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U.S. Talks Trade War At Davos

Commerce’s Ross declares trade war under way. Bloomberg: “Trade wars ‘are fought every single day,’ and the U.S. has been engaged in one ‘for quite a little while,’ Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said in comments that diverge from President Donald Trump. ‘The difference is the U.S. troops are now coming to the rampart,’ Ross told reporters reporters at the World Economic Forum in Davos. Ross’s comments about the Trump administration’s move Tuesday to slap new tariffs on solar panel and washing machine imports conflict with Trump’s own statements.”

Mulvaney Moves To Reorient CFPB

Acting consumer bureau chief declares ‘new mission’ in rebuke of predecessor. The Hill: “The acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) told employees that the agency’s days of routine, aggressive regulatory and enforcement action “are over.’ Acting CFPB Director Mick Mulvaney declared ‘a new mission’ for the bureau in a Tuesday memo to agency staff, first reported by ProPublica and confirmed by The Hill. The two-page email to CFPB employees is a direct rebuke of Mulvaney’s predecessor, Richard Cordray, and his stated goal to “push the envelope” on financial sector oversight. Mulvaney, who also serves as the White House budget chief and sought to eliminate the CFPB as a GOP congressman, said Cordray’s mentality ‘frightens me a little’ and insisted he’d reorient the bureau toward enforcing and not creating laws.”

Oregon Voters Approve Tax To Support Medicaid

Oregon Voters Approve Measure 101. OPB: “Oregon voters overwhelmingly approved a package of health care taxes to ensure low-income Oregonians will keep their health coverage. About 60 percent of voters cast their ballot in favor of Measure 101, according to unofficial results Tuesday night. The referendum asked voters to approve up to $320 million in taxes on hospitals and certain health insurers to help pay for those on the Oregon Health Plan, the state’s version of Medicaid. If voters had rejected Measure 101, the decision would have overturned the health care taxes, leaving lawmakers scrambling to fill a budget hole to ensure hundreds of thousands of low-income Oregonians didn’t lose coverage.”

PA Rules Against GOP Gerrymander

Has the Tide Turned Against Partisan Gerrymandering? The Atlantic: “The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Monday struck down the state’s maps as too heavily biased toward Republicans, the latest ruling in a new and contentious battle over legislative districts. Across the nation, judges are discovering that if you look for it, partisan gerrymandering actually is all around you. Courts have historically been reluctant to strike down redistricting plans on the basis of political bias—unwilling to appear to be favoring one party—but Monday afternoon, the Pennsylvania state supreme court ruled that the state’s maps for U.S. House violate the state constitution’s guarantees of free expression and association and of equal protection.That follows a ruling earlier this month in North Carolina, in which a federal court struck down the state’s maps, the first time a federal court had ruled a redistricting plan represented an unconstitutional gerrymander. The decision was stayed by the U.S. Supreme Court, which is already considering another partisan gerrymandering case from Wisconsin. The court has also agreed to hear another case, from Maryland, and rejected a case from Texas on procedural grounds.”

FL Will Vote To Restore Voting Rights To 1M

Florida voters will be able to restore voting rights to over a million former felons in November. ThinkProgress: “Florida voters will have a chance to restore voting rights to more than 1 million former felons through a ballot initiative this November. The proposed constitutional amendment on Tuesday reached the 766,200 petition signatures required to go on the ballot. The Voting Restoration Amendment, which the state is expected to certify soon, would automatically restore rights to citizens convicted of non-violent crimes who have completed their prison sentence, parole, and probation. Only those convicted of murder or felony sexual offenses would be excluded.”

Trump Fails To Curb Momentum Of Green Power

Trump’s failing war on green power. Politico: “President Donald Trump and Republicans have tried again and again during the past year to turn back the clock on energy — pushing policies that would help fossil fuels stave off advances by solar and wind. But they have repeatedly come up short. Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s proposal to force electricity customers to subsidize ailing coal plants ran aground early this year. The Senate rebuffed efforts to water down tax credits for solar and wind power. And Trump’s move this week to impose a tariff on imported solar panels should put only a crimp in the growth of sun-powered energy, analysts have said, despite the outcry it’s generated from most of the U.S. solar industry.”

Trump Voter Panel Singled Out Hispanic Voters

Trump voting commission bought Texas election data flagging Hispanic voters. WaPo: “President Trump’s voting commission asked every state and the District for detailed voter registration data, but in Texas’s case it took an additional step: It asked to see Texas records that identify all voters with Hispanic surnames, newly released documents show. In buying nearly 50 million records from the state with the nation’s second-largest Hispanic population, a researcher for the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity checked a box on two Texas public voter data request forms explicitly asking for the ‘Hispanic surname flag notation,’ to be included in information sent to the voting commission, according to copies of the signed and notarized state forms.”

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