Morgan Phillips


The AFFH rule was designed to eliminate racial disparities in housing

President Trump told suburban voters in a tweet on Wednesday they will “no longer be bothered or financially hurt” by having low-income housing in their neighborhood after his administration revoked an Obama-era housing rule.

The Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing, or the AFFH rule, was designed to eliminate racial disparities in housing by telling jurisdictions that receive housing funds they must assess patterns of housing discrimination and come up with a plan to diminish them.

“I am happy to inform all of the people living their Suburban Lifestyle Dream that you will no longer be bothered or financially hurt by having low income housing built in your neighborhood,” Trump tweeted Wednesday. “Your housing prices will go up based on the market, and crime will go down. I have rescinded the Obama-Biden AFFH Rule. Enjoy!”

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) rescinded the 2015 rule last week as Secretary Ben Carson said the rule was “unworkable and ultimately a waste of time for localities to comply with.”

It will be replaced by a new rule that reduces the burden of local jurisdictions to prove that they are actively taking steps to address historical patterns of racial segregation in order to qualify for HUD financing.

“Washington has no business dictating what is best to meet your local community’s unique needs,” Carson said.

Housing advocates have dinged Trump’s opposition to the rule as a racially charged appeal to white voters in the midst of an election year, as Trump has repeatedly said the rule forces the construction of low-income housing in suburbs.

“Your home will go down in value and crime rates will rapidly rise,” Trump said last week. “People have worked all their lives to get into a community, and now they’re going to watch it go to hell. Not going to happen, not while I’m here.”

Trump has sought to pit presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden against suburban voters, last month saying Biden wants to make suburbs “much worse.”

“At the request of many great Americans who live in the Suburbs, and others, I am studying the AFFH housing regulation that is having a devastating impact on these once thriving Suburban areas,” the president tweeted. “Corrupt Joe Biden wants to make them MUCH WORSE. Not fair to homeowners, I may END!

“Biden will destroy your neighborhood and your American Dream,” Trump tweeted last week, along with a New York Post column entitled “Joe Biden’s Disastrous Plans for the Suburbs.”

“I will preserve it, and make it even better!” Trump added.

The New York Post column claims that under the AFFH rule, “towns everywhere would have had to scrap zoning, build bigger water and sewer lines to support high-density living, expand schools and social services and add mass transit. All pushing up local taxes. Towns that refused would lose their federal aid.”

Carson has said jurisdictions were “forced to comply with complicated regulations that require hundreds of pages of reporting” under the Obama-era rule.

The issue has been a long-standing issue for Carson, and fair housing advocates say the program never truly got off the ground because Carson suspended its implementation shortly after taking office. Biden has said he would implement the rule.

Biden’s housing plan would get rid of zoning regulations in suburbs that send prices skyrocketing.

“Exclusionary zoning has for decades been strategically used to keep people of color and low-income families out of certain communities,” Biden writes.

It would also vastly expand Section 8 housing vouchers, enact laws to prohibit landlords from discriminating those who pay with vouchers, establish tax incentives to build affordable housing, protect tenants from eviction by providing them legal assistance, among other policies that Biden thinks would make housing more affordable.

Author: Morgan Phillips

Source: Fox News: Trump tells voters who live in suburbs they ‘will no longer be bothered’ by low-income housing

A number of cities have allowed residents to paint their own Black Lives Matter mural, some even commissioned the painting on city streets

Redwood City in San Francisco’s Bay Area quietly scrubbed away its Black Lives Matter mural from a city street after a resident asked to paint a similar “MAGA 2020” on the same road, according to a local news report.

Redwood City resident Dan Pease received permission from city officials to paint “Black Lives Matter” on Broadway Street as part of a Fourth of July public art celebration, according to KPIX 5. City officials even supplied him with the yellow poster paint to make the mural.

“Because we were using the poster board paint that would eventually deteriorate over time, my understanding from them was that the mural would last as long as the paint lasted,” Pease explained, the outlet said.

Then, local real estate attorney Maria Rutenberg, who reasoned that the street was now a public forum, asked the city if she could paint her own “MAGA 2020” sign on the same street.

“I saw ‘Black Lives Matter’ sign appearing on Broadway Street on the asphalt and I figured that’s gonna be a new public space, open for discussion, and I wanted to get my message out, too,” Rutenburg said.

The city did not respond but promptly removed the Black Lives Matter mural, the news outlet said. They said the sign was a traffic hazard and might cause accidents.

Pease said he doesn’t believe “Black Lives Matter” to be a political statement but understands the position the city was in, according to KPIX 5.

“I have no hard feelings to the city council,” Pease said. “I am disappointed but, at the same time, I am very grateful that they allowed me to put that message on Broadway.”

In light of recent protests, a number of cities have not only allowed residents to paint their own Black Lives Matter mural but even commissioned the painting of the public message on city streets.

In New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio commissioned a Black Lives Matter mural outside Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue. That mural has been defaced three times this week, first by an unknown suspect who threw red paint on the message and second by four who threw blue paint on the mural and were later arrested.

The third time, a Black woman got into an altercation with police who were trying to hold her back as she dumped black paint on the mural. “Refund the police!” she could be heard shouting.

In D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser allowed the Black Lives Matter message to be painted on a road leading to the White House before “Defund The Police” was added by protesters.

Conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch asked Bowser and D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine for permission to paint “Because No One is Above the Law!” on a Capitol Hill street.

“Mayor Bowser made a decision to turn D.C. streets into a forum for public expression. Judicial Watch seeks equal access to use this new forum to educate Americans by painting our organization’s motto and motivation, ‘Because No One Is Above the Law!,’ on a Capitol Hill street,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in a statement. The group later sued over viewpoint discrimination.

Author: Morgan Phillips

Source: Fox News: California city washes away BLM mural after Trump supporter requests ‘MAGA 2020’ display

The council voted 7-0 on a measure to mitigate racial disparities

North Carolina’s Asheville City Council apologized for its role in slavery and racial discrimination, voting unanimously to provide reparations in the form of community investments to help Black residents.

The council voted 7-0 on Tuesday night on the measure to mitigate racial disparities. The reparations will not provide direct cash payments, as some have suggested, but will provide investments in housing, health care and career growth in Black neighborhoods.

Councilwoman Shaneika Smith, who is Black, said the council had gotten emails from those “asking, ‘Why should we pay for what happened during slavery?'”

“[Slavery] is this institution that serves as the starting point for the building of the strong economic floor for white America, while attempting to keep Blacks subordinate forever to its progress,” said Smith, as reported by the Asheville Citizen Times.

The resolution calls on the city to create a Community Reparations Commission to make concrete recommendations of where to funnel programs and resources.

“The resulting budgetary and programmatic priorities may include but not be limited to increasing minority home ownership and access to other affordable housing, increasing minority business ownership and career opportunities, strategies to grow equity and generational wealth, closing the gaps in health care, education, employment and pay, neighborhood safety and fairness within criminal justice,” the resolution reads.

“Hundreds of years of black blood spilled that basically fills the cup we drink from today,” said Councilman Keith Young, who is one of two African American city council members and spearheaded the proposal.

“It is simply not enough to remove statutes. Black people in this country are dealing with issues that are systemic in nature,” Young continued.

Councilman Vijay Kapoor, who is known to split with Smith and Young on police and budget issues, said he supported the resolution for moral reasons, but urged skeptics to look at the “practical reason” — data showing large disparities between African Americans and other Asheville residents.

“We don’t want to be held back by these gaps,” Kapoor said. “We want everyone to be successful.”

Author: Morgan Phillips

Source: Fox News: North Carolina city approves ‘reparations,’ apologizes for role in slavery

‘Poverty and crime are highly linked, both violent & nonviolent alike,’ she said.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez defended comments she made over the weekend suggesting that the crime surge in New York City is likely because struggling residents are forced to shoplift in order to “feed their child” by saying Republicans haven’t “experienced or seen” poverty.

“Republicans are all upset that I’m connecting the dots between poverty and crime,” the progressive firebrand tweeted. “I know most of them haven’t experienced or seen these issues first hand, but I have. This may be hard for them to admit, but poverty and crime are highly linked, both violent & nonviolent alike.”

In a virtual town hall meeting she hosted Thursday, some clips of which were shared by The Hill, the 30-year-old Democratic congresswoman was asked about the troubling uptick in violent crimes overtaking the city.

“Do we think this has to do with the fact that there’s record unemployment in the United States right now?” she responded. “The fact that people are at a level of economic desperation that we have not seen since the Great Recession?”

“Maybe this has to do with the fact that people aren’t paying their rent and are scared to pay their rent and so they go out, and they need to feed their child and they don’t have money,” Ocasio-Cortez continued, adding that “they’re put in a position where they feel like they either need to shoplift some bread or go hungry that night.”

The latest jobless claims figures from the Labor Department push the number of job losses since the shutdown began to nearly 50 million – or roughly 31 percent of the nation’s workforce.

The New York Police Department (NYPD) has reported a staggering increase in shootings and violent crimes in recent weeks. On Saturday, the New York Post reported 15 shootings in 15 hours, just one week after the city saw a bloody July Fourth weekend with 44 shootings and at least eight killed.

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee called the congresswoman’s comments “astonishing” on “America’s Newsroom.”

“There’s a big difference between shoplifting and cold-blooded murder and for her not to know the difference is frankly astonishing,” Huckabee said.

Host John Roberts brought up the fact that a 1-year-old was shot and killed and three other people were injured late Sunday night at a family cookout in a Brooklyn park, according to authorities.

“Her saying, ‘people are hungry so they’re going out and lifting bread,’ no, they are going out and killing people randomly,” Huckabee said.

“You don’t kill a 1-year-old because you need some bread, that doesn’t put bread on your table and that’s why the absurdity of her [Ocasio-Cortez’s] remarks have to be called out.”

“She needs to be held accountable for this,” he continued. “She needs to walk it back and recognize that violent crime has nothing to do with people’s lifting some bread.”

New York City recently cut the NYPD budget by $1 billion, but Ocasio-Cortez has criticized the cuts for not reaching far enough, and accused de Blasio of using “budget tricks” and “funny math” in the calculation. Others, including former law enforcement officials, have made the same argument about budget gimicks being used reach the $1 billion figure.

When asked later to comment on the issue, the congresswoman said: “When people ask me ‘What does a world where we defund the police look like?’, I tell them it looks like a suburb.”

Author: Morgan Phillips

Source: Fox News: AOC doubles down amid GOP criticism over take on NYC crime

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said the White House has “no regrets” over the controversial clearing of protesters from Lafayette Square before President Trump walked across the street last week to St. John’s Church.

“There are no regrets on the part of this White House because, look, I would note that many of the decisions were not made here within the White House,” McEnany told reporters of the park clearing last Monday.

She referenced how the attorney general has said he approved the clearing of the protesters.

“It was Attorney General Barr who made the decision to move the perimeter Monday night. Park Police had also made that decision independently when they saw the violence in Lafayette Square,” she said.

McEnany also said that Park Police issued three loud warnings that protesters needed clear the area, at which point some cleared and some hurled objects at police.

“Park Police acted as they felt needed to at that time and we stand by those actions,” McEnany said.

On Friday, Barr told The Associated Press that did not give a command to disperse protesters in the park, rather that law enforcement officers were already pushing them back when he arrived to survey the scene.

Both the White House and other administration officials had repeatedly said Barr, who accompanied Trump on his visit to St. John’s Church, ordered officers to push back protesters, which they did with pepper balls and smoke canisters.

The order was executed Monday afternoon just minutes before the president gave a public address on the nationwide unrest following the death of George Floyd. The act — which came shortly before a city curfew went into effect — ignited outrage from critics who claim protesters were moved so the president could participate in a photo opportunity.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer called it an “action worthy of censure.”

“I am horrified he attempted to put down peaceful protests with military force,” Hoyer said, calling it “the act of an authoritarian, unempathetic leader.”

And while many critics claimed tear gas was used, the Park Police told WTOP it deployed smoke canisters.

Later Tuesday, the Park Police went on the record to deny that tear gas was used, while also saying “violent protestors” began throwing projectiles including “bricks, frozen water bottles and caustic liquids” before officers dispersed the crowd.

“No tear gas was used by USPP officers or other assisting law enforcement partners to close the area at Lafayette Park,” United States Park Police acting Chief Gregory T. Monahan said.

But on Friday Park Police spokesman Sgt. Eduardo Delgado said it was a “mistake” to insist in a statement Tuesday that no tear gas was used to clear Lafayette Park on Monday.

However, Delgado insisted that Park Police did not lie, explicitly noting that pepper balls were shot. Pepper balls can cause irritation to the eyes and cause tears.

“I’m not going to say that pepper balls don’t irritate you,” Delgado told Vox. “I’m not saying it’s not a tear gas, but I’m just saying we use a pepper ball that shoots a powder.”

“The point is we admitted to using what we used,” Delgado said. “I think the term ‘tear gas’ doesn’t even matter anymore. It was a mistake on our part for using ‘tear gas’ because we just assumed people would think CS or CN,” two common forms of tear gas.

Author: Morgan Phillips

Source: Fox News: McEnany: White House has ‘no regrets’ over clearing protesters from Lafayette Square

Senior Treasury Department officials said Monday the U.S. is borrowing more in the second quarter than it did in all of last year due to coronavirus relief spending and reduced tax revenue.

A Treasury official said Monday the U.S. will borrow $2.999 trillion in privately held net marketable debt in the second quarter, assuming an end-of-June cash balance of $800 billion.

This would be far above what the Treasury typically has borrowed in a year. In comparison, the Treasury’s net borrowing in the last fiscal year was $1.28 trillion.

The last-highest recorded quarter was July-September 2008, when Treasury borrowed $530 billion. The previous record for second-quarter borrowing was $344 billion in 2010.

Treasury originally had estimated to pay down the debt this April-June quarter by $50 billion.

The red ink is coming after Congress approved trillions of dollars in stimulus payments to support shuttered businesses and their workers in the form of direct economic payments, the Paycheck Protection Program and others. One more package is expected to help the tens of millions of Americans who recently hit the unemployment line.

In addition, the government has needed to borrow to cover the shortfall in revenue set to occur because the Trump administration has delayed the deadline for tax payments this year from April to June.

Treasury officials said they expect to borrow $677 billion in the July-September quarter, for a cash balance of $800 billion at the end of September.

The department borrowed $477 billion through credit markets in the January-March quarter.

Since March 1, the national debt has grown by $1.5 trillion to a total of $24.9 trillion, a 6.4 percent increase.

Author: Morgan Phillips

Source: Fox News: Treasury to borrow $3T for coronavirus relief, adding more debt in 1 quarter than all of 2019

A coalition of conservative groups has filed an ethics complaint against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D.-Calif., alleging she has “hypocritically usurped” the authority of the president and “weaponized” impeachment proceedings.

“In launching her ‘official’ impeachment inquiry without benefit of a vote of the full House of Representatives and without indicating anything remotely qualifying as ‘treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors’ that is the subject of the inquiry, Speaker Pelosi has weaponized impeachment,” reads the complaint, led by Tea Party Patriots Action’s Jenny Beth Martin and signed by 40 different groups.

The complaint adds that Thursday’s scheduled vote on a resolution codifying the impeachment inquiry is “inadequate at this stage” and says Pelosi’s “one-person decision” is in violation of historical precedent. In previous cases, the House has launched an official impeachment inquiry into a president by holding a vote of all the members.

“If she now understands that before going any further, the full House of Representatives must make its impeachment inquiry legitimate by the casting of votes, she is tacitly admitting that what came before is illegitimate,” the complaint states. “Consequently, all ‘evidence’ gleaned during this portion of the ‘investigation’ must be discarded for the sake of fairness.”

The letter alleged there was no outcry from Pelosi when former Vice President Joe Biden “bragged that he had leveraged more than a billion dollars in U.S. assistance to Ukraine to achieve [a] desired policy end, threatening Ukrainian government officials that he would deny them U.S. assistance if they did not remove the prosecutor general within six hours.”

The letter also emphasized the authority of the executive branch over foreign and national security policy. “Congress’ ability to influence the conduct of U.S. foreign and national security policy is wholly dependent on its power of persuasion,” reads the complaint, which calls on the Office of Congressional Ethics to launch an inquiry into Speaker Pelosi’s “misconduct.”

Republicans and some moderate Democrats have expressed concern over impeachment proceedings.

Earlier Wednesday, Rep. Matt Gaetz, R.-Fla., filed an ethics complaint against House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif. Gaetz accused Schiff of “grossly misrepresenting the content” of President Trump’s phone call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky during a hearing last month

Author: Morgan Phillips

Source: Fox News: Nancy Pelosi targeted in ethics complaint filed by 40 conservative groups

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