Good morning. Today is May 8, and here are the stories I am following:
FROM THE RIGHT. Fox News reports that the House Judiciary Committee set to vote on whether to hold Barr in contempt
The House Judiciary Committee is set to proceed Wednesday morning with a vote on whether to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress after late-Tuesday night negotiations stalled with the Justice Department over access to the full, unredacted version of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report. Barr released a redacted version of the Mueller report last month, but Democrats wanted to see the entire document. In a letter written to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd wrote that, in the face of the committee’s contempt vote, Barr would be “compelled to request that the president invoke executive privilege with respect to the materials subject to the subpoena.” It remained unclear whether Democrats would seek to hold Barr in civil, criminal, or inherent contempt of Congress. Regardless of which form it takes, a contempt charge against Barr would mark a major opening salvo in what could be a lengthy, acrimonious court battle between House Democrats and President Trump’s administration over Mueller’s report.
MY TAKE: Don’t you just LOVE paying for these things.
ALSO… Colorado high school shooting leaves at least one dead, eight wounded; Two suspects in custody
Two suspects were in custody Tuesday night after a shooting at a Colorado high school left at least one person dead and eight others injured, according to authorities. The suspects were identified as 18-year-old Devon Erickson and a juvenile accomplice. The shooting took place at a STEM school in Highlands Ranch, a Denver suburb only about 7 miles from Littleton, site of the infamous Columbine High School mass murder in 1999.The coroner has not officially identified the student who died, but said the victim was an 18-year-old male. Authorities said they believe both Erickson and the juvenile suspect were students of the school, Douglas County Sheriff Tony Spurlock said at a news conference. Neither suspect was previously known to authorities, he added.
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals late Tuesday granted the Trump administration’s request to send asylum seekers back to Mexico to wait out court proceedings temporarily. The court order reversed a decision by a San Francisco judge that would have blocked the policy — giving President Trump a temporary victory on immigration. The case must still be considered on its merits at a lower court in San Francisco and could end up at the Supreme Court. U.S. District Judge Richard Seeborg ruled April 8 that the policy should be halted while a lawsuit, filed on behalf of 11 asylum applicants and several other organizations, proceeds.
MY TAKE: Baby steps.
ALSO… Iran pulls out of parts of nuclear deal, sets 60-day deadline to renegotiate terms
Iran’s president said Wednesday the country will stop complying with parts of an Obama-era nuclear deal and set a 60-day deadline for new terms of the landmark pact before resuming higher uranium enrichment.Hassan Rouhani’s national address comes a year after President Trump withdrew the United States from the 2015 agreement. He said he wanted to negotiate new terms with the remaining partners in the deal. The breakaway could further escalate tensions between Tehran and Washington.
MY TAKE: Trump being tested for real.
FROM THE LEFT
AXIOS report Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner, one of the country’s most progressive prosecutors, told “Axios on HBO” that he is “very close” to implementing a policy that would relax the penalties for drug possession laws. Why it matters: This would be a first-of-its-kind policy in the U.S. If it leads to more cities adopting similar policies that address drug-possession offenses with treatment instead of incarceration, it could fundamentally change the nation’s approach to addiction and the war on drugs. Philadelphia’s policy would not shield offenders from federal law enforcement agents, including the Drug Enforcement Administration, said Widney Brown, managing director of policy at Drug Policy Alliance, which advocates for decriminalization in the U.S.
The big picture: Marijuana legalization is being increasingly debated, and now — amid the opioid crisis — the conversation is starting to turn to new ways to handle all illegal drug possession.
MY TAKE: America continues to slide into ruin. Except for one area called Cochise County. See video.
ALSO…Donald Trump’s businesses — largely casinos, hotels and retail space in apartment buildings — ran up $1.17 billion in losses from 1985 t0 1994, the N.Y. Times’ Russ Buettner and Susanne Craig report. Year after year, Mr. Trump appears to have lost more money than nearly any other individual American taxpayer. Trump lost so much money that he was able to avoid paying income taxes for eight of the 10 years.
The data seen by The Times includes printouts of Mr. Trump’s “official Internal Revenue Service tax transcripts,” with the figures from his 1040 for 1985 to 1994. For each of those years, Trump reported a negative adjusted gross income. Why it matters: The report “represents the fullest and most detailed look to date at the president’s taxes, information he has kept from public view.”
MY TAKE: As reported by me in August of last year.
FROM THE MIDDLE
Stocks sank on mounting trade tensions. The stock market’s declines deepened, with the Dow sliding more than 450 points yesterday, as investors braced for the increased likelihood the U.S. will raise tariffs on Chinese goods. Stocks continued to fall in Asia today but rose in Europe.
MY TAKE: What goes up, must come down.