Today I tasked my Senators to oppose Jay Clayton as the chair of the SEC, as his entire career was spent getting Wall Street out of the very things he’s going to have to enforce, and to oppose the GOP bill that allows oil and mining companies to not disclose their payments to foreign government officials (can you say bribery?). Call your Senators, and have them do the same.
VICTORIES: POTUS amended the visa ban to allow Iraqi interpreters who served the U.S. military to enter the country, and dropped the restriction against green card holders. Utah Congressman Jason Chaffetz withdrew a bill that would sell off 3.3 million acres of public land. Uber CEO Travis Kalanick dropped out of Trump’s business advisory council. Every one of these was a victory. They come after sustained Resistance forced their hands. It works. Never forget that.
Also, today’s pic is from Stephen Byrne, who is a great comic book artist and uses his skills to Resist. Please enjoy!
Honestly he’s doing so many things these days, it’s hard to keep up.
- He boasted about having better ratings than Arnold Schwarzenegger, the current host of Celebrity Apprentice, because that matters deeply. It also covered up his later comment that he planned on gutting the Johnson Amendment, an important piece of tax code that restricts a 501(c)(3) from participating, directly or indirectly, in political campaigns, either for or against a candidate. If they do, they can lose their tax-exempt status. The Johnson Amendment was passed in 1954 by a Republican Congress and signed into law by President Eisenhower, also a Republican (the days when they really were the Grand Old Party), and it wasn’t seen as “silencing religion” or whatever nonsense is being floated now: it was uncontroversial. So uncontroversial that it carried through every presidency, including through the rewritten tax codes under President Reagan. Now POTUS wants to “destroy” the Johnson Amendment because of campaign promises that helped earn him the vote of far-right evangelicals. They believe that it violates free speech, even though Courts have disagreed.
- He threatened to cancel federal funding for UC Berkeley after they had to cancel white-nationalist Milo Yiannopoulos’ speech because of student protests. Important points here: a. he doesn’t have the power to cancel funding because of this event b. this is not a restriction of freedom of speech, UCB did it because they believed he was no longer safe and c. students protesting is not a violation of freedom of speech, because that refers to federal censorship. So make sure to shut down stupid people to claim otherwise.
- FOREIGN POLICY: Military sources claim that POTUS authorized the raid in Yemen, that led to the death of an 8-year-old girl and an American serviceman, without adequate information. Look for more on this in the coming weeks. The Treasury Department announced they are going to allow some companies to do limited business with Russia’s Federal Security Service (the successor to the KGB). Additional sanctions on Iran were threatened after their recent missile test, and POTUS accused them of taking action against a U.S. ship that the Pentagon says never happened. UN ambassador Haley called on Russia to de-escalate violence in Ukraine, the first sign we’ve seen of non-friendliness with Russia. Most significantly today, POTUS issued a statement appealing Israel not to expand the construction of settlements beyond their current borders, which is in line with the policy of the Obama administration…and exactly against what POTUS said he would do.
- CABINET: Pruitt (EPA) was sent to a full Senate vote despite a Democrat boycott.
- CONGRESS: The House voted to eliminate a regulation that required the Social Security Administration (SSA) to report disability benefit recipients with severe mental disorders to the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICBC), with the intent of restricting the access to firearms for individuals suffering from severe schizophrenia and anxiety.