— Jon Steinberg
— Jon Steinberg
Nancy Pelosi announces that the House will vote on a resolution to oppose Trump’s emergency declaration
All Members take an oath of office to support and defend the Constitution. The President’s decision to go outside the bounds of the law to try to get what he failed to achieve in the constitutional legislative process violates the Constitution and must be terminated. We have a solemn responsibility to uphold the Constitution, and defend our system of checks and balances against the President’s assault.
Sanders rules out an independent bid in 2020
Sen. Bernie Sanders plans to sign a party pledge affirming that he will run for president as a Democrat in 2020 and serve as one if elected, senior campaign adviser Jeff Weaver told CNN on Wednesday.
The Democratic National Committee said on Tuesday that it planned to meet in the coming week with the presidential primary campaigns and distribute a form to the candidates, who under bylaws agreed on last August will be required “to affirm in writing” that they “are a member of the Democratic Party, will accept the Democratic nomination” and “will run and serve as a member of the Democratic Party.”
Sanders declined the Democratic nomination in all three of his Senate campaigns, choosing to run as an independent after winning the party’s primary.
The same day as the Trump-Kim summit in Vietnam
Pandora’s box of blackface has been opened
A U.S. Attorney says New York owes the federal government for “falsely claiming that numerous NYCDOT vehicles were damaged during Superstorm Sandy”
It’s a tune as old as the special counsel itself, but the Mueller investigation may actually be coming to a close soon
Attorney General Bill Barr is preparing to announce as early as next week the completion of special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation, with plans for Barr to submit to Congress soon after a summary of Mueller’s confidential report, according to people familiar with the plans.
The preparations are the clearest indication yet that Mueller is nearly done with his almost two-year investigation.
Under the special counsel regulations, Mueller must submit a “confidential” report to the attorney general at the conclusion of his work, but the rules don’t require it to be shared with Congress, or by extension, the public. And, as Barr has made clear, the Justice Department generally guards against publicizing “derogatory” information about uncharged individuals.
In addition, Mueller has referred certain matters that fell outside the scope of the Russia probe to other US Attorneys to pursue. Some of those investigations have already been revealed, including the investigation in New York into former Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen. That probe has spawned subsequent federal investigations in New York into the Trump Organization and the Trump Inaugural Committee. It is possible the special counsel’s team has referred other matters that have not yet come to light.
Some House Democrats are preparing to play the obstruction of justice card
The Times reported Tuesday that the president asked then-acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker late last year to put U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman in charge of the investigation into Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen. Cohen pleaded guilty last year to bank fraud, tax fraud and making payments to silence women alleging that they had affairs with Trump.
Berman, an ally of Trump who donated to his 2016 campaign, had recused himself from the case, and Whitaker did not act on Trump’s request, according to the report — which Trump has denied.
Democrats claim it is just the latest example of Trump trying to sway an investigation by influencing the investigator.
“I think if you just follow the number of incidences and evidence that has been presented involving the president and the Russia investigation and the investigation in the Southern District in New York and others, I think it clearly shows a pattern that the president has tried to use his influence and/or relationship to really interfere with the investigation,” said Rep. Val Demings (D-Fla.).
It’s quite likely that the president is calling the press the “enemy of the people” after receiving briefings on how the people are targeting the press
Illinois will join California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York in the Fight for $15
Pritzker made a $15 minimum wage a cornerstone of his bid for governor, and made good on his campaign pledge Tuesday in Springfield, at a signing ceremony one day before his first budget address.
“Today is a victory for the cause of economic justice,” Pritzker said. “This will improve the lives of families across Illinois, and it will lift people out of poverty.”
Pritzker noted Illinois has not increased its minimum wage in nine years, and said the wage hike would affect 1.4 million workers statewide.
Domestic right-wing terrorism, thwarted
A U.S. Coast Guard lieutenant and self-identified white nationalist has been arrested after federal investigators uncovered a cache of weapons and ammunition in his Maryland home that authorities say he stockpiled to launch a massive domestic terror attack targeting politicians and journalists.
Christopher Paul Hasson called for “focused violence” to “establish a white homeland” and dreamed of ways to “kill almost every last person on earth,” according to court records filed in U.S. District Court in Maryland. Though court documents do not detail a specific planned date for an attack, the government said he had been amassing supplies and weapons since at least 2017, developed a spreadsheet of targets that included House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and searched the Internet using phrases such as “best place in dc to see congress people” and “are supreme court justices protected.”
Trump says he intervened personally in the case of a woman who married an ISIS member and now wants to return to America
Another disturbing development in Israel’s rightward drift
This is an unprecedented development in Israel’s history and is equivalent to a U.S. president cutting a political deal with David Duke, the former KKK leader. The prime minister and the ruling Likud Party are legitimizing a racist, xenophobic and homophobic fringe party in hopes of bolstering a right-wing bloc after the elections.
“Jewish Power” was formed by the followers of Rabbi Meir Kahane, the former leader of the Kach party, which was banned from running in Israel’s 1988 elections and designated a terror organization by the Israeli government in 1994. Kach was also blacklisted as a terrorist organization in the U.S., Canada and the EU.
One takeaway: Elizabeth Warren is in a precarious position if she can’t do better than this in New Hampshire
How long has he had this line in his back pocket?
The White House wants to challenge the idea that climate change threatens national security
The proposed Presidential Committee on Climate Security, which would be established by executive order, is being spearheaded by William Happer, a National Security Council senior director. Happer, an emeritus professor of physics at Princeton University, has said that carbon emissions linked to climate change should be viewed as an asset rather than a pollutant.
Hard to tell, at this point, how meaningful this new report actually is
New York Times publisher releases a long statement in response to Trump calling the paper the “ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE”
America’s founders believed that a free press was essential to democracy because it is the foundation of an informed, engaged citizenry. That conviction, enshrined in the First Amendment, has been embraced by nearly every American president. Thomas Jefferson declared, “The only security of all is in a free press.” John F. Kennedy warned about the risks to “free society without a very, very active press.” Ronald Reagan said, “There is no more essential ingredient than a free, strong and independent press to our continued success.”
All these presidents had complaints about their coverage and at times took advantage of the freedom every American has to criticize journalists. But in demonizing the free press as the enemy, simply for performing its role of asking difficult questions and bringing uncomfortable information to light, President Trump is retreating from a distinctly American principle. It’s a principle that previous occupants of the Oval Office fiercely defended regardless of their politics, party affiliation, or complaints about how they were covered.
The phrase “enemy of the people” is not just false, it’s dangerous. It has an ugly history of being wielded by dictators and tyrants who sought to control public information. And it is particularly reckless coming from someone whose office gives him broad powers to fight or imprison the nation’s enemies. As I have repeatedly told President Trump face to face, there are mounting signs that this incendiary rhetoric is encouraging threats and violence against journalists at home and abroad.
Through 33 presidential administrations, across 167 years, The New York Times has worked to serve the public by fulfilling the fundamental role of the free press. To help people, regardless of their backgrounds or politics, understand their country and the world. To report independently, fairly and accurately. To ask hard questions. To pursue the truth wherever it leads. That will not change.