Week 85: Friday, 31 August – Thursday, 6 September 2018 (Days 589-595)

Families Belong Together and Free: rally in Pittsfield, MA, Saturday, 30 June 2018

Passages in bold in the body of the texts below are my emphasis. This is an ongoing project, and I update the site frequently. Because I try to stay focused on what has actually happened, I usually let the news ‘settle’ 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.

 

Friday, 31 August 2018, Day 589:

 

Federal Judge in Texas Delivers Unexpected Victory for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program, The New York Times, Michael D. Shear, Friday, 31 August 2018: “A federal judge in Texas declined on Friday to halt an Obama-era program that protects young undocumented immigrants from deportation, handing a temporary victory to activists who are waging a legal fight against the Trump administration to save it. The judge, Andrew S. Hanen of the Federal District Court in Houston, said the program, known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, had been relied upon by hundreds of thousands of immigrants since it was established almost six years ago, and should not be abruptly ended. The ruling means that young immigrants who were brought illegally to the United States as small children can continue to apply for the program, which shields them from immediate deportation and provides a permit to work legally in the United States.”

Still separated: Nearly 500 migrant children taken from their parents remain in U.S. custodyThe Washington Post, Maria Sacchetti, Friday, 31 August 2018: “Lawyers are coldcalling phone numbers in far-flung Central American villages, and enlisting church pastors and schoolteachers to help. They are spreading the word on radio stations, putting up posters and setting up Spanish-language hotlines. They are trying to reach every parent separated from their children by the Trump administration. More than a month after a court deadline passed for the government to reunite families divided by President Trump’s border crackdown, nearly 500 children remain in U.S. government-funded shelters without their parents, according to court papers filed Thursday night. Advocates and government officials say it could be weeks, months or longer before they are together. Nearly two-thirds of the 497 minors still in custody — including 22 ‘tender-age’ children, who are younger than 5 — have parents who were deported, mostly in the first weeks of Trump’s ‘zero-tolerance’ policy. Their lawyers are locating parents in their home countries to ask whether they want their children sent back, or would rather have them remain in the United States to pursue their own immigration claims. At the same time, the lawyers are trying to bring some deported parents back to seek permission to live in the United States — a decision that might end up with U.S. District Judge Dana M. Sabraw, who issued the reunification order.”

Thousands of Vietnamese, including children of U.S. troops, could be deported under tough Trump policy, The Washington Post, Simon Denyer, Friday, 31 August 2018: “Nearly 1.3 million Vietnamese citizens have immigrated to the United States since the communist takeover of South Vietnam in 1975. Many came in the wave of ‘boat people’ who made headlines in the late 1970s as they fled Vietnam in overcrowded and unsafe vessels. The new arrivals were given green cards when they reached the United States, but many … lacked the education, language skills or legal help needed to negotiate the complex bureaucratic process of acquiring citizenship. Many came as children, attended schools and colleges in the United States, worked, paid taxes and raised families. Decades on, their lives and families could be ripped apart again. The Trump administration, in a policy shaped by senior policy adviser Stephen Miller, has reinterpreted a 2008 agreement reached with Vietnam by the George W. Bush administration — that Vietnamese citizens who arrived before the two countries established diplomatic relations in 1995 would not be ‘subject to return.’ Now, the White House says, there is no such immunity to deportation for any noncitizen found guilty of a crime.”

Continue reading Week 85, Friday, 31 August – Thursday, 6 September 2018 (Days 589-595)

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Week 84: Friday, 24 August – Thursday, 30 August 2018 (Days 582-588)

Families Belong Together and Free: rally in Pittsfield, MA, Saturday, 30 June 2018

Passages in bold in the body of the texts below are my emphasis. This is an ongoing project, and I update the site frequently. Because I try to stay focused on what has actually happened, I usually let the news ‘settle’ 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.

 

Friday, 24 August 2018, Day 582:

 

Allen Weisselberg, Top Trump Organization Official, Was Granted Immunity for Testimony by Federal Prosecutors in Manhattan for His Grand Jury Testimony about Michael Cohen, The New York Times, Michael S. Schmidt and Steve Eder, Friday, 24 August 2018: “Federal prosecutors in Manhattan struck a deal earlier this summer with Allen Weisselberg, the longtime chief financial officer of the Trump Organization, granting him immunity for his grand jury testimony about Michael D. Cohen, a person briefed on the arrangement said Friday. News of Mr. Weisselberg’s testimony came days after Mr. Cohen said Mr. Trump had directed him to commit campaign finance crimes and one day after another Trump loyalist, the tabloid executive David Pecker, was revealed to have agreed to help prosecutors in their case. The person briefed on the deal said that it was narrow in scope, protecting Mr. Weisselberg from self-incrimination in sharing information with prosecutors about Mr. Cohen, Mr. Trump’s former personal lawyer, who pleaded guilty on Tuesday to tax and campaign finance charges. The latter charges stemmed from payments during the campaign to two women who said they had affairs with Mr. Trump. It was not, the person said, a blanket immunity extending beyond the information he shared, and Mr. Weisselberg remains in his job at the Trump Organization.” See also, Trump Organization executive Allen Weisselberg, who allegedly helped arrange hush-money reimbursement to Cohen, received immunity from federal prosecutors in New York, The Washington Post, Carol D. Leonnig, Devlin Barrett, and Rosalind S. Helderman, Friday, 24 August 2018: “A federal investigation that led President Trump’s longtime lawyer to implicate Trump in two campaign finance crimes this week also secured the cooperation of one of the top-ranking executives at Trump’s private company. Allen Weisselberg, chief financial officer for the Trump Organization, was granted immunity by federal prosecutors in New York who were investigating Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen, according to people familiar with the probe…. The decision to grant Weisselberg immunity gave prosecutors access to one of the highest-ranking figures inside the president’s private company, an executive who is considered practically part of Trump’s family…. The Wall Street Journal first reported Weisselberg’s immunity deal.” See also, Allen Weisselberg, Longtime Trump Organization CFO, Testified and Was Granted Immunity in the Michael Cohen Probe, The Wall Street Journal, Rebecca Ballhaus and Nicole Hong, Friday, 24 August 2018: “President Trump’s financial gatekeeper was granted immunity by federal authorities in New York and testified before a grand jury, the third longtime confidant of Mr. Trump known to have provided information in an illegal hush-money investigation that has implicated the president. Allen Weisselberg, who has served for decades as chief financial officer and executive vice president of the Trump Organization, testified several weeks ago in the criminal investigation by federal prosecutors in Manhattan into Michael Cohen….” See also, Allen Weisselberg, the Man Who Knows Donald Trump’s Financial Secrets, Has Agreed to Become a Coöperating Witness, The New Yorker, Adam Davidson, Friday, 24 August 2018.

Kremlin Sources Go Quiet, Leaving C.I.A. in the Dark About Putin’s Plans for Midterm Elections in the U.S., The New York Times, Julian E. Barnes and Matthew Rosenberg, Friday, 24 August 2018: “In 2016, American intelligence agencies delivered urgent and explicit warnings about Russia’s intentions to try to tip the American presidential election — and a detailed assessment of the operation afterward — thanks in large part to informants close to President Vladimir V. Putin and in the Kremlin who provided crucial details. But two years later, the vital Kremlin informants have largely gone silent, leaving the C.I.A. and other spy agencies in the dark about precisely what Mr. Putin’s intentions are for November’s midterm elections, according to American officials familiar with the intelligence. The officials do not believe the sources have been compromised or killed. Instead, they have concluded they have gone to ground amid more aggressive counterintelligence by Moscow, including efforts to kill spies, like the poisoning in March in Britain of a former Russian intelligence officer that utilized a rare Russian-made nerve agent.”

No One Is Safer. No One Is Served. An immigrant family hides from Donald Trump in a Connecticut church. The New Yorker, Dave Eggers, Friday, 24 August 2018: “The legendary Chicago oral historian and moral force Studs Terkel once said, ‘There is a decency in the American people and a native intelligence—providing they have the facts, providing they have the information.’ During a lifetime of listening to Americans, Terkel came to believe that, when Americans have the information, they do the right thing. So here is the information: For a hundred and fifty-eight days, Malik Naveed bin Rehman, Zahida Altaf, and their five-year-old daughter, Roniya, have been living in the basement of the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme, Connecticut…. Malik and Zahida are a middle-aged couple, originally from Pakistan, who have been in the United States for almost twenty years…. In 2014, Malik and Zahida gained protection under an executive action concerning enforcement priorities signed by President Obama. Immigrants who had committed no crimes and who had played by the rules—working and paying taxes, for example—were not prioritized for deportation. Then, in 2017, the Trump Administration reversed the executive action, and deportation proceedings were started against Malik and Zahida…. There are at least forty-two families or individuals facing deportation who are now living in churches across the United States. It is only a form of courtesy that prevents ICE from entering sensitive areas such as schools and places of worship; if they choose to, they can go anywhere they please. The forty-two cases are those that have been publicized in some way, but because more than a thousand churches have signed on to participate in the sanctuary movement, and because many more churches are providing sanctuary in secret, the total number of humans hiding in American houses of faith is not known…. [H]ow is the United States made better or more secure by throwing away this family’s eighteen years of law-abiding life in Connecticut? The answer is that we will be no better and no more secure. We will only be more callous, less compassionate, less fair, and we will continue to spin so far from the moral center that we may never find our way back.”

Continue reading Week 84, Friday, 24 August – Thursday, 30 August 2018 (Days 582-588)

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Trump, Week 83: Friday, 17 August – Thursday, 23 August 2018 (Days 575-581)

Families Belong Together and Free: rally in Pittsfield, MA, Saturday, 30 June 2018

Passages in bold in the body of the texts below are my emphasis. This is an ongoing project, and I update the site frequently. Because I try to stay focused on what has actually happened, I usually let the news ‘settle’ 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.

 

Friday, 17 August 2018, Day 575:

 

Bomb that killed 40 children in Yemen was supplied by the United States, CNN, Nima Elbagir, Salma Abdelaziz, Ryan Browne, Barbara Arvanitidis, and Laura Smith-Spark, Friday, 17 August 2018: “The bomb used by the [US-backed] Saudi-led coalition in a devastating attack on a school bus in Yemen was sold as part of a US State Department-sanctioned arms deal with Saudi Arabia, munitions experts told CNN. Working with local Yemeni journalists and munitions experts, CNN has established that the weapon that left dozens of children dead on August 9 was a 500-pound (227 kilogram) laser-guided MK 82 bomb made by Lockheed Martin, one of the top US defense contractors…. As the US-backed Saudi-led coalition scrambles to investigate the strike on the school bus, questions are growing from observers and rights groups about whether the US bears any moral culpability. The US says it does not make targeting decisions for the coalition, which is fighting a Houthi rebel insurgency in Yemen. But it does support its operations through billions of dollars in arms sales, the refueling of Saudi combat aircraft and some sharing of intelligence. ‘I will tell you that we do help them plan what we call, kind of targeting,’ said US Secretary of Defense James Mattis. ‘We do not do dynamic targeting for them.'”

Citing Costs, Trump Retreats From Massive Military Parade in Capital, The New York Times, Eileen Sullivan, Helene Cooper, and Michael D. Shear, Friday, 17 August 2018: “President Trump on Friday officially surrendered his order for a massive military parade in the nation’s capital, as spiraling costs rendered his vision of a Veterans Day extravaganza too expensive to justify. Mr. Trump sought to blame local government officials in Washington for inflating the price of the parade ‘so ridiculously high that I cancelled it’ — a charge they swiftly rejected. ‘Maybe we will do something next year in D.C. when the cost comes WAY DOWN,’ Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter. ‘Now we can buy some more jet fighters!’ Several administration officials described a sort of sticker shock after seeing a Pentagon estimate that soared as high as $92 million to pay for the troops, fighter jets, armored vehicles and other military hardware that would be mustered to satisfy the president’s dream of displaying American might…. By Friday morning, Mr. Trump essentially accused the capital city’s government of price gouging. Local officials, he said on Twitter, ‘know a windfall when they see it.’ Responding in a tweet of her own, Washington’s mayor, Muriel E. Bowser, said she was ‘the local politician who finally got thru to the reality star in the White House’ so that he would understand the ‘realities’ of the expense of the kind of parade he wanted. She estimated it at $21.6 million in city spending alone.” See also, Trump cancels military parade he longed to hold as concern over costs grow, The Washington Post, John Wagner, Peter Jamison, Josh Dawsey, Dan Lamothe, Friday, 17 August 2018.

Trump’s Plan for Coal Emissions: Let Coal States Regulate Them, The New York Times, Lisa Friedman, Friday, 17 August 2018: “The Trump administration next week plans to formally propose a vast overhaul of climate change regulations that would allow individual states to decide how, or even whether, to curb carbon dioxide emissions from coal plants, according to a summary of the plan and details provided by three people who have seen the full proposal. The plan would also relax pollution rules for power plants that need upgrades. That, combined with allowing states to set their own rules, creates a serious risk that emissions, which had been falling, could start to rise again, according to environmentalists. The proposal, which President Trump is expected to highlight Tuesday at a rally in West Virginia, amounts to the administration’s strongest and broadest effort yet to address what the president has long described as a regulatory ‘war on coal.’ It would considerably weaken what is known as the Clean Power Plan, former President Barack Obama’s signature regulation for cutting planet-warming emissions at coal-fired plants. That rule, crafted as the United States prepared to enter into the 2015 Paris Agreement on global warming, was the first federal carbon-pollution restriction for power plants. In 2016, the Supreme Court temporarily blocked the regulation from taking effect while a federal court heard arguments from a coalition of coal states that sued to block the rule. It remains suspended. Now, the Trump administration wants to defang the Obama-era rule. The move follows a separate decision this month to freeze Obama-era fuel efficiency standards that were also aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions.” See also, New Trump power plant plan would release hundreds of millions of tons of CO2 into the air, The Washington Post, Juliet Eilperin, published on Saturday, 18 August 2018: “President Trump plans this week to unveil a proposal that would empower states to establish emission standards for coal-fired power plants rather than speeding their retirement — a major overhaul of the Obama administration’s signature climate policy. The plan, which is projected to release at least 12 times the amount of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere compared with the Obama rule over the next decade, comes as scientists have warned that the world will experience increasingly dire climate effects absent a major cut in carbon emissions.”

Continue reading Week 83, Friday, 17 August – Thursday, 23 August 2018 (Days 575-581)

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Trump, Week 82: Friday, 10 August – Thursday, 16 August 2018 (Days 568-574)

Families Belong Together and Free: rally in Pittsfield, MA, Saturday, 30 June 2018

Passages in bold in the body of the texts below are my emphasis. This is an ongoing project, and I update the site frequently. Because I try to stay focused on what has actually happened, I usually let the news ‘settle’ 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.

 

Friday, 10 August 2018, Day 568:

 

Cables Detail C.I.A. Waterboarding at Secret Prison in Thailand Run by Gina Haspel, The New York Times, Julian E. Barnes and Scott Shane, Friday, 10 August 2018: “In late November 2002, C.I.A. interrogators at a secret prison in Thailand warned a Qaeda suspect that he had to ‘suffer the consequences of his deception.’ As interrogators splashed water on the chest of the man, Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, he pleaded that he was trying to recall more information, according to a newly released C.I.A. cable. As he cried, the cable reports, the ‘water treatment was applied.’ The ‘water treatment’ was bureaucratic jargon for waterboarding, and 11 newly released top-secret cables from the time that Gina Haspel, now the C.I.A. director, oversaw the base provide at times graphic detail on the techniques the agency used to brutally interrogate [i.e., torture] Qaeda captives. Agency leaders and officers were racing to uncover what they feared were large-scale plots against the United States in the chaotic months and years after the Sept. 11 attacks. As the chief of the base, Ms. Haspel would have written or authorized the cables, according to Tom Blanton, the director of the National Security Archive, a research organization at George Washington University. The cables, obtained by the archive in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, were redacted to eliminate the names of interrogators and C.I.A. officers involved. ProPublica previously reported on cables from the Thailand black site, which also offered details of the C.I.A.’s methods. Like those documents, the new cables describe the waterboarding of Mr. Nashiri as well as the use of other torture techniques.” See also, Torture of al-Qaeda suspect described in 2002 cables sent by CIA Director Gina Haspel, The Washington Post, Karen DeYoung, Friday, 10 April 2018: “The torture of a suspected al-Qaeda terrorist, including waterboarding, is described in meticulous detail in newly-declassified cables that CIA Director Gina Haspel sent to agency headquarters in late 2002, when she headed a secret U.S. detention facility in Thailand. The suspect, Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, was believed to have been involved in planning the USS Cole bombing in Yemen in 2000, and the CIA was convinced that he knew about other attacks being planned. Nashiri’s treatment during interrogation — forced nudity, shackling, being slammed against walls, being confined in a small box and mock executions, as well as waterboarding — has been previously mentioned in broad terms in official reports, hearings, court cases and news reports. But many specifics about what happened to Nashiri during his several-week stay at the Thailand facility, while Haspel was briefly in charge, have not been made public. They are contained in 11 cables obtained under the Freedom of Information Act by the National Security Archive, a private research institute, which plans to release them early Friday.”

Trump blasts National Football League (NFL) players for kneeling at preseason games, Politico, Stephanie Murray, Friday, 10 August 2018: “President Donald Trump blasted NFL players on Friday morning for protesting during the national anthem at preseason games, accusing them of being ‘unable to define’ what they are protesting and suggesting the athletes should instead ‘be happy’ and ‘be cool.’ ‘The NFL players are at it again – taking a knee when they should be standing proudly for the national anthem. Numerous players, from different teams, wanted to show their “outrage” at something that most of them are unable to define. They make a fortune doing what they love,’ Trump said in a tweet…. Contrary to the president’s claim, the NFL players who kneel for the national anthem have been vocal and specific about their protests, which began two seasons ago in opposition to racial injustice and police brutality. Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins and some of his teammates wore t-shirts Thursday that said ‘more than 60% of prison populations are people of color’ on the front and ‘nearly 5,000 kids are in adults prisons and jails’ on the back, according to NBC Sports.” See also, Trump Blasts N.F.L. Players as Protests Resume During Anthem, The New York Times, Ken Belson and Benjamin Hoffman, published on Thursday, 9 August 2018: “The morning after a handful of N.F.L. players renewed their protests against social inequality and police brutality by raising fists or kneeling during the playing of the national anthem, President Trump renewed his criticism of their actions.”

Trump’s New War on Immigrants, The New Yorker, Masha Gessen, Friday, 10 August 2018: “The Trump Administration is about to change the rules of naturalization in a way intended to drastically cut the number of immigrants who become U.S. citizens. According to NBC News, the White House’s plan is to make immigrants who have received any public assistance ineligible to become citizens. (The Department of Homeland Security did not deny the plan’s existence to NBC.) It is impossible to predict exactly how many people will be affected, but immigration experts think the impact will be enormous. The new rules appear to use the broadest possible definition of public assistance—one that includes Obamacare and children’s health insurance—meaning that most potential new citizens will be ineligible for naturalization. In 2016, the last year for which statistics are available, more than seven hundred and fifty thousand immigrants became American citizens. In order to apply for naturalization, an immigrant has to have lived in the United States as a legal permanent resident for thirty months out of a consecutive five years, depending on the reason she gained permanent-resident status. Because a green card often takes a number of years to obtain, most new citizens have been living in the United States for well more than five years. During that time, the chances are good that the immigrants have benefited from the provisions of the Affordable Care Act (either through the Medicaid expansion or by enrolling in an Obamacare marketplace plan) or used a program such as CHIP, which provides low-cost health insurance for children; in New York State, children in families of four earning up to $97,200 are eligible for CHIP. With an approach this broad, it seems likely that hundreds of thousands of people a year will be affected by the rules change.”

Continue reading Week 82, Friday, 10 August – Thursday, 16 August 2018 (Days 568-574)

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Trump, Week 81: Friday, 3 August – Thursday, 9 August 2018 (Days 561-567)

Families Belong Together and Free: rally in Pittsfield, MA, Saturday, 30 June 2018

Passages in bold in the body of the texts below are my emphasis. This is an ongoing project, and I update the site frequently. Because I try to stay focused on what has actually happened, I usually let the news ‘settle’ 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.

 

Friday, 3 August 2018, Day 561:

 

Judge John D. Bates of the Federal District Court for the District of Columbia Upholds Order for the Trump Administration to Restore the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program, The New York Times, Miriam Jordan, Friday, 3 August 2018: “A federal judge on Friday upheld his previous order to revive an Obama-era program that shields some 700,000 young immigrants from deportation, saying that the Trump administration had failed to justify eliminating it. Judge John D. Bates of the Federal District Court for the District of Columbia gave the government 20 days to appeal his decision. But his ruling could conflict with another decision on the program that a federal judge in Texas is expected to issue as early as next week. The Trump administration announced late last year that it would phase out the program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, which protects undocumented young adults from deportation and grants them two-year renewable work permits. The administration argued that President Barack Obama had overstepped his authority and circumvented Congress when he created the program in 2012. The decision to end the program has faced numerous legal challenges. Currently, the government must continue accepting applications to renew DACA status, if not new applications from those who meet the criteria to qualify. DACA recipients — often called ‘Dreamers’ — typically were brought to the United States illegally as children through no choice of their own. Judge Bates ruled in late April that the administration must restore the DACA program and accept new applications. He had stayed his decision for 90 days to give the Department of Homeland Security, which runs the program, the opportunity to lay out its reasons for ending it.” See also, Judge rules the Trump administration is still not justified in ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, The Washington Post, Erik Larson, Friday, 3 August 2018: “The Trump administration was unable again to convince a federal judge that there’s a legitimate reason to rescind legal protections for hundreds of thousands of young undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children and seek to avoid deportation.”

Opponents of Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh’s Nomination to the Supreme Court Say a Former Aide’s Role in the Screening of Documents Presents a Conflict of Interest, The New York Times, Sheryl Gay Stolberg, Friday, 3 August 2018: “The lawyer advising former President George W. Bush on the release of thousands of records relating to Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh’s time as an aide in the Bush White House once worked for him — a relationship that opponents of the judge’s nomination to the Supreme Court say is a conflict of interest. The lawyer, William A. Burck, served as a deputy to Judge Kavanaugh in 2005 when he was staff secretary — a job at the center of a bitter documents dispute between Democrats and Republicans. A team of roughly 50 lawyers is reviewing tens of thousands of pages of documents held by the Bush Library in Texas as part of an effort to determine which, if any, should be withheld from the Senate based on Mr. Bush’s assertion of ‘executive privilege’ — his right to object to their release. The documents relate to Judge Kavanaugh’s time in the Bush White House Counsel’s Office, not his time as staff secretary. Mr. Burck is not screening the documents himself, but he is supervising the review, and, according to a person familiar with the process, does advise the former president as he makes those decisions.”

It’s True: Trump Is Lying More, and He’s Doing It on Purpose, The New Yorker, Susan B. Glasser, Friday, 3 August 2018: “On Thursday, the Washington Post published a remarkable story on its front page revealing a recent spike in the number of ‘false and misleading claims’ made by President Trump. In his first year as President, Trump made 2,140 false claims, according to the Post. In just the last six months, he has nearly doubled that total to 4,229. In June and July, he averaged sixteen false claims a day. On July 5th, the Post found what appears to be Trump’s most untruthful day yet: seventy-six per cent of the ninety-eight factual assertions he made in a campaign-style rally in Great Falls, Montana, were ‘false, misleading or unsupported by evidence.’ Trump’s rallies have become the signature events of his Presidency, and it is there that the President most often plays fast and loose with the facts, in service to his political priorities and to telling his fervent supporters what they want and expect to hear from him. At another rally this week, in Tampa, Trump made thirty-five false and misleading claims, on subjects ranging from trade with China to the size of his tax cut. These astonishing statistics were compiled by a small team overseen by Glenn Kessler, the editor and chief writer of the Post’s Fact Checker column, who for much of the last decade has been truth-squadding politicians and doling out Pinocchios for their exaggerations, misrepresentations, distortions, and otherwise false claims…. The White House assault on the truth is not an accident—it is intentional.”

Continue reading Week 81, Friday, 3 August – Thursday, 9 August 2018 (Days 561-567)

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Trump, Week 80: Friday, 27 July – Thursday, 2 August 2018 ( Days 554-560)

Families Belong Together and Free: rally in Pittsfield, MA, Saturday, 30 June 2018

Passages in bold in the body of the texts below are my emphasis. This is an ongoing project, and I update the site frequently. Because I try to stay focused on what has actually happened, I usually let the news ‘settle’ 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.

 

Friday, 27 July 2018, Day 554:

 

Michael Cohen, Trump’s former personal attorney, claims Trump knew in advance about the 2016 Trump Tower meeting, CNN Politics, Jim Sciutto, Carl Bernstein, and Marshall Cohen, Friday, 27 July 2018: “Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s former personal attorney, claims that then-candidate Trump knew in advance about the June 2016 meeting in Trump Tower in which Russians were expected to offer his campaign dirt on Hillary Clinton, sources with knowledge tell CNN. Cohen is willing to make that assertion to special counsel Robert Mueller, the sources said. Cohen’s claim would contradict repeated denials by Trump, Donald Trump Jr., their lawyers and other administration officials who have said that the President knew nothing about the Trump Tower meeting until he was approached about it by The New York Times in July 2017. Cohen alleges that he was present, along with several others, when Trump was informed of the Russians’ offer by Trump Jr. By Cohen’s account, Trump approved going ahead with the meeting with the Russians, according to sources. To be clear, these sources said Cohen does not have evidence, such as audio recordings, to corroborate his claim, but he is willing to attest to his account.” See also, Michael Cohen is now alleging what would be the Trump team’s worst cover-up yet, The Washington Post, Aaron Blake, Friday, 27 July 2018. See also, Trump maintains not knowing in advance about meeting with Russians at Trump Tower in June 2016, disputing Michael Cohen’s claim, The Washington Post, Robert Costa, Tom Hamburger, and Felicia Sonmez, Friday, 27 July 2018: “President Trump on Friday issued a fresh rebuttal against his former personal attorney Michael Cohen, maintaining that he did not know in advance about a June 2016 Trump Tower meeting between a Russian lawyer and his eldest son, Donald Trump Jr.”

Venting about press, Trump has repeatedly sought to ban reporters over the way they ask him questions, The Washington Post, Philip Rucker, Josh Dawsey, and Ashley Parker, Friday, 27 July 2018: “President Trump has sought repeatedly to punish journalists for the way they ask him questions, directing White House staff to ban those reporters from covering official events or to revoke their press credentials, according to several current and former administration officials. At various moments throughout his presidency, Trump has vented angrily to aides about what he considers disrespectful behavior and impertinent questions from reporters in the Oval Office and in other venues. He has also asked that retaliatory action be taken against them. ‘These people shouting questions are the worst,’ Trump has said, according to a current official. ‘Why do we have them in here?’ Until this week, the officials said, Trump’s senior aides have resisted carrying out his directives. They convinced him that moves to restrict media access could backfire and further strain the White House’s fraught relationship with the press corps, whose members the president routinely derides as ‘fake news’ and ‘dishonest people.’ On Wednesday, however, newly installed Deputy Chief of Staff Bill Shine and press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders took action against CNN correspondent Kaitlan Collins, telling her she could not attend Trump’s open-media event in the Rose Garden because they objected to her questioning of the president earlier in the day. The move revealed a fresh willingness inside the West Wing to execute the president’s wishes to punish reporters. It immediately drew a chorus of protest throughout the media, including from Fox News Channel, Trump’s favorite network and Shine’s former employer.”

Andrew Wheeler, Scott Pruitt’s Successor at the Environmental Protection Agency, Wants Rollbacks, Too. And He Wants Them to Stick. The New York Times, Coral Davenport, Friday, 27 July 2018: “In his first three weeks on the job, Andrew Wheeler, the acting head of the Environmental Protection Agency, has sought to halt two major efforts by his predecessor, Scott Pruitt, to roll back environmental regulations, arguing that the policies are legally vulnerable, according to people who have heard his reasoning. Mr. Wheeler’s actions signal a strategic shift at the E.P.A., an agency at the heart of President Trump’s push to strip away regulations on industry. Under Mr. Pruitt, who resigned July 5 under a cloud of ethics investigations, the agency pushed for ambitious but fast-paced rollbacks of environmental rules. At least a half-dozen of those have been struck down by federal courts. Mr. Wheeler, a former coal lobbyist who served as Mr. Pruitt’s deputy, has brought a more disciplined approach to dismantling environmental rules. It is an approach that may take longer, but it may be more effective in standing up to the inevitable legal challenges.” See also, Andrew Wheeler, the Acting Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, Closes Dirty-Truck Loophole Left by Scott Pruitt, The New York Times, Lisa Friedman, Friday, 27 July 2018: “Andrew R. Wheeler, the acting administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, has reversed the final policy act of his predecessor, Scott Pruitt: granting a loophole that would have allowed more highly polluting trucks on the nation’s roads.”

Continue reading Week 80, Friday, 27 July – Thursday, 2 August 2018 (Days 554-560)

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Trump, Week 79: Friday, 20 July – Thursday, 26 July 2018 (Days 547-553)

Families Belong Together and Free: rally in Pittsfield, MA, Saturday, 30 June 2018

Keeping Track (of some things), Staying Outraged (it is possible), and Resisting (it’s essential)

 

Passages in bold in the body of the texts below are my emphasis. This is an ongoing project, and I update the site frequently. Because I try to stay focused on what has actually happened, I usually let the news ‘settle’ 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.

 

Friday, 20 July 2018 (Day 547)

 

Trump’s Longtime Lawyer, Michael Cohen, Secretly Taped Trump Discussing Payment to Playboy Model Karen McDougal, The New York Times, Matt Apuzzo, Maggie Haberman, and Michael S. Schmidt, Friday, 20 July 2018: “President Trump’s longtime lawyer, Michael D. Cohen, secretly recorded a conversation with Mr. Trump two months before the presidential election in which they discussed payments to a former Playboy model who said she had an affair with Mr. Trump, according to lawyers and others familiar with the recording. The F.B.I. seized the recording this year during a raid on Mr. Cohen’s office. The Justice Department is investigating Mr. Cohen’s involvement in paying women to tamp down embarrassing news stories about Mr. Trump ahead of the 2016 election. Prosecutors want to know whether that violated federal campaign finance laws, and any conversation with Mr. Trump about those payments would be of keen interest to them. The recording’s existence appears to undercut the Trump campaign’s denial of any knowledge of payments to the model. It further draws Mr. Trump into questions about tactics he and his associates used to keep aspects of his personal and business life a secret. And it highlights the potential legal and political danger that Mr. Cohen represents to Mr. Trump. Once the keeper of many of Mr. Trump’s secrets, Mr. Cohen is now seen as increasingly willing to consider cooperating with prosecutors.” See also, In secret recording seized by FBI, Trump and Michael Cohen, his longtime lawyer, discuss buying rights to model’s account of alleged affair, The Washington Post, Carol D. Leonnig and Rosalind S. Helderman, Friday, 20 July 2018: “Two months before the 2016 election, longtime Donald Trump attorney Michael Cohen secretly taped a conversation with the then-GOP presidential nominee about whether to purchase the rights to Playboy centerfold Karen McDougal’s account of her alleged extramarital affair with Trump, according to three people familiar with the conversation…. Trump and Cohen’s discussion came a month after AMI, the parent company of the National Enquirer, bought the rights to McDougal’s story for $150,000, then shelved it…. In a statement Friday, President Trump’s attorney Rudolph W. Giuliani confirmed the recording’s existence and said no payment was ever made. He said the conversation does not pose any legal jeopardy for the president. ‘Nothing in that conversation suggests that he had any knowledge of [the AMI payment] in advance,’ Giuliani said. ‘In the big scheme of things, it’s powerful exculpatory evidence.’ However, the recording shows that Trump — whose spokeswoman denied he had any knowledge of the AMI deal with McDougal when it became public days before the election — in fact knew of her claims and efforts to keep her quiet at least two months earlier. The timing of the conversation between the GOP nominee and his longtime ‘fixer’ also provides more evidence that Cohen was trying to squash embarrassing stories about Trump before the election — a major focus of the investigation by federal prosecutors in Manhattan.”

Immigrant Shelters Drug Traumatized Teenagers Without Consent, ProPublica, Caroline Chen and Jess Ramirez, Friday, 20 July 2018: “Whether they came to the U.S. alone or were forcibly separated from their families at the border, despondent minors are often pressured into taking psychotropic drugs without approval from a parent or guardian…. At the Northern Virginia Juvenile Detention Center, which has a program for unaccompanied immigrant teenagers, at least 70 percent of the residents were on antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications and sleep aids, often taking multiple pills, according to two former employees…. Most of the teenagers had crossed the border alone, but often had family members in the U.S. who were seeking to sponsor them. Even in cases where a child had a mother or father living in the U.S., the parent was never contacted for permission to medicate, said the former employees, who asked for anonymity for fear of affecting future employment…. While skipping consent procedures, staff also made it hard for children to say no. A federal field specialist from the Department of Homeland Security instructed staff to file a ‘significant incident report’ every time a teen refused to take medication, said one of the former employees. That report could then be used to justify delaying reunification with family. The teenagers, fearing being written up, would take their pills, the staffer said.” See also, Immigrant Parents Face a Dilemma: Will Making an Asylum Claim Make It Harder to Reunite With Their Kids? The New Yorker, Jonathan Blitzer, Friday, 20 July 2018: “In ICE detention, parents who [are] seeking asylum due to threats of violence or harm back home are being pressured to abandon their claims…. Since last summer, when the family-separation policy went into effect, activists and lawyers had worried about parents who were agreeing to voluntary departure—essentially, deportation—either because they were distraught after being separated from their kids, confused, or misled to believe that they would see their children sooner if they agreed to sign whatever forms the government put in front of them. For parents who were seeking asylum due to threats of violence or harm back home, agreeing to voluntary departure effectively ended their asylum claim. People were told, ‘You don’t have the option to seek asylum and be reunited with your children,’ Gracie Willis, an attorney with the Southern Poverty Law Center, told HuffPost earlier this month. Some parents have already been deported without their kids, and many more could follow. ‘The government plan is to deport parents who have final orders of removal and then the parents will decide whether to leave their children behind,’ Lee Gelernt, of the A.C.L.U., told me.”

Bill Shine, Trump’s Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications, Was Questioned by Federal Prosecutors, The New York Times, Elizabeth Williamson and Emily Steel, Friday, 20 July 2018: “Bill Shine, a former co-president of Fox News hired this month as President Trump’s communications chief, brought conservative credentials and heavy baggage with him into the White House. President Trump embraced the former and ignored the latter. Mr. Shine, now struggling to limit the damage from Mr. Trump’s performance on Monday with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, was ousted from Fox News last year in the wake of a sexual harassment scandal at the network. Mr. Shine was never publicly accused of harassment, but he was accused in multiple civil lawsuits of covering up misconduct by Roger E. Ailes, the founding chairman of Fox News, and dismissing concerns from colleagues who complained. Mr. Shine’s appointment to the White House job has drawn criticism from some women who worked for him at Fox News, and has brought new scrutiny of his record there. In one previously undisclosed action, Mr. Shine was subpoenaed last year by a federal grand jury in New York as part of a criminal investigation into Fox News’s handling of sexual harassment complaints, according to a document viewed by The New York Times…. In hiring Mr. Shine, Mr. Trump ignored advisers who worried that Mr. Shine’s legal exposure in the harassment cases was not fully known, and that the hire could again draw attention to accusations from at least 19 women of sexual misconduct by Mr. Trump before he became president…. ‘Our president is telling the world he doesn’t care about creating a healthy work environment,’ said Rudi Bakhtiar, a former Fox News correspondent who was fired after she reported sexual harassment by a colleague in 2007. She ultimately reached a $675,000 settlement with Fox News. ‘It’s a boy’s club,’ she said. ‘They take care of each other.'”

Continue reading Week 79, Friday, 20 July – Thursday, 26 July 2018 (Days 547-553)

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Trump, Week 78: Friday, 13 July – Thursday, 19 July 2018 (Days 540-546)

Families Belong Together and Free: rally in Pittsfield, MA, Saturday, 30 June 2018

Keeping Track (of some things), Staying Outraged (it is possible), and Resisting (it’s essential)

 

Passages in bold in the body of the texts below are my emphasis. This is an ongoing project, and I update the site frequently. Because I try to stay focused on what has actually happened, I usually let the news ‘settle’ 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.

 

Friday, 13 July 2018, Day 540:

 

12 Russian Agents Indicted in Mueller Investigation, The New York Times, Mark Mazzetti and Katie Benner, Friday, 13 July 2018: “The special counsel investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election issued an indictment of 12 Russian intelligence officers on Friday in the hacking of the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton presidential campaign. The indictment came only three days before President Trump was planning to meet with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia in Helsinki, Finland. The 29-page indictment is the most detailed accusation by the American government to date of the Russian government’s interference in the 2016 election, and it includes a litany of brazen Russian subterfuge operations meant to foment chaos in the months before Election Day. From phishing attacks to gain access to Democratic operatives, to money laundering, to attempts to break into state elections boards, the indictment details a vigorous and complex effort by Russia’s top military intelligence service to sabotage the campaign of Mr. Trump’s Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton. The timing of the indictment, by Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel, added a jolt of tension to the already freighted atmosphere surrounding Mr. Trump’s meeting with Mr. Putin. It is all but certain to feed into the conspiratorial views held by the president and some of his allies that Mr. Mueller’s prosecutors are determined to undermine Mr. Trump’s designs for a rapprochement with Russia. The president has long expressed doubt that Russia was behind the 2016 attacks, and the 11-count indictment illustrates even more the distance between his skepticism and the nearly unanimous views of the intelligence and law enforcement agencies he leads.” See also, Mueller probe indicts 12 Russians with hacking of Democrats in 2016, The Washington Post, Devlin Barrett and Matt Zapotosky, Friday, 13 July 2018: “A dozen Russian military intelligence officers were indicted Friday on charges they hacked Democrats’ computers, stole their data and published those files to disrupt the 2016 election — the clearest connection to the Kremlin established so far by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation of interference in the presidential campaign. The indictment against members of the Russian military agency known as the GRU marks the first time Mueller has taken direct aim at the Russian government, accusing specific military units and their named officers of a sophisticated, sustained effort to hack the computer networks of Democratic organizations and the Hillary Clinton campaign.” See also, Read Mueller probe indictment of 12 Russians for hacking Democrats, The Washington Post, Friday, 13 July 2018. See also, 12 Russians Charged: Major Highlights of the Indictment and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s Statement, The New York Times, Friday, 13 July 2018. See also, Timeline: How Russian agents allegedly hacked the DNC and Hillary Clinton’s campaign, The Washington Post, Philip Bump, Friday, 13 July 2018. See also, Over 100 Charges, 32 People, and 3 Companies: The Mueller Inquiry, Explained, The New York Times, Emily Cochrane and Alicia Parlapiano, published on Friday, 23 February 2018 and updated when necessary. See also, Who has been charged in the Russia probe and why, The Washington Post, Jukie Vitkovskaya, Samuel Granados, and Aaron Williams, updated on Friday, 13 July 2018. See also, How the Russians hacked the DNC and passed its emails to WikiLeaks, The Washington Post, Ellen Nakashima and Shane Harris, Friday, 13 July 2018. See also, How Russian Intelligence Officers Hid Behind Bitcoin in Hacking Campaign, The New York Times, Nathaniel Popper and Matthew Rosenberg, Friday, 13 July 2018: “In early 2016, Russian intelligence officers obtained a new pool of the virtual currency Bitcoin. They quickly put the digital money to work. The Russian spies used some of the Bitcoins to pay for the registration of a website, dcleaks.com, where they would later post emails that had been stolen from Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. When the operatives needed a computer server to host the dcleaks site, they paid for that with Bitcoins as well. The transactions were detailed in an indictment on Friday from the Justice Department, in which prosecutors accused 12 Russian operatives of interfering in the 2016 presidential campaign through a sophisticated hacking scheme. The indictment provided one of the clearest illustrations to date of the inner workings of the Russian operation that carried out the hacking of the Democratic Party and other targets. It also showed how cryptocurrencies — and the anonymity they provide — have become both a tool and a challenge for intelligence agencies in the battles between nation states.”

On 27 July 2016 Trump Invited the Russians to Hack Hillary Clinton’s Emails and to Make Them Public. On the Same Day Trump Encouraged Russians to Hack Clinton’s Emails, Russians Started Targeting Clinton’s Personal Servers for the First Time. Were They Listening? The New York Times, Michael S. Schmidt, Friday, 13 July 2018: “It was one of the more outlandish statements in a campaign replete with them: In a news conference in July 2016, Donald J. Trump made a direct appeal to Russia to hack Hillary Clinton’s emails and make them public. ‘Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,’ Mr. Trump said, referring to emails Mrs. Clinton had deleted from the private account she had used when she was secretary of state. ‘I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.’ As it turns out, that same day, the Russians — whether they had tuned in or not — made their first effort to break into the servers used by Mrs. Clinton’s personal office, according to a sweeping 29-page indictment unsealed Friday by the special counsel’s office that charged 12 Russians with election hacking. The indictment did not address the question of whether the Russians’ actions were actually in response to Mr. Trump. It said nothing at all about Mr. Trump’s request for help from Russia — a remark that had unnerved American intelligence and law enforcement officials who were closely monitoring Russia’s efforts to influence the election. But the indictment did offer some clues about what happened, implying that the hacking had occurred later on the day Mr. Trump issued his invitation. He made the statement around 10:30 a.m. July 27 at his golf course in Doral, Fla. It was late afternoon in Russia.” See also, On 27 July 2016 Trump publicly asked Russia to find Hillary Clinton’s emails. They acted within hours. Vox, Dylan Scott, Friday, 13 July 2018: “On the very same day in 2016 that Donald Trump urged Russia to find Hillary Clinton’s missing emails, Russian intelligence officers launched a new attack to hack his opponent’s personal emails, according to the latest indictments from special counsel Robert Mueller. It is maybe the most eyebrow-raising detail in an indictment filled with them.” See also, Why You Should Read the Latest Mueller Indictment Yourself, The New Yorker, Eric Lach, Friday, 13 July 2018: “The latest indictment produced by the special counsel Robert Mueller is a brisk read. ‘You can see, in detail, how the Russian spies operated,’ The New Yorker’s Adam Entous told me on Friday, a few hours after the document was made public. ‘You learn a ton.’ The indictment accuses twelve Russian military-intelligence officers of interfering in the 2016 U.S. Presidential election by hacking the computers of people working for the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic Party, releasing material stolen from those computers to the public, and then trying to cover their tracks. It details how the Russians used various means, including the hacker persona Guccifer 2.0, to communicate with journalists and other people in the U.S. And, in one notable paragraph, the document says that the Russians tried to hack e-mail accounts used by Clinton’s personal office on July 27, 2016—the same day that Donald Trump, at a rally, publicly asked Russia to try to find Clinton’s ‘missing’ e-mails. But in other ways the indictment is a limited document…. [T]hough, as Entous says, the indictment offers a ‘damning’ amount of detail about the methods the Russian officers used—computer programs, cryptocurrencies, aliases, and so on—it is completely silent on who ordered the Russian operation.”

Top Democrats call on Trump to cancel Putin meeting following indictments of 12 Russian intelligence officers for engaging in a ‘sustained effort’ to hack Democrats’ emails and computer networks, CNN Politics, Lauren Fox, Manu Raju, and Jeremy Herb, Friday, 13 July 2018: “The top Democrats in Congress on Friday called for President Donald Trump to cancel his upcoming summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin after the Justice Department announced indictments against 12 Russian nationals, that accused them of engaging in a ‘sustained effort’ to hack Democrats’ emails and computer networks. ‘President Trump should cancel his meeting with Vladimir Putin until Russia takes demonstrable and transparent steps to prove that they won’t interfere in future elections. Glad-handing with Vladimir Putin on the heels of these indictments would be an insult to our democracy,’ Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a statement. The top Democrat in the House, Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California, tweeted, ‘@realDonaldTrump must immediately cancel his meeting with Putin.'”

Continue reading Week 78, Friday, 13 July – Thursday, 19 July 2018 (Days 540-546)

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Trump, Week 77: Friday, 6 July – Thursday, 12 July 2018 (Days 533-539)

Families Belong Together and Free: rally in Pittsfield, MA, Saturday, 30 June 2018

 

Keeping Track (of some things), Staying Outraged (it is possible), and Resisting (it’s essential)

 

Passages in bold in the body of the texts below are my emphasis. This is an ongoing project, and I update the site frequently. Because I try to stay focused on what has actually happened, I usually let the news ‘settle’ 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.

 

Friday, 6 July 2018, Day 533:

 

76 Environmental Rules on the Way Out Under the Trump Administration, The New York Times, Nadja Popovich, Livia Albeck-Ripka, and Kendra Pierre-Louis, updated on Friday, 6 July 2018: “Since taking office last year, President Trump has made eliminating federal regulations a priority. His administration, with help from Republicans in Congress, has often targeted environmental rules it sees as overly burdensome to the fossil fuel industry, including major Obama-era policies aimed at fighting climate change. To date, the Trump administration has sought to reverse more than 70 environmental rules, according to a New York Times analysis, based on research from Harvard Law School’s Environmental Regulation Rollback Tracker, Columbia Law School’s Climate Tracker and other sources.”

Scott Pruitt Is Gone, but the Trump Administration’s Climate Negligence Remains, The New Yorker, Margaret Talbot, Friday, 6 July 2018: “Scott Pruitt’s resignation as the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, on Thursday, offered reassurance—of the kind we could use right now—that certain forces of accountability are still in effect in Donald Trump’s Washington. True, it took months of revelations about Pruitt’s ethical blunders to push him out—the first-class travel at the taxpayers’ expense, the forty-three-thousand-dollar secured phone booth and the unprecedented twenty-four-hour security detail he demanded, the schedule dominated by meeting after meeting with fossil-fuel interests, the weird tasks given to his staff, such as driving him to secure his favored Ritz-Carlton moisturizer. And it’s not that Trump himself held Pruitt accountable, or that Pruitt admitted any wrongdoing as he gave up his job…. The accountability instead came from the journalists and environmentalists who have diligently reported on and monitored the E.P.A. in the face of increasing hostility (an E.P.A. spokesperson recently called a reporter looking into the resignation of a top Pruitt aide ‘a piece of trash’), and from the bureaucrats in the Government Accountability Office who have been investigating Pruitt. Without these watchdogs, we’d know very little about Pruitt’s misdeeds, and he would still be enjoying the blessing of working for Trump.” See also, Scott Pruitt is gone. But that doesn’t mean the environment is safer. The Washington Post, Editorial Board, Friday, 6 July 2018.

Trump administration says it needs more time to reunite families separated at the border, Los Angeles Times, Kristina Davis, Thursday, 6 July 2018: “The federal government, under orders from a San Diego federal judge to reunite families who have been separated at the border, is asking for more time. In a motion filed late Thursday night, the Department of Justice says it has dedicated “immense” resources to reunifying families since the June 26 order. But the process that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has put into place to match up family members will take some time if it is to comply with existing law meant to protect children from human trafficking, the DOJ argues. The order, filed last week, gives the government until July 10 to reunite children younger than 5 with their parents and until July 26 for older children. The motion will be discussed with U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw and attorneys for the American Civil Liberties Union during a telephonic status conference at noon Friday.” See also, Trump administration seeks more time to reunite some migrant families split at the border, The Washington Post, Maria Sacchetti, Friday, 6 July 2018.

Continue reading Week 77, Friday, 6 July – Thursday, 12 July 2018 (Days 533-539)

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Trump, Week 76: Friday, 29 June – Thursday, 5 July 2018 (Days 526-532)

 

Families Belong Together and Free: rally in Pittsfield, MA, Saturday, 30 June 2018

Keeping Track (of some things), Staying Outraged (it is possible), and Resisting (it’s essential)

 

Passages in bold in the body of the texts below are my emphasis. This is an ongoing project, and I update the site frequently. Because I try to stay focused on what has actually happened, I usually let the news ‘settle’ 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.

 

Friday, 29 June 2018, Day 526:

 

Trump administration may seek to detain migrant families longer than previously allowed, The Washington Post, Devlin Barrett, Friday, 29 June 2018: “The Trump administration plans to detain migrant families together in custody rather than release them, according to a new court filing that suggests such detentions could last longer than the 20 days envisioned by a court settlement. ‘The government will not separate families but detain families together during the pendency of immigration proceedings when they are apprehended at or between ports of entry,’ Justice Department lawyers wrote in a legal notice to a federal judge in California who has been overseeing long-running litigation about the detention of undocumented immigrants. The filing comes as the Justice Department seeks to navigate two different court edicts — an injunction issued this week by a federal judge in San Diego that required the government to begin reuniting the roughly 2,000 migrant children still separated from their families, and an older court settlement in federal court in Los Angeles that requires the immigration agencies to release minors in their custody if they are held for more than 20 days.”

Hundreds Arrested During Women’s Immigration Protest in Washington, The New York Times, Niraj Chokshi, Friday, 29 June 2018: “More than 500 people, including at least one member of Congress, were arrested and escorted from the Philip A. Hart Senate Office Building on Thursday after staging a sit-in during a women-led march against the Trump administration’s ‘zero-tolerance’ approach to illegal immigration. The United States Capitol Police charged approximately 575 people with unlawfully demonstrating, a misdemeanor punishable by a $50 fine, according to a police spokeswoman. Those arrested included Representative Pramila Jayapal, Democrat of Washington, and the actress Susan Sarandon. Organizers said more than 2,500 women from 47 states participated in the protest. Senator Tammy Duckworth, Democrat of Illinois, spoke to the protesters with her 11-week-old daughter, Maile Pearl Bowlsbey, strapped to her chest. Other Democratic lawmakers also appeared with or spoke to the demonstrators, including Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, and the Representatives Nydia M. Velázquez of New York and Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas.”

Trump Says He Has Narrowed List of Possible Supreme Court Picks to Five, The Wall Street Journal, Louise Radnofsky and Peter Nicholas, Friday, 29 June 2018: “President Donald Trump said on Friday that he planned to interview one or two candidates this weekend at his Bedminster, N.J., resort to fill Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy’s seat, and plans to announce his final pick on July 9. ‘I’ve got it narrowed to about five,’ he said, including two women. The president also said he wouldn’t specifically ask candidates about Roe v. Wade, the landmark ruling making abortion legal. However, a potential nominee’s approach to the issue has been a factor in creating Mr. Trump’s list of 25 conservative candidates. The president didn’t say if all of his five finalists were from that list, but he had earlier pledged to pick exclusively from it. Late Thursday, the president met with a bipartisan group of six senators who will play a pivotal role in selecting Mr. Kennedy’s successor because they have deviated from their party on key votes in the past. The lawmakers signaled they want an ideological centrist, complicating Mr. Trump’s decision. Among them were Republican Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, both of whom back abortion rights. Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R., Iowa), and Democratic Sens. Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Joe Manchin of West Virginia also met with the president, the White House said. ‘At the end of the day, this is where confirmation is made or broken,’ a White House official said, referring to the senators who visited Thursday night.”

Continue reading Week 76, Friday, 29 June – Thursday, 5 July 2018 (Days 526-532)

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