POLITIKS OF GRAFFITI 145: IF YOU ARE WARNED NOT TO PROTEST, THIS IS NOT A DEMOCRACY. YOU KNOW THAT, RIGHT?

AUGUST 17, 2019

Week 144

Experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things
subtly changing around you, so you’ll remember. https://theweeklylist.org/weekly-list/week-144/

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Pic from Brick Lane Art, August 2019. Artist: SubDude London. 

This week Trump’s beloved economy faltered under pressure from his trade war with China, a ballooning U.S. budge deficit, and other global factors. An anxious Trump, realizing a strong economy is essential to his re-election, lashed out at the Federal Reserve, while confiding in allies his plan to blame any downturn on Fed Chair Jerome Powell. Meanwhile his shrinking inner-circle of sycophants assured him forecasts were wrong.

“The Mooch is right. I’m a FAT FUCK.” Liege, Belgium. 17aug2019

Trump held two rallies this week, one at a Shell Chemical plant outside Pittsburgh, where later it was revealed union employees were mandated to attend — “No scan, no pay” —  and warned not to protest. At a second rally in New Hampshire, Trump rambled, veering off script and repeating points he made earlier in the speech.

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Brussels, Belgium. August 2019

Channeling Obama, a 45 supporter makes a statement, and a reminder that our election system is corrupted. New York City. June 2019

This week the concerns of an uprising and mainstreaming of white nationalism continued, while Trump regime officials continued to make blatantly racist and xenophobic statements, and defend cruel and inhumane treatment of people of color. The Republican Party remained silent, instead seeking to downplay white nationalism and blame Democrats. Trump urged his authoritarian ally in Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, to deny entry for two Muslim members of Congress — an unprecedented thwart of democracy. Protests heated up in Russia and Hong Kong.

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“LOVES the NRA.” Lier, Belgium. 15aug19. 
  1. WAPO reported Trump crossed 12,000 false or misleading claims on August 5, his 928th day since taking office. He has averaged 20 lies per day since crossing the 10,000 mark on April 26.
  2. About one-fifth of his lies relate to immigration, and the percentage has grown since the government shutdown over his wall. Trump also lies frequently about trade, the economy, and the Russia investigation.
  3. On Monday, the Twitter account for the House Judiciary Committee tweeted, “We are considering all Article I remedies to Presidential misconduct, including articles of impeachment.”
  4. The panel added, “We will continue our investigation. We will hold @realDonaldTrump accountable. This is America. And no one is above the law. Not even the President.”
  5. On Saturday, Trump retweeted conspiracy theories, tying the death of Jeffrey Epstein to the Clintons, and spreading an unsubstantiated claim that Epstein was on suicide watch, in contrast to his regime’s statement.
  6. On Sunday, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway defended Trump on “Fox News Sunday,” saying Trump“just wants everything to be investigated,” and criticizing those connecting Trump to Epstein.
  7. On Sunday, the New York City medical examiner’s office said it had completed an autopsy of Epstein, but that it needed more information before determining the cause of death.
  8. NBC News reported that the FBI, which does not normally look into suicides at a federal Bureau of Prisons facility, is also looking into the case out of an “abundance of caution.”
  9. On Sunday, NYT reported that Epstein was supposed to be checked every 30 minutes, but that protocol was not followed. Also procedure for a recent suicide attempt is to have a cellmate, but Epstein’s was transferred out.
  10. WAPO reported Epstein’s guards, who were working overtime, had not checked on him for “several” hours. Also his cellmate, a former police officer in custody on murder and narcotics charges, was not present.
  11. On Monday, House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerrold Nadler and ranking member Doug Collins launched a bipartisan inquiry into the circumstances of Epstein’s apparent suicide.
  12. On Saturday, Trump attacked his former press secretary and friend, Anthony Scaramucci, tweeting he “was quickly terminated (11 days) from a position that he was totally incapable of handling.”
  13. Trump also tweeted of Scaramucci’s television appearance criticizing him, “he knows very little about me,” adding, “Anthony, who would do anything to come back in, should remember the only reason he is on TV.”
  14. On Sunday, Scaramucci responded, tweeting he had supported Trump until he “said things that divide the country,” adding, “eventually he turns on everyone and soon it will be you and then the entire country.”
  15. On Monday, Scaramucci told CNN that Trump should be replaced as the GOP presidential candidate in 2020, citing “the racially charged comments, the divisive tweeting,” saying Trump’s rhetoric “is not helping the country.”
  16. On Monday, El Paso Mayor Dee Margo told PBS that during Trump’s visit in Week 143, Trump chastised him, “You’re a RINO” (Republican in Name Only) when Margo corrected Trump about crime statistics in the city.
  17. On Wednesday, former Tea Party congressman Joe Walsh apologized for helping elect an “unfit con man” in an NYT op-ed, and made the case for someone on the right to launch a 2020 primary challenge against Trump.
  18. Walsh said of Trump, “We’ve had enough of your lies, your bullying, your cruelty, enough of your insults, your daily drama, your incitement, enough of the danger you place this country in every single day.”
  19. On Sunday, Trump attacked MSNBC’s Donny Deutsch, tweeting, “So funny to watch Little Donny Deutsch on TV with his own failing show,” saying he and CNN’s Erin Burnett would call and “BEG” to be on “The Apprentice.”
  20. Trump added, during the 2016 election “I would watch as Joe Scarborough & his very angry Psycho wife(?)” push Deutsch “to the point of total humiliation,” but he did not fight back because “he wanted to stay on TV.”
  21. On Tuesday, Trump attacked CNN host Chris Cuomo over threatening a man who called him “Fredo,” tweeting, would Cuomo “be given a Red Flag for his recent rant?” and “He shouldn’t be allowed to have any weapon.”
  22. Trump seemed to be making a mocking reference at “red flag” laws which grant authorities the power to remove guns from those who have been deemed unstable. Trump also tweeted of Cuomo, “He’s nuts!”
  23. Ivanka has called for stricter background checks and “red flag” laws. Donald Jr., who the WSJ reported Trump called his “my gun expert” at a recent fundraiser, is against both. Trump has taken no action on guns.
  24. Trump also tweeted of Cuomo, “I thought Chris was Fredo also,” adding, “The truth hurts. Totally lost it! Low ratings @CNN.” Trump retweeted attacks on Cuomo and CNN from his allies and family all day Monday.
  25. Later Monday, Trump also tweeted, “When a Conservative does even a fraction of what Chris Cuomo did with his lunatic ranting, raving, & cursing, they get destroyed by the Fake News,” adding, “We never learn!”
  26. Later Monday, Trump also attacked CNN, tweeting, “Without being stuck at an airport, where CNN buys (at a big price) an uninterested audience, they’ve got nothing going,” adding CNN “is BAD for America!”
  27. On Monday night, CNN stood by Cuomo. On Tuesday, before heading to a rally in Pennsylvania, Trump told reporters that Cuomo’s behavior is like “a totally out of control animal,” and that he “spews lies every night.”
  28. Trump also defended his promoting conspiracy theories about Epstein’s death, telling reporters the retweet “was from somebody that is a very respected conservative pundit. So I think it was fine.”
  29. When asked if he truly believes the Clintons are involved in Epstein’s death, Trump responded “I have no idea” and highlighted Bill Clinton’s relationship with Epstein, adding he is demanding a “full investigation.”
  30. On Saturday, tens of thousands of Russians protested in Moscow over Putin’s refusal to allow a slate of independent candidates on the city council elections ballot for September.
  31. Unlike past protests, this was an authorized rally, which featured speakers and entertainers. Some among the crowd shouted, “Putin is a thief.” Heavily armed police detained 135 people.
  32. On Monday, NYT reported U.S. intelligence officials are scrambling to understand an explosion that released radiation off the coast of Northern Russia during testing of a new type of nuclear-propelled cruise missile.
  33. The incident killed seven Russians, marking one of the worst nuclear accidents in the region since Chernobyl. The Pentagon and other agencies have described the nuclear missile as a potential new kind of threat.
  34. On Monday, thousands of anti-government protestors stormed the Hong Kong International Airport. The protest began in June over legislation that would have allowed extraditions to mainland China.
  35. The protest led to over 150 flights being canceled. The government of China said protestors had “begun to show signs of terrorism,” also citing previous actions including a gasoline bomb.
  36. On Tuesday, when asked by reporters about the Hong Kong protests, Trump called it a “tough situation,” and said he hopes the situation will work out “for everybody, including China.”
  37. Demonstrations turned violent Tuesday as protestors at the airport clashed with police. Trump has been criticized for not commenting on the protests and defending democracy as other lawmakers on both sides have done.
  38. Later Tuesday, Trump tweeted U.S. intelligence informed him “the Chinese Government is moving troops to the Border with Hong Kong,” adding, “Everyone should be calm and safe!
  39. On Wednesday, Trump defended the leader of China, tweeting, “I know President Xi of China very well. He is a great leader who very much has the respect of his people,” and “He is also a good man in a ‘tough business.’”
  40. Trump also offered to meet with Xi, tweeting, “I have ZERO doubt that if President Xi wants to quickly and humanely solve the Hong Kong problem, he can do it. Personal meeting?”
  41. Trump also tweeted Wednesday, then retweeted Thursday, that China is “eating the Tariffs” while “The American consumer is fine,” adding, “China wants to make a deal. Let them work humanely with Hong Kong first!”
  42. On Sunday, NYT reported the El Paso shooter’s 2,300 word manifesto echoed words used by conservative commentators, including “invasion” and “replacement” — words used in the right-wing fringes until recently.
  43. The Times analysis found 300 Fox News programs in the past year have referenced an immigration “invasion,” and found a “shared vocabulary of intolerance” between conservative commentators and the manifesto.
  44. On Sunday, WAPO reported Trump, who considers himself a branding expert, has been unable to shake the label of “racist” — which makes him furious. He has lashed out on Twitter and in public comments to no avail.
  45. On Sunday, NYT reported officials in the Department of Homeland Security have felt that they cannot broach the topics of domestic terrorism and white supremacist violence with Trump because he is not interested.
  46. Reportedly, former secretary Kirstjen Nielsen sought a regular meeting with Trump to brief him on domestic terrorism and other topics, but her proposal was rejected by the White House.
  47. Instead the department has been told to focus on foreign terrorism and immigration, and to pay little attention to domestic extremism. Incidents of white supremacist propaganda have increased 182% in 2018.
  48. On Sunday, Richard Clayton, 26, a white supremacist, was arrested after making online threats about a shooting at a Walmart in Florida, saying “3 more days…then I get my AR-15 back. Don’t go to Walmart next week.”
  49. On Sunday, NYT reported that Taylor Dumpson, the first African-American female student body president of American University, won a $725,000 judgment over neo-Nazi Andrew Anglin for inciting trolls to target her.
  50. The judgment is the third against Anglin, publisher of the website The Daily Stormer, in the last three months. In all, Anglin owes more than $20 million to three people, but has yet to pay a cent.
  51. On Saturday, NYT reported the Trump regime has taken steps to revoke the certification of an outspoken immigration judges’ union which has been critical of some of the regime’s policies, in an effort to muffle dissent.
  52. The regime filed a petition claiming the National Association of Immigration Judges should be decertified, saying its members are considered “management officials” ineligible to collectively organize.
  53. On Saturday, the American Bar Association took the unusual step of raising alarms that judges are receivingintensified personal threats, which have been further amplified by social media.
  54. On Sunday, thousands of Jewish Americans marked the holiday of Tisha B’Av, an annual day of mourning, by protesting in D.C., New York City, Los Angeles, and more over the Trump regime’s immigration policies.
  55. The protestors organized around “Never Again.” In NYC, dozens of protestors, including some rabbis, were arrested after conducting a prayer service outside the Amazon store in downtown Manhattan.
  56. On Monday, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus demanded answers on the Mississippi raids, saying its “purpose is to instill fear in Latino and immigrant communities,” adding, “Latinos are already living in terror.”
  57. The Hispanic Caucus tweeted data showing Immigration and Custom Enforcement “has increased their total number of detention beds to over 55,000. This is well above what Congress appropriated for beds.”
  58. On Monday, the Trump regime issued a new rule, called the “public charge” rule, which would enable officials to deny green cards to migrants they believe will receive public benefits like food stamps or Medicaid.
  59. Starting October 15, the new rules will allow customs and immigration officers not only to consider whether an applicant currently receives benefits, but also make a determination on whether they will in the future.
  60. On Monday, Ken Cuccinelli, acting director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, defended the ruleon NPR, saying it was part of Trump “keeping his promises” to reduce the “burden on the government.”
  61. Cuccinelli twisted Emma Lazarus’ words on the Statue of Liberty, saying, “Give me your tired and your poor who can stand on their own two feet and who will not become a public charge.”
  62. On Tuesday, Cuccinelli defended his statement, telling CNN the Statue of Liberty poem is about “people coming from Europe” and that America is looking to receive migrants “who can stand on their own two feet.”
  63. On Tuesday, two California counties filed lawsuits challenging the regime’s “public charge” rule, calling it “arbitrary and capricious,” and saying it “flouts federal law, and seeks to usurp Congress’ authority.”
  64. On Wednesday, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said on CNN of Cuccinelli’s rewrite of the Statue of Liberty poem, “I’ve been a refugee twice. … I think that it is one of the most un-American things I’ve heard.”
  65. On Wednesday, 13 states filed a lawsuit against DHS over the new “public charge” rule. States included Colorado, Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, and New Jersey.
  66. On Tuesday, acting ICE Director Matthew Albence defended Mississippi raids that left children abandoned, saying, “The parents or the individuals that are breaking the law are ultimately the ones that are responsible.”
  67. Albence said of a video showing a young girl crying, “Many officers, on a daily basis — when an officer goes in to arrest somebody for a crime of domestic violence, one of the children in there is going to be crying.”
  68. On Tuesday, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said she has “no intention” of accepting unaccompanied migrant children for shelter in her city, in reaction to a request by a federal contractor, Dynamic Service Solutions.
  69. Similarly, top local officials in Northern Virginia also pushed back at Department of Health and Human Services request to house unaccompanied migrant children there, citing the unacceptable policy of family separation and other issues.
  70. On Wednesday, Ohio AG Dave Yost suspended facial-recognition databases for law enforcement officers, following a report by the Post which found FBI, ICE, and other federal agencies were mining data without permission.
  71. On Wednesday, NBC News reported ICE records obtained by a government watchdog group show the number of detainees put in solitary confinement rose by 15.2% during the first 15 months of Trump’s time in office.
  72. The watchdog group the Project On Government Oversight also found of those in solitary, “a strikingly high proportion have mental illness.” The trend of the data indicated the level of solitary confinement will continue to rise.
  73. On Wednesday, at a Never Again Action protest at Wyatt Detention Facility in Rhode Island, Thomas Woodworth, a correctional officer, drove his pickup truck into a crowd of protestors. The facility works with ICE.
  74. The group of protestors included children and a protestor in a wheelchair. When protestors blocked Woodworth’s truck from making it through the gate, other guards surrounded protestors and fired pepper spray.
  75. In a statement, the Rhode Island attorney general’s office and the Rhode Island State Police said they are investigating the incident. Woodworth has been placed on administrative leave during the investigation.
  76. On Thursday, Fox Business host Lou Dobbs defended the driver, saying he was “within his rights” to plow into ICE protestors on his way to work, and telling his viewers it “must just gladden your heart.”
  77. On Thursday, a federal appeals panel ruled that the Trump regime must provide edible food, clean water, soap, and toothpaste to migrant children as required under the 1977 Flores settlement.
  78. The panel tossed out the Trump regime’s challenge to a lower court, saying the regime was not required to provide specific accommodations, such as soap, as part of the Flores requirement that facilities be “safe and sanitary.”
  79. A legal advocate for child welfare at the National Center for Youth Law, said, “It should shock the conscience of all Americans to know that our government argued children do not need these bare essentials.”
  80. On Thursday, the Clarion Ledger reported ICE separated a 4-month-old breastfed baby from its mother. The mother was arrested while working at Koch Foods, where she had worked for four years, as part of a mass raid in Week 143.
  81. The father is now raising three young children on his own. He too faces possible deportation under the Trump regime, as part of proceedings stemming from an earlier arrest.
  82. On Friday, a federal appeals court delivered Trump a partial victory, narrowing the injunction on the asylum ban by allowing the regime to enforce the policy in New Mexico and Texas, two of the busiest stretches.
  83. On Monday, federal prosecutors charged Justin Olsen, an 18 year-old white man in Ohio, with making threats against law enforcement. Olsen wrote, “in conclusion, shoot every federal agent on sight.”
  84. Olsen’s writings online expressed support for mass shootings, and also was for attacks on Planned Parenthood. He lived in a house with 25 guns and 10,000 rounds of ammunition.
  85. On Tuesday, a viral-video showed Michigan police stopping and questioning a black man who was walking into a restaurant, after a white woman called police to say he looked suspicious.
  86. The man was stopped by an officer, then three more responded to the scene and questioned him for almost an hour. On Thursday, the Royal Oak Police Department launched an investigation and apologized.
  87. Race Imboden, a member of the U.S. fencing team who earned a bronze medal at the Pan Am Games, took a knee on the podium during the national anthem to protest racial and social injustice.
  88. On Wednesday, the Des Moines Register reported Rep. Steve King asked a group in an argument to ban abortion, if we pulled out rape and incest from family trees, “Would there be any population of the world left?”
  89. King also told the crowd, “Considering all the wars and all the rapes and pillages taken place and whatever happened to culture after society? I know I can’t certify that I’m not a part of a product of that.”
  90. On Friday, WAPO reported Jerri Kelly, a 46 year-old white woman in Wynne, Arkansas, held four black teenswho were going door-to-door to raise money for their football team, by gunpoint.
  91. Before the four knocked on her door, Kelly emerged with a gun, forced them to lie down, spread their legs and place their arms behind their backs. Kelly was charged with aggravated assault and false imprisonment.
  92. On Monday, the Trump regime said it will change the way the Endangered Species Act was applied, making it easier to remove species from the list and harder to protect species from threats like climate change.
  93. The new rules allow regulators to conduct economic assessments to deciding if a species should be protected, and clears the way for new mining, oil and gas drilling, and development where protected species live.
  94. On Monday, a study released by the American Meteorological Society found greenhouse gases reached record levels in 2018, and their global warming power is now 43% stronger than in 1990.
  95. Other findings included that 2018 was the fourth-warmest year on record, following behind 2015, 2017, and 2016 the warmest. Glaciers melted at a concerning rate for the 30th straight year, and sea levels for the 7th year.
  96. On Tuesday, a coalition of 29 states and cities sued to block the Trump regime from rolling back Obama-era restrictions on coal-burning power plants. The challenge is led by New York Attorney General Letitia James.
  97. The Obama-era rule required states to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 2022 by closing heavily polluting plants. AG James said “the science is indisputable” and called the Trump regime’s plan a “do-nothing rule.”
  98. The case, which could go to the Supreme Court, could weaken future presidents’ power to regulate carbon dioxide pollution, and make it harder for the U.S. to tackle climate change.
  99. Trump selected William Perry Pendley as the acting director of the Bureau of Land Management. Pendley does not believe that government should have public lands, and has spent his professional life fighting it in court.
  100. On Wednesday, the Department of Labor proposed a new rule which would grant businesses with federal contracts “religious exemption” in hiring and firing, impacting employees who are LGBTQ and others.
  101. Acting Labor Secretary Patrick Pizzella said the rule will “ensure the civil rights of religious employers are protected.” About one-quarter of U.S. employees work for an employer that has a contract with the government.
  102. On Monday, at a town-hall meeting with staff, NYT executive editor Dean Baquet said the Times can do a better job covering Trump, race, and politics, and called the headline mistake from last week a “fucking mess.”
  103. On Tuesday, the Times demoted editor Jonathan Weisman, citing “serious lapses” on social media. On Thursday, Trump tweeted that Weisman “Should have been Fired! Totally biased and inaccurate reporting.”
  104. Trump also tweeted of the Times on Thursday, “the paper is a Fraud, Zero Credibility. Fake News takes another hit, but this time a big one!”
  105. On Wednesday, Rep. Deb Haaland became the 123rd House Democrat to call for an impeachment inquiry. Including Rep. Amash the total count stood at 124.
  106. On Monday, government figures showed the U.S. budget deficit is up 27% from a year ago, bringing the deficit through July to $867 billion from $684 billion last year, and on track to top a trillion for the fiscal year.
  107. On Tuesday, Politico reported that over the past few days, economists at Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and Bank of America warned that Trump’s trade war with China has led to a rising risk of a recession.
  108. On Wednesday, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told CNBC the Trump regime would delay imposing some tariffs on China, saying it was not a trade concession to China, but a decision to help the American consumer.
  109. Ross claimed the “analytical work began well before” Trump imposed additional tariffs, and the market fell off July’s all-time highs.
  110. On Wednesday, Trump quoted a commentator on Fox Business in a tweet, saying “The Fed has got to do something! The Fed is the Central Bank of the United States, not the Central Bank of the World.”
  111. Trump also tweeted, “Correct! The Federal Reserve acted far too quickly, and now is very, very late.” Trump also quoted Fox Business, saying of China tariffs, “but you can’t tell me that it has hurt our economy.”
  112. Later Wednesday, Trump again attacked the Fed shortly before the stock market close, tweeting, “China is not our problem, though Hong Kong is not helping. Our problem is with the Fed. Raised too much & too fast.”
  113. Trump also tweeted, “we are winning, big time, against China,” but “our problem is with the Fed,” and attacked the Fed Chair, “THANK YOU to clueless Jay Powell,” and the “CRAZY INVERTED YIELD CURVE!”
  114. On Wednesday, the Dow Jones closed down 800 points, its worst percentage drop of the year and fourth-largest drop of all time, on fears of a recession.
  115. On Wednesday, a new Fox New poll found Trump’s disapproval rating jumped 5 points from a month ago to 56%, one point below his record disapproval of 57% in October 2017.
  116. On Thursday, Trump blamed the media for the faltering economy, tweeting, “the Fake News Media is doing everything they can to crash the economy because they think that will be bad for me and my re-election.”
  117. Trump offered no evidence to back his claim. He also tweeted that thanks to him, “the economy is way too strong and we will soon be winning big on Trade, and everyone knows that, including China!”
  118. On Thursday, WAPO reported that Trump is worried that a recession could imperil his re-election — his campaign counted on a strong economy. Regime members admitted they had not planned for a recession.
  119. Rather than officials in the regime making plans to stave off a recession, Trump’s economic advisers have been delivering an upbeat message on the economy, arguing it is stronger than many forecasters are predicting.
  120. Trump tweeted the U.S. economy is “the Biggest, Strongest and Most Powerful Economy in the World,” but privately he is anxious. Trump also has a conspiratorial view, telling allies he distrusts statistics in the media.
  121. Trump has privately told allies and aides that Fed Chair Powell will be a scapegoat for a recession. In addition to Trump’s trade war with China and exogenous factors, the regime’s economic message has been muddled.
  122. On Wednesday, Trump held an event at Royal Dutch Shell’s Complex outside Pittsburgh where he was scheduled to deliver a speech on the regime’s energy policies, but turned into a campaign speech.
  123. Trump took full credit for the construction of the plant he spoke at, saying “It was the Trump administration that made it possible,” even though it was initially approved in June 2016, while Obama was in office.
  124. Trump told the construction workers at the event that without him, they would be without a job, and claimed, without evidence, that his time in office was costing him $3 to $5 billion.
  125. Trump again mused about not leaving office after two terms, telling the crowd that to drive the press “totally crazy,” they should use “hashtag third term, hashtag fourth term.”
  126. Trump attacked his 2020 rivals, referring to “Pocahontas and Sleepy Joe,” and went off on a tangent on the Academy Awards, saying no one watches because they got sick of celebrities “disrespecting the people in this room.”
  127. On Friday, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported the large union crowd at Shell’s plant was given the option of showing up to Trump’s rally at 7 a.m. to get their card scanned and stand for hours, or not get paid for the day.
  128. In addition to the “No scan, no pay” warning, workers were informed if they missed Trump’s speech, they would not be paid overtime rates routinely built in for extra time during the week.
  129. Union workers were also ordered not to protest: “No yelling, shouting, protesting or anything viewed as resistance will be tolerated…the event is to promote good will from the unions.”
  130. On Thursday, Bloomberg reported the Department of Labor abruptly canceled apprenticeship contracts with labor and business groups this week, prompting an outcry from unions that had supported Trump.
  131. On Friday, acting Labor Secretary Pizzella walked back the decision. A spokesperson did not reply to Bloomberg on what caused the reversal of course.
  132. On Wednesday, after a suspect shot six police officers in Philadelphia, Mayor Jim Kenney said, “Our officers need help. They need help…They need help with keeping these weapons out of these people’s hands.”
  133. On Thursday, Kellyanne Conway attacked Kenney, a Democrat, tweeting, “What Philly sorely needs is a competent mayor who sufficiently respects and resources our brave men and women of law enforcement.”
  134. On Wednesday, 2020 Democrat candidate Julian Castro ran an ad on Trump favorite “Fox & Friends” blaming Trump for the mass shooting in El Paso, saying, “Americans were killed because you stoked the fire of racists.”
  135. On Wednesday, in a speech at an Illinois Democratic County Chairs’ Association, Speaker Nancy Pelosi cited “Moscow Mitch,” who “is the grim reaper” in listing all the House measures he has blocked.
  136. On Wednesday, two GOP committee chairs released a memo showing a prolonged investigation by staffers and intelligence could not prove China hacked Hillary Clinton’s private server, a 2016 conspiracy theory.
  137. On Thursday, Politico reported a 34-page report by the State Department inspector general’s office found Trump appointees in the departments engaged in “disrespectful and hostile treatment” of career staffers.
  138. The report also found Trump appointees harassed staffers whom they viewed as “disloyal” due to their suspected political views. One employee was forced out and others stripped of their duties.
  139. The report singled out two senior Trump appointees, Kevin Moley and Mari Stull, saying they have “frequently berated employees, raised their voices, and generally engaged in unprofessional behavior toward staff.”
  140. Stull told Foreign Policy the report is “politically motivated payback” for her efforts to implement “Trump’s agenda over the resistance of Deep State bureaucrats,” and said it contains “false and misleading information.”
  141. On Thursday, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Eliot Engel, who had been advocating for the report’s release, called the report findings “offensive” and said that Moley should “resign or be fired.”
  142. On Wednesday, CBS News reported corrections officers may have falsified reports saying they checked on Epstein as required by protocol. One source said he may have been dead two to three hours before he was found.
  143. On Thursday, WAPO reported an autopsy found multiple breaks in Epstein’s neck bones, including the hyoid bone, which in men is near the Adam’s apple. Such fractures have sparked controversies in contentious deaths.
  144. Jonathan Arden, president of the National Association of Medical Examiners, told the Post a hyoid break is more commonly associated with homicidal strangulation than suicidal hanging.
  145. On Friday, the New York City medical examiner concluded Epstein’s death was a result of suicide by hanging. He hanged himself with a bedsheet attached to the top of a bunk bed.
  146. On Thursday, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reversed himself and sided with Trump over Democratic leaders, prohibiting Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib from visiting Israel.
  147. Hours before the decision, Trump tweeted “it would show great weakness” if Israel allowed the two to visit, saying “they hate Israel & all Jewish people,” and adding, “They are a disgrace!”
  148. Democrats said blocking U.S. lawmakers for practicing free speech is unacceptable and unprecedented. Trump views attacking the two, who are for a boycott movement against Israel and poll poorly, as smart politics.
  149. Several prominent Democrats and organizations who have been critical of the two’s support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, urged the Israeli government to change course and allow them to visit.
  150. Like Trump, Netanyahu has reasons to sow discor: he is politically weak and facing an election on September 17, which if he wins, could keep him out of jail on corruption charges. He also presides over a declining democracy.
  151. Later Thursday, Trump doubled-down, tweeting: “Representatives Omar and Tlaib are the face of the Democrat Party, and they HATE Israel!”
  152. On Friday, Israel reversed course and said Rep. Tlaib would be admitted to see her 90 year-old grandmother, who lives in the occupied West Bank, citing a letter saying it might be her last chance to see her.
  153. Later Friday, Rep. Tlaib said she would not travel to Israel under “oppressive conditions,” which would have included a pledge in writing not to “promote boycotts against Israel” while there.
  154. Rep. Tlaib tweeted, “Silencing me & treating me like a criminal” is not what her grandmother wants for her, adding, “It would kill a piece of me.”
  155. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer called it “outrageous,” saying he was not aware of any member of Congress being asked to agree to preconditions to visit Israel.
  156. On Friday, Trump attacked Tlaib again, tweeting, “Israel was very respectful & nice to Rep. Rashida Tlaib, allowing her permission to visit her “grandmother”” — putting grandmother in quotes.
  157. Trump also tweeted Tlaib, “grandstanded & loudly proclaimed she would not visit Israel. Could this possibly have been a setup?” adding, “The only real winner here is Tlaib’s grandmother. She doesn’t have to see her now!”
  158. Trump also tweeted, “Like it or not, Tlaib and Omar are fast becoming the face of the Democrat Party. Cortez (AOC) is fuming, not happy about this!” Rep. Ocasio-Cortez responded with a laughing emoji.
  159. On Friday, Reuters reported her grandmother has not seen Tlaib since 2006, and her uncle said “She was going to slaughter a sheep” to make Tlaib’s favorite food. Tlaib’s grandmother said, “May God ruin Trump.”
  160. On Thursday, Beto O’Rourke, former congressman for El Paso and 2020 candidate said of Trump, “I’m confident that if at this moment, we do not wake up to this threat, then we as a country will die in our sleep.”
  161. On Thursday, Trump promoted another conservative book on his Twitter account, saying, “Go out and get Andrew McCarthy’s new book, “Ball of Collusion.” The book asserts there was collusion, but not involving Trump.
  162. On Thursday, the House Judiciary Committee issued subpoenas to Trump’s former campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, and Rick Dearborn, a former White House aide, to publicly testify before the panel.
  163. The subpoena calls for the two to appear on September 17, and testify about actions taken by Trump relating to obstruction of justice, as part of House Democrats decision on whether to move forward on impeachment.
  164. The panel has already approved subpoenas for ten additional witnesses, including Jeff Sessions, Rod Rosenstein, John Kelly, and Jared Kushner.
  165. On Thursday, Chair Nadler also received a letter from attorneys for Hope Hicks, saying despite the proximity of the calls with Michael Cohen, she was not aware of hush money payments, consistent with her testimony.
  166. On Friday, Lewandowski said he was “happy” to testify before Congress, telling Fox News, “I am an open book. I want to go and remind the American people that these guys are on a witch hunt, right?”
  167. On Thursday, Trump doubled-down on re-electing him for a strong economy, telling a crowd in Manchester, New Hampshire even Americans who hate him “have no choice but to vote for me.”
  168. Trump mocked his 2020 rival while bragging about the economy even as it falters, saying, “Oh great. ‘Let’s vote for Elizabeth “Pocahontas” Warren” — again using a racial slur — “We have the best numbers we’ve ever had.”
  169. Trump also repeated many of the themes from his 2016 campaign, attacking Hillary Clinton, the media, Democrats, and U.S. allies in Europe. He also all but endorsed Corey Lewandowski in his 2020 run for senate.
  170. The Times described Trump’s hour and a half long speech as “rambling,” and “veering on and off script.” Trump also repeated points he had made earlier in the speech, as if not remembering he made them.
  171. Trump also mocked a man at his rally, saying, “That guy’s got a serious weight problem,” as several protestors were escorted out of his rally, and, “Go home. Start exercising.”
  172. Trump also said of the man, “Get him out of here please. Got a bigger problem than I do,” adding, “Got a bigger problem than all of us. Now he goes home and his mom says, ‘What the hell have you just done?’”
  173. Later Thursday, aboard Air Force One on his way back to his Bedminster golf course, Trump called Frank Dawson, the man he mocked, to apologize, after learning Dawson was a supporter.
  174. Dawson told Fox News that evening, that Trump “didn’t see me rip the signs away from those three people that were sitting near us, adding, “I think he thought I was part of it, but I wasn’t. I was the good part of it.”
  175. On Thursday, WSJ reported Trump has repeatedly expressed interest in buying Greenland, a self-ruling part of the Kingdom of Denmark, with various degrees of interest, at dinners and in conversation with aides.
  176. People outside the White House describe it as an Alaska-type acquisition that would be part of Trump’s legacy. Trump is scheduled to make his first visit to Denmark next month.
  177. On Friday, leadership of Greenland responded, with Greenland’s foreign minister Ane Lone Bagger telling Reuters, “We are open for business, but we’re not for sale.”
  178. Other lawmakers responded with bewilderment, ridicule, and anger over Trump’s deeply inappropriate suggestion. In a formal statement, Greenland’s government said, “Of course, Greenland is not for sale.”
  179. By Friday, 126 House Democrats supported starting an impeachment inquiry. Of those, only one, Rep. Chris Pappas, is from a district that went for Trump in the 2016 election.
  180. An online petition to rename the street in front of Trump Tower as Obama Avenue was signed by more than 300,000 people; however, the local community board has moratorium against renaming streets.
  181. On Friday, hundreds came to the funeral of Margie Reckard, a victim of the El Paso shooting, after her companion of 22 years, Antonio Basco, invited the public saying he felt heartbroken and alone and had few relatives.
  182. On Friday, a memo of talking points being circulated among Congressional Republicans that was obtained by the Tampa Bay Times, revealed the GOP strategy is to downplay white nationalism and blame Democrats.
  183. The memo falsely described the El Paso massacre and other mass shootings as “violence from the left,” and gave arguments against gun control, and whataboutisms to counter questions.
  184. On Friday, Scaramucci told Vanity Fair that Trump is a “jackass” who is “crazy” and “narcissistic,” adding Trump “has got the self-worth in terms of his self-esteem of a small pigeon. It’s a very small pigeon.”
  185. Scaramucci also called Trump a “paper tiger,” cited his increased mental problems, and predicted he would drop out of the 2020 presidential race by March 2020.
  186. On Friday, an appeals court declined to halt the Trump regime’s rules to prohibit clinics that receive Title X federal funds from referring patients for abortions, meaning the rules will go into effect Monday.

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5000 union contractors listened to Trump speak at the Shell Chemicals Petrochemical Complex on August 13, 2019 in Monaca, Pennsylvania. It was later reported that workers were mandated to attend or be docked the day’s pay, and were told not to protest.POLITIKS

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POLITIKS OF GRAFFITI 144: TRAVEL ADVISORY WARNING ~ USA

AUGUST 10, 2019

Week 143

Experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things
subtly changing around you, so you’ll remember. https://theweeklylist.org/weekly-list/week-143/
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Brussels, Belgium 4aug19

This week has the most incidents of violence, attempted violence, and acts of hate inspired by Trump and his rhetoric since I started keeping track. The week started with two deadly mass shootings — one directly linked to the language used by Trump and Fox News — and rather invoking the role of consoler, Trump instead further stoked division and hate. What many may have missed in Week 143 is the amount of close calls by other white men — seemingly activated by Trump’s rhetoric and gaslighting on white supremacy and hate — that could have led to even more bloodshed. Or the remnants of racism and xenophobia that Trump has brought into the mainstream with his actions and words.

The Republican Party saw further defections of House members retiring in 2020, but still lawmakers refused, with few exceptions, to condemn Trump’s mishandling of the mass shootings, his continuing divisiveness and hate, or his blocking of the FBI and other agencies’ attempts to confront domestic terrorism carried out by white supremacists. This week once again there was a bevy of resignations from key roles, as power continues to consolidate into the hands of Trump and his band of sycophants. A mass raid in Mississippi, the largest in U.S. history, produced images of children crying as their parents were taken by ICE agents from places of work. Again, not a peep from the Republican Party.

This week House Democrats quietly escalated what appears to be the start of a stealth impeachment inquiry, suing to have former White House counsel Don McGahn appear for public testimony. While Congress is away for six weeks — a noticeable hiatus given Trump’s now unfettered control of the narrative and acting seemingly unchallenged — court cases filed by House panels continued to move forward.

The week closed with the shocking revelation that Jeffrey Epstein was found dead in his prison cell, allegedly by suicide, the day after court documents were unsealed, revealing other powerful men involved in his ring of sex trafficking and rape of girls. Conspiracy theories, some fanned by Russian-backed bots, exploded shortly after, seeking to distract from the strange occurrence of Epstein’s death.

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Ostende, Belgium July 2019
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Artist: Captain Eyeliner. New York City, June 2019
  1. On Saturday, Patrick Crusius, a 21 year-old white man from Allen, Texas, drove 10 hours to a Walmart five miles from the U.S.-Mexico border in El Paso, and shot and killed at least 20 and injured dozens more.
  2. Minutes before the shooting, Crusius posted a 2,300 word manifesto titled “The Inconvenient Truth” on 8chan, which spoke of a “Hispanic invasion of Texas,” and warned white people were being replaced by foreigners.
  3. The attack followed the pattern of the attacks in New Zealand in March and Poway, Calif. in April where aggrieved white men turned to mass murder against immigrants, Jews, and others perceived to be a threat to the white race.
  4. Much of the language in the manifesto mirrored Trump’s words before and while in office, including “invasion” and “invaders.” At a May rally in Florida, Trump had mused about shooting “these people” to stop them.
  5. The manifesto used words in Trump’s tweets like Democrats “intend to use open borders” to make Texas “a Democrat stronghold,” and language used by Fox News host Tucker Carlson and White House adviser Stephen Miller.
  6. On Sunday, watchdog group Media Matters reported Trump has run roughly 2,200 Facebook ads using the word “invasion” since May 2018, almost all of which reference immigration.
  7. On Saturday, George P. Bush, the Texas General Land Office Commissioner, issued a statement denouncing “white terrorism,” calling it “a real and present threat that we must all denounce and defeat.”
  8. On Saturday, the Southern Poverty Law Center reported white nationalist leaders and bloggers expressed solidarity with the El Paso shooter on online platforms, praising the El Paso massacre and mocking the dead.
  9. Hours after the shooting, Trump crashed another wedding at his Bedminster golf resort. Photos on social media showed Trump smiling and waving at wedding guests who shouted, “USA! USA!”
  10. On Sunday, just after midnight, Trump tweeted the shooting in El Paso was “an act of cowardice,” and “I know that I stand with everyone in this Country to condemn today’s hateful act.”
  11. On Sunday, an op-ed in the Sydney Morning Herald titled “US in the midst of a white nationalist terrorism crisis” was published, citing the “flames Trump fans with his dehumanising discourse.”
  12. On Sunday, the NYT Editorial Board wrote “We have a white nationalist terrorist problem,” adding while here for a while, “white nationalism has attained a new mainstream legitimacy during Mr. Trump’s time in office.”
  13. On Sunday, the U.S. attorney for the Western District of Texas said it was treating the shooting as a domestic terrorism case, and is weighing hate crime charges. The mass shooting was the deadliest since November 2017.
  14. On Sunday, Mexico threatened to take legal action against the U.S. for failing to protect its citizens. Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard called the massacre a “terrorist act against innocent Mexicans.”
  15. On Monday, ABC News reported law enforcement said Crusius cased the Walmart before his rampage, looking for Mexicans to target. Of the 22 killed, 8 were Mexican citizens, and 9 Mexicans were wounded.
  16. On Sunday, shortly after 1 a.m., Connor Betts, a 24 year-old white man opened fired with a high-capacity riflein the nightlife district in downtown Dayton, Ohio, killing nine, including his sister, and injuring 27.
  17. On Monday, CBS News reported Betts kept a “hit list” of those he wanted to kill, and a “rape list” of girls he wanted to sexually assault in high school. He was suspended after his hit list was found on a bathroom wall.
  18. On Monday, BuzzFeed reported Betts was the lead singer in Menstrual Munchie, a “pornogrind” band, a genre defined by its themes of gore and violence, specifically sexual violence towards women.
  19. On Sunday, in the wake of the massacres in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told Fox News video games are partly to blame for mass shootings.
  20. On Sunday, acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney told “This Week” on the shooting, “I don’t think it’s fair to try and lay this at the feet of the president,” adding, “they are sick, sick people.”
  21. On Sunday, Candice Keller, an Ohio GOP state representative, was criticized for blaming the Dayton shooting on “the breakdown of the traditional family, gay marriage, violent video games” and other things.
  22. On Sunday, CNN reported FBI director Christopher Wray ordered offices around the country to undertake a new threat assessment to thwart future mass attacks, amid concern that violent extremists could be inspired to act.
  23. WAPO reported a former FBI supervisor cited concern that FBI agents may be hamstrung by reluctance to start investigations that target what Trump perceives as his base, calling it a no-win situation.
  24. On Wednesday, CNN reported the Trump regime rebuffed efforts by the Department of Homeland Security for over a year to make combating domestic terrorism, such as white supremacists, a greater priority.
  25. An official said the Trump regime wanted to focus on only on the jihadist threat. Officials also noted fighting the white supremacy aspect of domestic terrorism was not in the regime’s fiscal 2020 budget.
  26. On Thursday, Yahoo News reported the Trump regime blocked Congress from access to a DOJ report which allegedly reveals white supremacists were responsible for all race-based domestic terrorism incidents in 2018.
  27. On Monday, Rep. Kenny Marchant said he will not seek re-election in 2020, becoming the 11th House Republican to retire, and the fourth House Republican from Texas in recent weeks.
  28. On Monday, Venezuela and Uruguay issued travel warnings to their citizens about traveling to the U.S., citing violence and hate crimes, and the “indiscriminate possession of firearms by the population.”
  29. On Wednesday, Amnesty International issued a global travel advisory to those traveling to the U.S. to “exercise caution and have an emergency contingency plan” and avoid spots where large groups congregate.
  30. The advisory also said “depending on the traveler’s gender identity, race, country of origin, ethnic background, or sexual orientation, they may be at higher risk of being targeted with gun violence.”
  31. On Monday, former congressman Beto O’Rourke of El Paso (a 2020 Democratic candidate) said of Trump, “connect the dots about what he’s been doing…He’s not tolerating racism; he’s promoting racism.”
  32. O’Rourke also expressed exasperation with the media when asked if Trump could do better, saying “What do you think?…I don’t know, like, members of the press: What the f — -?”
  33. On Monday, Rep. Veronica Escobar said Trump is “not welcome” in her district, saying he came into “one of the safest communities in the nation” and months later, so did a gunman.
  34. On Monday, Nebraska State Sen. John McCollister accused Trump of stoking racism and his party of “enabling white supremacy,” saying, “When the history books are written, I refuse to be someone who said nothing.”
  35. On Monday, Trump blamed the media for the shootings, tweeting, “Fake News has contributed greatly to the anger and rage that has built up over many years,” saying coverage must improve or it will “only get worse!”
  36. Trump also tweeted “Republicans and Democrats must come together” suggesting pairing “strong background checks” legislation “with desperately needed immigration reform.” It was unclear what he meant.
  37. Hours later, reading from a teleprompter, Trump spoke of “the inherent worth and dignity of every human life,” saying, “In one voice, our nation must condemn racism, bigotry, and white supremacy.”
  38. Trump cited a link between the mass shootings and violent video games, mental illness, and internet bigotry, but did not address guns. He called for the death penalty for “those who commit hate crimes and mass murders.”
  39. Trump did not mention the idea in his morning tweet of linking immigration legislation to background checks. NYT reported aides argued the linkage was a bad idea and urged Trump to drop it.
  40. At one point, Trump went off script, blessing the memory of “those who perished in Toledo,” not Dayton or El Paso. The official White House transcript of his speech crossed out “in Toledo” from the text.
  41. WAPO noted Trump’s words read from the teleprompter were a sharp departure from his time in office in which he engaged in “name-calling, demonizing minorities and inflaming racial animus,” mostly on Twitter.
  42. Hours later, former president Barack Obama called on the country to reject words “coming out of the mouths of any of our leaders” that feed fear and hatred, saying, “It has no place in our politics and our public life.”
  43. Obama also noted such language has been root of most human tragedy, from slavery to the Holocaust to the Rwandan genocide. Obama did not mention Trump by name, but noted his campaign’s inflammatory rhetoric.
  44. On Monday evening, amid a widespread backlash, the NYT changed its front page headline on Trump’s speech from “TRUMP URGES UNITY VS. RACISM” to “ASSAILING HATE BUT NOT GUNS” for the second edition.
  45. On Tuesday, Dean Baquet, the executive editor of the Times told the Columbia Journalism Review it was a “bad headline,” adding that “It didn’t have enough skepticism of what the president said.”
  46. On Monday, top Democrats called on Senate Leader Mitch McConnell to cancel August recess and return to vote in gun control measures passed in the House. McConnell fell and fractured his shoulder on Sunday.
  47. On Monday, Democrat Amy McGrath, who is challenging Leader McConnell in 2020, criticized a photo tweeted by his campaign of gravestones, including one that read “R.I.P. Amy McGrath.”
  48. On Monday, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez confronted Leader McConnell after a photo of seven young white men in ‘Team Mitch’ t-shirts groping and choking her cutout appeared on social media.
  49. On Wednesday, Twitter froze McConnell’s campaign account for posting a video of protestors screaming obscenities outside his home. Twitter will not unlock the account until the video is removed.
  50. On Wednesday, Politico reported the White House is circulating drafts of an executive order that would address allegations of anti-conservative bias by social media companies — a frequent complaint by Trump.
  51. On Friday, Twitter reversed, unlocking the McConnell campaign account, looking to defuse a growing controversy with the Republican establishment.
  52. On Monday, Cesar Sayoc, a super-fan of Trump who mailed explosives to prominent Democrats and media figures who are Trump critics, was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
  53. On Tuesday, the FBI said it had launched a domestic terrorism probe into the shooting at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in Week 142, after discovering the shooter had a list of other potential targets.
  54. On Tuesday, the FBI said it is investigating the “violent ideologies” of the Dayton shooter. The Dayton police chief said Betts had an “obsession” with violence and “had expressed a desire to commit a mass shooting.”
  55. On Wednesday, Thomas Bartram, a 21 year-old white Trump supporter, was detained by police for making threatening comments and brandishing a knife outside the immigrant center in El Paso. He was later released.
  56. On Friday, Dmitriy Andreychenko, 20, sparked panic at a Walmart in Missouri when he walked in wearingbody armor and fatigues. He was detained at gunpoint by an off-duty firefighter
  57. On Friday, police arrested Conor Climo, a 23 year-old white Vegas man who worked as a security guard and was plotting to firebomb a Las Vegas synagogue or a bar catering to LGTBQ customers.
  58. On Friday, Timothy Ireland, Jr., 41, was indicted in at a federal court in Toledo on making interstate threatsagainst Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, one of the four congresswomen targeted by Trump.
  59. On Monday, NBC News reported Brian Kozlowski, a white man in Michigan, was sentenced to just 60 weekend days in prison for trying to poison his wife after she filed for divorce.
  60. On Monday, a 16 year-old white teen was banned from a private school in Columbia, South Carolina as he faces criminal charges after posting a racial-slur-laden video of him shooting a box representing black people.
  61. On Tuesday, the Galveston, Texas police apologized after a photo surfaced of horse-mounted white officers leading a handcuffed black man, who had been arrested on a misdemeanor criminal trespassing charge, by a rope.
  62. On Wednesday, WOIO reported an explosion at a Cleveland, Ohio home is being investigated as a possible hate crime, after police found spray-painted racial slurs and swastikas. The FBI is aware of the incident.
  63. On Thursday, Michigan Live reported when Rob Mathis, a Black man, and his wife looked to buy a home in Holton, Michigan owned by a police officer, they found Confederate flags and a KKK application.
  64. The officer, Charles Anderson of the Muskegon Police Department, who is white, was placed on indefinite leave pending an investigation.
  65. On Thursday, the lawyer for Curt James Brockway, a 39 year-old white man who slammed a 13 year-old boy’s head to the ground for not removing his hat during the national anthem, said Trump’s rhetoric was partly to blame.
  66. A letter from National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Tom Emmer named three “left-wing radicals” that “bought control of Congress for the Democrats.” George Soros and Michael Bloomberg are Jewish, as is Tom Steyer’s father.
  67. On Monday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 760 points, the worst day of 2019, as the trade war with China intensified, with China retaliating against Trump’s tariff announcement in Week 142.
  68. After the stock market close, the Treasury Department declared China as a currency manipulator, a historic move that no White House had exercised since the Clinton administration in 1994.
  69. Later Monday, China suspended its purchase of U.S. agriculture products. The loss of China, the fourth largest market for U.S. farm products, was a devastating blow to the already struggling U.S. agriculture market.
  70. On Monday, in a WSJ op-ed, former Federal Reserve Chairs Paul Volcker, Alan Greenspan, Ben Bernanke, and Janet Yellen said, “America needs an independent Fed” which is “free from short-term political pressures.”
  71. On Wednesday, in a series of tweets, Trump attacked the Federal Reserve, saying, “Our problem is not China…Our problem is a Federal Reserve that is too proud to admit their mistake,” adding, “I was right.”
  72. Trump also tweeted the Fed “must Cut Rates bigger and faster, and stop their ridiculous quantitative tightening NOW,” adding, “Incompetence is a terrible thing to watch.”
  73. On Thursday, in a series of tweets, Trump again attacked the Fed, saying “The Fed’s high interest rate level, in comparison to other countries, is…making it more difficult for our great manufacturers.”
  74. Trump also tweeted, “with substantial Fed Cuts” it will be “possible for our companies to win,” adding the Fed “called it wrong at every step of the way…imagine what would happen if they actually called it right?”
  75. On Sunday, France and Germany criticized Russian police’s crackdown on protestors, calling it an “excessive use of force,” and that it “violated Russia’s international obligations.” The U.S. made no statement.
  76. On Monday, South Korean news agency Yonhap reported that North Korea fired two projectiles for the third time in the past two weeks. The North denounced the U.S. and Seoul over the start of their joint exercises.
  77. On Monday, House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerrold Nadler told MSNBC that his panel could decide whether to move forward with articles of impeachment in the “late fall perhaps — in the latter part of the year.”
  78. Nadler said his panel will probably get the court decisions on Mueller grand jury evidence by the end of October, and “we will have hearings in September and October” for witnesses and “do it through the fall.”
  79. Nadler added, “The Mueller report was the summary of the evidence, we don’t have the evidence,” and said on holding hearings, “We will get the support of the American people or we won’t. I suspect we will.”
  80. On Monday, District Judge Reggie Walton appeared on several occasions to side with BuzzFeed and nonprofit EPIC in their lawsuit seeking to uncover all the redactions from the Mueller report.
  81. The judge said Trump’s public statements “seem to be inconsistent with what the report itself said,” and that AG William Barr’s four-page letter “did not fully capture the context, nature and substance” of the report.
  82. On Wednesday, the House Judiciary Committee filed a lawsuit to enforce the panel’s subpoena of former White House counsel Don McGahn, and to compel him to testify about his tenure at Trump’s White House.
  83. The suit asked the judge to strike down the Trump regime’s claim that top aides are “absolutely immune” from its subpoenas, signaling more was at stake than a single witness. The suit mentions impeachment 16 times.
  84. The suit states the committee is “now determining whether to recommend articles of impeachment against the president based on the obstructive conduct described by the special counsel.”
  85. On Thursday, WSJ reported major banks, including Bank of America, Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, and Wells Fargo have handed over documents to congress relating to Trump.
  86. Thousands of pages relating to Trump and his family and businesses’ ties to Russians have been given to the House Financial Services and Intelligence Committees, with more expected in coming weeks.
  87. Some of the banks have also turned over documents related to the Trump Organization to New York Attorney General Letitia James, in response to a civil subpoena issued earlier this year.
  88. On Thursday, NPR reported that 120 members of the House are now for impeachment. Twenty-five of the lawmakers announced support for impeachment after Robert Mueller’s testimony in Week 141.
  89. On Thursday, Chair Nadler told CNN “this is formal impeachment proceedings,” adding “we will [at the] conclusion of this — hopefully by the end of the year — vote to vote articles of impeachment…or we won’t.”
  90. WAPO reported Democrats have begun an impeachment inquiry without people noticing or without fanfare. During the House’s six week break, the action will be in the courts, and then testimony when they return.
  91. On Monday, Lewis Ziska, one of the country’s leading climate change scientists, resigned from the U.S. Department of Agriculture after the Trump regime tried to bury his groundbreaking study.
  92. Ziska’s study revealed rice is losing nutrients because of rising levels of carbon dioxide, a concern for 600 million who depend on rice for most of their calories. Ziska said “it feels like something out of a bad sci-fi movie.”
  93. On Monday, the USDA inspector general said the White House violated the law with plans to relocate hundreds of workers in the Economic Research Service and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture to Kansas City.
  94. The IG findings cannot stop the relocation, but could be used in congressional or court battles over the USDA’s plan. Many economists and researchers have already said they will quit rather than relocate.
  95. Chief of staff Mulvaney said last week in a speech at a South Carolina Republican Party gala that the relocation was “a wonderful way to sort of streamline government,” bragging, “more than half the people quit.”
  96. On Tuesday, Chair Nadler and Rep. Hank Johnson, a subcommittee chair, in a letter asked the National Archives and Records Administration for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s White House records.
  97. The letter seeks records from Kavanaugh’s time as staff secretary and in the White House counsel’s office under George W. Bush, including all emails sent or received as well as the “textual records” in his office files.
  98. On Thursday, the Phoenix New Times reported Rachel Mitchell, the prosecutor who questioned Christine Blasey Ford for Senate GOP at Kavanaugh’s hearing, was given a top prosecutor job in Maricopa County.
  99. On Tuesday, the ACLU sued the Trump regime to block a rule that went into effect on July 23, and would expand the Department of Homeland Security’s ability to fast-track deportations.
  100. On Tuesday, a federal judge in Arkansas temporarily blocked the state’s 18-week abortion ban from going into effect, saying it would cause “irreparable” harm to women seeking abortion.
  101. The judge also blocked new laws banning women from terminating a pregnancy based on a diagnosis the fetus has Down syndrome, and a law requiring providers to be certified in obstetrics and gynecology.
  102. On Monday, Roger Stone asked an appeals court to overturn his pre-trial gag order, which he described as a “total speech ban,” claiming the order violates both his and his family’s First Amendment rights.
  103. On Tuesday, the DOJ sided with Trump in a battle over a congressional subpoena for his financial records, saying, “The House’s lack of responsibility is sufficient reason…to declare this subpoena invalid.”
  104. The DOJ said “at an absolute minimum,” the court should require the House Oversight Committee to provide clarity on the legislative purpose of seeking eight years of records from Trump’s accounting firm, Mazars USA.
  105. On Tuesday, a federal judge ordered the State and Defense departments to release thousands of pages of records related to the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, in response to a lawsuit by Open Society Justice Initiative.
  106. On Tuesday, “Fox & Friends” co-host Brian Kilmeade defended using the term “invasion” as used by the El Paso shooter, saying, “If you use the term ‘this is an invasion,’ that’s not anti-Hispanic. It’s a fact.”
  107. On Tuesday, Trump tweeted a whataboutism quote by Kilmeade, saying, “Did George Bush ever condemn President Obama after Sandy Hook. President Obama had 32 mass shootings during his reign.”
  108. On Tuesday, Fox News host Tucker Carlson said there is no white supremacy problem in America, saying, “the whole thing is a lie,” adding, “This is a hoax, just like the Russia hoax. It’s a conspiracy theory.”
  109. On Thursday, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway defended Carlson calling white supremacy a “hoax” and getting widespread criticism, saying his comment was getting “outsized coverage…versus all forms of hate.”
  110. On Wednesday, Trump tweeted his displeasure with the NYT changing a headline “after the Radical Left Democrats went absolutely CRAZY!” adding, “Fake News — That’s what we’re up against.”
  111. Trump also tweeted, “After 3 years I almost got a good headline from the Times!” and quoted Tucker Carlson, saying, “This is an astounding development in journalism. I’ve never seen it happen before.”
  112. Trump also tweeted the Dayton shooter “had a history of supporting political figures like Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and ANTIFA” per One America News, adding he hopes “other news outlets will report this.”
  113. On Wednesday, before heading to Dayton and El Paso, when asked if his words embolden white supremacists, Trump said the Dayton shooter supported “Bernie Sanders…antifa…Elizabeth Warren.”
  114. Kellyanne Conway started pushing the false equivalency on Tuesday, telling Fox News that she is “hopping mad” that she sees little coverage of the Dayton shooter being “supportive of Warren, Sanders.”
  115. Trump also told reporters, when asked if he regretted his language being used in the El Paso manifesto, “I think illegal immigration is a terrible thing for this country. I think you have to come in legally.”
  116. Trump also said his opponents are “looking for political gain” by tying his comments to the shooting, adding, “I don’t think my rhetoric does at all. I think my rhetoric brings people together.”
  117. As Trump left for Dayton and El Paso, CBS News wrote Trump “will be assuming the role of consoler-in-chief.” The network later scrubbed reference to consoler-in-chief from the title and body of the article.
  118. Although Trump vowed to tone down his rhetoric and help the country heal, as would be a traditional role for the country’s leader, he instead attacked opponents and was unable again to show empathy.
  119. In Dayton, Trump visited a hospital only, and spoke briefly with Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley and Sen. Sherrod Brown, who later complimented him for coming, but criticized his rhetoric and lack of action on gun control.
  120. Once aboard Air Force One, Trump tweeted he had “ a warm & wonderful visit,” adding, “Then I saw failed Presidential Candidate (0%) Sherrod Brown & Mayor Whaley totally misrepresenting what took place.”
  121. Trump also tweeted, “Their news conference after I left for El Paso was a fraud,” adding, “It bore no resemblance to what took place.” Director of Social Media Dan Savino tweeted, “They are disgraceful politicians.”
  122. Mayor Whaley later responded on CNN, calling Trump “a bully and a coward,” and adding, “It’s fine that he wants to bully me and Senator Brown. We’re okay. We can take it.”
  123. Trump also tweeted a criticism about 2020 Democratic candidate Joe Biden’s speech, calling him “Sleepy Joe Biden” and “Sooo Boring!” adding “The LameStream Media will die in the ratings and clicks with this guy.”
  124. Trump also attacked Fox News host Shepard Smith, tweeting, “Watching Fake News CNN is better than watching Shepard Smith, the lowest rated show,” adding he turns on One America News, “whenever possible.”
  125. In El Paso, Trump faced thousands of protestors. After visiting a hospital, Trump told reporters, “We had an amazing day… The love, the respect for the office of the presidency — I wish you could have been in there to see it.”
  126. Trump said of Whaley and Brown, “They shouldn’t be politicking today,” calling them “very dishonest people,” and adding that is why Brown got “about zero percent and he failed as a presidential candidate.”
  127. After leaving El Paso, Trump attacked Joaquin Castro, brother of 2020 candidate Julian, who tweeted the names of major Trump donors in Texas. Trump initially deleted a tweet that misspelled Joaquin as Juaquin.
  128. Trump called Joaquin “the lesser brother of a failed presidential candidate (1%) who makes a fool of himselfevery time he opens his mouth,” saying he is “not the man that his brother is,” and his brother is “not much.”
  129. Trump also tweeted, “The Fake News worked overtime trying to disparage me and the two trips, but it just didn’t work,” adding, “The love, respect & enthusiasm were there for all to see,” and “Sad!”
  130. Trump tweeted, “The Dems new weapon is actually their old weapon…they never cease to use when they are down…RACISM!” adding he will put out “a list of all people who have been so (ridiculously) accused!”
  131. Later, back at the White House, Trump tweeted, “Just watched a world class loser, Tim O’Brien, who I haven’t seen or spoken to in many years” on “Lyin’ Brian Williams Trump Slam Show.”
  132. Trump also tweeted, “so amazed that MSNBC & CNN can keep putting on, over and over again, people that have no idea what I am all about,” adding “how did that work out for the Haters and Losers. Not well!”
  133. Later Wednesday, WAPO reported that none of the eight victims of the El Paso mass shooting being treated at University Medical Center agreed to meet with Trump during his hospital visit.
  134. In a video released of Trump’s hospital visit, he is heard bragging to staff members about his El Paso rally three months ago, saying, “That place was packed. … That was some crowd. And we had twice the number outside.”
  135. On Friday, NYT reported Trump was furious that the media coverage of his trip was more focused on his attacks on political opponents than the cheery reception he received when he arrived at the Dayton hospital.
  136. There was also widespread coverage of Trump in El Paso giving a thumbs up while the first lady, Melania Trump, cradled a 2-month-old baby who lost both parents in the shooting — the mother died shielding him from bullets.
  137. Trump started to see the negative headlines while flying back from El Paso on Air Force One. Reportedly, Trump screamed at his aides to produce videos proving that in El Paso people were happy to see him.
  138. On Wednesday, a Pew Research poll found 51% of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents say it would be too risky to give presidents more power, down from 70% in March 2018.
  139. On Wednesday, as Trump was visiting Dayton and El Paso, Trump’s Immigration and Customs and Enforcement conducted the largest immigration sweep in a single state in U.S. history.
  140. ICE targeted seven different workplaces in six different cities in Mississippi. With the help of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Mississippi, ICE rounded up 680 undocumented immigrants.
  141. ICE acting director Matthew Albence said the raid involved the mobilization of nearly 650 federal agents from around the country, and was planned long before the shootings, “and we intended to carry it out.”
  142. On Wednesday, the Clarion Ledger reported the Scott County superintendent said he knew of at least six students in the district that had a parent caught up in the ICE roundup, and expected the number of rise.
  143. The raids occurred in small towns near Jackson, including Bay Springs, Carthage, Canton, Morton, Pelahatchie, and Sebastapol, where most of the workforce is made up of Latino immigrants.
  144. Children at the scene of the raid were seen waving goodbye to their parents as adults were taken into custody. As of 3:30 p.m., adults rounded up were still being screened and processed.
  145. A video of a teary-eyed 12 year-old girl named Angie showed friends of her mother taking her to a food-processing plant to say goodbye. ICE told one friend she could take her back to school or wait until he mom gets out.
  146. A video showed 11 year-old Magdalena Gomez Gregorio begging ICE to release her father: “Governments please put your heart. Let my parent be free. I need my dad by me. My dad didn’t do anything. He is not a criminal.”
  147. WJTV reported many of the children relied on neighbors and strangers to pick them up outside their homes after school. Some of the children of detained parents slept at a community gym.
  148. On Thursday, KTLA reported Mississippi residents rallied around terrified children left with no parents. Later that morning, about 300 of the 680 were released after being taken to a military hangar.
  149. On Thursday, WAPO reported those temporarily released to take care of children will be free until their court date, but under the Trump regime if undocumented will likely be deported, regardless of criminal history.
  150. On Friday, WAPO reported of the seven plants owned by five companies, including Koch Foods, federal authorities have not yet announced criminal or civil charges against any company, despite a year-long investigation.
  151. The Post has not found any evidence of ICE audits or raids at Trump properties, either before or during his time in office. The DOJ has not charged the Trump properties with violating immigration laws.
  152. On Friday, WAPO reported for two decades the Trump Org has relied on a roving crew of Latin American employees to work as construction crews for its winery and its golf courses from New York to Florida.
  153. Edmundo Morocho, an undocumented worker, said he was told by a Trump supervisor to buy fake identity documents on a New York street corner. Morocho hid at a Trump golf course from visiting labor union officials.
  154. Although Eric Trump told the Post in January that Trump Org was “making a broad effort to identify any employee who has given false and fraudulent documents,” workers say nothing has changed.
  155. On Tuesday, Jon Huntsman sent a letter to Trump announcing he will resign as U.S. ambassador to Russiaafter serving two years, and return to his home state of Utah in October.
  156. On Thursday, Kimberly Breier, the assistant secretary of state for the Western Hemisphere, resigned over the level of control exerted by the Trump regime over immigration, trade relations, and other matters.
  157. On Thursday, Sue Gordon, the country’s number 2 intelligence official as deputy director of national intelligence, resigned. Gordon will step down on August 15, the same day as her boss, DNI Dan Coats.
  158. Gordon was in line to replace Coats, at least in an acting capacity, until Trump nominated his successor. Gordon’s resignation letter said, “I offer this letter as an act of respect & patriotism, not preference.”
  159. On Thursday, Foreign Service Officer Chuck Park resigned in an op-ed saying he can “no longer justify” to his son born in El Paso, “or to myself, my complicity in the actions of this administration.”
  160. On Friday, House Foreign Affairs Chair Eliot Engel said he was “fed up” with the State Department, citing suspicions Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is blocking release of an IG report on whether Trump appointees mistreated career staffers.
  161. On Friday, CNN reported the EPA will drop Obama-era protections of wild salmon in Bristol Bay, Alaska, allowing a controversial mining project, which the EPA said in 2014 could result in a “complete loss of fish habitat.”
  162. On Friday, Trump tweeted, “Liberal Hollywood is Racist at the highest level, and with great Anger and Hate!” adding, “They like to call themselves ‘Elite,’ but they are not Elite,” and, “They are the true Racists.”
  163. Trump was referencing a morning segment on “Fox & Friends” about an upcoming move called “The Hunt.” On Saturday, Universal Pictures canceled the movie’s release after the right-wing uproar.
  164. On Wednesday, Stephen Ross, the owner of Equinox and SoulCycle, faced outrage and boycotts over hosting a fundraiser for Trump. Ross said he has known Trump for 40 years and strongly disagrees on some issues.
  165. At Ross’s Hamptons fundraiser, attendees will give up to $100,000 for a picture with Trump and $250,000 to listen in on a roundtable discussion. Ross moved ahead with the fundraiser despite calls to cancel it.
  166. On Friday, Trump threatened undefined retaliation against countries and organizations that have issued travel warnings over gun violence in the U.S., telling reporters, “If they did that, we’d just reciprocate.”
  167. Trump also told reporters before leaving for vacation, the shootings were a mental illness problem, saying, “The gun doesn’t pull the trigger — the mind, a sick mind, pulls the trigger.”
  168. Asked what he would say to children going back to school, Trump said, “study hard and someday you’ll grow up and maybe be President of the U.S. or do something else that’s fantastic. They have nothing to fear.”
  169. Leader McConnell has blocked all gun control legislation, but Trump told reporters McConnell is willing to work with Democrats when they return in September, “I talked to Mitch McConnell yesterday. He’s totally on board.”
  170. On Friday, AP reported Trump left for a 10-day vacation at his Bedminster golf course. Aides say Trump will focus on golf, cable news, and Twitter, while raising concern of potential outbursts when he is away from D.C.
  171. Trump leaves with several domestic and foreign crises, including his uneven handling of his role after this week’s shootings, his trade war with China, rising tensions with Iran and North Korea, and other trouble areas.
  172. Aides say his re-election strategy will be to focus on white grievances and immigration, designed to activate his base, an approach not seen by a sitting American president in the modern era.
  173. Former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci said Trump is “going on vacation feeling smug,” citing the economy, winning the trade war with China, and viewing Democrats not being a threat.
  174. On Friday, Axios reported the Trump re-election campaign sees the Democrat’s charge of white supremacy as a political benefit for the 2020 race — making “white supremacist” the new “deplorables.”
  175. As several Democrats running for president in 2020 call Trump a white supremacist, the campaign believes the label will help him with his most hardcore base while bringing more moderate Republicans.
  176. On Friday, Pope Francis warned against the rise of white nationalism, saying, “I am concerned because we hear speeches that resemble those of Hitler in 1934. Us first. We …We …These are frightening thoughts.”
  177. On Saturday, Trump sided with North Korea over the U.S. military, tweeting a letter from Kim Jong Un “complaining about the ridiculous and expensive exercises,” referring to joint U.S. military exercises with South Korea.
  178. Trump also asserted Kim’s letter was “a small apology for testing the short range missiles,” saying testing would stop when the military exercises end, adding Kim “would like to meet and start negotiations” when exercises end.
  179. Trump also lashed out on El Paso, tweeting “Maggie Haberman of the Failing @nytimes reported that I was annoyed by the lack of cameras inside the hospitals,” adding, “I didn’t want the Fake News inside.”
  180. Trump also tweeted, “Never has the press been more inaccurate, unfair or corrupt!” adding, “We are not fighting the Democrats, they are easy, we are fighting the seriously dishonest and unhinged Lamestream Media.”
  181. Trump also tweeted that the press has “gone totally CRAZY, adding, “MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”
  182. Trump also retweeted far-right British commentator Katie Hopkins, a voice against migrants and Muslims, on Thursday for the fourth time in four weeks. He also invoked her tweet hours before the El Paso shooting.
  183. On Friday, thousands of pages of court documents were unsealed in the defamation lawsuit brought after Jeffrey Epstein by accuser Virginia Giuffre, revealing names of several men involved.
  184. Among the prominent men named in the documents were Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz, Britain’s Prince Andrew, and former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson.
  185. On Saturday, Epstein, 66, was found unresponsive in his jail call at 6:30 a.m. EST at a facility in New York. The death initially was reported as an apparent suicide. The FBI is investigating.
  186. ABC News reported law enforcement officials said Epstein was found hanging in his cell, although it was not clear by what means. He was transported in cardiac arrest to the hospital and died at 6:39 a.m.
  187. ABC News reported Epstein was placed on suicide watch on following an attempted suicide on July 23, but was no longer on suicide watch at the time of his death.
  188. Sen. Ben Sasse, a member of the Senate Judiciary oversight subcommittee said, “It is inexcusable that this rapist was not under constant suicide watch. These victims deserved to face their serial abuser in court.”
  189. Attorney General William Barr said in a statement he was “appalled” to learn of Epstein’s “apparent suicide while in federal custody,” saying his “death raises serious questions that must be answered.”
  190. Conspiracy theories erupted almost immediately after the reporting of Epstein’s death, some blaming the Clintons, and with the help of Russian-back bots, are trending on Twitter.

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People react and embrace each other during an interfaith vigil for victims of a mass shooting which left 22 people dead, on August 4, 2019 in El Paso, Texas. A 21-year-old male suspect was taken into custody in the city which sits along the U.S.-Mexico border. At least 26 people were wounded.

POLITIKS OF GRAFFITI 143: #ELPASOSTRONG #DAYTONSTRONG #ENTERNEXTCITYSTRONG

AUGUST 03, 2019

Week 142

Experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things
subtly changing around you, so you’ll remember. https://theweeklylist.org/weekly-list/week-142/
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Brussels, Belgium 4aug19

This week started with Trump’s attacks on Black leader House Oversight Committee Chair Elijah Cummings, whose panel has several ongoing investigations targeting Trump and his family. Trump used dehumanizing language like “rats” and “infest” to disparage Cummings’ home district of Baltimore, then broadened his attack during the week to other prominent Black men including Al Sharpton, who he called a “con man” and CNN host Don Lemon who he called “dumb.” Trump refused to back off, escalating his racist attacks — gaslighting the country that he is not the racist, but Cummings is — as news of hate-based shootings and instances of overt racism spread in an anxious and increasingly divided country.

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A wheat paste depiction of him near the Palais de Justice in Brussels, Belgium July 2019

A new label for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell — Moscow Mitch — struck a nerve with the leader, and as the media and Democrats questioned his unwillingness to secure the country’s election, his other ties to Russia came under scrutiny. Headwinds for impeachment continued post Mueller’s testimony as over half the House Democrats formally called for the start of an impeachment inquiry, while Trump continued to deny Russia interference happened or is happening now. Trump pushed out the Director of National Intelligence, Dan Coats, one of the few remaining voices who stood up to Trump on foreign policy, and perhaps the last non-partisan stop-gap to future Russia interference.

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No Borders – Louvain-La-Neuve, Belgium 27jul19

The future of the Republican Party came into question this week, as Rep. Will Hurd, the only Black American member of the House for the GOP, became the ninth Republican to say he will not seek re-election in 2020. Among the nine are also two of the 13 GOP women, including Rep. Susan Brooks, who was meant to recruit more women to run.

  1. On Monday, a group of Christian leaders warned in a statement about the rise of “Christian nationalism,” saying “America has no second-class faiths. All are equal under the U.S. Constitution.”
  2. The group warned “Christian nationalism” seeks to bind Christianity and American citizenship in a way that “provides cover for white supremacy and racial subjugation,” citing “intimidation and distortion of scripture.”
  3. On Tuesday, the faith leaders of the Washington National Cathedral released a statement saying “Have We No Decency?” in response to Trump, asking elected officials, “When does silence become complicity?”
  4. The leaders said we “believe in the sacredness of every single human being, the time for silence is over. We must boldly stand witness against the bigotry, hatred, intolerance, and xenophobia that is hurled at us.”
  5. On Sunday, Santino William Legan shot and killed three people at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in Gilroy, California. Legan, a 19 year-old white man, had connections on his Instagram account to white nationalist literature.
  6. On Sunday, a shooting outside a North Miami, Florida synagogue left one injured, and is being investigated by police as a hate crime. The shooting marked the third synagogue shooting in less than a year.
  7. On Sunday, NPR reported that Alexei Navalny, a leader of the opposition movement and longtime critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, was hospitalized with an “allergic reaction” four days after being arrested.
  8. On Sunday, the son of Vladimir Kara-Murza tweeted that his father, a “historian, TV journalist, one of the founders of the ‘old NTV,’” had died. Kara-Murza was a prominent Kremlin critic. He was 59 years-old.
  9. On Tuesday, an international group of researchers found a radioactive cloud that blanketed a large part of Europe in 2017 started in Russia. The release likely originated in the Mayak reprocessing plant.
  10. On Wednesday, China’s army released a video showing soldiers practicing shooting protestors, as the top Chinese military official in Hong Kong called protests there in recent weeks “absolutely intolerable.”
  11. WSJ reported on the rise of “disrupters” being elected globally, including Trump, Boris Johnson in the U.K., Narendra Modi in India, Viktor Orban in Hungary, Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil, and Matteo Salvini in Italy.
  12. On Sunday, Axios reported Trump plans to nominate Rep. John Ratcliffe to replace Dan Coats as the Director of National Intelligence, saying Ratcliffe’s performance questioning Robert Mueller raised his chances for the spot.
  13. Later Sunday, Trump announced on Twitter that Coats would step down. Coats was one of the few remaining national security officials willing to contradict Trump on matters such as Russia and North Korea.
  14. Rep. Ratcliffe has no intelligence background or experience, but has embraced Trump’s theories on the Russia investigation. Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Richard Burr called him too political.
  15. On Tuesday, Trump told reporters, on Ratcliffe’s appointment, “we need somebody strong” that can “really rein it in,” saying the intelligence agencies “have run amok. They’ve run amok.”
  16. On Tuesday, NYT reported Ratcliffe’s aides were sent scrambling after he overstated several parts of his biography in various prosecutorial roles in order to bolster his resume.
  17. Ratcliffe falsely claimed he tried suspects accused of funneling money to the Hamas, touted his role as U.S. attorney though he was only an interim appointee, and falsely claimed he oversaw terrorism investigations.
  18. On Saturday, the Baltimore Sun Editorial Board wrote in response to Trump’s Twitter attacks on House Oversight Committee Chair Elijah Cummings, “Better to have a few rats than to be one.”
  19. The editorial board wrote Cummings has been “a thorn” in Trump’s side, adding Trump “sees attacking African American members of Congress as good politics,” adding it “warms the cockles of the white supremacists.”
  20. On Saturday, Barack Obama, who rarely comments on politics, tweeted an op-ed written by 149 African Americans who served in his administration, criticizing Trump’s attacks on the four congresswomen.
  21. Obama wrote, “I’m proud of how they’re continuing to fight for an America that’s better.” The group wrote “racism, sexism, homophobia and xenophobia” by Trump and others is “poisoning of our democracy.”
  22. On Sunday, Trump defended himself, tweeting there is “nothing racist” in his attacks on Cummings who has done “a terrible job” in his district, and “Dems always play the race card when they are unable to win with facts.”
  23. Shortly after, Trump tweeted again, calling Cummings a “racist,” adding he should “focus more of his energy on helping the good people of his district,” adding, “His radical “oversight” is a joke!”
  24. NYT reported that Chair Cummings’ House Oversight Committee had voted to last Thursday along party lines to approve subpoenas for Jared Kushner and Ivanka’s White House emails sent from private accounts.
  25. On Sunday, acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney defended Trump on “Face the Nation,” saying “everything that Donald Trump says is offensive to some people,” but that “doesn’t mean that it’s racist.”
  26. On Monday, Trump attacked Cummings and civil rights leader Al Sharpton. Trump tweeted, “I have known Al for 25 years,” calling him a “con man,” and a “troublemaker” who “Hates Whites & Cops!”
  27. Trump also tweeted that Baltimore “has the worst Crime Statistics in the Nation. 25 years of all talk, no action!” and “same old Bull,” and adding, “Next, Reverend Al will show up to complain & protest.”
  28. Later Monday, Trump tweeted, “Crazy Bernie Sanders recently equated the City of Baltimore to a THIRD WORLD COUNTRY!” adding Democratic 2020 candidate Bernie Sanders “must now be labeled a Racist.”
  29. Trump also tweeted, “Baltimore can be brought back,” but not by “King Elijah and that crew,” adding that when Baltimore wants to see the city rise again, “I am in a very beautiful oval shaped office waiting for your call!”
  30. On Monday, WAPO reported House Republicans will hold their yearly retreat in Baltimore in September, despite Trump calling the city a “very dangerous & filthy place” where “no human being would want to live.”
  31. On Monday, the Baltimore Sun Editorial Board wrote, “Cummings didn’t cause Baltimore’s woes; it was people who profited from racism. Sound familiar, Mr. Trump?” citing Trump’s federal housing discrimination suit.
  32. The editorial board also noted Chair Cummings’ time is being occupied by the investigations into Trump’s wrongdoing, including conditions at the border, private email accounts, and profiting off his time in office.
  33. On Monday, Sen. Chris Murphy encouraged Trump critics to unfollow Trump’s Twitter account, citing attacks on Chair Cummings, and saying Trump’s “feed is the most hate-filled, racist, and demeaning” he followed.
  34. Sen. Rand Paul said in a interview with conservative Breitbart News that Rep. Ilhan Omar is “ungrateful,” adding, “I’m willing to contribute to buy her a ticket to go visit Somalia. I think she can look and maybe learn.”
  35. On Monday, Sen. Steve Daines, who last week defended Trump from accusations of racism for his “go back” to other countries tweets, introduced a resolution to formally condemn socialism.
  36. On Monday, in response to a request by Chair Cummings and other Democrats, the State Department’s inspector general reported Trump spent $234k on his trip to his property in Turnberry, Scotland in July 2018.
  37. On Tuesday, a report by Chair Cummings’ House Oversight Committee raised concerns about Trump insiders using access to the White House to promote their own commercial interests.
  38. Thomas Barrack, who oversaw Trump’s inaugural committee, used access to push dozens of nuclear power plants in Saudi Arabia while lobbying to avoid restrictions on the transfer of U.S. nuclear technology to the Saudis.
  39. The report also found, according to emails obtained, Trump aides submitted drafts of Trump’s “America First” energy speech delivered during the 2016 campaign to the United Arab Emirates first for edits.
  40. On Tuesday, at an event in Jamestown commemorating the 400th anniversary of Virginia’s first legislative assembly, Trump’s speech was interrupted by a Muslim lawmaker yelling “You can’t send us back!
  41. Trump brushed off the encounter with delegate Ibraheem Samirah, which uncharacteristically stopped his speech, saying the event was “fantastic.” The Virginia Legislative Black Caucus boycotted Trump’s speech.
  42. On Wednesday, Trump attacked CNN debate moderator Don Lemon, who is also a Black man, tweeting Lemon is “the dumbest man on television” and “too dumb (stupid} to understand.”
  43. Trump tweeted Lemon asked “a debate “question” that I was a racist, when in fact I am “the least racist person in the world,”” adding, “No wonder CNN’s ratings (MSNBC’s also) have gone down the tubes.”
  44. On Wednesday, Peggy Wallace Kennedy, daughter of segregationist George Wallace, said Trump’s tactics are even worse than her father’s, saying, “I’ve never seen anything like it,” and “We cannot go backward.”
  45. On Tuesday, a Quinnipiac poll found that 51% say Trump is racist, 45% say his is not. White voters say 46% he is and 50% he is not, while Black voters say 80–11% say he is racist, and Hispanics 55–44%.
  46. The polls also found 60–32% say Congress should not begin impeachment proceedings, although support for starting impeachment is 61–29% among Democrats and 66–23% among Black voters.
  47. On Wednesday, WAPO reported a North Carolina billboard advertisement for a gun shop, Cherokee Guns, compared the four Congresswomen in the Squad to the “4 Horsemen,” calling them “Idiots,” and “Signed, the Deplorables.”
  48. In a Facebook post, Cherokee Guns took credit. Rep. Rashidi Tlaib tweeted Wednesday, “How the hell is this not inciting violence?” and asked Trump ally Rep. Mark Meadows, whose district it was in, to “do the right thing.”
  49. The owner of the gun shop, Doc Wacholz, told the Citzens-Times, “They’re socialists, from my point of view,” adding, “I also feel a couple of them, being Muslim, have ties to actual terrorists groups.
  50. On Thursday, Rep. Ilhan Omar tweeted photos of her visiting “Mother Africa” with Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other members of the Congressional Black Caucus to affirm the U.S.’s partnership with Ghana.
  51. On Thursday, Speaker Pelosi, a Baltimore native, defended Cummings, saying Trump “doesn’t know what he’s talking about,” and adding Trump should ask Kushner, “who’s a slumlord there,” about “rodent infestations.”
  52. On Thursday, Baltimore Police said they were investigating a burglary at the home of Chair Cummings last Saturday night at 3:40 a.m. The incident took place hours before Trump Twitter attack that started in Week 141.
  53. On Friday, Trump tweeted, “Really bad news! The Baltimore house of Elijah Cummings was robbed. Too bad!” The tweet drew some limited pushback from Republicans.
  54. On Saturday, in a series of tweets, Trump said, “the Dems are now coming out of shock from the terrible Mueller performance” and talking impeachment, saying, “How sick & disgusting and bad for our Country.”
  55. Trump added, “We gave Nadler and his Trump hating Dems the complete Mueller Report,” adding, “Nothing will ever be good enough for them,” and “NO COLLUSION, NO OBSTRUCTION, TOTAL EXONERATION.”
  56. Later that evening, Trump tweeted, quoting from a guest on Fox News, that the biggest thing from Mueller’s testimony was “he was asked, was there ANYTHING that impeded your investigation, the answer was a clear…NO.”
  57. Trump also tweeted just before midnight, “the Mueller Report itself, was a disaster for this illegal Democrat inspired Witch Hunt,” adding, “They can’t help themselves, they are totally lost, they are Clowns!”
  58. On Sunday, House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerrold Nadler told “This Week” that Mueller’s testimony “broke the lie” Trump and AG William Barr have been using, no collusion, no obstruction and total exoneration.
  59. Nadler added information gleaned from the petition to release grand jury information in Week 141 will be used to determine if impeachment resolutions before his committee will be brought forward to the House.
  60. On Sunday, Nadler told “State of the Union” of Trump, “My personal view is that he richly deserves impeachment. He’s done many impeachable offenses.” 107 Democrats supported impeachment, 45% of the caucus.
  61. On Sunday, Sen. Patty Murray, the number 3 Senate Democrat, called for impeachment proceedings to begin. On Monday, Sen. Debbie Stabenow, the number 4 Democrat, also called for impeachment.
  62. On Sunday, on “Meet the Press,” Sen. Rick Scott, who was governor of Florida at the time of Russia hacking his state, admitted he has not read the Senate Intelligence Committee report on Russian interference.
  63. On Sunday, the Coalition for Good Governance accused Georgia election officials in a federal court filing of destroying evidence of “hacking, unauthorized access, and potential of manipulation of election results.”
  64. The brief stated officials “almost immediately” began destroying evidence after a 2017 lawsuit alleging voting machines were outdated and vulnerable to hacking in the Handel-Ossoff Congressional run-off race.
  65. On Monday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell defended his decision to block election security bills in a speech on the Senate floor, calling criticism against him “modern-day McCarthyism.”
  66. NYT reported McConnell is incensed by the label “Moscow Mitch” and being called a “Russian asset” in a WAPO column. McConnell is also facing question back in his home state of Kentucky where he faces re-election.
  67. On Tuesday, Trump came to McConnell’s defense, telling reporters “Mitch McConnell is a man that knows less about Russia and Russian influence than even Donald Trump…And I know nothing.”
  68. Trump also said “Mitch McConnell loves our country. He’s done a great job,” adding the Post “is a Russian asset by comparison,” and “ought to be ashamed of themselves, and they ought to apologize.”
  69. On Wednesday, Politico reported according to a lobbying disclosure, two former top staffers to McConnell lobbied Congress and the Treasury Department for a Kentucky mill backed by Russian aluminum giant Rusal.
  70. The two work for lobbying firm Akin Gump, and were hired by Rusal’s partner, Kentucky-based Braidy Industries, in May to help lobby for the $1.7 billion project.
  71. Democrats called for a review of Rusal’s $200 million investment, citing concern the mill will supply the Defense Department, and McConnell’s role in blocking a congressional effort to stop the investment.
  72. On Friday, Politico reported Braidy Industries hired RunSwitch PR, a public relations firm co-founded in 2012 by Scott Jennings, a former McConnell aide, to boost PR ahead of Democrats’ call for an investigation.
  73. Braidy claimed the aluminum will be used for the food and auto industries. Democrats are pushing for investigation into the Treasury Department’s lifting of sanctions against Rusal in January.
  74. On Thursday, WAPO reported during the last week before summer break, McConnell continued his singular focus of the judiciary, leading the Senate in confirming 13 more of Trump’s judicial nominees.
  75. Since Trump took office, McConnell has pushed through 144 judicial appointees, reshaping the courts and their decisions for decades. Trump has nominated 1 in 5 judges on the appellate bench.
  76. On Thursday, Politico reported Trump’s new defense secretary, Mark Esper, is putting a $10 billion contract with Amazon on hold, after Trump suggested the Defense Department’s process may have been rigged.
  77. Trump told reporters on July 18 that there had been “tremendous complaints” about the contracting process. Amazon’s owner Jeff Bezos also owns the Washington Post.
  78. On Friday, the WAPO Editorial Board wrote the bipartisan Deter Act is a “smart way to keep Putin out of our election,” saying to McConnell, “there is no excuse for refusing to punish a country that attacks U.S. democracy.”
  79. On Saturday, WAPO columnist Dana Milbank wrote of McConnell and his “new posture toward Moscow,” citing his blocking election security and helping Rusal, saying “McConnell was a Russia hawk for decades.”
  80. Milbank also noted McConnell’s tepid support for investigating Russia, adding, “If Americans don’t have confidence our elections are free and fair, nothing else in our democracy has value.”
  81. On Thursday, in a raucous session before summer break, Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Lindsey Graham skirted committee rules to push through a bill that would increase the time migrant children can be detained.
  82. Ranking Democrat Dianne Feinstein called it “a new precedent that will denigrate this committee and the institution of the Senate.” Sens. Mazie Hirono called it “unconstitutional” and Sheldon Whitehouse “illegitimate.”
  83. On Thursday, alongside #MoscowMitch, #LeningradLindsey trended for Graham forcing the controversial asylum bill through his committee, breaking protocol even though it likely will not pass in the full senate.
  84. On Monday, Attorney General William Barr changed the rules of asylum claims, saying immigrants fearing persecution because of threats against a family members are no longer eligible for asylum.
  85. On Tuesday, the ACLU told a federal judge in San Diego that the Trump regime has separated 911 migrant children from their parents since the judge ordered a stop to border separation on June 26, 2018.
  86. Lawyers said children were taken from parents for having a dirty diaper, for malicious destruction of property of $5, and for a speech impediment that made it hard to answer Custom and Border Patrol agents’ questions.
  87. The ACLU also said statistics provided by the government though legal proceedings show 20% of separations were of children under the age of 5. Neither the DOJ or Department of Homeland Security commented.
  88. On Tuesday, artist James Baldwin installed three pink seesaws at the U.S.-Mexico border, inspired by a drawing from Ronald Real’s book depicting children on either side of the border wall seesawing with each other.
  89. On Friday, WGBH reported Boston artist Karyn Alzayer put chicken wire cages around the iconic “Make Way for Ducklings” statues in the Boston public gardens, separating the mother from her baby ducklings.
  90. Each duck was also swaddled in a shiny emergency blanket. Alzayer said, “The Mallards are Boston’s quintessential immigrant family,” adding, “In the book they moved here for a better life.”
  91. On Friday, Trump signed an executive order ending two Obama-era United States Citizenship and Immigration Services programs that allowed Filipino and Haitian veterans to bring family members the U.S.
  92. The programs allowed veterans to bring in family members before their green cards were available. The regime ended the programs to “ensure that parole is used only on a case-by-case basis, consistent with the law.”
  93. On Friday, Politico reported on emails released under the FOIA which revealed White House adviser Stephen Miller aggressively pushed the Department of Homeland Security to move faster to limit immigration.
  94. Miller pushed to limit green cards, barring legal immigrants from obtaining them if they receive certain government benefits, and called DHS officials an “embarrassment” for not acting faster.
  95. On Friday, a federal judge in D.C. vacated the Trump regime’s initial asylum ban from November, which barred migrants from claiming asylum if they did not enter the U.S. through designated ports of entry.
  96. On Thursday, Yahoo News reported a May 30 FBI intelligence bulletin from the bureau’s Phoenix field office identified fringe conspiracy theories as a domestic terrorism threat, and called it a growing threat.
  97. The 15-page document lists a number of related arrests, including some that are not yet public, and specifically mentions QAnon, a conspiracy theory network which believes in a deep state conspiracy against Trump.
  98. On Monday, WAPO reported Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell may be preparing to cut interest rates, a move noted to be risky by many economists for the economy, seeming to bow to pressure from Trump.
  99. On Tuesday, Trump attacked the Fed, telling reporters, “I’m very disappointed in the Fed,” adding, “I would like to see a large cut, and I’d like to see immediately the quantitative tightening stop.”
  100. Trump added, “The Fed moved, in my opinion, far too early and for too severely. It puts me at a — somewhat of a disadvantage,” but “Fortunately I’ve made the economy so strong that nothing’s going to stop us.”
  101. On Wednesday, the Fed lowered its benchmark rate by a quarter point, the first interest rate cut since 2008. Legendary investor Leon Cooperman accused Trump of trying to boost stocks ahead of the election.
  102. On Tuesday, Bloomberg reported 54% of the Trump regime’s $8.4 billion of trade-war aid for farmers went to the biggest farms, just one-tenth of recipients. Advocates say farmer who needed aid the most got very little.
  103. On Thursday, in a series of tweets, Trump cited unsuccessful trade talks with China, and announced he would be “putting a small additional Tariff of 10% on the remaining 300 Billion Dollars of goods and products.”
  104. Trump tweeted, “my friend President Xi said that he would stop the sale of Fentanyl” to the U.S., saying “this never happened, and many Americans continue to die!” but he looks forward to a “bright” future with China.
  105. Trump had agreed in June after meeting with Xi and agreeing to resume trade talks, not to impose more tariffs. He told reporters at the White House, “Until such time as there is a deal, we’ll be taxing them.”
  106. On Friday, the Dow dropped another 300 points on fears of a trade war with China, heading into the worst week of 2019. A spokesperson for China said countermeasures will be taken if Trump imposes tariffs.
  107. On Monday, after signing a bill to fund the care of 9/11 responders, Trump told reporters, “I was down there also, but I’m not considering myself a first responder. But I was down there. I spent a lot of time down there.”
  108. Trump’s claim is false. Trump has also made false statements about how Muslims reacted to the attack. On the day of the attack, he falsely claimed in an interview that one of his buildings was now “the tallest” downtown.
  109. On Monday, the Senate failed to override Trump’s vetoes of legislation passed in the House and Senate which would have blocked the sale of certain weapons to Saudi Arabia. Five Republicans voted with Democrats.
  110. On Monday, an inspector general report found Eric Blankenstein, a Trump appointee at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, “may have abused his authority” to try to defuse a WAPO article about a past racist statement.
  111. On Tuesday, Trump lashed out at MSNBC co-hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, tweeting, “Morning Joe & Psycho ratings have really crashed,” adding, “Very small audience.”
  112. Trump also tweeted, “People are tired of hearing Fake News delivered with an anger that is not to be believed,” adding, “they helped get me elected. Thanks! Was on all the time. Lost all of its juice!
  113. Trump tweeted “Morning Joe & Psycho” were in his room the night he won New Hampshire, and that Mika lied saying Trump wanted to preside over their marriage, saying, “They were married by Elijah, King of Baltimore!
  114. On Tuesday, in an interview with C-SPAN, asked about his tweets, Trump responded, “if I got fair coverage I wouldn’t even have to tweet. It’s my only form of defense. If the press covered me fairly I wouldn’t need that.”
  115. Trump blamed the media for 80% of Black Americans viewing him as racist, saying, “If the press did treat me fairly, I’d have tremendous support from the African American community,” naming several celebrities.
  116. When asked if he ever regretted a tweet, Trump said, “Not much. I sent the one about wiretapping, in quotes, and that turned out to be true.” Trump sent that tweet for several weeks, and it is a lie.
  117. When asked about his typical day, Trump responded, “Well, I stay up late, I like to read a lot, which people don’t understand that…I watch a lot of Fox. I tend to not watch too much of CNN.”
  118. On Tuesday, a federal judge dismissed the Democrat National Committee lawsuit against the Trump campaign, WikiLeaks, and the Russian government which claimed they conspired in the 2016 election.
  119. The judge found Trump officials were shielded under the First Amendment, and Russia could not be in the courts for election interference and should face actions like sanctions instead.
  120. Trump celebrated the ruling, tweeting a judge dismissed a lawsuit “against our historic 2016 campaign for President,” calling it “yet another total & complete vindication & exoneration,” adding, “The Witch Hunt Ends!
  121. On Tuesday, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Eliot Engel became the 114th House Democrat to come out for impeachment, the second major committee chair. Currently 48% of the caucus is for an inquiry.
  122. Engel said Mueller’s testimony “provided ample evidence that the president committed obstruction of justice.” A spokesperson for Speaker Pelosi did not comment on what will happen if the 50% threshold is met.
  123. On Wednesday, House Appropriations Committee Chair Nita Lowey became the 117th of 235 House Democrats, one below the majority threshold. By Thursday, Democrats for impeachment were the majority.
  124. On Thursday, Rep. Ted Deutch became the 17th of 24 Judiciary Committee and 118th House member to back impeachment in a Sun Sentinel op-ed, titled “No more debate. Impeachment inquiry is underway.”
  125. On Wednesday, the DOJ and House Judiciary Committee agreed to a two month timetable for court filingsrelated the committee’s request in Week 141 for Mueller’s grand jury materials.
  126. The DOJ has until September 13 for its first brief, and the House until September 30 for its response, meaning a ruling from Chief U.S. District Court of D.C. Judge Beryl Howell in October at the earliest.
  127. On Monday, a federal judge ordered attorneys for Trump, House Democrats and New York to come up with a compromise by Tuesday over Trump’s request for a restraining order on release of his state tax returns.
  128. On Tuesday, the attorneys wrote in a joint filing “the parties are unable to reach agreement.” House Democrats urged the judge to reject Trump’s request for a restraining order.
  129. On Thursday, the judge temporarily blocked New York from sharing Trump’s state tax returns. New York officials contended the federal court in D.C. does not have jurisdiction over them, and should be heard in NY.
  130. Later Thursday, the federal judge in D.C. agreed to hear a challenge to his jurisdiction in the matter. The hearing is set for August 29.
  131. On Tuesday, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a new election law, requiring all presidential candidates to release their tax returns in order to be included on the state’s primary ballot, becoming the first state to do so.
  132. On Tuesday, Politico reported Republican Rep. Mike Conaway of Texas said he will not seek re-election in 2020, becoming the fifth Republican to announce their retirement in the past two weeks.
  133. On Wednesday, a federal judge in Montana overturned an IRS rule which shielded political nonprofit donorsto 501(c)4 groups from having their identities made public.
  134. The ruling is a blow to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who said the rule protected donor privacy. Groups such as the National Rifle Association and Americans for Prosperity, a Koch brothers’ group, could be impacted.
  135. On Thursday, three NRA board members, who had raised concerns about reckless spending and mismanagement by the group’s leaders and were then stripped of committee assignment, resigned from the board.
  136. On Thursday, the DOJ said it will not prosecute former FBI director James Comey, despite its internal watchdog referring Comey for leaking some of his memos to NYT after Trump fired him in May 2017.
  137. The Hill reported the DOJ rationale was although Comey’s action was a technical violation, the department did not want to make its first case against the Russia investigators “with such thin margins and look petty and vindictive.”
  138. On Thursday, Trump’s EPA moved to finalize a rule that would make it easier to obtain air pollution permits, arguing the process under the Clean Air Act, known as New Source Review, is too burdensome.
  139. On Thursday, as senators left for summer break, Sen. Susan Collins called the mood in D.C. “constant chaos,” with Trump diverting attention from policy. Sen. Mike Rounds welcome getting back to “sanity” back home.
  140. On Thursday, Rep. Will Hurd, the sole black Republican in the House, said he will not seek re-election, becoming the third Texas Republican announcing a retirement this week, and the sixth in the past two weeks.
  141. In an interview with WAPO, Hurd said of Trump, “When you imply that because someone doesn’t look like you, in telling them to go back…you’re implying they’re not an American…and they have less worth than you.”
  142. Hurd is the ninth Republican to announce they will not seek re-election in 2020. Among the nine are two of the 13 House GOP women, including Rep. Susan Brooks who was slated to recruit more GOP women to run.
  143. On Friday, NYT reported that Kiron Skinner, the State Department’s top policy planner and the highest-ranking African-American woman in the department, has been forced out of her job.
  144. Her group was tasked with countering the rise of China. Officials claimed she was fired over her “abusive” management style. She is the first departure from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s small inner circle.
  145. On Thursday, Facebook announced it had found and taken down a covert campaign by the government of Saudi Arabia on Facebook and Instagram to prop up the kingdom and attack its enemies.
  146. On Thursday, the Manhattan D.A.’s office issued subpoenas to the Trump Organization for documents related to $130,000 in hush-money payments to Stormy Daniels, reviving an investigation into the company’s role.
  147. The inquiry will examine whether senior executives at the Trump Organization filed false business records about the payments — a state crime. The Manhattan D.A. also subpoenaed America Media Inc.
  148. On Wednesday, Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke on the phone. The White House released a two sentence readout on the call later that night, hours after Russia had given public notice of the call.
  149. The readout said Trump “expressed concern over the vast wildfires afflicting Siberia” and the leaders “discussed trade between the two countries.” No other details of the call were released.
  150. On Thursday, when asked if he discussed election interference with Putin on a call Wednesday, Trump told reporters at the White House on interference, “You don’t really believe this. Do you believe this?”
  151. Trump said on election interference, “We didn’t talk about that,” adding instead they discussed wildfires in Siberia, telling reporters, “I think he appreciated it. We would be able to help them.”
  152. On Thursday, Trump signed an executive order imposing new sanctions on Russia for the poisoning of a former Russian military intelligence officer, Sergei Skripal, in Salisbury, U.K.
  153. Lawmakers on both sides had criticized Trump’s delay in imposing sanctions. On Monday, the top Democrat and Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee sent a letter threatening legal action.
  154. On Thursday, Trump held a campaign rally in Cincinnati, Ohio which 17,500 attended. Trump mocked “left-wing extremists,” and Democrats, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren who he continued to call “Pocahontas.”
  155. Donald Jr. warmed up the crowd, saying, “It’s sad that using ‘racism’ has become the easy button of left-wing politics.” Trump supporters held up t-shirts saying “TRUMP & Republicans Are Not RACIST.”
  156. Trump invoked his 2016 opponent, saying, “Do you remember when Hillary used the word ‘deplorable’?” adding, “not a good day for Hillary. Crooked Hillary. She is a crooked one.” The crowd chanted, “Lock her up!
  157. Protestors briefly interrupted the rally two times, one for close to four minutes as they were led out of the arena. One protestor held a sign that read “Immigrants Built America,” which Trump supporters tore away.
  158. Trump blamed the mayor, “Do you have a Democrat mayor? Well, that’s what happens,” then brought up homicide rates in Baltimore and Chicago, saying they support illegal immigrants rather than their own communities.
  159. Trump said Baltimore’s homicide rate “is significantly higher than El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala,” then asked the audience, “Gimme a place” for others, and repeated, “I believe it’s higher than Afghanistan.”
  160. Trump also again attacked two familiar targets in California, saying Los Angeles had “horrible, disgusting conditions” and San Francisco is now all “deplorable.”
  161. Trump promised to “very shortly” cure pediatric cancer and AIDS, without offering details, and said, “Our nation is stronger today than ever before,” adding, “We’re finally putting America first. It’s about time.”
  162. Trump mocked environmentalists and clean-energy advocates, saying “We’ve ended the war on American energy.” He also attacked windmills again saying they are “noisy” and “kill birds.”
  163. Later Thursday, WCPO Cincinnati reported Dallas Frazier, a 29 year-old Trump supporter, was charged with assault after getting out of a pick-up truck and punching an anti-Trump protester outside the Trump rally.
  164. On Thursday, a nationwide committee of federal judges concluded that 83 ethics complaints filed against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh during and after his confirmation process will remain dismissed.
  165. The ruling by Committee on Judicial Conduct and Disability confirms a late 2018 ruling by a panel of judges. As there is no appeal option, the only way Kavanaugh could be investigated further would be in Congress.
  166. On Wednesday, CNN reported North Korea launched at least one projectile into the Sea of Japan, the third launch in the past week. The tests violate a United Nations Security Council resolution.
  167. On Thursday, Trump played down the test, telling reporters “short-range missiles” are “very standard,” and “We never made an agreement on that,” adding “I think it’s very much under control, very much under control.”
  168. On Friday, Trump again defended Kim Jong Un, tweeting his “friend” Kim “does not want to disappoint me with a violation of trust,” adding, “the potential as a Country, under Kim Jong Un’s leadership, is unlimited.”
  169. On Friday, Trump announced on Twitter that he would drop his plans to nominate Rep. Ratcliffe for DNI, tweeting: “Our great Republican Congressman…is being treated very unfairly by the LameStream Media.”
  170. Trump added, “rather than going through months of slander and libel, I explained to John how miserable it would be for him and his family to deal with these people,” he will “stay in Congress.”
  171. Trump later told reporters outside the White House, that he likes for the press to vet his nominees, saying, “I like when you vet, no, no, you vet. I think the White House is a great vetting process. You vet for me.”
  172. Ratcliffe is the 62nd nominee withdrawn by Trump, an unprecedented number. Politico reported White House officials have blamed Trump’s lack of judgement and impulsiveness.
  173. On Friday, WAPO reported Trump ally Sen. Kevin Cramer demanded to see the Army Corps’ border wall contracts, after the companies owned by Tom Fisher, his preferred vendor by him and Trump, did not get selected.
  174. Cramer put a temporary hold on the confirmation of Michael Wooten for a senior post at the White House Office of Management and Budget in an attempt to get sensitive information on the contracting bids.
  175. Fisher’s company is based in Cramer’s home state of North Dakota. He and his family have donated thousands to his campaign. Cramer mused in a interview that Trump had deputized him to deal with the bidding process.
  176. On Friday, Brian Karem, the chief White House correspondent for Playboy magazine, said his press pass was suspended for 30 days over an argument he had with Sebastian Gorka at Trump’s Social Media Summit last month.
  177. The White House said wrote that Karem “failed to abide by basic norms of decorum and order,” and was rude to Gorka, “a guest of the president.” Playboy called Karem’s suspension “incredibly concerning.”
  178. Karem told WAPO he believes the move was in retaliation for tough questioning, as the suspension came hours after Trump had fielded several of his questions. His attorney will appeal the suspension on Monday.
  179. On Friday, the Fresno Bee reported Rep. Devin Nunes is suing a group of people in his district who called him a “fake farmer,” claiming they were coordinating with “dark money” groups to hurt his campaign.
  180. One of the defendants, fruit grower Paul Buxman said he had never heard of the term “dark money” and had voted for Nunes in every election but one. Nunes also sued a parody Twitter cow account in Week 123.
  181. On Friday, according to a pair of letters released by the Swedish Prosecution Authority, the Trump regime warned Sweden of the “negative consequences” if rapper ASAP Rocky was not released.
  182. On Friday, Rocky was released from jail, pending a verdict, and landed back in the U.S. on Saturday. Trump tweeted on Friday, “It was a Rocky Week, get home ASAP A$AP!” A final judgment is expected on August 14.
  183. Trump’s unusual intervention in the case left tensions between the two countries. Trump weighed in on the assault case last month after a public outcry by celebrities, including reality TV star Kim Kardashian-West.
  184. On Friday, after weeks of mass protests, Puerto Rico governor Ricardo Rossello stepped down. His successor Pedro Pierluisi was sworn in temporarily until Wednesday when the Senate will hear his nomination.
  185. On Saturday, Trump retweeted a racist attack on London mayor Sadiq Khan by British far-right activist Katie Hopkins, saying “The nipple-height Mayor of Londonistan has NEVER been so unpopular.”

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Virginia state delegate, Ibraheem S. Samirah is escorted out after holding up a sign while Trump speaks at Jamestown Settlement on Tuesday July 30, 2019 in James City County VA. Tuesday July 30th marks the 400th anniversary of the convening of the first General Assembly that took place at a church on what is now Historic Jamestown.

POLITIKS OF GRAFFITI 139: 4th OF JULY, ANOTHER CHANCE TO LIE

Week 138: Experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things subtly changing around you, so you’ll remember.

July 6, 2019 List from Amy Siskind https://medium.com/@Amy_Siskind/week-138-experts-in-authoritarianism-advise-to-keep-a-list-of-things-subtly-changing-around-you-a5a6bc70b06d and photos either taken by me somewhere in the world, or found on my social media during the week…

This week, two years after visiting France for Bastille Day and admiring its military display, Trump hosted a “Salute to America” on July Fourth, replete with an expansive array of military hardware and troops. The scenes of tanks rolling into the nation’s capital drew comparisons to other authoritarian regimes who flaunt their military might through public displays, including North Korea, where Trump paid a surprise visit as the week began.IMG_0336This week, Trump thumbed his nose at the Supreme Court’s decision in Week 137 not to allow a citizenship question on the 2020 Census. The Justice and Commerce Departments, after stating the questionnaire was being printed without the citizenship question, completely reversed themselves 24 hours later following a single tweet by Trump. By weeks’ end, the DOJ said it would, at Trump’s behest, try to put forth a new argument in court justifying the question, while Trump mused he had four or fives options to get his way. Notably, Trump has now challenged the authority of both the legislative and judicial branches — including the nation’s highest court — to counter his unilateral power. And the Justice Department, under the leadership of Attorney General William Barr has been rendered a tool to help his efforts.

IMG_5686
Brussels, Belgium 7july19

Reports by the Department of Homeland Security Inspector General revealed dire conditions at immigrant detention facilities at the border. Trump defended the facilities and Border Patrol agents, as protests and uproar from Democrats continued. Republicans remained silent.

  1. A study by the University of Tennessee found American voters were probably influenced by Russian propaganda during the 2016 election. Trump’s popularity correlated closely with activity by the Internet Research Agency.
  2. The study found that for every 25,000 re-tweets by Russian troll and bot accounts associated with the IRA, Trump’s poll numbers moved up by 1%. The IRA was a key weapon in Russia’s attack on social media.
  3. A new poll by Associated Press-NORC Center found Trump’s approval rating is 38% (60% disapprove), despite what almost two-thirds describe as a “good” economy. Just 17% say they benefited from the GOP tax cut.
  4. A new poll by Gallup found support for impeaching Trump at 45%, while 53% oppose. Support for impeachment is higher than it ever was for Bill Clinton (high of 35%), and close to the high mark for Richard Nixon (46%).
  5. Record temperatures hit parts of the U.S., with mussels frying to death in California, roads buckling in South Dakota, and 90 degree temperatures in Anchorage, Alaska. Last month was the hottest June on record in Europe.
  6. On Saturday, at the G-20 summit, Trump invited North Korea’s Kim Jong Un to meet, tweeting, “if Chairman Kim of North Korea sees this, I would meet him at the Border/DMZ just to shake his hand and say Hello(?)!”
  7. Trump told reporters “I just thought of it this morning,” and, “I don’t know where he is right now; he may not be in North Korea,” although he would know from his daily briefing. A Kim aide called the offer “interesting.”
  8. On Sunday, Trump made an unscheduled visit after the G-20 summit to meet with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un in the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea, and crossed briefly into North Korea.
  9. Trump and Kim walked up to the line dividing North and South Korea and shook hands. Kim then invited Trump to the North Korea side, saying, “I never expected to see you in this place.” Trump said it was “my honor.”
  10. Trump was the first sitting U.S. president to visit North Korea. Trump and Kim met privately for 53 minutes. Afterwards he told reporters, “this was a great day. This was a very legendary, very historic day.”
  11. Trump said of their talks on North Korea’s nuclear program, “Very big stuff, pretty complicated, but not as complicated as people think,” adding the media has “no appreciation for what is being done. None.”
  12. White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham was bruised after pushing North Korean security officials out of the way to allow American journalists through to cover the meeting between Trump and Kim.
  13. Later at a news conference with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, Trump falsely claimed, “Obama wanted to meet, and Chairman Kim would not meet him. The Obama administration was begging for a meeting.”
  14. On Sunday, while traveling as a guest of the White House, Fox News host Tucker Carlson told “Fox & Friends” part of “what it means to lead a country” is “killing people” when asked about Trump meeting with Kim.
  15. On Monday, Fox News aired an interview Trump did with Carlson from Osaka. Trump noted clean Japanese cities, but said U.S. cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles are filthy, adding he may “intercede.”
  16. Trump also made reference to “junkies” and homelessness, which he said is “a phenomena that started two years ago,” calling it “disgraceful.” U.S. homelessness has remained steady for the past three years.
  17. On Sunday, a viral video showed Ivanka Trump at the G-2 awkwardly joining a conversation between French President Emmanuel Macron, IMF director Christine Lagarde, and British Prime Minister Theresa May.
  18. Lagarde, who nodded while May spoke, looked puzzled by Ivanka’s comment and pursed her lips. The video raised concerns about Ivanka’s role in U.S. foreign policy given that she has no expertise or experience.
  19. Ivanka also attended Trump’s meeting with Kim, posing for photos, giving news interviews, and parroting her father’s talking point. The trip represented Ivanka’s step onto the world stage, and she asserted herself.
  20. NYT reported the G-20 trip showed Ivanka’s unchecked ascent in the White House, as critics who spoke out no longer remain. Trump said to troops at a military base in South Korea, “She’s going to steal the show.”
  21. On Monday, White House Director of Strategic Communications Mercedes Schlapp abruptly resigned over rumored tension with Grisham over leaks. Schlapp will work on Trump’s re-election campaign.
  22. On Tuesday, Politico reported one of the reasons Trump held off on bombing Iran in Week 136 was seeing Jack Keane, a retired Army general, say on Fox News that the downing of the drone may have been a fluke.
  23. On Sunday, cartoonist Michael de Adder was dropped by Brunswick Newsin Canada after a drawing of Trump standing over the two drowned migrant bodies with a golf club asking, “Do you mind if I play through?”
  24. On Sunday, 36 Jewish activists were arrested, as part of a 200 person protest blockading an ICE detention facility in New Jersey. The group protested conditions in the facility, holding signs that read, “Never Again.”
  25. On Tuesday, 1,000 Jewish activists shut down traffic in the heart of Bostonchanting, singing, and drumming to protest immigrant detention centers in the city and around the country.
  26. Protestors started at the New England Holocaust Memorial and ended at a detention center where 18 were arrested for blocking the entrance. The protest was organized under the principal “Never Again.”
  27. On Monday, ICE confirmed that Yimi Alexis Balderramos-Torres, a 30 year-old Honduran migrant, was found unresponsive at the Houston Contract Detention Facility. The cause of death was undetermined.
  28. On Monday, NBC News reported an internal report by the Department of Homeland Security Inspector General revealed border agents at a border station in El Paso were concerned about riots due to poor conditions.
  29. The May 30 report found agents were arming themselves and staying in holding areas, contrary to the Trump regime’s assertion that charges of poor conditions were “unsubstantiated.”
  30. The report said there were four showers for 756 migrants, and that cells meant for 35 where holding 155 adult males with only one toilet and sink, and so little space the men count not lie down to sleep.
  31. The report noted health risks, including lice outbreaks and agents trying to quarantine outbreaks of flu, chickenpox, and scabies. The facility also did not have clean clothing for children or soft mats for them to sleep on.
  32. On Monday, a group of House Democrats visited detention facilities in Clint and El Paso. The Clint facility was down from 700 migrant children in May to just two dozen. Several hundred migrants were at El Paso.
  33. The Congressional Hispanic Caucus organized the trip after outrage over the Clint facility. Lawmakers said they saw hundreds of sick and dirty children without parents, and inconsolable toddlers in the care of other children.
  34. In El Paso a group of migrant women were crowded into a cell with no running water and going without showers for weeks. One woman told lawmakers Border Patrol officers told them to drink out of the toilet.
  35. On Tuesday, a federal judge ordered lawyers representing detained migrants and CBP to promptly determine if detention facilities in El Paso and the Rio Grande Valley are safe for migrant children.
  36. Last week a group of doctors and advocates warned the judge of major health and hygiene problems. One doctor who interviewed 39 children likened the conditions at the detention centers to “torture facilities.”
  37. On Tuesday, NBC News reported the number of migrant children in Border Patrol custody dropped from 2,350 on May 30 to under 300 due to a 25% decline in undocumented immigrants crossing from May to June.
  38. On Tuesday, a federal judge blocked the Trump regime’s policy of keeping thousands of asylum-seekers locked up indefinitely while they pursue their legal cases, saying the Constitution entitles them to a bond hearing.
  39. In April, as part of the regime’s efforts to deter migrants, AG William Barr said the government would no longer allow bond hearings. The ACLU and another group sued to block the policy set to go into effect on July 15.
  40. On Tuesday, NPR reported Trump’s DHS sent out a batch of notices to immigrants they say are here illegally saying, “It is the intention of ICE to order you pay a fine in the amount of $497,777.”
  41. ICE claimed the Immigration and Nationality Act grants it the right to impose fines of no more than $500 per day on persons who violate the act. Immigration lawyers said they have never seen the fine used this way.
  42. On Monday, ProPublica reported that in a secret Facebook group of roughly 9,500 current and former Border Patrol agents, members jokedabout migrant deaths, and posted disparaging content on members of Congress.
  43. The group was named “I’m 10-15,” referencing Border Patrol code for “aliens in custody,” and was created in August 2016. ProPublica linked the profiles to profiles of Border Patrol agents and at least one supervisor.
  44. In one post, members joked about the 16 year-old Guatemalan migrant who died in May. Another was a graphic image depicting a smiling Trump forcing Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s head to his crotch.
  45. Another post joked about a video of a migrant man carrying to carry a child through a rushing river in a plastic bag, with comments, “At least it’s already in a trash bag,” and “Sous-vide? Lol,” referencing cooking in a bag.
  46. Later Monday, ProPublica reported a spokesperson for the CBP agency said the agency immediately informed investigators with the DHS’s Office of Inspector General and initiated an inquiry into the Facebook group and its posts.
  47. On Tuesday, in a letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, House Oversight Committee Chair Elijah Cummings said the posts “appear to violate Facebook’s Community Standards,” particularly on hate speech.
  48. On Wednesday, acting DHS Secretary Kevin McAleenan said in a series of tweets that he has ordered an immediate investigation into the Facebook group, calling it a “disturbing & inexcusable social media activity.”
  49. McAleenan added, “These statements are completely unacceptable, especially if made by those sworn to uphold the @DHSgov mission, our values & standards of conduct.”
  50. On Wednesday, Politico reported, according to one DHS official, Border Patrol leadership has known about the Facebook group since 2016, when agents reported offensive posts. No actions were taken.
  51. On Tuesday, the DHS Inspector General issued a follow up report to the one of May 30 as House Democrats spoke about observations of their visit. The inspectors visited five facilities in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas.
  52. The report found overcrowded, squalid conditions are more widespread than initially reported. When inspectors visited some facilities, migrants banged on cells and pressed notes to windows begging for help.
  53. The report said “some single adults were held in standing-room-only conditions for a week,” adding, “both ICE and HHS are operating at or above capacity.” One senior manager called it a “ticking time bomb.”
  54. The report also found many migrants were given only wet wipes to clean themselves, and bologna sandwiches to eat, causing constipation and health problems. One migrant held up a sign that read, “Help.”
  55. Children at two of five facilities were not given hot meals. Also, 826 of the 2,669 children detained at the facilities were held longer than the allowed 72 hour period.
  56. Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a statement the report “provides a shocking window into the dangerous and dehumanizing conditions,” and “The inhumanity at the border is a challenge to the conscience of America.”
  57. The House Judiciary and Oversight Committees both announced hearings next week on the conditions at detention centers. The House was on break this week for the July Fourth holiday.
  58. On Wednesday, in a series of tweets, Trump defended border agents and instead blamed Democrats, saying, “Our Border Patrol people are not hospital workers, doctors or nurses,” and “Great job by Border Patrol”
  59. Trump also tweeted, “The Democrats bad Immigration Laws, which could be easily fixed, are the problem,” adding, “Many of these illegals aliens are living far better now than where they came from,” and “safer.”
  60. Trump tweeted, “No matter how good things actually look, even if perfect, the Democrat visitors will act shocked & aghast,” adding, “Just Pols. If they really want to fix them, change the Immigration Laws and Loopholes.”
  61. Trump also tweeted if we really want to fix the crisis at the southern border, “ tell migrants not to come into our country unless they are willing to do so legally, and hopefully through a system based on Merit.”
  62. Trump also tweeted, “Mexico is doing a far better job than the Democrats on the Border. Thank you Mexico!” The Mexican government has been busing home Central American migrants from Ciudad Juarez.
  63. Under a new Trump regime policy known as “Remain in Mexico,” asylum seekers are sent back to Mexico to await their asylum hearings, sparking criticism they have been unfairly returned and should have been accepted.
  64. Later Wednesday, Trump also tweeted, “If Illegal Immigrants are unhappywith the conditions in the quickly built or refitted detentions centers, just tell them not to come,” adding, “All problems solved!”
  65. On Wednesday, the San Francisco Chronicle reported the Trump regime plans to replace in-court interpreters at initial immigration court hearings with videos informing asylum seekers about their deportation rights.
  66. The regime cited cost cutting measures and the bogged down immigration court system. Advocates expressed concern the new system could jeopardize migrants’ due-process rights and add confusion.
  67. On Wednesday, in a letter to the White House, former Trump employees who are undocumented requested a meeting with him to discuss reforming immigration and to ask for protection from deportation.
  68. The 21 former groundskeepers, maids, and kitchen staff at Trump Organization properties asked the president to remember their years of service and “do the right thing” for them and others in the country unlawfully.
  69. On Friday, when asked about his properties’ hiring of undocumented workers and whether his golf courses still employ any, Trump told the Times, “I don’t know because I don’t run it.”
  70. Trump also claimed of having undocumented workers, “Probably every club in the United States has that because it seems to be, from what I understand, a way that people did business.”
  71. On Friday, Trump again defended detention facilities after the Inspector General report, telling reporters the ones he has seen are clean and “beautifully run,” adding, “I think they do a great job with those facilities.”
  72. Trump also defended Border Patrol agents, saying they “did not train to be doctors and nurses and janitors…They trained to be Border Patrol. And that’s what they’re doing, and they’re doing a phenomenal job.”
  73. Trump also threatened that his planned deportations were coming “fairly soon,” adding, “They came in illegally, and we’re bringing them out legally.”
  74. On Monday, the American Medical Association, which traditionally has shied away from controversial social issues, filed an unprecedented lawsuitagainst North Dakota to block two abortion-related laws.
  75. The group says the new laws would require doctors who perform abortions to lie to patients, and cited the laws “unconstitutionally forces physicians to act as the mouthpiece of the state.”
  76. On Monday, the Trump regime deferred enactment of the “conscience” rule which was scheduled to go into effect on July 22, facing a proliferation of legal challenges from government and advocacy groups.
  77. On Monday, the attorney for Marshae Jones, who was indicted in Week 137 for her fetus being shot and dying in Alabama, demanded the “unreasonable, irrational” indictment against her be dropped.
  78. On Wednesday, District Attorney Lynneice Washington said in a brief news conference that she had weighed the evidence in Jones’ case, and decided to dismiss the charges, and no further legal action would be taken.
  79. Washington, the first black female district attorney in Alabama’s history, appeared surprised by criticism that Jones, a working-class black woman, was treated in a way that no wealthy white woman would have been.
  80. On Wednesday, NYT reported a judge in New Jersey said a 16 year-old boy who videoed himself raping a girl at a house party, deserved leniencybecause he was from a “good family” and attended an excellent school.
  81. On Friday, a state appeals court overturned the decision, and warned the judge against showing leniency to juveniles of privilege. Prosecutors may now seek an indictment against the teen, who may be charged as an adult.
  82. On Wednesday, an Ohio judge temporarily blocked a law, set to go into effect on July 11, that would ban abortion when a heartbeat can be detected, saying the law “is unconstitutional on its face.”
  83. Republican Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine signed the bill into law in April, after his GOP predecessor John Kasich vetoed it twice. Ohio anti-abortion groups plan to bring the case to the Supreme Court to challenge Roe v. Wade.
  84. LGBTQ advocacy group Glaad announced a new campaign to work on a constitutional amendment to protect the LGBTQ community from discrimination, citing Trump’s sweeping deconstruction of protections.
  85. On Tuesday, 206 major companies signed a Supreme Court brief submitted by LGBTQ groups arguing that excluding sexual orientation and gender identity from federal law undermines the nation’s business interests.
  86. On Tuesday, Nike dropped its planned launch of a Betsy Ross 13-star flag sneaker on July Fourth after Colin Kaepernick, a brand ambassador for the company, said the flag’s image had been co-opted by racist ideologies.
  87. In reaction, GOP Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey withdrew a $1 million incentive for Nike to build a plant there, and other conservatives criticized the company for being unpatriotic. New Mexico welcomed Nike’s plant.
  88. On Thursday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell mockingly tweeted an image of the Betsy Ross flag, along with “Happy Fourth of July!” Observers noted his state, Kentucky, is not one of the stars on the flag.
  89. On Sunday, Facebook’s number 2 executive Sheryl Sandberg said the company will ban misinformation about the 2020 census, treating postswith the same extra scrutiny as an election for fear it could disrupt the count.
  90. On Monday, Trump told reporters in the Oval Office he is looking “very strongly” at delaying the 2020 census, saying, “It is a big difference to me between being a citizen of the United States and being an illegal.”
  91. Trump also told reporters said, without citing evidence, that immigrants living illegally in the U.S. are “treated better than the coal miner” suffering from black lung. Delaying the census would violate the Constitution.
  92. On Tuesday, the Justice Department said in a one sentence email to a lawyer challenging the question, “the decision has been made to print the 2020 Decennial Census questionnaire without a citizenship question.”
  93. On Tuesday, Commerce Department Secretary Wilbur Ross mirrored the DOJ in a statement, “The Census Bureau has started the process of printing the decennial questionnaires without the question.”
  94. Later Tuesday, Trump tweeted, “A very sad time for America when the Supreme Court of the United States won’t allow” a citizenship question, falsely claiming asking the question has been “going on for a long time.”
  95. Trump also tweeted he has asked the Commerce Department and DOJ “to do whatever is necessary to bring this most vital of questions, and this very important case, to a successful conclusion,” adding, “USA! USA! USA!”
  96. On Wednesday, Trump tweeted reporting that the Commerce Department is halting efforts on the citizenship question are “incorrect or, to state it differently, FAKE!” adding, “We are absolutely moving forward.”
  97. Later Wednesday, on a phone call with a federal judge in Maryland, the DOJ reversed its position of 24 hours prior, telling the judge that the regime is looking for a way to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census.
  98. U.S. District Court Judge George Hazel set up the call, saying, “I don’t know how many federal judges have Twitter accounts, but I happen to be one of them, and I follow the president.”
  99. A DOJ lawyer responded, “I do not have a deeper understanding of what that means at this juncture other than what the President has tweeted,” adding, “I am doing my absolute best to figure out what’s going on.”
  100. As assistant attorney general told the judge that the DOJ had been “instructed to examine whether there is a path forward, consistent with the Supreme Court’s decision,” but did not say who issued the instruction.
  101. In a separate filing to the Southern District of New York, that assistant AG said the DOJ and Commerce had been asked to “reevaluate all available options” and Commerce may adopt “a new rationale” for the question.
  102. WAPO reported a White House official confirmed that presses were still running on Wednesday and printing the census without a citizenship question. The citizenship question was last part of the census in 1950.
  103. On Thursday, Trump tweeted, “So important for our Country that the very simple and basic ‘Are you a Citizen of the United States?’ question be allowed,” adding the DOJ and Commerce “are working very hard on this, even on the 4th of July!”
  104. On Thursday, Axios reported Trump is considering using an executive order to add a citizenship question to the census, a continuation of his theme of expanding executive power over other the other branches.
  105. On Friday, acting Citizenship and Immigration Services director Ken Cuccinelli told Fox Business including the citizenship question would help “with the burden of those who are not here legally.”
  106. Cuccinelli’s statement was unclear, differing from Trump’s stated rationale of gauging voting population. The census website states, “The Census Bureau does not collect data on the legal status of the foreign born.”
  107. On Friday, Trump told reporters that he is considering an executive order to add a citizenship question as one of four or five possible options, saying, “We have a number of avenues, we could use” one or all of them.”
  108. Trump added, “we could start the printing now and maybe do an addendum after we get a positive decision,” adding Chief Justice John Roberts did not like their argument, “but he did say come back.”
  109. Trump also falsely claimed, “You need it for many reasons,” adding “Number one, you need it for Congress. You need for Congress, for districting. You need it for appropriations, where are the funds going?”
  110. Trump did not specify his other options. The Constitution assigns the responsibility for overseeing the census to Congress. Republicans have pushed for a citizen-only redistricting in 2021.
  111. The Constitution does not mention “citizens,” and when Congress debated the 14th Amendment, ratified in 1868, for apportionment of congressional seats, it used the term “persons,” and not “citizens” or “voters.”
  112. On Friday, the DOJ told Judge Hazel that they continue to push forward with efforts to add a citizenship question, but did not know what kind of rationale they would put forward.
  113. Later Friday, Judge Hazel rejected the regime’s request to freeze a lawsuit on the citizenship question, saying he would hear arguments on whether the regime added the question to discriminate against Hispanics.
  114. Judge Hazel opened the door to discovery, including evidence from deceased Republican consultant Thomas Hoeffler, and enjoined the regime from printing a census questionnaire with the citizenship question.
  115. On Friday, New York AG Letitia James said in a statement, “As we celebrate Independence Day” we “should be reminded that we live in a democracy, not a dictatorship, and must follow the law, even if we disagree with it.”
  116. On Friday, the ACLU and NY AG James filed a lawsuit against the Department of Commerce, asking the court to block the regime from delaying printing the census and from adding a citizenship question.
  117. On Monday, Guardian reported the State Department’s office responsible for negotiating and implementing nuclear disarmament treaties has been cut from 14 staffer to four in two years under Trump.
  118. Trump’s appointee to run the office, Andrea Thompson, Vice President Mike Pence’s former national security adviser, does not have a backgroundin arms control, and has clashed with now former staffers.
  119. On Monday, WAPO reported Trump has pushed the Pentagon to bring an expansive array of military hardware to the Mall in Washington D.C. as part of his grandiose “Salute to America” July Fourth event.
  120. Trump ordered a flyover of military aircraft, including Air Force One and the Navy’s Blue Angels, as well as an F-35 stealth fighter and the Marine Helicopter Squadron One, which flies the presidential helicopter.
  121. Trump also pushed the Pentagon to bring tanks to the Lincoln Memorial, where he planned to deliver his speech. National Park Service officialswarned the weight of the tanks could damage the site.
  122. Trump bragged about using “Abram” tanks, which weigh more than 60 tons and “brand-new Sherman tanks,” which have not been used since the 1950s. The D.C. Council tweeted Monday: “Tanks, but no tanks.”
  123. Trump told reporters on Monday the event will be “like no other. It’ll be special.” The event has little precedent, save for an event by the Clintons to mark the turn of the century, which did not include military hardware.
  124. Trump got the idea for a July Fourth parade during his visit to Paris for Bastille Day in 2017 that included a military parade. Before Air Force One left Paris, Trump had already spoken to staffers about a parade in D.C.
  125. Trump dismissed staff concerns back then of tanks ripping up streets, saying he would find a way to work around it. He tried to hold an event for Veterans Day in 2017, which was quashed over its $92 million price tag.
  126. On Tuesday, WAPO reported the National Park Service is diverting nearly $2.5 million in entrance and recreation fees intended to be used to improve parks across the country to cover part of the cost of the event.
  127. On Tuesday, HuffPost reported the White House is handing out VIP tickets to Republican donors and political appointees for Trump’s speech at the Lincoln Memorial. For decades the D.C. celebration has been non-political.
  128. On Tuesday, the military warned D.C. residents that armored vehicles will be rolling through their neighborhoods Tuesday evening and Wednesday, and told them not to panic.
  129. On Tuesday, Mayor Muriel Bowser of D.C. told NPR Trump is “not celebrating the military but glorifying military might. That scares me the most,” and Trump looks to “dictators as an example of how to celebrate.”
  130. Local officials and residents expressed concern about the damage the massive military vehicles could cause to area roads. Air traffic will also be suspended during Trump’s event.
  131. On Wednesday, Trump tweeted, “Our July 4th Salute to America at the Lincoln Memorial is looking to be really big. It will be the show of a lifetime!”
  132. Trump also defended diverting parks funds, tweeting the cost of his parade “will be very little compared to what it is worth,” and “all we need is the fuel. We own the tanks and all.”
  133. On Wednesday, WAPO reported Trump appointees have been working doggedly to assure there will be a large crowd for his event, and not have a repeat of his 2017 inauguration.
  134. The issue of crowd size has been a sore spot for Trump since his crowd was much smaller than that of former president Obama in 2009. White House staff were concerned that an expected storm might discourage attendees.
  135. The Trump regime provided 5,000 tickets to the military. Trump’s re-election committee gave free passes to allies, donors, and trade associations. Fundraisers and operatives also pushed out tickets.
  136. Trump advisers told WAPO the event is a way for him to associate himself with the flag and patriotism and appeal to his base, similar to his attacks on NFL players for kneeling during the national anthem.
  137. On Wednesday, the major TV networks, ABC, CBS, and NBC said they will not broadcast Trump’s event, instead carrying their regular programming. MSNBC will not air it, although Fox News and C-SPAN said they would.
  138. On Wednesday, House Appropriations subcommittee Chair Betty McCollum said she plans to schedule a hearing to get “a full accounting” from the Interior Department “on the use of National Park fees.”
  139. On Thursday, Russia-state media mocked the event, saying the tanks had “paint peeling off” and required “adhesive tape.” Experts said to Russia, where parades of military might are typical, Trump’s is not impressive.
  140. On Thursday, citing an article in the Daily Mail, which claimed several generals were opposed to Trump’s July Fourth event, Fox Business host and Trump ally Lou Dobbs called them “Snowflake Generals” in a tweet.
  141. On Thursday, CNN also reported military service chiefs, who have been asked to stand with Trump on stage, are privately concerned about his politicizing the event and putting tanks and armored vehicles on display.
  142. Defense Department guidelines prohibit men and women in uniform from engaging in political activity. Trump however tweeted on Tuesday, “the Pentagon and our great Military Leaders are thrilled” to participate.
  143. Far-right extremist group the Proud Boys clashed with far-left groups during demonstrations before Trump’s speech. A video captured a member of the Proud Boys getting fist bumps from a line of D.C. policemen.
  144. On Thursday, Trump spoke for 47 minutes at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C., after a downpour delayed the start of his speech. Trump extolled the greatness of America, and atypically kept on script.
  145. Trump stood on stage with a pair of armored Bradley Fighting Vehicles in front of him, and a giant TV screen. Military and other VIPs stood in a section close to the stage, while his supporters stood over a thousand feet away.
  146. Trump read the speech from a teleprompter, at one point citing airports in the Revolutionary War, saying, “Our Army manned the air, it rammed the ramparts, it took over the airports, it did everything it had to do.”
  147. Trump also praised inventors, saying, “Our quest for greatness unleashed a culture of discovery” and citing Alexander Graham Bell and the telephone. Bell became a U.S. citizen, he was Canadian when he invented the telephone.
  148. Mentioning Betsy Ross was the closest Trump came to engaging in politics in his speech. However, after his speech, Trump took to Twitter to attack his adversaries, including Sen. Kamala Harris and Colin Kaepernick.
  149. Trump also tweeted and retweeted a total of 13 photos and videos showing the crowd at his speech, which measured in the thousands. The D.C. July Fourth fireworks typically draw hundreds of thousands each year.
  150. The Trump regime declined to reveal the cost of the event. The $2.5 million diverted from the National Park Service is known to be a small fraction of the overall cost, which will be covered by taxpayers.
  151. On Friday, defending his gaffe about airports during the Revolutionary War, Trump told reporters, “I stood in the rain…The teleprompter kept going out and then at the end it just went out. It went kaput.”
  152. Trump said, “Actually right in the middle of that sentence it went out,” adding, “And that’s not a good feeling.” Trump insisted he knew the speech very well, “So I was able to do it without a teleprompter.”
  153. Trump falsely claimed millions were watching, “When you’re standing in front of millions and millions of people on television and — I don’t know what the final count was.”
  154. On Monday, in a series of tweets, Trump fumed about New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Attorney General James, saying, “Cuomo uses his Attorney General as a bludgeoning tool for his own purposes.”
  155. Trump complained the two “sue on everything, always in search of a crime,” but “they never even looked at the disgusting Clinton Foundation,” and added it is “hard and expensive” to live in New York.
  156. Trump also tweeted “Cuomo’s A.G. is harassing all of my New York businesses in search of anything at all they can find,” adding “No wonder people and businesses are fleeing New York in record numbers!”
  157. Trump also tweeted, “I even got sued on a Foundation,” falsely claiming it “took Zero rent & expenses & gave away more money than it had,” calling it “another part of the political Witch Hunt.”
  158. Trump also complained about “what they are doing to our great NRA.” The NRA’s current meltdown has the Trump campaign and other Republicans worried that the organization might not be able to help them in 2020.
  159. Trump tweeted in 2016 “I won EVERY debate,” falsely claiming, “including the three with Crooked Hillary Clinton” despite modulating his sound in the first debate, and suggesting “this crew” of 2020 may use dirty tricks.
  160. On Monday, Politico reported Trump allies Reps. Jim Jordan, Matt Gaetz, and Devin Nunes plan to press Robert Mueller on whether his team had anti-Trump bias and if the probe started with inappropriate surveillance.
  161. On Tuesday, AP reported that Trump will hold a “Keep America Great” rally in Greenville, NC on July 17, the day of Mueller’s testimony.
  162. On Tuesday, Trump tweeted about Mueller’s testimony, saying, “Robert Mueller is being asked to testify yet again. He said he could only stick to the Report, & that is what he would and must do.”
  163. Trump also tweeted, “After so much testimony & total transparency, this Witch Hunt must now end,” adding, “No more Do Overs. No Collusion, No Obstruction,” and “the Great Hoax is dead!
  164. On Monday, the House Oversight Committee asked a federal appeals court to uphold their subpoena of Mazars USA, saying Trump has “disdain” for Congress’s constitutional role in carrying out oversight.
  165. On Tuesday, House Ways and Means Committee Chair Richard Neal filed a lawsuit against the IRS and Treasury Department over the committee’s demands for six years of Trump’s tax returns first requested in April.
  166. On Tuesday, in a letter to Congress, the DOJ inspector general said he is initiating a review of actions at the DOJ and FBI that led to the regime canceling a planned move of FBI headquarters out of the Hoover building.
  167. The investigation came after pressure from the House Oversight and Transportation Committees, who said Trump blocked the move to avoid redevelopment into a hotel that would compete with Trump Hotel DC.
  168. General Services Administration chief Emily Murphy, a Trump appointee, made misleading statements about the move to Congress, claiming it came at the request of FBI director Christopher Wray, not Trump.
  169. On Tuesday, Vice President Pence abruptly canceled a scheduled trip to New Hampshire to deliver remarks on America’s opioid epidemic. Rumors swirled Tuesday as no real reason was given for the cancellation.
  170. When asked by reporters on Friday why Pence cancelled, Trump said, “There was a very interesting problem that they had in New Hampshire,” adding the reason will become known “in about a week or two.”
  171. On Wednesday, when asked about critics of her refusal to visit to White House, U.S. soccer star Megan Rapinoe told ESPN, “I think that I’m particularly and uniquely and very deeply American.”
  172. On Friday, Reuters reported U.S. soccer star Alex Morgan said the decision on whether to accept Trump’s offer to visit the White House will be made as a team if they win the Women’s World Cup, but is unlikely to happen.
  173. On Thursday, Rep. Justin Amash, the son of two immigrants and the only Republican for impeachment, announced in an op-ed he was leaving the Republican Party, saying our politics are in a partisan death spiral.
  174. Amash urged Americans to reject “partisan loyalties and rhetoric that divide and dehumanize us,” and the two-party system, adding, “ If we continue to take America for granted, we will lose it.
  175. On Friday, NBC News reported New York Gov. Cuomo will act soon to sign two bills aimed at Trump: one would allow Congress to obtain Trump’s state tax returns and the other would curb his pardon power.
  176. On Friday, Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen told USA Today he has not been briefed on the DOJ probe launched by Barr into possible surveillance abuses in the early days of the Russia probe.
  177. On Friday, speaking to reporters before leaving the White House, Trump also attacked Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell for not lowering rates, saying, “We don’t have a Fed that knows what they’re doing.”
  178. On Saturday, Trump thanked himself for a report that the U.S. stock market had hit a new high, tweeting, “Our Country is the envy of the World. Thank you, Mr. President!”
  179. Trump also touted strong jobs number on Friday, tweeting, “Strong jobs report, low inflation,” but warned “other countries around the world doing anything possible to take advantage of the United States.”
  180. Trump also attacked the Federal Reserve again, tweeting the stock market “could have been even better,” adding, “Our most difficult problem is not our competitors, it is the Federal Reserve!
  181. On Saturday, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan dismissed the governor of Turkey’s independent Central Bank over raising interest rates to curb inflation. The surprise decree drew criticism, even by Erdogan allies.

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Members of the U.S. Army park a Bradley fighting vehicle in front of the Lincoln Memorial ahead of the Fourth of July “Salute to America” celebration on July 3, 2019 in Washington, DC. Trump will deliver a speech at the memorial with military hardware on display including tanks, and flyovers by military aircraft.

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.

POLITIKS OF GRAFFITI 136: RESIGN & REMOVE

JUNE 15, 2019

Week 135

Experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things
subtly changing around you, so you’ll remember. https://theweeklylist.org/weekly-list/week-135/
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Artist: Andrew Spear. Can be read below: “press secretary Sarah Sanders, one of the few remaining members of the original regime, resigned. Also this week, watchdog Office of Special Counsel recommended the removal of White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, saying she had repeatedly violated the Hatch Act — an unprecedented recommendation.”

This week in an interview with ABC News, Trump suggested he would take damaging information from foreign governments on political adversaries without reporting it to the FBI, setting off alarm bells. The Chair of the Federal Elections Commissions took the unusual step of issuing a public statement reminding campaigns that taking foreign assistance is illegal. Nonetheless, Trump allies largely defended his statement, and continued to block measures to protect the 2020 election.

As this played out on a chaotic Thursday, press secretary Sarah Sanders, one of the few remaining members of the original regime, resigned. Also this week, watchdog Office of Special Counsel recommended the removal of White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, saying she had repeatedly violated the Hatch Act — an unprecedented recommendation.

Trump sparred with the media over reporting on his supposed trade deal with Mexico, while conditions at the southern border continued to deteriorate. Notably, Trump has been linking economic and national security in his recent actions, allowing him to invoke Cold War era acts and bypass Congressional approval. The House voted on a resolution opening the door to contempt of Congress charges for members of the regime.

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Artist: Captain Eyeliner in Freeman’s Alley, NYC. 15jun19
DCIM104GOPROGOPR2449.
Various streets in NYC share this sentiment to passersby. Here’s a random one. JUNE 2019.
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Spotted in the East Village, NYC. 15jun19.
  1. On Monday, NYT announced it would stop publishing political cartoons, after more than a year of deliberating. In Week 128, the Times apologized for a cartoon in its international edition that was viewed as anti-Semitic.
  2. Le Monde reported the symbolic oak tree given by French Prime Minster Emmanuel Macron to Trump and planted at the White House last year has died, calling it a “metaphor for a relationship that isn’t what it was.”
  3. On Tuesday, Guardian reported leaked documents reveal Russia’s efforts to exert influence in at least 13 African countries by building relations with leaders and grooming a next generation of leaders and undercover agents.
  4. The effort is being led by Putin ally Yevgeny Prigozhin, known as “Putin’s chef,” who was indicted in the Mueller probe for his roll in a troll farm that sought to bolster Trump on social media during the 2016 election.
  5. On Friday, the European Union said in a report that Russia conducted a “continued and sustained” disinformation campaign against Europe’s recent parliamentary elections that ran from May 23 through May 26.
  6. The report found the Russian campaign “covered a broad range of topics” and exploited “divisive public debates on issues such as of migration and sovereignty” seeking to influence voter behavior and suppress turnout.
  7. Although no hacking occurred as in the U.S. 2016 election, the report found an ongoing and significant effort by Russia to target Europeans with disinformation on a daily basis.
  8. On Saturday, the government of China blocked two more international news organizations, the Guardian and the Post, as part of President Xi Jinping’s crackdown on dissent known as the “Great Firewall.”
  9. On Saturday, NYT also reported much of what Trump claimed as concessions from Mexico in Friday’s deal were things Mexico agreed to months prior. It was unclear what new concessions Trump achieved.
  10. Mexico said in March it would deploy its National Guard to the U.S. southern border. Also, an arrangement to allow asylum-seekers to remain in Mexico was reached in December.
  11. During the week of May 24, 5,800 migrants crossed in one day, a record, setting off Trump. His top advisers opposed tariffs, and he was criticized by global leaders, business executives, and lawmakers from both parties.
  12. On Saturday, Trump said he watched MSNBC, tweeting: “Such lies, almost everything they were saying was the opposite of the truth. Fake News!” adding, “No wonder their ratings, along with CNN, are WAY DOWN.”
  13. On Sunday, in a series of tweets, Trump said, “Another false report in the Failing @nytimes,” saying in his deal with Mexico there was “great cooperation,” adding, “something that didn’t exist for decades.”
  14. Trump also tweeted: “The Failing @nytimes, & ratings challenged @CNN, will do anything possible to see our Country fail!” adding, “They are truly The Enemy of the People!”
  15. On Sunday, the Times responded in a statement, saying, “We are confident in our reporting,” and added that “calling the press the enemy is undemocratic and dangerous.”
  16. On Sunday, Trump tweeted: “I know it is not at all “Presidential” to hit back at the Corrupt Media,” adding, “Problem is, if you don’t hit back, people believe the Fake News is true. So we’ll hit back!”
  17. Trump also tweeted, “a National Holiday would be immediately declared” if Obama had made deals on immigration and the economy like he did, blaming the “Corrupt Media.”
  18. Trump also threatened Twitter, tweeting: “Twitter should let the banned Conservative Voices back onto their platform, without restriction. It’s called Freedom of Speech, remember. You are making a Giant Mistake!”
  19. On Sunday, Trump also tweeted, “For two years all the Democrats talked about was the Mueller Report,” adding, “ because they knew that it was loaded up with 13 Angry Democrat Trump Haters, later increased to 18.”
  20. Trump also tweeted ahead of Monday’s House Judiciary Committee hearings, “they want a Redo, or Do Over. They are even bringing in @CNN sleazebag attorney John Dean. Sorry, no Do Overs — Go back to work!”
  21. On Saturday, NYT reported Trump is increasingly blurring the lines between America’s national and economic security. Trump has started trade disputes with Mexico, China, Japan, and Europe.
  22. By mixing the two, Trump has been able to harness Cold War era authority, including 1962 and 1977 provisions to inflict economic pain through tariffs, government blacklists, and other restrictions.
  23. Trump has used this strategy to avoid needing Congressional approval, and to circumvent trade rules put in place to prevent the U.S. and other countries from increasing barriers and entering into endless trade wars.
  24. In May, Trump signed a proclamation that auto imports threatened U.S. national security and could be subject to tariffs in six months, a move criticized by auto manufacturers, foreign governments, and U.S. lawmakers.
  25. On Monday, a senior official at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce told CNBC that Trump’s “weaponizing of tariffs” has created “uncertainty with our trading partners,” which is going to hurt the U.S. economy.
  26. After hearing the remarks, Trump called into CNBC for a rambling interview, saying business groups like the Chamber of Commerce protect corporate America, not the American people, and defended his tariffs.
  27. Trump falsely claimed China has “lost 15 to 20 trillion dollars in value” since he took office, and claimed the U.S. “got everything we wanted” out of negotiations with Mexico last week.
  28. Trump threatened action against France over the cost of wine, and claimed, without evidence, that U.S. technology companies “discriminate against me.”
  29. Trump criticized the Federal Reserve, saying, “We have a Fed that raises interest rates the day before a bond issue goes out,” adding we do not have a level playing field because the “Fed is very, very destructive to us.”
  30. On Monday, Trump returned to attacking the Times, tweeting, “When will the Failing New York Times admit that their front page story on the the new Mexico deal at the Border is a FRAUD,” adding, “Sick Journalism.”
  31. On Tuesday, in a series of tweets, Trump pushed back at Fox Business for criticizing his tariffs. Trump specifically addressed show co-hosts and a guest on their show, tweeting “Maria, Dagan, Steve, Stuart V.”
  32. Trump also tweeted, “When you are the big “piggy bank” that other countries have been ripping off for years…Tariffs are a great negotiating tool,” adding, “Companies will relocate to U.S.”
  33. On Monday, Guardian reported Cadre, a real estate company part-owned by Jared Kushner, received $90 million of funding from an opaque vehicle offshore run by Goldman Sachs in the Cayman Islands.
  34. Security filings revealed the offshore vehicle began collecting funds for Cadre in August 2017. The vehicle is managed by accountants in the Cayman Islands and is owned by an offshore Goldman Sachs entity.
  35. On Monday, WAPO reported John V. Kelly, the acting inspector general for the Department of Homeland Security, retired, following revelations he directed his staff to whitewash audits of disaster relief performance.
  36. An internal review revealed by the Post last week found Kelly overrode auditors’ findings of problems with FEMA’s response to several disasters, directing them to ignore most problems and write “feel-good reports.”
  37. Under pressure from House Republicans, the IG’s office retracted 13 faulty reports and purged them from its website in 2017 and 2018, after the reports did not meet federal auditing standards.
  38. On Monday, Politico reported Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao established a liaison in her agency to help with grant applications and other priorities for her husband Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s state.
  39. Beginning in April 2017, Chao aide Todd Inman, a longtime Kentucky resident, served as an intermediary, and helped McConnell and local Kentucky officials with grants with special significance for McConnell.
  40. Inman helped with a grant for a highway improvement project in Owensboro, Kentucky, a McConnell political stronghold, that had twice been previously rejected, and another grant benefitting Owensboro.
  41. On Tuesday, McConnell shrugged off Politico’s reporting at his weekly news conference, saying, “I was complaining to her just last night, 169 projects and Kentucky got only five,” adding, “I hope we’ll do a lot better next year.”
  42. On Tuesday, Politico reported on the lack of diversity in the Treasury Department: of the roughly 20 officials, just three are women and one a person of color. Hiring of minorities fell to its slowest pace in five years.
  43. On Wednesday, the Trump regime signaled a renewed push to open land near the Grand Canyon for uranium mining, with Trump declaring uranium a critical element for national security purposes.
  44. Under Trump, the number of minerals listed as critical has expanded from 23 to 35. The Commerce Department also recently added uranium as a key component to nuclear weapons.
  45. On Wednesday, NBC News reported representatives of at least 22 foreign governments have spent money at Trump properties, including golf clubs, hotels, and restaurants, in possible violation of the Constitution.
  46. The total amount spent is not publicly available. The Trump Organization has sent $343,000 to the U.S. Treasury for 2017 and 2018, but did not disclose data to support that figure.
  47. According to news and public records, at least nine countries have hosted events at a Trump property: Afghanistan, Cyprus, Ireland, Japan, Philippines, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey.
  48. At least nine have rented or purchased property owned by Trump businesses: Kuwait, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, China, Malaysia, Slovakia, Thailand, India, and the European Union.
  49. Five have stayed at Trump properties: Georgia, Nigeria, Malaysia, Romania, and Saudi Arabia; and eight have attended Trump gatherings: Brazil, Dominica, Georgia, Nigeria, Russia, Turkey, Malaysia, and Qatar.
  50. On Friday, Bloomberg reported, according to disclosures released by the White House, Ivanka earned $4 million from Trump hotel DC during 2018, and $1 million from her fashion line which she announced she is closing.
  51. On Saturday, WAPO reported some U.S. embassies are disregarding the advisory from the State Department and flying rainbow flags in celebration of LGBTQ Pride month.
  52. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo did not issue a statement for Pride month, and for his second year in office did not attend the State Department’s annual Pride Day event — two of many slights according to LGBTQ employees.
  53. On Saturday, a man with a BB gun set off a panic at Washington D.C.’s Pride parade, sending hundreds fleeingover concern there was a mass shooter. No actual shots were fired.
  54. On Monday, the Detroit News reported police thwarted an attempt by a neo-Nazi group to spark a “Charlottesville 2.0” type riot at a gay pride festival in downtown Detroit for Pride over the weekend.
  55. The group also desecrated an Israeli flag that they brought along, urinating on it, and videoing the action. The group brought an attorney along hoping to bait police officers.
  56. On Saturday, Politico reported the Trump regime is moving to change U.S. policy by stripping naturalized U.S. citizens who are convicted terrorists of their citizenship and force them to be deported.
  57. On Sunday, acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan told “Fox News Sunday” Congress should amend asylum laws to allow the regime to detain families during their hearing process.
  58. Currently the limit is 20 days. McAleenan also asked for Congress to change the asylum system’s “credible fear” standard, saying 89% of detainees meet that hurdle, but only 10% are granted asylum in court.
  59. On Sunday, NBC News reported 24 immigrants have died in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody under the Trump regime so far. The previous record was 32 in 2004, the first year records were kept.
  60. The tally does not include migrants in custody of other federal agencies, including five children. Employees at both DHS and ICE have raised concerns about lapses in medical oversight and neglect.
  61. Some facilities, like private contractor GEO Group’s Aurora facility, have recently expanded to take more immigrants from ICE, but problems with medical care and other issues have been found there too.
  62. Records obtained by NBC News found ICE lied about causes of death in some cases. ICE paroled transgender woman Medina Leon to a hospital so it would not have to issue a press release or conduct a review of her death.
  63. On Monday, Trump installed former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli as acting director of ICE. The move sparked criticism from Democrat and Republican senators, saying his confirmation is doubtful.
  64. A union head said Cuccinelli’s appointment “spells the end of legal immigration as it currently exists.” Sen. Bennie Thompson called Cuccinelli an “anti-immigrant fringe figure.”
  65. On Monday, the International Boundary and Water Commission ordered the We Build the Wall organizers to keep the gate open indefinitely in the part of the wall the group had built using GoFundMe money.
  66. On Tuesday, Texas Monthly reported in El Paso, Border Patrol has resumed the practice of keeping migrants outdoors in cages for weeks on end to relieve overcrowding.
  67. A local college professor likened conditions to “a human dog pound” — with 100-150 men behind a chain-linked fence, huddled together using Mylar blankets and other scraps to shield them from the sun.
  68. Rep. Veronica Escobar said some detainees have been held more than a month outdoors, despite CBP policies which state migrants should not be held for more than three days at its facilities.
  69. On Tuesday, TIME reported the Trump regime plans to detain 1,400 migrant children at Fort Sill, an army base in Oklahoma once used as an internment camp for Japanese-Americans during World War II.
  70. AP reported CBP said its agents are overwhelmed, and do not have the funding or resources to deal with the influx of migrants. Families and children are being held in facilities meant to house single men.
  71. Families are regularly being kept in facilities for longer than the maximum 72 hours allowed. The Department of Health and Human Services, which takes unaccompanied children from CBP, told the AP their facilities are past capacity with over 13,000 kids.
  72. On Friday, Trump said in an interview with “Fox & Friends” that he will install former acting ICE director and Fox News analyst Tom Homan in the position of “border czar” at the White House, reporting directly to Trump.
  73. Homan ran ICE for the first 18 months of the Trump regime, but retired after frustration over not being confirmed by the Senate. He is known to be an immigration hard-liner, and has praised Trump on Fox News.
  74. On Tuesday, the case for Scott Warren, a 36-year-old geography teacher in Arizona and volunteer for No More Deaths who was charged for leaving water for migrants on federal wilderness land, ended in mistrial.
  75. U.N. human rights officials called for charges to be dropped, and there were protests and petitions. Federal prosecutors claimed Warren conspired to transport the migrants and shield them from Border Patrol agents.
  76. On Tuesday, a coalition of advocacy groups including the American Civil Liberties Union and National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association sued the Trump regime over its “conscience protection” rule.
  77. The lawsuit claims the regime’s rule “encourages and authorizes discrimination” by granting “broad new rights to refuse to provide health care services and information,” and called it unconstitutional.
  78. On Sunday, WAPO reported along with the new abortion ban in Alabama with no exceptions for rape or incest, the state is one of two where rapists’ parental rights are also protected.
  79. On Monday, nearly 200 CEOs signed a letter calling abortion bans “bad for business.” The letter appeared as a full-page ad in the NYT with the subheader: “It’s time for companies to stand up for reproductive health care.”
  80. On Tuesday, a report by the Missouri Attorney General found black drivers in the state are 91% more likely to be stopped than white drivers, the highest disparity in the 19 years the report has been conducted.
  81. NBC News reported a 10 year-old black boy with disabilities in Maryland was questioned by police for playing with toy money on a school bus. His mother believes he was targeted for being a minority.
  82. The case was brought to public attention after his mother gathered signatures on a petition. A spokesperson for Montgomery County Public School, which is 85% white, said police should never have been called.
  83. On Monday, Deutsche Bank acknowledged that an internal audit uncovered a lapse in its money launderingcontrols, but claimed it did not find cases of money laundering or breaches of international sanctions.
  84. On Monday, after weeks of tense negotiations with the House Judiciary Committee, the DOJ agreed to turn over evidence in the Mueller report on obstruction of justice, although the scope of materials was unclear.
  85. Chair Jerrold Nadler said documents would include “interview notes, firsthand accounts of misconduct and other critical evidence.” The deal resulted in his panel backing away from voting Tuesday to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress.
  86. On Monday, the committee also held public hearings and called John Dean and others. Initially coverage was preempted by coverage of a helicopter crash. Republicans openly mocked the proceedings.
  87. Ahead of the hearings, Trump tweeted: “Can’t believe they are bringing in John Dean, the disgraced Nixon White House Counsel who is a paid CNN contributor,” adding, “Democrats just want a do-over.”
  88. Trump also told reporters at the White House, “John Dean’s been a loser for many years,” adding unlike past impeachments, “You can’t impeach somebody when there’s never been a thing done wrong.”
  89. During the hearing, Dean compared several of Mueller’s findings to Watergate, and was buttressed by two former federal prosecutors who explained why the findings amounted to criminal obstruction of justice.
  90. On Monday, Trump told reporters on the South Lawn, in reference to Dean’s comparison of him to Richard Nixon, “He left. I don’t leave. A big difference.”
  91. On Monday, Rep. Justin Amash, the lone Republican to call for impeachment, resigned from the House Freedom Caucus, a group that he helped co-found more than four years ago.
  92. On Tuesday, speaking to reporters before leaving to campaign in Iowa, Trump showcased a “beautiful letter” from North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, saying, “he’s kept his word … that’s very important.” This is false.
  93. Trump also said he read reports that Kim’s half brother was an asset of the CIA, saying his message to Kim would be, “I wouldn’t let that happen under my auspices,” seeming to again side with a dictator over U.S. intelligence.
  94. Trump held up a letter, bragging it was part of a “very long and very good” secret agreement with Mexico, but refused to divulge details. Marcelo Ebrard, Mexico’s foreign minister, denied the undisclosed deal existed.
  95. While Trump continued to insist he had forced Mexico to agree to an undisclosed deal to combat migrants, Ebrard said Mexico had a 45-day window to enact measures and another 45 days if they did not work.
  96. Trump also called Speaker Nancy Pelosi “a mess” and criticized Democrats’ investigations, saying, “All they do is waste time where there is no obstruction, no collusion. And in the meantime, we can’t get anything done.”
  97. On Tuesday, GOP Sen. Chuck Grassley told Politico on Trump’s threats to impose tariffs without seeking approval from Congress, “Congress has delegated too much authority to the president of the United States.”
  98. Grassley also said, “The constitutional crisis comes from the elected representatives of the people over the last 80 years making a dictator out of the presidency,” adding this is “about the balancing of power.”
  99. On Tuesday, Daily Beast reported that the White House will preview the Mueller evidence, and work with the DOJ to determine what is turned over to Chair Nadler’s committee.
  100. On Tuesday, in an interview, Speaker Pelosi said of impeachment, “it’s not off the table,” adding, “I don’t think you should impeach for political reasons, and I don’t think you should not impeach for political reasons.”
  101. Ask about impeachment if the majority of Democrats want it, Pelosi said, “Why are we speculating on hypotheticals?” On Trump’s comments about her in Normandy, Pelosi said, “my stock goes up every time he attacks me.”
  102. When asked about her comment that she would rather see Trump in prison, Pelosi demurred, “conversations in our caucus they stay in our caucus,” and added, “Are they criminal? Many people think they are.”
  103. On Tuesday, the House passed a resolution 229-191 empowering the Judiciary Committee to seek court enforcement against Barr and Don McGahn over noncompliance with requests for documents and testimony.
  104. In remarks on the floor, Pelosi said, “We are here today because the times have found us,” and quoted Thomas Paine saying, “we do recognize the urgency of the threat to our nation we face today.”
  105. The resolution gives Chair Nadler the authority to begin legal proceedings to force McGahn to cooperate with the panel’s probe on obstruction, and represented the House’s most aggressive oversight step taken yet.
  106. The resolution also gives authority to chairpersons of nearly every House committee to “initiate or intervene in any judicial proceeding before a federal court” to enforce a subpoena without needing a floor vote.
  107. The vote stopped short of a criminal citation, but kept the House on the track favored by Pelosi and some top leaders. So far, 60 House Democrats and several 2020 candidates have called for impeachment.
  108. Shortly after the vote, Barr threatened to ask Trump to assert executive privilege to shield documents requested by the House Oversight Committee unless the panel backed off from voting on contempt.
  109. On Wednesday, in a DOJ letter, Trump asserted executive privilege, moving to block Congress’s access to documents about how a citizenship question was added to the 2020 census.
  110. The letter came minutes before the committee convened to vote on civil and criminal contempt citations. Chair Elijah Cummings had offered to postpone the vote if the DOJ agreed to turn over a small batch of specific documents.
  111. On Wednesday, the House Oversight Committee voted 24-15, with Rep. Amash joining Democrats, to pass a resolution allowing Democrats to pursue both civil and criminal contempt charges against Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.
  112. The committee vote was originally scheduled for Wednesday morning, but the vote was postponed until later in the day so members could read the DOJ’s letter on Trump asserting executive privilege.
  113. On Wednesday, Donald Jr. met for three hours with the Senate Intelligence Committee in a closed-door hearing. When he emerged, he told reporters he was “not at all” concerned about perjury charges over past testimony.
  114. On Wednesday, a national Quinnipiac poll found 69% of voter said a sitting president should be subject to criminal charges, while 24% do not. Also, 57% believe Trump committed crimes before taking office.
  115. The poll found 55% believe Trump was not cleared of wrongdoing in the Mueller probe, while 35% believe he was. On whether Congress should begin to impeach Trump, 48% said yes, while 49% said no.
  116. On Wednesday, Miami Herald reported federal prosecutors said they are developing a potential national security case against Yujing Zhang, the 33-year-old Chinese national charged with unlawfully entering Mar-a-Lago.
  117. The prosecution’s motion asked the judge to allow them to file “classified information” under seal, and indicated Zhang is part of a widening U.S. probe of possible Chinese espionage at Mar-a-Lago.
  118. On Wednesday, Trump tweeted, “The Fake (Corrupt) News Media said they had a leak into polling done by my campaign,” claiming they “are the best numbers WE have ever had,” despite the “never ending Witch Hunt.”
  119. On Wednesday, while meeting with Polish President Andrzej Duda in the Oval Office, Trump told reporters, without evidence, that his campaign’s polling showed him ahead in every state. The opposite was true.
  120. Trump characterized reporting that he was in fact behind in internal polling as “fake news,” and “It’s made up by the newspapers,” adding “You need ideas more than polls.”
  121. Trump also walked back his comments Tuesday pledging not to use CIA informants to spy on Kim Jong Un, saying, “No, it’s not what I meant. It’s what I said and I think it’s different, maybe, than your interpretation.”
  122. Trump also held up Kim’s letter to him referenced Tuesday, and said, “He just wrote me a very nice letter,” adding, “Someday you’ll see what’s in that letter….Maybe in 100 years from now, maybe in two weeks.”
  123. Trump also said it was “totally ridiculous” to have a census without a citizenship question, adding, “Can you imagine you send out a census and you’re not allowed to say whether or not a person is an American citizen?”
  124. Trump also cited the president of Poland speaking alongside him, saying “In Poland, they say they’re either Polish or they’re not.” A citizenship question has not been included in the U.S. census since 1950.
  125. Trump snapped at reporters when asked if he planned to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin alone at the G20, calling them “untrusting” and sarcastically asking, “Would you like to be in the room?”
  126. On Wednesday, in an interview with ABC News, when asked whether his campaign would accept such information from foreigners or hand it over the FBI, Trump responded, “I think maybe you do both.”
  127. Trump said “I think you might want to listen, there isn’t anything wrong with listening,” adding, “If somebody called from a country, Norway, [and said] ‘we have information on your opponent’ — oh, I think I’d want to hear it.
  128. Trump also disputed that taking information from a foreign government on a political opponent is election interference, saying, “It’s not an interference, they have information — I think I’d take it.”
  129. Trump also compared it to taking opposition research, saying, “When you go and talk, honestly, to congressman, they all do it, they always have, and that’s the way it is. It’s called oppo research.”
  130. Trump also defended his son Donald Jr. taking the June 9 meeting with Russians, saying, “Somebody comes up and says, ‘hey, I have information on your opponent,’ do you call the FBI?”
  131. Trump added, “I’ll tell you what, I’ve seen a lot of things over my life. I don’t think in my whole life I’ve ever called the FBI. In my whole life,” adding, “Oh, give me a break — life doesn’t work that way.”
  132. On Wednesday, the USA Today Editorial Board called out McConnell for burying bipartisan measures to protect U.S. elections, citing the Mueller report findings that Russia had penetrated 21 state election networks.
  133. On Thursday, the editorial board updated its op-ed, adding “The 2020 presidential election is the next target,” and “Trump stunningly asserted he’d accept dirt on a political opponent from a foreign country.”
  134. On Thursday, Trump defended his comments, tweeting, “I meet and talk to ‘foreign governments’ every day,” citing recent examples of the U.K., France, Ireland, and Poland, adding, “Should I immediately call the FBI”?
  135. Trump also blamed ABC News for cutting his response, tweeting, “With that being said, my full answer is rarely played by the Fake News Media,” adding, “They purposely leave out the part that matters.”
  136. Also in a series of morning tweet, Trump attacked Democrats, tweeting, “Unrelated to Russia, Russia, Russia(although the Radical Left doesn’t use the name Russia anymore since the issuance of the Mueller Report).”
  137. Trump added, “House Committee now plays the seldom used “Contempt” card on our great A.G. & Sec. of Commerce,” adding, “much tougher game than the Republicans did,” and, “Republicans will remember!”
  138. Trump also quoted Alan Dershowitz, tweeting: “Congress cannot Impeach President Trump (did nothing wrong),” adding, “Unless there is compelling evidence, Impeachment is not Constitutionally Permissible.”
  139. On Thursday, at her weekly news conference, Pelosi said, “once again evidence that he does not know right from wrong,” adding, “It’s a very sad thing, a very sad thing that he does not know right from wrong.”
  140. Pelosi called Trump’s comments “against any sense of decency,” adding, “everybody in the country should be totally appalled,” and repeated her belief he has participated in “a criminal cover up.”
  141. Trump ally Sen. Lindsey Graham said, “it should be practice for all public officials who are contacted by a foreign government with an offer of assistance to their campaign…to inform the FBI and reject the offer.”
  142. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy defended Trump, saying “When he was approached by this, he did what was right,” adding Trump “would not want any foreign government interfering in this election.”
  143. McCarthy sought to distract, saying “Adam Schiff got a phone call that he willingly thought was a foreign individual,” and and the “the Democratic Party spend money to a foreign individual to try to drum” up “lies.”
  144. Earlier that morning, Trump tweeted of Chair Schiff, “Did he call the FBI, or even think to call the FBI? NO!” Chair Schiff responded to the false claims tweeting: “We called the FBI even before we took the call.”
  145. On Thursday, the Federal Election Commission Chair posted a notice reminding, “It is illegal for any person to solicit, accept, or receive anything of value from a foreign national in connection with a U.S. election.”
  146. On Thursday, Sen. Marsha Blackburn blocked an effort by ranking Democrat on Senate Intelligence Committee Sen. Mark Warner to pass a bill requiring campaigns to alert the FBI to foreign assistance.
  147. On Thursday, Leader McConnell dismissed the outrage over Trump’s comments, telling Fox News, “They just can’t let it go,” adding, “the fundamental point is they are trying to keep the 2016 election alive.”
  148. On Wednesday, Michael Flynn retained Sidney Powell as his new attorney. Powell has been a fierce critic of the DOJ and the FBI’s investigation into the potential conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia.
  149. The move could signal a shift in strategy. Powell has claimed Flynn was spied on as part of an FBI “set-up,” and that his case should be “dismissed.” She has an online business based on attacking Mueller and his team.
  150. On Thursday, ahead of sentencing Trump tweeted, “General Michael Flynn, the 33 year war hero who has served with distinction” has retained a “GREAT LAWYER, Sidney Powell,” adding, “Best Wishes and Good Luck.”
  151. On Friday, Judge Emmet Sullivan set a June 24 hearing to discuss pushing off Flynn’s sentencing another 60 days, put forward by both sides, so he can continue to cooperate in ongoing matters.
  152. On Wednesday, federal watchdog group Office of Special Counsel recommended removal of Kellyanne Conway from federal office for violating the Hatch Act, which bars federal employees from engaging in political activity in the course of work.
  153. The report sent to Trump noted Conway violated the Hatch Act repeatedly by “disparaging Democratic presidential candidates while speaking in her official capacity during television interviews and on social media.”
  154. Special Counsel Henry Kerner told WAPO his recommendation for a political appointee of Conway’s level was “unprecedented,” adding “You know what else is unprecedented? Kellyanne Conway’s behavior.”
  155. The decision will be up to Trump. In a letter to Kerner, White House counsel Pat Cipollone requested the OSC withdraw and retract its report. The White House said the report violated Conway’s “constitutional rights to free speech and due process.”
  156. On Thursday, Chair Cummings said Trump should “immediately” fire Conway, adding the House Oversight Committee will hold hearings and Conway will be invited “to answer for her violations” on June 26.
  157. Cummings noted his committee has additional concerns related to Conway’s use of private jets and role in the regime’s drug control strategy, adding the White House has not provided requested documents on either.
  158. On Thursday, Trump announced via Twitter that White House press secretary Sarah Sanders would be leavingthe White House by the end of the month, adding, “I hope she decides to run for Governor of Arkansas.”
  159. Sanders was one of the last original Trump aides. It was unclear what she would do next. Sanders said at her exit press conference, “It’s one of the greatest jobs I could ever have, I’ve loved every minute.”
  160. CBS News reported many White House staffers found out about Sanders’ departure at a 3 p.m. meeting, on a day full of substantial breaking news events and crises. It was unclear who her replacement would be.
  161. A turnover survey by the Brooking Institute found with her departure Trump “has the record for White House staff turnover, for cabinet turnover and now for the highest turnover within a single department.”
  162. On Thursday, Pompeo, without evidence, said Iran was behind the attack of two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman. Iran “categorically” rejected the “unfounded claim,” calling it “inflammatory.”
  163. The U.S. is now operating without allies after Trump withdrew from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. In Week 134 the regime offered to speak to the leader of Iran without preconditions, and that offer was rejected.
  164. On Friday, facing broad criticism of his remarks to ABC News, Trump said in a rambling 50 minute long interview with “Fox & Friends” on his 73rd birthday that he would “absolutely” report foreign campaign help.
  165. Trump said, “Of course, you give it to the F.B.I. or report it to the attorney general or somebody like that,” adding, “But of course you do that. You couldn’t have that happen with our country.”
  166. Later in the interview said of taking incriminating information, “Well, if I don’t listen, you’re not going to know,” adding, “Here’s the bottom line,” and, “They spied on my campaign and they got caught.”
  167. Trump pushed back on Pelosi claiming a criminal cover-up, citing a supporter, calling it a “fascist statement,” adding when Pelosi “makes a statement like that, she ought to be ashamed of herself. It’s a disgrace.”
  168. Trump also said he would not fire Conway, adding, “I think she’s a terrific person,” and “It looks to me like they’re trying to take away her right of free speech.”
  169. On Friday, in additional parts of his ABC News interview released, Trump again criticized the Federal Reserve, saying the stock market would be “10,000 points higher” if the Fed did not raise rates.
  170. Trump also criticized his appointee Fed Chair Jerome Powell, saying, “if we had somebody different” in charge of the Fed, the economy would be doing better, adding, “I’m not happy with what he’s done.”
  171. On Friday, the Congressional Budget Office said corporations are paying far less in taxes than projected in the GOP tax law: the Treasury saw 31% decline in corporate revenue last year, twice what the decline expected.
  172. On Friday, more than 600 companies and trade associations, including Walmart, Costco and Target wrote a letter to the White House, warning Trump of the impact of his tariffs and trade war with China.
  173. The group, including retailers, manufacturers, and tech companies said “Tariffs are taxes paid directly by U.S. companies,” not China, and warned of the impact on the economy and consumers, and of job losses.
  174. Also in the ABC News interview, Trump also disputed McGahn’s testimony in the Mueller report, saying he “may have been confused” in that Trump tried multiple times to direct him to have Mueller fired.
  175. Trump said, “The story on that very simply, No. 1, I was never going to fire Mueller. I never suggested firing Mueller,” defiantly adding, “I don’t care what [McGahn] says, it doesn’t matter.”
  176. When Trump was asked why he refused to testify under oath, he responded, “Because they were looking to get us for lies or slight misstatements…what happened to people, and it was very unfair. Very, very unfair.”
  177. On Friday, Trump tweeted thanks to Sen. Masha Blackburn for blocking a bill requiring campaigns to notify the FBI, saying Democrats “continue to look for a do-over on the Mueller Report” and “will stop at nothing.”
  178. Trump also tweeted thanking Leader McConnell for “understanding the Democrats game of not playing it straight on the ridiculous Witch Hunt Hoax in the Senate.”
  179. As of Friday, 64 members of the House supported impeachment. Notably, the majority of the House Judiciary Committee members backed impeachment.
  180. On Friday, the DOJ released its legal rationale for Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin’s refusal to release Trump’s tax returns, saying the demand was “unprecedented” and could “have lasting consequences for all taxpayers.”
  181. The DOJ memo argued the House Ways and Means Committee request was partisan politics, and an attempt to violate boundaries between the executive and legislative branches for short-term political gain.
  182. On Friday, NPR reported Julian Assange will appear before a British court in February for a hearing on whether he should be extradited to the U.S. Assange is being held at a maximum-security prison outside London.
  183. On Friday, a judge dismissed a lawsuit by former campaign staffer Alva Johnson accusing Trump of forcibly kissing her and pay discrimination against women and Black employees, saying it was too laden with political claims.
  184. On Saturday, in a morning tweetstorm of tweeting and retweeting, Trump touted poll numbers by One America News Network showing his approval at 51%. OANN has been likened to pro-Trump propaganda.
  185. Trump also tweeted he was doing “great in the Polls” despite the “Greatest Presidential Harassment of all time by people that are very dishonest and want to destroy our Country.”
  186. Trump also warned of a stock market crash if he is not elected, tweeting, “if anyone but me takes over in 2020…there will be a Market Crash the likes of which has not been seen before!”
  187. Trump also tweeted, “The Trump Economy is setting records, and has a long way up to go.” Economists are concerned about a recession. The stock market is up 27% since Trump took office, far less than under Obama.
  188. On Saturday, WAPO reported that Trump still owes D.C. more than $7 million in expenses from his inauguration, as he prepares for an unprecedented July Fourth gala.
  189. As a result, the city has been forced to dip into a special fund that covers annual costs for such things as protection from terrorist threats and demonstrations, and will be left in the red after July Fourth celebrations.

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Outgoing White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders speaks alongside Trump during a second chance hiring and criminal justice reform event in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC, June 13, 2019. Trump on Thursday made the surprise announcement of the departure of spokeswoman Sarah Sanders, who has been widely criticized for her performance in the White House.

POLITIKS OF GRAFFITI 134: CLOWN REGIME

JUNE 01, 2019

Week 133

Experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things
subtly changing around you, so you’ll remember. https://theweeklylist.org/weekly-list/week-133/
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Clown images of Mueller and 45. Bushwick, Brooklyn, NY. 1jun19. artist: https://www.instagram.com/degrupo/

This week, special counsel Robert Mueller addressed the nation for the first time since the start of his investigation. Notably, Mueller said, “If we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so,” contradicting Attorney General William Barr’s statements, and Trump’s repeated proclamations of “no obstruction.” Mueller resigned and closed the special counsel office, and seemed to pass the ball to Congress on whether to pursue charges against Trump. Speaker Nancy Pelosi demurred, but pressure built this week after Mueller’s appearance with 55 members of Congress backing an impeachment inquiry, up from 31 last week, including 13 of the 24 House Judiciary Committee members.

Trump exploded after Mueller’s appearance, seeking to discredit him and the investigation. Later, he shifted the narrative by starting a trade war with Mexico, invoking a decades old act to empower himself to impose tariffs over a so-called “national emergency” at our southern border. As the week came to a close, Trump’s Department of Justice thumbed its nose at a court order to produce documents related to Michael Flynn. The regime has now usurped both the legislative and judicial branch — seizing and consolidating power with increasingly authoritarian actions. Adding to the authoritarian feel were the continued attacks on the rights of marginalized communities and women, the stripping of protections for the environment, and a shocking discovery this week related to the 2020 census citizenship question. And yet, there has been no accountability or consequences for Trump, his family, and the remaining members of the regime.

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“P H O N Y.” Bushwick, Brooklyn, NY. 1jun19.
  1. On Saturday, 2020 candidate Sen. Amy Klobuchar told a crowd in Iowa that during Trump’s 2017 inauguration speech, the late Sen. John McCain “kept reciting” the names of dictators.
  2. On Saturday, during his trip to Japan, Trump sided with Kim Jong Un over his senior advisers, tweeting, “North Korea fired off some small weapons, which disturbed some of my people, and others, but not me.”
  3. Trump also tweeted: “I have confidence that Chairman Kim will keep his promise to me,” and sided with Kim over Joe Biden, saying he “smiled” when Kim “called Swampman Joe Biden a low IQ individual, & worse.”
  4. In Trump’s initial tweet, Trump misspelled Biden’s name, saying “Joe Bidan a low IQ individual.” Trump then deleted the tweet. Earlier in the week, North Korea had called Biden a “fool of low IQ” and an “imbecile.”
  5. Members of the regime sought to downplay recent North Korea tests. Japanese Prime Minister Abe has yet to meet with Kim, and therefore relies on the U.S. as an intermediary. The U.S. has 54,000 forces in Japan.
  6. Japan is threatened by North Korea’s short-range missiles. Trump has downplayed North Korea’s tests, saying they do not violate his agreement with Kim, since short-range missiles do not directly threaten the U.S.
  7. On Sunday, press secretary Sarah Sanders told “Meet the Press,” of Trump and Kim, “I think they agree in their assessment” of Biden, adding Trump “doesn’t need somebody else to give him an assessment of Joe Biden.”
  8. On Monday, Memorial Day, in a series of tweets during his visit to Japan, Trump said, “The Dems are getting NOTHING done in Congress!” adding, “they only want a Do-Over on Mueller!”
  9. Trump also tweeted, “Impeach for what, having created perhaps the greatest Economy in our Country’s history, rebuilding our Military, taking care of our Vets,” adding the “Dems are Obstructionists!
  10. On Tuesday, Trump tweeted, “I was actually sticking up for Sleepy Joe Biden while on foreign soil,” adding Kim called him a “low IQ idiot,” but he relayed the Kim’s quote “as a much softer “low IQ individual.””
  11. On Tuesday, NYT reported that during Trump’s four-day trip to Japan, despite red carpet treatment, Trump focused on politics at home rather than diplomacy, tweeting at every opportunity he had.
  12. Past precedent is for American officials traveling abroad to leave domestic politics at home once they leave. Trump spent his time attacking Democrats, his 2020 rivals, and his national security adviser John Bolton.
  13. On Tuesday, AP reported the Navy is reviewing whether members violated Defense Department policy or regulations by wearing an arm patch with the words “Make Aircrews Great Again” during Trump’s visit to Japan.
  14. On Thursday, WSJ reported a May 15 email from a U.S. Indo-Pacific Command official to U.S. Navy and Air Force officials said the “USS John McCain needs to be out of sight” ahead of Trump’s visit to Japan.
  15. The official who made the request said it was the result of conversations between the White House Military Office and the Navy. Reportedly Acting Defense Secretary Pat Shanahan was aware of the concern.
  16. According to photos obtained by the Journal, a tarp was hung over the ship’s name ahead of Trump’s arrival, then the Navy used a barge to block the name and gave the sailors on the ship the day off.
  17. On Thursday, Trump tweeted, “I was not informed about anything having to do with the Navy Ship USS John S. McCain during my recent visit to Japan,” adding, “I loved being with our great Military Men and Women.”
  18. On Thursday, Trump reiterated to reporters, “I wasn’t involved. I would not have done that,” but said whoever kept the ship out of sight, “did it because they thought I didn’t like him. And they were well-meaning.”
  19. WAPO reported staffers did not want McCain’s name seen in photographs during Trump’s visit. Trump was not involved in the planning, but the request was reportedly made to keep him from becoming upset.
  20. Hours later, Trump discounted the story, tweeting: “The Navy put out a disclaimer on the McCain story. Looks like the story was an exaggeration, or even Fake News — but why not, everything else is!”
  21. On Thursday, Secretary Shanahan told reporters, “I would never dishonor the memory of a great American patriot like Sen. John McCain,” and “I’d never disrespect the young men and women that crew that ship.”
  22. The action was criticized by some Republican lawmakers. Meghan McCain tweeted: “It was named after my great grandfather and grandfather…and my father was added as namesake after he died. Get a life.”
  23. On Sunday, the Times drew criticism for a piece on Hope Hicks, featuring a glamorous photo of Hicks, and positing that she faced an “existential” question of whether she should comply with a congressional subpoena.
  24. On Sunday, Fox News host Chris Wallace challenged Sen. Lindsey Graham on “Fox New Sunday,” forcing him to watch clips of himself calling for the impeachment of former President Bill Clinton for ignoring subpoenas.
  25. Graham said on “Fox News Sunday” that Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s job is “very much at risk,” adding, “Nancy Pelosi is riding a bucking, wild bronco called the Democratic caucus.”
  26. On Sunday, Rep. Liz Cheney told “This Week” that the beginnings of Mueller’s investigation were suspect and needed to be investigated, saying, “That sounds an awful lot like a coup and it could well be treason.”
  27. Rep. Cheney specified texts exchanged by Peter Strzok and Lisa Page that were critical of Trump, and named James Comey and Andrew McCabe for their roles in the investigation.
  28. On Monday, Trump tweeted a news article about Rep. Cheney’s remarks, adding, “Liz Cheney: Statements by agents investigating Trump ‘could well be treason.’”
  29. On Sunday, press secretary Sanders told “Meet the Press” there was an “outrageous amount of corruption that took place at the F.B.I. They leaked information. They lied,” and they wanted to take down Trump.
  30. On Sunday, Axios reported according to CrowdTangle, Trump’s Twitter interaction rate, a measure of the impact his tweets, has fallen precipitously, reaching a new low this month.
  31. Trump’s interaction rate, measured by retweets and likes per tweet, divided by size of following, has fallen from 0.55% in November 2016, to 0.32% in June 2017, and down to 0.16% in May 2019.
  32. The number of tweets sent has increased from 157 times per month during his first 6 months, to 284 times per month over the last 6 months. As of May 25, Trump is up to 343, sure to break his record in August of 348.
  33. Utah judge Michael Kwan was suspended for making anti-Trump comments in court and on Facebook, including referencing to the “Access Hollywood” tape and calling Trump’s time in office a “fascist takeover.”
  34. While Facebook continued to defend their choice not to remove altered videos of Speaker Pelosi, the platform banned artist Kate Kretz, who turned MAGA hats into symbols of hate such as a Nazi arm band or a KKK hood.
  35. On Tuesday, CNN reported Facebook executives Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg did not attend a hearing in Ottawa, ignoring a subpoena from Canadian parliament. The two risk being held in comtempt.
  36. On Wednesday, in her first interview on the matter, Speaker Pelosi said Facebook’s unwillingness to take the videos down shows its leaders were “willing enablers” of Russian interference in the 2016 election.
  37. Pelosi also said, “We have said all along, poor Facebook, they were unwittingly exploited by the Russians,” but added, of the altered video, “I think it’s wrong,” and “I can take it . . . But [Facebook is] lying to the public.”
  38. On Wednesday, Vox reported cybersecurity firm FireEye revealed Facebook and Twitter removed thousands of accounts linked to Iran, which were impersonating Americans and GOP candidates for Congress.
  39. On Sunday, Nolan Brewer pleaded guilty to vandalizing Congregation Shaarey Tefilla, a synagogue in Indiana,with Nazi symbolism. Brewer was sentenced to three years in prison.
  40. Brewer detailed his road to radicalization to federal agents, including meeting with far-right group Identity Evropa, and being inspired by writings of former Breitbart editor Ben Shapiro and the Nazi website Stormfront.
  41. On Sunday, the New York Post reported incoming college students are rejected schools in states with restrictive abortion laws. One admissions consultant had 61 clients remove Georgia and Ohio schools from their list.
  42. On Tuesday, Planned Parenthood said Missouri’s health department refused to renew its annual license to provide abortion. PP will close the state’s last abortion clinic, effectively ending legal abortion in Missouri.
  43. On Tuesday, the Supreme Court turned down an appeal of an Indiana law banning abortion on the basis of sex or disability, but upheld part of the same law requiring abortion providers to bury or cremate fetal remains.
  44. Justice Clarence Thomas wrote in his opinion: “From the beginning, birth control and abortion were promoted as a means of effectuating eugenics.” Observers noted Thomas left the door open to outlaw birth control.
  45. Vice President Mike Pence applauded the Supreme Court expanding “protections for the unborn,” tweeting he was “proud” to have signed the bill into law, and calling it “a victory for life.”
  46. On Wednesday, the Louisiana state house passed a bill banning abortion once a heartbeat is detectable, with no exception for a pregnancy due to rape or incest. The Democratic governor is expected to sign it.
  47. On Friday, a Missouri judge granted Planned Parenthood’s request for a temporary restraining order against the state pulling its license. Missouri would have become the only state without a clinic that provides abortion.
  48. On Wednesday, Rewire News reported some pregnant migrant mothers in U.S. Marshals Services custody are not receiving adequate services, and are shackled when accessing prenatal care, giving birth, and postpartum care.
  49. Some mothers are forced to give their children up to Texas DFPS. A spokesperson claimed the protection agency may request temporary custody of the child when a parent or relative is not available to care for a child.
  50. On Thursday, NBC News reported Customs and Border Protection agents rounded up 1,036 migrants illegally crossing near El Paso early Wednesday, the largest group ever encountered; the previous record of 424 was set last month.
  51. On Thursday, Trump told reporters on the South Lawn that he was “going to do something very dramatic on the border” and it will be a “big league statement,” “my biggest statement, so far, on the border.”
  52. Trump also said he will not be closing the border, but that “the asylum procedures are ridiculous,” adding, “No place in the world has what we have in terms of ridiculous immigration laws.”
  53. On Thursday, Politico reported Trump is considering a draft proposal which would prohibit migrants from seeking asylum if they have resided in a country other than their own before arriving at the U.S. border.
  54. The proposal would effectively ban migrants from Central America from seeking asylum since almost all have had to undertake long journeys that traced through Mexico.
  55. On Friday, CNN reported an unannounced visit by the Department of Homeland Security Inspector General to an El Paso, Texas Border Patrol processing facility found “dangerous overcrowding” and unsanitary conditions.
  56. The IG found “standing room only” conditions at facilities with a maximum capacity of 125 migrants. On May 7 and 8, logs indicated that there were “approximately 750 and 900 detainees, respectively.”
  57. The report stated, “We also observed detainees standing on toilets in the cells to make room and gain breathing space, thus limiting access to the toilets.” Cells held four to five times their capacity.
  58. The IG found Border Patrol managers were concerned about an “immediate risk to the health and safety” and faced decreasing morale, and stated the situation at the border is “an acute and worsening crisis.”
  59. On Tuesday, Rep. Steve King said at a town hall that not all cultures contribute equally to civilization, adding saying so is “devaluing” the Founding Fathers, and “It is not about race…It is about culture.”
  60. On Thursday, a white campground manager in Mississippi pulled a gun on a black couple setting up for a picnic, saying they did not have a reservation. After a video was posted on Facebook, the manager was fired.
  61. On Wednesday, Motherboard reported Twitter has started researching whether white supremacists should be banned from their platform, or be allowed to stay and have their ideas engaged.
  62. On Thursday, Politico reported the State Department quietly published a notice on the federal register that it will establish a new body called the Commission on Unalienable Rights to focus on human rights.
  63. The notice says the commission will provide “fresh thinking” where discourse has departed from “our nation’s founding principles of natural law and natural rights” — raising alarm bells with LGBTQ advocates.
  64. On Thursday, New York City police said they were investigating an anti-Semitic message on a billboard at the Jewish Children’s Museum in Brooklyn which read, “Hitler is coming.”
  65. According to the New York City Police Department, the city has seen a 67% increase in hate crimes from April 2018 to April 2019. Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordered the incident investigated as a hate crime.
  66. On Thursday, Fox News host Laura Ingraham, countering Pelosi’s complaints about the altered video on Facebook, defended extremists who have been banned, including white supremacist Paul Nehlen.
  67. Nehlen describes himself as “pro-white,” and has said we need to “rid white lands of Jews.” After public outcry, Fox News defended Ingraham in a statement, saying she is “a fierce protector of freedom of speech.”
  68. On Friday, on Ingraham’s show, Rudy Guiliani claimed he canceled his trip to meet Ukraine’s new president, who is Jewish, because he is “surrounded by Soros people, Democrats, and people trying to set us up.”
  69. On Saturday, WAPO reported the Trump regime will end the Job Corps Civilian Conservation Centers program which trains disadvantaged young people for wildland fire fighting and other jobs in rural communities.
  70. Over 1,100 job center workers will lose their jobs at the soon-to-be-closed centers. WAPO reported the closings will result in the largest number of federal job cuts in a decade. No reason was given for the cuts.
  71. On Monday, NYT reported on the Trump regime hardening its attack on climate science. In the coming months, Trump will complete the rollback of federal efforts to curb greenhouse-gas emissions initiated by Obama.
  72. Trump is described as an “armchair naysayer” on climate change, and has been influenced by friends and donors including Carl Icahn, who owns oil refineries, and Harold Hamm, an oil-and-gas billionaire.
  73. Trump appointee James Reilly, director of the United States Geological Survey, ordered using computer models that project the impact of climate change through 2040, not the end of the century as was previously done.
  74. Scientists say this is misleading, since the planet is expected to warm at the same rate through 2050, but depending on carbon emissions levels, the rate of warming through is the end of the century is highly variable.
  75. The regime is also targeting the National Climate Assessment, a report that has been produced every four years since 2000. The next report, due in 2021 or 2022, will not automatically include worst case scenarios.
  76. The regime is setting up a climate review panel, led by a climate change denier, William Happer, who serves on the National Security Council, and along with John Bolton, has been funded by Robert and Rebekah Mercer.
  77. On Tuesday, WSJ reported Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao’s financial disclosure forms show she still owns shares of Vulcan Materials Co., more than a year after she said she would divest her stake.
  78. Bloomberg reported Kushner Cos got $800 million of financing backed by Freddie Mac to buy apartments in Maryland and Virginia — the company’s biggest purchase in a decade.
  79. Prior to Kushner taking a White House role, Kushner Cos had roughly $500 million in loans from Fannie and Freddie. Trump appointed Joseph Otting, former CEO of Steve Mnuchin’s OneWest Bank, to oversee the agency.
  80. Over Memorial Day weekend, the group We Build The Wall, through which veteran Brian Kolfage raised millions on a GoFundMe page, started construction of a private wall along the New Mexico-Mexico border.
  81. About half a mile of steel fencing was put up on land owned by American Eagle Brick Co. Fisher Sand & Gravel, the North Dakota company Trump has been pushing to build his wall, did the construction.
  82. On Tuesday, the town government of Sunland Park, New Mexico ordered the group to stop construction, saying it lacked necessary permits. We Build The Wall stopped construction on Wednesday.
  83. On Monday, Republican leaders in the Senate, including Sens. Lindsey Graham, John Corynyn, and Thom Tillis, vowed to quickly quash any impeachment charges. The three are up for re-election in 2020.
  84. On Tuesday, the Guardian reported a new book by author Michael Wolff claims Mueller prepared a three-count obstruction of justice indictment, but decided to shelve it. A special counsel spokesperson denied it.
  85. On Tuesday, in a 25-tweet post, Rep. Justin Amash accused Attorney General William Barr of using his post “to sell the president’s false narrative to the American people.”
  86. On Tuesday, at a town hall of 700 in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Amash was greeted by a standing ovation. Amash said, “I think it’s really important that we do our job as Congress. That we would not allow misconduct to go undeterred.”
  87. On Tuesday, Democrats in the House and Senate told U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan they would like to pursue getting Trump’s personal financial records and corporate records in their emoluments lawsuit.
  88. Democrats claim they have not been able to consider and approve business proceeds from foreign governments, and are requesting documents from banks, the Trump Org, and his trust account beginning in late June.
  89. On Tuesday, Roger Stone tried and failed for a second time to get his criminal case moved to a new judge, citing his case was not related to a separate criminal case against Russian military officers.
  90. On Tuesday, bowing to a request by CNN, the DOJ agreed in federal court to publicly release lists describing hundreds of miscellaneous court actions, such as search warrants, used in the Mueller investigation
  91. On Tuesday, Trump cautioned Roy Moore, who is considering running for the senate again in 2020, tweeting: “Republicans cannot allow themselves to again lose the Senate seat in the Great State of Alabama.”
  92. In his last run for Senate, Trump backed Moore, who is accused of seeking out multiple teen girls while in his 30s. Moore said Wednesday, “There’s a lot I have to offer,” adding, “Everything seems to be very favorable.”
  93. On Wednesday, Moore struck back at Trump, telling Politico: “The president doesn’t control who votes for the United States Senate in Alabama,” adding, “They know I’ll win. That’s why they’re upset.”
  94. On Tuesday, the new State Department spokesperson, Morgan Ortagus, said she would resume news briefings, saying she would answer questions almost every weekday when not traveling with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
  95. Since Eisenhower, State Department daily briefings were the norm. Under Trump, the briefings shrank to twice a week or less, some weeks none at all. The Department of Defense has gone almost a year without a briefing.
  96. On Wednesday, the DOJ announced Mueller would hold a press conference at 11 a.m. EST. Barr and Trump’s aides were notified Tuesday evening. Barr was in Alaska, and Trump watched from the White House.
  97. Mueller spoke to the public for the first time since his investigation began, and in remarks that lasted for just under 10 minutes, announced he was resigning and closing the special counsel’s office.
  98. Mueller said his office did not “make a determination,” saying DOJ policy prohibits charging a sitting president with a crime, seeming to counter Barr who said evidence was insufficient to warrant a prosecution.
  99.  Mueller seemed to pass the responsibility to Congress, saying “the Constitution requires a process other than the criminal justice system to formally accuse a sitting president of wrongdoing.”
  100. Mueller also raised eyebrows by saying, “If we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so.” This statement contradicted Barr’s public statements and Trump’s narrative.
  101. Mueller said he and Barr had disagreed over whether to release his team’s summaries, but said, “I certainly do not question the attorney general’s good faith in that decision,” and complimented him releasing the report.
  102. Mueller said he did not want to comment further in public, saying, “The report is my testimony,” and adding, “I am making that decision myself. No one has told me whether I can or should testify or speak further.”
  103. Mueller opened and closed his remarks commenting on Russian interference in the 2016 election, saying there were “multiple, systematic efforts” and that “allegation deserves the attention of every American.”
  104. Shortly after Mueller finished, Trump tweeted, “Nothing changes from the Mueller Report,” adding, “There was insufficient evidence and therefore, in our Country, a person is innocent. The case is closed! Thank you.”
  105. Press secretary Sanders said, “We consider this case closed,” and downplayed the appearance, saying Mueller “has closed his office and it’s time for everybody to move on.”
  106. Speaker Pelosi resisted calls for impeachment, saying, “You don’t bring an impeachment unless you have all the facts,” adding we need an “ironclad case that even the Republican Senate…will be convinced.”
  107. Speaker Pelosi said “the press makes more a of a fuss,” saying “it’s like 35…maybe its 38 out of 238” House members who are for impeachment, adding, “but we want to do what’s right and what gets results.”
  108. Mueller’s remarks also pushed three more Democratic 2020 presidential candidates to call for impeachment, making 10 out of 23. Rep. Amash said, “The ball is in our court, Congress.”
  109. Late Wednesday, Trump tweeted, “How do you impeach a Republican President for a crime that was committed by the Democrats? WITCH-HUNT!”
  110. On Thursday, in a series of tweets, Trump attacked Mueller referencing “the Greatest Presidential Harassment in history,” and falsely claiming Mueller spent “$40,000,000 over two dark years.”
  111. Trump also accused Mueller of having a personal vendetta against him, calling him “highly conflicted” and said he “would have brought charges, if he had ANYTHING, but there were no charges to bring!”
  112. Trump also tweeted: “Russia, Russia, Russia! That’s all you heard at the beginning of this Witch Hunt Hoax,” adding, “now Russia has disappeared because I had nothing to do with Russia helping me to get elected.”
  113. In an earlier version of the tweet that was deleted, Trump said, “I had nothing to do with Russia helping me to get elected.” This was his first public acknowledgment that Russia interfered expressly to help him.
  114. Trump also tweeted, “So now the Dems and their partner, the Fake News Media, say he fought back against this phony crime that didn’t exist,” and “Could this be Obstruction? No, Mueller didn’t find Obstruction either.”
  115. A half-hour later, Trump told reporters, “No, Russia did not help me get elected,”adding “You know who got me elected? I got me elected. Russia didn’t help me at all. Russia, if anything, I think, helped the other side.”
  116. Trump also told reporters that Mueller was “totally conflicted” and “a true never-Trumper,” adding, “Robert Mueller should have never been chosen” by former deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein.
  117. Trump said Mueller was “totally conflicted” because he had discussions about the position of FBI director, and is friendly with James Comey. “He loves Comey. Whether it’s love or a deep like, he was conflicted.”
  118. Trump also cited an unidentified “business dispute” with Mueller. It has been previously reported that the White House alleges a dispute over membership fees at Trump National Golf Club in Northern Virginia.
  119. Trump said of Democrats advocating for impeachment, “It’s a dirty, filthy, disgusting word, and it has nothing to do with me,” adding, “There was no high crime, and there was no misdemeanor.”
  120. Afterwards, Trump tweeted, “Robert Mueller came to the Oval Office…seeking to be named the Director of the FBI,” and “I told him NO. The next day he was named Special Counsel — A total Conflict of Interest.”
  121. Trump’s use of “Russia, Russia, Russia” was widely mocked and referenced by Dictionary.com, which tweeted, “Palilogy is a word that describes the technique of repeating a word or phrase for emphasis.”
  122. CNN fact-checked Trump’s morning statements and tweets and found 21 lies and falsehoods about the Russia investigation, Mueller’s findings, the cost of the probe, and the legal restrictions that Mueller faced.
  123. As of Thursday evening, 50 House members were in favor of starting an impeachment inquiry of Trump, including five committee chairs, 11 members of the House Judiciary Committee, and one Republican.
  124. On Thursday, a Republican group, the Republicans for the Rule of Law, said it would hand-deliver copies of the Mueller report to every Republican member of Congress with sections highlighted.
  125. On Friday, “CBS This Morning” aired Barr’s first network interview. The interview was taped Thursday from Alaska the day after Mueller spoke publicly. Barr appeared in casual attire by a fireplace.
  126. Barr countered Mueller’s public statement, saying, “The opinion says you cannot indict a president while he is in office,” but added Mueller “could’ve reached a decision as to whether it was criminal activity.”
  127. Barr said Mueller “had his reasons for not doing it, which he explained and I am not going to, you know, argue about those reasons,” but added he and Rosenstein “felt it was necessary” for them to make a decision on the issue.
  128. Barr also said he did not understand what Mueller meant when he seemed to refer the investigation to Congress, saying, “The Department of Justice doesn’t use our powers of investigating crimes as an adjunct to Congress.”
  129. When asked about his reputation, “You’re now someone who’s accused of protecting the president, enabling the president, lying to Congress,” Barr responded, “I don’t care about my legacy,” adding,“I’ll be dead.”
  130. Barr added, “we live in a crazy, hyperpartisan period of time,” saying he would be “attacked because nowadays people don’t care about the merits or the substance, they only care about who it helps.”
  131. Barr also criticized the media for allegedly ignoring surveillance of the Trump campaign, saying, “Normally the media would be interested in letting the sunshine in and finding out what the truth is.”
  132. As of Friday, 55 House members were in favor of starting an impeachment inquiry, including 13 of the 24members of the House Judiciary Committee.
  133. On Thursday, just before the Supreme Court was set to rule likely in favor of adding a new citizenship question to the 2020 census, new evidence was found in the files of GOP redistricting strategist Thomas Hofeller.
  134. Hofeller, who was known as the “Michelangelo of gerrymandering, the architect of partisan political maps” died last summer. His estranged daughter found the files while sorting through his personal effects.
  135. Hofeller urged Mark Neuman, his friend for decades and part of Trump’s transition team, to consider the census question. Neuman later became an informal adviser on census issues to Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.
  136. Files cited his 2015 study which found adding a citizenship question would allow Republicans to draft even more extreme gerrymandered maps to give a structural advantage to ‘Republicans and Non-Hispanic Whites.’
  137. Hofeller wrote a key part of the DOJ letter claiming the question was needed to enforce the 1965 Voting Rights Act, the rationale used by the regime for adding the question. The regime hid Hofeller’s involvement.
  138. The documents were included in a federal court filing on Thursday by opponents of the question, and represent the clearest evidence to date that the Trump regime added the question to advance Republican interests.
  139. The filing also sought sanctions against the defendants in the lawsuit, led by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who were accused of misrepresentations “on the central issues of this case.”
  140. On Friday, the NYT Editorial Board said in an op-ed that the Trump regime lied about the census, calling on the Supreme Court to see these actions as “a blatant attempt to rig a constitutional mandate.”
  141. On Wednesday, the Miami Herald reported federal prosecutors in Washington D.C. subpoenaed Trump’s Mar-a-Lago and Trump Victory, a political fundraising committee, for records relating to donor Cindy Yang.
  142. Yang has drawn scrutiny for allegedly trying to sell Chinese citizens access to the Trump regime. Bing Bing Peranio and several others who had donated to Trump were also named in the subpoenas.
  143. Prosecutors also sought information on at least eight Trump-related events that Yang advertised to Chinese clients, including five that gave proceeds to Trump Victory for Trump’s re-election.
  144. On Thursday, Judge Amy Berman Jackson certified that the federal government now owns condo 43G in Trump Tower, which was seized from Paul Manafort as part of the Mueller probe.
  145. On Thursday, late in the day, Trump said he would impose a 5% tariff on Mexican imports beginning June 10 unless Mexico stopped the flow of illegal immigrants coming to the U.S. border.
  146. The White House added tariffs would increase to 10% on July 1, then an additional 5% on the first day of each month, reaching 25% “until Mexico substantially stops the illegal inflow of aliens coming through its territory.”
  147. The White House cited the 1977 International Emergency Economic Powers which gives Trump power to impose tariffs on countries if he cites a “national emergency,” as he did months ago for the southern border.
  148. WAPO reported White House officials were caught off guard by the announcement which seemed to escalateon Thursday afternoon, after Trump’s morning storm on Mueller.
  149. Some aides tried to talk Trump out of imposing tariffs, saying it would undermine passage of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) trade deal, which was just sent to Congress.
  150. Republican senators also warned Trump Mexico tariffs could blow up the USMCA trade deal. Sens. Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst from farm state Iowa expressed concern about the impact on the agriculture community.
  151. In a harsh letter late Thursday, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador told Trump “social problems can’t be resolved through taxes or coercive measures,” adding, “The statue of liberty is not an empty symbol.”
  152. On Thursday, Costco’s chief financial officer said the retailer is starting to see the effect of Trump’s trade war with China, as consumers are beginning to see higher prices for goods like furniture, bikes, and luggage.
  153. On Friday, Trump brushed back criticism, tweeting: “In order not to pay Tariffs, if they start rising, companies will leave Mexico,” adding Mexico has taken “30 percent of our Auto Industry…come back home to the USA.”
  154. Trump tweeted tariffs are about “stopping drugs as well as illegals!” adding, “90 percent of the Drugs” come from Mexico and our southern border, and “80,000 people died last year, 1,000,000 people ruined.”
  155. CNBC reported Treasury Secretary Mnuchin and top trade advisor Robert Lighthizer opposed Trump’s surprise move to impose tariffs — it was pushed by Stephen Miller as a way to counter the surge in border crossings.
  156. On Friday, the Dow dropped more than 350 points, with shares of the Big three auto makers, railroads, and consumer goods companies dropping sharply. Mexico is one of the U.S.’s largest trading partners.
  157. On Friday, CNBC reported business groups, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, are considering legal options, including suing the White House over Trump’s new tariffs.
  158. On Friday, Fox News host Tucker Carlson advocated for Trump’s tariffs, saying, “When the United States is attacked by a hostile foreign power, it must strike back. And make no mistake, Mexico is a hostile foreign power.”
  159. On Friday, Trump said in a proclamation that the regime would end India’s special trade treatment, removing the country’s designation as a beneficiary developing country.
  160. On Friday, the deadline for Judge Emmett Sullivan’s order related to Michael Flynn, the DOJ turned over a voice mail recording, but failed to comply with turning over recordings of his calls with Russian officials.
  161. The DOJ cited as rationale that it did not rely on the recordings to establish Flynn’s guilt or in his sentencing. The DOJ also failed to release unredacted portions of the Mueller report related to Flynn as ordered.
  162. Sullivan had ordered that the materials be made public, including transcripts and recording of any conversations Flynn has with Russian officials, including his December 2016 conversation with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak.
  163. Prosecutors provided only one item, a transcript of a November 2017 call between Trump attorney John Dowd and Flynn attorney Rob Kelner, much of which was already made public in the Mueller report.
  164. Dowd possibly obstructed justice saying, “I understand your situation, but let me see if I can’t state it in starker terms,” adding, if “there’s information that implicates the President, then we’ve got a national security issue.”
  165. On Friday, in the criminal case against Flynn’s former business partner Bijan Rafiekian, a memo that was part of the Mueller probe revealed Flynn’s Turkish client complained about Trump’s stance during the campaign.
  166. Ekim Alptekin, a Turkish businessman, paid Flynn $500,000 to advance Turkish government interests. The October 2016 memo says, “Start a strategic outreach campaign for the next President…regardless of party.”
  167. The memo also indicated that part of the work was investigating alleged financial ties between schools and supporters of Gulen, a cleric the Turkey wanted the U.S. to extradite, and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
  168. On Monday, Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz was ousted by parliament in a no-confidence vote, making the center-right politician the shortest-serving chancellor since 1945 with just 525 days in office.
  169. The ousting comes after Austria’s vice chancellor resigned in Week 131 after a video emerged showing him offering government contracts to a purported Russian investor in exchange for campaign donations.
  170. On Wednesday, Boris Johnson, the leading candidate to succeed Theresa May as British Prime Minister, was ordered to appear in court to face summons on three counts of misconduct relating to alleged Brexit lies.
  171. On Wednesday, Israel’s Parliament voted to dissolve itself. The country will hold an unprecedented second election after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu failed to form a governing coalition.
  172. On Wednesday, Lt. Gen. Robert Ashley, the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, said in speech that Russia is “probably” not adhering to an international treaty banning nuclear weapons testing.
  173. Russia rebuked the accusation with Konstantin Kosachev, head of the foreign relations, saying, “Unfounded accusations from the mouths of the Americans have already become an absurd norm in international affairs.”
  174. On Thursday, South Korean newspaper Chosun Ilbo reported North Korea executed Kim Hyok Chol, North Korea’s special envoy to the U.S., along with three other foreign ministry officials over the failed Hanoi summit.
  175. Another official, Kim Jong Un’s top deputy, Kim Yong Chol, was sentenced to hard labor. The five were accused of spying for the U.S. for “poorly reporting on the negotiations without properly grasping U.S. intentions.”
  176. On Friday, Secretary of State Pompeo told reporters in Germany, “We’ve seen the reporting…We’re doing our best to check it out.” On May 5, Pompeo smirked when asked about the execution on ABC’s “This Week.”
  177. On Friday, Bloomberg reported that Trump is expected to face thousands of protestors when he visits the U.K. next week. Protestors are also planning to fly another giant balloon depicting Trump as an orange baby.
  178. On Friday, speaking to British tabloid The Sun, Trump said he was surprised Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, called him “divisive” and “misogynistic” in 2016, saying, “I didn’t know that she was nasty.”
  179. On Friday, Trump ally Alan Dershowitz said in an op-ed that the Supreme Court could overrule impeachmentif the House were to impeach Trump despite his not having committed “high crimes and misdemeanors.”
  180. On Saturday, Speaker Pelosi spoke at the California Democratic Party convention in San Francisco. A person in the crowd shouted, “Impeach!,” which soon became dozens shouting, then close to a hundred chanting.
  181. Pelosi said Congress would continue to aggressively investigate Trump and his regime, saying, “What is the president covering up?” adding, “We must investigate the president’s welcoming of the assault on our democracy.”
  182. Pelosi added, “Mueller warned us in the starkest terms that there was an attack on our election and an attack on our democracy,” questioning, “Why won’t the president defend us from this attack?
  183. On Saturday, beginning in the evening and ending on Sunday, New Neighborhood, Slightly Altered States, and other arts and media companies hosted a public reading of the Mueller report in Queens, NY.

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Special Counsel Robert Mueller makes a statement about the Russia investigation in his first public appearance on May 29, 2019 at the Justice Department in Washington, DC.

POLITIKS OF GRAFFITI 132: “CONGRESS, WHA DAT?”

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R E S I S T sticker on the back of a bank in Stony Brook, Long Island on 18may2019.

Week 131: Experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things subtly changing around you, so you’ll remember.

May 18, 2018 https://medium.com/@Amy_Siskind/week-131-experts-in-authoritarianism-advise-to-keep-a-list-of-things-subtly-changing-around-you-ce28fa6a0c71

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Closeup of R E S I S T sticker. Stony Brook, Long Island. 18may2019.

This week, in a letter, White House counsel Pat Cipollone issued a blanket refusal of records and testimony from Trump and dozens of current and former White House staff, saying Trump did not recognize Congress as a law enforcement body with the legitimate purpose to investigate. While the letter sent shock waves, Congress’s reaction was decidedly muted as House Democratic leaders sought to avoid impeachment, as other deadlines passed without cooperation.

This week Trump welcomed another far-right authoritarian to the White House, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, whom Trump likened to a “twin brother.” Tensions escalated with Iran, and the regime issued conflicting statements and stances, and increasingly stood alone.

More troubling stories about atrocities being committed and contemplated against migrants surfaced, including a planned operational blitz to round up 10,000 migrants in 10 U.S. cities. Trump rolled out a new immigration plan, emphasizing skills over family ties, in an uncharacteristically low-energy Rose Garden speech that was met with a cool reception. Attacks on abortion rights were front and center of the national dialogue as Alabama passed the country’s most restrictive ban, setting up a possible challenge for Roe v. Wade. Other states are set to follow.

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“I think If you’re going to terminate a pregnancy, it should be done sometime before the fetus becomes Governor of Alabama.” – Jim Carrey

 

  1. This week, the Nos. 1, 2, and 3 spots on the New York Times paperback nonfiction best-seller list were the three different editions of the Mueller report.
  2. The White House has not held a press briefing for over two months, and only two so far this year. Briefings were a near-daily event in every recent administration going back to President Nixon.
  3. WAPO observed in the first part of 2018 the briefings got shorter and shorter, then during the summer, they began to disappear. The Pentagon and State Department have also almost entirely stopped briefings.
  4. The University of Virginia Center for Politics conducted a poll asking respondents whether the 2020 election should be delayed and Trump should get an extra two years in office.
  5. New data from the U.S. Social Security Administration revealed the popularity of the name “Donald” dropped to its lowest ranking ever in 2018 to number 526, down from the 487th most popular name for boys in 2017.
  6. The New York Post reported state Education Departments’ statistics show staffers flagged a record-high 5,875 incidents of harassment, discrimination, and bullying in 2017–2018, up 60% from the year prior.
  7. On Saturday, Trump attacked Don McGahn, tweeting: “I was NOT going to fire Bob Mueller, and did not fire Bob Mueller,” adding, “McGahn had a much better chance of being fired than Mueller. Never a big fan!”
  8. On Sunday, on Mother’s Day, Trump sent more than 30 tweets and retweets — only one mentioning the holiday. Between Saturday and Sunday, Trump sent a total of nearly three dozen tweets and 62 retweets.
  9. Trump mocked Democrats, saying their “new and pathetically untrue sound bite is that we are in a “Constitutional Crisis,”” adding, “they and their partner, the Fake News Media,” say it “loud” and “often as possible.”
  10. Trump called Democrats “a sad JOKE!” saying, “We may have the strongest Economy in our history,” but “we have had a giant SCAM…a Witch Hunt, a Treasonous Hoax,” adding, “That is the Constitutional Crisis.”
  11. Trump also tweeted, “Despite two years and millions of dollars spent, the Democrats are acting like crazed lunatics” since the Mueller report came out, and adding, “It is all a big Hoax, the biggest in American history!”
  12. Trump also claimed “the Dems have been working overtime to damage me and the Republican Party” since the report came out, adding, “issuing over 80 demands for documents and testimonies, and with NO REASON.”
  13. Trump also tweeted: “The “Constitutional Crisis” is the Democrats refusing to work.” Despite Republican efforts to move on from the Russia probe, that was the number one topic by far of Trump’s weekend Twitter activity.
  14. On Monday, Trump thanked “Fox & Friends” tweeting, “great show this morning and congratulations on your number one” and congratulated One America News Network (OANN) on “the great job you are doing.”
  15. OANN launched in 2013 and went all-in for Trump in 2016. The network amplifies right-wing conspiracy theories and propaganda originating from the Kremlin. Trump is a loyal viewer, so segments are a way to reach him.
  16. Gulf Coast Media, a media company that owns three Florida radio stations, will broadcast parts of Trump’s speeches every hour of every day until the 2020 election. The owner bought the stations in 2018.
  17. On Monday, in a series of tweets on space exploration, Trump said, “Under my Administration, we are restoring @NASA to greatness,” adding he is upping the budget “so that we can return to Space in a BIG WAY!”
  18. Later Monday, the Trump regime sent a budget amendment to Congress, saying the regime would use $1.9 billion in surplus Pell Grant money to fund other budget priorities, including a $1.6 billion NASA budget boost.
  19. On Monday, the stock market experienced a dramatic drop off of close to 2.5% as China imposed $60 billion in tariffs in retaliation for Trump’s move last week, and the trade war escalated.
  20. On Monday, Trump told reporters, “We’re taking in billions of dollars in tariffs. I love the position that we are in, we’ve gone up a lot since our great election.” There was no proof that this was true.
  21. On Monday, Sen. Tom Cotton told “CBS this Morning” on the farmers suffering, “There will be some sacrifice on the part of Americans, I grant you that.” Arkansas farmers accused Cotton of mocking them.
  22. On Tuesday, Trump sent a series of tweets, saying “Our great Patriot Farmers will be one of the biggest beneficiaries” of his trade war, falsely claiming “This money will come from the massive Tariffs being paid.”
  23. Trump also tweeted, “In one year Tariffs have rebuilt our Steel Industry — it is booming!” The jobs moving back in the steel sector are estimated to cost U.S. businesses and consumers $900,000 per year for each job.
  24. Trump also tweeted, “Billions of Dollars, and moving jobs back to the USA where they belong,” adding, “This should have been done by our leaders many years ago. Enjoy!” There is no proof for this claim.
  25. Trump also attacked the Federal Reserve again, tweeting China “will be pumping money into their system and probably reducing interest rates,” adding if the Fed “ever did a “match,” it would be game over, we win!”
  26. Trump plugged Sen. Cotton’s book, tweeting: “Our great Senator (and Star)… has just completed a wonderful book,” adding, “On sale today, make it big!” The plug helped make the book a bestseller.
  27. Trump told reporters the trade war with China was “a little squabble,” and “We always win.” China state media said one person and his regime are threatening “the entire country and all the people of China.”
  28. WAPO reported some Republicans are expressing concern. Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa said he planned to write Trump a letter and added, “I’m not sure if you talk to him face to face, he hears everything you say.”
  29. Republicans also expressed concern that Trump did not have a clear endgame. With Trump’s shift to imposing tariffs last Friday, GOP lawmakers have fielded angry phone calls from constituents.
  30. On Wednesday, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said the regime could make between $15-20 billion of aid available to farmers in a second round of assistance to offset losses from Trump’s trade war.
  31. Officials are considering funding the aid through an expansion of bailout funds from the Commodity Credit Corp, a division of the USDA that was created during the Great Depression.
  32. On Thursday, a National Farmers Union executive told Fox News on the impact of Trump’s trade war with China, “We’ve had a lot of farmers — a lot more bankruptcies going on, a lot more farmer suicides.”
  33. On Thursday, the Daily News reported the USDA purchased $62 million of pork from a U.S. company owned by Joesley and Wesley Batista, wealthy brothers who have confessed to bribing hundreds of top officials in Brazil.
  34. The purchase was made using funds from a $12 billion program meant for U.S. farmers harmed by Trump’s trade wars, and raised outrage from watchdog groups for helping bailout a Brazilian-owned company.
  35. On Thursday, the Trump regime defended the $62 million bailout, saying it will eventually trickle down to struggling U.S. farmers, adding the U.S. subsidiary owned by the Brazilian brothers was an “approved vendor.”
  36. On Thursday, Walmart’s CFO said Trump’s trade war with China will result in higher prices for consumers, adding the company will try ease the pain to consumers by trying to obtain products from different countries.
  37. On Monday, Trump said he will attend the G-20 summit in Osaka next month, and meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping — the first mention of another meeting with Putin.
  38. On Monday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo canceled his planned trip to Moscow and instead met with European Union allies in Brussels, as the Trump regime raised the possibility of a conflict with Iran.
  39. Shortly after Pompeo’s meetings, Trump told reporters in the Oval Office, “it would be a very bad mistake” if Iran does anything, adding, “I’m hearing little stories about Iran. If they do anything they will suffer greatly.”
  40. On Monday, Trump hosted Hungary’s hard-right leader Prime Minister Viktor Orban, thumbing his nose at former presidents Obama and W. Bush who refused to host him. Orban also remains an outcast in Europe.
  41. Trump told reporters Orban has “done a tremendous job in so many ways” and has “kept his country safe,” adding, “respected all over Europe” and “probably like me a little bit controversial, but that’s okay.”
  42. Orban said he and Trump have “similar approaches” to many global issues. Trump failed to mention Hungary’s slide into authoritarianism, or its human rights and free speech abuses, or growing anti-Semitism.
  43. As their meeting ended, according to Hungarian media, Trump told Orban “It’s like we’re twins.” The White House defended criticism of the meeting, saying it was about defending “freedom and prosperity.”
  44. On Monday, at a meeting with his top security aides, Trump reviewed military plans that could send as many as 120,000 troops to the Middle East amid a possible escalation with Iran.
  45. The plans were ordered by national security adviser John Bolton, a long-time Iran hawk pushing for battle since working for President W. Bush. Trump. European allies worried tensions could boil over inadvertently.
  46. On Monday, Yleem Poblete, the assistant secretary of state for arms control, verification and compliance, and noted as an Iran hawk, resigned after serving for one year in the regime. No explanation was given.
  47. On Tuesday, a senior British military official told reporters at the Pentagon he saw no increased threat from Iran. Hours later, U.S. Central Command issued an unusual rebuke, citing “identified credible threats.”
  48. NYT reported several European officials privately expressed concern that Bolton and Pompeo are pushing Trump on a course that could lead the U.S. to war, reminiscent of faulty intelligence that led to the Iraq invasion.
  49. On Thursday, Gene Simmons of the rock band Kiss used the Pentagon briefing room to address troops before visiting the White House. The White House did not comment on the reason for Simmons’ visit.
  50. On Monday, two Senators, a Democrat and a Republican, asked in a letter to the Health and Human Services Assistant Secretary to turn over information on the treatment of migrant children in federally funded shelters.
  51. The senators demanded information related to “horrific and intolerable allegations of excessive compensation, self-dealing, and sexual abuse,” asking whether the ORR has failed to uphold its statutory duties.
  52. On Monday, WAPO reported before Trump’s purge at the Department of Homeland Security in April, officials had challenged a plan to arrest thousands of parents and children of migrants in 10 major U.S. cities.
  53. The regime sought to target families who had entered the country after Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy, to show force and send a message the U.S. was going to be tough and detain and deport recent immigrants quickly.
  54. The plan would have targeted immigrants who did not show for their hearings. The initial target list of the blitz operation was 2,500 adults and children, seen as a first step to arresting and deporting 10,000 migrants.
  55. Then DHS secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and acting ICE director Ronald Vitiello fought against the plan, citing operational and logistical issues, but not moral concerns, about arresting families.
  56. The plan was strongly backed by Stephen Miller and ICE Deputy Director Matthew Albence. Reportedly, Nielsen and Vitiello’s pushback was a factor in Trump’s decision to oust both.
  57. Non-partisan watchdog group CREW filed requested documents from DHS relating to former White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and CaliburnInternational, after recent reports Kelly joined the company’s board.
  58. On Wednesday, WAPO reported a fourth migrant from Guatemala, a 2 1/2 year-old boy, died three days after being apprehended by Customs and Border Protection at the southern border in the El Paso area.
  59. Guatemala’s Consul Tekandi Paniagua said the boy developed appeared to have developed a form of pneumonia, after spending three days in federal custody, but the death remained under investigation.
  60. CBP officials are required to notify Congress of a death in custody within 24 hours. The death occurred on April 6. When WAPO inquired if lawmakers were notified, an official said they would do so.
  61. On Wednesday, the White House announced Trump would unveil a plan to overhaul parts of the immigration system to emphasize immigrants’ skill over family ties. Jared Kushner spent months working on the plan.
  62. The plan would vastly scale back allowing immigrants to bring their spouses and children to live with them, and instead allow in immigrants who have specific skills, English proficiency, and educational attainment.
  63. The plan also calls for constructing some of the border wall, reducing the number of immigrants, but did not address the fate of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
  64. On Thursday, Trump rolled out the plan at the Rose Garden, but got a cool reception. Although Trump’s speech was meant to strike a centrist, conciliatory tone, Trump quickly went off script and started attacking.
  65. Trump attacked Democrats as being for “open borders, lower wages and, frankly, lawless chaos,” saying if they refused to support his “merit-based, high-security plan,” he would pass it after the GOP wins back the House.
  66. Trump was more low-energy than usual during the address, and his words seemed to drag and go off course at times. Trump also refused to take questions from the press.
  67. NYT reported Kushner had wanted to elevate the moment and have Trump speak at the Statue of Liberty. Instead, staff chose the Rose Garden so members of Congress and Trump’s cabinet could come and show support.
  68. Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the plan “repackaged the worst of its past failed immigration plans” and described it as “dead-on-arrival,” and “not a remotely serious proposal.”
  69. On Friday a 4th Circuit federal appeals court ruled that the Trump regime acted in an “arbitrary and capricious” manner when it sought to end the DACA program without adequately explaining why.
  70. The ruling overturns a lower court ruling in Maryland last year, which Trump has praised on Twitter. The ruling will not have an immediate impact as other federal courts have already ruled against Trump.
  71. Politico reported Trump’s pick for ICE director, Mark Morgan, told Fox News host Tucker Carlson earlier this year that he could tell which migrant children will become gang members by looking into their eyes.
  72. On Wednesday, Daily Beast reported that children born to LGBTQ parents who had them out of wedlock and then moved to the U.S. may be stripped of their citizenship rights.
  73. On Monday, the New Haven Fire Department chief said a fire at the Diyanet Mosque of New Haven, Connecticut was set intentionally. The blaze came during the month of Ramadan.
  74. On Friday, Massachusetts state officials said three fires at a Rabbi’s home and nearby Chabad Jewish Center just outside Boston were “intentionallyset.” Police say they are investigating the fires as a possible hate crime.
  75. On Sunday, International House of Pancakes stoked controversy when the chain tweeted a photo of a fake sonogram with a stack of pancakes in the womb, along with “Happy Mother’s Day to ALL the moms out there!”
  76. On Monday, former Trump staffer Omarosa Manigault Newman submitted a court declaration as part of proposed collective-action lawsuit against Trump spearheaded by Alva Johnson for gender-based pay discrimination.
  77. On Tuesday, the Alabama state senate approved a measure that would effectively ban abortion, criminalizing the procedure for doctors, punishable by up to 99 years in jail.
  78. The measure includes an exception when the mother’s life is at serious risk, but not for cases of rape or incest. The bill was reportedly drafted with the hope of reaching the Supreme Court to challenge Roe v. Wade.
  79. The Guttmacher Institute reported more than 300 proposals to restrict abortion were introduced in states from January to March, noting a shift in the strategy and moving toward “near-total and total abortion bans.”
  80. On Thursday, the Senate voted to confirm Wendy Vitter to the U.S. District Court. Vitter said of Planned Parenthood “they kill over 150,000 females a year. The first step in promoting women’s health is to let them live.”
  81. On Friday, Missouri’s House passed a bill banning abortion after eight weeks of pregnancy, with exceptions for medical emergencies, but not rape or incest. Doctors who perform abortions could face 5–15 years in prison.
  82. GOP Gov. Mike Parson, who said “Until the day that we no longer have abortions in this country, I will never waiver in the fight,” is expected to sign the bill. The law only kicks in if Roe v. Wade is overturned.
  83. Missouri Rep. Barry Hovis said during a debate of granting exceptions for rape and incest, “Most of them were date rapes or consensual rapes.” Hovis later apologized for using the term consensual rape.
  84. On Friday, Austin City Council member Leslie Pool said she is drafting a resolution for the city to boycott the state of Alabama over its extreme anti-abortion law, saying “Austin should help fight back.”
  85. On Saturday, Louisiana’s Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards said he is ready to sign an abortion ban bill awaiting one final vote in the state House, would prohibit abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected.
  86. On Tuesday, the Maine state senate voted to join an interstate effort with 15 other states that will award presidential electors based on the winner of the national popular vote, not as is currently done in the Electoral College.
  87. On Tuesday, on a trip to a liquefied natural gas facility in Louisiana, Trump knocked the Green New Deal and windmills, saying, “you want to see a bird cemetery? Go under a windmill. You’ve got every type of bird.”
  88. On Wednesday, the Interior Department renewed two mineral leases near the Boundary Waters Wilderness area in Minnesota, opening the wilderness area to copper mining despite heavy opposition.
  89. The move rolled back an Obama era moratorium. Conservation groups say the regime conducted an insufficient environmental review and ignored 39,000 comments during the 41 day review period.
  90. A U.N. pact to add plastic waste to the Basel Convention, a treaty which regulates movement of hazardous materials from one country to another, was approved by 187 countries, but not by the U.S.
  91. On Monday, prosecutors asked Federal Judge Amy Berman Jackson to further postpone sentencing for Rick Gates, citing Gates “continues to cooperate with the government as required by his Plea Agreement.”
  92. Prosecutors said in their filing that Gates may be a trial witness against former Obama White House counsel Gregory Craig and Trump ally Roger Stone. Judge Jackson approved their request.
  93. On Monday, NYT reported AG William Barr assigned John Durham, the U.S. attorney in Connecticut, to examine the origins of the Russia investigation, a move that Trump has long called for — investigating the investigators.
  94. Durham’s inquiry will be the third into the origins of the investigation, along with John Huber, the U.S. attorney in Utah’s inquiry, and the DOJ inspector general’s examination of the use of wiretapping applications.
  95. Durham’s assignment complicates matters for three Senate committee chairs — Sens. Lindsey Graham, Ron Johnson, and Chuck Grassley — who were also set to open their own investigations into investigators.
  96. On Tuesday, CNN reported Barr is also working in close collaboration withCIA Director Gina Haspel, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, and FBI Director Christopher Wray to review the Russia probe origins.
  97. On Sunday, Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Lindsey Graham told “Fox News Sunday” that Donald Jr. should ignore the Senate Intelligence Committee subpoena and not show up to a hearing.
  98. On Monday, Politico reported Senate Republicans were concerned about an ugly floor vote if Donald Jr. did not comply with the Senate Intelligence Committee’s subpoena, and hoped parties would work out a deal.
  99. On Monday, Chair Graham changed his stance, saying Donald Jr. should “just show up and plead the Fifth and it’s over with,” adding, “This whole thing is nuts,” and “To me, it’s over.”
  100. On Monday, Sen. Joe Manchin, a conservative Democrat, told CNN, “this is not the Lindsey I know,” adding, “Lindsey Graham has been a dear friend since I’ve been in the Senate. I can’t explain what’s going on right now.”
  101. On Tuesday, Donald Jr. reached a deal with the Senate Intelligence Committee to have him testify in mid-June, but the interview will be for only two-to-four hours and limited in scope to five-to-six topics.
  102. On Monday, in a court filing, Trump’s attorneys objected to Judge Amit Mehta’s intention to rule from the bench after Tuesday’s hearing on Trump’s lawsuit seeking to block the House Oversight Mazars subpoena.
  103. Lawyers cited they need more time to collect evidence and develop their cases, saying Trump’s rights were undermined by the accelerated timetable. Experts say Trump’s strategy seemed to be to stall the probes.
  104. On Tuesday, Judge Mehta raised doubts about arguments by Trump’s legal team that the subpoena was an invalid exercise of congressional power, adding Congress has a significant “informing function.”
  105. Although Trump’s lawyer argued Congress has no basis for investigating Trump’s financial disclosure, Mehta pushed back that investigations of such financial violations are “strictly” under Congress’ purview.
  106. The House Oversight lawyer pushed for a quick ruling, saying, “This Congress is limited in time…Any delay here undermines the House’s ability to do what the Constitution allows it to do.”
  107. Mehta’s ruling, expected Friday at the earliest, will be the first and could provide a blueprint for other judges deciding on Trump’s attempts to block or hinder other congressional investigations.
  108. On Tuesday, House Democrat committee chairs wrote letters to Cipollone and Barr demanding information on the regime’s decisions to call for the dismantling of the Affordable Care Act, and if Trump was involved.
  109. On Monday, Serhiy Leshchenko, an Ukrainian lawmaker, told journalists Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko made up claims about possible 2020 foe Joe Biden in an alleged bid to curry favor with Trump.
  110. Leshchenko shared a parts of a letter send by Lutsenko through unofficial channels to Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani. The prosecutor’s spokeswoman denied the letter came from him.
  111. On Tuesday, Bloomberg reported Yuriy Lutsenko said that neither Hunter Biden nor Burisma, the company Biden sat on the board of, were currently the focus of an investigation, countering allegations by Giuliani.
  112. Lutsenko said he would turn over information to Barr about Burisma’s payments to Biden, but added, “I do not want Ukraine to again be the subject of U.S. presidential elections.”
  113. On Tuesday, Gov. Ron DeSantis told reporters, “two Florida counties experienced intrusion into the supervisor of election networks” during the 2016 election, but added no votes were manipulated or results altered.
  114. DeSantis got the information in an FBI briefing. While Sen. Marco Rubio said the Mueller report said Russia was in a position to manipulate voter registration data, DeSantis claimed the FBI told him that did not occur.
  115. On Thursday, NPR reported Florida lawmakers were angry after leaving an FBI briefing which left many of their questions on the 2016 hacking unanswered, and frustrated that they were not notified sooner.
  116. Lawmakers said even after the Mueller report and briefing, they do not know exactly what happened. A Republican lawmaker responded to a reporter asking if more than two counties were hacked, “It’s possible.”
  117. On Tuesday, at a joint press conference with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Pompeo, Lavrov rejected claims of Russian election interference and accused the U.S. of interfering in Russian domestic policy.
  118. Lavrov said “The facts tell us that there is no proof of those trying to hype up this topic,” to which Pompeo responded with a smirk, “You can see we have some disagreements on this issue.”
  119. On Tuesday, NYT reported the House Intelligence Committee sent document requests to four lawyers who represented Trump or his familyon whether they helped obstruct the panel’s Russia investigation.
  120. Letters went to Jay Sekulow; Alan Futerfas, who represents Donald Jr.; Alan Garten, the top lawyer at the Trump Organization; and Abbe Lowell, who represents Ivanka. All were part of the joint defense agreement.
  121. Chair Adam Schiff’s letter suggested the four may have “shaped and edited the false statement” by Micheal Cohen and “engaged in discussions about potential pardons” in an effort to deter witnesses from cooperating.
  122. On Tuesday, the House Judiciary Committee formally scheduled a hearing for former White House counsel Don McGahn on May 21. Chair Jerry Nadler said McGahn will be held in contempt if he does not appear.
  123. On Tuesday, NBC News reported some members of the House Judiciary Committee are expressing frustration and urging leadership to take a “second look” at impeachment as a tool to get the regime to comply.
  124. The committee had hoped that Mueller would testify on May 15, but members said Trump’s action were behind that not happening. The DOJ declined to comment on why Mueller has not yet agreed to testify.
  125. On Wednesday, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said House Democrats will not hold floor votes on contempt resolutions against Attorney General Barr or any other Trump regime officials until at least June.
  126. Hoyer added, “We don’t want to do it just individually.” There was a divide among Democrats, with Chairs Nadler and Jim McGovern and others pushing for more aggressive action.
  127. On Wednesday, in a letter to Chair Nadler, White House counsel Pat Cipollone said Congress has no right to a “do-over” of the special counsel’sinvestigation, issuing a sweeping rejection of House demands.
  128. Cipollone’s letter issued a blanket refusal of records and testimony from dozens of current and former White House staff, rejecting Congress’s standing to investigate Trump for possible obstruction of justice.
  129. Cipollone said Congress is not a law enforcement body and does not have a legitimate purpose to investigate what it is pursuing, and without asserting executive privilege, said it would only consider narrow requests.
  130. The White House also said it is instructing the 81 Trump allies or Trump-related entities who received document requests from Chair Nadler in early March not to comply.
  131. Chair Nadler responded, “The American people ought to be astonished by a claim by the White House that the president cannot be held accountable, that he’s above the law, that he is in fact a dictator.”
  132. Nadler said of the 81 recipients, “We will subpoena whoever we have to subpoena. We will hear from Mueller, we will hear from McGahn…We will hold in contempt whoever doesn’t comply with subpoenas.”
  133. On Wednesday, Nadler said in an interview with CNBC that he believed Trump committed crimes while in office, and said of Barr, “Bill Barr is just a liar. And, he’s just representing the president.”
  134. When asked if we are heading for impeachment, Nadler said, “Probably, but I don’t know,” adding that Trump is making it “increasingly difficult” to avoid.
  135. On Wednesday, when he encountered Speaker Pelosi at at a law enforcement ceremony, Barr asked if she “brought your handcuffs.” Pelosi told Barr that the Sergeant at Arms was there should an arrest be needed.
  136. On Wednesday, Vice President Mike Pence, Leader Mitch McConnell, and Supreme Court Justice John Roberts flew on Air Force Two to a funeral — notably unusual for the three to be together, especially on a flight.
  137. On Wednesday, WAPO reported despite Trump’s unwillingness to cooperate with 20 congressional investigations, Speaker Pelosi told House members in a closed-door meeting to stick with policy, not focus on impeachment.
  138. On Wednesday, Trump granted a full pardon to Conrad Black, a billionaire friend who wrote a complimentary book about him. Black was convicted in 2007 on fraud charges, including embezzlement and obstruction.
  139. On Wednesday, Senate Democrats introduced legislation requiring hand-marked paper ballots and “statistically rigorous” cybersecurity audits. Sen. Ron Wyden, who is leading the legislation, accused the White House of taking insufficient steps.
  140. On Thursday, 20 House Democrats, led by Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon, vice chairwoman of the House Judiciary Committee, did a public reading of the redacted Mueller report on a C-SPAN station starting at noon.
  141. On Thursday, House Intelligence Committee Chair Schiff said his committee will hold hearings next week on whether to hold Barr in contempt for ignoring their subpoena of the unredacted Mueller report.
  142. In a letter to Barr, Chair Schiff wrote that the DOJ’s refusal “leaves the Committee no choice but to initiate action next week to enforce the subpoena.” The subpoena deadline was Wednesday.
  143. On Thursday, a group of Democratic lawmakers with top roles on committees overseeing the Treasury Department sent a letter to Sec. Steven Mnuchin relating to Rusal’s investment in the Kentucky mill.
  144. Rusal’s board approved a a $200 million investment in an aluminum plant with Braidy Industries on Thursday, four months after Congress voted to lift sanctions on the company owned by Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska.
  145. Braidy’s CEO told NYT his company did not discuss the Rusal investment before it was announced with the Trump regime or Kentucky’s senators, Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul. McConnell backed lifting sanctions.
  146. On Thursday, in response to a motion filed by WAPO earlier in the year, Judge Emmet Sullivan ordered prosecutors to publicly release conversations Micheal Flynn had with Russian ambassador in late 2016.
  147. Sullivan also ordered the government to provide a public transcript of a November 2017 voice mail from then Trump attorney John Dowd involving Flynn reminding him of Trump’s fondness for him.
  148. Per Mueller report, Dowd said it wouldn’t surprise him if Flynn cooperates but “[I]f… there’s information that implicates the President, then we’ve got a national security issue [so] … we need some kind of heads-up.”
  149. In his order, Sullivan also ordered the government to provide him with a copy of all relevant recordings, including any calls Flynn made to the Russians, so he can review them.
  150. Sullivan also ordered still-redacted portions of the Mueller report related to Flynn be given to the court and made public. Newly unsealed court records show Flynn was a deep source of useful information to Mueller.
  151. Newly unredacted portions of the Mueller report also revealed Flynn told Mueller’s team that people linked to the Trump regime and Congress reached out to him in an effort to impact his willingness to cooperate.
  152. Prosecutors did not identify which member(s) of Congress reached out to Flynn. The Mueller report revealed Trump asked Reince Priebus and K.T. McFarland to reach out to Flynn and tell him to stay strong.
  153. On Friday, CNN reported in April 2018, Flynn sent a Twitter direct message to Rep. Matt Gaetz, saying, “You stay on top of what you’re doing. Your leadership is so vital for our country now. Keep the pressure on.”
  154. The message was sent months after the December 2017 start of Flynn’s cooperation, and within an hour of Rep. Gaetz appearing on Fox Business’ “Lou Dobbs Tonight,” where he criticized the Mueller investigation.
  155. On Thursday, Barr told Fox News the public must know if the “government officials abused their power and put their thumb on the scale” in the early stages of the Mueller probe.
  156. On Friday, in an interview with WSJ, Barr said there may be rule changes at the DOJ in the wake of the Russia probe, saying, “Government power was used to spy on American citizens.”
  157. Barr also said, “I can’t imagine any world where we wouldn’t take a look and make sure that was done properly,” adding, “we need to ensure that the government doesn’t use its powers to put a thumb on the scale.”
  158. On Friday, Fox News anchor Chris Wallace said during an interview on “America’s Newsroom” that Barr “clearly is protecting” Trump, and “advocating his point of view.”
  159. Fox News contributor Judge Andrew Napolitano said in an op-ed we have lost sight of the basic constitutional norms. Napolitano said on Fox News Trump violated the separation of powers three times in the past week.
  160. On Friday, Trump sent a series of 13 morning tweets, many during the airing of “Fox & Friends,” including his campaign lines “DRAIN THE SWAMP!” and “MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”
  161. Trump also quoted “Fox & Friends,” tweeting, “What happened is that Donald Trump won. Down goes Comey.”
  162. Trump also tweeted: “My Campaign for President was conclusively spied on. Nothing like this has ever happened in American Politics,” adding, “TREASON means long jail sentences, and this was TREASON!
  163. Trump also tweeted, “Will Jerry Nadler ever look into the fact that Crooked Hillary deleted and acid washed 33,000 emails AFTER getting a most powerful demand notice for them from Congress?”
  164. Trump also tweeted about Michael Flynn, saying it seems he “was under investigation long before was common knowledge,” adding, “It would have been impossible for me to know this.” This statement is false.
  165. Trump also tweeted, “the Fake News Media is hurting our Country with its fraudulent and highly inaccurate coverage of Iran,” calling it “made up” and “DANGEROUS.”
  166. Trump also tweeted, “At least Iran doesn’t know what to think, which at this point may very well be a good thing!”
  167. Bloomberg reported Trump was increasingly isolated on Iran, as the world saw confusion on U.S. strategy. Beyond Israel and Saudi Arabia, allied support is not forthcoming.
  168. A few hours later, Trump tweeted, “With all of the Fake and Made Up News out there, Iran can have no idea what is actually going on!”
  169. On Friday, at a speech to the National Association of Realtors in Washington, D.C. went off topic, criticizing the media’s coverage which claims he is at odds with top security officials in the regime on Iran.
  170. Trump said of the media using anonymous sources: “Everything is ‘a source says.’ There is no source. The person doesn’t exist. The person’s not alive. It’s bullshit, OK? It’s bullshit.”
  171. Trump also referred to journalists as “bad people,” complaining that he has to uses speeches and social media to get his message across, saying the media not him has led to confusion on U.S. strategy on Iran.
  172. On Friday, at the 5 p.m. deadline, the Treasury Department refused to comply with a House subpoena for Trump’s tax returns, saying in a letter “the Committee’s request lacks a legitimate legislative purpose.”
  173. House Ways and Means Committee Chair Richard Neal said the law provides “clear statutory authority” for the committee’s request, and said he would consult with counsel “on how best to enforce the subpoenas.”
  174. On Friday, Chair Nadler told Politico that there is no Mueller hearing planned for next week. Nadler had set a new tentative date of May 23. Nadler said this could change if Mueller wanted to come in.
  175. On Friday, WAPO reported a group of House Judiciary Committee Democrats are growing impatient and have privately discussed ways to increase pressure on House leadership for impeachment.
  176. Some senior Democrats hope the courts will come to their rescue; but if Democrats choose to litigate all the cases of Trump stonewalling, it could take months or years — as Trump runs out the clock.
  177. Democratic leaders have backed the idea of bundling citations and scheduling one major contempt vote, before then taking them to court. But that process will take weeks more.
  178. On Saturday, AP reported some Democrats say Trump’s stonewalling leaves them almost no choice but to open an impeachment inquiry — not necessarily to impeach Trump, but as part of a legal strategy.
  179. Experts cited the Constitution gives Congress the sole power to impeach, and courts are wary of interfering. Impeachment inquiry may be the only way to get Trump to comply with requests for documents and testimony.
  180. On Saturday, WAPO reported an attempt by Stephen Miller to push for another DHS shake-up was thwarted by acting DHS Secretary Kevin McAleenan, who threatened to resign if he was not given more time.
  181. Tempers flared when Miller urged Trump to elevate Mark Morgan, who Trump picked to be the new director of ICE to become the new commissioner of CBP instead, without McAleenan’s knowledge or consent.
  182. On Saturday, Austria’s far-right Vice Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache resigned after a 2017 video surfaced, showing him promising government contracts to a woman claiming to be the niece of a Russian oligarch.
  183. The video was filmed on the Spanish island of Ibiza three months before the Austrian elections, and revealed Strache eagerly willing to promise Russia government contracts in exchange for campaign donations.
  184. The scandal and resignation come just ahead of next week’s elections for the European Parliament where far-right, populist leaders were campaigning to increase their share of power, benefiting Russia.

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Migrants, mostly from Central America, wait to board a van which will take them to a processing center, on May 16, 2019, in El Paso, Texas. — About 1,100 migrants from Central America and other countries are crossing into the El Paso border sector each day.

POLITIKS OF GRAFFITI 131: A CONSTITUTIONAL CRISIS

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“This week was also notable for the hostility towards women and women’s rights in several states, with new pieces of legislation with overtly misogynistic tones enacted or threatened…” San Jose, Cosa Rica. April 2019

Week 130: Experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things subtly changing around you, so you’ll remember.

May 11, 2019

This week marked a subtle shift in House Democrats’ position on impeachment, as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her committee chairs cited a “constitutional crisis,” and argued Trump was “goading” them and giving them no choice with his continued stonewalling. The House Judiciary Committee voted to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress, and threatened the same for former White House counsel Don McGahn. Trump said he would block special counsel Robert Mueller from testifying, and later in the week backed off. Notably, the Republican-led Senate Intelligence Committee served the first subpoena on a member of Trump’s family, Donald Trump Jr.

There was more reporting on Trump’s irreverence around norms and laws, including his attempts to have McGahn publicly state he did not believe Trump obstructed justice, and dispatching personal attorney Rudy Giuliani to Ukraine to spur investigations likely to help his re-election.

This week was also notable for the hostility towards women and women’s rights in several states, with new pieces of legislation with overtly misogynistic tones enacted or threatened, reminiscent of decades ago. By week’s end, actress Alyssa Milano called for women to protest Georgia’s heartbeat fill through a sex strike. The continued divisions in our country under Trump were also apparent when the World Series Champion Red Sox visited the White House: all the white players attended, while the coach and all but one of the black and Latino players skipped the visit.

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Orlando, Florida 7may19
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New York City November 2018
  1. On Sunday, an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found 60% of Americans believe Trump has been dishonest in the Russia investigation, while 37% believe he has been honest, including 75% of Republicans.
  2. On impeachment, 48% are against it, while 49% believe Congress should hold impeachment hearings. Of those for impeachment hearings, 17% say now and 32% say if there is enough evidence in the future.
  3. In an interview with Rolling Stone, civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis said, “I hate to say it, but I think we’re in deep trouble,” adding, “I have never been like this, even during the height of the civil-rights movement.”
  4. Rep. Lewis said, “Sometimes you’re afraid to go to sleep, to turn off the radio or the television or to pick up a book or a newspaper,” and during the civil-rights movement “there was a greater sense of hope and optimism.”
  5. WAPO’s Dana Milbank wrote in an op-ed that he had his White House credentials revoked, after covering four presidents over 21 years. Milbank said he was a part of a mass purge of “hard pass” holders.
  6. Milbank said seven other White House reporters for the Post similarly had their pass revoked, but were all later granted exceptions except him, adding, “I strongly suspect it’s because I’m a Trump critic.”
  7. On Sunday, Trump threatened China with higher tariffs, tweeting: “the 10% will go up to 25% on Friday,” adding, “the Trade Deal with China continues, but too slowly, as they attempt to renegotiate. No!”
  8. CNBC reported if Trump imposes the new tariffs, the U.S. would be one of the most protectionist countries in the world, with the U.S. tariff rate rising above many emerging market countries.
  9. On Sunday, after saying in Week 129 he would let the attorney general decide, Trump tweeted “Bob Mueller should not testify. No redos for the Dems!” saying, “There was no crime, except on the other side.”
  10. Trump cited, “After spending more than $35,000,000 over a two year period, interviewing 500 people, using 18 Trump Hating Angry Democrats& 49 FBI Agents,” the Mueller report found “NO COLLUSION.”
  11. AP reported as a private citizen, Mueller could decide whether to testify. When Mueller’s report was given to Barr on March 22, his spokesperson said Mueller would be “concluding his service within the coming days.”
  12. On Sunday, Trump retweeted a tweet by Jerry Falwell Jr. citing “no obstruction, no collusion” and saying “Trump should have 2 yrs added to his 1st term as pay back for time stolen by this corrupt failed coup.”
  13. Experts noted the pattern of Trump using trial balloons on extending his term, and writing them off as jokes. In Week 129, Speaker Pelosi expressed concern Trump would not accept a loss unless it was by a wide margin.
  14. Trump later tweeted, “Despite the tremendous success…including perhaps the greatest ECONOMY,” saying, “they have stolen two years of my (our) Presidency (Collusion Delusion) that we will never be able to get back.”
  15. On Monday, Michael Cohen reported to prison for a three-year sentence, after trying for months to push off the start of his sentence by dangling new incriminating information against others.
  16. Cohen told reporters he hope the “country will be in a place without xenophobia, injustice and lies at the helm,” when he gets out, and added he had more secrets to share, saying, “There still remains much to be told.”
  17. On Tuesday, Reuters reported according to a tape Tom Arnold made of a conversation with Cohen in March, Jerry Falwell Jr. asked Cohen to help him handle racy photos that should be kept “between husband and wife.”
  18. Falwell enlisted Cohen’s help in 2015, the year Trump announced his candidacy. Cohen helped persuade Falwell to endorse Trump just before the critical Iowa caucuses in early 2016 — surprising many at the time.
  19. On Monday, NYT reported Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, a contractor for Trump’s inaugural committee and former advisor to First Lady Melania Trump disputed the White House account of her departure.
  20. Winston Wolkoff said, “Was I fired? No. Did I personally receive $26 million or $1.6 million? No. Was I thrown under the bus? Yes.” Her lawyer told inaugural officials last fall she is cooperating with federal prosecutors.
  21. On Monday, Trump tweeted Democrats are calling for impeachment because they “can’t win the election fairly,” adding, “You can’t impeach a president for creating the best economy in our country’s history.”
  22. Trump also tweeted “there are “No High Crimes & Misdemeanors,” No Collusion, No Conspiracy, No Obstruction. ALL THE CRIMES ARE ON THE OTHER SIDE,” and “the tables are turning!”
  23. On Monday, the House Judiciary Committee said it will begin contempt proceedings against Attorney General William Barr after the DOJ failed to comply with a subpoena to turn over the full Mueller report by 9 a.m.
  24. Chair Jerry Nadler said his committee would vote Wednesday on holding Barr in contempt, despite DOJ efforts to negotiate. Nadler will meet with the DOJ Tuesday, after pushing back on their offer to meet Wednesday.
  25. A contempt citation would be the second in history after Republicans held President Obama’s AG Eric Holder in contempt of Congress in 2012. Democrats are discussing punitive measures like levying fines against Barr.
  26. On Monday, Politico reported Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee, including ranking member Rep. Doug Collins, want Mueller to testify in front of their committee, despite Trump’s opposition.
  27. Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Lindsey Graham said he will not hold a full hearing with Mueller, but is willing to hear testimony strictly on the issue of whether Mueller disputes Barr’s characterization of his findings.
  28. On Monday, three Senate Democrats asked the DOJ inspector general and the Office of Professional Responsibility director asking them to investigate if Barr shared the names of Mueller spinoff cases with White House staff.
  29. On Monday, more than 500 former federal prosecutors signed on a statement saying Mueller’s findings would have produced obstruction charges against Trump if he were not in office.
  30. Signatories included prosecutors who worked in both Democratic and Republican administrations, and directly rebutted Barr’s determinationthat evidence was not sufficient to establish Trump committed a crime.
  31. The letter also stated such conduct “would, in the case of any other person … result in multiple felony charges for obstruction of justice.” By Thursday, the letter had over 800 signatories.
  32. On Monday, New York Attorney General Letitia James said she sued the Trump Treasury Department and IRS for failing to respond to records requests as required by law on a change in donor disclosure requirements.
  33. James cited in July 2018 the agency eliminated disclosure requirements for tax-exempt groups for donations of more than $5,000, which impedes the AG’s ability to regulate those organizations.
  34. On Monday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin rejected the House Ways and Means Committee’s legal request for Trump’s tax returns, saying the request from Congress does not “serve a legitimate legislative purpose.”
  35. Mnuchin said he had consulted with the DOJ, and that they had concluded it would not be lawful to turn over the tax returns because of potential violations of privacy.
  36. Neither the Treasury Department or DOJ would provide the legal opinion to reporters. Legal experts said Mnuchin’s refusal was unprecedented sincethe power for lawmakers is written explicitly in a 1924 law.
  37. On Monday, a new version of the Mueller report was released due to BuzzFeed News and watchdog group EPIC FOIA requests, detailing information withheld because of ongoing law enforcement proceedings
  38. On Monday, the Orlando Sentinel reported Sen. Marco Rubio knew about Russia hacking attempts in Florida in 2016 as early as May 2018, but claims he did not back Bill Nelson’s statement citing classified information.
  39. On Tuesday, FBI director Christopher Wray said at a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing that he has no evidence the FBI illegally monitored Trump’s campaign during the 2016 election.
  40. Wray said he does not consider court-approved FBI surveillance to be “spying,” and when asked if the FBI illegally spied, responded, “I don’t think I personally have any evidence of that sort.”
  41. On Tuesday, according to a letter sent from Pat Cipollone to former White House counsel Don McGahn’s attorney, the White House instructed McGahn not to comply with a subpoena from House Democrats.
  42. In a second letter to Chair Nadler, Cipollone said, “McGahn does not have the legal right to disclose these documents to third parties,” and said requests for documents should instead come to the White House.
  43. In a letter from McGahn’s attorney to Chair Nadler, he said McGahn was instructed not to produce documents “because they implicate significant Executive Branch confidentiality interests and executive privilege.”
  44. McGahn’s attorney said, “Where co-equal branches of government are making contradictory demands…the appropriate response for Mr. McGahn is to maintain the status quo” until an accommodation is reached.
  45. On Tuesday, the House Judiciary Committee sent a letter to McGahn saying he too will be charged with contempt of Congress if he does not produce documents and show up to his public hearing on May 21.
  46. On Tuesday, CNN reported, according to newly released court records, Mueller’ team fought the public release of James Comey’s memo, for fear Trump and other witnesses would change their stories to match his.
  47. On Tuesday, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on the Senate floor it is time to “finally end this ‘Groundhog Day’ spectacle,” saying the Trump-Russia conspiracy is “case closed.”
  48. McConnell also parroted Trump blaming Obama, saying, “Maybe stronger leadership would have left the Kremlin less emboldened. Maybe tampering with our democracy wouldn’t have seemed so very tempting.”
  49. Sen. Elizabeth Warren fired back, directly reading from the Mueller reportand saying, “If any other human being in this country had done what’s documented in the Mueller report, they’d be arrested and put in jail.”
  50. Warren also said, “We took an oath not to try and protect Donald Trump, we took an oath to protect and serve the Constitution,” adding, “the way we do that is we begin impeachment proceedings now against this president.”
  51. On Tuesday, Speaker Pelosi said in a speech that Trump is “goading” Democrats to try to impeach him, saying, “That’s what he’s doing. Every single day, he’s just like taunting, taunting, taunting.”
  52. Pelosi also said Trump “knows that it would be very divisive in the country, but he doesn’t really care,” adding, “He just wants to solidify his base.”
  53. On Tuesday, House Oversight Committee Chair Elijah Cummings threatened in a letter to withhold salaries from Trump officials at the Interior and Commerce departments who have refused to testify.
  54. Chair Cummings sent the letter to seven officials who have declined or not responded to the committee’s request for an interview on adding a citizenship question to the 2020 Census.
  55. On Tuesday, NYT reported based on Trump’s official Internal Revenue Service tax transcripts obtained from 1985 to 1994, Trump suffered business losses of $1.17 billion over the decade.
  56. The Times found by comparing his results with other high-income earners, Trump lost more money than nearly any other individual American taxpayer in that time, and avoided paying any taxes in eight of ten years.
  57. In contrast to his father Fred who made steady money every year, Trump’s primary source of income changed each year, and any gains were always overtaken by losses in casinos and other projects.
  58. On Wednesday, Trump responded to the NYT story and defended himself, tweeting: “Real estate developers in the 1980′s & 1990′s, more than 30 years ago, were entitled to massive write offs and depreciation.”
  59. Trump also tweeted: “You always wanted to show losses for tax purposes” claiming, “almost all real estate developers did — and often re-negotiate with banks,” calling it “sport.”
  60. Trump also called the story, based on “very old information,” “a highly inaccurate Fake News hit job!
  61. On Wednesday, “Fox & Friends” defended Trump from the Times story, saying it is all part of his “impressive” business career, with host Ainsley Earhardt adding, “It’s beyond what most of us could ever achieve.”
  62. On Sunday, Red Sox manager Alex Cora, who was born in Puerto Rico, said he will not visit the White House celebration of the team’s 2018 World Series win, citing Trump’s handling of the hurricane relief effort.
  63. On Monday, Trump tweeted a false claim he had previously stated, “Puerto Rico has been given more money by Congress for Hurricane Disaster Relief, 91 Billion Dollars, than any State in the history of the U.S.”
  64. Ahead of the visit, the White House misspelled the team’s name on its website, writing the “Boston Red Socks.” On the day of the visit, the White House mistakenly referred to the team as “World Cup Series Champions.”
  65. The Red Sox team visit was notably racially divided: every white player attended the White House visit, while all but one of the team’s black and Latino players skipped the visit.
  66. On Monday, Trump awarded golfer Tiger Woods with the Presidential Medal of Freedom in honor of his Masters victory last month, following a decade-long drought after a serial philandering scandal.
  67. Trump has been cultivating Woods as a celebrity who could add sheen to his golf courses since Woods was 21. By honoring Woods, Trump leaves the appearance of using his office to reward a business partner.
  68. On Monday, the summary of a 1,500-page report on the environment approved by U.S. and 131 other countries found humans are speeding extinction and altering the natural world at an “unprecedented” rate.
  69. On Monday, students in Phoenix protested that Thomas Torres, a high school senior who had lived in the U.S. since he was a toddler and was scheduled to graduate on May 22, faced deportation to Mexico.
  70. Torres was taken into custody after a traffic stop by sheriff’s deputies and turned over to Border Patrol who placed him in detention awaiting deportation. Torres played football and worked several part-time jobs.
  71. On Monday, TYT reported according to police reports, a militia member at the Southern border asked why we are apprehending migrants not “lining them up and shooting them” and said we should “put them all in a gas chamber.”
  72. On Wednesday, at a rally in Panama City, Florida, Trump said of the influx of migrants at the Southern border, “It’s an invasion,” adding, on letting border patrol use weapons, “We can’t. Other countries do. We can’t.”
  73. When Trump asked, “How do you stop these people?” a supporter shouted “Shoot them!” The crowd laughed. Trump grinned and shook his head, and said, “Only in the Panhandle you can get away with that statement.”
  74. A new Pew Research Poll found 47% of white Republicans say it bothers them “some” or “a lot” to “hear people speak a language other than English in a public place.” For white Democrats, 18% felt the same.
  75. On Tuesday, WAPO reported the Trump regime has sent new guidelines to asylum officers, directing them to take a more skeptical and confrontational approach while interviewing asylum seekers.
  76. Asylum officers were instructed to be more aggressive, and make migrants provide detailed justifications to prove their claims of persecution before concluding they have a well-founded fear of harm if deported.
  77. On Tuesday, the Ninth Circuit court ruled that the Trump regime can continue to enforce its “Remain in Mexico” policy that returns asylum seekers to Mexico while they wait for turn in immigration court.
  78. On Wednesday, immigration legal group RAICES filed a formal complaint against the Trump regime, saying ICE is blocking detained immigrants from obtaining free legal help.
  79. On Tuesday, following a shooting at STEM School Highlands Ranch in Colorado that afternoon, Trump tweeted 11 times after 9 p.m., but did not mention or express sympathy for the students killed or injured.
  80. On Wednesday, in the afternoon, Trump first addressed the shooting, tweeting “God be with the families and thank you to the First Responders for bravely intervening. We are in close contact with Law Enforcement.”
  81. On Tuesday, the Courier News reported a group of white supremacists interrupted a Holocaust remembrance event meant to honor survivors in Russellville, Arkansas, carrying Nazi flags and shouting racial slurs.
  82. On Wednesday, online retailer Redbubble apologized and removed items from its website after the Auschwitz Memorial condemned it on Twitter for allowing several products depicting scenes of the concentration camp.
  83. On Wednesday, the Florida Bar determined to proceed with further investigation into whether Rep. Matt Gaetz should face discipline for his tweet threatening Michael Cohen in Week 120.
  84. On Tuesday, Trump tweeted an article in conservative Breitbart News, saying “‘Forgotten Man’ Story: Under Trump,” adding, “Red Counties Economically Thrive” citing a Brookings Institute report.
  85. On Tuesday, Georgia Republican Gov. Brian Kemp signed legislation banning abortion once a fetal heartbeat can be detected, which can be as early as six weeks, before many women know they are pregnant.
  86. On Tuesday, the Texas state senate passed a bill banning abortion after 20 weeks for “discriminatory abortions,” and removed exceptions for unviable pregnancies or if the fetus has “severe and irreversible” abnormalities.
  87. On Thursday, the Alabama state senate voted 23-6 on a bill to criminalize abortions, making preforming the procedure a felony punishable by up to 99 years imprisonment. The bill was then tabled after a shouting match.
  88. Alabama Senate Republicans, all of whom are men, also tried to push through a measure making abortion for underage girls who are raped punishable by 99 years imprisonment. The vote will be next week.
  89. A bill considered in the Alabama House would criminalize false rape accusations, and make the accuser pay the accused’s legal bill if the accused is found not guilty.
  90. On Wednesday, Tennessee House Speaker Glen Casada faced calls to resign after a scandal involving sexually explicit and misogynistic text messages with his chief of staff, who also admitted to using cocaine.
  91. On Friday, actress Alyssa Milano called for a sex strike, tweeting: “Our reproductive rights are being erased…JOIN ME by not having sex until we get bodily autonomy back.” #SexStrike trended on Twitter.
  92. On Wednesday, Bill Larion, a Michigan city worker, was fired over an anti-Muslim Facebook post mocking model Halima Aden, saying, “Cute picture. Should be on the cover of camels are us.”
  93. On Thursday, a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found the uninsured rate for ages 45-64 jumped to 10.3% in 2018 from 9.3% a year earlier — the first government study that has shown an increasing rate of uninsured Americans.
  94. The uninsured rate has been increasing since Trump took, due to his regime’s efforts to dismantle the Affordable Care Act and add restrictions to Medicaid, after bottoming out in 2016.
  95. On Friday, the Pentagon shifted $1.5 billion in funding to support Afghan forces to build Trump’s wall, citing the need to support “higher priority items based on unforeseen military requirements.”
  96. A total of $2.5 billion of Pentagon funds have been shifted to Trump’s wall so far. Also, more than 4,000 troops and 19 aircraft are supporting Customs and Border Protection personnel at the border.
  97. On Tuesday, Politico reported economists in the Agriculture Department say the Trump regime is retaliating against them for publishing reports about how Trump’s trade tariffs are hurting farmers.
  98. Six economists quit in one day in late April over concern that Trump loyalist Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue was reshaping the USDA’s research wing to bring reporting information directly under his control.
  99. On Tuesday, in a letter to Chair Nadler sent late in the evening, Barr threatened if the House committee proceeds with the contempt process, Barr will ask the White House to invoke executive privilege .
  100. On Wednesday, Speaker Pelosi said in a morning interview, “ I think that the attorney general should be held in contempt,” adding impeaching Barr is not “off the table.”
  101. Pelosi also said, “every single day, whether it’s obstruction, obstruction, obstruction — obstruction of having people come to the table with facts, ignoring subpoenas,” adding Trump is “becoming self-impeachable.”
  102. On Wednesday, in an interview with NYT, Chair Cummings said, “It sounds like he’s asking us to impeach him,” while listing all the way Trump is stonewalling, calling it “far worse than Watergate.”
  103. Cummings also said on impeachment, “he puts us in a position where we at least have to look at it,” adding the regime “threw away the guardrails.” He said he sees a “constitutional crisis” our founding fathers did not envision.
  104. On Wednesday, Trump’s cabinet meeting at the White House, which was scheduled to be open to the press, was closed to the press just prior. Typically coverage is allowed.
  105. On Wednesday, as the House Judiciary Committee adjourned to begin contempt proceedings, the White House asserted executive privilege over the Mueller report, Trump’s first use of executive authority.
  106. On Wednesday, after six hours of debate, the House Judiciary Committee voted 24-16, along party lines, to hold Barr in contempt of Congress for not turning over the full Mueller report.
  107. At a press conference after, Chair Nadler said “there can be no higher stakes than this attempt to arrogate all power to the executive branch,” adding, “We are now in a constitutional crisis.”
  108. Nadler added, “Our fight is not just about the Mueller report…Our fight is about defending the rights of Congress, as an independent branch, to hold the president, any president, accountable.”
  109. Nadler told reporters Democrats plan to go to court, saying Trump’s claim of executive privilege is nonsense since much of the report has either been released publicly or shared with lawyers.
  110. On Wednesday, the House Intelligence Committee sent a subpoena to the DOJ for the full Mueller report and underlying evidence, as well as any counterintelligence and foreign intelligence materials.
  111. On Friday, Politico reported the House Intelligence Committee showed a rare instance of bipartisanship, with Republicans praising Chair Adam Schiff for his efforts to obtain the full Mueller report and related documents.
  112. On Wednesday, Democrats on the Senate Judiciary sent a letter to Chair Graham saying the committee would “benefit greatly” from having Mueller testify, requesting a broad hearing not limited in scope.
  113. On Wednesday, the New York state senate passed a bill 39-21 allowing the state Department of Taxation and Finance to release state tax returnsrequested by the leaders of the House Ways and Means Committee.
  114. The bill would apply to Trump’s New York state tax returns, and the state is also home for headquarters of his businesses. New York’s assembly and governorship are also under Democratic control, so sign-off is expected.
  115. The state Senate also passed a bill which would eliminate the “double jeopardy loophole,” which prevents New York prosecutors from bringing similar charges against someone who has been pardoned from Trump.
  116. On Wednesday at his rally in Panama City Beach, Florida, Trump also said “After two years, nothing — no collusion,” adding, “Democrats are saying, ‘We want more,’” and, “It’s time to stop this nonsense.”
  117. Trump said about the media, “In six years, they’re all going to be out of business, folks,” adding, “If we want to drive them crazy, I’ll say in 10 years. They’ll go crazy. ‘See, he is a despot. He is a despot.’”
  118. Trump also repeated his false claim that Puerto Rico was getting $91 billion in disaster aid after Hurricane Maria, despite being ungrateful to him, saying, “You’re getting your money, one way or the other.”
  119. On Wednesday, Trump derailed a bipartisan House bill opposed by ally Matthew Schlapp, tweeting: “Republicans shouldn’t vote for H.R. 312, a special interest casino Bill, backed by Elizabeth (Pocahontas) Warren.”
  120. The bill to open casinos in Massachusetts was opposed by lobbyist Schlapp who represents casinos in neighboring Rhode Island, and whose wifeMercedes is the White House strategic communications director.
  121. On Thursday, Trump tweeted GOP lawmakers “should not vote for the BAD DEMOCRAT” aid package for Puerto Rico, then just before midnight tweeted, “Republicans must stick together!”
  122. On Friday, the House passed a disaster relief package 257-150, with 34 Republicans voting in support, for $19 billion in rebuilding assistance to communities hit by hurricanes, extreme flooding, tornadoes, and wildfires.
  123. On Wednesday, for the third time, Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell broke precedent, confirming a judge on the Second Circuit, based in New York, without allowing “blue slips” from New York’s senators.
  124. On Wednesday, Axios reported the Republican-led Senate Intelligence Committee subpoenaed Donald Jr. to answer questions about his previoustestimony before Senate investigators on the Russia investigation.
  125. This marks the first subpoena of one of Trump’s children. Donald Jr. told the Senate Judiciary Committee in September 2017 he was “peripherally aware” of the Trump Tower Moscow project, which was refuted by Cohen.
  126. On Thursday, Republicans attacked Chair Richard Burr. Sen. Rand Paul tweeted, “Apparently the Republican chair of the Senate Intel Committee didn’t get the memo from the Majority Leader that this case was closed.”
  127. White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney said in an interview, “To subpoena the president’s son and not at least get a heads-up is, let’s say, bad form,” adding Trump and his son are “two different people.”
  128. Burr’s fellow North Carolina senator, Thom Tillis, tweeted, “I agree with Leader McConnell: this case is closed,” after Donald Jr.’s friend Charlie Kirk made a threat to support Tillis’ 2020 primary opponent.
  129. WSJ reported before Majority Leader McConnell’s “case closed” speech, he privately conveyed his displeasure to Burr about the subpoena; although his spokesperson was careful to add McConnell did not direct Burr.
  130. On Thursday, Trump told reporters of the subpoena, “I was very surprised,” adding, “My son’s a very good person. Works very hard.” Trump declined to publicly say if Donald Jr. should fight the subpoena.
  131. On Thursday, Reuters reported that Donald Jr. likely would not comply with the subpoena by invoking his Fifth Amendment rights to avoid self-incrimination.
  132. On Thursday, at her weekly news conference, Speaker Pelosi said she agreed with Nadler the country is in a “constitutional crisis,” citing the regime “has decided that they are not going to honor their oath of office.”
  133. Pelosi said on timing of a full House vote to hold Barr in contempt, “we’ll just see because there may be some other contempt of Congress issues that we might want to deal with at the same time,” referencing McGahn.
  134. On Thursday, Trump backed off from his statement earlier in the week that Mueller should not testify, telling reporters, “I’m going to leave that up to our very great attorney general, and he’ll make a decision on that.”
  135. When reminded by a reporter that Barr has no objections, Trump added, “to me, it looks like a redo,” and changed his statement on obstruction, saying, “no collusion and essentially no obstruction.”
  136. On Thursday, on a CNN Town Hall, former FBI director James Comey said it “sure looks like” Trump would be charged with obstruction of justice and prosecuted if he were not in office, adding “there’s 10 different episodes.”
  137. Shortly after, Trump tweeted, “James Comey is a disgrace to the FBI & will go down as the worst Director in its long and once proud history,” adding, “almost all Republicans & Democrats thought he should be FIRED.”
  138. On Thursday, the judge overseeing the case involving Trump’s lawsuit to fight the House Oversight subpoena to Mazars USA for financial records, put the case on a fast-track with a hearing scheduled for May 14.
  139. On Thursday, Judge Amy Berman Jackson, who is overseeing the case involving Roger Stone, ordered the DOJ to provide her with the unredacted portions of the Mueller report on Stone for her private review.
  140. On Tuesday, Trump hosted anti-immigrant extremist and populist Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who like Trump has vilified journalists and fostered tension with the European Union.
  141. Orban joins the long list of leaders previously excluded due to anti-Democratic practices. Trump has also hosted or met with the leaders of Egypt, Turkey, the Philippines, North Korea, China, and Russia.
  142. On Wednesday, WAPO reported Trump is complaining about being misled by national security adviser John Bolton on the U.S.-backed effort to oust Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro with a young opposition figure.
  143. Trump said reportedly in jest that Bolton wants to get him “into a war.” Maduro publicly mocked Trump for attempted a “foolish” coup last week by opposition leader Juan Guaidó. Trump called Maduro a “tough cookie.”
  144. Trump said Bolton has backed him into a corner. Trump said he discussed Venezuela with Russian President Vladimir Putin last week. Russia backs Maduro and has sold him arms.
  145. On Friday, the State Department announced Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will travel to Russia to meet with Putin and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov next Tuesday. Pompeo also met with Lavrov on May 6.
  146. The meeting comes after Pompeo had a confrontational meeting with British Prime Minister Theresa May on Wednesday, and abruptly canceled his meeting scheduled this week with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
  147. On Thursday, South Korea said North Korea had launched two short-range missiles, the second launch in the past five days. The launches come two months after Trump’s second summit with Kim Jong Un.
  148. On Thursday, the U.S. seized a North Korean ship, the Wise Honest, which was violating American law and international sanctions by exporting coal. The move was sure to escalate tensions.
  149. On Thursday, the Miami Herald reported the FBI has opened an investigation into whether Li “Cindy” Yang illegally funneled money from China into Trump’s re-election or other campaign-finance violations.
  150. Investigators obtained a grand jury subpoena for records from Bing Bing Peranio, an employee of Yang’s family’s spa, asking for information on a 2018 donation of $5,400 and other contributions made since 2014.
  151. On Friday, Trump raised the tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods from 10% to 25%. According to the Trade Partnership Worldwide, the tariff increase will cost the average family of four $767 a year.
  152. China threatened retaliation, as Trump’s trade deal appeared to be falling apart. Despite his campaign promises, Trump has only completed one small trade deal with South Korea in his two years in office.
  153. On Thursday, Trump accused former Obama Secretary of State John Kerry of violating the Logan Act, saying, “John Kerry speaks to them a lot…That’s a violation of the Logan Act,” and added “frankly he should be prosecuted on that.”
  154. Kerry helped craft the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, which Trump exited. This is the first time Trump has publicly acknowledged that he asked members of his regime to look into whether they could prosecute Kerry.
  155. On Thursday, Sen. Kamala Harris demanded in a letter that Barr clarify if Trump or any White House staff have asked him to investigate anyone, after Trump made threats to prosecute Kerry.
  156. On Friday, NYT reported Giuliani was planning to travel to Ukraine to meet with the nation’s president-elect Volodymyr Zelensky, to urge him to pursue investigations that could benefit Trump and help his re-election.
  157. The first is to push Ukraine to open an investigation that would call into question the origin of and seek to discredit the special counsel investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election.
  158. Trump has claimed Ukrainian officials tried to help Hillary Clinton in 2016 by focusing attention on Paul Manafort’s business in Ukraine. He has also said he would like Barr to review material gathered by Ukrainian prosecutors.
  159. Trump also sought to target a 2020 foe, Joe Biden, by seeking an investigation into his role in stopping a Ukrainian prosecutor from investigating his son Hunter’s ties to a Ukrainian gas company.
  160. Giuliani is working with Victoria Toensing, a lawyer who was named last year, along with her husband, to help Trump in the Mueller investigation, but whose appointment was rescinded due to conflicts of interest.
  161. The couple frequently appear on Fox News and use social media to advance a claim that the Mueller investigation was part of the DOJ efforts to frame Trump. Toensing tweeted “the real collusion began in @Ukraine.”
  162. Giuliani and Toensing have both met with Yuriy Lutsenko, the Ukrainian prosecutor who pushed the investigations, including that Clinton was behind the release of documents on Manafort’s work in Ukraine pre-2014.
  163. Giuliani’s planned trip raised concerns that Trump was pressing a foreign government to help him win reelection, and seeking to discredit the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
  164. On Friday, Trump told Politico it would be “appropriate” for him to speak to Barr about opening an investigation into Joe Biden or his son, adding, “but I have not done that as of yet. … It could be a very big situation.”
  165. Giuliani, who was set to leave Sunday, told Politico of his meeting with Zelensky, “I just want to tell him, ‘Don’t let these crooks talk you out of the investigation. There are real facts there they’ve got to investigate.”
  166. On Friday, Sen. Christopher Murphy sent a letter to the GOP chair of the Foreign Relations Committee asking him to open an investigation into Giuliani’s activities, which he called “private foreign policy engagement.”
  167. Late Friday, Giuliani canceled his trip, saying he was being “set up” by Ukrainians who were critical of his efforts, and by Democrats who said he was meddling in the election, calling it “ridiculous” and “spin.”
  168. On Thursday, a new Reuters/Ipsos poll found support for impeaching Trump is rising: from 40% in mid-April to 45% in the new poll.
  169. On Friday, Chair Nadler told reporters Mueller will not testify May 15 as planned. Nadler declined to give a reason, but said, “He will come at some point. If it’s necessary, we will subpoena him and he will come.”
  170. On Friday, Politico reported some Democrats are reconsidering the idea of impeachment as a means of gaining access to the documents and testimony that the Trump regime is withholding.
  171. On Friday, House Ways and Means Committee Chair Richard Neal issued subpoenas to both IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig and Treasury Secretary Mnuchin for Trump’s tax returns.
  172. Neal gave a deadline of May 17 to turn over six years of returns, or is expected to go to court to enforce his request shortly thereafter. Other committee members have been frustrated with his measured approach.
  173. On Friday, WSJ reported Trump asked White House counsel Emmet Flood to reach out to McGahn within a day of the release of Mueller’s report to Barr to make a public statement defending Trump from obstruction.
  174. Trump wanted McGahn to release a statement saying he did not believe his interactions with Trump, including Trump’s calls for him to fire Mueller, amounted to obstruction of justice.
  175. McGahn declined. William Burck, McGahn’s attorney said in a statement, “We did not perceive it as any kind of threat or something sinister. It was a request, professionally and cordially made.”
  176. NYT also reported White House officials asked McGahn at least twice to publicly declare Trump never obstructed justice. Trump instructed the officials to make the request, and viewed McGahn as disloyal.
  177. One request was made to Burck before the redacted Mueller report was released but after it was given to Barr. McGahn entertained the request, but declined.
  178. A second request was made around the time Rudy Giuliani attacked McGahn’s credibility in April after the Mueller report was released. McGahn’s opinion as a witness does not determine obstruction.
  179. On Friday, CNN’s chief legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin warned that America’s constitutional system “may simply be incapable of responding” to the threat posed by Trump’s defiance of Congress.
  180. Toobin wrote, “The Framers anticipated friction among the three branches of government,” adding, “But the Trump White House has now established a complete blockade against the legislative branch.
  181. On Tuesday, Trump said he wanted to resume fireworks on July 4th over the forest at Mount Rushmore, tweeting: “THE BIG FIREWORKS, after many years of not having any, are coming back.”
  182. On Friday, WAPO reported Trump may take over the Washington DC July 4th celebration, moving the fireworks away from the Mall and tentatively planing to address the nation from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.
  183. Fireworks on the Mall has been broadcast live on television since 1947. Trump inserting himself raised concerns of turning a non-partisan holiday celebration into a campaign rally.
  184. On Saturday, Trump sent close to 60 tweets in 45 minutes, retweeting praise and affirmation of conservative commentators, Republican lawmakers, conservative websites, and his family.
  185. The topics included Hillary Clinton’s emails, security at the Southern border, the Mueller report, support for Trump’s trade war with China, and criticizing Chair Burr’s decision to subpoena Donald Jr.
  186. Trump also tweeted voters do not care about seeing his tax returns, saying he won in 2016 “partially based on no Tax Returns while I am under audit (which I still am),” adding, “Make it a part of the 2020 Election!”

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Michelle Disher, from Roswell, and others dressed as characters from “The Handmaid’s Tale”, protest outside the Capitol where Georgia’s Republican Gov. Brian Kemp, was to sign legislation, Tuesday, May 7, 2019, in Atlanta, banning abortions once a fetal heartbeat can be detected, which can be as early as six weeks, before many women know they’re pregnant.

POLITIKS OF GRAFFITI 130: THE “DEMOCRACY BARR” KEEPS GOING LOWER AND LOWER

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San Jose, Costa Rica. May 2019.

MAY 04, 2019

Week 129

Experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things
subtly changing around you, so you’ll remember. This is AMY SISKIND’S LIST: https://theweeklylist.org/weekly-list/week-129/ 

This week a leaked letter sent from special counsel Robert Mueller to Attorney General William Barr days after Barr released his four-page “summary” indicated Mueller did not believe that Barr captured the “context, nature, and substance” of his work. Mueller’s letter, leaked in part to the Post the day before Barr was set to testify before the Senate, shook the country and set off a firestorm, including allegations Barr had lied in previous Congressional testimony. His demeanor at his Senate testimony did little to mollify concern that Barr had acted in concert with Trump’s team to shape the narrative ahead of the redacted report’s release, and was continuing to protect Trump from its contents and repercussions.

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Jim Carrey May 1
“Watching William Barr testify is like getting caught in a monsoon of vomit. READY THE ARK!”

 

House Democrats sounded the alarms and escalated matters as Trump, his family, and regime all continued to stonewall Congressional demands, including a lawsuit to block Deutsche Bank from cooperating with House subpoenas and Barr being a no-show for House testimony. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wore the gravity of the situation in her demeanor at her weekly press conference, admitting she had trouble sleeping after watching the top law enforcement officer’s performance. Pelosi, who has been committed to avoiding impeachment, was reported to be losing patience.

Trump hit 10,000 lies and has ratcheted up the pace, and this week threatened social media companies and the “deep state” trying to remove him. New stories of corruption and kleptocracy were reported, but still Trump has suffered no consequences for his or his regime’s actions while in office. Trump closed out the week irreverently speaking to Russian President Vladimir Putin privately, and saying they agreed about the “Russian Hoax,” while failing to mention Russia’s ongoing meddling.

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New York City November 2018
  1. WAPO reported Trump has told more than 10,000 false or misleading statements. For the first 5,000 lies, Trump took 601 days and told 8 lies a day. For the last 5,000 lies, Trump took 226 days, averaging 23 lies a day.
  2. At his Saturday campaign rally in Wisconsin, Trump told 61 lies. In Week 128, during his interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity and in a National Rifle Association speech, Trump told 45 lies and 24 lies, respectively.
  3. A Politico/Morning Consult poll found 60% say Trump’s use of Twitter is a bad thing, and 19% said it is a good thing. Also, 7 in 10 say he uses Twitter too much, while 14% said he uses it the right amount.
  4. In an op-ed, Patti Davis, daughter of Ronald Reagan, called on Republicans to stop using his name to justify their silence, warning the democracy her father swore to uphold is “being degraded and chipped away at.”
  5. Davis added, “if you are going to stand silent as America is dismantled and dismembered, as democracy is thrown onto the ash heap of yesterday, shame on you. But don’t use my father’s name on the way down.”
  6. On Saturday, Trump skipped the White House Correspondents’ Dinner for the third time, and told his regime to skip as well. Instead of a comedian, historian Ron Chernow was featured at a more subdued dinner.
  7. Chernow said, “Like every future president, [George] Washington felt maligned and misunderstood by the press,” adding “But he never generalized that into a vendetta against the institution.”
  8. On Saturday, Trump held a campaign rally in Green Bay, Wisconsin. He opened by condemning anti-Semitism and hate crimes after the synagogue shooting, and a day after defending his “very fine people” comments.
  9. Trump spoke for 90 minutes, at the same time as the Correspondents’ Dinner, leading the crowd in chant of “Luck her up!” and “CNN sucks,” as well as going after the late senator John McCain over his healthcare vote.
  10. Trump said the “radical, liberal democrats put all their hopes behind their collusion delusion, which is totally exposed as a complete and total fraud,” while the “Republican Party is the party of all Americans.”
  11. Trump said the Russia probe was “greatest political hoax in American history,” adding, “this witch hunt was never really just about me. It was always about stopping you,” the “freedom-loving citizens.”
  12. Trump bragged about the plan to bus immigrants who cross illegally to sanctuary cities, saying he was proud “that was actually my sick idea.” He also called people “sick” who worry he will not leave at the end of his term.
  13. Trump also said the Jussie Smollett case is a “disgrace to our nation,” adding, “he said he was beat up by ‘MAGA country.’ Turned out to be a total lie.”
  14. Trump made the false inflammatory claim that in Wisconsin after a baby is born, doctors and mothers “take care of the baby, they wrap the baby beautifully,” then they meet to decide whether to execute the baby.
  15. On Saturday, in tweets, Trump attacked Fox News legal analyst Andrew Napolitano who said in an op-ed last week what Trump did was “unlawful, defenseless and condemnable,” and, “On obstruction, Barr is wrong.”
  16. Trump tweeted, “Andrew came to my office to ask that I appoint him to the U.S. Supreme Court, and I said NO,” adding, “Also asked for pardon for his friend,” and Napolitano is “a good “pal” of low ratings Shepard Smith.”
  17. On Sunday, former deputy attorney general Sally Yates told “Meet the Press” that Trump would likely be indicted on obstruction of justice if he were not president.
  18. Yates also said, “the bigger issue is not just whether or not this establishes a crime that can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, but is this the kind of conduct that we should expect from the president of the United States?”
  19. On Saturday, House Oversight Committee Chair Elijah Cummings pulled back from plans to initiate contempt proceedings against former White House security clearance chief Carl Kline, calling on Kline to appear May 1.
  20. On Sunday, Attorney General William Barr warned Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee that he will not show up to testify if they stick to the format proposed by Chairman Jerrold Nadler.
  21. Barr said he will only allow members of Congress, not House Judiciary Committee counsels to ask questions. Nadler responded, “the witness is not going to tell the committee how to conduct its hearing, period.”
  22. On Monday, deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein submitted his resignation letter, capping a tumultuous two years. In his letter, Rosenstein said the DOJ needs to remain nonpartisan, while jabbing at the media.
  23. On Monday, the Commerce Department reported personal income for farmers plunged in the first quarter by an annualized $11.8 billion, the most in three years, as a result of Trump’s trade wars.
  24. On Saturday, NYT reported New York attorney general Letitia James opened an investigation into the National Rifle Associations’s tax-exempt status, instructing the NRA in a letter to preserve financial records.
  25. The investigation is reportedly the cause of NRA leadership infighting. Allegations include illegallytransferring funds out of the foundation and transactions benefiting others which could threaten its nonprofit status.
  26. On Thursday, Democrats on the Senate Committee on Finance sent a letter to the NRA requesting letters, third-party audits, memos, and other materials related to alleged self-dealing and the NRA’s nonprofit status.
  27. On Saturday, San Diego police said according to his manifesto, the Chabad of Poway synagogue shooter drew inspiration from the Pittsburgh synagogue and New Zealand mosque shootings.
  28. On Saturday, a group of white nationalists interrupted author Jonathan Metzl at a Washington DC event discussing his book “Dying of Whiteness: How the Politics of Racial Resentment is Killing America’s Heartland.”
  29. On Monday, court papers revealed that a U.S. Army veteran’s large-scale domestic terrorist plot in retaliationfor the killing of Muslims by a white supremacist in New Zealand was foiled by the FBI.
  30. On Monday, the White House hosted the winner of the Teacher of the Year award, Rodney Robinson, who is a black man. Trump and Vice President Mike Pence did not attend, even though neither had a scheduling conflict.
  31. On Monday, Trump hosted the NCAA women’s tournament champion Baylor Bears at the White House, following criticism he had not hosted a women’s championship team alone in his 27 months in office.
  32. Trump asked Baylor coach Kim Mulkey if she would like a job at the White House, and she responded, “No.” Trump also commented about the players’ “beautiful arms,” which he said had “great definition.”
  33. On Monday, the White House pushed to designate the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist group, imposing wide-ranging sanctions, after Trump agreed with Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi that it made sense to do so.
  34. The Waterford Daily Times reported a New York judge gave Shane Piche, a former school bus driver who admitted to raping a 14 year-old girl, no jail time, saying he had no prior arrests and there was only one victim.
  35. On Thursday, Michael Wysolovski, 33, pleaded guilty to first-degree cruelty and was given probation in a Georgia court for allegedly for holding a teenage girl captive to have sex with him, at times in a dog cage.
  36. On Tuesday, Roy Moore sent an email to supporters, saying he is “seriously considering” a Senate bid in 2020, citing Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation in the face of sexual assault allegations.
  37. On Wednesday, Stephen Taubert, who threatened to hang Obama and kill Rep. Maxine Waters in phone calls, was sentenced to prison. Taubert said at sentencing that he was provoked by the two’s public criticism of Trump.
  38. On Thursday, an Ohio high school student who posted a sign which read, “If I was black I’d be picking cotton, but I’m white so I’m picking you for prom?” on social media, will not be attending the prom or graduation.
  39. On Thursday, the Trump regime rolled out a new conscience rule which shields health workers from providing services like abortion, sterilization, or assisted suicide, if they cite a religious or conscientious objection.
  40. The Department of Health and Human Services also changed the Office for Civil Rights’ mission statement, adding the office “protects that exercise of religious beliefs and moral convictions by individuals and institutions.”
  41. On Monday, Trump ordered new restrictions on those seeking asylum on the southern border, adding an application fee for work permits and directing immigration cases be completed within 180 days.
  42. On Tuesday, an ABC News/Washington Post poll found 64% of Americans oppose Trump declaring a national emergency to build his wall (34% approve). On asylum, just 30% approve stricter rules.
  43. On Wednesday, BuzzFeed reported that a 16 year-old unaccompanied immigrant boy died in custody of the Office of Refugee Resettlement, after becoming “noticeably ill,” including having a fever, chills, and a headache.
  44. On Thursday, emails obtained by NBC News revealed the Trump regime had “no way to link” migrant children separated from their parents, and no central database with location information about separated families during the regime’s “zero tolerance” policy.
  45. Although nearly 3,000 families were separated, the emails reveal the regime only had enough information to reconnect 60 parents with their children when Trump ended the policy in June 2018.
  46. On Friday, CBS News reported former White House chief of staff John Kelly joined the board of Caliburn International, the company operating Homestead, the largest facility for unaccompanied migrant children.
  47. Caliburn is the parent company of Comprehensive Health Services, the only private company operating shelters. Prior to working for Trump, Kelly was on the board of DC Capital Partners, which now owns Caliburn.
  48. Federal records show Comprehensive received $222 million to operate Homestead between July 7, 2018 and April 20, 2019, and could receive up to $341 million through December for growing and operating the facility.
  49. On Monday, the White House said it is reviewing past writing of Trump’s Federal Reserve nominee Stephen Moore, following reporting on his anti-women views. Typically such review would be done prior to a nomination.
  50. On Wednesday, Moore expressed regret over his 2016 racist statements about then President Obama, when he commented, “First thing Donald Trump does as President is kick a black family out of public housing.”
  51. On Thursday, Trump tweeted that Moore was withdrawing from consideration. Hours earlier that morning, Moore had been boasting that he would be easily confirmed by the Senate.
  52. On Tuesday, WAPO reported at Trump National Golf Club Westchester in Briarcliff Manor, New York, undocumented workers were told to clock out, then stay and work hours more without pay, known as “side work.
  53. The NY attorney general’s office confirmed it had received complaints from workers about conditions. Six employees who spoke to the NY AG told WAPO they were denied promotions, vacation days, and health insurance.
  54. The club was formerly managed by Dan Scavino, White House director of social media. Scavino told the Posthe was unaware of any violations, and questions were an “attempt to attack the President through me.”
  55. On Thursday, Univision News reported that in addition to undocumented workers at Trump golf courses, Trump vineyard in Charlottesville, Virginia also hired workers without legal documents.
  56. Seven undocumented employees were interviewed by Univision. They detailed working from sunrise to sunset, without overtime pay or benefits, and were also asked to do personal chores for their supervisors.
  57. On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan ruled a lawsuit brought against Trump by House Democratsfor violating the emoluments clause of the Constitution can proceed.
  58. This, and another emoluments lawsuit by the attorneys general of D.C. and Maryland, represent the first time federal judges have interpreted and applied the clauses’ restrictions to a sitting president.
  59. On Monday, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals turned back a request from a Roger Stone associate, Andrew Miller, to reexamine a lawsuit questioning the constitutionality of Robert Mueller’s appointment.
  60. On Tuesday, Politico reported the D.C. U.S. Attorney’s office subpoenaed Roger Stone associate Randy Credico to testify in Stone’s case. The subpoena orders him to appear in court November 5, the first day of trial.
  61. On Monday, WAPO reported as U.S. national security officials are preparing to counter Russian interference in the 2020 election, Trump and his senior aides are seeking to downplay the threat.
  62. Trump’s rhetoric and lack of focus have made it more difficult for government officials to come up with a comprehensive strategy, and by not making a public statement against interference, Trump is inviting more.
  63. Despite the Mueller report, which security analysts viewed as an alarm call and a roadmap for how Russian operatives work, Trump continues to deny Russia changed a single vote so not to raise questions of his legitimacy.
  64. Trump also continues to insist it was not only Russia that interfered, has taken no leadership on protecting 2020, and told aides that in public statements they must emphasize that Russia did not influence his win.
  65. On Monday, Trump, three of his children, and business sued Deutsche Bank and Capital One to prevent the banks from responding to subpoenas from the House Intelligence and Financial Services committees.
  66. The lawsuit claimed the subpoenas “have no legitimate or lawful purpose,” and “were issued to harass” Trump, and it alleges, “No grounds exist to establish any purpose other than a political one.”
  67. On Tuesday, Eric Trump, who is involved with the lawsuit against the banks, told “Fox and Friends” that “They want to harass Trump,” adding “it’s not just my father. It’s, ‘Eric, I want to see all your bank records.’”
  68. On Tuesday, House Financial Services Chair Waters said lawmakers would fight “tooth and nail” for the information, and how it plays out could inform the decision to launch impeachment proceedings against Trump.
  69. On Tuesday, NYT reported Deutsche Bank has compiled reams of materials to hand over to Congress, including multiple pages from each of Trump’s annual federal tax returns. The subpoena deadline was May 6.
  70. On Thursday, a federal judge in Manhattan paused the subpoenas pending the court case which will start May 22. Attorneys representing the House are now expected to fight the Trump lawsuit.
  71. On Wednesday, attorneys for the House Oversight Committee said Trump’s suit to block the subpoena of Mazars USA was an attack on constitutional checks and balances and on Congress’s oversight powers.
  72. On Tuesday, House Judiciary Committee Chair Adam Schiff said his committee made a criminal referral to the DOJ for Erik Prince, saying Prince “knowingly and willfully” making false statements to Congress.
  73. Rep. Schiff cited six instances in which Prince allegedly misled the committee about his 2017 meeting in the Seychelles with a Russian banker tied to the Kremlin, saying it “impaired the Committee’s understanding.”
  74. On Tuesday, Daily Beast reported Rep. Schiff has hired Patrick Fallon, former chief of the F.B.I.’s Financial Crimes Section, as work for the committee ramps up its investigation into Trump’s finances.
  75. On Wednesday, Julian Assange was jailed over a bail breach. Assange’s attorney said he was “gripped” by fear of rendition “as threats rained down on him from America, they overshadowed everything.”
  76. On Wednesday, Trump’s DOJ filed its first full argument in the conservative-leaning 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for striking down the entire Affordable Care Act.
  77. The DOJ argued that the “individual mandate” requiring Americans to have coverage is unconstitutional, and therefore the entire ACA should be struck down. The case will be heard in July.
  78. On Thursday, WAPO reported the Trump regime sought to remove all mentions of climate change from an international statement on Arctic policy that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo may endorse next week.
  79. The regime threatened a standoff in crafting principles among the eight Arctic nations next week, including wanting no reference to the Paris accord, but later softened its position when other countries disagreed.
  80. In preparing for the meeting, the White House devised a plan in February to challenge scientific consensusthat the burning of fossil fuels is the leading cause of climate change, and took control of the U.S. message.
  81. The EPA weakened a standard for cleaning up groundwater pollution caused by toxic chemicals which eventually will impact drinking water consumed by millions of Americans, after pressure from the Pentagon.
  82. Standards released last week eliminated a section that addressed how the EPA planned to respond to“immediate threats posed by hazardous waste sites.” The Pentagon had brought their concerns to the White House.
  83. On Thursday, in a symbolic vote, the House voted to keep the U.S. in the Paris climate agreement, by a vote of 231-190 with three Republicans joining the Democrats. The Senate is unlikely to take up the measure.
  84. On Thursday, a federal judge in Maryland ruled that a revised set of lawsuits filed against Trump’s Muslim Ban, which were based on issues not already heard by the Supreme Court, could move forward.
  85. The lawsuits included data on how the regime has enforced the ban. The judge wrote the Supreme Court ruling does not “preclude a different determination at a later stage of the case on a more fulsome record.”
  86. On Thursday, Reuters reported the State Department allowed seven foreign governments to rent condominiums in New York’s Trump World Tower in 2017 without approval from Congress.
  87. The governments of Iraq, Kuwait, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, Thailand, and the European Union were approved in 2017, out of a total 13 notes sent to the State Dept seeking permission for rent or renew leases.
  88. Legal experts say collecting fees is a potential breach of the emoluments clause. Reuters obtained data through the end of 2017 though the Freedom of Information Act, and no data for 2018 or 2019 is yet available.
  89. On Thursday, the California state senate voted 27-10 to require presidential candidates to release five years’ worth of income tax returns in order to appear on the state’s primary ballot.
  90. On Tuesday, 12 Democratic Senators called on the DOJ inspector general to investigate Barr’s handling of the Mueller report, including his impartiality and whether he lied to the American public about it.
  91. On Tuesday, Daily Beast reported that according to Rep. Nadler, Mueller is willing to testify before House Democrats, but that the DOJ has been unwilling to set a date for it to happen.
  92. On Tuesday, WAPO reported Mueller sent a letter to the DOJ on March 27, three days after AG Barr released his four-page letter, saying it “did not fully capture the context, nature, and substance” of Mueller’s work.
  93. Mueller wrote, “There is now public confusion about critical aspects of the results of our investigation. This threatens to undermine a central purpose for which the Department appointed the Special Counsel: to assure full public confidence in the outcome of the investigations.”
  94. The letter also requested that Barr release the report’s introductions and executive summaries, and made initial suggested redactions, saying the redaction process “need not delay release of the enclosed materials.”
  95. The day after Mueller’s letter, the two spoke on the phone and Mueller said media coverage of the obstruction investigation, but not Russian interference, was misguided and creating public misunderstandings.
  96. Barr’s letter quoted only passages that the investigation found no conspiracy or coordination; however, the redacted report showed Mueller believed significant evidence existed that Trump obstructed justice.
  97. Mueller’s team worked with the DOJ to redact the report. Before it was released, Barr said he “disagreed with some of the special counsel’s legal theories” about what constitutes presidential obstruction of justice.
  98. Barr was scheduled to appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday. Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Barr needed to bring a copy of the letter from Mueller that was partially leaked to the Post along.
  99. Rep. Nadler demanded a copy of the letter by 10 a.m. Wednesday. Nadler also questioned Barr’s April 10 testimony to his committee, where he said, “I don’t know whether Bob Mueller supported my conclusion.”
  100. On Wednesday, Trump lashed out over the national firefighters union endorsing Democratic candidate Joe Biden, retweeting roughly 60 tweets that disagreed with the endorsement.
  101. Some of the accounts Trump retweeted appeared to be fake accounts. The barrage came just hours before Barr’s Senate testimony.
  102. Ahead of the hearing, Trump also tweeted a quote by Fox Business Host Lou Dobbs, saying, “No President in history has endured such vicious personal attacks by political opponents.”
  103. Trump tweeted: “Why didn’t President Obama do something about Russia in September (before November Election) when told by the FBI? He did NOTHING.” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had blocked Obama.
  104. Trump also tweeted: “NO COLLUSION, NO OBSTRUCTION,” adding there “was there No Collusion (by Trump), but the bad actions were done by the “other” side?” and, “greatest con-job in the history of American Politics!”
  105. On Wednesday, Barr testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee to discuss the Mueller investigation and report. Shortly before the hearing started, Mueller’s March 27 letter to Barr was publicly released.
  106. The March 27 letter indicated Mueller first reached out to Barr in a March 25 letter to express his concerns, and also at that time enclosed the introduction and executive summary for each volume to be made public.
  107. Chair Lindsey Graham said after all this time and money, “Mueller has concluded there was no collusion. For me, it is over.” Graham endorsed Barr not charging Trump, but admitted he had not read the full report.
  108. Barr said Mueller was in part to blame for the delayed release, saying his team should have pre-redacted it. In their phone call, Barr claimed Mueller was “was not suggesting that we had misrepresented his report.”
  109. Barr said he was “surprised” Mueller had left the decision on whether Trump attempted to obstruct justice to him, and confused that Mueller extended and expanded his probe to look into “additional episodes ”
  110. Barr said he has assigned investigators to review allegations of spying on the Trump 2016 campaign, he would report their finding to Congress, and Trump had not “waived executive privilege” to allow Don McGahn to testify.
  111. Barr disagreed with Mueller not determining if Trump obstructed justice, but said once Mueller submitted his report, Mueller’s task had ended, and then “It was my baby.”
  112. Barr said he was not familiar with bipartisan legislation to enhance the security of the election system, of which Sen. Amy Klobuchar said, “The White House made calls to stop this.” Barr said he would take a look at the legislation.
  113. Klobuchar reminded