By Robert A. Vella
Reality is a funny thing. The more you deny it, the more it will slap you in the face. Even for an egomaniac like Donald Trump who has spent his whole life building a bubble of delusion around him, reality is irrepressible and unavoidable. Those who see reality most clearly are the most self-assured and well-adapted among us who also enjoy a calmness and peace-of-mind not very common in this day and age. Those who struggle with reality suffer from insecurities, are maladapted for the world as it is, and resort to violent emotion as a means to relieve frustration. Although Trump represents an extreme example, the truth of the matter is that we all have difficulty accepting reality to varying degrees and none of us are immune from the effects of self-delusion regardless of our individual circumstances. However, some of us are better able to recognize the symptoms and these are the people we should all be learning from. So, that’s today’s news theme… reality.
Trump folds again on census
WASHINGTON — After the courts deprived him of his census — at least the version he wanted — President Donald Trump promised Thursday that he would fight like heck to let Americans know how many residents of the country are citizens and how many aren’t.
“We are not backing down,” he declared under a foreboding sky in the White House’s Rose Garden as he blamed “unfriendly” federal judges and “left-wing” opponents for a legal tangle that forced him to abandon plans to include a citizenship question on the questionnaire the Commerce Department uses in its decennial population count.
Then he announced an executive order directing federal agencies to share with the Commerce Department any information that would help sort people into citizenship-status categories — a process that already occurs in significant measure — to obtain what will perhaps be a slightly more detailed version of a picture that has long since been painted.
Labor Secretary Alex Acosta resigned Friday amid intense scrutiny of his role as a U.S. attorney a decade ago in a deal with Jeffrey Epstein that allowed the financier to plead guilty to lesser offenses in a sex-crimes case.
Related story: The Mystery Surrounding Jeffrey Epstein’s Private Island
Mueller testimony delayed
Former special counsel Robert Mueller’s highly-anticipated testimony will be delayed one week under a tentative arrangement he made with House Democrats, according to multiple sources briefed on the arrangements.
Although it’s unclear why Mueller’s testimony was delayed until July 24, lawmakers familiar with the discussions said one reason was an ongoing negotiation about how long lawmakers would have to question the former special counsel.
Looming ICE raids
Since then, the raids Trump threatened haven’t happened. But for millions of undocumented immigrants living across the United States, the storm is still brewing.
With a new threat of immigration raids on Sunday, immigrant rights advocates and undocumented immigrants told CNN that fear in their communities is growing.
And undocumented immigrants are bracing themselves.
They’re calling hotlines, afraid to go outside and unsure of where to turn. Some are staying home from work. Others are posting signs by doors inside their homes telling them what to do if ICE agents show up.
(Reuters) – A federal appeals court on Thursday rejected emergency bids to temporarily set aside its recent decision allowing the Trump administration to enforce a “gag rule” that could strip Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers of federal funding for family planning.
By a 7-4 vote, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals let stand its June 20 decision lifting injunctions blocking enforcement of the rule, which makes clinics ineligible for Title X family planning funds if they provide abortion referrals.
After Britain’s ambassador to the US resigned Wednesday following personal attacks by President Donald Trump, one of the most powerful expressions of support for the UK envoy was only 23 words long — but it spoke volumes, diplomats and foreign envoys said.
Diplomats from around the world told CNN the image didn’t just symbolize solidarity, it also reflected the fact that most embassies have written cables very similar to the private messages — leaked in an act of political sabotage — that Darroch had sent to London describing the President and his administration as inept, insecure and incompetent.
“The important thing to say is that Ambassador Darroch was not reporting his personal views, he was reporting what people were saying in Washington,” said a European official familiar with Washington. “He was reporting things that were being said fairly openly by many Americans in Washington, including on both sides of the political divide.”
(Reuters) – After the U.S. Supreme Court ruled federal judges cannot curb partisan gerrymandering, reform advocates vowed to take their fight to state courts that retain the power to police the practice of drawing electoral lines for political advantage.
The first major test of that strategy begins on Monday in Raleigh, North Carolina, where a three-judge panel will hear a civil trial to decide whether the state’s legislative districts – designed by Republican lawmakers to give their party an edge – violate the state constitution.
The US government’s so-called war on terror is nearly two decades old, and strong majorities of US veterans and the general public do not approve of its biggest efforts – the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan – according to a new poll from Pew Research Center.
The survey found 64% of veterans said Iraq wasn’t worth fighting, along with 58% who said the same about Afghanistan.
Meanwhile, 62% of US adults said Iraq wasn’t worth it, along with 59% who expressed the same view on Afghanistan.