Alright, it would be remiss of me not to at least give a little nod to the biggest news of THIS day which is…
On March 30th, 2017, disgraced retired General and disgraced retired National Security Advisor Mike Flynn offered to testify to the FBI and Congress in exchange for immunity. Apparently, no one has taken him up on the offer, perhaps because they’re more interested in… ahem… locking him up.
Anyway, on to the promised topics, the quick one first:
NEIL GORSUCH HEARINGS
On March 20th, 2017
- A former student of Gorsuch posted a letter stating that the judge had suggested that employers should be able to ask women about their marriage and longterm family plans in interviews, claiming that women defraud companies by getting jobs while pregnant in order to use their brief employment for maternity benefits. Other students in the class have refuted her assertion, sort of.
- On Day 1 of his Senate hearing, Gorsuch didn’t really say much of anything, though most Senators took their time for questions to express either that he was the most qualified judge to ever grace the Supreme Court nominee list (Ted Cruz called him “super-qualified”) or to bemoan that Merrick Garland had never even received a hearing (Michael Bennet called it "an embarrassment to this body that will be recorded in history.”).
- Most notably, however, Senator Richard Blumenthal said, "We meet this week in the midst of a looming constitutional crisis… The possibility of the Supreme Court needing to enforce a subpoena against the president is no longer idle speculation ... So the independence of the judiciary is more important than ever, and your defense of it is critical.”
- In perhaps the most ludicrous statement of a slogan filled hearing, Gorsuch actually said “There’s no such thing as a Republican judge or a Democratic judge.”
On March 21st, 2017
- Slate published a measured and in depth assessment of Gorsuch’s so-called “frozen trucker” dissent, noting the sarcastic tone indicates that Gorsuch “may not have the temperament to serve on the Supreme Court. For reference, the dissent was in favor of the employers who fired Alphonse Maddin, a truck driver from the Detroit area, after Maddin chose to not literally freeze to death rather than stay with a trailer unable to move because the brakes had seized in the cold.
- For the second day in a row, Gorsuch danced around actually answering any questions, leading Senator Diane Feinstein to say, “What worries me is you have been very much able to avoid any specificity like no one I have ever seen before. And maybe that's a virtue. I don't know. But for us on this side, knowing where you stand on major questions of the day is really important.”
On March 23rd, 2017
- Senator Chuck Schumer confirmed that, if necessary, he would filibuster Gorsuch’s confirmation.
- In response, some republican senators have said that they will use the so-called nuclear option to bring a vote to the floor to change the number needed to end a filibuster of a SCOTUS confirmation (currently at 60) to a simple majority of 51. Senator Lindsay Graham of South Carolina, specifically, said, “Whatever it takes to get him on the court I will do.”
NEPOTISM, CONFLICTS OF INTEREST, AND LEGAL ISSUES
Apparently, this was the week that the Trump family just entirely stopped giving a damn about keeping up appearances. But there is some pushback from the great state of New York.
On March 20th, 2017
- Ivanka Trump will be granted top level security clearance, government issued communications devices, and a White House office, but not as an employee. She will, according to her lawyer, be DT’s “eyes and ears.” Government watchdogs were furious about the the situation, since as a non-employee, she will not be subject to the same ethics laws she would be otherwise. On November 16th, 2016, DT tweeted “I am not trying to get "top level security clearance" for my children. This was a typically false news story.”
- Hidden in a probably little read article on Forbes was the news that, according to DT’s Las Vegas business partner, no plans whatsoever have been made to donate profits from foreign dignitaries visiting their hotel.
- But New York’s newest prosecutor will be helping to expose more of this garbage. NY AG Eric Schneiderman just hired a prosecutor who served under fired US AG Preet Bharara to target public corruption, including that committed by DT’s administration.
On March 21st, 2017
- UPDATE: This appears to be a hoax, which is really too bad, because I love quoting teens who are mad at DT. The New York Observer reported that DT’s lawyers have gone after a teenager who made a website where you can punch DT in the face… with kittens’ paws.
On March 24th, 2017
- Eric Trump says he’s going to give his dad quarterly updates and financial reports on the Trump Organization, completely eschewing any appearances that DT is “no longer involved” with the family business.
DEVASTATION IN MOSUL
Sometime in February - exact date unknown
- DT gave the CIA the power to enact drone strikes. Not to collect intelligence and then communicate that to the Pentagon. To literally enact drone strikes themselves.
On March 17th, 2017
- Airwars tracked the 1,000th alleged civilian death tied to coalition strikes against ISIL in Iraq and Syria. One thousand civilians have been killed by DT less than 2 months after the inauguration. That’s more than 17 innocent people murdered every single day that this man has sat in the White House.
On March 22nd, 2017
- The Guardian reported that at least 33 civilians had been killed in a US led attack in Mosul, many of whom had fled nearby fighting and were seeking safety when they were killed.
On March 23rd, 2017
- A local Kurdish news outlet, Rudaw, reported that approximately 230 people were killed in the US led attack in Mosul, many of whom were attempting to take shelter in their homes.
On March 25th, 2017
- The Independent reported that Iraqi forces fighting ISIL have paused their efforts because of the massive civilian casualties inflicted earlier in the week. Yes, our allies have stopped fighting because they are horrified by the violence we are inflicting on their people in an attempt to fight alongside them. And we're trying to block refugees. I am sick beyond words.
That’s all I can get through for tonight. I am sickened and angry at the deaths of innocent people we are supposed to be fighting to protect. People we won’t take in to our own country but whose homes we will bomb. I keep thinking of misguided people who voted for this man because he “wouldn’t lead us into a bunch of wars like Hillary will,” and I just feel ill.
Next update tomorrow on foreign policy disasters, detrimental agriculture policies that are flying under the radar, attacks on womens’ and LGBT rights, and immigration police horrors. I really should have left the Russia stuff for last instead of back loading most of the awful stuff.