Trump Stopped Again, No Evidence
Thursday, March 16, 2017
Vol. 6, No. 68
Stayed: For the second time, President Trump has been jammed at the basket on his travel, immigration and refugee ban for six predominantly Muslim countries.
A federal judge in Hawaii yesterday placed a stay on Trump’s travel ban that had been re-written to avoid successful legal challenge. The order was to have gone into effect at midnight last night.
Judge Derrick Watson, an Obama appointee, wrote in his opinion that a “reasonable, objective observer” would view the order as “issued with a purpose to disfavor a particular religion, in spite of its stated, religiously neutral purpose.”
Speaking at a rally in Nashville last night, Trump struck back asking a crowd of supporters, “You don’t think this was done by a judge for political reasons, do you? Noooh.” He said, “This ruling makes us looks weak,” and that he would take his case all the way to the Supreme Court.
Tapped Out: The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee said he’s seen no evidence that the president’s Trump Tower phones were tapped and he doubts that it ever happened. Rep. Devin Nunes, a California Republican, said at a news conference, “In fact, I don’t believe — in the last week of time, people we’ve talked to, I don’t think there was an actual tap of Trump Tower.”
President Trump claimed on Twitter that President Obama ordered his phones tapped, but neither Trump nor any of his lieutenants have offered proof of the accusation that the former president committed a felony.
Trump is now fudging on his claim, telling Fox News that “wiretap covers a lot of different things.” He suggested that more information may be coming. “I think you’re going to find some very interesting items coming to the forefront over the next two weeks.”
Trump’s Taxes: Remember yesterday, when that was the big story?
Yahoo!: The Justice Department has indicted two Russian spies and two hackers in connection with the breach of half a million Yahoo user accounts in 2014. The two spies work for the Russian intelligence agency FSB.
The charges include hacking, wire fraud, trade secret theft and economic espionage.
In other Yahoo News, CEO Marissa Mayer is about to hit the bar on the exit door after failing to turn around the troubled internet company that’s about to be sold to Verizon. She’ll get a $23 million severance and, as the playwright George Bernard Shaw once said, “That’s what we tip for bad service.”
Econ 101: The Federal Reserve raised interest rates yesterday for only the third time since the beginning of the financial crisis. The Fed said the economy continues to grow at a “moderate” rate and inflation is rising slightly. Taking that as a sign of a healthy economy, the stock market took a little upward jump.
Interest rates are still historically low and the Fed needs to get them back to something more normal.
The Obit Page: Royal Robbins, a well-known rock climber in his youth and founder of an outdoor clothing company that bore his name, has died at age 82. Robbins was among the first climbers to get up the face of El Capitan and Half Dome in Yosemite National Park, where he once lived.
He made good clothes. FBI agents on outdoor assignments like to wear his cargo pants.
Dead Zone: Large sections of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, one of the world’s natural wonders, are dead, according to Australian researchers. Hundreds of miles of coral reefs have been killed by a phenomenon called “bleaching,” brought on by ocean water that is too hot for the undersea life.
The Great Barrier Reef is home to some of the most varied and colorful sea life on earth. It can be seen from space. Its health is considered a major indicator of the declining quality of oceans around the world.
Bedbugs and Water Skiers: The White House budget is due out this week, and with all the noise about Republican healthcare reform, little has been said about President Trump’s desire to dramatically increase the defense budget. Humorist Garrison Keillor writes for The Washington Post, “The $54 billion bonus heading for the Pentagon is a beautiful thing, and so far I haven’t heard a dog bark against it, even though we don’t appear to have $54 billion worth of new enemies and we’ve now come to admire former enemy Vladimir Putin, and the idea of throwing billions at the Islamic State is like going after bedbugs with bazookas, so there it sits, a big lake of cash waiting for water skiers.