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Learn from How Italians Ultimately Defeated Silvio Berlusconi

 

Trump has been likened to Hitler, Mussolini, and other 20th-century autocrats, but his closest analog is Silvio Berlusconi, the blustering, womanizing media mogul who served as Italy’s prime minister from 1994 to 2001.

In this November 2016 New York Times op-ed, Luigi Zingales shows us how to avoid the mistakes of Berlusconi opponents, which had the effect of prolonging his grip on power.

The key point to remember:

Attack what Trump does, not who he is. Yes, he’s morally bankrupt. Yes, he’s an awful human being. Yes, he’s unbelievably ignorant. Yes, his view of women is horrific. Yes, his twitter-squawkings are insane. Yes, he looks goddamn ridiculous.

If you need to complain about things like that, vent in a private Facebook group, or some other protected space. Empty it from your mind, then go out and shine a light on what he is doing, and explain why what he’s doing is bad.

You need to do it in a way that spotlights the consequences of his actions as president, and not on why Trump, the man, is repugnant. The instant you start attacking his character, you make him sympathetic. It’s not fair, but it’s what it is. The anti-Berlusconi crowd made that mistake and got seven years of his rule. Do you want eight years of Trump? Then lay off.

 

 

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Learn How to Help Charlottesville, the Target of Deadly Protests by Neo-Nazis

Learn how to help Charlottesville, Virginia, which was the target of neo-Nazi protests that turned deadly this weekend.

In case you missed it or need to catch up, here are some articles on what happened in Charlottesville. In essence, neo-Nazis didn’t just have a routine protest. They tried to have what they saw as a coming-out party for their noxious ideas. Many showed up to counter-protest:

https://www.vox.com/2017/8/12/16138246/charlottesville-nazi-rally-right-uva

https://www.vox.com/2017/8/12/16139328/charlottesville-protesters-riot-violence

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2017/08/state-of-emergency-in-va-after-white-nationalist-rally.html

http://www.richmond.com/news/virginia/live-coverage-victim-of-charlottesville-car-attack-was–year/article_a3cf7b72-e437-5472-8025-43147acf3d34.html

 

The site of the Unite the Right rally was chosen to protest the recent decision to remove a statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee. The area where it stands was recently renamed Emancipation Park. (The statue is still there but will be sold.)

We will give specifics on how to help the people in Charlottesville shortly, but the most important thing you can do, in our opinion, is to work to remove pro-Confederate monuments, wherever they are. Do you have one where you live? Now is the time to start a movement to get rid of it.

Petition your mayor, your city council, your selectmen, whoever runs the place where you live. Celebrations of treason do not belong anywhere in America. When asking for their removal, call them what they are–celebrations of treason.

And also be clear–you don’t just want these monuments removed, you want them destroyed. Smashed to pieces. Reduced to scrap metal. As noted above, Charlottesville intends to sell its Robert E. Lee statue.

Now, think–who is going to buy it? Particularly now that it’s been the focus of such a horrible event? If it is bought, it will live on to inspire more neo-Nazis. No. No. It and the rest of these foul symbols have to be turned into slag.

German Lopez at Vox sums up the power of the act of removing Confederate monuments in a piece titled Kentucky Mayor Responds to Charlottesville by Doing Exactly What White Nationalists Don’t Want. Read it here:

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/8/12/16139142/charlottesville-va-protests-lexington-mayor

See also these tweets from the mayor of Lexington, Kentucky, Jim Gray:

I am taking action to relocate the Confederate statues. We have thoroughly examined this issue, and heard from many of our citizens.

The tragic events in Charlottesville today have accelerated the announcement I intended to make next week.

And once you read the story, send a thank-you to Mayor Gray, by post or tweet, because you know he’s getting shit rained on him by committed assholes, and his city could be targeted by them for protest.

 

Send a thank-you postcard here:

Mayor Jim Gray

200 E. Main St.

Lexington, KY, 40507

 

Send a thank-you tweet to the mayor:

@JimGrayLexKY

 

Related to thanking Mayor Gray–another good way to show support for communities that remove Confederate statues is to reward them with your dollars. Plan your next vacation there, and tell the tourist board why you chose their area.

Here’s the website for the Lexington, Kentucky tourist board:

http://www.visitlex.com

 

And below is the website for the tourist board of New Orleans:

http://www.neworleansonline.com

 

Its mayor, Mitch Landrieu, has been carting away Confederate monuments, and he gave a moving speech on why it needed to be done.

 

Read the text of Landrieu’s May 2017 speech:

And here’s the tourism website for Charlottesville, Virginia:

https://www.visitcharlottesville.org

 

Update: In the early hours of August 16, 2017, the city of Baltimore hauled away its Confederate monuments. Thank them by considering a vacation to Baltimore. Here’s the city’s tourism website:

http://baltimore.org

 

Now, here are some specifics for supporting Charlottesville and the people who protested the neo-Nazis.

An Alaskan member of the Democratic Socialists of America has set up a GoFundMe to pay medical and funeral expenses of fellow members who were struck by the Dodge Challenger driven by James Alex Fields Jr., evidently of Ohio (his car had Ohio plates). He killed a 32-year-old local woman, later identified as Heather Heyer. Nineteen others were injured. He is in custody and faces murder charges.

The fundraiser has hit its initial goal of $75,000 and its subsequent goal of $100,000. Update: As of 4 am EST on August 14, it had hit its third goal of $125,000, was closing in on $150,000, and was still open to accept donations. Update to the update: At 8 pm EST, it had passed $165,000 and was still open. Update 8 am Aug 16: Above $178,000 and still open.

https://www.gofundme.com/medical-fund-for-comrades-in-cville

 

 

One of the photos that went viral showed a young black man being beaten with poles by white supremacists. The man has since identified himself as 20-year-old Deandre Harris. He suffered a head injury, a broken wrist, and a chipped tooth.

His friends and family have created a GoFundMe to cover his medical expenses. As of 3 pm EST on August 13, it was almost four-fifths of the way to its $50,000 goal. (Warning–there is a graphic shot of a bloodied Harris on the page):

https://www.gofundme.com/i-was-beaten-by-white-supremacists

Update: As of 4 am EST on August 14, the campaign had met its goal and stood at more than $105,000. It remains open to take donations. Update to the update, 8 pm EST: Past $107,000 and still open. Update 8 am Aug 16: Above $137,000 and still open.

 

A local woman, Felicia Venita Correa, has set up a separate GoFundMe for Heather Heyer. It has hit its $20,000 goal:

https://www.gofundme.com/our-sisters-keeper-heatherheyer

Update: The Heather Heyer campaign closed after collecting just over $225,000. Please direct your giving efforts to one of the related open GoFundMes.

 

More GoFundMe campaigns have since been set up to aid the victims of the motor vehicle attack, some for all the injured and some for individuals. Since the initial reports on the day of the incident, we have seen subsequent reports that count more than 19 injured. As of August 14, we have yet to see a list of names of the injured.

A GoFundMe started by Unity C-ville, a community group, had reached its $50,000 goal and had tallied more than $65,000 by 4 am on August 14. It remains open. Update to the update, 8 pm EST: It’s past $92,000 and still open. Update 8 am Aug 16: Above $109,000 and still open.

https://www.gofundme.com/united-cville-victim-relief

Update, 8 pm EST August 14: Here are more GoFundMe campaigns for Charlottesville victims of the motor vehicle attack:

 

For 20-year-old Natalie Romero. She is still hospitalized with a skull fracture and other wounds and does not have health insurance. Her goal is $120,000 and it’s at almost $110,000. Update 8 am Aug 16: Above $131,000 and still open.

https://www.gofundme.com/natalie-romero-medical-fund

 

For Marcus Martin, who saved his fiancé by pushing her out of the path of the car. He suffered broken bones and torn ligaments and won’t be able to return to his job as a landscaper for a while. His goal is $40,000, and it’s approaching $25,000. Update 8 am Aug 16: Above $56,000 and still open:

https://www.gofundme.com/marcus-martin

 

Heyer’s was not the only death connected to the protests in Charlottesville. Two Virginia State Police troopers–Lt. H. Jay Cullen, and Trooper-pilot Berke M. M. Bates, died when their police helicopter crash as they patrolled the events from the air. Read about the accident:

http://www.azfamily.com/story/36123329/helicopter-crash-near-charlottesville-rally-kills-two-virginia-cops

We have looked for online fundraisers for the families of the troopers and have not seen anything yet. We will update this post accordingly if we learn of one.

 

Here also is the link to the Anti-Racist Legal Fund for Solidarity C’ville. Update: As of 9 pm EST on August 14, the campaign had collected almost $150,000, well above its $50,000 goal. Though the campaign is still open, its page says the legal fund is now set and to please direct your giving to medical needs:

https://fundly.com/solidarity-c-ville-7-8-anti-racist-legal-fund

 

Many branches of Indivisible have planned local events to show support for the anti-racist protesters in Charlottesville. Look here to see if there’s one near you:

http://act.indivisibleguide.com/event/stand-in-solidarity-with-charlottesville/search/

 

Here are links to other articles that list Charlottesville-area charities and organizations that were involved in the counter-protests, are helping with the aftermath, or are the types of entities whose very existence annoys neo-Nazis:

View story at Medium.com

https://www.bustle.com/p/how-to-support-anti-racism-organizations-in-charlottesville-76190

https://www.bustle.com/p/how-to-help-the-victims-in-charlottesville-right-now-76195

 

The pinned tweet at the top of Sara Benincasa’s page leads to a Medium article with more  C’ville nonprofits you can help:

@SaraJBenincasa

 

…and here’s the Twitter handle for Indivisible Cville, where we found several of these links:

@IndivisibleVA05

 

Lastly, an idea. Please consider wearing something purple to the next protest that you attend. Purple was Heather Heyer’s favorite color. She should not be forgotten. This is a way to remember her and to bring her spirit to future protests.

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Save This Tool for Tracking MoC Appearances Near You

 

You know how important it is to attend Town Hall meetings, public forums, and other events where your members of Congress appear in person to speak with their constituents and take questions.

Some clever, determined, energetic people have created the Town Hall Project 2018. It evolved from a spreadsheet of all the events scheduled by MoCs, be they Town Hall meetings, district office hours, ticketed events, or conference call-Town Halls. Now all you have to do is plug in your zip code and voila! It’ll show you all the relevant events happening within 75 miles.

Save this tool for tracking events where your members of Congress will take your questions and meet with you:

https://townhallproject.com

 

Like the Town Hall Project 2018 Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/TownHallProject/?hc_ref=SEARCH

 

Follow the Town Hall Project 2018 on Twitter at the handle below and the #TownHallProject2018 hashtag:

@townhallproject

 

 

Good News · Health Care · Marches and Protests · Postcard Campaigns · Senate Bills, Federal

Fight Trumpcare/Defend the ACA, July 29: WOW. Just, WOW.

UPDATE July 29: After midnight EST, three Republican senators, plus 46 Democrats and two Independents, dealt a death-blow to the skinny repeal bill, the last vestige of what’s called Trumpcare.

The three Republican senators who stepped up and stopped it are Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Susan Collins of Maine, and John McCain of Arizona.

This wasn’t just a victory for any American who’s ever been sick or might get sick. It is a victory for democracy with a big D.

Throughout the process, the Republicans consistently shut out the Democrats and tried to get something done without cooperating with them in any way. This is in stark contrast to how the Democrats shepherded the Affordable Care Act into law in 2010.

The senators didn’t just save the health care system and untold numbers of lives last night. They saved the Senate, and they saved the notion that the American government can and does listen to its citizens.

You did this. You share in this victory.

Every single one of you who called, emailed, faxed, protested, and enlisted their friends to do the same, day after day for weeks.

Pressure works. Resisting works.

So you’re probably wondering–what’s next? What is there to do now?

First, know that this thing is merely dead, not really most sincerely dead. A Twitter exchange between Ginger Birnbaum (@gingerbirnbaum) and Andy Slavitt (@ASlavitt) makes this clear:

 

Birnbaum: Did McConnell return the vote to the calendar for a later date?

Slavitt: Apparently he did.

 

So it could still come back to life, but it won’t do so in the next few days at least.

You need to be prepared for Trumpcare to escape its grave.

Are you on Twitter by now? If not, sign up.

Once you are signed up, click on your avatar and then click on ‘Lists’.

Then click on ‘Create a List’ at the upper right.

Name your list ‘Fight Trumpcare’, and set it to private.

Add the following handles to your Fight Trumpcare list. To do this, go to the Twitter home page of each person, click on the vertical trio of dots next to the follow button, and then click ‘Add or remove from lists.’ Check the box. Make sure you see a white check on a blue background. Is it there? Then you’re done and ready to add the next handle.

Add these handles:

@ASlavitt

@TopherSpiro

@BenWikler

@Claire_McAndrew

…plus any other Twitter handles of folks who might belong on this list.

Check this list every day, or every other day, to see what might be happening on the Trumpcare front.

 

Second, spread some love. Did your Senators oppose the bill? Call and thank them. Did they support it? Call and make it clear that you expect them to fight any efforts by Trump to undermine the ACA law.

Also, send thank-you postcards to Murkowski, Collins, and McCain. The first two in particular withstood incredible pressure to move this bill along.

Time to turn that incredible pressure into an incredible showing of gratitude.

Remember: Please put your full return address on the postcards or else they may not be delivered.

 

Susan Collins

68 Sewall Street, Room 507

Augusta ME 04330

 

Lisa Murkowski

510 L Street

Suite 600

Anchorage, AK 99501

 

John McCain

2201 East Camelback Road

Suite 115

Phoenix, AZ 85016

 

Lastly, it’s time for some self-care. If you can’t rest today, schedule a time when you can, and stick to it. Ideally your rest involves staying away from the news and from social media. Do something that has nothing to do with politics.

Thanks again to everyone, everywhere, who pushed back.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fighting Bigotry, Racism, Sexism, Homophobia, Transphobia... · Health Care · Marches and Protests

Tired of Protesting Trumpcare? Look at What ADAPT is Doing and Get Inspired

If you find your will to protest Trumpcare flagging, check out what the disability rights activists with ADAPT are doing, and get inspired all over again.

If you’ve been tracking anti-Trumpcare protests–the marches, sit-ins, and die-ins at Congressional offices, and other events–you’ve seen photos of people in wheelchairs being zip-tied and arrested. Those photos almost certainly show members of ADAPT, a disability rights group that’s been active since the 1970s. (The acronym now stands for Americans Disabled Attendant Programs Today.) The photo in the header of this post shows a 1978 protest in Denver, Colorado.

ADAPT’s actions in the face of threatened Medicaid cuts in the Trumpcare bill have been nothing less than heroic. Read these links:

http://adapt.org/category/media/2017-save-medicaid-coverage/

http://adapt.org/denver-adapt-members-in-police-custody-more-than-24-hours-following-a-59-hour-sit-in/

http://www.newmobility.com/2017/06/adapt-activists-arrested-senate-health-care-protest/

http://www.cnn.com/2017/06/22/politics/protests-mitch-mcconnell-office-health-care-bill/index.html

https://www.vox.com/first-person/2017/6/27/15876442/healthcare-medicaid-cuts-disability-protests

http://adapt.org/time-video-shows-disability-advocates-forcibly-removed-from-senate-protest/

http://adapt.org/the-hill-43-arrested-in-obamacare-repeal-protests-at-capitol/

 

The ADAPT folks are doing amazing work, and they deserve your support, both during the fight against Trumpcare and beyond.

 

Visit the ADAPT webpage:

http://adapt.org

 

Find an ADAPT group near you:

http://adapt.org/getting-involved/

 

Like ADAPT on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/NationalAdapt/

 

Follow it on Twitter:

@NationalAdapt

 

Donate to ADAPT:

http://adapt.org/donate/

 

And here’s your daily July 2017 reminder to stay on stopping Trumpcare:

 

Call your senators. Keep the pressure up. Keep urging your friends across the country to call, too.

It’s especially important to call if any of these people are your senators:

Susan Collins of Maine

Lisa Murkowski of Alaska

Rob Portman of Ohio

Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia

Cory Gardner of Colorado

Dean Heller of Nevada

Bill Cassidy of Louisiana

Jeff Flake of Arizona (but wish him condolences–his father died June 26)

Dan Sullivan of Arkansas

Bob Corker of Tennessee

Lamar Alexander of Tennessee

Richard Shelby of Alabama

Luther Strange of Alabama

Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania

Ron Johnson of Wisconsin

See https://trumpcaretoolkit.org for phone numbers and tweetable statistics about health care coverage loss in these senators’ states.

If your senators are solid Dems, call and thank them for standing firm against the AHCA.

If your senators are Republicans, call call call call call and make it damn clear that you are against the AHCA and you will vote for their opponents come reelection time.

 

 

 

 

 

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Meet Your Senators at July 4 Events and Make Sure They Know What You Think About the AHCA

Find out which public events your town hall-avoiding senators and house reps will attend during the July 4 recess, and show up with protest signs. 

Since Trump took office, GOP Congresspeople have largely been the very picture of cowardice, refusing to hold town hall meetings or otherwise face their constituents, who are understandably eager to give them an earful about the horrible bills that Trump wants them to pass.

As per the recent pattern, many have failed to schedule town hall events and similar forums over the July 4 recess.

But you know where they will be? At July 4 events, such as parades, fireworks displays, baseball games, and the like.

Check your senators’ websites. Find out where they will be over the July 4 recess. Have your anti-AHCA, anti-Kris Kobach voter suppression efforts, pro Trump-Russia, investigation, pro-town hall meeting signs at the ready.

Do not let them go anywhere without being met by their own citizens protesting the vile things that Trump and his ilk are getting up to.

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Join the Impeachment March on July 2

Got another march for you. The Impeachment March, designed to shine a light on Trump’s impeachable offenses, takes place July 2 across America.

The march’s home page lays out three different grounds for impeachment: violation of the foreign emoluments clause, violation for the domestic emoluments clause, and obstruction of justice.

The march endeavors to be a worldwide movement, but as of late June it appears to list only American cities.

 

See the Impeachment March web page:

http://www.impeachmentmarch.org

 

See the list of sister marches:

http://www.impeachmentmarch.org/sister-marches.html

 

Like the Impeachment March on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/impeachmentmarchworldwide/