If the goal of Trump’s “Fox & Friends” interview was to mitigate fallout from the Manafort/Cohen news, it didn’t work.
In the various snippets, Trump undermined American law enforcement, suggested his own role in campaign finance violations, and continued his inane drumbeat about Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s “conflicts.”
First off, in line with an escalating tendency to talk like a mob boss, Trump said that “flipping“—cooperating with government investigations—”almost ought to be outlawed.”
With an ever-growing list of convicted senior aides, the idea of “flipping” seems ever more on his mind. Trump is the chief executive in charge of enforcing the law, and instead he is undermining all American law enforcement to try and protect himself.
Furthermore, as Vox reported, Trump seemed to “confess a campaign finance violation while trying to deny it.”
- He also gave himself an A+ rating as president, touting the GOP tax scam and his rigged Supreme Court picks.
- He discussed health care: “What we’re doing for health care is incredible.”
- Then, on health care premiums: “The increase is much less than people thought. That’s because of us.” (See the third section of today’s Progress Report for a few reasons why this is categorically false.)
As CAP Action’s executive director Navin Nayak told POLITICO yesterday, “Every day there’s a new cherry put on top of the story of corruption in Washington.” Today, Trump’s interview does that job.
DEVOS WANTS TO USE TAXPAYER DOLLARS TO ARM UNWILLING TEACHERS.
Betsy DeVos is forging ahead in her efforts to make American schools less safe.
DeVos is considering a plan to allow federal Department of Education funding to be used to purchase guns to arm teachers and administrators.
The rule would strip funding from a $1 billion program designed for “academic and enrichment opportunities in the country’s poorest schools.” The program calls for schools to use the money to 1) provide a well-rounded education, 2) improve school conditions for learning, and 3) improve the use of technology for digital literacy.
Instead, the Department of Education is considering allowing that money to be used to purchase firearms, despite the fact that a majority of teachers disagree with the practice.
73% of teachers oppose arming teachers. A strong majority of teachers overwhelmingly support gun violence prevention measures. The 2017 teacher of the year spoke out firmly about the dangers of training and arming educators.
Take it from Greg Pittman, a teacher at Parkland’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School:
“I think it’s a very, very, very bad idea. I am a teacher. I did not train, do not want to be police. I do not want to be SWAT. I don’t want to be the army.“
The majority of teachers don’t want to be armed; the Secretary of Education should listen to them.
NONPARTISAN GAO SLAMS TRUMP ADMINISTRATION’S ACA SABOTAGE.
The nonpartisan Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report today lambasting the Trump administration for its ACA sabotage. The Trump administration slashed funding for enrollment assistance navigators, cut outreach to the uninsured, and halted payments for financial assistance last fall for the 2018 enrollment period. Some findings in the nonpartisan watchdog’s report:
- Marketplace enrollment decreased 5% during the last open enrollment period.
- Stakeholders interviewed by the GAO said that “consumer confusion” and “HHS’s reduced role in promoting exchange enrollment” played a significant role in reduced enrollment.
- GAO criticized HHS’s allocation of reduced navigator funding as “problematic for multiple reasons.”
- GAO said HHS’s refusal to set goals for enrollment “hampers the agency’s ability to make informed decisions.”
Meanwhile, GOP congressional candidates are squirming and trying to have it both ways with the ACA. While they claim to support popular parts of the law that protect people with pre-existing conditions, they have sought to undermine them by voting to repeal the ACA, by backing policies to undermine comprehensive coverage in favor of junk plans, and by supporting lawsuits designed to overturn the ACA, including pre-existing condition protections.
They’re also touting the tax bill as the biggest Republican achievement of the Trump era to date—conveniently failing to explain that, thanks to the tax scam’s repeal of the individual mandate, in combination with other Trump administration ACA sabotage, Americans will face exchange premiums that are an extra $1,000 higher than they should be in 2019.