Come on, come on down, you’ve got it in ya

This is great news:

Buoyed by a wave of progressive activism that began after the election of President Trump, Virginia Democrats plan to challenge 45 GOP incumbents in the deep-red House of Delegates this November, including 17 lawmakers whose districts voted for Democrat Hillary Clinton.

Is anyone going to the Not My President’s Day rally today?

My wife and I wrote post-cards to our Senators and Reps telling them to investigate Trump’s ties to Russia.

Consider this an IRL activism open thread.



Friday Morning Open Thread: Soldier On

On a lighter note (h/t commentor scav), possibly the most Scottish solution ever to help ‘harder-to-adopt’ dogs find new homes:

Jumpers [translation: sweaters] are being knitted for “discriminated-against” dogs that an animal welfare charity finds among the hardest to rehome…

Scottish Women’s Institute groups, including those in Aberdeenshire, have been knitting the eye-catching jumpers. The knitting effort forms part of celebrations marking 100 years of the SWI.

The SSPCA describes the problem of rehoming dark-coated dogs as Black Dog Syndrome.

The charity said that, in photographs, the dogs’ features and personalities do not show up as they do for dogs with lighter coats.

SSPCA superintendent Sharon Comrie said: “This syndrome really does affect the adoption of animals in our care and, through no fault of their own, black dogs are almost always the last to find new homes.

“It’s a really creative idea to knit coloured jackets to show these dogs off to their best advantage.

“Knowing that the SWI has members in every part of Scotland, many of whom are extremely dextrous when it comes to traditional crafts, means that we’ll hopefully be able to help animals in the nine rescue and rehoming centres we operate in Scotland.”…

You should definitely click the link, because the models are adorable. Given how popular knitting has become here in America… if a shelter were to photograph its black dogs wearing… hmm… pussycat hats?

(And speaking of the Women’s Institute, Calendar Girls is a delightful little diversion if you’re looking for something to distract you this weekend.)
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What else is on the agenda as we wrap up another long week?



Thursday Morning Open Thread: Brown Bag Democracy

More immediately, the Resistance targets the expense-account demographic…

Doggedly painstaking NYTimes explainer:

The campaign, spread on social media and messaging apps, has called for a “day without immigrants.” It asks foreign-born people nationwide, regardless of legal status, not to go to work or go shopping in a demonstration of the importance of their labor and consumer spending to the United States’ economy.

Activists and groups in cities across the country have picked up the call, reposting fliers found online, and in some cases organizing demonstrations to coincide with the event. Several activists said that they did not know how the campaign began or how many people would heed it, and that as far as they knew, there was no national organization behind it.

But the dining scene in Washington, where the new Trump administration is taking a hard line on immigration and deportation, took notice. At least a few dozen restaurants in and around the Beltway have committed to staying closed on Thursday. Others have said they would offer limited service in the expectation that many of their employees would be out for the day. Some restaurants in other cities, including several of the Blue Ribbon restaurants in New York, have joined in…

Hey, when it was just lobbyists schmoozing backbenchers down in The Swamp, cute little joke. But if it inconveniences the important Media People and financiers in the Big Apple, well…

Actually, I expect a spate of mean-girl posts tattling on colleagues who Just Can’t (make their own lunches). Betting on Maureen Dowd to be first into pixels, since she doesn’t seem like she consumes many calories in solid form.
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What’s on the agenda as we slog through this interminable week?



Time to call Congress

You know what to do.

Call Congress. If your Senator is a firm No vote to Puzder, thank them and their staff.

If they are a firm Yes vote, tell them they are wrong.

If they are mushy, encourage them to vote no.

Burn those phone lines up.

And let’s see if we can get another minor win.

UPDATE 1

UPDATE 1

Puzder is withdrawing.

 



Tuesday Morning Open Thread: Hearts & Flowers Brickbats

Potentially good news:

Ever-enjoyable jeering from the peanut gallery:



Burning time

We’re 24 days into the Trump Error. And there has been little legislative activity. As of the morning of the 13th, there have been two bills that he has signed. The first was a bill that waived requirements for his Secretary of Defense nominee to be the Secretary of Defense. The second is a two page technical correction bill for the Government Accountability Office to get more data. That sounds like a perfectly lovely law on the face of it but it is not a major bill.

Why does this matter?

The first 100 days is the easiest time for legislation to pass and for major structural changes to get pulled in the desired direction of a determined trifecta. After 100 days, the opposition will have gotten its act together and the mid-term election cycle has gotten started so marginal majority members won’t want to piss off too many potential groups of supporters by making choices.

The Democrats in 2009 had both a not damaged President and larger majorities in the House and Senate and they were able to address major priorities in the first month while working on Dodd-Frank and healthcare at the same time. This Congress has not been able to get anything more than a minor technical corrections act out. And given that healthcare reform is going to suck out a bit of oxygen in the room for quite a long time as Republican health policy (don’t spend any money on the sick) is quite unpopular and is running against the status quo bias of a flawed but helpful system that does spend money on the sick, things are moving slower than I feared.

We need to continue to organize, and continue to make it very clear that supporting Trump will come at a massive electoral cost for the Republican party so that we can continue to see the survival and infighting instincts slow walk everything possible. And we need to continue to applaud the Democratic Senate caucus for slow walking everything that they can not stop.



Thoughts From Bernice King

Bernice King, youngest daughter of Dr. Martin Luther King and Coretta Scott King, posted this on FB earlier in the week:

Full text here:

Some Wise Advice Circulating:

1. Use his name sparingly so as not to detract from the issues. I believe that everyone, regardless of their beliefs, deserves the dignity of being called by their name. However, this is a strategic tactic. While we are so focused on him we are prone to neglect the questionable policies that threaten freedom, justice and fairness advanced by the administration.

2. Remember this is a regime and he’s not acting alone;

3. Do not argue with those who support him and his policies–it doesn’t work;

4. Focus on his policies, not his appearance and mental state;

5. Keep your message positive; those who oppose peace and justice want the country to be angry and fearful because this is the soil from which their darkest policies will grow;

6. No more helpless/hopeless talk;

7. Support artists and the arts;

8. Be careful not to spread fake news. Check it;

9. Take care of yourselves; and

10. Resist!

Keep demonstrations peaceful. In the words of John Lennon, “When it gets down to having to use violence, then you are playing the system’s game. The establishment will irritate you – pull your beard, flick your face – to make you fight! Because once they’ve got you violent, then they know how to handle you. The only thing they don’t know how to handle is non-violence and humor.”

When you post or talk about him, don’t assign his actions to him, assign them to “The Republican Administration,” or “The Republicans.” This will have several effects: the Republican legislators will either have to take responsibility for their association with him or stand up for what some of them don’t like; he will not get the focus of attention he craves; Republican representatives will become very concerned about their re-elections.

From one of my favorite movements at the moment – the alt-gov sites – Alt-National Park Service:

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