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)

Continue reading…

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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Trump Administration, Week 125: Friday, 7 June – Thursday, 13 June 2019 (Days 869-875)

 

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, 7 June 2019, Day 869:

 

Trump announces migration deal with Mexico, averting threatened tariffsThe Washington Post, David Nakamura, John Wagner, and Nick Miroff, Friday, 7 June 2019: “President Trump announced Friday night that a deal was in place that would avert threatened tariffs on imports from Mexico in exchange for that country’s taking ‘strong measures’ to curb the influx of Central American migrants at the U.S. southern border. The agreement, which came just two days before Trump had vowed to impose a 5 percent, across-the-board tariff on one of the United States’ top trading partners, called for the Mexican government to widely dispatch its national guard forces to help with immigration enforcement, with priority in the south, on its border with Guatemala, according to a joint statement. In addition, the two countries would expand a program known as the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), created this year, that allows the United States to return Central American migrants to Mexico while they await the adjudication of their asylum hearings in U.S. immigration court, a process that can take months. The expansion of the program could result in tens of thousands of migrants waiting in limbo in potentially unsafe conditions in Mexico. MPP already has faced legal challenges, and while a federal appeals court panel in San Francisco has allowed it to temporarily continue while it reviews the policy, some judges have indicated that the MPP program might not be constitutional.” See also, Trump Calls Off Plan to Impose Tariffs on MexicoThe New York Times, Michael D. Shear, Ana Swanson, and Azam Ahmed, Friday, 7 June 2019: “President Trump backed off his plan to impose tariffs on all Mexican goods and announced via Twitter on Friday night that the United States had reached an agreement with Mexico to reduce the flow of migrants to the southwestern border. Mr. Trump tweeted the announcement only hours after returning from Europe and following several days of intense and sometimes difficult negotiations between American and Mexican officials in Washington.” See also, U.S. and Mexico Issue Joint Declaration on Migration and TariffsThe New York Times, Liam Stack, Friday, 7 June 2019.

Senate Democrats apply new pressure to Deutsche Bank and Trump organizationThe Washington Post, Tory Newmyer, Friday, 7 June 2019: “Senate Democrats are moving to tighten the screws on Deutsche Bank over the firm’s dealings with the Trump and Kushner organizations. Seven Democrats on the Senate Banking Committee wrote to the Federal Reserve on Thursday, requesting it probe whistleblower allegations, first reported by the New York Times last month, that Deutsche Bank buried suspicious activity from accounts associated with President Trump and his son-in-law and senior White House adviser Jared Kushner.”

Kris Kobach, the former Kansas secretary of state, declines to answer questions about conversations with Trump about the censusThe Washington Post, Rachael Bade, Friday, 7 June 2019: “Kris Kobach refused to answer several questions from a congressional panel investigating the Trump administration’s efforts to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census, after the White House told him not to discuss his conversations with the president. The House Oversight and Reform Committee on Friday disclosed the interview with Kobach, the former Kansas secretary of state who once headed President Trump’s short-lived voter integrity panel. Kobach answered some questions from staffers in a closed-door interview Monday, telling them that he met with Trump and top aides to discuss the census. But Kobach ultimately refused to answer 15 questions about those communications or about whether more meetings took place, citing White House instructions, the panel said.”

Continue reading Week 125, Friday, 7 June – Thursday, 13 June 2019 (Days 869-875)

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Trump Administration, Week 124: Friday, 31 May – Thursday, 6 June 2019 (Days 862-868)

 

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, 31 May 2019, Day 862:

 

Elizabeth Warren Wants Congress to Ensure Presidents Can Be IndictedThe New York Times, Matt Stevens, Friday, 31 May 2019: “For many Democrats, the aftermath of the Mueller report raised one central question: Would Robert S. Mueller III have charged President Trump with a crime if Justice Department policy had not prevented him from doing so? On Friday, Senator Elizabeth Warren said the answer was yes. Ms. Warren, who is seeking the Democratic nomination for president, proposed legislation she said was aimed at ensuring that ‘no President is above the law.’ She called on Congress to pass a law clarifying that the Justice Department can in fact indict the president of the United States, while also renewing her call to begin impeachment proceedings against Mr. Trump. ‘Mueller’s statement made clear what those of us who have read his report already knew: He’s referring Donald Trump for impeachment, and it’s up to Congress to act,’ she wrote in a post on Medium. ‘But impeachment isn’t supposed to be the only way that a President can be held accountable for committing a crime,’ she wrote. ‘Congress should make it clear that Presidents can be indicted for criminal activity, including obstruction of justice. And when I’m President, I’ll appoint Justice Department officials who will reverse flawed policies so no President is shielded from criminal accountability.'” See also, Elizabeth Warren pledges to reverse Justice Department policy that prevents indicting sitting presidentsThe Washington Post, John Wagner, Friday, 31 May 2019: “Sen. Elizabeth Warren said Friday that she would seek to reverse a long-standing Department of Justice policy that prevents the indictment of a sitting president and push Congress to amend the law to make it clear that presidents can be charged with crimes. Warren’s proposals were the latest of the policy initiatives that have come to define her bid for the Democratic presidential nomination, and they put her squarely back in the debate over whether President Trump should be removed from office.”

House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerry Nadler says there certainly is justification for impeaching TrumpPolitico, Kyle Cheney and Andrew Desiderio, Friday, 31 May 2019: “House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler said on Friday that there ‘certainly is’ justification for launching impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump, but cautioned that the public first must agree that it’s warranted. ‘Impeachment is a political act, and you cannot impeach a president if the American people will not support it,’ Nadler (D-N.Y.) said during an appearance on WNYC. ‘The American people right now do not support it because they do not know the story. They don’t know the facts. We have to get the facts out. We have to hold a series of hearings, we have to hold the investigations.’ Nadler emphasized that he intends to use the next few weeks to bring special counsel Robert Mueller’s report ‘to life,’ providing for a television audience the dramatic evidence that Mueller compiled about Trump’s efforts to thwart the investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election. Part of that will include testimony from Mueller himself, Nadler said, even if Mueller sticks to his promise to limit his comments to the findings of his report. Nadler said revealing Mueller’s words and findings to a television audience would educate Americans about the president’s conduct in a way they haven’t been to this point.” See also, Full List: Who Supports an Impeachment Inquiry Against Trump? The New York Times, Alicia Parlapiano, Jason Kao, Emily Cochrane, and Catie Edmondson, Friday, 31 May 2019: “More than 50 House Democrats now support an impeachment inquiry against President Donald J. Trump, according to a New York Times survey. The Times is asking every representative for his or her position, starting with the Democrats, and will update this page with each response. Many House Democrats who do not currently support impeachment proceedings say investigations of Mr. Trump should continue. The White House has stonewalled these inquiries.”

The Department of Homeland Security’s Inspector General finds detainees ‘standing on toilets’ for breathing room at border facility in Texas (El Paso) holding 900 people in space meant for 125CNN, Priscilla Alvarez, Friday, 31 May 2019: “The Department of Homeland Security’s Inspector General has found ‘dangerous overcrowding’ and unsanitary conditions at an El Paso, Texas, Border Patrol processing facility following an unannounced inspection, according to a new report. The IG found ‘standing room only conditions’ at the El Paso Del Norte Processing Center, which has a maximum capacity of 125 migrants. On May 7 and 8, logs indicated that there were ‘approximately 750 and 900 detainees, respectively. We also observed detainees standing on toilets in the cells to make room and gain breathing space, thus limiting access to the toilets,’ the report states. The report was first obtained by CNN.”

Continue reading Week 124, Friday, 31 May – Thursday, 6 June 2019 (Days 862-868)

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Trump Administration, Week 123: Friday, 24 May – Thursday, 30 May 2019 (Days 855-861)

 

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, 24 May 2019, Day 855:

 

Supreme Court Blocks Two Rulings Striking Down Voting MapsThe New York Times, Adam Liptak, Friday, 24 May 2019: “The Supreme Court on Friday blocked rulings from federal courts in Ohio and Michigan that had struck down voting maps in those states as unconstitutional partisan gerrymanders. Both courts had found that Republican legislators had violated the Constitution by drawing voting districts to hurt the electoral chances of Democratic candidates. The Supreme Court’s move was expected. The justices will soon decide, in a second pair of cases, whether voting maps can ever be so warped by politics as to cross a constitutional line. The answer to that question, in pending cases from Maryland and North Carolina, will very likely affect the cases from Ohio and Michigan.” See also, Supreme Court says Ohio and Michigan do not have to come up with new maps immediatelyThe Washington Post, Robert Barnes, Friday, 24 May 2019: “The Supreme Court on Friday put on hold lower-court decisions that said Ohio and Michigan had to come up with new electoral maps because of unconstitutional partisan gerrymandering. The decision was not surprising, because the justices are currently considering whether judges should even have a role in policing partisan gerrymandering. There were no noted dissents in the orders for either state.”

Missouri Governor Mike Parson Signs Bill Outlawing Abortion After 8 WeeksThe New York Times, Mitch Smith, Friday, 24 May 2019: “Gov. Mike Parson of Missouri on Friday signed into law a bill outlawing abortions after eight weeks of pregnancy, joining several other states this year in enacting measures designed to limit women’s access to the procedure. The decision by Mr. Parson, a Republican, was not a surprise. It continued a season of legislative success for conservatives who oppose abortion and who see an opening to ultimately press their case to the Supreme Court.”

Students around the world skip school to protest and demand action on climate changeThe Washington Post, Friday, 24 May 2019: “Students in scores of countries around the world skipped school on Friday to stage protests against governmental inaction on climate change and to demand that world leaders address the issue immediately. The coordinated action follows one in March, in which an estimated 1.6 million students from 125 countries protested instead of going to school. It was the latest event in a movement called Fridays for Future, in which young people periodically take action on climate change. The movement was sparked by a Swedish teenage activist named Greta Thunberg, who in 2018 led a solo protest in front of the Swedish parliament with a sign saying ‘School strike for the climate.’ Pictures she posted on her social media accounts went viral, and the movement was born.”

Continue reading Week 123, Friday, 24 May – Thursday, 30 May 2019 (Days 855-861)

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Trump Administration, Week 122: Friday, 17 May – Thursday, 23 May 2019 (Days 848-854)

 

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, 17 May 2019, Day 848:

 

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin Refuses to Comply With Subpoena for Trump’s Tax ReturnsThe New York Times, Alan Rappeport and Nicholas Fandos, Friday, 17 May 2019: “Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Friday refused to comply with a congressional subpoena to hand over President Trump’s tax returns, a move that is likely to be the final step before the matter heads to the courts. For more than a month, the Treasury Department and House Democrats have exchanged letters about the request, which was initiated in April by Representative Richard E. Neal, Democrat of Massachusetts and the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.” See also, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin rejects Democrats’ subpoena for Trump’s tax returnsThe Washington Post, Jeff Stein, Friday, 17 May 2019: “Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Friday rejected a subpoena from House Democrats demanding President Trump’s tax returns, setting the stage for a court battle over the documents.” See also, Trump administration rejects subpoena for Trump’s tax returns, upping stakes in Battle with DemocratsPolitico, Brian Faler, Friday, 17 May 2019.

No Mueller, no McGahn and stalled investigations leave House Democrats frustratedThe Washington Post, Rachael Bade and Mike DeBonis, Friday, 17 May 2019: “An increasing number of House Democrats are frustrated by their stalled investigations into President Trump, with an uncooperative chief executive, their own leader’s reluctance about impeachment and courts that could be slow to resolve the standoff. Democrats have yet to hear from special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, who led the nearly two-year investigation into Russia interference in the 2016 election and possible involvement with the Trump campaign. Even with negotiations, the earliest Mueller could testify would be next month. And any hopes of former White house counsel Donald McGahn facing a congressional panel on Tuesday are slim, as the White House moves to block all current and former aides  from cooperating with congressional inquiries. Weighing all options, Democrats have raised the specter of imposing fines or jailing people who ignore subpoenas, extreme measures that have prompted some legal experts to wonder whether Democrats have a strategy for this constitutional conflict. A group of House Judiciary Committee Democrats privately have discussed ways to increase pressure on leadership to bring impeachment proceedings despite House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s wariness, according to several Democrats who spoke on the condition of anonymity to freely discuss the plan.”

House passes bill to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identityThe Washington Post, Colby Itkowitz, Friday, 17 May 2019: “The House passed sweeping legislation Friday to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity after an emotional debate that underscored the divide between the two parties. Democrats cast the decades-in-the-making move to change the 1964 Civil Rights Act as a historic step to extend protections to LGBTQ Americans, with several gay and bisexual lawmakers emphasizing the need for the bill called the Equality Act. Republicans warned of the threat to religious freedom and argued that the measure could undermine women’s rights, with men who identify as women taking spots on women’s sports teams and denying them athletics scholarships. The bill would prohibit discrimination in employment, housing, education, jury service and federal financing, protecting people from being fired or harassed for their sexuality or gender identity. As Democrats cheered and applauded, the bill passed 236-to-173, with eight Republicans breaking ranks and joining all Democrats in backing the measure. It is unlikely to get a vote in the Republican-led Senate, and the White House has signaled President Trump would veto the measure if it ever reached his desk.” See also, House Equality Act Extends Civil Rights Protections to Gay and Transgender PeopleThe New York Times, Catie Edmondson, Friday, 17 May 2019: “The House passed sweeping legislation on Friday that would prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. The bill, passed 236-173, comes as departments across the Trump administration have dismantled policies friendly to gay, bisexual and transgender individuals, like barring transgender recruits from serving in the military or formally rejecting complaints filed by transgender students who are barred from restrooms that match their gender identity.”

Continue reading Week 122, Friday, 17 May – Thursday, 23 May 2019 (Days 848-854)

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Trump Administration, Week 121: Friday, 10 May – Thursday, 16 May 2019 (Days 841-847)

 

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, 10 May 2019, Day 841:

 

Richard Neal, Chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, Subpoenas Trump Tax ReturnsThe New York Times, Nicholas Fandos, Friday, 10 May 2019: “The chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee subpoenaed the Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service on Friday, disregarding the Treasury secretary’s refusal this week to hand over six years of President Trump’s personal and business tax returns and demanding access. The subpoenas from Representative Richard E. Neal, Democrat of Massachusetts, to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Charles P. Rettig, the I.R.S. commissioner, amounted to an unexpected shift in tactics in the yearslong Democratic effort to secure tax returns that Mr. Trump has refused to release. Mr. Mnuchin had rejected a request for the returns made under a little-known provision of the federal tax code that dates back to the Teapot Dome scandal of Warren G. Harding’s administration nearly a century ago. So Mr. Neal is turning to a more conventional avenue: the subpoena.” See also, House Ways and Means Chair Richard Neal subpoenas Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig over Trump tax returnsThe Washington Post, Jeff Stein, Friday, 10 May 2019. See also, Democrats subpoena Trump’s tax returns in escalating fight with White HousePolitico, Brian Faler and Aaron Lorenzo, Friday, 10 May 2019.

Former White House counsel Donald McGahn refused request by White House to say Trump did not obstruct justice after the release of the Mueller reportThe Washington Post, Carol D. Leonnig and Josh Dawsey, Friday, 10 May 2019: “President Trump sought to have former White House counsel Donald McGahn issue a public statement last month that he did not believe the president had engaged in criminal conduct when he sought to exert control over the Russia investigation — a request McGahn declined, according to people familiar with the episode.”  See also, White House Asked Former Counsel Donald McGahn to Declare Publicly That Trump Never Obstructed JusticeThe New York Times, Michael S. Schmidt, Friday, 10 May 2019: “White House officials asked at least twice in the past month for the key witness against President Trump in the Mueller report, Donald F. McGahn II, to say publicly that he never believed the president obstructed justice, according to two people briefed on the requests. Mr. Trump asked White House officials to make the request to Mr. McGahn, who was the president’s first White House counsel, one of the people said. Mr. McGahn declined. His reluctance angered the president, who believed that Mr. McGahn showed disloyalty by telling investigators for the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, about Mr. Trump’s attempts to maintain control over the Russia investigation.” See also, Former White House Counsel Don McGahn Rebuffed Trump’s Request to Say He Didn’t Obstruct JusticeThe Wall Street Journal, Rebecca Ballhaus, Friday, 10 May 2019: “Within a day of the release of the Mueller report last month, President Trump sought to have former White House counsel Don McGahn declare he didn’t consider the president’s 2017 directive that he seek Robert Mueller’s dismissal to be obstruction of justice, but Mr. McGahn rebuffed the request, according to people familiar with the matter.”

House Approves Disaster Relief and Puerto Rico Aid Over Trump’s OppositionThe New York Times, Emily Cochrane, Friday, 10 May 2019: “The House on Friday again approved a huge emergency relief bill for farmers and communities hit by hurricanes, wildfires, floods and other natural disasters, escalating a standoff with President Trump, who has resisted more aid to Puerto Rico and demanded additional money for immigration enforcement. Thirty-four House Republicans joined their Democratic colleagues in approving the emergency package, which passed 257 to 150 and would send $19.1 billion in relief and recovery assistance across the country and give a quick cash infusion to farmers swamped by floods and caught in the president’s trade war. The package builds on a measure that was initially passed in January, in the midst of a government shutdown, and rejected by the Senate for not accommodating the floods that recently devastated the Midwest. That flood relief was included in the package passed on Friday, which should intensify pressure on the Senate to reach an agreement with or without the president.” See also, House passes Trump-opposed disaster-relief bill with more funding for Puerto RicoThe Washington Post, Colby Itkowitz, Friday, 10 May 2019.

Continue reading Week 121, Friday, 10 May – Thursday, 16 May 2019 (Days 841-847)

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