Let Them Wear Ivanka –
Louise Linton, the wife of Treasure Secretary Steve Mnuchin, made quite a stir this week when she posted on Instagram a photo of herself getting out of a government jet and bragging about her Valentino and Hermes outfit. She then proceeded to mock those who objected to her flaunting what she got by agreeing to sleep with Steve Mnuchin. Linton also inadvertently shined a light on the fact that the couple went full Scrooge McMnuchin and flew a government plane, at the public’s expense, to Kentucky to watch the solar eclipse from the roof of Fort Knox
Who Would (Gor)Such A Thing? – Newest Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch apparently does not see a conflict in speaking at an event which puts money directly into the pockets of Donald Trump. He’ll be speaking to a conservative group at the Trump International Hotel in D.C. Challenges to the constitutionality of payments to Trump companies are currently being made in lower courts.
Money Not Well Spent – The Secret Service is requesting an additional $60 million in funding to protect Trump and his family for the remainder of the year. Trump’s penchant for going on vacation every weekend, maintaining a private residence in New York, and sending his children on boondoggles across the globe has blown through the Secret Service’s budget.
A Poll from the Upside Down – A new poll from Public Policy Polling, shows what a different view of reality Trump supporters have. When asked which racial group faces the most discrimination in America, 45% of Trump supporters said Whites, followed by 17% for Native Americans, 16% for African Americans, and 5% Latinos. Based on the White House intern class photo, I can see how they fear Whites losing power. When asked the same question about religion, 54% said Christians faced the most discrimination, followed by Muslims (22%) and Jews (12%). Another finding in the poll was that 89% of Americans have a negative opinion of neo-Nazis. That’s a very beer stein half-full way of looking at it. Another way would be that 11% of Americans don’t have a negative opinion of neo-Nazis.
How Do You Spell Relief? – The science envoy to the State Department, Daniel Kammen, submitted his resignation letter this week. The first letter of each paragraph spells “Impeach.”
Old Faithful Crystal Geyser – I think we can all agree that the one thing that National Parks really lack is massive amounts of garbage. The Trump Administration will fix that! It has overturned the ban on plastic water bottles in National Parks. Before the ban, plastic bottles accounted for 20% of Grand Canyon National Park’s total waste.
It’s One, Two, Eight Strikes Your Out – For the eighth time since 2011, federal courts have found the state of Texas to be intentionally discriminating against minority voters. This past week alone, courts threw out Texas’s redistricting maps, restrictions on assistance to non-English-speaking voters, and voter ID law. Voter suppression and redistricting is where the battlefield for 2018 and 2020 will be drawn. Right now, Republicans are very far ahead. The first projections from Decision Desk HQ for 2018 shows that Democrats will win 54% of the vote (!), but only 47% of the House seats.
The 18th Hole -The Florida Hospital Foundation canceled its luncheon at Mar-a-Lago this week, becoming the 18th charity to cancel its function at Mar-a-Lago since Charlottesville. David Fahrenthold ofThe Washington Post reports that in 2015-16, Mar-a-Lago hosted 43 charity events, in 2016-17, 38 events, but in 2017-18, there are now only 6 scheduled.
Whatever The Opposite of a Death Spiral Is – It’s official, people in every U.S. county will have at least one ACA health insurance option for 2018.
Save Confederate Monuments; Decapitate National Monuments – Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has recommended reducing the size of three national monuments, Utah’s Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante monuments as well as Oregon’s Cascade Siskiyou National Monument. Should Trump follow through on the recommendations expect legal challenges on his authority to do so.
I Object – An Ohio Supreme Court Justice lashed out at the Cleveland Browns players who took a knee during the national anthem, calling them “draft dodging millionaire athletes.” Two holes in that argument, your honor. One is that the last military draft was in 1973, before even some NFL head coaches were born. Another is that athletes are the only people in America who are actually still drafted into their jobs.
Another Nazi Bites the Dust – Likely after a meeting with the two Bobs, Trump deputy assistant Sebastian Gorka, who had no expertise and an affinity for Nazi-friendly organizations, was fired (or resigned, if you ask him) on Friday.