Apologies for the late update, everyone-- a good friend of mine's first book was released today, and we were at dinner celebrating. Remember that good things are happening in the world even now and give yourself permission to celebrate them yourself.
Stay strong and stay sane,
- On February 7th, 2017, despite Senate Democrats holding the floor for 24 hours reiterating their disapproval of Betsy DeVos for Secretary of Education, and millions of calls, letters, emails, and faxes to Senators denouncing her nomination, the republican donor with zero experience with public schools, who would not confirm that she would uphold protections for LGBT children, children with disabilities, or sexual assault survivors was confirmed by 50 republican senators and a tie breaking vote by snake handling mannequin Mike Pence. Pence's vote was the first in American history to break a tie for a cabinet nomination. The country erupted in outrage at her confirmation.
- On February 7th, 2017, just hours after DeVos was confirmed, republican Representative Thomas Massie of Kentucky introduce a single page bill to abolish the Department of Education by December 31st, 2018.
- On February 7th, 2017, the Huffington Post reported that leaks from the White House suggest that DT's staff is concerned about his volatile behavior. Among incidents that have given his administration anxiety is a story that he called his national security advisor and disgraced retired Lt. General Mike Flynn at 3:00 AM to ask if a weak or a strong dollar was better for the US economy. DT also reportedly complained that the towels on Airforce One were not soft enough.
- On February 7th, 2017, DT told a sheriffs' group at the White House that the murder rate in the US is "the highest it's been in 47 years." According to FBI statistics, it is actually almost at its lowest point. At the same meeting, he "joked" about destroying the career of a Texas state senator.
- Source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/02/07/trump-jokes-with-sheriffs-about-destroying-a-texas-legislators-career-over-asset-forfeiture/?utm_term=.28a9a3f6f4f3
- Source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/true-crime/wp/2017/02/07/trump-makes-false-statement-about-u-s-murder-rate-to-sheriffs-group/?utm_term=.2fd5759b8586
- On February 7th, 2017, the mother of a backpacker murdered in an Australian hostel wrote a scathing open letter to DT for invoking her daughter's death "to further this insane persecution of innocent people."
- On February 7th, 2017, for the second night in a row, Senate Democrats decided to hold the floor to protest the confirmation of Senator Jeff Sessions as Attorney General. During the protest, Senator Elizabeth Warren attempted to read a letter by Coretta Scott King criticizing Sessions for blocking Black Americans from voting. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who holds the dubious distinction of being the lowest rated senator in Congress by his constituents, interrupted Warren to accuse her of violating senate rule 19 that states senators cannot "directly or indirectly, by any form of words impute to another Senator or to other Senators any conduct or motive unworthy or unbecoming a Senator." While King's letter certainly points out Sessions's unbecoming behavior, the words were hers, not Senator Warren's. Nevertheless, senate republicans voted to remove Warren from the floor and she will not be allowed to speak until the vote. Twitter erupted in admonishment for McConnell and his fellow republicans and support for Warren with the hashtag #LetLizSpeak.
- Source: http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/congress/sen-elizabeth-warren-barred-speaking-impugning-sen-jeff-sessions-n718166
- Source: http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/07/politics/elizabeth-warren-mitch-mcconnell/
- Source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/wp/2017/02/07/republicans-vote-to-rebuke-elizabeth-warren-for-impugning-sessionss-character/?utm_term=.69c607e59de2
- On February 7th, 2017, Senators Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Ted Cruz of Texas participated in a town hall debate about the Affordable Care Act. DT has admitted that he has no plan for the replace part of repeal and replace, and leaked audio from the GOP closed door summit in Philadelphia revealed that republicans have no idea how to actually repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.
- On February 7th, 2017, While announcing that the easement for the Dakota Access Pipeline will be granted and construction fast tracked, DT stated that he had received no calls opposing the Dakota Access Pipeline and wasn't aware that it was controversial. The White House comments line was disabled shortly after DT's inauguration.
- On February 7th, 2017, the White House denied that Melania Trump intended to use her position to profit off of a jewelry and clothing line. Yesterday, she settled in a lawsuit in court that she brought against a blogger who reposted a story from the Daily Mail insinuated that she had worked as an escort. The lawsuit alleges that the blogger, an elderly resident of Gaithersville, MD, destroyed her "unique, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity" to "launch a broad-based commercial brand" and to "lose major business opportunities" to hawk products "that could have included apparel, accessories, jewelry, cosmetics, hair care and fragrance, among others." In clearer terms, a day after a man agreed to pay her a substantial sum of money for damaging her opportunity to profit off of her recent increased exposure, the White House denied that the reason he agreed to do so and the reason she brought suit in the first place were lies.
- Source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/white-house-melania-trump-has-no-intention-of-using-her-public-position-for-personal-gain/2017/02/07/7827ca5a-ed88-11e6-9973-c5efb7ccfb0d_story.html?utm_term=.869f4e4dffd6
- Source: http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-melania-trump-brand-20170207-story.html
- On February 7th, 2017, the ACLU filed suit against DT, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of State, and the National Intelligence agency for violations of the 1st and 5th Amendments stemming from DT's executive order banning entry to the US for visa holders from 7 majority Muslim nations.
- On February 7th, 2017, the House Administration Committee voted to dismantle the Election Assistance Commission, an independent federal agency set up to help states improve election systems, despite DT's assertion that broad voter fraud cost him the popular vote, and not that the vast majority of Americans think he is an unhinged, unqualified hack.
- On February 7th, 2017, the White House published a list of 78 "major" terrorist attacks since September 11th, 2001 that they claim the media did not cover. The full list of attacks was covered by the media, except for the Bowling Green Massacre, because Kellyanne Conway made that up.
- On February 7th, 2017, the Washington Post reported that the Department of Defense is likely to rent space in Trump Tower, directly funneling more taxpayer money into DT's pockets. DT has been praised by supporters for declining the $400,000 / year salary, though protection for Melania and Barron Trump costs US taxpayers and the city of New York $30,000,000 (thirty million dollars) a month. It is unclear what percentage of that amount goes directly to DT for rented lodging for members of the Secret Service.
- On February 7th, 2017, in response to DT's highly criticized first military operation that left a Navy SEAL and an 8-year-old American girl dead, Yemen withdrew permission for the US military to run Special Operations ground missions against suspected terrorists and terrorist cells in the country.