Goodman: Who was tougher on corporate America, President Obama or President Bush?
Taibbi: Oh, Bush, hands down. And this is an important point to make, because if you go back to the early 2000s, think about all these high-profile cases: Adelphia, Enron, Tyco, WorldCom, Arthur Andersen. All of these companies were swept up by the Bush Justice Department. And what's interesting about this is that you can see a progression. If you go back to the savings and loan crisis in the late '80s... we put about 800 people in jail during — in the aftermath of that crisis. You fast forward 10 or 15 years to the accounting scandals, like Enron and Adelphia and Tyco, we went after the heads of some of those companies. It wasn't as vigorous as the S&L prosecutions, but we at least did it. At least George Bush recognized the symbolic importance of showing ordinary Americans that justice is blind, right?
Fast forward again to the next big crisis, and how many people have we got — have we actually put in jail? Zero... nobody went to jail, so that we're now in a place where we don't even recognize the importance of keeping up appearances when it comes to making things look equal.
Watch below, starting about 49 minutes in. (H/T Talking Points Memo) --Ryan Cooper
Beyoncé will forgo her planned performance at the 2017 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival, event organizers announced Thursday. The pop star, who announced last month she is expecting twins with husband Jay Z, cited doctors' advice to "keep a less rigorous schedule in coming months" as the basis for the decision.
In lieu of leading the Coachella 2017 lineup, Beyoncé will headline the 2018 festival. Her replacement for this year has yet to be announced.
Beyoncé has not revealed her due date, but as she was already showing at her performance at the Grammys on Feb. 12, many predicted she might drop out of Coachella. She was slated to headline on both April 15 and April 22 of the two-weekend-long affair in Indio, California.
If you need to see it to believe it, read Coachella's announcement in full below. Becca Stanek
— Andru Valpy (@AimlessAndru) February 23, 2017
During this week's congressional recess, some lawmakers returned to their home districts to meet with constituents for the first time since President Trump took office last month. Many Republicans found themselves facing angry crowds during subsequent town halls, including Sen. Joni Ernst (Iowa), Sen. Tom Cotton (Ark.), and Rep. Jason Chaffetz (Utah), while House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.). Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (Calif.), and others have been criticized for failing to make themselves available to their constituencies at all.
All the hubbub has some GOP representatives declining full-stop to hold town halls. In attempting to defend those evasive lawmakers, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) on Tuesday cited the case of former Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-Ariz.), who was shot in the head at a constituent meeting in January 2011. After Giffords was shot — she survived the incident and returned to the House floor just seven months later, but resigned from Congress in 2012 — Gohmert says the House Sergeant at Arms "advised us ... that civilian attendees at congressional public events stand the most chance of being harmed or killed," arguing the meetings are a threat to public safety. Gohmert also cited the dangers of possible paid protesters from the "more violent strains of the leftist ideology ... who are preying on public town halls to wreak havoc."
One person who's not buying Gohmert's reasoning? Giffords, who on Thursday responded to his comments with a statement declaring town halls are "what the people deserve in a representative." She noted she "was shot on a Saturday morning. By Monday morning, my offices were open to the public." "To the politicians who have abandoned their civic obligations, I say this," she wrote. "Have some courage. Face your constituents. Hold town halls." Kimberly Alters
Asked to name something nice about each other, Preibus praises Bannon's 'collars,' Bannon cites Mussolini
Reince Priebus and Stephen Bannon continued their campaign to prove that they definitely don't hate each other and absolutely are best friends during a strange little interview at CPAC on Thursday that ABC News' Ali Rogin dubbed a "buddy comedy."
At one point, the pair were asked to name something that they like about the other. Preibus, apparently joking, offered up Bannon's "collars." "I love how many collars he wears," Preibus said. "It's an interesting look."
Priebus to Bannon: "I love how many collars he wears...interesting look" pic.twitter.com/kxgTrYV2iq
— POLITICO (@politico) February 23, 2017
For his part, Bannon said: "I can run a little hot on occasions … the only way this works is Reince is always steady … but his job is by far one of the toughest I've ever seen in my life. To make it run every day, to make the trains — and you only see the surface."
politico: Steve Bannon: "I can run a little hot on occasions" pic.twitter.com/Pg2ff8wgW4
— Eugenio Bertolaccini (@EBertolaccini) February 23, 2017
The race to become the Democratic National Committee chairman narrowed on Thursday when South Carolina Democratic Party Chairman Jamie Harrison dropped out, endorsing frontrunner Tom Perez in the process. Perez served as labor secretary under former President Barack Obama and holds about 205 of the 447 total DNC member votes. Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), backed by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and the party's more progressive wing, trails Perez with around 153 votes.
"With so much at stake, our next chair will lead the fight of a generation," Harrison said in an email to NBC. "I'm standing by Tom Perez's side, and I hope you will join me in doing the same."
If Perez picks up at least 20 of Harrison's 27 votes, he will likely have a majority heading into the first round of voting Saturday. The winner needs only to win a simple majority of 224 votes or more; if no candidate achieves a majority Saturday, DNC members will cast votes in progressive rounds, eliminating the lowest vote-receiving candidates until a candidate emerges with the majority.
Ted Cruz used some colorful — or rather, vespertilionine — language to describe the Democratic base during an interview at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Thursday.
"From the left, their base … There's a technical term for their base, " Cruz began.
"Moscow," his interviewer answered.
Cruz nodded, but added: "I was going a different direction, which was 'bat-crap crazy.'" Watch the exchange below. Jeva Lange
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) February 23, 2017
On Thursday, former Republican House Speaker John Boehner claimed that a full repeal and replace of the Affordable Care Act is "not going to happen," calling the suggestion that it might just "happy talk," Politico reports.
Boehner, who resigned in 2015, instead suggested that there would be small changes to ObamaCare. "Most of the framework of the Affordable Care Act … that's going to be there," Boehner predicted. He added that he "started laughing" when he heard of President Trump's plans to quickly push through health-care reform: "Republicans never agree on health care," Boehner said.
President Trump has suggested that he will have a new health care plan by mid-March, but Boehner said he isn't buying it. "[Congressional Republicans are] going to fix ObamaCare — I shouldn't call it repeal-and-replace, because it's not going to happen," he said. Jeva Lange
President Donald Trump on Thursday met with several top manufacturing executives to discuss regulatory reform and job creation. But amid all that boring talk, Trump implored General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt to discuss an important matter: the time he shot a hole-in-one.
"Jeff actually watched me make a hole-in-one," Trump informed the gathered businesspeople after Immelt greeted him during the roundtable. "Should you tell that story?"
Immelt, apparently, decided that he should. Watch the moment below. Kimberly Alters
Trump just made Jeff Immelt describe the time Trump hit a hole-in-one
Trump: “I actually said I was the best golfer of all the rich people” pic.twitter.com/6yB7oj6WJe
— Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) February 23, 2017