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Impeachment must be on the table; Stop SB9; A new candidate in TX31 | Take Action Newsletter

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The Mueller Report confirms what we already knew: Trump is unfit for office.

Mueller Report

On August 7, 1974, Sen. Barry Goldwater, along with Sen. Hugh Scott and Rep. Scott Rhodes—all Republicans—told Nixon the game was over. The House was set to impeach, and Nixon’s support in the Senate had completely collapsed. Nixon resigned the next day.

Today we have a grimmer situation. The Mueller Report confirms widely known facts: That the president and his allies accepted help from a hostile foreign power in an attempt to swing the election. Moreover—independent of Russia’s attack—the president has committed multiple impeachable offenses. Yet the Democratic-controlled House appears to be split over whether to impeach—for the purported reason that the Republican-controlled Senate would never betray Trump.

A few of important points about impeachment:

  1. Impeachment is a process, not an outcome. The House can impeach—and then, assuming the Senate fails to convict—we can vote Trump out in 2020. Impeachment and elections are not mutually exclusive.
  2. Public hearings are a major part of the impeachment process. Americans deserve to witness a full public reckoning from members of the Trump administration.
  3. In 2018, Americans overwhelmingly voted for bold, progressive leadership in the House of Representatives. We expect our leaders to push back hard against the Trump administration, using all of the power at their disposal—including impeachment.

At a minimum, we should know where our reps stand on impeachment, and Dems should not take impeachment off the table. (View Rep. Lloyd Doggett’s statement on the Mueller Report.)

Rep. Rashida Tlaib filed H.Res. 257 to begin investigating whether Trump should be impeached. The national Indivisible team supports this resolution, and is encouraging everyone to call their reps.

The House is in recess right now, with Dems holding a call on Monday, April 22 to strategize over the Mueller Report findings. It’s important to let your Dem reps know that impeachment must be on the table. But let’s not ignore our two senators and five Republican reps in Central Texas; after all, it was Republicans of conscience who took down Nixon. So far, it’s not looking great:

“The Nation should be pleased with the conclusions drawn in Mr. Mueller’s report, which confirms that the defamation campaign against the president was unfounded and baseless” —U.S. Rep. Roger Williams.

Tell your state rep: Oppose SB9 to Protect Democracy in Texas

I voted stickers

House Republicans in Texas are considering SB 9, a bill that contains a number of provisions that would make voting significantly harder, including further criminalizing honest mistakes in the voting process, imposing substantial new restrictions on the voter assistance process, and making it easier to conduct future voter purges. SB 9 has already passed the Senate, so now we have to stop it in the House.

Two options:

  1. Call your state rep
  2. Write a letter to your state rep

How your voices are making a difference

  • The House Judiciary Committee has petitioned the Justice Department for a full, unredacted copy of Mueller’s report
  • A federal judge ruled late last week that Donny’s Interior Department acted illegally when it lifted Obama-era restrictions on coal-mining on public lands
  • Arizona repealed an archaic law on the books banning the discussion of LGBTQ issues

Culture of Chaos! Read more!


Events

Tuesday, April 23

TPPF Legislative Update and Q&A with Congressman Chip Roy

5:30 p.m., Texas Public Policy Foundation, 901 Congress Ave, Joe B. Hogsett Theater – 1st Floor

Register here

Saturday, April 27

New Date! Earth Day Austin

12 to 6 p.m. at Huston Tillotson University. More information and weather updates at earthdayaustin.com

View more events on our community calendar

Got an event you want to promote? Submit it here.


2020 is Coming!

A new candidate in TX31?

Dr. Christine Eady MannDr. Christine Eady Mann, who penned last month’s write-up of Rep. John Carter’s Town Hall, says she is “almost certain” to run against Carter in 2020. Dr. Mann ran for this seat in the 2018 Democratic primary and went to a runoff with the eventual nominee, MJ Hegar. Mann says she will likely announce after the May 4 elections in Williamson County. Welcome (back) to the race, Christine!

March 3, 2020 is the “Super Tuesday” primary—which includes Texas. Check out more 2020 candidates

Funding the Fight

Confused… infuriated… surreal… frightened…

With the release of just the redacted Mueller Report and the dizzying paths and consequences that lay ahead of us, these are all reasonable ways to feel right now.

One thing you can be certain of is that we need to be organized to turn our individual voices into a movement for whatever is to come. We need Indivisible Austin, and Indivisible Austin needs you.

Make your voice part of something larger. Support Indivisible Austin today.


Your Moment of Zen

A culture of mass chaos | How your voices are making a difference

Among its many other disturbing findings, Mueller’s report revealed a culture of mass chaos in Donny’s White House (WHO COULD HAVE FORESEEN THAT), with a president exhorting aides and staff to blatantly break laws and democratic norms and a staff desperately ignoring his directives and trying to rein him in while Don John panicked, stating once the investigation started that his presidency was over and he was “fucked.” (Such a good little evangelical Christian, our potty-mouthed, thrice-married, pussy-grabbing, extramarital-porn-star-mistress-bribing president.) Sarah Sanders got outed by the report for blatantly lying (WHO COULD HAVE FORESEEN THAT?) when she stated she’d been approached by “countless” FBI agents unhappy about the investigations. The truth turned out to be zero agents, Sanders admitting to Mueller she was entirely unable to substantiate her lie.

Regarding the report’s findings on Donny’s obstructions of justice, newsman Shepard Smith—of FOX, of all places—offers an excellent breakdown of what the redacted Mueller report does—and doesn’t—say.

The House in Da HOUSE

Don’t worry, y’all—Dems in the House are all the hell over it. Given the massive snow job the White House is trying to conduct about the report, abetted by the attorney general and most of FOX News, the House Judiciary Committee has petitioned the Justice Department for a full, unredacted copy of Mueller’s report.

House Democrats also issued a flurry of subpoenas related to investigations into Donald’s finances: the House Intelligence and Financial Services committees subpoenaed Deutsche Bank for Trump’s personal and financial records. They also subpoenaed JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, and Citigroup for documents related to possible Russian money laundering, as well as five other financial institutions.

The House Judiciary Committee requested information about Trump’s reported offer to pardon the Customs and Border Protection Commissioner if he was sent to jail for blocking asylum seekers from entering the U.S.

Meanwhile, if you happen to know any of the type of GOP squawking about Dems’ continuing investigations into the report’s findings as if Democrats are a dog who won’t leave behind a bone, here is a fun game: Ask whether they might feel the same way if a special investigator’s report revealed that Russia influenced our elections deliberately to benefit Hillary Clinton, with her knowledge and welcoming of their efforts, and that she subsequently tried to block the investigation of same at least ten different legally questionable times, while lying repeatedly to the American public and directing her staff to break the law and lie. Oh—also ask them if that was how they felt during the two-and-a-half-year investigation into Benghazi that cost taxpayers more than $7 million and found zero indication that Hillary Clinton bore any personal responsibility or could have prevented the attack.

Republicans Against the Law

Y’all didn’t think a week would go by without some instance of the GOP transgressing against our laws, didja? A federal judge ruled late last week that Donny’s Interior Department acted illegally when it lifted Obama-era restrictions on coal-mining on public lands.

Social and Civil Rights Advances

Francis H. Arnold earned the Nobel Prize in chemistry, only the fifth woman ever to do so.

Arizona repealed an archaic law on the books banning the discussion of LGBTQ issues in health classes in schools, freeing teachers to actually educate students.

The Museum of Natural History in NYC canceled an event it was hosting for the Brazilian-American Chamber of Commerce honoring far-right Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro, after environmental groups—including the Brazilian environmental organization Observatório do Clima—protested the honoring of a leader who has been outspoken about his intentions to roll back environmental protections.

Tears continue in the evangelical fabric: Students at Taylor University, an evangelical school in Mike Pence’s hometown of Indiana, started a petition that has so far garnered more than 5,000 signatures to protest Pence’s being invited to speak at their commencement address. The petition states that the students object to inviting Pence because it makes them “complicit in the Trump-Pence Administration’s policies, which we believe are not consistent with the Christian ethic of love we hold dear.”

Your Feel-good Stories of the Week

Donald offered ridiculous advice to France for putting out the Notre Dame fire and was summarily Gallically mocked by a fire chief spokesperson for France’s civil defense organization.

In the wake of millions of dollars pouring in to rebuild Notre Dame, the tragedy and fund-raising brought new attention to the three black churches burned down in Louisiana by a white domestic terrorist: at last count a Go Fund Me account to benefit the churches has raised $1.8 million.

Feel free to widely share this illuminating video that juxtaposes the way FOX talking heads spoke of Obama versus their POV on Donny for the exact same issues.

Bernie Sanders spent an hour in a town hall format with FOX commentators and pretty much schooled them.

Michelle Obama burned Donald in the classiest of ways.

Stand with Rep. Ilhan Omar; Oppose SB9; Vote for Texas Children’s Health | Your Indivisible Austin Weekly Newsletter

RSVP for the Indivisible #TXLEGE Summit

Take Action

Stand with Rep. Ilhan Omar

In a clear incitement of racist violence, the president tweeted a video that intercuts four words spoken by Rep. Ilhan Omar with graphic footage from 9/11. Our representatives—and presidential candidates—should all condemn the president’s latest Islamophobic demagoguery.

Democratic representatives need to make clear that the Congresswoman has the party’s support. Presidential candidates should issue statements that support Rep. Omar and clearly denounce the president.

Our GOP representatives should not be let off the hook, either. Our expectations for them have sunk low, but racism and attacks by the White House on the legislative branch of government are bipartisan problems.

Roundup of statements from Central Texas reps and candidates

(Hat tip to Celeste Pewter.)

Keep the pressure on your state reps to oppose SB9

I voted stickers

SB9 would sharply escalate the state’s ongoing campaign of voter suppression by making voting substantially harder for thousands of Texans and by spreading fear that people may be thrown in jail for honest mistakes while trying to vote.

Write a letter to your state senator

Tell your state rep to Vote for Texas Children’s Health!​

From the League of Women Voters of Texas

  • HB 342 will provide 12 consecutive months of coverage for children on Medicaid
  • They are now required to verify their income up to 5 times a year.
  • This greatly increases the chance that children will fall off the rolls and lose coverage
  • HB 342 would keep more kids insured and healthy
  • HB 342 has had a hearing, but the committee needs to vote to recommend it to the full House

Note: State Sen. Dawn Buckingham is on the HHS committee. If you are in her district (Lakeway-area) be sure to call!​


How your voices are making a difference

  • A federal judge blocked Don John’s efforts to force asylum seekers to remain in Mexico
  • House lawmakers voted to reinstate net-neutrality internet laws
  • Illinois joins the other 17 states that are voting to forbid any presidential candidate from being on the ballot unless they release their tax returns

More: Trump is rewriting the laws he’s broken


Events

Monday, April 15

7 pm. Indivisible TX25 East Weekly Meeting, Memorial United Methodist Church, 6100 Berkman Dr.

For more info, join our members-only Facebook group and/or follow our public events page.

General meeting held every Monday from 7-8:00p except for major holidays.

Subcommittee meetings held from 6:30-7p:

  • GOTV: 1st Mondays
  • 25 East TX Lege: 2nd Mondays
  • Roger Williams (office visits, etc.): 3rd Mondays
  • Outreach (to Austin and rural 25 community groups): 4th Mondays

Meeting is hosted by TX 25 East, but all are welcome!

View more events on our community calendar

Got an event you want to promote? Submit it here.


2020 is Coming!

March 3, 2020 is the “Super Tuesday” primary—which includes Texas. Many Central Texas candidates have announced that they are running. It’s never too early to start backing your favorites.

View our new 2020 election resource page

Do you have a tip on someone who’s planning to run for congress in Central Texas? Let us know!


Funding the Fight

The fear of accountability seems to have ratcheted up the cruelty and incompetence to new heights. That’s why having voices consistently, steadily pushing us forward, keeping an eye out for inflection points where real differences can be made, is so important.

That’s why Indivisible Austin is here, to keep us moving forward together, with our eyes open. Be a part of that work. Make a gift today.


Your Moment of Zen

Kita puppy swimming in the air

 

 

Rewriting the laws he’s broken | How your voices are making a difference

This has been a pretty tough week, with Donald and his toadies literally rewriting the laws he’s broken to exempt Donald from them like the worst sort of banana republic, Donald flushing out the Department of Homeland Security to further immigrant-descended Steven Miller’s draconian anti-immigrant agenda, and the Republican Congress continuing to enable and abet the traitor in chief as he freely breaks laws, dismantles our democracy, betrays our country, rampantly breaches standards of ethics and common human decency, and spews lies and ignorance.

But hold your righteous banners high, warriors, and cleave to hope—there are so many things in the works to contain the mentally deranged dotard, and so many good, moral, law-abiding people banding together and working to end this attack on our nation and our democracy.

Donald is clearly panicking as the noose tightens regarding investigations into his business dealings and tax returns and his possible breaches of the law, turning his fire hose of vitriol onto immigration, a dog whistle that has tracked well with his base in the past.

First he withdrew his appointment for the head of ICE by stating he was “going in a tougher direction.” He also apparently sprang a forced resignation on Kirstjen Nielsen, his constant champion and defender for harsh immigration policies like separating families at the border, because she wasn’t cruel enough, and then promptly 180’d on two policies she warned were illegal and a PR nightmare: closing the southern border and transporting and releasing detained immigrants into sanctuary cities. Donny also instructed his acting chief of staff to fire his Secret Service director. Here’s a running list of all this unstable administration’s unprecedented turnovers—66 percent of executive staff!—but at the pace at which the maggots are dropping off the body, it might be out of date by the time you read it.

Meanwhile even some Republicans may be finding the limits of their own personal depravity in enabling the Very Stable Genius (to the surprise of many, who weren’t sure there actually were any limits). Four Republican senators indicated they would not vote to confirm Herman Cain, Donald’s nominee for Federal Reserve. And GOP senator Chuck Grassley warned Donny to stop his purge of immigration officials.

Plano state house Rep. Jeff Leach—a Republican, believe it or not—promised that the appalling bill proposed by Texas GOP Rep. Tony Tinderholt that would criminalize abortion as criminal homicide, and thus potentially carry the death penalty for women who had one in a stunning hypocrisy apparently pro-lifers choose to ignore, would never leave his committee to be put to a vote.

Republicans Against the Law

federal judge blocked Don John’s efforts to force asylum seekers to remain in Mexico, against U.S. stated policy and the law.

The White House illegally consulted the Treasury regarding Democrats’ request for Donny’s tax returns—a breach of a law designed to prevent White House interference and political involvement into congressional business.

The House Is in the House!

House lawmakers voted to reinstate net-neutrality internet laws that Don John’s administration stripped. (Although Mitch McConnell, of course, has already stated he won’t bring the motion to a vote in the Senate, and Donald has vowed to veto it if it reaches his desk.)

The House Oversight committee plans to subpoena Donald’s accounting firm for 10 years of the grifter in chief’s financial records.

Social and Civil Rights Advances

Illinois joins the other 17 states that are voting to forbid any presidential candidate from being on the ballot unless they release their tax returns.

A female scientist, 29-year-old MIT postdoctorate fellow Katherine Bouman, led the development of the algorithm that led to first photo of black hole.When sexist trolls attacked and impugned her achievements, her fellow scientist they had tried to use to steal credit from her was the one who spoke up loudly to defend Bouman’s groundbreaking accomplishments.

Just days after being accused of penalizing students with immigrant parents, an Austin elementary school principal was removed from her position.

Less than a month after the mass killing in New Zealand, their Parliament passed a law banning most semiautomatic weapons.

Your Feel-good Stories of the Week

Promising results from the first class of LeBron James’s school for children labeled the “worst performers” in their Akron elementary schools, often diagnosed with behavioral problems, indicate that providing a quality education equally to all children can change lives and close the education gap. Kids as young as 8 who were already predicted likely never to graduate excelled: “Ninety percent met or exceeded individual growth goals in reading and math, outpacing their peers across the district.” This read will make you feel good about the world.

In a random bit of hopeful news for our education system, cursive is making a comeback.

Roundup of statements from Central Texas reps on Trump’s incitement of violence against Rep. Ilhan Omar

In a clear incitement of racist violence, the president tweeted a video that intercuts four words spoken by Rep. Ilhan Omar with graphic footage from 9/11. Our representatives—and presidential candidates—should all condemn the president’s latest Islamophobic demagoguery.

Democratic representatives need to make clear that the Congresswoman has the party’s support. Presidential candidates should issue statements that support Rep. Omar and clearly denounce the president.

Our GOP representatives should not be let off the hook, either. Our expectations for them have sunk low, but racism and attacks by the White House on the legislative branch of government are bipartisan problems.

Here are the statements issued so far. We will update this page as new statements are made.

U.S. Congress

Sen. John Cornyn

no statement

Sen. Ted Cruz

This clip has virtually nothing to do with anything but appears to be Ted Cruz’s statement on the matter.

Rep. Michael McCaul

no statement

Rep. Bill Flores

No statement, except to retweet the president.

Rep. Chip Roy

no statement

Rep. Roger Williams

no statement

Rep. John Carter

no statement

Rep. Lloyd Doggett

Rep. Joaquin Castro

Congressional Candidates

Other Notable Statements

Stop SB15; Cheers and boos on #VAWA19 reauthorization; 2020 Congressional Candidates! | Indivisible Austin Weekly Newsletter

Take Action

Stop SB15 and related bills in the TXLEGE

87% of texas voter agree... local officials are better connected to their community needs and values

Image: CPPP

SB15—which would not only revoke local control in Texas cities but do so in a way that allows business to discriminate—has now been broken into several bills. From League of Women Voters of Texas:

Senate Bill 15, a proposal banning local communities from protecting workers has now been broken into four separate bills.  The new bills would prohibit local governments from requiring the following of their local businesses:

  • SB 2485 – prohibits requiring benefits such as health, disability, retirement, profit-sharing, death, and group death or dismemberment benefits.
  • SB 2486 – would ban fair scheduling ordinances.
  • SB 2487 – bans adoption of requirements for leave, paid sick days, paid holidays, vacation, and personal necessity.
  • SB 2488 – would ban “fair chance” hiring ordinances relating to hiring those with a criminal history.

None of these bills has an exemption for non-discrimination ordinances.

We must stop these unfair bills! We need to allow local governments to decide what is best for their workers.

Three ways to stop these bad bills

  1. Call your state Senator’s office, and ask them to oppose SB 15 and SB 2485, SB 2486, 2487, 2488): 1-833-417-4260
  2. Email your Senator using this easy action page from the League of Women Voters of Texas
  3. Sign this petition from Working Texans for Paid Sick Time.

Cheers and Boos on #VAWA Reauthorization

The House voted last week to approve the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act. We had a rare split decision among our Republican reps in Central Texas, with Reps. McCaul, Williams, and Carter voting for the bill, and Reps. Flores and Roy voting No.

The National Rifle Association opposed the bill because it contains amendments that makes it harder for domestic abusers to buy a gun. This is the most likely reason that Flores and Roy caved.

If you are represented by Rep. Lloyd Doggett or any of the Republican reps who voted for the bill, call and give them your thanks.

If you are represented by Chip Roy or Bill Flores, call and ask them to explain their vote. Do they really value access to firearms over the safety of women?

Now the bill moves to the Senate. Call Cruz and Cornyn and tell them to vote yes on the reauthorization of VAWA—including the protections for domestic-abuse survivors.

Read more about Chip Roy’s priorities in this week’s Congress Critter


How your voices are making a difference

  • The House Judiciary Committee voted to subpoena the Mueller report
  • The House Ways and Means Committee asked the IRS for six years of the commander of cheese’s tax returns
  • New Mexico became the 14th state to pledge its electoral votes to the winner of the popular vote

Read “Exposing Corruption in Donny’s Swamp”


2020 Congressional Candidates!

With less than 11 months until the March 3 “Super Tuesday” Texas primary, several Central Texas candidates have announced that they are running. It’s never too early to start backing your favorites. These are not endorsements. We linked to candidate websites where available, and news articles and FEC filings when not.

TX10

TX17

TX21

TX25

TX31

Do you have a tip on someone who’s planning to run for congress in Central Texas? Let us know!


Congress Critter of the Week: Chip Roy

Originally posted on Facebook by Cari Marshall. Reposted with permission.

Chip Roy

This past Thursday, the U.S. House voted to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act. The updated law would enable law enforcement to take away the guns of dating partners or stalkers convicted of abuse – closing the “boyfriend loophole.” (Under current federal law, only those convicted of abusing a spouse, a co-parent, or live-in partner can have his guns taken away.)

The National Rifle Association sought to block the act’s renewal because of this provision.

Nearly half of murdered women in this country were killed by a current or former domestic partner (usually by gun).

My ultimate point here, the one that makes me REALLY ANGRY, is that not only did my Rep Chip Roy vote NAY, he didn’t even bother to make a public statement about it (someone please correct me if I’m wrong!). But he’s quite proud of his NRA endorsement.

Continue reading Chip Roy’s 48 tweets about everything except his vote on VAWA19

Events

Monday, April 8

The People’s Committee Hearing on The Healthy Texas Act

Hosted by Rep. Gina Hinojosa

Facebook event

Please join Rep. Hinojosa, Our Revolution, and the AFL-CIO for a hearing about HB 4127 (aka Medicare for All!) oat 6pm. This hearing will take place at the AFL-CIO, located on 1106 Lavaca St. #200, Austin, TX 78701.

RSVP here: http://www.ginaforaustin.com/healthytxrsvp

Thursday, April 11

Planned Parenthood Texas Lobby Day

Hosted by Planned Parenthood Texas Votes & others

Facebook event

Join 1,000 fellow Planned Parenthood advocates at the State Capitol to rally for reproductive rights and talk to our legislators about the top issues impacting women’s health care. Together, we will make our voices heard and take a stand for access to confidential, expert, and comprehensive reproductive care for all Texans. No matter what.

Friday, April 12

Civics Celebration at the Capitol

Hosted by Civics 4 Y’all

Facebook event

Join us for a rally supporting high-quality civics education in Texas! Students, teachers, and community organizers will share their experiences with civics education and discuss the importance of high-quality civics education for all Texas students!

Event Schedule:

  • 10 to 11 a.m., North Steps of Capitol (or REJ Conference Center North Room in the case of rain)
  • 11 a.m. to noon Lobby Day. Check in at REJ Conference Center North Room

To sign up for individual meetings about civics education, please fill out this form

Funding the Fight

Look at everything happening this week! From opportunities to fight wretched bills to the BIG PUSH in 2020 to wrestle control of our government away from those who think the Constitution and human rights are mere annoyances.

Every week, every DAY is a chance to fight back. Indivisible Austin is taking up the fight. Be there with us. Be a part of the fight. Make a gift today.

Your Moment of Zen

Chip Roy tweeted 48 times about everything except his vote on #VAWA19

Originally posted on Facebook by Cari Marshall. Reposted with permission. 

This past Thursday, the U.S. House voted to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act. The updated law would enable law enforcement to take away the guns of dating partners or stalkers convicted of abuse – closing the “boyfriend loophole.” (Under current federal law, only those convicted of abusing a spouse, a co-parent, or live-in partner can have his guns taken away.)

The National Rifle Association sought to block the act’s renewal because of this provision.

Nearly half of murdered women in this country were killed by a current or former domestic partner (usually by gun).

My ultimate point here, the one that makes me REALLY ANGRY, is that not only did my Rep Chip Roy vote NAY, he didn’t even bother to make a public statement about it (someone please correct me if I’m wrong!). But he’s quite proud of his NRA endorsement.

Chip Roy

Chip was VERY active on Twitter that day on the following subjects:

  • Repealing the ACA: 14 TIMES!!!
  • Music: 2x
  • The benefits of C02:
  • Winston Churchill in Tunisia in 1943:
  • How to more quickly deport someone (sourced from Breitbart)
  • Golf: 3x
  • Retweeting a Texas Tribune piece about the strain on shelters at the border, totally misconstruing the headline
  • Closing immigration processing at the border: 2x
  • Something about how little he sleeps
  • Baseball: 5x
  • Some guy Trump hired
  • Retweet of Cornyn’s “puppet masters” statement
  • Meth seizure at the border
  • Yemeni civil war
  • A re-tweet thanking fossil fuels for keeping your fridge & pantry full (for real!)
  • UT swimming and diving
  • Basketball: 2x
  • MS 13 gangs in Maryland
  • Wendy Davis running in #TX21: 2x
  • Chastising the idiot who retweeted the McConnell tripping video: 3x
  • Something random that I didn’t understand
  • John Wayne
  • Bluebonnets

If my count is right, that’s 48 tweets/retweets in one day, and not one mention of the #VAWA. I hate gerrymandering with such a burning passion for putting me in the district of this guy.

Want to see how your Rep voted?

Update: This was oblique but there you have it:

Exposing Corruption in Donny’s Swamp | How your voices are making a difference

A whistleblower in the White House security office has exposed that White House staff overturned more than 25 denials for security clearances of Donny’s staff despite “serious disqualifying issues,” like ties to foreign influence, conflicts of interests, questionable or criminal conduct, financial problems, or drug abuse, among them Jared Kushner and Michael Flynn. This corroborates the memos uncovered recently by former chief of staff John Kelly and former White House counsel Don McGahn regarding their concerns about the same subject. Read the Washington Post’s Aaron Blake’s excellent breakdown of what this might mean, and a list of other major security breaches by the president who built a campaign on deriding Hillary Clinton’s emails.

The U.S. Ethics Office declined to certify the financial disclosures for Steven Mnuchin—y’all, the main ethics watchdog for our nation has ethical issues with the financial accuracy and truth of the financial disclosures of the SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY.

But wait, there’s more! Donny’s nominee to head the Federal Reserve Board—you know, the organization in charge of monitoring and guiding our country’s economical well-being—was just found in contempt of court for failing to pay his ex-wife $330,000 in alimony and CHILD SUPPORT.

A third federal judge, this one in Maryland, has blocked Donny’s administration from adding a citizenship question to the 2020 census.

The House is in the HOUSE!

In related news, the House Oversight Committee voted to subpoena information and testimony related to Wilbur Ross’s 2020 census citizenship question that three courts have now ruled illegal.

And regarding the newly exposed overturned security-clearance denials of Donald’s White House cronies, the House Oversight and Reform Committee voted Tuesday to subpoena Carl Kline, who served as personnel security director at the White House during the first two years of the administration.

The House Judiciary Committee voted to subpoena the Mueller report in its nearly 400-page footnoted unredacted entirety from the Justice Department, after AG William Barr’s suspiciously reductive 4-page summary—and curiously along party lines, despite the recent unanimous House vote to release the report.

The House Ways and Means Committee asked the IRS for six years of the commander of cheese’s tax returns, citing Congress’s duty as a coequal branch of government to “determine how Americans—including those elected to our highest office—are complying with [tax] laws.”

The House Intelligence Committee requested documents from Donny’s inaugural committee regarding how it raised and spent $107 million, on the heels of a federal subpoena in February for the same information.

The House passed bipartisan legislation approved by the Senate that will end military involvement in Yemen, a direct rebuke of Donald’s Saudi-friendly support of the conflict, and setting up Donald for a likely (and likely unpopular) veto putting him firmly on record as protecting and furthering the interests of the Saudi crown prince (the one who ordered the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi).

Overcoming opposition from the National Rifle Association, the House voted on Thursday 263-158 for a revised version of the Violence Against Women Act that expands gun control, barring gun sales to convicted abusers of current or former dating partners. The measure also would prohibit gun sales to people found guilty of stalking misdemeanors and those under one-party restraining orders.

Social and Civil Rights Advances

Reversing a 2015 decision, the Mormon Church will now allow baptisms and blessings for children of LGBTQ parents.

Chicago became the largest city in history (thus far!) to elect a black female mayor, and first openly gay person to hold the office, Lori Lightfoot.

Nearly 70 percent of Americans would be okay with a gay president; 85 percent said they were comfortable with a female candidate. (Apparently everyone’s cool with old white guys, and we know how at least a third of the country feels about a black president.)

After a conservative freelance journalist went on a homophobic Twitter rant against a gay journalist, a major publication she wrote for–the Federalist–dropped her from their freelance roster.

The pro-gun party in the pocket of the NRA (Republicans, in case that’s vague) apparently doesn’t like it when guns are a threat in their vicinity—when an “activist” pushing a proposed bill allowing Texans to openly carry a firearm without a permit showed up at the  hones of several Texas legislators. Republican state rep Jonathan Stickland, the author of the bill, stated he was “officially canceling” the bill.

New Mexico became the 14th state to pledge its electoral votes to the winner of the popular vote. The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact does not take effect until they have amassed 270 electoral votes; the tally now is at 189. Republicans—the party whose victories rely on suppressing voting—are fighting the change, probably since of the five instances in our country’s history when the candidate who won the popular vote actually lost in the electoral college, four were Republicans (the other was John Quincy Adams, one of all candidates running as a Democratic-Republican).

In a barely masked rebuke to the nationalist-in-chief, Pope Francis said that those who close borders “will become prisoners of the walls that they build.”

Donald’s Foot in Donald’s Mouth

Donald backpedaled from threats to close to border “immediately” to offering a “one-year warning.”

Another of Donny’s birther conspiracy theories was debunked by a birth certificate—this one his father’s, after the Mentally Deranged Dotard asserted—multiple times and erroneously—that his Bronx-born father was born in Germany. LOL!

Donny claimed the noise from windmills causes cancer—LOLOLOL! Two days later a bipartisan group of 19 senators urged more federal support for wind turbines, led by Democrat Jeff Merkley and Republican Chuck Grassley, the latter of whom called Donny’s remark “idiotic.”

Your Feel-good Stories of the Week

See all the above. 🙂

Finally, young anti-populists in Switzerland have found delightful, creative ways to combat the spread of right-wing nationalist populism.

Trump’s latest move to gut the ACA; Release the full Mueller report; Oppose SB9 | Take Action Newsletter

Take Action

Watch: Indivisible Austin Board President Lisa Goodgame on Trump’s latest move to gut the ACA

FOX 7 Discussion: Affordable Care Act
Get ready for action: Release the full Mueller report

Waiting for Mueller is not a substitute for organizing, advocating, and voting—but Attorney General William Barr’s four-page summary of Mueller’s 300-page report is an insult. It’s gaslighting of the American public. No one should find solace or vindication in Barr’s weasel-worded post-it note; we need to see the full Mueller report and we need to see it now.

House Judiciary Chairman Nadler set a deadline of Tuesday, April 2 for Barr to do so. If Barr misses the deadline to #MakeItPublic, a national coalition of progressives, including Indivisible, is planning to mobilize for an emergency day of action on Thursday, April 4, at 5pm local time. We’re urging all groups to stay tuned, and be ready to act fast — we’ll know if Barr has missed the deadline on Wednesday morning, April 3.

And remember, the House voted 420-0 (that’s right, 0 “no” votes) on March 14 to support making the Mueller report available to both the public and Congress once it is ready.

Updated resource from national Indivisible

Talking Points Memo: It’s Time to Call Your Reps, Folks

Continue opposing SB9 and the nomination of David Whitley to Texas Secretary of State

Say NO to David Whitley, say NO to voter suppression

Now that the U.S. House is investigating the attempted purge of Texas voters, it is more important than ever that we voice our opposition to the nomination of David Whitley for Texas Secretary of state. Additionally, we must voice opposition to SB9, which is another voter-suppression attempt in the Texas Legislature.

Say NO to David Whitley for Secretary of State

Oppose SB9, which suppresses the vote by turning honest mistakes into felonies


How your voices are making a difference

  • The House Committee on Oversight and Reform has opened an investigation into the Texas secretary of state’s misleading flagging of nearly 100,000 voters as possible noncitizens.
  • Democratic congresswomen—including Nancy Pelosi—have hung the transgender pride flag in their offices in a show of support
  • 84% of all Americans—of any political persuasion—want the Mueller Report made public

Read “The Human Tire Fire”


Events

Tuesday, April 2

Texas Gun Sense Advocacy Day

Hosted by Texas Gun Sense

Now is the time for gun safety in Texas.

Agenda

7:30AM Press conference live stream

8:30AM Presentation in banquet room

10:00AM to Noon Group visits to key legislators around the capitol

Immunize Texas Rally Day

Hosted by Immunize Texas

Join your fellow pro-vaccine, pro-science, anti-disease advocates at the State Capitol to rally for pro-vaccine public policy and legislation! We must make our voices heard and send the message that we want to keep our communities protected from vaccine-preventable diseases.

Saturday, April 6

Day of Service with Sen. Kirk Watson

Sen. Kirk Watson is calling for a Day of Service in Central Texas, with volunteer opportunities at Habitat for Humanity, Austin Pets Alive! and Mobile Loaves and Fishes

Read more & sign up to volunteer!

Thursday, April 11

Planned Parenthood Texas Lobby Day

Hosted by Planned Parenthood Texas Votes & others

Facebook event

Join 1,000 fellow Planned Parenthood advocates at the State Capitol to rally for reproductive rights and talk to our legislators about the top issues impacting women’s health care. Together, we will make our voices heard and take a stand for access to confidential, expert, and comprehensive reproductive care for all Texans. No matter what.

Friday, April 12

Civics Education Capitol Day!

Generation Citizen is hosting a Lobby Day at the Capitol to advocate for civics education in Texas, focusing on establishing project-based civics instruction for all middle and high school students (HB 3008 and HB 3009).

Sign up here to volunteer


#TXLEGE Watch

Check out this free web app from Influence Texas, which tracks bills and money in the Texas Legislature.

Read the press release


Congress Critter of the Week: Rep. John Carter (again!)

John Carter Town Hall in Leander 🤠

A rare sighting of Rep. John Carter, captured in this blurry photo before the elusive subject could flee

Last week we brought you Dr. Felicia Miyakawa’s account of Rep. John Carter’s town hall in Hutto. This week, we bring you the sequel, by former congressional candidate Dr. Christine Eady Mann, about Rep. Carter’s second town hall in Leander. Here’s a sample:

The Leander event was “protected” again by heavily armed police who created a perimeter around the event venue, and was held inside a gun-free venue. “Guns for me but not for thee,” I suppose.

Continue reading “John Carter Town Hall, Redux”


Funding the Fight

The fear of accountability seems to have ratcheted up the cruelty and incompetence to new heights. That’s why having voices consistently, steadily pushing us forward, keeping an eye out for inflection points where real differences can be made, is so important.

That’s why Indivisible Austin is here, to keep us moving forward together, with our eyes open. Be a part of that work. Make a gift today.


Your Moment of Zen

 

Human Tire Fire | How your voices are making a difference

Republicans Against the Law

A federal judge blocked Trump administration Medicaid work requirements in Kentucky—for the second time—calling the requirements “arbitrary and capricious,” and said that a similar law in Arkansas “cannot stand.”

federal judge blocked Donny’s executive order to allow drilling in the Arctic and Atlantic oceans, stating that he didn’t have the authority to override the Obama legislation protecting the areas indefinitely, stating that the ban was revocable “only by an act of Congress.”

federal judge (a Bush appointee) blocked Donny’s attempted “end run” around the ACA that would have allowed insurance providers to offer bare-bones plans.

Congress Actually Working

The House Committee on Oversight and Reform has opened an investigation into the Texas secretary of state’s misleading flagging of nearly 100,000 voters as possible noncitizens.

Senators Dick Durbin (D) and Lindsey Graham (R, but often D-bag) reintroduced bipartisan legislation aimed toward creating a path to citizenship for Dreamers, amid Donald’s ongoing attacks on the program and immigrants (or anyone not rich, male, and white).

Introducing a new category all about Donald this week that I shall call…

Human Tire Fire

The Washington Post conducted this deep investigation into how Don John inflated his wealth and downplayed his debts to lenders and investors for years with—pardon the pun—trumped-up bogus financial documents he doctored to look official. Investigators are now examining all these documents to discover whether they qualify as fraud.

Donald announced his new budget, which slashed all funding for the Special Olympics (the amount of which would be covered by the cost of Donald’s last five trips to Mar-A-Lago), and Betsy DeVos started bleating attempted defenses of the cuts to the venerated program for children with disabilities. And then the Very Stable Genius immediately 180’d and announced he would not pull funding for the program.

Republicans Reconsidering

Barbara Bush pulls no punches against the Mentally Deranged Dotard in a new biography of the former first lady, and said of his candidacy, “Putin endorsed him, for heaven’s sake. Putin the killer! Putin the worst! He endorsed Trump! That’s an endorsement you don’t want.” She also stated she probably would not consider herself a Republican today in the present state of the party.

Former Republican senator Jeff Flake says America would be better off electing a Democrat rather than the Mentally Deranged Dotard in 2020, or we will “sacrifice a generation.”

The Kids Are All Right

Here are a few prime examples of why everything is going to be okay with America:

When three female Maryland high school students discovered that the boys were circulating a crass list numerically rating female students, they fought back, first asking the principal to act, and when the “solution” was a single day’s detention for the boy who started the list, they organized a march on his office, resulting in a 2½ -hour forum in which the girls read statements to the boy of how his actions affected them. “It was the last straw, for us girls, of this ‘boys will be boys’ culture,” one of the young organizers said. “We’re the generation that is going to make a change.” A very worthwhile read.

High school students in Wisconsin rebelled against cheerleading awards offered at the official dinner for things like “Bog Booty” and “Big Booby,” resulting in the demeaning awards being banned in the district.

Three female students at a North Carolina charter school (with their parents) filed a lawsuit over the school’s “skirts-only” policy for girls, after resistance and obstruction of their efforts by the school’s administration, which stated that the dress code was to promote “traditional values” and “preserve chivalry.” A federal judge in North Carolina ruled in the students’ favor that the school cannot enforce its skirts-only policy for female students.

When a male Notre Dame student’s mother wrote an op-ed in the university paper exhorting women on campus not to wear leggings to spare men’s apparently uncontrollable reactions to “their blackly naked rear ends,” students organized a massive “legging wearing hedonism” the next day.

The future is in good hands: The younger generation is far more enlightened than the old white Republican dinosaurs trying to stymie all progress, and they simply will not accept antediluvian ideas of sexism, racism, discrimination based on gender or sexual orientation, or inaction on creating sensible gun laws. They will not go backward.

Social and Civil Rights Advances

For the first time since allowing women to join the organization in the 1950s, the command staff of Maryland’s National Guard is made up entirely of women.

Saudi Arabia released three female activists who were jailed last year for working to overturn the female driving ban in the country and its restrictive guardianship rules.

Democratic congresswomen—including Nancy Pelosi—have hung the transgender pride flag in their offices in a show of support in the face of attacks by the current administration on transgender rights.

Major museums are rejecting huge donations from the Sackler family, owners of Perdue Pharma (which just agreed to a $270 million settlement), in growing outrage over some of the family’s role in marketing and misleading doctors and customers about the addictive properties of OxyContin and contributing to the opioid crisis. (They may welcome the returned money, as Perdue Pharma just agreed to a $270 million settlement in a New York state lawsuit for its role in deliberately peddling misinformation about the opiates.)

What a week for the NRA! First a safety officer for the organization was exposed as having hired a Sandy Hook truther to try to undermine the Parkland shooting, and then they opposed legislation that would prevent those with a history of domestic abuse from obtaining firearms. One of the most powerful lobbies in America, using its money and influence to spread conspiracy theories and violence against women. Sensible gun control isn’t taking away 2nd Amendment rights—it’s putting in place the same kind of commonsense rules and regulations that are required for car ownership, for instance, to keep Americans safe.

Your Feel-good Story of the Week

Nancy Pelosi, like the damn force of nature she is, took deft control of her party’s panicked responses in the wake of the Mueller investigation results (which 84% of all Americans—of any political persuasion—want made public).

On that note, allow me to leave you with a calming word of reason for those inexplicably feeling deflated by what we have learned about the Mueller report so far: While Donald, FOX, and the GOP may be trumpeting the vindication of Donald, that’s entirely contrary to fact, as will become increasingly evident as the initial smoke clears from Barr’s 4-page 48-hour summary of Mueller’s heavily footnoted 300-page investigation report created over two intensive years and we learn more of what’s actually in the report—and as the 16 other investigations against Donald proceed.

The truth is, hopefully every patriotic American dearly hopes that this president—or any American president—hasn’t colluded with Russia, our greatest adversary, and that if that indeed proves to be the case then surely we’re all nothing but relieved (imagine the national crisis it would cause, to say the very least!). But regardless of what Donny and his henchmen may bray, Mueller’s investigation—begun by Donald’s own appointees—does not “fully exonerate” him—neither of the 16 other investigations, nor the many breaches of ethics, democratic norms, and the law that he is still under investigation for committing. And again, hopefully every American would not only hope that if he in fact committed them then those facts come to light, but would actively encourage the truth to be investigated.

Mueller’s report was unlikely from the beginning to magically create a case for impeachment. Its job was to investigate the credible evidence that there might have been coordination with Russian intelligence to win the 2016 election, and that there may have been obstruction of justice in that investigation. In the course of that investigation, Mueller and the FBI revealed felony crimes committed by 5 of Donald’s immediate circle: cabinet or campaign staff. This is far from an exoneration—it’s the tip of the iceberg. Don John and his toadies may try to use it as a cudgel, and they may succeed with the 30 percent of True Believers who continue to blindly support him despite every proven lie, breach of ethics and democratic norms, and criminal charges.

But let’s remember that when Nixon left office, 30 percent of Americans still supported him, as did a third of Americans when Joe McCarthy was disgraced for his Communist witch-hunt. A third of people are simply beyond reason and judgment and align with blind, ignorant loyalty, and there’s no amount of rationality or fact that will counter that—so write those folks right on off and save your efforts for the rational. There’s work to do before 2020, and the truncated, cherrypicked summary of Mueller’s two years of investigation by a man on record as being hostile to it is not a free ride for Donny into another four years of office. It’s a smoke bomb, a flash-bang grenade—the GOP’s desperate attempt to distract voters from the full and actual truth. And it succeeds only if we accept defeat in advance.

But if you need a reminder in the face of Donald’s unfounded assertion of being exonerated and FOX News and the GOP’s fanned-up outrage about the Mueller investigation results, do feel free to share this marvelous presidential trivia far and wide!