1. A big victory this week for DACA recipients. According to The New York Times on Monday, “Judge John D. Bates of Federal District Court for the District of Columbia said that the administration’s decision to terminate the program, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, was based on the ‘virtually unexplained’ grounds that the program was ‘unlawful.’”
However, the paper adds, “The judge stayed his decision for 90 days and gave the Department of Homeland Security, which administers the program, the opportunity to better explain its reasoning for canceling it. If the department fails to do so, it ‘must accept and process new as well as renewal DACA applications’ Judge Bates said in the decision.” The Administration will no doubt appeal the ruling, and of course at some point the Supreme Court may take up the case, though this session is closed. That does leave some time for Congress to act, but that has not been forthcoming, and Trump has used support for DACA as a bargaining chip to get his immigration wall. So while there is hope here, there is still a battle to be waged. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/
2. Unfortunately, the news on the Supreme Court’s Wednesday review of Trump’s travel ban is not good. As The Washington Post headlined, “Supreme Court’s conservative justices appear to back Trump’s authority for travel ban.” As the paper reports, “Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. was most active in advancing the notion that the president is privy to national security information that courts are ill prepared to second-guess. And Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, who always seems to occupy the pivotal position when conservative and liberal justices disagree, asked questions that mostly seemed supportive of the president’s authority. It would seem almost impossible for challengers to prevail without one of those justices joining their colleagues on the left.” Last fall’s ban covered eight countries, six with Muslim majorities.
As for Trump’s campaign statements against Muslims, “Roberts asked whether there were a ‘statute of limitations’ on a president’s campaign statements.
‘Tomorrow, he issues a proclamation disavowing those statements, then the next day he could reenter this and your discrimination argument would not be applicable,’ Roberts asked.” The challengers’ lawyer admitted that might be so, but in fact Trump had “rekindled” the comments. https://www.washingtonpost.
3. French President Emmanuel Macron wanted to work with President Trump to add an additional deal to the Iran Nuclear deal, in order to save the original. Whether this will work is still unclear. But on Wednesday, Macron delivered a powerful address to the US Congress, alluding to the long alliance between our countries. In a not-at-all subtle attack on Trumpism, “Macron called for the free world to ‘push aside’ the forces of ‘isolationism, withdrawal and nationalism’ and to ‘shape our common answers to the global threats that we are facing’ with an updated multilateralism, lest the post-World War II institutions that ‘you built,’ including the United Nations and NATO, be destroyed.” https://www.washingtonpost.
According to The Guardian, reporting on Wednesday evening, “’We will not let the rampaging work of extreme nationalism shake a world full of hopes for greater prosperity,’ Macron said. “It is a critical moment. If we do not act with urgency as a global community, I am convinced that the international institutions, including the United Nations and NATO, will no longer be able to exercise a mandate and stabilising influence… Personally, if you ask me, I do not share the fascination for new strong powers, the abandonment of freedom and the illusion of nationalism.’” But The Guardian also reported that, about the Iran deal, “speaking to US reporters before leaving Washington, Macron said: ‘My view – I don’t know what your president will decide – is that he will get rid of this deal on his own, for domestic reasons.’ Noting that Trump had also pulled the US out of the Paris climate change accord – another commitment of the Obama administration – Macron said such frequent changes in the US position on global issues ‘can work in the short term but it’s very insane in the medium to long term.’” [emphasis added] https://www.theguardian.com/
4. On Tuesday, The Guardian reported that Iran has threatened to withdraw from the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty if Washington tears up the Iran deal, as Trump has threatened to do. “As the 12 May deadline nears for Trump to either sign a presidential waiver on sanctions against Iran or withdraw from the nuclear accord, Tehran has made it known that it will not stand idly by if the latter decision is taken…. Trump has vowed not to waive the sanctions again unless European nations manage to make radical changes to the nuclear deal, including curbs on Iran’s missile development. This programme is not covered by the deal, and Tehran says it will not bow to pressure to halt it.” Moreover, reports The Guardian, Trump made threats during Macron’s visit, saying, “’It won’t be so easy for them to restart it. They’re not going to be restarting anything. If they restart it, they’re going to have big problems, bigger than they ever had before. And you can mark it down. If they restart their nuclear programme, they will have bigger problems than they ever had before.’” https://www.theguardian.com/
5. In one of the best current essays on the Trump campaign’s self-evident collusion with Russia, The Washington Post’s David Ignatius sees Paul Manafort as the key to the complex story of the campaign’s “in plain sight” dealings with Russian oligarchs and shady Kremlin insiders. Manafort resigned as campaign manager in August after reports that he had received off-the-books money to support pro-Russian leaders in Ukraine. “On the very day he was forced out, the financially strapped Manafort created a shell company that received $13 million in loans over the next few months from people or financial institutions with links to Trump,” says Ignatius. “The machinations of August illustrate why Manafort is a central figure in special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation. And they show why the probe has deep roots — in evidence already made public, cases filed and plea deals won — that will persist even if Trump moves to fire Mueller.”
Moreover, “An ominous sign for Manafort — and potentially for Trump himself — is the recent revelation of an August 2017 memo from then-Acting Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein specifically authorizing Mueller to investigate allegations that Manafort ‘committed a crime or crimes by colluding with Russian government officials with respect to the Russian government’s efforts to interfere with the 2016 election.’” Ignatius details meetings and emails, and other contacts, including loans, involving Russian oligarchs and shady Kremlin-connected characters. When your Trumpite friends repeat, “no collusion,” point them to Ignatius’s conclusion that “many of the facts are hiding in plain sight.” https://www.washingtonpost.
6. “The White House withdrew the nomination of Dr. Ronny L. Jackson, the White House physician, to lead the Veterans Affairs Department on Thursday after lawmakers went public with a torrent of accusations leveled against him by nearly two dozen current and former colleagues from the White House medical staff.” So reports The New York Times on Thursday morning. Trump does know how to pick some questionable appointees. Trump has threatened Senate Democrats, specifically Jon Testa (D-MT), with retaliation against their attacks on a great man. But as newspapers reported extensively, even as the charges were being denied, new ones flooded in: “The New York Times spoke with two former members of the White House medical office staff on Wednesday, both of whom described a culture under Dr. Jackson where medications were freely distributed and lightly accounted for. They both said they had witnessed Dr. Jackson intoxicated during White House travel, and said it was a regular occurrence while overseas.” He was also accused of drunk driving, though he denies he ever “wrecked a car.” https://www.nytimes.com/2018/
It is worth reminding our readers that at stake in this nomination was the desire of Koch-supported groups to privatize (and so profit from) VA hospitals. See the editorial by former W-VA Senator John D. Rockefeller, “Don’t Privatize the Veterans Health Administration,” in Vox, May 31, 2016: http://www.defenseone.com/
See also Brian Bender’s report in Politico, for Dec. 2, 2016. “’The worst case scenario within the vets community is a total dismantling of everything they worked generations to create,’ said Paul Rieckhoff, executive director of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, who has been critical of the VA. ‘There is a growing fear it is all going to get burned down…. Privatization is an experiment,’ he added. ‘Is that an experiment we want to take in the middle of a war with demand about to skyrocket?’” https://www.politico.com/
7. Yet another Trump nominee faced questions over his ethics, though Mike Pompeo was confirmed by the Senate as the new Secretary of State on Thursday afternoon. Still, for what it’s worth, we report on some of the scandal that surrounded his nomination. The Huffington Post reports that “CIA Director Mike Pompeo, President Donald Trump’s pick for secretary of state, came under fire earlier this month for failing to disclose business ties to two companies controlled by the Chinese government.
“Now new documents reviewed by HuffPost show that Pompeo’s links to foreign-owned oil and gas companies are even more extensive than was previously reported. But, despite the evidence, Pompeo continues to deny his foreign entanglements, according to a Senate source who asked to remain anonymous to talk to HuffPost about proceedings that haven’t been made public yet.” https://www.huffingtonpost.
Six Democrats supported the nomination, including Alabama’s Doug Jones. For more on the confirmation, see The Washington Post for Apr. 26: https://www.washingtonpost.
8. Will Trump really meet Kim Jong-un, and if he does, will he get the “denuclearization” he expects and that Kim apparently assented to? Writing in the May 10 New York Review of Books, Jessica Matthews, who writes with some authority, thinks both are unlikely. Matthews was President of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and has worked at the White House National Security Council and at the State Department.
In her analysis, “At least initially, the Trump administration believed that its ‘maximum pressure’ policy, including threats of ‘fire and fury’ and tightened sanctions, had cowed North Korea and that the president would be meeting a weakened Kim. This is almost certainly wrong, and dangerously so. The sanctions have undoubtedly hurt North Korea, but this is a regime that has endured much worse. During the devastating famine of the 1990s, the regime let more people die rather than bend to international conditions for food aid. Threats are also unlikely to be effective. Loose warnings of military action only reinforce North Koreans’ paranoid belief that America is an existential threat. More rationally, they realize that the US doesn’t know the location of all of their WMDs and that therefore a first strike is unlikely because it could not succeed in eliminating all of them….
“In these strange conditions it is uncertain at best whether a Trump–Kim meeting will actually take place. If one does, the central issue will be the huge discrepancy between what the US and the North Koreans mean by the phrase ‘committed to denuclearization’ Explaining his readiness to accept the North Korean invitation, Trump shouted to reporters, “They’ve promised…to de-nuke’ They have not. To most Americans and perhaps to Trump, in view of his allergy to briefings, ‘committed to denuclearization’ sounds as though North Korea is prepared to give up its nuclear weapons. But what North Korea has meant by this phrase in the past is that it will only give up its nuclear program after the US military withdraws from South Korea.”
Matthews agrees with former Defence Secretary William Perry that all that can realistically be hoped for is an agreement, enforced by many players including China and Japan, for North Korea to end nuclear and missile testing and the export of nuclear technology. Trump will find that it is “more difficult it is to build an international agreement than it is to criticize or break one. As he and his team confront what might be negotiable with North Korea, they should find it harder to dismiss the much more drastic limits and verification terms that have been imposed on Iran. They might notice the irrationality of reigniting one nuclear weapons crisis while at the same time trying to reduce the threat of another.” This is a major policy analysis of critical issues surrounding any upcoming summit: http://www.nybooks.com/
9. Of course the above article may or may not be an accurate prediction, since the Thursday evening announcement of some kind of rapprochement between the leaders of the North and the South. They pledged “denuclearization” of the peninsula, and an end to military hostilities. The devil will, of course, be in the details, with Trump taking a wait-and-see stance. For example, says The Washington Post, “The phrase ‘complete denuclearization’ could be far more problematic. The United States regularly sends nuclear-capable aircraft and ships to the South during military exercises, and it was unclear whether the North could insist on fundamental changes in the U.S.-South Korea military structure.” See the analysis here: https://www.washingtonpost.
10. “‘You are unfit to hold public office, and you are undeserving of the public trust,’ adding that with any other White House, he would ‘be long gone.’” Our readers will be puzzling over just who, from the White House’s current occupant on down the list, may be referred to here by Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. (NJ). In this case it is Scott Pruitt, embattled head of the EPA, appearing before a congressional committee Thursday morning. So reports The Washington Post on Apr. 26. “The subcommittee’s top Democrat, Rep. Paul Tonko (N.Y.), delivered a harsh fusillade as Pruitt looked on impassively with a few of his top aides seated behind him. After ticking off several charges about the administrator’s personal financial dealings and professional decisions, Tonko said, ‘And in almost all cases, the more we have learned, the worse they get.’” For his part Pruitt defended himself by saying that his attackers wanted to roll back the Trump agenda: “EPA spokesman Jahan Wilcox called the hearings ‘an opportunity to reiterate the accomplishments of President Trump’s EPA, which includes working to repeal [President Barack] Obama’s Clean Power Plan and Waters of the United States, providing regulatory certainty and declaring a war on lead — all while returning to Reagan-era staffing levels.’”
For those of our readers less happy about these accomplishments, The Post suggests that “in the face of the multitude of investigations over his leadership, by the EPA inspector general, the House oversight committee, the Government Accountability Office and the White House, Pruitt’s status seems far from secure.
“According to senior administration officials, White House budget director Mick Mulvaney has expanded an inquiry into the nearly $43,000 soundproof phone booth Pruitt had installed in his office to cover other costly expenditures, including tickets on first-class flights and stays at boutique hotels.
And the White House Counsel’s Office is examining allegations of unethical behavior, among them Pruitt’s decision to rent part of a Capitol Hill condo for $50 a night from the lobbyist and her husband, who had business before the agency.” [emphasis added] https://www.washingtonpost.
11. Hoping that, after the November 2018 elections, Trump will be handily impeached? Think again. Impeachment and removal is very unlikely, says Charles Blow, in The New York Times on Apr. 22. Heed his words, which are worth thinking about: “Folks, have a seat and get some tea. I have something to tell you that you may not want to hear: Everyone still hoping for Donald Trump’s removal from office is hoping against the odds.
“Yes, Trump is wholly unqualified, lacking in morality and character, a consummate liar and surrounded by corruption. Yes, every day that he occupies the presidency he is a threat to this country, its ideas, conventions and comity, but also arguably to the safety and security of the world itself.
“But, although a perspicuous case can be made for his removal, that is an uphill battle because enough of the public and the political class abhor impeachment and find removal to be extreme and indecorous, even for a compromised president. It is possible that Trump could be impeached if the Democrats take the House of Representatives (odds are that they will) but a conviction in the Senate (where odds are the Republicans will retain a majority, however slim) is all but impossible.” Blow points out that no American president has actually left office after impeachment (Nixon resigned before an impeachment vote), and he cautions that too much talk of impeachment may actually increase sympathy for Trump (it did for Clinton, though that was a different set of circumstances). https://www.nytimes.com/2018/
All the same, as Greg Sargent points out in The Washington Post on Thursday, “Because of all this, a partial or total takeover [of Congress in 2018] would likely be a more transformative event than in past cases … by slamming the brakes on Trump’s numerous degradations — basically ending the Trump presidency as we know it — this would, relative to the rebukes suffered by his predecessors, constitute a more dramatic, meaningful and impactful outcome for the country.” His essay title is “How to End the Trump Presidency.” https://www.washingtonpost.
12. Sargent alludes in his piece to an op-ed in The New York Times by John N. Tye and Mark S. Zaid, lawyers for the nonprofit legal group Whistleblower Aid, that there is a way for Mueller or his team to get his findings, even classified evidence, fully legally to Congress. At that point, even Democrats cleared to read such matter could legally release the information under Whistleblower laws. “Many people think that exposing classified misconduct requires breaking the law. Not necessarily. If Mr. Mueller is fired, he and his team would not have to do anything illegal to disclose classified information and ensure that the American people learned the truth.” Read the provocative Apr. 25 essay here: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/
13. The Washington Post on Thursday reported on a stunning admission Trump made that morning on Fox and Friends. “President Trump acknowledged Thursday for the first time that his longtime lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen represented him in efforts to silence Stormy Daniels, the adult film actress who has alleged a sexual encounter with Trump more than a decade ago.
Trump earlier this month denied any knowledge of the $130,000 payment.” [emphasis added] https://www.washingtonpost.
Meanwhile, Huffington Post added on Thursday afternoon that “Federal prosecutors wasted no time after Trump’s bizarre interview Thursday morning on ‘Fox & Friends’ to argue that the president’s comments about Cohen bolster their argument that the documents are unlikely to be protected by attorney-client privilege. They made a similar argument after Fox commentator Sean Hannity, who Cohen has identified as a client, also tried to distance himself from the lawyer.” https://www.huffingtonpost.
However, it is not clear that the comments will directly implicate Trump in a cover-up, depending on what courts find. The Washington Post on Thursday reports differing opinions on how legally liable Trump may be after the comment: https://www.washingtonpost.
14. What if Facebook fake news directly provokes violence and even rioting in vulnerable countries? How can this be stopped, and who is ultimately responsible? This is the question asked by a probing New York Times investigation on Sunday. The Apr. 21 report investigates, “Where Countries Are Tinderboxes and Facebook Is a Match: False rumors set Buddhist against Muslim in Sri Lanka, the most recent in a global spate of violence fanned by social media.” [emphasis in original] After a traffic accident in which a truck driver, a Buddhist, was beaten to death in Sri Lanka, an anti-Muslim campaign began on FB. “On Facebook, rumors swirled that his assailants were part of a Muslim plot to wipe out the country’s Buddhist majority.
“’We don’t want to look at it because it’s so painful,’ H.M. Lal, a cousin of the victim, said as family members nodded. ‘But in our hearts there is a desire for revenge that has built.’ The rumors, they believed, were true. Still, the family, which is Buddhist, did not join in when Sinhalese-language Facebook groups, goaded on by extremists with wide followings on the platform, planned attacks on Muslims, burning a man to death.” FB attempts to screen out such rumors, but is has few resources in Asian countries where few of its employees speak the language.
“Where institutions are weak or undeveloped,” reports The Times, “Facebook’s newsfeed can inadvertently amplify dangerous tendencies. Designed to maximize user time on site, it promotes whatever wins the most attention. Posts that tap into negative, primal emotions like anger or fear, studies have found, produce the highest engagement, and so proliferate. In the Western countries for which Facebook was designed, this leads to online arguments, angry identity politics and polarization. But in developing countries, Facebook is often perceived as synonymous with the internet and reputable sources are scarce, allowing emotionally charged rumors to run rampant. Shared among trusted friends and family members, they can become conventional wisdom.”
In the Sri Lanka case, “Mr. Gunawardana, the public information head [in the Sri Lankan state], said that with Facebook unresponsive, he used the platform’s reporting tool. He, too, found that nothing happened. ‘There needs to be some kind of engagement with countries like Sri Lanka by big companies who look at us only as markets,’ he said. ‘We’re a society, we’re not just a market.’” Only when the government blocked all social media, after a death, did Facebook respond. Similar attacks have occurred in Mexico and India. And, “In 2017, hate speech on Facebook contributed to ethnic cleansing against Myanmar’s Rohingya minority.”
For its part, “Amrit Ahuja, a company representative, says Facebook’s approach to hate speech ‘has evolved’ globally. The company plans to hire more moderators and increase coordination with officials and civic groups, she said in an email, to ‘help keep our community in Sri Lanka safe.’” This is long-form investigative reporting at its best, and we suspect it will surprise and shock many of our readers. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/
15. Former Hillary Clinton communication director Jennifer Palmieri has been making the rounds to comment critically on James Comey’s decision to go over the head of the Justice Department to announce the investigations into Clinton’s emails. “[W]hat Comey’s actions and book reveal is a tendency toward a corrupting belief that his ‘higher loyalty’—which lifted him above partisan politics—somehow bestowed upon him the right to take actions that were well beyond his role as FBI director. It’s a very dangerous attitude, and one that resulted in him taking unprecedented actions in the investigation into Clinton’s emails, with devastating consequences.”
She argues that, despite her general respect for Comey, and her appreciation that he meant to act as a non-partisan, she points out that it had the opposite effect, and was perhaps motivated by some partisan feeling. “His July 5 press conference, in which he appointed himself Hillary Clinton’s investigator, prosecutor, judge and jury, was his original sin. No FBI director had ever made such a public pronouncement at the conclusion of an investigation. Comey justifies the press conference by writing that he sought to wrap up the investigation in a way that would ‘persuade a majority of fair and open-minded Americans’ that the investigation had been done in an honest and nonpolitical manner.
“It’s a laudatory goal. But it’s also not his job.” Palmieri makes her case in a Politico review on Apr. 21. It should be noted that she is correct, that it was the job of the Attorney General, Loretta Lynch. Comey himself as much as admitted this, but has said that he had no choice. https://www.politico.com/
Back in December, 2016, The Washington Post analyzed the decision at length. They found that “[a]n examination of how a single letter from the FBI became a political bombshell reveals that it was the result of two law enforcement leaders failing over months to navigate the unusually ugly politics of 2016. Having a presidential candidate under active criminal investigation was extraordinary. But Comey and Lynch repeatedly underestimated how much their actions would reverberate in a closely contested presidential race. Lynch’s meeting in June with Bill Clinton on a tarmac in Phoenix led to a crisis in leadership at the department over how to handle the Clinton email investigation. Rather than formally recuse herself, Lynch left ambiguous who would be making final decisions on issues regarding Hillary Clinton.”
The Post noted that Comey was “an FBI director who pride[d] himself on having a finely tuned moral compass that allows him to rise above politics…. Battered by Republican lawmakers during a hearing that summer, Comey feared he would come under further attack if word leaked about the Clinton case picking up again.” In the end it was an unprecedented political dilemma, and the debate will continue over what the right thing was to do. And people close to the issue reminded The Post reporters that Lynch bears some responsibility for muddying the waters. The Washington Post’s 2016 piece does provide further evidence for our thinking: https://www.washingtonpost.
And in a long essay in The Atlantic, in May, 2017, Adam Serwer sees Comey as having made a mistake, but for what he saw as noble reasons. He sees him as a tragic figure caught in a terrible set of circumstances. “Comey was so focused on defending himself, and his agency, from political attacks from the right that he effectively ceded to his critics the independence he thought he was protecting.” Also worth reading: https://www.theatlantic.com/
16. A long-form essay in Politico investigates what really is the great media support for Donald Trump. Fox News? Try again. Ruth Graham suggests, “Never mind Fox. Trump’s most reliable media mouthpiece is now Christian TV.” She reports that both Trinity Broadcasting Network, which features political interviews and commentary by Mike Huckabee, and Pat Robertson’s Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) Have forged close relationships with Trump and his supporters. “[In the past] Christian TV was largely the province of preachers, musicians, faith healers and a series of televangelism scandals. Politicians were leery of getting too close,” says Graham. “But in the past two years, largely out of view of the coastal media and the Washington establishment, a transformation has taken place. As Christian networks have become more comfortable with politics, the Trump administration has turned them into a new pipeline for its message.” Trump himself has appeared 11 times on CBN since he began his campaign. TBN has more local stations to its name than Fox or the three major networks. And the White House has regularly called on its reporters in press briefings, and has sent officials to appear regularly on its programs. The audience for both networks is huge. And of course, the main interviewer on TBN, Mike Huckabee, is the father of press secretary Sara Huckabee Sanders.
This odd new marriage of convenience goes far to explain “the puzzle of why an impious man who can barely manage to pay lip service to actual Christian belief earned a higher percentage of the white evangelical vote than predecessors including Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush—and why, if anything, his bond with those voters appears to be growing stronger.” This is a new and dangerous new propaganda tool for the Republican agenda, and our readers, especially those with an interest in religion and politics, can learn something from this Politico investigation. https://www.politico.com/
17. But how Christian is the Trump Administration War on the Poor? That is clearly what is being advanced by recent demands for work requirements for Medicaid and now what Paul Krugman calls a “vicious” suggestion that public housing rents go up, in some instances tripling. “The perks many Trump officials demand — the gratuitous first-class travel, the double super-secret soundproof phone booths, and so on — are outrageous, and they tell you a lot about the kind of people they are. But what really matters are their policy decisions. Ben Carson’s insistence on spending taxpayer funds on a $31,000 dining set is ridiculous; his proposal to sharply raise housing costs for hundreds of thousands of needy American families, tripling rents for some of the poorest households, is vicious.” Moreover, Krugman says, “The move to slash housing subsidies follows moves to sharply increase work requirements for those seeking food stamps. Meanwhile, the administration has been granting Republican-controlled states waivers allowing them to impose onerous new work requirements for recipients of Medicaid — requirements whose main effect would probably be not more work, but simply fewer people getting essential health care.” Read his essay, “The War on the Poor,” in Thursday’s New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/
18. Finally, if you had not heard about the incredibly offensive misogynistic, racist, anti-Semitic videos of an event at a (since expelled) Syracuse University fraternity, you may find it a sad commentary on our times. One Washington Post columnist suggests, “Decent society is unraveling right in front of us.” [emphasis added] This may be an overreaction. But indeed the students did claim to be “satirizing” current hate politics. Kathleen Parker suggests that “Video of this ape-ish display, now in wide circulation, should horrify anyone with an ounce of decency. That is, assuming people still recall what decency is.
Alas, this once aspirational, if now uncommon, denominator of the American experience has been on the wane for the past several decades, so that apparently the most anyone can say about young men performing as no self-respecting baboon would is that the video was ‘appalling and disgusting on many intersecting grounds’ [as said by Chancellor Kent Syverud when the tapes were released].” She reports, “The university has begun disciplinary proceedings and referred the videos to the district attorney. Fine. In America, even knuckle-dragging quadrupeds are granted due process.” This story will require a strong stomach, but it will be of interest to parents worried about toxicity on college campuses, and to all who wonder how far we are descending into a true “Culture of Narcissism.” https://www.washingtonpost.
19. Locally, Sean Casten’s campaign released a new poll showing the race in the 6th District a dead heat, Roskam 45, Casten 44. (See the report below.)
20. The poll comes on the heels of accusations by the Roskam campaign that Casten improperly used a campaign PAC paid for by his father in the primary election. Our readers should know that the charge is that this PAC, originally Sunshine PAC but renamed “MYPAC,” coordinated improperly with the Casten campaign to attack his primary opponent in mailers. However, Casten’s campaign denies any coordination: “’When dark money was spent against Sean in the primary, his dad set up a PAC to respond,’ spokesman Michael Garton said. ‘We had nothing to do with it and there was no coordination. The same cannot be said about ROSKAMPAC — a PAC that Peter Roskam personally established. He used that PAC to raise $1.5 million from special interests, which he directed to his Republican colleagues to win their votes for a leadership position. He still lost.’” https://www.nbcchicago.com/