Every Role in the Resistance is Essential: Saturday’s Good News

MrBangthamai / YouTube Field of Flowers HD1080p 1550493658.jpg...
MrBangthamai / YouTube

I’m over a decade late to the party, but I just came across this amazing video from street artist BLU.  He spent months and months and months painting image after image on the streets of Buenos Aries and Baden.  It wasn’t until/he took those images and put them together in a movie that the full picture emerged.  And it is stunning.  Check it out:

The art is amazing but I am even more struck with the process.  Months and months of planning and painting and then covering up the paint and then painting again.  Alone each step seems minor.  Some are beautiful in their own right and others only become beautiful when seen together.  But yet the artist went on.  Painting and repainting and planning and creating.

It struck me as an analogy for what we in the resistance are doing.  Each fight against fascism seems small.  Some are beautiful right away.  Others highly flawed.  We won’t know what our battle looks like until we have the luxury of history.  We won’t know the final masterpiece until we have time to look back and see it all together, tied up neatly as history.
And then we will be able to say: I was there.  I painted that one part.  I stood up against concentration camps for migrants.  I marched. I made phone calls.  I donated money.  I fought.  Even when it was hard or uncomfortable or a struggle: I fought.  I struggled for our country and our planet and my fellow humans.

When history presents the picture of this time, we will all have painted it.  No one will be proud to have stayed silent.  No one will be proud of wasting energy fighting with our allies.  We will be proud of the fact that when many distinct things come together —  be they paintings on building walls or people united for justice —  they form something much more beautiful than any of us can alone.

Now onto the good news:

Democrats are Kicking Ass

Its hard to see the victories when they aren’t flashy, but a lot of committees are having success that we will see in time:

The House committee quietly racking up oversight wins against Trump

House Democrats are largely pursuing flashy, partisan, made-for-TV investigations targeting President Donald Trump, but one panel is taking a different approach — and getting results.

The House Foreign Affairs Committee is quietly amassing documents on allegations of politically motivated retaliation at the State Department. It’s looking into whether Trump has violated foreign emoluments and conflict of interest rules, and lawmakers are working to find out more about the president’s relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin and how Trump leads American foreign policy behind the scenes — all without the fanfare associated with the other committees’ work.

The panel has secured wins on a number of fronts, and aides and lawmakers alike attribute that to the under-the-radar support they’re getting from Republicans, many of whom have grown exasperated with the president’s decisions on foreign policy and national security issues. It’s also a historically bipartisan committee that boasts a strong relationship between the top Democrat and Republican on the panel.

and even things that don’t seem like victories may play a role:

Intel chairman says FBI starting to answer questions on Russia probe

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) said Wednesday that the FBI is starting to respond to his inquiries about the counterintelligence investigation into Russian interference that preceded special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe.

“We have started to get answers from the FBI,” Schiff told reporters at the National Press Club Wednesday. “They are not nearly complete. I would describe it as the beginning of their response, not the end, but I think they recognize that they are going to have to live up to their legal obligations.”

opinion is shifting towards impeachment:

and Democrats have passed well over 100 pieces of amazing progressive legislation and they are just passing more:

House votes to block military transgender ban

The Democratic-controlled House voted Tuesday night to block President Donald Trump’s move to restrict transgender men and women from military service.

The House passed, by a 243-183 vote, an amendment to block Trump’s transgender ban from remaining in effect. The move still faces an uphill battle and a Trump veto threat against the underlying $1 trillion spending bill, which includes the military budget.

U.S. House Votes To Fund Gun Violence Research For The First Time In Decades

The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday voted to approve funding to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to research firearm injury and mortality, marking the first time in more than two decades the House has appropriated the agency funds to study gun violence prevention.

House Democrats voted to allot $25 million to the CDC to research gun injuries and deaths in fiscal year 2020, in a victory for gun control activists who have lobbied for gun violence to be studied as a matter of public health. The bill also allocates $25 million to the National Institutes of Health for similar research.

Great 2020 News

Dems prepare 9-figure ad onslaught to blunt Trump’s head start

A constellation of Democratic groups is stepping in to attack President Donald Trump while the party’s candidates battle in the primary.

Democratic super PACs are set to soon launch a yearlong $150 million advertising onslaught countering the millions the president’s campaign has already spent targeting voters. On top of that, billionaire Tom Steyer is funding other groups testing a range of strategies to register and turn out people to vote. And the Democratic National Committee this week began training hundreds of college students to work as field staff in battleground states, an effort that will continue throughout the campaign.

Juan Williams: Trump’s incredible shrinking GOP

They say a picture is worth a thousand words.So let’s take a look at the front page of newspapers after Democrats take the stage in Miami next week for two primary debates.

I’m telling you those pictures will bring me tears.

For the first time in my life, the field of presidential candidates for a major political party looks like America — a racially diverse country.

he debates will include a Jewish democratic socialist (Bernie Sanders), an LGBTQ person (Pete Buttigieg), two African Americans (Cory Booker and Kamala Harris), a Latino (Julián Castro), an Asian American (Andrew Yang) and six women (Harris, Elizabeth WarrenAmy KlobucharKirsten GillibrandMarianne Williamson and Tulsi Gabbard).

The GOP debate stage for their 2016 primaries featured one woman, one African American, one Indian American and two Hispanics. They were basically bookends for 12 white men who dominated that stage.

That shocking contrast on the debate stage is only a hint of the divide between the nation’s two big political parties going into the 2020

There is one poll question I keep coming back to when I think about President Trump’s 2020 reelection campaign. It’s the one in which pollsters ask whether people would “definitely not” vote for him.

This is an especially bad number for Trump. National polls generally show a majority of people (51-56 percent) say they wouldn’t (Fox News polls being the exception). And now a poll also shows that number is remarkably bad for Trump in a surprising place: Texas. The University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll shows that, when asked if they would vote to reelect Trump, 43 percent responded “definitely not”, and another 7 percent say “probably not.” That’s half the state intending not to vote for a Republican president — in Texas.

Ex-state senator in North Carolina enters race against Tillis

Former North Carolina state Sen. Cal Cunningham (D) announced on Monday that he will challenge Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) for his seat in 2020.

Cunningham, a veteran of the Iraq War who served as an Army prosecutor, is the third Democrat to enter the race against Tillis, who also faces a GOP primary challenge.

Tillis is seen as one of the more vulnerable Republicans in the Senate, as Democrats are hopeful their presidential candidate could win the Tarheel State.

Trump: I can win reelection with just my base

Narrator: No he cannot.

If it were possible for a MAGA hat-wearing Trumpkin to vote 10 or 20 times if he or she gets mad enough, that might be a brilliant strategy.

But of course, it isn’t. The Trump campaign believes that it can duplicate what happened in 2016, but what it’s really putting in place is a repeat of the 2018 election.

f you’ve forgotten how that one went, here’s the basic story. In response to the Trump presidency, a wave of liberal activism and organizing swept the country. While a few Democratic candidates ran on their opposition to Trump, most spent the bulk of their time talking about issues such as health care; the anger at Trump was so baked into the dynamic of the election that they didn’t have to promote it.

Then Trump himself took over the election with what he believed was a brilliant strategy to motivate his base of supporters with two messages: This election is about me, and also immigrants are coming to kill you.

“I’m not on the ticket, but I am on the ticket, because this is also a referendum about me,” Trump told voters that October. “I want you to vote. Pretend I’m on the ballot.”

And he warned of caravans of Central Americans coming to invade the country, saying that Americans’ very lives were at stake in the election. Days before the vote, then-speaker Paul Ryan pleaded with Trump to stop talking about the issue, but Trump “boasted to Ryan that his focus on immigration has fired up the base.”

In the end, turnout was enormous, at more than 50 percent, compared with just 37 percent in the last midterm election. Democrats took back the House and made huge gains at the state level.

Former Obama staffer aims to challenge Amash for U.S. House seat

Democrat Nick Colvin, who worked for former President Barack Obama, said Tuesday he plans to run for Congress in hopes of challenging Republican U.S. Rep. Justin Amash.

Bad News for Trump and the Rs

Inside Trump’s plan to battle the 15 investigations facing him

President Donald Trump is facing a hurdle no other president has — an unprecedented onslaught of investigations into almost every recent organization he has led.

In California, investigators are examining some of the more than $100 million in donations to Trump’s inauguration. In New Jersey, they’re looking into the treatment of employees working at a Trump resort. And in New York, they’re scrutinizing Trump’s now defunct foundation.

In total, Trump faces at least 15 criminal or civil inquiries by nine federal, state and local agencies into his business, his charity, his campaign, his inaugural committee and his personal finances.

“CRICKETS. THEY’RE GONE”: WHY THE MERCERS, TRUMP’S BIGGEST 2016 BACKERS, HAVE BAILED ON HIM

Robert Mercer is disillusioned. “Bob views all his political spending as a bad investment,” says a source close to Mercer. “This whole thing did not end up well for them,” says Sam Nunberg.

The Legal System Still Works

Supreme Court hands Virginia Democrats a win in gerrymandering case

The Supreme Court has ruled against the Virginia House of Delegates in a racial gerrymandering case that represents a victory for Democrats in the state.

In the 5-4 ruling, the justices found that the House didn’t have the standing to appeal a lower court ruling that found that the new district maps must be used ahead of statewide elections later this year. Those new maps are already in use.

Supreme Court rules for black death row inmate over prosecutor’s racial bias

The U.S. Supreme Court Thursday reversed the conviction of a Mississippi death row inmate who said the state prosecutor repeatedly kicked black people off the jury each time he was tried for the same murders.

“Equal justice under law requires a criminal trial free of racial discrimination in the jury selection process,” wrote Justice Brett Kavanaugh in the court’s 7-2 ruling.

The decision was a victory for Curtis Flowers, who is black. He was tried six times for the 1996 murder of four furniture store employees in Winona, Mississippi where he had recently worked. Of the first five trials, one conviction was thrown out over questions about evidence and two resulted in mistrials.

Judge’s Order Sets Up Potential New Block Against Census Citizenship Question

new order by a federal judge in Maryland sets up a potential new block against the Trump administration’s plans to add a citizenship question to forms for the upcoming 2020 census.

The latest development in the legal battle over the hotly contested question could complicate the Census Bureau’s plans to finalize census questionnaires and start printing paper forms for the national head count by July 1.

Blue States May Just Save Us

New York to Approve One of the World’s Most Ambitious Climate Plans

The state would pledge to eliminate net greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, with all its electricity coming from carbon-free sources.

Oregon House unanimously passes bill strengthening hate crime protections​​​​​​​

The Oregon House on Wednesday unanimously passed a bill to strengthen hate crime protections, making the offense a felony and adding gender identity as a protected class.

Other Good News

Donald Trump’s presidency has moved America left

Americans are more in favour of “big-government” policies today than at any point in the last 68 years. That is the conclusion of James Stimson, a political scientist, who has analysed long-running polls from the Universities of Chicago and Michigan to come up with annual estimates of the “public mood”. Mr Stimson estimates that the last time America was feeling this left-wing was in 1961, when the civil-rights movement was full-steam ahead and Alan Shepard became the first American to be launched into outer space.

Is Putin Losing the Trust of Russians?

He’s facing embarrassing failures at home and abroad, and the Russian public is pushing back

Putin remains firmly in command, without an imminent threat to his rule. But recent events now suggest a possible tipping point: On a number of fronts, at home and abroad, Putin has faced embarrassing failures, and the population, disenchanted, has lost trust in him, becoming restless enough to challenge his authority boldly. At the very least, this is a trying time for the Russian president. Retrospectively, we may find that it marked the end of his peak power—the results of which would surely reverberate across the world.

What does the Putin pushback look like in Russia? In one remarkable turn of events last week, authorities came under so much pressure after arresting investigative journalist Ivan Golunov and fabricating charges against him, that they ended up dropping all charges and releasing him. In a country where journalists who publish material critical of the Kremlin turn up dead, the government’s reaction to the growing wave of protestsreveals a regime nervous about the public.

Just as noteworthy was the passion that drove the backlash against Golunov’s arrest. Journalists and other Russians took enormous risks, massing in front of the police headquarters to demand his release. Three major newspapers, normally faithful to the Kremlin, published banner headlines proclaiming, “We Are Ivan Golunov.” Putin perhaps worried about appearing weak before ordering that the charges against Golunov be dropped—but he had good reason to fear an emboldened populace.

that is it for today.  Thanks for being in this with me.  I am so proud and lucky to be in it with you ❤️ ✊ ❤️

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