A less contentious WH press briefing was held today by Sean Spicer but cutting the question segment shot meant reporters couldn’t question him about the Bowling Green controversy, the greatly loosened gun regulations in the House, and more. Other questions such as the claim that 100,000 visas had been revoked weren’t addressed by Mr Spicer.
Press office expands
#president Trump’s White Hose has been opened up to a wider group of reporters with the addition of “Skype” seats where reporters and conservative talk show hosts can ask questions.
But while the Skype seats have opened up questions to a much broader press corps, given the limited time given to questions and answers, it also means that permanent #white house reporters who are privy to inside information and might ask more probing questions have less time..
The biggest news of the day broke in a Virginia courtroom when the Department of Justice’s Attorney Erez Reuveni told Judge Leonie Brinkema that at least 100,000 existing visas have already been revoked in a single week because of President Trump's Executive Order blocking Syrian citizens permanently and citizens of 6 other predominantly Muslim countries from applying for three months.
Reports from the courtroom are that the number was stunning. Legal Aid lawyer Simon Sandoval-Moshenberg said, "The number 100,000 really sucked the air out of my lungs." The judge is deciding if the Commonwealth of Virginia should be permitted to join other states already suing the Federal government over the new immigration and refugee restrictions.
Some of the plaintiff's lawyers are asking for every scrap of communication involved in the detentions as part of the usual discovery process.
That alone could tie up the government for weeks or months because the US Customs and Border Protection agency is one of the largest police agencies in the world with more than 60,000 employees.
A striking feature in Mr Spicer’s White House briefing was his statement about how great the newest job growth numbers were and he immediately took credit for his boss President Trump, despite the fact that numbers just released were from before he took office and were directly in line with the rising #jobs numbers President Obama had enjoyed.
But the interesting part of the reliance on today's job numbers is that all through the campaign when people talked about all the millions of jobs President Obama helped create, for example, by saving the automotive industry (a move opposed by many Republicans), was that Candidate Trump repeatedly complained the Department of Labor’s numbers were “cooked,” that is, false and designed to make President Obama’s policies look good.
When the Department reported 5% unemployment Candidate Trump insisted that it was more like 15% or even 30%, which would be approaching the numbers in the 1930s during the Great Depression.
Despite President Trump’s claims that he will be the biggest jobs creator ever, there simply aren’t very many unemployed workers to fill those jobs. There are currently an estimated 3 million high-tech jobs open simply because companies can’t find qualified employees to fill the positions. According to DoL's numbers, about half of the unemployed today don’t have a high school education and the next largest group of unemployed are those with only a high school diploma. This is, of course, at a time when President Trump has nominated Betsy DeVos who has no professional teaching experience and an avowed goal of eliminating the Department of Education to be his Secretary of Education.
Many economists say that 4.5% or so unemployment is very nearly full employment since there is always disruption as people change jobs, or retire and remain on unemployment for a time even though they really aren’t looking for jobs, not to mention the millions of prisoners being held on mostly non-violent drug crimes who are also out of the job market and technically unemployed.