POLITIKS OF GRAFFITI 138: IN THE GHETTO

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JUNE 29, 2019

Week 137

Experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things
subtly changing around you, so you’ll remember. Art photos either taken by me all around the world or found by me on social media, and the list is from AMY SISKIND’S WEEKLY LIST: https://theweeklylist.org/weekly-list/week-137/

This week as Trump backed off mass deportations, public outcry grew over conditions at detention centers for migrant children. Reminiscent of Theresienstadt Ghetto in the Nazi era, the Trump regime offered limited tours of detention centers to the media — viewings that contradicted interviews of immigration lawyers and advocates who described first-hand the inhumane conditions and traumatized children. Much of the country was moved and heartbroken over a photo of a Salvadoran father and daughter who drowned on the bank of the Rio Grande trying to cross to the U.S.IMG_9269

This week Trump headed to the G-20 summit in Osaka, Japan, ahead of which he attacked Japan, China, and European countries. While there, he cozied up to Russian President Vladimir Putin and reveled in joking about 2016 election interference and attacking the free press. Trump had a second private meeting with Saudi Arabia Crown Prince MBS despite United Nations findings of his likely involvement in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

The Supreme Court made two major decisions on gerrymandering and a Census citizenship question, and seemed to signal a shift towards revisiting controversial issues with the now five conservative justices. Robert Mueller agreed to testify before two House committees on July 17, as the Trump regime continued to stonewall all congressional investigations.

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To Anyone Who Will Listen: “Russia Bought My Er(l)ection.”
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Antwerp, Belgium 29jun19.
  1. On Monday, a group of famous actors performed a live-streamed reading of the Mueller report titled “The Investigation: A Search for the Truth in Ten Act,” highlighting the 10 instances of possible obstruction of justice.
  2. On Sunday, popular knitting website Ravelry, which has more than 8 million users, said in a statement it is banning sharing posts of support for Trump, saying support for Trump and his administration is “undeniably support for white supremacy.”
  3. On Sunday, the Salt Lake Tribune Editorial Board wrote, “Yes, we have concentration camps,” saying the comparison of detention facilities is correct, and noting “because that starts as this.”
  4. On Monday, the NYT Editorial Board wrote “Children Shouldn’t Be Dying at our Border” and gave a guide of action items for citizens, including calling Congress, reporting raids, and donating to humanitarian efforts.
  5. On Tuesday, the Highlights Magazine CEO condemned Trump’s detention center in a “statement about human decency,” calling for “more humane treatment of immigrant children” and noting our children are watching.
  6. On Saturday, Trump accused the media of misreporting on Iran, tweeting, “I never called the strike against Iran “BACK,” as people are incorrectly reporting, I just stopped it from going forward at this time!”
  7. On Saturday, the Oregon Capitol was closed over a “possible militia threat” from right-wing protesters, a day after Gov. Kate Brown sent state police to round up GOP lawmakers who walked out over a climate change bill.
  8. On Tuesday, as the walkout by GOP state senators entered its sixth day, Democratic Senate President Peter Courtney gave assurances that the climate change bill would not move forward if they returned.
  9. On Sunday, Trump repeated his threat that deportations were only being delayed, tweeting, “I want to give the Democrats every last chance to quickly negotiate,” adding, “Two weeks and big Deportation begins!”
  10. PBS “Newshour” reported Trump delayed the Immigration and Customs Enforcement deportations raids ahead of Vice President Mike Pence’s “Latinos for Trump” rollout Sunday in Miami to embrace Hispanic voters.
  11. On Sunday, in an interview with “Meet the Press,” when asked if he was prepared to lose the 2020 election, Trump said, “No, I’m probably not too prepared to lose. I don’t like losing. I haven’t lost very much in my life.”
  12. Trump also said he did not believe the 2016 vote count, saying, “I’ll say something that, again, is controversial. There were a lot of votes that I don’t believe,” adding, “There was much illegal voting.”
  13. Trump also said if Democrats start impeachment, “I think I win the election easier,” adding, “I did nothing wrong. So impeachment’s a very unfair thing because nothing that I did was wrong.”
  14. When asked if he has given any thought to his presidential library, at first Trump said, “I’m so busy,” then suggested that it might be at one of his properties.
  15. Trump said he had “a great conversation” with Saudi Crown Prince MBS on Friday, and defended the partnership saying, “I’m not a fool,” and repeating the lie that “Saudi Arabia is buying $400 billion worth” of U.S. goods.
  16. Trump also said his regime is doing a “fantastic job” on the border, and when asked about hurting migrant children, blamed Democrats saying if they changed the asylum law “everything would be solved immediately.”
  17. NBC News host Chuck Todd, who conducted the interview, was heavily criticized for softball questions, and for not pushing back on Trump for his numerous lies during the interview.
  18. Similar to his ABC News interview in Week 136, Trump’s NBC News interview was a ratings disappointment, and drew in just 3.1 million viewers, fewer than on ABC News at 3.9 million.
  19. On Sunday, Vice President Pence told “Face the Nation” the conditions for children at some detention centers were “heartbreaking” and “unacceptable,” but blamed Democrats for lack of funding.
  20. On Sunday, the sheriff of Hidalgo County, Texas said four bodies, including a young woman, a toddler, and two infants were found on the Texas-Mexico border.
  21. The four appeared to have died from dehydration and heat exposure. The bodies were found close to where a section of Trump’s wall is set to be erected. The FBI will take over as lead on the investigation.
  22. On Monday, NBC News reported in a private Facebook post, Justice Department lawyer Sarah Fabian defended herself, saying the viral video of her was selectively edited and gave a false impression of her in court.
  23. Fabian had reportedly been getting death threats since her defense of the Trump regime not supplying basic hygiene products to migrant children in Week 136, where she tried to parse “safe and sanitary” conditions.
  24. On Wednesday, AP reported the bodies of a Salvadoran man and his 23 month-old daughter were found on the bank of the Rio Grande. The AP released the photo to the American public, which was widely circulated.
  25. The girl was tucked under her father’s shirt with her arms grasped around his neck, indicating she clung to him as they drowned. The bodies were found Monday, when Mexican newspaper La Jornada circulated the photo.
  26. The family sought asylum. In desperation, when the bridge in Mexico was closed, Óscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez swam across the river with his daughter, left her on the bank on the U.S. side, and then went back for his wife. The girl jumped in after him and both were swept by the current.
  27. On Wednesday, Fox News host Shep Smith got emotional discussing the deaths and migrant crisis, saying“the process of presenting yourself” at the border has changed, and “there’s not adequate anything for anyone.”
  28. On Thursday, Ken Cuccinelli, acting director of ICE, told CNN that Martínez was to blame for his daughter’s drowning death, saying they should have sought asylum legally. They did.
  29. On Wednesday, employees of Wayfair Furniture walked out over the company’s sale of $200,000 of beds to a government contractor, BCFS, which operates shelters for migrant children on the southern border.
  30. The employees said in a letter, we “want to be sure that Wayfair has no part in enabling, supporting, or profiting from this practice.” In response, Wayfair donated $100,000 of the $86,000 profit to the Red Cross.
  31. On Monday, AP reported the government moved roughly 270 of the 300 migrant children at the Clint, Texas facility to other facilities after media scrutiny about inadequate food, water, and sanitation in Week 136.
  32. Rep. Veronica Escobar, who was briefed by Customs and Border Protection, said some of the children will be moved to Border Patrol Station 1 in El Paso. One advocate said conditions were not necessarily better there.
  33. On Tuesday, CNN reported 100 migrant children are being moved back to the controversial facility in Clint,which lawyers, doctors, and advocates warned has major health and hygiene problems.
  34. On Tuesday, NBC News reported a CBP official said the agency was not running low on supplies, in response to citizens looking to donate hygiene products and food to detention centers after last week’s reports.
  35. The official added that CBP is looking into the possibility of accepting donations in the future, but for now “we’re using operational funding to provide those things, but those things are available now.”
  36. On Tuesday, NYT reported John Sanders, the acting commissioner of the CBP agency, is expected to resignamid the public outcry over the mistreatment of migrant children.
  37. Sanders has led the agency since Trump tapped Kevin McAleenan, who previously held the role, to replace Kirstjen Nielsen as secretary of homeland security in Week 126.
  38. On Wednesday, NPR reported in sworn declarations, immigration rights lawyers who conducted interviews of the migrant children described the conditions in the Clint detention station as “inhumane.”
  39. The lawyers described tearful, malnourished children, who reeked of filth and were jammed into frigid, overcrowded conditions, and were not allowed to bathe, clean their clothes, or have access to hygiene products.
  40. NPR and other reporters were given a tour of the facility on Wednesday, and were give a vastly different showing of an orderly, clean facility with pantries stocked with snacks. Officials claimed the children could shower.
  41. Reporters were walked past holding cells of children, but not allowed to speak to them. The tour was meant rebut lawyers describing life-threatening conditions, and calling it “a public health emergency.”
  42. Similarly, on Friday, CBS News was given a guided tour of the Homestead detention center for migrant children in Homestead, Florida by Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar.
  43. Unlike previous reporting, the camera crew witnessed orderly lunch lines, and packed and boisterous classrooms. Azar told CBS News, “There’s been a lot of factual misrepresentations or just ignorant statements.”
  44. On Wednesday, a group of attorneys filed a lawsuit asking a federal judge to hold the Trump regime in contempt and take immediate action to remedy unsafe conditions for migrant children in detention centers.
  45. The lawsuit was based on the 1997 Flores agreement, and said conditions pose “an imminent threat to the health and welfare of class member children,” citing children “are dirty, cold, hungry and sleep-deprived.”
  46. On Thursday, at her weekly press conference, Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she spoke to Trump Wednesday on immigration, but during their negotiation the White House issued a statement saying they are done negotiating.
  47. Pelosi said she becomes “a lioness” when children are endangered, and paused when asked about the photo, saying “the little girl wanted to be with her father…he couldn’t save her and couldn’t save himself.”
  48. On Thursday, the House passed the Senate version of a Border Bill, sending a $4.6 billion humanitarian aid package to Trump for signature, but leaving House Democrats warring over accepting the Senate terms.
  49. In accepting the Senate version, Pelosi capitulated and dropped their insistence on stronger protections for migrant children. Moderate Democrats (129) broke to vote with Republicans to pass the bill.
  50. Vice President Pence reportedly privately gave Pelosi assurances they would abide by some protections, including 24-hour notice of a migrant child death and a 90-day limit for children in temporary intake facilities.
  51. On Sunday, in a homophobic op-ed titled “The shame of LGBTQ Pride,” West Virginia State Senator Mike Azinger argued “tolerance is the last virtue of a depraved society.”
  52. West Virginia Republican Party Chairwoman Melody Potter praised Azinger’s op-ed, calling it “right on and is biblically based,” and saying, “More people should do the same. Thank you!”
  53. On Friday, Arizona state senate President Karen Fann and House Speaker Russell Bowers ordered a Pride flag removed from the Arizona Capitol Museum, after Secretary of State Katie Hobbs put it up to celebrate Pride.
  54. Legislative Executive Director Mike Braun told local news he was responsible for removing the flag, saying Hobb’s office failed to follow the regulations, saying Hobbs “can’t just fly a pride flag because she wants to.”
  55. On Friday, three men in the Rochester, New York area pleaded guilty in a foiled plot to bomb a Muslim community. Police found 23 firearms and three “improvised explosive devices” in their possession.
  56. On Monday, the acting inspector general of the Treasury Department said his office would open an inquiry into why a new $20 featuring abolitionist Harriet Tubman was been delayed by Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin.
  57. On Monday, in an interview with The Hill in the Oval Office, Trump denied E. Jean Carroll’s rape allegation, saying “she’s not my type.” Trump also claimed “it never happened.”
  58. Most Republicans stood by Trump on the allegations. Sen. Susan Collins called the “not my type” comment “bizarre,” and Sens. Joni Ernst, Mitt Romney and Mike Braun said the allegations should be taken seriously.
  59. On Monday, Dean Baquet, the executive editor of the NYT, admitted critics were right, and the Times had been “overly cautious” in its coverage of Carroll’s allegations against Trump.
  60. On Wednesday, the two women that Carroll spoke to contemporaneously went public. Carol Martin and Lisa Birnbach, both well known figures in the 1990s, told the Times that Carroll confided in them.
  61. On Tuesday, CNN reported the Robert Murdoch owned New York Post pulled a story about Carroll’s rape accusations against Trump on orders of Col Allan, a former top editor and Trump supporter.
  62. On Wednesday, Marshae Jones, a 27 year-old black woman, was indicted in Alabama on charges of manslaughter for initiating a dispute that led to her to being shot and losing her pregnancy.
  63. On Friday, a federal judge imposed a life sentence for neo-Nazi James Fields, who killed Heather Heyer in Week 40 by crashing his car into a crowd of counterprotesters in Charlottesville. He also injured 30 people.
  64. Fields will not be eligible for parole. The judges said, “the release of the defendant into a free society is too great a risk.” Prosecutors said Fields remained unrepentant after the attack.
  65. On Monday, Trump signed an executive order putting in place new sanctions on Iran impacting Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and other top leaders’ access to “key financial resources and support.”
  66. Trump also mentioned Ayatollah Khomeini on his list of Iranian leaders to be sanctioned. Khomeini died in 1989.
  67. On Monday, in an interview with The Hill, Trump said he does not need Congressional approval to strike Iran, and added on Congress, “I do like keeping them abreast, but I don’t have to do it legally.”
  68. On Monday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell shut down the vote on an amendment which would require congressional approval for the use of military funds in Iran. Some Republicans had backed the amendment.
  69. On Tuesday, Iranian president Hassan Rouhani responded to the sanctions, saying Trump is “afflicted by a mental disorder,” echoing North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s insult of “mentally deranged US dotard.”
  70. On Tuesday, Trump responded in a series of tweets, saying “Iran leadership doesn’t understand the words “nice” or “compassion,” they never have,” adding, “Sadly, the thing they do understand is Strength and Power.”
  71. Trump also tweeted, “obviously, the people of Iran are great people,” saying, “I know many of them…I have many friends that are Iranian,” but added, “ it’s very sad what’s happening to that country.”
  72. Trump also tweeted: “Iran’s very ignorant and insulting statement…only shows that they do not understand reality,” adding any attack on the U.S. will be met with “overwhelming force” and “obliteration.”
  73. On Tuesday, when Trump was asked by reporters in the Oval Office about his exit strategy in Iran if war breaks out, he responded, “You’re not going to need an exit strategy. I don’t need exit strategies.”
  74. On Tuesday, Eric Trump said an employee at a high-end bar Aviary in Chicago spit on him. Chicago Police Department officers were on scene assisting with the federal authorities.
  75. On Tuesday, Politico reported Trump is tiring of acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, reportedly snapping at him and expressing frustration, signaling a slow deterioration of the relationship.
  76. Trump also does not like to hear bad news which Mulvaney must deliver, but as his third chief of staff, Trump is unlikely to fire him in the short-term. Trump is said to like the flexibility of having staff in an “acting” role.
  77. On Tuesday, Trump named Stephanie Grisham, First Lady Melania Trump’s communications director who has been with the Trump campaign since 2015, to be his third press secretary in less than three years.
  78. Grisham was also named communications director, a role vacant since Bill Shine left in March. She is one of the last remaining member of the Trump campaign still serving in the White House.
  79. On Tuesday, WAPO reported that while press secretary for the Republican majority in the Arizona House of Representatives, Grisham took away a reporter’s access to the House floor after critical coverage.
  80. On Tuesday, some 50 reporters showed up to toast Sarah Sanders at her going away party at Rare Steakhouse. One reporter told the Times, “You’d better not say I was here.”
  81. Notably, as press secretary, Sanders went more than 100 days without giving a press briefing, lied frequently, told Mueller she delivered false statements to reporters, and called the media “the enemy of the people.”
  82. On Monday, House Oversight Chair Elijah Cummings re-upped his demand in a letter to Mulvaney for his records of Trump’s past meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin, ahead of their G-20 meeting.
  83. On Monday, Axios reported the House Oversight Committee will vote Wednesday to authorize to subpoena Kellyanne Conway for testimony in connection to her violations of the Hatch Act.
  84. On Monday, Conway said on “Fox & Friends” of calls for her firing that “they want to put a big roll of masking tape over my mouth,” and “chill free speech” because they do not know how to beat Trump.
  85. On Monday, White House counsel Pat Cipollone said in a letter to Chair Cummings that Conway would be barred from testifying before Congress “in accordance with long-standing precedent” of executive privilege.
  86. Henry Kerner of the watchdog special counsel, a Trump appointee, testified that Conway’s action created an “unprecedented challenge” to enforce ethics, citing repeated violation and her “unrepentant attitude.”
  87. On Wednesday, the House Oversight Committee voted 25-16, with Rep. Justin Amash joining Democrats, to subpoena Conway.
  88. On Monday, House Judiciary Chair Jerrold Nadler said Annie Donaldson, Don McGahn’s former chief of staff, will testify before his panel after being subpoenaed. Due to her pregnancy, testimony will be slightly delayed.
  89. On Monday, Rep. Jim Himes, a senior member of the House Intelligence Committee, came out for impeachment, tweeting: “there are moments for clarity and conviction. This is such a moment.” The total stood at 80.
  90. On Tuesday, HuffPost reported as pressure for impeachment grew, Democratic House leaders convened a closed-door meeting with members to show the perils of impeachment with polls in 50 battleground districts.
  91. Members expressed that Democrats were coming around to impeachment. Rep. Gerry Connolly said, “It’s a dam that could break at any minute,” adding, “We are one major explosive piece of testimony or evidence away.”
  92. One member said some representatives are looking to craft a message around “aggressive oversight and accountability” for 2020, citing evidence that voters in moderate districts support that.
  93. On Monday, House Oversight filed a contempt report against Attorney General William Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross for refusing to turn over subpoenaed documents about the citizenship question.
  94. On Tuesday, the House Oversight Committee released a transcript of an interview of James Uthmeier, a former senior Commerce Department official, on adding a citizenship question to the 2020 Census.
  95. Commerce Department lawyers instructed Uthmeier, a senior advisor to Secretary Ross, not to answer questions about his conversations with Ross. He refused to answer more than 100 questions.
  96. On Tuesday, WSJ reported the House Intelligence Committee interviewed Giorgi Rtskhiladze, a Georgian-American businessman who pitched a proposal to build a Trump Tower Moscow in 2015 to Michael Cohen.
  97. Rtskhiladze told the Journal during the eight hours of questioning he was asked about his proposal, his interactions with the Trump Organization, and his reference to compromising tapes of Trump — which he told the panel did not exist.
  98. The Mueller report details Rtskhiladze’s meeting with Cohen. He told the Journal that Cohen “was always keeping options open” and they had several conversations about the Trump Tower Moscow project
  99. Rtskhiladze forwarded a design of the tower sent by Cohen, saying, “If we could organize the meeting in New York at the highest level of the Russian Government and Mr. Trump” the project would get worldwide attention.
  100. On Tuesday, the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees announced that “pursuant to a subpoena” Robert Mueller had agreed to testify before both panels in open session testimony on July 17.
  101. The committee chairs said, “Americans have demanded to hear directly from the special counsel” on “Russia’s attack on our democracy” and “Trump and his associates’ obstruction of the investigation.”
  102. On Wednesday, Politico reported the two House committees also plan to call Mueller’s deputies to publicly testify, including Andrew Weissman, Andrew Goldstein, Jeanie Rhee, and Michael Dreeben.
  103. On Wednesday, “Fox & Friends” co-host Brian Kilmeade expressed doubt about Mueller, saying, “I don’t think he knows the details of the report,” and likened Mueller to the king of England, saying, “he assigns the people.”
  104. On Wednesday, Trump called into the Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo’s show, and said of Mueller testifying, “it never ends,” adding, “We had no obstruction, we had no collusion.”
  105. Trump repeated his refrain “there was no obstruction, there was no collusion,” adding there was “crime on the other side” that should be investigated, “you had people spying on my campaign, it’s real simple.”
  106. On Wednesday, Politico reported pro-impeachment Democrats hope Mueller’s testimony in a public forumdetailing his report will be a breakthrough in building support for impeachment.
  107. Just an estimated 3% of Americans have read the 448-page Mueller report, which is laden with footnotes and legalese. Impeachment supporters hope public testimony will also drive more members of Congress off the fence.
  108. On Wednesday, Trump sent a series of tweets before the first Democratic debate and while heading to the G-20 in Osaka, telling his supporters who to follow, adding, “Sorry, I’m on Air Force One, off to save the Free World!”
  109. Trump attacked Democrats, tweeting, “according to Fake News (and low ratings) @CNN, “Democrats say hearings could change impeachment debate,”” adding “they are hoping that yet another DO OVER.”
  110. Trump also tweeted, “No Collusion, No Obstruction!” adding, “Mueller said he was done after his last 9 minute news conference, as later corrected,” and “Now the Dems want to give it another try. Does it ever end?”
  111. Trump questioned why House Democrats are not calling “Comey, Brennan, Clapper, Page and her FBI lover(whose invaluable phone records were illegally deleted), Crooked Hillary, Podesta, Ohr (and Nellie).”
  112. Trump tweeted these people have “leaked, lied and did so many other terrible things,” saying they are not called “Because it is a Rigged Democrat Con Game, and the Fake and Corrupt Media loves every minute of it!”
  113. Trump blamed passage of the Super Predator Crime Bill on Joe Biden, Bill Clinton and “Crooked Hillary Clinton,” which he said “inflicted great pain on many,” especially African Americans. Trump was also for that crime bill.
  114. On Wednesday, a half hour into the Democratic debate, despite his earlier tweet that he was “off to save the Free World,” Trump tweeted, “BORING!
  115. Trump also tweeted about a technology glitch, saying “@NBCNews and @MSNBC should be ashamed of themselves,” adding, “Truly unprofessional and only worthy of a FAKE NEWS Organization.”
  116. On Thursday, after the second Democratic debate where Kamala Harris, a black senator, notionally won the debate, bots amplified a far-right conspiracy saying Harris is not black and is not a U.S. citizen.
  117. Donald Jr. also tweeted, and later deleted, a tweet saying Harris is not black, tweeting, “Is this true? Wow.” The conspiracy is reminiscent of Birtherism attacks on former president Obama, which Trump espoused.
  118. On Thursday, Twitter announced it will place a disclaimer on tweets sent by Trump and other leaders that break the company’s rules. Twitter has argued these tweets should remain up, since they serve the public interest.
  119. The disclaimer will say, “The Twitter Rules about abusive behavior apply to this Tweet. However, Twitter has determined that it may be in the public’s interest for the Tweet to remain available.”
  120. On Thursday, the House Foreign Affairs Committee released the former secretary of state Rex Tillerson’s seven hours of testimony last month that revealed Jared Kushner operated independently with foreign leaders.
  121. On several occasions Tillerson was blindsided by Kushner’s discussions with world leaders. He spotted Kushner with Mexico’s foreign secretary at a restaurant in D.C. hashing out a “fairly comprehensive plan of action.”
  122. Tillerson was surprised by the 2017 Gulf crisis in which the U.S. sided with Saudi Arabia and the UAE over Qatar. In Week 35, Kushner failed to get a bailout of 666 Fifth Avenue from the Qatari sovereign wealth fund.
  123. Tillerson also described the challenges of briefing Trump, who does not read papers and was easily distracted by peripheral topics. Tillerson said it was his choice to reduce media access to the State Department.
  124. On Thursday, in an interview with the BBC, the Dalai Lama said Trump’s time in office was defined by a “lack of moral principle.” In contrast, the Dalai Lama said he had “no worries” about a Trump presidency in 2016.
  125. The Dalai Lama is concerned with Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris accord and the migrant crisis: “When I saw pictures of some of those young children, I was sad. America … should take a global responsibility.”
  126. On Tuesday, Judge Emmet Sullivan rejected a DOJ motion for an appellate court to re-examine his rulings on Emoluments Clause lawsuit brought by 200 Democrats in Congress, saying it can move forward.
  127. On Tuesday, a federal appeals court said a lower court in Maryland should examine new allegations that the Trump regime had a discriminatory intent in wanting to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census.
  128. The Maryland case examines whether the question violates equal-protection guarantees. The case in the Supreme Court considers whether the regime violated administrative law and the enumeration clause.
  129. On Tuesday, the DOJ filed a civil complaint against Trump adversary Omarosa Manigault Newman, saying she failed to file a financial disclosure report after she was fired in late 2017.
  130. In a statement, Newman’s attorney John Phillips said the allegations are “untrue,” and that Trump’s White House had chosen “to abuse process and use the Department of Justice to carry out retaliation.”
  131. On Wednesday, Politico reported former FEMA director Brock Long has repaid just 2% of the $151,000 of taxpayer money a Homeland Security Department inspector general probe found he spent for personal use.
  132. On Thursday, Paul Manafort pleaded not guilty in New York Supreme Court to to state fraud charges broughtby the Manhattan district attorney’s office, the third criminal case he has faced in recent years.
  133. The state case, which was brought just after his sentencing in March, could be a possible test of double jeopardy, which his attorney said he will file a motion claiming. A Trump pardon would not apply to state crimes.
  134. On Thursday, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 along partisan lines to bar federal court challenges to partisan gerrymandering, the practice of state legislatures in power drawing voting maps to help its candidates.
  135. Chief Justice John Roberts, who wrote the majority opinion, has long argued that politics could play a role in drawing election districts, and that the judicial branch should not second-guess lawmakers’ judgment.
  136. Justice Elena Kagan delivered an impassioned dissent for the four liberal judges from the bench “with deep sadness,” saying the practices of gerrymandering “imperil our system of government.”
  137. Kagan also wrote, “Part of the court’s role in that system is to defend its foundations. None is more important than free and fair elections,” adding the ruling had taken away the remedy for escalating partisan manipulation.
  138. Also Thursday, the Supreme Court voted 5-4, with Roberts this time siding with liberal judges, to reject adding a citizenship question to the 2020 Census, saying the regime’s rationale “appears to have been contrived.”
  139. Roberts left the door open, saying the regime must “offer genuine justifications…reasons that can be scrutinized by courts and the interested public.” Time is short though, since census forms must be printed out soon.
  140. On Thursday, in reaction, Trump tweeted, “seems totally ridiculous that our government, and indeed Country, cannot ask a basic question of Citizenship in a very expensive, detailed and important Census.”
  141. Trump also said he wants to delay the 2020 census, tweeting, “I have asked the lawyers if they can delay the Census, no matter how long,” in order to give the Supreme Court additional information.
  142. The Census Bureau said it faces a Monday deadline to print the survey, which is taken every 10 years; although the bureau’s chief scientist said in appeals court testimony the deadline could be delayed until October 31.
  143. On Friday, the Supreme Court granted an appeal to the Trump regime’s effort to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, in the court’s next term, after refusing to expedite consideration this term.
  144. On Friday, Roll Call reported the Supreme Court rulings this term signal a shift: without a justice in the middle, the five conservative justices will seek to undo long-standing precedents they believe were wrongly decided.
  145. On Friday, the House Ethics Committee announced it is launching a formal inquiry of Rep. Matt Gaetz over his tweet threatening Michael Cohen with the release of embarrassing information before his House testimony.
  146. Gaetz skipped an initial review, an extraordinary rebuke of his colleagues, which led the committee to launch a formal inquiry led by two Democrats and two Republicans. Gaetz tweeted he would skip the formal inquiry too.
  147. On Friday, a federal judge in California ruled against the Trump regime in two cases, preventing $2.5 billion in federal funds from being used for Trump’s wall in portions of California, New Mexico, Texas, and Arizona.
  148. The first lawsuit, brought by 17 attorneys general, blocked Trump’s attempt to move $2.5 billion from the Defense Department budget to build portions of his wall in California and New Mexico.
  149. The second lawsuit was brought by American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of several environmental groups and blocks $1 billion of funding the regime had allocated for Trump’s wall in Texas and Arizona.
  150. Both lawsuits alleged the Trump regime could not spend taxpayer money without Congressional approval. The judge found “no new factual or legal arguments persuade the Court” of the Trump regime’s analysis.
  151. On Wednesday, in a series of tweets, Trump attacked Megan Rapinoe, the co-captain of the U.S. women’s national soccer team, which was playing at the Women’s World Cup in France.
  152. Trump tweets were sparked by Rapinoe saying, “No, I’m not going to the White House,” adding, “We’re not going to be invited. I doubt it.” Rapinoe also does not join her team in singing the national anthem under Trump.
  153. Trump tweeted, “Women’s soccer player, @mPinoe, just stated that she is “not going to the F…ing White House if we win,”” adding, “Megan should WIN first before she TALKS! Finish the job!”
  154. Trump initially misspelled Rapinoe’s name and used an incorrect Twitter handle, but later deleted the tweet and corrected it. Trump also criticized “the NBA, which now refuses to call owners, owners” for not coming.
  155. Trump also tweeted, “We haven’t yet invited Megan or the team, but I am now inviting the TEAM, win or lose,” adding, “Megan should never disrespect our Country, the White House, or our Flag.”
  156. On Friday, Rapinoe scored two goals in the U.S. team’s 2–1 victory of France in the quarterfinals in Paris. She also accepted an invitation from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to visit the Capitol instead.
  157. On Monday, Bloomberg reported recently Trump privately discussed the idea of ending Japan Defense Pact, signed after World War II, with confidants, claiming it is too one-sided.
  158. On Wednesday, before heading to the G-20 summit in Japan, Trump questioned the treaty on Fox Business, saying if Japan is attacked, “we will fight World War III,” but if we are “they can watch on a Sony television.”
  159. Trump also berated China over stalled trade talks, falsely claiming, “Don’t let anyone tell you that China’s not paying for it. China’s paying for it,” adding, “We’re not paying for any of it.”
  160. Trump also complained about European leaders, saying, “Almost all countries in this world take tremendousadvantage of the United States,” he said. “It’s unbelievable.”
  161. Trump also attacked Germany and NATO, falsely claiming, “We pay for close to 100 percent of NATO,” adding, “People don’t know that. We pay for close to that because Germany doesn’t pay what they’re supposed to pay.”
  162. Trump however had no unkind words for Russia. When asked by reporters before leaving about his upcoming talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Trump responded what I say to Putin is “none of your business.”
  163. After landing, Trump went to dinner with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who he had defended on Twitter in recent days over his government’s hard-line with refugees and asylum seekers.
  164. On Thursday, Putin told the Financial Times that Trump’s 2016 victory and the rise of nationalist-populist movements in Europe demonstrated “the liberal idea has become obsolete.”
  165. Putin also dismissed findings in the Mueller report, and said it was “strange” that Russia was still being accused of interference, and praised Trump as being “talented.”
  166. On Friday, at the G-20 when Trump and Putin spoke to reporters, one asked Trump if he would raise election interference. Trump joked with Putin, saying, “Don’t meddle in our election, president” while smiling.
  167. Trump then repeated the phrase “Don’t meddle in our election” while wagging his finger at Putin, while Putin and onlooking Secretary of State Mike Pompeo both smiled too.
  168. Trump said, “It’s a great honor to be with President Putin,” calling their relationship “very, very good.” Russia invited Trump to Moscow next year for the 75th anniversary of Victory Day, which Russia says he accepted.
  169. Trump also joked alongside Putin, saying of journalists, we should “get rid of them. Fake news is a great term, isn’t it?” and telling Putin, “You don’t have this problem in Russia but we do.” Putin responded, “we also have.”
  170. Trump’s remarks on the media came on the one year anniversary of the Capital Gazette shooting, in which five employees were shot and killed.
  171. Numerous journalists in Russia who were critics of Putin have been jailed or found dead. According to the World Press Freedom Index, Russia ranks near the bottom in terms of press freedom.
  172. In contrast to Trump, British Prime Minister Theresa May was photographed with Putin looking serious and stern, after a frosty meeting in which she confronted him over the the Salisbury poisoning.
  173. May told Putin “there cannot be a normalization of our bilateral relationship until Russia stops the irresponsible and destabilizing activity that threatens the U.K. and its allies.”
  174. In response to Putin’s FT interview, May told Putin the UK would “continue to unequivocally defend liberal democracy and protect the human rights and equality of all groups, including LGBT people.”
  175. On Friday, Trump was 30 minutes late for a meeting with world leaders, while sending tweets attacking Democratic rivals and bragging about the stock market.
  176. Trump tweeted, “I am in Japan at the G-20, representing our Country well, but I heard it was not a good day for Sleepy Joe or Crazy Bernie,” adding “One is exhausted, the other is nuts.”
  177. On Friday, former president Jimmy Carter, interviewed at a Carter Center event, said “Trump didn’t actually win the election in 2016,” adding Trump “was put into office because the Russians interfered on his behalf.”
  178. When asked if he believed Trump is an illegitimate president, Carter responded, “I would say yes.” Carter said on Russian interference that Trump “should condemn it,” and “admit that it happened.”
  179. On Saturday, when asked about Carter’s comments, Trump told reporters at the G-20, “Look, he was a nice man. He was a terrible president,” adding, “He’s a Democrat. And it’s a typical talking point.”
  180. Trump also said “as everybody now understands, I won not because of Russia, not because of anybody but myself,” adding that he “felt badly” for Carter because of how he had “been trashed within his own party.”
  181. On Friday, NYT reported that other than Putin, Trump met privately with only one other leader, Saudi Arabia Crown Prince MBS, at the G-20, despite the United Nations report in Week 136 on the murder of Jamal Khashoggi.
  182. The CIA also concluded Crown Prince MBS ordered the murder. Human rights and journalism advocacy groups warned Trump’s meeting would embolden autocrats to repress or kill journalists.
  183. On Saturday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan told reporters Trump told him in a private meeting that he would not impose sanctions over Turkey’s deal to purchase a Russian missile defense system.
  184. Trump’s deal seemed to conflict with the Pentagon, which threatened to move industrial operations to other countries unless Turkey gave up its plans to purchase the Russian surface-to-air missile defense system.
  185. On Saturday, after meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G-20, Trump said he agreed to relax limits on Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei and delay new tariffs to restart trade negotiations.
  186. Last month the Commerce Department imposed sanctions on Huawei because of national security concerns or Chinese government spying. Huawei depends upon U.S. companies for computer chips.
  187. On Saturday, Trump held a news conference at the G-20. When asked about Putin’s FT comments that Western-style liberalism is obsolete, Trump mistook the meaning of the word liberalism.
  188. Trump criticized “what’s happening in Los Angeles, where it’s so sad to look,” and “what’s happening in San Francisco and a couple of other cities, which are run by an extraordinary group of liberal people.”
  189. Trump also complained about the cost of the Census, saying “The census was shocking to me. I figured it would be not expensive to do a census. It’s billions of dollars. You know that right? Billions. Billions.”
  190. On Friday, Rep. Joseph Kennedy III, a close ally of Speaker Pelosi, became the 85th member of Congress to call for impeachment. Also, 15 of the 24 House Judiciary Committee members are for impeachment
  191. On Friday, WSJ reported Deutsche Bank is considering cutting an additional 20,000 jobs. The bank faces a wide-ranging U.S. probe into possible money laundering, and the bank’s relationship with Trump.

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The bodies of Salvadoran migrant Oscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez and his nearly 2-year-old daughter Valeria lie on the bank of the Rio Grande in Matamoros, Mexico, Monday, June 24, 2019, after they drowned trying to cross the river to Brownsville, Texas. Martinez’ wife, Tania told Mexican authorities she watched her husband and child disappear in the strong current.

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