US Politics in Trump era Public date: 02.10.2020 20:59:01

Publisher: NYTimes

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5 Jun 2018

China’s Trade With North Korea Is Set to Soar With a Trump-Kim Deal

In the Chinese border town of Hunchun, garment factories gladly employ squads of North Koreans, who are valued as skilled and dutiful workers. Live crab from the North wriggle in huge tanks in the fish market. Informal bankers promise to deliver the equivalent of thousands of dollars in Chinese currency to North Koreans across the border in a matter of hours.
In the Chinese border town of Hunchun, garment factories gladly employ squads of North Koreans, who...
5 Jun 2018

Democrats Set to Re-Nominate Sen. Bob Menendez After Preventing Challengers, Showing How Calcified the Party Is

Fresh off escaping a federal bribery conviction thanks to a hung jury, two-term Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez is almost sure to win his  party’s nomination on Tuesday for re-election in New Jersey against  only token opposition. That Menendez — who has been in Congress for 26  years, and is seeking his third Senate term — is about to become the  Democrats’ nominee without any real primary challenge says a great deal  about the party and the U.S. political system.
Fresh off escaping a federal bribery conviction thanks to a hung jury, two-term Democratic Sen. Robert...
5 Jun 2018

Trump says he has ‘absolute right’ to pardon himself of federal crimes but denies any wrongdoing

President Trump on Monday asserted an “absolute right” to pardon himself of any federal crimes but said he has no reason to do so because he has not engaged in any wrongdoing. In a subsequent tweet Monday, Trump also claimed that the appointment of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 election had been “totally UNCONSTITUTIONAL!”
President Trump on Monday asserted an “absolute right” to pardon himself of any federal...

Publisher: Vox

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4 Jun 2018

Ric Grenell: Trump ambassador to Germany’s Breitbart interview created a mess

Prior to becoming Trump’s ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell was a  Republican operative with a history of making bombastic — one might even  say “undiplomatic” — statements. Over the weekend, this habit got Ambassador Grenell in trouble when he gave an unguarded interview to Breitbart in which he seemed to imply that he would actively work to topple the current centrist German government.
Prior to becoming Trump’s ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell was a  Republican operative with...

Publisher: NYTimes

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2 Jun 2018

A Courtside View of Scott Pruitt’s Cozy Ties With a Billionaire Coal Baron

The E.P.A. chief, who has reversed Obama-era rules on coal mining, enjoyed a superfan experience at a University of Kentucky basketball game — courtesy of an industry executive. But there was more to the game last December than a superfan experience for Mr. Pruitt and his son, who joined him. They sat in seats belonging to Joseph W. Craft III, a billionaire coal executive who has engaged in an aggressive campaign to reverse the Obama administration’s environmental crackdown on the coal industry. Mr. Craft and his wife donated more than $2 million to support President Trump’s candidacy and inauguration.
The E.P.A. chief, who has reversed Obama-era rules on coal mining, enjoyed a superfan experience at a University of...

Publisher: DealStreetAsia

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2 Jun 2018

S.Korean firms buy $100m debt on residential property associated with Kushner Cos.

Two South Korean financial firms have bought $100 million of debt on a New Jersey  residential building that’s part-owned by the family of Jared Kushner. Nonghyup Bank and trusts affiliated with IGIS Asset Management purchased junior pieces of a $200 million loan made by Citigroup Inc. on 65 Bay St., an apartment tower in Jersey City, Kroll Bond Rating Agency said in  a research report Thursday.
Two South Korean financial firms have bought $100 million of debt on a New Jersey  residential building that’s...
2 Jun 2018

The Trump administration is paying off his supporters

Trump administration officials are making plans to order grid operators  to buy electricity from struggling coal and nuclear plants in an effort to extend their life, a move that could represent an unprecedented  intervention into U.S. energy markets.
Trump administration officials are making plans to order grid operators  to buy electricity from struggling...

Publisher: Vice

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31 May 2018

Trump Has Quietly Cut Legal Aid for Migrant Kids Separated from Parents

“The government is creating unaccompanied kids, then releasing them to someone other than parents, and then further restricting their ability to access counsel,” said Manoj Govindaiah, director of family detention services for Texas’s Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES), which has represented kids through the ORR funds. “So they’re almost ensuring people cannot successfully navigate the immigration court process.”
“The government is creating unaccompanied kids, then releasing them to someone other than parents, and then further...

Publisher: NYTimes

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31 May 2018

F.B.I. Official Wrote Secret Memo Fearing Trump Got a Cover Story for Comey Firing

Mr. McCabe’s memo, one of several that he wrote, highlights the conflicting roles that Mr. Rosenstein plays in the case. He supervises the special counsel investigation and has told colleagues that protecting it is among his highest priorities. But many current and former law enforcement officials are suspicious of some of his other actions, including allowing some of Mr. Trump’s congressional allies to view crucial documents from the investigation.
Mr. McCabe’s memo, one of several that he wrote, highlights the conflicting roles that Mr. Rosenstein plays...

Publisher: Vox

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31 May 2018

Trump and Hurricane Maria: the true death toll in Puerto Rico

A highly credible new study in the New England Journal of Medicine suggested that the ultimate fallout from Hurricane Maria was 4,600 “excess deaths” — more than twice the mortality of Hurricane Katrina and the deadliest natural disaster on US soil in more than a century. Suspicion will, of course, linger for years that there’s a connection between Trump’s habit of weaponizing anti-Latino hysteria as the centerpiece of his politics and the unfolding of an essentially unprecedented human tragedy in a Spanish-speaking US territory. The possibility that Trump and his team simply have no idea what they’re doing should not, however, be dismissed out of hand.
A highly credible new study in the New England Journal of Medicine suggested that the ultimate fallout from Hurricane...
31 May 2018

Wall Street bank deregulation, Crapo bill: House vote, details

The House voted on the biggest rollback of Wall Street regulations since the financial crisis. While the bill would change many regulations for regional and community banks, analysts say it is not a total dismantling of the Dodd-Frank Act.
The House voted on the biggest rollback of Wall Street regulations since the financial crisis. While the bill would...

ICE Plans to Start Destroying Records of Immigrant Abuse, Including Sexual Assault and Deaths in Custody

Immigration and Customs Enforcement recently asked the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), which instructs federal agencies on how to maintain records, to approve its timetable for retaining or destroying records related to its detention operations. This may seem like a run-of-the-mill government request for record-keeping efficiency. It isn’t. An entire paper trail for a system rife with human rights and constitutional abuses is at stake
Immigration and Customs Enforcement recently asked the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), which...
29 May 2018

The U.S. lost track of 1,475 immigrant children last year. Here’s why people are outraged now.

Senior immigration and border officials called for the increased prosecutions [in  April] in a confidential memo to Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen  Nielsen. They said filing criminal charges against migrants, including parents traveling with children, would be the “most effective” way to tamp down on illegal border crossings.
Senior immigration and border officials called for the increased prosecutions [in  April] in a...
29 May 2018

Trump is blaming Democrats for separating migrant families at the border. Here’s why this isn’t a surprise.

President Trump’s attempt to blame Democrats for separating migrant families at the border is renewing a political uproar over immigration, an issue that has challenged Trump throughout his presidency and threatens to grow more heated as he imposes more restrictions to stem the flow of illegal immigration.
President Trump’s attempt to blame Democrats for separating migrant families at the border is renewing a...
28 May 2018

ICE Plans to Start Destroying Records of Immigrant Abuse, Including Sexual Assault and Deaths in Custody

IICE has asked for permission to begin routinely destroying 11 kinds of records, including those related to sexual assaults, solitary confinement and even deaths of people in its custody.
IICE has asked for permission to begin routinely destroying 11 kinds of records,...

Publisher: NYTimes

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28 May 2018

Ivanka Trump Wins China Trademarks, Then Her Father Vows to Save ZTE

China this month awarded Ivanka Trump seven new trademarks across a broad collection of businesses, including books, housewares and cushions. At around the same time, President Trump vowed to find a way to prevent a major Chinese telecommunications company from going bust,  even though the company has a history of violating American limits on doing business with countries like Iran and North Korea.
China this month awarded Ivanka Trump seven new trademarks across a broad collection of businesses,...
26 May 2018

John Bolton just weakened America’s cyberdefenses

In February, Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats deemed cyberwarfare the No. 1 threat to the United States. Yet this month, new national security adviser John Bolton decided to eliminate the cybersecurity coordinator position on the National Security Council. Bolton’s decision, justified as a move to “streamline” what is asserted to be a “core capability,” instead is likely to downgrade the priority of cybersecurity and leave top national security officials ill-equipped.
In February, Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats deemed cyberwarfare the No. 1 threat to the...

Publisher: Newsweek

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26 May 2018

Trump Ignores Court Ruling That He Can’t Block Twitter Critics: ‘President Thinks He’s Above the Law’

President Donald Trump defied a federal court judge who ruled Wednesday that it was unconstitutional for the president to block people on Twitter over their dissenting political views.
President Donald Trump defied a federal court judge who ruled Wednesday that it was unconstitutional for the...
26 May 2018

Trump takes aim at federal bureaucracy with new executive orders altering civil service protections

President Trump issued three executive orders Friday aimed at overhauling the federal bureaucracy by making it easier to fire poor performers, sharply curtailing the amount of time federal employees can be paid for union work and directing agencies to negotiate tougher union contracts.
President Trump issued three executive orders Friday aimed at overhauling the federal bureaucracy by making...
24 May 2018

A Jared Kushner company is seeking $100 million from a Saudi-tied fund – Business Insider

A real estate startup partly-owned by presidential senior adviser Jared Kushner is seeking an investment of at least $100 million from a private fund backed by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
A real estate startup partly-owned by presidential senior adviser Jared Kushner is seeking an investment of at least...
24 May 2018

Collusion Happened

Trump aides colluded with foreign governments. There’s ample evidence on many fronts, from legal documents to reliable reporting. This doesn’t mean that a crime was committed, because, as Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani and others have pointed out, collusion is not a crime per se. But it does mean that attempts to dismiss the Russia investigation as a witch hunt that lacks any evidence are not merely disingenuous—they’re simply wrong.
Trump aides colluded with foreign governments. There’s ample evidence on many fronts, from legal documents to...
24 May 2018

Jared Kushner receives permanent security clearance, an indication he is no longer a focus of the special counsel

Current and former law enforcement officials said it would be very unusual for someone to get a full security clearance if there were an ongoing criminal investigation that had the potential to result in charges for that person. Mark Zaid, a  lawyer who specializes in security clearance issues for government employees, said the decision — absent any new facts coming out — “is a very positive sign for Kushner that he is substantively in the clear with the special counsel’s office.”
Current and former law enforcement officials said it would be very unusual for someone to get a full security...

Publisher: ThinkProgress

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24 May 2018

Things are not looking good for Donald Trump Jr.

Lying to Congress is a crime even if you are not under oath. Federal law prohibits making false statements to Congress. Trump Jr, during questioning before the Senate Intelligence Committee was asked about contacts with foreign nationals seeking to assist the campaign — and his testimony may now come back to haunt him.
Lying to Congress is a crime even if you are not under oath. Federal law prohibits making false statements to Congress....

Publisher: NYTimes

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24 May 2018

Trump Pulls Out of North Korea Summit Meeting with Kim Jong-un

President Trump has notified Kim Jong-un, the North Korean leader, that he has canceled their much-anticipated meeting to discuss steps toward denuclearization and peace because of recent “tremendous anger and open hostility” by Pyongyang toward members of his administration.
President Trump has notified Kim Jong-un, the North Korean leader, that he has canceled their...
23 May 2018

Mike Pompeo claims Iran carrying out ‘assassination operations’ in Europe

Mike Pompeo’s claim that the Iran’s Revolutionary Guard is carrying out “assassination operations in the heart of Europe” has bewildered  security experts and Iranian exiles, who say they are not aware of any  evidence for the allegation.
Mike Pompeo’s claim that the Iran’s Revolutionary Guard is carrying out “assassination operations in the heart of...

Publisher: NYTimes

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22 May 2018

By Demanding an Investigation, Trump Challenged a Constraint on His Power

When President Trump publicly demanded that the Justice Department open an investigation into the F.B.I.’s scrutiny of his campaign contacts  with Russia, he inched further toward breaching an established  constraint on executive power: The White House does not make decisions about individual law enforcement investigations.
When President Trump publicly demanded that the Justice Department open an investigation into the F.B.I.’s...
22 May 2018

Neil Gorsuch’s first major opinion is a decision allowing bosses to steal wages from their workers

The Supreme Court held on Monday that employers can force their employees to sign away many of their rights to sue their employers. As a practical matter, Monday’s decision in Epic Systems v. Lewis will enable employers to engage in small-scale wage theft with impunity, so long as they spread the impact of this theft among many employees.
The Supreme Court held on Monday that employers can force their employees to sign away many of their rights to sue their...

Publisher: NYTimes

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22 May 2018

Trump’s Charm and Threats May Not Be Working on China. Here’s Why.

China has called President Trump’s bluff. Chinese negotiators left Washington this weekend with a significant win: a willingness by the Trump administration to hold off for now on imposing tariffs on up to $150 billion in Chinese imports. China gave up little in return, spurning the administration’s nudges for a concrete commitment to buy more goods from the United States, and  avoiding limits on its efforts to build new high-tech Chinese industries.
China has called President Trump’s bluff. Chinese negotiators left Washington this weekend with a significant...

Publisher: NYTimes

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21 May 2018

Advising Bolton Is a ‘Shadow N.S.C.’

The new national security adviser has been quietly taking advice from a few associates. Some have business interests that overlap with the National Security Council. Nearly two months into Mr. Bolton’s tenure, some people familiar with the N.S.C. say the influence of his associates can be seen in the agency’s effort to crack down on leaks, as well as an exodus of agency staff  and a roster of candidates now under consideration to take their place, and have taken to calling the associates a “shadow N.S.C.”
The new national security adviser has been quietly taking advice from a few associates. Some have business interests...
21 May 2018

Mnuchin says Trump putting trade war with China ‘on hold’

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the Trump administration is putting its trade war with China “on hold” after two days of talks in Washington that he said had produced agreement on increased Chinese purchases of American products and measures to make it easier for U.S. companies to operate in China.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the Trump administration is putting its trade war with China...

Publisher: Forbes

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21 May 2018

Trump May Be The Most Fiscally Reckless President In American History

ُThink about why Trump is asking for rapid action on the 2019 appropriations: He wants even more spending. Even though his policies have spiked the annual budget deficit to a new normal of a $1 trillion (with $2 trillion  definitely within view) and interest rates are now starting to go up in large part because of his out-of-sync-with-the-economy stimulative fiscal policy, Trump is demanding that federal spending and the government's red ink be increased even further.
ُThink about why Trump is asking for rapid action on the 2019 appropriations: He wants even more spending....

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19 May 2018

House Farm Bill Collapses Amid Republican Disarray

The House, in a striking display of Republican division, rejected a massive farm bill on Friday that would have imposed strict new work requirements on beneficiaries of federal food aid while continuing farm subsidies popular with rural voters. The twice-a-decade farm policy measure failed on a 213-to-198 vote, after a key bloc of conservatives rebuked Speaker Paul D. Ryan over his refusal to schedule an immediate vote on a restrictive immigration bill sponsored by the House Judiciary Committee chairman, Robert W. Goodlatte of Virginia.
The House, in a striking display of Republican division, rejected a massive farm bill on Friday that would have...
19 May 2018

‘Wrap it Up’: GOP Drops The Act On Mueller Probe

The one-year anniversary of Special  Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation has seen a shift in the GOP’s  stance on the probe. Top Republicans are dropping the pretense that they want to give Mueller the time he needs, instead calling for him to wrap it up. As Republicans get bolder in calling for an end to the probe, a bill to protect Mueller, buoyed last month by some bipartisan momentum, languishes in procedural limbo. 
The one-year anniversary of Special  Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation has seen a shift in the GOP’s...

Publisher: The Hill

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18 May 2018

China buys record amount of Russian soybeans after canceling US orders over Trump threats

China has purchased record amounts of soybeans from Russia in recent months amid trade tensions with the U.S., Bloomberg reported. The world's biggest soybean importer, China has nearly tripled its imports from Russia, according to Bloomberg. Russian trade data show the country sold 850,000 metric tons of soybeans to China between July 2017 and mid-May this year. The record sales represent more than twice the 340,000 tons sold during the previous growing period.
China has purchased record amounts of soybeans from Russia in recent months amid trade tensions with the U.S., Bloomberg...
18 May 2018

Kushners Near Deal With Qatar-Linked Company for Troubled Tower

The company controlled by the family of the White House adviser Jared Kushner is close to receiving a bailout of its financially troubled  flagship building by a company with ties to the government of Qatar, according to executives briefed on the deal.
The company controlled by the family of the White House adviser Jared Kushner is close to receiving a bailout of...
18 May 2018

Trump Administration to Tie Health Facilities’ Funding to Abortion Restrictions

Clinics that provide abortions or refer patients to places that do would lose federal funding under a new Trump administration rule that takes direct aim at Planned Parenthood, according to three administration officials. The rule, which is to be announced Friday, is a top priority of social conservatives and is the latest move by President Trump to impose curbs on abortion rights, in this case by withholding money from any facility or program that promotes abortion or refers patients to a caregiver that will provide one.
Clinics that provide abortions or refer patients to places that do would lose federal funding under a new Trump...
18 May 2018

Trump’s warning to Kim Jong-un: make a deal or suffer same fate as Gaddafi

Donald Trump has threatened Kim Jong-un with the same fate as Muammar Gaddafi if the North Korean leader “doesn’t make a deal” on his nuclear weapons programme. The US president issued the threat at t he White House when he was asked about the recent suggestion by his national security adviser, John Bolton, that the “Libyan model”  be a template for dealing with North Korea at a summit between Trump and  Kim planned for 12 June in Singapore.
Donald Trump has threatened Kim Jong-un with the same fate as Muammar Gaddafi if the North Korean leader...

Publisher: Newsweek

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18 May 2018

Worried About a ‘Public Relations Nightmare,’ White House and EPA Aides Worked to Block Contaminated Water Study

Political appointees at the White House and Environmental Protection  Agency worked to block the publication of a federal study that found dangerous levels of toxic chemicals in water supplies, according to a new report from Politico.
Political appointees at the White House and Environmental Protection  Agency worked to block the...

Publisher: NYTimes

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16 May 2018

Allies at Cross-Purposes: Trump Puts Europe Into Damage-Control Mode

Nathalie Tocci, the director of Italy’s Institute of International Affairs and a senior adviser to Ms. Mogherini, said that Europe’s foreign and defense policy “has become more difficult now, not least because of the Trump administration efforts to undercut the E.U.” She warned that “if Europeans are serious about their strategic autonomy, now is the time to demonstrate it by standing united behind their shared interests.” And she said saving the Iran deal “is the place to start.”
Nathalie Tocci, the director of Italy’s Institute of International Affairs and a senior adviser to Ms. Mogherini,...
16 May 2018

The Michael Cohen Bribery Scandal Is Now a Trump Bribery Scandal

Last night, the Daily Mail  reported a development in the Michael Cohen saga of seismic scale. In a  December 2016 meeting in Trump Tower, the British tabloid reports, Cohen asked Ahmed Al-Rumaihi, who runs a $100 billion Qatari investment fund, to send him “millions” which, the story claims, would go “through  him to Trump family members.”
Last night, the Daily Mail  reported a development in the Michael Cohen saga of seismic scale. In a...
16 May 2018

Yep, That $500 M from China to Trump Project Looks Like a Pretty Big Deal

You probably saw the news yesterday that just days before President  Trump tweeted that he was intent on saving that sanctions-busting Chinese telecommunications company, China had agreed to loan $500 million to a major Trump-backed development in Indonesia
You probably saw the news yesterday that just days before President  Trump tweeted that he was intent on saving...

Publisher: NYTimes

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13 May 2018

Education Department Unwinds Unit Investigating Fraud at For-Profits

Members of a special team at the Education Department that had been investigating widespread abuses by for-profit colleges have been marginalized, reassigned or instructed to focus on other matters, according to current and former employees. During the final months of the Obama administration, the team had expanded to include a dozen or so lawyers and investigators who were looking into advertising, recruitment practices and job placement claims at several institutions, including DeVry Education Group.
Members of a special team at the Education Department that had been investigating widespread abuses by...

Publisher: NYTimes

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13 May 2018

Trump Vows to Save ZTE Jobs Lost After U.S. Sanctions Against the Chinese Company

Mr. Trump’s tweet on Sunday left many  scratching their heads. The president has taken a tough stance on what his administration deems unfair trade practices by the Chinese government. And he has trumpeted his efforts to safeguard American jobs even if it means creating economic strain in other countries. The prospective shutdown of ZTE has been seen as major leverage in continuing trade discussions between China and the United States over Chinese trade practices.
Mr. Trump’s tweet on Sunday left many  scratching their heads. The president has taken a...

Publisher: NYTimes

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12 May 2018

Federal Tax Cuts Leave States in a Bind

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which President Trump signed into law in December, did not directly affect state budgets. It cut federal tax rates, but also made other changes that mean more income will be subject to taxation. Because most states use federal definitions of income and have not adjusted their own rates, the federal changes will have big consequences for both state budgets and taxpayers.
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which President Trump signed into law in December, did not directly...
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12 May 2018

Michigan’s GOP has a plan to shield some people from Medicaid work requirements. They’re overwhelmingly white.

Michigan Republicans' plan to require some recipients of government health insurance to work would disproportionately affect black people. Medicaid enrollment data provided to The Post by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services shows that this exemption would overwhelmingly benefit white people while leaving the work requirements in place for all but a sliver of the affected African American population.
Michigan Republicans' plan to require some recipients of government health insurance to work would...

Publisher: Independent

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12 May 2018

Trump cancels NASA’s greenhouse gas monitoring system after scrapping clean air regulation

Donald Trump has cancelled NASA’s greenhouse gas monitoring system, prompting concern it will hinder efforts to bring down global emissions. The space agency’s Carbon Monitoring System (CMS) has until now used satellite and aircraft instruments to monitor carbon dioxide and methane levels remotely - spending $10m (£7.35m) each year.  But the White House has now scrapped the funding as part of its wider attack on climate science.
Donald Trump has cancelled NASA’s greenhouse gas monitoring system, prompting concern it will hinder efforts to bring...

Publisher: Dallas News

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11 May 2018

How Putin’s oligarchs funneled millions into GOP campaigns

Buried in the campaign finance reports available to the public are some  troubling connections between a group of wealthy donors with ties to Russia and their political contributions to President Donald Trump and a number of top Republican leaders. And thanks to changes in campaign finance laws, the political contributions are legal. We have allowed our campaign finance laws to become a strategic threat to our country.
Buried in the campaign finance reports available to the public are some  troubling connections...

Publisher: NYTimes

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11 May 2018

Trump to Drop Call for Medicare to Negotiate Lower Drug Prices

President Trump will lay out on Friday a broad strategy to reduce  prescription drug prices, but in a break from one of his most popular campaign promises, he will not call for Medicare to negotiate lower prices with drug manufacturers, senior administration officials said.
President Trump will lay out on Friday a broad strategy to reduce  prescription drug prices, but in...

Publisher: NYTimes

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10 May 2018

How Michael Cohen, Denied Job in White House, Was Seen as Its Gatekeeper

Mr. Cohen did not land a hoped-for job in President Trump’s administration — he imagined himself as chief of staff — and in January last year he left the Trump Organization, where he had long served as  the in-house fixer without a clear portfolio. But he managed to turn what looked like an exile into a lucrative opportunity.
Mr. Cohen did not land a hoped-for job in President Trump’s administration — he imagined himself...

Publisher: Science Mag

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10 May 2018

Trump White House quietly cancels NASA research verifying greenhouse gas cuts

You can't manage what you don't measure. The adage is especially relevant for climate-warming greenhouse gases, which are crucial to manage—and challenging to measure. In recent years, though, satellite and aircraft instruments have begun monitoring carbon dioxide and methane remotely, and NASA's Carbon Monitoring System (CMS), a $10-million-a-year research line, has helped stitch together observations of sources and sinks into high-resolution models of the planet's flows of carbon. Now, President Donald Trump's administration has quietly killed the CMS, Science has learned.
You can't manage what you don't measure. The adage is especially relevant for climate-warming greenhouse gases, which...

Publisher: NYTimes

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9 May 2018

Chinese Tech Giant May Be First Victim of a New U.S. Cold War

One of China’s most internationally successful technology suppliers, with about $17 billion in annual revenue, ZTE is facing a death sentence. The Commerce Department has blocked its access to American-made components until 2025, saying the company failed to punish employees who violated trade controls against Iran and North Korea.
One of China’s most internationally successful technology suppliers, with about $17 billion in annual revenue,...

Publisher: NYTimes

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9 May 2018

Europe, Again Humiliated by Trump, Struggles to Defend Its Interests

It is by now a familiar, humiliating pattern. European leaders cajole, argue and beg, trying to persuade President Trump to change his mind on a vital issue for the trans-Atlantic alliance. Mr. Trump appears to enjoy  the show, dangling them, before ultimately choosing not to listen.
It is by now a familiar, humiliating pattern. European leaders cajole, argue and beg, trying to persuade...
8 May 2018

Mitch McConnell Bends The Rules Again To Confirm Trump’s Judges

When the Senate votes this week to confirm Michael Brennan to be a lifetime judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit, it will be voting on a nominee who never should have made it to the Senate floor. That’s because Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) was denied the ability to stop him. When President Donald Trump nominated Brennan to the court based in Baldwin’s state, she should have had the right, per longstanding Senate tradition, to deny or advance his nomination in the Judiciary Committee.
When the Senate votes this week to confirm Michael Brennan to be a lifetime judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for...
8 May 2018

Trump calls on Congress to pull back $15 billion in spending, including on Children’s Health Insurance Program

“Let’s be honest about what this is: President Trump and Republicans in Congress are looking to tear apart the bipartisan [CHIP], hurting  middle-class families and low-income children, to appease the most conservative special interests and feel better about blowing up the  deficit to give the wealthiest few and biggest corporations huge tax breaks,” Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Monday.
“Let’s be honest about what this is: President Trump and Republicans in Congress are looking to tear apart the...
8 May 2018

Trump pulls United States out of Iran nuclear deal, calling the pact ‘an embarrassment’

President Trump on Tuesday said he is pulling the United States out of the international nuclear deal with Iran, announcing that economic  sanctions against Tehran will be reinstated and declaring that the 2015 pact had been rooted in “fiction.”
President Trump on Tuesday said he is pulling the United States out of...
7 May 2018

Republicans Make Moves To Crush Gerrymandering Reform

With anti-gerrymandering efforts heading to the ballot box,  Republicans in some states are mobilizing to protect their ability to  continue rigging election maps.In late April, a Republican group backed by the Michigan Chamber of Commerce sued to keep a popular redistricting reform measure off the state’s November ballot.
With anti-gerrymandering efforts heading to the ballot box,  Republicans in some states are mobilizing to protect...
5 May 2018

Trump team hired spy firm for ‘dirty ops’ on Iran arms deal

Aides to Donald Trump, the US president, hired an Israeli private intelligence agency to  orchestrate a “dirty ops” campaign against key individuals from the Obama administration who helped negotiate the Iran nuclear deal, the Observer can reveal.
Aides to Donald Trump, the US president, hired an Israeli private intelligence agency to  orchestrate a...
4 May 2018

How Scott Pruitt Helped Arkansas Poultry Giants Pollute One of Oklahoma’s Prettiest Rivers

Scott Pruitt, the embattled head of the Environmental Protection Agency, took the side of poultry companies and other businesses in Arkansas in a dispute over the pollution of an ecologically sensitive and economically vital watershed, environmental groups say. While he was representing Oklahoma as its attorney general, Pruitt helped to slow the implementation of a plan, forged years ago by both states, to clean a  river in his home state.
Scott Pruitt, the embattled head of the Environmental Protection Agency, took the side of poultry companies and...
4 May 2018

Trump administration ends protections for 50,000 Hondurans living in U.S. since 1999

More than 50,000 Hondurans who have been allowed to live and work in the United States since 1999 will have 20 months to leave the country or face deportation, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen announced Friday, the latest in a series of DHS measures aimed at tightening U.S. immigration controls.
More than 50,000 Hondurans who have been allowed to live and work in the United States since 1999 will have 20...

Publisher: Vox

Author:

4 May 2018

Trump has helped inspire a wave of strict new abortion laws

Donald Trump promised during his presidential campaign that he would appoint anti-abortion judges to the Supreme Court and that Roe v. Wade would be overturned “automatically.” As many have pointed out, the Supreme Court doesn’t actually work that way. But Trump’s presidency may be shaping abortion law around the country anyway.Perhaps  emboldened by his judicial appointments, legislators are introducing  new abortion bans that directly challenge the tenets of Roe. 
Donald Trump promised during his presidential campaign that he would appoint anti-abortion judges to the...
3 May 2018

Richard Smotkin helped arrange Scott Pruitt?s $100,000 trip to Morocco

Richard Smotkin, a former Comcast lobbyist who has known the EPA administrator for years, worked for months with Pruitt’s aides to hammer  out logistics, according to four individuals familiar with those preparations. In April, Smotkin won a $40,000-a-month contract, retroactive to Jan. 1, with the Moroccan government to promote the kingdom’s cultural and economic interests. He recently registered as a foreign agent representing that government.
Richard Smotkin, a former Comcast lobbyist who has known the EPA administrator for years, worked for months with...
2 May 2018

Trump’s former health secretary: Americans will pay more because GOP weakened Obamacare

President Trump's former top health official on Tuesday said the Republican tax law would raise the cost of health insurance for some Americans because it repealed a core provision of the Affordable Care Act.
President Trump's former top health official on Tuesday said the Republican...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

1 May 2018

Investment Boom From Trump’s Tax Cut Has Yet to Appear

Republicans sold the 2017 tax law as “rocket fuel” for American  investment and growth, saying that corporations — flush with cash from  lower tax rates — would channel money back into the economy by building  factories and offices and investing in equipment, which would help companies grow and provide winnings for workers. But, so far, hard evidence of such an acceleration has yet to appear in economic data, which show more of a steady investment roll than a rapid escalation.
Republicans sold the 2017 tax law as “rocket fuel” for American  investment and growth, saying that...

Publisher: Reuters

Author:

1 May 2018

U.S. EPA grants biofuels waiver to billionaire Icahn’s oil refinery

The waiver enables Icahn’s CVR Energy Inc (CVI.N) to avoid tens of millions of dollars in costs related to the U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program. The regulation is meant to cut air pollution, reduce petroleum imports and support corn farmers by requiring refiners to mix billions of gallons of biofuels into the  nation’s gasoline and diesel each year.
The waiver enables Icahn’s CVR Energy Inc (CVI.N) to avoid tens of millions of...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

30 Apr 2018

Mike Pompeo Expresses Support for Israeli Response to Gaza Protests

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, speaking in Jordan at the end of a four-day, four-nation tour through the Middle East, expressed support on Monday for Israel and its response to weekly protests in Gaza that have left dozens of people dead.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, speaking in Jordan at the end of a four-day, four-nation tour through the...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

30 Apr 2018

Pompeo and Palestinians Have ‘Nothing to Discuss’ Amid Gaza Crisis

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo came to Israel Sunday in the midst of the worst crisis in relations between Israelis and Palestinians in years, but he did not  meet a single Palestinian representative and mentioned them publicly once. Instead of discussing the Palestinian issue, Mr. Pompeo’s focused message on his sweep through the region has been a denunciation of Iran. He met with Saudi leaders on Saturday and Sunday morning, and they all agreed that Iran is a destabilizing force. He met on Sunday afternoon with Mr. Netanyahu, who blistered Iran alongside Mr. Pompeo.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo came to Israel Sunday in the midst of the worst crisis in relations...
28 Apr 2018

EPA announces an end to California’s fuel economy waiver day after Pruitt says the opposite

Just one day after Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt told lawmakers on Capitol Hill that the agency did not have plans “at present” to target California’s special fuel economy waiver, the Trump administration announced that it would be putting a six-year hold on Obama-era standards for fuel efficiency, starting in 2020, while at the same time revoking California’s waiver to set its own standards.
Just one day after Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt told lawmakers on Capitol Hill that...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

27 Apr 2018

Lawyer Who Was Said to Have Dirt on Clinton Had Closer Ties to Kremlin Than She Let On

The Russian lawyer who met with Trump campaign officials  in Trump Tower in June 2016 on the premise that she would deliver  damaging information about Hillary Clinton has long insisted she is a  private attorney, not a Kremlin operative trying to meddle in the presidential election.
The Russian lawyer who met with Trump campaign officials  in Trump Tower in June 2016 on the premise that...
26 Apr 2018

HUD Secretary Ben Carson to propose tripling rent for some low-income Americans receiving federal housing subsidies

U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson onWednesdaywill propose tripling the amount the poorest households are expected to pay for rent as well as encourage those receiving housing subsidies to work, according to the  administration’s legislative proposal obtained by The Washington Post.
U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson onWednesdaywill propose tripling the...
26 Apr 2018

The Democratic Party Is Paying Millions for Hillary Clinton’s Email List, FEC Documents Show

Heading into the 2018 midterms, with Democrats hoping to take back the House of Representatives and even make a run at the Senate, the party has spent more than $2 million worth of campaign resources on payments to Hillary Clinton’s new group, Onward Together, according to Federal Election Commission filings and interviews with people familiar with the payments.
Heading into the 2018 midterms, with Democrats hoping to take back the House of Representatives and even make a run at...

Publisher: NBC News

Author:

24 Apr 2018

Special Trump tax provision gives $17 billion break to millionaires, gov’t report finds

In 2018, the lion's share of the benefit — $17.4 billion, or 44.3 percent of the total — will go to roughly 200,000 Americans making $1 million or more who claim the pass-through deduction, the committee said. Another $3.6 billion, or 8.9 percent, will go to a similar number  of taxpayers who earn $500,000 to $1 million.
In 2018, the lion's share of the benefit — $17.4 billion, or 44.3 percent of the total — will go to roughly...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

22 Apr 2018

Scott Pruitt Before the E.P.A.: Fancy Homes, a Shell Company and Friends With Money

At the E.P.A., Mr. Pruitt is under investigation for allegations of unchecked spending, ethics lapses and other issues, including his interactions with  lobbyists. An examination of Mr. Pruitt’s political career in Oklahoma reveals that many of the pitfalls he has encountered in Washington have  echoes in his past.
At the E.P.A., Mr. Pruitt is under investigation for allegations of unchecked spending, ethics lapses and other...

Publisher: The Intercept

Author:

22 Apr 2018

Trump Fundraiser Offered Russian Gas Company Plan to Get Sanctions Lifted for $26 Million

Shortly after President Donald Trump was inaugurated last year, top Republican fundraiser Elliott Broidy offered Russian gas giant Novatek a $26 million lobbying plan aimed at removing the company from a U.S. sanctions list, according to documents obtained by The Intercept.
Shortly after President Donald Trump was inaugurated last year, top Republican...
21 Apr 2018

Democratic Party files lawsuit alleging Russia, the Trump campaign and WikiLeaks conspired to disrupt the 2016 campaign

The Democratic National Committee filed a multimillion-dollar lawsuit  Friday against the Russian government, the Trump campaign and the WikiLeaks organization alleging a far-reaching conspiracy to disrupt the 2016 campaign and tilt the election to Donald Trump.
The Democratic National Committee filed a multimillion-dollar lawsuit  Friday against the Russian government,...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

21 Apr 2018

Michael Cohen Has Said He Would Take a Bullet for Trump. Maybe Not Anymore.

For years Mr. Trump treated Mr. Cohen poorly, with gratuitous insults, dismissive statements and, at least twice, threats of being fired, according to interviews with a half-dozen people familiar with their relationship.“Donald goes out of his way to treat him like garbage,” said Roger J. Stone Jr.
For years Mr. Trump treated Mr. Cohen poorly, with gratuitous insults, dismissive statements and, at least twice,...
20 Apr 2018

First-time judge appointed by Trump issues his very first opinion. It’s a doozy.

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.
More than just an ideologically radical opinion, Judge Ho’s dissent from the full United States Court of Appeals for...
20 Apr 2018

Republicans are actively interfering in the Mueller probe to protect Trump

One of the big political questions of the moment is this: Will GOP congressional leaders act to protect special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation against President Trump’s threats to hamstring or kill it? But in a way, this question, while important, doesn’t really get at the full story here, because its premise is that Republicans are mostly behaving passively toward the Mueller probe, clearing the way for Trump to act if he wishes. In reality, Republicans are, under cover of fake oversight, actively working to interfere in the investigation, on Trump’s behalf.
One of the big political questions of the moment is this: Will GOP congressional leaders act to protect...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

19 Apr 2018

Farmers warn of GOP losses over Trumps’s trade policy

“If he doesn’t understand what he’s doing to the nation by doing what  he’s doing, he’s going to be a one-term president, plain and simple,” said Mr. Runck, a fourth-generation farmer who voted for Mr. Trump. Pausing outside the post office in this town of 2,300, Mr. Runck said the repercussions could be more immediate for Representative Kevin Cramer, a Republican whose bid against Senator Heidi Heitkamp, a Democrat, has been complicated by the proposed tariffs.
“If he doesn’t understand what he’s doing to the nation by doing what  he’s doing,...
18 Apr 2018

In new sign of trade battle, China slaps U.S. sorghum producers with 179 percent deposit

China announced temporary anti-dumping measures Tuesday on U.S. sorghum,  potentially hitting U.S. growers and exacerbating the brewing trade war between Beijing and Washington. Hitting U.S. sorghum exports could hurt American growers — potentially having an impact on farming states that have backed President Trump. 
China announced temporary anti-dumping measures Tuesday on U.S. sorghum,  potentially hitting U.S. growers and...

Publisher: Mother Jones

Author:

17 Apr 2018

Top Republican Official Says Trump Won Wisconsin Because of Voter ID Law

Election officials and Democrats in Wisconsin have repeatedly argued that the state’s strict voter ID law allowed Donald Trump to win the state in 2016 by keeping thousands of  voters—predominantly in Democratic-leaning areas—from the polls. Now a top Republican official in the state is saying the same thing.
Election officials and Democrats in Wisconsin have repeatedly argued that the state’s strict voter ID...

Publisher: Forbes

Author:

16 Apr 2018

On The Deficit, GOP Has Been Playing Us All For Suckers

Think about this. The same congressional Republicans who over the previous eight years wanted everyone to believe they were fiscal conservatives hell-bent on balancing the budget and not increasing the national debt, sponsored, passed and then danced around the fire because of legislation that will result in a permanent $1 trillion deficit and a debt that will soar to close to 100 percent of GDP by 2028.
Think about this. The same congressional Republicans who over the previous eight years wanted everyone to believe...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

14 Apr 2018

R.N.C. Official Who Agreed to Pay Playboy Model $1.6 Million Resigns

A  major donor with close ties to the White House resigned on Friday as deputy finance chairman of the Republican National Committee after the revelation that he had agreed to pay $1.6 million to a former Playboy  model who became pregnant during an affair. The deal was arranged by President Trump’s personal lawyer and fixer, Michael D. Cohen.
A  major donor with close ties to the White House resigned on Friday as deputy finance chairman of...
13 Apr 2018

Trump weighs rejoining Trans-Pacific Partnership amid trade dispute with China

President Trump ordered top administration officials  Thursday to look at rejoining the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the sprawling trade pact he rejected three days after taking office. The move would mark a stunning reversal for Trump, who sharply criticized the pact as a “disaster” and made opposition to global trade deals a centerpiece of his economic agenda as a candidate.
President Trump ordered top administration officials  Thursday to look at rejoining the Trans-Pacific...
12 Apr 2018

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.
lsewhere in Florida, a man said a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent threatened him with...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

11 Apr 2018

How long can we last? Tariffs hit home in US.

CP Industries just got an expensive lesson in the unintended consequences of protectionism. Based in McKeesport, Pa., the company makes seamless vessels to store gases at high pressure — steel cylinders of up to six tons that it sells to the likes of the Navy, NASA and T. Boone Pickens’s Clean Energy. It has received the first bill from the 25 percent tariff that President Trump  placed on steel from China and a few other countries: $178,703.09 assessed on a steel-pipe shipment scheduled to arrive at the Port of Philadelphia on Thursday.
CP Industries just got an expensive lesson in the unintended consequences of protectionism. Based in McKeesport,...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

11 Apr 2018

Teacher Walkouts Threaten Republican Grip on Conservative States

An intensifying series of red-state battles over education funding and teacher pay threatens to loosen Republicans’ grip on some of the country’s most conservative states, as educators and parents rebel against a decade of fiscal austerity that has cut deeply into public education.
An intensifying series of red-state battles over education funding and teacher pay threatens to...
11 Apr 2018

The Day After Trump’s ICE Raid in a Small Tennessee Town, 550 Kids Stayed Home From School

The rural community of Morristown, Tennessee, is reeling  following the largest raid by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement on a business in a decade. On Thursday, agents with ICE’s Homeland  Security Investigations wing, also known as HSI, stormed the Southeastern Provision meatpacking plant and detained scores of people.
The rural community of Morristown, Tennessee, is reeling  following the largest raid by U.S. Immigration and...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

10 Apr 2018

F.B.I. Raids Office of Trump’s Longtime Lawyer Michael Cohen

Federal prosecutors in Manhattan obtained the search warrant after receiving a referral from the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, according to Mr. Cohen’s lawyer, who called the search “completely inappropriate and unnecessary.” The search does not appear to be directly related to Mr. Mueller’s investigation, but likely resulted from information he had uncovered and gave to prosecutors in New York.
Federal prosecutors in Manhattan obtained the search warrant after receiving a referral from the special...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

10 Apr 2018

Federal Budget Deficit Projected to Soar to Over $1 Trillion in 2020

The national debt, which has exceeded $21 trillion, will soar to more than $33 trillion in 2028, according to the budget office. By then, debt held by the public will almost match the size of the nation’s economy, reaching 96 percent of gross domestic product, a higher level than any point since just after World War II and well past the level that economists say could court a crisis.
The national debt, which has exceeded $21 trillion, will soar to more than $33 trillion in 2028, according...

Publisher: ThinkProgress

Author:

10 Apr 2018

Someone is doing Jared Kushner a huge favor. But we don’t know who.

Upon entering the White House, Jared Kushner divested the property only in the most technical sense. He “sold” the assets to his brother and a trust controlled by his mother. A lawyer described the transaction to the New York Times as a “shell game.” Now, with Kushner ensconced as a senior adviser in the White House, someone has emerged to bail him and his family out of this mess. The identity of Kushner’s white knight is a mystery.
Upon entering the White House, Jared Kushner divested the property only in the most technical sense. He “sold” the...
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