By Robert A. Vella
There’s lots of important news to get to today, so let’s get right to it.
U.S. District Judge Dolly Gee in Los Angeles ordered the Trump administration to obtain consent or a court order before administering any psychotropic medications to migrant children, except in cases of dire emergencies. She also ordered that the government move all children out of a Texas facility, Shiloh Residential Treatment Center in Manvel, except for children deemed by a licensed professional to pose a “risk of harm” to themselves or others.
The Supreme Court on Monday denied the Trump administration’s plea to halt proceedings in a landmark lawsuit by young people seeking stronger federal action on climate change.
While rejecting the government’s request to stop the discovery process of obtaining evidence and depositions, the High Court nonetheless lodged criticisms of the case, which is known in lower courts as Juliana v. United States.
“The breadth of respondents’ claims is striking, however, and the justiciability of those claims presents substantial grounds for difference of opinion,” the justices , asking the District Court for the District of Oregon, where the case is pending, to consider those facts.
The Justice Department turned to the Supreme Court earlier this month to halt discovery after both the Oregon court and the San Francisco-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit turned down their pleas to stop the case’s progression.
There are many reasons for the grim totals, but experts say one common denominator connects the disastrous fires: California is facing extreme heat, the likes of which it has never seen in the modern historical record.
“The temperatures have just been almost inexorably warmer all the time,” said University of California, Los Angeles climate scientist Daniel Swain, and fires “burn more intensely if the fuels are extremely dry.”
In the past, there has been some reluctance among scientists to cite climate change as a major factor in California’s worsening wildfires. Human-caused ignitions and homes being built ever closer to forests have played a large role. But the connection between rising temperatures in California and tinder-dry vegetation is becoming impossible to ignore, according to experts who study climate and wildfires.
“The regional temperatures in the western U.S. have increased by 2 degrees since the 1970s,” said Jennifer Balch, director of Earth Lab at the University of Colorado, Boulder. “You’re seeing the effect of climate change.”
Trump has repeatedly said he would protect American farmers in the trade war, last week , but he is facing pressure to extend aid to other industries if the tariffs remain in place or get extended to more products.
Extending those bailouts would be an expensive proposition. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce on Monday estimated the total price tag could hit $39 billion if Trump compensated the losses across all industries. It would take $7.6 billion to help car and automobile parts manufacturers alone, the Chamber , calling it a “slippery slope” for Trump to determine who gets help and who doesn’t. The Chamber has been a vocal critic of the tariffs.
Critics of Trump’s trade policy are calling on him to de-escalate the trade war rather than try to bail out the businesses hurt by it. But if the trade fight continues and the midterm elections draw near, the White House stands to face pressure, including from Republicans, to extend more government aid.
President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager is being tried this week in a Virginia court for bank and tax fraud. The charges stem from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into .
After Manafort turned himself in last October, I reached out to former federal prosecutor and asked him what Mueller’s aggressive pursuit of Manafort could tell us about the Russia investigation.
He told me that Mueller is employing a “divide and conquer” strategy, meaning he’s looking to exploit conflicts between people under investigation in order to turn them against one another. But if Manafort was going to flip against Trump, it’s very likely that he would have done so by now, Mariotti told me. You don’t go to trial and plead “not guilty” if you’re planning to cut a deal, after all.
Former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon has hit out at the Koch brothers, accusing them of undermining the Trump administration ahead of November’s midterm elections.
“What they have to do is shut up and get with the program, OK?” Bannon said in an interview with Politico.
“And here’s the program,” Bannon said. “Ground game to support Trump’s presidency and program; victory on November 6.”
Bannon’s warning comes after members of the Koch political network met in Colorado Springs, Colorado, to discuss the current political landscape.
During the meeting, which was led by billionaire Charles Koch, top officials of the network described the Trump administration as being divisive and toxic for the country.
The long-standing Conservative Koch network, which did not support President Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election, also signalled that it would be willing to back Democratic lawmakers on issues that reflect the organization’s priorities.
The Russian government, previously considered a “major” holder of U.S. debt, has been steadily — and sharply — paring down the vast majority of its holdings of U.S. Treasury securities.
Russian holdings of Treasury securities declined 84 percent between March and May, falling to $14.9 billion from $96.1 billion in just two months, according to a U.S. Treasury Department report released July 18.