Thanks to all who have already sent letters to Judge Wood regarding the sentencing of the Plowshares defendants. With no sentencing date yet set more letters are welcomed.

Letters should be sent to lead defense attorney Bill Quigley at the address below. He will compile them and distribute to various defendants’ attorneys for delivery to Judge Wood. The attorneys suggest it would be helpful to get these done by December 20 in order to get processed and delivered. Sentencing is expected to be in late January or possibly February.

The best letters are simple, polite, and tell good things about the person you are writing in support of.
The suggested format is as follows:
 
Date
Sender’s Name
Sender’s Address
 
Judge Lisa Godbey Wood
c/o Bill Quigley
Loyola University New Orleans Law Clinic
Campus Box 902
7214 St. Charles Avenue
New Orleans, LA 70118
 
Regarding Sentencing of: Mark Colville [or] Clare Grady [or] Martha Hennessy [or] Fr. Steve Kelly SJ [or] Elizabeth McAlister [or] Patrick O’Neill [or] Carmen Trotta  (or all seven of the Kings Bay Plowshares)
                     
Dear Judge Wood,
 
  Suggested outline for the letter:
    – Explain who you are.
    – Explain who you are writing about, how you know them, and what good they do for their
      community.

– Thank the Judge for reading your letter.

 
Signature and Title, if appropriate.
            _________________________________________________________________________

For more ideas and details for your letters of support, you can see the defendants’ biographies here. There are also a number of excellent recent media stories, listed by publication, on the defendants and the trial available on the front page Media Coverage box on the website.
If you are writing for the defendants individually you should know that they don’t want to ask for leniency. They see their time in prison as part of the witness but your letters can still attest to their good character.
 
Stay tuned for the sentencing date. Also, look for next steps on our website, Get Involved Page. Support ICAN’s Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and divestment campaigns from nuclear weapons manufacturers and other related issues.
Thank you for your attentiveness to the trial, your solidarity and support for the defendants and their families, and your focus on the issue of the abolition of nuclear weapons.
As Fr. Steve Kelly says, “The nuclear weapons won’t go away by themselves.” We do this work together.
In solidarity,
 

The Kings Bay Plowshares 7 Support Team

 

Please Donate
Thanks to your support, we have mobilized thousands of people around the world to speak out for the abolition of nuclear weapons. Please help with expenses, housing, and supporting defendants’ families following the verdict and the upcoming sentencing.
  • Send checks to: Plowshares, PO Box 3087, Washington, DC 20010
  • Donate online: GoFundMe 
Email: to Media Team: kbp7media@gmail.com

Daily Kos Cartoons and Community: Crazy/Stupid Republican of the day: Mike Pence

Some of the most read and shared community-written stories of the week, along with some cartoons at Daily Kos, the largest online gathering space for progressives.


Follow Daily Kos on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Thanks for all you do,
The Daily Kos team

Edward Snowden: If I Came Back to the U.S., I Would Likely Die in Prison for Telling the Truth

The Right Livelihood Awards celebrated their 40th anniversary Wednesday at the historic Cirkus Arena in Stockholm, Sweden, where more than a thousand people gathered to celebrate this year’s four laureates: Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg; Chinese women’s rights lawyer Guo Jianmei, Brazilian indigenous leader Davi Kopenawa and the organization he co-founded, the Yanomami Hutukara Association; and Sahrawi human rights leader Aminatou Haidar, who has challenged the Moroccan occupation of Western Sahara for decades. The Right Livelihood Award is known as the “Alternative Nobel Prize.” Over the past four decades, it’s been given to grassroots leaders and activists around the globe — among them the world-famous NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. At Wednesday’s gala, Amy Goodman interviewed Snowden in front of the award ceremony’s live audience via video link from Moscow, where he has lived in exile since leaking a trove of secret documents revealing the U.S. government’s had built an unprecedented mass surveillance system to spy on Americans and people around the world. After sharing the documents with reporters in 2013, Snowden was charged in the U.S. for violating the Espionage Act and other laws. As he attempted to flee from Hong Kong to Latin America, Snowden was stranded in Russia after the U.S. revoked his passport, and he has lived there ever since. Edward Snowden won the Right Livelihood Award in 2014, and accepted the award from Moscow.

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Petition: Investigate US Rep. Devin Nunes for complicity in the Ukraine affair.

Nunes.jpgThe House Intelligence Committee has submitted its report of the Trump impeachment inquiry—and it is definitive, detailed & utterly damning.

But what’s also noteworthy is how Rep. Devin Nunes—the ranking Republican on that committee—was directly involved in all aspects of the scheme he was pretending to investigate. He was more than just a Trump apologist. He is a Trump accomplice.

We already knew that in November 2018, Devin Nunes traveled to the Ukraine with three aides—where he allegedly met with corrupt former prosecutor Viktor Shokin for the express purpose of supporting Trump’s conspiracy theory against Joe Biden.

Now, the committee’s 300-page report shows that in April 2019, Nunes spoke with indicted Giuliani associate Lev Parnas—who was tasked by Trump to investigate the Biden’s activities in Ukraine. And we also now know that Nunes had talks with Rudy Giuliani, right when he was orchestrating the move to oust the U.S. Ambassador to the Ukraine.

The fox was guarding the henhouse. Devin Nunes was more than just a partisan Republican, eager to defend Trump for political expediency. He was actively involved in enabling Donald Trump’s abuse of power, which should get the president impeached.

Sign the petition: Impeaching Donald Trump is not enough. We need to investigate Rep. Devin Nunes, for his outrageous complicity.

Click to AUTOMATICALLY sign the petition
Our message to the House Ethics Committee:
I am deeply disturbed at reports that Rep. Devin Nunes traveled to the Ukraine to help Trump dig up dirt on Joe Biden. It seems likely that he is doing more than just defending the President, but has instead abused his role on the House Intelligence Committee to jeopardize our national security and the integrity of our elections.

Keep fighting,
Paul Hogarth, Daily Kos

Sweden Provides Free Higher Education, Universal Healthcare, Free Daycare — Why Can’t the U.S.?

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Medicare for All and tuition-free universities have been at the core of the 2020 Democratic presidential campaigns, creating a stark division between progressive candidates and their centrist counterparts. Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have proposed to make Medicare for All and public universities cost-free by taxing massive corporations and the super wealthy, and earlier this year, Sanders introduced legislation that would cancel student loan debt. His plan would be paid for with a new tax on Wall Street, he says. It would also make public universities and community colleges free — a key pillar of Sanders’s 2020 education platform. These proposals are not radical ideas in Sweden, a country that has built one of the world’s most extensive social welfare systems. In Sweden, healthcare costs are largely subsided by the state. Daycare and preschool programs are mostly free. College and university are free. Public transportation is subsidized for many users. To explain how Sweden does it, we speak with Mikael Törnwall, Swedish author and journalist focusing on economic issues at Svenska Dagbladet, a Stockholm daily newspaper. His most recent book is titled “Who Should Pay for Welfare?”

Moveon.org: You showed Congress that Nobody Is Above the Law!

Our democracy and national security are under attack by Donald Trump—and Republicans are trying to enable and defend him at every move—which is why I, for one, am motivated to work alongside millions of MoveOn members to defend our Constitution and our elections by impeaching and removing Trump.

Recent testimony in the U.S. House of Representatives makes it crystal clear that Trump attempted to bribe and bully a foreign official into interfering in our elections for his own political benefit. This is worse than Watergate—and yet even as Democrats are working to expose the truth, Republicans are doing nothing about it.

That is why MoveOn members are taking action.

In 14 cities around the country, mobile billboards are traveling around key congressional districts in the busy days leading up to Thanksgiving, showing our demand that key Republicans stand up to Trump and support impeachment. These are members of Congress who we believe could, if faced with enough constituent pressure, break from Trump’s lawless and reckless stranglehold on his party. And the billboards are already being featured in national publications including The Hill and The Washington Post.1,2

In New York’s 21st Congressional District, voters are seeing an ad across TV stations hammering Representative Elise Stefanik for being such a “star” defender of Trump—and demonstrating to Republicans everywhere the kind of pressure they’ll face. The ads were featured in the Albany Times Union and the Adirondack Daily Enterprise and seen more than 200,000 times online in addition to on TV.3,4

Events organized by local constituents are taking place every week in states with key senators—in Colorado, Maine, Arizona, and Kentucky. And in some cases, events are happening all across the state on the same day—fueled by MoveOn members, allies, and paid professional organizers that MoveOn members have funded. These events are being reported on in local papers of record in each state, such as Louisville’s Courier-Journa l.5

We’ve been bird-dogging members of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.—pursuing Republicans with the simple question of whether it’s okay to seek foreign government interference in our elections. Dozens of Republicans have fled from the question. One pretended to be on the phone to avoid answering, and another one even head-butted the camera! You can see the video of these efforts below.

MoveOn and partners are planning actions all across the country the day before the House eventually votes on the articles of impeachment—and already more than 300 events have been registered, with almost 50,000 attendees planning to turn out.

And MoveOn members have made more than 80,000 calls to Congress—in Washington and in home districts—demanding that Congress assert that nobody is above the law.

It can be maddening to see how Republicans have responded to the impeachment hearings—dismissing, interrupting, and threatening witnesses who simply sought to tell the truth, some of them lifelong public servants in our armed forces and diplomatic corps.

If you’re mad, keep taking action. The majority of Americans want Trump’s impeachment and removal—and MoveOn members are powering these tactics, and more, all across the nation to make our voices heard.

As Robert Reich recently said in an email to MoveOn members, “Congressional Republicans know that Trump is guilty, and they know that they look like damn fools for protecting him. Every day, they are making a calculation of how far they can take this without losing their careers, which is why it is so important for MoveOn to ramp up its campaign to break the Republican dam by making an association with Trump’s crimes politically toxic, leaving no choice but to get rid of Trump once and for all.”

The question now is whether Republicans will continue to be complicit in Trump’s crimes and corruption—or whether they’ll choose higher ground. Now is the moment to push them to make the right choice—over this congressional recess week and when they’re back in Washington, through the weeks ahead. And to keep thanking Democrats who are standing strong for the principle that nobody is above the law.

Thank you for all you’ve been doing to defend our elections, national security, and Constitution. Together, we’ll keep up the fight.

Thanks for all you do.

—Rahna, David, Elsie, Erik, and the rest of the team

Giuliani assures Trump Ukraine ‘insurance’ comment was a joke

Giuliani said he had ‘insurance’ if Trump turned on him in the impeachment inquiry into their Ukraine dealings.

Rudy Giuliani assured the president he was only joking about 'insurance' if 'thrown under the bus' [Julio Cortez/AP]
Rudy Giuliani assured the president he was only joking about ‘insurance’ if ‘thrown under the bus’ [Julio Cortez/AP]

US President Donald Trump‘s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, called the president this week to reassure him he was joking when he told media outlets he had “insurance” if Trump turned on him in the Ukraine scandal at the heart of an impeachment inquiry into the president, Giuliani’s lawyer said on Wednesday.

The lawyer, Robert Costello, said Giuliani, “at my insistence”, called Trump “within the last day” to emphasise he had not been serious when he said he had an “insurance policy, if thrown under the bus”.

More:

“He shouldn’t joke, he is not a funny guy. I told him, ‘Ten thousand comedians are out of work, and you make a joke. It doesn’t work that way,'” Costello told Reuters News Agency.

Giuliani has already said he was being sarcastic when he made the comments. Trump, too, has brushed them off, telling reporters in the Oval Office this week that “Rudy is a great guy.” The White House declined to comment on Costello’s remarks.

WATCH

Has the Trump impeachment inquiry divided Americans even further?

Giuliani has emerged as a central figure in the Democrat-led House of Representatives impeachment inquiry against Trump. It is probing whether the president, for his personal political gain, pressed Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, a leading candidate for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, and his son, Hunter.

Several witnesses have testified that Giuliani, working in an unofficial capacity, led a shadow foreign policy on behalf of the president. His work, which blurred what was considered government objectives, rankled some Trump administration officials, according to testimony.

Giuliani and his associates also led a successful campaign to remove the former ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, who also testified at the inquiry.

Trump, in an interview with former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly on Tuesday, sought to distance himself from Giuliani’s activities on Ukraine, saying he had not directed him to work on Ukraine matters.

“No, I didn’t direct him but he is a warrior,” Trump told O’Reilly, adding Giuliani “possibly saw something” and “he’s done work in Ukraine for years.”

Costello declined to comment on what directions Trump had given Giuliani on Ukraine, citing attorney-client privilege.

The New York Times reported on Wednesday the former New York City mayor privately pursued hundreds of thousands of dollars in business from Ukrainian government officials during the same period he was working on behalf of the president, although he did not finalise any deals.