12/18: How Congress Stole Christmas: Santa Resists

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How Congress Stole Christmas: Santa Resists

Does this holiday season leave you feeling like it’s a wonderful life… if you’re in the 1%?

It’s never too late to tell our elected officials how we feel, and probably more important now than it’s been all year, with competing heinous versions of tax bills dancing like rotten sugarplums through our nightmares. So join Santa Claus in a visit to Senators Cruz and Cornyn, to let them know why they are getting stockings full of coal for Christmas 2017.

We’ll kick off a short program with a guest speaker or two at 3pm outside Sen. Cruz’s office, and then take some video of regular constituents telling why they are giving him a lump of coal in his stocking. When the stocking is full, Santa and his elves will present Sen. Cruz’s staff with the stocking, and the rest of us will carol our way 6 blocks to Sen. Cornyn’s office by about 3:45 for the same (program, video, Santa visit). We plan to end at 4:30 with some closing thoughts about this year of resistance.

We will have some paper and markers at both offices for you to write your reasons for giving lumps of coal, but if you want to come prepared, make sure you write yours on black paper or cardstock because that’s the color of coal! And that’s all they get.

Sponsors:
ADAPT of Texas
Indivisible Austin
Indivisible Rosedale Huddle
Indivisible SATX
Indivisible TX 25 East
Our Revolution South Austin
Personal Attendant Coalition of Texas (PACT)
Planned Parenthood Texas Votes
Progress Texas
The Texas Drought Project
TX-10 Indivisible
TX21Indivisible
Workers Defense Project

Check back for updates in the coming days as we add event sponsors, speakers, and other details, and refine the timeline.

Video and Photos from the Street Theater Outside John Cornyn’s Office Protesting the #TrumpTaxScam

On the national day of action to protest the Trump Tax Scam, a troupe of activists calling themselves Tiny Jazz Hands put on quite a show outside Sen. John Cornyn’s office.

Take this quiz to see if you get a tax break from the Trump Tax Scam

True or False: If you depend on the ACA for health insurance, your subsidized costs won't change much because if everyone has insurance, the markets are stable.

Correct

Time to buy stock in GoFundMe!

The Trump Tax Scam would repeal the ACA's individual mandate, which would lead to an estimated 1 million Texas leaving the insurance marketplace--driving up premiums for everyone.

Read more at TrumpTaxScam.org >>

Incorrect

What are you, some kind of communist?

The Trump Tax Scam would repeal the ACA's individual mandate, which would lead to an estimated 1 million Texas leaving the insurance marketplace--driving up premiums for everyone.

Read more at TrumpTaxScam.org >>

 

You spend more than 10% of your income on medical expenses. Is that tax-deductible?

Correct

That's right! The Trump Tax Scam repeals the medical-expense deduction.

Each year, nearly 9 million Americans claim a deduction on their taxes for their medical expenses. This deduction is only available to people who spend 10% or more of their income  on medical expenses, so it benefits people who have very high medical expenses, such as those with chronic illnesses and the elderly. In 2015, they claimed approximately $87 billion in deductions, meaning that each filer saved nearly $10,000 on their taxes—a huge boost for people who are already spending tens of thousands of dollars on medical care and long-term care. The Trump Tax Scam repeals this deduction, meaning these 9 million people—75% of whom are 50 or older, and 70% of whom have annual incomes of $75,000 or below—would see drastic increases in their taxes as a result.

The bill also repeals the credit for clinical expenses of testing orphan drugs.  Some 30 million Americans suffer from a disease covered by this program, and many are waiting for a cure or more effective therapy. Without tax incentives to test treatments for these diseases, patients could literally die.

Visit TrumpTaxScam.org to learn more >>

Incorrect

Sorry, peasant! The Trump Tax Scam repeals the medical-expense deduction. Better start a GoFundMe.

Each year, nearly 9 million Americans claim a deduction on their taxes for their medical expenses. This deduction is only available to people who spend 10% or more of their income  on medical expenses, so it benefits people who have very high medical expenses, such as those with chronic illnesses and the elderly. In 2015, they claimed approximately $87 billion in deductions, meaning that each filer saved nearly $10,000 on their taxes—a huge boost for people who are already spending tens of thousands of dollars on medical care and long-term care. The Trump Tax Scam repeals this deduction, meaning these 9 million people—75% of whom are 50 or older, and 70% of whom have annual incomes of $75,000 or below—would see drastic increases in their taxes as a result.

The bill also repeals the credit for clinical expenses of testing orphan drugs.  Some 30 million Americans suffer from a disease covered by this program, and many are waiting for a cure or more effective therapy. Without tax incentives to test treatments for these diseases, patients could literally die.

Visit TrumpTaxScam.org to learn more >>

 

You lost everything in Hurricane Harvey. Does Trump have your back?

Correct

That's right!

The Trump Tax Scam repeals the casualty loss deduction to help cover reconstruction costs. After the devastation of Hurricane Harvey, how can our Texas senators support this?

Visit TrumpTaxScam.org to learn more >>

Incorrect

Sorry, peasant!

The Trump Tax Scam repeals the casualty loss deduction to help cover reconstruction costs. After the devastation of Hurricane Harvey, how can our Texas senators support this?

Visit TrumpTaxScam.org to learn more >>

 

You're a teacher who pays out-of-pocket for classroom supplies. Is this expense tax-deductible?

Correct

Correct! The Trump Tax Scam repeals a significant list of credits and deductions that currently help students and teachers, including the $250 deduction for teachers’ out-of-pocket expenses, like supplies for their classroom.

However, if you are a corporation, your business expenses continue to be deductible. So get busy incorporating yourself, peasant!

Visit TrumpTaxScam.org to learn more >>

Incorrect

Sorry, peasant! The Trump Tax Scam repeals a significant list of credits and deductions that currently help students and teachers, including the $250 deduction for teachers’ out-of-pocket expenses, like supplies for their classroom. 

Visit TrumpTaxScam.org to learn more >>

 

You're a veteran seeking a job. The proposed tax plan provides incentives to employers who hire vets.

Correct

That's right!

The Trump Tax Scam would eliminate the Work Opportunity Tax Credit, which is designed to encourage employers to hire more people from certain target groups—including unemployed and/or disabled veterans.

According to the Paralyzed Veterans of America, “nearly 300,000 veterans benefitted from The Work Opportunity Tax Credit between 2013 and 2015” alone. Republicans voted to send this bill to the floor on the eve of Veterans Day.

Visit TrumpTaxScam.org to learn more >>

Incorrect

Sorry, peasant!

The Trump Tax Scam would eliminate the Work Opportunity Tax Credit, which is designed to encourage employers to hire more people from certain target groups—including unemployed and/or disabled veterans.

According to the Paralyzed Veterans of America, “nearly 300,000 veterans benefitted from The Work Opportunity Tax Credit between 2013 and 2015” alone. Republicans voted to send this bill to the floor on the eve of Veterans Day.

Support our troops, indeed.

Visit TrumpTaxScam.org to learn more >>

 

You're a graduate student whose university waives your tuition. Should that waiver be counted as taxable income?

Correct

Correct! By taxing tuition waivers, the Trump Tax Scam would dramatically affect people's ability to pursue a graduate degree. So long, smarty-pantses!

Visit TrumpTaxScam.org to learn more >>

Incorrect

What? You thought graduate students would continue getting away with living on five years' of ramen and caffeine to get a worthless advanced degree?

By taxing tuition waivers, the Trump Tax Scam would dramatically affect people's ability to pursue a graduate degree. So long, smarty-pantses!

Visit TrumpTaxScam.org to learn more >>


Call Senators Cornyn and Cruz NOW

Caller: Hello! My name is [NAME] and I’m calling from [part of state]. I’m calling to let Senator [Cruz / Cornyn] know that I strongly oppose the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. This tax bill is a scam that will give massive cuts to the wealthy, paid for by leaving tens of thousands of people in Texas uninsured, raising premiums, and raising taxes on middle-class families.

Staffer: The Senator is in favor of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. He thinks it is important that we reform our broken, complex tax code so that middle-class families can benefit.

Caller: This tax bill won’t help middle class families get ahead. Every single provision intended to help the middle-class expires, but the corporate tax cuts are forever. Even worse, the CBO estimates that health insurance premiums will increase 10% more per year than they would without this bill and we know 13 million more people will be uninsured!

Staffer: I’ll pass your thoughts along to the Senator.

Caller: Yes please do, and please take down my contact information so you can let me know what the Senator decides to do.

Thank John Cornyn for Introducing Bipartisan Legislation to Improve Background Check System and Encourage Ted Cruz to Add His Name

As we enter the holiday season, we’re giving thanks where it is due.

We join Moms Demand Action and other advocacy groups in applauding Senators John Cornyn and Chris Murphy (D-CT) for introducing bipartisan legislation to improve the criminal background check system.

We also call on Ted Cruz to join his fellow Texas senator and add his name to the bill. 90% of Americans support universal background checks for all gun sales; tightening this legislation this should be a no-brainer for all lawmakers.

Almost 10 percent of Sutherland Springs’ population was wounded or murdered by gunfire. We need to break the kabuki-theater cycle of: People get shot, we call for action, they call for thoughts and prayers, we condemn their inaction and thoughts and prayers as useless and demand legislation, they say it’s too soon to politicize it, the NRA does something stupid or nothing at all.

This bill is a small step in the right direction.

As Angela Turner, a volunteer with the Texas chapter of Moms Demand Action says, “This bill alone will not solve our gun violence epidemic, but it will make common sense improvements to the background check system, help keep guns away from domestic abusers and criminals, and ultimately, save lives. Congress should set politics aside, and pass this into law.”

Script for Senator John Cornyn

Thank you for working across the aisle on commonsense gun legislation. A majority of mass shooters in this country have histories of domestic violence, and we’re glad that Sen. Cornyn is working in a bipartisan way to address gaps in the background check system that allow people with dangerous histories to obtain firearms. We hope this signals a willingness to take additional steps to confront the epidemic of gun violence in our country.

Script for Senator Ted Cruz

Your colleague, John Cornyn, has cosponsored a bipartisan bill to address gaps in the background check system that allow people with dangerous histories to obtain firearms. I encourage Sen. Cruz to join his colleague and add his name to this bill. Almost 10 percent of Sutherland Springs’ population was wounded or murdered by gunfire. If that is not enough to get Senator Cruz’s attention on gun violence, then what is?

Join us on Saturday, Nov. 18 to demand that Ted Cruz give NRA blood money to victims of gun violence

Tax plan shell game hurts middle-class Texans

Who is the Tax Cut and Jobs Act for? What is it really meant to do? Create jobs? No. Regardless of how you normally vote, you know this bill doesn’t pass the smell test. It has one priority: cutting taxes for the wealthiest, by shifting the burden to everyone else.

Take our quiz to determine if you’ll get a tax break from the Trump Tax Scam >>

The House version of this scam gives the top .3 percent of Texans 52 percent of cuts. That’s 83,000 out of the nearly 28,000,000 Texans. Imagine the residents of Mission, Texas getting more tax cuts than the rest of the state combined. It would be farcical, if it wasn’t so serious.

The most narrow yet extreme of these cuts may be the elimination of the estate tax, which applies to only the largest .2 percent of estates. A married couple can pass on $10.9 million to their children before any estate tax is due. Do you know anyone who has $11 million to pass on? Rep. Michael McCaul, the wealthiest Texan in Congress, would save $38.7 million. However, this change is really about Sen. Ted Cruz’s desire to save non-Texan Robert Mercer hundreds of millions more. Never mind the expense to the country that provided the environment and secure conditions necessary for them to amass their stunning wealth.

Congress’ tax plans are shell game, offering slightly reduced rates and an increased standard deduction with one hand, while yanking away essential credits and deductions with the other. Important supposed benefits for the middle class include increased child tax credits as well as new credits for essentially every other member of the household. When taken together, these might be enough to make up for the elimination of personal exemptions, which deduct more than $4000 of taxable income for each person in your household. With the introduction of the Senate version of the bill, all the supposed tax benefits for middle class folks will disappear in 2025 — but the corporate tax cuts will be permanent.

You have major medical expenses? Sorry, no deduction. Want an education? Tax credits and deductions for student loan interest are gone. Buying a house with a $750,000 mortgage? Only interest on $500,000 is deductible. Lost everything in a disaster, like so many in Houston and the Gulf Coast? Now you’re really out of luck, because the property loss deduction is lost.

And now the Senate has decided to turn its version of the tax bill into a stealth attempt to repeal the ACA. There’s no question that it will cause premiums to go up and at least 13 million people uninsured by 2027.

Some may end up with a scrap of a benefit for a few years, but many won’t. Even those who do actually see a cut will see it turn into a tax increase by 2027 when the tax cuts for individuals phase out.

Extraordinary cuts will be required to pay for this — cuts that will disproportionately target health care programs that millions of Americans depend on. The House’s budget plan depends on more than $1 trillion in cuts to Medicaid, which is even higher than any of the ACA repeal plans. We expect an immediate $25 billion cut to Medicare, and a total of $500 billion in cuts to Medicare.

All of this is for what? So Wells Fargo can rebuild shareholder value? So the children of billionaires can inherit even more money?

No. It’s not right, and it shouldn’t happen. Tell your representatives that it can’t happen. They work for all 28 million Texans, not just the 83,000 at the top.

Join the Nov. 18 Statewide Rally to Tell Ted Cruz to Give Blood Money to Gun Victims

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Multiple Indivisible groups will be hosting a rally in support of the victims of gun violence on Saturday November 18 at Senator Ted Cruz’s office in Austin. This is a statewide action, with sister rallies occurring in Houston, San Antonio, and Dallas. Please join us as we tell Ted Cruz that we stand against the NRA and with the victims of gun violence.

Constituents Take Ted Cruz to Task on NRA Ties

Gun Safety Advocates: Donate NRA Contributions to Families Gun Violence Victims

WHO: Indivisible Austin, Wilco Indivisible, Indivisible Houston, Pantsuit Republic Houston, Indivisible Austin, Indivisible TX Lege, TX21 Indivisible, TX20 Indivisible, TX23 Indivisible, TX28 Indivisible, TX35 Indivisible-San Antonio, and Women’s March on Washington-San Antonio and many more

WHAT: Statewide action 

WHEN: Saturday, November 18th, 2017, 10:00 AM

WHERE: Offices of Senator Ted Cruz in Austin, Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio

WHY: To demand the surrender and donation of NRA contributions and push for comprehensive gun reforms.

Given the recent shootings in Sutherland and Las Vegas, The People are taking mass action across Texas to raise awareness for comprehensive public safety protections from shootings. This Saturday, protests at the offices of Ted Cruz will call on the Senator to donate the $360,000 he has taken from Ammo lobby to the families of the victims of gun violence. The action also calls for closing gun loopholes by demanding universal background checks and universal criminal data sharing.

Stricter gun laws in the name of public safety and protections for the masses are popular with the public. A recent Gallup poll shows that 96% of Americans believe in universal background checks for all gun purchases, while 64% of Americans say they support stricter gun laws. An overwhelming majority believe stricter gun laws would reduce mass shootings in the United States.

It’s time to put an end to business as usual for the Ammo Industrial Complex, which has gotten away with endangering The People while lining the pockets of politicians and turning them into gun lobby surrogates. The NRA’s silence in the wake of the death of concealed carrier Philando Castile and the organization’s violent propaganda against peaceful advocates shows that the NRA is less concerned with protecting the 2nd Amendment than they are undermining the First Amendment and turning blood in the streets into cash in the bank.

Tell John Cornyn and Ted Cruz to withdraw their endorsements of Roy Moore

Update:


Both Ted Cruz and John Cornyn have endorsed alleged child molester and nominee to the US Senate, Roy Moore. Along with Rand Paul—who is home with six broken ribs—they are the last senators still supporting Moore, despite considerable pressure.

Let’s keep that pressure on.

Before the latest, extremely credible allegations, we already knew that Roy Moore was unfit for office. He was twice removed from the Supreme Court bench in Alabama, both times for defying the U.S. Supreme Court and the Constitution. He is a theocrat who believes we should be governed by the bible. He denied custody to a mother of her three children because she was a lesbian. He’s also a birther, claiming that President Obama wasn’t born in the U.S. He believes Rep. Keith Ellison shouldn’t be allowed to serve in the House because he’s Muslim. Moore has called for the impeachment of judges, including Supreme Court justices, who ruled in favor of same-sex marriage rights. He plans to rid the Senate of the filibuster.

Sen. Cornyn, at least knew it too. He flip-flopped on his original endorsement of Moore’s opponent, saying, “Getting thrown off the Supreme Court of your state twice, I don’t think, is a credential that commends you for membership in the United States Senate.”

Now Cornyn is doing the typical “express-concern-without-doing-anything-to-fix-the-problem.” In regard to the allegations of sexual assault on a minor, he told the Texas Tribune: “I think it’s up to the governor and the folks in Alabama to make that decision as far as what the next step is.”

And this bit from the Tribune on Ted Cruz was especially interesting/pathetic:

Cruz is in a particularly complicated political position. Prior to The Washington Post’s report, Brietbart News had its own pre-emptive story that was highly defensive of Moore. Former White House adviser Steve Bannon runs the website and recently threatened to challenge every GOP senator in their primaries with the exception of Cruz. 

Call to Action:

Call Ted Cruz and John Cornyn and ask what, exactly, it would take for them to disavow Republican Senate nominee Roy Moore. At what point is a GOP candidate so unqualified—and frankly disgusting—that he would no longer have their support?

More ways to help defeat Roy Moore in Alabama >>

30+ Texas Health Groups Send Urgent CHIP letter to Washington

Cross-posted, with permission, from the Center for Public Policy Priorities (CPPP)

Kids' health care can't wait. Renew CHIP now

With a quickly approaching deadline—after which 400,000 Texas kids could be dropped from the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)—over 30 leading Texas health care and advocacy organizations sent a joint letter to U.S. Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz and Governor Greg Abbott urgently requesting intervention.

As part of the Children’s Health Coverage Coalition, the groups are asking federal leaders to renew CHIP funding as soon as possible.

Waiting to resolve CHIP funding until the end of this year is not an option, because any delay in funding could cause significant disruptions to families staring in early December.

Kids in Texas’ 53 counties affected by Hurricane Harvey might be especially vulnerable, as families struggle to rebuild their lives.

View a copy of the letter here. Texas CHIP enrollment data by county for August 2017 is available here.

Read more about CHIP and CHIP funding here.

To speak to leaders of some of the groups that signed on, please contact:

Children’s Defense Fund- Texas; Dr. Laura Guerra-Cardus LGuerraCar@childrensdefense.org  (713) 419-8422

Texas Pediatric Society, The Texas Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics; contact Tricia Hall, Executive Director, C: 512-370-1506

Oliver Bernstein, Center for Public Policy Priorities, 512.289.8618

How Your Voices Made a Difference: Indictment

The big news…Despite the GOP attempting to deflect the investigation onto Hillary Clinton (in light of the revelation of her funding the infamous Steele dossier), the two are not a zero-sum proposition, and special investigator Robert Mueller continues digging into the campaign, business dealings, finances, and potential collusion of Donald and his cohorts. News broke over the weekend that Mueller may have filed the first charges in the investigation, though they’re sealed at the moment, and we won’t find out who is being taken into custody till Monday. (Update: We know.) Also, despite Jared Kushner’s denials, the lawyer he and Don Jr. met with to eagerly receive promised dirt on Hillary Clinton seems to have indeed been acting in direct conjunction with the Kremlin.

Meanwhile, amid rumors of the three congressional Russian investigations sputtering out, Brad Parscale, the director of Donny’s digital campaign, was summoned before the House Intelligence Panel. Michael Cohen, Donny’s personal lawyer, also appeared before the House and Senate intelligence committees, and Donny’s campaign consultant Carter Page will finally testify before the House Intelligence Committee next week, after months of dodging. Meanwhile Don John’s beleaguered former campaign chair Paul Manafort faces yet another money-laundering investigation, this time by the Manhattan U.S. Attorney, in collaboration with Mueller’s probe already under way. Things are getting juicy—even if Congress shuts its investigations down, hopefully Mueller’s findings will get to the bottom of exactly how—and with whose help—Russia meddled in the 2016 elections.

Adding their voice to those of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and rural and industrial interests, the auto industry has launched a vocal defense of NAFTA in the face of Donald’s continued threats to withdraw the U.S. from the trade agreement. “We need you to tell your elected officials that you don’t change the game in the middle of a comeback. We’re winning with NAFTA,” the group said on its website.

The Government Accountability Office has launched a probe into Donald’s sham voter fraud commission, formed to try to justify his baseless claims that the 3 million votes that lost him the popular election were fraudulent. The secretive organization is headed by Kris Kobach, who has a long track record of voter suppression and racial profiling, and though it nods toward bipartisanship with a few Democratic members, those members have complained of a lack of transparency and being routinely excluded from even the most basic meetings and info.

Meanwhile the Republican Party is hemorrhaging moderates, as Texas’s own Joe Straus announced he will retire at the end of his term as speaker of the house, and on the national level Jeff Flake (Senator from Arizona) joins the ranks of those on the way out. The loss of nonextremist, rational voices is bad—but Flake’s district has a serious challenge from a Democrat—which is good. Also good—freed from the yoke of seeking reelection, these lawmakers are speaking out. John McCain continues his not-so-veiled criticisms of Donald, most recently regarding his dodging of service in America’s military (despite his attacks on veterans, war heroes, and Gold Star families), calling out wealthy scions who avoided service on trumped-up pretexts like “bone spurs”—Don John’s exact and repeated excuse for deferring his service during the Vietnam War, which in his own words was “not a big problem, but it was enough of a problem,” and magically cleared up once he was safe from being called to war.

Jeff Flake also began speaking quite freely as soon as he announced his retirement: “Without fear of the consequences and without consideration of the rules of what is politically safe, we must stop pretending that the conduct of some in our executive branch are normal. They are not normal. Reckless, outrageous and undignified behavior has become excused as telling it like it is when it is actually reckless, outrageous and undignified…. It is often said that children are watching. Well, they are. And what are we doing to do about that? When the next generation asks us, why didn’t you do something? Why didn’t you speak up? What are we going to say? Mr. President, I rise to say, enough.”

Adding his voice to recent condemnations of Don John by George W. Bush and John McCain, Flake added that senators “must dedicate ourselves to making sure that the anomalous never becomes the normal. With respect, we fooled ourselves long enough that a pivot to governing is right around the corner, a return to civility and stability right behind it. We know better than that. By now, we all know better than that.”

Let us fervently hope that’s true. You can also check out Flake’s gloves-off op-ed about the Trump presidency here, and his lone-GOP-wolf opposition to racist, extremist senatorial hopeful Roy Moore here.

Kentucky judge resigned in the face of a pending ethics investigation into his abuse of his position, flouting of Kentucky law, and general douchebaggery in refusing to hear adoption cases where a parent was a “practicing homosexual.”

A generic ballot—reported on FOX, no less—suggests that if voting were held today for the 2018 elections, Democrats would lead by 15 points. Keep in mind that every FOX viewer just had a panic attack and is now more motivated to vote—so we have to keep getting the vote out!

Hang in there, warriors. Like so many things, the hallmark of successful activism is persistence, as this lifelong activist shares.

How Your Voices Made a Difference: Unraveling

Some weeks are tougher than others, and this was a rough one—between Donny giving companies the right to deny women health care coverage for birth control, to the EPA’s Scott Pruitt rolling back the Obama-era protections of the Clean Power Plan to replace it with his own dirty version and threatening to remove tax incentives for wind and solar power, and of course demented Donald’s latest disgorgements of bile:  trying to circumvent the GOP’s failure to repeal the ACA with an executive order, flouting our First Amendment by threatening to revoke media outlets’ licenses for publishing news he doesn’t like…and the soul-draining childishness of the man-baby-in-chief’s petty feud with Sen. Bob Corker, and GOP lawmakers’ collective cowardly silence in its wake.

But the weird upside of all this awfulness is this: Lately it’s Donny’s own voice making a difference. Don John’s behavior and actions are becoming egregious enough that some of the GOP is beginning to find its spine (and moral compass). Backlash against Donald’s attack on the First Amendment was immediate and bipartisan, including GOP Sen. Ben Sasse’s sharp call-out on Twitter (apparently the new forum of political discourse…sigh). Donald’s attacks against women’s health care have women’s health experts speaking out to refute his premises. His Twitter-tantrum threats to remove aid from Puerto Rico in a crisis “largely of their own making”(while he plays golf yet again) is an attack on and abandonment of more than 3 million Americans drawing broad censure—and his failures as a leader are starkly underscored by five former leaders’ (the five living ex-presidents) banding together to help hurricane victims (of all shades). His undermining a health care system that a majority of Americans now approve of is fueling criticism from states on both sides of the aisle. And his attempts to undermine NAFTA will undoubtedly bring a backlash from the industrial and rural base he so often panders to, who will be most hurt by it. Even Rex Tillerson, after Donald demanded a tenfold increase in nuclear armaments despite decades of policy designed to reduce the nuclear threat worldwide rather than expand it, has realized his boss is a “fucking moron.” (Mensa has kindly offered to host an IQ test to answer the question definitively after Donald tweeted out an “I know you are but what am I” to his secretary of state.) An array of White House insiders report versions of Donny “unraveling” in jaw-droppingly unstable ways.

Meanwhile, the Harvey Weinstein scandal is rocking Hollywood—not only showing conservatives how you handle a sexual predator (by calling it out loudly and publicly, and taking sharp actions against the predator to stop the actions—rather than by defending it and offering it a cable show, or electing it president), but by bringing this rampant sexism and harassment into the light, and showing that women (and James Van Der Beek, one of the disappointingly few courageous men speaking up) will no longer be silent in the face of institutionalized sexual misconduct and abuse. The tide for sanctioning the sexual-predator-in-chief may be turning.

Steps forward are incremental, and not always steady—some weeks it can be hard to see all the progress we are making. But remind yourself of the huge victories the resistance has already won, most decisively stopping every attempt to repeal the ACA, and comfort yourself that Donny’s ratings—sorry, approval numbers—are tanking faster than his loose hold on rationality, even in his rural base, and according to pollster Quinnipiac, 55% of voters believe he is not fit to be president.

Donald’s own actions will wind up bringing him down, as long as we continue holding him and all his defenders in the GOP accountable, and demanding our lawmakers do the same. To that end, on the Russian-investigation front, it’s looking like Bob Mueller is getting close to something that’s making the Donny John camp pretty uncomfortable: Carter Page—Don John’s former campaign manager who got benched after confabbing with Russian diplomat and top spy Sergei Kislyak last year (despite denying speaking with him) and who subsequently met with Putie’s top associates in Russia—has refused to testify before the Senate Intelligence panel in their Russia investigation. You know, like you do when you have something to hide and fear incriminating yourself and perhaps the leader of the free world. Reince Priebus spent an entire day with Mueller’s team, talking about who can only guess what…? Now’s a good time to call your MoCs and ask that they support the two bipartisan bills in Congress proposed to prevent Donald from firing Mueller as he tightens the noose around the man-baby-in-chief’s neck.

You’re not imagining how hard this battle can be—this administration is taking a deep emotional and mental toll on many Americans. But in a glimmer of hope for our collective future in these divided times, 55% of Americans now believe politicians should work more bipartisanly and embrace compromise. (You know, like you do in every single other relationship in your life.)

Hang in there, warriors. If all else fails, Hustler’s Larry Flynt is offering $10 million to anyone who can provide info leading to 45’s impeachment. Really.