What The Fuck Just Happened Today?

Today's essential newsletter. Logging the daily shock and awe in national politics. Read in moderation.
by @matt_kiser

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Day 33: Sweeping.

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1/ Homeland Security unveils a sweeping plan to deport undocumented immigrants. The memos instruct all agents, including Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to identify, capture, and quickly deport every undocumented immigrant they encounter. The vast majority of the nation’s 11 million undocumented immigrants are at risk of deportation. (USA Today)

UPDATE:

The Trump administration seeks to prevent “panic” over the new immigration enforcement policies, saying the goal is not “mass deportations”. Federal officials cautioned that many of the changes detailed in a pair of memos from Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly will take time to implement because of costs and logistical challenges and that border patrol agents and immigration officers will use their expanded powers with care and discretion. (Washington Post)

Mexican officials riled by Trump’s new deportation memos. The release of the documents come on the eve of Tillerson and Kelly’s trip south of the border. The timing of the guidelines’ release threaten to severely hinder what could have been a diplomatic make-up session. (Politico)

Trump keeps DACA but chips away at barriers to deportation. The newly released memos from the Department of Homeland Security leave intact two specific executive orders from Obama that granted protection from prosecution for so-called Dreamers, young immigrants who were brought to the US as children, and a second one that included parents of US citizens and legal residents. (CNN)

  • New Trump deportation rules make it easier to deport people immediately. Under the Obama administration, expedited removal was used only within 100 miles of the border for people who had been in the country no more than 14 days. Now it will include those who have been in the country for up to two years, and located anywhere in the nation. (New York Times)

2/ Trump: Anti-Semitism “has to stop”. Trump denounced anti-Semitism after coming under pressure to address an uptick in incidents targeting Jewish institutions across the U.S. Trump has insisted he has spoken out against anti-Semitism “whenever I get a chance,” even though he has refused to confront the issue directly on multiple occasions. (The Hill)

UPDATE:

Anne Frank Center criticizes Trump’s denouncement of anti-Semitism a “pathetic asterisk of condescension”. Trump refused to address a series of bomb threats against Jewish community centers when asked about the threats by a Jewish journalist last week. Trump cut the journalist off and said “I hate even the question.” The White House’s statement on Holocaust Remembrance Day also left out any mention of Jews. (Talking Points Memo)

  • 11 more bomb threats target Jewish Community Centers. JCCs in 27 states and one Canadian province have received nearly 70 bomb threats this year. The FBI and Justice Department “investigating possible civil rights violations”. (CNN)
  • Up to 200 headstones damaged at Jewish cemetery. The incident comes on the same day several Jewish community centers around the country received bomb threats. The regional director of the Anti-Defamation League said she didn’t know if the headstones had been damaged as an act of hatred but questioned motives that would lead to the act. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
  • A brief history of Donald Trump addressing questions about racism and anti-Semitism. Since the beginning of his campaign, Trump has been repeatedly asked for his thoughts on racial or religious harassment. Many observers have felt his responses left something to be desired. (Washington Post)

3/ Trump has insisted that he had no contact with Russia during the campaign. Russia says otherwise. Russian officials have at least twice acknowledged contact with Trump aides before the election. That contact would have taken place during the period when it’s believed that the Russian government was trying to disrupt the election. (New York Times)

UPDATE:

Donald Trump’s streak of falsehoods now stands at 33 days. There hasn’t been a single day of Trump’s presidency in which he has said nothing false or misleading. The total count stands at 132. (Washington Post)

  • Chuck Schumer: Jeff Sessions must recuse himself from the Flynn investigation. The gravity of Flynn’s contact with the Russians and the reports that he may have lied to the FBI cannot be overstated or ignored. Revelations about that contact may be only the tip of the iceberg. There’s an overwhelming view in our intelligence community that Russia tried to influence our election. (Washington Post)

4/ Bannon told Germany that the EU is flawed a week before Pence pledged America’s “steadfast and enduring” commitment to the European Union. The encounter unsettled people in the German government, in part because some officials had been holding out hope that Bannon might temper his views once in government and offer a more nuanced message on Europe in private. (Reuters)

5/ The Trump White House is already cooking the books. The Trump transition team ordered the Council of Economic Advisers to predict sustained economic growth of 3 to 3.5%. The staffers were then directed to backfill all the other numbers in their models to produce these growth rates. (Washington Post)

6/ Trump energizes the anti-vaccine movement in Texas. Trump’s embrace of discredited theories linking vaccines to autism has energized the anti-vaccine movement. Once fringe, the movement is becoming more popular, raising doubts about basic childhood health care among politically and geographically diverse groups. Public health experts warn that this growing movement is threatening one of the most successful medical innovations of modern times. (Washington Post)

7/ Trump’s nominees gripe that the White House isn’t protecting them. Candidates for top jobs in Trump’s administration are getting spooked after Andrew Puzder’s torpedoed nomination, and they fear the White House isn’t doing enough to protect them from grueling confirmations, according to several sources involved in the process. (Politico)

8/ How Trump spent his first month in office, by the numbers. Golf: 25 hours. Tweeting: 13 hours. Intelligence briefings: 6 hours. (Washington Post)

9/ Breitbart’s Milo Yiannopoulos resigns following outrage over his past comments about pedophilia. As recently as last week, Breitbart editor Alexander Marlow called Yiannopoulos “the No. 1 free speech warrior of his generation in America at the moment” in an interview. But Yiannopoulous’s views on pedophilia apparently went too far even for Breitbart. (Washington Post)

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