Today is July 12 and here are the stories I am watching.
1-Trump resets census fight, announces executive order.
Insisting that he was not backing down from an effort to determine the number of illegal immigrants in the United States, President Trump on Thursday announced he would “immediately” issue an executive order to get an accurate count of both citizens and non-citizens. The executive order would not force the citizenship question on the 2020 census. Instead, Trump said, it would make use of “vast” federal databases and free up information-sharing among all federal agencies concerning who they know is living in the country. Many Democrats promptly characterized the president’s move as a “retreat,” and condemned the news conference. Others vowed to consider challenging the executive order in court.
DML: Unfortunately, like he did with the threat of tariffs against Mexico, Trump backed down because his executive order will have no teeth in this case. What a total waste of time this was.
2-Louisiana Gulf Coast preps for Tropical Storm Barry
Wind and rain started to lash Louisiana’s Gulf Coast early Friday as residents prepare for what’s expected to be the area’s first hurricane of the season. President Trump declared a state of emergency in Louisiana Thursday evening, authorizing federal disaster relief efforts for Tropical Storm Barry. A hurricane warning was in effect along the Louisiana coast, and forecasters said the storm could make landfall as a hurricane by early Saturday. The storm’s rains are expected to pose a severe test of New Orleans’ improved post-Katrina flood defenses. Barry is forecast to bring more than a foot and a half of rain to parts of the state as it moves slowly inland.
DML: The storm season begins. Trump better be on his game or Dems will use a slow response against him.
3-R. Kelly arrested on child pornography, other federal charges
R. Kelly, the hit-making R&B singer who has been dogged by sex abuse allegations for more than a decade, was arrested Thursday on child pornography and other charges in Chicago and is expected to be brought to New York, according to reports. Kelly, 52, was arrested on a 13-count federal indictment, which included child pornography, enticement of a minor and obstruction of justice charges, Joseph D. Fitzpatrick, an assistant U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, told the New York Times. New York’s WNBC-TV reported that more details on the federal charges are expected Friday. Kelly was reportedly arrested by New York Police Department detectives and Department of Homeland Security agents.
DML: What a total loser.
4-Pentagon without a leader.
Seven months after Jim Mattis resigned as defense secretary last December, the U.S. still has no confirmed replacement — with the nation facing potential armed conflict with Iran. That’s the longest such stretch in Pentagon history.
There is also no confirmed deputy defense secretary, and other senior civilian and military Pentagon positions are in limbo, more than at any recent time.
5. CHINA IMPORTS FROM THE U.S. PLUNGE 31 PERCENT
Imports of U.S. goods fell 31.4% from a year earlier to $9.4 billion, while exports to the American market declined 7.8% to $39.3 billion, customs data shows.
DML: Recession is brewing deep below the surface.