Stephen Smith worked at an AT&T call center in Meriden, Connecticut, for over 20 years before the giant telecoms company announced it was closing the city’s three call centers in February 2019.
“At 46 years old, I’m looking for a new job,” Smith said. “They basically told us we either need to move south or lose our job. It was out of the blue. We had no idea.”
Smith and about 90 of his colleagues were offered severance packages or the option to relocate to Georgia or Tennessee. But for most workers who have spouses with their own careers, elderly parents nearby in need of care, or children still in school, relocating on a whim isn’t an option.
These sudden mass layoffs have become increasingly common for workers at AT&T and many other big firms. But it was not meant to be that way.
Source: Bosses pocket Trump tax windfall as workers see job promises vanish | Business | The Guardian
The House Oversight and Reform Committee voted largely along party lines on Wednesday to hold Attorney General William Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in contempt for failing to comply with congressional subpoenas.
Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) broke with his party to vote with the Democrats on the panel.
The high-stakes vote took place just hours after the Justice and Commerce Departments announced that President Trump had asserted executive privilege over the subpoenaed documents, which were tied to the Trump administration’s addition of a citizenship question to the 2020 census.
Wednesday’s vote, which comes just one day after the House voted to empower committee chairs with more legal authority to enforce their subpoenas, is a further escalation of the battle between the Trump administration and House Democrats investigating the president.
The citizenship question has been hotly contested since Ross announced in March 2018 that it would be included on the 2020 census, stating that the Justice Department had requested the question in order to help enforce the Voting Rights Act.
Source: House Oversight votes to hold Barr, Ross in contempt | TheHill
Another drama, another cliffhanger, another disaster averted at the last minute. Donald Trump had saved the world. Again.
The strange saga of the US-Mexico trade war that never was serves up the latest example of Trump’s reality-television presidency. Time and again he has manufactured crises, set deadlines, made threats, pulled back from the brink and claimed victory while keeping the details notoriously vague.
The cycle of razzle-dazzle enables Trump to galvanise his support base, selling himself as a man of action, and keeps the media mesmerised while his government pushes reforms or slashes regulations on the quiet. When the smoke clears, however, not much of substance has really changed.
Source: ‘A simple pattern’: how Trump claims victory when facts suggest otherwise | US news | The Guardian
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Wednesday asserted executive privilege over information related to his administration’s decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census as the House Oversight Committee prepared to hold two of his Cabinet members in contempt for defying its subpoenas on the issue.
Trump’s move, which the Justice Department announced in a letter to the committee’s chairman, Elijah Cummings, came as the panel began a meeting to vote on a resolution to hold Attorney General William Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in contempt of Congress for withholding documents on the decision to add the question to the census.
The resolution would allow Democrats to pursue both civil and criminal contempt of both Cabinet officials for defying subpoenas issued by Cummings, D-Md., on April 2 to produce the documents. Democratic leadership would then decide which avenue to pursue.Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross attends an event in Washington on June 6, 2019.Leah Millis / Reuters file
The planned committee vote comes a day after the House approved a resolution to authorize the House Judiciary Committee and other panels to go to court to enforce their subpoenas of the Trump administration.
Source: Trump asserts executive privilege over census citizenship question info as Dems prepare contempt vote : NBC News
A group of prominent Republican attorneys this week released a new video arguing that President Donald Trump would have been charged with obstruction of justice by special counsel Robert Mueller had Department of Justice guidelines allowed for the indictment of a sitting president.
The video features three prominent lawyers who have served under Republican presidents: Jeffrey Harris, who served as deputy associate Attorney General under President Ronald Reagan; Paul Rosenzweig, a deputy assistant Secretary of Homeland Security for former President George W. Bush; and Donald Ayer, who served as deputy Attorney General for George H.W. Bush.
Source: GOP attorneys release a devastating video that lays out the case for Trump’s prosecution – Raw Story
The White House reportedly told the Defense Department that it needed to send away the the USS John McCain so that it was not around when President Donald Trump visited Japan. Named after Trump’s Republican critic, the ship had to be “out of sight” by the time Trump arrived for a visit to the Yokosuka base. Trump has denied knowing about the order, but did not say that he would find out who issued the order and fire them. The idea of White House staff dictating the movement of warships is extremely serious and the Navy should have refused. These warships have missions and are not props. Moreover, the people serving on these ships are not some collective pariah due to petty politics.
The McCain is an Arliegh Burke-class destroyer and part of the Destroyer Squadron 15 of the Seventh Fleet anchored at Yokosuka Naval Base.
I have actually long opposed the naming of ships (or other public properties) for politicians. I would love to see a ban on such practices. It is a way for agencies to curry favor and budget increases by appealing to the inexhaustible ego of politicians.
Source: Politics –Trump Staff Demanded Removal Of Warship Bearing John McCain’s Name Before Japan Visist | JONATHAN TURLEY
President Donald Trump has previously — and unwisely — called for changing libel laws to combat what he calls “fake news.” I have previously criticized Trump for his calls for greater liability of the media for its coverage of the controversies surrounding his Administration, including his desire to sue Saturday Night Live. Now, due to the publication of a false quote from Trump by New York University Professor Ian Bremmer, Trump is again calling for a change in the law and ignoring that our defamation standard is anchored in the first amendment. Ironically, Trump himself was recently accused of posting a doctored clip of Nancy Pelosi and has repeatedly retweeted false or defamatory statements.
Bremmer peached “professional studies” at NYU and is the founder of the Eurasia Group, a political risk research and consulting firm. For some reason, Bremmer decided to post a false quote from Trump: “Kim Jong Un is smarter and would make a better President than Sleepy Joe Biden.”
Source: Trump Again Calls For Changing Libel Laws After NYU Professor’s Faked Quote [Updated] | JONATHAN TURLEY
Republican candidates and campaign committees have spent more than $4 million at hotel, golf and vineyard properties that bear President Trump’s name since he was inaugurated in 2017.
More than three dozen members of Congress have held fundraisers or spent the night at Trump properties, according to a review of filings made with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) over the last two years.
More than a quarter of the money spent has come from Trump’s own campaign, which has paid his businesses nearly $1.5 million over that span, both for rent and for fundraisers.
The Republican National Committee (RNC) has spent more than $1.1 million at Trump-branded properties in both Washington and Florida.
Watchdog groups have raised concerns over the propriety of Trump profiting off businesses as foreign governments and corporate interest groups currying favor in Washington book rooms at Trump hotels — including Trump’s hotel in Washington, D.C.
Attorneys general in Washington, D.C., and Maryland have sued the federal government, alleging the Trump International Hotel in Washington puts the president in violation of the Constitution’s Emoluments Clause.
There is nothing in the Constitution that bans a campaign from spending money at a company that benefits a candidate. But those good-government groups say the mixture of business and politics creates a combustible potion.
“The behavior itself is corrupting, and it’s creating corruption and the appearance of corruption,” said Meredith McGehee, the executive director of Issue One, a group that advocates for ethics in government.
Source: Republicans spend more than $4 million at Trump properties | TheHill
Alabama’s Republican-controlled state senate passed a bill Tuesday to outlaw abortion, making it a crime to perform the procedure at any stage of pregnancy.
The strictest-in-the-nation abortion ban allows an exception only when the woman’s health is at serious risk, and sets up a legal battle that supporters hope will lead to the supreme court overturning its landmark ruling that legalized abortion nationwide.
The measure contains no exception for rape and incest, after lawmakers voted down an amendment Tuesday that would have added such an exception.
The legislation, which passed by a vote of 25-6, makes it a class A felony for a doctor to perform an abortion, punishable by 10 to 99 years in prison. Women would not face criminal penalties for getting an abortion.
It goes further than any other state has to restrict abortion. Other states, including neighboring Georgia, have instituted bans on abortion after about six weeks into pregnancy.
The vote came after a battle broke out over whether to allow legal abortions for women who become pregnant due to rape or incest, an issue that divided Republicans who otherwise supported outlawing abortion.
Last week, chaos erupted on the floor when Republican leaders stripped out the rape exception without a roll call vote, leading the final vote to be postponed. It got a full vote on Tuesday, but ultimately failed.
Source: Alabama abortion ban: Republican state senate passes most restrictive law in US | US news | The Guardian
Donald Trump’s reluctance to address climate change is set to cost his business empire millions of dollars in fines levied by New York City due to the amount of pollution emitted by Trump-owned buildings.
According to data shared with the Guardian, eight Trump properties in New York City do not comply with new regulations designed to slash greenhouse gas emissions. This means the Trump Organization is on track to be hit with fines of $2.1m every year from 2030, unless its buildings are made more environmentally friendly.
According to city officials, the president’s eight largest New York properties pump out around 27,000 tons of planet-warming gases every ear, the equivalent of 5,800 cars. The buildings that exceed the new pollution thresholds include Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue, and the Trump Building on Wall Street.
The biggest potential offender is Trump International Hotel & Tower, a 583ft skyscraper that looms over the south-west corner of Central Park. The building is on course to be fined $850,871 a year if no improvements are made to its energy efficiency.
Source: Trump buildings face millions in climate fines under new New York rules | US news | The Guardian