BillMoyers.com

Trump's political henchmen are corrupting the administration to keep Americans in the dark

September 12, 2020

Last night, at about 10:30, reporter Dan Diamond posted another blockbuster story in Politico. Political appointees at the Department of Health and Human Services have been altering the weekly scientific reports issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) following the course of the coronavirus pandemic. They believe the reports are undermining Trump’s cheery pronouncements about the disease, and claim there is a “deep state” at the CDC determined to hurt the president.

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America needs a CDC whistleblower — now

As the Republican National Convention wrapped up its opening day and the pandemic continued to ravage the nation, the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control quietly revised its website to call for less COVID-19 testing.

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Here are 10 facts you need to know about Trump’s Post Office scandal

Don’t be fooled by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy’s tactical retreat. The crisis isn’t over. Ten facts frame the story of how Trump is using the pandemic and the Postal Service to undermine the integrity of the presidential election.

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Here's a deep dive on 40 years of attempts to destroy the Postal Service

ANNOUNCERWelcome to Moyers on Democracy. Lisa Graves is one of the nation’s foremost experts on how special interest groups work to distort our political system. She served in Washington at the Department of Justice, the US Senate Judiciary Committee and the Administrative Office of the US Courts. She’s an adjunct law professor at George Washington University Law School and has testified as an expert witness in both houses of Congress. She’s a frequent guest on TV and radio news and her research has been cited in critically acclaimed books, newspapers and magazines. Her new report, THE BILLIONAIRE BEHIND EFFORTS TO KILL THE U.S. POSTAL SERVICE is a deep dive into how Charles Koch marked the U.S. Postal Service for privatization in the early 1970s and how he is using the Koch empire to push his political agenda to this day, when the postal service is ripe for taking. There’s a link to the report at Billmoyers.com. Here now is Bill Moyers.

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Bill Moyers: Never forget the big lie behind the rise of Donald Trump

Note: This video was first posted on January 20, 2017, Inauguration Day for Donald Trump. We have updated the post again, August 14, 2020, to address the new “birther” talk about Senator Kamala Harris which suggests the senator’s eligibility to run rests on the immigration status of her parents. The claim has been fully debunked by legal scholars on both sides of the aisle, called “absurd”and “garbage.” The Washington Post reported today: “Trump promotes false claim that Harris might not be a natural-born U.S. citizen.”

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Republican senators are suddenly trying to social distance — from Trump

There’s something interesting in today’s news:

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Lawyers, liars and Trump on trial: Bill Moyers details how the GOP cover-up puts America on extremely dangerous ground

With the impeachment and trial of Donald Trump about to end in the President’s arranged acquittal by his own party, Bill Moyers called up Steven Harper for a critique of the final showdown in the Senate. Harper graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Northwestern University and magna cum laude from Harvard Law School (where one of his professors was Alan Dershowitz). For 30 years prior to his retirement, he was a litigator at Kirkland & Ellis LLP and recognized as one of The Best Lawyers in America.

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No Choice: An Air Force Member Learned of Her Pregnancy Right Before Deployment

A new video series published on BillMoyers.com titled “No Choice” highlights the abortion stories of eight women through their emotional testimonies. The videos highlight the history of abortion rights in the United States, the impact of this struggle on the lives of women, especially those holding marginalized identities, and contextualize these stories in light of our volatile political climate, which threatens reproductive rights and Roe v. Wade.

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No Choice: A Woman Who Took Her Abortion Into Her Own Hands

A new video series published on BillMoyers.com titled “No Choice” highlights the abortion stories of eight women through their emotional testimonies. The videos highlight the history of abortion rights in the United States, the impact of this struggle on the lives of women, especially those holding marginalized identities, and contextualize these stories in light of our volatile political climate, which threatens reproductive rights and Roe v. Wade.

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No Choice: A Woman Who Faced an Impossible Choice

A new video series published on BillMoyers.com titled “No Choice” highlights the abortion stories of eight women through their emotional testimonies. The videos highlight the history of abortion rights in the United States, the impact of this struggle on the lives of women, especially those holding marginalized identities, and contextualize these stories in light of our volatile political climate, which threatens reproductive rights and Roe v. Wade.

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It's Ayn Rand's America Now, Thanks to the GOP

Sad to say, this will be my last column for billmoyers.com, where I have written for the past two years. In recent months, in the process of trying to understand for myself the cataclysm of Nov. 8, 2016, I have tried to examine a number of forces — demographic, economic, cultural, media — that may help explain it. I am certain that the question of  “what happened” will plague us for decades and that Nov. 8, 2016, will join April 12, 1861; Oct. 28, 1929; Dec. 7, 1941; Nov. 22, 1963 and Sept. 11, 2001 as one of the most calamitous and tragic dates in our history.

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The Republican Tax Bill Is a Poison Pill That Kills the New Deal

Shortly after President Trump took office, House Speaker Paul Ryan could feel just how close he was to finally achieving the goal he and his party colleagues had dreamed about for decades. With Republicans in uncontested power in Washington, he tweeted, they had a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to enact real comprehensive tax reform and get our economy moving.” Many Trump supporters thought reform meant relief for the “forgotten Americans” he talked about on the campaign trail. But Republicans had other plans, intending to take a wrecking ball to the system of American government that has been in place since 1933 and replace it with one based in their own ideology. If the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” becomes law, they will have succeeded.

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The Real Evil Behind the Republicans' Tax and Budget Plans

It isn’t easy watching the country you love fall down a black hole from which it is not likely to emerge, but that is precisely what happened this past week with the Senate passage of the so-called “tax reform” bill. Bernie Sanders spoke for many when he said it will “go down in history as one of the worst, most unfair pieces of legislation ever passed.”

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How to Save Lives in the 'Overdose Capital of America'

Heroin(e) is a powerful film that follows the stories of three women in Huntington, West Virginia, who are battling the opioid crisis on its front lines. Drug addiction is so common in Huntington, the “overdose capital of America,” that it’s weaved into the fabric of everyday life. In one scene, paramedics work to revive an overdose victim at a convenience store while people step around the commotion and move along the checkout line as if nothing is happening.

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The New Book of Revelations - America After Weinstein

A new Book of Revelation is streaming into the collective psyche, chapter by chapter, verse by verse — a saga of men mauling, manhandling, exploiting, raping, battering and diminishing women, commandeering their lives, making them doubt themselves, driving them out of their jobs and even careers. I doubt that what we are seeing is simply a gush of headlines, a scandal du jour. Two or three scandals by media standards may qualify as a “trend,” but 10 or 20 or 50, complete with public meetings and multiple ethics investigations (however perfunctory they may turn out to be), are a whole culture trembling. The outpouring of women’s stories of male abuse is moving and powerful. Speaking for myself, I had no idea how many women have been humiliated, damaged and derailed as the result of a whole range of abuses. A man who is not humbled, ashamed, at his ignorance of this grotesquerie (however slight, however good-humored his ignorance may have been) is an ignoramus, or worse — a denier.

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Half-Billion-Dollar Museum of the Bible Opens in D.C. With Right-Wing Influence and Historical Distortion

In Babylon-on-the-Potomac recently, the brand new, $500 million Museum of the Bible had its grand opening. Donald Trump did not attend, perhaps fearing a fate like the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark when the remnants of the Ten Commandments are unsealed, holy mayhem ensues and miscreants melt like candles.

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No Choice: How This Woman Went From Unplanned Pregnancy to Abortion Activism

A new video series published on BillMoyers.com titled “No Choice” highlights the abortion stories of eight women through emotional testimonies and photo slideshows. The videos seek to highlight the history of abortion rights in the United States, the impact of this struggle on the lives of women, especially those holding marginalized identities, and contextualize these stories in light of our volatile political climate, which threatens reproductive rights and Roe v. Wade.

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Everything Trump Campaign Told About Us About Campaign Connections with Russia Is a Lie

Editor’s Note: The news is coming so fast and furious, from so many sources and in so many fragments, that it takes more than a scorecard to keep up with the Trump-Russia connection. It takes a timeline — a map, if you will—of where events and names and dates and deeds converge into a story that makes sense of the incredible scandal of the 2016 election and the Trump administration.

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One Year Later: The Political Cancer Metastasizes

Exactly one day short of one year after the election of Donald Trump, the fog finally seemed to lift and the skies brightened. On Tuesday, voters rejected Trumpism in New Jersey and in Virginia, where establishment Republican Ed Gillespie embraced Trump’s racism and nativism, indicating how deeply the president’s poison has penetrated even the precincts of the party that should be vigorously in opposition to it.

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Moyers and McKibben: Time Is Running Out for Humanity to Make the Big Shift

BillMoyer.com editor's note: I wasn’t one of the 50,766 participants who finished the New York City Marathon last weekend. Instead, I spent the average marathon finish time of 4:39:07 to read a book — obviously a small book. In the interest of disclosure, I didn’t even start the race, but that’s another and even shorter story than Radio Free Vermont, the book from which I did occasionally look up and out the window to check on the stream of marathoners passing our apartment, their faces worn and haggard. A shame, I thought, that I couldn’t go outside and hand each one a copy of the book that had kept me smiling throughout the day while also restoring my soul; I was sure the resilience would quickly have returned to weary feet and sore muscles now draped in aluminum foil for healing’s sake. I admire those athletes, but wouldn’t have traded their run for my read, because Radio Free Vermont is funny, very funny, all the more so considering the author is one of the more serious men on the planet — the planet he has spent his adult life trying to save. Bill McKibben’s calling has been a footrace of its own, not to report to Athenians the victory of Greek warriors over the Spartans, but to wake up Americans to the once creeping, now billowing threat of global warming. For 30 years now climate change has been his beat — first as a journalist, then as an environmentalist and now as the leading activist in mobilizing a worldwide movement to win a race against time. In Radio Free Vermont, his latest book, he turns to humor for inspiration as runners go to bottled water for sustenance, and has us laughing all the way to the finish line. Also in the interest of disclosure, you should know Bill McKibben and I are old friends who sometimes conspire in plotting resistance to — well, read on. 

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Bannon Would Be Nothing Without Big Money From Radical Right-Wing Billionaires

A hoary riddle comes to mind. Question: Where does an 800-pound gorilla sit? Answer: Anywhere it pleases.

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Moyers: Is Trump More Paranoid and Dangerous Than Nixon?

EDITOR’S NOTE: Take a long look at the photograph to the right of Donald Trump speaking to the American Conservative Union, the umbrella organization of the right. The ACU was founded in 1964, the year conservative icon Barry Goldwater won the Republican nomination for president and was crushed at the polls that fall by the liberal, Lyndon B. Johnson. Keep that photograph in mind as you read my conversation with historian Rick Perlstein, which we might have subtitled “From Barry Goldwater to Donald Trump: You Must Be Kidding!” Perlstein has now written three best-selling books on the modern conservative movement. He still blinks at the thought of Trump’s triumph in capturing the Republican nomination last year and then beating Hillary Clinton. The photograph suggests the seminal moment in 2015 that led to both victories — as Trump convinced conservatives he was one of them. The legacy of both Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan is now his. So is the Republican Party. He tightened his grip on the GOP in the last few days when two prominent Republican senators who are leaving politics rebuked the president as “dangerous to our democracy,” even as some of their colleagues were rushing into Trump’s arms with wet kisses, fearing, perhaps, that if they were any less ardent, Steve Bannon would come galloping down upon them in a future primary with an even more radical challenger. I asked Rick Perlstein to talk about these matters.

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The Many Pieces of Evidence Suggesting Trump Obstructed Justice

On Oct. 4, 2017, Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr (R-NC) said that all issues relating to the investigation into Russian interference with the election remain open. But with respect to the firing of FBI Director James Comey, the committee had gone as far as it could and was passing the baton: “Future questions surrounding Comey’s firing are better answered by the [special] counsel or by the Justice Department,” Burr said.

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Can the Supreme Court Save Democracy from Minority Rule?

The Supreme Court now has the power to put a decisive end to extreme gerrymandering — if Justice Anthony Kennedy and the four liberal-leaning justices can craft a clear and manageable standard to identify when partisan mapmakers go too far.

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The Media Should View Trump as Entertainer-in-Chief

It is becoming increasingly clear that to speak of a “Trump presidency” is a misnomer. There is no presidency, at least not by traditional standards. There is a “Trump show,” and that makes all the difference in the world. I and many others have written about how heavily our president borrows from entertainment: the cooked-up suspense (this week’s “calm before the storm” remark), the high concepts he keeps purveying (“Build a wall!”), the strong-man movie persona attached to the common man appeal, and the psychological underpinnings that tap American’s contrarian anti-elitism, which is a staple of our popular culture. By means of all these things and others, Trump has not only turned the presidency into a B-movie, which would be a remarkable feat unto itself; he has turned it into the very dregs of entertainment: a reality TV show.

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Journalism as We Knew It Is Never Coming Back

It’s old news that Donald Trump abuses reason, knowledge, decency and dark-skinned people. You can’t tear your eyes away. You can already write tomorrow’s story: Today the vicious, deranged freak-show star trashed Enemy A, picked a fight with Failed Insider B, invited unconstitutional action C, insulted population D, declared his intent to abrogate Agreement E or make war on Country F, and denied facts G through Z. Fill in the blanks.

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How the Nazis Used Racist U.S. Jim Crow Laws as Model for the Making of Nazi Race Law

To get to the core of race in America today, read this new book by James Whitman. Whitman is the Ford Foundation Professor of Comparative and Foreign Law at Yale Law School. Prepare to be as startled as this respected legal scholar was when he came upon a meticulous record of a meeting of top lawyers in Nazi Germany after Hitler’s rise to power. Not only did those lawyers reveal a deep interest in American race policies, the most radical of them were eager advocates of using American law as a model. Scholars and historians have argued for years about whether American’s own regime of racial oppression in any way inspired the Nazis. Not only does Whitman throw a bright light on the debate, to this reader he settles it once and for all. Carefully written and tightly reasoned, backed up every step of the way with considered evidence and logic, Whitman reminds us that today is yesterday’s child, and that certain strains of DNA persist from one generation to another.

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