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WH Issues Demands To Curb Immigration

WH releases hard-line immigration principles, threatening deal on ‘dreamers’. WaPo: “The Trump administration released a list of hard-line immigration principles late Sunday that threaten to derail a deal in Congress to allow hundreds of thousands of younger undocumented immigrants to remain in the country legally. The administration’s wish list includes the funding of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, a crackdown on the influx of Central American minors and curbs on federal grants to “sanctuary cities,” according to a document distributed to Congress and obtained by The Washington Post. The demands were quickly denounced by Democratic leaders in Congress who had hoped to forge a deal with President Trump to protect younger immigrants, known as “dreamers,” who were brought to the United States illegally as children.”

WH Embraces Deficit Spending

Trump Budget Director: what, me worry (about the national debt)? Daily Beast: “It’s been the Republican Party catechism: We don’t have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem. That was then, this is now. On Meet The Press this Sunday, White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney doubled down on last week’s announcement that ‘we need to have new deficits.’ Telling host Chuck Todd that “I had come to Washington in 2011 and had hoped that would be the case, that we had a spending problem and not a revenue problem,” Mulvaney’s argument seemed to be that it is impossible to decrease spending, but that shouldn’t stop us from cutting taxes. Cutting taxes (revenue, in budget terms) is, therefore, justified, even if it increases the deficit. That’s because these tax cuts will stimulate the economy, thereby growing our way out of trouble… Mulvaney is overtly advocating for more deficits.”

WH Reverses Emissions Curbs on Coal Plants

EPA Chief announces reversal of Obama-era curbs On coal plants. NPR: “The Trump administration will scuttle an Obama-era clean power plan aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions. NPR: The administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt, made the announcement in Hazard, Ky., on Monday, saying the rule hurt coal-fired plants. ‘The EPA and no federal agency should ever use its authority to say to you we are going to declare war on any sector of our economy,’ Pruitt said, speaking at an event with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. ‘That rule really was about picking winners and losers,’ the EPA administrator said, adding that the rule change would be signed on Tuesday. The announcement had been anticipated. It would eliminate the Clean Power Plan that was put on hold by the U.S. Supreme Court and therefore never implemented.”

The Rise of Immigration Hardliner Stephen Miller

WH Aide Stephen Miller drives hard line on immigration policy. NYT: “Mr. Miller has emerged in recent days as the driving force behind the administration’s insistence on a wish list of hard-right proposals as part of any deal with Democrats to protect young undocumented immigrants from deportation. White House demands include a crackdown on unaccompanied children at the border, the construction of a border wall with Mexico and legislation to sharply reduce legal immigration. As the surviving watchman on the president’s right flank since the removal in August of Stephen K. Bannon as chief strategist, Mr. Miller also remains a key craftsman in speechwriting at the White House. Mr. Trump, who has long prized Mr. Miller’s fierce loyalty, has embraced his instincts to sharply restrict the number of refugees admitted to the United States next year and to impose new travel restrictions on several predominantly Muslim countries and others deemed to be national security risks.”

Trump Spat With GOP Senator Reveals Infighting, Failures

Bob Corker tirade encapsulates five reasons why Trump has failed at governing. WaPo: “Donald Trump’s escalating feud with Bob Corker, the Republican chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, captures in miniature why he’s been ineffective during his first nine months as president… Fully uncorked, (Sen.) Corker then called a New York Times reporter to say that Trump’s reckless threats toward other countries could set the nation ‘on the path to World War III.’ ‘He concerns me. He would have to concern anyone who cares about our nation,’ the chairman said during a 25-minute interview with Jonathan Martin. ‘I know for a fact that every single day at the White House, it’s a situation of trying to contain him.’

Grassroots Activism Upends Liberal Politics


The ‘Resistance,’ raising big money, upends Liberal politics. NYT:
“It started as a scrappy grass-roots protest movement against President Trump, but now the so-called resistance is attracting six- and seven-figure checks from major liberal donors, posing an insurgent challenge to some of the left’s most venerable institutions — and the Democratic Party itself. The jockeying between groups, donors and operatives for cash and turf is occurring mostly behind the scenes. But it has grown acrimonious at times, with upstarts complaining they are being boxed out by a liberal establishment that they say enables the sort of Democratic timidity that paved the way for the Trump presidency. The tug of war — more than the lingering squabbles between supporters of Hillary Clinton and Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont — foreshadows a once-in-a-generation reorganization of the American left that could dictate the tactics and ideology of the Democratic Party for years to come. If the newcomers prevail, they could pull the party further to the left, leading it to embrace policy positions like those advocated by Mr. Sanders, including single-payer health care and free tuition at public colleges.”

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