This week Dems flipped two more legislative seats—in New Hampshire and Connecticut (the latter in a state House seat that had been held by the GOP for 40 years)…bringing the total since Donald’s inauguration to 39, if you’re keeping track.
The Supreme Court declined to hear the DACA appeal the White House brought against federal rulings stopping Donald from ending the program, meaning that for now they will stand. Meanwhile the Koch brothers—the Koch brothers!—have launched an extensive ad campaign to push Congress to act to legally protect Dreamers from another challenge. More than eighty percent of Americans support continuing DACA, and hold Donald and the GOP responsible for threatening it.
There are signs of a turning tide across the country—even in Texas, where the Catholic Bishops cut ties with Texas Right to Life, citing misleading attacks on politicians, lies, and opposing church-supported bills for not going far enough. The Catholic Bishops directed churches across the state to refrain from working with the hard-right pro-birth group. And a Texas Wesleyan University football recruiter was fired for “discriminatory remarks”after rejecting a player from Colorado because “in the past players [from your state] have had trouble passing our drug test… You can thank your liberal politicians.”
On the East Coast it was a rough week for Georgia. Disney and Marvel have threatened to stop filming in Georgia if the anti-LGBTQ bill that recently passed, allowing “faith-based” entities to discriminate against the LGBTQ community, is signed into law by governor Nathan Deal. And after Delta Airlines, the state’s largest employer, responded to public outcry against the NRA and discontinued its discount policy for the gun lobby, Georgia legislators rescinded a $50 million tax benefit for the company, the lieutenant governor decrying Delta’s actions as an attack on conservatives (former Atlanta mayor Sam Massell called it blackmail)—so plenty of other cities stepped in to let them know they’d be more than welcome to relocate. Amid all this, shots were fired at a Dalton high school by an armed teacher inside a classroom, and the students were quickly evacuated.
Lehigh University professors overwhelmingly voted to revoke the honorary degree the college granted Donald in 1988.
NBA champs the Golden State Warriors eschewed the traditional White House visit in favor of visiting the Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture with a group of students.
And out West, Oakland, CA, mayor Libby Schaaf tipped off immigrants about an ICE raid in her sanctuary city, calling herself “part of the resistance.”
The Gun Control Report:
Following Rick Scott’s reluctant, long-delayed lead, governors across the country are showing willingness to instigate tougher gun laws. But even as Congress continues to drag its feet on legislating sensible gun laws, organizations, companies, and individuals are stepping into the leadership void. Dick’s Sporting Goods has announced it will no longer sell assault-style rifles or high-capacity magazines, and will no longer sell firearms of any kind to anyone under 21. (Want to offer them your support? Shop there, and call directly to thank them: 724-273-3400.) Walmart shortly thereafter announced it too will raise the age for gun purchases to 21, followed by LLBean, and REI cut ties with Camelback, a company heavily involved with the gun industry.
Meanwhile, in a head-spinning reversal, Donald on Wednesday suddenly pivoted 180 degrees to support bipartisan gun-control legislation introduced after Sandy Hook—and swiftly suppressed at that time by the GOP and the NRA. In a roomful of stunned Republicans and confused but delighted Democrats, Donald called for expanded background checks, measures to keep guns from the mentally ill, making schools secure, and restricting gun sales from some young adults—as well as forgoing due process to confiscate guns from those believed to be mentally ill. Read the full surreal transcript here (which Donald and Sarah Sanders promptly walked back on here).
The Russia Report:
Robert Mueller, after carefully building a case for indicting Rick Gates, has moved to dismiss 22 fraud charges against Gates…a consideration that smells a lot like a plea bargain for incriminating information about other targets of the investigation. In fact as part of this dismissal and his guilty plea, Gates has agreed to cooperate in “any and all matters” deemed relevant to the Russia investigation.
Mueller is also reported to be looking into Donald’s attempts to oust Sessions this past summer, as part of an inquiry in whether he attempted to obstruct justice, and sources say he’s asking lots of juicy questions about what the administration knew about Russian hacking and when it knew it. (Remind you of anything?)
And the busy special counsel is also looking into whether Kushner’s business ties affected White House policies. Experts say Mueller may be moving up the food chain all the way to the Oval Office.
A new USA Today poll indicates that, by wide margins, more Americans have confidence in Bob Mueller and his Russia investigation than in Donald’s denials of his involvement.
The White House Chaos and Corruption Report:
Along with more than 30 other White House staffers, Jared Kushner lost his access to top-secret intelligence—which he should never have had, as he’d never received the proper security clearances. Jared’s business dealings are being closely looked into by the FBI, and so are Ivanka’s.
The White House continues to hemorrhage staffers—White House communications director Hope Hicks resigned, one day after telling the House Intel Committee that she sometimes tells “white lies” for Donald. National security adviser McMaster is said to be on the chopping block (that’ll make #2 in that position to go by the wayside within the first two years of the administration); AG Jeff Sessions continues to receive abuse from his boss; but Chief of Staff John Kelly seems to be sticking it out because “God punished him.”
Ben Carson wants to cancel his $31K custom-made dining set that replaced the one he said was “unsafe” now that it’s been revealed that he threatened the chief HUD admin officer’s job when she tried repeatedly to limit his redecorating to the $5K allotted for it.
Scott Pruitt is considering stopping flying first-class after massive public uproar over his high-dollar travel costs because someone yelled at him once in coach.
Meanwhile Donald is losing it. I mean seriously, y’all. Many pundits and political analysts are seeing things coming to a tipping point, and Donald’s behavior—even more out of control than usual—indicates that he’s feeling that squeeze too. So hang in there and keep at it, warriors! The (blue) tide is turning.