Resistance School!

Here’s something we couldn’t love any more: #RESISTANCE School. Free seminar-discussions; practical tools “we need to fight back at the federal, state, and local levels”; and progressive network-building held in person (in the 02138 at the JFK School of Government), and/or online.

Organized by a group of motivated Harvard grad students, the Resistance School team includes “former staffers from the Obama, Bernie, and Hillary presidential election campaigns; community organizers; advocates for human rights, campaign finance reform, and veterans’ affairs; and journalists for publications in the US and abroad.”

Resistance School is a free four-week practical training program to sharpen the tools we need to fight back at the federal, state, and local levels. Our goal is to keep the embers of resistance alive through concrete learning, community engagement, and forward-looking action.

This is good. This is very good. This is worthwhile, and FREE. Sign up. Show up or dial up.


It’s the Russia, Stupid

Yesterday’s New York Times article (“Trump Campaign Aides Had Repeated Contacts With Russian Intelligence”) is deeply disturbing, but (unfortunately) not at all surprising. Remember, we knew about — or at least had grave concerns about — Russia months ago (back when Trump was insisting “No puppet. No puppet. You’re the puppet.”).

Among other things, it seems increasingly clear that Trump and his associates colluded with senior Russian official in tampering with the US presidential election. Others can dicker over whether that’s “treason” or not (certainly smells like it), but these are arguably impeachable offenses.

russianflagTax returns matter, because they would show the depth of foreign business dealings and entanglement, but forget the Flynn “resignation,” forget the Trump dossier and the potentially-embarrassing urine-soaked kompromat, and focus on the thing itself. Russia. Trump. Ties. Collusion. Election tampering.

We must push Congress to show some spine and investigate further. We must let proper journalists dig. We must play upon the patriotic nationalism of the right and apply constant pressure on this particular point of failure. And we must do it now.

Have a look at a site like All Sides, where stories are best seen from multiple viewpoints/graded news sources. It is very telling — if not damning — that the sole take from the right this morning is a 115-word “story” that relies exclusively on the tweets of single, fabulously unreliable source who tends toward ungrammatical hyperbole, and exclamations like “UNFAIR!” and “SAD!”

In other words, momentary spin vacuum.

The right will certainly backpedal, crank up the spin machine, and respond. We need to hit them hard now, before they have time to find their footing. Now is the time to focus. Now is the time to pounce.

Ask your senators, ask your representatives to support a proper independent investigation of Trump’s ties to Russia.

The Case for Donating to a Few Specific Advocacy Groups

While there is no substitute to pounding the pavement at a march, or calling or visiting your local reps to make your voice heard, there are times — as we are beginning to see with Trump’s executive order on immigration — when our battles will need to be fought in courtrooms by those with intricate knowledge of the Law. All of this work costs time and money and it will add up very quickly (something that Trump — no stranger to litigation — is surely counting on).

The following are extremely effective advocacy groups, all of whom could use our donations as early and often as we’re able:

  • When it comes to civil liberties, constitutionality, and ethics, the American Civil Liberties Union has been out in front of Trump since day one, post election — and they get results.
  • On immigration in particular, the National Immigration Law Center is a well-run, much needed, and effective resource.
  • With regard to climate change, Earthjustice‘s mission is very specifically that of environmental advocacy via litigation. And they have an admirable success rate.
  • With a Republican majority, lobbying groups liberal lobbying groups lose traction, and we sometimes have to depend on high-visibility PR/advocacy campaigns. Few have been better at that game over the years than Greenpeace.
  • With Trump threatening to effectively deny LGBTQ equal rights, GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) will be leading the defense in court.
  • And, as our focus shifts to reproductive rights and the open seat on the Supreme Court, support for Planned Parenthood and NARAL will become even more critical.

NOTE: For an expanded list and more information, see our Donate to Effective Liberal Charities page.

Fighting the Executive Order on Immigration

BREAKING: The ACLU has just won in federal court a national stay against the executive order on immigration (refugee/muslim ban)!

That said — and legal judgements being what they are — all of those looking to do something helpful in light of Trump’s executive order should follow up with these actions:

  • Call your Republican Senators and Congressmen and ask them to publicly denounce and oppose the President’s executive order on immigration. (Very few [Charlie Dent, Justin Amash, Jeff Flake, Ben Sasse] have done so yet.) Tell them that basic human rights should never be “agree to disagree” territory, and history will judge the Republicans very harshly for holding to party lines here. “The New Colossus” text on the Statue of Liberty is not meant for whites only and we must — in the words of Martin Luther King, Jr. — honor the “sacred obligation” of our Constitution. (For info on contacting your legislators, see our state-by-state resources.)
  • Get out there — at the airports and on the streets — and protest. We need to make our united voices heard on this, and we need to be loud. List of known protests available here, via ThinkProgress.

Get busy, folks. Our country has a petulant, erratic, reactionary child at the helm right now, and this is not a drill.

Help for Dealing with Trump’s First Press Conference

…wherein: PEEOTUS attacked CNN as being “fake news,” shouted down CNN Senior White House Correspondent Jim Acosta (who was later threatened with retribution and suppression by incoming Press Secretary Sean Spicer), took a question from actual fake news service and white nationalism champion Breitbart, and claimed he “will be the greatest jobs producer that God ever created.”