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Trump Tells Unpaid Workers To Borrow Groceries

Trump tells federal workers to borrow groceries as second missed pay day looms. ThinkProgress: “President Donald Trump suggested Thursday that the 800,000 federal workers who are facing a second missed paycheck at the end of this week should essentially borrow groceries to get through what has become the longest government shutdown in U.S. history. ‘Local people know who they are, when they go for groceries and everything else,’ Trump said of federal workers during a meeting on trade at the White House. ‘And I think… that they will work along. I know banks are working along. And that’s what happens in times like this,’ Trump continued. ‘They know the people, they’ve been dealing with them for years, and they work along.’ Trump’s apparent suggestion that local grocery stores will let furloughed federal workers take food on an IOU was offered as an explanation for comments made Thursday by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who questioned why federal workers who aren’t getting paid would need to turn to food banks for help. Ross, himself a millionaire, said workers should simply take out emergency loans to cover their living expenses. ‘True, the people might have to pay a little bit of interest,’ Ross said. ‘But the idea that it’s ‘paycheck or zero’ is not a really valid idea.’ Those comments were echoed Thursday by White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow, who praised federal workers for ‘volunteering’ through the shutdown because they support Trump. ‘God bless them. They’re working for free. They’re volunteering,’ Kudlow told reporters.”

Senate Blocks Trump’s Path To The Wall

Trump just lost his leverage for building a wall. Bloomberg: “President Donald Trump doesn’t seem to realize it, but his claim to any leverage on the shutdown is officially dead after two Senate votes on reopening the government failed Thursday afternoon. The question now: Will Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans let him twist in the wind, bleeding away support little by little while the nation continues to suffer the consequences of the closure? Or will they finally move to end this fiasco? First, here’s what the Senate did. Neither Trump’s plan nor the Democratic alternative reached the 60 votes needed to defeat filibusters. But two Republicans — Tom Cotton of Arkansas and Utah’s Mike Lee — opposed Trump’s bill; only one Democrat, West Virginia’s Joe Manchin, voted for it. With one absent Democrat and two missing Republicans, that meant a narrow 50-to-47 margin. The point of Trump’s proposal was supposedly to demonstrate that he could pick off enough Democrats by floating a measure labeled as a compromise. However, since the plan added restrictions on asylum and on Temporary Protected Status, and offered very limited protections, there was very little to tempt Democrats who may have wanted a deal. Instead, the vote demonstrated only that there is no easy bargain to be made on Trump’s terms. Giving Democrats very little — enough to bring over just one vote — cost Trump two Republican votes. Meanwhile, the Democrats’ clean funding bill to reopen the government while negotiations continue on border safety, a bill that had passed the House easily, did well in the Senate as six Republicans joined every Democrat to get a 52-to-44 margin. That’s far short of 60. But it’s a solid majority, and a bigger one than Trump’s bill got, despite the Republican’s 53-47 majority in the chamber.”

Roger Stone Indicted By Mueller

Roger Stone, adviser to Trump, is indicted in Mueller investigation. NYT: “Roger J. Stone Jr., a longtime informal adviser to President Trump who has spent decades plying the dark arts of scandal-mongering and dirty tricks to help influence American political campaigns, was indicted Friday in the special counsel investigation. Mr. Stone was charged with seven counts, including obstruction of an official proceeding, making false statements and witness tampering, according to the special counsel’s office. The indictment is the first public move in months by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, who is investigating Russia’s interference in the 2016 election and possible coordination with Trump associates. Mr. Stone, a self-described dirty trickster who began his career as a campaign aide for Richard M. Nixon and has a tattoo of Nixon on his back, has long maintained that he had no connection to Russia’s attempts to disrupt the 2016 presidential election. He sometimes seemed to taunt American law enforcement agencies, daring them to find hard evidence to link him to the Russian meddling campaign. The special counsel’s investigators spent months encircling Mr. Stone, renewing scrutiny about his role during the 2016 presidential race. Investigators interviewed former Trump campaign advisers and several of his associates about both about Mr. Stone’s fund-raising during the campaign and his contacts with WikiLeaks, one of the organizations that made thousands of Democratic emails public in the months before the election.”

The ‘Terrible’ Suffering Of MAGA Teens

Portraying the MAGA teens as victims is an extension of Native American erasure. The Intercept: “By now, millions around the world have seen the viral video of dozens of Catholic schoolboys sporting “Make America Great Again,” or MAGA, hats tomahawk-chopping and mocking a Native elder, who was drumming and singing at the feet of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. Nathan Phillips, the military veteran and water protector from the Omaha Nation, waded into the crowd of high school students, as he tried to defuse a tense situation between the students and a group of black Israelites who were taunting Natives and passers-by with racist and homophobic comments. It was an iconic moment loaded with history. And what should have been a time of soul-searching for a nation founded on Indigenous genocide has instead morphed into an attack on Indigenous people. Concern from both liberal and conservative media outlets shifted from confronting the issue of Indigenous erasure — why were Native people marching in D.C. in the first place? — to defending the innocence of white youth. As soon as the jarring video made international news, an organized media campaign quickly spun the story — turning the jeering Covington Catholic High School students into victims. And concern from both liberal and conservative media outlets shifted from confronting the issue of Indigenous erasure — why were Native people marching in D.C. in the first place? — to defending the innocence of white youth. Although disgusting, it’s not surprising. And, in perhaps the biggest shame, this pervasive counternarrative quickly wiped the hopeful signs of the weekend out of the national conversation. Reckoning with the events requires first honoring all that happened last weekend. The confrontation between Phillips and the Covington boys was a single incident, and it shouldn’t eclipse an otherwise historic weekend. These times can be dark, but the Indigenous Peoples March offered a moment of hope: The issues that matter to Native people were put front and center in a show of solidarity. The odds may be daunting, but our communities showed that they’re coming together to fight — with a watchful eye on history and a necessary glance toward the future.”

Less Than Zero Compassion For Workers

The fierce urgency of now. Common Dreams: “Oh, the gobsmackingly tone-deaf claptrap issuing from the mouths of court clowns and grifters. Following in the tawdry tracks of Lara Trump’s ‘little bit of pain’ came corrupt billionaire and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross saying he can’t understand why federal workers are going to food banks to feed their kids when they’re just going through a mere ‘liquidity crisis’ – so why don’t they get a loan at 9% interest by using their 2008 pick-up as collateral, or maybe dip into their portfolio or sell some of their art or rent out one of their flippable properties, and anyway there’s only a few hundred thousand of them which won’t make a dent in the all-important-when-they’re-turning-off-your-water gross domestic product, ‘so it’s not like it’s a gigantic number overall.’ Next up was Larry Kudlow, head of the White House National Economic Council, who bested his former dismissal of the widely devastating shutdown as a ‘glitch’ by boasting that federal workers were ‘volunteering’ because of “their love for the country” and ‘presumably their allegiance to President Trump.’ Then he got all prickly when a reporter pointed out that coerced working without pay is not in fact volunteering, sneering about “semantics” and maintaining he had made himself perfectly clear, which, alas, he had. Best commentary on the subject, initially about Ross but equally, abominably applicable to Kudlow and all the other corrupt miscreants of this regime: ‘When these government workers run out of food, I hope they start to eat the rich.'”

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