Headlines — 06 March 2019

The wisest of the unwise?

Two of Most Prominent "Possibles" Announce They Will Not Enter 2020 Presidential Race

New York billionaire Michael Bloomberg and 2016 loser Hillary Clinton announced yesterday that  they will not run for the highest office in the land in the 2020 election.

 Trade Gap with China Widens

March 6 at 8:41 AM

The Commerce Department said Wednesday that -- despite more than two years of President Trump’s “America First” policies -- the United States last year posted a $891.2 billion merchandise trade deficit, the largest in the nation’s 243-year history.

The trade gap with China also hit a record $419 billion, underscoring the stakes for the president’s bid to reach a deal with Chinese President Xi Jinping as soon as this month.

The department’s final 2018 trade report, which was delayed by the government shutdown, showed that the U.S. bought far more in foreign goods than it sold to customers in Europe, Asia, North America and Africa. The goods shortfall topped the 2006 record of $838.3 billion, set as the housing bubble was peaking, and marked the third consecutive year of rising deficits.

Illegal immigration continues in record numbers

NYTIMES—In February, 76,000 migrants crossed the southern border, an 11-year high.

“The system is well beyond capacity, and remains at the breaking point,” Kevin K. McAleenan, commissioner of Customs and Border Protection, told reporters in announcing the new data on Tuesday.

The main problem masses of migrants scaling the fence, reported knowledgeable observers, it is the humanitarian challenge.

Thousands are fleeing violence and poverty in countries of Central and South America.

Over 50,000 adults are now in the custody of ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement).


House’s Anti-Semitism Resolution Exposes Generational Fight Over Ilhan Omar

By Sheryl Gay Stolberg—NY TIMES

WASHINGTON — A formal condemnation of antisemitism that is up for a vote in the House this week has touched off a furious debate between older House Democrats and their young liberal colleagues over whether Representative Ilhan Omar is being singled out for unfair treatment over her statements on Israel.

The resolution, likely to be voted on Thursday, grew out of Ms. Omar's suggestion last week  that pro-Israel activists were pushing “for allegiance to a foreign country” — a remark that infuriated leading Jewish members of the House, who say it played into the anti-Semitic trope of “dual loyalty.”

It comes just weeks after Ms. Omar apologized for tweeting that support for Israel was “all about the Benjamins baby,” a reference to hundred-dollar bills that critics said echoed a common anti-Semitic belief that Jewish money is controlling foreign policy.

But progressives in the House and their allies have rallied to the defense of Ms. Omar, a freshman Democrat from Minnesota and one of the first two Muslim women elected to Congress, who was hailed as a trailblazer. Speaker Nancy Pelosi told top Democrats on Tuesday evening that the resolution would also include language condemning anti-Muslim bias as well — a move advocated by the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

The rift emerging around Ms. Omar is easily the most serious since Democrats swept to House control in November, an ideological and generational divide that has grown fierce in recent days and threatens to overshadow the party’s legislative agenda.

Eliot Engel

On one side are veteran Democrats like Representatives Eliot L. Engel, Nita M. Lowey and Jerrold Nadler — all of whom lead major House committees and all of whom are Jewish. They spoke over the weekend, and some had talks with Representative Steny H. Hoyer, the majority leader, in a frenzied effort to respond to Ms. Omar. They emerged to push for the resolution.

On the other side are younger members like Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Democrat of New York, and liberal groups like Justice Democrats and IfNotNow, a movement of young Jews dedicated to ending the Israeli occupation of the West Bank. They accuse Democratic leaders of singling out a woman of color while letting slide comments from Republicans that they deem racist, anti-Semitic or bigoted, including many from President Trump.

“One of the things that is hurtful about the extent to which reprimand is sought of Ilhan is that no one seeks this level of reprimand when members make statements about Latinx + other communities,” Ms. Ocasio-Cortez wrote on Twitter, mentioning a Republican House member who shouted, “Go back to Puerto Rico” on the House floor.

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