It Takes A Village – VNV Monday: We the People – 3/13/17



The Monty Python Regime of the Vagina Grabber in chief continues on a rolloracoastal into the edge of darkness.  Latest Polls:

Monmouth Poll: Trump’s Approval Rating at 43%

 By Brian Freeman   |   Monday, 06 Mar 2017 04:02 PM
 Forty-three percent of the American public approves of President Donald Trump’s job performance, while 46 disapprove and 11 percent have no opinion, according to a

Other results from the survey include:

  • 80 percent of self-identified Republicans approve of his performance as president.
  • 82 percent of Democrats disapprove.
  • Independents are evenly split at 43 percent approving and 43 percent disapproving.

In counties where Trump won the election by a margin of at least 10 percentage points:

  • 55 percent approve of his performance as president.
  • 33 percent disapprove.

In counties in which he lost by at least 10 percent:

  • 33 percent approve of the job he is doing.
  • 57 disapprove.

In swing counties, where his victory or loss margin was in single digits in the election:

  • 41 percent approve of his performance as president.
  • 46 percent disapprove.

Among those polled:

  • 49 percent of men approve, while 40 percent disapprove.
  • Among women, 36 approve, while 53 percent disapprove.
  • White non-Hispanic Americans approve of Trump’s performance by a 55 percent to 35 percent margin.
  • 69 percent of non-white or Hispanic adults disapprove and only 19 percent approve.

On topics:

 48 percent are concerned that Trump may be too friendly toward Russia and 49 percent are not concerned.
  • 39 percent said the travel ban was a good idea, while 49 percent said it was a bad idea.
  • 34 say Attorney General Jeff Sessions should resign, 36 percent saying he should not resign and 22 percent who had not even heard about the controversy.

The Monmouth University Poll was conducted by telephone from March 2 to 5 with 801 adults in the United States. The results have a margin of error of +/- 3.5 percent.

Continuing the Resistance: manual on how to respond to the Vagina Grabber In Chief.

1. Contribute to organizations that will oppose Trump and the Republican agenda. In the wake of Trump’s victory on November 8th, a number of well-known liberal groups, such as the American Civil Liberties Union, the Anti-Defamation League, the Sierra Club, and Planned Parenthood, reported that they had seen a surge in donations and volunteers. That was encouraging news for opponents of Trump, but it was only a start. Given his illiberal instincts, the nature of his Cabinet picks, and the scale of the Republican Party’s ambitions in rolling back the welfare and regulatory state, the battle ahead is likely to be long and bitter, waged on local, regional, and national fronts.

In this contest of words and wills, all sorts of different groups will be in need of financial support, from national organizations such as the Council on American-Islamic Relations to the political-action funds of the labor unions that will be targeted by Republican governors and their corporate allies to local groups of lawyers trying to help undocumented immigrants who could be targeted for deportation. You can find lists of organizations opposed to Trump herehere, and here.

2. Support independent journalism.Trump is clearly obsessed with the media, and for good reason. Like all skilled propagandists, he knows that journalists represent a potential threat to him and his shameless efforts to traduce the truth. With his popular social-media feeds, and the support of an upstart right-wing press, he has found a way to go around the mainstream media and, when he deems necessary, to confront it head on. But, for all the power of Twitter, fake news, and the social-media echo chamber, real news can still break through all the noise.

Witness the past week’s revelations in the Washington Post and the New YorkTimes about Russian efforts to interfere in the American election. For once, Trump was put on the defensive. For months, he has claimed that nobody knows who carried out the hacks of the Democratic National Committee and other targets: at one point, he suggested it could have been a “four-hundred-pound guy” lying in bed. Last weekend, he called a C.I.A. assessment that Moscow had tried to help him win the election “ridiculous.”

But this week Trump was powerless to prevent leading Republicans, including John McCain and Mitch McConnell, from calling for congressional hearings on the extent and origins of the Russian cyberattacks. Many Presidents in the past have come to fear getting caught inside the Bermuda triangle of prying journalists, official leakers, and congressional committees. But for the oversight process to work there needs to be a thriving and independent press.

3. Get engaged on a personal level. Giving money is one thing, but making a donation to help someone else oppose Trump is no substitute for individual and collective mobilization. In any liberal democracy, the ultimate guardian of decency and civil liberties is an active civil society, which can push back against efforts to mislead the public, flout accepted norms, and centralize power. That’s why, usually, one of the first thing that would-be autocrats do when they take power is attack civil society.

But what is civil society? In addition to big national organizations, such as labor unions, the A.C.L.U., and the N.A.A.C.P., civil society comprises countless local groups, including charities, environmental activists, church groups, think tanks, reading groups, peace campaigners, parents’ associations, and youth groups. It encompasses any group that mediates between the individual, the government, and the market, and whose goal is promoting the common good. The thing to do is to pick an organization that reflects your personal interests or an issue that motivates you, get involved, and stick with it.

4. Contact your congressman and senator and tell them to stand up to Trump. For good or ill, the first line of defense against a Trumpion erosion of democracy will be the U.S. Capitol. As the Trump Administration moves forward with its reactionary agenda, it will be up to legislators in both parties not to cut deals that target the weak, encroach upon civil rights, or enrich the new first family. Thanks to the Internet and a growing number of apps, it is now very simple to find your elected representatives and let them know what you think.

Surprising as it may be to some skeptics, elected officials do listen to their constituents, especially when they get in touch with them personally in large numbers. I relearned this lesson when I was reporting on the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010, to which many powerful financial interests were staunchly opposed. Barney Frank, the Massachusetts Democrat who co-sponsored the legislation, told me that the only reason he and his allies managed to overcome Republican opposition, and Wall Street’s efforts to win over some Democrats, was that they managed to mobilize enough ordinary people to exert pressure on their elected representatives. In this case, the public will need to be vigilant and involved across a broad range of policy areas.

5. Support local initiatives to resist the Trump and Republican agenda. Last week, Democratic lawmakers in Sacramento, California, put forward a series of measures designed to protect undocumented immigrants in the state from deportation. “We are telling the next Administration and Congress: if you want to get to them, you have to go through us,” Anthony Rendon, the speaker of the State Assembly, said. And earlier this week Jerry Brown, California’s governor, vowed to fight any efforts by the incoming Administration to roll back efforts to tackle climate change. Reacting to a suggestion from one of Trump’s advisers that he could eliminate NASA‘s earth-science programs, which have done much to illuminate the advance of global warming, Brown said, “We’ve got the scientists, we’ve got the lawyers, and we’re ready to fight. . . . If Trump turns off the satellites, California will launch its own damn satellite.”

Other Democrat-dominated states, such as Massachusetts and New York, are thinking along similar lines, particularly when it comes to mounting legal challenges to some of Trump’s program. And, ironically, they are taking a lead from Republican-run states, such as Oklahoma and Texas, which have challenged many of President Obama’s initiatives in court, such as his effort to use the Clean Air Act to reduce CO2 emissions. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

6. Support electoral reform. Ultimately, Trump’s win was enabled by America’s antiquated electoral system, which was designed to prevent each vote from counting equally. In still relying on the Electoral College and the rule that says each state has two seats in the U.S. Senate, we are beholden to the prejudices and interests of an eighteenth-century ruling class that was white, landed, and dedicated to preserving the prerogatives of individual states.

I asked my friend and colleague Hendrik Hertzberg, who is a longtime advocate of reforming the electoral system at all levels of U.S. government, what people could do to promote the cause. He wrote back, “If you live in one of the forty states that have not yet signed on to the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact write—better, call—your state legislators and ask them to get on with it. And send some love (and some bucks) to, which just helped Maine become the first state in the nation to adopt ranked-choice voting, also known as instant-runoff voting, for all its important offices, including its congressional delegation. Get up, stand up, don’t give up the fight.”

7. Be smart: violence would only help Trump. Inevitably, there are going to be many more protests after the women’s march. That is as it should be. The right to protest is a fundamental tenet of democracy, and Trump isn’t just another President: he’s a shameless demagogue. But for now the onus is on the protest organizers and participants to try to keep things peaceful, even if they are provoked by counter demonstrators or aggressive policing. Doing otherwise would be counterproductive.

History shows that violent political protests often produce a backlash from the public at large—a fact that Richard Nixon, among others, exploited with ruthless effectiveness. Trump, in his speech at the Republican National Convention, has already portrayed himself as Nixon’s heir, and, should things get ugly, he would revel in presenting himself as the upholder of law and order. Genuine authoritarians welcome disorder as an excuse to crack down on all forms of dissent. In many cases, they have fomented incidents of violence for this purpose.

  15 comments for “It Takes A Village – VNV Monday: We the People – 3/13/17

  1. inkaudlay
    March 13, 2017 at 8:32 am

    Thank you, Philly76!

    You listed very sound actions each of us can take. Electoral reform is one that’s high on my list. The electoral collage is antiquated (for the reasons you stated) and the damn thing didn’t work when our country needed it!

  2. wordsinthewind
    March 13, 2017 at 8:36 am

    good morning Philly76 and thanks for all the great information this morning. It’s up to all of us to do what we can when we can as we are able.

  3. March 13, 2017 at 8:43 am

    Good morning, Philly, and thanks for this excellent post! It’s useful to know which actions we can take and be successful. Much appreciated!

  4. bfitzinAR
    March 13, 2017 at 11:15 am

    {{{Philly}}} – wonderful post – I need to check out some of the things listed to see if there is more I can do with my limited time and resources. Calls/postcards to my very bloody red congresscritters and then focusing on my community needs folks at DK are what I am doing and basically what I was thinking was all I could do. You’ve given me some more options. Options = freedom.

    Need to get back to work (and also monitoring my fundraiser diary for bigjac until it drops off the sidebar – in about an hour, sigh), but will be back when I can. {{{Village Peeps}}}

  5. WYgalinCali
    March 13, 2017 at 11:31 am

    Good morning, Philly. 48 and sunny. Headed to a high of 76. Not too bad. I can’t believe how involved this election has led me to be. I’ve always voted but will never settle for just doing that ever again. I am woke, for sure. I feel proud of those items you listed that I’ve done, but for those that I haven’t done? I have more work to do.

  6. DoReMI
    March 13, 2017 at 11:32 am

    Good morning, Philly and other Villagers. Electoral reform takes many shapes. Here in MI, there’s movement towards trying to get having an independent commission for redistricting on the ballot. Our state Rs have made it harder than ever to get ballot issues approved (because of course they have), but the group taking the lead on this seems very organized, so there’s hope.

    And as I mentioned in the welcomings, I heard a Dem rep speak yesterday, and it was the most down-in-the-dumps I’ve ever heard her. If you happen to have a Dem rep or senator, please consider giving them a few words of support and encouragement.

    • bfitzinAR
      March 13, 2017 at 1:19 pm

      {{{DoReMI}}} – Hope that redistricting bill goes through. R-controlled redistricting after the 2010 election and census is why we have been clobbered so badly since.

      I wish I had a congresscritter to encourage. You may be sure I would do so – as I did in the past. moar {{{HUGS}}}

    • shenagig
      March 13, 2017 at 1:39 pm

      Yes I wish I had some Dem Reps to encourage here in UT…I get very pissed at the people here that keep saying that Dems aren’t doing anything…my god what exactly are they suppose to be doing…out protesting in the streets….no that’s our job…I keep getting the feeling that these people think they should be doing something dirty or even illegal to stop trump…

  7. MomentaryGrace
    March 13, 2017 at 11:43 am

    Thank you Philly76. Morning Meeses. <3

    • WYgalinCali
      March 13, 2017 at 12:35 pm

      That is one very loved and loving kitty (as well as a connoisseur of fine music).

    • DoReMI
      March 13, 2017 at 12:55 pm

      His smile at his kitty made my day! Thank you.

    • bfitzinAR
      March 13, 2017 at 12:59 pm

      {{{MomentaryGrace}}} – I sort of had a kitteh who looked a lot like that one. He was a snugglebunny, too – with humans. unfortunately he wasn’t with other cats. So for Charlie and Cloud’s sakes I had to re-home him. He is still very happy and very much loved as the only cat who also dominates a smaller dog and puts up with the hugging and lugging of a little girl. heh.

  8. shenagig
    March 13, 2017 at 1:43 pm

    Thanks Philly for the great post…I’m going to go get some coffee and sit down to read closer…

  9. Mvgal92691
    March 13, 2017 at 6:03 pm

    Great post Philly 76.

  10. bfitzinAR
    March 13, 2017 at 8:51 pm

    Like to stay and visit more but my internet’s gone down 7 times in 15 minutes and I’m tired of cursing it. See you folks in the morning. {{{HUGS}}}

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