Republicans Against the Law
A federal judge blocked Trump administration Medicaid work requirements in Kentucky—for the second time—calling the requirements “arbitrary and capricious,” and said that a similar law in Arkansas “cannot stand.”
A federal judge blocked Donny’s executive order to allow drilling in the Arctic and Atlantic oceans, stating that he didn’t have the authority to override the Obama legislation protecting the areas indefinitely, stating that the ban was revocable “only by an act of Congress.”
A federal judge (a Bush appointee) blocked Donny’s attempted “end run” around the ACA that would have allowed insurance providers to offer bare-bones plans.
Congress Actually Working
The House Committee on Oversight and Reform has opened an investigation into the Texas secretary of state’s misleading flagging of nearly 100,000 voters as possible noncitizens.
Senators Dick Durbin (D) and Lindsey Graham (R, but often D-bag) reintroduced bipartisan legislation aimed toward creating a path to citizenship for Dreamers, amid Donald’s ongoing attacks on the program and immigrants (or anyone not rich, male, and white).
Introducing a new category all about Donald this week that I shall call…
Human Tire Fire
The Washington Post conducted this deep investigation into how Don John inflated his wealth and downplayed his debts to lenders and investors for years with—pardon the pun—trumped-up bogus financial documents he doctored to look official. Investigators are now examining all these documents to discover whether they qualify as fraud.
Donald announced his new budget, which slashed all funding for the Special Olympics (the amount of which would be covered by the cost of Donald’s last five trips to Mar-A-Lago), and Betsy DeVos started bleating attempted defenses of the cuts to the venerated program for children with disabilities. And then the Very Stable Genius immediately 180’d and announced he would not pull funding for the program.
Barbara Bush pulls no punches against the Mentally Deranged Dotard in a new biography of the former first lady, and said of his candidacy, “Putin endorsed him, for heaven’s sake. Putin the killer! Putin the worst! He endorsed Trump! That’s an endorsement you don’t want.” She also stated she probably would not consider herself a Republican today in the present state of the party.
Former Republican senator Jeff Flake says America would be better off electing a Democrat rather than the Mentally Deranged Dotard in 2020, or we will “sacrifice a generation.”
The Kids Are All Right
Here are a few prime examples of why everything is going to be okay with America:
When three female Maryland high school students discovered that the boys were circulating a crass list numerically rating female students, they fought back, first asking the principal to act, and when the “solution” was a single day’s detention for the boy who started the list, they organized a march on his office, resulting in a 2½ -hour forum in which the girls read statements to the boy of how his actions affected them. “It was the last straw, for us girls, of this ‘boys will be boys’ culture,” one of the young organizers said. “We’re the generation that is going to make a change.” A very worthwhile read.
High school students in Wisconsin rebelled against cheerleading awards offered at the official dinner for things like “Bog Booty” and “Big Booby,” resulting in the demeaning awards being banned in the district.
Three female students at a North Carolina charter school (with their parents) filed a lawsuit over the school’s “skirts-only” policy for girls, after resistance and obstruction of their efforts by the school’s administration, which stated that the dress code was to promote “traditional values” and “preserve chivalry.” A federal judge in North Carolina ruled in the students’ favor that the school cannot enforce its skirts-only policy for female students.
When a male Notre Dame student’s mother wrote an op-ed in the university paper exhorting women on campus not to wear leggings to spare men’s apparently uncontrollable reactions to “their blackly naked rear ends,” students organized a massive “legging wearing hedonism” the next day.
The future is in good hands: The younger generation is far more enlightened than the old white Republican dinosaurs trying to stymie all progress, and they simply will not accept antediluvian ideas of sexism, racism, discrimination based on gender or sexual orientation, or inaction on creating sensible gun laws. They will not go backward.
Social and Civil Rights Advances
For the first time since allowing women to join the organization in the 1950s, the command staff of Maryland’s National Guard is made up entirely of women.
Saudi Arabia released three female activists who were jailed last year for working to overturn the female driving ban in the country and its restrictive guardianship rules.
Democratic congresswomen—including Nancy Pelosi—have hung the transgender pride flag in their offices in a show of support in the face of attacks by the current administration on transgender rights.
Major museums are rejecting huge donations from the Sackler family, owners of Perdue Pharma (which just agreed to a $270 million settlement), in growing outrage over some of the family’s role in marketing and misleading doctors and customers about the addictive properties of OxyContin and contributing to the opioid crisis. (They may welcome the returned money, as Perdue Pharma just agreed to a $270 million settlement in a New York state lawsuit for its role in deliberately peddling misinformation about the opiates.)
What a week for the NRA! First a safety officer for the organization was exposed as having hired a Sandy Hook truther to try to undermine the Parkland shooting, and then they opposed legislation that would prevent those with a history of domestic abuse from obtaining firearms. One of the most powerful lobbies in America, using its money and influence to spread conspiracy theories and violence against women. Sensible gun control isn’t taking away 2nd Amendment rights—it’s putting in place the same kind of commonsense rules and regulations that are required for car ownership, for instance, to keep Americans safe.
Your Feel-good Story of the Week
Nancy Pelosi, like the damn force of nature she is, took deft control of her party’s panicked responses in the wake of the Mueller investigation results (which 84% of all Americans—of any political persuasion—want made public).
On that note, allow me to leave you with a calming word of reason for those inexplicably feeling deflated by what we have learned about the Mueller report so far: While Donald, FOX, and the GOP may be trumpeting the vindication of Donald, that’s entirely contrary to fact, as will become increasingly evident as the initial smoke clears from Barr’s 4-page 48-hour summary of Mueller’s heavily footnoted 300-page investigation report created over two intensive years and we learn more of what’s actually in the report—and as the 16 other investigations against Donald proceed.
The truth is, hopefully every patriotic American dearly hopes that this president—or any American president—hasn’t colluded with Russia, our greatest adversary, and that if that indeed proves to be the case then surely we’re all nothing but relieved (imagine the national crisis it would cause, to say the very least!). But regardless of what Donny and his henchmen may bray, Mueller’s investigation—begun by Donald’s own appointees—does not “fully exonerate” him—neither of the 16 other investigations, nor the many breaches of ethics, democratic norms, and the law that he is still under investigation for committing. And again, hopefully every American would not only hope that if he in fact committed them then those facts come to light, but would actively encourage the truth to be investigated.
Mueller’s report was unlikely from the beginning to magically create a case for impeachment. Its job was to investigate the credible evidence that there might have been coordination with Russian intelligence to win the 2016 election, and that there may have been obstruction of justice in that investigation. In the course of that investigation, Mueller and the FBI revealed felony crimes committed by 5 of Donald’s immediate circle: cabinet or campaign staff. This is far from an exoneration—it’s the tip of the iceberg. Don John and his toadies may try to use it as a cudgel, and they may succeed with the 30 percent of True Believers who continue to blindly support him despite every proven lie, breach of ethics and democratic norms, and criminal charges.
But let’s remember that when Nixon left office, 30 percent of Americans still supported him, as did a third of Americans when Joe McCarthy was disgraced for his Communist witch-hunt. A third of people are simply beyond reason and judgment and align with blind, ignorant loyalty, and there’s no amount of rationality or fact that will counter that—so write those folks right on off and save your efforts for the rational. There’s work to do before 2020, and the truncated, cherrypicked summary of Mueller’s two years of investigation by a man on record as being hostile to it is not a free ride for Donny into another four years of office. It’s a smoke bomb, a flash-bang grenade—the GOP’s desperate attempt to distract voters from the full and actual truth. And it succeeds only if we accept defeat in advance.
But if you need a reminder in the face of Donald’s unfounded assertion of being exonerated and FOX News and the GOP’s fanned-up outrage about the Mueller investigation results, do feel free to share this marvelous presidential trivia far and wide!