Fighting Words

After so many months of being battered by Washington, it’s too easy to become complacent or discouraged.

Below are some reminders why we MUST not give in to complacency; we need
to find the inner resources to fight even harder to make changes where we can, and most critically, we must start winning elections again and flip the House and the Senate next year.

It’s not just political anymore - insults from the right have hit an all time low,
and they get nastier every day; we are now officially “the unhinged left”.


• WATCH the vicious anti Ossoff ad, aired the day before the election.  
Looks like it worked  :(

• Rush Limbaugh calls the Virginia shooter “a mainstream Democrat voter.”  

• Colorado GOP exploits the Virginia shooting to raise money and spread
more anti left hate:
“The left is out of control. Their violent actions are un-American, and it needs
to stop!” reads an email signed by Colorado House Minority Leader Patrick Neville.

ATTACKING THE ARTS:
• Why Authoritarians Attack the Arts
"We need the arts because they make us full human beings. But we also need the arts as a protective factor against authoritarianism.
In saving the arts, we save ourselves from a society where creative production is permissible only insofar as it serves the instruments of power. When the canary in the coal mine goes silent, we should be very afraid — not only because its song was so beautiful, but also because it was the only sign that we still had a chance to see daylight again. … But as Hitler understood, artists play a distinctive role in challenging authoritarianism."   NY Times

• Protesters at the recent “Julius Caesar” production have upped the ante, accusing the audience of being “all Goebbels, you are all Nazis", and blaming them for the shooting of House Majority Whip Steve Scalise.

“This [Shakespeare. Shakespeare! ] is violence against the Right!"This idiotic snowflake-ism was promoted widely among right-wingers. It’s disgusting, it’s unjustifiable, and it’s no different than when protesters storm the stage at my speeches at University of Wisconsin or attempt to block me at California State University at Los Angeles or chant Charles Murray into submission at Middlebury or block Ayaan Hirsi Ali from speaking on campuses or invade Heather MacDonald’s events. The minute you equate speech with violence and attempt to forcibly shut it down, you're a snowflake. End of story.   Daily Wire

• Producers and others involved with the show have been receiving death threats to their homes.

• “Far Left Hates America! … No one here is far right. We’re only accused
of being far right because we love America.”   NY Times   
We are the violent, unhinged left who hate America.

• "Peaceful protest would be well within their rights. But these illiberal cultural illiterates instead wanted curtains for the offending Elizabethan play. … The only people lately threatening political violence in the name of “Julius Caesar” are those who wanted to shut this play down."  Washington Post

• The President’s oldest son tweeted:
"I wonder how much of this "art" is funded by taxpayers? Serious question, when does "art" become political speech & does that change things?"
[The answer is zero.   NONE of this art is taxpayer funded.]

He retweeted, "Events like today are EXACTLY why we took issue with
NY elites glorifying the assassination of our President."
We are the violent, unhinged left, America-hating New York Elites.

• We are to be forgiven for having forgotten that a similar production was mounted several years ago, with an Obama-inspired Caesar;  there was little coverage of it - the right applauded, and the left understood it was art.

• The President calls us “unbelievably nasty”.  His middle son said, “I’ve
never seen hatred like this ... I mean, to me, they’re not even people.” 

Now we are nasty and violent unhinged Nazi left New York Elites who hate America AND we are not human.

Using his father's language, he also called the recently elected DNC Chairman Tom Perez a “total whackjob,” then without irony decried the increase in name-calling

• Behind the Scenes with the Right-Wing Activist Who Crashed “Julius Caesar”

• Sen. Mitch McConnell: Democrats reap what they have sown


DOES THIS SOUND FAMILIAR?
"There was no point in seeking to convert the intellectuals. For intellectuals would never be converted and would anyway always yield to the stronger, and this will always be "the man in the street." Arguments must therefore be crude, clear and forcible, and appeal to emotions and instincts,
not the intellect.
Truth was unimportant and entirely subordinate to tactics and psychology."
- Joseph Goebbels, Nazi Minister of Propaganda (verified)


Run, Baby, Run!

Our heads spin with the daily assaults on our citizenry and our democracy.

A particularly potent recent stretch of days continues to grab our attention:

Monday: We learn that President Obama had warned him not to hire Flynn.
Tuesday: He fires Comey, who learns about it on TV in front of a group of would-be FBI recruits.   Can you say "cover up" ?
Wednesday:  He meets with Russian government officials, including at least one accused spy.   The only media allowed in the Oval Office are TASS,
owned by the Russian government.
Thursday: After a variety of denials by his surrogates, and referring to himself
in the third person, he tells Lester Holt that in fact he fired Comey specifically because of the FBI investigation into his administration's ties to Russia.
Friday: Threatens Comey with alleged secret tapes of their conversation.
Saturday: Staff begins interviewing replacement FBI director candidates.

Monday: It was revealed he shared highly classified info with the Russians.
Tuesday: We learn he had asked Comey to shut down Flynn investigation,
inviting questions of obstruction of justice.
Wednesday:  Russians imply they have records of last week's meeting, begging the question: Did they have hidden recording devices in the
Oval Office?
Today: Special Counsel named to oversee Russia probe - just in time
to make it onto the evening news.

NOTE:  This is not a newsletter about impeachment - that one will come
soon enough - this is about taking back our government.


• "What do Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell and other Republican leaders think
a president may say or do and still deserve their enthusiastic support? "
Congressional Republican’s Guide to Presidential Behavior (NY Times)

• "The morally bankrupt crowd running today’s G.O.P. are getting their way not because they have better arguments… but because they have power and are not afraid to use it, no matter what the polls say. And they will use that power to cut taxes for wealthy people, strip health care from poor people and turn climate policy over to the fossil fuel industry until someone else checks that power by getting a majority in the House or the Senate.

"That’s why there are just two choices now: chicken or fish — a Democratic-controlled House or Senate that can at least deter Trump for his last two years, or four years of an out-of-control president. This G.O.P. is not going to impeach him; forget that fantasy. Either Democrats get a lever of power, or we’re stuck emailing each other “S.N.L.” skits.

"So, I repeat: Run as, raise money for or register someone to vote for a Democrat or independent running for House or Senate on Nov. 6, 2018.Nothing else matters."   Thomas Freedman, New York Times

• “Nobody is being excluded because of gender,” says Mitch McConnell
as the House passes a health care bill - written by the all-male committee - 
giving states the option to drop pregnancy and maternity care from required insurance coverage.  (New York Times)

 

If you don’t have a seat at the table, 

you are probably on the menu.

What if we treated great female scientists like they were stars?
(GE commercial) 

Cleary,  no experience is necessary to run for office or to serve in government, so why not consider running?  
We especially need smart, capable women in public office.
Those of us who are not willing or able to run for office should at least
be supporting those with the courage to enter local and national politics.

SheShouldRun.org  
EmilysList.org
SwingLeft.org

EleanorsLegacy.org
Flippable.org

• As scientists erupt in protest, a volcanologist runs for Congress  (Washington Post)

• Democrats partner with political newcomers aiming to create anti-Trump wave in 2018 midterms (Washington Post) 

We've got a lot of work to do, and we cannot afford the luxury of burnout.
In addition to the entire Congress being up for reelection - and hopefully replacement in many instances - in 2018, there are also 33 Senators and
14 governors up for reelection next year.

More urgently, perhaps, there are also several special elections being held
this year.

• If Democrats don’t win one of three upcoming special elections,
how can they take back the majority in 2018?
   (Washington Post)


If current events don't scare you into action, wrap your brain
around this:          Republicans are just 2 state legislatures away
from being able to call a Constitutional Convention.

Republicans control both chambers in 32 states.  If they gain control
of 34 state legislatures, they can call a Constitutional Convention to
amend the Constitution.  This is an unimaginable threat to everything
we believe in, especially with the current administration in place.

There are many battleground campaigns needing our support in the next few months.  See our recent recommendations, and watch for June's candidate.

PAT top pick for March: John Ossoff (Georgia)
(after months of a strong lead, currently struggling in a dead heat just weeks away from the election on June 20)
PAT top pick for April: Chris Hurst (Virginia)
PAT top pick for May: Wendy Gooditis (Virginia)

Watch for Facebook Live with Wendy Gooditis (invitation to come)

DEFUNDING: Selling plowshares for swords

STRIPPING AWAY THE VERY ESSENCE OF OUR COUNTRY

The Russian connections, the Nazi influences, the corrupt billionaire cabinet heads who almost without exception have publicly announced their determination to dismantle the very agencies they lead. This is only the beginning of the administration which has brought more damage to this country in less than two months than our worst enemies could do to us in years.

Recently announced budget cuts are heartless and despicable, threatening the very lives of those citizens the president has sworn to protect.  And just
to be sure there will be no money for these life-saving programs, he wastes more millions of dollars on costly weekend golfing trips, maintaining two official households and insisting on inquiries into his lies.   

• Mick Mulvaney, Director of WH Office of Management and Budget, apparently missed the irony of celebrating St Patricks Day by wearing a shamrock on his lapel while announcing spending cuts on food for the hungry.   

This man, whose ancestors presumably escaped starvation over a century ago by fleeing to America.

This man, speaking for an administration which demands “proof” that feeding hungry people “produces results” while at the same time brushing off science, CBO reports and any other data inconsistent with their agenda.    

This man, proclaiming, ”I’m responsible for getting the money together to build the wall, and that's what I'm doing”, proving the lie we already knew, which is that American citizens and not the Mexican government will be paying for that useless and odious wall.

• Meals on Wheels is ‘not showing any results’ only if you ignore
all these results

• ‘That Food Saved My Life,’ and Trump Wants to Cut It Off

Ryan says he's been dreaming of cutting Medicaid since he was
in college

Trump, Ryan budgets will kill more Americans per year than all Muslim extremist attacks combined
"It is a budget that targets, with precision, poor, sick and elderly Americans and cuts help to them in ways seemingly designed to kill them more rapidly than the current budget allows. It comes precariously close to a eugenics-premised approach. And all of it is lumped onto a repeal of healthcare reform that will even by itself result in the deaths of nearly 17,000 Americans during the next midterm election year alone.
"P.S. Guess where The Orangest Loser's going again this weekend? That makes 2.3 million meals."


•  Worker Safety Rules Are Among Those Under Fire
• Trump says his budget will make government ‘lean.’ It’s really a scam

• Here’s how much it costs you to provide Congress with pastries and coffee
• How much is Donald Trump’s travel and protection costing ?

• NYPD says Trump’s budget would gut New York’s counterterrorism efforts, make the city less safe

Let 'Em Die
"Slashing Meals on Wheels, which feeds a half million veterans and many (often-Trump voting) elderly residents while allowing them to stay at home, when one $3,000,000 golf trip to Mar-a-lago would cover 419,000 meals and, by year's end at this rate, 20 million meals.

"Cutting an annual National Endowment for the Arts budget that will only cover Melania's security at Trump Tower for almost five months. 

"Cutting National Historic Sites funding that will give her a couple more months, or PBS, which is only worth three weeks.   Hiking the defense budget $54 billion for more war, which could fund conflict resolution work at the Institute of Peace for 1,543 years; their funding will instead be cut."

• Donald Trump’s budget is destructive — and exactly what Steve Bannon wants

• President Eisenhower, 1953:
Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies,
in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those
who are cold and are not clothed. 

This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat
of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.

The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this:
a modern brick school in more than 30 cities.
It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population.
It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals. It is some 50 miles of concrete highway.

We pay for a single fighter plane with a half million bushels of wheat.
We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people.

This, I repeat, is the best way of life to be found on the road the world
has been taking.      
This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. 
Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron.

 Washington Post

Washington Post

Now for some good news!

"I'm asking you to believe.
Not in my ability to make change, but in yours."  
  
(President Obama)

There is, without doubt, enough awful news coming from Washington to fill one of these newsletters every hour around the clock, and it's so easy to become discouraged. However, it’s important to pause and acknowledge some of the amazingly wonderful, loving and kind acts going on every day across the country.  

Our humanity and very real patriotism are so much stronger than our differences and the hate being spewed by small minded, dark-hearted people. Our Americanism is stronger than our other isms, and we are stepping up.

 Protecting our neighbors: People across the country spend time training to help protect and defend their immigrant neighbors whom, for the most part, they have never even met.  Defend Our Neighbors

• Providing sanctuary: Churches, cities, states declare themselves to be safe havens for undocumented immigrants not involved in other illegal activities, despite threats of reduced federal funding.

• Sending donations: private citizens are sending increased donations across the board to groups threatened with defunding - Planned Parenthood, museums, theaters, etc.

• Rediscovering old bonds: Muslim and Jewish Americans have formed strong bonds of brother - and sister - hood.
Jews hand Muslims keys to synagogue after Texas mosque burns
... and then ...
Muslim group raises more than $40,000 to repair damages at Jewish cemetery
What has yet to be accomplished in the Middle East is being done on a daily basis here.

• Dramatically increasing political awareness and involvement. People from all walks of life are getting involved in every level of political activity.  Even the scientists are getting involved - with rallies and a new interest in running for office.
  Trump's Election Drives More Women To Consider Running For Office
  3,000 Scientists Have Asked for Help Running for Office to Oppose Trump
compare to this from 2015:
  Millennials don’t want to run for office

• Demanding and showing up at Town Hall meetings.   Need we say more?
If there’s any question that they are having an impact, the president was moved to mock: "The so-called angry crowds in home districts of some Republicans are actually, in numerous cases, planned out by liberal activists. Sad!"

• Challenging credibility:  Kellyanne Conway is increasingly losing hers on all fronts.  She has been barred from Morning Joe, and according to reports, was pulled off the air by the White House - not for her lies but for being “off message”.
Stephen Miller, that smarmy, lying little tyrant, has not been seen since his big rollout weekend of ickiness. 
  The Downfall of Kellyanne Conway
  Kellyanne Conway barred from TV after string of questionable interviews

 Republicans are beginning to speak out: Most notably, Boehner, McCain, Lindsay Graham.    Not exactly leaping across the aisle, but not drinking the Kool-Aid, either.
  John Boehner says the ObamaCare repeal and replace is not going to happen
  John McCain just systematically dismantled Donald Trump’s entire worldview


 Impeachment talk: The president’s ability - or rather, inability - to serve has become regular fodder for news shows.    He is increasingly a liability for the GOP, and they will act on it when their own re-electability is threatened.   Impeachment - or some other form of replacement - is regularly being discussed among the pundits.
   Are Senate Republicans finally waking up?
   WATCH: The most dangerous man in Trump's world (spoiler alert: it's Pence) 

• Pope Francis offers encouragement

  WATCH:  Ruth Bader Ginsberg:
  “the true symbol of the United States
is not the bald eagle, it’s the pendulum, and when the pendulum swings too far in one direction, it will go back.”

 Seven new planets:  It's always good to know there's somewhere to get away :)
 
 Susan Keller has added her (mostly humorous) list of positive changes since the election.

And that, Sisters, is the little ray of sunshine for the day.

Neo-nazism: HATE

A few weeks ago, it seemed premature to discuss the hate movement propelling the new administration.  Now, however, it seems unavoidable and overdue. 

Those who believe this is an overreaction are not paying close enough attention.

It’s no secret that incidents of hate crimes began increasing pyramidically within hours of the election;  Trump’s victory gave a nod of approval to those who had managed to keep their hatred under the surface.

Comparisons with the rise of the Nazi movement in Germany have been made by many;  they often sound melodramatic and alarmist, but they are becoming incontrovertible. This is a huge and complicated matter - one which, sadly, protests and rallies are not likely to do much to abate.
 

While our new president is known for not being a “book reader” (one recent report claims he reads at a fourth grade level), one book he kept by his bedside, according to his first wife Ivana, was - perhaps still is - a compilation
of Hitler’s speeches.     After The Gold Rush

A NYT article from 1922 proclaims a “new popular idol rises in Bavaria”.  
A mere two years later, he “was no longer to be feared.  It is believed he will retire to private life and return to Austria”.    Hindsight is always 20/20. 

Other articles of the time refer to the man and his “unshakable logic of his construction or in his powers of conviction”.
A summary of and links to these articles from almost 100 years ago may be found here.

An increasing number of people have no doubt that what we are seeing now mimics closely what Hitler’s early rise to power looked like. How this comparison holds up in five or ten years is up to us.

Brief history of Hitler's Riser to Power

“When someone shows you who they are, believe them.”  (Maya Angelou)

This WWII Military Strategy Perfectly Explains What Trump Is Doing to the Media
He’s making it difficult to pick out the signal from the noise.

Nazis Once Published List of Jewish Crimes, Trump Now Pushing to Do the Same for Immigrant Crime

This Week in Hate
The NYT editorial board has been tracking hate crimes and harassment around the country since the election of Donald Trump.  Here is an index to these articles:    

 

“We knew it might take five or ten or twenty years, yet gradually an authoritarian state arose within the democratic state, and a nucleus of fanatical devotion and ruthless determination formed in a wretched world that lacked basic convictions. Only one danger could have jeopardized this development ... if they had from the first day annihilated with the utmost brutality the nucleus of our new movement.” 
— Adolf Hitler, Die Reden Hitlers am Reichsparteitag (1934 collection of speeches delivered by Hitler at Nuremberg).

While our new president is known for not being a “book reader” (one recent report claims he reads at a fourth grade level), one book he kept by his bedside, according to his first wife Ivana, was - perhaps still is - a compilation
of Hitler’s speeches.     After The Gold Rush

 1941

1941

A NYT article from 1922 proclaims a “new popular idol rises in Bavaria”.  
A mere two years later, he “was no longer to be feared.  It is believed he will retire to private life and return to Austria”.    Hindsight is always 20/20. 

Other articles of the time refer to the man and his “unshakable logic of his construction or in his powers of conviction”.
A summary of and links to these articles from almost 100 years ago may be found here.

An increasing number of people have no doubt that what we are seeing now mimics closely what Hitler’s early rise to power looked like. How this comparison holds up in five or ten years is up to us.

Brief history of Hitler's Riser to Power

“When someone shows you who they are, believe them.”  (Maya Angelou)

This WWII Military Strategy Perfectly Explains What Trump Is Doing to the Media
He’s making it difficult to pick out the signal from the noise.

Nazis Once Published List of Jewish Crimes, Trump Now Pushing to Do the Same for Immigrant Crime

This Week in Hate
The NYT editorial board has been tracking hate crimes and harassment around the country since the election of Donald Trump.  Here is an index to these articles:    

America First - not a new idea

seuss copy.jpg

Sisters,

A previous newsletter referred to the history of the America First movement -   an ugly history that goes back over 90 years.

This political cartoon is from 1941, by Dr. Seuss- yes, THAT Dr. Seuss.

Note the name on the woman’s sweater.

Taking Action

Sisters,

As we trudge toward week 3 of the new administration, the mind continues to reel. And yet, almost certainly, we ain’t seen nothing yet.

Articles on last week’s “entry restrictions” could fill many of these newsletters; they are not included here, since presumably you are readingand watching as much (fact based!) media and staying as up-to-date as possible on the latest Executive Orders, appointee hearings, crazy-making news conferences, etc.

Many believe that the executive orders are only the tip of the iceberg - so called “shock events’, intended to distract from even more dastardly edicts.   We must not let down our guard for one minute!


Trump's travel ban bears the hallmarks of historic 'shock events’; don't let it fool you

Keep track of how Senators voted on the confirmation of Trump appointees, with convenient links for each Senator’s contact information.

The Snake
“You knew damn well I was a snake before you took me in.”
Donald Trump has only been president for 10 days. But he has shown that his administration will combine the worst ideas of his campaign with the worst aspects of his temperament. 
A long but fascinating if terrifying look at the man who is fulfilling his worst campaign promises and so much more.

How Progressives Are Forcing Senate Democrats Into Action
Lawmakers wanted to choose their battles against Trump’s Cabinet nominees carefully, but activists have a different plan: Fight them all.

Protest Calendar
Partial event calendar of NYC protests, political actions, protests, demonstrations, workshops, organizing trainings, and planning meetings. Attend, act, and create social change!

#ResistTrumpTuesdays - A New Lunchtime Tradition?
In the first of what demonstrators promise will be a regular Tuesday lunchtime activity, New Yorkers came out … [to] Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand’s New York district offices at 780 3rd Avenue to demand that they oppose Trump’s cabinet nominees—all of them. Click here for Facebook page.

Please prepare your heart, mind and schedule to protest often

REMINDERS FOR ATTENDING ANY PROTEST RALLY, HOWEVER SMALL:
Your personal safety is paramount.
For that reason, when attending any rally, it’s wise never to go alone.
Bring as little as possible: photo ID, small amount of cash, credit card, fully charged cell phone, and 2-3 emergency contacts written on paper in case your phone is lost. Leave your bag at home.

Hopefully all future rallies will continue be calm and peaceful, but things can get out of control quickly and without notice. And as our rallies become larger and more frequent, the chances of outside agitators (whose sole aim is to turn a peaceful demonstration into a violent one) increase.

The Language of the new Administration

They use hateful language, and tell us we’re not hearing what we think we’re hearing.  We must pay very close attention to their actions, but we absolutely must also hear their words which are often loaded with meaning and history with which many of us are unfamiliar.

Kellyanne Conway’s laughable ‘look at what’s in his heart’ defense of Donald Trump

How Kellyanne Conway ushered in the era of ‘alternative facts’
Chuck Todd just was not buying what the senior Trump adviser was selling.

Sales of George Orwell's 1984 surge after Kellyanne Conway's 'alternative facts'

Learn the history of the phrase “America First”:
With Echoes of the ’30s, Trump Resurrects a Hard-Line Vision of ‘America First’

You may need a shower after clicking on David Duke’s site …
(another person referring to himself in the third person)
Dr. David Duke “Trump Inauguration Speech Declares War on the Neocons & Promotes Our Slogan “America First!”
“We couldn’t have asked for more in Trump’s Inauguration Speech! “

Here’s why Neo-Nazis are praising Ann Coulter’s ‘14’ tweet  
fans immediately responded to her tweet with an "88," which means “HH” and is code for “Heil Hitler” …

Donald Trump’s Chilling Language, and the Fearsome Power of Words
The new president’s divisive Inaugural Address profoundly underscores the importance of language in our society.

What Language Experts Find So Strange About Donald Trump
Trump’s story begins out of nowhere
 

Women's March, Grassroots Movement

Dear Sisters, 

The big Women’s March on Washington is only days away!
Consider downloading these 3 articles for reading along the way.

The Best Tips for Spotting Fake News in the Age of Trump
Don't get duped!

In this op-ed, William Colglazier — an AP US History teacher from California who is teaching his students how to spot fake news — explains how we can do the same.

In the Age of Donald Trump, the Resistance Will Be Localized
How cities can counter the power of President Trump.

The Importance of Grassroots Movements
“The Democratic agenda is better for all working people,” said President Obama …“The problem is, we’re not there on the ground communicating not only the dry policy aspects of this, but that we care about these communities, that we’re bleeding for these communities.”

And a bonus link:  
Indivisible:  A Practical Guide for Resisting the Trump Agenda
Please download the guide and read it front to back.
This is our bible for moving forward.