In opening arguments against the first of the J20 defendants -- you know, the ones who face decades in prison on absurd felony rioting charges -- prosecutors somewhat inauspiciously concede that they have precisely zero evidence tying the defendants to any actual property damage. Ordinarily that wouldn't bode well for an attempt to convict people for, you know, damaging property, but the prosecution has plodded on, demanding that the defendants "intended" to destroy property (a claim which would surely raise the ire of Zombie Justice Scalia) and repeating random phrases as if mere repetition would rally folks to their side. In short, the prosecution is a textbook right-wing prosecution, and sadly it might succeed in Trump's America.
Bess Levin at Vanity Fair reports on all the rich-people tax loopholes that somehow made it into the House-passed tax "reform" bill. They largely describe hedge-fund managers, who as you know are very popular, and folks hiding money in large estates, who are similarly popular. Is it too much to ask that anyone who voted for this monstrosity be turned out of office in 2018? No, I do not believe it is too much to ask, even in an era where legislatures can gerrymander individual homes out of districts.
A second U.S. District Court judge blocks the Trump Administration's attempted ban on transgender soldiers in the military. Somewhere James Mattis is breathing a sigh of relief! And which gay-humping, flag-burning, income-redistributing Democrat President appointed this judge to the federal bunch? Why, Bush the Better, of course. I wish that made me feel better about the reactionary jerks Mr. Trump is putting on the federal bench at an accelerated rate.
Sammi-Jo Lee at Yes! magazine describes how the "internet co-op," of which there are now currently hundreds across the land, could be a bulwark against the FCC's attempts to destroy free speech on the internet. And of course these internet co-ops succeed in areas filled with Trump votaries, which matter they may want to attend, particularly after their hero helps make their corporate internet experience miserable. But let's not expect any consistency about "states' rights" from the man who would prevent the FCC from nullifying state-level anti-community broadband laws, but would also prevent states from enacting their own net neutrality laws.
If you've any benefit-of-the-doubt left for Roy Moore because he married his wife when she was an actual adult, note well that Mr. Moore himself says he first laid eyes on her when she was around 15 or 16, and that she made a strong impression upon him then. So either he really believes it's better to pick a mate who's not old enough to consent to sex yet so he can mold her more easily into a "good wife," or he sublimated an urge society can't tolerate by picking a girl when she was young and then keeping his hands off her until she was an adult capable of consent. I'm sad that believing the best about him requires accepting the latter choice.
Finally, Michael Arria at In These Times writes about the "Affordable Housing Movement" "Rising from the Wreckage of the Foreclosure Crisis." You'll read about successful efforts to protect renters in San Jose, Seattle, New York, and Minneapolis, and you'll be reminded that right-wingers sold Proposition 13 in California in the 1970s by arguing that capping property taxes would be a way of capping home prices and rents. Forty years on, exactly the opposite has happened, almost like that was the whole idea!