Trump Administration, Week 135: Friday, 16 August – Thursday, 22 August 2019 (Days 939-945)

Passages in bold in the body of the texts below are usually my emphasis, though not always. This is an ongoing project, and I update the site frequently during the day. Because I try to stay focused on what has actually happened, I usually let the news ‘settle’ for a day or so before posting. I hope readers will peruse the articles in full for a better understanding of the issues and their context; our democracy and our future depend on citizens who can distinguish between facts and falsehoods and who are engaged in the political process.

For “a weekly newsletter celebrating people-powered wins against the Trump administration’s agenda,” visit Small Victories.

For independent global news, visit Democracy Now!

 

Friday, 16 August 2019, Day 939:

 

Federal Appeals Court Rules U.S. Can Block Migrants Seeking Asylum, but Only in Some States, The New York Times, Michael D. Shear, Friday, 16 August 2019: “A federal appeals court said Friday that President Trump can begin blocking some Central American migrants from applying for asylum in the United States, but only along parts of the border with Mexico. Migrants who seek asylum in New Mexico and Texas can be subjected to the administration’s new rules, which effectively prohibit them from requesting protection if they traveled through another country on their way to the United States unless they already tried and failed to receive asylum in that other country or countries, the court said. But the ruling by the three-judge panel for the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in San Francisco, is only a partial victory for Mr. Trump, whose immigration agenda has repeatedly been delayed by judges. In July, a lower court had blocked the president’s new asylum rules after finding that the administration had probably violated the procedures required to put those regulations in place. The judge suspended the asylum rules nationwide while the court challenge continued. The appeals court agreed with the lower court, but said that the judge had not provided enough evidence that the rules should be blocked across the country. The appeals panel narrowed the judge’s ruling, deciding that the tough asylum rules could not go into effect in the Ninth Circuit, which covers California and Arizona. The ruling means that the administration can begin blocking the Central American migrants in two border states: New Mexico, which is covered by the 10th Circuit, and Texas, which is covered by the Fifth Circuit. Immigrants from Honduras, for example, who enter the United States through those states will be eligible for asylum protections only if they had first been denied asylum in Guatemala or Mexico. Lee Gelernt, the lead lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union in the legal challenge to the asylum rules, said his organization plans to provide the judge in the case with more information about why the president’s rules should be blocked nationwide.” See also, The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issues a split decision, allowing Trump’s latest asylum restrictions to continue in Texas and New Mexico, The Washington Post, Maria Sacchetti, Friday, 16 August 2019: The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals allowed the Trump administration’s latest asylum restrictions to take effect Friday in the border states of Texas and New Mexico — but not in California and Arizona — in a ruling that centered on whether a judge has authority to impose an injunction nationwide.”

Elizabeth Warren Offers a Policy Agenda for Native Americans, The New York Times, Thomas Kaplan, Friday, 16 August 2019: “Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts on Friday laid out a collection of policy proposals intended to help Native Americans, pledging to protect tribal lands and to bolster funding for programs that serve Native people. In releasing the proposals, Ms. Warren is drawing attention to Native American issues after months of largely refraining from doing so in the wake of a controversy over her ancestry. Ms. Warren put out the plans ahead of a scheduled appearance on Monday at a presidential forum in Sioux City, Iowa, that is dedicated to Native American issues. Among the proposals, Ms. Warren said that if elected president, she would revoke the permits for the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines, two projects that have been opposed by many Native Americans. No energy project significantly affecting tribal lands should go ahead, she said, ‘without the free, prior and informed consent of the Tribal Nation concerned.’ She also called for expanding the ability of tribes to prosecute non-Indians for crimes committed on tribal land, and she proposed creating a nationwide alert system for missing indigenous women.” See also, Senator Elizabeth Warren proposes plan to aid Native American communities, The Washington Post, Annie Linskey, Friday, 16 August 2019: “Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) released a lengthy plan Friday aimed at helping to close income and health disparities faced by Native Americans, expand Native criminal jurisdiction and honor long-standing promises and treaties.”

Debate Flares Over Afghanistan as Trump Considers Troop Withdrawal, The New York Times, Michael Crowley, Friday, 16 August 2019: “President Trump met with top national security officials on Friday to review near-final plans for withdrawing American troops from Afghanistan, a prospect that has already prompted fierce political debate but could offer Mr. Trump a compelling talking point for his 2020 re-election campaign.” See also, Trump and senior aides discuss withdrawal from Afghanistan as talks with Taliban advance, The Washington Post, Karen DeYoung, Missy Ryan, Anne Gearan, and Philip Rucker, Friday, 16 August 2019: “U.S. negotiators have made significant advances in recent talks with the Taliban, and the two sides are close to announcing an agreement on an initial U.S. troop withdrawal, along with plans to start direct discussions between the militants and the Afghan government, according to American and foreign officials.” See also, Trump Meets With Advisers to Consider Deal With Taliban, The Wall Street Journal, Nancy A. Youssef and Craig Nelson, Friday, 16 August 2019: “President Trump met with his top national security advisers Friday to consider a deal with the Taliban that could lead to the withdrawal of most U.S. forces from Afghanistan and the end of America’s longest military engagement abroad, U.S. officials said…. Joining the president at his New Jersey golf resort were Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Central Intelligence Agency Director Gina Haspel, Defense Secretary Mark Esper, Marine Gen. Joe Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, national security adviser John Bolton and Zalmay Khalilzad, the U.S. special envoy leading the peace talks.” See also, Peace Road Map for Afghanistan Will Let Taliban Negotiate Women’s Rights, The New York Times, Lara Jakes, Friday, 16 August 2019.

Continue reading Week 135, Friday, 16 August – Thursday, 22 August 2019 (Days 939-945)

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Trump Administration, Week 134: Friday, 9 August – Thursday, 15 August 2019 (Days 932-938)

Passages in bold in the body of the texts below are usually my emphasis, though not always. This is an ongoing project, and I update the site frequently during the day. Because I try to stay focused on what has actually happened, I usually let the news ‘settle’ for a day or so before posting. I hope readers will peruse the articles in full for a better understanding of the issues and their context; our democracy and our future depend on citizens who can distinguish between facts and falsehoods and who are engaged in the political process.

For “a weekly newsletter celebrating people-powered wins against the Trump administration’s agenda,” visit Small Victories.

For independent global news, visit Democracy Now!

 

Friday, 9 August 2019, Day 932:

 

‘I’m the Shooter’: Police Say the El Paso Suspect Confessed to Targeting Mexicans, The New York Times, Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs, Friday, 9 August 2019: “The suspect in the El Paso shooting stepped out of a vehicle with his hands up and declared ‘I’m the shooter’ when he was arrested minutes after the massacre at a Walmart that killed 22 people, the police said in an affidavit filed Friday. The suspect, Patrick W. Crusius, 21, who is white, also divulged to the police that he had targeted Mexicans, according to the document, written by Detective Adrian Garcia of the El Paso Police Department.” See also, Police say the El Paso suspect said he was targeting ‘Mexicans,’ and that he was the shooter, The Washington Post, Robert Moore and Mark Berman, Friday, 9 August 2019: “The suspect accused of killing 22 people at an El Paso Walmart told authorities that he was targeting ‘Mexicans’ and confessed to carrying out the shooting rampage when he surrendered to authorities, according to police.” See also, Four Democratic Candidates Call on Walmart to Stop Selling Guns, The New York Times, Thomas Kaplan, Friday, 9 August 2019.

A backlash is building over a picture posted by Melania Trump on Twitter that showed her and Donald Trump smiling broadly while holding a baby who was orphaned in the mass shooting in El Paso, The Guardian, Edward Helmore, Friday, 9 August 2019: “On a visit to El Paso this week, the president flashed a thumbs-up when posing with the two-month-old, whose parents Andre and Jordan Anchondo were shot dead last Saturday. When the picture was posted on the first lady’s Twitter account on Thursday, it prompted outrage. On a hospital visit in El Paso, Trump then reignited a dispute with 2020 Democratic contender and former local congressman Beto O’Rourke over crowd sizes, before getting into a Twitter row with the Dayton mayor, Nan Whaley.”

How a Trump construction crew has relied on immigrants without legal status: ‘If you’re a good worker, papers don’t matter,’ The Washington Post, Joshua Partlow and David A. Fahrenthold, Friday, 9 August 2019: “For nearly two decades, the Trump Organization has relied on a roving crew of Latin American employees to build fountains and waterfalls, sidewalks and rock walls at the company’s winery and its golf courses from New York to Florida. Other employees at Trump clubs were so impressed by the laborers — who did strenuous work with heavy stone — that they nicknamed them ‘Los Picapiedras,’ Spanish for ‘the Flintstones.’ For years, their ranks have included workers who entered the United States illegally, according to two former members of the crew. Another employee, still with the company, said that remains true today. President Trump ‘doesn’t want undocumented people in the country,’ said one worker, Jorge Castro, a 55-year-old immigrant from Ecuador without legal status who left the company in April after nine years. ‘But at his properties, he still has them.'”

Continue reading Week 134, Friday, 9 August – Thursday, 15 August 2019 (Days 932-938)

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Trump Administration, Week 133: Friday, 2 August – Thursday, 8 August 2019 (Days 925-931)

Passages in bold in the body of the texts below are usually my emphasis, though not always. This is an ongoing project, and I update the site frequently during the day. Because I try to stay focused on what has actually happened, I usually let the news ‘settle’ for a day or so before posting. I hope readers will peruse the articles in full for a better understanding of the issues and their context; our democracy and our future depend on citizens who can distinguish between facts and falsehoods and who are engaged in the political process.

 

For “a weekly newsletter celebrating people-powered wins against the Trump administration’s agenda,” visit Small Victories. 

For independent global news, visit Democracy Now!

 

Friday, 2 August 2019, Day 925:

 

Trump Drops Plans to Nominate John Ratcliffe as Director of National Intelligence, The New York Times, Charlie Savage, Julian E. Barnes, and Annie Karni, Friday, 2 August 2019: “President Trump on Friday abruptly dropped his plan to nominate Representative John Ratcliffe, Republican of Texas, as the nation’s top intelligence official after questions by Republicans and Democrats about his qualifications and concern over whether he had exaggerated his résumé. Mr. Ratcliffe, a vocal supporter of Mr. Trump, had come under intense scrutiny since the president declared on Sunday on Twitter that the lawmaker was his pick to succeed Dan Coats, who is stepping down as director of national intelligence on Aug. 15. The selection generated scant enthusiasm among senators of both parties, who would have decided whether to confirm him. Mr. Trump, in his post announcing that Mr. Ratcliffe would not be his nominee after all, spoke bitterly of the attention that Mr. Ratcliffe’s overstated claims about his experience as a federal prosecutor quickly received from the news media.” See also, John Ratcliffe withdraws from consideration for intelligence chief less than a week after Trump picked him, The Washington Post, Shane Harris, Josh Dawsey, Ashley Parker, and John Wagner, Friday, 2 August 2019: “President Trump announced Friday that Rep. John Ratcliffe, his embattled pick to lead the nation’s intelligence community, was withdrawing from consideration and will remain in Congress after lawmakers raised questions about his qualifications and whether he had padded his résumé.”

Detailed Maps of the Donors Powering the 2020 Democratic Campaigns, The New York Times, Josh Katz, K.K. Rebecca Lai, Rachel Shorey, and Thomas Kaplan, Friday, 2 August 2019: “Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont has a huge lead over other Democratic presidential candidates in the number of individual donors they have each accumulated so far. This is the first time since the primary race began in earnest that we can estimate how many individual donors each candidate has attracted — a key indicator of how much they are catching on with voters. Mr. Sanders is relying heavily on small donors to power his campaign, and he entered the 2020 race with a huge network of online donors who supported his 2016 presidential bid. The map above shows the breadth of Mr. Sanders’s roster of donors across the United States. A map that includes the rest of the Democratic field without Mr. Sanders offers a picture of where the other major candidates are picking up donors. Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, the other leading progressive in the race, is outpacing the rest of the field across much of the country — a sign that her strategy of relying on grass-roots donors, and refraining from holding high-dollar fund-raisers, is working.” See also, 6 Things We Learned About the 2020 Race From Our Fund-Raising Maps, The New York Times, Thomas Kaplan and Rachel Shorey, published on Saturday, 3 August 2019.

Trump signs 2-year budget deal, despite conservative complaints of runaway debt, The Washington Post, Erica Werner and John Wagner, Friday, 2 August 2019: “Despite conservative complaints that it will fuel the nation’s runaway debt, President Trump on Friday signed a broad, two-year budget deal that boosts spending and eliminates the threat of a debt default until after the 2020 election. The White House announced without fanfare that Trump had signed the legislation, which reduces the chances for another government shutdown during the remainder of his term.”

Continue reading Week 133, Friday, 2 August – Thursday, 8 August 2019 (Days 925-931)

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Trump Administration, Week 132: Friday, 26 July – Thursday, 1 August 2019 (Days 918-924)

 

Passages in bold in the body of the texts below are usually my emphasis, though not always. This is an ongoing project, and I update the site frequently during the day. Because I try to stay focused on what has actually happened, I usually let the news ‘settle’ for a day or so before posting. I hope readers will peruse the articles in full for a better understanding of the issues and their context; our democracy and our future depend on citizens who can distinguish between facts and falsehoods and who are engaged in the political process.

 

For “a weekly newsletter celebrating people-powered wins against the Trump administration’s agenda,” visit Small Victories. 

For independent global news, visit Democracy Now!

 

Friday, 26 July 2019, Day 918:

 

Raising Prospect of Impeaching Trump, House Seeks Mueller’s Grand Jury Secrets, The New York Times, Nicholas Fandos and Charlie Savage, Friday, 26 July 2019: “The House Judiciary Committee on Friday asked a federal judge to unseal grand jury secrets related to Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation, using the court filing to declare that lawmakers have already in effect launched an impeachment investigation of President Trump. In a legal maneuver that carries significant political overtones, the committee told a judge that it needs access to the grand jury evidence collected by Mr. Mueller as special counsel — such as witness testimony — because it is ‘investigating whether to recommend articles of impeachment’ against the president. ‘Because Department of Justice policies will not allow prosecution of a sitting president, the United States House of Representatives is the only institution of the federal government that can now hold President Trump accountable for these actions,’ the filing told the judge, Beryl A. Howell, who supervised Mr. Mueller’s grand jury. Referring to the part of the Constitution that gives Congress the power to impeach and remove a president, the filing continued: ‘To do so, the House must have access to all the relevant facts and consider whether to exercise all its full Article I powers, including a constitutional power of the utmost gravity — approval of articles of impeachment.’ [Read the Judiciary Committee’s application.] With the filing, the committee’s chairman, Representative Jerrold Nadler of New York, was attempting to sidestep the debate raging inside the Democratic Party over whether the full House should hold a vote to formally declare that it is opening an impeachment inquiry. By declaring that his committee was in effect conducting such an inquiry, he was heading off a politically difficult vote in the committee or the full house to pursue impeachment.” See also, House Judiciary Committee asks a federal judge to enforce congressional subpoenas seeking grand jury information related to Mueller’s investigation, a step toward possible impeachment, The Washington Post, John Wagner, Kayla Epstein, and Rachael Bade, Friday, 26 July 2019: “The House Judiciary Committee on Friday asked a federal judge to enforce congressional subpoenas seeking grand jury information related to the special counsel’s investigation, taking steps in the direction of possible impeachment of President Trump. Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) told reporters the legal request signaled that the panel is pursuing an impeachment investigation, although neither the committee nor the full House has formally voted for launching proceedings.” See also, Judiciary Committee asks a federal judge to share Mueller’s secret grand jury evidence, Politico, Kyle Cheney and Josh Gerstein, Friday, 26 July 2019: “The House Judiciary Committee has formally asked a federal judge to release former special counsel Robert Mueller’s most closely guarded evidence: the material he gathered using a secretive grand jury. The petition, submitted Friday to Beryl Howell, the chief judge of Washington, D.C.’s federal district court, asks that the material be provided to Congress, though it does not directly seek the public release of the grand jury evidence.” See also, List: The 101 House Democrats calling for an impeachment inquiry into Trump, CNN, Friday, 26 July 2019. See also, House Speaker Nancy Peolosi: I’m not slow-walking impeachment inquiry. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler: It’s ‘in effect’ anyway. NBC News, Rebecca Shabad, Alex Moe, and Leigh Ann Caldwell, Friday, 26 July 2019: “House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said Friday that a decision on whether the House pursues the impeachment of President Donald Trump will be made in a ‘timely fashion’ and denied the idea that she is trying to ‘run out the clock’ on the issue. Her comments came shortly before House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., said at a separate press conference that his panel has already ‘in effect’ been conducting an impeachment inquiry of the president — and said in a court filing that ‘articles of impeachment are under consideration as part of the Committee’s investigation, although no final determination has been made.'”

Supreme Court Lets Trump Proceed on Wall Along the Mexican Border, The New York Times, Adam Liptak, Friday, 26 July 2019: “The Supreme Court on Friday gave President Trump a victory in his fight for a wall along the Mexican border by allowing the administration to begin using $2.5 billion in Pentagon money for the construction. In a 5-to-4 ruling, the court overturned an appellate decision and said that the administration could tap the money while litigation over the matter proceeds. But that will most likely take many months or longer, allowing Mr. Trump to move ahead before the case returns to the Supreme Court after further proceedings in the appeals court. While the order was only one paragraph long and unsigned, the Supreme Court said the groups challenging the administration did not appear to have a legal right to do so. That was an indication that the court’s conservative majority was likely to side with the administration in the end. The court’s four more liberal justices dissented. One of them, Stephen G. Breyer, wrote that he would have allowed the administration to pursue preparatory work but not construction, which he said would be hard to undo if the administration ultimately lost the case.” See also, Supreme Court says Trump can proceed with plan to spend military funds for border wall construction, The Washington Post, Robert Barnes, Friday, 26 July 2019: “A split Supreme Court said Friday night that the Trump administration could proceed with its plan to use $2.5 billion in Pentagon funds to build part of the president’s wall project along the southern border. The court’s conservatives set aside a lower-court ruling for the Sierra Club and a coalition of border communities that said reallocating Defense Department money would violate federal law. Friday’s unsigned ruling came in response to an emergency filing from the administration during the court’s summer recess. The majority said the government ‘made a sufficient showing at this stage’ that private groups may not be the proper plaintiffs to challenge the transfer of money. The court’s action is a stay of the injunction issued by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit on a 2-to-1 vote, and the litigation continues. The administration wants to finalize contracts for the work before the fiscal year ends Sept. 30.”

After Tariff Threat, Trump Says Guatemala Has Agreed to New Asylum Rules, The New York Times, Michael D. Shear, Zolan Kanno-Youngs, and Elisabeth Malkin, Friday, 26 July 2019: “President Trump on Friday again sought to block migrants from Central America from seeking asylum, announcing an agreement with Guatemala to require people who travel through that country to seek refuge from persecution there instead of in the United States. American officials said the deal could go into effect within weeks, though critics vowed to challenge it in court, saying that Guatemala is itself one of the most dangerous countries in the world — hardly a refuge for those fleeing gangs and government violence.” See also, Trump says he has agreement with Guatemala to help stem flow of migrants at the border, The Washington Post, Seung Min Kim, Kevin Sieff, and Abigail Hauslohner, Friday, 26 July 2019: “President Trump on Friday said he has struck a deal that would designate Guatemala as a safe third country for people seeking asylum in the United States — a plan that is facing significant legal hurdles in the Central American country as the Trump administration continues to struggle with the high number of migrants arriving at the southern U.S. border. The White House did not immediately release details of the agreement, and it is unclear how it would be implemented considering Guatemala’s constitutional court has ruled any safe third country agreement would require legislative approval and the proposal has been widely criticized there.” See also, Trump Says the US and Guatemala Have Signed a ‘Safe Third Country’ Agreement to Restrict Asylum-Seekers, BuzzFeed News, Adolfo Flores and Hamed Aleaziz, Friday, 26 July 2019.

Continue reading Week 132, Friday, 26 July – Thursday, 1 August 2019 (Days 918-924)

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Trump Administration, Week 131: Friday, 19 July – Thursday, 25 July 2019 (Days 911-917)

 

Passages in bold in the body of the texts below are usually my emphasis, though not always. This is an ongoing project, and I update the site frequently during the day. Because I try to stay focused on what has actually happened, I usually let the news ‘settle’ for a day or so before posting. I hope readers will peruse the articles in full for a better understanding of the issues and their context; our democracy and our future depend on citizens who can distinguish between facts and falsehoods and who are engaged in the political process.

 

For “a weekly newsletter celebrating people-powered wins against the Trump administration’s agenda,” visit Small Victories. 

For independent global news, visit Democracy Now!

 

Friday, 19 July 2019, Day 911:

 

Representative Ilhan Omar Returns to Minneapolis for Hero’s Welcome, The New York Times, Matt Furber and Julie Hirschfeld Davis, Friday, 19 July 2019: “After a week of attacks by President Trump that culminated in a chant of ‘send her back’ at one of his re-election rallies, Representative Ilhan Omar, the Somali-born Democrat from Minnesota, returned to her district on Thursday evening to a hero’s welcome. About 100 supporters mobbed Ms. Omar at Minneapolis-Saint Paul Airport with shouts of ‘Welcome home!’ and ‘We have your back!’ They waved signs and applauded as the congresswoman struck a defiant tone in the face of Mr. Trump’s increasingly vitriolic rhetoric about her. ‘When I said I was the president’s nightmare, well you’re watching it now,’ Ms. Omar said through a bullhorn. ‘We are going to continue to be a nightmare to this president, because his policies are a nightmare to us. And we are not deterred, we are not frightened, we are ready.'”

Immigration officers at O’Hare detain 3 children who are U.S. citizens: Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky calls it ‘kidnapping of children by our government,’ Chicago Tribune, Elvia Malagón, Friday, 19 July 2019: “Three children who are U.S. citizens were held by border protection officers for several hours at O’Hare International Airport Thursday after arriving from Mexico with a relative, prompting a U.S. congresswoman, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and the Mexican Consulate in Chicago to intervene and immigration activists to protest. Activists asserted that U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers detained the children — aged 9, 10 and 13 — as a means to bait and then arrest their parents when they came to retrieve them, because the parents are in the U.S. illegally. Activists rushed to O’Hare attempting to raise questions about why the children were being held…. The children were eventually released to their mother after an official from the Mexican Consulate helped negotiate an agreement that the girls’ mother could retrieve them without fear that she would be taken into custody herself. U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky, who happened to arrive at O’Hare from Washington on Thursday afternoon, learned of the situation and made her way to the Customs and Border Protection office to try to help resolve the conflict. She said the children were taken into custody about 3 a.m. Thursday and were released about 13 hours later. ‘I feel that it’s a kind of kidnapping of children by our government, and I’m really fed up with what we are doing,’ Schakowsky said.”

Federal judge upholds Trump’s expansion of non-ObamaCare plans, The Hill, Jessie Hellmann, Friday, 19 July 2019: “A federal judge on Friday upheld the Trump administration’s expansion of health insurance plans that don’t meet ObamaCare’s coverage requirements. U.S. District Judge Richard Leon in Washington ruled against the insurance companies that sued the administration in an attempt to block the rules…. The plans generally cost less because they don’t have to comply with coverage requirements set by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), such as maternity care and prescription drugs. The short-term plans can also deny coverage to sick people, which ObamaCare insurers are prohibited from doing.”

Continue reading Week 131, Friday, 19 July – Thursday, 25 July 2019 (Days 911-917)

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Trump Administration, Week 130: Friday, 12 July – Thursday, 18 July 2019 (Days 904-910)

 

Passages in bold in the body of the texts below are usually my emphasis, though not always. This is an ongoing project, and I update the site frequently during the day. Because I try to stay focused on what has actually happened, I usually let the news ‘settle’ for a day or so before posting. I hope readers will peruse the articles in full for a better understanding of the issues and their context; our democracy and our future depend on citizens who can distinguish between facts and falsehoods and who are engaged in the political process.

 

For “a weekly newsletter celebrating people-powered wins against the Trump administration’s agenda,” visit Small Victories. 

For independent global news, visit Democracy Now!

 

Friday, 12 July 2019, Day 904:

 

House Oversight Committee Report: At least 18 migrant children under the age of 2 were separated from parents for 20 days to 6 months, CNN Politics, Priscilla Alvarez, Friday, 12 July 2019: “At least 18 migrant infants and toddlers under the age of two were separated from their parents at the border ‘including nine infants under the age of one,’ according to a report released Friday by the House Oversight Committee. The Trump administration’s ‘zero tolerance’ policy announced in April 2018 led to the separation of thousands of families, sparking a national outcry. More than a year later, the repercussions of that policy continue to be felt as House Democrats seek additional information on its execution. The Democratic-led House Oversight Committee report comes ahead of a hearing on child separations that will include testimony from Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rashida Tlaib, who toured border facilities last week, as well as testimony from the inspectors general from the Department of Health and Human Services and Department of Homeland Security. Friday’s report, based on data obtained by the committee under subpoena from the Trump administration, provides new information about at least 2,648 children who were separated from their parents.” See also, New Details on Family Separations Fuel Emotional Hearing of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, The New York Times, Emily Cochrane and Zolan Kanno-Youngs, Friday, 12 July 2019: “At least 18 infants and toddlers younger than 2 years old were separated from their parents for at least 20 days because of the Trump administration’s ‘zero tolerance’ policy at the southwestern border, according to a report released on Friday by a House committee. Those findings were gleaned from records that the House Oversight and Reform Committee obtained under subpoena on at least 2,648 children who were separated from their families, the youngest being just 4 months old. Some of the children were kept apart for as long as six months and 241 of the children were kept in Border Patrol custody longer than 72 hours, some as long as a week. Under federal regulations, migrant children must be transferred to shelters managed by the Department of Health and Human Services after three days in Border Patrol custody.”

Alexander Acosta to Resign as Labor Secretary Over Jeffrey Epstein Plea Deal, The New York Times, Annie Karni, Eileen Sullivan, and Noam Scheiber, Friday, 12 July 2019: “President Trump’s embattled labor secretary, R. Alexander Acosta, announced his resignation on Friday amid continuing questions about his handling of a sex crimes case involving the financier Jeffrey Epstein when Mr. Acosta was a federal prosecutor in Florida. Mr. Trump, who announced the resignation, said Mr. Acosta had called him on Friday morning to tell the president he planned to step down. Mr. Acosta’s decision came only two days after he held a news conference to defend his handling of the 2008 sex crimes prosecution of Mr. Epstein while trying to quell a chorus of Democratic calls for his resignation and convincing Mr. Trump he was strong enough to survive.” See also, Alex Acosta resigns as labor secretary, the latest Trump official to leave amid scandal, The Washington Post, David Nakamura, John Wagner, Ashley Parker, and Josh Dawsey, Friday, 12 July 2019: “Labor Secretary Alex Acosta’s resignation Friday amid the mushrooming Jeffrey Epstein investigation made him the latest in a growing list of President Trump’s Cabinet members to depart under a cloud of scandal, plunging an administration that has struggled with record turnover into further upheaval.” See also, Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta Resigns Amid Pressure over Epstein Prosecution, The Wall Street Journal, Rebecca Ballhaus, Eric Morath, and Michael Bender, Friday, 12 July 2019. See also, Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta’s 72-hour failure to win back Trump, Politico, Ian Kullgren, Eliana Johnson, and Anita Kumar, Friday, 12 July 2019. See also, Alex Acosta Had to Go, but the Jeffrey Epstein Scandal Is Really About Money and Privilege, The New Yorker, John Cassidy, Friday, 12 July 2019: “The issues raised by the Epstein saga and the plea bargain that Acosta agreed to are systemic, rather than partisan. They go to the heart of the American class system and the manner in which people of great wealth and high social standing are often able to buy their own brand of justice, regardless of how flagrant or hideous their crimes may be…. Let the last words go to Julie K. Brown. ‘Sexual assault involving CHILDREN is NOT a Democratic or Republican issue,’ Brown commented on Twitter, after Acosta’s press conference on Wednesday. ‘This horrific crime doesn’t discriminate based on political party. EVERYONE should be asking hard questions about [the] decisions made in this case … Not just why the deal was made—but because these decisions were made in secret, without telling the victims; by misleading the victims AND likely led to more victims being harmed. That’s not ‘stringing’ a public servant up—it’s called holding him accountable.'”

Jeffrey Epstein Paid $350,000 to Possible Witnesses Against Him, Prosecutors Say, The New York Times, Benjamin Weiser, Friday, 12 July 2019: “Just days after a newspaper expose last November drew new attention to Jeffrey Epstein’s predatory behavior toward young women, he wired $350,000 to two people close to him, federal prosecutors revealed on Friday. Mr. Epstein, a financier who now faces sex-trafficking charges in New York, was using the money to try to buy the silence of possible witnesses against him, the prosecutors said. The United States attorney’s office in Manhattan made the new allegations in a court filing asking that Mr. Epstein be denied bail while he awaits trial, saying the payments were evidence that he might try to influence witnesses if he were not detained. Mr. Epstein wired the payments from an account he controlled to the potential witnesses in late November and early December, 2018, shortly after the Miami Herald began publishing an investigative report about a secret deal Mr. Epstein had reached with the authorities in Florida to avoid federal prosecution in 2008, the government said.” See also, Jeffrey Epstein paid suspected co-conspirators, which prosecutors suggest may have been to ‘influence’ them, The Washington Post, Matt Zapotosky, Friday, 12 July 2019: “Soon after The Miami Herald began reporting on his favorable treatment by law enforcement in an early 2000s sex crimes investigation, jet-setting financier Jeffrey Epstein paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to people investigators had identified as possible co-conspirators — payments which federal prosecutors alleged Friday might have been meant to influence them.”

Continue reading Week 130, Friday, 12 July – Thursday, 18 July 2019 (Days 904-910)

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Trump Administration, Week 129: Friday, 5 July – Thursday, 11 July 2019 (Days 897-903)

 

Passages in bold in the body of the texts below are usually my emphasis, though not always. This is an ongoing project, and I update the site frequently during the day. Because I try to stay focused on what has actually happened, I usually let the news ‘settle’ for a day or so before posting. I hope readers will peruse the articles in full for a better understanding of the issues and their context; our democracy and our future depend on citizens who can distinguish between facts and falsehoods and who are engaged in the political process.

 

For “a weekly newsletter celebrating people-powered wins against the Trump administration’s agenda,” visit Small Victories. 

For independent global news, visit Democracy Now!

 

Friday, 5 July 2019, Day 897:

 

Trump Is Considering an Executive Order to Allow Citizenship Question on Census, The New York Times, Michael Wines and Adam Liptak, Friday, 5 July 2019: “Justice Department lawyers told a federal judge on Friday that they would press ahead in their efforts to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census, but indicated they did not know yet what kind of rationale they would put forward. Just hours before, President Trump told reporters on the South Lawn of the White House that he was considering four or five options, including an executive order, to restore the question.”

The Redcoats Are in a Holding Pattern Over La Guardia, The New York Times, Niraj Chokshi, Friday, 5 July 2019: “Toward the end of his Independence Day speech on Thursday, President Trump appeared to rewrite history. ‘The Continental Army suffered a bitter winter of Valley Forge, found glory across the waters of the Delaware and seized victory from Cornwallis of Yorktown,’ he said. ‘Our army manned the air, it rammed the ramparts, it took over the airports, it did everything it had to do, and at Fort McHenry, under the rocket’s red glare, it had nothing but victory.’ Notice anything? No, not the sudden jump from the Revolutionary War to a battle decades later. The part about the … airports: The era Mr. Trump was referring to predated human flight by nearly a century, so there were no airports to seize.”

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials knew about derogatory Facebook group years ago and have investigated posts from it before, The Washington Post, Reis Thebault and Nick Miroff, Friday, 5 July 2019: “U.S. Customs and Border Protection was aware of the inflammatory Facebook page where alleged Border Patrol agents posted racist, sexist and violent images — and the agency has investigated posts from the group on at least one occasion, an official said. CBP’s Office of Professional Responsibility, akin to an internal affairs division, received content from the group once called ‘I’m 10-15’ in 2016, said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a personnel investigation. The office carried out an inquiry and took disciplinary action, but the official did not say how many employees were involved or what sort of discipline was dispensed. Even though some in the agency have known about the Facebook group for as many as three years, CBP officials do not conduct regular monitoring of private pages, the official said, adding that it would potentially interfere with members’ First Amendment and privacy rights. Instead, CBP responds when it’s presented with reports of wrongdoing.”

Continue reading Week 129, Friday, 5 July – Thursday, 11 July 2019 (Days 897-903)

Continue reading...

Trump Administration, Week 128: Friday, 28 June – Thursday, 4 July 2019 (Days 890-896)

 

Passages in bold in the body of the texts below are usually my emphasis, though not always. This is an ongoing project, and I update the site frequently during the day. Because I try to stay focused on what has actually happened, I usually let the news ‘settle’ for a day or so before posting. I hope readers will peruse the articles in full for a better understanding of the issues and their context; our democracy and our future depend on citizens who can distinguish between facts and falsehoods and who are engaged in the political process.

 

For “a weekly newsletter celebrating people-powered wins against the Trump administration’s agenda,” visit Small Victories. 

For independent global news, visit Democracy Now!

 

Friday, 28 June 2019, Day 890:

 

Supreme Court Will Hear ‘Dreamers’ Case, The New York Times, Adam Liptak and Michael D. Shear, Friday, 28 June 2019: “The Supreme Court will decide whether the Trump administration may shut down a program that shields some 800,000 young, undocumented immigrants from deportation, the court said on Friday. The court will hear arguments in the case during its next term, which starts in October, and will probably issue its decision in the spring or summer of 2020, ensuring a fierce immigration debate over the outcome in the midst of the presidential campaign. Mr. Trump tried to end the program in 2017, when he called it an unconstitutional use of executive power by President Barack Obama and revived the threat of deportation for immigrants who had been brought to the United States illegally as young children. But federal judges have ordered the administration to maintain major pieces of the program, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, while legal challenges move forward.” See also, Supreme Court to review DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program protecting young undocumented immigrants, The Washington Post, Robert Barnes, Friday, 28 June 2019: “The Supreme Court announced Friday it will take up next term whether the Trump administration illegally tried to end the program that shields from deportation young undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children. A string of lower courts have said that President Trump’s decision to terminate the Obama-era program was based on faulty legal reasoning and that the administration has failed to provide a solid rationale for ending it.”

Trump and Putin Share Joke About Election Meddling at the G20 Summit in Osaka, Japan, The New York Times, Peter Baker and Michael Crowley, Friday, 28 June 2019: “They were having a good time. Like old friends reuniting, they warmly shook hands, smiled and chatted amiably. And then President Trump brushed off Russia’s interference in American democracy with a joke as President Vladimir V. Putin chuckled. The first encounter between Mr. Trump and Mr. Putin since the special counsel Robert S. Mueller III reported that Russia conducted a ‘sweeping and systematic’ operation to sway the 2016 election proved more convivial than confrontational. Rather than challenge Mr. Putin, Mr. Trump treated it as a laughing matter. In the process, he triggered a fresh furor over his accommodating approach to Russia and brought back old questions that have haunted him since he took office: Angry at perceived challenges to his legitimacy, he has long dismissed the conclusions of American intelligence agencies that Russia sought to help his campaign.” See also, In Osaka, Japan at the G20 Summit, Trump appears to make light of Russian election interference during meeting with Putin, The Washington Post, David Nakamura, Seung Min Kim, and Damian Paletta, Friday, 28 June 2019: “President Trump on Friday appeared to make light of Russian election interference, telling President Vladi­mir Putin with a grin during a bilateral meeting, ‘Don’t meddle in the election,’ after reporters shouted questions about the topic. Trump met with Putin on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit here, but he did not initially raise the topic during brief remarks in front of reporters, calling their relationship ‘very, very good.'” See also, Trump, With a Grin, Tells Putin: ‘Don’t Meddle in the Election,’ The Wall Street Journal, Alex Leary, Friday, 28 June 2019: “President Trump was about to start his meeting with Vladimir Putin when a reporter threw out a question: Would he tell his Russian counterpart not to interfere in the 2020 U.S. presidential election? ‘Don’t meddle in the election, president,’ Mr. Trump said, with a hint of a grin. Then he wagged his finger at Mr. Putin and repeated: ‘Don’t meddle in the election.’ Mr. Putin made a half-smile of his own, and the two men left to start a private meeting on the sidelines of a Group of 20 summit of leading world economies. A White House statement said the leaders discussed global issues including Syria, but made no mention of further discussion of election interference.” See also, Trump gives Putin light-hearted warning: ‘Don’t meddle in the election,’ CNN, Kevin Liptak, Friday, 28 June 2019: “President Donald Trump issued a breezy warning to his Russian counterpart Friday against meddling in US elections, laughing and smiling as he told his counterpart not to interfere. ‘Don’t meddle in the election, please,’ Trump said, smirking and wagging his finger at Putin. He only raised the matter after being questioned by reporters whether he would issue a warning.” See also, Trump jokes to Putin they should ‘get rid’ of journalists, The Guardian, Julian Borger, Friday, 28 June 2019: “Donald Trump joked with Vladimir Putin about getting rid of journalists and Russian meddling in US elections when the two leaders met at the G20 summit in Japan. As they sat for photographs at the start of their first formal meeting in nearly a year, the US president lightheartedly sought common ground with Putin at the expense of the journalists around them in Osaka. ‘Get rid of them. Fake news is a great term, isn’t it? You don’t have this problem in Russia but we do,’ Trump said. To which Putin responded, in English: ‘We also have. It’s the same.’ Twenty-six journalists have been murdered in Russia since Putin first became president, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), many of them investigative reporters scrutinising governmental abuses. Trump has frequently referred to the press as the ‘enemy of the people’ and in February the CPJ expressed concern about the safety of journalists covering Trump rallies, where they have been the target of derision and abuse from the president and his supporters. It is a year to the day since five Capital Gazette employees were killed in their newsroom in Annapolis, Maryland. The shooting led to the organisation Reporters Without Borders adding the US to its list of the five deadliest countries for journalism.” See also, Trump joking with Putin over eliminating journalists is a betrayal of America. So is ignoring it. The Washington Post, Margaret Sullivan, Friday, 28 June 2019: “In the past couple of weeks, President Trump has accused the New York Times of ‘a virtual act of treason’ because of an accurate story he didn’t like. It reported that the United States ‘is stepping up digital incursions into Russia’s electric power grid.’ And he’s been credibly accused of rape by a well-known magazine journalist, to which he responded that it never happened and what’s more, she was ‘not my type.’ Apparently deadened by the constant barrage of outrages and scandals surrounding him, Congress and many Americans don’t seem to care about any of it. So there’s absolutely no reason to think that what happened between the president of the United States and Russian leader Vladi­mir Putin on Friday will make a difference or change minds. But it really should.”

A Breakfast Invitation by Trump to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia Helps to Rebuild the Crown Prince’s Standing, The New York Times, Peter Baker, Friday, 28 June 2019: “Barely a week ago, he was in theory a marked man, fingered by the United Nations as the probable mastermind behind one of the most grisly and sensational murders of recent years. But Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia has been wandering around the world stage in Japan the last couple of days hobnobbing with presidents and prime ministers as if he were just another leader deliberating on economics and energy. No one is more important to Saudi efforts to rehabilitate their de facto ruler after the bone-saw killing and dismemberment of Jamal Khashoggi than President Trump, who joshed around with the crown prince during a summit photo session on Friday and hosted him for a personal breakfast on Saturday morning where he lavished praise on the prince as a reformer opening up his society…. Mr. Trump ignored questions by reporters about Mr. Khashoggi’s death and the crown prince’s apparent role in it, and made no mention of the Saudi government’s crackdown on dissent, including the prosecution of women activists and the recent arrests of intellectuals and journalists, including two with dual American citizenship. After breakfast, Mr. Trump went to a session on women’s empowerment. Mr. Trump’s willingness to embrace Prince Mohammed as if nothing were wrong sent a powerful signal to the rest of the world and represented a cold-eyed calculation that America’s relationship with Saudi Arabia is more important than the death of Mr. Khashoggi, a longtime Saudi dissident who had been working as a columnist for The Washington Post and who had lived in the United States as a legal resident.” See also, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is center stage at G-20 summit, only nine months after the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, The Washington Post, Adam Taylor, Friday, 28 June 2019: “Amid international outrage over the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and Saudi Arabia’s ongoing military campaign in Yemen last year, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was positioned at the very edge of the traditional ‘family photo’ of world leaders at the G-20 summit last November. Looking every bit a pariah, Mohammed walked away alone after the group photo was taken as other leaders of the world’s wealthiest nations mingled — while protesters outside the venue demanded his arrest. Only half a year later, however, the crown prince is no longer isolated at the G-20. In the photograph of world leaders taken on Friday at this year’s event in Osaka, Mohammed was front and center — standing between President Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the event’s host.”

Continue reading Week 128, Friday, 28 June – Thursday, 4 July 2019 (Days 890-896)

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Trump Administration, Week 127: Friday, 21 June – Thursday, 27 June 2019 (Days 883-889)

Elizabeth Warren and Andrea Harrington, 2018

Passages in bold in the body of the texts below are usually my emphasis, though not always. This is an ongoing project, and I update the site frequently during the day. Because I try to stay focused on what has actually happened, I usually let the news ‘settle’ for a day or so before posting. I hope readers will peruse the articles in full for a better understanding of the issues and their context; our democracy and our future depend on citizens who can distinguish between facts and falsehoods and who are engaged in the political process.

 

For “a weekly newsletter celebrating people-powered wins against the Trump administration’s agenda,” visit Small Victories. 

For independent global news, visit Democracy Now!

 

Friday, 21 June 2019, Day 883:

 

Urged to Launch an Attack on Iran, Trump Listened to Skeptics Like Tucker Carlson Who Said It Would Be a Costly Mistake, The New York Times, Peter Baker, Maggie Haberman, and Thomas Gobbons-Neff, Friday, 21 June 2019: “He heard from his generals and his diplomats. Lawmakers weighed in and so did his advisers. But among the voices that rang powerfully for President Trump was that of one of his favorite Fox News hosts: Tucker Carlson. While national security advisers were urging a military strike against Iran, Mr. Carlson in recent days had told Mr. Trump that responding to Tehran’s provocations with force was crazy. The hawks did not have the president’s best interests at heart, he said. And if Mr. Trump got into a war with Iran, he could kiss his chances of re-election goodbye.” See also, Trump Says He Was ‘Cocked and Loaded’ to Strike Iran, but Pulled Back, The New York Times, Michael D. Shear, Helene Cooper, and Eric Schmitt, Friday, 21 June 2019: “President Trump said Friday morning that the United States military had been “cocked and loaded” for a strike against Iran on Thursday night, but that he called it off with 10 minutes to spare when a general told him that 150 people would probably die in the attack…. Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, who is running for the Democratic presidential nomination, blasted Mr. Trump, tweeting: ‘There is no justification for further escalating this crisis — we need to step back from the brink of war.’ Top Democrats, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senator Chuck Schumer, the Democratic leader, said they were not informed of the planned strikes, a departure from normal practice.” See also, ‘We were cocked & loaded’: Trump’s account of Iran attack plan is facing scrutiny, The Washington Post, John Hudson, Missy Ryan, and Erin Cunningham, Friday, 21 June 2019: “President Trump stepped away from the precipice of an immediate military conflict with Iran on Friday, calling off a strike in response to Iran’s downing of a U.S. surveillance drone. But with the United States and Iran still locked in an adversarial pose, with none of their underlying grievances resolved, the prospect for fresh brinkmanship loomed as U.S. officials contemplated an alternative response…. The precariousness of the moment was compounded by widespread uncertainty about the president’s decision-making process, which he detailed Friday in tweets and statements that drew scrutiny from even his own aides. Early in the day, the president said he called off the attack at the last minute because it would have killed 150 people in retaliation for the downing of the drone. ‘We were cocked & loaded to retaliate last night on 3 different sights when I asked, how many will die,’ he tweeted. But administration officials said Trump was told earlier Thursday how many casualties could occur if a strike on Iran were carried out and that he had given the green light that morning to prepare the operation.” See also, Trump’s bizarre tweets and comments about his Iran decision, annotated, The Washington Post, Aaron Blake, Friday, 21 June 2019. See also, War-weary Republicans and Democrats express relief after Trump calls off strike on Iran, The Washington Post, Mike DeBonis and Karoun Demirjian, Friday, 21 June 2019.

Attorneys say Texas border facility near El Paso is neglecting migrant children, Associated Press, Cedar Attanasio, Garance Burke, and Martha Mendoza, Friday, 21 June 2019: “A 2-year-old boy locked in detention wants to be held all the time. A few girls, ages 10 to 15, say they’ve been doing their best to feed and soothe the clingy toddler who was handed to them by a guard days ago. Lawyers warn that kids are taking care of kids, and there’s inadequate food, water and sanitation for the 250 infants, children and teens at the Border Patrol station. The bleak portrait emerged Thursday after a legal team interviewed 60 children at the facility near El Paso that has become the latest place where attorneys say young migrants are describing neglect and mistreatment at the hands of the U.S. government. Data obtained by The Associated Press showed that on Wednesday there were three infants in the station, all with their teen mothers, along with a 1-year-old, two 2-year-olds and a 3-year-old. There are dozens more under 12. Fifteen have the flu, and 10 more are quarantined. Three girls told attorneys they were trying to take care of the 2-year-old boy, who had wet his pants and had no diaper and was wearing a mucus-smeared shirt when the legal team encountered him.” See also, ‘There Is a Stench’: No Soap and Overcrowding in Detention Centers for Migrant Children, The New York Times, Caitlin Dickerson, Friday, 21 June 2019: “A chaotic scene of sickness and filth is unfolding in an overcrowded border station in Clint, Tex. [near El Paso], where hundreds of young people who have recently crossed the border are being held, according to lawyers who visited the facility this week. Some of the children have been there for nearly a month. Children as young as 7 and 8, many of them wearing clothes caked with snot and tears, are caring for infants they’ve just met, the lawyers said. Toddlers without diapers are relieving themselves in their pants. Teenage mothers are wearing clothes stained with breast milk.” See also, Justice Department Lawyer Sarah Fabian Argues Against Providing Soap, Toothbrushes, and Beds to Detained Children, HuffPost, Mary Papenfuss, published on Thursday, 20 June 2019: “A Justice Department attorney this week argued in court that the federal government should not be required to provide soap, toothbrushes or even beds to detained children apprehended at the U.S.-Mexico border. Government lawyer Sarah Fabian argued Tuesday before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit that forcing children to sleep on cold concrete floors in cells is both ‘safe and sanitary.'” See also, Detained migrant children got no toothbrush, no soap, no sleep. It’s no problem, Justice Department lawyer Sarah Fabian argues. The Washington Post, Meagan Flynn, Friday, 21 June 2019: “The government went to federal court this week to argue that it shouldn’t be required to give detained migrant children toothbrushes, soap, towels, showers or even half a night’s sleep inside Border Patrol detention facilities. The position bewildered a panel of three judges in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit on Tuesday, who questioned whether government lawyers sincerely believed they could describe the temporary detention facilities as ‘safe and sanitary’ if children weren’t provided adequate toiletries and sleeping conditions. One circuit judge said it struck him as ‘inconceivable. To me it’s more like it’s within everybody’s common understanding: If you don’t have a toothbrush, if you don’t have soap, if you don’t have a blanket, it’s not safe and sanitary,’ Senior U.S. Circuit Judge A. Wallace Tashima told Justice Department lawyer Sarah Fabian. ‘Wouldn’t everybody agree to that? Would you agree to that?’ Fabian said she thought it was fair to say ‘those things may be’ part of the definition of safe and sanitary. ‘What are you saying, may be?’ Tashima shot back. ‘You mean, there [are] circumstances when a person doesn’t need to have a toothbrush, toothpaste and soap? For days?'” See also, ‘Some Suburb of Hell’: New Concentration Camp System in the United States, The New York Review of Books, Andrea Pitzer, Friday, 21 June 2019: “On Monday, New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez referred to US border detention facilities as ‘concentration camps,’ spurring a backlash in which critics accused her of demeaning the memory of those who died in the Holocaust. Debates raged over a label for what is happening along the southern border and grew louder as the week rolled on. But even this back-and-forth over naming the camps has been a recurrent feature in the mass detention of civilians ever since its inception, a history that long predates the Holocaust. At the heart of such policy is a question: What does a country owe desperate people whom it does not consider to be its citizens? The twentieth century posed this question to the world just as the shadow of global conflict threatened for the second time in less than three decades. The dominant response was silence, and the doctrine of absolute national sovereignty meant that what a state did to people under its control, within its borders, was nobody else’s business. After the harrowing toll of the Holocaust with the murder of millions, the world revisited its answer, deciding that perhaps something was owed to those in mortal danger. From the Fourth Geneva Convention protecting civilians in 1949 to the 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child, the international community established humanitarian obligations toward the most vulnerable that apply, at least in theory, to all nations. The twenty-first century is unraveling that response…. The Philippines, Japanese-American internment, Guantánamo… we can consider the fine points of how the current border camps evoke past US systems, and we can see how the arc of camp history reveals the likelihood that the suffering we’re currently inflicting will be multiplied exponentially. But we can also simply look at what we’re doing right now, shoving bodies into ‘dog pound’-style detention pens, ‘iceboxes,’ and standing room-only spaces. We can look at young children in custody who have become suicidal. How much more historical awareness do we really need?”

Hideous Men. Donald Trump assaulted me in a Bergdorf Goodman dressing room 23 years ago. But he’s not alone on the list of awful men in my life. New York Magazine, The Cut, E. Jean Carroll, Friday, 21 June 2019: “Before I discuss [Trump], I must mention that there are two great handicaps to telling you what happened to me in Bergdorf’s: (a) The man I will be talking about denies it, as he has denied accusations of sexual misconduct made by at least 15 credible women, namely, Jessica Leeds, Kristin Anderson, Jill Harth, Cathy Heller, Temple Taggart McDowell, Karena Virginia, Melinda McGillivray, Rachel Crooks, Natasha Stoynoff, Jessica Drake, Ninni Laaksonen, Summer Zervos, Juliet Huddy, Alva Johnson, and Cassandra Searles. (Here’s what the White House said:  “This is a completely false and unrealistic story surfacing 25 years after allegedly taking place and was created simply to make the President look bad.”) And (b) I run the risk of making him more popular by revealing what he did…. The moment the dressing-room door is closed, he lunges at me, pushes me against the wall, hitting my head quite badly, and puts his mouth against my lips. I am so shocked I shove him back and start laughing again. He seizes both my arms and pushes me up against the wall a second time, and, as I become aware of how large he is, he holds me against the wall with his shoulder and jams his hand under my coat dress and pulls down my tights. I am astonished by what I’m about to write: I keep laughing. The next moment, still wearing correct business attire, shirt, tie, suit jacket, overcoat, he opens the overcoat, unzips his pants, and, forcing his fingers around my private area, thrusts his penis halfway — or completely, I’m not certain — inside me. It turns into a colossal struggle. I am wearing a pair of sturdy black patent-leather four-inch Barneys high heels, which puts my height around six-one, and I try to stomp his foot. I try to push him off with my one free hand — for some reason, I keep holding my purse with the other — and I finally get a knee up high enough to push him out and off and I turn, open the door, and run out of the dressing room.” See also, E. Jean Carroll: ‘Trump attacked me in the dressing room of Bergdorf Goodman,’ New York Magazine, Sarah Jones, Friday, 21 June 2019. See also, Magazine columnist E. Jean Carroll accuses Trump of sexual assault, an allegation he denies, The Washington Post, Beth Reinhard and Colby Itkowitz, Friday, 21 June 2019: “E. Jean Carroll, a New York-based writer and longtime women’s advice columnist, accused President Trump of sexually assaulting her more than two decades ago in a dressing room of an upscale Manhattan department store, an episode detailed in a book excerpt published Friday in New York magazine. In an interview with The Washington Post on Friday afternoon, Carroll reiterated the allegations, saying that during a chance encounter with the then-real estate developer at Bergdorf Goodman in late 1995 or early 1996, Trump attacked her in a dressing room. She said he knocked her head against a wall, pulled down her tights and briefly penetrated her before she pushed him off and ran out.” See also, Trump compares himself to Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh in latest sexual assault allegation, The Washington Post, Colby Itkowitz, Beth Reinhard, and David Weigel, published on Saturday, 22 June 2019. See also, Trump Emphatically Denies Sexual Assault Allegation by E. Jean Carroll, The New York Times, Mihir Zaveri, published on Saturday, 22 June 2019: “President Trump again denied that he had sexually assaulted the advice columnist E. Jean Carroll in the mid-1990s, saying multiple times in extended comments to reporters on Saturday that he had ‘no idea’ who Ms. Carroll was. In a forthcoming book, Ms. Carroll alleges that Mr. Trump raped her in 1995 or 1996 in a Bergdorf Goodman dressing room. An excerpt from the book including the accusation was published on New York magazine’s website on Friday. Mr. Trump issued a statement on Friday denying the accusation and saying he had never met Ms. Carroll. A photograph accompanying the excerpt showed Mr. Trump and Ms. Carroll together at a 1987 party, along with Ivana Trump, who was then his wife, and John Johnson, a television news anchor who was then Ms. Carroll’s husband.” See also, E. Jean Carroll Accuses Trump of Sexual Assault in Her Memoir, The New York Times, Alexandra Alter, Friday, 21 June 2019. See also, Major newspapers largely leave new report of sexual assault by Trump off their front pages, Media Matters, Katie Sullivan, published on Saturday, 22 June 2019: “A new report of sexual assault committed by President Donald Trump has come to light, but several major newspapers didn’t find the story important enough to place on their front pages. On June 21, journalist and advice columnist E. Jean Carroll wrote in The Cut that 23 years ago, Trump assaulted her in a department store dressing room. According to Carroll, Trump ‘lunge[d] at me, pushe[d] me against the wall, hitting my head quite badly, and [put] his mouth against my lips.’ She wrote that he then pulled down her tights and assaulted her. Carroll told two close friends at the time, both of whom ‘still remember the incident clearly and confirmed their accounts to New York.’ The next day, several major newspapers failed to report the story on their front pages, even though it is horrific, detailed, and extremely similar to the accounts of numerous other women. It also echoes comments Trump has made in the past, saying in 2005, ‘I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. When you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab ’em by the pussy. You can do anything.'”

Continue reading Week 127, Friday, 21 June – Thursday, 27 June 2019 (Days 883-889)

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Trump Administration, Week 126: Friday, 14 June – Thursday, 20 June 2019: (Days 876-882)

 

Passages in bold in the body of the texts below are usually my emphasis, though not always. This is an ongoing project, and I update the site frequently during the day. Because I try to stay focused on what has actually happened, I usually let the news ‘settle’ for a day or so before posting. I hope readers will peruse the articles in full for a better understanding of the issues and their context; our democracy and our future depend on citizens who can distinguish between facts and falsehoods and who are engaged in the political process.

 

For “a weekly newsletter celebrating people-powered wins against the Trump administration’s agenda,” visit Small Victories. 

For independent global news, visit Democracy Now!

 

Friday, 14 June 2019, Day 876:

 

‘Flying Object’ Struck Tanker in Gulf of Oman, Operator Says, Not a MineThe New York Times, Ben Dooley, Friday, 14 June 2019: “One of the tankers that were attacked in the Gulf of Oman was struck by a flying object, the ship’s Japanese operator said on Friday, expressing doubt that a mine had been attached to its hull. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Thursday that American intelligence agencies had concluded that Tehran was behind the disabling of two tankers in the Gulf of Oman, a vital conduit for much of the world’s oil. Iranian officials denied any involvement in the events, which have escalated tensions in the region.” See also, Japanese ship owner contradicts U.S. account of how tanker was attackedThe Washington Post, Simon Denyer and Carol Morello, Friday, 14 June 2019: “The owner of a Japanese tanker attacked in the Gulf of Oman offered a different account Friday of the nature of the attack than that provided by the United States. Yutaka Katada, president of the Kokuka Sangyo shipping company, said the Filipino crew of the Kokuka Courageous tanker thought their vessel was hit by flying objects rather than a mine.” See also, Trump administration steps up efforts to show Iran carried out tanker attacksThe Washington Post, Missy Ryan, Erin Cunningham, and Simon Denyer, Friday, 14 June 2019: “The Trump administration on Friday intensified its effort to demonstrate Iran’s culpability in a spate of damaging oil tanker attacks, as dueling accusations from Washington and Tehran heightened concerns about military conflict. American officials said newly released intelligence, including a grainy video, illustrated Tehran’s role in twin explosions Thursday that crippled Japanese- and ­Norwegian-owned ships in the Gulf of Oman. But European nations appealed to all sides to de-escalate, as statements by the owner of one of the targeted ships appeared to challenge the U.S. account that Iranian naval boats had employed limpet mines.” See also, Trump blames Iran for oil tanker attacks and calls country a ‘nation of terror,’ The Guardian, Sabrina Siddiqui, Friday, 14 June 2019: “Donald Trump has blamed Iran for recent attacks on two oil tankers near the strategic Strait of Hormuz, describing the country as a ‘nation of terror.’ Speaking with Fox News on Friday, the president rejected Tehran’s denials that it was involved in the attacks and cited a video released by US Central Command late Thursday purporting to show an Iranian vessel removing an unexploded mine from one of the tankers.” See also, U.S. Puts Iran on Notice and Weighs Response to Attack on Oil TankersThe New York Times, Mark Landler, Julian E. Barnes, and Eric Schmitt, Friday, 14 June 2019. See also, The U.S. Has Turned Up Pressure on Iran. See the Timeline of Events. The New York Times, Helene Cooper, Friday, 14 June 2019.

See a Design of the Harriet Tubman $20 Bill That Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin DelayedThe New York Times, Alan Rappeport, Friday, 14 June 2019: “Extensive work was well underway on a new $20 bill bearing the image of Harriet Tubman when Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced last month that the design of the note would be delayed for technical reasons by six years and might not include the former slave and abolitionist. Many Americans were deeply disappointed with the delay of the bill, which was to be the first to bear the face of an African-American. The change would push completion of the imagery past President Trump’s time in office, even if he wins a second term, stirring speculation that Mr. Trump had intervened to keep his favorite president, Andrew Jackson, a fellow populist, on the front of the note. But Mr. Mnuchin, testifying before Congress, said new security features under development made the 2020 design deadline set by the Obama administration impossible to meet, so he punted Tubman’s fate to a future Treasury secretary. In fact, work on the new $20 note began before Mr. Trump took office, and the basic design already on paper most likely could have satisfied the goal of unveiling a note bearing Tubman’s likeness on next year’s centennial of the 19th Amendment, which granted women the right to vote. An image of a new $20 bill, produced by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing and obtained by The New York Times from a former Treasury Department official, depicts Tubman in a dark coat with a wide collar and a white scarf. That preliminary design was completed in late 2016.”

The Democratic Debate Lineups Are Set. Here’s What to Expect. The New York Times, Reid J. Epstein, Lisa Lerer, and Matt Stevens, Friday, 14 June 2019: “Two nights, four hours, so, so many candidates: the first Democratic presidential debates will be like nothing we’ve ever seen. A former vice president on stage with a self-help author. Three female candidates on one night, three female candidates the next — more than have ever been on the debate stage at once. A 37-year-old squaring off against two septuagenarians.”

Continue reading Week 126, Friday, 14 June – Thursday, 20 June 2019 (Days 876-882)

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