The MyPillow guy is running for the position of Republican National Committee chairman. If any of you reading this happen to be eligible to vote in the RNC election to be held Friday at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in Dana Point, California, please vote for the MyPillow guy. It's important to the future of the party. - Corey
ON THE SHOW TODAY
1/26: Emma hosts Hal Weitzman, executive director for intellectual capital at the University of Chicago Business School, to discuss his recent book What's The Matter With Delaware?: How the First State Has Favored the Rich, Powerful, and Criminal-and How It Costs Us All. Then, Emma is joined by Lee Harris, reporter at The American Prospect, to discuss her most recent piece "Wall Street’s Big Bet on Rewiring America."
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Today you'll read about Biden's incredibly lame housing "blueprint," how Elon Musk is censoring the news for a far-right ruler, and the German 'Terror Granny' charged with treason.
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THE BIG NEWS
Tenants' Advocates Frustrated By White House Inaction
The White House is preparing a "Blueprint for a Renters Bill of Rights," the Washington Post reports. In case the word "blueprint" wasn't a strong enough indication that there's not a lot of substance to this plan, the contents of this document will consist of non-binding recommendations about the problem of skyrocketing housing costs, which have not slowed down with inflation. Per the Post, discussions have been going on for over a year with tenant leaders and housing experts, who "have pushed the Biden administration to do everything in its power to tackle soaring rent costs, arguing that America's housing issues are an economic crisis." But, as his wont, Biden is unwilling to do everything in his power.
A coalition of tenant unions, community organizations and legal groups have called for an all-out approach, drafting an executive order for the Biden administration, urging for a state of emergency on housing and exploring ways to regulate rents. Those proposals spanned multiple government agencies and were intended to push federal regulators to consider new ways to curb rental costs.
But White House advisers and administration officials deemed many of the ideas impractical, and some questioned the legality of such forceful action. Officials said the president, for example, does not have the authority to regulate rent nationwide.
In place of nationwide rent control or subsidies for tenants, the White House has "gotten a commitment from the National Apartment Association to work on programs to help tenants build and improve credit." That's really nothing to brag about. A "handful" of federal agencies have also made modest pledges to, for instance, collect information on the misuse of tenant background checks. But there is no plan to increase the supply of housing by the up to 5 million homes experts say need to be built to reduce pressure on the market. Actually solving this problem may or may not be as "impractical" as White House officals claim, but they really shouldn't be able to get away with this dog-ate-my-homework stuff. Renters can vote, after all.
MORE STORIES TO WATCH
Twitter Censors Factual Report on Modi's Genocidal Record
A new BBC documentary about Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's high-level participation in an anti-Muslim pogrom in 2002 that left 1,000 dead in Gujarat has provoked a severe reaction from Modi's far-right Hindu nationalist government. Modi has invoked emergency powers to ban the documentary, which the government calls colonialist propaganda, and censor references to it on social media. University students who've attempted to hold viewings have been attacked by police and right-wing paramilitaries, and the authorities even cut power to an entire campus to prevent screenings. Modi's allies call the very act of watching the film "treason." And, as the Intercept reports, self-described free-speech absolutist Elon Musk has aided Modi's censorship campaign by blocking links to the film on Twitter. Asked about this, Musk offered no indication he would stop censoring the news, whining that "it is not possible for me to fix every aspect of Twitter worldwide overnight, while still running Tesla and SpaceX, among other things." Forgive us for skipping your pity party, dude, we're only talking about the most direct threat to free speech in the world's largest democracy.
More George Santos Scam Victims Speak
We've known for weeks now that fabulist Republican New York Rep. George Santos formerly worked for "a classic Ponzi scheme" called Harbor City Capital. The Washington Post spoke to several people Santos conned by lying about his connections. "I felt like we were in 'Goodfellas,' like we were in a mafia movie," recalled one person wined and dined by Santos, then going by the name Devolder. "He was saying if you give me $300,000, I am going to make you money. I'm going to make you $3 million." Separately, the Daily Beast reports that Santos amended some problematic entries in his campaign finance reports in a way that raises more questions than it answers. Santos originally claimed to have loaned his campaign more than $500,000 from personal funds, but now attests that money came from somewhere else. As one election lawyer tells the New York Times: "If the candidate's personal wealth wasn't the source of the loan, then what was? The only other permissible source would be a bank, and they would require collateral... If a bank wasn't the source of the funds, then the only alternatives are illegal sources.'" Speaking of which, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy now says proven lawbreaking is the one thing that could prompt Santos' removal from Congress.
- Civil Rights Attorney Takes on Florida Black History Censorship Ben Crump says GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis' ban on an AP African American Studies course sets him up to lose an historic lawsuit. via the Washington Post.
- Teachers Warned Higher-Ups About Child's Gun Before Shooting Three teachers in Newport News, Virginia told administrators that a 6-year-old student might have a gun before the boy shot teacher Abby Zwerner, but were denied permission to search him, a lawyer claims. via the Post.
- Marjorie Taylor Greene Wants to Be Vice President The crackpot Georgia Republican Rep.'s ambition to serve in a second Trump White House "is at the heart of Greene's recent efforts to rebrand herself." via NBC News.
- Puerto Rico Privatizes Power Generation "Many Puerto Ricans remain wary of this process, well aware that privatizing the transmission and distribution of power in June 2021 did not lead to an improvement in issues including the length of outages, which has worsened." via the Associated Press.
- Five Charged with Treason in Far-Right German Coup Plot "The alleged ringleader is a 75-year-old woman identified only as Elisabeth R, who has been nicknamed 'Terror Granny' by the German media." via Vice News.
That's how many Senate seats, of the 51 now held by Democrats, that the party must defend in the 2024 elections. About half a dozen Democratic incumbents might retire, several of them from battleground states, which is "raising anxiety" in the caucus, the Washington Post reports.
DON'T MISS MR CLIPS
Get to know Arizona Rep. Ruben Gallego.
It's the latest from the Good Liars.
"Being homosexual isn't a crime... It's not a crime. Yes, but it's a sin. Fine, but first let's distinguish between a sin and a crime. It's also a sin to lack charity with one another."
-- Pope Francis denouncing laws against homosexuality in an AP interview.
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