Trump Administration Announces Rollback of ‘Destructive and Horrible’ Obama-Era Water Rule

The following is an excerpt from Blaze Media’s daily Capitol Hill Brief email newsletter:

The Trump administration is set to announce a final repeal of the Obama administration’s “Waters of the United States” rule on Thursday. Environmental Protection Agency administrator Andrew Wheeler made the announcement via an op-ed in the Des Moines Register Thursday morning.

The Obama-era regulation, put forward in 2015, drastically expanded which waterways are subject to federal control under the Clean Water Act to include man-made ditches and streams on private property that only have water in them following rain or snowmelt. It was swamped with litigation from the start. Last month, a federal judge ruled that the Obama administration’s rule violated federal law and sent it back to the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers to be reworked.

Wheeler’s op-ed explains that the 2015 rule was “was so far-reaching that they needed to clarify in regulatory text that puddles were excluded.” This created a regulatory headache for farmers, land developers, and anyone confused about whether or not they now needed a federal permit to work on their own land.

President Trump vowed to kill the rule on the campaign trail, and in 2017, he directed the EPA to work on the “elimination of this very destructive and horrible rule.” A proposed rule introduced by the Environmental Protection Agency back in December would relax the definition of what counts as waters that can be regulated. Republican senators tried to pass an amendment repealing the 2015 rule last year, but it failed.

Wheeler wrote that the “new, more precise definition would mean that farmers, land owners, and businesses will spend less time and money determining whether they need a federal permit and more time upgrading aging infrastructure, building homes, creating jobs, and growing crops to feed our families.”

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Trump Admin: Businesses Can Fire Men for Being Gay If They Fire Women for Being Lesbian, Too. ACLU: No.

. . .In a 31-page filing submitted Tuesday with the United States Supreme Court, attorneys for the ACLU continue their advocacy on behalf of Donald Zarda, a man who claims that he was fired by Altitude Express, Inc. because of his attraction to other men and for failing to conform to the “straight male macho stereotype.”

Ray Maynard, the owner of Altitude, and the Trump Administration’s attorneys arguing on Maynard’s behalf don’t dispute Zarda’s claim. Rather, they both claim it’s well within Maynard’s rights under federal law to discriminate against sexual orientation in the workplace. . .

In a recent filing, the Trump Administration acknowledged that an employer who “fires a man for being attracted to men and [who] would not fire other employees for their sexual orientation violates Title VII.” The solution here? Discriminate against lesbians, too. . .

Such a staffing decision, the Trump Administration argues, would be allowable because said policy would discriminate against men and women equally. This doubly discriminatory policy would also be legally sound because, they claim, the real discrimination present in such a policy is actually sourced from sexual orientation discrimination–and is not pure or genuine sex discrimination.

“Altitude and the Government argue that when an employer engages in wholesale ‘sexual-orientation discrimination,’ the ‘[u]nfavorable treatment of a gay or lesbian employee’ is ‘not the consequence of that individual’s sex, but instead of an employer’s policy concerning a different trait—sexual orientation—that Title VII does not protect,’” the ACLU filing notes. (Read more from “Trump Admin: Businesses Can Fire Men for Being Gay If They Fire Women for Being Lesbian, Too. ACLU: No.” HERE)

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DNC Official May Have Violated Neutrality Rules to Help Joe Biden

A top official of the Democrat National Committee (DNC) may have violated his organization’s neutrality standards in order to save former Vice President Joe Biden from an embarrassing incident.

Ken Martin, the DNC’s vice chair and the president of the Association of State Democratic Committees, allegedly “bawled” out a liberal activist at the New Hampshire Democrats State Convention last week for handing out fliers critical of Biden. The incident was first recounted by Norman Solomon, the activist on the receiving end of the Martin’s animosity, for the liberal blog Common Dreams.

“Ken Martin was angry that my colleagues and I were handing out a flier—providing some inconvenient facts about Joe Biden—to delegates and activists as they entered the New Hampshire Democratic Party convention,” Solomon, a longtime activist and the founder of RootsAction.org, wrote.

The flier, a copy of which was obtained by Breitbart News, highlights a number of controversial stands the former vice president has taken over the span of his 40-year political career. Included are quotes from Biden on issues like banking regulation, criminal justice, and busing to desegregate public schools, among others.

Martin, who also serves as the chairman of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party of Minnesota, was purportedly incensed over the fliers and chose to confront Solomon over their distribution. (Read more from “DNC Official May Have Violated Neutrality Rules to Help Joe Biden” HERE)

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The Secret Service Arrested One of the El Paso Survivors That President Trump Invited to the White House

The Secret Service arrested one of the El Paso, Texas, survivors that President Donald Trump intended to honor when he arrived at the White House. . .

On Aug. 3, a 21-year-old man entered a Walmart in El Paso and opened fire, murdering 22 people and wounding dozens others. He was later apprehended by police. He later admitted to targeting Hispanics.

One of the invitees was 50-year-old Chris Grant. In addition to being shot during the attack, Grant claimed to have thrown things, including bottles, at the attacker. Trump also praised Grant, asking his family to thank him on behalf of the country. . .

“Nobody bothered to check with us,” El Paso police spokesman Sgt. Enrique Carrillo told the Washington Examiner. “They would have been informed, as I am telling you now, that our detectives reviewed hours of video and his actions did not match his account.”

“On Monday, Sept. 9, 2019, a White House visitor with an arrest warrant was temporarily detained by U.S. Secret Service Uniformed Division Officers,” a spokesperson for the Secret Service explained to the Washington Examiner. “It was subsequently determined that while the arrest warrant was still active, the agency that issued the warrant would not extradite, at which time the individual was released from Secret Service custody.” (Read more from “The Secret Service Arrested One of the El Paso Survivors That President Trump Invited to the White House” HERE)

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Study Finds Media Is Losing the ‘Fake News’ War Badly

Donald Trump’s war with the “fake news media” has only ramped up over the course of his presidency, while mainstream news outlets have become more overtly partisan, as infamously acknowledged by the New York Times executive editor admitting that the paper “built our newsroom” to cover one story — the Robert Mueller-debunked “collusion” conspiracy theory — for Trump’s first two years in office. But do Americans agree that the “fake news media” is a problem?

A new study of the public’s confidence in the media found that nearly all Americans — over 95% — are troubled about the current state of the media. While many likely wouldn’t go so far as to label the media the “enemy of the peope,” a majority were indeed very concerned about the prevalance of “fake news,” the reporting of “gossip” rather than fact, “Left-wing” and “Right-wing” agendas steering reports, outright “hit pieces” and “gotcha journalism,” and the prevalence of “celebrity opinons” and “lying spokespeople.”

Boutique PR firm Bospar released its Ethics in Media study this week ahead of a panel the firm is hosting in San Francisco next week. The study, conducted with Propeller Insights, surveyed 1,010 American adults. The results were eye-opening. Over 95% of the respondents said they were “troubled by the current state of media.” . . .

And things aren’t looking up in most Americans’ eyes. The study found that two-thirds (67%) believe that ethics in journalism will only get worse heading into the 2020 election cycle.

Asked about the negative ramifications of the increase in unethical journalism, respondents said it creates “division and partisanship” (64%), “fuels inaccuracies” (63%), “incites hate” (60%), and “creates fear” (57%). (Read more from “Study Finds Media Is Losing the ‘Fake News’ War Badly” HERE)

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Gun Sales Surge Following Spike in Anti-Gun Rhetoric

The number of firearm background checks conducted in August surged 15% over both the previous month and the previous year, meaning Americans are suddenly buying more guns, just as members of the 2020 Democratic field are proposing strict crackdowns on weapons purchases, and even “gun buyback” confiscation programs.

The Washington Examiner reports that “background checks done for security, concealed carry permits, and gun sales” soared over the summer, making August the best month for gun sales since the National Shooting Sports Foundation began keeping track of how many individuals apply for a federal background check — and thus try to purchase a firearm — per month.

The NSSF does caution that it’s likely not every background check resulted in a gun sale; the background check system exists for a reason, and it does turn down some potential buyers. Individuals interested in purchasing a firearm can also complete a background check but may not ultimately buy a weapon.

“NSSF said that the FBI told it that the overall NICS number for August was 2,341,363,” according to the Examiner. “That is 310,702 higher than July and 268,067 higher than August 2018. The FBI hasn’t posted the number yet on its NICS page.”

The surge, WashEx says, comes on the heels of increased pressure from Congress to stiffen the country’s gun laws. Democratic Congressional leaders Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) announced last week that they plan on introducing a bill in both Houses to expand federal background checks and create a universal gun registry system that would keep track of Americans owning and purchasing firearms. (Read more from “Gun Sales Surge Following Spike in Anti-Gun Rhetoric from 2020 Dems” HERE)

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Supreme Court Gives Green Light to Trump Administration’s Asylum Rules

By Townhall. The Supreme Court of the United States on Wednesday said the Trump administration is allowed to deny asylum to those who refused to seek refuge in another country first before coming to the United States, the Associated Press reported.

Justices Sonia Sotomayer and Ruth Bader Ginsburg dissented with the rest of their colleagues.

“Once again the Executive Branch has issued a rule that seeks to upend longstanding practices regarding refugees who seek shelter from persecution,” Sotomayer wrote in her dissenting opinion, the Washington Post reported.. “Although this Nation has long kept its doors open to refugees — and although the stakes for asylum seekers could not be higher — the Government implemented its rule without first providing the public notice and inviting the public input generally required by law.”

(Read more from “Supreme Court Gives Green Light to Trump Administration’s Asylum Rules” HERE)

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Supreme Court Allows Trump Administration to Enforce Toughest Restriction yet on Asylum Requests

By NBC News. . .As a result, the government can now refuse to consider a request for asylum from anyone who failed to apply for it in another country after leaving home but before coming here. The order means, for instance, that migrants from Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador cannot seek asylum in the U.S. if they didn’t first ask for it in Mexico.

Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor dissented, saying the court acted too quickly and should allow the case to work its way through the normal judicial process.

The administration said the new restriction is needed to respond to “an unprecedented surge” of people who enter the country illegally and seek asylum if they’re caught. But officials said only a small fraction of them are eventually found to be qualified. “The rule thus screens out asylum seekers who declined to request protection at their first opportunity,” said Solicitor General Noel Francisco. He said it allows immigration officials to concentrate on the asylum seekers who most need protection.

Immigration courts now face a backlog of 436,000 asylum requests. But given how few are actually granted, it’s reasonable to ask whether those applicants “genuinely fear persecution or torture, or are simply economic migrants,” Francisco said. (Read more from “Supreme Court Allows Trump Administration to Enforce Toughest Restriction yet on Asylum Requests” HERE)

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NRA Sues San Francisco; Quarter of Dems Say NRA Should Be Illegal

By Breitbart. The NRA is suing San Francisco after the city declared it a “domestic terrorist organization,” alleging the declaration violates the group’s free speech rights.

The Associated Press reports the NRA filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, asking the court “to instruct elected officials that freedom of speech means you cannot silence or punish those with whom you disagree.”

On September 4, 2019, Breitbart News reported San Francisco Supervisors’ unanimous vote to declare the NRA a “domestic terrorist organization.” Rolling Stone magazine reports the supervisor behind the vote, Cathering Stefani, is a volunteer member of Michael Bloomberg-funded Moms Demand Action. (Read more from “NRA Sues San Francisco” HERE)

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Quarter of Dems Say NRA Should Be Illegal

By Rasmussen Reports. The National Rifle Association is America’s largest gun rights organization with more than five million members. But a sizable number of Democrats views it as a terrorist group and believes it should be against the law for Americans to belong to pro-gun rights organizations like the NRA.

Following several recent mass shootings, officials in San Francisco declared the NRA a domestic terrorist organization. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that nearly one-out-of-three Likely Democratic Voters (32%) favor declaring the gun rights group a terrorist organization in the community where they live. Fourteen percent (14%) of Republicans and 20% of voters not affiliated with either major party agree. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Twenty-eight percent (28%) of Democrats say Americans should be prohibited by law from belonging to pro-gun rights organizations like the NRA, a view shared by 15% of Republicans and 10% of uanffiliateds.

Among all likely voters, 23% favor declaring the NRA a terrorist organization in their home community, while 18% think it should be against the law to belong to pro-gun rights groups like the NRA. (Read more from “Quarter of Dems Say NRA Should Be Illegal” HERE)

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NYT Scared to Death: ‘The Trumps Will Be a Dynasty!’

The New York Times has extremely bad news for every single Democrat… and members of the old GOP elite: according to President Trump’s campaign manager, the entire family will be a political force to be reckoned with for years to come. In fact, he calls them a new dynasty.

“The Trumps will be a dynasty that lasts for decades,” Brad Parscale, Mr. Trump’s campaign manager, said on Saturday. When asked what he meant, he explained that the family has people with “amazing capabilities.” “I think you see that from Don Jr. I think you see that from Ivanka. You see it from Jared. You see it from all,” he said.

Apparently, the NYT’s Maggie Haberman got so scared by this prospect that she wrote an entire column about it. . .

With regards to the latter part of that question, Haberman believes the chances of President Trump fading quietly are just about zero.

You can just smell the fear. It’s bad enough for Haberman and her ilk that there’s Donald Trump, but now there’s an entire dynasty in the making? Oh no! The Clintons and Kennedys are perfect. But the Trump’s as a dynasty? Oh no!

(Read more from “NYT Scared to Death: ‘The Trumps Will Be a Dynasty!'” HERE)

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President Donald Trump Accepts the Resignation of National Security Adviser John Bolton

On Tuesday, President Donald Trump announced on Twitter that he requested and has accepted the resignation of national security adviser John Bolton.

Bolton offered a different account of his resignation.

Bolton’s resignation follows reports of conflict in the White House between Bolton and other members of the administration over foreign policy, most notably Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. This week, the New York Times reported that Bolton fiercely objected to a planned meeting at Camp David with members of the Taliban for Afghanistan peace talks.

The president said he will name a new national security adviser next week. (For more from the author of “President Donald Trump Accepts the Resignation of National Security Adviser John Bolton” please click HERE)

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