Call The Doctor

That wouldn’t be most people’s first response when they’re looking to ensure affordable rental housing and homeownership for all American families. But Donald Trump isn’t most people, so he’s nominated Dr. Ben Carson to serve as secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

In the face of a growing rental affordability crisis, a rapidly declining homeownership rate, and enduring discrimination within the housing market, the role of the secretary of housing and urban development demands an individual with extensive housing or community development experience. Dr. Ben Carson is not that individual. In fact, he’s even admitted that. Citing his lack of government experience, a top Carson aide said, “The last thing he would want to do was take a position that could cripple the presidency.”

On top of being woefully unqualified for the job, Carson holds some extreme ideas that could dictate his decision-making as HUD secretary. First and foremost, he considers fair housing policies communism. He also believes that LGBT people are “abnormal” and don’t deserve equal rights. War crimes are imaginary. Muslims can’t hold public office. And Jews could have stopped Hitler, with their own guns. For more on why Ben Carson is unfit to be HUD secretary, check out our Transition Tracker here.


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Thanks, But No Thanks. Trump’s ‘Thank You’ Tour continues this week with a stop in Fayetteville, NC tomorrow night. Trump’s been using the thank you tour to reiterate some of his most extreme campaign promises, from building a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border to repealing the Affordable Care Act. Check out our interactive map to see all the ways Trump’s promises will impact your state.


Finally. Today, Gov. Pat McCrory (R-NC), who you may remember from the anti-LGBT HB 2 fiasco in the state, (finally) conceded the North Carolina gubernatorial election to Democrat Roy Cooper. North Carolina isn’t the only state that hasn’t finished all its election business. There’s one more senate race that’s not over yet. Louisiana’s December 10th runoff election is the final senate contest in the country.

Call me on my cellphone. That happened this weekend, for the first time in 37 years. Breaking with decades of U.S.-China policy, President-elect Trump decided to take a call with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen. Kind of a big deal. Long story short, Taiwan and China have a not-so-hot relationship. For years, the U.S. has agreed with China not to have diplomatic relations with Taiwan. Trump doesn’t seem to think his phone call with the Taiwanese Prez is a big deal, but it’s got a lot of experts concerned that his pattern cavalier behavior could seriously compromise U.S.-China relations.

Europe. Our friends across the pond are also grappling with the rise of anti-establishment right wing political movements–with varying levels of success. Just this weekend, voters in Italy handedly rejected incumbent Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s constitutional reform plan, a result that signals growing support for anti-establishment, anti-immigrant, and anti-EU forces in the country and one that will likely lead to the centrist Prime Minister’s resignation. On the other hand, voters in Austria just rejected the Presidential bid of another right-wing nationalist candidate, choosing instead to elect a more moderate candidate that embraces a platform of “freedom, equality, and solidarity.”


PizzaGate. We’re not kidding. Yesterday afternoon, a North Carolina man walked into a popular pizza joint in Northwest D.C. and fired off rounds from an assault rifle, luckily wounding no one. The man’s motive? He wanted to “self-investigate” an absolutely baseless conspiracy theory propagated by right-wing news outlets that accused the restaurant of harboring a child-trafficking ring with ties to Hillary Clinton. Now, thanks to this frenzy of right-wing fake news, the restaurant and its employees have become the targets of deadly threats. And it gets worse. Instead of condemning the attack and setting the record straight, people very close to the incoming Trump administration, including the son of incoming NSA adviser Michael Flynn, are still pushing fake news about the pizza shop.

White Knights. Not the good kind. Over the weekend, The Loyal White Knights, a KKK group based in North Carolina held a parade to celebrate Donald Trump’s victory. They passed through the town of Roxboro shouting “White Power!” Hundreds of counter-protestors gathered in Pelham, North Carolina where the group is based and marched with signs that read “Against White Supremacy.”


Victory. After months of activism and enduring harsh weather and violence from security officers, the Standing Rock water protectors and other activists have something to celebrate: yesterday, the Army Corps of Engineers denied a permit for constructing the Dakota Access Pipeline over the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. As Brian Cladoosby, the National Congress of American Indians President, put it “this isn’t over, but it is enormously good news.”

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