What A Day: Cain, Unable by Brian Beutler, Priyanka Aribindi & Crooked Media (04/12/19)
"I'm not in favor of a gold standard" "I like the idea going to a gold standard"—Stephen Moore, the Trump Federal Reserve nominee Senate Republicans like
President Trump has escalated his war against the rule of law in the past several weeks, and the few constraints that had contained him until recently appear to be failing. The most stunning and racist abuse the Trump administration has contemplated since the election is a plan to round up unauthorized immigrants and offload them into “sanctuary cities,” which have instituted policies designed to limit cooperation with or involvement in federal immigration enforcement. Trump, along with his white-nationalist adviser Stephen Miller, reportedly hoped to target House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s San Francisco district, to exact revenge against her and gain leverage over House Democrats in legislative fights. Their view of immigrants as pawns who might wreak havoc on political enemies in liberal cities and states would be demented enough, if it weren’t also illegal—so illegal that lawyers for Immigrations and Customs Enforcement “rejected the idea as inappropriate and rebuffed the administration.” Yep: Too abusive for ICE. Unnamed White House sources attempted to downplay the extent of the administration’s interest in this plan, only for Trump to discredit them by acknowledging publicly that the plan remains under consideration. Trump also would like the military to build and operate migrant detention camps, prompting his national security team to contemplate an end-run around the Posse Comitatus Act, which prohibits military service members from enforcing domestic laws. He reportedly encouraged his incoming acting Department of Homeland Security secretary to defy the law and a court order requiring him to admit asylum seekers by promising to pardon him should a judge order him jailed. The backdrop for this surge of lawlessness is the arrival of Attorney General William Barr, who has, explicitly or otherwise, left Trump with the impression that the Justice Department will help him subvert the rule of law. Barr usurped Congress’s proper role to assert Trump’s innocence of obstruction of justice, while concealing the evidence in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report. He endorsed the right-wing conspiracy theory that senior FBI officials “spied” on the Trump campaign, and has promised to consider punitive action against them. And he will now repurpose the DOJ to cover for the administration as it violates the law requiring the Treasury Department to turn Trump’s tax returns over to Congress. Worst of all, he made us kind of miss Jeff Sessions. Trump has cheered all of it. With Barr’s help, and with a near iron-clad assurance from Congress that he won’t be impeached, Trump can finally set about building the autocracy he’s always wanted. Read →
Under the Radar
Georgetown students have voted overwhelmingly in favor of paying reparations to the descendants of 272 slaves the university sold in the 1850s to keep the school afloat financially. If the university’s board of directors approves the measure, each undergraduate student will be assessed a $27.20 fee every semester, which will generate an estimated $380,000 each year. The students held the referendum amid a debate among Democratic presidential primary candidates about whether the government should pay reparations as means of restitution and to shrink the racial wealth gap.
President Trump’s order prohibiting transgender military service took effect today, ending the careers of an estimated 13,700 American service members. Under the ban, the military now can discharge or bar anyone who won’t serve in the gender they were assigned at birth, or who is undergoing hormone therapy or other gender-confirmation procedures. A truly evil thing to do to people who volunteered to make the ultimate sacrifice for this country. Herman Cain is expected to withdraw from consideration for the Federal Reserve Board of Governors after several Republican senators announced their opposition to him on the basis of the sexual assault allegations that ended his 2012 presidential candidacy. The fact that he is a partisan hack and a crank is still cool with them, apparently, which is why Stephen Moore’s nomination has been smooth sailing. Sudan’s military has announced it would suspend the country’s Constitution for a two-year transition period, in the aftermath of the coup that deposed President Omar al-Bashir. All of the money raised for a Trump inaugural ball at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC, including from foreign companies and donors with foreign ties, flowed without record keeping into a mysterious bank account, despite legal requirements to report all contributions. The city of Chicago has sued Jussie Smollett after he refused to pay over $130,000 to cover the cost of overtime the city’s police department racked up investigating the hate crime Smollett allegedly staged. Kim Foxx, the state’s attorney who dropped all charges against Smollett, has also asked the Cook County Inspector General to investigate her office’s handling of the case. The Republicans’ trillion dollar corporate tax cut doubled the number of companies that paid $0 in federal income taxes from 30 to 60 over the course of one year. Shout out to the person on Elizabeth Warren’s campaign who scheduled her corporate-profit tax rollout this week, your timing is impeccable. Disney has unveiled its long-awaited streaming service Disney Plus, which will feature Disney, Pixar, Star Wars, National Geographic, and Marvel films, and debut 10 original films and 25 original series in year one alone. It’s also $2 cheaper a month than Netflix, and has slashed Netflix’s market value by $8 billion. From Priyanka: Who wants to go halfsies???
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You've Gotta Be Fucking Kidding Me
At the urging of anti-abortion activists, the White House will screenGosnell: The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer—a crowdfunded film about a Philadelphia abortion doctor who was convicted in 2013 of performing illegal late-term abortions and of the first-degree murder of three infants. Who’s up for date night at the White House?! This isn’t the only anti-abortion propaganda film the White House has publicly endorsed. Last month, Vice President Mike Pence tweeted his support for Unplanned—the story of a former Planned Parenthood staffer-turned-anti-abortion activist that falsely suggests abortions are unsafe, and characterizes Planned Parenthood as a manipulative and money-hungry organization.
Is That Hope I Feel?
New Hampshire’s House and Senate have voted to repeal the death penalty with veto-proof majorities, setting the state up to outlaw capital punishment, over the objections of its Republican governor. Twenty other states and Washington, DC, that have already abolished capital punishment, and bills to repeal or limit it have been introduced in 18 states this year.
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