News you need to start your week — and a bonus President Obama pic, because you deserve it.
Welcome to a new daily series at Shareblue Media, providing you with links to important news, interesting stories, useful information about actions of resistance, and a picture of President Barack Obama to remind you of what a real president looks like.
- In news that makes you want to laugh, scream, and curse all at once, Steve Bannon had the sheer gall to say that Hillary Clinton is "not very bright" and that she "doesn't have a grasp on what's important and what's not." (Considering Bannon prefers Donald "I'm, like, a smart person" Trump, maybe he's not the best judge of mental acuity.)
- ICYMI over the weekend, Trump bizarrely thought the impending devastation of Hurricane Irma meant they needed to speed up the tax-cuts-for-the-rich gambit.
- But he didn't seem to think the massive storm was a good reason to open his multiple Florida properties to displaced victims — only paying customers. Typical Trump.
The Trump Organization owns at least eight resorts and golf clubs in South Florida, including Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, as well as three properties in Sunny Isles, one in Hollywood Beach, one in West Palm Beach, one in Jupiter, and one in Doral.
While Mar-a-Lago is in a mandatory evacuation zone, several other Trump resorts are keeping their doors open during the hurricane — but only to paying customers, not to residents seeking refuge from the storm.
- Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain had some harsh words for Trump and others in their party:
On Trump's heartless decision to rescind DACA: "It is not conscionable to tell young people who came here as children that they have to go back to a country that they don't know," McCain told CNN's Jake Tapper.
And regarding his fellow Republicans who can watch the news these days and cling to their willful scientific ignorance: "I don't know because I can't divine their motives," McCain said bluntly. "There is things [sic] happening with the climate in the world that is unprecedented."
- Because it's definitely super smart to bring the Florida attorney general on to your drug commission after your foundation illegally donated to her campaign so that she would drop charges against your university.
- But maybe we should be glad to see a lady's name anywhere in this administration, since there aren't many of them among Trump's nominees for U.S. attorney positions:
White House just announced a new batch of US attorney nominees. Of the 42 total nominees so far, one is a woman (deleted tweet with wrong #) pic.twitter.com/tAt7gW8t9N
— Zoe Tillman (@ZoeTillman) September 8, 2017
- Also filed under Not Exactly Brilliant: Offering diplomatic help and insisting you'll bring about a "quick victory" and then ending up with headlines like: "Trump’s Bid to End Saudi-Qatar Stalemate Ends in Recriminations"
But Friday’s phone call between the emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, and the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman, seemed to underscore only how hard it might be to settle the angry, often petty, dispute.
Within hours of the call, Qatar’s state news agency issued a statement that said the emir “welcomed a proposal” by the young Saudi prince to appoint two peace envoys to help bridge their differences.
That language infuriated the Saudis, who appeared insulted by the suggestion that they had bowed first in the dispute. The Saudi state news service retorted with its own report, citing unnamed officials, that accused Qatar of distorting the facts and declared that dialogue between the two countries had been suspended.
- Did you know that Attorney General Jeff Sessions is weird? Because he's definitely weird.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions has told associates he wants to put the entire National Security Council staff through a lie detector test to root out leakers. It's unclear whether this will ever happen, but Sessions floated the idea to multiple people, as recently as last month.
Sessions' idea is to do a one-time, one-issue, polygraph test of everyone on the NSC staff. Interrogators would sit down with every single NSC staffer (there's more than 100 of them), and ask them, individually, what they know about the leaks of transcripts of the president's phone calls with foreign leaders. Sessions suspects those leaks came from within the NSC, and thinks that a polygraph test — at the very least — would scare them out of leaking again.
- But did you also know that some women ministers in the red state of Kentucky are awesome? Because they are definitely awesome:
At the time that [the Rev. Millie Horning] Peters got involved in the fight for reproductive rights, she was inactive in pastoral work and searching for her next calling. She said reproductive justice spoke to her like a moving scripture passage.
Peters quickly immersed herself in the local reproductive rights movement. Soon, she learned about Concerned Clergy for Choice, a national network of 1,000 multifaith clergy members that advocate for reproductive health care education and services. And in August 2014, she helped establish a local chapter. Since forming, the Kentucky chapter of CCC has co-organized events that support access to reproductive health care and comprehensive sex education, and mobilize religious people against anti-abortion legislation.
Shortly after launching CCC Kentucky, Peters became the co-chair of the Kentucky chapter of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (RCRC), an interfaith group that seeks to bring faith-based views into the reproductive justice movement. There, she serves as a clergy representative on the board, speaks at pro-abortion rights rallies, holds a booth at the state fair, and testifies in favor of pro-abortion rights legislation. She has also helped initiate petitions that seek to end misleading advertising about crisis pregnancy centers that discourage women from having abortions.
- Republicans haven't given up on their idea to repeal Obamacare. And a new bill is being floated that would do just that. Indivisible has a guide to keep you up to date on the latest efforts and what you can do to stop them.