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Never Stop Demanding That Congress Investigate Trump’s Ties to Russia and His Violations of the Constitution

This OTYCD entry originally posted in March 2017.

Trump and his minions have done, or tried to do, any number of horrible things. Most of them demanded an immediate answer. Others demanded ongoing attention.

 

Several people are speaking up to say the daily shenanigans are distracting us from focusing on the two issues that have the power to force Trump from office: His financial conflicts of interest, and the Russian hacking scandal, which should shed light on Trump’s curious connections to Putin.

 

To be fair, these issues have not been forgotten, just overshadowed. A team of lawyers from the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) is suing Trump over his violations of the Constitution’s Emoluments clause. Jerry Nadler, a house rep from New York who sits on the house judiciary committee, recently filed a resolution of inquiry into Trump, an early step on the road to impeachment. Members of Congress are pursuing bipartisan investigations into the Russian hacking scandal, despite Republican attempts to keep such queries under its party’s control (which would let them soft-pedal the findings).

 

But the blogger behind The Liberal Yell rightly points out that it’s on us, the citizens, to keep pressing Congress to stay on the two issues that could end Trump’s presidency, and we should support their efforts to do so.

 

See the blog below.

 

http://theliberalyell.com/focus-people-there-are-only-two-things-to-demand-of-congress-in-regards-to-trump/

 

To summarize: TLY asks us to stay firmly on these two issues, regardless of what other evils Trump looses. No matter what happens, do not lose sight of the need to look into Trump’s Emoluments clause violations and the importance of getting to the bottom of the Russian hacking.

 

Scroll all the way down to the bottom of the post for a great tool–a custom postcard demanding investigations into both issues, which you can download and print and mail and hand out to others.

 

 

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!

 

 

Read about bipartisan efforts to investigate the Russian hacking scandal, and Republican resistance to it:

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/onpolitics/2017/02/02/senate-panel-investigate-russian-election-interference/97411482/

http://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/1/10/14220484/house-dems-bipartisan-probe-russian-hacking

http://www.snopes.com/mitch-mcconnell-blocked-investigating-russian-hacks/

 

 

Learn about New York House Representative Jerry Nadler’s filing of a resolution of inquiry into Trump, and its implications:

https://www.countable.us/articles/237-preliminary-impeachment-inquiry-filed-president-trump

Action Alerts · Call Your Members of Congress · Common-sense Gun Laws · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms

Keep Congress Focused on Passing Common-sense Gun Laws, Dammit

Keep Congress focused on passing common-sense gun laws, dammit. 

 

Celeste Pewter (@Celeste_Pewter) spotted this, explained what it means, and explained what to do. She gets full credit for alerting us at OTYCD. Please scroll down to the end of this post to thank her properly. And if you’re not following her yet on Twitter, please do so.

 

Following the Valentine’s Day 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School at Parkland, Florida, new momentum is behind a long-standing public demand for improving America’s gun laws.

 

Congress, which in 2018 is controlled by Republicans, is dragging its feet. Senate leader Mitch McConnell explicitly said he wants to focus on banking regulation first.

 

Celeste Pewter is calling them out, and calling for us to demand that Congress get its priorities straight. Here is a series of tweets she issued on March 2, 2018:

 

This is going hand-in-hand with Paul Ryan’s actions in the House. He’s pushing the House version of Fix NICS (as Scalise did in the meeting w/ Trump), but don’t forget: the House version also pushes for Concealed Carry Reciprocity. [Ed note: NICS stands for the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System.]

[She ends this tweet with a link to a Politico article titled Ryan Throws Cold Water on Gun Control Push: https://www.politico.com/story/2018/02/27/paul-ryan-gun-control-426711]

 

Obvious statement is (probably) obvious, but they’re doing what I’ve seen in politics a lot: – vague promises of hoping to discuss this issue in the future, – blaming others for this not moving forward – lots of talk about other legislation, in the hopes of changing the story.

 

In the Senate’s case, McConnell wants to push forward with banking reform. (We’ll talk later why THIS is also a spectacularly bad idea, and how the GOP seems to be determined to drive us all to another financial crisis)’

[She ends this tweet with a link to a Reuters piece titled Senate to Consider Bill Next Week Easing Bank Rules: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-senate-banks/senate-to-consider-bill-next-week-easing-bank-rules-idUSKCN1GD667]

 

Instead of shrugging and saying nothing can be done – “because that’s politics” – here’s what we should be doing: – Keeping up phone calls/emails/letters/what have you. Even if it FEELS like it’s not doing anything, you want to be the persistent throne in your elected’s side.

 

I can’t tell you the number of times when issues have seemingly died down at work, but people kept calling and writing. If I received enough calls/emails, I’d tell my (politician) boss, and suggest we act. This was a facet of my job: telling him where attention was needed.

 

(This wasn’t just for his sake; it was for mine, too. If you tied up my phone lines, inbox and mail with enough messages, I *couldn’t* focus on anything else. I needed to focus on what constituents wanted me to focus on.)

 

– So call your Senators and tell them: 1. You want Fix NICS w/out Concealed Carry Reciprocity, 2. You want Feinstein/Flake’s bill addressing purchase age for AR-15s 3. You also want Feinstein’s Assault Weapons Ban. (Yes, you can say you want #2 & #3 at the same time.)

 

4. You want Manchin-Toomey’s original gun control bill. As Manchin said the other day, this bill was vetted for five years + had bipartisan support. But most importantly: You DEMAND – and will keep demanding – Leader McConnell let the Senate debate these bills NOW. Not later.

 

5. It doesn’t matter if your electeds are GOP. (Seriously.) Elected staff are human, and you need. to. keep. making. this. an issue. If you persist, tie up their phone lines until they can do nothing else, they will kick this up the chain, and ask their boss(es) what to do.

 

Also: I know these tweets are well-intentioned, but all of the tweets saying this Congress won’t act so just vote them out, are missing a big point. Yes, definitely vote out whomever doesn’t work for you. But you need to at least force the issue for your current electeds.

 

If our default response is to just say, “Wait until November, I’ll vote you out!” you are: 1. Letting your current electeds get away with it, and 2. Setting up an example that can repeat itself in the future. You need to at least try to force the system to work.

 

Otherwise, this cycle of axing the current elected will just repeat itself every single time you think your elected isn’t doing their job. Nothing will get done. Break that cycle, and force the system to work for you.

 

Cliff notes version: Congress is getting ready to move on from gun control. You are in a unique position to force a legislative priorities shift; don’t just wait until November to vote them out. Demand they recognize the mood of the country, and push for floor debates.

 

P.S. I’ll add: the reason I felt the impetus to tweet all of that, is because I’ve seen this before, from the legislative side. Don’t let Congressional leadership essentially fake you out w/ their decision to move onto banking reform. Be angry, and direct anger at *them*.

 

She followed this with a script, but we at OTYCD want to insert here some tweets she offered on March 2, 2018, on the same subject:

 

It’s 4:00 PM on the west coast, 7:00 PM on the east coast. Call your electeds, leave VMs and tell them: we’re not screaming for a Dodd-Frank fix, but we ARE screaming for . Do not let them move on next week, without hearing from you.

 

If you need more reason to be angry, do a cursory search of shooting-related stories that have come out in the last twenty-four hours. (Including false alarms) – Michigan. – Chino Hills. – Dallas. – Ohio. I know it’s normal to feel like Congress will never change on this.

 

But the truth is, our approach to this has to change. I always see a lot of: “This is politics, they’re all corrupt! Why bother?” type of tweets. No. Flip the script. These are a few individuals, beholden to thousands, if not millions of constituents. We have the upper hand.

 

But we need to keep that anger sustained. Calling once isn’t enough on this. It has to be a daily thing, until this becomes the one thing dominating their agenda. Make your calls. I’m back to writing, if you have any questions.

 

Celeste Pewter is asking us to do what OTYCD urged you all to do in its most recent posts on common-sense gun control: We have to adopt the tactics of NRA members. [We won’t append our tail text here as we’re basically repeating it below.]

 

While the NRA’s donations are problematic, and we should continue to shame politicians who take its money and boost those who don’t, money is not the NRA’s sole strength.

 

Just as important is the cadre of NRA members who jump into action at the merest whisper of a murmur of a hint that Congress might somehow, possibly, maybe, could be mulling legislation that could get in the way of their hobby.

 

If we’re going to change things and destroy the death grip that the NRA has on our politics, we have to call our MoCs about passing common-sense gun laws, and keep calling. In droves. We have to be relentless.

 

Here’s her script. Please act.

 

script – change as needed. – Fix NICS = Murphy/Cornyn bill. Concealed Carry needs to be stripped out. – Age 21 Act is Feinstein/Flake bill. – Feinstein wants an assault weapons ban. – Manchin-Toomey = background checks.

 

 

In addition to following her on Twitter (again, her handle is @Celeste_Pewter) you can support her in other ways.

 

After you call your MoCs, tweet about the experience using the #ICalledMyReps hashtag.

 

She founded The Road to 2018, an organization devoted to defending Democratic Senators who are vulnerable and up for re-election this year. 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:

http://itstimetofight.weebly.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Community Activism · Fighting Bigotry, Racism, Sexism, Homophobia, Transphobia... · Marches and Protests · Stand Up for Civilization · Stand Up for Norms

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. Update October 8: The tally is at $198,111 and still taking donations.

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.

Final update October 8: The campaign collected $166,055.

 

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.

Final update October 8: The campaign collected $175,555.

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. Update October 8: At $154,125 and still taking donations.

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.

Final update October 8: The campaign collected $61,480.

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 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.