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Archive of Articles in the "Immigration" Category

Friday Talking Points [479] -- Welcome To The Trump Trade War

[ Posted Friday, April 6th, 2018 – 18:33 PDT ]

First, Donald Trump announced new tariffs on steel and aluminum. Then China reacted with $3 billion in tariffs on U.S. goods (mostly farm goods -- fruit, nuts, and pork). Trump hit back with the threat of tariffs on $50 billion in Chinese goods. The Chinese, not to be outdone, announced that if this happens they'll be slapping their own tariffs on $50 billion in American goods -- most notably, soybeans. Trump then tripled down, announcing further tariffs on $100 billion of Chinese goods. So begins the great Sino-American trade war of 2018. Or, as we like to call it, the Trump trade war. Why not give proper credit where it is due, after all?

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Trump To DACA Kids: You're On Your Own

[ Posted Monday, April 2nd, 2018 – 17:11 PDT ]

President Donald Trump signaled this weekend that the DACA kids (formerly known as DREAMers) will essentially be on their own, because the effort to pass legislation to address their dire situation is now dead. Of course, that's where things stand today -- by tomorrow, or next week, Trump could take a radically different stance which will contradict his hard tone expressed over Easter weekend. After all, he's certainly done so before.

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Census Bureau Doesn't Always Live Up To Its Ideals

[ Posted Wednesday, March 28th, 2018 – 17:20 PDT ]

The Trump administration just announced that it will be adding a citizenship question to the main U.S. Census form that all United States residents will be getting in 2020. Already, several states have sued to block this move, since it could obviously lead to undercounting the actual population. The Justice Department is attempting to claim that the data is necessary to uphold voting rights, but it strains credulity to picture Jeff Sessions being suddenly concerned about upholding federal voting laws, given his history on civil rights. The Census Bureau is trying to put itself on the side of the angels as well, insisting that individual data would never be turned over to law enforcement agencies so that undocumented immigrants could be rounded up. But their hands aren't exactly historically clean either, which is why it's tough to make the case that anyone refusing to answer the citizenship question on their Census form is somehow being overly paranoid.

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Friday Talking Points [477] -- Read The Bill!

[ Posted Friday, March 23rd, 2018 – 18:00 PDT ]

Add this week in Congress to the enormous mountain of steaming Republican hypocrisy, we suppose. Remember back when Republicans got their knickers in such a big twist over Democrats passing lengthy bills without adequate time for congressmen to understand? When the Affordable Care Act passed, some Republicans even chanted "Read the bill!" in protest during the vote. Those were the days, eh? When Republicans retook Congress, they did so in part on a promise that every bill would have a 72-hour period between when it was released publicly and when the vote would happen, in both chambers of Congress. That statement, as they say in Washington, is no longer operative. The Republican-led Congress just passed a 2,200-plus page omnibus budget bill mere hours after the text was released (the House voted 17 hours after the bill was filed, which fell 55 hours short of their promise). Neither the House nor the Senate got anywhere near three days to read the bill. Which is one more big dump on top of the rest of "GOP Hypocrisy Mountain," raising it to new malodorous heights.

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Aftershocks From The Lambquake

[ Posted Wednesday, March 14th, 2018 – 17:04 PDT ]

In practical terms, the election of Democrat Conor Lamb to Pennsylvania's 18th congressional district isn't all that big a deal. Control of the House will not switch, so Paul Ryan will remain as speaker (with one less vote he can count on). Lamb will hold the seat only until November, when the district itself will disappear in the new redistricting map imposed by the state supreme court (to counteract the egregious Republican gerrymandering). So, practically, nothing much will change. In both political and psychological terms, however, the effect of Lamb's victory has to be measured on the Richter scale, because it certainly shook up Washington in a very big way. Congress felt the earth move last night, as the political tectonic plates realigned.

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Connecting The Dots On Trump's Tariffs

[ Posted Monday, March 5th, 2018 – 18:24 PST ]

There are two dots that are pretty easy (in retrospect) to connect, when looking for a reason for the hasty timing of President Trump's recent announcement of new steel and aluminum tariffs. In fact, the connection is so jaw-droppingly obvious (again -- after it is pointed out) that it's a mystery why more people inside the Beltway are seemingly not yet aware of it.

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Friday Talking Points [474] -- "Trade Wars Are Good!" (As Hope Leaves The Building)

[ Posted Friday, March 2nd, 2018 – 18:18 PST ]

Once again, it is the end of another fun week at the White House. Let's see, we had the president's son-in-law stripped of his top secret security clearance (right as two brand new Jared Kushner scandals were revealed, just as icing on the cake). We had a cabinet member in hot water over buying a $31,000 table for his office, assumably so he could be more comfortable while slashing billions of dollars for poor people. The top North Korea expert at the State Department quit, out of frustration with Trump's incoherent policies. Trump met with the N.R.A., but then seemed to agree with everything Democrats proposed during a meeting on gun control -- after which, the N.R.A. met with Trump again in a desperate move to yank him back to their extreme positions. We had Trump smacking his own attorney general around again, and amusingly learned that Trump sometimes calls him "Mr. Magoo" behind his back. Trump so annoyed the president of Mexico in a phone call that he cancelled a planned meeting with Trump in Washington. We had Russia announce a new nuclear arms race, and Trump announce a new trade war -- apparently because he was so annoyed at all the other bad news that he wanted to create some of his own. After the inevitable pushback, he insisted on Twitter that "Trade wars are good, and easy to win!" Well, we're all about to find out, aren't we? And to cap the week off, one of Trump's closest advisors, Hope Hicks, testified before Congress that her job required her to tell "white lies" to the public on a regular basis. The next day, she announced she was leaving the White House.

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Friday Talking Points [473] -- Mueller's Busy Week

[ Posted Friday, February 23rd, 2018 – 18:28 PST ]

Bob Mueller has had a busy and productive week. His investigation is intensifying quickly, as it gains speed and moves closer and closer to the inner Trump circle. Just a week ago, Mueller's team dropped an indictment on 13 Russians for meddling in the 2016 election. By Tuesday, a previously-unmentioned lawyer reached a plea deal with Mueller. Yesterday, Mueller filed an indictment with 32 counts against Paul Manafort and Rick Gates. Today, Gates officially flipped, and pled guilty to two counts against him, conspiracy and lying to federal agents. Not just another #MuellerFriday, in other words, but a full-on #MuellerWeek. No word from President Trump's Twitter account yet (as of this writing), but if last weekend was any preview, it sure ought to be fun to see him flail around for the next few days as the noose gets tighter and tighter around his innermost circle.

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Friday Talking Points [472] -- Infrastructure Week!

[ Posted Friday, February 16th, 2018 – 18:04 PST ]

Before we get to all the rest of the news, here's an interesting anniversary: it has been exactly one year since Trump's last solo press conference. In all the time he's been president, he has held a grand total of precisely one press conference, a month after he was sworn in. So what is he afraid of?

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DACA Bills Fail In Senate

[ Posted Thursday, February 15th, 2018 – 17:24 PST ]

The best chance to save DACA failed today in the Senate. Three more Republican votes would have been necessary for it to have had a chance, even though it did prove to be the most bipartisan plan out there with anywhere near the support needed to pass the Senate. What happens next is uncertain, although "Congress takes yet another week off with a serious deadline staring them in the face" would probably be a safe guess.

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