Thought this was helpful.

Wednesday, April 26th, 2017

catrocketship:

“This morning I have been pondering a nearly forgotten lesson I learned in high school music. Sometimes in band or choir, music requires players or singers to hold a note longer than they actually can hold a note. In those cases, we were taught to mindfully stagger when we took a breath so the sound appeared uninterrupted. Everyone got to breathe, and the music stayed strong and vibrant. Yesterday, I read an article that suggested the administration’s litany of bad executive orders is a way of giving us “protest fatigue” – we will literally lose our will to continue the fight in the face of the onslaught of negative action. Let’s remember MUSIC. Take a breath. The rest of the chorus will sing. The rest of the band will play. Rejoin so others can breathe. Together, we can sustain a very long, beautiful song for a very, very long time. You don’t have to do it all, but you must add your voice to the song. With special love to all the musicians and music teachers in my life…..#Resist”

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“One constituent, holding a sign showing her support for Merrick Garland — former president Barack…”

Monday, March 27th, 2017

“One constituent, holding a sign showing her support for Merrick Garland — former president Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, who was blocked by Republicans last year — asked whether Republicans would really blow up the filibuster to get Gorsuch through. “They can, but by all rights, 60 votes ought to be the standard,” Whitehouse said. “When he doesn’t get 60 votes, that’s going to give Mitch McConnell a tough choice. He’ll have to either change the candidate or change the rules. And it’s not going to be easy for him to change the rules, because a lot of people in his caucus will push back. We have to have the vote, show this guy can’t get 60, and see where it goes from there. In the crucible of the Senate, sometimes good things can emerge.” Over a few rounds of questions, Whitehouse raised the possibility that Gorsuch would be blocked and Republicans would start over with a more moderate nominee. In a short interview after the speech, Whitehouse said he was confident that more than 40 Democrats would hang together. “If four, or five, or two, or no Democrats want to support him, the result is the same: not 60,” Whitehouse said. “This is a problem [Republicans] should have seen when they picked a nominee off of a list from special-interest groups.” Asked about the possibility that the filibuster would be “nuked,” ripping it away from Democrats in future fights, Whitehouse chuckled. “To my mind, there’s no reason to lose a fight in order to save yourself for a later fight,” he said. “You just face the same fight later, plus you’ve already lost.””

Gorsuch may fall short of votes needed for smooth Supreme Court confirmation – The Washington Post
(via dendroica)

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“If the judiciary doesn’t trust the sincerity of the president’s oath and doesn’t have any…”

Friday, March 17th, 2017

“If the judiciary doesn’t trust the sincerity of the president’s oath and doesn’t have any presumption that the president will take care that the laws are faithfully executed, why on earth would it assume that a facially valid purpose of the executive is its actual purpose?”

Benjamin Wittes, Quinta Jurecic in The Revolt of the Judges: What Happens When the Judiciary Doesn’t Trust the President’s Oath

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“In a rule-of-law society, government allegations of criminal activity must be followed by proof and…”

Tuesday, March 7th, 2017

In a rule-of-law society, government allegations of criminal activity must be followed by proof and prosecution. If not, the government is ruling by innuendo.

Shadowy dictatorships can do that because there is no need for proof. Democracies can’t.

Thus, an accusation by a president isn’t like an accusation leveled by one private citizen against another. It’s about more than factual truth or carelessness.

The government’s special responsibility has two bases. One is that you can’t sue the government for false and defamatory speech. If I accused Obama of wiretapping my phone, he could sue me for libel. If my statement was knowingly false, I’d have to pay up. On the other hand, if the president makes the same statement, he can’t be sued in his official capacity. And a private libel suit mostly likely wouldn’t go anywhere against a sitting president — for good reason, because the president shouldn’t be encumbered by lawsuits while in office.

The second reason the government has to be careful about making unprovable allegations is that its bully pulpit is greater than any other. True, as an ex-president, Obama can defend himself publicly and has plenty of access to the news media. But even he doesn’t have the audience that [redacted] now has. And essentially any other citizen would have far less capacity to mount a defense than Obama.

For these reasons, it’s a mistake to say simply that [redacted]’s accusation against Obama is protected by the First Amendment.

False and defamatory speech isn’t protected by the First Amendment.

And an allegation of potentially criminal misconduct made without evidence is itself a form of serious misconduct by the government official who makes it.

When candidate [redacted] said Hillary Clinton was a criminal who belonged in prison, he was exposing himself to a libel suit. And the suit might not have succeeded, because [redacted] could have said he was making a political argument rather than an allegation of fact.

But when President [redacted] accuses Obama of an act that would have been impeachable and possibly criminal, that’s something much more serious than libel. If it isn’t true or provable, it’s misconduct by the highest official of the executive branch.

How is such misconduct by an official to be addressed? There’s a common-law tort of malicious prosecution, but that probably doesn’t apply when the government official has no intention to prosecute.

The answer is that the constitutional remedy for presidential misconduct is impeachment.

Noah Feldman, [redacted]’s wiretap tweets raise his risk of impeachment. Feldman is a Bloomberg View columnist. He is a professor of constitutional and international law at Harvard University and was a clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice David Souter. His books include “Cool War: The Future of Global Competition” and “Divided by God: America’s Church-State Problem — and What We Should Do About It.”

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Photo

Sunday, March 5th, 2017

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truth-has-a-liberal-bias: liberalsarecool: Intelligence…

Saturday, March 4th, 2017

truth-has-a-liberal-bias:

liberalsarecool:

Intelligence Community closing in on Trump. #DeepState #ShittingHimself

Trump is such a sad, pathetic little child.

One of the interesting things about this is that a month into his term he apparently still doesn’t understand how FISA wiretaps work (assuming that’s what this is about), or even the more basic distinction between the proper roles of the justice department and White House in an ongoing criminal investigation. And not just that he’s violating those norms, but apparently isn’t even aware they exist.

There’s obviously a rich and varied body of evidence at this point as to his inability to carry out his oath of office in any meaningful sense. But this is another piece of that picture.

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“The OMB outline for the Commerce Department for fiscal 2018 proposed sharp reductions in specific…”

Saturday, March 4th, 2017

“The OMB outline for the Commerce Department for fiscal 2018 proposed sharp reductions in specific areas within NOAA such as spending on education, grants and research. NOAA’s Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research would lose $126 million, or 26 percent, of the funds it has under the current budget. Its satellite data division would lose $513 million, or 22 percent, of its current funding under the proposal. The National Marine Fisheries Service and National Weather Service would be fortunate by comparison, facing only 5 percent cuts…. The biggest single cut proposed by the passback document comes from NOAA’s satellite division, known as the National Environmental Satellite, Data and Information Service, which includes a key repository of climate and environmental information, the National Centers for Environmental Information. Researchers there were behind a study suggesting that there has been no recent slowdown in the rate of climate change — research that drew the ire of Republicans in Congress. Another proposed cut would eliminate a $73 million program called Sea Grant, which supports coastal research conducted through 33 university programs across the country. That includes institutions in many swing states that went for President Trump, such as the University of Wisconsin at Madison, the University of Michigan, Ohio State University, the University of Florida and North Carolina State University.”

White House proposes steep budget cut to leading climate science agency – The Washington Post
(via dendroica)

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“He will do much more damage before he departs the scene, to become a subject of horrified wonder in…”

Friday, March 3rd, 2017

“He will do much more damage before he departs the scene, to become a subject of horrified wonder in our grandchildren’s history books. To repair the damage he will have done Americans must give particular care to how they educate their children, not only in love of country but in fair-mindedness; not only in democratic processes but democratic values.”

Eliot A. Cohen Responds to Donald Trump’s First Week – The Atlantic (via the-eldest-woman-on)

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laylainalaska: funereal-disease: So one thing I’m not seeing mentioned much but that I think is…

Monday, February 20th, 2017

laylainalaska:

funereal-disease:

So one thing I’m not seeing mentioned much but that I think is really important to acknowledge is: not every member of a hate group is equally radicalized.

See, a lot of our rhetoric re: dealing with them assumes that every member is a hardened lifetimer. But there are always many, many lackeys to every kingpin. Not every terrorist sympathizer is Osama bin Laden. Cultlike movements are largely composed of people who are isolated or gullible or otherwise vulnerable. Their leaders know this. They capitalize on an underlying dysfunction and turn it into something monstrous. In any such movement, there will be people who have doubts but fear being crushed for their dissent. And those are the people it’s critically important to reach out to.

I think a lot of people assume that compassionate outreach is about, like, nicely asking hardened leaders to stop. It’s not! I frankly resent seeing pacifism strawmanned so badly. It’s about undermining those leaders’ bases. It’s about getting through to people who aren’t yet in too deep. When we write them off as exactly as bad as the people recruiting and manipulating them, we’re implicitly yielding ground. We’re ceding a huge number of potential allies to hateful causes, and I am not willing to do that. I want as many people on the side of good as possible. To do that, we have to be willing to get in and help deradicalize.

It’s laughable to expect that someone like S p e n c e r will just wake up one day and realize he’s wrong. It’s not impossible, but it’s not worth banking on. But what about an eighteen-year-old flirting with dangerous ideologies? Isn’t giving up on him implicitly ceding him to S p e n c e r ‘ s side? Do not conflate the psychological profile of someone who’s just beginning to become radicalized with that of someone who’s been entrenched for decades. That difference matters.

This is something I need to remind myself more often.

And it’s also one of the areas where I feel that allies can be the most useful and important. Someone who is the target of a hate group’s hate CANNOT be expected to expose themselves to those people, taking on physical and emotional risk, in the name of building bridges. But allies can.

I actually feel – and here again, I’m giving advice to myself more than anyone – that for allies, the kind of anger and withdrawal that’s 100% justified in the targeted group is an indulgence for us. Not that we can’t get angry too, not that we can’t take a step back for mental health reasons or just to rest. But in a lot of cases, if we really want to help, the best way we can help is by doing the difficult emotional labor of not getting angry (even if we really, really want to be angry) and instead putting ourselves out there calmly to have those hard and miserable conversations. It’s being strong enough to not blow off steam by posting a billion furious memes to Facebook so our relatives or friends-of-friends write us off as someone who can’t be reasoned with, but instead managing to stay calm in the face of a dozen difficult conversations to try to convince them that our point of view has merit, and having the patience to gently point them to primary resources and “own voices” sources on whatever-it-is so they can learn more about it from a good, authentic source.

There is a lot of research that suggests whatever your difference is (religious differences, political differences, ideological differences over something like abortion) that getting to know people on the opposite side, getting to see them as people instead of ~the enemy~, has a real and tangible effect on making someone more open-minded. And I want to stress, like I said at the top, that it is not the job of people in a particular oppressed group to try to change someone’s mind about it. But allies can help with that.

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unacaritafeliz: what a great weekend on tumblr dot com where you’ll learn how all your faves are…

Sunday, February 19th, 2017

unacaritafeliz:

what a great weekend on tumblr dot com where you’ll learn how all your faves are problematic and not want to follow or like anything ever again.

now with bonus advertising featuring a red trucker hat with “make X great again” and a link to a report on optimizing your stock portfolio to profit during the coming time of ethnic cleansing.

really, @david? really?

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tastefullyoffensive: #TinyTrump is my new favorite meme.

Friday, February 17th, 2017

tastefullyoffensive:

#TinyTrump is my new favorite meme.

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I deleted that earlier reblog of mine of the quote about the proposal to use the Nat Guard for…

Friday, February 17th, 2017

I deleted that earlier reblog of mine of the quote about the proposal to use the Nat Guard for undocumented worker roundups. Subsequent chatter on twitter raises the possibility that the story was an earlier, no-longer-being-pursued draft proposal intentionally planted with the AP by the White House (i.e., Bannon) to be able to then decry it as “fake news”.

Also, I’ve learned a new word today: provokatsiya.

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“The Trump administration is considering a proposal to mobilize as many as 100,000 National Guard…”

Friday, February 17th, 2017

“The Trump administration is considering a proposal to mobilize as many as 100,000 National Guard troops to round up unauthorized immigrants, including millions living nowhere near the Mexico border, according to a draft memo obtained by The Associated Press. The 11-page document calls for the unprecedented militarization of immigration enforcement as far north as Portland, Oregon, and as far east as New Orleans, Louisiana. Four states that border on Mexico are included in the proposal — California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas — but it also encompasses seven states contiguous to those four — Oregon, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana. Governors in the 11 states would have a choice whether to have their guard troops participate, according to the memo, written by U.S. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, a retired four-star Marine general. While National Guard personnel have been used to assist with immigration-related missions on the U.S.-Mexico border before, they have never been used as broadly or as far north.”

Trump weighs mobilizing Nat Guard for immigration roundups
(via dendroica)

Nope nope nope. All the nope.

The fact that the US lacks a national police force is not a bug. It’s a feature. It’s a legacy of our history as a union of formerly independent states, where the will of a would-be autocrat is limited by the fact that without the cooperation of local law enforcement his ability to carry out peckerheaded schemes like this is limited.

We, like, literally fought a revolution over this.

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Town Hall Project 2018

Tuesday, February 14th, 2017

Town Hall Project 2018:

stars-inthe-sky:

Find the nearest town hall and tell your reps they work for you! Staffers will tell you in-person meetings matter most—and that decisions get made by those who show up.

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amuseoffyre: highwaytohell-a: every time I remember about this…

Friday, February 10th, 2017

amuseoffyre:

highwaytohell-a:

every time I remember about this spectacular moment, it just makes me happy (and also proud) that this joke was most probably written by an openly gay man (Chris Kelly) and performed by an open lesbian woman (Kate Mckinnon) in live tv. and that is just glorious.

This is how you take an SNL skit: with humour and acknowledgement that you’ve cocked up along the way. Not by being a pissbaby about it on twitter all night long

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puppygamer:my brother in law voted for trump even tho his wife has had cancer and is in remission so…

Friday, February 10th, 2017

puppygamer:

my brother in law voted for trump even tho his wife has had cancer and is in remission so an ACA repeal could kill her… we have a serious issue with propaganda in the US right now and I don’t know how we can fix it

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windandwater: Forth now, and fear no darkness!—J.R.R. Tolkien,…

Friday, February 10th, 2017

windandwater:

Forth now, and fear no darkness!

—J.R.R. Tolkien, Return of the King, Book 5, Chapter 5

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congressarchives: Today marks the 50th anniversary of the…

Friday, February 10th, 2017

congressarchives:

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the passage of the 25th Amendment!

Article II, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution did not clarify,
in the event of a vacancy in the Presidency, whether it was only the
“powers and duties” of the President that devolved onto the Vice
President or if the office itself did, too.

Before passage of the 25th Amendment,
succession was determined by legislation. Congress passed laws at
various times establishing the President pro tempore of the Senate, the
Speaker of the House, or the Secretary of State as third in line for the
Presidency.

Read more about the Succession of the Presidency on Prologue: Pieces of History

relevant to my interests

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A note from the Indivisible Team

Thursday, February 9th, 2017

A note from the Indivisible Team:

ofgeography:

A note for all of us who feel defeated after Sessions from the Indivisible Team: This is the long game. We are going to lose a lot. We are going to get good at losing. We are going to lose cabinet votes for terrible nominees. We are going to lose bills that are offensive and appalling. But while we are losing, something else is going to happen. We are going to keep raising our voices and slowly our representatives are going to start listening to us. We’ve seen it happen. 

It won’t happen because of next week’s call to action. It’ll happen over months, where you keep showing up, regularly. Then, we are going to start winning. It’ll sneak up on us. We won’t understand why we are winning. But it starts with losing in a particular way- where we raise our voices and call it out when we aren’t listened to, where we get close but not quite there.

The first 100 days of a President’s term are the honeymoon period, the moment when he’s most likely to get his agenda enacted. Trump is spending his first 100 days mired in controversy, scandal, and backbiting – and that’s because you haven’t for a moment let anyone in Washington forget just how unpopular he is.

Every time we change the narrative, every time we delay, every time there’s a newspaper story about a member of Congress avoiding his or her constituents, that’s a win. And it matters.

You have already made history. You’ve delayed the confirmation of Trump’s cabinet picks longer than any time in recent history. You stopped the gutting on the congressional ethics office. You’ve made Republicans so nervous about the repeal of the Affordable Care Act that it’s been pushed further and further down the road. You caused an uproar of historic proportions over Trump’s Muslim ban and saved lives and reunited families in the process. You’ve inspired people who have never before taken action to make their voices heard and learn how to do things like check how their members of Congress voted and call them out for it.

We’ll never even know about some of the victories – because those will be the fights that this Administration considered starting and then realized it couldn’t win.

We’re in this together. Every visit. Every call. Every loss. Every win. That’s just what friends do. #StandIndivisible

In solidarity,

The Indivisible Team

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imaginarycircus replied to your quote: This is just the clearest statement of…

Wednesday, February 8th, 2017

I’m glad you’re calling! I haven’t called Elizabeth Warren’s office because we all know where she stands in this mess. But I feel like calling and pushing for impeachment is good. Although people with Rep need to push hard because it won’t happen w/o Rep rebelling.

Good luck with your storm. And good luck to us all with the nor’easter bearing down on the republic.

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