Volume I, Issue 10 The Newsletter of Minuteman Indivisible Lexington May 10, 2017
Muster (verb) – assemble, especially for inspection or preparation for battle
We need a Special Prosecutor NOW!
However you may feel about FBI director Comey, he was the last best hope of a reasonably independent investigation of the Trump/Russia connection/collusion. Comey, who was leading the Russia investigation, was fired based on the recommendation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Recall that Sessions had to recuse himself from the Russian investigation after covering up his own connections to Russia during the presidential campaign. This guy recommended the firing of the lead investigator on Russia.
Comey's firing comes on the immediate heels of Former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates' senate testimony that the Trump administration was warned of Flynn's compromised position with the Russians and yet continued to allow him to hold the position of national security adviser until Flynn's situation became public through a leak. Recall that Yates was fired shortly after giving that emergency warning, nominally for expressing constitutional concerns regarding the executive order Muslim ban that was later ruled to be unconstitutional by federal judges. Both Yates and Clapper confirmed that multiple European allies passed on information regarding contacts between the Trump campaign and the Russians during 2016 and that the information was "quite sensitive".
As Chuck Shumer said in a news conference: "If Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein does not appoint an independent special prosecutor, every American will rightly suspect that the decision to fire Director Comey was part of a cover-up."
Now is the time to demand a special prosecutor. Please call and/or send postcards to the Justice Department, and be sure to phone Markey's and Warren's offices as well.
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530-0001
The Department may be contacted by phone at the following:
There is so much news spinning through the headlines these days, its easy to become overwhelmed and stick one's head in the sand. That is absolutely part of the diversionary Trump strategy. We need to hold our focus and keep the phone calls, the emails, the postcards rolling in. We can not lose these battles through sheer exhaustion.
Congress is in recess this week after passing the AHCA by the slimmest of margins. Republicans got TrumpCare passed in the House by making it even more extreme than the version rejected by congress earlier, to pass muster with the Freedom Caucus. The original failed TrumpCare bill stripped healthcare from 24 million Americans. But that wasn’t enough for them. The new bill builds on that by:
Gutting protections for pre-existing conditions
Eliminating services for special needs kids in schools
Letting insurers effectively charge women more than men
The bill was even passed without having a chance to be evaluated by the Congressional Budget Office, so it's hard to know just how bad it will be. So, how to respond to this?
First, you can express your appreciation to Katherine Clark, Seth Moulton, or whoever your US house rep may be, for their ardent opposition to the bill. A phone call or post card would be appreciated and officially records your opposition to this bill. Katherine Clark has expressed that this public support does matter.
Second, here is a Daily Kos article listing MoCs who voted for the AHCA who live in vulnerable districts. Consider a donation to the campaign fund for democratic opponents in those districts. (Also listed in the article - it's called a "nominee fund", allowing you to donate now to encourage the candidacy of a potential opponent.)
Next, it's not just swing districts that should hear your wrath, this NY Times article lists every house member's vote. Indivisible Guide is encouraging "Die-Ins" in congressional districts with congressional reps who voted "Yes" to the AHCA. Encourage your friends and family in those districts to express their outrage at this vote. There are very few town halls scheduled, likely because GOP MoCs know just how grim a reception they will receive for their vote. But "die-ins", phone calls and office visits are effective tools to express opposition.
Finally, this bill now goes to the senate. Please call and/or write your senators to express your opinion of this bill. When done with that, encourage your family and friends, especially those with GOP senators, to do the same. Note that the thirteen senators selected by Mitch McConnell to craft the senate version of the bill are all white men.
Jay Kaufman's "Democracy Demands Engagement" Series Off to an Inspired Start
Jay Kaufman hosted the first of a four part series "Democracy Demands Engagement" last Thursday evening and had a full house. Attendees spent the evening discussing with each other their heart-felt concerns regarding the current political situation that inspired them to attend the workshop. Rep Kaufman made a point to encourage a very personal, candid exchange of ideas, asking participants to respect all views expressed and to ask all participants to honor the confidentiality of others.
The evening started with the question of "What matters to you and why?" and moved on to discuss feelings and experiences of democracy, power and protests. The next topic in the series, to be held on May 18th, is “Identifying and Overcoming Divisions”. We hope you can join in the discussion.
UPCOMING MI MEETINGS
Team Leaders Meeting Thursday, May 11th,
Lexington Community Center, Arts & Crafts Room
39 Marrett Road, Lexington
Team updates as well as social media and Slack training.
Elections Team Meeting Tuesday, May 16th
7:15-9PM Lexington Community Center, Arts & Crafts Room
39 Marrett Road, Lexington
This elections meeting will include a discussion with Eileen Zalisk who has worked on many local and state campaigns. We will discuss strategies for helping with elections both here in Lexington as well as out-of state. All are welcome. Any additional questions can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Healthcare Team Meeting Wednesday, May 17th
7:15-9PM Lexington Community Center, Room 246
39 Marrett Road, Lexington
The House passed the AHCA. What now? The team is updating our conversation starters and other materials to include information about what this means for folks with ACA coverage. All are welcome. Additional questions can be directed to email@example.com.
MORNING COFFEE ACTIONS
(Actions you can do while enjoying your morning cup!)
Enough is Enough. We want an Independent Special Prosecutor!
Between James Comey’s firing and Sally Yates's testimony that she had warned the White House that national security advisor Flynn was lying and was vulnerable to blackmail by Moscow, to President Obama's warning to Mr. Trump not to hire Mr. Flynn, this Russia investigation continues to unearth new material. It is time to get to the bottom of this issue with an independent special prosecutor or a senate appointed commission. Call your MoCs and call the Department of Justice. Tell them that you want an independent special prosecutor and indicate that Jeff Sessions is not a fit attorney general as long as the Russia investigation is going on.
Call to Fight Voter Suppression
Representative Luke Messner (R-IN) introduced H.R.2090, the Election Integrity Act of 2017, which would require voters to present a government-issued photo ID in order to vote in federal elections beginning in 2020. Voter fraud is close to non-existent and this law will disproportionately suppress poor and minority voting. Call your representative to express your concern. A suggested script for the call can be found on the 5calls.org web site.
Help Archie Parnell Flip SC 5th!
Archie Parnell won a decisive victory in the Democratic primary in South Carolina's 5th congressional district, and now he needs our help to #flipthe5th in the general election on June 20. The campaign is inviting us to phonebank and write postcards. Contact the Elections Team to get started with a phonebank link and/or a postcard template and list of addresses.
Submit comments to the EPA in support of existing clean air/water rules
EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has opened an official comment period "seeking input on regulations that may be appropriate for repeal, replacement, or modification." Comments supporting existing clean air and water rules may slow down Pruitt/Trump's repeal efforts, and strengthen lawsuits challenging repeals. The Sierra Club has created a form that makes submission of a comment quick and easy. Comments must be submitted by May 15th.
MASS ACTION: Join the Carbon Pricing Campaign
Sign up on the climate and environment team's website to join our Massachusetts carbon pricing campaign. There are currently bills pending in the Massachusetts legislature that would place a price on carbon, ending free carbon pollution. The bills would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 10%, save 340 lives, and save $2.9B in health costs, all without raising taxes!
Jay Kaufman Four Part Workshop "Democracy Demands Engagement" 5/18, 5/25, 6/15
7PM - 9PM
Temple Isaiah, 55 Lincoln St., Lexington.
State Rep Jay Kaufman is hosting the second of a four part public workshop "Democracy Demands Engagement" Thursday evening, May 18th. In the first session, participants discussed what moved/concerned them and how to unite around these concerns. This next session, “Identifying and Overcoming Divisions,” will allow attendees to look behind today’s challenges to identify the systemic roots of divisions and those who exploit them for political gain.
Join Jay and other members of our community as we engage in these very important discussions. For more information on the series, see Rep. Kaufman's website.
Massachusetts March for Education Saturday, May 20th 2pm
The Massachusetts Teachers Association, in partnership with The Mass Education Justice Alliance and Jobs With Justice are partnering to bring a rally to Boston Common on Saturday, May 20th starting at 2 p.m. For more information go to www.rallyforpubliced.com.
Lexington Discovery Day May 27th, 10am to 3pm
Downtown Lexington, Massachusetts
Minuteman Indivisible will be represented at Discovery Day in Lexington. This is a great opportunity to let the people of Lexington know about our organization and to answer questions about our climate, democracy, healthcare, elections, marches and outreach teams. If you are willing to take a shift at the booth, please email Mcemenska@minutemanindivisible.org.
March for Truth June 3rd, 12pm to 3pm
Brewer Fountain on the Boston Common, Boston, Massachusetts On June 3rd we will be joining the March for Truth in Boston. The purpose of the march is to call for an impartial investigation into Russian interference in the US election and ties to the Trump administration. The march is from 2pm-5pm. If you are interested in carpooling, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. We will also be holding a a sign-making workshop at the Munroe Center for the Arts. Stay tuned for date and time.
Are you new to Minuteman Indivisible? Join one or more of our issues and actions teams! (See our website for more information on the teams.)
If you'd like to contact one of our team leaders their contact emails are below. ( Although many teams have more than one team leader, for simplicity's sake, we list just one contact point.)
Andrea Stumpf: email@example.com
Democracy:Conflicts of Interest/Human Rights/Voting Rights
Marci Cemenska: firstname.lastname@example.org
MI Exec Committee
Pete Tasker: email@example.com Joe Foster: firstname.lastname@example.org
Michelle Olson: email@example.com
If you haven't had a chance to sign up for a team and would like to get more involved, just fill out this form: TEAM SIGN-UPS
The Great British Brexit Robbery: How our Democracy was Hijacked
Though this is titularly about Brexit, it is the 2nd in-depth Guardian article about the dark forces behind the fake news, psychological profiling campaign orchestrated by Robert Mercer, Chris Wylie, Cambridge Analytica, AggregateIQ and SCL Elections that influenced the US presidential election even more than the Brexit vote. It is truly disturbing stuff and worthy of in-depth study by all who cherish our democracy.
Berkeley author George Lakoff: ‘Don’t underestimate Trump’
Lakoff predicted a year ago that Trump would win with 47% of the vote. He tells anyone who will listen “[Trump] is a super salesman, and he knows how to change your brain and use it to his advantage.” This article gives an overview to Lakoff's views on the Democratic communication problem, based on cognitive linguistics and neuroscience. If you have not read Lakoff - it is well worth the read.
Climate of Hope
"In their new book, Michael Bloomberg and Carl Pope provide readers with a wonderful, in-depth analysis of how municipalities, businesses and private citizens are proving to be a bold force in solving the greatest challenge of our time―the climate crisis. This book gives readers the opportunity to benefit from the wisdom of two highly successful individuals who have taken distinct paths to ensuring that their own communities and organizations have a tangible impact in securing our sustainable future. Climate of Hope is an inspiring must-read for anyone who wants to know how their local actions can have positive and significant impacts on the world." ―Former Vice President Al Gore,
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