The Daily Moth 4-26-17

April 26, 2017



Federal Judge Blocks Trump Executive Action Against Sanctuary Cities, Trump Signs Executive Order to Review Federal Lands, Anti-Missile THAAD System Installed in South Korea, China Builds New Aircraft Carrier, Trump Administration Proposes Sweeping Tax Cuts, and “Bachelor” Star Chris Soules Arrested for Leaving Scene of Fatal Accident 




Hello, welcome to the Daily Moth! It is Wednesday, April 26. Ready for news? 




A federal judge in San Francisco blocked President Trump’s order to withhold federal funding from sanctuary cities that do not cooperate with ICE/immigration officers. 


Sanctuary cities usually protect undocumented immigrants by not asking about their immigration status or not turning them over to ICE/immigration officers — in an effort to maintain trust between police and the immigrants — for purposes of reporting crimes or for them to be witnesses against criminals. 


President Trump and his administration was against the idea of protecting undocumented immigrants. In January he signed an executive order that wanted to block federal funds from going to cities that refused to cooperate with ICE/immigration officers. 


The city of San Francisco said Trump violated the Constitution by trying to take control of local and state police to enforce a federal immigration law and that it would threaten the public safety of S.F. by breaking its trust with immigrations. 


But federal judge William Orrick said Trump overstepped his powers with the order — saying only Congress can place limits on federal spending.  This means that the President can’t put new restrictions on federal funding, but Trump can enforce rules on current federal grants. 


In the judge’s ruling, he said the federal government cannot force states to manage a federal program. He compared this case with a previous Obama executive action that was blocked in 2012 — Obama wanted to withhold Medicaid funding to states that refused to follow Obamacare (Affordable Care Act). The Supreme Court did not allow this. 


President Trump strongly disagreed with this decision - he said this on Twitter: 


[Tweet: First the Ninth Circuit rules against the ban & now it hits again on sanctuary cities-both ridiculous rulings. See you in the Supreme Court!”] 


It is the third time a federal judge has blocked a Trump immigration order — the first two related to travel bans of people from 7 (then 6) countries, and now this. 




Today President Trump signed an executive order to review federal lands in the U.S. more than 100,000 acres to decide if the lands’ ownership should be returned to the states they are in. Only lands that were designated federal lands since 1996 will be reviewed — their borders could be reshaped. 


Trump said Obama overused federal powers and abused the Antiques Act to put huge areas of land and water under federal use and that it was abusive — and that the lands would be put back under the charge of states. 


The Antiquities Act was passed in 1906 gives presidents powers to protect lands from looting of Native American artifacts, but has since been used by presidents to designate lands as national monuments, sometimes to protect them from businesses using the lands or for mining. Trump said Obama abused this law, although many previous Presidents used it. 


Interior Sec. Zinke said Trump’s order would give local people power to decide which lands are monuments or not. 


There was a hot issue last year when Obama designated 1.3 million acres of land in Utah — Bear Ears National Monument — as federally-protected land. Utah Senator Orrin Hatch (R) was opposed to this and lobbied Trump to change this. 


Some environmentalist groups are concerned that this could have a negative impact on the preservation of lands and natural resources. 




In South Korea, the U.S. military has installed the THAAD anti-missile system in a rural part of South Korea. The THAAD system is controversial — because there are many in South Korea and China that are opposed to it. 


A presidential candidate running for the South Korean presidency is opposed to the THAAD system — many South Koreans do not like being used as a “pawn” in the opposition between North Korea and the U.S. There were local protests against the THAAD installation, some of them fearful that North Korea would target the area. 


China is also opposed to the THAAD — since it has powerful radar that can look into China — and they are concerned it could mess with China’s missile defense systems. 


But the U.S. military is going forward with its installation, saying they needed to put an additional layer of defense against the increasing threat from North Korea. The South Korean government and military has allowed it, but it could change with the next presidential election. 


In separate news, China launched its second military aircraft carrier, the first one that was “home-built” in China. There are red flags, ribbons, and a bottle of champagne smashed on it to celebrate. Its name is “Type 001A” — it doesn’t have a formal name yet. It has a “ski-jump” runway to launch 


The ship is not ready, though — it needs two years of tests and more things added to it before it is ready to be used in the Chinese navy. Analysts say China wants to have military superiority in Asian waters and to prevent the U.S. from having control of waters. 




President Trump and Treasury Sec. Mnuchin introduced a plan for tax cuts to both corporate (business) and personal taxes. They released a one-page paper that outlined their plans. They are:


— Reduce the current 7 tax brackets to 3 brackets of 10%, 25%, and 35%. It’s not yet clear which income levels would fit in each bracket. 


— Reduce the business tax rate from 35% to 15%


— Double the standard deduction for individuals and married couples


— Tax relief for families with child or dependent care expenses 


— Eliminate the 3.8% tax on investment income 


— Repeal the alternative minimum tax (that rich people usually pay), and repeal the death tax (estate taxes that people have to pay when passing along a person’s assets to another, usually after death).  


The Trump administration said this proposal would simulate the U.S. economy and help small business owners. They said they are still negotiating many of the details with Congressmen. 


There are many critics of this proposal by both Republican and Democrats who say those tax cuts would cause the government to lose money and the federal deficit to increase. 


There are also very little details of exactly how the tax reform would work — as there is only this one-page outline. We’ll see more in the days ahead what makes it on a legislative bill. 




Chris Soules, who is well known for being on TV show “The Bachelor” — was in an accident on Monday night in Iowa with a farmer who was driving a tractor — the farmer, who was 66, died in the accident. 


Chris was driving in a pickup truck and rear-ended the tractor, causing it to roll and end up in a ditch. 


Chris called 911 after the accident and reported it, saying the man was bleeding from his mouth, said he didn’t know how to do CPR, asked if anybody knew CPR, then said “can I call you back” and hung up. He then walked away from the accident and had someone pick him up and bring him to his home. 


At the accident scene, police found alcohol in the truck. 


They went to his house early Tuesday morning, tried to get him to come out (he refused) — and after police got a search warrant, arrested him for leaving the scene of the accident, took him to the hospital to draw his blood, then jailed him. 


He was released yesterday on a $10,000 bond. He will face trial and have to wear an electronic ankle monitor and surrender his passport. 


Leaving the scene of an accident is a felony that has a penalty of up to 5 years in prison. 




That is all for today. See you tomorrow and stay with the light! 















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