Last week I brought Marco Rubio a spine to replace the one he lost when he voted to confirm Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State. Today the Senate will be holding a hearing and possibly voting on Tillerson’s nomination. Sadly the spine and I will be working from my office at Greenpeace for this one.

I’m also an attorney, and spent several hours at Dulles International Airport yesterday volunteering my services for detainees affected by Trump’s executive order. AMA!

The spine in the news:

Reddit thread:


Comments: 640 • Responses: 30  • Date: 

chi1833184 karma

did you make eye contact with him?

rubiospinebearer264 karma

He made eye contact with me, and with the spine.

all4reddit162 karma

Did it send chills down his sp.......wait, he doesn't have one.

rubiospinebearer243 karma

He looked confused, and then mildly alarmed.

Marylandman101111 karma

What are your thoughts on Elon Musk supporting Rex?

rubiospinebearer368 karma

I'd rather he didn't. I'm more concerned with US senators supporting Rex though. Elon Musk is looking out for Elon Musk - US senators are supposed to be looking out for the country.

rubiospinebearer90 karma

ALSO: the Senate is about to hold a debate on confirming Rex Tillerson. Senate Democrats are trying to hold it up. Call your Senators and tell them to Reject Rex!

Bmoron79 karma

How many detainees did you personally speak with?

rubiospinebearer218 karma

Customs and Border Patrol is refusing to allow attorneys to speak with detainees. In violation of the court order.

TheTrueFlexKavana58 karma

What do you do day to day in your job as an attorney?

rubiospinebearer100 karma

I have a law degree but I am a campaigner here with a broad portfolio of responsibilities. Sometimes it's holding a spine behind a senator who needs one; sometimes it's analyzing policy.

vivalavaquita48 karma

Who would make a better chief diplomat than Rex T?

rubiospinebearer93 karma

The plastic spine I held up.

Hero_Troll23 karma

Why is Rex Tillerson bad for the planet?

rubiospinebearer36 karma

Rex Tillerson spent his entire career at ExxonMobil. His job was to find, extract, and burn carbon. Which, as everyone but this administration knows, causes climate change. Which is really bad for the planet. That's the short answer. There are many more reasons, ask away!

TasselledWobbegong16 karma

Why a spine?

rubiospinebearer48 karma

Senator Rubio gave the indication he might have one, and stand up to Trump, when he put some hard questions to Rex Tillerson during his confirmation hearing. Including asking him about war crimes in Syria, which Tillerson didn't really answer. Seemed pretty damning! Rubio seemed like he might even vote against Tillerson, defying Trump. But then, Rubio's fossil fuel industry donors gave him his marching orders and told him to support Tillerson. Which he did. Pretty spineless! So we brought him one.

Askthrowaway179 karma

Was it really as chaotic as they say?

rubiospinebearer26 karma

By last evening, things weren't chaotic because lawyers weren't allowed to see detainees and CBP still refused to speak to us or the elected officials that came to the airport. Not much lawyers could do while CBP is still violating the court order and information on those detained and deported is not yet available. We are working our hardest to get that information!

hurtsdonut_5 karma

Can these CBP officers be arrested? If yes why haven't any been arrested?

rubiospinebearer25 karma

They can (and should) be held in contempt of court. Lawyers are working on that. But if the entire force is going to defy the order, it's hard to see the entire CBP staff being arrested.

all4reddit4 karma

Are you thinking of following any other GOP politicians sans spine?

rubiospinebearer9 karma

That's a popular question around here. We heard someone edited the invertebrates wikipedia page to include Paul Ryan (rightly so). Allegedly protestors also brought spines to Senator Schumer's apartment. So if your version of resisting is bringing spines to GOP politicians, go for it!

all4reddit3 karma

I live in Oz but the Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull certainly lacks a spine.

rubiospinebearer12 karma

You know what to do.

scribble943 karma

In your opinion, how effective is a viral photo/video in bringing about actual change? My worry is that this was a Buzzfeed laugh of the day and no more. But my hope is that Marco Rubio is stewing and plotting for the day when he will rise up and say, "Let's dispel with this fiction that Marco Rubio doesn't have a backbone..."

rubiospinebearer17 karma

Us too. Trolling is fun but I think you effectively answered your question. Rest assured, carrying a spine around is not all we're doing.

ketosoy3 karma

Wow. Huge fan.

Two questions:

1) if you had to go on a date with a sitting republican member of either the house or senate, who would you choose?

2) would you rather fight 100 duck sized horses or 1 horse sized duck?

rubiospinebearer12 karma

1) whoever speaks up first to either a) Reject Rex or b) overturn this executive order on immigration (so I'm probably safe)

2) getting this one out of the way early. I'm pretty short so, 100 duck sized horses, I might have a chance.

SandmanS20000 karma

I'd give the odds to McCain.

rubiospinebearer7 karma

Unfortunately, he is on record supporting Tillerson already. If he takes it back, I'll reconsider.

rafacst3 karma

Hey there, fellow Greenpeacer! Loved the NVDA. You have some gut! And a spine! My question is: how did you think of it?

rubiospinebearer17 karma

Thank you! It was not the worst reason to work late. I don't think we were the first ones to call Rubio (or any of the GOP senators) spineless, but we did have a spine and proximity to the Hill, so...

forthehumans3 karma

What's more effective right now: calls/emails or trolling? Also, does Marco know he's a lapdog for a petty tyrant with a size complex?

rubiospinebearer16 karma

Trolling was certainly the most effective for my soul. So I would never discourage it. That said, 1 call or in-person visit is worth about 100 emails. So keep calling. Staff has to report it to their boss. And if their bosses don't listen, you vote them out next election.

TasselledWobbegong3 karma

Also, what was the airport like last night?

rubiospinebearer10 karma

Answered in another thread:

By last evening, things weren't chaotic because lawyers weren't allowed to see detainees and CBP still refused to speak to us or the elected officials that came to the airport. Not lawyers could do while CBP is still violating the court order and information on those detained and deported is not yet available. We are working our hardest to get that information!

pickledkitten2 karma

What can I do to help?

rubiospinebearer15 karma

Thanks for asking! You should resist in the way that feels right to you. On Tillerson, I would say, call your senators and tell them to vote no. On policies/laws/action that you object to, call your senators and your congressman and explain that you oppose it. In general, you can get involved in your community on almost any issue important to you - environmental justice, racial justice, immigration, fracking, money in politics, etc. Here's a great way to plug in:

pussgurka2 karma

For those who are unaware, what are some things redditors can do to help their cause regarding Trump's executive order?

rubiospinebearer25 karma

Call your senators and representatives right now! Capitol switchboard: (202) 224-312.1 Demand that they repeal the ban, demand that they publicly oppose the ban. Tell them to hold up every cabinet nominee vote until it's revoked. And then tell them to get the names of people who were detained and deported so the lawyers can help them.

samoscratch4 karma

I've been calling all day, but it continues to hang up on me.

rubiospinebearer21 karma

Try district offices - people often try the DC offices but your senator will have one or more office around your state. Make sure you give the staffer your zip code!

DalaiLamaStiffedMe1 karma


rubiospinebearer16 karma

The Capitol Police who saw it go through the x-ray at the entrance asked me the same thing. I'm going to say to you the same thing I said to them: where would I get a real human spine?? /s (it's plastic. but very lifelike.)

Chuckie_J_131 karma

Given the current state of affairs on Earth, would you say we are getting closer to fulfilling the plot depicted in the Matt Damon film Elysium?

rubiospinebearer7 karma

I think we're looking at The Day After Tomorrow, considering it's climate change.

asrethaw1 karma

What was the best response you've gotten from your spine trolling?

rubiospinebearer17 karma

Has to be this, which arrived in the mail:

5trong5tyle0 karma

Support your work. 2 questions :

  1. How far do you think the US will go in ignoring international treaties in the coming 4 years? Can visitors still trust there'll be a rule of law?

  2. Are you afraid this AMA might be hijacked by all the extreme right groups here on Reddit?

rubiospinebearer25 karma

Thanks for the support!

  1. I don't think we know the answer to that yet - it's been 10 days and there have been some unprecedented, dangerous, and illegal actions already.

  2. Someone already asked me how much Soros paid me, so...

Unknown_traveler0 karma

Just wanted to say you're my hero. How are you doing?

rubiospinebearer15 karma

Thanks! Anyone with a spine can be a hero these days. The first 10 days of this administration have been tough, but I'm hanging in there. This is a good place to work right now.

Drekken--5 karma


rubiospinebearer22 karma

EDIT: "He said AMA" - I'm a woman.

In the spirit of dialogue with our critics, let me answer this. Just to be clear, George Soros doesn't pay me, our incredibly dedicated and generous supporters do.

Now, I volunteered at the airport last night, a weekend, on my own time. Not paid at all. Not for my job.

It is my job to hold government accountable for decisions that I think will harm people and the planet. But I would have done it for free.