The Moral Arc of the Universe is Long But it Bends Toward Donald Trump Losing: Saturday’s Good News

Vince Alongi / Flickr Hope...
Vince Alongi / Flickr

That is right.  Donald Trump is going to lose in 2020.  He is going to lose big.  He is going to lose in an embarrassing way.  He is going to lose lose lose lose lose.  Then he’ll probably go to jail.  They’ll try to cheat.  They may even succeed in places.  They will play dirty.  They’ll bring out every nasty trick they know.

But it won’t matter because we will fight every fight they bring to us.  We will struggle for every vote.

We will pick the best candidate we can agree on and then we will ALL come behind her (or him) with everything we have.

Because we know the stakes.  And we know that we are the majority.

And we know that with a lot of hard work we can win this thing.

We are going to kick that sorry-ass-lying-sexual-harassing-babies-in-cages-putin-loving pathetic loser to the curb.

We are fired up and ready to go.

Look at the interest in these Democratic debates:

Fun fact: the Republican ones in 2016 got better ratings because of the shit show of a candidate who later went on to be our president!  Other than that?  Nothing was bigger.

And how did the second night do?

Thursday night’s debate on NBC was the highest-rated Democratic primary debate in history, according to overnight ratings.

Wednesday night’s viewership topped 15 million, according to CNN, and Thursday’s likely crossed 17 million viewers.

People are interested.  Even with over 20 people running and a split debate, people tuned in.

And those are just the TV views: they don’t count the online watches or people like me who wait until the next day to read the tweets and watch the highlights.

People. Are. Interested.

We can and will overturn this nightmare.

Now onto the good news:

The Supreme Court Actually Had A Decent Term (Given the Possibilities)

Hear me out on this one.  I did some analyses based on info I could find looking at all the 5-4 or 5-3 decisions that the court handed down this term.

I should preface this by saying that I was REALLY worried about those decisions going into this term.  The 5/4 splits were going to kill us since trump and mccturtle packed the court.  That 5/4 split is the one we all dreaded with citizen’s-united-writer Kennedy retiring (once again: fuck that guy).

So I  was very worried.  And now that the term is over, I looked to see how those decisions actually went.  Did we get owned like I assumed we would?

And the answer is: not really.  the 5/4 decisions actually went in our favor more often than not.  How is that?

There were six split decisions that went just the way we worried about:

  • Rucho v common cause
  • Bucklew v. Precythe
  • Knick v township of scott
  • Manhattan Community Access Corp. v. Halleck
  • Franchise Tax Board of California v. Hyatt
  • Lamps Plus, Inc. v. Varela

BUT there were nine split decisions that actually went in our favor!

  • Dept. of commerce v new york 5-4 Roberts joining liberals
  • United States v. Haymond 5-4  Gorsuch joining liberals
  • United States v. Davis 5-4 Gorsuch joining liberals
  • Gundy v. United States 5-3  Alito joining liberals*
  • Madison v. Alabama, 5-3 Roberts joining liberals *
  • Virginia House of Delegates v. Bethune-Hill Thomas joining liberals
  • Home Depot U.S.A. Inc. v. Jackson  Thomas joining liberals
  • Herrera v. Wyoming  Gorsuch joining liberals
  • Apple versus Pepper Kavanaugh joining liberals

* Kavanaugh took no part in the consideration of these cases.  But even if he had and had voted against us we still would have won.

Then there were three weird 5-4 cases without an obvious split

Mitchell v. Wisconsin Thomas, Alito, Roberts Breyer Kavanaugh, against Sotomayor Ginsburg Kagan and Gorsuch.

Mont v. United States Thomas, Roberts, Ginsburg, Alito & Kavanaugh against Sotomayor Breyer, Kagan & Gorsuch.

Stokeling v. United States Thomas, Breyer, Alito, Gorsuch, & Kavanaugh against Sotomayor, Roberts, Ginsberg & Kagan

So we lost those, but not because of the evil 5.  We lost them because Ginsburg and Breyer voted the wrong way for us.

My overall point:  This could have been a lot worse.  A couple of the justices (Roberts & Thomas) have shown that they think about the cases and are not just rubber stamps.  Even Alito and Kavanaugh (who are both garbage) gave us one each.  And the big surprise for me is Gorsuch who has actually been kinda thoughtful and unpredictable.  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t like any of those men and they are NOT our allies.  They stink and their politics are awful and get in the way of being good judges in many ways.  But that said, it could have been a LOT worse.  

What about the Gerrymandering case, you might ask.  Isn’t that the end of democracy?

No.  For a few reasons.

First, there are other ways to fight gerrymandering and we can focus on those.  

Second, we proved in 2018 that we can win despite gerrymandering.  We can do that again.

Third, Ohio, Michigan, Colorado, Missouri and Utah approved referendums in 2018 that will reduce partisanship in redistricting after the 2020 Census.  Other states can follow suit.

Fourth, this is not the first time that the SC has f-ed up royally (it won’t be the last either) and we overcame in all those cases.  remember, the supreme court = old white men.  Not the folks to lead the charge in change.

Here are some examples from the amazing Jeremy Moses:

1857: In Dredd Scott vs. Sanford, the Supreme Court ruled that African Americans could not be considered citizens, effectively barring almost any political effort against slavery. Considering the overwhelming racial prejudices held by almost all white Americans, even northerners, combined with the overwhelming strength of the ruling (7-2), it was obvious that nothing was ever going to change or improve for anyone.
*
1896: The Plessy vs. Ferguson Supreme Court case legitimized and codified the doctrine of “separate but equal.” This effectively paved the way for all of the Jim Crow laws that were to follow, and segregation itself. Given the overwhelmingly racist sentiment of most southern whites, and the strength of the ruling (7-1), it was obvious that nothing was ever going to change or improve for anyone.
*
1927: In Buck vs. Bell, the Supreme Court ruled 8-1 that those with intellectual disabilities could be forcibly sterilized for the good of society. The ruling helped legitimize the decades upon decades of cruelty and systemic and intellectual abuse that those with disabilities would face. Considering the at-best pitying apathy and at-worst disgust that people with intellectual disabilities faced, it was obvious that nothing was ever going to change or improve for anyone.
*
1942: Japanese Americans were forcibly relocated into internment camps. Given the overall sentiment that led to relocation– unquestionable “patriotism” in the face of terrifying world events, and the Supreme Court’s 6-3 upholding of the internment in Korematsu vs. United States, it was obvious that nothing was ever going to change or improve for anyone.
*
2019: In Rucho vs. Common, the Supreme court legitimized endless and unchecked partisan gerrymandering, by declaring itself impotent to ever intervene in the matter. Given the disproportionately Republican influence on state politics, it’s obvious that nothing is ever going to change or improve for anyone.
*
One could, in fact, sum up American history in the following sentence: Conservatives stand in the way of progress, inflict as much pain as they can, and then— ultimately— lose.
*
We’d all like this to be The Lord of the Rings, where the Ring gets destroyed and that just ends evil once and for all, and we can hardly be blamed for that; history lessons and movies give us the false impression that social and political struggles are brief, finite things that end in victory and happiness for those involved, and that’s that.

2020 is in sight!

Democrats mimic 2018 House takeover strategy in bid to capture Senate

Senate Democrats want you to forget about Stacey Abrams, Steve Bullock and Beto O’Rourke.

Instead, they’re hoping voters can get pumped about Theresa Greenfield, Cal Cunningham and Sara Gideon.

After their highest-profile recruits passed on Senate campaigns, Democrats are relying on a collection of relatively unknown and untested candidates to retake the Senate in 2020 — a challenging task given a map tilted toward Republican territory. But what the recruits lack in name ID, party leaders say, they compensate for with their profiles: Several are women and military veterans, boasting the type of résumés that Democrats rode to the House majority last year.

“These are sort of on the 2018 House model,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said in an interview of recently announced candidates. “Most of them are not traditional, old-time politicians. They are new, fresh-faced.”

How Trump could have terrible economic timing

In just one week, the current economic expansion will turn 10 years old and officially become the longest in American history, an occasion likely to elicit bragging from the White House.

But it will also highlight a major risk for President Donald Trump.

Signs of a slowdown are mounting with weaker job growth, reduced manufacturing activity and a nervous Federal Reserve hinting at slashing interest rates — suggesting that Trump could suffer from terrible economic timing.

Democrats Are Awesome

House Ethics Committee investigating Gaetz over Cohen threats

The House Ethics Committee announced Friday that it is formally investigating whether Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) attempted to intimidate President Trump‘s former lawyer Michael Cohen ahead of his testimony to Congress earlier this year.

In a statement, Ethics Committee Chairman Ted Deutch (D-Fla.) and Rep. Kenny Marchant (Texas), the panel’s ranking Republican, said that Gaetz declined their request to appear before the committee for an in-person interview in May.

The Ethics Committee said it told Gaetz that it wouldn’t be able to resolve the ethics complaint against him without his testimony and warned that if it couldn’t dispose of the complaint by June 24, the rules would require formally opening an investigative subcommittee to review the allegations

Mueller’s team may think it is done. Democrats have other ideas.

Democrats struggling to find witnesses to guide their Trump probes say they’ve noticed the recent uptick in activity from ex-Mueller staffers — and they want in.

Robert Mueller’s former prosecutors are trying to move on. Congressional Democrats want to pull them back in.

It’s the latest twist for the special counsel’s attorneys who spent nearly two years working on one of the most scrutinized investigations in American history and now are resurfacing at major law firms touting their work on the Russia probe. Some are even giving interviews to journalists, a big change from the “no comment” mantra they practiced to almost comical extremes, while another has a reported book deal.

Freshman members form bipartisan task force on election vulnerabilities ahead of 2020

A bipartisan group of freshman House lawmakers revealed Friday a Task Force Sentry that has worked behind closed doors the past two months to craft legislation to prevent foreign interference in U.S. elections.

The task force, which includes six freshman Democrats and one freshman Republican, identified five key areas of vulnerabilities in the U.S. political system they hope to address with legislation.

This includes deterring foreign aggression, mandating disclosure of receiving foreign funds, preventing foreign money from funding campaigns, defining the roles and responsibilities of social media companies as such entities seek to use their platforms, and establishing monitoring mechanisms to detect and prevent disinformation campaigns.

The task force members, who hail from a diverse range of backgrounds, quietly met with issue experts to help guide their legislation as they work to safeguard the 2020 elections.

“We believe that protecting our country from foreign adversaries should never be partisan,” Task Force Sentry members said in a joint statement.

Bad News for The Bad Guys is Good News for Us

Bank of America will no longer do business with companies that run detention centers

Bank of America will end its association with companies that provide prisoner and immigrant detention services at both the state and federal levels. The move comes amid growing public concern about the nation’s border policies.

A spokesperson said Wednesday that Bank of America (BAC) has discussed the issue with its clients that provide those services. While the bank appreciates “steps they have taken to properly execute their contractual and humanitarian responsibilities,” it ultimately decided to “exit the relationships.”

ICE Agents Are Losing Patience with Trump’s Chaotic Immigration Policy

Monday, when President Trump tweeted that his Administration would stage nationwide immigration raids the following week, with the goal of deporting “millions of illegal aliens,” agents at Immigration and Customs Enforcement were suddenly forced to scramble. The agency was not ready to carry out such a large operation. Preparations that would typically take field officers six to eight weeks were compressed into a few days, and, because of Trump’s tweet, the officers would be entering communities that now knew they were coming. “It was a dumb-shit political move that will only hurt the agents,” John Amaya, a former deputy chief of staff at ice, told me. On Saturday, hours before the operation was supposed to start in ten major cities across the country, the President changed course, delaying it for another two weeks.

On Sunday, I spoke to an ice officer about the week’s events. “Almost nobody was looking forward to this operation,” the officer said. “It was a boondoggle, a nightmare.”

Trump is tiring of Mulvaney

President Donald Trump’s honeymoon period with Mick Mulvaney is coming to an end.

In recent weeks, Trump has been snapping at his acting chief of staff with some frequency, and expressing greater frustration with him than usual, according to four current and former senior administration officials.

N.R.A. Shuts Down Production of NRATV, and Its No. 2 Official Resigns

Moving to clean house amid an organizational crisis, the National Rifle Association cut ties with its second-in-command, Christopher W. Cox; severed its relationship with Ackerman McQueen, its estranged advertising firm; and shut down live production at its online media arm, NRATV.

Activists get permit to fly ‘Baby Trump’ blimp over July 4 ‘Salute to Trump’ celebration

The “Baby Trump” blimp that has followed President Trump around the world will fly just blocks from the White House hours before his Fourth of July address.

Mike Litterst, a spokesman with the National Park Service, confirmed to Fox 5this week that feminist anti-war group Code Pink has been granted a permit to fly the notorious balloon during their anti-Trump demonstration.

Twitter adds labels for tweets that break its rules — a move with potentially stark implications for Trump’s account

Twitter on Thursday said it would begin labeling tweets from national political figures, including President Trump, that the company would have taken down under other circumstances for violating its rules, a move that could appease some longtime critics at the cost of opening a new political rift with the White House.

The new policy applies to political candidates and government officials who have more than 100,000 followers, Twitter said. Before users can view tweets that the company has flagged as a violation of its policy, they will need to click on a screen that says, “The Twitter Rules about abusive behavior apply to this Tweet. However, Twitter has determined that it may be in the public’s interest for the Tweet to remain available.”

‘Contrived’ and ‘a distraction’: Supreme Court issues severe rebuke to Wilbur Ross and Trump administration

Its ruling wasn’t necessarily a permanent blow to the administration’s effort to get a citizenship question on the Census. But the court’s reasoning was striking.

Other Good News

Democrats’ emoluments lawsuit against President Trump can proceed, federal judge rules

Rejecting a request from President Trump, a federal judge in Washington on Tuesday cleared the way for nearly 200 Democrats in Congress to continue their lawsuit against him alleging that his private business violates an anti-corruption provision of the Constitution.

Turkey’s President Suffers Stinging Defeat in Istanbul Election Redo

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey suffered the biggest defeat of his political career on Sunday as his candidate for Istanbul mayor conceded defeat in a repeat election.

The result wrests control over Turkey’s largest city from Mr. Erdogan and ends his party’s 25-year dominance there. Opponents say such a loss cracks the president’s aura of invincibility, showing that his grip on power after 16 years is weakening.

Overdose deaths may be on the decline

For the first time in decades, the number of overdose deaths in the U.S. may finally be falling, the Wall Street Journal reports, citing provisional government data.

Why it matters: That would be a strong and promising sign that the current addiction epidemic — fueled by prescription opioids, heroin and illegal fentanyl — has at least stopped getting worse.

Cocaine, leaks and opposition: Brazil’s Bolsonaro challenged by scandal, defeats

Another week in Brazil, another scandal consuming the young presidency of Jair Bolsonaro.

rather than consolidating power, in his first six months the right-wing leader has at times appeared overwhelmed by it, exposing the executive inexperience of a man who quickly catapulted from the fringes of Brazilian political life to its center.

Now, as he bounces from one scandal to the next, analysts and even some supporters are questioning whether he has the political acumen necessary to carry out the broad mandate he won in a landslide in October.

“It’s a messy government,” said Bruno Carazza, a professor at the Instituto Brasileiro de Mercado de Capitais in Belo Horizonte. “When he was elected, there was this widespread fear here about his intentions. . . . But he is losing support due to the scandals and due to the inefficient government.”

Before we go, one of the hardest things to deal with has been the horrific immigration news.  Here are some solid things you can do (that don’t take much time) to make a real difference in this:  Feel Helpless Amidst the Horrific Immigration News? You’re Not. Here’s What To Do.

That is it for today.  I am so grateful and so lucky to be in this with all of you. ✊ ❤️ ✊ 

Sing us out Randall Park!

*** today’s headline is shamelessly stolen from Justin Carter Sho’Nuff Skywalker @BreakandEnterTV  ***

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