by Pam Martens and Russ Martens, Wall Street On Parade:
Today’s news headlines are not the stuff of confidence-building. It seems like a 241-year old democracy should have gotten its act together a lot better by now.
Bloomberg News is reporting that 17 of the most prestigious colleges and universities in the country (including Harvard, Yale and Stanford) have filed court papers seeking to join a lawsuit in a Brooklyn Federal court against President Donald Trump’s hastily constructed Executive Order. The Order called for an immigration ban which has drawn a flurry of lawsuits, nationwide protests and a rebuke by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The schools told the court that during the last academic year, more than one million international students studied at U.S. universities and now, as a result of the immigrant ban, 42,000 scholars, including Nobel Laureates, are calling for a boycott of educational conferences in the United States. With a tepid growth rate of less than 2 percent since the financial crash, the last thing the U.S. needs is to drive a stake through the heart of the U.S. travel and lodging industry.
As the President is now preoccupied attempting to dig out from under what appears to many as his unconstitutional, oft-promised plan to ban Muslims from the U.S., his promise to rebuild the decrepit infrastructure of the country has moved to the slow lane. That’s really bad news for people driving on dangerous bridges or living near troubled dams. Just ask the folks in Oroville, California. According to a report from Reuters this morning, 188,000 residents in the area of the Oroville Dam have become refugees themselves. They’re under evacuation orders and living in shelters for an unknown period of time until the dam can be rendered safe again.
During the early days of Trump’s immigration order, “chaos” was the word most frequently used to describe the impact at the airports and on people’s lives. The Washington Post is using the word “chaos” again today, following the abrupt resignation of Michael Flynn, the President’s newly installed National Security Adviser, over Flynn having discussions with a Russian diplomat before he took his post. The Post writes: “Once dismissed as growing pains, the chaos that was one of Donald Trump’s trademarks in business and campaigning now threatens to plague his presidency, according to interviews with a dozen White House officials and other Republicans.”
Against this backdrop, one of the most powerful U.S. figures on the global stage, Janet Yellen, Chair of the Federal Reserve, will head over to the Senate Banking Committee this morning to deliver her semi-annual report on monetary policy. Her appearance before the Senate will be a cake-walk compared to what is likely to happen tomorrow when Yellen delivers the same report to the House Financial Services Committee. That Committee is Chaired by Texas Republican Jeb Hensarling, a man who is now attempting to style himself as the Commander-In-Chief of Free Markets, while, in actuality, he is the mouthpiece of the big Wall Street banks who have stuffed his campaign coffers with their outsized largess. (See related article below.)
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