What is an Inspector General (IG)? The Inspector General Act of 1978 created a system of overseers who work within, but independently of, federal agencies, to detect and prevent waste, fraud, and abuse. Inspectors General are to be selected “without regard to political affiliation and solely on the basis of integrity and demonstrated ability in accounting, auditing, financial and management analysis, law, public administration, or investigations.” Agencies are prohibited from interfering in IG investigations, and there is a dual reporting structure where an Inspector General reports to both the agency head and to Congress. The act has been updated three times to expand the number of statutory IGs and enhance their independence, transparency, and accountability. Then came Trump…
“Deterrence is effective in inverse proportion to the desperation of the migrants. What we’re seeing is a much, much, much more desperate group of migrants coming to the border….if they truly believe that they will be killed, or their children will be murdered, it’s hard to deter against that.” (Theresa Cardinal Brown, Bipartisan Policy Center – “Will an Emergency Law Used to Keep Out Migrants Become Permanent?)
Although the CDC announced the end of Title 42 in spring of 2022 as “no longer necessary” to protect public health, a federal judge blocked ending the policy in May, revealing what should have been evident all along – Title 42 was never about COVID-19 or public health – it was always about border control.
Worried that the court’s block could fail, conservative lawmakers are attempting to override the CDC and public health experts by passing legislation that would continue Title 42 expulsions indefinitely. One example – S.4022, proposed by Idaho’s senators and Florida’s Rubio, states who took few precautions against COVID, would extend this inhumane policy until right after the 2024 presidential election.
Meanwhile, Title 42 continues to have devastating consequences for asylum seekers who have already faced grave harm – including death, abduction, torture, and rape, which disproportionately affect Black, Indigenous, and LGTBQ+ migrants.
ACTION #1: Call all three of your federal legislators (both senators, & your representative!)Continue reading “#WelcomeWithDignity – Defend the Right to Seek Asylum”
Tell the EPA: Grant California’s Full Waiver Authority for Vehicle Emissions.
Vehicles make up the largest share of emissions in the country. The EPA must allow California to set ambitious clean truck regulations to keep the nation on a path to achieving President Biden’s climate commitments.
Fifty years ago, the Clean Air Act gave California waiver authority to set its own emissions standards for cars and trucks. Since then, every Democratic presidential administration approved California’s waiver, helping reduce pollution and incentivize automakers to invest more in developing clean vehicles.
But now, the trucking industry is intervening to try to break the streak, suing the EPA to try to get the Biden administration to partially deny the waiver.Continue reading “Quick environmental justice action to reduce dangerous vehicle emissions – DEADLINE by 8:59 pm today! (7/2)”
(MSNBC) “Five people died in the Jan. 6 attack. Officer Brian Sicknick sustained a fatal stroke a day after rioters sprayed him with a chemical irritant. Air Force veteran Ashli Babbitt was shot by police when she tried to climb through a window and enter the House chamber. A Georgia woman, Rosanne Boyland, was crushed by fellow rioters as they pushed their way against the police outside a Capitol door. Kevin Greeson, an Alabama man, died of a heart attack in a sea of Trump supporters on the sidewalk west of the building. Benjamin Philips of Pennsylvania died of a stroke during the assault on the Capitol.“
These deaths were not just random events tied together by time and place. They died because our own president created a howling vortex of hatred and violence and then spent over three hours watching our democracy burn.
Send your message to Attorney General Garland here.
(Below is a sample. Use what you want, but try to get your own voice in.)Continue reading “A.G. Garland – Charge Trump with manslaughter!”
The same GOP legislators, whose Hyde Amendment removed abortion funding from low-income people, who balked at funding school lunches, or providing more inspectors to ensure safe baby formula and funding for low-income women during a horrific formula shortage, are now upset that we are laying the cruel and forseeable consequences of their states’ post-Roe legislation – pregnant children, forced stillbirths, and medical bankruptcies – at their feet. Abortion restrictions in their states have already cost the U.S. more than $100 billion, even before the SCOTUS decision, and Kaiser estimates that taxpayers will be subsidizing forced births in Red states through Medicaid to about 1.3 billion dollars a year.
So now we’re going to lay on the GOP the direct financial burden their religious-extremist forced-birth and anti-already-born policies will impose on average people.
Write to your legislators!Continue reading “The GOP’s forced-birth laws create an unfunded mandate on pregnant people and their families.”
- Griswold v. Connecticut: (1965): SCOTUS ruled that the constitution protects the liberty of married couples to buy and use contraceptives without government restriction.
- Lawrence v. Texas: SCOTUS ruled that criminal sanctions against those who commit “sodomy” are unconstitutional, reaffirming the “right to privacy” as used in Roe v. Wade, along with American traditions of non-interference with private sexual decisions between consenting adults
- Obergefell v. Hodges: SCOTUS ruled that the fundamental right to marry is guaranteed to same-sex couples by both the Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment.
- UPDATE: PASSED HOUSE, 267-157, with only 47 GOP joining in! H.R.8404 – Respect for Marriage Act, which would require that someone be considered married in any state as long as the marriage was valid in the state where it was performed. The bill would also repeal the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, which defined marriage as the union of one man and one woman and allowed states to not recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states. That law has remained on the books despite being declared unconstitutional by the Obergefell v. Hodges ruling. The bill also protects interracial marriages. (Brownley and Carbajal are both cosponsors)
- UPDATE: PASSED HOUSE with only 8 GOP votes: H.R.8373 – Right to Contraception Act, which would “protect a person’s ability to access contraceptives and to engage in contraception, and to protect a health care provider’s ability to provide contraceptives, contraception, and information related to contraception.” (Carbajal is a cosponsor, Brownley isn’t yet.)
- Upon passage, Rep. Kat Cammack, R-Fla., said the bill violates “religious rights” and called it a bill by Democrats who invoke “states that they cannot name banning contraceptives.”‘
- UPDATE: “Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa)…said she feels “pretty strongly about making sure women have contraception.” But she was noncommittal about voting for federal protections for contraception, saying it perhaps should be up to the states. “I don’t think states will go that far,” she added.” Hahahahaha!
Action: Make ALL your legislators go on record in support of the freedom to marry and to control one’s own reproductive life.
The big fight will occur in the Senate, so make sure your relatives in RED states flood their legislators’ offices with calls too.Continue reading “Get the GOP out of our bedrooms! Flood legislators with calls for “Respect for Marriage Act” and the “Right to Contraception Act.” (Updated 7/21/22)”
Quote by David Barnhart, Methodist Pastor
A fleet of 52 yellow school buses formed a mile-long procession to Sen. Ted Cruz’s house in Houston last Thursday morning — 4,368 empty seats to honor the number of children killed by gun violence since 2020.
The procession, dubbed the ‘NRA Children’s Museum,’ was set up by artist Manuel Oliver whose son, Joaquin, was shot and killed in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre in Parkland, Florida in 2018.
“It’s partially with the intention that some people will think this is truly an NRA museum,” Oliver told BuzzFeed News. The first bus carried items from school shooting victims and the top of every bus also lists the city and date of the site of mass shootings that took place in America since 2020.
Action #1 – Invite kids you know to get involved in the “Yellow Bus Project”Continue reading “Never underestimate the power of art – A literal moving testimony to the slaughter of our kids.”
- The idea of kids being forced to give birth is so repugnant that when the story first broke about an Ohio 10-year-old having to travel to another state for an abortion, the GOP’s go-to move was to deny she existed, like that was an impossibility in a state where 50 abortions are performed on children under 15 years of age annually.
- The idea of kids being forced to give birth is so repugnant that when the story was confirmed, the GOP’s next tactic was to shift the focus away from the girl and her state’s condoning both the pregnancy dangers and the sexual abuse of forced pregnancy against her. Instead they switched to xenophobic posturing over the immigration status of her rapist, and threatening the doctor who performed her medication abortion with possible “criminal prosecution and licensing repercussions.” (Note to Indiana doctors – consider refusing non-emergency medical treatment to state Attorney General Todd Rokita!)
- The idea of kids being forced to give birth is so repugnant that a hard-core forced-birther testifying in front of Congress struggled to rebrand the girl’s abortion as an acceptable exception to a law with no exceptions, all without saying the word “abortion.”
Action: Center young people and call out this crime against them by religious zeolots for what it is.Continue reading “Start small. Ask your legislators to declare forcing kids to give birth a form of child abuse nationwide.”
“Every indignity that comes from the denial of reproductive autonomy,” Dorothy Roberts writes, “can be found in slave women’s lives – the harms of treating women’s wombs as procreative vessels, of policies that pit a mother’s welfare against that of her unborn child, and of government attempts to manipulate women’s childbearing decisions through threats and bribes.”