Author Archives: Jake Johnson

White House places all blame for ‘astonishingly corrupt’ Whitefish contract on Puerto Rico

Advocacy groups are calling for the deal to be cancelled and congressional Democrats are demanding an investigation

Amid growing outrage over the “astonishingly corrupt” $300 million no-bid contract given to Whitefish Energy to rebuild Puerto Rico’s electrical grid, the Trump White House on Friday denied that the federal government had “any role” in crafting the agreement and placed all responsibility for the deal on shoulders of local Puerto Rican officials—despite language in the contract saying the Federal Emergency Management Agency “reviewed and approved” the agreement. Continue reading

As Trump ‘hysterics’ continue, US moves to put nuclear B-52s on 24-hour alert

The Air Force's steps to prepare nuke-armed bombers to ‘take off at a moment's notice’ are unnecessary and reckless, critics said

As President Donald Trump continues to ratchet up tensions between the United States and North Korea through saber-rattling on Twitter and in television interviews, the U.S. has quietly begun preparing to put nuclear-armed B-52 bombers on “24-hour ready alert,” a status not seen since the end of the Cold War. Continue reading

Trump revives notorious GOP dog whistle in call for ‘welfare reform’

Like Reagan before him, Trump is deploying the infamous ‘welfare queen’ myth to justify shredding the safety net

Rehashing a notorious Republican Party trope that accuses some Americans of cheating safety net programs, President Donald Trump on Monday said his administration is looking “very, very strongly” at “welfare reform.” Continue reading

Bolstering case for impeachment, study concludes Trump ‘likely obstructed justice’

A detailed analysis finds ‘substantial’ evidence to support claims that Trump attempted to undermine an ongoing investigation by firing former FBI director James Comey

In a new study aimed at collecting and analyzing all of the relevant facts surrounding President Donald Trump’s legally questionable conduct in office—particularly his firing of former FBI director James Comey—three lawyers conclude it is “likely” that Trump has obstructed justice, and that whether he is held accountable for his actions “will have significant consequences for the functioning of our democracy.” Continue reading

Alarm sounded over Trump’s ‘little noticed’ push to undermine food safety

In what critics are describing as a move to prioritize exports over public health, the Trump administration is quietly planning to transfer work on international food safety standards from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) health arm to its brand new trade arm, which is supervised by former animal-drug industry executive Ted McKinney. Continue reading

Media largely ‘blind’ to Harvey’s devastating impact on poor communities

Texas’s minority and low-income communities have been disproportionately harmed by Hurricane Harvey, but you wouldn’t know it from following the coverage of America’s mainstream media outlets. Continue reading

Harvey triggers ‘unbearable’ pollution as refineries spew cancer-causing chemicals

‘Air pollution is one of the unseen dangers of the storm.’

As the catastrophic flooding brought about by Hurricane Harvey continues to devastate Texas, reports of “unbearable” smells are beginning to emerge from the state, sparking growing concerns of the long-term health effects that could result from toxic waste and fumes being spewed from temporarily closed oil refineries. Continue reading

‘Swamp’s doing fine’: Amid White House turmoil, Trump cozies up to right-wing donors

Billionaires Robert Mercer, Joseph Craft, and Diane Hendricks all dined with Trump last week

His party is publicly rebuking him, corporate executives are rushing to distance themselves from his administration to safeguard their own reputations, and rumors of more White House departures are swirling after Chief Strategist Steve Bannon’s ouster. But it appears that President Donald Trump can still count on one bedrock of stability: major right-wing donors. Continue reading

Psychiatric group tells members it’s ok to break silence on Trump’s bizarre behavior

Easing ‘gag order’ on public diagnosis, professional association entrusts mental health experts to use their ‘knowledge responsibly’

As President Donald Trump continues to behave bizarrely and erratically—attacking his own attorney general, launching into a political tirade during a speech to Boy Scouts, bringing his 11-year-old son into the burgeoning Russia controversy—a professional association of psychoanalysts is telling its members to drop the so-called Goldwater rule and comment publicly on the president’s state of mind if they find reason to do so. Continue reading

Trump: I will defend Medicaid. Also Trump: I support bill that destroys Medicaid.

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told reporters in an off-camera briefing on Friday that President Donald Trump remains “committed” to protecting recipients of Medicaid, a program he repeatedly vowed not to cut during his presidential campaign. Continue reading

Since Trump’s election, 20 states have moved to criminalize dissent

In what is being called the “biggest protest crackdown since the Civil Rights Era,” Republicans in at least 20 states have put forward or passed laws with the intention of making protest more difficult and the punishment for expressing dissent more draconian since President Donald Trump’s inauguration in January. Continue reading

Amid Trump chaos, Republicans keep their eyes on the big prize: the courts

‘Control the Supreme Court, stack the judiciary, and you can stop the progressive movement . . . for decades,’ Corey Robin wrote

While the Trump administration remains embroiled in scandals of its own making and continues to blunder forward seemingly without direction, Republicans have their collective gaze fixed on a prize they have coveted for years: complete domination of the judiciary. Continue reading

‘Literal colonialism’: Blackwater founder calls for ‘American viceroy’ to rule Afghanistan

Given Prince's past connections to Trump, his recommendations could have some measure of influence

Displaying what one commentator called “sheer 19th century bloodlust and thirst for empire,” Erik Prince, founder of the private mercenary firm Blackwater, argued in The Wall Street Journal this week that the United States should deploy an “East India Company approach” in Afghanistan. Continue reading