From The New Yorker:
"For the White House, which in recent weeks has urged intelligence and law-enforcement officials to parrot its skepticism about the “Russian story,” Comey’s public acknowledgement of the probe makes it all but impossible to meddle again without risking serious political and legal consequences."
20 years from now there will be a movie about this. Oily fellow sex offender Casey Affleck will play Trump. Unless, god willing, they're sharing a cell together.
Is anyone out there interested in helping us tag posts? That seems to be the area where we’re falling down the most.
Reminder that we have a suggestion post if there’s a topic that you’d like to see discussed but would like to ask the mods to look into. This can be anything from general information, or a how-to-do-a-thing, or something you may want to discuss as a community. Folks are welcome to post directly to the comm as always, but if you’re not comfortable/don’t have spoons, we can help too.
thisfinecrew discussion about where to put your energy has thoughts on philosophies and suggestions for coping with too many things being bad. Also, I proposed setting up something like Topic Teams in case people wanted to organize into smaller groups to track one topic. Is there interest in that? If so, I'll set up a post. That may also be easier to then be able to track what other resistence groups are doing with respect to each topic and what may be most useful in terms of putting pressure on politicians. Thoughts?
The ACLU is starting a grass roots wing and providing resistance training
Immigration / Dreamers
You can support Dreamers who need to renew their applications to the tune of $495
Why street protests matter
Technology and brainwashing
Linkspam: Don't get undocumented friend sin trouble, Women's strike, News on the Administration
Linkspam: State legistlative special elections, links to daily newsletters, Obamacare replacement, media
News to know
Rick Perry was confirmed as Secretary of Energy
Ryan Zinke was confirmed as Secretary of Interior and showed up on horseback
Jeff Sessions lied about not having contact with Russia - timeline from Vox with related coverage
Republicans are working on their replacement healthcare bill in as much secrecy as possible. This will end well.
Jewish community centers, schools, and cemeteries have been threatened and vandalized.
How is everyone doing out there?
called my one senatory
called my other senator
called my representative
called by state representative
called my state senator
called my govnernor
sent and email/letter/postcard
donated money to a cause
went to an in person activist group
went to a protest
went to a town hall
signed up for daily action alerts
took care of myself
committed to action in the coming week
did something else
Does Street Protest Matter?
[R]epresentatives of districts with just the occasional protest weren’t likely to be swayed. But, in places where there were 50 protests over the course of two years, the typical representative became 5 percent more likely to take liberal positions on civil rights issues. If there were 100 protests in a district, the representative became 10 times more likely to take those positions.(You can get to a PDF of the full paper without a JStor subscription by following the link in the article.)
Free ebook of the month from University of Chicago Press: Lincoln’s Constitution by Daniel Farber.
From UCP's email notification:
What are the limits of presidential power? One way to address that question is through history, as Daniel Farber does in our free e-book for March, Lincoln’s Constitution. Farber examines the greatest constitutional crisis in American history and explores the legality of Lincoln’s response to it. Out of that dark time, emerge insights for our own era, and for issues such as state sovereignty, executive power, and limitations on civil liberties in the name of national security.
With links to Donald Trump, Steve Bannon and Nigel Farage, this right-wing US computer scientist is at the heart of a multimillion-dollar propaganda network.
Based on what readers "like" or click online, this company builds "probability models of how people vote. And then they look at what they can do to influence that." They serve up links to right-wing stories and conspiracy theories - deliberately trying to influence people to vote right-wing. And they are EVERYWHERE.
A classic example he uses is that Republicans talk about removing "regulations" -- which are in fact "public protections" (e.g. for clean water and air) that they want to do away with.
He's got a lot of stuff on his blog, but here's a couple of places to start:
A Minority President: Why the Polls Failed, And What the Majority Can Do
Ten points for Democracy Activists
A lengthy (20-minute) interview on PBS
Lakoff is aiming to establish a "Citizens’ Communication Network" -- I'm not exactly sure what he has in mind with this, but he suggests you can "unofficially join" by following him on Facebook or Twitter for more information and insights while he sets it up.
House Republicans back off gutting ethics watchdog after backlash from Trump
What's the Office of Congressional Ethics?
Why Republicans took aim at an ethics watchdog
Democrats created the OCE after winning the 2006 elections in part on a promise to “drain the swamp” — a phrase President-elect Donald Trump co-opted in the final weeks of the presidential campaign.What might it mean for how Congress moves forward?
At the time, the public was clamoring for Washington to clean up Capitol Hill after the corruption and bribery scandal involving former super-lobbyist Jack Abramoff that ensnared several lawmakers and aides.
Then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) set up a bipartisan panel that developed a plan to hold members more accountable. OCE was the result.
Saving the congressional ethics office isn’t as big a victory as it seems
The fight wasn’t won by norms. It was won by power.
Here’s the thing about relying on the expectation of public backlash to dissuade politicians from doing something: It has to work every single time. The first time a politician does something despite being warned that the public will reject him for it, and that rejection doesn’t materialize — or it materializes, but not strongly enough or for long enough to drive him from office — he’s free to dismiss any future warning of backlash as so much noise.
If you have other relevant links, please share them in comments.
Analysis of the tax effects of "repeal-only" for PPACA--basically, low-income people would lose their current tax breaks related to insurance, and the money would be transferred to tax breaks for corporations and wealthy people.
Christopher M. Matthews reports (Dec. 9), in "Judge Denies Developer's Request to Force Approval of Dakota Access Pipeline's Final Stage," that Judge James Boasberg of the District Court for the District of Columbia rejected Energy Transfer Partner LP's request for an order requiring the federal government to approve the last link of the Dakota Access pipeline. The Obama administration denied the permit needed to finish the pipeline. However, Judge Boasberg ordered the lawyers for both sides to file motions by January 31 for continuation of the case--which, of course, might be moot if the new administration reverses the Army Corps of Engineers' decision. However, Energy Transfer Partners said that the delays cost it $450 million, and it would lose $80 million a month from further delays.
Jennifer Levitz reports (Dec. 11), "Dispute Over Proposed Muslim Cemetery in Massachusetts Town Deepens," that Dudley, Massachusetts is the latest site of a dispute over Muslim cemeteries. The Islamic Society of Greater Worcester wants to build a cemetery on a parcel that was formerly farm land. Levitz' article says that "town officials have cited concerns about the scale of the project potential traffic issues and its environmental impact."
The Islamic Society attributed the decision to "100% fear and bias." The town's lawyer, Gary Brackett, said the same concerns would have been raised no matter what the religion that sought to build the cemetery. The Islamic Society applied for a permit in January 2016. Local residents objected at a public hearing, objecting to potential noise, traffic hazards, and "impact of buried bodies on wells." The permit was denied in June. The town of Dudley said that the Islamic Society did not have standing to buy the land, and the town had a right of first refusal on the property. (The town later said it would not buy the property).
The Islamic Society's suit against the town of Dudley was filed in July in Massachusetts state court, and is still pending. In August, Carmen Ortiz, the US Attorney for Massachusetts said her office would investigate whether unreasonable barriers on the Islamic Society's right of religious exercise. Brackett said that the town might submit the permit issue to a townwide vote. On December 11, however, Massachusetts State Attorney General Maura Healey warned the town that communities are forbidden to prohibit, regulate, or restrict the use of land or structures for religious purposes.
The ACLU said that efforts have been made to deny zoning permits for Muslim organizations in other places.