Extremists in military, federal death penalty, Supreme Court, and more
Contact all members of Congress:
- By phone: (202) 224-3121
- By email: democracy.io
- By US mail: Representatives / Senators
- By fax: Representatives / Senators
- By Resistbot: Resist.bot
Contact White House or other federal agencies:
- EXTREMISTS AND CRIMINAL GANG MEMBERS IN THE MILITARY
A new report from the Department of Defense Inspector General’s office has concluded that military-service recruiters are failing to adequately screen applicants for the country’s armed forces for ties to extremist groups and criminal gangs. This threatens our national security. Extremists and criminals who join the military may have access to serious firearms and classified intelligence. National Guardsman Jack Teixeira is one of more than 80 current and former right-wing extremist military service members arrested in the past five years. Around 14% of the January 6 insurrection rioters were veterans or in active service. Let’s share a this link to the report (Report No. DODIG-2023-103: Audit of the Military Service Recruiting Organizations’ Efforts to Screen Applicants for Extremist and Criminal Gang Behavior (defense.gov) ) with our Members of Congress and with the White House and tell them that we expect the federal government to remedy this state of affairs immediately.
- END THE FEDERAL DEATH PENALTY FOR GOOD
In the wake of the Trump Administration executing more people than any White House in 120 years, Joe Biden pledged during his campaign to end the federal death penalty for good. But while Attorney General Garland has issued a formal moratorium on scheduling federal executions, the Department of Justice has fought to expand Death Row and defend existing death sentences on appeal, congressional efforts to formally end the federal death penalty have stalled, and the President has been largely silent. The implications of allowing this opportunity to slip by are ominous, with Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis both pushing to dramatically expand the use of capital punishment. Let’s a) contact the White House and tell them we still want to see leadership on ending the federal death penalty via clemency for current inmates, b) contact the Justice Department and urge them to stop seeking and defending federal death sentences, and c) reach out to our members of Congress and urge them to sign on to Rep. Ayanna Pressley and Senator Dick Durbin’s recently reintroduced Federal Death Penalty Prohibition Act (H.R. 4633/S.2299).
- TALKING POINTS FOR INDICTMENTS
There is very little that we all can do regarding the growing indictments against the former president, but we can be savvy about how we talk about them. The NOT Above the Law coalition, an informal group of 200+ organizations which began after the 2016 election and is in support of accountability for those who opposed certifying the 2020 election results, has just released newly updated talking points about Monday night’s indictments. Many very smart people are recommending that this is how we talk about these indictments. Let’s listen to them! Then let’s use DemCast’s brand new GA social media toolkit, which uses the above talking points as its guide, to spread the word. (h/t Chop Wood Carry Water)
- PRAGER UNIVERSITY ALLOWED IN FLORIDA SCHOOLS
Even though it sounds like one, Prager University (PragerU) is not a university. It is a conservative media platform whose purpose is to impart rightwing ideology. It touts itself as a nonprofit focused on “a free alternative to the dominant left-wing ideology in culture, media, and education.” The Florida Department of Education has recently approved videos which are part of the PragerU Kids to be used in Florida classrooms. These simplified videos have been described as dangerous and misleading such as the one on Frederick Douglas which calls slavery a “compromise”. If we are parents in Florida, we can opt our children out of being exposed to these PragerU Kids materials by using this letter. If we are not in Florida, let’s make sure our schools are not moving toward approving these materials.
- SUPREME COURT CODE OF CONDUCT
On July 20th, the Senate Judiciary Committee advanced the Supreme Court Ethics, Recusal, and Transparency Act, which would require the Supreme Court to “publish a code of conduct and allow the public to submit ethics complaints.” Since then, the bill has sat in the Senate with no movement, despite even more reporting of undisclosed gifts to Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas coming to light. Let’s remind our MoC that we have not forgotten about this issue; we want the Supreme Court to be held to the same ethical standards as every other federal judge in the United States, and our MoC can do this by passing the Supreme Court Ethics, Recusal, and Transparency Act (S. 359/H.R. 926).
- OK – STOP THE TAKEOVER OF THE TULSA PUBLIC SCHOOLS
Embattled and under investigation, Republican State Superintendent Ryan Walters is trying to distract with his troubles by pushing for a state takeover of the Tulsa Public Schools. TPS is the state’s largest school district, has a heavy Latino and African-American student population, and is led by a superintendent who defied his guidance during the height of the pandemic and has backed diversity efforts. Walters, backed by Moms for Liberty, claims the district is “sexualizing and indoctrinating children,” is stifling “religious liberty, and has accused them with zero evidence of taking money from the Chinese Communist Party. The State Board of Education is set to take up TPS’ future at their board meeting on August 24. Let’s use this tool from local activists to reach out to board members and encourage them to preserve local control, and make a similar ask to the governor and our legislators.
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