US Politics in Trump era Public date: 17.01.2020 00:45:43

6 Jun 2019

Trump administration cancels English classes, soccer, legal aid for unaccompanied child migrants in U.S. shelters

The Trump administration is canceling English classes, recreational programs and legal aid for unaccompanied minors staying in federal migrant shelters nationwide, saying the immigration influx at the southern border has created critical budget pressures.
The Trump administration is canceling English classes, recreational programs and legal aid for unaccompanied minors...

Publisher: The Intercept

Author:

5 Jun 2019

Ginni Thomas, Wife of Clarence Thomas, Launches New Right-Wing Culture War

Conservative activist Virginia “Ginni” Thomas is launching yet another project to wage war on multiple fronts of America’s most heated cultural and political debates. This time, however, her plan will include a project to “protect President Trump” using at least two new campaign-related political entities, according to a presentation obtained by The Intercept and Documented.
Conservative activist Virginia “Ginni” Thomas is launching yet another project to wage war on multiple fronts of...

Publisher: Vox

Author:

5 Jun 2019

This chart shows how badly the census could undercount people of color

According to a new report from the Urban Institute, the census is on track to severely undercount people of color — even more so than the past two surveys. This chart looks at how the 2020 census would perform if it was conducted at 2010 levels, then compares it to the actual projections using the census planning documents. The effects of the citizenship question aren’t included.
According to a new report from the Urban Institute, the census is on track to severely undercount people of color —...
4 Jun 2019

American taxpayers paid over $90 billion more under Trump tax law

After the passage of Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), the IRS encouraged taxpayers to update their withholdings, but few did. More than halfway through 2018, after the law took effect, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) warned that more Americans would owe money to the IRS under the new law while those receiving refunds would decrease. In the end, many Americans saw modest increases in their paychecks throughout the year, but didn’t notice.
After the passage of Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), the IRS encouraged taxpayers to update their withholdings, but few...
4 Jun 2019

Jared Kushner casts doubt on Palestinian ability to self-govern

Jared Kushner, Donald Trump’s Middle East adviser and son-in-law, has expressed uncertainty over the ability of the Palestinians to govern themselves in a rare television interview broadcast on Sunday night.
Jared Kushner, Donald Trump’s Middle East adviser and son-in-law, has expressed uncertainty over the ability of the...
4 Jun 2019

Pompeo delivers unfiltered view of Trump’s Mideast peace plan at off-the-record meeting

“I get why people think this is going to be a deal that only the Israelis could love. I understand the perception of that,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says in his most unvarnished comments on the plan to date.
“I get why people think this is going to be a deal that only the Israelis could love. I understand the perception of...
4 Jun 2019

The average millennial has a net worth of $8,000. That’s far less than previous generations.

Millennials are doing far worse financially than generations before them, with student loans, rising rents and higher health-care costs pushing the average net worth below $8,000, a new study shows. The net worth of Americans aged 18 to 35 has dropped 34 percent since 1996, according to research released Thursday by Deloitte, the accounting and professional services giant.
Millennials are doing far worse financially than generations before them, with student loans, rising rents and higher...
4 Jun 2019

Trump pushes up to 20 years in prison for pipeline protesters

The Trump administration is seeking to dramatically escalate federal penalties for pipeline protesters. Under newly proposed changes, pipeline protesters could face up to 20 years in prison for disrupting the construction of oil and gas infrastructure. The move echoes similarly harsh penalties for anti-pipeline activists being adopted in several states.
The Trump administration is seeking to dramatically escalate federal penalties for pipeline protesters. Under newly...

Publisher: The Intercept

Author:

3 Jun 2019

God, Gas, and Cash: How Texas Fell in Love With Israel

As the Trump administration maintains the friendliest U.S. relationship with the Israeli right in history, Texas has become one of the most pro-Israel states in the country. It has forged ties with Israeli settlements and aggressively enforced a law targeting advocates of boycotting Israel. Its exports to Israel last year topped $900 million, and its imports from Israel are valued at $1.5 billion, according to the Texas Economic Development Corporation.
As the Trump administration maintains the friendliest U.S. relationship with the Israeli right in history, Texas has...
2 Jun 2019

The Most Powerful Arab Ruler Isn’t M.B.S. It’s M.B.Z.

Prince Mohammed bin Zayed grew the U.A.E.’s power by following America’s lead. He now has an increasingly bellicose agenda of his own. At times, the prince has contradicted American policy and destabilized neighbors. Rights groups have criticized him for jailing dissidents at home, for his role in creating a humanitarian crisis in Yemen, and for backing the Saudi prince whose agents killed the dissident writer Jamal Khashoggi.
Prince Mohammed bin Zayed grew the U.A.E.’s power by following America’s lead. He now has an increasingly bellicose...
1 Jun 2019

New documents on the census confirm: Trump’s raison d’etre is white power

The Trump administration has devised a fundamentally racist policy: adding a question to the 2020 Census that will suppress participation by nonwhite people and, therefore, artificially increase white (and Republican) power in a new round of gerrymandering. To do this, administration officials falsely told the public, the lower courts and the Supreme Court that the disadvantage to nonwhite Americans was statistically questionable and that the Justice Department needed the change to enforce the Voting Rights Act.
The Trump administration has devised a fundamentally racist policy: adding a question to the 2020 Census that will...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

1 Jun 2019

North Korean Negotiator’s Downfall Was Sealed When Trump-Kim Summit Collapsed

Kim Yong-chol, a former North Korean spy master and vice chairman of its ruling Workers’ Party, had been the country’s most internationally visible diplomat in the past year, visiting the White House twice and leading negotiations for North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s two summit meetings with President Trump. This week, leading South Korean newspapers reported Kim Yong-chol’s fall from grace. One of them, the conservative daily Chosun Ilbo, went so far as to report that Mr. Kim had been banished to forced labor, with many of his negotiating team members either executed or sent to prison camps.
Kim Yong-chol, a former North Korean spy master and vice chairman of its ruling Workers’ Party, had been the...
1 Jun 2019

Trump’s Mexico tariffs: Republican lawmakers alarmed as president issues 5 percent levy on Mexican imports

President Trump forged ahead Friday with plans to impose import penalties on Mexico, one of the United States’ largest trading partners, brushing aside apoplectic lawmakers, business groups and investors who feared the White House was expanding trade wars without any plan for eventual escape.
President Trump forged ahead Friday with plans to impose import penalties on Mexico, one of the United States’ largest...
1 Jun 2019

US cuts funds for ‘anti-propaganda’ Iran group that trolled activists

The US state department has cut off funding to a group that purported to combat Iranian propaganda, after it was found to be trolling US journalists, human rights activists and academics it deemed to be insufficiently hostile to the government in Tehran. The group also focused on supporters of the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, which Donald Trump withdrew from last year, particularly the National Iranian American Council, which has advocated nuclear diplomacy with Tehran. It used the hashtag #NIACLobbies4Mullahs.
The US state department has cut off funding to a group that purported to combat Iranian propaganda, after it was found...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

31 May 2019

Trade War Starts Changing Manufacturers in Hard-to-Reverse Ways

When the Trump administration first imposed tariffs on $34 billion in Chinese imports in July, Andy LaFrazia figured it was just another curveball for his company. “Everyone was saying: ‘Oh, it’s a negotiating tactic. It won’t last long,’” Mr. LaFrazia recalled. But nearly a year later, the trade war shows no sign of cooling off. Evidence is mounting that the conflict has taken an economic toll.
When the Trump administration first imposed tariffs on $34 billion in Chinese imports in July, Andy LaFrazia figured it...
30 May 2019

Bannon described Trump Organization as ‘criminal enterprise’, Michael Wolff book claims

The former White House adviser Steve Bannon has described the Trump Organization as a criminal entity and predicted that investigations into the president’s finances will lead to his political downfall, when he is revealed to be “not the billionaire he said he was, just another scumbag”.
The former White House adviser Steve Bannon has described the Trump Organization as a criminal entity and predicted that...
30 May 2019

Corporations paid $91 billion less in taxes in 2018 under Trump’s tax law

Trump’s tax cut for corporations and the wealthy didn’t just reduce the top corporate tax rate from 35% to 21%. It also retained a boatload of corporate tax credits and loopholes, making the actual tax rate just 7 percent – the lowest in 71 years.
Trump’s tax cut for corporations and the wealthy didn’t just reduce the top corporate tax rate from 35% to 21%. It...
30 May 2019

How the NSA’s Targeting System for Iraq and Afghanistan Ended Up on the Mexican Border

“The news that the NSA transported a mass spying program designed for war zones in Iraq and Afghanistan to the U.S.-Mexico border is both alarming and totally unsurprising,” said Elizabeth Goitein, co-director of the Liberty and National Security Program at the Brennan Center for Justice.
“The news that the NSA transported a mass spying program designed for war zones in Iraq and Afghanistan to the...
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30 May 2019

Mueller statement on Russia investigation: Special counsel says accusing Trump of a crime ‘not an option’ under DOJ guidelines – The Washington Post

Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III reiterated Wednesday that his office could not clear President Trump of obstructing justice, asserting in his first public remarks about his investigation that federal prosecutors cannot accuse the commander in chief of a crime, while suggesting Congress still may do so.
Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III reiterated Wednesday that his office could not clear President Trump of...
30 May 2019

Study Finds Trump Tax Cuts Failed to Do Anything But Give Rich People Money

The biggest effect of the Trump tax cuts is obvious: People who own businesses and other sources of concentrated wealth will have a lot more money, and the federal budget will have less. But the advocates of the tax cuts insisted it wasn’t about letting the makers keep their hard-earned money rather than handing it over to the takers. It was about incentivizing business to repatriate funds and ramp up its investments, thereby increasing growth and wages.
The biggest effect of the Trump tax cuts is obvious: People who own businesses and other sources of concentrated wealth...

Publisher: CNBC

Author:

30 May 2019

Transportation Secretary Chao reportedly retained construction co. stake she pledged to divest

Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao has held onto her shares of Vulcan Materials, a construction company she promised to divest from more than a year ago, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday. Vulcan, the U.S.′ largest supplier of sand and gravel used in paving and building, has seen its stock price rise more than 12% since April 2018, when Chao said she would cash out her shares, according to a 2017 government ethics agreement.
Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao has held onto her shares of Vulcan Materials, a construction company she promised...
29 May 2019

David Whitley, the Texas elections official who questioned the citizenship of almost 100,000 people, resigns

Texas’s acting secretary of state, David Whitley (R), resigned Monday just months after leading the botched voter purge of nearly 100,000 suspected noncitizens that erroneously also targeted U.S. citizens, efforts that drew rebukes from a federal judge and numerous voter rights groups.
Texas’s acting secretary of state, David Whitley (R), resigned Monday just months after leading the botched voter...
29 May 2019

Trump administration authorized nuclear energy companies to share technological information with Saudi Arabia

The Trump administration has kept secret seven authorizations it has issued since November 2017 allowing U.S. nuclear energy companies to share sensitive technological information with Saudi Arabia, even though the kingdom has not yet agreed to anti-proliferation terms required to construct a pair of U.S.-designed civilian nuclear power plants.
The Trump administration has kept secret seven authorizations it has issued since November 2017 allowing U.S. nuclear...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

29 May 2019

Trump Undercuts John Bolton on North Korea and Iran

President Trump publicly undercut John R. Bolton, his national security adviser, on Iran and North Korea in recent days, raising questions about the administration’s policy and personnel in the middle of confrontations with both long-term American adversaries.
President Trump publicly undercut John R. Bolton, his national security adviser, on Iran and North Korea in recent days,...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

28 May 2019

Trump Administration Hardens Its Attack on Climate Science

President Trump has rolled back environmental regulations, pulled the United States out of the Paris climate accord, brushed aside dire predictions about the effects of climate change, and turned the term “global warming” into a punch line rather than a prognosis.
President Trump has rolled back environmental regulations, pulled the United States out of the Paris climate accord,...

Publisher: Reuters

Author:

27 May 2019

U.S. deploys more troops to Middle East, blames Iran for tanker attacks

The United States on Friday announced the deployment of 1,500 troops to the Middle East, describing it as an effort to bolster defenses against Iran as it accused the country’s Revolutionary Guards of direct responsibility for this month’s tanker attacks.
The United States on Friday announced the deployment of 1,500 troops to the Middle East, describing it as an effort to...

Publisher: Al Jazeera

Author:

26 May 2019

US troop move to Middle East ‘extremely dangerous’: Zarif

A US move to send more troops to the Middle East after accusing Tehran of being behind attacks on tankers in the region is "extremely dangerous ... [for] international peace", Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif was quoted as saying. "Increased US presence in our region is extremely dangerous and it threatens international peace and security, and this should be addressed," state news agency IRNA quoted Zarif as saying on Saturday.
A US move to send more troops to the Middle East after accusing Tehran of being behind attacks on tankers in the region...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

25 May 2019

Distorted Videos of Nancy Pelosi Spread on Facebook and Twitter, Helped by Trump

Manipulated videos of Speaker Nancy Pelosi that made it seem as if she were stumbling over and slurring her words continued to spread across social media on Friday, fueled by President Trump’s feud with the Democratic leader.
Manipulated videos of Speaker Nancy Pelosi that made it seem as if she were stumbling over and slurring her words...
25 May 2019

Trump Administration Declares Fake Emergency to Sell Weapons to Saudi Arabia

The Trump administration chose the Friday afternoon before Memorial Day weekend to invoke an obscure state-of-emergency provision that would allow it to sell billions of dollars in weapons to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates without giving Congress a chance to block the sale.
The Trump administration chose the Friday afternoon before Memorial Day weekend to invoke an obscure state-of-emergency...
25 May 2019

Trump approves sending more forces to the Middle East amid tensions with Iran

The Trump administration, facing rising tensions with Iran, plans to reinforce its military presence in the Middle East by sending another few thousand forces to the region to step up missile defense and surveillance, according to U.S. officials.
The Trump administration, facing rising tensions with Iran, plans to reinforce its military presence in the Middle East...
24 May 2019

Chicago bank CEO Stephen Calk accused of bribing Manafort for administration job

Stephen Calk, a former economic adviser to President Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, was indicted Thursday for allegedly approving $16 million in loans to former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort in exchange for his help seeking a top post in the administration.
Stephen Calk, a former economic adviser to President Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, was indicted Thursday for...
24 May 2019

Facing U.S. sanctions, Iran abandons restraint but seeks to avoid war

Iran has made a dramatic shift in how it confronts the United States, abandoning a policy of restraint in recent weeks for a series of offensive actions aimed at pushing the White House to rethink its efforts at isolating Tehran, say diplomats and analysts. With the Trump administration tightening economic sanctions and intensifying military pressure, Iran is now seeking to highlight the costs it could also impose on the United States — for instance, by disrupting the world’s oil supply — without taking actions likely to trigger an all-out war.
Iran has made a dramatic shift in how it confronts the United States, abandoning a policy of restraint in recent weeks...
24 May 2019

Kushner Cos. Gets $800 Million Federally Backed Apartment Loan

Kushner Cos., the real estate firm owned by the family of President Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, has received about $800 million in federally backed debt to buy apartments in Maryland and Virginia -- the company’s biggest purchase in a decade.
Kushner Cos., the real estate firm owned by the family of President Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, has...
24 May 2019

Putin out-prepared Trump in key meeting, Rex Tillerson told House panel

Former secretary of state Rex Tillerson told members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee that Russian President Vladimir Putin out-prepared President Trump during a key meeting in Germany, putting the U.S. leader at a disadvantage during their first series of tête-à-têtes. The U.S. side anticipated a shorter meeting for exchanging courtesies, but it ballooned into a globe-spanning two-hour-plus session involving deliberations on a variety of geopolitical issues, said committee aides, who like others spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss Tillerson’s seven-hour closed meeting with the committee.
Former secretary of state Rex Tillerson told members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee that Russian President...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

24 May 2019

Trump Gives Farmers $16 Billion in Aid Amid Prolonged China Trade War

President Trump on Thursday unveiled a $16 billion bailout for farmers hurt by his trade war with Beijing, signaling a protracted fight ahead that is already prompting some American companies to shift business away from China.
President Trump on Thursday unveiled a $16 billion bailout for farmers hurt by his trade war with Beijing, signaling a...
23 May 2019

President cancels meeting with Pelosi and Schumer on infrastructure, holds impromptu presser

President Trump abruptly ended a meeting with Democratic leaders on Wednesday, saying he was unable to work with them on legislation following comments by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) that he was “engaged in a coverup.”
President Trump abruptly ended a meeting with Democratic leaders on Wednesday, saying he was unable to work with them on...

Publisher: LA Times

Author:

23 May 2019

Trump’s ‘pro-life’ administration just killed a program on children’s health

For more than 20 years, the federal Environmental Protection Agency and National Institutes of Health have partnered to fund a unique nationwide program studying environmental impacts on children’s health. No more. The Trump administration is zeroing out the EPA contribution to the program, forcing many of the 13 university-based research centers to curtail their multiyear projects and leaving the NIH to scramble for a rescue plan.
For more than 20 years, the federal Environmental Protection Agency and National Institutes of Health have partnered to...
21 May 2019

A Path to War With Iran

That the Trump administration’s approach to Iran could lead the United States into an inadvertent conflict should come as a surprise to no one. Indeed, from the day Trump took office, many feared that his impulsive behavior, blustering rhetoric, inability to think ahead, disrespect for policy process, and determination to “win” could lead to war. In a spring 2017 essay for this magazine, I raised concerns about his potential to stumble into conflict with Iran, China, or North Korea.
That the Trump administration’s approach to Iran could lead the United States into an inadvertent conflict should come...
21 May 2019

Iran hits back at Trump for tweeting ‘genocidal taunts’

The Iranian foreign minister, Javad Zarif, has hit back at Donald Trump’s “genocidal taunts” after a strongly worded warning from Trump that Tehran should not think of attacking the US. “Goaded by #B_Team,” Zarif wrote on Twitter, in an apparent reference to Trump advisers such as John Bolton, “@realdonaldTrump hopes to achieve what Alexander, Genghis & other aggressors failed to do. Iranians have stood tall for millennia while aggressors all gone. #EconomicTerrorism & genocidal taunts won’t ‘end Iran’.” He added: “#NeverThreatenAnIranian. Try respect – it works!”
The Iranian foreign minister, Javad Zarif, has hit back at Donald Trump’s “genocidal taunts” after a strongly...

Publisher: NYTimes

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21 May 2019

McGahn Skips Hearing, Defying Subpoena, and Democrats’ Anger Swells

Donald F. McGahn II, the former White House counsel, defied a House subpoena on Tuesday under order of the White House, stoking outraged Democrats to contemplate anew punitive measures, including opening an impeachment inquiry, to try to enforce Congress’s oversight powers.
Donald F. McGahn II, the former White House counsel, defied a House subpoena on Tuesday under order of the White House,...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

20 May 2019

There’s No Boom in Youngstown, but Blue-Collar Workers Are Sticking With Trump

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.
Mr. Betras, who recently stepped down as Democratic chairman of populous Mahoning County, said that while Democrats in...
18 May 2019

Democrats are finally getting wise to Republicans’ antisemitism smears

At first, it looked to be more of the same: another week, another rash of false accusations of antisemitism launched by Republicans against one of the two new Muslim-American congresswomen. This time it was Rashida Tlaib who found herself under attack for comments she made on a Yahoo News podcast.
At first, it looked to be more of the same: another week, another rash of false accusations of antisemitism launched by...
18 May 2019

Trump risks credibility with policy that veers between threats and inaction

Trump has said that there is no inconsistency in his administration’s messaging but that the image of incoherence can be useful. “At least Iran doesn’t know what to think, which at this point may very well be a good thing!” he tweeted Friday. But as he moves more deeply into the second half of his term with major foreign policy issues unresolved, Trump’s credibility has suffered, and his options have narrowed.
Trump has said that there is no inconsistency in his administration’s messaging but that the image of incoherence can...
18 May 2019

Venezuela’s Collapse Is the Worst Outside of War in Decades, Economists Say

Zimbabwe’s collapse under Robert Mugabe. The fall of the Soviet Union. Cuba’s disastrous unraveling in the 1990s. The crumbling of Venezuela’s economy has now outpaced them all. Venezuela’s fall is the single largest economic collapse outside of war in at least 45 years, economists say.
Zimbabwe’s collapse under Robert Mugabe. The fall of the Soviet Union. Cuba’s disastrous unraveling in the 1990s....

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

18 May 2019

War With Iran? Count Us Out, Europe Says

With strong memories of the last catastrophic war in Iraq, Europeans are united in opposing what many consider the United States’ effort to provoke Iran into a shooting war. Yet, despite the strains in trans-Atlantic relations in the Trump years, flat-out opposition to Washington remains an uncomfortable place for European nations.
With strong memories of the last catastrophic war in Iraq, Europeans are united in opposing what many consider the...

Publisher: Politico

Author:

17 May 2019

Trump’s pick for ICE director: I can tell which migrant children will become gang members by looking into their eyes

Mark Morgan, the White House choice to lead Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said during a Fox News interview earlier this year that he can judge the likelihood that an unaccompanied minor will become a gang member by looking into that child's eyes.
Mark Morgan, the White House choice to lead Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said during a Fox News interview...
16 May 2019

As U.S. pulls some workers from Iraq, allies challenge claim of rising threat from Iran

The State Department on Wednesday ordered all “non-emergency U.S. government employees” to leave Iraq amid soaring tensions with Iran, which backs proxy forces there.  It said in a statement that the announcement affects both the U.S. Embassy in the capital, Baghdad, and a consulate in the northern city of Irbil.
The State Department on Wednesday ordered all “non-emergency U.S. government employees” to leave Iraq amid...

Publisher: NYTimes

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16 May 2019

Iran Threat Debate Is Set Off by Images of Missiles at Sea

The photographs fueled fears that Iran would fire missiles at U.S. naval ships in the Persian Gulf. The Pentagon has not released the photograph. On its own, two American officials said, the photograph was not compelling enough to convince the American public and lawmakers, or foreign allies, of the new Iranian threat. But releasing other supporting images could compromise secret sources and methods of collecting intelligence, the officials said.
The photographs fueled fears that Iran would fire missiles at U.S. naval ships in the Persian Gulf. The Pentagon has not...

Publisher: Ars Technica

Author:

15 May 2019

AT&T promised 7,000 new jobs to get tax break—it cut 23,000 jobs instead

AT&T in November 2017 pushed for the corporate tax cut by promising to invest an additional $1 billion in 2018, with CEO Randall Stephenson saying that "every billion dollars AT&T invests is 7,000 hard-hat jobs. These are not entry-level jobs. These are 7,000 jobs of people putting fiber in ground, hard-hat jobs that make $70,000 to $80,000 per year."
AT&T in November 2017 pushed for the corporate tax cut by promising to invest an additional $1 billion in 2018, with...
15 May 2019

No increased Iran threat in Syria or Iraq, top British officer says, contradicting US

The top British general in the US-led coalition against Isis has said there is no increased threat from Iranian-backed forces in Iraq or Syria, directly contradicting US assertions used to justify a military buildup in the region. Hours later however, his assessment was disowned by US Central Command in an extraordinary rebuke of an allied senior officer.
The top British general in the US-led coalition against Isis has said there is no increased threat from Iranian-backed...

Publisher: BBC News

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15 May 2019

US ‘blames Iran’ for damage to tankers in Gulf of Oman

US investigators believe Iran or groups it supports used explosives to damage four ships off the United Arab Emirates on Sunday, media reports say. Military experts were reportedly sent to investigate the incident and found a large hole in each of the tankers. No evidence has emerged to show that Iran was involved. The affected countries are yet to assign blame.
US investigators believe Iran or groups it supports used explosives to damage four ships off the United Arab Emirates on...

Publisher: The Intercept

Author:

14 May 2019

Congressional Staff Hosted at Anti-Medicare For All Retreat

At a luxury resort just outside of the nation’s capital last month, around four dozen senior congressional staffers decamped for a weekend of relaxation and discussion at Salamander Resort & Spa. It was an opportunity for Democrats and Republicans to come together and listen to live music from the Trailer Grass Orchestra, sip surprisingly impressive glasses of Virginia wine — and hear from health care lobbyists focused on defeating Medicare for All.
At a luxury resort just outside of the nation’s capital last month, around four dozen senior...
14 May 2019

Pompeo crashes Brussels meeting of E.U. diplomats for Iran talks

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo flew to Brussels on Monday for an unplanned visit with European foreign ministers who fear that the United States and Iran are inching toward war. The last-minute decision, announced as he boarded a plane from the United States, set up a confrontation between Pompeo and European diplomats who have been scrambling to save the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo flew to Brussels on Monday for an unplanned visit with European foreign ministers who...

Publisher: Washington Post

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14 May 2019

Two Saudi oil tankers, Norwegian ship apparently attacked near the Persian Gulf amid rising Iran tensions

Two Saudi Arabian oil tankers and a Norwegian ship were damaged over the weekend near the Persian Gulf in what Saudi Arabia claimed Monday was an “act of sabotage,” further heightening regional tensions with Iran.
Two Saudi Arabian oil tankers and a Norwegian ship were damaged over the weekend near the Persian Gulf in what Saudi...

Publisher: NYTimes

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14 May 2019

White House Reviews Military Plans Against Iran, in Echoes of Iraq War

At a meeting of President Trump’s top national security aides last Thursday, Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan presented an updated military plan that envisions sending as many as 120,000 troops to the Middle East should Iran attack American forces or accelerate work on nuclear weapons, administration officials said.
At a meeting of President Trump’s top national security aides last Thursday, Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan...

Publisher: NYTimes

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13 May 2019

China Retaliates With Higher Tariffs as Trump Defends U.S. Approach

The United States and China escalated their trade fight on Monday as Beijing moved to raise tariffs on nearly $60 billion worth of American goods in retaliation for President Trump’s decision to punish China with higher tariffs on a slew of imports.China’s finance ministry announced that it was raising tariffs on a wide range of American goods to 20 percent or 25 percent from 10 percent in response to Mr. Trump’s decision to raise tariffs to 25 percent on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods
The United States and China escalated their trade fight on Monday as Beijing moved to raise tariffs on nearly $60...
13 May 2019

Trump administration breaks campaign promise, purges 200,000 VA healthcare applications

Trump’s strong condemnation of the Obama administration’s handling of the backlog of hundreds of thousands of veteran benefits claims made him the overwhelming choice for many veteran voters in 2016. But after two years in the White House, the Trump administration has decided to execute a plan to purge 200,000 applications for VA healthcare caused by known administrative errors within VA’s enrollment process and enrollment system — problems that had already been documented by the Office of the Inspector General in 2015 and 2017.
Trump’s strong condemnation of the Obama administration’s handling of the backlog of hundreds of thousands of...

Publisher: ABC News

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12 May 2019

Trump administration proposes $7.1 billion funding cut to Education Department

The Trump administration is looking to cut the Education Department’s funding by $7.1 billion compared to what it was given last year.  The budget proposal suggests eliminating 29 programs, including after-school and summer programs for students in high-poverty areas, among other things.
The Trump administration is looking to cut the Education Department’s funding by $7.1 billion compared to what it was...

Publisher: Newsweek

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11 May 2019

Trump Administration Plans to End Some Protections for Endangered Species After UN Report Warns of ‘Mass Extinction Event’

A United Nations report released this week found that one-eighth of the world’s animals and plants are at risk of extinction and that biodiversity was declining at an “unprecedented pace,” but David Bernhardt, U.S. Secretary of the Interior, said this dire portrait won’t stop the Trump administration from ending protections for endangered species in the United States.
A United Nations report released this week found that one-eighth of the world’s animals and plants are at...
10 May 2019

Stores closing include CVS, Office Depot, Walmart in 2019

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.
The staggering rate of store closures that has rocked the retail industry over the past couple of years is expected to...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

10 May 2019

Trump Says China Tariffs Will Increase as Trade Deal Hangs in the Balance

President Trump said on Thursday that the United States would raise tariffs on $200 billion of worth of Chinese goods on Friday morning and begin the process to tax nearly all of China’s imports as he accused Beijing of trying to “renegotiate” a trade deal.
President Trump said on Thursday that the United States would raise tariffs on $200 billion of worth of Chinese goods on...

Publisher: Fortune

Author:

9 May 2019

Trump Used the Same Tax Breaks as Amazon to Drastically Reduce His Own IRS Bill

President Donald Trump complains that large corporations, such as Amazon.com Inc., are shirking their tax responsibilities. Yet for at least a decade, Trump paid none or very little in federal income taxes by exploiting some of the same generous tax breaks that the online retail giant and others have used to reduce IRS bills.
President Donald Trump complains that large corporations, such as Amazon.com Inc., are shirking their tax...

Publisher: NYTimes

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8 May 2019

Decade in the Red: Trump Tax Figures Show Over $1 Billion in Business Losses

Mr. Trump was propelled to the presidency, in part, by a self-spun narrative of business success and of setbacks triumphantly overcome. He has attributed his first run of reversals and bankruptcies to the recession that took hold in 1990. But 10 years of tax information obtained by The New York Times paints a different, and far bleaker, picture of his deal-making abilities and financial condition.
Mr. Trump was propelled to the presidency, in part, by a self-spun narrative of business success and of setbacks...
8 May 2019

Did Donald Trump’s Grip on the Justice Department Sabotage Robert Mueller’s Investigation?

Through his unrelenting efforts to obstruct the Trump-Russia investigation since its inception, President Donald Trump has inflicted a slow-motion Saturday Night Massacre on the American people, a constitutional nightmare that has lasted two years instead of one night.
Through his unrelenting efforts to obstruct the Trump-Russia investigation since its inception, President Donald Trump...
8 May 2019

The US Is Spending $1.25 Trillion Annually on War

In its latest budget request, the Trump administration is asking for a near-record $750 billion for the Pentagon and related defense activities, an astonishing figure by any measure. If passed by Congress, it will, in fact, be one of the largest military budgets in American history, topping peak levels reached during the Korean and Vietnam Wars. And keep one thing in mind: that $750 billion represents only part of the actual annual cost of our national security state.
In its latest budget request, the Trump administration is asking for a near-record $750 billion for the Pentagon and...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

8 May 2019

Trump Asserts Executive Privilege Over Full Mueller Report

President Trump asserted executive privilege on Wednesday in an effort to shield hidden portions of Robert S. Mueller III’s unredacted report and the evidence he collected from Congress. The assertion, Mr. Trump’s first use of the secrecy powers as president, came as the House Judiciary Committee is expected to vote Wednesday morning to recommend the House of Representatives hold Attorney General William P. Barr in contempt of Congress for defying a subpoena for the same material.
President Trump asserted executive privilege on Wednesday in an effort to shield hidden portions of Robert S. Mueller...
7 May 2019

Trump pardons Michael Behenna, who was convicted of murdering an Iraqi prisoner

President Trump has pardoned Michael Behenna, a former Army lieutenant who served five years in prison for the murder of an Iraqi prisoner in 2008. Behenna, who was an Army Ranger in the 101st Airborne Division, was convicted of unpremeditated murder in a combat zone and sentenced to 25 years after killing Ali Mansur, a detainee and suspected al-Qaeda member. Behenna, who stripped Mansur naked, interrogated him without authorization and then shot him twice, has claimed repeatedly that he was acting in self-defense.
President Trump has pardoned Michael Behenna, a former Army lieutenant who served five years in prison for the murder of...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

6 May 2019

Trump Objects to Mueller Testifying Before Congress

President Trump said on Sunday that the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, should not testify before Congress, setting up another confrontation with Democrats over presidential authority and the separation of powers.
President Trump said on Sunday that the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, should not testify before Congress,...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

4 May 2019

The Economy That Wasn’t Supposed to Happen: Booming Jobs, Low Inflation

The labor market the United States is experiencing right now wasn’t supposed to be possible. Not that long ago, the overwhelming consensus among economists would have been that you couldn’t have a 3.6 percent unemployment rate without also seeing the rate of job creation slowing (where are new workers going to come from with so few out of work, after all?) and having an inflation surge (a worker shortage should mean employers bidding up wages, right?).
The labor market the United States is experiencing right now wasn’t supposed to be possible. Not that long ago, the...
4 May 2019

The Improbable Comeback of Erik Prince

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.
When Erik Prince arrived at the Four Seasons resort in the Seychelles in January 2017 for his now-famous meetings...
4 May 2019

Trump says he and Putin discussed outcome of Mueller probe as part of hour-long phone conversation

President Trump said he spoke with Russian President Vladi­mir Putin by phone for more than an hour Friday about topics including special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation but that he did not confront Putin about Russian interference in the 2016 election.
President Trump said he spoke with Russian President Vladi­mir Putin by phone for more than an hour Friday about topics...
3 May 2019

‘Sick, Dystopian Stuff’: Former Trump Adviser Kelly Joins Board of Company Running Immigrant Detention Centers

In what one critic deemed a "nauseating example of the revolving door" through which powerful political players often move in and out of the private sector, former White House Chief of Staff John Kelly joined the board of a company which owns some of the largest detention centers for unaccompanied children who cross the U.S.-Mexico border.
In what one critic deemed a "nauseating example of the revolving door" through which powerful political players often...

Publisher: NBC News

Author:

3 May 2019

State Dept. allowed foreign govts to lease luxury condos at Trump World Tower without Congress OK

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.
The U.S. State Department allowed at least seven foreign governments to rent luxury condominiums in New York's Trump...
3 May 2019

Why Trump Gets a ‘C’ on the Economy

Donald Trump keeps boasting about what a great economy he should get credited for creating. But his administration’s own reports don’t support his claims, which also don’t come close to what he promised voters. His results so far have been, well, just average.
Donald Trump keeps boasting about what a great economy he should get credited for creating. But his administration’s...
2 May 2019

Barr’s Most Absurd Defenses Of Trump’s Obstructive Conduct

By now, it’s pretty clear that Attorney General Bill Barr thinks there was nothing unusual — let alone potentially criminal — about President Trump’s intervention in the federal Russia investigation. Not the repeated pushes to fire special counsel Robert Mueller, not the public fuming about being the innocent victim of a federal “witch hunt,” not the tweeted threats to the family of his former personal attorney.
By now, it’s pretty clear that Attorney General Bill Barr thinks there was nothing unusual — let alone potentially...
2 May 2019

Economist Jeffrey Sachs: U.S. Sanctions Have Devastated Venezuela & Killed Over 40,000 Since 2017

More than 40,000 people have died in Venezuela since 2017 as a result of U.S. sanctions, according to a new report by the Center for Economic and Policy Research co-authored by economists Jeffrey Sachs and Mark Weisbrot. The report examines how U.S. sanctions have reduced the availability of food and medicine in Venezuela and increased disease and mortality.
More than 40,000 people have died in Venezuela since 2017 as a result of U.S. sanctions, according to a new report by...
2 May 2019

Mueller complained that Barr’s letter did not capture ‘context’ of Trump probe

Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III wrote a letter in late March complaining to Attorney General William P. Barr that a four-page memo to Congress describing the principal conclusions of the investigation into President Trump “did not fully capture the context, nature, and substance” of Mueller’s work, according to a copy of the letter reviewed Tuesday by The Washington Post.
Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III wrote a letter in late March complaining to Attorney General William P. Barr that...
2 May 2019

Trump scrambles to salvage NAFTA rewrite, courting Democrats and trying to tamp down GOP fury

President Trump and senior White House officials are working to salvage political support for a revised trade pact with Mexico and Canada, stunned by bipartisan blowback that appeared likely to scuttle a key initiative. Several Democrats said Trump put on a charm offensive Tuesday during a White House meeting, soliciting their feedback on what he would need to do to win their support for an updated version of the North American Free Trade Agreement.
President Trump and senior White House officials are working to salvage political support for a revised trade pact with...

Publisher: Grit Post

Author:

1 May 2019

Recent Poll Showing Biden in Lead Confuses and Distorts Support for Bernie Sanders

In the poll released April 30, Biden is shown with an impressive 24-point edge over Sanders, with 39% of voters saying they supported him, compared to just 15% for the Vermont senator. However, a Grit Post analysis of the results found that the poll largely excluded voters under the age of 50 in coming to that conclusion.
In the poll released April 30, Biden is shown with an impressive 24-point edge over Sanders, with 39% of voters saying...
1 May 2019

Workers barely benefited from Trump’s sweeping tax cut, investigation shows

Big companies drove Donald Trump’s tax cut law but refused to commit to any specific wage hikes for workers, despite repeated White House promises it would help employees, an investigation shows. The 2017 Tax and Jobs Act – the Trump administration’s one major piece of enacted legislation – did deliver the biggest corporate tax cut in US history, but ultimately workers benefited almost not at all.
Big companies drove Donald Trump’s tax cut law but refused to commit to any specific wage hikes for workers, despite...
30 Apr 2019

Oil and Gas Start Recall Campaign Against Colorado Democrat

For decades, the oil and gas industry has had a stranglehold on Colorado politics, but the newly empowered Democrats unveiled a sweeping bill to rein in fracking. The industry spent millions to stop it, but Democrats muscled it through, and it was signed by Gov. Jared Polis, an independently wealthy Democrat who ran in opposition to the industry.
For decades, the oil and gas industry has had a stranglehold on Colorado politics, but the newly empowered Democrats...
30 Apr 2019

On Palestine-Israel, Cory Booker and Kamala Harris miss the progressive wave they seek to ride

On April 13, Democratic primary candidate Cory Booker launched his campaign at a kickoff event in Newark, New Jersey with a slogan of “Justice for All.” Booker’s slogan quickly came under fire from student protesters who responded to his vocal support for pro-Israeli government policies with cries of “Justice for Palestine!”
On April 13, Democratic primary candidate Cory Booker launched his campaign at a kickoff event in Newark, New Jersey...
30 Apr 2019

Why Vermont’s single-payer effort failed and what Democrats can learn from it

Vermont’s foray into publicly financed health care — in a state that in many ways offered the optimal conditions — demonstrates the extraordinary difficulty of trying to convert progressives’ dream of a more just, efficient health system into reality.
Vermont’s foray into publicly financed health care — in a state that in many ways offered the optimal conditions —...
29 Apr 2019

Corporate Media Are Here to Warn You: Medicare for All Is a Very Bad Idea

Despite all the concern trolling, reading the financial press highlights the fact that corporate media oppose Medicare for All not because of legitimate queries and concerns about its implementation, but because they are owned by investors with stakes in maintaining the for-profit status quo
Despite all the concern trolling, reading the financial press highlights the fact that corporate media oppose Medicare...

Publisher: Newsweek

Author:

26 Apr 2019

Border Patrol to Pay Out $84 Million in Bonuses to Agents in Bid to Stop Them From Leaving

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.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection has offered bonuses equivalent to 5 percent of current salaries to agents...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

25 Apr 2019

Trump Vows Stonewall of ‘All’ House Subpoenas

The Trump administration escalated its defiance of Congress on Wednesday, as the Justice Department refused to let an official testify on Capitol Hill and President Trump vowed to fight what he called a “ridiculous” subpoena ordering a former top aide to appear before lawmakers. “We’re fighting all the subpoenas,” Mr. Trump told reporters outside the White House. “These aren’t, like, impartial people. The Democrats are trying to win 2020.”
The Trump administration escalated its defiance of Congress on Wednesday, as the Justice Department refused to let an...
24 Apr 2019

Netanyahu Plans to Name Illegal Settlement After Trump

Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, announced on Tuesday that he plans to name a new illegal settlement in the occupied Golan Heights in honor of Donald Trump, to thank the American president for agreeing to overlook the unlawful nature of Israel’s annexation of the territory seized from Syria in 1967.
Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, announced on Tuesday that he plans to name a new illegal settlement in...
22 Apr 2019

‘A Really Exciting Proposal’: Elizabeth Warren’s Education Overhaul Would Wipe Out Student Debt, Provide Free Public College

Elizabeth Warren wants to cancel part or all student loan debt for 95 percent of Americans and make public college free for everyone—the latest, and perhaps most ambitious, policy proposal for the 2020 Democratic contender.  Warren announced the policy in a Medium post Monday morning.
Elizabeth Warren wants to cancel part or all student loan debt for 95 percent of Americans and make public college free...
22 Apr 2019

Amid Push for New Oil Sanctions, Pompeo Reportedly Jokes About Secret Coup Plot Against Iran

With the Trump administration moving ahead Monday with punishing new sanctions against Iran with the goal of completely halting the country's oil exports, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reportedly joked about a secret White House plot to overthrow the Iranian government during a private meeting with Iranian-American "community leaders."
With the Trump administration moving ahead Monday with punishing new sanctions against Iran with the goal of completely...
22 Apr 2019

Things Didn’t Go Well When Betsy DeVos Was Confronted With Her Department’s Charter School Fraud

During a series of recent congressional hearings in Washington, D.C., U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos had to respond to a recent report finding the U.S. Department of Education has been scammed for hundreds of millions of dollars by fraudulent or mismanaged charter schools. Her responses reveal not only her inability to counter legitimate concerns over the spread of charter schools but also the charter school industry’s resistance to honestly address a chronic problem with its schools.
During a series of recent congressional hearings in Washington, D.C., U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos had to...
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