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Daily Reads: Trump Will Face Resistance from 800,000 Dreamers; The EPA Attacks a Reporter For Covering Flooded Superfund Sites

A roundup of stories we're reading at BillMoyers.com HQ...

Daily Reads: Trump Will Face Resistance from 800,000 Dreamers

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Trump’s DACA decision –> The administration will announce its position on “Dreamers” today — children who were brought to the US by their parents at a young age but who remain undocumented and face deportation. A tweet from Trump at 8 a.m. today — “Congress, get ready to do your job — DACA” — hinted at the path forward. The tweet indicates, NPR reports, that Trump intends to “let the program expire in six months, and place the onus on a sharply divided Congress to enact former President Obama’s executive action into law. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is set to make a formal announcement at 11 a.m.”

This means many people who grew up Americans could be deported to countries they haven’t lived in since they were only a few years old. One such dreamer was Alonso Guillen, a 31-year-old DJ, who drowned while rescuing people stranded in Houston, the Houston Chronicle reports.

But, Julia Preston reports for The Marshall Project, the dreamers won’t go quietly. “If President Trump was aggravated by the legal challenges to his travel ban, wait until he takes on the young immigrants who call themselves Dreamers. He is likely to face a far bigger storm of opposition in the courts and also in the streets if he decides to shut down a program that has given protection from deportation to nearly 800,000 undocumented immigrants who came to this country as children.”

Harvey clean-up begins –> It will be an enormous task. In many cases, Houston residents have lost everything — but with the first of the month, Oliver Milman reports for The Guardian, they are expected to pay rent on their destroyed homes.

The Associated Press reported over the weekend that 13 of 41 Superfund sites in Texas were flooded by the storm, but the EPA is nowhere to be found. “EPA’s job is to try to clean those up and find responsible parties, the companies who originally caused the pollution and see if they can pay for the clean up,” AP reporter Michael Biesecker told the PBS NewsHour.

When the AP put out its report, the EPA responded with a press release attacking the Biesecker, accusing him of “reporting from the comfort of Washington” (he was on site) and linking to a Breitbart article that called the AP “fake news.”

Meanwhile, the Caribbean and Florida are bracing for the impact of Hurricane Irma, a category five hurricane expected to reach Puerto Rico tomorrow.

Tanned, rested and… ready? –> Congress is back in session after an August break, and there’s a lot on its plate. Michael Bender and Kristina Peterson report for The Wall Street Journal that Trump and Senate Republicans “will have to grapple with keeping the federal government open, paying US creditors and passing a hurricane-aid bill.”

For now, it seems like a government shutdown won’t be happening over Trump’s border wall, as some, including the White House, were predicting. The AP reports that Treasury Secretary Mnuchin wants a debt limit increase in order to send a $7.9 billion disaster relief package to Texas.

The crisis worsens –> New data from Ohio’s Department of Health shows that overdose deaths in the state, which is one of the hardest hit by the opioid crisis, rose by 33 percent between 2015 and 2016. Use of heroin and cocaine is growing in Ohio, but fentanyl overdoses have skyrocketed, Julie Lurie reports for Mother Jones.

“Begging for war”? –> North Korea detonated a nuclear weapon over the weekend. Though the country has tested many missiles during the past months, this explosion was the first test of an actual bomb during the Trump presidency. The administration warned that North Korea is “begging for war” and is asking China and UN Security Council members to stop sending any fuel to the country, David Sanger and Choe Sang-Hun report for The New York Times.

EPA steps up its climate denial –> Juliet Eilperin reports for The Washington Post that the Environmental Protection Agency now requires a political operative in the agency’s public affairs office to sign off on any grants or awards coming from the agency. The aide, John Konkus, “reviews every award the agency gives out, along with every grant solicitation before it is issued,” Eilperin reports, and has told his colleagues he is on the lookout for “the double C-word” and “repeatedly has instructed grant officers to eliminate references” to climate change.

Pruitt’s endgame –> Why is Scott Pruitt pandering so heavily to climate deniers in his party’s right wing? He’s likely planning a run for office, those close to him say. Robin Bravender reports for E&E News that the EPA head could have his eye on the Oklahoma governorship, or be hoping to replace Sen. Jim Inhofe, the elder statesman of climate denial who famously brought a snowball to the Senate floor and thus proved climate change wasn’t happening.

Very generous –> During the campaign, Trump broke with bipartisan orthodoxy and criticized the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, alleging that it was involved in 9/11. But after his first visit to the kingdom, he had fewer objections. Might the huge heap of gifts shoved his way by the Saudis helped to change his mind? Who can say. But thanks to a FOIA request from reporter Ken Klippenstein, The Daily Beast now has a full accounting of what those gifts were. They “range from the regal (‘Artwork featuring picture of President Trump’) to the martial (multiple swords, daggers, leather ammo holders and holsters), to the baroque (tiger and cheetah fur robes, and a dagger made of pure silver with a mother of pearl sheath).”

Sean Spicer, thought leader –> The former White House spokesman, who stayed in his job through a bevy of embarrassments only to quit once Anthony Scaramucci was made his boss, has a new gig. He will go on a speaking tour, traveling the world, dispensing “candor, wit and insight,” according to his new employer, Worldwide Speakers Group. He’s also looking for a television job after CNN refused to hire him, citing credibility issues related to his assertions about the crowd size at the inauguration “and other false statements made from the podium,” Annie Karnie reports for Politico.

 

Daily Reads was compiled by BillMoyers.com staff and edited by Kristin Miller.


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