The Past 24 Hours or So – Protests/Racial & Social Issues, Trump Administration, and Presidential Campaign Updates

Read Time: 6 Minutes

Protests/Racial & Social Issues

  • Police body camera footage released on Wednesday shows Rochester officers handcuffing Daniel Prude, placing a hood over his head and pressing his face into the pavement until he is silent. In the video, medics performed CPR on Prude before he was loaded into an ambulance. Prude died seven days later on March 30, with an autopsy report from the Monroe County Medical Examiner’s Office saying his cause of death included “complications of asphyxia in the setting of physical restraint.” His brother, Joe Prude said he initially called police for help because Daniel was having a mental health incident.
  • Joe Biden will meet with the father of Jacob Blake, the Black man shot by police multiple times in Kenosha, Wisconsin, when the former vice president travels to the city on Thursday. The visit comes after President Trump went to the state and did not meet with Blake’s family.
  • A business owner in Kenosha, Wisconsin accused President Trump of using his destroyed store for political gain during a visit to the city on Tuesday.

Tom Gram, the owner of a century-old store called Rode’s Camera Shop that burned to the ground last week amid protests following the police shooting of Jacob Blake, told local outlet TMJ4 that he declined the White House’s request to be part of Trump’s tour of the damage.

He also said he was stunned to see the store’s former owner, John Rode, who sold the family business to Gram eight years ago, participating in the tour with the president.

  • Elvis Presley’s iconic Graceland estate in Memphis, Tennessee was graffitied with messages in support of the Black Lives Matter movement and defunding the Memphis Police Department.
  • Texas prosecutors have dropped charges against a Black man who was arrested while out on a run after being mistaken for a domestic-violence suspect. Officers still charged the man with assault claiming he had kicked them during the arrest, even though eyewitnesses say he cooperated peacefully.
  • Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) is the only Republican who has condemned President Trump’s recent comments about Black Lives Matter protesters, saying that trumps “comments and tweets over the past few days, including a retweet of a 2019 video clearly intended to further inflame racial tensions, are simply jaw-dropping.”
  • Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA) said that systemic racism doesn’t exist and there’s “more to the story” of George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis police custody in late May.
  • Facebook has removed a post by Republican Louisiana Rep. Clay Higgins for breaking its policies against inciting violence. The post in question was about protests in his city, and warned that officials will “eliminate the threat” of aggressive demonstrators adding “if we recognize threat… you won’t walk away.”
  • Charles Andrews defeated incumbent Sandy Smith and is set to be sworn into office on Nov. 2., officially becoming the first Black mayor of Monroeville, the Alabama town that inspired “To Kill a Mockingbird.”
  • Fast food chain McDonald’s was hit with a $1 billion class action lawsuit this week accusing the company of racial discrimination. Fifty-two former Black franchise owners allege that company officials steered them into economically depressed and high-crime areas, setting them up to fail.
  • A Washington, DC task force recommended renaming a slate of government buildings, parks and public schools after determining their namesakes —including some Founding Fathers and former presidents Andrew Jackson, Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe — have ties to “slavery, systemic racism and other biases.”

Trump Administration

  • The Social Security Old Age and Survivors Insurance fund, which pays out retirement benefits, is on track to run out in 2031. 
  • The federal deficit is expected to reach a record $3.3 trillion this year, will amount to 16 percent of GDP, the largest since 1945 and more than twice the level on record, according to new Congressional Budget Office projections.
  • Controversial oil drilling projects in Alaska’s pristine reserves are among those that benefitted from a June order from President Trump waiving environmental reviews to speed construction — a move he said would aid the economy in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. There are now 21 fossil fuel and mining projects that have been approved as well as 70 other construction projects.

Presidential Campaign

  • President Trump suggested supporters in North Carolina should illegally attempt to vote both by mail and in person, saying doing so would test the integrity of the system.
  • Carlos Enrique Gavidia, 53, is slated to appear in court on Wednesday to face a felony charge of written threats to kill or do bodily harm. An avid supporter of President Trump who organizes boat parades in Florida and attended the Republican National Convention last week, Gavidia is accused of sending threatening messages to his neighbor that allegedly included: “fuck you, you fucking little Jew…. You fucked with the wrong guy I’m coming for you you’ll see you will see you little fucking piece of shit… I’ve got nothing to lose but you have plenty like your life.”
  • Attorney General William Barr played up the risks of the widespread use of mail-in ballots during the coronavirus pandemic, echoing President Trump’s attacks and claiming without evidence that foreign actors will counterfeit ballots to illegally vote and sway the election. Pressed in the interview on his claims, Barr said he had no evidence but was basing it on “logic.”
  • More than 1 million ballots were delivered to voters late during the 2020 primaries, according to the Postal Service’s Office of the Inspector General. The investigation found that ballots mailed the week before an election were “high risk” for not making it to election officials on time.
  • Eighty-one Nobel Prize winners endorsed Joe Biden for president in an open letter on Wednesday, citing the former vice president’s “willingness to listen to experts” and his “deep appreciation for using science to find solutions.”
  • The presidential debates between President Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden will be moderated by journalists from Fox News, C-SPAN and NBC, with CNN being shut out of the debates for the first time since 2008.
  • Joe Biden suggested there should be a live fact-check feature during his upcoming debates with President Trump: “What I’d love to have is a crawler at the bottom of the screen, a fact-checker as we speak. If we really wanted to do something, I think that would make a great, great debate if everything both of us said was instantly fact-checked.”
  • Joe Biden directly addressed President Trump in a new speech, scolding his handling of the coronavirus pandemic and telling him to “get off Twitter” and strike a stimulus deal.

“You always talk about your ability to negotiate. Negotiate a deal, a deal for somebody other than yourself.”

  • Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s campaign released a new ad that condemns rioting and violence as President Trump’s campaign continues to frame a Biden presidency as one that would lead to more turbulence and unrest.

“I want to make it absolutely clear rioting is not protesting, looting is not protesting. It’s lawlessness, plain and simple, and those that do it should be prosecuted.”

  • The Department of Homeland Security in July reportedly withheld an analysis meant for its federal, state and local law enforcement partners that warned Russia would attempt to push “allegations about the poor mental health” of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.
  • State officials in Georgia are alleged to have wrongfully purged approximately 200,000 people from its voter rolls in 2019, with officials incorrectly concluding they had either moved, died or not participated in recent elections.
  • Model Karlie Kloss, the sister-in-law of White House adviser Jared Kushner, will appear at a campaign event this week with Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden as she and her husband openly speak out against President Trump. 
  • President Trump overtook Democratic rival Joe Biden on European-based betting exchange Betfair as the favorite to win the 2020 U.S. presidential election.

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

The Past 24 Hours or So – Protests/Racial & Social Issues, Trump Administration, and Presidential Campaign Updates

Read Time: 11 Minutes

Protests/Racial & Social Issues

  • Protests erupted in Los Angeles after a Black man was fatally shot by sheriff’s deputies in the city’s Westmont area.

The man was seen riding a bicycle Monday afternoon and allegedly violated a vehicle code.

The sheriff’s office reported that the man was holding some “clothing items” in his hand as deputies made contact. He allegedly punched one officer in the face before dropping the bundle, and deputies said that a black semi-automatic handgun was among the items he dropped.

Two deputies opened fire and the man, who was in his 30s, was struck multiple times. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

  • Authorities in Oklahoma are investigating the arrest of two black teenagers who were accused by white police officers of jaywalking.

Tulsa police released two body camera videos of the officers who handcuffed two black teenagers for allegedly jaywalking after a video of their arrest went viral on social media.

  • Charles McMillon Jr., his son, and a friend were dropping off a U-Haul van in Tallahassee, Florida when they were shot at. An older couple came toward them, both pointed guns in their direction and yelled “Don’t move!”

The group sped off in a panic as they heard more gunfire as they fled. A police officer who happened to be in the parking lot intervened after the shooting began.

The two shooters, Wallace Fountain, 77, and his wife, Beverly Fountain, 72, own the strip mall and were staking it out inside a U-Haul of their own. They said they were having problems with people stealing gas and wanted to scare off any culprits.

Tallahassee Police Department officers arrested the Fountains on three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon without intent to kill. They were found carrying several pistols, including a .357-caliber Magnum and a Glock 19. Officers also found a shotgun in their U-Haul.

  • A Florida man, Daniel McMahon, 32, who called himself “the Antifa hunter” was sentenced to more than three years in prison for using social media to threaten a Black activist. McMahon also admitted that he threatened to sexually assault the young autistic daughter of a North Carolina woman who protested against white nationalists.
  • President Trump offered up a vague and unsupported conspiracy theory during an interview with Fox News, claiming nefarious unidentified individuals are controlling Democratic nominee Joe Biden from “the dark shadows.”

“They’re people that are on the streets, they’re people that are controlling the streets,” Trump said, before appearing to reference a false viral post from earlier this summer about alleged Antifa protesters.

  • Kenosha police said they arrested a total of 175 people between last Monday, when protests erupted after the police shooting of Jacob Blake, and this Sunday. Of the 175 arrests, 102 listed addresses from outside of Kenosha and spread across 44 different cities.
  • President Trump criticized Democratic leaders and asserted that his visit to Kenosha, Wisconsin would help mend racial divisions.

Trump criticized the recent unrest in Portland, Oregon and took credit for the ease in violence in Kenosha after the state’s Democratic governor called up the National Guard.

“I think a lot of people are looking [at] what is happening to these Democrat-run cities and they are disgusted,” Trump told reporters;

“One of the reasons I am making the trip today in going to Wisconsin is we have had such a big success in shutting down what would be right now … a city that would have been burned to the ground right now,” Trump said.

  • President Trump refused to answer whether he thought systemic racism is a problem.

“You just keep getting back to the opposite subject,” Trump said when a reporter asked if he thought systemic racism was a problem. “We should talk about the kind of violence that we’ve seen in Portland and here and other places, it’s tremendous violence.”

The president also dismissed the notion that police brutality was systemic, pointing to “some bad apples” and the idea that police officers “choke sometimes” while under the pressure of their jobs.

  • The Portland, Oregon Fire Department clapped back after President Trump railed against the city, declaring “the entire city is ablaze all the time” due to protests, saying “WE ARE NOT ABLAZE IN PORTLAND,” adding no recent incident has even required more than 1 fire engine.
  • Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) said that “citizen soldiers” should mobilize to “overwhelm rioters” on the streets of America.

Johnson declared that “the way you stop the violence, the way you stop the rioting, is you surge manpower and resources, citizen soldiers, National Guard, and you overwhelm the number of rioters.”

  • Brookhaven Fire Department officials apologized amid the uproar caused by a viral social media post showing a Confederate flag draped on the side of a department fire truck. 

A photograph of the truck decorated with a Confederate flag, went viral on Sunday and led Chief of Department Peter Di Pinto Jr. to apologize to the community, EMS workers and firefighters for the flag that was draped on the side of the fire truck. 

Di Pinto Jr. said in a letter posted on Facebook. “The unauthorized action was done without the knowledge of the leadership team and is condemned in the strongest terms. 

Di Pinto added, “We can assure our community that Racism has no place in our Firehouse.”

  • The district attorney for Bronx County, New York announced that her office would recommend that charges be dropped for more than 300 protesters who were arrested during a protest in the borough for violating the curfew.
  • New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) has signed a bill that makes it a crime to call 911 or file a false police report to solely intimidate someone because of race, ethnicity, religion or gender. The law went into effect immediately.

California lawmakers also passed similar legislation.

  • New Orleans Pelicans guard Josh Hart mocked President Trump after he railed against the NBA and claimed that player protests caused the league’s ratings to slump: “What a dumbass”
  • Naomi Osaka, the highest-paid female athlete, wore a face mask with the words “Breonna Taylor” during her victorious first-round match at the U.S. Open.
  • Virginia’s Commission on African American History Education recommended this week that students be required to obtain a credit in African American history in order to graduate and also recommended that all teachers licensed in the state obtain certification in the subject.
  • The NFL will be installing messages against social injustice in the end zones of every stadium when the season begins. The end zones are set to include “End racism” and “It takes all of us.”

Trump Administration

  • President Trump denied having “a series of mini-strokes” as he sought to respond to a bombshell new report that he was poised to hand over power to Vice President Mike Pence during a mysterious visit to Walter Reed Hospital last year

“Never happened to THIS candidate – FAKE NEWS,” Trump tweeted.

Trump was responding to excerpts from a forthcoming book by New York Times reporter Michael Schmidt that shed new light on the extraordinary measures taken during the still-unexplained trip to the hospital.

Curiously, the report never claims that Trump suffered a “mini-stroke” or any other specific medical condition.

  • President Trump blasted Matt Drudge, owner of the right-leaning Drudge Report website, for the site’s coverage of his remarks from earlier in the day denying that a series of “mini-strokes” had sent him to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

“Drudge didn’t support me in 2016, and I hear he doesn’t support me now. Maybe that’s why he is doing poorly. His Fake News report on Mini-Strokes is incorrect. Possibly thinking about himself, or the other party’s ‘candidate,'” the president tweeted.

  • White House physician Sean Conley maintained that the president has not had any heart issues after Trump himself denied having a series of “mini-strokes.”

“I can confirm that President Trump has not experienced nor been evaluated for a cerebrovascular accident (stroke), transient ischemic attack (mini stroke), or any acute cardiovascular emergencies,” Conley said in a statement issued at Trump’s direction.

  • A federal appeals panel has temporarily blocked a lower court ruling that would have forced President Trump to comply with a subpoena from Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance for eight years of his financial records.
  • The federal government will pay South Carolina $600 million and clean up weapons-grade plutonium to settle a long-running dispute with the state.

The agreement, announced Monday by Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette and South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson, calls for the removal of 9.5 metric tons of plutonium and resolves years of litigation over the issue.

  • U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents lack the training to take over the initial processing of asylum claims, a federal judge ruled.

For nearly 20 years, officers from Citizenship and Immigration Services have conducted all interviews with asylum-seekers and made what are called “credible fear determinations” for those who arrive at the nation’s borders while fleeing to the U.S. to escape persecution.

But in January, Department of Homeland Security officials issued a memorandum delegating authority from CIS to Customs and Border Protection to allow CBP agents to handle the early screenings, arguing that their training was comparable to that of CIS. 

“Poppycock!” U.S. District Judge Richard Leon wrote in his opinion blocking CBP from conducting the interviews of asylum-seekers.

  • Top Interior Department officials misled Congress when they claimed high office rent in Washington, D.C., was a factor in the need to move the Bureau of Land Management to a new headquarters in Colorado, according to a new report from a top government watchdog.
  • The Trump administration finalized a rule that gives the Bureau of Land Management permission to issue massive widespread cuts to critical fees that companies pay the government in exchange for permission to mine on public lands. Critics argue that the move will help industries that are harmful to the environment at taxpayer expense.
  • The Trump administration is seeking to end endangered species protections for gray wolves throughout the nation by the end of the year, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
  • Army leadership has removed the commander of Fort Hood from his role and barred him from a planned position at another Texas base following multiple high-profile deaths under his tenure including Sgt. Elder Fernandes, 23, who was found hanging in a tree last week, and Pfc. Vanessa Guillen, 20, who went missing in April before her body was discovered.

Presidential Campaign

  • Democratic nominee Joe Biden has received the endorsement of an interfaith collective of Christian, Muslim, Jewish and Sikh spiritual leaders ahead of November’s US election, with the group calling on the candidate to “restore the soul of this nation”.

Faith 2020 said America had lost its “moral clarity” under Donald Trump and that its 350 members are “seeking change”.

  • Joe Biden’s campaign is expected to have raised more than $300 million in August, surpassing the Democratic presidential nominee’s previous monthly record for fundraising, which is believed to be $193 million collected for former President Obama’s campaign in September 2008.
  • Animal Crossing users will now be able to add Joe Biden campaign yard signs to their villages. The campaign released four styles of campaign signs: the official Biden-Harris logo, the “Team Joe” logo, the “Joe” Pride logo, and an image of aviator sunglasses shaded in red, white, and blue.
  • A group of Republicans who want to rid their party of President Trump is making a hefty investment to turn Florida blue.

Officials with Republican Voters Against Trump said they would begin a campaign dubbed “Project Orange Crush” aimed at persuading politically moderate Floridians to back Joe Biden, hopeful that the support of those voters can swing the battleground state — and possibly the presidency — toward the Democratic presidential candidate this fall.

The effort is expected to spend $8M to $10M over the next two months and will include TV, social media, and digital ads. It will target nearly a half-million voters in the state, including independents and moderate Republicans who are wary of Trump but have not yet committed to voting for Biden.

  • The Lincoln Project announced nearly two dozen veterans, advocates, Blue Star and Gold Star family members and others who will serve on a leadership coalition for the Republican anti-Trump group: “Our veterans, service members, and their families know what a leader should be and have seen first hand how Donald Trump has failed his sacred duty as Commander-in-Chief.”
  • The infamous St. Petersburg troll group that was part of Russia’s interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election are trying to target Americans again, Facebook announced Tuesday after receiving a tip from the FBI.

The disrupted operation used fake personas including realistic-looking computer-generated photos of people, a network of Facebook accounts and pages that had only a small amount of engagement and influence at the time it was taken down, and a website that was set up to look and operate like a left-wing news outlet.

  • A majority of Americans said in a new poll that they plan to vote early, including 19 percent who plan to vote in person and 33 percent who plan to vote by mail. About one in three adults say they plan to vote in person on Election Day.
  • President Trump reiterated his call for both candidates to take a drug test ahead of the presidential debates, claiming without evidence that Democratic nominee Joe Biden is “on some kind of an enhancement.”
  • Twitter removed a video from one of President Trump’s tweets that featured Eddy Grant’s hit song “Electric Avenue” after the musician sued the president’s reelection campaign, alleging it amounted to an infringement of his copyrights.
  • Nate Lucas, a sports radio host in Missouri, was taken off the air for using an offensive, sexist slur to describe Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris.

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

The Past 24 Hours or So – Protests/Racial & Social Issues and Trump Administration Updates

Read Time: 4 Minutes

Protests/Racial & Social Issues

  • President Trump compared police officers using excessive force inappropriately to a golfer missing a short putt, saying sometimes “they choke.”

“They choke. Just like in a golf tournament, they miss a three-foot putt,” Trump said.

  • President Trump decried Black Lives Matter as a “discriminatory” organization that is “bad for Black people” as part of a broader diatribe against protests in response to racial injustice.

“Black Lives Matter is a Marxist organization,” Trump claimed. “The first time I ever heard of Black Lives Matter, I said, ‘That’s a terrible name.’ It’s so discriminatory. It’s bad for Black people. It’s bad for everybody.”

  • President Trump says that he is not planning to meet with members of Jacob Blake’s family while in Kenosha, Wisconsin because he claimed they wanted to have “lawyers involved” which he called “inappropriate.”

“They wanted me to speak but they wanted to have lawyers involved and I thought that was inappropriate so I didn’t do that,” Trump said.

  • Jacob Blake’s father said that the family does not have a pastor after President Trump said during his press briefing that he spoke with the family’s pastor.

“We don’t have a family pastor,” Jacob Blake Sr. said. “I don’t know who he talked to. I don’t care who he talked to.”

  • An uncle of Jacob Blake accused Trump of “drumming” up violence in the country and said the Blake family doesn’t want “anything to do with him.” 

“How could they not be feeding on violence when the man in the White House is steady drumming it up? Did you not think it would not trickle down to the streets? It has.”

  • President Trump defended the actions of Kyle Rittenhouse, a teenager accused of killing two protesters in Kenosha, Wisconsin, saying during a new press briefing that Rittenhouse was acting in self-defense and was “very violently attacked” by demonstrators and would have been killed if he didn’t open fire. Trump also refused to condemn his supporters who were accused of using paintball guns on protesters in Portland, instead lashing out at what he said were leftist protesters.
  • Republican Wisconsin lawmakers did not participate in a special session by Democratic Gov. Tony Evers to address police training and criminal justice reforms in the wake of the shooting of Jacob Blake in the state.
  • Republican Rep. Jim Banks has introduced legislation that would bar individuals from receiving federal unemployment assistance if they are convicted of a crime during a protest, and suggested protesters are being paid by far-left groups to violently protest.
  • President Trump does not want to invoke the Insurrection Act to quell protests in U.S. cities, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Monday, after he had previously floated the possibility amid persistent demonstrations against racial injustice that have at times grown violent.
  • Sgt. Chad Walker, a police officer in Columbia, South Carolina was suspended without pay after video emerged of him using a racist slur multiple times outside of a crowded bar.

In a video, Walker could be seen and heard Saturday outside of Bar None in the city’s Five Points neighborhood using the N-word multiple times after a Black man who is not seen on video yelled the word at the officer who was leaving the bar. Walker, who is white, appears to be arguing with patrons in the video, asserting that he can say the N-word because a Black patron had just referred to him by the term.

  • Hundreds of University of Alabama athletes marched on campus on Monday to protest against racial injustice, with football coach Nick Saban appearing to lead the crowd. 

Trump Administration

  • Vice President Mike Pence was told to be on standby to assume presidential powers during President Trump’s abrupt visit to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center last year, according to New York Times reporter Michael Schmidt’s upcoming book, “Donald Trump v. The United States.”

Schmidt wrote that he learned “in the hours leading up to Trump’s trip to the hospital, word went out in the West Wing for the vice president to be on standby to take over the powers of the presidency temporarily if Trump had to undergo a procedure that would have required him to be anesthetized.”

  • President Trump offered the position of FBI director to then-Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly in exchange for a guarantee of personal loyalty, New York Times reporter Michael Schmidt writes in his book.

“Kelly immediately realized the problem with Trump’s request for loyalty, and he pushed back on the president’s demand,” Schmidt writes, according to an excerpt obtained by Axios. “Kelly said that he would be loyal to the Constitution and the rule of law, but he refused to pledge his loyalty to Trump.”

  • EPA has finalized a rollback of wastewater regulations from coal-fired power plants, which critics say will allow dangerous substances including arsenic and mercury to leach into waterways.
  • President Trump’s lawyers warned in a court filing that they will take the fight over the subpoena for his tax returns back to the Supreme Court if they lose the current round at a New York-based federal appeals court.
  • House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney announced a subpoena Postmaster General Louis DeJoy for documents related to recent reforms to the U.S.Postal Service that have prompted nationwide concerns and fears ballots may go uncounted in the November election.
  • A court has, for the second time, struck down a Trump administration attempt to limit the penalties faced by automakers who do not meet mileage standards.

“Once again, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has ruled that the Trump Administration cannot give away polluting passes to automakers who lag behind on meeting standards required by law,” an environmental group said celebrating the ruling.

  • A federal appeals court has just rejected Michael Flynn’s effort to force a judge to immediately dismiss the charges against him, overturning an earlier decision that would have allowed Trump’s Department of Justice to drop its case against the former national security adviser.

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

The Past 24 Hours or So – Protests/Racial & Social Issues, Trump Administration, and Presidential Campaign Updates

Read Time: 5 Minutes

Protests/Racial & Social Issues

  • Former NFL wide receiver Brandon Marshall shared an emotional video of him facing the security guards who called the police on him while he and his family were trying to move into their new home in Florida: “There was no threat for you to call the cops. This is what we’re seeing every single day. This is what we’re seeing every single day. I got two kids in the car right now.”
  • Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden condemned violence in Portland, Oregon after police said one person was fatally shot amid clashes between Black Lives Matter protesters and counterprotesters.

“I condemn this violence unequivocally. I condemn violence of every kind by anyone, whether on the left or the right. And I challenge Donald Trump to do the same,” Biden said in a statement Sunday.

  • President Trump and Portland, Oregon Mayor Ted Wheeler (D) traded jabs over who was responsible for the rise in violence in the city between Black Lives Matter protesters and counterprotesters. 

Wheeler placed the blame on Trump during a press conference, Trump fired back on Twitter while the press conference was ongoing, and Wheeler responded to the tweets.

“Do you seriously wonder, Mr. President, why this is the first time in decades that America has seen this level of violence?” Wheeler said. “It’s you who have created the hate and the division. It’s you who have not found a way to say the names of Black people people killed by police officers even as people in law enforcement have, and it’s you who claimed that white supremacists are good people.”

“He has an opportunity to uplift us and bring us together and help us move through this difficult situation in our nation’s history, and instead he chooses to play petty politics and divide us. That’s my reaction,” Wheeler said. “So I’m going to do the work I need to do here in my local community with my local officials to take accountability for what’s happening on our streets.”

“I’d appreciate either the president support us or he stay the hell out of the way,” the mayor added. 

Trump tweeted a response almost immediately.

“Ted Wheeler, the wacky Radical Left Do Nothing Democrat Mayor of Portland, who has watched great death and destruction of his City during his tenure, thinks this lawless situation should go on forever. Wrong! Portland will never recover with a fool for a Mayor,” Trump tweeted. 

“He tried mixing with the Agitators and Anarchists and they mocked him. He would like to blame me and the Federal Government for going in, but he hasn’t seen anything yet,” the president added. 

“We have only been there with a small group to defend our U.S. Courthouse, because he couldn’t do it,” Trump continued, seemingly referring to when the Trump administration sent federal law enforcement officials to Portland amid protests. 

“The people of Portland, like all other cities &  parts of our great Country, want Law & Order. The Radical Left Democrat Mayors, like the dummy running Portland, or the guy right now in his basement unwilling to lead or even speak out against crime, will never be able to do it!” Trump said.

  • President Trump will visit Kenosha, Wisconsin on Tuesday following days of unrest in the city in response to the police shooting of Jacob Blake.

Trump “will meet with law enforcement and survey damage from recent riots,” a White House spokesperson told reporters

  • Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) urged President Trump on Sunday to “reconsider” his plans to visit Kenosha, Wisconsin which has been rocked by unrest for the past several nights following the shooting of Jacob Blake by police.

In a letter to the White House, the governor warned that Trump’s presence could “hinder” the state’s attempts to heal after a video of Kenosha police shooting Blake seven times in the back sparked a week of protests that in some cases descended into violence.

Trump Administration

  • Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe on Sunday defended his announcement that in-person election security briefings to Congress will end, saying the move was necessary to prevent leaks.
  • Former White House counsel Don McGahn raised concerns about the security clearance of the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, in a memo to then-White House chief of staff John Kelly in early 2018, according to a new book.

In a memo, McGahn reportedly warned Kelly that Kushner should not receive a top-level security clearance. “The information you were briefed on one week ago and subsequently relayed to me, raises serious additional concerns about whether this individual ought to retain a top security clearance until such issues can be investigated and resolved,” the memo reportedly stated.

The memo is the most direct evidence yet reported pointing to significant security issues raised during Kushner’s FBI background check. It had previously been reported that McGahn’s office had recommended against Kushner receiving a top-secret clearance and that Kelly had authored a memo noting at the time that he had been “ordered” by President Trump to override that recommendation and grant the clearance to Kushner anyway.

  • Former acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney is launching a hedge fund named Exegis Capital that aims to bet on financial services stocks.
  • U.S. Defense officials said two Russian planes conducted an “unsafe” intercept of a U.S. bomber over international waters Friday.
  • Energy industry owners and operators are growing increasingly nervous about new rules proposed by the Trump administration in an effort to limit foreign threats to the grid.

The rules, proposed by an executive order to protect the bulk power system signed by President Trump in March, could severely restrict the ability for grid equipment and other critical technology to be manufactured in countries deemed threats

Presidential Campaign

  • Joe Biden (D) will campaign in the battleground state of Pennsylvania on Monday to deliver remarks that will serve as his first major campaign address following this month’s Democratic National Convention (DNC) and marks a return to the campaign trail after the coronavirus shuttered in-person events months ago.
  • Joe Biden pledged that he would re-launch “PREDICT,” a program launched after the 2005 H1N1 virus that was designed to help detect and combat potential pandemic threats like Covid-19 if elected.
  • Acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf said Sunday that he didn’t know the naturalization ceremony that he conducted last week would be featured during the Republican National Convention.

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

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

The Past 24 Hours or So – Protests/Racial & Social Issues, Trump Administration, and Presidential Campaign Updates

Read Time: 6 Minutes

Protests/Racial & Social Issues

  • A white, 17-year-old was taken into custody in Illinois on suspicion of first-degree intentional homicide in the killing of two people gunned down during a third night of protests in Kenosha over the police shooting of a Black man, Jacob Blake.

Two people were shot to death Tuesday night in an attack carried out by a young white man who was caught on cellphone video opening fire in the middle of the street with a semi-automatic rifle.Witness accounts and video show that the shootings took place in two stages: The gunman first shot someone at a car lot, then jogged away, stumbled and fell in the street, and opened fire again as members of the crowd closed in on him.

  • In another widely circulating video, police can be seen tossing bottled water from an armored vehicle to what appear to be armed civilians walking the streets. One of the civilians appears to be the gunman who later shot protesters.

“We appreciate you being here,” an officer is heard saying to the group over a loudspeaker.

  • In the wake of the killings, Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) authorized 500 members of the National Guard to support local law enforcement around Kenosha, doubling the number of troops sent in. The governor’s office said he is working with other states to bring in additional National Guard troops and law officers. Authorities also announced a 7 p.m. curfew.
  • The sheriff of Kenosha, WI, said he rejected requests to deputize armed citizens amid protests and violence in the city following the police shooting of Jacob Blake: “I had a person call me and say why don’t you deputize citizens who have guns to come out and patrol the city of Kenosha, and I’m like, ‘oh hell no.'”
  • President Donald Trump announced he will order additional federal forces to tamp down violence in Kenosha.

“We will NOT stand for looting, arson, violence, and lawlessness on American streets,” Trump tweeted. “TODAY, I will be sending federal law enforcement and the National Guard to Kenosha, WI to restore LAW and ORDER!”

  • In a tweet, the NBA announced, “The NBA and the NBPA today announced that in light of the Milwaukee Bucks’ decision to not take the floor today for Game 5 against the Orlando Magic, today’s three games – MIL-ORL, HOU-OKC and LAL-POR have been postponed. Game 5 of each series will be rescheduled.”

Discussions within teams are ongoing about postponing Thursday’s three games too – and beyond. “The season is in jeopardy,” one veteran player told ESPN.

The entire NBA season is currently at risk of being cancelled, with the Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers both reportedly voting to boycott the remainder of the 2019- 2020 season as a way to protest police brutality and racial injustice.

  • NBA star LeBron James, who has been a leading voice for social justice in the NBA, joined other prominent basketball players in voicing support for the Milwaukee Bucks’ boycott of the NBA following the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin on Sunday.

“FUCK THIS MAN!!!! WE DEMAND CHANGE. SICK OF IT” James tweeted.

  • News of the Bucks walking out has sent a ripple effect across sports in the United States. Here’s a look at all of the games postponed as a sign of protest:

NBA: Orlando Magic vs. Milwaukee Bucks (Game 5 — first round)
NBA: Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Houston Rockets (Game 5 — first round)
NBA: Portland Trail Blazers vs. Los Angeles Lakers (Game 5 — first round)
WNBA: Washington Mystics vs. Atlanta Dream
WNBA: Los Angeles Sparks vs. Minnesota Lynx
WNBA: Connecticut Sun vs. Phoenix Mercury
MLB: Cincinnati Reds vs. Milwaukee Brewers
MLB: Seattle Mariners vs. San Diego Padres
MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers vs. San Francisco Giants
MLS: Atlanta United vs. Inter Miami
MLS: FC Dallas vs. Colorado Rapids
MLS: Real Salt Lake vs. Los Angeles FC
MLS: San Jose Earthquakes vs. Portland Timbers
MLS: Los Angeles Galaxy vs. Seattle Sounders

  • The ACLU is suing the Trump administration over federal agents’ conduct in responding to Black Lives Matter protests in Portland, Oregon, claiming the illegally detained veterans and that they used excessive force to silence demonstrators.
  • A Florida woman has been charged with child abuse after she allegedly slapped an 11-year-old Black boy and called him a racial slur at a go-kart track.

Three employees said that they witnessed Haley Zager, 30, step out of her go-kart and smack the boy after his kart slammed into hers, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported.She told police that the child did not apologize and she “tapped” him in the face, according to a police report. The report also claimed that Zager told an employee “that fucking nigger hit me in the back.”

  • A federal appeals court has ruled that schools cannot bar students from using the bathroom corresponding to their gender identity, handing a major victory to supporters of LGBTQ rights.
  • A mixed-race couple in Florida whose home in Jacksonville had initially been valued by an appraiser at $330,000 back in June said the same residence was valued at over 40 percent higher at a second appraisal after they removed images of their Black family members. They instead put up paintings of her husband and his white family, and left him home to handle the appraisal alone.

Trump Administration

  • A West Palm Beach USPS processing center recently had four mail sorting machines dismantled, even as postage centers across the country prepare for a record number of mail-in ballots cast ahead of Election Day.
  • The House Intelligence Committee has announced that it would narrow its subpoena for President Trump’s financial records after the Supreme Court dealt a temporary setback for the congressional investigation last month. The House panels won every round of the court fights until they reached the Supreme Court, which ruled 7-2 that the lower courts did not adequately balance the interests of both branches in the dispute.
  • Lt. Col. Yevgeny Vindman, the twin brother of impeachment witness Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, has filed a complaint with a Pentagon watchdog raising concerns that he was retaliated against for reporting that the national security adviser and his chief of staff “committed several ethics and legal compliance violations” late last year and into 2020.
  • Amid deteriorating relations with Beijing, the Commerce Department has blacklisted 24 Chinese companies, saying that they are helping the ruling Chinese Communist Party construct artificial islands in the South China Sea, which the U.S. sees as a military provocation.
  • Chicago and three other cities on Wednesday sued the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, demanding it correct how it interprets what is a firearm and halt the sale of untraceable “ghost gun” kits increasingly used in crimes.
  • Trump administration officials reportedly floated using a microwave heat ray — a military-designed device that makes people’s skin feel like it is burning — to deter migrants from crossing the border illegally in the days leading up to the 2018 midterm elections.
  • A coalition of 13 groups sued the Interior Department and National Park Service over its decision to ease restrictions on hunting bear cubs and wolf pups at national preserves in Alaska.

Presidential Campaign

  • President Trump is calling for drug tests to be administered before the first presidential debate between him and Democratic nominee Joe Biden next month.

Trump made the demand in an Oval Office interview with The Washington Examiner Wednesday, saying he noted a sudden improvement in Biden’s primary debate performance against Sen. Bernie Sanders in March.

  • A senior FBI official said the agency has not seen any “coordinated” mail-in voter fraud effort ahead of the November election, undercutting President Trump’s repeated attacks on voting by mail.
  • “Burning down communities is not protest, it’s needless violence,” Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden said after protests erupted in Kenosha, Wisconsin over the police shooting of Jacob Blake. “Violence that endangers lives. Violence that guts businesses and shutters businesses that serve the community. That’s wrong.”

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

The Past 24 Hours or So – Trump Administration, Protests/Racial & Social Issues, and Presidential Campaign Updates

Read Time: 5 Minutes

Trump Administration

  • In a bombshell report, the GOP-led Senate Select Committee on Intelligence concluded that Trump campaign contacts with Russian spies amounted to “a grave counterintelligence threat.” Over the course of nearly 1,000 pages, the Senate report pulverizes President Trump’s endless claims that the “Russia collusion hoax is the greatest political scandal in the history of this country.”

New evidence makes it abundantly clear: Not investigating the vast number of “alarming” Trump connections to Russian intelligence operatives would have amounted to a “dereliction of duty and responsibility” by America’s law enforcement agencies.

More importantly, the Senate report shows that the FBI’s probe of the Trump campaign and special counsel Robert Mueller did not go nearly far enough.

  • The president of the U.N. Security Council, Indonesia, said on Tuesday it was “not in the position to take further action” on a U.S. bid to trigger a return of all U.N. sanctions on Iran because there is no consensus in the 15-member body.
  • U.S. consumer confidence fell for the second straight month in August as households worried about the economic outlook.

The Conference Board said on Tuesday its consumer confidence index dropped to a reading of 84.8 this month from 91.7 in July. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast the index edging up to a reading of 93 in August.

  • A federal court has struck down a Pentagon policy requiring immigrant troops to serve for six months to a year before they are eligible for expedited citizenship, calling it “arbitrary and capricious” and violates the Administrative Procedure Act.
  • Miles Taylor, the former Trump administration official who has endorsed Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, says that President Trump offered to pardon Homeland Security officials who broke the law to carry out illegal tasks he wanted, allegedly saying “do it. If you get in trouble, I’ll pardon you.”
  • President Trump tweeted that he plans to nominate acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf to take on the role in a full-time capacity after the agency has gone more than a year without a Senate-confirmed leader.
  • On July 24, President Trump held a highly-touted signing ceremony for four executive orders aimed at lowering drug prices and gave pharmaceutical companies until Aug. 24 to make a deal. 

That deadline passed at midnight on Tuesday without the announcement of any deal with drug companies. The White House has not moved forward with the order and is not saying if it will.

  • New York Attorney General Letitia James filed a lawsuit on Tuesday against the Trump administration aimed at stopping what she said was an effort to disrupt operations at the U.S. Postal Service at a time when a pandemic has prompted millions more people than usual to plan to vote by mail.

Hawaii, New Jersey, New York City and the City and County of San Francisco joined the suit. 

Protests/Racial and Social Issues

  • Jacob Blake’s father told the Chicago Sun-Times that his son is now paralyzed from the waist down after being shot by police over the weekend.
  • A GoFundMe to support Jacob Blake and his family has raised over $1 million just one day after the fundraising campaign was launched. 
  • Lawyers representing the family of Jacob Blake, the Black man shot in the back at point-blank range by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin announced that a civil suit would be launched against the Kenosha Police Department.
  • Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) will increase the National Guard presence in Kenosha, Wisconsin, after the second night of unrest following the police shooting of Jacob Blake.
  • The Gwinnett County Police Department fired the police officer who was shown on video using a Taser in the arrest of a Black woman on her front porch, the authorities said.

“One of our core values is courtesy,” the department said in a statement. “We strive to conduct ourselves in a manner that promotes mutual respect with the community and our peers. The investigation in this case has shown that Officer Oxford violated our policy and did not meet our core values.”

  • Protesters reportedly began gathering Monday afternoon at an event titled “Resist RNC 2020” near the site of the Republican National Convention, with the group later growing to more than 100 demonstrators marching peacefully. 

But seven were ultimately arrested and 2 were hospitalized after police confronted the crowd with pepper spray. Video also depicts police using bikes to knock down demonstrators, with one woman getting her legs run over.

  • For the third consecutive night, unrest unfolded in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Nearly two hours after the 8 p.m. curfew took effect, police were heard on a bullhorn telling a group of protesters at the Kenosha Courthouse that they were taking part in an “unlawful assembly.” 

The police fired tear gas into the crowd of protesters. 

A CNN team saw either officers or guardsmen perched on the roof of the courthouse shooting pellets down at rowdy protesters.

  • At least 64 people were arrested in Louisville, Kentucky, as crowds marched Tuesday over the death of Breonna Taylor.

The protests were largely peaceful but a large group of demonstrators “crossed several intersections, creating dangerous situations as traffic continued to try to make its way in the area,” Robert Schroeder, interim chief for the Louisville Metro Police Department, told reporters.

Officers gave directions to stay on the sidewalk and those who did not were eventually arrested.

  • A federal grand jury has indicted four men on arson charges in connection to the burning of the Minneapolis Police Department’s Third Precinct building at the end of May amid protests over the death of George Floyd.
  • Fabiana Pierre-Louis is set to become the first Black woman on the New Jersey Supreme Court, The New York Times reported.

Pierre-Louis, the daughter of Haitian immigrants, will also be the court’s only Black judge and, at 39, its youngest.

  • The Detroit Lions canceled practice on Tuesday. Players and coaches addressed the media with “The World Can’t Go On” and “We Won’t Be Silent” signs. The team’s message: Football is not important today after what happened over the weekend to Jacob Blake.

Presidential Campaign

  • The former cast of “The West Wing” plans to reunite for the first time in 17 years to promote When We All Vote, the voter registration initiative co-chaired by former first lady Michelle Obama.
  • Donald Trump continued to shift money from his donors to his business last month, as his reelection campaign paid his private companies for rent, food, lodging and other expenses, according to a review of the latest Federal Election Commission filings. The richest president in American history, who has yet to donate to his 2020 campaign, has now moved $2.3 million of contributions from other people into his private companies.
  • The Supreme Court has declined to take up an emergency petition from Montana Secretary of State Cory Stapleton (R) to allow candidates for the Green party to appear on the state’s ballots this fall.

Democrats had convinced people to disavow their support for the third party candidates after it was revealed that the Republican Party funded the signature-gathering effort to get the contenders’ names on the ballot under the Green Party and that the Green Party itself did not support the effort. 

  • Georgia congressional candidate Marjorie Taylor Greene, who is a supporter of the QAnon conspiracy theory and has expressed racist and anti-Muslim views, said she was invited and plans to be in attendance when President Trump accepts the Republican presidential nomination from the White House later this week.
  • House Democrats are launching an investigation into Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s expected speech to the Republican National Convention, raising concerns that the move is an illegal violation of the Hatch Act and a breach of State Department regulations.

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

The Past 24 Hours or So – Trump Administration, Protests/Racial and Social Issues, and Presidential Campaign Updates

Read Time: 5 Minutes

Trump Administration

  • U.S. Postmaster Louis DeJoy told lawmakers on Monday that he planned to resume some cost-cutting measures that have factored in widespread service delays, defying Democratic lawmakers who have sought to block his changes.
  • A KREX 5/Fox 4 viewer said she went to the USPS sorting annex on Patterson Road and Burkey Street Monday morning when she noticed a red dumpster by the loading docks.

When she asked what was being thrown out, a clerk said it was a brand new mail sorting machine.

The clerk added, “It took two months to set up and they were just about to do a test run when the postmaster general ordered us to take it out, now we’re sorting by hand. No wonder they say we’re losing money when they throw out expensive machines like that.”

  • New York Attorney General Letitia James is investigating whether President Trump illegally inflated his assets to attract investors and earn loans, her office revealed in court documents on Monday. James filed a lawsuit against the president’s son, Eric Trump, and the Trump Organization, accusing them of failing to comply with subpoenas as part of the investigation.
  • Manhattan’s top prosecutor, Cyrus Vance Jr., to delay enforcement of a subpoena for eight years of President Trump’s tax returns.

Though Vance had the legal right to enforce a subpoena to obtain Trump’s corporate and personal tax records, he agreed to temporarily shelve the subpoena against Trump’s accounting firm. The delay allows for another round of litigation, extending the nearly year long court battle over the subpoena in which Trump has lost every bout, including a landmark decision last month at the Supreme Court.

  • Canada largely won a case before the World Trade Organization on Monday in a long-running dispute with the United States over U.S. duties imposed on Canadian softwood lumber exports.

The panel found that duties, designed to counter Canadian subsidies, did not breach global trading rules because Washington had not shown that prices paid by Canadian firms for timber on government-owned lands were artificially low.

The Trump administration levied tariffs of up to 17.99% against what it saw as unfair subsidies for Canadian exporters of softwood lumber, which is used in home construction.

  • The Trump administration threw up major hurdles for a planned copper and gold mine in Alaska, a move that could kill the project that had drawn opposition from environmentalists, recreational groups and prominent Republicans.

The current proposal for the Pebble Mine at Bristol Bay “cannot be permitted,” the Army Corps of Engineers said, and it called for a series of strict conditions the project’s developers would need to meet to offset the environmental harms that the massive project would have on the world’s largest sockeye salmon fishery.

  • Environmental groups wasted no time challenging the Trump administration’s attempt to allow oil and gas drilling in an Alaska refuge where polar bears and caribou roam.

Two lawsuits filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Anchorage sought to block the Interior Department’s plan to allow oil and gas lease sales on the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge — a 1.56 million-acre strip of land along Alaska’s northern Beaufort Sea coast, or about 8% of the 19.3 million-acre refuge.

  • A federal appeals court has narrowed an anti-riot law the Trump administration is wielding to bring federal charges against individuals accused of fueling civil unrest.

The three-judge appeals court panel unanimously concluded that language in the Anti-Riot Act that makes it a crime to “encourage,” “promote” or urge a riot is unconstitutionally overbroad because it encompasses speech protected by the First Amendment.

  • Social Security Chief Actuary Stephen C. Goss: Trump’s proposal to eliminate payroll taxes would deplete the Social Security Trust Fund by 2023, “with no ability to pay benefits thereafter.”

Protests/Racial and Social Issues

  • Police shot a Black man in the back multiple times in Kenosha, Wisconsin, as his three sons watched on Sunday, his family’s lawyer said, sparking a night of unrest during which protesters hurled firebombs and bricks at law enforcement officers.

A video circulating on social media showed Jacob Blake walking toward the driver’s side of a gray SUV followed by two officers with their guns drawn at his back. Seven gunshot sounds can be heard as Blake, who appears to be unarmed, opens the car door.

It was unknown whether the officer saw something inside the vehicle to justify deadly force. It was also not clear whether one or both officers fired their weapons.

  • The Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department announced an 8 p.m. curfew for the second night in a row Monday. The curfew follows unrest in Kenosha after the police shooting of Jacob Blake Sunday.
  • Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden called for an immediate investigation into the shooting of Jacob Blake.
  • Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) activated the National Guard to assist local law enforcement after protests in Kenosha turned violent following the police shooting of Jacob Blake.
  • Police in Kenosha deployed tear gas in an attempt to disperse protesters who converged on the county courthouse during a second night of protests. 
  • Angry, maskless spectators forced themselves into the Idaho House special session on the coronavirus pandemic, shattering a glass door, rushing into the gallery that had limited seating because of the virus and forcing lawmakers to ask for calm in a crowd that included a man carrying an assault-style weapon.

After some people shoved their way past Idaho State Police, Republican House Speaker Scott Bedke allowed the gallery to fully open as long as the crowd stopped chanting and was respectful.

“I want to always try to avoid violence,” he told The Associated Press later.

Presidential Campaign

  • President Trump on Monday claimed Democrats are using the coronavirus to “steal” the 2020 election, arguing closures of businesses and demands for mail-in voting are not driven by a pandemic that has killed nearly 180,000 Americans in five months, but to defeat him.

“They’re using COVID to defraud the American people, all of our people, of a fair and free election. We can’t do that.”

  • Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s decision to share a message with the Republican National Convention this week is a break from all sorts of norms and precedents designed to keep America’s chief diplomat out of the partisan fray. It may also be violating State Department policy he himself approved.
  • A progressive pro-immigration group is launching an ad targeting Asian American voters in battleground states by highlighting President Trump’s controversial rhetoric about the coronavirus. The 60-second ad intersperses clips of Trump calling the virus the “Chinese flu,” “Chinese virus” and “kung flu,” along with reports of rises in anti-Asian discrimination.
  • More Than a Vote, a group of athletes headlined by LeBron James is launching a campaign to increase the number of poll workers in Black electoral districts ahead of November’s general election.
  • The federal government has largely implemented the election security recommendations that the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security and National Institute of Standards and Technology generated in 2016. 

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