Trump enters the stage

Elevate form over function to get at less easily articulable truths.

Re: Trump enters the stage. Trump alone link to obstruction?

Postby Meno_ » Sun Mar 31, 2019 2:26 am

Jonathan Swan
7 hours ago
Trump goes it alone
President Trump walking away juxtaposed over a presidential document.

President Trump and his chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, have realized they’re passing no major legislation through this divided Congress.

Why it matters: No sooner had Trump put out his budget than the conversation among many Capitol Hill Republicans turned to what they expect will eventually happen: No grand spending deal between Democrats and Republicans, and instead perhaps a continuation of 2019 spending levels through 2020.

Reality check: Forget infrastructure. Forget any serious action to rein in the national debt. Forget entitlement reform. Forget fixing the nation’s broken immigration system.

And yes, forget health care. Trump may want to revisit the Affordable Care Act, but he doesn't have a lot of company in the GOP.
Instead, the Trump team is busy figuring out ways to go over the heads of Congress. (The one exception is drug pricing.)
What to expect: More executive orders, more foreign deals sealed by a presidential signature rather than congressional approval, and more creative applications of the law — for example, declaring a national emergency to build the wall — to get Trump what he wants.



David McCabe, Gigi Sukin



------'---------'-''''-''-----------'-----


© Copyright Axios 2019





TheHill

NATIONAL SECURITY
March 30, 2019 - 12:38 PM EDT
Questions mount over Mueller, Barr and obstruction


Questions are mounting over special counsel Robert Mueller's inquiry into whether President Trump obstructed justice as lawmakers on Capitol Hill await the release of his report.

While Barr's four-page letter to Congress on Sunday silenced suspicions Mueller would charge Trump or members of his campaign with conspiring with the Russian government, its contents only amplified the mystery surrounding the obstruction inquiry.

It remains unclear why Mueller declined to make a decision one way or another on whether Trump impeded his investigation, and Democrats have grown increasingly skeptical of Attorney General William Barr's judgment that the evidence was insufficient to accuse Trump of obstruction. They also argue he is not a neutral arbiter.

Lawmakers are unlikely to get answers for weeks, as the Justice Department combs through Mueller's 300-plus-page report to determine what can be publicly released.


Barr told Congress on Friday that he expects to have the report prepared for public release by mid-April, after officials scrub it of grand jury material, sensitive national security information and details that could impact ongoing investigations.

In the meantime, Democrats are focused on a lengthy memo Barr penned last year criticizing the obstruction inquiry and labeling the theory Trump impeded the probe by firing FBI Director James Comey "fatally misconceived."

Some legal experts have described Mueller's decision to not make his own call on obstruction charges as unusual. Regulations governing Mueller's appointment required him to submit a report to Barr laying out why he prosecuted or declined to prosecute certain crimes.


"It is a little unusual because there is a charging decision, and either someone is charged or the prosecution is declined - a declination. It's more unusual for a prosecutor to say, I don't know or I don't know enough to reach a firm conclusion," said Jack Sharman, a defense attorney at Lightfoot, Franklin & White and a former special counsel to Congress during the Whitewater investigation.

Some say it's possible that Mueller meant to lay out the facts and let Congress decide on whether Trump obstructed the investigation or that he meant for Barr, a political appointee, to ultimately make the call.

Mueller was also keenly aware of the Justice Department policy not to indict a sitting president, which may have affected his reasoning.


Some argue Barr overstepped his bounds by making his own judgment on obstruction without releasing Mueller's report or the evidence backing it up.

Others say it was Barr's call to make given Mueller's decision to not make a decision.

"It doesn't say what happens if Mueller says, I'm unable to make a determination," Steven Cash, a lawyer at Day Pitney and former counsel to Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), said of Mueller's original mandate.


Broadly, legal experts agree that proving obstruction of justice is difficult; it requires establishing that the offender acted to impede an official proceeding and that he or she acted with "corrupt intent."

Doing so would almost certainly require Mueller to interview Trump in order to get to the bottom of his reasons for firing Comey or taking other actions that the special counsel likely examined, such as his tweets attacking then-attorney general Jeff Sessions and calling on him to end Mueller's probe.

Mueller never reached an agreement with Trump's personal lawyers on an interview and ultimately did not pursue a subpoena to compel his testimony. Why he did not subpoena Trump is another mystery.

"The fact that we ended up right on a tightrope on whether or not it was obstruction underscores how important it was for Mueller to interview or subpoena Trump," said Elie Honig, a defense attorney at Lowenstein Sandler and a former federal prosecutor.

Barr's letter, quoting from Mueller's report, notes that Mueller recognized "the evidence does not establish that the President was involved in an underlying crime related to Russian election interference" and suggests that makes it more difficult to prove the president was deliberately improper in his actions.

There is also debate as to whether a president can be accused of obstructing justice; some argue that Trump has the constitutional authority to remove Comey and order the Justice Department who and who not to investigate.

House Democrats are pushing for the full and immediate release of Mueller's report as well as the underlying evidence, saying they cannot assess the findings until they see all the details the special counsel collected in the course of his 22-month investigation. Republicans, including Trump, are also in favor of the release of Mueller's report.

Democrats have pointed to the June memo that Barr, a former attorney general under George H.W. Bush, penned to the Justice Department and White House, suggesting that he was biased in his handling of Mueller's report, particularly on the question of obstruction.

In that memo, which was reported on soon after Trump nominated him for attorney general, Barr argued that Mueller's investigation into Trump's firing of Comey was "premised on a novel and legally insupportable reading of the law" and "would do lasting damage to the Presidency and to the administration of law within the Executive branch."

Democrats say they want to hear from Mueller, not Barr.

"We want to be clear, and I think that this letter that Barr wrote last Sunday underscores Congress's view that we do not want anything in the words of the attorney general. We want to see Robert Mueller's words. That's very critical," a House Democratic aide told reporters at a meeting in the Capitol on Thursday.

Democrats are demanding that Barr meet an April 2 deadline to produce Mueller's full report to Congress. Barr on Friday said Justice would have the report ready for public release by mid-April or sooner.

Barr also told Congress on Friday that he would not provide the White House an advanced copy of the report to review for issues of executive privilege.

"Everyone will soon be able to read it on their own," Barr wrote. "I do not believe it would be in the public's interest for me to attempt to summarize the full report or to release it in serial or piecemeal fashion."



The contents of this site are ©2019 Capitol Hill Publishing Corp., a subsidiary of News Communications, Inc.
Meno_
Philosopher
 
Posts: 4450
Joined: Tue Dec 08, 2015 2:39 am
Location: Mysterium Tremendum

Re: Trump enters the stage

Postby Meno_ » Sun Mar 31, 2019 6:12 pm

Donald Trump at a campaign rally in Grand Rapids, Michigan on 28 March.

From victory to vengeance: Trump scents blood in 2020 fight
The president celebrated the Mueller report – but then his latest effort to invalidate Obamacare left some feeling he ‘stepped all over that message’



@SabrinaSiddiqui
Sun 31 Mar 2019 09.17 EDT First published on Sun 31 Mar 2019 01.00 EDT
It felt like a victory lap. At a rally in Grand Rapids, Michigan on Thursday night, surrounded by a sea of red Make America Great Again hats, a defiant Donald Trump held the podium before a raucous crowd.

Trump Fed pick was held in contempt for failing to pay ex-wife over $300,000

“After three years of lies and smears and slander, the Russia hoax is finally dead,” the president declared in a 90-minute speech.

Basking after the conclusion of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, which clouded the first two years of his presidency, Trump falsely claimed “total exoneration”.

He vowed retaliation against some of his sharpest critics and suggested consequences for the media were in order. He spoke of doing away with Barack Obama’s healthcare law. And he threatened to shut down the US-Mexico border as early as next week.

It was a stark reminder of how Trump views his executive authority and a glimpse of his looming fight for re-election.

He is much more likely to be re-elected today than he seemed at the end of last week

Michael Steele
“He is much more likely to be re-elected today than he seemed at the end of last week,” said Michael Steel, a Republican operative who was an aide to former House speaker John Boehner. “I think that Democratic oversight activities will continue, but this definitely took the wind out of their sails.”


However, Trump’s legal perils are far from over. According to a short letter to Congress by attorney general William Barr, the special counsel’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 election did not clear Trump of wrongdoing. Mueller did not reach a conclusion on whether Trump obstructed justice, specifically stating that his report “does not exonerate” the president.

Mueller did not find a criminal conspiracy between Trump aides and Moscow, which the president said supported his longstanding claim of “no collusion”. Left unclear was what the special counsel had to say of repeated contacts between Trump associates and Russian nationals, and lies to prosecutors about such communications.

On Friday, Barr said that by mid-April he would make public a redacted version of the Mueller report, which is nearly 400 pages long. The attorney general faced criticism after drawing his own conclusion, in his letter to Congress, that Mueller did not have sufficient evidence to charge Trump with obstruction of justice.

In a second letter released on Friday, Barr said his initial assessment was not intended to be a summary of the Mueller report and that the American public “would soon be able to read it on their own”.


'Russia hoax is finally dead': Donald Trump wrongly claims 'total exoneration' at rally – video
Trump nonetheless seized on Barr’s rendering of the Mueller report.

“There are a lot of people out there that have done some very, very evil things, some bad things, I would say some treasonous things against our country,” Trump told reporters last Sunday. “And hopefully people that have done such harm to our country – we’ve gone through a period of really bad things happening – those people will certainly be looked at. I’ve been looking at them for a long time.”

On Fox News, Trump’s most prominent boosters chimed in.

“This must be a day of reckoning for the media, for the deep state, for people who abuse power, and they did it so blatantly in this country,” said Sean Hannity, who ranks among Trump’s closest allies.

It could be a reset but it’s not going to be, because the president is congenially incapable of resetting

Rick Tyler
“If we do not get this right, if we do not hold these people accountable, I promise you, with all the love I can muster for this country and our future for our kids and grandkids, we will lose the greatest country God has ever given man. We will lose it.”


Initial polls showed little change in public perception of the Mueller investigation or potential wrongdoing by Trump.

A CNN survey found nearly 60% of Americans believed Congress should continue to investigate, while 56% said they did not believe Trump had been exonerated of collusion, even though Barr’s letter said the special counsel could not establish a criminal conspiracy. Perhaps most tellingly, 86% said the findings would not affect their vote in 2020.

“The political divide is virtually the same,” said Rick Tyler, a former aide to Ted Cruz’s 2016 presidential campaign. “If you didn’t like Trump before, you don’t like him anymore now. If you like Trump, you still like him.”

“It could be a reset but it’s not going to be, because the president is congenially incapable of resetting.”

‘The party of healthcare’
Indeed, in the immediate wake of what some called the best week of his presidency, Trump returned to the impulsive style of governing that has prompted disorder and left his own party flatfooted.

In a major shift, the administration announced on Wednesday it would back a legal effort to fully invalidate the Affordable Care Act (ACA), commonly known as Obamacare, a move that would threaten healthcare coverage for millions of Americans, an issue which proved central to November’s midterm elections, in which Democrats regained the House.

At his Michigan rally Trump renewed his call to toss out the ACA, insisting Republicans would come to be known as the ‘party of healthcare’. Photograph: Paul Sancya/AP
Trump’s move came over the objections of Barr and Alex Azar, his health secretary. The House minority leader, Kevin McCarthy, reportedly told Trump the move made no sense, given Republicans do not have a plan to replace the ACA and would be unable to move legislation.

“Members feel like [the Mueller report announcement] was great and Trump stepped all over that message with the Obamacare lawsuit announcement,” a House GOP aide told Axios.

Trump intervenes in case of Navy Seal charged in stabbing of Isis prisoner

Tyler said: “While I can argue lots of different structures that would be better than Obamacare, that would be like overthrowing a foreign government with no replacement government. The result would be chaos.”

Undaunted, at his Michigan rally Trump renewed his call to toss out the ACA, insisting Republicans would come to be known as the “party of healthcare”. And he didn’t stop there.

Trump also vowed to shut down the Mexico border “next week”, a move that would do significant damage to the US economy. Mexico is a vital trading partner but Trump complained it was not doing enough to stop illegal immigration.

Trump received familiar support from Fox. But other Republicans warned Trump not to jeopardize an otherwise positive moment.

“I think it’s a good thing for America that a detailed and thorough investigation concluded that the president of the United States is not a witting or unwitting agent of a foreign power,” said Steel.

“I do think there’s some danger that in the hubris of his response, the president makes mistakes.

© 2019 Guardian News & Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved.
Meno_
Philosopher
 
Posts: 4450
Joined: Tue Dec 08, 2015 2:39 am
Location: Mysterium Tremendum

Re: Trump enters the stage Saturday night live:

Postby Meno_ » Mon Apr 01, 2019 4:40 pm

https://www.cnn.com/2019/03/31/media/sn ... index.html


-------- ----- --------





Rolling Stone


POLITICS

What Would Happen If Trump Actually Closed the U.S.-Mexico Border
Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney said that it would take “something dramatic” to prevent the action

RYAN BORT
APRIL 1, 2019 11:25AM EDT


President Donald Trump speaks to reporters during a visit to Lake Okeechobee and Herbert Hoover Dike at Canal Point, Fla., . President Trump increased attention on the Jussie Smollett case when, two days after Smollett reported the attack, he told reporters at the White House that he saw a story about Smollett. "It doesn't get worse, as far as I'm concerned," Trump said. Smollett said his attackers yelled, "This is MAGA country," a reference to Trump's "Make America Great Again" campaign slogan. Two days after prosecutors drop charges against Smollett the president tweeted that the FBI and Department of Justice will "review the outrageous Jussie Smollett case" and calls the case an embarrassment to our NationEmpire Cast Member Attack, Canal Point, USA - 29 Mar 2019
Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP/REX/Shutterstock
After capping the last season of Border Crisis with a dramatic national emergency declaration, the Trump administration is searching for bold ways to keep ratings high as asylum-seeking migrants continue to head toward the United States. Last week saw the president cut off hundreds of millions in aid to three Central American nations. This week could see him close the U.S.-Mexico border entirely, a move that would do little more than devastate the economy.

Trump first threatened to do so on Friday before continuing to escalate tension on Twitter over the weekend. On Sunday night, he attacked Democrats for “allowing a ridiculous asylum system and major loopholes to remain as a mainstay of our immigration system,” while bashing Mexico for “doing NOTHING.” He also warned that the United States could take a harder line toward those seeking asylum. “Homeland Security is being sooo very nice, but not for long!”



He was back at it again Monday morning.


After threatening to close the border on Friday, Trump announced that the United States will be cutting $500 million in aid to Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador as a way to punish these countries for not preventing their citizens from fleeing to the U.S. border. “We were paying them tremendous amounts of money,” the president told reporters in Florida. “We’re not paying them anymore, because they haven’t done a thing for us.”

The move makes little sense. Northern Triangle nations are not actively sending their citizens to the U.S. border, as Trump seems to believe, and stripping them of aid would bring an end to several programs designed to keep Guatemalas, Hondurans and El Savladorians at home. Trump Trump has threatened to do this in the past, but this time it’s for real. Later on Friday, the State Department issued a statement confirming the action. “We are carrying out the president’s direction and ending FY 2017 and FY 2018 foreign assistance programs for the Northern Triangle,” it read. “We will be engaging Congress as part of this process.”


Trump also threatened to close the border entirely, as he did in December while seeking nearly $6 billion in funding for a border wall. “If Mexico doesn’t immediately stop ALL illegal immigration coming into the United States throug our Southern Border, I will be CLOSING the Border, or large sections of the Border, next week,” he tweeted on Friday. “This would be so easy for Mexico to do, but they just take our money and ‘talk.’ Besides, we lose so much money with them, especially when you add in drug trafficking etc.), that the Border closing would be a good thing!”


Again, this does not appear to be an empty threat, as it has been in the past. On Sunday, Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney told ABC it would take “something dramatic” for the president not to close the border this week. “Why are we talking about closing the border?” he said. “Not for spite and not to try to undo what is happening, but simply because we need the people from the ports of entry to go out in the desert and patrol where we don’t have any wall.”



© 2019 PMC. All rights reserved.
Meno_
Philosopher
 
Posts: 4450
Joined: Tue Dec 08, 2015 2:39 am
Location: Mysterium Tremendum

Re: Trump enters the stage

Postby Meno_ » Tue Apr 02, 2019 2:02 am

Trump border closing? Republicans, Chamber of Commerce question president's latest threat
JOHN FRITZE AND ELIZA COLLINS | USA TODAY | 2 hours ago


President Donald Trump on Friday threatened to close the nation's Mexican border or large sections of it next week, a potentially drastic step affecting both nations' economies, if Mexico does not halt illegal immigration at once. (March 29)
AP
WASHINGTON – Border-state Republicans and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce balked Monday at President Donald Trump's latest threat to close the U.S.-Mexico border, arguing the move would damage the nation's economy.


Frustrated by an influx of migrant families arriving from Central America, Trump has ratcheted up his rhetoric on sealing the border, threatening that his administration could close ports as early as this week if Mexico doesn't do more to stem the flow of arrivals.

But a number of Republicans representing border states urged caution, noting Mexico was the nation's third-largest trading partner last year. Others, including Republican leaders, stayed quiet as they sought to assess the seriousness of Trump's threat, which he has made previously without following through.

"The president made that statement out of frustration. I don't think he's going to actually shut off the border," Texas Rep. Michael McCaul, the ranking Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, told a forum in Washington on Monday.


"It would have a significant impact on our economy," he added.

"I understand the president’s frustration, but the unintended consequences of that, I think, would be bad for everybody," said Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas.

Several Republicans on Capitol Hill didn’t seem to see the president’s threat as something immediate and instead focused on the need to deal with immigration.

“What do you mean, shut it down?” Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., responded when asked about Trump's threat.

White House officials did not respond to a request for comment Monday.

View | 12 Photos
President Trump holds campaign rally in Michigan
Illegal immigration remains lower than it was during the 1990s and 2000s, when Border Patrol agents regularly apprehended more than 1 million undocumented immigrants a year at the southern border. But the administration has pointed to a spike in Central American families making the journey north.


In February, Border Patrol agents apprehended 66,450 people illegally crossing the southern border. A record high 36,174 of those (54%) were members of families and 6,825 (10%) were unaccompanied minors, according to Border Patrol data.

Speaking to reporters Friday, Trump said there is a "very good likelihood that I’ll be closing the border next week" to address the issue. White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney told ABC's "This Week" on Sunday that the administration would need to see "something dramatic" to hold short of sealing the U.S. Mexico-border.

The idea has drawn tepid a response from some within Trump's party.

"It's my view that we've got to keep the legitimate trade and travel and cross-border commerce happening at the ports entry while we also need to secure our border and address this crisis," Sen. Martha McSally, R-Arizona, told reporters Monday.

Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., wouldn't directly say whether he would support closing the border.


"What the president seems to be doing right now is trying to work with Mexico and with Central America, and say, 'If we don’t find a way to work together to stop this, then I’m going to have to find a way that’s a blunt object to do it,'" Lankford said.

At least one Democrat said the threat of border closure was real.

“I think you’ve gotta take him seriously,” said Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce also weighed in Monday, urging the administration to consider the costs to domestic exporters. The leading business organization said it shared the administration's concern about a "massive influx of migrants" but said the best response is for Congress to attempt a broader overhaul of immigration law.

Mexico must use its very strong immigration laws to stop the many thousands of people trying to get into the USA. Our detention areas are maxed out & we will take no more illegals. Next step is to close the Border! This will also help us with stopping the Drug flow from Mexico!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 30, 2019
"Even threatening to close the border to legitimate commerce and travel creates a degree of economic uncertainty that risks compromising the very gains in growth and productivity that policies of the Trump administration have helped achieve,” said Neil Bradley, the group's executive vice president and chief policy officer.

The Commerce Department estimates $502 billion in goods crossed the border in trucks and trains last year, roughly $1.4 billion a day. That doesn't include products shipped by air and sea.


Administration officials have said the border has reached its "breaking point," forcing Customs and Border Protection to use extreme measures to keep up. One of those changes has been to start releasing migrants into the streets of border communities, breaking with the administration's practice of detaining them as long as possible.

Trump's proposal has met with support from some Republicans, while many others have not commented. Some Republicans, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, initially advised Trump against declaring an emergency at the border to free up federal funding for the wall, but then backed the move once Trump acted.

"Well, I mean, what are we supposed to do?" Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., a Trump ally told "Fox News Sunday." "So if the president feels like that the only way to control this problem is to move the people from the port of entry to the ungoverned spaces where we need a wall, I will support him. I hope we don't have to do that."

Trump threatened to close the border several times last year, but the administration did not follow through on the threat.

"Mexico should move the flag waving Migrants, many of whom are stone cold criminals, back to their countries," Trump tweeted in late November. "We will close the Border permanently if need be."






Originally Published 3 hours ago
Updated 1 hour

© Copyright Gannett 2019


-------------------- ---------- -------------------

POLITICO

Trump bewilders GOP allies on immigration ahead of border visit
As the administration weighs immigration actions, even Trump officials and Hill Republicans aren’t sure what to make of his talk of closing the Mexican border.

By ANITA KUMAR, TED HESSON and BURGESS EVERETT

04/01/2019 07:55 PM EDT

Donald Trump
Some Hill Republicans warned that any dramatic disruption to regular traffic across the U.S.-Mexico border could bring President Donald Trump into a new confrontation with his own party. | Evan Vucci/AP Photo

Facebook Twitter Email Print
President Donald Trump is thrusting his hardline posture on immigration back to the fore this week, with plans for a Friday trip to the southern border and possible new executive actions to restrict border crossings.

But days after Trump renewed his longstanding threat to shut down the southern border entirely, even administration officials and congressional Republicans were bewildered and guessing at his next move on a defining issue of his presidency.



And some Hill Republicans warned that any dramatic disruption to regular traffic across the U.S.-Mexico border could bring Trump into a new confrontation with his own party, whose leaders warn that closing parts or all of the border would wreak economic havoc.

On Monday, the Department of Homeland Security announced plans to require that greater numbers of non-Mexican asylum seekers stay in Mexico while they wait for their cases to be resolved and to speed up the reassignment of 750 customs officers to process arriving migrants.




Meanwhile, the Trump administration is considering closing some of the lanes at ports of entry or preventing certain types of vehicles or people from crossing the border as he tries to force Mexico to increase its enforcement, three outside advisers told POLITICO.

“He’s trying to get Mexico’s attention,” said Roy Beck, president of NumbersUSA, a group that advocates for tighter restrictions on immigration.

The administration already has taken some of those actions, though they have gotten little attention. Customs and Border Protection said in a March 29 memo to shipping companies, importers and other businesses that it would halt a Sunday screening program for commercial trucks at a Nogales port of entry and blamed an “unprecedented humanitarian and border security crisis” for the cutback.

The administration is considering ways to reduce the number of people crossing into the U.S. That could mean closing some lanes at ports of entry or limiting who is allowed to cross to day workers only. Another proposal under discussion would bar passenger vehicles — but not commercial trucks — from crossing the border.

But closing the border or even limiting the flow of people through the ports of entry would not prevent migrants from attempting to cross the border illegally.

Even some people close to the White House called Trump’s remarks “bluster” and predicted he would not close off the border from one of its largest trading partners. Mexico is the United States’s third-largest trading partner with more than $600 billion in cross-border trade last year.



“I understand the president’s frustration but the unintended consequences of that would be bad for everybody: economic, diplomatic,” said Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, who questioned how such a move could disrupt negotiations with Mexico to handle migrations from the Northern Triangle. “I take him very seriously. But I think we should have a longer conversation about unintended consequences.”

“It’s part of the way he negotiates but I’m not sure that’s a particularly good idea and I’m not sure it gets the desired result,” said Senate Majority Whip John Thune of South Dakota of the potential closed border. “Tactically it doesn’t get a result and probably has a lot of unintended consequences ... there’s a lot of bilateral trade at the border.”

Trump will travel to Calexico, Calif., to tour the border on Friday on west coast swing that also includes 2020 campaign fundraising. The White House has not disclosed details of the trip.

CONGRESS

McConnell shuts down the Pelosi agenda
By HEATHER CAYGLE and BURGESS EVERETT
Asked whether he thinks Trump is serious about closing the border, Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) replied: “Oh, I have no idea. You’d need to ask him that.”

Trump has made cracking down on immigration a central theme of his presidency but has struggled to get his proposals past Congressional Republicans. In February, he declared a national emergency to unlock Pentagon funds he can unilaterally steer to a border wall as well as use money from other projects. That action was immediately challenged in court.

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) said he takes the president “seriously” and wants more details about how it would affect trade and the economy. Romney was one of a dozen Republicans who rebuffed Trump’s emergency request last month, revealing a sharp intraparty divide over border politics.

Most Republicans agree there is a crisis on the border but disagree with tactics like closing ports of entry and the emergency request.

According to a current and a former DHS official familiar with the situation, Trump is once again considering creating a so-called immigration czar, a single person in charge of an issue that impacts a dozen departments and agencies, including Homeland Security, State, Justice, Labor, Housing and Health and Human Services. The position would not need Senate confirmation.



Some of the people being considered are Francis Cissna, director of Citizenship and Immigration Services; Thomas Douglas Homan, former acting director of Immigration and Customs, former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach and former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, according to the former DHS official. Michael Neifach, who worked for former President George W. Bush, was approached about the job last year, the former official said.

The White House did not respond to questions Monday. But On Sunday, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway insisted that Trump’s talk of bold action should not be dismissed. “It certainly isn’t a bluff. You can take the president seriously," she told Fox News.

Trump on Friday renewed past threats to close the border after his administration announced it was at a “breaking point” processing the paperwork at the border, where agents are seeing an influx of migrants. Border Patrol arrested more than 66,000 migrants in February, the highest monthly total since March 2009 – and officials have said the numbers rose higher still last month. "Mexico is going to have to do something, otherwise I’m closing the border," declared Trump, who is said to fixate on border crossing statistics.

Trump has long criticized Mexico for failing to halt Central American migrants from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras from coming to the U.S. border. But he had not previously put a timeline on his threat to close the border.

On Monday, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen ordered an expansion of the administration's "remain in Mexico" strategy, which forces certain non-Mexican asylum seekers to wait in Mexico pending resolution of their asylum cases in the U.S.

FOREIGN POLICY

Trump seeks to cut aid to 3 Central American nations
By ASSOCIATED PRESS
The secretary said her department would expand the policy — formally known as the "Migrant Protection Protocols" — "to return hundreds of additional migrants per day." The program already has been launched at and between several ports of entry in California and Texas.

In a memo to Customs and Border Protection, Nielsen also called for the agency to accelerate a plan to reassign 750 customs officers to assist with Border Patrol efforts to process and house incoming migrants.

She added in a related announcement that CBP should explore reassigning more personnel, but should notify her if it details more than 2,000 employees to emergency border work.

Story Continued Below

"The crisis at our border is worsening, and DHS will do everything in its power to end it," she said in a written statement. "We will not stand idly by while Congress fails to act yet again, so all options are on the table."

The number of family members intercepted at the southwest border soared in March, according to preliminary CBP statistics. While overall arrests remain below the higher levels of 1980s, 1990s and early 2000s, the Trump administration argues families and children present unique humanitarian and security issues.

Nielsen last week urged Congress to provide additional resources to deal with the growing number of migrants. In addition, she pressed lawmakers to change immigration laws to permit children to be detained for more than 20 days — the current limit set by a federal court order — and to allow for the swift deportation of unaccompanied minors from Central America.

The Trump administration has implemented a number of hardline policies to deter illegal immigration and asylum seekers, only to see a record number of family members caught crossing the border in recent months. Border Patrol estimated that it arrested more than 55,000 family members in March, a 520 percent increase over the same month a year earlier.

Trump last week ordered the State Department to slash aid to El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras because those nations haven’t taken enough action to deter migrants from traveling northward. The State Department informed congressional offices in recent days that it would redirect $450 million in fiscal year 2018 funding to the countries and examine already-committed funds to see if they could be rerouted.

“Cracking down and being harsher has not deterred anybody from coming,” said Theresa Cardinal Brown, director of immigration and cross-border policy at the Bipartisan Policy Center. “Ultimately what would stop people from coming is if those countries improve the conditions on the ground.”

Marianne LeVine contributed to this report.


© 2019 POLITICO LLC
Meno_
Philosopher
 
Posts: 4450
Joined: Tue Dec 08, 2015 2:39 am
Location: Mysterium Tremendum

Re: Trump enters the stage

Postby Meno_ » Tue Apr 02, 2019 5:31 am

The US Capitol is seen in Washington DC.

Opinion
Congress must investigate Trump. But it must also be strategic about it
Laurence H Tribe
Investigations should be undertaken more with a view to legislating for the future than coming to terms with the past

@tribelaw
Mon 1 Apr 2019 06.00 EDT Last modified on Mon 1 Apr 2019 09.57 EDT
Rarely have the demands of constitutional democracy and the rule of law been in greater tension with the imperatives of progressive politics. Fidelity to the constitution and the primacy of law over naked power call for a determined effort by Congress to unearth the full truth about Donald Trump’s actions leading up to the election, and since assuming office.

Enough collusion talk. It's time to focus on Trump's corruption | Michael Paarlberg

Congress has a duty to look into the president’s offenses in seizing the White House and whether, having arrived at the pinnacle of power, he obstructed efforts to uncover the details of his corrupt ascent and to disclose the many facets of his interference with investigations into those details.

At the same time, one would have to be politically blind not to see that the vast majority of voters care far less about those matters than about kitchen table issues like health care and economic opportunity for this generation and the next. People have become all but immune even to undeniable evidence that Donald Trump is guided not by our national interest but by his own greed for power and by the leverage that hostile foreign nations are able to exert over his decisions. Ironically abetted by the daily barrage of frightening revelations about their leader, Americans have become so eager to move on that they have little patience left for seemingly abstract matters of legal principle and democratic legitimacy.

Americans have become so eager to move on that they have little patience left for seemingly abstract matters of legal principle and democratic legitimacy

Yet it would be an inexcusable dereliction of duty for those with responsibility to get to the bottom of our democratic predicament to shut down their inquiries – or even to conduct them out of the full view of the public. There are those in the Democratic party who would prefer to have these investigations recede from center stage. And many Trump supporters remain eager to hang the albatross of endless investigation around the necks of Democrats and to identify the Democratic party more with dwelling in the past than with planning for a better future. But it is unlikely that the House judiciary, intelligence and oversight committees will be tempted to give either of these groups what they want.

The skillfully drafted 24 March letter by attorney general William Barr was shamefully misleading and provides no reason to drop the investigation into Trump’s wrongdoing. It buried the lede – that the long-awaited report of special counsel Robert Mueller “does not exonerate” the president – in a fog of inconclusive verbiage. And it will long obscure the truth that Trump and his close associates sought the unlawful help of a hostile foreign power in the quest for the presidency, gladly accepted that help while committing serious campaign finance crimes designed to bury stories that might derail his campaign, and have been taking steps ever since to reward the assistance they received, conducting America’s foreign policy in a way that would be inexplicable were it not for Trump’s personal and business interests. Though Barr cannot undo the harm he has done already, he must at least provide the entire unredacted Mueller report immediately to the House intelligence and judiciary committees, as demanded.

All but the most uncritical loyalists of the president appear to have agreed that the special counsel’s responsibility was to decide whether the president had obstructed justice, regardless of the justice department’s policy regarding the indictment of a sitting president – not to punt on that critical responsibility at the very end. I would like to think in light of Mueller’s reputation as a straight shooter, that he hadn’t intended to leave that issue in the hands of the obviously partisan attorney general.

Rather, I suspect Mueller’s report will support the conclusion that, as with previous such situations, his intent was to leave the obstruction issue to the House of Representatives, as part of its investigation into potentially impeachable offenses. If that is the case, then attorney general Barr’s decision to take the matter out of Congress’s hands was wholly inexcusable. Presumably Congress will probe that decision when Barr testifies in the House shortly. But that testimony will necessarily move the national focus once again to the Mueller report and the issue of possible impeachment – arguably a dangerous distraction from the perspective of those vying for the Democratic nomination to the presidency.

What, then, is to be done by those who recognize both the need to bring a positive political agenda to the fore if Trump’s reign is to be limited to a single term and the need for relentless investigation to inform both Congress and the public at large?

The longer the Trump administration remains in power, the more deeply it will deform the institutions and norms undergirding constitutional democracy

The first step is to recognize that there is no magic way to untangle that Gordian knot. There’s a reason that not letting the perfect be the enemy of the good has become a cliché. It happens to be sound advice. It is undeniable that public investigation into Trump, even if not emphasized on the campaign trail or in political ads, might to some degree undercut the political message of candidates on the stump seeking to topple the incumbent president in 2020. But that political reality cannot be permitted to deter the search for truth.

That said, there is every reason for investigators in Congress and elsewhere to be savvy in their emphasis. The financial entanglements – including unconstitutional acceptance of emoluments from foreign governments and their agents – that are compromising this administration in often hidden ways range far beyond Moscow. They reach such foreign capitals as Riyadh in Saudi Arabia, Doha in Qatar, Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates and Istanbul in Turkey. Unearthing the corrupting influence on Trump, Jared Kushner, and others in the far-reaching swamp surrounding and propping up this president and shaping his policies should be prioritized as a matter of public perception over what will invariably appear to be a rerun of a too familiar movie about the Kremlin, about the firing of FBI director James Comey, and about the president’s many other efforts in plain view to obstruct the inquiry into Russian collusion.

Even though it is a legal fallacy to claim that obstructing justice is no big deal unless the person interfering with a legitimate inquiry is guilty of an underlying crime – just ask Richard Nixon – it has become a political reality in our time. This is a reality that the Barr letter exploited, and one that Congress should take into account in setting its investigatory priorities.

This isn’t to deny the importance of designing new legislation that might be enacted after 2020 to make presidential abuses of the pardon and other executive powers both more transparent and less likely, and to contain foreign intrusion into our electoral processes that the current administration has done nothing to deter. It is, however, to suggest that investigations into obstruction and election interference should be undertaken more with a view to legislating for the future than with a view to coming to terms with the past.

The longer the Trump administration remains in power, the more deeply it will deform the institutions and norms undergirding constitutional democracy. In order to limit this president to a single term in office, little could matter more than to be strategic about deploying the indispensable investigatory weapons available to us, principally through congressional hearings. But to be strategic about the use of those weapons must not come to mean silencing them.

Laurence H Tribe is the Carl M Loeb university professor at Harvard, where he has taught constitutional law for 50 years. A celebrated author and supreme court advocate, his latest book is To End A Presidency: The Power of Impeachment (with Joshua Matz), released in paperback with a new epilogue in March .



© 2019 Guardian News & Media
Meno_
Philosopher
 
Posts: 4450
Joined: Tue Dec 08, 2015 2:39 am
Location: Mysterium Tremendum

Re: Trump enters the stage possible financial pitfalls

Postby Meno_ » Tue Apr 02, 2019 3:22 pm

POLITICO

Congress fears Trump could stumble over next fiscal cliff
Lawmakers will try to ink a deal, but Trump could blow up their plans.

By SARAH FERRIS

04/02/2019 05:02 AM EDT

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin
Administration officials, led by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, are pushing for a “clean” debt ceiling hike that extends the federal borrowing limit without making other policy changes. | Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images




A looming battle between President Donald Trump and Democrats over government spending and the debt limit could make the 35-day government shutdown look like a blip.




A series of budget deadlines converge in the coming months that could leave Washington on the precipice of another shutdown, $100 billion in automatic spending cuts and a full-scale credit crisis. And lawmakers are openly worried about stumbling over the edge.

“It could all go terribly wrong,” House Budget Committee Chairman John Yarmuth (D-Ky.) said.

Some top Democrats have begun quietly pushing for a grand bargain to simultaneously raise the debt ceiling and Congress’ stiff budget caps — avoiding market turmoil and staving off harsh cuts to domestic and defense programs, according to multiple lawmakers and aides.

But the White House, focused on Trump’s reelection bid, is resisting talk of another massive deal that could cost as much as $350 billion over two years. Administration officials, led by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, are instead pushing for a “clean” debt ceiling hike that extends the federal borrowing limit without making any other policy changes.

The fiscal fights will reach a boiling point this fall — around the same time that Congress must pass its annual funding bills, which is guaranteed to dredge up the same border wall fight between Trump and Democrats that sent the government sputtering into a five-week shutdown.

By September, lawmakers could be faced with a fiscal cliff rivaling that of 2011, when another divided government nearly defaulted on its debt.

“This is the Congress of the United States. Of course there will be a cliff,” said a senior Republican lawmaker involved with the budget negotiations.

The conflict is still at arm’s length for most of Washington. Talks between House and Senate leaders have only just begun, and while there's some hope that a deal could come together as soon as this spring, neither party has finalized its strategy.



Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Speaker Nancy Pelosi are confident they can avert a doomsday scenario in which the U.S. government fails to pay its bills for the first time in history, according to lawmakers and aides. Senate Republicans eager to defend their majority in 2020 will be in no mood for any shenanigans surrounding the debt limit.

Officials in both parties say they’re committed to reaching a deal to avoid sequestration and lift the budget caps. Without a bipartisan agreement, the Pentagon would be forced to slash $71 billion from the next fiscal year’s budget, with an additional $55 billion cut from domestic programs.

The White House, however, isn’t on board.

“We’ve been saying that we should move beyond these unaffordable, dollar-for-dollar caps deals that hold defense spending ransom to billions of dollars in wasteful discretionary spending,” a senior administration official said.

CONGRESS


And with an erratic Trump still demanding money for his southern border wall and angry about accepting a previous deal to boost spending, some lawmakers fear how the White House will handle such a fraught moment.

“My biggest concern is that there are irrational people who are willing to risk the country’s financial status for hyperbolic gain and that there are folks out there who’ve forgotten compromise.” Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Ill.), an Appropriations Committee member, said in an interview.

The first key question for Democrats and Republicans is whether to try to strike a deal that would lift the debt ceiling and budget caps at the same time. Entangling the two — in theory — would offer just enough incentive for both parties to hold their noses and ink the deal.

“That’s what deals are for — to put some things in that one side doesn't love and some things that the other side doesn't love,” said Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a top Democratic spending negotiator. “Sweeteners and bitter pills for both — and hope that we get there.”.



A broader accord could also relieve some pressure on party leaders in both the House and Senate. Republicans, for instance, would be hard-pressed to vote against boosting the Pentagon budget, while Democrats rarely, if ever, vote against raising the debt limit.

That could deliver just enough votes for an otherwise unpopular budget deal — expected to total as much as $350 billion over two years, aides say — that will inevitably become a partisan battle over funding in the first full year of a Democratic House and Republican Senate.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer has told other Democratic leaders that they should not rule out a broader deal.

“It should remain an option to do them together and remove two major drivers of uncertainty at the same time before that uncertainty metastasizes,” a Democratic aide said of his thinking.

But the tactic could also backfire.

Democrats say they can’t rule out the possibility that Trump would deploy the same “shoot-the-hostage” strategy that he did during the border fight, when he embraced the shutdown as a nod to his conservative base even after Congress refused to fund the wall.

HEALTH CARE

How killing Obamacare could backfire for Trump
By SARAH KARLIN-SMITH and BRIANNA EHLEY
Border security will again be in play this year. Trump demanded $8.6 billion for a border wall with Mexico in his latest budget plan, even as the fate of his emergency declaration at the border lies with the courts.

As Trump embraces the 2020 campaign in earnest, he could easily decide to demand border funding as part of the broader deal — effectively daring Democrats to risk international financial turmoil if they refuse to grant money for wall construction.



The risk is heightened, some lawmakers say, by Trump’s circle of advisers, including acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, who as a congressman threatened to refuse to raise the debt limit in 2011 until then-President Barack Obama agreed to deep spending cuts.

And Trump’s own budget chief, Russ Vought, told senators during his confirmation hearings that he supported attaching spending cuts to debt ceiling hikes.

Vought — who was only narrowly confirmed when he joined the administration — has also indicated that he could deploy some budget tricks to guarantee funding for the Pentagon, regardless of the threat of automatic spending cuts set to take effect at year’s end.

The stakes are higher — along with the levels of anxiety in both parties — after the longest shutdown in U.S. history. This time, Trump could fuel an international financial crisis if the government breached the debt ceiling.

“I’m fearful. It’s going to be really ugly,” said one House Republican appropriator, who has been involved with past talks.

Publicly and privately, the White House has said it wants a no-drama debt ceiling lift. That would mean none of the spending cuts that Republicans have demanded in past years. But this time, Democrats see the debt limit as a potential pressure point to persuade Trump to agree to another massive budget agreement.

The administration has indicated to lawmakers that it wants to delay any budget deal beyond the Sept. 30 government funding deadline to maximize its leverage, ensuring fights over a possible shutdown, automatic spending cuts and debt ceiling align toward the end of the year.

Meanwhile, another little-known math problem could severely complicate Congress’ ability to produce a two-year budget deal: the $350 billion budget boost being discussed could actually cost more than $2 trillion on paper.



Because lawmakers would be technically phasing out the 10-year Budget Control Act sequester, its cost would not only include the two years' worth of spending hikes, it would also account for many years of future projected spending increases, to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars that the government had "saved" during the sequester.

The final cost, as much as $2 trillion over a decade, according to a source familiar with the process, would even exceed the cost of the GOP tax law.

Nancy Cook and Caitlin Emma contributed to this report.


© 2019 POLITICO LLC


-------------------------------------



ABCNews
Trump lashes out at Puerto Rico's 'incompetent or corrupt' politicians after Senate fails to advance disaster aid bill
By Morgan Winsor
Apr 2, 2019, 7:22 AM ET


President Donald Trump directed his outrage at Puerto Rico on Monday night, calling the U.S. territory "a mess" and its politicians "incompetent or corrupt," after Senate Democrats clashed with their Republican counterparts over sending more disaster aid money.

Senators took test votes on two competing measures -- one drafted by Senate Republicans and another passed by Democratic-led House of Representatives earlier this year -- that would allocate billions of dollars in aid to U.S. states and territories ravaged by hurricanes, flooding, wildfires and other natural disasters in recent months. But neither piece of legislation got the support required to advance to a full floor vote. Democrats shot down the GOP legislation while Republicans rejected the House-passed bill, which proposes more aid for Puerto Rico than the Republican version.


Democrats said they wanted the federal government to release the money already appropriated to Puerto Rico in a previous relief package, in addition to hundreds of millions of dollars more. Republicans echoed Trump's claims that Puerto Puerto Rico has been given much more than disaster-hit states and hasn't spent the money wisely.

"The Democrats today killed a Bill that would have provided great relief to Farmers and yet more money to Puerto Rico despite the fact that Puerto Rico has already been scheduled to receive more hurricane relief funding than any 'place' in history. The people of Puerto Rico," Trump posted on Twitter, "are GREAT, but the politicians are incompetent or corrupt. Puerto Rico got far more money than Texas & Florida combined, yet their government can’t do anything right, the place is a mess - nothing works."

"FEMA & The Military worked emergency miracles but politicians like," Trump continued. "the crazed and incompetent Mayor of San Juan have done such a poor job of bringing the Island back to health. 91 Billion Dollars to Puerto Rico, and now the Dems want to give them more, taking dollars away from our Farmers and so many others. Disgraceful!"




Carmen Yulin Cruz, the mayor of San Juan, the capital, responded to Trump's remarks in her own tweets. She called the president "unhinged" and accused him of lying about the inadequate response to Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, a Category 4 hurricane that made landfall on the island in September 2017 and caused some $100 billion in damage.

"Pres Trump continues to embarrass himself & the Office he holds. He is unhinged & thus lies about the $ received by PR. HE KNOWS HIS RESPONSE was innefficient [sic] at best. He can huff & puff all he wants but he cannot escape the death of 3,000 on his watch. SHAME ON YOU!" Cruz tweeted.


"Mr President I am right here ready to call you on every lie, every hypocrisy and every ill fated action against the people of Puerto Rico. My voice,and the voices of the people of Puerto Rico, will continue to unmask your insentive [sic], incapable & vindictive ways. SHAME ON YOU!" Cruz tweeted again.



The storm struck as Puerto Ricans still were recovering from Hurricane Irma, which unleashed heavy rain and high winds just two weeks earlier.

Though 64 people died as a direct result of Hurricane Maria, an estimated 2,975 died as a result of its aftermath, according to Puerto Rico’s most recent official counts based on a study, published in August of 2018, conducted by George Washington University and the University of Puerto Rico.

A car drives on a damaged road in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in Humacao, Puerto Rico on Oct. 2, 2017.
Jeremy Kirkland, general counsel to the Inspector General’s Office at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, announced last Tuesday that his office has launched an internal investigation at the request of Congress to investigate whether there was any "interference" in the distribution of aid money to Puerto Rico.

Over the weekend, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer penned an op-ed in The New York Daily News, saying the Trump administration "has yet to disperse nearly $20 billion in long-term recovery and mitigation funds for Puerto Rico, more than a year after they were approved by Congress and a year-and-a-half after the historic hurricanes made landfall."

"[The president] claims that Puerto Rico is getting $91 billion in disaster relief," Schumer wrote, "but no one can discern where he’s getting that figure, which is many times higher than the actual number."

ABC News' Stephanie Ebbs, Anne Flaherty, Joshua Hoyos and Trish Turner contributed to this report.

© 2019 ABC News Internet Ventures. All rights reserved.






The Trump Impeachment
Unfit To Lead
Trump doesn’t know Puerto Rico is part of the USA. Seriously.



Puerto Rico remains devastated after Hurricane Maria due to lack of adequate funding and resources. Yet, in another racisTwitterer tirade, Trump bashes Puerto Rico pols who “only take from the USA!”


Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump
Puerto Rico got 91 Billion Dollars for the hurricane, more money than has ever been gotten for a hurricane before, & all their local politicians do is complain & ask for more money. The pols are grossly incompetent, spend the money foolishly or corruptly, & only take from USA...


Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump
Puerto Rico got 91 Billion Dollars for the hurricane, more money than has ever been gotten for a hurricane before, & all their local politicians do is complain & ask for more money. The pols are grossly incompetent,



@AndrewLearned
We should fire the President of Puert

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump
Puerto Rico got 91 Billion Dollars for the hurricane, more money than has ever been gotten for a hurricane before, & all their local politicians do is complain & ask for more money. The pols are grossly incompetent, spend the money foolishly or corruptly, & only take from USA....


He should really get the President of Puerto Rico on the phone to hash this out.




Puerto Rico got 91 Billion Dollars for the hurricane, more money than has ever been gotten for a hurricane before, & all their local politicians do is complain & ask for more money. The pols are grossly incompetent, spend the money foolishly or corruptly, & only take .


We need to fire the President of Puerto Rico. #PuertoRicoUSA #PuertoRico


6:26 AM - Apr 2, 2019 · New York, NY
See Beth Frank's other Tweets
Twitter Ads info and privacy
What can we expect though from a President who gets his information from sources like Fox News?

Rick Wilson

@TheRickWilson
· 5h
Puerto Rico is the USA you racist lout.




@exavierpope
Of course 45 doesn’t know Puerto Rico is the USA, he gets his policy from a network that thinks Mexico is 3 countries and Africa is 1 pic.twitter.com/NXncjSjdSD

399
5:34 AM - Apr 2, 2019 · Chicago, IL
Twitter Ads info and privacy
View image on Twitter
135 people are talking about this
Trump’s recent outburst was in reaction to Democrats’ refusal to accept a package for Puerto Rico that falls short:

On Monday, Democratic leaders balked at the $600 million for Puerto Rican food stamps in the $13.45 billion package, arguing it wasn’t enough. But Republicans refused to back a Democratic House bill that failed to account for the historic Midwestern flooding, as it passed before that catastrophe. Democrats have said they support paying for flood relief and attempted Monday to amend their House bill with that money, a move the GOP blocked.

In his tweets, Trump raised a familiar, contested figure for disaster relief in Puerto Rico. Although the president has repeatedly claimed that $91 billion has been spent there, that figure actually reflects a high-end, long-term estimate for recovery costs; a fraction of that has so far been budgeted, and even less has been spent.

[Here’s why Trump says Puerto Rico is getting $91 billion in disaster relief]

The president also took aim at Cruz, San Juan’s outspoken mayor who has often taken Trump to task over the federal response to Hurricane Maria, which killed an estimated 2,975 people on the island.


“FEMA & the Military worked emergency miracles, but politicians like the crazed and incompetent Mayor of San Juan have done such a poor job of bringing the Island back to health,” Trump tweeted. “91 Billion Dollars to Puerto Rico, and now the Dems want to give them more, taking dollars away from our Farmers and so many others. Disgraceful!”


Qasim Rashid, Esq.

@QasimRashid
This is a flat out lie. Puerto Rico has NOT “got $91B.”
•$91B is due incrementally over the next *20 years*
•~$11B has been delivered
•3,000 Americans still died due to Federal Govt failures

We must demand better from our leadership. This is wrong. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics ... er-relief/

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump
Puerto Rico got 91 Billion Dollars for the hurricane, more money than has ever been gotten for a hurricane before, & all their local politicians do is complain & ask for more money. The pols are grossly incompetent, spend the money foolishly or corruptly, & only take from USA.













The idiot only knows how to lie, steal, con, cheat, grope women, demean, debase, mock, spew buffoonery, lie, steal, oh I said that, ok whatever, he just doesn’t know his ass from a hole .

'National Enquirer' Owner Makes Surprising Admission About Trump

----- ------ -------- -------- ------''


Daily Sound and Fury



TRUMP EFFECT
Trump, McConnell clash on closing the border
"If we don't make a deal with Congress, the border's going to be closed," Trump told reporters in the Oval Office on Tuesday. "100 percent."

"Security is more important to me than trade," Trump told reporters in the Oval Office on Tuesday. Joshua Roberts / Reuters
SHARE THIS —
April 2, 2019, 2:59 PM ET / Updated April 2, 2019, 3:30 PM ET
By Jonathan Allen and Rebecca Shabad
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump said Tuesday that he is "100 percent" prepared to shut down the U.S. border with Mexico to block an influx of migrants.

"If we don't make a deal with Congress, the border's going to be closed," he told reporters in the Oval Office. "100 percent."


At almost the same time, less than two miles down Pennsylvania Avenue, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said that might be a financial disaster for Americans.

"Closing down the border would have potentially catastrophic economic impact on our country, and I would hope we would not be doing that sort of thing," McConnell said, noting that he agrees with the president that there is "a border crisis."


The disagreement between the top two Republicans in Washington illustrates again the ongoing tension between the president and his own party in Congress as lawmakers try to bat down Trump proposals they believe are ill-advised politically, on policy grounds or both.

McConnell also said Tuesday that he and Trump now see eye to eye on waiting until after the 2020 election to work on health care legislation following Trump's promise to move earlier. McConnell had balked at that idea. And last week, Trump quickly retreated on two of his own budget proposals — cuts for the Special Olympics and Great Lakes restoration — after hearing criticism from GOP members of Congress.


But it remains to be seen whether he will back off on the border, a signature issue for him that he views as critically important both as a policy matter and in terms of fulfilling a key promise from his 2016 campaign. Increasingly, Trump has shown a willingness to go it alone when Congress rejects his immigration and border-control plans.

On Monday, Homeland Security Secretary Kristjen Nielsen directed Customs and Border Protection to send up to 750 additional officers to the border to assist with a policy designed to keep asylum-seekers in Mexico while they await adjudication of their cases. NBC News first reported on that decision last week. The number could be increased to 2,000, according to the department.

Earlier this year, Trump shut down parts of the federal government for five weeks over a demand that Congress provide $5.7 billion to fund new barriers along the border. After he reopened the agencies, he and Congress agreed to a border package that included money for technology upgrades and about 55 miles of new fencing but prohibited the construction of a solid wall.

Trump then announced he would unilaterally transfer previously appropriated money from the Pentagon's accounts for building military bases and other areas of the government to build more wall without congressional approval — a move that immediately drew lawsuits from state attorneys general who argue he acted outside his constitutional authority as president.

Trump said Tuesday that he now wants Democrats in Congress to accede to his long-held goals of rewriting the visa lottery system and rules that give favor to family members of people who already have immigrated to the United States.


"Congress has to meet quickly and make a deal," he said.

Though experts have sounded a similar note to McConnell, warning that shutting the border could hurt the U.S. economy — goods worth more than $1.5 billion cross the border on a daily basis — Trump said that's a secondary concern for him.

"Security is more important to me than trade," he said.

Trump also addressed his recent decision to cut off aid to three Central American countries — Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras — from which many of the migrants have traveled to the U.S. border.


Critics say that decision will likely create more, not fewer, refugees from those countries.

Trump framed it as a natural response to what he views as the failure of the recipients of U.S. aid to give reciprocal value.

"They don't do anything for us," he said, and have been "taking advantage of the United States" for many years. “They arrange these caravans, and they don’t put their best people in those caravans ... We’re not going to have it anymore.”

Jonathan Allen is a Washington-based national political reporter for NBC News who focuses on the presidency.


© 2019 NBC UNIVERSAL
Last edited by Meno_ on Tue Apr 02, 2019 10:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Meno_
Philosopher
 
Posts: 4450
Joined: Tue Dec 08, 2015 2:39 am
Location: Mysterium Tremendum

Re: Trump enters the stage sources of political anger

Postby Meno_ » Tue Apr 02, 2019 5:57 pm

IM


News > World > Americas > US politics

Trump erupts over congress demand for Mueller report just hours before deadline for release
'It won’t happen!'





Donald Trump has vented his frustration over House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler's subpoena for the release of the full Mueller report, just hours before a deadline set by congress for its disclosure.

Mr Trump wrote that "NOTHING WILL EVER SATISFY" those who want the Mueller report to be made available in full to the public, suggesting that it should not be released.

House Democrats have demanded that the report is made available by the end of today, and Mr Trump sent the tweet as that deadline approached. That deadline is expected to be missed, and House Democrats are readying further legal processes to require the findings and their underlying evidence to be made public.

We’ll tell you what’s true. You can form your own view.
From $0.18 a day, more exclusives, analysis and extras.Subscribe now
That refusal – and Mr Trump's explosive tweet – puts Mr Trump and his attorney general in a fight against Democratic politicians.

Read the latest on Trump and US politics in The Independent's live blog.

While attorney general William Barr has made public a summary of the report, Mr Mueller's full findings remain unknown and Democrats have demanded to know if the report found evidence of wrongdoing beyond the claims of collusion with the Russian state.

Gadgets and tech news in pictures
Show all 42
"In 1998, Rep.Jerry Nadler strongly opposed the release of the Starr Report on Bill Clinton," he posted on Twitter. "No information whatsoever would or could be legally released. But with the NO COLLUSION Mueller Report, which the Dems hate, he wants it all. NOTHING WILL EVER SATISFY THEM!"


Ivanka and Jared Kushner given security clearance despite grave risks


Though Mr Trump is correct in suggesting that a number of Democrats opposed the release of the full report to the public, it was in fact made freely available in full.

Soon after that first post, Mr Trump posted a follow-up that attacked Mr Mueller and mocked Democrats for their interest in the report.

"Robert Mueller was a God-like figure to the Democrats, until he ruled No Collusion in the long awaited $30,000,000 Mueller Report," he wrote. "Now the Dems don’t even acknowledge his name, have become totally unhinged, and would like to go through the whole process again. It won’t happen!"

He then tweeted once again to suggest the the focus was distracting from his work in running the country.

"There is no amount of testimony or document production that can satisfy Jerry Nadler or Shifty Adam Schiff. It is now time to focus exclusively on properly running our great Country!"
Meno_
Philosopher
 
Posts: 4450
Joined: Tue Dec 08, 2015 2:39 am
Location: Mysterium Tremendum

Re: Trump enters the stage reversal on public release

Postby Meno_ » Tue Apr 02, 2019 10:24 pm

POLITICO

Trump changes tune on public release of Mueller report
By ANDREW DESIDERIO and KYLE CHENEY

04/02/2019 04:35 PM EDT

Donald Trump
President Donald Trump’s posture on Tuesday made Democrats more skeptical that the president will not invoke executive privilege to block the release of certain parts of the Mueller report. | AP Photo/Evan Vucci


President Donald Trump appeared to backpedal on Tuesday from his initial desire for special counsel Robert Mueller’s report to be released to Congress and the public, a sharp diversion from his enthusiastic calls for the release of the highly anticipated report.

In a series of tweets, Trump disparaged congressional Democrats for their efforts to obtain the full report; noted that one of them had opposed the public release of grand jury information from independent counsel Kenneth Starr’s report on Bill Clinton; and tweeted a Fox News clip of lawyer Alan Dershowitz emphasizing that the Justice Department could keep the entire Mueller report confidential.


Multiple White House officials said Trump’s posture on releasing the report hasn’t changed, and Trump himself said Tuesday afternoon that he intends to defer entirely to his attorney general, William Barr. But Trump has unmistakably reined in his previous zeal for releasing the report publicly, which he first telegraphed last week while claiming that Mueller had “totally exonerated” him.

Though Mueller’s 400-page report is expected to conclude that no Americans criminally conspired with Russian efforts to interfere in the 2016 election on Trump’s behalf, there are indications that it will include damaging information about Trump and his associates — including evidence suggesting Trump may have attempted to interfere with the investigation.

Democrats — who are gearing up to issue a subpoena for the full report on Wednesday — said Trump’s sudden hostility toward their efforts to obtain the report suggests he’s nervous about what Mueller found.







“It looks like the president ... is concerned about that. He ought to live up to what he said earlier,” said House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) “He ought to support the full release. None of that should be redacted. But clearly he’s concerned about that coming out. If he is feeling so confident about what [the report] says, then you would think he would urge its full release. But clearly he’s not. And you’d have to ask him why.”

“The president said he wanted it to be public, too,” added Rep. Jim Himes (D-Conn.), a member of the Intelligence Committee. “So it’s not us being desperate, it’s him apparently thinking about re-trading a deal. Donald Trump re-trading a deal? Shocker.”

Trump initially celebrated the report’s conclusions, as summarized by Barr last week. But as Democrats in Congress have escalated their efforts to obtain Mueller’s report and evidence, the president is now indicating he has reservations about allowing his Justice Department to fork over the full report to lawmakers.

“There is no amount of testimony or document production that can satisfy Jerry Nadler or Shifty Adam Schiff,” Trump tweeted Tuesday morning, naming two top House Democrats seeking the report. “It is now time to focus exclusively on properly running our great Country!”

In a letter to lawmakers last week, Barr referred to Trump’s public statements about his desire for the report to be released, insisting that he would not share the report with the White House in advance to allow Trump to claim executive privilege.



But Trump’s posture on Tuesday made Democrats even more skeptical that the president will not invoke executive privilege to block the release of certain parts of the Mueller report that might make him look bad.

“Remember — there was no vow not to assert executive privilege. The attorney general said he had no intention of saying it because he was relying on the president's public statements that he didn’t need it,” Himes said. “But no, I’ve always been skeptical that the White House was not going to make an effort to redact embarrassing information.”

Trump separately singled out Nadler, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, for his opposition in the late 1990s to releasing grand jury information from Starr’s report on Clinton. Nadler has urged Barr to seek a court order to release grand jury information from the Mueller report.

“In 1998, Rep. Jerry Nadler strongly opposed the release of the Starr Report on Bill Clinton,” Trump tweeted. “No information whatsoever would or could be legally released. But with the NO COLLUSION Mueller Report, which the Dems hate, he wants it all. NOTHING WILL EVER SATISFY THEM!”

IMMIGRATION

Trump bewilders GOP allies on immigration ahead of border visit
By ANITA KUMAR, TED HESSON and BURGESS EVERETT
Nadler declined to comment on Trump’s attacks, but Daniel Schwarz, a spokesman for the Judiciary Committee, noted that Congress had already received Starr’s underlying evidence, and that Nadler was opposed to making such evidence public.

“Our expectation is that Attorney General Barr will be as forthcoming now as Mr. Starr was in 1998,” Schwarz said. “The attorney general should provide the full Mueller report to Congress, with the underlying materials, at which point we will be in a better position to understand what Special Counsel Mueller uncovered during his investigation.”

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders echoed Trump and said Democrats “will never be satisfied.”

“They’re sore losers,” she said of the Democrats, five months after they won back the House of Representatives from Republicans. “They lost in 2016. They lost because they tried to convince all of America of something we all knew was untrue — that the president had colluded with Russia.”



Anita Kumar contributed to this story.




© Tue Apr 02 17:20:24 EDT 2019 POLITICO LLC




--------------'----------------'------------


Trump’s most troubling characteristics were all on display during an event with the NATO secretary
Trump mistakenly said his father is from Germany, urged Congress “to get rid of judges,” and struggled with the word “origins.”
By Aaron Rupar on April 2, 2019 4:35 pm


NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and President Donald Trump talk to reporters at the White House on April 2, 2019. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
During an Oval Office event with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Tuesday afternoon, President Donald Trump either lied or got confused about where his father was born, admitted that closing the border with Mexico will be economically harmful to the US (but threatened to do it anyway), pushed a baseless conspiracy theory, and repeatedly struggled to say the word “origins.”


Oh, and he urged Congress to “get rid of judges” who are making it harder for his administration to summarily deport migrants — a position in tension with the idea that the United States is a nation of checks and balances that respects the rule of law.

Even by Trump’s standards, it was a troubling performance.

Trump began by threatening to close the border with Mexico as soon as this weekend, but urged Congress to “meet quickly and make a deal” before he has to do it.

“What we have to do is Congress has to meet quickly and make a deal. I could do it in 45 minutes,” he said. “We need to get rid of chain migration, we need to get rid of catch and release, and visa lottery, and we have to do something about asylum, and to be honest with you, we have to get rid of judges.”


Closing the border is a threat Trump has made on and off for months, and one he started making with renewed vigor last week out of frustration that Mexico isn’t able to stop every Central American migrant from reaching the US’s southern border. But in the wake of last November’s midterm election, Trump’s demand that Congress do his bidding ignores an inconvenient truth: Democrats now control the House and have no interest pursuing the draconian immigration policies he prefers.

Asked moments later if he has concerns that closing the border could be harmful to the US economy, Trump admitted that “sure, it will have a negative effect on the economy,” but added, “we’re going to have security in this country. That’s more important than trade.”

Trump’s comments were a complete reversal from last Friday, when he mistakenly argued that closing the border “will be a profit-making operation” because of the US’s trade deficit with Mexico. In fact, as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell admits, closing the border would be economically disastrous. Not only that, but Trump’s position ignores the reality that immigrants — both documented and otherwise — commit crimes at lesser rates than native-born Americans.

Trump went on to baselessly accuse the governments of Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala of conspiring to send migrant caravans toward America’s southern border.


“They don’t put their best people in these caravans,” Trump said. “We’re not going to have them in the United States.”

The rest of the press event didn’t get much better
When a reporter got around to asking Trump about NATO, the president launched into his usual talking points about how Germany doesn’t spend enough on defense. But in a ridiculous twist, Trump suggested he has warm feelings for the country because his father, Fred Trump, was born there.

“My father is German, was German,” Trump said. “Born in a very wonderful place in Germany.”

Trump was either lying or confused. Fred Trump was born in New York City.

Trump also promoted his new, as-of-yet-unspecified health care plan at the event: “We’re going to have a phenomenal health care. ... We will be showing you at the appropriate time. It’s much better than Obamacare,” he said. He then concluded by deflecting a question about whether he’ll support the release of the Mueller report by accusing Obama-era intelligence officials of “treasonous” behavior.

But in the process, Trump repeatedly mangled the word “origins,” on three separate instances saying “oranges” instead.

Eventually, Trump was able to say that “people did things that were very, very bad for our country, and very, very illegal. And you could even say treasonous.” Reporters were then ushered out of the room.




© 2019 Vox Media, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Meno_
Philosopher
 
Posts: 4450
Joined: Tue Dec 08, 2015 2:39 am
Location: Mysterium Tremendum

Re: Trump enters the stage

Postby Meno_ » Wed Apr 03, 2019 4:33 pm

Mueller report latest: House Democrats approve subpoena for interacted version of Mueller Report

Erin Durkin

Wed 3 Apr 2019 10.44 EDT First published on Wed 3 Apr 2019 08.56 EDT
Key events
10.44am

Rep. Jerry Nadler, chair of the Judiciary Committee, says he will move in “very short order” to subpoena the Mueller reports if the Justice Department doesn’t hand it over in full, according to CNN.


Nadler said he would “absolutely not” be willing to accept a version of the report with any redactions.

The committee is comfortable handling classified and sensitive material, he said, after members voted to authorize subpoenas. “We’re not willing to let the attorney general, who after all is a political appointee, substitute his judgment for ours.”

Nadler said he will “absolutely” go to court if the Justice Department doesn’t comply with a subpoena.

Updated at 10.44am EDT
Facebook Twitter
10.33am

Beto O’Rourke, speaking at the National Action Network, said he would sign a bill to establish a commission to study reparations for slavery, Newsday reports.

He also said he would bring back federal consent decrees to oversee local police departments accused of civil rights offenses, per WNYC. The decrees were used under the Obama administration but have fallen out of favor under Donald Trump.

O’Rourke also called for new voting rights legislation, according to the New York Post.

Facebook Twitter
10.29am

A Senate committee approved a bill Wednesday to fine companies that spam Americans with illegal robo-calls, the Hill reports.

The bill would give the federal government the power to slap offenders with fines of up to $10,000 per call. The Senate Commerce Committee voted unanimously to advance it.

Facebook Twitter
10.27am

House Judiciary Committee approves subpoena for Mueller report
The House Judiciary Committee has voted to authorize a subpoena for the Mueller report. The vote was 24-17, along party lines, per CNN.

Committee chairman Jerry Nadler has said he’ll give Attorney General William Barr some time to turn over a full, unredacted version of the report before serving the subpoena. He says he’s prepared to go to court if the Justice Department does not comply.
--------------------------------------------------------
And some other matters ongoing in U.S. policy mattets:

Donald Trump is now back to threatening to close the US-Mexico border, this time if Congress does not act on immigration.

He previously threatened a border closure if Mexico did not act to restrict migration, but then backed off saying he was satisfied with Mexico’s efforts.

The House of Representatives is expected to pass a resolution Wednesday calling on the Justice Department to halt its effort to get Obamacare overturned in the courts, the Washington Post reports.

The resolution calls the move “an unacceptable assault” on Americans’ health care. It is non-binding.


Here’s Rep. Jerry Nadler’s opening statement at the House Judiciary Committee hearing on subpoenas for the Mueller report.

Several Democratic presidential candidates are speaking today at Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network convention.



New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer is poking some fun at O’Rourke’s penchant for climbing up on counters, per a Washington Post reporter.



Rep. Doug Collins, the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, called it “reckless” and “irresponsible” to subpoena the Mueller report, per the Washington Post.



House Judiciary Committee debates subpoena for Mueller report
The House Judiciary Committee is currently meeting to discuss a resolution that would authorize subpoenas for special counsel Robert Mueller’s full report.

The committee is expected to authorize subpoenas for the report and to five individuals, the Wall Street Journal reports: former White House counsel Don McGahn, former White House communications director Hope Hicks, former White House aide Steve Bannon, former White House chief of staff Reince Priebus, and Ann Donaldson, former chief of staff to the White House counsel.

“We have reason to suspect this administration’s motives,” committee chairman Jerry Nadler said at the hearing, according to WSJ. “The Mueller report probably isn’t the ‘total exoneration’ the president claims it to be. And, in any event, this committee has a job to do.”


Three Democratic senators will introduce legislation Wednesday to allow young immigrants in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program to work jobs on Capitol Hill, CNN reports.

The DACA program gives the immigrants, who were brought to the country illegally as children, authorization to work legally in the United States. But a little known law says only US citizens and legal permanent residents can get jobs and paid internships in Congress, according to CNN. Sens. Kamala Harris of California, Catherine Cortez-Masto of Nevada and Dick Durbin of Illinois will introduce legislation that would allow DACA recipients, often called Dreamers, to get paid.



Donald Trump says he was “was never planning a vote prior to the 2020 Election” on a healthcare plan to replace Obamacare.

Trump’s administration has asked the courts to strike down the Affordable Care Act. He first claimed that Republicans would come up with a great plan to replace it, but later acknowledged no such plan exists and no effort will be made to get one through Congress until after the 2020 election.

Prior Trump efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare have failed to pass.



A Republican group is launching an ad campaign against Rep. Ilhan Omar, CNN reports.

American Action Network, a conservative advocacy group, will spend six figures on ads going after the Minnesota Democrat over her controversial statements about Israel, an official told the network. The ads charge that Omar “keeps hurling anti-Semitic slurs” and say House Democrats should “stand up to hate” and remove her from the Foreign Affairs Committee.



At least 14 major donors to Donald Trump’s inaugural committee got nominations to be US ambassadors, NBC News reports.

None have diplomatic experience. The nominee for ambassador to the Bahamas, Doug Manchester - who gave $1 million to the inaugural - was even unaware the island nation he was picked for is an independent country. He incorrectly told Congress during his confirmation hearing that it was a US protectorate, which has never been the case. The Bahamas was formerly a British possession, but has been independent since 1972. Manchester’s nomination has been stalled for two years, according to NBC.



Catching up on some election results from last night: Lori Lightfoot has been elected mayor of Chicago. She’s the first black woman to hold the job, and the first openly gay person. Her election is also remarkable because she is a political outsider who has never held elected office.

Meanwhile, a conservative candidate beat the favored liberal in crucial state supreme court election in Wisconsin, which is being seen as an ominous sign by Democrats there, Talking Points Memo reports.

© 2019 Guardian News & Media
Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved.
Meno_
Philosopher
 
Posts: 4450
Joined: Tue Dec 08, 2015 2:39 am
Location: Mysterium Tremendum

Re: Trump enters the stage -Trump certified?

Postby Meno_ » Wed Apr 03, 2019 9:42 pm

THEORIES
Certified Moron Donald Trump Thinks Wind Turbines “Cause Cancer”
Trump, who once likened wind turbines to the Lockerbie bombing, has a new conspiracy theory.
BESS LEVINAPRIL 3, 2019 12:37 PM
Donald Trump in the Rose Garden of the White House.
“Come on people! The dots are all there.”
By Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.
Donald Trump has a long history of attacking wind energy, which he views as a threat to coal and his campaign to transform the planet into a truck-stop urinal, the kind you have to unlock with a key attached to a giant steering wheel. “It’s Friday,” he tweeted one innocent afternoon in August 2012. “How many bald eagles did wind turbines kill today?” A couple months later, he opined: “If Obama keeps pushing wind turbines our country will go down the tubes economically, environmentally & aesthetically,” not mentioning that his own personal aesthetic could be best described as “Louis XIV projectile vomit.” He spent most of 2013 and 2014 fighting Scotland‘s First Minister over plans to build an offshore wind farm near his Aberdeenshire golf course, telling an Irish paper that “wind farms are a disaster for Scotland, like Pan Am 103,” i.e. the transatlantic flight that was bombed by a terrorist in 1988, killing all 259 passengers on board and 11 on the ground when large part of the aircraft landed on residential areas of Lockerbie, Scotland. (“Here’s a reference these Scots will understand,” he presumably thought to himself.) Returning to his avian anxieties, the noted animal-rights activist told a West Virginia crowd last summer, “You look underneath some of those windmills, it’s like a killing field [for] birds.”

His concerns, it seems, aren’t limited to wildlife. “If Hillary got in. . . you’d be doing wind. Windmills. Weee,” he told the crowd at a rally in Michigan last week during an aside that, were he not president, would be submitted as evidence to have him committed. “If it doesn’t blow, you can forget about television for that night. ‘Darling, I want to watch television.’ ‘I’m sorry! The wind isn’t blowing.’ I know a lot about wind.” So, really, it was only a matter of time before this happened:

President Donald Trump on Tuesday launched his latest wild attack on wind turbines, an energy source that has long attracted his ire.

“They say the noise causes cancer,” the president remarked of the turbines at the National Republican Congressional Committee fund-raiser in Washington, D.C. “If you have a windmill anywhere near your house, congratulations—your house just went down 75 percent in value.”

As virtually everyone on the Internet was quick to point out, out here, on planet Earth, cancer is not caused by noise, wind-induced or otherwise. Meanwhile, an energy source that does tend to cause health issues, as New York’s Jonathan Chait notes, “is coal, an extremely dirty fuel Trump loves and has attempted to bolster, with almost no success. Aside from costing more to produce than other sources of power, and in addition to enormous air-pollution side effects, coal also emits greenhouse gases in large amounts.”

“Wind turbines cause cancer” isn’t the first piece of medical advice Dr. Trump has dispensed to his followers. In April 2012, he tweeted a story claiming that “people who live up to 2 miles away from the turbines develop such things as sleep, stress and mood disorders once wind farms go up.” (More likely, experts say, the symptoms are psychosomatic.) That same year, he warned that L.E.D. light bulbs cause cancer, and that one must “be careful,” because “the idiots who came up with this stuff don’t care.” Meanwhile, he believes fracking poses “ZERO health risks” and is, in fact, good for you.















LEVIN REPORT
Republicans: Relax, Trump Only Endangered National Security 4–5 Times, Tops


© Condé Nast 2019
Meno_
Philosopher
 
Posts: 4450
Joined: Tue Dec 08, 2015 2:39 am
Location: Mysterium Tremendum

Re: Trump enters the stage Personal Taxes and other matters

Postby Meno_ » Thu Apr 04, 2019 1:23 am

The Guardian -
Trump's taxes: Democrats request president's returns from IRS – live
Committee chairman seeks six years of personal returns and some business returns, calling for ‘accountability’
Democrats have demanded Donald Trump’s tax returns from the IRS.

Gabrielle Canon (now) and Erin Durkin (earlier)



On Twitter it is being called the “empty chair” hearing. Despite no reported scheduling conflicts and with controversy mounting over a yet-to-be explained attempt to include a citizenship question on the 2020 Census, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross declined to attend both invitations from the House and the Senate to appear.

For the second day in a row, his seat sat empty, as the appropriations subcommittee declined to admit officials sent by the Department in Ross’s stead.

Per CNN:

Some Democrats said they had planned to grill Ross on the citizenship question, as well as his financial disclosures.

‘His absence disrespects this committee and the appropriations process as a whole,’ said Rep. Nita Lowey, chair of the powerful Appropriations Committee. Rep. Grace Meng agreed, calling Ross’s refusal to testify ‘an abandonment of his responsibilities’ as the Commerce secretary. ‘It is an insult and an attack on transparency and trust,’ the New York Democrat added”.



Report: investigators say Barr softened Mueller report findings
Officials working for the special counsel have expressed concerns over how Attorney General William Barr classified the findings in the Mueller report, the New York Times is reporting.

In his summary, the anonymous investigators say, Barr mischaracterized the results of their investigation. They believe it boded worse for the president than portrayed.

Per The Times:

At stake in the dispute — the first evidence of tension between Mr. Barr and the special counsel’s office — is who shapes the public’s initial understanding of one of the most consequential government investigations in American history. Some members of Mr. Mueller’s team are concerned that, because Mr. Barr created the first narrative of the special counsel’s findings, Americans’ views will have hardened before the investigation’s conclusions become public”.

Barr is expected to provide a redacted version of Mueller’s report this month.

William Barr to give Congress redacted version of Mueller report by mid-April


Democrats diving deeper into Stephen Moore's finances
Jon Swaine
Democratic senators have pressed Stephen Moore for detailed information on his finances over the past decade, after the Guardian revealed he owed $75,000 in federal taxes and was held in contempt of court over unpaid debts.

Moore, the economics commentator chosen by Donald Trump for a seat on the Federal Reserve’s board of governors, was warned in a letter that he may need to provide a full tax return to senators preparing to consider his nomination.

Senators Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Ron Wyden of Oregon, the ranking members of the Senate banking and finance committees, told Moore they had “read with concern” the Guardian’s reports, which Moore has called “vile and vicious and underhanded”.


Even though House Ways and Means Committee Chair Richard Neal gave the IRS until April 10 to comply with his request for Trump’s tax returns, the president is telling reporters he isn’t concerned.

Trump repeated his previous claims that he is unable to reveal his financial documents to the public because they are currently under audit.

The request, submitted today, asks the IRS for Trump’s individual tax returns, indications of whether or not they have ever been under examination or audit, the administrative files and the returns from 8 Trump-owned entities.

While the returns likely won’t be handed over without a battle, Democrats are emphasizing that Trump doesn’t have the legal authority to stop the IRS from complying.



Amidst calls from Congress for an investigation into the security breach at the President’s Palm Beach estate, Trump has responded telling reporters that it was “a fluke” and used it as an opportunity to commended the Mar-a-Lago front desk worker.

According to the Associated Press, however, the site is rife with security issues:

Nabil Erian, a former Marine and government counterintelligence officer, said guarding Mar-a-Lago is a ‘nightmare’. That’s because unlike previous presidential vacation homes like Ronald Reagan’s and George W. Bush’s ranches or George H.W. Bush’s seaside vacation home in Maine, Mar-a-Lago is open to members who pay $14,000 annual dues after a $100,000 or $200,000 initiation fee. They expect access to the facility and want to host their equally affluent guests — and they are used to getting their way”.

Trump's tax returns formally requested by House committee chair
Sabrina Siddiqui
House Democrats have formally demanded Donald Trump’s tax returns from the Internal Revenue Service, marking a major bid to obtain information about the president’s finances and business dealings.

Richard Neal, the chairman of the House ways and means committee, issued the request on Wednesday evening, stating: “It is critical to ensure the accountability of our government and elected officials.”

“I today submitted to IRS Commissioner [Charles] Rettig my request for six years of the president’s personal tax returns as well as the returns for some of his business entities,” Neal wrote.

Mueller report: House committee approves subpoenas for full version

“We have completed the necessary groundwork for a request of this magnitude and I am certain we are within our legitimate legislative, legal, and oversight rights.

“This request is about policy, not politics; my preparations were made on my own track and timeline, entirely independent of other activities in Congress and the administration,” he added.

“My actions reflect an abiding reverence for our democracy and our institutions, and are in no way based on emotion of the moment or partisanship. I trust that in this spirit, the IRS will comply with Federal law and furnish me with the requested documents in a timely manner.”

Trump refused to release his tax returns in the 2016 campaign – breaking with a nearly 40-year precedent of major-party presidential candidates.

In testimony before Capitol Hill last month, the president’s former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, alleged that Trump inflated his assets to banks and insurance companies.

Democrats are seeking Trump’s tax returns from 2013 to 2018.

GOP Senators use 'nuclear option' to fast-track Trump-appointed judges
Republicans used the politically controversial “nuclear option” today — changing the Senate rules with a majority vote —fast-tracking confirmation of Trump’s nominees by bypassing debate from minority opposition.

As Politico reports, the Senate voted 51-48 to cut debate times for executive nominees:

McConnell trashed Democrats’ ‘systematic obstruction’ as he stumped for his effort on the Senate floor. His move is particularly consequential in divided government when much of the Senate’s time is now spent confirming executive nominees and lifetime judicial appointments. Under the change, debate time on District Court nominees and subcabinet executive nominees is slashed from 30 hours to 2 hours, a shift that will allow Republicans to fill dozens more vacancies over the coming months”.

McConnell contends that the legislative filibuster, which empowers the minority party to block a vote on new laws, is essential to the Senate trying to assuage fears that this could set the precedent for its end. But, he said, it was time to end “systematic obstruction”.

Democrats were quick to sound the alarm on the issue, including Senator Michael Bennet who called the move “a travesty” from the Senate floor. Bennet also highlighted McConnell’s apparent hypocrisy.

“He led the most famous blockade that’s ever happened in the Senate. And that was the blockade he led of Merrick Garland,” he said referring to McConnell. “It was shameful”.




House Oversight Chairman Elijah Cummings told reporters today, that Mazars USA, a tax accounting firm that has over 10 years of Trump’s financial documents has agreed to turn them over to the committee if they receive a subpoena, Politico reports.

Initially, Cummings had requested the statements in a letter sent to the firm last month, but Mazars replied that laws and rules barred them from complying without a subpoena.

“The accounting firm told us that they will respond, and they just want a subpoena,” the Cummings told reporters, promising that the subpoena will soon be issued.

The House inquiry into the President’s finances gained momentum after Michael Cohen, Trump’s former lawyer, shared three years of the financial statements, prepared by Mazars USA. After Cohen’s testimony, the committee had elevated concerns about Trump’s assets and debts, and whether they were accurately accounted.

Summary
The House Judiciary Committee voted to authorize a subpoena for special counsel Robert Mueller’s full report. The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee also said it was “inevitable” Mueller would be called to testify before Congress.
Former Vice President Joe Biden promised he would “be more mindful about respecting personal space” after several women said his touching made them feel uncomfortable.
Several Democratic presidential candidates spoke on the first day of Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network convention, expressing openness to the idea of reparations for slavery.
Get a new perspective on the US. Sign up for the morning briefing.


A group of CEOs warned Donald Trump that shutting the US-Mexico border would do serious damage to the economy.


© 2019 Guardian News & Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved.
Meno_
Philosopher
 
Posts: 4450
Joined: Tue Dec 08, 2015 2:39 am
Location: Mysterium Tremendum

Re: Trump enters the stage

Postby Meno_ » Thu Apr 04, 2019 2:51 pm

(Let’s remember that four presidents have literally been shot dead.)


When he tweets this:



There is nothing we can ever give to the Democrats that will make them happy. This is the highest level of Presidential Harassment in the history of our Country!


It is unbelievable that talk like this can go about, and skillfully manipulated to explain an otherwise inane comment such as this.

Another comments releases the opinion that Trump has completed the ownership of the Republican party:

-------------------------

The New York Times



Trump’s Takeover of the Republican Party Is Almost Complete


Supporters of President Trump at a rally in Grand Rapids, Mich., on Thursday. The Trump campaign has helped install allies in every state important to the 2020 race.CreditTom Brenner for The New York Times
By Alexander Burns and Jonathan Martin

On Election Day in 2016, the Republican Party was divided against itself, split over its nominee for president, Donald J. Trump.

In Ohio, a crucial battleground, the state party chairman had repeatedly chided Mr. Trump in public, amplifying the concerns of Gov. John Kasich, a Republican dissenter. In New Hampshire, the party chairman harbored deep, if largely private, misgivings about her party’s nominee. The Republican Party of Florida was listing, hobbled by local feuds and a rift between donors loyal to Senator Marco Rubio and former Gov. Jeb Bush and those backing the man who humiliated both in the primaries.

Those power struggles have now been resolved in a one-sided fashion. In every state important to the 2020 race, Mr. Trump and his lieutenants are in firm control of the Republican electoral machinery, and they are taking steps to extend and tighten their grip.

It is, in every institutional sense, Mr. Trump’s party.

As Mr. Trump has prepared to embark on a difficult fight for re-election, a small but ferocious operation within his campaign has helped install loyal allies atop the most significant state parties and urged them to speak up loudly to discourage conservative criticism of Mr. Trump. The campaign has dispatched aides to state party conclaves, Republican executive committee meetings and fund-raising dinners, all with the aim of ensuring the delegates at next year’s convention in Charlotte, N.C., are utterly committed to Mr. Trump.




To Joe Gruters, who was co-chairman of Mr. Trump’s campaign in Florida and now leads the state party, the local Republican Party is effectively a regional arm of the president’s re-election effort.

“I’ve had probably 10 conversations with the Trump team about the delegate selection process in Florida,” Mr. Gruters said, adding of a potential Republican primary battle, “The base of the party loves our president, and if anybody runs against him, they are going to get absolutely smashed.”

State and local Republican organizations typically operate below the radar of national politics, but they can be vital to the success of a presidential candidate. Party chairmen and their deputies are tasked with everything from raising money to deploying volunteers to knock on doors, and in many states they help choose delegates for the nominating convention.
Val DiGiorgio is the chairman of the Republican Party in Pennsylvania, one of the most vulnerable states from Mr. Trump’s 2016 coalition.CreditHannah Yoon for The New York Times
For Mr. Trump, who prevailed in 2016 as an outsider with little connection to his party’s electoral apparatus, the ability to control the levers of Republican politics at the state level could make the difference in a close election or a contested primary. It also leaves other Republicans with precious little room to oppose Mr. Trump on his policy preferences or administrative whims — on matters from health care to the Mexican border — for fear of retribution from within the party.


Mr. Trump’s aides have focused most intently on heading off any dissent at the Charlotte convention: To that end, two of Mr. Trump’s top campaign aides, Bill Stepien and Justin Clark, have worked quietly but methodically in a series of states where control of the local party was up for grabs. They have lifted Mr. Trump’s allies even in deep-blue states like Massachusetts, and worked to make peace between competing pro-Trump factions in more competitive states such as Colorado.

The devotion to Mr. Trump was on clear display Saturday outside Denver, where the state party gathered to elect a new chairman. Though Mr. Trump’s unpopularity helped drive Colorado Republicans to deep losses last fall, there was no sign of unrest: Mr. Trump’s name was emblazoned on lapel pins and a flag toted by one candidate for the chairmanship, and his slogan — “Make America Great Again” — was printed on the red hat from which the candidates drew lots to determine their speaking order.

Mr. Trump himself stayed out of the race, and campaign aides sent the White House a short memo last month urging the president not to pick sides between allies after Representative Ken Buck, a deeply conservative candidate, lobbied administration officials for support.


But when Mr. Buck claimed victory in the race for chairman, he described his mission in terms of unflinching loyalty to the president.

“The key is that we make sure that the voters of Colorado understand the great job the president has done,” Mr. Buck said. “That is what my job is.”

Mr. Trump faces at least a quixotic challenge in the Republican primaries from William F. Weld, a moderate former governor of Massachusetts, and other Republicans have toyed with entering the race. But advisers to Mr. Trump view it as an urgent priority to maintain Republican support: With low approval ratings among voters at large, including educated whites who once leaned Republican, Mr. Trump can ill afford additional fractures on the right.

Devotion to President Trump was on display Saturday outside Denver, where the Colorado Republican Party met to select a new chairman for the coming presidential campaign.CreditRachel Woolf for The New York Times

So far, loyalty has prevailed.

“There is no challenge to the president,” declared John Watson, a former supporter of Mr. Kasich who now leads the Georgia Republican Party. “The party is in near-unanimous lock step in support of him, certainly at the activist and delegate level.”

In some respects, the shift toward Mr. Trump in Republican state organizations has been organic, driven by the president’s immense popularity with the party’s most committed voters. In Arizona, an emerging presidential swing state, conservative activists in January ejected a chairman aligned with the Republican establishment in favor of Kelli Ward, a former Senate candidate with fringe views who tied herself closely to Mr. Trump.

But Mr. Trump and his aides have also taken a more active hand in shaping the party leadership around the country, mostly to their own great advantage, according to half a dozen Republicans briefed on the Trump campaign’s loyalty operation. A division of the Trump campaign known as the Delegates and Party Organization unit has closely tracked state party leadership elections and occasionally weighed in to help a preferred contender.

In Michigan, for instance, Mr. Trump’s campaign manager, Brad Parscale, recently endorsed a former state legislator, Laura Cox, to take over Michigan’s discombobulated state party.


The Trump campaign has also taken steps to blunt the influence of a few Republican governors who are hostile to the president. In Massachusetts, Trump aides worked in January to help a hard-line candidate, Jim Lyons, win the chairmanship against a candidate linked closely to the state’s Republican governor, Charlie Baker, who is a critic of Mr. Trump. (As a candidate, Mr. Lyons vowed to “make the Massachusetts Republican Party great again.”)

In Maryland, where Gov. Larry Hogan has mused about challenging Mr. Trump, presidential loyalists in the party apparatus are prepared to flout Mr. Hogan’s wishes in selecting delegates. In Maryland and some other states, convention delegates are selected by a combination of primary voters and members of the state party committee — constituencies overwhelmingly supportive of Mr. Trump.

“No other candidate, no matter if it’s Governor Hogan, Bill Weld or anybody else, will get one single delegate out of Maryland,” said David Bossie, the state’s R.N.C. committeeman and an adviser to Mr. Trump.


“The key is that we make sure that the voters of Colorado understand the great job the president has done,” said Representative Ken Buck, the Colorado G.O.P. chairman. “That is what my job is.”


Some states are so fully in the grips of Trump enthusiasts that the campaign has sought to keep Mr. Trump neutral in local races, out of concern that he could alienate one supportive faction or another. In Rhode Island last weekend, the campaign dispatched an aide to answer questions from party activists about Mr. Trump’s view of the race for state chairman, after Sean Spicer, the former White House press secretary, reportedly made calls on behalf of a candidate who was ultimately defeated. The Trump campaign made clear that Mr. Spicer had been acting on his own, a person familiar with the conversations said.

Last month, several top Trump strategists, including Mr. Stepien and Mr. Clark, informed the president directly on the efforts to lock down party organizations for his re-election, people briefed on the meeting said. In a statement, Mr. Clark described the operation as part of a long run-up to the 2020 convention.

“Like any good campaign operation, we are working to ensure that state party chairs and delegates reflect the will of Republican voters, who support President Trump in record numbers,” Mr. Clark said. “Our goal is to pave the way for a convention in Charlotte that gives the president a multiday platform to share his achievements with 300 million Americans.”

Though the Republican National Committee has stopped short of formally endorsing Mr. Trump, state chairmen elected with the help of Mr. Trump’s campaign have defended him fiercely, even from Mr. Weld’s long-shot effort. When the former Massachusetts governor rolled out his campaign, Mr. Lyons blasted him harshly, as did Stephen Stepanek, a former co-chairman for the Trump campaign in New Hampshire who now leads that state’s Republican Party.

That hard-edge approach has stirred some discomfort in New Hampshire, where some traditional Republicans prize the state’s reputation for political independence and have resisted efforts to quash an open primary. Steve Duprey, a member of the Republican National Committee from the state, hosted Mr. Weld there in late March and argued that New Hampshire’s "special role” as an early-voting state required it to be open to candidates besides Mr. Trump. He said in an interview he believed primary competition was healthy, as a general matter.

“Our job is to be neutral and treat them all equally, period,” argued Mr. Duprey, who was a close adviser to John McCain.

There are still elements of the Republican Party that have yet to fall fully in line behind the president, Republicans acknowledge. The party suffered serious defections in 2018 among moderate white voters who have historically tended to support Republicans, and some of the party’s traditional financial backers have not yet committed to supporting him in 2020. Advisers to Mr. Trump acknowledge that mobilizing the party’s major-donor base remains one of the most important challenges for his campaign.

But there is no comparable reticence among the Republican Party’s field captains in the states. At the meeting in Colorado over the weekend, Vera Ortegon, the state’s R.N.C. committeewoman, alluded to the president’s nagging Republican critics in the form of a stern warning.



Jackson Barnett contributed reporting from Denver.



© 2019 The New York Times


And yet: claims for unemployment insurance are at their lowest levels in 5 decades, and the economic indexes: NASDAC, DOW, up, may say something else per public confidence according to the the republicans., even though it was Obama who turned things around, after the ' Great Recession.
-----------------------------------
Donald Trump Is Trying to Kill You
Trust the pork producers; fear the wind turbine.

April 4, 2019
There’s a lot we don’t know about the legacy Donald Trump will leave behind. And it is, of course, hugely important what happens in the 2020 election. But one thing seems sure: Even if he’s a one-term president, Trump will have caused, directly or indirectly, the premature deaths of a large number of Americans.

Some of those deaths will come at the hands of right-wing, white nationalist extremists, who are a rapidly growing threat, partly because they feel empowered by a president who calls them “very fine people.”

Some will come from failures of governance, like the inadequate response to Hurricane Maria, which surely contributed to the high death toll in Puerto Rico. (Reminder: Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens.)

Some will come from the administration’s continuing efforts to sabotage Obamacare, which have failed to kill health reform but have stalled the decline in the number of uninsured, meaning that many people still aren’t getting the health care they need. Of course, if Trump gets his way and eliminates Obamacare altogether, things on this front will get much, much worse.

ADVERTISEMENT

But the biggest death toll is likely to come from Trump’s agenda of deregulation — or maybe we should call it “deregulation,” because his administration is curiously selective about which industries it wants to leave alone.

Consider two recent events that help capture the deadly strangeness of what’s going on.

One is the administration’s plan for hog plants to take over much of the federal responsibility for food safety inspections. And why not? It’s not as if we’ve seen safety problems arise from self-regulation in, say, the aircraft industry, have we? Or as if we ever experience major outbreaks of food-borne illness? Or as if there was a reason the U.S. government stepped in to regulate meatpacking in the first place?

Now, you could see the Trump administration’s willingness to trust the meat industry to keep our meat safe as part of an overall attack on government regulation, a willingness to trust profit-making businesses to do the right thing and let the market rule. And there’s something to that, but it’s not the whole story, as illustrated by another event: Trump’s declaration the other day that wind turbines cause cancer.

Now, you could put this down to personal derangement: Trump has had an irrational hatred for wind power ever since he failed to prevent construction of a wind farm near his Scottish golf course. And Trump seems deranged and irrational on so many issues that one more bizarre claim hardly seems to matter.


But there’s more to this than just another Trumpism. After all, we normally think of Republicans in general, and Trump in particular, as people who minimize or deny the “negative externalities” imposed by some business activities — the uncompensated costs they impose on other people or businesses.

For example, the Trump administration wants to roll back rules that limit emissions of mercury from power plants. And in pursuit of that goal, it wants to prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from taking account of many of the benefits from reduced mercury emissions, such as an associated reduction in nitrogen oxide.

But when it comes to renewable energy, Trump and company are suddenly very worried about supposed negative side effects, which generally exist only in their imagination. Last year the administration floated a proposal that would have forced the operators of electricity grids to subsidize coal and nuclear energy. The supposed rationale was that new sources were threatening to destabilize those grids — but the grid operators themselves denied that this was the case.

So it’s deregulation for some, but dire warnings about imaginary threats for others. What’s going on?


Part of the answer is, follow the money. Political contributions from the meat-processing industry overwhelmingly favor Republicans. Coal mining supports the G.O.P. almost exclusively. Alternative energy, on the other hand, generally favors Democrats.

There are probably other things, too. If you’re a party that wishes we could go back to the 1950s (but without the 91 percent top tax rate), you’re going to have a hard time accepting the reality that hippie-dippy, unmanly things like wind and solar power are becoming ever more cost-competitive.

Whatever the drivers of Trump policy, the fact, as I said, is that it will kill people. Wind turbines don’t cause cancer, but coal-burning power plants do — along with many other ailments. The Trump administration’s own estimates indicate that its relaxation of coal pollution rules will kill more than 1,000 Americans every year. If the administration gets to implement its full agenda — not just deregulation of many industries, but discrimination against industries it doesn’t like, such as renewable energy — the toll will be much higher.

So if you eat meat — or, for that matter, drink water or breathe air — there’s a real sense in which Donald Trump is trying to kill you. And even if he’s turned out of office next year, for many Americans it will be too late.


---------------------------




Donald Trump's tax dodge
Analysis by Chris Cillizza, CNN Editor-at-large
Updated 9:59 PM EDT, Thu April 04, 2019


(CNN) Start here: There is absolutely nothing stopping Donald Trump from authorizing the release of his past returns.

Not the audit he has claimed to be under for years. (Side note: We have no way of knowing if Trump has been under audit, but we do know it would not preclude him from releasing his taxes.)

Not that his finances are very complicated, as he often claims.


Not that people don't care to see them, as Kellyanne Conway has said.

And not, as Trump said today, because the decision is up to his lawyers.

Asked whether he would instruct the IRS commissioner to comply with a request by House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal, D-Massachusetts, for his tax returns from 2013 through 2018, Trump offered on Thursday: "They'll speak to my lawyers and they'll speak to the Attorney General."


Which is a) not an answer to the question and b) is totally meaningless. Trump is the President. If he wanted the returns released to Neal, they would be in the Massachusetts Democrat's hands within a matter of days.

The simple fact -- and this has been obvious to anyone paying attention for the last several years -- is that Trump made the decision at some point early in his 2016 campaign that the flack he would take for not releasing any returns would be nothing compared to what would happen if he did release them.

The Point: This isn't about what Trump can legally do. This is about what Trump wants to do. And he really doesn't want his tax returns going public.

View on CNN

© 2019 Cable News Network. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

-------------------------------------

Trump in California






'Trump-Pence must go': Trump visits California, where he is wildly unpopular, to raise money
CHRIS WOODYARD | USA TODAY | 2 hours ago

LOS ANGELES — President Donald Trump returned Friday to one of the most hostile political territories for him in the U.S.— California.


After a stop at the U.S. border with Mexico in Calexico, California, Trump arrived in Los Angeles to attend a fundraiser in a state where his job-approval ratings have been dismal and his past visits have been met by protesters. This time around, a few protesters held up a sign saying "Trump-Pence must go" as the president's motorcade drove nearby on Sunset Boulevard on the way to a Beverly Hills mansion.

Trump was also expected to make an unannounced side trip to the coastal city of Rancho Palos Verdes for a dinner at his Trump golf course overlooking the Pacific Ocean with a group that included members of the City Council, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Trump hasn't been shy at hurling jabs-- during his visits or year-round, really, from his Twitter account-- at California's Democratic leaders and their policies. This time was no exception. During his border visit, he complained that California's political leaders are whiners.


"I’m talking about the politicians in California. They complain,” Trump was quoted as saying by CNN in Calexico, California, pointing to the state's recent wildfires that claimed thousands of homes as an example.

He went on to say, "When their forests go up (in flames), they complain. They gotta take care of their forests a lot better. "

His visit came as the president was once again redefining his immigration policies, which have been widely criticized as unnecessarily cruel by many California leaders with close economic or cultural ties to nearby Mexico. Trump backed off Thursday from his latest threat to close the U.S.-Mexico border in the face of an immigration surge.

He flew to Los Angeles from a visit to the U.S. side of the border with Mexico. There, he took a look at a two-mile refurbished section of fencing and took aim at the surge in migrants, saying there's no room left in the U.S. for them. He was briefed on border security, which is sure to become a core part of his 2020 bid for re-election.


He called the increase in immigrants showing up at the border “a colossal surge, and it’s overwhelming our immigration system."

He added, "We can’t take you anymore. Our country is full.”

The president arrived in Southern California still basking in his attorney general's recent synopsis of special counsel Robert Mueller's report that found no collusion between his campaign and Russia in the 2016 election. “According to polling, few people seem to care about the Russian Collusion Hoax, but some Democrats are fighting hard to keep the Witch Hunt alive,” Trump tweeted ahead of his border visit.

Trump's visit could be a much-needed boost to the spirits of Los Angeles-area Republicans, said Shawn Steel, the Republican National Committeeman from California, who called Trump's visit an "energizer." The GOP saw major losses in the 2018 midterm elections in California.

The "giant dark cloud" of the Mueller report has lifted, Americans are enjoying another year of a strong economy and Trump has scored foreign policy successes, Steel said. At the same time, he said Democrats in power were making missteps unpopular with moderates. He cited Gov. Gavin Newsom's plan to end the death penalty as an example.


President Donald Trump
President Donald Trump
SCOTT OLSON/GETTY IMAGES
Steel said among the party's goals is winning back the four congressional seats it lost in November in the traditional GOP stronghold of Orange County, just south of Los Angeles.

But it won't be easy. Polls show Trump remains deeply unpopular in California. A Quinnipiac University poll released in February showed only a 28% job-approval rating across the state for Trump. Having won seven seats in the midterm election, Democrats hold a 46 to seven advantage in congressional seats from California.

As of February, Democrats held an almost two-to-one voter registration advantage over Republicans. Since 2011, the Republican percentage of the vote has slipped from 30.9% to 23.6%, according to the California Secretary of State's office.

"They are becoming an endangered species," said Susan Estrich, a political science professor at the University of Southern California.


She said there is no getting around Trump's unpopularity.

"There's probably no state in the country that likes Trump least," Estrich said.

Contributing: Associated Press













'Trump-Pence must go': Trump visits California, where he is wildly unpopular, to raise money
CHRIS WOODYARD | USA TODAY | 2 hours ago

LOS ANGELES — President Donald Trump returned Friday to one of the most hostile political territories for him in the U.S.— California.


After a stop at the U.S. border with Mexico in Calexico, California, Trump arrived in Los Angeles to attend a fundraiser in a state where his job-approval ratings have been dismal and his past visits have been met by protesters. This time around, a few protesters held up a sign saying "Trump-Pence must go" as the president's motorcade drove nearby on Sunset Boulevard on the way to a Beverly Hills mansion.

Trump was also expected to make an unannounced side trip to the coastal city of Rancho Palos Verdes for a dinner at his Trump golf course overlooking the Pacific Ocean with a group that included members of the City Council, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Trump hasn't been shy at hurling jabs-- during his visits or year-round, really, from his Twitter account-- at California's Democratic leaders and their policies. This time was no exception. During his border visit, he complained that California's political leaders are whiners.


"I’m talking about the politicians in California. They complain,” Trump was quoted as saying by CNN in Calexico, California, pointing to the state's recent wildfires that claimed thousands of homes as an example.

He went on to say, "When their forests go up (in flames), they complain. They gotta take care of their forests a lot better. "

His visit came as the president was once again redefining his immigration policies, which have been widely criticized as unnecessarily cruel by many California leaders with close economic or cultural ties to nearby Mexico. Trump backed off Thursday from his latest threat to close the U.S.-Mexico border in the face of an immigration surge.

He flew to Los Angeles from a visit to the U.S. side of the border with Mexico. There, he took a look at a two-mile refurbished section of fencing and took aim at the surge in migrants, saying there's no room left in the U.S. for them. He was briefed on border security, which is sure to become a core part of his 2020 bid for re-election.


He called the increase in immigrants showing up at the border “a colossal surge, and it’s overwhelming our immigration system."

He added, "We can’t take you anymore. Our country is full.”

The president arrived in Southern California still basking in his attorney general's recent synopsis of special counsel Robert Mueller's report that found no collusion between his campaign and Russia in the 2016 election. “According to polling, few people seem to care about the Russian Collusion Hoax, but some Democrats are fighting hard to keep the Witch Hunt alive,” Trump tweeted ahead of his border visit.

Trump's visit could be a much-needed boost to the spirits of Los Angeles-area Republicans, said Shawn Steel, the Republican National Committeeman from California, who called Trump's visit an "energizer." The GOP saw major losses in the 2018 midterm elections in California.

The "giant dark cloud" of the Mueller report has lifted, Americans are enjoying another year of a strong economy and Trump has scored foreign policy successes, Steel said. At the same time, he said Democrats in power were making missteps unpopular with moderates. He cited Gov. Gavin Newsom's plan to end the death penalty as an example.



Steel said among the party's goals is winning back the four congressional seats it lost in November in the traditional GOP stronghold of Orange County, just south of Los Angeles.

But it won't be easy. Polls show Trump remains deeply unpopular in California. A Quinnipiac University poll released in February showed only a 28% job-approval rating across the state for Trump. Having won seven seats in the midterm election, Democrats hold a 46 to seven advantage in congressional seats from California.

As of February, Democrats held an almost two-to-one voter registration advantage over Republicans. Since 2011, the Republican percentage of the vote has slipped from 30.9% to 23.6%, according to the California Secretary of State's office.

"They are becoming an endangered species," said Susan Estrich, a political science professor at the University of Southern California.


She said there is no getting around Trump's unpopularity.

"There's probably no state in the country that likes Trump least," Estrich said.




© Copyright Gannett 2019



Sorry double printed.
Last edited by Meno_ on Sat Apr 06, 2019 4:11 am, edited 3 times in total.
Meno_
Philosopher
 
Posts: 4450
Joined: Tue Dec 08, 2015 2:39 am
Location: Mysterium Tremendum

Re: Trump enters the stage

Postby Meno_ » Fri Apr 05, 2019 12:40 am

Related video: President Trump claims 'total exoneration' in Mueller report



https://youtu.be/em15_fEzMlk
Meno_
Philosopher
 
Posts: 4450
Joined: Tue Dec 08, 2015 2:39 am
Location: Mysterium Tremendum

Re: Trump enters the stage Tax returns

Postby Meno_ » Sat Apr 06, 2019 4:24 am

POLITICO



Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal demanded that the administration turn over over six years' worth of President Donald Trump’s tax returns — but Democrats may face a tougher-than-normal situation with taxpayer secrecy rules. | Andrew Harnik/AP Photo

CONGRESS

Democrats face minefield if they get Trump's tax returns
There will be a period, possibly lasting months, when Democrats will have seen the president’s taxes, but they won’t be able to talk about them.

By BRIAN FALER 04/05/2019 06:28 PM EDT
Democrats’ bid to seize President Donald Trump’s tax returns will come with some serious legal risk to themselves.

Lawmakers are concerned that, even if they get the president’s filings, his returns will still be protected by strict confidentiality laws — it is a felony, punishable by up to five years, to improperly disclose private tax information.



There are ways around the dilemma, and Democrats intend to make at least some information about Trump’s taxes public — that is much of the point of their entire effort. But that probably won’t happen right away. Lawmakers say they will likely take some time to examine his filings behind closed doors before making anything publicly available.

That means there will be a period, possibly lasting months, when Democrats will have finally seen the president’s long-hidden taxes — and they will be inundated with questions about what’s in them — but they won’t be able to talk about them. If they let anything slip, Republicans will surely jump, demanding an investigation by the Justice Department.

“We’re going to have to be circumspect in terms of the way we handle this,” said Rep. John Larson (D-Conn.), a senior member of the House Ways and Means Committee. “That’s the responsibility of every member.”




It’s a risk that’s been barely acknowledged in the battle over Trump’s returns, though it is one reason why Democrats have taken so long to formally request them.



Of course, Democrats have to get the returns first, and they’re a long way from that. Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal (D-Mass.) demanded this week that the administration turn over six years' worth of Trump’s individual and business tax returns, giving them a deadline of April 10.

The administration has indicated it plans to fight the demand in court.



"From what I understand, the law is 100 percent on my side," Trump said Friday.

That Democrats may have to keep Trump’s taxes secret for a time has been largely overlooked in the debate over the returns, probably because of a misconception of how the law Democrats are tapping works.

They are relying on a statute that allows the heads of Congress’s tax committees to examine anyone’s confidential taxes. Advocates of the effort emphasize that the law says the Treasury Secretary “shall” hand over any requested returns.


But that’s just the question of whether the administration must give up the documents — even if Trump’s returns are handed over, they will still be protected by privacy laws. Making them public will be a separate matter.

Donald Trump
WHITE HOUSE

Trump on House getting his tax returns: ‘They’ll speak to my lawyers’
By REBECCA MORIN and ANITA KUMAR
Experts say lawmakers can do that by essentially having the Ways and Means Committee vote in a closed session to release them.



Though Democrats haven’t worked out exactly how they’ll proceed, there’s likely to be some time between when they receive the returns and when they consider divulging them.

There seems to be a “false presumption” that lawmakers will simply release the returns the moment they get them, said Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas), another Democratic tax writer who has helped lead the push to get the president’s returns.

“There is a need for a thorough review of them to see if there’s anything in them that justifies releasing them and that’s something that could take awhile to do because they are, according to the president, very complex,” he said. “I hope it’s not months, but I don’t think it will be days.”



“Until such time as that review is complete and a vote is taken to forward them to congress and the public, they will be protected.”

Democrats may want to redact certain information from the returns. Trump’s filings could reveal private information about other people he’s in business with who are of little interest to lawmakers, for example.



Tax veterans say the period between when Democrats get Trump’s returns and if and when they release something will be stressful for lawmakers, given the criminal penalties for even inadvertent disclosure. Democrats won’t be able to discuss even basic things about Trump’s returns, like how much he paid in taxes, what he reported earning or if he gave to charity.

“When we’ve had members in these situations before, we frequently have members say, ‘I don’t know if I want you to tell me or not, because I don’t know if I can trust myself not to say anything,'” said Rick Grafmeyer, a former deputy head of the bipartisan Joint Committee on Taxation and expert on taxpayer privacy laws.



Tax writers typically use their power to examine private tax returns to help inform the policymaking process. If they are trying to write legislation outlawing a corporate tax shelter, for example, they might look at an individual company's tax documents to better understand how the dodge works.

Some say Democrats’ situation will be tougher than what most lawmakers deal with when it comes to taxpayer secrecy rules. Everyone will likely know Democrats have Trump’s returns and lawmakers would be besieged with questions from reporters, constituents and other lawmakers. That’s a lot different than when lawmakers quietly examine an oil company’s tax return.



Also, the Ways and Means Committee is loaded with new members who aren’t steeped in the intricacies of the tax secrecy rules — the closest analogue many say is when lawmakers received classified intelligence briefings.



“I’m sure that there will be briefings about all the ethical issues that surround this,” said Larson.

Many of the details of how exactly Democrats would handle the returns have not been worked out.

Neal could keep Trump’s documents to himself and a few close aides — and not even let other members of his panel see them. He has already said he won’t share the returns with any other committees, including the Judiciary and Oversight panels, which have been conducting their own high-profile investigations of the administration.



That would keep the circle of people who’ve seen Trump’s taxes tight — and the more people who see the returns, the more likely there will be leaks.

But many of his colleagues have been clamoring for the president’s returns for months, and will surely be unhappy to learn they won’t be able to examine them.



Another option: Lawmakers turn the filings over to the JCT and ask its staff of tax experts to analyze Trump’s returns and report back on what they find.

“They’re going to have to think carefully about how they’re going to want to do this,” said Dean Zerbe, a former Senate tax aide. “The penalties are certainly quite real.”



© 2019 POLITICO LLC


-------------------------- --------------------------

The New York Times


Trump Lawyer Asserts President’s Right to Keep Tax Returns Private


Congress requested six years of President Trump’s tax returns from the I.R.S.CreditAl Drago for The New York Times
By Nicholas Fandos and Maggie Haberman
April 5, 2019
WASHINGTON — President Trump’s personal lawyer on Friday asserted Mr. Trump’s right as a citizen to keep his tax returns private and told the Treasury Department not to hand the returns over to House Democrats, foreshadowing what has the potential to be a far-reaching legal fight that could reach the Supreme Court.

The lawyer, William S. Consovoy, argued that Democrats who have demanded to see Mr. Trump’s tax information had no legitimate legislative reason to request it and that Representative Richard E. Neal’s decision this week to ask for six years of the president’s personal and business returns flouts “fundamental constitutional constraints.” He also called it a “gross abuse of power.”

“Even if Ways and Means had a legitimate committee purpose for requesting the president’s tax returns and return information, that purpose is not driving Chairman Neal’s request,” the lawyer wrote, referring to Mr. Neal, Democrat of Massachusetts, who leads the House Ways and Means Committee. “His request is a transparent effort by one political party to harass an official from the other party because they dislike his politics and speech.”

[Read the lawyer’s letter.]

Mr. Consovoy’s views have no direct bearing on the case. The little known tax code provision employed by the Democrats in demanding Mr. Trump’s returns says only that the Internal Revenue Service “shall furnish” the information, giving it and its parent agency, the Treasury Department, little leeway in deciding how to respond.


Democrats anticipate that the Trump administration could present an argument similar to the one made on Friday by Mr. Consovoy, namely that Mr. Neal’s request lacks a legitimate legislative purpose and, based on past court precedent, must respect Mr. Trump’s right to privacy.

Nonetheless, the length and forcefulness of Mr. Consovoy’s letter underscores what is at stake for a president who has defied modern political norms by refusing to voluntarily release his tax returns. If Mr. Neal prevails and gains access to the president’s long-hidden returns, it would allow Democrats for the first time to peek past Mr. Trump’s public claims about his wealth and investments and into the heart of his personal and business finances.

The I.R.S. and Treasury Department have given no indication of how they view the request since it was made on Wednesday. Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury secretary, told Congress last month he would consult with his legal team and follow the law when a request was made. He will most likely face questions about the request again next week when he returns to Capitol Hill to discuss the department’s budget.

Mr. Trump has indicated in recent days that he is ready to fight to keep his financial information private. Asked on Friday if he was confident he would succeed, Mr. Trump offered an ambiguous prediction.


“Oh, I don’t know,” he said. “That’s up to whoever handles it. I don’t know. Hey, I’m under audit. But that’s up to whoever it is. From what I understand, the law is 100 percent on my side.”

Mr. Neal made the request through an obscure but frequently used provision of the federal tax code — Section 6103 — that allows Congress’s tax-writing committees to view tax information on any filer. The authority is regularly used by the committee to confidentially measure how changes to the tax code would affect different types of taxpayers. It has been used for more investigative purposes, as well, most recently in 2014, when committee Republicans obtained and publicly released tax information as part of an investigation into whether the I.R.S. discriminated against conservative entities seeking tax-exempt status.

But there is little precedent for using it to examine the returns of a president without his consent.

Mr. Neal gave the I.R.S. until next week to comply. If it does not, the House could go to court to try to enforce the request — a process that legal experts said could take years to sort out.


“The Supreme Court has flagged twice now that it is unclear as to whether a congressional committee can sue the president and force the executive branch to do something,” said Andy Grewal, a University of Iowa law school professor. “I think we are a very long way from getting an answer over legitimate legislative purpose.”

After months of speculation, the back-and-forth was initiated on Wednesday when Mr. Neal formally requested that the I.R.S. hand over six years of Mr. Trump’s personal and business tax returns as part of what he said was a committee oversight investigation of tax law enforcement. Even if Mr. Neal does get access to the information, it would not automatically become public because the committee would have to vote to disclose anything it sees.

In making his request, Mr. Neal jettisoned issues, like possible tax fraud, that Democrats have warned that Mr. Trump may be hiding, instead saying that he wanted to examine audit procedures for a president.

Mr. Neal worked closely with House lawyers to prepare the request to hold up against legal challenge. He framed the request as part of the Ways and Means Committee’s oversight of “the extent to which the I.R.S. audits and enforces the federal tax laws against a president.” Under I.R.S. policy, the personal tax returns of presidents and vice presidents are supposed to be automatically audited each year.


“This request is about policy, not politics,” Mr. Neal said at the time. “My preparations were made on my own track and timeline, entirely independent of other activities in Congress and the administration.”

Daniel Rubin, a spokesman for Mr. Neal, declined to comment on Friday’s letter.

Mr. Consovoy said that Mr. Neal’s stated justification only thinly veiled what Democrats were really after: political gain. They have demanded for years that Mr. Trump release his tax returns, Mr. Consovoy argued, and they promised to use the House majority to find out whether the president had undertaken financial fraud.

“Once this Pandora’s box is opened, the ensuing tit for tat will do lasting damage to our nation,” Mr. Consovoy wrote.

Though he was defending Mr. Trump’s privacy rights as a taxpayer, his arguments also closely mirrored those used by Republicans in Congress who have argued against making the request.


“If Chairman Neal genuinely wants to review how the I.R.S. audits presidents, why is he seeking tax returns and return information covering the four years before President Trump took office?” Mr. Consovoy asked. “Why is he not requesting information about the audits of previous presidents?”

Mr. Consovoy’s argument bears similarity to one made by other Trump lawyers throughout the course of the obstruction of justice investigation led by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III. In that case, the president’s lawyers repeatedly argued that he did not lose his rights as a citizen by dint of being the commander in chief. Those included his rights to free speech, his lawyers argued, a point echoed in the letter sent on Friday.

Mr. Grewal said he thought Mr. Consovoy raised a valid objection about the legitimacy of Mr. Neal’s investigation, but cautioned that his letter was “part of public relations and advocacy, as opposed to any kind of official action” that would affect the case.

George K. Yin, a tax law professor at the University of Virginia, disagreed. He said Mr. Neal’s argument was cleverly framed, particularly in light of a relevant past use of Section 6103 by Congress in examining whether President Richard M. Nixon had properly paid his taxes.


“There is an inherent conflict of interest when the agency is responsible for auditing its boss,” he said.

Facing questions about his own tax obligations, Nixon asked Congress to investigate whether he had taken improper tax positions as president. Using materials he handed over and referencing Section 6103, Congress found that despite being audited by the I.R.S., Nixon had significantly underpaid.

After Nixon and his immediate successor, Gerald R. Ford, all American presidents until Mr. Trump voluntarily released their taxes.

Nicholas Fandos reported from Washington, and Maggie Haberman from New York. Zach Montague contributed reporting from Washington.
Meno_
Philosopher
 
Posts: 4450
Joined: Tue Dec 08, 2015 2:39 am
Location: Mysterium Tremendum

Re: Trump enters the stage international implications

Postby Meno_ » Sat Apr 06, 2019 9:37 am

Prime minister Victor Orban of Hungary, an outspoken critic of the European Union, especially Mr. Jean Claude Junker, the president of the EU's executive arm, with whom he has had rough relations, has caused a suspension of Hungary's participation within the central committee ofnthe EU.

FIDESZ, Mr. Orban's political party was dropped , because it goes against the Democratic principles held by the EU.

Mr Orban, has stopped immigration on its South border, violating EU' charter.

Germany's Manfred Weber , who heads the European People's Party, had to fly to Budapest for two reasons recently.

The first.one was.to seek an apology from the Hungarian Prime Minister., for insulting him, and the second was to reconstitute George Soros' Central European University, funded by Mr Soros. The Hungarian President took a position of possible future negotiations in the later, and a view of regret that the EU leader was offended in the former.

Mr. Orban' s complaint about immigration consisted of a charge that the EU was deliberately trying to destroy Hungarian national identity and culture..

The ramifications were odd, given Europe's distinctive distaste , particularly in the personage of Angela Merkel, and the French President, both of whom and alongside the very bad stalemate with Brexit situation.

All of the above indicates a rerprocital relation at odds between wider participatory conflict with the U.S..

The point made , here , is that the world wide conflict cam not attribute such general casual pointers to either Trump, or the climate within which he leads.

He is am much a representative of a.very wide disarray about how immigration can change the makeup of.the social character of a nation, as well as such characterization lead to Mr Trump's particular social white bias.

The legal and political advances of mitigating issues relating to these question, presumably will be shown to sustain and preserve the antithetical questions relating to Democracy, versus National Interests .

As it seems that security issues , for most, play a key part in dedtermening
how effective will the lapse of time play in this .

Tjenstayong power of elements appear to have brought on both:
A national and an international stalemate.

It remains to be seen, Inn the next election, how thomgs will shape up.
Meno_
Philosopher
 
Posts: 4450
Joined: Tue Dec 08, 2015 2:39 am
Location: Mysterium Tremendum

Re: Trump enters the stage Mitch mc'connel

Postby Meno_ » Sat Apr 06, 2019 3:54 pm

Opinion
Mitch McConnell is destroying the Senate – and American government
Robert Reich
The majority leader cares only for winning, not rules or democracy itself. He is doing more damage than Trump

The Hill to Die On: Trump and a Republican dumpster fire
Sat 6 Apr 2019 07.22 EDT Last modified on Sat 6 Apr 2019 09.39 EDT
No person has done more in living memory to undermine the functioning of the US government than the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell.

'Our mantra is chaos': Republican researchers target 2020 Democrats

Yes, Donald Trump has debased and defiled the presidency. He has launched blistering attacks on Democrats, on judges he disagrees with, journalists who criticize him and the intelligence community.

But McConnell is actively and willfully destroying the Senate.

Last Wednesday he used his Republican majority to cut the time for debating Trump’s court appointees from 30 hours to two – thereby enabling Republicans to ram through even more Trump judges.

McConnell doesn’t give a fig about the Senate, or about democracy. He cares only about winning. On the eve of the 2010 midterm elections he famously declared that his top priority was for Barack Obama “to be a one-term president”.

Between 2009 and 2013, McConnell’s Senate Republicans blocked 79 Obama nominees. In the entire history of the United States until that point, only 68 presidential nominees had been blocked.

McConnell’s long game is destroying what was once known as the world’s greatest deliberative body

This unprecedented use of the filibuster finally led Senate Democrats in 2013 to change the rules on some presidential nominees (but not the supreme court), to require simple majorities.

In response, McConnell fumed that “breaking the rules to change the rules is un-American”. If so, McConnell is about as un-American as they come. Once back in control of the Senate he buried Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland for the supreme court by refusing even to hold hearings.


Then, in 2017, McConnell and his Republicans changed the rules again, ending the use of the filibuster even for supreme court nominees and clearing the way for Senate confirmation of Trump’s Neil Gorsuch.

Step by step, McConnell has sacrificed the Senate as an institution to partisan political victories.

There is a vast difference between winning at politics by playing according to the norms of our democracy, and winning by subverting those norms.

To Abraham Lincoln, democracy was a covenant linking past and future. Political institutions, in his view, were “the legacy bequeathed to us”.

On the eve of the Senate’s final vote on repealing the Affordable Care Act in July 2017, the late John McCain returned to Washington from his home in Arizona, where he was being treated for brain cancer, to cast the deciding vote against repeal.

In a small town where people don’t lock their doors or windows, the first thief can effortlessly get into anyone’s house

Knowing he would be criticized by other Republicans, McCain noted that over his career he had known senators who seriously disagreed with each other but nonetheless knew “they had an obligation to work collaboratively to ensure the Senate discharged its constitutional responsibilities effectively”.


In words that have even greater relevance today, McCain added that “it is our responsibility to preserve that, even when it requires us to do something less satisfying than ‘winning’.”

Political success should never be measured solely by partisan victories. It must also be judged by the institutional legacy passed onward. The purpose of political leadership is not merely to win. It is to serve.

In any social or political system it’s always possible to extract benefits by being among the first to break widely accepted norms. In a small town where people don’t lock their doors or windows, the first thief can effortlessly get into anyone’s house. But once broken, the system is never the same. Everyone has to buy locks. Trust deteriorates.

Those, like Mitch McConnell, who break institutional norms for selfish or partisan gains are bequeathing future generations a weakened democracy.

Officials forced way in to Stephen Moore home after failure to pay ex-wife debts

The difference between winning at politics by playing according to the norms and rules of our democracy, and winning by subverting them, could not be greater. Political victories that undermine the integrity of our system are net losses for society.


Great athletes play by the rules because the rules make the game. Unprincipled athletes cheat or change the rules in order to win. Their victories ultimately destroy the game.

In terms of shaping the federal courts, McConnell has played “the long game”, which, incidentally, is the title of his 2016 memoir. Decades from now, McConnell will still be shaping the nation through judges he rammed through the Senate.

But McConnell’s long game is destroying what was once known as the world’s greatest deliberative body.

He is longest-serving leader of Senate Republicans in history but Mitch McConnell is no leader. He is the epitome of unprincipled power. History will not treat him kindly.

Robert Reich, a former US secretary of labor, is professor of public policy at the University of California at Berkeley and the author of Saving Capitalism: For the Many, Not the Few and The Common Good. He is also a columnist for Guardian US





© 2019 Guardian News & Media Limp
Meno_
Philosopher
 
Posts: 4450
Joined: Tue Dec 08, 2015 2:39 am
Location: Mysterium Tremendum

Re: Trump enters the stage

Postby Meno_ » Sun Apr 07, 2019 4:43 pm

POLITICS
Trump, Who Bragged About Grabbing Women's Genitals, Mocks Joe Biden Over Inappropriate Behavior — and Biden Claps Back

ADAM CARLSONPosted on April 04, 2019 9:15PM


In a surreal tweet on Thursday, President Donald Trump mocked former Vice President Joe Biden after several women came forward to say that Biden had behaved inappropriately around them over the years, invading their personal space and touching them in ways that left them feeling uncomfortable.

For Trump — who has faced allegations of sexual misconduct and assault by more than a dozen other women, all of which he denied — it was fodder for his favorite political tactic: trolling. In the coming weeks, Biden is widely expected to launch a bid against Trump for the presidency.

The president on Thursday released a short clip from a longer video that Biden had posted on Wednesday in response to the controversy over his behavior.

In the clip tweeted by Trump, a picture of Biden crudely stalks up behind the real Biden as he speaks to the camera before rising behind Biden’s back, hands on his shoulders. The punchline, such as it is, is clear: Biden can’t resist even creeping himself out.

Trump captioned the post, “WELCOME BACK JOE!”

“I see that you are on the job and presidential, as always,” Biden later replied to him on Twitter.

RELATED: Joe Biden Vows to Respect Personal Space Following Accusations of Inappropriate Behavior


Approximately a half-dozen women have come forward in the media in recent days to say that Biden’s past interactions with them have been uncomfortable and boundary-crossing, with behavior that included back caresses and surprising forehead touches.

Speaking with the Washington Post, one woman said, “I do not consider my experience to have been sexual assault or harassment.” Still, she said, “It was the kind of inappropriate behavior that makes many women feel uncomfortable and unequal in the workplace.”

The first woman to speak out, a Nevada lawmaker named Lucy Flores, said last week that Biden touched her shoulders and kissed the back of her head without consent during an event in 2014.

On Wednesday Biden released a video acknowledging the discomfort he caused. (Biden’s reps have not responded to PEOPLE’s request for comment; a spokesman declined to comment to the Post on specific women’s stories, instead referring to his video.)

“Today, I want to talk about gestures of support and encouragement I’ve made to women and some men that have made them uncomfortable,” he said.



“In my career, I’ve always tried to make a human connection — that’s my responsibility, I think,” Biden continued, explaining that he often will “shake hands, hug people, or grab men and women by the shoulders and say, ‘You can do this.’ ”

“I worked my whole life to empower women,” he said. “So the idea that I can’t adjust to the fact that personal space is important, more important than it’s ever been, is just not thinkable. I will.”

Biden also tweeted: “Social norms are changing. I understand that, and I’ve heard what these women are saying. Politics to me has always been about making connections, but I will be more mindful about respecting personal space in the future. That’s my responsibility and I will meet it.”

RELATED: Joe Biden Says ‘Expressions of Affection’ ‘Not Once — Never’ Came from Inappropriate Intentions

Trump’s mockery of Biden brings into relief the differences between the allegations against them: Former PEOPLE reporter Natasha Stoynoff said Trump forcibly kissed her during a 2005 interview. “Within seconds he was pushing me against the wall and forcing his tongue down my throat,” she recalled in 2016.

Summer Zervos, who is suing Trump for defamation, said he kissed and groped her without consent in 2007. Alva Johnson, a former Trump campaign staffer, said he forcibly kissed her in 2016. Various other women have accused Trump of groping them.

Trump has vigorously denied the sexual misconduct allegations.

He notoriously bragged about touching women without permission during a 2005 segment on Access Hollywood, audio of which was leaked to the Post before the 2016 election.

The president said then: “I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. … When you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab ’em by the p—-. You can do anything.”
Meno_
Philosopher
 
Posts: 4450
Joined: Tue Dec 08, 2015 2:39 am
Location: Mysterium Tremendum

Re: Trump enters the stage

Postby Meno_ » Sun Apr 07, 2019 5:30 pm

Trump Bashes Mueller, Democrats and New York Times in Latest Round of Tweets

Ibn Safir
Today 10:04am
Filed to:DONALD TRUMP
null
Image: Getty Images
Trump took to Twitter to bash Robert Mueller and his 400-page report.

labeling the investigation a “witch hunt” that found “no collusion,” Trump told followers that “the Democrats, no matter what we give them, will NEVER be satisfied.”




His tweets come as reports that members of the special counsel team have been frustrated by attorney general William Barr’s 4-page summary of their findings. In response, the House Judiciary Intelligence and Oversight committees have all redoubled their efforts to probe different aspects of Trump’s financial dealings before and during his campaign, including a formal request from the House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal for his tax returns dating back to 2013.

Trump’s tweets do not mention his taxes.

“Why should I be defending a fraudulent Russian Witch Hunt,” Trump tweeted Saturday. “It’s about time the perpetrators of this fraud on me and the American People start defending their dishonest and treasonous acts. How and why did this terrible event begin? Never Forget!”




Claiming the Mueller investigation was helmed by “13 angry hating dems” who found no evidence of collusion after spending $30 million on a 672-day investigation.

While Barr’s self-imposed deadline to release a redacted Mueller report is coming within the coming days, Trump claimed he had yet to see the document, while asserting his right to do so at his discretion.



“I have not read the Mueller Report yet, even though I have every right to do so,” Trump tweeted. “Only know the conclusions, and on the big one, No Collusion.”

His latest tweet storm came a day after he slammed a New York Times report that said the Mueller probe was more damaging than Barr made it out to be. Falling back on his “fake news” kabuki, Trump said the Times has “no legitimate sources, which would be totally illegal, concerning the Mueller Report.”




“In fact, they probably had no sources at all!”



© 2018 Gizmodo Media Group



--------------- ---------------- -----------------

Biden calls Trump a 'tragedy in two acts' who is 'locked in the past'
LEDYARD KING AND MAUREEN GROPPE | USA TODAY | 2:55 pm EDT April 5, 2019


Former Vice President Joe Biden promised to be respectful of people's personal space after allegations of unwanted and inappropriate behavior.
USA TODAY
WASHINGTON – Former Vice President Joe Biden on Friday called President Donald Trump a "tragedy in two acts" for the way he characterizes people and is consumed with personal grievances.


"This country can’t afford more years of a president looking to settle personal scores," Biden said in a speech to union workers. "This country can’t afford four more years of a president locked in the past."

Biden, who is expected by many to announce his entry into the 2020 presidential race in the coming weeks, spoke to a packed, and friendly crowd of electrical workers at a Washington hotel.

His remarks came the day after Trump poked fun at Biden's recent explanation that his propensity for touching other people was about making a "human connection."

"People got a kick out of it," Trump said Friday of the doctored video of Biden he'd tweeted. "He’s going through a situation. You’ve got to sort of smile a little bit."

After Biden's speech, Trump tweeted that he has the support of members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.

"I’ve employed thousands of Electrical Workers," Trump said. "They will be voting for me!"

But Kraig Lee, a 49-year-old Republican from Vicksburg, Michigan, who attended the speech, said Trump's “pockets of support are shrinking" in his state.

"Hate can only carry you so far and he’s very divisive," Lee said.

Biden was more than halfway through his 40-minute speech before he mentioned Trump directly. He said Trump opposes the core values and beliefs of the nation in the way he treats people.

“What in the hell is happening?" Biden asked. "Our children are listening.”

Biden had invited four children up on stage, joking as he draped his arm around a boy that "he gave me permission to touch him."

He'd made a similar comment at the beginning of his appearance after he hugged IBEW international president Lonnie Stephenson.

Biden's speech was his first following allegations of unwanted touching by several women.

Besides acknowledging with humor the recent controversy about his affectionate style, Biden also addressed what he called criticism from some on the far left for his willingness to work with Republicans.

Biden was forced to backtrack last month after being lambasted by progressives and LGBTQ activists for calling Vice President Mike Pence a decent guy this month.

The longtime politician made the case for Democrats and Republicans forging personal connections so the two parties can find ways to compromise instead of attacking each other.

"Hard to get to yes in a compromise when you can't even talk to one another," he said. "Democrats and Republicans can do better."

Speaking to reporters afterward, Biden defended himself against criticism that the Democratic Party has become more liberal than he is. Biden said that while the definition of "progressive" seems to have changed into whether someone calls themselves a socialist, most members of the party are still basically liberal-to-moderate Democrats "in the traditional sense."

"We'll find out whether I can win in a primary," he said.

Biden also said his intention has been to be the last Democrat to announce if he decides to enter the 2020 campaign.

"Give everybody else their day, then I get a shot, then off to the races," he said.

Joe Biden apology tour?: Don't expect former veep to dwell on allegations in Friday speech

Trump's tweet: Mocking Biden, Trump tweets bizarre doctored video appearing to show former VP sniffing own hair

The IBEW members Biden spoke to are the kind of blue-collar workers who helped propel Trump to the White House in 2016.

"It’s good to be home,” Biden said after walking on stage. "You guys brung me to the dance"

Biden served 36 years representing Delaware in the U.S. Senate before his time as vice president.

Most polls have him leading the race for the Democratic nomination, according to RealClearPolitics.

The timing of that decision has been complicated by allegations of improper conduct that began when Lucy Flores, a former member of the Nevada Legislature, accused Biden in a March 29 New York Magazine article of "demeaning and disrespectful" behavior for an alleged 2014 incident.

Stacey Abrams on Biden: 'We cannot have perfection as a litmus test'

Steve King:Iowa congressman calls Biden 'an affectionate guy' as allegations swirl

Since then, at least six other women have come forward with similar stories of Biden's unwanted conduct.

Biden, known for his hugging and hands-on politicking style, promised to be more "mindful and respectful" in a video released Wednesday.

Former Vice President Joe Biden delivers remarks at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Construction and Maintenance Conference at the Washington Hilton in Washington D.C. With Joe Biden making headlines for an apparent inappropriate interaction with Lucy Flores, a photo has resurfaced of Biden with Stephanie Carter.
JACK GRUBER, USA TODAY
"Social norms are changing. I understand that, and I’ve heard what these women are saying," he said in a tweet accompanying the video. "Politics to me has always been about making connections, but I will be more mindful about respecting personal space in the future. That’s my responsibility and I will meet it."

Opinion:Joe Biden's physicality is a mark of old-school politicians, not a creepy old man

'More mindful': Joe Biden says he'll be 'more mindful' of people's personal space

The allegations against Biden come amid #MeToo, a movement of mostly women speaking out against inappropriate behavior. It has led to the resignation and downfall of more than 100 entertainers, executives and politicians, including Harvey Weinstein, Matt Lauer and Kevin Spacey.

Former Minnesota Democrat Sen. Al Franken announced his resignation in 2017 following accusations of sexual misconduct. Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., also stepped down, along with Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., who resigned amid reports he discussed with female staffers the possibility they could be surrogates for his and his wife's baby.

Trump has been accused of having affairs with multiple women and making unwanted advances at others. In an “Access Hollywood” tape that surfaced during the final weeks of the presidential campaign in 2016, Trump was heard making lewd comments and bragging about groping women's genitals. Trump has denied the allegations.

Contributing: David Jackson, USA TODAY.

Originally Published 10:39 am EDT April 5, 201

© Copyright Gannett 2019
Last edited by Meno_ on Mon Apr 08, 2019 1:07 am, edited 1 time in total.
Meno_
Philosopher
 
Posts: 4450
Joined: Tue Dec 08, 2015 2:39 am
Location: Mysterium Tremendum

Re: Trump enters the stage. A romantic at heart?

Postby Meno_ » Sun Apr 07, 2019 6:59 pm

His retroactive romanticism has touched too many dreamers, and disillusioned ones, whose escape from reality has actually have absolutely no recourse into any other viable point of view , no less a tangible political basis for even an abstract version of pragmatic governance.

Is this the beginning of a germ of disillusionment, growing into a barren tree of acknowledgement of failure, whereupon the disparity may only be overcome by less subtle means?

Will the technical centre for ideological hunger, be successful, in transcending these differences?

Will a new meaningful architecture be revealed thereof the moment of reckoning, be passed over by proper equivalency between the judicially aware? This last possibility may already be in full bloom, and the harvest may reveal surprising things in this regard.
Meno_
Philosopher
 
Posts: 4450
Joined: Tue Dec 08, 2015 2:39 am
Location: Mysterium Tremendum

Re: Trump enters the stage obstruction

Postby Meno_ » Mon Apr 08, 2019 1:53 pm


What we know about Mueller’s case against Trump on obstruction of justice
Recent leaks suggest tension between Attorney General Barr and members of Mueller’s team.
By Andrew Prokop on April 8, 2019 8:00 am


Attorney General William Barr departs the White House on February 15, 2019. Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images
Serious tensions appear to be emerging between members of special counsel Robert Mueller’s team and Attorney General William Barr on obstruction of justice.


Mueller team members have told associates their evidence against Trump on obstruction is “alarming and significant,” per the Washington Post. Some of them feel Barr’s letter to Congress didn’t properly describe “derogatory information,” according to CNN. And one official told NBC News the report includes new material that’s not publicly known.

Yet Mueller’s report did not say whether or not Trump’s conduct qualified as criminal, and Barr then declared that, per his review of the evidence, it did not.

But the recent leaks suggest Mueller team members think Barr’s assessment was too benign — and that there’s more to the story.

One possibility of what’s going on is that Mueller’s team outlined an extensive pattern of troubling behavior from Trump that raised obstruction concerns, but that Barr concluded there was no one incident that qualified as slam dunk” obstruction of justice. And in fact, since the obstruction debate began legal experts have disagreed on the strength of the publicly known evidence — some told Vox the case was already damning, while others said it wasn’t quite there.

There could be other reasons for the disagreement; for instance, Barr could be taking an extremely generous view of Trump’s intent. We won’t know for sure until Mueller’s fuller report is released.

But to understand the increasingly contentious debate over whether the president obstructed justice, it’s worth reviewing what we already know Mueller investigated. From that, it’s easy to see how some prosecutors may have concluded there was an extremely obvious pattern of obstruction of justice from Trump — while others may have thought there was no one example strong enough to justify a charge.

1) Trump’s interactions with James Comey regarding “loyalty,” Michael Flynn, and the Russia probe
In the months before Trump fired James Comey, the then-FBI director documented a series of interactions with the new president that he found troubling.

On January 27, 2017, Trump had Comey over for dinner at the White House. According to Comey’s memos, Trump asked for his “loyalty” and told him “I need loyalty.”
On February 14, 2017, the day after National Security Adviser Michael Flynn resigned, Comey attended a briefing at the White House. When it was over, Trump made clear he wanted everyone but Comey to leave. According to Comey’s memos, Trump said he wanted to “talk about Mike Flynn,” and said, “I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go.” Comey interpreted Trump to be referring to an FBI investigation into whether Flynn made false statements about his contacts with the Russian ambassador.
On March 30, 2017, Trump called Comey. According to Comey’s memos, Trump complained about the FBI’s Russia investigation, calling it a cloud over his presidency, asking what could be done to lift the cloud. Trump also inquired whether Comey could publicly state that Trump himself wasn’t under investigation (which was, to be fair, something Comey had told Trump in private).
On April 11, 2017, Trump called Comey. According to Comey’s memos, Trump complained about the Russia investigation and the “cloud” again, and again asked whether Comey could publicly state that Trump wasn’t personally under investigation.
All of these seem to be efforts from Trump to get the FBI director to do his bidding. The most legally problematic of them may be Trump’s request that Comey drop the Flynn investigation.

But some legal experts have argued that this could be characterized in a more defensible way: as a recommendation of prosecutorial discretion, from the head of the executive branch. Barr himself took this view in a memo he wrote last year, before his appointment as attorney general. Yes, recent norms dictate that a president shouldn’t get involved in investigations, but does that mean such a thing is illegal?

2) Trump’s decision to fire Comey, and whether it was an attempt to obstruct the Russia probe
The act that prompted Mueller’s appointment in the first place was Trump’s decision to fire Comey.

Although the White House claimed Comey was fired due to his handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation, questions immediately arose about whether Trump’s true motivation was to try to obstruct the Russia investigation.

The weekend before Trump fired Comey, the president had White House senior adviser Stephen Miller draft a letter to Comey blasting the Russia probe as “fabricated and politically motivated,” per the New York Times. The letter was never sent.
On May 8, 2017, Trump called Sessions and Rosenstein to the White House to discuss firing Comey. Trump gave Rosenstein Miller’s letter, and Rosenstein said he would write his own memo.
Later that day, Trump tweeted, “The Russia-Trump collusion story is a total hoax, when will this taxpayer funded charade end?”
The next day, May 9, the White House announced Comey’s firing. In doing so, they released a memo from Rosenstein criticizing Comey’s handling of the Clinton email case, a letter from Sessions recommending Comey’s removal. They also released a letter from Trump making public that Comey had told him, “on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation.”
On May 10, 2017, Trump had a private meeting with Russia’s ambassador and foreign minister in the Oval Office. “I just fired the head of the FBI. He was crazy a real nut job,” Trump said, according to a document obtained by the Times. “I faced great pressure because of Russia. That’s taken off,” he added.
On May 11, 2017, Trump told NBC’s Lester Holt that he was going to fire Comey regardless of Rosenstein’s recommendation. “And in fact when I decided to just do it I said to myself, I said, ‘You know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story,’” he said. The statement appeared to directly tie the Russia investigation to Comey’s firing.
The evidence seems clear that displeasure with the Russia investigation was at least part of Trump’s motivation in firing Comey. The potential defense from the president’s team, though, is that this doesn’t necessarily show Trump had corrupt intent aimed at covering up wrongdoing. Rather, Trump could have fired Comey because he sincerely believed the Russia investigation was an unfair witch hunt. Beyond that, Barr’s 2018 memo also argued that the president has the power to fire the FBI director, so that this can’t be an obstructive action.

3) Trump’s pressures on Jeff Sessions and other officials
Beyond just Comey, Trump’s contacts with Justice Department and intelligence officials regarding the Russia probe also came under scrutiny. For instance, the special counsel wanted to ask Trump many questions about his treatment of Jeff Sessions.

On March 1, 2017, the Washington Post reported that Sessions had a meeting with the Russian ambassador that he didn’t disclose during his Senate confirmation hearing. Public pressure on Sessions to recuse himself from the Russia investigation ensued.
Around this time, Trump instructed White House counsel Don McGahn to stop Sessions from recusing himself, per the Times. But it didn’t work — on March 2, 2017, Sessions announced his recusal.
Two days later, Trump told Sessions that he should reverse his decision during a private conversation at Mar-a-Lago, per the Times. (Sessions did not do so.)
On May 17, 2017, when Trump got the news that Mueller had been appointed as special counsel, he called Sessions an “idiot” and said he should resign, per the Times.
Sessions then submitted a resignation letter. Trump held onto it until May 31, 2017, but then returned it to Sessions — rejecting the resignation.
But in late July 2017, Trump turned his attention to Sessions again. The president began mocking and berating his own attorney general in tweets and interviews, calling his recusal “unfair to the president” and complaining that Sessions wasn’t looking into “Hillary Clinton or Comey crimes.”
Around the same time, Trump reportedly told White House chief of staff Reince Priebus to get him Sessions’s resignation. Priebus apparently failed to do so, and Trump ended up firing Priebus shortly afterward.
The special counsel may have been probing whether Trump was trying to force Sessions out so he could appoint a replacement who would fire Mueller. Of course, Trump eventually did fire Sessions — but much later, on November 7, 2018, and his replacement did not fire Mueller.

Mueller’s team also interviewed Trump’s top three intelligence officials about their interactions with him.

In March 2017, after Comey confirmed that the FBI was investigating the Trump campaign’s Russia ties in congressional testimony, Trump reached out to CIA Director Mike Pompeo, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, and NSA Director Mike Rogers.
Trump reportedly asked them for help supporting his public narrative of “no collusion” with Russia.
Per one report, Trump also asked Coats to try to get Comey to stop investigating Flynn.
Finally, Mueller even investigated an attempt by Trump to fire ... Mueller himself.

In June 2017, just weeks after Mueller’s appointment, Trump told McGahn that he wanted Mueller fired, according to the New York Times. However, McGahn did not carry out the order.
Again we have a pattern of behavior in which Trump expresses great displeasure about the Russia investigation to key officials, and in which he seems to be trying to get officials to bend to his will. But do these complaints and occasional (aborted) actions rise to the level of criminal obstruction of justice?

4) Trump’s interactions with Russia probe witnesses and defendants
Mueller has also dug into Trump’s interactions with potential Russia probe witnesses. He’s explored whether Trump dangled pardons to keep associates loyal, Trump’s involvement in crafting false or misleading statements issued by key figures, and Trump’s attacks on hostile witnesses.

In April 2017, two months after Michael Flynn’s ouster as national security adviser, Flynn told associates that he had gotten “a message from the president to stay strong,” according to a report by Michael Isikoff.
At some point in 2017, before Flynn and Paul Manafort had been charged by Mueller, Trump lawyer John Dowd was in contact with lawyers for both men — and “broached the idea” that they could be pardoned, per the New York Times.
On July 8, 2017, Trump’s team strategized over how to respond to questions from the New York Times about a meeting Donald Trump Jr. had had with a Russian lawyer at Trump Tower in 2016. President Trump then “dictated” a statement for his son to release — but the statement was highly misleading, claiming the meeting was about Russian adoptions. In truth, Don Jr. agreed to the meeting in hopes of getting dirt on Hillary Clinton said to be coming from the Russian government.
The next morning, White House communications director Hope Hicks had a call with the president and Mark Corallo, a spokesperson for Trump’s outside legal team. On the call, Hicks said that Don Jr.’s emails revealing the true purpose of the Trump Tower meeting “will never get out,” per Corallo. (They got out two days later.)
In August 2017, Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen sent a letter to congressional committees several multiple false statements about talks to build a Trump Tower in Moscow that had taken place during the campaign. Cohen has since testified about how Trump’s legal team reviewed his testimony in advance, and said he interpreted some statements by Trump as suggestions he should lie.
Trump has also repeatedly attacked witnesses that could be hostile to him in the investigation, such as James Comey and Comey’s deputy Andrew McCabe. He has, for instance, demanded that the Justice Department investigate Comey.
Much depends on the facts here. It’s not clear, for instance, why Trump telling Don Jr. to give a false public statement would necessarily be considered obstruction — lying to law enforcement officials is a crime, but lying to the public isn’t.

We won’t know more until we see what Mueller found, but the debate may not go away even then
As you can tell, there’s ... a lot of potential evidence here. But does it add up to criminal obstruction of justice? Barr evidently maintains that it didn’t, and Mueller didn’t say one way or the other.

This may reflect a divide among legal experts that’s been evident for some time. Some have long viewed the public evidence against Trump as quite strong. “If Trump exercises his power — even his lawful power — with a corrupt motive of interfering with an investigation, that’s obstruction,” Lisa Kern Griffin, an expert on criminal law at Duke University, told my colleague Zack Beauchamp in January 2018. “The attempt is sufficient, and it seems to be a matter of public record already.”

But other experts disagreed. Some pointed to the president’s unique role (as Barr did in his memo). Others maintained that Trump’s known acts simply weren’t as clear-cut examples of obstruction as, say, urging witnesses to lie under oath or destroying evidence. “This is not yet the type of case we’d ordinarily see an [obstruction of justice] indictment come out of,” Laurie Levenson, a former prosecutor and law professor at Loyola University, told me last year.

Another potential clue in Barr’s letter is what he writes about the president’s intent. “Corrupt intent” is one of the three requirements Barr says must be proven for an obstruction offense — and, Barr says that in his view, the failure to establish an underlying crime from Trump related to Russian interference suggests Trump’s intent with the many above actions may not have been corrupt. It’s not clear whether Mueller shares this assessment, though recent reports suggest some on his team don’t have such a rosy view.

There’s much we still don’t know about what Mueller found and how both he and Barr reached their respective conclusions. But with Barr saying he expects to release a redacted version of Mueller’s report by mid-April, we’ll know more soon enough — and the American people will get to make up their own minds about whether the president is an obstructive crook.



© 2019 Vox Media, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Meno_
Philosopher
 
Posts: 4450
Joined: Tue Dec 08, 2015 2:39 am
Location: Mysterium Tremendum

Re: Trump enters the stage

Postby Meno_ » Mon Apr 08, 2019 9:50 pm

Trump removes Secret Service director after ousting Kirstjen Nielsen – live
Trump ordered firing of Randolph Alles, White House confirms, a day after forcing out Homeland Security secretary Kirstjen Nielsen


And Inn the same day, April 8, 2019 the following: >>>>>>>>>

>>>>>>>>>



>>>>>>>>>DONALD TRUMP<<<<<<<<<
N.Y. Democratic lawmakers ready new front to obtain Trump's tax returns
A bill was introduced in the state Legislature that would allow Congress to request the president's state filings.



April 8, 2019, 8:44 AM ET
By Allan Smith
As congressional Democrats begin what could be a tumultuous battle to obtain President Donald Trump's tax returns, New York lawmakers are trying to make it easier for them to get their hands on the president's state filings.

Legislators introduced a bill Monday that would amend the state law to permit the N.Y. Department of Taxation and Finance commissioner to release any state tax return requested by the leaders of the House Ways and Means Committee, the Senate Finance Committee and the Joint Committee on Taxation for any "specific and legitimate legislative purpose." The bill seeks to amend state laws which generally prohibit the release of such tax information.


If passed, the congressional committees will have to file a request with the state after other efforts to gain access to federal tax filings through the Treasury Department have failed.

The New York Times reported on the legislation earlier Monday.


Democratic state Sen. Brad Hoylman, who is sponsoring the legislation, told NBC News on Monday that he believes it is "imperative" for the New York Legislature to assist Congress with the issue of Trump's tax filings.

"Donald Trump has broken 40 years of political tradition by not releasing his returns," Hoylman said. "His representatives say they will block all congressional efforts to obtain those returns through existing procedures. Well, it turns out that New York state has those returns and can do its part to assist the Congress in their oversight responsibility by releasing them to a relevant committee that requests them."


Though the bill would only apply to the president's state returns and not the federal ones currently at the center of a Washington battle, tax filings from the president's home state that additionally serves as the headquarters of his business are likely to contain much of the same information congressional lawmakers are seeking from his federal returns.

And, with the New York Legislature and the governor's mansion being under Democratic control, there is a path to the bill's passage, though similar measures did not take off in the state Assembly during the prior legislative session when Republicans held a majority in the state Senate.


Sen. Brad Hoylman, D-New York, speaks to members of the New York State Senate in 2017.Hans Pennink / AP file
This latest effort is not the first made by New York Democrats to reveal Trump's tax filings. Another bill known as the NY Truth Act, first introduced in 2017, would require the Department of Taxation and Finance to release five years of tax returns from a series of top federal and statewide officials if they earn income in the state. And a bill sponsored by Hoylman would require presidential and vice presidential candidates to reveal their taxes in order to appear on statewide ballots. As the Times reported, similar efforts are under consideration in states such as California and New Jersey.

Hoylman told NBC News that he is hopeful the legislation introduced Monday can pass because it is "narrowly tailored to be responsive to an investigative committee of Congress, and I believe does not result in a broad request for the tax returns of elected officials."


"This is a very specific bill responding to a very specific request," he said, adding, "The public rightfully is concerned that their tax information remain private, and this bill only authorizes the state to provide the tax returns to investigative committee upon written request."

But Ed Cox, chairman of the New York Republican Party, told NBC News the legislation was simply the result of "Trump derangement syndrome."

"No matter how they dress it up for legal purposes ... and they're trying different wordings to do it, this is aimed at one individual, the president of the United States, with the purpose of re-litigating the 2016 campaign in which the people of the United States knew that he had not released his tax returns and they still elected him president of the United States," he said. "They want to re-litigate an issue that's already been decided by the people of this country."

The bill is "aimed just at" Trump and seeks to remove "rights and privileges that he has as a citizen of the state of New York to keep his tax returns here private," Cox said.


If the bill passes in the state Legislature, Cox said he believes Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo will sign it into law because it "conforms to his political ambitions to run for president of the United States."

"He will be a presidential candidate, and he will sign it," Cox said.

Cuomo ruled out a 2020 presidential bid last year, but later seemed to suggest he could enter the race if former Vice President Joe Biden opts against running.

The governor did not immediately respond to a request for comment from NBC News. The White House declined comment.


The introduction of the bill Monday comes days after House Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal, D-Mass., formally requested six years of Trump's personal and business tax filings from the IRS under a statute that allows him to demand an individual's tax returns. If the Treasury Department denies his request, that could set off a legal battle to obtain them.

Responding to that news, Trump told reporters he was "under audit" and would not be releasing the returns.

"I'm always under audit, it seems," he said. "Until such time as I'm not under audit, I would not be inclined to do that."

Trump has said he has been under audit since the 2016 election cycle, using that explanation as his rationale for not releasing his returns. Although the IRS has regularly audited presidents and vice presidents since the 1970s, being under audit does not preclude Trump from making his tax information public, nor did it stop past presidents from doing so.


Trump is the only major presidential candidate of either party since the early 1970s not to release his tax returns, and Democrats have pushed for him to release his taxes since the 2016 election.

In a letter Friday to the Treasury Department, Trump’s attorney, William Consovoy, called on the IRS to reject Neal's request, saying it "would be a gross abuse of power" that could lead to a political tit-for-tat. On Sunday, acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney told "Fox News Sunday" that Democrats will "never" be able to obtain Trump's tax filings.

"Keep in mind, that was an issue that was already litigated during the election," he added. "Voters knew the president could have given his tax returns, they knew he didn't, and they elected him anyway, which is of course what drives the Democrats crazy."

Another Trump attorney, Jay Sekulow, accused Democrats in an interview with ABC"s "This Week" of using the IRS as a "political weapon" to obtain the returns and promised to fight the move if needed.


Democrats, meanwhile, insisted they need to see the returns to know how Trump's personal holdings and interests may be affecting his decision-making.

Allan Smith
Allan Smith is a political reporter for NBC News
© 2019 NBC UNIVERSAL
Meno_
Philosopher
 
Posts: 4450
Joined: Tue Dec 08, 2015 2:39 am
Location: Mysterium Tremendum

Re: Trump enters the stage

Postby Meno_ » Tue Apr 09, 2019 12:43 pm

david miliband

David Miliband: the most vulnerable pay for Trump’s ‘manufactured crisis’
Exclusive: IRC chief says US government ‘failing in its most basic responsibilities’ in its handling of border issues

Ed Pilkington in New York
@edpilkington
Tue 9 Apr 2019 01.00 EDT

Donald Trump is manufacturing a crisis at the US-Mexico border to justify his hardline immigration plans while failing to tackle the real crisis in Central America that is the root of the problem, the head of one of the world’s largest humanitarian aid groups has said.

David Miliband, the former British foreign secretary who now leads the International Rescue Committee (IRC), issued a scathing critique of the Trump administration’s handling of border issues. “The US government is failing in its most basic responsibilities, never mind as a global leader but as a local example of how a civilized country should behave,” he said.


In an interview with the Guardian from IRC’s headquarters in New York, Miliband said that Trump’s approach to immigration amounted to “disorder by design”. “The administration needs to create the evidence to justify its immigration policies – it is using the concept of crisis to create the justification for government by executive fiat.”

The national emergency declared by the US president in February to bolster his plans for a border wall were denounced by Miliband as “manufactured crisis”. He said: “By no standards of national or international precedent would you describe it as a crisis, even in the communities affected in the southern US.”

Meanwhile, thousands of vulnerable people are suffering because of the removal of US protections, slow processing of their asylum claims and cuts in federal aid, he said. “The people who pay the price for government policy failure are the most vulnerable and least able to cope, whether Americans who are on the edge or Central Americans who are over the edge. That is a great danger.”

Trump shutting Mexico border would 'cripple' El Paso, Republican mayor says
Founded in 1933 at the call of Albert Einstein, IRC today operates in more than 40 countries, including many war zones. Its global emergency team is currently working to control the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Yet this week, a member of that same global emergency team was relocated to Arizona to help set up shelters dealing with the fallout of the Trump administration’s treatment of asylum seekers at the southern border. Since February, IRC has been assisting hundreds of migrants dropped by federal agents at Phoenix bus stations, where they are often abandoned with no information, accommodation or onward travel accommodations.

Miliband said that Americans should take that as a wake-up call. “It should be shocking that a global humanitarian charity has to deploy an emergency response worker to the US to help with a situation that is being created by the policy approaches of its own government.”

Miliband’s intervention comes at a time when Trump’s already volatile stance on immigration has taken a dive further into chaos. Last week he sowed panic on both sides of the border when he threatened to close the frontier entirely.

Border crisis: US failure to respond to migration surge has created chaos
The US president has indicated that he wants an even more extreme anti-immigrant posture. He recently withdrew his nominee for director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in favor of a “tougher” leader.

Then on Sunday, he orchestrated the resignation of the homeland security secretary, Kirstjen Nielsen. A purge of the leadership of US immigration and security agencies is continuing.

Miliband said he was fearful that the turbulence in the Trump administration could create a vicious circle. “Bad policy already runs the risk of bad outcomes, and the fear then is that bad outcomes induce even worse policy.”

In its new report Disorder by Design: A Manufactured US Crisis, IRC sets out the ways in which Trump policies designed to reduce the numbers of immigrants entering the US illegally have backfired, contributing to the surge in Central American asylum seekers:

In 2017, Trump terminated the Central American Minors (CAM) program that helped parents in the US legally reunite with their children.

In 2018,he scrapped the Temporary Protected Status (TPS), in effect ordering the removal of almost 200,000 El Salvadorans who have been living legally in the US for more than a decade. The move has been blocked by a federal court.

The US government has introduced “metering” at the southern border that limits the number of asylum seekers who can be processed each day.

It has imposed a policy named “Remain in Mexico” that forces the return of asylum seekers across the border while they await immigration hearings. A federal judge in San Francisco on Monday halted the policy as a legal challenge makes its way through the courts.

All these policies, Miliband said, “have no justification by themselves and are deepening the problem that the government says it’s trying to tackle”.

Removing US protections also ran the danger of exacerbating violence and unrest back in the Northern Triangle countries of El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala, which are the source of most immigrants currently presenting at the southern border. El Salvador, with a population of 6 million, is estimated to have more than half a million people either in gangs or associated with them, resulting in one of the highest homicide rates in the world.

The booming business for smuggling people to the US: 'Everyone wins'
Escalating violence is so severe in El Salvador that IRC recently resumed its aid operations in the country for the first time since the end of the country’s civil war in 1992. By contrast, the US government has pulled the plug – last month Trump ordered the US state department to stop all foreign assistance to the three Central American countries.

“This is a textbook example of a perverse policy response,” Miliband said. “The government has no strategy at all for dealing with the real crisis in Central America.”

He added that there were tried and tested ways of helping Salvadorans stabilize their lives and stay in their own country. “We know what works in El Salvador – there are some very good examples of how to divert people from fleeing to the US.
© 2019 Guardian
Meno_
Philosopher
 
Posts: 4450
Joined: Tue Dec 08, 2015 2:39 am
Location: Mysterium Tremendum

Re: Trump enters the stage Alex Baldwin for prez?

Postby Meno_ » Tue Apr 09, 2019 2:37 pm

USA Today


Alec Baldwin: It 'would be so easy' to beat Trump in a presidential election



Alec Baldwin appears in the opening sketch of 'SNL' as President Trump.
USA TODAY



Is impersonating a president no longer enough for Alec Baldwin?


The "Saturday Night Live" version of President Donald Trump tweeted about putting himself in the running to be our nation's leader Monday, via the Twitter handle @ABFalecbaldwin, the official account for the Hilaria and Alec Baldwin Foundation.

"If I ran for President, would you vote for me?" the 61-year-old inquired. "I won’t ask you for any $. And I promise I will win."

How can he be so sure? Because as he sees it: "Beating Trump would be so easy. So easy. So easy."

Baldwin added a little bit later: "These tweets save me millions in polling."

Baldwin's rep declined to comment on whether he is seriously contemplating entering the presidential race.















Reception of Baldwin's tweets were mixed.

"Not in a million years, not if my life depended on it, not if you gave me green eggs and ham," tweeted a user.


"I'm sure Hilary thought so too!!!" another fired back.

"Lol... please run. President Trump would be so happy to defeat such a pompous (expletive) like you!!" wrote a user in a NSFW post.

Others were more positive.

"You got my vote," a person encouraged.

"Hell yaaaaas!!!! Do it!! PLEASE!!!!" a user requested. "#Baldwin2020 #TrumpIsAMoron #TrumpIsACriminal"

Trump has yet to respond to Baldwin's tweets on the social media site as of early Tuesday morning.

Alec Baldwin and President Donald Trump
JAMIE MCCARTHY/GETTY IMAGES AND ETHAN MILLER/GETTY IMAGES
In February, the two sparred after "SNL" mocked Trump's news conference where he defended his decision to declare a national emergency to help build his border wall between the U.S. and Mexico.

The president weighed in Sunday morning on Twitter writing: "Nothing funny about tired Saturday Night Live on Fake News NBC! Question is, how do the Networks get away with these total Republican hit jobs without retribution? ... This is the real Collusion!"


"THE RIGGED AND CORRUPT MEDIA IS THE ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE!" Trump added.

"Trump whines. The parade moves on. #resignalready," Baldwin replied.

Later Sunday night, he followed-up, questioning if Trump's tweet had constituted a threat: "I wonder if a sitting President exhorting his followers that my role in a TV comedy qualifies me as an enemy of the people constitutes a threat to my safety and that of my family?"

Contributing: John Fritze, Michael Collins and Kim Willis

More: Alec Baldwin, Donald Trump Jr. exchange Twitter jabs over 'Saturday Night Live' skit

More: Hilaria Baldwin fires back at critic who called her 'annoying' for sharing miscarriage news



© Copyright Gannett 2019
Meno_
Philosopher
 
Posts: 4450
Joined: Tue Dec 08, 2015 2:39 am
Location: Mysterium Tremendum

Re: Trump enters the stage Alex Baldwin for prez?

Postby Meno_ » Tue Apr 09, 2019 2:40 pm

Meno_ wrote:USA Today


Alec Baldwin: It 'would be so easy' to beat Trump in a presidential election



Alec Baldwin appears in the opening sketch of 'SNL' as President Trump.
USA TODAY



Is impersonating a president no longer enough for Alec Baldwin?


The "Saturday Night Live" version of President Donald Trump tweeted about putting himself in the running to be our nation's leader Monday, via the Twitter handle @ABFalecbaldwin, the official account for the Hilaria and Alec Baldwin Foundation.

"If I ran for President, would you vote for me?" the 61-year-old inquired. "I won’t ask you for any $. And I promise I will win."

How can he be so sure? Because as he sees it: "Beating Trump would be so easy. So easy. So easy."

Baldwin added a little bit later: "These tweets save me millions in polling."

Baldwin's rep declined to comment on whether he is seriously contemplating entering the presidential race.















Reception of Baldwin's tweets were mixed.

"Not in a million years, not if my life depended on it, not if you gave me green eggs and ham," tweeted a user.


"I'm sure Hilary thought so too!!!" another fired back.

"Lol... please run. President Trump would be so happy to defeat such a pompous (expletive) like you!!" wrote a user in a NSFW post.

Others were more positive.

"You got my vote," a person encouraged.

"Hell yaaaaas!!!! Do it!! PLEASE!!!!" a user requested. "#Baldwin2020 #TrumpIsAMoron #TrumpIsACriminal"

Trump has yet to respond to Baldwin's tweets on the social media site as of early Tuesday morning.

Alec Baldwin and President Donald Trump

In February, the two sparred after "SNL" mocked Trump's news conference where he defended his decision to declare a national emergency to help build his border wall between the U.S. and Mexico.

The president weighed in Sunday morning on Twitter writing: "Nothing funny about tired Saturday Night Live on Fake News NBC! Question is, how do the Networks get away with these total Republican hit jobs without retribution? ... This is the real Collusion!"


"THE RIGGED AND CORRUPT MEDIA IS THE ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE!" Trump added.

"Trump whines. The parade moves on. #resignalready," Baldwin replied.

Later Sunday night, he followed-up, questioning if Trump's tweet had constituted a threat: "I wonder if a sitting President exhorting his followers that my role in a TV comedy qualifies me as an enemy of the people constitutes a threat to my safety and that of my family?"

Contributing: John Fritze, Michael Collins and Kim Willis

More: Alec Baldwin, Donald Trump Jr. exchange Twitter jabs over 'Saturday Night Live' skit

More: Hilaria Baldwin fires back at critic who called her 'annoying' for sharing miscarriage news



© Copyright Gannett 2019
Meno_
Philosopher
 
Posts: 4450
Joined: Tue Dec 08, 2015 2:39 am
Location: Mysterium Tremendum

Re: Trump enters the stage

Postby Meno_ » Wed Apr 10, 2019 1:04 am

POLITICO



Donald Trump
A newly released transcript of James Baker's testimony suggests there were widespread concerns inside the FBI that President Donald Trump had attempted to obstruct the bureau's investigation into his campaign's links to Russians. | Olivier Douliery/Abaca/Sipa USA/AP Images

WHITE HOUSE

Newly released testimony: Former top FBI lawyer says agency concerned Trump obstructed justice
By KYLE CHENEY 04/09/2019 03:17 PM EDT
James Baker, the former top lawyer of the FBI, told lawmakers last fall that there were widespread concerns inside the FBI that President Donald Trump had attempted to obstruct the bureau's investigation into his campaign's links to Russians, according to a newly released transcript of Baker's testimony.

Under questioning in 2018 from a Democratic committee lawyer, Baker described numerous officials who were distressed that the president may have obstructed justice when he fired FBI Director James Comey in May 2017. Baker said he had personal concerns and that they were shared by not just top FBI brass but within other divisions and at the Justice Department as well.

Story Continued Below


"The leadership of the FBI, so the acting director ... The heads of the national security apparatus, the national security folks within the FBI, the people that were aware of the underlying investigation and who had been focused on it," Baker said, running through a list of officials he said were worried that the president may have fired Comey to hinder the Russia investigation.

Baker said other FBI executives informed him that Justice Department officials raised concerns about obstruction by Trump as well.

His comments, some of which have been revealed in press reports in recent months, were included in a 152-page transcript of Baker's testimony to the House Oversight and Judiciary Committees in October 2018, when Republicans led an investigation into the handling of the FBI's Russia probe. The transcript was released Tuesday by the panel's top Republican, Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.), who has been incrementally entering testimony from last year's investigation into the congressional record.

Attorney General Barr lays out timeline and redaction categories for Mueller report
CONGRESS

Barr: Mueller turned down offer to review Russia probe findings
By KYLE CHENEY and ANDREW DESIDERIO
Baker's comments take on added significance in light of the impending release of special counsel Robert Mueller's report. Mueller inherited the FBI's Russia probe and the obstruction probe that began after Comey's firing. In a four-page memo, Attorney General William Barr indicated that Mueller reached no traditional conclusion on the obstruction probe, prompting an outcry from congressional Democrats who demanded more details.





Barr said Tuesday he intends to release a redacted version of Mueller's findings within a week.

In the transcript of his testimony, Baker added that he was briefed on conversations between former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe — who assumed leadership of the FBI after Comey's firing — and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein about whether Rosenstein could wear a wire to gather evidence in an obstruction probe. Though officials close to Rosenstein have called his suggestion a joke, Baker told lawmakers that he had a far different impression.



"This was not a joking sort of time. This was pretty dark," Baker said.

Baker, who said he didn't personally meet with Rosenstein but had been informed of his comments by McCabe, described an environment in which Rosenstein was upset that Trump had used his memo criticizing Comey's leadership of the FBI as a pretense for firing him.



“In the context of those conversations at some point in time I thought it was — my understanding was it was the deputy attorney general who came up with the idea of wearing a wire into a conversation with the president and that my understanding from my conversations with at least with Andy and/or Lisa was that they took it as a serious statement, that it was a serious thing to think about," Baker said.

Baker also recounted, from a discussion he was briefed on by McCabe, that Rosenstein told McCabe two members of Trump's cabinet had endorsed the notion of invoking the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office.



"[M]y understanding was that there was a conversation in which it was said, I believe by the [deputy Attorney General], that there were — that there were two members of the cabinet who were willing to go down this road already," Baker told lawmakers.





Other news


Trump attacks Rep. Omar after her criticism of Stephen Miller
Legality of Trump move to replace Nielsen questioned
The Forgotten Reason Congress Needs to See the Mueller Report
Barr: Mueller turned down offer to review Russia probe findings
Republicans press Trump to drop Herman Cain’s Fed nomination
Trump’s Fed threats meet a firewall: GOP lawmakers
Trump rehashes 1980s real estate feud with Nadler
Poll: Biden tops Democratic field after rough week
Judge denies request for speedy release of Mueller report

© 2019 POLITICO LLC





WHITE HOUSE

Mnuchin: White House lawyers spoke with Treasury Dept. about request for Trump tax returns

The Treasury secretary told a House subcommittee that he had not personally spoken to Trump or to anyone at the White House about the request.



Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin testifies before a House Appropriations subcommittee during a hearing on President Trump's budget request for Fiscal Year 2020, on April 9, 2019.Patrick Semansky / AP

SHARE THIS —

April 9, 2019, 12:23 PM ET

By Adam Edelman

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin acknowledged Tuesday that the agency's lawyers have been in contact with the White House about an official congressional request for six years of President Donald Trump’s tax returns.

Mnuchin, however, said that he had not personally spoken to Trump or to anyone at the White House about the request.

During testimony before a House Appropriations subcommittee, Mnuchin revealed that his agency’s legal department had held “informational” discussions with the White House Office of General Counsel about the congressional request for the president’s tax returns, even before the demand was submitted.

“Our legal department has had conversations prior to receiving the letter with the White House General Counsel,” he said.

“They have not briefed me as to the contents of that communication, I believe that was purely informational,” he added.

Last week, House Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal, D-Mass., formally requested six years of Trump's personal and business tax filings from the IRS under a statute that allows him to demand an individual's tax returns.

Mnuchin said Tuesday that his department had received the request and that "it is our intent to follow the law."

Later Tuesday, during a second round of testimony before the Financial Services Committee, he was asked by the panel's chair, Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., if he'd comply with congressional requests for the Trump returns even if it meant he could be fired by the president for doing so.

“As I said before, we will follow the law," he said. "I'm not afraid of being fired at all."

If the Treasury Department denies Neal's request, that could set off a legal battle to obtain them.

Trump and other White House officials have indicated that the request is likely to be denied.

Trump told reporters last week that he was "under audit" and would not be releasing the returns — an explanation he has used repeatedly since the 2016 election cycle. Being under audit does not preclude Trump from making his tax information public.

And in a letter Friday to the Treasury Department, Trump’s attorney, William Consovoy, called on the IRS to reject Neal's request, saying it "would be a gross abuse of power" that could lead to a political tit-for-tat.

Then, on Sunday, acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney told "Fox News Sunday" that Democrats will "never" be able to obtain Trump's tax filings.

Trump is the only major presidential candidate of either party since the early 1970s not to release his tax returns, and Democrats have pushed for him to release his tax documents since the 2016 campaign.


-------'-----------'-----------'------------'----'



WHITE HOUSE

Trump’s Incompetence Is Creating a Stephen Miller Hail Mary

The president put Kirstjen Nielsen in an impossible position, then fired her when she failed to break the law. Can Miller, who orchestrated her downfall, survive his rise to power?

T.A. FRANK

APRIL 9, 2019 5:39 PM

By Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.

Leaving the Trump White House on happy terms is like dying a peaceful death in the wild—possible but exceptional. Lingering torment is the norm. Erstwhile Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, who has been dismissed, was already out of favor a year ago, and Donald Trumphad for months been signaling his intention to replace her. He was angry Nielsen didn’t seem to be coming up with inventive work-arounds for the law (like breaking it), and last October he spent about half an hour berating her during a Cabinet meeting.

It’s all very Trumpy. If a job on the farm calls for a border collie, you don’t buy a dachshund. If the church needs a priest, you don’t hire an atheist. But Trump does. He hires people who don’t share his agenda and then gets furious at them for being what they are. Kirstjen Nielsen had minimal management experience didn’t share his worldview. Nor was she prepared to block every border violator from claiming asylum, a response that would have meant ordering an entire bureaucracy to ignore the law. Her executive-branch work had been for the administration of George W. Bush, and any hawkishness on the border was dutiful rather than heartfelt. This wasn’t her fault.

Trump likes to blame others for his incompetence. One can read claims that he was angry to discover that an omnibus spending bill he had signed included minimal wall funding, as if Trump didn’t know that when he signed it. When Trump proposed impossible or impractical policies for addressing a wave of asylum-seeking migrants, like shutting down the border altogether, Nielsen had the unhappy job of explaining the law to him. To be sure, a more dynamic and hard-line leader than Nielsen might have thought of creative alternative ways to stem the flow, but it took someone as bumbling as Trump to pass the buck to D.H.S., like a team that provides no defense and then yells at the goalie when the other side scores.

The border crossings are a genuine mess that Congress has helped to create. They involve arcane laws and regulations such as the “Flores settlement” and the “credible fear” test. But the bottom line is that if you cross the U.S. border with a child in tow and request asylum, you get to enter the country and stay indefinitely. (That’s provided you’re not Canadian or Mexican, because of aforementioned arcane laws.) This has caused a rate of influx that, if D.H.S. is to be believed, is approaching a million people per year. It has also incentivized people to bring children on dangerous journeys overseen by organized crime in Mexico.

If Trump really cared about this problem, he could have prioritized plugging the loopholes and hiring enough immigration judges to process the asylum claims in weeks rather than years. He did, after all, have Republican majorities in the House and Senate for two years. When it came to pushing Congress for legislation, though, Trump synced up with the establishment Republicans and pushed for tax cuts and the torpedoing of Obamacare, either in order to be protected from Democrats as investigations were brewing or else to make things easy for himself with the home team. Nothing on the border got fixed.

To be sure, Trump wouldn’t be the first president who didn’t care about policy details or hated studying up on anything. But being ignorant of specifics means that you must hire very, very well, because you are putting yourself at the mercy of advisers and personnel when it comes to making decisions and trusting them to share your aims. Trump can’t be bothered to look for those people, either.

Today, with Congress in Democratic hands and Trump in a dangerous spot with his base, Trump seems to have decided D.H.S. needs a full-scale purge, and Nielsen is just the start. But the likeliest result is greater disorder. It is reported that White House adviser Stephen Miller is pushing for the ouster of the director of Citizenship and Immigration Services, Lee Cissna,whom immigration hawks consider to be a champion of the cause. Since Miller, unlike his boss, understands policy, this is surprising, but Miller may just be playing the role of henchman, spooked by the all the ghosts of colleagues once at his side. There seems to be minimal strategy at work.

There’s also talk of bringing in an “immigration czar,” and former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, a hard-liner on border enforcement, is said to be under consideration for the post. But policy isn’t always personnel. The law is still the law. That’s why the job of czar or D.H.S. chief is designed to make a failure of anyone who takes it, no matter what they think about immigration. Asylum law is one thing, and what Donald Trump wants is another. You’ll be flayed either for failing to apply the rules or for failing to break them. It’s amazing Nielsen lasted a year.

None of this is great for 2020. Much of the middle is put off by Trump’s erratic behavior and feckless ranting. He has also vowed once more to repeal the Affordable Care Act, handing Democrats the issue of health care, where they have the upper hand. (He must be grateful to Democrats for their willingness to self-combust in identitarian war, scaring off undecided voters.) So he needs his base, much of it is already disaffected over his handling of the border, with close to zero wall construction, and he can’t afford to let it down further.

Being a developer in a big city makes you understand how unimportant rules are for anyone but the little guy, but Trump overestimates the transferability of the rule. Just last week, according to CNN, Trump was telling border agents in Calexico, California, that they should ignore judicial orders on migrants. “Sorry, judge, I can’t do it,” Trump suggested as a message to the court. “We don’t have the room.” But the people in charge told the agents to ignore the president, not the law. Crafty politicians subvert institutions; they don’t nuke them. Once again, Trump’s very crassness is a barrier to his desires. It’s not the best consolation, but it’s not the worst, either.




DONALD TRUMP

GOP worried over Trump's shakeup at Homeland Security

Some Republican lawmakers are concerned about a "void" in leadership at the agency, while the president denied he's "cleaning house."



President Donald Trump speaks to reporters during a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in the Oval Office on April 9, 2019.Evan Vucci / AP

SHARE THIS —

April 9, 2019, 3:43 PM ET / Updated April 9, 2019, 8:10 PM ET

By Dareh Gregorian and Frank Thorp V

President Donald Trump is getting hit with blowback from his own party for his shake-up of the leadership at the Department of Homeland Security.

After the departures of the heads of Homeland Security and the Secret Service, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, urged Trump not to dump Lee Francis Cissna, the head of Citizenship and Immigration Services, who is also rumored to be on the chopping block.

And Grassley criticized the influence of White House adviser and immigration hard-liner Stephen Miller, noting that Miller's controversial reforms have not been effective. "I don't see a lot of accomplishments," Grassley said Tuesday.

The powerful senior Republican said he spoke to acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney but would only know if Trump heard the message if Cissna and others "don't get fired."

Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., expressed sympathy for ousted Homeland Security chief Kirstjen Nielsen, who was pressured to resign Sunday. He said she and Trump agreed to go their separate ways, and "then her colleagues on the White House staff, or at least some colleagues named 'anonymous source,' they cut her to pieces."

"They opened her up like a soft peanut," Kennedy said. "Secretary Nielsen deserved better from her colleagues, when her colleagues for whatever reason decided to gut her like a fish that was a disservice to Secretary Nielsen, to the people of America, and to the President."

He added that he thinks the backstabbing — Trump adviser Stephen Miller reportedly told Trump Nielsen was too weak for the job — "makes it doubly difficult to try and find somebody to replace her."

"Secretary Nielsen is not responsible for the wall not being built, she can't build the wall by herself. It's not Secretary Nielsen's fault that we haven't fixed the asylum laws," he said.

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, noted she was involved in the creation of the DHS more than a decade ago and knows "these are vital positions."

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R.-S.C., told reporters at the Capitol that the White House should be focusing on working with Congress to fix immigration laws, and should send over the legislative changes they're looking for.

"It doesn't matter who he puts in. There's only so much they can do," Graham said.

The White House announced Monday that Secret Service Director Randolph Alles was leaving. Trump also withdrew the nomination of Ronald Vitiello to head Immigration and Customs Enforcement last week.

Acting deputy Homeland Secretary Claire Grady was in line to become acting Homeland Secretary, but offered her resignation Tuesday night, Nielsen said in a tweet. Trump had said he wanted Kevin McAleenan, who was commissioner of Customs and Border Protection, to be acting DHS head.

The Secret Service, ICE and CBP are a part of Homeland Security, and Trump is reportedly considering more changes as well.

Senate Homeland Security Committee Chair Ron Johnson, R-Wisc., told NBC News on Monday he's concerned about the "void" at DHS.

"We are dealing with a humanitarian and security crisis at the border because Congress has failed to act," Johnson said. "In addition to congressional dysfunction, I am concerned with a growing leadership void within the department tasked with addressing some of the most significant problems facing the nation."

VIEW THIS GRAPHIC ON NBCNEWS.COM

Grassley told The Washington Post on Monday he was “very, very concerned” over the possible purge that is set to happen at DHS. But when asked about his worry on camera, Grassley was more reserved saying he was just concerned over former staffers of his who have been dismissed.

The senate's top Democrat, Chuck Schumer of New York, said Trump is to blame for the problems at the border.

The president "cannot keep changing personnel, changing strategy, tweeting your way through a problem as serious" as immigration, Schumer said.

"What he's done by these constant firings, the constant change of policy, is simply created chaos at the border. Nobody knows what the policy will be from day to day and week to week and month to month," Schumer said. "This erratic, nasty style of governing is not solving any problems."

The president on Tuesday denied that he was "cleaning house" at DHS and blamed Democrats for the immigration problems.

"I never said I'm cleaning house. I don't know who came up with that expression," Trump told reporters at the White House. "We're fighting the bad laws, the bad things coming out of Congress" and an asylum situation that's "ridiculous."



---------------------




Warner Bros. Taking Legal Action After Trump Campaign Video Uses ‘Dark Knight Rises’ Score
Erin Nyren
April 9, 2019 8:23PM PDT



Warner Brothers Pictures will file a copyright infringement suit against the White House, the studio has confirmed, after President Donald Trump used music from “The Dark Knight Rises'” score for his latest 2020 campaign video.

“The use of Warner Bros.’ score from ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ in the campaign video was unauthorized,” a Warner Brothers spokesperson said in a statement. “We are working through the appropriate legal channels to have it removed.”

The suit will petition for Trump to remove the video from Twitter, where he shared it in a tweet Tuesday. The two-minute video not only utilizes Hans Zimmer’s “Why Do We Fall?” from the 2012 threequel, but also shares the font used for the film’s title cards.


“First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they call you a racist. Donald J. Trump. Your vote. Proved them all wrong. Trump: The Great Victory. 2020,” declares the video, using the “Dark Knight Rises” font.

The video also attempts to compare Trump’s rise to power with the apparent poor performances of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, as well as Hollywood personalities who have been critical of the president like Amy Schumer and Rosie O’Donnell.

Trump has used pop culture references to promote himself in the past, such as his “Game of Thrones”-style poster bearing the legend “Sanctions Are Coming” — a play on the series’ “Winter Is Coming” catchphrase.

“We were not aware of this messaging and would prefer our trademark not be misappropriated for political purposes,” HBO said in a statement at the time, as well as tweeting “How do you say trademark misuse in Dothraki?” from its official Twitter account.

The White House also used a blockbuster-style during Trump’s first meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.


© 2019 PMC. All rights reserved.
Meno_
Philosopher
 
Posts: 4450
Joined: Tue Dec 08, 2015 2:39 am
Location: Mysterium Tremendum

PreviousNext

Return to Creative Writing



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: barbarianhorde