THE RESTAURANT LOBBY IS making a masked pitch to kill Initiative 77, a ballot measure designed to gradually raise the minimum wage in Washington, D.C., for bartenders, waitstaff, and other “tipped” employees, to $15 an hour by 2025.The current federal floor for “tipped” workers — defined as employees who receive at least $30 a month in tips — is $2.13 per hour. Tipping, originally embraced by Reconstruction-era Americans as a way to avoid paying salaries to newly freed slaves, now supports a two-tiered system in which tipped workers experience some of the lowest pay of any industry. (Waitresses are twice as likely to use food stamps than the general population).But you’d never glean any of that from the restaurant lobby’s pitch.
THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION’S intensifying border crackdown has seen as many as 2,000 cases involving children separated from their parents, according to an estimate by a lead attorney litigating a high-profile class-action lawsuit challenging the practice. Hundreds of new incidents of children being separated from their parents have emerged in the last month alone. “I think it’s between 1,500 and 2,000,” Lee Gelernt, a veteran attorney with American Civil Liberties Union, told The Intercept on Thursday, referring to the ballooning total of separation cases. Gelernt based the figure on recent testimony from U.S. officials and government disclosures, arguing that the total reflects the emerging scale of a practice that will have lasting impacts on a generation of kids who happened to arrive in the U.S. at this particular moment.
THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION launched its latest attack on women’s rights this week, introducing a so-called domestic gag rule for providers that receive Title X family planning funding. The rule would encourage providers to withhold potentially life-saving medical information from their patients and bar them from referring patients to an abortion provider. It also seeks to cut the single largest provider of Title X services, Planned Parenthood, from participating in the program altogether.
A man who once claimed that the air in America was “a little too clean for optimum health”, has been appointed to an advisory board of America’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
UNTIL HE WAS stripped of his top-secret security clearance in February, presidential adviser Jared Kushner was known around the White House as one of the most voracious readers of the President’s Daily Brief, a highly classified rundown of the latest intelligence intended only for the president and his closest advisers.Kushner, who had been tasked with bringing about a deal between Israel and Palestine, was particularly engaged by information about the Middle East, according to a former White House official and a former U.S. intelligence professional.
THE WHITE HOUSE press secretary did not directly dispute the revelation that Blackwater founder Erik Prince and former Iran-Contra figure Oliver North pitched a plan to develop a private spy network to members of the Trump administration.The plan, detailed in a story broken by The Intercept on Monday, is to develop a private intelligence network to counter perceived “deep state” enemies within the ranks of government. Prince denied the report, and North did not respond to The Intercept’s request for comment.“I’m not aware of any plans for something of that definition or anything similar to that at this time,” said White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, in response to a question from CBS News’s Major Garrett about the story.
EVERY YEAR THE Department of Labor posthumously honors Americans “whose distinctive contributions to the field of labor have enhanced the quality of life of millions yesterday, today, and for generations to come.” Past honorees have included socialist leader Eugene Debs and labor organizer Cesar Chavez.Today, Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta announced that the department’s first honoree under the Trump administration would be a former president: Ronald Reagan.This marks perhaps the first time the Department of Labor has honored someone who openly and actively diminished the power of American labor unions.