Kanye West

As you’ve probably heard by now, Kanye West went on a rant in the Oval Office that was so hard to follow it even left President Trump speechless.

But what hasn’t been as widely reported was what Senate Republicans did while the cameras were focused on Kanye West, who wore a “Make America Great Again” hat in his meeting with Trump. Kanye West spoke uninterrupted for more than five minutes about why he loves his hat, his upbringing in Chicago, why he wants to abolish the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (which abolished slavery) and showed Trump a photo of a hydrogen-powered airplane.

On Thursday afternoon, climate change denier Jeffrey Bossert Clark was confirmed to be the Assistant Attorney General for Environment and Natural Resources. According to The Hill, Clark was a top lawyer at Kirkland and Ellis — a law firm famous for defending BP in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill that polluted the Gulf Coast in 2010. Clark was confirmed on a 52-45 vote, with Senators Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia) and Claire McCaskill (D-Missouri) joining Republicans in sending Clark to the Department of Justice.

And, despite the recent 1,000-page Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report that gave humanity a timeline of a little more than a decade to completely reverse course or face catastrophe, Clark — who is not a climate scientist — has referred to the science behind climate change as “contestable.”

Additionally, Senate Republicans confirmed another one of President Trump’s nominees to the Department of Justice on a slim 50-47 vote, with all Republicans voting in favor and all Democrats opposed. According to Reuters, Eric Dreiband is now the DOJ’s new Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. However, Dreiband doesn’t appear to be on the side of civil rights groups, who criticized past articles he wrote attacking the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and his past work defending employers accused of discriminating against workers.

The DOJ’s civil rights division is the same department within the DOJ that issued condemnations of police departments like Chicago (where Kanye West grew up) Ferguson, and Baltimore, that were accused of violating the civil rights of African American residents.

 

Carl Gibson is a politics contributor for Grit Post. His work has previously been published in The Guardian, The Washington Post, The Houston Chronicle, Al-Jazeera America, and NPR, among others. Follow him on Twitter @crgibs or send him an email at carl at gritpost dot com.

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