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U.S. Politics FPP Draft

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Post Title: “To see what is in front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle”

Description/Lede Paragraph: <a href="">"In total, Trump faces at least 15 criminal or civil inquiries by nine federal, state and local agencies</a> into his business, his charity, his campaign, his inaugural committee and his personal finances. […] Trump plans to characterize the investigations in these blue states — just like those by special counsel Robert Mueller and congressional investigations — as attacks by the same people: Democrats, the media and his critics. To his backers, it’s already been a winning strategy." "<a href="">In a sign of that fervour</a>, Trump’s campaign raised a staggering $24.8m in the less-than 24 hours after kicking off his re-election bid, according to Republican party chairwoman Ronna McDaniel," overshadowing the amount raised by the top Democratic 2020 contenders during the first three months of 2019. <a href=>But the Mercers, Trump’s biggest 2016 backers, have bailed on him</a>, former Trump advisor Sam Nunberg telling Vanity Fair, “This whole thing did not end up well for them.”

Extended Description/More Inside:

• Danger to the Electoral Process Round-up:

<a href="">In exclusive interview, Trump says he would listen if foreigners offered dirt on opponents</a> (ABC News) "It's not an interference, they have information -- I think I'd take it," Trump said. "If I thought there was something wrong, I'd go maybe to the FBI -- if I thought there was something wrong. But when somebody comes up with oppo research, right, they come up with oppo research, 'oh let's call the FBI.' The FBI doesn't have enough agents to take care of it. When you go and talk, honestly, to congressman, they all do it, they always have, and that's the way it is. It's called oppo research."

<a href="">Trump’s Mother of All Truth Bombs</a> (Jack Shafer, Politico Magazine) “‘Unfit to be President’ is a gross understatement,” tweeted former CIA Director John Brennan [...]. The leading Democratic <a href="">candidates</a> for president—Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, and even the undercard candidates—torched him as a danger to the electoral process. [...] Had Trump answered the hypothetical about taking campaign information from the Russians in 2020 in any other way than he did, it would have been read as a confession that he and his son did something wrong in 2016..."

<a href="">Following Trump Comments, Federal Election Commission Chair Clarifies Law On Foreign Contributions to Election Campaigns</a> (Newsweek) "Let me make something 100% clear to the American public and anyone running for public office: It is illegal for any person to solicit, accept, or receive anything of value from a foreign national in connection with a U.S. election. This is not a novel concept. Electoral intervention from foreign governments has been considered unacceptable since the beginnings of our nation."

<a href="">Trump goes on Fox to clean up his foreign interference comments</a> (Politico) Remarkably, Trump also asserted on Friday that he didn’t foresee that issue arising. “I don't think anybody would present me with anything because they know how much I love the country,” he said, despite well-documented attempts by Russian nationals to do just that during the 2016 election. “Nobody’s gonna present me with anything bad, and No. 2, if I was — and of course, you have to look at it, because if you don't look at it, you won't know it's bad, but, of course, you give it to the FBI or report it to attorney general or somebody like that,” he argued.

<a href="">Mike Pompeo: Trump will ‘do the right thing’ if offered foreign election help</a> (Politico) "Speaking on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” Pompeo assured host Margaret Brennan that Trump would act appropriately, but he would not explicitly say that Trump would call the FBI."

• Immigration Round-up:

<a href="">Trump says millions in U.S. illegally to be deported starting next week</a> (CBS News) "Immigration was a central theme of Mr. Trump's 2016 campaign and he is expected to hammer it as he tries to fire up his base heading into the 2020 campaign."

<a href=""> ICE Signals Mass Immigration Arrests, but Not the ‘Millions’ Trump Promised</a> (NYT) "Senior ICE officials, many of whom were blindsided by Mr. Trump’s tweet, have signaled for weeks that the agency would conduct raids targeting thousands of migrant families in homes and communities, something one of the homeland security officials confirmed on Tuesday was expected in the coming weeks."

<a href="">Trump says immigration roundup will start next week</a> (Reuters) "Former officials and immigration experts said it would be unlikely for immigration authorities to move quickly to deport “millions” of people, but Trump’s tweet on Monday saying as much put cities around the country on high alert. [...] As of June 8, ICE had almost 53,141 people in adult detention centers, much higher than the levels for which it is funded by Congress, which would put logistical brakes on the possible scale of any operation."

<a href="">An Expert on Concentration Camps Says That's Exactly What the U.S. Is Running at the Border</a> (Esquire) "Not every concentration camp is a death camp—in fact, their primary purpose is rarely extermination, and never in the beginning. Often, much of the death and suffering is a result of insufficient resources, overcrowding, and deteriorating conditions. So far, <a href="">24 people have died in the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement</a> under the Trump administration, while <a href="">six children have died in the care of other agencies</a> since September."

<a href="">The Youngest Child Separated From His Family at the Border Was 4 Months Old</a> (NYT) "At the airport, he refused to board without the baby. The immigration officers, he said, told him that Constantin would be handed to him once he had taken his seat. But the plane lifted off and the baby never came."

• Tax and Wage Round-up:

• <a href="">Bosses pocket Trump tax windfall as workers see job promises vanish </a> (Guardian) [Frank Clemente, executive director of Americans for Tax Fairness] noted <a href="">only 4%</a> of the US workforce saw any sort of pay increase or bonus from the tax cuts. Meanwhile, data collected by ATF shows corporations have cut thousands of jobs since the tax cuts were passed, while using tax windfalls <a href="">to buy back $1tn of their own stock</a>, which primarily benefits corporate executives and wealthy investors since <a href="">half of all Americans own no stock</a>."

<a href="">American Taxpayers Paid Over $90 Billion More Under Trump Tax Law</a> (Yahoo Finance) "[A]fter refunds, the IRS collected about $93 billion more from individual American taxpayers than it did in 2017. [...] Last year, big businesses paid <a href=>$91 billion less</a> in taxes than they had in 2017, prior to the new law’s passage." • <a href=>Big Businesses Paying Even Less Than Expected Under GOP Tax Law</a> (Politico)

<a href="">Federal minimum wage sets record with no increase since 2009</a> (Guardian) "The US federal minimum wage has gone a record length of time without an increase, with the $7.25-an-hour base, remaining unchanged for nearly a decade as of Sunday. [...] The number stands in sharp contrast to what some researchers believe is an average living wage. Two working parents in a family of four would need to earn $67,146 to cover expenses. That equates to $16.14 an hour for each parent, CNN reported."

• Iran Round-up:

<a href="">US seeks to 'build international consensus' blaming Iran for tanker attacks</a> (Guardian) Defense chief says attack was not just ‘US situation’, as UK joins Washington in accusing Iran, and Saudi Arabia calls for ‘rapid’ response

<a href="">As Trump Accuses Iran, He Has One Problem: His Own Credibility</a> (NYT) "A <a href="">Quinnipiac University poll</a> last month found that only 35 percent of Americans trust Mr. Trump to tell the truth about important issues versus 52 percent who trusted the news media more."

<a href="">Saudi seeks oil supply protection as U.S and Iran face off</a> (Reuters) "Germany said the video was not enough to prove Iran’s role, while U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for an independent investigation to determine responsibility. China and the European Union called for restraint."

<a href="">Iran Has Ties to Al Qaeda, Trump Officials Tell Skeptical Congress</a> (NYT) "“They are looking to bootstrap an argument to allow the president to do what he likes without coming to Congress, and they feel the 2001 authorization will allow them to go to war with Iran,” said Senator Tim Kaine, Democrat of Virginia."


• <a href="">Doublethink Is Stronger Than Orwell Imagined"</a> (George Packer, Atlantic) "We are living with a new kind of regime that didn’t exist in Orwell’s time. It combines hard nationalism—the diversion of frustration and cynicism into xenophobia and hatred—with soft distraction and confusion: a blend of Orwell and Huxley, cruelty and entertainment."

• <a href="">A Date With the President in Pennsylvania's Coal Country</a> (Playboy {SFW article}) This freewheeling account of Trump's Montoursville, PA rally last month captures the carnival atmosphere but concludes: "Despite the fun, after the sixth enthusiastic supporter passed out and had to be attended to by paramedics, hundreds of the faithful began leaving the venue. As the speech continued for 30 more minutes, people fled like my family used to flee church after communion."

• <a href="">'Pat's a Pit Bull’: Trump Has a New Favorite Lawyer</a> (Politico): Pat Cipollone "has nevertheless been at the heart of the controversies that have gripped the White House since last winter, from clearing a legal path for the president to declare a national emergency on the southern border to shaping the White House’s defiant approach to congressional inquiries. Most recently, Cipollone was among the prominent voices who told Trump he could use his emergency powers to slap tariffs on Mexico — and then, alongside Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, he helped shape a last-minute deal to end the showdown."

• <a href="">Trump Delayed Pence's Tiananmen Square Speech in Hopes of Landing Xi Meeting</a> (Bloomberg): "The president delayed the speech to avoid upsetting Beijing ahead of a potential meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Group of 20 meeting in Japan at the end of this month, according to several people familiar with the matter. Trump also put off U.S. sanctions on Chinese surveillance companies that Pence planned to preview in his remarks."

• <a href="">‘Credible evidence’ Saudi crown prince liable for Khashoggi killing – UN report</a> (Guardian) "In an excoriating 100-page analysis published on Wednesday of what happened to Khashoggi last October, Agnes Callamard, the UN’s special rapporteur, says the death of the journalist was “an international crime”."

• <a href="">Writer Ta-Nehisi Coates gives Mitch McConnell a thorough history lesson on reparations</a> (Vox) "Victims of that plunder are very much alive today. I am sure they’d love a word with the majority leader."


Today is the 881st day of the Trump administration. There are 504 days until the 2020 elections.

Need some comic relief? <a href="">The Hyucking Hyuck Thread</a> is your place for jokes and one-liners

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Elsewhere on MetaFilter: <a href="">The Frontrunners</a> (Warren and Sanders) • <a href="">Diamond Joe: Centrist or Conservative</a> •• OnceUponATime's <a href="">Active Measures</a> site

Previously in U.S. Politics Megathreads: <a href="">"To be or not to be, ay, there's the point"</a>

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