Category Archives: Trump Administration

US Treasury Chief Mnuchin Shrugs Off Greta Thunberg – ‘Who is She?’

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin took a shot at 17-year-old Greta Thunberg on Thursday, saying she was in no position to give advice on climate change because she hasn’t been to college yet. At a press briefing at the World Economic Forum in the Swiss town of Davos, Mnuchin dismissed Thunberg’s suggestion that governments and…

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U.S. Commends Mexico for Standing Firm amid Caravan Border Rush

Department of Homeland Security Acting Secretary Chad Wolf praised Mexico for its actions to secure the border between that country and Guatemala. His comments come after National Guard troops and immigration officials held off hundreds of Honduran caravan migrants attempting to illegally cross their border.

Klobuchar Pledges to Fire Betsy DeVos in First 100 Days

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D., Minn.) in a new ad released Wednesday pledged to fire Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos within her first 100 days as president—a likely unnecessary move given that DeVos would depart with sitting president Donald Trump.

Klobuchar lists various progressive policy wishes in the 30-second spot now airing in Iowa, sandwiching a promise to dismiss DeVos between expanding Veterans Affairs benefits and addressing mental health and addiction.

Klobuchar’s campaign did not respond to a request for comment as to why firing DeVos would be necessary, or as to whether Klobuchar would consider keeping any Trump cabinet members, as when President Barack Obama kept on Secretary of Defense Robert Gates from the Bush administration.

Klobuchar’s odd promise recalls failed 2020 hopeful, Rep. Eric Swalwell (D., Calif.), who told the New York Times he would fire Trump adviser Jared Kushner on his first day in office.

DeVos has been a popular punching bag on the left since her nomination as education secretary. Selected by Trump in 2017, she immediately came under fire from teachers’ unions and progressives, due in large part to her advocacy for charter schools.

All 48 Senate Democrats and independents eventually voted against DeVos in one of the most bitter confirmation fights of the Trump era. Vice President Mike Pence cast the tie-breaking vote to confirm her after Republican Sens. Susan Collins (Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) also voted against her.

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Trump Admin Revives Influential Criminal Justice Commission

Attorney General William Barr And FBI Director Christopher Wray Announce Crime Reduction Initiative In Detroit

Attorney General William Barr on Wednesday announced the formation of a presidential commission on criminal justice, revitalizing a body that in the 1960s fundamentally altered the American criminal justice system.

The new members of the Presidential Commission on Law Enforcement and the Administration of Justice took their oath of office, administered by Barr, Wednesday morning, and immediately set to work on their agenda for the coming months. Barr’s remarks linked their work to the last such commission, which was organized by President Lyndon Johnson.

“President Trump is an unwavering supporter of our men and women in blue, and he recognized that this commission is much needed to support law enforcement,” Barr said. “It is, to be sure, long overdue. The last time there was a national commission on law enforcement was in 1965.”

Barr’s allusion to the Johnson crime commission sets the stage for a comprehensive reassessment of the criminal justice system. The new commission’s work will likely highlight how the challenges of criminal justice have changed radically over the past half century.

The new commission is a diverse group of law enforcement officers, litigators, and stakeholders from local, state, and federal jurisdictions. It will be chaired by Phil Keith, who currently serves as the director of the Community Oriented Policing Services office within the Justice Department. Other board members include local sheriffs and police chiefs, U.S. attorneys, the Florida attorney general, and the acting director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.

This group, Barr said Wednesday, will discuss key issues facing law enforcement in the 21st century. These include the challenges of mental illness; improving officer recruitment, training, and retention; understanding the rise of mental health problems among police officers; the challenges of new technologies; the causes and effects of “diminished respect” toward police officers; and the better incorporation of social services organizations into the policing process.

The push to establish a new commission on crime has commanded bipartisan backing. Senators Gary Peters (D., Mich.), Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.), and John Cornyn (R., Tex.) introduced legislation to establish a commission modeled on the one from 1965. President Donald Trump issued an executive order in October that formally established the commission Barr swore in Wednesday.

Cornyn cheered Wednesday’s news as a step in the right direction for American criminal justice.

“An objective review system is necessary to reform our outdated criminal justice system and strengthen law enforcement’s ties to our communities,” he told the Washington Free Beacon. “I’m grateful to the Administration for taking this important step, and I look forward to working with them to build upon their efforts to reform our justice system and increase public safety.”

Trump’s order articulates the commission’s function as the study of “issues related to law enforcement and the administration of justice.” It is also instructed to, within a year, furnish Barr with a final report, presumably similar in scope to the Johnson commission’s own 350-page report.

That original 1967 report, The Challenge of Crime in a Free Society, is widely considered—even by critics—a landmark in the history of American criminal justice. During the 1964 presidential election, Johnson opponent Barry Goldwater slammed the incumbent for his lack of focus on America’s rising crime problem. After Johnson won, he placed greater emphasis on law and order.

The 1967 report is responsible for many of today’s standard law enforcement practices. The Challenge of Crime recommended technological improvements including separate radio bands for police, fingerprinting systems, and an emergency hotline number which later became 911. It was one of the first major documents to recommend combating “ordinary street crime” as a matter of policy, concretizing Johnson’s “war on crime.” It also systematized the role of the federal government as a major funder of local and state law enforcement, with spending reaching $56 billion by 2016.

The Johnson Crime Commission followed on the 1929 National Commission on Law Observance and Enforcement, generally known as the Wickersham Commission, which conducted some of the first systematic observation of law enforcement in the United States.

Barr, in his remarks, noted that radical changes in technology make a new crime commission all the more urgent.

“The incredible pace of technological change has meant the rapid evolution of new ways to commit and conceal crimes,” he said. “All of you, because you’re on the front lines, see this every day—from the proliferation of synthetic opioids to the use of warrant-proof encryption and the dark web to sexually exploit the most vulnerable members of society.”

Important, too, is the trend of crime rates since the ’60s. In the years immediately following the Johnson commission, America experienced a precipitous increase in violent crime, with the per capita rate rising nearly 400 percent between 1960 and 1991. Then, crime began an almost equally precipitous decline—today, it stands at roughly the lowest rate in the past 30 years.

Since multiple factors contribute to the crime rate, there is no one explanation as to what caused crime to rise and then drop. The new commission is not tasked with offering such an explanation, but it will have to think hard about how to make sure a crime wave does not happen again.

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Trump Announces He Will Soon Expand the List of Countries Covered by Travel Ban

President Donald Trump on Tuesday said that his administration is preparing to expand its travel ban, a move that will likely showcase his immigration enforcement agenda ahead of the 2020 election. Trump — during an interview with The Wall Street Journal in Davos, Switzerland, on Tuesday — confirmed that he plans to update the current…

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New Honduran Migrant Caravan Reaches 4000 in Guatemala

At least 4,000 Honduran migrants crossed the border into Guatemala with the intent of entering Mexico and making their way to the United States. The number continues to rise despite Guatemalan efforts to stem the flow of northbound Honduran migrants.

Hundreds of Caravan Migrants Deported to Honduras by Guatemalan Police, U.S. ICE Agents

Guatemalan police and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents working in that country deported nearly 300 Honduran caravan migrants back to their own country. The ICE agents are on temporary assignment to Guatemala to help stop the flow of caravan migrants through that country to Mexico.

Hundreds of Caravan Migrants Deported to Honduras by Guatemalan Police, U.S. ICE Agents

Guatemalan police and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents working in that country deported nearly 300 Honduran caravan migrants back to their own country. The ICE agents are on temporary assignment to Guatemala to help stop the flow of caravan migrants through that country to Mexico.

AT&T Under Pressure from US Government for Complying with Socialist Venezuela Censorship

Last April, as a military uprising roiled Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro’s socialist government ordered pay TV providers to immediately cease transmission of CNN and the BBC. DirecTV, which is wholly owned by AT&T, quickly obliged, yanking the two networks off the air as live images of military trucks running over protesters were being broadcast to the…

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Trump Trade War Works as US Economy Sizzles & China Sees Weakest Growth in 29 Years

“Phase One” of the resolution of the United States-China trade war was signed earlier this week, and it had some pretty big wins for the Trump administration. Writ large in media headlines were two things the United States did well to get Beijing to sign onto — agreements from China to crack down on intellectual…

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Fox Host Bolton Says Trump Should Plaster This Chart ‘Absolutely Everywhere’

At the Democratic presidential debate earlier this week in Iowa, several of the candidates made it clear they were ready to take on President Donald Trump regarding America’s economy. Pete Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, declared, “I am ready to take on this president on the economy, because I am from the…

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Immigrants in Mexico Say They’re Waiting for Trump To Leave Office Before Crossing US Border

Central American migrants hoping to enter the United States have said they will wait in Mexico in the hope that President Donald Trump loses re-election, and then cross the U.S. border. The Center for Immigration Studies, a Washington, D.C., based think tank that advocates for reducing immigration, visited southern Mexico and interviewed Central American migrants…

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Appeals Court Deals a Blow to Teens Trying To Sue Trump Administration Over Climate Change

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled Friday that children do not have standing to sue the Trump administration and the federal government for not adequately addressing climate change. Climate policy comes under the purview of Congress and the president, not the court system, the federal appeals court in California ruled in…

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Michael Flynn Moves To Withdraw His Guilty Plea, Says Prosecution ‘Operated in Bad Faith’

Former national security adviser Michael Flynn has decided to fight back now that the Department of Justice wants to send him to prison. In 2017, Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI regarding the contacts he made with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak. Although the Department of Justice initially recommended no prison time, in November…

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Trump Administration Proposes Rules to Ensure Equal Treatment of Faith-Based Groups

HHS and DHS proposed rules that would implement Trump’s executive order that protects the religious freedom of faith-based organizations.

Because of NYC Sanctuary Law, Illegal Was Free When Woman, 92, Was Murdered, Sexually Assaulted

Reeaz Khan shouldn’t have been out on the street when he allegedly murdered and sexually assaulted a 92-year-old woman. It wasn’t just that Khan was in the country illegally from Guyana. Nor was it the fact that he had been arrested just a few months prior for allegedly assaulting his father. Rather, it’s the fact…

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WaPo Literally Claims Trump Holding Iran Accountable Is ‘Effort To Destroy the Iran Deal’

The United States may have pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal, but Iran continues to remain a signatory, if not a particularly happy one. Tehran’s strategy, at this point, seems to be to threaten to break the strictures of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action if it doesn’t get what it wants — which,…

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Large Caravan of Immigrants Forms in Central America with Goal of Reaching US

Hundreds of mainly Honduran migrants started walking and hitching rides Wednesday from the city of San Pedro Sula, in a bid to form the kind of migrant caravan that reached the U.S. border in 2018. Some migrants waved Honduran flags and shouted slogans against President Juan Orlando Hernández as they set out for the Guatemalan…

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Federal Judge Sides with Trump Administration Over ACLU in Family Separation Case

A federal judge in California has ruled that the Trump administration’s separation of immigrant families at the U.S.-Mexico border complies with the 2018 ruling that banned separations “absent a determination that the parent is unfit or presents a danger to the child.” The ruling Monday contradicts claims by the American Civil Liberties Union that Border…

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