It’s been a big week for departures in this episode of Survivor White House Edition (and it’s only Thursday). I wish I had a video to share with you of the celebratory dance I launched into, after the too scared to face the vote so I will just quit Ryan announcement, but the camera crew just wasn’t fast enough. I was told it was fun to watch. With so much exciting news to cover, as one of my favorite TV hosts says, “Let’s get to today’s…” best of the earlier than usual roundup of the good news for resistors.
- Not wanting to face his re-election tribal council without a coveted immunity necklace, Paul Ryan snuffed out his own torch. But Ryan wasn’t alone, he was joined by fellow red tribe member Rep. Dennis Ross (R-FL). I’m upgrading my #BlueWave2018 to #BlueTsunami2018 (as long as we register to vote and head to the polls in November, dragging everyone we know with us).
- Lucky for us, this was a double elimination week, as the White House also lost multiple contestants after injuring themselves in a challenge by tying themselves to McMaster, and were carted out of the game, including, National Security Council spokesman Michael Anton, top homeland security aide, Tom Bossert, Nadia Schadlow, the US deputy national security adviser for strategy, and Ricky Waddell, the No. 2 official on the National Security Council.#Chaos
- Working to make sure everyone is playing fair, the FBI raided the offices and hotel room of Michael Cohen, the liar-in-chief’s lawyer, with a warrant for what news reports are saying have to do with a porn star, some possibly illegal payments, NYC taxi medallions, and more. #FBIRaid
- Oklahoma teachers called off the 9 day walkout after they secured historic gains in education funding and raises for teachers and staff while vowing to seek even more gains through the power of voting. #TeachersRock
🧕🏻STANDING UP FOR IMMIGRANTS: Taking the opposite approach of red tribe governors hoping to avoid elimination, the blue tribe Virginia Gov. vetoed a bill prohibiting localities from becoming sanctuary cities. The Southern Poverty Law Center has sued the U.S. Dept of Homeland Security for blocking immigrants held in extremely isolated civil immigration prisons from their ability to access lawyers claiming the constitution is still the rule in this game; and the ACLU sued them alleging immigration officials are detaining noncitizen spouses while they are at immigration offices completing the process for seeking lawful immigration status in violation of the rules.
📰REAL NEWS IS KING IN THIS GAME so for those looking for information to sway your fellow tribe mates to vote your way, you can check out the newly released searchable database tool from the Americans for Tax Fairness on how much the big corporations won from the tax scam challenge and how little they shared it with the losing little people. And information on CEO pay to employee pay ratios can now be found thanks to SEC rules to help you in your quest to distribute tribe resources more fairly if you check out this article in Bloomberg News.
👛WORKING TOWARDS ECONOMIC EQUALITY the Absolutely incredible teachers in Oklahoma took on the challenge to march 110 miles to the State capital to protest education cuts and teacher pay and when they arrived they encountered support from Teamsters who stood with them by refusing to cross the picket line to work on renovations there. California Atty. Gen. announced the state is part of a coalition of 16 attorneys general who have filed a motion to intervene in the lawsuit filed by Texas and other red states seeking to overturn the Affordable Care Act to argue the Texas challenge is unconstitutional.
🌐NET NEUTRALITY RULES may not be tossed out of the game so fast in Oregon now that the Gov. signed a law prohibiting state agencies from purchasing internet service from providers that violate the core net neutrality principles.
👨🏿⚖️SEEKING RACIAL AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE The ACLU filed a federal class-action lawsuit against Galveston County (TX) for violating the constitutional rights of people arrested who remain in jail because they can’t afford the money bail system. After communities protested the muting of footage minutes after the Stephon Clark shooting, the Sacramento Police Dept. ordered officers to keep their body cameras on until the enforcement activity has concluded, except under limited and specified circumstances and they must say on camera why they are turning off the cameras before doing so. The New York Police Department has agreed not to conduct surveillance based on religion or ethnicity and to listen to Muslims as it develops new training materials as part of a deal to settle claims it illegally spied on Muslims for years. Washington State Supreme Court implemented new rules aimed at eliminating racial bias in jury selection.
🌎SAVING THE ENVIRONMENT The Virginia Gov. vetoed a bill which would limit the governor’s authority to use a market-based carbon trading program to reduce carbon pollution and grow the clean energy sector. The U.S. Dept of Justice announced that U.S. Steel Corporation will pay a $600,000 civil penalty and reimburse the govt for response costs to settle allegations it contaminated waterways at Lake Michigan in violation of the Clean Water Act. Recreational and commercial vessels will no longer be allowed to release treated or untreated sewage into Puget Sound waters under new rules approved by Washington State, the first such no discharge zone in the Pacific Northwest. The California Attorney General sued the EPA for withdrawing a policy that imposed strict limits on hazardous air pollutants from factories and other types of facilities considered “major” polluters. A British supermarket chain, Iceland, announced that it is removing palm oil from its own-brand food to help to stem deforestation in Indonesia and Malaysia to save the planet we all live on.
👩#MeToo and WOMEN’S RIGHTS LAWS are creating a more fair and safer playing field. Maryland passed a law explicitly barring police officers from having sex with people in their custody. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously held that workers’ previous salaries can’t be used to justify unequal pay for women and men doing the same job. Malawi announced that the country has reduced the rate of child marriages from 50 per cent in 2015 to 42 per cent in 2017.
🗽BECAUSE MONUMENTS AND NAMES MATTER the Madison Common Council (WI) voted to remove a Confederate monument at a Madison cemetery. Montgomery County (MD) will name its newest school the Bayard Rustin Elementary after an openly gay civil rights champion and is the first school in the district to honor a gay activists.
🕬 GUN CONTROL ACTIVISM AND REFORM CONTINUES IN FULL SWING with New Jersey Gov. signing an executive “Name and Shame” order requiring state authorities to publish information about where guns used in crimes originated I’m guessing in the hopes that it will embarrass those states into action. The Bank of America announced they will stop lending money to companies that manufacture “military-style” rifles that are available for civilians to purchase. The city of Missoula sued Montana’s attorney general to challenge his opinion, which is final unless overruled by a judge, that the city cannot expand background checks to include private gun sales in the city because it is prohibited by state law. Parkland Florida School District voted not to arm teachers. Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America worked tirelessly to help get Maryland lawmakers to pass a series of gun violence prevention bills including allowing temporarily restricting a person’s access to firearms to prevent them from harming themselves or others, requiring convicted domestic abusers to surrender guns, and prohibiting bump stocks.
Thanks to lots of activism, the Brooklyn (NY) Friends of the NRA fundraiser was chased out of multiple venues and have now called off their event, shout out to Gays Against Guns and others who helped make this happen. Students at a high school in Miami held a walkout after a student and former student at the school were shot and killed. Laura Ingraham lost more advertisers including IBM and Blue Apron.
🏳️🌈LGBTQ PROGRESS from California to Minnesota and many states in between. A Southern District Court of Texas judge ruled that workers can’t be discriminated against based on their gender identity or sexual orientation, the first Texas based federal court to do so. Minneapolis Public Schools have updated their policies and computer systems so students can now complete paperwork to be identified by their gender of choice, which will be honored by the district. A Louisiana school district permitted a transgender student’s photo of her in feminine attire to stay in a school yearbook and allowed her to walk at graduation wearing makeup, heels, and a wig over the principal’s objection. Long Beach’s (CA) first Latino mayor and its first openly gay mayor was re-elected with 79% of the vote. A High Court judge in Trinidad and Tobago struck down a law that criminalized “gay” sex in the islands.
🤰🏽 TO KEEP A WOMEN’S RIGHT TO CHOOSE we don’t stop going to court. The Center for Reproductive Rights filed suit challenging not just the recent 15 week abortion ban passed in Mississippi, and since they had to go back to court again they tossed into the suit dozens of older laws and regulations designed to limit access to abortion in the state, including mandatory counseling, a 24-hour waiting period, and allowing only physicians to perform abortions. Not to be outdone, the ACLU has now sued Kentucky for the third time in two years for blocking access to abortion, this time for banning the most common and safest form of abortion. A Montana State judge has blocked the state from enforcing a law prohibiting certain nurses from performing abortions in a case brought by the ACLU and Center for Reproductive Rights.
🕫🗳️VOTING MOBILIZATION IS OFF AND RUNNING IN California where they announced the pre-registration of teens to vote before they turn 18 to get them into the voting game is accelerating and building on that momentum the state launched HighSchool.sos.ca.gov, a website to connect youth with civic engagement opportunities.
💓TRYING TO STOP THE SPREAD OF HATE so everyone feels welcome and safe, the Muslim Advocates and Democracy Forward Foundation sued the Dept of Justice and the Dept of Homeland Security for allegedly issuing a report on terrorism that was biased, misleading and incomplete and in violation of the law requiring information disseminated to the public by federal agencies to be of quality, objectivity, and integrity. Anti-Muslim activist John Guandolo was forced to cancel five speaking engagements in Midwestern cities after protesters put pressure on the venues through protests leading them to back out. Jamie Allman, a commentator on a Sinclair Broadcast Group-owned TV station in St. Louis resigned after he made an ugly, sexually explicit, threat on twitter against David Hogg, an outspoken Parkland high school mass shooting survivor. A group of plaintiffs led by the Southern Coalition for Social Justice has sued a former member of disbanded presidential commission on voter fraud for inaccurately accusing hundreds of citizens in Virginians of felonies for allegedly illegal registering to vote as ineligible immigrants.
👩🎓BREAKING BARRIERS Sen. Tammy Duckworth became the first U.S. Senator to give birth while in office.
📜FREEDOM OF INFORMATION Democracy Forward has sued the U.S. Office of Management and Budget after it failed to comply with a Freedom of Information request to provide information on Ivanka’s role in the repeal of rules requiring major employers to report data on the gendered breakdown of their employees’ wages. The White House released a trove of White House visitor logs as part of a settlement with groups that had sued to obtain them.
🙂FOR YOUR INFORMATION A federal judge denied Paul Manafort’s request to ease his bail conditions so he is still not allowed to come out and play. Late breaking news hints (or more accurately – blasts it all over the front page) that Comey’s book is a devastating, tell-all, take down of the cheeto-in-chief. Will it be on every book club list?
⚖️FORCING ETHICS ONTO THE ADMINISTRATION The acting director of the U.S. Office of Government Ethics, took the atypical step of instructing EPA’s principal deputy general counsel and the agency’s top ethics official to investigate a laundry list of potential violations by Pruitt. End Citizens United filed an FEC complaint against Rick Scott alleging one if his PACs was used to skirt federal restrictions on donations for “testing the waters” committees for potential elected office. If you want a good read on why the raging-lunatic-in-chief can’t fire Mueller then Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington has one for you.
📘ELECTION WIN Democrat Lori Berman won a special election for a Palm Beach County Senate district seat, holding on to a democratic seat.
That’s a wrap for this week. The next roundup will be available on April 22nd. Feel free to comment on and share any other good news you have during the long intermission. Consider subscribing to the blog, if you don’t already, to get the inspiring news roundup right to your inbox as soon as it’s ready instead of having to wait for the link to be posted on Facebook and Twitter.