A Year of IEB

The news cycle in the first few weeks of 2018 has been especially unforgiving. With the White House imploding under the weight of its own gossip while the Congressional GOP relaxes and plots its next moves, the fresh start promised by the New Year feels anything but.

Despite all of that, 2017 also saw IEB come into being, and we persisted through the year: on the streets, on the phone, sending texts, meeting Members of Congress, packing town halls… we kept the government on notice, and all it takes to see the size of our impact is a quick glance down the administration’s list of unfulfilled promises. If you hadn’t come out, if you hadn’t texted or written postcards or donated money, everything on that list would be part of our reality now.

With 2018 off to a start defined by the worst excesses of its predecessor, we thought it would be a good idea to look back and really take stock of what we did and how we did it in 2017, a year that rewrote the rulebook on our understanding of the American republic. The list below lays it out: We were there when it counted, and we made our voices heard.

Holding Power to Account

We spent a lot of time meeting and cultivating close relationships with our Members of Congress, and we wrote it all down.

Raising Our Voices

In 2017, IEB and its members were unafraid to raise their voices about the issues facing the country today. From phone banks to postcard campaigns to donation drives to knitting patterns, we used tools from every corner of our arsenal to keep the Trump administration on its toes.

Shining a Light

Information is power – so we made it our business to read, learn, and share our knowledge.

Building Our Community

The progress IEB makes in 2018 will rely on the relationships between and among its members. That’s why it’s so important that we meet, and keep meeting, and so wonderful when we do: we are building a community founded on political spirit that will outlast the current darkness and teach all of us lessons in how to be the best Americans we can.

Pussyhat, Pussyhat, Where Are You?

If you’re an advanced beginner knitter – or even a beginner willing to try something new – you can make a pussyhat like one of these! They’re quick, fun knits.

Here’s an easy pattern for a basic hat, plus some variations like the photos above. There’s a pattern below for a star, too! (The “ROAR” hat is just a basic hat with letters cut out of felt and sewn on.)

Pussyhat pattern

You need:

  • Cascade 128 or similar bulky yarn, about 2/3 skein
  • 16″ circular needles, size 9 or 10
  • stitch marker(s)

Basic pattern, by Celia McCarthy of Piedmont Yarn, Oakland CA:

For this pattern you need only one stitch marker.

  • CO 76 stitches on circular needles (this pattern works well with a stretchy cast on method like the long tail cast on)
  • place stitch marker (PM) and join to knit in round
  • K2, P2 for 20 rounds
  • K for 20 rounds
  • Do a 3 needle bind off, weave in all ends

Pattern with insertions (triangle, heart, star, etc):

For this pattern, you need two stitch markers of different colors.

  • CO 76 stitches on circular needles (this pattern works well with a stretchy cast on method like the long tail cast on)
  • place first stitch marker and join to knit in round
  • K2, P2 for 12 rounds (can be more or less depending on how big you want the ribbed cuff to be)
  • Next round: K36, K2tog, place second stitch marker, K36, K2tog. The second stitch marker marks halfway around the hat.
  • Knit 2 rounds
  • Knit insertion (insertion patterns below). If you want to have the pattern on both sides of the hat, you will repeat the insertion pattern after the second stitch marker on each round. If you want the pattern on one side only, knit all stitches between the second stitch marker and the end of the round.
  • K all rounds until hat is desired length: total of 40 rounds or so
  • Do a 3 needle bind off, weave in all ends

Insertions:

Pink triangle:

  • Round 1: K18, P1, K18, pass marker, complete round with pattern or knit stitches*
  • Round 2: K17, P3, K17, pass marker, complete round with pattern or knit stitches*
  • Round 3: K16, P5, K16, pass marker, complete round with pattern or knit stitches*
  • Round 4: K15, P7, K15, pass marker, complete round with pattern or knit stitches*
  • Continue in this manner until you have 13 purl stitches*

* If you want to have the pattern on both sides of the hat, you will repeat the insertion pattern after the second stitch marker on each round. If you want the pattern on one side only, knit all stitches between the second stitch marker and the end of the round.

Pink heart:

  • Round 1: K18, P1, K18, pass marker, complete round with pattern or knit stitches*
  • Round 2: K17, P3, K17, pass marker, complete round with pattern or knit stitches*
  • Round 3: K16, P5, K16, pass marker, complete round with pattern or knit stitches*
  • Round 4: K15, P7, K15, pass marker, complete round with pattern or knit stitches*
  • Round 5: K14, P9, K14, pass marker, complete round with pattern or knit stitches*
  • Rounds 6, 7, 8 and 9: K13, P11, K13, pass marker, complete round with pattern or knit stitches, pass marker, complete round with pattern or knit stitches*
  • Round 10: K14, P4, K1, P4, K14, pass marker, complete round with pattern or knit stitches*
  • Round 11: K15, P2, K3, P2, K15, pass marker, complete round with pattern or knit stitches*

* If you want to have the pattern on both sides of the hat, you will repeat the insertion pattern after the second stitch marker on each round. If you want the pattern on one side only, knit all stitches between the second stitch marker and the end of the round.

Star:

  • Round 1: K14, P1, K7, P1, K14, pass marker, complete round with pattern or knit stitches*
  • Round 2: K15, P2, K3, P2, K15, pass marker, complete round with pattern or knit stitches*
  • Round 3: K15, P3, K1, P3, K15, pass marker, complete round with pattern or knit stitches*
  • Rounds 4 and 5: K16, P5, K16, pass marker, complete round with pattern or knit stitches*
  • Round 6: K15, K7, K15, pass marker, complete round with pattern or knit stitches*
  • Round 7: K14, P9, K14, pass marker, complete round with pattern or knit stitches*
  • Round 8: K17, P3, K17, pass marker, complete round with pattern or knit stitches*
  • Rounds 9 and 10: K18, P1, K18, pass marker, complete round with pattern or knit stitches*

* If you want to have the pattern on both sides of the hat, you will repeat the insertion pattern after the second stitch marker on each round. If you want the pattern on one side only, knit all stitches between the second stitch marker and the end of the round.

 

No One Is Above the Law

It’s been a month since we began talking about reports that Trump was considering firing Special Counsel Robert Mueller. As Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election continues, speculation is that he’s lasering in on Trump and his cronies’ ties to and collusion with Russia, and that the current occupant of the White House will try to kill the investigation before it gets too close …

After Trump’s former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn pled guilty to lying to the FBI about conversations with Russians, attacks against the FBI, former FBI director James Comey, and Robert Mueller have sharply escalated. In seemingly coordinated attacks over the past few days, Trump, Republican mouthpieces, and Fox (fake) News have all been trying to discredit Mueller and shut down the investigation.

As Indivisible National plainly states (and oh yes, they hit caps lock on purpose): “FIRING COMEY CREATED A CONSTITUTIONAL CRISIS. FIRING MUELLER WOULD BE A CRISIS TIMES TEN.”  Further: “[f]iring Comey was obstruction of justice, pure and simple. But firing Mueller would be far worse—because the entire reason Mueller has this job is to protect the investigation from political interference. No one is above the law, especially not the President of the United States.”

MoveOn, Indivisible, and other groups are working in coalition to activate emergency rallies if Mueller is fired. Although we all hope it won’t happen, the threat is real enough to justify preparing an immediate, strong response.

What you can do now:

  • Find and RSVP to attend a Nobody Is Above the Law rapid response rally near you if Mueller is fired (see partial list below);
  • No local rally near you? Sign up to host one;
  • Spread the word by sending the link to everyone who may be interested;
  • Ask Congress to prevent Mueller from being fired. See Indivisible’s call script here;
  • Read our earlier article, with more info and actions.
  • Note that for any specific event, the timing may vary from the general MoveOn suggested timing (and all involve your local time), so please check the event you RSVP’ed for: if news of the firing occurs before 2 PM, the rally begins that day at 5 PM; if news occurs after 2 PM, the rally will begin the following day at noon.
  • AND NEW! Also general guidelines from MoveOn, check your local event: because of the holidays, if Mueller is fired between December 23 and December 26,  the rally will be held on December 27 at 5:00 PM.  Any other firing date will be treated as above.

nobody is above the law mueller firing.jpgAs MoveOn, the primary organizer behind the rapid response rallies, states: “This is our moment to stand up to protect our democracy. Let’s mobilize to show that we won’t let Donald Trump become the authoritarian that he aspires to be. The law applies to all of us, and it’s essential that it also applies to the most powerful people in our country.  Our response in the minutes and hours following a power grab will dictate what happens next, and whether Congress—the only body with the constitutional power and obligation to rein Trump in from his rampage—will do anything to stand up to him.”

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Please check this link for additional locations, and RSVP to receive updates.