The Opposite of “Very Fine”

Yesterday, at Trump Tower the President of the United States said white nationalists who stood with neo-Nazis and the KKK in Charlottesville were “very fine people” and the removal of confederate monuments was no different than removing monuments to our founding fathers like George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. To top it off he argued the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville was a legal, often well-intentioned protest.

There was swift condemnation. People across the political spectrum are outraged and pressure continues to build against the President’s refusal to unequivocally condemn white supremacists. Just this afternoon, two business advisory councils made up of CEOs and business leaders were disbanded in response to immense public pressure to #QuitTheCouncil.

Cities across the country are also fighting back with concrete actions. Last night, all of Baltimore’s confederate statues were removed overnight. The decision to remove the four statues was approved unanimously by the Baltimore City Council earlier this week. This quick action leads the way for other cities across the country that are considering similar action, such as Memphis, TN and Washington, D.C.

ACTION OF THE DAY

Baltimore has taken the lead for removing confederate statues, but it’s time for more cities to follow. Theses symbols of hate have no place in our country, and it’s past time to #TakeThemDown.

Do you have a confederate symbol in your town? Find out here. If so, use this sample script to ask your mayor for its removal. You can find your mayor here.

WHAT’S TRENDING

Texas Takes Another Step Back. Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed into law House Bill 214, an extreme anti-choice bill that restricts insurance coverage of abortion. The bill even goes beyond most standard abortion restrictions by denying insurance coverage of abortion for women who have experienced rape or incest. Legislators who opposed the bill argued that the legislation is forcing women to purchase “rape insurance.” Texas is now one of 25 states with limitations of the use of insurance for abortion care.

Too Far? The Department of Justice has asked Dreamhost, a website provider, to turn over information on individuals who visited an anti-Trump website. Dreamhost, which is currently challenging the Department of Justice, said that the number of people who have visited that site tops 1.3 million.

ACA Sabotage. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released a new report yesterday that confirmed that Trump’s plan to withhold funding for cost-sharing reductions (CSRs) that are critical to the ACA would raise premiums and increase the number of uninsured Americans. The report indicates that by 2020, premiums will jump 25 percent for the most popular health care plans and the number of uninsured Americans would rise by 1 million if Trump’s sabotage succeeds.

Pardoning Arpaio. It is rumored that President Trump will travel to Phoenix, Arizona on August 22nd to pardon the former sheriff, Joe Arpaio. Earlier this year, Arpaio was found criminally contempt after refusing to stop racially profiling individuals. Trump suggested his willingness to pardon Arpaio, as he retweeted a Fox News story that broke the news of the possible pardon.

GOOD NEWS

The Bill is Dead…For Now. The infamous “bathroom bill,” a law designed to target and discriminate against transgender people, has died in Texas. The bill, fashioned in the style of the North Carolina law, was the second attempt by conservative lawmakers to pass such a bill. Thanks to Texan faith leaders, “mama bears” of transgender kids, LGBTQ athletes, corporate leaders, and passionate activists, Texans are free from this type of hate until the legislature is back in session.