Tuesday ReadsPosted: November 20, 2018
Another federal judge has slapped down Trump’s efforts to play dictator. The Guardian: ‘He may not rewrite immigration laws’: Trump’s asylum ban blocked by federal judge.
The president issued a proclamation on 9 November declaring that anyone who crossed the southern border between official ports of entry would be ineligible for asylum. As the first of several caravans of migrants arrived at the US-Mexico border, Donald Trump said a ban was necessary to stop a national security threat.
But in his ruling on Monday, the US district judge Jon Tigar said legislation was clear that any foreigner arriving in the US, whether or not at a designated port of arrival, could apply for asylum. He also said the administration misused its authority to issue emergency regulations and waive a 30-day waiting period to consider comments on the policy change.
“Whatever the scope of the president’s authority, he may not rewrite the immigration laws to impose a condition that Congress has expressly forbidden,” said Tigar, a nominee of the previous president, Barack Obama.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) did not immediately comment on the ruling, which will remain in effect for one month barring an appeal. In issuing the ban, Trump used the same powers he used last year to impose a travel ban that was ultimately upheld by the supreme court.
I suppose the administration will appeal and ask SCOTUS to hand Trump more dictatorial powers over immigration.
In the latest Trump administration attempt to blame California for wildfires, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is now claiming “radical environmentalists” are responsible for the devastation. The Los Angeles Times:
In an interview with Breitbart News, Zinke said he agrees with Trump’s comments about the fires being a result of poor forest management, and repeatedly said radical environmentalists were responsible for the destruction caused by the fires.
“It’s not time for finger-pointing,” Zinke said. “We know the problem. It’s been years of neglect, and in many cases it’s been these radical environmentalists that want nature to take its course.…You know what? This is on them.”
The problem with this argument is that the recent fires did not take place in forest areas.
Experts agree that overgrown forests in California pose a heightened wildfire threat in some parts of the Sierra Nevada. But although Paradise is near forestland, the wind-whipped Camp fire tore across areas that burned in lightning fires in 2008 and were later logged. It was not fueled by heavy timber.
“It started out as a vegetation fire. When it reached the incorporated area, which is definitely a lot more urban and developed of an area,” Jonathan Pangburn, a fire behavior analyst for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, said in an interview last week, “it turned into a building-to-building fire … no longer carrying through most of the vegetation, especially in the upper canopies in the trees. It was not a crown fire through the Paradise area.”
The Woolsey fire, which burned suburban areas from Oak Park to Malibu, was not near any forests. It destroyed 1,500 structures and left three people dead.
Of course the facts don’t matter in Trump world.
Trump and his buddies continue to protect the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman even though the CIA says Salman personally ordered the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Kashoggi in October. Now The Middle East Eye reveals that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo hand delivered “a plan to shield MBS from fallout.”
Saudi Arabia’s king and crown prince are shielding themselves from the Jamal Khashoggi murder scandal by using a roadmap drawn up by the US secretary of state, a senior Saudi source has told Middle East Eye.
Mike Pompeo delivered the plan in person during a meeting with Saudi King Salman and his son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, last month in Riyadh, said the source, who is familiar with Pompeo’s talks with the Saudi leaders.
The plan includes an option to pin the Saudi journalist’s murder on an innocent member of the ruling al-Saud family in order to insulate those at the very top, the source told MEE.
That person has not yet been chosen, the source said, and Saudi leaders are reserving the use of that plan in case the pressure on bin Salman, also known as MBS, becomes too much.
“We would not be surprised if that happens,” the source told MEE.
Read the rest at MEE.
Massachusetts Rep. Seth Moulton got some “pushback” from his constituents on his efforts to unseat Nancy Pelosi from her leadership of House Democrats. Politico reports:
AMESBURY, Mass. — The push by Rep. Seth Moulton against House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s bid to become speaker took center stage on Monday night at a town hall in his district, where constituents shouted and interrupted Moulton and one another in a lively debate over the future of the chamber.
Moulton (D-Mass.) and some of his constituents say the midterm elections show that it’s time for new leadership in the House, while his critics on Monday night called his opposition to Pelosi a product of sexism and ageism….
Dozens among the 150 people crowded into the Amesbury Town Hall pushed back against Moulton’s comments. Several shouted “no” when he said, “The majority of Democrats want this change.” Some protesters held signs that were green on one side and red on the other. When Moulton or another attendee said something they didn’t like, the protesters held up the red signs to signal disagreement.