Suing Jeff Sessions (E29)

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You may be familiar with the many times the ACLU has sued the president, but today we’re going to cover two lawsuits against the Trump Administration you may NOT have heard of. We interview Glenda Aldana Madrid, Staff Attorney at the the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project about their lawsuit against Jeff Sessions. We also discuss a couple of lawsuits against Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, and some awesome Listener Mail about the UK election.

MENTIONED ON THE SHOW:

Hat tip to @jenesaiswha for the recommendation of the BBC 4 News Quiz Extra show.

America’s Hidden H.I.V. Epidemic – The New York Times

Betsy DeVos lost the first part of a a court battle when a California federal judge ruled that her Department’s effort to delay addressing a defrauded student’s claim for loan relief was “both frivolous and in bad faith.”

The Mass. Attorney General on DeVos’s latest move: “I’m going to sue them.”

Comey Week, UK Elections, and the GOP bill to Light the Economy on Fire (E28)

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We start out with Comey Week! The hearing, the media’s response, our thoughts, Trump’s insane post-hearing press conference, and all the he said/he said you can stand. 

Then, we’re going to talk about the horrible bullshit the GOP was up to while everyone was hungover from the Comey hearing, including voting to rip up Dodd-Frank, because I guess the only thing the GOP likes better than stealing our healthcare is stealing our healthcare in the middle of a brand new financial crisis.

Finally, we’ll also give a quick update on the latest flaming garbage coming out of Betsy DeVos’s Department of Education. 

If you want to get access to our special bonus audio this week, talking about how rage can fuel your swole in the Trump era, become a Patreon patron and check it out here.

MENTIONED ON THE SHOW

Please do this! Find out how your Rep voted on the Wrong CHOICE Act, and send them an email about it.

Villas, Castles, and Vacations: Report from Senator Elizabeth Warren on Financial Adviser Kickbacks

If your financial firm rips you off, you can file a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. It’s free and easy and may help you get $ back.

On Betsy DeVos: The Department “will be overly reliant on a single student loan company,”and US Marshals: DeVos security detail could cost nearly $8M

Erin Gloria Ryan on Trump’s Spite, Ivanka’s Nonsense, and Attacks on Contraceptive Coverage (E27)

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The Trump Administration isn’t good at much, but one thing they ARE good at is ripping up important rules from the Obama Administration. We talk with Erin Gloria Ryan (@MorningGloria) about a leaked draft of a new rule that would eliminate Obamacare’s contraceptive mandate. We also talk about Ivanka Trump’s nonsense and how she wants to have her champagne popsicle and eat it, too, about Jared Kusher’s “resting treason face,” and Donald Trump Jr’s obsession with conspiracy theories.

You can find Erin’s stories at The Daily Beast, and her podcast Girl Friday at Cafe.com.

MENTIONED ON THE SHOW

 

The Trump Budget Screws the Poor and Middle Class (E26)

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We rage about the Trump budget bill, which is coming to fuck up every American that isn’t a millionaire or billionaire. But these are all just policy choices, and the GOP is deciding to raid the poor to pay the rich. For an alternative vision, we look at the Congressional Progressive Caucus’s People’s Budget.

TRUMP BUDGET:

OTHER THINGS MENTIONED ON THE SHOW

Marcy Wheeler on NSA Surveillance, and the GOP coming for Dodd-Frank (E25)

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We talk to national security and surveillance policy expert Marcy Wheeler (@EmptyWheel) about reports that the NSA will be stopping ONE of its methods of spying on Americans — is it true?

The kill-us-all death care bill isn’t the only piece of legislation moving ahead in Congress. The GOP also advanced a bill that shreds the protections passed in the wake of the last financial crisis, also know as Dodd-Frank. Alexis catches us up on where we are, and what to do next.

Finally, we also talk about the License to Discriminate Executive Order that Trump signed in early May, an EO that turned out to be so pointless, the ACLU doesn’t even need to sue over it.

MENTIONED ON THE SHOW:

BOOKS MENTIONED ON THE SHOW:

Trump Fires Comey – What Now? (E24)

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On news that Trump has fired FBI Director James Comey, we record an emergency episode about what a new FBI Director will mean, given the broad powers the FBI has inherited. We discuss how we can push back against FBI abuses by encouraging our local elected officials to follow the lead of San Francisco, who left the FBI’s Joint ­Terrorism Task Force following concern over the Trump ­administration’s Muslim Ban and concerns that participation in the task force might violate local laws protecting immigrants and ­religious minorities.

MENTIONED ON THE SHOW:
San Francisco Police Department pulls out of FBI anti-terrorism task force (Washington Post)

Mass. Dismisses 21,000 Tainted Drug Convictions (E23)

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We discuss Betsy DeVos’s latest move in her war on students: undoing protections for student loan borrowers put in place by the Obama admin. Kade breaks down the news that district attorneys in Massachusetts dismissed over 21,000 tainted drug convictions, the most in one day in US history. We talk about what led to those dismissals, and what they mean about the current legal system. Finally, we also give you an update on the latest Tsarnaev related chicanery. A Boston based journalist has a new book out, and some of what she’s documented will shock even the most cynical observers.

Image credit: University of Michigan School of Natural Resources @ flickr.com (CC BY 2.0)

Ivanka Trump is Fake, Betsy DeVos’s Mess, and James Comey gets pwned (E22)

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We debrief on the House of Representatives vote to let Internet Service Providers (ISPs) sell our personal data. We talk about two troubling actions by Betsy DeVos and the Department of Education that has the potential to seriously screw Americans with student loans — and those about trying to get them. Finally, we’ll laugh at James Comey, and Alexis will discuss the Queer Dance Party she attended outside of Ivanka Trump’s house, and ask WTF has Ivanka Trump actually done for LGBTQ rights.

TAKE ACTION:

  • Call the Capitol Switchboard, (202) 224-3121, and ask for your Senators, and tell them: I am concerned that Betsy DeVos will not obey the law and grant Public Service Loan Forgiveness to borrowers who’ve dutifully paid their loans and worked in public service for ten years. I want to know what you are doing to protect the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program? Has the Senator signed a letter or otherwise spoken out? This is a priority for me. 

Image credit: @lpritchard8 on Twitter

GOP Attack on Internet Privacy; Jay Clayton for SEC; Trumpcare Fails! (E21)

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This week the Republican-led Senate voted on party lines to allow internet service providers to sell our private internet records. We talk about what we can do to stop this horrible proposal from becoming law, and why it matters. We also discuss the latest nomination to Trump’s Incompetent Cabinet, Jay Clayton, a lawyer who works at one of Wall Street’s favorite law firms, Sullivan and Cromwell.

TAKE ACTION:

  • Tell Congress: Our browsing histories are not for sale. Don’t let Comcast spy on us!
  • Call the Capitol Switchboard, (202) 224-3121, and ask for your Senators, and tell them: I am asking you to vote NO on the nomination of Jay Clayton to the SEC. We shouldn’t have a Wall Street lawyer running one of the regulators who oversee Wall Street. How does Senator _____ plan to vote on Jay Clayton? [IF THE ANSWER ISN’T NO:] I urge you to vote no.

Image credit: Christopher Sessums on flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Warrantless Wiretapping; Chase Strangio on Title IX and Gavin Grimm’s lawsuit (E20)

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Donald Trump said that President Obama wiretapped him. Like most things that Trump says, that’s a lie. But the law that authorizes the warrantless wiretapping of American citizens is up for reauthorization this year. We talk about why that matters, and what we can do about it. We also discuss how the Trump Administration wants to delay (and kill) a rule that helps prevent Wall Street from stealing your money through conflicted retirement advice.

Finally, we have a discussion with ACLU staff attorney Chase Strangio (@ChaseStrangio) about the legal details of Gavin Grimm’s case, the underlying law that protects him and other trans students (Title IX), and also get an update on the ongoing legal battle against the anti-LGBT bill HB2 in North Carolina. We also reminisce about how isolating it was to be young queer kids, and hope things are at least a little better for the young queers today.

TAKE ACTION:

  • Send a comment letter to the Department of Labor, telling them not to delay the rule that protects retirement savers from conflicts of interest.
  • Call the Capitol Switchboard, (202) 224-3121, and ask for your Senators (or your Representative), and tell them: I am very concerned about the reauthorization of Section 702 of the FISA amendments act. My understanding is that this law put Congress’s stamp of approval on Bush Admin’s warrantless wiretapping program, and I do not believe that warrantless spying makes us any safer. In fact, it threatens the core liberties that this country should be the most proud of. So you should vote against it!

SUGGESTED READING:

Image credit: jeffschuler on flickr (CC BY 2.0)