The walls are closing in | How your voices are making a difference

Could Donald’s engineering of the longest government shutdown in history be another of his distraction techniques to call attention away from the revelation that PAUL MANAFORT SHARED 2016 POLLING DATA WITH AN ASSOCIATE TIED TO RUSSIAN INTELLIGENCE?

Or that in 2017 the FBI opened an investigation into a SITTING PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES on suspicion that he was WORKING ON BEHALF OF OUR GREATEST ADVERSARY, RUSSIA?

I think it might….

Could it also be a desperate attempt to deflect from the news that Natalia Veselnitskaya—the Russian lawyer of Trump Tower meeting fame—was charged with obstruction of justice by federal prosecutors in a separate civil tax-fraud case that reveals her deep ties to the Kremlin? And that Michael Cohen will be testifying publicly before Congress on multiple illegal actions he took at Donny’s direct behest?

Or news that the White House may have intervened directly with the DoJ in the case against casino magnate, Don John crony, and huge GOP donor Steve Wynn for violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act? And then the White House subsequently revised those violated rules to favor employers like Wynn…? Mmmm, methinks perhaps so.

And so let’s call this next section…

The Walls

I don’t mean just the one Donny wants to build, but the ones closing in on him….

All four living ex-presidents put the lie to Donald’s claim that any of them supported his compensatory wall (the one Mexico was supposed to pay for, remember? And that every single Congressperson in districts bordering the proposed wall uniformly opposes), and certainly not Donald’s holding the government hostage with demands for exorbitant funds for his meaningless Waterloo.

Eight House Republicans broke with the GOP to back Democrats’ legislation to reopen the Treasury and IRS without Donny’s border-wall funds. Naturally Don’s #1 toady Mitch McConnell refused to bring it to the Senate floor.

Yet another federal works union—this one Border Patrol—is suing Don John over lack of pay during his shutdown. And the Airline Pilots Association (representing 61,000 pilots) letter to Donald warned that the shutdown is putting flying safety at risk.

Food banks and GoFund Me accounts are being set up for victims of the GOP shutdown—many of whom are selling off possessions to scrape by while not being paid thanks to the White House, which advised them to do chores for their landlords,while the Coast Guard suggests furloughed employees do odd jobs, hold yard sales, and consider declaring bankruptcy. Meanwhile Mitch McConnell was in hiding when the Senate adjourned early on Friday, having still refused to allow a vote on legislation approved by the House to end the shutdown—the very same legislation he himself helped propose weeks ago and that passed unanimously in the Senate.

And Donald shouldn’t look to the veteran who raised $20 million in a Go Fund Me drive to build the wall, either—Brian Kolfage is being forced to refund every single donor’s money when it was revealed that he will not be using the funds as promised. Kolfage, a right-wing conspiracy theorist with a history of questionable fund-raising, is trying to reroute the funds to a nonprofit called We Build the Wall Inc., featuring former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach on its advisory board…in no conflict of interest or shady ethics violations whatsoever. J

White House Chaos

Donny can’t seem to fill his latest hot potato of a job—so far a retired senator and a retired general have turned him down to replace Jim Mattis as secretary of defense.

U.S. Security Adviser John Bolton directly contradicted Donald’s impulsive announcement about withdrawing U.S. troops from Syria. And then Donald contradicted Bolton’s contradiction and said troops absolutely WERE going to be withdrawn immediately, bigly! And then all that moved out of Syria was some equipment. No one seems to know what the hell is happening in foreign policy. Or really anything within the White House walls.

Your Badass Democratic House in Action

In the scant two weeks since Democrats took charge in the House, here are some highlights of what they’ve already accomplished:

It’s nice to see accountability returning to government, and to see at least half of Congress remembering the American constitutional checks and balances of the legislative branch of government, rather than serving as an obedient extension of the executive branch.

Republican Corruption

South Carolina GOP Rep Tim Scott penned an op-ed condemning his party for staying silent on Iowa GOP Rep Steve King’s racist remarks about white supremacy, stating, “When people with opinions similar to King’s open their mouths, they damage not only the Republican Party and the conservative brand but also our nation as a whole.”

In a blow to the party that tries to steal elections when it can’t win them, the Supreme Court denied the GOP’s motion to stop the redrawing of gerrymandered election maps in Virginia.

Social and Civil Rights Advances

Cyntoia Brown, who killed the man who bought her for sex at the age of 16, was granted clemency by Tennessee governor Bill Haslam, a Republican.

On the heels of the ouster of Les Moonves, accused of sexual harassment, CBS News named its first female president.

Why this took so long is beyond me, but the Texas lege finally agreed to remove a plaque at the Capitol that falsely says the Civil War wasn’t fought over slavery. In 2019. But at least we’re getting there finally.

David’s Bridal features a lesbian couple in one of their commercials.

Who run the world? Shockingly (and welcomely), it might not be girls, but older women.

Your Feel-good Stories of the Week

Watch as Republican strategist and commentator Ana Navarro ingeniously, hilariously handles the misinformation and windbaggery of Donald toady Steve Cortes (and stay tuned for when Chris Cuomo shuts Cortes down with a fabulous fact bomb).

RBG is a goddamned superhero.

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