March On! Texas

Category: Federal

I Feel Like I’m In An Episode of Game of Thrones

I Feel Like I’m In An Episode of Game of Thrones

Do you remember the good old days when people at the office water cooler spoke about Kim Kardashian?  I miss that fluffy gossip of no consequence.

Today I feel like I’m living in an episode of Game of Thrones.  Just like the warring kingdoms in Westeros, today’s conversations include extreme division between the sexes (think: Google Memo), races (Affirmative action for whites), immigrants (Proposed “merit-based” immigration policy) and religions (Muslim ban).

Putin, like the scheming Littlefinger, is laughing at all the chaos he has caused and is celebrating with shirtless selfies in Siberia.

Playing the long game, without a shirt. Photograph: Sputnik via AFP/Getty Images

But our own boy-king Donald Trump, in GoT Joffrey fashion, upped the game when he made off-the-cuff comments about raining “fire and fury like the world has never seen” against North Korea for it’s newfound nuclear capabilities.  Kim Jung-un didn’t seem too scared of this rhetoric though, as he then proceeded to threaten to nuke Guam.

Photo: YouTube

As if this political brinksmanship drama wasn’t enough, an existential threat greater than the White Walkers was exposed when federal scientists leaked a report about climate change to the New York Times because they feared their own government, aka the Trump administration, would suppress or change it.

Where’s Khaleesi on a dragon when you need her?

I guess we have to be our own heroes.  Here’s how:

  • Want better leaders?  Vote for them!  Not sure about the who/what/where/how of voting in local elections?  There’s an app for that: Voter’s App
  • We don’t have a say in pulling out of the Paris Accords but we can fight global warming5 Ways You Can Save Planet Earth
  • Sick of all the vicious verbal barbs?  We are too:  Civility

Want to do even more?  Volunteer to work on the issues that matter most to you.  Be part of the solution.  Want to be inspired?  Read: The Silver Lining of the 2016 Election (Warning: it might make you cry…or volunteer.)

March on y’all!

Civility

Civility

By Melissa Fierro

Civility… It’s a two-way street.  Bitch, slut,  pig she was bleeding from wherever,  low IQ, crazy.  Words we hear nearly every day coming from  our president.  Not presidential?  No.  Language of the gutter?  Yes.  Exclusive to Donald Trump?  Not by a long shot.

We are appalled and outraged at the low level of discourse our president seems to think is okay.  He is president of the United States of America!  He should hold himself to a higher moral standard!  He should set a better example for our children! But what level of moral standard do we hold ourselves to?  What kind of example are we setting for our children?

Everyday I see posts on Facebook making pejorative comments about Kellyanne Conway’s looks or calling her a bitch.  Ivanka Trump is  a bimbo, slut or worse.  Sarah Huckabee Sanders is a fat cow or stupid.  And the president is called names so vile that if our kids said it, we would ground them for a month.  People in glass houses better be careful of throwing stones.

Cartoon by Darrin Bell

Now don’t get me wrong.  I am not trying to preach or get on my moral high horse.  I can’t stand the sight of Donald Trump.  The sound of his voice makes my skin crawl. (And for those of you who know me, I have the mouth of a sailor.)  And I have been guilty of every single thing I mentioned above.

But I started recognizing the hypocrisy of being appalled at those on the right for doing or condoning what I was guilty of doing myself.  And I realized when I heard my husband call a woman on the right something unsavory my blood pressure would rise and I found myself defending them.

Why?

Because we cannot expect more from others than we expect from ourselves.  A simple truth most of us forget in our horror and anger at what is being done to our country.  And the manner and style in which DJT chooses to do it.  But, as Michelle Obama famously said and has so often been quoted, “When they go low we go high.” Let’s go high people.

Beat them at the polls, not at their own game.

100 Days of Trump and Feeling Powerfully Blue

100 Days of Trump and Feeling Powerfully Blue

The first 100 days of a presidency is usually referred to as the honeymoon; with Trump as president the experience has been more like, “Brace yourself, Bridget!”

And yet, it’s been pretty much what I expected: chaos.

People who voted for Trump, or as I like to call them, “half of my friends and family”, voted for him precisely for his ability to disrupt things.  As one family member told me, “He’s like throwing a stick of dynamite into Congress.  Ha!”

NBCnews

Well, looks like the joke is on all of us.

Key campaign staff are under FBI investigation for potentially colluding with the Russians to swing the election, millions of women across the globe marched the day after his inauguration, he’s rolled back regulations and put climate change deniers in charge of the EPA, his surrogates spew out “alternative facts,” and somehow his press secretary missed the history class that mentioned Hitler gassed 6 million Jews.

Through his executive orders, personnel choices and Tweets he has made it abundantly clear that his new America is tied to white nationalists.

The selection of Steve Bannon as his chief strategist is the biggest evidence of this direction.  Bannon, the former head of Breitbart News, home of the alt-right (which is fancy for “white nationalist”) helped to bring racist misogynists like Milo Yiannopolis mainstream and emboldened people like former KKK leader David Duke and neo-Nazi Richard Spencer to praise Trump’s rhetoric openly.

Even though Trump said he disavows these groups, his words, deeds and sentiments seem to resonate with them, which is pretty telling in and of itself.  When was the last time you remember the KKK holding a parade for a president?  Or have you ever seen a video of Nazis salute any American president like they did when they said, “Heil Trump“?

Jeff Sessions, considered too racially biased to be a federal judge in 1986 (!) is now the attorney general.  During the first 100 days he promised the US Justice Department would no longer seek to reform systemic police abuses (not even in Ferguson and Baltimore,) wanted to freeze federal funds to “sanctuary cities,” and had to officially recuse himself from any hearings on Russia-Trump investigations because he…ahem…forgot to mention his two (2) meetings with the Russian ambassador prior to the election.  Hmm.

Happily, Trump’s Muslim ban was ruled unconstitutional (twice) but not without first causing mass confusion and protests at international airports.  Hate crimes are on the rise and increased bullying at schools across the country is referred to as “The Trump Effect”.

thinkprogress.org

After bragging how easy it would be to repeal and replace healthcare for almost a decade, and with Republican majorities in the House and Senate, the guy who loves the art of the deal couldn’t pull it off.  The AHCA died before it was even voted on, so his administration didn’t win, but the fortunately the American people did, because that plan would have been a total disaster (to coin his phrase) leaving 24 million without health coverage and essential benefits.

While not very good at getting his legislation passed, Trump is pretty good at taking away women’s rights.  One of his first executive orders was to instill the “gag rule” which banned funding for international family planning charities who provide or “promote” abortions.  Yes, even talking about abortion as one of several options for pregnant women is forbidden.  He signed this surrounded by a room full of white men.

By Susan Walsh/A.P. Images/Rex/Shutterstock

And what better way to celebrate Sexual Assault Awareness Month than to defend former FOX anchor Bill O’Reilly, who paid $13 million to settle sexually inappropriate behavior claims by five women, by telling the New York Times “I think he shouldn’t have settled; personally I think he shouldn’t have settled because you should have taken it all the way. I don’t think Bill did anything wrong.” But is his support a surprise to anyone who watched the Access Hollywood tape, which was the very definition of sexual assault?

Trump’s foreign policy is a giant cluster of whatever he’s feeling at the moment:  NATO is obsolete.  No wait!  It’s not anymore.  China is a currency manipulator.  Oops!  My bad.  They’re not.  I’m solidly against NAFTA.  Unless I’m talking to the leaders of Canada and Mexico.  Then I’m totally cool with it.  Plus, Mexico is going to pay for that wall!  Except, they’re not, so American taxpayers will or else We Will Shut Down This Government!  Ok, you called my bluff.  Did I mention we dropped the mother of all bombs in Afghanistan and got involved in the Syrian civil war after I said I wouldn’t and now we might go to war with North Korea?

His lack of knowledge of a plethora of issues and seeming willingness to drive a hard bargain and then instantly back down only weakens us as a nation.

Photo: David Baratz USA Today

In the latest interview with Reuters, Trump said, “I thought it would be easier…I miss my old life.”  This follows his bewildered discoveries that “Nobody knew health care could be so complicated,” and that dealing with North Korea was “not so easy.”

Remember that old saying, “Be careful what you wish for, because you just might get it”?  Trump is beginning to understand it and it can only be a matter of time before the people who put their faith in him to bring back manufacturing jobs and the good old days will get buyer’s remorse too.

But one positive side effect of Trump’s 100 days is that he awakened a sleeping giant:  Progressives, women, immigrants, people of color, LBGTQ and religious minorities are energized like never before.

First we marched, now an unprecedented 13,000 women are running for office across the country.  And here, in deep red Texas, our Marchers have identified over 70 progressive candidates, 45 of them women!  (You can see a candidate list here:  North TexasCentral Texas, Gulf Coast or click on the map below).

Suddenly people have realized that silence is no longer an option.  Patriotism requires being an everyday activist, even when it’s hard.  From students to retirees, people are calling their reps, marching for science, donating to support free speech and showing up at town halls to hold elected officials accountable.

Another positive thing that Trump has proven, is that anyone can beat the odds.  Even he did think he would win!  (Remember, “The election is rigged”?)  So when we at March On! Texas hear that our state is solidly conservative and will be forever, we know that’s not true.

We believe that we can turn Texas blue and it begins with you.  Early voting is now open and the official election date is May 6th.  So if we truly want to limit the number of days that Trump and his cronies are in power, we must flex our power by voting.

March on y’all!

 

 

 

 

Trump’s Taxes Make Me Furious!

Trump’s Taxes Make Me Furious!

Every year around April 15th I start to get very patriotic.  Because that’s when my taxes are do and if I didn’t think about how great America is I’d be really ticked off I had to pay so much.

Usually, I’d say nice calming things like:  libraries, social security for grandma, Medicaid, food stamps, public schools for all, and then I’d gladly write the check to the IRS.  (OK, I wasn’t glad but I wasn’t angry about it either.)

But this year?  Holy Tax Evasion Bat Man!  Why do I have to kill myself to fill out all this paperwork when Donald Trump bragged during a debate that not paying taxes makes him smart!?!

Any why won’t he release his taxes?  Even Richard-I’m-Not-A-Crook-Nixon released his taxes!  The Republican rubber-stamping congress could order him to release his taxes as part of the inquiry into Russian business relationships, but they don’t seem interested at all.

Clearly his refusal to release his tax returns got a lot of people angry. Thousands of people in over 200 cities attended the Tax March yesterday.

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Run Beto Run!

Run Beto Run!

In the midst of his tour around Texas Congressman Beto O’Rourke announced that he is running for Ted Cruz’s spot in the U.S. Senate. He kicked off his campaign on April 1st in Austin. We went to his meet and greet at Scholz Garten with the same question everyone had, can he do it?

The outdoor beer garten at Scholz was absolutely packed on Saturday afternoon with energetic  Texans, still fired up from the Women’s March and eager to hear what Beto had to offer for the future of our state and our country. I personally left with three take aways about Beto:

  1. He will make immigration a priority.
  2. He could be a uniting force in a very divided political climate.
  3. He is listening to the people.

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I Can See Russia From My President’s House

I Can See Russia From My President’s House

Back in the 1980s, when many of us were kids, it was easy to know who the good guys and bad guys were.  Americans?  Good.  Russia?  Bad.  Or to coin the phrase of Ronald Reagan, Russia was “The Evil Empire”.

Today, it seems we have woken up in an alternative universe.  Republicans (Republicans!?!) are saying that Russian interference into the election wasn’t that big a deal.  The “real” issue is that people are leaking information about all the alleged relationships between Moscow and Trump associates.

Don’t get us wrong, leaking confidential information isn’t right and should be dealt with, but isn’t that kind of like shooting the messenger?  Let’s first find out what, if anything, is going on between Team Trump and Vladimir Putin.

March On Texas strongly believes we really need an independent investigation to a) figure out if the Russians worked with anyone from Trump’s team to meddle with our election and b) if it did happen, make sure it doesn’t happen again.

Because this isn’t about Hillary Clinton losing the presidency.  This is about our long-time enemy messing with our democracy and possibly American citizens helping them!  This is something that should absolutely horrify all Americans.

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