[Commission vice-chair and Kanses Secretary of State Kris] Kobach said in a court filing Monday that the commission has sent states a follow-up notice asking them to hold off on submitting the voter records until after a federal judge rules on the temporary restraining order. The commission will also not download the voter data Arkansas has already submitted using the DOD Safe Access File Exchange, Kobach said in the filing. Arkansas is the only state so far to share voting records with the commission [“Trump Voter Commission Tells States Not to Send Data—Yet,” Tribune News Service via Governing, 2017.07.10].
Specifically, an agency must prepare and publish a Privacy Impact Assessment that explains its methodology, outline how it would secure its data, and state whether the data would be disclosed to others. EPIC claims the Pence-Kobach commission has ignored this safeguard while storing voter records on an unsecure system that is not designed to protect personal data. By doing so, EPIC insists, the commission has run afoul of federal law [Mark Joseph Stern, “Trump Voter Fraud Commission Halts Data Collection Amid Torrent of Lawsuits and Complaints,” Slate, 2017.07.10].
In a supplemental brief filed yesterday, Kobach and commission lawyers say that the commission will not use the Department of Defense file transfer website provided in the original request to state election officials “In order not to impact the ability of other customers to use” the DOD site. Arkansas has already submitted data to the DOD SAFE site; Kobach tells the court the commission will not open that file and will delete it from the DOD site. Instead, the defendants tell the court, “Director of White House Information Technology is repurposing an existing system that regularly accepts personally identifiable information through a secure, encrypted computer application within the White House Information Technology enterprise.”
The IMF reduced its forecast for U.S. growth this year to 2.1 percent, from 2.3 percent in the fund’s April update to its world economic outlook. The Washington-based fund also cut its projection for U.S. growth next year to 2.1 percent, from 2.5 percent in April.
The world’s biggest economy will probably have a hard time hitting Trump’s target of 3 percent annual growth as it’s faced with problems ranging from an aging population to low productivity growth, and with a labor market already back at full employment, the fund said in its annual assessment of the U.S. economy released Tuesday [Andrew Mayeda, “IMF Cuts U.S. Outlook, Calls Trump’s Growth Target Unlikely,” Bloomberg, 2017.06.27].
IMF doesn’t count the Trump budget in its analysis but says any Trump stimulatory effect “is likely to be less than that projected in the budget and will take longer to materialize.”
The Congressional Budget Office agrees that the U.S. economy is going to grow at 1.9% a year for the next ten years:
CBO’s economic forecast—which underlies its budget projections—indicates that, under current law, the economy will expand through 2018 at a pace that leads to further tightening of the labor market. Greater demand for workers will put downward pressure on the unemployment rate and upward pressure on the rate of labor force participation. As the amount of unused productive resources in the economy shrinks, inflation and interest rates are projected to rise. In the later part of the 10-year projection period, annual output growth is projected to average 1.9 percent, constrained by a relatively slow increase in the size of the nation’s labor force [CBO, “An Update to the Budget and Economic Outlook: June 2017,” 2017.06.29.].
The White House could study the IMF and CBO reports and work on passing some serious policy proposals to deal with the changing demographics and economic conditions underlying these somewhat ho-hum economic projections. But the White House is too busy exaggerating and misreading economic data for easy Tweets for that kind of grown-up policymaking.
Our American Independence demands that patriots look Donald Trump in the eye and say, “Mr. President, you’re a jerk. Stop disgracing America.” And knowing that Donnie-Boy is incorrigible, we can only hope that we have created a country so great that it can continue to function and prosper independently of one jerk in the White House. We Americans now must prove ourselves, our civic institutions, and our Constitution great enough to withstand a President who refuses to put America First above his own selfish impulses.
I celebrate this Independence Day in the firm belief that America can survive Donald Trump. But the fact that we can survive a disease does not mean we should let that disease fester. We need to rid ourselves of this harmful disease as swiftly as Constitutionally possible. While a 25th Amendment removal may be premature, Trump’s firing of James Comey and self-enrichment in office offer grounds for impeachment. Absent such an extraordinary change at the top, we can commit ourselves to change from the bottom in 2018 with the election of brave, principled Congresspeople, governors, legislators, attorneys general, and secretaries of state committed to resisting all of Trump’s abuses of power, followed by the full correction we can make in 2020 by replacing our own little Kim Jong Un with a woman or a man qualified to lead the free world, a true patriot who will work hard enough for all Americans to earn some time off on the golf course (or the bike trail, where I’m headed now) on the Fourth of July.
Secretary Krebs tells KELO-TV she’ll reconsider the commission’s request if the commission resends its letter and makes clear the data will not be made public. However, the Trump election fraud commission will also have to revise its request to avoid the violations I reported Friday of releasing Social Security and driver’s license information and releasing the data without receiving the proper request form and the statutorily required $2,500 fee for the electronic master voter file.
*Update 2017.07.01 13:22 CDT: The original notice I received said the Noem town hall would start at 10 a.m.; eager reader Susan below reports the time has been changed to 9:30 a.m. Arrive early, get a good seat!
Donald Trump’s vile and false tweets attacking TV morning news hosts Joe Scarborough and Mike Brzezinski prove that Donald Trump is a jerk who does not understand the decorum and dignity incumbent upon the President of the United States.
We have known Mr. Trump for more than a decade and have some fond memories of our relationship together. But that hasn’t stopped us from criticizing his abhorrent behavior or worrying about his fitness. During the height of the 2016 presidential campaign, Joe often listened to Trump staff members complain about their boss’s erratic behavior, including a top campaign official who was as close to the Republican candidate as anyone.
We, too, have noticed a change in his behavior over the past few years. Perhaps that is why we were neither shocked nor insulted by the president’s personal attack. The Donald Trump we knew before the campaign was a flawed character but one who still seemed capable of keeping his worst instincts in check [Joe Scarborough and Mika Brezinski, “Donald Trump Is Not Well,” Washington Post, 2017.06.30].
The Court’s ruling allows the Trump White House to keep out visitors from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen and refugees in general unless those individuals have family, jobs, university admission, or some similar “bona fide” relationship stateside. Absent any such bona fide relationship, the government’s compelling interest in national security prevails unchecked:
The interest in preserving national security is “an urgent objective of the highest order.” Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project, 561 U. S. 1, 28 (2010). To prevent the Government from pursuing that objective by enforcing §2(c) against foreign nationals unconnected to the United States would appreciably injure its interests, without alleviating obvious hardship to anyone else.
…An American individual or entity that has a bona fide relationship with a particular person seeking to enter the country as a refugee can legitimately claim concrete hardship if that person is excluded. As to these individuals and entities, we do not disturb the injunction. But when it comes to refugees who lack any such connection to the United States, for the reasons we have set out, the balance tips in favor of the Government’s compelling need to provide for the Nation’s security [Supreme Court of the United States, Per Curiam, Trump v. IRAP and Trump v. Hawaii, 2017.06.26].
The case may moot itself before the Supreme Court hears arguments on the merits in October, since the travel ban lasts only 90 days. The Economistreads sneaky genius on the part of Chief Justice John Roberts:
So, despite granting Mr Trump’s plea to hear his case and largely lifting the lower-court stays on the travel ban, Chief Justice John Roberts apparently worked out an ingenious compromise with his liberal brethren and the swing justice, Anthony Kennedy, that injects the Supreme Court only minimally into a big question on the scope of executive power in the Trump era. The chief justice has avoided making politically volatile judicial pronouncements on presidential immigration powers, anti-Muslim bias and the justiciability of tweets, and has positioned himself somewhere to the left of the court’s new conservative triumvirate [“The Supreme Court’s Curious Compromise on the Travel Ban,” The Economist, 2017.06.26].
But let’s entertain Senator Nelson’s position. Suppose Ms. Islam and I are wrong. Suppose the anti-Muslim propagandists to whom we’ve been responding are 100% correct: Muslims are waging civilization jihad, every mosque is a bastion of jihadi occupation, every Muslim will lie and do violence for Allah, and every liberal or Christian who promotes honest dialogue with Muslims is a dupe supporting terrorism and Sharia. I am not exaggerating—such are the core tenets of every presentation made by the anti-Muslim speakers whom Senator Nelson praises and whom Ms. Islam and I have decried.
If Senator Nelson and those tenets are correct and Ms. Islam and I mere dupes, then today’s ruling by the Supreme Court leaves America open to jihad. The anti-Muslim slideshows in Rapid City, Aberdeen, Sioux Falls, and elsewhere teach that all Muslims our out to topple Western civilization. These slideshows make no exception for Muslims with “bona fide” relationships with American citizens or institutions. The Muslims among us are part of the threat, perhaps the greater threat, since they have already established homes, mosques, income streams, and (gasp!) citizenship that allows them to vote, run for office, and change our laws to Sharia. The Supreme Court’s partial implementation of the travel ban does nothing to stop those most dangerous Muslims among us from bringing in their sisters and brothers and other partners in jihad.
If Senator Nelson were right, if I were defending radical Islamic terrorism, if I were faking peaceful atheism to hide a craving for violent theocracy, then I would cheer the Court as nine more useful dupes in jihad. Far from supporting the Commander in Chief’s “number one responsibility… to keep the American people safe,” the Court’s ruling leaves the door open for evil Muslims in America to invite their evil cousins from overseas and for those scheming liberal universities to keep recruiting jihadi students and professors.
“CDBG funds assist projects that improve living conditions for our state’s residents,” said Gov. Daugaard. “These six grants are in addition to eight other grants awarded in December. Because we have so many community-minded leaders who continue to prove their commitment to their towns and cities, we’ve now awarded more than $6 million for projects totaling more than $23 million, and that’s something I think we can all be proud of.”
The CDBG awards include the following:
The city of Blunt will use a $515,000 grant to make improvements to the city’s wastewater infrastructure and treatment lagoons.
The city of Faith was approved for a $515,000 grant to upgrade its wastewater system.
The city of Lake Andes was approved for a $750,000 grant to upgrade the city’s wastewater system.
The town of Langford will use a $565,000 grant for construction of a new drinking water storage system and increase the capacity of the city’s water infrastructure.
The city of Newell was approved for a $324,370 grant to assist with replacing the city’s water mains.
The city of Veblen will use a $765,000 grant to make improvements to its wastewater infrastructure and collection ponds [Governor Dennis Daugaard, press release, 2017.06.22].
Hmmm… by that budget rationale, the White House is saying that Governor Daugaard is mistaken when he claims these Community Development Block Grants “assist projects that improve living conditions.” Perhaps Governor Daugaard will recant and admit that those billions of dollars will do more to improve the living conditions of Trump’s rich friends via tax breaks.
Donald Trump doesn’t want to give poor people health insurance or food. The White House 2018 budget would cut $193 billion from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program—food stamps—over ten years, largely by shifting costs to the states. (Burden on South Dakota’s budget: $252 million over ten years.)
[Great Plains Food Bank Pres. Steve] Sellent said the effects of cutting SNAP would be devastating to families in North Dakota, which receives about $10 million from the program.
“Congress knows a farm bill alliance that helps both farmer and consumers is a workable path forward,” [farmer Bill] Hejl said. “An executive budget that cuts $193 billion from a program for hungry people shakes the foundation of that alliance, and it’s not right.”
[Rancher Ryan] Taylor said the current farm bill, passed in 2014 will expire in September 2018. However, work on the comprehensive agriculture and food law is beginning now in committees where talk of decoupling or removing SNAP from the federal bill has started to swirl.
SNAP has been a part of the farm bill since 1964, a component that not only helps feed those in need but brings together rural and urban political interests when compromising on the massive agricultural bill, Taylor said.
“It connects those who grow the food with those that eat the food,” [Farmers Union organizer Brandon] Delvo said. “Legislation that supports family farm and ranch agriculture creates a stronger rural America.”
Making sure everybody eats is good for everybody. The Trump party’s budget cutting reflects both a failure to recognize our nation’s common interests and a lack of faith in the wealth and strength of this country.