5/28: “Our presidency has been debased.”
That quote comes from a Republican senator, Jeff Flake—one of the handful of lawmakers freed of the need to pander to the base with announcement of his retirement, who is speaking out openly against Don John and his abuses of office. At an address to Harvard Law School, Flake called Donny “a figure who has a seemingly bottomless appetite for destruction and division. And only a passing familiarity with how the Constitution works.”
It may herald a wave of GOP lawmakers finding some kind of backbone; in fact the New York Times reports on a coalition of high-profile and well-funded Republicans joining Democrats in trying to curb Donald’s attempts to chip away at our democracy.
And a bipartisan group of senators—including, amazingly, John Cornyn—are speaking out against Donald’s efforts to lessen sanctions and penalties on Chinese telecom company ZTE and other Chinese companies that are “serial and pre-meditated violators of U.S. law.” Marco Rubio has gone so far as to suggest Congress will block any attempts by ZTE to operate in the U.S.
In a hilarious example of his incompetence, as Donald erratically spewed invective and flattery at North Korea and Kim Jong Un, he found time to accuse the New York Times of making up a source on his vacillation in the planned June 12summit with the brutal North Korean dictator—a source the White House itself sent to brief dozens of reporters from other media outlets as well.
Just before Don John canceled the dangled carrot of a mythical meeting with brutal dictator Kim Jong Un North Korea issued one of its linguistically pungent statements regarding VP Mike Pence, calling him a “political dummy” and saying:“As a person involved in the U.S. affairs, I cannot suppress my surprise at such ignorant and stupid remarks gushing out from the mouth of the U.S. vice president.” Trust me, North Korea, as people directly involved in U.S. affairs, neither can we.
Former Don John senior campaign adviser A. J. Delgado couldn’t restrain her disbelief at Donald’s desperate attacks against the FBI. After he tweeted that he would ask his DoJ to open an investigation into whether President Obama and the FBI “embedded” a “spy” into his campaign (an informant was dispatched, consistent with FBI protocol in an active investigation, which was already under way at that time because of evidence indicating possible involvement by the Trump campaign with Russia’s efforts to tamper with our election) and Rod Rosenstein palliated the colluder in chief and agreed to the baseless demand, the former Trump campaign senior adviser tweeted, “Are we really going w this?? That Obama put a spy inside the Trump campaign, to frame Trump? Srsly? Not sure if it’s IQ, ethics, or simple common sense but I cant.”
Even frequent Trump toady Lindsay Graham spoke out against Don John’s “spygate” conspiracy attacks against the Mueller investigation, and Mitch McConnell says he supports the investigation as well.
Meanwhile Robert Mueller is investigating former Donald adviser Roger Stone’s finances, and the Taxi King will testify: One of Michael Cohen’s business partners, a Russian immigrant business owner, has agreed to cooperate with federal investigators as a potential witness, and the FBI has obtained wiretap recordings with a Kremlin-linked banker who later met with Don Jr during the 2016 campaign.
Even before the Santa Fe shooting, more than half of Texans polled favored stronger commonsense gun laws.
Questioned on why his company was making a political stand in terminating the discount program formerly offered to the NRA, United Airlines CEO stood strongly by the company’s decision, stating that it wasn’t political but ”personal with regard to my family at United.” One of the 17 people killed at the Parkland school shooting was the teenage daughter of a United captain.
After activists led by Parkland survivor David Hogg organized a planned “die-in” at Publix at news that the corporation donated $670K to a pro-NRA Republican candidate, the grocery store giant announced it would immediately stop all political donations.
“Draining the Swamp”
Mick Mulvaney, White House budget director, is in an all-fired hurry to replace Paul Ryan as speaker of the House. Other lawmakers are showing rustlings of discontent with Ryan’s leadership, and a willingness to consider his departure. Don’t let the door hit you in the nonexistent spine on your way out, Paul.
Scott Pruitt’s EPA keeps trying to push through regulatory rollbacks without adequate study, vetting, or scientific support. Among the more than half dozen EPA regulation rollbacks proposed by Pruitt and hitting legal and procedural snags is how coal-burning power plants must store potentially toxic waste. An environmental watchdog group threw a wrench in the works when they pointed out the EPA’s lack of established scientific research used to support the measure. Pruitt’s EPA was relying on a four-page document by a utility industry trade association, which acknowledged that its conclusions were not “part of or a summary of a larger study.”
The Law Against Republicans:
Have you had the honor of being blocked by the bloviator in chief on his Twitter account? A federal judge has ruled that such action on a presidential account is unconstitutional and a violation of the First Amendment.
A federal judge ruled in favor of a transgender student who fought for the right to use the boys’ bathroom at his school.
Eight families of victims of the Sandy Hook shooting are suing conspiracy theorist and shock jock Alex Jones in three separate lawsuits for his propagation of false claims that the Sandy Hook shooting was a hoax.
New Jersey has become the first Atlantic state to put a legal barrier up against Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke’s (and the White House’s, in conjunction with the oil and gas industry) attempts to encourage offshore oil drilling. A new bill passed in NJ prohibits oil exploration in state waters, and bars pipeline construction from federal waters.
Social and Civil Rights Advances
Ireland voted in a landslide to overturn among the most restrictive abortion laws in the world.
Stacey Abrams won the a gubernatorial primary to become the first black woman candidate for governor in either major party has won the primary in the United States—in Georgia, of all places.
Cracker Barrel and several other restaurants kicked Georgia Republican gubernatorial candidate Michael Williams’s offensive deportation bus off its properties.
A prominent Southern Baptist church leader who made sexist, demeaning comments about women has been removed from his position.
A group of prominent Christian leaders drafted a manifesto that doesn’t mention, but directly implicates, Donny’s abuses of office as antithetical to true Christian belief. “Christians should stand against “the practice and pattern of lying that is invading our political and civil life.” It goes on to explicitly condemn white nationalism, misogyny and the abuse of women, attacks on immigrants and refugees, and cutting aid to the poor while offering tax breaks to the rich, and calls the “America First” doctrine “theological heresy.”
The Senate is finally moving closer to getting legislation on the floor to revamp laws on how sexual harassment and other workplace misconduct is handled in Congress.
Your Feel-good Stories of the Week
The Obamas signed a multiyear deal with Netflix to produce high-road programming—scripted and unscripted—to highlight issues President Obama pursued while in office, and spread messages and examples of good in the world.
A sinkhole has opened up on the White House lawn—exactly one year to the day that a sinkhole opened up on the Mar-A-Lago grounds. Coincidence, or the Lord of Darkness calling his minions home?