Tues 5/19: Eliminating the witnesses… “Yes” on H.R. 6668 – Inspectors General Independence Act

Trump’s quote in response to whistleblower Rick Bright.

Action – Call your legislators to support protection for government watchdogs.

In context, the war on inspectors general is the third and final front in Trump’s war on any kind of check on the executive branch. In the past few months alone, the White House has argued that Congress doesn’t have the right to oversee the executive branch. It has sought to convince courts that matters of oversight shouldn’t be decided by the judicial branch, either. And in going after inspectors general, an accountability mechanism embedded in the executive branch, it is staking a simple but sweeping claim: No one has the right to check the executive outside of quadrennial elections.” (Atlantic)

Inspectors general serve at the pleasure of the president, a fact few of us ever thought about until Trump took office. He’s fired an unprecedented number of these public guardians, including the one tasked with oversight of the $2 trillion COVID-19 relief funds, almost half the size of the entire annual federal budget. Daniel Meyer,  who led the Whistleblowing and Source Protection Program at the Office of the Intelligence Community Inspector General until he was fired in March 2018, stated:

It is not rocket science what the President is doing here. He has said publicly that he is the oversight authority and the IGs work for him. Continue reading “Tues 5/19: Eliminating the witnesses… “Yes” on H.R. 6668 – Inspectors General Independence Act”

Fri 5/1: This year, celebrate International Workers’ Day by calling your legislators.

Action – Call for a real “People’s Bailout” on May Day!

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Yesterday we wrote about the corporate looting taking place under our so-called “rescue” plan – the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. FAIR describes it as a “robbery in progress”.

But the GOP isn’t through yet. Sen McConnell (Senator of the 5th most federally dependent state!) is demanding liability protection for businesses and hospitals in the next round of stimulus legislation.

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GOP-controlled states are actively forcing people off unemployment, and back into underpaid and/or dangerous workplaces for which our Labor Dept. has refused to order basic safeguards. Dozens of workers, including meat cutters, supermarket greeters, airport screeners, transit workers and bus drivers have died as the disease has spread. Many health care workers are being forced to treat patients without PPE and even being disciplined, even fired, for calling out their employers’ failure to follow proper safety measures.

Minimal script: I’m calling from [zip code] and I want Rep./Sen. [___] to know that our pandemic crisis has made the unfairness of our economic system very clear and we need [him/her] to fight harder for us. Continue reading “Fri 5/1: This year, celebrate International Workers’ Day by calling your legislators.”

Wed. 1/1: Welcome to the starting line.

Your New Year’s Resolution:  Join us in do-it-ourselves democracy!

We want 2020 to be the last we see of our openly corrupt and lawless president and his ethically-challenged GOP lapdogs. Whether Trump is banished permanently to his golf courses early through impeachment or through the 2020 elections, we now know that nothing happens without effort and pressure from our side. The resistance is ready.

America is a progressive country. The majority of our citizens, from both major parties, want fair and safe elections, more gun control, increased abortion access, universal health coverage, maternity leave, funding for childcare, higher minimum wages, tuition-free college, higher taxes on the wealthy, protection of public lands, regulations to keep our air and water clean and positive actions to stop climate change and gerrymandering. A majority also support DACA recipients and oppose the border wall and the administration’s heinous family separation policy.

However, more than 275 bipartisan bills that address our concerns have been blocked by one man, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who is concentrating instead on pushing through unqualified and extremist judicial appointments to serve corporations, oligarchs and theocrats. Just as wealth disparities have grown to a level not seen since the 1920′s, so has the chasm widened between the legislative and social justice that most Americans want, and the interests of those currently in power. Continue reading “Wed. 1/1: Welcome to the starting line.”

Mon 12/16: Can you say “recusal?”

(Kangaroos by Pixabay.)

Above: Senator Lindsey Graham quote, Senator Mitch McConnell quote

I solemnly swear [or affirm, as the case may be] that in all things appertaining to the trial of the impeachment of [the person being impeached], now pending, I will do impartial justice according to the Constitution and laws: So help me God.

Quote from Chapter IV, Paragraph 5  & Chapter XXV of the Senate Rules

Action – The fix is in. The “jury foreman” – Sen. McConnell is bragging about “total coordination” with the defendant administration.

Sen. McConnell has promised to sabotage that trial, and he must recuse himself. No court in the country would allow a member of the jury to also serve as the accused’s defense attorney. The moment Sen. McConnell takes the oath of impartiality required by the Constitution, he will be in violation of that oath. He has effectively promised to let President Trump manage his own impeachment trial,Rep. Val Demings declared in a news release issued by her office Friday afternoon.

House Judiciary Committee member, Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) stated “In other words, the jury – Senate Republicans – are going to coordinate with the defendant – Donald Trump – on how exactly the kangaroo court is going to be run.” On Twitter, Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) added that McConnell is “proudly announcing he is planning to rig the impeachment trial for Trump.Continue reading “Mon 12/16: Can you say “recusal?””

Wed 12/4: To defend Trump against impeachment, the GOP has become the Kremlin’s “useful idiots.” Where do your legislators stand?

Image from wikimedia commons – Gage Skidmore.

Action #1: Ask GOP legislators (or ask friends & family to ask theirs) why they are supporting an anti-democratic dictatorship over a pro-western democracy.

We are entering a Twilight Zone version of the McCarthy era. This time, GOP apologists of a foreign and malign dictatorship are actively attacking American values and democracy to keep possibly the most corrupt president in history from sinking their own political careers. Kremlin-inspired propaganda is aimed at making Ukraine less sympathetic to the American public and to make Trump’s fictitious “concerns” about Ukrainian corruption more believable. It’s no accident that they are pushing this story line. According to a 2018 Kaiser Family Foundation poll, American concerns about corruption cut across party lines equally.

The GOP is using the Kremlin-supplied innuendo of corruption to perpetrate actual corruption.  Time to make each legislator publicly show where they stand.

On 11/26, we asked you to get friends and relatives with GOP legislators to call and ask them if they swore an oath to the Constitution or to a man. Today, we want them to ask what country they work for. Continue reading “Wed 12/4: To defend Trump against impeachment, the GOP has become the Kremlin’s “useful idiots.” Where do your legislators stand?”

Fri 4/5: “He’s got a little list…” Stop Bernhardt, because we have a sick desire to see who could possibly be worse.

This is the notecard Bernhardt had to carry around to remind him of all his ethics recusals, and their expiry dates. (Western Values Project). These companies assuredly had a similar one. The picture of him is from memory and may not be accurate.

Action – Flood your senators’ office with calls to investigate oil lobbyist David Bernhardt’s BEFORE he becomes Secretary of the Interior.

David Bernhardt, a walking monument to conflict of interest, passed Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and is awaiting a confirmation vote by the Senate. As deputy secretary of the Department of the Interior under Zinke, he helped open our public lands and coastlines to mining and drilling, and his corruption machine is just getting warmed up.  Already, Bernhardt’s calendar as deputy Secretary includes more than 150 entries over the course of a year that failed to mention either a description of the meeting topic or who attended, against reporting regulations, similar to his former boss Zinke.

But wait…! There’s more!

Continue reading “Fri 4/5: “He’s got a little list…” Stop Bernhardt, because we have a sick desire to see who could possibly be worse.”

Wed – 2/6: Trump and the wall…what’s really in it for him?

Action – Call today and every day until Feb. 15th against his stupid wall.

There are so many ways over, under and around his physical wall idea, and so much proof that neither drugs nor terrorists would be stopped by it, that there has to be another reason why Trump keeps insisting on this solution. We think he smells the thing that gets him up in the morning, prepared to spend another day doing his “loser” job…

Minimal Script. I’m calling from [zip code] and I want Rep./Sen. [___] to know in the upcoming negotiations to fully fund the government for 2019, we want four essential things: no wall, no taking border funding from domestic or social safety net programs, no cuts or blocks to legal immigration, refugee or asylum programs, and no wasting our troop’s time by militarizing the border. And a full public accounting of the contractors that met with him regarding wall construction.

Contact
Rep. Julia Brownley: email, (CA-26): DC (202) 225-5811, Oxnard (805) 379-1779, T.O. (805) 379-1779
or Rep. Salud Carbajal: email. (CA-24): 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?: hq-salsa.wiredforchange.com 

Background

Did anybody else notice that Trump met directly with contractors on Monday, Feb. 4th, to discuss building his vanity project?

Continue reading “Wed – 2/6: Trump and the wall…what’s really in it for him?”

Sat – 8/11: Saturday chores: vacuum, clean sink, STOP FRACKING IN CA…

Participation in government is no longer just a once-every-election activity…

Action: Stop oil drilling and fracking on our public lands in CA!

Comment today and often to prevent the Trump Administration from declaring open season for drillers to pollute 1.6 million acres of CA’s public lands. We’ve listed three ways to do it. Use them all!

  • Comment: here using the portal from ForestWatch
  • Email: here directly to the Federal Register.
  • Mail: Bakersfield Field Office, Bureau of Land Management, Attn: Bakersfield RMP Hydraulic Fracturing Analysis, 3801 Pegasus Drive, Bakersfield, CA 93308
  • Here is the original notice to review at your leisure.

Public pressure works! Environmental groups like ForestWatch and rural landowners stopped the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) from selling off public lands for $2.00 an acre in 2006. They need the rest of us to help out now. Comment deadline is September 7th, 2018.

Continue reading “Sat – 8/11: Saturday chores: vacuum, clean sink, STOP FRACKING IN CA…”

Wed. 7/18: “The only power adequate to stop the Trump administration is civil society…”

…which is the great majority of us when we remember our power and come together.”  

(Read the rest of Rebecca Solnit’s great article on protest here.)

Ventura County residents came out yesterday, with ferocious signs and a lot of spirit, to say that we expect better of our president and the legislators that protect him.

And we were not alone.

People joined in nearly 200 Confront Corruption – Demand Democracy vigils and rallies nationwide yesterday in 39 states, Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico with thousands if not tens of thousands participating. (Tweets, videos and articles relating to  other events the happened yesterday are attached below the photos of our own rally.)

We are not done.

  • Join us in our canvassing and voter registration efforts here. We are constantly updating the list.
  • You can reuse your signs on Sunday as we join with other Indivisible groups to give Mike Pompeo a big Ventura County Resistance greeting.
  • Indivisible Ventura has joined “The LAST WEEKEND”, along with Indivisible National, MoveOn, OFA, CPDAction, Nation Domestic Workers Alliance, Stand Up America, Democrats.com, United We Dream and others to commit a massive canvassing effort for the last four days before Election Day. (Saturday, Nov. 3rd-Tues, Nov. 6th). Clear your calendars! We’ll provide more details soon, as well as videos to help new canvassers.

“Helsinki was the last straw! – Ventura Confronts Corruption” – The photos!

If you have photos you’d be willing to share, we’d love to have them. Please send them to indivisibleventura@gmail.com.
KEYT coverage here.

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Continue reading “Wed. 7/18: “The only power adequate to stop the Trump administration is civil society…””

Mon. – 4/30 – 3 quick environmental actions

Coal-Ash disaster from lingers in Tennessee as regulation fight rages. People continue to die of the health effects to this day. In 2008, a 5.4-million-cubic-yard torrent from a coal ash slurry-filled pond choked waterways and created a moonscape of mounds residents dubbed ‘ashbergs.’ Photographer: Wade Payne/Bloomberg via Getty Images

1. Deadline is TODAY, April 30th. – Don’t Weaken Coal Ash Disposal Regulations.

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Scott Pruitt is proposing to weakening the Coal Combustion Residuals rules that safeguard communities from coal ash contamination.  A toxic by-product of coal burning power plants, coal ash contains arsenic, lead, mercury and other contaminants, and its disposal was regulated in 2015 by the EPA to reduce health and environmental risks to communities. But at the behest of the utility industry, the Trump Administration has proposed the first of two rules that would weaken the essential protections that those EPA rules provide.

Deadline for comments is TODAY April 30th.  Comment to EPA here, by 11:59 PM ET.  Continue reading “Mon. – 4/30 – 3 quick environmental actions”