News from the note…
A round up of the day’s news that might be of interest to you.
Consider this an OPEN THREAD, folks. Chat about any of the stories listed, share links to stories that caught your eye today, and generally have a good time discussing whatever you want.
In recent weeks, the government has stumbled trying to explain its plan for reunifying families in the wake of its much-criticized family separations policy at the border.
But newly reviewed court filings show that the byzantine system that has resulted in thousands of children separated for weeks and months from parents elsewhere in government custody was not an accident. It was always the design.
In fact, one of the women in an ongoing lawsuit over family separations was apparently one of the first separations that took place during a quiet pilot of the policy last year. The pilot program has been previously reported, but took on new attention on the heels of an NBC report about it Friday.
A government attorney admitted in court just days before the border-wide initiative was unveiled in early May that there was never a plan for parents like her to be proactively reunited with their kids.
Texas GOP Sen. Ted Cruz on Friday urged residents of a Chicago-area congressional district to vote for a Democrat if they must, to avoid giving even one vote to an avowed Nazi who won the GOP nomination.
Cruz’s comments, made on Twitter, came after a POLITICO story detailed the Illinois Republican Party’s failed efforts to oust Holocaust denier Arthur Jones from the ballot or offer up an alternative for Republican voters.
“This is horrific. An avowed Nazi running for Congress,” tweeted Cruz. “To the good people of Illinois, you have two reasonable choices: write in another candidate, or vote for the Democrat. This bigoted fool should receive ZERO votes.”
From The News Blender
From The Hill
Comedian John Melendez claimed in a series of tweets late Friday night that the Secret Service came to his door after he says he tricked President Trump into speaking with him on the phone.
“Secret Service at my door,” Melendez tweeted. “I guess my old friend Donald wants to continue this. Stay tuned.”
Melendez made headlines Friday after he uploaded audio to his podcast, “The Stuttering John Podcast,” purporting to reveal him posing as Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and briefly speaking with the president about immigration.
The U.S. ambassador to Estonia will retire at the end of July following a series of inflammatory comments President Donald Trump made about the European Union.
Jim Melville has served as ambassador since 2015.
“Earlier today, the United States’ Ambassador to Estonia, Jim Melville, announced his intent to retire from the Foreign Service effective July 29 after 33 years of public service,” a State Department spokesperson confirmed.
Foreign Policy reports that the early retirement is related to Trump’s controversial comments about U.S. allies in Europe.
From The Hill
A Trump administration appointee reportedly blasted standard United Nations (U.N.) documents that denounce racism, calling them a threat to democracy.
Andrew Veprek, the State Department’s deputy assistant secretary for refugees and migration, questioned the notion that state leaders have a “duty” to condemn hate speech while rejecting terms like nationalism, xenophobia and populism, CNN reports.
“The drafters say ‘populism and nationalism’ as if these are dirty words,” Veprek wrote in documents obtained by the network. “There are millions of Americans who likely would describe themselves as adhering to these concepts. (Maybe even the President.). So are we looking to here condemn our fellow-citizens, those who pay our salaries?”
In proposed amendments to a U.N. Human Rights Council resolution, Veprek, who was a foreign service officer before his appointment to a senior position, pushed for scaling back resolution language condemning racism, CNN reported.
A Saturday Bonus Note From The “Smokey the Bear” File
An orphaned bear cub that suffered painful burns to its paws in one of a half-dozen wildfires scorching Colorado is being nursed back to health, state officials said Friday. Colorado Parks and Wildlife officers believe the bear will recover well enough to be released this winter.
“When the bear was brought in, I wasn’t sure if it was going to make it,” Michael Sirochman said, a Parks and Wildlife veterinary technician. “But she’s responding very well to treatment, and by winter we believe we’ll be able to return her to the wild.”
It was an encouraging bit of news amid an extreme drought and an outbreak of disruptive wildfires in Colorado and much of the Southwestern U.S.