Hall of Heroes: Week of January 30, 2017

We’re kicking off our first Hall of Heroes vote! It’s your chance to choose the person or people of the week who showed us how to get it done with style.

Our three nominees for this week’s award are:

First Nominee: The National Park Service

If you have been under a rock this week (we understand the impulse, we really do), what happened was the following:

  • The National Park Service tweeted a photo on the day of the Inaugural that compared Donald Trump’s crowds with that of Barack Obama’s.
  • Trump had a fit, argued that there were more people, and shut down their Twitter account.
  • The next day the Badlands National Parks started tweeting out climate change facts. No extra comments, just some straight up, not alternative facts. This while the EPA was under a social media blackout, and rumors were circulating that they were being asked to scrub their website of climate change information. The tweets were immediately deleted.
  • Not long after that the Golden Gate Bridge Park Service tweeted an image of Martin Luther King, Jr in jail with the quote: “One has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.” Also deleted.
  • And finally, not to be outdone, the Death Valley National Park tweeted about the Japanese internment camps in WWII on the same day Trump released news about harsher immigration screens aimed at Muslim refugees. Also deleted.
  • Alternative twitter accounts were started in the National Parks Service, leading to multiple government agencies to create Alt accounts, including the EPA and NASA.
  • And to round it out, the Alt account for Acadia National Park (in Maine, my home state–woot!) just posted this photo of their beaches:


So, rock on, you crazy rebel rangers, you.

Second Nominee: The Lawyers

  • On Friday, Jan 27 at the end of the day President Trump signed an executive order banning the entry of individuals from seven (majority-Muslim) countries until such time that his administration could determine if there were enough security screens in place to keep out terrorists. Ok, we can debate the politics of that one, but I think everyone can agree that their execution was for.shit. They barely consulted with other departments–giving DHS and the State Department basically a day to review the document–and so when the ban when into effect no one knew what to do. Should they check new visas? Green card holders? Chaos ensued, as you know.
  • Border Patrol and DHS held individuals at the airports–many of them legal permanent residents–to check their credentials.
  • Lawyers filed emergency briefs with petitions to see their clients, and all across the country lawyers set up office on the floors of airports. Demanding–oftentimes with little more than sheer chutzpah–that they had a right to see their clients, clients that they maybe hadn’t even met before.
  • On Saturday night, the ACLU managed to get a stay in the ban, and many green card holders across the country were released. By Sunday DHS officials were still ignoring the legal stay and continued to hold people. So the lawyers stayed too. All pro bono.

So we send up a nomination to you all, you briefcase bearing angels.

Third Nominee: Sally Yates

  • So that whole mess up there had just happened. DHS and Border Patrol weren’t complying on Saturday with the lawyers, and people were wondering if they would have to call them on it. Who do you call when you need to rein in DHS? That’s right, the U.S. Marshalls, who are overseen by the Department of Justice.
  • Serving as the Acting US Attorney General Sally Yates declared that her staff would not enforce the ban because:

“I am responsible for ensuring that the positions we take in court remain consistent with this institution’s solemn obligation to always seek justice and stand for what is right,” Yates wrote in a letter to justice department lawyers. “At present I am not convinced that the defense of the executive order is consistent with these responsibilities nor am I convinced that the executive order is lawful.”

  • In less than three hours she was fired by the President and on Monday The White House said that Sally Yates had “betrayed” the department by refusing to enforce a legal order that was “designed to protect the citizens of the United States.” Yeup, betrayed.

(Sally previously testifying before Congress that, yes, she was prepared to stand by her principles)

So, in the name of all that is honorable in our democracy, for the bureaucrats of dignity (lord knows we’ll be depending on you in the days to come) we salute and nominate Sally Yates.

SO… Who’s your vote going to be for?


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