Nurturing Hate.

Christian Picciolini, founder of the group Life After Hate, is pictured. | AP Photo.

If there is one thing the Regime is good at, it’s nurturing hate, encouraging bigotry, and fomenting unreasonable fear. Life After Hate is a small organization dedicated to de-radicalizing those in violent, extremist groups. They have lost their funding, because the Tiny Tyrant & Co. don’t believe in domestic terrorism.

The Trump administration has dropped federal support of an organization dedicated to countering white nationalist and neo-Nazi extremism, a Politico report revealed on Friday.

The organization, Life After Hate, was founded in 2009 and is run by a small staff of men and women who were once part of racist activist and extremist movements, and who now work to de-radicalize others involved in violent extremist groups.

In its final days, the Obama administration awarded the group a $400,000 grant as part of its Counter Violent Extremism (CVE) program. Life After Hate was the only group dedicated to fighting white nationalist extremism to receive a grant under the program.

It’s also in increasing demand: Picciolini told Politico that since President Trump’s election, Life After Hate has seen a 20-fold increase in requests for help, coming “from people looking to disengage or bystanders/family members looking for help from someone they know.”

But Life After Hate Founder Christian Picciolini told ThinkProgress in February the group never received its check from the federal government. And now, the organization has been dropped altogether from the list of grants associated with the CVE program, which the Department of Homeland Security announced on Friday.

[…]

“It sends a message that white extremism does not exist, or is not a priority in our country, when in fact it is a statistically larger and more present terror threat than any by foreign or other domestic actors,” Picciolini said at the time.

[…]

“We can simply look at recent history, from Dylann Roof to Wade Michael Page to countless others who killed innocent victims in the name of white supremacist ideologies,” Picciolini added. “We have hundreds of thousands of homegrown sovereign citizens and militia members with ties to white nationalism training in paramilitary camps across the U.S. and standing armed in front of mosques to intimidate marginalized Americans. The terror threat is already within our borders, yet we refuse to even call it terrorism when it happens.”

Picciolini told ThinkProgress that the Trump administration’s decision to shift away from efforts to combat far-right hate could actually make future terrorist attacks more likely. And, the shift comes at the very moment that reports indicate far-right hate is on the rise.

Think Progress has the full story. Life After Hate.

America: Draconian, Backwards, Doomed.

Shutterstock.

America, the experiment, is one that will fail. And no, this isn’t yet another report about the disastrous regime, which is simply yet another symptom of the failure in progress. It doesn’t matter that there a few states sprinkled here and there that you could consider progressive and social minded. The majority of states are not those things. A whole hell of a lot of people aren’t those things. Christianity is the biggest obstacle to social progress, morality, and humaneness. And no, I don’t give a shit if you’re a progressive, social minded christian. Until I see all of you busy, active, protesting, and lobbying against all the asshole christians, I don’t care what you say in private. Whatever you’re doing, it isn’t enough.

The insistence on puritanism rooted in misogyny is one big reason this lost country will continue to slide inexorably downwards. Too many Americans seem to think of the country as a church, and they should have the right to oppress and stomp all over certain people. Missouri is providing a fine example of this in action:

Missouri’s Senate is considering legislation that would allow employers and landlords to discriminate against women who use birth control or have had abortions. The bill, which has the support of the state’s governor, Eric Greitens, was approved by the Missouri House Tuesday.

Known as SB 5, the bill was first passed by the Senate on June 14 following a special session called by Greitens. His aim was to overturn an ordinance that prevents employers and housing providers from punishing women for their reproductive health choices, according to a report by Feministing, a feminist website.

The ordinance was passed by the city of St. Louis, and Greitens had said it made the area into “an abortion sanctuary city.” The Senate seemed to agree with him, as did the House, which on Tuesday passed an expanded version of SB 5 that included more anti-abortion restrictions. Given the Senate’s vote on June 14, it it seen as likely to approve the updated version of SB 5. This would mean that landlords could refuse to offer housing to women based on their reproductive health choices, while employers could fire female staff members who were using birth control, or refuse to hire them. And while of course this isn’t information most landlords or employers have access to, under SB 5 they could ask women what forms of reproductive health care they are using.

Yes, of course women could lie; that’s not the point though, is it? The mere fact that anyone could be given the authority to question you on your contraception use* or specific bits of your medical history ought to scare the living hell out of everyone, it should not be something enshrined in law, to say the least. Can you imagine anything of this kind of thing being applied and passed in regard to men?

* Not that most women will be able to afford contraception in the near future.

Full story here.

Standing With Russia, Against …

The Obscene Kiss, an illustration of witches kissing the Devil’s anus from Francesco Maria Guazzo’s Compendium Maleficarum (1608).

Satanists! Who else? Rick Wiles is on a tear over it all:

“I believe the deep state, at it’s core, is satanic,” Wiles said. “It is Luciferian. They, that synagogue of Satan dark state, in 1917, overthrew the Russian government … The Russian people were trapped in communism, atheistic God-hating communism for 70 plus years; the Russians finally cast it off and came out from under this communist oppression. I believe the deep state is furious with them that they dared to overthrow their God-hating atheism, their Satanism.”

Sigh. I get very tired of repeating this, but atheism and satanism, not the same thing. Atheists don’t believe in any gods. Satanists are Christians as far as their mythology goes, Lucifer/Satan/Devil/Whatever is part and parcel of the christian mythos. Jehovah and Jesus and the rest of the cast don’t matter much without the foil of Lucifer. As for the deep state stuff, some evidence please.

“The people in control of America today are Satanists,” he continued. “What do they defend? Baby killing. Selling baby parts. Homosexuality. Pedophilia. They celebrate it.”

An embryo is not a baby. No one is selling baby parts. Or adult parts. Nothing at all wrong with homosexuality. And then, the big ol’ chestnut of christian fanatics – pedophilia! I’d like to know why, as much as they love to bring it up, they never address the mass amounts of rape and sexual assault committed against children by christians. Work on that one, Mr. Wiles.

Wiles went on to praise and defend Russia’s strict anti-LGBTQ laws, declaring that “as a Christian, I stand with the Russian people in their defense of morality and I condemn the dark state that is in control of the United States and Europe and Canada and Australia and New Zealand; it is a Luciferian, demonic Satanic empire that is against God, hates God.”

As it would seem the Luciferian Demonic Satanic Empire is firmly on the social justice side, it doesn’t appear to be terribly powerful, looking at what’s happening in the world at the current time. Interesting how Wiles carefully picks out all those places dominated by white people as being under attack, which is not at all subtle in its appeal to bigotry.

After asserting that he feels “more threatened and afraid of the CIA” than of the Russians, Wiles again insisted that “Luciferian, devil worshiping” forces within the “deep state” are working to foment a war in order to punish Russia “for breaking free of that communist tyranny that that satanic group had put on Russia.”

Some days, I just can’t get over how very much some things have changed. I can’t imagine anyone having the spine to say this sort of thing in the 1960s or  1970s.

Wiles was also outraged that some Christians are “condemning Russia for being an anti-Christian nation that persecuted Christians” simply because it had banned the Jehovah’s Witnesses and seized the group’s churches.

“You know what the Russians did?” Wiles asked. “They banned the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Kicked them out of the country. Well, congratulations! I’m glad you did it. I wish we could do it. I wish we could get rid of all the cults in this country. We’d be better off for it.”

Yes, I have no doubt many christians would just love that sort of power, and it would be damned scary if they had it, to say the least. They are working towards that, and Trump is working at giving them what they want. As for cults, it would be really nice to stick a muzzle on christianity.

Via RWW, one and two.

On the other side of the aisle, Sam Rohrer is all about the antichrist:

“Lawlessness is what the devil, Satan, is attempting to create,” Rohrer said, explaining that the “enemies of Christ”—by which he meant globalists, Islam, and the cultural “establishment”—are “all working together” because “they hate God, they hate the Constitution, they despise Jesus Christ, they want to destroy Israel and the United States and they are using chaos and division as their way of creating the circumstances … out of which will come the Antichrist.”

“These things that we’re seeing are preparatory for the emerging of the Antichrist,” he said. “We have to understand that what we are seeing has been foretold, it is exactly what the Bible is talking about will happen, is happening and we need to, as God’s people, be taking advantage of this time and pointing people to Jesus Christ, understanding the Battle of the Ages is unfolding before our very eyes.”

Hate crimes have spiked under Trump, and they keep escalating. Crimes committed by people who describe themselves as god lovin’, constitution lovin’, Jesus lovin’ christian patriots. I think Rohrer and company have this whole antichrist thing backwards, to say the least.

Via RWW.

The Tiny Tyrant’s Tax Evasion.

Via Twitter.

The people of Briarcliff Manor, NY, are rather upset with the Tiny Tyrant, and for very good reason. Turns out, Trump doesn’t want to pay his taxes. Alright, everyone who’s surprise, raise your hand. Not wanting to pay taxes is no great shock, there’s a reason people want to see those tax returns; what is of interest is why Trump doesn’t want to pay the property tax on his golf course.

ABC News reports that the Trump organization has filed a legal challenge with Briarcliff Manor to knock $250,000 off the property tax bill for the Trump National Golf Club, Westchester. ABC News notes that the organization’s challenge is “who resent having to assume the burden of paying additional taxes to support town services and the local school district.”

Emphasis mine. I’m just gonna let that sit there and sink in. This is from the Major Moron who never shut up about “making America great again”.

And Gloria Fried, the receiver of taxes for Ossining, tells ABC that “it is very difficult when you see someone who has all these assets at his disposal who would rather pay lawyers to avoid his civic duty of paying taxes.”

I imagine that avoiding civic duties is a way of life for the Tiny Tyrant, and all the fucking idiots put him in the white house. If I thought they were capable of it, I’d say they ought to be absolutely mortified.

Via Raw Story.

When Words Come Back To Bite Your Ass.

In this photo taken April 21, 2010, Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, speaks about financial reform at a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. In a letter circulated by Hatch Thursday, March 3, 2011. CREDIT: AP Photo/Charles Dharapak.

With all the secrecy and other slimy moves in the ramming through of the Fuck You Care Plan, an interesting op-ed has surfaced, from Orrin Hatch. It certainly highlights the ongoing hypocrisy of rethuglicans, and why you can never trust anything they might say, and certainly not what they might do.

In short, in less than a week, Senate Republicans are considering ramming through a major piece of legislation that the public has not seen and will not be able to respond to, and they’re using a method specifically designed to circumvent any mechanism the Constitution allows the Senate’s minority party to stop it.

But don’t take it from me: Take it from Republican Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT), who agitated fiercely against the Senate Democrats’ rumored plan to pass Obamacare through reconciliation in 2010.

“This use of reconciliation to jam through this legislation, against the will of the American people, would be unprecedented in scope,” Hatch wrote in a 2010 Washington Post op-ed titled “Reconciliation on health care would be an assault to the democratic process.” “And the havoc wrought would threaten our system of checks and balances, corrode the legislative process, degrade our system of government and damage the prospects of bipartisanship.”

In the op-ed, Hatch details exactly how reconciliation allows a majority party to abuse parliamentary power, and why it’s inappropriate for health care. “It sharply limits debate and amendments to a mere 20 hours and would allow passage with only 51 votes (as opposed to the 60 needed to overcome a procedural hurdle),” he wrote. “But the Constitution intends the opposite process, especially for a bill that would affect one-sixth of the American economy.”

Now, of course, Hatch is all for the terrible process, and defends the secrecy on the basis it won’t give democrats a chance to criticise, because as we all now know, criticism is just the worst thing ever.

According to Hatch, holding public hearings on Senate Republicans’ Obamacare replacement plan would be useless, because those hearings would only give Democrats opportunity for criticism.

“We have zero cooperation from the Democrats,” he told reporters. “So getting it in public gives them a chance to get up and scream.”

When it was Obamacare on the table, Hatch was a staunch proponent of bipartisanship, arguing in an open letter to Obama that “our nation expects us to solve this challenge in an open, honest and bipartisan manner.” He added that “the American people deserve an open and vigorous dialogue on this critical legislation and the use of this process would be a clear signal that Washington continues to ignore their voices.”

Think Progress has the full embarrassing story. Well, it would be embarrassing to anyone except a rethuglican.

Media, Oh Media, Wherefore Art Thou?

CREDIT: AP Photo/Evan Vucci.

The Senate secrecy over the Fuck You Care Plan is working, and like a dream. It’s not being covered, anywhere, by anyone. Granted, there’s not a whole lot of story there, but media has no business ignoring it to the point that it seems it’s not a reality. If anything, media should be pounding on this, hard. If there’s a case of the death of democracy, it’s right there.

The informal July 4 deadline Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has set for Senate Republicans to pass a health care bill that could strip coverage from 23 million Americans is rapidly approaching — but you wouldn’t know it from looking at the front page of major newspapers across the country on Monday.

National outlets like the New York Times and Washington Post featured no front-page coverage of the American Health Care Act (AHCA), also known as Trumpcare, which is being secretly written by an all-male group of senators. The lack of attention being paid to the bill indicates McConnell’s strategy of avoiding publicity by drafting the bill behind closed doors, holding no hearings, and unveiling the bill’s text at the last possible minute is paying dividends.

[…]

People who consume their news online also didn’t see any coverage on major outlets’ homepages Monday morning.

Trumpcare has also been a blip on the TV news radar. According to an analysis by Media Matters looking at coverage from June 1 through June 14, the bill has received scant mention on broadcast and cable news, with Republican secrecy surrounding the bill barely even being mentioned.

There’s a reason Republicans want to Trumpcare on the down low — even Fox News is unable to spin the unpopularity of the bill, which is essentially a tax cut for the rich masquerading as health care reform.

[…]

Progressive senators are trying to make the media take notice. On Monday, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), and senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) sent a letter to Republican committee chairs with jurisdiction over Trumpcare requesting that they “schedule hearings to discuss, debate and hear testimony about the health care bill you are currently drafting in secret.”

The letter, which goes on to list each of the 31 rooms where a hearing could be held, says the millions of American who would be negatively impacted by Trumpcare “deserve an open and public debate over the bill.”

“The American Health Care Act would fundamentally redefine health care in our country,” it concludes. “To draft it behind closed doors and pass it without even one hearing is nothing short of legislative malpractice and a repudiation of all the Senate stands for.”

So…how about it, media? Can we get a little bit of outrage over this travesty? A little bit of attention? Think Progress has the full story, along with many images showing the complete lack of coverage.

Oh Goody, Another War.

Tucker Viemeister.

Chris Murphy: Four direct engagements w Syria/Iran/Russia in 45 days. Trump is quietly starting a new war that Congress has not declared. Red alert.

News that no one needs to hear. Trump must be stopped. Now. I can’t help wondering if this is just the Tiny Tyrant wanting to play with his toys, or his attempt at a Reichstag fire.

Via Raw Story.

Not Dead Does Not Equal Healthy.

Jim Cooke.

Mike Huckabee is once again wearing his folksy, backwoods preacher coat in an attempt to defend the Tiny Tyrant. It’s one helluva bad attempt, I’ll say that much. “The Tiny Tyrant has kept America Alive!”

“Donald Trump is kind of like a doctor who sometimes has a rather gruff bedside manner,” Huckabee said. “Nobody’s going to argue that point.”

Oh, I could argue that point. I imagine lots of people could, and would argue that point. If you want a more accurate comparison, how about: Trump is kind of like that old dodderer of a small town doctor, stuck in the past, with no notion of how to treat people in a modern and effective manner? Personally, I think even that descriptor is too kind. The reality is more akin to ‘con man fakes being doctor, kills half the town before caught’.

“He can be crude and he can come across sometimes less than people think, but, by golly, the patient is alive and I’d rather have this president, who gets things done, than one who comes in, he’s nice and he’s polite and he smiles, but my family member dies in the hospital bed,” Huckabee added. “America needs to say two words to Donald Trump: Thank you.”

Gets things done? What, exactly, has the Tiny Tyrant done? Rolled back every regulation he could, ensuring mass pollution will once again take over. Making sure all working people are fucked into the ground. Destroyed the slight healthcare people had. Arresting and deporting citizens for no good reason. Being a stone cold killer when it comes to those seeking refuge. Screamed exhortations of bigotry, hate, guns, and violence, to the point that “America” is now a splintery mess, with mass shootings taking place every. single. day. People being attacked and murdered for no reason other than irrational bigotry every. single. day. Made sure to engorge his already bulging pockets. Spreading his filthy disease of corrupt criminality.

Thank you? I don’t fucking think so. All the Tiny Tyrant gets from me is: FUCK YOU, AND GET THE FUCK OUT, YOU FUCKING IDIOT.

Via Raw Story.

More Dead Kids Comin’ Up.

Governor Abbott. CREDIT: Associated Press.

Texas governor Greg Abbott has happily passed legislation which allows religious bigotry against LGBTQ people, adults and children, and religious minorities as well. This bill is one of those “sincerely held religious beliefs” pieces of garbage, where the ugliest and most vile of personal feelings and religious sentiments are allowed to ruin lives at will. This bill allows for LGBTQ children to be under agencies care in “religious education.” I’m familiar with “religious education”, and for children who are already terribly fragile and imperiled, well. A lot of them won’t make it. I barely did, and to say that shit leaves a mark is an understatement of a century.

On Thursday, Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R) signed a bill that will allow child welfare service providers to decline to provide certain kinds of care based on “the provider’s sincerely held religious beliefs.” The bill, House Bill 3859, will permit discrimination against LGBTQ couples wishing to adopt children, in addition to allowing LGBTQ children to be placed under the agencies’ care in “religious education.” The bill goes into effect in September.

As ThinkProgress noted when the bill passed the Texas House in May, the bill affects not only child placement services (think adoption agencies), but group homes, counseling services, care for abused children, and other resources for children with complicated family situations. The bill will have a broad reach, affecting organizations that provide a wide variety care options for a large number of children.

When the bill goes into effect, those organizations can legally refuse to provide care for children on the basis of their sexuality or gender identity, or on the basis of the sexuality or gender identity of someone in their family, as long as the provider can cite “religious beliefs.” They will be able to do the same for same-gender couples wishing to adopt children, and ultimately for anyone whose situation can somehow be considered in violation of their religious beliefs.

[…]

Prioritizing the religious beliefs of organizations who care for children over the religious beliefs, and human rights, of children, the bill will allow child welfare services to place LGBTQ children under their care into “religious education” that demonizes them or undermines their self-worth. A 2014 GLSEN survey found that over half of all LGBTQ children feel unsafe in schools in general, with 74 percent of students reporting verbal harassment; placing these students into homophobic conservative religious education can only add to that fear and unease.

The Human Rights Campaign noted that studies have shown LGBTQ children are more likely than their cisgender and heterosexual peers to end up in the care of child welfare organizations, often as a result of being disowned by their families after coming out, or being outed against their will. Experts say that allowing child welfare organizations to force these children into programs that further reject their identities, or even to reject them altogether, can be incredibly detrimental to their mental health and well-being.

The potential for harm goes much farther than this, unfortunately. Think Progress has the full story.

Says It All.

Philando Castile (What’s Trending).

Rep. Barbara Lee: #Philando Castile was shot in cold blood. The world watched it LIVE. What will it take for the justice system to value Black lives?

Do not go looking at the comments, unless you feel like spilling your stomach.

Be A King: This is why there’s the cry & movement, #BlackLivesMatter. It’s not anti-all lives mattering. It’s anti-#PhilandoCastile’s not mattering.

Shaun King: I must remind you that #PhilandoCastile never even broke a law. He wasn’t speeding. He was racially profiled and pulled over for being Black.

Ox: I live in a country where cops can kill me & go home for dinner. But if we don’t stand for the nat’l anthem it’s a problem.

Via Raw Story.

Mr. Tweet: Witch Hunt! Witch Hunt! Witch Hunt!

Old drawing of the death of Giles Corey (Sept. 19, 1692) by being pressed with heavy stones for failing to enter a plea to the charge of being a witch during the Salem Witch Trials.

Mr. Tweet has been at it again, this time screaming WITCH HUNT in all caps.

Trump: “You are witnessing the single greatest WITCH HUNT in American political history – led by some very bad and conflicted people!

Okay, let’s talk American witch hunts. While they never reached the same pitch and ferocity of those in other countries, the devastation was still tremendous, as it always is, when people are singled out for being different, or for various personal reasons, condemned, tortured, and executed. Lest we all forget, the Tiny Tyrant is highly favourable to singling out people for being different, or on the basis of personal bias. Trump is not the sort of person who would be persecuted, he’s the type who would be (and is) a persecutor. As always, wealth defines position, and power.

It’s infuriating when fucking idiots decided to screech “witch hunt!” over the slightest of criticisms, let alone over the consequences of their own actions. These things have absolutely no resemblance to a witch trial in any way, shape, or form. Even if you want to stick to ‘American political witch hunt’, as always, Donny is wrong. I’m pretty sure that the McCarthy hearings and the The House Un-American Activities Committee win that one. We can go farther back, too, but the bottom line here is that there is no terrible witch hunt, political or otherwise happening. Not that history would have any meaning to the Tiny Tyrant, why history didn’t include him! The whole crying witch hunt has always gotten stuck in my craw, especially now, because I saw that Christie’s will be auctioning off a rare deposition from the Salem witch trials, a deposition which helped to seal the fate of a poor, 76 year old widow. Margaret Scott was hanged, along with Mary Eastey, Martha Corey, Ann Pudeator, Samuel Wardwell, Mary Parker, Alice Parker, and Wilmot Redd. This was the last group to suffer and die at the hands of hysterical christians.

The deposition of Mary Daniel against Margaret Scott (August 4, 1692), sworn to on September 15, 1692 then introduced as evidence, with autograph endorsement signed by Stephen Sewall as clerk to the Salem court. Margaret Scott was one of the people executed during the Salem Witch Trials (courtesy the Eric C. Caren Collection/Christie’s).

It’s important to remember that people died, many of them in the worst and most gruesome ways, and it is not alright to decide that criticism or having to take responsibility for yourself is in any way a witch hunt.

You can see and read more about the deposition at Hyperallergic.

As for the not-a-witch-hunt investigation, Think Progress has the full run down.

Event Planner In Charge of Federal Housing.

Lynne Patton (YouTube).

An event planner with no political experience whatsoever, and a trail of bogus degrees has been placed in charge of federal housing programs in NYC. Ms. Patton was one of the people running Eric Trump’s fraudulent charity. So you can see why the Tiny Tyrant chose her: a liar, happily corrupt, with experience in committing fraud.

Donald Trump has named an event planner with no relevant experience and a sketchy resume to oversee federal housing programs in New York City.

Lynne Patton, who arranged Eric Trump’s wedding and tournaments at the president’s golf courses, was appointed Wednesday to lead the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Region II, which includes New York and New Jersey, reported the New York Daily News.

Patton will oversee the distribution of billions of dollars in taxpayer money to public housing authorities, as well as tens of thousands of rental vouchers and block grants to fund housing inspections and programs for senior citizens.

She has no housing experience, and Patton has claimed degrees she did not earn.

Her LinkedIn profile claims a law degree from Quinnipiac University, although the school’s registrar said Patton attended for two semesters but did not graduate.

She also listed Yale University on the social media profile, but HUD officials were unsure why.

[…]

Patton defended HUD Secretary Ben Carson last month, after he said poverty was a state of mind, and praised White House budget director Mick Mulvaney for saying the Trump administration would “measure compassion” by the number of people who were removed from government assistance programs.

If you are in NYC, and had hopes of help in this direction, you might want to start looking elsewhere. Via Raw Story.

196 Members of Congress: Suing Trump.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, left, and White House Senior Adviser Jared Kushner listen as President Donald Trump speaks during a Cabinet meeting, Monday, June 12, 2017, in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington. CREDIT: AP Photo/Andrew Harnik.

The lawsuits against the Tiny Tyrant are piling up, and a good part of congress has decided to join in, this time dealing with the emoluments clause, which has been utterly shredded by the Tiny Tyrant, who seems to think this whole presidenting thing is just like his many sleazy real estate cons. He’s not entirely wrong about that, but he hasn’t even so much as made an effort at appearances. Unfortunately, this particular lawsuit will only deal with forcing the Tiny Tyrant to abide by the constitution. If successful though, it may provide the means of exposing the so-called business empire, so people can finally have a peek inside and see what’s truly there, and what isn’t.

Nearly 200 Democratic lawmakers will file suit against President Donald Trump on Wednesday, alleging that he is violating the Constitution’s foreign emoluments clause by accepting payments from foreign governments through his businesses while president.

The plaintiffs include 30 Senators and 166 members of the House of Representatives — but a source familiar with the lawsuit said more lawmakers could join an amended complaint later if they wished. The case will be lead by the nonprofit Constitutional Accountability Center.

The lawsuit — and the sheer number of members of Congress participating — reflects the deep frustration of Democratic lawmakers with the leeway the White House has been given by the Republican majority in Congress.

Traditionally, Congress is taxed with oversight and accountability of the executive branch, which they carry out through hearings and other means. But the way Congress is set up gives extraordinary control to the majority party — and the Republicans in charge of the oversight committees have refused to investigate Trump, a Republican president, on issues involving his business activities.

Hamstrung by more traditional oversight means, and already shut out of any sort of working relationship with the president, Democratic lawmakers have now turned to the courts to try to force Trump to comply with the Constitution.

[…]

They also serve another purpose: As part of their discovery process, it is likely that the plaintiffs will ask for Trump’s tax returns.

From foreign profits to foreign debt, Trump has been unprecedentedly opaque about his finances for an American president. His tax returns pose the best chance at clearing up lingering questions over conflicts of interest and whether his decisions as president stand to benefit his pockets as a citizen.

But Trump has thus far refused all calls to make his tax returns public — meaning that these lawsuits may pose the public’s best chance at finally getting a look at exactly what the president’s business empire really looks like.

Think Progress has the full story.