Keeping Track (of some things), Staying Outraged (it is possible), and Resisting (it’s essential)
Passages in bold in the body of the texts below are my emphasis. This is an ongoing project, and I update the site frequently.
Friday, 21 April 2017, Day 93:
Putin-linked think tank drew up plan to sway 2016 US presidential election, Reuters, Ned Parker, Jonathan Landay and John Walcott, Friday, 21 April 2017: “A Russian government think tank controlled by Vladimir Putin developed a plan to swing the 2016 U.S. presidential election to Donald Trump and undermine voters’ faith in the American electoral system, three current and four former U.S. officials told Reuters. They described two confidential documents from the think tank as providing the framework and rationale for what U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded was an intensive effort by Russia to interfere with the Nov. 8 election. U.S. intelligence officials acquired the documents, which were prepared by the Moscow-based Russian Institute for Strategic Studies [en.riss.ru/], after the election. The institute is run by retired senior Russian foreign intelligence officials appointed by Putin’s office. The first Russian institute document was a strategy paper written last June that circulated at the highest levels of the Russian government but was not addressed to any specific individuals. It recommended the Kremlin launch a propaganda campaign on social media and Russian state-backed global news outlets to encourage U.S. voters to elect a president who would take a softer line toward Russia than the administration of then-President Barack Obama, the seven officials said. A second institute document, drafted in October and distributed in the same way, warned that Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was likely to win the election. For that reason, it argued, it was better for Russia to end its pro-Trump propaganda and instead intensify its messaging about voter fraud to undermine the U.S. electoral system’s legitimacy and damage Clinton’s reputation in an effort to undermine her presidency, the seven officials said. The current and former U.S. officials spoke on the condition of anonymity due to the Russian documents’ classified status. They declined to discuss how the United States obtained them. U.S. intelligence agencies also declined to comment on them.”
Attorney General Jeff Sessions takes step toward enforcing threat to strip funding from ‘sanctuary cities,’ The Washington Post, Matt Zapotosky, Friday, 21 April 2017: “Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Friday demanded that nine jurisdictions produce proof that they are communicating with federal authorities about undocumented immigrants or risk losing grant funding. Sessions sent letters to the nine jurisdictions, including Philadelphia, New York and Chicago, in the latest sign that the Trump administration intends to punish what are sometimes called sanctuary cities that do not cooperate in its promised crackdown on illegal immigration. President Trump signed an executive order in January declaring that sanctuary jurisdictions would not be eligible to receive federal grants, and Sessions vowed last month during a White House news conference to take Justice Department money from such places. How far Trump can go, though, and what jurisdictions can do to avoid his ire, remains unclear…. The letters were addressed to officials in New Orleans; Philadelphia; Chicago; New York City; Clark County, Nev.; Miami-Dade County, Fla.; Milwaukee County, Wis.; Cook County, Ill.; and the state of California…. The release said New York, for example, “continues to see gang murder after gang murder, the predictable consequence of the city’s ‘soft on crime’ stance.” New York, in fact, has seen significant recent reductions in crime.… The grants at stake provide federal funding for a host of functions in the criminal-justice system — including policing, victim-and-witness initiatives, crime prevention, drug-treatment programs and technology improvements…. When someone is arrested on a local crime, their fingerprints are run through the FBI database, and — whether local authorities like it or not — ICE can tell if they are in the country illegally. It then often will send a request to local authorities to detain such people. Refusing to honor such a request would not necessarily violate federal law. But telling local police officers, for example, that they could not give information to their ICE counterparts might.”
U.S. Rejects Exxon Mobil Bid for Waiver on Russia Sanctions, The New York Times, Clifford Krauss, Friday, 21 April 2017: “The Trump administration delivered a setback to Exxon Mobil on Friday, announcing that it would not grant the oil giant a waiver from sanctions against Russia that would allow drilling in the Black Sea. The decision, reinforcing barriers erected by the United States over Russia’s intervention in Ukraine, was another sign that President Trump has been unwilling or unable to improve relations with the Kremlin early in his term, after pledging as a candidate that he would seek a thaw. ‘In consultation with President Donald J. Trump,’ Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a terse, prepared statement, ‘the Treasury Department will not be issuing waivers to U.S. companies, including Exxon, authorizing drilling prohibited by current Russian sanctions.’ The prospect of a waiver had drawn denunciations from both Democratic and Republican lawmakers…. The matter was complicated by the continuing congressional scrutiny of reports of Russian intervention in support of Mr. Trump in last year’s election, and by Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson’s role as Exxon Mobil’s chief executive until the president nominated him for his current position.”
Continue reading Week 14, Friday, 21 April – Thursday, 27 April 2017: