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Truthdig: Drilling Beneath the Headlines

Truthdig, a Web magazine that provides expert in-depth coverage of current affairs as well as a variety of thoughtful, provocative content assembled from a progressive point of view. Editor, Robert Scheer. Publisher, Zuade Kaufman.

Published: 2017-07-22T20:10:15+00:00


Democrats Announce House and Senate Agreement on Sanctions Against Russia

2017-07-22T20:10:15+00:00Sat, 22 Jul 2017 20:10:15 +0000

By Richard Lardner / Associated Press If the bill is passed, legislators might be on a collision course with the president. (Pictured, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.)

Senators Engage in a New Bipartisan Effort to Pass Dream Act

2017-07-22T19:29:39+00:00Sat, 22 Jul 2017 19:29:39 +0000

  Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham (left) and Democratic Sen. Richard Durbin on Capitol Hill in May. (Carolyn Kaster / AP) Two senators from opposite sides of the aisle are joining together to try to pass the Dream Act, a piece of legislation that would pave the way for illegal immigrants to gain U.S. citizenship. Sen. Richard J. Durbin, a Democrat from Illinois, and Sen. Lindsey Graham, a Republican from South Carolina, are hoping for success this time around, as numerous versions of the legislation have been introduced in the past only to result in failure. The Washington Post explains: Hoping to fend off a legal challenge to a program that has spared nearly 800,000 young immigrants from deportation, two veteran senators made a long-shot appeal to President Trump on Thursday to support legislation that would put those immigrants and thousands of others on a path to U.S. citizenship. Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.) and Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) introduced “Dream Act” legislation that would grant permanent legal status to more than 1 million young people who arrived in the United States before they turned 18, passed security checks and met other criteria, including enrolling in college, joining the military or finding jobs. Immigrants must have lived in the United States for at least four years to apply. “I am hoping we can find a pathway forward with President Trump,” Graham said at a news conference. “Wouldn’t it be ironic if the man who started his campaign talking about illegal immigration in a very tough way would be the man who started the country on a path to solving the problem?” The Post notes that, according to the Migration Policy Institute, “1.8 million immigrants would qualify for conditional legal status under the proposed Dream Act, and a subset of 1.5 million probably would meet the criteria for green cards.” Since President Trump took office, there has been renewed focus on both the Dream Act and President Obama’s immigration program Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Durbin and Graham’s revival of the Dream Act comes on the same day that 20 state attorney generals released a letter to President Trump, imploring him “to maintain and defend the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, which represents a success story for the more than three quarters of a million ‘Dreamers’ who are currently registered for it.” The letter continues: In addition to strengthening our states and country, DACA gives these bright, driven young people the peace of mind and stability to earn a college degree and to seek employment that matches their education and training. The protection afforded by DACA gives them dignity and the ability to fully pursue the American dream. For many, the United States is the only country they have ever known. The consequences of rescinding DACA would be severe, not just for the hundreds of thousands of young people who rely on the program—and for their employers, schools, universities, and families—but for the country’s economy as a whole. For example, in addition to lost tax revenue, American businesses would face billions in turnover costs, as employers would lose qualified workers whom they have trained and in whom they have invested And as the chief law officers of our respective states, we strongly believe that DACA has made our communities safer, enabling these young people to report crimes to police without fear of deportation. You have repeatedly expressed your support for Dreamers. Today, we join together to urge you not to capitulate to the demands Texas and nine other states set forth in their June 29, 2017, letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions. That letter demands, under threat of litigation, that your Administration end the DACA initiative. The arguments set forth in that letter are wrong as a matter of law and policy. Online outlet AZ Central writes that “dreamers” are reacting to Durbin and Graham’s effort with a mix of skepticism and hope: Jessica Rub[...]

U.S. Bill Would Make It a Felony to Support the International Boycott Against Israel (Video)

2017-07-22T19:24:26+00:00Sat, 22 Jul 2017 19:24:26 +0000

Amy Goodman discusses bills targeting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel with Rabbi Joseph Berman and The Intercept’s Ryan Grim. (Pictured, a rally for BDS in New York.)

Stand With Sanders Against ‘Pro-Fracking’ Bill, Environmentalists Urge Senate Democrats

2017-07-22T18:12:38+00:00Sat, 22 Jul 2017 18:12:38 +0000

By Jessica Corbett / Common Dreams Amid Democratic silence, Sen. Bernie Sanders (pictured) is winning praise for condemning what environmental groups call a “giveaway to oil and gas interests.”

‘Dunkirk’ Avoids Politics and Melodrama to Deliver a Powerful Human Survival Story

2017-07-22T16:39:41+00:00Sat, 22 Jul 2017 16:39:41 +0000

By Allen Barra Christopher Nolan’s film is not only different from any other ever made on the subject. It’s different from any other connected to war.

The World’s Young Face a $535 Trillion Bill for Climate Change

2017-07-22T16:02:01+00:00Sat, 22 Jul 2017 16:02:01 +0000

By Tim Radford / Climate News Network Much of that will have to be spent on expensive technologies engineered to suck 1,000 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide from the air by 2100, a new study shows.

Dunkirk Represents a Big Disgrace and a Great Moment in British History

2017-07-22T00:06:36+00:00Sat, 22 Jul 2017 00:06:36 +0000

By Allen Barra Winston Churchill called the World War II battle “a colossal military disaster” and the evacuation “a miracle of deliverance.”

Who Owns What

2017-07-21T23:22:14+00:00Fri, 21 Jul 2017 23:22:14 +0000


Meet the GOP Insider Who Created White Nationalist Richard Spencer

2017-07-21T22:35:03+00:00Fri, 21 Jul 2017 22:35:03 +0000

By Lance Williams / Reveal Retired Chicago business executive William H. Regnery II (pictured, right) provided Spencer (above, left) with the platform he needed to launch the “alt-right” movement.

Trump Is Reported to Be Discussing Possibility of Pardoning Himself, Relatives or Aides

2017-07-21T22:23:46+00:00Fri, 21 Jul 2017 22:23:46 +0000

  Donald Trump and his family during the grand opening of Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., in October. (Manuel Balce Ceneta / AP) Just when you think Donald Trump’s presidency can’t get any stranger, it does. After the partial transcript of his odd interview with The New York Times was released Wednesday, The Washington Post reported that Trump is discussing with lawyers the possibility of pardoning himself, his family and close aides in order to undercut special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into allegations that the Trump presidential campaign colluded with Russia to influence the 2016 election—an investigation that Trump has long called “a witch hunt.” In the Times interview, Trump says he believes Mueller would be going too far with the investigation if he looked into the Trump family’s personal finances: [MICHAEL S.] SCHMIDT: Last thing, if Mueller was looking at your finances and your family finances, unrelated to Russia — is that a red line? [MAGGIE] HABERMAN: Would that be a breach of what his actual charge is? TRUMP: I would say yeah. I would say yes. However, Trump’s businesses have had dealings with Russia for years, which makes the boundaries of the investigation less concrete. The Justice Department’s order of May 17 instructed Mueller to conduct an investigation into “any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign” as well as “any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation.” Both the Times and Bloomberg have reported that Mueller is, in fact, investigating these business entanglements. According to another Times story, the Trump team also is attempting to dig up dirt on the special counsel’s investigators in order to discredit them. Trump says that members of Mueller’s investigative team have potential conflicts of interest and that he will make them known “at some point.” These “conflicts” may include the fact that several of Mueller’s lawyers made personal donations to Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton’s campaigns, though the Department of Justice’s specific ethics guidelines for what constitutes a conflict of interest does not include “campaign donations.” Why is the Trump team reacting this way? NBC News reports that multiple U.S. officials say Mueller is “finding the strike zone” in gathering evidence in his investigation—so it’s unsurprising that Trump is getting defensive. The Washington Post states that Trump told aides he was particularly concerned after learning that Mueller would be able to access several years of his tax returns. Trump’s refusal to reveal his recent returns breaks the string of such disclosures by every president since Jimmy Carter. Also notable is the likelihood that in order to fire Mueller, Trump would first have to fire Attorney General Jeff Sessions. This could explain Trump’s complaints levied against Sessions in the Times interview when he said it was “extremely unfair” for Sessions to recuse himself from overseeing the Russia investigation. Sessions brushed off these comments, saying he plans “to continue to [be the attorney general] as long as that is appropriate” and that his team “wholeheartedly” shares the priorities of the Trump administration. According to The Washington Post: Some Republicans in frequent touch with the White House said they viewed the president’s decision to publicly air his disappointment with Sessions as a warning sign that the attorney general’s days were numbered. Several senior aides were described as “stunned” when Sessions announced Thursday morning he would stay on at the Justice Department. Another Republican in touch with the administration described the public steps as part of a broader effort[...]