What We're Reading

Daily Reads: Sessions Peddles “Nativist Lies” About Dreamers; The West Is On Fire

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

Sessions Peddles "Nativist Lies" About Dreamers

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Nativist lies –> In announcing that the Trump regime will end the DACA program in six months, Attorney General Jeff Sessions “could have given a straightforward speech,” writes Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern, but instead “he slandered DACA’s nearly 800,000 recipients in nativist language with barely concealed racist undertones.”

Betsy Woodruff reports for The Daily Beast that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is now “poised to weaponize” information that Dreamers provided to the federal government by using it to target them for deportation.

While regime officials say publicly that they’re sympathetic to the Dreamers’ plight and hope that Congress will authorize a new DACA program, Noah Lanard reports for Mother Jones that they’re busy sending around talking points urging Dreamers to “self-deport” over the next six months.

Meanwhile, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman will “announce a multistate lawsuit to protect beneficiaries of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program at a news conference on Wednesday,” according to Reuters.

In an unusual show of cross-partisan agreement, 76 percent of Americans oppose deporting the Dreamers, with only 15 percent supporting the move, according to a new Politico/Morning Consult poll.

And Rebecca Savransky reports for The Hill that right up until Tuesday’s announcement, Trump’s aides worried that the president “didn’t fully understand what the move would mean.”

There’s no need to test it… It’s contaminated –> That’s what one Houston public health official said of the toxic sludge churned up by Hurricane Harvey. Grist’s Amelia Urrey reports that people living in neighborhoods adjacent to Houston’s refining and chemical plants already suffer from cancer at a rate that’s 20 percent higher than the city as a whole, and goes through exactly what substances are likely to be problematic in the months to come.

Meanwhile, Hurricane Irma is now the most powerful storm ever recorded over the Atlantic Ocean, and is barrelling our way. And Christopher Flavelle and Erik Wasson report for Bloomberg that the Federal Emergency Management Agency, FEMA, is almost out of disaster funds.

Here’s a look at Irma’s awesome power as the storm hit St. Maarten this morning…

Changing America –> A new report by the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) finds that “only 43 percent of Americans identify as white and Christian, and only 30 percent as white and Protestant.” In 1976, over 80 percent of the public identified as white and Christian, and a majority of the population identified as white protestants. Also: As recently as 2007, 39 states had majority white Christian populations, but that’s now true of fewer than half of them.

And PRRI head Robert Jones writes at USA Today that white evangelicals, who have long equated their community’s “growth with divine approval,” are now “finding themselves on the losing side of demographic changes,” and this, he argues, helps explain their incongruous support for Donald Trump. They “have clearly seen Trump’s presidency as a possible way to stave off changes that would constitute the real end of an era where their cultural worldview held sway.”

Nuclear one-upmanship –> Sam Levine reports for HuffPost that “Donald Trump’s threat to cut off trade with any country that does business with North Korea would have massive consequences on the global economic stage if executed,” including halting trade between the US and China.

And at Foreign Policy, William Tobey writes that Pyongyang’s latest nuclear test was just one of a number of recent examples of North Korea humiliating Chinese leader Xi Jinping, who “styles himself as the strongest Chinese leader since Mao.” The question is whether China will up the pressure on Kim Jong Un or continue to “look feeble.”

The West is burning –> “A growing Oregon wildfire covered parts of Portland’s metropolitan area Tuesday with ash,” Gillian Flaccus and Nicholas Geranios report for the AP. It’s just “one of dozens of wildfires burning in western US states that sent smoke into cities from Seattle to Denver.”

This is really something to behold.

On our radar –> Nahal Toosi reports for Politico that Trump may “decertify” the Iran nuclear deal, which would “not invalidate the nuclear deal or constitute a US withdrawal,” but would “rattle US allies in Europe and beyond who fear that Trump wants to unravel the agreement without actually declaring that the US will no longer honor it.”

Protect and serve –> “A newspaper photographer from Ohio was shot Monday night by a sheriff’s deputy who apparently mistook his camera and tripod for a gun, and fired without a warning,” reports Kristine Phillips for The Washington Post.

And in Utah, days after video of a nurse being roughly detained for refusing to violate the law at the request of a detective went viral, hospital officials implemented a new policy barring police from patient areas and mandating that they make all requests through an administrative liaison. Daniel Victor has more at The New York Times.

Kompromat and kleptocracy –> On Russian state TV, Nikita Isaev, leader of the far-right New Russia Movement, said that the Kremlin should “hit Donald Trump with our Kompromat” — a Russian term for embarrassing or compromising material. Lucy Pasha-Robinson reports for The Independent that the lawmaker urged the release of unspecified materials “in retaliation over the closure of several Russian diplomatic compounds across the US.”

And a team of economists led by Thomas Piketty published a new paper which finds that while on paper Russia has a level of inequality which rivals that of the United States, the country is unique in that a handful of oligarchs are holding as much as $1 trillion offshore, and most of those assets don’t show up in the country’s national accounts. Christopher Matthews has more on that story at Axios.

Must have a speck of dust in our eyes –> Finally, 20-year-old USC student Jake Olson, who has been blind since the age of 12, fulfilled a lifelong dream by snapping a field goal in a Trojans’ football victory. The BBC has that story.

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

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