HCR: Sheldon Whitehouse asks AG to look at Justice Brett Kavanaugh and dark money

Heather Cox Richardson | Letters from an American | March 16

HCR
Heather Cox Richardson

Today, I’m watching some stories that have immediate significance, but also indicate larger trends.

First, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) has asked the Justice Department, now overseen by Attorney General Merrick Garland, to look into the unusual circumstances through which Brett Kavanaugh’s large debts disappeared before his nomination to the Supreme Court. While this question is important to understanding Kavanaugh’s position on our Supreme Court, it is more than that: it is part of a larger investigation into the role of big money in our justice system.

Last May, Whitehouse, along with Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY), released a report titled “Captured Courts: The GOP’s Big Money Assault On The Constitution, Our Independent Judiciary, And The Rule of Law.” It outlined how the “Conservative Legal Movement has rewritten federal law to favor the rich and powerful,” how the Federalist Society and special-interest money control our courts, and how the system benefits the big-money donors behind the Republicans

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HCR: Today was a big day for the United States of America

Heather Cox Richardson | Letters from an American | March 10

HCR
Heather Cox Richardson

Today was a big day for the United States of America.

The House of Representatives passed the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, accepting the changes to the measure that the Senate had added. This bill marks a sea change in our government. Rather than focusing on dismantling the federal government and turning individuals loose to act as they wish, Congress has returned to the principles of the nation before 1981, using the federal government to support ordinary Americans. With its expansion of the child tax credit, the bill is projected to reach about 27 million children and to cut child poverty in half.

The bill, which President Biden is expected to sign Friday, is a landmark piece of legislation, reversing the trend of American government since Ronald Reagan’s 1981 tax cut. Rather than funneling money upward in the belief that those at the top will invest in the economy and thus create jobs for poorer Americans, the Democrats are returning to the idea that using the government to put money into the hands of ordinary Americans will rebuild the economy from the bottom up. This was the argument for the very first expansion of the American government—during Abraham Lincoln’s administration—and it was the belief on which President Franklin Delano Roosevelt created the New Deal.

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GasLit Nation: Texas Republican Massacre

GASLIT NATION WITH ANDREA CHALUPA AND SARAH KENDZIOR

This year we’ve already had a plague, a violent insurrectionist attack, and an unrepentant mafioso president running free. Apparently that wasn’t enough so last week the U.S. got a once-in-a-century Texas storm (but sadly probably not once in *this* century) that turned into a humanitarian catastrophe. We discuss the GOP hostage state of Texas, Merrick Garland, Roger Stone’s role in the violent attempted coup, why you shouldn’t trust Cy Vance, the power of art and the grassroots, Taylor Swift, and more!

GASLIT NATION WITH ANDREA CHALUPA AND SARAH KENDZIOR