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

30 Mar 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: NY Magazine

Author:

30 Mar 2019

Trump’s NAFTA 2.0 Puts Big Pharma First, America Second

If there’s anything Donald Trump hates more than globalist trade deals that restrict U.S. sovereignty, it’s the exorbitant cost of pharmaceuticals in this country. “The next major priority for me, and for all of us, should be to lower the cost of health care and prescription drugs,” the president said in his most recent State of the Union Address. “It is unacceptable that Americans pay vastly more than people in other countries for the exact same drugs, often made in the exact same place.”
If there’s anything Donald Trump hates more than globalist trade deals that restrict U.S. sovereignty, it’s the...
29 Mar 2019

Three Lessons From ‘Failed’ Mueller Inquiry

The left never had a dog in this race. This was always an in-house squabble between different wings of the establishment. Late-stage capitalism is in terminal crisis, and the biggest problem facing our corporate elites is how to emerge from this crisis with their power intact. One wing wants to make sure the pig’s face remains painted, the other is happy simply getting its snout deeper into the trough while the food lasts.
The left never had a dog in this race. This was always an in-house squabble between different wings of the...
29 Mar 2019

Trump just gave a huge gift to an alleged billion dollar Medicare fraudster

The Trump administration informed a federal appeals court on Monday night that it would no longer defend the Affordable Care Act after a judge in Texas declared that the entire law must be struck down. The judge, Reed O’Connor, is a former Republican Senate staffer with a history of striking down policies opposed by conservatives. O’Connor’s opinion is widely viewed as ridiculous, even by conservative legal scholars and health policy experts.
The Trump administration informed a federal appeals court on Monday night that it would no longer defend the Affordable...

Publisher: Bloomberg

Author:

29 Mar 2019

Trump’s Offshore Cash Promise Falters as $665 Billion Returns

Corporate America brought $664.9 billion of offshore profits back to the U.S. last year, falling short of the $4 trillion President Donald Trump said would return as a result of the 2017 tax overhaul. Companies kept much of their overseas profit offshore because a 35 percent tax kicked in only if they brought the cash back to the U.S. But the Republican tax law set a one-time 15.5 percent tax rate on cash and 8 percent on non-cash or illiquid assets, regardless of the country where the profits sat.
Corporate America brought $664.9 billion of offshore profits back to the U.S. last year, falling short of the $4...
27 Mar 2019

‘Vindictive Behavior’: Trump Complains Puerto Rico Getting ‘Too Much’ Disaster Aid as Over a Million Face Food Crisis

With over a million U.S. citizens in Puerto Rico facing devastating food stamp cuts as Congress fails to provide necessary hurricane relief funding, President Donald Trump reportedly complained to Republican senators on Tuesday that the island is receiving "too much" aid—a position that was decried as both false and cruel.
With over a million U.S. citizens in Puerto Rico facing devastating food stamp cuts as Congress fails to provide...

Publisher: The Hill

Author:

27 Mar 2019

Betsy DeVos defends Special Olympics budget cuts: ‘We had to make some difficult decisions’

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos defended budget cuts to programs including the Special Olympics on Tuesday. Appearing before a House subcommittee Tuesday to review the department’s proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year, DeVos said, “We had to make some difficult decisions.”
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos defended budget cuts to programs including the Special Olympics on Tuesday. Appearing...

Publisher: Common Dreams

Author:

27 Mar 2019

Forget Mueller. Forget Impeachment. A Million People Should Surround the White House and Demand Trump’s Resignation

What a farce and distraction this whole exercise turned out to be! Mueller’s assigned subject was Trump. So, does this prosecutor demand to interview Trump, to subpoena Trump? No. Does this special investigator conclude with any legal recommendations at all? No. Really, what should we have expected from someone who, as FBI Director, testified before Congress as part of the Bush/Cheney regime, pushing for the criminal invasion of Iraq in 2003?
What a farce and distraction this whole exercise turned out to be! Mueller’s assigned subject was Trump. So, does this...

Publisher: Alternet

Author:

27 Mar 2019

Trump’s AG Bill Barr has a history of cover-ups — and he just struck again

Back in 1992, the last time Bill Barr was U.S. attorney general, iconic New York Times writer William Safire referred to him as “Coverup-General Barr” because of his role in burying evidence of then-President George H.W. Bush’s involvement in “Iraqgate” and “Iron-Contra.” General Barr has struck again—this time, in similar fashion, burying Mueller’s report and cherry-picking fragments of sentences from it to justify Trump’s behavior.
Back in 1992, the last time Bill Barr was U.S. attorney general, iconic New York Times writer William Safire referred to...

Publisher: Reuters

Author:

27 Mar 2019

U.S. labor unions say NAFTA replacement does not go far enough for workers

U.S. labor officials on Tuesday pressed lawmakers to strengthen enforcement of the provisions of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) intended to protect workers, the latest sign the trade deal could face hurdles to passage in the Democrat-led House of Representatives.
U.S. labor officials on Tuesday pressed lawmakers to strengthen enforcement of the provisions of the United...

Publisher: The Intercept

Author:

26 Mar 2019

Adam Milstein Has Spent Millions to Stifle BDS and Attack Critics of Israel

Adam Milstein, a real estate millionaire and prolific donor to right-wing, pro-Israel causes, had a busy few days on Twitter this month. In one tweet, he accused Rep. Ilhan Omar of being a “terrorist.” In another, he questioned Omar’s and Rep. Rashida Tlaib’s loyalty to the United States. He also accused Tlaib and Omar, the first two Muslim-American women elected to Congress, of having links to the Muslim Brotherhood, indulging a tired trope popular among anti-Muslim bigots.
Adam Milstein, a real estate millionaire and prolific donor to right-wing, pro-Israel causes, had a busy few days on...
26 Mar 2019

The DCCC Is Trying to Put Me Out of Business — and I’m a Democrat.

Six hours after the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee announced that it was blacklisting firms that work with primary challengers, I met with a potential client who was considering a Democratic primary. The client told me that two consultants dropped out that morning — and now the candidate may not run at all.*
Six hours after the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee announced that it was blacklisting firms that...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

26 Mar 2019

Trump and Republicans Seek to Turn the Tables in Post-Mueller Washington

President Trump and his Republican allies went on the offensive on Monday, vowing to pursue and even punish those responsible for the Russia investigation now that the special counsel has wrapped up without implicating him or his campaign in a criminal conspiracy to influence the 2016 election.
President Trump and his Republican allies went on the offensive on Monday, vowing to pursue and even punish those...
25 Mar 2019

Bill Barr’s Weasel Words

Special counsel Robert Mueller has submitted his report on the Russia investigation, and Republicans are gloating. They claim a four-page letter from Attorney General William Barr, purporting to summarize the report, exonerates President Donald Trump. They’re wrong. The letter says the Justice Department won’t prosecute Trump, but it reaches that conclusion by tailoring legal standards to protect the president. Here’s a list of Barr’s weasel words and what they’re hiding.
Special counsel Robert Mueller has submitted his report on the Russia investigation, and Republicans are gloating. They...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

25 Mar 2019

Eager to Court Jews (and Fracture Democrats), Republicans Push Bills on Anti-Semitism

Democrats hoped to put their wrenching intraparty debate over anti-Semitism to rest when they passed a catchall antibigotry resolution in the House this month, but Senate Republicans, eager to court American Jews outraged by the rise of anti-Semitism, have other plans.
Democrats hoped to put their wrenching intraparty debate over anti-Semitism to rest when they passed a catchall...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

25 Mar 2019

Mueller Finds No Trump-Russia Conspiracy but Stops Short of Exonerating President on Obstruction of Justice

The investigation led by Robert S. Mueller III found that neither President Trump nor any of his aides conspired or coordinated with the Russian government’s 2016 election interference, according to a summary of the special counsel’s findings made public on Sunday by Attorney General William P. Barr.Mr. Barr also said that Mr. Mueller’s team drew no conclusions about whether Mr. Trump illegally obstructed justice.
The investigation led by Robert S. Mueller III found that neither President Trump nor any of his aides conspired or...

Publisher: Truthdig

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25 Mar 2019

Mueller Report Ends a Shameful Period for the Press

The Mueller report’s categorical statement that Donald Trump and his campaign did not collude with Russia ends one of the most shameful periods in modern American journalism, one that rivals the mindless cheerleading for the Iraq War by most of the press. It further erodes and may prove fatal to the credibility of a press that has steadfastly rendered most of the country invisible and functions as little more than an array of gossiping courtiers to the elites.
The Mueller report’s categorical statement that Donald Trump and his campaign did not collude with Russia ends one of...
25 Mar 2019

Steny Hoyer Condemned for ‘Shameful’ and ‘Unhinged’ AIPAC Speech

Rep. Steny Hoyer, the number two Democrat in the House, came under fire from progressives Sunday night after he used his address at AIPAC's policy conference to attack left-wing members of his caucus and throw his full support behind a resolution condemning the boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement.
Rep. Steny Hoyer, the number two Democrat in the House, came under fire from progressives Sunday night after he used his...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

23 Mar 2019

Trump Reverses North Korea Sanctions That U.S. Imposed Yesterday

President Trump undercut his own Treasury Department on Friday by announcing that he was rolling back North Korea sanctions that it imposed just a day ago. The move, announced on Twitter, was a remarkable display of dissension within the Trump administration and represented a striking case of a White House intervening to reverse a major national security decision made only hours earlier by the president’s own officials.
President Trump undercut his own Treasury Department on Friday by announcing that he was rolling back North Korea...
23 Mar 2019

US budget deficit hits record $234 billion in February, national debt

The US posted a record budget deficit in the month of February, according to a new report form the Treasury Department. The budget deficit for February came in at $234 billion, according to the Treasury, higher than the previous monthly record of $231.7 billion set in 2012. The deficit was also 8.7% higher than the $215.2 billion deficit posted in February 2018.
The US posted a record budget deficit in the month of February, according to a new report form the Treasury Department....
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23 Mar 2019

Who paid for Chinese execs’ $50K photos with Trump?

Two guests of Cindy Yang didn’t pay for their own photos, priced at $50,000 each, with President Trump at a December 2017 RNC event. Selling tickets to campaign fundraisers without disclosing the buyer to the Federal Election Commission is illegal.
Two guests of Cindy Yang didn’t pay for their own photos, priced at $50,000 each, with President Trump at a December...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

22 Mar 2019

Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump Use Private Accounts for Official Business, Their Lawyer Says

The chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee revealed information on Thursday that he said showed Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner used private messaging services for official White House business in a way that may have violated federal records laws.
The chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee revealed information on Thursday that he said showed Ivanka...
22 Mar 2019

Trump says US will recognize Israel’s sovereignty over Golan Heights

Donald Trump has announced that the US will recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights, captured from Syria in 1967, in a dramatic move likely to bolster Benjamin Netanyahu’s hopes to win re-election, but which will also provoke international opposition. Previous US administrations have treated Golan Heights as occupied Syrian territory, in line with UN security council resolutions. Trump declared his break with that policy in a tweet.
Donald Trump has announced that the US will recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights, captured from Syria...
19 Mar 2019

How Executives Vote With Their Wallets

A Harvard study found that executives donate more heavily to Republicans. For the study, to be released Tuesday, they tracked personal political contributions for more than 3,500 chief executives that occupied the corner office anytime from 2000 to 2017. Just 18.4 percent of the executives studied were designated as Democrats. The clear majority — 57.7 percent — demonstrated their affiliation through donations to the Republican Party. Indeed, 75 percent of donations from the median chief executive were directed to Republicans.
A Harvard study found that executives donate more heavily to Republicans. For the study, to be released Tuesday, they...
15 Mar 2019

House calls for Mueller report to be made public in overwhelmingly bipartisan vote

The House voted overwhelmingly and in bipartisan fashion to urge the Justice Department to publicly release the entirety of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s report into Russian interference in the 2016 election, once completed. The move is an attempt to “send a clear signal both to the American people and the Department of Justice” that lawmakers expect to see the full account of Mueller’s work, according to the House Judiciary Committee’s chairman, Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.).
The House voted overwhelmingly and in bipartisan fashion to urge the Justice Department to publicly release the entirety...
15 Mar 2019

Republicans Laugh Off Concerns About Corporations Putting Money In Trump’s Pocket

Republicans on the House antitrust panel laughed off Democrats’ questions over T-Mobile’s spending at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C. immediately after the company announced a mega-merger with Sprint. One day after the merger announcement, nine T-Mobile executives checked in to Trump’s D.C. hotel, The Washington Post reported in January. The company ultimately spent $195,000 on 38 nights at the hotel as T-Mobile executives descended on Washington to meet with regulators about the proposed merger.
Republicans on the House antitrust panel laughed off Democrats’ questions over T-Mobile’s spending at the Trump...

Publisher: Asia Times

Author:

14 Mar 2019

Did RAND get it right in its war game exercise?

The RAND Corporation with Pentagon support has carried out a war game simulation in which the United States loses to both Russia and China. The US and NATO are unable to stop an attack in the Balkans by the Russians, and the United States and its allies are unable to prevent the takeover of Taiwan by China. These are the claims made by RAND. But is RAND right?
The RAND Corporation with Pentagon support has carried out a war game simulation in which the United...
14 Mar 2019

Paul Manafort is sentenced to a total of 7 1/2 years in prison for conspiracy and fraud

Once a globetrotting lobbyist and consultant to presidents, Paul Manafort on Wednesday was ordered to spend a total of 7 1 / 2 years in prison for his two federal cases after sentencing by a Washington judge. And soon after he left court in a wheelchair to return to the Virginia jail cell where he has begun serving his time, prosecutors in New York announced a 16-count grand jury indictment charging the former Trump campaign chairman with mortgage fraud, falsifying business records and conspiracy.
Once a globetrotting lobbyist and consultant to presidents, Paul Manafort on Wednesday was ordered to spend a total of 7...

Publisher: The Intercept

Author:

13 Mar 2019

Intercept Investigation Leads to Record FEC Fines

It is illegal for foreign nationals to contribute money in connection with U.S. elections. However, APIC and Right to Rise USA attempted to use an odd loophole created by the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision to funnel overseas cash into American politics.
It is illegal for foreign nationals to contribute money in connection with U.S. elections. However, APIC and Right to...

Publisher: Forbes

Author:

13 Mar 2019

Trump Proposes To End Student Loan Forgiveness Program

The White House released Trump's 2020 budget proposal, which contains important implications for higher education and student loans. The budget includes $64.0 billion in funding for the U.S. Department of Education, a $7.1 billion, or 10%, decrease compared to the 2019 funding. The budget, as it relates to student loans, is built on several stated goals, among others:
The White House released Trump's 2020 budget proposal, which contains important implications for higher education and...
13 Mar 2019

Trump’s 2020 budget proposes $1 trillion cut to Medicare, Medicaid

The White House released its 2020 budget proposal on Monday, proposing more than $1 trillion in cuts to the popular programs Medicare and Medicaid and giving insight into what the executive branch would do if Congress didn’t control the federal government’s pocketbook. The most notable cut comes out of Medicaid, a health program for people who are low-income or have a disability, which Trump proposes cutting by more than $700 billion over 10 years.
The White House released its 2020 budget proposal on Monday, proposing more than $1 trillion in cuts to the popular...
12 Mar 2019

Georgia GOP Introduced Bill to Criminalize Abortion Post-Roe

When Brett Kavanaugh was named a Supreme Court justice last fall, a world in which access to abortions would be significantly limited, if not downright illegal, became more likely. Late last month, Georgia joined a handful of Republican-led states positioning themselves to lead the charge if Roe v. Wade, the seminal Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion, were to be overturned.
When Brett Kavanaugh was named a Supreme Court justice last fall, a world in which access to abortions would be...

Publisher: ThinkProgress

Author:

12 Mar 2019

Trump tells RNC donors he doesn’t understand how any Jewish person could vote for a Democrat

“The Democrats hate Jewish people,” President Donald Trump reportedly told Republican National Committee donors on Friday night at Mar-a-Lago. Phones were sealed away in magnetic bags at the closed-door event, but Axios reported on what members of the audience heard.
“The Democrats hate Jewish people,” President Donald Trump reportedly told Republican National Committee donors on...
11 Mar 2019

The Big Cheat of 2018: Corporations Make Billions in Profits, Demand Tax Refunds from the American Public

The corporate tax rate nosedived from 35% to 21% in 2017, but the thirty companies listed here paid only 8.7% of their reported U.S. income in current federal taxes (even worse, an estimated 7.4% if U.S. income were based on a true percentage of sales). That's $30 to $35 billion—from just 30 companies—that is owed to the American public.
The corporate tax rate nosedived from 35% to 21% in 2017, but the thirty companies listed here paid only 8.7%...

Publisher: The Intercept

Author:

10 Mar 2019

Defense Tech Startup Founded by Trump’s Most Prominent Silicon Valley Supporters Wins Secretive Military AI Contract

A startup founded by a young and outspoken supporter of President Donald Trump is among the latest tech companies to quietly win a contract with the Pentagon as part of Project Maven, the secretive initiative to rapidly leverage artificial intelligence technology from the private sector for military purposes.
A startup founded by a young and outspoken supporter of President Donald Trump is among the latest tech companies to...
8 Mar 2019

Trump signs executive order to stop reporting civilian drone deaths

US President Donald Trump has signed an executive order reducing the number of civilian deaths from drones that the government must report. Trump signed the order Wednesday, revoking an Obama-era requirement for the director of national intelligence to release an annual report on the number of deaths resulting from US operations in noncombat areas around the world.
US President Donald Trump has signed an executive order reducing the number of civilian deaths from drones that the...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

7 Mar 2019

Regulators Move to Ease Post-Crisis Oversight of Wall Street

Federal regulators moved on Wednesday to ease oversight of the country’s largest banks and other financial firms, continuing a push by the Trump administration to reverse rules that were put in place following the 2008 financial crisis.The Federal Reserve said it would adjust the structure of its annual “stress tests,” which measure the ability of leading banks to withstand a potential economic or financial storm. The changes are likely to make it easier for banks to get regulatory approval to pay higher dividends or buy back their own shares.
Federal regulators moved on Wednesday to ease oversight of the country’s largest banks and other financial firms,...
7 Mar 2019

U.S. posted record-breaking $891 billion goods trade deficit in 2018, despite Trump’s ‘America First’ policies

The Commerce Department said Wednesday that — despite more than two years of President Trump’s “America First” policies — the United States last year posted a $891.2 billion merchandise trade deficit, the largest in the nation’s 243-year history.
The Commerce Department said Wednesday that — despite more than two years of President Trump’s “America First”...
6 Mar 2019

11 Million Taxpayers Losing $323 Billion In Deductions In Trump Tax Hit

There’s more bad news for taxpayers. A government report has revealed that 11 million taxpayers are losing out on $323 billion worth of deductions due to a punishing change in President Donald Trump’s tax law. The hard news comes after early filers were stunned by shrinking — to vanishing — tax refunds.
There’s more bad news for taxpayers. A government report has revealed that 11 million taxpayers are losing out on $323...
6 Mar 2019

Issuing ‘Death Sentence’ to Gray Wolves, Trump Admin Moves to Gut Federal Protections

Conservation groups were up in arms Wednesday after the Trump administration moved to strip federal protections from gray wolves. "This disgusting proposal would be a death sentence for gray wolves across the country," said Collette Adkins, a senior attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity. "The Trump administration is dead set on appeasing special interests that want to kill wolves."
Conservation groups were up in arms Wednesday after the Trump administration moved to strip federal protections from...
6 Mar 2019

N.Y. regulators subpoena Trump’s insurance broker as probes of his campaign, White House and businesses multiply

New York state regulators have subpoenaed President Trump’s insurance broker, following testimony from former Trump attorney Michael Cohen that Trump exaggerated his wealth to insurance companies. That subpoena — acknowledged Tuesday by broker Aon PLC — signaled another line of inquiry into Trump’s private business, this time by New York’s Department of Financial Services.
New York state regulators have subpoenaed President Trump’s insurance broker, following testimony from former Trump...
6 Mar 2019

The Making of the Fox News White House

In January, during the longest government shutdown in America’s history, President Donald Trump rode in a motorcade through Hidalgo County, Texas, eventually stopping on a grassy bluff overlooking the Rio Grande. The White House wanted to dramatize what Trump was portraying as a national emergency: the need to build a wall along the Mexican border. The presence of armored vehicles, bales of confiscated marijuana, and federal agents in flak jackets underscored the message.
In January, during the longest government shutdown in America’s history, President Donald Trump rode in a motorcade...
5 Mar 2019

Banking leak exposes Russian network with link to Prince Charles

A charity run by Prince Charles received donations from an offshore company that was used to funnel vast amounts of cash from Russia in a scheme that is under investigation by prosecutors, the Guardian can reveal. Money flowing through the network included cash that can be linked to some of the most notorious frauds committed during Vladimir Putin’s presidency.
A charity run by Prince Charles received donations from an offshore company that was used to funnel vast amounts of cash...
5 Mar 2019

MSNBC Yet Again Broadcasts Blatant Lies, This Time About Bernie Sanders’ Opening Speech, and Refuses to Correct Them

MSNBC is a dishonest political operation, not a news outlet. It systematically and deliberately refuses to adopt a defining attribute of a news outlet: a willingness to acknowledge factual errors, correct them, and apologize. That they not only allow their lies to stand uncorrected but reward their employees who do it most frequently – especially when those lies are directed at adversaries of the Democratic Party – proves that they are, first and foremost, a political arm of the Democratic establishment.
MSNBC is a dishonest political operation, not a news outlet. It systematically and deliberately refuses to adopt a...
5 Mar 2019

Sanders, Warren, Ocasio-Cortez, and Other Lawmakers Sign Pledge to End America’s “Forever Wars”

Eight members of Congress have taken a pledge to work to bring ongoing U.S. global military conflicts to a “responsible and expedient” end, the result of a first-of-its kind lobbying effort by military veterans on Capitol Hill. The pledge was written and organized by a group called Common Defense, made up of veterans and military families, which advocates for scaling back U.S. military commitments overseas.
Eight members of Congress have taken a pledge to work to bring ongoing U.S. global military conflicts to a...
5 Mar 2019

US banks on back foot as global rivals charge into China

European and Japanese financial institutions are breaking new ground in the Chinese market as U.S. competitors take a back seat due to tensions over trade and intellectual property practices.Although China relaxed rules on majority foreign stakes in its financial sector last year, with full ownership taking effect after 2021, authorities there have yet to grant such approval for U.S. banks' joint ventures.
European and Japanese financial institutions are breaking new ground in the Chinese market as U.S. competitors take a...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

5 Mar 2019

With Sweeping Document Request, Democrats Launch Broad Trump Corruption Inquiry

The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee delivered a flurry of document demands to the executive branch and the broader Trump world on Monday that detailed the breadth of the Democrats’ investigation into possible obstruction of justice, corruption and abuse of power by President Trump and his administration.
The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee delivered a flurry of document demands to the executive branch and the...

Publisher: The Guardian

Author:

1 Mar 2019

How Trump’s $50m golf club became $1.4m when it came time to pay tax

Trump’s lawsuit in county court argues that the luxurious private club, which he bought in foreclosure for about $8m in the mid-1990s before spending what he claimed at the club’s opening event was another $45m in improvements, has been unfairly assessed and is in fact worth only $1.4m.
Trump’s lawsuit in county court argues that the luxurious private club, which he bought in foreclosure for about $8m...

Publisher: NYTimes

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1 Mar 2019

Trump Ordered Officials to Give Jared Kushner a Security Clearance

President Trump ordered his chief of staff to grant his son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, a top-secret security clearance last year, overruling concerns flagged by intelligence officials and the White House’s top lawyer, four people briefed on the matter said.
President Trump ordered his chief of staff to grant his son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, a top-secret...
1 Mar 2019

Trump-Kim summit: Trump and Kim abruptly cut short summit after failing to reach nuclear deal

President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un abruptly cut short their two-day summit Thursday amid contradictory accounts over why they were unable to reach an agreement to dismantle Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons. Talks collapsed unexpectedly amid a disagreement about the trade-off between sanctions relief and denuclearization steps, leaving questions about the next possible moves for each side to keep alive the diplomatic outreach.
President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un abruptly cut short their two-day summit Thursday amid contradictory...
25 Feb 2019

White House to set up panel to counter climate change consensus, officials say

The White House plans to create an ad hoc group of select federal scientists to reassess the government’s analysis of climate science and counter conclusions that the continued burning of fossil fuels is harming the planet, according to three administration officials.
The White House plans to create an ad hoc group of select federal scientists to reassess the government’s analysis of...
22 Feb 2019

Democrat Dianne Feinstein Explain to Children Why She Won’t Back Green New Deal

As young people from around the world are marching in the streets and calling on adults and elected leaders to act urgently to address runaway global warming and the climate crisis, this video of Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) explaining to youth activists in her office on Friday why she won't back the joint congressional resolution on the Green New Deal has to be seen in order to be believed.
As young people from around the world are marching in the streets and calling on adults and elected leaders to act...

Publisher: NYTimes

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21 Feb 2019

A Green New Deal is Technologically Possible. Its Political Prospects Are Another Question.

President Trump derided the Green New Deal as a “high school term paper that got a low mark.” Congressional Republicans mocked it as “zany.” Even Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic House speaker, called the proposal a “green dream,” and some of the party’s 2020 candidates are starting to describe it as merely aspirational. Yet, despite that disdain, the goals of the far-reaching plan to tackle climate change and economic inequality are within the realm of technological possibility, several energy experts and economists said in recent interviews.
President Trump derided the Green New Deal as a “high school term paper that got a low mark.” Congressional...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

21 Feb 2019

White House Panel Will Study Whether Climate Change Is a National Security Threat. It Includes a Climate Denialist.

President Trump is preparing to establish a panel to examine how climate change affects national security, and will include a White House adviser whose views are sharply at odds with the established scientific consensus that human-caused global warming poses a threat to the nation’s economy, health and security.
President Trump is preparing to establish a panel to examine how climate change affects national security, and will...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

20 Feb 2019

Intimidation, Pressure and Humiliation: Inside Trump’s Two-Year War on the Investigations Encircling Him

As federal prosecutors in Manhattan gathered evidence late last year about President Trump’s role in silencing women with hush payments during the 2016 campaign, Mr. Trump called Matthew G. Whitaker, his newly installed attorney general, with a question. He asked whether Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States attorney for the Southern District of New York and a Trump ally, could be put in charge of the widening investigation, according to several American officials with direct knowledge of the call.
As federal prosecutors in Manhattan gathered evidence late last year about President Trump’s role in silencing women...

Publisher: Newsweek

Author:

20 Feb 2019

Israel Says It Wants ‘War with Iran’ and Is Meeting with Arab Countries to ‘Advance’ It

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has expressed his desire to go to war with Iran, and said he was meeting with dozens of foreign envoys, including those from the Arab world, in order to push the initiative forward.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has expressed his desire to go to war with Iran, and said he was meeting with...
20 Feb 2019

Trump appointees promoted nuclear sales to Saudi Arabia despite warnings, report says

ey members of the Trump administration pushed a plan to sell nuclear power plants to Saudi Arabia in the months after the inauguration despite objections from members of the National Security Council and other senior White House officials, according to a new report from congressional Democrats.
ey members of the Trump administration pushed a plan to sell nuclear power plants to Saudi Arabia in the months after...

Publisher: Church and State

Author:

20 Feb 2019

Trump’s attorney general wants god’s moral order enforced by government

In a 1995 essay, Barr expressed the extremist Christian view that “American government should not be secular;” secularism is an abomination in Barr’s theocratic mind despite the law of the land is unmistakably secular. Furthermore, Barr contends America’s government is supposed to be imposing “a transcendent moral order with objective standards of right and wrong that flows from God’s eternal law;” eternal law best dictated by the Vatican and taught in public schools at taxpayer’s expense.
In a 1995 essay, Barr expressed the extremist Christian view that “American government should not be secular;”...
18 Feb 2019

Brett Kavanaugh’s Dishonest Anti-Abortion Dissent

Kavanaugh's first Supreme Court dissent is a mess of omissions and misrepresentations. What is perhaps less obvious, at least at first glance, is the level of intellectual dishonesty baked into a four-page dissent penned by the court’s newest justice, Brett Kavanaugh. Kavanaugh voted along with Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, and Neil Gorsuch to deny the stay, but was the only justice to try to explain his thinking in writing. If he wanted to maintain the fidelity-to-precedent fiction he peddled at his confirmation hearings, it probably would have been better if he had stayed silent. The document is a mess of omissions and misrepresentations dressed up to appear anodyne.
Kavanaugh's first Supreme Court dissent is a mess of omissions and misrepresentations. What is perhaps less obvious, at...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

17 Feb 2019

Rift Between Trump and Europe Is Now Open and Angry

European leaders have long been alarmed that President Trump’s words and Twitter messages could undo a trans-Atlantic alliance that had grown stronger over seven decades. They had clung to the hope that those ties would bear up under the strain.But in the last few days of a prestigious annual security conference in Munich, the rift between Europe and the Trump administration became open, angry and concrete, diplomats and analysts say.
European leaders have long been alarmed that President Trump’s words and Twitter messages could undo a trans-Atlantic...
16 Feb 2019

Pro-Israel donors spent over $22m on lobbying and contributions in 2018

Pro-Israel lobbyists and donors spent more than $22m on lobbying and campaign contributions during the 2018 election cycle. The same or similar Israel-aligned groups and donors have spent hundreds of millions of dollars in recent decades, and that money poured into American politics through a variety of channels, according to the non-profit, non-partisan Center for Responsive Politics. The CRP uses federal election records to track campaign finance spending and makes its data available on the Open Secrets site.
Pro-Israel lobbyists and donors spent more than $22m on lobbying and campaign contributions during the 2018 election...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

16 Feb 2019

Trump Declares National Emergency to Build Border Wall

President Trump declared a national emergency at the border on Friday to access billions of dollars to build a border wall that Congress refused to give him, transforming a highly charged policy dispute into a fundamental confrontation over separation of powers.
President Trump declared a national emergency at the border on Friday to access billions of dollars to build a border...

Publisher: Vanity Fair

Author:

15 Feb 2019

William Barr’s Son-in-Law Just Landed a Job Advising Trump on “Legal Issues”

CNN reports that McGaughey, the husband of Barr’s youngest daughter, has been hired as an attorney in the White House counsel’s office, where he’ll “advise the president, the executive office, and White House staff on legal issues concerning the president and the presidency.”
CNN reports that McGaughey, the husband of Barr’s youngest daughter, has been hired as an attorney in the White House...
14 Feb 2019

2 millionaire senators introduce plan to make sure Congress is only for the rich

Let’s start this column off with a bold assertion. Paying lawmakers good salaries is one of our country’s most important progressive reforms because it means that they don’t have to be wealthy to serve. High congressional pay is a safeguard against corruption, not a sign of it.
Let’s start this column off with a bold assertion. Paying lawmakers good salaries is one of our country’s most...
14 Feb 2019

Unhinged Mike Pence Warns of ‘New Holocaust’ as Team Trump Tries to Rally EU Leaders for War With Iran

Speaking at a U.S.-led conference about the Middle East in Warsaw, Poland on Thursday, Vice President piled on the potent anti-Iran sentiment surrounding the conference by demanding that European Union (EU) allies withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal, which President Donald Trump ditched last year, and accused Iran of plotting a "new Holocaust."
Speaking at a U.S.-led conference about the Middle East in Warsaw, Poland on Thursday, Vice President piled on the...

Publisher: Vox

Author:

14 Feb 2019

Yemen war: Progressive activists get a big foreign policy win. It’s been an uphill battle.

The House passed a resolution Wednesday, February 13, to end US support for the war in Yemen. It’s the culmination of a years-long effort by progressive activists and lawmakers to claw back war-approving authority from the president and end US participation in a war that has created one of the world’s worst humanitarian disasters.
The House passed a resolution Wednesday, February 13, to end US support for the war in Yemen. It’s the culmination of...
13 Feb 2019

Private Mossad for Hire

Psy-Group’s larger ambition was to break into the U.S. election market. During the 2016 Presidential race, the company pitched members of Donald Trump’s campaign team on its ability to influence the results. Psy-Group’s owner, Joel Zamel, even asked Newt Gingrich, the former House Speaker, to offer Zamel’s services to Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law.
Psy-Group’s larger ambition was to break into the U.S. election market. During the 2016 Presidential race, the company...
13 Feb 2019

Smaller Tax Refunds Surprise Those Expecting More Relief

The tax preparers at H&R Block had a new class before their busy season started this year: empathy training.They listened to a mock exchange between an employee and a customer whose refund would not just shrink but disappear. The ficticious client had received a $1,500 refund last year, but this year would owe $575.
The tax preparers at H&R Block had a new class before their busy season started this year: empathy training.They...
13 Feb 2019

Trump offers socialism for the rich, capitalism for everyone else

America will never be a socialist country,” Donald Trump declared in his State of the Union address. Someone should alert Trump that America is now a hotbed of socialism. But it is socialism for the rich. Everyone else is treated to harsh capitalism. In the conservative mind, socialism means getting something for doing nothing. That pretty much describes the $21bn saved by the nation’s largest banks last year thanks to Trump’s tax cuts, some of which went into massive bonuses for bank executives.
America will never be a socialist country,” Donald Trump declared in his State of the Union address. Someone should...

Publisher: The Intercept

Author:

12 Feb 2019

Pro-Israel Lobby Caught on Tape Boasting That Its Money Influences Washington

A debate about the power in Washington of the pro-Israel lobby is underway, after Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., responded sharply to reports that Republican leader Kevin McCarthy was targeting both Omar and fellow Muslim Rep. Rashida Tlaib, a Democrat from Michigan. Omar quoted rap lyrics — “It’s all about the Benjamins baby” — to suggest McCarthy’s move was driven by the lobby’s prolific spending. Asked specifically who she was referring to, Omar responded, “AIPAC!”
A debate about the power in Washington of the pro-Israel lobby is underway, after Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., responded...

Publisher: Common Dreams

Author:

11 Feb 2019

Senate Guts First Amendment to Guard Israel from Boycott, But Ilhan Omar Can’t Bring Up AIPAC?

lhan Omar (D-MN) has stirred controversy by replying to scurrilous statements of her Republican opponents in Congress by suggesting that they are shilling for anti-Palestinian and anti-Muslim lobbies that back the right wing Likud government of Israel to the hilt because they receive campaign contributions from the Israel lobbies.
lhan Omar (D-MN) has stirred controversy by replying to scurrilous statements of her Republican opponents in Congress by...

Publisher: Rolling Stone

Author:

10 Feb 2019

Who Makes Money Off the Trump Administration?

At 3:45 p.m. on October 6th, 2017, an unassuming man in his early sixties with a low, raspy voice and a thin, wide smile arrived at the White House. He had been here before, in the George W. Bush years, when he was one of the most sought-after fundraisers in the Republican Party. But a scandal had derailed his life, and afterward he had disappeared from politics. In early 2016, the opportunity arose to make his return. The man had helped Donald J. Trump’s long-shot campaign raise millions of dollars, and he could rightly say he played a role in the most improbable presidential victory in American history.
At 3:45 p.m. on October 6th, 2017, an unassuming man in his early sixties with a low, raspy voice and a thin, wide smile...
9 Feb 2019

From Costa Rica to New Jersey, a pipeline of illegal workers for Trump goes back years

At his home on the misty slope of Costa Rica’s tallest mountain, Dario Angulo keeps a set of photographs from the years he tended the rolling fairways and clipped greens of a faraway American golf resort. Angulo learned to drive backhoes and bulldozers, carving water hazards and tee boxes out of former horse pastures in Bedminster, N.J., where a famous New Yorker was building a world-class course. Angulo earned $8 an hour, a fraction of what a state-licensed heavy equipment operator would make, with no benefits or overtime pay.
At his home on the misty slope of Costa Rica’s tallest mountain, Dario Angulo keeps a set of photographs from the...
9 Feb 2019

New Bank Law Is Already Making Banks Bigger

The proposed $28 billion merger announced Thursday between large regional banks SunTrust and BB&T is the biggest banking tie-up since the financial crisis, creating what would become the nation’s sixth-largest bank. And it’s a direct result of actions taken by the Trump administration and the bipartisan group of lawmakers who passed a bank deregulation bill in 2018.
The proposed $28 billion merger announced Thursday between large regional banks SunTrust and BB&T is the biggest...

Publisher: The Intercept

Author:

9 Feb 2019

Trump Quietly Planted a Top Koch Official Inside the E.P.A. | Vanity Fair

Of all the federal agencies that fall under Donald Trump’s purview, none embodies the administration’s unofficial mandate to do the exact opposite of its stated mission quite like the Environmental Protection Agency.
Of all the federal agencies that fall under Donald Trump’s purview, none embodies the administration’s unofficial...
9 Feb 2019

Why Won’t Democrats Call Israel’s Occupation an Occupation?

Here’s a riddle any Democrat hoping to be elected president at the crest of a progressive wave in 2020 should be able to solve: what do you call Israel’s military rule over millions of disenfranchised Palestinians in the territories it seized by force in 1967?
Here’s a riddle any Democrat hoping to be elected president at the crest of a progressive wave in 2020 should be able...
8 Feb 2019

Green New Deal Takes Its First Congressional Baby Step

The first hand of the Green New Deal has been dealt. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., on Thursday unveiled a five-page, nonbinding resolution that frames a 10-year “national, social, industrial, and economic mobilization” to confront the climate crisis. The plan envisions the creation of millions of “good, high-wage jobs” and will serve to “counteract systemic injustices.”
The first hand of the Green New Deal has been dealt. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and Sen. Ed Markey,...
8 Feb 2019

Report: U.S.-Based Plane Caught Bringing Arms into Venezuela

McClatchy is reporting Venezuelan authorities have uncovered 19 assault weapons, 118 ammunition cartridges and 90 military-grade radio antennas on board a U.S.-owned plane that had flown from Miami into Valencia, Venezuela’s third-largest city.
McClatchy is reporting Venezuelan authorities have uncovered 19 assault weapons, 118 ammunition cartridges and 90...
8 Feb 2019

Warnings of Trumpism ‘Forever’ as Senate GOP Rams Through 44 Lifetime Judges in One Day

With the nation's eyes largely elsewhere in a sea of distraction on Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee quietly advanced 44 of President Donald Trump's federal judicial nominees in what civil rights defenders denounced as a "monster markup" that threatens to leave the president's dangerous ideological footprint on the nation's courts for generations to come.
With the nation's eyes largely elsewhere in a sea of distraction on Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee quietly...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

8 Feb 2019

Year Before Killing, Saudi Prince Told Aide He Would Use ‘a Bullet’ on Khashoggi

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia told a top aide in a conversation in 2017 that he would use “a bullet” on Jamal Khashoggi, the journalist killed in October, if Mr. Khashoggi did not return to the kingdom and end his criticism of the Saudi government, according to current and former American and foreign officials with direct knowledge of intelligence reports.
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia told a top aide in a conversation in 2017 that he would use “a...

Publisher: Bloomberg

Author:

7 Feb 2019

Banks’ $21 Billion Tax Windfall Doesn’t Stop Their Job Cuts

Major U.S. banks shaved about $21 billion from their tax bills last year -- almost double the IRS’s annual budget -- as the industry benefited more than many others from the Republican tax overhaul.By year-end, most of the nation’s largest lenders met or exceeded their initial predictions for tax savings.
Major U.S. banks shaved about $21 billion from their tax bills last year -- almost double the IRS’s annual budget --...

Publisher: Vox

Author:

7 Feb 2019

Trump tax bill and refunds: why fewer people are getting them

Whether you get a refund or owe extra to the IRS at filing time is a function not just of your total taxes owed, but also of how much tax is withheld from your paycheck by your employer on paydays. And the big story here is that as a result of the new tax law, the Treasury Department tweaked things so that on average taxpayers’ withholdings fell by more than their actual taxes owed.
Whether you get a refund or owe extra to the IRS at filing time is a function not just of your total taxes owed, but...

Publisher: Al Jazeera

Author:

6 Feb 2019

Erdogan: ‘No satisfactory plan’ with US on Syria safe zone

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says he has not yet seen an acceptable plan for the creation of a "safe zone" in northeastern Syria, three weeks after US President Donald Trump suggested the move. "There is no satisfactory plan that is put before us concretely yet," Erdogan told a parliamentary meeting of his AK Party on Tuesday.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says he has not yet seen an acceptable plan for the creation of a "safe zone" in...

Publisher: Al Jazeera

Author:

6 Feb 2019

Saudi Arabia, UAE gave US arms to al-Qaeda-linked groups

Saudi Arabia and its coalition partner in Yemen, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) transferred US-made weapons to al-Qaeda-linked groups and a Salafi militia whose commander who once "served with" the Yemeni branch of ISIL, a CNN investigation has found.
Saudi Arabia and its coalition partner in Yemen, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) transferred US-made weapons to...

Publisher: Al Jazeera

Author:

5 Feb 2019

Barham Salih: Trump did not ask Iraq’s permission to ‘watch Iran’

Iraqi President Barham Salih has said US President Donald Trump did not ask Iraq's permission for US troops stationed there to "watch Iran". Salih was responding on Monday to Trump's comments to US media in which he said American forces would remain at a US base in Iraq to keep a close eye on neighbouring Iran.
Iraqi President Barham Salih has said US President Donald Trump did not ask Iraq's permission for US troops stationed...

Publisher: NYTimes

Author:

5 Feb 2019

Trump Inaugural Committee Ordered to Hand Over Documents to Federal Investigators

Escalating one of the investigations into President Trump’s inaugural committee, federal prosecutors ordered on Monday that its officials turn over documents about donors, finances and activities, according to two people familiar with the inquiry.
Escalating one of the investigations into President Trump’s inaugural committee, federal prosecutors ordered on Monday...
5 Feb 2019

While E.U. tries to bypass U.S. sanctions on Iran, Trump administration amps up pressure

To be a European company with links to Iran in the age of American sanctions can mean dealing with challenges that, every day, verge on the existential.  Suppliers cut off their shipments with little warning. Phone lines get disconnected. Even having the elevators repaired can be an ordeal, with service contracts canceled.
To be a European company with links to Iran in the age of American sanctions can mean dealing with challenges that,...
2 Feb 2019

January jobs: The US economy added 304,000 jobs. Workers got a 3-cent raise.

Employers added 304,000 new jobs to the US economy in January — once again surpassing economic forecasts, according to the latest jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, the latest jobs report once again shows little wage growth, which remains the biggest weakness in the American economy. The average US worker hasn’t seen their paycheck get much bigger since the Great Recession, which ended around 2009.
Employers added 304,000 new jobs to the US economy in January — once again surpassing economic forecasts, according to...

Publisher: MarketWatch

Author:

2 Feb 2019

It’s official: The Trump tax cuts were a bust

Right before Congress passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in December 2017, President Trump proclaimed: “It’ll be fantastic for the middle-income people and for jobs, most of all ... I think we could go to 4%, 5% or even 6% [GDP growth], ultimately. We are back. We are really going to start to rock.” A year later, it’s very clear that the tax cuts boosted gross domestic product and jobs a bit — and just for one year.
Right before Congress passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in December 2017, President Trump proclaimed: “It’ll be...
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