You are browsing the archive for 2018 December 21.

Avatar of admin

by admin

'They're going to absolutely crush him': Trump is reportedly panicking and 'losing it' as Democrats finally gain the upper hand

December 21, 2018 in Blogs

By Cody Fenwick, AlterNet

He didn't realize he's playing a losing game.


President Donald Trump is not used to presiding over a divided government, and it's clear he's not going to like it.

His performance in the government funding fight, in which he first promised he'd be “proud” to shut down the government in exchange for border wall spending, then backed down from the fight, and then reversed himself again, proved he's a terrible negotiator and an even worse statesman.

Now that he's in a position to infuriate his base if he doesn't get the border wall money or infuriate the majority of the country if the government shuts down, he's given all his chips to the Democrats. They can still use the filibuster to block any spending bill in the Senate, and soon-to-be House Speaker Nancy Pelosi appears absolutely giddy at the thought that she will have a Democrat majority in her chamber come January that can easily block any other Trump priorities.

And with a bill to keep the government funded through the end of the year already passed in the Senate, all Trump has to do is pledge to sign it. It will then be able to pass the house, and he can sign it into law. It's clear he's the bottleneck in this crisis, and everyone knows it.

“He’s losing it,” a former White House official told Gabriel Sherman of Vanity Fair. “He doesn’t know which way to turn.”

Sherman notes that, when it initially appeared Trump was happy to abandon his ultimatum, right-wing media figures turned against him. That truly spooked the president, who reversed himself and unleashed days of chaos.

“Trump didn’t understand these are the people who stand on Fifth Avenue when he shoots the bullet,” the ex-official told Sherman.

However this fight concludes, though, things are only going to get worse for Trump. Not only will Pelosi's House be able to block his preferred legislation, it will also besiege the president with investigations.

“They’re absolutely going to crush him,” one Republican told Sherman of the president. “He has no idea what’s coming his way.”

So how does the shutdown crisis end? Even if Trump …read more

Source: ALTERNET

Avatar of admin

by admin

CNN reveals that Trump's new chief of staff once slammed his 'almost childish' idea for a border wall

December 21, 2018 in Blogs

By Alex Henderson, AlterNet

He had scathing words for Trump — now he's his number one employee.


This week, President Donald Trump has made it clear that he is quite willing to shut down the federal government if Congress does not agree to fund a wall along the U.S./Mexico border. Many Republicans have been afraid to challenge Trump on that issue, but back in 2015, Mick Mulvaney—who will be acting White House chief of staff in Trump’s administration in 2019—thought the idea was ridiculous.

After announcing, in 2015, that he would be running for president in the GOP primary, Trump declared that he would aggressively crack down on illegal immigration if elected—and he called for a border wall that would extend all the way from California to Texas. Asked to comment on Trump’s proposal when he appeared on South Carolina’s WRHI Radio on August 25, 2015, Mulvaney told interviewer Patti Mercer that he found it “simplistic,” as CNN first revealed.

“The fence doesn’t solve the problem” of illegal immigration, Mulvaney stressed. “Is it necessary to have one, sure? Would it help? Sure. But to just say, ‘Build the darn fence’ and have that be the end of an immigration discussion is absurd and almost childish for someone running for president.”

Mulvaney used the word “fence” rather than “wall” during the interview, but it was clear that he believed Trump was offering an easy solution to a difficult and complex problem.

When he becomes acting White House chief of staff in the Trump administration in January, Mulvaney will be replacing John F. Kelly — who Trump recently fired and will be leaving at the end of the year.

Related Stories

…read more

Source: ALTERNET

Avatar of admin

by admin

'Fear grips Republican officeholders': Conservative writer explains why Trump's chances of impeachment are rising

December 21, 2018 in Blogs

By Alex Henderson, AlterNet

If you're worried about getting impeached, don't spook the Senate.


Between the threat of a partial shutdown of the federal government, President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria, Michael Flynn’s legal problems, the tumbling stock market, and Defense Secretary James Mattis's resignation, it's been a chaotic week for the White House.

And in her most recent column for the Washington Post, conservative opinion writer Jennifer Rubin warns that “lawmakers and voters” may be realizing that Trump is “far more trouble than he’s worth.” 

“Once the realization hits that he’s a net drag on the economy and a needless headache, the country is collectively far more willing to consider grounds for getting rid of him,” Rubin writes. “It’s one thing for garden-variety Republicans to concoct excuses for defending a functional president; it’s quite another to defend him when just about everything seems to have gone haywire.”

Rubin cites an abundance of reasons why it is becoming harder and harder to keep Trump’s “leaky ship of state afloat”—from Mattis’ departure to the deteriorating negotiations over funding the government. The columnist also discusses Trump’s legal problems, including the end of the Trump Foundation (a charitable organization that, Rubin notes, was “identified as akin to an illegal slush fund” by New York State’s attorney general’s office).

Rubin asserts: “Let me suggest the American public is moving toward two disturbing conclusions: the president is a menace, and the president likely broke the law. What’s the implication of all that? First, his chances of reelection are sinking fast. It’s one thing to resist impeachment; it’s another to sign up for four more years of turmoil with a liar and miscreant.”

Rubin’s advice to the Republican Party is to “start looking for options for 2020.”

If Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s final report shows that “Trump ordered illegal payments or obstructed justice,” Rubin writes, Republicans will need to acknowledge that “impeachment becomes less akin to a risky option and more like a constitutional obligation compelled by events.”

Rubin concludes her column by stressing that even Republicans can’t help but be troubled by recent Trump-related …read more

Source: ALTERNET

Avatar of admin

by admin

Chief Justice John Roberts just proved he's willing to stand up to Trump

December 21, 2018 in Blogs

By Cody Fenwick, AlterNet

The Supreme Court slapped down the administration's demands for one of the president's cruelest policies.


Despite claims to be in favor of 'law and order,' the Trump administration has been essentially trying to change American asylum law by fiat. But on Friday, the Supreme Court blocked the administration's attempt to jumpstart its cruel policies, which were previously blocked by a federal judge in California.

To block President Donald Trump's policy, Chief Justice John Robert abandoned his fellow conservatives and joined with the court's four liberals, proving that he is willing to oppose the president, at least on some key issues of executive power.

The case involved the administration's attempt to revamp American asylum policy to automatically deny the claims of asylum-seekers who cross the border between authorized ports of entry. Many asylum-seekers have done just that because the Trump administration has forced them to wait for weeks or months at official entry points.

But U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar in California blocked the policy in November, finding that it contradicted the point of the asylum law. The legislation is designed to protect people who have been victimized by their own governments, and placing further barriers and boundaries on them even when their lives may be in danger is a heartless policy. More to the point, from the judge's perspective, it's not what Congress intended.

“The administration’s quarrel here is really with the longstanding and fundamental policy decision Congress made four decades ago and consistently and explicitly reaffirmed over the years, even as it enacted other significant restrictions on asylum eligibility and procedures,” the ACLU explained.

Trump attacked Tigar after the ruling, calling him an “Obama judge.” In a rare public rebuke, Roberts fired back.

There are no “Obama judges or Trump judges, Bush judges or Clinton judges,” Roberts said in response to a question from AP. He added that the “independent judiciary is something we should all be thankful for.”

And on Friday, Roberts showed that he's not only willing to stand up to Trump in occasional, oblique statements. He joined with the court's liberals to strike down the administration's request to lift …read more

Source: ALTERNET

Avatar of admin

by admin

Here are 3 blatant ways Trump completely contradicted himself on key issues this week

December 21, 2018 in Blogs

By Alex Henderson, AlterNet

We expect Trump's statement to be inconsistent with reality. Now, he's not even consistent with his own delusions.


The American people have grown used to President Donald Trump's lies — they're no more surprising than the morning sunrise, at this point. But increasingly, Trump's claims don't just contradict reality — they contradict his own previous claims.

Trump used to exalt former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson as intellectually brilliant; now, he considers him “dumb as a rock.” The president once insisted that attorney Michael Cohen was an honorable family man; now, he calls him a “rat.” In recent days, Trump has been contradicting himself a lot even on key policy issues. 

Here are three ways in which Trump has totally contradicted himself this week:

1. Trump Insisted That He Wouldn’t Blame Democrats for a Government Shutdown—and Is Now Blaming Democrats for a Shutdown

When Trump met with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer in the Oval Office last week, he boasted that he would be “proud” to shut down the government if Congress didn’t fund a U.S.-Mexico border wall — adding that he that he wouldn’t blame Democrats if the shutdown happened. But on Friday, Trump completely flipped on that pledge and posted on Twitter, “The Democrats now own the shutdown!”

2. Trump Insists That a Wall Is Necessary to Stabilize the U.S./Mexico Border — Only to Describe Border Security as Already ‘Tight’

As part of the shutdown gambit, Trump is insisting a U.S.-Mexico border wall stretching all the way from California to Texas is necessary for “border security.” Minus a wall, Trump has stressed, there can be no stability along the border. On Friday, Trump said of the wall: 'The fact is there is nothing else’s that will work, and that has been true for thousands of years.”

But even just the day before, the president assured Americans that everything is already under control along the border.

Trump tweeted, “With so much talk about the Wall, people are losing sight of the great job being done on our Southern Border by …read more

Source: ALTERNET

Avatar of admin

by admin

U.S. Immigration Timeline

December 21, 2018 in History

By History.com Editors

Attitudes and laws around U.S. immigration have vacillated between welcoming and restrictive since the country’s beginning.

The United States has long been considered a nation of immigrants. Attitudes toward new immigrants by those who came before have vacillated between welcoming and exclusionary over the years.

Thousands of years before Europeans began crossing the vast Atlantic by ship and settling en masse, the first immigrants arrived in North America and the land that would later become the United States. They were Native American ancestors who crossed a narrow spit of land connecting Asia to North America some 20,000 years ago, during the last Ice Age.

By the early 1600s, communities of European immigrants dotted the Eastern seaboard, including the Spanish in Florida, the British in New England and Virginia, the Dutch in New York, and the Swedes in Delaware. Some, including the Pilgrims and Puritans, came for religious freedom. Many sought greater economic opportunities. Still others, including hundreds of thousands of enslaved Africans, arrived in America against their will.

Below are the events that have shaped the turbulent history of immigration in the United States since its birth.

White People of ‘Good Character’ Granted Citizenship

January 1776: Thomas Paine publishes a pamphlet, “Common Sense,” that argues for American independence. Most colonists consider themselves Britons, but Paine makes the case for a new American. “Europe, and not England, is the parent country of America. This new world hath been the asylum for the persecuted lovers of civil and religious liberty from every part of Europe,” he writes.

March 1790: Congress passes the first law about who should be granted U.S. citizenship. The Naturalization Act of 1790 allows any free white person of “good character,” who has been living in the United States for two years or longer to apply for citizenship. Without citizenship, nonwhite residents are denied basic constitutional protections, including the right to vote, own property, or testify in court.

August 1790: The first U.S. census takes place. The English are the largest ethnic group among the 3.9 million people counted, though nearly one in five Americans are of African heritage.

Irish Immigrant Wave

1815: Peace is re-established between the United States and Britain after the War of 1812. Immigration from Western Europe turns from a trickle into a gush, which causes a shift in the demographics of the United States. This first major wave of immigration lasts until the Civil War.

Between 1820 …read more

Source: HISTORY

Avatar of admin

by admin

Will the British Museum Ever Return These Stolen Artifacts?

December 21, 2018 in History

By Becky Little

What happens when a large portion of your country’s archaeological treasures are “owned” by another country that stole them? That’s the position non-western nations around the world find themselves in, with most of their cultural heritage residing in European and U.S. museums—but especially London’s that “the collections have to be preserved as whole.” The pressure to return them, however, will likely continue.

…read more

Source: HISTORY