Monday, July 10

Š       Donald Trump Jr, who met with a Kremlin-connected Russian lawyer to get compromising information about Hillary Clinton, was informed that the material was part of a Russian government effort to aid his father’s candidacy.

Š       The Intercept reported that Jared Kushner and his father reportedly tried and failed to secure a $500 million loan from Qatari billionaire businessman in 2015. It has been alleged that Kushner, senior adviser to President Donald Trump, was integral in Trump's push for the crackdown on Qatar.

Š       Former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, who accidentally released millions of voter Social Security numbers and was alleged to suppress votes in Ohio, was appointed to Trump’s voter fraud commission.

Š       A study released by the International Journal for Communication said chairman Ajit Pai’s justification for rolling back net neutrality is riddled with factual errors and unsubstantiated claims.

Tuesday, July 11

Š       According to the New York Times, the email invitation to meet with a Russian lawyer sent to Donald Trump Jr was sent by one of his father’s former Russian business partners who had been contacted by a senior Russian official and offered to provide the Trump campaign with dirt on Hillary Clinton.

Š       The New York Times reported that 71 Trump appointees are reviewing rules their previous employers sought to weaken or kill, and at least two may be positioned to profit if certain regulations are undone.

Š       According to the New York Times, Steve Bannon, Trump’s chief strategist, and Jared Kushner, his senior adviser and son-in-law, recruited two businessmen, who profit from military contracting, to devise alternatives to Pentagon plans about sending thousands of additional troops to Afghanistan. The alternative plans propose contractors instead of American troops.

Š       The ACLU filed suit against Trump’s vote fraud commission charging that it isn’t following federal law requiring it to be open to the public.

Š       Freedom Caucus chairman Rep. Mark Meadows vowed to shut down the government unless Congress passes a budget that funds Trump’s border wall.

Š       2.7 million people have flooded the government comment website urging protection for national monuments.

Š       According to TalkingPointsMemo, an under-the-radar letter sent by the DOJ in June to most states asked states to hand over to the feds all information including “statutes, regulations, written guidance, internal policies, or database user manuals” that determine when a state removes from its rolls voters believed to be dead or have changed address. It appears that the focus of DOJ is going to be on pushing states to take more and more people off the rolls, instead of enforcing the provisions of the National Voter Registration Act that assist voters in getting registered and staying on the rolls.

Wednesday, July 12

Š       Fifteen states and the District of Columbia joined Hawaii's renewed effort to broaden the scope of exceptions to Trump's executive order on travel.

Š       Trump personally signed off on a statement by his eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., explaining his meeting with a Kremlin-linked attorney promising dirt on Hillary Clinton.

Š       Trump nominated Christopher Wray, the former assistant attorney general in the Justice Department during the George W. Bush administration, to be the next FBI director.

Š       Twitter users sued Trump for violating their constitutional rights by blocking them from Trump’s personal Twitter account after they criticized the president.

Š       Representative Steve King said he’d like to slash food assistance for low-income Americans and Planned Parenthood funding to free up money for Trump’s border wall.

Š       Since taking office, environmental groups and state attorneys general have filed more than four dozen lawsuits challenging his executive orders and decisions by the US Environmental Protection Agency, Interior Department and other agencies.

Š       Truthout reported that the US Navy has introduced toxic chemicals into Washington State's Whidbey Island's public and private wells. The Navy warned residents not to drink, cook or water their vegetable gardens.

Š       Rolling Stone and the Washington Examiner reported that the Trump Justice Department, after dismissing former US Attorney Preet Bharara, subsequently [and mysteriously] settled a case for [Natalia] Veselnitskaya's Russian client [Prevezon Holdings] very much in their favor. Veselnitskaya is the Russian lawyer who met with Donald Trump Jr. on the premise to expose dirt about Hilary Clinton. The Obama administration's Justice Department accused the company of laundering "some proceeds of a $230 million Russian tax refund fraud scheme involving corrupt Russian officials." and

Thursday, July 13

Š       The largest health insurers blasted a proposal by Senator Ted Cruz to exempt health policies from consumer protections and to sell cheaper policies with skimpier benefits.

Š       Technica reported that if the FCC overturns net neutrality rules, it will remove consumer protections that protect them from profit-motivated ISPs.

Š       Legal groups sued Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Border Patrol saying border officials have systemically blocked asylum seekers from accessing the asylum process in violation of US and international law.

Š       Senator Mitch McConnell released a new healthcare proposal to allow insurers to lower premiums for some services and to direct billions of dollars to help lower and middle-income Americans buy plans on the private market. It still has deep proposed cuts to Medicaid.

Š       Presidents of six national medical associations voiced opposition to the GOPs latest healthcare proposal.

Š       Assistant secretary for civil rights at the Education Department, Candice Jackson, apologized for saying 90%of campus rape accusations were not rape.

Š       The Trump administration decided for the second time since January to re-certify Iranian compliance with the nuclear agreement although Trump has called it a “disastrous deal.”

Š       Trump reportedly said he would consider quotas and tariffs on steel imports into the US.

Š       The Justice Department complied with a federal court order and released part of a security clearance form about Attorney General Sessions' contacts with foreign governments.

Š       The Guardian UK reported that the Trump administration is backing away from its extraordinary attempt to gather voters' personal information, following a barrage of legal challenges, an outcry from state officials, and a rash of voter registration cancellations by people concerned about their privacy.

Š       A new ruling by the US Court of Appeals ruled that the First Amendment protects our right to use electronic devices to record on-duty police officers.

Š       Alex Fitzsimmons, a veteran of Koch brothers advocacy groups for advancing fossil fuels, was hired as head of the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, a department the Koch brothers have wanted to eliminate.

Š       The White House released emails to the public that were received from voters commenting on its Election Integrity Commission. In some cases, the emails contain not only names, but email addresses, home addresses, phone numbers and places of employment of people worried about such information being made available to the public, according to the Washington Post.

Š       The House approved two amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act that would prohibit US participation in the catastrophic Saudi-United Arab Emirate war against Yemen.

Š       The Middle East Eye writes that US arms sales to Saudi Arabia are “prohibited” under US laws due to “credible allegations” of illegal actions during the kingdom’s bombing campaign in Yemen. Yet this did not prevent the US Senate from narrowly backing the sale of $500m worth of precision-guided munitions to Saudi Arabia in mid-June.

Š       The “Resilient Forest Act of 2017”, a gift to the timber industry, was recently introduced in Congress and approved by the House Natural Resources Committee. It would promote timber production on federal lands and undermine citizens’ ability to enforce environmental law.

Friday, July 14

Š       A Hawaii judge ordered loosening of Trump travel ban saying the administration’s strict approach contradicted a recent Supreme Court ruling.

Š        The Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General reported that federal prisons are violating the law by keeping mentally ill prisoners in solitary confinement.

Š       A Russian-American lobbyist said he attended a June 2016 meeting with Trump’s son marking another shift in the effort to help the Trump’s election campaign.

Š       A man emailed Trump’s personal attorney for the Russia case, Marc Kasowitz, urging him to resign. Kasowitz emailed the man with threats and profanity.

Š       A D.C. judge dismissed the guilty verdict of a 61-year old protester who laughed during Attorney General Sessions Senate Confirmation hearing saying the government made improper arguments.

Š       The Washington Post reported that the White House launched an aggressive drive to persuade key Republican governors to stop criticizing the Senate GOP’s proposal to overhaul the nation’s health-care system.

Š       According to Bloomberg News, the Trump administration considered using a UN climate change fund to pay for the construction of coal plants instead.

Š       Trump’s 2018 budget proposal would reduce or eliminate 40 US Geological Survey programs involved in climate change data gathering programs and cooperative studies.

Š       Clean Technica reported that there are signs the monolithic Republican opposition to anything and everything having to do with climate change is beginning to crumble. The House voted down an amendment to block a requirement in the pending National Defense Authorization Act for the armed services to study the impact of climate change on the military over the next 20 years.

Š       The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau took steps to ban forced consumer arbitration requirements often included in consumer agreements for credit cards, loans and other products offered by banks and financial institutions that made it difficult for consumers to recover fraudulently obtained funds.

Š       The Federalist reported that Attorney General Sessions told the Alliance Defending Freedom, known for comparing homosexuality to bestiality, that religion in the US is under attack and that the US was not intended to “get between God and man.”

Š       The Department of Justice appealed a federal judge’s loosening of Trump’s Muslim travel ban to the Supreme Court.

Š       The Trump administration eliminated $213.6 million in grants for teen pregnancy prevention programs and research.

Saturday, July 15

Š       The Trump administration considered a new policy to expand the DHS’s powers to expedite deportation of illegal immigrants anywhere in the US who have lived in the country continuously for more than 90 days.

Š       White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon failed to properly disclose more than $2 million in mortgage debt on his required financial disclosure form.

Š       In its Annual Greenhouse Gas Index report, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, in an unprecedented move, erased any reference to “human activity” or fossil fuels.

Š       According to the Washington Post, French President Emmanuel Macron invited Trump to Paris to position himself as Trump’s principal interlocutor in Western Europe, which has shown the White House mostly disdain.

Š       The New York Times reported that Trump’s re-election campaign spent nearly $700,000 on legal fees over the past few months to handle the president’s Russia election investigations.

Š       According to the Guardian UK, senior [tobacco industry] figures have been put in place within the Trump administration who have deep ties to tobacco, and lobbying activity has increased significantly. Officials with deep ties to the tobacco industry now head the US health department.

Š       ThinkProgress reported that there is growing calls in Congress to revoke Jared Kushner’s security clearance given past and recent revelations of his contacts with foreign nationals.

Š       Senator Mitch McConnell postponed a vote on the GOP’s healthcare bill until Senator John McCain recovers from surgery.

Sunday, July 16

Š       Moyers & Company quoted an interview with author Kristin Miller saying “Trump is surrounded by people who are veterans of this Koch apparatus. So, I saw by one report, 70 percent of his top senior appointees are coming from that network, and that includes of course his vice president, Mike Pence. It also includes the White House liaison to Congress, Mark Short. It includes Scott Pruitt at the EPA.”

Š       The Trump reelection campaign paid $50,000 to Trump Jr.’s attorneys two weeks before the email scandal and has steered millions of dollars to Trump companies including payment for legal services.

Š       The New York Daily News reported [Senator] McConnell is rushing the Energy and Natural Resources Act of 2017 to the floor as early as next week, foregoing committees and hearings. The bill includes much of the fossil fuel industry’s wish list including new coal projects, mining and drilling on public lands, approval of pipelines, and permitting of massive offshore Liquefied Natural Gas export terminals that would increase demand for fracking.

Š       In an effort to examine programs on campus rape, Secretary of Education DeVos planned meetings with survivors of sexual assault and support organizations. She also planned meetings with anti-feminist groups that claim rape statistics are overblown and that women regularly lie about assault.

Š       A Pentagon program, which has naturalized 10,400 troops since 2009, was cancelled leaving 1,800 recruits’ immigration status in question. Many are fleeing the US for other countries to avoid deportation.

Š       A federal judge ruled that Utah's law making it illegal to film what happens at farms and slaughterhouses is unconstitutional.