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Trump's Environmental Protection Agency chief says climate is not a top priority

Posted on Fri, Apr 12th, 2019 by Reuters
Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency chief says climate is not a top priority
By Timothy Gardner and Valerie Volcovici

(Reuters) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will unveil a proposal to speed state-level permitting decisions for energy infrastructure projects soon, the agency’s chief told Reuters on Thursday, blasting states that have blocked coal terminals and gas pipelines on environmental grounds.



Wheeler said he believes climate change is a problem, but that it had been overblown by former President Barack Obama’s administration – at the expense of other bigger issues like water quality.

“Yes, climate is an issue and we are working to address it, but I think water is a bigger issue,” he said.

Wheeler dismissed the findings of a report released earlier this week by EPA scientists in the journal Nature Climate Change that detailed the scale and urgency of climate change.

He said while he encouraged EPA scientists to carry out and publish research, he stressed the recent paper “did not reflect EPA policy.”


Posted by babylonsister | Sat Apr 13, 2019, 05:29 AM (5 replies)

Houston police chief hits order to deport child without family: 'Nazis enforced their laws as well'

Houston police chief hits order to deport child without family: 'Nazis enforced their laws as well'
By Morgan Gstalter - 04/12/19 03:14 PM EDT

Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo on Friday blasted a recent immigration order, likely triggered by accident during the government shutdown, to deport an 11-year-old migrant girl without her family.

Acevedo took to Twitter to slam the “heart-wrenching” news that Laura Maradiaga would be sent back to her native El Salvador alone.
Acevedo was sharing a Houston Chronicle report detailing the deportation order against the child.

Maradiaga and her family entered the U.S. through the southern border in early October and claimed asylum. They have checked in with immigration officials without fail every two weeks. The family was given a February court date that was rescheduled to March 12 due to the government shutdown, the Chronicle reported.

Maradiaga’s official order states that she is subject to deportation because she was not present for the March 12 court appearance. Her mother Dora Alvarado, however, said she arrived at an immigration court that day with both of her daughters but was told that Maradiaga was not listed on the docket.

The newspaper noted that it is unclear if the court translator available that day provided incorrect information or if the case fell through logistical cracks given the backlog of asylum cases delayed by the record-long partial government shutdown.


Posted by babylonsister | Fri Apr 12, 2019, 07:33 PM (3 replies)

CNN to host back-to-back town halls with five Democratic presidential candidates on April 22


CNN to host back-to-back town halls with five Democratic presidential candidates on April 22
By Veronica Stracqualursi, CNN
Updated 1302 GMT (2102 HKT) April 11, 2019

(CNN)Five Democratic presidential candidates will appear later this month in back-to-back CNN town halls focused on issues of importance to young voters, the network announced Thursday.

Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Sen. Kamala Harris, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Sen. Bernie Sanders and Sen. Elizabeth Warren will participate in this live, internationally telecast 2020 event from New Hampshire on April 22.
The CNN town halls are co-hosted by the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College and the Institute of Politics at Harvard Kennedy School. The presidential hopefuls will field questions directly from students and young New Hampshire Democrats, said a CNN spokeswoman, who added the audience will be drawn from the two schools and a pool of young Democrats living in the state.

On April 22, Chris Cuomo will moderate the Klobuchar (7 p.m. ET) and Sanders (9 p.m. ET) town halls, Anderson Cooper will moderate the Warren (8 p.m. ET) and Buttigieg (11 p.m. ET) town halls, and Don Lemon will moderate the Harris (10 p.m. ET) town hall.

The CNN town halls will take place on the campus of Saint Anselm College, and coincide with the release of the Institute of Politics at Harvard Kennedy School's new national poll of young voters.

The latest Harvard Poll shows that Sanders has a commanding lead among 18-29 year olds over his political rivals: 31% back Sanders, while former Vice President Joe Biden places second with 20% support. At this point during the 2016 campaign, Sanders was polling at only 2% with the same age group in the Harvard poll.
Posted by babylonsister | Fri Apr 12, 2019, 05:45 PM (18 replies)

Frank Rich: In Bill Barr, Trump Has Finally Found His New Fixer


the national circus 12:55 P.M.
In Bill Barr, Trump Has Finally Found His New Fixer
By Frank Rich

Bill Barr’s assertion that “spying did occur” against the Trump campaign has brought condemnations of impropriety from congressional Democrats and career intelligence officials, and raised suspicion that the attorney general is covering for Trump. Has Trump, at long last, finally found his Roy Cohn?

When you invoke Roy Cohn, you have to specify which Roy Cohn. There’s the New York Cohn of the 1970s and ’80s, the Mob-connected fixer who enabled Trump’s rise, of course. But there’s also the earlier, Washington Cohn: the smear artist who abetted Joe McCarthy’s witch hunt to expose supposed Commies in the United States Army during the 1950s. The brilliantly perverse achievement of Barr is that he combines both Roy Cohns in a single package. He’s a fixer for Trump, as evidenced by his unsupported conclusion that the Mueller report lets the president off the legal hook for his manifold efforts to obstruct justice. But Barr is also the McCarthy-era Cohn, sliming a “group of leaders there at the upper echelon” of government agencies for spying without offering any specifics or evidence.

That said, Barr is more insidious than either Roy Cohn.
The Cohn of the McCarthy era was the chief counsel to a Senate committee; the New York Cohn was a lawyer in private practice. William Barr is the attorney general — the chief law-enforcement officer of the United States. And he is just getting started in his career in nonenforcement. He is poised to bowdlerize the Mueller report with redactions whose legitimacy cannot be verified and is stonewalling congressional efforts to read the report in full. He is in position to assist Steve Mnuchin, the Treasury secretary, as he buries documents whose exposure Trump may fear more than Mueller’s evidence — his tax returns. And, as the GOP operative turned Never Trumper Rick Wilson has pointed out, Barr’s accusations of “spying” are designed not only to feed right-wing conspiracy theories about a “deep state” plotting to subvert Trump but also to sully “the future public, private, and legal testimony of members of the DOJ, FBI, and intelligence community who have seen the damning data on Trump and his claque.” The goal? “To intimidate anyone who would investigate Trump’s vast portfolio of corruption and obstruction of justice, both before and after he took office.”

Barr, let’s recall, was more highly-thought-of only a few weeks ago. As the successor to Matthew Whitaker, a low-rent scam artist with not even minimal qualifications to serve as acting attorney general, he didn’t have a tough act to follow. He was routinely praised as an “institutionalist” who would protect the Justice Department — though his advocates never explained why any true institutionalist would enlist in an administration that above all is devoted to the destruction of governmental institutions and defiance of the rule of law. In this sense, Barr was initially welcomed as another iteration of those previous “adults in the room” who would protect America from their boss’s worst instincts: John Kelly, Rex Tillerson, Jim Mattis, H. R. McMaster, and Gary Cohn, the chief economic adviser who sold his soul for a tax cut rather than publicly break with a president who gave a pass to neo-Nazis chanting “Jews will not replace us” in Charlottesville.

In the end, no Trump Cabinet member ever rises above the common denominator of his or her peers, a perpetual rogue’s gallery that, from Mnuchin to Wilbur Ross to Betsy DeVos to (RIP) Kirstjen Nielsen, makes the bar in Star Wars look like King Arthur’s court.
Posted by babylonsister | Fri Apr 12, 2019, 04:35 PM (1 replies)

Trump Wants to Bus Migrants to Sanctuary Cities. The Mayors There Are Fine With It.


Trump Wants to Bus Migrants to Sanctuary Cities. The Mayors There Are Fine With It.
An elaborate attempt to troll liberal politicians seems to have hit a snag.
Scott Bixby,
Sam Brodey
04.12.19 4:46 PM ET

President Donald Trump may have assumed that his proposal to release undocumented immigrants into so-called “sanctuary cities” would back Democrats into a corner on the issue of immigration. But the local officials in those cities he’s targeting don’t seem to actually find the prospect all that foreboding.

Instead, when asked about the plan—which would entail bussing migrants apprehended at the U.S.-Mexico border to be released in cities that do not cooperate with federal law enforcement to arrest undocumented immigrants—mayors of major cities, regional capitals and medium-sized towns told The Daily Beast said that they would welcome those currently being detained.

“The city would be prepared to welcome these immigrants just as we have embraced our immigrant communities for decades,” Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney told The Daily Beast in a statement. “This White House plan demonstrates the utter contempt that the Trump administration has for basic human dignity and the core values on which this nation was founded.”

“As a welcoming city, we would welcome these migrants with open arms, just as we welcomed Syrian refugees, just as we welcomed Puerto Ricans displaced by Hurricane Maria and just as we welcome Rohingya refugees fleeing genocide in Myanmar,” said Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel in a statement.

“I am proud that Cambridge is a sanctuary city,” Mayor Marc McGovern of Cambridge, Massachusetts, told The Daily Beast. “Trump is a schoolyard bully who tries to intimidate and threaten people. I’m not intimidated and if asylum seekers find their way to Cambridge, we’ll welcome them.”


Posted by babylonsister | Fri Apr 12, 2019, 04:14 PM (8 replies)

'He's Just Being a Freak'


‘He’s Just Being a Freak’
April 12, 2019 at 2:52 pm EDT By Taegan Goddard

Speaker Nancy Pelosi told Recode that the way President Trump uses Twitter has “cheapened the presidency.”

Said Pelosi: “He’s just being a freak, I mean, he’s just terrible. There’s more of a responsibility for a president to communicate his point of view, which we should respect, he’s the president of the United States, whether you agree with him or not, he has a point of view. But to use the office of the president as an attack vehicle … for his market, it seems to have worked.”

She also criticized the sometimes-obsessive coverage of Trump’s Twitter outbursts: “All they want to talk about is, how on Earth did he do 50 tweets in 48 hours? I think the press is an enabler of him… He makes assaults on them and they strengthen him by just talking about that and that’s what an authoritarian wants you to be talking about him.”
Posted by babylonsister | Fri Apr 12, 2019, 02:53 PM (29 replies)

Roger Stone's woes: He's broke. Donald Trump doesn't call. And his wife broke her ankle.

Roger Stone's woes: He's broke. Donald Trump doesn't call. And his wife broke her ankle.
In a wide ranging interview with SiriusXM’s “Jim Norton & Sam Roberts” Roger Stone said his living situation has plummeted, his savings are gone and his car was impounded.

Things are not going well for Roger Stone.

In a wide ranging interview with SiriusXM’s “Jim Norton & Sam Roberts” on Thursday he said his living situation has plummeted, his savings are gone and his car was impounded.

When money problems forced Stone and his wife to move from a Fort Lauderdale mansion to a one-room apartment the truck slipped out of gear and broke his wife’s ankle.

And he’s no longer talking to his old friend, President Donald Trump.

Stone is being prosecuted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office. He was arrested on Jan. 25 and charged with witness tampering, obstruction and false statements about his interactions related to the release of stolen Democratic Party emails by WikiLeaks.

He’s under a gag order from the federal judge in the case, prohibiting him from talking about it, something Stone said has made his financial situation more difficult.

“The worst part of this is being broke,” he said on the SiriusXM program that airs weekdays on the Faction Talk channel 103.

“I’ve lost my home, my insurance, what little savings I had, my ability to make a living because people pay me to write and talk, and of course the things they want me to write and talk about are the very things I’m not allowed to talk and write about. In the blink of an eye you can lose everything.

“I have to pay everything I have to lawyers. And I could no longer pay the rent in the property that I was in. I moved from a nine-bedroom house to a one-bedroom apartment. Had to do the move myself with my wife renting a truck. On the last day of the move in kind of a freak accident the truck slips out of gear and rolls over my wife’s ankle, breaking it.”


Posted by babylonsister | Fri Apr 12, 2019, 02:25 PM (46 replies)

Rosenstein Says Barr Isn't Trying to Mislead

Rosenstein baffles me.


Rosenstein Says Barr Isn’t Trying to Mislead
April 11, 2019 at 7:47 pm EDT By Taegan Goddard

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein defended the Justice Department’s handling of the special counsel’s still-secret report, telling the Wall Street Journal that Attorney General William Barr is “being as forthcoming as he can” about his process for redacting and releasing the roughly 400-page document.

“Mr. Rosenstein beat back suggestions that Mr. Barr is trying to mislead the public by releasing only a four-page summary of Robert Mueller’s investigation.”
Posted by babylonsister | Thu Apr 11, 2019, 07:54 PM (34 replies)

New ICE Chief Said Detention Was 'Like a Summer Camp'


New ICE Chief Said Detention Was ‘Like a Summer Camp’
April 11, 2019 at 7:50 pm EDT By Taegan Goddard

“The Trump administration has tapped Matthew Albence to lead Immigration and Customs Enforcement in the wake of the sudden resignation of its former leader,” BuzzFeed News reports.

“Albence became better known after his appearance on Capitol Hill on July 31 during which he said that family detention centers were best described as ‘more like a summer camp,’ to the shock of some advocates and politicians.”
Posted by babylonsister | Thu Apr 11, 2019, 07:01 PM (6 replies)

A President Falsely Charging 'Treason' Is What the Founders Feared


A President Falsely Charging ‘Treason’ Is What the Founders Feared
Trump’s accusations violate his oath of office.
12:00 PM ET
Conor Friedersdorf

Donald Trump swore to protect and defend the U.S. Constitution.

The Constitution declares, “Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort.”

On Wednesday, President Trump wrote, “I think what the Democrats are doing with the Border is TREASONOUS. Their Open Border mindset is putting our Country at risk. Will not let this happen!” As having an “open border mindset” is not levying war against America nor giving aid and comfort to its enemies, Trump is guilty of levying a false accusation of unsurpassed gravity and additionally guilty of violating his oath to protect and defend Article III, which defines treason as “only” those offenses.

That same day, the oath-breaker wrote, “So, it has now been determined, by 18 people that truly hate President Trump, that there was No Collusion with Russia. In fact, it was an illegal investigation that should never have been allowed to start. I fought back hard against this Phony & Treasonous Hoax!”

The people who started Robert Mueller’s investigation did not levy war against the United States, adhere to its enemies, or give them aid and comfort. As such, Trump is guilty of levying another false accusation and additionally guilty of violating his oath to protect and defend Article III.


The Framers were guarding against the possibility that Americans would one day elect a man so morally weak and corrupt that he would falsely accuse political enemies of treason. In 2016, Americans narrowly elected a man who is that degraded. Congress and the judiciary have a constitutional duty to check his abuses of power, and the public has a patriotic duty to oust him from office. But as yet, most Republicans show no inclination to mount a 2020 primary challenge, as if they are content to continue supporting a man of low character.

Their failure, while disconcerting, is not treason, as it is neither levying war against the United States nor adhering to its enemies nor giving them aid and comfort.
Posted by babylonsister | Thu Apr 11, 2019, 02:26 PM (38 replies)
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