Welcome 😄 to Friday’s Roundup of Good News!
So now Trump is lying about the weather. Which, it turns out, is illegal, especially the way he is doing it. He also made up interactions with the Chinese in order to influence the stock market. Also illegal. The problem is that the DoJ has decided that they can’t indict the president while he’s in office.
My guess is that, after we drag Trump out of the White House, he’s going to keep tweeting. He’s gotten used to the attention. And so he’ll continue to lie to the public, but without that stupid DoJ memo to protect him. Until we can confine him in the prison he deserves.
But will we be able to get him out of office? I believe so. So do plenty of others. And if you read further, you can see that it looks like some of the Rs agree with us. Of course, we’re going to work like the dickens to do it.
Here’s a story that they don’t want to get more attention: how that stupid wall is costing states. And a whole bunch of other stuff.
Anyway, come on in and fortify yourselves for the work we have to do.
Regular Scheduled Programming
No one here is naïve; we are aware of the very bad stuff that is happening. Some of us expected it: the cheating, the lying, the chaos, and yes, even the attempts to cling to power despite the clear will of the people. But we are here to read the efforts and the positive results of those (including us and our fellow gnus) who are working so hard to save our country from those very bad people. We are furious with them for what they are doing and we are letting them know. Remember:
💚 There are more of us than there are of them.
💛 They are terrified when we organize. THERE IS LOTS OF EVIDENCE THAT THEY ARE TERRIFIED!
💔 They want us to be demoralized. We have to keep demoralizing them. Name, blame and shame! IT IS WORKING! WE HAVE EVIDENCE THAT THEY ARE DEMORALIZED!
💙 The best way to keep up your spirits is to fight. So, take the time to recharge your batteries, but find ways to contribute to the well-being of our country and our world.
💙 Toxic 🍄 Trump Matters 👎 & Russia, Russia, Russia 🐻
⚖ 🔎 Trump stalked by investigations he tried to stonewall
With all the focus on how a largely symbolic impeachment might affect Donald Trump’s re-election prospects, numerous investigations and lawsuits concerning the president and his associates seem to have dropped off the political radar. But they are still going—and could affect the result of the next election.
Trump has done his best to stonewall many of these matters, particularly those before Congress, by litigating almost every demand for testimony and other evidence. That strategy of maximum resistance could backfire.
That’s because the string could well run out on many of Trump’s defenses in the coming months, and the investigations—and accompanying revelations—could accelerate immediately before Election Day 2020, making Trump’s misconduct a renewed focus of public attention as voters prepare to go to the polls.
The article at The Daily Beast reviews Obstruction of Justice, Financial Corruption, Influence Peddling (bribery), Profiting from the Presidency (emoluments), and Defamation. And the authors point out that there’s a lot more going on.
🚫US Bans Trump Inaugural Attendee Because of Corruption
The State Department banned a Romanian politician accused of corruption from entering the U.S. Thursday, after he spent years cozying up to influential GOPers for access to Washington.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued an order barring Romanian politico Liviu Dragnea and his immediate family from entering the U.S. over allegations of “significant corruption.”
Before being banned, Dragnea attended Trump’s 2016 inaugural bash reportedly on invitation from GOP fundraiser Elliott Broidy. The LA-based Republican financier was reportedly offering access to top U.S. officials at the event.
🐊 Draining the Swamp 🐊
Where swamp refers not just to financial corruption, but all things bad.
🚒 Pennsylvania township shuts entire volunteer fire company over Proud Boys connection
A Pennsylvania township took an unprecedented step against Trump-fueled racism and violence this week, shutting down an entire volunteer firefighter company after it was revealed that the company’s vice president had ties to the Southern Poverty Law Center-designated hate group known as the Proud Boys—and that the company had no plans to take action on its own.
Haverford Township said Wednesday that one of its five fire companies had been “relieved of duty indefinitely” after officials were told by the organization that it would not dismiss a volunteer who admitted he had been in the process of joining the controversial far-right men’s group the Proud Boys.
“Given the fire company board’s failure to act, the township is compelled to take action,” the township said in a statement. “Effective by close of business Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2019, the Bon Air Fire Company has been relieved of duty indefinitely.”
Bon Air has operated in service since 1918, and is one of five fire companies operating within the township. Much of its firefighting equipment, and specifically its fire trucks, are township-owned. As noted by the Philadelphia Inquirer, the volunteer, identified as Bruce McClay Jr. and listed on the company’s website as a lieutenant and vice president of Bon Air’s board of directors, allegedly tendered his resignation to the company ‘s board after his participation in Proud Boys events and initiation rites was revealed, but the company refused to accept it.
💙 Democrats Are Great 🌊
Republicans 🐘 Got Nothing 👎
🗡🗡🗡🗡Pelosi accuses Pence of selling out the Constitution
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) had sharp words for Vice President Mike Pence, who stayed at an out-of-the-way Trump resort during his Ireland trip, accusing him Wednesday of “selling out the Constitution.”
“Vice President Pence promised that their Administration would defend the Constitution and stand by a ‘strict constructionist’ interpretation of the Constitution,” she said in a written statement. “Instead the Trump-Pence Administration is ignoring the text itself and selling out the Constitution to line Trump’s pockets.”
“Trump properties are a cesspool of corruption, a black hole for taxpayers’ money, an exploiter of immigrant labor and a national security threat with a suspected foreign spy walking the halls,” she added, continuing to list specific areas of corruption.
Them’s VERY sharp words, indeed…
💛 Republican senators’ lose military funding due to stupid wall
Six Republican senators who are up for reelection in 2020 and who voted to support Donald Trump’s emergency wall declaration are about to watch their states lose millions of dollars in funding to build that wall. Sen. Thom Tillis is expected to face a tough battle in North Carolina, and now the state is losing $80 million. A $32.9 million elementary school at Fort Bragg had already been canceled, and now it’s joined by $40 million for a battalion complex and ambulatory care center at Camp Lejeune. No Florida senators are up in 2020, but that state, too, is losing military construction money that was supposed to go to hurricane-damaged bases.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s home state of Kentucky is losing $62 million, some of which was also slated for building a school. Sorry, military kids!
Arizona Sen. Martha McSally, up for election after losing in 2018 and being appointed to replace the late Sen. John McCain, had claimed to have assurances from the Defense Department that her state would be spared cuts. Not so much. Arizona is losing $30 million.
Colorado, where Sen. Cory Gardner is already pretty much toast, is losing $8 million. Sen. Lindsey Graham is campaigning as South Carolina sees $11 million go to the wall. And Sen. John Cornyn will face a challenge in Texas as $48 million slated for pre-existing construction projects gets siphoned off to the border.
💙 🔨 Thanks to hpg… it’s on, baby
💙 💛 And I found this on my own
❓ 💛 ❓And why are so many Rs retiring?
As of this morning, there are 12 House Republicans retiring at the end of this term, as well as four House Democrats. (This total does not include two Republicans, Pennsylvania’s Tom Marino and Wisconsin’s Sean Duffy, who resigned. It also doesn’t include North Carolina’s Walter Jones, who died earlier this year.) ✂️
But given that Election Day 2020 is still 425 days away, 12 retirement announcements from one party’s House conference is quite a few. In fact, it’s roughly in line with the retirement tally from this point two years ago – which set a high bar for recent cycles and was a rather brutal year for House Republicans, who ended up suffering the most number of losses than any midterm cycle since the immediate aftermath of Watergate.
The larger question, of course, is why we’re seeing so many retirement announcements.
Theories: no fun being in the minority; Trump is a jerk, even to Rs (and his behavior is exhausting & embarrassing); Rs have self-imposed committee term limits. My theory: there’s ugly stuff we don’t know about that is going to come out.
BEYOND THE BELTWAY
5 East Coast governors push feds on offshore windpower
BOSTON (AP) — The governors of five East Coast states are urging federal regulators not to put any additional roadblocks in the way of the country's nascent offshore wind industry.
The governors of Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire and Virginia said in a letter Tuesday to Interior Secretary David Bernhardt and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross that offshore wind power will help strengthen America's energy independence while creating thousands of jobs.
The group, including Republican Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker, said they're disappointed by a recent decision to delay final permitting of the planned 84-turbine Vineyard Wind project south of Martha's Vineyard.
Note that it includes a Republican!
👍 Gov. Pritzker pardons army vet deported to Mexico
CHICAGO (AP) — The governor of Illinois said Friday he’s erased the drug conviction of an Army veteran who was deported to Mexico in 2018, a step that the man’s supporters hope will help him return to the U.S.
“I recognize this pardon is not a perfect solution, but it is the most just action to take to allow a U.S. veteran the opportunity to be treated fairly by the country he served,” Gov. J.B. Pritzker said.
Miguel Perez Jr., 41, who was born in Mexico, doesn’t have U.S. citizenship but had a green card as a permanent U.S. resident. He joined the Army in 2002 and served in Afghanistan where he suffered a brain injury. He’s been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.
Perez served 7 years in prison due to a cocaine charge.
💪 Governor Sisolak joins other governors protesting changes to food stamp rules
Gov. Steve Sisolak has joined 16 other governors in a letter strongly opposing changes to the federal food stamp program he says would end assistance to some 46,000 Nevadans.
The USDA has proposed changes that would impose a resource test on all applications to the program, officially known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). He said that would effectively eliminate Broad-Based Categorical Eligibility for assistance, reducing the number of people who qualify by about 11 percent.
💉 Governor Lujan Grisham works to strengthen health care in New Mexico
Santa Fe, N.M. – The Human Services Department (HSD) announced Friday the next step in Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s multi-phase strategy addressing New Mexico’s health care delivery network. Here is a statement from the Governor's office:
A $78.5 million Medicaid provider rate increase, effective Oct. 1, will bolster those providers who deliver care and services to the most vulnerable New Mexicans and help rebuild and protect New Mexico’s health care delivery network, particularly in rural areas for providers of behavioral health, primary care, dental services, and teleconsultation services to Medicaid clients.
“We have a long way to go in rebuilding our health care delivery network in New Mexico, and every step we take is a positive development,” Gov. Lujan Grisham said. “I want New Mexicans to know we are firmly committed to creating the best possible environment for service providers and patients all across New Mexico.”
🐍 Schadenfreude 🍎
👎 🐍 💰 Liar Alex Jones loses appeal in Sandy Hook case
Infowars founder Alex Jones has lost another legal battle against families who lost loved ones in the Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting.
Jones must now pay all costs associated with an appeal filed against a parent of a Sandy Hook Elementary School victim, says the Texas Court of Appeals. ✂️
Jones currently has lawsuits filed against him by multiple families of Sandy Hook victims in Connecticut and Texas. Ogden, who represents Heslin with the Houston-based firm Farrar & Ball, said the costs of the appeal process could likely total thousands of dollars.
Based on some of the “sister suits” in progress in Connecticut filed by other victims’ families, Ogden anticipates “tens of thousands of documents” to be turned over in the discovery process if Jones complies. In the meantime, they plan to file a motion for sanctions against Jones for discovery abuse.
👎🐍 Jacob Wohl, another conservative hoaxer, gets felony charge in California
Jacob Wohl – the deceptive, pro-Trump internet hoaxer who was banned from Twitter in February after receiving national attention – has been charged with illegal sale of securities.
Riverside, California, Superior Court records show the felony charge was issued on Aug. 19. The charge stems from an incident that allegedly occurred in July 2016, the records say.
On Wednesday, an arraignment for Wohl was scheduled for Oct. 24, according to The Daily Beast and online court records.
📣🏅 Let’s Honor Truth 🏅☀️
🌻 This week’s award goes to Acting Inspector General Joanne M. Chiedi
She joined the government in the time of President Clinton, and has certainly risked her career under Trump to report on the horror and shame at the border — the trauma that was deliberately created in children when they were separated from their parents.
Citing interviews with approximately 100 mental health clinicians, as well as medical coordinators, facility leadership, and 28 federal field specialists assigned to 45 ORR facilities around the country, Acting Inspector General Joanne M. Chiedi found that “separated children exhibited more fear, feelings of abandonment, and post-traumatic stress” than children who were not separated from their families.
“Separated children experienced heightened feelings of anxiety and loss as a result of their unexpected separation from their parents after their arrival in the United States,” the report states, citing program directors and mental health clinicians tasked with caring for nearly 9,000 children, almost 90 percent of whom were from Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. “For example, some separated children expressed acute grief that caused them to cry inconsolably.”
The trauma described in the 48-page report is brutal. One program director described a 7- or 8-year-old boy separated from his father as being “under the delusion that his father had been killed and believed that he would also be killed.” The boy required emergency psychiatric care.
I really hope they find out who was behind these cruel policies, and if they cannot be punished legally, they are permanently pariahed (look, I made a verb).
🌹 Let’s Celebrate Love ❤️
🐶 Woman opens her home to 97 dogs to protect them from hurricane Dorian
With Hurricane Dorian wrecking [sic, s.b. wreaking] havoc on the Bahamas, dozens of dogs have been given food, safety, and shelter thanks to one compassionate woman.
Chella Phillips has taken 97 homeless and abandoned dogs into her Nassau home since the storm hit the island this week.
I saw some attempts to give her money in a prior GNR. No need; she received plenty of donations. But she still deserves our thanks for taking care of so many dogs. Canine chaos is reported in the article, with dog pee and poo all throughout the house. So she is a real example of love.
📎📎Odds & Ends 📎📎
Do you remember how Bevin and Trump Jr had an empty crowd? Read the following and smile 😄:
If you see some empty seats at pictures of this event, it is only after they moved the event from a library to an arena. 15,000 in Arkansas.
Hong Kong leader to meet key demands of protesters
HONG KONG (Reuters) - Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam will announce on Wednesday the formal withdrawal of an extradition bill that triggered months of unrest and has thrown the Chinese-controlled city into its worst crisis in decades, Cable TV and other media said.
A government source confirmed the planned withdrawal, which comes just two days after Reuters revealed in an exclusive report that Lam told business leaders last week she had caused "unforgivable havoc" by introducing the bill and that if she had a choice she would apologize and resign, according to a leaked audio recording..
At the closed-door meeting, Lam told the group that she now had "very limited" room to resolve the crisis because the unrest had become a national security and sovereignty issue for China amid rising tensions with the United States.
🚫🔫 🚫CVS and Walgreens join Walmart and Kroger in halting open carry in their stores
CVS and Walgreens both announced Thursday that they are asking customers to no longer openly carry firearms in their stores.
The big picture: The changes follow a mass shooting last month that killed 22 at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas. Earlier this week, Walmart ended sales of ammunition for handguns and short-barrel rifle ammunition that can be used with military-style assault weapons. Walmart also asked customers to no longer open carry in their stores, which was followed by a similar request by Kroger earlier this week. ✂️
- Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action, said: "Prohibiting open carry sends a very strong cultural signal that companies are siding with the safety of families."
💉 I don’t have any love for Facebook, but they’re doing work to prevent the anti-vaxxers from spreading their lies.
Facebook is to take a stand against vaccine denial by directing people searching for information or using vaccine hashtags to web pages set up by public health bodies.
People who access Facebook and Instagram pages and groups that discuss vaccines, as well as those searching or using relevant hashtags, will see an educational module about vaccine safety. Links will take them to a page provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the United States and to the World Health Organization elsewhere in the world.
There has been great concern in the public health community that anti-vaccine sentiment is spreading globally through social media – and in particular through Facebook groups. A report in January found that half of all UK parents of small children had been exposed to misinformation online about the side-effects of vaccination. The Royal Society for Public Health, which published the report, called on Facebook and other social media to do more.
👍 This guy just went out and forged a path
When this 44-year-old farmer saw people in his village struggling to maneuver their long and winding roads, he took it upon himself to make a shortcut.
Nicholas Muchemi is a coffee and tea farmer in the Kenyan village of Kaganda who used his own tools to carve out a new quarter-mile stretch of road in the area.
Prior to Muchemi embarking on his labor of love, villagers were forced to take a much longer route around the steep hills—now, children use the newly-dubbed “Muchemi Road” to get to school; mothers travel shorter distances to get to the nearby market; and neighbors can easily hike to the church at the top of hill.
The local government is pleased and is adding gravel and making plans to maintain it.
Now, making roads in the US requires permits and expertise and everything, so it may not be something you want to try all on your lonesomes. But it is an inspirational story about just going out and taking care of a problem, and we all can do that. In fact, I know that plenty of people who visit here do that themselves, such as picking up trash. Let us know in the comments.
💊 This is from an email I received from CVS. Sorry if it seems like an ad, but it’s an instance of a company doing the right thing:
5 years ago we stopped selling tobacco.
We did it to be true to ourselves as a health care company, and for you and your family. And while quitting tobacco was a momentous step, we didn't stop there. Instead of selling hundreds of millions of packs of cigarettes during those five years, we've supported hundreds of thousands of people as they've quit smoking, and with the CVS Health Foundation we've pledged $50 million to help create a tobacco-free generation and launched an aggressive $10 million strategy to fight the epidemic of youth vaping through an innovative partnership with Discovery Education and the CATCH Global Foundation.
But these initiatives are just the beginning of a broader effort to transform the delivery of health care, one individual and one community at a time.
😄 Finally, if you need a laugh, check out Goodie’s diary on #SharpiePresident
💙 What You Can Do to Rescue Democracy 💙
It turns out that participation in democracy is not just an every-four-years event but requires active participation, like, whenever you can find time. However, given that we have taken back the House, the tactics moving forward need to be different. Indivisible has ideas to share.
This Guide is for what comes next. The 2016 Indivisible Guide was about using constituent power to defend our values, our neighbors, and our democracy. This Guide is about using our constituent power to go on offense.
Offense is exciting, but it’s more complex than defense. We have the opportunity to use congressional oversight to hold Trump and his cronies accountable. We can set the legislative agenda with a bold progressive vision rooted in inclusion, fairness, and justice. But none of this is automatic — we have to demand it of Congress.
And some other ideas:
You can relax and recharge.
You can join protests and freeway blog.
You can help register new voters.
You can smile.
You can get out the vote for special elections.
You can reach out to upset Republicans. Remember, a lot of them crossed over in the midterms! Get them to feel good about being blue.
You can share your ideas below.
🍀 “My experience has been that work is almost
always the best way to pull oneself out of the depths.” 🍀
🔥 If you’re going through hell, keep going! 🔥
🌹 🌹 🌹
TRUTH MATTERS. LOVE MATTERS.