Trump's movement moving on without him: Last night brought us another round of primary election results, this time in Alabama and Georgia. Both states' Republican-on-Republican contests showed signs that the twice-impeached president's influence may be waning. Alabama's Senate primary featured a win for Trump's anointed candidate, Katie Britt, but he only backed her two weeks ago after the floundering of MAGA Congressman Mo Brooks's campaign. Brooks was Trump's first choice. In two key House primaries in Georgia, establishment-backed Republicans defeated insurgents Trump recruited to bolster his caucus of election deniers in Congress.
Senate does the bare minimum on gun violence: The "Bipartisan Safer Communities Act" passed its first procedural hurdle in the Senate last night, proving that Congress can in fact function if we sacrifice enough children to shame Republicans into doing their jobs.
The bill falls well short of Washington state's gun regulations, in that it fails to raise the age to purchase semi-automatic rifles to 21, expand background checks to cover all private sales, or mandate safe storage of firearms. It does close the infamous "boyfriend loophole," which allows unmarried abusers to avoid losing their right to purchase a gun. The bill also provides funding for mental health providers and school security. Democratic Senate leadership expects it to pass out of the full chamber by the end of the week.
Gun safety public service announcement: While mass shootings understandably capture the public's attention, any gun violence prevention advocate will tell you that the most common form of gun violence is suicide. The Seattle Times published an op-ed from the surviving partner of someone who used a firearm to take his own life, a grim reminder to take advantage of our state's Extreme Risk Protection Order law if you or a loved one are struggling and have a gun in your home.
Good luck, Eleanor! A Seattle-area teen will represent the PNW in the freestyle kayak world championships, an event I had no idea existed until about fifteen minutes ago and am already searching for a way to stream. The competition will take place on an artificial course in England starting on June 27th, but Eleanor Knight has literally cut her teeth on the snowmelt-fed rivers of the Cascades, so I'm sure she'll dominate.
Speaking of rivers: Scientists blame climate change for the unprecedented floods ravaging Bangladesh and northeastern India. The unstable climate created variations in the region's formerly predictable monsoon season. The climate disaster has killed dozens and overwhelmed local infrastructure, which the country's leaders say badly needs an upgrade to deal with what climate scientists say could be the new normal. Wealthier countries who contributed vastly more emissions to our global climate catastrophe pledged to help bear the costs of those mitigation measures, but so far have failed to honor those commitments.
Democratic mega-donors starting to take this whole coup-in-plain-sight thing seriously:
Other groups like Run for Something, Democracy Alliance, Strategic Victory Fund are also pushing election protection midterm strategies.— michaelscherer (@michaelscherer) June 22, 2022
Another effort in the works: The Road Map For American Democracy, led by former White House aide Deirdre Schifeling https://t.co/50OR8JbWzk
Starbucks back in court over its union-busting: For the third time since December, the National Labor Relations Board has asked a federal court to tell Howard Schultz to chill and stop firing people for trying to organize their workplace. The latest request for an injunction against the coffee tyrant came in Buffalo, where a local store fired seven employees who the NLRB wants reinstated. The Board also wants the federal court to rap Starbucks' knuckles for other union-busting activity across the country as employees from more stores seek to collectively bargain.
Overall, a bad day for corporate giants: This is shaping up to be an unusually optimistic Slog AM, folks! The Department of Justice forced Facebook into a settlement over its algorithm's discriminatory marketing of housing ads. Now, the multinational data mining firm will be subject to oversight from the DOJ. The government agency will supervise how Facebook's algorithm and ad delivery systems operate to ensure the company replaces its problematic "Lookalike Audience" tool with something that doesn't violate federal law.
Accountability for lying Republican: South Dakota's Attorney General was removed from office yesterday after the state Senate voted to impeach him over his dishonesty following a fatal car crash in 2020. The Senate unanimously voted to bar him from ever holding office in the state again after convicting him on charges of lying to law enforcement about the crash that killed 55-year-old Joseph Boever. The lack of bullshit conspiracy theories or a GoFundMe to pay his legal fees from the worst cesspools of the internet have me wondering if I woke up in a parallel universe this morning.
Community groups offering free dental care: Your mouth's health is key for avoiding a bunch of other nasty diseases, or so my friends who chose a much more profitable line of work in dentistry tell me. If you've got some mouth pain or can't access dental care, check out this event:
NO INSURANCE REQUIRED. share with your networks 🦷🪥 pic.twitter.com/LryO3L4li5— Real Change (@RealChangeNews) June 21, 2022
Civil jury holds Bill Cosby accountable for 1975 sexual assault: Ok, this is almost too much good news for one morning. A Santa Monica jury said they believed Judy Huth, who came forward eight years ago to file the suit that finally resolved yesterday. According to their verdict, Cosby "intentionally caused harmful sexual contact" to Huth while reasonably believing she was under 18 at the time of the assault. The jury awarded Huth $500,000 in damages, but she told the Associated Press that the jury believing her story meant more than the sum of money or the fact that she didn’t win punitive damages.
Ok, it's not all sunshine and roses this morning:
this case is even worse than it looks. in response to desegregation, conservatives began to build a network of private religious schools, absorbing public funds but not subject to the rules governing public education. this is part of that effort. https://t.co/jeY5n65smm— Law Boy, Esq. (@The_Law_Boy) June 21, 2022
Progressive wins local election in Tokyo from Belgium: After getting involved in local politics remotely during the pandemic, Japanese national Satoko Kishimoto won a mayoral election for a ward in Tokyo with a population of 500,000 while living abroad in Belgium. Her campaign focused on "less privatisation and more citizen participation," an appeal powerful enough to unseat a conservative incumbent. It's official: No one can complain about the challenges of remote campaigning any longer.
Let's end this mostly uplifting Slog AM with some chill vibes: