Putting Country Over Party

That was one constituent’s plea to Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL) at a town hall last week. Congress has been home for April recess for a week, and constituents across the country are using the opportunity to make their voices heard. Democrats and Republicans alike are showing up to town halls to voice concerns about everything from climate change (and their representative’s denial of it) to the grave consequences of repealing the Affordable Care Act. This video has just a few examples:

The takeaway? If Congress is going to serve as a rubber stamp for Trump’s harmful agenda, they’re going to have to take responsibility for it. Congress has a lot to get done when they get back next week. The government will shut down next Friday unless Congress passes a new spending bill and the House is reportedly preparing to once again take up the Trumpcare fight before moving on to tax reform. That means your representative needs to hear from you now, while they’re at home. Find a town hall near you at ResistanceNearMe.org, then find all the tools you need to resist, including sample town hall questions, Trumpcare graphics and more at RecessToolkit.com.

WHAT’S TRENDING

“The Cuban Missile Crisis In Slow Motion.” That’s a good way to think about the North Korean nuclear crisis, except now the slow-motion part appears to be speeding up. The situation between North Korea and the Trump administration is growing increasingly volatile, especially after the North Korean government launched a series of missile tests in recent weeks. And Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has repeatedly declared that the U.S. policy of “strategic patience” towards North Korea is officially done-zo. So if not patience, then what? We’ll have to wait and see.

Turkey. After a tumultuous past year in Turkish politics, yesterday the people of Turkey voted—just barely—to expand the powers of their 14-year President Recep Erdogan. Following last year’s failed coup, Erdogan’s been looking for ways to consolidate power and tighten the reigns against the Turkish opposition. Now, following yesterday’s vote, Erdogan will be able to get his way, at least through the 2019 elections. More on what this means for the future of Turkey here.

Tweeter in Chief. While the world worried about North Korea’s missile launch, our commander in chief, as he is wont to do, took to Twitter to complain. This time he complained about people asking to see his tax returns. Hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets at Tax Marches across the country on Saturday to demand that Donald Trump release his tax returns and increase transparency about his financial connections. Instead of releasing his tax returns, Trump tweeted from his 7th trip to Mar-a-Lago and falsely claimed that the marches were small and that the protestors were paid.

Transparency. Despite Trump’s pledge to drain the swamp, Trump is filling his administration with some pretty swampy staff. And now, the White House has announced that it isn’t posting visitor logs citing that FOIA regulations don’t apply to the president or his staff. Despite Trump’s own past criticisms of President Obama’s publicly release records, Obama reported over 6 million visitors.

First Day Jitters. SCOTUS is back in session today with a full nine members for the first time in more than a year following Judge Neil Gorsuch’s contentious ascension to the 9th seat. Among the first three cases heading to the court, a little known one might cause Gorsuch to recuse himself. At least he doesn’t have to worry about picking out a first day outfit.

UNDER THE RADAR

#TaxDay. A common complaint about unauthorized immigrants is that they are a drain on local resources. But the truth is, unauthorized immigrants contribute more than $11.7 billion in state and local taxes every year. Add that to the long list of economic strikes against Trump’s assault on immigrant families. Read one immigrant’s story of how his tax dollars could be used to deport people like him.

GOOD NEWS

Patience Pays Off. After much anticipation, giraffe and internet sensation, April finally gave birth over the weekend and the Internet rejoiced. Fans can vote to name the calf for $1 a vote—Giraffy McGiraffeface anyone?