Morning Cup: Accountability

“What does he mean when he says words?”
It is Monday, February 13.  Pitchers and catchers report to spring training today.  The weather is this…it’s that…it’s the other thing.
The press is having as much trouble understanding POTUS45 as we are. Michigan citizens are persisting, nationally and locally.
Welcome to a new week!
We’re going to focus on accountability today.  Taxes.  Russia.  Facts and lies.  And simply showing up to hear the constituents you represent.
Hopefully you’ve had your morning beverage, have fueled up, and started the day in your preferred fashion.  When you’ve time and motivation, take a look at our suggested actions for the day.  Meander through the support readings.
If baseball is something that makes you happy, send up a little cheer that the boys of summer are officially preparing for a new season.
If baseball is not your thing, take a moment to share something that is.  Connecting with happy is something we need to remember to keep doing.  Persistence needs fuel, after all.
*1* (national)
Call your Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee Kevin Brady, (and the entire committee if you have time) to let them know you agree with Rep. Bill Pascrell. Let your representative know you support of Rep. Bill Pascrell’s move to force President Trump to share his tax returns, and want to know if they will be encouraging the Ways and Means Committee to follow Pascrell’s request.
**2** (national)
Another round of postcards to the White House.  Use the same message as before, or one of your own:  “Dear President Trump – I am not a reporter, and I want to see your taxes.”
***3*** (national)
Call your senators and representative to express your continued and escalating concern about inappropriate and potentially compromising entanglements between various members of the administration and Russia.  Ask them what they are doing about this concern, and what they would recommend you do.
(Thus, you register your concern as a constituent, have them specify their own actions — if any — and put them in a position to act as your representative in government.  Which they are.)
Call your representatives.  All of them, national and state level.  Ask them for a schedule of upcoming town halls for the next three months.
(Next week is a recess for Congress, and traditionally a time for holding local meet-and-greets with voters/citizens.  Give a signal you are paying attention.  Make sure they are sharing information — or not.)
“Us and Them”
Another fallout wrinkle in ongoing attempts to have actual contact with representatives.  In Traverse City, the sheriff has been asked to remind visitors that Rep. Jack Bergman’s offices are in a private property building.  Members of Indivisible Leelanau are persisting.
“This isn’t for the Democrats or the Republicans, and it’s not to embarrass anybody,” [Rep. Bill] Pascrell said as quoted in the report. “This is to make sure the American people know the facts, and if there are conflicts, they need to be resolved.”
“If I get a ‘no’ answer on this, I’ll be very honest with you: If these guys think I’m walking away from this, they’re absolutely nuts,” Pascrell said. “The calls we’re getting, the calls other congressmen are getting, it’s unbelievable, we never expected this.”
“But as a first-generation Iraqi immigrant, and as a doctor whose job is to train other doctors, many of them immigrants themselves, I fear that the American dream is corroding. I worry about the impact of President Trump’s travel ban, for the moment blocked by court order, and how the Republican Congress will handle immigration issues.
Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha writes an opinion piece for the New York Times.
The Arab-American News on the immigration ban and related legislation — includes contact information for people to call in support of supportive bills.
How to express love in Arabic.
Tweety tweets and the world leaders who tweet them
Lies and the lying liars that tell them
Words are words and quotes are quotes and misquotes are lies
National Security — Council, and counsel
Newsweek reporter would like to know how cabinet and advisors are vetted, is waiting for an answer.
Insecurity at the National Security Council
MSNBC rounds up Russia entanglement questions.
Remember, 6 different agencies investigating the Russia question.
Democrats call for an investigation into Michael Flynn and whether or not he (illegally) made contact with Russia.
We’d call it “so much awkward” if it weren’t national security involved; photos from Mar-a-Lago, more.
Salon’s look at John Oliver on Trump and lies and mush; links to full video of segment, including clip of reporter on the challenge of covering Trump — “What does he mean when he says words?”
Fairy tales can come true…  Bored Panda looks at Russian photographer Margarita Kareva, who says of herself “I bring Russian fairy tales to life.”
(protect ACA from repeal; timed to coincide with rep recess)
April 22:  March for Science

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