Quick Takes: Obama Speaks Up About DACA

A roundup of news that caught my eye today.

* Barack Obama had some words about the decision announced by the Trump administration today to rescind DACA.

Let’s be clear: the action taken today isn’t required legally. It’s a political decision, and a moral question. Whatever concerns or complaints Americans may have about immigration in general, we shouldn’t threaten the future of this group of young people who are here through no fault of their own, who pose no threat, who are not taking away anything from the rest of us. They are that pitcher on our kid’s softball team, that first responder who helps out his community after a disaster, that cadet in ROTC who wants nothing more than to wear the uniform of the country that gave him a chance. Kicking them out won’t lower the unemployment rate, or lighten anyone’s taxes, or raise anybody’s wages…

Ultimately, this is about basic decency. This is about whether we are a people who kick hopeful young strivers out of America, or whether we treat them the way we’d want our own kids to be treated. It’s about who we are as a people – and who we want to be.

* Speaking of the former president, on Friday of the long holiday weekend, the Justice Department quietly slipped this one out there.

The U.S. Justice Department said it had no evidence to support the unsubstantiated claim made in March by President Donald Trump that his predecessor, Barack Obama, had ordered a wiretap of Trump Tower during the 2016 presidential campaign.

There has never been any evidence to support Trump’s assertion on Twitter that “Obama had my ‘wires tapped’ in Trump Tower just before the victory,” despite continued insistence from some conservative websites and commentators.

* Meanwhile, the stories about the current occupant of the White House indicate he is like a 3 year old in need of a babysitter. Here’s one from the NYT about how/where he gets his news:

Mr. Kelly cannot stop Mr. Trump from binge-watching Fox News, which aides describe as the president’s primary source of information gathering. But Mr. Trump does not have a web browser on his phone, and does not use a laptop, so he was dependent on aides like Stephen K. Bannon, his former chief strategist, to hand-deliver printouts of articles from conservative media outlets.

Now Mr. Kelly has thinned out his package of printouts so much that Mr. Trump plaintively asked a friend recently where The Daily Caller and Breitbart were.

* Apparently some people who work for Trump think he doesn’t know what he’s doing. But I have no idea what this one paragraph buried in a NYT story about the DACA announcement means.

As late as one hour before the decision was to be announced, administration officials privately expressed concern that Mr. Trump might not fully grasp the details of the steps he was about to take, and when he discovered their full impact, would change his mind, according to a person familiar with their thinking who spoke on condition of anonymity without authorization to comment on it.

* Under normal circumstances, this kind of coming-and-going at the White House would be noted, but probably not become a cause for concern. These are not normal circumstances.

Keith Schiller was never just a bodyguard. He’s worked for Trump since 1999 and in nearly 20 years has become one of a handful of people outside of Trump’s immediate family that the president truly trusts.

Now he’s leaving the White House, and Trump’s friends worry about the effect Schiller’s absence will have on the president’s psyche.

* Last week I noted that the IAEA had released a report stating that Iran was in compliance with the terms of the nuclear agreement. Here is UN Ambassador Nikki Haley setting up the president to declare that they are out of compliance.

Donald Trump’s U.N. ambassador says the president “has grounds” to declare that Iran is not complying with the 2015 nuclear deal, stoking doubts about whether Trump intends to keep an international agreement and core legacy achievement for former President Barack Obama…

In particular, Haley said, those grounds include findings that Iran twice exceeded the amount of heavy water (a form of water in nuclear reactors) it was allowed to have. The Obama administration brushed off those incidents as minor technical infractions that were quickly resolved. Haley also blasted Iran’s refusal to allow international inspectors to check all of its military facilities. She also alleged Iran has “hundreds of undeclared sites that have suspicious activity that [inspectors] haven’t looked at.”

* Here’s an interesting twist on Trump’s decision to re-negotiate NAFTA:

Canadian negotiators are demanding the United States roll back so-called “right to work” laws – accused of gutting unions in some U.S. states by starving them of money – as part of the renegotiation of the North American free-trade agreement. The request is part of a push by Ottawa to get the U.S. and Mexico to adopt higher labour standards under the deal.

* Finally, I’m not sure whether I want to laugh or cry in response to this parody.

Nancy LeTourneau

Nancy LeTourneau is a contributing writer for the Washington Monthly.