Donald Trump

Winston-Salem rally for migrants part of national effort

The humanitarian crisis is only getting worse:

“We as Americans will no longer stay silent when our government is committing atrocities across our land,” Billingsley-Hayes said. “It saddens me (that) in 2019, we have to gather for this reason. Immigrants come to this country for hope and freedom.”

The local rally was part of the Lights for Liberty vigils that were scheduled to take place in 700 communities Friday to highlight conditions in the detention centers. At least five children have died in Border Control custody, or after being released, since December, according to The Associated Press.

How did we get to this point? Comments from a soulless automaton and a feckless coward might shed some light on that:

Separation of Powers: Appeals court rules against Trump diverting funds for border wall

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Congress does not give the President a blank check:

A divided three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco agreed with a lower court ruling that prevented the government from tapping Defense Department counterdrug money to build high-priority sections of wall in Arizona, California and New Mexico.

"As for the public interest, we conclude that it is best served by respecting the Constitution's assignment of the power of the purse to Congress, and by deferring to Congress's understanding of the public interest as reflected in its repeated denial of more funding for border barrier construction," wrote Judges Michelle Friedland, a Barack Obama appointee, and Richard Clifton, a George W. Bush appointee.

Keep in mind, every time the President pulls one of these stunts, he's actually slapping Congress in the face twice. He's spending money on something they didn't want him to, and he's not spending money on something they wanted and authorized. As far as this dissenting opinion:

Coal Ash Wednesday: Trump's EPA bows to industry pressure

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Nixing rule requiring power plants to show financial capability to clean up spills:

The Trump administration said Tuesday that it won't require electric utilities to show they have money to clean up hazardous spills from power plants despite a history of toxic coal ash releases contaminating rivers and aquifers. Environmental Protection Agency officials said Tuesday that modern industry practices and recently enacted regulations are sufficient to shield taxpayers from potential cleanup costs.

The finding comes after the EPA last year reversed a related proposal under President Barack Obama that would have imposed new financial requirements on the hardrock mining industry.

On paper anyway, the difference between "taxpayers" and "ratepayers" is substantial. But in reality, there really isn't much difference. All taxpayers also pay power bills, and when the NCUC bows to Duke Energy demands to raise their rates to pay for spills and safe disposal of coal ash, taxpayers are footing the bill. And this is not an academic exercise:

Appparently Walter Jones' shoes are too big to fill

Both GOP candidates for NC03 are pushovers for Trump:

Both state Rep. Greg Murphy, R-Pitt, and Dr. Joan Perry recently told The Daily Advance they’re willing to defer to President Trump on handling tensions and avoiding war with Iran, although Perry did say she would support Congress holding a formal vote before the president committed any troops to any armed conflict with the Middle Eastern country. Murphy, for his part, believes Trump has the power to initiate military action against Iran. We assume he believes the president enjoys this authority under a nearly two-decades-old authorization to use military force, even though that was adopted to fight terrorism in the wake of 9/11, not wage wars against sovereign nations.

That neither candidate would demand a vote by Congress before Trump committed any U.S. troops to armed combat in Iran shows just how much fear Republicans have of asserting any independence from Trump. Unfortunately, it also suggests we’ve learned nothing since the last time a GOP commander-in-chief was rattling a saber and slowly marching us off to war against a Middle Eastern country.

Bolding mine, because there was at least one man who learned something from the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, and these two candidates are trying to replace him. Back in 2007 Jones tried to pass a bill specifically stopping a sitting President from attacking Iran without a Congressional thumb's-up, and in 2012 he tried to pass a resolution making it an impeachable offense for a President to make war without Congressional approval:

Tillis & Tucker bump heads trying to brown-nose Trump

And it's only going to get worse over the next 10 months:

“Like other conservatives I had my doubts about Mr. Trump,” Tucker said. “Without a policy record, I questioned whether he would govern as a conservative. . . . I could not be more delighted, and frankly amazed, at how he has transformed this country in the last two years.”

Tillis allies don’t buy it. “It is laughable that a charlatan like Garland Tucker thinks he can make this race into a question of who can better support our booming economy under President Trump,” said Jack Pandol, a spokesman for the Senate Leadership Fund. “North Carolina needs a senator who will work with the president – not one . . . now lying to cover his tracks.”

Oh, the irony. Tucker is lying alright, but he's lying about Trump's "transformation" of the country. He has brought us about halfway to the United States depicted in Idiocracy, and clawing back from that is going to be damn near impossible. Also, I kinda hate to see Carter Wrenn devolve once again:

Trump's tax giveaway for the wealthy is squeezing poor college students

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Whether it's a flaw or a feature, it needs to be fixed asap:

A little-noticed provision in President Trump’s sprawling new tax law is treating middle- and low-income college students as if they are trust-fund babies, taxing sizable financial aid packages at a rate first established 33 years ago to prevent wealthy parents from funneling money to their children to lower their tax burdens.

Students with large financial aid packages are finding their nontuition assistance for items such as room and board taxed by as much as 37 percent, even if their family income tax rates are much lower.

Do the math. A poor kid receiving $11,000 a year for room and board is coughing up $4,000 of that in taxes. If that's "winning" I'd hate to see what happens when we start losing. This should not have come as such a surprise to lawmakers, because they've already been raked over the coals for over-taxing survivor benefits for Gold Star families:

Burr vs. Trump Jr: Subpoena ignites a firestorm in the GOP

Russiagate may be far from over:

The Senate Intelligence Committee’s decision to subpoena Donald Trump Jr. has ignited an internal Republican firefight over the fate of the committee’s Russia probe, as the panel’s GOP chairman showed no signs of backing down despite fierce criticism from many of his colleagues that it was time to move on.

Much of the backlash against the decision by Chairman Richard Burr (N.C.) to subpoena President Trump’s eldest son came from GOP senators who are up for reelection next year and from those closely aligned with the president. The outrage was partially fueled by Trump Jr. and his own allies.

Much like his father, Trump Jr is simply not clever enough to understand the pros and cons. He could put this issue to bed pretty quickly by showing up and giving a few hours of testimony, but (just like dad) he's too arrogant to do that. And the end result is more focus on the Russia meeting, not less. Say what you will about Richard Burr, he's wholly invested in the reputation of the Intel Committee, and he's not going to leave any questions unanswered. Here's some whining from the peanut gallery:

Earth Day 2019: Judge blocks Trump effort to mine coal on public lands

This is a big win, folks:

The decision, by Judge Brian Morris of the United States District Court of the District of Montana, does not reinstate President Barack Obama’s 2016 freeze on new coal mining leases on public lands. That policy was part of an effort by the Obama administration to curtail the burning of coal, a major producer of greenhouse gases contributing to climate change.

But the court ruling does say that the 2017 Trump administration policy, enacted by former Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, to overturn Mr. Obama’s coal mining ban did not include adequate studies of the environmental effects of the mining, as required by the National Environmental Policy Act of 1970, or NEPA, one of the nation’s bedrock environmental laws. “Federal Defendants’ decision not to initiate the NEPA process proves arbitrary and capricious,” Judge Morris wrote.

Bolding mine, because that is the most succinct definition of Trump's behavior I've seen. We don't know what he's going to do from day to day (arbitrary), but it almost always involves some little pissing contest he was drawn into (capricious). And apparently nothing gets under his skin more that previous policy moves by Obama:

Richard Burr warned Trump lawyer about Mueller targets

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