Credit Where Credit is Due

My new normal includes calling my Reps and Senators about important issues every day, and making sure they know there are people out in the world who care about this stuff. Bit by bit, it's having an effect. [http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/317379-gop-senator-to-vote-no-on-betsy-devos]

First on the list today was Mike Coffman, my rep. Now, Coffman's a Republican, and I'm not, and honestly I'm not expecting a lot of headway.

But.

Here's the thing: Coffman did distance himself from Trump during the election – did say he wasn't voting for him, that Trump should withdraw, that he would hold Tan Dumplord accountable for his actions if he won.

And, so far, he has… kind of done that. [https://www.denverite.com/republican-rep-mike-coffmans-28334/] – It's a little weak, certainly open to interpretation, but it's there, and right now you take the wins you can get.

So, credit where it was due: I got a live person (wonder of wonders) and made sure to start off by commending Coffman on his statements regarding the Muslim Ban, and how glad I was to see him take that stand.

THEN I went into "And since he's made such a principled stand on the Muslim Ban, let's talk about what he needs to say about the White Supremacist civilian who just replaced two experienced, core members of the National Security Council…"

Republican Rep. Mike Coffman says he doesn’t support a travel ban based on religion. But how does he feel about Trump’s executive order? – Denverite
Update: The Denver Post caught up with Mike Coffman in D.C., and he had some stronger words. He called the executive order an “embarrassment” and said it was poorly thought out and poorly executed. Presumably this is a statement in response to President Donald Trump’s executive order on refugees, but it doesn’t actually refer to the order … Continue reading “Republican Rep. Mike Coffman says he doesn’t support a travel ban based on religion. But …

Jinkies

In pretty much any story – any fiction, that is – the amount of blatantly greedy and/or evil shit being pushed out by Trump's administration would see him shut down and tied to a chair by a group of plucky teenagers days ago.

And yet, nothing. He just keeps adding to the pile. Old Man Withers isn't even wearing the swamp monster mask – he doesn't think he needs to, and so far it looks like he's right.

Nobody listens to the hippies in the van.

And even if they do, they don't (or can't?) do anything.

Trump and his cronies took a look at the board and decided the other side just flat-out doesn't have enough pieces in play to stop one. goddamn. thing. they do.

"Work out what you’re best at, and act."

Politics and News stuff is, right now, pretty goddamn painful.

It may not seem like it, but I really do try to balance the doom and gloom stuff with things that, while maybe still newsy, are a little less horrible.

So, here's this piece I just read.

I think you can learn a lot from history. “Don’t be complacent” is a good lesson. “Yes, this is really happening” is a good lesson. “Little events can spiral out of control almost in an instant” is a pretty good one, too.

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm intensely, nauseously worried about where things are are right now, but I do appreciate a realistic take on events that is a little more optimistic about our chances, so I thought I'd share.

https://medium.com/@zacha/history-is-about-the-past-thats-kind-of-the-point-d89e0fd9b995#.97au40a95

Don’t buy into the inevitability […]. That goes double if you feel like Trump is the end of the world.

Germany after WW1, Mugabe’s Zimbabwe, Russia during and after the Communist regime — they didn’t have strong civil societies and a strong tradition of government. The United States does. Despite how it may appear at the moment.

Believing that disaster is inevitable helps allow it to happen. Don’t be blinkered about what a Trump presidency means, but don’t believe that disaster is inevitable.

History is About the Past, That’s Kind of the Point
Why you shouldn’t buy into Tobias Stone’s end of the world article

Horrifying History, Repeating

In the early 1930s, the German Nationalist Party (read: Nazis) didn't start out with concentration camps; they started out with new employment laws.

Well, there was a progression. First, no new immigrants of certain types (Jews, Romani, etc.).

Then, new employment laws aimed at 'undesirables' (previous list, plus Gays) who were already in the country (and in many cases had been for generations), making it illegal or very difficult to hire/employ them.

Stop me if this sounds familiar.

So then: "It's a real shame what happened to our Jewish neighbors, but HEY Heinrich, maybe now you can apply for that promotion…"

You know what made me think of this?

A (very) liberal guy in my feed who shared this article with the comment "Actually, as an engineer, I kind of support this…"

Chilling.

Donald Trump’s Next Immigration Move Said to Hit Closer to Home for Tech

Not Prescient

"Of all the prospects raised by the evolution of digital culture, the most tantalizing is the possibility that technology could fuse with politics to create a more civil society."

— Jon Katz, Wired 5.04, Apr 1997

Still the best tech writing out there at the time.

Obama rejects comparison between Trump’s immigration policy and his own, encourages protests

http://wapo.st/2kk3u2C

Obama pledged before leaving office to only speak about Trump's policy moves “where I think our core values may be at stake.”

So that took 10 days.

Obama rejects comparison between Trump’s immigration policy and his own, encourages protests
A spokesman said Obama “is heartened by the level of engagement taking place in communities around the country.”

CBP in Clear Violation of Court Orders and, by extension the Constitution

We need to nail Trump to the wall on this.

As the night wore on, it became increasingly clear that CBP was defying Brinkema’s ruling. Lawyers concluded that that meant someone was in contempt of court. The judge could theoretically send in federal law enforcement officers to force CBP to let the lawyers meet with the detainees. But sending in the U.S. Marshals—who are part of the Department of Justice—to take on Customs and Border Patrol—which is part of the Department of Homeland Security—would have been a bureaucratic clash of the titans. And, like everything else that night, it would have been unprecedented. It didn’t happen.

Then at around 11:45 pm, New Jersey Senator Cory Booker showed up.

Booker stayed back there for about half an hour, and then he pushed through the crowd of roaring protesters and—flanked by glowering policemen—addressed the crowd. After a few opening words, he held up a copy of Brinkema’s order.

“I am now of the belief that though this was issued by the judicial branch, that it was violated tonight,” he said. “And so one of the things I will be doing is fighting to make sure that the executive branch abides by the law as it was issued in this state and around the nation. This will be an ongoing battle.”

“They told me nothing, and it was unacceptable,” he said. “I believe it’s a Constitutional crisis, where the executive branch is not abiding by the law.”

Trump’s Border Patrol Defies Judge, U.S. Senator at Dulles Airport as His First Constitutional Crisis Unfolds?
Legal immigrants and refugees from seven majority Muslim countries found themselves detained as they landed at Washington Dulles International Airport as President Trump’s half-baked Muslim ban went into effect over the weekend.