Wed. 10/16: Today in do-it-ourselves democracy – some basic actions to take.

Action #1 – Our president is not above the law, and neither is this guy.

You don’t get to say no to a congressional subpoena,” said Rep. Jim Himes (D-CT), who serves on the House Intelligence Committee, which is spearheading the impeachment inquiry. “That’s not a thing. That is a crime. He’s gonna show up, or he’s going to get fined, or he’s going to go to jail.

We vote “JAIL.” Two weeks ago we asked you to encourage your legislators to bring back “inherent contempt“, the original power of Congress to jail or fine those who refuse to comply with their lawful subpoenas. Who better to try it out on then this man acting as a “shadow envoy” to Ukraine? A man who tried in influence our government in an evolving Turkish scandal?

Minimal script: I’m calling from [zip code] to ask Rep. [___] to enforce their subpoena for  rogue lawyer Rudy Guiliani with their “inherent contempt” powers. Please jail him until he complies with the subpoena to appear in front of the House Intelligence Committee, like any other American citizen would be required to.

Rep. Julia Brownley (CA-26): email, DC (202) 225-5811, Oxnard (805) 379-1779, T.O. (805) 379-1779
or Rep. Salud Carbajal (CA-24):
 email.  DC (202) 225-3601, SB (805) 730-1710 SLO (805) 546-8348
Who is my representative/senator?: 

Action #2 – Trump is turning America into Fight Club. Adam Schiff’s offices are being inundated with hate calls. Send them support!

This is still good, we’re just now talking about 2020… New phrase to remember: “stochastic terrorism”.

We had gotten reports that 95% of the calls to Rep. Adam Schiff’s office are negative. And now, under the constant lash of Trump’s tweets, his followers are willing to go further. Amarnath Amarasingam, an expert on political violence and an assistant professor at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario states “The online social movement of Trump supporters is very real, and a cohort of that movement has come out and said they’re ready to take up arms when needed.

Start by gathering thoughts of gratitude for those legislators and staff who are working through this nightmare in order to protect our country from a venal, corrupt tyrant and make a quick call or write a short supportive email. Research has shown that both EXPRESSING GRATITUDE AND RECEIVING IT can have measurable effects on mood and mental health.

If you call: I’m calling to tell Rep. [___] and [his/her] staff how much we appreciate and support what [he/she] is doing during this impeachment process.

Rep. Adam Schiff – Chair of the House Intelligence Committee.
Phone: DC (818) 841-2828, Burbank (818) 450-2900, Hollywood (323) 315-5555
Mail: Send  a supportive card or letter here: 2269 Rayburn House
Office Building, Washington, DC 20515

Action #3  – An earthquake is starting in the White House. Shake their phones off the hook.

According to the Hill, “President Trump privately told House Republicans that he is worried about the effect impeachment would have on his legacy, Axios reported Sunday. Trump said impeachment is a “bad thing to have on your resume” in a call with House Republicans…” Former Trump Organization VP Barbara Res predicted that he might resign or make a deal during the impeachment process, rather than face possible removal because he “does a lot to save face.” Give him no comfort or quarter in the People’s House. Call him there.

Minimal script: Good morning! Thanks for volunteering to answer phone calls today. I’m calling to ask that President Trump pay close attention to what happened to Nixon and resign immediately before more of his crimes are discovered. Thanks!

Contact: 202-456-1111

Action #4  – Legislators are not mind-readers. We need to tell them we have their back.

phone list

We tell people to call their own legislators often, not just to ask them to vote a particular way, but also to THANK THEM for doing the right thing. Nice people assume that their legislators know that we approve of their work by NOT calling them. We may not realize that the “opposition” calls them every day, sometimes numerous times, with hostile, vitriolic messages. This constant stream of negative messaging, along with pressure from paid lobbyists, causes our legislators to believe that we, the majority of their constituents,  are far more conservative than we are. It’s up to us to correct that impression by taking 10 seconds of our day to call them. Every day. Program your phone for speed so that this task is EASY!! (Downloadable phone list) (I HATE calling. Why do I need to do this? here)

Minimal script for impeachment supporter: I’m calling from [zip code] to thank Rep./Sen. [___] for for supporting the impeachment of President Donald Trump and to ask [him/her] to get back to D.C. early and keep the pressure on the inquiry. We also support Congress taking back its powers of “inherent consent” to force Trump’s collaborators to comply with legal subpoenas. (Check here to see if your representative is already on board. All of ours are!!)

Minimal script for a collaborator/gaslighter/denier: I’m calling from [zip code] to ask Rep./Sen. [___] to support impeachment proceedings, ask President Trump to resign now before he does further harm to this country, or for Rep./Sen. [___] to retire, effective immediately. We realize that this is a hard job and not everyone is brave enough to stand by their oath to the Constitution.

Rep. Julia Brownley (CA-26): email,DC (202) 225-5811, Oxnard (805) 379-1779, T.O. (805) 379-1779
or Rep. Salud Carbajal (CA-24):
 email.  DC (202) 225-3601, SB (805) 730-1710 SLO (805) 546-8348
Senator Feinstein: email, DC (202) 224-3841, LA (310) 914-7300, SF (415) 393-0707, SD (619) 231-9712, Fresno (559) 485-7430
and Senator Harris: email, DC (202) 224-3553, LA (213) 894-5000, SAC (916) 448-2787, Fresno (559) 497-5109, SF (415) 355-9041, SD (619) 239-3884
Who is my representative/senator?: 

Action #5 – Are we too smart to fall for the same tragic traps of other nations? Read this great article about the 15 signs of authoritarianism and what we can do.

As Trump’s impending impeachment becomes more inevitable to his supporters, the GOP and Trump supporters are starting to devolve into incredibly un-American actions and statements. Our history lessons in school, focused on creating “patriots”, told us that we were exceptional – that true democratic values were baked into being an American. We were superior to the Germans, who were hoodwinked by fascist and racist ideas and the Russians/Soviets, a weak people always looking for a “strong-man” leader to tell them what to do and what to think.

However, a study of attitudes of Americans who watched this iconic film from the 1940’s led to counterintuitive results that are profoundly disturbing. But not surprising.

Read this article from on how far we’ve fallen and what we need to do to get back up.

Background – Why are the threats to legislators getting worse?

  • The toxic mix of state & religion: You may have seen some version of evangelical Pastor Robert Jeffress‘ pronouncement of a possible “Civil War-like fracture in this nation.” Trump retweeted Jeffress’ implicit threat. At least one group identified by the Southern Poverty Law Center as an extremist organization issued support for Trump’s comments. UPDATE: 
    • Attorney General William Barr, just gave a speech at the University of Notre Dame Friday that can only be described as appalling. Barr attacked secular government – the very thing guaranteed to by our Constitution – and argued that “militant secularists” have spawned a host of social ills.
    • Secretary of State Mike Pompeo just addressed a gathering of the American Association of Christian Counselors in Nashville. Pompeo’s speech, titled “Being a Christian Leader,”
    • Trump, at a Values Voter Summit, stated that “Now, powered by those same historic values that have always defined our nation, we will reach new heights, make new breakthroughs and we will strengthen the bonds of love and loyalty that unite us all as citizens, as neighbors, as patriots, as Christians, as people of faith.”
  • White supremacy is getting bolder: One example: A well-armed Coast Guard lieutenant created an apparent hitlist naming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and other Democratic leaders. He was just sentenced on gun and drug charges.
  • Facts no longer seem to matter: A new poll shows that only four in 10 Republicans believe President Donald Trump talked to the Ukrainian president about investigating political rival Joe Biden, even though Trump publicly admitted to doing so.
  • GOP legislators no longer care about their oath to our Constitution: GOP legislators are now saying that collusion with a foreign government is OK, and want us to concentrate on the bouncing tennis ball that is Joe Biden and son. They want us to ignore the actual crime of Trump’s extortion of Ukraine’s president for information to smear a political rival, in exchange for money to fight off an invasion from the president’s good friend, Putin. Ummm…sorry, no.

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