TOWOIT #71

March 28, 2017… Day 68

On the day Sally Yates was supposed to testify but didn’t, Hillary was back on stage in a black leather jacket over a floral collar shirt. While giving a talk about women in diplomacy (or something like that), she stood up for two black women in the public eye– the reporter April Ryan and Congresswoman Maxine Waters. Why did she have to do that? Just white Republican guys being assholes.

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Bill O’Reilly said Maxine Waters’s “James Brown wig” was too distracting for him to be able to hear what she was saying–as she spoke earnestly about democracy. Sean Spicer told April Ryan to stop shaking her head at him. But the worst I thought was right before that, when he said “I’m sorry if that disgusts you” for no reason. April Ryan felt bad that her fellow reporters didn’t speak up for her, and that makes me sad.

I listened to the c-span briefing live and Sean Spicer leaves abruptly after talking to April, with many people yelling after him for follow-up questions. After he left the room, one man said “REALLY?!… ok…” And someone else said, “April got him mad” and the first guy said, “Oh yeah. He just runs, man.”

Maxine Waters told Chris Hayes tonight that she could not be intimidated and wasn’t going anywhere.

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The House Ways and Means committee killed another resolution that called for President Trump’s tax returns. Representative Bill Pascrell from Patterson, New Jersey was full of fire, thunder, and righteous indignation. I never heard of him before, and I appreciated him greatly. Suzan Del Bene from Washington piped up in the debate, and deposited a rather demure statement in support of Pascrell and his resolution. But she came across as rather a real person–like if I were a congresswoman, I might speak like her and with less sturm und drang. But who knows, I might be a real barn-burner. I especially appreciated the committee members who cited the protests in Russia as all the more reason we need to promote transparency and democratic institutions. At the end of the debate, they vote on whether or not to pass the resolution along with disapproval. The Republican ayes are so anemic and mumbled. Then the Democratic NOs ring out so forcefully, several times louder. It means something, though they knew the vote would split down party lines and they would lose. It still means something.

Trump joined the House Republicans in taking away Internet privacy protections. I know from my job, that this is seen as quite a revenue opportunity.

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It was a sad day for the whole world, and all the things living on it. Trump rolled back initiatives to fight climate change.

Obama’s record is being erased. Hope for our species to continue in functioning societies is also being erased. Yeah, I’m sure someone survives after climate change really hits — but not most of us. And not with civil societies intact. It’s the biggest health issue, the biggest social justice issue that there is. It’s the biggest economic inequality issue. It’s the biggest foreign relations issue, the biggest national security issue, and the biggest issue for families with children.

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With Sean Spicer’s lies and Devin Nunes obstructing his own committee’s investigation of Russia ties to the White House, and the Republicans just spinning and spinning and spinning to protect Donald Trump — it feels to me again like they will get away with all this. Maybe because I had hope, briefly, I feel nauseated again today, revisiting the grief of just after the election.

The lion’s share of that grief was NOT specifically about Hillary Clinton’s loss. That was sad enough on its own, but was dwarfed by the bigger picture. For Bernie Bros and Republicans, it is all still about Hillary. That came up today online with her back in the public eye again. And it has always hurt to have the sexism of leftist guys nipping at our ankles in hard times. We can’t count on all our brothers. I work hard to overcome this thought that was ingrained in me by my childhood circumstances: that men hate women and children. This election is hurtling me back through time to re-fight all these old battles for my emotional health and wholeness. Anyway, when it comes to Bernie Bros of various intensities — I have to be allies with them, but I don’t have to forget or forgive.

By the way, I’ve noticed that some male Bernie supporters love to say that the Clinton campaign invented and propagated the term Bernie Bro. Naturally, the lived experiences of real live female Democrats online can’t be seen as real.

OK, but enough white feminist tears for one day. People got real problems. I heard a story on NPR about how people are withdrawing from food stamp programs (even if their children are American citizens) because they are afraid of the government. There was a story in the New Yorker about how kids are afraid to go to school after an ICE raid.

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Side note — this is a good illustration why maybe you should just use numerals in your text. Maybe it’s not classy? Who knows, just do it!

 

BREXIT BEGINS.

 

Questions the reporters asked Sean Spicer today:

  • I’d like to follow on that. There are reports that even though the hearing that was set for the 27th was not scheduled, it was cancelled by Devin Nunes to prevent this White House from publicly invoking a claim of executive privilege. Could you speak to that?
  • A couple of things you said earlier, a couple of quick follow-ups.  You said you want the agencies to use best available science. Does that meant there’s going to be no further scientific research, you don’t want to fund additional scientific research? And number two:  What other issues do you like to see the President reach out to Democrats?
  • Best available is what you said.
  • Well, but is that a code for not using —
  • And are Democrats —
  • Thanks, Sean. A couple questions. One on coal. Your actions today, the White House is saying that they’re going to reverse President Obama’s so-called “war on coal.” But a lot of people in the coal industry suggest that jobs are just not going to come back in that industry, based on the way the industry has changed, technology and other things. Does this administration have an estimate of how many jobs will be created as a result of the actions it’s taking today?
  • On the court announcement, you just said that the announcement today comes two weeks after the automakers met here at the White House. Did the White House or the President do anything in that meeting that led to this announcement today?
  • Is the White House, then, going to get political credit for this announcement today?
  • Sean, as you begin looking seriously at tax reform, could you just go through what is the President’s bottom line? Does it need to have middle-class tax relief, corporate tax relief?  Can you do it comprehensively, or piecemeal? Do you add infrastructure spending to it somehow? How are you looking at this?
  • And when do you think you’ll have some recommendations to take to the President?
  • Is the White House currently involved in any renegotiations of the healthcare bill? And if so, in what manner?
  • What would you say to the folks who have a genuine concern that if you could not get healthcare done, how do you go about getting big-ticket items like tax reform and infrastructure done? People say if you can’t get one, how are you going to do the next?  What would you say to that concern?
  • Thank you, Sean. Just as a follow-up question on Blake’s. Did the President himself have any discussions with Speaker Ryan or Leader McCarthy or anyone over the weekend about healthcare and making an actual vote on the American Health Care Act? And one got the impression from Speaker Ryan today that he was going to try to pass this with Republican votes, which would contradict some of your statements about reaching out to Democrats all along. Has any of this come up with discussions between each side of Pennsylvania Avenue?
  • Over the weekend?
  • Sean, does it —
  •  — done with Republican votes, not Democrats?
  • Thank you, Sean. Yesterday you weren’t able to tell us very much about Congressman Nunes’s visit to the White House or to the White House grounds to view classified information last week. A Democrat on the committee today said that the White House would have known that he was here. The same Democrat also said that it looked like a criminal cover-up to him. My question to you is, have you learned any more information since we had this conversation yesterday about how he would have even gotten in and how he would have gotten cleared? And do you think that Congressman Nunes should recuse himself from being in charge of the Russian investigation at this point?
  • Thanks, a lot, Sean. Just following up on your statement in regards to The Washington Post story that you say is false. Did the White House Counsel Office ever consider invoking privilege as it relates to Sally Yates testifying before this congressional committee?
  • And why is that? You certainly would be in a position to invoke privilege. After all, these were privileged communications between the Acting Attorney General and the executive office of the President. That would fall into privilege.
  • Just quickly following up on that, I have two questions on two different topics. So we’re taking what you’re saying as assurances that Chairman Nunes’s decision to call of that hearing did not have anything to do with any pressure from with White House?
  • Okay.  Thank you.
  • Does he encourage the expansion?
  • Thank you. Just a couple things on the Yates thing. So how and when exactly did the White House encourage her to testify?
  • And so you’re saying now executive privilege does not —
  • So executive privilege is not an issue for Sally Yates — would not have been an issue for Sally Yates testifying?
  • Okay, thank you. And following one issue — do you want to add?
  • Okay.  Interpret something else for me:  Does the President still believe that climate change is a hoax?
  • All right, thank you.  Sean — don’t seem so happy.  Anyway, with all of these investigations, questions of what is is, how does this administration try to revamp its image? Two and a half months in, you’ve got this Yates story today, you’ve got other things going on, you’ve got Russia, you’ve got  wiretapping, you’ve got —
  • There are investigations on Capitol Hill —
  • It’s beyond that. You’re making it–
  • It’s not my agenda.
  • I’m shaking my head and I’m listening, and I’m trying to get —
  • But my question was how do you change the perception of —
  • But when Condi Rice comes Friday. Condi Rice did not support this President. She did not go to the convention. She comes — what is on the agenda, and how is their relationship? Has it healed since 2006 when he used a very negative word to describe her?
  • But he called her that negative name in 2006.
  • I am just reporting what —
  •  — about Russia and Tillerson Friday?
  • (Inaudible.)

 

 

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