The Supreme Court heard on Tuesday initial arguments in a Wisconsin gerrymandering case where a state with 48% Republican voters somehow managed to capture two-thirds of the congressional seats. Swing judge Anthony Kennedy may tip the scales in the direction of fairer representation, and if the court upholds the federal rulings (in Wisconsin, and also Texas and North Carolina) that these extremely gerrymandered districts are unconstitutional, we could see the beginning of the end of partisan gerrymandering that gives the political party in power disproportionate influence and allows lawmakers to choose their constituents, instead of the other way around. Uber-conservative Neil Gorsuch, Donny’s pick for the seat illegitimately blocked by Mitch McConnell and the GOP for a year, tried mansplaining the Constitution to the other judges. Ruth Bader Ginsburg—the notorious RBG—was having none of that. Here’s a great explanation of gerrymandering and the court case at hand, and last Monday’s excellent NYTimes Daily podcast offers a clear (and chilling) closer look at the Wisconsin case.
More strands in the complex Russia web are coming to light. Trump documents that federal investigators requested the White House turn over reveal that Donny’s lawyer Michael Cohen had two more contacts with Russian officials looking to do business with Don John during the 2016 campaign (in one case inviting Cohen to a meeting where Putin would be present)—contacts that were previously undisclosed.
Not only did Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump, Reince Priebus, Steve Bannon, and Gary Cohn use personal emails for government communication after taking the White House—but recent reports show that some of them did so after the NSA expressly warned them not to do it for fear of foreign espionage. Due to these facts, a recently revealed past possible criminal indictment whose charges were suspiciously dropped, and Kushner’s dozens of omissions to his national security questionnaire that he’s had to correct multiple times and has been fined for, two House Dems are calling for the revocation of his and Ivanka’s security clearance; call your MoCs and ask that they add their voices to stop this administration from wasting public dollars.
In further Trump administration abuses, Ryan Zinke, secretary of the interior, is now under investigation by the inspector general of his department, the Interior Department, for his profligate use of taxpayer dollars for his travel, including a number of taxpayer-funded vacations for him and his wife, as well as his mixing of official trips with political appearances, an ethics no-no. He joins former HHS secretary Tom Price, who has since resigned, and EPA head Scott Pruitt as the most flagrant abusers of taxpayer funds. Keep calling your MoCs to demand accountability.
In the same vein, Democrat-proposed legislation has been introduced in the Senate that would ban federal agencies from doing business with Trump hotels. The HOTEL Act would keep Donald from profiting from the presidency, a repeated violation of ethics this administration has so far been unwilling to address. Keep calling your senators and ask that they support this legislation.
Rabidly anti-choice GOP Rep Tim Murphy, a member of the House Pro-Life Caucus, has tendered his resignation after it was revealed that he asked his mistress (yes, his extramarital lover) to get an abortion when they got pregnant. Apparently there are some hypocrisies lawmakers feel even Republican voters won’t accept. If we keep shining the light unflinchingly on this corrupt family and administration, hopefully more and more voters will see what they are actually voting for.