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:

http://time.com/5424150/trump-saudi-arabia-arms-deal/

 

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:

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/08/03/saudi-guests-boosted-revenue-at-trumps-new-york-hotel-reversing-drop.html

 

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”:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/opinions/wp/2018/10/16/whose-interests-is-trump-looking-out-for-in-saudi-arabia/?utm_term=.238d5f11fa63

 

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:

https://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/a23872355/president-trump-saudi-arabia-jamal-khashoggi-emoluments-clause/

 

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):

https://foreignaffairs.house.gov/subcommittee/full-committee/

 

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:

https://www.foreign.senate.gov/about/membership

 

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:

 

https://onethingyoucando.com/2018/08/08/support-the-road-to-2018-which-defends-democratic-senators-2/

 

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

 

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

http://itstimetofight.weebly.com

 

 

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:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40201496-shade?from_search=true

 

 

Read articles heralding the coming release of Shade:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/reliable-source/wp/2018/05/23/obama-photographer-pete-souza-to-throw-shade-at-trump-in-new-book/?utm_term=.ef1795ecc67d

https://www.cnn.com/2018/05/23/politics/pete-souza-shade-obama-trump/index.html

https://mashable.com/2018/05/23/pete-souza-book-donald-trump-shade/#KGJS5XiRqsqx

 

 

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:

 

@civilrightsorg

 

@DSenFloor

 

@cspan

 

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.)

 

https://www.judiciary.senate.gov

 

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:

https://www.judiciary.senate.gov/nominations

 

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:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/rand-paul-says-hell-ask-trump-to-revoke-former-cia-director-john-brennans-security-clearance/2018/07/23/8eb11ccc-8e7c-11e8-b769-e3fff17f0689_story.html?utm_term=.a81c8ef98959

 

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.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/politics/wp/2018/07/23/trump-can-revoke-critics-security-clearances-if-he-wants-but-it-likely-wouldnt-change-much/?utm_term=.37e2e3a6ee25

 

 

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:

@Celeste_Pewter

 

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:

https://onethingyoucando.com/2018/02/25/support-the-road-to-2018-which-defends-democratic-senators/

 

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

https://tinyletter.com/Celeste_pewter

 

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!

Action Alerts · Community Activism · Ethics · Fighting Bigotry, Racism, Sexism, Homophobia, Transphobia... · First Amendment, Defending a Free Press · Health Care · Marches and Protests · Online Privacy, Net Neutrality · Protect the Environment · Public Education · Russian Scandal, Emoluments Clause · Separation of Church and State · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms · Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) · Uncategorized

Attend a #SaveSCOTUS Event Between Monday July 9 and Friday, July 13, 2018

Attend a #SaveSCOTUS event between Monday, July 9, and Friday, July 13, 2018.

 

Team Trump intends to announce the name of its Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) nominee on Monday, July 9, 2018.

 

A team of organizations, headed by the good folks at Indivisible, have planned a week-long series of actions to protest the nominee, who will no doubt be a hard-right extremist.

 

See the website below to find an event near you:

http://savescotus.indivisible.org

 

 

Download the #SaveSCOTUS toolkit, which includes tips on how to plan a local #SaveSCOTUS event:

https://savescotus.indivisible.org/toolkit/

 

 

Visit Indivisible’s main website:

https://www.indivisible.org

 

 

Donate to the Indivisible Project:

https://secure.actblue.com/contribute/page/indivisibleproject?refcode=homepage

 

 

Like the Indivisible Guide on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/indivisibleguide/

 

 

Follow the Indivisible Guide on Twitter:

@IndivisibleTeam

Escape Your Bubble · First Amendment, Defending a Free Press · Vote with your Dollars

Pre-order Everything Trump Touches Dies by Rick Wilson, Or Request It From Your Local Library

Pre-order Everything Trump Touches Dies, the new book from GOP strategist Rick Wilson. If you can’t pre-order it, request it from your local library instead.

 

OTYCD is not a fan of Rick Wilson’s politics, and we sure as hell aren’t fans of every last little thing he’s done in his professional career. But from the approach of the Trump era, Wilson has been on the side of right as opposed to the side of the right, and he has been fierce and unflinching.

 

In the past we have encouraged you to follow his Twitter feed and donate to the GoFundMe for the Everything Trump Touches Dies movie (which you can still do, by the way). Now we’re encouraging you to pre-order the book of the same name.

 

Yes, we haven’t read it yet and we’re asking you to lay down money 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’re not sure what else Wilson might write in the future, but we definitely want more books like ETTD. 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 August 7 release date, you boost sales of the book and make it more available in your community’s library system.

 

 

Pre-order Everything Trump Touches Dies via Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39312362-everything-trump-touches-dies

 

 

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!

 

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

Help Build a Monument to African-American Journalist and Civil Rights Activist Ida B. Wells

Help build a monument to the pioneering 20th century African-American journalist and civil rights activist Ida B. Wells, who fought lynching.

 

Wells was born a slave in 1862 in Mississippi. When three African-American friends of hers were lynched in Memphis, Tennessee in 1892 for defending their successful grocery store from white assailants, she began an anti-lynching crusade, gathering information on lynching incidents, forming anti-lynching societies, and writing and speaking against lynching.

 

She also fought for women’s rights and helped form the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), but later drifted away from it. She died of kidney disease in 1931 at the age of 68.

 

Wells ultimately settled in Chicago, and a group hopes to build a monument to her in the neighborhood where she and her family lived. As of late April, they’ve raised a third of the funds they need. Sculptor Richard Hunt has agreed to create the monument.

 

 

See the website for the Ida B. Wells monument campaign:

http://www.idabwellsmonument.org

 

 

Read about the plans for the monument and see where it would be installed:

http://www.idabwellsmonument.org/?page_id=109

 

 

Read a short biography of Wells:

http://www.idabwellsmonument.org/?page_id=96

 

 

Donate to the Ida B. Wells monument fund:

http://www.idabwellsmonument.org/?page_id=59

 

 

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!

 

 

Like the Ida B. Wells Monument on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/Ida-B-Wells-Monument-133803080055450/

 

 

We at OTYCD learned about the Ida B. Wells monument effort through an activist on Twitter who goes by the handle ‘prison culture.’ Follow her:

 

@prisonculture