Black Children Were Jailed for a Crime That Doesn’t Exist. Almost Nothing Happened to the Adults in Charge.

Meribah Knight, Nashville Public Radio, and Ken Armstrong, ProPublica, Black Children Were Jailed for a Crime That Doesn’t Exist. Almost Nothing Happened to the Adults in Charge. Nashville Public Radio and ProPublica, Friday, 8 October 2021. “Judge Donna Scott Davenport oversees a juvenile justice system in Rutherford County, Tennessee, with a staggering history of jailing children. She said kids must face consequences, which rarely seem to apply to her or the other adults in charge…. [On Friday, 15 April 2016] three police officers were crowded into the assistant principal’s office at Hobgood Elementary School [in Murfreesboro, Tennessee], and Tammy Garrett, the school’s principal, had no idea what to do. One officer, wearing a tactical vest, was telling her: Go get the kids. A second officer was telling her: Don’t go get the kids. The third officer wasn’t saying anything…. What happened on that Friday and in the days after, when police rounded up even more kids, would expose an ugly and unsettling culture in Rutherford County, one spanning decades. In the wake of these mass arrests, lawyers would see inside a secretive legal system that’s supposed to protect kids, but in this county did the opposite. Officials flouted the law by wrongfully arresting and jailing children. One of their worst practices was stopped following the events at Hobgood, but the conditions that allowed the lawlessness remain. The adults in charge failed. Yet they’re still in charge. Tennessee’s systems for protecting children failed. Yet they haven’t been fixed.”

Pandora Papers, A Global Investigation: Billions Hidden Beyond Reach. A trove of secret files details opaque financial universe where global elite shield riches from taxes, investigations, and accountability.

Greg Miller, Debbie Cenziper, and Peter Whoriskey, Pandora Papers, A Global Investigation: Billions Hidden Beyond Reach. The Washington Post, Sunday, 3 October 2021. “A massive trove of private financial records shared with The Washington Post exposes vast reaches of the secretive offshore system used to hide billions of dollars from tax authorities, creditors, criminal investigators and — in 14 cases involving current country leaders — citizens around the world. The revelations include more than $100 million spent by King Abdullah II of Jordan on luxury homes in Malibu, Calif., and other locations; millions of dollars in property and cash secretly owned by the leaders of the Czech Republic, Kenya, Ecuador and other countries; and a waterfront home in Monaco acquired by a Russian woman who gained considerable wealth after she reportedly had a child with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Other disclosures hit closer to home for U.S. officials and other Western leaders who frequently condemn smaller countries whose permissive banking systems have been exploited for decades by looters of assets and launderers of dirty money. The files provide substantial new evidence, for example, that South Dakota now rivals notoriously opaque jurisdictions in Europe and the Caribbean in financial secrecy. Tens of millions of dollars from outside the United States are now sheltered by trust companies in Sioux Falls, some of it tied to people and companies accused of human rights abuses and other wrongdoing. The details are contained in more than 11.9 million financial records that were obtained by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) and examined by The Post and other partner news organizations. The files include private emails, secret spreadsheets, clandestine contracts and other records that unlock otherwise impenetrable financial schemes and identify the individuals behind them. The trove, dubbed the Pandora Papers, exceeds the dimensions of the leak that was at the center of the Panama Papers investigation five years ago. That data was drawn from a single law firm, but the new material encompasses records from 14 separate financial-services entities operating in countries and territories including Switzerland, Singapore, Cyprus, Belize and the British Virgin Islands. The files detail more than 29,000 offshore accounts, more than double the number identified in the Panama Papers. Among the account owners are more than 130 people listed as billionaires by Forbes magazine and more than 330 public officials in more than 90 countries and territories, twice the number found in the Panama documents.” See also, Key findings from the Pandora Papers investigation, The Washington Post, Washington Post Staff, published on Tuesday, 5 October 2021.

Aftermath of the Trump Administration, October – November 2021

 

My daily chronicle of news about the Trump administration (20 January 2017 – 20 January 2021), Republicans, Democrats, corporations, courts, resistance, and persistence continues to wind down. I am still posting important articles, especially ones that reflect the differences between the Biden administration and the Trump administration and ones that address the toxic legacy of the Trump administration. I hope to devote more of my time to posting muckraking articles on my site and to working with my local activist group in pursuit of progressive change and a stronger democracy. Thanks for reading!

 

For independent global news, visit Democracy Now!

For a newsletter about the history behind today’s politics, subscribe to Heather Cox Richardson’s newsletter, Letters from an American.

 

Friday, 1 October 2021:

 

Political Briefing: Biden Meets With Feuding Democrats and Expresses Confidence a Deal Can Be Reached. President Biden said progressives and centrists could come to an agreement on an infrastructure bill and a sweeping social spending and climate package, but said, ‘It doesn’t matter whether it’s in six minutes, six days, or six weeks.’ The New York Times, Friday, 1 October 2021:

  • Biden puts the infrastructure bill on hold, saying Democrats need to unite on social spending.

  • House approves a stopgap bill to revive transportation programs and end furloughs caused by the voting delay.

  • Railroads, climate resilience, electrical upgrades: Here’s what the infrastructure bill would fund.

  • Sinema, a holdout on the social spending bill, returns to Arizona for a doctor’s visit and a scheduled fund-raiser.

  • Progressive Democrats celebrate delaying the vote on the infrastructure bill.

  • Biden tries to broker a deal among Democrats, with prodding and patience.
  • Why does Washington do so many things at the last minute? It’s complicated.

Biden Pulls Back on Infrastructure Bill, Tying It to Social Policy Measure. After pressing toward a vote, Democratic leaders accepted ‘reality’ that the bill could not pass before a broad climate change and safety net measure comes together. The New York Times, Jonathan Weisman and Emily Cochrane, Friday, 1 October 2021: “President Biden, facing an intraparty battle over his domestic agenda, put his own $1 trillion infrastructure bill on hold on Friday, telling Democrats that a vote on the popular measure must wait until Democrats pass his far more ambitious social policy and climate change package. In a closed-door meeting with Democrats on Capitol Hill, Mr. Biden told Democrats for the first time that keeping his two top legislative priorities together had become ‘just reality.’ And he conceded that reaching a deal between the divided factions on his domestic agenda could take weeks.” See also, Progressives Flex Muscles on Biden Agenda, Adopting New Tactics. Their persistence forced Speaker Nancy Pelosi to delay a planned vote on the $1 trillion infrastructure bill, In the end President Biden sided with their position. The New York Times, Luke Broadwater and Michael D. Shear, Friday, 1 October 2021: “Progressive Democrats in Congress, who have long promoted a bold, liberal agenda but often shied away from using hardball tactics to achieve it, did something unusual this week: They dug in. The nearly 100-member caucus refused to support a $1 trillion infrastructure bill that is a major piece of President Biden’s agenda, seeking leverage for a bigger fight. Their stance forced Speaker Nancy Pelosi to delay a planned vote on the measure and ultimately prompted Mr. Biden to side with them in saying that there could be no vote on the infrastructure legislation until agreement on a far broader, multitrillion-dollar social policy and climate measure. The maneuver drew plaudits from liberal activists who had watched with dismay in the past as their allies in Congress caved to pressure from Democratic leaders and surrendered in policy fights. And it signaled that the progressives enjoyed newfound influence, including the backing of a president long associated with his party’s moderates.” See also, Biden urges Democrats to compromise and have patience as he tries to revive economic agenda, The Washington Post, Tony Romm, Mike DeBonis, and Marianna Sotomayor, Friday, 1 October 2021: “President Biden attempted to quell an internal Democratic rebellion on Friday, pleading with lawmakers to compromise and stay patient as he tried to revive a $1.2 trillion infrastructure proposal and salvage his broader economic agenda from imminent collapse. Biden made the overture during a rare meeting on Capitol Hill in the midst of an intense, acrimonious fight over two pieces of legislation that Democrats were struggling to untangle. The first bill would fix the nation’s roads, bridges, pipes, ports and Internet connections. A second package would authorize roughly $3.5 trillion to expand Medicare, combat climate change and boost a wide array of federal aid programs…. To try to break the logjam, Biden channeled his political roots as a seasoned legislator, huddling with Democrats in an attempt to coalesce them around a shared policy vision. But he also made clear that both of the party’s primary factions had no choice but to compromise equally, as they aim to deliver on the electoral promises that helped them secure Washington majorities in the first place.” See also, Biden Says Democrats Should Delay Infrastructure Vote Until Deal Reached. The party seeks agreement between moderate and progressive wings on separate social-policy and climate package. The Wall Street Journal, Andrew Duehren, Kristina Peterson, and Lindsay Wise, Friday, 1 October 2021: “President Biden called on House Democrats to hold off on voting on a roughly $1 trillion infrastructure bill until after they reach an agreement on a separate social-policy and climate bill, moving to again delay final passage of a central piece of his own agenda in a bid to unify restive Democrats. Even as Mr. Biden endorsed progressives’ push to hold up a vote on the infrastructure bill, however, he acknowledged in a closed-door meeting with House Democrats on Friday that the price tag of the social-policy and climate bill would need to drop substantially below $3.5 trillion to closer to roughly $2 trillion, according to lawmakers and aides.”

U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman presses Texas on ‘very unusual’ abortion ban that uses citizen enforcement of its restrictive state law, The Washington Post, Ann E. Marimow, Friday, 1 October 2021: “A federal judge pressed lawyers for the state of Texas on Friday about the ‘very unusual’ design and legality of a ban on abortion as early as six weeks into pregnancy that makes no exceptions for rape or incest. ‘If the state is so confident in the constitutionality of the limitations on a woman’s access to abortion, then why did it go to such great lengths to create this very unusual’ private enforcement mechanism ‘rather than just simply do it directly?’ U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman asked a lawyer for the Texas attorney general during a federal court hearing. Pitman’s question came as he considered the Biden administration’s request to block enforcement of the most restrictive abortion law in the country, which empowers private citizens, rather than state officials, to take civil action against anyone who helps terminate a pregnancy after cardiac activity is detected, usually around the six-week mark.” See also, Texas’ abortion law is back in court, NPR, Ryan Lucas and Carrie Johnson, Friday, 1 October 2021: “A federal judge is weighing arguments on the Justice Department’s emergency request to block Texas’ controversial new abortion law. Department attorneys and lawyers for the state of Texas made their cases on Friday at a virtual hearing before Judge Robert Pitman of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas. At stake is the ability of women in the country’s second-largest state to get an abortion after about six weeks of pregnancy, a time before which many people don’t realize they’re pregnant. ‘The state resorted to an unprecedented scheme of vigilante justice that was designed to scare abortion providers,’ argued Brian Netter, a lawyer for the Justice Department. ‘So far, it’s working. Women have been left desperate, forced under sometimes harrowing circumstances to get out of Texas, if they even can.'” See also, Federal Judge Hears Arguments Over Texas Abortion Law. The Justice Department said the law was intended to ‘violate the Constitution,’ and asked for it to be suspended while the courts determine if it is legal. The New York Times, Katie Benner and Sabrina Tavernise, Friday, 1 October 2021: “A federal judge heard arguments on Friday from the State of Texas and the federal government on whether a Texas law that bans nearly all abortions in the state should be suspended while the courts decide if it is legal. At issue is a restrictive abortion law that Texas enacted in September that uses a unique legal approach — deputizing private citizens to enforce it, instead of the state. The law, also known as the Texas Heartbeat Act and Senate Bill 8, has had a chilling effect, with most of the state’s roughly two dozen abortion clinics no longer offering abortion services in cases in which cardiac activity is detected, which usually begins at around six weeks of pregnancy. The Justice Department sued Texas last month over the law. Attorney General Merrick B. Garland called the enforcement mechanism ‘an unprecedented’ effort to prevent women from exercising their constitutionally protected right to have an abortion. He said that no matter their stand on abortion, Americans should fear that the Texas law could become a model to restrict other constitutionally protected rights.”

Continue reading Aftermath of the Trump Administration, August-September 2021:

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The Facebook Files: A Wall Street Journal Investigation

Jeff Horwitz, Georgia Wells, Deepa Seetharaman, Keach Hagey, Justin Scheck, Newley Purnell, Sam Schechner, Emily Glazer, Wall Street Journal Staff, Stephanie Stamm, John West, The Facebook Files: A Wall Street Journal Investigation. The Wall Street Journal, a series of articles beginning on Monday, 13 September 2021. “Facebook Inc. knows, in acute detail, that its platforms are riddled with flaws that cause harm, often in ways only the company fully understands. That is the central finding of a Wall Street Journal series, based on a review of internal Facebook documents, including research reports, online employee discussions, and drafts of presentations to senior management. Time and again, the documents show, Facebook’s researchers have identified the platform’s ill effects. Time and again, despite congressional hearings, its own pledges, and numerous media exposés, the company didn’t fix them. The documents offer perhaps the clearest picture thus far of how broadly Facebook’s problems are known inside the company, up to the chief executive himself.”

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Aftermath of the Trump Administration, August-September 2021

 

Now that the Biden administration has settled into Washington, D.C., my daily chronicle (20 January 2017 – 20 January 2021) of news about the Trump administration, Republicans, Democrats, corporations, courts, resistance, and persistence is winding down. I will continue to post a few important articles, especially ones that reflect the differences between the Biden administration and the Trump administration.  I hope to devote more of my time to posting muckraking articles on my site and to working with my local activist group in pursuit of progressive change and a stronger democracy. Thanks for reading!

 

For independent global news, visit Democracy Now!

For a newsletter about the history behind today’s politics, subscribe to Heather Cox Richardson’s newsletter, Letters from an American.

 

Monday, 2 August 2021:

 

Daily Political Briefing: Senators finish writing bipartisan infrastructure bill in rare weekend session, The New York Times, Monday, 2 August 2021:

The Big Money Behind the Big Lie. Donald Trump’s attacks on democracy are being promoted by rich and powerful conservative groups that are determined to win at all costs. The New Yorker, Jane Mayer, Monday, 2 August 2021: “Although the Arizona audit may appear to be the product of local extremists, it has been fed by sophisticated, well-funded national organizations whose boards of directors include some of the country’s wealthiest and highest-profile conservatives. Dark-money organizations, sustained by undisclosed donors, have relentlessly promoted the myth that American elections are rife with fraud, and, according to leaked records of their internal deliberations, they have drafted, supported, and in some cases taken credit for state laws that make it harder to vote. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, a Democrat from Rhode Island who has tracked the flow of dark money in American politics, told me that a ‘flotilla of front groups’ once focussed on advancing such conservative causes as capturing the courts and opposing abortion have now ‘more or less shifted to work on the voter-suppression thing.’ These groups have cast their campaigns as high-minded attempts to maintain ‘election integrity,’ but Whitehouse believes that they are in fact tampering with the guardrails of democracy.”

Biden Administration to Keep Using Public Health Rule to Turn Away Migrants, The New York Times, Eileen Sullivan and Zolan Kanno-Youngs, Monday, 2 August 2021: ‘With the number of migrants crossing the southern border surging and the pandemic proving to be far from over, the Biden administration has decided to leave in place for now the public health rule that has allowed it to turn away hundreds of thousands of migrants, officials said. The decision, confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Monday, amounted to a shift by the administration, which had been working on plans to begin lifting the rule this summer, more than a year after it was imposed by the Trump administration. The C.D.C. said allowing noncitizens to come over the border from either Mexico or Canada ‘creates a serious danger’ of further spread of the coronavirus. President Biden has come under intense pressure for months from some Democrats and supporters of more liberal immigration policies to lift the rule, which critics say has been employed less to protect public health than as a politically defensible way to limit immigration.”

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Aftermath of the Trump Administration, June-July 2021

 

Now that the Biden administration has settled into Washington, D.C., my daily chronicle (20 January 2017 – 20 January 2021) of news about the Trump administration, Republicans, Democrats, corporations, courts, resistance, and persistence is winding down. I will continue to post a few important articles, especially ones that reflect the differences between the Biden administration and the Trump administration.  I hope to devote more of my time to posting muckraking articles on my site and to working with my local activist group in pursuit of progressive change and a stronger democracy. Thanks for reading!

 

For independent global news, visit Democracy Now!

For a newsletter about the history behind today’s politics, subscribe to Heather Cox Richardson’s newsletter, Letters from an American.

 

Tuesday, 1 June 2021:

 

Biden Visits Site of Tulsa Massacre a Century Later and Promises Massacre Survivors Their Story ‘Would be Known in Full View,’ The New York Times, Tuesday, 1 June 2021:

  • Biden promises Tulsa massacre survivors their story ‘would be known in full view.’

  • The White House plans to suspend Arctic drilling leases that were issued during the last days of Trump’s term.

  • Biden says Harris will lead Democrats in pushing for voting rights bill in Congress.

  • A tabloid publisher will pay a $187,500 F.E.C. penalty for its Trump hush-money payment.

  • Michael Flynn suggested at a QAnon-affiliated event that a coup should happen in the U.S.

  • Biden officially recognizes June as Pride Month and vows to fight for L.G.B.T.Q. rights.

  • Florida’s Democratic agricultural commissioner, Nikki Fried, announces her bid for governor.

  • Texas Democrats killed a bill restricting voting by staging a walkout, escalating their fight with the governor.
  • A New Mexico House race is testing the Republican’s focus on crime.
  • Biden unveiled a plan to help Black businesses and homeowners during his visit to Tulsa.
  • Democrats want to pass a major voting rights overhaul, but the filibuster stands in the way.
  • The Supreme Court issued unanimous rulings on immigration and tribal policing.

Biden commemorates the 100th anniversary of Tulsa race massacre, The Washington Post, Felicia Sonmez and John Wagner, Tuesday, 1 June 2021: “President Biden on Tuesday commemorated the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa race massacre, the ravaging of a once-prosperous Black business district and neighborhood by a White mob. ‘As painful as it is, only in remembrance do wounds heal. We just have to choose to remember, memorialize what happened here in Tulsa, so it can’t be erased,’ the president said of the massacre, which stands as one of the worst episodes of racial violence in U.S. history. While in Oklahoma, Biden promoted initiatives to reduce the Black-White wealth gap and said he had tapped Vice President Harris to lead the push for voting rights in response to states imposing ballot restrictions. In New Mexico, voters will elect a new member of Congress, filling an Albuquerque seat vacated by Interior Secretary Deb Haaland when she joined Biden’s Cabinet.

Here are a few of the significant developments included in this article.

  • Anthony S. Fauci’s emails obtained by The Washington Post show how the nation’s top infectious-disease expert was struggling to bring coherence to the Trump administration’s chaotic pandemic response.
  • All White House staff will return to work on campus in July as the Biden administration continues to phase out remote working prompted by the coronavirus pandemic.
  • The Interior Department will suspend several oil and gas leases in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, overturning one of Donald Trump’s most significant environmental acts during his last days in office.
  • Biden will welcome Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) to the White House on Wednesday to continue negotiations over a jobs and infrastructure package.
  • Biden issued a proclamation Tuesday designating June as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ+) Pride Month, resuming a tradition that had been abandoned while Trump was president.
  • The Federal Election Commission (F.E.C.) spares Trump but fines tabloid publisher for hush-money payment to ex-Playboy model Karen McDougal who claimed affair with him.

Biden Promises Tulsa Massacre Survivors Their Story Will Be ‘Known in Full View.’ The president, who has made racial equity and justice central themes of his administration, was in Tulsa, Okla., to commemorate a painful part of the country’s history. The New York Times, Katie Rogers and Michael D. Shear, Tuesday, 1 June 2021: “A century after a white mob destroyed a vibrant African American community in Tulsa, Okla., torching hundreds of homes and indiscriminately shooting people in the streets, President Biden told a crowd of survivors and their families that the story of the massacre ‘will be known in full view.’ It was the first time a president visited the area to address what had happened in Greenwood, a prosperous African American community, which was one of the worst outbreaks of racist violence in the United States but was largely ignored in history books.” See also, Telling the Story of the Tulsa Massacre. An array of TV documentaries mark the centennial of one of America’s deadliest outbreaks of racist violence. The New York Times, Mike Hale, published on Sunday, 30 May 2021: “The Tulsa race massacre of June 1, 1921, has gone from virtually unknown to emblematic with impressive speed, propelled by the national reckoning with racism and specifically with sanctioned violence against Black Americans. That awareness is reflected in the spate of new television documentaries on the occasion of the massacre’s 100th anniversary. ‘Tulsa Burning: The 1921 Race Massacre’ (Sunday on History), ‘Dreamland: The Burning of Black Wall Street’ (Monday on CNN) and ‘Tulsa: The Fire and the Forgotten’ (Monday on PBS) tell overlapping stories of the horrific day when a white mob stormed through the prosperous Greenwood District of Tulsa, Okla. Triggered by a confrontation between white men planning a lynching and Black men intent on stopping it, the 16-hour spasm of violence left 100 to 300 people dead and most of Greenwood, including more than 1,250 houses, burned to the ground.” See also, 3 Documentaries to Watch About the Tulsa Race Massacre, NPR, Eric Deggans, published on Sunday, 30 May 2021: “If all you know about the Tulsa Race Massacre is the re-creations of the attack featured in HBO series like Watchmen and Lovecraft Country, prepare yourself for a serious education over the next few weeks. Monday marks the 100th anniversary for one of the worst acts of racial violence in American history, the Tulsa Race Massacre. Back in 1921, a mob of white people tore down and burned the Greenwood district of Tulsa, Okla. — a segregated part of the city so prosperous and bustling, it was known as Black Wall Street.” See also, The Women Who Preserved the Story of the Tulsa Race Massacre. Two pioneering Black writers, Mary E. Jones Parrish and Eddie Faye Gates, have not received the recognition they deserve for chronicling one of the country’s gravest crimes. The New Yorker, Victor Luckerson, published on Friday, 28 May 2021: “As the centennial of the [Tulsa] race massacre approaches, a raft of documentaries, along with a new thirty-million-dollar museum, are poised to make the story of Greenwood more widely known—and financially lucrative—than it has ever been. But the Black Tulsans who preserved the community’s history risk being forgotten, particularly the women who did the foundational heavy lifting. It’s not just [Mary E. Jones] Parrish—Eddie Faye Gates, an Oklahoma native and longtime Tulsa educator, continued Parrish’s work by interviewing massacre survivors more than seventy years later, recording their perspectives in books and video testimonials.” See also, George Floyd, The Tulsa Massacre, and Memorial Days, The New Yorker, Jelani Cobb, published on Tuesday, 25 May 2021: “This year, Memorial Day, the national holiday on which we commemorate the men and women of the American military who died in the course of war, falls on May 31st, a date that marks the centennial anniversary of the Tulsa massacre, a racial pogrom in which the Black population of the prosperous Greenwood District of that city was attacked, murdered, and terrorized, leaving as many as three hundred dead. Last year, Memorial Day fell on May 25th, the day that George Floyd died, in the custody of a white Minneapolis police officer; the ineffable terribleness of the video depicting his death soon launched a wave of chaos and fury that swept across the nation. The massacre in Greenwood was just one outrage among a cluster of racially motivated eruptions that began in the aftermath of the First World War—the bloodletting in mid-1919 was so commonplace that the period came to be known as the Red Summer. The protracted brutality of Floyd’s death sparked protests and uprisings in more than three hundred and fifty cities in the United States. These two Memorial Days point inescapably not only to those who have died on battlefields abroad but to the theatres of conflict at home and the freighted politics of race, grief, and culpability.”

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Aftermath of the Trump Administration, May 2021

 

Now that the Biden administration has settled into Washington, D.C., my daily chronicle (20 January 2017 – 20 January 2021) of news about the Trump administration, Republicans, Democrats, corporations, courts, resistance, and persistence is winding down. I will continue to post a few important articles, especially ones that reflect the differences between the Biden administration and the Trump administration.  I hope to devote more of my time to posting muckraking articles on my site and to working with my local activist group in pursuit of progressive change and a stronger democracy. Thanks for reading!

 

For independent global news, visit Democracy Now!

For a newsletter about the history behind today’s politics, subscribe to Heather Cox Richardson’s newsletter, Letters from an American.

 

Saturday, 1 May 2021:

 

Republicans Seek to Empower Poll Watchers, Raising Intimidation Worries, The New York Times, Nick Corasaniti, Saturday, 1 May 2021: “As Republican lawmakers in major battleground states seek to make voting harder and more confusing through a web of new election laws, they are simultaneously making a concerted legislative push to grant more autonomy and access to partisan poll watchers — citizens trained by a campaign or a party and authorized by local election officials to observe the electoral process. This effort has alarmed election officials and voting rights activists alike: There is a long history of poll watchers being used to intimidate voters and harass election workers, often in ways that target Democratic-leaning communities of color and stoke fears that have the overall effect of voter suppression. During the 2020 election, President Donald J. Trump’s campaign repeatedly promoted its ‘army’ of poll watchers as he publicly implored supporters to venture into heavily Black and Latino cities and hunt for voter fraud.”

Trump’s Secret Rules for Drone Strikes Outside War Zones Are Disclosed. The release of the 2017 policy — with redactions — stemmed from open-records lawsuits by The Times and the A.C.L.U. The New York Times, Charlie Savage, Saturday, 1 May 2021: “The Biden administration has disclosed a set of rules secretly issued by President Donald J. Trump in 2017 for counterterrorism ‘direct action’ operations — like drone strikes and commando raids outside conventional war zones — which the White House has suspended as it weighs whether and how to tighten the guidelines. While the Biden administration censored some passages, the visible portions show that in the Trump era, commanders in the field were given latitude to make decisions about attacks so long as they fit within broad sets of ‘operating principles,’ including that there should be ‘near certainty’ that civilians ‘will not be injured or killed in the course of operations.’ At the same time, however, the Trump-era rules were flexible about permitting exceptions to that and other standards, saying that ‘variations’ could be made ‘where necessary’ so long as certain bureaucratic procedures were followed in approving them.”

 

Sunday, 2 May 2021:

 

The Republican politicians who tried to overturn an election–and the local news team that won’t let anyone forget it, The Washington Post, Margaret Sullivan, Sunday, 2 May 2021: “The journalists at WITF, an all-news public radio station in Harrisburg, Pa., made a perfectly reasonable decision a few months ago. They decided they wouldn’t shrug off the damaging lies of election denialism. They wouldn’t do what too many in Big Journalism have done in recent months: shove into the memory hole the undemocratic efforts by some Republican elected officials to delegitimize or overturn the 2020 presidential election. Too many Sunday news shows repeatedly book the likes of Kevin McCarthy, Ted Cruz and Ron Johnson without reminding viewers how these members of Congress tried to undo the results of the election — and encouraged the Trumpian lies about election fraud that led to the violent assault on the U.S. Capitol less than four months ago. A rare exception is CNN’s ‘State of the Union,’ which hasn’t booked a single member of the so-called Sedition Caucus since January.”

Continue reading Aftermath of the Trump Administration, May 2021:

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Aftermath of the Trump Administration, April 2021

 

Now that the Biden administration has settled into Washington, D.C., my daily chronicle (20 January 2017 – 20 January 2021) of news about the Trump administration, Republicans, Democrats, corporations, courts, resistance, and persistence is winding down. I will continue to post a few important articles, especially ones that reflect the differences between the Biden administration and the Trump administration.  I hope to devote more of my time to posting muckraking articles on my site and to working with my local activist group in pursuit of progressive change and a stronger democracy. Thanks for reading!

 

For independent global news, visit Democracy Now!

For a newsletter about the history behind today’s politics, subscribe to Heather Cox Richardson’s newsletter, Letters from an American.

 

Thursday, 1 April 2021:

 

Biden Convenes Cabinet for First Meeting, Tapping 5 Secretaries With Selling His Infrastructure Plan. The secretaries would “engage the public in selling the plan and help work out the details as we refine it and move forward,” President Biden said. A watchdog report found problems with a global aid program championed by Ivanka Trump. The New York Times, Thursday, 1 April 2021:

  • Biden holds his first cabinet meeting — but not in the usual spot.

  • Texas lawmakers advance a bill that would make voting more difficult, drawing comparisons to Georgia.

  • A global aid program championed by Ivanka Trump has serious problems, a report finds.

  • The Interior Department’s chief of staff shifts jobs after ignoring coronavirus guidance and planning an indoor party.

  • Biden is seeking to use his infrastructure plan to address racial inequities.

  • Biden joins calls for M.L.B. to move the All-Star Game from Atlanta.

  • Billions in new Obamacare benefits are now available on Healthcare.gov.

  • Delta and Coca-Cola face backlash from Republicans after opposing Georgia voting law.

At first Cabinet meeting, Biden gives five secretaries a ‘special responsibility’ on jobs plan, The Washington Post, John Wagner and Reis Thebault, Thursday, 1 April 2021: “President Biden convened his first full Cabinet meeting Thursday, bringing together 25 top administration officials for a socially distanced gathering in the East Room of the White House that lasted about two hours. He announced he was giving five secretaries a ‘special responsibility’ in promoting his $2 trillion jobs and infrastructure plan to the public. Earlier, Vice President Harris addressed a virtual gathering of the Covid-19 Community Corps, a coalition launched by the Biden administration to encourage coronavirus vaccinations.

Here are a few of the significant developments included in this article.

  • White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain suggested Thursday that the administration is willing to advance its $2 trillion jobs and infrastructure plan with no Republican support.
  • The Biden administration is unveiling its first television advertisements to encourage Americans to get vaccinated against the coronavirus.
  • Democrat Rita Hart dropped her challenge in Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District election, asking the House to no longer consider an investigation into the outcome of her race against Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R) after intense Republican pushback.
  • Hunter Biden says in a memoir that he should not have joined the board of the Ukrainian gas company that President Donald Trump targeted in his effort to tarnish Joe Biden in 2019.

The Trial of Derek Chauvin: ‘I Thought He Was Dead,’ Says a Paramedic Who Treated George Floyd. The paramedics who tried to revive Mr. Floyd described their futile attempts to jurors, and a police supervisor provided insight about Mr. Chauvin’s actions and response after the confrontation. The New York Times, Thursday, 1 April 2021:

  • ‘He seemed like a regular guy, like us. Longtime residents reflect on George Floyd’s death.
  • Officers should have stopped restraining George Floyd sooner, a former supervisor of Derek Chauvin testified.
  • Takeaways from Day 4 of the Derek Chauvin trial.
  • Scenes from Minneapolis on Day 4 of the Chauvin trial.
  • Here’s how the local news media is covering the Derek Chauvin trial.
  • George Floyd was dead by the time medical help arrived, a paramedic testified.
  • Lawyers for George Floyd’s family say jurors should look past his drug use after hearing testimony about his addiction.
  • With several lawyers rotating before the court, here’s a guide to who is prosecuting the case against Derek Chauvin.
  • George Floyd’s girlfriend described their relationship: A shared struggle with addiction, their first kiss, a ‘dad selfie.’
  • What we know about Courteney Ross, George Floyd’s former girlfriend.
  • Hennepin County’s courthouse is experiencing a high-profile case like few other courthouses do.
  • Jurors are gaining new understanding of the day George Floyd died.

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Aftermath of the Trump Administration, March 2021

 

Now that the Biden administration has settled into Washington, D.C., my daily chronicle (20 January 2017 – 20 January 2021) of news about the Trump administration, Republicans, Democrats, corporations, courts, resistance, and persistence is winding down. I will continue to post a few important articles, especially ones that reflect the differences between the Biden administration and the Trump administration.  I hope to devote more of my time to posting muckraking articles on my site and to working with my local activist group in pursuit of progressive change and a stronger democracy. Thanks for reading!

 

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Monday, 1 March 2021:

 

Biden’s Cabinet Picks Are Moving Toward Confirmation as Senate Gears Up for Stimulus Vote, The New York Times, Monday, 1 March 2021:

  • Miguel A. Cardona is confirmed as education secretary.

  • A key Senate panel voted to recommend Merrick Garland’s confirmation.

  • Trump and his wife received coronavirus vaccine before leaving the White House.

  • Elizabeth Warren introduces a wealth tax for individuals worth over $50 million.

  • Protests by Native Americans lead to a delay in Arizona copper mine project.

  • The Capitol Police union endorses recommendations for adding officers, fencing, and an urgent response force.
  • Biden expresses solidarity with Alabama workers attempting to unionize an Amazon warehouse.
  • The White House says it may allow families separated at the border to stay in the U.S.
  • The Washington Post’s publisher accuses Biden of giving the Saudis a ‘one free murder’ pass in the killing of Jamal Khashoggi.

Biden meets virtually with Mexico’s leader as Senate continues to scrutinize his Cabinet choices, The Washington Post, Felicia Sonmez, Colby Itkowitz, and John Wagner, Monday, 1 March 2021: “After returning to Washington from Delaware on Monday, President Biden met virtually with Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, with migration and the coronavirus pandemic among the topics on their agenda. ‘The United States and Mexico are stronger when we stand together,’ Biden said. ‘There’s a long and complicated history between our nations that haven’t always been perfect neighbors with one another. But we have seen over and over again the power and the purpose when we cooperate. And we’re safer when we work together.’ On Capitol Hill, the Senate voted Monday to confirm Miguel Cardona as Biden’s education secretary, while a committee is expected to advance the nomination of Merrick Garland as attorney general.

Here are a few of the significant developments included in this article.

  • Senate Democrats and the White House are retreating on efforts to include a $15 minimum wage increase in Biden’s $1.9 trillion relief bill as they aim to move the package forward this week in the Senate.
  • Former president Donald Trump declared that he is considering a presidential run in 2024, has ruled out forming a third party, and will devote himself to building up Republican efforts to take on Democrats and others he claimed have targeted his movement.
  • Facing fresh allegations of sexual harassment and mounting political pressure, New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (D) apologized if anything he said may ‘have been misinterpreted as an unwanted flirtation,’ but denied he inappropriately touched or propositioned anyone in his office.

How Pro-Trump Forces Pushed a Lie About Antifa at the Capitol Riot. On social media, on cable networks and even in the halls of Congress, supporters of Donald J. Trump tried to rewrite history in real time, pushing the fiction that left-wing agitators were to blame for the violence on Jan. 6. The New York Times, Michael M. Grynbaum, Davey Alba, and Reid J. Epstein, Monday, 1 March 2021: “At 1:51 p.m. on Jan. 6, a right-wing radio host named Michael D. Brown wrote on Twitter that rioters had breached the United States Capitol — and immediately speculated about who was really to blame. ‘Antifa or BLM or other insurgents could be doing it disguised as Trump supporters,’ Mr. Brown wrote, using shorthand for Black Lives Matter. ‘Come on, man, have you never heard of psyops?’ Only 13,000 people follow Mr. Brown on Twitter, but his tweet caught the attention of another conservative pundit: Todd Herman, who was guest-hosting Rush Limbaugh’s national radio program. Minutes later, he repeated Mr. Brown’s baseless claim to Mr. Limbaugh’s throngs of listeners: ‘It’s probably not Trump supporters who would do that. Antifa, BLM, that’s what they do. Right?’ What happened over the next 12 hours illustrated the speed and the scale of a right-wing disinformation machine primed to seize on a lie that served its political interests and quickly spread it as truth to a receptive audience. The weekslong fiction about a stolen election that President Donald J. Trump pushed to his millions of supporters had set the stage for a new and equally false iteration: that left-wing agitators were responsible for the attack on the Capitol. In fact, the rioters breaking into the citadel of American democracy that day were acolytes of Mr. Trump, intent on stopping Congress from certifying his electoral defeat. Subsequent arrests and investigations have found no evidence that people who identify with antifa, a loose collective of antifascist activists, were involved in the insurrection. But even as Americans watched live images of rioters wearing MAGA hats and carrying Trump flags breach the Capitol — egged on only minutes earlier by a president who falsely denounced a rigged election and exhorted his followers to fight for justice — history was being rewritten in real time.” See also, Rewriting January 6th: Republicans push false and misleading accounts of Capitol riot, The Washington Post, Mike DeBonis and Jeremy Barr, Monday, 1 March 2021: “Instead of an attempt to overturn the election by radicalized Donald Trump supporters, it was a choreographed attack staged by antifa provocateurs. Rather than an armed insurrection, it was a good-natured protest spoiled by a few troublemakers. And instead of a deadly event that put the lives of hundreds of lawmakers, police officers and others at risk, the riot was no big deal at all. A legion of conservative activists, media personalities and elected officials are seeking to rewrite the story of what happened at the Capitol on Jan. 6, hoping to undermine the clear picture of the attack that has emerged from video and photo evidence, law enforcement officials, journalistic accounts and the testimonials of the rioters themselves: that a pro-Trump mob, mobilized by the former president’s false claims of a stolen election, stormed the seat of American government to keep Trump in power through violent means. Six weeks after the attack, some are taking advantage of fading memories and unanswered questions to portray the riot in a different, more benign light.”

Continue reading Aftermath of the Trump Administration, March & April 2021:  

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Aftermath of the Trump Administration, Including the Impeachment Trial (January – February 2021)

 

Now that the Biden administration is settling into Washington, D.C. (late January 2021), my daily chronicle (20 January 2017 – 20 January 2021) of news about the Trump administration, Republicans, Democrats, corporations, courts, resistance, and persistence is coming to an end. I will post a few important articles that are published between now and the impeachment trial and cover the trial, of course. Then I hope to return to posting muckraking articles on my site and to working with my local activist group in pursuit of progressive change and a stronger democracy.

 

Thursday, 21 January 2021:

 

The New Washington: Biden Signs Executive Orders for Covid Response. President Biden signed a series of executive orders, including ones on mask wearing and international travelers, and is aiming for 100 million vaccine shots in his first 100 days. The New York Times, Thursday, 21 January 2021:

  • Biden rolls out ‘full-scale, wartime’ coronavirus strategy, including requiring masks on some planes, trains and buses.

  • Fauci warns of virus variant risks, but voices confidence in vaccines.

  • McConnell plans to ask for impeachment trial delay to allow Trump’s legal team time to prepare a defense.

  • The No. 2 official at the F.B.I. is departing.

  • For the impeachment trial, Trump settles on a South Carolina lawyer arranged through Lindsey Graham.

  • National Guard troops who protected the Capitol for Biden’s Inauguration were told to sleep in a parking garage.

  • Biden is invoking the Defense Production Act. Here’s what that means.

  • Avril Haines is the only member of Biden’s cabinet approved so far.

  • Congress granted a waiver to allow Austin to serve as defense secretary, clearing the way for confirmation Friday of the first Black American to hold the job.

  • Kamala Harris’s rise is celebrated in India, especially in her ancestral village.

  • Biden plans to hold a ‘Climate Leaders’ Summit’ on Earth Day.
  • Here’s how the Biden administration began addressing key issues with executive actions.
  • In his Senate confirmation hearing, Pete Buttigieg urges ‘generational’ opportunity to transform transportation.
  • Charlottesville, which inspired Biden’s presidential run, has a message for him as he calls for unity.
  • Federal authorities have charged a man they say beat officers with a hockey stick during the Capitol riot.
  • Trump extends Secret Service protection for his children, cabinet secretaries, and chief of staff.

First 100 Days: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell seeks to delay Trump impeachment trial until February; Congress approves waiver for Lloyd Austin to lead Pentagon, The Washington Post, John Wagner, Felicia Sonmez, Seung Min Kim, and Karoun Demirjian, Thursday, 21 January 2021: “Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is proposing to delay the start of Donald Trump’s impeachment trial until February to give the former president’s lawyers more time to prepare, saying in a statement that the Senate, the presidency and Trump ‘deserve a full and fair process.’ House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) says her chamber is ready to send an article of impeachment to the Senate as soon as it is ready to hold a trial. Separately, Congress approved a waiver for Lloyd Austin to lead the Defense Department, paving the way for the retired Army general’s historic confirmation. Austin, who would become the first Black defense secretary, requires an exemption because he has not been retired from active military service for the seven years stipulated by law. President Biden, as he rolled out a new coronavirus plan Thursday, said that the death toll from the pandemic will probably top 500,000 next month and that it will take months ‘for us to turn things around.’

Here are a few of the significant developments included in this article.

  • Pete Buttigieg, a young, former Midwestern mayor with a national profile, made his pitch to a Senate committee weighing his nomination to become Biden’s transportation secretary.
  • Seven Democratic senators lodged an ethics complaint against two of their Republican colleagues, Ted Cruz of Texas and Josh Hawley of Missouri, over their actions ahead of the Jan. 6 storming of the Capitol by a pro-Trump mob.
  • Biden is seeking a five-year extension with Russia on the only remaining treaty limiting the world’s two largest nuclear arsenals just days before it expires, said two senior U.S. officials.
  • Democrats claimed control of the Senate on Wednesday by the thinnest possible margin as Vice President Harris swore in three new Democratic senators, bringing Republicans and Democrats to a 50-50 split in the chamber, with Harris as the tiebreaker.

Joe Biden marks start of presidency with flurry of executive orders. Some orders undo significant actions from the Trump administration, including the Paris climate agreement, while others address Covid. The Guardian, Sam Levine, Thursday, 21 January 2021: “Joe Biden has marked the start of his presidency by signing a flurry of executive orders on a suite of issues, including Covid-19, the environment, immigration and ethics. Some of the executive actions undo significant actions from Donald Trump’s administration, including halting the travel ban from Muslim-majority countries, and ending the declaration of a national emergency used to justify funding construction of a wall on the US-Mexico border. He also signed an order allowing the United States to rejoin the Paris climate agreement and end the Trump administration’s efforts to exclude undocumented immigrants from the census data used to determine how many seats in Congress each state gets.”

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