Trump Says He Will Release Final Set of Documents on Kennedy Assassination
|| NY Times
“WASHINGTON — President Trump has decided to release a final batch of thousands of classified government documents related to the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy, Mr. Trump announced in a tweet on Saturday morning.
“Subject to the receipt of further information, I will be allowing, as President, the long blocked and classified JFK FILES to be opened,” Mr. Trump said on Twitter.
The release of the information being held in secret at the National Archives — including several thousand never-before-seen documents — was mandated to occur by Oct. 26 under a 1992 law that sought to quell conspiracy theories about the assassination.
Mr. Trump has the power to block the release of the documents, and intelligence agencies have pressured him to do so for at least some of them. The agencies are concerned that information contained in some of the documents could damage national security interests.
“The president believes that these documents should be made available in the interests of full transparency unless agencies provide a compelling and clear national security or law enforcement justification otherwise,” the statement said.
It is not known what revelations might be contained in the unreleased documents, though researchers and authors of books about Kennedy say they do not expect any bombshells that significantly alter the official narrative of the assassination — that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in Dallas — delivered in 1964 by the Warren Commission.
But the documents are likely to “help fuel a new generation of conspiracy theories,” according to Philip Shenon, a former New York Times reporter and the author of a book about the commission, and Larry J. Sabato, a University of Virginia professor and author of a book about Kennedy, who wrote a recent article about the documents in Politico.”
Shares of U.S. Media Companies Set for Worst Month Since 2015
|| Wall Street Journal
Traditional players struggle to adapt to shift toward streaming services
“By Michael Wursthorn / WSJ
Shares of cable providers and entertainment companies in the U.S. are suffering their worst stretch in nearly two years, as traditional players struggle to adapt to a shift toward streaming services.
Americans are ditching television subscriptions in favor of viewing movies and TV shows through online services. The move disrupts a delicate ecosystem of media companies sustaining themselves on subscription fees from pay-TV providers, and echoes Amazon.com Inc.’s upending of the brick-and-mortar retail landscape.
This development, along with disruptions related to major summer storms, has been pushing down stocks of major cable and broadcast companies.
In a sign of the diverging fortunes, Roku Inc., an early player in streaming television, priced its initial public offering late Wednesday. The IPO price valued the company at about $1.3 billion, according to a person familiar with the deal.
A group of 13 media companies in the S&P 500 have fallen 3.5% so far in September, on track for its steepest monthly decline since December 2015, while the S&P 500 has gained 1.4%.
Media shares got a bit of a reprieve Wednesday, rising 1% in their biggest gain since late July as the group joined an upswing in the broader market. Doug Mitchelson, a media analyst with UBS Group AG, attributed the gains to the Republican tax overhaul, which was unveiled Wednesday and proposed sharply reduced tax rates on businesses and many individuals.
“One of the top reasons for cord-cutting is affordability,” said Mr. Mitchelson. “A healthier consumer is a better spender for media companies.”
A selloff in the sector gathered pace on Sept. 7, when two industry giants gave updates that disappointed investors. Comcast Corp. said it expects to lose as many as 150,000 video subscribers in the third quarter.
“There’s a general level of concern around the major media companies having to do with cord-cutting and audience trends,” said Bryan Kraft, a media analyst with Deutsche Bank. “Those concerns aren’t new, but when there’s data to support they’re getting worse, you tend to see the stocks react accordingly.”
Even as the media sector over all holds on to gains for the year, up 3.9%, analysts say shares could slide further as companies cope with greater competition from rivals who are stepping up spending on content creation, such as Netflix Inc. and Apple Inc., as well as a challenging ratings environment.
National Football League games, usually considered a reliable draw for TV viewers and ad dollars, have been another headache for media companies. Ratings for this season’s NFL games have been mostly flat or down, compared with the year-earlier period, said analysts, who added that disruptions wrought by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma could be partly to blame.
NFL ratings could also be affected by players’ national anthem protests after President Donald Trump blasted players who participated. DirecTV is letting at least some customers cancel subscriptions to its Sunday ticket package of NFL games and obtain refunds if they cite the protests as the reason.
“These extraordinary hurricanes have had a pretty severe impact on viewership, but it’s difficult to quantify” the impact from those storms alone, said Mr. Mitchelson. “Investors are nervous NFL ratings could end up down for the season.”
Besides that, new online “skinny bundles”—slimmed-down packages of channels from the likes of Hulu and YouTube TV—have left out many cable channels that are part of the traditional bundle. That will put pressure on some channel owners as more consumers sign up for those services, said Mr. Kraft, the media analyst at Deutsche Bank.
“Those services are seeing a lot of subscriber growth,” Mr. Kraft said, although he added the exact size of that population is hard to peg since some companies don’t release specific numbers.
Still, analysts pointed to Charter Communications Inc. as a bright spot among the media landscape. The company last year bought Time Warner Cable Inc. and Bright House Networks, making it one of the largest cable operators in the U.S.
Tucker ON FIRE Over Trump Wiretap: ‘We Live In A Country With Deeply Corrupt Institutions’
|| Daily Caller
“Tucker Carlson unloaded on U.S. intelligence and the mainstream media Tuesday on Fox News, alleging that American institutions are “deeply corrupt.”
Carlson mocked critics in a sarcastic voice saying, “Wiretapping? Come on. That’s tin foil hat stuff, it’s nuts!”
The Daily Caller co-founder continued, “Now, in another time with more trustworthy institutions that would have been the end of the story. But we live in a country with deeply corrupt institutions…”
Carlson recapped recent reports, stating, “According to a now report from CNN, Paul Manafort who for a time last year was Trump’s campaign chairman was wiretapped by the federal government both before and after the election.”
“Manafort, it ought to be noted, had an apartment inside Trump Tower during that time so it’s virtually certain that surveillance of him would have included other members of the Trump campaign staff, maybe Trump himself,” he said.
Carlson is referring to a recent report from CNN that shows that Manafort was wiretapped before the election by the federal government.”
Executive Authority: How Presidential Statements Could Undermine Both Sides In The Litigation Over DACA
“Below is my column in USA Today on the role that statements from both President Barack Obama and Donald Trump could feature greatly in the unfolding litigation over the rescinding of the DACA order. Ironically, it will be the opposing sides relying on the respective statements from these presidents.
Here is the column.
For Justice Department lawyers, this week must have a maddening familiarity.
The lawyers are in court defending President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. They are also looking at a challenge by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and others to President Trump’s rescission of DACA.
Key to both cases is the doctrine of the separation of powers. Tuesday, the administration staked out the position that DACA was constitutionally flawed as a circumvention of the legislative branch. However, that position was less than 10 hours old when Trump posted a tweet that directly contradicted the legal position of his own administration. Trump suggested that he might reissue DACA or a similar program if Congress does not act — effectively same position as Obama.
It was an all-too-familiar position for the Justice Department. Earlier this year, presidential tweets and comments directly contradicted arguments being used to defend Trump’s immigration ban in court. Those tweets were then used by various courts in rulings against the administration.
However, there is a twist this time. The expected litigation over DACA’s rescission could feature not one but two presidents as witnesses against their own positions: Trump and Obama.
After Attorney General Jeff Sessions quoted from my prior work on the separation of powers in his announcement rescinding DACA, I have certainly heard from many angry people who were aghast that my work would support such a result. It does. As a Madisonian scholar, I believe strongly in clear lines of separation of powers and the need to restore legislative authority after years of unilateral presidential actions. I also happen to support protections for “dreamers,” whose parents brought them here illegally when they were young children. In the end, it was not the merits but the means behind Obama’s program that ran afoul of the Constitution. Regardless of how one feels about amnesty programs, Trump returned DACA to the place it should have remained: in Congress.
Sessions laid out that principled position in favor of the legislative process mandated by the Framers. Yet no sooner had the attorney general explained that position when the president tweeted, “Congress now has six months to legalize DACA (something the Obama administration was unable to do). If they can’t, I will revisit this issue!”
The tweet was widely interpreted to mean that Trump is prepared to do exactly what Sessions said was unconstitutionally done by the Obama administration: Issue an executive action to protect DACA immigrants.
It is hard to see how “revisit” does not mean “reissue.” If so, the tweet undermines the position of the administration in court over DACA and takes away constitutional high ground claimed by Sessions. In the pending litigation, plaintiffs can now argue that DACA is not really dead, and that the president was not serious about leaving it entirely to Congress.
Likewise, any challenge by Schneiderman and others can now cite the tweet as evidence that the separation of powers concerns were not the motivation for the president. Rather, they will argue that Trump, like Obama, has suggested that he could order the same relief if Congress does not yield to his demands.
The tweet also undermined the legislative strategy of the administration. The pressure to get Congress to act seemed to be working after Sessions’ announcement. Many Republicans saw the political costs of the termination of DACA as worse than the costs for passing some protection for these individuals. As soon as that pressure seemed to be motivating members toward action, the tweet reduced that pressure by suggesting that Trump would not allow the program to truly die.
Conversely, Schneiderman and the challengers have their own inconvenient presidential statements to contend with. Some expect challengers to bring a case under the Administrative Procedure Act as a “substantive” (or “legislative”) rule requiring a notice-and-comment period. Putting aside that the rule does not require such a process for “interpretative rules, general statements of policy, or rules of agency organization, procedure, or practice,” Schneiderman and his other challengers never went to court to challenge DACA itself on the same grounds. DACA notably did not go through notice or comment.
Finally, not only can the Justice Department argue that the procedural rule does not apply to a president as a non-agency, the memo creating DACA stated, “This memorandum confers no substantive right, immigration status or pathway to citizenship.”
Likewise, where Trump’s tweets and comments are likely, again, to feature prominently in litigation, Obama’s statements are likely to be equally problematic for challengers. Some challengers are suggesting that DACA may be permanent because of the “estoppel doctrine” — arguing that dreamers relied on the government promise that they could remain.
However, in his issuing of the DACA order, Obama expressly stated that it is “not a permanent fix. This is a temporary stopgap measure.” Obama also said he could not change federal immigration law through his executive orders.
Thus, Obama and his administration are on record undermining claims under both the procedural rule and estoppel. Ultimately, the challengers will be in the unenviable position of arguing that Trump’s rescinding DACA requires notice and comment when Obama’s implementation of DACA did not.
Moreover, challengers are suggesting that Obama had inherent presidential authority to bar the enforcement of federal law, but that Trump cannot use the same authority to enforce it. Finally, they will have to argue that people already in this country unlawfully have an enforceable promise despite Obama saying that he could not change the law or make any permanent promises.
The deepening uncertainty over presidential statements and the status of DACA only reinforces the wisdom of the Framers in forcing such major decisions into the legislative process. What we need is additional legislation, not proclamations. Otherwise, the upcoming litigation is going to get awfully confusing.
Jonathan Turley, the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University, is a member of USA TODAY’s Board of Contributors.”
University Of California President Sues Over DACA Rollback
|| Daily Caller
“The University of California became the first college Friday to sue the Trump administration over its decision to rollback the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
UC president Janet Napolitano, who helped form the DACA program in 2012, filed the lawsuit in a federal court, alleging that the Trump administration’s decision violated the rights of the students who participate in the program, reports KTVU.
“Neither I, nor the University of California, take the step of suing the federal government lightly, especially not the very agency that I led,” Napolitano said. “It is imperative, however, that we stand up for these vital members of the UC community. To arbitrarily and capriciously end the DACA program, which benefits our country as a whole, is not only unlawful, it is contrary to our national values and bad policy.”
Napolitano was serving as the secretary of the Department of Homeland during the Obama administration when she helped form DACA, which gives children brought to the United States illegally two year work permits to stay in the country. The Trump administration announced Tuesday that they would be rescinding the program with a six month delay in order to allow Congress time to act if they want.
Napolitano’s lawsuit argues that rolling back DACA will harm the University of California by taking away productive students and that the Trump administration did not take the proper steps when deciding to cancel the program.
“The University has constitutionally-protected interests in the multiple educational benefits that flow from a diverse student body. If these students leave the University before completing their education, UC will lose the benefits it derives from their contributions, as well as the value of the time and money it invested in these students,” the lawsuit says.
There are currently 800,000 illegal immigrants who receive DACA in the United States. Approximately 4,000 illegal immigrant students attend the UC campus, a good portion of which are students who are on DACA.”
“The point I’m trying to illustrate here is that fairness in immigration policy has to be understood in the context of scarcity. The demand for U.S. residency, given how wealthy the country is, vastly outstrips the supply of immigration spots that America offers or can realistically offer. Moreover, no country on earth has a fully open-borders policy as a matter of law.
The question of justice that arises, then, is this: Is it fair to all those people who want to come to the U.S. but cannot (owing to oceans and immigration laws) that people in violation of U.S. immigration law are allowed to stay? You might say that the fact that DACA-eligible individuals were brought as children defeats these considerations of fairness. But what of the millions of Bangladeshi children, many of whom have nothing but a sweatshop to look forward to? They would have loved to grow up in the U.S.
And what of the children who were brought into the U.S. legally? DACA offers no protections to such individuals. Many of the visas the U.S. offers, including the F-1 student visa and the H1-B, are temporary, and many children are brought to the U.S. as dependents by parents who have such visas. Such a child can be in the same situation as a DACA recipient: She grew up mostly in the U.S., but would have to leave once her parents’ visa runs out.”
MYSTERY: Car Speeds Out of Woods as POTUS Trump’s Limo Passes By in Springfield, MO
“A video posted to YouTube on Wednesday shows a mysterious white car speeding out of the woods just as President Trump’s limo was passing by in Springfield, MO. The car makes hard contact with the concrete drain and quickly pulls over to the shoulder.
“Oh my gosh! Look at that car that just came out of the woods,” said one of the men watching as President Trump’s limo passed by.
“That car right there just drove out of the woods!”, the man repeated.
What appear to be Secret Service agents then did a U-turn and exited their truck to engage the people inside the white car.”
President Trump has told senior aides that he has decided to remove Stephen K. Bannon, the embattled White House chief strategist who helped Mr. Trump win the 2016 election, according to two administration officials briefed on the discussion.
The president and senior White House officials were debating when and how to dismiss Mr. Bannon. The two administration officials cautioned that Mr. Trump is known to be averse to confrontation within his inner circle, and could decide to keep on Mr. Bannon for some time.
As of Friday morning, the two men were still discussing Mr. Bannon’s future, the officials said. A person close to Mr. Bannon insisted the parting of ways was his idea, and that he had submitted his resignation to the president on Aug. 7, to be announced at the start of this week, but it was delayed in the wake of the racial unrest in Charlottesville, Va.
Mr. Bannon had clashed for months with other senior West Wing advisers and members of the president’s family.
Sara Carter of Circa News tweeted out, “Steve Bannon just told me he resigned from the White House two weeks ago.”
“White House chief strategist Steve Bannon is leaving his position in President Donald Trump’s administration.
“White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and Steve Bannon have mutually agreed today would be Steve’s last day,” press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement Friday. “We are grateful for his service and wish him the best.”
The Drudge Report first reported the news, and said that he may return to the conservative website Breitbart.
The political strategist reportedly submitted his resignation to the president on Aug. 7, according to The New York Times. While it was scheduled for Monday, Bannon’s resignation was delayed in the aftermath of the violent protests in Charlottesville, Va., over the weekend. Trump and administration officials have been deliberating for some time as to when and how to release Bannon.
Bannon was one of the first people to jump on board the president’s political team when he announced his bid for the presidency in 2015. Rumors floated Thursday that Bannon might lose his job after the political strategist landed in hot water after The Prospect released an article Wednesday in which Bannon made some unsavory comments regarding members of the administration.”
“President Trump announced Thursday that the US will pull out of the Paris global climate pact — fulfilling a campaign promise but alarming other world leaders and even going against the wishes of fossil fuel giants like Exxon and BP.
“The United States will withdraw from the Paris climate accord but begin negotiations to re-enter either the Paris accord or an entirely new transaction in terms that are fair to the United States and its workers. So we’re getting out. We’ll see if we can make a deal. If we can’t, that’s fine,” Trump said to cheers during a ceremony in the Rose Garden in which he patted himself on the back for keeping his campaign promises.
“I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris,” Trump added after detailing what he said the costs of remaining in the accord would be.
President Obama in a statement lamented the decision, saying that other nations would benefit at the expense of the US.
EPA Secretary Scott Pruitt and Trump adviser Steve Bannon, both climate change skeptics, pushed the president to withdraw, while Trump’s daughter Ivanka reportedly wanted her father to stay in the accord.
The White House had signaled that the move was likely, but Trump has been known to change his mind at the last minute on such major decisions.
Abandoning the pact was one of Trump’s principal campaign pledges, but America’s allies have expressed alarm about the likely consequences.
Trump’s decision reverses one of the Obama administration’s signature achievements, and means the US will join only Nicaragua — which didn’t think the treaty went far enough — and Syria as UN-member countries that aren’t aboard. Even China and Russia remain committed to the pact.”
Here’s How Trump’s Move To Leave The Paris Deal Affects Climate Change
|| Daily Caller
“President Donald Trump’s decision to leave the contentious Paris climate accord is unlikely to substantially affect greenhouse gas levels that scientists believe contribute to global warming.
Trump’s move to pull the country out of a nearly 200-nation climate pact seeking to reduce the world’s temperature could put the deal in limbo, but it remains to be seen how much the president’s move will affect greenhouse gas levels.
Germany, France, and seemingly every other nation connected to the agreement have been pushing for more renewable energy and less coal usage. European countries have pressured the U.S. to give up coal and move toward solar and wind power, among other alternative sources.
Yet China and India, among other developing nations involved in the Paris deal, have quietly ratcheted up their coal production while accepting subsidies from developed countries to become greener.
China’s coal power generation hit a record 396.1 billion kilowatt hours (kWh) in March, which is 8 percent above coal generation the previous year. That month’s level of coal production came after the country generated a record-breaking 385.6 billion kWh in December 2016, according to recent reports from energy group Platts.
The communist country entered a joint pact earlier this year with Pakistan that is expected to spend around $15 billion over the next 15 years to build close to a dozen coal power plants across the country. China promised to “peak” emissions, not reduce them, by 2030, while the U.S. pledged to cut emissions 26 to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025.
Obama made promises made despite greenhouse gas emissions falling dramatically over the past 10 years.
Between 2005 and 2012, emissions fell 11 percent, the majority of which tumbled shortly after the financial collapse, according to the latest reports from the United Nations Framework Convention On Climate Change.
China, meanwhile, promised to “peak” carbon emissions by 2030, yet its government plans to increase its coal capacity up to 20 percent. Climate scientists consider coal production to be the primary contributor to global warming. China is the world’s largest emitter of carbon emissions.
Chinese officials proposed a five-year plan last year that would “raise coal-fired power capacity from around 900 gigawatts last year to as high as 1,100 gigawatts by 2020,” which is “more than the total power capacity of Canada,” according to a reporter from The Wall Street Journal.
There is no indication that China or India has any intention of reducing these levels, even as environmentalists and academics continue to claim the country is on the right track. Both countries must dramatically increase. India is the third largest carbon emitter on Earth.”
Trump’s rejection of Paris climate deal is ‘insane’ and ‘deviant behavior,’ California’s Gov. Moonbeam says
|| LA Times
“Gov. Jerry Brown lashed out on Thursday at President Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from an historic agreement on climate change, calling it wrong on both economic and environmental fronts.
“His effort is misguided. I would even say, this is an insane move by this president,” Brown said in a conference call hosted by the nonprofit World Resources Institute.
The governor, who had been ratcheting up his rhetoric in the hours before the widely expected action on the Paris climate change accord, said the decision may backfire on the president.
“And, in fact, Trump may well create the exact opposite of what he intended,” the governor said. “And that is an aroused citizenry in America, and aroused nations of the world who will not tolerate this kind of deviant behavior from the highest office in the land.”
Brown also announced a pact with the governors of New York and Washington to create an alliance of states that vow to uphold the Paris agreement even without federal support. That agreement, according to a news release from Brown’s office, would create a new partnership to “strengthen existing climate programs, promote the sharing of information and best practices, and implement new programs to reduce carbon emissions from all sectors of the economy.”