News for the week of 9 Jun 2019

Massive protests in Hong Kong over anti-extradition bill

The bill would allow China to extradite Hong Kong citizens wanted for crimes, but could be abused to silence critics.

Sun 9 Jun 2019 – Protests start.

Sat 15 Jun 2019 – Bill is shelved (for now).

Trump cancels plans for Mexican tariffs with baseless claim that a deal was made

Last Friday, Trump said that he would impose increasing tariffs starting at 5% on Wednesday and increasing over time. He called that off on Sunday.

Horrific details of migrant concentration camps revealed

Cages on dirt called the “Dog Pound”. Extreme temperatures. Rooms kept at 55 called “The Freezer”. Concrete, no beds, moldy food, uncleaned or clogged toilets. Infants suffering. There are shelters available but the are not used.

Migrants being moved to a military installation which will be able to block reporter access completely.

Trump says he would accept election help from a foreign power

Wed 12 Jun 2019 – During an interview with George Stephanopolous.

Iran is accused of attacking an oil tanker in the Gulf of Oman

Thu 13 Jun 2019 – Two oil tankers were attacked with mines. A similar attack occurred a month previously. US released a video that neither proves nor disproves but Trump and Pompeo blame Iran. References to the Gulf of Tonkin incident abound.

  • June 2019 Gulf of Oman incident (Wikipedia)
  • May 2019 Gulf of Oman incident (Wikipedia)
  • @justin_halpern 3:51 PM – 13 Jun 2019 (Twitter)
    “My dad was on the U.S.S Maddox, the boat that was “attacked” that started the Vietnam war. He said no one could understand why they were in the Tonkin gulf until one officer at breakfast goes “they sent us here to get blown up so they can start a war they really want to start.””
  • @cd_hooks 5:37 PM – 13 Jun 2019 (Twitter)
    “im not saying the saudis false flagged their own tankers but you are talking about a guy so bloodthirsty and audacious he fed a wapo columnist into a meat grinder in his own embassy in daylight while his fiance was waiting outside. ok, i guess i am saying that”
  • Fri 14 Jun 2019 – Japanese tanker owner contradicts U.S. officials over explosives used in Gulf of Oman attack (NBC News)
    “The attack came on the heels of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s two-day trip to Iran, aimed at improving relations between Washington and Tehran, which have deteriorated markedly in the last 48 hours.”
  • @Stonekettle 9:41 AM – 14 Jun 2019 (Twitter) – Explanation on when to trust administration references to “US Intelligence” and how vague or deceptive it can be. Sometimes only one agency out of dozens has made a statement; sometimes the agency is created just to push the opinion.

Sarah Sanders leaves as press secretary

News for the week of 2 Jun 2019

Tue 4 May 2019 – 30th anniversary of the Chinese army marching on Tienanmen Square to suppress protests.

Tue 4 May 2019 – Hope Hicks is subpoenaed to provide documents from the 2016 presidential campaign to House of Representatives Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler. She agrees even though the White House told her and Don McGahn to not cooperate.

Tue 4 May 2019 – DOJ refuses to provide transcripts of conversations former national security adviser Michael Flynn had with Russian officials, including Sergey Kislyak. This follows from the released transcript of a voicemail from a Trump lawyer (John Dowd) to a Flynn lawyer (Robert Kelner) that suggested obstruction.

Wed 5 May 2019 – The daughter of a GOP lobbyist (Thomas Hofeller, a Republican redistricting specialist) looked through her father’s computer after he died. In it, she found plans for gerrymandering designed explicitly to limit voting access to minorities. The Supreme Court is currently determining whether a proposed citizenship question should be added to the 2020 census and will have a decision before the end of June.

Thu 6 May 2019 – 75th anniversary of D-Day, when the Allies landed on the Normandy coast (Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno, and Sword). During the visit, Trump held up the ceremony for 15 min to have an interview with Laura Ingraham (which she later lied about not happening). During the interview he called Pelosi “nervous Nancy” and said that Mueller–a veteran–“made a fool of himself.” When asked about Trump, Pelosi said: “I don’t talk about the president while I’m out of the country. That’s my principle.”

Trump in the UK: there were major protests but he said that they were cheering for him, Boris Johnson would not meet with him even though Trump supports him, most of the royal family avoided meeting him and joining photo ops, the Trumps were not invited to stay at Windsor castle, when asked why they are spending tax dollars out at a bar the Trump sons replied “we’re just trying to have a good time.”

U.S. District Court Judge Jesse Furman has delayed the gerrymandering case until after the census case is decided. In January, Judge Furman had blocked the census question.

Thu 6 May 2019 – The House of Representatives passed a $19.1B disaster relief bill. The article below list ~ $6B of that:

  • $600 million in nutrition assistance for Puerto Rico
  • $304 million in new Community Development Block Grant funding
  • $3 billion for farmers to help cover crop losses
  • $1.6 billion to help repair damaged highways
  • $720 million for the U.S. Forest Service to help cover wildfire suppression
  • $120 million to help the National Park Service repair damaged public lands
  • $670 million to the Air Force to repair hurricane and flood damage

Trump signs long-stalled $19.1B disaster relief bill (Politico)

News for the week of 26 May 2019

Wed – Jared’s peace plan and Netanyahu’s role as Prime Minister have hit road blocks. Jared’s plan does nothing for Palestine, state-wise, except offer investment incentives. This after Trump declared Jerusalem the capital of Israel and planned to move the US embassy there increased the lopsided US diplomacy and eroded trust from all parties except Israel.

Wed – Mueller speaks to Congress about his report for ~9 minutes. Though a little unclear, he suggested that even without prosecution the investigation had to happen to get facts and witnesses on record. Also, Congress, or whomever, should follow up.

Thu – Members of the Trump administration requested that the USS John S. McCain be “hidden” from Trump during his visit to Japan. The Navy first denied then admitted that the request was made, but said that it was not fulfilled.

Thu – Trump tweets that the US will add a 10% tariff on Mexican goods on July 10th until they stop the flow of immigrants. This makes Americans pay more and makes life harsher in Mexico and so possibly increasing immigration.

Fri – Mass shooting in Virgina Beach. 13 deaths, five injuries. 148 for the year, this was the 143rd with five others on Saturday. The shooter had resigned from his city job hours before.

News for the week of 19 May 2019

Mon 20 May 2019 – Trump losing court battles regarding taxes and finances and legislation.

Mon 20 May 2019 – Russian fighter jets and bombers intercepted by US warplanes off of Alaska. Not a lot of reporting on this. Probably just a distraction from the cyber threat?

Tue 21 May 2019 – McGahn doesn’t show up to House hearings after subpoena issued.

Fri 24 May 2019 – Escalation of tension in Iran. Troops to be sent to the region and $8.1B in weapons being sold to Saudi Arabia and UAE. Effectively move moves in a proxy war.

Fri 24 May 2019 – Huawei ban continues (“trade blacklist”), Google and others granted 3 month license to continue business with them. Huawei cannot buy parts from US companies.

News for the week of 12 May 2019

Fetal heartbeat bill

Tue 14 May 2019 – Georgia passes a bill (HB 481) that criminalizes abortions after six weeks. “[U]nborn children are a class of living, distinct person” that deserves “full legal recognition.” Women who self-terminate can be prosecuted. Gov. Brian Kemp. 34-18 in the Senate, 92-78 in the House.

Wed 15 May 2019 – Alabama passes a bill (HB 314) that makes it illegal for doctors to perform an abortion. The woman will not be prosecuted; the doctor can face up to 99 years in jail. Gov. Kay Ivey. 25-6 in the Senate, 74-3 in the House.

Thu 16 May 2019 – Missouri Senate passes a bill (HB 126) criminalzing abortion after eight weeks. Women would not be prosecuted; doctors would face five to 15 years in prison. Gov. Mike Parson. 24-10 in the Senate.

Continuing the story, Washington and either Volusia or Brevard county voting machines in Florida were hacked by the Russians in 2018, potentially tipping the scales. Republicans previously blocked security measures recommended by all intelligence agencies to secure elections.

Lots of Iran news. Basically, the administration is telegraphing aggression based on very, very suspect intel in order to either Iraq war that shit or for Trump to (as some Republicans fear) set up a Kim Jong Un-like meeting with Rouhani and give away everything like he did then. Rep. Tom Cotton said, unbelievably, said the US could win a war agains Iran with: “Two strikes, the first strike and the last strike.” Where to even begin.

Trump may pardon a soldier, on Memorial Day, who was convicted of war crimes.