When Congress returned home, Republicans got clobbered at town hall meetings. These scenes made me check up on our democracy’s wellness. Bad news: The body politic’s muscles got flabby in the last 16-17 years. Blood pressure up, and too many Cheetos, not enough kale.
The muddled minds that now run the federal government think it’s fine to legally segregate public bathrooms. This is of a piece with the attitudes and beliefs that created “For whites only” drinking fountains in the Jim Crow South. If you don’t see the correlation, you have company in the White House.
The always helpful Conan O’Brien headed to Mexico to give President Trump a hand in financing his controversial pet project. Roaming the streets of Mexico City, the affable TBS host brought a tiny brick wall “bank,” asking for coin donations from the Mexican people – whose reactions ranged from amused to angry.
A report by the libertarian Cato Institute found there were 154 foreign-born terrorists who engaged in fatal attacks in the United States from 1975 to 2015. Twenty of these terrorists were refugees. Collectively those 20 people were responsible for killing a total of three people.
Last year was the hottest year on record, beating the record set in 2015. And 2015 topped the record set in 2014, according to NASA. Scientists say that this is the first time that temperature records have been broken three years in a row. For all the time spent worrying about jihadist terrorists and Mexican criminals, they don’t constitute an existential threat to humanity. Climate change does.
Few would have predicted Donald Trump’s stellar relationship with far-right Christians. But now that he’s won them over, benefited from their political support, and amassed a White House featuring many evangelical conservatives, LGBT protections, abortion rights, and public school funding are on the line.
As lawmakers seek to force Donald Trump to release his income tax returns, a majority of Americans indicated they believed the president has done something illegal or unethical. In a McClatchy-Marist survey asking about potential conflicts of interest between Trump’s business holdings and his duties as president, just 41 percent said he had done nothing wrong, while 53 percent said Trump has done something illegal or unethical.
The new order reverses one issued by former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates that sought to eliminate the department’s use of private for-profit prisons, which hold slightly more than 10 percent of the current prison population. Civil rights and prisoner rights groups decried the Sessions’ decision, saying private prisons are not as cost-effective or as safe as government-run facilities.
To many Democrats, Job Ossoff’s candidacy — which has attracted the attention of liberal activists nationwide — is the first chance to show that Republicans are paying a price for Donald Trump’s presidency. The 30-year-old is the most prominent Democrat running for the U.S. House of Representatives in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District, which this spring will have a special election to replace former Rep. Tom Price.
No matter how much undocumented immigrants pay in taxes and Social Security, and regardless of what they contribute to their communities, they are now more vulnerable than ever before. Something as simple as failing to come to a complete stop at a stop sign can lead to one person’s deportation and the devastation of an entire family.
A “fringe element” is now in the White House. But direct association with racists and misogynists isn’t great for the conservative movement’s brand — or Breitbart’s bottom line. So the organizers of this week’s annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) are working hard to redefine the term “alt-right” in order to retroactively separate that movement from the White House and the website.
Mexican officials have flatly rejected the Trump administration’s plan to deport to Mexico migrants caught illegally crossing the U.S. southern border, regardless of nationality. The officials said Mexico will never accept the return of Guatemalans, Salvadorans, Hondurans, and others who traveled through the country on their way to the United States, most often to ask for asylum here.
Republican members of Congress — at least, those who deigned to show up — faced angry constituents in district town hall meetings across the country this week. Many of the meetings drew overflow crowds filled with local residents who turned out specifically to voice anger over GOP threats to Obamacare.
While it has become a popular notion in the West that immigrants jeopardize the job prospects of natives, over 30 years of economic research give strong reason to believe otherwise. And in fact, the opposite may be more likely: There’s evidence immigrants actually promote economic growth.
Meyers ridiculed Trump for completely fabricating the idea of an uncontrollable immigrant crime wave and for inflating the number of undocumented immigrants in the United States, noting the non-alternative fact of a net loss of 140,000 Mexicans between 2009 and 2014. “That’s right,” quipped the Late Night host. “America has turned into a bad movie and people are walking out.”
Last week, North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum signed an emergency evacuation order, citing rising water levels and an increased risk of ice jams as a safety issue that required the camp to be cleared. Most of those living at the camp left voluntarily, with many boarding state-funded buses to get access to hygiene kits, food, and hotels.
Here is the GOP scam in a nutshell: Tax cuts for truly wealthy people increase their income and wealth; tax cuts for working people actually decrease their income and wealth over time. Get ready for voters who have no idea how this all works to get totally behind the GOP “we’ll cut your taxes” rhetoric, not realizing that Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, and Donald Trump/Mike Pence view us all as merely useful idiots.
The Trump administration’s aggressive immigration plans should be panicking federal budget officials, who are going to have to figure out a way to pay for the big boost in personnel and infrastructure envisioned in two memos Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly issued Tuesday. Experts estimate the total cost of implementation will be around $400 billion to $600 billion.
As many of us forget the story of Japanese internment, we also forget its moral: how fear can interdict reason, make you lash out with hatred at harmless people. Thus, some of us cheered recently when a new executive order was signed and our airports turned to chaos. Some of us echoed McCloy: “The Constitution is just a scrap of paper to me.”
Presidential historians and veteran Washington correspondents say President Donald Trump’s first month in office — which has been marred by numerous scandals and vicious attacks on the press — is more “chaotic” and “bizarre” than any administration’s first month in history.
At one point, a frustrated audience member implored him: “Answer the question Mitch!” after he offered a curt answer to a woman asking about lost coal jobs in eastern Kentucky. As he began leaving the event, escorted by state and local law enforcement, a few in the crowd booed. Someone shouted “Do your job!”
Spats between the White House and intelligence agencies are hardly new, though in decades past these feuds tended to be on policy grounds. Trump’s, however, is more personal. Now, the question is not whether he continues to wage war with the intelligence establishment—it is how far he is willing to go.
If Republicans achieve veto-proof control in 38 states, they can do something that has never been done before—hold a constitutional convention, and then ratify new amendments that are put forth. They could outlaw the New Deal and its social democratic programs. And if they get crazy enough, they could end separation of church and state and undo other portions of the Bill of Rights.
Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster, appointed by Trump on Monday, is known for being strongly driven by integrity —a quality that critics felt Mike Flynn lacked. How to approach Russia is likely to be one of the crucial areas where McMaster and Flynn differ.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott says the resistance to Enterprise Florida is an attack on business, while Speaker Richard Corcoran says it’s an attack on government waste. At stake is at least $85 million of state money, which most Floridians would rather not gamble on another Digital Domain.