Issue #145, 2020 Week 14

Hey everyone,

Trying to sort through the abundance of information (and misinformation). Let us help. Read on to make sure that you’re staying informed!
As always, please reach out (activism@patrothfuss.comwith any tips, suggestions, questions, or concerns!

Thanks,
The Activism Team

This week, we graduated from ever-present coronavirus news to coronavirus news and administration corruption news.  Essentially, we’re moving away from the incompetence part of the program, and Act II will be quid-pro-quo and personal enrichment issues.  (I don’t know about you, but I’m not enjoying this show at all.  Who do I speak with for a refund?)

Events to Know

Retaliatory Firings (Again).  This week Trump fired Inspector General Michael Atkinson, the man who did his job and passed along a credible whistleblowing complaint literally six months ago.  Though the official notice gave no reason for the firing, counter to Congressional intent, it seems pretty clear that this was retaliatory and intended to be a distraction from COVID-19 news.  (Ironically, Mitch McConnell went ahead and said the quiet part out loud this week, complaining that impeachment news diverted attention from coronavirus–but he was trying to excuse Trump’s inaction in January and February, claiming that impeachment kept him from doing his job.)  For an encore, Trump also removed the Pentagon’s acting inspector general, who was named to lead the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee. Not coincidentally, Trump had been talking about removing accountability for the CARES Act funds for days beforehand.

Key links:

  1. CNN – Trump Fires Intelligence Community Watchdog Who Told Congress About Whistleblower Complaint That Led To Impeachment
  2. Washington Post – Trump Fires Yet Another Official Who Played A Key Role In Investigating Trump
  3. The Hill – McConnell: Impeachment Distracted Government From Coronavirus Threat
  4. Politico – Trump Removes Independent Watchdog For Coronavirus Funds, Upending Oversight Panel
  5. New York Times – Trump Suggests He Can Gag Inspector General For Stimulus Bailout Program

Trump’s Wild COVID-19 Adventures. Governors are reporting that Trump is showing favoritism with medical equipment, pitting states against each other instead of encouraging fair pricing and undergranting supplies to blue states while overgranting to red states. (Trump, of course, did nothing to disabuse anybody of this notion when he announced that states needed to be ‘treat [him] well’ to get supplies the week before.) Similarly, the administration has been accused by several countries of seizing masks and other equipment mid-transit that were supposed to go to Germany, Canada, and other countries–I don’t know about the rest of y’all, but I definitely did not have ‘America accused of piracy by its own allies’ on my COVID Bingo card. Trump also refused to reopen the ACA marketplace for newly-unemployed Americans and has doubled down on his false claim that hydroxychloroquine can treat COVID-19. Some outlets are starting to report that the latter is because he has a business interest in hydroxochoroquine, though some simply think he is incompetent or ignores objective reality.  Then he threatened to withhold funding from the WHO because he was angry about how they are reporting virus spread in the U.S.

Key links:

  1. Guardian –  New York’s Andrew Cuomo Decries ‘eBay’-Style Bidding War For Ventilators
  2. BBC – Coronavirus: Us Accused Of ‘Piracy’ Over Mask ‘Confiscation’
  3. NBC – Trump Admin Will Not Reopen Obamacare Exchanges During Coronavirus Pandemic
  4. CNN – Heated Disagreement Breaks Out In Situation Room Over Hydroxychloroquine
  5. New York Times – Trump’s Aggressive Advocacy Of Malaria Drug For Treating Coronavirus Divides Medical Community

Other COVID Misconduct. Of course, Trump didn’t have a corner on bad government behavior this week. Jared Kushner was in the news for claiming the Health and Human Services stockpile of emergency medical equipment was ‘our stockpile’ and not supposed to go to the states–despite the HHS website clearly saying otherwise. When this was pointed out to him, Kushner’s response was to change the language on the HHS website, removing the language about state access. And the Acting Navy Secretary, Thomas Modley, was in the news after relieving a commander because he reported COVID spread on his aircraft carrier. Modley also mocked the commander for making the right call, calling him “too naive or too stupid to be the commanding officer” of the aircraft carrier.  Within a few days, Modley had been forced to resign.

Key links:

  1. MarketWatch – Jared Kushner Slammed For Saying The Federal Medical Supply Stockpile Isn’t Meant For States
  2. Washington Post – The Trump Administration Just Changed Its Description Of The National Stockpile To Jibe With Jared Kushner’s Controversial Claim
  3. Reuters – U.S. Navy Relieves Commander Of Coronavirus-hit Aircraft Carrier
  4. NBC – Acting Navy Secretary Resigns After Criticizing Ousted Captain Who Raised Alarm On Outbreak

Recent Resilience

Recent Ocean Resilience. We got some unexpected good news this week in the form of marine biology–scientists are now saying that we have the knowledge to restore ocean life by 2050.  Needless to say, this optimism still hinges on finding a solution to climate change, because conditions would continue to threaten life without a solution for the cascade of changes it creates.  But the fact that it’s even possible is new, and definitely welcome information!

Key links:

  1. Guardian – Oceans Can Be Restored To Former Glory Within 30 Years, Say Scientists

Worker Strike Updates. Several of the strikes mentioned last week have already seen successes! Instacart will now provide their workers with health and safety kits containing cloth face masks, hand sanitizer, and thermometers, and Amazon will begin conducting temperature checks and providing masks. Target and Walmart have announced similar policies as well. Progress!

Key links:

  1. Verge – Instacart To Provide Face Masks For Workers As Part Of Covid-19 Safety Kit
  2. Reuters – Retail Sector Companies Turn To Masks, Gloves In Coronavirus Fight

Things to Watch

2020 Election Updates. The Wisconsin primary turned into quite an ongoing saga, and ended up shaping the entire primary.  Though the state legislature wanted to hold in-person elections, the governor ordered a postponement for safety reasons in light of the current crisis.  Then the state’s Supreme Court blocked the governor on Monday in the eleventh hour, which means in-person voting was back on with only five polling locations open in the state.  Wisconsin Republicans may or may not have been taking cues from Trump, who said this week that Republicans would ‘never’ be elected again if vote-by-mail were permitted–an incredible claim even before you consider the obvious risk it promotes during a pandemic.  The final results won’t be available until next week, but while they were pending, Bernie Sanders dropped out of the race, leaving Joe Biden the near-certain Democratic nominee for 2020.
Key links:

  1. Vox – Wisconsin’s Supreme Court Rules Along Partisan Lines To Require The State To Hold Its Election On Tuesday
  2. The Hill – Trump Says Election Proposals In Coronavirus Stimulus Bill Would Hurt Republican Chances
  3. New York Times – Voting in Wisconsin During a Pandemic: Lines, Masks and Plenty of Fear
  4. Washington Post – Bernie Sanders ends his presidential campaign

State of the COVID-19. The virus is starting to hit us really hard, and there’s a lot of mess in its wake.  At the time that I type this, we definitely lead the world in cases, and almost 13,000 people in this country have lost their lives to the pandemic.  Data is starting to suggest that the virus is more fatal to men than women, though that’s far from conclusive, and reports also suggest that Black Americans are being disproportionately infected, exacerbating existing health disparities.  We’re also starting to see infection among essential workers who do not treat the virus New York is still a major hotspot, and though the U.S.N.S. Comfort docked in New York Harbor, it is not yet treating many patients.  The United States is still missing a lot of test data, making it hard to get accurate numbers, and the CDC is now recommending that everyone wear cloth face masks in public.  Nonetheless, some states are allowing religious exemptions for stay-at-home orders, which Trump seems to be supporting.
Key links:

  1. Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Research Center Map
  2. Slate – “Essential” Workers Are Dying
  3. New York Times – The 1,000-Bed Comfort Was Supposed To Aid New York. It Has 20 Patients.
  4. CNN – Top Doctor Says White House Coronavirus Task Force Still Missing 50% Of Testing Data
  5. NPR – CDC Now Recommends Americans Consider Wearing Cloth Face Coverings In Public

Market Volatility Continues. Market volatility continues to be an unprecedented problem, with 6.6 million Americans filing for unemployment last week–more than twice the previous week, and bringing the total for the month over 10 million.  For perspective, we’ve already outstripped total job loss during the Great Recession, and we might see major long-term changes as a result.  Meanwhile, after outlets began reporting that Americans on Social Security would need to file taxes to get their stimulus payments under the CARES Act, the IRS corrected course and permitted recipients to get their stimulus without filing after all.  The current implementation plan will issue disbursements from April through September, with the lowest-earning Americans receiving their checks first.  With everything going on, Congress is beginning to talk about a fourth Coronavirus relief bill, though there are no specifics yet.  Mitch McConnell is expressing resistance, but Nancy Pelosi seems equally determined, and she also is acting to create more oversight for the third bill.  It’s sort of anybody’s guess what happens next on this front, so we’ll need to see where we are in a week.
Key links:

  1. CNN – A 3,000% Jump In Jobless Claims Has Devastated The U.S. Job Market
  2. Washington Post – Retailers Furloughed Nearly 1 Million Workers This Week. But The Industry’s Troubles Are Just Beginning.
  3. ABC – What You Need To Do To Get Your Government Stimulus Check
  4. MarketWatch – Top Republican Lawmakers Maintain Their Opposition To ‘Phase 4’ Coronavirus Package
  5. CNN – Pelosi Announces House Committee On Coronavirus Crisis To Exercise Oversight Of Pandemic Response

Actions for Everyone

Take a deep deep breath, let it out. Do that as long as it takes to calm your heart a little. We’re all in this together. It’s been a hard couple of weeks, hasn’t it? We’ll be ok, we need to focus on community, in mutual aid and in taking care of each other and ourselves. We got this, because we got us.

The Covid-19 pandemic has us all feeling completely powerless and frustrated. What can we do? It’s an invisible enemy and we’re all scared. Meanwhile, our government is taking this time to show it’s true incompetence.

Small things we can do:

Calling our Representatives about various important topics. Find your reps here. 

Federal seizing of medical equipment – Hospitals have been reporting that the Federal government is seizing masks and other important supplies to fight the pandemic. Leaving them without knowledge of where these equipment is going and how to acquire the things they need to protect their healthcare workers. Demand an answer from your representatives, what is happening with the equipment, we must have transparency.  You can read more about it here. 

Inspector General in charge of Covid-19 Stimulus package is fired – As mentioned on our Events to Know section, General Michael Atkinson, the Inspector General who was to oversee the management of the 2 Trillion stimulus package was fired. He wasn’t told why he was terminated and received the news as a surprise. Demand transparency in this government. We are in the middle of the greatest crisis we’ve encountered in decades and Trump is out here firing folks for revenge and playing politics as if nothing is going on.

Universal Income – Covid-19 has hit Spain specially hard and as the country arrives to it’s 4th week of lockdown, the Economic Minister has said they will be planning to establish a system of universal basic income to maintain people afloat. This would be the first time this type of policy has been established in Europe for an extended frame of time, and possibly become a permanent measure. Why aren’t we doing this? The USA gave out $1,200 to some of its citizens and expects people to be able to pay the bare necessities? Who are they kidding, that doesn’t even pay rent. Canada is giving out $8,000. Spain is establishing basic income. We need to start having this conversation. Why are corporations being bailed out while the people are left to fend for themselves?

Victory Gardens!

The arrival of Covid-19 has brought up the discussion of food security and establishing safe measures of food supply, especially for communities that are food deserts. I think we should take a look at our past history as a nation and re-visit Victory Gardens.

As the US entered WW I and then WW, the need to grow food in our communities became a line of defense. “These gardens were located at private homes, in public parks, vacant lots, baseball diamonds, even window boxes! Lawns were converted into vegetable gardens. Flower beds were replaced with lettuce gardens. Schools had gardens to help feed students.  Various companies planted food on their grounds to help their employees.” These gardens became our now valued community gardens. As we see how the pandemic has affected our supply chains, made people panic buy and hoard food and supplies, we should try to move towards self-sufficient means of growing food for ourselves and our communities.

I believe growing food is an act of resistance and mutual aid that is beautiful, beneficial for all, needed and also act as a way of relaxation and self care. Growing a garden right now is a literal seed of hope.

Here is a guide to starting seeds indoors!

Reach out to your local community garden organizations or use the quarantine time to learn how to establish your own! Food is hope and power and resistance.

You can find more info on Victory Gardens here. This article even has what vegetables you can plant according to season and recipes you can make with them!

If you can’t grow your own, support those that do by joining a Community Supported Agriculture program or donating to local community farming efforts.

And here are some Things That Made Me Smile this past week:

This badass radical playlist

It’s Wednesday My Dudes

Issue #144, 2020 Week 13

 

Hey everyone,

Looking for news but not sure where to turn.? Let us help. Read on to make sure that you’re staying informed!
As always, please reach out (activism@patrothfuss.comwith any tips, suggestions, questions, or concerns!

Thanks,
The Activism Team

 

We’ve officially reached the point where the news is All COVID-19, All the Time, and I don’t mind admitting that I’m already heartily sick of it. That said, there’s still a lot of news that definitely needs to be closely tracked, so here we are. I’ll keep folks posted, and I hope everybody is staying safe. I’ve got a stockpile of memes if anybody needs them.    
 

Events to Know

Attorney General Overreach (Again). Improbably, this week’s installment of Attorney General Overreach is actually not about William Barr! Executive branches in Texas, Ohio, and Mississippi all ordered abortion services to cease, claiming the procedure is a “nonessential medical surgery.” Needless to say, women’s health providers didn’t agree, and Planned Parenthood and the ACLU brought a lawsuit on the subject. That lawsuit resulted in an order to keep the clinics open while the merits of the case are decided–an early signal that the District Court judge presiding over the case thinks that Planned Parenthood and the ACLU have a point. Hopefully, this will mean no one’s access is actually removed while the case is decided.

Key links:

  1. USA Today – Are Abortions Considered Essential Surgery During Coronavirus Crisis? Texas, Ohio, Mississippi Say No
     
  2. The Hill – Planned Parenthood, ACLU Sue Four States Over Abortion Restrictions During Pandemic

Trump’s Wild COVID-19 Adventures. In the face of the current crisis, trying to predict what 45’s policy planning has become even more of an arcane art than usual. Early in the week, he was still asserting that we should end stay-at-home protocols by Easter, for no better reason than–and I quote–he “just thought it [would be] a beautiful time.” He also stated that he will only aid states if they “treat us well” and “are appreciative” of basic federal response, withholding disaster funding from the three states hit hardest. Then he did a 180 from that cavalier position and started threatening to quarantine New York, but then walked that back the same day. Eventually his leading expert got him to wander into the middle and order another month of social distancing, which will last at least through April 30. Then he gave the CEO of MyPillow air time at a COVID-19 news conference, where the man proceeded to tell the country to read the Bible more

Key links

  1. Business Insider – ‘It’s A Two-way Street’: Trump Suggests Federal Coronavirus Aid Will Be Given To Governors Who ‘Treat Us Well’
     
  2. Washington Post – As U.S. Coronavirus Death Toll Surpasses 2,000, CDC Issues Travel Advisory For Hard-Hit New York Tri-State Region
     
  3. Politico – Trump Backs Off Quarantine Of New York, Surrounding Area
     
  4. CNN – Trump Extends Federal Social Distancing Guidelines To April 30
     
  5. Salon – My Pillow Ceo Claims God “Gave” President Trump To America During White House Coronavirus Briefing

State of the COVID-19. More states issued stay-at-home orders this week, bringing the total up to 32 states and one district.  At the time that I type this, the U.S. leads the world in coronavirus cases, with nearly half of those cases located in New York, and over 3,000 people in this country have lost their lives to the pandemic. The FDA has given emergency approval to use antimalarial meds to treat COVID-19 as health centers struggle to get enough personal protective equipment and ventilators in place.  Trump has ordered General Motors to start producing the latter–more on that below–and Pornhub has donated 50,000 masks to NYC first responders.  The U.S.N.S. Comfort docked in New York Harbor, providing more hospital beds and more personnel to the beleaguered city.  Meanwhile, more and more attention is being drawn to the seriously unsafe conditions created for incarcerated populations, who frequently cannot observe any best practices for slowing infection spread.  We’re also showing more concern about anticipated increase of domestic violence during stay-at-home orders, which is a very real risk right now. 

Key links

  1. CNN – These States Have Implemented Stay-At-Home Orders. Here’s What That Means For You
     
  2. New York Times – 13 Deaths In A Day: An ‘apocalyptic’ Coronavirus Surge At An N.Y.C. Hospital
     
  3. Washington Post – U.S. Coronavirus Cases: Tracking Deaths, Confirmed Cases By State 
     
  4. CNBC – Trump Orders General Motors To Make Ventilators Under Defense Production Act
     
  5. WBUR – Powerful Sheriffs Rarely Held To Account As Families Fight For The Truth
     
  6. Time – As Cities Around The World Go On Lockdown, Victims Of Domestic Violence Look For A Way Out
     
  7. Washington Post – What’s in the $2.2 trillion coronavirus Senate stimulus package
     
  8. Associated Press – AP Exclusive: Coronavirus vaccine test opens with 1st doses

Recent Resilience

Recent Court Resilience. We had some good court cases this week. In addition to the injunctive relief for Planned Parenthood mentioned above, another District Court judge struck down permits for the Dakota Access Pipeline, concluding that their issuance violated the National Environmental Policy Act. And the First Circuit held that the administration cannot withhold crime prevention funding because it dislikes a jurisdiction’s immigration enforcement practices. 

Key links:

  1. Earthjustice – Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Prevails As Federal Judge Strikes Down DAPL Permits
     
  2. Washington Post – “Sanctuary” Laws Are Latest Immigration Battle To Draw Supreme Court’s Attention

Workers Strike. This week also saw a lot of worker solidarity in the face of extreme circumstances. Both Instacart and Amazon employees have initiated a strike to get hazard pay and safer work conditions. Meanwhile, as General Motors suspends production and cuts paychecks, its workers are trying to persuade the company to comply with Trump’s order and make ventilators to address national shortages. 

Key links:

  1. NPR – Amazon, Instacart Grocery Delivery Workers Demand Coronavirus Protection And Pay
  2. Vice – General Electric Workers Launch Protest, Demand To Make Ventilators

Things to Watch

Goodbye, 2020 Olympics. Japan officially announced this week that it is postponing the 2020 Olympics, given the uncertainty created by the current pandemic.  The event is rescheduled to begin July 23, 2021.  Though this is an understandable move, it’s also unprecedented, and nobody’s quite sure what it will mean for the next year. 
 

Key links:

  1. ESPN – Tokyo 2020 Olympics Officially Postponed Until 2021
     

CARES Act Finalized. Before everything shut down in the D.C. area, Congress managed to pass the CARES Act, and Trump signed it into law on Friday evening.  (The bill was stalled for quite some time, but it impacts a lot of Americans, and it’s the third in a three-part legislative series.)  Steptoe put out a pretty good summary of the whole bill, but the parts that impact most people are likely the individual payments to taxpayers, the expanded unemployment payments (including to independent contractors), the paid family leave, and the small business loans. Since a lot of the sections involve state implementation, we’re still waiting to see what some of it will mean for people on the ground–and Trump is already signaling he won’t follow some of the oversight portions, so there’s still plenty to watch here.
 

Key links:

  1. Politico – House passes $2 trillion coronavirus package — but not without last-minute drama
     
  2. CNN – Trump signs historic $2 trillion stimulus after Congress passes it Friday
     
  3. Steptoe – President Trump Signs CARES Act into Law
     
  4. Washington Post – What’s in the $2.2 trillion coronavirus Senate stimulus package
     
  5. New York Times – Trump Suggests He Can Gag Inspector General for Stimulus Bailout Program

More Market Volatility. Once again, we had a scary week of market volatility, though hopefully the CARES Act will quell some of the storm.  The biggest new piece is that over three million Americans have filed for unemployment in the past week, which is a wildly unprecedented number for claims filed–the previous record was 700,000 claims in one week in 1982.  The Dow, for its part, had a jump after the Senate passed the CARES Act but dropped again by the end of the week, continuing its overall slump.
 

Key links:

  1. NBC – More Than 3 Million Americans Filed For Unemployment Claims Last Week
     
  2. Washington Post – U.S. Stock Markets Drop Sharply, Snapping Three-day Winning Streak
 

Actions for Everyone

How quickly some of our lives have changed (I’d assume ALL of our lives have changed, but also, I don’t know you so I don’t want to assume). Many states have instituted safer-at-home orders, and for those states who haven’t officially ordered it, hopefully everyone is keeping their distance and is safe and healthy. 

 

Open Sourced Assistance: From States’ basic unemployment insurance, to foundations, philanthropists, and credit unions offer loans and grants. Restaurants are helping feed people, people are volunteering at food pantries and all the while, trying to be as safe and healthy as possible.

 

We sent this list out last week, but I’m sending it again. Here’s a COVID-19 Assistance Resource List – Open Sourced on Google Doc meant for YOU to add to. You should have access to editing it because you have the link, but please feel free to request access if there are issues.  Please take a pass over and add anything you can think of. 

 

Keep Making Phone Calls: The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) passing is a big deal and will certainly help a lot of people (myself included) during this difficult time. And yet, it’s also a bit of a corporate bail out. Let’s keep our eyes peeled on its progress and hope we see the benefits of it soon.  

 

While CARES already has momentum, don’t forget that there are still issues on the table we need to address. Some wins, like this victory for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, and some we’re still fighting, like Texas trying to sneak some anti-abortion laws through during this crisis. 

 

If calling your reps is off the table for right now because getting out of bed each day feels like enough work (and that would be really okay right now – we all have a lot we’re dealing with) feel free to pick up the phone and make calls for the candidate of your choice. Primary elections are still happening across the country. Plus, wouldn’t it be nice to hear someone else’s voice other than news anchors and your quaranteam? 

 

Support Workers Rights: I’m over here brushing up on Hannah Arendt’s On Revolution cause phew, can’t you feel it coming in the air? Here’s one revolution that we should all get behind – worker’s rights! Amazon workers are striking over safety precautions taken in response to the COVID19 outbreak as well as wage disparity. Something is wrong with the picture when the world’s richest person is asking the public to donate to his employee’s relief fund

 

We can support the cause by supporting this fight, reading up and educating other people around us about the topic, boycotting Amazon and its subsidiaries as much as possible. All essential workers should be getting supported right now, not just emotionally with heart emojis on social media, but also financially especially when a CEO Jeff Bezos and stockholders and gaining so much from this worldwide crisis. 

 
We hope this newsletter left you feeling more informed and more energized to go out there and make a difference in whatever way you can.

We’d love to hear from you, not only for tips or suggestions (though they’re always welcome), but also to hear about how the activism has been going. Do you have any success stories? Did anything surprise you that you weren’t expecting? Let us know at activism@patrothfuss.com and hopefully we can use your stories to help encourage and educate others!

Best,
The Activism Team

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Issue #143, 2020 Week 12

Hey everyone,

We are here to keep you company in these rapidly changing times. Read on to make sure that you’re staying informed!
As always, please reach out (activism@patrothfuss.comwith any tips, suggestions, questions, or concerns!

Thanks,
The Activism Team

 Okay, folks. At the time that I type this, most of us have been cooped up in our homes for over a week, and many of us live in places with stay-at-home or shelter-in-place orders by this point in time–needless to say, not ideal circumstances for anybody. Most of the news is COVID-flavored, and that doesn’t go down easy, but we’ll get through this. I’m here if anyone needs anything.

Events to Know

Attorney General Overreach (Again). Attorney General and apparent aspiring fascist William Barr has asked Congress for permission to hold people indefinitely without trial during the COVID-19 crisis at all stages of procedure, including pre-arrest.  Folks, speaking as an attorney who has a background in both criminal law and health law, I cannot stress enough how inappropriate this request is.  We do sometimes curtail civil rights in times of war, generally due to either limited capacity for process or higher risk of quick-moving problems that damaging domestic war efforts, like espionage.  That said, the COVID-19 crisis is not an actual war, and we cannot jail the virus to keep it from spying on us.  In fact, high concentrations of people in detention is such a significant risk factor for this type of pandemic that many organizations are actively calling for controlled decarceration.  And more to the point, Barr’s request wasn’t limited to the COVID-19 crisis; he asked for this authority “whenever the district court is fully or partially closed by virtue of any natural disaster, civil disobedience, or other emergency situation.”  In other words, “let’s just suspend habeas corpus when we have a global pandemic or, y’know, when somebody I don’t like protests something.”  This is straight up fascist nightmare fuel, and I can’t imagine the Democrat-controlled House will agree to it.

Key links:

  1. Politico – DOJ seeks new emergency powers amid coronavirus pandemic
  2. Rolling Stone – DOJ Wants to Suspend Certain Constitutional Rights During Coronavirus Emergency
  3. Washington Post – ‘Disaster waiting to happen’: Thousands of inmates released as jails and prisons face coronavirus threat

Election Infection Watch. A few states did try to have primaries as scheduled on Tuesday, and by all accounts it was something of a hot mess–prompting officials to begin discussing other options for subsequent voting days.  Biden did sweep Florida, Illinois, and Arizona despite the pandemic, creating a lead so wide that centrist outlets are speculating that Sanders may drop out. And in all the chaos, Tulsi Gabbard did drop out and endorsed Joe Biden on Thursday.

Key links:

  1. NPR – Election Watchers Report Confusion, Staff Shortages At Voting Sites
  2. CNN – Joe Biden Sweeps The Night And Wins Florida, Illinois And Arizona To Extend His Delegate Lead Over Bernie Sanders
  3. Slate – Tulsi Gabbard Makes the Ultimate Pivot to Chaos by Dropping Out and Endorsing Biden

Governing in the Time of Coronavirus. This week, ho boy.  By the time that I type this, most experts are acknowledging that the pandemic is accelerating and we’re running out of time to flatten the curve, which has officials taking all kinds of steps.  Both state and federal systems have focused on closing down borders or urging people to stay in place; at this point many other states have followed California’s shelter in place example and issued some form of stay at home order.  The State Department has issued a Level 4 travel advisory for Americans considering going abroad, and both the northern and southern U.S. border are now closed, with imports dropping as well.  In part due to that last bit, many places are still struggling to obtain materials and get testing in place.  Some hard-hit locations are triaging testing, several politicians are urging mobilization of the Army Corps of Engineers, and Congress managed to pass another emergency response bill that provides more paid leave and expands unemployment insurance.  (Trump signed the bill into law on Wednesday evening.) In contrast, progress on the third bill of the set was stalled for two days, and has passed in the Senate but is now paused in the House as I type this.  The process is not improved by Senator Rand Paul testing positive for COVID-19, which forced several other Senators to quarantine after contact with him.

Key links:

  1. CNBC – Coronavirus Pandemic Is Accelerating As Cases Eclipse 350,000, Who Says
  2. NPR – President Trump Signs Coronavirus Emergency Aid Package
  3. Time – Sen. Rand Paul Remained At Work On U.S. Capitol For Six Days After Coronavirus Test
  4. Associated Press – Coronavirus Vaccine Test Opens With 1st Doses
  5. CNN – These States Have Implemented Stay-at-home Orders. Here’s What That Means For You
  6. Washington Post – What’s in the $2.2 trillion coronavirus Senate stimulus package
  7. Associated Press – AP Exclusive: Coronavirus vaccine test opens with 1st doses

Recent Resilience

Recent Resilience Grab Bag. We do have a couple of good news stories this week!  On the court resilience front, the Second Circuit affirmed that Trump cannot block people on Twitter who annoy him.  And on the organizing essential workers front, Amazon workers in Chicago are reporting that paid time off has become a reality for workers around the globe after several sites organized in Chicago and California. This is great news, especially given how much people are relying on Amazon while staying at home.

Key links:

  1. Washington Post – President Trump Cannot Block His Critics on Twitter, Federal Appeals Court Rules
  2. BuzzFeed.News – Amazon Warehouse Workers Who Demanded Paid Time Off Just Got It

Things to Watch

Trump’s Erratic CV-19 Response. Trump’s responses to this crisis are increasingly difficult to predict, and his resident expert has to correct him practically daily. First there was his bizarre relationship with the Defense Production Act, a law to force production of materials: he said he was invoking it to increase production of masks and ventilators but then dithered, insulted state governors, and simply outsourced to FEMA while Jared Kushner formed a shadow team. There’s also his press releases, where he responded to “What do you say to Americans who are feeling scared?” with “you are a terrible reporter” and promoted unproven treatments for COVID-19 that are in high demand for other ailments. But the big piece to watch as I type this is his new assertion that we should end stay at home protocols by Easter, for no better reason than–and I quote–he “just thought it [would be] a beautiful time.”
Key links:

  1. New York Times –  Trump Has Given Unusual Leeway to Fauci, but Aides Say He’s Losing His Patience
  2. Washington Post – Kushner Coronavirus Team Sparks Confusion Inside White House Response Efforts
  3. NBC – Trump, Promoting Unproven Drug Treatments, Insults Nbc Reporter At Coronavirus Briefing
  4. Politico – ‘I’d Love To Have It Open By Easter’: Trump Says He Wants To Restart Economy By Mid-April

More Market Volatility. Though Trump is hoping that Congress will finish passing its third response bill soon, market volatility remains a really serious problem as the pandemic progresses.  Experts say the market is now on pace for the worst month since the Great Depression, and projected unemployment rates reflect that as well.  The federal government is attempting all sorts of things to stem the flow–federal taxes are now due in July; they’re permitting unlimited bond purchases; borrowers are allowed to suspend student loan payments for two months; and foreclosures are paused for federal mortgages.  But the administration is beginning to mutter about reopening everything despite the health risk, and we’ll need to watch that carefully.  Meanwhile, mutual aid efforts are popping up all over, and many nonprofits are seeking donations as well.
Key links:

  1. New York Times – Coronavirus Recession Looms, Its Course ‘Unrecognizable’
  2. Bloomberg – U.S. Jobless Rate May Soar To 30%, Fed’s Bullard Says
  3. Washington Post – Trump Weighs Restarting Economy Despite Warnings From U.S. Public Health Officials
  4. It’s Going Down – Covid-19 Mutual Aid

Actions for Everyone

We’ve created a document that is trying to gather as much information on different alternatives and assistance in each state. It’s a work in progress and it will keep on growing but for now you can access it here: Coronavirus Assistance. 

What are the things we need to do this week? Well we already know that we must stay inside, wash our hands, practice social distancing, try to donate to our local businesses that are struggling right now because they can’t function. What else? Take care of our minds and our friends and check in with our neighbors because everyone is having a really hard time right now.

Ways to help:

Call your representatives and demand that we keep lock downs and social distancing policies in place. The President has been saying he wants the country to “reopen” by Easter Sunday and that’s just not going to happen; we can’t let it happen. Call your reps and ask them what they are doing to keep the people safe.

Another thing you can ask your representative is what they are doing to make sure that hospitals in their respective states have the supplies they need to keep on functioning properly and safely. Ventilators, masks, gowns. Ask them to demand that President Trump use the Defense Production Act. Here is a script  by Celeste Pewter (@Celeste_pewter) you can use to talk about the topic.

The Stimulus Package Bill will go back to the House next Friday so this is also a topic you can bring up when you call your congresspeople.

Call your local government and ask them to establish moratoriums on rent and utilities. Ask them to create funds for local small businesses.

Make masks for healthcare workers! People all over the world are taking their sewing machines out and producing much needed masks to protect workers from the coronavirus. You can find more info here. And you can also check out this video.  You can also follow @MakeMasks on Twitter.

Take care of yourself –  Now more than ever we need to canalize our fear and anxieties, practice radical self care and try to breathe. This article has some good pointers.

Help Librarians and Archivists while you’re social distancing

Take a Yale class on how to be happy (for free!)

Volunteer for this cool squirrel study (yes, it’s about squirrels!)

Here are some Things That Made Me Smile this week:

This article about not guilting yourself into being super productive during Coronavirus quarantine

This very small bird

We hope this newsletter left you feeling more informed and more energized to go out there and make a difference in whatever way you can.

We’d love to hear from you, not only for tips or suggestions (though they’re always welcome), but also to hear about how the activism has been going. Do you have any success stories? Did anything surprise you that you weren’t expecting? Let us know at activism@patrothfuss.com and hopefully we can use your stories to help encourage and educate others!

Best,
The Activism Team

Want to sign up for the list? You can do that right here.

Our mailing address is:

The Activism Team

PO Box 186

Stevens Point, WI 54481

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Issue #142, 2020 Week 11

Hey everyone,

Life is changing quickly and you may not know where to turn. Let us help. Read on to make sure that you’re staying informed!
As always, please reach out (activism@patrothfuss.comwith any tips, suggestions, questions, or concerns!

Thanks,
The Activism Team

After weeks of deflection from leadership, we’re officially experiencing a national emergency and (global) pandemic as I write this–and the resulting week was so rough and fast-paced that somebody wrote a We Didn’t Start the Fire verse by the end of last week.  There’s a lot to track, but we’ll get through it, and as always we have suggestions for action below.

Events to Know

Tax on Guarding Trump. Trump’s bills to Secret Service officials who stayed in his properties made a resurgence in the news this week. Apparently, the bills were even $157,000 higher than previously reported, totaling more than $628,000 since he took office–much higher rates than other entities were paying for the same rooms, and definitely not the gratis amount the Secret Service is traditionally charged. In other words, Trump dramatically overcharged his own bodyguards for room rentals–people who were only staying at his property in the first place so that they could potentially take a bullet for him–which brings new meaning to the phrase “job dissatisfaction.”

Key links:

  1. Public Citizen – How We Used FOIA To Hold Trump’s Secret Service Accountable
  2. Washington Post – Newly Obtained Documents Show $157,000 In Additional Payments By The Secret Service To Trump Properties

Attorney General Overreach (Again). Technically William Barr is allowed to do this one, but I’m mad about it anyway: He pulled Jeff Sessions and decided to override immigration court precedent to make judges narrow their definition of ‘torture‘ in immigration cases. As the Washington Post article notes, this particular power is supposed to be a sometimes food, and the Trump administration keeps using it over and over to bias precedent against immigrants–especially against immigrants seeking asylum or other forms of humanitarian aid. It’s a concerning pattern, especially against the backdrop of everything else the Department of Justice has been doing.

Key links:

  1. Washington Post – On Immigration, Attorney General Barr Is His Own Supreme Court. Judges And Lawyers Say That’s A Problem.

Going the Social Distance. When Trump started acknowledging coronavirus was a real problem by Wednesday of last week, it was almost worse than his denial–his first decisive action on COVID-19 was to declare another travel ban, causing considerable panic.  (In true 45 fashion, it turned out he also incorrectly summarized his own order, leaving his acting Secretary of Homeland Security to correct the record.)  By Friday, he declared a national emergency, a necessary step to free up funds in many states and expedite testing (which did indeed appear to improve after that).  By the time that I type this, most experts as well as the administration are encouraging social distancing and discouraging public gatherings, and California has issued a shelter in place for several counties.  Earlier today, Illinois followed suit, and New York and Florida have issued more restrictions on public gatherings as well. A Seattle study has also begun testing on a vaccine, though it’s unlikely to become available for another year.  No matter where you live, it’s a good idea to read up on preventing spread of infection and responding to an existing case of COVID-19.

Key links:

  1. NPR – Coronavirus FAQ: The U.S. Ban On Travel From Europe, Explained
  2. Politico – Trump Declares National Emergency In Latest Bid To Combat Coronavirus
  3. Los Angeles Times – As coronavirus spreads, 7 Bay Area counties ordered to shelter in place
  4. STAT News – Why ‘flattening the curve’ may be the world’s best bet to slow the coronavirus
  5. Associated Press – AP Exclusive: Coronavirus vaccine test opens with 1st doses

Recent Resilience

Recent Resilience Grab Bag. It’s a bit of a bleak week all told, but I do have a few minor tales from the resistance for you.   A federal judge took an opportunity to publicly criticize William Barr publicly this week, calling his public statements about the Mueller report “distorted” and “misleading.”  Social media began pushing back against Trump’s posts, as Twitter flagged a video as ‘manipulated media’ and Facebook removed Trump re-election ads because they created confusion around the official U.S. census.  And finally, House Democrats asked the D.C. circuit to reconsider its recent decision about enforcing subpoenas, noting that the current situation may force them to arrest high-level officials.

Key links:

  1. New York Times – Judge Calls Barr’s Handling of Mueller Report ‘Distorted’ and ‘Misleading
  2. Politico – Facebook removes Trump campaign ads over census confusion
  3. Washington Post – House Democrats request appeal asking court to enforce subpoena for former Trump White House counsel Donald McGahn

Things to Watch

Election Watch. On Sunday we had our first two-person debate, since Tulsi Gabbard did not meet standards to qualify, which mostly featured coronavirus discussion but did include Biden’s intent to pick a female Vice President.  It was also the first to lack a live audience, with only moderators and candidates in attendance, due to the state of emergency discussed above.  We’re starting to see other changes in the election process as well–both Ohio and Georgia have already postponed their presidential primaries, which were scheduled for mid- and late March.  Nonetheless, in all the chaos, Tulsi Gabbard dropped out and endorsed Joe Biden on Thursday.
Key links:

  1. Reuters – Results Or Revolution? Biden, Sanders Present Dueling Visions While Blasting Trump’s Coronavirus Response
  2. NBC News – Ohio primary called off at last minute because of health emergency
  3. ABC- Georgia 2nd State To Postpone Pres. Primaries Over Virus
  4. Slate – Tulsi Gabbard Makes the Ultimate Pivot to Chaos by Dropping Out and Endorsing Biden

Market Volatility (Again). Just like last week, the stock market continued to fluctuate throughout the week, temporarily appearing to recover only to plunge again on Wednesday when coronavirus was declared a pandemic.  From there, stocks continued to fall, and the economic impact of social distancing will likely cause ripple effects throughout our country as well.  The Federal Reserve has slashed interest rates to zero in an attempt to combat some of the worst of it, and Trump is hoping that Congress will pass a third coronavirus response bill in the near future.  Meanwhile, we also learned that when the Senate Intelligence committee was briefed on the coming crisis a few weeks ago, several members sold their stocks (including the current Chairman).  Needless to say, there’s a lot to watch here.
Key links:

  1. Bloomberg – U.S. Stocks Tumble, Bonds Surge on Virus Fears: Markets Wrap
  2. Washington Post – Federal Reserve Slashes Interest Rates To Zero As Part Of Wide-ranging Emergency Intervention
  3. Washington Post – Senate struggles to finalize trillion-dollar stimulus bill as economic calamity grows
  4. NPR – Weeks Before Virus Panic, Intelligence Chairman Privately Raised Alarm, Sold Stocks

Coronavirus Continues. With everything going on right now to try to contain COVID-19, and the inconsistent federal response involved, we’re all stuck guessing what next steps are going to be.  The State Department has issued a Level 4 travel advisory for Americans considering going abroad, and since we’re also seeing more states order residents to shelter in place, many of us may be hunkering down for the foreseeable future.  Meanwhile, many places are still struggling to obtain materials and get testing in place even with more federal help on the way.  We’ll do our best to keep folks apprised and provide suggestions and supports.

Key links:

  1. Politico – State Department warns Americans: Don’t travel abroad, come home if overseas
  2. Washington Post – Live updates: Illinois, California, Florida and New York increase restrictions because of coronavirus
  3. CNBC – President Trump signs coronavirus relief plan to expand paid leave

Actions for Everyone

We do not have an Actions for Everyone this week. The team is working tirelessly compiling resources from every state.  We want the clearest and most up-to-date information for you so we are taking a little extra time.  Thank you for your patience and we hope you are all taking care of each other and being safe.

We hope this newsletter left you feeling more informed and more energized to go out there and make a difference in whatever way you can.

We’d love to hear from you, not only for tips or suggestions (though they’re always welcome), but also to hear about how the activism has been going. Do you have any success stories? Did anything surprise you that you weren’t expecting? Let us know at activism@patrothfuss.com and hopefully we can use your stories to help encourage and educate others!

Best,
The Activism Team

Want to sign up for the list? You can do that right here.

Our mailing address is:

The Activism Team

PO Box 186

Stevens Point, WI 54481

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Issue #141, 2020 Week 10

Hey everyone,

Are you unsure, scared, wanting to help? Read on to make sure that you’re staying informed!
As always, please reach out (activism@patrothfuss.comwith any tips, suggestions, questions, or concerns!

Thanks,
The Activism Team

This week was a rough one, and it’s still going strong as I type this.  As always, we’ll have suggestions for how to respond to stories below, and we remain available if folks have questions or just want to vent.

Events to Know

Coronavirus Crisis. By the time that I write this on Wednesday afternoon, we have definitely moved from “COVID-19 is something to watch” to “COVID-19 requires response”–we now have documented cases in the vast majority of states (though the highest concentrations remain in New York, Washington State, and California).  Several governors have declared states of emergency, several colleges have closed their campuses, and the World Health Organization has officially classified COVID-19 as a pandemic.  The administration signed a bill authorizing $8.3B in emergency spending, but it also apparently ordered federal health agency officials to classify all meetings discussing coronavirus.  No matter where you live, it’s a good idea to read up on preventing spread of infection and responding to an existing case of COVID-19.

Key links:

  1. New York Times – U.S. Coronavirus Cases Surpass 1,000: Full Map
  2. STAT News – WHO declares the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic
  3. Politico – Trump signs $8.3B emergency coronavirus package
  4. Reuters – Exclusive: White House told federal health agency to classify coronavirus deliberations – sources
  5. Center for Disease Control and Prevention – Coronavirus Disease 2019 Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

White House Revolving Door. Several officials have left the White House in the last few days, including the deputy communications director, Adam Kennedy, and the chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney–though the latter is leaving to become U.S. special envoy for Northern Ireland.  Additionally, more than a third of all Senate-confirmed civilian positions at the Department of Defense are vacant, which is a new high (or a new low, depending on your perspective).

Key links:

  1. Bloomberg – Top Trump Communications Strategist Set to Leave White House
  2. New York Times – Trump Names Mark Meadows Chief of Staff, Ousting Mick Mulvaney
  3. Politico – Civilian vacancies at Trump’s Pentagon hit new high

Harvey Weinstein Sentenced. The Harvey Weinstein trial came to a close today, with a judge sentencing him to 23 years in prison for multiple counts of forcible rape.  The sentence was issued despite his apparent attempt to leverage connections to mitigate his exposure, which is a striking statement about the momentum the #MeToo movement has gained since its inception.

Key links:

  1. Washington Post – Harvey Weinstein sentenced to 23 years in prison for sexually assaulting two women in New York
  2. New York Times – Weinstein Appealed to Bezos and Bloomberg for Help, Documents Show

Recent Resilience

Recent Resilience Grab Bag. It’s a bit of a bleak week all told, but I do have a few minor tales from the resistance for you.   A federal judge took an opportunity to publicly criticize William Barr publicly this week, calling his public statements about the Mueller report “distorted” and “misleading.”  Social media began pushing back against Trump’s posts, as Twitter flagged a video as ‘manipulated media’ and Facebook removed Trump re-election ads because they created confusion around the official U.S. census.  And finally, House Democrats asked the D.C. circuit to reconsider its recent decision about enforcing subpoenas, noting that the current situation may force them to arrest high-level officials.

Key links:

  1. New York Times – Judge Calls Barr’s Handling of Mueller Report ‘Distorted’ and ‘Misleading
  2. Politico – Facebook removes Trump campaign ads over census confusion
  3. Washington Post – House Democrats request appeal asking court to enforce subpoena for former Trump White House counsel Donald McGahn

Things to Watch

Election Watch. By Thursday of last week, Elizabeth Warren had also dropped out of the 2020 election, sparking conversations about the role of gender in politics and leaving only Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, and Tulsi Gabbard remaining in the Democratic primary.  Then several more prominent Democrats endorsed Joe Biden, including Kamala Harris (but notably, not Elizabeth Warren, who declined to endorse any candidate) as we geared up for Tuesday’s primaries.  With those endorsements, it’s not surprising that Biden took four out of six states to vote.  Bernie Sanders did win North Dakota, and Washington remains too close to call.
Key links:

  1. NBC News – Elizabeth Warren, who ran progressive grassroots campaign, ends 2020 run
  2. Politico – Yang endorses Biden for president
  3. New York Times – Live Primary Election Results: Michigan, Washington and More

Market Volatility. In apparent response to the coronavirus crisis, the stock market continued to fluctuate throughout the week.  The drops frightened a lot of people–apparently including the President, who began agreeing to grant unpaid leave.  By earlier this week, stocks had begun to recover, but then plunged again on Wednesday when coronavirus was declared a pandemic.  We’ll all need to keep an eye on this as things continue to develop.
Key links:

  1. NPR – Dow Dives More Than 2,000 Points; Steep Market Slide Triggered Trading Halt
  2. CNBC – Markets are tanking, coronavirus is spreading – and Trump is attacking Biden and the media
  3. New York Times – Stocks Climb as Investors Look to Washington
  4. Washington Post – Dow enters bear market after coronavirus declared pandemic                                                                                                                                                  

Actions for Everyone

The Coronavirus was recognized as a pandemic by the WHO (World Health Organization) some hours ago. It is tough times and, like me, everyone is feeling anxious and scared about the situation. Try not to panic, wash your hands and rely on self-care to stay sane during this trying moment. Try to stay away from the news (something I have to tell myself constantly) and engage in other types of activities like games, entertainment and crafts to keep that pesky smartphone habit away.

Calling our Reps about Coronavirus legislation – Currently, President Trump is still on the fence to declare a nation wide state of emergency designation, which would free up funds from FEMA for states that are being affected by the pandemic and help with resources. Rumor has it that he doesn’t want to declare because it goes against his discourse that minimizes the severity of this outbreak, which is completely counterproductive. Call your reps and ask them to pressure POTUS to declare a nationwide state of emergency!

While you’re at it, call your reps to protest the blocking of a bill that would designate 14 days of paid sick leave to all employees in the country, specifically blocked by Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander from Tennessee. This is just a disgusting act against our nation’s health and wellbeing. How do they plan to stop the outbreak if worker’s can’t stay away from their jobs for fear of losing paychecks or getting fired? Call your reps, make yourself heard.

Also, check out this article that lists ways to manage Coronavirus anxiety. I know I needed to read it.

Women’s Month – Last week, millions of women worldwide took to the streets on March 8th to commemorate International Women’s Day. Here is an article that summarizes many of the protests around the world. Reproduction rights, stopping gender violence and equal pay were some of the demands heard around the world against the patriarchy.

When it comes to equal pay, this article, that touches on the unpaid labor done by women, is eye opening to say the least. According to analysis by Oxfam, women around the world amount to 10.9 Trillion dollars in unpaid labor, which is any type of “time spent doing routine housework, shopping for necessary household goods, child care, tending to the elderly and other household or non-household members, and other unpaid activities related to household maintenance.”

Just imagine if women were paid by for all the extra-work we do. It would create a completely different economy, bring millions of women out of poverty and establish a just society based on equity. Onward!

We hope this newsletter left you feeling more informed and more energized to go out there and make a difference in whatever way you can.

We’d love to hear from you, not only for tips or suggestions (though they’re always welcome), but also to hear about how the activism has been going. Do you have any success stories? Did anything surprise you that you weren’t expecting? Let us know at activism@patrothfuss.com and hopefully we can use your stories to help encourage and educate others!

Best,
The Activism Team

Want to sign up for the list? You can do that right here.

Our mailing address is:

The Activism Team

PO Box 186

Stevens Point, WI 54481

Add us to your address book

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You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list

Issue #140, 2020 Week 9

Hey everyone,

Not sure which way to turn? Let us help. Read on to make sure that you’re staying informed!
As always, please reach out (activism@patrothfuss.comwith any tips, suggestions, questions, or concerns!

Thanks,
The Activism Team

This week seems to have been mostly about coronavirus and primary election process, prompting Saturday Night Live to create one mashup cold open with them both. (The real-life results of the week are significantly less hilarious, but nonetheless here we are.)

Events to Know

Taliban Treaty? We reached something of a peace deal with the Taliban over the weekend, with the U.S. agreeing to withdraw over the next 14 months and the Taliban agreeing to negotiate with the Afghan government after a prisoner exchange. Unfortunately, within a couple of days the Taliban had already violated the agreement, ignoring a week-long cease-fire and killing three people. Needless to say, it’s not clear where this leaves us, though hopefully we won’t end up worse than we started.

Key links:

  1. NPR – U.S. Signs Peace Deal With Taliban After Nearly 2 Decades Of War In Afghanistan
  2. Guardian – Afghanistan: Bomb Attack Kills Three As Taliban Ends Partial Truce

SCOTUS POTUS. This has been a weird and vaguely disappointing week for Supreme Court news. At the top of the week we had Trump insisting that Sotomayor and Ginsburg recuse themselves from cases involving him, apparently because Sotomayor wrote a dissent pointing out that Trump keeps trying to ignore judicial process and this shouldn’t be encouraged. Trump’s blatant bid for bias came as the Supreme Court announced it will consider yet another Affordable Care Act challenge in the upcoming term, which will be the third one this court has heard. If the case follows ordinary process, they’re likely hearing oral arguments in the fall and reaching a decision in the spring. Many Democrats are happy about this development, both because a ruling will create more certainty about the fate of the program and because it will keep healthcare in the public spotlight as we near the 2020 election in November. I personally find it hard to rejoice about the Obamacare Challenge That Never Ends, but to each their own I guess.

Key links:

  1. CNBC – Trump Calls On Supreme Court’s Sotomayor And Ginsburg To Recuse From ‘Anything Having To Do With Trump’
  2. New York Times – Supreme Court Will Take Up Challenge To Obamacare’s Individual Mandate

Immigration Updates. The Second Circuit held this week that the Justice Department can withhold funds from cities and states that they deem to be ‘sanctuary’ jurisdictions–ironically, around the same time that the administration indefinitely postponed a sea wall in New York due to apparent animosity against the state.  The Justice Department also announced that they are creating more infrastructure to denaturalize citizens, which I will definitely track as more news develops.

Key links:

  1. Associated Press – Court Sides With Trump In ‘Sanctuary Cities’ Grant Fight
  2. Washington Post – Administration Freezes A Study That Considered A NYC Sea Wall That Trump Called ‘Foolish’
  3. CNN – Justice Department Creates Section Dedicated To Denaturalization Cases

Recent Resilience

Recent Court Resilience. We did see some decent court cases this week.  The Ninth Circuit held that the M.P.P program, which forces asylum seekers to wait for their applications to be processed in Mexico, violates federal law.  (They unfortunately stayed their injunction later in the day, but the Supreme Court is expected to hear the case next week.)  And a federal district judge in D.C. held that the administration violated the Federal Vacancies Reform Act by appointing acting USCIS director Ken Cuccinelli, which also voids policies he set in the role.  And a federal judge in Idaho has voided nearly 1 million acres of oil and gas leases because they held that the process was arbitrary and capricious.

Key links:

  1. ABC – Court Halts Trump Asylum Policy, Then Suspends Its Own Order
  2. Axios – Federal Judge Rules Ken Cuccinelli Unlawfully Ran Immigration Agency
  3. Washington Post – Idaho Judge Voids Nearly 1 Million Acres Of Oil And Gas Leases, Saying Trump Policy Undercut Public Input

Things to Watch

Election Watch. South Carolina’s primary was a major victory for Joe Biden, who carried every single county and won almost 50% of the vote total.  Bernie Sanders also picked up some delegates, and we went into Super Tuesday with a surprisingly close race for frontrunner. Within forty-eight hours of Biden’s strong showing in South Carolina, Pete Buttigieg, Tom Steyer and Amy Klobuchar had all suspended their campaigns in the 2020 election.  This means we only had five total remaining candidates as we headed into Super Tuesday, and two of them (looking at you, Tulsi Gabbard and Mike Bloomberg) hadn’t yet received a single delegate. Mike Bloomberg did pick up some delegates on Super Tuesday, but his performance was very poor overall, and Bloomberg opted to suspend his campaign and endorse Joe Biden on Wednesday morning. Elizabeth Warren snagged some as well, though she did not carry any states, and even Tulsi Gabbard managed to pick up one.  The vast majority of delegates, however, went to clear winners Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders; Biden gained 252 and Sanders gained 183.
Key links:

  1. CNN – Pete Buttigieg ends his historic presidential campaign
  2. New York Times – Tom Steyer Drops Out of 2020 Presidential Race
  3. NBC News – Amy Klobuchar drops out of presidential race, will endorse Biden
  4. Business Insider – Mike Bloomberg drops out of the 2020 presidential race and endorses Joe Biden
  5. Washington Post – Live Results: Super Tuesday 2020

Coronavirus Creep Continues. DHHS was in the news because a whistleblower alleges that staff were sent to help American evacuees from Wuhan without training or protective gear.  Gene sequencing in Washington, the state that had the first case, suggests that the illness was spreading in the state for weeks, punctuating the CDC warning that spreading “seems inevitable.”  We also saw our first community transmission case in California and the first U.S. deaths from the illness. Case numbers are also growing in several other countries, particularly Italy and Iran. Trump stuck Mike Pence in charge of managing the official White House response and media appearances, which is pretty hair-raising given Pence’s epidemic-related decisions in Indiana.  As I type this, Pence is starting to limit what officials say on public media, so it’s helpful to read about safety precautions and keep track of vector spread through sources other than the government.
Key links:

  1. New York Times – U.S. Health Workers Responding To Coronavirus Lacked Training And Protective Gear, Whistle-blower Says
  2. Wall Street Journal – CDC Warns It Expects Coronavirus To Spread In U.S.
  3. The Hill – Pence Office To Handle Media On Coronavirus
  4. New York Times – How To Prepare For The Coronavirus

Stone Cold Testimony. In ironic inception news, we have Jerry Nadler’s announcement that the House Judiciary Committee is beginning an investigation into the Stone matter, which was itself about a Congressional investigation (and Stone’s decision to misrepresent facts to Congress).  As part of this process, Nadler wants Barr to permit testimony from the four career prosecutors who quit the Roger Stone case before sentencing.  William Barr is called to testify as well, which is currently scheduled for March 31.  Given the last few weeks, I’m very curious to see what he says.
Key links:

  1. CBS News – House Democrats Ask Barr For Information On Political Intervention In Stone Case
  2. Politico – Nadler Seeks Interviews With Prosecutors Who Quit Roger Stone Case                                                                                                                                                  

Actions for Everyone

Woof! Super Tuesday was intense. I’ll save how we’re going to come back from that for a different week in the not-too-distant future. For now, just keep washing your hands, and probably your kids’ hands, and dance to this sick video (pun intended) while you’re washing.

End Politics Forever: Just kidding! I’m getting prepped for April Fool’s Day, but seriously, I am disenchanted by the last week of politics. Every week, we try to set out achievable goals for you and the rest of our readers to get engaged with different issues, so we’re changing the political landscape for the better day by day, week by week. However, I don’t think we could have done anything to prepare for Buttigieg and Klobuchar dropping out of the race just days before Super Tuesday, and the aftermath.  Also, here’s a Wiki link in case you haven’t heard of Super Tuesday and have been confused about what all the fuss is about.

This week, get involved in organizations that are trying to keep money out of politics. Citizens Take Action has two goals:

1) Get big money out of politics.

2) Inspire greater civic engagement so that Americans become more involved in their government and their communities.

Citizens Take Action has opportunities for you to volunteer, write letters to your editor, and more. Check them out. Also, if and only if you back any non-Trump candidate, please make time to post about them, canvass for them, volunteer at their offices near you, or donate to their campaign. I really don’t want you to feel disconnected from our democracy in action, so come on in, the water’s fine! Get engaged with the candidate you’re supporting.

Celebrate Women’s History Month, for real: March is Women’s History Month, and as a woman myself, I’m excited to celebrate! However, I think it’s important to recognize that the fight for women’s rights is rooted in a racist history. Here’s an article explaining a little more about what I’m talking about entitled How the Suffrage Movement Betrayed Black Women.

Also, this racism in the social justice movement isn’t tied only to the suffragette movement, but happens every day, everywhere in this country. Find a SURJ chapter near you and get empowered to be braver when it comes to ending racism in our country.

Help Nashville Recover: The photos of the damage are incredible and the fatality number is high with many more still missing. Nashville is one of the epicenters of American music, so this storm and its recovery will be felt across the music industry – big and small. To help Nashville area musicians recover I wanted to share this emergency artist grants list put together by the Joan Mitchell Foundation. Please share the list with any artist you know who was affected by the tornado’s path, or anywhere else nature has flexed on us. If you’re able, please also consider researching any particular funding source that is doing good in the world and speaks to you, and donating to it.

We hope this newsletter left you feeling more informed and more energized to go out there and make a difference in whatever way you can.

We’d love to hear from you, not only for tips or suggestions (though they’re always welcome), but also to hear about how the activism has been going. Do you have any success stories? Did anything surprise you that you weren’t expecting? Let us know at activism@patrothfuss.com and hopefully we can use your stories to help encourage and educate others!

Best,
The Activism Team

Want to sign up for the list? You can do that right here.

Our mailing address is:

The Activism Team

PO Box 186

Stevens Point, WI 54481

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Issue #139, 2020 Week 8

Hey everyone,

Does the news have you on overload? Let us help. Read on to make sure that you’re staying informed!
As always, please reach out (activism@patrothfuss.comwith any tips, suggestions, questions, or concerns!

Thanks,
The Activism Team

 It has been three weeks since the death knell of impeachment articles, and the news cycle is settling into new routines. Unfortunately, the routines kind of stink. But nevertheless we persist, yes?

Events to Know

Roger Stone Spectacle. Roger Stone’s sentencing hearing went about as well as you might expect, given that all the trial prosecutors walked out instead of offering the sentence Trump wanted. Stone ended up with about forty months to serve and two years of probation for his repeated lying to Congress and witness tampering, and Judge Jackson is still considering a motion for a retrial. Stone also filed a motion demanding that Jackson recuse herself because she said the jurors had acted with integrity during the sentencing hearing, a move which has all the legal merit of a week-old tuna sandwich. Unsurprisingly, Jackson has already denied the request.

Key links:

  1. Washington Post – Roger Stone Sentenced To Three Years And Four Months In Prison, As Trump Predicts ‘Exoneration’ For His Friend
  2. CNN – Roger Stone Asks To Disqualify Judge From His Case

Pardonpalooza. Trump issued eleven grants of clemency this week, almost all of whom were convicted of white-collar and corruption-based crimes and many of whom are pretty famously terrible human beings. (One wonders why he bothered to pardon Crystal Munoz, the sole recipient with no connections and an actual meritorious clemency claim.) Then at the end of the week, Trump started insinuating that Stone would just get pardoned too if he wasn’t acquitted in a new trial–a move that is technically legal, but definitely very corrupt, and probably designed to inch us closer to accepting a self-pardon if necessary.

Key links:

  1. New York Times – A Complete List of Trump’s Pardons and Commutations
  2. CBS – West Texas Woman Submits Petition To President Trump For Sentence Reduction
  3. Nation – If Trump Pardons Roger Stone, Blame the Constitution

Administratie Ousters (Again). We’re back on the firing staffers bandwagon in the White House this week, though it’s unclear if any of the firings are based on impeachment. Most noteworthy is Trump’s decision to replace his acting Director of National Intelligence, Joseph MacGuire, with current ambassador to Germany and complete intelligence novice Richard Grenell.  Several outlets say this came about because MacGuire briefed Congress on Putin’s apparent desire to see Trump reelected, but others are reporting it’s simply because of the time limit for acting officials.  Pentagon policy chief Jon Rood was forced out as well, for reasons that may or may not be impeachment-related.  Their replacements seem selected more for perceived loyalty than any credentials, which is definitely neither normal nor a good way to run a complex government.

Key links:

  1. Politico – Richard Grenell Finds Modest Republican Support For Intelligence Post
  2. NPR – White House Appoints Outspoken Ambassador As New Acting Head Of Intelligence
  3. New York Times – Trump’s Efforts To Remove The Disloyal Heightens Unease Across His Administration

Recent Resilience

Greyhound Protection. Greyhound announced this week that it will no longer allow immigration checks on its buses, after a leaked CBP memo confirmed that they had no legal obligation to do so without a warrant.  Needless to say, the ACLU is pretty happy about this development, and so am I–the new policy is in pretty much everyone’s interests except CBP’s.

Key links:

  1. Associated Press – Greyhound To Stop Allowing Immigration Checks On Buses

Re-enfranchisement and Felony Reentry. A panel of 11th Circuit judges upheld an injunction this week that prevents Florida from enforcing a new law that would make people pay all legal fees before they are allowed to vote.  More specifically, they found that the contested law, which responded to a referendum from 2018 that re-enfranchised people upon reentry, was counter to the spirit of the referendum and violated the equal protection clause of the Constitution.  This is a pretty major victory, even though it’s not a decision on the merits, because it recognizes the role that economic class plays in enforcement of the rule.  I’m hoping we’re able to keep the injunction in place until the November election, but we’ll have to see what happens.

Key links:

  1. Brennan Center For Justice  – Federal Appeals Court Rules Florida Voting Restrictions Unconstitutional
  2. Tampa Bay Times – Limits On Florida’s Amendment 4 Are Unconstitutional, Federal Panel Rules

Things to Watch

Election Watch. There was a lot of strange election news this week.  The acting head of intelligence reported that Russia favors Trump in the 2020 election, which set 45 off something fierce if his resulting outburst is any indication.  Officials said Bernie Sanders is favored by Putin for the Dem nomination as well, though I’m not sure I believe that with Tulsi Gabbard still running around.  Meanwhile, Buttigieg clapped back when Limbaugh dissed his marriage, Bloomberg offered to release some women from their NDAs about him (but not all), and Chris Matthews came under fire because he compared Bernie Sanders, whose parents were Holocaust survivors, to Adolf Hitler. All told, it was a wild lead-in to the Nevada caucus on Saturday, which Sanders carried by a wide margin (though Buttigieg and Biden both picked up delegates too).  The next primary will be in South Carolina on Saturday, and we prepped with a debate on Tuesday night–which candidates largely spent dissing Bernie Sanders, except for Elizabeth Warren who continued dissing Mike Bloomberg.
Key links:

  1. NPR – House Intelligence Briefing Stating That Russia Favors Trump Reelection Angers Trump
  2. Washington Post – Buttigieg Hits Back At Trump, Limbaugh Over Homophobic Attacks 
  3. CNN – Bloomberg Offers To Release Women From Three Confidentiality Agreements
  4. New York Post – Chris Matthews Apologizes For Comparing Bernie Sanders’ Win To Nazi Invasion Of France
  5. Washington Post – Bernie Sanders Decisively Wins Nevada Caucuses
  6. New York Times – Highlights From The Democratic Debate In South Carolina

Coronavirus Creep Continues. Coronavirus continues to be in the news for another week.  We’re seeing a rapid uptick in cases again in South Korea, Iran, and Italy, and the stock market is plummeting accordingly.  Trump appears rattled as well, worried that a major outbreak might impact his 2020 campaign.  The CDC warned that spreading “seems inevitable,” but Trump is insisting that “the whole situation will start working out.”  (He nonetheless also asked Congress for $2.5 billion to deal with a potential epidemic.) Needless to say, this can have a lot of other political implications as well, and we will continue to track it. Key links:

  1. Wall Street Journal – CDC Warns It Expects Coronavirus to Spread in U.S.
  2. New York Times – Coronavirus Updates: U.S. Soldier Tests Positive for Covid-19 in South Korea

Immigration Updates. Another week, another set of bad immigration news.  The Public Charge rule went into effect across the country, with the final injunction in Illinois removed by Supreme Court decision on Friday.  (Sotomayor wrote a dissent so impassioned that Trump started insisting she recuse herself from any case involving him.)  Ironically, Mick Mulvaney was also in the news for saying the U.S. needs more legal immigrants–you know, the very status this administration just made harder for most applicants to obtain because they created draconian public charge rules.  The New York Times also reported unsafe health conditions for asylees under the M.P.P. program, which forces applicants to wait in Mexico instead of accessing healthcare in America while their application is pending.  And ICE was in the news for using therapy notes to try to deport migrant children–a practice which is not new, but definitely deserves attention.
Key links:

  1. Protect Immigrant Families – Supreme Court Temporarily Clears “Public Charge” Regulation
  2. CNBC – Trump Calls On Supreme Court’s Sotomayor And Ginsburg To Recuse From ‘Anything Having To Do With Trump’
  3. Washington Post – Mulvaney Says U.S. Is ‘desperate’ For More Legal Immigrants
  4. New York Times – ‘He Turned Purple’: U.S. Overlooks Ill Asylum Seekers 
  5. Washington Post – Confidential Therapy Notes Being Used Against Immigrant Children                                                                                                                                                

Actions for Everyone

CW: Rape. Racism/Xenophobia.

Roger Stone was sentenced to 3 years in prison. Harvey Weinstein was found guilty of 3rd degree rape. I can’t complain of the past couple of days’ outcomes. Hoping to see more sweet sweet justice in 2020.

Dealing with COVID19 – The novel Coronavirus that originated in Wuhan,China and continues to  spread internationally could soon be catalogued by the World Health Organization as a pandemic. In the US, congress is asking for extra funding to deal with the prevention, possible spread and also research of this virus. Previously, President Trump cut funding for disease security programs, eliminated the Complex Crises Fund and more. Placing us in a vulnerable spot, where we have to question if our government is ready to deal with an actual pandemic.

What can we do?

Here are some prevention steps by the CDC:

Be mindful to always wash your hands thoroughly and also carry hand sanitizer.

Avoid sharing personal items

Clean all “high touch” surfaces daily

If you have any symptoms of sneezing or coughing, cover your mouth, try to stay away from the public, wear a face mask and call ahead to your doctor or hospital so they know to be prepared.

Call your representatives and demand more funding be allocated towards managing this on-going international crisis.

Asian communities have been hit hard by the coronavirus. There have been reports on rampant racism, xenophobia and discrimination blaming or equating asian communities with the virus. I’ve personally seen events promoting asian restaurants and businesses to counteract the spread of hate. Go support asian owned businesses in your community!

The news always seems to be heavy, don’t forget to practice self care and step away when you need to take a break for your mental health.

Here is a cute pic with some self care ideas.

REGISTER TO VOTE: Go to Vote.Org to find out if you’re registered to vote in 2020 or to register online. You can also get an absentee ballot, as well as several other convenient online options. Since we’ve been talking so much about this, you’ve already gone to register to vote, OR at least made an election day plan, right? Next, are you ready for the ballot? Take a few minutes to check out your state’s sample ballot to make sure you know how you’re gonna vote. AND if you want, here’s a link to sign up for a text reminder to make a vote plan.

And here are some Things That Made Me Laugh:

This article on Nina Simone and protest music.

We hope this newsletter left you feeling more informed and more energized to go out there and make a difference in whatever way you can.

We’d love to hear from you, not only for tips or suggestions (though they’re always welcome), but also to hear about how the activism has been going. Do you have any success stories? Did anything surprise you that you weren’t expecting? Let us know at activism@patrothfuss.com and hopefully we can use your stories to help encourage and educate others!

Best,
The Activism Team

Want to sign up for the list? You can do that right here.

Our mailing address is:

The Activism Team

PO Box 186

Stevens Point, WI 54481

Add us to your address book

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Issue #138, 2020 Week 7

Hey everyone,

We will all get through this by sticking together. Read on to make sure that you’re staying informed!
As always, please reach out (activism@patrothfuss.comwith any tips, suggestions, questions, or concerns!

Thanks,
The Activism Team

Events to Know

Whistleblowing Winds Down. We’re pretty much going out not with a bang, but with a whimper.  Some Utah lawmakers tried to get Mitt Romney censured for, uh, voting with Democrats, but that doesn’t appear to be going anywhere.  Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer wrote letters trying to get inspectors general to investigate Trump’s retaliatory firings from last week, but at least as I type this, that doesn’t look like it’s going anywhere either.  And now that the investigation is over, Trump has basically admitted that he sent Giuliani to Ukraine.

Key links:

  1. Salt Lake Tribune – Some Utah Gop Leaders Demand Mitt Romney’s Loyalty To Trump And His Agenda

  2. Politico – Schumer Asks Inspectors General To Investigate Whistleblower Retaliation After Vindman Firing
  3. Law And Crime – Schumer Asks Inspectors General To Investigate Trump Retaliation Against Whistleblower, Witnesses
  4. CNN – Trump Contradicts Past Denials, Admits Sending Giuliani To Ukraine

Barr’s Continued Offroad Adventures. After Attorney General William Barr announced he was taking control of the Stone sentence along with every other Trump-related legal matter, things continued to devolve.  Needless to say, all of this blatant political interference has caused massive unrest in both current and former Department of Justice employees, and over a thousand former DOJ attorneys and 9 Senators have called for Barr’s resignation.  Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer also called for an investigation into the entire Roger Stone debacle, and the head of the Federal Judges Federation called an emergency meeting about it as well. When people started calling for Barr’s resignation, he went on television and complained about how Trump’s tweets were undermining him, trying to argue that he’s making his own decisions independent of the President. This entire thing is belied, however, by Trump’s complete non-response to this announcement; it’s hard to imagine him saying that anybody “has the right . . . to publicly express their opinion” if they truly hold an ill opinion of him.  Barr’s actions on the Stone investigation also immediately followed Trump’s tweets about the matter.  So, basically, I encourage folks to view this story with healthy skepticism, and also call their senators.

Key links:

  1. NPR – 5 Takeaways From The Last Democratic Debate Before The New Hampshire Primary
  2. Time – Majority of New Hampshire Democrats Would Prefer a Meteor Extinguish ‘All Human Life’ Than Trump Get Re-Elected: Poll
  3. New York Times – How Amy Klobuchar Pulled Off the Big Surprise of the New Hampshire Primary
  4. Washington Post – New Hampshire primary updates: Candidates turn attention to Nevada, South Carolina

Coronavirus Creep. The new coronavirus now has an official name–Covid-19–and is still making the news for making problems.  The most recent bout of news is about a cruise ship in Japan that was evacuated due to Covid 19 outbreak, only to discover that 14 passengers with the illness were evacuated to the United States alongside 314 other passengers because they were asymptomatic at the time of testing.  (There were also an additional 44 American passengers who tested positive for the illness, who were brought to Japan.)  Needless to say, everyone involved is being quarantined.

Key links:

  1. STAT News – Disease Caused By The Novel Coronavirus Officially Has A Name: Covid-19
  2. Washington Post – 44 Americans On Cruise Ship Docked In Japan Tested Positive For Coronavirus, U.S. Health Official Says

Recent Resilience

Recent Legislative Resilience. The House and the Senate both had a good week in terms of legislative action, which is always nice to see.  The Senate passed a bill limiting Trump’s authority to declare war on Iran, which did not quite make it to a veto-proof majority but did show significant bipartisan support at 55-45.  Since the bill was distinct from the version the House passed last month, the bill moves to the House next.  And in other House news, they voted this week to eliminate the ERA’s deadline for ratification.  The measure would effectively allow the amendment’s revival, since we have the requisite number of state ratifications already–which would be pretty awesome, though it’s not likely to gain traction in the current Senate.

Key links:

  1. Associated Press – Senate Moves To Limit Trump On Military Force Against Iran
  2. NPR – House Votes To Revive Equal Rights Amendment, Removing Ratification Deadline

Things to Watch

Immigration Updates. We had another week of painful immigration updates, I’m afraid.  ICE was in the news for shooting a bystander in the face in Brooklyn when he interrupted an arrest, apparently not knowing that the plainclothes agents were officers.  Unsurprisingly, the administration turned this into a fight about sanctuary practices, and it likely spurred their announcement on Friday that they would be sending ‘elite tactical agents’ to New York and other cities they deemed to be ‘sanctuary jurisdictions.’  Then, just to round out the week, they began disrupting native burial sites in Arizona, blowing them up to make room for their border wall.
Key links:

  1. The Hill – New York Man Shot In Face After Interrupting ICE Arrest
  2. New York Times – Shooting Of Man In The Face By ICE Turns Into A Trump-New York Fight
  3. Los Angeles Times – ICE Plans To Deploy More Resources In ‘Sanctuary’ Cities, Citing Lack Of Cooperation
  4. Cbs – Arizona National Monument, Home To Sacred Native American Burial Sites, Is Being Blown Up For The Border Wall

Parnas Implications. It would already be hard to know what the Barr news above means for the ongoing investigation into Lev Parnas, who is a Rudy Giuliani associate–it’s being led by DOJ officials in New York while Barr accepts Giuliani info on potentially related matters in PA, and that’s kind of an inherent conflict. But news also broke that the NY branch is considering adding new charges that would impact Giuliani, and that just throws gasoline on a department already on fire.  The potential for misconduct here is really high, so we should keep an eye on this.
Key links:

  1. Washington Post – Federal Prosecutors Took New Steps In Giuliani-related Probe As Impeachment Ended, According To People Familiar With The Case
  2. CNN – Federal Prosecutors Weigh New Charges That Bring Lev Parnas Investigation Closer To Giuliani

2020 Primary Watch. Last night was the most recent 2020 Democratic Candidate debate in Nevada, and it marked the first time that former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg participated in a debate.  Given all of the negative things that have come out about Bloomberg in the news this week, it is no surprise that the debate was also a giant Bloomberg dogpile, with many of the candidates taking potshots at his spotty public record.  Elizabeth Warren was particularly on fire, and seems to be enjoying a resurgence on a media platform that had been erasing her of late–a recent poll of the candidates by NBC and the Wall Street Journal didn’t even ask about her.  All told, it’s an interesting lead-in to the Nevada caucus this Saturday.
Key links:

  1. Washington Post – Live Updates: Democrats jockey for advantage after spirited debate in Nevada
  2. ABC – 6 candidates to face off in Las Vegas debate, including Bloomberg for the 1st time: DNC
  3. Politico – Bloomberg takes a beating, Sanders defends socialism in fiery debate
  4. New York Times – Elizabeth Warren, Criticizing Bloomberg, Sent a Message: She Won’t Be Ignored
  5. NPR – Nevada Voters Begin Early Caucusing On Saturday. Here’s What You Need To Know                                                                                                                                                 
Actions for Everyone

Don’t forget to register to vote AND turn out for your local primaries AND volunteer for or donate to the non-Trump presidential campaigns of your choosing! We gotta GOTV!

Expunge Marijuana Convictions: According to the ACLU, in 2010 52% of all drug arrests were for small amounts of marijuana and black folks are 3.73 times more likely than whites to be arrested for weed. So, it’s uplifting to see states like Illinois and California clearing marijuna related charges. Changes in governance and legislation really do make the biggest impact righting the wrongs of our racist justice system.

I wanted to make sure you all knew about NORML. NORML’s mission is to move public opinion sufficiently to legalize the responsible use of marijuana by adults, and to serve as an advocate for consumers to assure they have access to high quality marijuana that is safe, convenient and affordable. Check out their Action Center to find out how to get involved in what’s happening in your state.

End Domestic Violence: February is Teen Dating Violence Prevention and Awareness Month, and in different but very related news, Harvey Weinstein is set to stand trial, now years after the first allegations against him were made. Toxic masculinity and the objectification of women and queer folks paves the way for domestic violence to occur. The National Domestic Violence Hotline has resources including a confidential and free support line, 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or 1-800-787-3224 TTY or chat online at http://thehotline.org.

It’s also important to understand that abuse doesn’t always look like abuse. Domestic violence and abuse stem from a desire to gain and maintain power and control over an intimate partner. Domestic violence isn’t just a victim’s problem to deal with, but a community problem to solve.  If you know a friend or family member who is in an abusive relationship, the National Domestic Violence Hotline has resources for how you can help.

Immigration Reform: It’s almost impossible to choose which part of this to write about because just a quick glance at top stories from Democracy Now will show you that the Trump administration is as racist and violent and horrible as ever.

Here are a couple things to get you up in arms and taking action: Hmong community members are facing deportations, many of whom sought refuge in the US during and post Vietnam War. Tens of thousands of minors and children have been apprehended at the US/Mexico border.

So, we need to end ICE. It is dehumanizing, violent, and a stain on our country. Also, in addition to fighting to end ICE, you can volunteer at the borderCheck out the Annunciation House for their volunteer opportunities that can last for weeks, months, or even a full-year.

We hope this newsletter left you feeling more informed and more energized to go out there and make a difference in whatever way you can.

We’d love to hear from you, not only for tips or suggestions (though they’re always welcome), but also to hear about how the activism has been going. Do you have any success stories? Did anything surprise you that you weren’t expecting? Let us know at activism@patrothfuss.com and hopefully we can use your stories to help encourage and educate others!

Best,
The Activism Team

Want to sign up for the list? You can do that right here.

Our mailing address is:

The Activism Team

PO Box 186

Stevens Point, WI 54481

Add us to your address book

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list

Issue #137, 2020 Week 6

Hey everyone,

Trying to keep up with the news? Let us help. Read on to make sure that you’re staying informed!
As always, please reach out (activism@patrothfuss.comwith any tips, suggestions, questions, or concerns!

Thanks,
The Activism Team

This week, ho boy–after the end of the impeachment affair, this administration became emboldened, and that has a lot of secondary consequences.  The news is a rough ride this week, but as always we’ll have suggestions for how you can respond below.

Events to Know

Friday Night Massacre. The single biggest (and most obvious) abuse of power since impeachment ended has been Trump’s version of the Saturday Night Massacre, which happened this Friday.  In one day, he removed both Lt Col Alexander and Lt Col Yevgeny Vindman from the National Security Council and recalled Gordon Sondland from his role as EU Ambassador.  Then he immediately tweeted about Vindman’s testimony, in case we were all confused about why the man was fired–though to be fair, the other Lt Col Vindman hadn’t testified at all, so some confusion would be understandable.  Needless to say, this type of retaliation is super illegal, and Chuck Schumer is already trying to get inspectors general involved.  But Kellyanne Conway has signaled nonetheless signaled that there may be more retaliatory firings to come, and Trump has started trying to get Vindman publicly disciplined.

Key links:

  1. Bloomberg – Trump Ousts Impeachment Witnesses Sondland And Vindman
  2. Independent – Trump Publicly Admits He Fired White House Official As Retaliation For Impeachment Testimony: ‘He Was Very Insubordinate’
  3. CNN – Schumer Calls On 74 Inspectors General To Investigate Witness Retaliation After Vindman Ouster
  4. Politico – Kellyanne Conway Says More Officials May Be Ousted After Trump’s Senate Acquittal
  5. The Hill – Trump Suggests Military Should Consider Additional Discipline For Vindman

New Hampshire Primary. After a relatively uneventful but nicely parodied Democratic primary debate on Friday night, the immediate lead-up to the New Hampshire vote featured white guys taking swipes at each other and local polled voters saying they’d take a meteor crash over four more years of Trump. But it was nonetheless a straightforward and successful primary, especially compared to the Iowa adventures; it even had a clear winner–Bernie Sanders, by a margin of about 1.3%Pete Buttigieg was a close second, and Amy Klobuchar brought up third, so both of them gained delegates for the upcoming race. Elizabeth Warren and Joe Biden both lagged behind, at least for now, but it seems likely that both of them will have stronger performances in other states.

Key links:

  1. NPR – 5 Takeaways From The Last Democratic Debate Before The New Hampshire Primary
  2. Time – Majority of New Hampshire Democrats Would Prefer a Meteor Extinguish ‘All Human Life’ Than Trump Get Re-Elected: Poll
  3. New York Times – How Amy Klobuchar Pulled Off the Big Surprise of the New Hampshire Primary
  4. Washington Post – New Hampshire primary updates: Candidates turn attention to Nevada, South Carolina

Emolument Setbacks. We saw some emoluments news this week too, and none of it was good. The Washington Post ran a story about the exorbitant rates the secret service is charged every time he travels to Mar-A-Lago and other Trump properties, causing taxpayer money to flow into the Trump empire. They likely ran this story in response to an appeals court decision this week to reject the emoluments case brought by Congressional Democrats on the theory that they lack standing. This decision, and I cannot stress this enough, does not touch the merits of the case; it was made on a procedural technicality and is not a comment on whether Trump is violating the Emoluments clause of the Constitution (which, in my opinion, he super is).

Key links:

  1. Washington Post – Secret Service Spending At Trump Hotels: Rooms For Agents Cost Up To $650 A Night
  2. Politico – Appeals Court Rejects Democrats’ Emoluments Suit Against Trump
  3. Washington Post – Individual Members Of Congress Barred From Suing President Trump Over Business Dealings

Recent Resilience

Clearing the Playing Field. In the wake of the New Hampshire results, we have a new crop of 2020 hopefuls with low numbers who have decided to drop out. It’s bittersweet for the strongest of the contenders (you had a good run, Andrew Yang), but less so for candidates like Michael Bennet and Deval Patrick, who never broke 1% in the early primaries. And whatever your opinion, it furthers consolidation and coalition-building at a time when we really need it. So it’s certainly far from terrible to have a smaller playing field as we head into the Nevada caucuses on February 22.

Key links:

  1. Politico – Andrew Yang Drops Out
  2. AP News – Bennet ends 2020 bid after poor showing in New Hampshire
  3. The Hill – Deval Patrick drops out of 2020 race

Things to Watch

William Barr’s Growing Empire. We need to be sounding the alarms about what’s happening in our Justice Department.  First on the list, the Justice Department announced that they’ll go ahead and review sketchy malpractice man Rudy Giuliani’s intel on the Bidens. For bonus authoritarianism, Attorney General Barr also announced this week that nobody in the FBI is allowed to conduct investigations on 2020 Presidential election candidates now unless they get his permission, even though he’s literally conducting a backdoor investigation on a Presidential candidate while he announces that. This also happened in the same week that all of the prosecutors on Roger Stone’s criminal case asked to be reassigned or straight-up quit because Barr was forcing them to change their sentencing recommendations. Eventually Barr just announced he was taking control of the Stone sentence and oh yeah, every other matter of legal interest to Trump too. Needless to say, this is unprecedented and a very scary thing to watch our Justice Department do, because it suggests the department is now definitely Trump’s personal legal service.

Key links:

  1. NPR – Barr: ‘Door Is Open’ To Giuliani Tips On Ukraine, Though They’d Be Scrutinized
  2. The Hill – Barr Directs FBI To Get His Approval Before Investigating 2020 Presidential Candidates: Report
  3. Politico – Rand Paul Reads Alleged Whistleblower’s Name And Republicans ‘Fine’ With It
  4. New York Times – Prosecutors Quit Roger Stone Case After Justice Dept. Intervenes on Sentencing
  5. NBC News – Barr takes control of legal matters of interest to Trump, including Stone sentencing

Coronavirus Creep. The coronavirus situation is still worsening, with the death toll now over a thousand people, surpassing the SARS mortality rate in the early 2000s.  We’ve also seen the first death of a U.S. citizen (though that person died in Wuhan), and the whistleblowing doctor who first tried to report the new coronavirus passed away this week as well.  This epidemic remains primarily centered in China, and it’s still true that the flu is a much more serious virus in the U.S. at this time–and we should be thinking carefully about whether our responses are borne of racism rather than true public health concern.  But we still might see transmission in the U.S. increase, and I will continue to track this epidemic.

Key links:

  1. STAT News – ‘We Need Everyone For This’: U.S. Hospitals Harnessing Resources To Brace For Any Spike In Coronavirus Cases
  2. New York Times – A New Martyr Puts A Face On China’s Deepening Coronavirus Crisis
  3. NPR – On Social Media, Racist Responses To Coronavirus Can Have Their Own Contagion
  4. STAT – WHO Cautions That Transmission Of The New Coronavirus Outside Of China Could Increase

Immigration Updates. Unsurprisingly, we saw bad immigration news start to ramp up again as soon as the impeachment inquiry was over.  CBP was in the news, first because a new policy will shield them from FOIA requests moving forward.  Then they were in the news again because a 32-year-old who was a U.S. citizen has died in their custody this week, and there are so many different things wrong with that sentence that I don’t even know where to start.  Similarly, ICE was in the news for shooting a man in the face as he tried to intervene in an arrest.  And the Trump administration announced they are blocking New York residents from the Global Entry airport program because they are mad about a new policy called the Green Light Law which precludes sharing license databases with ICE.  Unsurprisingly, New York is already suing over the policy.
Key links:

  1. The Nation –  Customs And Border Protection Gains An Extra Layer Of Secrecy
  2. CNN – US Citizen Arrested By Border Patrol Dies In Custody
  3. Washington Post – ICE Officers Shot A Man In The Face As He Tried To Intervene In An Arrest
  4. Vox – New York Sues The Trump Administration Over Denying Residents Access To Global Entry                                                                                                                                                

Actions for Everyone

We can’t let the sad news coming from the Senate’s acquittal of Trump’s impeachment let us down. Let’s use it to fuel our fire within, make us more militant, more involved, charge our spirit to thrive for change. We only have a couple of months to go! For now, let us focus on the present. February is Black History Month!

A Little History Class! – Black History Month began in the 1920’s where Harvard historian Carter G. Woodson proposed to dedicate a week to the importance of Black History and named it “Negro History Week”. It was the second week of February because it celebrated both Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass’ birthdays. Later in the 70’s black educators and academic institutions started to extend it for the entire month and it soon became a staple. We observe Black History Month in order to recognize the central role African American’s have had in this country, to pay tribute and to acknowledge the importance of educating on the history of marginalized people.

This year’s Black History Month’s theme is African Americans and the Vote.  You can learn more about this year’s theme here. 

This list of things you can do to celebrate Black History Month by the NAACP is great! Share it with your friends.

Also, if you have the ability to allocate money into a Black centered organization, that would be awesome too.

Here are some good ones:

Thurgood Marshall College Fund – The only organization that focuses strictly on historically Black colleges and institutions. “Through scholarships, capacity building and research initiatives, innovative programs, and strategic partnerships, TMCF is a vital resource in the K-12 and higher education space. The organization is also a source for top employers seeking top talent for competitive internships and good jobs.”

Black AIDS Institute –  Their mission is to stop the AIDS epidemic in Black communities by engaging and mobilizing Black institutions and individuals in efforts to confront HIV.

National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) – The mission of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is to secure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights in order to eliminate race-based discrimination and ensure the health and well-being of all persons.

Download apps tha map and promote Black Owned Businesses – You can download Official Black Wall Street to see places around your area that are black owned and you can get Black Nation to look for black owned businesses and services!

And since the theme for 2020’s Black History Month is the vote…

REGISTER TO VOTE: Go to Vote.Org to find out if you’re registered to vote in 2020 or to register online. You can also get an absentee ballot, as well as several other convenient online options. Since we’ve been talking so much about this, you’ve already gone to register to vote, OR at least made an election day plan, right? Next, are you ready for the ballot? Take a few minutes to check out your state’s sample ballot to make sure you know how you’re gonna vote. AND if you want, here’s a link to sign up for a text reminder to make a vote plan.

Some Things That Made Me Laugh this week:

I joined the group Wild Green Memes for Ecological Fiends on Facebook and I am never going back.

The main topic this week was how Olives and Dolphins seem to have the same texture and the memes were SO good.

We hope this newsletter left you feeling more informed and more energized to go out there and make a difference in whatever way you can.

We’d love to hear from you, not only for tips or suggestions (though they’re always welcome), but also to hear about how the activism has been going. Do you have any success stories? Did anything surprise you that you weren’t expecting? Let us know at activism@patrothfuss.com and hopefully we can use your stories to help encourage and educate others!

Best,
The Activism Team

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The Activism Team

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Stevens Point, WI 54481

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Issue #136, 2020 Week 5

Hey everyone,

So much happened we needed an extra day (or 2). Read on to make sure that you’re staying informed!
As always, please reach out (activism@patrothfuss.comwith any tips, suggestions, questions, or concerns!

Thanks,
The Activism Team

Another week, another set of messed-up impeachment proceedings. On the plus side, the rest of this week’s news looks a bit less dire than last week’s, so that’s something at least!  As always, we’ll keep you posted on the developments and ways to respond to them.

Events to Know

Impeachment Q&A. After two short days of opening statements from the President’s team, we moved into a question-and-answer phase on Wednesday–and it was, to use a technical term, a hot mess.  Alan Dershowitz created new nightmare fuel by claiming that if Trump “does something he believes will get him elected in the public’s interest,” then “that cannot be the kind of quid pro quo that results in impeachment.”  His colleague whom he cited, unsurprisingly, did not agree with his analysis.  But many GOP Senators found it exactly the kind of cover they needed; by the end of the week they were arguing that Trump’s actions were bad but not impeachable. This in turn prompted the New York Times to run a thinkpiece entitled “L’Etat, C’est Trump,” and also prompted Democratic senator Joe Manchin to begin calling for a censure, since the GOP did concede the overall not-awesomeness of Trump’s actions.

Key links:

  1. PBS – Here’s A Spreadsheet Of Every Question Asked During The Senate Impeachment Trial
  2. Washington Post – The 7 Most Interesting Q&As From The Senate Impeachment Trial
  3. Business Insider – Harvard Professor Slams Trump’s Lawyer For Incorrectly Citing Him Numerous Times During Trump’s Impeachment Trial: ‘It’s A Joke’
  4. Washington Post – House Managers Argue That Senators Have A ‘Duty’ To Remove Trump From Office; Sen. Manchin Calls For Censure

Witnesses Fall Through. By far, the most disappointing point of this past week’s proceedings was the witness vote on Friday.  The week started out with Mitch McConnell indicating that he didn’t have the votes to block Bolton’s testimony, and at least one Republican senator also asked for the manuscript of John Bolton’s book.  But then more moderate GOP Senator Lamar Alexander indicated that he would not vote for witnesses, possibly in response to public pressure from Trump, and Lisa Murkowski followed suit.  And that was all she wrote–we needed four Republicans, and we only got two.  The final vote was 49-51, which means no witnesses will be called in this trial despite the high likely value of John Bolton’s testimony–in fact, all four of the Democrat’s amendments failed along party lines.

Key links:

  1. The Hill – Gop Senator Says Senate Should Get Copy Of Bolton Manuscript
  2. Wall Street Journal – Gop Senators Appear Likely To Reject Witnesses In Impeachment Trial
  3. New York Times – Republicans Block Impeachment Witnesses, Clearing Path For Trump Acquittal
  4. NBC – Trump Impeachment Trial: Senate Passes Impeachment Trial Endgame
  5. Washington Post – Senate To Vote Wednesday On Whether To Remove Or Acquit Trump On Impeachment Charges

Confounding Policy Updates. We saw a number of odd policy changes this week, some of which are standard issue Trumpian poor policy and one of which is odd simply because I’m suspicious of how non-terrible it appears.  First up, Trump undid Obama’s restrictions on land mine use, increasing the likelihood of killing civilians accidentally.  And in health news, we have the Medicaid funding overhaul proposed this week, which takes a major step towards a block grant structure for the entitlement program.  It’s a move that experts and even Congress pretty uniformly regard to be demonstrably bad policy–the weird thing here is that we’re still stuck in this ACA repeal Groundhog Day after literally years of failed attempts.  In immigration news, in addition to the public charge changes outlined last week–which we now know go into effect on February 24, by the way–the administration added six new countries to their travel ban list this week. So folks from Nigeria, Eritrea, Sudan, Tanzania, Kyrgyzstan and Myanmar now have restricted travel as well, particularly when it comes to getting visas issued for temporary travel.  Finally, there’s a new process for public loan forgiveness that is designed to make it simpler to apply–and on its face, appears to actually do the thing it sets out to do!  Nobody check whether Betsy DeVos is now a pod person, please, because we could all use a break this week.

Key links:

  1. ABC – Trump Administration Eases Obama-era Restrictions On Use Of Landmines
  2. Center On Budget And Policy Priorities – The Problems With Block-Granting Entitlement Programs
  3. US Citizenship And Immigration Services – USCIS Announces Public Charge Rule Implementation Following Supreme Court Stay Of Nationwide Injunctions
  4. CNN – Trump Administration Expands Travel Ban To Include Six New Countries
  5. NPR – Education Dept. Unveils Fix For Student Loan Program’s ‘Bureaucratic Nightmare’

Recent Resilience

Recent Court Resilience. A federal judge found this week that the criminal conviction of four humanitarian workers in Arizona with the humanitarian group No More Deaths should be overturned. The decision was made pursuant to the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, with the court finding that it was an expression of their sincerely-held religious beliefs to help prevent deaths in the desert despite the administration’s “deterrence by death” policy. The decision cites the Hobby Lobby case of 2017 while articulating its reasoning, which is legally noteworthy but also just kind of edifying.

Key links:

  1. Tucson Sentinel – Judge Reverses Convictions Of 4 No More Deaths Volunteers
  2. The Intercept – Federal Judge Reverses Conviction Of Border Volunteers, Challenging Government’s “Gruesome Logic”

Border Wall Bluster.  In schadenfreude news, parts of the border wall keep getting blown over by wind, requiring large storm gates to be kept open indefinitely.  Needless to say, this somewhat limits the effectiveness of said barrier, since it will have giant gaping holes in it for the foreseeable future.  Gosh, it couldn’t have happened to a nicer wall.

Key links:

  1. BBC – Trump’s Wall: Winds Blow Over Section Of US-Mexico Border Fence
  2. The Hill – Trump’s Border Wall Requires Open Storm Gates To Avoid Flash Floods In Certain Areas: Report

Recent State Resilience. We have an odd array of good news on the state level this week, but I’m certainly not complaining! Virginia has repealed a law requiring mandatory ultrasounds for abortions which has been on the books for several years, and along with two other states also brought a lawsuit demanding the Equal Rights Act be added to the constitution. (It’s a good week to be Virginian, apparently!) And in New York, a state park in Brooklyn is being named after famous trans activist Marsha Johnson, which is an exciting milestone for LGBTQ representation in New York and elsewhere.

Key links:

  1. Vox – How Abortion In Virginia Went From A Trump Talking Point To A Winning Issue For Democrats
  2. Washington Post – Herring, Other State Ag File Lawsuit Demanding Addition Of ERA To Constitution
  3. LGBTQ Nation – Marsha P. Johnson Is Getting A State Park In Brooklyn Named After Her

Things to Watch

Impeachment Aftermath.  At the tail end of the impeachment roller coaster, there’s a conclusion but not a lot of answers.  The first article of impeachment, abuse of power, failed by 48-52 vote, with every Republican but Mitt Romney voting to acquit.  The second article of impeachment, obstruction of justice, failed entirely along party lines by 47-53 vote.  This sets a very concerning precedent about checks and balances, even though the outcome was predicted, which Trump celebrated with an hour-long speech the next day.  The silver lining is that every single Democrat in the Senate voted to impeach on both counts, highlighting a level of party unity that was definitely not a given at the beginning of the week.
Key links:

  1. NPR – ‘Not Guilty’: Trump Acquitted On 2 Articles Of Impeachment As Historic Trial Closes
  2. New York Times – Romney, Defying the Party He Once Personified, Votes to Convict Trump

Coronavirus Creep. The coronavirus situation continues to get worse, with the death toll in China now up to 425 and approximately 20,000 people diagnosed globally.  We’ve also seen the first death outside of China and the first person-to-person transmission in the U.S.  The World Health Organization has declared a public health emergency, and airlines all around the country are suspending flights to China.  Experts note that the flu is a much more serious virus in the U.S. at this time, and that’s definitely true–and we should be thinking carefully about whether our responses are borne of racism rather than true public health concern.  That said, we are underprepared for any pandemic in this country, and this is worth tracking.
Key links:

  1. CBS – China Admits “Shortcomings” As Global Efforts To Stop Deadly Coronavirus Ramp Up
  2. CNN – World Health Organization Declares Coronavirus A Public Health Emergency Of International Concern
  3. Business Insider – The Wuhan Coronavirus Is Causing Increased Reports Of Racism And Xenophobia Against Asian People At College, Work, And Supermarkets
  4. Washington Post – The Next Pandemic Is Coming. We’re Not Prepared For It

Primary Election Brouhaha. All eyes were on the Iowa caucus on Monday–which has an imperfect record, but nonetheless usually represents the first real primary results we’ll see this season.  This might turn out to be the first year that isn’t true–the process is always a bit complicated, but it was confounded this year by an issue with a new app used to tally votes which caused voter inconsistencies.  At the time that I type this on Tuesday night, partial results have been released, but only about 62% of precincts have reported in, and it’s not clear what we’ll do from here.  (On the plus side, Nevada has said it now won’t use the app in its own primary election.)  Candidates are moving on to New Hampshire, which will see its own votes this time next week; let’s hope it’s smoother sailing over there!
Key links:

  1. ABC – Examining The Iowa Caucus Track Record On Predicting Presidents
  2. CBS – Confusion And Embarrassment In Iowa: What Went Wrong, And What Happens Next?
  3. New York Times – Iowa Results: What We Know So Far
  4. Fivethirtyeight – Iowa Might Have Screwed Up The Whole Nomination Process
  5. Nevada Democrats Won’t Use App That Caused Iowa Caucus Fiasco                                                                                                                                              

Actions for Everyone

February in the Midwest means we’ve gotta be taking vitamin D and C and drinking tea and soaking up little drops of sunlight, and creating Hygge (that’s the first time I’ve actually used this word). Anywho, take great care of yourselves out there. Here are some Activism suggestions until next time.
Wash your Hands, and Don’t Spread Xenophobia: The coronavirus is certainly a scary reality for a number of reasons, including that it’s highly contagious and has already proved its fatal capabilities, just to name a few. There’s lots of media coverage following this outbreak, which I can only assume is to help prevent the spread of the virus, but it’s also creating space for xenophobia to rear its ugly head. “We should not let by fear or panic guide our actions,” said Nancy Messonnier, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the CDC, during a Friday press call. “We should not assume because someone is of Asian descent that they have the new coronavirus.”

So, this is a reminder to take all the precautions you would any and every flu season,  as well as a step-by-step wiki tutorial on how to dismantle xenophobia.

Black History Month: We’re still in the very beginning of Black History Month. What are you doing this month to celebrate or learn something new or be braver? There are a lot of events happening in my hometown, including a panel discussion on How to Have Better Conversations About Race, and simply the existence of America’s Black Holocaust Museum is incredible (I really hope you check out that link). I wanted to make some space to acknowledge black queer history, too. Here’s a great write up celebrating LGBTQIA+ black excellence – Happy Black History Month!

Get Ready for the Primary Vote: Iowa got us a bumpy start to the democratic process this week, and every other state’s primary is coming up over the next few months (see 2020 Presidential Election Calendar). Since we’ve been talking so much about this, you’ve already gone to register to vote, OR at least made an election day plan, right? Next, are you ready for the ballot? Take a few minutes to check out your state’s sample ballot to make sure you know how you’re gonna vote. AND if you want, here’s a link to sign up for a text reminder to make a vote plan.

We hope this newsletter left you feeling more informed and more energized to go out there and make a difference in whatever way you can.

We’d love to hear from you, not only for tips or suggestions (though they’re always welcome), but also to hear about how the activism has been going. Do you have any success stories? Did anything surprise you that you weren’t expecting? Let us know at activism@patrothfuss.com and hopefully we can use your stories to help encourage and educate others!

Best,
The Activism Team

Want to sign up for the list? You can do that right here.

Our mailing address is:

The Activism Team

PO Box 186

Stevens Point, WI 54481

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