US Politics in Trump era Public date: 19.09.2019 21:40:40

Publisher: The Guardian

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20 Sep 2019

Trump’s promise to foreign leader prompts whistleblower complaint

Donald Trump’s promise to a foreign leader so troubled an official in the US intelligence community that it prompted the person to file a whistleblower complaint, according to multiple media reports. Speculation in Washington was at fever pitch on Thursday over which leader Trump was speaking to and what promise he made. The substance of the complaint remained a mystery.
Donald Trump’s promise to a foreign leader so troubled an official in the US intelligence community that it prompted...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

20 Sep 2019

Wall Street Is Buzzing About Repo Rates. Here’s Why.

Investors take for granted that the Federal Reserve controls interest rates. But a surprisingly lively couple of days in short-term money markets has meant that the “how” became nearly as important as the “why.” The stress started on Monday in the market for repurchase agreements, or repos. Repos are short-term loans mainly used by banks and hedge funds in their daily bond trading and brokerage businesses.
Investors take for granted that the Federal Reserve controls interest rates. But a surprisingly lively couple of days in...

Publisher: Rolling Stone

Author:

18 Sep 2019

Mitch McConnell: The Man Who Sold America

McConnell has been unpopular in his home state for years, but his approval rating plunged in one poll to a rock-bottom 18 percent — with a re-election campaign looming in 2020. In January, he had raised red flags among Republicans and -Democrats alike when he took a key role in lifting sanctions on Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, a Putin ally under FBI investigation for his involvement in 2016 election-meddling; three months later, Deripaska’s aluminum company, Rusal, announced a $200 million investment in Kentucky.
McConnell has been unpopular in his home state for years, but his approval rating plunged in one poll to a rock-bottom...
18 Sep 2019

Trump administration to revoke California’s power to set stricter auto emissions standards

The Trump administration plans to revoke California’s right to set stricter air pollution standards for cars and light trucks , according to two senior administration officials, as part of a larger effort to weaken an Obama-era climate policy aimed at cutting greenhouse gas emissions from the nation’s auto fleet.
The Trump administration plans to revoke California’s right to set stricter air pollution standards for cars and light...
17 Sep 2019

Who are the Houthis and how closely linked are they to Iran?

The relationship between Iran and the Houthis is not simple and has long been clouded by accusations and denials and amplified by rumors and propaganda from all sides. Iranian backing of the Houthis appears to have increased over time. But experts on Iran’s network of proxies say the Houthis are among the least dependent on Tehran for financial and military support and decision-making.
The relationship between Iran and the Houthis is not simple and has long been clouded by accusations and denials and...

Publisher: Truthout

Author:

17 Sep 2019

Israel Was Caught Spying on Capitol Hill Cellphones and Trump Was Fine With It

The Israelis deployed StingRay mobile identity-catchers, devices that are mistaken for cell towers by cell phones, allowing them to capture the contents of calls and the mobile browser activity. Lipmann says that the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division subjected the devices to extensive forensic tests, looking at where the components came from, how old they were, and considering who would have access to them, and the trail led inexorably to Israel.
The Israelis deployed StingRay mobile identity-catchers, devices that are mistaken for cell towers by cell phones,...
16 Sep 2019

Citing Previous ‘Misstatements of Fact’ and Corruption Allegations, House Democrats Open Ethics Probe into Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao

U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao is the target of a new investigation by House Democrats who are trying to determine whether the powerful member of Trump's cabinet, and the wife of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, has abused her position in order to provide financial or other benefits to members of her family and herself.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao is the target of a new investigation by House Democrats who are trying to...
16 Sep 2019

Iran denies role in crippling attacks on Saudi oil facilities; Trump says U.S. ‘locked and loaded’

President Trump said Sunday the United States was prepared to respond to the devastating attacks on two oil installations in Saudi Arabia that cut the state oil company’s production output by half, while Iran rejected U.S. accusations that it was responsible. Trump did not name Iran, as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had on Saturday, nor specify whether he was contemplating a military response.
President Trump said Sunday the United States was prepared to respond to the devastating attacks on two oil...
16 Sep 2019

Democratic candidates demand Kavanaugh impeachment after new allegation in Times piece

Democrats called Sunday for a new investigation of Supreme Court Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh in response to a New York Times piece that said Kavanaugh was seen sexually harassing a female student while at Yale.Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and former housing and urban development secretary Julián Castro, Democratic presidential candidates, pushed for Kavanaugh’s impeachment.
Democrats called Sunday for a new investigation of Supreme Court Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh in response to a New York...

Publisher: Greg Palast

Author:

14 Sep 2019

Jim Crow Steals N Carolina 9th CD

Stolen again. Democrat Dan McCready supposedly lost the special election in North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District to Republican Dan Bishop by less than 4,000 votes. However, racially biased vote suppression schemes easily account for the supposed GOP victory margin.
Stolen again. Democrat Dan McCready supposedly lost the special election in North Carolina’s 9th Congressional...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

13 Sep 2019

Trump Administration to Finalize Rollback of Clean Water Protections

The Trump administration on Thursday is expected to complete the legal repeal of a major Obama-era clean water regulation, which had placed limits on polluting chemicals that could be used near streams, wetlands and water bodies. Weakening the Obama-era water rule had been a central campaign pledge for Mr. Trump, who characterized it as a federal land-grab that impinged on the rights of farmers, rural landowners and real estate developers to use their property as they see fit.
The Trump administration on Thursday is expected to complete the legal repeal of a major Obama-era clean water...
12 Sep 2019

A Mystery $325,000 To A Pro-Trump Super PAC Confounds Experts

How the hunt to find out who donated $325k to a pro-Trump Super PAC leads to Florida, Giuliani, and Ukraine. The story introduces a cast of characters from the intersection of Trumpworld, Giulianiworld, and Ukraineworld that provide a backdrop to the mystery of how the $325,000 wound up in GOP coffers.
How the hunt to find out who donated $325k to a pro-Trump Super PAC leads to Florida, Giuliani, and Ukraine. The story...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

12 Sep 2019

White House Pressed Agency to Repudiate Weather Forecasters Who Contradicted Trump

The White House was directly involved in pressing a federal scientific agency to repudiate the weather forecasters who contradicted President Trump’s claim that Hurricane Dorian would probably strike Alabama, according to several people familiar with the events.
The White House was directly involved in pressing a federal scientific agency to repudiate the weather forecasters who...
11 Sep 2019

John Bolton fired: Trump fires national security adviser, saying he ‘disagreed strongly with many of his suggestions’

President Trump announced Tuesday that he had fired his national security adviser, John Bolton, saying in tweets that he “disagreed strongly with many of his suggestions.” Trump’s harshly worded tweet made clear that long-simmering frustration with Bolton had boiled over. Bolton immediately took issue with Trump’s assertion that he was fired, saying that he had offered his resignation.
President Trump announced Tuesday that he had fired his national security adviser, John Bolton, saying in tweets that he...
11 Sep 2019

Six in 10 Americans expect a recession and higher prices as Trump’s approval rating slips amid concern over his trade policies

President Trump is ending a tumultuous summer with his approval rating slipping back from a July high as Americans express widespread concern about the trade war with China and a majority of voters now expect a recession within the next year, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.
President Trump is ending a tumultuous summer with his approval rating slipping back from a July high as Americans...
10 Sep 2019

UVA Medical Center has sued former patients for over $106 million in medical debts

Heather Waldron and John Hawley are losing their four-bedroom house in the hills above Blacksburg, Va. A teenage daughter, one of their five children, sold her clothes for spending money. They worried about paying the electric bill. Financial disaster, they say, contributed to their divorce, finalized in April. Their money problems began when the University of Virginia Health System pursued the couple with a lawsuit and a lien on their home to recoup $164,000 in charges for Waldron’s emergency surgery in 2017
Heather Waldron and John Hawley are losing their four-bedroom house in the hills above Blacksburg, Va. A teenage...

Publisher: The Intercept

Author:

10 Sep 2019

Koch Data Mining Sent Anti-Immigrant Ads to Targeted Voters

Last year, when many GOP candidates across the country turned to vicious anti-immigrant advertisements to turn out voters in the midterm elections, some turned to i360, Koch’s state-of-the-art data analytics company. The company is one of the several appendages of the Koch political machine — one that includes a suite of voter outreach organization, lobbying, and campaign messaging tools.
Last year, when many GOP candidates across the country turned to vicious anti-immigrant advertisements to turn out...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

4 Sep 2019

Trump Says China Will Suffer as Data Shows Trade War Hurting U.S.

President Trump said on Tuesday that Chinese manufacturing would “crumble” if the country did not agree to the United States’ trade terms, as newly released data showed his trade war was washing back to American shores and hurting the factories that the president has aimed to protect.
President Trump said on Tuesday that Chinese manufacturing would “crumble” if the country did not agree to the...
30 Aug 2019

DSCC Pressuring Consultants Not to Work With Colorado Progressive

Before the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee endorsed former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper in a 2020 Senate race, it pressured consultants from at least five firms not to work with a leading progressive in the race, the candidate told The Intercept.
Before the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee endorsed former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper in a 2020 Senate...

Publisher: USA Today

Author:

29 Aug 2019

Video shows machine changing vote in Mississippi Governor runoff

Tuesday morning, Facebook user Sally Kate Walker posted a video showing what appeared to be a touch-screen machine changing someone's selection from Bill Waller Jr. to Tate Reeves.While officials confirmed the problems with only three machines in two counties, the Waller campaign Tuesday evening said it had received more widespread reports of the same issue.
Tuesday morning, Facebook user Sally Kate Walker posted a video showing what appeared to be a touch-screen machine...

Publisher: The Intercept

Author:

29 Aug 2019

Blackstone CEO Is Driving Force Behind Amazon Deforestation

Two Brazilian firms owned by a top donor to President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell are significantly responsible for the ongoing destruction of the Amazon rainforest, carnage that has developed into raging fires that have captivated global attention.
Two Brazilian firms owned by a top donor to President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell are...
26 Aug 2019

Border Patrol, Israel’s Elbit Put Reservation Under Surveillance

Fueled by the growing demonization of migrants, as well as ongoing fears of foreign terrorism, the U.S. borderlands have become laboratories for new systems of enforcement and control. Firsthand reporting, interviews, and a review of documents for this story provide a window into the high-tech surveillance apparatus CBP is building in the name of deterring illicit migration — and highlight how these same systems often end up targeting other marginalized populations as well as political dissidents.
Fueled by the growing demonization of migrants, as well as ongoing fears of foreign terrorism, the U.S. borderlands have...
24 Aug 2019

Fed Chair Powell vows to ‘sustain the expansion’ but not in the way Trump wants

President Trump escalated his unprecedented attacks against America’s central bank Friday, calling Federal Reserve Chair Jerome H. Powell an “enemy” of the United States that is as bad as China, a tweet that triggered a stock market slide and came minutes after Powell vowed to keep the economy growing.
President Trump escalated his unprecedented attacks against America’s central bank Friday, calling Federal Reserve...
24 Aug 2019

U.S.-China trade war intensifies as Trump calls on American companies to cut ties with China

The trade war between the U.S. and China worsened Friday as Beijing imposed retaliatory tariffs on $75 billion in American goods and President Trump took the extraordinary step of calling on U.S. companies stop doing business with China. The new tariffs, which included reinstated levies on auto products, delivered a strategically timed blow as recession warning signs cast doubt on the strength of the U.S. economy.
The trade war between the U.S. and China worsened Friday as Beijing imposed retaliatory tariffs on $75 billion in...
23 Aug 2019

Joe Biden and the Disastrous History of Bipartisanship

The Democratic presidential campaign playbook has, for decades, included grand promises to reach out to the GOP to solve the nation’s ills. In 2020, some candidates are throwing that playbook out the window.
The Democratic presidential campaign playbook has, for decades, included grand promises to reach out to the GOP to solve...
22 Aug 2019

U.S. deficit to expand by more than $800 billion over 10 years than previously expected, CBO says

America’s federal deficit will expand by about $800 billion more than previously expected over 10 years due primarily to two legislative packages approved this year, pushing the nation further into levels of debt unseen since the end of World War II, the Congressional Budget Office said Wednesday. The CBO also said that the impact of higher trade barriers, primarily President Trump’s trade war, could hurt economic growth amid widespread fears of a recession.
America’s federal deficit will expand by about $800 billion more than previously expected over 10 years due primarily...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

22 Aug 2019

Migrant Families Would Face Indefinite Detention Under New Trump Rule

The Trump administration unveiled a regulation on Wednesday that would allow it to detain indefinitely migrant families who cross the border illegally, replacing a decades-old court agreement that imposed a limit on how long the government could hold migrant children in custody and specified the level of care they must receive.
The Trump administration unveiled a regulation on Wednesday that would allow it to detain indefinitely migrant families...

Publisher: DCReport

Author:

21 Aug 2019

How Moscow Mitch Won a New Russian Plant in Kentucky.

Critics of a Kremlin-linked industrial giant investing $200 million in a new aluminum plant in Kentucky say it gives Moscow political influence that could undermine national security. Pointing to Moscow’s use of economic leverage to sway European politics, they warn the deal is a stalking horse for a new kind of Russian meddling in America, one that exploits the U.S. free-market system instead of its elections.
Critics of a Kremlin-linked industrial giant investing $200 million in a new aluminum plant in Kentucky say it gives...
21 Aug 2019

Trump confirms he’s considering a payroll tax cut amid mounting economic concerns

President Trump on Tuesday confirmed that he is considering whether to push for a temporary payroll tax cut amid mounting concerns about an economic slowdown. Trump’s comments pulled back the curtain on a freewheeling policy process within the White House. Senior administration officials are both trying to assess the real weaknesses in the economy while also determining whether they should take any steps to intervene before the 2020 elections.
President Trump on Tuesday confirmed that he is considering whether to push for a temporary payroll tax cut amid...
20 Aug 2019

Alaska shows why budget-cutting conservatives are destined to fail

National conservative leaders are pushing for President Trump to take an ax to federal spending if he is reelected. This year’s ongoing Alaska budget crisis shows how politically unpopular that would be. Alaska has been spending beyond its means for years. The state levies no statewide personal income or sales tax and instead relies mainly on revenue from oil production to finance its state government.
National conservative leaders are pushing for President Trump to take an ax to federal spending if he is reelected. This...

Publisher: Newsweek

Author:

17 Aug 2019

House Republican Mass Shooting Strategy Revealed In Leaked Memo: Blame the Left, Minimize White Supremacy Role

A recently leaked memo from House Republicans shows that the GOP is urging its politicians to blame recent mass shootings on the left, while downplaying the role of white supremacy.According to the Tampa Bay Times, who obtained the memo, the document offers talking points in response to common questions Republican representatives may face after the recent mass shootings.
A recently leaked memo from House Republicans shows that the GOP is urging its politicians to blame recent mass...

Publisher: CNN

Author:

16 Aug 2019

Stock market performance by president, from Reagan to Trump

President Donald Trump has repeatedly pointed to the stock market as one of the best ways to measure his administration’s policies. During Trump’s presidency, the S&P 500 has gained 25% from inauguration day through August 15. How does that stack up to stock performance at the same point in other modern presidencies? (647 trading days, to be exact).
President Donald Trump has repeatedly pointed to the stock market as one of the best ways to measure his...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

16 Aug 2019

The Day Jeffrey Epstein Told Me He Had Dirt on Powerful People

Almost exactly a year ago, on Aug. 16, 2018, I visited Jeffrey Epstein at his cavernous Manhattan mansion.The overriding impression I took away from our roughly 90-minute conversation was that Mr. Epstein knew an astonishing number of rich, famous and powerful people, and had photos to prove it. He also claimed to know a great deal about these people, some of it potentially damaging or embarrassing, including details about their supposed sexual proclivities and recreational drug use.
Almost exactly a year ago, on Aug. 16, 2018, I visited Jeffrey Epstein at his cavernous Manhattan mansion.The overriding...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

16 Aug 2019

Israel Denies Entry to Omar and Tlaib After Trump’s Call to Block Them

Israel on Thursday barred the entry of two American Democratic congresswomen who had planned to visit the West Bank, hours after President Trump had urged the country to block them.Mr. Trump’s intervention was an extraordinary step to influence an allied nation and punish his political opponents at home.
Israel on Thursday barred the entry of two American Democratic congresswomen who had planned to visit the West Bank,...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

15 Aug 2019

Germany Nears Recession and Chinese Factories Slow in Trade War Fallout

In ominous signs of the damage being done by the trade war between China and the United States, data released on Wednesday indicated that the German economy was hurtling toward recession and that growth at Chinese factories was slowing at a pace not seen in nearly two decades.
In ominous signs of the damage being done by the trade war between China and the United States, data released on...
15 Aug 2019

Recession watch: What is an ‘inverted yield curve’ and why does it matter?

Stock markets tanked Wednesday after the bond market sounded a loud warning that the U.S. economy might be headed toward a recession. Investors are spooked by a scenario known as the “inverted yield curve,” which occurs when the interest rates on short-term bonds are higher than the interest rates paid by long-term bonds. What it means is that people are so worried about the near-term future that they are piling into safer long-term investments.
Stock markets tanked Wednesday after the bond market sounded a loud warning that the U.S. economy might be headed toward...

Publisher: Mother Jones

Author:

14 Aug 2019

Donald Trump Jr. Apparently Has No Idea What a Conflict of Interest Is

Donald Trump Jr. flew to Indonesia this week to help cut the ribbon on two new Trump-branded resorts. When he was there, he told reporters that the idea that the president’s business interests in the country would affect American policy was “totally asinine.” But even as Trump Jr. dismissed the potential for a conflict of interest, his father’s business partner, Indonesian billionaire and political impresario Hary Tanoesoedibjo, explicitly promoted the event as a visit from the US president’s son.
Donald Trump Jr. flew to Indonesia this week to help cut the ribbon on two new Trump-branded resorts. When he was...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

14 Aug 2019

How a Trump Ally Tested the Boundaries of Washington’s Influence Game

Elliott Broidy had the kind of past that might have given a more traditional White House reason to keep him at a distance: A wealthy businessman, he had pleaded guilty in 2009 to giving nearly $1 million in illegal gifts to New York State officials to help land a $250 million investment from the state’s pension fund.
Elliott Broidy had the kind of past that might have given a more traditional White House reason to keep him at a...
13 Aug 2019

Trump’s EPA Sides with Water Polluters in Major Case

If you like sewage, chemical wastes or radioactive molecules in your drinking water the Trump Administration has your back. It’s part of Team Trump’s determined efforts to remake the Environmental Protection Agency into the Environmental Pollution Agency. Soon the U.S. Supreme Court, urged on by Team Trump, may give its stamp of approval to effectively undo many benefits of the 1972 Clean Water Act in a case from the Hawaiian island of Maui.
If you like sewage, chemical wastes or radioactive molecules in your drinking water the Trump Administration has your...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

13 Aug 2019

In Epstein Suicide, Barr Criticizes ‘Serious Irregularities’ at Jail

Attorney General William P. Barr said on Monday that there were “serious irregularities” at the federal jail in Manhattan where Jeffrey Epstein, the financier who was long dogged by accusations of sexual abuse of girls, was found dead on Saturday morning after he had apparently hanged himself.
Attorney General William P. Barr said on Monday that there were “serious irregularities” at the federal jail in...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

13 Aug 2019

Trump Administration Weakens Protections for Endangered Species

The Trump administration on Monday announced that it would change the way the Endangered Species Act is applied, significantly weakening the nation’s bedrock conservation law credited with rescuing the bald eagle, the grizzly bear and the American alligator from extinction.
The Trump administration on Monday announced that it would change the way the Endangered Species Act is applied,...
11 Aug 2019

Jeffrey Epstein dead after ‘apparent suicide’ in New York

Jeffrey Epstein, the politically connected financier charged recently with sexually abusing dozens of young girls in the early 2000s, died Saturday after apparently hanging himself in a Manhattan cell, officials said, sparking outrage among victims who hoped to one day confront him in court and triggering multiple investigations into what happened.
Jeffrey Epstein, the politically connected financier charged recently with sexually abusing dozens of young girls in the...

Publisher: Politico

Author:

10 Aug 2019

Fury grows over delayed probe of Trump aides’ alleged political retaliation

Democrats and many in the State Department are increasingly exasperated that they have yet to see the results of an investigation into whether President Donald Trump’s political appointees mistreated career staffers. The delayed release of the State Department inspector general's findings has generated rising suspicion that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is trying to derail the investigation, whose results could be damning to some of his top aides.
Democrats and many in the State Department are increasingly exasperated that they have yet to see the results of an...
10 Aug 2019

‘She was shaking’: Court filings describe system Jeffrey Epstein allegedly used to procure girls

He demanded sex three times a day. A parade of powerful figures visited his private estates, which were adorned with pictures of naked girls and stocked with sex toys. And the schedules of teenagers on call to give him massages at his Palm Beach, Fla., mansion were documented in phone messages from his assistants.
He demanded sex three times a day. A parade of powerful figures visited his private estates, which were adorned with...

Publisher: NPR

Author:

9 Aug 2019

‘I’ve Got Nothing Over Here’: Michigan Man Deported By ICE Dies In Baghdad

Jimmy Aldaoud was deported from the U.S. in June to Iraq, a country that his family said he had never set foot in. Two months after he arrived there, his family got word that he was found dead in Baghdad. Aldaoud was born in Greece, his sister Mary Bolis said, after his family fled Iraq. He didn't speak Arabic.
Jimmy Aldaoud was deported from the U.S. in June to Iraq, a country that his family said he had never set foot in. Two...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

8 Aug 2019

Trump Visits the Grieving, and Stokes Divisions

President Trump began a day set aside for healing in Dayton and El Paso by lashing out against his political rivals and the news media, employing the kind of divisive language that prompted protests in both cities even before he arrived. He mocked Beto O’Rourke, a Democratic candidate for president who once represented El Paso in Congress, for having a “phony name to indicate Hispanic heritage” and he linked the Dayton shooter to liberal politicians.
President Trump began a day set aside for healing in Dayton and El Paso by lashing out against his political rivals and...
6 Aug 2019

China Uses Currency as Weapon in Trade War, Rattling Markets

The trade war between the United States and China entered a more dangerous phase on Monday, as Beijing allowed its currency to weaken, Chinese enterprises stopped making new purchases of American farm goods and President Trump’s Treasury Department formally labeled China a currency manipulator.
The trade war between the United States and China entered a more dangerous phase on Monday, as Beijing allowed its...
6 Aug 2019

The Ravages Of Trump: Violent Attacks Carried Out In His Name

Send them back. Hispanic invasion. If our country falls, it will be the fault of traitors. That’s language from the manifesto of Patrick Crusius.  Crusius does not invoke President Trump in his manifesto, or in social media posts uncovered as of this writing. But TPM found some two dozen cases where the perpetrators or planners of far-right violence invoked Trump during their assault, or claimed whatever violent action they intended to commit was somehow aligned with his agenda. Since declaring his run for the Presidency in 2015, President Donald Trump has used racist rhetoric to fan feelings of hatred among those that support him.
Send them back. Hispanic invasion. If our country falls, it will be the fault of traitors. That’s language from the...
5 Aug 2019

We Can No Longer Ignore Trump’s Role in Inspiring Mass Shootings

On Saturday morning, a gunman at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, shot and killed at least 20 people before surrendering to the police. By all accounts, Patrick Crusius, the 21-year-old alleged shooter, is a fan of President Donald Trump and his policies. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, “a Twitter account bearing the suspect’s name contains liked tweets that include a ‘BuildTheWall’ hashtag” and “a photo using guns to spell out ‘Trump.’”
On Saturday morning, a gunman at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, shot and killed at least 20 people before surrendering to...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

5 Aug 2019

Iran Says It Has Seized Another Oil Tanker in Persian Gulf

Iran seized a foreign oil tanker in the Persian Gulf, state television reported on Sunday, the third time Tehran has reported detaining a tanker in the last month as the United States applies its campaign of “maximum pressure,” sanctions and diplomatic isolation against the country.
Iran seized a foreign oil tanker in the Persian Gulf, state television reported on Sunday, the third time Tehran has...
3 Aug 2019

U.S. Formally Withdraws From 1987 Nuclear Pact With Russia

The United States formally withdrew from a landmark nuclear missile pact with Russia on Friday after determining that Moscow was in violation of the treaty and had no plans to come into compliance with it. U.S. President Donald Trump made the determination that the United States would terminate adherence to the 1987 arms control accord, known as the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), senior administration officials told reporters.
The United States formally withdrew from a landmark nuclear missile pact with Russia on Friday after...
2 Aug 2019

Military retirement program could lose funding for Trump’s border wall

The Supreme Court decided last week that Department of Defense funding could be used to construct sections of President Donald Trump's border wall.  Notably, it said about $224 million would be taken from the Blended Retirement System, which combines elements of the military's retirement system with a system offering benefits similar to civilian 401(k) programs. Other programs set to significantly lose funding: $604 million that was supposed to support Afghan security forces; $251 million in Pentagon funds for destroying US chemical weapons; and about $343 million "in spending from Air Force weapons programs where officials have negotiated reductions or canceled systems,".
The Supreme Court decided last week that Department of Defense funding could be used to construct sections of President...

Publisher: NYTimes

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2 Aug 2019

Lower Rates Already Hit Housing. They’re Not Helping Much.

Cheaper mortgages are usually a boon to the housing market. But this year, a sharp drop in mortgage rates hasn’t provided much of a lift, and that could bode poorly for the Federal Reserve’s efforts to shore up economic growth.
Cheaper mortgages are usually a boon to the housing market. But this year, a sharp drop in mortgage rates hasn’t...
2 Aug 2019

Trump says he will impose new tariffs on $300 billion of imports from China starting next month, ending brief cease-fire in trade war

President Trump unexpectedly announced on Thursday that he will impose new tariffs on $300 billion worth of imports from China, effectively taxing every product that Americans buy from China. The president acted one day after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and U.S. Trade Representative Robert E. Lighthizer wrapped up two days of talks in Shanghai aimed at a comprehensive trade deal.
President Trump unexpectedly announced on Thursday that he will impose new tariffs on $300 billion worth of imports...
1 Aug 2019

U.S. imposes sanctions on Iran’s Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif

The Trump administration imposed sanctions on Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Wednesday in a dramatic step bound to further escalate tensions with Tehran. A senior administration official said Zarif had acted more as a “propaganda minister” than a diplomat, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Zarif was “complicit” in Iran’s support of terrorists, torture and other malign activity around the world.
The Trump administration imposed sanctions on Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Wednesday in a dramatic...

Publisher: NYTimes

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1 Aug 2019

Fed Cuts Interest Rates for First Time Since 2008 Crisis

The Federal Reserve cut interest rates for the first time in more than a decade on Wednesday as it attempted to guard the record-long economic expansion against mounting global risks. The widely expected quarter-point move, the Fed’s first since it cut rates to near zero in 2008, is meant to protect the economy against the potentially harmful effects of a growth slowdown in China and Europe and uncertainty from President Trump’s trade war.
The Federal Reserve cut interest rates for the first time in more than a decade on Wednesday as it attempted to guard...
30 Jul 2019

With the economy on the line, the Fed prepares to take its biggest gamble in years

The Federal Reserve this week is all but certain to cut interest rates despite unemployment being at historic lows, a highly unusual action that is shaping up to be the biggest gamble of Fed Chair Jerome H. Powell’s brief tenure as leader of the world’s most powerful economic institution. Some economists, Fed officials and people on Main Street say the Fed’s action will benefit the stock market more than the real economy. And they argue cutting rates would introduce risks that could worsen the next downturn.
The Federal Reserve this week is all but certain to cut interest rates despite unemployment being at historic lows, a...
29 Jul 2019

Kushner owns lots of Baltimore-area apartments. Some are infested with mice.

In a now-viral tweetstorm on Saturday, President Trump characterized Rep. Elijah E. Cummings’s Baltimore-based congressional district as a “rodent infested mess” where “no human” would want to live. His criticism rang with a particular irony in Baltimore County, where presidential son-in-law Jared Kushner owns more than a dozen apartment complexes that have been cited for hundreds of code violations and, critics say, provide substandard housing to lower-income tenants.
In a now-viral tweetstorm on Saturday, President Trump characterized Rep. Elijah E. Cummings’s Baltimore-based...

Publisher: NYTimes

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29 Jul 2019

Dan Coats to Step Down as Intelligence Chief After Strife With Trump

President Trump announced on Sunday that Dan Coats will step down as director of national intelligence after a tenure in which the two were often at odds over Russia, North Korea and the president’s own attacks on the intelligence community.“I am pleased to announce that highly respected Congressman John Ratcliffe of Texas will be nominated by me to be the Director of National Intelligence,” Mr. Trump tweeted.
President Trump announced on Sunday that Dan Coats will step down as director of national intelligence after a tenure in...

Publisher: NYTimes

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28 Jul 2019

Trump Assails Elijah Cummings, Calling His Congressional District a Rat-Infested ‘Mess’

President Trump lashed out at a leading African-American congressman on Saturday, calling him “a brutal bully” who represents a Baltimore-based district that has become a “disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess” where “no human being would want to live.”
President Trump lashed out at a leading African-American congressman on Saturday, calling him “a brutal bully” who...

Publisher: Newsweek

Author:

27 Jul 2019

Mitch McConnell Received Donations from Voting Machine Lobbyists Before Blocking Election Security Bills

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell squashed two bills intended to ensure voting security on Thursday, just one day after former special counsel Robert Mueller warned that Russians were attempting to sabotage the 2020 presidential elections "as we sit here."McConnell said he wouldn't allow a vote on the bills because they were "so partisan," but, as previously reported, earlier this year McConnell received a slew of donations from four of the top voting machine lobbyists in the country.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell squashed two bills intended to ensure voting security on Thursday, just one day...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

27 Jul 2019

U.S. Economy Slows, Denying Trump 3% Talking Point

The American economy is slowing, dragged down by trade tensions and weak growth overseas. But there are few signs that the decade-long expansion is on the verge of stalling out.Gross domestic product, the broadest measure of goods and services produced in the economy, rose at a 2.1 percent annual rate in the second quarter, according to preliminary data released by the Commerce Department on Friday.
The American economy is slowing, dragged down by trade tensions and weak growth overseas. But there are few signs that...
26 Jul 2019

Congress Needs to Pick Up Where Robert Mueller Left Off

Last week, CNN published an explosive story related to the Trump-Russia case that raised important new questions about ties between Julian Assange, WikiLeaks, and Russia. The report said that CNN had obtained hundreds of pages of surveillance reports compiled for the Ecuadorian government by a Spanish security company, which showed that Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, received “in-person deliveries, potentially of hacked materials related to the 2016 U.S. election, during a series of suspicious meetings” while he lived in the Ecuadorian embassy in London.
Last week, CNN published an explosive story related to the Trump-Russia case that raised important new questions about...
26 Jul 2019

Inside Liberty University’s ‘culture of fear’: How Jerry Falwell Jr. silences students and professors who reject his pro-Trump politics.

By 2016, Liberty’s efforts to limit free expression were already well-established. (“The big victory was finding a way to tame the faculty,” Falwell told the New York Times last year for a story about privileging Liberty’s financial growth over its academics.) But the school’s methods became even more aggressive after Falwell endorsed Donald Trump early that year, according to multiple current and former faculty members.
By 2016, Liberty’s efforts to limit free expression were already well-established. (“The big victory was finding a...

Publisher: The Hill

Author:

26 Jul 2019

McConnell blocks two election security bills

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) blocked two election security measures on Thursday, arguing Democrats are trying to give themselves a "political benefit."The move comes a day after former special counsel Robert Mueller warned about election meddling in 2020, saying Russia was laying the groundwork to interfere in the 2020 election "as we sit here."
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) blocked two election security measures on Thursday, arguing Democrats are...

Publisher: The Guardian

Author:

26 Jul 2019

Donald Trump vetoes bills prohibiting arms sales to Saudi Arabia

Donald Trump has vetoed a trio of congressional resolutions aimed at blocking his administration from selling billions of dollars of weapons to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, last month cited threats from Iran as a reason to approve the $8.1bn arms sale to the two US allies in the Gulf.
Donald Trump has vetoed a trio of congressional resolutions aimed at blocking his administration from selling billions...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

26 Jul 2019

Automakers, Rejecting Trump Pollution Rule, Strike a Deal With California

Four of the world’s largest automakers, including the Ford Motor Company, have struck a deal with California to reduce tailpipe pollution, in a setback to the Trump administration as it prepares to weaken national emissions standards and revoke states’ rights to set their own such rules.
Four of the world’s largest automakers, including the Ford Motor Company, have struck a deal with California to reduce...
25 Jul 2019

Coal CEO hosts Trump fundraiser as industry’s hurdles mount and workers are left behind

President Donald Trump will head to West Virginia on Wednesday to deliver remarks at a fundraiser hosted by coal baron Bob Murray, underscoring the close relationship the coal industry has with the White House even as the industry steadily declines. The fundraiser comes in the middle of another turbulent month for coal, with Blackhawk Mining the latest company to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
President Donald Trump will head to West Virginia on Wednesday to deliver remarks at a fundraiser hosted by coal baron...
24 Jul 2019

Trump tweets American farmers ‘starting to do great again’ – except they are not.

President Trump began his Tuesday with a congratulatory tweet to new British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, a shout-out to the military and a rosy assessment of U.S. agriculture: “Farmers are starting to do great again, after 15 years of a downward spiral. The 16 Billion Dollar China ‘replacement’ money didn’t exactly hurt!”
President Trump began his Tuesday with a congratulatory tweet to new British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, a shout-out...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

24 Jul 2019

Emails Show DeVos Aides Pulled Strings for Failing For-Profit Colleges

Dream Center Education Holdings, a subsidiary of a Los Angeles-based megachurch, had no experience in higher education when it petitioned the federal Education Department to let it take over a troubled chain of for-profit trade schools.But the organization’s chairman, Randall K. Barton, told the education secretary, Betsy DeVos, that the foundation wanted to “help people live better lives.”
Dream Center Education Holdings, a subsidiary of a Los Angeles-based megachurch, had no experience in higher education...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

24 Jul 2019

Trump Relies on Populist Language, but He Mostly Sides With Corporate Interests

History will record last week as a moment when President Trump turned to raw racial appeals to attack a group of nonwhite lawmakers, but his attacks also underscored a remarkable fact of his first term: His rhetorical appeals to white working-class voters have not been matched by legislative accomplishments aimed at their economic interests.
History will record last week as a moment when President Trump turned to raw racial appeals to attack a group of...
24 Jul 2019

Trump Administration Circumvents Congress For Food Benefit Cuts (Again)

The Trump administration is reviving another food benefit cut that Republicans couldn’t get through Congress.   Under a new proposal from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, states would lose some flexibility to set eligibility standards for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program ― commonly known as food stamps ― which would push 3 million people out of the program.
The Trump administration is reviving another food benefit cut that Republicans couldn’t get through...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

23 Jul 2019

Jeffrey Epstein’s Deep Ties to Top Wall Street Figures

Mr. Epstein, who was charged this month with sex trafficking of teenage girls, liked to portray himself as a financial wizard, someone whose business and investing acumen made him indispensable to corporate executives and other leaders. But there is little evidence to support that notion. The financial services that Mr. Epstein dispensed appear to have been mostly pedestrian, and his list of clients small.Mr. Epstein nonetheless managed to affix himself to a handful of prominent Wall Street veterans, including Mr. Staley, who is now chief executive of the British bank Barclays.
Mr. Epstein, who was charged this month with sex trafficking of teenage girls, liked to portray himself as a financial...
23 Jul 2019

EPA’s watchdog is scrutinizing ethics practices of agency’s former air policy chief

A key architect of the Trump administration’s efforts to weaken federal climate rules is under scrutiny by a federal watchdog for his dealings with industry players who lobbied the government to ease carbon pollution limits. It is the third inquiry into whether Bill Wehrum, who headed the Environmental Protection Agency’s air policy division from November 2017 until last month, violated federal ethics rules.
A key architect of the Trump administration’s efforts to weaken federal climate rules is under scrutiny by a federal...

Publisher: CNBC

Author:

23 Jul 2019

Betsy DeVos profits after Trump tax bill and deregulation

Business leaders and their companies have profited royally off of President Donald Trump’s pro-business policies.Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and her family are among the groups that have seen an income boon of millions through their own investments since Trump’s tax reform plan was signed, according to her latest annual financial disclosure report.
Business leaders and their companies have profited royally off of President Donald Trump’s pro-business...
19 Jul 2019

Trump Says Navy Ship Shot Down Iranian Drone

The American military shot down an Iranian drone in the Strait of Hormuz on Thursday, President Trump said during a ceremony at the White House.Mr. Trump said the unmanned aircraft threatened the Boxer, an amphibious assault ship that can launch attack jets and helicopters from its landing deck.
The American military shot down an Iranian drone in the Strait of Hormuz on Thursday, President Trump said during a...
17 Jul 2019

Thousands of Children Will Be Made Homeless Under Trump’s New Plan

In 1968 — just a week after Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination — Congress passed the Fair Housing Act, or FHA. The law secured everyone’s right to housing regardless of race, national origin, disability, familial status, sex, or religion. The FHA protects people from discrimination when they’re renting, getting a mortgage, or seeking housing assistance — including applying for public housing or housing vouchers. Now the Trump administration is going against that legacy, proposing a regulation that will target immigrant families living in government-subsidized housing.
In 1968 — just a week after Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination — Congress passed the Fair Housing Act, or...
16 Jul 2019

Mulvaney builds an ‘an empire for the right wing’ as Trump’s chief of staff

Mick Mulvaney’s battles with Alexander Acosta began almost immediately. Weeks after he was named acting White House chief of staff, Mulvaney summoned the labor secretary for a tense January encounter that became known inside the West Wing as “the woodshed meeting.” Mulvaney told Acosta in blunt terms that the White House believed he was dragging his feet on regulation rollbacks desired by business interests and that he was on thin ice as a result, according to advisers and a person close to the White House. Soon after, Acosta proposed a spate of business-friendly rules on overtime pay and other policies
Mick Mulvaney’s battles with Alexander Acosta began almost immediately. Weeks after he was named acting White House...

Publisher: Truthdig

Author:

16 Jul 2019

History Holds the Antidote to Trump’s Fascist Politics

Education, both in its symbolic and institutional forms, has a central role to play in fighting the resurgence of fascist cultures, mythic historical narratives and the emerging ideologies of white supremacy and white nationalism. Moreover, as fascists across the globe are disseminating toxic racist and ultranationalist images of the past, it is essential to reclaim education as a form of historical consciousness and moral witnessing.
Education, both in its symbolic and institutional forms, has a central role to play in fighting the resurgence of...
16 Jul 2019

The Numbers Are In, and Trump’s Tax Cuts Are a Bust

This tax bill was constructed on a foundation of lies. To cite one obvious example, the real U.S. corporate tax rate has never been near the oft-cited 35 percent level. As recently as 2014, the Congressional Research Service estimated that the effective rate (the net rate paid after deductions and credits) was around 27.1 percent, which was well in line with America’s international competitors.
This tax bill was constructed on a foundation of lies. To cite one obvious example, the real U.S. corporate tax rate has...
16 Jul 2019

Trump rejects criticism that his weekend tweet about four minority lawmakers was racist, says they ‘hate our country’

President Trump said Monday that he is not concerned by criticism that his tweets suggesting four minority congresswomen return to their home countries were racist, asserting that they hate the United States and are free to leave. His comments at a White House event came as Democratic leaders in the House prepared a resolution condemning tweets over the weekend in which Trump said the liberal lawmakers critical of him should “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.”
President Trump said Monday that he is not concerned by criticism that his tweets suggesting four minority congresswomen...

Publisher: BBC News

Author:

14 Jul 2019

New leak claims Trump scrapped Iran nuclear deal ‘to spite Obama’

Donald Trump abandoned the Iran nuclear deal to spite Barack Obama, according to a leaked memo written by the UK's former ambassador to the US.Sir Kim Darroch described the move as an act of "diplomatic vandalism", according to the Mail on Sunday.It says the memo was written after the then Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson appealed to the US in 2018 to stick with the nuclear deal.
Donald Trump abandoned the Iran nuclear deal to spite Barack Obama, according to a leaked memo written by the UK's...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

13 Jul 2019

E.P.A. Plans to Curtail the Ability of Communities to Oppose Pollution Permits

The Environmental Protection Agency is preparing to weaken rules that for the past quarter-century have given communities a voice in deciding how much pollution may legally be released by nearby power plants and factories.
The Environmental Protection Agency is preparing to weaken rules that for the past quarter-century have given...

Did Pedophile Jeffrey Epstein Work for Mossad?

The extent of Israeli spying directed against the United States is a huge story that is only rarely addressed in the mainstream media. The Jewish state regularly tops the list for ostensibly friendly countries that aggressively conduct espionage against the U.S. and Jewish American Jonathan Pollard, who was imprisoned in 1987 for spying for Israel, is now regarded as the most damaging spy in the history of the United States.
The extent of Israeli spying directed against the United States is a huge story that is only rarely addressed in the...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

11 Jul 2019

Jeffrey Epstein’s Fortune May Be More Illusion Than Fact

Mr. Epstein is routinely described as a billionaire and brilliant financier, and he rubbed elbows with the powerful, including former and future presidents. Even after his 2008 guilty plea in a prostitution case in Florida, he promoted himself as a financial wizard who used arcane mathematical models, and he often dropped the names of Nobel Prize-winning friends. He told potential clients that they had to invest a minimum of $1 billion. At his peak in the early 2000s, a magazine profile said he employed 150 people, some working out of the historic Villard Houses on Madison Avenue.Much of that appears to be an illusion, and there is little evidence that Mr. Epstein is a billionaire.
Mr. Epstein is routinely described as a billionaire and brilliant financier, and he rubbed elbows with the powerful,...
10 Jul 2019

Barr changes his tune on Mueller’s testimony

Earlier this year, following his bungled roll-out of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian interference in 2016, Attorney General William Barr claimed he had “no objection” to Mueller testifying before Congress. Now, Barr has changed his tune.
Earlier this year, following his bungled roll-out of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian interference...
10 Jul 2019

Tensions Between Pelosi and Progressive Democrats of ‘the Squad’ Burst Into Flame

Speaker Nancy Pelosi said they have no following in Congress. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York shot back that she and three of her fellow liberal freshmen, darlings of the left known collectively as “the squad,” are wielding the real power in the party.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi said they have no following in Congress. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York shot...

Publisher: The Intercept

Author:

10 Jul 2019

A Move to Strip Philadelphia DA Larry Krasner’s Authority

Lawmakers in Pennsylvania have quietly muscled power away from reformist District Attorney Larry Krasner, passing new legislation giving authority to the state’s attorney general to prosecute certain firearms violations in Philadelphia — and nowhere else in the state. The provision will expire in two years, or just after Krasner’s first term ends.
Lawmakers in Pennsylvania have quietly muscled power away from reformist District Attorney Larry Krasner, passing new...
10 Jul 2019

Treasury could breach debt ceiling in first half of September, much sooner than previously thought

The U.S. government could run out of money to pay all of its bills by early September if Congress doesn’t rush to raise the debt ceiling, a think tank said Monday, a time frame that could force lawmakers to act much sooner than planned. The Bipartisan Policy Center said that the Treasury Department could breach the borrowing limit in two months because the government has brought in far less tax revenue this year than was projected.
The U.S. government could run out of money to pay all of its bills by early September if Congress doesn’t rush to...
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