Fibonacci Blue / Flickr Protest against Donald Trump...
Fibonacci Blue / Flickr

Welcome to the Sunday edition of Good News Roundup.  Well, we made it through another week.  That counts for something with an idiot running the country.  The resistance is getting stronger with each new affront. The midterm election is now less than 5 months away. The heartless, soulless and just plain dumb things he does going forward aren’t going to be forgotten before we vote.  Based on his history, the more he feels pressured, the more he’ll try to lash out.  When he does, we need to laugh him down.  Because when you look at him from a distance, all you see is a pathetic excuse for a leader trying to bully his way to success.  Bullies hate it when you laugh at them.

Housekeeping

In case you are new, this is a place to leverage good news to offset the bad and to inspire ourselves to fight on.  Our focus is on stories that are good for the resistance, the country and the world.

If you believe the sky is falling or insist on crying wolf you are in the wrong place.  We know your view is popular.  But we aren’t you.  If your intent is to disrupt this space, I’d appreciate it if you hung out at IHaveNoHopeIAmJustWaitingToDie.com instead of trying to hijack this space.

Spread this far and wide:  He’s been deported without his daughter.  Let’s help him find her.  Arnovis Guido is searching for his 6 year old daughter, Maybelline

The Breaking Good News

He couldn’t even keep his lawyers on board with all the evil.  CNN:  Trump’s personal legal team opposed family separation

Two of President Donald Trump’s personal lawyers on the Russia investigation broke ranks with their client this week on an entirely unrelated topic, rejecting his now-abandoned practice of separating undocumented immigrant families at the border.

Jay Sekulow, the longest-serving member of Trump’s legal team handling the Russia investigation, denounced the controversial practice Thursday on his talk radio show.
“My grandfather dragged suitcases with his family when he came through Ellis Island, and many of you that are listening to this broadcast have similar histories in your family, but we are the United States of America, we can do better than this, we can figure this out,” Sekulow said.
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, the most outspoken member of Trump’s legal team, also voiced his opposition to family separation, three days before Trump signed an executive order that he said would allow families detained at the border to stay together.
The Teflon Don image may have run its course. Politico:  Trump Loses His Superpower
The president’s tweets have been powerless against images of migrant children in the news media.
Donald Trump is good at many things, but his greatest gift may be his ability to distract the newshounds by shouting “Squirrel!” and sending them sniffing for a new story. But this week, the dogs wouldn’t stop gnawing on the president’s leg, no matter what he said.
His Cabinet secretaries might be grateful. The crying-babies, kids-in-cages news coverage about the U.S.-Mexican border pushed a Forbes story about Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross’ foreign investments to the inside pages. And as for every reporter’s favorite Trump administration piñata, the border story has been as great for Scott Pruitt as it has been horrible for Donald Trump.
The idea that tRump enablers be forced to eat at home has a lot of appeal.  First we had K N getting shamed in a Mexican restaurant.  CNN:  Protesters shout ‘shame’ at Kirstjen Nielsen as she dines at Mexican restaurant.  Now we have Sarah Sanders being refused service because she works for tRump.  In the rush to paint Sarah as a victim, Huckadaddy managed to call the restaurant owner a bigot right after one of his bigoted anti-immigrant tweets.  You just can’t make this stuff up.  Huffington Post:  Sarah Huckabee Sanders Was Kicked Out Of A Restaurant Because Of Trump

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was just sitting down to a farm-to-table meal at The Red Hen in Lexington, Virginia, Friday evening when, she said, the restaurant’s owner heard she was there ― and asked her to leave.

Owner Stephanie Wilkinson told The Washington Post that one of the chefs had called her at home to tell her Sanders was sitting in the tiny restaurant, and that the staff had concerns. Wilkinson then drove over, huddled up with her staff and asked whether they would like Sanders to leave. They said yes.

The owner said she and Sanders stepped outside, where Wilkinson explained that her establishment has “certain standards that I feel it has to uphold, such as honesty, and compassion and cooperation.”

Sanders’ father, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, reacted by quipping that “bigotry” was “on the menu” at the restaurant shortly after posting a tweet conflating migrant families with MS-13 gang members.

We can add drug-addled to the reasons people voted for tRump.  Now we know why tRump hasn’t tried to do anything about the opioid epidemic. Mother Jones:  Researchers Find a Link Between Trump Voters and Opioid Use

A study published on Friday by scientists at the University of Texas and the University of Toronto points to a connection between Trump country and the nation’s opioid crisis.

The report, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, gathered data at the county level showing a correlation between Trump voters and the drug epidemic. “Support for the Republican candidate in the 2016 election is a marker for physical conditions, economic circumstances, and cultural forces associated with opioid use,” the authors say.

The study identified factors that contribute to high levels of opioid abuse in areas like Appalachia and the Rust Belt. These include income inequality, unemployment, poor education, and lack of access to healthcare. But the “commonly used socioeconomic indicators do not totally capture” all the forces driving the epidemic or explain why it is so concentrated in particular areas, they note.

I believe the folks over at the Onion have to be crying themselves to sleep at night.  Raw Story:  Steve Mnuchin busted for tax favor to brothel owner who gave hefty contributions to Republicans: report

Following large campaign contributions from a brothel owner to Republicans, the Treasury Department “quietly reversed itself” to provide huge financial benefits, The Washington Post  reported Friday.

Lance Gilman, the proprietor of the infamous Mustang Ranch brothel in Storey County, Nevada had worked “behind the scenes” for the county to be listed as an “opportunity zone” — a tax advantage for distressed areas.

For Storey County to qualify, Gov. Brian Sandoval (R-NV) had to withdraw the nomination for the town of Dayton, in neighboring Lyon County. This resulted in Gov. Sandoval withdrawing a nomination for a county with a median household income of $49,007 and instead nominating a county with a medium income of $65,508.

This Is the Week That Was

The Border and the Bungler

The big story this week has been the situation at the border.  As the outrage swelled, tRump got nervous.  Then he got scared.  Then he rolled over on his back and exposed his neck and belly.  His dominance displays are going to ring hollow when tries to roll them out next time.  We’ve always known he is a sniveling coward without any convictions or moral compass.  Now his supporters know it as well.  They may not admit it, but they know it and it’s churning around inside making their bellies ache.

His attempt to roll back his evil policy is mostly cosmetic and he’s trying to act like he didn’t cause the whole problem in the first place.

CNN:  Trump’s go-it-alone immigration strategy ends in chaos, confusion

Mother Jones:  Trump Falsely Accuses Democrats of Telling “Phony Stories of Sadness” at the Border

tRumpKiddeKennels.jpg

The best synopsis of tRump’s week

There’s a backlash against our evil wannabe dictator’s side gig. Mother Jones:  Donald Trump Takes His Fanciest Condo Off the Market

Murfster35 pointed out some of the problems with hitching your horse to a deranged narcissistic nincompoop.  DailyKos:  “The Art of the Steal.” Trump is leaving the GOP nothing to run on.

Graft, Corruption and Malfeasance Not Directly Associated with tRump

DailyKos:  Rick Scott gave $600K tax break to kiddie concentration camp–that also engaged in fraud

Politico:  New Pruitt question: Where are his emails?

Who Says Democrats Can’t Do Messaging?

DailyKos:  This political ad from a mother in Texas running for Congress might be the best we’ve EVER seen

Roundup Redux

Monday — Jessiestaf opened the week with stories about a shift away from tRump in the Mideast (rustbelt); Roger Stone admitting Russian contacts; Manafort in jail; tRump tanking immigration solutions; and Mexican soccer fans creating a man-made earthquake.

Tuesday — Goodie served up a smorgasbord of news after a varied appetizer of increased activism in the face of family separation.  The Russian dish included Clapper on tRump, Cohen, Stone, more Stone and some Underwood.  Then it was on to a nice election plate and a great big helping of republican crumble.  Next up was a honest to goodness cornucopia of democratic plenty.  The desert tray had a Craigslist journalism grant, CO2 concrete, polling reassurance, a Beverly Hill Hotel information request, the Kansas voter ID law losing in court and the announcement that niftywriter is going to take over Tuesday’s for the rest of the summer.

Wednesday — pr0gressivist began our journey with tRump wasting water in Chicago.  Then it was on to Miami in time for some republicans to split with the Orange Embarrassment; the UN for a condemnation; up to Albany for tRump to get sued; back to the border for a mother to sue to get her son back; Virginia for Corey Stewart to get dissed by the Tea Party; D.C. for Wilbur Ross to get called out for lying; California for the Theranos CEO getting charged; Charleston for a city to apologize; Tulsa for a school renaming; Richmond for a school renaming; back to New York to hire women to advertise for Proctor & Gamble; back to D.C. for good news about hemp oil; off to Canada to make pot legal; back to Chicago to take away an honorary degree from Bill Cosby; to the Ukraine for a Gay Pride March; to Afghanistan for a Peace March.  After we got back to the States we sat down to read some papers about depression, a drop in smoking, wind power. solar power, batteries, renewable energy, battery costs, converting CO2 to gasoline, ammonia, sustainable clothing, Volvo recycling and the end of coal.

Thursday — oldhippiedude opened his set with a review of the resistance and segued into some tasty Dead.  Then it was on to a medly of elections news, Hatch making sense, an NRA coverup and Willie Nelson’s Summertime.  The second set consisted of  legal pot in Texas, a republican Civil War in Texas, the GOP walking away from Corey Stewart in Virginia, another Giuliani indiscretion hurting Clay Higgins in Louisiana, a fun State Department family travel Q&A fiasco and Tish Hinojosa’s Los Deportados.  The final set was all about the push back against separating families and a long list of how to get involved in fighting back.  The encore was the Grateful Dead’s version of Dancin’ in the Streets.

Friday — Chloris Creator hit the ground running with the optics of Putin meets tRump, Avenetti vs. ICE, airlines vs. tRump, Zinke sleeping with Haliburton and Rivera asking Hannity when child abuse became a republican thing.  In the second heat Blunderman is given credit for his worst move ever, good polling data, $80 million from Bloomberg, the blue wave, fighting voter purges and the high level of enthusiam.  The Semis had gun makers losing money, a baby for New Zealand, Sara Netanyahu indicted, billboard resistance, a delay in rising sea levels and an automatic dodgy science detector.  The finals was about how to get involved.

Saturday — Goodie returned with another mega meal.  For the starter we had a pep talk about being the majority.  The Russian salad was Mueller looking into a sketchy Ukrainian peace plan, Cohen teasing a flip, Cohen getting desperate, Cohen’s claims of privilege getting crushed and judges telling Manafort to get bent.  We got a nice glass of support for impeachment with a splash of no self-pardoning. The healthy election course included George Will saying vote against republicans, trump as Katrina, tRump’s electoral map snapping back, weakness for the politics of fear, support for immigration, against the wall and for the dreamers, voter backlash against tRump, women against tRump and Ojeda leading in WV-3.  Next up we were served a lot of democratic message getting through and republican infighting going public, a school renamed for Obama, Lewandowski getting dropped by his speakers bureau, Coffman(R-CO6) calling for Stephen Miller to be fired and Laura Ingraham losing another sponsor.  For desert we had trade wars are good for the environment, the space force isn’t happening anytime soon, a hiatus in some migrant parent prosecutions, supremes want to outlast tRump, warrants needed for cell tower records, tRump caught in foundation tax fraud, and free DNA kits for migrant families.

Lying and Bleating Aside, He Really Is a Criminal

Since we last visited this topic Der Gropingfuhrer has added some new crimes to his list.  It’s time to revisit the tRump crimes for which a prima facie case can be made from publicly available evidence.

prima facie  :  (pry-mah fay-shah) adj. Latin for “at first look,” or “on its face,” referring to a lawsuit or criminal prosecution in which the evidence before trial is sufficient to prove the case unless there is substantial contradictory evidence presented at trial. A prima facie case presented to a Grand Jury by the prosecution will result in an indictment.  — Legal dictionary at law.com

Immigration Law Violations — When the government fails to follow or enforce the law they can be found in contempt of court.  Turning away asylum seekers at the border is against US  (and international) law. [U.S. CodeTitle 8Chapter 12Subchapter IIPart I › § 1158]

Any alien who is physically present in the United States or who arrives in the United States (whether or not at a designated port of arrival and including an alien who is brought to the United States after having been interdicted in international or United States waters), irrespective of such alien’s status, may apply for asylum in accordance with this section or, where applicable, section 1225(b) of this title.

Real Clear Politics:  Gov. Andrew Cuomo: New York Suing Trump Administration, Executive Order On Immigrant Detention Is Illegal

Vox:  The Trump administration is deliberately starting a legal fight over family detention

snackdoodle has a nice piece about this Daily Kos:  The Immigration Law No One Is Talking About

Since she wore that execrable jacket here’s a piece from March, 2018 Long Island Wins:  New Doubts About Whether Melania Trump Violated Law to Obtain Green Card  Shouldn’t we refer this to Homeland Security for investigation?

Human Rights Violations — Using tRumped up charges to separate children from their families runs afoul of US and International laws.  We are a signatory to the treaties enacting the applicable international laws.

Just Security:  “Zero Tolerance” and the Detention of Children: Torture under International Law.

Contempt of Congress — By failing to enforce Russia sanctions passed nearly unanimously by Congress, tRump opens himself to being held in Contempt of Congress.  If only the majority party had a spine.

The Hill:  Senate Dems call for probe into why Trump has not issued Russia sanctions

Charity Fraud — There is a large body of law specific to the conduct of charities.  tRump is accused of ignoring many of those laws. New York has already filed a civil suit and has referred some of the violations for possible criminal prosecution.

Los Angeles Times:  New York charges Trump, his family and its foundation with ‘persistent’ violations

Obstruction of Justice — This one is so obvious that the right-wing talking point is “Obstruction doesn’t matter”

The Atlantic: How Trump Built an Obstruction of Justice Case Against Himself

Vox: I asked 11 legal experts if Trump’s lawyer obstructed justice

Conspiracy against the United States — This is how collusion will be prosecuted.

Newsweek: Former Trump Aide Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy Against the United States, Making False Statement

USA Today: Coincidence theory of Trump and Russia: A conspiracy of dunces

Violations of Campaign Finance Laws — tRump isn’t the only person worried about getting caught with their hands, mouths and feet rooting around in the cookie jar.

The Hill: Trump’s attorney being investigated for bank fraud, campaign finance violations: report

CNBC:  Cambridge Analytica accused by Common Cause of violating US election law in complaints with Justice Department, FEC

HuffPost:  Report: FEC Probing Whether NRA Took Russian Funds For Trump Campaign

Violations of the Emoluments clause of the Constitution — The case against using the office for personal enrichment proceeds.

AP:  Emoluments suit vs. Trump now personal as well as official

Money Laundering — The smart money says Mueller probably has proof of this.

Time:  The Trump Organization May Have Engaged in Money Laundering with Russian Nationals, Researcher Alleges

RICO violations — ongoing criminal enterprise stuff

Center for American Progress: Donald Trump and Criminal Conspiracy Law: A RICO Explainer

Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Violations — Azerbaijan looks like a textbook example.

Business Insider: Trump’s ‘contempt’ for a law against bribing foreign officials could land him in hot water with Mueller

The New Yorker:  Donald Trump’s Worst Deal:  The President helped build a hotel in Azerbaijan that appears to be a corrupt operation engineered by oligarchs tied to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard.  By the way: Another Trump Tower is on Fire, This Time in Azerbaijan

Bribery — Title 18 United States Code, section 201 makes it a crime for a public official to take “anything of value,” a bribe, in exchange for government action.

The Daily Beast: This Is the Law That Could Take Down Trump

Fraud — The crime that describes his life

Los Angeles Times:  Sadly, no one will get to testify on alleged fraud committed by Trump University

ProPublica:  Ivanka and Donald Trump Jr. Were Close to Being Charged With Felony Fraud

Witness Intimidation — Turns out you can’t threaten potential witnesses

Newsweek:  Trump’s Tweets About FBI Could Be Witness Intimidation, Former White House Lawyers Say

The Baltimore Sun:  McCabe firing: Witness intimidation?

Malfeasance in Office — Those unhinged baseless tweets attacking people are illegal.

Boing Boing:  Trump could be put in jail for his attacks on NFL players

Misprision of a Felony — Fun fact:  Not reporting a crime is a crime

Just Security:  Russia “Previewed” Plan to Disseminate Emails with Trump Campaign

Lying to the Special Counsel, the FBI, Congress — Left as an exercise for the reader to itemize all the times this has happened as this is pretty much an hourly occurrence.  tRump and his minions have been mocking the concept of truth for most of their lives.  It’s up to us to call BS every time they stray.  When they do it in front of law enforcement officers, judges or Congress it’s called perjury and it’s against the law.

Outside of prosecutable crimes, we also have Donnie the Dotard committing some transgressions that leave him civilly liable.  Summer Zervos and Stormy Daniels are knockin’ on that discovery door.  Turns out defamation of character has a down side.

LA Times:  Court allows Summer Zervos to gather sexual misconduct evidence against Trump

Slate:  Stormy Daniels’ Motion to Depose Trump Is on Stunningly Solid Legal Footing

tRump Scandal Summary from right after the inauguration. None of these have gone away.  The Atlantic:  The Many Scandals of Donald Trump: A Cheat Sheet

Sunday Funnies

The importance of ridiculing, demeaning and diminishing The Congealed Orange Taint Sweat squatting in the Oval Office rises with each new lie spewed forth from his Bleaty Face cannot be overstated.

Do you find it a bit disturbing that the most accurate news summaries come from our late night comedians?

This is just out from The Parody Project

Samantha Bee tears into tRump (I wonder what he did this time?)

Bonus Sam Bee Video Links

Migrant Kids Update: Trump Broke It! | June 20, 2018 Act 2 | Full Frontal on TBS [Video Link 5:15]

The Cult of Impeachment | June 20, 2018 Act 3 | Full Frontal on TBS [Video Link 6:43]

Stephen Colbert tears into tRump (I bet you are really surprised about this)

Bonus Colbert Video Links

Stephen Gets Really Into Trump’s MAGA Rally [Video Link 6:12]  I love what they did with the Time Magazine cover.

Is Trump Really THAT Bad? [Video Link 0:40]

John Oliver took a look at China

Bonus John Oliver Video Link

Stupid Watergate II: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO) [Video Link 17:49]

Hurt Them in the Wallet

In 2014, the Wall Street Journal estimated that cable subscribers were paying $0.99 each for Fox News.  By 2017, their per subscriber fee had risen to $1.55.  That means, if you have Fox News available through your cable subscription, you are giving Murdoch, $1.55/month for the privilege of not watching Fox News.  In conjunction with going after Ingraham’s advertisers, why don’t we tell the cable providers we don’t want to pay for propaganda masquerading as news.  An organized campaign to allow cable/satellite subscribers to opt out of Fox News might hurt them more than helping Ingraham shed advertisers.

What happens if the cable companies get a lot of letters like this one?

Dear Verizon/Comcast/RandomProvider,

It has come to my attention you are charging me approximately $1.55 per month for access to Rupert Murdoch’s propaganda channel, Fox News.  I have no interest in supporting a news channel that does not accurately report news.  I request that you remove Fox from the news tier and put it in propaganda tier with RT and North Korean State TV.  Further, I request that you reimburse me for all monies paid to Fox news since they became a subsidiary of the Republican Party.  Forcing me to make a contribution to a political party is against the law.

Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter,

Sincerely, Pat Cable Subscriber

Maybe this is a class action suit waiting to happen.  People paying subscriber fees to subsidize propaganda in support of a political party is a forced political contribution.  I believe that is illegal under US law.  tRump’s tweets about Fox and Fox’s fact-free fawning over tRump establish the case for collusion/conspiracy between the network and The White House.

Today’s Quote(s)

What do you call it when you take children away from their families with no plan to return them?

Human trafficking is a crime against humanity. We must unite our efforts to free victims and stop this crime that’s become ever more aggressive, that threatens not just individuals, but the foundational values of society. — Pope Francis

Yehuda Bauer escaped Czechoslovakia for Palestine on the day the Germans annexed it in 1939.  He is an expert on the Holocaust and a voice crying out against genocide.

The horror of the Holocaust is not that it deviated from human norms; the horror is that it didn’t. What happened may happen again, to others not necessarily Jews, perpetrated by others, not necessarily Germans. We are all possible victims, possible perpetrators, possible bystanders. —  Yehuda Bauer

What You Can Do to Help the Children and Their Families

Here’s how you can go out and make some good news of your own.

Volunteer

Become A Foster Parent

  • If you’re really ready to go big, this may be a way you could help. It’s likely that many children will be separated from their families for some time, and, as horrifying as it is, record keeping has been so sloppy that it may be impossible to reunite some families. If you think you could provide a temporary home to one of these children, contact the US Conference of Catholic Bishops or Lutheran Immigrant and Refugee Services. This will require extensive training and licensing, but as a former foster parent I can tell you that it is a richly rewarding endeavor if you are able to do it.

Donate

Financial assistance is still one of the best ways to help, and the good news is that there are dozens of organizations working to assist children and adults with immediate needs including legal care, as well as fighting to end the horrific caging of children. Here is a partial list of worthy organizations.

  • Donate to the effort by RAICES to raise bond money for detained adults and provide legal services to adults and children. (This is a Facebook page). They have already raised over $15 million.
  • Together Rising is currently providing legal assistance in Arizona for 60 children who were taken from their families and are in detention. You can donate here.
  • The Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights supplies child advocates for young immigrants and is currently working on separation issues.
  • Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service is providing “immediate shelter and beds, medical services, counseling and therapy to help (children) deal with the trauma of family separation.”
  • Comfort Cases needs donations to provide backpacks to separated children. Each backpack contains items like blankets, toiletries, a book, a stuffed animal, etc.
  • The Fronterizo Fianza Fund raises bond money for detained immigrants, and to provide small commissary and phone fund deposits for those in detention.
  • Kids In Need Of Defense provides pro bono attorneys to immigrant children.
  • The National Immigrant Justice Center also provides legal representation for separated immigrants and advises federal public defenders.
  • If you would like your donation to be distributed among several organizations, including some on this list, go to ActBlue’s Support Kids At The Border page.
  • Don’t forget the ACLU.

Keep Calling Your Senators And Representative

This probably goes without saying around here, but a little reminder never hurts. Congressional staffers have said that they are being flooded with more calls than they have received since the health care debate. We need to let them know that we’re not fooled by Trump’s phony Executive Order, and that we’re still watching them.

If you haven’t made a call before, or would like to help someone else with their first call, here’s a handy guide to how it’s done.

Plan On Hitting The Streets On June 30

It looks like we’re marching again. The Families Belong Together march will take place on the last day of this month in Washington and in cities and towns in all 50 states. You can find information and a map of rallies nationwide right here. It would be great if we could make this as big as the 2017 Women’s March, wouldn’t it?

 

 

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