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

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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.

The Weekly List podcast is here! You can find more information here by clicking here.

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.

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BRUGES, BELGIUM STREETART: DANCE OF FOOLS by STANSLABBINCK

“Fools” is the nickname for the citizens of Bruges. “Brugse Zotten” = “The Bruges Fools.”

From the artist’s Instagram page: https://www.instagram.com/stanslabbinck/?hl=en

“I made this mural for Legendz, a streetart festival in the centre of Bruges.

It tells the story of the legend of the bruges fools. This is the nickname of the citizens of the city of Bruges. In the 15th century there was a discontent between the Habsburg emperor Maximilian I of Austria and the people of Bruges, who sought more urban autonomy. After Maximilian of Austria was imprisoned for more than four months, the monarch imposed a ban on organizing annual fairs in Bruges.
This prohibition was a financial loss for Bruges, after which the city offered him a big party with the intention of spawning him. In this way, the people of Bruges could again ask for permission to hold an annual fair and also to build a new shelter for the mental ill. According to legend, Maximilian would have responded with the legendary words: ‘Close all the gates of Bruges and you have one big nuthouse.’ —- The four figures symbolize the four seasons.”

“I see a lot of fools who rule countries , walking high above their people.”

IMG_9907IMG_9905IMG_9904IMG_9908IMG_9906DCIM107GOPROG0272946.

6jul19 Bruges, Belgium

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

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

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

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

IMG_5686
Brussels, Belgium 7july19

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

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

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

POLITIKS OF GRAFFITI 138: IN THE GHETTO

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JUNE 29, 2019

Week 137

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

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

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

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

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

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

POLITIKS OF GRAFFITI 136: RESIGN & REMOVE

JUNE 15, 2019

Week 135

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

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

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

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

IMG_0046
Artist: Captain Eyeliner in Freeman’s Alley, NYC. 15jun19
DCIM104GOPROGOPR2449.
Various streets in NYC share this sentiment to passersby. Here’s a random one. JUNE 2019.
IMG_0042
Spotted in the East Village, NYC. 15jun19.
  1. On Monday, NYT announced it would stop publishing political cartoons, after more than a year of deliberating. In Week 128, the Times apologized for a cartoon in its international edition that was viewed as anti-Semitic.
  2. Le Monde reported the symbolic oak tree given by French Prime Minster Emmanuel Macron to Trump and planted at the White House last year has died, calling it a “metaphor for a relationship that isn’t what it was.”
  3. On Tuesday, Guardian reported leaked documents reveal Russia’s efforts to exert influence in at least 13 African countries by building relations with leaders and grooming a next generation of leaders and undercover agents.
  4. The effort is being led by Putin ally Yevgeny Prigozhin, known as “Putin’s chef,” who was indicted in the Mueller probe for his roll in a troll farm that sought to bolster Trump on social media during the 2016 election.
  5. On Friday, the European Union said in a report that Russia conducted a “continued and sustained” disinformation campaign against Europe’s recent parliamentary elections that ran from May 23 through May 26.
  6. The report found the Russian campaign “covered a broad range of topics” and exploited “divisive public debates on issues such as of migration and sovereignty” seeking to influence voter behavior and suppress turnout.
  7. Although no hacking occurred as in the U.S. 2016 election, the report found an ongoing and significant effort by Russia to target Europeans with disinformation on a daily basis.
  8. On Saturday, the government of China blocked two more international news organizations, the Guardian and the Post, as part of President Xi Jinping’s crackdown on dissent known as the “Great Firewall.”
  9. On Saturday, NYT also reported much of what Trump claimed as concessions from Mexico in Friday’s deal were things Mexico agreed to months prior. It was unclear what new concessions Trump achieved.
  10. Mexico said in March it would deploy its National Guard to the U.S. southern border. Also, an arrangement to allow asylum-seekers to remain in Mexico was reached in December.
  11. During the week of May 24, 5,800 migrants crossed in one day, a record, setting off Trump. His top advisers opposed tariffs, and he was criticized by global leaders, business executives, and lawmakers from both parties.
  12. On Saturday, Trump said he watched MSNBC, tweeting: “Such lies, almost everything they were saying was the opposite of the truth. Fake News!” adding, “No wonder their ratings, along with CNN, are WAY DOWN.”
  13. On Sunday, in a series of tweets, Trump said, “Another false report in the Failing @nytimes,” saying in his deal with Mexico there was “great cooperation,” adding, “something that didn’t exist for decades.”
  14. Trump also tweeted: “The Failing @nytimes, & ratings challenged @CNN, will do anything possible to see our Country fail!” adding, “They are truly The Enemy of the People!”
  15. On Sunday, the Times responded in a statement, saying, “We are confident in our reporting,” and added that “calling the press the enemy is undemocratic and dangerous.”
  16. On Sunday, Trump tweeted: “I know it is not at all “Presidential” to hit back at the Corrupt Media,” adding, “Problem is, if you don’t hit back, people believe the Fake News is true. So we’ll hit back!”
  17. Trump also tweeted, “a National Holiday would be immediately declared” if Obama had made deals on immigration and the economy like he did, blaming the “Corrupt Media.”
  18. Trump also threatened Twitter, tweeting: “Twitter should let the banned Conservative Voices back onto their platform, without restriction. It’s called Freedom of Speech, remember. You are making a Giant Mistake!”
  19. On Sunday, Trump also tweeted, “For two years all the Democrats talked about was the Mueller Report,” adding, “ because they knew that it was loaded up with 13 Angry Democrat Trump Haters, later increased to 18.”
  20. Trump also tweeted ahead of Monday’s House Judiciary Committee hearings, “they want a Redo, or Do Over. They are even bringing in @CNN sleazebag attorney John Dean. Sorry, no Do Overs — Go back to work!”
  21. On Saturday, NYT reported Trump is increasingly blurring the lines between America’s national and economic security. Trump has started trade disputes with Mexico, China, Japan, and Europe.
  22. By mixing the two, Trump has been able to harness Cold War era authority, including 1962 and 1977 provisions to inflict economic pain through tariffs, government blacklists, and other restrictions.
  23. Trump has used this strategy to avoid needing Congressional approval, and to circumvent trade rules put in place to prevent the U.S. and other countries from increasing barriers and entering into endless trade wars.
  24. In May, Trump signed a proclamation that auto imports threatened U.S. national security and could be subject to tariffs in six months, a move criticized by auto manufacturers, foreign governments, and U.S. lawmakers.
  25. On Monday, a senior official at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce told CNBC that Trump’s “weaponizing of tariffs” has created “uncertainty with our trading partners,” which is going to hurt the U.S. economy.
  26. After hearing the remarks, Trump called into CNBC for a rambling interview, saying business groups like the Chamber of Commerce protect corporate America, not the American people, and defended his tariffs.
  27. Trump falsely claimed China has “lost 15 to 20 trillion dollars in value” since he took office, and claimed the U.S. “got everything we wanted” out of negotiations with Mexico last week.
  28. Trump threatened action against France over the cost of wine, and claimed, without evidence, that U.S. technology companies “discriminate against me.”
  29. Trump criticized the Federal Reserve, saying, “We have a Fed that raises interest rates the day before a bond issue goes out,” adding we do not have a level playing field because the “Fed is very, very destructive to us.”
  30. On Monday, Trump returned to attacking the Times, tweeting, “When will the Failing New York Times admit that their front page story on the the new Mexico deal at the Border is a FRAUD,” adding, “Sick Journalism.”
  31. On Tuesday, in a series of tweets, Trump pushed back at Fox Business for criticizing his tariffs. Trump specifically addressed show co-hosts and a guest on their show, tweeting “Maria, Dagan, Steve, Stuart V.”
  32. Trump also tweeted, “When you are the big “piggy bank” that other countries have been ripping off for years…Tariffs are a great negotiating tool,” adding, “Companies will relocate to U.S.”
  33. On Monday, Guardian reported Cadre, a real estate company part-owned by Jared Kushner, received $90 million of funding from an opaque vehicle offshore run by Goldman Sachs in the Cayman Islands.
  34. Security filings revealed the offshore vehicle began collecting funds for Cadre in August 2017. The vehicle is managed by accountants in the Cayman Islands and is owned by an offshore Goldman Sachs entity.
  35. On Monday, WAPO reported John V. Kelly, the acting inspector general for the Department of Homeland Security, retired, following revelations he directed his staff to whitewash audits of disaster relief performance.
  36. An internal review revealed by the Post last week found Kelly overrode auditors’ findings of problems with FEMA’s response to several disasters, directing them to ignore most problems and write “feel-good reports.”
  37. Under pressure from House Republicans, the IG’s office retracted 13 faulty reports and purged them from its website in 2017 and 2018, after the reports did not meet federal auditing standards.
  38. On Monday, Politico reported Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao established a liaison in her agency to help with grant applications and other priorities for her husband Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s state.
  39. Beginning in April 2017, Chao aide Todd Inman, a longtime Kentucky resident, served as an intermediary, and helped McConnell and local Kentucky officials with grants with special significance for McConnell.
  40. Inman helped with a grant for a highway improvement project in Owensboro, Kentucky, a McConnell political stronghold, that had twice been previously rejected, and another grant benefitting Owensboro.
  41. On Tuesday, McConnell shrugged off Politico’s reporting at his weekly news conference, saying, “I was complaining to her just last night, 169 projects and Kentucky got only five,” adding, “I hope we’ll do a lot better next year.”
  42. On Tuesday, Politico reported on the lack of diversity in the Treasury Department: of the roughly 20 officials, just three are women and one a person of color. Hiring of minorities fell to its slowest pace in five years.
  43. On Wednesday, the Trump regime signaled a renewed push to open land near the Grand Canyon for uranium mining, with Trump declaring uranium a critical element for national security purposes.
  44. Under Trump, the number of minerals listed as critical has expanded from 23 to 35. The Commerce Department also recently added uranium as a key component to nuclear weapons.
  45. On Wednesday, NBC News reported representatives of at least 22 foreign governments have spent money at Trump properties, including golf clubs, hotels, and restaurants, in possible violation of the Constitution.
  46. The total amount spent is not publicly available. The Trump Organization has sent $343,000 to the U.S. Treasury for 2017 and 2018, but did not disclose data to support that figure.
  47. According to news and public records, at least nine countries have hosted events at a Trump property: Afghanistan, Cyprus, Ireland, Japan, Philippines, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey.
  48. At least nine have rented or purchased property owned by Trump businesses: Kuwait, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, China, Malaysia, Slovakia, Thailand, India, and the European Union.
  49. Five have stayed at Trump properties: Georgia, Nigeria, Malaysia, Romania, and Saudi Arabia; and eight have attended Trump gatherings: Brazil, Dominica, Georgia, Nigeria, Russia, Turkey, Malaysia, and Qatar.
  50. On Friday, Bloomberg reported, according to disclosures released by the White House, Ivanka earned $4 million from Trump hotel DC during 2018, and $1 million from her fashion line which she announced she is closing.
  51. On Saturday, WAPO reported some U.S. embassies are disregarding the advisory from the State Department and flying rainbow flags in celebration of LGBTQ Pride month.
  52. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo did not issue a statement for Pride month, and for his second year in office did not attend the State Department’s annual Pride Day event — two of many slights according to LGBTQ employees.
  53. On Saturday, a man with a BB gun set off a panic at Washington D.C.’s Pride parade, sending hundreds fleeingover concern there was a mass shooter. No actual shots were fired.
  54. On Monday, the Detroit News reported police thwarted an attempt by a neo-Nazi group to spark a “Charlottesville 2.0” type riot at a gay pride festival in downtown Detroit for Pride over the weekend.
  55. The group also desecrated an Israeli flag that they brought along, urinating on it, and videoing the action. The group brought an attorney along hoping to bait police officers.
  56. On Saturday, Politico reported the Trump regime is moving to change U.S. policy by stripping naturalized U.S. citizens who are convicted terrorists of their citizenship and force them to be deported.
  57. On Sunday, acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan told “Fox News Sunday” Congress should amend asylum laws to allow the regime to detain families during their hearing process.
  58. Currently the limit is 20 days. McAleenan also asked for Congress to change the asylum system’s “credible fear” standard, saying 89% of detainees meet that hurdle, but only 10% are granted asylum in court.
  59. On Sunday, NBC News reported 24 immigrants have died in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody under the Trump regime so far. The previous record was 32 in 2004, the first year records were kept.
  60. The tally does not include migrants in custody of other federal agencies, including five children. Employees at both DHS and ICE have raised concerns about lapses in medical oversight and neglect.
  61. Some facilities, like private contractor GEO Group’s Aurora facility, have recently expanded to take more immigrants from ICE, but problems with medical care and other issues have been found there too.
  62. Records obtained by NBC News found ICE lied about causes of death in some cases. ICE paroled transgender woman Medina Leon to a hospital so it would not have to issue a press release or conduct a review of her death.
  63. On Monday, Trump installed former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli as acting director of ICE. The move sparked criticism from Democrat and Republican senators, saying his confirmation is doubtful.
  64. A union head said Cuccinelli’s appointment “spells the end of legal immigration as it currently exists.” Sen. Bennie Thompson called Cuccinelli an “anti-immigrant fringe figure.”
  65. On Monday, the International Boundary and Water Commission ordered the We Build the Wall organizers to keep the gate open indefinitely in the part of the wall the group had built using GoFundMe money.
  66. On Tuesday, Texas Monthly reported in El Paso, Border Patrol has resumed the practice of keeping migrants outdoors in cages for weeks on end to relieve overcrowding.
  67. A local college professor likened conditions to “a human dog pound” — with 100-150 men behind a chain-linked fence, huddled together using Mylar blankets and other scraps to shield them from the sun.
  68. Rep. Veronica Escobar said some detainees have been held more than a month outdoors, despite CBP policies which state migrants should not be held for more than three days at its facilities.
  69. On Tuesday, TIME reported the Trump regime plans to detain 1,400 migrant children at Fort Sill, an army base in Oklahoma once used as an internment camp for Japanese-Americans during World War II.
  70. AP reported CBP said its agents are overwhelmed, and do not have the funding or resources to deal with the influx of migrants. Families and children are being held in facilities meant to house single men.
  71. Families are regularly being kept in facilities for longer than the maximum 72 hours allowed. The Department of Health and Human Services, which takes unaccompanied children from CBP, told the AP their facilities are past capacity with over 13,000 kids.
  72. On Friday, Trump said in an interview with “Fox & Friends” that he will install former acting ICE director and Fox News analyst Tom Homan in the position of “border czar” at the White House, reporting directly to Trump.
  73. Homan ran ICE for the first 18 months of the Trump regime, but retired after frustration over not being confirmed by the Senate. He is known to be an immigration hard-liner, and has praised Trump on Fox News.
  74. On Tuesday, the case for Scott Warren, a 36-year-old geography teacher in Arizona and volunteer for No More Deaths who was charged for leaving water for migrants on federal wilderness land, ended in mistrial.
  75. U.N. human rights officials called for charges to be dropped, and there were protests and petitions. Federal prosecutors claimed Warren conspired to transport the migrants and shield them from Border Patrol agents.
  76. On Tuesday, a coalition of advocacy groups including the American Civil Liberties Union and National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association sued the Trump regime over its “conscience protection” rule.
  77. The lawsuit claims the regime’s rule “encourages and authorizes discrimination” by granting “broad new rights to refuse to provide health care services and information,” and called it unconstitutional.
  78. On Sunday, WAPO reported along with the new abortion ban in Alabama with no exceptions for rape or incest, the state is one of two where rapists’ parental rights are also protected.
  79. On Monday, nearly 200 CEOs signed a letter calling abortion bans “bad for business.” The letter appeared as a full-page ad in the NYT with the subheader: “It’s time for companies to stand up for reproductive health care.”
  80. On Tuesday, a report by the Missouri Attorney General found black drivers in the state are 91% more likely to be stopped than white drivers, the highest disparity in the 19 years the report has been conducted.
  81. NBC News reported a 10 year-old black boy with disabilities in Maryland was questioned by police for playing with toy money on a school bus. His mother believes he was targeted for being a minority.
  82. The case was brought to public attention after his mother gathered signatures on a petition. A spokesperson for Montgomery County Public School, which is 85% white, said police should never have been called.
  83. On Monday, Deutsche Bank acknowledged that an internal audit uncovered a lapse in its money launderingcontrols, but claimed it did not find cases of money laundering or breaches of international sanctions.
  84. On Monday, after weeks of tense negotiations with the House Judiciary Committee, the DOJ agreed to turn over evidence in the Mueller report on obstruction of justice, although the scope of materials was unclear.
  85. Chair Jerrold Nadler said documents would include “interview notes, firsthand accounts of misconduct and other critical evidence.” The deal resulted in his panel backing away from voting Tuesday to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress.
  86. On Monday, the committee also held public hearings and called John Dean and others. Initially coverage was preempted by coverage of a helicopter crash. Republicans openly mocked the proceedings.
  87. Ahead of the hearings, Trump tweeted: “Can’t believe they are bringing in John Dean, the disgraced Nixon White House Counsel who is a paid CNN contributor,” adding, “Democrats just want a do-over.”
  88. Trump also told reporters at the White House, “John Dean’s been a loser for many years,” adding unlike past impeachments, “You can’t impeach somebody when there’s never been a thing done wrong.”
  89. During the hearing, Dean compared several of Mueller’s findings to Watergate, and was buttressed by two former federal prosecutors who explained why the findings amounted to criminal obstruction of justice.
  90. On Monday, Trump told reporters on the South Lawn, in reference to Dean’s comparison of him to Richard Nixon, “He left. I don’t leave. A big difference.”
  91. On Monday, Rep. Justin Amash, the lone Republican to call for impeachment, resigned from the House Freedom Caucus, a group that he helped co-found more than four years ago.
  92. On Tuesday, speaking to reporters before leaving to campaign in Iowa, Trump showcased a “beautiful letter” from North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, saying, “he’s kept his word … that’s very important.” This is false.
  93. Trump also said he read reports that Kim’s half brother was an asset of the CIA, saying his message to Kim would be, “I wouldn’t let that happen under my auspices,” seeming to again side with a dictator over U.S. intelligence.
  94. Trump held up a letter, bragging it was part of a “very long and very good” secret agreement with Mexico, but refused to divulge details. Marcelo Ebrard, Mexico’s foreign minister, denied the undisclosed deal existed.
  95. While Trump continued to insist he had forced Mexico to agree to an undisclosed deal to combat migrants, Ebrard said Mexico had a 45-day window to enact measures and another 45 days if they did not work.
  96. Trump also called Speaker Nancy Pelosi “a mess” and criticized Democrats’ investigations, saying, “All they do is waste time where there is no obstruction, no collusion. And in the meantime, we can’t get anything done.”
  97. On Tuesday, GOP Sen. Chuck Grassley told Politico on Trump’s threats to impose tariffs without seeking approval from Congress, “Congress has delegated too much authority to the president of the United States.”
  98. Grassley also said, “The constitutional crisis comes from the elected representatives of the people over the last 80 years making a dictator out of the presidency,” adding this is “about the balancing of power.”
  99. On Tuesday, Daily Beast reported that the White House will preview the Mueller evidence, and work with the DOJ to determine what is turned over to Chair Nadler’s committee.
  100. On Tuesday, in an interview, Speaker Pelosi said of impeachment, “it’s not off the table,” adding, “I don’t think you should impeach for political reasons, and I don’t think you should not impeach for political reasons.”
  101. Ask about impeachment if the majority of Democrats want it, Pelosi said, “Why are we speculating on hypotheticals?” On Trump’s comments about her in Normandy, Pelosi said, “my stock goes up every time he attacks me.”
  102. When asked about her comment that she would rather see Trump in prison, Pelosi demurred, “conversations in our caucus they stay in our caucus,” and added, “Are they criminal? Many people think they are.”
  103. On Tuesday, the House passed a resolution 229-191 empowering the Judiciary Committee to seek court enforcement against Barr and Don McGahn over noncompliance with requests for documents and testimony.
  104. In remarks on the floor, Pelosi said, “We are here today because the times have found us,” and quoted Thomas Paine saying, “we do recognize the urgency of the threat to our nation we face today.”
  105. The resolution gives Chair Nadler the authority to begin legal proceedings to force McGahn to cooperate with the panel’s probe on obstruction, and represented the House’s most aggressive oversight step taken yet.
  106. The resolution also gives authority to chairpersons of nearly every House committee to “initiate or intervene in any judicial proceeding before a federal court” to enforce a subpoena without needing a floor vote.
  107. The vote stopped short of a criminal citation, but kept the House on the track favored by Pelosi and some top leaders. So far, 60 House Democrats and several 2020 candidates have called for impeachment.
  108. Shortly after the vote, Barr threatened to ask Trump to assert executive privilege to shield documents requested by the House Oversight Committee unless the panel backed off from voting on contempt.
  109. On Wednesday, in a DOJ letter, Trump asserted executive privilege, moving to block Congress’s access to documents about how a citizenship question was added to the 2020 census.
  110. The letter came minutes before the committee convened to vote on civil and criminal contempt citations. Chair Elijah Cummings had offered to postpone the vote if the DOJ agreed to turn over a small batch of specific documents.
  111. On Wednesday, the House Oversight Committee voted 24-15, with Rep. Amash joining Democrats, to pass a resolution allowing Democrats to pursue both civil and criminal contempt charges against Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.
  112. The committee vote was originally scheduled for Wednesday morning, but the vote was postponed until later in the day so members could read the DOJ’s letter on Trump asserting executive privilege.
  113. On Wednesday, Donald Jr. met for three hours with the Senate Intelligence Committee in a closed-door hearing. When he emerged, he told reporters he was “not at all” concerned about perjury charges over past testimony.
  114. On Wednesday, a national Quinnipiac poll found 69% of voter said a sitting president should be subject to criminal charges, while 24% do not. Also, 57% believe Trump committed crimes before taking office.
  115. The poll found 55% believe Trump was not cleared of wrongdoing in the Mueller probe, while 35% believe he was. On whether Congress should begin to impeach Trump, 48% said yes, while 49% said no.
  116. On Wednesday, Miami Herald reported federal prosecutors said they are developing a potential national security case against Yujing Zhang, the 33-year-old Chinese national charged with unlawfully entering Mar-a-Lago.
  117. The prosecution’s motion asked the judge to allow them to file “classified information” under seal, and indicated Zhang is part of a widening U.S. probe of possible Chinese espionage at Mar-a-Lago.
  118. On Wednesday, Trump tweeted, “The Fake (Corrupt) News Media said they had a leak into polling done by my campaign,” claiming they “are the best numbers WE have ever had,” despite the “never ending Witch Hunt.”
  119. On Wednesday, while meeting with Polish President Andrzej Duda in the Oval Office, Trump told reporters, without evidence, that his campaign’s polling showed him ahead in every state. The opposite was true.
  120. Trump characterized reporting that he was in fact behind in internal polling as “fake news,” and “It’s made up by the newspapers,” adding “You need ideas more than polls.”
  121. Trump also walked back his comments Tuesday pledging not to use CIA informants to spy on Kim Jong Un, saying, “No, it’s not what I meant. It’s what I said and I think it’s different, maybe, than your interpretation.”
  122. Trump also held up Kim’s letter to him referenced Tuesday, and said, “He just wrote me a very nice letter,” adding, “Someday you’ll see what’s in that letter….Maybe in 100 years from now, maybe in two weeks.”
  123. Trump also said it was “totally ridiculous” to have a census without a citizenship question, adding, “Can you imagine you send out a census and you’re not allowed to say whether or not a person is an American citizen?”
  124. Trump also cited the president of Poland speaking alongside him, saying “In Poland, they say they’re either Polish or they’re not.” A citizenship question has not been included in the U.S. census since 1950.
  125. Trump snapped at reporters when asked if he planned to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin alone at the G20, calling them “untrusting” and sarcastically asking, “Would you like to be in the room?”
  126. On Wednesday, in an interview with ABC News, when asked whether his campaign would accept such information from foreigners or hand it over the FBI, Trump responded, “I think maybe you do both.”
  127. Trump said “I think you might want to listen, there isn’t anything wrong with listening,” adding, “If somebody called from a country, Norway, [and said] ‘we have information on your opponent’ — oh, I think I’d want to hear it.
  128. Trump also disputed that taking information from a foreign government on a political opponent is election interference, saying, “It’s not an interference, they have information — I think I’d take it.”
  129. Trump also compared it to taking opposition research, saying, “When you go and talk, honestly, to congressman, they all do it, they always have, and that’s the way it is. It’s called oppo research.”
  130. Trump also defended his son Donald Jr. taking the June 9 meeting with Russians, saying, “Somebody comes up and says, ‘hey, I have information on your opponent,’ do you call the FBI?”
  131. Trump added, “I’ll tell you what, I’ve seen a lot of things over my life. I don’t think in my whole life I’ve ever called the FBI. In my whole life,” adding, “Oh, give me a break — life doesn’t work that way.”
  132. On Wednesday, the USA Today Editorial Board called out McConnell for burying bipartisan measures to protect U.S. elections, citing the Mueller report findings that Russia had penetrated 21 state election networks.
  133. On Thursday, the editorial board updated its op-ed, adding “The 2020 presidential election is the next target,” and “Trump stunningly asserted he’d accept dirt on a political opponent from a foreign country.”
  134. On Thursday, Trump defended his comments, tweeting, “I meet and talk to ‘foreign governments’ every day,” citing recent examples of the U.K., France, Ireland, and Poland, adding, “Should I immediately call the FBI”?
  135. Trump also blamed ABC News for cutting his response, tweeting, “With that being said, my full answer is rarely played by the Fake News Media,” adding, “They purposely leave out the part that matters.”
  136. Also in a series of morning tweet, Trump attacked Democrats, tweeting, “Unrelated to Russia, Russia, Russia(although the Radical Left doesn’t use the name Russia anymore since the issuance of the Mueller Report).”
  137. Trump added, “House Committee now plays the seldom used “Contempt” card on our great A.G. & Sec. of Commerce,” adding, “much tougher game than the Republicans did,” and, “Republicans will remember!”
  138. Trump also quoted Alan Dershowitz, tweeting: “Congress cannot Impeach President Trump (did nothing wrong),” adding, “Unless there is compelling evidence, Impeachment is not Constitutionally Permissible.”
  139. On Thursday, at her weekly news conference, Pelosi said, “once again evidence that he does not know right from wrong,” adding, “It’s a very sad thing, a very sad thing that he does not know right from wrong.”
  140. Pelosi called Trump’s comments “against any sense of decency,” adding, “everybody in the country should be totally appalled,” and repeated her belief he has participated in “a criminal cover up.”
  141. Trump ally Sen. Lindsey Graham said, “it should be practice for all public officials who are contacted by a foreign government with an offer of assistance to their campaign…to inform the FBI and reject the offer.”
  142. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy defended Trump, saying “When he was approached by this, he did what was right,” adding Trump “would not want any foreign government interfering in this election.”
  143. McCarthy sought to distract, saying “Adam Schiff got a phone call that he willingly thought was a foreign individual,” and and the “the Democratic Party spend money to a foreign individual to try to drum” up “lies.”
  144. Earlier that morning, Trump tweeted of Chair Schiff, “Did he call the FBI, or even think to call the FBI? NO!” Chair Schiff responded to the false claims tweeting: “We called the FBI even before we took the call.”
  145. On Thursday, the Federal Election Commission Chair posted a notice reminding, “It is illegal for any person to solicit, accept, or receive anything of value from a foreign national in connection with a U.S. election.”
  146. On Thursday, Sen. Marsha Blackburn blocked an effort by ranking Democrat on Senate Intelligence Committee Sen. Mark Warner to pass a bill requiring campaigns to alert the FBI to foreign assistance.
  147. On Thursday, Leader McConnell dismissed the outrage over Trump’s comments, telling Fox News, “They just can’t let it go,” adding, “the fundamental point is they are trying to keep the 2016 election alive.”
  148. On Wednesday, Michael Flynn retained Sidney Powell as his new attorney. Powell has been a fierce critic of the DOJ and the FBI’s investigation into the potential conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia.
  149. The move could signal a shift in strategy. Powell has claimed Flynn was spied on as part of an FBI “set-up,” and that his case should be “dismissed.” She has an online business based on attacking Mueller and his team.
  150. On Thursday, ahead of sentencing Trump tweeted, “General Michael Flynn, the 33 year war hero who has served with distinction” has retained a “GREAT LAWYER, Sidney Powell,” adding, “Best Wishes and Good Luck.”
  151. On Friday, Judge Emmet Sullivan set a June 24 hearing to discuss pushing off Flynn’s sentencing another 60 days, put forward by both sides, so he can continue to cooperate in ongoing matters.
  152. On Wednesday, federal watchdog group Office of Special Counsel recommended removal of Kellyanne Conway from federal office for violating the Hatch Act, which bars federal employees from engaging in political activity in the course of work.
  153. The report sent to Trump noted Conway violated the Hatch Act repeatedly by “disparaging Democratic presidential candidates while speaking in her official capacity during television interviews and on social media.”
  154. Special Counsel Henry Kerner told WAPO his recommendation for a political appointee of Conway’s level was “unprecedented,” adding “You know what else is unprecedented? Kellyanne Conway’s behavior.”
  155. The decision will be up to Trump. In a letter to Kerner, White House counsel Pat Cipollone requested the OSC withdraw and retract its report. The White House said the report violated Conway’s “constitutional rights to free speech and due process.”
  156. On Thursday, Chair Cummings said Trump should “immediately” fire Conway, adding the House Oversight Committee will hold hearings and Conway will be invited “to answer for her violations” on June 26.
  157. Cummings noted his committee has additional concerns related to Conway’s use of private jets and role in the regime’s drug control strategy, adding the White House has not provided requested documents on either.
  158. On Thursday, Trump announced via Twitter that White House press secretary Sarah Sanders would be leavingthe White House by the end of the month, adding, “I hope she decides to run for Governor of Arkansas.”
  159. Sanders was one of the last original Trump aides. It was unclear what she would do next. Sanders said at her exit press conference, “It’s one of the greatest jobs I could ever have, I’ve loved every minute.”
  160. CBS News reported many White House staffers found out about Sanders’ departure at a 3 p.m. meeting, on a day full of substantial breaking news events and crises. It was unclear who her replacement would be.
  161. A turnover survey by the Brooking Institute found with her departure Trump “has the record for White House staff turnover, for cabinet turnover and now for the highest turnover within a single department.”
  162. On Thursday, Pompeo, without evidence, said Iran was behind the attack of two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman. Iran “categorically” rejected the “unfounded claim,” calling it “inflammatory.”
  163. The U.S. is now operating without allies after Trump withdrew from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. In Week 134 the regime offered to speak to the leader of Iran without preconditions, and that offer was rejected.
  164. On Friday, facing broad criticism of his remarks to ABC News, Trump said in a rambling 50 minute long interview with “Fox & Friends” on his 73rd birthday that he would “absolutely” report foreign campaign help.
  165. Trump said, “Of course, you give it to the F.B.I. or report it to the attorney general or somebody like that,” adding, “But of course you do that. You couldn’t have that happen with our country.”
  166. Later in the interview said of taking incriminating information, “Well, if I don’t listen, you’re not going to know,” adding, “Here’s the bottom line,” and, “They spied on my campaign and they got caught.”
  167. Trump pushed back on Pelosi claiming a criminal cover-up, citing a supporter, calling it a “fascist statement,” adding when Pelosi “makes a statement like that, she ought to be ashamed of herself. It’s a disgrace.”
  168. Trump also said he would not fire Conway, adding, “I think she’s a terrific person,” and “It looks to me like they’re trying to take away her right of free speech.”
  169. On Friday, in additional parts of his ABC News interview released, Trump again criticized the Federal Reserve, saying the stock market would be “10,000 points higher” if the Fed did not raise rates.
  170. Trump also criticized his appointee Fed Chair Jerome Powell, saying, “if we had somebody different” in charge of the Fed, the economy would be doing better, adding, “I’m not happy with what he’s done.”
  171. On Friday, the Congressional Budget Office said corporations are paying far less in taxes than projected in the GOP tax law: the Treasury saw 31% decline in corporate revenue last year, twice what the decline expected.
  172. On Friday, more than 600 companies and trade associations, including Walmart, Costco and Target wrote a letter to the White House, warning Trump of the impact of his tariffs and trade war with China.
  173. The group, including retailers, manufacturers, and tech companies said “Tariffs are taxes paid directly by U.S. companies,” not China, and warned of the impact on the economy and consumers, and of job losses.
  174. Also in the ABC News interview, Trump also disputed McGahn’s testimony in the Mueller report, saying he “may have been confused” in that Trump tried multiple times to direct him to have Mueller fired.
  175. Trump said, “The story on that very simply, No. 1, I was never going to fire Mueller. I never suggested firing Mueller,” defiantly adding, “I don’t care what [McGahn] says, it doesn’t matter.”
  176. When Trump was asked why he refused to testify under oath, he responded, “Because they were looking to get us for lies or slight misstatements…what happened to people, and it was very unfair. Very, very unfair.”
  177. On Friday, Trump tweeted thanks to Sen. Masha Blackburn for blocking a bill requiring campaigns to notify the FBI, saying Democrats “continue to look for a do-over on the Mueller Report” and “will stop at nothing.”
  178. Trump also tweeted thanking Leader McConnell for “understanding the Democrats game of not playing it straight on the ridiculous Witch Hunt Hoax in the Senate.”
  179. As of Friday, 64 members of the House supported impeachment. Notably, the majority of the House Judiciary Committee members backed impeachment.
  180. On Friday, the DOJ released its legal rationale for Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin’s refusal to release Trump’s tax returns, saying the demand was “unprecedented” and could “have lasting consequences for all taxpayers.”
  181. The DOJ memo argued the House Ways and Means Committee request was partisan politics, and an attempt to violate boundaries between the executive and legislative branches for short-term political gain.
  182. On Friday, NPR reported Julian Assange will appear before a British court in February for a hearing on whether he should be extradited to the U.S. Assange is being held at a maximum-security prison outside London.
  183. On Friday, a judge dismissed a lawsuit by former campaign staffer Alva Johnson accusing Trump of forcibly kissing her and pay discrimination against women and Black employees, saying it was too laden with political claims.
  184. On Saturday, in a morning tweetstorm of tweeting and retweeting, Trump touted poll numbers by One America News Network showing his approval at 51%. OANN has been likened to pro-Trump propaganda.
  185. Trump also tweeted he was doing “great in the Polls” despite the “Greatest Presidential Harassment of all time by people that are very dishonest and want to destroy our Country.”
  186. Trump also warned of a stock market crash if he is not elected, tweeting, “if anyone but me takes over in 2020…there will be a Market Crash the likes of which has not been seen before!”
  187. Trump also tweeted, “The Trump Economy is setting records, and has a long way up to go.” Economists are concerned about a recession. The stock market is up 27% since Trump took office, far less than under Obama.
  188. On Saturday, WAPO reported that Trump still owes D.C. more than $7 million in expenses from his inauguration, as he prepares for an unprecedented July Fourth gala.
  189. As a result, the city has been forced to dip into a special fund that covers annual costs for such things as protection from terrorist threats and demonstrations, and will be left in the red after July Fourth celebrations.

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

NEW YORK CITY: THE RICH KILLD NYC

gone are the days of New.   York.   City.  no patti smiths or andy warhols. no basquiats looking out of  their second floor window of a stable owned by andy warhol. i walk by it almost every day and imagine seeing basquiat through that same window. he isn’t there. no one is. it’s a high-end shop of some kind now. i wonder why. why doesn’t someone live in that house. how much is it worth.

bowie’s off lafayette and the ramones aren’t at cbgb’s. 

apartments aren’t going for $10 in alphabet city anymore. the sunshine hotels are gone. ginsberg’s not passing me on the street. debbie harry’s nowhere. 

IMG_8892IMG_8998IMG_8606IMG_8116IMG_0106IMG_8340IMG_8894IMG_8943IMG_8936IMG_8942IMG_8929IMG_8423IMG_8917IMG_9027IMG_9026IMG_8991IMG_8986IMG_8989

jun19. new york city

POLITIKS OF GRAFFITI 135: USA or GILEAD ?

JUNE 08, 2019

Week 134

Experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things
subtly changing around you, so you’ll remember. https://theweeklylist.org/weekly-list/week-134/
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MY BODY, MY CHOICE by LEXI BELLA. Bushwick, Brooklyn, New Yor k25june19

This week Trump traveled to the U.K., where he was met with mass protests which he denied existed, then to his property in Ireland en route to the 75th anniversary of D-Day ceremony in Normandy, where he attacked Robert Mueller and Speaker Nancy Pelosi. In London, Trump and his children acted more as if a royal family than a head of state, and continued to intertwine their business dealings and the presidency.

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HEY YO, THEY CALL ME ‘INCOMPETENT.’ – from TOKIDOKI NOMAD BLOG. Near Union Square in New York City. 1june19 

Democrats in the House continue to clash over starting impeachment proceedings, as the Trump regime continued its stonewalling Congress for both witnesses and documentation related to the Mueller probe, the 2020 census citizenship question, and even the environment.

This week was notable for the escalation of broad-based attacks on women’s rights and protections, as an actress in “The Handmaid’s Tale” bemoaned how quickly the country is mirroring the fictional dystopian nation of Gilead. Conditions for migrants at the border worsened, with more deaths and army and oil-field worker facilities being requisitioned to house migrant children.

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TRUMP INTERNATIONAL DUMPSTERS. Spotted in Detroit, Michigan this week. *not my photo

  1. On Saturday, Trump announced the resignation of Emmet Flood, the White House lawyer during the Mueller probe, as of June 14, via a tweet, adding, “NO COLLUSION — NO OBSTRUCTION! Case Closed!”
  2. On Sunday, Trump tweeted that his “true friend” White House economic advisor Kevin Hassett is resigning. No reason was given, but speculation was his departure was related to Trump’s trade wars.
  3. On Sunday, WAPO reported informal briefings lasting five to six minutes on the White House driveway by Trump, press secretary Sarah Sanders, Kellyanne Conway, and others have replaced formal daily press briefings
  4. The James S. Brady Press Briefing Room has become dusty, cobwebbed, and abandoned. The last formal press briefing was 83 days ago, a record period for not briefing the press.
  5. Members of the media have complained about the “gaggles,” citing their brevity, impromptu nature, and lack of set topics, and said it allows the regime to communicate on their terms, not as has been done traditionally.
  6. WAPO also reported the media has stopped giving Trump the benefit of the doubt in describing false statements as “falsehoods” or “baseless claims,” and is increasingly using the term “lies.”
  7. On Sunday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a speech that the Trump regime was ready to negotiate with the clerical leaders of Iran with “no preconditions,” weeks after the regime threatened to go to war.
  8. On Sunday, before departing for his U.K. trip, Trump made an unannounced stop at the McLean Bible Church in Virginia, in order to, according to the White House, “pray for the victims and community of Virginia Beach.”
  9. Trump came directly from Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Virginia wearing khakis, a jacket over a polo shirt, and golf shoes. Neither Trump nor Pastor David Platt mentioned the shooting victims while on stage.
  10. On Sunday, in a statement posted on the church’s website, Pastor Platt said his prayer was not an endorsement of Trump or his policies, and expressed sympathy for church members “hurt” by Trump’s surprise visit.
  11. On Sunday, a cast member of “The Handmaid’s Tale” said the U.S. is now a “heck of a lot closer” to the fictional dystopian nation of Gilead than it was during filming of season one, adding, “which is terrifying.”
  12. On Sunday, acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney said on “Fox News Sunday” that Trump did not know about the request to hide the USS John McCain, and said, “We think it’s much ado about nothing.”
  13. On Sunday, Rep. James Clyburn told “State of the Union” on impeachment, “we have to bring the public along,” adding we believe if “we sufficiently, effectively educate the public, then we will have done our jobs.”
  14. On Sunday, in an interview for “Axios on HBO,” when asked if he would alert the FBI if the Russia requested another meeting, Jared Kushner said I don’t know,” adding, “we were not given anything that was salacious.”
  15. On Saturday, London Mayor Sadiq Khan said in an op-ed the U.K. is “on the wrong side of history” with Trump’s visit, likening Trump to European dictators of the 1930s and 40s, and military juntas of the 1970s and 80s.
  16. On Monday, when asked by reporters before leaving for the U.K. if he would be willing to meet with Khan during his trip, Trump responded, “No, I don’t think much of him.”
  17. Trump also compared Khan to the New York City mayor, a Democrat who last month announced a 2020 presidential campaign, saying, “I think he’s — he’s the twin of de Blasio, except shorter.”
  18. En route, Trump attacked Khan, tweeting he “by all accounts has done a terrible job as Mayor of London,” and calling him a “stone cold loser” — just moments before landing in the U.K. for a visit.
  19. Trump’s tweet also alluded to his controversy over the weekend, where he denied calling Duchess Meghan Markle “nasty” despite an audio of him doing so, tweeting Khan was “foolishly “nasty”” to him.
  20. Hours later, as Trump arrived in the U.K. where Fox News is not aired, Trump tweeted, “The only problem is that @CNN is the primary source of news available” from the U.S., calling it “unfair with such bad, Fake News.”
  21. Trump tweeted: “Why doesn’t owner @ATT do something?”and suggested a boycott of AT&T, tweeting if people “stoped [sic] using or subscribing to @ATT, they would be forced to make big changes at @CNN.”
  22. Trump also tweeted, “Why wouldn’t they act. When the World watches @CNN, it gets a false picture of USA. Sad!” Trump drew criticism for attacking free speech and U.S. companies, both while on foreign soil.
  23. On Monday, Trump tweeted, “London part of trip is going really well. The Queen and the entire Royal family have been fantastic,” adding, “Tremendous crowds of well wishers and people that love our country.”
  24. Trump also tweeted, “Haven’t seen any protests yet,” adding, “But I’m sure the Fake News will be working hard to find them.” Tens of thousands of people had signed up for protests in central London on Tuesday.
  25. On Monday, CNN reported Queen Elizabeth II formally invited just Trump and first lady Melania to the official State Banquet at Buckingham Palace, however four of his five children, and two of their spouses, also showed up.
  26. Ivanka and Jared were set to attend in their capacity as formal adviser and part of the official U.S. delegation, but Trump also brought Donald Jr., Eric and his wife Lara, and Tiffany to mix with princes, dukes, and duchesses.
  27. On Tuesday, Mayor Khan responded to Trump, telling CNN it was “the sort of behavior I would expect from an 11-year old,” adding to respond in a like would be “beneath me to do childish tweets and name-calling.”
  28. On Tuesday, organizer of “Together Against Trump” estimated that 75,000 anti-Trump protestors turned outfor demonstrations in London. A 20-foot-tall, diaper-clad “Trump baby” blimp was flown above Parliament Square.
  29. At a news conference with British Prime Minister Theresa May, Trump again denied the protests, saying, “I don’t see any protests. I did see a small protest today when I came, very small. So a lot of it is fake news.”
  30. Shortly after the news conference, CNN aired footage of demonstrators, including a giant Trump robot sitting on a toilet and repeating, “fake news” and “witch hunt,” and others holding anti-Trump signage.
  31. On Wednesday, Trump tweeted, “If the totally Corrupt Media was less corrupt, I would be up by 15 points in the polls,” citing “tremendous success with the economy, maybe Best Ever!”
  32. Trump also tweeted, “If the Corrupt Media was actually fair, I would be up by 25 points,” adding, “Nevertheless, despite the Fake News, we’re doing great!” Notably these tweets were sent on the anniversary of D-Day.
  33. On Wednesday, in an interview with British broadcaster Piers Morgan, Trump said he was “making up for” not serving in Vietnam by spending billions on “rebuilding our military at a level it’s never seen before.”
  34. Trump said of the Vietnam war, he was “never a fan” of the conflict, adding “I thought it was a terrible war, I thought it was very far away, and at that time nobody ever heard of the country — today they are doing very well.”
  35. The interview was broadcast before Trump attended U.K. ceremonies to mark the 75th anniversary of the D-Day. When asked if he would serve in another war, Trump said, “I would not have minded that at all.”
  36. On Wednesday, Trump flew to his money losing golf course in Doonbeg, Ireland for a two-night stay. From there, Trump flew to France and back Thursday, before departing back to the U.S. on Friday.
  37. The visit marked the third time Trump has paused an overseas trip to stop at his properties (including Waikiki and Turnberry). It was not clear how many from Trump’s large contingent would stay at the resort.
  38. The Irish Times reported Trump originally wanted to meet with Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar at his golf club, but Varadkar suggested a nearby hotel. They settled on meeting at the VIP lounge at the airport.
  39. Weeks before the trip, Trump had threatened to cancel the stop in Ireland entirely and stop in Scotland instead amid the venue disagreement.
  40. WAPO reported Trump’s children also used the Europe trip to promote themselves and the family businesses. All the children used their social media accounts to promote their attendance at high-profile activities.
  41. Typically, family members participate in cultural events but not bilateral meetings; however, Trump children were present at the state dinner with the queen and a dinner at the residence of the U.S. ambassador, and more.
  42. It was unclear if American taxpayers would be paying the costs for the family’s travel. The Scotsman reported the trip cost the U.S. government close to $4 million, including $1.3 million for a five-star Qatari-backed hotel.
  43. The Irish Post reported during a pub crawl in Doonbeg, Donald Jr. and Eric ordered a round of drinks for locals, but failed to pay, saying they did not carry cash, and put it on the tab. The owner has not yet been paid.
  44. On Friday, despite the Trump Org’s 2017 pledge that “no communication of the Organization” would mention Trump, the Trump Doonbeg resort sent two tweets publicizing his visit. The tweets were later deleted.
  45. WAPO reported Trump has visited more than a dozen Trump-branded properties while in office. Trump has visited these properties every month in office except two: last December and January 2017 (when Trump was president for 12 days of the month).
  46. On Sunday, a CNN poll found support for impeachment rose from 37% last month to 41% — below the high of 47% in September 2018–54% do not support. The increase came from Democrats, with 76% in favor.
  47. On Saturday, an AirBnB host was taped asking black guests “which monkey is going to stay on the couch?” and then kicking them out in the middle of the night. This is the second racist AirBnB incident in recent months.
  48. On Saturday, Bishop Thomas Tobin drew ire after tweeting, “Catholics should not support or attend LGBTQ ‘Pride Month’ events” saying they “promote a culture and encourage activities” harmful for children.
  49. On Sunday, Tobin said he regretted the controversy his remarks, which came on the 50th anniversary of Stonewall riots, had created, but declined to withdraw the statement.
  50. On Monday, Mark Chambers, a mayor in Alabama, called for the killing of LGBTQ people on Facebook, saying, “The only way to change it would be to kill the problem out..without killing them out there’s no way to fix it.”
  51. Chambers later denied he wrote the post, then when confronted by the media defended his comments saying he did not say anything “killing out gays or anything like that.” On Tuesday, he apologized on Facebook.
  52. On Tuesday, three heterosexual men in Boston said they are making preparations for a possible “Straight Pride Parade” this summer. The organizers said they “feel we’re an oppressed majority.”
  53. On Friday, NBC News reported the Trump regime denied requests by U.S. embassies in in Israel, Germany, Brazil, and Latvia to fly pride flags on embassy flagpoles during LGBTQ Pride Month.
  54. The Obama administration made blanket grants for pride flags. Also, this year Secretary of State Pompeo did not approve a cable sent in past years giving encouragement to engage in outreach with local LGBTQ communities
  55. On Friday, Detroit police charged Devon Robinson, 18, for killing two gay men and a transgender woman. A Wayne County assistant prosecutor said the victims were targeted for being part of the LGBTQ community.
  56. On Wednesday, YouTube announced it will remove thousands of videos and channels that advocated for neo-Nazism, white supremacy, and bigotry that were used to “incite hatred, harassment, discrimination and violence.”
  57. On Saturday, AP reported in a vast expansion of the Trump regime’s screening, the State Department will require social media usernames, previous email addresses, and phone numbers from applicants for visas.
  58. The change, proposed in March 2018, will impact about 15 million applicants each year. In the past, only a small fraction of applicants identified for extra scrutiny were required to divulge this information.
  59. On Monday, Customs and Border Protection said in a statement that a 40 year-old Honduran woman apprehended near the border in Eagle Pass, Texas died that morning shortly after being in their care.
  60. This marked the third death in three days near the U.S.-Mexico border: on Sunday a 33-year-old Salvadoran man died and on Saturday, Johana Medina Leon, 25-year-old transgender women, died in El Paso.
  61. On Monday, a federal judge rejected a House lawsuit to block Trump from spending billions on his wall, saying the House lacked legal standing to sue Trump for overstepping his powers by transferring funds to pay for it.
  62. The judge said the case “presents a close question,” but said the House has other levers to use includingdenying funds, passing other legislation, conducting hearings and investigations, or overriding a president’s veto.
  63. On Tuesday, Trump tweeted, “Just had a big victory in Federal Court over the Democrats in the House on the desperately needed Border Wall,” adding, “A big step in the right direction. Wall is under construction!”
  64. On Monday, the Supreme Court denied the Trump regime’s request for a swift hearing on its case to end the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. No judge dissented.
  65. On Wednesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he will “probably not” bring up a bill passed by the House passed to give dreamers 10 years of legal residence status if they meet certain requirements.
  66. On Wednesday, a Health and Human Services email obtained by WAPO showed the regime is canceling English classes, recreational programs, and legal aid for unaccompanied minors in federal migrant shelters.
  67. The regime cited funding and “a dramatic spike” in unaccompanied minors. The move could run afoul of a federal court settlement and state licensing requirements that mandate education and recreation.
  68. Attorneys said the move violated the Flores agreement that requires the government to provide education and recreational activities to migrant children in its care.
  69. Last week, attorneys also filed a motion claiming the regime is violating the Flores agreement by keeping migrant children at the Homestead facility for months in some cases, instead of releasing them within 20 days.
  70. On Friday, AP reported the Trump regime opened a new emergency facility in Carrizo Springs, Texas that can hold up to 1,600 migrant teens. The facility once housed oil field workers on government-leased land.
  71. The regime’s Office of Refugee Resettlement is also considering using Army and Air Force bases in Georgia, Montana, and Oklahoma to house 1,400 more migrant children. The facilities are considered temporary.
  72. On Wednesday, the regime said it will sharply curtail federal spending on medical research that uses tissue from aborted fetuses, largely conducted by the National Institutes of Health.
  73. The move, which fulfills a top goal of anti-abortion groups, will affect research on finding cures for diseases impacting millions of Americans like cancer, H.I.V., Parkinson’s, and dementia.
  74. On Wednesday, the Wisconsin legislature passed four anti-abortion bills, including an alarmist measureimposing criminal penalties on doctors who fail to give medical care to a baby born alive during an abortion attempt.
  75. Wisconsin’s Democratic governor said he planned to veto the bills, which Republicans will not be able to override. Trump touted the bills during a recent visit to the state, and mocked Gov. Tony Evers for his veto promise.
  76. On Wednesday, Dallas Morning News reported on a video of Arlington Rep. Ron Wright being used by anti-abortions group saying women “absolutely” should be punished for having abortions, “of course they should.”
  77. On Thursday, the LA Times reported on Missouri’s last abortion clinic, filled with patients sobbing and terrified that at any moment the judge could close the clinic, and doctors anxious and heartbroken.
  78. This week, Dr. Randall Williams, the director of the Missouri state health department questioned the clinic’s safety, and started requiring physicians to perform a pelvic exam at least 72 hours before every abortion.
  79. The Kansas City Star Editorial Board condemned the practice, saying the pelvic exams harasses women and doctors. One doctor who was forced to give a pelvic exam said, “It broke me as a physician to do this to her.”
  80. On Friday, the University of Alabama board of trustees voted to return a $26.5 million donation from top donor Hugh F. Culverhouse Jr. after he called for students to boycott the school over the state’s abortion ban.
  81. Hours after Culverhouse’s statement on the ban, the university said it was considering giving back his donation, the biggest donation ever made to the school. His name was also removed from the law school.
  82. On Friday, in an op-ed, Culverhouse, an independent voter, noted the students who need financial aid will lose out, as will the university for “all the names that will never appear on their admissions rolls.”
  83. On Saturday, 42 attorneys in Alabama, Georgia, Ohio, and Texas joined 38 elected officials including district attorneys and attorneys generals saying they will not prosecute health-care providers or women seeking abortions.
  84. On Friday, WAPO reported Scott Beierle’s mass shooting at a yoga studio in Week 104 was fueled by male supremacy. Hatred of women has become the new feeder network for white supremacy and neo-Nazi groups.
  85. The Southern Poverty Law Center has added “male supremacy” as a new category to its tracking list of U.S. hate movements, including men who view women as genetically inferior and needing to be sexually submissive.
  86. On Friday, lawyers for House Democrats questioned why the DOJ is not defending certain laws, including the department’s decision to walk away from defending a statute barring female genital mutilation.
  87. In defending the DOJ abandoning the first federal criminal prosecution for female genital mutilation in Michigan, Solicitor General Noel Francisco said the department determined it lacked a “reasonable defense.”
  88. On Wednesday, retailer Sephora closed its U.S. stores for one hour to provide diversity training to its 16,000 employees, a month after R&B star SZA said a Sephora employee called security on her while shopping.
  89. On Wednesday, the Oregon senate passed a bill allowing victims of racially motivated 911 calls to sue for up to $250, following nationwide incidents of white people calling police on black people doing everyday activities.
  90. On Friday, Nicholas Wesley Rose, 28, pleaded guilty to an anti-Semitic plot targeting three congregations in Orange County. Rose had “kill lists” of prominent Jewish figures.
  91. On Tuesday, the Oregon House passed a bill granting the state’s electoral votes to the national popular vote winner. Oregon’s seven electoral votes would make 196 of the 270 needed. The bill now goes to the governor.
  92. On Monday, NYT reported on Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao’s conflicts with her family’s shipping business. Her agency called to cut a program meant to stabilize the financially troubled U.S. maritime industry.
  93. The Chinese government has greatly expanded in the maritime industery. Both cuts were voted down in Congress. Her family’s gifts and donations have helped make her husband, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, one of the richest senators.
  94. A copy of Chao’s calendar showed 21 interviews or meetings in her first year with Chinese news orgs, including some related to her family company. In one, her father said he traveled on Air Force One and talked business with Trump.
  95. Her October 2017 trip to China as was abruptly canceled after media inquiries about her itinerary and companions, and ethics questions that were referred to the State and Transportation Departments.
  96. On Monday, George Nader, a key witness in the Mueller probe who served as liaison between Trump supporters, Middle East leaders and Russia in early 2017, was charged with transporting child pornography.
  97. Nader also helped arrange the Seychelles meeting in January 2017 between Erik Prince and a Russian official. Nader was charged on child pornography in April 2018. He pleaded guilty to the same charge in 1991.
  98. On Tuesday, Sen. Tim Kaine said the Trump regime gave a green light to U.S. energy firms to export technology and know-how to Saudi Arabia on Oct. 18, 2018, just 16 days after the Jamal Khashoggi killing.
  99. A second transfer was approved February 18. Sen. Kaine, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee cited Department of Energy records and said the regime took months to answer when transfers occurred.
  100. On Wednesday, WSJ reported the State Department forced out deputy assistant secretary Charles Faulkner after he steered billions in contracts to defense company Raytheon, where he previously worked as a lobbyist.
  101. On Wednesday, research by cybersecurity firm Symantec found Russia’s manipulation of Twitter through the Internet Research Agency had more sway and reached more people than originally believed.
  102. The report found a “vast disinformation network,” in which large fake accounts played to both sides of the aisle and pretended to be regional news outlets, while a smaller subset amplified those messages.
  103. On Thursday, WAPO reported Nahro al-Kasnazan, a wealthy Iraqi sheikh who urged a hardline approach to Iran in letters to Pompeo and National Security Advisor John Bolton, stayed 26 nights in Trump Hotel DC suite.
  104. The unusually long visit, the longest of 1,200 VIP guests listed, was estimated to cost tens of thousands. Kasnazan told the Post that he normally stay at the Hay-Adams hotel, but “just heard” about Trump Hotel DC.
  105. Kasnazan also told the Post that he is advocating for a U.S. military confrontation with Iran, and that he considers himself to be a viable candidate for president of Iraq. The White House did not comment.
  106. On Monday, House Judiciary Chair Jerrold Nadler said his committee would hold a hearing titled “Lessons from the Mueller Report: Presidential Obstruction and Other Crimes,” and call Nixon lawyer John Dean.
  107. On Monday, House Oversight Chair Elijah Cummings said he was moving to hold Attorney General William Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in contempt of Congress for defying a subpoena seeking information on the 2020 citizenship question.
  108. Chair Cummings gave a Thursday deadline for turning over information and said in letters, “The Trump administration has been engaged in one of the most unprecedented cover-ups since Watergate.”
  109. On Thursday, the Justice and Commerce departments rejected Chair Cummings’ demand for more documents, saying documents are protected by attorney-client privilege and therefore cannot be disclosed.
  110. The Commerce Department accused the committee of trying to interfere with ongoing litigation. After the missed deadline, Chair Cummings said, “They seem determined to continue the Trump Administration’s cover-up.”
  111. On Friday, Chair Cummings said his panel would vote next week on holding Barr and Ross in contempt. Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd said a vote would halt any ongoing cooperation with the committee.
  112. On Friday, according to a letter released, the White House tried to block Kris Kobach from testifying before the House Oversight Committee about adding a citizenship question to the 2020 census.
  113. Kobach appeared before the panel Monday and refused 15 times to answer questions about his conversations with Trump or White House officials. White House counsel Pat Cipollone said the conversations are covered by executive privilege.
  114. On Monday, Politico reported House Democrats will hold a contempt vote against Barr and former White House counsel Don McGahn for defying congressional subpoenas. The vote is expected on June 11.
  115. On Tuesday, Judge Emmet Sullivan wrote in a notice that he accepted the DOJ’s explanation for not complying with his demand to make public transcripts of calls between Michael Flynn and the Russian ambassador.
  116. On Tuesday, CNN reported the White House directed Hope Hicks and Annie Donaldson not to turn over documents to the House Judiciary Committee related to their time at the White House.
  117. Pat Cipollone said in a letter the documents “remain legally protected from disclosure…because they implicate significant Executive Branch confidentiality interests and executive privilege.”
  118. On Tuesday, Chair Nadler said Hicks had agreed to turn over some documents to his committee, saying, “I thank her for that show of good faith.” It was unclear if she would satisfy Democrats’ sweeping demands.
  119. On Tuesday, NYT reported Paul Manafort is expected to be transferred in the new few weeks to Rikers Island jail complex in New York City where he will likely be held in isolation while facing state fraud charges.
  120. On Wednesday, Bloomberg reported House Ways and Means Chair Richard Neal will not move ahead on getting Trump’s New York state tax returns under a new bill expected to be signed into law by the governor.
  121. Several of Neal’s House colleagues disagreed, saying the returns would answer questions on issues such as foreign holdings. Neal said he does not want to appear to be on a fishing expedition.
  122. Secretary Steven Mnuchin has turned down three requests to turn over six years of Trump’s tax returns, including after being subpoenaed by Neal’s committee, and is expected to end up in court.
  123. On Tuesday, former Senate majority leader Harry Reid changed his opinion and said the House should open an impeachment inquiry. Reid told USA Today, “It’s not the right thing to do nothing.”
  124. Reid said the most important goal is to “give the American people a view of what’s going on,” adding public opinion may change, “that’s one reason an inquiry should go forward, to find out how the public reacts to this.”
  125. On Wednesday, Politico reported in a meeting with five House committee Chairs, Speaker Pelosi clashed with Judiciary Chair Nadler who called for launching impeachment proceedings.
  126. This is the second request Chair Nadler has made in recent weeks. More than half (13 of 24) members of the House Judiciary Committee are for impeachment. Pelosi again turned down the notion of impeachment.
  127. Pelosi said she preferred to oust Trump at the ballot box: “I don’t want to see him impeached, I want to see him in prison.” Chairs Adam Schiff, Elijah Cummings, Richard Neal, and Eliot Engle sided with Pelosi.
  128. Earlier Wednesday, Pelosi said in a speech, “Make no mistake, we know exactly what path we’re on. We know exactly what actions we need to take.” So far, 60 House Democrats have called for impeachment.
  129. Pelosi also played down the disagreement saying “there is no controversy” within the caucus over impeachment. She later told reporters, “I’m not feeling any pressure.”
  130. On Thursday, CNN reported that at a private meeting of the House Judiciary Committee on May 20, more than a dozen of the 24 members pushed Chair Nadler to start impeachment proceedings.
  131. Nadler made the case his committee could look into Trump’s controversies and scandals and decide on whether to pursue articles of impeachment, freeing up the other committees to focus on the legislative agenda.
  132. On Thursday, Trump quoted Fox News host Sean Hannity on the coverage of his Europe trip, tweeting, “MSNBC Ramps up hateful coverage and promotes conspiracy theories during Trump’s trip to Europe.”
  133. Trump quoted Hannity, tweeting that he “received glowing reviews from the British Media.” This was false. Trump was criticized by The Times, The Guardian, The Independent, Daily Telegraph, Daily Mirror, Daily Mail, etc.
  134. On Thursday, in an interview with Fox News taped ahead of a ceremony in Normandy commemorating the 75th anniversary of D-Day, Trump said Mueller “made such a fool of himself” with last week’s public statement.
  135. Trump told host Laura Ingraham on Mueller, “what people don’t report is the letter he had to do to straighten out his testimony because his testimony was wrong.” It was unclear what letter Trump was referring to.
  136. Trump also said of Mueller, He came out with a report with 13 horrible, angry Democrats who are totally biased against me,” adding, “A couple of them worked to Hillary Clinton.”
  137. On Russia, Trump said, “I think we can have a good relationship with Russia,” adding, “I think it’s hurt by the phony witch hunt. You know, I could have a good relationship with Russia.”
  138. Trump called Pelosi a “nasty, vindictive, horrible person,” adding, “I think she’s a disgrace. I don’t think she’s a talented person.” He said he tried to be nice to get deals done with her, but “she’s incapable of doing deals.”
  139. Trump also referred to Pelosi as “Nervous Nancy” twice and said she should stop focusing on his misdeeds and instead on her district in San Francisco, which he said has “drugs and needles all over the place.”
  140. The interview was taped with graves of Allied service members as a backdrop. Trump noted people gathering for the ceremony, saying “what they don’t realize is that I’m holding them up because of this interview.”
  141. When the interview aired, Ingraham said, “Some of you may have heard or read that President Trump supposedly held up the entire D-Day ceremony in order to do this interview with me. That is patently false — fake news.”
  142. Pelosi, who was also in France for the D-Day celebrations refused to respond to Trump in an interview, saying “I don’t talk about the president while I’m out of the country. That’s my principle.”
  143. On Friday, while flying back to the U.S., Trump tweeted “Nervous Nancy Pelosi is a disgrace to herself and her family for having made such a disgusting statement, especially since I was with foreign leaders overseas.”
  144. Trump also tweeted of her comment, “There is no evidence for such a thing,” adding, “Nervous Nancy & Dems are getting Zero work done,” and they want a “fishing expedition to see if they can find anything on me.”
  145. Trump also called it “illegal & unprecedented in U.S. history,” adding, “There was no Collusion — Investigate the Investigators!” and, “Go to work on Drug Price Reductions & Infrastructure!”
  146. On Thursday, Michael Flynn fired his lawyers, Robert Kelner and Stephen Anthony, shortly before sentencing. No reason was given for the late dismissal, triggering speculation that he may seek to back out of his plea deal.
  147. Kelner and Anthony asked Judge Emmet Sullivan to withdraw, saying because only sentencing remained, the change in defense team would not harm the prosecution or defense.
  148. The judge denied Kelner and Anthony’s motion on technical grounds on Thursday, prompting them to refile it late Thursday. On Friday, the judge granted the motion for Flynn to remove them.
  149. On Thursday, new attorneys for Ekim Alptekin, the Turkish businessman who hired Flynn and was indicted in December but remains in Turkey, suddenly appeared to make a request to the judge overseeing the case.
  150. Flynn was not charged in the case against his former business partner Bijan Rafiekian and Alptekin, but was expected to be the star witness. Questions on cooperation arose with Flynn bringing on new counsel.
  151. Judge Sullivan also released the audio of John Dowd’s phone call with Kelner following release of the transcript. The contents of the voice mail were mostly quoted in the Mueller report.
  152. The DOJ also released a slightly less redacted version of Peter Strzok’s FBI notes, which said a top Russian official tried to set up a video teleconference between Trump and Putin on the day after Trump’s inauguration.
  153. On Friday, Politico reported former Roger Stone aide Andrew Miller turned over his text messages with Stone from October 2016 to March 2017, and the written agenda for the 2016 RNC, to a grand jury.
  154. On Friday, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ordered the release of some sealed documents related to the mysterious legal battle between Mueller’s team and a state-owned foreign company by June 21.
  155. On Friday, in response to a lawsuit by CNN, a federal judge ruled that the FBI must un-redact more portions of former Director James Comey’s memos about his meetings with Trump.
  156. The ruling will allow the names of countries and world leaders referenced in conversation between the two, when Trump described his dismay about how Flynn had handled the scheduling of calls from world leaders.
  157. On Thursday, senior House Democrats on the Appropriations subpanel that funds the Interior Department urged Trump to rethink his July 4 plans, saying the celebration should be “non-partisan and apolitical.”
  158. The lawmakers said in the letter Trump’s plans “could create the appearance of a televised, partisan campaign rally on the Mall at public expense” and asked to consider an earlier time or alternative location.
  159. On Thursday, in a letter to top officials, Senate Democrats asked the Federal Reserve to review Trump’s Deutsche Bank transactions, citing NYT’s reporting on possible money laundering in Week 132.
  160. On Thursday, House Democrats formally introduced a resolution to hold Barr and McGahn in contempt of Congress. The resolution authorizes any committee chair to go to civil court to enforce a subpoena.
  161. On Thursday, Rudy Giuliani told the Washington Examiner he would be leaving Trump’s legal team. Later in the day, he reversed himself tweeting “I’m here until Pres. doesn’t need me or needs something else.”
  162. On Monday, the manufacturing gauge, the Institute for Supply Management reading, dropped to 52.1 for May, the lowest level since October 2106, amid global trade tensions.
  163. On Wednesday, credit ratings agencies Fitch downgraded and Moody’s lowered the outlook for Mexico’s sovereign debt citing credit worries over Pemex and trade tensions with the U.S.
  164. On Thursday, when asked by reporters about tariffs on China, Trump said tariffs could “go up another at least $300 billion and I’ll do that at the right time,” adding, “But I think China wants to make a deal.”
  165. On Thursday, the Mexican government said it is willing to make asylum changes towards a coordinated approach to stem the flow of Central American migrants, but said they will redraw if Trump imposes tariffs.
  166. Mexican called for the regime to commit to programs that will ease conditions fueling migration. House Ways and Means Chair Neal said he would introduce a resolution of disapproval if Trump imposed tariffs.
  167. On Friday, the U.S. nonfarm payrolls for May increased by just 75,000, significantly lower than economists expectation of a gain of 180,000. March and April adds were also revised lower by a combined 189,000.
  168. On Friday, CNBC report the Koch-backed Americans for Prosperity, a network that historically only backed Republicans, in the era of Trump will expand its political engagement to backing Democrats in 2019 and 2020.
  169. On Friday, on his flight back from Europe, Trump tweeted there is a “good chance” we will be able to make a deal with Mexico, adding if not, “Mexico will begin paying Tariffs at the 5% level on Monday!”
  170. Later Friday, Trump tweeted they reached a deal and the U.S. would suspend tariffs “indefinitely,” saying Mexico agreed to “strong measures to stem the tide of Migration through Mexico, and to our Southern Border.”
  171. On Saturday, Trump attacked the media for “much false reporting” on the deal, “by the Fake and Corrupt News Media, such as Comcast/NBC, CNN, @nytimes & @washingtonpost. These “Fakers” are Bad News!”
  172. On Saturday, Speaker Pelosi said in a statement, “Threats and temper tantrums are no way to negotiate foreign policy,” saying Trump undermined U.S. leadership threatening “our close friend and neighbor.”
  173. On Saturday, Trump tweeted “Nervous Nancy Pelosi & the Democrat House are getting nothing done,” adding perhaps they could lead the way with USMCA, trade deal “that replaces NAFTA, the worst Trade Deal.”
  174. On Friday, Trump tweeted: “For all of the money we are spending, NASA should NOT be talking about going to the Moon,” saying they should be focused on bigger things “including Mars (of which the Moon is a part).”
  175. Months ago, Trump had set a goal to put humans back on the moon by 2024 and budgeted $1.6 billion to be taken from Pell grants to fund it. It was unclear if Trump was backing off his own plan or what he meant.
  176. WAPO also fact-checked Trump’s tweet and noted it was unclear what Trump meant when he called the moon “a part” of Mars. The moon is a satellite of Earth.
  177. On Friday, a Russian destroyer nearly collided with a U.S. warship in the Philippine Sea. The U.S. Navy called the incident “unsafe and unprofessional” and released video corroborating their version of events.
  178. Russian state-controlled media claimed the near collision was staged by the U.S. to coincide with a visit by China President Xi Jinping to Russia. Trump did not make a statement or tweet about the incident.
  179. On Friday, Guardian reported Russian journalist Ivan Golunov was arrested and severely beaten in police custody with injuries including broken ribs and a concussion, after covering state corruption and business interests.
  180. On Friday, NYT reported a raft of legislation meant to protect U.S. elections after Mueller’s warning of a “sweeping and systematic” Russian attack is being blocked by Senate Majority Leader McConnell.
  181. McConnell is facing pressure to act not only from Democrats, but also members of his party. It is thought he does not want to enrage Trump who views talk on interference as questioning the legitimacy of his 2016 win.
  182. The House is planning hearings to force his hand. On Friday, the Intelligence Committee said it would hold hearings on the Russian counterintelligence threat detailed in the Mueller report.
  183. On Saturday, WAPO reported the White House blocked the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research from submitting testimony on climate change to the House Intelligence Committee.
  184. The written testimony noted, “absent extensive mitigating factors or events” human-caused climate change could be “possibly catastrophic,” and laid out the implications of rising carbon emissions.
  185. Implications in the 12-page report obtained by the Post include rising global temperatures and acidifying of the world’s oceans, as well as contributing to the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events.
  186. On Tuesday, an estimated 120,000 marched in Prague to protest Czech Republic Prime Minister Andrej Babis, who has been charged with subsidy fraud. The crowd was the biggest since the end of communism.
  187. On Wednesday, Australian police raided the offices of Australian Broadcasting Corporation and a prominent journalist seeking files related to stories known as the Afghan Files, raising concerns for press freedom.

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Anti-Trump protesters hold placards and balloons depicting US President Donald Trump as an orange baby as they gather in Trafalgar Square during a demonstration against the US State Visit in central London on June 4, 2019 the second day of the visit. — Trump turns from pomp and ceremony to politics and business on Tuesday as he meets Prime Minister Theresa May on the second day of a state visit expected to be accompanied by mass protests.