By Doug Porter
The man occupying the office once occupied by ‘the leader of the free world’ has spent his week railing against the news media.
He took on big city newspapers, threatening Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos for non-payment of a non-existent ‘internet tax’. Then it was CNN. And now he’s been petty and misogynist with a personal attack on MSNBC host Mika Brzezinski.
Don’t allow yourself to be distracted: bad things are afoot in Congress and elsewhere.
Something for everybody. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell seems to think a bribe or two will placate Republicans who are worried about being means to their constituents. At the same time, he’s going to take the bill further into AynRand-land by offering more flexibility with Healthcare Savings Accounts.
From Greg Sargent at the Washington Post:
The Senate’s health-care bill is on the verge of collapse, multiple reports tell us this morning, with numerous GOP senators balking at the brutal new Congressional Budget Office analysis, which found that the bill would leave 22 million more uninsured by 2026, 15 million of them in the next year alone.
But the bill is far from dead. The big question now is whether Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) can buy off a few moderate senators with “side deals.” Politico reports that such discussions are well underway as we speak.
But what the CBO report really tells us is this: No side deal can actually rescue the bill in any meaningful sense from the moral criticism that these moderate Republicans themselves have lodged against it. A few moderates may end up backing the bill — and it may even pass — but if so, they will be largely embracing priorities that they basically asked us to believe they reject as unacceptable.
The only thing I can say to this ‘keep the pressure up.” Tell your Senator(s) vote no (202) 224-3121. Or thank them if they’re doing the right thing. #SaveOurCare
I have no doubt President Trump’s handlers rushed to the scene of this morning’s twitter-crime, seeking to distract him from adding insult to injury by telling tales of scary brown people sneaking across our borders.
Perhaps they told him about the anti-immigrant event in Washington this week, where Sandy Rios of the American Family Association, claimed in an interview with Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) president Dan Stein that many immigrants “do not know basic hygiene.”
From Right Wing Watch:
“Listen, I am being very impolitic here,” Rios admitted, “but, as a female I find that bathrooms have just become unbearable because I think the people coming in don’t know basic hygiene, don’t know how to handle modern amenities.”
Rios reported that these “unbearable” bathrooms are found in areas with high immigrant populations like “Washington, D.C., or if you’re in Dearborn, Michigan, or Orlando, Florida, or Los Angeles,” where “it’s often like a third-world country.” In these areas, Rios explained, “we see the changes, and we’re saying ‘no, we’ve got to control this, we’ve got to assimilate people, we’ve got to teach them all kinds of things in order to make this work.”
Two bills aiming to supercharge the administration’s immigrant purge, introduced by Congressman Bob Goodlatte, are coming up for vote and the President wants us all to know how important this is to him.
One of the bills to see a floor vote, dubbed Kate’s Law, boosts penalties for immigrants who try to re-enter the United States after being deported. It is named after Kate Steinle, a young woman who was shot and killed in San Francisco by an immigrant who had been deported repeatedly yet returned. Trump frequently discussed the killing on the campaign trail last year.
The second is legislation that goes after so-called sanctuary cities — localities that limit cooperation with federal immigration authorities, including by refusing to hold an immigrant in jail longer just so federal officials can pick him or her up to be deported. Sanctuary cities, usually liberal jurisdictions such as New York, have also been a major Trump target.
The “No Sanctuaries for Criminals Act” would toughen penalties for sanctuary cities in multiple ways. For example, it would require that cities and counties comply with orders from federal immigration officials, such as “detainers” that keep immigrants in jail so they can be picked up for deportation. It would also bar Homeland Security and Justice Department grants from sanctuary cities that don’t comply.
Law enforcement groups have made it clear they oppose these bills because they will negatively impact public safety. The Fraternal Order of Police opposed the “No Sanctuary for Criminals” legislation, and law enforcement from around the country continue to oppose both of these bills.
So, if the cops say these bills won’t make us safer, what could the motivation for advancing them possibly be?
There there’s the administration’s UN Representative bragging:
“Just 5 months into our time here, we’ve cut over half a billion $$$ from the UN peacekeeping budget & we’re only getting started.” pic.twitter.com/LA7IKqupff
— Nikki Haley (@nikkihaley) June 29, 2017
Incredibly, I keep seeing articles claiming Russian interference in 2016 was a hoax. I’m afraid there isn’t much to be done about these folks, who deny the preponderance of the evidence that something bad–really bad–occurred.
Reasonable people can argue about what exactly that “something” was and whether it had any impact.
We knew the Russians were screwing around, but I doubt investigators will find enough evidence on attributable outcomes. I’d be more willing to bet there were massive financial crimes–perhaps overlapping with assorted administration officials aiding a cover-up of said crimes.
Remember, there was never a question of prosecuting President Nixon for the actual break-in at the Watergate Hotel. It was the cover-up that opened the door to discovery of a whole host of other misdeeds.
On the other end of the spectrum from the deniers, there are the alarmists. The last time I saw this much conspiracy-mongering was back in the Watergate era.
Amateur sleuths, all claiming to have sources in high places, regularly make improbable proclamations about this or that thing soon to occur which will change the world as we know it.
Question these claims at the risk of being branded an agent provocateur for whomever this particular conspiracist has decided are the bad guys.
Personally, my money is on the alien lizard people.
Along the lines of making a positive contribution to this conversation, I suggest Securing Elections From Foreign Interference, a report put together by the Brennan Center for Justice.
Its suggestions are mostly modest, along the lines of steps to protect voting machines from cyber attacks and protecting voter databases. There is nothing exciting here, just stuff that could be done NOW, while we wait for the various investigations to unfold.
Conspiracy theorists will no doubt point to the introduction written by former CIA Director James Woolsey as evidence this report isn’t worth their time when the truth is that there isn’t enough drama for them with something so mundane.
Looking for some action? Check out the Weekly Progressive Calendar, published every Friday in this space, featuring Demonstrations, Rallies, Teach-ins, Meet Ups and other opportunities to get your activism on.
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