Trump Pardons Arpaio
Arpaio pardon dangerously accelerates Trump’s assault on the rule of law. New Yorker: "Since Watergate and the release, in 1976, of the Church Committee report, which detailed wider executive-branch abuses, this vast federal bureaucracy has increasingly accreted an intricate array of wheels and pulleys designed to insure that the President and his people not only enforce legal authorities but also abide by them. The Arpaio pardon is a perfect conflagration of all of the ways that Trump has systematically undermined these authorities over the course of his first seven months in office. It is nothing less than a multipronged attack on the executive branch’s own commitment to the rule of law."
Trump asked top aides months ago if Arpaio case could be dropped. NYT: "Months before President Trump issued his Friday-night pardon of Joe Arpaio, the former Arizona sheriff, the president asked his attorney general and White House counsel whether the case could be dropped altogether, according to four administration officials familiar with the discussion. During a wide-ranging meeting, the officials said, Mr. Trump asked both Jeff Sessions, the attorney general, and Donald F. McGahn II, the White House counsel, what the options were for helping Mr. Arpaio, a longtime supporter who had been charged with defying a court order directing him to stop detaining people solely on the suspicion that they were undocumented immigrants."
The year I spent in Joe Arpaio’s tent jail was hell, he should never walk free. WaPo: "The people of Maricopa County have done so much — spent time, money and energy — trying to let the world know what Arpaio had done. And in a single moment, Trump has destroyed all of that hard work, all of those voices. The president should be bringing us together, especially in the wake of something like Charlottesville, but I think that Trump wants us to be divided, specifically by race. Arpaio’s pardon is proof of that. There’s evil in the world that’s unrepentant, and I’ve experienced it firsthand. Arpaio being pardoned is a nightmare come true."
Trump to Militarize Civilian Police
Trump expected to lift ban on military gear to local police forces. USA Today: "The Trump administration is preparing to lift a controversial ban on the transfer of some surplus military equipment to police departments whose battlefield-style response to rioting in a St. Louis suburb three years ago prompted a halt to the program. The new plan, outlined in documents obtained by USA TODAY, would roll back an Obama administration executive order that blocked armored vehicles, large-caliber weapons, ammunition and other heavy equipment from being re-purposed from foreign battlefields to America's streets. On Monday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions is scheduled to address the annual meeting of the Fraternal Order of Police, the nation's largest police union, and he may outline the program changes there."
Texas Hit By Hurricane Harvey
Full extent of Harvey’s aftermath starts to come into chilling focus. WaPo: "Houston, a major center for the nation’s energy industry, had suffered billions of dollars in damage and would take years to fully recover. Oil and gas companies have shut down about a quarter of their production in the Gulf of Mexico. Spot prices for gasoline are expected to jump on Monday, but the full extent of damage will not be clear for days, companies and experts said. Harvey’s sheer size also became apparent Sunday as heavy rains and flooding were reported as far away as Austin and even Dallas. What started with a direct impact on the tiny coastal town of Rockport on Friday night has turned into a weather disaster affecting thousands of square miles and millions of people."
Church Shelters Families Dumped in Storm by ICE
ICE dumps 50 immigrants at bus station as storm hits. BuzzFeed: "Federal immigration authorities left about 50 immigrant women and children, most of them asylum-seekers from Central America, stranded at a downtown San Antonio bus station after service was canceled Friday due to Hurricane Harvey. Barbie Hurtado, a community organizer with RAICES, a nonprofit that provides legal aid to immigrant families, said Democratic Rep. Lloyd Doggett, who represents San Antonio, had called immigration enforcement officials the day before to tell them not to drop families off. 'Knowing that, they just dropped them off,' Hurtado said. 'These are women and children who have been released from family detention with no money, cell phones, and don’t speak English.'"
Berkeley Protests Turn Violent
Violence breaks out at Berkeley protest. LA Times: "Thousands of demonstrators, carrying signs with slogans like “Stand Against Hate,” descended on Berkeley’s Martin Luther King Jr. Civic Park on Sunday for what many hoped would be a peaceful march against bigotry and President Trump. But it was soon punctuated by tear gas and a scattering of violent skirmishes. Some anti-fascist protesters, wearing black and with their faces covered, chased or beat Trump supporters and organizers who had scheduled and then canceled the “anti-Marxist” rally, citing concerns over safety. Police, and in some cases other counter-protesters, stepped in to halt the violence or escort the victims away from the area. Officers reported 14 arrests, many of them for violations of the city’s emergency rules banning masks, sticks and potential weapons inside the demonstration area."