GOP Bids To Avert Shutdown With Pentagon Boost
House GOP plans stopgap spending bill with Pentagon funding. WaPo: "House Republican leaders have come out with a plan to keep the government open for six more weeks while Washington grapples with a potential follow-up budget pact and, perhaps, immigration legislation. GOP leaders announced they would seek to pass the stopgap spending bill by marrying it with a full-year, $659 billion Pentagon spending bill that’s a top priority of the party’s legion of defense hawks. The measure would keep the government running through March 23 and also reauthorize for funding for community health centers that enjoy widespread bipartisan support. Pairing the Pentagon’s budget with only temporary money for the rest of the government wouldn’t go anywhere in the Senate, vowed Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., who said it 'would be barreling head first into a dead-end.'"
Yellen Sanctions Wells Fargo For Lending Abuses
Yellen yokes in Wells Fargo in parting shot from Fed. WaPo: "Janet L. Yellen wrapped up her final day on the job leading the central bank by dropping a bombshell: She smacked down Wells Fargo, issuing an order that bars the scandal-plagued, abuse-prone bank from growing until it cleans up its act. The penalty will cost Wells Fargo $300 million to $400 million this year in after-tax profits by its own reckoning (though that is less than 2 percent of what it earned last year and a fraction of its $3.4 billion tax cut windfall). It has to submit a plan for overhauling its corporate governance within 60 days and will replace four of its 16 board members by the end of the year. More than that, though, the unprecedented move by the Fed represents a shot across the industry’s bow. The policymaking gears in the Trump era have been spinning in sync to relieve pressure on banks. Yellen’s mic drop — as Capital Alpha’s Ian Katz described it in a Sunday note — is a reminder that regulators can still inflict pain on wayward firms."
SCOTUS Turns Down GOP Bid To Keep PA Gerrymander
SCOTUS rejects GOP effort to preserve PA’s partisan gerrymander for 2018. Slate: "Justice Samuel Alito rejected Pennsylvania Republicans’ last-ditch effort to preserve the partisan gerrymander of their state’s congressional map. The justice’s decision effectively ensures that Pennsylvania’s 2018 congressional elections will be held under a much fairer map, giving Democrats an opportunity to win several more seats in the state. In fact, the dissolution of Pennsylvania’s gerrymander gives Democrats a significantly better shot at winning control of the House of Representatives in November... Pennsylvania’s midterm elections will be held in much fairer districts, whether Republicans like it or not."
Court Filings Reveal Extent Of GOP Gerrymandering
How the Republicans rigged Congress — new documents reveal an untold story. Salon: "If there is to be a blue wave in 2018, it will need to overcome a red seawall that was exactingly designed beginning a decade ago, and has proven impermeable in state after state ever since... It proved more effective than any Republican dared dream. Republicans held the U.S. House in 2012 despite earning 1.4 million fewer votes than Democratic congressional candidates, and won large GOP majorities in the Ohio, Wisconsin, Michigan and North Carolina state legislatures even when more voters backed Democrats... new court documents, previously unrevealed emails, and once-secret internal documents — most revealed here for the first time — uncover how early the Republican planning began, how comprehensive the redistricting strategy was, and how determined conservative operatives were to dye America red from the ground up. It’s the story of how strategists wooed deep-pocketed donors to contribute hundreds of thousands of dollars (often in untraceable dark money) and convinced them that winning state legislative seats offered the best opportunity for enduring GOP control at a bargain-basement price."
Progressives Challenge IA's Racist Rep. King
IA progressive emerges as serious challenger to eight-term GOP Rep. Steve King. The Intercept: "Iowa Republican Steve King is a notorious bigot who has comfortably served in Congress since 2003, but a surprising challenger in the historically Republican district is proving he may have what it takes to unseat King in November. Former professional baseball player J.D. Scholten is a progressive who is one of four Democrats who have tossed their hats in the ring of Iowa’s 4th District... Scholten portrayed King’s views on immigration as not just out of touch with the northwestern Iowa district’s values, but also in conflict with its economic needs. 'In this district, we have so many rural communities that are just using immigrant labor as a backbone for their economy,' he said, 'and to have him just spout these things it’s just, obviously on the moral side I’m against it, but on the just practical side, it goes drastically against the district.'"
GOP Runs Actual Nazi for IL House Seat
Holocaust denier poised to claim GOP nomination in Illinois race for Congress. Sun-Tribune: "Arthur Jones — an outspoken Holocaust denier, activist anti-Semite and white supremacist — is poised to become the Republican nominee for an Illinois congressional seat representing parts of Chicago and nearby suburbs... To Jones’ own amazement, he is the only one on the Republican ballot... Jones told the Sun-Times he is a former leader of the American Nazi Party and now heads a group called the America First Committee. 'Membership in this organization is open to any white American citizen of European, non-Jewish descent,' he said."