News Round-Up: June 5, 2020

(image via sadanduseless)

Some news items you might have missed:

Summer Fashion: So, I don’t know if it’s a ‘thing’ but someone is apparently trying to make lace shorts for guys (above) a ‘thing’ this summer? #ThingsThatMakeYouGoHmm

Washington Blade: In yet another attack by the Trump administration to enable legal discrimination against LGBTQ people, the Justice Department is calling on the U.S. Supreme Court to allow religious-affiliated adoption agencies that receive tax-payer dollars to refuse child placement into LGBTQ homes.

Out Music: 80s pop icon Limahl (“Neverending Story”, “Only For Love”, “Too Shy” with Kajagoogoo) returns with “Still in Love,” his first foray into the mainstream in over eight years. American Songwriter calls the new track “a soulful and sultry pop ode to the darker side of love, that recurrent backfire of amore, and finding oneself after being crushed by it.”

Buzzfeed News: A police officer in Salem, Oregon, was caught on video warning a group of white supremacists to seek shelter before the police were planning to tear gas the area and  avoid being arrested for violating a curfew so officers “don’t look like [they’re] playing favorites.”

Newsweek: Donald Trump finally got his wall/fence. But instead of being a barrier on the U.S. southern border, it’s a barricade around the White House. I’m sure you can parse the irony on your own.

The Advocate: Police fired bang shots at a queer bar owner in North Carolina after he’d set up a first aid station in his parking lot to treat peaceful protestors who had gotten injured.

Fail: People Are Sawing Through Trump’s Wall With $100 Power Tool

Donald Trump inspects his Mexican border 'wall' near San Diego (public domain)
Donald Trump inspects his Mexican border 'wall' near San Diego (public domain)
Donald Trump inspects his Mexican border ‘wall’ near San Diego (public domain)

“All the best walls!”

From the Washington Post:

Smuggling gangs in Mexico have repeatedly sawed through new sections of President Trump’s border wall in recent months by using commercially available power tools, opening gaps large enough for people and drug loads to pass through, according to U.S. agents and officials with knowledge of the damage.

The breaches have been made using a popular cordless household tool known as a reciprocating saw that retails at hardware stores for as little as $100.

When fitted with specialized blades, the saws can slice through one of the barrier’s steel-and-concrete bollards in a matter of minutes, according to the agents, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the barrier-defeating techniques.

After cutting through the base of a single bollard, smugglers can push the steel out of the way, allowing an adult to fit through the gap. 

The barrier, which currently has cost taxpayers $10 billion price tag was one of Trump’s biggest promises made during the 2016 campaign.

At recent campaign rallies, Trump has bragged about the wall describing it “virtually impenetrable” that border-crossers cannot get over, under or through.

SCOTUS Rules Trump Can Use Defense Funds For Border Wall

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled the Trump administration can use Pentagon funds to build Donald Trump's beloved border wall.
Donald Trump

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled the Trump administration can use Pentagon funds to build Donald Trump’s beloved border wall.

From the AP:

The Supreme Court said Friday that it would lift a freeze on the money put in place by a lower court. The Supreme Court’s action means the Trump administration can tap the funds and begin work on four contracts it has awarded. Four liberal justices wouldn’t have allowed construction to start.

A trial court initially froze the funds in May and an appeals court kept that freeze in place earlier this month. The freeze had prevented the government from tapping approximately $2.5 billion in Defense Department money to replace existing sections of barrier in Arizona, California and New Mexico with more robust fencing.

Trump Vetoes Resolution Denouncing ‘National Emergency’ For Border Wall Funding

Donald Trump vetos resolution denouncing ‘national emergency’ declaration

Donald Trump has vetoed the congressional resolution aimed at blocking his ‘national emergency’ declaration for border wall funds.

This is the first veto of his presidency.

From NPR:

Congressional critics do not appear to have the votes to override Trump’s veto. So, as a practical matter, the administration can continue to spend billions of dollars more on border barriers than lawmakers authorized, unless and until the courts intervene.

“Today I am vetoing this resolution,” Trump said, flanked by law enforcement officials at an Oval Office event. “Congress has the freedom to pass this resolution and I have the duty to veto it.”

Trump had telegraphed his plan to proceed with additional wall spending on Thursday, minutes after the Senate voted 59-41 to block it. Twelve Republican senators joined Democrats in rejecting the president’s emergency declaration.

Trump declared a national emergency last month, after Congress authorized only $1.3 billion in border wall funding, far short of the $5.7 billion Trump had asked for. The emergency declaration allows the president to redirect funds from other accounts such as military construction to the Southern border wall.

Republican senators who bucked the president said they did so to preserve congressional control over the government’s purse strings.

The border wall project still faces a variety of legal challenges, and despite Trump’s veto, House and Senate votes against the emergency declaration could carry some weight in the courts.

Would this be a good time to remind folks that Trump lied all those times on the campaign stump when he claimed Mexico would pay for the wall?

12 GOP Senators Vote For Resolution To Rebuke Trump’s ‘National Emergency’ Declaration

Donald Trump went on a pre-emptive Twitter rant in advance of a vote in the GOP-controlled Senate today on a Democratic resolution to block Trump's emergency declaration in order to get funds for his beloved border wall.
Donald Trump

UPDATE: Twelve Republican senators joined with Democrats to approve a resolution denouncing Donald Trump’s declaration of a ‘national emergency’ to gain funding for his long-sought border wall by a vote of 59-41.

The Trumpster made his next step perfectly clear immediately after the vote, tweeting “VETO!”

*****************************

Donald Trump went on a pre-emptive Twitter rant in advance of a vote in the GOP-controlled Senate today on a Democratic resolution to block Trump’s emergency declaration in order to get funds for his beloved border wall.

In his tweet, Trump threatens to veto the resolution which would be his first use of veto powers while in the White House.

So far, seven Republican senators have announced they will vote for the resolution – Sens. Mitt Romney, Mike Lee, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Thom Tillis, Rand Paul, and Lamar Alexander.

The Hill suggests Sens. Marco Rubio, Ben Sasse, Ron Johnson and Jerry Moran could join the list of Republicans voting against the president.

Trump Will Ask Congress For $8.6 Billion For Border Wall

Donald Trump plans to ask Congress for up to $8.6 billion in additional funding for his wall along the US/Mexico border in his upcoming budget proposal for fiscal 2020.
Donald Trump

Donald Trump plans to ask Congress for up to $8.6 billion in additional funding for his wall along the US/Mexico border in his upcoming budget proposal for fiscal 2020.

From The New York Times:


The request, which will come as part of Mr. Trump’s fiscal 2020 budget proposal, is certain to reignite a conflict with Democrats that led to a record-long government shutdown this year. Mr. Trump had previously requested $5.7 billion to build a wall but was rebuffed by both Democrats and Republicans, who approved a spending bill that did not include the funding.

That resulted in Mr. Trump declaring a national emergency on the border with Mexico to access billions of dollars that Congress refused to give him to build a wall there.

The new budget request is intended to allow for the completion of 700 miles of barrier, which is the total that Mr. Trump intends to build, mostly new but some refurbished.

Congress wouldn’t give him $5.7 billion, so he’s going to ask for $8.6 billion.

Seems logical.

Anyone remember when Mexico was going to pay for the wall?

Pentagon To Divert $1 Billion From Military Pay & Pension For Trump Wall

According to the Associated Press, the Pentagon is planning on diverting $1 billion from military pay and pension funds to help pay for Donald Trump’s beloved wall at the Southern border.

Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., told The Associated Press, “It’s coming out of military pay and pensions. $1 billion. That’s the plan.”

Durbin said the funds are available because Army recruitment is down and a voluntary early military retirement program is being underutilized.

The development comes as Pentagon officials are seeking to minimize the amount of wall money that would come from military construction projects that are so cherished by lawmakers.

Can you imagine if Democrats proposed taking money from military service members pay and pensions???

News Round-Up: February 13, 2019

Donald Trump may think having a dog could make him look 'phony,' but InstaHunk Naor Yazdan says he's already found his Valentine's date, and this looks like true love to me.

Some news items you might have missed:

• Donald Trump may think having a dog could make him look ‘phony,’ but InstaHunk Naor Yazdan says he’s already found his Valentine’s date, and this looks like true love to me.

• Out actor/singer Jussie Smollett will give his first interview since he was attacked in Chicago last month to Robin Roberts on GMA Thursday morning.

• Netflix’s upcoming ‘Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City’ is set to debut at the San Francisco International Film Festival at the Castro Theater on April 10. The series will arrive on Netflix this summer.

• Donald Trump said today that his proposed border wall will be harder to climb than Mount Everest.

• After Ellen Page called out movie star Chris Pratt for promoting his church, virulently anti-LGBTQ Hillsong Church, Pratt finally took to social media to defend the church saying it “opens its doors to absolutely everyone.” Let’s just say it didn’t go over well with the Twitter people.

• Season 3 of Netflix’s Emmy Award winning ‘make better’ series, Queer Eye, is set for release on March 15, and the streaming giant shared the news with a Valentines-themed video clip accompanied by a new track from pop star Carly Rae Jespen, “Now That I Found You.”

After two seasons in Atlanta, the series is changing locations to help our folks in the Kansas City area. Hit play below for the upbeat vid.

Donald Trump Says There’s A National Emergency At The Border

Donald Trump

Donald Trump wants you to know there is a National Emergency at the southern border of the U.S.

Is this how a president acts during a National Emergency?