- FW: Fusion GPS, Christopher Steele and the “dossier” got you a little confused?
- FW: Gerrymandering, turbo-charged. Petition
- FW: Small Enough to Jail – an injustice against Asian Americans
- FW: NYT Today’s Headlines
- FW: Trump just ended protections for 200,000 Salvadorans
- FW: Help immigrant families who fled violence and disaster!
- FW: We aren’t done fighting
- FW: Yesterday, I was told to leave the United States.
- FW: The Increasing Unfitness of Donald Trump
- FW: Ghost of the Deepwater Returns; Companies … are now laying off …; Why Michael Wolff’s Book Is Good News
- FW: Michael Wolff: My Insane Year Inside Trump’s White House
- FW: AFSC among human rights orgs barred from Israel
- FW: [JVP] commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Nakba
- FW: Reply from Senator Sherrod Brown about our nation’s tax code
- FW: I just signed these – will you?
From: Eric Kramer
Subject: Fusion GPS, Christopher Steele and the “dossier” got you a little confused?
Here’s a little help from an actor/friend, back in Chicago. Thank you, Kevin Theis. – E
So…Fusion GPS, Christopher Steele and the “dossier” got you a little confused? Here’s a brief summary:
Back when Donald Trump first announced his candidacy for President, a conservative website, The Washington Free Beacon (financed largely by Paul Singer, a top Republican donor who had opposed Mr. Trump), hired a company called Fusion GPS to look into Trump and his business dealings and provide “opposition research.”
Remember that. That little nugget is of paramount importance. This whole thing began with a CONSERVATIVE investigating Trump.
Then, after Trump became the Republican nominee, Singer and the Beacon backed away from the investigation…and the Democrats took over instead. The law firm Perkins Coie, on behalf of the Democratic National Committee, hired Fusion GPS to continue the work they had begun for the Beacon.
Then, in June of last year, the DNC was hacked and the whole investigation took on more urgency. Emails stolen from the DNC began to appear online and it became apparent that the Russian government was behind the hack.
At that time, the head of Fusion GPS, Glenn Simpson, reached out to a former British spy named Christopher Steele, whose specialty was Russian intel. Steele began coordinating with contacts he had within Russia to investigate Russia’s involvement in the DNC hack, and…things started to get bizarre.
Steele started to learn of odd contacts between Trump and Russia. Multiple contacts between Trump campaign officials and contacts in the Russian government. And one very memorable (and as yet unsubstantiated) story about Russian prostitutes defiling a bed in a hotel room where the Obamas had stayed.
In time it began to look as if the Russian government had enough dirt on Trump to actually blackmail him. They appeared to have the ability to make demands of one of the candidates for President of the United States (and, should he win, the leader of the free world).
So what did Steele and Fusion do with this information? Did they simply share it with the DNC and leak it to the press?
Nope. They went to the FBI. They compiled the memos that Steele had been producing (which later came to be known as “the dossier”) and informed the Federal Bureau of Investigation that one of the Presidential candidates could potentially be blackmailed by Vladimir Putin.
What’s more, the information that Steele had compiled in the dossier appeared to match some information that the FBI had already dug up in their own investigation of Russian meddling in the election.
Remember that, too: The dossier did NOT begin the FBI investigation. It simply confirmed what the FBI had already learned.
And, eventually, the dossier leaked out. The press caught wind of it. And Buzzfeed went whole-hog and published the entire dossier itself in January, revealing all of Steele’s investigations to the wider world.
Final note: Nothing – NOTHING – in the dossier has been proven false. The only things that are in the dossier that have been fully investigated and about which we know the truth…have shown Steele’s work to be accurate.
So DO NOT let anyone tell you that Hillary Clinton invented the dossier (which is full of lies) and illegally leaked it to smear Trump and that Fusion GPS or Steele or anyone else is criminally liable or any of that nonsense.
None of that is true. What’s true:
Is that Trump is knee-deep in one of the biggest scandals in American political history.
Please: Send all doubters and haters my way, if you would. Thanks.
From: Andrew J. Tierman
Subject: FW: Gerrymandering, turbo-charged. Petition
Trump Administration is trying to skew the 2020 census by asking about citizenship. See attached from Common Cause. – Andrew
We need your help to stop the Trump Administration from rigging the 2020 Census.
Jeff Sessions’ Department of Justice wants to add an unnecessary and politically motivated question on citizenship status to the upcoming Census.
The Census is required to count every person who lives here, whether or not they’re a citizen. But the Trump Administration’s anti-immigrant rhetoric carries a real risk that people might refuse to participate in the Census for fear of targeting or retaliation — skewing the final count.
The 2020 Census will shape our nation’s democracy, public policy and economy for a decade. We simply can’t afford to get it wrong — or let this partisan stunt distort its outcome.
We must speak out now and urge Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to REFUSE this request — sign our petition today! TAKE ACTION
The Trump administration has already dramatically underfunded the upcoming Census, and is trying to put a professor who provided “expert testimony” to defend North Carolina’s racial gerrymandering in charge of it. Now, they’re stepping up their efforts with a formal request to add a question on citizenship status in 2020.
The Census is supposed to count everyone who lives in the United States regardless of citizenship status. This unnecessary question could discourage people from completing the survey and skew the final count, leaving communities who have been historically underrepresented with even less access to resources and representation — like racial gerrymandering already does, but turbo-charged.
We already know that people of color, particularly Black and Latino communities in both urban and rural areas, are at an especially high risk of being undercounted by the Census. Adding a question on citizenship will only further discourage people from participating — which means less representation and resources for those communities.
That’s why we must speak out NOW to prevent this deliberate attempt to rig the Census to undercount communities of color. We need an accurate and fair Census that counts everyone who lives here — not this partisan political attempt to twist the results.
Please sign our petition to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross today, and tell him to reject any Census question on citizenship or immigration status.
From: S. B. Woo; President and a volunteer for the past 18 years, 80-20 Educational Foundation, Inc,
Subject: Small Enough to Jail – an injustice against Asian-Americans
Small Enough to Jail –An Outrageous Injustice Against An Asian-American Bank
(If you own a business, view the documentary & worry!)
Abacus Bank, a small bank operated by the Sung family in NYC, was the only U.S. bank to be charged after the Great Recession of 2008.
The bank ultimately prevailed, but it took all they had to fight against the unfair accusations.
The story was recorded in a documentary by Steve James, Abacus: Small Enough to Jail. It was Broadcast on PBS Frontline in 2017. The prosecutor spent 5 years and reportedly $10 million on prosecuting the bank for larceny. In the end, the bank and all its employees were found not guilty on all 80 charges. Deservedly, the documentary is now shortlisted for an Oscar.
Click here to watch it. I was enraged by the injustice but inspired by how one of the daughters, who was a lawyer, quit her job to help her father in his hour of need. It was such a touching illustration of our Asian-American family values. I was also elated to learn that, at the end, the good guys won.
This documentary deserves an Oscar to show that justice still prevails in the U.S., at least in this case. The Oscar will greatly publicize worldwide the immense injustice caused by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr.
The Misdeeds of Cyrus R. Vance, Jr.
- No sense of justice: He accommodates the strong and takes campaign money from their attorneys:
Excerpts from Cyrus Vance Jr. – Wikipedia “Vance also drew controversy for deciding not to press criminal charges against public figures accused of crimes, including Harvey Weinstein, Ivanka Trump, and Donald Trump Jr., after which he received campaign contributions from their attorneys.”
- Adding insult to injury to a weak minority:
Another excerpt from Cyrus Vance Jr. – Wikipedia: “In an effort at grandstanding, Vance’s office orchestrated a show by parading ex-employees of the bank in a chain, handcuffed to each other, in front of reporters. Nevertheless, Cyrus Vance stated in an interview that the decision to exhibit the non-violent ex-employees was due to “security issues.” Click here to watch the documentary. How humiliating! Vance was humiliating powerless citizens to advance his political career. How cruel!
Please forward to your friends in NYC so that his constituents will know about his misdeeds. He was a good D.A. back in 2010, when first elected. However, power corrupts, he seemingly has become callous and careless. Will the people of Manhattan County still want him, if and when “Small Enough to Jail” wins an Oscar? This could exemplify the immense power for good of arts.
From: New York Times
Subject: NYT Today’s Headlines:
(1) Trump Sidesteps Question on Mueller Interview
(2) Trump Appears to Endorse Path to Citizenship for Millions of Immigrants
(3) Kushner’s Financial Ties to Israel Deepen Even With Mideast Diplomatic Role
(4) Trump, Defending His Mental Fitness, Says He’s a ‘Very Stable Genius’
Trump Sidesteps Question on Mueller Interview
By JULIE HIRSCHFELD DAVIS and NICHOLAS FANDOS
The response was a marked change from June, when President Trump said he would be “100 percent” willing to give a sworn statement to the special counsel.
Trump Appears to Endorse Path to Citizenship for Millions of Immigrants
By JULIE HIRSCHFELD DAVIS and SHERYL GAY STOLBERG
President Trump said he would be willing to “take the heat” politically for a sweeping immigration deal, which could alienate some of his supporters.
Kushner’s Financial Ties to Israel Deepen Even With Mideast Diplomatic Role
By JESSE DRUCKER
An Israeli insurance company’s previously undisclosed $30 million investment in Jared Kushner’s family company could fuel the perception of conflicts of interest.
Trump, Defending His Mental Fitness, Says He’s a ‘Very Stable Genius’
By PETER BAKER and MAGGIE HABERMAN
Mr. Trump, seeming to respond to revelations in a new book, issued an extraordinary defense of his fitness for office.
From: Kathryn Johnson; Policy Impact Coordinator, AFSC
Subject: Trump just ended protections for 200,000 Salvadorans
Tell Congress: Save TPS Holders!
Yesterday, the Trump administration announced that it is terminating Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for El Salvador—another cruel attack on immigrants in the U.S. that will tear apart our families and hurt our communities. The decision rips legal status from almost 200,000 people.
Congress must act now to protect TPS holders from deportation. TPS holders from El Salvador have been in the U.S. since the TPS was granted to the country after two devastating earthquakes in 2001.
AFSC and our allies are calling on Congress to enact a permanent solution that provides lawful permanent residency and a roadmap to citizenship for the more than 300,000 TPS recipients and millions of other immigrants in the U.S.
Tens of thousands of Salvadoran TPS holders live in and around my city of Washington, D.C. And I know the devastating impact that this decision will have on us here, as well as cities and towns across the U.S. For years I’ve watched my neighbors worry every 18 months about whether their status will be extended and whether they’ll be forced to return to a country that they haven’t seen in over 16 years.
TPS is designed to protect people from being returned to harm. But I’ve heard from our staff in El Salvador how ill-prepared the country is to reabsorb hundreds of thousands of people and how not extending TPS places countless people at risk of deportation back to life-threatening situations. In addition to acute shortages of food, water, and housing, gang violence has reached unprecedented levels—El Salvador still suffers from the highest murder rate in the world.
The decision also separates families—including approximately 192,000 U.S. citizen children who have a Salvadoran TPS-holder parent, devastates our economy, and will hurt regional security.
Congress failed to act last year when the Trump Administration terminated TPS for Sudan, Nicaragua, and Haiti, potentially tearing 60,000 people from our communities. Help us call on them now to provide a permanent solution for all TPS holders.
From: Munsup @SISCOM Seoh
Subject: Help immigrant families who fled violence and disaster!
I signed a petition to The United States House of Representatives and The United States Senate which says:
“The Temporary Protected Status (TPS) program allowed me to stay in the United States to seek safety from violence from in El Salvador where I was born. As a working mother of four children who were born in the United States, I am calling on Congress to find a permanent bipartisan solution to protecting the 320,000 immigrants with TPS. Please sign my petition to ensure families like mine are not ripped apart and sent back to nations devastated by disasters and genocide.”
Will you sign this petition? Click here: http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/save-tps-dont-let-congress?source=s.em.mt&r_by=4513377
From: Nancy Treviño, Reform Immigration FOR America
Subject: We aren’t done fighting
Members of Congress are back in Washington and so are we. In December, Democratic and Republican lawmakers alike failed to do their job and protect undocumented youth before leaving for holiday recess. Now Congress has until January 19 to ensure that the DREAM Act is included in a new bill to fund the government.
Over the next 9 days, immigrant youth and allies are meeting with members of Congress to tell them that the DREAM Act must be included in ANY spending package and they need you to add your voice.
Join us TODAY for a National Call-In Day to tell Members of Congress that Americans want an immediate, permanent solution to ensure young immigrants live their lives without constant fear of arrest, detention, and deportation.
There is only one thing you need to do: Call 1-888-778-6856, and when you’re connected to your representative’s office, say:
Hi, I’m [your name] from [your city], and I want my representative to pass a DREAM Act that keeps immigrant youth together with their families and does not include money for more interior enforcement, detention beds, the border wall, or cuts to legal immigration channels.
With each passing day, 122 immigrant youth lose their DACA status and become vulnerable to deportation. We must continue our fight to keep immigrant youth together with their families and in their communities!
Call your representative at 1-888-778-6856, and tell them to pass the DREAM Act now.
Stand with the thousands of people who have been fighting to demand a solution for young immigrants. Together, we will let Congress know that we are not backing down until our community is safe and can live the lives they have created away from the shadows.
From: Gabriela P.
Subject: Yesterday, I was told to leave the United States.
Yesterday, I was told to leave the United States. The Temporary Protected Status (TPS) program has allowed me to stay in the United States to seek safety from violence in El Salvador where I was born, but the Trump administration announced it will not renew protections for nearly 200,000 Salvadorans, including me.1
As a working mother of four children who were born in the United States, I may be forced to rip my family apart and return to a nation devastated by a horrific and violent civil war. And I’m not alone.
That’s why next week I’ll be delivering this petition to Congress along with MomsRising and other organizations, calling on senators and representatives to find a permanent bipartisan solution in order to protect the hundreds of thousands of immigrants with Temporary Protected Status. Will you help me reach as many people as possible by signing and sharing this petition immediately? Click here to sign.
I am calling on Congress to find a permanent bipartisan solution to protecting immigrants with TPS. Please sign my petition to ensure families like mine are not ripped apart and sent back to nations devastated by disasters and war.
Taking away TPS or letting it expire has thrown families such as mine into chaos, as mothers and fathers lose their legal status to stay in the country. We could be forced to decide whether to divide our families or to take our children to dangerous and unfamiliar situations.
TPS recipients are mothers, neighbors, caregivers, business owners, and community members. We are parents to children who have lived in the United States their whole lives and know no other home.
Removing TPS recipients from the country is inhumane, and it also makes no economic sense. It could cost the U.S. economy $164 billion over 10 years!2
- “Trump administration ends protections for more than 200,000 Salvadorans,” CNN, January 9, 2018
- “RELEASE: U.S. Would Lose $164B in GDP Over 10 Years If TPS Holders from El Salvador, Honduras, and Haiti Were Removed from Labor Force, Finds New CAP Analysis,” Center for American Progress, October 20, 2017
You’re receiving this petition because we thought it might interest you. It was created on MoveOn.org, where anyone can start their own online petitions. You can start your own petition here.
Want to support our work? The MoveOn community will work every moment, day by day and year by year, to resist Trump’s agenda, contain the damage, defeat hate with love, and begin the process of swinging the nation’s pendulum back toward sanity, decency, and the kind of future that we must never give up on. And to do it we need your ongoing support, now more than ever. Will you stand with us? Donate monthly or make a one-time gift Contributions to MoveOn.org Civic Action are not tax deductible as charitable contributions for federal income tax purposes.
From: Eric Kramer
Subject: The Increasing Unfitness of Donald Trump | The New Yorker
From: Thomas Scott
Subject: Ghost of the Deepwater Horizon Returns; Companies … are now laying off their workers; Why Michael Wolff’s Book Is Good News
- The Ghost of the Deepwater Horizon Returns
- Companies that announced big bonuses after GOP tax cut are now laying off their workers
- Taibbi: Why Michael Wolff’s Book Is Good News
From: Judy Burnette
Subject: [Keystone Kops in the White House] “Michael Wolff: My Insane Year Inside Trump’s White House” | Hollywood Reporter
From: Joyce Ajlouny; General Secretary, AFSC
Subject: AFSC among human rights orgs barred from Israel
Yesterday the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) was included on a list of 20 organizations whose staff may be denied entry to Israel because of their support for the Palestinian-led boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement.
Motivated by Quaker belief in the worth and dignity of all people, AFSC has supported and joined in nonviolent resistance for over 100 years. We answered the call for divestment from apartheid in South Africa, and we have done the same with the call for BDS from Palestinians who have faced decades of human rights violations.
Throughout our history, we have stood with communities facing oppression and violence around the world. In 1947 we were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in part for our support for Jewish refugees fleeing the Holocaust. We will continue our legacy of speaking truth to power and standing for peace and justice without exception in Israel, occupied Palestine, and around the world.
All people, including Palestinians, have a right to live in safety and peace and have their human rights respected. For 51 years, Israel has denied Palestinians in the occupied territories their fundamental human rights, in defiance of international law. While Israeli Jews enjoy full civil and political rights, prosperity, and relative security, Palestinians under Israeli control enjoy few or none of those rights or privileges.
The Palestinian BDS call aims at changing this situation, asking the international community to use proven nonviolent social change tactics until equality, freedom from occupation, and recognition of refugees’ right to return are realized. AFSC’s Principles for a Just and Lasting Peace in Palestine and Israel affirm each of these rights. Thus, we have joined others around the world in responding to the Palestinian-led BDS call. As Palestinians seek to realize their rights and end Israeli oppression, what are the alternatives left to them if we deny them such options?
Quakers pioneered the use of boycotts when they helped lead the “Free Produce Movement,” a boycott of goods produced using slave labor during the 1800s. AFSC has a long history of supporting economic activism, which we view as an appeal to conscience, aimed at raising awareness among those complicit in harmful practices, and as an effective tactic for removing structural support for oppression.
The 17th century Quaker abolitionist John Woolman spoke to the spiritual foundation of this work when he said, “May we look upon our treasures, and the furniture of our houses, and the garments in which we array ourselves, and try whether the seeds of war have nourishment in these our possessions.”
The ban on entry to Israel for activists who support the Palestinian-led BDS movement is part of a larger effort by the Israeli government to silence and constrain human rights and anti-occupation activists. In recent months, more Palestinian activists have faced arrest, death threats, and imprisonment without charge or trial in response to nonviolent activism for human rights. In addition, organizations inside Israel have been denied funding and access to event venues and have faced threats of trial and imprisonment.
At a time when the Israeli government is moving to expand settlements, redefine Jerusalem, and annex portions of the West Bank, support for nonviolent activism that seeks freedom, equality, and justice is critical.
Therefore, as long as these and other human rights violations persist, we will continue to support Palestinian-led boycott, divestment, and sanctions efforts as effective nonviolent tools for realizing political and social change. We hope one day to see Israelis and Palestinians live together in peace. This will only happen when the human rights of all are recognized and respected.
From: Rebecca Vilkomerson; Executive Director, Jewish Voice for Peace
Subject: [JVP-NewsAndUpdates] commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Nakba
lots of current events this week, so no better time to think and learn about one of the most fundamental things that underly them all:
This spring JVP will join with Palestinians and others in commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Nakba (Arabic for “the catastrophe”)—the forced displacement of approximately 750,000 Palestinians that began with Israel’s establishment in 1948. As part of our commitment to grappling with that history and its contemporary reverberations, we are proud to make available our seven-part curriculum, Facing the Nakba. We encourage you to use it, including as you plan your Nakba commemorations.
A guide for group workshops as well as a rich archive of resources accessible to individuals, Facing the Nakba is a flexible, multimedia curriculum that can help fill in the information that is often elided in accounts of Israel’s creation, strengthening our understanding of history (especially how the injustices Palestinians face began long before the 1967 occupation) and galvanizing our organizing today.
The Facing the Nakba website offers an in-depth guide for those who wish to facilitate group study as well as recommended tracks—for groups in synagogues or on college campuses, among organizers or high school students. We want the curriculum to work for you. The FTN library contains scores of materials — historical analyses, personal testimonies, NGO and governmental documents, maps, photos, and other materials.
Facing the Nakba, developed by a team of JVP members, draws from the pioneering work of the Israeli organization Zochrot (“Remembering” in Hebrew), which published a study guide in 2008 called “How do you say Nakba in Hebrew?” to promote acknowledgment and accountability within Israel for the ongoing injustices of the Nakba. Facingthe Nakba also maintains close partnerships with Badil Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights and with the Participatory Action Research Center (PARCEO) to further develop our materials and broaden our reach.
The journal Radical Teacher featured Facing the Nakba in its recent issue on public pedagogies. We hope you will be part of the public that uses and expands this essential tool of our activism.
Please feel free to contact Marilyn Kleinberg Neimark (email@example.com) and Donna Nevel (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you would like to discuss the curriculum, or reach out to JVP staff for additional support.
From: Senator Sherrod Brown
Subject: Reply to Munsup from Senator Sherrod Brown about our nation’s tax code
Thank you for getting in touch with me about our nation’s tax code.
I support reforming our tax code to provide greater certainty and simplicity for workers, families, and small businesses. I also believe tax policy should ensure that Ohioans who work hard and play by the rules can get ahead and achieve economic security. Unfortunately, the recently passed Tax Cuts and Jobs Act failed to meet this standard.
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act – passed on party-line vote with no bipartisan input – was not drafted with middle-class workers or families in mind. The proposal that became law will raise taxes on 9 million middle class families in 2019. By 2027, that number will rise to 38 million. That is unacceptable, and it is the opposite of a “middle class tax cut.”
In addition, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is filled with tax breaks and giveaways to corporations that outsource American jobs, hedge funds, the oil industry, and other special interests. These are highly-profitable industries that don’t need massive tax cuts, yet many of my colleagues are focused on helping them rather than providing relief to middle-class Ohioans.
If we want to cut taxes for workers, we should actually cut taxes for workers. Throughout this process, I have offered two pieces of legislation that would give direct tax cuts to middle-class workers and families and provide tax benefits for companies that keep jobs in the United States and invest in their workforce. These proposals have been ignored, and instead, Congressional leaders have doubled-down on the debunked theory that tax cuts for corporations and the rich will “trickle-down” to workers.
I am skeptical that this legislation will produce much, if any, economic growth. And I am extremely concerned that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will balloon our deficit and lead to further calls for cutting vital social insurance programs like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. I oppose cuts to these programs.
I assure you that I will continue fighting for workers, families, and small businesses across our state and I will advocate for real, commonsense middle class tax relief. Thank you again for writing me.
From: Munsup @SISCOM Seoh
Subject: I just signed these – will you?
- I just signed a petition telling all Democrats to commit to repeal and replace the Trump Tax Scam, and I think you should, too.
- Support Automatic Voter Registration Act: With Republicans attacking voting rights at the state and federal level, we need to do everything we can to fight back, including making it easier to vote. The Automatic Voter Registration Act would require states to automatically register eligible voters when they interact with certain state and federal agencies and help put up to 50 million new voters on the path to the polls. Here’s the link to sign CREDO’s petition urging Congress to pass it:
- Tell Democrats: Commit to repeal and replace the Trump Tax Scam:
I just signed a petition telling all Democrats to commit to repeal and replace the Trump Tax Scam, and I think you should, too.
End of MPEN e-Newsletter