Congress smacks down Sessions on civil rights, Pharma Bro heads to jail, and President Obama


News you need to know, and your President Obama pic of the day.

Welcome to a new daily series at Shareblue Media, providing you with links to important news, interesting stories, useful information about actions of resistance, and a picture of President Barack Obama to remind you what competent leadership looks like.

  • In July, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the Justice Department would roll back an Obama-era policy by expanding the powers of police to seize people's property without convicting them of a crime, a policy that has led to widespread police corruption and racial profiling.That didn't sit well with Congress. On Wednesday, Democratic Rep. Don Beyer and GOP Rep. Justin Amash successfully passed a House amendment to block the DOJ from enforcing Sessions' terrible policy.

  • Ivanka Trump is a self-described advocate for working women — all evidence to the contrary. And while she claimed, during her father's campaign, that she would lead the charge on a bill for a child care plan. Thus far, though, all she's done is have some meetings. But on Thursday, Democrats in Congress are introducing a real plan:

    Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) will lead the introduction of the "Child Care for Working Families Act" on Thursday, an aide familiar with the effort said. [...]

    "This bill is the Democrats’ benchmark on what a national child care plan should look like," the aide said. The bill will be part of the Democrats' "Better Deal" platform, a progressive agenda launched this summer that mostly serves as an aspirational document for when the party regains control of Washington.

    The legislation will make federal funding mandatory for lower- and middle-class families to ensure child care doesn't eat up a disproportionate share of their budget, focus on preparing 3- and 4-year-old children for kindergarten and make new investments in the child care workforce, according to a summary.

  • Martin Shkreli, aka Pharma Bro, is going to jail for his very not funny Facebook "joke" offering a $5,000 reward for a strand of Hillary Clinton's hair:

    U.S. District Judge Kiyo Matsumoto ruled that Shkreli’s Sept. 4 post, made shortly before Clinton embarked on a book tour, showed he posed a danger to the public. The post prompted an investigation by the U.S. Secret Service, which is charged with protecting the former Democratic presidential candidate.

    The judge rejected arguments by Shkreli’s lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, that the post was protected free speech, saying one of Shkreli’s Facebook followers - who number more than 93,000 - could take it seriously.

    “This is a solicitation of assault in exchange for money,” the judge said. “That is not protected by the First Amendment.”

    Shkreli was convicted in August of defrauding investors of two hedge funds he ran. Matsumoto on Wednesday scheduled his sentencing for Jan. 16.

    Shkreli said in a letter to Matsumoto on Tuesday that his Facebook post was meant as satire. Brafman repeated that argument on Wednesday, but Matsumoto was not convinced.

  • EMILY's List has announced its top 2018 state-level targets. Check out this list of Republicans EMILY's List has officially put "on notice." Because "women are fed up with so-called representatives who prefer playing politics to protecting their rights."
  • Watch these amazing and amazingly brave DREAMers, who went to Speaker Paul Ryan's office to ask that he pass the DREAM Act, so that Donald Trump cannot deport the 800,000 young immigrants brought to the United States as children. Ryan has said he wants to protect them, but so far, he hasn't done a thing.

  • If you're in the D.C. area on Thursday, you can join the "My People Were Refugees Too" demonstration, organized by the refugee advocacy group HIAS, at the Capitol.

    Soon many will celebrate the Jewish new year, with apples, honey, and wishes for a sweet year ahead.

    Yet around the world, 65 million refugees, asylum seekers, and displaced people are in search of safe haven. And in our own country, anti-refugee rhetoric and policies have been gaining steam.

    In the coming weeks, the US government is going to make crucial decisions about how many refugees can rebuild their lives here in the coming year. (Learn more about the Presidential Determination here:

    At this critical moment, we cannot stand idly by. We must show our country’s decision makers how deeply we care about welcoming refugees.

  • The always excellent Melissa McEwan has a powerful post you won't want to miss:

    Hillary doesn’t owe us a goddamned thing, and if she’d decided to spend the rest of her days on a sunny island somewhere, trading in her pantsuits for a bathing suit and drinking booze out of a coconut while merrily cackling at the Alt-POTUS 45 Twitter account, I would be undilutedly thrilled for her.

    If she had decided to stay away, I would understand that. I would understand that so hard.

    But that is a very different thing indeed from going away.

    You really should read the whole thing.