So…much…winning for Democratic candidates in Virginia, New Jersey, New York, and all across the country in state and city elections. In a rejection of racism, sexism, and bigotry, a transgender woman defeated the Republican candidate who wrote the “bathroom bill” discriminating against trans people in Virginia, and became the first openly transgender state legislator in American history; Minnesota elected the first trans person of color to city council; a New Jersey politician who cracked a sexist joke on social media about the Women’s March got beaten…by a woman; and Charlotte got its first black female mayor. In a rejection of ACA repeal, Maine voted to expand Medicaid within the state—residents of the state essentially overwhelmingly choosing to maintain Obamacare despite federal and Republican state legislators’ attempts to destroy it. (And Obamacare enrollment is up in general from previous years as the signup period begins.) A Colorado county elected seven anti-voucher candidates to the school board, a powerful repudiation of school choice (and Betsy DeVos).
Meanwhile, the recently revealed “Paradise Papers,” revealing offshore investments for dozens of prominent celebrities and other wealthy folk, provide direct evidence that Wilbur Ross, Secretary of Commerce, concealed information in his confirmation documents about his shared business interests with Putin’s immediate family. To translate: The man responsible for overseeing commerce regulations has a conflict of interest in which he can directly benefit from his own actions as commerce secretary. His office issued the feeble defense saying that he recuses himself as secretary from any matters regarding transoceanic shipping. In other fun news, he lied about his net worth—by billions—to make the Fortune 400 list of wealthiest Americans; he has now been removed by Fortune from the list. J
In ever-escalating Russia revelations, here’s a great breakdown of the nine people close to Donald who have been found to have strong ties to Russia, and exactly how they are enmeshed with the Kremlin. Lawyer Natalya Veselnitskaya is now singing away about the infamous “I love it!” meeting with Don Jr and Kushner, stating that the president’s son offered a change in laws regarding Russia if his father won office, but quickly detaching when he received no promised “dirt” on Clinton. Donald adviser Carter Page’s emails also elaborate on contacts between Donald’s campaign and Putin, and reveal even more highly placed advisers and insiders who were directly involved. Robert Mueller entered the weekend by apparently filing 34 additional sealed cases in federal court. (It’s like Christmas—I can’t wait to open them!) And look for Michael Flynn and his son to soon face indictment.
The American Bar Association unanimously deemed unqualified yet another of Donald’s nominees for a federal judgeship—the fourth one so far. (Yet despite that, and that he’s never tried a case, he was nonetheless approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee.)
Republicans are finally—finally—speaking out against Roy Moore and suggesting he step out of the Senate race in his home state—not for his past actions as a birtherism promoter, conspiracy theorist, anti-LGBTQ bigot who was removed as an Alabama supreme court judge twice for defying federal law to further his own religious and anti-gay biases, but in the wake of accusations that in his thirties he initiated sexual encounters with a 14-year-old girl. And the National Republican Senatorial Committee is withdrawing its joint fundraising efforts for his campaign. Moore denies all accusations and is refusing to step down.
If, as is tends to be the case with the GOP, Moore and his ilk do make it into the Senate, he and all other senators, staff, and interns will undergo mandatory sexual harassment training, after a bipartisan resolution passed Thursday.
Both former presidents Bush have gone public to denounce Donny, Bush Sr. calling him a “blowhard.”
The latest polls are indicating promising results for Democrats in midterm elections—but only if you VOTE.
Notice that these good-news lists are getting longer, even as Amy Siskind’s exhaustive weekly roundup of signs of authoritarianism get disturbingly more extensive. Hang in there and keep fighting…progress may be slow, but it’s steady.