More diverse Congress hiring more diverse staffs; a Roger Stone history

Left to right, Paul Manafort, Roger Stone, and Lee Atwater when they were young Republicans just beginning their careers as corrupt sleaze merchants.

What’s coming up on Sunday Kos:

  • Trump Tower Moscow was a much larger deal, and potential crime, than anyone has realized, by  Frank Vyan Walton
  • How Trump brought about the end of my marriage, by Jen Merrill
  • Democratic presidential candidates put Puerto Rico back in the media spotlight, by Denise Oliver Velez
  • More and more Americans believe in climate change. When will lawmakers catch up? by Sher Watts Spooner
  • Trump didn’t just shut down the government: He’s trying to shut down the very concept of government, by Laurence Lewis
  • Why they fear Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, by Egberto Willies
  • Trump must never get his wall, by Mark E Andersen

 Industrial agriculture is a growing driver of the climate crisis: Industrial farming degrades soil and increases emissions, ironically  while making farmers more vulnerable to damage as the planet warms

Mother Jones reprises a Will Greenberg piece from 2017—From Nixon to Trump, the Long, Shady Career of Roger Stone:

He’s a trailblazer of political mudslinging, a Nixon fanatic, and gleeful spewer of alternative facts. For nearly half a century, Roger Stone has been deploying unconventional political warfare, most recently as an adviser to Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign. Stone’s motto, “admit nothing, deny everything, launch counterattack,” perfectly describes Trump’s behavior during the race and now, his presidency. Stone’s specialty is being a “ratfucker“—a practitioner of dark arts avoided by most mainstream politicians and consultants. (Asked about the term in an interview with Politico, the ever-classy Stone instead smeared Sen. Ted Cruz: “I think he’s the one fucking rats.”)


Congress is more diverse, but will their staffs be? Reporter Bridget Bowman at Roll Call notes that Rep. Deb Haaland, the Laguna Pueblo woman who is one of the two first Native women to serve in Congress, has made good on her campaign commitment to have a diverse staff. But Bowman asks whether other rookies will do the same, and then proceeds to show that they already are:

Early data shows that more freshman members are hiring top staffers of color than their predecessors.

Staffing is still ongoing but, so far, roughly 40 percent of new members (39 of 93) have hired at least one person of color for a top position, according to a tracker from the Joint Center. In contrast, a report from the center last year said that only one in four House members from the previous Congress had a senior staffer of color.

California doctor who commutes to Texas to provide abortions is just one of several physicians who travel to places where local doctors are willing to do so

The doctor acknowledged that when she began traveling out of state to perform abortions, she was nervous, recalling stories of abortion providers who have been attacked or harassed while far from home. But she said that abortion doctors living in states where access has been restricted face heightened danger and deserve her help.

“I can’t have people scare me away,” she said.

Yes, the shutdown is over for now. But damage to credit scores, new debts, missing mortgage payments, and unrecoverable late fees plague many federal workers, who like more than half the U.S. population, live paycheck to paycheck.  

Maxine Waters plans tougher scrutiny of big banks:

Big banks are bracing for their CEOs to be called to testify soon at what could be an intense House hearing led by new Financial Services Chairwoman Maxine Waters, sources familiarIn a preview of the kind of tone the lenders should expect to face, […]

Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.) told POLITICO he wanted to hear from the executives “why we bail them out and can’t experience any meaningful support from them in times of trouble.” with the matter said. 

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