After Trump signed the Martin Luther King Day proclamation, reporters erupted with questions about his shithole remark. “Mr. President, are you a racist? Mr. President, will you respond to these serious questions about your statement, sir?” April Ryan asked. Trump left the room without answering.
The following day, the Boston Globe used April Ryan’s question as a banner headline on its front page.
Dutch journalists peppered the new U.S. ambassador to the Netherlands, Peter Hoekstra, with questions on his 2015 claims about chaos that the “Islamic movement” had allegedly brought to the Netherlands. They kept after him through many refusals to answer.
A federal judge blocked the administration’s attempt to end DACA, saying Jeff Sessions’ claim that the program is illegal was “based on a flawed legal premise.” DACA recipients can apply for renewals, but new applicants won’t be considered. We still need a clean Dream Act now.
More than 100 US CEOs signed a letter to House and Senate leaders appealing for protection for Dreamers.
Trump was named the world’s most oppressive leader for “overall achievement in undermining global press freedom“ by the Committee to Protect Journalists, beating out Erdoğan and Putin.
Two California Republican representatives—Darrell Issa and Ed Royce—announced last week they won’t run for reelection. San Diego Indivisible groups have been relentlessly targeting Issa, one of the richest and most conservative members of the House, with an average of 370 constituents showing up at his office 49 weeks in a row.
Middlesex County D.A. Marian Ryan announced that she will drop the option of holding nonviolent, low-level alleged criminals on cash bail in the district court.
After Maura Healey urged the DPU to recalculate the rates it approved for Eversource to reflect the big new handout they got from the Republican tax bill, Eversource lowered its rates.
Mass state police and the Boston police department announced they won’t assist in any crackdown on marijuana businesses that are legal under state law.
The administration waived fines for Deutsche Bank and 4 other multinational banks convicted of manipulating global interest rates. Trump owes Deutsche at least $130 million. And by the way, the German bank was also fined $425 million by New York State for laundering $10 billion out of Russia.
Robert Mueller added a veteran cyber prosecutor to his team, signaling a new focus on possible computer crimes.
Federal judges ruled that North Carolina’s congressional district map drawn by legislative Republicans is illegally gerrymandered because of excessive partisanship, and they said it must quickly be redone. This is the second time this decade that the GOP’s congressional boundaries in the state have been thrown out by a three-judge panel. Fun fact from Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse: a 52% Democratic win there would get only 23% of seats.
The Supreme Court will hear a case on discrimination in Texas redistricting.
Dianne Feinstein released the full transcript of Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson’s testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee regarding Russian interference in the presidential election.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, an independent 5-member commission with 4 people appointed by President Trump, unanimously rejected Rick Perry’s proposal to prop up nuclear and coal power.
New York City sued 5 major oil companies—BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil, and Royal Dutch Shell—claiming they have contributed to global warming, and they also said they’ll sell off billions in fossil fuel investments from the city’s pension funds.
18 states and 20 cities raised their minimum wages on January 1, bringing to 29 the number of states that have laws mandating higher pay than the $7.25 federal minimum, which hasn’t changed since 2009.
Jeff Bezos donated $33 million to a scholarship fund for young Dreamers, which will help fund 1,000 college scholarships.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg signaled her intention to remain on the Supreme Court through the end of Trump’s term by hiring a full slate of clerks through 2020.
300 actresses and female agents, writers, directors, producers and entertainment executives formed Time’s Up, an initiative to fight systemic sexual harassment in Hollywood and in blue-collar workplaces nationwide. Among their projects is a legal defense fund to help less privileged women protect themselves from sexual misconduct and the fallout from reporting it. Powerful speeches and a sea of black at the Golden Gloves helped spread the word, and activists like Ai-jen Poo and Mónica Ramírez spoke to a national audience that night about ending sexual violence against marginalized groups
The Hollywood Reporter assigned 7 reporters to a brand new sexual misconduct beat.
On January 1, Iceland became the first country to make it illegal for companies to pay men more than women.
From the conservative National Review: We Were Wrong about Stop-and-Frisk. “Today in New York City, use of stop-and-frisk . . . has crashed. Yet the statistics are clear: Crime is lower than ever. It’s possible that crime would be even lower had stop-and-frisk been retained, but that’s moving the goalposts. I and others argued that crime would rise. Instead, it fell. We were wrong.”
Democrats Doug Jones and Tina Smith were sworn into the Senate, reducing the GOP majority to 51-49. Senator Smith brings the total number of woman senators to 22, a record — that we need to break.
The ACLU is set to spend $25 million in the 2018 elections to support ballot items and issues (like their effort in Florida to allow convicted felons to vote) and to take on Trump and Republicans by funding key races. Last year the group raised $93 million, compared to $5.5 million in the previous year
Tom Steyer, the guy who spent millions on impeach-Trump ads, will spend $30 million this year to win Democratic control of the House.
The Supreme Court gave a black death-row inmate in Georgia a chance to challenge his death sentence because a white juror later used a racial epithet in an affidavit and questioned whether black people have souls.
A U.S. judge ordered the government to either release Iraqi immigrants it arrested last year or grant them bond hearings. The judge had previously halted deportation of the Iraqis, many of whom are Christians who argued they would face persecution if sent back to Iraq.
Felony charges were dropped against the 8 protesters charged with tearing down a Confederate monument in Durham, NC, last August.
The SEC is investigating Kushner Companies, Jared Kushner’s family real-estate business, over its use of the US EB-5 investment-for-visa program.
The US ambassador to Panama resigned, saying that he no longer felt able to serve under Trump.
Washington residents who identify as non-binary will soon have the power to change their birth certificates to show another gender option.
The Commission of the Port of Vancouver (Washington) voted unanimously to end the Tesoro Savage oil train proposal, the largest oil-by-rail terminal proposal in North America.
China’s government announced plans for a major reforestation project to grow about 6.66 million hectares of new forests this year, an area roughly the size of Ireland.
Senator Markey’s bill to reverse the FCC’s repeal of net neutrality has more than enough cosponsors to ensure it will receive a vote on the Senate floor.
David Jonas, Trump’s nominee for the Energy Department’s general counsel, withdrew from consideration. He’d written a 1993 piece objecting to gay people serving in the military.
Trump announced he’s disbanding his bogus “election integrity” commission, which became mired in multiple lawsuits and faced resistance from states accusing it of overreach.
Sheriff David Clarke was temporarily blocked from tweeting after users complained about his 3 messages calling for violence against members of the media.
The EPA’s inspector general expanded its investigation into Scott Pruitt’s travel habits to include travel through the end of 2017, which will include Pruitt’s $40,000 December trip to Morocco.
Trump backed off the idea of visiting Britain next month to open the new US embassy in London amid fears of mass protests. He complained that the embassy was a bad deal.
Trey Gowdy resigned from the House Ethics Committee. As chairman of the House Select Committee on Benghazi, Gowdy, a Tea Party Republican, spent 2 years and $7 million investigating Hillary Clinton.
Wisconsin’s Kenosha Unified School Board will pay an $800,000 settlement in a discrimination case brought by a transgender student.
Vermont’s senate approved a bill legalizing adult consumption and cultivation of marijuana, defying Jeff Sessions’ escalating war on weed.
A 2018 report showed the US prison population dropping for the seventh consecutive year.
President Trump’s golf course in Ireland lost about $2.3 million in 2016, the latest in a series of Trump golf clubs recently reporting losses or declining revenue.
North Korea contacted authorities in Seoul over a hotline for the first time in about two years, paving the way for a thaw during the Winter Olympics despite Trump’s taunts at Kim Jong Un.
The Charlottesville, Va., city council chose the first African-American woman to serve as its mayor, less than 6 months after the white nationalist rally there.
When a Dallas middle school put out a call for 50 men to stand in for absent fathers at its first “Breakfast with Dads,” nearly 600 men showed up.
Oh, and this happened Saturday, at the Trump D.C. hotel.