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Daily Reads: Trump’s Killing Coal Country’s Economic Future; Feds May Charge Russian Officials in DNC Hacks

A roundup of stories we're reading at BillMoyers.com HQ...

Feds May Charge Russian Officials in DNC Hacks

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Attack on the judiciary –> On Wednesday, several Republicans urged that Sayfullo Saipov, the man suspected of carrying out Tuesday’s terrorist attack in New York, be considered an “enemy combatant,” and deprived the rights of due process under our criminal justice system. Trump later tweeted that our judicial system is “a joke.” At Vox, Zack Beauchamp writes that “Trump simultaneously managed to both insult the US criminal justice system and propose something that sounded scarily like a crackdown on basic civil liberties — all within the span of just a few minutes.”

According to The Washington Post,”President Trump and some of his allies on the far right have found a new culprit in Tuesday’s deadly terrorist attack in Manhattan: Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-NY).” What’s the connection, you ask? Sayfullo Saipov, the alleged perpetrator, “had come to the United States from Uzbekistan under a State Department program known as the Diversity Visa Lottery,” and 26 years ago, Chuck Schumer had been one of 230 or so House members who had voted for the program, which was signed into law by George HW Bush.

And Chris Fuchs reports for NBC News that American Muslims once again find themselves bracing for a potentially violent backlash against their faith.

DNC Hacks –> Aruna Viswanatha and Del Quentin Wilber report for The Wall Street Journal that federal prosecutors “identified more than six members of the Russian government involved in hacking the Democratic National Committee’s computers and swiping sensitive information that became public during the 2016 presidential election,” and while “discussions about the case are in the early stages,” they could “charge the Russian officials” next year.

Saber-rattling? –> At The Nation, Michael Klare notes that “three US aircraft-carrier groups have now converged in the Pacific,” and wonders whether the administration is preparing to attack North Korea.

Attack on the defense –> A Guantanamo Bay military judge ordered the Marine general who headed up the war court defense teams “guilty of contempt for refusing to follow the judge’s orders and sentenced him to 21 days confinement.” The Marine general, who has become an outspoken critic of GTMO’s military tribunals, objected to what he says are violations of defendants’ right to counsel. That’s the short version — there’s much more to this complicated story by The Miami Herald’s Carol Rosenberg.

Police chief charged –> A former New Jersey police chief is facing a hate crime charge and a federal civil rights charge after brutalizing a young black couple. The feds allege that Frank Nucera Jr. “said African-Americans had ‘no value,’ were ‘like ISIS’ and suggested putting them before a firing squad,” according to Ryan Reilly at HuffPost. Note: This story contains extremely offensive language.

Sad story –> Valerie Volcovici reports for Reuters that Appalachian coal miners are resisting efforts to develop their hard-hit communities because they believe Donald Trump’s false promise to bring the industry roaring back to life despite competition from cheaper and cleaner natural gas. Volcovici writes that it’s a “a catch-22: Coal miners are resisting retraining without ready jobs from new industries, but new companies are unlikely to move here without a trained workforce.”

A disaster-in-waiting –> The wine country fires that took 42 lives and displaced 100,000 people have been extinguished or contained, but Wired’s Adam Rogers reports that the “devastation leaves behind another potential disaster: ash. No one knows how much. It’ll be full of heavy metals and toxins — no one knows exactly how much, and it depends on what burned and at what temperature.”

A treasure trove of hate and division –> On Wednesday, members of the House Intelligence Committee released a slew of ads Russian operatives deployed on social media. We’ve mentioned before that their apparent strategy was to pit different groups against each other and amplify existing social tensions, but Politico’s curated selection of some of the most divisive ones really drives the point home.

A thin veneer of calm –> Trump spoke once again with “the failing New York Times” on Wednesday. Peter Baker and Maggie Haberman report that he “projected an air of calm…after charges against his former campaign chief and a foreign policy aide roiled Washington,” and insisted that he was not “angry at anybody.”

Meanwhile, Gabriel Sherman reports for Vanity Fair that behinds the scenes, Trump is “apoplectic,” and has been lashing out at Jared Kushner as his aides begin to take the prospect of impeachment seriously.

And Dave Weigel reports for The Washington Post that a group of conservative Trump critics released a statement on Wednesday “asking congressional Republicans to preempt any presidential action against [special Counsel] Robert S. Mueller.”

Were the primaries rigged? –> Former DNC Chair Donna Brazile writes at Politico that the Hillary Clinton campaign retired the Democratic National Committee’s debt early in 2015, and thereafter Clinton “expected to wield control of its operations.”

Founders versus traitors –> At New York magazine, Ed Kilgore makes short work of dismantling conservative claims that it’s a slippery slope from removing monuments to Confederate heroes to condemning every historical figure who might be viewed as a racist by modern standards.

Civil war at The Journal –> A series of op-eds attacking special counsel Robert Mueller — culminating in a column urging Donald Trump to pardon everyone, including himself — have ratcheted up long-standing tensions between The Wall Street Journal’s conservative editorial board and its news division. Joe Pompeo reports for Vanity Fair that some Journalreporters worry that the dubious editorials are damaging the newspaper’s credibility.

Part of a strategy to overturn Roe v. Wade” –> Hannah Levintova reports for Mother Jones that a House committee held a hearing yesterday on a bill that “would make it a crime, punishable by up to five years in prison, for doctors to perform abortions after they can detect a fetal heartbeat, which is usually at about six weeks.” She notes that many women don’t know they’re pregnant by that point. What’s more, “the bill provides no exceptions for pregnancies resulting from rape or incest, or for pregnancies that threaten a woman’s health.” Republicans have made no secret of the fact that they see this as a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade.

Americans Are Officially Freaking Out” –> Bloomberg’s headline isn’t all wrong — Deena Shanker reports that “almost two-thirds of Americans, or 63 percent, report being stressed about the future of the nation, according to the American Psychological Association’s Eleventh Stress in America survey.”

Daily Reads was compiled by BillMoyers.com staff and edited by Kristin Miller.



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