“The King of Queens” actress Leah Remini famously left the Church of Scientology back in 2013. Since then, she has published a book on the alleged cult, “Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology,” and starred in a docuseries for A&E called “Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath.” However, it appears Remini still sees some signs of the…
The Trump administration tried to exert tremendous influence over the 2020 Census, which is now being used in a nationwide redistricting program, often handing Republicans even stronger gerrymandered congressional districts and in some cases attempting to dissolve districts of Democratic members of Congress, while eliminating some majority-Black districts.
Then-President Donald Trump was directly and possibly “illegally” involved, as The Brennan Center for Justice, NYU Law School’s nonprofit public policy institute, reports. The Trump administration also worked directly with an anti-immigrant group that appears on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s list of nativist hate groups, a “think tank” devoted to anti-immigration efforts, and with an individual known for “promoting voter suppression efforts.”
“The Trump administration attempted to exert extreme partisan influence over the Census Bureau,” The Brennan Center reveals . It filed multiple Freedom of Information requests with at least ten federal agencies and was forced to sue the Trump administration when it unlawfully refused to produce the requested documents.
The Brennan Center adds that “career Bureau officials pushed back at those attempts. An email among senior officials at the Census Bureau from September 14, 2020, discusses the Commerce Department’s ‘unusually high degree of engagement in technical matters, which is unprecedented.'”
“Other records suggest that the Commerce Department planned to have Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross [photo, above] make personal calls to Republican state governors to urge them to provide state administrative records to the Census Bureau to ‘enhance the frame from which citizenship status is determined.’ (The Brennan Center did not uncover evidence that Commerce planned to make similar calls to Democratic governors.)”
Citing a “a complete lack of public transparency,” The Brennan Center reports “President Trump issued a memo in July 2020 stating that he would illegally attempt to remove undocumented populations from the apportionment count due at the end of December 2020.”
The Trump administration collected or attempted to collect an unprecedented amount of personal data targeting users of welfare programs from dozens of states: “28 states had entered into agreements to share Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) records with the Bureau, 21 to share Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) records, 30 to share Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) records, and three to share driver’s license data.”
Our FOIA records show Mark Krikorian, Executive Director of the Center for Immigration Studies, emailing directly with Secretary Ross in December 2019. The Center for Immigration Studies is an organization classified by the Southern Poverty Law Center as an anti-immigrant hate group that “has a decades-long history of circulating racist writers, while also associating with white nationalists.” The email also refers to a call from Secretary Ross.
The Center for Immigration Studies was founded by eugenicist and white nationalist John Tanton.
“Commerce Department employees were also engaging with the anti-immigrant Heritage Foundation,” The Brennan Center adds. “An email chain shows a Commerce Department official putting political appointee Nathaniel Cogley into direct contact with Heritage’s Hans Von Spakovsky, an individual the Brennan Center has previously flagged for his extensive background promoting voter suppression efforts.”
A right-wing Arizona legislator who has fully embraced Donald Trump's election lies marked Martin Luther King Jr. Day by sharing a social media post by a white nationalist.
State Sen. Wendy Rogers (R-Flagstaff), a retired U.S. Air Force lieutenant colonel who was instrumental in her state's bogus election "audit," retweeted a post by white nationalist Scott Greer celebrating Confederate generals Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson.
Today, on #MLKDay, Arizona lawmaker Wendy Rogers has retweeted a post by white nationalist Scott Greer calling on people to celebrate leaders of the Confederacy.pic.twitter.com/0zLtvDbC3Z— Nick Martin (@Nick Martin) 1642440452
Rogers, who recently announced that her campaign raised nearly $2.5 million last year, has previously shared content from white nationalist and Holocaust denier Nick Fuentes.
The GOP legislator has also pushed Trump's election lies in right-wing media, including appearances on QAnon-related podcasts.
Wealthy venture capitalist's podcast goes off the rails after he dismisses Uyghur genocide: 'It is below my line'
During the All-In podcast this weekend, billionaire venture capitalist Chamath Palihapitiya gave his thoughts on the ongoing persecution of Uyghur Muslims in China, saying that the genocide of a religious minority by an authoritarian government is not high on his list of things to be concerned about.
While the panel discussed things President Joe Biden could do to jumpstart his seemingly stalled agenda, All-In co-host Jason Calacanis posited that him being more aggressive on "China policy" could be one approach. But Palihapitiya disagreed.
“Nobody cares about what’s happening to the Uyghurs, okay?" said Palihapitiya, the CEO of Social Capital and minority owner of the Golden State Warriors basketball team.
"You bring it up because you care and I think it’s nice that you care. The rest of us don’t care. I’m just telling you a very hard, ugly truth. Of all the things that I care about, yes, it is below my line."
"That's disappointing," a stunned Calacanis said.
Palihapitiya said that he cares about things like the economy suffering "if China invades Taiwan," and climate change, and America's "decrepit" health care infrastructure, "but you're asking me if I care about a segment of a class of people in another country -- not until we can take care of ourselves will I prioritize them over us."
"I think it's a sad state of affairs when human rights as a concept globally falls beneath, you know, tactical and strategic issues that we have to have," Calacanis replied.
"That's another luxury belief," Palihapitiya shot back.
"I don't believe [that] believing in the [Universal] Declaration of Human Rights is a luxury belief," Calacanis said.
The co-hosts of the podcast continued to argue about the topic for more than half an hour.
The US House of Representatives last year passed legislation banning imports from China's Xinjiang region over its treatment of the Uyghur Muslim minority.
Members of the House voted 428-1 to pass the "Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act," which requires corporations to prove "with clear and convincing evidence" that any goods imported from the region were not made using forced labor.
"Right now, Beijing is orchestrating a brutal and accelerating campaign of repression against the Uyghur people and other Muslim minorities," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) told lawmakers ahead of the vote.
"In Xinjiang, across China, millions are enduring outrageous human rights abuses: from mass surveillance and disciplinary policing; to mass torture including solitary confinement and forced sterilizations; intimidation of journalists and activists who have dared to expose the truth."
She added: "And, the government of China's exploitation of forced labor reaches across the oceans to our shores and across the world."
China has denied the accusations concerning its treatment of the Uyghurs.
Watch the exchange below:
E63: Insurrection indictments, human rights in the US and abroad, groundbreaking MS study and more youtu.be
With additional reporting via AFP