On Monday morning, Donald Trump blamed an innocent Black man for something that was not in any way his fault. Hmmm, does that sound familiar to anyone?
In this instance, Trump directed his ire at Bubba Wallace, the NASCAR driver whose team recently found a noose in his garage and reported it to NASCAR officials; a subsequent FBI investigation found that the noose had been there since before Wallace was assigned to that specific garage and was a garage pull that just somehow happened to be shaped like a noose, and therefore in their estimation not a hate crime. Curiously enough, NASCAR’s own investigation found that out of more than 1,000 garage stalls at dozens of racetracks, Wallace’s garage was the only one that featured a noose-shaped garage pull. Hmm...
Regardless of how one reads what exactly happened, NASCAR officials and Wallace’s fellow drivers responded to the discovery of the noose with a welcome show of solidarity. Trump, however, seems to feel more sympathy for a noose, as well as the Confederate flag, than for Wallace:
An extremely reasonable question to ask at this point would be, what does Wallace have to apologize for? That question was posed to Kayleigh McEnany during her White House press briefing on Monday, and as usual, she didn’t disappoint, if your metrics are based primarily on her levels of evasiveness and the ratio of grey matter to brain worms in her skull:
Meanwhile, Wallace himself responded with a level of grace and dignity that Donald Trump in no way deserves or warrants:
Wait, so Donald Trump hasn’t drained the swamp? According to a new (and wholly unsurprising) report, the swamp is thriving! And it’s filled with the same ole pus-filled monsters as before, many of whom have eagerly used the covid-19 pandemic to enrich themselves and their lobbying clients.
More, from the Associated Press:
Forty lobbyists with ties to President Donald Trump helped clients secure more than $10 billion in federal coronavirus aid, among them five former administration officials whose work potentially violates Trump’s own ethics policy, according to a report.
The lobbyists identified Monday by the watchdog group Public Citizen either worked in the Trump executive branch, served on his campaign, were part of the committee that raised money for inaugural festivities or were part of his presidential transition. Many are donors to Trump’s campaigns, and some are prolific fundraisers for his reelection.
In related news, the Trump administration finally released details of who exactly received loans from the Paycheck Protection Program, after months of stonewalling. Now I understand why the Small Business Administration was so reluctant to share the list of recipients because some of them are certainly eyebrow-raising!
They include Newsmax Media Inc., the rightwing “news” outlet run by a Trump donor; Americans for Tax Reform, the group founded by well-known fan of the welfare state Grover Norquist; Donald Trump’s business partner in Waikiki, Hawaii; and businesses that are at least partly owned by Betsy DeVos and Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue.
More on the latter, from Bloomberg:
Companies that appear to match those associated with Trump cabinet officials also received PPP loans. A company with a name matching one listed on the financial disclosures of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos received at least $6 million, the data show. The loans were made to Renaissance Acquisition Company LLC, which operates Indianapolis-based RenPSG, a provider of nonprofit services. DeVos listed the company in a 2017 financial disclosure.
RenPSG didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment, and the Education Department didn’t immediately provide a comment.
Perdue Inc., a Bonaire, Georgia-based trucking company founded by Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, received between $150,000 and $350,000 of loans. When Perdue joined the government, he listed the company on a 2017 disclosure, from which he disclosed $598,591 of passive ownership income. That year, Perdue signed a government ethics agreement in which he resigned from business roles and restructured family trusts.
Betsy, couldn’t you just have sold one of your family’s ten yachts?
- We now have a clearer picture of covid-19's racial disparities, after the New York Times sued (!!!) the Centers for Disease Control for data. According to the Times analysis, Black and Latinx Americans “have been three times as likely to become infected as their white neighbors” and are “nearly twice as likely to die from the virus as white people.” [New York Times]
- People are upset that Myron Lizer, the Vice President of the Navajo Nation, attended a recent Trump event in Phoenix, especially given the fact that the Navajo Nation is being decimated by covid-19. [KQRE/Salon]
- We’ll all get to read Mary Trump’s tell-all memoir about her uncle sooner than we thought! [Politico]
- A Black Lives Matter mural in Martinez, California brought local racists out in full force this past weekend—a white couple decked out in Trump gear was caught on video painting over the mural and declaring racism a “leftist lie.” “All lives matter, you fucking punk!” the man screamed at one point at an activist, all while the woman was, funnily enough, painting over the yellow letters so carefully in black paint that the mural would continue to read “BLACK LIVES MATTER.” Not too long after, a man seemingly dressed head-to-toe in the American flag was arrested after he pulled a loaded gun on activists at the site. [Los Angeles Times/ABC7]
- The Supreme Court, in a unanimous ruling, found that states can punish Electoral College members who cast their votes for a candidate who did not win the popular vote in their state. [NPR]
- The Biden veepstakes continues, unfortunately—will it be Tammy Duckworth? Susan Rice?? My mom??? [Washington Post/The Hill]