WASHINGTON—The cruelty doesn’t stop for high-profile hearings. Wonder why no Republican will “break” with this president*? This is why. He’s still allowing them to do whatever they want, as long as they don’t interfere with his crimes and profiteering. From The New York Times:
The Trump administration, brushing aside tens of thousands of protest letters, gave final approval on Wednesday to a rule that will remove nearly 700,000 people from the federal food-stamp program by strictly enforcing federal work requirements. The rule, which was proposed by the Department of Agriculture in February, would make states enforce work requirements for able-bodied adults without children that governors have routinely been allowed to waive, especially for areas in economic distress. The economy has improved under the Trump administration, the department argued, and assistance to unemployed, able-bodied adults was no longer necessary in a strong job market.
“Government can be a powerful force for good, but government dependency has never been the American dream,” Sonny Perdue, the agriculture secretary, said. “ We need to encourage people by giving them a helping hand but not allowing it to become an indefinitely giving hand.”
Let us be clear. There was not a single Republican candidate in 2016 who would not have signed this order, and who would not have used the same excuse that Perdue did. Hell, it was central to the entire public career of Paul Ryan, who used to be the GOP’s go-to guy on budget matters, and someone who regularly maunders about his devotion to the poor. This is the same general policy that helped Ronald Reagan get elected. There’s a straight line from young bucks buying T-bones to Sonny Perdue’s “giving hand.”
Also, there was quite the moment on the House floor when Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Illinois) rose to eulogize Fred Hampton, his friend and the former Black Panther leader from Chicago who was murdered in his bed 50 years ago Wednesday by elements of the Chicago police department with the permission and support of the Cook County District Attorney’s office. In fact, the only reason that Rush was alive to speak in the well of the House of Representatives on Wednesday was that he decided to sleep at home 50 years earlier. Otherwise, the Chicago police likely would have killed him, too.
Madam Speaker, on a cold December morning, 4:30 A.M. Nobody was moving on the streets. They came into that west side community, in Edison trucks. They came into that community with machine guns with the single purpose of killing Fred Hampton and everybody else who was in that apartment. They came using public utility trucks. Not police cars. And in that hour of the of morning. They knocked on the door when they got to that apartment. Half of the police officers went to the front door, half went to the rear door.
They knocked on the door and they said and one of the gentlemen inside the apartment, he asked who is it, at 4:30 in the morning. And he got a response from one of them police officers and answered by saying, Tommy. And when he said Tommy, he came in shooting. When they heard the first round of gunfire at the front door, the other half of the raiding team same in through the rear door. Shooting also. There were 12 people in that apartment, including the wife of Hampton who was asleep in the bed with him. He had been drugged.
Bobby Rush was alive to speak on Wednesday because he slept at home one night 50 years ago. That’s how he got to speak about the extrajudicial killing of Fred Hampton, as political a murder as that of Archbishop Romero in El Salvador or any committed by Vladimir Putin’s proxies. This was as compelling a moment of national reflection as any that took place on camera in the committee room on Wednesday. Or it should be, anyway.
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