6/27/18 Our Struggle to Redeem the Soul of America
This bleak week I’ll lead with words from congressman and civil rights hero John Lewis: “Our struggle is a struggle to redeem the soul of America. It’s not a struggle that lasts for a few days, a few weeks, a few months, or a few years. It is the struggle of a lifetime, more than one lifetime.”
We are not the first generation to endure this struggle—and it won’t be the worst struggle our country has seen. Remember how far we have come—not just in civil and social rights, but in the common mind-set. The vast majority of Americans believe in equal rights for all—women, the LGBTQ community, people of color. Sixty-seven percent of Americans support reproductive rights for women. The Time’s Up/#MeToo movement has roared and continues to. The Parkland survivors and thousands of other young voters and soon to be voters are fed up with our government doing nothing to create commonsense gun regulation—and they arespeaking up and not backing down. Hundreds of thousands of people marched in more than 700 rallies across America this weekend in support of immigrant families and rights and those seeking asylum in our country.
Change has happened and continues to happen—regardless of how much the old white guys of the GOP want to pretend it hasn’t and try to stop it. It’s unstoppable. The avalanche has already started. Remind yourself that two-thirds of Americans did not vote for Donald Trump, including more than 75 million who voted againstthis corrupt president—more than 10 million more people than those who did vote for him. Our country may take a step or two back, but we will never return to the darkness we’ve come out of—the overwhelming majority of Americans won’t allow it.
This is the struggle of our lifetime, and we will stay in it however long it takes. Here we go.
Williamson County commissioners voted 4-1 to close the Immigrant Detention Center in Taylor, Texas, that activists have been trying to shut down for years, ending an agreement with the federal government.
The House’s immigration bill that provided for $26 million in border wall fundingwas shot down, despite Donald’s exhortations to representatives to vote for it (which he claimed he never made, but he did). (It also contained a provision to allow a path to citizenship for Dreamers, supported by members of both parties in Congress and nearly 80 percent of Americans, including three out of four Trump voters, but repeatedly blocked by a vast swath of Tea Party Republicans.)
The Law Against Republicans
After seventeen states sued the Trump administration to force officials to reunite migrant families who have been separated at the U.S.-Mexico border, a federaljudge ruled that the government must reunite children separated from their families within 14 days (for those under 5) or 30 days (for older children).
A federal court ruled that the Virginia House illegally gerrymandered its districts in 2011 to concentrate African American voters into 11 districts and artificially advantage Republicans.
A federal judge blocked Kentucky’s attempt to link Medicaid benefits to work requirements as unconstitutional.
The driver who plowed into the crowd of counterprotestors in Charlottesville has been charged with the hate-crime act that led to the death of Heather Heyer, one of the people protesting the white-supremacist rally. The driver was charged with 30 federal counts of hate crimes “causing bodily injury and involving an attempt to kill.”
Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein and FBI director Christopher Wray offered unambiguous, under-oath defenses of Mueller’s investigation and the FBI, systematically batting down the GOP’s attempts to attack and undermine both.
Despite Paul Manafort’s attempts to have Mueller’s charges against him ruled as overreach and dismissed, a federal judge has ruled that the bank and tax fraud cases against Manafort can proceed.
Former Donny adviser George Papadopoulos will sentenced in September for lying to the FBI, and is cooperating with Mueller’s investigation.
Trump ally and Blackwater founder Erik Prince provided Robert Mueller with “total access to his phone and computer.”
Social and Civil Rights Advances
The first same-sex couple appeared on the cover of ESPN’s Body Issue.
Retail stores are proudly flying the rainbow flag in honor of Pride Month, including Target, JCrew, Old Navy, Nordstrom, even the Austin Public Library.
Rep. Jared Polis secured the Democratic nomination for governor of Colorado—if he wins he’ll be the first openly gay man serving as a state governor.
Fox News suspended Trump’s former deputy campaign manager for telling a black Democratic strategist “You’re out of your cotton-picking mind.”
California’s new privacy laws will make is tougher than ever for tech companies to harvest and share users’ information—and that could influence companies’ privacy policies across the nation.
Ted Cruz tweeted Illinois voters that they should vote for a Democrat rather than “that bigoted fool” who secured the GOP nomination for Congress despite being a Nazi. An actual Nazi. It’s unclear whether it’s more astonishing that GOP voters nominated an actual Nazi or that Ted Cruz has enough decency in him to urge voters not to vote for him.
Your Feel-good Stories of the Week
It was a fairly shit week for feel-goods, but dry British wit to the rescue: Protesters in the UK have pledged 8,000 pounds to fly a giant inflatable Trump baby over the capital during Don John’s visit next month.
And in Saturday’s Families Belong Together rallies, hundreds of thousands of people turned out across the nation to march for immigrant rights and to protest the current administration’s policy of separating children from families, and their lack of remediation, after a federal judge ordered the White House to reunite the families within 30 days.
We are legion, we are loud, and we are not going away.