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Trump continues firing spree, dumps acting ICE director Daniel Ragsdale

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Continuing a slew of shake-ups among government agencies, Donald Trump on Monday dismissed Acting Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director Daniel Ragsdale, replacing him with Thomas D. Homan, former executive associate director for ICE.

The announcement comes an hour after the White House announced its decision to fire acting AG Sally Yates for her refusal to back Trump’s travel ban. It also follows a decision Saturday to restructure the National Security Council, downgrading the roles of the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the director of national intelligence and elevating White House chief strategist Steve Bannon to the NSC’s principals committee.

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Ragsdale was appointed deputy director in May 2012, and became the acting director on Jan. 20, 2017.

In a statement that failed to reference Ragsdale’s dismissal, then Department of Homeland Security Press Office praised Homan and his “efforts to identify, arrest, detain and remove illegal aliens, including those who present a danger to national security to are a risk to public safety, as well as those who enter the United States illegally or otherwise undermine the integrity of our immigrations laws and our border controls efforts.”

Read the full statement below:

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‘Our chances of ever exiting the nightmare are shrinking’: Paul Krugman explains how the GOP is getting worse

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It is a great detriment to civil discourse that the divide between left and right in the United States is often depicted as being purely cultural — as if one’s politics were solely mediated by aesthetics, such as whether one prefers shooting guns or drinking lattes. This fabulist understanding of politics is harmful inasmuch as it masks the real social effects of the policy agendas pushed by left versus right. Seeing politics as aesthetic transforms what should be a quantitative debate — with statistics and numbers about taxation and public policy, questions of who benefits more or less from policy changes — and devolves it into a rhetorical debate over values.

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Legal battles sparked by Trump’s behavior could affect how the US government works for generations — long after his impeachment trial is over

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After the last Senate staffer turns out the lights, major questions remain to be decided outside of the Capitol about the limits of presidential power, the willingness of courts to decide political questions and the ability of Congress to exercise effective oversight and hold a president accountable.

Here are three of those questions.

What are the limits of presidential power?

First, the aggressive exercise of executive power by Trump has put this power under court scrutiny.

Trump’s vow to “fight all the subpoenas” breaks from the traditional process – negotiation and accommodation – that previous presidents have used to resolve disputes between branches of the government.

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Secret recording features Trump falsely claiming that weed makes people ‘lose IQ points’

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President Donald Trump falsely claimed that marijuana makes people "lose IQ points" in a secret recording released by indicted former Rudy Giuliani associate Lev Parnas.

Parnas released the recording, which captured more than one hour of conversation at a private donor dinner with Trump in 2018, to show that the president told him that he would fire then-Ukraine Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch. But the recording, which was apparently captured by Parnas' indicted associate Igor Fruman, also featured Trump discussing Kim Jong Un's golf game, the European Union trying to "screw the United States," the 2016 election . . . and his views on marijuana.

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