Most of this is going to be a reposting the stuff that I put up yesterday that disappeared when my browser froze trying to do a final save. (Hey, news orgs, your websites are CONGESTED AF with ads and auto-playing videos and garbage the clogs up multi-tab browsing like an unfortunate possum in a sewer line. Cut it out.)
But, of course, the big news of the day first--
- On March 5th, 2017, Sean Spicer had the unfortunate job of (or the audacity to, it's still not clear if we should pity him or not) demanding that any congressional investigation into DT's Russia ties must include an investigation into whether or not President Barack Obama abused his executive powers to wiretap DT during the campaign, or else the White House will not cooperate with the investigation. So, to be clear-- the White House is demanding that Congress investigate a Breitbart article.
- On March 5th, 2017, FBI Director James Comey asked the Justice Department to publicly reject DT's assertion that Obama ordered wiretapping of him while he was a candidate.
- On March 5th, 2017, the Washington Post cited SEVENTEEN DIFFERENT SOURCES, several by name, in an article about what a petulant, raging man-baby DT is.
And now the catch ups-- I'm going to try something where I do these in loose categories, really because I can't handle putting anything else up after I go through the hate speech and crimes stuff.
Immigrants and Immigration
- On February 28th, 2017, a Denver City Attorney said that victims of violent crimes, as well as witnesses, have refused to show up to testify in court because they are afraid they will be detained and deported at court appearances. So much for that whole "law and order" thing.
- On March 1st, 2017, Time magazine reported that Pastor Sam Rodriguez, Jr. will be joining Jackie Evancho in the exclusive club of inauguration participants who laid down with dogs and were surprised to get up with flees. Rodriguez said the prayer at DT's inauguration and is a pastor at a church where several undocumented immigrants worship. The week that DT expanded federal deportation policy, he set up 30 cots in his church to provide safe haven to those afraid to go home for fear of being targeted for detainment and deportation. I guess doing the right thing is better late than never...?
- On March 2nd, 2017, the New York Daily News reported that undocumented immigrants contribute $40B (that's forty billion dollars) to New York state's economy every year.
- On March 3rd, 2017, NBC reported that the Department of Homeland Security has secured 20,000 beds to house asylum seekers and immigration detainees indefinitely, in anticipation of expanded immigration executive orders from DT. The anticipated orders are expected to divide women and children, leaving parents to decide to either return to countries where they are fleeing violence and abuse with their children, or to be imprisoned, indefinitely and separately, from their children.
- On March 3rd, 2017, numerous outlets (but this one isn't behind a paywall) reported that Jose Escobar, a refugee from El Salvador, was deported last week essentially because of bad legal advice from the only attorney he could afford while attempting to navigate the difficult immigration system in the US. He was sent back to El Salvador in his work clothes, as he was picked up at his job and not allowed to go home or get anything to take with him. Escobar has a naturalized citizen wife and two native born children in the US. He has no family or friends in El Salvador.
- On March 4th, 2017, a federal judge in California filed a restraining order to prevent an Afghan family of 5, all with visas, from being flown to Texas, likely to a family detention center, after being detained at LAX for 2 days. Afghanistan is not even on the list of countries on DT's infamous "Muslim ban."
- On March 5th, 2017, the Washington Post reported that thousands of ICE detainees have brought a class action lawsuit against a private prison for violations of the 13th Amendment, forcing detainees to work for $1 a day, or sometimes nothing at all.
- On March 5th, 2017, the Washington Post reported that an American citizen seeking tuition assistance was denied because her mother, who is a documented, tax paying immigrant, is not, herself a citizen.
- On March 2nd, 2017, the Department of Transportation indefinitely suspended public comment on two consumer protection measures put forth by the agency during President Barack Obama's administration that would require airlines to be more transparent about their fees. The measures are expected to be eliminated, as DT looks to slash and burn regulations wherever possible.
- On March 3rd, 2017, two republican members of the House of Representatives signed on to demand that the House Oversight Committee request DT's tax returns to examine for conflicts of interest. If you live in the district of either Representative Mark Sanford of South Carolina or Representative Walter Jones of North Carolina, maybe give them a call and thank them for standing up for what's right.
- On March 3rd, 2017, the Department of Justice, under the direction of noted racist and now Russian fraternizer Attorney General Jeff Sessions, halted and then restarted a review and reform project of the Memphis Police Department. You know, like a fine tuned machine.
- On March 3rd, 2017, in what should be the weirdest thing happening in the government right now but sadly doesn't even come close, Senator Rand Paul stood protest outside of the locked room where the House Energy and Commerce Committee were reportedly keeping under lock and key the draft of the ACA repeal and replace health care bill.
- On March 3rd, 2017, the New York Times reported that DT may expand the Pentagon's authority to conduct raids, taking him out of the equation and allowing generals to decide and execute the raids. Presumably, this is because a) his job is soooo hard, you guys, so much harder, how could anyone have known how hard it is? and b) the one time he authorized a raid, without proper intelligence and apparently without participating in the situation room, it went horribly and he's been dragged over the coals for the deaths of a Navy SEAL and an 8-year-old American girl who died as a result.
- On March 3rd, 2017, several congressional lawmakers and mayors of cities bordering the Great Lakes spoke out against DT's reported 97% cut to the EPA's budget for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. Yes, 97%.
- On March 1st, 2017, Morehouse College President John Silvanus Wilson, Jr. published a statement declaring his disappointment with DT's meeting at the Oval Office with Wilson and other HBCU Presidents. While DT has bandied around a lot of nebulous promises about being "better for the Black community than Barack Obama," the meeting apparently yielded no concrete information or policy. Wilson also directed his frustration toward the ignorance of Betsy DeVos who stated that HBCUs, which were founded after the Civil War and during Jim Crow when other universities would accept Black students, were "pioneers of school choice." Apparently, the whole thing really was just an Instagram opportunity for Kellyanne Conway.
- On March 2nd, 2017, the Arkansas Times reported that state Representative Kim Hendren has introduced a bill banning the teaching of books or articles by Howard Zinn (published after 1959) in Arkansas public schools. Contrary to common sense, you should absolutely read the comments on this article (see a particular gem below).
- On March 2nd, 2017, The News & Observer reported that the Chapel Hill-Carrboro school system will cancel classes on Wednesday, March 8th, because so many teachers will be participating in the general strike A Day Without a Woman. "The Chapel Hill-Carrboro school system’s employee makeup is 75 percent women." If you can afford to join them without risking your financial security, I encourage you to join me by doing no paid or unpaid work on Wednesday. If you can't strike, you can always wear red in solidarity!
Extreme Anti-Abortion Laws Sweeping the States
- On February 27th, 2017, a gruesome and traumatizing abortion bill passed the Montana state senate that would require doctors to deliver a fetus at 24 weeks by inducing labor or performing a cesarean section rather than perform an abortion, and once the fetus is delivered, would have to attempt to resuscitate it, regardless of the fetus's viability. Doctors, as well as abortion seekers, would be subject to felony prosecution if they do not follow the morbid law.
- On February 28th, 2017, a 20 week abortion ban was advanced by the Iowa state senate. "The proposal says that except in the case of a medical emergency, an abortion could not be performed unless a doctor first made a determination of the probable post-fertilization age of the pregnancy. It would prohibit most abortions after 20 weeks."
- On March 1st, 2017, Tennessee Attorney General filed a written opinion that a proposed "heartbeat bill" in the state legislature would be struck down in court, as similar bills from other states have been. The bill would make abortion illegal once a fetal heartbeat can be detected, before many women even realize that they are pregnant.
Hate Crime and Hate Speech News - Assume Potentially Triggering Material From Here On Out
- On March 3rd, 2017, a North Carolina man was arrested for assaulting, harassing, and threatening a gay couple while on vacation in Key West. During the attack, Brandon Ray Davis reportedly told them in between gay slurs, "You live in Trump country, now!" and when one of them said they would call 911 after Davis, who was drunk, drove a rented motorized scooter into the victim's back bike wheel, knocking him to the ground, replied, "If you do that, I'll cut you up."
- On March 4th, 2017, a Sikh man who was repairing his car in his own driveway in Kent, Washington, was shot in the arm by a random gunman who told him "Go back to your own country" before shooting. The Sikh gentleman was rushed to a nearby hospital where he was held and treated for non-life threatening injuries. The shooter is still at large.
- On March 5th, 2017, the Guardian reported that neo-Nazis, anti-semites, and other alt-right scum are thrilled at all the attention they are getting from left-wing media because it apparently makes certain hate terms meaningless, allowing the groups to flourish.