I met Robert Mueller once. Years
ago, while I was on the State Board of the Florida ACLU, Mueller was head of
the FBI and came to speak to the
organization to assure us that the FBI would never intentionally violate the
constitutional rights of American citizens in carrying out its
investigations. Whether or not the FBI has
held true to his assurance, it was obvious to me then and ever since that
Robert Mueller is brilliant, impressive, and an American original.
You can see just how brilliant and impressive he is by reading the
just-released Report On The Investigation Into Russian Interference In The 2016
Presidential Election (the Mueller Report.)
Focusing just on Volume II which deals with the questions about whether
Donald Trump had obstructed justice in connection with the FBI investigation
into Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election, Mueller provides
what others have called a road-map detailing the facts about the events
encompassing obstruction of justice in the following 11 distinct areas:
The Campaign’s response to reports about Russian support for Trump;
Conduct involving FBI Director Comey and Michael Flynn;
The President’s reaction to the continuing Russia investigation;
The President’s termination of Comey;
The appointment of a Special Counsel and efforts to remove him;
Efforts to curtail the Special Counsel’s investigation;
The President’s Efforts to Prevent Disclosure of Emails About the June 9, 2016 Meeting Between Russians and Senior Campaign Officials;
Further efforts to have the Attorney General take control of the investigation;
Efforts to have McGahn deny that the President had ordered him to have the Special Counsel removed;
The President’s Conduct Towards Flynn, Manafort;
The President’s Conduct Involving Michael Cohen.
Robert Mueller lays out the evidence in each of these areas, and without
directly saying that our President has obstructed justice, provides the facts that
show that indeed he has. My favorite
quotation from the Mueller Report is the following: “(I)f we had confidence after a thorough
of the facts that the President clearly did not commit obstruction of
justice, we would so state. Based on the
facts and the applicable legal standards, however, we are unable to reach that
judgment.” In other words, we
cannot say that he is innocent, because he is guilty!
It was another good week for voter registration and petition collection
at the West Regional Courthouse. We
collected 9 voter registration forms (including 3 neighbors with prior felony
convictions), 3 requests to vote-by-mail, and 116 medicaid expansion
petitions. Many thanks to Lonnie
Supnick, Debra Longberg, Norman Levy, Marsha Eisenberg, Flora Costanzo, Lauren
Tate, and Robin Adell for coming out to help.
I will be back at the West Regional Courthouse on Monday and Wednesday,
April 22nd and 24th from 10 AM until 2 PM.
I would love for you to come out and join me. Let me know if and when you can.
BlueBroward encourages clubs that meet on a regular basis to establish an event template that defines your schedule (something like “First Tuesday of the month at 7 pm) and basic details like your regular meeting location and contact info for a club representative people can contact with questions. You can grant editing rights for the template (and all the events based on the template) to other club representatives who can assist with keeping your event listings up to date.
The same approach can be used for any regularly scheduled event, or any series of events for which many of the basic details are the same.
I have been working to make this system as self-explanatory as possible, and the video below should help. One thing people often seem to be confused about is the difference between the template and events based on the template. The template itself should be generic. You don’t want to put details like the names of speakers into the template; you want to put them into the event post for a specific date.
Think of it as the difference between the cookie cutter and the cookie. The cookie cutter is a tool for creating cookies, but you wouldn’t put sprinkles on the cookie cutter and eat it.
You can use the template to stamp out one meeting or multiple meetings at a time. Either way, you always have the option of going back later to update what you posted. You can post your events months in advance and still have the option of going back to update those events if your meeting location changes or you have to reschedule a particular meeting.
Watch the video and let me know whether I’ve made the process clear. You can reach me at email@example.com.
Note: For purposes of this tutorial, I assumed the event template for the club has already been created. You can create a new one from scratch by going to the Event Templates screen and clicking the New Template button at the top of the screen. Instead of prompting you for a date, the template screen prompts you to check off the day and frequency of your event. You can also contact me if you need help setting up or modifying a template for a club, caucus, or other organization.
Please try to avoid creating a new template if one already exists. If it does exist, and you don’t have access, contact me to get editing rights.
BlueBroward is not just for club meeting listings. You can also post campaign kickoffs, fundraising dinners, or any other event you would like to promote. Here’s how:
If you don’t have time to watch the video, the short version is you start from the Dashboard screen that appears after you have logged in and click on Post an Event. Any member of the BlueBroward community (which basically means anyone who has subscribed to the email newsletter) can log in to post events and blog posts.
The Post an Event button takes you to a setup screen where you will enter the date and time of your event, as well as a headline. Once you save that information, you will be taken to an editor screen. This is essentially a web-based word processor based on WordPress, the world’s most popular web publishing software.
Highlight a word or phrase, and a row of buttons appears allowing you to mark that text bold or italic. To add a link, click on the chain link icon.
To insert an image or a file attachment (such as a PDF), click on the + button. There is a + button at the top of the page that will allow you to insert something at the end of the document. If you hover your mouse between two paragraphs, you will see a + button allowing you to insert in that spot.
You will see multiple options for what sorts of content you can insert. If you do not see the Image or File options, you can type the first few letters of the word Image or File in the search box (you can see this in the video). In both cases, you click Upload and pick the item you want from your computer.
When done, click Publish and confirm you want to make your event visible on the website, on the Calendar page, and in the email roundup of events that goes out on Sundays.
You should see a confirmation message inviting you to view your event on the website. If you see something you want to change, there is an Edit Event link in the black bar that appears on the top of the page that will allow you to make changes. You can also log back into the website at any time to edit or update an event posting.
There are lots of different ways you can promote your events today, and I would never argue that you should promote your event on BlueBroward instead of on Facebook or to your own email list — but as an additional way of reaching a broader audience, it can help you extend your digital reach and attract the biggest and best crowd possible.
A day after announcing his Presidential campaign, Congressman Eric Swalwell was in Sunrise for an event billed as a Town Hall on gun violence, with participation from survivors of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas and their families and members of Moms Demand Action and allied groups prominent in the audience.
If that is an important issue for you — if you still remember the horror of realizing what happened in our community on Valentine’s Day 2018 — I recommend you watch the Facebook Live video replay I’ve embedded here (unfortunately, you’ll have to fast-forward through about 20 minutes of dead air in this version before the program starts).
Whether you ultimately vote for Swalwell or someone else in the primaries, he is performing a valuable service by putting this issue front and center in his campaign.
I worried that the Town Hall event’s focus would slip from gun safety to campaign rally, but for the most part it stuck to gun violence prevention. There were a few questions from the audience that Swalwell responded to on other issues such as healthcare.
Parkland parent activist Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter Jaime was among the mass shooting victims, is asking that we all make at least a small donation to help Swalwell clear the threshold of demonstrated popularity required to participate in the Democratic party debates that will start this summer.
Yes, it’s crazy how many people are running, making it tough to welcome one more person entering the race. I like several of the other candidates quite a lot and could happily vote for just about any of them, I think, if they should make it to the general election.
Personally, I was impressed with Swalwell and believe he is right both on gun violence and the anti-corruption agenda he has pursued with regard to the Trump Administration. He is considered a long-shot, but I would like to see him emerge as a contender.
Here’s Swalwell’s clip from the Late Show with Stephen Colbert, where he made it official that he was running:
Formed following the heartbreaking of re-election of President George W. Bush, BlueBroward has existed in one form or another since early 2005. A lot has changed in 14 years. Some of the most grandiose plans I and a cofounder had at the beginning didn’t work out, but the site evolved into a pretty good community calendar for Broward Democrats.
Over the past few weeks, I have gone through a housecleaning intended to make it easier and simpler for members to post events and blog articles to the website. I was getting a lot of feedback that too many of the technological “improvements” I had added had only served to complicate things and confuse people.
If you are on the BlueBroward email list, you can post events to the website. You can also post your opinions, your analysis, and your ideas about how to campaign more effectively. You can see in the screenshot above that part of the original idea was to create a “Brain Trust” of smart, experienced activists. The goal lives on, but I would love to see a greater diversity of participation.
If you don’t already have a password, you can get one by verifying your email address.
When you log into the website, the new, improved member’s dashboard looks like this:
Click Post an Event to post an event or Post to the Blog to post to the blog. Use blog posts for opinions such as candidate endorsements or any information you would like to share with the community that’s not tied to a specific date.
You will use the same editor — a web-based word processor — in either case. The only difference is that for an event, you will first visit an Event Setup screen that prompts you to specify the event date. (If you regularly post events for a club or other organization that meets on a regular schedule, see the section below on Event Templates).
You can ignore the other event checkboxes on the page, unless perhaps you wish to collect RSVPs (registrations for an event). The underlying RSVPMaker software can collect event registrations for you. However, the features related to collecting online payments are not enabled.
A few tips for working with the editor:
You can simply type the content of your blog post or your event description, or copy and paste from a program like Microsoft Word.
Select any word or phrase within your content, and you will see a menu that allows you to make that passage bold or italic or add a link to a web address.
To add images or other types of content, click the (+) button in the upper left hand corner of the screen. If you hover your mouse between any two blocks of content, you will see a popup (+) button that allows you to insert content in that spot..
You can copy-and-paste the link to a YouTube video, and the video player will automatically be embedded in the content of your post or event description.
BlueBroward is based on WordPress, the world’s most popular web publishing software.
Working with Event Templates
If you represent a Democratic club or other organization that meets on a regular basis, using the event template system makes it easier to represent your club more consistently, for the software to track your events, and for multiple club leaders to share editing rights.
If you have been granted access to an event template, you should see it listed in the Your Templates widget on the dashboard with a number of associated options.
For each template you have access to, you will see the following options:
Edit next event – if there is already an event on the calendar associated with the template, you have an option of updating it. It’s a good idea to pre-post the basic details for your events but then update them closer to the time of the event — for example, with details on speakers or activities.
Add Event – add a single event based on the template.
Create / Update – add multiple future dates based on your template. For example, if your template says the club meets on the first Monday of each month, the Create / Update event will show you future Mondays and allow you to check off one or more to add events for. (More on this later).
Edit Template – update the boilerplate details in your template, for example if your meeting schedule or location has changed.
Grant another user editing rights – share editing rights with another trusted member of your organization.
The dashboard also shows a listing of all the templates currently active on the website. If a template is already listed, and you need access to it, you can get access from one of the currently authorized editors or from the webmaster, firstname.lastname@example.org.
If no template for your club or organization exists, you can create one by going to the Add New / Event Setup screen and clicking the New Template link in the upper right hand corner of the screen.
Instead of asking for a specific date, the New Template version of this screen asks for a schedule such as First Monday. You will still supply a start time and other details that should be included in all events based on this template.
After you submit the form, you will find yourself in the WordPress editor. The Document panel on the sidebar shows that we’re in an event editor, not the editor for a specific date.
Once you edit and publish your event, you will see a prompt at the top of the screen suggesting that the next step is to do one of two things — Add Event based on the template or Create / Update a batch of event based on the template.
If you click New Event based on a template, you will be taken to the event setup screen and prompted to confirm that you wish to add an event for the next projected date based on the schedule supplied in the template.
An event created this way will be loaded into the editor as a draft (not yet published) including the content and other settings from the template.
If instead of following the New Event path you choose Create / Update, you will be presented with the option to add multiple events as a batch operation.
If you previously posted events for one or more dates, the same screen will show checkbox options for events to be updated as well as events to be added. For example, if you change your meeting location, you might want to update any previously published events that would direct people to the old location.
When you post a batch of events, the confirmations displayed on screen include links you can follow to edit or view any of the individual events.
In this way, you can post a batch of projected meeting dates and immediately edit the next upcoming event with the names of speakers or other updated details.
I hope everyone who posts events to BlueBroward will find these to be improvements. If you have suggestions for further improvement, please share them with email@example.com.
Additional RSVPMaker Options
Most event editors can stop reading now, but there are a few options related to collecting event registrations that must be set on separate screens.
From within the editor, you will see an RSVP / Event Options link on the black menu bar that appears at the top of the screen when you are logged in. There are several other items under that menu for altering the registration form or setting up automated event reminders.
This website is recovering from a series of technical problems, including the registration of accounts apparently belonging to Russians (based on their .ru email addresses) and website overload.
While cleaning up after these issues, we’re taking the opportunity to do some housekeeping. Club leaders have not had an opportunity to update their event entries, so the calendar is probably slightly out of date.
Mod Sixties Wine: 1826 E Sunrise Blvd, Ft Lauderdale on Thursday April 18, 2019
Meet & Greet 6:30pm ~~ Meeting starts at 7:00pm
Teresa Williams, President of our sister club, Democratic Women’s Club of West Broward, will share her vision of Criminal Justice Reform for Broward County. Please join us to find out more about upcoming plans and events for our new club and what you can do to elect Democrats.
How can we maximize the Hispanic Vote in 2020? Special Guest–Professor Eduardo Gamarra, PHD, Full tenured professor of Political Science Florida International University’s Department of Politics and International Relations will fill us in on the results of his extensive research and polling of Hispanic demographics and voting.
In addition to his wide ranging consulting work in Latin America and the Caribbean, (which includes testifying before Congress) on such diverse areas as Drug Trafficking, violence and revolution, and authoritarianism, Dr Gamarra also focuses on political culture, campaign and elections.
Emerald Hills Country Club, 4100 North Hills Drive, Please RSVP to Muriel Kirschner 954-963-6891 $18 per person The caterer really insists on k nowing how many to prepare for
Good evening, everybody! Donald Trump wants to build a wall on our border with Mexico. Congress disagrees and refuses to give him the money to build that wall. So he exceeds his constitutional authority and declares a national emergency in order to try to redirect money designated for other projects to pay for that wall. Then the House of Representatives passes a resolution disapproving of this attempt to divert funds. And now, the Republican-controlled Senate has also voted to overturn Trump's declaration of a national emergency, with 12 Republicans siding with Senate Democrats! I am so encouraged by the passage of this resolution, that I am going to suggest something I don't believe I have ever suggested before: Praise Marco Rubio! Yes, I am going to call Marco Rubio's Office to thank him for his courageous vote and for putting the Constitution ahead of his allegiance to Donald Trump. If enough people contact Rubio to thank him, maybe in future votes, he'll again put the country first. Marco Rubio: 202-224-3041 (DC); 305-418-8553 (Miami) And if you live in any of the following states where a Republican Senator supported the resolution of disapproval, call up and give them a shout-out: Kansas (Jerry Moran); Tennessee (Lamar Alexander); Missouri (Roy Blunt); Maine (Susan Collins); Utah (Mike Lee and Mitt Romney); Alaska (Lisa Murkowski); Pennsylvania (Patrick Toomey); Ohio (Rob Portman); Kentucky (Rand Paul); and Mississippi (Roger Wicker). This has been another good week for voter registration and petition collection. With the help of Lonnie Supnick, Marsha Eisenberg, Michael Goldfarb, Lauren Tate, and Debra Longberg, we registered 7 voters (including 2 felons!) and collected 129 Medicaid Expension petitions. We will be out at the West Regional Courthouse again next Monday and Wednesday, March 18th and 20th, from 10 AM to 2 PM. As always, we will have our canopy to protect is from the sun, a table and chairs for people to use while registering, and all the voter registration and petition forms we need. The only additional thing we need is for you to come out and join us (even for 2 hours). Please let me know when you can help out! One last thing: If you believe that arming teachers in Florida schools is a terrible idea, please sign the following petition (Thank you, Kathryn Reeve) and forward the link to your contacts:
Hello, everybody! It was another good week at the West Regional Courthouse. Along with our wonderful volunteers Lonnie Supnick, Beth Mumby, Marsha Eisenberg, Michael Goldfarb, Lauren Tate, and Debra Longberg, we registered 13 voters (including 3 felons!) and collected 114 Medicaid Expansion petitions. We will be back at the Courthouse on Monday and Wednesday, March 11th & 13th, from 10 AM to 2 PM, and we can sure use your help. Let me know. And for all members of the Plantation Democratic Club, Tuesday night starting at 7 PM, we will be electing officers and Board members. Come out and vote! As always, we meet at the Deicke Auditorium, 5701 Cypress Road in Plantation. Alan