US Politics in Trump era
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.
Inside the Secret Border Patrol Facebook Group Where Agents Joke About Migrant Deaths and Post Sexist Memes
Members of a secret Facebook group for current and former Border Patrol agents joked about the deaths of migrants, discussed throwing burritos at Latino members of Congress visiting a detention facility in Texas on Monday and posted a vulgar illustration depicting Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez engaged in oral sex with a detained migrant, according to screenshots of their postings.
The Trump administration’s practice of separating children from migrant families entering the United States violates their rights and international law, the United Nations human rights office said on Tuesday, urging an immediate halt to the practice.
Mr. Betras, who recently stepped down as Democratic chairman of populous Mahoning County, said that while Democrats in Washington harp on President Trump’s unfitness for office, his taxes and possible impeachment, the president is solidifying blue-collar support through an aggressive trade war with China, even if his tariffs mean economic pain in the short term.
The staggering rate of store closures that has rocked the retail industry over the past couple of years is expected to continue in 2019, with roughly the same level of closures expected this year. Retailers closed a record 102 million square feet of store space in 2017, then smashed that record in 2018 by closing another 155 million square feet, according to estimates by the commercial real-estate firm CoStar Group.
When Erik Prince arrived at the Four Seasons resort in the Seychelles in January 2017 for his now-famous meetings with a Russian banker and UAE ruler Mohammed bin Zayed, he was in the middle of an unexpected comeback. The election of Donald Trump had given the disgraced Blackwater founder a new opportunity to prove himself. After years of trying and failing to peddle a sweeping vision of mercenary warfare around the world, Erik Prince was back in the game.
The U.S. State Department allowed at least seven foreign governments to rent luxury condominiums in New York's Trump World Tower in 2017 without approval from Congress, according to documents and people familiar with the leases, a potential violation of the U.S. Constitution's emoluments clause.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection has offered bonuses equivalent to 5 percent of current salaries to agents willing to remain at their jobs for another year as the agency struggles with dwindling staff numbers and a surge in immigrants seeking asylum.
Defense Tech Startup Founded by Trump’s Most Prominent Silicon Valley Supporters Wins Secretive Military AI Contract
A startup founded by a young and outspoken supporter of President Donald Trump is among the latest tech companies to quietly win a contract with the Pentagon as part of Project Maven, the secretive initiative to rapidly leverage artificial intelligence technology from the private sector for military purposes.
The tax preparers at H&R Block had a new class before their busy season started this year: empathy training.They listened to a mock exchange between an employee and a customer whose refund would not just shrink but disappear. The ficticious client had received a $1,500 refund last year, but this year would owe $575.
Farm country has stood by President Trump, even as farmers have strained under two years of slumping incomes and billions in losses from his trade wars. But as the government shutdown now drags into a third week, some farmers say the loss of crucial loans, payments and other services has pushed them — and their support — to a breaking point.
President Donald Trump’s tenuous relationship with the military he commands took another awkward turn last week when he ordered the Pentagon to block the publication of independent reports that have been harshly critical of reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan.
Domestic violence shelters across the country are cobbling together funds to keep their doors open as the government shutdown hits the two-week mark. Most shelters pay their staff, rent and expenses out of pocket, and are repaid with federal funds at the end of each month, Kim Gandy, the president of the National Network to End Domestic Violence explained.
President Donald Trump issued an executive order Friday that cancels a planned pay increase for federal workers in 2019. Trump previously called the raise, a 2.1% increase set to take effect in January, "inappropriate" and an unrealistic burden on the federal budget. The order also cancels a yearly paycheck adjustment calculated in order with the region of the country where workers are posted.
The Trump administration announced on Friday a plan designed to make it easier for coal-fired power plants, after nearly a decade of restrictions, to release into the atmosphere more mercury and other pollutants linked to developmental disorders and respiratory illnesses.
Because the Trump Administration is hell-bent on inventing new ways to fuck with marginalized groups, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Georgia has decided to be especially cruel to food stamp recipients. As nearly 8,000 people have had their SNAP benefits rescinded between April and October—nearly a 2o-fold increase from 2017.
Investigation Finds at Least $800M in Taxpayer Money Went to Funding For-Profit Immigrant Prisons in 2018
While President Donald Trump's anti-immigrant agenda has been disastrous and deadly for asylum-seekers fleeing violence and persecution in their home countries, a Daily Beast investigation published on Thursday found that the White House's xenophobic policies have been a major boon for the private prison industry—at the expense of American taxpayers.
“People overseas often want to hear that you know so-and-so, and can make a call to solve their problem,” said Erich Ferrari, a leading Washington sanctions lawyer who said he has tried to disabuse prospective clients of such notions. It is a perception that matches up with the pay-to-play mind-set that defines politics in many parts of Africa, Asia, the Middle East and the former Soviet states.
Lobbyists representing the Saudi government reserved blocks of rooms at President Trump’s D.C. hotel within a month of Trump’s election in 2016 — paying for an estimated 500 nights at the luxury hotel in just three months, according to organizers of the trips and documents obtained by The Washington Post. At the time, these lobbyists were reserving large numbers of D.C.-area hotel rooms as part of an unorthodox campaign that offered U.S. military veterans a free trip to Washington — then sent them to Capitol Hill to lobby against a law the Saudis opposed, according to veterans and organizers.
This summer, Arkansas became the first state to require poor people to prove they’re employed to receive Medicaid. Critics say the state is trying to save money on the backs of the poor. That’s nonsense, Arkansas officials reply. They want to help the poor. Backed by the Trump administration, they are inspiring slackers and moochers to climb the economic ladder.
Immigration has been the animating issue of the Trump presidency, and now — with the possibility that Republicans could face significant losses in the midterm elections on Tuesday — the president has fully embraced a dark, anti-immigrant message in the hope that stoking fear will motivate voters to reject Democrats.
The United States received a payment of $100 million from Saudi Arabia on Tuesday, the same day Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived in Riyadh to discuss the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a State Department official confirmed Wednesday amid global calls for answers in the case.
When Carlos Hidalgo was detained at the ICE processing center, in Adelanto, California, guards would mock the detainees lined up to get their meals by imitating the call of cows. “Moo! Here are the cows, walking through!”
When President Trump imposed tariffs on steel imports in June, Richard Lattanzi thought of dozens of his fellow steelworkers who have for years put off badly needed repairs of their cars and homes. “There was a lot of excitement here; there were a lot of us saying, ‘It’s about time someone is looking out for us,’ ” said Lattanzi, the mayor of this town of 7,000 and a safety inspector at the U.S. Steel plant in nearby West Mifflin. “A lot of people around here were saying, ‘We’re going to be okay.’ ”
The US Census Bureau just dropped its annual load of statistics on American poverty and income, and the data shows that 2017 was a good year for many Americans, and not-so-great for others. On the upside: 2.4 million more people snagged full-time jobs, the median household income ticked up, and poverty rates dropped slightly. The bottom 10 percent of US households — earning an average income of $14,219 — saw their incomes fall slightly compared to the previous year, adjusting for inflation.
Ron DeSantis Tells Floridians Don’t ‘Monkey This Up’ by Electing Andrew Gillum, First Black Nominee for Governor
Ron DeSantis, the Republican nominee for governor, warned voters in a Fox News interview not to "monkey this up" by electing Democratic nominee Andrew Gillum. Tuesday night, Gillum made history by becoming the first African-American gubernatorial candidate to secure a nomination in Florida.
The revised death toll is nearly 50 times the previous estimate of 64 Governor Ricardo Rossello "accepted" the findings in a long-awaited independent investigation. Puerto Rico has struggled to repair its infrastructure and power grid since the storm, and is asking US Congress for $139bn (£108bn) in recovery funds.
The Internet has made it easier than ever before to evangelize on behalf of a conspiracy theory. But this week, the missionaries for QAnon used their physical bodies to spread the word, with T-shirts and a paper sign, “We are Q,” aimed at the cameras covering President Trump’s campaign rally. People noticed, including journalists.
U.S. spy agencies are seeing signs that North Korea is constructing new missiles at a factory that produced the country’s first intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of reaching the United States, according to officials familiar with the intelligence.
Employees of the Department of Homeland Security have been targeted by escalating online threats and harassment in their neighborhoods during the past week, officials say, with rancor over the Trump administration’s immigration policies taking a greater personal toll on the agency’s staff.
The average hourly wage paid to a key group of American workers has fallen from last year when accounting for inflation, as an economy that appears strong by several measures continues to fail to create bigger paychecks, the federal government said Tuesday.
More than just an ideologically radical opinion, Judge Ho’s dissent from the full United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit’s decision not to rehear Zimmerman v. City of Austin is a monument to conservative political rhetoric and right-wing historical myths. It’s the sort of commentary one would expect to find in an especially strident political magazine — perhaps one of the publications one of Ho’s current law clerks used to write for. It is emphatically not the sort of writing one expects to find in a judicial opinion.
1,224 Complaints Reveal a Staggering Pattern of Sexual Abuse in Immigration Detention. Half of Those Accused Worked for ICE.
lsewhere in Florida, a man said a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent threatened him with deportation after he refused to engage in oral sex — and that the officer told him he would be deported to Haiti, even though the man is from the Bahamas. In Texas, a Border Patrol agent driving detainees between detention centers pulled over and let a woman get out after she performed oral sex on him, according to another complaint.
Thousands of teachers in Oklahoma and Kentucky walked off the job Monday morning, shutting down school districts as they protested cuts in pay, benefits and school funding in a movement that has spread rapidly since igniting in West Virginia earlier this year.
A family of conservative multimillionaires owns Sinclair Broadcast Group. And Sinclair Broadcast Group is on the cusp of owning enough local television stations to reach 70 percent of American households. Every news station under Sinclair’s umbrella is required to syndicate commentary that comports with its owners’ ideological views.
An hour after police evicted the last demonstrators from Oceti Sakowin, North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum signed four measures increasing punishments for demonstrators. Among other things, the new laws expanded the definition of criminal trespass, and raised the penalty for a riot conviction.
A home improvement contractor married to one of Donald and Melania Trump’s former household staffers is now working as an official at the Environmental Protection Agency, the latest example of someone with a personal connection to the Trump family finding work in the administration.
The defining moment of Jeff Sessions's time as attorney general has been when he recused himself from oversight of the Russia investigation. That quickly led to the appointment of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, who is now extensively probing President Trump. And by all accounts, it seriously strained Sessions's relationship with Trump, who thinks Sessions should be protecting him and doing his bidding.
The last time that Congress approved a sweeping overhaul of the federal tax code, in 1986, it created a tax credit meant to encourage the private sector to invest in affordable housing. It has grown into a $9 billion-a-year social program that has funded the construction of some three million apartments for low-income residents.But the Republican tax plan approved last month amounts to a vast cutback, making it much less likely that such construction will continue apace.
Since Trump first took credit for the lower unemployment rates earlier this month, journalists and economists have noted that he isn’t really the cause of the decline. Unemployment among black Americans has been declining pretty steadily after coming close to 17 percent in 2011.
After bonus announcement, Walmart fires thousands of co-managers, replaces them with cheaper workers
After Walmart’s flashy announcement of bonuses of up to $1,000 for some of its workers, the real story played out quietly.On Wednesday, as news of the bonus announcement was lauded by Trump and Fox News, Walmart abruptly closed down 63 Sam’s Clubs stores. More than 9,000 people lost their jobs. Some only learned about the decision when they showed up to work and found the doors locked.
Accidental deaths in coal mines doubled from the previous year in 2017, according to the most recently available statistics from the Mine Safety and Health Administration. A more than 100 percent jump in fatalities — from seven last year to 14 in 2017 — does not correspond even remotely to the 3.7 percent increase in available industry jobs over last year. By comparison, in 2015, the number of mining jobs was 69,000 — 30 percent more than today — but the number of deaths among those jobs topped off at 12.
President Donald Trump joined his family at their “Winter White House” for the holidays Friday night after signing the GOP tax bill into law, and reportedly told wealthy friends dining at Mar-a-Lago, “You all just got a lot richer.” When Trump signed $1.5 trillion tax overhaul into law, ultra-wealthy earners in the 95th to 99th percentile received the biggest tax cuts, even though the top 1 percent already holds about 40 percent of American wealth.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Thursday that he would rescind 25 Justice Department guidance documents on a variety of topics aimed at protecting marginalized communities. The documents — many of which were released during the Obama administration — include procedures to help eliminate fees against juvenile offenders, standards outlining discrimination protections for disabled individuals and for people seeking U.S. citizenship, and an overview of housing discrimination practices.
Many U.S. charities are worried the tax overhaul bill signed by President Trump on Friday could spur a landmark shift in philanthropy, speeding along the decline of middle-class donors and transforming charitable gift-giving into a pursuit largely left to the wealthy.
The layoffs have stunned these steelworkers who, just a year ago, greeted President Trump’s election as a new dawn for their industry. Mr. Trump pledged to build roads and bridges, strengthen “Buy America” provisions, protect factories from unfair imports and revive industry, especially steel.
More than 90 Somali men and women were held shackled on an airplane for nearly 48 hours – and some were forced to urinate where they sat – during a failed attempt to deport them from the US, according to a lawsuit filed late on Monday.
A majority of President Donald Trump's voters surveyed by the left-leaning Public Policy Polling (PPP) believe he should continue to serve as president even if it's proven that he conspired with Russia to sway the 2016 election. Just 14 per cent of Trump voters said he should resign in the event that special counsel Robert Mueller or the congressional intelligence committees find that he colluded with Russia.
Here in the Detroit suburbs and across the country, many voters say they view the Republican tax plan as simply a giveaway for the rich that will benefit only a small number of people in the long run. Trump and prominent members of his party promise that the cuts will spur economic growth — leading to more jobs and better pay — but many voters say they are skeptical that will actually happen.
Directly contradicting much of the Trump administration’s position on climate change, 13 federal agencies unveiled an exhaustive scientific report on Friday that says humans are the dominant cause of the global temperature rise that has created the warmest period in the history of civilization.
Congressional Democrats are whipping their GOP counterparts in fundraising heading into the 2018 elections, a key sign that a wave election may be building.In both the Senate and House, Democrats are pulling money hand-over-fist in many of their most important races, according to campaign finance reports recently filed with the Federal Election Commission. Many Republicans are struggling to keep up — including some key incumbents in both chambers.
Any examination of Kelly’s past public remarks makes clear he is not a sober professional, calculating that he must degrade himself in public so he can remain in place to rein in Trump’s worst instincts behind the scenes. Rather, Kelly honestly shares those instincts: He’s proudly ignorant, he’s a liar, and he’s a shameless bully and demagogue.
Mr. Kelly, escalating a feud between Mr. Trump and Ms. Wilson, had cast the congresswoman on Thursday as a publicity-seeking opportunist. However, the video, released by The Sun Sentinel, a newspaper in South Florida, showed that during her nine-minute speech, Ms. Wilson never took credit for getting the money for the building, only for helping pass legislation naming the building after two fallen federal agents.
On an otherwise regular morning in mid-August, viewers in Providence, Rhode Island were treated to a segment called Behind the Headlines with Mark Hyman, which immediately followed the local weather report. Hyman’s segment, which runs daily between a minute and a half and two minutes long, is one of several must-run “news” segments that spread misinformation, echo Trump administration talking points, and function as nationalist and right-wing propaganda.
The United States has withdrawn from Unesco over what it claims is the organisation’s “continuing anti-Israel bias” – a move that has just been followed by Israel itself. The US State Department recently announced its intention to withdraw from the UN’s cultural, scientific and educational organisation and become a permanent observer instead.
Justice Don Willett is charming. Best known outside legal circles for his Twitter feed, @JusticeWillett, the Texas Supreme Court justice — and now a Trump nominee to a federal appeals court — tweets largely apolitical commentary about Calvin and Hobbes, his children, and Oxford commas. This would all be well and good, if not for one other factor. This charming, intelligent, knowledgeable man also wants to dismantle much of the last 80 years of American law.
The Supreme Court is poised to deal a sharp blow to the unions that represent millions of teachers and other public employees, announcing Thursday it will consider striking down the mandatory fees that support collective bargaining. The justices will hear the case of Mark Janus, an Illinois state employee who objects to paying fees to the union, which represents 35,000 state workers.
As Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price calls for drastic cuts to Medicaid, including programs that provide care for children and people with disabilities, he's billing taxpayers thousands of dollars to fly around in private jets. Just last week, Price racked up a $60,000 bill for five chartered flights. One trip between Washington and Philadelphia (less than 150 miles apart) cost taxpayers an estimated $25,000. Past secretaries flew commercial. Even Price himself, a self-proclaimed deficit-hawk, once called the use of government planes, "fiscal irresponsibility run amok." Trump and his enablers continue to serve their own interests, while doing nothing to improve the lives of the American people.
The U.S. House of Representatives quietly passed a spending bill on Thursday that could transform churches and other houses of worship into entities more closely resembling SuperPACs.
The Chaldeans of Michigan have a conservative history, consistently supporting the Republican Party with votes and donations, and they voted heavily for Donald Trump in the 2016 election, helping him win Michigan by fewer than 11,000 votes. Trump and Vice President Mike Pence inspired many Chaldeans to show up at voting booths with unprecedented enthusiasm by promising to protect persecuted Christians in the Middle East.
The city of Charlottesville was engulfed by violence on Saturday as white nationalists and counter protesters clashed in one of the bloodiest fights to date over the removal of Confederate monuments across the South. White nationalists had long planned a demonstration over the city’s decision to remove a statue of Robert E. Lee. But the rally quickly exploded into racial taunting, shoving and outright brawling, prompting the governor to declare a state of emergency and the National Guard to join the police in clearing the area.
All C.I.A. directors must balance the political demands of the president they serve with the agency’s avowedly apolitical idea of itself. Yet rarely has a director had to straddle so wide a breach as has Mr. Pompeo, perhaps the most openly political spy chief in a generation — and one of President Trump’s favorite cabinet members. Unlike past directors, who typically sought to avoid policy discussions, Mr. Pompeo readily joins in when the president asks for his opinion, even on matters far afield of national security, such as health care. And he brings to the table the views of a former congressman first elected in the Tea Party wave of 2010 who staked out ground on the far right of the Republican Party.
The Congressional Budget Office, a provider of cost estimates for legislation, has been under intense pressure from top Trump administration officials. “We’re a nonpartisan place and we’re working in a partisan world and we get treated as if we’re partisan,” Mr. Hall, 60, said in an interview at his fourth-floor office, which sits in the shadow of the Capitol. “That’s unfortunate.” Most recently, the partisan pressure has been coming directly from top Trump administration officials.
A lone gunman who was said to be distraught over President Trump’s election opened fire on members of the Republican congressional baseball team at a practice field in this Washington suburb on Wednesday, using a rifle to shower the field with bullets that struck four people, including Steve Scalise, the majority whip of the House of Representatives.
President Trump has given at least 16 White House staff members dispensation to work on policy matters they handled while employed as lobbyists or to interact with their former colleagues in private-sector jobs, according to records released late Wednesday. Among those receiving waivers were former lobbyists for the insurance and fossil fuel industries, the White House counsel and key advisers including Reince Priebus.
The Trump administration, in a significant escalation of its clash with the government’s top ethics watchdog, has moved to block an effort to disclose any ethics waivers granted to former lobbyists who have work in the White House or federal agencies. The latest conflict came in recent days when the White House, in a highly unusual move, sent a letter to Walter M. Shaub Jr., the head of the Office of Government Ethics, asking him to withdraw a request he had sent to every federal agency for copies of the waivers. In the letter, the administration challenged his legal authority to demand the information.
In the 100 days since President Trump signed an executive order to enhance immigration enforcement, the arrests of undocumented immigrants is up 38% from the same time period in 2016, according to Immigration and Customs Enforcement data released Wednesday.
A leading candidate to be the next director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Sen. John Cornyn (R., Texas), withdrew from consideration Tuesday, providing another sign that a partisan figure might have a hard time winning confirmation to the influential law-enforcement post. “Now more than ever the country needs a well-credentialed, independent FBI director,” Mr. Cornyn said.
Plans to mine alongside Alaska’s pristine Bristol Bay, where half the world’s salmon are fished, had appeared dead in the water in recent years. Not anymore. The Environmental Protection Agency has dropped a regulatory plan that would have protected Bristol Bay from the planned Pebble Mine, encouraging the project’s backers to seek permits and move forward.
A photographer for a Russian state-owned news agency was allowed into the Oval Office on Wednesday during President Trump’s meeting with Russian diplomats, a level of access that was criticized by former U.S. intelligence officials as a potential security breach. The officials cited the danger that a listening device or other surveillance equipment could have been brought into the Oval Office while hidden in cameras or other electronics. Former U.S. intelligence officials raised questions after photos of Trump’s meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov were posted online by the Tass news agency.
A dark cloud has been hanging over the Kentucky Derby this weekend as horse trainers have made public their anger at Trump’s immigration policies, which they say are hurting the Kentucky Derby, the US’s most glamorous horse racing event. “We can’t find workers this year – it’s been tough,” says Julio Rubio of the Kentucky Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association. “Most of the workers we have at the track won’t even leave to go out at night to buy groceries because they are so scared of being deported.”
“Trump Says We Don’t Have To Let You In:” Report Says U.S. Border Officials Are Turning Away Asylum Seekers
Three times this winter a Honduran woman named Alma went to U.S. officials at the border between Reynosa, Mexico and Hidalgo, Texas, to ask for asylum for herself and her three children. She had fled Honduras because her other child had been killed by gang members, and she had brought documentation to prove it, but three times she was told by U.S. Customs and Border Protection that she would have to wait in Mexico. In February, the family was kidnapped.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions is a notorious racist. He prosecuted a former aide to Martin Luther King, Jr. after the former aide helped black voters cast ballots. He once claimed that immigrants “create cultural problems.” When Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) claimed at Sessions’ most recent confirmation hearing that Sessions’ record of “treating all Americans equally under the law is clear and well-documented,” Desiree A. Fairooz, a spectator who says she attended the hearing in silent protest, let out a chuckle. For this chuckle, she was arrested, dragged out of the hearing by Capitol police, and eventually convicted of disorderly conduct and “parading or demonstrating on Capitol grounds.” She could receive up to a year in prison.
George Lakoff believes it's a mistake for Democrats to appeal to reason rather than worldview. People vote based on their values, not facts, he said. So if you are going to craft a message that can reach people who disagree with you, you have to understand their subconscious worldview. Lakoff calls this worldview a “frame,” and claims that Republicans have done a much better job with framing over the past 30 or 40 years. Republicans understand the narrative that governs many people in this country, and they target their message directly to that worldview. Democrats, on the other hand, ignore the worldview and focus instead on rationality, facts and policies.
Donald Trump critique from Russia and Chinese news sources, with actual translation from chinese news sources with translation, critiquing Trump's flip flop on his promise of dealing with Chinese leaders, and reaction of chinese people.
Mexico doesn’t want to be bossed around. After alarming the world with news about potentially ending NAFTA, Trump seemed to backtrack, saying in a Wednesday statement that he had “pleasant and productive” calls with the leaders of Mexico and Canada. “It is my privilege to bring NAFTA up to date through renegotiation,” he said. “It is an honor to deal with both President Peña Nieto and Prime Minister Trudeau, and I believe that the end result will make all three countries stronger and better.”
The White House is refusing to provide congressional investigators with some of the documents they're requesting as part of an investigation into potential Trump campaign connections to Russia, and whether former national security adviser Mike Flynn disclosed payments from Russian companies when applying for his security clearance. The news comes as Reps. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) and Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) announced Tuesday that Flynn might have broken the law by failing to disclose the foreign payments on official documents filed as part of the security clearance review process.
A federal judge in California on Tuesday temporarily blocked the Trump administration’s efforts to withhold funding from cities that limit their cooperation with federal immigration enforcement, another setback for President Trump in what is shaping up to be a long season of litigation surrounding the clash between the White House and so-called sanctuary cities.
On Thursday night, Arkansas executed Ledell Lee—the state’s first execution in 12 years. Lee’s final plea to the U.S. Supreme Court was rejected by a 5–4 vote. Justice Neil Gorsuch cast the deciding vote allowing Lee to die. It was his first recorded vote cast as a justice of the court. Lee insisted upon his innocence from the day of his arrest through the night of his execution. He implored Arkansas to let him take a DNA test and compare the results to DNA collected at the scene of the murder he allegedly committed, but the state refused.
Acting Assistant Attorney General Mary McCord told staff this week she is leaving to pursue other opportunities. McCord has led the probe into Russian election meddling. Mary B. McCord has served at the highest levels in the national security unit, either as its leader or chief deputy, for the past three years. A longtime federal prosecutor based in Washington, McCord easily won the confidence of both career lawyers and her supervisors inside the Justice Department.
Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos has been sending some chilling signals lately about how she plans to deal with America’s $1.3 trillion student debt burden. On at least two separate ocassions now, her department has scrapped Obama-era reforms that were designed to protect borrowers from being gouged or misled by the companies responsible for collecting their loans. All told, DeVos seems less interested in protecting former students than in protecting the predators that have fleeced them for profit.
One after another, the gamblers totter along the twisting walkway, bathed in artificial purple light — burdened, at least occasionally, by the instinct that they should have known better. Usually, this pathway outside Parx Casino is reserved for self-flagellation, a private lament at the last hundred lost. But lately, as with most any gathering place around here since late January — the checkout line, the liquor store, the park nearby where losing lottery numbers are pressed into the mulch — patrons have found occasion to project their angst outward, second-guessing a November wager.
Trump’s CIA Director stood up in public and explicitly threatened to target free speech rights and press freedoms, and it was almost impossible to find even a single U.S. mainstream journalist expressing objections or alarm, because the targets Pompeo chose in this instance are ones they dislike – much the way that many are willing to overlook or even sanction free speech repression if the targeted ideas or speakers are sufficiently unpopular.
President Trump is populating the White House and federal agencies with former lobbyists, lawyers and consultants who in many cases are helping to craft new policies for the same industries in which they recently earned a paycheck.
The Trump administration announced Friday that it would discontinue former president Barack Obama's policy of voluntarily disclosing the names of most visitors to the White House complex, citing “grave national security risks and privacy concerns.” Watchdog groups sued the Trump administration in a bid to continue the practices of the previous White House.
The Trump administration has failed to fill crucial public health positions across the government, leaving the nation ill-prepared to face one of its greatest potential threats: a pandemic outbreak of a deadly infectious disease, according to experts in health and national security.
President Trump on Saturday praised the U.S. military for carrying out the missile attack on a Syrian airfield and struck back at mounting questions over whether it would help achieve a momentum shift in Syria’s bloody civil war. In an afternoon tweet, Trump defended the operation against criticism from some members of Congress and military analysts that the nighttime volley of 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles two days earlier did not target the runways at the Shayrat air base in eastern Syria.
Only a day after Twitter revealed that it had received a summons from the Department of Homeland Security demanding identifying information about an anonymous anti-Trump user account (and only hours after the government abandoned its attempt), Senator Ron Wyden is telling the agency it needs to explain itself.
President Trump said Thursday night that the United States had carried out a missile strike in Syria on Thursday night in response to the Syrian government’s chemical weapons attack this week that killed more than 80 civilians. A senior military official said that 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles had hit Al Shayrat airfield in Syria. The missiles were aimed at Syrian fighter jets and other infrastructure but did not target anything that may have had chemical weapons.
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