USA News and Discussions

caltrek
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Also, "executive privilege" should not apply to attempts to undermine democracy.

DOJ Delivers "Significant" Blow to Trump's Claim of 'Executive Privilege' as Capitol Riot Hearings Open
by John Wright
July 27, 2021

https://www.alternet.org/2021/07/trump-doj-2654006507/

Introduction:
(Alternet) Former president Donald Trump's alleged efforts to get Justice Department officials to overturn the results of the 2020 election constitute an "extraordinary circumstance" and are not protected by executive privilege, the DOJ wrote in a letter this week.

In the letter obtained by the New York Times, the DOJ advised officials who served in the Trump administration that they can give "unrestricted testimony" to committees investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection, including the House panel that will meet for the first time Tuesday.

"The decision runs counter to the views of former President Donald J. Trump, who has argued that his decisions and deliberations are protected by executive privilege," the Times reported. "It also sets up a potential court battle if Mr. Trump sues in a bid to block any testimony.

Trump's supporters have argued that "executive privilege" applies to the former president's communications, but others say it's a matter of "settled law" that executive privilege doesn't apply to extraordinary circumstances. In this case, the Times notes, Trump "pressured DOJ officials overturn the results of the election, asking them to open investigations into claims of vote tampering that investigators said they had already looked into and determined to be untrue."

Bradley Weinsheimer, a top ranking career official in the deputy attorney general's office, noted in the letter that Trump was attempting to use the DOJ to advance his "personal political interests."
caltrek
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Capitol Police Officer Fights Back Tears as He Calls Out Republicans for "Betraying Their Oath of Office"
by David Badash
July 27, 2021

https://www.alternet.org/2021/07/capitol-police/

Entire Article (Less Photos and Link to Video):
(Alternet) Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Police officer Michael Fanone angrily berated the very elected Republican House and Senate members who have downplayed the January 6 insurrection, calling their behavior "disgraceful!" as he slammed the table with his hand.

"What makes the struggle harder and more painful, is to know so many of my fellow citizens, including so many of the people I put my life at risk to defend are downplaying or outright denying what happened," Fanone told members of the U.S. House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack. "I feel like I went to hell and back to protect them in the people in this room. But too many are now telling me that 'hell' doesn't exist or that 'hell' actually wasn't that bad."

"The indifference shown to my colleagues is disgraceful!" Fanone exclaimed in a stirring moment of testimony.

"My law enforcement career prepared me to cope with some of the aspects of this experience. Being an officer you know, your life is at risk whenever you walk out the door," Fanone continued. He suffered a heart attack on January 6, and suffers from a traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder because of the attack on the Capitol.

"Even if you don't expect otherwise law abiding citizens to take up arms against you. But nothing, truly nothing, has prepared me to address those elected members of our government, who continue to deny the events of that day. And in doing so, betray their oath of office."
Last edited by caltrek on Thu Jul 29, 2021 5:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
caltrek
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Video Evidence Shown in the Capitol Insurrection Criminal Cases
July 27, 2021

https://projects.propublica.org/jan-6-video-evidence/

Introduction:
(ProPublica) ProPublica and a coalition of 15 other news organizations including The Washington Post, The Associated Press, CBS and NBC have been suing for access to the video exhibits shown in the criminal cases against the accused Jan. 6 rioters. The coalition has been arguing for access before a series of federal judges in the District of Columbia, and the Department of Justice has been sending us new videos as we win our applications. Below (see article linked above quote box) we’ve organized these videos by case, and they are shown exactly as given to us by the DOJ. We’ll add more videos as we get them.
caltrek
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As sure as night follows day, when Biden took office he was immediately blamed for all of the problems of immigration facing this country. This, by some of the same people who complained about "deep state" resistance to Trump's policies. Well, that "deep state" resistance argument cuts both ways. Of course, that is not to say that there is a rough equivalence. Under Trump, many resisted that president's direction out of a conviction that their role was to defend the Constitution. In the case of immigration, it seems to be simply that Biden's policies are not mean spirited enough for some prosecutors.

Immigration Prosecutors, Told Not to Push for Deportation in Certain Types of Cases, Ignore Their Directions
by Dara Lind
July 27, 2021

https://www.propublica.org/article/immi ... s-like-his

Introduction:
(ProPublica) Days after he took office, President Joe Biden started moving to reverse his predecessor’s immigration policies. One key step came at the end of May: Senior Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials issued a memo ordering immigration prosecutors to postpone or drop cases against immigrants judged to pose little threat to public safety, a decision that could ultimately affect more than 100,000 people facing deportation.

A ProPublica survey of more than a dozen lawyers across the country, however, along with documents circulated by several local ICE offices, shows that implementation of that guidance has been spotty, with many prosecutors proceeding with exactly the sorts of deportation cases the new rules are intended to prevent.

In New Jersey, an 18-year-old from Honduras with no criminal convictions was ordered deported the day after the memo was issued. In Chicago, officials have said they aren’t using the email address posted on their office’s website to receive requests for reconsideration under the new approach. And no prosecutor’s office has agreed to review its cases to identify and contact immigrants who could be helped by the new policy — despite the May memo saying they had an “affirmative duty” to find such cases.

The policy is grounded in individual prosecutors’ discretion to drop deportation cases they view as less important. It’s a policy carried out largely in secret. Prosecutors don’t have to offer any reasons for denying a request, and their decisions can’t be appealed. With no way to understand the rulings or ask for a review, immigrants and their lawyers say, the program can look a lot like arbitrariness.

At worst, the shaky rollout of the administration’s agenda highlights a paradox of making “discretion” a guiding principle: there’s nothing requiring officials to exercise their authority in a uniform way. It’s possible that these are simply initial missteps, which will be rectified when Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas issues final guidance, expected in August or September. But in the meantime, the deportation orders keep coming.
Last edited by caltrek on Tue Jul 27, 2021 8:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
caltrek
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"Fundamentally Wrong"' to Deem Undocumented Workers Essential Yet Deny Them Protections
by Gabe Ortiz
July 22, 2021

https://m.dailykos.com/stories/2021/7/2 ... te-hearing

Introduction:
(Daily Kos) California Sen. Alex Padilla during a Senate hearing on the vital role of immigrant farmworkers called it “fundamentally wrong” for the federal government to deem undocumented immigrant laborers essential, “yet deny them legal protections and status at the same time.” But that’s precisely what we’ve done throughout the pandemic—and that needs to change, farmworkers, their advocates, and lawmakers urged throughout the hearing.

“During the COVID-19 pandemic, it wasn’t just the United States government, let’s be clear about this—Donald Trump’s Department of Homeland Security deemed farmworkers essential workers. Think about what that means,” Padilla said. “Formal recognition by the federal government that farmworkers, regardless of immigration status, are critical to our nation, critical to the food supply, critical to our economy. We can’t live without them.”

Padilla said during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Wednesday that as many as 75% of farmworkers in California lack legal status. Laborers who were already facing the danger of deportation then also had to face danger to their very lives, as the novel coronavirus pandemic began to sweep across the nation last year. Padilla said that these workers then faced the brunt of human costs.

“Nearly 600,000 farmworkers have contracted COVID-19 and the food and agriculture workers in California I know have experienced the highest ‘excess mortality’ during the pandemic, with a 39% increase compared to previous years. For Latinos specifically, the mortality increase reached 59%,” he said. Farmworkers have since had to endure extreme temperatures while working. While articles have mentioned damaged crops, some have neglected to mention the people harvesting those crops. “At no point do we stop working,” Texas farmworker Alejandra said last month.
Conclusion:
(United Farm Worker President Emeritus Arturo) Rodriquez said. “We have a Chair of the Judiciary Committee who has committed to passing legislation that allows farm workers to earn legal status. We have a President that is prepared to sign it. Now we need the Senate to use every tool at its disposal to honor the people that we rely on to feed the nation and bring stability to the agricultural industry. If we’re serious about addressing the issue of agricultural labor, this is our moment.”
caltrek
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Whether Despite or Because of 6-3 Tilt, Supreme Court Has Fewer Fans
by Alexandra Jones
July 28, 2021

https://www.courthousenews.com/whether- ... ewer-fans/

Introduction:
(Courthouse News) — Less than half of all Americans approve of the job the Supreme Court is doing, a Gallup poll released Wednesday found.

The 49% approval rating is down from 58% last year, according to a survey conducted from July 6 to July 21, following the wrap of the new 6-3 conservative majority’s first term. Former President Donald Trump installed three of the court's nine justices during his single term in office, culminating with the election-eve confirmation of Justice Amy Coney Barrett to replace the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Paul Collins, a professor of legal studies and political science at University of Massachusetts, Amherst, tied the drop in approval from last year to a sharp decrease in support among Republicans.

Even with its heavily conservative majority, the court found unanimity in a great number of cases last term, delivering a mixed bag for those expecting more right-wing overhauls.

“This was the first term with the three Trump appointees on the Court and the expectations among Republicans were high that the Court would take a decidedly conservative turn,” Collins explained Wednesday. “Though the Court did make some significant conservative rulings, the term was largely defined by moderation, which was disappointing to many Republicans.”
Image
The U.S. Supreme Court.
Courthouse News photo/Jack Rodgers
weatheriscool
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Biden to allow eviction moratorium to expire Saturday
Source: Associated Press
BOSTON – The Biden administration on Thursday announced it will allow a nationwide ban on evictions to expire Saturday, arguing that its hands are tied after the Supreme Court signaled it could only be extended until the end of the month.

The White House said President Joe Biden would have liked to have extended the federal eviction moratorium due to spread of the delta variant. Instead, Biden called on "Congress to extend the eviction moratorium to protect such vulnerable renters and their families without delay."

The moratorium was put in place put in place last September by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Given the recent spread of the Delta variant, including among those Americans both most likely to face evictions and lacking vaccinations, President Biden would have strongly supported a decision by the CDC to further extend this eviction moratorium to protect renters at this moment of heightened vulnerability,” the White House said in a statement. “Unfortunately, the Supreme Court has made clear that this option is no longer available.”
Read more: https://www.local10.com/news/politics/2 ... -saturday/
caltrek
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Re: USA News and Discussions

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Remember when Republicans insisted that it was their party that had the best interests of police officers at stake?

One would hope that the GOP's behavior regarding the events of January 6, 2021 will show, once and for all, how hypocritical are those claims.

Capitol Police testify to Congress
by Abby Zimet
July 27, 2021

https://www.commondreams.org/further/20 ... things-are

Introduction:
(Common Dreams) Whew. On the scorching first day of the Congressional investigation into the Jan. 6 MAGA insurrection, four Capitol cops - for once in this nation's history the good guys, each more eloquent, honorable and traumatized than the last - offered consistently harrowing, often tearful testimony that outed once and for all the GOP's despicable gaslighting about that day's carnage. The ruthless rebuttals by Sgt. Aquilino Gonell and Pfc. Harry Dunn of the Capitol Police and Michael Fanone and Daniel Hodges of the D.C. Police Department, all in their dress blues, repeatedly exposed what Fanone called "the worst that America has to offer," from MAGA goons screaming "Fucking nigger!" at Dunn to the evil "hit-man " who sent them. Backing up their horrific accounts was video so devastating many lawmakers could barely watch; much of it came from the officers' own truth-telling body-cams that, in a twist of history, police departments had long opposed. Though the four cops each told different stories, they shared vital common threads. All four used the same terms: insurrectionists, terrorists, mob, MAGA. All four thought they and their colleagues were going to die. All four remain scarred, physically and mentally: Said Gonell, "That day continues to be a constant trauma for us." And all four knew who was to blame. "All of them - all of them were saying Trump sent us," said Gonell. "Nobody else - there was nobody else. It was not Antifa, it was not Black Lives Matter, it was not the FBI. It was his supporters that he sent over to the Capitol that day."

Astonishingly, pro-insurrection House GOP leaders kept up the "sick and cynical" lies until moments before the hearing, when they announced who was really to blame: Nancy Pelosi. Brutally, one after the other, the four anguished officers shut them down. You can see highlights here, but the whole hearing is worth watching. Gonell, who's from the Dominican Republic and who fought in Iraq, said this was worse: "We were fighting for our lives" even as rioters vilified him as "not even an American." MAGA thugs told the white Hodges, famously crushed in a door, he was "on the wrong team" and would "die on your knees." On their sea of flags: "It was clear the terrorists perceived themselves to be Christians. To my perpetual confusion, I saw the Thin Blue Line flag more than once as (they) continued to assault us." (The Liberal Redneck on the subject: "These people are immune to irony.)


caltrek's comment: It is all Nancy Pelosi's fault?

These people really have no sense of shame.
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Ken_J
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weatheriscool wrote: Thu Jul 29, 2021 4:41 pm Biden to allow eviction moratorium to expire Saturday
Source: Associated Press
BOSTON – The Biden administration on Thursday announced it will allow a nationwide ban on evictions to expire Saturday, arguing that its hands are tied after the Supreme Court signaled it could only be extended until the end of the month.

The White House said President Joe Biden would have liked to have extended the federal eviction moratorium due to spread of the delta variant. Instead, Biden called on "Congress to extend the eviction moratorium to protect such vulnerable renters and their families without delay."

The moratorium was put in place put in place last September by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Given the recent spread of the Delta variant, including among those Americans both most likely to face evictions and lacking vaccinations, President Biden would have strongly supported a decision by the CDC to further extend this eviction moratorium to protect renters at this moment of heightened vulnerability,” the White House said in a statement. “Unfortunately, the Supreme Court has made clear that this option is no longer available.”
Read more: https://www.local10.com/news/politics/2 ... -saturday/
well that's gonna be a huge problem. It won't be instantanious of course, the courts will be backed up for months, and there will be people on all sides of rentals using the storm in the system to their advantage, further clogging the courts. I expect we may also see a rise in forclosures, and a building homeless population.

The landlords that have been losing money will likely be trying to get it back by jumps in rent costs in a time when rents are already too high in many areas.

no promises, but I also suspect that there will be a stock market and investment crash (though maybe slower than an actual crash) as increased rents, court costs, lost security deposits and needed new security deposits, moving costs, etc all require withdrawing funds.

I think a lot of people do not really understand how this is going to be a very big problem in the second half of this year, and how that may well play quite badly for the economy and as a consequence the coming midterm elections... and ultimately the next elections after that.
weatheriscool
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Biden rips states for sitting on billions in rental aid as he lets eviction ban end
Source: Business Insider

By Lauren Frias , Joseph Zeballos-Roig , and Azmi Haroun 11 hours ago

President Joe Biden slammed state leaders Friday for sitting on billions in rental aid as the eviction moratorium is set to expire on Saturday.

Biden called on state and local governments to disperse the Emergency Rental Assistance funding they received in February.

"Five months later, with localities across the nation showing that they can deliver funds effectively – there can be no excuse for any state or locality not accelerating funds to landlords and tenants that have been hurt during this pandemic," Biden said in a statement.

"Every state and local government must get these funds out to ensure we prevent every eviction we can," Biden continued.

Read more: https://www.businessinsider.com/biden-r ... nds-2021-7
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