Feeling the pinch | How your voices are making a difference

Well. Robert Mueller filed a flurry of new disclosures, and things are getting juicy. Russians interacted with at least 14 of Donny’s associates, most of them in the inner circle, Including Jared and Don Jr. Don John is directly implicated in trying to buy the silence, during the campaign, of the women he had extramarital affairs with, and Manafort told “discernible lies” as the Cohen filing indicates that Russia was making contact with Donny’s campaign as far back as 2015. Stay tuned, friends—I suspect there’s still lots more juice to be squeezed as the noose closes around the neck of Individual 1 and his cronies.

Certainly at least one White House staffer is feeling the pinch—almost immediately after Mike Pence’s boy Nick Ayers was reported to be the heir apparent to John Kelly as Kelly vacates the position of chief of staff, Ayers tweeted fresh on the heels of Mueller’s filings that not only won’t he be taking the job, but he’s fleeing the White House entirely by year’s end. Seems like the first rats are fleeing the sinking ship. And while Donny and Rudy Giuliani keep bleating the usual baseless denials, former Donald associate (and erstwhile lawyer) Chris Christie seems to see the writing on the wall, stating that the “very definitive” verbiage in Mueller’s filings would indicate a high level of confidence in the findings, likely including more “than just one witness.”

Former national security adviser and current felon Michael Flynn has apparently been extremely so helpful to the investigation, sitting for 19 interviews, that Mueller declined to seek sentencing for him, citing Flynn’s “substantial assistance.” Mueller has also reportedly interviewed John Kelly, the White House chief of staff who is finally joining the exodus of staff away from the administration amid what by all accounts has been ferocious tension.

House Dems say that once they take over the House, they will provide Mueller with transcripts of all interviews pertaining to Russian collusion that were withheld from the investigation by Republicans.

Meanwhile the DC and Maryland attorneys general subpoenaed the Trump organization, the IRS and dozens of other entities to determine whether Don John is profiting off the presidency in violation of the Constitution’s emoluments clause.

And that leads us right to…

Republicans Reconsidering

Senators demanded a briefing from CIA head and Donald appointee Gina Haspel on the murder and dismemberment of journalist Jamal Khashoggi after the White House blocked her from last week’s propaganda “briefing” by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary James Mattis, who denied that any “direct” evidence linked Mohammed bin Salman to the murder (which Democratic senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut, a member of the foreign relations committee, called “misleading”).

Following Haspel’s briefing, a bipartisan group of senators condemned the Saudi crown prince, stating that there was “zero question” he was complicit in the murder (which our CIA ascertained weeks ago with “high confidence,” despite Donald’s rejection of American intelligence findings and continued defense and support of the crown prince that Republican senator Bob Corker called “unacceptable”). Even Trump toady Lindsey Graham said, You have to be willfully blind not to come to the conclusion that this was orchestrated and organized by people under the command of MBS and that he was intricately involved in the demise of Mr. Khashoggi,” and stated he will no longer support arms sales to Saudi Arabia. Now the bipartisan group of senators wants MBS formally blamed and punished.

Tucker Carlson—Tucker Carlson!—says Trump is not capable, has failed to deliver on his goals, and that the Republican Party “will die” without changes. (How are you enjoying your first bite of reality, Tucker? Join the rest of us—we’ve been feasting on it for years now.)

Rex Tillerson stated that the Very Stable Genius is undisciplined, doesn’t read, and frequently wanted to break the law. (And how are YOU enjoying your first bite of reality, Rex?)

After Louie Gohmert, a Republican from Texas, said on a FOX Business segment that it’s “not anti-Semitic” to criticize Soros. A Fox Business Network host later apologized for the segment.

Blue Wave

Democrats won their 40th pickup in the House this past week when another Republican conceded in California, bringing their total winning vote margin for the 2018 elections to 9.5 million votes, beating the all-time record of 8.7 million votes in 1974 after Nixon’s resignation, where Democrats picked up 49 seats.

Republican Corruption

In North Carolina, investigations into voter fraud are continuing, despite denials from the GOP—ironically usually the party crying “Voter fraud” at every turn. Their silence this time is likely due to the fact that the investigation centers around a political operative who worked for a GOP candidate, and that the GOP had early warning about potential voter fraud that they ignored.

Donald’s unconcerned about his benefit-the-wealthy tax cuts swelling national debt ($21 trillion and counting) because he “won’t be here” when it comes due. Not his problem, apparently.

Recently released emails reveal that a top White House appointee to the VA tried to silence his department from condemning white nationalists after the Charlottesville rally.

And the Washington Post discovered documents that reveal that a month after the election, Saudi lobbyists paid for 500 rooms at Donny’s DC hotel, which were used a lure for veterans who were brought all-expenses-paid to DC to lobby against a law Saudis opposed, but were not told whose interests they were furthering nor who was funding their stay. And undocumented workers employed by Donald in his reports came forward, and Rex Tillerson admitted that the president asked him to do things that were illegal (good of you to finally speak up, Rex).

Climate Change Advances

Fishermen in Oregon and California are suing 30 companies, mostly Big Oil, for their role in concealing their knowledge of the deleterious effects of climate change due to the burning of fossil fuels, and causing global-warming related damages to area fisheries and sea life populations.

In the face of increasingly urgent reports of the pace of global warming, the first major utility company in the U.S. has committed to going completely carbon free by 2050 (and 80 percent by 2030).

Justice

The jury in the trial of the self-proclaimed neo-Nazi who plowed down Heather Heyer in Charlottesville found him guilty of first-degree murder.

Your Feel-good Stories of the Week

Pretty much everything in the first section of this newsletter. Plus this magical thing happened when Rudy Giuliani doesn’t know how to use the interwebs. As did this one when Donald again showed he doesn’t know how to use the English language.

Pop the popcorn, warriors! I do believe we’ve hit a tipping point and things are only going to get more interesting from here.

Frantic last gasps | How your voices are making a difference

 

Oh, friends, what you are seeing in this last week are the frantic last gasps of a man and his cronies who are beginning to understand that the noose is tightening around their necks too tightly now to break free. Let’s just plunge right in, shall we?

Mueller Time

Michael Cohen has pleaded guilty to lying to Congress, after having already earlier pleaded guilty to campaign finance violations (making him the 33rd witch to be charged, if you’re counting), and he is singing like Billie Holliday about all Donald’s secrets—including that Don John continued to seek financing for his Russian property during the 2016 campaign (and blatantly lied about it), while he was proposing loosening sanctions on—wait for it!—Russia! Including a $50 million penthouse the very stable genius apparently promised to Putin.

Mueller is also investigating ties between Paul Manafort and Julian AssangeAssange and Roger Stone, and Jerome Corsi and Roger Stone, as well as Donny’s middle-of-the-night calls to Roger Stone during the campaign.

George Papadopoulous reported to prison, and Mueller has accused Paul Manafort of lying after striking a plea deal with federal prosecutors and says he should be sentenced immediately. He’s is said to be considering retrying Manafort.

And all of this is showing so very, very clearly that Donny is the central player in Mueller’s investigation—although apparently Ivanka and Donny Junior have major supporting roles too. Which explains Don John’s increasingly panicked tweets attacking it, including retweeting an image of deputy AG Rod Rosenstein behind bars, apparently because he “should never have picked a special counsel,” which Donald apparently believes to be a jailable crime. (Well, it may very well prove to be…but not for Rosenstein…)

Meanwhile, Jeff Flake—perhaps in an attempt to atone for his unconscionable support of Brett Kavanaugh—has refused to confirm any of Donny’s judicial nominees until Mitch McConnell allows a vote on the floor to protect Mueller’s investigation.

Here’s a handy li’l list of everyone who’s been charged and convicted (so far!) in the Mueller investigation.

In possibly related news, Deutsche Bank headquarters was raided by the German government—170 police and tax assessors—as part of a money-laundering probe related to the Panama Papers. You may remember Deutsche Bank as one of the only financial institutions that would still offer loans to inept businessman Donald Trump prior to his presidency.

Federal investigators also raided the offices of a tax attorney in Chicago who did work for Don John.

And in a related category…

Republicans Against the Law

Acting attorney general and Donny crony Matthew Whittaker is having a hell of a week. He was shown to have had early warnings of fraud accusations from a company he nonetheless continued to promote; recently revealed documents show he misled the Federal Trade Commission when he took over as the Justice Department’s chief of staff; and he’s being investigated for Hatch Act violations (along with five other of Donny’s White House staff).

Advocates for gubernatorial candidate Stacy Abrams in Georgia filed a federal lawsuit alleging widespread voting rights violations by GA sec of state Brian Kemp.

Republicans Reconsidering

In a direct rebuke to Don John for his defense and support of Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, whom U.S. intelligence has ascertained “with high confidence” directly ordered the murder of journalist Jamar Khashoggi, Congress voted 63-27 to end all aid to the Saudi-led war in Yemen, and demanded a CIA briefing on Khashoggi’s murder after CIA head Gina Haspel was excluded from a prior one. MBS has become a pariah in the global community (to everyone except the president of the United States).

Meanwhile a neighborhood organization in DC has approved a motion to rename a section of the street in front of the Saudi embassy Jamal Khashoggi Way.

More and more Republicans are challenging Donny’s defense of Mohammed bin Salman, the Saudi crown prince the CIA has ascertained with “high confidence” ordered the murder and dismemberment of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Republican Sen. Tim Scott says he will block confirmation of Trump judicial nominee Thomas Farr amid racial controversy about Farr’s defense of voter ID laws that the courts said disenfranchised African American voters.

Republican Mia Love smack-talked Donald as she conceded in Utah.

Republicans in Texas are actually criticizing a fellow Republican for anti-Muslim actions: Tarrant County precinct chair Dorrie O’Brien is advocating removing vice chairman Shahid Shafi solely on the basis of his religion.

Crazy Sh*t that Regularly Happens Now

In a gross violation of journalistic ethics, FOX News actually coordinated its interview questions with the EPA for its interview with former department head Scott Pruitt and allowed Pruitt to see the questions ahead of time.

A journalist directly confronted Donald about his lie that the Obama administration had the same family-separation policy Donald’s administration enacted, to the world’s horror.

Social and Civil Rights Advances

A Dallas grand jury indicted the fired officer who killed an unarmed black man (Botham Jean) in his apartment.

In Saint Louis, four police officers have been indicted for the brutal, unprovoked beating of an unarmed black man (who happened to be an undercover cop) in a group protesting, ironically, the acquittal of another police officer who shot and killed an unarmed black man.

The Miss Universe pageant has its first openly trans contestant (Miss Spain, Angela Ponce), after legal action in 2012 filed by a transwoman who was disallowed from the competition.

Ken Paxton (of all people) wrote an opinion that Gov. Greg Abbott can remove a Confederate plaque at the Capitol that offers misleading, nonfactual info about the purpose of the South’s rebellion.

Your Feel-good Stories for the Week

What, all the above wasn’t feel-good enough for you?!

Okay, how about this: Contributions to the NRA went down $55 million this past year, and membership dues decreased by $35 million.

After announcing that veterans whose benefits were shorted because of a VA error would not be getting the money they were owed due to ongoing Department of Veterans Affairs computer problems, the GOP administration backtracked after public and congressional outcry—veterans will receive the benefits they earned.

Finally, this sweet story about the unlikely friendship that developed between George H. W. Bush and Dana Carvey, the SNL comedian who regularly skewered him on the show, will remind you of a time when there were decent human beings in the White House.

Good election news keeps trickling in | How your voices are making a difference

In a week in which Donald once again dismissed the findings of American intelligence, supported and defended a brutal regime the CIA judged as having murdered a citizen, neglected to exhort followers to “lock her up” after his daughter was found to have used private email for government business, suggested on a visit to a wildfire-ripped city whose name he could not remember that the answer to forest fires lay not in addressing climate change but raking, and named himself when asked what he was thankful for, amid other unhinged comments from Mar-A-Lago on Thanksgiving, believe it or not there was still plenty to feel optimistic about.

Two weeks after the midterms, good election news keeps trickling in: another Democrat edged out a Republican, adding to the Dems’ sweep of the House as final election results trickle in—this one in Utah, with a GOP candidate Donald decried as a “loser” for not sufficiently embracing him. And Texas State students who demanded more access to polling places may have played a decisive role in swinging Hays County blue.

Republicans Against the Law

Don John threatened to revoke Jim Acosta’s press pass to the White House the moment the court order restoring it expired at the end of the month—until CNN threated a lawsuit. The White House subsequently announced the full restoration of Acosta’s pass.

federal judge blocked Donald’s ban on migrants seeking asylum at our border after a challenge in court by immigrant rights groups.

In Mississippi, a federal judge blocked a state law that banned most abortions after 15 weeks.

federal judge ruled that a lawsuit against Donald for misuse of funds in his personal charity can proceed.

Supreme Court judge John Roberts—the Republican-appointed leader of the court—criticized Donald for politicizing the judiciary.

The FBI now classifies the white nationalist far-right group the Proud Boys as an extremist group for its history of misogyny and glorifying violence.

Environmental Advances

The Coast Guard has ordered a company that has spilled more than a million barrels of oil into the gulf since 2004 to clean up its ecological disaster.

The first climate report authored by several different agencies within Donald’s own GOP administration  say they are more certain than ever that climate change poses a severe threat to Americans’ health and pocketbooks, as well as to the country’s infrastructure and natural resources.

Your Feel-good Stories for the Week

Just in time for the holidays, read this lovely piece on how we might talk about difficult issues with the ones we love from a place of shared humanity and connection. Silence in the face of racism, sexism, and other forms of prejudice and fear is acquiescence—but shaming and rage don’t change hearts.

Seventy percent of Americans think Mueller should be allowed to complete his investigations; 52 percent want legislation passed to protect it.

The blue wave keeps on climbing higher | How your voices are making a difference

“The @NRSC & @SenCoryGardner are not only spreading lies & nutty theories, but undermining democracy.”

The blue wave keeps on climbing higher—this report shows why the phenomenal victories for Dems last Tuesday were overshadowed by a few high-profile disappointments, and why Dems—especially in Texas—should be celebrating their victories.

Despite disappointing results in Florida and Georgia’s high-profile recounts, last week’s election is the gift that keeps on giving for Dems. Kyrsten Sinema won the Senate in Arizona, making her the first Democrat from that state in Congress since 1988, the first female senator from the state, and the first openly bisexual woman in Congress.

In New Jersey, a House race was finally called for Democratic candidate Andy Kim against his Trump-loving opponent, leaving only one lonely GOP rep from the state in the House. Another Democrat flipped a House seat, this one in Southern California in a deep red Reagan district, and the entirety of formerly deep red Orange County is now blueDemocrats flipped another House seat in Maine’s new ranked-balloting system. In Colorado, independent voters overwhelmingly cited Donald as the reason they voted Democrat.

And here in Texas, Democrats flipped four key judicial courts, moving from holding a majority in just three of 14 appeals court seats to holding half.

Amid all this—likely partly because of it—the White House is off the rails. Donald attacked Emmanuel Macron after the French president made pointed comments against the nationalism Donny espouses openly; then he had another major Twitter tantrum in his mounting fear of what Mueller’s investigation may be uncovering; and then he made another unhinged fact-free propaganda appearance, this one with the Daily Caller. Even first lady Melania Trump isn’t immune from a meltdown: her office issued a formal statement that Deputy National Security Adviser Mira Ricardel “no longer deserves the honor of serving in this White House.” And now reports have it that Donald is pathologically fearful over whether VP Mike Pence is loyal, not to mention his suggestion that insufficient raking of forests, not climate change, is the main cause of increasingly frequent and destructive forest fires like the two raging through Southern California.

Republicans Reconsidering

Two former McCain aides spoke out against their own party’s attempts to undermine the election in Arizona: “I ran @SenJohnMcCain political world for 10 years & can tell you what is going on in AZ is above board & by the rules,” one said. “The @NRSC & @SenCoryGardner are not only spreading lies & nutty theories, but undermining democracy.”

GOP Senator Jeff Flake has said he will refuse to vote to confirm any of Donald’s judicial appointees unless Mitch McConnell finally allows a proposed bill protecting Mueller’s investigation to come to a vote on the Senate floor. Senator Lindsey Graham—usually Donny’s obsequious toady—also stated that he supports the bill.

Republicans against the law

A federal judge has ruled in favor of the First Amendment and ordered the White House to temporarily restore CNN reporter Jim Acosta’s credentials, after they revoked it and CNN sued the White House for violations of the First and Fifth Amendments—for infringing on freedom of the press and denying Acosta due process. Even FOX News supports CNN’s suit against the White HouseSecret Service passes for White House journalists should never be weaponized,” said network president Jay Wallace. Even FOX News.

The state of Maryland has asked a judge to declare Rod Rosenstein the acting attorney general, rather than Donald’s crony Matt Whitaker, who has already demonstrated previous bias against the Mueller investigation.

Meanwhile Whitaker is wading through the muck of his own making: being investigated for his role in an investment promotion scam; sticking taxpayers in Iowa for hundreds of thousands of dollars when he and his company walked away from a mismanaged apartment-rehabilitation project they’d been behind; and facing mounting calls to recuse himself from overseeing the Mueller investigation based on his overwhelming prior public antipathy toward Mueller and the investigation.

Betsy DeVos is being sued—again—for failing to cancel student debt from for-profit colleges that have been shut down, the ruling judge calling her delays “arbitrary and capricious.”

A federal judge found that Georgia’s former secretary of state Brian Kemp violated the Civil Right Act in rejecting ballots based on an omitted or incorrect birth year.

A federal judge ruled that a Neo-Nazi publication constitutes hate speech and not protected under the First Amendment.

Your Feel-good Stories of the Week

For the first time since women were admitted to the Special Forces training program in the army in 2016, a woman has made it past the initial training stage and could become the first female Green Beret.

Celine Dion has co-created a line of gender-neutral children’s clothing.

In what is believed to be the largest private donation to a university, Michael Bloomberg donated $1.8 billion to Johns Hopkins to make the university “need-blind,” aiding lower- and middle-income applicants by creating an admission system based on achievement regardless of ability to pay.

Texas GOP rep Dan Crenshaw, discussing his high-profile appearance on SNL last week to garner an apology from cast member Pete Davidson, explained his decision to appear on the show as an effort to promote civility and consideration.

Doctors issued a smackdown against the NRA after the strong-arm lobbying gun organization suggested doctors “stay in their lane” and not address gun violence.

This op-ed by Mitch McConnell exhorting bipartisanship was actually real, not an Onion spoof, and met with swift mockery on Twitter, where most of the tens of thousands of responses consisted of only two words: Merrick Garland.

Racist Rep Steve King, who just won reelection as the GOP senator from Iowa, dared the conservative publication the Weekly Standard to provide audio recordings of King calling immigrants “dirt,” denying he said it. The Standard happily produced the recordings, which proved he did.

Because people are awfully creative, this is a thing. Just in time for holiday gift giving!

A gorgeous win for sanity | How your voices are making a difference

“Exit polls, Election Day polls and actual returns showed significant gains for Democrats in suburbs and among independents…. Democrats have captured the middle.”

If you’ve heard people bemoan that last Tuesday’s elections weren’t a decisive win for Democrats, please smack those voices down—Tuesday was a gorgeous win for sanity from the local level up—and the local level is where our movement builds and really matters.Democrats flipped the House, gained hundreds of legislative seats, secured the majority of state attorneys general, and garnered two-thirds of the seats up for grabs. Of those we didn’t, most were Republican-held seats in deep red areas that were always highly unlikely to flip.

Women and LGBT candidates were elected in record numbers. Not only did Minnesota elect its first openly gay Congresswoman, but she defeated Jason Lewis—remember him? The guy who bemoaned the fact that he couldn’t call women “sluts” anymore.

Want some numbers? For the Senate, the popular vote for Democrats was 40,558,262, or 55.4 percent; for Republicans it was 31,490,026 votes, or just 43.0 percent. (But read this article for an explanation of why we shouldn’t freak out over the inequity.)

Some environmental/conservation wins. In Georgia, up to $20 million of existing sales tax each year will go to land conservation; Florida banned oil and gas off-shore drilling; and in Nevada, electric utilities must now get 50% of their electricity from renewable resources by 2030.

Here in Texas we flipped four influential state appeals courts—in Austin, Houston and Dallas—and Dems picked up 12 seats in the Texas house and broke the supermajority in the senate, meaning that they will now need Democrat support to bring bills to the floor. In Austin, 7 ballot initiatives were passed aimed at affordable housing, libraries and museums, parks, infrastructure, and health care, while we voted down a Koch-brothers-funded proposition to force unnecessary budget “audits.”  Despite heavy intentional redistricting by the GOP in the Dallas metroplex to ensure they would never lose elections in that area, the GOP nonetheless lost 12 of 14 seats there, flipped by the Democrats.

And just for symbolism, first-time candidate Erin Zwiener delivered both a win to the Texas house and a baby during her campaign, thus giving birth to the future while also working to create a better one. J 

Even where we lost, we showed how much progress progress is making in a year of record-breaking voter turnout: In dozens of races lost to Republicans they had to fight tooth and nail to eke out a win by the narrowest of margins. In heavily GOP-gerrymandered Texas, four historically double-digit GOP offices were won by scant single digits, and Beto came within a hairbreadth of defeating Rafael Cruz.

A few more juicy tidbits:

And if you really want a delightful treat, try to picture Mike Pence administering the oath of office to two Muslim women on a copy of the Qur’an, or the look on the face of the Colorado baker who refused a cake for a gay wedding when it sinks in who he now has for a governor. Is the federal government messed up? You betcha. And it’s discouraging that so many people are still supporting so much anti-American, anti-decency behavior. BUT…! Change happens from the ground up, and Tuesday showed that the earth is shaking, babies.

Meanwhile the GOP “family values party” demonstrated quite literally that there are no depths to which they will not sink in abandoning decency for party agenda by electing three indicted felons, a white nationalist, and a dead pimp. No, seriously.

Overall, this election was a win. And it just keeps getting better. As this article states, here is the key takeaway from this election that we must continue to build on [emphasis mine]: “Exit polls, Election Day polls and actual returns showed significant gains for Democrats in suburbs and among independents. In the Washington Post-Schar School Election Day poll of battleground district voters, independents preferred Democrats by double digits, and independent women favored Democrats by more than 20 points. Democrats have captured the middle. The polling also shows that young voters and racial minorities — the future American electorate — turned out in healthy numbers for Democrats.”

This is a marathon and not a sprint, folks. We’re not there yet, but Tuesday’s results should show us how effective our sustained efforts to safeguard democracy have been—and can continue to be if we stay in the battle.

Republicans Against the Law

Social and Civil Rights Advances

After last week’s Google-employee walkout, the company has announced it will no longer require forced arbitration for sexual harassment or assault claims.

Motel 6 will pay $7.6 in damages to Hispanic guests in a class-action lawsuit for illegally alerting ICE to guests they suspected to be undocumented immigrants. The company will also sign a two-year consent decree barring it from sharing guest data with immigration authorities absent warrants, subpoenas, or threats of serious crime or harm.

Republicans Reconsidering

Even FOX News found Donald’s ad too racist—the one about the immigrant who came in during George W. Bush’s administration, and was released by Sheriff Joe Arpaio, and who killed two police officers.

Feel-good Stories of the Week

RBG is back, babies.

I got other ribs, bitches

Don’t get complacent | How your voices are making a difference

11.5.18 “There is no invasion. No one is coming to get you. There’s nothing at all to worry about.”

Considering Texas’s usual abysmal voter-turnout rates, it’s astonishing that our state this past week led the country in first-time voter numbers, with more than 200K new voters voting already. We lead the next-largest new-voter turnout, in California, by more than double (at 90K).

Early turnout for voting in Texas has increased 508% among voters under 30, a stratospheric jump being attributed largely to enthusiasm among younger voters for Beto O’Rourke. Turnout levels across all demographics has been extraordinarily high.

But don’t get complacent.

Now more than ever, every vote counts—here are ten times elections came down to a single vote. Vote like your rights and our democracy depend on it—because they do. Call friends to encourage them to vote; offer rides; post on social media. And no matter how things go on Tuesday, here are some ways to make sure we aren’t contributing to the nation’s divisiveness and anger.

In a hopeful sign for future elections, Maine is instigating ranked-choice voting in the first general election ever, in an effort to avoid nasty and expensive runoff battles.

In other news, this week thousands of Philadephians—as well as the mayor, as well as the former president of the synagogue where the victims were shot, who called Donald “a purveyor of hate speech”—asked Donald not to come to their town until the victims of the right-wing terrorist who shot 11 Jewish people in a synagogue last Saturday had been buried. He went anyway, though congressional leaders declined to go with him. One of the victim’s family, whom Donald offered to meet, declined his visit. The “very stable genius” said the Pittsburgh protest was “small” and he didn’t see it. Here’s the actual protest, a scant mile from where Donald was. Mike Pence showed up with a “rabbi”—who preached Jesus as savior (to JEWISH people) and asked them to pray for Republicans. (I wish this were satire, but it’s true.)

Republicans Against the Law

It was quite a week for legal smackdowns of the GOP.

This week judges ruled that:

And a new lawsuit has been brought to federal court alleging that Donald and three of his children used the Trump name to intentionally mislead vulnerable people to invest in sham corporations.

At least three probes by the inspector general of the Interior department are underway against Ryan Zinke for violations of ethics and rules—one of which has been referred to the Justice department.

Republicans Reconsidering

Former House speaker Joe Straus penned an op-ed calling for unity and civility, and denouncing the current GOP administration for its divisiveness.

Even Matt Drudge of the Drudge Report was appalled by FOX’s reporting of the recent right-wing terrorist attacks.

Even Paul Ryan rejected Donald’s dog-whistle distraction of threatening to end birthright citizenship by executive order.

Even Kanye West is realizing he’s been a political pawn and announced he will be removing himself from politics (to the relief of a grateful nation)—but not without a parting statement, of course, and one that seems to belie everything else he’s spewed in the last months: “My eyes are now wide open and now realize I’ve been used to spread messages I don’t believe in…. I support holding people who misuse their power accountable.

I believe in love and compassion for people seeking asylum and parents who are fighting to protect their children from violence and war.”

The Wall Street Journal—a bastion of conservative thought—reported that the U.S. Treasury expects to issue more than $1 TRILLION of debt in 2018, thanks to the GOP tax break for corporations and the wealthy.

Speaking of the conservative financial sector, for the first time in a decade, more Wall Street political money is going to Democrats than Republicans—not necessarily great news for those who understand the damage big-money interests wreak on our government, but certainly a powerful statement about the current state of our country that the typically Republican-leaning financial sector is distancing itself from GOP corruption.

Michael Cohen can’t stop revealing terrible truths about Donald—most recently that Don John frequently used racist language during the 2016 campaign and before. (Meanwhile Donald’s racist ad stating that Democrats allowed a Mexican man accused of killing two policemen into the country hilariously backfired when it was revealed that the man came into the country under George Bush and was released by racist felon sheriff Joe Arpaio.)

Mitt Romney railed against Donald’s repeated attacks on the media as the “enemy of the people,” saying “Denigrating the media diminishes an institution that is critical to democracy, both here and abroad…it comes with a large cost to the cause of freedom,” and stating the that media are “very much our friend.”

Social and Civil Rights Advances

Thousands of Google employees across the world staged a walkout last Thursday to protest the company’s payouts of departing executives accused of sexual harassment, and Google’s silence about the allegations.

More than 56 corporations, including giants like Apple, Google, and Facebook, confronted the GOP administration over its recent efforts to attack the civil rights of transgender people.

GoDaddy is the latest business to withdraw from Gab, the far-right hate-speech social media site where Pittsburgh shooter Robert Bowers was active, following PayPal, Medium, Stripe, and Joyent.

Undaunted by GOP attacks on free speech and civil protest of shootings of African Americans, an NFL cheerleader for the San Francisco 49’ers knelt for the national anthem.

University of Maryland football coach DJ Durkin, under whose leadership a player died of heatstroke, lost his job a day after his school announced he’d keep it, after an upswelling of student and lawmaker outcry.

Feel-good Stories of the Week

The New York Times is “failing” all the way to the bank and millions of readers—circulation soared past the 4 million mark this past quarter, a previous record, profits jumped 30 percent, and the stock has gained almost 24% in the last month. Attacks on the press seem to instill a new respect and gratitude for it.

Ben and Jerry’s has resistance ice cream! $100K of profits for Pecan Resist will go to progressive causes “to lick injustice and champion those fighting to create a more just and equitable nation for us all.”

I’d love to say “tens of people” showed up for a rally Steve Bannon tried to hold in Kansas, but in reality the number was only 17. Ten-and-two-thirds of people, I guess…. J

Shepard Smith continues to be the sole voice of reason and fact at FOX News with this extraordinary commentary amid Donald’s baseless fearmongering about the asylum seekers from Central America: “There is no invasion. No one is coming to get you. There’s nothing at all to worry about.” There are over 2,000 miles between Mexico’s southern border and the US, Smith pointed out, and a similar previous incident resulted in only 14 arrests: “We’re America. We can handle it.”

Oprah damn Winfrey went to Georgia and literally campaigned door to door for Stacey Abrams, and it. Was. Awesome. She also gave a phenomenal introduction to the gubernatorial candidate at an Abrams rally that smacked of awesomeness.

Here’s a visual representation of how much we can accomplish when we work together: When a beloved bookstore in Southampton, England, had to move to a new location nearby, more than 200 patrons showed up to help, forming a human conveyor belt passing books along one by one until the entire store was relocated.

Keep this idea in mind when you VOTE.

Voting News! | How your voices are making a difference

10/29/18 “Trump’s condoning of political violence is part of a sustained pattern of attack on a free press”

Voting news!

Early voter turnout levels have been gratifying—first-day voter turnout for early voting resulted in long lines all day across Texas—in Travis County it nearly tripled from 2014; in Dallas more than tripled from 2010 and 2014. Here are up-to-the-minute tallies of turnout county by county in Texas.

After Texas State students complained that Hays County was suppressing student voting by offering truncated polling-station hours on campus for early voting, the county agreed to extend it, as well as to open it for Election Day.

The Dallas News endorsed Beto O’Rourke, stating that his “inclusive and hopeful tone, along with O’Rourke’s approach of starting with shared principles and working toward solutions, offset any policy differences we have with him. Leadership is more than policy, and whether we are addressing the very real challenges before us now turns on our ability to find points of agreement.”

A fabulous new law in Oregon provides that all eligible voters in the state are automatically registered to vote unless they opt out. WHICH IS BRILLIANT. Come on, 49 others—step up.

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Fox and Friends invited four independent voters on, clearly seeking scare reactions regarding the caravan of refugees making its way through Central America, but the stunt backfired hilariously. BTW, if you’d like some excellent rebuttals for ignorant invective against the asylum seekers, you might remind people that seeking asylum is actually legal immigration, not illegal, and that in the last year 70 percent of asylum seekers were found by U.S. judges to have legitimate grounds for fleeing their homeland. Oh, and that in Germany, where Donny likes to tout the entirely fictional apocalyptic effects of refugee resettlement, crime has actually gone down 10 percent. And here’s a fact-checker article debunking Donald’s claims about the caravan.

Meanwhile, in the wake of ten unsuccessful bombing attempts against targets that Donald has expressly incited violence against, more than 200 journalists signed a letter openly accusing Donald of deliberately inciting violence against the press—despite his refusal to accept responsibility even in the face of his own words condoning, praising, and calling for violence against the press and even his attempts to deflect blame onto the media with no rationality or factual backing. “Trump’s condoning of political violence is part of a sustained pattern of attack on a free press – which includes labeling any reportage he doesn’t like as ‘fake news’ and barring reporters and news organizations whom he wishes to punish from press briefings and events.” The letter continues to gather signatures. (And the man apparently behind the bombing is like the poster child for Donald’s base.)

Ever insensitive to anything other than his own interests (and ever reluctant to call terrorism by its name when white people are involved), Donald tweeted that ”this ‘Bomb’ stuff” was hurting Republicans in the midterms because “the news [is] not talking [about] politics.”

Donny may have revoked John Brennan’s security clearance, but he can’t silence the outspoken former head of the CIA. “Stop blaming others. Look in the mirror. Your inflammatory rhetoric, insults, lies, & encouragement of physical violence are disgraceful. Clean up your act. … try to act Presidential. The American people deserve much better. BTW, your critics will not be intimidated into silence,” he wrote on Twitter Weds., as Donald continued to shift blame away from himself for the recent bomb attacks on his political opponents.

A VA official in Donny’s administration hung a picture of the nation’s first KKK grand wizard in his office, despite staff complaints, till they circulated a petition that finally forced him to take it down.

Republicans Reconsidering

This is what happens when you are a transwoman who aligns yourself with the Republican party.

This is what happens when you’re Caitlyn Jenner, a prominent representative for the trans community, and you back Donald and then he tries to invalidate your civil rights not even two years later. “The leader of our nation has shown no regard for an already marginalized and struggling community. He has ignored our humanity. He has insulted our dignity.” Uh, yeah. Did you not see that one coming?

This is what happens when a school in Colorado invites a drag queen to come speak at career day, and some parents freak out—and the school stands by having invited her.

In yet another example of a Republican candidate’s family publicly denouncing his fitness, twelve family members of Nevada GOP gubernatorial candidate Adam Laxalt wrote an op-ed opposing his candidacy on the grounds of his misleading ads, phony claims, and incompetence in a short-lived career as a lawyer, and decrying his positions on immigration, health care, reproductive rights, and other concerns.

Republicans Against the Law

Remember Georgia senator David Perdue snatching a phone from a student’s hand last week when the student asked him a question about voter suppression? The Georgia Tech junior is suing Perdue for battery.

Georgia is having quite a time with its racist Republican self—a federal judge ordered officials in Gwinnett County (my hometown, sadly) to stop tossing absentee ballots on trumped-up charges of signature discrepancies made by non experts.

Yet another White House ethics violation is being cited by a watchdog group—this one against Kellyanne Conway for illegally using political messaging—including MAGA merchandise—in her tweets, and for expressing political views in an official capacity in an interview in her office.

federal court ruled that part of Donald’s order denying federal funding to sanctuary cities is unconstitutional, upholding two lower-court rulings.

Anthony “not trying to suck my own cock” Scaramucci is spewing at the mouth again, this time calling his former boss Donald a liar.

Not for the first time, Donald lied about his supporters, touting the “50,000 people lined up outside whom we love,” seemingly supported by widely circulated picture on social media showing a huge crowd all clad in Republican red—except the picture is actually from Cleveland, not Houston, and isn’t Donald fans but Cleveland Cavaliers fans celebrating the team’s 2016 NBA championship win. In the words of former Donald campaign manager Corey Lewandowsky mocking a young immigrant girl separated from her mother, Womp, womp!

Senator Jeff Flake said on The View that despite not being sure he believed Brett Kavanaugh’s testimony in his Supreme Court nomination hearings, he voted for him anyway.

In response to a NYTimes article revealing that Donald regularly uses unsecured cell phones for communication that are vulnerable to security breaches, Donald stated that he rarely used a cell phone in a fact-free denial of the well-supported article that he tweeted—from his iPhone.

Megyn Kelly’s show was canceled at NBC after she made racially insensitive comments (again).

Your Feel-good Stories of the Week

Along the route of the caravan of asylum seekers coming from Central America, small-town residents throughout Mexico are offering them food, shelter, and kindness. “We know that we are all brothers. What God gives us, we should share,” said one resident. “We do it with a lot of love.”

After the #MeToo movement brought down 201 men credibly accused of sexual abuse and harassment, nearly half their positions have been filled by women.

In the face of the preseident of the United States full-throatedly identifying as a nationalist (like Hitler and Stalin did), you might enjoy this thoughtful TED talk about how nationalism and globalism can coexist.

HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

Early voting goes on through November 2, and the midterm vote is November 6. Find your local polling place here or here. Anyone who needs to get a ride to the polls can call the Travis County Democratic Party at (512) 472-VOTE. (You can sign up for a shift to help drive people to the polls here.) Find out what’s on the ballot here or here. Sign up to help make phone calls to encourage people to the polls here or here or here.

VOTE. VOTE. VOTE.

Democratic candidates for Congress have raised a record $1 billion | How your voices are making a difference

10/22/18 “I guarantee you, if the GOP thinks that black people are voting for them, they will be making sure that your vote counts.”

Let’s start with this stunning news: Democratic candidates for Congress have raised a record $1 billion.

Although our own GOP-led Congress doesn’t seem to have the moral fiber to speak out against Donald’s recent lauding—in the wake of the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi—of Montana congressman Greg Gianforte for body-slamming a reporter, the UK government did, joining a chorus of outrage that throws the GOP’s silence into appalling bas-relief.

Full-throated defense of Robert Mueller’s investigation has come from none other than the Donald-appointed DoJ official charged with overseeing it—Rod Rosenstein calls it “appropriate and independent,” in stark contrast to Donald’s frequent denigration of it as a rigged witch-hunt. “At the end of the day, the public will have confidence that the cases we brought were warranted by the evidence, and that it was an appropriate use of resources.” Take a look at this recap of the last week of the Russia investigation and what it’s unearthing—Mueller is quietly uncovering an enormous web of deceit, illegality, and collusion.

Republicans Reconsidering

Even Donny’s staunch ally, Senator Lindsey Graham, flatly stated that Mohammed bin Salman, the Saudi crown prince, had journalist Jamal Khashoggi murdered.

Even white nationalist treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin backed out of the Davos in the Desert investment conference as a result.

Former Republican congressman Richard Hanna is endorsing Democrat Anthony Brindisi in New York.

Republicans Against the Law

federal judge ordered the immediate enforcement of an Obama-era law designed to protect students cheated by for-profit colleges that had been delayed by Betsy DeVos.

An organization of writers (along with nonprofit organization Protect Democracy and the Yale Law School Media Freedom and Information Clinic) are filing federal suit against Don John for his attacks on the press, alleging that his attempts to stifle the press and his urging of retribution against the media is against the First Amendment and illegal.

ProPublica conducted an extensive investigation into Donald and his family’s business practices and found a pattern of misleading investors and buyers in order to profit from it.

The Southern Poverty Law Center is suing Donald’s White House for its unlawful use of federal funds for arming teachers.

A Georgia journalist and the NAACP are bringing a federal lawsuit against Georgia secretary of state Brian Kemp—also running for governor, perhaps not coincidentally against an African American woman with whom he’s in a dead heat—who recently purged more than a half million (disproportionately African American) voters from the state’s registered rolls, forcing Kemp to release the names of the voters he purged. If the lawsuit is successful, Kemp will have to show detailed information for why he flushed each and every voter.

The ACLU is suing Georgia as well for tossing out absentee ballots after amateur handwriting analysis claimed the signatures looked different from those on the voter registration.

“Draining the Swamp”

In another example of the fine-tuned machine Donald’s cabinet isn’t, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson put out an announcement that one of his top aides would take on the role of acting watchdog at the inspector general’s office in the office of the Interior—only to be embarrassingly repudiated that same day by a spokesperson for the Interior department, stating ““HUD sent out an email that had 100 percent false information in it.” The aide in question, Suzanne Tufts, subsequently resigned.

Interestingly, Tufts would have been overseeing the investigation of Interior Department head Ryan Zinke, who violated the department’s policy on travel in arranging government travel for his wife and an associate.

Meanwhile, apparently chief of staff John Kelly and national security adviser John Bolton got into a screaming match about immigration outside the Oval Office. THE BEST PEOPLE, Donald!

Your Feel-Good Stories of the Week

Yet another Trump property is removing Donald’s name—this one in New York after residents voted to dump the Trump name.

Apparently Piers Morgan didn’t realize how much this revealed about his own fragile masculinity, rather than Daniel Craig’s. Twitter swiftly let him know.

Want to help drive people to the polls from Oct 22 through Nov 6? Sign up here through the Travis County Democratic Party for whatever shift(s) fits your schedule.

“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!’”