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The Massive Difference Between The Parties

“Come back in a year and see if you still hold the idea that both parties are the same.”

Actions For Democrats, Independents, And Republicans Of Conscience

The Weekly Action Checklist is an excellent resource because it will help you focus on a weekly action,  but also, you will get important information about how to help yourself feel better in these trying times. If you choose to subscribe, you will only get one email a week on Monday.

What to Do This Week of Jan 15, 2017

Actions for Democrats, Independents, & Republicans of Conscience

The intention of this weekly document is to make clear suggestions for action backed with well-considered research. Although these actions are intended to be helpful, they are still subject to human error. Please do your own research!

If you’d like to subscribe to this weekly action list, please go here:

Hi there!

Every Sunday for the last eight weeks, I’ve sent out a weekly message that includes activism ideas for people of conscience to oppose the president-elect and the incoming leadership.

The 7,100 subscribers to this list have worked your tail off signing things, boycotting, donating, making calls, and probably have been doing a fair amount of fretting on top of it all. This week’s list is deliberately lighter than usual. We all need a reprieve eventually (more on that in a moment).

This week!

  1. Use your feet

In case you haven’t heard, there are rallies, protests, and marches happening all over the country on and around Inauguration Day. Joining others who care about the integrity and goodness of our country could be an incredible experience.

  • Go here for a list of women’s marches.
  • Or Google your closest city and “protest” or “rally” or “march” to find out what‘s happening near you.
  1. Change tack

When the wind changes direction, a sailboat must take a different tack to keep moving forward. Same thing for us this week. The man who has been our POETUS will soon be our POTUS. It’s time to change strategy for the journey ahead.

During the inauguration, I propose doing the following:

  1. Leave your TV on a station NOT airing the inauguration as a ratings protest.
  2. Spend that time reading the Indivisible Guide. Everyone says, “Oh yeah, I downloaded that!” But it’s time to actually read it. With your thinking cap on. It’ll take you 20-30 minutes.
  3. Choose one action based on what you read in this document. Seriously.

The Indivisible Guide is the single best resource I’ve seen for making a difference using proven, time-tested strategies.

  1. Consider this important issue

We need you here for the next four (or–God forbid–eight) years. We need you sane and resourceful. We need you focused, not swallowed by anxiety and despair. If you don’t take care of yourself, you will burn out.

As important as it is to take action right now, it is also vitally important to do things not even remotely related to politics. That’s why this week’s list is short.

You need sleep, fresh air, heart connections, and good chocolate. Maybe your thing is walking in the woods or playing with your pets. Whatever it is, make time for it in spite of everything. One, this will nourish you from the inside. Two, it will help you remember that not everything is craptastic. Babies are still laughing. The moon is still glowing. Ben and Jerry’s still tastes amazing.

On a brief personal note, I just returned from a week at a mountain retreat center with no wifi or cell phone reception (the other reason this week’s message is short). I meditated, journaled, and even colored just for fun. When it snowed, I marvelled at how snowflakes sparkle and how the ice-covered trees glinted at dawn. In short, I felt like a human again for the first time in almost three months.

I needed that. And you do too (or you may eventually). Self care is a profoundly radical act. Be courageous this week, and do something that nourishes you. We need you in this for the long haul.

If you’re not sure what nourishes you, read this wonderful list of ideas by a faith leader I really admire.

Next week

Next week, my regular What To Do This Week checklist will be back, full of well-researched actions, good news, and the best reading I’ve found this week. In the meantime, take good care of yourself.


  • If you’d like to subscribe for this weekly message, please visit this link.
  • To see archives of past What To Do checklists, click here (and scroll to the bottom)
  • If you’d like to contribute, click here.

We’re stronger together!

Watch The Randi Rhodes Show Live

Rep. Loebsack: MLK Day A Day Of Service And Remembrance

A message about service from Iowa’s only Democrat in congress, Rep. Dave Loebsack on MLK day:

Dear Friend,

Today, we commemorate the great life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by doing our part to make a positive contribution in our communities through service and civic engagement. Dr. King created a legacy of empowering folks to unite and work toward a better, brighter tomorrow. In order to honor Dr. King, Congress designated the Martin Luther King Day of Service in 1994 as the first and only federal holiday that is observed as a national day of service.

I have always believed that Iowans are some of the most civic minded individuals I have met. That is why I have been proud to expand and strengthen volunteer programs across the State of Iowa and nationwide through my Volunteer Generation Fund, which passed into law over seven years ago.

Today, as we honor Dr. King’s legacy, Iowans unite to volunteer and continue the valued tradition of serving others and their communities on this day. If you are interested in participating in a service opportunity near you, click here.

I hope to see you out serving your community today!


Dave Loebsack

Crazy Iowa Republicans Want Permitless Carry For Literally Everyone

On MLK Day, it seems appropriate to post an action alert by Iowans For Gun Safety.

Contact the members of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee that will hold an open public hearing on Wednesday, Jan. 18, at 11:30 am on SJR 2, the bill that calls for an amendment to the state constitution allowing the carrying of guns without the need for a permit or a payment.

This bill is called Constitutional Carry or permitless carry. It is the type of bill defined by “strict scrutiny.” That means that no other consideration should be taken into account. It means an  absolute unqualified right to carry a gun, regardless of mental condition, criminal record, demonstrated ability to handle a firearm, age, or any other limitation.

This would be disastrous for public safety and health. It will also be a long process, requiring a vote again in two years, and then a vote by the public.

Please contact these Senators:

Dan Dawson (R) from Council Bluffs:;

Julian Garrett (R) from Indianola:;


Nate Boulton (D) from Des Moines/Pleasant Hill;

Regardless of which district you are in, they need a flood of mail from Iowans, to get the message.

Also contact other members of the Judiciary Committee. The email format is the same for all.

The following is the full list.

Brad Zaun (R, District 20), Chair
Dan Dawson (R, District 8), Vice Chair
Rich Taylor (D, District 42), Ranking Member
Tony Bisignano (D, District 17)
Nate Boulton (D, District 16)
Jeff Edler (R, District 36)
Julian B. Garrett (R, District 13)
Kevin Kinney (D, District 39)
Janet Petersen (D, District 18)
Charles Schneider (R, District 22)
Jason Schultz (R, District 9)
Tom Shipley (R, District 11)
Amy Sinclair (R, District 14)

If you can attend the subcommittee hearing in person, let me know at or at 319-382-0893. If you can make a statement for yourself or an organization, that would be super!

Ernst, Grassley Vote To Repeal The Affordable Care Act

Pope/Getty Images

Dave Bradley and I met with a Joni Ernst staffer Wednesday. We expressed our concerns about what the senator was going to do as far as her vote on repealing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). We shared our concerns and fears about Trump in general and about what happens to people who will lose their health care.

He was a nice, intelligent young man. You could have mistaken him for an Iowa City liberal. He was very sympathetic and agreed with us that we are living in a terrifying time; he said everyone he knows is also terrified.  But that didn’t stop him from relying on easy Republican cliches that weren’t exactly true, to put us off.

He said that we needed to understand that what we hear in the news is just polarizing politics, and that when Senator Ernst actually votes on actual policies that Senator Ernst will rely on a reasoned process. (Dave and I shared a sidelong glance here).

Politely pointing out that based on everything we’ve seen so far, reason seems to have a very small place in the process, we expressed our skepticism that all would be well, no need to worry.

The nice young man assured us that the Ernst team gets it, that they understand all of the complex issues.  It would all be taken into consideration before she decides how to vote.

We said something like, well you sure could’ve fooled us, and Dave asked the staffer to ask Senator Ernst if she might make a public statement as to her intentions as far as voting to repeal ACA, raising the Medicare eligibility age, or cuts to Social Security.

He claimed that “no one” really knows what is going to happen or what the alleged replacement Obamacare bill was going to have in it, so she couldn’t really make a public statement.

Nevertheless, if as he claims, we had nothing to worry about,  a public statement from Senator Ernst as to what her current thoughts are about Social Security, Medicare, and Obamacare could certainly be helpful, we suggested. So he scribbled a note in a tiny notebook and said he would pass it on.

He was a Nice Young Man just doing his job, explaining to us How Things Work.  He was practiced enough at handling constituents that I did start to wonder if we really knew what we were talking about.

Part of the answer came just hours after we met with the senator’s representative.

Senator Joni Ernst joined Grassley and their Republican colleagues Wednesday night in voting to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) with no replacement on the horizon.  See Midnight Health Care Massacre

How Did Donald Trump Become President? The Truth The Media Dare Not Utter

Les Moonves – even kind of looks like Trump. Photo by Matt Furman/Redux

You must forgive your fellow lefties.

In the heat of the campaign and aftermath of the election, hard feelings prevail within our party and it is easy to blame fellow Democrats, progressives, lefties, Greens, for everything that went wrong.  I’ve done my share of it.

This video reminded me what really caused this.

Fact: The Corporate Media caused Donald Trump to become President.

Thom Hartmann is the only political analyst I know of who is saying this.

The directors and managers and producers of a small handful of immensely powerful and profitable media corporations made the decision a year and a half ago that the Donald Trump Show was more important to put on TV every day and every night than any actual news because the Doald Trump Show brought ratings, and ratings are the variable that determine what they can charge for advertising, which in turn determines their profitability. Les Moonves, Chairman of the Board, President, and Chief Executive Officer of CBS Corporation, said to a group of CBS stockholders in an investor phone call, “Donald Trump may be terrible for America but he’s great for CBS.” The estimates are between 2 and 3 billion dollars that Donald Trump got in 2016 that helped him win the Republican primary first and then helped him win the White House. Literally billions of dollars in free media that was not given to Hillary, Bernie, Stein, or Trump’s primary opponents. Just Trump.

There’s much more. It will make you angry and it will make you forgive your fellow lefties no matter who they supported.


The Crash Of 2017

Thom Hartmann is the nation’s #1 progressive talker for a reason.

President Obama’s Farewell Address And Call For Action

Resist Trump This Friday At Grassley’s Office

Action Alert from CCI:

If you can’t make it to Des Moines Friday, call Senator Grassley’s office. Washington, D.C. (202) 224-3744;Cedar Rapids (319) 363-6832; Council Bluffs (712) 322-7103; Davenport (563) 322-4331; Des Moines (515) 288-1145; Sioux City (712) 233-1860; Waterloo (319) 232-6657

Join us for a critical moment of Trump resistance in Des Moines this Friday!

What: We’ll pack Sen. Grassley’s office to demand he stop fast-tracking Trump’s racist, anti-immigrant nomination for U.S. Attorney General and oppose Jeff Sessions’ nomination outright.

Why Grassley? As chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, he controls who comes up for a vote. He’s been the Republican’s chief obstructionist, refusing to hold a hearing for the appointment of Merrick Garland to the U.S. Supreme Court, and blocked the appointment of one hundred judges throughout the last four years.

But now, Grassley is laying out the red carpet for Senator Jeff Sessions, Donald Trump’s nominee for Attorney General of the United States.

Sen. Jeff Sessions is unfit to serve as the head of our Justice Department. Our U.S. Attorney General is charged with enforcing our nation’s laws without prejudice and a commitment to justice; and be an advocate for all people.

But Sessions has:

  • a 30-year record of racial insensitivity, bias against immigrants and the LGBTQs, disregard for the rule of law, and hostility towards the protection of civil rights
  • waged an infamous prosecution against civil rights activists in the 1980s on phony charges of voter fraud
  • is a staunch opponent of the Voting Rights Act

We need to hold Grassley accountable. We need to demand he stop fast tracking Sessions’ appointment and oppose Sessions as Attorney General nominee.

This is part of a national call to action. Last Tuesday, six NAACP members were arrested and removed from Sessions’ Alabama office.

Will you stand with us Friday? 

A strong turnout will put pressure on Grassley, show strong opposition to Trump in Iowa, and garner state and national press for this critical issue.

When: Friday, January 13  11 am – 1 pm

Where: Meet at the Iowa CCI Action HQ at 11:00 a.m. for a prep session. We’ll head to Grassley’s office together for a powerful speak-out action.

See you Friday! RSVP here.

Bridget Fagan-Reidburn and CCI Action Staff