Things That Matter

AOC Is The Clear Winner Of The Michael Cohen Congressional Hearing

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Michael Cohen testified for hours in front of the House Oversight Committee about his knowledge of President Trump and his business dealings before and after becoming president. While Republicans tried to tarnish Cohen’s character and discredit his testimony, Democratic members of the committee were ready with their questions. The true star of the hearing is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) with her succinct and thought out questions regarding Trump’s questionable tax filings, which he has refused to release. Here’s a look at how AOC kept her cool after a long day of testimony and helped further the committee’s investigation into Trump’s finances.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez didn’t hold anything back when questioning Michael Cohen and people noticed.

Credit: @AOC / Twitter

AOC questioned Cohen about President Trump’s tax filings and finances towards the end. It was a long and tedious day filled with questions, accusations, and the occasional tantrum from Republican members of the House Oversight Committee. The New York representative was so concise with her questions that some question whether or not she truly was a bartender before becoming a Congresswoman.

She only had five minutes for her questions and she knew what she was after. First, The National Enquirer.

Credit: @Osman__13 / Twitter

AOC is known for her strong and precise questioning and her questions for Cohen were more of what we have come to expect from the freshman congresswoman.

AOC: “Mr. Cohen, I’d like to quickly pick up on some previous lines of questioning before getting into my own so I may go a little quickly to get it all in in five minutes.”

“First, my colleague from Vermont had asked you several questions about AMI, the parent company of The National Enquirer. In that, you mentioned a ‘treasure trove of documents’ in David Pecker’s office relating to information assembled from all of these catch and kill operations against people who potentially had damaging information about the president. You also mentioned that the president was very concerned about the whereabouts of these documents and who possessed them.”

“Does that treasure trove of documents still exist?”

Cohen: “I don’t know. I’ve asked David Pecker for them.”

AOC: “So you would say that the person who knows the whereabouts of these documents would be David Pecker?”

Cohen: “David Pecker, Barry Levine, or Dylan Howard.”

Her biggest moment was when she asked Cohen about Trump’s tax dealings, particularly with his golf courses.

Credit: @funder / Twitter

AOC: “Thank you very much. The last thing here, the Trump Golf Organization currently has a golf course in my home borough of the Bronx, Trump Links. I drive past it every day going between the Bronx and Queens. In fact, the Washington Post reported on the Trump Links Bronx Course in an article entitled, ”Taxpayers Built This New York Golf Course And Trump Reaps The Rewards.” That article is where many New Yorkers and people in the country learned that taxpayers spent $127 million to build Trump Links in a ‘generous deal allowing President Trump to keep almost every dollar that flows in” on a golf course built with public funds. This doesn’t seem to be the only time that the president has benefitted at the expense of the public.”

“Mr. Cohen, I want to ask you about your assertion that the president may have improperly devalued his assets to avoid paying taxes. According to an August 21, 2016 report by the Washington Post, while the president claimed in financial disclosure forms that Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter, Florida was worth more than $50 million he had reported otherwise to local tax authorities that the golf course was worth ‘no more than $5 million.’”

“Mr. Cohen, do you know whether this specific report is accurate?”

Cohen: “It’s identical to what he did at Trump National Golf Club in Briarcliff Manor.”

AOC: “To your knowledge, was the president interested in reducing his local real estate tax bills?”

Cohen: “Yes.”

AOC: “And how did he do that?”

Cohen: “What you do is you deflate the value of the asset and then you put in a request to the tax department for a deduction.”

AOC: “Thank you.”

This isn’t the first time AOC has gotten witnesses to attest to the questionable tactics employed by President Trump.

Earlier this month, AOC questioned a panel of government watch dogs to discuss the broken campaign finance laws. In her line of questioning, AOC laid out a series of hypothetical questions about what she, as a congresswoman, was able to legally get away with.

The panelists admitted to AOC that not only can she accrue as much money as possible from special interests. Not only could she leverage that money to create legislation helping the special interests, she can also use her own position to make large sums of money.

After figuring out what she could get away with as a congressperson, AOC flipped the script. The asked the panel is there is anything stopping the president from participating in the same shady tactics. The answer was no.

AOC is using her time in Congress to expose the parts of politics that have long been hidden from the American people.

Credit: @AOC / Twitter

AOC has spoken up about issues like marijuana legalization, climate change, and the need for fair wages that provide people enough to live on. However, she is also shedding light on some questionable practices by lobbyist and congressional colleagues.

Her use of social media has brought the real day-to-day of politics to all of our newsfeeds. Not only have we seen the process of getting your office in the Capitol building, we’ve even seen moments like the tweet above. Lobbyists hiring people to hold their spot in line for congressional hearings so they can put pressure on legislators to do as they wish and taking space away from the American public who wish to voice their opinions and concerns.

You can watch AOC’s full questioning of Cohen in the video below.

AOC came to Congress with many people in both parties questioning her ability to legislate. It seems fair to say that AOC is surprising her doubters and has become a very important voice in American politics. It has only been two months since she was sworn into Congress and she is already making major waves and causing major change.

READ: This Is The Part Of AOC’s Interview With Stephen Colbert You Should Be Talking About

AOC Is Teaming Up With Other Congresswomen To Give Domestic Workers Equal Employee Rights And We Are Here For This

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AOC Is Teaming Up With Other Congresswomen To Give Domestic Workers Equal Employee Rights And We Are Here For This

@domesticworkers / Twitter

After over a decade of lobbying, The National Domestic Workers Alliance’s (NDWA) work is on the verge of paying off. This week, Representative Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) and Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) introduced legislation that would establish the first-ever National Domestic Workers Bill of Rights. 

The bill would effectively include domestic workers as worthy of the same rights as other American workers–including “paid overtime, safe and healthy working conditions, meal and rest breaks, earned sick time, and freedom for workplace harassment,” according to NDWA.

Rep. Pramila Jayapal is leading the charge to ensure this bill is passed into law.

Credit: @RepJayapal / Twitter

“Did you know most domestic workers are not covered by federal anti-discrimination and sexual harassment laws? Well we’re pushing back to change that,” tweets Rep. Jayapal. “My #DomesticWorkersBillofRights will give domestic workers the protections they deserve!”

The bill would grant basic worker’s rights to 2.5 million people in the U.S.

Credit: @domesticworkers / Twitter

Of those 2.5 million people, 91 percent are women, mostly women of color. Given that domestic workers aren’t required to be paid even minimum wage, and that their work doesn’t include benefits like health insurance, it’s important to make sure every worker earns a living wage. According to NDWA, 70 percent of domestic workers are paid less than $13 an hour.

The workers who do the heavy lifting in the shadows of our economy may finally be recognized as worthy of rights.

Credit: @domesticworkers / Twitter

NDWA has worked hard over the years to make it easier for domestic workers (home care workers, nannies and house cleaners). They even created a web app that would allow clients to contribute to a PTO and benefit fund for domestic workers. This bill would ensure that the government is advocating for every worker, so that domestic workers don’t have to fight so hard to advocate for themselves.

Members of the group broke off to meet with their representative.

Credit: @domesticworkers / Twitter

“We had a powerful meeting with @timkaine where our members in Virginia shared stories about abuse and exploitation in the workplace,” the organization tweeted. “Every single worker deserves to work safely and with dignity. Onward to a National #DomesticWorkersBillOfRights!”

The group met with AOC, who opened up about how the bill would help “little girls like [her].”

Credit: @domesticworkers / Twitter

“My mom was a domestic worker,” she tells the group. “As a child I grew up reading books on the staircases of other people’s homes, and doing homework on other people’s dinner tables, because my mom was pursuing domestic work so that I could go on field trips and have a future.”

For AOC, this bill is about reparations for a group of people who often go unseen in this world.

Credit: @domesticworkers / Twitter

She praised the group for their advocacy, saying, “When you all are fighting for this, you’re fighting for little girls like me. You’re putting a shirt on a little girl like me’s back. I can’t tell you the reparations it has to see people who are used to being unseen and that’s what this bill does.”

The group also live-tweeted a conversation between several domestic workers and Rep. Jayapal.

Credit: @domesticworkers / Twitter

The stories were shocking. A nanny named Thaty shared her experience, saying that “being a nanny takes so much hard work. I don’t know many people who can handle caring for 5 kids under 5 years old! But our work is still considered unskilled. We need to bring our work out of the shadows — so everyone can know what we do and how hard we work.”

Jayapal touched on something deeper than granting legal rights–this issue is about overdue respect.

Credit: @domesticworkers / Twitter

So many families rely on domestic workers to come home to a clean home, safe and cared-for children, and more. They’re often not seen as employees but rather, “the help.”

But “The Help” encounter medical issues and injuries while on the job, without any legal protections.

Credit: @domesticworkers / Twitter

Domestic workers are not included in federal protections for workers injured while on the job. So when Sylvia shared that she never fully recovered from a bad fall on the job, and though it impedes her ability to continue to work, she just has to grimace through it.

That same Sylvia is an inspiration. She told Rep. Jayapal that her experience “meeting workers who felt too vulnerable at work to raise their own voices forced me to be brave enough to raise my own voice, for me and for them. That’s why I’m part of the National Domestic Workers Alliance.”

We’re rooting for you!

Credit: @domesticworkers / Twitter

As Latinos, so many of our own moms, tías or abuelas have driven this industry that, frankly, serves as the backbone to our economy. They offer support to middle and upper-class families who have money but don’t have time, and their work supports our families. Time to give some respect.

Lindsey Graham Returns From Trip To Migrant Detention Center And Shows He Has Zero Empathy For Them

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Lindsey Graham Returns From Trip To Migrant Detention Center And Shows He Has Zero Empathy For Them

lindseygrahamsc / Instagram

As Trump doubled down on his tweets to AOC and other minority female congresswomen – telling them to go back to “their own countries” – Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) had just returned from a visit to two migrant detention centers. But he was quick to make his way on to Sunday morning talkshows to speak about his experience in the detention centers but also to Trump’s recent openly racist tweets at a group of sitting congresswomen.

On Sunday, Graham was on Fox News spewing hateful and hurtful language.

In his visit to the detention centers, Graham, along with the rest of his group, was seen as having shown no sympathy for any of the migrants. He stood there stonefaced. And now we have a better understanding of why.

In his appearance on Fox News’s Sunday Morning Futures, Graham gave voice to his body language, saying: “I don’t care if they have to stay in these facilities for 400 days. We’re not going to let those men go that I saw.”

You can watch the exhange below:

Graham, who said that “this was not a concentration camp that I saw,” also repeated an unsubstantiated myth broadcast by the president and the Department of Homeland Security during the last government shutdown: the idea that the southern border represents a point of entry for terrorists. “A terrorist could easily get in this group,” Graham said. “We have terrorists coming through the southern border because they find that’s probably the easiest place to come through. They drive right in and they make a left.” But as a State Department report from September 2018 found, there is “no credible evidence indicating that international terrorist groups have established bases in Mexico, worked with Mexican drug cartels or sent operatives via Mexico into the United States.”

Though let’s not forget, Graham did try to pass a bill that would of mandated that migrant minors be held in detention for 100 days.

South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham has introduced legislation aimed at changing the asylum seeking process. Specifically, Sen. Graham’s new bill would target Central American migrants arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border to legally seek asylum. Many of the Central American migrants are fleeing deadly discrimination, sexual exploitation, and rampant gang violence. Sen. Graham’s bill seeks to make asylum a harder and lengthier process.

After his shocking statements on migrants, Graham then weighed in on Trump’s blatantly racist attack on a group of congresswomen, including AOC.

Not only did Sen. Graham fail to condmen Trump’s disgusting comments, Graham decided to add fuel to the fire. Instead, he called the group of congresswomen (which included AOC, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts) a bunch of communists.

He then added, “they hate Israel, they hate our own country. They’re calling the guards along our border, the border patrol agents, ‘concentration camp guards.’ They accuse people who support Israel of doing it for the Benjamins. They’re anti-Semitic. They’re anti-America.”

Shortly after Graham made the comments, Trump shared them in a tweet, writing, “Need I say more?”

Many on social media were rightly wondering if this man even has a conscience?

I mean when someone is capable spewing this much hate on a round of Sunday morning talk shows, it’s a legitimate question to ask.

Can we all look back on the days when Graham was a staunch #NeverTrumper?

And now one organization is putting up billboads all over his homestate to remind voters of his flip flops.

Some of the memes this generated though are all too real…

Sadly, this just seems really disturbing at this point. The former #NeverTrump Graham seems to have gone all in on racist, hateful, hurtful policies, words, and so much more.

READ: Sen. Lindsey Graham Is Proposing A New Bill To Hold Minors In Asylum For 100 Days And Twitter Slapped Him With The Best Hashtag

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