The Media Really Has Neglected Puerto Rico | FiveThirtyEight: ""
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"MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Firebrand jurist Roy Moore on Tuesday night won the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate seat that previously belonged to Attorney General Jeff Sessions. He will face Democrat Doug Jones in Dec. 12 election. Here are some things to know about Moore.
TWICE REMOVED FROM OFFICE
Moore has twice been elected chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court and twice removed from those duties by a judicial discipline panel. In 2003, the panel ousted him when he disobeyed a federal judge’s order to remove a 5,200 pound (2358.7 kilogram) granite Ten Commandments monument from the lobby of the state judicial building. Moore was re-elected in 2012, but the panel permanently suspended him in 2016 after he urged state probate judges to defy the U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized gay marriage. Moore disputed that accusation."
Things to know about firebrand jurist Roy Moore - The Washington Post: ""
"WASHINGTON — The tax plan that the Trump administration outlined on Wednesday is a potentially huge windfall for the wealthiest Americans. It would not directly benefit the bottom third of the population. As for the middle class, the benefits appear to be modest.
The administration and its congressional allies are proposing to sharply reduce taxation of business income, primarily benefiting the small share of the population that owns the vast majority of corporate equity. President Trump said on Wednesday that the cuts would increase investment and spur growth, creating broader prosperity. But experts say the upside is limited, not least because the economy is already expanding.
The plan would also benefit Mr. Trump and other affluent Americans by eliminating the estate tax, which affects just a few thousand uber-wealthy families each year, and the alternative minimum tax, a safety net designed to prevent tax avoidance."
(Via.). Trump Tax Plan Benefits Wealthy, Including Trump - The New York Times:
"CRUZ BAY, V.I. — Even before two Category 5 hurricanes struck the United States Virgin Islands with punishing fury this month, the notion of paradise here was already about as brittle as a sand dollar.
The local treasury had barely enough cash to keep the government funded for three days. Its debt had grown so large that Wall Street stopped lending it money. The unemployment rate was more than twice the national average.
The one-two punch of Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria 14 days later was especially cruel. In many places across the three major islands of this American territory, the second storm drowned what the first couldn’t destroy, ravaging what was once one of the Caribbean’s most idyllic landscapes."
(Via.). In the Virgin Islands, Hurricane Maria Drowned What Irma Didn’t Destroy - The New York Times:
No, President Trump, the NFL anthem protests have everything to do with race - The Washington Post: ""
"How far away is Puerto Rico, from President Donald Trump’s perspective?
“This is an island sitting in the middle of an ocean. And it’s a big ocean, it’s a very big ocean,” he said, on Tuesday morning, before a meeting with House members. Puerto Rico is, indeed, an island, but it is also an American island, inhabited by three and a half million United States citizens who are in immediate danger, owing to the havoc wrought by Hurricane Maria. The storm made landfall on the commonwealth more than a week ago as a Category 4 hurricane and swept it from end to end, destroying fields of crops and ripping the façades off of apartment buildings. Relief workers have still not been able to reach some towns in the interior.
Trump announced that he would visit Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, which were also hard hit, next Tuesday, which he said was the soonest practical date. Meanwhile, the majority of people in Puerto Rico remain without clean water, the electricity grid is inoperable, cell towers are down, roads are impassable, food is rotting, and many of the elderly and the sick have been left without care. All of this is happening in America, rather than some place distant from this country. But instead of emphasizing that closeness, or a sense of mutual obligation, Trump has, so far, focussed on how different Puerto Rico is, and what its people owe him, which is, above all, their gratitude.
“We have been really treated very, very nicely by the governor and by everybody else,” Trump said later, during a press conference on Tuesday afternoon with Mariano Rajoy, the Prime Minister of Spain. Trump was referring to the governor of Puerto Rico, Ricardo Rosselló, and his colleagues. “They know how hard we’re working and what a good job we’re doing.” When a reporter nonetheless asked Trump whether he had perhaps spent a disproportionate amount of time tweeting complaints about N.F.L. players kneeling during the national anthem, when he should have been rallying support for Puerto Rico, Trump bristled, and insisted that his attacks on the players were important for America. Then he went back to talking about what he had done for Puerto Rico—“I have plenty of time on my hands”—adding that the governor “is so grateful for the job we are doing. In fact, he thanked me specifically for fema and all the first responders.” Trump described that praise as “incredible” and “amazing,” and said, “We have had tremendous reviews from government officials.”
The Distance Between Donald Trump and Puerto Rico | The New Yorker: ""
"MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Roy S. Moore, a firebrand former chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, overcame efforts by top Republicans to rescue his rival, Senator Luther Strange, soundly defeating him on Tuesday in a special primary runoff.
The outcome in the closely watched Senate race dealt a humbling blow to President Trump and other party leaders days after the president pleaded with voters in the state to back Mr. Strange.
Propelled by the stalwart support of his fellow evangelical Christians, Mr. Moore survived an advertising onslaught of more than $10 million financed by allies of Senator Mitch McConnell, the majority leader. His victory demonstrated in stark terms the limits of Mr. Trump’s clout.
Taking the stage after a solo rendition of ‘How Great Thou Art,’ an exultant Mr. Moore said he had ‘never prayed to win this campaign,’ only putting his political fate ‘in the hands of the Almighty.’
‘Together, we can make America great,’ he said, borrowing Mr. Trump’s slogan and adding, ‘Don’t let anybody in the press think that because he supported my opponent that I do not support him.’
Continue reading the main story RELATED COVERAGE
Trump Deletes Tweets Supporting Luther Strange SEPT. 27, 2017
MAN IN THE NEWS Alabama Republicans Bet on Roy Moore, a Familiar Rebel, for Senate SEPT. 27, 2017 RECENT COMMENTS
winchestereast 46 minutes ago This race was a choice between a religious zealot bigot and a bigot. Both standing against core American Constitutional principles. Six of... cheryl 54 minutes ago I am really trying to wrap my head around the idea of this throwback as the Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, which he had managed... Jordan Davies 54 minutes ago Is this possible only in Alabama or is it a trend? A homophobe, religious nut, what better for the ultra reactionary Senate. This man is... SEE ALL COMMENTS WRITE A COMMENT "
(Via.). Roy Moore Wins Senate G.O.P. Runoff in Alabama - The New York Times:
"‘One day, maybe my youngest, who is in second grade, is going to open up a history book and he’ll read about Colin,’ Phil Sanchez, Colin Kaepernick’s high school guidance counselor, told Kent Babb this summer. ‘And it won’t have anything to do with throwing a touchdown.’
The notion of Kaepernick as an American historical figure was cemented this weekend. Among NFL players, the preferred method of protest — taking a knee — and the impetus to use the national anthem as a platform for expression traces back to Kaepernick. It was a momentous weekend, and it was shaped primarily by someone who wasn’t there. NFL teams may not have signed him to play quarterback this season, but they could not keep Kaepernick off the field.
Donald Trump prompted mass player protests during the national anthem with his caustic remarks Friday night and tweets all day Saturday. He left players with little choice but to respond, and many players took their cues from Kaepernick."
(Via.). The NFL couldn’t keep Colin Kaepernick off the field - The Washington Post:
Charles M. Blow SEPT. 25, 2017
"Donald Trump is operating the White House as a terror cell of racial grievance in America’s broader culture wars.
He has made his allegiances clear: He’s on the side of white supremacists, white nationalists, ethno-racists, Islamophobes and anti-Semites. He is simpatico with that cesspool.
And nothing gets his goat quite like racial minorities who stand up for themselves or stand up to him.
Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors was asked about the annual rite of championship teams visiting the White House, and Curry made clear that he didn’t want to go because ‘we basically don’t stand for what our president has said, and the things he hasn’t said at the right time.’
Trump responded to Curry’s expressed desire not to go by seeming to disinvite the entire team, to which Curry responded with a level of class that is foreign to Trump. Curry said, ‘It’s surreal, to be honest.’ Curry continued: ‘I don’t know why he feels the need to target certain individuals, rather than others. I have an idea of why, but it’s kind of beneath a leader of a country to go that route. That’s not what leaders do.’
Continue reading the main story
Charles M. Blow Politics, public opinion and social justice. Is Trump a White Supremacist? SEP 18 Dispatch From the Resistance SEP 14 Soul Survival in Trump’s Hell SEP 11 Inner Racism Revealed SEP 7 In Defense of the Truth SEP 4 See More »
(Via.). A Rebel, a Warrior and a Race Fiend - The New York Times:
"The central question to ask about President Trump’s latest travel ban, which he issued on Sunday, is: Will it make Americans safer?
The answer, as best as anyone can tell based on publicly available information, is no."
(Via.). A Trump Travel Ban We’ve Seen Before - The New York Times:
"WASHINGTON — A last-ditch attempt by President Trump and Senate Republicans to dismantle the Affordable Care Act appeared to collapse on Monday as a pivotal senator announced her firm opposition to the latest repeal plan, virtually ensuring that Republicans would not have the votes they need for passage.
The announcement by the senator, Susan Collins of Maine, effectively dooms what had been a long-shot effort by Republicans in the Senate to make one more attempt at repealing the health law after failing in dramatic fashion in July.
The demise of the latest repeal push means that Republicans are now all but certain to conclude Mr. Trump’s first year in office without fulfilling one of their central promises, which the president and lawmakers had hoped to deliver on quickly after Mr. Trump took office.
For seven years, Republicans have said they would repeal President Barack Obama’s signature domestic achievement and replace it with a new health care system more palatable to conservatives. But they were never able to formulate a replacement that was both politically and substantively viable.
Ms. Collins, one of three Republican senators who opposed the last repeal attempt in July, described the latest plan as “deeply flawed.” She expressed concerns about cuts to Medicaid as well as the rolling back of protections for people with pre-existing medical conditions."
Health Bill Appears Dead as Pivotal G.O.P. Senator Declares Opposition - The New York Times: ""
"The Trump administration announced new restrictions Sunday on visitors from eight countries — an expansion of the preexisting travel ban that has spurred fierce legal debates over security, immigration and discrimination.
In announcing the new rules, officials said they are meant to be both tough and targeted. The move comes on the day the key portion of President Trump’s travel ban, one which bars the issuance of visas to citizens of six majority-Muslim countries, was due to expire.
‘As president, I must act to protect the security and interests of the United States and its people,’ Trump wrote in a proclamation announcing the changes for visitors from specific nations. On Twitter, he added: ‘Making America Safe is my number one priority. We will not admit those into our country we cannot safely vet.’
Trump’s original travel ban, signed as an executive order in the first days of his presidency, was always meant to be a temporary measure while his administration crafted more permanent rules. A senior administration official cautioned the new restrictions are not meant to last forever, but are ‘necessary and conditions-based, not time-based.’’"
(Via.). White House expands travel ban, restricting visitors from eight countries - The Washington Post:
"On three teams, nearly all the football players skipped the national anthem altogether. Dozens of others, from London to Los Angeles, knelt or locked arms on the sidelines, joined by several team owners in a league normally friendly to President Trump. Some of the sport’s biggest stars joined the kind of demonstration they have steadfastly avoided.
It was an unusual, sweeping wave of protest and defiance on the sidelines of the country’s most popular game, generated by Mr. Trump’s stream of calls to fire players who have declined to stand for the national anthem in order to raise awareness of police brutality and racial injustice.
What had been a modest round of anthem demonstrations this season led by a handful of African-American players mushroomed and morphed into a nationwide, diverse rebuke to Mr. Trump, with even some of his staunchest supporters in the N.F.L., including several owners, joining in or condemning Mr. Trump for divisiveness."
(Via.). Fueled by Trump’s Tweets, Anthem Protests Grow to a Nationwide Rebuke - The New York Times:
"The president of the United States loves to drape himself in the symbols of patriotism, but fails to respect the ideals at the core of our Constitution and national identity. Trump may love the flag, but he doesn’t love anything it’s supposed to stand for. He actively encouraged a hostile foreign power to infiltrate our electoral process. He wants to suppress millions of Americans’ right to vote because they didn’t vote for him. He routinely undermines freedom of religion with his rabid Islamophobia, attacks the free press with disturbing regularity, and is now attacking the rights of the people to peacefully protest.
Protest is patriotic. Protest has played a critically important role in elevating the voices of the most vulnerable in our nation. Protest in America has been essential to ending war, to demanding equal rights, to ending unfair practices that keep citizens marginalized. If we quell protest in the name of patriotism, we are not patriots. We are tyrants.
Would there have been a Civil Rights Act without the Birmingham protests? When Bull Connor unleashed his fire hoses and dogs on the schoolchildren taking to the streets, racial disparities and the violence facing people because of the color of their skin became the issues of the times. With savage images of the brutal attack in the news every day, President John Kennedy had little choice but to push for a Civil Rights Act that demanded equal services and equal rights.
Protests in Selma, Alabama, changed the trajectory of this nation and catapulted the Voting Rights Act into being. Soon after images of Bloody Sunday flooded television sets, President Johnson presented to Congress the Voting Rights Act, which would remove barriers to voting like literacy tests. If you think these protests were irrelevant, consider Johnson’s words to Congress: ‘[A]t times history and fate meet at a single time in a single place to shape a turning point in man’s unending search for freedom ... So it was a century ago at Appomattox. So it was last week in Selma, Alabama.’
These are some of the most iconic protests in our history, but they are simply chapters in the great American novel where protests and social activism push us into a better and more just reality. There are the anti-war demonstrations of that decade, demanding that our soldiers be treated better in this country, that young men not be sent to their deaths for an unjust cause. The day before Woodrow Wilson’s election, thousands of suffragists marched down the street demanding the right to vote. Massive protests from steelworkers and coal miners propelled safer working conditions and better wages for millions of Americans. And where would we be, of course, without the Boston Tea Party?
These protests woke Americans up from complacency. And combined with other forms of social activism, they helped to show citizens, policymakers, and anyone listening that there could be a better way. That hope was not just an idea—a better future was both necessary and possible."
The NFL protests carry on in this tradition. They are not some arbitrary statement about a flag. They are a demand that we Americans make this country’s reality match its proud symbolism. They are an attempt to educate the public that criminal justice—mass incarceration, lengthy sentences, police brutality—is the civil rights issue of our time. Colin Kaepernick, Michael Bennett, and Marshawn Lynch are demanding that this country again take a breath, self-reflect, and recognize that we fail a large and important population in this country by investing in prison systems rather than education and housing, by using the criminal system as a first rather than last resort, and by failing to punish police officers who engage in illegal racial profiling and police abuse. They are insisting that we do better.
To be clear, this is not the end of their activism. Malcolm Jenkins, who has raised a fist, and retired player Anquan Boldin are co-leading a “Players Coalition” of 40-plus players, working with grassroots activists and talking with legislators to demand police accountability and push for change in this country’s bail and juvenile sentencing scheme. Jenkins recently spent an afternoon watching bail hearings with the NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, and Boldin left the league to devote all of his time to reform and humanitarian work. Colin Kaepernick has donated at least $900,000 to causes that work to better the lives of the most vulnerable. Chris Long is donating his first six game checks to fund scholarships to poor kids from his hometown of Charlottesville.
As Trump escalates criticisms, NFL seeks to unite amid more anthem protests - The Washington Post: ""
"N.F.L. players and owners, already on edge after critical statements made by President Trump at a rally on Friday night, woke up on game day to another series of tweets from the president, this time calling for football fans to boycott N.F.L. games unless the league fires or suspends players who refuse to stand for the national anthem.
Team owners responded by condemning Trump’s criticism, while the Jaguars and Ravens started things off by kneeling and locking arms during the anthem in London. There are expected to be several more demonstrations around the league today. Stay here for live updates:"
(Via.). N.F.L.: Steelers Won’t Participate During Anthem; Live Updates - The New York Times:
"Is Donald Trump a white trash icon? His hair is as teased and artificial as Dolly Parton’s; his eternally pursed lips recall Elvis’s, minus the sensuality; his orange skin suggests the kind of cosmetic mask that Tammy Faye Bakker once kept between herself and her viewers. Ten years ago, he even went so far as to gamely don a pair of overalls and perform the Green Acres theme, alongside a giggling Megan Mullally, at the Emmys.
WHITE TRASH: THE 400-YEAR UNTOLD HISTORY OF CLASS IN AMERICA by Nancy IsenbergViking, 480 pp., $28.00MOST POPULAR
Today, commentators who try to make sense of Trump’s mass appeal often fall back on “white trash” signifiers, even if the term itself never rises above the level of subtext. A recent New York Times article announced that counties most likely to contain Trump supporters were also likely to be populated by mobile home residents who had no high school diplomas, worked “old economy” jobs, and listed their ancestry as “American” on the U.S. census. Trump’s public persona is the kind of brash, ball-busting bully you want on your side when you have become convinced that no one else will stand up for you. His campaign strategy may be unfamiliar to the democratic process—or at least to its public face—but he comes from a long and well-established tradition of heavies, henchmen, and block bosses. He is, in other words, the kind of leader who might well be called on by a population demographer William Frey described to the Times as “nonurban, blue-collar and now apparently quite angry.” Or, to put it in the kind of blunt terms we associate with the candidate: White trash.
If Trump’s success has indeed been driven by the “nonurban, blue-collar” and “quite angry,” then he is only exploiting a demographic that is as integral to American identity as the Founding Fathers. “The white poor,” historian Nancy Isenberg writes in her new book White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America,
The White Trash Theory of Donald Trump | New Republic: ""
"Companies like Facebook, Twitter and Google have become a huge force in the political system and in society broadly. While their executives have eagerly embraced their status as disrupters and innovators, they have been reluctant to acknowledge that their creations have been used to do harm. Technology executives have been loath to accept much or any responsibility for the power they and their businesses wield. In fact, many of them have gone out of their way to avoid or evade rules that apply to the traditional businesses that they are trying to displace. For example, Facebook argued in a 2011 letter to the Federal Election Commission that it and other internet companies should not be subject to regulations on political ads that radio and TV stations have to abide by.
Mr. Zuckerberg’s concern about democracy is commendable, and some of the changes he announced could have a positive impact. But they apply only to his company and can be easily evaded. Disclosing the name of Facebook business accounts placing political ads, for instance, will be of little value if purchasers can disguise their real identity — calling themselves, say, Americans for Motherhood and Apple Pie. Further, even if Facebook succeeds in driving away foreign propaganda, the same material could pop up on Twitter or other social media sites."
"The worst aspect of President Trump’s speech at the United Nations on Tuesday was not his immature taunting of a dangerous foreign leader when the stakes far outweigh those of a schoolyard fight.
Calling North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un ‘Rocket Man’ may make Trump happy by reminding him of the glory days of ‘Little Marco,’ ‘Lyin’ Ted’ and ‘Crooked Hillary.’ But it does nothing to win over the allies we need.
Read These Comments The best conversations on The Washington Post Sign up And his threat ‘to totally destroy North Korea’ is what you’d expect to hear in a bar conversation from a well-lubricated armchair general, not from the leader of the world’s most powerful military.
But the most alarming part of an address that was supposed to be a serious formulation of the president’s grand strategy in the world was the utter incoherence of Trump’s ‘America first’ doctrine.
The speech tried to rationalize ‘America first’ as a great principle. But every effort Trump made to build an intellectual structure to support it only underscored that his favored phrase was either a trivial applause line or an argument that, if followed logically, was inimical to the United States’ interests and values..."
(Via.). Trump shows ‘America First’ is utterly incoherent - The Washington Post:
"Less than two weeks before Donald Trump accepted the Republican presidential nomination, his campaign chairman offered to provide briefings on the race to a Russian billionaire closely aligned with the Kremlin, according to people familiar with the discussions.
Paul Manafort made the offer in an email to an overseas intermediary, asking that a message be sent to Oleg Deripaska, an aluminum magnate with whom Manafort had done business in the past, these people said.
“If he needs private briefings we can accommodate,” Manafort wrote in the July 7, 2016, email, portions of which were read to The Washington Post along with other Manafort correspondence from that time.
The emails are among tens of thousands of documents that have been turned over to congressional investigators and special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s team as they probe whether Trump associates coordinated with Russia as part of Moscow’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 U.S. election."
Manafort offered to give Russian billionaire ‘private briefings’ on 2016 campaign - The Washington Post:
"WASHINGTON — Trump administration officials, under pressure from the White House to provide a rationale for reducing the number of refugees allowed into the United States next year, rejected a study by the Department of Health and Human Services that found that refugees brought in $63 billion more in government revenues over the past decade than they cost.
The draft report, which was obtained by The New York Times, contradicts a central argument made by advocates of deep cuts in refugee totals as President Trump faces an Oct. 1 deadline to decide on an allowable number. The issue has sparked intense debate within his administration as opponents of the program, led by Mr. Trump’s chief policy adviser, Stephen Miller, assert that continuing to welcome refugees is too costly and raises concerns about terrorism.
Advocates of the program inside and outside the administration say refugees are a major benefit to the United States, paying more in taxes than they consume in public benefits, and filling jobs in service industries that others will not. But research documenting their fiscal upside — prepared for a report mandated by Mr. Trump in a March presidential memorandum implementing his travel ban — never made its way to the White House. Some of those proponents believe the report was suppressed."
(Via.). Trump Administration Rejects Study Showing Positive Impact of Refugees - The New York Times: