The Dead Pool – 17 April 2017

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Todd Ricketts, President Trump’s choice for deputy Commerce Secretary, has withdrawn. Can you guess why? Yep: because he’s so rich that he can’t “untangle” himself from his financial holdings to the satisfaction of the Office of Government Ethics. Trump himself may not be subject to normal ethics rules, but everyone else is. And let’s face it: no one with substantial wealth really wants to go through all this divestment and blind trust folderol just for a deputy position. Especially in the Commerce Department, which ranks pretty low on everyone’s list of cabinet agencies.

There’s an interesting backstory here that you may remember from campaign season. Last February Trump tweeted this: “I hear the Rickets family, who own the Chicago Cubs, are secretly spending $’s against me. They better be careful, they have a lot to hide!” He was apparently threatening Todd’s mother, who contributed to anti-Trump causes early in the primaries, but Todd was willing to work for Trump anyway. Seems a little odd, no? In any case, I guess he was willing to work for Trump, but not all that willing.

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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