27 January 2017

kmusser: (Boggle)

Status of cabinet picks and other appointments: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/us/politics/donald-trump-administration.html. Hearings are happening this week. Confirmed so far are James Mattis (Defense), John Kelly (Homeland Security), Mike Pompeo (CIA), Nikki Haley (UN ambassador). There are still lots of vacancies in the administration (source)



Monday 1/23
  • Executive orders: (source)
    • Withdraw U.S. from Trans-Pacific Partnership.
    • Federal hiring freeze
    • Forbid funding to international NGO's that perform abortions (Mexico City policy)

Tuesday 1/24
  • Executive order revives Keystone and Dakota pipeline plans (source).
  • Journalists arrested for covering inauguration day protests (source)
  • Trump team doing more saber rattling at China and no one is sure if it's intentional or not (source)
  • FBI directory, James Comey to stay (source)
  • House passes HR 7 which would make the Hyde Amendment (the rule prohibiting Federal funds for abortion, in place as a temporary measure since 1976) permanent (source)
  • EPA ordered not to use social media or talk to press or have any new contracts or grants (source).
  • USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) ordered not to publish anything (source).
  • There appear to be similar bans for most science-oriented Federal agencies, though I haven't confirmed the others (source). More on this from WP here. For ARS at least, order is lifted the next day (source). NYT has more include quotes from long-time career staff that this is a routine transition thing and that Obama did the same.
  • National Park Service employees launch unofficial twitter channel here. Many many copycat twitter feeds follow suit, due to the nature of the medium there's no way to vouch for any of these, but they can be fun to read.

Wednesday 1/25
  • Executive order to begin construction of Trump's "wall", boost immigration enforcement, and threaten Federal funding to "sanctuary cities" (i.e. most of them) - order does not include funding, which would still need to be appropriated by Congress (no, Mexico still isn't going to pay for it), notably order does not overturn Obama's "dreamers" order allowing children to stay, however does include asking homeland security to publish weekly list of crimes committed by immigrants (source). Responses in Mexico. Most cities that have responded so far have done so with some variation of "see you in court" with the notable exception of Miami which begins immediate crackdown.
  • Draft executive orders bans citizens of Iraq, Iran, Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Libya and Somalia from entering the country. Refugees from any country denied for 120 days. Tightens visa requirements including collection of biometric data and ideological screening for all visitors (source). Signing expected Friday.
  • Draft executive order that would allow CIA to open "black sites" and resume torture leaked - note this has not been signed and White House denies it is theirs, but multiple sources vouch for it (source) and a reminder that Trump is a fan of torture .
  • Dept. of State's entire senior management team resigns, no this is not normal, these are career staff, not political appointees (source).
  • DJT still going on about voter fraud, which I'll remind readers is not a thing, the only logical reason to try and convince people that it is is as a pretext for restricting the right to vote.
  • GOP having a retreat, working on legislative agenda, getting Trump to be in sync (good luck with that) some notes here.
  • Since U.S. is surrendering its role as world leader, China ready to step up and take on the role (source, more opinion than news, but an interesting one).

Thursday 1/26
  • Mexican president Peña Nieto cancels meeting with Trump (source)
  • Steve Bannon says the media should "keep its mouth shut", calls the press the White House's opposition (source)
  • DJT proposes a 20% tax on Mexican imports to pay for his wall (because making Americans pay more for Mexican goods is totally the same as making Mexico pay, also trade wars are fun apparently) (source). If tweets are to be believed administration immediately back tracks, Spicer goes from "this is a decision the president has made" to "this is not a policy proposal, but an example of options to pay for the wall" in an hour.

Maps of the week:

P.S. I've have noticed an uptick in fake news from my liberal friends, esp. those copy/past things, a reminder to fact check before sharing. Also the real news is horrible enough, there is no reason to exaggerate it or make up more.

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