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Beyond Prisons — Episode 10: Demanding Human Rights At Vaughn Feat. Emily Abendroth

  • Vaughn was the site of what has been called the Vaughn Rebellion, an uprising last February in response to horrendous living conditions that was met with brutal repression by corrections officers.
  • Thomas wrote an open letter after the rebellion, which described their demands for human rights, including a proper diet, an adequate grievance process, and access to programs and education.
  • Thomas’s friend Emily Abendroth joins hosts Brian Sonenstein and Kim Wilson to talk about her friendship with Thomas, the open letter, and what she’s learned from their correspondence.
  • Emily Abendroth is a poet, teacher and anti-prison activist living in Philadelphia.
Brian Sonenstein / Shadowproof | July 21, 2017, 1:07 pm

Fox Host: Trump Is Right To Go On The Offensive Against Mueller Because His Investigation "is A Witch Hunt, And It Has Gotten Out Of Control"

  • SANDRA SMITH (CO-HOST): But is it a good strategy, as far as what we're seeing now from the president Trish, going on the offensive, warning Mueller, don't dig into my finances, don't dig into my family's finances, he's certainly put himself on the offense. 
  • TRISH REGAN (CO-HOST): I think it is, only because I think this is a witch hunt, and it's gotten out of control and someone needs to speak up.
  • NY Times: Trump Aides, Seeking Leverage, Investigate Mueller’s Investigators
  • Fox contributor baselessly claims special counsel Robert Mueller is leaking to the press
Media Matters for America / Media Matters | July 21, 2017, 12:12 pm

Special Counsel Tells White House: Don't Destroy Any Information On Don Jr.'s Russia Meeting

  • Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, resigned on Friday morning, telling President Trump he vehemently disagreed with the appointment of the New York financier Anthony Scaramucci as communications director.
  • Much more to come, no doubt—including, we can only hope, a final hurrah from Melissa McCarthy.
  • Special counsel Robert Mueller has put the Trump White House on notice: preserve all the information relating to Donald Trump Jr.'s Russia meeting.
  • The letter from Mueller began: "As you are aware the Special Counsel's office is investigating the Russian government's efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election, including any links or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of Donald Trump. (Laura Clawson) / Daily Kos | July 21, 2017, 11:17 am

When Will President Trump Fire Robert Mueller?

  • The idea that Donald Trump might fire—or try to fire—Special Counsel Robert Mueller has bubbled up enough times to seem possible, but still improbable.
  • Firing Mueller would likely create a reprise of the October 1973 “Saturday Night Massacre,” in which Richard Nixon tried to fire Watergate special prosecutor Archibald Cox.
  • Trump has been fuming about the probe in recent weeks as he has been informed about the legal questions that he and his family could face.
  • Trump has famously refused to release his taxes, breaking a precedent that has endured since Watergate.
David A. Graham / The Atlantic | July 21, 2017, 11:04 am

Fox's Steve Doocy: Mueller "wasn't Hired To Get" Trump's Tax Returns

  • MORRIS: Right, so the concern among the Trump administration right now is don't look at our finances.
  • DOOCY: I'll tell you what, the Department of Justice has explicit rules on what is a conflict.
  • DOOCY: So maybe that person should recuse himself from this particular investigation.
  • EARHARDT: Well they're investigating to find out if he was, if President Trump was involved with Russia before the election, that Russians buying his apartments in Trump buildings here.
Media Matters for America / Media Matters | July 21, 2017, 9:11 am

Trump Seeks Legal Advice On Pardons As He Looks For Ways To Torpedo Russia Investigation

  • A conflict of interest is one of the possible grounds that can be cited by an attorney general to remove a special counsel from office under Justice Department regulations that set rules for the job.
  • As Mueller’s investigation has pulled in more experts on money laundering and financial crime, Trump’s temperature has been rising sharply.
  • Of particular concern to Trump seems to be the the idea that Mueller could go after his own taxes.
  • Mueller is clearly investigating whether Trump, Manafort, and other members of the campaign have long standing relationships that could have given the Russian government leverage over them in the election. (Mark Sumner) / Daily Kos | July 21, 2017, 8:12 am

The Strange Phenomenon Of Voter Self-Suppression

  • From the moment the president announced the creation of a panel to examine voter fraud and elections, voting-rights advocates warned that the real purpose of the commission was to suppress lawful votes.
  • In charging that the commission is aimed at suppressing votes, critics have noted that it was created to answer a illusory problem of illegal voting; its de facto leader, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, has a history of attempting to disenfranchise legitimate voters and wrote in a recently divulged email that he wants to enact stricter registration requirements; and the methods it appears to be considering are both methodologically unsound and risk exposing private data.Cancellations by privacy-minded citizens represent extremely effective voter suppression: Simply by requesting voter rolls from states, the election panel has convinced people to take themselves out of the voting game.
David A. Graham / The Atlantic | July 21, 2017, 8:03 am

Fox News Is Unusually Focused On The Nationality Of The Officer Who Shot Justine Damond (he's Somali-American)

  • DAGEN MCDOWELL: But guess -- here's the problem. We already have Medicare.
  • On July 17, developments emerged in two cases of fatal officer-involved shootings, but Fox News rushed to cover only one of them and focused disproportionately on the officer’s nationality in doing so.
  • On the day Balch Springs, Texas, police officer Roy Oliver was indicted for the fatal shooting of Jordan Edwards, a black teenager, news broke of the July 15 shooting of an Australian woman by a Minneapolis, MN, police officer who was later identified as Mohamed Noor.
  • In the first three days of coverage following the shooting of Justine Ruszczyk (who went by the surname of her fiancé, Don Damond), Fox News covered the story in 11 segments, six of which mentioned that the officer was “Somali-American,” an "immigrant" from Somalia, the first Somali-American to patrol that precinct, or that Minneapolis boasts a “very significant Somali population.” A Fox News article online began both its headline and body with Noor’s Somali background.
Media Matters for America / Media Matters | July 21, 2017, 6:10 am

Trump's Sabotage Of Obamacare Runs Very Deep

  • The taxpayer dollars you are sending to Washington, D.C., to help people get health insurance coverage are actually being used by the Trump administration to destroy the very program that would achieve that goal.
  • The Trump administration has spent taxpayer money meant to encourage enrollment in the Affordable Care Act on a public relations campaign aimed at methodically strangling it.
  • The effort, which involves a multi-pronged social media push as well as video testimonials designed at damaging public opinion of President Obama’s health care law, is far more robust and sustained than has been publicly revealed or realized.
  • The strategy has caught the eye of legal experts and Democrats in Congress, who have asked government agencies to investigate whether the administration has misused funds and engaged in covert propaganda in its efforts to damage and overturn the seven-year-old health care law. (Joan McCarter) / Daily Kos | July 21, 2017, 5:08 am

Trump Trains His Sights On Mueller's Investigation

  • President Trump is exploring steps to curtail Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s criminal investigation into the president’s campaign and business dealings, inching the country closer to uncharted constitutional waters.The New York Times reported Thursday that Trump’s private legal team is scouring the backgrounds of Mueller and his prosecutors for potential conflicts of interest and damaging information to be used against them.
Matt Ford / The Atlantic | July 21, 2017, 4:58 am

6 Months Later: Trump’s War On The Press, By The Numbers

  • DAGEN MCDOWELL: But guess -- here's the problem. We already have Medicare.
  • President Donald Trump and his administration have waged an unprecedented war on the media since he took office.
  • Over 200: number of times Trump or his administration have attacked the press, per Media Matters’ running tally.
  • 69: number of times Trump has used the phrase “fake news” or “fakenews” on Twitter.
Media Matters for America / Media Matters | July 21, 2017, 3:10 am

Tennessee Judge Offering Reduced Jail Time For Drug Offenders Who Agree To Be Sterilized

  • You would think this sort of thing had been stamped out, in the futuristic-sounding year of 2017, but apparently we're quite determined to roll back the national clock a few more decades: If you find yourself arrested on drug charges in White County, Tennessee, a judge may reduce your jail time if you agree to have a vasectomy or get a birth control implant so that you do not reproduce.
  • Judge Benningfield told NewsChannel 5 that he was trying to break a vicious cycle of repeat offenders who constantly come into his courtroom on drug related charges, subsequently can’t afford child support and have trouble finding jobs.
  • “I understand it won’t be entirely successful but if you reach two or three people, maybe that’s two or three kids not being born under the influence of drugs.
  • So if you come into Judge Benningfield's courtroom on drug charges that you can't afford to fight or facing jail time you cannot stomach, you may instead choose to be sterilized so that you cannot have children in the future. (Hunter) / Daily Kos | July 21, 2017, 2:03 am

Why Trump Probably Hasn't Spooked The Justice Department

  • President Trump’s extraordinary broadside this week against Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Special Counsel Robert Mueller raised eyebrows across the nation’s capital.
  • Yet at the Justice Department on Thursday morning, it was business as usual.
Matt Ford / The Atlantic | July 21, 2017, 1:55 am

The Incoherent Nature Of Nancy MacLean’s Narrative

  • Nancy MacLean is a professor of history at Duke University and she has written a book titled, Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America.
  • In addition to attacking the late James Buchanan, MacLean also trains her sights on Tyler Cowen another economist at George Mason University.
  • If American political institutions render market-oriented reforms too difficult to achieve, then perhaps those institutions should be changed.
  • Many individuals have suggested procedural or constitutional reform could lead to freer economies for the United States and Europe.
Steve Verdon / Outside The Beltway | July 21, 2017, 1:52 am

Newt Gingrich: Russia Investigation "is A Very Dangerous Witch Hunt That Mueller Keeps Expanding"

  • NEWT GINGRICH: The Mueller investigation has so many conflicts of interest, it's almost an absurdity. The law firm he comes from gave 99.81 percent of its donations to Hillary Clinton last year.  That’s right, .19 of 1 percent went to Donald Trump. The people that he’s been hiring are all anti-trump lawyers. Several of them have very bad records of hiding information from the defense, and one case was rebuked by the Supreme Court in a 9-0 vote. It's hard to understand why he would assemble such a team unless it was a deliberate effort to go after the president and the president's team.  I think that, I don't understand why the House and Senate Judiciary Committees aren't investigating a lot of this stuff. The point you made about leaks is a perfectly good example. The leaks have to be coming from inside Mueller's team, so who’s leaking? Why is nothing being done about it?
  • I think it's a very reasonable to say this is a very dangerous witch hunt that Mueller keeps expanding it because he can't find anything in the original charge. He's not going to find anything about Trump and Russia, and yet he's hired all of these guys who have given up their very expensive law services to come out and try to get somebody and they're going to eventually find somebody to prosecute because there are too many lawyers being paid too much money for them to go home having accomplished nothing. 
  • Fox & Friends hosts defend Trump's attacks on Sessions' recusal: "Donald Trump is a fighter"
  • CNN's pro-Trump shill Jeffrey Lord: Trump would "have a huge political advantage" if he fired Russia investigator
Media Matters for America / Media Matters | July 21, 2017, 12:07 am