“An open and free society” | How your voices are making a difference

10/15/18 “An open and free society”

Leadership of the People

Donald may be unwilling to take action against Saudi Arabia for its killing of journalist Jamal Kashhoggi, but as is becoming the norm, others are stepping up to fill the leadership void: Western corporations with pending deals and discussions with the Saudis are pulling out as a result of the kingdom’s actions.

After a terrifyingly bleak report by 91 climate scientists for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change on the catastrophic progression of global warming (which Donald dismissed), companies are also stepping up to address the absence of leadership in addressing climate change, taking actions to reduce their carbon footprint, develop sustainable businesses, and even pull carbon dioxide from the air and store it.

Nearly a quarter million people showed up to support “an open and free society” and unite in protest of Germany’s far-right groups and the attendant racism, intolerance, and xenophobia creeping out from under its rock.

Republican Rot

New emails reveal that Wilbur Ross, Donald’s secretary of commerce, lied about not speaking to anyone in Donald’s cabinet about adding a potentially illegal census question to the 2020 census, and that his motivations were political.

UN Ambassador Nikki Haley’s abrupt resignation came one day after an ethics watchdog group (Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington) requested an investigation into her acceptance of seven free flights worth tens of thousands of dollars aboard private jets from South Carolina businessmen. Haley is the former governor of South Carolina.

Two Arizona Republicans falsely donated money to Democratic congressman Tom O’Halloran’s campaign under the made-up donor name of the Northern Arizona University Communist party in an attempt to link O’Halloran to the far left. An O’Halloran campaign worker drove to the local Republican field office to return the money—and surprised one of the men, who was working there.

government ethics watchdog filed another Hatch Act complaint against someone in Donald’s administration, a law that forbids any executive branch employee from “us[ing] his official authority or influence for the purpose of interfering with or affecting the result of an election”—this time against Sarah Huckabee Sanders for tweeting a photo of herself with a MAGA-hat wearing (and crazy-talk-spewing) Kanye West.

Rick Gates, one of Donald’s top campaign advisers, requested proposals from a foreign agent (Israel) to create fake online identities, false social media profiles, and gather intel to help defeat Hillary Clinton and Republican rivals in the 2016 campaign. Mueller is already on it. 🙂

Despite head hypocrite Mitch McConnell refusing to commit to not confirming any Supreme Court justices in 2020, after spearheading the blockade against supremely qualified Merrick Garland in President Obama’s final year, Senator Chuck Grassley directly refuted McConnell’s stance, stating that he would oppose any 2020 nominations, with Lindsay Graham suggesting the same. Of course, we’ll see what actually happens in that instance. The hypocrisy is strong with these ones.

This crazy shit happened.

Getting Out the Vote

A new poll reveals that voters are expressing significantly more interest in voting this year than in the last midterms in 2014.

Taylor Swift’s Instagram post last week finally breaking her political silence seems to have landed with a resounding splash—voter registration has soared in the last week, beginning just hours after her post, about 42 percent of them between 18 and 24. Hopefully her impact will be duplicated and amplified by organizations like OMG WTF, a Resistance gathering of Hollywood folks using their influence and outreach to support downballot candidates in the midterms and encourage fans—especially younger ones—to vote.

Beto upped his record for single-quarter fund-raising to a staggering $38.1 million (three times Ted Cruz’s fund-raising amounts in the same period).

The Georgia secretary of state is being sued by civil rights groups for placing 53,000 voter registrations on hold, 70 percent of them African American (in a state that’s 32 percent African American, where an African American woman is running for governor).

Not sure how I feel about this, but for those of the persuasion that Democrats must fight Republican tactics with attacks in kind, this article about an anti-Republican, crowdsourced “oppo” research team—looking into GOP incumbents and candidates to find every bit of dirt in their pasts—suggests there could be some nuclear bombs coming before the midterms.

Meanwhile, Republicans seem to be in a panic, like this Minnesota state rep who literally snatched the mic away from his (female) Democratic opponent during their debate and dropped it in front of her. He claimed “nerves.”

The Week in Good News

Texan woman Lynzy Lab’s genius song parody sending up Donald’s appalling claims that men are at greatest risk from false sexual harassment claims while women are doing just fine has gone ridiculously viral. Speaking of the attempt to delegitimize women’s struggles and paint men as the victims with the non-factually-supported “#HimToo” movement claiming men are at greater risk of false accusations than women are of sexual assault, this mother mortified her son by making him the highly unwilling poster child of the movement. Her son’s public Twitter denial (he joined the social media platform for the first time to refute it) gave a good-natured shout-out to the sarcastic Twitter memes that cascaded down afterward.

After Kavanaugh’s confirmation, a teacher at a Los Angeles elementary school developed a lesson and a classroom policy, along with her students, to teach them what consent means.

Jamaica is embarking on a massive campaign to ban plastic bags, straws, and Styrofoam.

Despite her husband’s attacks on Mexicans, women, Muslims, immigrants…well, pretty much everyone—despite that her husband tore children from their families and put them in cages (still there); that he openly mocked a woman who came forward about her sexual assault; that he recently stopped allowing visas for same-sex partners of diplomats and…well, pretty much all kinds of horrific bullying, wife Melania apparently feels she is the “most bullied person on the world.” If I may…

Don't care jacket

Let this leave a better taste in your mouth: A gecko terrorized a Hawaii marine mammal hospital.

Our job is to make sure voters remember | How your voices are making a difference

10/8/18 “In our view that testimony was partisan, and not judicious, and inconsistent with what we expect from a Justice of the Supreme Court”

Kavanaugh was confirmed.

Congress clearly never intended to consider the FBI investigation results—McConnell promised the nomination hearing before the report was even received, and denied Democrats’ request for a briefing on the investigation from FBI agents.

Yet GOP senators rammed through his confirmation despite that less than 20 percent of Kavanaugh’s records were made available to Democrats for review prior to his nomination hearing, 42,000 of which were released only the day before the hearing.

Despite that the FBI’s investigation was very narrow and rushed, limited in scope by the White House, and neglected to speak to Dr. Blasey Ford herself, Kavanaugh, or the many witnesses and colleagues who stated that they had pertinent information.

Despite that text messages show Kavanaugh lied about not knowing about Deborah Ramirez’s accusations—and that he was trying to silence them before they were made public. Despite two ethics complaints about his behavior as a judge, and more than a dozen judicial misconduct complaints received by the DC circuit court about Kavanaugh in recent weeks. Despite evidence that he was a belligerent drunk from a letter Kavanaugh himself wrote and his documentedinvolvement in bar fights.

Despite the National Council of Churches, the nation’s largest organization of Christian churches representing 38 denominations, 100K churches, and 45 million people across the country, urging the White House to withdraw Kavanaugh’s nomination because of his “extreme partisan bias and disrespect towards certain members of the committee,” his “several misstatements and some outright falsehoods,” and his “troubling” record “with regard to issues of voting rights, racial and gender justice, health care, the rights of people with disabilities, and environmental protections.”

Despite that more than 1,500 law professors signed a letter stating that Kavanaugh is unsuited to preside over any court, let alone the nation’s highest, after his histrionic, biased, partisan testimony and his drinking history.

Despite the American Bar Association, a group of Mormon women, and the dean of Yale Law School (Kavanaugh’s alma mater) all publicly stating that Kavanaugh’s appointment is detrimental to our nation—and the American Bar Association further announcing that they are reevaluating Kavanaugh’s “well qualified” rating.

Despite Kavanaugh’s former college roommate stating that Kavanaugh lied under oath about his drinking and the meaning of his yearbook entries, and that two of Kavanaugh’s former Yale classmates who signed a letter of support for him. “In our view that testimony was partisan, and not judicious, and inconsistent with what we expect from a Justice of the Supreme Court, particularly dealing with a co-equal branch of government,” they wrote.

Despite former Republican Steve Schmidt (veteran of the Bush administration and McCain campaign), in commenting on Donald’s behavior regarding the Kavanaugh trial and toward his accusers, calling the president indecent, contemptible, vulgar, cruel, dishonest, especially after Donald openly mocked Dr. Blasey Ford’s testimony at a rally Tuesday night.

Despite that former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens stated that Kavanaugh had demonstrated with his potential political bias and volatile testimony and temperament that he was not fit to serve on the court.

Despite that senators Flake, Collins, and Murkowski expressed concerns over Kavanaugh’s partisan attacks in his hearing, Dr. Ford’s accusations, and the scope of the background check. (Only Lisa Murkowski had the courage and patriotism tovote against Kavanaugh.)

Despite that more than 750 Harvard Law graduates signed a letter for the dean of the school asking that Brett Kavanaugh’s invitation to lecture be rescinded (Kavanaugh dropped out after the allegations of his sexual misconduct).

I wonder how many of these items would disqualify a Democrat judicial nominee for the GOP? It’s hard to know, since the Senate unethically blocked the nomination of the highly qualified, scandal-free Merrick Garland that Mitch McConnell and the Republican-controlled Congress refused to even hear. Yet none of these appalling facts seemed to make any impression on the GOP.

Republicans ignored all of this disqualifying behavior and information to confirm a self-reported belligerent, out-of-control drinker with numerous credible highly disturbing allegations against him and a clearly demonstrated partisan bias and unstable temperament. This will be their legacy.

Our job is to make sure voters remember which path they chose come November—history will remember it in perpetuity.

More Republican Rot

An internal review on Donald’s ill-conceived and ill-executed separation of children from their families and imprisoning of children uncovered a series of lies and incompetencies. The Inspector General’s report about the Trump administration’s separating children from their families at the border revealed that the administration deliberately instigated this as a policy—despite its lies to the contrary—lied about how long these children were detained; failed to adequately track them; and had inadequate plans for housing them.

Republicans Against the Law

Four reputed members of a militant white-supremacist society were arrested on charges of instigating violence at the Charlottesville Unite the Right rally in 2017, and each faces 10 years in prison if convicted.

A federal judge temporarily blocked Donald’s White House from terminating the legal status of 300,000 refugees, questioning whether there was “a discriminatory factor” in the White House’s attempted action.

A federal judge ruled that 200 Democrats suing Donald for violating the Constitution’s emoluments clause have legal standing to pursue the suit.

Did you get your creepy Presidential Alert on Wednesday, the direct line Donald now has to every cell phone user in America? A lawsuit in New York is challenging the constitutionality of the messaging system as “a violation of First and Fourth Amendment rights to be free from Government-compelled listening, as well as warrantless, non-consensual trespass into and seizure of their cellular devices.”

Power of the Free Press

The New York Times conducted an exhaustive investigation of Donald’s fiscal history and his family’s fortune and found that Donald inherited more than $400 million of his “self-made” money beginning when he was a toddler, which he augmented through dubious tax schemes and fraud, and his family bequeathed this fortune on Donald and his siblings with a tax evasion in the amount of more than $550 million. Much of the information was gleaned from the financial disclosures of Donald’s older sister, Maryanne Trump Barry, upon her confirmation as a federal judge (appointed by Bill Clinton). New York State tax officials are reviewing the fraud evidence to see about recouping the lost tax income from the family.

An in-depth investigation by Esquire magazine discovered that Trump toady Devin Nunes’s long-vaunted family dairy in California actually secretly relocated to Iowa, where it employs a large number of undocumented workers.

Your Feel-good Stories of the Week

(We need some)

Texas Senate candidate Steve Kling‘s mother is personally calling and thanking donors to his campaign.

Taylor Swift joined the Resistance.

Within an hour of Maine senator Susan Collins finishing her speech in which she announced her holdout confirmation vote for Kavanaugh (with Democratic Senator Joe Manchin’s) that tipped him over the confirmation threshold, a group of Maine voters raised (through crowdfunding) $2 million for whatever Democrat runs against her. (That total is now up to $3 million.)

Travis County is on track to achieve 93 percent voter registration—a modern record. Now we just need to work to make sure as many of those as possible actually get out to vote. Check the Indivisible page to find opportunities to phone bank, block walk, and other ways to help get out the vote. And this is important—no later than Tuesday, check your own voter registration; it’s online, quick, and easy. Some people have discovered that they’ve been removed from the rolls, or are told at the polls that they aren’t registered or there’s a problem with their registration.

I feel this is a week where we’re entitled to be a little bit petty, at least privately. Enjoy.

This was a hard week, warriors—as hard as any we’ve had so far. I found a great deal of comfort and inspiration in Dan Rather’s post (as I so often do) the day Collins announced her intended vote for Kavanaugh. I leave you with his closing words in that post, where he reminds us to adopt an attitude of “we can be beaten but never defeated”: “Adopt it, cling to it and live it as a credo. Be relentless. When things are bad, when the going is tough, just keep putting one foot in front of the other and carry forward. Also, maybe take as a goal what an old man once said to me: ‘Keep trying, keep fighting, keep smiling every minute you’re alive; you’re going to be dead a long time.’ And recognize that you are not alone. Far from it. Look to your left and right, before you and behind you, at the millions who will support you on this journey for justice. Fill your lungs with the determined air of action. I find myself humming that old but powerful anthem of the Civil Rights Era. ‘We’ll walk hand in hand!’ ‘We are not afraid!’ ‘We shall overcome!’”

Ugh, Kavanaugh | How Your Voices Are Making a Difference

10/1/18 “This nomination is no longer in the best interests of the country”

Ugh, Kavanaugh.

The American Bar Association, a group of Mormon women, the dean of Yale Law School, and finally—finally—the U.S. Senate determined that serious, multiple, credible allegations of sexual abuse of Brett Kavanaugh must be investigated by the FBI before he can be confirmed. (The American Bar Association also had concerns about Kavanaugh as a judge 12 years ago.) Besides an eleventh-hour Jeff Flake (who nonetheless voted to further Kavanaugh’s nomination), four Republican governors have added their voices to Democrats’ (and much of America’s) in demanding further investigation before any vote is taken.

After Kavanaugh repeatedly touted the Jesuit education he received at Georgetown University, the Jesuit Review rescindinded its endorsement of him and demanded that the White House rescind Kavanaugh’s nomination, stating that “even if the credibility of the allegation has not been established beyond a reasonable doubt and even if further investigation is warranted to determine its validity or clear Judge Kavanaugh’s name, we recognize that this nomination is no longer in the best interests of the country,” and that “Judge Kavanaugh continues to enjoy a legal presumption of innocence, but the standard for a nominee to the Supreme Court is far higher; there is no presumption of confirmability…. If Senate Republicans proceed with his nomination, they will be prioritizing policy aims over a woman’s report of an assault.”

Meanwhile, Matt Damon’s SNL portrayal of Kavanaugh’s belligerent, out-of-control, politicized, and histrionic performance in the hearing is both a palate cleanser, and heartbreaking in the accuracy of its parody, as is this spot-on opinion piece by a WaPo columnist….and also this Pulp Fiction mash-up.

federal judge reversed the decision of Donald’s Fish and Wildlife department last year to rescind protections on grizzly bears in Yellowstone National Park and allow hunting—grizzlies will once again be a protected species

federal judge rejected Donald’s attempts to stop a lawsuit against him by Democrats for violations of the Constitution’s emoluments clause with his maintaining control of his personal businesses and holdings and doing business with foreign governments. The lawsuit will proceed.

Democrats are preparing to force to a floor vote a bill to protect Robert Mueller’s investigation, as Donald and his toadies in Congress begin openly gunning for the investigation, Sessions, Rosenstein, and Mueller himself.

Donny was thrown when his baseless claim at the UN summit that his administration had accomplished more than any other in history was met with laughter from world leaders.

This is a hard week to remember this, but despite the co-opting of our government by what conservative CNN commentator Kevin Madden called “a pathetically mean skirt-chasing man-child” and “authoritarian demagogue,” Donald’s flunkies in Congress, and the mindlessly zealous support of a small portion of his base, most people are decent. The Texas Trib Fest over the weekend featured a lineup of lawmakers, intelligence agents, ethics officials, and commentators who are actively fighting, denouncing, and publishing about the abhorrent behavior of the Republican party and its Dear Leader, and working to motivate moderate voters—even a significant number of Republicans or former Republicans themselves, like former George W. Bush ethics counsel Richard Painter, former House Rep Mickey Edwards, The Weekly’s Charlie Sykes, GOP political strategist Rick Wilson, and others. Week’s like this seem as if the world’s gone mad, but there are more good, decent people fighting for our country and our democracy than those seeking to co-opt or destroy it. Cleave to those people, remind yourself what we’re fighting for, and hang in there.

“This is Sickening” | How your voices are making a difference

9/24/18 “This is sickening.”

Political nonprofits can no longer hide the names of their donors, thanks to a federal court ruling the Supreme Court declined to consider overturning.

The billionaire who created the National Debt Clock is disgusted with Donald and the GOP’s running up of our national debt by more than $1.5 trillion in the last year alone. He spoke out to exhort the GOP to stop creating tax breaks for the wealthy at the expense of the country: “I support higher taxes on people like me,” saying he was more than willing to pay more taxes.

Republicans Reconsidering

Jeff Flake called out Donny Jr. over a tweet mocking Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, Brett Kavanaugh’s accuser: “This is sickening.” Former Republican Congressman Joe Walsh was even more pointed: “I think we all can agree that @DonaldJTrumpJr is an uncaring, narrow-minded idiot.” Even Maine Senator Susan Collins is “appalled” by the tweet—Collins has so far not indicated her support for Kavanaugh has wavered, but perhaps this will turn the tide.

Meanwhile an adviser to Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley—who is overseeing the Supreme Court confirmation process for accused sexual abuser Brett Kavanaugh—just resigned after being accused of sexual harassment.

Some Texas Republicans are now endorsing Democrats.

This conservative UK publication wrote a mournful elegy for the Republican party under Donny.

An Arizona House candidate running for reelection just lost the endorsement of SIX of his siblings—to his Democratic opponent. The siblings decried their brother’s far-right rhetoric and racism.

Republican Florida governor Rick Scott was booed out of a restaurant and run out of his own rally by Florida residents fed up with his lack of action to combat the toxic red tide and algae bloom destroying beaches and sea life and causing deleterious health effects in residents.

The Best People

Not long after former security adviser Michael Flynn pleaded guilty for lying to the FBI about his Russian contacts, his assistant, former deputy national security adviser K.T. McFarland reversed her earlier denials that Flynn may have told her he discussed sanctions with Sergey Kislyak, now admitting that perhaps in fact he did.

Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao racked up nearly $100K in a bill to taxpayers by flying on Federal Aviation Administration planes instead of commercial flights on seven occasions in 2017, costing taxpayers almost $100,000. One set of flights by Chao and her staff cost an estimated $68,892.

Donny is once again gunning for Attorney General Jeff Sessions, publicly humiliating him—yet again—regarding a wide range of issues, including immigration and Sessions’s recusing himself from the Russia investigation. “I don’t have an Attorney General,” Trump said. “It’s very sad.”

A federal judge has ordered commerce secretary Wilbur Ross to sit for deposition in a lawsuit that challenges Ross’s adding a citizenship question to the 2020 census.

A Minnesota state rep has ended his bid for reelection in the face of accusations from his daughter that he sexually abused her for ten years beginning when she was nine.

Social and Civil Rights Advances

PayPal joined a slew of other sites that have permanently banned Alex Jones and InfoWars from the site.

McDonald’s employees effected a strike to protest workplace harassment.

Your Feel-good Stories of the Week

Incredibly decent human being Michael Jordan donated $2 million of his personal funds to Hurricane Florence relief efforts in his home state of NC.

This revamped music video for Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young’s “Teach Your Children” is a marvelous updating of the anthem for the resistance.

“It’s mind boggling” | How your voices are making a difference

9/17/18 “How can you be so self-centered and try to distort the truth so much? It’s mind boggling.”

Oh, look, another GOP candidate has ties to white nationalist groups—this one the Republican candidate for governor, Ron DeSantis, who made four appearances at conferences organized by a conservative activist who has said that African Americans owe their freedom to white people (which is like saying that wrongly imprisoned convicts owe theirs to the court system and their jailers), and that the country’s “only serious race war” is against whites. You may remember DeSantis for his comments recently about his African-American opponent, telling supporters not to “monkey this up.” DeSantis, who is currently a Florida House rep who has missed more than half the votes since July, subsequently resigned from the House, ostensibly to pursue his governor bid, but which (coincidentally?) put an end to an ethics investigation into him.

Republicans Against the Law/Russia

Manafort flipped as Mueller’s team moves forward with his second trial. Paul Manafort will be pleading guilty to the second set of charges (including conspiracy to defraud the United States and conspiracy to obstruct justice), and forfeiting millions of dollars of assets to the federal government—effectively paying for the investigation whose cost a panicked Donald keeps citing as a reason it should be ended. The deal, analysts point out, is “pardon proof.”

Federal investigators are meanwhile tracing the money trail of those involved in the infamous 2106 Trump Tower “I love it!” meeting attended to get “dirt” on Hillary Clinton for the Trump campaign; suspicious transfers preceded and immediately followed the meeting.

Donald has chosen not to enforce his nondisclosure agreement with Stephanie Clifford (Stormy Daniels), because doing so would require him to be deposed and thus open himself up to perjury charges if he denies events that are subsequently proven.

An EPA watchdog group has opened an audit into whether former department head Scott Pruitt (he of the three-thousand-dollar “tactical pants,” among otheregregious and possibly criminal wastes of taxpayer money) violated laws or government rules with his task force last year intended to fix the EPA’s Superfund project.

Lordy, Bob Woodward has tapes. Boxes of them, and he’s ready to release them if any of his sources request it.

Donald’s head of FEMA is under investigation for improper use of government vehicles.

A federal judge ruled that education secretary Betsy DeVos’s delay in enforcing a student loan borrower protection rule was unlawful.

Elections

Did you see Beto on Colbert? CBS News featured him as well, saying Beto could herald a blue wave in Texas—so mote it be! And the Texas Trib published a fantastic article urging moderate Republicans to vote for Beto as the candidate who most represents Texans’ interests and the tickets to beginning to remove special-interest and corporate money from politics.

Two political action groups in Maine raised $1 million through crowdfunding to contribute to Senator Susan Collins’s 2020 (as yet nonexistent) opponent in the primaries should Collins vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh.

Meanwhile one of the few remaining undecideds on the Kavanaugh vote, Maine independent senator Angus King, has announced he is a no.

Republican Lies and Their Fallout

The GOP administration is drawing widespread criticism and pushback from former counterterrorism officials, among others, for misleading reports falsely linking immigration to terrorism.

After Donald’s false tweets severely understating the death toll of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico in the face of his administration’s inadequate response, and blaming Democrats, the Hispanic Caucus declined an invitation to the White House to kick off Hispanic Heritage Month.

Republicans Reconsidering

Former New Jersey GOP governor Christine Todd Whitman thinks Donald should resign: “He’s undermining some of the basic tenets of our democracy.” Watch her disturbing and extensive list of reasons why “there’s a time when you put the country ahead of your party” and urges her party to stand up to the mentally deranged dotard.

Even Republicans (at least a handful of them) were appalled at Donald’s insensitive, dismissive lies on Twitter about the casualties in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria being a smear campaign for the Democrats. Rep. Ileana Ros Lehtinen (R-Fla.), says, “What kind of mind twists that statistic into ‘Oh, fake news is trying to hurt my image’? How can you be so self-centered and try to distort the truth so much? It’s mind boggling.”

Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE) has finally had enough and is speaking out against the GOP administration“The White House is a reality-show, soap-opera presidency,” Sasse said on Meet the Press. True enough, Ben—now let’s see you start holding the line against Donald and not voting to enable him and the spineless GOP.

Meanwhile Mitt Romney is calling out his party for their extravagant spending and irresponsible running up of the federal deficit.

There are signs that the GOP’s actions are coming back to roost in North Carolina, where backlash against the commander of cheese and Republicans’ attacks on the LGBTQ community via the ridiculous bathroom bill are drawing millions of dollars in support for Democratic candidates, putting this once-solid conservative stronghold in play in the midterms.

A terrified Don has stepped up the rate of his lies—a record 68 percent in a recent rally, for a total while in office of more than a staggering 5,000 lies. Yet fewer and fewer Americans are swallowing them—the mentally deranged dotard is hemorrhaging support from independents, a key demographic in his electoral college win, and even among Republicans, who are also losing their faith in the liar in chief above the media.

Your Feel-good Stories of the Week

A group of Washington, DC, residents have petitioned the district’s Alcohol Beverage Control Board to revoke the Trump Hotel liquor licenses, since a requirement for one is that the proprietor be “of good character,” and their petition charges multiple ways in which he is not, including swindling, lying, bribery, and being a racist who consorts with criminals.

Stephen Miller’s rabbi is pissed off at the white nationalist’s renouncement of the tenets of his faith, and publicly took Miller to task.

Musical genius Ben Folds wrote a song about Rod Rosenstein.

Willie is Team Beto, and screw anyone who has a problem with that.

Fabulous sign of the times—this school’s homecoming queen is also the varsity football teams’ kicker who made the winning point for her team the same night she was crowned. Who run the world?

 And a little art to leave you with…

Flippers

Barack is back, babies | How your voices are making a difference

9/10/18

Barack is back, babies.

And just in time, too. Bob Woodward’s new book (he who helped expose Nixon’s Watergate scandal) shows that Donald is even more unhinged than we knew, with White House staffers scrambling to adapt to his ignorance, temper, and breaches of democracy. One day later, you may have heard that the NYTimes published a scathing op-ed by an anonymous senior staff member confirming that the mentally deranged dotard is…well, pretty much that. Donald lost his mind over it. This week alone he called for protesting to be illegal, the reform of libel laws to allow him to sue anyone who says anything he doesn’t like, and that NBC should lose its broadcasting license (same reason).

And after Donny’s vociferous denials that he ever used the terms “retarded” and “dumb Southerner,” language reported in Woodward’s book, video surfaced showing him saying the former, and a former deputy editor of the New York Post says Donald referred to his in-laws as “dumb Southerners.”

Among all his other own appointees who allegedly are turning on him, apparently Donny is most recently bent about Christopher Wray, the FBI director he himself named after firing James Comey. Apparently Donald doesn’t realize that appointing these men to do their jobs is likely to wind up revealing how thoroughly he cannot do his.

In other off-the-rails GOP administration news, last year Donny’s administration rejected an intelligence report that showed refugees don’t pose a significant security threat to the U.S., then created its own report this year that misstates the evidence, inflating the threat posed by foreign-born immigrants.

To the shock of no one, a government employee admits he cropped Donald’s inauguration photos to make the crowd look bigger, after fragile Don complained to the National Park Service about the photos.

Elections

A group of political activists supporting Latinx candidates raised money via a Go Fund Me drive to rent a billboard in Texas featuring Donald Trump’s denigration of Ted Cruz during the 2016 elections.

John McCain’s former chief of staff is considering running for Senate—as a Democrat.

Republicans Against the Law

Donny’s former campaign adviser George Papadopoulous was sentenced to 14 days in jail for lying to Mueller’s investigation about Russia-related contacts, a suspiciously light sentence that leads one to wonder what he might have offered for such hospitable leniency… (In other Russia news, Homeland Security head Kirstjen Nelson finally—finally—called out Putin for meddling in our 2016 elections.)

Steve Bannon was summarily uninvited from the New Yorker festival/panel he was inexplicably invited to, with filmmaker Judd Apatow joining others in refusing to appear if Bannon was normalized by being included.

Donald instructed the DoJ to selectively prosecute people for political reasons, an egregious breach of democratic procedure and the separation of the executive and judicial branch.

A group of seven Senate Democrats formally asked the DoJ to investigate Rudy Giuliani’s work for foreign agents while in Donny’s employ.

A group of hospitals has formed a nonprofit generic-drug company, CivicaRx, with the goal of forcing Big Pharma to stop gouging consumers.

Social and Civil Rights Advances

After a five-day trial, a U.S. District judge struck down Texas’s barbaric, unconstitutional “fetal remains” law requiring burial or cremation of tissue from abortions and miscarriages.

India’s supreme court decriminalized consensual same-sex relationships.

Twitter (finally) banned conspiracy theorist and hatemonger Alex Jones and Infowars from the site permanently.

Colin Kaepernick is the new face of Nike. Get out there and buy you some swoosh—conservatives are feverishly destroying their Nike products (rather than, you know, give them to, say, homeless veterans).

Donny’s approval rating fell 5 points in a month from August to Sept—to 36 percent. Even Republican support fell from 83 to 76 percent.

A Miss America contestant called out Donald as “the biggest issue facing our country today,” while another contestant defended citizens’ right to kneel in protest of injustice and pointed out that the NFL players’ taking a knee is in protest of police slaying of black men.

Plaid Shirt Guy broke the Internet.

Keep it classy, GOP | How your voices are making a difference

9/03/2018

Some fun new categories this week, starting with…

Elections

Florida’s GOP governor nominee Ron DeSantis, who has been bleating loudly that he didn’t mean anything racist by telling supporters not to “monkey this up” when speaking of his African American opponent, negated his own denials Thursday by being outed as a moderator and administrator for a Tea Party Facebook group that propagates racist messages and conspiracy theories, which among other delightful behavior refers to black people as “ghetto scum” and mocks and demeans the Parkland survivors, John McCain, Muslims, and immigrants. I don’t know how often I can say this, but keep it classy, GOP.

One pinpoint of light that the GOP may not have gone entirely off the rails—in Arizona House Rep Martha McSally handily defeated challengers Joe “Pardoned Criminal” Arpaio and Kelli “John McCain announced he was ceasing treatment for his brain cancer to spite me” Ward.

Beto is within a single point of Teddy. Meanwhile, as if trying to make him seem cooler, especially by comparison with awkward Ted Cruz, the GOP ran ads ostensibly against Beto showing his younger days in a rock band—a strategy that backfired tremendously on Twitter.

In a direct rejection of the Republican administration’s gutting of net-neutrality rules, California lawmakers voted for the country’s most stringent state restrictions against internet providers against hindering or favoring specific websites. The legislation requires the governor’s signature to be signed into law, and the FCC will no doubt fight it, sending the issue all the way to the Supreme Court.

Donald’s Lies

Donald baselessly claimed that China hacked Hillary Clinton’s emails. The FBI swatted that nonsense down.

Donald baselessly claimed that Google censored search results to show mostly unfavorable stories about him. Google rebutted that idiocy.

Donald baselessly and out of nowhere claimed that NBC “fudged” Donald’s interview in which he stated he fires Comey because of the Russia investigation. Somebody’s panicking.

Republicans Against the Law

A panel of three federal judges has ruled that North Carolina unconstitutionally gerrymandered its districts to advantage Republicans over Democrats, and the court may require that new districts be drawn before the midterm elections.

federal judge shot down a lawsuit brought by Texas and six other conservative states to try to block DACA.

federal judge blocked publication of 3-D printed blueprints for firearms, effectively criminalizing publication of the 3-D designs for guns.

Donny’s administration will pay Minnesota and New York nearly half a billion dollars as a result of both states suing for lost federal funding for ACA programs that provide health care to low-income residents.

Gun control, teacher, and civil rights groups are prepared to sue Betsy DeVos’s Education Department if DeVos carries through with her proposal to use federal funds to arm teachers.

Kushner and Co. was cited by the city of New York and fined for permit violations and submitting false information to try to evict tenants in their rent-controlled buildings.

Republican Corruption

Yet another of Donald’s staff—this one a former Homeland Security official—was found to have ties to white nationalists.

A top student loan watchdog, an ombudsman with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, has resigned, stating that Donald and the Republican administration are siding with predatory lenders.

An American political consultant pleaded guilty to steering $50K in illegal foreign contributions to Donald’s inauguration fund.

Social and Civil Rights Advances

Wisconsin voted to overturn an earlier policy and will offer insurance coverage for transgender state employees seeking hormone therapy and gender confirmation surgery.

Mollie Tibbitt’s family speaking out against the politicization of her death to attack immigration.

WTF

Holy fuckballs, the president of the United States doesn’t appear to know what the American flag looks like. (Maybe he was trying to draw a rainbow flag…?)

Yet another Donald staffer with ties to white supremacist groups has crawled out from under his rock—Ian Smith, a Homeland Security analyst, resigned Tuesday when he was questioned about personal emails to white supremacists/racists.

Your Feel-good Stories of the Week

More than 60 percent of Americans disapprove of Don John, according to a Washington Post/ABC News poll, a new high. The same poll showed that majorities of Americans support Mueller’s investigation and oppose Donald firing Sessions.

A decorated soldier was forced out of the army because of her immigration status, though she was promised a path to citizenship; thanks to a federal judge and the ACLU, now she’s being sworn in as a citizen.

Donald raised the flag from half-mast two days after John McCain’s death, lowering again at public outcry (after nixing White House advisers’ advice to hail him as a hero. McCain has the last word, though, with his lovely and inspiring final letter (in which he takes clear swipes at Donny), and the speakers at his memorials, including Barack Obama, Joe Biden, an NFL player, and a Russian dissident. Notably absent from the guest list: the commander of cheese and Sarah Palin, McCain’s ill-advised running mate in his 2008 presidential bid.

Please enjoy this photo gallery of things that Ted Cruz looks like.

“He is a decent family man and citizen” | How your voices are making a difference

8/27/18 “He is a decent family man and citizen”

I want to take a moment to honor John McCain. Though many of us didn’t always agree with his ideas and his policies, he served his country with honor all his life. He was a good man who seemed to genuinely want to do the right thing, and he brought dignity, intelligence, and a spirit of compromise to a GOP Congress where they are in increasingly short supply. I will never forget his refusal to entertain baseless attacks from his supporters against Barack Obama at a rally during the 2008 election. When one man said he was scared of an Obama presidency, McCain countered, “He is a decent person, and a person that you do not have to be scared as president of the United States,” despite a chorus of boos from his audience. When a woman said she couldn’t trust Barack Obama because he was an Arab, McCain immediately took the mic and said, “No, ma’am. He is a decent family man and citizen that I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues”—words that are a fitting eulogy for McCain himself. Congress and the GOP are infinitely poorer for his loss, and he will be missed.

Now buckle up, kids—you’re in for one hell of a thrill ride this week.

Election officials in rural Randolph County, GA, rejected the proposal to close 7 of 9 polling places in the mostly black district in less than a minute of deliberation, firing the consultant who proposed it.

The letter protesting Donald’s revocation of former CIA director John Brennan’s security clearance as stifling of free speech and one’s political enemies is now up to 177 signatures of former top intelligence officials, State Department and Pentagon officials, and ambassadors from both parties, stating that they believe “the country will be weakened if there is a political litmus test applied” before expert former officials are allowed to voice their views.

Republicans Against the Law-slash-Mueller Time-slash-Republican Corruption-slash-Karma (there’s so much overlap this week)

This section is long, but if you want to feel good about where we stand with the resistance, read on.

Manafort got convicted on eight felony counts (tax fraud, bank fraud, failure to report accounts), and ten more counts were deadlocked by the jury; the judge declared a mistrial in those, thanks to a single juror who refused to accept what every other juror saw as irrefutable evidence—but Manafort faces possible life in prison regardless…plus a shiny fresh new trial in DC! This one probing his alleged foreign lobbying efforts for pro-Russian politicians.

Michael Cohen, Donny’s longtime lawyer, pleaded guilty to eight counts of breaking banking, tax, and campaign finance laws, and has surrendered to the FBI. Cohen said he worked to silence two women “in coordination” with little Donny to influence the 2016 election, and he will be serving time in prison. (Ironic aside: please enjoy Cohen’s cached-but-recovered supercilious tweet in 2015 taunting Hillary Clinton about going to jail.) He also coordinated with David Pecker, the CEO of the parent company of the National Enquirer, to suppress stories that might damage Donald prior to the election—which becomes especially pertinent now because this past week Pecker was granted immunity (along with the company’s chief content officer) and has flipped on Donald with Mueller’s investigation (luckily Donald lacks the authority to make flipping illegal, as he stated on FOX it should be). Pecker corroborated Michael Cohen’s implication of Donald in a federal crime—and there appears to be so much more to come. It probably won’t be the first time Donald will have to worry about a leaking Pecker. (Link to Cohen’s tweet)

Cohen, having a really bad week, was subsequently subpoenaed by New York State in its probe into the Trump Foundation regarding whether it broke state law or lied about tax liability. And Cohen’s own attorney called for Congress to open an investigation into whether Trump directed Cohen to commit a crime. “There is most certainly enough evidence now,” for Congress to open a probe, Cohen’s lawyer said.

Tipping into the next domino, the former Trump Tower doorman with knowledge of Don’s extramarital affair with a housekeeper at the Tower—and Donald’s illegitimate child that resulted—was subsequently freed from the “catch-and-release” gag order he signed with the National Enquirer preventing him from sharing his story. In an enjoyable irony, it was Donny’s favorite network CNN that exclusively obtained a copy of that contract.

Donald lied his ass off (a shock!) about his knowledge of the hush payments to women he had adulterous affairs with. Here’s an excellent breakdown of each lie, when it was told, and how it was disproven.

Next domino: The CFO of the Trump Organization, Allen Weisselberg who oversaw $420K of payments to Michael Cohen to silence women Donny had had an affair with prior to the election, has been granted immunity by Robert Mueller’s investigation in exchange for his testimony.

Donald is panicking, judging by his spastic tweetstorms and renewed attacks on AG Jeff Sessions, and things are getting FASCINATING. Now please enjoy this poll—as reported on FOX News, for extra fun—that shows 59 percent of voters support Mueller’s investigation (up 11 percent since July), and indicates the strong position Democrats are in for November midterms.

federal judge struck down several of Donny’s executive orders that made it easier to fire employees and weaken their union representation.

A New York State judge refused to dismiss a lawsuit against Donny brought by a group of human rights activists who claim they were attacked by Donny’s guards while they were protesting his racist comments against black people and Mexicans.

California Republican House rep Duncan Hunter and his wife were indicted on 60 federal counts for conspiracy, wire fraud, and falsification of campaign finance records to mask spending $250K of campaign money for personal expenses, like theater tickets and family vacations. In true GOP style, Hunter nonetheless plans to run for reelection in November, calling the indictments a “witch-hunt,” and throwing blame on his wife. Keep it classy, GOP.

In Nebraska, the secretary of state has received enough signatures to put a proposal to expand Medicaid on the state’s ballot in November.

The White House fired one of its speechwriters after CNN unearthed evidence that the man, Darren Beattie, had been a featured speaker at a white-nationalist conference. When the White House learned of about CNN’s discovery and pending publication of the story they asked Beattie to resign and he refused, so they fired him, because THESE ARE THINGS THAT HAPPEN IN THIS ADMINISTRATION.

In other white-nationalist-at-the-White House news, Donny’s top economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, was revealed to have hosted white nationalist Peter Brimelow in his home—a man who publishes a white nationalist Web site and was a featured speaker alongside Donald’s fired speechwriter, the above-mentioned Beattie, at a recent white nationalist conference.

Wyoming Republicans rejected the nominee for governor endorsed by the very stable genius.

Jeff Sessions and Donny are back in another pissing contest.

A member of Donald’s Commission on White House Fellowships and a loud defender of Don that the mentally deranged dotard praised as “wonderful” wasfired from his previous job for sexual harassment.

Christopher Steele won his libel case against three Russian oligarchs who sued him over the infamous dossier.

Objections to politicizing Mollie Tibbetts’s murder as an immigration issue were loudly voiced—on FOX…by Geraldo Rivera, surreal as that sounds. “This is a murder story. It’s not an immigration story.”

Irony

Literally as Melania Trump was giving a speech for her amusingly named Be Best anti-bullying initiative, calling for more civility and kindness, her husband was attacking his political opponents on Twitter with terms like “thug” and “hack.” I keep waiting for Ashton Kucher to tell us she’s punking us. Read this hilarious NPR article that offers a play-by-play of the juxtaposed messages.

Your Feel-good Stories of the Week

Steven Tyler, former Aerosmith frontman, sent a cease-and-desist to Donald for playing Aerosmith songs without permission at his MAGA rallies.

Pop ya popcorn and stay tuned, warriors—things are moving fast now and this guy is coming for the witches:
Mueller: The Last Witch Hunter

“Revoke my security clearance as well” | How Your Voices are Making a Difference

8/20/18 “I would consider it an honor if you would revoke my security clearance as well, so I can add my name to the list of men and women who have spoken up against your presidency”

We’ve got some fun new categories this week—and lots and lots of advances in resistance efforts. But first, enjoy the spectacle of Donald running terrified as the Russia investigation circles in on him:

As if he’s dying to be found guilty of obstruction, the commander of cheese flat-out said he revoked former CIA director John Brennan’s security clearance because of his role in the Russia investigation.

In the wake of Don’s panicky attempt to silence his critics, the retired navy admiral who oversaw the bin Laden raid (and former chancellor of UT) Bill McRaven wrote a very pointed letter to Donald asking that he revoke McRaven’s clearance as well: “[John Brennan] is one of the finest public servants I have ever known. Few Americans have done more to protect this country than John. He is a man of unparalleled integrity, whose honesty and character have never been in question, except by those who don’t know him. Therefore, I would consider it an honor if you would revoke my security clearance as well, so I can add my name to the list of men and women who have spoken up against your presidency.” (Read the whole letter, in which McRaven also tells the mentally deranged dotard that his actions have “embarrassed us in the eyes of our children, humiliated us on the world stage and, worst of all, divided us as a nation.”

In response to Donald’s action, more than a dozen former top U.S. intelligence also officials issued a sharp rebuke to the fuhrer-in-chief after he revoked Brennan’s security clearance and threatened to begin revoking that of others who disagree with him (like a fuhrer), calling it out as “an attempt to stifle free speech.” (Like a fuhrer.)

Advances at the Ballot Box

Primaries: In Connecticut, former Teacher of the Year Jahana Hayes is poised to become the state’s first black Democrat to serve in Congress after winning her primary nomination. The past week’s primaries also saw victories for candidates poised to become the first openly transgender governor (in Vermont); the first gay Native American to serve in Congress, in Kansas; and potentially the first Muslim woman in Congress, from Minnesota.

The San Antonio City Council voted 9-2 to pass a new paid sick leave ordinance—many thanks to our Indivisible members who helped in the fight!

GOP Smackdowns

So many items fit this description this week that I created a separate category for those stories.

On Thursday, August 16, more than 300 newspapers across the country published op-eds defending the First Amendment and freedom of the press in the face of escalating and ever more incendiary attacks from the mentally deranged dotard. A free press safeguards a free country—when one is attacked, count on the other being next. Donald, of course, tweeted that same morning that the “fake news media” was the “opposition party.”

In an increasingly endangered show of bipartisan unity—and an increasingly rare instance of the GOP Congress actually standing up to the very stable genius—the Senate unanimously approved a resolution stating that the press is not the enemy of the people (despite little Don frequently referring to it as such…and despite the surreality of our legislative branch actually having to resolve such a thing because it’s in question from the executive branch. Sigh). Worth reading in its entirety, the resolution “condemns the attacks on the institution of the free press and views efforts to systematically undermine the credibility of the press as an attack on the democratic institutions of the United States.”

Donald’s masturbatory military parade ballooned from a $12 million cost to $92 million—and finally the Pentagon balked, suggesting they may “delay” the parade till next year. (I wonder why? Maybe spending nearly a $1 billion to shore up Donald’s fragile little baby ego wouldn’t play well before the primaries in November…especially when the GOP administration made slashing budget cuts to programs like the Children’s Health Initiative?) Donny blamed DC’s mayor for inflating the cost, who clapped back on Twitter“Yup, I’m Muriel Bowser, mayor of Washington DC, the local politician who finally got thru to the reality star in the White House with the realities ($21.6M) of parades/events/demonstrations in Trump America (sad).” In a childish attempt to save face,Donald then decided to cancel the parade that his Pentagon already postponed.

Stephen Miller’s uncle penned an op-ed decrying his nephew’s draconian views on immigration, considering Miller’s ancestors immigrated to America from Belarus to escape persecution in WWII: “The Glossers [Miller’s ancestors] came to the U.S. just a few years before the fear and prejudice of the ‘America first’ nativists of the day closed U.S. borders to Jewish refugees. Had Wolf-Leib waited, his family likely would have been murdered by the Nazis along with all but seven of the 2,000 Jews who remained in Antopol. I would encourage Stephen to ask himself if the chanting, torch-bearing Nazis of Charlottesville, whose support his boss seems to court so cavalierly, do not envision a similar fate for him.”

Kellyanne Conway’s husband, lawyer George Conway, continues to openly troll Donny. And just keeps doing it.

White supremacist rally organizer Jason Kessler was embarrassingly bitch-slapped by his daddy—in whose home he is living due to an inability to function as an independent adult—during a livestream shot in his daddy’s bedroom. Kessler was spouting his racist hate messages along with former U.S. Senate council (and white nationalist anti-Semite) Patrick Little, when Kessler’s father walked in and kicked the budding baby Hitler out of his bedroom.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders actually publicly recanted one of her lies—stating that the racist in chief has created more black jobs in his first year than President Obama did during his entire tenure. Sanders’s lie was off by a factor of more than fifteen: She stated President Obama created only 195K jobs for black workers, when the real number is 3 million.

Pete Souza, President Obama’s staff photographer, is hilariously trolling the crap out of Donald.

Former Donald campaign adviser Roger Stone retweeted an image hailing Donald’s proposed Space Force that showed Donald and other allies wearing uniforms with Nazi swastika logos. For realz.

Mueller Time

White House counsel Don McGahn has apparently been voluntarily working with the Mueller investigation, particularly as it relates to Donald’s potential obstruction of justice, cooperating “extensively,” as the NY Times says, based on accounts from more than a dozen White House staffers past and present.

Republicans against the Law

This category is a plump one this week.

One of Donny’s own federal judge appointees has ruled that the Mueller investigation is constitutional and legitimate—the fourth judge to do so.

The state of Illinois is suing Donald’s Trump Tower in Chicago for dumping warm water into the city’s waterways without a permit, endangering fish and other aquatic life.

A federal judge ruled that Donny can’t deport any more immigrant parents separated from children while they are seeking asylum.

federal judge ordered Don John to immediately implement the Chemical Disaster Rule instituted by the Obama administration in response to the fertilizer plant explosion in Texas in 2013, stating that Donald’s GOP administration didn’t have the authority to delay it for a proposed 20 months.

A federal judge ruled that an acting assistant AG in the GOP administration’s Justice Department must sit for a deposition in a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of adding of a citizenship question to the 2020 census.

judge in New York ruled that a nondisclosure agreement Donald made a former White House staffer sign is limited in scope—an interesting precedent in light of the many other NDAs his administration forced staffers to sign.

In a potential violation of campaign law, Donald’s Treasury Department retweeted one of Donny’s political posts.

GOP fund-raiser Elliott Broidy is under investigation for allegedly selling government influence with Donald’s White House.

One of Defense Secretary James Mattis’s most senior civilian advisers is under investigation after allegedly retaliating against staffers after using them to run her personal errands.

Commerce secretary Wilbur Ross held official meetings with the leaders of companies in which he had a vested financial interest, putting him under the microscope of federal watchdog agencies and lawmakers.

Your Feel-good Stories of the Week

The NYU School of Medicine announced it will provide free tuition to all students, out of concern for “overwhelming financial debt” incurred by med students. With a ballooning population of aging baby boomers and a narrowing field of GPs and other nonspecialist doctors, the measure is a heartening first step to avert the long-predicted future doctor shortage.

In Virginia, a congregation of Baptists and a group of yogis are joining together to protest a gas pipeline and compressor station proposed for the area.

“Turn that plane around” | How your voices are making a difference

8/13/18 “Turn that plane around and bring those people back to the United States. It’s outrageous.”

How’s it going, warriors? Hanging in there amid the disheartening global-warming news of fires and floods and heat waves? I’m starting off this week with a spectrum of news of our progress that doesn’t fit into a category.

California, which has the power to overrule federal fuel-efficiency requirements under the Clean Air Act, refuted the White House’s stance on lowering fuel-efficiency regulations with a flurry of facts on pollution, and announced plans to adhere to current federal standards with more stringent fuel emissions restrictions, rather than allow state manufacturers to lower them to Donald’s proposed levels.

In a nearly unprecedented move, Apple removed all Infowars’ conspiracy theorists Alex Jones’s podcasts, joining Spotify, Facebook, Google, and YouTube.

Tribune Broadcasting has withdrawn from the proposed merger with Sinclair, a broadcast company so conservative they make FOX look like flaming socialists, after the FCC (inexplicably, under pro-Trump, anti-net neutrality Ajit Pai) expressed reservations about the merger, which would have given the joined company a presence in 72 percent of markets—well over the FCC ceiling of 32. Tribune plans to sue for breach of contract.

Donny-endorsed Kris Kobach’s lead over Governor Jeff Colyer in Kansas was sliced from a narrow 191 to a whisper-thin 91 when election officials discovered an error in transmitting votes from one countyKobach, the Kansas secretary of state, finally recused himself from overseeing the count when Colyer demanded he stop advising county election officials.

Ohio’s razor-close House race got shaved even closer when more than 500 votes from one county were “found” and tallied. Democrat Danny O’Connor trails Republican Troy Balderson by a scant 1564 votes, and votes are still being counted (despite Balderson and the very stable genius prematurely declaring victory).

Unflaggingly obsequious Trump toady Devin Nunes was recorded possibly violating his oath of office to hold the executive branch to account, instead telling a group of GOP donors that they were the last line of defense to “protect” little Don in the Russia investigation.

The army has (temporarily) suspended discharges of foreign-born recruits who enlisted through DACA.

Let’s not lend much credence to anything publicity-seeking missile Omarosa Manigault Newman has to say—however,documentation does prove her claim that she was offered hush money to be silent about her time working with the commander of cheese. That’s another data point in a long line of hush-money payments to silence the hemorrhaging of info about things little Don doesn’t want the world to know about—things are beginning to come to light.

The immigration lawyer for Melania Trump’s parents, who just became citizens as beneficiaries of the “chain migration” Donald is trying to end for others, called out Donald’s hostility to the policy as “unconscionable.”

Mueller Time

As Robert Mueller expands his investigation, per his DoJ mandate, to explore other legal wrongdoings he may discover, I’m renaming the Russia section to encompass it all.

Rick Gates, Mueller’s eagerly cooperative witness, has rolled like a burrito against Paul Manafort, delineating the more than 15 foreign bank accounts Manafort hid from the IRS, that he lied for years at Manafort’s behest, and the many ways in which Manafort and Gates—Donald’s chief and secondary campaign advisers—broke the law.

Andrew Miller, a longtime Roger Stone associate, is being held in contempt of court for refusing to testify despite being subpoenaed.

Republicans Against the Law (slash “Draining the Swamp”—there’s so much overlap lately)

Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross is at the center of a $120 million lawsuit alleging that Ross stole from his business partner.

A Richmond, VA, GOP house rep falsified a petition for the candidacy of an independent to draw votes away from the Democratic candidate using names of deceased and relocated voters.

Federal prosecutors in NYC are investigating former Donny attorney (and current stool pigeon) Michael Cohen for tax fraud. Who could have foreseen this? (Side note: Won’t it be fun if Dems take the House and/or Senate this fall and have the power to subpoena the commander of cheese’s tax returns?)

Republican Rep Christopher Collins of New York —Donald’s first congressional endorser—has been charged with insider trading. Collins intended to stay on the ballot in November nonetheless—and why not? In Donny’s GOP, criminality is no reason not to run for office—but twenty-four hours later Collins finally “suspended” his campaign.

federal judge ordered a plane carrying two asylum seekers turned around on the ground and returned to the U.S. after learning Jeff Sessions had the mother-daughter pair deported while their appeal was in process. The judge called the precipitous deportation “outrageous” and called Sessions on the carpet, threating to hold him in contempt.

federal appeals court ordered Donny’s administration to revoke its approval for a pesticide shown to damage the brains of children in even small amounts, stating that Scott Pruitt’s EPA had endangered public health by keeping it on the market.

A federal judge has ruled that the border patrol agent who shot a Mexican teenager across the border is not immune from facing charges for violating the child’s Constitutional right against excessive force by law enforcement.

Social and Civil Rights Advances

Congress is poised to get its first Muslim woman lawmaker—a welcome move toward representing all of America.

Missouri voters rejected a right-to-work law on the ballot by a wide margin, in a victory for unions.

A new record is being set for most female nominees for governor in a single year, and transgender candidates are running in unprecedented numbers for office this year.

Your Feel-good Stories of the Week

The much vaunted white-supremacist Unite the Right rally in DC Sunday ended with a fizzle when about two dozen people showed up to march—a bit below the 400 the organizers expected. Meanwhile, thousands of antiracist protesters showed up to line the streets and drown out the racist chants and speeches of the demonstrators. BOOM, bitches. That’s how we handle hate.

Don Jr. posted a hilariously blatantly Photoshopped image that presented false popularity ratings for his daddy—exaggerating them by 10 percent. The world noticed.

Enjoy Donald’s sparkling words of praise for Jeff Bezos and the Washington Post…five years ago.

Since then Donny has ramped up his attacks on the media, this past weekend tweeting, “The Fake News hates me saying that they are the Enemy of the People only because they know it’s TRUE. I am providing a great service by explaining this to the American People. They purposely cause great division & distrust. They can also cause War! They are very dangerous & sick!” Nearly every autocrat and tyrant in history has begun their regime by attacking and undermining those who can expose their efforts and corruption. On August 16 more than 70 newspapers across the country will publish varying op-eds from their opinion writers speaking out against this alarming attack on the First Amendment rights and the democratic protections created by a free press.

We lose only if we are silent in the face of attacks on democracy, warriors. Hang in there! So much progress has been made and continues to be, and so many democratic failsafes are working as the Founders intended; but that news can get lost amid the flashier breaches, outrages, and propaganda of the mentally deranged dotard and his GOP apologists. Wars are won by the unflagging efforts of those fighting for what’s right—our relentless persistence is what will protect our democracy. Those attacking it know that, and that’s one reason they keep up a steady barrage of offenses, hoping it will weary the country enough to allow them to remake it in their oligarchic ideal. Don’t let them succeed in wearing you down. Take care of yourselves, take mental-health breaks, but stay in the fight.