What Now?! – 8/29/19

“President Trump’s signature campaign promise to build a wall along the southwestern border is far behind schedule. So he has told his aides to get the job done by whatever means necessary, including by seizing land on the Mexican frontier,” the New York Times reports.

“The president has repeatedly suggested during meetings on immigration policy that aides ‘take the land’ and ‘get it done,’ according to a person who has heard him say it.”

“The Washington Post first reported that Mr. Trump had brought up the land seizures, and had floated the idea of offering pardons to aides willing to break the law, a suggestion he has made before when exploring ways to fulfill his campaign promises.”

Jonathan Chait: “Trump has already used his pardon power liberally to reward political allies, pardoning right-wing heroes like Joe Arpaio, Conrad Black, and Dinesh D’Souza. Last spring, CNN reported that Rudy Giuliani’s lawyer dangled a pardon in front of Michael Cohen if he would perjure himself to protect Trump. The implicit (or possibly explicit) promise of a pardon has likely encouraged Roger Stone and Paul Manafaort — the two Trump agents in most direct contact with Russia’s election operation — to withhold cooperation from the Mueller probe, thereby permitting Trump’s campaign to avoid conspiracy charges.”

“But the presidential pardon’s truly fearsome power is its potential to not only protect past crimes but to enable new ones. The pardon authority is a kind of wormhole in the Constitution that opens up absolute impunity from the law for the president and his supporters. Once he has crossed this threshold unpunished, every subsequent violation will just be a matter of detail.”

Washington Post: “Children born overseas to some American parents serving in the military or working for the federal government may no longer automatically claim U.S. citizenship if their parents had lived in the United States for less than five years, according to a new federal policy issued Wednesday.”

“Instead, officials said, those parents must apply for citizenship on behalf of their children before they turn 18 years old. … Changing the rules stirred widespread confusion Wednesday amid concerns about the Trump administration’s emphasis on restricting immigration and amid fears that federal employees and military workers — including those deployed to military bases or dangerous countries — might not have the ability to protect their own children.”

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson asked the Queen to suspend Parliament just days after MPs return to work in September – and only a few weeks before the Brexit deadline, the BBC reports.

Washington Post: “The impact of suspending Parliament would mean that opposition lawmakers would have less time to try and stop Britain from leaving the European Union without a deal.”

“Johnson told reporters that he had asked Queen Elizabeth II to give her customary speech outlining the country’s legislative agenda in mid-October, effectively suspending the body between Sept. 11 and Oct. 14. ”

“The move to suspend— or prorogue — Parliament at this crucial time in the Brexit process sparked howls of outrage from many lawmakers, including from some within the governing Conservative Party.”

A group of British MPs gathered symbolically at Church House — where parliament met during World War II — in Westminster where they pledged to form an alternative parliament should Prime Minister Boris Johnson shut down the government to push through a no-deal Brexit if an agreement is not reached by the Oct. 31 deadline, the Guardian reports.

“Boris Johnson’s surprise move to ask the Queen to suspend Parliament for five weeks in the run-up to the Brexit deadline on Oct. 31 is just the opening salvo of a meticulously constructed Downing Street strategy to eat up time and head off attempts by rebel MPs to block a no-deal exit,” BuzzFeed News reports.

“The measures were devised by the prime minister’s senior aides who have spent the summer in their Downing Street bunker war-gaming how to respond to potential parliamentary manoeuvres by MPs determined to block no deal.”

“President Trump is so eager to complete hundreds of miles of border fence ahead of the 2020 presidential election that he has directed aides to fast-track billions of dollars’ worth of construction contracts, aggressively seize private land and disregard environmental rules,” the Washington Post reports.

“He also has told worried subordinates that he will pardon them of any potential wrongdoing should they have to break laws to get the barriers built quickly.”

“The president has told senior aides that a failure to deliver on the signature promise of his 2016 campaign would be a letdown to his supporters and an embarrassing defeat. With the election 14 months away and hundreds of miles of fencing plans still in blueprint form, Trump has held regular meetings at the White House to receive progress updates and hasten the pace.”

Former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis speaks out for the first time since resigning his post in a Wall Street Journal essay:

“Using every skill I had learned during my decades as a Marine, I did as well as I could for as long as I could. When my concrete solutions and strategic advice, especially keeping faith with our allies, no longer resonated, it was time to resign, despite the limitless joy I felt serving alongside our troops in defense of our Constitution.”

“Unlike in the past, where we were unified and drew in allies, currently our own commons seems to be breaking apart. What concerns me most as a military man is not our external adversaries; it is our internal divisiveness. We are dividing into hostile tribes cheering against each other, fueled by emotion and a mutual disdain that jeopardizes our future, instead of rediscovering our common ground and finding solutions.”

As Puerto Rico braced for a hurricane, President Trump called the U.S. territory as one of the “most corrupt places on earth” while trying to defend his administration’s past disaster relief efforts.

Said Trump: “Their political system is broken and their politicians are either Incompetent or Corrupt. Congress approved Billions of Dollars last time, more than anyplace else has ever gotten, and it is sent to Crooked Pols. No good!”

He added in another tweet: “And by the way, I’m the best thing that’s ever happened to Puerto Rico!”

“Italy’s warring political parties struck a deal on Wednesday night to form a new government that sidelines Matteo Salvini, the hard-right leader who dominated the country’s politics for more than a year and threatened to drastically reorient Italy’s place in Europe,” the New York Timesreports.

“The sudden turnabout in Italy’s politics was a relief to the European establishment after 14 months of euroskeptic provocations, anti-migrant crackdowns and flouting of the bloc’s financial rules.”

Axios: “Salvini, the leader of the far-right League party and perhaps the most popular politician in Italy, withdrew his support on Aug. 8 from the unlikely coalition he had formed with Five Star after the 2018 election. Salvini hoped fresh elections might allow him to become prime minister. Instead, his gamble has expelled his party out of power.”

The Washington Post notes that it was five years ago today that President Barack Obama showed up for a White House news conference dressed in a beige, light-colored suit.

“Rep. Peter King (R-NY) fumed that the suit pointed to a ‘lack of seriousness’ on the president’s part, cable news shows held roundtable discussions, fashion critics and image consultants weighed in, and TV news reporters conducted man-on-the-street interviews to find out what the people of Northeast Ohio thought of the controversial look.”

“Five years later, however, Tan Suit Gate has taken on a different meaning, coming to symbolize the relative dearth of scandals during the Obama administration. On social media, just about every news item about potential conflicts of interests within the Trump administration and the president’s flouting of norms is met with some variant of ‘Remember when Obama wore a tan suit?’”

The Tan Suit Incident showed how deeply corrupt and desperate to fellate the right wing our national media is and was.

After Alabama Republicans moved to support a resolution calling for the expulsion of Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) from the U.S. House, the freshman lawmaker fired back on Twitter: “I was elected with 78% of the vote by the people of Minnesota’s 5th District, not the Alabama Republican Party. If you want to clean up politics, maybe don’t nominate an accused child molester as your Senate candidate?”

There have been multiple reports confirmed by officials of voting machines in two Mississippi counties changing voters’ selections in the yesterday’s GOP governor primary runoff, the Jackson Clarion Ledger reports.

In at least one case, the glitch was caught on video.

Attorney General William Barr booked President Trump’s D.C. hotel for a 200-person holiday party in December that is likely to deliver Trump’s business more than $30,000 in revenue, the Washington Post reports.

“President Trump has instructed Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue to exempt Alaska’s 16.7 million-acre Tongass National Forest from logging restrictions imposed nearly 20 years ago,” the Washington Post reports.

“The move would affect more than half of the world’s largest intact temperate rainforest, opening it up to potential logging, energy and mining projects. It would undercut a sweeping Clinton administration policy known as the ‘roadless rule’ that has survived a decades-long legal assault.”

Delaware politics from a liberal, progressive and Democratic perspective. Keep Delaware Blue.

0 comments on “What Now?! – 8/29/19

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: