What We're Reading

Daily Reads: Court Will Consider if Trump’s ‘Travel Ban’ is a Muslim Ban; Oklahoma Criminalizes Protest

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

Court Will Consider if Trump's 'Travel Ban' is a Muslim Ban

Demonstrators protest against Trump's travel ban on February 11, 2017, in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

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The travel ban goes to court –> President Trump’s first executive order restricting travel from several Muslim-majority countries goes to trial at a federal appeals court in Richmond, Virginia, today. The plaintiffs, the ACLU, will argue that the executive order, framed as a travel ban, is quite clearly the Muslim ban that Trump spoke about so often on the campaign trail. The administration, meanwhile, will argue “that the court doesn’t need to delve any deeper into statements by the president or his advisers, because national security alone is a legitimate basis for the travel ban,” Carrie Johnson reports for NPR. Ultimately, the case looks likely to head to the Supreme Court.

Oklahoma’s new anti-protest law –> A bill aimed at criminalizing protest against oil and gas pipelines was signed into law in Oklahoma. “The statute Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin approved Wednesday was rushed into immediate effect under a provision that declared the situation ‘an emergency,'” Alleen Brown reports for The Intercept. “It will dramatically increase penalties against protesters who trespass on property containing a ‘critical infrastructure facility.'” The law also threatens much larger fines for any person or group found to be “conspiring” with the trespasser/protestor.

Le Pen beat back in France –> Emmanuel Macron handily won the French election. Following the defeat of the Islamaphobic Geert Wilders in Dutch elections earlier this year, supporters of the EU cheered another victory against the anti-institution right-wing populism that delivered Trump to the presidency in America and buoyed the Brexit campaign in the UK. But turnout was down — many French people chose not to decide between a hard-right nationalist and a centrist former banker. In his victory speech, Macron promised to unite a divided and fractured France, saying: “I will do everything to make sure you never have reason again to vote for extremes.” Le Pen’s National Front party will now change its name.

Scientific review board gutted –> Scott Pruitt’s EPA dismissed half of the members of a scientific advisory panel over the weekend. The members were at the end of their three-year terms, but had been told both by the Obama administration and, earlier this year, by the Trump administration that their terms would be renewed. “I’ve never heard of any circumstance where someone didn’t serve two consecutive terms,” one member of the board told The Washington Post. The move is part of a push by the Trump administration and congressional Republicans to force agencies to use industry-friendly information (as opposed to peer-reviewed science) when making regulatory decisions.

Dodd-Frank repeal beginning –> While all eyes were focused on health care last week, a bill to dismantle the Dodd-Frank financial reforms — put in place after Wall Street excessed blew up the world economy in 2008 — is beginning to move. On Thursday, it was voted out of the House Financial Services Committee, and will now receive a vote from the full House of Representatives. Lobbyists are pushing hard for the legislation, Lydia O’Neal reports for the International Business Times. “The 34 committee members, all Republican, who voted in favor of the bill, received nearly 80 percent more 2016 election funding from commercial banks and holding companies than the 26 who voted against it, all Democrats,” she writes.

The big AHCA lies –> There are many lies swirling around Trumpcare. Brian Beutler writes for The New Republic four seem particularly important — including the oft-repeated claim that the law will not kick millions off medicaid. Beutler dismantles claims that the timing of the bill wasn’t an end-run around the CBO, untruths about pre-existing conditions and falsities about insurance-related mortality.

Early warning –> A 1981 British documentary examined the threat of global warming — one of the first treatments of the topic by the media. The climate news site Carbon Brief has posted the film. “The clips provide a poignant, historical insight into what scientists knew about climate change almost four decades ago — and how the world was beginning to react in terms of the resulting geopolitical, technological and societal ramifications,” Carbon Brief’s Leo Hickman writes. “Many of themes still resonate strongly today.”

Daily Reads was compiled by John Light and edited by Kristin Miller.



We produce this news digest every weekday. You can sign up to receive these updates as an email.