Jobs for all? In the US that idea is about to be tested to destruction | John Harris

Donald Trump says he’ll bring back full employment. But maybe no politician has the power to deliver this

The story has rather got lost in the midst of Donald Trump’s statements this week about his fabled wall, the merits of torture, and all the other stuff that has underlined the frightening nature of his arrival in power – but on Monday, the new president hosted a remarkable meeting.

In the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Trump held talks with the leaders of US trade unions: among them, the presidents of the Laborers’ International Union of North America, the Smart (it stands for sheet metal, air, rail and transportation) Union, and the United Brotherhood of Carpenters. Despite US unions overwhelmingly backing Hillary Clinton – the carpenters, for example, recently warned that “Trump’s legacy will ruin America” – all was apparently warmth and cordiality.

Related: On her flight May should read Trump’s book: the other guy is always shafted | Polly Toynbee

Related: The Trump effect has rallied US markets – but it’s based on illusion | Robert Shiller

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Abandoned Wal-Mart To Reopen As Shelter For Illegal Immigrants With Tax-Dollar Funding

An abandoned Walmart in Brownsville, Texas will soon be home to 100’s of illegal immigrant “minors”, many of them late in their teen years, thanks to your federal tax dollars.  According to a report from a local ABC affiliate in Brownsville, the facility is currently being converted into a shelter by a nonprofit organization called Southwest Key, which receives the majority of its funding from federal tax dollars via the Office of Refugees Resettlement.

A Southwest Key spokeswoman confirmed the facility is set to open on March. They said it’ll be to welcome unaccompanied minors who crossed into the U.S. illegally.


It will be the 4th facility in Brownsville to shelter children, under the age of 17, who have crossed into the U.S. without an adult.


Southwest Key is federally funded by the Office of Refugees Resettlement. The group’s mission is to provide a safe environment for unaccompanied children while they wait to be reunited with a sponsor or relative in the U.S.


Southwest Key officials said children are supervised during their stay. The program ensures youngsters have a safe place to sleep, are fed, educated and also have access to healthcare and counseling services.

Of course, the report drew a lot of criticism from local Brownsville residents, many of whom questioned whether the money shouldn’t be redirected to fund a shelter for veterans and/or the homeless.



As background, according to WND, Southwest Key has an annual budget of $150 million and operates 27 shelters for illegal immigrants in Texas, Arizona and California.  Per the Southwest Key website:

Southwest Key Programs is a private, nonprofit organization founded in 1987 to keep young people out of institutions and empower them with the skills, knowledge and tools they need to succeed. Through an exceptionally competent and diverse staff, Southwest Key empowers youth and their families to make positive changes in their lives including at our 27 immigrant children’s shelters in Texas, Arizona and California.


Southwest Key Unaccompanied Minor shelters operate as a self-contained unit, delivering shelter, food, healthcare, education, recreation, case management and legal services to the children in our care. We are required by the federal government to provide everything that a child needs in order to thrive in a humane and homelike environment. As a result, there is little interaction between the children in our services and the surrounding community, save for those businesses and employees engaged in their care on-site.


Healthcare: The overwhelming majority of medical services are done on site by Southwest Key’s fully-staffed, licensed medical professionals who ensure the health of the children in our shelters. Every child receives a full, medical exam by a doctor within 24 to 48 hours of entering our facilities, including receiving all the CDC recommended immunizations and being screened for any infectious diseases.


Education: While in our care, all unaccompanied minors receive educational services. Our presence in a community does not impact children in the local school system as our kids receive all educational services separate and distinct from local children and they never have an opportunity to interact with one another.

Southwest Key


If Southwest Key sounds familiar, it’s probably because it’s the same Southwest Key that drew criticism from Senator Chuck Grassley back in 2014 for using taxpayer money to provide a petting zoo and guitar lessons to their illegal immigrant residents at a cost of over $300 per child per day.  Per the Washington Times:

One of the contractors housing some of the surge of illegal immigrant children from this summer offers them a petting zoo with miniature ponies, a tilapia fish farm operation and guitar lessons, according to documents released Thursday by a senator who questioned whether the plush accommodations were a good use of taxpayers’ money.


Sen. Charles E. Grassley, Iowa Republican, said it seemed excessive to pay the $329 that Southwest Key Programs, the contractor, charged per child per day at one of its California facilities in Lemon Grove, California. Another facility in El Cajon cost taxpayers $316 per child per day.

Here is the original report from KRGV-TV in Brownsville, TX:

Bannon Declares War On The Media: “You Are The Opposition; Keep Your Mouth Shut”

Not one to mince words, Steve Bannon, Trump’s Chief White House strategist, eviscerated the mainstream media during an interview last night.  Commenting on their coverage of the Trump campaign, Bannon lambasted the disconnect of the media from everyday Americans saying, “They don’t understand this country. They still do not understand why Donald Trump is the president of the United States.”  Per Axios:

“The media should be embarrassed and humiliated and keep its mouth shut and just listen for awhile,” Mr. Bannon said during a telephone call. “I want you to quote this,” Mr. Bannon added. “The media here is the opposition party. They don’t understand this country. They still do not understand why Donald Trump is the president of the United States.”

“The elite media got it dead wrong, 100 percent dead wrong,” Mr. Bannon said of the election, calling it “a humiliating defeat that they will never wash away, that will always be there.”



But that attacks didn’t end there as Bannon went on describe the media as “the opposition party.”

“The mainstream media has not fired or terminated anyone associated with following our campaign,” Mr. Bannon said. “Look at the Twitter feeds of those people: they were outright activists of the Clinton campaign.” (He did not name specific reporters or editors.) “That’s why you have no power,” Mr. Bannon added. “You were humiliated.”


“You’re the opposition party,” Mr. Bannon said. “Not the Democratic Party. You’re the opposition party. The media’s the opposition party.”

Finally, asked whether he was concerned that Sean Spicer had lost credibility with the press after his debate over crowd sizes, Bannon had a similarly pointed answer:

“Are you kidding me?” he said. “We think that’s a badge of honor. ‘Questioning his integrity’ — are you kidding me? The media has zero integrity, zero intelligence, and no hard work.”

Any remaining questions on what Steve Bannon thinks of the mainstream media?

White House Misspells UK Prime Minister’s Name In Official Memo (Multiple Times)

A White House memo detailing President Trump’s Friday schedule offered what some might call ‘alternative letters’ in the spelling of UK Prime Minister T(h)eresa May’s name… mutliple times.

As The Hill reports, May’s name was spelled “Teresa” three times in the daily guidance and press schedule email, which was sent Thursday evening with an hourly breakdown of the president’s schedule.

The White House sent out an updated guidance with corrected spelling about a half-hour later, shortly before Vice President Pence’s office released its own guidance that misspelled May’s name once. That was also corrected about 20 minutes later.

*  *  *

Not a great start as Trump’s team put the ‘special’ in “special relationship.”