Trump Calls For Shutdown To Force Immigration Demands
Trump says government shutdown a "good idea. NYT: "Mr. Trump is back to being a disrupter. After accusing Democrats of being un-American and even treasonous for refusing to applaud during his State of the Union speech, he said on Tuesday that he would welcome a government shutdown if he cannot reach a spending deal with Congress that tightens immigration laws... his chief of staff, John F. Kelly, said that many Dreamers failed to register for protected status with the government because they were 'were too afraid to sign up' or were 'too lazy to get off their asses.' He said he doubted Mr. Trump would extend the March 5 deadline that shields them from deportation. Mr. Trump’s threat of a shutdown seemed to have little effect on the delicate negotiations on Capitol Hill to raise spending caps on military and nonmilitary spending — an agreement that, if passed by both houses of Congress, would pave the way for long-term deal to fund the government."
Party Leaders Vie For 2-Year Budget Deal
Congress aims for bigger budget deal while avoiding shutdown. Bloomberg: "The short-term spending bill passed by the House to avoid a government shutdown this Friday may get replaced with a longer-term budget plan that raises spending caps for defense and domestic programs if congressional leaders can wrap up a deal in the next two days... Republican and Democratic leaders in both chambers are working on a two-year budget plan that -- if that comes together - maybe combined with other important but stalled measures, including lifting the federal debt ceiling and hurricane disaster aid. Some lawmakers said they would rather take one big controversial vote than a series of them. 'I believe doing a bigger bill is often easier,' said Representative Charlie Dent, a Pennsylvania Republican. Current government funding runs out at the end of the day Thursday."
U.S. Trade Deficit Balloons Under Trump
Trade deficit up 5 percent in Trump’s first year, raising stakes in NAFTA talks. Public Citizen: " Contrary to candidate Donald Trump’s pledge to speedily reduce the U.S. trade deficit, in Trump’s first year in office the goods trade deficit is up 5 percent overall from last year, with the China trade deficit larger than last year and a 8 percent increase in the North American Free Trade Agreement deficit. Trump has not exercised his available executive authority to fulfill campaign pledges to limit imports, including those from firms that outsource jobs; label China a currency manipulator; revoke trade agreement waivers on 'Buy America' procurement policies that outsource U.S. tax dollars to purchase imports for government use; or limit government contracts to firms that outsource jobs."
DeVos Forces Right-Wing 'Disruption' Of Education Market
DeVos pushes 'Uber' model for free-market education. Alternet: "In remarks DeVos made at the Brookings Institution in the spring, she likened traditional public schools to taxicabs, arguing that 'just like the traditional taxi system revolted against ride sharing, the education establishment feel[s] threatened by the rise of school choice.'... If we unpack this analogy about Uber and Lyft what we see is the rise of two dominant for profit providers seeking to gain as much market share working towards as much of a monopoly as either one might be able to get and putting the publicly regulated option taxicabs out of business. If we unpack this analogy about Uber and Lyft what we see is the rise of two dominant for profit providers seeking to gain as much market share working towards as much of a monopoly as either one might be able to get and putting the publicly regulated option taxicabs out of business."
BLM Activist Muyidin d'Baha Fatally Shot In New Orleans
Black Lives Matter activist Muhiyidin d'Baha fatally shot in New Orleans. NOA: "A well-known Black Lives Matter activist was fatally shot in Mid-City early Tuesday, according to New Orleans police. Muhiyidin Elamin Moye, who preferred to be called Muhiyidin d'Baha, was found about 1:25 a.m. in the 2200 block of Bienville Street after he had been shot in the thigh while riding a bicycle, New Orleans Police Department spokesman Beau Tidwell said late Tuesday. He was taken to a hospital but died there later in the morning. Tidwell didn't elaborate, but gunshot wounds to the thigh can be deadly if they affect the femoral artery. Tidwell said no information about a possible motive or potential suspects was immediately available... Last year, media widely reported how Moye was arrested after he attempted to take a large Confederate battle flag from a protester waving it in downtown Charleston. Video captured the arrest, which reportedly prompted activists to raise $2,000 for Moye's bail."