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Trump Insults NATO Allies

Trump calls alliance ‘delinquent’ on military spending. NYT: “President Trump met NATO’s secretary general and criticized alliance members on defense and energy policy. President Trump is in Brussels for the start of a seven-day, three-nation European trip that highlights the ways he has utterly transformed United States foreign policy. After the NATO summit meeting, he travels to Britain and then to Finland to meet with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia. Mr. Trump got the NATO meeting off to a confrontational start Wednesday morning, telling the secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg, that other nations must spend more on defense and that Germany was ‘captive to Russia’ on energy. Mr. Trump has upended generations of American diplomacy, antagonizing and belittling traditional allies over issues like defense and trade, while refraining from criticizing Russia, a traditional adversary.”

U.S. Trade War With World Escalates

How China will get hit by Trump’s latest trade offensive. CNBC: “Tuesday’s threat from the U.S. of a round of 10 percent tariffs on an additional $200 billion worth of Chinese imports could deliver a major blow to China’s export sector if it takes effect. The new list shows that Washington is targeting key Chinese manufacturing export industries, said Rajiv Biswas, Asia Pacific chief economist at IHS Markit. By listing potential tariffs on goods including refrigerators, cotton, and steel and aluminum products, the Trump administration is going after China’s electronics, textiles, metal products and auto parts industries. ‘For China, the US is its largest export market, accounting for 19% of total Chinese exports. Therefore, if the US escalates its tariff measures to an additional USD 200 billion of products, this would mean that around half of Chinese exports of goods to the US would face significant US punitive tariff measures,’ Biswas said in a note.”

Lasting Harm Of SCOTUS Pick

Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination is the result of years of unopposed conservative organizing. NBC: “President Donald Trump’s announcement that he will nominate Brett Kavanaugh to replace retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court will not only have a major impact on American law. It also demonstrates the binding power of the conservative legal movement that has pushed the federal courts to the right for decades, while also drawing Trump ever closer to the Republican Party for the last two years. Trump, of course, has generally been impulsive on policy and independent from the Republican leadership on a variety of issues from sanctions on Russia to trade policy. But on judges he has been the ultimate party man, effectively delegating his choice to conservative legal activists. His willing acquiescence to their wishes on what could arguably be one of the few lasting achievements of his presidency reflects how important control of the courts is to both Republican public officials and voters. And Kavanaugh is not only of a very conservative legal bent, he has taken a view of executive power that Trump is sure to find pleasing. In a 2012 law review article, he suggested that Congress should consider a law forbidding the president not merely from prosecution but even from being investigated while in office.”

Trump Pardons Ranchers Who Inspired Armed Right-Wing Rebellion

Endorsing ‘Violence and extremism among his base,’ Trump pardons Oregon Ranchers. Common Dreams: “n a move that sends a “very friendly message to some very dangerous people,” President Donald Trump on Tuesday granted full pardons to Dwight and Stephen Hammond, the father-son team of Oregon ranchers whose 2012 conviction for arson inspired the right-wing Bundy militia’s armed takeover and month-long occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in 2016. Trump’s pardon abandons human decency to signal encouragement of violence and extremism among his base,’ Kierán Suckling, executive director of the Center for Biological Diversity, told Common Dreams in an email denouncing the president’s decision. ‘The Hammonds are dangerous people with a long history of arson, illegal grazing, threatening violence against federal officials, and child abuse.'”

WH Blows Through Deadline To Reunite Families

Trump administration misses deadline to reunite migrant families. MassLive: “Some immigrant toddlers are back in the arms of their parents, but others remained in holding facilities away from relatives as federal officials fell short of meeting a court-ordered deadline to reunite dozens of youngsters forcibly separated from their families at the border. Late last month, U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw in San Diego set a 14-day deadline to reunite children under 5 with their parents and a 30-day deadline for older children. It wasn’t immediately clear how many children left detention facilities Tuesday or how many remain. In trying to meet the first deadline, the government began with a list of 102 children potentially eligible to be reunited and whittled that to 75 through screening that included DNA testing done by swabbing the inside of the cheek. Of those 75, Justice Department attorneys told the court the government would guarantee 38 would be back with their parents by the end of Tuesday. They said an additional 17 could also join their parents if DNA results arrived and a criminal background check on a parent was completed by day’s end.”

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