Court Sides Against Trump, Kushner Scrutiny

Denied: In another blow to President Trump, a federal appeals court in Richmond, Va., has upheld the stay on his travel and immigration order aimed at six Muslim countries. The court said Trump’s order “drips with religious intolerance, animus and discrimination.”

The 10-3 ruling by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals tees up the issue for consideration by the Supreme Court.

Writing for the majority, Chief Judge Roger Gregory said “Then-candidate Trump’s campaign statements reveal that on numerous occasions, he expressed anti-Muslim sentiment, as well as his intent, if elected, to ban Muslims from the United States.”

The administration argued that Trump’s previous statements should be dismissed as campaign rhetoric, but Judge Gregory said,

“The campaign statements here are probative of purpose because they are closely related in time, attributable to the primary decision maker, and specific and easily connected to the challenged action.”

BritiLeaks: The president has called for an investigation into the leak of crime scene photos from the Manchester, England bombing to the NY Times. British authorities blame the US for leaking shared information, but offered no proof publicly about who might have done it.

Scoldilocks: Trump scolded NATO leaders yesterday and demonstrated his ignorance of how it works, claiming most of the members owe enormous amounts of money to the organization, saying that the shortfall gouges “the people and taxpayers of the United States.”

Only five of the 28 NATO countries have met the requirement of spending 2 percent of the gross national product on defense. The rest have 7 years to get there. None of them owe money directly to NATO.

All in the Family: Several news organizations report that the previously unnamed White House official under scrutiny by the FBI is Trump son-in-law, Jared Kushner. The news outlets say their sources tell them Kushner has significant information related to the investigation of Russian influence on the election.

Slipping: Despite the belief in some sectors that Trump’s base of support is unshakable, Nate Silver reports on his FiveThirtyEight blog that the slippage has begun. Silver writes, “There’s been a considerable decline in the number of Americans who strongly approve of Trump, from a peak of around 30 percent in February to just 21 or 22 percent of the electorate now.

Wild West: After being charged with assaulting a reporter on the eve of a special election, Montana Republican Greg Gianforte yesterday won a seat in the House of representatives. Speaking late last night, Gianforte apologized to the Guardian reporter, Ben Jacobs, and said he “made a mistake.”

Permawar: The Pentagon has blamed the deaths of 105 civilians in Mosul, Iraq, in March on a secondary explosion after an air attack. The military says they didn’t know that civilians were also in the building occupied by Islamic State fighters and that the building collapsed after ISIS explosives blew up.

Fox World: At least seven advertisers have bailed from Sean Hannity’s show on Fox News because the right wing “I’m not a journalist” has been pushing a story of political conspiracy about the murder of a Democratic National Committee employee last summer. Hannity has claimed that the murder of Seth Rich was a revenge hit because Rich leaked DNC emails to WikiLeaks. The police believe Rich’s killing was a random robbery-homicide. There’s no evidence Hannity’s to support claim, but he doesn’t have to provide it because, hey, he’s not a journalist.

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Friday, November 24, 2017

Page Two

Jaw Meet Floor

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The Small President

Thursday, December 15, 2016

The Cuba Diaries

Sunday, March 13, 2016

An Alphabet of Maladies

Friday, February 26, 2016

The Healthcare Confusion Act

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Freedom from Speech

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Too Big to Fire

Friday, June 19, 2015

More Probable Than Not

Thursday, May 14, 2015

It's Been Said

"One of the things that actually Trump has benefited from is that, on a daily if not hourly basis, there are things he says that you could never have imagined any other American president -- left, right, up or down -- saying, and they kind of bleed into each other. And you sort of forget, 'Oh, yes, 72 hours ago, he said this...'"

-Jeff Greenfield on CNN’s "Reliable Sources"

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