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 142: “TROUBLING SIGNS OF ERODING NORMS”

JULY 27, 2019

Week 141

Experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things
subtly changing around you, so you’ll remember. https://theweeklylist.org/weekly-list/week-141/
DCIM107GOPROGOPR3106.
“BaltiMore is a plague. No one wants to visit it. Also, Jared does business there.” Brussels, Belgium 28jul19

This week Robert Mueller testified before the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees about his 448 page report. The testimony was the first glimpse many Americans had of its findings, especially Mueller’s stark warnings on Russia’s past and ongoing interference, and Trump’s and other regime members’ financial and other conflicts. While the media quibbled over whether Mueller was made-for-television articulate, the House Judiciary Committee took the first steps to effectively start an impeachment investigation, as over 100 House members have now come out in favor of impeachment. Despite testimony by Mueller and FBI director Christopher Wray, as well as a bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee sounding alarms about Russia’s ongoing efforts at election interference, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell continued to halt efforts by Congress to counter Russian meddling.

IMG_8158
NYC, June 2019

Troubling signs of eroding norms and Trump seizing power at an alarming rate continued. Trump ramped up attacks on the media, calling them “fake” and “the enemy of the people,” and saying the press has lost all credibility. Trump continued his diatribe on the Federal Reserve and targeted U.S. companies with his ire. A disturbing Supreme Court ruling allowed Trump to take funds from the Pentagon to build his wall, while he continued to push to end asylum and ramp up rhetoric on deportation — further fanning the flames of “us” versus “them” in America.

IMG_9827
Wind-up whiny toy in the window of a shop in Brussels, Belgium. July 2019.
  1. On Saturday, more than 20,000 gathered in Moscow demanding free and fair elections, a continuation of protests from Week 140 over opposition candidates not being allowed on the ballot for local elections in September.
  2. On Saturday, Trump showed up at a wedding being held at one of his properties, the National Golf Club Bedminster. The bride and groom were ardent Trump fans and invited him. The crowd chanted, “U-S-A! U-S-A!”
  3. On Saturday, Trump mocked London Mayor Sadiq Khan after the city’s police department Twitter account was hacked, tweeting: “With the incompetent Mayor of London, you will never have safe streets!”
  4. On Sunday, WAPO reported on the political crisis created by Trump’s racist tweets in Week 140. Reporting was based on interviews with 26 White House aides, advisers, lawmakers, and others.
  5. Aides said Trump did not fully understand the impact of his racist tweets sent before golfing. Trump had acted alone, and created a crisis that he continued to flame on his own during the week, despite advice of aides.
  6. The White House feared close to 50 Republicans might vote with House Democrats on the resolution of disapproval. Trump was obsessed with the vote tally, and he and other aides labored to keep the GOP caucus together.
  7. On Sunday, Trump tweeted that the WAPO story “with its phony sources who do not exist, is Fake News,” saying people were only talking about “the record setting crowd and the tremendous enthusiasm” at his rally.
  8. Trump then tweeted, “Presidential Harassment!” and then in another tweet added, “MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”
  9. Trump also tweeted, “I don’t believe the four Congresswomen are capable of loving our Country,” calling them “weak & insecure” and adding, “They should apologize to America (and Israel).”
  10. On Monday, Trump again attacked WAPO, tweeting, “the Amazon Washington Post” reported “total Fake News,” adding, “It is a made up story meant to demean & belittle,” and “The Post had no sources.”
  11. Trump also tweeted, “the Mainstream Media is out of control,” claiming “they constantly lie and cheat in order to get their Radical Left Democrat views out,” adding, “they have gone bonkers.”
  12. Trump also again invoked enemy of the people, tweeting, “Fake News Equals the Enemy of the People!
  13. On Monday, Bloomberg reported that the Pentagon slipped in revealing that it is conducting a secret Army “emerging classified flight mission” involving Black Hawk helicopters flying over the Washington D.C. area.
  14. The operation was disclosed as part of the Army’s $2.5 billion request this month to Congress to “reprogram” funds, including $1.5 million for aircraft maintenance, air crews, and travel in support of the mission.
  15. On Sunday, House Judiciary Chair Jerrold Nadler told “Fox News Sunday” that the Mueller report presents “very substantial evidence” that Trump is “guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors” — an impeachable offense.
  16. On Sunday, House Intelligence Chair Adam Schiff told “Face the Nation” the Mueller report contains “a pretty damning set of facts,” adding of Mueller’s upcoming testimony, “Who better to bring them to life.”
  17. On Sunday, when asked about Trump’s racist statements on “Fox News Sunday,” White House adviser Stephen Miller said Democrats “try to silence and punish and suppress” people by using the term “racist.”
  18. Miller said “the core element” of Trump’s philosophy is “America First.” When asked about Trump saying the U.S. was “crippled” and a “laughingstock” under Obama, he said it was “out of love” for the country.
  19. On Sunday, when asked on “This Week” if Trump is a racist, House Oversight Chair Elijah Cummings said he “tried to give him the benefit of the doubt,” adding, “I believe he is. Yes, no doubt about it.”
  20. On Sunday, the president of the Illinois Republican County Chairmen’s Association apologized for the group posting a meme on their Facebook page of the four congresswomen, calling them “The Jihad Squad.”
  21. The text of the meme, which was posted on Friday and later taken down, read, “POLITICAL JIHAD IS THEIR GAME. IF YOU DON’T AGREE WITH THEIR SOCIALIST IDEOLOGY, YOU’RE RACIST.”
  22. On Sunday, the Times Picayune reported Charlie Rispoli, a police officer in Gretna, Louisiana posted on his Facebook page that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez should be shot: “This vile idiot needs a round…”
  23. On Monday, Rispoli was fired, along with officer Angelo Varisco, who liked his post. Gretna’s police chief said, “To insinuate a violent act against a seated U.S. congresswoman” is “completely irresponsible and intolerable.”
  24. On Monday, Trump tweeted the four congresswomen are “a very Racist group of troublemakers who are young, inexperienced, and not very smart,” and “against ICE and Homeland Security. So bad for our Country!”
  25. On Monday, WAPO obtained talking points for Trump’s re-election campaign: “The President loves America. He will stick up for this country, our flag, and the men and women who serve this country in uniform.”
  26. On Monday, Rep. Rashida Tlaib was introduced at the NAACP annual convention as “one of the four women who was told to go back home.” She said, “Yeah, I’m not going nowhere, not until I impeach this president.”
  27. On Monday, amid calls for Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló to resign over a scandal, Trump insulted him and his adversary San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz who was not involved in the scandal, calling them “grossly incompetent.”
  28. Trump said Cruz is “so bad for her people,” and repeated the false claim that the island received $92 billion in aid. Trump also said “we did a great job” and “I’m the best thing that ever happened to Puerto Rico.”
  29. On Tuesday, the NAACP leadership voted unanimously at their annual convention to support impeachment. Derrick Johnson, the group’s president, said Trump is “unfit to serve this country.”
  30. On Sunday, Rudy Giuliani said in a radio interview that Mueller “shouldn’t really [testify],” adding, “He’s already commented more than any prosecutor has ever commented about a case he didn’t bring.”
  31. On Monday, Trump tweeted, “Highly conflicted Robert Mueller should not be given another bite at the apple,” saying it will be “bad for him and the phony Democrats” who are wasting time on “this ridiculous Witch Hunt.”
  32. Trump also tweeted, “NO COLLUSION, NO OBSTRUCTION!” and asked why “Clinton’s people” were “given immunity,” and why texts messages between “Peter S and his lover, Lisa Page” were “deleted and destroyed.”
  33. Later, Trump told reporters at the White House that he does not plan to watch Mueller testify: “I’m not going to be watching Mueller because you can’t take all those bites out of the apple.”
  34. Trump repeated false claims about Mueller: “There’s a lot of conflicts…He wanted the job of the FBI director, he didn’t get it. And we had a business relationship where I said no, and I would say that he wasn’t happy.”
  35. Trump said Democrats have “gone off the deep end” and “They’re not doing anything,” adding, “All they care about is a phony investigation. They’re wasting their time.”
  36. On Monday, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway told reporters Trump has “zero concerns” about Mueller testifying, calling it “a do-over of the do-over of the do-over” and an insult to the American people.
  37. On Monday, the Justice Department instructed Mueller in a letter to significantly limit his congressional testimony, and “not go beyond” the public unredacted version of the report.
  38. The letter also prohibits answering questions on matters that could be covered by executive privilege, a broad, vague category given Trump was investigated while working in the executive branch.
  39. The letter also reminded Mueller that Roger Stone and a separate case still await trial, and that it is the DOJ’s “longstanding policy not to discuss the conduct of uncharged third-parties.”
  40. On Tuesday, Chair Nadler called it “incredibly arrogant” to try to “instruct” Mueller on what to say, calling it “part of the ongoing cover-up by the administration to keep information away from the American people.”
  41. On Tuesday, Trump tweeted, “Newest Poll: Only 11% in favor of starting ridiculous impeachment hearings” — a number is not close to any real poll. Trump also accused Democrats of “Trump Derangement Syndrome.”
  42. On Tuesday, Trump told teenagers at the Turning Point USA summit of Mueller’s testimony, “These people have gone totally crazy,” calling it a “witch hunt” and saying the report found “no collusion, no obstruction.”
  43. Trump again repeated the claim that Article II of the Constitution gave him power to “do whatever I want as president.” Article II grants the president “executive power,” but does not give him total power.
  44.  Trump also told the teens, “we have our best poll numbers today that we’ve ever had, can you imagine how good our poll numbers, with all the things we’ve done…if we had a fair media?” One teen yelled “100 percent.”
  45. On Tuesday, Mueller asked the House Judiciary Committee to allow Aaron Zebley, one of his top deputies and counsel, to testify with him Wednesday. The move went against the DOJ wishes, and created an air of uncertainty.
  46. In a statement, ranking Republican Rep. Douglas Collins accused Democrats of an 11th hour trick, and accused Chair Nadler of “again allowing the committee’s business to devolve into chaos.”
  47. Rep. Collins cited an “unprecedented decision” to allow a witness’s counsel to both advise him privately and testify alongside him, adding it could jeopardize whether the hearing “complies with the rules of the House.”
  48. Later Tuesday, Trump tweeted about the “last minute change,” saying “What a disgrace to our system. Never heard of this before,” and adding, “VERY UNFAIR, SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED. A rigged Witch Hunt!”
  49. On Monday, Trump again attacked the “very misguided” Federal Reserve, saying, “With almost no inflation, our Country is needlessly being forced to pay a MUCH higher interest rate than other countries.”
  50. Trump also claimed if interest rates were lower the “GDP & our Country’s wealth accumulation” would be “much higher,” adding, “Such a waste of time & money,” and the Fed “missed it (Big!). Don’t miss it again!”
  51. On Monday, WAPO reported Judy Shelton, Trump’s nominee to fill an open seat of the Federal Reserve Board, plans to push for a rate cut, saying in an email, “I would have voted for a 50-basis-point cut at the June meeting.”
  52. On Monday, Politico reported on dysfunction at the Commerce Department under Secretary Wilbur Ross, saying Ross does not hold regular meetings with senior staffers and is rarely in the building.
  53. Ross reportedly is disengaged, falls asleep in meetings, and spends most of his time kissing up to Trump. Sources also said there is constant infighting among top officials, and departures of senior staffers without explanation.
  54. On Monday, Politico reported Kelly Craft, Trump’s nominee to be ambassador to the United Nations, spent seven of her 20 months as ambassador to Canada back at her U.S. homes, including 60 personal days.
  55. On Monday, while meeting with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan at the White House, Trump offered to mediate the long-running Kashmir conflict. Less than an hour later, India rejected Trump’s offer.
  56. Trump also said the duration of the Afghanistan war is “ridiculous,” adding he could “win that war in a week,” but “Afghanistan would be wiped off the face of the earth. I don’t want to kill 10 million people.”
  57. On Monday, according to a new set of rules published in the Federal Register, the Trump regime will expand its power to speed deportations of undocumented immigrants who have entered in the past two years.
  58. The rules allow the regime to fast-track the deportation process, bypassing immigration judges, which the regime claimed is a “necessary response” to the influx, although southern border apprehensions fell in June and July.
  59. On Wednesday, the White House praised a federal judge in the District of Columbia who ruled against blocking the regime’s new restrictions saying migrants are ineligible for asylum if they pass through another country.
  60. Later Wednesday, a second federal judge in San Francisco ordered the Trump regime to continue to accept asylum claims from all eligible migrants, and preventing the regime’s rules from being carried out.
  61. On Monday, the Dallas Morning News reported Francisco Erwin Galicia, an 18 year-old born in Dallas, was picked up by Border Patrol, and according to his lawyer, was detained for three weeks and may be deported by ICE.
  62. On Tuesday, after reporting by the newspaper, Galicia was released. His mother said an ICE official called and said they had found his documents and citizenship to be valid. Both ICE and CBP refused to comment.
  63. Galicia told MSNBC of his time at a Texas detention facility, “We couldn’t breathe or brush our teeth,” saying, “we were about 60 people in one small room,” and calling the conditions “inhumane.”
  64. The teen said he lost 26 pounds during his 23 days in custody, saying, “It was more psychological,” adding, “They said they were going to charge me. They would insult me so I would sign my deportation order.”
  65. On Monday, WTVF-Nashville reported a group of people in Hermitage, Tennessee formed a human chain around a man and his 12 year-old son to protect them from ICE for four hours. Eventually, ICE left.
  66. On Tuesday, ICE revealed in the deportation raids touted by Trump as targeting 2,000 migrant families, just 35 have been arrested, including 18 family members and 17 who were encountered during the operation.
  67. Trump had touted the raids as “very successful.” Advocacy groups had handed out flyers to prepare for the raids, and although the raids were not successful, they have instilled fear into the immigrant community.
  68. On Tuesday, Trump threatened Guatemala, tweeting: “Guatemala, which has been forming Caravans and sending large numbers of people, some with criminal records…has decided to break the deal they had with us.”
  69. Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales postponed a meeting with Trump last week after the country’s court blocked the “safe third country” accord, requiring migrants to seek protection there, not continue to the U.S.
  70. Trump tweeted, “we are looking at the “BAN,” Tariffs, Remittance Fees, or all of the above,” adding, “Guatemala has not been good. Big U.S. taxpayer dollars going to them was cut off by me 9 months ago.”
  71. On Wednesday, Border Patrol Chief Carla Provost acknowledged in a Congressional hearing that she was a member of the racist Facebook group “I’m 10–15,” saying, “I didn’t think anything of it at the time.”
  72. On Wednesday, Nancy Goodman, a white woman in Raleigh, North Carolina called two women the “N-word” at a confrontation in a restaurant. Goodman said she would do it again, saying, “I used that word because they forced me to.”
  73. On Thursday, Daniel Leonard, a member of the Toms River school board faced calls to resign after posting on Facebook that his “life would be complete” if Rep. Rashida Tlaib were dead.
  74. Leonard also called Rep. Ilhan Omar a “terrorist,” and posted a meme calling her “Sharia Barbie,” showing a Barbie doll with a black and blue eye, which read “Comes with Jihab, Bruises & Quran.”
  75. On Tuesday, Boris Johnson won the race to be the Tory leader and become the next British prime minister, replacing Theresa May. Johnson has been one of the most vocal proponents of Brexit.
  76. WAPO reported Sens. Ted Cruz and Bill Kennedy introduced a nonbinding resolution that would label antifascists as “domestic terrorists,” in step with Trump’s attacks on so-called “radical” activists.
  77. Antifascists, or “antifa,” are a collection of groups and individuals who support aggressive opposition to activists on the far right, in some cases leading to violence. Conservative media has referred to them as terrorists.
  78. On Tuesday, lawyers for Cesar Sayoc said in a defense filing he became obsessed with Trump as a “surrogate father” and believed an “alternative reality” that Democrats were working to hurt him and other supporters. Sayoc sent mail bombs to prominent Democrats, including the Obamas and Hillary Clinton.
  79. Sayoc’s lawyers said Fox News also helped radicalize him, saying he began “watching Fox News religiously,” watching “Fox & Friends” in the morning and Sean Hannity in prime time. He actively followed Trump on Twitter.
  80. On Tuesday, PEN America called for the State Department to disband the new Commission on Unalienable Rights, citing “serious concerns” over the commission’s purpose, process, and membership.
  81. On Tuesday, FBI director Christopher Wray told the Senate Judiciary Committee the FBI has recorded about 100 arrests of domestic terrorism suspects in the past nine months, and most involve white supremacy.
  82. Wray also testified the Russians “are absolutely intent on trying to interfere with our elections,” and said they have not been deterred by sanctions: “My view is until they stop they haven’t been deterred enough.”
  83. Wray said he was cooperating with Attorney General William Barr in his inquiry on the origins of the of the investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election, and said the bureau has instituted new policies and training to ensure impartiality.
  84. Wray also admitted when asked by Sen. Mazie Hirono if he read the Mueller report, that he had not, saying, “I’ve — I’ve reviewed it, I wouldn’t say I’ve read every single word.”
  85. On Tuesday, Politico reported that Rep. Devin Nunes met with Trump and other senior White House officials last week to discuss replacements for Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats.
  86. Some on Capitol Hill and in the intelligence community speculated that given Trump and Nunes’ similar views on intelligence issues, Nunes could be under consideration for DNI or another intelligence position.
  87. One member of Congress told Politico that Trump “would certainly consider Devin Nunes for the director’s position.” The notion has provoked some anxiety at the top level of ODNI.
  88. On Monday, BuzzFeed reported two unofficial envoys, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, who reported to Rudy Giuliani, met with top officials in Ukraine to lobby the Ukrainian government to help Trump win 2020.
  89. The two pushed prosecutors to investigate allegations against 2020 candidate Joe Biden, and to open a probe into whether Ukrainian officials sought to help Hillary Clinton win 2016 by leaking evidence on Paul Manafort.
  90. On Tuesday, a federal grand jury convicted Bijan Rafiekian, a former business partner of Michael Flynn and Trump transition adviser, on two foreign-agent felony counts for work he and Flynn did for Turkish interests.
  91. The verdict in Alexandria, Virginia was from a case started by Mueller’s team, and came despite Flynn being dropped as a witness under his new legal representation. Rafiekian faces up to 15 years in prison.
  92. On Tuesday, Trump continued his attacks on the four congresswomen, tweeting he will win Minnesota in 2020 “because of America hating anti-Semite Rep. Omar,” and called the four “a Nightmare for America!”
  93. Later, at the Turning Point USA summit, addressing a group of teenagers, Trump railed against the four, calling Rep. Rashida Tlaib “vicious” and “a crazed lunatic.” The teens chanted, “One Squad Under God.”
  94. Trump again repeated his conspiracy theory on illegal voting, saying Democrats won in “California and numerous other states” are “rigged” because undocumented immigrants vote “many times — not just twice.”
  95. On Tuesday, a bipartisan group of senators introduced the Freedom of Information Act bill to counteract an EPA policy and a Supreme Court ruling which make it easier for the Trump regime to withhold information.
  96. On Tuesday, Trump’s private lawyers sued New York State officials and the House Ways and Means Committee to block congressional Democrats from obtaining his state tax returns under a newly enacted New York law.
  97. AG Letitia James of New York said her office had “all the confidence that this law is legal” and pledged to “vigorously defend” it. A spokesman for House Ways and Means Chair Richard Neal declined to comment.
  98. On Wednesday, ahead of Mueller’s testimony, Trump tweeted, “why didn’t the highly conflicted Robert Mueller” investigate “Crooked Hillary Clinton deleted and acid washed” emails, saying, “She must have GREAT lawyers!”
  99. Trump asked why “Mueller & his band of 18 Angry Democrats” did not investigate “Crooked Hillary Clinton, Lyin’ & Leakin’ James Comey, Lisa Page and her Psycho lover, Peter S, Andy McCabe…and many more.”
  100. On Wednesday, Robert Mueller testified before the House Judiciary and the House Intelligence Committees. Mueller said in his opening remarks he would not address the origins of the investigation or Steele dossier.
  101. Mueller also said, “Over the course of my career, I’ve seen a number of challenges to our democracy. The Russian government’s effort to interfere in our election is among the most serious.”
  102. Mueller testified to the House Judiciary Committee that despite Trump’s repeated proclamations, the report does not exonerate Trump, and did not conclude that Trump did not commit obstruction of justice.
  103. Mueller said DOJ rules say a sitting president cannot be indicted, but that Trump could be prosecuted for obstruction of justice after he leaves office. Mueller also said Trump refused to be interviewed by his team.
  104. When asked if the Russians perceived a benefit from a candidate, Mueller said, “It would be Trump,” and confirmed that Manafort gave polling data to an associate with ties to Russian intelligence.
  105. Democrats tried to systematically walk through Volume 2, the obstruction of justice charges, including when he attempted to have Mueller fired, reading parts of the report out loud and Mueller responding with short affirmations.
  106. Mueller did say there was a sufficient factual and legal basis for further investigation, and that Trump had a motive to impede the Russia investigation, countering Barr who said Trump was merely frustrated.
  107. Republicans repeatedly asked about the origins of the investigation and the Steele dossier. Mueller refused to roughly 200 questions posed to him, frequently saying, “I’m just going to leave it as it appears in the report.”
  108. Despite saying he did not plan to watch, Trump live-tweeted the testimony, including quoting Fox News host Chris Wallace: “This has been a disaster for the Democrats and a disaster for the reputation of Robert Mueller.”
  109. Mueller refused to address the issue of impeachment. Republicans accused Mueller and his team members of being biased against Trump. Mueller pushed back, saying he never asked about the political affiliation of his team.
  110. Six Trump aides were charged with crimes in the Mueller probe including Michael Flynn, Michael Cohen, Rick Gates, Paul Manafort, George Papadopoulos, and Roger Stone.
  111. Mueller was more forceful in testimony before the intelligence committee. Chair Schiff accused Trump of “disloyalty” to the country, while ranking Republican Nunes compared the probe to the search for the Loch Ness monster.
  112. Mueller corrected morning testimony where he said did not indict Trump because of the OLC opinion on indicting a sitting president, saying, “We did not reach a determination as to whether the president committed a crime.”
  113. Mueller said the Russia probe is “not a witch hunt” or a hoax. He also said Russia interfered in the 2016 election and the Trump campaign appeared to welcome that help. Several members of the campaign lied to his team.
  114. Mueller affirmed that Trump’s foreign dealings, including efforts and conversations on Trump Tower Moscow, could expose him to being blackmailed by Russians. Same with other regime members.
  115. Mueller gave his most pointed criticism on Trump for his praising of WikiLeaks, saying, “Problematic is an understatement…it displays of giving some hope or some boost to what is and should be illegal behavior.”
  116. Mueller said it is not acceptable to take help from foreign governments, saying, “I hope this is not the new normal, but I fear it is,” adding, “We don’t use the word collusion,” but there may have been a conspiracy.
  117. When asked if his team found evidence to suggest Russia would try to interfere in future elections, Mueller said, “They’re doing it as we sit here,” adding, “And they expect to do it during the next campaign.”
  118. Mueller said he decided not to subpoena Trump for testimony, saying Trump would have fought it and would have extended the investigation for a “substantial period of time.”
  119. Mueller also said of Trump’s written answers, “he wasn’t always being truthful.” Mueller agreed that accepting foreign help is “unpatriotic,” and agreed when government officials lie it can open them up to blackmail.
  120. Notably, ranking member Nunes did not use his closing time to pose any questions to Mueller. In the afternoon session, one Republican did ask Mueller how to stop election interference in the future.
  121. Aaron Zebley, who served as a sort of chief of staff to Mueller during the probe and was sworn in for both hearings, did not speak. Republicans objected to him being there however.
  122. When Mueller’s testimony ended at approximately 3:30 p.m., Trump tweeted: “TRUTH IS A FORCE OF NATURE!”
  123. The Republican National Committee said in a statement the testimony was “a disaster for Democrats,” and, “After three years, millions of taxpayer dollars…There was no collusion and no obstruction. Case closed.”
  124. Trump emerged to speak to reporters, saying had a “very good day,” adding Mueller did “horrible” job and said the investigation was “phony,” and said it was a “devastating day” for Democrats.
  125. Trump also said, “This has been a very bad thing for our country,” and “three years of embarrassment and waste of time for our country,” adding Mueller did not have the right to “exonerate.”
  126. When asked about Mueller saying he could be indicted after leaving office, Trump lashed out calling it “a very dumb and unfair question,” and telling the reporter, “you’re fake news, you’re one of the worst.”
  127. On Wednesday, Politico reported during a closed-door meeting of House Democrats after the hearings, House Judiciary Chair Nadler pushed to launch impeachment proceedings, but was rebuffed by Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
  128. Nader cited even though polls showed limited support for impeaching Richard Nixon when the House began impeachment hearings in 1973, public support grew as more evidence came out about Nixon’s behavior.
  129. Democrats had a lengthy discussion on impeachment, with rank-and-file lawmakers asking technical questions, including whether it would require a full vote of the House or if it could be initiated by the Judiciary Committee.
  130. In a press conference after the meeting, Speaker Pelosi seemed to soften on starting an impeachment inquiry, telling reporters, “If we have a case for impeachment, that’s the place we will have to go.”
  131. Pelosi said she wanted to build “a strong case” based on “the facts and the law,” adding, “The stronger our case is, the worse the Senate will look for just letting the president off the hook.”
  132. Pelosi added if the “cone of silence and the obstruction of justice and the coverup in the White House prevents us from getting that information,” it will be “even more grounds to go forward” with impeachment.
  133. Nadler told reporters, “Today was a watershed day in telling the facts to the American people,” adding, “we face a time of great danger,” and “This cannot go on. And it’s up to Congress to safeguard the Constitution.”
  134. Chair Cummings told reporters, “I’m begging the American people to pay attention,” urging listeners not to accept Trump’s conduct, or that of AG Barr or Republican lawmakers, as “normal.”
  135. Cummings added, “if you want to have a democracy intact for your children and your children’s children and generations yet unborn, we have got to guard against this moment. This is our watch.”
  136. On Wednesday, the House passed a measure which endorsed all Trump-focused subpoenas, past and future, after a Trump appointed judge questioned whether the House voted to authorize its investigations.
  137. On Wednesday, the DOJ said in a letter to Speaker Pelosi it will not bring charges against AG Barr and Sec. Ross after the House voted in Week 140 to hold them in criminal contempt for refusing to comply with subpoenas.
  138. On Wednesday, Trump vetoed three joint resolutions that had bipartisan support in the House and Senate, which would have prohibited arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
  139. On Wednesday, Bernie Madoff asked Trump to commute his 150-year sentence, filing a petition for clemency with the DOJ. Madoff has served ten years in prison and is 81 years-old.
  140. On Thursday, the Senate Intelligence Committee released the first of its five-part report on Russian interference in the 2016 election, which found Russia’s “directed extensive activity” started back in 2014.
  141. The report found that Russia targeted the election systems of all 50 states, and described “an unprecedented level of activity against state election infrastructure” as part of an effort to find vulnerabilities.
  142. The report also found “Russian cyberactors were in a position to delete or change voter data” in the Illinois voter database. The report, including key findings, were heavily redacted at the behest of U.S. intelligence agencies.
  143. The report found Russia did not change votes or manipulate voting machines, but warned of an ongoing threat, and gave a series of public recommendations for 2020, much of which was redacted.
  144. The report recommended ensuring a paper trail for voter machines and paper backups for registration system, as well as strategic steps and opening discussions with U.S. allies on how to deter cyberattacks.
  145. The report also found widespread intelligence failure in countering Russian efforts, saying the scope was underestimated, warnings were inadequate, and state officials under-reacted or resisted federal help.
  146. On Thursday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell blocked Senate Democrats from pushing forward a bill which had passed in the House and would authorize additional funding for the state election systems.
  147. McConnell also blocked a second bill that had passed in the House mandating the use of paper ballots, claiming, “This is partisan legislation from the Democratic House of Representatives.”
  148. A WAPO columnist compared McConnell to “a Russian asset,” saying Russia “is attacking us today…Yet each time we try to raise our defenses to repel the attack, McConnell…blocks us from defending ourselves.”
  149. CNN reported Election Systems & Software, the largest U.S. election equipment manufacturer, has been quietly lobbying to require all voting equipment to create a paper trail, a sharp departure from its past position.
  150. On Saturday, AP reported a federal judge could force Georgia to use an interim voting system, finding its current voting system is “way too old and archaic” and its machines are unsecure and vulnerable to hacking.
  151. On Thursday, AG Barr directed the Bureau of Prisons to reinstate the death penalty, after 16 years without executions, and to schedule the execution of five death row inmates.
  152. On Thursday, North Korea tested a new type of short-range ballistic missile, launching two missiles,according to the South Korean government, expanding the North’s ability to deliver nuclear warheads.
  153. On Thursday, WAPO reported that during Trump’s speech at Turning Point USA’s student summit on Tuesday, he was standing in front of a doctored presidential seal which included a Russian symbol.
  154. A closer examination of videos from the event revealed rather than the Latin phrase “E pluribus unum,” the seal says “45 es un títere,” a Spanish phrase that translates to “45 is a puppet.”
  155. The fake seal, which was meant to poke fun at Trump’s love of golf and ties to Russia, also showed the eagle clutching cash in its right talons. Turning Point USA fired the person on the video team who displayed the fake seal.
  156. On Thursday, Vox reported the Trump regime is planning to crack down on “broad-based categorical eligibility,” which enables states to enroll people who have applied for other low-income programs to get food stamps.
  157. The move would bump roughly 3.1 million people off food stamps, roughly 8% of those currently on the program, and would allow the Trump regime to bypass Congress.
  158. On Thursday, CNN reported that Monica Crowley, Trump’s pick for Treasury spokesperson, had repeatedly spread a smear that Barack Obama was secretly a Muslim, saying, “Can he be both loyal to Islam and loyal to the United States?”
  159. On Thursday, a total of five additional House Democrats came out for impeachment, including Rep. Katherine Clark, vice chair of the House Democratic Caucus and the highest-ranking Democrat to join the effort.
  160. On Thursday, Trump called in to Sean Hannity’s show to talk about Mueller’s testimony, calling it a “very poor performance” and saying people watching “couldn’t believe when they saw what was going on.”
  161. Trump also called it “a disgrace to our country,” saying he “watched a little bit at the very beginning and I couldn’t believe what I was seeing,” even though he was tweeting about the testimony throughout.
  162. Trump called the Mueller probe “a fake witch hunt and it should never be allowed to happen to another president again,” adding, “This was treason. This was high crimes,” and the press lost “all credibility.”
  163. Trump also said, “It’s fake news,” repeating the press is “the enemy of the people,” and added on firing Mueller, “I had the absolute right to fire him but I didn’t,” and this was a coup attempt, in my opinion.”
  164. On Friday, Rep. Ann Kuster of New Hampshire became the 99th Democrat to come out for impeachment, bringing the total to 100 members of Congress. Later, Rep. Chris Pappas of a swing district in NH made it 101.
  165. On Friday, Politico reported with Democrats moving closer, Pelosi said she has “no complaint,” adding, “I’m willing to take whatever heat there is. The decision will be made in a timely fashion. This isn’t endless.”
  166. On Friday, Rep. Martha Roby of Alabama announced she plans to retire at the end of the term, the third Republican to announce their resignation this week. Roby is one of only 13 Republican women in the House.
  167. On Friday, Trump attacked Fox News in a pair of tweets, saying, “@FoxNews is at it again. So different from what they used to be during the 2016 Primaries, & before — Proud Warriors!”
  168. Trump also tweeted about “new Fox Polls, which have always been terrible to me (they had me losing BIG to Crooked Hillary),” complaining about a poll which showed Trump down by 10 points to Biden.
  169. Trump blamed it on “three year vicious Witch Hunt, perpetrated by the Lamestream Media in Collusion with Crooked and the Democrat Party,” saying no way he can lose “with the greatest Economy in U.S. history.”
  170. The day before Trump had celebrated Fox News in a series of tweets, over their polls showing his approval rating higher, tweeting: “President Trump’s Approval Rating on Economy is at 52%.”
  171. Trump also tweeted, “There may or may not be National Security concerns with regard to Google and their relationship with China.” Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said there was no concern on Wednesday.
  172. Trump also attacked Apple, saying the company “will not be given Tariff waiver, or relief, for Mac Pro parts that are made in China.” Apple shared dipped slightly on the tweet.
  173. Trump also attacked the Federal Reserve again, tweeting that second quarter GDP up 2.1% was “Not bad considering we have the very heavy weight of the Federal Reserve anchor wrapped around our neck.”
  174. Trump also attacked France for a new tax law targeting U.S. technology giants like Apple, tweeting, “We will announce a substantial reciprocal action on Macron’s foolishness shortly.”
  175. On Friday, in a petition to the court over the Mueller probe, the House Judiciary Committee asked the federal judge to unseal grand jury secrets related, saying the panel is considering articles of impeachment.
  176. Chair Nadler told reporters, “Because Department of Justice policies will not allow prosecution of a sitting president,” the House “is the only institution of the federal government” that can hold “Trump accountable.”
  177. The House application states, “the House must have access to all the relevant facts and consider whether to exercise all its full Article I powers,” including “recommendation of articles of impeachment.”
  178. Chair Nadler stood with other House Judiciary Committee members (pictured below), several of whom told reporters the application indicates the start of an impeachment investigation.
  179. On Friday, Trump told reporters from the Oval Office that “it’s a disgrace” that Democrats continue to investigate him, adding, “they want to go fishing and I watched Bob Mueller and they have nothing.”
  180. Trump threatened Obama, saying, “Let’s look into Obama the way they’ve looked at me … they could look into the book deal that President Obama made. Let’s subpoena all of his records.”
  181. On Friday, a federal judge dismissed the $250 million defamation lawsuit brought by Covington student Nicholas Sandmann against WAPO, saying its coverage was protected by the First Amendment and deemed opinion.
  182. On Friday, the Supreme Court ruled that Trump can proceed with plans to use Pentagon funds for construction of his wall, overruling a lower court which found reallocating Pentagon funds would violate federal law.
  183. The unsigned ruling split along ideological lines, 5 to 3, with Justice Stephen Breyer proposing a compromise which others did not sign, and came after an emergency filing by the regime during the court’s summer recess.
  184. Speaker Pelosi said in a statement the decision allows Trump “to defy the bipartisan will of the Congress and proceed with contracts to spend billions of dollars on his wall undermines the Constitution and the law.”
  185. On Friday, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, ranking member on the Judiciary Committee, urged Chair Lindsey Graham to back down from a threatened rules change in order to vote on a bill to change the Flores settlement.
  186. Feinstein said in her letter, “Your announcement to disregard these rules…and change the rules unilaterally in a partisan manner is deeply concerning,” saying it would “set an unfortunate precedent for the future.”
  187. On Friday, NBC News reported U.S. troops are stationed inside the Border Patrol’s holding facility in Donna, Texas, a move close to violating a federal law forbidding troops from being in direct contact with migrants.
  188. The troops are not armed, and are monitoring migrant adults and children from just a few feet away and are supposed to report any problems to CBP officials rather than interact.
  189. Rep. John Garamendi said the regime is “teetering on the edge of the Posse Comitatus law,” a 1878 federal law that prohibits the government from using military forces to act as a police force within U.S. borders.
  190. On Friday, the National Institutes of Health issued new strict requirements by the Trump regime for researchers seeking federal funding grants for research using fetal tissue.
  191. Going forward, grant applications and renewals must provide a detailed justification for using tissue collected from elective abortions, and document why no alternative methods could accomplish the same.
  192. On Friday, the Senate Armed Services Committee said it would move forward with confirmation hearings for Gen. John Hyten, Trump’s nominee to be the number two general, despite sexual assault accusations.
  193. On Saturday, in a series of tweets, Trump attacked Chair Cummings, who is a Black American, calling him a “brutal bully,” accusing him of “shouting and screaming at the great men & women of Border Patrol.”
  194. Trump claimed Cummings’ district of Baltimore “is FAR WORSE and more dangerous,” than the border, and “considered the Worst in the USA,” and “a disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess.”
  195. Trump also tweeted Cumming’s district is the “worst run and most dangerous,” asking, “Where is all this money going? How much is stolen?” and threatening, “Investigate this corrupt mess immediately!”
  196. Cummings tweeted back, “Each morning, I wake up, and I go and fight for my neighbors,” adding, “It is my constitutional duty to conduct oversight of the Executive Branch. But, it is my moral duty to fight for my constituents.”
  197. An hour before Trump’s attack on Cummings, “Fox & Friends” ran a segment questioning, “How do living conditions in Rep. Cummings’ Baltimore district compare to those at the border?”
  198. On Saturday, CNN reported Raj Shah, the former White House deputy press secretary, took a job at Fox News, continuing the revolving door between the cable network and Trump’s White House.
  199. On Saturday, Moscow police arrested more than 1,000 protestors in continuing protests over the fairness of upcoming city elections. Protestors yelled, “We love Russia! They love money!”

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House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) and fellow Democratic members of the committee hold a news conference about this week’s testimony of former special counsel Robert Mueller July 26, 2019 in Washington, DC. Nadler said that the hearing was an “inflection point,” because Mueller testified that President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign welcomed assistance from Russians and that Trump “was not exonerated.”

POLITIKS OF GRAFFITI 141: SEND HIM AWAY

JULY 20, 2019

Week 140

Experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things

subtly changing around you, so you’ll remember. This list is from: https://theweeklylist.org/weekly-list/week-140/ and the art is either pics taken by me, or found on social media during the week.

“Nothing about the platforms or the characters of the four members of Congress (Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley, Rashida Tlaib) suggest that they hate America. In fact their deep commitment to a vision of an America based on equality and fairness and healthcare for all people shows exactly the opposite. You can disagree with their ideas and their politics if you like, but if you say that they hate America you are either dishonest, ignorant, stupid or a Nazi.” – Samuel Dylan Clayton, a friend and America ex-pat currently residing in Berlin, Germany.

This week, in a shocking display of racism, Trump tweeted that four congresswomen of color should “go back” to the countries they came from. Amid Republican silence, rather than backing off, Trump ramped up his attacks, leading to a mid-week rally where his supporters chanted “send them back.” At first Trump seemed to distance himself from his supporters’ chants, but the next day doubled-down, calling the supporters “incredible patriots,” while escalating his attacks on the congresswomen further. Still, by week’s end, no Republicans publicly criticized Trump, rather backing him or seeking to redirect his racist comments to a discussion of political ideology.

This week as the House voted to condemn Trump’s racist tweet, and to hold Attorney General William Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in criminal contempt on the citizenship question — yet both votes were symbolic gestures, having no real impact. Questions were raised by members of Congress about Barr’s involvement with dismissing charges against the police officer who allegedly strangled Eric Garner to death, and in ending the Southern District of New York’s investigation into campaign finance violations over hush-money payments to silence two women. The House also entertained an impeachment resolution from Rep. Al Green, which 95 House Democrats voted to advance — the highest level of support so far — as Robert Mueller prepares to testify next week.

1 On Saturday, AP reported the vast majority of 10,000 election jurisdictions nationwide will be using Windows 7 or an older operating system, no longer supported by Microsoft, for voting in the 2020 election.

2 Windows 7 reaches its “end of life” on January 14, leaving the systems vulnerable to hacking. States impacted include Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Florida, Iowa, Indiana, Arizona, North Carolina, Michigan, and Georgia.

3 On Wednesday, the Democratic National Committee sent out an alert to presidential campaigns warning the popular face-transforming app called FaceApp was created by developers in St. Petersburg, Russia.

4 The DNC told staffers “delete the app immediately.” The app was launched in 2017 by the St. Petersburg-based company Wireless Lab, and has been used more than 80 million times.

5 On Wednesday, Microsoft announced it has detected more than 740 infiltration attempts by nation-state actors of U.S.-based political parties, campaigns, and other democracy-focused organizations in the past year.

6 Microsoft did not publicly reveal how many infiltration attempts were successful, but noted similar targeting occurred in the early stages of the 2016 and 2018 elections.

7 Politico reported Jonathan Karl, the new president of the White House Correspondents’ Association, asked press secretary Stephanie Grisham to resume daily White House briefings. The last briefing was on March 11.

8 On Saturday, Trump’s ICE launched raids targeting migrant parents and their children. Although reporting and Trump claimed last week 2,000 would be targeted, NYT reported there were only a handful of arrests.

9 Authorities told the Times more arrests would instead take place during the week, saying the operation was changed last minute because news reports had tipped off immigrant communities.

10 On Sunday, CNBC reported fear of ICE raids has caused some American citizens, largely Latinos, to carry their passports to avoid being mistakenly detained by ICE.

11 On Sunday, Trump tweeted at four congresswomen, Reps. Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, and Ayanna Pressley to “go back” to the countries they came from. Only Rep. Omar was not born in the U.S.

12 Trump tweeted the four “originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe, the worst, most corrupt,” adding, “if they even have a functioning government at all.”

13 Trump also tweeted the four are “viciously telling the people of the United States, the greatest and most powerful Nation on earth,” how to run our government.

14 Trump also tweeted the four should “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came,” adding, “then come back and show us how it is done,” and “you can’t leave fast enough.”

15 Trump also tweeted, “I’m sure that Nancy Pelosi would be very happy to quickly work out free travel arrangements!” citing Democratic party infighting. His tweets stopped infighting, and unified Democrats.

16 Trump’s attacks mirrored rhetoric on Fox News, including host Tucker Carlson telling Somali-born Rep. Omar to return to her birth country, citing her “undisguised contempt for the United States and for its people.”

17 House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tweeted that Trump “reaffirms his plan to “Make America Great Again” has always been about making America white again,” adding, “diversity is our strength,” and “Stop the raids.”

18 On Monday, Trump continued attacks, tweeting, “When will the Radical Left Congresswomen apologize to our Country, the people of Israel and even to the Office of the President, for the foul language they have used.”

19 Trump also tweeted, “So many people are angry at them & their horrible & disgusting actions!,” adding the four are “very unpopular & unrepresentative Congresswomen.”

20 Trump also sent a series of tweets quoting Sen. Lindsey Graham, calling the four a “bunch of Communists,” adding “they are Anti-Semitic, they are Anti-America,” and “their policies will destroy our Country!”

21 On Monday, at a “Made in America” event at the White House, Trump told reporters “these are people who in my opinion hate our country,” adding, “All I’m saying is, if they’re not happy here, they can leave.”

22 Trump said Rep. Omar “hates Israel” and “hates Jews, hates Jews,” adding, “I mean, I look at the one, I look at Omar. I mean, I don’t know, I never met her, I hear the way she talks about al Qaeda.”

23 Reporters at the event shared photos of Trump’s handwritten notes, where he spelled al Qaeda as “Alcaida,” and people as “peopel.” Last week, Trump blamed Twitter misspellings on “fingers aren’t as good as the brain.”

24 On Monday, Pulitzer Prize-winning presidential historian John Meacham told MSNBC that Trump “has joined Andrew Johnson as the most racist president in American history.”

25 On Monday, WAPO reported a full day after Trump’s “go back” tweets, no prominent Republicans had publicly disagreed, indicating they agree with him or Trump has consolidated power and they are disinclined to dissent.

26 On Monday, the four congresswomen held a press conference to respond to Trump’s attacks, saying his “blatantly racist” assault on them was an attempt to distract from his corruption and inhumane policies.

27 Just before they took to the podium, Trump tweeted, “IF YOU ARE NOT HAPPY HERE, YOU CAN LEAVE!” adding, “This is about love for America. Certain people HATE our Country.”

28 Trump tweeted, “They are anti-Israel, pro Al-Qaeda, and comment on the 9/11 attack, “some people did something,”” adding, “Detention facilities are not Concentration Camps!” and “America has never been stronger.”

29 The four told reporters the agenda of white nationalists had gone from chat rooms to the White House garden, and condemned Trump’s treatment of migrants at the border and his calls for deportations.

30 They also said Trump could not defend his policies, so he attacked them personally, and called on their colleagues to begin impeachment proceedings. They added, “ we love all people in this country.”

31 On Sunday and Monday, world leaders and senior politicians condemned Trump’s tweets. Outgoing conservative British PM Theresa May said “the language used to refer to these women was completely unacceptable.”

32 On Monday, a WAPO media columnist wrote that similar to the media’s reluctance to use the word “lies” while reporting on Trump, not referring to him as racist “is a betrayal of journalistic truth-telling.”

33 Later Monday, Post Executive Editor Martin Baron said, “The ‘go back’ trope is deeply rooted” in the history of U.S. racism, adding, “we have concluded that ‘racist’ is the proper term to apply to the language he used Sunday.”

34 On Tuesday, Trump continued his attacks, tweeting, “the Democrat Congresswomen have been spewing some of the most vile, hateful, and disgusting things ever said,” adding, but “they get a free pass.”

35 Trump also tweeted, “Our Country is Free, Beautiful and Very Successful,” adding, “If you hate our Country, or if you are not happy here, you can leave!”

36 On Tuesday, the Republican National Committee parroted Trump’s attacks, saying in an email to reporters, “the squad…regularly use vile, hateful, anti-Israel, and anti-American rhetoric.”

37 Later Tuesday, at a meeting with his cabinet, when asked by reporters if the four should leave, Trump responded, “It’s up to them,” adding, “Go wherever they want, or they can stay. But they should love our country.”

38 Trump also said, “They shouldn’t hate our country,” adding, “You look at what they’ve said, I have clips right here — the most vile, horrible statements about our country, about Israel, about others.”

39 After Trump spoke, HUD Secretary Ben Carson, the only black person in Trump’s cabinet, praised Trump, thanking him for his “incredible courage,” saying Trump is “not a racist,” and “I think God is using you.”

40 On Tuesday, ahead of House Democrats voting on a resolution to condemn Trump’s tweets, he tweeted, “Those Tweets were NOT Racist. I don’t have a Racist bone in my body!”

41 Trump also called the vote a “con game,” adding, “Republicans should not show “weakness” and fall into their trap” and the vote should be on “the filthy language, statements and lies” by the Democratic Congresswomen.

42 Trump also misrepresented a poll, tweeting that the congresswomen, “based on their actions, hate our Country. Get a list of the HORRIBLE things they have said. Omar is polling at 8%, Cortez at 21%,” adding “See you in 2020!”

43 Later Tuesday, when White House counselor Kellyanne Conway was asked by a Jewish White House reporter about Trump’s racist tweets, she asked, “What’s your ethnicity?”

44 The reporter, Andrew Feinberg responded, “Uh… why is that relevant?” Conway responded, “My ancestors are from Ireland and Italy.” Conway later tried to distance herself from her own remarks.

45 On Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell tried to quell fallout from Trump’s tweets, saying Trump is “not a racist,” and “political rhetoric has really gotten way, way overheated all across the political spectrum.”

46 On Tuesday, CNN drew criticism for hosting Richard Spencer, a white nationalist who was a featured speaker at the deadly 2017 Unite the Right neo-Nazi rally, on their network to discuss Trump’s racist tweets.

47 On Tuesday, the Editorial Board of the Charlotte Observer asked, “Are you OK with a racist president, Republicans?” saying every Republican lawmaker should speak out on Trump’s “dangerous, destructive behavior.”

48 On Tuesday, a Reuters/Ipsos public opinion poll showed Republican support for Trump was up 5 points to 72% after his racist attacks. His support with Democrats dropped 2 points, and 10 points with independents.

49 On Tuesday, the House floor was thrown into chaos during a move by Democrats to vote on a resolution to condemn Trump’s racist tweets due to Speaker Pelosi’s use of the term “racist” in her remarks.

50 Pelosi said, “Every single member of this institution.. should join us in condemning the president’s racist tweets.” Republicans sought to strike her use of “racist” from the record as it went against House rules.

51 After review, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer announced Pelosi’s comments were “out of order.” The House then voted along party lines to allow Pelosi’s remarks to remain in the Congressional Record.

52 The House voted 240-187 on the resolution, with four Republicans and Rep. Justin Amash joining Democrats. Many Democrats pushed House leadership for a harsher punishment for Trump.

53 Ahead of the vote, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy had mirrored Leader McConnell’s statement, saying Trump “is not a racist.” McCarthy also said, “This is all about politics and beliefs of ideologies.”

54 After the vote, Trump tweeted, “so great to see how unified the Republican Party was on today’s vote,” saying they should look at the “horrible things” the four congresswomen said about “our Country, Israel, and much more.”

55 On Tuesday, speaking with Fox News host Tucker Carlson, GOP Sen. John Kennedy called the four congresswomen the “four horsewomen of the Apocalypse,” and “whack jobs” who are “destroying the Democratic Party.”

56 On Wednesday, a Pew Research poll found 62% of Americans say openness to people from around the world is “essential to who we are as a nation,” down from 68% in September because of a shift in Republicans.

57 The poll found 57% of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents say if the U.S. is too open to foreigners, “we risk losing our identity as a nation,” and increase from 44% in September. Democrats stayed constant.

58 On Wednesday, the House voted 332-95 to table the impeachment resolution drafted by Rep. Al Green over Trump’s racist attacks. Among Democrats, the split was 137 to table, 95 to advance.

59 Politico reported that 27 Democrats who have not publicly come out for impeachment yet voted to advance the measure to impeach Trump. Before the vote, 85 Democrats were for impeachment.

60 Committee chairs including Reps. Maxine Waters, Jerrold Nadler, Eliot Engel, Raúl Grijalva, Bennie Thompson, Frank Pallone Jr, Nita Lowey, Jim McGovern, and Nydia Velázquez also voted to advance Green’s resolution.

61 On Wednesday, before heading to his campaign rally in Greenville, North Carolina, Trump repeated a far-right conspiracy theory, telling reporters there’s “a lot of talk” about Rep. Omar being married to her brother.

62 Trump claimed, “I know nothing about it,” but added, “You’re asking me a question about it. I don’t know, but I’m sure that somebody would be looking at that.”

63 On Wednesday, warming up the crowd in Greenville before Trump spoke, Lara Trump said, “If you don’t love our country, the president said it, ‘You can leave.’”

64 At the rally, Trump told the crowd, of the four congresswomen, “They don’t love our country,” adding, “I think, in some cases, they hate our country. You know what? If they don’t love it, tell them to leave it.”

65 Trump reeled off several controversial comments made by Rep. Omar, including repeating a false claim that she is sympathetic to Al Qaeda. The crowd started chanting “Send her back.”

66 Trump spent a little time on the economy, but most of the evening was devoted to attacking “the squad,” and Democratic 2020 candidates who he said want “radical socialism and the destruction of the American Dream.”

67 Trump also bragged that Rep. Green’s articles of impeachment had been voted down, calling it “an overwhelming vote against impeachment, and that is the end of it,” and telling Democrats to “go back to work.”

68 On Thursday, NYT reported Trump allies, including House Republican leaders, flooded his team with expressions of concerns about the nativist chants of “send her back,” warning Trump was on dangerous ground.

69 While Republicans denounced the chant — with Minority Leader McCarthy saying “Those chants have no place in our party or our country” — Republicans continued to refuse to publicly criticize Trump.

70 On Thursday, CBS News reported Trump also took heat from First Lady Melania and Ivanka over the chants at the rally, as well as from Vice President Mike Pence.

71 On Thursday, House Democrats expressed outrage that Trump’s comments have put Rep. Omar and her family in “imminent danger,” with senior Democrats calling for authorities to evaluate her security.

72 Rep. Ocasio-Cortez also said she has concerns for her safety, and is discussing with Democrats whether to add additional security. Speaker Pelosi said she spoke to the Sergeant-at-Arms office Wednesday night.

73 Later Thursday, Trump tried to distance himself from the chants, telling reporters he was “not happy” with the chant, and falsely claiming he tried to stop the chant saying, “I think I did — I started speaking very quickly.”

74 WAPO fact checkers gave Trump’s claim that he tried to stop the chants Four Pinocchios, noting his comments led to the crowd’s chant, and he stood silent for 13 seconds waiting for the chant to die down.

75 Once it did, Trump started up again, saying of the congresswomen, “They never have anything good to say. That’s why I say, ‘Hey, if they don’t like it, let them leave,’…They’re always telling us how to run and how to do this.”

76 Later Thursday, Trump retweeted a video of conservative Mark Levin on Fox News slamming the four congresswoman, calling them “anti-Semite bigots,” adding, “their families really have done nothing for this country.”

77 Shortly after, the official Twitter account for the White House, a tax-payer funded feed, also tweeted the five-minute video, as did Trump’s official @POTUS account.

78 On Thursday, Majority Leader McConnell told Fox Business that Trump is “on to something” with his attacks, adding, “we’re in a big debate now and next year about what we want America to be like,” citing socialism.

79 On Thursday, the Palm Beach County GOP disinvited Anthony Scaramucci from addressing its annual fundraiser, after he told the BBC on Tuesday, on Trump, “maybe you weren’t a racist, but now you’re turning into one.”

80 Scaramucci repeated his criticism on cable news interviews, and theorized attacking the four congresswomen could help Trump win 2020. An adviser told Politico Scaramucci’s criticism on cable TV has left Trump “furious.”

81 On Thursday, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch Editorial Board wrote, “Congressional Republicans shame themselves with their silence on Trump’s racism,” saying their response “continues to be … nothing.”

82 On Thursday, ESPN host Dan Le Batard broke from company policy of avoiding politics, saying Trump was instigating “racial division,” and calling the network “cowardly.” Le Batard is the son of Cuban immigrants.

83 On Friday, in a series of morning tweets, Trump returned to attacking the congresswomen, including “ Foul Mouthed Omar.” Notably, Trump frequently uses profanity, and drew criticism for saying “goddamn” twice at his rally.

84 Trump also attacked the media, tweeting, “it is amazing how the Fake News Media became “crazed” over the chant “send her back”” but is “calm & accepting” of “vile and disgusting” statements by the congresswomen.

85 Trump tweeted the media “has lost all credibility” and “become a part of the Radical Left Democrat Party,” and said he would win Rep. Omar’s state in 2020, saying “they can’t stand her and her hatred of our Country.”

86 Trump also referred to the “three Radical Left Congresswomen.” WAPO reported a White House spokesman did not respond to their query about the change from four to three.

87 Trump attacked NYT columnist Thomas Friedman, who called him a “racist, divisive, climate-change-denying, woman-abusing jerk,” saying he is not a racist and calling Friedman “a weak and pathetic sort of guy.”

88 On Friday, speaking to reporters from the Oval Office, Trump backtracked from disavowing chants of “send her back” at his rally, saying of his supporters, “Those are incredible people. Those are incredible patriots.”

89 Trump continued his obsession with crowd size, saying the rally was a “record crowd” and he could have filled the arena ten times over, after tweeting in the morning it was “a packed Arena (a record) crowd.”

90 Trump also attacked the congresswomen, saying, “I’m unhappy with the fact that a congresswoman can say anti-Semitic things,” adding, and “a different congresswoman, can call our country and our people garbage.”

91 Trump also said, “I’m unhappy when a congresswoman goes and says, I’m going to be the president’s nightmare,” adding, “She’s lucky to be where she is” and “the things that she has said are a disgrace to our country.”

92 Before leaving the White House, Trump told reporters, “I don’t know if it’s good or bad politically — I don’t care,” adding, “I can tell you this: You can’t talk that way about our country, not when I’m the president.”

93 Trump also responded to CBS News reporting that his family spoke to him about the “send her back” chants, saying “We — I talked about it, but they didn’t advise me,” and called the story “fake news.”

94 On Friday, WAPO reported Trump has been publicly criticizing the U.S. for year, often praising foreign dictators and himself while doing this. Trump has also repeatedly questioned the notion of American exceptionalism.

95 On Friday, the NYT said it had asked its readers if they had been told to “go back to where you came from” as Trump told the four congresswomen, and received 16,000 responses, some of which they published.

96 On Friday, Erica Thomas, a black lawmaker in Georgia, said a middle-aged white man called her vulgar names and told her to “go back where you came from” at a supermarket, while her 9 year-old daughter looked on.

97 On Monday, Navy Secretary Richard Spencer assumed the role of acting defense secretary, becoming Trump’s third acting so far this year. Mark Esper stepped down for the Senate confirmation process.

98 On Tuesday, Sen. Elizabeth Warren grilled Esper on his past position as a top lobbyist for defense contractor Raytheon. Warren asked if he would recuse himself from all matters involving Raytheon, and Esper said no.

99 On Wednesday, Acting Defense Secretary Spencer sent 2,100 additional troops to the U.S.-Mexico border, bringing the total force at the border to 6,600 active duty and Texas National Guard soldiers.

100 On Monday AP reported the Trump regime plans to end all asylum protections for most migrants fleeing violence and poverty in Central America, reversing decades of U.S. policy.

101 According to the regime’s plan, migrants who pass through another country, in this case Mexico, on their way to the U.S. would be ineligible for asylum. Some migrants from Africa, Cuba, and Haiti also pass through Mexico.

102 Mexico voiced disagreement with the plan. Attorney General William Barr said the U.S. is a “generous country” but “overwhelmed” and the rules are aimed at “those who seek to exploit our asylum system to obtain entry.”

103 On Tuesday, a coalition of immigration advocacy groups challenged the new rule in court, seeking an injunction to block it. The Trump regime has claimed the spike in migrants crossing the border is a crisis.

104 On Friday, Politico reported at a meeting of security officials on refugee admissions, officials discussed cutting back the number of refugees admitted to zero for fiscal year 2020.

105 The regime had already cut the level from 110,000 under Obama to 50,000 in 2017, then down to 45,000 in 2018 and then 30,000 for 2019. Advisers aligned with Stephen Miller are pushing for the zero cap.

106 On Monday, NPR reported Border Patrol agents in El Paso, Texas told a 3 year-old Honduran girl to pick a parent to stay with her in the U.S. and the other would be deported in an attempted family separation.

107 The move is part of Trump’s Migrant Protection Protocols, or “remain in Mexico.” In court, advocates asked that the family be removed from MPP, citing the girl’s having a heart condition, and had suffered a heart attack.

108 On Tuesday, dozens of Jewish protestors from the group “Never Again is Now” staged a sit-in in the lobby of ICE’s headquarter building in Southwest Washington. Ten were arrested.

109 On Thursday, in a day dubbed “Catholic Day of Action,” 70 Catholic sisters, clergy, and parishioners were led away in handcuffs from the Senate office building, protesting ICE and overcrowded migrant detention camps.

110 Hundreds of protestors gathered, carrying photos of migrant children who died in federal custody. Five protestors laid on the floor in the shape of a cross, while the group recited the children’s names.

111 On Thursday, at a House Oversight hearing on family separation, Chair Elijah Cummings erupted at Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan, after demanding improvement, and McAleenan saying we are “doing our level best.”

112 Cummings responded, “What does that mean when a child is sitting in their own feces, can’t take a shower? Come on, man…They are human beings.” Cummings also accused McAleenan of having an “empathy deficit.”

113 On Tuesday, a new NAACP report charged Trump is filling the courts with judges to undermine voting rights, saying, “This administration is weaponizing the federal judiciary to restrict the vote.”

114 On Monday, a second GOP candidate governor candidate in Mississippi, former MS Supreme Court Justice Bill Waller Jr., said he follows the “Billy Graham rule” and will not be alone with a woman who is not his wife.

115 On Monday, CNN reported according to a survey conducted by the union representing them, the vast majority of the 540 USDA research employees whose jobs are being moved D.C. to Kansas City are likely to resign.

116 On Monday, anti-Semitic flyers saying the Holocaust was “fake news” were found at Temple Emanu-El in Marblehead, Massachusetts. Rabbi David Meyer called it “distressing,” adding “the political climate is one of divisiveness.”

117 On Monday, a Charlottesville circuit judge sentenced James Fields Jr. to a second sentence of life in prison for killing Heather Heyer and injuring dozens of others when he rammed his car into a group of protestors.

118 On Tuesday, the DOJ said it would not to move forward in prosecuting NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo for fatally choking Eric Garner. A video showed Garner had said “I can’t breathe” 11 times while in a strangle hold.

119 Attorney General Barr made the final decision not to prosecute Pantaleo, siding with the DOJ team from New York over the Civil Rights division which recommended prosecution.

120 On Tuesday, in a letter, Sen. Cory Booker, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, demanded answers from Barr on the DOJ’s decision not to press charges.

121 On Monday, WAPO reported nearly a quarter of a million households will receive 2020 Census forms which include a citizenship question. The test questionnaire was sent two weeks before Supreme Court ruling.

122 The questionnaire was meant to provide the Census Bureau data on how the public would react to the question “Is this person a citizen of the United States?” A total of 480,000 were sent, half with and half without the question.

123 On Tuesday, the ACLU and other plaintiffs filed a complaint asking Judge Jesse Furman to impose penalties on the Trump regime for allegedly providing “false or misleading” statement about the citizenship question.

124 The complaint noted “the misconduct appears to have been perpetrated by senior Commerce and [Justice Department] officials — not the career DOJ attorneys who litigated this case.”

125 On Wednesday, the House voted 230-198 along party lines to hold Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in criminal contempt for failing to provide documents related to the citizenship question.

126 The vote was largely symbolic since those found guilty are referred to the DOJ for prosecution, and the DOJ would not prosecute itself. The White House said Democrat’s “shameful and cynical politics know no bounds.”

127 On late Monday, Trump’s Department of Health and Human Services issued a notice, saying it was immediately enforcing a new rule as part of Title X which would cut funding for health clinics that give abortion referrals.

128 The rule is the first of its kind since Title X was established in 1970, and impacted $260 million of funding to 90 recipients. Maine Family Planning and Planned Parenthood of Illinois dropped out of the program Tuesday.

129 On Tuesday, the board of Planned Parenthood voted to oust president Leana Wen, saying the organization needed a more aggressive political leader to combat the current efforts to roll back access to abortion.

130 On Friday, the Trump regime said it may delay its ban on funding for clinics that provide abortion referrals, amid widespread confusion about the new restrictions.

131 On Wednesday, a November 1992 tape released from the NBC archives showed Trump and Jeffrey Epstein discussing women at a party at Mar-a-Lago. Trump also grabbed a woman towards him, and patted her behind.

132 On Wednesday, James Troiano, the New Jersey judge who recommended leniency for a 16 year-old boy accused of rape in Week 138 because he was from a “good family,” resigned.

133 The state’s Supreme Court announced new mandatory training for judges on Wednesday, following a nationwide outcry. Elected officials and protestors had called on Troiano to resign, and he received death threats.

134 LGBTQ Nation reported every member of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s Commission on Unalienable Rights, announced in Week 139, has a history as an academic or activist against the LGBTQ community.

135 On Thursday, the LA Times reported Homeland Security has quietly gutted multiple programs in the past two years created after September 11, 2001 established to prevent terrorism involving weapons of mass destruction.

136 DHS has also canceled dozens of training exercises, and lost scores of scientists and policy experts. Thirty current and former DHS officials voiced concern that the changes have put Americans at greater risk.

137 On Thursday, Trump nominated Eugene Scalia, son of late Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia, for Labor Secretary. Scalia has represented corporations in pushing back at unions and for tougher labor laws.

138 On Thursday, Environmental Protection Agency administrator Andrew Wheeler rolled back an Obama-era ban on chlorpyrifos, a widely used pesticide which experts say is tied to serious health problems in children.

139 The EPA said data supporting objections to use were “not sufficiently valid, complete or reliable” — a victory for the chemical industry. This marks the second move by the regime this year to roll back chemical safety rules.

140 NYT reported the EPA is also preparing to weaken rules in place for the last quarter century, which allow advocates in communities near power plants and factories to appeal against EPA-issued pollution permits.

141 On Friday, new data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration showed June 2019 was the hottest June on record around the globe in the 140 years the group has kept records.

142 Economist Art Laffer, who was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in Week 136 by Trump, told CNBC the Federal Reserve should not be independent, but should be controlled by the president and Congress.

143 On Monday, the White House Office of Management and Budget, in its midyear review, projected the federal deficit will exceed $1 trillion this year, the first time it has exceeded $1 trillion since the Great Recession.

144 On Tuesday, Trump tweeted, “Billionaire Tech Investor Peter Thiel believes Google should be investigated for treason,” adding that on “Fox & Friends” Thiel accused “Google of working with the Chinese Government.”

145 Thiel said on the show, “Google employees that are ideologically super left wing,” are “working with communist China but not with the U.S. military.” Trump tweeted: “The Trump Administration will take a look!”

146 On Friday, in a series of tweets, Trump attacked the Federal Reserve, noting its “faulty thought process,” adding, “our interest costs are much higher than other countries, when they should be lower. Correct!”

147 Trump also praised New York Fed President John Williams for saying “the Fed “raised” far too fast & too early,” and said we are “winning big but it is no thanks to the Federal Reserve,” adding, “Don’t blow it!”

148 On Friday, WAPO reported Trump told aides to expect big spending cuts if he wins a second term, a dramatic shift from the big-spending approach of Trump’s first 30 months, sowing confusion about the regime’s direction.

149 On Monday, CNN reported on new surveillance reports which reveal Julian Assange received in-person deliveries during the 2016 U.S. election during a series of suspicious meetings at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London.

150 The deliveries build on the Mueller report which said couriers brought hacked files to Assange at the embassy. The surveillance report showed he used the embassy as a command post for meddling in the U.S. election.

151 On Monday, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway defied a Congressional subpoena, refusing to show up for a House Oversight Committee hearing on her violations of the Hatch Act.

152 In a letter to Chair Cummings, White House Counsel Pat Cipollone again asserted again that Trump’s advisers are “absolutely immune” from congressional testimony.

153 Chair Cummings said, “We are requiring her to testify…about her multiple violations of federal law, her waste of taxpayer funds,” and threatened to hold Conway in contempt if she does not testify before July 25.

154 On Monday, Chair Cummings demanded in a letter to Education Department Secretary Betsy DeVos that she turn over all emails from her personal account related to official government business.

155 Cummings cited a May report by the Office of the Inspector General which found 78% of department officials used personal emails, but did not preserve them. Cummings has sent multiple letters without a response.

156 On Tuesday, Trump appointed former Fox News contributor Monica Crowley to be the Treasury Department spokesperson. Crowley currently serves as Treasury’s senior adviser for public affairs.

157 On Tuesday, Judge Amy Berman Jackson barred Roger Stone from posting on social media platforms, saying, “Once again I am wrestling with behavior that has more to do with middle school than a court of law.”

158 Prosecutors accused Stone of violating the court’s gag order. Judge Berman also prohibited public statements made by “surrogates, family members, spokespersons, representatives, or volunteers” of Stone.

159 On Wednesday, Politico reported House Democrats’ strategy is to slowly and meticulously building a record of the Trump regime’s stonewalling their investigations to persuade a court to break the blockade.

160 The team of House lawyers is overstretched, and Democrats fear an adverse ruling. The slow pace and lack of results from House Democrats has fueled criticism from progressive lawmakers and activists.

161 On Thursday, a federal judge said he is considering throwing out the case against Michael Flynn’s former business partner, Bijan Kian, saying evidence presented at trial this week has been “very, very circumstantial.”

162 The biggest hole in the prosecutors’ case was testimony from Flynn. With his new attorney, Flynn told prosecutors he could no longer say under oath he intentionally made a false filing, and was therefore cut as a witness.

163 On Wednesday, the DOJ said it was ending its inquiry into hush money payments Trump made to keep Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal quiet in the months before the election.

164 Lanny Davis, a lawyer for Michael Cohen, asked why he was the only one “to be prosecuted and imprisoned” when “virtually all” of the admitted crimes “were done at the direction of and for the benefit” of Trump.

165 On Thursday, a federal judge in New York ordered court records related to the case be unsealed. Federal prosecutors did not reveal why they had ended their investigation.

166 The newly unredacted 2018 Cohen search warrants revealed then-candidate Trump communicated repeatedly with his then-lawyer Cohen about keeping Trump’s affairs quiet ahead of the election.

167 The documents revealed, starting the day after the “Access Hollywood” recording became public, Hope Hicks, Trump, and Cohen spoke to formulate a plan to pay $130,000 to Stormy Daniels to keep her quiet.

168 Hicks told the House Judiciary Committee last month said she was “never present” when Cohen and Trump discussed Daniels, and said she “had no knowledge” of Daniels other than her shopping around her story.

169 The committee is investigating whether Hicks lied in her testimony. Chair Nadler demanded Hicks appear before the panel to explain discrepancies in her testimony and the unsealed documents.

170 The documents also showed Cohen paid Daniels on November 1, 2016 and called Trump and Kellyanne Conway that day but did not get through. Records show Conway called him back and they spoke for six minutes.

171 Documents show before WSJ’s story Nov. 4 on Karen McDougal, Cohen spoke to Hicks and Dylan Howard, a National Enquirer executive, and texted AMI’s David Pecker, “The boss just tried calling you. Are you free?”

172 On Friday, USA Today reported a person familiar with the case said the DOJ’s opinion that a sitting president cannot be indicted factored in to prosecutors’ decision to end the investigation.

173 On Friday, in a letter to the deputy U.S. Attorney in Manhattan, House Oversight Chair Cummings asked whether prosecutors had identified evidence of criminal conduct by Trump.

174 Cummings also sought information on whether the DOJ opinion had played a role, noting this would be the second time (Mueller), and, “The Office of the President should not be used as a shield for criminal conduct.”

175 On Friday. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, also said Congress must hold a public hearing on “whether the White House or AG Barr has interfered in any way in this investigation.”

176 On Friday, the Daily Beast reported George Nader, a key witness in the Mueller probe, faced new federal charges of sex trafficking, child pornography, and obscenity in Virginia.

177 On Friday, federal justice Emmet Sullivan temporarily halted congressional subpoenas of Trump’s financial records in the emoluments case, after an appeals court said to re-examine separation-of-powers.

178 On Sunday, about 1,000 protested in an unsanctioned rally in Moscow over the city election commission’s decision to keep several opposition candidates off the ballot. More than 25 were detained by police.

179 On Tuesday, in a statement, a North Korean Foreign Ministry spokesperson warned North Korea may resume nuclear missile tests, citing the U.S. and South Korea moving forward with planned military exercises.

180 On Wednesday, the House voted to block Trump from bypassing Congress and selling arms to Saudi Arabia. Only four Republicans and Rep. Amash joined Democrats, setting up a likely veto of the resolutions by Trump.

181 On Thursday, senior defense officials said U.S. Marines jammed an Iranian drone in the Straight of Hormuz, bringing it down and destroying it. The incident is part of a series of tense interactions between the countries.

182 Trump told reporters, “This is the latest of many provocative and hostile actions by Iran against vessels operating in international waters,” saying the drone was threatening a U.S. ship and was “immediately destroyed.”

183 On Friday, Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi denied Iran lost a drone, mockingly tweeting, “I am worried that USS Boxer has shot down their own UAS (Unmanned Aerial System) by mistake!”

184 On Friday, Trump reiterated, “We shot it down.” National security adviser John Bolton added there is “no question” it was an Iranian drone and that it presented a threat.

185 On Friday, as the governor of Puerto Rico faced protests over a scandal facing his administration, Trump tweeted, “The Governor is under siege, the Mayor of San Juan is a despicable and incompetent person.”

186 Trump claimed Congress gave Puerto Rico $92 billion, adding, “much of which was squandered away or wasted, never to be seen again.” Congress allocated $42 billion to Puerto Rico, but just $14 billion has been received.

187 On Friday, WAPO reported when Trump met with Nobel Peace Prize winner and Yazidi activist Nadia Murad in the Oval Office, he avoided eye contact with her, and was unaware of her story or the plight of the Yazidis.

188 When Murad told Trump she wanted to go home, but ISIS had murdered her mother and six brothers, Trump responded, “Where are they now?” Murad repeated, “They killed them. They are in the mass grave in Sinjar.”

189 On Thursday, Gallup polling said Trump’s 10th quarter approval was 42.7%, his highest approval since taking office. His approval has remained in a band of 36.8% to 42.7% since he took office.

190 Trump’s approval had dipped to 40% in May when details of the Mueller report emerged, and during his trade war with China, then rebounded to 44% in early July. Polling did not include his racist tweets this week.

191 On Friday, the number of Democrats for impeaching Trump rose to 92–39% of the caucus — including 15 of the 24 Democrats of the House Judiciary Committee. Independent Rep. Amash is also for it.

192 On Friday, Trump told reporters he does not plan to watch Mueller’s testimony on July 24, saying, “At some point they have to stop playing games. They’re just playing games.”

193 Trump said of Green’s impeachment vote, “It’s a disgrace. No other president should have to go through it,” and, “they already took their impeachment vote, adding, it was “lopsided” and “a massive victory.”

194 House Democrats hope to use Mueller’s five-hour appearance next week as an opportunity to educate the American people by using his testimony to tell a compelling narrative about his report, which few have read.

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Representatives Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) speaks as Ilhan Abdullahi Omar (D-MN)(L), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) hold a press conference, to address remarks made by US President Donald Trump earlier in the day, at the US Capitol in Washington, DC on July 15, 2019.

POLITIKS OF GRAFFITI 140: “THE CHAOS OF OUR LIVES”

JULY 13, 2019

Week 139

Experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things
subtly changing around you, so you’ll remember. Amy Siskind’s Weekly List:  https://theweeklylist.org/weekly-list/week-139/ and my photos/art picks from all over the world:
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“Jeffrey Epstein and Alex Acosta are great guys.” Antwerp-Berchem, Belgium 13jul19

This is the longest week so far, and it felt that way. The chaos of our lives has obfuscated the damage and extremes under Trump, as each week blurs into the next week’s crises and unprecedented actions. This week’s turmoil centered on Jeffrey Epstein’s arrest and the resignation of Labor Secretary Alex Acosta, the 13th Cabinet member to depart the regime — next week there will certainly be new plot lines to engage and exhaust the American people.

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Located in the front of the Palais de Justice in Brussels, Belgium. 7jul19

IMG_9695 

This week the Democrats seemed to take a step back, amid party infighting. Notably, the Trump regime continues to successfully stonewall all the House efforts at accountability, and seemingly Democratic leadership is taking a slight uptick in Trump popularity as a rationale to back off in tone, while in actuality, the lack of action by the Democrats has normalized the previously unthinkable of accepting foreign help and obstructing justice. While the country eagerly awaited Robert Mueller’s testimony on July 17, that too evaporated and became a moving target.

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If there’s any question whether or not he is a joke to other countries…here’s a postcard in a shop window in Brussels, Belgium. 7jul19

 

Trump careened from one rage to another this week, but notably, he is largely getting his way. When things go against him, he finds new ways to re-center and seize the narrative. His central message of immigration continues to be front and center and Fox News seized on the theme of “these are not our children” to dull the news on conditions at detention centers, as deportation raids were set to start. Trump continued to repeat his themes that the media is “the enemy of the people,” that he will serve more than two terms, and that Democrats are enabling millions of “illegal aliens” to vote — all setting the stage for an unpredictable 2020 election.

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And this. Brussels, Belgium. 7jul19

 

  1. On Saturday, Jeffrey Epstein was arrested by federal agents at Teterboro Airport in New Jersey after arriving from Paris. Agentsnalso broke down the door of his Manhattan townhouse to execute search warrants.
  2. Daily Beast reported Epstein was arrested by the FBI-NYPD Crimes Against Children Task Force on charges of sex trafficking dozens of minors in New York and Florida between 2002 and 2005. He will appear in court Monday.
  3. On Monday, Politico reported the White House was closely watching the media coverage of Labor Secretary Alex Acosta’s involvement with the 2008 plea deal with Epstein, but Trump was sticking with him for now.
  4. On Tuesday, Trump told reporters of Epstein, that he “knew him like everybody in Palm Beach knew him,” adding, “I had a falling out with him. I haven’t spoken to him in 15 years. I was not a fan of his.”
  5. On Tuesday, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway told reporters that Trump “hasn’t talked or had contact with Epstein in years and years and years — and over a decade at least,” while defending Acosta.
  6. NYT reported in 1992, a Florida businessman flew in 28 girls for a “calendar girl” competition at Mar-a-Lago. He told the Times the event meant for VIPs was only attended by Trump and Epstein.
  7. Epstein was photographed at Mar-a-Lago in the 1990s and early 2000s, but he was not a member. Trump later distanced himself from Epstein, reportedly over a failed business arrangement between them.
  8. WAPO reported Epstein’s black book contained 14 phone numbers for Trump; Melania; his personal assistant, Norma Foerderer; his houseman; his security officer; his brother Robert and his wife; Ivana; and Ivanka.
  9. During the week, an additional 14 women came forward, saying Epstein sexually assaulted them as children. Epstein’s lawyers asked that he be released from prison to stay at his $77 million mansion awaiting trial.
  10. On Sunday, the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team won the World Cup. It took Trump several hours to send a congratulatory tweet, hours after former president Obama and others leaders had done so.
  11. On Tuesday, the team was honored at a ticker-tape parade in lower Manhattan. Captain Megan Rapinoe said the team accepted an invitation from Minority Leader Chuck Schumer to visit, but has not heard from Trump.
  12. The team was the third, along with the NBA’s Golden State Warriors and the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles, to have an invitation rescinded after players publicly criticized Trump or indicated they did not plan to attend.
  13. Rapinoe told Trump on CNN, “Your message is excluding people,” adding, “You have incredible responsibility as the chief of this country to take care of every single person,” and “you need to do better for everyone.”
  14. On Thursday, ABC News reported the NYPD is investigating vandalism of eight posters of Rapinoe in the New York subway which were defaced with various homophobic statements as a possible hate crime.
  15. On Saturday, in memos dating from 2017 to present leaked to the Daily Mail, U.K. Ambassador to the U.S. Ambassador Kim Darroch, a top British diplomat, described Trump as “inept,” “insecure,” and “incompetent.”
  16. Darroch wrote Trump’s White House was “uniquely dysfunctional,” and unlikely to “become substantially more normal” and warned Trump could be indebted to Russians, and his career could end in “disgrace.”
  17. The British government defended the ambassador, saying in a statement “The British public would expect our ambassadors to provide ministers with an honest, unvarnished assessment of the politics in their country.”
  18. On Monday, Trump tweeted he will no longer deal with Darroch, saying, “I do not know the Ambassador, but he is not liked or well thought of within the US.” Despite his claim, Trump has met Darroch several times.
  19. Trump also tweeted, “The good news for the wonderful United Kingdom is that they will soon have a new Prime Minister,” adding he “thoroughly enjoyed” his recent visit, and was most impressed by the Queen.
  20. On Tuesday, Trump again attacked Darroch, calling him “the wacky Ambassador, “a very stupid guy,” and “a pompous fool,” adding, “tell him the USA now has the best Economy & Military.”
  21. Trump also attacked Prime Minister Theresa May on Brexit, tweeting, “I told @theresa_may how to do that deal, but she went her own foolish way-was unable to get it done,” adding, “A disaster!”
  22. On Tuesday, U.K. Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt defended PM May, responding to Trump, tweeting: “these comments are disrespectful and wrong to our Prime Minister and my country.”
  23. PM May stood by Darroch in a statement, calling the leak “unfortunate,” adding the “selective extracts” leaked “do not reflect the closeness of, and the esteem in which we hold, the relationship.”
  24. On Wednesday, Darroch, after facing days of intense criticism from Trump including Trump calling him a “pompous fool,” resigned, saying he could not be an effective ambassador if the Trump regime would not deal with him.
  25. Lawmakers from both parties, including Sens. Lindsey Graham and Mark Warner expressed disappointment. The Daily Mirror headline said, “Traitor Boris backs Trump not Britain,” citing Johnson who is likely to replace May.
  26. On Wednesday, another ambassador told the Times, “It could have been any of us,” saying disdain for Trumpis almost ubiquitous, with almost all foreign officials describing living in something of a black hole in D.C.
  27. On Thursday, German, French, and European Union ambassadors held a breakfast for Darroch’s departure, showing solidarity and their support for him, including tweets noting who “our true friends are.”
  28. On Sunday, acting director of Citizenship and Immigration Services Ken Cuccinelli told “Fox New Sunday” that he expects a citizenship question to be on the 2020 Census, saying Trump “has expressed determination.”
  29. Cuccinelli also criticized House Democrats visiting detention facilities, calling it “the height of hypocrisy,” saying they “come down and complain” but are “not helping fix the problem.”
  30. On Sunday, acting secretary of Homeland Security Kevin McAleenan told “This Week” that reporting on conditions at detention centers are “unsubstantiated,” claiming “there’s adequate food, water,” and showers.
  31. On Sunday, Trump tweeted, “The Fake News Media, in particular the Failing @nytimes, is writing phony and exaggerated accounts of the Border Detention Centers.”
  32. Trump tweeted, “people should not be entering our Country illegally…We should be allowed to focus on United States Citizens first,” adding, “Border Patrol, and others in Law Enforcement, have been doing a great job.”
  33. On Sunday, the Times defended their reporting in Week 138, issuing a statement saying, “We are confident in the accuracy of our reporting on the U.S. Border Patrol’s detention centers.”
  34. On Sunday, Trump also attacked Fox News in a series of tweets, saying, “Watching @FoxNews weekend anchors is worse than watching low ratings Fake News @CNN, or Lyin’ Brian Williams.”
  35. Trump complained, “@FoxNews, who failed in getting the very BORING Dem debates, is now loading up with Democrats,” adding, “& even using Fake unsourced @nytimes as a “source” of information.”
  36. Trump also tweeted Fox News “is changing fast, but they forgot the people who got them there!” and complained about Democrat Donna Brazille, “she is all over Fox” and Shep Smith, “by far their lowest rated show.”
  37. On Monday, AP reported Trump was upset at the network airing a scene at a sports bar in France during the United States women’s World Cup Championship, where the crowd was chanting “Fuck Trump!”
  38. Fox News also angered Trump, airing two segments on Sunday which cited NYT reporting on child detention centers in Texas, with a commentator from a liberal watchdog group calling it “the stuff of nightmares.”
  39. A poll by YouGov Blue and Data for Progress tested the impact of the phrase “These are not our children,” used repeatedly by Fox News to defend Trump’s immigrant policies.
  40. When asked whether they agree with the statements that migrant detention centers have “unacceptable conditions” or that migrants are “not our children,” the split was 40%/60% for Republicans, and 92%/8% for Democrats.
  41. On Tuesday, NBC News reported according to accounts collected by Department of Homeland Security case managers, migrant children held at a border station in Yuma, Arizona alleged sexual assault and retaliation by CBP agents.
  42. The 30 accounts collected between April 10 and June 12 include being touched inappropriately by agents, and being retaliated against for complaining about unsanitary conditions, hunger, and overcrowding.
  43. One child stayed in soiled underwear for 10 days because he was afraid to ask for a clean pair. All of the children interviewed had been held at the border station longer than the 72 hours allowed under the law.
  44. On Tuesday, 18 Jewish protestors from the Never Again Action group were arrested by Capitol police in D.C. as they protested the regime’s immigration detention camps and called for the defunding of ICE.
  45. On Wednesday, Yazmin Juarez, the mother whose toddler died weeks after they were released by ICE, testified before the House Oversight Committee, saying, “I watched my baby girl die, slowly, and painfully.”
  46. In the hearing on the treatment of migrant children, Juarez described seeing a number of sick children in the detention center where they were held. Juarez has filed a wrongful death claim against the Trump regime.
  47. An attorney advocate told the panel she interviewed hundreds of immigrant children who complained about “open” toilets, saying they are embarrassed to use the toilets. One boy said he tried not to eat to avoid it.
  48. On Friday, the House released a report based on testimony and subpoenaed information on child separations under Trump, with new information on 2,648 children who were separated from their parents.
  49. The report found at least 18 migrant children under the age of two were separated from their parent, and “kept apart for 20 days to half a year.” Also, children were kept at Border Patrol facilities longer than 72 hours.
  50. On Friday, Vice President Mike Pence visited a migrant detention facility in McAllen. WAPO reported he saw 400 men crammed behind chained fences in sweltering heat, without enough room to lie down on the concrete floor.
  51. When reporters arrived the migrant men screamed they had been held there for 40 days or longer, were hungry, had not been able to brush their teeth, and had to ask permission to go outside to get drinking water.
  52. The patrol agent in charge admitted many of the men had not showered in 10 to 20 days. Pence said, “I was not surprised by what I saw,” adding, “I knew we’d see a system that was overwhelmed,” and “This is tough stuff.”
  53. Pence blamed Democrats, saying they need to “step up, do their jobs, and end this crisis,” and gave a more positive view than Democrats and news reports, “Every family I spoke to said they were being well cared for.”
  54. Pence also said, “What you saw today was a very clean facility,” adding, “it was just a few short weeks ago that Congress finally acknowledged the crisis and gave us an additional $4.6 billion in humanitarian aid.”
  55. Pence also praised employees at the facilities, saying, “I was deeply moved to see the care that our Customs and Border Protection personnel are providing,” saying they are “doing a tough job in a difficult environment.”
  56. On Friday, the Intercept reported Border Patrol chief Carla Provost was a member of the secret Facebook “I’m 10-15,” discovered in Week 136, which is under investigation by Homeland Security.
  57. On Friday, Adweek reported Ogilvy’s leadership team looked to address staff concern over its work for CPB, which had not been previously reported. Many agency staffers were unaware of the relationship.
  58. On Monday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo unveiled a new Commission on Unalienable Rights, which he said would present him with “an informed review of the role of human rights in American foreign policy.”
  59. On Thursday, 22 countries including our former allies Britain, France, Canada, and Germany issued a joint statement condemning China’s mass detention of Uyghur and other minorities. The U.S. was not a signatory.
  60. On Monday, William Latson, a principal at a Florida high school, was reassigned to an administrative position over a 2018 email exchange in which he said the Holocaust was not “a factual, historical event.”
  61. On Tuesday, WAPO reported while the Senate has confirmed Trump’s judicial picks to circuit courts at a record pace — 1 in 5 seats on the appellate bench— not one of the 41 judges is Hispanic or black.
  62. On Tuesday, Mississippi Today reported Robert Foster, a Republican candidate for governor, denied a woman reporter access to his campaign, saying being alone with a woman could be used to smear him.
  63. Foster said, “I put my wife and my Christian beliefs above anyone else’s feelings or opinions.” As the story gained national attention, Foster refused to back down, saying, “perception is reality in this world.”
  64. On Tuesday, a panel of judges on the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals sharply questioned attorneys defending the Affordable Care Act, signaling the panel may throw away part of the law.
  65. The case could be the third to head to the Supreme Court. The DOJ, which typically is charged with defending the nation’s laws, declined to discuss the litigation.
  66. On Wednesday, a Catholic high school teacher who was fired for being in a same-sex marriage sued the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, saying it “illegally interfered with his contractual and employment relationship.”
  67. On Friday, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey said he had a change of heart over his tweet to “withdraw all financial incentive dollars” from Nike following the Betsy Ross sneaker controversy, and would welcome a new Nike plant.
  68. On Friday, the District’s attorney general issued subpoenas to the National Rifle Association and its foundation “as part of an investigation into whether these entities violated the District’s Nonprofit Act.”
  69. On Sunday, Rep. Justin Amash, who last week left the Republican Party, told “State of the Union” that high-level Republicans have privately thanked him for supporting impeachment.
  70. On Monday, Rep. Amash resigned from the House Oversight Committee. He had been the sole Republican joining the panel’s Democrats in efforts to investigate Trump.
  71. On Sunday, Rep. Peter King said on a radio interview, “there was severe, serious abuses that were carried outin the FBI and, I believe, top levels of the CIA” against candidate Trump, adding it is “going to come out.”
  72. On Sunday, an ABC News/WAPO poll found Trump reached a career-high approval rating of 44%, 2 points better than the prior peak, while 53% disapprove.
  73. The poll also found 37% are for impeachment, steady from April; however opposition to impeachment has grown to a new high of 59%. By party, 61% of Democrats, 37% of independents, and 7% of Republicans are for it.
  74. On Sunday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told the Times, Trump “would rather not be impeached,” adding, “he every day practically self-impeaches by obstructing justice and ignoring the subpoenas.”
  75. Asked if Trump had pressured her on the issue, Pelosi said, “He may have one time said something like, ‘I’m glad you’re not doing this impeachment because there’s nothing there,’” adding, “But that means nothing to me.”
  76. On Monday, BuzzFeed reported multiple House Democrats, including several moderates, who are for starting an impeachment inquiry said it was based on feedback from their constituents.
  77. On Monday, Trump retweeted a two-year old tweet with a fictitious quote by Ronald Reagan predicting Trump would be president. The account who first sent the quote had 13 followers.
  78. On Tuesday, the Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit ruled Trump cannot block his critics on Twitter, saying he violated the First Amendment, in a case that could have broad implications for public officials.
  79. Trump had blocked seven of the people behind the lawsuit while the case was appealed. A spokesperson for the DOJ, which is defending Trump, said we “are exploring possible next steps.”
  80. On Saturday, CNN reported Trump’s U.S. Department of Agriculture suspended data collection for Honey Bee Colonies, part of an Obama-era focus on protecting pollinators whose populations have plummeted.
  81. The annual survey was suspended for the third since Trump took office. Budgetary concerns were cited. The USDA also moved key research units from Washington D.C. to Kansas City, sparking an exodus of experts.
  82. On Monday, as environmental issues gained traction in the 2020 race, Trump delivered a speech defendinghis record on the environment. WAPO reported Ivanka had also pushed him to address the environment.
  83. Speaking from the White House, Trump said, “We want the cleanest air, we want crystal clean water, and that’s what we’re doing,” adding the regime is pursuing “technologies and processes” to make production cleaner.
  84. Trump said the U.S. “does not have to sacrifice our own jobs to lead the world on the environment,” saying the regime is working “harder than many previous,” maybe all of them, and mocked the Green New Deal.
  85. Trump was joined by three Cabinet secretaries overseeing energy, two of whom are former lobbyists for the coal and oil industries (Andrew Wheeler and David Bernhardt), and did not mention climate change.
  86. Trump nonsensically claimed no one had heard of “forest management” to prevent wildfires until he took office, saying, “you don’t have to have any forest fires” if you clean the forest, like they do in “forest nations.”
  87. Environmental advocates described Trump’s speech as a “1984” moment. Federal data showed air quality has significantly worsened under Trump, with carbon dioxide emissions having their biggest increase since 2010.
  88. Fox News, uncharacteristically, cut into Trump’s speech to fact-check him live. Host Shepard Smith said on air that Trump’s policies have been “widely criticized by environmentalists and academics.”
  89. On Tuesday, CNN reported a whistleblower said he was pressured to reverse an environment finding that Mike Ingram’s proposed housing and golf course project in Arizona desert would threaten endangered species.
  90. The decision came after Interior Department Sec. Bernhardt met with Ingram at a Montana hunting lodge, which was not listed on Bernhardt’s official calendar. Ingram is also a donor and fundraiser for Trump.
  91. Whistleblower Steve Spangle, a 30-year veteran of the Fish and Wildlife Service, was overruled by higher ups. The meeting was one of at least 11 Ingram had with top officials at the Interior and the EPA.
  92. On Wednesday, WSJ reported Rod Schoonover, a State Department intelligence analyst, resigned after the White House blocked part of his testimony to Congress on climate change and its threat to national security.
  93. Schoonoever’s testimony cited scientific journals and intelligence reports, and concluded climate change could cause increased humanitarian crises, competition for resources, and risk of political instability.
  94. On Sunday, WAPO reported in response to their inquiry on if career attorneys would withdraw from the case on adding a citizenship question to the 2020 Census, the DOJ said in a statement it was changing lawyers.
  95. Reportedly, at least some of the career attorneys had legal or ethical concerns over Trump’s orders. It is a nearly unheard-of move to switch legal teams in the midst of such a case.
  96. The DOJ said new lawyers will be part of the department’s Civil Division and Consumer Protection Branch. Analysts say the new team will be proceeding on increasingly shaky legal ground.
  97. On Monday, Attorney General William Barr said in an interview that he believes there is a legal path for the regime to add the citizenship question, but declined to give details.
  98. Barr said Trump is “right on the legal grounds,” adding, “I felt the Supreme Court decision was wrong.” He also acknowledged that some of the career attorneys did not want to continue working on the case.
  99. On Monday, Speaker Pelosi said she planned to schedule a full House vote “soon” to hold Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in contempt for defying House subpoenas related to the citizenship question.
  100. On Tuesday, Trump quoted a “Fox & Friends” co-host, tweeting, “There should be a question about Citizenship on the Census,” adding, “Working hard on something that should be so easy. People are fed up!
  101. On Tuesday, a federal judge in New York rejected the DOJ’s request to change lawyers in the 2020 census case, saying, “Defendants provide no reasons, let alone ‘satisfactory reasons.’”
  102. Judge Jesse Furman said to change its legal team, the DOJ must meet the legal requirement of satisfactorily explaining the existing lawyers’ departure and showing the switch would not impede the case,
  103. On Wednesday, a second federal judge, Judge George Hazel in Maryland said he shared the concern of the federal judge in New York, and denied the DOJ’s bid to withdraw the attorneys from the 2020 census case.
  104. Judge Hazel wrote he was concerned that “a shift in counsel at this late stage may be disruptive to an already complicated and expedited case,” but with assurances was “inclined to ultimately permit the withdrawal.”
  105. On Monday, in an interview with the AP, Barr accused Democrats of trying to create a “public spectacle” by subpoenaing Robert Mueller to testify. There is no indication Mueller does not want to testify before Congress.
  106. Barr also said the DOJ would seek to block any attempts by House Democrats to subpoena members of the special counsel’s team.
  107. On Monday, Barr told reporters he is recusing himself from the Epstein case, saying, “I am recused from that matter because one of the law firms that represented Epstein long ago was a firm I subsequently joined.”
  108. During his Senate confirmation hearing, when asked if he would conduct an investigation of the DOJ’s handling of the Epstein case, Barr responded, “I have to recuse myself from Kirkland & Ellis matters, I am told.”
  109. On Tuesday, the DOJ said Barr would not recuse himself from the SDNY prosecution of Epstein, but he will remain uninvolved in the DOJ’s review of the handling of Epstein’s 2008 plea deal in Florida.
  110. On Tuesday, Trump tweeted, “the Radical Left is using Commerce to hurt their “Enemy,”” citing a planned boycott of Home Depot over its owner’s financial support of Trump. Notably, Trump has called for boycotts too.
  111. On Monday, CNN reported Felix Sater is scheduled to testify to the House Intelligence Committee behind closed doors. In Week 136, Sater was a no-show to scheduled testimony, saying he overslept after taking a sedative.
  112. On Tuesday, a House spokesperson said Sater “has not fully cooperated,” saying he obstructed the panel’s investigation by withholding documents and testimony, adding he “will remain under subpoena until he does so.”
  113. On Monday, AP reported a federal grand jury is probing whether GOP fundraiser Elliott Broidy used his position as vice chair of Trump’s inaugural committee to cultivate business deals with foreign governments.
  114. The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Brooklyn subpoenaed Trump’s inaugural committee seeking records relating to 20 individuals and businesses, investigating whether Broidy violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
  115. On Monday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a bill that allows Congress to obtain Trump’s state tax returns. House Ways and Means Committee Chair Richard Neal said he will not seek Trump’s state returns.
  116. On Tuesday, the California Assembly passed a measure requiring presidential candidates to release five years of tax returns. The measure passed the state Senate, and awaits Gov. Gavin Newsom’s signature.
  117. On Tuesday, in newly unsealed documents, federal prosecutors told a judge they no longer plan to call Michael Flynn as a witness in the trial of Bijan Rafiekian, Flynn’s former partner in a consulting business.
  118. Flynn was set to cooperate in exchange for a lenient sentence, but the July 3 filing said in an abrupt shift that prosecutors will instead argue Flynn was a co-conspirator — raising concerns Flynn may expect a pardon.
  119. On Friday, an attorney for Bijan Rafiekian said in court that federal prosecutors have extensive evidence that the Turkish government tried to influence Trump’s 2016 campaign through Flynn.
  120. Rafiekian’s trial starts next week, and Flynn was, until last week, supposed to be the government’s star witness against Rafiekian on their being paid by Turkey to push for the expulsion of cleric Fethullah Gulen.
  121. Flynn’s attorney Sidney Powell claimed the government is trying to get him to lie, saying Flynn did not intentionally lie about the role of the Turkish government, but signed documents without reading them first.
  122. Powell said, “Should the government’s case here fail, it will not be because of anything Mr. Flynn did or did not do,” claiming the government is trying to retaliate against him, and his former lawyers struck a bad deal.
  123. Prosecutor Brandon Van Grack, part of Mueller’s team who worked on Flynn’s case, said it is the “first time” he is hearing that Flynn does not believe he was “willfully” or “knowingly” lying to his former attorneys.
  124. On Tuesday, Politico reported the House Judiciary Committee will vote on Thursday to authorize 12 subpoenas for witnesses in the Mueller probe, representing a broadening of the panel’s Trump-related investigations.
  125. The 12 include Jared Kushner, Jeff Sessions, Rod Rosenstein, Michael Flynn, John Kelly, Corey Lewandowski, Robert Porter, David Pecker, Rick Dearborn, Jody Hunt, Keith Davidson, and Dylan Howard.
  126. On Thursday, the House Judiciary voted to approve the subpoenas for 12 witnesses. The panel also approvedsubpoenas for documents and testimony from regime officials related to the “zero tolerance” policy.
  127. On Monday, Congressional Democrats issued 37 subpoenas for Trump’s financial and business records, as part of an emoluments lawsuit brought by more than 200 Democrats in Congress.
  128. The subpoenas were issued to Trump Tower, his hotels in New York and D.C., and Mar-a-Lago. Plaintiffs are also seeking information on trademarks granted to Trump businesses by foreign governments.
  129. The DOJ asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in a court filing to dismiss the case or put subpoenas on hold, saying the judge “ignored the unique separation-of-powers concerns.”
  130. On Wednesday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th District dismissed the emoluments lawsuit brought by the attorneys general of Maryland and D.C. who claimed Trump’s business holdings were a conflict of interest.
  131. The court ruled the lawsuit failed to definitively show state or foreign governments switched to patronizing the Trump Hotel DC because it distributes profits to Trump, rather than the hotel’s characteristics.
  132. On Wednesday, Trump celebrated the win, tweeting, “Word just out that I won a big part of the Deep State and Democrat induced Witch Hunt,” adding, “unanimous decision in my favor.”
  133. Trump also tweeted, “I don’t make money, but lose a fortune for the honor of serving and doing a great job as your President (including accepting Zero salary!).” The attorneys general said they would file an appeal.
  134. On Wednesday, at a White House ceremony for Trump to sign an executive order on advancing kidney health, Trump said “the kidney has a very special place in the heart. It’s an incredible thing.”
  135. On Tuesday, Reuters reported three members of the DOJ’s Inspector Generals office met with Christopher Steele in London during Trump’s visit in early June, interviewing him for 16 hours over two days.
  136. Inspector General Michael Horowitz met with Steele as part of the DOJ’s inquiry into the early stages of the FBI investigation into Trump, Hillary Clinton, Russia, and Carter Page.
  137. Horowitz’s investigators found Steele’s information sufficiently and surprisingly credible, dampening expectations of Trump’s allies. Mueller’s team interviewed Steele twice in September 2017.
  138. On Tuesday, Politico reported only a small segment of members of Congress have read the Mueller report. Sen. Tim Scott said, “What’s the point?” while Sen. Lisa Murkowski called it “tedious.”
  139. On Tuesday, Yahoo News reported Russia’s foreign intelligence service, known as the SVR, was behind a fake intelligence report that circulated in the summer of 2016 about the death of DNC staffer Seth Rich.
  140. According to the fake report, Rich was on his way to alert the FBI to corrupt dealings by Hillary Clinton, and was killed by her associates. The conspiracy was picked up by a website which frequents in Russian propaganda.
  141. Over the next two and half years, Russia state media also ran with a conspiracy that Rich was the source of Democratic Party emails leaked to WikiLeaks, which was first floated by Julian Assange on August 9, 2016.
  142. On Wednesday, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell hinted at the first interest rate cut in over a decade. Fed watchers noted Powell has been under extreme pressure in unprecedented attacks by Trump to cut rates.
  143. On Wednesday, testifying before the House Financial Services Committee, Powell said he would not resign if Trump asked him to, saying “the law clearly gives me a four-year term and I fully intend to serve it.”
  144. On Wednesday, WAPO reported Trump’s July Fourth event cost the D.C. government $1.7 million and other costs for police, bankrupting a special fund to protect the city from terrorist threats and other security needs.
  145. On Tuesday, Trump praised Labor Department Secretary Acosta, telling reporters he felt “very badly” for him, and Acosta “works so hard and has done such a good job,” adding he is looking at the situation closely.
  146. On Wednesday, Politico published an excerpt from an upcoming book saying the GOP almost abandoned Trump after the “Access Hollywood” tape, until his ferocious attack on the Clintons in the third debate.
  147. On Wednesday, the Guardian reported that in Acosta’s 2020 budget for the Labor Department, he planned to slash funding for the International Labor Affairs Bureau, the agency that fights the sexual exploitation of children.
  148. On Wednesday, Acosta held a press conference to defend his role in brokering the plea deal for Epstein in 2008 after a chorus of Democrats called for him to resign. The conference was watched closely by Trump.
  149. Acosta, who was the top federal prosecutor in Miami at the time, said of the victims, “I wanted to help them.” While Acosta condemned Epstein’s “horrific” crimes, he refused to apologize, typical of the Trump strategy.
  150. Acosta claimed prosecutors in his office overrode state authorities because they wanted to make sure Epstein went to “jail and put the world on notice that he was and is a sexual predator,” rather than “roll the dice” at trial.
  151. Later, Barry Krischer, a former Palm Beach state attorney, said Acosta was trying to “rewrite history,” adding, “I can emphatically state that Mr. Acosta’s recollection of this matter is completely wrong.”
  152. Krischer said Acosta’s office abandoned its own 53-page indictment after secret negotiations with Epstein’s lawyers, saying “the U.S. attorney’s office always had the ability to file its own federal charges.”
  153. On Wednesday, House Oversight Chair Elijah Cummings sent a letter to Acosta, requesting that he testify before his committee this month, saying, “Your testimony is even more critical now” with the SDNY indictment.
  154. On Thursday, in a series of 20 morning tweets, Trump raged on a variety of unrelated topics as news of Epstein was unfolding, and announcement were coming on ICE raids and a citizen question executive order.
  155. Trump tweeted, “The Fake News is not as important, or as powerful, as Social Media,” adding, “they have lost tremendous credibility since that day in November, 2016” when he came down the escalator (it was 2015).
  156. Trump attacked “The Fake News Media” for saying “the banks didn’t like me,” adding Deutsche Bank was “one of the largest and most prestigious banks in the world! They wanted my business, and so did many others!”
  157. Trump attacked 2020 contender Sen. Elizabeth Warren, whom he again called “Pocahontas,” tweeting an apparent typo of “1000/24th” instead of 1/1,024th Native American. Trump then deleted the tweet.
  158. Trump tweeted about serving more than two terms, “when I ultimately leave office in six years, or maybe 10 or 14 (just kidding),” saying the media “will quickly go out of business for lack of credibility, or approval.”
  159. On Thursday, NYT reported nationwide round ups by ICE of thousands of members of undocumented families for deportation are scheduled to begin on Sunday, and continue over several days.
  160. ICE is reportedly targeting at least 2,000 immigrants who have been ordered to be deported. The raids will include “collateral” deportations, deportations of immigrants who happen to be on the scene during the raids.
  161. The operation, originally announced by Trump in Week 136, was postponed partly because of pushback from his own immigration agency. Agents have also expressed apprehension about arresting babies and young children.
  162. On Thursday, in the morning, ABC News reported regime officials said Trump was expected to issue an executive order to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census, and announce it later on Thursday.
  163. Later Thursday, at a press conference with Barr and Commerce Secretary Ross, Trump backed off from his efforts to add a citizenship question, including without explanation, an executive order.
  164. Instead Trump issued an executive order directing every department and agency to provide the Commerce Department “all requested records regarding the number of citizens and noncitizens in our country.”
  165. Trump said, “We will utilize these vast federal databases to gain a full, complete, and accurate count of the noncitizen population.” Barr said this would mark the end of the three court cases on adding the question.
  166. Trump said he is “not backing down,” claiming Democrats are trying to hide “illegal aliens in our midst,” adding, “this is part of a broader left-wing effort to erode the rights of the American citizen.”
  167. Barr seemed to blame the shift in strategy on timing “to implement any new decision” as forms are being printed, claiming the citizenship questions would have survived a legal review by the Supreme Court.
  168. Barr also said the information may be used for congressional redistricting: “There is a current dispute over whether illegal aliens can be included for apportionment purposes…this data may possibly prove relevant.”
  169. On Thursday, Trump hosted 200 conservative social media personalities, including controversial names like Sebastian Gorka, “Diamond and Silk,” and James O’Keefe at a “Social Media Summit” at the White House.
  170. Trump bragged how his tweets used to be more effective: “I used to watch it: it’d be like a rocket ship when I put out a beauty,” adding, “Like when I said, remember I said somebody was spying on me?”
  171. Trump said, “To me free speech is not when you see something good and then you purposely write bad,” adding, “To me that’s very dangerous speech, and you become angry at it. But that’s not free speech.”
  172. On Thursday, the American Federation of Teachers union sued Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, alleging her department mismanaged a program that forgives teachers’ and public workers’ loans after 10 years of payment.
  173. DeVos tried to end Public Service Loan Forgiveness for three years by removing it from her budget, but lawmakers have funded it. The lawsuit alleges DeVos denied applicants “on arbitrary and capricious grounds.”
  174. On Thursday, WAPO reported in an upcoming book by reporter Tim Alberta, former House Speaker Paul Ryan said of Trump, “ he didn’t know anything about government … I wanted to scold him all the time.”
  175. Ryan also said people around Trump “helped to stop him from making bad decisions. All the time.” The author said he did not think Ryan could stand another two years of Trump, and viewed retirement as an “escape hatch.”
  176. On Thursday, Trump attacked Ryan on Twitter, calling him “the failed V.P. candidate” and “lame duck failure,” and saying his “record of achievement was atrocious (except during my first two years as President).”
  177. Trump also tweeted Ryan “quit Congress because he didn’t know how to Win,” adding, “They gave me standing O’s in the Great State of Wisconsin, & booed him off the stage,” and, “He promised me the Wall, & failed.”
  178. On Friday, before heading to Ryan’s home state of Wisconsin for a rally, Trump told reporters on the South Lawn, Ryan was a “baby,” and a “terrible speaker,” and “didn’t know what the hell he was doing.”
  179. Trump also claimed Alberta may have paid Ryan for an interview, telling reporters, “maybe he gets paid for that.” In a tweet, Alberta responded, “I did not pay Paul Ryan for the interview.”
  180. Trump allies in the House dismissed Ryan’s take, calling it “a little bit of revisionist history.” Rep. Amash called Ryan one of Trump’s “biggest enablers,” calling it “ridiculous” he waited until he left to criticize him.
  181. On Thursday, William McGinley, the chief liaison between the White House and federal agencies, resigned. McGinley was one of the last remaining senior staffers from the beginning of Trump’s time in office.
  182. On Friday, Acosta resigned as Labor Secretary. Trump, standing with Acosta on the South Lawn, announced the resignation, saying Acosta had called him that morning saying he planned to step down.
  183. Trump said, “This was him, not me,” adding Acosta “has been a “great, great secretary” and a “tremendous talent,” and noting Acosta “went to Harvard, a great student.”
  184. Trump named Acosta’s deputy, Patrick Pizzella, to serve as Labor Secretary. With Acosta’s departure, four cabinet positions will be led by acting secretaries (labor, chief of staff, defense, homeland security).
  185. Including Acosta, 13 Trump Cabinet members have departed, not counting those who served in an acting capacity. Several also left under ethics scandals including Scott Pruitt, Tom Price, David Shulkin, and Ryan Zinke.
  186. Standing with Acosta, Trump attacked familiar targets for 30 minutes. He said the Times is a “very dishonest newspaper” doing “a tremendous disservice to this country,” and “They are truly the enemy of the people.”
  187. Trump also mentioned Article 2 of the Constitution on the executive branch, saying, “Nobody ever mentions Article 2,” adding, “It gives me all of these rights at a level that nobody has ever seen before.
  188. On Friday, Mueller said he would postpone his testimony to allow members of the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees to question him. Under the July 17 deal, Mueller would have appeared for just two hours for each committee.
  189. Because of the five-minute questioning limit, only senior members of each committee could participate, raising an outcry from other committee members. Negotiations continued between parties during the day.
  190. Later Friday, the two House committees and Mueller seemed to reach agreement to postpone his testimony until July 24, and give both panels more time to question him.
  191. On Friday, speaking to reporters at the White House, Trump berated House Democrats on the testimony, saying there is nothing Mueller “can say,” adding, “He’s written a report.
  192. Trump added the report said, “It said no collusion, and it said, effectively, no obstruction,” adding, “They want to go it again and again and again because they want to hurt the president before the election.”
  193. Trump also confirmed ICE raids are set to start on Sunday, and will target criminals, saying, “There’s nothing to be secret about. ICE is law enforcement, they’re great patriots. They have a tough job.”
  194. Most mayors in the 10 cities targeted have criticized the raids, and said they will not cooperate with ICE or give them police database information or cooperation. New Orleans was removed due to a tropical storm.
  195. Trump criticized “mayors in sanctuary cities” citing New York City’s mayor, saying, “But a guy like de Blasio probably wouldn’t want the raid. Many mayors do…They don’t want to have crime in their cities or states.”
  196. Trump said of the controversy between Speaker Pelosi and four freshman Democrats, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez should treat Pelosi “with respect,” also claiming she lied about a migrant woman drinking toilet water.
  197. Trump also said of the four freshmen, also including Reps. Omar Ilhan, Rashida Tlaib, and Ayanna Pressley, all of whom are women of color, that they are a group of people that he does not “know where they came from.”
  198. On Friday, tens of thousands of protestors participated in over 700 “Lights for Liberty” immigration vigils around the country to protest conditions at immigration detention centers at the southern border.
  199. On Friday, Axios reported Trump is privately telling confidants that he wants to remove Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats. Sources said the conversations on the topic have been happening for months.
  200. A source said Trump views the Office of DNI as an unnecessary bureaucratic layer and since he cannot get rid of it, he wants to “downsize” the office. Reportedly, Trump is no longer listening to Coats.
  201. On Friday, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the Trump regime, saying the DOJ was within its rights to withhold Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) grants from sanctuary cities.
  202. On Friday, CNN reported a federal investigation by the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s office into whether Trump Organization executives violated campaign finance laws looks to be wrapping up without charges.
  203. On Friday, the Federal Trade Commission voted to approve the $5 billion Facebook settlement over releasing private information on users to Cambridge Analytica. Democrats labelled the settlement “chump change.”
  204. BuzzFeed reported on a secret recording of a meeting revealing Russia tried to funnel millions of dollars into Italian deputy prime minister Matteo Salvini’s far-right party. Salvini is known as “European Trump.”
  205. The meeting of three Russians and three Italians, including a close aide to Salvini, was held in October 2018to discuss a strategy to undermine liberal democracies and shape a new, nationalist Europe aligned with Moscow.
  206. No evidence has surfaced that the deal went through, or showing Salvini’s direct involvement, but the tape ignited questions of whether the far-right League party broke Italian political laws.

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THE LIST — weeks 1–52 of The Weekly List is out as a book! You can order your copy by clicking here.

Vice President Mike Pence visited a detention center in McAllen, Texas on Friday and saw hundreds of migrant detainees packed into their holding areas surrounded by a chain-link fence.

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 IN BRUSSELS, BELGIUM: JUSTICE AND TRUTH FOR MAWDA

As best I can understand from reading the French and the translations, it’s been a year since 2 year old Mawda was killed by a policeman in an operation that was apparently intended to question a multitude of migrants under the guise of human trafficking. A traffic stop occurred and the people wouldn’t get out of their car. For some reason, police started shooting and Mawda was accidentally shot and killed. From what I gather with the stickers and graffiti, justice hasn’t been served in the case.

If you read French, here’s an article: http://www.justicepourmawda.be

28/29jun2019. Brussels, Belgium.

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 137: THE UNIMAGINABLE REALITY

JUNE 22, 2019

Week 136 https://theweeklylist.org/weekly-list/week-136/

Experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things

subtly changing around you, so you’ll remember.

New York City, June 2019
No Child is Illegal by LMNOPI. New York City, June 2019.

This week Trump manufactured two major story lines: an almost war with Iran, and mass roundups and deportations of “millions” of immigrants. The two stories occupied much of the national attention, while Trump continued to stonewall Congressional attempts at oversight.

Authoritarian expert Masha Gessen wrote about “The Unimaginable Reality of American Concentration Camps,” as a national discussion over conditions at border facilities played out. Journalists, who have been given no access to facilities, reported through interviews on the alarming treatment of migrant children, including overcrowding, illness, and lack of basic necessities.

Trump came close to starting a war with Iran on Thursday, and reportedly was prepared and close to launch a missile attack. Of concern, Trump continued to act unilaterally and not seek Congressional approval — notably Speaker Pelosi said Friday she was not informed of Trump’s planned attack, despite being second in line for the White House. Meanwhile, pressure to start an impeachment inquiry grew as 76 House members called for impeachment as public opinion, largely among Democrats, is shifting in favor of it.

West Village, NYC. June 2019.
Smash the Patriarchy by Captain Eyeliner in NYC, June 2019.

1 On Saturday, NYT reported the U.S. is stepping up cyberwarfare against Russia, using digital incursions into Russia’s electric power grid and other targets as a warning to Russia to stay out of U.S. cyber infrastructure.

2 The previously unreported deployment of computer code into Russia’s grid has taken place over the past three months in tandem with public actions announced after hacking and disinformation during the 2018 midterms.

3 These steps mark a shift to going on offense, and being positioned against aggressions. The Department of Homeland Security and FBI have said Russia has inserted malware in U.S. power plants, pipelines, and water supplies.

4 The actions were taken using new legal authorities quietly slipped into the military authorization bill passed by Congress last summer, allowing the defense secretary to take action without requiring presidential approval.

5 Two officials told the Times that Trump had not been briefed on the moves, which could spark a digital Cold War between the countries, out of concern he might countermand or discuss it with foreign officials.

6 On Saturday, Trump tweeted, “Do you believe that the Failing New York Times” did a story on increasing cyber attacks on Russia, calling it a “virtual act of Treason by a once great paper so desperate for a story.”

7 Trump also tweeted the reporting was “bad for our Country” and “ALSO, NOT TRUE!” saying, “Anything goes with our Corrupt News Media today,” calling them “cowards” and “THE ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE!”

8 On Saturday, the NYT responded to Trump, saying, “accusing the press of treason is dangerous,” adding, “We described the article to the government before publication” and “there were no concerns.”

9 On Sunday, Trump tweeted a poll should be done on “which is the more dishonest and deceitful newspaper,” the NYT or WAPO, adding “they are both a disgrace to our Country” and “the Enemy of the People.”

10 Trump also again mused about serving beyond the two term limit, tweeting “at the end of 6 years” after America is “GREAT” again, “do you think the people would demand that I stay longer?”

11 On Sunday, in celebration of Father’s Day, Trump tweeted, “Happy Father’s Day to all, including my worst and most vicious critics, of which there are fewer and fewer,” adding, “KEEP AMERICA GREAT!”

12 On Sunday, in a newly released part of his ABC News interview Trump chastised acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney for coughing, saying, “If you’re going to cough, please leave the room,” and asking for a retake.

13 On Sunday, ABC aired the hour long interview with Trump. The interview was a rating bust, coming in third in its evening time slot.

14 On Sunday, NBC News reported the Trump re-election campaign cut ties with some of its own pollsters, after leaked polling data which surfaced in Week 135 showed him trailing Democratic rivals in many states.

15 On Monday, Trump dismissed polling by Fox News which showed him losing to multiple Democratic presidential candidates, tweeting, “Something weird going on at Fox,” adding, “More Fake News.”

16 On Monday, Trump vowed mass immigration arrests, tweeting in the late evening: “Next week ICE will begin the process of removing the millions of illegal aliens who have illicitly found their way into the United States.”

17 Trump also tweeted, “They will be removed as fast as they come in.” Trump praised Mexico and Guatemala, but added, “The only ones who won’t do anything are the Democrats in Congress.”

18 On Monday, the State Department announced the regime is ending foreign aid for Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador until they take “concrete actions to reduce the number of illegal migrants” coming to the U.S.

19 Experts warned that cutting off aid will only exacerbate the conditions in the countries which are causing people to migrate. The regime’s plan is likely to face opposition in the Congress.

20 On Tuesday, WAPO reported Trump and Stephen Miller have recently pushed to remove thousands of immigrants whose deportation orders were expedited. Publicizing a large-scale ICE operation is unheard of.

21 ICE officials told the Post they were not aware that Trump planned to make the plan public. Trump’s tweet of deporting millions was also at odds with available ICE budget and staffing.

22 On Tuesday, government attorney Sarah Fabian argued before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals that migrant children sleeping on concrete floors is “safe and sanitary” and they did not need soap and toothbrushes.

23 Attorneys for the detained children argued the Trump regime is not following the requirements of the 1997 Flores Agreement for humane treatment, even though sanitary items are not specifically mentioned.

24 The judges appeared stunned by the regime’s arguments, with one saying, “I find it inconceivable that the government would say that that is safe and sanitary.” It is not clear when the panel will issue its decision.

25 On Wednesday, data obtained by the AP showed an El Paso border facility is neglecting 250 migrant infants, children, and teens, with kids taking care of kids and an inadequate supply of food, water, and sanitation.

26 Three girls told lawyers they alternated taking care of a 2 year-old boy who wet his pants and had no diapers. Lawyers could not discern where the boy was from or about his family from because he was not speaking.

27 Many of the children arrived alone, but some were separated from their families. A law advocate said in her 22 years of visiting children in detention, she had “never heard of this level of inhumanity.”

28 The acting Customs and Border Protection Commissioner said CBP is holding 15,000 people while 4,000 is capacity. A psychoanalyst who evaluated 50 parents and children noted trauma causing lasting damage.

29 On Thursday, Dallas Morning News reported allegations made by acting Department of Homeland Security secretary Kevin McAleenan to Congress that 90% of those seeking asylum were skipping court dates is false.

30 McAleenan used the data to justify round-ups. Data showed that close to 100% of 47,000 asylum-seeking families with legal aid showed up to court. McAleenan’s data was from 7,000 cases decided in abstenia.

31 On Thursday, in an interview with Telemundo, Trump lied, saying he inherited an Obama-era policy of separating migrant families, saying, “Obama had a separation policy…I’m the one that put ’em together.”

32 On Friday, NYT reported on an overcrowded border station in Clinton, Texas, where hundreds of migrant children are being held. Children are wearing clothes caked with snot and tears, and toddlers have no diapers.

33 Most detainees have not been able to bathe or wash their clothes since they crossed the border. They have not been given toothbrushes, toothpaste, or soap. An advocate visiting described the scene, saying “there is a stench.”

34 The facility is one impacted by Trump regime not providing basics like soap or toothbrushes to the children. An advocate visiting said the conditions are the worse she has ever seen, with no care for sick children.

35 In the facility, guards wore wearing full uniforms, including weapons and face masks, to protect themselves from the unsanitary conditions. Children are locked up in cells nearly all day long, and are not getting enough food.

36 Border crossings have slowed in recent weeks, but remain high compared to recent years. Journalists and lawyers have been offered little access, so the overcrowded conditions are occurring without visibility to the public.

37 On Friday, HuffPost reported four toddlers under the age of 3 years-old at the Border Patrol facility in McAllen, Texas were so severely ill, that immigration lawyers forced the government to have them hospitalized.

38 The four were in the care of teenage mothers or guardians, and were feverish, coughing, vomiting, and had diarrhea. One toddler was “completely unresponsive” and limp, with her eyes rolled back in her head.

39 On Friday, WAPO reported Trump has directed ICE to conduct mass roundups of family members who have received deportation orders. Raids are expected to begin in the early hours of Sunday.

40 ICE and DHS refer to the roundup as “family op,” and will target 2,000 families in 10 cities, including Houston, Chicago, Miami, Los Angeles, Atlanta, New York, Baltimore, Denver, San Francisco, and New Orleans.

41 McAleenan has urged Trump to narrow the roundup to 150 families, so as to avoid separating children from parents, and has voiced that ICE resources are better used for the crisis at the southern border.

42 The Los Angeles Police Department said it will not participate or assist in the roundup. New York AG Letitia James called it a “despicable act of racism and xenophobia that is antithetical to our basic human values.”

43 On Friday, acting ICE Director Mark Morgan defended the roundups, telling NPR, “my duty is not to look at the political optics, or the will the American people,” but to enforce the law and integrity of the system.

44 Morgan also repeated the false claim that the “majority of them don’t even show up. And then when they didn’t show up, they received ordered removal in absentia,” adding, “We have no choice.”

45 On Friday, authoritarianism expert Masha Gessen wrote at the New Yorker “The Unimaginable Reality of American Concentration Camps,” citing “how we perceive history, ourselves, and ourselves in history.”

46 Gessen wrote: “Anything that happens here and now is normalized, not solely through the moral failure of contemporaries but simply by virtue of actually existing. Allow me to illustrate.”

47 On Saturday, a video posted on social media showed Phoenix police threatening to shoot a black family after their 4 year-old took a doll from a store. The incident led to an investigation and lawsuit against police.

48 On Tuesday, on the eve of House hearings on reparations for slavery, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters he was not in favor of reparations, calling it “for something that happened 150 years ago.”

49 McConnell also said slavery is something “none of us currently living are responsible” for, and added we paid for the “sin of slavery” by passing civil rights legislation and by electing “an African American president.”

50 On Wednesday, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee sponsored a bill before a House hearing of a 13 member commission which would allocate $12 million to study the effects of slavery and make recommendations to Congress.

51 Hundreds of spectators filled three overflowing rooms. Republican lawmakers and witnesses said black people should pull themselves up by their own bootstraps, saying reparations might damage their psyches.

52 Writer Ta-Nehisi Coates, whose 2014 article helped rekindle the conversation, responded to McConnell: “While emancipation dead-bolted the door against the bandits of America, Jim Crow wedged the windows wide open.”

53 Coates also said McConnell was “alive for the redlining of Chicago and the looting of black homeowners of some $4 billion,” adding, “Victims of their plunder are very much alive today.”

54 On Thursday, Fox News host Laura Ingraham backed Leader McConnell on her podcast, dismissing the idea of reparations, saying there are no “do-overs,” adding, “we won, you lost, that’s that. That’s just the way it is.”

55 On Wednesday, a federal judge in Maryland ruled that new information from hard drives of a deceased Republican redistricting strategist on the 2020 census question in Week 133 merits more consideration.

56 The case is now with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit, but could be returned to the federal judge who said the new evidence “raises a substantial issue,” and could reach the Supreme Court again.

57 On Wednesday, the Senate confirmed Matthew Kacsmaryk to a lifelong federal judgeship, despite his record of hostility towards the LGBTQ community and having criticized Roe v. Wade.

58 On Thursday, in a major set-back for women’s health, a panel of federal judges ruled that the Trump regime’s abortion “gag rule” can go into effect, making clinics that provide abortion ineligible for Title IX funds.

59 Planned Parenthood could lose $60 million in funding from the ruling. Attorneys general from 21 states argued the rule undermines the patient-provider relationship and endangers the health of millions of women.

60 On Friday, Missouri’s health department notified Planned Parenthood, the state’s only abortion clinic, that it declined to renew their license. The judge said his preliminary injunction to remain open is in place for now.

61 On Friday, Wisconsin’s Democratic Gov. Tony Evers vetoed four bills that would have restricted access to abortion, implicated doctors who perform abortions, and cut funding to Planned Parenthood.

62 On Friday, writer E. Jean Carroll came forward in a New York Magazine article to say that Trump raped her 23 years ago in a dressing room of the Bergdorf Goodman department store in midtown Manhattan.

63 Carroll, now 75, told two friends about the incident at the time. WAPO interviewed one friend who encouraged Carroll to go to the police at the time. The episode in the article is an excerpt from her new book.

64 Trump responded Friday in a statement, calling the allegations “fake news” and repeating his common refrain, “I’ve never met this person in my life.” The article is accompanied by a photo of the two together in 1987.

65 Trump accused Carroll of trying to sell books, “It should be sold in the fiction section,” and questioned if she was working with the Democratic Party. Carroll is the 16th woman to accuse Trump of sexual misconduct.

66 On Tuesday, AP reported U.S. air quality is worsening, after decades of improving. There were 15% more days with unhealthy air in 2017 and 2018 than the average of 2013 through 2016, the cleanest four years.

67 On Wednesday, Trump’s EPA issued the Affordable Clean Energy rule, the regime’s most significant step towards unwinding federal regulations aimed at addressing climate change.

68 The new rule cuts carbon emissions from power plants by less than half of what experts said was need to avoid catastrophic climate change. Trump aides and GOP lawmakers celebrated it as a victory for coal companies.

69 Also, unlike Obama’s 2015 Clean Power Plan, Trump’s rule does not set specific greenhouse gas emissions cuts, relieving pressure to improve efficiency by switching from coal to lower-carbon energy sources.

70 On Friday, Oregon’s Democratic Gov. Kate Brown sent Oregon State Police to fetch 11 GOP state senators who had fled to Idaho to avoid giving the Democrats a needed quorum to vote on bills to combat climate change.

71 On Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu convened his cabinet to inaugurate a new community located on the occupied Golan Heights, which will be named “Trump Heights” to recognize his ally.

72 On Monday, after threats from Trump, Iran warned it would breach limits on stockpiled enriched uranium under the 2015 deal which Trump exited. The White House National Security Council called it “nuclear blackmail.”

73 The U.S. sent 1,000 more troops to the region on Monday. On Tuesday, Iran President Hassan Rouhani said on state-TV, “Iran will not wage war against any nation,” and Russia called on the U.S. to stop stoking tension.

74 On Tuesday, Politico reported the Trump regime is laying the groundwork for a possible conflict with Iran, while preparing to do so without needing Congressional approval.

75 On Monday, Politico reported House Democrats investigating obstruction of justice are considering bypassing Trump’s use of executive privilege by calling for testimony from people outside the government.

76 Names cited in the Mueller report who may be called include former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski and Chris Christie, as well as former top campaign officials Paul Manafort and Rick Gates.

77 On Monday, Politico reported Democrats on the House Foreign Affairs Committee are quietly racking up oversight wins against Trump in areas like retaliation at the State Department and Trump’s relation with Putin.

78 Chair Eliot Engel has eschewed cable-TV and other flashy rhetoric, allowing bipartisan cooperation on his committee, with Republicans exasperated with Trump on foreign policy and national security issues.

79 On Monday, the Supreme Court voted 7-2 to uphold the ‘double jeopardy’ standard. The ruling could blunt the impact of potential Trump pardons for individuals like Manafort, who also faces charges in New York.

80 On Monday, NYT reported that as Manafort was scheduled to head to Rikers Island, last week Manhattan prosecutors received an unusual letter from Jeffrey Rosen, a top deputy of Attorney General William Barr.

81 Rosen indicated he was monitoring where Manafort would be held. Then on Monday, federal prison officials weighed in saying Manafort would not be go to Rikers, where most federal inmates facing state charges are held.

82 Former DOJ officials and state prosecutors said it was highly unusual for the second highest official at the DOJ to take an interest in such a case. The decision is typically made by the warden where the inmate is being held.

83 On Monday, Daily News reported five undocumented immigrants fired from Trump’s golf courses in New York and New Jersey planned to hold a press conference in Florida on Tuesday, ahead of Trump’s 2020 launch.

84 On Tuesday, ahead of Trump’s official 2020 re-election campaign launch in Orlando, Florida, the Orlando Sentinel took the unusual step of endorsing “Not Donald Trump.”

85 The Sentinel cited, “after 2½ years we’ve seen enough” of “the chaos, the division, the schoolyard insults, the self-aggrandizement, the corruption, and especially the lies,” adding he “diminished our standing in the world.”

86 On Tuesday, while speaking to reporters before heading to Orlando, Trump refused to apologize for his prior call for the Central Park 5 to get the death penalty. Trump said, “You have people on both sides of that.”

87 Trump said “they admitted their guilt,” and “some of the prosecutors, they think that the city should never have settled that case,” adding, “You better believe that I hate the people who took this girl and raped her brutally.”

88 On Tuesday, Trump launched his re-election bid, picking up on many familiar themes from his 2016 campaign, promising greatness and invoking many of the same grievances from that campaign.

89 Trump relished in his victory over Hillary Clinton while the crowd shouted, “Lock her up!” Trump said he was still looking for her missing emails, and teased about having the DOJ prosecute her.

90 Trump attacked the media, calling reporters in the arena “fake news” while the crowd cheered the familiar refrain, “CNN sucks.”

91 Trump attacked Democrats, calling them “radical” and saying they are “driven by hatred, prejudice and rage,” and warning, “They want to destroy you, and they want to destroy our country as we know it.”

92 Trump said immigrants should come on the basis of merit, saying the Democrat agenda of open borders is “morally reprehensible,” and “the greatest betrayal of the American middle class, and frankly American life.”

93 CNN calculated that Trump made 15 false statement during his 76-minutes speech, many of which he has repeated frequently in the past, including the topics of trade, the environment, Russia, his wall, and Hillary’s emails.

94 WAPO reported after the rally, Trump flew on Air Force One in the opposite direction of the White House to visit his Doral golf course, his 126th visit to a Trump property since taking office.

95 Trump also recently suggested his Doral golf course to host the Group of Seven meeting of world leaders. Trump has gotten pushback from the White House Counsel’s Office on the topic but has ignored it.

96 Trump has reshaped the GOP fundraising schedule, with 23 of 63 fundraisers he attended taking place at one of his properties. Trump properties have also become a vendor for the federal government.

97 On Thursday, Media Matters reported Sinclair broadcasting is forcing its local stations to run a commentary segment which is akin to an unofficial Trump 2020 campaign ad within a short window after its release.

98 In one clip, former Trump aide Boris Epshteyn said, “The energy behind President Trump and his “America First” movement is palpable,” praising “crowds that fill up massive stadiums” and social media engagement.

99 On Monday, Jarrod Agen, Vice President Mike Pence’s communications director and one of his most trusted advisers who held multiple roles, announced he was leaving to take a job at Lockheed Martin.

100 On Tuesday, Trump announced on Twitter that Patrick Shanahan, his nominee for defense secretary, was withdrawing. WAPO and USA Today reported on incidents of domestic violence involving his family.

101 Trump told reporters he did not ask Shanahan to withdraw. Trump nominated Secretary of the Army Mark Esper to replace Shanahan, who prior was the head lobbyist for defense company Raytheon.

102 On Tuesday, CNN reported Katharine Gorka is expected to be named press secretary for CBP. Gorka, the wife of far-right extremist Sebastian Gorka, has been a political appointee at DHS since shortly after Trump took office.

103 Gorka has stirred controversy over her views on terrorism and has ties to far-right national groups. In Week 40, she helped pull DHS funding for Life After Hate, a group set up to counter neo-Nazis and white supremacists.

104 On Thursday, Trump appointee Eric Blankenstein, who left the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in May over racially charged online posts from years ago, was hired by the Department of Housing and Urban Development as a senior legal counsel.

105 On Tuesday, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer told reporters Senate Democrats will prioritize defense amendments to boost election security and keep Russia from meddling in 2020.

106 On Tuesday, Reuters reported Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blocked the inclusion of Saudi Arabia from a U.S. list of countries that recruit child soldiers, despite experts’ findings of their use in the Yemen’s civil war.

107 On Wednesday, a months-long United Nations investigation by Agnes Callamard, a human rights expert, into the killing of Jamal Khashoggi found “credible evidence” Saudi Crown Prince MBS was likely involved.

108 She faulted the U.S. and other countries for not exerting enough pressure on Saudis, and called for sanctioning and freezing the prince’s assets until a final determination is made. Saudi Arabia would not allow her in.

109 Pompeo said Trump deplored the killing of Khashoggi, but that the U.S. relationship is too important to be sidetracked by one incident. Callamard called the U.S. response ambiguous and conflicted.

110 On Thursday, the Senate rebuked Trump, voting to block billions of weapons sales to Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Trump had tried to circumvent Congress by declaring an emergency over Iran.

111 Seven Republicans, including Trump ally Lindsey Graham voted with Democrats in the Senate, not enough to override an expected veto by Trump. Britain announced a similar measure on Thursday.

112 On Thursday, Reuters reported ex-U.S. Marine Paul Whelan, who is being held in Russia over accusations of spying, told reporters he was asking Trump and the leaders of Britain, Canada, and Ireland for help.

113 Whelan said he has been threatened and harassed by a Russian investigator. He said, “we cannot keep America great unless we aggressively protect and defend American citizens wherever they are.”

114 On Tuesday, Bloomberg reported that Trump believes he has the authority to oust Jerome Powell as Federal Reserve Chair and demote him to board governor, saying the Fed had gone crazy” under Powell.

115 On Wednesday, the Fed left rates unchanged, with a rate cut possible soon. Asked by reporters about Trump’s comments, Chair Powell said, “I think the law is clear that I have a four-year term and I fully intend to serve it.”

116 On Wednesday, Trump awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to conservative economist Arthur Laffer. In his remarks, Trump said the Laffer Curve is “still, a very, very highly respected economic curve.”

117 Laffer, along with his disciple Stephen Moore, wrote a fawning book about Trump’s economic policies called “Trumponomics.” Trump’s $1.5 trillion tax cuts did not generate more tax revenue as Laffer’s theory posits.

118 On Wednesday, NYT reported federal prosecutors are investigating if Deutsche Bank complied with laws meant to stop money laundering and other crimes, including handling of suspicious activity reports.

119 The FBI has contacted former employee Tammy McFadden, who spoke to the Times in Week 131. The investigation marks the largest government examination of potential misconduct at one of the world’s largest banks.

120 FBI agents are also speaking to Val Broeksmit, the son of Deutsche Bank executive William Broeksmit, who committed suicide in 2014, about the bank’s role with Russian money laundering. Val has provided documents.

121 In addition to the FBI, the DOJ’s Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section and the U.S. attorney’s offices in Manhattan and Brooklyn are also investigating the bank, as are two House committees.

122 On Tuesday, White House Counsel Pat Cipollone said in a letter to House Judiciary Chair Jerrold Nadler that Hope Hick “is absolutely immune” from answering questions about her time on the transition team and White House staff.

123 Cipollone said a White House lawyer will be present for Hicks’ testimony “in order to preserve” Trump’s ability “to assert executive privilege.” The testimony will be private, but a transcript will be released within 48 hours.

124 On Wednesday, in a series of morning tweets, Trump attacked Democrats, saying they are “unhappy with the Mueller Report, so after almost 3 years, they want a Redo,” calling it “extreme Presidential Harassment.”

125 Trump tweeted Democrats gave “Crooked Hillary’s people complete Immunity, yet now they bring back Hope Hicks,” asking why aren’t they looking at “33,000 Emails that Hillary and her lawyer deleted.”

126 Trump also tweeted, “That is real Obstruction that the Dems want no part of because their hearings are RIGGED and a disgrace to our Country!” adding, “DEMOCRAT CONGRESSIONAL HEARINGS ARE #RIGGED!”

127 Trump also tweeted if he did not have the “Phony Witch Hunt” and if the “Fake News Media and their partner in Crime, the Democrats” played it straight, he would be “ way up in the Polls right now.”

128 On Wednesday, Mark Thompson, CEO of the NYT said Trump “isolating journalists, as a group…is a really frankly hostile, stupid but also dangerous thing to do” at a CNBC forum.

129 On Wednesday, in an op-ed at the Journal, NYT Publisher A.G. Sulzberger said Trump accusing the newspaper of “treason” crossed “a dangerous line” of “accusing the Times of a crime so grave it is punishable by death.”

130 Sulzberger wrote, “He’s gone from misrepresenting our business, to assaulting our integrity, to demonizing our journalists with a phrase that’s been used by generations of demagogues,” to treason accusations.

131 On Wednesday, the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker reported Trump had tweeted negatively about the press in every day of June so far, marking “the longest stretch since he declared his candidacy.”

132 The group also found that in the first 18 days of June, Trump had tweeted 44 times, some days up to five times per day, and that since Trump launched his 2016 campaign, he has sent over 1,500 negative tweets.

133 Later Wednesday, Trump tweeted, “So sad that the Democrats are putting wonderful Hope Hicks through hell,” saying Democrats want a “Do Over,” adding, “Very unfair & costly to her. Will it ever end?”

134 Trump also asked why Democrats are not “asking Hillary Clinton why she deleted and acid washed her Emails,” adding, “anybody else would be in jail for that,” and “Rigged House Committee.”

135 On Wednesday, the House Judiciary Committee interviewed Hope Hicks. NYT reported she refused to answer nearly every question about her time working in the regime, citing Trump said she was “absolutely immune.”

136 Democrats said Hicks even refused to answer about the location of her West Wing office at the closed door hearings. Hicks did discuss her time on the campaign, but with reportedly no meaningful revelations.

137 Democrats on the committee threatened to take Hicks to court to enforce the subpoena for her full testimony. Hicks was referred to more than 180 times in the Mueller report.

138 Legal experts said the legal process of compelling former White House officials like Hicks and Don McGahn could take several months or years to wind through the court system. Impeachment would hasten the process.

139 On Thursday, Politico reported according to a transcript of Hick’s interview released late Wednesday, she refused to answer 155 questions during her House testimony.

140 The transcript revealed dozens of objections from White House lawyers to prevent her from answering, including questions on Trump’s attempts to restrain the Mueller probe through directives to McGahn to fire Mueller.

141 At one point, Chair Nadler challenged a White House lawyer’s claims of “absolute immunity,” telling him, “that is absolute nonsense as a matter of law.” Hicks at times became snarky, and remained loyal to Trump.

142 On Thursday, Chair Nadler told Politico that House Democrats would file a lawsuit within days to compel Hicks and McGahn to testify, adding Hicks’ blanket refusal is a huge gift in the legal battle with Trump.

143 Nadler said, “We knew this was going to happen. The point of it was to dramatize for the court what the implications of this are.” The committee plans to show courts the Trump regime’s extremist view on stonewalling.

144 On Thursday, WAPO reported Felix Sater, a Russian-born real estate developer and Trump business partner who worked on Trump Tower Moscow, will testify Friday before the House Intelligence Committee.

145 Sater said, “I will answer every question without exception” in the closed door session. Sater also detailed what he described as a two-decade-long history of assisting the FBI, the CIA, and Defense Intelligence Agency.

146 On Friday, Sater was an unexplained no-show for the House hearings. Chair Adam Schiff said, “He agreed to appear this morning. He did not show up. We will have to subpoena him.”

147 On Friday, Politico reported that Sater’s excuse for missing his scheduled appearance was that he was feeling ill and slept through his alarm on Friday morning.

148 On Wednesday, the Trump regime reversed its decision to end the Job Corps Civilian Conservation Centers announced in Week 133, after a backlash from a bipartisan lawmakers, including Leader McConnell.

149 On Wednesday, Trump called in to Fox News host Sean Hannity for what ended up being a 45-minute long interview. Trump accused two members of Congress of taking photos of Hicks and leaking them to the media.

150 Trump’s claim was false, but Hannity validated it by saying, “Oh good grief.” Trump continued on a variety of familiar topics, including Russia and his Wall. Trump continued as Ingraham’s show started at 10 p.m.

151 Trump pushed back on Hannity saying many people would like for Trump to “turn off the switch” and use Twitter less, telling Hannity “you’re not really patriots as much as you want ratings.”

152 Trump also told Hannity he might live tweet the Democratic debates next week despite his aides not wanting him to, saying “maybe I will now,” adding, “Instead of fake news, I’ll make them correct news. And that’s OK.”

153 On Thursday, Time released a transcript of its interview with Trump. When asked about the Mueller report, Trump changed topics to threaten a photographer for attempting to photograph his letter from Kim Jong Un.

154 Trump said, “Well, you can go to prison, instead, because if you use, if you use the photograph you took of the letter that I gave you . . . ” The Time reporter then tried to continue the interview.

155 Trump added, “confidentially, I didn’t give it to you to take photographs of it — so don’t play that game with me.” Asked if he was threatening jail time, Trump changed the subject to Time’s unfavorable coverage of him.

156 On Sunday, a WSJ-NBC News poll found 48% of Democrats want to begin impeachment hearings, up from 30% last month. Overall 27% support for starting impeachment up from 17% last month.

157 The poll also found that overall, 51% of Americans believe impeachment should start now or Congress should continue to investigate, up slightly from 49% last month. Opposition to impeachment remained at 48%.

158 On Wednesday, 71 House members were for impeachment, including 70 Democrats and Republican Rep. Justin Amash. Notably, only one of the 12 key committee chairs, Chair Maxine Waters, is for impeachment.

159 On Thursday, Rep. Jan Schakowsky became the 72nd to call for impeachment, but hours later, she qualified her call to say Speaker Pelosi was “ultimately right” in her push to get rid of Trump in the 2020 election.

160 On Wednesday, tensions grew between the Trump regime and lawmakers of both parties over whether Trump could use the 2001 authorization for the use of military force (AUMF) for a military strike against Iran.

161 Secretary of State Pompeo told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee the basis would be Iran’s connections to al Qaeda, which he called “very real.” GOP Sen. Rand Paul said “there are no credible links” between al Qaeda and Iran.

162 The State Department’s special envoy for Iran said adding troops was for protection, not a strike. A bipartisan group of Senators said in a letter “Congress has not authorized war” and there was no statutory authority.

163 On Thursday, the U.S. military confirmed Iran’s Revolutionary Guard shot down a U.S. surveillance drone over the Strait of Hormuz, considered international waters, the first direct attack by Iran on U.S. military.

164 Trump tweeted shortly after, “Iran made a very big mistake,” and when asked about a U.S. response said, “You’ll soon find out.” Iran denied the U.S. version of events, saying the drone strayed into Iranian airspace.

165 As he met with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Trump said, “We have it all documented. It’s documented scientifically, not just words.” When asked what came next, Trump said, “Let’s see what happens.”

166 Later, Trump seemed to soften, telling reporters, “I find it hard to believe it was intentional, if you want to know the truth,” adding, “I think that it could have been somebody who was loose and stupid that did it.”

167 At mid-day, Russian President Vladimir Putin said during a televised direct line with the Russian public that a war between the U.S. and Iran “would be a catastrophe” and “could have possibly sad consequences.”

168 On Thursday, NYT reported Trump had approved retaliatory strikes against Iran, and as of 7 p.m. military and diplomatic officials were expecting strikes on a handful of targets.

169 Trump’s decision came after a discussion at the White House including his top national security officials and Congressional leaders. The strike was set to take place just before dawn on Friday in order to minimize risk.

170 Secretary of State Pompeo, national security adviser John Bolton, and CIA director Gina Haspel had favored a strike. Top Pentagon officials warned it could escalate. Congressional leaders were briefed in the Situation Room.

171 After the briefing, Democratic leaders called on Trump to de-escalate and to seek congressional authorization before taking any military action.

172 Later in the evening, Trump abruptly called off the strike, which would have been his third, including two strikes in Syria. It was unclear if Trump changed his mind or the regime altered course for some reason.

173 On Friday, Trump again attacked the Times, referring to a Washington Examiner story about a 2017 email from a NYT reporter to an FBI official. Trump tweeted about “the Failing and Desperate New York Times.”

174 Trump falsely claimed the Times “was feeding false stories about me, & those associated with me, to the FBI,” calling them a “Crooked newspaper” and asking, “Is what they have done legal?

175 On Friday, the Washington Examiner issued a correction, removing the characterization that a NYT reporter ‘fed information’ to the FBI, adding “we regret” the story did not meet our “normal standards and procedures.”

176 On Friday, in a series of tweets on Iran, Trump said Obama “made a desperate and terrible deal with Iran” falsely claiming Obama bailed Iran out by giving them “150 Billion Dollars plus 1.8 Billion Dollars in CASH!”

177 Trump blamed Obama for giving Iran “a free path to Nuclear Weapons, and SOON,” adding, “I terminated deal, which was not even ratified by Congress, and imposed strong sanctions” claiming he has weakened Iran.

178 Trump added after Iran shot down the drone, “We were cocked & loaded to retaliate last night on 3 different sights when I asked, how many will die. 150 people, sir, was the answer from a General.”

179 Trump added, “10 minutes before the strike I stopped it, not proportionate to shooting down an unmanned drone,” adding, “I am in no hurry,” and saying, “Iran can NEVER have Nuclear Weapons.”

180 Trump also tweeted, “Sanctions are biting & more added last night.” CNBC reported the Treasury Department has not issued new sanctions, and a spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment.

181 On Friday, Speaker Pelosi told reporters that she was not informed by Trump about his planned Iran strike. Traditionally, House and Senate leadership, and chair and ranking members key committees are informed.

182 On Friday, Reuters reported Iranian sources said Trump had warned Tehran that a U.S. attack was imminent, saying he was against war and wanted talks. The U.S. State Department denied Reuters’ report.

183 Trump spoke to Crown Prince MBS on the situation Friday. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she and fellow EU leaders “are concerned about the situation and support diplomatic negotiations.”

184 On Friday, WAPO reported key Trump allies had expected him to impose economic sanctions or other nonmilitary punishment on Iran. The chaos of the response reinforced concerns about the Trump regime’s credibility.

185 Officials disputed Trump’s tweets, saying he was told the number of possible casualties early in the day, but gave the green light to prepare for a retaliatory strikes.

186 Later in the day, in an interview with NBC’s Chuck Todd, Trump changed his story, saying at no time did he he give final approval for any strikes and that no planes were in the air.

187 On Friday, NYT reported that one of the reasons Trump chose not to strike was warnings from his favorite Fox News host Tucker Carlson not to do so, highlighting the unusual decision-making process of Trump.

188 On Friday, Rep. William Lacy Clay and two co-sponsors filed articles of impeachment for obstruction of justice, and three co-sponsored a resolution for the House Judiciary to begin an impeachment inquiry.

189 On Friday, Politico reported Trump’s continual reference to serving more than two terms and comments by Michael Cohen that Trump will not leave if 2020 is close have people in Congress and the beltway chattering.

190 Concern is Trump would not accept a 2020 defeat, and tie the matter up in court for a long time. Republicans claim at that point they would intervene, and most at the juncture view the possibility as far-fetched.

191 On Friday, Trump tweeted a video depicting him on the cover of Time as running for president indefinitely. The video was a play on this week’s Time cover titled, “How Trumpism Outlasts Trump.”

192 On Friday, the number of Democrats calling for impeachment grew to 75 out of 235, bringing the total including Rep. Amash to 76.

193 On Friday, a newly unsealed filing from the Alexandria court revealed Sean Hannity and Paul Manafort exchanged hundreds of text messages about the Mueller probe in the time preceding Manafort’s criminal trial.

194 The two regularly communicated, sharing opinions and information about the Mueller investigation. Manafort put Hannity in touch with his attorney Kevin Downing, and Hannity relayed information from Trump’s orbit.

195 Manafort texted, “I won’t sell out. I cannot allow them to win..it would empower them to go after” Trump and others, adding he planned to work to re-elect Trump. Mueller brought the texts to the judge’s attention.

196 A gag order prevented Manafort from appearing on Hannity’s show, but he texted him, “Building a plan B.” He also told Hannity he was using information on Fox News for his legal arguments.

197 Manafort requested to put Downing in contact with Gregg Jarrett, another Fox News host, and set up Hannity with Downing on a phone call in a January 2018 to which Hannity said, “I asked him to feed me every day.”

198 Manafort said that unlike Gates, he would never cooperate. He also praised the hire of Rudy Giuliani, but repeatedly expressed frustration with then AG Jeff Sessions, whom he called “totally worthless.”

199 On Saturday, Trump defended the roundups, tweeting, “These are people that are supposed to go back to their home country,” adding, “They broke the law by coming into the country, & now by staying.”

200 On Saturday, Trump praised Bolton, despite reports of friction on Iran. Trump told reporters Bolton is a “hawk” and he disagrees with him at times, adding, “the only one that matters is me.”

201 On Saturday, Trump delayed planned deportation roundups scheduled for Sunday, facing a massive backlash from Democrats, activists, and elected officials and law enforcement in the 10 states he planned to target.

202 Pelosi called the roundups “heartless” and urged Trump to “stop this brutal action.” Trump tweeted, “at the request of Democrats, I have delayed the Illegal Immigration Removal Process (Deportation) for two weeks.”

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Central American migrants wait for food in a pen erected by U.S. Customs and Border Protection to process a surge of migrant families and unaccompanied minors in El Paso, Texas. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said Friday, June 21, 2019, that the additional Guard members will assist at detention facilities and at ports of entry.