Trump Directs Officials to Toughen Asylum Rules : Independent Journal Review


U.S. President Donald Trump directed officials to toughen rules for asylum seekers on Monday, including by introducing a fee for their applications and barring those who entered the country illegally from working until their claims are approved.

The moves are the latest effort by the Trump administration to stem a growing number of migrants crossing the U.S. southern border, many of whom then seek asylum in the United States. Many of the changes would be dramatic shifts in how asylum seekers are treated, but would also require time-intensive regulatory procedures before they go into effect, which will likely take months.

Trump administration officials have repeatedly blamed U.S. laws protecting asylum seekers for encouraging fraudulent or non-deserving claims.

But immigrant advocates say the Trump administration’s efforts to restrict asylum protections harms people legitimately seeking refuge from violence and persecution.

On Monday, Trump signed a presidential memorandum that directed the Justice Department and Department of Homeland Security to, within 90 days, introduce a slew of new regulations tightening asylum policy, including one setting a fee for asylum applications, which are currently free to file.

 

Source: Trump Directs Officials to Toughen Asylum Rules : Independent Journal Review

Asia Times | ‘Disturbing evidence’ of Trump obstruction | Article 


Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s long-awaited report revealed a two-year campaign of obstruction by Donald Trump, senior Democrats said Thursday, vowing to hold the US president accountable.

“Even in its incomplete form, the Mueller report outlines disturbing evidence that President Trump engaged in obstruction of justice and other misconduct,” said Representative Jerrold Nadler, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.

“The responsibility now falls to Congress to hold the president accountable for his actions,” he said in a statement.

Attorney General Bill Barr on Thursday released the redacted 400-page report after already declaring that it provided no proof that Trump colluded with Russian intelligence to influence the 2016 presidential election.

 

Source: Asia Times | ‘Disturbing evidence’ of Trump obstruction | Article

Scientists say Trump’s first 2 years have been fatal for a livable climate – ThinkProgress


Two years in, the presidency of Donald Trump has been a possibly fatal disaster for our livable climate, a number of climate and clean energy experts told ThinkProgress.

During the 2016 presidential campaign, countless climate experts voiced their concern about Trump, who had infamously called climate change a “hoax” and said it was “created by and for the Chinese.” Trump promised to undo Obama-era environmental laws, bring back coal power, and withdraw from the 2015 Paris climate agreement, in which the world’s nations unanimously agreed to start ratcheting down carbon pollution.

For all these reasons, climatologist Michael Mann wrote in October 2016 that Trump was “a threat to the planet.”

Two years after taking office, Trump has followed through on many of his promises to gut environmental regulations, promote the production of fossil fuels, kill U.S. climate action, and start withdrawing from the Paris accord.

“Our worst fears have come true,” Mann told ThinkProgress. Other experts agreed.

“In explaining the demise of our planet, a coroner’s report might very well read ’cause of death: the Trump presidency,’” said CNN host Van Jones, special adviser for green jobs under President Barack Obama.

Bill McKibben, founder of 350.org, noted that by undoing Obama-era climate rules and rejecting the Paris agreement, Trump is delaying climate action, perhaps fatally.

 

Source: Scientists say Trump’s first 2 years have been fatal for a livable climate – ThinkProgress

Crimes aren’t crimes: Trump and his allies are moving the goalposts to legally protect him – ThinkProgress


During an interview with David Frost in 1977, Richard Nixon explained what he believed a president was allowed to do in order to protect “national security,” saying that “when the president [breaks the law]…it is not illegal.”

This is not perhaps the ideal defense strategy for President Trump, nor his crew of loyalists on Capitol Hill — but it appears they’re trying it anyway.

The most recent court filings from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office and the Southern District of New York reveal Trump directed former lawyer Michael Cohen to make hush money payments to two women who claimed to have had affairs with the president, ahead of the 2016 election — allegations that might have prevented Trump from being elected president if they went public. Trump was also pursuing a business deal in Moscow shortly before clinching the GOP nomination, about which Cohen lied to Congress.

Directing one’s lawyer to commit multiple felonies to win an election is itself a felony. Trump and his allies, however, are now claiming that while Trump may have taken part in such acts, none of them should be considered crimes.

On Monday, the president tweeted that the two payments — one to adult film actress Stormy Daniels and a second unfulfilled payment arrangement to former Playboy model Karen McDougal — were instead “a simple private transaction,” not a campaign contribution. If the payments were indeed crimes, he wrote, they were Cohen’s fault.

Trump then pivoted to attacking his predecessor, President Barack Obama.

“‘…No Smocking [sic] Gun…No Collusion,’” he wrote, appearing to quote Fox News. “That’s because there was NO COLLUSION. So now the Dems go to a simple private transaction, wrongly call it a campaign contribution, which it was not (but even if it was it is only it is only a CIVIL CASE, like Obama’s – but it was done correctly by a lawyer and there would not even be a fine. Lawyer’s liability if he made a mistake, not me). Cohen just trying to get his sentence reduced. WITCH HUNT!”

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

“Democrats can’t find a Smocking Gun tying the Trump campaign to Russia after James Comey’s testimony. No Smocking Gun…No Collusion.” @FoxNews That’s because there was NO COLLUSION. So now the Dems go to a simple private transaction, wrongly call it a campaign contribution,…

99.5K people are talking about this

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

….which it was not (but even if it was, it is only a CIVIL CASE, like Obama’s – but it was done correctly by a lawyer and there would not even be a fine. Lawyer’s liability if he made a mistake, not me). Cohen just trying to get his sentence reduced. WITCH HUNT!

65.3K people are talking about this

Rather than countering Trump’s dismissive (and false) rhetoric, congressional Republicans who previously called for rigorous oversight have eagerly lined up to defend the president.

Incoming House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) downplayed Trump’s involvement with the two payments and the Moscow deal during an interview Monday morning on Fox News.

“I think what it shows, if the president hires an attorney to solve a problem, he expects him to do it in a legal manner,” McCarthy said.

McCarthy then referred to comments from potential incoming chair of the House Intelligence Committee Adam Schiff (D-CA), who one day earlier had suggested Trump might “face the real prospect of jail time” as a result of Mueller’s investigation.

“If Schiff is taking this beyond to go forward and say there is an impeachable offense because of a campaign finance problem… there are a lot of members in Congress who would have to leave for that same [reason],” McCarthy said.

 

Source: Crimes aren’t crimes: Trump and his allies are moving the goalposts to legally protect him – ThinkProgress

Trump didn’t know the GOP tax bill incentivizes business to offshore jobs – ThinkProgress


President Donald Trump was apparently unaware that a provision in his biggest legislative accomplishment encourages corporations to offshore jobs.

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) spoke with Trump Wednesday night about the closure of at least five General Motors plants, including one assembly plant in Lordstown, Ohio, and filled him in on how the GOP tax bill is partly to blame.

“I reached him last night, he said he wanted to help, I said the first thing you could do is you could take away that tax provision in his tax bill that gives a company a 50 percent off coupon on their taxes,” Brown told CNN’s New Day Thursday. “If you’re producing in Lordstown you pay a 21 percent tax rate, if you move to Mexico you pay a 10.5 percent tax rate, and I told the president to get rid of that tax break that encourages jobs to move overseas.”

The president apparently did not know that was in the tax bill.

 

Source: Trump didn’t know the GOP tax bill incentivizes business to offshore jobs – ThinkProgress

No laughing matter: Trump’s speech threatens world order and peace | Asia Times


When US President Donald Trump began his speech at the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, laughter erupted from the hall. “In less than two years,” Trump said, “my administration has accomplished more than almost any administration in the entire history of our country.” There was a pause. Then Trump continued, “America’s – so true” – but he was interrupted by laughter.

Not laughter at a joke that Trump had cracked. Nothing like that. The laughter was directed at him. “Didn’t expect that reaction,” Trump said, “but that’s OK.” There was more laughter, even raucous laughter.

 

Source: No laughing matter: Trump’s speech threatens world order and peace | Asia Times

Trump court battle imperils Senate Dems, House GOP | TheHill


The debate over the Supreme Court is raising the issue of abortion and reproductive rights to a level of prominence that hasn’t been seen in years, creating an unpredictable and dangerous environment for incumbents in the midterm elections.

Democrats say the prospect that the Senate will confirm a nominee who could overturn the Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion will bring an army of Democrats to the polls — to the detriment of Republicans, particularly in the House.

“Our biggest ally here is their own rhetoric because they’re not trying to finesse this in anyway. They’re clear about their agenda,” said Democratic pollster Celinda Lake.

“There’s no question it mobilizes more our side,” Lake added. “There are a lot more millennial women than born-again Christians who need to be mobilized.”

Republicans are just as confident that the issue will mobilize their own grass roots, which backed President Trump in 2016 partly because of his promises on Supreme Court nominees.

“If you look at the way Trump won in 2016, a big part of that was energizing the evangelical base that didn’t turn out in 2008 and 2012,” said a Senate Republican pollster.

“The groups that turn out at the lowest numbers are noncollege educated white males and evangelicals. A Supreme Court nomination fight is like injecting fuel into the enthusiasm level of that base,” the pollster said.

It’s possible that both sides could be right, with the battle helping Republicans keep their Senate majority but potentially hurting them in the fight over the House.

 

Source: Trump court battle imperils Senate Dems, House GOP | TheHill

Far-right voices are frothing about a looming civil war – ThinkProgress


The backlash to the Trump administration caging immigrant children has led to store owners asking White House officials to not eat in their restaurants and to protesters publicly confronting those supporting Trump’s policies. Now, voices on the far-right are increasingly unified in their only solution to the matter: civil war.

While several far-right figures have been speculating about a looming U.S. break-up for some time, recent rhetoric is a marked escalation from even a few months ago, when certain historical illiterates were only calling for an “amicable divorce.”

Now, according to increasingly shrill analysts — and even certain members of Congress — a fratricidal war is the only potential fix for the United States’ domestic tensions.

 

Source: Far-right voices are frothing about a looming civil war – ThinkProgress