Trump’s lying ways spread throughout the administration

Trump promised that information from DACA applications would not be sent to deportation agents. But internal emails show that ICE can access databases where that information is kept — and DHS decided not to tell Congress…

The pledge was first made by the Obama administration, when it created the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, eight years ago…Even after Trump announced that he was ending DACA, his administration assured immigrants that the information on their applications generally wouldn’t be sent to Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents.

He lied.

The Trump administration left out the fact that immigration enforcement agencies already had access to databases containing detailed information, such as home addresses, about DACA recipients and millions of other immigrants.

Two weeks later, the communications show, the agency decided to leave that fact out of congressional testimony…

ICE declined to comment on its use of DACA data.

Trump has his own special virus. It feeds on his bigotry as much as his ignorance. And the thread that connects every instance of his corruption is his reliance, his willingness, to lie to anyone regardless of circumstances.

U.S. Has Special Forces in 149 Countries, Ambassadors in 144

❝ A strong legacy of U.S. leadership and engagement in global politics has been reduced today to what I call kinetic diplomacy – diplomacy by armed force.

As of March 2018, the Trump administration has appointed only 70 of 188 U.S. ambassadors. At the same time, it has increased the deployment of special operations forces to 149 countries – up from 138 during the Obama administration in 2016. So while U.S. ambassadors are operating in one-third of the world’s capitals, special operations forces are active in three-fourths.

❝ The use of military force expanded not only under the Trump administration, but under Barack Obama’s as well. Now the Trump administration and Congress are also cutting back on foreign aid.

As a scholar of international security, I’d like to suggest this raises two related questions: Does kinetic diplomacy advance U.S. interests, and how does kinetic diplomacy affect U.S. leadership abroad?

RTFA and decide. I recall when the American public debated changing the name of our War Department to the Department of Defense. We’ve not yet been invaded. But, the claim of “defense” always seems to justify sending our military abroad.

Left & Right Agree — Trump’s infrastructure order is plain stupid


Click to enlargeWhat downtown Houston might look like or worse

No one likes Trump’s new infrastructure order…The 2015 Federal Risk Management Standard update was supported by conservative and liberal groups alike.

On Tuesday, President Donald Trump signed a new order that rescinded an Obama-era rule requiring federally-funded infrastructure to follow stricter building standards aimed at reducing flood-related damages. The Obama order also required that federally-funded infrastructure built along the coastline take into account future projections for sea-level rise.

❝ Trump’s order has already prompted swift backlash from across the political spectrum, with everyone from environmental groups to free market think-tanks arguing that there was little upside to rescinding a rule aimed at saving taxpayer money and preventing loss of life in flood-prone areas…

Since the Carter Administration, federal agencies have been required to avoid building in floodplains, but until 2015, there was no requirement that agencies that couldn’t — or wouldn’t — avoid building in flood-prone areas take extra steps to make those buildings resilient…Additionally, federal agencies constructing projects along the coastline were instructed to look at sea-level rise projections for the project’s lifetime, and take those into account when siting and building…

It’s called saving money, saving lives, by reasonable – maybe even smart – construction and siting.

❝ …Flood damage cost Americans more than $260 billion between 1980 and 2013, while federal flood insurance claims averaged nearly $2 billion per year between 2006 and 2015. Since 1998, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has spent almost $50 billion in public grants to help communities recover from federally-declared flood disasters…

Flood insurance requires all private development projects meet the guidelines just erased by Trump. Many local building codes echo national and international standards meant to save lives and ensure that residential and business structures will survive the disasters we’ve already survived – and will confront again.

Bipartisan [remember that?] bill, written by a Democrat [imagine that?] restricting Trump’s ability to wage war OK’d by House committee


Click to enlargeAP/Andrew Harnik

❝ A House committee has earned a rare bipartisan round of applause for beginning to roll back the US president’s ability to wage war.

❝ The House Appropriations Committee recently approved an amendment to revoke the Authorization for Use of Military Force, which allows the president to undertake war against al-Qaeda and its affiliates without Congressional approval. The law, passed shortly after the terrorist attacks of 11 September, 2001, has been used to approve conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria.

The new amendment, introduced by Democratic Representative Barbara Lee, would sunset these presidential powers eight weeks after Congress passes the 2018 defence spending budget. The appropriations committee has sent the budget to the House floor for a vote.

❝ A visibly surprised Ms Lee welcomed the addition of the amendment on Thursday, condemning the AUMF as “a blank check to wage war anywhere, at any time, and for any length”.

The AUMF has been used to justify military action more than 37 times in 14 countries since 2001, according to the Congressional Research Service…

❝ “This issue is more urgent given the erratic behaviour and inexperience of our current Commander-in-Chief,” Ms Lee said. “No president should have a blank check for endless war, least of all President Donald Trump.”

Members of Congress were falling over each other to pass this bill in 2001 – excepting Barbara Lee, the sole vote against its passage. She understood and declared the foolishness of a bill so broad and unchecked it would be used [and was] by any president for any war they wished for.

I wish her well trying to shepherd her sanity through the rest of a Congress notable for cowardice and capitulation to religion, bigotry and corporate pimps. I compliment the members of the House Appropriations Committee for doing exactly what they are chartered to do.