The Past 24 Hours or So

Protests/Racial & Social Issues,
Trump Administration, and
Presidential Campaign Updates

Read Time: 9 Minutes

Protests/Racial & Social Issues

  • On the anniversary of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr’s historic “I Have a Dream” speech, thousands took part in the “Get Your Knee Off Our Necks” march in Washington, D.C. to denounce racism 
  • Two police officers deployed tasers in failed attempts to stop Jacob Blake before one of the officers shot him multiple times in the back with a gun, the Wisconsin Department of Justice said, unveiling new details of its probe into the shooting.
  • Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth is facing renewed criticism for controversial comments he made in 2018 amid protests over the police shooting of Jacob Blake and the fatal shooting of two protesters. 

“I’m to the point where I think society has to come to a threshold where there are some people that aren’t worth saving,” Beth said after five people were arrested for shoplifting and leading police on a chase. “We need to build warehouses to put these people into it and lock them away for the rest of their lives.”

  • Jacob Blake, the 29-year-old Black man who was shot multiple times by a Kenosha, Wisconsin police officer, is no longer handcuffed to his hospital bed, a detail that drew viral attention after Blake’s father revealed he was restrained.
  • Jacob Blake’s father said that he and his family have not heard from President Trump. However, he did speak to Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and Sen. Kamala Harris, describing it as “speaking to my uncle and one of my sisters.”

“I appreciate everything that they’ve done and everything that they’re doing because they keep my son in mind, and President Biden kept telling me his own issues with his family, that he identifies with what I’m going through. I didn’t have to keep telling him, he knew. It felt like he knew … Vice President Harris felt like they knew what was going on.”

Blake said his calling of the candidates “President Biden” and “Vice President Harris,” was intentional as the November election approaches.

  • Dwindling numbers of anti-racism protesters milled about the streets of Kenosha, Wisconsin, as a tense calm prevailed for a second night following a wave of unrest.
  • Utah Jazz star Donovan Mitchell announced he is donating $45,000 raised from sales of his latest shoe release to help fund the education of the children of Jacob Blake, with Adidas announcing it would match his donation and bring the total to $90,000.
  • President Trump described protesters who surrounded the White House during the final night of the Republican National Convention as “thugs,” and suggested he was looking at invoking the Insurrection Act to send troops to quell protests in U.S. cities.
  • Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler (D) fired back at President Trump after he suggested sending the National Guard to Oregon’s largest city to deal with protests saying “no thanks” and “stay away, please.”

In a scathing letter, Wheeler wrote, “We don’t need your politics of division and demagoguery. Portlanders are onto you. We have already seen your reckless disregard for human life in your bumbling response to the COVID pandemic. And we know you’ve reached the conclusion that images of violence or vandalism are your only ticket to reelection.”

  • Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg took responsibility and faulted his company for not removing the page and event for a militia group before two people were killed at a protest in Kenosha, saying it was “largely an operational mistake.”
  • The Baltimore Ravens in a statement demanded the arrests of the police officers who killed Breonna Taylor in March, as well as those involved in the shooting of Jacob Blake on Sunday.

“With yet another example of racial discrimination with the shooting of Jacob Blake, and the unlawful abuse of peaceful protesters, we MUST unify as a society. It is imperative that all people — regardless of race, religion, creed or belief — come together to say, ‘Enough is enough!'” the NFL team said.

“This is bigger than sports,” they continued. “Racism is embedded in the fabric of our nation’s foundation and is a blemish on our country’s history. If we are to change course and make our world a better place, we must face this problem head-on and act now to enact positive change.”

  • NBA star, LeBron James, has become an increasingly influential political force as issues of racial justice and voter suppression move to the forefront in the November presidential election.

James, an outspoken activist and frequent critic of President Trump, helped form a group that will spend millions of dollars to battle voter disenfranchisement in predominantly Black communities ahead of the Nov. 3 election.

He also has helped push the National Basketball Association to recognize racial justice issues and the Black Lives Matter movement, including the decision to postpone playoff games this week after a player boycott to protest the shooting of Jacob Blake.

  • A New Jersey 18-year-old says she has been billed nearly $2,500 in police overtime costs after she organized a Black Lives Matter rally in her town over affordable housing, even though the protest only included no more than 40 people who were not disruptive and even cleaned up their trash after protesting. Police reportedly complained to the mayor about overtime costs and the “extensive preparation” required to respond to the protest.
  • The NBA and the National Basketball Players Association announced that the league will return to playoff games on Saturday and will commit to converting arenas into in-person voting locations during the November general election to “allow for a safe in-person voting option for communities vulnerable to COVID.”

Trump Administration

  • The U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee announced contempt proceedings against Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, citing his refusal to comply with a subpoena for records into his “transparently political misuse” of department resources.
  • U.S. consumer spending increased more than expected in July, boosting expectations for a sharp rebound in economic growth in the third quarter, though momentum is likely to ebb as the COVID-19 pandemic lingers and money from the government runs out.

The Commerce Department reported a rise in personal income after two straight monthly declines, but a large portion of the increase was from unemployment benefits, which were bolstered by a weekly $600 supplement from the government that expired on July 31. Both consumer spending and income remain well below their pre-pandemic levels.

  • The Boston Globe ripped Postmaster General Louis DeJoy in an editorial following his testimony on Capitol Hill, calling for his resignation and blaming him for a host of problems that have plagued the Postal Service in recent months.

“These supposedly cost-saving measures have resulted in slowing down mail delivery, potentially disenfranchising voters at a massive scale come November if their mail-in ballots are not processed or delivered on time,” the editorial stated.

  • The U.S. government warned Brian Kolfage. a co-defendant of Steve Bannon, chief executive of Donald Trump’s 2016 election, that he should not make social media posts that could undermine a fair trial on corruption charges tied to the U.S. president’s effort to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Kolfage’s online descriptions of their case as a “witch hunt,” an effort to take “political prisoners” and an “assault” on the freedom of donors to his “We Build the Wall” fundraising campaign created a substantial risk that pretrial publicity could make it hard to find an impartial jury.

  • Trump administration officials are reportedly interviewing to replace President Trump’s Federal Trade Commission Chair Joe Simons, who would be in charge of implementing Trump’s new executive order targeting social media companies but has reportedly resisted Trump’s crackdown. One of the replacements being considered is reportedly a Fox executive.
  • A coalition of 21 states sued the Trump administration for rolling back what they say is a “rule that is, at its heart, the gutting” of America’s bedrock environmental law.

The White House in July finalized a rollback of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), which for 50 years has required the government to weigh environmental and community concerns before approving pipelines, highways, drilling permits, new factories or any major action on federal lands.

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson (D) called the law the Magna Carta of environmental law.

  • A University of Pennsylvania professor is asking the school to launch a probe into the allegations that President Trump faked his admission exam. 

When six faculty members asked the school’s provost to investigate the claims in mid-July, the provost said that although they found the allegations concerning, “this situation occurred too far in the past to make a useful or probative factual inquiry possible.”

Presidential Campaign

  • In another example of how President Trump has deployed government resources to further his political ambitions, the head of the New York office of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Lynne Patton, told a leader of a tenants’ group at the New York City Housing Authority that she was interested in speaking with residents about conditions in the authority’s buildings, which have long been in poor repair.

Four tenants were interviewed by Ms. Patton. Three of the tenants said they were never told that their interviews would be edited into a two-minute video clip that would air prominently on Thursday night at the Republican National Convention and be used to bash Mayor Bill de Blasio.

“I am not a Trump supporter,” said one of the tenants, Claudia Perez. “I am not a supporter of his racist policies on immigration. I am a first-generation Honduran. It was my people he was sending back.”

  • President Trump’s convention speech drew fewer views than former Vice President Joe Biden’s, according to preliminary numbers released by Nielsen Media Research.

An estimated 19.9 million Americans watched Trump’s speech on television, while Democratic nominee Joe Biden drew 21.7 million viewers.

  • The estate of Leonard Cohen said it was considering legal action over the use of the Canadian singer’s “Hallelujah” at the Republican National Convention, calling it a brazen attempt to politicize the song.
  • A California gas station reportedly purchased six pro-Trump billboards just months after securing a coronavirus relief loan between $150,000 and $350,000  from the Paycheck Protection Program, which is meant to help struggling businesses avoid layoffs during the pandemic.

The total cost of the billboards was $120,000.

  • Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley told lawmakers that he did not foresee the military playing a role in the election process or resolving disputes that may come during the November presidential election

President Trump has made unsubstantiated allegations that voting will be rigged and has refused to say whether he would accept official election results if he lost.

  • At a campaign stop in New Hampshire, President Trump said he would support seeing a female president, but not Sen. Kamala Harris, adding that people tell him they want his daughter Ivanka Trump to be president, prompting cheers from the crowd.
  • The campaign of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has purchased the web domain for President Trump’s reelection slogan “Keep America Great,” using it to list campaign promises they say Trump broke. Inexplicably, no one on the Trump campaign team had acquired the address. 
  • The president of University of Notre Dame said that the school does not endorse any candidate, political party or the views of Lou Holtz after the former football coach participated in the Republican National Convention and accused Joe Biden of being “Catholic in name only.”

“We Catholics should remind ourselves that while we may judge the objective moral quality of another’s actions, we must never question the sincerity of another’s faith.”

  • A coalition of more than 350 faith leaders endorsed Joe Biden for president, citing a “need of moral leadership” and “hope for a better future.”

“This election presents a stark moral contrast between the common good values of the Biden-Harris agenda and the divisiveness of the current administration.”

  • Battleground states are seeing a drop in the number of likely voters planning to vote by mail, according to a newly released poll that follows reports of the U.S. Postal Service instituting changes that have delayed mail, including the removal of mail sorting machines and mailboxes.

Sources:  ABC News, Associated Press, The Atlantic, Axios, Bloomberg, CBS News, CNN, Chicago Tribune, Financial Times, Forbes,  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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