Patterico's Pontifications


Trump struggles with Biofuel Policy

Filed under: Politics — DRJ @ 5:07 pm

[Headline from DRJ]

Facing farmer anger, Trump scrambles Cabinet to brainstorm on biofuel policy: sources:

U.S. President Donald Trump, faced with mounting anger in the farm belt over policies that allow oil refineries to use less corn-based ethanol, summoned Cabinet members on Thursday to discuss ways to boost biofuel demand, four sources familiar with the matter said.

Throughout his 2016 campaign that brought him to power, Trump championed ethanol but also courted the oil industry. However, his latest decision to grant dozens of waivers to oil refineries infuriated farmers, a key constituency he is counting on for re-election in 2020.

Trump met with Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler at the White House, the sources said. They presented options to boost ethanol demand, which farmers say has slumped since the EPA exempted dozens of refineries from ethanol requirements.

It is hard to please Iowa and Texas if you have New York values.


Politicians decide: Let’s Spend Taxpayer Money

Filed under: Politics — DRJ @ 12:46 pm

[Headlines from DRJ]

White House won’t move forward with billions in foreign aid cuts

The White House will no longer move forward with a proposal to cut billions of dollars in foreign aid that was allocated in the latest congressional budget deal, according to a senior administration official.

The Office of Management and Budget was expected to release a package this week calling for cuts in $4.3 billion in foreign aid through a process known as rescission. But the plan was taken off the table amid pushback from some top administration officials and lawmakers in Congress, the official said.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin were among those encouraging President Trump to at least scale back the cuts, and Democrats and Republicans alike had expressed concerns that any potential rescissions package could threaten a budget deal reached last month.

Bernie Sanders unveils his own $16.3 TRILLION climate plan named after AOC’s ‘Green New Deal’ – boldly claiming it will pay for itself AND end unemployment.

Go ahead. Tell me how Republicans are so much better than Democ4ats.


Trump Administration’s New Rules to deal with Families claiming Asylum

Filed under: Immigration,Politics — DRJ @ 6:31 am

[Headlines from DRJ]

Child migrants to be held in detention longer under new Trump administration rule:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Trump administration on Wednesday unveiled new rules that would allow officials to detain migrant families indefinitely while judges consider whether to grant them asylum in the United States.

The rules, which are certain to draw a legal challenge, would replace a 1997 legal agreement that limits the amount of time U.S. immigration authorities can detain migrant children. That agreement is generally interpreted as meaning families must be released within 20 days.

Administration officials blame the so-called Flores Settlement Agreement for a spike in immigration, especially of Central American families, saying it encourages migrants to bring children with them so they can be released into the United States while their court cases are pending.

The Administration initially tried to deal with Flores by separating children from adults but the public relations and legal fallout presented serious problems.

In related news, DC Mayor blocks planned shelter:

Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) has moved to block the Trump administration’s construction of a shelter for unaccompanied migrant children in the district.

The Washington Post reported that Bowser blocked the shelter’s construction by using emergency regulations that bar the city’s child welfare agency from issuing licenses to facilities that house more than 15 people.

There was opposition to the Mayor’s decision:

According to the Post, six residents in the district who once held senior positions in the Department of Health and Human Services under former President Obama had written to Bowser last week, urging the mayor to reconsider opposition to the planned shelter.

“While the District’s intent in opposing an unaccompanied children’s shelter is noble, such action is unlikely to benefit children and may make it more likely that children are harmed, forcing longer stays in crowded Customs and Border Protection facilities or in massive temporary shelters that are not licensed by a state or local child welfare agency,” they wrote, according to the outlet.

The Mayor presented her decision as based on concern for the welfare of children in large facilities that might not be properly staffed or supervised. That is a legitimate concern but the existing detention centers are already overwhelmed.



Trump: “We [Republicans] are very strong on our Second Amendment,”

Filed under: Politics,Second Amendment — DRJ @ 2:56 am

[Headline from DRJ]

The Hill:

Trump seems to backtrack on gun control, warns of ‘slippery slope’

President Trump said Tuesday that the United States already has “very strong background checks” for gun purchasers and that officials need to be wary of the prospect of a “slippery slope” where “everything gets taken away.”

Trump’s comments to reporters in the Oval Office provided more evidence that he is backtracking after initially expressing support for enhanced background checks following a pair of mass shootings that killed 31 people earlier this month.

His comments foretelling a “slippery slope” also closely mirrored the National Rifle Association’s (NRA) long-held argument that even modest gun control regulations would inevitably lead to more stringent ones.

Trump also repeated earlier comments that shooters have “mental problems” and he is having “meaningful” talks with Democrats on possible gun regulations.

Politics: The art of being all things to all people.



Trump’s Party

Filed under: Politics — DRJ @ 10:00 pm

[Link from DRJ]

RealDonaldTrump on Twitter:

Great cohesion inside the Republican Party, the best I have ever seen. Despite all of the Fake News, my Poll Numbers are great. New internal polls show them to be the strongest we’ve had so far! Think what they’d be if I got fair media coverage!

7:21 AM · Aug 19, 2019

Maybe he will win in 2020 or maybe he won’t, but I agree with Trump that the GOP is his Party for now.


Trump and the Economy: A Comparison

Filed under: Politics — DRJ @ 4:40 pm

[Headline from DRJ]

President Trump and Kellyanne Conway recently offered reassurances about the economy. First, President Trump weighed in on Sunday:

President Donald Trump dismissed concerns of recession on Sunday and offered an optimistic outlook for the economy after last week’s steep drop in the financial markets.

“I don’t think we’re having a recession,” Trump told reporters as he returned to Washington from his New Jersey golf club. “We’re doing tremendously well. Our consumers are rich. I gave a tremendous tax cut and they’re loaded up with money.”

Today, counselor Kellyanne Conway added her economic analysis:

The “fundamentals” of the U.S. economy are solid, the White House asserted, invoking an ill-fated political declaration of a decade ago amid mounting concern that a recession could imperil President Donald Trump’s reelection.

Exhibiting no such concern, senior adviser Kellyanne Conway declared to reporters on Monday, “The fact is, the fundamentals of our economy are very strong.”

Do you believe them?

Did you believe Trump when he said tariffs hurt China and his trade adviser when he said tariffs don’t hurt America? If so:

Trump acknowledges China polices may mean US economic pain.



Trump pushes for More Gun Regulations

Filed under: Politics,Second Amendment — DRJ @ 11:00 am

[Headlines from DRJ]

Trump in talks with key senators on gun control legislation:

Meetings between White House officials, Senate aides appear to signal the most substantive talks the Trump administration has had to date on gun control policy.

Trump Advisors Wary As President Considers Gun Control Proposals:

Campaign advisers asked White House officials for at least a week to gauge how various options—including background checks and taking no action—would fare among the president’s base of supporters before the administration decides on an official course of action, a person close to the White House said.

Who can save gun control opponents from Trump’s desire to reach across the aisle? Only Mitch McConnell.

(What happened to yesterday’s Trump who warned Republicans to never help Democrats?)



Hong Kong Protests Escalate

Filed under: Politics — DRJ @ 4:39 pm

[Headline and tweets from DRJ]

Six hours ago, @Real Donald Trump tweeted this:

Our Intelligence has informed us that the Chinese Government is moving troops to the Border with Hong Kong. Everyone should be calm and safe!

12:17 PM · Aug 13, 2019

Then he retweeted this tweet showing a military convoy in Hong Kong:

Disturbing video taken in #Shenzhen just across the boarder with #HongKong. Something extraordinarily bad is about happen. #China #HongKongProtests #Democracy #SaveHongKong

Around the same time, the BBC reports riot police arrived in Hong Kong as Hong Kong protests cripple airport for second day:

Hong Kong International Airport saw chaotic scenes on a second consecutive day of massive anti-government protests that have paralysed one of Asia’s key transport hubs.

Squads of riot police arrived shortly before midnight after thousands of demonstrators again flooded the terminal buildings during the day.

Flight departures were brought to a standstill amid scuffles.

At least three men were mobbed inside the airport by protesters. They were said to be holding identity cards showing they were police officers from mainland China. Hong Kong police have admitted deploying officers disguised as anti-government protesters during the unrest in the city.

Previously, Trump has praised the Chinese for stopping protests with strength.


Snarky Comments are required on this Post

Filed under: Politics — DRJ @ 6:49 am

[Headlines from DRJ]

Amazon’s Face Recognition Falsely Matched 28 Members of Congress With Mugshots:

Amazon’s face surveillance technology is the target of growing opposition nationwide, and today, there are 28 more causes for concern. In a test the ACLU recently conducted of the facial recognition tool, called “Rekognition,” the software incorrectly matched 28 members of Congress, identifying them as other people who have been arrested for a crime. 

The members of Congress who were falsely matched with the mugshot database we used in the test include Republicans and Democrats, men and women, and legislators of all ages, from all across the country.

And at the LA Times — Facial recognition software mistook 1 in 5 California lawmakers for criminals, says ACLU:

Facial recognition software mistook 1 in 5 California lawmakers for criminals, says ACLU. In a recent test, facial recognition software incorrectly matched 26 California legislators with mug shots of people who had been arrested. California is considering banning such software from being used with police body cameras.



Administration alters Endangered Species Rules

Filed under: Environment,Politics — DRJ @ 12:00 pm

[Headline/Link from DRJ]

Trump rolls back endangered species protections:

The Trump administration on Monday announced it has finalized a controversial rollback of protections for endangered species, including allowing economic factors to be weighed before adding an animal to the list.

The Interior Department has scaled back other provisions within the law, including protections for threatened species and the review process used before projects are approved on their habitat.

There is also a pending change “to meaningfully distinguish species that are likely to be exposed to and affected by the assessed pesticides from those that are not likely.”

In general, environmentalists fear these changes will further endanger habitats and species, while businesses adversely impacted by the EPA view these as reasonable balancing. That makes this a partisan issue since the former are often Democrats and the latter are often Republicans.

I am curious why it took a GOP President 2 years and 204 days to do this.


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