👋 Away Message: So we had a little scheduling snafu here at WTF HQ, where both myself and Joe (voice of the pod) double-booked ourselves with personal and professional obligations next week. Oopsie! Not a very great job using a calendar on my part, I guess. On the other hand, it appears the government isn't going to be open for business anyway... Unless something truly WTF-y happens, I'll see you all again on Tuesday, October 10th, because Monday is a holiday (Indigenous Peoples' Day).
In the mean time, try our little news aggregator tool – currentstatus.io – to keep you up-to-date on the daily shock and awe. Thanks for understanding and for being here. I'm going to miss you.
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1/ Reports of raids have immigrants bracing for enforcement surge. Officials at the Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, said the immigration roundups did not represent an increased tempo. ICE described it as a routine “targeted enforcement action” in which roughly 160 people were arrested in six counties around Los Angeles. Of those, 150 had criminal histories. The agency has about 100 fugitive teams constantly working to bring in those wanted on a variety of immigration offenses. These teams have been just as active as they were during the Obama administration. (New York Times)
2/ The Trump administration is turning on Mike Flynn while the CIA freezes out Flynn’s aide. The agency denied a security clearance for a key aide to the National Security Adviser, effectively ending his tenure on the National Security Council and escalating tensions between Flynn and the intelligence community. (Politico)
- Flynn holds call with Pence amid calls for probes of contacts with Russian ambassador. Flynn had urged Moscow to show restraint in its response to punitive sanctions being imposed on Russia by the Obama administration, signaling that the Trump administration would revisit the issue when it took office. (Washington Post)
- Michael Flynn’s debacle. Trump’s national security adviser’s potentially false statements about his pre-inauguration contacts with Russian officials are a major scandal. (The Atlantic)
3/ GOP bill would gut EPA. A House Republican is sponsoring legislation to do away with large portions of the Environmental Protection Agency, including environmental justice and greenhouse gas programs. The Wasteful EPA Programs Elimination Act would save $7.5 billion annually and would leave the EPA with a budget of less than $1 billion. Major EPA climate change programs would be eliminated under the measure. (The Hill)
4/ Trump: Refugees are flooding the U.S. and creating a “dangerous” situation after the judge blocked his travel ban. The percentage of refugees arriving from the so-called seven banned countries — Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen — has risen considerably since the directive was suspended. However, the weekly total of refugees arriving from the targeted countries has risen by only about 100. All are stringently vetted. Trump made the post at the start of a day of golf with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan at his resort in Jupiter, Florida. (New York Times)
Our legal system is broken! "77% of refugees allowed into U.S. since travel reprieve hail from seven suspect countries." (WT) SO DANGEROUS!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 11, 2017
5/ The Justice Department is taking a step back from efforts to protect transgender people under existing law. The department withdrew a request to limit an injunction halting enforcement of existing civil rights laws that provide protections for transgender people. The moves suggests that the federal government’s position on the pending legal questions surrounding transgender people’s rights could be changing soon. (BuzzFeed News)
6/ Hundreds of protests against Planned Parenthood and counterprotests in support of the nonprofit are taking place across the country today. A national coalition opposed to abortion rights seeks to end any public funding for Planned Parenthood. Supporters of Planned Parenthood are rallying today to show solidarity for the nonprofit organization, which provides a variety of health services including cancer screenings, HIV testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections as well as family planning, birth control and abortion. (ABC News)
7/ Al Franken to Maher: GOP senators privately express “great concern” about Trump’s temperament. Franken isn’t the first Democrat to say Republicans senators are privately fretting. Sen. Sherrod Brown said his GOP colleagues privately worry about Trump’s “incompetence” and “ethics.” (Washington Post)
- Trump to Dems: “Pocahontas is now the face of your party” – his insult of choice for Elizabeth Warren. Trump said the only reason Warren claimed Native American heritage was “because she has high cheekbones.” Trump was referencing questions over Warren’s ancestry from her 2012 Senate race. (CNN)
8/ Trump: Border wall price “will come WAY DOWN” when I negotiate. Trump responded to reports that the cost of his proposed border wall is much higher than expected, insisting that it will be much cheaper after he gets involved in negotiations. (The Hill)
I am reading that the great border WALL will cost more than the government originally thought, but I have not gotten involved in the.....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 11, 2017
...design or negotiations yet. When I do, just like with the F-35 FighterJet or the Air Force One Program, price will come WAY DOWN!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 11, 2017
9/ “We’re going to see more” sanctuary cities cave in face of Trump’s funding threats. Several towns, cities and counties around the nation are caving to President Trump’s threat to pull funding, and abandoning their “sanctuary” pledges to shield illegal immigrants from federal authorities. The changes come on the heels of Trump’s executive order giving the Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security the power to cut federal funding to communities that are deemed sanctuaries for illegal immigrants. Trump also has authorized the DHS to publish a weekly list of sanctuary communities. (Fox News)
- “A sense of dread” for civil servants shaken by the Trump transition. Across the vast federal bureaucracy anxiety, frustration, fear and resistance has spread among many of the two million nonpolitical civil servants who say they work for the public, not a particular president. (New York Times)
10/ Utah’s Rep. Jason Chaffetz faces the “Resistance” in his home state. The backlash was not just about policy—it was fueled by anger that the congressman was shirking his duty as chairman of the House Oversight Committee by refusing to investigate Trump. In their view, his was not just a failure of government, but of character. Despite Utah’s status as one of the most conservative states in the country, Trump has never been very popular there. He carried the state’s electoral votes last year with just 45 percent of the vote. (The Atlantic)
- Chaffetz said the protesters were Democrats and paid to demonstrate and disrupt his town hall because they don’t like Trump and are upset about the results of the 2016 election. (Talking Points Memo)
11/ State G.O.P. leaders move swiftly as party bickers in Congress. While Republicans in Washington appear flummoxed by the complexities of one-party rule, rising party leaders in the states seem far more at ease and assertive. Republicans have top-to-bottom control in 25 states now, holding both the governorship and the entire legislature, and Republican lawmakers are acting with lightning speed to enact longstanding conservative priorities. (New York Times)
12/ Army veterans return to Standing Rock to form a human shield against police. A growing group of military veterans are willing to put their bodies between Native American activists and the police trying to remove them. (The Guardian)
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