Trump Administration, Week 140: Friday, 20 September – Thursday, 26 September 2019 (Days 974-980)

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, 20 September 2019, Day 974:

 

Photos: What the youth climate strike looks like around the world, Vox, Brian Resnick and Danielle Scruggs, Friday, 20 September 2019: “Friday may be remembered as the largest global demonstration ever in the fight against climate change. Inspired by Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg, young people around the world have organized to skip school and protest in the street over the climate crisis and the adults who aren’t doing enough to transition off fossil fuels. Thunberg and her group Fridays for Future aren’t alone: They’ll be joined by adult climate activists, indigenous groups, workers from companies like Amazon and Google, and really anyone who feels like the world is overdue for dramatic action on climate change. The event is truly global: There are 2,500 events scheduled in over 150 countries.” See also, Across the globe, millions join biggest climate protest ever, The Guardian, Sandra Laville and Jonathan Watts, Friday, 20 September 2019: “Millions of people demonstrated across the world yesterday demanding urgent action to tackle global heating, as they united across timezones and cultures to take part in the biggest climate protest in history. In an explosion of the youth movement started by the Swedish school striker Greta Thunberg just over 12 months ago, people protested from the Pacific islands, through Australia, across-south east Asia and Africa into Europe and onwards to the Americas. For the first time since the school strikes for climate began last year, young people called on adults to join them – and they were heard. Trade unions representing hundreds of millions of people around the world mobilised in support, employees left their workplaces, doctors and nurses marched and workers at firms like Amazon, Google and Facebook walked out to join the climate strikes.” See also, Global climate strike: Greta Thunberg and school students lead climate crisis protest–as it happened, The Guardian, Maanvi Singh, Mark Oliver, Haroon Siddique, and Naaman Zhou, Friday, 20 September 2019. See also, Protesting Climate Change, Young People Take to the Streets in a Global Strike, The New York Times, Somini Sengupta, Friday, 20 September 2019: “Anxious about their future on a hotter planet and angry at world leaders for failing to arrest the crisis, masses of young people poured into the streets on every continent on Friday for a day of global climate protests. Organizers estimated the turnout to be around four million in thousands of cities and towns worldwide. It was the first time that children and young people had demonstrated to demand climate action in so many places and in such numbers around the world.” See also, Climate Strike N.Y.C.: Young Crowds Demand Action and Welcome Greta Thunberg, The New York Times, Anne Barnard and James Barron, Friday, 20 September 2019: “They packed Foley Square and the streets around City Hall, and jammed the stairs leading out of nearby subway stations. They carried handmade signs like one that said, ‘There is no plan(et) B,’ and chanted, ‘Sea levels are rising and so are we!’ Later, they paraded out of the square, headed to another rally at Battery Park. Frustrated by what they consider officials’ failure to adequately address a crisis, thousands of young people marched through Lower Manhattan on Friday during a day of global climate protests. Those who rallied said that too little was being done to stem the rise of planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions. One test of their message will come on Monday, when world leaders convene at the United Nations to discuss what they are ready to do about climate change.” See also, Greta Thunberg is leading students and adults from 150 countries in a massive Friday climate strike, Vox, Umair Irfan, Friday, 20 September 2019. See also, Thousands of Tech Workers Join Global Climate Change Strike, Wired, Louise Matsakis, Friday, 20 September 2019: “Thousands of workers from AmazonTwitterGoogleMicrosoftFacebookSquare, and other tech companies are expected to walk out today as part of a worldwide climate change strike led by 16-year-old activist Greta Thunberg. After Amazon workers announced they were joining the demonstration last week, employees from other Silicon Valley firms began joining in. The same group of Amazon employees have been pushing the company to reduce its carbon footprint for nearly a year. Now, over 1,700 of them and counting have said they will join Friday’s walkout, which is expected to draw millions of participants in cities around the world.” See also, Millions of Young People Around the World Are Leading Strikes to Call Attention to the Climate Crisis, BuzzFeed News, Zahra Hirji, Matthew Champion, Azeen Ghorayshi, and J. Lester Feder, Friday, 20 September 2019: “People — mainly young people — across the world walked out of school and work in a massive youth-led movement to draw attention to the climate crisis. There were more than 3,600 events planned, according to the main organizing group #FridaysForFuture. The third global youth-run climate strike of the year, Friday’s event was poised to be the biggest yet and it seemed to deliver: streets in major cities around the world were shuttered with throngs of determined people holding clever signs and chanting.” See also, ‘We will make them hear us’: Millions of youths around the world strike for action, The Washington Post, Sarah Kaplan, Lauren Lumpkin, and Brady Dennis, Friday, 20 September 2019: “In one of the largest youth-led demonstrations in history, millions of people from Manhattan to Mumbai took to the streets around the globe on Friday, their chants, speeches and homemade signs delivering the same stern message to world leaders: do more to combat climate change — and do it faster.” See also, Summits, Strikes, and Climate Change, The New Yorker, Elizabeth Kolbert, Friday, 20 September 2019: “Are the politics of climate change in America changing? There are positive signs. Earlier this month, the top ten candidates for the Democratic Presidential nomination participated in a CNN town hall on the issue; according to the Times, this was ‘the first such prime-time event’ in history. A recent Washington Post poll found that more than three-quarters of Americans now consider climate change a ‘crisis’ or a ‘major problem.’ A survey conducted this summer of voters in Texas showed that, even in the oil patch, a majority are concerned about climate change. Thunberg’s actions have inspired hundreds of thousands of young people around the globe to stage school strikes for climate action. Ahead of the strike called for the eve of the climate summit, the New York City school system said it would excuse students who skipped classes; Thunberg was set to speak to the strikers in Foley Square. Still, you’d have to ignore most of the past forty years to conclude that action is imminent.” See also, Scientists Warn That Immediate Climate Action Is Needed to Avoid ‘Grim’ Future, Scientific American, Thomas Frank, Friday, 20 September 2019: “A leading group of international climate scientists is warning that ‘large-scale strategies’ are needed immediately to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and avert ‘catastrophic circumstances’ that threaten every part of the world. In a paper published yesterday in the journal Science, 21 researchers from 14 countries said climate change is already damaging the planet more than scientists had projected, endangering everything from food supply to the existence of island nations. Heat waves are intensifying in North America and Europe. Underwater heat waves are killing deepwater habitats and coral reefs. Insect populations are dwindling, threatening the food chain. And larger, more frequent wildfires, such as the blazes that have killed more than 100 people in California since 2017, are destroying forests and communities around the world.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Says Congress Should Pass New Laws so Sitting Presidents Can Be Indicted, NPR, Friday, 20 September 2019: “In an exclusive interview with NPR, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she has not changed her mind on pursuing impeachment but is ready to change the law to restrain presidential power and make it clear that a sitting president can, in fact, be indicted. ‘I do think that we will have to pass some laws that will have clarity for future presidents. [A] president should be indicted, if he’s committed a wrongdoing — any president. There is nothing anyplace that says the president should not be indicted,’ Pelosi told All Things Considered host Ari Shapiro and NPR congressional correspondent Susan Davis on Friday. ‘That’s something cooked up by the president’s lawyers.'” See also, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi backs changing the law to allow a sitting president to be indicted, Politico, Caitlin Oprysko, Friday, 20 September 2019: “Speaker Nancy Pelosi endorsed changing federal law to specify that a sitting president can be indicted, even as she indicated she was no closer to moving to impeach President Donald Trump. In an interview with NPR published Friday, Pelosi argued that despite a Justice Department legal opinion asserting the contrary, ‘there is nothing any place that says the president should not be indicted.'”

U.S. Agreement With El Salvador Seeks to Divert Asylum Seekers, The New York Times, Zolan Kanno-Youngs and Elisabeth Malkin, Friday, 20 September 2019: “The Trump administration signed an agreement with the government of El Salvador on Friday that could force Central American migrants traveling through El Salvador to seek refuge in that violent and dangerous country instead of in the United States. The agreement is a win for President Trump and his hard-line immigration policies, and it gives him another ally in Central America as he tries to block migrants from seeking asylum at the southwestern border. Washington has signed a similar agreement with Guatemala.” See also, Trump administration reaches deal to send asylum seekers to El Salvador in an effort to deter migrants from entering the United States, The Washington Post, Nick Miroff, Friday, 20 September 2019: “The Trump administration announced an accord Friday that will allow the United States to divert asylum seekers from the U.S. border to El Salvador, pushing migrants into one of the most dangerous countries in the world. The deal between the two governments is the latest measure aimed at creating new layers of deterrents to the influx of migrants applying for protection on U.S. soil.”

Continue reading Week 140, Friday, 20 September – Thursday, 26 September 2019 (Days 974-980)

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Trump Administration, Week 139: Friday, 13 September – Thursday, 19 September 2019 (Days 967-973)

 

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, 13 September 2019, Day 967:

 

U.S. Appeals Court Reinstates Emoluments Case Against Trump, The New York Times, Sharon LaFraniere, Friday, 13 September 2019: “A federal appeals court in New York on Friday revived a lawsuit alleging that President Trump is illegally profiting from his hotels and restaurants in New York and Washington in violation of the Constitution’s anti-corruption, or emoluments, clauses. In a two-to-one decision, a panel of judges for the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit found that a lower court had wrongly dismissed the lawsuit accusing Mr. Trump of violating the Constitution’s bans on accepting financial benefits from foreign or state governments. The appeals court judge sent the lawsuit back to the lower court, ordering it be allowed to proceed.” See also, Appeals court revives lawsuit saying Trump is violating the Constitution by doing business with foreign governments, The Washington Post, David A. Fahrenthold, Friday, 13 September 2019: “A federal appeals court on Friday revived a previously dismissed lawsuit against President Trump, which alleges Trump is violating the Constitution by engaging in business transactions with foreign governments. In a 2-to-1 ruling, a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit found that a lower-court judge improperly threw out the lawsuit in December 2017. Now, plaintiffs are hoping this victory will allow them to seek detailed records on Trump’s transactions with foreign officials. But, if Trump appeals, as is expected, the case could go to the full 2nd Circuit — and possibly to the Supreme Court after that.” See also, Appeals court revives foreign corruption suit against Trump, Politico, Josh Gerstein, Friday, 13 September 2019: “A federal appeals court has resurrected the first lawsuit President Donald Trump faced over claims that his business dealings violated the Constitution’s foreign emoluments clause, which bars federal officials receiving payments from foreign governments.”

Teen activist Greta Thunberg takes her youth climate campaign to Washington, The Washington Post, Sarah Kaplan and Brady Dennis, Friday, 13 September 2019: “Barely a year ago, Greta Thunberg sat alone outside the Swedish parliament each week, holding a handwritten sign that read ‘School Strike for Climate.’ But by the time the 16-year-old arrived in the United States in late August after a two-week ocean voyage on a zero-emissions boat, she was an icon of the youth climate movement. She has published a book, given barn-burning speeches before audiences of the world’s political and business leaders and been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. This coming Friday, she plans to lead a protest in New York ahead of a United Nations summit on climate action. Hundreds of thousands of students across more than 150 countries have said they plan to walk out of school in solidarity with her.” See also, Greta Thunberg to U.S.: ‘You Have a Moral Responsibility’ on Climate Change, NPR, Bill Chappell and Ailsa Chang, Friday, 13 September 2019: “Greta Thunberg led a protest at the White House on Friday. But she wasn’t looking to go inside — ‘I don’t want to meet with people who don’t accept the science,’ she says. The young Swedish activist joined a large crowd of protesters who had gathered outside, calling for immediate action to help the environment and reverse an alarming warming trend in average global temperatures. She says her message for President Trump is the same thing she tells other politicians: Listen to science, and take responsibility.”

Interior Department Takes Next Step Toward Sale of Drilling Leases in Arctic Refuge, The New York Times, Henry Fountain, Friday, 13 September 2019: “The Trump administration reached a milestone this week in its plan to open a pristine part of Alaska to oil and gas development with the release of a final report on the environmental impact of the plan. The report keeps the Interior Department on track to auction leases for the right to drill in the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge before the end of the year, a long-stated administration goal. Having drilling rights in the hands of oil companies would make it more difficult to stop development in the refuge should Democrats take either the White House or Senate and keep control of the House in the 2020 elections.”

Continue reading Week 139, Friday, 13 September – Thursday, 19 September 2019 (Days 960-96)

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Trump Administration, Week 138: Friday, 6 September – Thursday, 12 September 2019 (Days 960-966)

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, 6 September 2019, Day 960:

 

Pence’s Stay at Trump Resort in Ireland and Trump’s G7 Plans Draw Democrats’ Scrutiny, The New York Times, Nicholas Fandos, Friday, 6 September 2019: “House Democrats, furious over President Trump’s continued promotion of his branded properties for government business, said on Friday that they would scrutinize whether two recent cases would violate the Constitution’s ban on presidents profiting from domestic or foreign governments. Two chairmen acting in tandem sent letters to the White House, the Secret Service and the Trump Organization asking for documents and communications related to Vice President Mike Pence’s decision to stay this week at Mr. Trump’s resort in Ireland during an official visit, as well as Mr. Trump’s recent statements promoting Trump National Doral, near Miami, as a possible site for the Group of 7 summit of world leaders next year. In both cases, the Democrats argued, Mr. Trump stands to benefit financially from American taxpayer dollars, and in the case of the potential summit in Doral, from foreign funds as well. The Constitution’s emoluments clauses prohibit presidents from accepting any payment from federal, state or foreign governments beyond their official salary.” See also, House panel is probing whether Pence’s stay at Trump resort in Ireland improperly ‘enriched’ Trump, The Washington Post, John Wagner, Friday, 6 September 2019: “The House Oversight Committee has launched an investigation into whether President Trump improperly benefited financially from Vice President Pence’s stay this week at a Trump golf resort while on a taxpayer-funded, official trip to Ireland. Pence and his entourage spent two nights at the Trump International Golf Links & Hotel in Doonbeg, a small town on Ireland’s southwest coast, and traveled in between to meetings with Irish leaders in Dublin, on the opposite side of the country.” See also, Air Force crew made an odd stop on a routine trip: Trump’s Scottish golf resort, Politico, Natasha Bertrand and Bryan Bender, Friday, 6 September 2019: “In early Spring of this year, an Air National Guard crew made a routine trip from the U.S. to Kuwait to deliver supplies. What wasn’t routine was where the crew stopped along the way: President Donald Trump’s Turnberry resort, about 50 miles outside Glasgow, Scotland.”

Maine Voters Will Rank Their Top Presidential Candidates in 2020, The New York Times, Maggie Astor, Friday, 6 September 2019: “Maine will soon become the first state to adopt ranked-choice voting in presidential elections. Gov. Janet Mills, a Democrat, announced on Friday that she would allow a bill recently passed by the Maine Legislature to become law without her signature. The first vote conducted under the new law will be the general election in November 2020. Under the new system, voters will be able to rank as many candidates as they like in order of preference. The initial count will look only at their first choices, and if one candidate receives a majority, that candidate would win. If no one receives a majority, however, the candidate with the fewest first-choice votes will be eliminated, and his or her votes will be redistributed to those voters’ second-choice candidates. This process will repeat until one candidate breaks 50 percent. Proponents say the system ensures that the candidate with the broadest appeal wins. Effectively, it prevents third-party candidates from becoming “spoilers” by siphoning a decisive number of votes from one of the major-party contenders, resulting in a winner that a majority of voters oppose.”

The Secret Files of Thomas Hofeller, the Master of Modern Republican Gerrymandering, The New Yorker, David Daley, Friday, 6 September 2019: “Thomas Hofeller preached secrecy as he remapped American politics from the shadows. The Republican Party operative, known as the master of the modern gerrymander, trained other G.O.P. operatives and legislators nationwide to secure their computer networks, guard access to their maps, and never send e-mails that they didn’t want to see published by the news media. In training sessions for state legislators and junior line drawers, he used a PowerPoint presentation that urged them to ‘avoid recklessness’ and ‘always be discreet,’ and warned that emails are the tool of the devil. Hofeller did not follow his own advice. Before his death, in August, 2018, he saved at least seventy thousand files and several years of e-mails. A review of those records and e-mails—which were recently obtained first by The New Yorker—raises new questions about whether Hofeller unconstitutionally used race data to draw North Carolina’s congressional districts, in 2016. They also suggest that Hofeller was deeply involved in G.O.P. mapmaking nationwide, and include new trails for more potential lawsuits challenging Hofeller’s work, similar to the one on Wednesday which led to the overturning of his state legislative maps in North Carolina.”

Continue reading Week 138, Friday, 6 September – Thursday, 12 September 2019 (Days 953-959)

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Trump Administration, Week 137: Friday, 30 August – Thursday, 5 September 2019 (Days 953-959)

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, 30 August 2019, Day 953:

 

Greta Thunberg joins hundreds of teenagers in climate protest in New York, The Guardian, Friday, 30 August 2019: “Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg was joined by hundreds of American teenagers protesting outside the UN headquarters in New York on Friday calling for adults to act on the crisis of global heating. Holding her trademark ‘skolstrejk för klimatet’ (Swedish for ‘school strike for climate’) sign, Thunberg sat in the middle of the rally where young activists gave speeches calling for action on the climate crisis.”

Trump’s personal assistant Madeleine Westerhout is fired after comments about Ivanka and Tiffany Trump, Politico, Daniel Lippman, Friday, 30 August 2019: “Madeleine Westerhout, who left her White House job suddenly on Thursday as President Trump’s personal assistant, was fired after bragging to reporters that she had a better relationship with Trump than his own daughters, Ivanka and Tiffany Trump, and that the president did not like being in pictures with Tiffany because he perceived her as overweight. Given Westerhout’s sensitive role as a confidante to the president, the few details the White House shared about her abrupt firing had Washington’s political-media class in a quiet frenzy on Thursday night and Friday.” See also, Trump’s Personal Assistant, Madeleine Westerhout, Shared Intimate Details of First Family, The New York Times, Katie Rogers, Annie Karni, and Maggie Haberman, Friday, 30 August 2019: “If a White House official wanted to talk to President Trump, it helped to have a good relationship with Madeleine Westerhout, his 28-year-old assistant. She was known for brusquely deflecting officials senior to her both in title and age who wanted a few minutes of face time with the president with one withering question: ‘Why are you here?’ But it was not what some administration officials saw as Ms. Westerhout’s overprotectiveness of the president that led to her abrupt and unceremonious departure from the White House on Thursday. Instead, it was an act of disloyalty. At an off-the-record dinner and several rounds of drinks with reporters two weeks ago during the president’s working vacation in Bedminster, N.J., she shared personal details about the president and his family. Ms. Westerhout attended the dinner with Hogan Gidley, a White House spokesman. After he left, she began to tell reporters about Mr. Trump’s eating habits; his youngest son, Barron Trump; and his thoughts about the weight and appearance of his daughter Tiffany Trump, according to a group of current and former administration officials who were told what happened.” See also, Trump says ousted personal assistant Madeleine Westerhout made ‘hurtful’ comments about his family to reporters, The Washington Post, Toluse Olorunnipa, Friday, 30 August 2019: “President Trump said he dismissed his personal assistant, Madeleine Westerhout, after she divulged personal information about the Trump family during an off-the-record dinner with reporters.” See also, Trump’s personal assistant, Madeleine Westerhout, abruptly exits White House after sharing details about Trump’s family, CNN, Jim Acosta, Kaitlan Collins, Noah Gray, Pamela Brown, and Paul LeBlanc, Friday, 30 August 2019. See also, Trump’s Personal Assistant, Madeleine Westerhout, Steps Down, The New York Times, Annie Karni and Maggie Haberman, published on Thursday, 29 August 2019.

How the Trump administration limited the scope of the US Department of Agriculture’s 2020 dietary guidelines, The Washington Post, Laura Reiley, Friday, 30 August 2019: “The Trump administration is limiting scientific input to the 2020 dietary guidelines, raising concerns among nutrition advocates and independent experts about industry influence over healthy eating recommendations for all Americans. For the first time, the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Agriculture, which oversee the committee giving recommendations for the guidelines, have predetermined the topics that will be addressed. They have narrowed the research that can be used only to studies vetted by agency officials, potentially leaving key studies out of the mix. The 80 questions the committee has been asked to answer do not cover several pressing issues the panel explored five years ago. This includes the consumption of red and processed meat, as well as the dramatic proliferation of ultraprocessed foods, which account for a growing percentage of calories consumed by Americans. Nor will the committee explore appropriate sodium levels for different populations.”

Continue reading Week 137, Friday, 30 August – Thursday, 5 August 2019 (Days 953-959)

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Trump Administration, Week 136: Friday, 23 August – Thursday, 29 August 2019 (Days 946-952)

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, 23 August 2019, Day 946:

 

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell Highlights the Limits of the Central Bank. Trump Labels Him an ‘Enemy.’ The New York Times, Jeanna Smialek, Friday, 23 August 2019: “Jerome H. Powell, the Federal Reserve chair, kept future interest rate cuts squarely on the table on Friday but suggested that the central bank was limited in its ability to counteract President Trump’s trade policies, which are stoking uncertainty and posing risks to the economic outlook. Mr. Powell’s remarks drew a swift and angry reaction from Mr. Trump, who equated the Fed leader with the president’s adversary in the trade war, President Xi Jinping of China.” See also, Trump calls the Federal Reserve chair an ‘enemy’ after Jerome Powell says Trump’s trade war is a ‘complex, turbulent’ situation, The Washington Post, Heather Long, Friday, 23 August 2019: “President Trump escalated his unprecedented attacks against America’s central bank Friday, calling Federal Reserve Chair Jerome H. Powell an ‘enemy’ of the United States that is as bad as China, a tweet that triggered a stock market slide and came minutes after Powell vowed to keep the economy growing. Powell said Friday that the trade war is a ‘complex, turbulent’ situation and that the central bank will ‘act as appropriate to sustain the expansion,’ suggesting another interest rate cut may be coming but not the large decline that Trump has demanded.” See also, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell Issues a Warning Over Trade War and Signals More Rate Cuts Are Possible, The Wall Street Journal, Nick Timiraos, Friday, 23 August 2019: “Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell gave his most forceful warning yet about the risks to the U.S. economy from escalating trade tensions and the limits to the central bank’s ability to cushion any fallout. Mr. Powell, in a widely anticipated speech here Friday, signaled the central bank would follow its rate cut last month, its first in more than a decade, with an additional reduction soon. But he stopped short of saying how much stimulus the Fed might provide beyond that. Instead, he cautioned that the Fed’s tools weren’t well suited to counter rising business and investor anxieties over the intensifying trade war between President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping. There are ‘no recent precedents to guide any policy response to the current situation. Moreover, while monetary policy is a powerful tool that works to support consumer spending, business investment and public confidence, it cannot provide a settled rulebook for international trade,’ Mr. Powell said at the Kansas City Fed’s annual symposium.”

David Koch, Billionaire Who Fueled Right-Wing Movement, Dies at 79, The New York Times, Robert D. McFadden, Friday, 23 August 2019: “David H. Koch, an industrialist who amassed a multibillion-dollar fortune with his brother Charles and then joined him in pouring their riches into a powerful right-wing libertarian movement that helped reshape American politics, died on Friday at his home in Southampton, N.Y. He was 79…. Jane Mayer, the New Yorker writer and a critic of the Koch brothers, said in her book ‘Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right’ (2016), that the libertarian policies they embraced benefited Koch chemical and fossil fuel businesses, which were among the nation’s worst polluters, and paid millions in fines and court judgments for hazardous-waste violations. ‘Lowering taxes and rolling back regulations, slashing the welfare state and obliterating the limits on campaign spending might or might not have helped others,’ Ms. Mayer wrote, ‘but they most certainly strengthened the hand of extreme donors with extreme wealth.’ The Koch brothers rejected the allegations. Koch money also funded initiatives to undercut climate science and to counter efforts to address climate change. As Ms. Mayer put it in her book, ‘The Kochs vehemently opposed the government taking any action on climate change that would hurt their fossil fuel profits.’ In interviews after the book was published, Ms. Mayer said that investigators who she believed were hired by the Koch brothers had tried to intimidate her by digging up false information, including accusations of plagiarism, to smear her reputation.” See also, Looking Back at David Koch’s Impact on U.S. Politics, NPR, NPR’s Ailsa Chang talks with Jane Mayer of The New Yorker, Friday, 23 August 2019. See also, David Koch Was the Ultimate Climate Change Denier, The New York Times, Christopher Leonard, Friday, 23 August 2019: “David Koch, who died Friday at the age of 79, is best known as a major funder of right-wing political causes, from tax cuts to deregulation, an enthusiastic patron of the arts and a man-about-town. But to his critics, his most lasting political legacy might very well be the rapidly warming world that he has left behind. Koch Industries realized early on that it would be a financial disaster for the firm if the American government regulated carbon emissions or made companies pay a price for releasing carbon into the atmosphere. The effects of such a policy would be measured over decades for Koch. The company has billions of dollars sunk into the complex and expensive infrastructure of crude-oil processing. If a limit on greenhouse gas emissions were imposed, it could dampen demand for oil and diminish the value of those assets and their future sales. The total dollar losses would likely be measured in trillions over a period of 30 years or more. In the face of this political problem, David Koch and his brother Charles built a political influence machine that is arguably unrivaled by any in corporate America.” See also, ‘Kochland’ by Christopher Leonard Examines the Koch Brothers’ Early, Crucial Role in Climate-Change Denial, The New Yorker, Jane Mayer, published on Tuesday, 13 August 2019: “If there is any lingering uncertainty that the Koch brothers are the primary sponsors of climate-change doubt in the United States, it ought to be put to rest by the publication of ‘Kochland: The Secret History of Koch Industries and Corporate Power in America,’ by the business reporter Christopher Leonard. This seven-hundred-and-four-page tome doesn’t break much new political ground, but it shows the extraordinary behind-the-scenes influence that Charles and David Koch have exerted to cripple government action on climate change.”

Keystone XL Pipeline Plan Is Approved by Nebraska Supreme Court, The New York Times, Mitch Smith, Friday, 23 August 2019: “Nebraska’s highest court approved the Keystone XL oil pipeline’s planned path through that state on Friday, resolving a permitting battle that has stretched on for more than a decade as the project has become a proxy for a national debate between environmentalists and the energy industry. Keystone XL, which would carry crude oil from Canada to southern Nebraska, has been the subject of political maneuvering and litigation since it was proposed in 2008. The project, which was rejected by the Obama administration, was revived under President Trump…. The Nebraska Supreme Court’s ruling on Friday was not the final word on the pipeline. A federal lawsuit in Montana still seeks to block construction, and several landowners along the route have refused to sign easements. Protesters, including from Native American tribes in Nebraska and South Dakota, have promised to mobilize if construction begins.” See also, Keystone Pipeline’s Alternate Route Gets the Go-Ahead From Nebraska Supreme Court, NPR, Colin Dwyer, Friday, 23 August 2019: “The company behind the controversial Keystone XL pipeline has won a major victory in Nebraska, where environmental activists, two Native American tribes and some local landowners had sought to derail its construction. The state’s Supreme Court on Friday ruled unanimously in favor of an alternate route proposed by TC Energy, formerly known as TransCanada.”

Continue reading Week 136, Friday, 23 August – Thursday, 29 August 2019 (Days 946-952)

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

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

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

For independent global news, visit Democracy Now!

 

Friday, 16 August 2019, Day 939:

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For independent global news, visit Democracy Now!

 

Friday, 9 August 2019, Day 932:

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

For independent global news, visit Democracy Now!

 

Friday, 2 August 2019, Day 925:

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

For independent global news, visit Democracy Now!

 

Friday, 26 July 2019, Day 918:

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

For independent global news, visit Democracy Now!

 

Friday, 19 July 2019, Day 911:

 

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

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

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

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

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