at the top to pull up the Republicans and the Democrats):


If one or both of your Senators are on the chamber’s Committee on Foreign Relations, it is extra-important that you call. The full list of members is below:


Here is Celeste Pewter’s script for House of Representatives members:


Here is the script for your Senators:



You can show love for Celeste Pewter in many ways.


You can follow her on Twitter: @Celeste_Pewter


You can tweet about calling your Senators, using the #ICalledMyReps hashtag.


You can follow @ICalledMyReps on Twitter.


You can adopt a vulnerable incumbent Democratic Senator by checking out The Road to 2018, an organization Pewter created. Read about it here:


You can follow The Road to 2018 on Twitter: @Roadto18


And you can subscribe to her peerless newsletter, It’s Time to Fight:



Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the button on the upper right of the page. And tell your friends about the blog!

First Amendment, Defending a Free Press · Good News · Marches and Protests · Read, Educate Yourself, Prepare · Thank You Actions · Vote with your Dollars

Pre-order Shade by Photographer Pete Souza

Pre-order Shade: A Tale of Two Presidents, the next book from photographer Pete Souza.


A while back, OTYCD recommended that you follow Pete Souza’s Instagram account. Souza had been the photographer for the Obama White House, and since his second term  came to a close, Souza has used his impressive bank of photos to comment on Trump–sometimes wryly, sometimes sharply, and sometimes sharply enough to drop jaws in unison.


If a picture’s worth a thousand words, Souza’s deftly chosen historical retorts were worth 10,000 articles, blog posts, and tweets.


Was Souza up to something? Yes, he was up to something.


In late May, word broke that Souza’s next book would come out in October and bear the name Shade: A Tale of Two Presidents.


Yes, it is exactly what you think it is.


Yes, we haven’t read it yet and we’re asking you to lay down money, pledging to buy it before it comes out.


Why, you ask? Simple. By pre-ordering a book, you show the publisher that there is clear demand for it.


If folks are clamoring for a book by a certain person, or on a certain subject, the publisher might contract more books by the same people, and more books on the same topic.


We liked Souza’s other recent book on Obama. We’re pretty sure we’re gonna like Shade, having followed Souza’s Instagram account for a while now. Please step up and put your money where your mouth is.


Ditto for requesting it from your library. Yes, it’s not available yet, but libraries figure out how many copies to order in part by tallying the requests they get for a title. By asking for it now, ahead of the October 16, 2018 release date, you boost sales of the book and make it more available in your community’s library system.



Pre-order Shade via Goodreads:



Read articles heralding the coming release of Shade:



Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the button on the upper right of the page. And tell your friends about the blog!


Action Alerts · Call Your Senators · Ethics · Fighting Bigotry, Racism, Sexism, Homophobia, Transphobia... · First Amendment, Defending a Free Press · Online Privacy, Net Neutrality · Public Education · Read, Educate Yourself, Prepare · Russian Scandal, Emoluments Clause · Separation of Church and State · Stand for Science · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms · Support Immigrants and Refugees · Voting Rights, Fighting Voter Suppression

Keep Calling Your Senators to Oppose Terrible Judicial Nominees (Not Just SCOTUS)

Keep calling your senators to oppose terrible judicial nominees (not just those for the Supreme Court of the United States).


Team Trump’s assault on the judicial branch through nominating terrible far-right candidates hasn’t gotten much attention on this blog because it’s a slow-moving, ongoing crisis.


One Thing You Can Do tries to focus on just that–one thing you can do every day to push back against Trump. Sticking rigidly to one thing has proven increasingly difficult as the Trump administration has aged, but we’ve mostly managed it. The judges issue has suffered the most from this practice.


Mitch McConnell is not limiting his manipulations to SCOTUS. He deliberately held open dozens of vacant judgeships under Obama and is frantically shoving as many nominees through as he can during the current Congress.


This is extra-disturbing because with the GOP in Congressional control, it’s the judicial branch that’s saved us from many of the worst excesses of Trump.


Cramming the courts full of young Trump appointees, all of whom receive lifetime appointments, threatens to warp our judicial system and pervert justice for decades to come.


You won’t be surprised to learn that most of these bad nominees are getting through on party-line votes.


We wrote about this once before after seeing ads on CNN that urged Republicans to support McConnell’s scheming. His most recent desperate move, which ended in the eleventh-hour withdrawal of a nominee who had racist writings in his past, reminded us we should write another post that you can bookmark and revisit.


First, know that as long as the GOP has control of Congress under Trump, they are trying to force through far-right nominees, several of whom are seriously problematic and some of whom are unqualified (seriously, they’ve tried to push through people who got an ‘unqualified’ rating from the American Bar Association).


The most recent failed nominee, Ryan Bounds, was an extra-insane situation because he was from Oregon, and that state’s senators had both refused to return their ‘blue slips’ on the nominee.


That means that Bounds had not earned the support of either Senator from Oregon.


In the past, if even one Senator withheld a blue slip, that ended a judicial nominee’s candidacy. McConnell was determined to steam ahead with Bounds in the absence of both blue slips, which has never happened in the history of the Senate.


The only reason Bounds was stopped is a GOP Senator, who had seen the racist writings, refused to support him. McConnell, realizing he did not have the votes to confirm, withdrew.


So, how to stay on top of the judicial nominee crisis? First, get on Twitter if you’re not already and follow:








The first will alert you to bad nominees. The other two will tell you when they’re headed to the floor.


Also follow @Celeste_pewter if you aren’t already. She is on top of bad nominees and will alert you to them as they appear.


Second, check this link and see if one of your Senators is on the Senate Judiciary Committee. (You’ll have to scroll down for the membership.)


If you have a Senator on the committee, then it’s extra-important that you call to oppose bad nominees.


You can also check the committee’s Nominations page to learn about what’s in progress on that front:


You should call both your Senators to oppose, but it’s crucial to call members of the committee early and often, in hopes of stopping bad candidates from advancing to a floor vote.


We can’t write you a blanket script because each bad nominee is bad in his or her own way. We can teach you to compose your own, however.


In checking the Twitter accounts listed above, look for:


The rating the nominee has received from the American Bar Association. If the person is unqualified, say so. If McConnell is rushing the nominee through so fast that the ABA hasn’t had time to issue a rating, say that, and demand that nothing go forward until the ABA can give a rating.


Whether or not one or both of the nominee’s home Senators has returned a blue slip. If anyone refuses, say so, and cite that as a reason to oppose.


If the nominee has hesitated to affirm bedrock rulings such as Brown vs Board of Education, Griswold vs Connecticut, Roe vs Wade, etc. Some nominees have given alarmingly muddled and evasive answers to questions along these lines. The only acceptable answer is ‘yes, these landmark cases were correctly decided.’


If civil rights and reproductive rights orgs say, flatly, that ‘Nominee X sucks and should not be on the federal bench for life,’ believe them and act accordingly.








Action Alerts · Call Your Members of Congress · First Amendment, Defending a Free Press · Russian Scandal, Emoluments Clause · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms

Call Your MoCs and Push Back Against the Very Notion of Revoking Security Clearances From People Who Have Criticized Trump

Call your members of Congress (MoCs) and push back against the very notion of revoking security clearances from about a half-dozen people who have criticized Trump.


Jesus Fucking Christ, this administration. We are truly in the time of constant swearing.


So! On Monday July 23, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that Trump was “looking to take away” the security clearances of six individuals who have had harsh words for Trump:


Susan Rice, former national security adviser


Michael V. Hayden, former CIA director


James R. Clapper, Jr., former director of national intelligence


John O. Brennan, another former CIA director


James Comey, a former FBI director, who Trump fired


Andrew McCabe, a former FBI deputy director, who Trump fired, and was desperate to make sure got fired before he could claim full retirement benefits


The press secretary accused them of making money off their past employment and of making “baseless accusations” against Trump.


Never mind that two of the six, Comey and McCabe, don’t appear to hold security clearances any longer.


Clapper, for his part, told the Washington Post that he’s not currently doing any work that requires a clearance. An aide to Brennan said something similar.


Do we need to tell you this is the sort of shit that dictators do?


Do we need to tell you this is a threat to free speech?


Ugh. Just, ugh.



Here’s a Washington Post piece on Trump’s latest Constitution-threatening move:


Here’s another Washington Post piece on the question of whether a president can just up and yank a security clearance. Apparently, the answer is yes, but c’mon, that won’t stop a critic from being critical because we have a wonderful little thing called The First Amendment.



You’ve heard all the arguments about whether Trump does this or that as a distraction from some other horrible thing he’s done, or wants to do. Babies are still in cages. Migrant parents are still being deported without their kids. (Watch for a standing reminder post on that later this week.) The GOP is still wrecking the judiciary (same, assuming Trump doesn’t do something else stupid that forces us to scramble our lineup AGAIN).


Hell, Trump shot back a crazy all-caps tweet at Iran’s leader just hours before this security clearance bullshit, and in the interest of really trying to stick to the ethos of One Thing You Can Do, we’re only mentioning it here, right now. (But check @Celeste_pewter’s Twitter feed for a script on that, posted on July 23, 2018, if you have the bandwidth to tackle more than one thing.)


Also? If Trump actually tries to do this? He will be SO VERY SUED. Like, EPICLY SUED, THE LIKES OF WHICH WE HAVE NOT SEEN BEFORE, as Benjamin Wittes of LawFareBlog noted in this July 23, 2018 tweet:

That sound you just heard is thousands of lawyers all reaching for their phones at the same time to call former senior national security officials to represent them if and when the President tries to strip them of their security clearances.



Doesn’t matter WHY Trump is doing what he’s doing, or if there’s a strategy or not. This is bullshit and we need to yell about it, just as we yelled about McFaul last week, to make it DAMN CLEAR RIGHT NOW that yanking security clearances from critics is NOT ON.


As usual, Celeste Pewter (@Celeste_pewter) got there first with a script. Scroll all the way down for ways to support her work.



Another note: Apparently Trump got this idea from Rand Paul, Republican Senator from Kentucky. Paul confirmed as much in a pair of tweets on July 23, 2018:

Just got out of WH meeting with . I restated to him what I have said in public: John Brennan and others partisans should have their security clearances revoked.

Public officials should not use their security clearances to leverage speaking fees or network talking head fees


So! If you’re from Kentucky — and ONLY if you’re from Kentucky–call Rand Paul, too, and rip him a new one for planting this idea in Trump’s head. Tell him what he did is shameful and dictator-like and demeans the principle of free speech, which the founders deemed so vital that they enshrined it in the First Amendment.


Note also that Paul is NOT up for re-election in 2018, but oh, we will let you know who his Democratic challenger is when the time comes.


Also worthy: Follow Benjamin Wittes on Twitter (@benjaminwittes) and support LawFareBlog, which we’ve recommended in the past.


Also, if you are generally pissed about this, make a relevant sign and join the #OccupyLafayettePark nightly protest in Washington, D.C., or join a #StandOnEveryCorner protest near you. If there isn’t one, consider starting one.


Here are additional ways to support Celeste Pewter, author of the black-backgrounded script above.


You can follow her on Twitter:



You can call your Members of Congress (MoCs) and tweet about your experience using the #ICalledMyReps hashtag.


You can check out The Road to 2018, an organization she’s involved with that defends and promotes vulnerable Democratic Senators. See our post on it:


Subscribe to her peerless newsletter, It’s Time to Fight:


Subscribe to One Thing You Can Do by clicking the button on the upper right of the page or checking the About & Subscribe page. And tell your friends about the blog!