Defunding cancer research to detain children.

Last week, we wrote about the Trump administration’s diversion of nearly $10 million from FEMA to fund ICE detention and deportation of immigrants.

This week, we learned that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) plans to divert millions more to pay for housing the growing number of detained immigrant children.

Cuts include:

  • $13.3 million from the National Cancer Institute
  • $16.7 million from Head Start
  • $5.7 million from HIV/AIDS research

Money is also being stripped from programs focused on mental and maternal health, women’s shelters, and substance abuse.

As reported by the New York Times, “the overall number of detained migrant children has exploded to the highest number ever recorded,” because the Trump administration is doing all that it can to keep kids in custody, rather than release them to family members and other sponsors. As of last week, the total number of migrant children in federally contracted shelters reached 12,800.

TRUMP STOPS PRETENDING HE’S NOT A MONSTER.

Dr. Christine Blasey Ford is getting death threats. She and her children had to move out of their home and hire private security. Her life has been upended, and it is all happening because she was brave enough to speak out.

In return, President Trump and his allies are doing everything possible to discredit, mock, and attack Dr. Blasey Ford.

This morning, Trump tweeted: “I have no doubt that, if the attack on Dr. Ford was as bad as she says, charges would have been immediately filed with local Law Enforcement Authorities by either her or her loving parents. I ask that she bring those filings forward so that we can learn date, time, and place!”

His son is no better. Donald Trump, Jr. posted a photo depicting an offensive, handwritten note titled “Judge Kavanaugh’s sexual assault letter found by Dems…,” with the clear purpose of minimizing Dr. Blasey Ford’s allegations.

Judicial Crisis Network’s Carrie Severino says it’s not clear that the incident was attempted rape as opposed to just “rough horseplay.”

Meanwhile, Senators like Orrin Hatch are alternating between saying Dr. Blasey Ford must have “mistaken” her alleged attacker and saying that, regardless of the merit of her story, “It would be hard for Senators not to consider who [Kavanaugh] is today.”

Conservative legal operative Ed Whelan tweeted the same “mistaken” theory in a disgusting thread last night. Reports suggest that Kavanaugh and his allies are discussing a defense hinging on this absurd allegation.

In Trump’s America, we excuse powerful white men for their attacks on women; it’s no wonder many survivors of sexual assault don’t come forward. A 2015 Washington Post poll found that 88 percent of women who experienced unwanted sexual contact did not tell authorities. We must support survivors, not diminish them.

We won’t stand by and let them smear Professor Blasey Ford. Call your Senators today, and demand a fair hearing, an FBI investigation, and a modicum of decency: 202-224-3121

BIG PROGRESSIVE IDEA: INVESTING IN STUDENTS AND TEACHERS

Over the past year, we saw teacher strikes and walkouts across seven states, all in pursuit of fair pay for teachers and improved conditions for students across the country.

A new report from the Center for American Progress breaks down why this is all happening: chronic underinvestment in K-12 education since the Great Recession began.

Why is it so important to increase education spending? A few key reasons:

  • Studies show that increased education spending is linked to improved educational outcomes.
  • Increased spending by states on low-income students leads to improvement in the areas of math and reading.
  • There is a clear link between teacher pay and improved student outcomes. A lack of funding leads to low teacher salaries and severe teacher shortages.

The bottom line: “Lack of funding means an inability to invest in what matters for students.”

See the full report for more on the actions states and the federal government can take to fix chronic disinvestment in K-12 education.

OFF-KILTER.

DC Council makes moves to overturn a wage increase for tipped workers; thousands continue to struggle in Puerto Rico one year after Hurricane Maria made landfall; and the news of the week ICYMI (with special guest Chad Bolt!). Listen here.