Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un met overnight at the long-awaited summit in Singapore.
A few takeaways from CAP’s vice president of National Security, Kelly Magsamen:
- We all want success. But Trump’s self-proclaimed lack of preparation isn’t the path to success. In order to accomplish anything, this will take a long diplomatic process.
- Trump told ABC News repeatedly that he “trusts” Kim Jong-un. When it comes to North Korea, don’t trust—verify. U.S. officials must ensure moving forward that North Korea takes verifiable steps toward denuclearization.
- Be concerned about Trump’s words: he called joint military exercises “provocative”—a phrase right out of the North Korean handbook and further proof of Trump’s alarming alignment with hostile foreign autocrats rather than democratic allies like South Korea that these exercises have been protecting.
In yet another compromise of America’s role in the world, President Trump also went well beyond diplomatic requirements in lavishing praise on Kim Jong-un, while brushing aside his heinous record of human rights abuses as a murderous dictator.
A 2014 UN Human Rights Council investigation details the human rights atrocities in North Korea. Some of their findings:
- ”In the political prison camps of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the inmate population has been gradually eliminated through deliberate starvation, forced labour, executions, torture, rape and the denial of reproductive rights enforced through punishment, forced abortion and infanticide.”
- “These crimes against humanity entail extermination, murder, enslavement, torture, imprisonment, rape, forced abortions and other sexual violence, persecution on political, religious, racial and gender grounds, the forcible transfer of populations, the enforced disappearance of persons and the inhumane act of knowingly causing prolonged starvation.”
Negotiating with hostile and brutal regimes is sometimes necessary and important, but saying, “He’s a funny guy, he’s very smart, he’s a great negotiator, he loves his people” does not uphold America’s values, period. See an explainer thread enumerating the topline horrors of the UNHCR findings here.
NEW REPORT: INSIDERS GETTING RICH OFF TAX BILL CORRUPTION
The Trump tax bill will raise taxes on 7.8 million middle class families this year, and a staggering 92 million when fully in effect. For millions more, the sabotage of the Affordable Care Act used to pay for the tax bill will jack up premiums in ways that swamp any small benefit they may be getting.
There is one group that doesn’t have to worry, though: multinational corporate executives. As Republican Congressman Mark Sanford once admitted bluntly, the tax bill was always a corporate giveaway, never aimed at the middle class.
But it gets worse from there. Once corporate executives have gotten their tax giveaways, rather than invest in their workers, they have been literally spending the windfalls on themselves through unprecedented waves of stock buybacks.
And that’s still not the end. At CAP yesterday, SEC Commissioner Robert Jackson Jr. released a new report showing how insiders are taking advantage of the buyback craze: “The report studied 385 buybacks in 2017 and during the first three months of 2018. Thanks to the reliable stock bounce, insiders gained a total of $75.1 million on their stock sales, the SEC researchers calculated.”
We are still only beginning to understand how deep the corruption in the Trump tax bill goes.
TWO YEARS LATER…AND NO ACTION.
Today marks the second anniversary of the Pulse Nightclub shooting, where 49 people were killed and over 50 injured in an attack on the LGBTQ community and one of the deadliest mass shootings in U.S. history.
Does that sentence sound familiar? Of course it does, because it’s repeated far too often in the United States. We are a society plagued by mass shooting events and weak gun laws, and every time a tragedy like Pulse happens, lawmakers offer thoughts and prayers and readily cash their fat NRA checks.
Since Pulse, there have been 51 mass shootings in Florida alone. There have been over 700 mass shooting events around the U.S. in those two years.
From 2010 to 2015, an estimated 46,500 hate crimes involving a gun were committed in the United States.
On today’s anniversary, #HonorThemWithAction. Call, write, and tweet at your lawmakers. Make it clear: it’s time to pass common sense measures for gun violence prevention and to challenge anti-LGBTQ harassment, discrimination, and violence.
ZERO COMPASSION POLICY
Yesterday, Jeff Sessions continued his all-out assault against immigrants, changing the rules to make it much harder for people fleeing things like domestic violence and gang violence to get asylum in the U.S.
“The mere fact that a country may have problems effectively policing certain crimes,” Sessions said, ”cannot itself establish an asylum claim.”
For more analysis, check out a thread from CAP’s Immigration Team here.
This monstrous policy shift, in conjunction with the Trump Administration’s barbaric family separation policy and its manufactured DACA crisis, marks an even sharper and more inhumane turn in this Administration’s immigration policies.
Today is also the key day for Congressional members to take a stand to #ProtectDreamers by signing the Queen of the Hill discharge petition. Take two minutes, pick up the phone, and call your members of Congress today.