The Past 24 Hours or So

Read Time: 6 Minutes

Trump Administration

  • The Labor Department reported that initial jobless claims for the week ended Aug. 15 came in at 1.106 million. Economists polled by Dow Jones expected a total of 923,000. Initial claims for the previous week were also revised higher by 8,000 to 971,000. Last week marked the first time in 21 weeks that initial claims came in below 1 million.
  • Many of the Trump administration’s most powerful officials voted in favor of separating migrant children from their parents in 2018, NBC News reports.

The zero tolerance policy ultimately resulted in the separation of nearly 3,000 children from their families, but Stephen Miller actually proposed a policy that would split every migrant family at the border, even those who arrived legally and sought asylum. That would’ve ripped 25,000 more children from their parents.

  • The National Susan B. Anthony Museum and House in Rochester, New York, explained in a Twitter thread its objection to Trump’s pardon for Anthony, who was charged in 1872 with voting illegally.

Critics accused Trump of performing an empty gesture with the pardon, given his relentless attacks on mail-in voting and baseless allegations of fraud in the 2020 election. 

The museum noted she was “outraged to be denied a trial by jury” and thought paying a fine would validate the unfair trial. “To pardon Susan B. Anthony does the same,” the museum wrote.

It added: “If one wants to honor Susan B. Anthony today, a clear stance against any form of voter suppression would be welcome.”

  • JPMorgan Chase is reportedly in talks with the U.S. Postal Service about a proposal to set up ATMs in post offices in several states across the country—a plan critics warned is an effort to eliminate the possibility of a public postal banking system.

The Postal Service is considering a proposal from JPMorgan Chase to offer banking services in post offices in a move that could give the Wall Street giant an exclusive right to solicit postal customers.

  • The NAACP filed suit against the U.S. Postal Service and Postmaster General Louis Dejoy. The lawsuit alleges that Dejoy has impeded the timely distribution of mail, implemented crippling policies on postal workers, and sabotaged the United States Postal Service in a blatant attempt to disenfranchise voters of color.
  • Shortly after USPS Postmaster General Louis DeJoy issued a public statement saying he wanted to “avoid even the appearance” that any of his policies would slow down election mail, USPS instructed all maintenance managers around the country not to reconnect or reinstall any mail sorting machines they had already disconnected, according to emails obtained by Motherboard.
  • Due to USPS slowdowns, the Department of Veterans Affairs, which fills about 80 percent of prescriptions by mail, has already reported problems, and has been forced to use more expensive alternative methods of shipping prescriptions in certain areas of the country.
  • White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said the Trump administration remains engaged on the Phase 1 trade deal with China and is pleased with the agreement’s progress so far, especially Beijing’s purchases of U.S. commodities.
  • President Trump reiterated his promise to withdraw the few U.S. troops still in Iraq, but said Washington would remain ready to help if neighboring Iran took any hostile action. There are currently about 5,000 U.S. troops stationed in Iraq.
  • Donald Trump cannot block a prosecutor’s subpoena for eight years of his tax returns, a federal judge ruled on Thursday, in the latest setback in the U.S. president’s longstanding effort to keep his finances under wraps.

U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero in Manhattan rejected Trump’s claims that the grand jury subpoena from Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance to the president’s accounting firm Mazars USA was “wildly overbroad” and issued in bad faith.

  • The Trump administration asked the Supreme Court to reverse a lower court ruling that found President Trump violated the First Amendment by blocking his critics on Twitter.

The lawsuit arose in 2017 after Trump’s social media account blocked seven people who had tweeted criticism of the president in comment threads linked to his Twitter handle.

Lower federal courts found that Trump’s twitter account, where he often weighs in on official matters, constitutes a public forum and that blocking his detractors violated their constitutional free speech protections.

  • China will take “all necessary measures” to protect its firms’ legitimate interests, the Commerce Ministry said on Thursday, in response to the U.S. move this week to further tighten restrictions on Huawei Technologies. 

Protests/Racial and Social Issues

  • TikTok has removed more than 380,000 videos in the United States for violating its hate speech policy so far this year, the short-form video app said on Thursday.

The app, owned by China’s ByteDance, also said it banned more than 1,300 accounts for posting hateful content.

  • The NFL’s Kansas City Chiefs announced changes to what fans will be allowed to wear at games. 

The team’s statement reads, in part: 

“While we have discouraged fans from wearing headdresses for several years, effective immediately, fans will be prohibited from wearing headdresses into the stadium.

Face painting is still allowed for all fans, but any face paint that is styled in a way that references or appropriates American Indian cultures and traditions will be prohibited.

Fans will be asked to remove any American Indian-themed face paint prior to passing security screening outside the stadium.” 

Presidential Campaign

  • Over 70 former Republican national security officials endorsed Joe Biden while launching a scathing indictment of President Trump, calling him corrupt and unfit to serve.

The officials have served under President Trump and former Republican Presidents George W. Bush, George H.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan. 

“While we – like all Americans – had hoped that Donald Trump would govern wisely, he has disappointed millions of voters who put their faith in him and has demonstrated that he is dangerously unfit to serve another term,” the officials said in a statement.

  • Drop boxes are being promoted as a convenient and reliable option for voters who don’t want to entrust their ballots to the U.S. Postal Service.

President Trump’s campaign, meanwhile, has sued to prevent their use in Pennsylvania, a key battleground state, baselessly alleging that the receptacles could enable voting fraud.

Republican officials in other states have prevented their use. Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett (R) told a U.S. Senate committee in July that drop boxes could enable people to violate a state law against collecting ballots.

In Missouri, Republican Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft decided not to distribute 80 drop boxes he had purchased because state law requires those ballots to be returned by mail.

Connecticut, Secretary of State Denise Merrill said, “I do not understand why people think they’re such a problem. They’re more secure than mailboxes.”

  • President Trump’s campaign, ordered by a federal court judge in Pennsylvania to back up its claims of fraud in the state’s vote-by-mail system, has documented only a handful of cases of election fraud in recent years — none of which involved mail-in ballots. The revelation, which came in the form of a partially redacted 524-page document produced by the Trump campaign last week, undermines the claim by Trump team operatives that mail-in ballot fraud is a grave risk to Pennsylvania voters.
  • When pressed by reporters on whether President Trump would accept the November election results, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said he will “see what happens.”
  • At a campaign stop in Old Forge, PA, Trump dusted off his bizarre theory of raking forests. “I see again the forest fires are starting. They’re starting again in California. You’ve gotta clean your floors. You’ve gotta clean your forests. There are many, many years of leaves and broken trees. I’ve been telling them this for years, but they don’t want to listen. The environment. The environment.  Maybe we’re just gonna have to make them pay for it.”

Trump said Joe Biden “abandoned Scranton” because his family moved when he was 10 years old.

Trump again demonstrated his misunderstanding of how tariffs work. “We will give tax credits to companies to bring jobs back to America. And if they don’t do it, we’ll put tariffs on those companies. They’ll have to pay us a lot of money.”

He added, “Liberal hypocrites…want to cancel you – totally cancel you – take your job, turn your family against you for speaking your mind, while they indoctrinate your children with twisted, twisted world-views.”

  • Joe Biden officially accepted the Democratic presidential nomination at the. “If you entrust me with the presidency, I will draw on the best of us, not the worst,” he said.

Sources:  ABC News, Associated Press, The Atlantic, Axios, Bloomberg, CBS News, CNN, Chicago Tribune, Financial Times, Fox News,The Hill, Independent, MSNBC, NBC News, NJ.com, NPR, NY Times, Politico, Reuters, Salon, Slate, Vanity Fair, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post

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