PORTLAND, Maine — The protesters outside Portland’s Planned Parenthood clinic weren’t screaming Friday morning, but not because of a court order.
It was the first of the regularly scheduled anti-abortion demonstrations since a federal judge ruled that police may again enforce Maine’s noise ordinance against protesters outside the women’s health center. And the activists kept their admonitions to a low shout despite the decision not yet being in effect.
On Tuesday, the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a lower court ruling, finding that police can enforce the noise section of the Maine Civil Rights Act against the protesters because, as written, the law is message neutral.
The ruling is the latest step in a legal drama that started in 2015 and could now be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, the issue at hand being whether or not the First Amendment gives protesters the right to scream epithets such as “Murderer!” and “Whore!” at patients entering the clinic, of course, in the name of Jesus.
On Wednesday, CNN’s Jim Acosta pressed senior policy adviser Stephen Miller over President Trump’s push to admit only English-speaking immigrants in a back-and-forth that lasted for several minutes. Acosta asked Miller about the iconic poem “The New Colossus” by Emma Lazarus that is inscribed at the base of the State of Liberty, which reads: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”
JIMACOSTA: What you’re proposing, or what the president is proposing here, does not sound like it’s in keeping with American tradition when it comes to immigration. The Statue of Liberty says, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” It doesn’t say anything about speaking English or being able to be a computer programmer. Aren’t you trying to change what it means to be an immigrant coming into this country, if you’re telling them you have to speak English? Can’t people learn how to speak English when they get here?
STEPHENMILLER: Well, first of all, right now, it’s a requirement that to be naturalized, you have to speak English. So the notion that speaking English wouldn’t be a part of our immigration systems would be actually very ahistorical. Secondly, I don’t want to get off into a whole thing about history here, but the Statue of Liberty is a symbol of liberty enlightening the world. It’s a symbol of American liberty lighting the world. The poem that you’re referring to was added later. It’s not actually a part of the original Statue of Liberty.
7/4/1986 Nancy Reagan waves while visiting the Statue of Liberty in New York City
The New York Times is reporting the Justice Department is preparing to investigate and sue universities’ affirmative action policies for anti-white bias, in the latest assault against civil rights by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. The Times says the Justice Department sent out an internal announcement looking for lawyers to lead “investigations and possible litigation related to intentional race-based discrimination in college and university admissions.”
Newly released video footage shows U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents telling 16-year-old Mexican teenager Cruz Velazquez to drink from a bottle of liquid methamphetamine at a border checkpoint in San Diego, causing him to die from an acute drug overdose. In 2013, the teenager was crossing from Tijuana to California with two bottles of what he claimed was apple juice. The video shows the border agents, who suspected the liquid was liquid meth, repeatedly encouraging the teenager to drink from it and prove he wasn’t lying. Minutes after the teenager sipped on the liquid, his body began convulsing, and he began shouting “my heart” in Spanish. He passed away shortly after. The agents only tested the liquid after Cruz took several sips and began overdosing. The officers were never disciplined. Critics say Velazquez’s case is just the latest example of rampant abuse and mistreatment by border agents.
The U.S. Treasury Department has fined ExxonMobil $2 million for violating U.S. sanctions against Russia three years ago, when Secretary of State Rex Tillerson served as the oil company’s CEO. The Treasury said ExxonMobil showed “reckless disregard” for U.S. law in 2014 when it signed contracts with Russian oil magnate Igor Sechin to develop offshore reserves in the Arctic. The move violated sanctions placed on Russia after it invaded Ukraine and annexed the Crimean peninsula. Tillerson said at the time his company opposed Russia sanctions, calling them “ineffective.” At the State Department Thursday, spokesperson Heather Nauert was asked whether Tillerson had changed his views on Russian sanctions.
Heather Nauert: “This all predates his time here at the Department of State.”
Matthew Lee: “I understand that.”
Heather Nauert: “And so, I’m going to refrain from giving any comment on that at this time.”
Matthew Lee: “I understand this predates his time as secretary of state, but now he is in a position in which he is part of the team that is supposed to enforce sanctions, not violate them or allow others to violate them, so I think it’s relevant to know what he thinks about this decision today.”
Heather Nauert: “I think—I will say this. The secretary continues to abide by his ethical commitments, including that recusal from Exxon-related activities.”
Secretary of State Tillerson is known to have close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin, who awarded Tillerson the country’s Order of Friendship decoration in 2013. The Treasury Department’s $2 million fine against ExxonMobil was the maximum amount allowed by law. It represents just over two hours’ profit for the oil giant.
Let’s have a big hand for all of my fellow Amerikans who voted for Comrade Trump. Stupid is as stupid does, and evil is what evil does.
PRESIDENTDONALDTRUMP: “We’re here today to celebrate American manufacturing and to showcase the amazing products from all 50 states made in the U.S.A. Remember in the old days you used to have “made in the U.S.A.,” “made in America”? But made in the U.S.A., we’re going to start doing that again. We’re going to put that brand on our product, because it means it’s the best. … ”
A recent investigation by The Guardian revealed workplace abuse, grueling production targets and deplorably low pay at an Indonesian factory that makes clothing for Ivanka Trump’s label. Many of the female workers at the factory in West Java say the pay is so low that they live in constant debt and can’t afford to live with their own children.
This comes as three Chinese activists with the group China Labor Watch were imprisoned, though now released, after they were arrested while investigating labor conditions at a factory manufacturing Ivanka Trump brand shoes in China.
KRITHIKAVARAGUR: “Yeah. So this is a pretty large factory, almost 3,000 people, and the vast majority of people who work there are women. And often they are the breadwinners for their whole family. the reason this town has become quite attractive to garment factories is that this minimum wage is incredibly low even for Indonesia.”
What the fuck? Made in America week? Can this get any more Orwellian?