The Banter Brief: Study Proves (Again) That Trump Fans Are Racist, Hillary Bashes Bernie, & Good News On The Senate?

The best news round up on the internet.

Happy Friday Banter readers, and welcome to this week’s edition of The Banter Brief - the best news round up on the internet. We sent out the Brief every Friday, so if you haven’t subscribed yet, drop your email in below so you can read it for free:

1. Most Important Story Of The Week

Trump Guts EPA Regulation of America’s Waterways

This week, the Trump administration finalized its replacement for the Obama-era Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule that will strip protections from over half of the nation's wetlands. The new regulation, that went against the EPA’s own findings, allows landowners and farmers to dump pesticides and toxic waste into waterways and construct over wetlands without hindrance.

"This will be the biggest loss of clean water protection the country has ever seen," Southern Environmental Law Center lawyer Blan Holman told The New York Times. "This puts drinking water for millions of Americans at risk of contamination from unregulated pollution. This is not just undoing the Obama rule. This is stripping away protections that were put in place in the '70s and '80s that Americans have relied on for their health."

Environmental groups and Democratic states are gearing up to sue over the new rule, so expect a big battle in the near future.

Runner up: Two new studies have shown that “racial anxiety”(read “racism”) is the “biggest driver of support for Trump”. Key quotes:

“In Klinkner's analysis, racial attitudes stood completely on their own as powerful drivers of support for Donald Trump.”

“An analysis of 'feeling thermometer' ratings of Trump finds that attitudes about immigration, Islam and racial diversity are strongly associated with Republican voters’ views of the presumptive GOP presidential nominee."

(Pictured above: a group of Republican women interviewed on CNN who said they had no problem with Trump's racist attacks on four Democratic congresswomen of color in 2019.)

2. Poll Analysis

Impeachment: 66% of Americans say the U.S. Senate should call new witnesses - a remarkable number given the country is divided down the middle on whether Trump should be impeached and removed from office.

Trump: The president’s job approval is up (likely linked to the economy), but still historically low.

Democrats: A CNN poll now has Bernie Sanders tied with Biden nationally, but Reuters/Ipsos national opinion poll still has Biden ahead by 4%. We still have no idea what will happen in Iowa — a primary that could change the dynamics of the race significantly.

3. Quote Of The Week

"He was in Congress for years. He had one senator support him. Nobody likes him, nobody wants to work with him, he got nothing done. He was a career politician. It's all just baloney and I feel so bad that people got sucked into it." 

- Hillary Clinton on Bernie Sanders in the upcoming Hulu series 'Hillary’

4. What to Watch

Flint Town

‘Flint Town’ is a subtly powerful Netflix documentary series that takes an unsparing look at the woes of the Flint Michigan Police Department and their struggle to contain what is basically an unmanageable situation. Flint consistently ranks as one of the most violent cities in America. It is severely under funded, woefully under policed, and in a perpetual state of crisis.

The residents featured in the documentary have all but given up on the town that was once one of the richest in America. Their city has been torn apart by gang violence, drug and alcohol abuse, domestic violence, and the documentary transmits the palpable sense of the rage residents feel over the deteriorating situation. The filmmakers were embedded with Flint police officers as they try to keep order, giving a powerfully human insight into the crisis from different vantage points. There are no good guys and bad guys in Flint, just a devastated community that has been abandoned by corporate America and grotesquely neglected by the State and Federal government.

It’s tough watching, but necessary to understand a disaster unfolding all over America.

5. Good News

Could the Democrats take the Senate as well as the White House in 2020? Thanks to Trump’s almost certain acquittal in the Senate impeachment trial, this is fast becoming a likely scenario. Republicans currently hold 53 of the Senate’s 100 seats, and Democrats 47. This means the Democrats need a minimum gain of three seats (and a new Democratic VP) in order to take over — a very achievable goal given the current political climate. Writes Michael Conway, Former counsel, U.S. House Judiciary Committee this week:

Because of McConnell’s strong-arming, every Republican senator is now on the record opposing subpoenas requiring former national security adviser John Bolton, Office of Management and Budget head Mick Mulvaney, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and other administration officials to testify. These votes will be fodder for Democratic campaign ads against vulnerable Republican senators who are standing for re-election this year — particularly in Maine, Colorado and Arizona.

According to the data, the risk to Republican Senators across the nation is very, very real. While Trump and the GOP will claim a major victory on impeachment, they will may end up paying an enormous price for it in November.

See you next week!

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