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Oct 18, 2017 at 09:45 AM
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  • Second federal judge blocks parts of Trump's latest Muslim ban

    Donald Trump issues another Muslim ban, and boom, boom, it gets blocked by one court after another. Tuesday, U.S. District Court Judge Derrick Watson, in Hawaii, granted a temporary restraining order against the ban on travelers from eight countries. And Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Theodore Chuang, in Maryland:

    … issued a somewhat less complete halt on the ban than his counterpart in Hawaii did a day earlier, blocking the administration from enforcing the directive only on those who lacked a “bona fide” relationship with a person or entity in the United States, such as family members or some type of professional or other engagement in the United States.

    But in some ways, Chuang’s ruling was more personally cutting to Trump, as he said the president’s own words cast his latest attempt to impose a travel blockade as the “inextricable re-animation of the twice-enjoined Muslim ban.”

    These actions are temporary and the case will continue, probably up to the Supreme Court. In the mean time, don’t be surprised if Trump takes aim at the federal judiciary yet again.

  • Cartoon: Gun nuts always need more bullets

    Follow me on Twitter at @MattBors or like my Facebook page.

  • #MeToo hashtag raises awareness but falls short on creating action to combat racism and sexism

    Over the weekend and into this week, women on social media responded to actress Alyssa Milano’s call to write “me too” if they have ever experienced sexual harassment and abuse. Because sexism, misogyny and abuse of women are commonplace in our society, Twitter feeds and Facebook timelines were inundated with survivor stories. From Milano’s initial tweet, its unclear what the real intention of this call to action was. Presumably, it was her hope that by seeing millions of women publicly admit that they’ve experienced sexual violence at the hands of men, it would raise awareness of this important issue. Awareness is great, if and when it turns into action. But there are many problematic aspects to this kind of hashtag that are being unnamed and unheard because of the excitement surrounding it.

    Though Milano is receiving credit for starting this hashtag, she is 10 years behind the “Me Too” campaign begun by Tarana Burke. This campaign was actually started not to call attention and awareness to sexual violence but instead to let sexual assault survivors in marginalized communities know that they were not alone.

    A black woman named Tarana Burke is the original creator of the #MeToo campaign that has recently taken over social media.

    Burke, founder of youth organization Just Be Inc., created the “Me Too” campaign in 2007 long before hashtags even existed. The 44-year-old told Ebony Magazine that she created the campaign as a grass-roots movement to reach sexual assault survivors in underprivileged communities.

    “It wasn’t built to be a viral campaign or a hashtag that is here today and forgotten tomorrow,” Burke told Ebony on Monday. “It was a catchphrase to be used from survivor to survivor to let folks know that they were not alone and that a movement for radical healing was happening and possible.”

    Part of what is troubling here is how the labor and activism of black women routinely gets erased, or confused for the work of white women. This matters. It matters because there is a long history of white women appropriating the work of black women and women of color and not giving them credit for the emotional, mental, and physical labor that goes into that work. It is routine and especially frequent in the feminist movement—where black women are often told to ignore racism (especially the racism they experience at the hands of white women) and see sexism and patriarchy as a bigger threat to their well-being. Did Alyssa Milano know that this campaign existed before her tweet? Maybe or maybe not. Likely not (she did tweet about this later). And this isn’t specifically about Milano. But the fact that this work is being credited to her and it took other black women to speak up and lift up Burke’s work (despite it being available on the Internet) is telling about how black women’s activism consistently escapes the public’s attention.

  • Trump denies telling grieving widow 'he knew what he signed up for'

    Nearly two weeks after Sgt. La David Johnson died in Niger, Donald Trump called his widow to offer condolences … if “he knew what he signed up for … but when it happens it hurts anyway” counts as condolences. Wednesday morning, Trump took to Twitter to deny that he delivered that monstrously insensitive line:


    Does Trump have proof like he had tapes of his conversations with former FBI director James Comey, i.e. the kind of “proof” that he’ll talk about but will never materialize? Because unless he can produce a recording like right now, it’s going to be his word vs. the “Democrat Congresswoman” plus the entire grieving family of a soldier killed in action:


    Sounds like Rep. Wilson summed up the situation: a sick man, with no sympathy, lying. No grieving family should have to deal with that.

  • Morning Digest: New polls find tight race for Virginia governor, but Democrats lead in fundraising

    The Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest is compiled by David Nir, Jeff Singer, Stephen Wolf, and Carolyn Fiddler, with additional contributions from David Jarman, Steve Singiser, Daniel Donner, James Lambert, David Beard, and Arjun Jaikumar.

    Leading Off

    VA-Gov: On Tuesday, three pollsters released their latest results in Virginia's November gubernatorial race. First, Roanoke College has Democrat Ralph Northam leading Republican Ed Gillespie by 50-44, which is relatively similar to his 47-43 lead in their mid-September poll. Next, Christopher Newport University's release finds Northam up 48-44, which is a modest drop from his 49-42 edge in their early October survey. However, Monmouth gives Gillespie a 48-47 advantage, making them the very first pollster since the June primaries to find Gillespie leading at all. Monmouth's late September poll had Northam ahead 49-44, meaning they found the race swinging noticeably to the right.

    Campaign Action

    In the aggregate, these three polls should make Northam feel better about his chances than Gillespie. However, these numbers demonstrate that this race is still far from over with three weeks left to go. While Northam has almost always led by modest margins since the general election began, it wouldn't take anything more than a typical polling misfire for Gillespie to come out ahead.

    Still, money is one thing that Northam won't be lacking for in the final three weeks. He crushed Gillespie in September fundraising, bringing in $7.2 million compared to just $4.4 million for the Republican. Furthermore, only $1 million of Northam's haul came from the DGA's PAC, while a full $2 million of Gillespie's total came from the RGA and its aligned PAC, meaning Northam's army of small donors may be more likely to give again. Northam started October with a hefty $5.7 million on-hand, while Gillespie began the month with only $2.5 million in the bank. Republicans have been heavily running ads in recent weeks, but they likely won't be able to dominate the airwaves for the remainder of the race without assistance from outside groups.

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