February 26th, 2017

Based on this news item, I called Cotton to point out the urgency of appointing a special prosecutor and insisting that Sessions recuse himself from an investigation of Trump’s ties to Russia, and then called Issa to thank him for calling for a special prosecutor.

February 24th, 2017

I got a lot done today waiting for my kids to perform at their school’s Rock Fest. Here’s the list:

  1. Called the White House (202)-456-1111 to register concern over the “ramping” up of ICE’s powers and the broadening of their deportation mandate (which, I argued, will actually make the country less secure by removing the imperative to prioritize, say, someone with a drug felony charge over, say, a child in the local elementary school).
  2. Called Judy Chu, Dianne Feinstein, and Kamala Harris to state my support of the NEA and the NEH.
  3. Called the Governor of North Dakota, Doug Burgum, to ask him to veto two House Bills that would suppress protest by imposing extreme fines and criminalize the wearing of masks to protect oneself from tear gas. Check out the ACLU’s action here.
  4. Called Jerry Brown to express my concern over Scott Pruitt’s appointment and to encourage him to continue making California a global leader in the fight against climate change, and to encourage him to pursue a revenue-neutral carbon fee.
  5. Sent a thank-you card to CNN’s Dan Lemon to applaud his cutting short an interview with Paris Dennard when Dennard would not stop dismissing the story (of Trump’s airing of high-security documents at Mar-a-Lago) as “fake news.” Check it here. If you want to do the same, he can be reached c/o CNN, 10 Columbus Circle, NY, NY 10019.
  6. Emailed a thank-you Kamala Harris for standing up for immigrants, and to Elizabeth Warren and Katherine Clark for introducing the Presidential Conflicts of Interest Bill. Kamala Harris: Email or  mail: 312 N. Spring St. Suite 1748, Los Angeles, CA 90012. Elizabeth Warren: Email or mail: 2400 JFK Federal Building, 15 New Sudbury St., Boston, MA 02203. Katherine Clark: Email or mail: 701 Concord Ave., Suite 101, Cambridge, MA 02138.

February 23, 2017

I decided to try a triple-barreled approach today. I called the White House Comment line (202-456-1111) to register my concern over Trump’s actions against transgender student protections. I also wrote a postcard with a short version of my talking points and then a letter with a  more fleshed-out treatment of the arguments.

 

President Donald Trump

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW

Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear President Trump:

I am writing to express my dismay at your removal of protections for transgender children instituted under the Obama administration.

Just as you and I did not choose to be straight, but discovered ourselves to have been wired that way, so LGBQT people discover and explore their sexualities rather than choose them. Since this matter is not a choice, it seems unreasonable and cruel to force people who identify as transgender to engage in behaviors, like using a bathroom assigned to a gender with which they do not identify, that make them uncomfortable and which further could expose them to bullying and harassment.

The people your action has targeted are children going through difficult developmental corridors in a culture that is often hostile to difference. I find your willingness to expose them to greater trauma to be morally questionable and personally repugnant. I am the mother of two boys, aged 10 and 8, and if they face difficult questions about their sexuality, I hope that they will be able to explore those questions in a safe, supportive, and understanding environment. It seems that the America you are creating will have none of those qualities.

On the day you won the election, you pledged that you in fact would act as President for all Americans. Your actions this week have proven that statement to have been a flagrant falsehood.

Febrary 10, 2017

I sent this to good ol’ Mitch along with a copy of Coretta Scott King’s indictment of Jeff Sessions’ nomination to be a federal judge in 1986.

February 10, 2017

317 Russell Senate Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Senator McConnell,

The wife of our country’s most esteemed civil rights activist stood against Jeff Sessions twenty years ago, but a few days ago, you wouldn’t. You chose instead to silence a female Senator speaking out in protest against his appointment. You chose not to listen to her declamation of the letter, so I have enclosed the text for your perusal.

You, sir, again place yourself on the wrong side of history. You will be ashamed of your actions one day, as will your children and grandchildren, and as am I.

I decided to try a triple-barreled approach today. I called the White House Comment line (202-456-1111) to register my concern over Trump’s actions against transgender student protections. I also wrote a postcard with a short version of my talking points and then a letter with a  more fleshed-out treatment of the arguments.

 

February 15, 2017

Dear Senator,

I would like to urge you to press for the disclosure of President Trump’s tax returns. As questions about the administration’s ties to foreign governments keep troublingly and disturbingly surfacing, I think it is of the utmost importance that the people of this country have full knowledge of his financial commitments and of any potential conflicts of interest. It is becoming clear that such knowledge is a vital matter of national security.

February 15, 2017

Dear Congressman Nunes,

I read in the LATimes today that you told CNN that you would not push to investigate Flynn’s actions in December and January, citing executive privilege. I think that this is a mistake. Since when is potentially treasonous action (directly undermining the policies of a sitting president) a matter of “executive privilege”? Theoretically, the tripartite structure of our government is meant to check and balance abuses of power by any one branch. It is hard for me to see how collusion with a hostile foreign country can be considered something other than an abuse of power of the gravest proportions. It is hard for me to see how this abuse can be redressed unless a branch of the government does something to check this abuse. This is not the time to put political expediency and self-interest over democratic principles.

 

January 31, 2017

I emailed this to my Senator, whose phone lines were busy.

Dear Senator ,

Please vote against the confirmation of Betsy DeVos and Jeff Sessions. Sessions’ plans to implement the First Amendment Defense Act are unconstitutional (as demonstrated by the lunch counter demonstrations during the Civil Rights movement) and discriminatory. Betsy DeVos is spectacularly unqualified to be responsible for the Department of Education. Education is a collective, social goal and therefore completely unsuited to private sector management practices. People interested in privatizing public education, like DeVos, are simply trying to find ways to enrich themselves at the expense of the public trust and further to entrench patterns of socioeconomic inequality. Please try to convince likely Republican senators to join with in in voting to keep this dangerously incompetent, avaricious woman out of a position of great public power.

 

January 31, 2017

I sent a version of this letter to Paul Ryan and to Mitch McConnell.

 

January 31, 2017

20 S. Main St. Ste. 10

Janesville, WI 53545

Dear Mr. Speaker,

I am writing to you in your capacity as Speaker of the House. While I am not a direct constituent, I consider you an important arbiter of power in the democracy in which I am a citizen.

I’m writing to express my utter dismay that you haven’t spoken out against Trump’s travel ban on Muslims from a small cadre of Muslim-dominant countries and that you in fact have actively and openly supported it. Not only is the executive order unconstitutional, it’s deeply undemocratic, overtly discriminatory, and dangerous, as it will foster homegrown Islamic extremism, which is the only form of Islamic extremism that’s had any effect on the country since 2001 (and the perpetrators of that attack, of course, were predominantly Saudi nationals, and Saudi Arabia has been exempted from the ban).

Our democracy is at a crisis point and the Republican leadership is the last line of defense against what seem to me to be almost unimaginably horrific perversions of basic democratic principles. The fact that you have not stood up to Trump suggests to me that you are more interested in power and your career than in the preservation of the democratic values of a free country. Please stand up to Trump or you will be on the wrong side of history.

Trump is a bully whose sociopathic narcissism is being exploited by a cadre of people who can only be described and understood as fascists. He and the dangerous men pulling his strings need to be brought in line with the normal parameters of democratic governance. If you can’t or won’t do so, then you either misunderstand the responsibilities vested in you by the Constitution or you have chosen flagrantly to neglect them. In either case, you should be ashamed.

 

 

January 29, 2017

Today I emailed my Senators after trying to call (their phonelines were constantly busy). Here’s the text of my message:

Please vote Nay on Jeff Sessions’ confirmation hearing as Attorney General on Monday. He is a white supremacist and has no business being in such a prominent position of leadership in the DOJ. I check the Senate voting record after each hearing and will share your vote on social media and in my writing. I want my representatives in Congress to stand against this despicable white nationalist leadership, without any equivocation.