What Went Right back by popular demand for this week. I couldn’t narrow down my favorites this week, so the list is long.
1. All 100 Senators, in a rare show of unity, sent a letter to Homeland Security, the Attorney General, and the FBI urging them to assist in protecting Jewish institutions and help prosecute those who threaten them in response to a rise in anti-Semitism
2.The Supreme Court ruled that when a juror makes a clear statement indicating that they relied on racial stereotypes or animus to convict, jury secrecy rules give way to allow a review of the jury deliberations to determine if the defendant was denied a fair trial. Justice Kennedy wrote “An effort to address the most grave… racial bias is… an effort… to ensure that our legal system remains capable of coming ever closer to the promise of equal treatment under the law that is so central to a functioning democracy.
3. In a roundup up of state actions; Maryland passed an extension of a successful state program aimed at reducing per-capita energy use, reminding us that environmental protections also happen at the local and state level. The Republican Governor of Massachusetts broke with the usual Republican position and pledged to replace any lost federal Planned Parenthood funds with state funds. Two New Mexico bills that would have placed restrictions on abortions were killed by a NM House Committee. And going big out there in Texas, democratic State Rep. Jessica Farrar, filed a bill that would penalize men for “unregulated masturbatory emissions” and regulate Viagra use.
4. The fight against TrumpCare gained powerful supporters when the AARP, the American Medical Association, and the largest Health Insurance trade association, announced that they didn’t support it as drafted because of the expected decline in health insurance coverage and the potential harm it would cause to vulnerable patient populations.
5. Hawaii, New York, Massachusetts, Washington, and Oregon filed lawsuits against the revised travel ban, arguing the order will harm its Muslim population, tourism and foreign students.
6. The SPLC secured the release of Daniela Vargas, a 22-year-old DREAMER, from ICE custody after 10 days in detention after she was detained moments after speaking publicly about immigrants’ rights. Her arrest was a transparent attempt to chill free speech and intimidate immigrants who speak up. These are your donations at work.
7. Just to prove to you that Canada isn’t the only cool place to live, Iceland announced it will soon require all employers with more than 25 employees to certify they give equal pay for work of equal value. While other countries, and Minnesota, have equal-salary policies, Iceland is the first to make it mandatory for both private and public firms. If they can do it there, we can do it here.
8. Two democratic candidates in very conservative districts are raising large amounts of money in their bids to give republican candidates a run for their money. Jon Ossoff, is running for Congress in a special election in April to fill Tom Price’s seat and has raised almost 3 million. Kathryn Allen, a democrat and doctor, in Utah was so outraged by Jason Chaffetz’s infamous i-phone/healthcare comment that she decided to run against him after her exploratory steps raised over $350,000 in just days.
9. International Women’s Day brought out thousands of people in many cities across the country for demonstrations, while a call for pro-trump rallies brought out only a tiny handful of people at a few locations with headlines like “tens of people showed up”.
10. I try not to make this post controversial and would not usually consider death good news and I have no doubt I will face many unpleasant comments over this, but nevertheless I will persist on behalf of all the people who have been saved from future harm. Joseph Nicolosi, a co-founder and acting practitioner of gay conversion therapy died and will no longer be able to inflict untold suffering on those facing his extremely damaging brand of torture.
Keep those donations flowing, those protests loud, those phone calls, emails, letters and postcards rolling out, and consider running for office no matter where you live.