Praying today for the people – THE CHILDREN! – of Syria! Praying our President acts with grace and wisdom.
A scary, uncertain time. Peace! In the ‘hood, Syria, Russia, America! pics: R.T.
McGovern, Pelosi Call for Congress to Reconvene to Debate Military Authorization for Syria
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Congressman Jim McGovern, a senior House Democrat and leading critic of the expanded use of military force by presidents in both parties, joined House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and other lawmakers calling for Speaker Ryan to immediately call the House of Representatives back into session to debate an Authorization of the Use of Military Force for military actions taken in Syria.
In February 2017, Congressman McGovern led a bipartisan group of 19 lawmakers calling for Speaker Ryan to hold a debate and vote on the authorization for the use of military force (AUMF) for U.S. military operations in the Middle East.
Following President Trump’s unilateral action to order airstrikes against Syria last night, Congressman McGovern is renewing that call with this statement:
“Every president must obtain congressional authorization to launch military strikes and President Trump is no exception. President Trump’s unilateral action to attack Syria without consulting Congress and obtaining authorization is an alarming violation of the checks and balances put in place by the Constitution – safeguards established to prevent presidents from taking our country to war without the consent of the American people.
“Americans must have a say when it comes to war. President Trump’s failure to work with Congress to achieve a bipartisan consensus on military action has shut out the voices of the American people and raised serious concerns about the possibility of military escalation without any input from their elected leaders. The time to debate U.S. military operations is before we drop bombs and send troops – not after.
“Today I am joining the growing bipartisan call for Congress to immediately reconvene to debate the path forward for U.S. military operations in Syria. If the President intends to escalate U.S. military involvement in Syria, he must to come to Congress for an Authorization for Use of Military Force which is clearly crafted to meet the threat and prevent another endless war. The American people and our men and women in uniform deserve nothing less.”
Full Text of Pelosi Letter to Speaker Ryan:
April 7, 2017
The Honorable Paul Ryan
Speaker of the House
H-232, United States Capitol
Washington, D.C. 20515
Dear Mr. Speaker,
I am writing to request that you call the House back in session immediately to debate any decision to place our men and women in uniform in harm’s way.
Bashar al-Assad ‘s chemical weapons attack on his own people places him outside the circle of civilized human behavior. Assad also continues to attack his own people with conventional weapons. Meanwhile, Russia props up the Assad regime and enables its brutal war crimes to continue.
The President’s action and any response demands that we immediately do our duty. Congress must live up to its Constitutional responsibility to debate an Authorization of the Use of Military Force against a sovereign nation.
As heartbreaking as Assad’s chemical weapons attacks on his own people was, the crisis in Syria will not be resolved by one night of airstrikes. The killing will not stop without a comprehensive political solution to end the violence. The American people are owed a comprehensive strategy with clear objectives to keep our brave men and women in uniform safe and avoid collateral damage to innocent civilians in Syria.
I look forward to hearing from you as soon as possible on this matter of grave concern to our national security.
With the United Kingdom threatened with a break up due to the Brexit vote, the United States should consider taking back, like an enfeebled parent in need of care from an adult child, a truncated Britain as the 51st state. There would be many advantages for both countries and their citizenry. The politicians in each country would find voter-rich opportunities for political posturing in an enlarged American union.
Last year the British voted to exit the European community, a move now seen as a bellwether for the American election of Donald J. Trump. Scotland wants to secede from the United Kingdom, and the Irish Republic wants back the six counties of Northern Ireland. With a UK breakup imminent, the U.S. should offer the olive branch of reunification to our English cousins.
What would Britain gain?
• All of Britain’s Brexit problems would be solved. Britain would have free access to all 50 American state markets. Financially, the British would fare much better off as a member of the American Union than as a splintered land mass collapsing into independent sovereigns.
• Britain would have to accept the American legal system. This offers numerous positive changes to England (besides judges being banned from wearing those stupid wigs!). This means that British cops (known as “Bobbies”) would have to read suspects their 5th Amendment rights and be subject to civil rights lawsuits whenever they kicked down someone’s front door without a search warrant. Newspapers could print the truth about public figures without being sued out of business. There were good reasons our forebears started a revolution in 1776.
• The British could let the U.S. Congress force a shotgun marriage between the Irish Republic and Northern Ireland. American Congressmen could haul in a rich catch of Irish Catholic votes by bringing about the reunification of Ireland into a 32-country Republic. English Protestant politicians could vote against the deal, knowing it would pass (this would earn them the votes of traditionalists and monarchists.) The truth is, most mainland British politicians don’t want anything to do with the Ulster Unionists, whom they privately regard as an embarrassment. They would secretly delight at being rid of the Unionists and at the same time acting indignantly while voting against Congressional majorities giving Northern Ireland back to the Irish. Like those Massachusetts legislators who recently voted three times against pay raises, and then accepted the pay raises, they could have their cake and eat it too.
• Britain would once again be part of a great country, instead of the piss-ant, third rate nonentity it has evolved into since World War II.
No longer a country with a great past and no future, Britain would once again be part of the pre-eminent world power.
What would the U.S. gain?
• By itself, Britain alone is one of the largest economies in the world. The U.S. could significantly grow its economy overnight by the reunion.
• Britain would have to accept the American system of taxation. This would partly be reparation for British over-taxation of the U.S. prior to the American Revolution and partly to recompense Americans for the British burning the White House during the War of 1812.
• The British health system would be extended to cover the U.S. This would end the American debate over health care. The reunification treaty would specify that Congress would not be able to discuss health care for at least one decade.
• Americans would graciously accept the British monarchy as the head of the American state, with the provision that America remains a Republic. Let Prince Charles represent the U.S. at official functions, such as state dinners and other social events. This will leave President Trump more time for his one true love, sending out messages over his Twitter account.
The populations of each country would gain from reunification.
• The English wouldn’t have to learn English. They could teach us how to use the language. Think of how much George W. Bush or Donald Trump would have gained from elocution lessons in the proper use of the English language!! The British will acclimate to our economy and laws quickly. After all, the British started our economy, and English common law is the basis of American legal doctrine.
• Congress would have to adopt a weekly “President’s Question Time” similar to the prime minister’s questions from Parliament. Trump would love this, answering Democrats’ questions with insults and disparagement. We could watch the two parties hoot and howl at each other like the audiences at a football game. This would probably be a good psychological release for the two parties and Trump. If we did this on Friday afternoons, Trump could watch replays all weekend long.
• Americans could be knighted and become dukes, earls and lords. The Kardashian women could be made princesses, or Brad Pitt a duke (“Duke Brad Pitt” sounds good, like the name of a new fight club movie). We could make Barron Trump a Baron; henceforth he would be known as “Baron Barron Trump.” Nothing less than a Lordship would suffice for Donald Trump; “Lord Trump of Twitter” would fit him nicely.
• American tabloids would be delighted to have new royals to write about. Americans would quickly desire a thirst for stories about royals like “Randy Andy” and “Champagne Charlie.” That’s certainly more entertaining than reading about how Ted Cruz’s father was part of the plot to kill JFK.
• In deference to London sensibilities, the capitol of the state of England would be Liverpool.
• The British parliament would have to take oaths of allegiance to the U.S. Constitution, to protect the Republic against all enemies, both foreign and domestic.
• Finally, the British would give up their ridiculous coinage system. The current system – pounds, shillings, half pennies – never made much sense and is about as useful as the metric system, which should also be discarded.
Britain and the U.S. were allies in two World Wars, the Cold War, and now the war against terror. The Brits have been our closest allies. It’s time we end the divorce and allow Britain to rejoin our country as the 51st state!
Worcester’s best and bravest fought for “liberty and justice for all.” We must save America – and American ideals – once again! photo: R.T.
We Must Act Now
By Rosalie Tirella
The 25th Amendment to the Constitution must be invoked …
Vice President Mike Pence must take over Donald Trump’s duties …
Trump must be incapacitated …
I believe President Donald Trump is mentally unfit – psychologically unable – to lead America for the next four years. As President of the United States of America Trump is arguably the most powerful person on earth – a planet he may, in four years, destroy. The job has always been too gargantuan for our Presidents (see their “before” I became President and “after” I was President photos – how they’ve all aged prematurely in office). Only this President seems oblivious to the IMMENSE powers of the American Presidency. The far-reaching, global, domino-effect of the American Presidency. Accusing his predecessor, President Barack Obama, of wiretapping him and his minions (a felony) – via Twitter!!!! – then firing off his next Tweet about the fate of his old TV show Celebrity Apprentice shows us just how deeply fucked up Donald Trump is. Knowing what we now know, would you hire him to run the corner 7-11?! (Didn’t think so!!!)
Trump is an oblivious, narcissistic, vindictive, combative, venal, dangerous world “leader” – he shows ZERO RESPECT FOR HIS OFFICE.
Trump must go. His cabinet and Congress must do the right thing. This is NOT about kicking the Republicans or their world view out the door, this isn’t Right versus Left, this isn’t Progressive vs Conservative or Democrats vs Republicans. This isn’t about the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer under Trump’s presidency … This is about saving America and all she stands for – has stood for. In 2017 this is about saving our precious natural world, our rivers, streams, mountains, polar bears, fauna and flora great and small. This is about stopping a nuclear war with North Korea (and possibly China), preventing Russia from upending American democracy and democracies – fledgling and established – throughout the world. This is about saving NATO, the Western Alliance … EVERYTHING after the great Marshall Plan. This is about saving THE AMERICAN VOICE – a true and noble voice that, through out the ages, for the ages, especially during the two Great Wars, has had global moral authority, brought freedom to entire countries, lifted up the struggling no matter where they lived, fed the hungry irrespective of whose side they were on, gave hope to ALL oppressed people, sought truth, shed light, opened doors, freed minds …
With Trump this could all disappear. My heart is breaking!
Congress, the Trump cabinet, MUST DO THE RIGHT and LEGAL THING – SAVE AMERICA and the WORLD. Incapicate Donald Trump.
Vice President Pence – a politician whose views are diametrically opposite mine! – must take over the job. Steadier hands are needed to steer the American ship. A new helmsman is needed. A new day MUST DAWN!
From POLITICO (we’ve made some sentences bold):
“The 25th Amendment [to the Constitution] was ratified, Feb. 10, 1967
“By ANDREW GLASS 02/10/12 04:24 AM EST
“On this day in 1967, the Nevada Legislature ratified the 25th Amendment to the Constitution. It was the 38th state to do so and put the constitutional change over the top.
“A key provision of the amendment, which Congress had proposed on July 6, 1965, states: “Whenever there is a vacancy in the office of the Vice President, the President shall nominate a Vice President who shall take office upon confirmation by a majority vote of both Houses of Congress.” Another important clause establishes procedures to be used when a president becomes incapacitated and how such disabilities are to be lifted.
“The need to act had become evident with the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963. Lyndon B. Johnson, until being elected president in 1964, served 14 months in the Oval Office without a vice president to replace him. Until the amendment was ratified, the vice presidency had been vacant 16 times after a president or vice president had died or resigned.
“Since ratification, the amendment has been invoked six times. The most far-reaching use was in 1973, when President Richard Nixon nominated Rep. Gerald Ford (R-Mich.) to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Vice President Spiro T. Agnew.
“The amendment was invoked again, when Ford, who had assumed the presidency on Nixon’s resignation, nominated Nelson Rockefeller, the former New York governor, to succeed him as vice president. The Senate confirmed Rockefeller on Dec. 10, 1974, 90 to 7. When the House followed suit on Dec. 19 by a 287-128 vote, Rockefeller was sworn into office.
“The disability clause has been invoked for brief periods when presidents have undergone surgery. It was unavailable when President Woodrow Wilson suffered a major stroke in 1919.
“SOURCE: “THE TWENTY-FIFTH AMENDMENT: ITS COMPLETE HISTORY AND APPLICATIONS,” BY JOHN FEERICK (1992)”
From VOX.COM (we’ve made some sentences bold):
“And then there’s Section 4 — which is about how the vice president and a majority of the Cabinet can deprive the president of his powers without his consent.
“2) Wait, the VP and Cabinet can depose the president?
“Sort of. There are three major parts to Section 4 of the 25th Amendment. The first part establishes how a president can be quickly stripped of his powers due to inability.
“Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.
“A few notes here. First, the power to sideline the president for inability is given to the vice president and a “majority” of “the principal officers of the executive departments.” (President Reagan’s Justice Department interpreted this to mean the main Cabinet departments, which today number 15.) Theoretically, Congress can also create and empower some “other body” that could make this declaration, but so far it has not done so.
“So all the VP and eight Cabinet secretaries have to do is put in writing that the president is “unable” and send that message to the Speaker of the House (currently Paul Ryan) and the Senate’s president pro tem (currently Orrin Hatch). Then the vice president “immediately” takes on the president’s “powers and duties.”
“Importantly, though, the veep only becomes “Acting President.” So the elected president hasn’t lost his office yet, just his powers — and not necessarily permanently, as we’ll see in a moment.
“Finally, there is zero elaboration on what it would mean for the president to be “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.” There is no specification even that it refers solely to health. In theory, it could entail not just physical inability but a judgment call on mental health or even, conceivably, poor character or simple disagreement. It’s really up to the VP and Cabinet to interpret it.
“3) But what if the president wants to stay in charge?
Section 4 continues:
“Thereafter, when the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that no inability exists, he shall resume the powers and duties of his office unless the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive department or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit within four days to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.
“This is a mouthful, but the gist is that the president can tell the speaker of the House and Senate president pro tem that he is in fact not unable, and that he wants his powers back. You can imagine this happening if the president regains consciousness from some injury or ailment — or if he simply disagrees that he’s unfit for office.
“If he does this, he’ll get his powers back in four days — unless the vice president and at least eight Cabinet officials say, in writing, that he is still unable. Then the vice president will remain in charge for the time being, and Congress will have to step in to settle this dispute. The rest of Section 4 is about this contingency:
“Thereupon Congress shall decide the issue, assembling within forty-eight hours for that purpose if not in session. If the Congress, within twenty-one days after receipt of the latter written declaration, or, if Congress is not in session, within twenty-one days after Congress is required to assemble, determines by two-thirds vote of both Houses that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall continue to discharge the same as Acting President; otherwise, the President shall resume the powers and duties of his office.
“So Congress will vote on whether the president is in fact “unable.” If two-thirds of both the House and Senate vote that he is, then the vice president will remain in charge as acting president.
“If they fall short of that margin in either House, or simply fail to act within 21 days, the president will regain his powers. … ”
… Tonight (9 p.m.)! So LATE NIGHT’s Stephen Colbert will do his show LIVE – that way he can dish up a heapin’ helpin’ of “Crazy ol’ Donald Talks to Congress” for all Americans to laugh at! Except it’s no joke – Donald Trump is PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES and has immense power over our lives!!!!!!
We’re worried …
… on edge.
Everything about the Donald is deeply disturbing. Yet his personality, his romp through American history, like a Mack truck barreling through the Alzheimer’s unit of a nursing home, is addictive. Like good-bad reality TV!
Most everything Trump does is reprehensible – like RESTART THE ARMS RACE and act like it’s a good thing!!!😱😱😱😱😱😱 But many Americans give him a pass. He brings fresh hell every day, but the hell is filtered through the goofy, oblivious, avuncular Trump personality. And we Americans – or at least 80 per cent of Republicans – indulge him! Like he said during the presidential campaign, he could shoot a person on Fifth Ave and his supporters would still adore him, still vote for him! That’s because they like – even more so now – the Trump personality: direct, raw, oblivious, authentic, approval-seeking, open-wound grasping, boastful, pathetic, combative, vulgar, vulnerable. A fascinating personality – like falling down an infinitely long rabbit hole that’s lined with Silly Putty.
Did I tell you I watch Donald on the official White House You Tube channel right before I go to bed each night? It’s like saying your nightly prayers to the Patron Saint of Non Sequiturs and Insane Asylums. Screw the Hail Mary’s! Saint Nut Job is more fun! And definitely NOT educational! I am drinkin’ the fuckin’ fucked up Kool Aid, America, and lovin’ it! Melania, Sean “Spicey” Spicer, Steve “Bat-Shit Crazy Scary” Steve Bannon, Kelley Ann Conway – they’re all on the White House TV channel! And I’m not gonna bother spell-checking their names cuz these deplorable characters don’t deserve ANY respect!
Yet Donald Trump seems to want to do good for Americans – like bring back and create good-paying jobs for the working class (I LOVE THAT), but then he goes and does the worst possible thing – like gut the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). One of the first executive orders “President” Trump signed allows companies once again to dump toxic chemicals and sludge into our streams! Why would any self-professed American patriot do that to American land? Our polar bears will probably go extinct on Donald’s watch, along with lots of other less sexy fauna and flora. Trump will go down as one of the worst presidents for the environment, for the planet, and the good reporters of our GREAT national press corps (an American treasure❤🇺🇸🇺🇸 and RIGHT🇺🇸💙 written into our constitution) will be there to catch every last salamander’s gurgle and birdie’s peep for help! Trump’s goofily oblivious style seems to inoculate him – allows us to allow him to destroy our streams, mountains, deserts – from sea to shining sea!
Peace and Blessings InCity Times People!! It’s been a while since I have put pen to paper, so let me officially say … HAPPY 2017!!! We are two months in and there has been sooooo much stuff
happening in our country and our world!! Good, bad, pretty and ugly! I have so many thoughts running through my head that I don’t even know where to start!
On the homefront, here in Worcester, I’m concerned in the work I do at Abby’s House for Women because of the lack of affordable, decent housing and options for folks who are struggling – single folks and families – in our city. And the stressful conditions put on individuals and families trying to access shelter through the system.
Rents in Worcester have become unaffordable as absentee landlords seek out people with Section 8 and other subsidies so they can charge the highest rent allowed. Those without vouchers or other subsidies have no other options than to pay market rent. Usually more than 50% of their income.
In single income homes this is a lot of money when you have utilities and other day to day expenses. Wage slavery. All issues not even discussed in our presidential election. Homelessness and affordable housing.
So, America has a new president. I think I was in a state of shock when I woke up and Donald Trump was the President of the United States.
I could list all the decisions he has made thus far that I feel are anti-human, but I know we all know what he
has done and is doing. It is all that we see on our social media and on television. I hope you are getting
some of your information from PBS programming!
Now I’m going to focus on the POSITIVE thing that has happened because of Trump’s decisions. Folks are waking up!!! They are protesting. They are
calling local and state and federal government officials to state their discontent. They are signing petitions.
They are showing up for their fellow man, woman and child. All for different issues or multiple issues ~ women’s health, Islamophobia, racism, homophobia, misogyny, immigration.
Saying NO to classist, hate-mongering, racist bully Aidan Kearney, the Turtle Boy blogger (whom Worcester City Councilor Michael Gaffney financially$$$ supports), on the Worcester Common!
It’s all or nothing at this point.
We have to join forces for basic human needs.
If you are showing up for one or two events and not all, you may have to
rethink that. The Women’s Marches on Saturday, January 21, were AMAZING. All 52 states had protest marches. All 52 states had numerous cities that had marches! Fifty five other countries had protest marches in numerous cities in each country. Countries such as Antarctica, Belgium, Austria, Columbia, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Ghana, Iceland, India, Lithuania, Kenya, Netherlands, Nigeria, Peru,Portugal, South Korea, the list goes on. Over one million people world-wide!!! The show of support is remarkable! Now we just have to keep it going. Conversations have to be had on
how we have to show up for each and every injustice. Not just those that hit close to home. Each and every
For some folks, showing up for the march was the limit of their activism. Others will continue the conversation.
Just keep an open mind through this particular conversation … Listen. … One way to get involved is to attend a SURJ meeting. Worcester is lucky to have a SURJ chapter. Showing up for Racial Justice, SURJ is a national network of groups (working in conjunction with Black Lives Matter) to organize White people for racial justice. https://www.facebook.com/SURJWorcester/
It is important to push for the understanding that racism is ‘prejudice plus power’ and therefore people of
color cannot be racist against whites in the United States. People of color can be prejudiced against whites but clearly do not have the power as a group to enforce that prejudice.
I know I have been actively protesting since the murder of Trayvon Martin on February 26, 2012. And have been protesting numerous murders and deaths and injustices since that time. We’ve been marching and protesting.
Go, Bill Maher💙💛💛💙💙, go📢💐📢!
I don’t say these things to belittle the March. It was amazing. But certain things that happened in Worcester, our fair city, extinguished my desire to “fight the good fight.” I was blessed to be a part of a conversation at the Collective GoGo with a group of people who were all up and down the east coast for protests and marches. They shared their experiences and I was rejuvenated. Their passion and desire for justice on ALL issues, not just certain ones, is what gives me hope. Their energy is
amazing. Amanda, Anne, Nori, Christopher, Drew and all the others who shared their experiences have me
hopeful for what is to come.
My sister Tracy, my daughter Sha-Asia and I were actually present at the first Million Woman March in October 1997 in Philadelphia. It was a beautiful event!
Did you know there was one?
As we move forward under this new presidency, we have to remember a few things … We have forgotten that we belong to each other. Yes, I have said this before, and it is a motto that I try to remember daily. That we all belong to each other, and we are all just trying to make it home.
Our America is fighting back. As I sit here typing this article, there are, again, protests all over the United
States, in protest of Trump’s immigration policies and his ban on Muslims entering our country. We’ve got to fight to ensure that the statue standing in the middle of New York Harbor never comes down!
Don’t get us wrong, readers! If Donald Trump can be an effective or even great president, we’re all for him! The above videos – snap shots of Trump being on-message, funny and real – are glimmers of hope. After watching these videos and others, you realize there is something quite endearing – dare I say loveable?! – about the Donald!: #1 – He is authentic. Totally himself … and that is GREAT. It’s a lot of fun, kinda scary, ultimately mesmerizing. Trump doesn’t hold back or disengage or quit working at 6:30 p.m. every night to spend time with his family like President Obama did. Nope. Trump – with wife Melania MIA in another state – is ON 24/7. Like a great, bizarre ’round the clock reality TV show! And we’re all addicted to watching it! Last night I began watching an old President Obama video and shut it off. Boring!!! I tuned into Trump – and had fun. So what if we are all going to be incinerated?!!! Trump is one hell of a roller coaster ride! He is combative but takes his lumps, too – for his gaffes, hissy fits, open bathrobe and fumbling for light switches in a lights-out White House.
Donald Trump seems to crave unending adoration, but his emotional neediness often manifests itself as a kind of goofy friendliness… . President Obama was aloof. Trump is anything but. He’s a hugger, hand-holder, hand-shaker, glad-hander … a people person. Nutty. But gregarious. I like that. He could be Italian-American – a Rat Pack ba da boom kinda prez! Trump’s out-sized personality is why he has connected with so many – millions of – Americans. They love him! He’s like lots of great U.S. presidents/politicians – loves to, lives to swaddle himself in the hoi polloi and upper classes and everyone in between: FDR, LBJ, Teddy Roosevelt. You can tell Trump LOVES being president! Which is why he filed his papers for re-election immediately after Inauguration Day!!!
Trump’s manic energy encompasses all – sucks you in. He has bonded with the forgotten Americans: white working class regular folks who, on a number of fronts, most important, the economic one, have suffered for many many years. He says he will change their – our – lives. Tonic to the people!
Trump, for me, feels especially like Lyndon B. Johnson – a natural, gifted, LOVE ME NOW-PLEASE! kind of politician. Trump can’t mask his insecurity and he can’t get enough of Americans and our problems, feelings, food etc. The voters, miners, teachers, Congress – he’ll spread the Donald all over the place, like the special sauce on a Big Mac.
And it feels kinda nice. Fucked up. But nice.
Raise the federal minimum wage, Donald! Support our unions! Create a robust AMERICAN INFRASTRUCTURE REBUILDING federal program that puts millions of regular guys and gals back to work at GOOD PAYING JOBS rebuilding America’s highways, bridges, airports, etc! Quit stomping on the Constitution, and you just may make it, after all!🇺🇸🍦🍟🍔🍕
editor’s note: I’ve made some sentences bold. – R.T.
By filmmaker Michael Moore
Friends, I welcome you to “The Michael Moore Easy-to-Follow 10-Point Plan to Stop Trump.”
First, let’s acknowledge what we all know to be true: Trump is in deep, deep trouble – in the pocket of Russians, surrounded by alt.right idiots, alone in his bathrobe in a mostly-empty White House – and caught inside a disgusting “shit-sandwich,” so said his supporter who turned down the NSA job.
Only one month into his So-Called Presidency – and yet there is good news, as this is what the American landscape looks like:
• Tens of thousands of citizens across the country have stormed Congressional district offices and town hall meetings to express their rage at the Trump agenda (a dejected Republican congressman, after a 3-hour verbal assault from his angry constituents, said on TV last night, “let’s face it – they [the Obamacare supporters] have won.”).
• A federal court halted Trump’s first Muslim Ban – actually, make that FOUR federal courts have ruled against him! He’s conceded defeat and will not appeal to the Supreme Court (though he will try a new ban – and good luck with that, you son of a Scottish immigrant).
• Progressive Democrat Congressman Keith Ellison appears to be the front-runner for this Saturday’s vote to head the Democratic Party – and to FIX the whole damn mess! Also, a recruitment drive has begun across the country to find the best local candidates to run for state and federal offices in 2018. Millions are committed to never letting the Debacle of ‘16 happen again.
• Our beautiful Army of Comedy – with its Platoon of Satirists led by Alec Baldwin and Melissa McCarthy – is killing it! The devastating impersonation of White House spokesman Sean Spicer by McCarthy has Trump fuming to the point where he has considered getting rid of Spicer. Politico says he simply can’t watch one of his top aides being portrayed by … a woman!
So the momentum is with us right now – and if we all just take a little time to do the Action Plan below, I’m convinced we’ll succeed in halting the dark force that is Trump. We can tie him up in knots at every turn, and eventually, we can bring him down.
So let’s get started with our…
10-POINT ACTION PLAN TO STOP TRUMP
1. THE DAILY CALL: You must call Congress every day. Yes – YOU! 202-225-3121. It will take just TWO MINUTES! Make it part of your daily routine, one of those five things you do every morning without even thinking about it:
1. Wake up.
2. Brush teeth.
3. Walk dog (or stare at cat).
4. Make coffee.
5. Call Congress.
It is impossible to overstate just how much power you have by making this simple, quick DAILY CALL. I know from firsthand experience the impact it has. These politicians freak out if they get just 10 calls on an issue. Imagine them getting 10,000! Holy crap – the dome will pop off that building!
NOTE: if you’re saying to yourself, “I don’t need to call because my rep is a Democrat!” — that is NOT true. They need to hear from you. They need to know they have your support. Don’t believe it? Our beloved Sen. Elizabeth Warren voted in favor of Ben Carson as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development! I’m sure no one in Massachusetts thought they had to call her. YOU DO! She and the other Dems need to hear from the boss — YOU! They work for us – and what boss doesn’t have daily contact with his or her employees?
It’s easy to make The Daily Call. To call your U.S. member of Congress or Senators in D.C., dial 202-225-3121 (or 202-224-3121 if busy). It’s even better to call their direct line. For Senators, find each of their numbers here: http://bit.ly/2kko0Ao. For the direct line to your member in the House of Representatives: http://house.gov/representatives.
Here’s some great news: Someone has created an app to make this very easy: Go to the App Store and get “5 Calls.” The app will dial the friggin’ phone for you and give you talking points for when you speak to your reps!
Here’s what a sample week of your DAILY CALL can look like:
On Monday, call your Congressman/woman and tell them you do not want them to repeal Obamacare. In fact, you want them to improve it so that we have single-payer universal health care like all other “civilized” countries.
On Tuesday, call the first of your two U.S. Senators and tell him to vote NO on Rick Perry for Secretary of Energy. He couldn’t even remember there was a Department of Energy – or what it did!
On Wednesday, call your other U.S. Senator. Demand she do everything in her power to block the appointment of Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court.
On Thursday, call your local State House/Assembly representative in your state capital. Tell her you want the House to vote for legislation that prohibits the incarceration of nonviolent drug users.
On Friday, call your State Senator. Tell him you want him to support all efforts to reduce those activities which cause climate change.
If you’d rather to write to your reps, you can find the best way to do that for each of them here by typing in your address on: democracy.io.
I will post updates on the actions we’re fighting for each day and week on my Twitter and Facebook pages. If you want to know what to call your reps about, I encourage you to follow me right now on Facebook at facebook.com/MMFlint and on Twitter at @MMFlint. All my social media sites are at my website www.michaelmoore.com.
Remember – A call a day keeps the Trump away.
2. THE MONTHLY VISIT: To add even more pressure, SHOW UP! Your member of Congress has a local office in your town or somewhere nearby. So do both of your U.S. Senators (often in the nearest federal building). Go there and ask to speak to their aide about the issues we’re facing (again, I will continually post them on my social media sites).
Also, don’t forget to visit the local office (or the state capitol office) of your State Representative/Assemblyperson, and your State Senator.
And, if you’re lucky to live within driving distance of Washington, DC, show up on Capitol Hill and pay an unannounced (it’s legal!) in-person visit to your U.S. Senators and your Congressman/woman. They pay serious attention to this. It blows their mind that you’d drive that far to see them. Do it!
I know not everyone has the time to do THE MONTHLY VISIT – but if you can, please do!
3. YOUR OWN PERSONAL RAPID RESPONSE TEAM: You and 5 to 20 friends and family members must become your personal RAPID RESPONSE TEAM. Sign everybody up so that when we need to leap into action (like we did at the airports the hour after Trump signed his Muslim Ban), you can email and text each other and make an instant plan. On other days, you’ll share links to good investigative stories and TV news items. Come up with a name for your RAPID RESPONSE TEAM — mine is called “The V for Vendetta Rapid Response Team” and it consists of myself, my daughter and son-in-law (and their new baby!); my two sisters, their spouses and adult children; my cousin; 8 friends; 6 co-workers; and my next door neighbor. That’s 27 of us and we live from Seattle to Michigan to Maryland. And each of them are forming their own local Rapid Response Teams. So that means the 27 on my team are so far responsible 405 new Rapid Responders overnight! And each of those 405 are doing the same – they’re recruiting their own 5-20 people – and BOOM! 4,050 more Rapid Responders tomorrow — and growing!
4. JOIN! JOIN! JOIN!: We all know it’s time for all of us to be part of a greater whole, so let’s actually physically sign up online and JOIN some of our great national groups. I’ve joined Planned Parenthood, ACLU, Black Lives Matter, Democratic Socialists of America, and ERA Action. Some charge money to join, so if you don’t have much, pick the lowest amount ($5 for ACLU for example) — or join groups that don’t charge anything (but if you can help them financially, please do). They will keep you informed of national actions and fight for us in court.
5. THE WOMEN’S MARCH NEVER ENDS: The historical, record-breaking January 21st Women’s March on Washington — and the hundreds of other Marches that day across the US and the world, with over 4 million in attendance! — brought massive numbers of people out who had never protested in their lives. It inspired millions of others and ignited so many local movements we still can’t count them all. The day after the Women’s March, another two dozen protests took place. The day after that, 2,000 Utahans jammed into their state capitol in Salt Lake City. Then, on the following Saturday, tens of thousands of Americans occupied their local airports to oppose Trump’s Muslim ban. And on and on and on. Every day — still! — dozens of actions continue to take place as if the Women’s March never ended. It hasn’t. Join it!
I and a group of friends have set up THE RESISTANCE CALENDAR (www.resistancecalendar.com) that is updated daily, where you can find out what actions are taking place near where you live. All you have to do is type in your city or state in the search bar.
It’s critical that large numbers of us continue to march, protest, sit-in, and be very visible – to Trump, so he knows we are the majority; to put the Dems on notice that we expect them to grow a spine; to our fellow Americans who live in Boise or Tulsa or Grand Rapids and have been feeling alone and afraid since the election. Our mass presence reminds them the people didn’t elect Trump. And it is good for each of us to operate in concert with each other, to feel the solidarity and the hope.
And the official Women’s March on Washington – they’ve called for a national Women’s Strike on March 8th. Let’s join them!
6. TAKE OVER THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY: The old guard of the Party has twice in 16 years presided over the majority of Americans electing the Democrat to the White House – only for us all to see the losing Republican inaugurated as President. How is it that we have won the popular vote in SIX OF THE LAST SEVEN PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS — the Republicans have only won ONCE since 1988 — and yet, we hold NO power in any branch of government?! That, plus losing 1,000 local seats in this election that the Dems use to hold — plus watching many Dems in Congress unwilling to stand up to Trump — PLEASE, the old leadership has to go. God love ’em for their contributions in the past, but if we don’t enact a radical overhaul right now, we are doomed as far as having a true opposition party during the Trump era. And that, more than anything, will help to usher in the vice-grip of a totalitarian culture.
You must do two things:
1. Let the DNC know that THIS SATURDAY, February 25th, the Democratic National Committee MUST elect reform and progressive candidate, Congressman Keith Ellison, as the new DNC chair. Keith is a former community organizer, the first Muslim elected to Congress, and a key backer of Bernie Sanders. He not only has Bernie’s support -and mine-but he’s also backed by Chuck Schumer, Harry Reid, Gloria Steinem, John Lewis and many others. Sign his petition of support at www.keithfordnc.org/howyoucanhelp. Let the DNC know how you feel.
And locally, you need to start attending your county Democratic meetings. If possible, organize your friends and others and take over your local Dem organization. More on this at a later date.
7. HELP FORM BLUE REGIONS OF RESISTANCE: People keep saying to me, “Mike – I live in a Blue State – what can I do?” If you live in a Blue State, you have one of the MOST important tasks to complete: Show the rest of America what it looks like when Trump isn’t in charge! Blue States and Blue Cities must do an end-run around Trump and create the America we want to live in. That means New York goes ahead and offers Free College for All. California can create its own Universal Health Care. Oregon can stop mass incarceration of African Americans. Hawaii can enact its own climate change laws. Blue States can show the rest of country how much better life can be. Important historical note: Before Roe v. Wade made abortion legal, California and New York passed their own state laws to make it legal. This greatly helped pave the way for CHOICE being the new normal — and the enactment of Row v. Wade.
8. YOU MUST RUN FOR OFFICE: I know, that’s the LAST thing you want to do. But if we keep leaving the job up to the dismal, lame, pathetic political hacks who have sold us all down the river, then what right do we have to complain? This is only going to get fixed when you and I decide we are willing to put in our time — even if it is a brief time — and run for office. I ran when I was 18 and got elected. You can, too. We need good candidates for the 2018 elections — and not just Congress and State Houses, but also school boards, city councils and county commissions. Why not take out a petition today and run next year? Heck, I’ll bet I’ll even support you!
I realize most of you can’t do this — but there is one office every one of us can and SHOULD run for next year: PRECINCT DELEGATE. Every precinct, every neighborhood can elect x-number of Dems to the county Democratic Convention. It’s on the ballot and it’s usually blank – no one runs for it. So the precinct delegates end up being appointed by the party hacks. And that’s who ends up eventually at the national convention to pick the next presidential candidate. So this is an important position to run for. The time commitment is just 3 hours a year! You attend the county convention — that’s it. Call your city or county clerk and find out how to get on the ballot. If you’ll do it, I’ll do it. It’s the first step to making sure we put a candidate on the ballot who can win.
9. YOU MUST BECOME THE MEDIA: Stop complaining about the media, stop wishing they were something they’re not, find the ones who are doing a good job and then start your own “media empire” by sharing their work and your work on the internet. Use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and other social media sites to spread news and information. Make sure all your friends and family are signed up. Yes, I’m talking to you, Baby Boomers. Get over it, put down your postage stamps and your “TV clicker” and find a six-year old to show you how to start tweeting. You can be your own reporter, your own editor. You can curate the news for your friends. And now Facebook lets you have your own network with Facebook Live! It’s all free. Get on social media now. Imagine, your own CNN is in the palm of your hand…
10. JOIN THE ARMY OF COMEDY: Trump’s Achilles heel is his massively thin skin. He can’t take mockery. So we all need to MOCK HIM UP! Not just the brilliant people at SNL or Colbert, Seth Myers or Samantha Bee — but YOU. Use your sense of humor and share it with people. Get them to do the same. Keep sending around the SNL links spoofing Sean Spicer, Trump and Kellyanne — there’s no such thing as watching them too many times! Hahaha. I truly believe the final tipping point for Trump will be when he implodes from all the laughter — the mocking, the unbearable ridicule of tens of millions of Americans that will discombobulate him and force him out of the White House. I know this seems like Mike’s fever dream, but I believe it can work. I don’t know what happened to Trump in boarding school at 13 and I don’t care. Whatever it was, let’s use it. He’s used all the other things he picked up over the years – misogyny, bigotry, greed – against the powerless and the unfortunate. It’s time to laugh him outta town. And if there’s one thing we all could use right now is a good laugh — AND the possibility of a much-shortened presidential term.
So, there you go! The 10-Point Action Plan to Thump Trump. Something for everyone. And every one of us needs to do them. Please share this and spread the word. We can stop him. We can nonviolently block and obstruct halt the damage he’s doing. But it’s going to need – and take – ALL HANDS ON DECK!
****** editor’s note: from Congressman Jim McGovern’s office. I’ve made some sentences bold. – R.T.:
Congressman Jim McGovern, a senior House Democrat, joined 26 of his fellow lawmakers on a letter to House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) demanding a full investigation of potential ethics violations concerning Kellyanne Conway’s recent public comments encouraging Americans to purchase items from the fashion line produced by President Trump’s daughter, Ivanka Trump. The letter was led by Congressman Mark Pocan (D-WI).
In an interview from the White House Press Briefing room, Conway, who is a Counselor to President Donald Trump, appears to have violated Office of Government Ethics laws by promoting Ivanka Trump’s brand on Fox News.
According to the Office of Government Ethics, “An employee shall not use his public office for his own private, for the endorsement of any product, service of enterprise, or for the gain of friends, relatives, or person with the employee is affiliated in a nongovernmental capacity.”
Congressman McGovern and his fellow lawmakers are calling on Chairman Chaffetz to “examine potential ethics violations concerning Kellyanne Conway’s recent public comments encouraging Americans to purchase items from the fashion line produced by President Trump’s daughter, Ivanka Trump.”
“Across the government, federal employees are expected to be held to a high standard of ethics. As a federal employee, Kellyanne Conway appears to have clearly violated these standards with her recent comments,” the lawmakers wrote. “It is especially troubling that Kellyanne Conway appears to have used her position of power in the White House to directly enrich the Trump family through Ivanka Trump’s fashion line. Such a blatant disregard for federal law and ethics standards set for public servants undermines public faith in our government.”
McGovern and House Democrats criticized Chaffetz for failing to exercise any oversight of the Trump White House up to this point. “To date, you have shown little inclination to conduct even basic oversight of President Trump or his top advisers. Appearing last night on CNN, you stated repeatedly that you would not request information about the President’s massive conflicts of interest, referring to such oversight efforts as a ‘fishing expedition.’ However, you did promise to investigate future incidents when ‘something goes awry,’ as it clearly has here.”
“We encourage you to examine the blatant and inappropriate remarks made by Kellyanne Conway immediately and ensure members of the Trump Administration do not continue to use their positions of power to enrich members of the Trump family.”
Joining McGovern and Pocan on the letter are Representatives Brendan F. Boyle (PA-13), Katherine Clark (MA-05), Steve Cohen (TN-09), Val Demings (Fl-10), Mark DeSaulnier (CA-11), Theodore E. Deutch (FL-21), Alcee Hastings (FL-20), Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Henry C. “Hank” Johnson, Jr. (GA-04), Marcy Kaptur (OH-09), Rick Larsen (WA-02), Brenda L. Lawrence (MI-14), Barbara Lee (CA-13), Ted W. Lieu (CA-33), Zoe Lofgren (CA-19), Gwen S. Moore (WI-04), Richard M. Nolan (MN-08), Jared Polis (CO-02), David Price (NC-04), John Sarbanes (MD-03), Jan Schakowsky (IL-09), Darren Soto (FL-09), Mark Takano (CA-41), Bennie G. Thompson (MS-02), and Nydia Velázquez (NY-07).
Full Text of the Letter from House Democrats to Chairman Chaffetz:
February 9, 2017
Chairman Jason Chaffetz
House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform
2157 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515
Dear Chairman Chaffetz:
We are writing to request the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform examine potential ethics violations concerning Kellyanne Conway’s recent public comments encouraging Americans to purchase items from the fashion line produced by President Trump’s daughter, Ivanka Trump. Kellyanne Conway, Counselor to President Trump, is a federal employee and appears to have clearly violated federal ethics laws delineated by the Office of Government Ethics.
According to the Office of Government Ethics, “An employee shall not use his public office for his own private gain, for the endorsement of any product, service or enterprise, or for the private gain of friends, relatives, or persons with whom the employee is affiliated in a nongovernmental capacity.” In a February 9, 2017, interview from the White House press briefing room with the Fox News Channel, Kellyanne Conway urged Americans to “go buy Ivanka’s stuff…It’s a wonderful line. I own some of it…I fully—I’m going to give a free commercial here. Go buy it today, everybody. You can find it online.”
Across the government, federal employees are expected to be held to a high standard of ethics. As a federal employee, Kellyanne Conway appears to have clearly violated these standards with her recent comments. It is especially troubling that Kellyanne Conway appears to have used her position of power in the White House to directly enrich the Trump family through Ivanka Trump’s fashion line. Such a blatant disregard for federal law and ethics standards set for public servants undermines public faith in our government.
To date, you have shown little inclination to conduct even basic oversight of President Trump or his top advisers. Appearing last night on CNN, you stated repeatedly that you would not request information about the President’s massive conflicts of interest, referring to such oversight efforts as a “fishing expedition.” However, you did promise to investigate future incidents when “something goes awry,” as it clearly has here.
We encourage you to examine the blatant and inappropriate remarks made by Kellyanne Conway immediately and ensure members of the Trump Administration do not continue to use their positions of power to enrich members of the Trump family.
“We the People is a nonpartisan campaign dedicated to igniting a national dialogue about American identity and values through public art and story sharing.
“Print [these posters], paste it, post it — just don’t sell it. Share this art with your community!”
By Shepard Fairey:
By Jessica Sabogal:
By Ernesto Yerena:
****** Last week’s Worcester rally in support of immigrants and refugees… (photos: Mayor’s Office)
We the people!
Black Culture Movie Night
At the Worcester Public Library
Compiled by Parlee Jones
Feb 15 – Wednesday
Black Culture Movie Night
Hidden Colors – Part 1
Hidden Colors is a documentary about the real and untold history of people of color around the globe. This film discusses some of the reasons the contributions of African and aboriginal people have been left out of the pages of history. Traveling around the country, the film features scholars, historians, and social commentators who uncovered such amazing facts about things such as: *the original image of Christ * the true story about the Moors *the original people of Asia *the great west African empires *the presence of Africans in America before Columbus
*the real reason slavery was ended *And much more.
Feb. 22 – Wednesday
Black Culture Movie Night
Trials of Muhammad Ali
No conventional sports documentary, THE TRIALS OF MUHAMMAD ALI investigates its extraordinary and often complex subject’s life outside the boxing ring. From joining the controversial Nation of Islam and changing his name from Cassius Clay to Muhammad Ali,to his refusal to serve in the Vietnam War in the name of protesting racial inequality, to his global humanitarian work, Muhammad Ali remains an inspiring and controversial figure. Outspoken and passionate in his beliefs, Ali found himself in the center of America’s controversies over
race, religion, and war. From Kartemquin
Films, this film examines how one of the
most celebrated sports champions of the
20th century risked his fame and fortune to follow his faith and conscience.
Feb. 25 – Saturday
Black Culture Movie for Children
Under the cover of darkness a small boy,
Maki, loosens the shackles that bind him and escapes into the desert night. Pursued by slavers across the moon-lit savannah, Maki meets Zarafa, a baby giraffe – and an orphan, just like he is – as well as the nomad Hassan, Prince of the Desert. Hassan takes them to Alexandria for an audience with the Pasha of Egypt, who orders him to deliver the exotic animal as a gift to King Charles of France. And so Maki, Zarafa and Hassan take off in a hot-air balloon to cross the Mediterranean, setting off an adventure across Northern Africa, the bustling port of Marseilles, and over the snow-capped peaks of the Alps, arriving at last in Paris. But all the while, Maki is determined to find a way to return Zarafa to her rightful home.