A lot of things happened. Here are some of the things.
Abuse Of Power
Your regular reminder that we still don’t know so much about how President Trump abused the powers of his office to overturn the 2020 election. The latest revelation comes via the Washington Post:
- Trump called Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen on a near-daily basis to pressure the Justice Department to act on wild claims about voter and election fraud.
- Rosen kept the calls close to the vest, but notes of some of the calls were kept by Rosen aide Richard Donoghue.
- The calls began soon after Rosen replaced Bill Barr as attorney general and ended after the Jan. 6 attack.
- “Trump was absolutely obsessed about it,” one source told the Post.
- Rosen was “generally noncommittal” on the calls.
- Testimony from Rosen and Donoghue and Donoghue’s notes will be of high interest to congressional investigators.
Progressive Reps Go Hard At Sinema
Rapid and searing reaction from progressive members to Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) throwing cold water on the size of the $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill in the Senate:
- AOC: “Good luck tanking your own party’s investment on childcare, climate action, and infrastructure while presuming you’ll survive a 3 vote House margin — especially after choosing to exclude members of color from negotiations and calling that a ‘bipartisan accomplishment.”
- Rashida Tlaib: “Sinema seems not to care that her own state is flooding, the west is burning, and infrastructure around the country is crumbling. Sinema is more interested in gaining GOP friends and blocking much needed resources, than fighting for her residents’ future.”
- A new six-figure ad campaign in Arizona by an outside progressive group is targeting Sinema.
- For her part, Sinema is basking in the bipartisan afterglow of the Senate deal, with Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) blowing her kisses in an op-ed.
What The What?
Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) wore body armor to the Jan. 6 rally on the Ellipse.
Not to be too cynical, but much of the point of bipartisan dealmaking is to be able to congratulate oneself on the bipartisanship, which is to say that the notion of bipartisanship is itself a currency. And it still plays in op-ed pages, political reporting, and on cable news.
- Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI): “[Biden’s] a creature of the Senate and there’s something to be said for that. Maybe professional politicians are actually good at politics.”
- Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg: “Maybe I’m an ironic person to say it, but it turns out that decade’s worth of expertise and relationships and pattern recognition are really helpful to getting a big result like this done. This was a team that was not distracted, the president was not thrown by the different kind of drama of the day, or the shiny objects.”
- Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY): “I think the president is demonstrating that he has the ability to make this town work, in part, with his Democratic allies on the Hill, and that is what our country needs, a functioning government with responsible adults delivering real results on important issues.”
- Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA): “This has taken a long time, longer than any of us expected. I think the country is yearning to see Congress actually function.”
- Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA): am amazed that there are some who oppose this, just because they think that if you ever get anything done somehow it’s a sign of weakness.”
Not Dead Yet
Talks on a voting rights bill in the Senate continued with a meeting in Schumer’s office Wednesday.
- DOJ warns states on bogus election audits and on rolling back opportunities to vote.
‘Right Of Return’
Santa Monica launches pilot project to prioritize affordable housing for minority families and their descendants who displaced by mid-century urban renewal projects.
Pandemic As Giant Social Science Experiment
COVID aid is having historically dramatic effects on U.S. poverty, according to a new study commissioned by the NYT:
- The overall number of poor Americans is expected to be cut by nearly in half from 2018 levels.
- The poverty rate has plummeted to the lowest on record.
A supposed social justice group that stoked right-wing outrage by demanding affluent Dallas families not send their kids to Ivys may be a astroturfing hoax. But it sure did work. The fake outrage made it all the way to Tucker Carlson’s show this week.
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