WEEK OF APRIL 10, 2017
"Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness." Desmond Tutu
In a recent Quinnipiac poll, Trump has already dropped below President Barack Obama’s worst approval numbers. Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll said, "President George W. Bush, who hit a negative 28 - 67 percent on May 14, 2008, had less support, but it took eight years, two unpopular wars and a staggering economy to get there." It’s been less than 100 days for the 45th president to hit these lows.
Trump demoted Steve Bannon, one of his most trusted advisors, from the National Security Council last week. Bannon, who has no national security experience, had positioned himself above other members of the NSC; however, National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster is now considered the council’s leader.
Rep. Devin Nunes stepped away from the House Intelligence Committee’s investigation into Russia’s meddling with the 2016 presidential election. He announced the decision just before the House Committee on Ethics revealed it is reviewing Nunes for “unauthorized disclosures of classified information.”
An appeals court ruled in favor of a woman who was denied a teaching job because she is a lesbian. According to NPR, “The decision comes just weeks after the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals [in Atlanta] ruled the opposite way, saying that Title VII [of the act] does not bar discrimination based on sexual orientation."
Dozens of advertisers have withdrawn support from the O’Reilly Factor, shunning Fox News, Roger Ailes and Bill O’Reilly in light of multi-million dollar settlements for sexual harassment suits. Angie’s List, Mercedes, Untuckit, Hyundai, BMW, Bayer, and more have pulled their advertising from the show, one of the news network’s flagship shows.
WEEK OF APRIL 3, 2017
"You may not always have a comfortable life and you will not always be able to solve all of the world's problems at once but don't ever underestimate the importance you can have because history has shown us that courage can be contagious and hope can take on a life of its own." Michelle Obama
Democrats and Republicans in the Georgia state legislature worked together to pass a bill requiring the state to begin testing backlogged rape kits. The bill was killed by State Senator Renee Unterman more than a year ago, despite having unanimous support in the state House of Representatives.
While Trump rolls back Obama’s climate change regulations, big companies like Apple and Walmart are sticking to their climate pledges. The new president claims this will be better for businesses, but with reduced energy costs and other bottom-line enhancing effects, these huge corporations don’t see it that way.
A judge in Kentucky ruled to move forward with a case against Trump, brought on by an incident at a campaign rally in Kentucky. The lawsuit was filed by three protesters stating that Trump’s cries of “get them out of here” incited violence, causing rally goers to shove and punch them. The judge determined there was sufficient evidence to support the claims.
After a failed healthcare initiative, FBI investigations, and a travel ban the court has shot down twice, Trump’s first ten weeks in office still have his approval rating stuck in the 30s and 40s.
WEEK OF MARCH 27, 2017
"My dream is of a place and a time where America will once again be seen as the last best hope of earth." Abraham Lincoln
As of March 19th, Trump’s approval rating has dropped to 37% — the lowest of any president at this point in his term. His disapproval rating has risen to 58%. His numbers are even more hopeful if you look at folks 18-30, where he’s batting a very pathetic 22% approval, and a 62% disapproval, while 57% of young people see his presidency as illegitimate.
“If it feels, to you, like Donald Trump is doing a terrible job as president — you’re not alone. Recent polls have shown the president’s support cratering to historic lows, and a new Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday confirmed Trump’s unpopularity.”
Companies, concerned that their reputations and brands might suffer if their websites are populated with Breitbart spots, are pressuring advertisers to do a better job at making sure they can block those spots from their sites.
In an 8-0 ruling, the Supreme Court found that “School districts must give students with disabilities the chance to make meaningful, "appropriately ambitious" progress.
Democratic Governor “the brick wall” Terry McAuliffe is using his veto pen to hold back the tide of conservative republican legislation. “Of the 880 bills that landed on his desk this year, he has signed 671 but vetoed 18: cutting support for Planned Parenthood, imposing more requirements on voter registration, restricting absentee voting and expanding access to handguns.”
"‘It's a bizarre situation, and what I think, the reason why I'm calling for this select committee or a special committee, is I think that this back-and-forth and what the American people have found out so far that no longer does the Congress have credibility to handle this alone,’ McCain told MSNBC's Greta Van Susteren. ‘And I don't say that lightly.’”
Republicans have got some serious political egg on their face, as they have failed to get the votes to repeal and replace. “‘We’re going to be living with Obamacare for the foreseeable future,’ the House speaker, Paul D. Ryan, conceded.”
WEEK OF MARCH 20, 2017
"So that's the dissenter's hope: that they are writing not for today but for tomorrow."
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
When Trump’s proposed budget included slashing the Meals on Wheels program -- a program that delivers hot meals to homebound seniors and handicapped individuals -- people took to the internet in droves to help. Their online donations went up by 50% and their volunteer signups went up by 500%.
With voter turnout the highest in decades, Geert Wilders, the far-right candidate in this past week’s Netherlands election, was soundly beaten in an election many considered to be the prediction of how Europe would vote this year. While the anti-Muslim Wilders’ party gained some seats in the Netherlands parliament, his anti-Europe message did not land with Dutch voters.
The former U.S. Attorney General will be going to Virginia as the keynote speaker at the DNC of Virginia’s annual gathering. Holder is the chair of the National Democratic Redistricting Committee which has been fighting against gerrymandering by Republicans in several states.
A federal judge in Hawaii placed a nationwide block on Trump’s second attempt at a travel ban just hours before it was supposed to take effect. The temporary restraining order will allow the court time to consider whether the travel ban is unconstitutional or not.
Seventeen Republicans drafted a resolution on Wednesday vowing to look for “economically viable” ways to fight climate change. This goes against Trump’s stance on human climate change -- that it is “a hoax” the president once claimed the Chinese invented “in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.”
When the president unveiled his budget it was immediately met with foes on both sides of the aisle. But the real killer to this “skinny budget” will be a law passed in 2010, the Budget Control Act, which includes something called sequestration -- essentially for every dollar you spend on defense you must also spend on domestic programs.
“For a Democratic staffer on Capitol Hill in the age of Trump, the struggle for justice can feel disheartening, if not demoralizing. But with every phone call from a concerned constituent, every tweet in support of our shared resistance, every protest sign held by someone who demands dignity for all, I feel a renewed confidence in the resilience of our democracy. Their activism gives me hope."
Havas, a French advertising company with clients like Dominos, and the BBC, pulled their business from tech giants Google and Youtube when they could not guarantee that Havas ads would not appear with content, such as videos on white supremacy, which have been deemed inappropriate by the advertisers.
In a win for good journalism AND public broadcasting, NPR reports ratings on all platforms at a historic high. Broadcast ratings are up by 26%. Podcast listeners are up by 47%, and digital listeners are up 28%.
WEEK OF MARCH 13, 2017
"Our human compassion binds us the one to the other — not in pity or patronizingly, but as human beings who have learnt how to turn our common suffering into hope for the future."
Key Senate Republicans are already looking to make changes to the Paul Ryan helmed American Health Care Act after the Congressional Budget Office came out with their damning report. Many are looking for make sure that poorer and older Americans get better coverage.
Court Rules Gerrymandering Rule UnConstitutional
A federal court in Texas finds that state officials engaged in gerrymandering districts to dilute the votes of minorities. The ruling stated that Texas was in violation of the Voters Rights Act and the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution.
Six-Year Old Girl Celebrates Birthday By Helping the Homeless
A Chicago kindergartener used her birthday as a way to get her parents and church involved in helping the homeless. Armani Crews passed out food and toiletries she asked for her birthday to the homeless in the Windy City instead of having a traditional birthday party.
Mattis Believes in Climate Change
Defense Secretary James Mattis breaks with the rest of the Trump cabinet when it comes to climate change. “Mad Dog” Mattis says that climate change is real and a threat to American lives and security.
WEEK OF MARCH 6, 2017
"Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul - and sings the tunes without the words - and never stops at all." Emily Dickinson
With a win in the Delaware State Senate, the Democrats are showing that the anti-Trump resistance will turn out voters in typically low voter turnout races. Democrat Stephanie Hanson won in a landslide to GOP candidate John Merino, keeping the state senate in Democratic control.
In Santa Ana, California, immigration activists have pressured the city into terminating its contract with ICE to keep a detention unit in their county jail. The contract fully terminates in 2020, so in the meantime, the City of Santa Ana is limiting the number of beds allowed to ICE, which at one point included LBGTQ detainees. ICE confirms that 86 other cities in the country have such contracts with them.
While still being cautious, top Republicans are calling on Jeff Sessions to recuse himself from any investigations on Russia since the news broke that he’d had contact with a Russian envoy while being an advisor for the Trump campaign. Democrats are calling for his resignation because he lied in January during his nomination hearing, claiming he had no contact with the Russians during the campaign.
After news came out that Jeff Sessions’ met with a Russian ambassador in September, House Democrat and all around GOP ball buster Adam Schiff of California took to Twitter to announce that he and Republican Chairman of House Intelligence Committee Devin Nunes will broaden the scope of the investigation of Russia’s involvement in the 2016 election.
Former M-16 spy Christopher Steele, whose dossier was one of the first pieces of evidence to start tumbling out about Trump’s ties to the Russian government, has been asked by Democrats and a few Republicans in the Senate to testify about the allegations. Mr. Steele isn’t sure if he will make the trip for what is, for now, being called an informal testimony, but is willing to make the trip under certain safety measures.