fresh voices from the front lines of change







Collateral Damage

Russia investigation may reveal aides’ excesses. The Atlantic: “As the blast radius of the Russia investigation continues to expand, Donald Trump is facing an unnerving new reality: The fate of his presidency may now hinge on the motley, freewheeling crew of lieutenants and loyalists who have long populated his entourage… Sources close to the president say there is growing concern in the White House about what skeletons may emerge as investigators comb through a coterie of aides, past and present, who would have done virtually anything to win favor with Trump.”

Trump will live-tweet James Comey hearing. Crooks and Liars: “I was just talking to some White House officials this morning and their view is that the president himself wants to be the messenger, his own warrior, his own lawyer, his own spokesman… the president is expected to be tweeting on Thursday in response to Comey, not to stay quiet during the testimony because he himself wants to be the one driving the process.”

Educational Morass

Betsy DeVos won’t protect LBGTQ students from discrimination. ThinkProgress: “Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos told a congressional panel Tuesday that she will do nothing to prevent schools from discriminating against LGBTQ students…. (Sen. Jeff) Merkley continued to grill DeVos: ‘You’re refusing to answer the question,’ he said. ‘I think that’s very important for the public to know  – that today, the Secretary of Education, before this committee, refused to affirm that she would put forward a program that would ban discrimination based on the LGBTQ status of students or ban discrimination based on religion.'”

Trump tax loopholes enrich donors to private schools. AlterNet: “The proposed Education Opportunities Act would ‘put two new federal voucher tax shelters within reach for many more Americans and lead to an explosion in funding for private schools,’ a joint release from the School Superintendents Association (ASSA) and Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) said. ‘It would also keep in place an existing federal loophole that permits savvy taxpayers to benefit from certain ‘double-dipping’ practices, where they receive a federal deduction and state tax credit on the same donation to a private school.’

Frauds and Fake News

The $110 billion arms deal to Saudi Arabia is fake news. Brookings Institution: “President Trump visited Saudi Arabia and his administration announced that he had concluded a $110 billion arms deal with the kingdom. Only problem is that there is no deal. It’s fake news.I’ve spoken to contacts in the defense business and on the Hill, and all of them say the same thing: There is no $110 billion deal. Instead, there are a bunch of letters of interest or intent, but not contracts.”

Trump shifts kids-cancer charity money Into his business. Forbes:  “In reviewing filings from the Eric Trump Foundation and other charities, it’s clear that the course wasn’t free–that the Trump Organization received payments for its use, part of more than $1.2 million that has no documented recipients past the Trump Organization. Golf charity experts say the listed expenses defy any reasonable cost justification for a one-day golf tournament. Additionally, the Donald J. Trump Foundation, which has come under previous scrutiny for self-dealing and advancing the interests of its namesake rather than those of charity, apparently used the Eric Trump Foundation to funnel $100,000 in donations into revenue for the Trump Organization.”


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