Weekly Randoms 7/3 - 7/9

- The company that refused to provide contraceptives to women because it was against their religious values, Hobby Lobby, apparently has no issues reconciling with their religious values to profit off Middle Eastern artifacts that they've been warned might be stolen. The Christian hypocrisy is strong with this one.

- Sitting on a board that provides oversight to pharmaceutical companies and passing bills that would help drug companies that he's invested in like Representative Collins of NY is just bullshit politics as usual these days.

- Stop calling what's going on in Ukraine as a conflict. It's a cop out to not declare it what it really is, an attempt at an illegal annexing of Ukranian land by Russia. An invasion.

- The gender pay gap for the White House staff has more than tripled that of what it was just a year ago under Obama's administration. Women earn just over 63 cents to every dollar their male counterparts make, well under the national pay gap and, more specifically, to national levels not seen since 1980.

- It now came to the light this past Sunday that Trump's son, Jr., along with Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner and then campaign manager Paul Manafort met with top Russian lawyer Natalya Veselnitskaya last June after being promised dirt and damning information on their general election opponent, Hilary Clinton. This has been confirmed by 3 WH advisors and 2 other's familiar with the meeting. Amazing.

- All throughout social media went wild a story of a United Airlines mother that was resorted to holding her 27 month old son in her lap during the 3 and a half hour flight this past week from Houston to Boston. The mother, Shirley Yamauchi, paid nearly a $1000 for her son's seat, only to be told that a standby passenger had purchased it, as well, for $75. I hope she sues the living bejesus out of them.

- An estimated 334 gun deaths this past holiday week, as per gunviolencearchive.org. In 'Murica, we just keep chuggin' along killing each other. SMDH...

- Letters by the DOJ to request mass amounts of voter data from states, the panel headed by Kansas' secretary of state Kris Kobach, has many experts fear it is a sign of long-lasting efforts to purge voters from the voter rolls. Kobach, a champion himself of voter suppression and fear mongering, found a meager 9 instances of voter fraud in own state of Kansas while governor. A total of 44 states, including Kobach's own, have refused to comply with the panel's request. A panel, set up to investigate unsubstantiated and ludicrous claims made by the president because of his bruised ego, may I add.

- More highlights from the G20 Summit: half of the questions Trump took are from media in Poland that applied for jobs within his administration. Poland home of the authoritarian president, Andrzej Duda, the country that bussed in his supporters to the airport runway for Trump.

- Russia's presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov warned that Russia's "patience is running out" for the U.S. to reverse Obama sanctions in 2016. Two diplomatic compounds in Maryland and N.Y. were taken from Russia for their meddling in the U.S.'s general election. It'll interesting to see how the next couple months unfold after Trump and Putin's meeting at the G20 Summit and Congress recent lack of eagerness to play nice with Putin.

- Surprise surprise, there are conflicting reports about what actually happened between Russia's Putin and America's Trump meeting. I'm genuinely amused to see where this one goes.

- Washington D.C. and 18 states are suing the Department of Education over Betsy Devos' destructive decision to cancel agreements put forth by the Obama administration to cancel student loans for students from schools that don't hold up to a standard of graduation rate. This decision, of course, comes from a lady that stands to directly profit off more and more student loans defaulting, as her family owns stocks in the debt collection company Performant Recovery.

- Trump potentially ordering his Justice Department to squash or approve the pending merger of AT&T and CNN's parent company, Time Warner, based on how fairly he feels he's being reported on is yet another assault on our Free Press.

- Stop calling what's going on in Ukraine as a conflict. It's a cop out to not declare it what it really is, an attempt at an illegal annexing of Ukranian land by Russia. An invasion.

- Oregon has joined the progressive ranks with California by passing a law that would protect Oregonian women and require health insurance companies to cover reproductive needs, abortions, counseling and other service's in anticipation of the Supreme Court challenging our pivotal Roe vs. Wade decision.

- Chicago mayor trying to pass legislation that would force high school graduates to either have an enrollment in college, the military, or employment lined up at the threat of withholding their diploma's if they don't is not realistic. Those graduates earned those diploma's in an environment that is not the easiest to focus on their schooling in the first place. To not understand the variables of which a high school graduate either would not or could not do any of those three options is ignorant and classist.

- Venezuelan lawmakers that oppose their President Maduro and his authoritarian ways were physically attacked this past Wednesday, as things continue to get ugly for the South American nation.

- Let's not forget that Trump's refusal to acknowledge and hear agency intelligence on Russia's cyber attack against the U.S. just means that they'll undoubtedly launch another attack during our 2018 midterms.

- It was announced that a federal court will hear Texas' gerrymandering case that was brought against them stating racism. Republicans can specifically be cited as requesting specific blocks and condominiums in emails to lawmakers to literally pick their voters. That's not how democracy is supposed to work.