[Discussion] Hope to Remember The Trump Administration Thread as being 'transparent and honest'

Let's follow and discuss what our newest presidential administration gets up to, the good, the bad, the lawsuits, and the many many indictments.

Since Fox News runs the country we won't have a crisis until they say so.. then the real question is where do Congress and GOP voters loyalty then lie?

You know the answer. With themselves above all.

If that means only counting minority votes as 3/5ths of a vote so they make sure Donald wins in the next election...well that is constitutional so they will actually be proud to do it.

OG_slinger wrote:
Gremlin wrote:
Nevin73 wrote:

How many Constitutional Crises are we up to now? Have we gotten to double digits yet?

None, because Pelosi keeps backing down.

So Pelosi's keeping Trump from issuing an executive order demanding a citizenship question in the Census?

Trump's stretched our political norms into shapes we can barely recognize. But the real Constitutional crisis we're facing is that the Constitution didn't account for a situation where a house of Congress is literally protecting a president who's a bull in a china shop. Our Founding Fathers never thought that loyalty to a political party would trump the natural wariness and turf protection between branches of government the Constitution established with its system of checks and balances.

I'm not so sure they didn't foresee such events. A number of the 'founding fathers' wrote about being heavily against the creation of political parties, at least in part for this very reason (though at least some of those who wrote such warnings were also helping to create new political parties at the same time they were writing about why they should not do so).

Vice put out a decent article about how the USDA's Economic Research Service is about to lose most of its scientists, economists, and statisticians.

The ERS is one of those agencies you don't hear much about, but provides absolutely essential--and objective--data for policymakers on anything about agriculture, food, natural resources, and rural America.

It's a small agency, with about 300 employees, and a budget of just under $90 million. Trump wanted to cut its budget in half for FY 2019 in a move some say is retaliation because the agency used peer-reviewed research to push back against Trump's view that current agriculture trade deals were hurting farmers (farm income grew every year for almost 15 years because of trade) and because they found that all but the very largest farmers would have been better off without the Trump tax cut.

So about a year ago USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue announced that nearly all of the ERS's operations were going to be relocated from DC to Kansas City. Perdue argued the move would save taxpayers $300 million over 15 years and that it would somehow make the agency better by being closer to actual farmers even though the agency's "customers" were policymakers. He also announced that he was crimping the independence of the agency by moving under the USDA's Office of the Chief Economist. That matters because the Office of the Chief Economist largely exists to justify the Secretary's policies whereas the ERS was geared to providing independent and objective data.

As the move gets closer the scale of loss is becoming clearer. This is the sh*t that's happening quietly all around the Trump administration. sh*t that will take years and years to unf*ck, if it's even possible.

Vice wrote:

...

“Everybody working on climate change, everybody working on rural development, everybody working on anything that has clashed with the administration is being forced out West,” she said. Consequently, she said, “there will be full research areas that just cease to exist.”

Among dozens of other research projects, the Economic Research Service runs six “core” systems, or research models that staff use on a recurring basis for different projects.

After the move to Kansas City, at least two core models will have zero staff members to run them.

One, the Future Agricultural Resources Model, evaluates the effects of global weather patterns and economics on agricultural systems. The model simulates, for example, how changes in one geographic region can affect land and water resources, as well as the production and consumption of 13 commodities in eight regions.

Those analyses help show how climate change will affect global agricultural systems; it is critical, employees say, in helping lawmakers craft better trade and agricultural policy. But the model will have no one to run it when the agency moves.

Another model, called Regional Environment and Agriculture Programming, allows researchers to project crop yields, price fluctuations, and crop management based on a number of different factors, including changes in public policy (like subsidies), demand, or production technology.

That model will lose all three of its members and “fully die out,” Dodson said. (She adds, drily, that she realized this only after chatting casually with a coworker in the office kitchen.)

These vacancies compound an already lean staff. Nobody currently runs a third core model, which assesses food insecurity in 76 different low- and middle-income countries.

Other teams inside the Economic Research Service will also lose employees: Those that classify counties around the country as rural, urban, or metro-adjacent, determinations that establish guidelines for the disbursement of benefits for entitlement programs like Medicaid. Those that work on eligibility requirements for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Those that model the efficacy of the USDA’s conservation programs on water quality.

One researcher tells VICE News that they spent over three years tracking honey bee pollination patterns. They learned, among other things, where most of the country’s honey bees go in the late winter (California, to pollinate almond trees), and where they go in the summer (North Dakota, the number two colony state in the country).

They traced honeybees’ travels through the Great Plains, Midwest, and Pacific Northwest, through apple orchards and pear trees.

“For the average person, they need to be able to make wise food choices — they need to know where their food is coming from and how it’s produced,” the researcher said. “Without this knowledge on pollination services, Americans are left in the dark about how their food is produced.”

The USDA itself has spent at least $50 million over the last decade studying bees, with agency literature referring to them as “the most economically important species” because they contribute $15 billion annually to crop values.

But of the five people working on honey bee research at the Economic Research Service –– which the team finally submitted as an economic research report to the agency in June –– four are leaving. And without a team in place to usher the paper through the roughly six-month editing and revision process, that research won’t see publication.

On Dodson’s team, housed in the Resource and Rural Economics Division, at least 10 of the 12 employees will quit rather than relocate to Kansas City. Dodson and colleagues have also spent the last two years working on a report about Dicamba, a controversial herbicide that can drift onto neighboring fields and harm crops not bio-engineered to withstand it. (In 2016, a man murdered a neighboring farmer over a dispute about Dicamba.)

Without staff to finish editing and writing the report, that work, too, will cease to exist.

“We just decided that we can’t do it [anymore],” she said. “It’s going to be trashed, and we’re going to maybe get a short blurb out.”

OG_slinger wrote:

Vice put out a decent article about how the USDA's Economic Research Service is about to lose most of its scientists, economists, and statisticians.

The ERS is one of those agencies you don't hear much about, but provides absolutely essential--and objective--data for policymakers on anything about agriculture, food, natural resources, and rural America.

It's a small agency, with about 300 employees, and a budget of just under $90 million. Trump wanted to cut its budget in half for FY 2019 in a move some say is retaliation because the agency used peer-reviewed research to push back against Trump's view that current agriculture trade deals were hurting farmers (farm income grew every year for almost 15 years because of trade) and because they found that all but the very largest farmers would have been better off without the Trump tax cut.

So about a year ago USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue announced that nearly all of the ERS's operations were going to be relocated from DC to Kansas City. Perdue argued the move would save taxpayers $300 million over 15 years and that it would somehow make the agency better by being closer to actual farmers even though the agency's "customers" were policymakers. He also announced that he was crimping the independence of the agency by moving under the USDA's Office of the Chief Economist. That matters because the Office of the Chief Economist largely exists to justify the Secretary's policies whereas the ERS was geared to providing independent and objective data.

As the move gets closer the scale of loss is becoming clearer. This is the sh*t that's happening quietly all around the Trump administration. sh*t that will take years and years to unf*ck, if it's even possible.

Vice wrote:

...

“Everybody working on climate change, everybody working on rural development, everybody working on anything that has clashed with the administration is being forced out West,” she said. Consequently, she said, “there will be full research areas that just cease to exist.”

Among dozens of other research projects, the Economic Research Service runs six “core” systems, or research models that staff use on a recurring basis for different projects.

After the move to Kansas City, at least two core models will have zero staff members to run them.

One, the Future Agricultural Resources Model, evaluates the effects of global weather patterns and economics on agricultural systems. The model simulates, for example, how changes in one geographic region can affect land and water resources, as well as the production and consumption of 13 commodities in eight regions.

Those analyses help show how climate change will affect global agricultural systems; it is critical, employees say, in helping lawmakers craft better trade and agricultural policy. But the model will have no one to run it when the agency moves.

Another model, called Regional Environment and Agriculture Programming, allows researchers to project crop yields, price fluctuations, and crop management based on a number of different factors, including changes in public policy (like subsidies), demand, or production technology.

That model will lose all three of its members and “fully die out,” Dodson said. (She adds, drily, that she realized this only after chatting casually with a coworker in the office kitchen.)

These vacancies compound an already lean staff. Nobody currently runs a third core model, which assesses food insecurity in 76 different low- and middle-income countries.

Other teams inside the Economic Research Service will also lose employees: Those that classify counties around the country as rural, urban, or metro-adjacent, determinations that establish guidelines for the disbursement of benefits for entitlement programs like Medicaid. Those that work on eligibility requirements for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Those that model the efficacy of the USDA’s conservation programs on water quality.

One researcher tells VICE News that they spent over three years tracking honey bee pollination patterns. They learned, among other things, where most of the country’s honey bees go in the late winter (California, to pollinate almond trees), and where they go in the summer (North Dakota, the number two colony state in the country).

They traced honeybees’ travels through the Great Plains, Midwest, and Pacific Northwest, through apple orchards and pear trees.

“For the average person, they need to be able to make wise food choices — they need to know where their food is coming from and how it’s produced,” the researcher said. “Without this knowledge on pollination services, Americans are left in the dark about how their food is produced.”

The USDA itself has spent at least $50 million over the last decade studying bees, with agency literature referring to them as “the most economically important species” because they contribute $15 billion annually to crop values.

But of the five people working on honey bee research at the Economic Research Service –– which the team finally submitted as an economic research report to the agency in June –– four are leaving. And without a team in place to usher the paper through the roughly six-month editing and revision process, that research won’t see publication.

On Dodson’s team, housed in the Resource and Rural Economics Division, at least 10 of the 12 employees will quit rather than relocate to Kansas City. Dodson and colleagues have also spent the last two years working on a report about Dicamba, a controversial herbicide that can drift onto neighboring fields and harm crops not bio-engineered to withstand it. (In 2016, a man murdered a neighboring farmer over a dispute about Dicamba.)

Without staff to finish editing and writing the report, that work, too, will cease to exist.

“We just decided that we can’t do it [anymore],” she said. “It’s going to be trashed, and we’re going to maybe get a short blurb out.”

Next thing to go will be the NWS.

"The President demands you forecast better weather."
"We... can't?"

The White House announced today that funding for the National Weather Service will be reduced by 30% over the next two years. 'The President has consulted with top meterographic phenomologists and religious advisors and the consensus amongst verified persons is that weather is improving and thus legacy programs are no longer needed.'

Given that they've literally been deleting data that can be used to track climate change and Trump nominated the CEO of AccuWeather to head the NWS, that's not far off.

Gremlin wrote:

Given that they've literally been deleting data that can be used to track climate change and Trump nominated the CEO of AccuWeather to head the NWS, that's not far off.

I was imagining a slightly ridiculous scenario in which Trump becomes outraged at the current temperature report.

If we tell people is 75 degrees, then that is what it is!

Reaper81 wrote:
Gremlin wrote:

Given that they've literally been deleting data that can be used to track climate change and Trump nominated the CEO of AccuWeather to head the NWS, that's not far off.

I was imagining a slightly ridiculous scenario in which Trump becomes outraged at the current temperature report.

If we tell people is 75 degrees, then that is what it is!

More like he'd demand they fire someone because it rained and their report only said 20% chance of rain.

Stengah wrote:

More like he'd demand they fire someone because it rained and their report only said 20% chance of rain.

I think the documented response there is to deny that it was raining.

We've always been at war with precipitation.

Gremlin wrote:

I think the documented response there is to deny that it was raining.

Oh man. That video is cute. Back in January 2017, when he had only lied a few times about his inauguration speech. Good times!

So, getting back to the census, the plaintiff's are asking that the defense attorneys not be allowed to withdraw. And if they are allowed to withdraw, that the Court should retain jurisdiction over the withdrawing attorneys.

Plaintiff's Response to Defendants' Motion to Withdraw State of New York et al. v. U.S. Dep't of Commerce, et al.

Gremlin wrote:

So, getting back to the census, the plaintiff's are asking that the defense attorneys not be allowed to withdraw. And if they are allowed to withdraw, that the Court should retain jurisdiction over the withdrawing attorneys.

Plaintiff's Response to Defendants' Motion to Withdraw State of New York et al. v. U.S. Dep't of Commerce, et al.

TLDR- NO DO OVERS!

JC wrote:
Gremlin wrote:

So, getting back to the census, the plaintiff's are asking that the defense attorneys not be allowed to withdraw. And if they are allowed to withdraw, that the Court should retain jurisdiction over the withdrawing attorneys.

Plaintiff's Response to Defendants' Motion to Withdraw State of New York et al. v. U.S. Dep't of Commerce, et al.

TLDR- NO DO OVERS! ;)

...that and if you file every motion you can and delay, delay, delay, you ‘win’ anyway.

Excellent!

(CNN) — A federal judge in New York said on Tuesday that the Justice Department cannot swap out its legal team in the census citizenship question case.
"Defendants provide no reasons, let alone 'satisfactory reasons,' for the substitution of counsel," wrote District Judge Jesse Furman, citing upcoming deadlines.
"As this Court observed many months ago, this case has been litigated on the premise -- based 'in no small part' on Defendants' own 'insist(ence)' -- that the speedy resolution of Plaintiffs' claims is a matter of great private and public importance."

Yeah, turns out if you tell the judge that everything is urgent and has to be done yesterday, it kind of undermines your later arguments about there being plenty of time.

Trump's consequence immunity has a limited range.

Hopefully about a year and a half.

Gremlin wrote:

Yeah, turns out if you tell the judge that everything is urgent and has to be done yesterday, it kind of undermines your later arguments about there being plenty of time.

Trump's consequence immunity has a limited range.

The howler monkey contingent of the Supreme Court? Seems pretty unlimited to me.

The Trump National Doral in Miami is hosting a charity event this weekend that's being organized by the Shadow Cabaret, a local strip club.

The "Shadow All Star Tournament” promises golfers breakfast, lunch, cocktails, and dinner for the bargain price of $450. That price also includes "a caddy girl of your choice," allowing the golfers to choose a club dancer to follow them around for the day.

For an extra $1,000 players can get a three day/two night stay at the Trump National Doral, 30 minutes in the Shadow Cabaret VIP room, and bottle service.

The strip club's marketing director assured reporters that the "caddy girls" will remain fully clothed during the golf tournament, but will be tastefully dressed in a pink miniskirt and a "sexy white polo." After the tournament the players will go to the club where the marketing director assured reporters that the "caddies" wouldn't be clothed.

Golfers have until tomorrow to register and pick their "caddy girl." Golfers that register after tomorrow will have to bid on one during a very tasteful auction that will be held before the tournament.

The tournament is supposed to benefit a basketball-theme charity called Miami All Stars. The charity director said his group "provides everything" to about 40 area youths, including "fitness, nutrition, basketball, and academics." The organization's website claims it's a registered non-profit under the the laws of the State of Florida, but state officials have said the group isn't registered as a charity in Florida. The charity director had no comment as to why the state didn't have any record of his organization.

Promotional materials for the tournament made by the Shadow Cabaret featured the logos of the Jr. NBA and Jr. WNBA. A spokeswoman for the NBA and WNBA said that the leagues were not affiliated with the tournament and that their logos were used in the ads without permission.

Why would a property owned by the President accept such a trashy--and super shady--event while he's in office? Because it's "severely underperforming." After raking in $116 million in revenues in 2016, it barely made $76 million last year as big names like Nascar and the PGA Tour pulled 100,000 booked room nights from the hotel after Trump became president.

Mixolyde wrote:
Gremlin wrote:

Yeah, turns out if you tell the judge that everything is urgent and has to be done yesterday, it kind of undermines your later arguments about there being plenty of time.

Trump's consequence immunity has a limited range.

The howler monkey contingent of the Supreme Court? Seems pretty unlimited to me.

I mean when it gets to the SC all bets are off, but until then there are still some judges who don't owe him for their Supreme Court seat.

Court to Trump: Blocking Twitter critics is unconstitutional

NEW YORK (AP) — President Donald Trump lost a major Twitter fight Tuesday when a federal appeals court said that his daily musings and pronouncements were overwhelmingly official in nature and that he violated the First Amendment whenever he blocked a critic to silence a viewpoint.

The effect of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision is likely to reverberate throughout politics after the Manhattan court warned that any elected official using a social media account “for all manner of official purposes” and then excluding critics violates free speech.

“The government is not permitted to ‘amplify’ favored speech by banning or burdening viewpoints with which it disagrees,” the appeals court said.

Wonder if that applies to KY gov Matt Bevin? He's blocked a lot of my fellow Louisville fans on Twitter.

Stele wrote:

Wonder if that applies to KY gov Matt Bevin? He's blocked a lot of my fellow Louisville fans on Twitter.

The ruling sounds like it paves the way for that exact change, though I can see that if it were a personal /semi private account used for non-governing purposes, which this one obviously isn’t, then he could argue for banning people

Gremlin wrote:
Mixolyde wrote:
Gremlin wrote:

Yeah, turns out if you tell the judge that everything is urgent and has to be done yesterday, it kind of undermines your later arguments about there being plenty of time.

Trump's consequence immunity has a limited range.

The howler monkey contingent of the Supreme Court? Seems pretty unlimited to me.

I mean when it gets to the SC all bets are off, but until then there are still some judges who don't owe him for their Supreme Court seat.

I actually feel like it would be better if it was a sense obligation that kept Kavanaugh and Gorsuch where they are, that would be a chance for change once the obligating party is gone and Trump is a terrible but self serving buffoon hes not a true believer. I don't think that's why they do what they do though. They are both Federalist Society cult devotees. The evil they do, they do because they fully believe in it, they ARE true beleivers and no change in circumstance (or presentation of evidence) will sway them from their cause.

Trump labor secretary who cut Epstein deal plans to slash funds for sex trafficking victims

The Guardian wrote:

Alexander Acosta, the US labor secretary under fire for having granted Jeffrey Epstein immunity from federal prosecution in 2008, after the billionaire was investigated for having run a child sex trafficking ring, is proposing 80% funding cuts for the government agency that combats child sex trafficking.

Acosta’s plan to slash funding of a critical federal agency in the fight against the sexual exploitation of children is contained in his financial plans for the Department of Labor for fiscal year 2020. In it, he proposes decimating the resources of a section of his own department known as the International Labor Affairs Bureau (ILAB).

The bureau’s budget would fall from $68m last year to just $18.5m. The proposed reduction is so drastic that experts say it would effectively kill off many federal efforts to curb sex trafficking and put the lives of large numbers of children at risk.

ILAB has the task of countering human trafficking, child labor and forced labor across the US and around the world. Its mission is “to promote a fair global playing field for workers” and it is seen as a crucial leader in efforts to crack down on the sex trafficking of minors.

OG_slinger wrote:

Trump labor secretary who cut Epstein deal plans to slash funds for sex trafficking victims

The Guardian wrote:

Alexander Acosta, the US labor secretary under fire for having granted Jeffrey Epstein immunity from federal prosecution in 2008, after the billionaire was investigated for having run a child sex trafficking ring, is proposing 80% funding cuts for the government agency that combats child sex trafficking.

Acosta’s plan to slash funding of a critical federal agency in the fight against the sexual exploitation of children is contained in his financial plans for the Department of Labor for fiscal year 2020. In it, he proposes decimating the resources of a section of his own department known as the International Labor Affairs Bureau (ILAB).

The bureau’s budget would fall from $68m last year to just $18.5m. The proposed reduction is so drastic that experts say it would effectively kill off many federal efforts to curb sex trafficking and put the lives of large numbers of children at risk.

ILAB has the task of countering human trafficking, child labor and forced labor across the US and around the world. Its mission is “to promote a fair global playing field for workers” and it is seen as a crucial leader in efforts to crack down on the sex trafficking of minors.

And yet the right gets away with Pizzagate.

Fed chair: I won't leave if Trump asks me to quit

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell defiantly said Wednesday he would not accept being fired by President Donald Trump, who has waged an unprecedented public pressure campaign on the central bank.

California Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters pressed Powell at a House Financial Services Committee hearing about whether he would comply if he were to get a phone call from Trump asking him to pack up his stuff and go.
"Of course, I would not do that," replied Powell, who was appointed by Trump.
"I can't hear you," said Waters in response to which the hearing room erupted in laughter.
"The answer would be, 'No,'" Powell said.
Waters pressed further, asking, "Do you believe the President doesn't have the authority?"
He replied: "What I have said is the law gives me a four-year term and I fully intend to serve it."

So he's gone by this time next week, right?

Turns out that we have no way to stop blatant corruption and graft.

Politico: Appeals court tosses emoluments suit against Trump

A federal appeals court panel has unanimously thrown out a lawsuit accusing President Donald Trump of violating the Constitution by continuing to do business with foreign and state governments while serving as president.

The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the State of Maryland and the District of Columbia — who joined together to file the suit against Trump in 2017 — lacked legal standing to object to his alleged violations of the Constitution’s clauses prohibiting receipt of so-called “emoluments” while in office.

Gremlin wrote:

Turns out that we have no way to stop blatant corruption and graft.

Politico: Appeals court tosses emoluments suit against Trump

A federal appeals court panel has unanimously thrown out a lawsuit accusing President Donald Trump of violating the Constitution by continuing to do business with foreign and state governments while serving as president.

The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the State of Maryland and the District of Columbia — who joined together to file the suit against Trump in 2017 — lacked legal standing to object to his alleged violations of the Constitution’s clauses prohibiting receipt of so-called “emoluments” while in office.

wtf?

I was hoping this would be the barb that would stick... how does it lack legal standing?