Extortion As National Policy? President Trump Demands ‘Key Money’ From A TikTok Sale To Microsoft Or He’ll Ban TikTok In The U.S.

On Monday President Trump unabashedly told reporters that a “very substantial portion” of a sale price of TikTok to Microsoft MSFT +1.6% would go the Treasury. He called it “key money.” The alternative? Mr. Trump will shut down TikTok in the U.S. on September 15th.

Key money is a dated term used in real estate transactions. It’s money a prospective tenant would pay under the table to a landlord, building manager or even another tenant to secure a lease. Think of a middle school bully demanding another student’s lunch money in exchange for safe passage.

via Extortion As National Policy? President Trump Demands ‘Key Money’ From A TikTok Sale To Microsoft Or He’ll Ban TikTok In The U.S.

The President’s Private Army

It doesn’t take a legal expert to know that what’s happening in Portland, Oregon is an abuse of power. When unidentified federal forces dressed as soldiers pull people off the streets into unmarked vans, something is gravely wrong. What’s less apparent is that this abuse is part of an ongoing effort by the administration to get around “posse comitatus”: the principle that the president cannot use the military as a domestic police force. The implications for the rule of law — and potentially for the 2020 election — are staggering.

via The President’s Private Army

Family separation under the Trump administration – a timeline | Southern Poverty Law Center

Under the El Paso program, begun in mid-2017, adults who crossed the border without permission – a misdemeanor for a first-time offender – were detained and criminally charged. No exceptions were made for parents arriving with young children. The children were taken from them, and parents were unable to track or reunite with their children because the government failed to create a system to facilitate reunification. By late 2017, the government was separating families along the length of the U.S.-Mexico border, including families arriving through official ports of entry.

On May 7, 2018, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced it had implemented a “zero tolerance” policy, dictating that all migrants who cross the border without permission, including those seeking asylum, be referred to the DOJ for prosecution. Undocumented asylum seekers were imprisoned, and any accompanying children under the age of 18 were handed over to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which shipped them miles away from their parents and scattered them among 100 Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) shelters and other care arrangements across the country. Hundreds of these children, including infants and toddlers, were under the age of 5.

Prior to the Trump administration, families were generally paroled into the country to await their immigration cases or detained together.

via Family separation under the Trump administration – a timeline | Southern Poverty Law Center

Protesters Rally in D.C. for City’s Largest Demonstration | Time

(WASHINGTON) — Thousands of protesters streamed into the nation’s capital Saturday for what was expected to be the city’s largest demonstration yet against police brutality while George Floyd was remembered in his North Carolina hometown, where hundreds of mourners lined up to pay their respects.

Military vehicles and officers in fatigues closed off much of downtown Washington to traffic ahead of the planned march, which authorities estimated would attract up to 200,000 people outraged by Floyd’s death 12 days ago at the hands of police in Minneapolis.

Large protests also took place across the U.S. and in major cities overseas, including London, Paris, Berlin and Sydney, Australia.

via Protesters Rally in D.C. for City’s Largest Demonstration | Time

Legal expert: Trump’s ‘liberate’ Tweets ‘incite insurrection’ – and that’s ‘illegal’ – Alternet.org

“President Trump incited insurrection Friday against the duly elected governors of the states of Michigan, Minnesota and Virginia,” McCord begins. “Just a day after issuing guidance for re-opening America that clearly deferred decision-making to state officials — as it must under our Constitutional order — the president undercut his own guidance by calling for criminal acts against the governors for not opening fast enough.”

The op-ed’s subtitle notes: “Federal law bans advocating the overthrow of government.”

via Legal expert: Trump’s ‘liberate’ Tweets ‘incite insurrection’ – and that’s ‘illegal’ – Alternet.org

How Trump Became a Fake Champion of Mexican Labor Rights (Of All Things) – The American Prospect

Trump’s NAFTA stance creates the illusion that he supports unions. Some even imagine that since NAFTA is nominally reciprocal, Mexico or Canada working with the U.S. labor movement could lodge complaints against union-busting in the U.S.

Don’t hold your breath. The add-on bill singles out Mexico for enforcement. No inspectors from Canada or Mexico can monitor practices in the U.S., though in principle complaints are allowed.

But Trump’s is the most anti-union Labor Department on record. His labor secretaries have systematically dismantled the Obama administration’s efforts to restore labor rights.

When it comes to trade unionism, the new NAFTA is mostly about optics and election-year posturing. If we want labor rights, that will take a new administration.

via How Trump Became a Fake Champion of Mexican Labor Rights (Of All Things) – The American Prospect

The case for impeachment | Editorial

With reluctance, we conclude the U.S. House of Representatives has enough reason to justify the impeachment of President Donald Trump. We harbor no illusions that the president’s impeachment by the House will lead to his removal from office by the Senate. But we hope the impeachment process and a trial in the Senate will give voters a more complete picture of Trump’s conduct, because they will deliver the ultimate judgment on his performance in November.

The House Judiciary Committee wisely limited the impeachment charges to abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. They focus exclusively on Trump’s actions regarding Ukraine and his efforts to undermine the House’s impeachment inquiry. The fundamental facts presented by the House through witness testimony and documents are not in dispute by the president or his key supporters.

via The case for impeachment | Editorial

As Mitch McConnell vows to co-ordinate the trial with Donald Trumps’ White House I wonder just how deep the democracy of the USA has been infiltrated by the Putin team!

Why Donald Trump is the Bernie Madoff of politics – MarketWatch

Madoff’s Ponzi scheme lured investors with the mirage of consistently strong returns Madoff presented his clients, and financial regulators, with the outward trappings of respectability and success.

Of course, it was just an illusion based on false promises. The impressive profits weren’t real — Madoff just shifted money from some investors to others in the hopes of fooling people into believing they were reaping the benefits of financial wizardry. 

For quite a while, Madoff succeeded in making the illusion work.  It took decades before his fraud was brought to light.  

In this presidential election, only a few months are left to expose Trump’s con game — and the stakes, of course, are much higher. 

via Why Donald Trump is the Bernie Madoff of politics – MarketWatch

Trump pardons former Army soldier who killed Iraqi prisoner

Behenna acknowledged during his trial that instead of taking the prisoner home as he was ordered, he took the man to a railroad culvert, stripped him and then questioned him at gunpoint about a roadside bombing that had killed two members of Behenna’s platoon.

Behenna, a native of the Oklahoma City suburb of Edmond, said the man moved toward him and he shot him because Behenna thought he would try to take his gun.

via Trump pardons former Army soldier who killed Iraqi prisoner