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16-year-old migrant boy dies in U.S. custody, 5th child to die since December

A 16-year-old Guatemalan boy who died Monday in immigration custody in south Texas was diagnosed with the flu a day before, a Customs and Border Protection official said. The teenager is the fifth migrant child to die in U.S. custody since December.

Carlos Gregorio Hernandez Vasquez was found unresponsive Monday morning during a welfare check at Weslaco Border Patrol Station, a CBP official familiar with the case said in a Monday afternoon teleconference.

When asked why the boy was not taken to a hospital for treatment, the official said such a decision was up to the medical care providers at their facilities. The official added that while they did not have the individual specifics on the symptoms Carlos was exhibiting at the time, the official suspected it was one of the matters that would be reviewed in the investigation.

The boy is the fifth migrant child to die since December. All of the children were Guatemalan. Asylum-seekers and other migrants from Guatemala have been fleeing a mix of violence, drought, food shortages and poverty.


His last night on earth was spent burrning up with fever in a jail cell.

Some in Pelosi's leadership team rebel on impeachment, press her to begin an inquiry

Source: Washington Post

At least five members of Pelosi’s leadership team — four of whom also sit on the House Judiciary Committee, with jurisdiction over impeachment — pressed Pelosi (D-Calif.) in a closed-door leadership meeting to allow the panel to start an inquiry, which they argued would help investigators attain documents and testimony that Trump has blocked. Several hours later, Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler met with Pelosi as well and made the case to start the inquiry, he later told his panel member on a call.

Pelosi declined to endorse the idea both times, according to the officials either in or familiar with what happened in both meetings. She and House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) argued that such an inquiry would undercut other House investigations — or that the idea was not supported by other members in the caucus.

“It’s a fact-finding process,” said Rep. David N. Cicilline (D-R.I.) of the push to start an impeachment inquiry. Cicilline was one of the lawmakers who make the case to Pelosi in the meeting. “There’s no doubt that opening an inquiry strengthens the hand of Congress in forcing compliance with subpoenas, whether it’s for documents or individuals.”

The meeting marks the first time a chairman and top rank-and-file lawmakers — including members of Pelosi’s leadership team — have lobbied her to change her long-held position on impeachment. Judiciary Committee members for days have discussed how to move the speaker toward their thinking, but few have been willing to break with her publicly.

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/pelosis-leadership-team-rebels-on-impeachment-presses-her-to-begin-an-inquiry/2019/05/20/263c11de-7b5b-11e9-a66c-d36e482aa873_story.html?utm_term=.527eff8707e8

I am guessing Pelosi wanted this leaked, so it would look like she was pushed into an impeachment inquiry reluctantly. A pretty good strategy, if that is the case.

Either way, the impeachment dam is starting to break.

John Paul Stevens: The Supreme Court's Worst Decision of My Tenure

District of Columbia v. Heller, which recognized an individual right to possess a firearm under the Constitution, is unquestionably the most clearly incorrect decision that the Supreme Court announced during my tenure on the bench.

The text of the Second Amendment unambiguously explains its purpose: “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” When it was adopted, the country was concerned that the power of Congress to disarm the state militias and create a national standing army posed an intolerable threat to the sovereignty of the several states.

Throughout most of American history there was no federal objection to laws regulating the civilian use of firearms. When I joined the Supreme Court in 1975, both state and federal judges accepted the Court’s unanimous decision in United States v. Miller as having established that the Second Amendment’s protection of the right to bear arms was possessed only by members of the militia and applied only to weapons used by the militia. In that case, the Court upheld the indictment of a man who possessed a short-barreled shotgun, writing, “In the absence of any evidence that the possession or use of a ‘shotgun having a barrel of less than eighteen inches in length’ has some reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia, we cannot say that the Second Amendment guarantees the right to keep and bear such an instrument.”
It also represents my greatest disappointment as a member of the Court. After the oral argument and despite the narrow vote at our conference about the case, I continued to think it possible to persuade either Justice Anthony Kennedy or Justice Clarence Thomas to change his vote. During the drafting process, I had frequent conversations with Kennedy, as well as occasional discussions with Thomas, about historical issues, because I thought each of them had an open mind about the case. In those discussions—particularly those with Kennedy—I now realize that I failed to emphasize sufficiently the human aspects of the issue as providing unanswerable support for the stare decisis argument for affirmance. After all, Kennedy had been one of the three decisive votes that had saved Roe v. Wade from being overruled in Planned Parenthood v. Casey.


Biden Soars, Everyone Else Stalls

The former vice president is capturing 40 percent of the national Democratic primary vote, stretching his lead over second-place Bernie Sanders to 21 points, according to Morning Consult's weekly tracking survey.

But the numbers in the earliest nominating states are even better news for Biden, who officially announced his campaign less than two weeks ago. Firehouse Strategies, a Republican strategy firm, found Biden holding double-digit leadsover his most high-profile rivals in the caucus state of Iowa and the primary states of New Hampshire and South Carolina.

Biden got even more good news from a pollster in Arizona on Tuesday that bolsters his most persuasive argument of electability. According to the Phoenix-based OH Predictive Insights, Biden is ahead of President Donald Trump in a hypothetical general election match-up in the Grand Canyon State.

Biden leads Trump 49 percent to 44 percent and was the only one of the six Democrats tested who came out on top of the president in traditionally red Arizona. The last Republican presidential nominee to lose Arizona in a general election was Bob Dole in 1996, when President Bill Clinton carried the state during his re-election.


16-Year-Old Unaccompanied Migrant Child Dies in U.S. Custody

Source: US News & World Report

A 16-YEAR-OLD MIGRANT boy died in government custody in Texas on Tuesday, an official said.

The child, an unaccompanied minor, was transferred from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody to an Office of Refugee Resettlement shelter on April 20, where he did not initially show signs of any health concerns, Evelyn Stauffer, spokesperson for the Department of Health and Human Services' Administration for Children and Families, said.

The boy, however, fell ill a day later with a fever, chills and headache, Stauffer said. The shelter's staff took the boy to the hospital, but he was treated and released later that day.

"The minor's health did not improve after being transferred back to the shelter so on the morning of April 22, 2019 the minor was taken to another hospital emergency department via ambulance," Stauffer said. "Later that day the minor was transferred to a children's hospital in Texas and was treated for several days in the hospital's intensive care unit."

Read more: https://www.usnews.com/news/national-news/articles/2019-05-01/16-year-old-unaccompanied-migrant-child-dies-in-us-custody

That's three kids now in the last 6 months who went into ICE custody apparently healthy, then became ill with high fevers and died within a few days of falling ill.

US Navy sailors instructed to 'clap like we're at a strip club' for Pence arrival

US Navy sailors were instructed by the ship's senior enlisted sailor to "clap like we're at a strip club" for Vice President Mike Pence's arrival aboard the USS Harry S. Truman on Tuesday.

The ship's public information officer confirmed to CNN the comments were made prior to Pence's arrival aboard the Truman in Norfolk, Virginia, and called the statement "inappropriate."

"We can confirm that this statement was made by USS Harry S. Truman's Command Master Chief to Truman's Sailors, prior to the arrival of the Vice President," Lt. Cmdr. Laura Stegherr said in a statement.

"This statement was inappropriate, and this issue is being addressed by Truman's leadership," she said.


WaPo's Jennifer Rubin: Why not Warren?

The most progressive wing of the Democratic Party is represented by two candidates: One is younger than President Trump, cheerful, doesn’t have the “socialist” label and has a zillion policy ideas. The other is five years older than Trump, prickly and humorless, has the socialist label and embraces the most extreme positions many in his party reject (e.g. allowing incarcerated mass murderers to vote). So far — to my ongoing amazement — Democratic primary voters tell pollsters they want the grouchy socialist, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), not Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), the cheerful policy wonk who declares she’s a capitalist, albeit one who recognizes that the system is “rigged."

We should remember that early polling might simply reflect Sanders’s name recognition, but nevertheless, it is not as if Warren is an unknown quantity. By virtually any measure, she’s a more accomplished and more electable choice, yet it’s Sanders who remains in the top tier of candidates. As Warren showed Monday night at a CNN town hall, she’s obviously the candidate with the most detailed, specific policies — and the one most capable of explaining detailed plans. She also manages to be less frightening — but bolder — than Sanders.

Specificity is an asset in the policy realm as well. Warren has a fleshed-out plan and has a way to pay for it. “What we have to do as a country is roll back that debt. And so, I have two parts to the proposal,” she said. “Part one is that we say that we’re going to roll back student loan debt for about 95 percent of students who have debt.” She continued, "And part two is to make sure that we never get in this mess again on student loan debt and that is to make college universally available with free tuition and fees, and to put more money into Pell grants so that students of color, so that our poorest students have real access to college and that we put real money into our historically black colleges and universities. " She’s explicit about how to pay for it, without demonizing the rich:
And here’s how the money works out. If we put that 2 cent wealth tax in place on the 75,000 largest fortunes in this country, 2 cents, we can do universal child care for every baby zero to 5, universal pre-K, universal college and knock back the student loan debt burden for 95 percent of our students and still have nearly a trillion dollars left over.


58% of Americans believe Trump obstructed justice.

The poll, conducted Thursday afternoon to Friday morning, is the first national survey to measure the response from the American public after the U.S. Justice Department released Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s 448-page report that recounted numerous occasions in which Trump may have interfered with the investigation.

According to the poll, 37 percent of adults in the United States approved of Trump’s performance in office, down from 40 percent in a similar poll conducted on April 15 and matching the lowest level of the year. That is also down from 43 percent in a poll conducted shortly after U.S. Attorney General William Barr circulated a summary of the report in March.

The poll found that 50 percent of Americans agreed that “Trump or someone from his campaign worked with Russia to influence the 2016 election,” and 58 percent agreed that the president “tried to stop investigations into Russian influence on his administration.”

Forty percent said they thought Trump should be impeached, while 42 percent said he should not.


The poll also found that 67% of Democrats thought Trump should be impeached.

How a legal dispute between Mueller and Barr drove the end of the special counsel's probe

From the Washington Post:

The redacted Mueller report released Thursday makes clear that he and his prosecutors viewed the OLC opinion to mean they also could not come to a conclusion about whether the president had committed a crime because it would violate Justice Department standards of fairness to make such an accusation — even secretly — without giving the person a chance to fight the accusation. Barr disagreed. 

Mueller’s approach to the question of whether the president tried to obstruct justice has created tension inside the Justice Department, according to current and former officials. Privately, some senior officials at the Justice Department have been unhappy that Mueller did not reach a conclusion about whether Trump’s conduct rose to the level of a crime, said the officials, who like others spoke on the condition of anonymity because of ongoing sensitivity surrounding the probe. 
But Ray said he suspected another reason for Mueller’s punt: He did not want to put Barr in a position of having to overrule him. 

“I do think it’s a component of the special counsel’s thinking that if he had gone that direction, he was well aware of the fact that the Department of Justice’s view would be and the attorney general’s decision would be to overrule it, and that is not a desirable place for the country to be,” Ray said. “I’m sure the attorney general didn’t appreciate the fact that he was put in the position of having to resolve the matter either, but given those two choices, I think it was better to have left it unresolved and have the attorney general take it from there.” 


So looks like Mueller punted to Congress on the obstruction question so that he would not be overruled by Barr. But Barr ended up overruling him anyway by concluding on his own there was no obstruction. 

Still, Mueller gave us a detailed roadmap to impeachment on obstruction, citing overwhelming evidence. The House must now move to impeach Trump. We must get everyone on record as stating that a President WHO WELCOMES A FOREIGN ADVERSARY'S ATTACK IN ORDER TO WIN ELECTION, THEN FLAGRANTLY OBSTRUCTS THE INVESTIGATION INTO THAT ATTACK must not sit in the White House. 

This isn't a political game. This is about our country. 

If we let this stand, it means future presidential candidates can collude with foreign adversaries to win election, and can obstruct justice WITH IMPUNITY. The right has demonstrated they will not punish their candidates for such conduct. We cannot follow the example of the deplorables. We must stand for the rule of law.

The 2020 election is only 18 months away. There is no time for months-long tedious investigations or fighting the administration in court for more documents. Mueller knew this, which is why he abruptly ended his investigation and handed obstruction charges off to Congress. Mueller has given us everything we need to impeach, and just barely the time to do it. We must start impeachment hearings now. This is what the House members swept in by the Blue Wave were elected to do.

If House Democrats fail to do their job, it will depress the Democratic turnout in 2020 and Trump will get reelected, and we will lose our democracy.

On impeachment, Warren just stole the show from her dodging Democratic rivals

While most fellow 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls ducked and dived to find safe ground — and party elders solemnly warned against over-reach — Sen. Elizabeth Warren stepped boldly out into the open late Friday and called on the House to begin an impeachment process against President Donald Trump based on special counsel Robert Mueller's report.

The Massachusetts senator and 2020 Democratic presidential contender slammed Trump for having "welcomed" the help of a "hostile" foreign government and having obstructed the probe into an attack on an American election.

"To ignore a President's repeated efforts to obstruct an investigation into his own disloyal behavior would inflict great and lasting damage on this country," Warren tweeted. "The severity of this misconduct demands that elected officials in both parties set aside political considerations and do their constitutional duty. That means the House should initiate impeachment proceedings against the President of the United States."

It was a rare moment in a crowded and unsettled primary: A seized opportunity for a candidate to cut through the campaign trail cacophony and define the terms of a debate that will rage throughout the contest.

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