I think a lot of us can use something to cheer us up and motivate us to continue on. So let me start with the breaking news today that the Far Right Has Lost the French Presidential Election. Now on to the roundup of what went right this past week ending 5/6/17.
- The Supreme Court ruled that under federal housing law cities can sue banks for discriminatory lending practices that hurt low-income neighborhood, holding that “cities can be an “aggrieved person” who can sue over the impact of housing discrimination on the city’s finances. SCOTUS also rejected an appeal on religious freedom grounds to a California law banning gay conversion therapy, leaving the law intact.
- In more good legal news, a federal court reinstated a Kentucky couple’s case for damages against Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis, who refused to give them a marriage license. The court ruled that Kentucky changing marriage licenses in 2016 did not eliminate the harm Davis may have done to their constitutional right to marry in 2015. A gay couple won a landmark legal ruling that paves the way for same-sex marriage in Bermuda when the Bermuda Supreme Court found that the Human Rights Act took primacy in Bermuda and protected their right to marry.
- A Federal Appeals court denied to rehear a case upholding rules on net neutrality that that forbid internet providers from blocking or slowing internet traffic. Activists at Fight for the Future raised $25,000 through a crowdfunding campaign to purchase full-size billboards on heavily traveled roads in the home states of four Republicans who lead the passage of the bill allowing the sale of browser history. The billboards will show how much Blackburn, Heller, Rutherford, and Flake took from the telecom industry. In un-legal news, the ACLU reversed course and said it won’t file a lawsuit challenging the executive order on religious political exemptions because the “signing was an elaborate photo-op with no discernible policy outcome.” After careful review the ACLU determined that the assertion that the Executive Order would “‘totally destroy’ the Johnson Amendment has proven to be a textbook case of ‘fake news’”
- As part of the effort to follow the WH order to reduce regulations, the EPA is collecting public comments by phone, online, and in writing, about which clean water regs should be targeted and so far 6,000 comments have been published and they are dominated by those staunchly opposed to the regulatory rollback. You have until May 15th to post your comments. You don’t need to be an expert. Do it here.
- I’m going to call the budget deal a win, while some may disagree for a variety of reasons, it does not include money for a wall, increases federal spending on medical research, green energy programs, saves PBS and the arts, and other areas the WH pegged for reductions. While it does include $1.5 billion for border security, the money is for technology and infrastructure repairs, not more detention facilities or deportation officers. The legislation is also free of policy riders intended to restrict abortion access or loosen financial regulations, it prevents the DOJ from using any funds to prevent implementation of state medical marijuana laws, or serve other Republican priorities.
- The Boston Red Sox permanently banned a fan from attending for making racial slurs against the Kenyan singing the National Anthem, after his comment was reported to them by another white fan. Trayvon Martin’s parents will accept a posthumous bachelor of science degree in aeronautical science conferred on him by Florida Memorial University “in honor of the steps he took during his young life toward becoming a pilot” before he was killed. In other University good news, Butler College in Pence’s home state is now offering a course entitled “Trumpism and US Democracy” The course describes 45 as perpetuator of “sexism, white supremacy, xenophobia, nationalism, nativism and imperialism” and explains that students will discuss and possibly engage in strategies for resistance. Since I don’t know of any resistors who were actually paid for protesting, contrary to republican claims, I guess college credit will have to do.
- The CEO of KeraVada, a black hair care product company, removed his hair products from an Asian owned Beauty Supply company after learning the company mistreated black women at the store. An international group defiantly opposed to the Roman Catholic Church’s ban on women priests, the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests, ordained its first woman Catholic priest in the Catholic Diocese of Charlotte NC.
- The major television networks, ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, and CNN have all refused to run twittler’s 100 days of accomplishment propaganda ad. CNN said “the advertiser must remove the false graphic that the mainstream media is ‘fake news”. As the mainstream media is not fake news, and therefore the ad is false and per policy will be accepted only if that graphic is deleted.”
- The second nominee for Army Secretary, Mark Green, withdrew his nomination after weeks of withering criticism over his past extremist statements against LGBTQ and Muslims communities. The first nominee withdrew because of financial entanglements. Another Republican Congressperson has announced they will not run for re-election in 2018. The decision by Florida Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen not to run gives Democrats a chance to pick up a seat in the 2018, as her district went for Clinton in 2016.
- New Yorkers gave 45 an appropriate welcome home by coming out in thousands to boo him and unfurl anti-trump banners. He was so afraid of the protestors that he ran away to his home in NJ rather than stay in NYC.
Feel free to comment on anything I missed. The fight to save the Affordable Care Act is not over. It is more important now more than ever to write, call, fax, text, tweet, email, and show up at your Senator’s office or town hall meeting to demand they vote against repealing the ACA.