By the time you read this blog the news media will likely have a clearer picture of a domestic terrorism attack that occurred in New Zealand last night. As I write this, the preliminary estimates are a staggering 40 dead, with three of the shooters apparently from New Zealand and one from Australia. The perpetrators broke into two mosques during worship services and started gunning people down, apparently while streaming the attack on right-wing social media. The terrorists appear to be the down-under version of white supremacists, using similar symbols to those seen at the Nazi march in Charlottesville and leaving a manifesto that led some on social media to call the attackers “white ISIS” for its extremism and xenophobia. It’s yet another heartbreaking attack on our shared humanity by the forces of fear, division and hatred.
Our own courts actually struck a blow for justice yesterday on the subject of mass shootings. A court in Connecticut ruled that a gun manufacturer must face a suit by families of the victims at Sandy Hook, forcing the gun maker to turn over documents that pertain to the marketing of firearms to the general public as “weapons of war”. The discovery will provide a much-needed glimpse into the possibly nefarious inner workings of gun marketing.
Congress also passed two important bills yesterday.
The House passed by unanimous vote (420-0) a resolution to make the Mueller investigation findings public when the probe concludes. Republicans voting for the measure want to appear to support the rule of law while secretly hoping that Mueller hasn’t found anything damning. The resolution is a good first step toward insuring that the Mueller report won’t get buried by partisans in the Justice Department.
Meanwhile the Senate passed (59 to 41) a resolution to reject the designation of an emergency on the southern border by Trump, which included 12 Republicans voting with the Democrats. Trump immediately responded that he will veto the measure, and it’s unclear whether the Senate will be able to get the one additional vote it would need to override his veto. Regardless, yesterday’s passage was a glass of cold water in Trump’s face, signalling the first real split between Trump and at least a small fraction of Republican lawmakers on the ridiculous border wall scam.
And today a judge is set to get a status update on former Trump campaign aide and cooperating witness Rick Gates. Is he ready for sentencing or does the investigation need more of his time? If they need more of his time it’s a sign that they are still uncovering misdeeds. More will be revealed.
Happy Friday. Keep resisting…