Breaking With AFL-CIO, Affiliated Labor Council May Vote to Expel Police Union
by Candice Bernd on June 6, 2020 at 14:02
Activists say that by continuing to affiliate with police unions, some labor leaders are betraying protesters’ demands.
Gay Porn Star Threatening To Out Homophobic GOP Senator ‘LG’
by NewsHound Ellen on June 6, 2020 at 13:30
It seems to have started with yesterday’s tweet in which Harding put out a call for sex workers to speak out against “a homophobic republican senator.” There is a homophobic republican senator who is no better than Trump who keeps passing legislation that is damaging to the lgbt and minority communities. Every sex worker I know has been hired by this man. Wondering if enough of us spoke out if that could get him out of office? — Sean Harding #BLM (@SeanHardingXXX) June 4, 2020 Just after midnight, Harding said, “EVERY major news network is in my inbox including high profile lawyers willing to take this case. Fellow sex workers I invite you to stand with me during this crucial time. EVERY major news network is in my inbox including high profile lawyers willing to take this case. There’s strength in numbers – I KNOW you’re out there because EVERYONE has a story about LG when we talk. https://t.co/PeKKvQSJAx — Sean Harding #BLM (@SeanHardingXXX) June 5, 2020read more
Here are 5 of the most appalling moments in the Steve King Hall of Shame
by Alex Henderson on June 6, 2020 at 13:29
On June 2, far-right Rep. Steve King lost a GOP primary battle to Iowa State Sen. Randy Feenstra
WSU Tech Abruptly Cancels Ivanka Trump’s Commencement Speech
by Ed Scarce on June 6, 2020 at 13:03
Associate Professor Jennifer Ray’s open letter which led to the campaign against Ivanka Trump said: “To many Americans, the [Trump] administration has to come to signify the worst of our country, particularly in its recent actions towards those peacefully protesting against racist police brutality.” Source: Kansas.com Wichita State University and WSU Tech canceled Ivanka Trump’s commencement speech without explanation Thursday in a late-night news release following a public outcry from faculty, students and alumni. The joint university statement, which posted online late Thursday night, said the school’s plans have “refocused more centrally on students” and that Trump will be replaced by nursing graduate Rebecca Zinabu. “Earlier today, WSU Tech announced that Ivanka Trump, advisor to President Donald Trump, is a planned speaker at the college’s virtual commencement this weekend,” said the statement by Wichita State president Jay Golden and WSU Tech president Sheree Utash. “The WSU Tech commencement plans have been refocused more centrally on students – student voices in particular. Rebecca Zinabu, WSU Tech practical nursing graduate, will now be the only commencement speaker during the ceremony.”read more
‘These Unions Dishonor the Labor Movement’: Nearly 200 Academics, Lawmakers, and Activists Demand AFL-CIO Expel Police Unions
on June 6, 2020 at 12:40
Jake Johnson, staff writer”The AFL-CIO cannot stand for criminal justice reform, while at the same time allowing police unions to use your power to impede reform.”
It can’t happen here — and then it did
by Joe Saltzman on June 6, 2020 at 12:29
There have already been at least 100 instances of journalists being assaulted or harassed while covering protests
Mike’s Blog Round Up
by M. Bouffant on June 6, 2020 at 12:01
As the plague turns, we bring you the Build That Wall (Around The White House)! Edition. Video above via Miss Cellania. Second Amendment contradictions, observed by Responsible Statecraft. May not be a “center-right country” after all; another long one, from Honest Graft, examining the crisis in conservative confidence. The American Independent reports that statues of Confederate traitors are disappearing from the South. Money quote:’Richmond is no longer the capital of the Confederacy,’ said the city’s mayor. Vaguely comedic relief in the paranoid right-wing loon category from The Big, Bad & Bald Bastard. It hasn’t come to tanks in the street. Yet. Just a truck transporting National Guardsmen.
Georgia Protests Differently: A Dispatch From the Front Lines of Atlanta Divided
by George Chidi on June 6, 2020 at 12:00
The days of defiance here have been half police misconduct protest rally and half carnival. Incongruity abounds. The post Georgia Protests Differently: A Dispatch From the Front Lines of Atlanta Divided appeared first on The Intercept.
We are witnessing the birth of a movement — and the downfall of a president
by Lucian K. Truscott IV on June 6, 2020 at 12:00
We’ve reached a turning point in the Trump era. The 2020 campaign is in the streets and he’s losing
Fox News Displays Graphic Showing Stock Market Gains After Murders Of Black Men
by Red Painter on June 6, 2020 at 12:00
Fox News is pretty much the most disgusting propaganda channel on TV right now (except for OANN) Every night is filled with the Tucker Carlson White Power Hour, Hannity’s asskissing and Laura Ingraham’s rants. But on Friday night they really took their channel to a new low. They did a segment on how the stock market improved following 4 specific incidents of murder or assault on black people. Specifically, the murder of Martin Luther King Jr, the Rodney King case acquittal, the murder of Michael Brown and the murder of George Floyd. AND THEY USED A BAR CHART TO SEE WHICH CAUSED A GREATER INCRESE OF THE STOCK MARKET. Twitter erupted: Anyone at Fox News involved in airing this graphic needs to lose their job. pic.twitter.com/hbzm125yY2 — Andrew Weinstein (@Weinsteinlaw) June 5, 2020 I used bad language, sorry
Biden Formally Clinches Democratic Nomination
by Taegan Goddard on June 6, 2020 at 11:29
Joe Biden has clinched a majority of delegates to the Democratic convention, locking up the party’s presidential nomination, according to the Associated Press. Said Biden: “It was an honor to
A graduation speech for our age of collapse
by Tom Engelhardt on June 6, 2020 at 11:29
You’re graduating not into a world but into a conundrum.
Documentos vazados mostram que Abin pediu ao Serpro dados e fotos de todas as CNHs do país
by Tatiana Dias on June 6, 2020 at 10:15
Espiões terão acesso a um catálogo com informações de um terço da população. Especialistas temem uso autoritário do banco. The post Documentos vazados mostram que Abin pediu ao Serpro dados e fotos de todas as CNHs do país appeared first on The Intercept.
Police Attacks on Protesters Are Rooted in a Violent Ideology of Reactionary Grievance
by Ryan Devereaux on June 6, 2020 at 10:00
A peaceful protest movement confronts a lawless police culture. The post Police Attacks on Protesters Are Rooted in a Violent Ideology of Reactionary Grievance appeared first on The Intercept.
This powerful protest movement deserves more from the press: Ask those with power what will change
by Dan Froomkin on June 6, 2020 at 10:00
Journalists have access to the powerful. They must take the protesters’ message to those who can do something
Condemning Police Conduct as ‘Disgusting,’ Federal Judge Bars Denver Cops From Using Chemical Weapons on Protesters
on June 6, 2020 at 09:55
Jake Johnson, staff writer”Citizens should never have to fear peaceful protest on the basis of police retaliation, especially not when protesting that very same police violence.”
‘Quietly Putting Hundreds of Species at Risk,’ Trump Opens 5,000 Square Miles of Atlantic Ocean to Commercial Fishing
on June 6, 2020 at 09:11
Jake Johnson, staff writer”Ancient and slow-growing deep sea corals, endangered large whales and sea turtles, and an incredible array of fish, seabirds, sharks, dolphins and other wildlife—these are the species and habitats that will pay the price.”
Republican elected officials are peddling a conspiracy theory that George Soros is paying protesters
by Alex Samuels on June 6, 2020 at 09:00
In racist Facebook posts, GOP officials accused George Soros of paying protesters to “destroy” the country
Amazon’s New Competitive Advantage: Putting Its Own Products First
by by Renee Dudley on June 6, 2020 at 09:00
Trump: The eternal, never-presidential campaigner
by Stephan Richter on June 6, 2020 at 08:00
How Trump has regulated the American public’s right to free speech: Every “Presidential” speech is a campaign event
Today’s Cartoon: Militarized Police
by Steve Greenberg on June 6, 2020 at 03:00
Open thread below…
“No way to find a bright spot”: Fox News poll has Martha McSally down 13% in must-win state for GOP
by Roger Sollenberger on June 6, 2020 at 02:30
The further into the poll you go, the worse it looks — for McSally, as well as for Trump and the Republican Party
Trump’s Inhumanity Is Deeper Than We Knew
by Taegan Goddard on June 6, 2020 at 02:24
George Conway: “It’s more than just narcissism that drives this failing, flailing president. However difficult they can be, even extreme narcissists can have consciences. They don’t necessarily cast aside behavioral
Ivanka Trump Dropped as Commencement Speaker
by Taegan Goddard on June 6, 2020 at 02:18
Ivanka Trump released the speech she had prepared to give at Wichita State University Tech’s commencement ceremony before she was dropped as a speaker. Plans to have her speak there
Efforts to curb STDs falter in COVID’s shadow
by Anna Maria Barry-Jester on June 6, 2020 at 02:04
Rates of infection and death from congenital syphilis have been on the rise for years.
Electric utilities called out for slow-walking switch from natural gas to clean renewable energy
by Alexandra Tempus on June 6, 2020 at 02:02
Many electric utilities are continuing to plan for and invest billions in power generation from natural gas.
Science alone can’t solve COVID-19. The humanities must help
by Anna Magdalena Elsner on June 6, 2020 at 01:59
Scholars of society, language, and culture will be integral to addressing the broader issues raised by the pandemic
Biden’s Estimate That 10-15% Of Americans Are “Not Very Good People” Is Way Too Low
by Aliza Worthington on June 6, 2020 at 01:52
Former VP Joe Biden held a virtual town hall Thursday evening, moderated by Don Cheadle and joined by Atlanta CEO Ryan Wilson, during which they discussed the state of race relations in the nation. Wilson asked Biden how he would. contrast himself to Trump when it came to leading and unity. According to USA Today: Ryan Wilson, the CEO of the Gathering Spot in Atlanta, Georgia, had asked Biden how he was going to lead differently and what he would do for black Americans, “if it’s true that you can’t truly lead people if you don’t love people.” Biden responded, of course that he did love people, then launched into highlighting the myriad contrasts in style between him and the authoritarian orange toddler in the White House.read more
Barr Says He Didn’t Order Park Cleared
by Taegan Goddard on June 6, 2020 at 01:19
Attorney General William Barr told the AP “that law enforcement officers were already moving to push back protesters from a park in front of the White House when he arrived
Whole squad resigns in apparent show of support after force suspends cops filmed shoving elderly man
by Roger Sollenberger on June 6, 2020 at 01:09
The viral video shows two cops shoving a 75-year-old man to the ground. Blood could be seen coming out of his ear
‘This Is the Story of a Coward’
by Taegan Goddard on June 6, 2020 at 00:25
The Lincoln Project is out with a new ad comparing President Trump to Jim Mattis on leadership.
Protests Created Surge In Voter Registration
by Taegan Goddard on June 6, 2020 at 00:04
“Voter registrations, volunteer activity and donations for groups linked to Democratic causes are surging in the midst of protests following the death of George Floyd,” CNBC reports. If you want
Hickenlooper Violated Gift Ban
by Taegan Goddard on June 5, 2020 at 23:59
An ethics panel found former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) violated the state’s constitutional gift ban by accepting private flights aboard company jets owned by his friends and during an
Former George W. Bush Staffers Create PAC Supporting Joe Biden
by Alan Ryland on June 5, 2020 at 23:53
A new super PAC, called 43 Alumni for Biden, has been formed by former staffers of George W. Bush, according to paperwork submitted earlier this week. The news comes just days after the former president issued a statement along with his wife, former First Lady Laura Bush, calling for Americans to unify as protests grip … Continue reading “Former George W. Bush Staffers Create PAC Supporting Joe Biden”
NFL Encourages Players to Peacefully Protest
by Taegan Goddard on June 5, 2020 at 23:50
“NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Friday he and the league strongly support players expressing their opposition to inequality and police misconduct, saying the league’s leadership was ‘wrong’ for ignoring players
Zuckerberg Says Facebook Will Revisit Policies
by Taegan Goddard on June 5, 2020 at 23:44
“Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg said Friday the social media giant will reexamine its policies against violent threats and voter suppression after facing intense backlash over its recent handling of incendiary
Republicans Argue Positive Jobs Report Means More Coronavirus Relief Can Be Put on Hold For Now
by Alan Ryland on June 5, 2020 at 23:41
A senior Trump administration official told CNN that the release of today’s job report from the Department of Labor (DOL), which shows a drop in the unemployment rate, could allow Republican leadership to make the case to put more coronavirus relief on hold for now. “Republicans generally want to be patient: There’s a lot of … Continue reading “Republicans Argue Positive Jobs Report Means More Coronavirus Relief Can Be Put on Hold For Now”
Democratic Group Launches Ads Aimed at Hispanic Voters Comparing Trump to Latin American Authoritarians
by Alan Ryland on June 5, 2020 at 23:27
An ad commissioned by Priorities USA, the country’s largest Democratic Super PAC, and aimed at Hispanic voters in Florida, compares President Donald Trump to Latin American authoritarians, or caudillos. “From threatening reporters and militarizing the streets, to weaponizing the Justice Department to exact political vendettas, this administration’s abuse of power is all too familiar to … Continue reading “Democratic Group Launches Ads Aimed at Hispanic Voters Comparing Trump to Latin American Authoritarians”
Henry Rollins calls U.S. men “the dumbest creatures” & Trump “wrongest possible” leader for pandemic
by Andrew O’Hehir on June 5, 2020 at 23:00
The hardcore punk legend spoke to Salon about life under lockdown and his amoral role in the creepy “Dreamland”
Trump In Free Fall As 62% Of Americans Support Floyd Protests
by Jason Easley on June 5, 2020 at 22:16
Trump tried to use the protests triggered by the murder of George Floyd to divide the country, but 62% of Americans support the protesters.
by Brian Gilmore on June 5, 2020 at 22:11
COVID-19 is taking a deadly toll on African Americans.
Silicon Valley goes mask off: Tech CEOs veer right amid political turmoil
by Nicole Karlis on June 5, 2020 at 22:00
Recent crises are exposing these powerful men for who they really are — and what they believe
Maine Newspaper Tells Trump To Resign As He Visits The State
by Jason Easley on June 5, 2020 at 21:35
The editors of the Portland Press-Herald welcomed Trump to the state on Maine with an editorial calling on him to resign.
“The American apartheid is coming to a head”: Ani DiFranco on oppression and “Prison Music Project”
by Mary Elizabeth Williams on June 5, 2020 at 21:26
DiFranco & Zoe Boekbinder spoke to Salon about collaborating with prisoners who tell their stories on a new album
End the Oppression of Native Women
by Diana Oldham on June 5, 2020 at 21:15
Indigenous women are killed at a rate ten times higher than the U.S. national average.
Trump and His Press Secretary May Have Voted Illegally
by Taegan Goddard on June 5, 2020 at 21:13
“Even as they both attack the idea of voting by mail, President Trump and his new press secretary may have voted by mail illegally, using residential addresses on their registrations
Joe Biden Annihilates Trump For Press Conference Disaster
by Jason Easley on June 5, 2020 at 20:57
Former Vice President Joe Biden called Trump despicable for putting any other words into George Floyd’s mouth besides I can’t breathe.
Don’t Believe Your Watering Eyes. Kayleigh McEnany’s Teargaslighting
by spocko on June 5, 2020 at 20:54
I coined a new term. Teargaslighting. It’s a version of gaslighting designed to sow seeds of doubt in the media on their definition of the chemical agents used to disrupt protesters. Here it is used in a sentence. “Trump Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany used teargaslighting on CNN’s Jim Acosta when he asked about how Trump cleared out the peaceful protesters outside St. John’s Church for his photo op.” Watch the clip of McEnany teargaslighting past the 30-second mark. I know what she was doing with her “teargaslighitng’ bit but I wondered, if it’s not her specific definition of tear gas, what was it? What I found was educational and disturbing.read more
New Yorkers Confront de Blasio Over Defense of NYPD Violence as Calls Mount for Mayor’s Resignation
on June 5, 2020 at 20:52
Julia Conley, staff writerNew York Mayor Bill de Blasio faced angry New Yorkers who called in to the “Ask the Mayor” segment on WNYC’s “The Brian Lehrer Show” on Friday, demanding answers about the mayor’s response to racial justice protests in the city.
Ameaças de Trump aos grupos antifa afrontam os negros e põem todos os protestos em risco
by Natasha Lennard on June 5, 2020 at 20:52
Supremacistas brancos são responsáveis por 70% dos assassinatos ligados ao extremismo nos EUA, mas são os antifa que Trump quer chamar de “terroristas”. The post Ameaças de Trump aos grupos antifa afrontam os negros e põem todos os protestos em risco appeared first on The Intercept.
Trump Launches Massive Ad Buy
by Taegan Goddard on June 5, 2020 at 20:45
“President Trump’s reelection campaign is moving swiftly to capitalize on Friday’s unexpectedly favorable jobs numbers with a massive $10 million ad buy presenting the president as the protagonist in an
Mounting Death Toll and Confirmed Covid-19 Cases in Brazil Increase Anger Over Bolsonaro’s Response
on June 5, 2020 at 20:44
Jessica Corbett, staff writerThe rising number of confirmed Covid-19 cases and related deaths in Brazil is leading to further condemnation of how President Jair Bolsonaro has responded to the pandemic—which, as of Friday afternoon, had left over 34,000 Brazilians dead and nearly 615,000 infected, according to the Johns Hopkins global tracker.
Trump is celebrating a slight dip in unemployment. Here’s why that’s a mistake
by Matthew Rozsa on June 5, 2020 at 20:43
Economists say the slight drop in unemployment rate may be temporary and not indicative of deeper trends
‘Toxic Culture’ of Police Departments Decried After 57 Buffalo Officers Resign in Support of Two in Unit Who Attacked Elderly Man
on June 5, 2020 at 20:36
Eoin Higgins, staff writer”So is 57 officers resigning at once just a few bad apples?”
With “Douglas,” Hannah Gadsby is a comedy pioneer with her whimsical, meticulous show about autism
by Mary Elizabeth Williams on June 5, 2020 at 20:00
The self-proclaimed Tasmanian lesbian comic is back to explain her full comedy set, sexism, and Louis C.K.
Trump Brings Back Jason Miller, Despite Scandals
by Taegan Goddard on June 5, 2020 at 19:34
“President Trump’s reelection team is tapping Jason Miller to serve as a senior adviser, bringing a controversial figure back into the fold as the campaign barrels towards a treacherous final
Harris County GOP Chairman-elect’s Racist Facebook Post Lands Him In Hot Water
by Ed Scarce on June 5, 2020 at 19:25
They just can’t stop themselves, can they? Source: KPRC, Houston The chairman-elect of the Harris County Republican Party Keith Nielsen is facing backlash for a social media post. In a now-removed post, the Harris County GOP Chair Facebook page posted a famous quote from Martin Luther King Jr. The words “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere” were placed next to the image of a banana. “For hundreds of years, African Americans have been called monkeys, baboons, and so that symbolizes a derogatory term for African Americans,” said James Douglas, the president of the NAACP Houston. Nielsen has not yet started in his position as the Harris County’s party chair. In another post on Thursday afternoon, Nielson wrote in part: “It is unfortunate that the sentiment of the quote and my admiration for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. has been overshadowed by people’s misinterpretation of an image.” Earlier that same day, Nielsen told KPRC 2 that he has an app that “posts stuff,” and he thought that day “everything is going bananas.” @KevinNeilsenPatriot (they’re always “patriots”) later apologized on Facebook, saying, “It is unfortunate that the sentiment of the quote and my admiration for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. has been overshadowed by people’s misinterpretation of an image.”read more
Pentagon Disarms Guardsmen In Sign of De-escalation
by Taegan Goddard on June 5, 2020 at 19:20
“The Pentagon has told the District of Columbia National Guard and guardsmen from other states who have arrived in the nation’s capital as backup to not use firearms or ammunition,
Fauci Says Protests Will Help Spread Virus
by Taegan Goddard on June 5, 2020 at 19:18
Dr. Anthony Fauci said that many of the protests against racism and police brutality taking place across the country, involving congregation of large crowds, raises the risk for transmission of
Why People Don’t Trust the Police
by Taegan Goddard on June 5, 2020 at 19:05
This piece is only available to Political Wire members. Your support makes this site possible. Join today for the complete Political Wire experience and get exclusive analysis, new features and
Pentagon War Game Includes Scenario for Military Response to Domestic Gen Z Rebellion
by Nick Turse on June 5, 2020 at 19:01
The 2018 war game envisioned a “Zbellion” by a tech-savvy generation that no longer believed in the American dream. The post Pentagon War Game Includes Scenario for Military Response to Domestic Gen Z Rebellion appeared first on The Intercept.
#SayHerName: On Breonna Taylor’s 27th Birthday, Advocates Demand Justice in Shooting Death by Louisville Police
on June 5, 2020 at 18:53
Julia Conley, staff writerRacial justice advocates on Friday demanded the three Louisville police officers who shot Breonna Taylor to death in March be fired immediately and criminally charged for Taylor’s murder.
Polícia de Nova York ataca manifestantes porque sabe que não terá punições
by Alice Speri on June 5, 2020 at 18:51
As queixas da população se acumulam e, a cada ano, a cidade de Nova York precisa pagar indenizações milionárias. The post Polícia de Nova York ataca manifestantes porque sabe que não terá punições appeared first on The Intercept.
On the Minds of Black Lives Matter Protesters: A Racist Health System
by by Akilah Johnson on June 5, 2020 at 18:49
Hunger Stalks New York’s Lower East Side
by Winnie Wong on June 5, 2020 at 18:47
Winnie Wong Thousands of businesses in Manhattan have closed, thrusting an untold number of people into economic precarity and food insecurity. The post Hunger Stalks New York’s Lower East Side appeared first on The Nation.
Schumer Exposes Trump’s Job Gains Stimulus Pumped Up Fraud
by Jason Easley on June 5, 2020 at 18:32
Senate Democratic Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) warned that the jobs numbers were pumped up by stimulus money, and without more, it will collapse.
North Carolina Is a Key Battleground
by Taegan Goddard on June 5, 2020 at 18:31
Just for members: A new edition of . The edition analyzes North Carolina as a key battleground state, includes key updates on key races after the recent primaries. This issue
Walter Ogrod Sees Wrongful Conviction Overturned After 23 Years on Pennsylvania’s Death Row
by Jordan Smith on June 5, 2020 at 18:30
Ogrod developed symptoms of Covid-19 as a Philadelphia judge repeatedly delayed his case. Now, he will finally be released. The post Walter Ogrod Sees Wrongful Conviction Overturned After 23 Years on Pennsylvania’s Death Row appeared first on The Intercept.
On Protesting During a Pandemic
by Touré on June 5, 2020 at 18:25
Touré I’ve been afraid of Covid-19 for three months, but I’ve been afraid of getting killed by police for four decades. The post On Protesting During a Pandemic appeared first on The Nation.
Collins misses Trump’s visit to Maine after Murkowski suggests she won’t back president in November
by Roger Sollenberger on June 5, 2020 at 18:20
Trump threatened to back any challenger with a “pulse” who takes on Murkowski after she publicly criticized him
Reporter Hits White House on Lack of Social Distancing
by Taegan Goddard on June 5, 2020 at 18:16
Jonathan Karl of ABC News slammed the White House for positioning reporters closer together than usual for President Trump’s remarks in the Rose Garden. Said Karl: “This is a flagrant violation
World Environment Day Provokes Warnings That ‘To Care for Humanity, We Must Care for Nature’
on June 5, 2020 at 18:10
Jessica Corbett, staff writerAs a pandemic that’s killed over 393,000 people rages on and demonstrations demanding racial justice continue across the globe, the international community on Friday marked World Environment Day with scientifically supported warnings about the importance of protecting nature for the future of humanity.
Hank Williams spoke of the “cold, cold heart!”
by <b>bob somerby</b> on June 5, 2020 at 17:49
FRIDAY, JUNE 5, 2020Last evening, we saw one with Lawrence: Long ago and far away, Hank Williams introduced the concept of the person with the “cold, cold heart.”Many such people are out and about playing on our own liberal team. Consider what happened last night on Lawrence O’Donnell’s program.Midway through the program, O’Donnell discussed the three new arrests in Minneapolis. He described a remarkable situation involving two of these officers:O’DONNELL (6/4/20): In Minneapolis today, a judge set a bail of $750,000 for each of the three police officers who were arrested and charged yesterday in the murder of George Floyd—Thomas Lane, Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao.Defense lawyers told the court that Thomas Lane and Alexander Kueng had been on the police force for only four days when the incident occurred and that Derek Chauvin, who pressed his knee into George Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, was a training officer.Defense lawyer for Thomas Lane said in court, “What is my client supposed to do other than follow what the training officer said?”As we’ve been noting this week, two of the officers—Lane and Kueng—were rookies. They found themselves at the scene of an incident with a superior officer who seems to be out of his mind.According to O’Donnell, defense lawyers tried to sharpen the moral dilemma. They said that Lane and Kueng were in their fourth day on the job, and that the crackpot Chauvin was a training officer.Had Chauvin been assigned as Lane’s training officer in some formal sense? We can’t answer your question. We’re not sure that Lawrence got every fact right. A fuller report of yesterday’s hearing appeared on the front page of today’s New York Times.Back to what happened on the day George Floyd was senselessly killed:Somewhat oddly, the two rookies seemed to be on patrol together. They arrived at the scene in the first car to respond to the call concerning a possible crime.Chauvin and Thao, both experienced officers, arrived in a separate car a bit later. Eventually, Chauvin took control of the situation and began choking Floyd to death.Were Lane and Kueng really in just their fourth day on the job? The Times report quotes Lane’s lawyer saying this:BARKER ET AL (6/5/20): Earl Gray, the lawyer representing Mr. Lane, 37, told the court that Mr. Chauvin was a training officer for new officers. He said that the day Mr. Floyd died was Mr. Lane’s fourth day on the force.“They’re required to call him ‘Sir,’” Mr. Gray told the court. “He has 20 years’ experience. What is my client supposed to do but to follow what the training officer said? Is that aiding and abetting a crime?”According to the Times report, Kueng’s lawyer said that Kueng was only on his third shift as a full-fledged officer.O’Donnell seemed to see a moral quandary here.. But O’Donnell’s guest has a cold, cold heart, and her responses to Lawrence’s questions provide a lesson for us modern liberals.O’Donnell’s guest was Professor Murray of the NYU Law School. Lawrence asked her what she thought about this unusual situation. Below, you see what was said:O’DONNELL (6/4/20): Professor Murray, what do you make of what we heard, from the defense attorney anyway, in Minneapolis today, saying that these two officers were only on the force for four days, and that they were simply obeying what their training officer was telling them to do?PROFESSOR MURRAY: Well, I guess we’re getting a glimpse of what the defense will be for these three officers as they mount their defense to these charges of aiding and abetting. And the idea here is that these are junior officers following the chain of command.Chauvin was a more experienced officer and he was setting the pace and the tone of this encounter.For starters, the august professor didn’t seem to have the basic facts right. Only two of the officers were rookies (junior officers), not three. Thao, an experienced officer, was patrolling with Chauvin that day. According to the Times, he has already “cooperated with investigators” in some undisclosed way.That’s a mere factual matter. We were more struck by the robotic way the professor offered a useless recitation, one an alert third grader could have provided for Lawrence.Aside from her mistake about Officer Thao, the professor simply regurgitated a few blindingly obvious facts. Most strikingly, she showed no sign that she was being asked about a situation which may have an unusual moral component.Later, Lawrence gave her a second bite at the apple. Again, she showed no sign of understanding. We give Lawrence some credit for seeming to see the moral dilemma here, but he didn’t require his august guest to address it.Let us explain what’s happening:Those four-day wonders have been assigned the role of scapegoats in this horrible matter. They’re being asked to pay the price for a wide range of failed elites.What happened can’t be the police chief’s fault. After all, he took a knee last weekend. CNN declared him a hero.It can’t be Attorney General Ellison’s fault. Heroically, he decided to lock them all up, the very task the crowd had once asked of Pilate.Last night, along came Professor Murray with a cold, cold heart. Warning to modern-day liberals:Our tribal elite are often like this. They’ll run with the current tribal line, full and complete total stop.They’ll recognize nothing else. They’ll display no wisdom and no compassion. They’ll offer no reaction which lie outside the current ideas of the tribe.Their tribal standing, and their career status, will always come first. Those rookie cops were in the wrong place. They’ll just have to get killed now in jail.More from the Times report: Much as we have noted:BARKER ET AL: [Kueng’s] lawyer also argued that Mr. Kueng, who is African-American, and Mr. Lane, who is white, had tried to stop Mr. Chauvin.“At multiple times, Mr. Kueng and Mr. Lane directed their attention to that 19-year veteran and said, ‘You shouldn’t do this,’” Mr. Plunkett said.We’re afraid that won’t be enough. And, of course, these basic facts have gone unreported and undiscussed all week.It can’t be the police chief’s fault for leaving a person like Chauvin on the force and in charge out on the street. Lane and Kueng have been cast in the scapegoat role, and no one will break with the tribe.
U.S. Park Police Walk Back Tear Gas Denial
by Taegan Goddard on June 5, 2020 at 17:42
A U.S. Park Police spokesperson told Vox it was a “mistake” to insist that it didn’t use tear gas the day before in Lafayette Square to disperse a crowd ahead
‘Despicable’: Outrage After Trump Declares Friday a ‘Great Day’ for George Floyd
on June 5, 2020 at 17:42
Eoin Higgins, staff writer”A truly stunning level of tone-deafness.”
Trump Claims George Floyd Is Celebrating His Jobs Numbers In Heaven
by Jason Easley on June 5, 2020 at 17:33
Trump claimed that George Floyd was looking down from heaven at the latest jobs report and celebrating a great day for America.
“We Don’t Have Time to Wait”: Minneapolis Anti-Police Brutality Organizer Kandace Montgomery on Defunding the Police
by Alleen Brown on June 5, 2020 at 17:30
Minneapolis organizer Kandace Montgomery, who has been organizing against police brutality for years, discusses her work and efforts to defund police. The post “We Don’t Have Time to Wait”: Minneapolis Anti-Police Brutality Organizer Kandace Montgomery on Defunding the Police appeared first on The Intercept.
Economists Warn of Disastrous Consequences as GOP Cites One Positive Jobs Report to Say “We Don’t Need” More Relief
on June 5, 2020 at 17:26
Jake Johnson, staff writer”This is exactly backwards, like stopping an antibiotic prematurely because you start to feel better.”
Trump hopes George Floyd is “looking down” and admiring May jobs numbers: “It’s a great day for him”
by Igor Derysh on June 5, 2020 at 17:20
“Black unemployment went up,” one reporter told Trump. “How is that a victory?”
Buffalo Officers Suspended After Shoving 75-Year-Old Demonstrator to the Ground
by Chris Walker on June 5, 2020 at 17:17
The department’s initial statement on the protester’s fall failed to acknowledge officers’ involvement in pushing him.
Trump Directs U.S. Troop Reduction in Germany
by Taegan Goddard on June 5, 2020 at 17:16
“President Trump has directed the Pentagon to remove thousands of U.S. troops from Germany by September,” the Wall Street Journal reports. “The move would reduce the U.S. troop presence in
Leaked Document Details Force Protecting White House
by Taegan Goddard on June 5, 2020 at 17:13
“A leaked Trump administration document details the federal law enforcement and military personnel squaring off against protestors in Washington, D.C., including a 1,300-strong force currently deployed to the south side
Jim Cramer: Coronavirus Pandemic Triggered ‘One of the Greatest Wealth Transfers in History’
on June 5, 2020 at 17:10
Andrea Germanos, staff writer Small businesses are “dropping like flies,” said the “Mad Money” host.
Are protesters and public health officials being pandemic hypocrites? That’s not how it works
by Amanda Marcotte on June 5, 2020 at 17:08
Just because Trump claims the left wants “forever quarantine” doesn’t make it true — and the protests prove it
Employment Jumps 2.5 Million in May, as Unemployment Falls to 13.3 Percent
by Dean Baker on June 5, 2020 at 17:07
Seventy-three percent of the unemployed report being on temporary layoffs.
Right Wing Round-Up: George Washington’s Photo-Op
by Kyle Mantyla on June 5, 2020 at 17:04
John Fea: Robert Jeffress: “I imagine George Washington had his share of critics who accused him of a photo-op when he knelt down in prayer at Valley Forge.” Will Sommer @ The Daily Beast: Here Come the Insane Conspiracy Theories About George Floyd. Matthew Chapman @ Raw Story: Trump’s anti-Biden conspiracy theories dealt major blow
Right Wing Bonus Tracks: Obama’s Rebellion
by Kyle Mantyla on June 5, 2020 at 17:02
Scott Lively predicts that “we’re likely going to see the return of the Lord within a fairly short window of time: months perhaps, years probably, but not decades.” Bill Mitchell was a big fan of Gen. James Mattis until Mattis criticized President Donald Trump, after which Mitchell started claiming that he knew that Mattis was
How foreign presses are covering the George Floyd protests in the U.S.
by Matthew Rozsa on June 5, 2020 at 16:49
A glimpse at international coverage hints at how America is being perceived abroad
Trump Silences Black Reporter Who Asked About Systemic Racism
by Jason Easley on June 5, 2020 at 16:39
PBS’s Yamiche Alcindor asked Trump during his press conference about systemic racism and the President silenced the African-American reporter.
Even with positive jobs report, Latinas still hardest hit by COVID-19 slowdown. Here’s why.
by Alexia Fernández Campbell on June 5, 2020 at 16:39
The gap between the jobless rates of Latinas and white men was the largest: 8.3 percentage points
Trump Slimes Memory Of George Floyd To Brag About Jobs Report
by John Amato on June 5, 2020 at 16:37
You’d have to be mentally challenged to use a murder victim to promote your political agenda about the economy. The anger behind the murder of George Floyd has touched off massive peaceful protests for social injustice for black Americans. Today Donald Trump used his memory as a tool to brag about jobs numbers. And brag he did. Don’t forget, it was just earlier this week that Trump called in the military to attack civilians over their disgust at Floyd’s murder in DC. Trump has a built new fence around the White House. They’re calling it “the chicken coop.” Only Trump could be so callous and awful to use the murder of George Floyd to tout a jobs report. Seriously. This is mental. Trump said, “You all saw what happened last week. We can’t let that happen,” Trump continued. “Hopefully, George is looking down right now and saying this is a great thing happening for our country. A great day for him, a great day for everybody. This is great day for everybody. This is a great, great day in terms of the equality.” Driftglass got this exactly right: I have nothing to add but this. Republicans did this to us. Not “Trumpists” living in “Trump world”. Republicans. Republicans did this to us. Your Republican friends, neighbors, family members, co-workers, local business owners, cops and school teachers did this to us.read more
Authorities seized thousands of dollars of masks intended to shield protesters from COVID-19: report
by Igor Derysh on June 5, 2020 at 16:31
“It appears they want to ensure that people who protest are susceptible to the … deadly pandemic,” the group says
Omaha’s Republican Mayor Accuses Korean Woman On Facebook Of Hiding Behind Strange ‘Symbols’
by Ed Scarce on June 5, 2020 at 16:12
Soyeon Sohn uses Hangul characters to spell out her name on Facebook. The Mayor thought there was something not right about that, and called her a “Facebook troll” who “hides behind symbols.” Source: Omaha.com Mayor Jean Stothert, who frequently uses her Facebook page to respond directly to Omahans, apologized Wednesday after writing a Facebook comment earlier in the week in which she called a Korean woman a “Facebook troll” who “hides behind symbols.” The symbols to which Stothert was referring were letters of the Korean alphabet that spelled the name of Soyeon Sohn on her Facebook page. Sohn had commented on one of Stothert’s posts about the curfew the mayor ordered this week in the wake of protests over the deaths of George Floyd in Minneapolis and James Scurlock in Omaha. In the comment, Sohn said the mayor was demonstrating cowardice, not leadership. Stothert responded with the following: “a Facebook troll who hides behind symbols and doesn’t list their name, is a coward,” screenshots on social media show. During a press conference Wednesday, Stothert apologized, saying her comment was inappropriate. She said she was unfamiliar with the letters that Sohn had used on her profile page.read more
Activist Artists Get Boost from A Blade of Grass
by Eleanor J. Bader on June 5, 2020 at 16:07
Nonprofit group funds socially engaged programs and projects.
#WeveSeenEnough Images and Video of Police Violence, Activists Say in Call for Congressional Action
on June 5, 2020 at 15:57
Eoin Higgins, staff writer”We’re at the point of saturation. The question is, when is it enough?”
Hundreds of Activists and Elected Officials Call on Mayors and Cops to Decrease Police Power
by Akela Lacy on June 5, 2020 at 15:57
More than 200 people sent letters to mayors, police chiefs, and county and sheriffs’ associations on Friday demanding concrete policy changes to policing. The post Hundreds of Activists and Elected Officials Call on Mayors and Cops to Decrease Police Power appeared first on The Intercept.
Law Enforcement Seizes Thousands of Masks Sent to Protect Protesters From COVID
by Jake Johnson on June 5, 2020 at 15:54
The seizure of the masks sparked widespread outrage on social media.
Tom Cotton Is Preparing to Be Trump 2.0
by Jeet Heer on June 5, 2020 at 15:53
Jeet Heer The Arkansas senator is a master of trolling the media and could unite the Republican Party. That would make him much more dangerous than Trump. The post Tom Cotton Is Preparing to Be Trump 2.0 appeared first on The Nation.
Poll: 74 Percent Agree George Floyd’s Death Reflects Systemic Racism in Policing
by Chris Walker on June 5, 2020 at 15:46
Two-thirds of Americans are also upset with how President Donald Trump has acted since Floyd was killed.
Amazon Says Black Lives Matter, But It’s Helping Fund Police Foundations
by Gin Armstrong on June 5, 2020 at 15:40
One of Amazon’s charitable arms helps fund police foundations that purchase surveillance equipment and weaponry.
Minneapolis City Council Taking First Steps to ‘Dismantle’ Police Department
on June 5, 2020 at 15:38
Julia Conley, staff writerAiming to “dismantle” the Minneapolis Police Department, city councilors on Friday will vote on imposing a temporary restraining order for the city’s police department in response to the killing of George Floyd last month.
Former Federal Prosecutor: If Trump Refuses to Leave Office “They Will Drag His Flabby Butt Out of There in Handcuffs”
by Darragh Roche on June 5, 2020 at 15:33
Law enforcement will remove Donald Trump if he loses the election and refuses to leave office. That’s the opinion of former federal prosecutor and MSNBC legal analyst Glenn Kirschner. Kirschner spoke to SiriusXM’s Dean Obeidallah about the possibility of a defeated Trump refusing to leave. “In the past we’ve all said things about Donald Trump … Continue reading “Former Federal Prosecutor: If Trump Refuses to Leave Office “They Will Drag His Flabby Butt Out of There in Handcuffs””
How to Be an Antifascist From Your Couch
by Talia Lavin on June 5, 2020 at 15:26
Talia Lavin You don’t have to punch Nazis to fight fascism. The post How to Be an Antifascist From Your Couch appeared first on The Nation.
Don’t Stop Organizing
by Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis on June 5, 2020 at 15:24
Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis We’re at a breaking point in American history, and there is only one way to revive our society: from the bottom up. The post Don’t Stop Organizing appeared first on The Nation.
As CO2 Levels Build Up Like ‘Trash in a Landfill,’ Earth Has Hottest May on Record
on June 5, 2020 at 15:24
Andrea Germanos, staff writer”This is unquestionably an alarming sign.”
Bill Barr Thinks He’s in Command and Can Wage War in Our Cities
by Heather Digby Parton on June 5, 2020 at 15:23
Barr now has “federal troops” on the street in D.C. with no badges or insignia.
Trump Built His Own Green Zone. He Got the Wall He Deserves.
by Peter Maass on June 5, 2020 at 15:14
Concrete barriers have been placed around the White House, an echo of the Green Zone in Iraq where U.S. officials lived in fear behind walls. The post Trump Built His Own Green Zone. He Got the Wall He Deserves. appeared first on The Intercept.
President Trump tweets unhinged letter calling “phony” peaceful protesters “terrorists”
by Igor Derysh on June 5, 2020 at 15:08
The protesters “were not peaceful and are not real,” the bizarre letter from his Russia probe lawyer falsely claims
Dems Introduce Bill to Curb President’s Insurrection Act Powers After Trump Threatens to Send Troops to Cities Across US
on June 5, 2020 at 14:59
Jessica Corbett, staff writerAfter President Donald Trump threatened to deploy the U.S. military in response to ongoing protests against police brutality and systemic racism in cities across the country, a group of Democratic senators on Thursday introduced legislation to curb the president’s power to do so under the Insurrection Act of 1807.
Retired Admiral James Stavridis Warns Against America “Looking Like Tiananmen Square”
by Darragh Roche on June 5, 2020 at 14:42
Yet another retired senior military officer has warned against the use of military force to deal with protesters. Navy Admiral James Stavridis made a chilling comparison to Communist China. Stavridis is a former Supreme Allied Commander of NATO and wrote an article for Time magazine this week. “Our active duty military must remain above the fray of … Continue reading “Retired Admiral James Stavridis Warns Against America “Looking Like Tiananmen Square””
The Missing Element for Police Accountability: Political Will
by Maurice Mitchell, Sochie Nnaemeka on June 5, 2020 at 14:42
Maurice Mitchell, Sochie Nnaemeka If politicians are serious about challenging the ingrained problems of police departments, they’ll have to grow a backbone. The post The Missing Element for Police Accountability: Political Will appeared first on The Nation.
Move to Defund Police Gains Support Nationwide
by Eoin Higgins on June 5, 2020 at 14:34
The increasing support comes as images and videos of police attacking peaceful protesters continue to spread.
ADULTHOOD’S END: Along the way, did she do the right thing?
by <b>bob somerby</b> on June 5, 2020 at 14:29
FRIDAY, JUNE 5, 2020The beloved, the lovely, the others: For our money, it’s by far most interesting piece we’ve seen so far today.We refer to this column in the Washington Post by Michele Norris. From 2002 through 2015, Norris was a high-profile host and correspondent at NPR. Before that, she worked for ABC News. Judging from her public demeanor, she may be the world’s nicest person. (We’d call that a good thing to be,)We mention that because she writes today about Minnesota Nice. In print editions, her column appears beneath this headline:’Minnesota Nice’ is Different NowMinnesota Nice has changed.Norris was born and raised in Minnesota. Early on, she offers this snapshot of her home state:NORRIS (6/5/20): I am so proud to hail from a place that nurtured such a long line of openhearted, civic-minded luminaries and humanitarians: Hubert H. Humphrey, Roy Wilkins, August Wilson, Bob Dylan, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Yara Shahidi, Sinclair Lewis, Gordon Parks and, of course, Prince. With superior schools, a solid standard of living, a thriving arts culture, a gaggle of Fortune 500 companies, and some of the best hospitals in the world, the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul have consistently been named among the best places to live in America.That is . . . unless you’re black. African Americans are worse off in Minnesota than in almost every other state in the nation. A report released by the NAACP in December found that “racial disparities are among the worst in the nation in every key indicator of quality of life: Employment, Education, Criminal Justice, Juvenile Justice, Income, Poverty, homeownership and Health.”The Twin Cities’ numbers tell the story. The black poverty rate is five times higher than for white residents. A quarter of black residents own their homes compared with three-quarters of whites. Only 57 percent of black students in Minneapolis and 70 percent of black students in St. Paul complete high school in four years, compared with around 85 percent of their white peers. We’ll stop right there because we want to focus on public school issues. Employing gentle humor, Minnesota’s Garrison Keillor invented the fictional town of Lake Wobegon, “where the children are all above average.” Was it once that way all over the state? As she continues, Norris seems to suggest that the gap in public school attainment in her home state is perhaps an attribute of Minnesota Now:NORRIS: How did this happen in a state that was known as a model for integration throughout the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s?Minnesota made a determined effort to avoid the mistakes other northern cities made during the Great Migration as African Americans who fled the Jim Crow South were funneled into declining communities. The Twin Cities adopted a plan where the cities and the suburbs created their fair share of affordable housing to avoid minorities being cordoned off in warrens of blight and decay. And the Twin Cities created an aggressive and impressive model for integration that helped ensure that school funding and resources were equally distributed. In those years, Minneapolis was a mecca for middle-class blacks drawn by integrated schools and a strong white-collar employment base.But beginning in the 1990s, Minneapolis and St. Paul began abandoning the integration model under pressure from parents and political groups that argued that there was “no compelling government interest in K-12 education absent intentional discrimination.” Instead, the schools moved to a system based on open enrollment and the promise of increased funding for lower-income schools. That coincided with an increased population of immigrants and poor black families and a subsequent wave of “Blight Flight,” as white and middle-class blacks abandoned once-integrated classrooms for the suburbs or higher performing city schools. It was an extreme example of a trend that has taken hold elsewhere—a shift toward segregation in schools, in housing, in elder care and early childhood education.The killing of George Floyd and the resulting protests have put an international spotlight on resulting disparities…From that, a person might almost think that the children really were all above average way back then in 1990, before the deluge. A person might think that black-white public school achievement disparities in Minnesota have resulted from the abandonment of “the integration model,” a shift which began in the 1990s.That doesn’t seem to be true. Black-white achievement gaps were very large in Minnesota all the way back in 1990. In that year, the first reliable data appear, courtesy of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (Naep), the long-standing federal program widely regarded as the “gold standard” of domestic educational testing.Where did things stand back in 1990? Below, you see the size of the gap in Grade 8 math in the first three available years of Naep testing for Minnesota, and in the three most recent years:Black-white achievement gap, Minnesota public schoolsDifference in average scores, Grade 8 math, Naep1990: 40.57 points1996: 38.66 points2003: 44.13 points[…]2015: 40.14 points2017: 42.88 points2019: 45.27 pointsFor all Naep data, start here.According to an extremely rough rule of thumb, ten points on the Naep scale is said to be roughly equivalent to one academic year. That is a very rough rule of thumb, especially in this type of application. But by any measure, those are very large Grade 8 achievement gaps—and the gaps were very large in 1990, before the changes Norris describes.(It might also be noted that Minnesota’s black kids are scoring much higher today than in 1990. Applying that very rough rule of thumb, the average score of the state’s black kids in Grade 8 math in 2019 was almost two years higher than it was in 1990.)We make these points because an extremely bad taste lingers in mouths around here. We continue to think, with something resembling contempt, of the comment we mentioned on Wednesday:ELLISON (5/31/20): Well, Minnesota is a kind of a tale of two cities. It really is a beautiful, wonderful place. I love it here. I’ve raised all four of my kids here. There’s so many great things about it. So many great people. And yet we have very stark disparities when it comes to African-Americans. Health disparities in health care, health disparities in housing, health disparities when it comes to employment. And disparities all around.I’ll give you a quick example, about 70 some percent of Minnesotans own their own homes. But only about 27% of African Americans do. African Americans are in a fragile economic position in this state. And we need massive investment. And what I say to people is, “Look, if we can have some of the highest SAT scores in the country, if we can have some of the highest voting participation in the country, highest voter—home-ownership in the country for whites, we can do it for everyone. We just have to have the will to do it for everybody. And I think that this sad, tragic situation might give us the energy to really, really make those kind of commitments because they are absolutely needed.One thinks of Ben Johnson’s weary comment in The Last Picture Show: I’ve been putting up with this trashy behavior my whole life.Minnesota’s “hang ’em high” attorney general also grew up in Minnesota. What he tells people is this:”Look, if we can have some of the highest SAT scores in the country”—if we can do that for whites—”we can do it for everyone.” They just have to have the will! That’s what he tells people!On last Sunday’s Meet the Press, Keith Ellison said that’s what tells people. After all these decades, it’s hard not to think of Ben Johnson when you see a comment like that.People like Ellison have been making such comments at least since the late 1960s. That said, Ellison has been a political leader in Minneapolis, and in Minnesota, for a large number of years.That said, what has Ellison ever proposed about the situation—a situation which would apparently be easy to correct? If it would be so easy to straighten this out, why hasn’t he done so by now? In place of all the happy talk, why hasn’t he offered a plan?Do you mind if we make a rude comment? Lurking within “Minnesota Nice” this past week, we think we sometimes have possibly heard a hint of “Minnesota Who Cares?”We think we possibly heard a bit of “Minnesota Doesn’t Give a Godd*mn. We think we might perhaps have heard some “Minnesota Strike A Pose” action.When we see the Minneapolis police chief take a knee and get hailed as a hero on CNN, we wonder what the freak he was doing as all these people were being rendered unconscious by all these Minnesota Chokeholds during the years of his tenure.We even wonder what he did about reviewing the demeanor of veteran cops with eighteen citizen complaints in as many years. As cable stars hail him as a hero for taking a knee and locking the least among his department up, we wonder if we’ll ever see such questions explored.When we see Senator Klobuchar rush to be the first to tweet the glorious news that the rookie policemen would be locked up too, we wonder if she’s doing that to salvage her newly fraught standing, both as a former prosecutor and as a possible VP pick.The mayor and the governor are also quite concerned. What did they do all those years? What did they do about the chokeholds, about the complaints, about the achievement gaps which we suddenly care about now?Those gaps have been there forever, but Norris had left the state. She was involved in NPR Nice, which has always carried a certain hint of NPR Nobody Cares.For ourselves, we spent our first dozen adult years in and around the Baltimore City Schools. We taught fifth grade for seven years, eighth grade math for two more.In the missing years, we did some substitute work, and we worked on research projects. The gaps were large in Baltimore then, but in Minnesota too.Our point? In all the years which have passed since then, we’re not sure that we’ve ever seen a serious discussion of the problems which exist in low-income schools—of the patterns and practices which fail to serve the good decent kids who attend them.We’ve read tons of material which makes no sense, especially in the New York Times. But has anyone ever set foot in a school? We’re not sure anyone has.Outside the reach of the public schools, is that 30 Million Word Gap for real? No one knows, because no one cares. Candidate Clinton proposed Too Small To Fail, and no one discussed the ideas it contained—no one, including her.In the upper ends of our journalism, no one has ever cared about any of this; few, things could be more clear. Among our wider liberal elites, no one cares about low-income kids—until the time comes to poster and pretend.When that time comes, the time also comes to lock the scapegoats up. To lock up the veteran cop who crazily killed a person, but also to lock up the rookie cop who told him he should stop.We don’t lock the police chief up—after all, he took a knee—nor would we say that we should.We don’t lock up the governor or the mayor, the fellows who let all those choking incidents go. We don’t inquire about the training programs to which those rookie cops were exposed. We don’t lock up cable stars.We do lock up the rookie cops. Similarly, we prosecute the college freshmen, not the college presidents who stage the drunken brawls which eventually lead to disaster. We do so because, as the poet once wrote, “The lovely shall be choosers.” Complicit people at the top of the heap will lock up those below.The famous wisdom of crowds isn’t always real wise. With respect to the heinous killing of George Floyd, the subsequent crowd could have used a bit of perspective, and a lot of reporting, from the nation’s journalists.That perspective has been lacking. Along the way, we’ve also possibly seen a large amount of Minnesota Look Over There, otherwise known as Minnesota Keister Covering.Dr. King’s beloved community must be built around such values as wisdom and mercy. It must be built around good judgment.The beloved community must include others, even the lesser among us. Have we seen a lot of upper-end posing in the past week? A lot of Minnesota Newly Concerned?Tomorrow: “Who Killed Davey Moore?” Lessons from a Minnesotan…For what it’s worth: How large are the gaps in Minnesota? In Grade 8 math, only Wisconsin has a (slightly) larger gap. As Norris notes, various types of sub-demographics may play a role in this.Meanwhile, why no specific reference to the Minneapolis Public Schools? Simple story! Minneapolis has never agreed to take part in the Naep’s urban district study (the TUDA). Rightly or wrongly, we’re always a bit unimpressed with such bashful districts. Rightly or wrongly, we tend to wonder about their interest in transparency and also about their good faith.
Kenneth Copeland Says Christians Who Vote Correctly Will Be ‘Blessed Financially’
by Kyle Mantyla on June 5, 2020 at 14:26
Multimillionaire prosperity gospel preacher and Trump evangelical adviser Kenneth Copeland held a “virtual victory campaign” at his Eagle Mountain International Church in Texas last weekend, during which he declared that God will financially reward people who vote according to the Bible. Copeland, who has been a key supporter of President Donald Trump throughout his first
‘Deeply Disturbing’: New York Supreme Court Judge Rules Protesters Can Be Detained Indefinitely
on June 5, 2020 at 14:15
Jake Johnson, staff writer”This is suspension of habeas corpus, it is unconstitutional,” said Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Lindsey Graham Tries to Rebuke Democrats: “You Think I’m in Trump’s Pocket”
by Darragh Roche on June 5, 2020 at 14:06
Senator Lindsey Graham inadvertently gave his critics a soundbite on Thursday while trying to shame Democrats. The South Carolina Republican was defending himself from Democratic criticism. Former deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein was testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee about Robert Mueller’s investigation. Graham chairs the committee and he was pursuing the GOP position that … Continue reading “Lindsey Graham Tries to Rebuke Democrats: “You Think I’m in Trump’s Pocket””
Noam Chomsky: Trump Has Adopted a “Viva Death!” Approach to the Presidency
by George Yancy on June 5, 2020 at 14:00
Trump’s guiding maxim is the one articulated by Franco’s general in 1936: “Down with intelligence! Viva death!”
Trump Campaign Pulls “Make Space Great Again” Ad After Complaints from Astronauts
by Alan Ryland on June 5, 2020 at 13:56
President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign pulled a space-themed YouTube ad amid complaints that it violated NASA guidelines and after a former astronaut complained she appeared in the ad without her consent. The Trump campaign’s “Make Space Great Again” ad violated strict regulations for ads posted on its website, NASA said. “As a government agency, NASA … Continue reading “Trump Campaign Pulls “Make Space Great Again” Ad After Complaints from Astronauts”
Trump Celebrates Unexpected Drop in Unemployment Rate as Both the Pandemic and Protests Continue
by Alan Ryland on June 5, 2020 at 13:46
President Donald Trump celebrated after the Department of Labor (DOL) released a jobs report showing an unexpected drop in the unemployment rate. The United States added 2.5 million jobs during the month of May as businesses began to reopen. Additionally, the unemployment rate dropped to 13.3 percent from 14.7 percent in April. The president, who … Continue reading “Trump Celebrates Unexpected Drop in Unemployment Rate as Both the Pandemic and Protests Continue”
Trump’s Antifa Conspiracy Theory Attempts to Erase Powerful Black-Led Organizing
by Spencer Sunshine on June 5, 2020 at 13:46
White supremacy cannot accept that Black Americans are capable of forming and leading their own liberation movements.
Retired Navy Admiral William McRaven: “Nothing Morally Right” About Trump Bible Photo-Op
by Alan Ryland on June 5, 2020 at 13:19
Speaking on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe, retired Navy Admiral William McRaven criticized President Donald Trump’s decision to use tear gas to clear peaceful protesters for a photo-op in front of St. John’s Church in Washington, D.C. “In the military, there are three criteria for every decision we make,” McRaven said. “It has to be moral, legal, … Continue reading “Retired Navy Admiral William McRaven: “Nothing Morally Right” About Trump Bible Photo-Op”
Operation Photo Op
by Mark Fiore on June 5, 2020 at 13:00
The George Floyd protests have laid bare the underlying horriffic racism that has marred the United States throughout our history.
Buffalo Police Said Protester With Head Wound “Tripped and Fell.” Video Shows They Lied.
by Robert Mackey on June 5, 2020 at 12:47
Police officers in Buffalo, New York were caught on camera shoving a 75-year-old protester to the ground, injuring him at a protest against police brutality. The post Buffalo Police Said Protester With Head Wound “Tripped and Fell.” Video Shows They Lied. appeared first on The Intercept.
We’re in This Together
by Liniers on June 5, 2020 at 12:30
Liniers It’s wise to be prepared. The post We’re in This Together appeared first on The Nation.
Bill Barr thinks he’s in command and can wage war in our cities. Worse yet, he may be right
by Heather Digby Parton on June 5, 2020 at 12:30
Barr now has “federal troops” on the street in D.C. with no badges or insignia. There’s a word for that
Jayapal Condemns ‘Autocratic Frenzy’ of Police After Video Shows Cops Shoving Elderly Man to the Ground, Knocking Him Unconscious
on June 5, 2020 at 12:03
Jake Johnson, staff writer”Absolutely horrific.”
Trump sued for “criminal” assault on peaceful protesters
by Jake Johnson on June 5, 2020 at 11:30
ACLU sues Trump over “shameless, unconstitutional, unprovoked, and frankly criminal” assault on peaceful protesters
Electionland 2020: June Super Tuesday, Trump’s Voter Registration, Election Bills and More
by by Rachel Glickhouse on June 5, 2020 at 11:30
by Rachel Glickhouse This article is part of Electionland, ProPublica’s collaborative reporting project covering problems that prevent eligible voters from casting their ballots during the 2020 elections. Sign up to receive updates about our voting coverage and more each week. New From ProPublica and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Law Enforcement Files Discredit Brian Kemp’s Accusation That Democrats Tried to Hack the Georgia Election Kemp’s explosive allegation, just days before the closely contested 2018 election, drew wide attention. But newly released documents show that there was no such hack. Read the story. June Super Tuesday On Tuesday, in the midst of a pandemic and civil unrest, primary elections were held in Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Montana, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota and Washington, D.C., plus local elections in Mississippi and Missouri. In several cities like Philadelphia, Providence and D.C., curfews overlapped with voting hours, causing confusion. Plus, a pattern emerged: Some voters who showed up at the polls only went because their absentee ballots never arrived, with such reports coming out of Indiana, Maryland, D.C. and Pennsylvania. In D.C., some election officials allowed voters who didn’t receive ballots to submit their votes by email, a method not recommended by security experts. In Maryland, one district reportedly sent out the wrong mail ballots. There were even calls for Maryland and D.C. election officials to resign. Pennsylvania, which used new machines, experienced far fewer technical issues than last year, though one Philadelphia suburb had ballots that were too big for the scanners. In Allegheny County, some voters had completed absentee ballots returned to their homes instead of the elections office. Confusion and long lines arose from poll consolidation, particularly in Philadelphia. And while measures were in place to try to protect public health, such as enforced social distancing, there were reports of poll workers at one Lehigh County site who refused to wear personal protective equipment and of poll workers at a Philadelphia site who had to bring their own. The Latest on Vote by Mail President Donald Trump continued to talk and tweet about vote by mail, claiming without proof that it would lead to “massive fraud and abuse.” This week, a public records request revealed that Trump originally tried to register to vote in Florida, claiming his legal residence was in Washington, D.C. (The Washington Post) Attorney General William Barr said in a New York Times Magazine interview that “one of the issues that I’m real worried about” is a foreign operation to mail in fake ballots. Experts say that’s virtually impossible. (New York Times Magazine, The Washington Post) A Reuters/Ipsos poll found that half of Republicans were confident their mail ballot would be counted, compared with three-quarters of Democrats. Overall, nearly 60% of Americans think their state should expand mail voting. (Reuters) Some Republican officials and strategists worry that the president’s attacks on vote by mail could hurt GOP candidates. (The New York Times) Mail ballot signature requirements vary by state, as some require a witness signature or notarization in addition to the voter’s signature. (NPR) “I can tell you porch pirates aren’t stealing my absentee ballot. They’re stealing my Amazon package hoping there’s something good in there,” said Nancy Miller, political science professor at the University of Dayton. (Columbus Dispatch) “It feels much more that you’re out there doing it,” a Baltimore voter said about why she came to the polls instead of casting her absentee ballot. “Mail-in should be for people who are physically unable to come out and vote. … People fought for us to be able to vote. It’s our right.” (The Baltimore Sun) States Expanding Vote by Mail California’s governor issued an executive order that allows counties to limit in-person voting for the general election because of public health concerns — as long as they offer three days of early voting. (The Los Angeles Times) In the week before Pennsylvania’s primary, Republicans made up just 29% of absentee ballot requests. (The Philadelphia Inquirer) Nevada is holding its first all-mail election for the state primary in June, after only 9% of voters cast absentee ballots in 2018. (The Washington Post) Following the primary with a mail voting option, Indiana’s governor and secretary of state wouldn’t say if mail voting will be available during the general election. (The Times of Northwest Indiana) Georgia’s June 9 Primary More Republicans than Democrats have requested absentee ballots. (WABE) Stacy Abrams launched an initiative to track mail voting problems during the primary. (CBS) The relocation of more than 10% of polling places because of the pandemic — plus poll closures statewide due to a lack of federal oversight — could lead to lines and crowding during the primary. (GPB News) Coronavirus Voting Impacts The Texas secretary of state issued an eight-page recommendation of health protocols ahead of elections in July, including that voters bring their own masks and pencils and take advantage of “curbside voting.” (The Texas Tribune) Some counties in Iowa allowed for drive-thru and curbside voting, and several counties in Missouri and Iowa offered voters single-use pens in order to protect against the coronavirus. (Missouri Information Corps, Des Moines Register) Because of fewer poll workers and locations withdrawing as poll sites, South Carolina is experiencing large consolidation of polling sites for its June 9 primary, which could cause confusion on Election Day. (The Greenville News) Texas Democrats plan to use Zoom to deputize volunteers to conduct voter registration drives, once it’s safe to do so. (The Guardian) The Native American Rights Fund issued a report warning of the challenges Native American voters will face in the pandemic, including spotty or no internet service to register online, limited access to mailboxes and other challenges with vote by mail. (The Associated Press) During the 1918 flu pandemic, rural communities were hit hard by the illness following in-person voting, according to a historian. (NBC News) The Latest Election Lawsuits Alabama: Several advocacy groups are suing the state alleging it isn’t protecting voters’ health under its current voting rules. Absentee voting requires sending a copy of ID and getting the ballot notarized or signed by two witnesses. (WFSA) Kansas: The attorney general said the state will ask the Supreme Court to rule on its voter registration law, which requires proof of citizenship to vote and was struck down in 2018. (The Wichita Eagle) Nevada: A judge declined to block the state’s mail-in primary at the request of a conservative group. (The Associated Press) Pennsylvania: Judicial Watch is suing Pennsylvania over its voter rolls, following similar suits in North Carolina and Maryland. In another suit, a judge ordered the state to allow visually impaired voters to use a new voting method for the primary. (The Intercept, PA Post) Texas: The state government owes around $6.8 million in court fees for its court battles over voter ID, a judge ruled. (The Texas Tribune) Wisconsin: The state Supreme Court agreed to hear a case that could potentially remove more than 100,000 people from the voter rolls. (WPR) National: The law firm of one of Trump’s personal lawyers is handling a series of GOP-linked lawsuits targeting mail voting and voter rolls. (The Washington Post) Election Legislation News North Carolina’s House approved bipartisan legislation to make it easier to vote by mail and to provide funding for absentee voting. The bill is expected to pass the Senate. (News & Observer) Ohio’s Legislature advanced a bill to authorize the secretary of state to use federal funds to send mail ballots to all registered voters and removed language that could have prevented early voting. (Cleveland.com) Republican Tennessee state legislators blocked a bill that would have allowed mail-in ballots for anyone afraid to vote in person because of the pandemic. (News 4) Since 2018, six states expanded voting rights to people with felony convictions, but challenges to access remain, especially because of coronavirus. (The Appeal) Any newsroom can apply to be part of Electionland. We’re looking for newsrooms — especially local newsrooms — that will be dedicating resources to covering voting problems during the 2020 election. Radio, TV, online and print reporters are all encouraged to apply. Sign up here.
When Shelter Comes Down to the Luck of the Draw
by Rebecca Burns on June 5, 2020 at 11:00
Rebecca Burns As eviction moratoriums expire, lotteries determine who gets rent relief. The post When Shelter Comes Down to the Luck of the Draw appeared first on The Nation.
Small Businesses Failed by Federal Bailout Program Turn to Cash-Strapped Local Governments for Help
by by Perla Trevizo on June 5, 2020 at 11:00
‘This Is Criminal’: Law Enforcement Seizes Thousands of Masks Sent to Help Protect Protesters From Coronavirus
on June 5, 2020 at 10:17
Jake Johnson, staff writer”It appears they want to ensure that people who protest are susceptible to the same deadly pandemic that they have failed miserably at stopping.”
New Trump Appointee to Foreign Aid Agency Has Denounced Liberal Democracy and “Our Homo-Empire”
by by Yeganeh Torbati on June 5, 2020 at 10:00
This Is the Sound of Gentrification
by David Hajdu on June 5, 2020 at 09:45
David Hajdu Ted Hearne and Saul Williams’s Place captures the volatile energies of a changing city beset by the forces of late capitalism. The post This Is the Sound of Gentrification appeared first on The Nation.
A Vast Array of Emergency Powers. Zero Self-Control.
by Sasha Abramsky on June 5, 2020 at 09:45
Sasha Abramsky Trump’s disregard for democracy is so blatant, top military leaders have started to intervene. The post A Vast Array of Emergency Powers. Zero Self-Control. appeared first on The Nation.
We Reported on Corporate Tax Breaks in the Rust Belt. Now Officials Want Tougher Enforcement.
by by Dan O’Brien, The Business Journal on June 5, 2020 at 09:30
We Cannot Postpone Climate Talks Until 2021
by Ilana Cohen on June 5, 2020 at 09:30
Ilana Cohen Lawmakers need to wake up: Climate change and the injustices it generates won’t break for Covid-19. So the United Nations Climate Change Conference can’t, either. The post We Cannot Postpone Climate Talks Until 2021 appeared first on The Nation.
Shouldn’t Congressional Approval Be Required to Deploy Troops at Home Too?
by John Nichols on June 5, 2020 at 09:15
John Nichols Congressional Progressive Caucus leaders promise action after Trump threatens “to weaponize the US military against its own citizens.” The post Shouldn’t Congressional Approval Be Required to Deploy Troops at Home Too? appeared first on The Nation.
Police Brutality, COVID-19 and Overdoses in Chicago Follow the Same Deadly Pattern
by by Duaa Eldeib and Melissa Sanchez on June 5, 2020 at 09:00
ACLU Sues Trump Over ‘Shameless, Unconstitutional, Unprovoked, and Frankly Criminal’ Assault on Peaceful Protesters
on June 5, 2020 at 08:41
Jake Johnson, staff writer”The First Amendment right to protest is under attack, and we will not let this go unanswered.”
Amy Coopers Are Everywhere
by Rann Miller on June 5, 2020 at 05:00
As a black educator, it’s appalling that I’ve been called by white co-workers to remove black students from class.
Ex-White House Chief Of Staff John Kelly Says Trump Is Confused And Losing His Memory
by Sean Colarossi on June 5, 2020 at 02:01
Some of Donald Trump’s loudest critics are the folks who worked closely with him in the past – and it’s clearly driving him nuts.
Trump Suggests The Peaceful Protesters He Gassed In D.C. Were Actually Terrorists
by Sean Colarossi on June 5, 2020 at 01:44
Trump’s decision to share an inflammatory letter from his former lawyer is a laughable way to respond to criticism from a four-star general.
Trump Goes Ballistic And Announces Plans To Campaign Against Lisa Murkowski In 2022
by Sean Colarossi on June 5, 2020 at 00:59
Even though the 2020 election hasn’t taken place yet, Donald Trump is announcing plans to campaign against Alaska Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski
Kamala Harris Burns Rand Paul To The Ground For Blocking Anti-Lynching Legislation
by Sean Colarossi on June 4, 2020 at 23:59
Sen. Kamala Harris took to the Senate floor to blast Sen. Rand Paul for standing in the way of bipartisan anti-lynching legislation.
John Boyega spoke out against racism, but Hollywood has punished actors for that in the past
by Melanie McFarland on June 4, 2020 at 23:53
Make no mistake, the “Star Wars” actor is risking his career by speaking out in blunt terms. We love him for it
Donald Trump Committed Voter Fraud By Mail In Florida
by Jason Easley on June 4, 2020 at 23:08
Donald Trump voted in the Florida primary but announced this week that he really lives in New York, which means he committed voter fraud.
Republicans Are Rebelling Against Trump As Grassley Puts Hold On 2 Nominations
by Jason Easley on June 4, 2020 at 22:38
The Republican rebellion against Trump is growing as Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) placed a hold on two Trump nominations over the IG firings.
Brooklyn Man Was Arrested for Curfew Violation. The FBI Interrogated Him About His Political Beliefs.
by Ryan Devereaux on June 4, 2020 at 21:48
After Trump’s assertion that anti-fascists are terrorists, FBI agents are conducting interviews with arrested protesters about their political beliefs. The post Brooklyn Man Was Arrested for Curfew Violation. The FBI Interrogated Him About His Political Beliefs. appeared first on The Intercept.
Right Wing Round-Up: A Threat to the Constitution
by Kyle Mantyla on June 4, 2020 at 21:34
Jeffrey Goldberg @ The Atlantic: James Mattis Denounces President Trump, Describes Him as a Threat to the Constitution. Josh Feldman @ Mediaite: Jesse Watters Slams Obama: ‘Jarring’ to ‘Hear the Black President Talk About How Racist the Country Is That Elected Him Twice.’ Lowell Feld @ Blue Virginia: 2021 VA GOP Gubernatorial Candidate Amanda Chase
Right Wing Bonus Tracks: Another Glenn Beck Prediction Comes True
by Kyle Mantyla on June 4, 2020 at 21:33
Josh Bernstein declares that if Black Lives Matters wants to prove that it isn’t a racist organization, it needs to change its name to All Lives Matter. Bill Mitchell says that if systemic racism exists, it’s largely the fault of former President Barack Obama because he “really did nothing in eight years for the black
Shut Down the Death Traps
by Mike Ervin on June 4, 2020 at 21:04
COVID-19 is setting people with disabilities back—more than they already were.
As Americans Rise Up Against Racial Injustice, International Crisis Group Calls on Trump to ‘Stop Making Situation Worse’
on June 4, 2020 at 20:54
Julia Conley, staff writer”Sometimes, sitting by quietly and saying nothing is not an option,” the International Crisis Group wrote.
A Progressive Challenger Was Attacked for Calling to Defund the Police. She Won Anyway.
by Rachel M. Cohen on June 4, 2020 at 20:48
Janeese Lewis George’s opponents in her D.C. city council race sent mailers attacking her for being too radical on policing. The post A Progressive Challenger Was Attacked for Calling to Defund the Police. She Won Anyway. appeared first on The Intercept.
How Protests Over George Floyd’s Killing Exposed Trump as a Lame-Duck Authoritarian
by Murtaza Hussain on June 4, 2020 at 20:44
As any authoritarian knows, a real strongman needs to govern either through love or fear. Trump has done neither. The post How Protests Over George Floyd’s Killing Exposed Trump as a Lame-Duck Authoritarian appeared first on The Intercept.
Groups Denounce Gutting of Environmental Rules ‘When Trump Thinks No One is Paying Attention’
on June 4, 2020 at 20:42
Eoin Higgins, staff writerOrder denounced as “latest in string of outlandish authoritarian acts” from the U.S. president.
ProPublica Wins RFK Human Rights Journalism Award for Border Patrol Coverage
by by ProPublica on June 4, 2020 at 20:33
by ProPublica The Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice & Human Rights announced Thursday that ProPublica’s “Inside the Border Patrol” series won the RFK Journalism Award in the new media category. For more than a decade, the Border Patrol — the nation’s largest federal law enforcement agency with some 20,000 agents — has been dogged by allegations of corruption and violence by poorly screened agents. Then, in 2017, an unprecedented surge of thousands of desperate migrants arrived at the southern border. Suddenly, agents were tasked not only with apprehending and screening migrants, but for the first time with separating families, guarding toddlers and caring for the sick, often on their own with scant training and oversight. Yet even as the agency’s role and power expanded, the Border Patrol remained closed to public scrutiny, even from Congress. For “Inside the Border Patrol,” a team of ProPublica reporters dug into the agency from different angles, developing sources that gave them access not only to a deeply troubling culture that had been allowed to fester virtually unchecked, but to agents breaking under the strain of their new reality. Perhaps the most revealing, and disturbing, insight into the agency came last July just before a group of Latino members of Congress were to tour a Texas detention center. ProPublica reporter A.C. Thompson obtained screenshots from a secret Facebook group of some 9,500 current and former Border Patrol agents that showed that several agents and at least one supervisor had joked about the death of migrants, called Latina lawmakers “hoes” and “scum buckets” and posted a vulgar illustration depicting Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez engaged in oral sex with a detained migrant. Among those in the group: Carla Provost, the agency’s chief. The story exploded in the media. Joaquin Castro, head of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, said the story “confirms some of the worst criticisms of Customs and Border Protection. These are clearly agents who are desensitized to the point of being dangerous to migrants and their co-workers.” The Department of Homeland Security’s Inspector General quickly launched an inquiry, and within weeks, Customs and Border Protection had opened investigations into 62 current and eight former employees. ProPublica followed up with stories that further explored the agency’s culture. Thompson dove deep into the case of a Border Patrol agent caught on camera ramming his Ford truck into a Guatemalan migrant to document that the agent had a well-known pattern of excessive force and overt racism. Reporters also sought to capture what it was like for agents assigned to work in detention centers some had likened to concentration camps. At the height of the influx last summer, ProPublica senior reporter Ginger Thompson convinced one agent to speak candidly and at length. His chilling assessment: “Somewhere down the line people just accepted what’s going on as normal.” Other stories by reporter Melissa del Bosque showed how the agency was allowed to accuse migrants of being criminals without having to reveal the evidence for the claim or where it came from, and she revealed the agency’s use of secretive, questionable gang databases to deny asylum. Finally, reporters Robert Moore, Susan Schmidt and Maryam Jameel investigated the Border Patrol’s account of the controversial death of a 16-year-old migrant boy in its custody. The agency said the boy had died from the flu and had been discovered by a staffer. ProPublica filed a public records request with local police to obtain hours of surveillance video that showed the teenager collapsing and dying over several hours, while no one offered aid. The boy’s body was finally discovered by his roommate. The video starkly contradicted the Border Patrol’s public account and the assertions of agents that they’d checked on the boy three times during the night. In addition to the article, video journalists Lucas Waldron and Katie Campbell produced a visual investigation of the death. Doctors who advocate for immigrants called the video evidence of medical neglect. Members of Congress, including House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler, promised further investigation. Reporter Dara Lind and senior data reporter Jeff Ernsthausen also contributed to the series. Taken together, the stories reveal an agency amassing power and increasing control over the lives of vulnerable migrant families, even as its own culture shows many of its agents are the last people who should be trusted with the job.
We Crunched the Numbers: Police — Not Protesters — Are Overwhelmingly Responsible for Attacking Journalists
by Trevor Timm on June 4, 2020 at 20:00
Protests over the killing of George Floyd have seen attacks on the press spike. Our data shows police are responsible for more than 80 percent of them. The post We Crunched the Numbers: Police — Not Protesters — Are Overwhelmingly Responsible for Attacking Journalists appeared first on The Intercept.
There Can Be No Getting Along Without Reform
by Shukria Dellawar on June 4, 2020 at 19:23
Let us show each other — and the world — that we can rise above this moment.
Ed Martin Declares ‘War’ and Smears Black Lives Matter
by Peter Montgomery on June 4, 2020 at 19:16
“It’s a War,” right-wing activist Ed Martin declared in the subject line of an email to supporters Thursday morning after mass protests against the Minneapolis police killing of George Floyd, a black man, continued for a ninth night. Martin’s email linked to a tweet in which Martin declared, “It’s a war – Us v. Those that Hate
By Pouring Billions Into Fossil Fuel Industry, EU’s Central Bank Accused of ‘Playing Both Firefighter and Arsonist’
on June 4, 2020 at 18:56
Jessica Corbett, staff writerAfter the European Union’s central bank on Thursday approved what Reuters called “a bigger-than-expected” expansion of an economic stimulus package necessitated by the coronavirus pandemic, climate campaigners expressed concern that planet-destroying fossil fuel companies could get tens of billions of dollars in the Eurozone relief funding.
“When They Say We Don’t Have the Right to Protest,” Says Naomi Klein, “That’s the Moment to Flood the Streets”
on June 4, 2020 at 18:45
Jon Queally, staff writerAs Trump declares “law and order” clampdown against peaceful demonstrations, author and activist reminds people of most important lesson she’s learned studying history of shock doctrine tactics.
‘A Funny, Brilliant Writer’: The Life of Mark Anthony Rolo
by Mrill Ingram on June 4, 2020 at 18:39
Author, journalist, playwright, educator, and ‘Going Native’ columnist passes from the world far too soon.
New PFAS Chemical Contamination Discovered in New Jersey
by Sharon Lerner on June 4, 2020 at 18:00
Eight variations of a newly identified group of PFAS compounds were found near a Solvay plant in West Deptford, New Jersey. The post New PFAS Chemical Contamination Discovered in New Jersey appeared first on The Intercept.
Foreign Correspondent: The Rest of the World Sees Uprisings, Not Riots
by Reese Erlich on June 4, 2020 at 17:54
The United States is paying the price for denying people what Malcolm X called ‘the right to be a human being.’
GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski Suggests She May Not Support Trump Versus Biden
by Jason Easley on June 4, 2020 at 17:44
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) became the first Republican Senator to admit that she is struggling with supporting Trump for reelection.
Amid Covid-19 and Nationwide Protests, America’s Billionaires Got $79 Billion Richer Over the Last Week
on June 4, 2020 at 17:37
Jake Johnson, staff writer”Surging billionaire wealth juxtaposed with the suffering and plight of millions undermines the social solidarity required for us to recover together in the years ahead.”
Rudy Giuliani Gets Called Crazy On Live British TV Interview
by Jason Easley on June 4, 2020 at 17:18
Rudy Giuliani went off on his Ukraine conspiracies and Good Morning Britain host Piers Morgan told Trump’s lawyer that he sounded mad.
Ingraham tattles on The Lancet!
by <b>bob somerby</b> on June 4, 2020 at 17:16
THURSDAY, JUNE 4, 2020The things they hear while we don’t: What is the nature of tribalized news?Consider the Lancet study. Also, consider the study in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM).The studies appeared in May. Especially in the liberal world, they received a lot of attention. As we look at the start of this New York Times report, we can quickly see why:GRADY (5/23/20): The malaria drugs hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine did not help coronavirus patients and may have done harm, according to a new study based on the records of nearly 15,000 patients who received the drugs and 81,000 who did not.Some were also given the antibiotic azithromycin, or a related medicine.Hydroxychloroquine is the drug that President Trump has advocated, and that he said he has been taking in hopes of preventing coronavirus infection.People who received the drugs were more likely to have abnormal heart rhythms, according to the study in the The Lancet. They were also more likely to die. But the findings were not definitive, because the study was observational, meaning that the patients were not picked at random to receive the drug or not, and may have had underlying differences that affected their outcomes.The Lancet is a very big deal; so is the NEJM. These studies seemed to blow a large hole in Mister Trump’s Favorite Pharmaceutical, so they got major play on CNN and MSNBC.We know that because we watched a bit of Laura Ingraham’s program last night. When we flipped over, Laura was playing tape from some of our favorite cable shows and laughing at what had been said.Laura Ingraham was blowing the whistle on The Lancet! Her source was a news report in yesterday’s New York Times.Uh-oh! The NEJM has now expressed doubts about the study it published. So too with The Lancet:RABIN (6/3/20): Since the outbreak began, researchers have rushed to publish new findings about the coronavirus spreading swiftly through the world. On Tuesday, for the second time in recent days, a group of clinicians and researchers has questioned the data used in studies in two prominent medical journals.A group of scientists who raised questions last week about a study in The Lancet about the use of antimalarial drugs in coronavirus patients have now objected to another paper about blood pressure medicines in the New England Journal of Medicine, which was published by some of the same authors and relied on the same data registry.Moments after their open letter was posted online Tuesday morning, the editors of the N.E.J.M. posted an “expression of concern” about the paper, and said they had asked the paper’s authors to provide evidence that the data are reliable.The Lancet followed later in the day with a statement about its own concerns regarding the malarial drugs paper, saying that the editors have commissioned an independent audit of the data.You can read yesterday’s full report for yourselves. We don’t know if those studies will be vindicated. Instead, our point is this:Last evening, Fox viewers heard all about the problems with these studies. They got to laugh at the way cable hosts on CNN and MSNBC had touted the studies’ findings, sometimes in a slightly triumphalist way..On CNN and MSNBC, the walk-back by these major journals didn’t get much play at all. This is the nature of tribalized “news” in a tribalized corporate news era.Telling the news in a slanted fashion is now extremely big business. In such an environment, the facts will sometimes be misleading or wrong, and the logic may not be much better.On Fox, they heard about the two journals’ walk-backs. Over Here, not so much.
The American Experiment Is in Peril
by Ruth Conniff on June 4, 2020 at 17:10
Trump’s Inaugural description of a hellscape strewn with ‘American carnage’ now reads like prophecy.
Jim Mattis vs. Tom Cotton: No Contest
by Joan Walsh on June 4, 2020 at 17:02
Joan Walsh The former defense secretary’s scathing attack on Trump’s shredding the Constitution showed how wrong The New York Times was to publish Cotton. The post Jim Mattis vs. Tom Cotton: No Contest appeared first on The Nation.
Ilhan Omar Criminal Justice Reform Bills Offer ‘Systemic Solutions to Systemic Problems’
on June 4, 2020 at 17:00
Eoin Higgins, staff writer”If we are to change this pattern of violent racism, we need to fundamentally restructure our criminal justice system.”
Tear-gassing protesters “is a very effective way of spreading coronavirus,” doctors say
by Nicole Karlis on June 4, 2020 at 16:55
Tear gas can worsen COVID-19 symptoms or increase the chance of the virus spreading in crowds
What is the Goal of the Protests, and Which Tactics are Morally Justified and Strategically Wise?
by Glenn Greenwald on June 4, 2020 at 16:46
Two guests who have been providing illuminating commentary on the protests, Chloé Valdary and Ben Dixon, explore these questions. The post What is the Goal of the Protests, and Which Tactics are Morally Justified and Strategically Wise? appeared first on The Intercept.
Terrified Trump Expands The Fence Around The White House
by Jason Easley on June 4, 2020 at 16:34
Trump is so afraid of the protesters that he has expanded the fence around the White House in an effort to keep the protests away from him.
‘This is Huge’: Move to Defund Police Gains Support Nationwide
on June 4, 2020 at 16:34
Eoin Higgins, staff writer”In moments of crisis, people want services and resources that go directly to help people rather than police that surveil, brutalize, and kill us.”
Tear Gas Is Way More Dangerous Than Police Let On — Especially During the Coronavirus Pandemic
by by Lisa Song on June 4, 2020 at 16:25
ProPublica Reporter Caroline Chen Wins Livingston Award
by by ProPublica on June 4, 2020 at 16:21
by ProPublica The University of Michigan announced Thursday that ProPublica reporter Caroline Chen won the Livingston Award for local reporting. The awards, which honor journalists under the age of 35, recognized her investigation on how the heart transplant team at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center kept a vegetative patient on life support to boost its lagging survival rate. Co-published with New Jersey Advance Media and WNYC, Chen’s investigation found that Newark Beth Israel’s transplant team was determined to treat the patient, Darryl Young, aggressively without adequately consulting his family or offering them the option of palliative care, which focuses on comfort. Young suffered brain damage during his heart transplant operation, and the medical team believed he would never wake up again, Chen’s reporting found. Yet the transplant director told staff to keep Young alive and avoid conversations with his family about his prognosis or treatment options because of worries about the program’s survival rate, the proportion of people undergoing transplants who are still alive a year after their operations. Federal regulators focused on this statistic to evaluate — and sometimes penalize — transplant programs, giving hospitals across the country a reputational and financial incentive to game it. Newark Beth Israel’s one-year survival rate for heart transplants had dipped, and if Young were to die too soon, the program’s standing and even its own survival might be in jeopardy. Audio recordings that Chen obtained included Dr. Mark Zucker, the program director, describing the failure to offer Young’s family other treatment options, like palliative care, as “very unethical” but justifying it as essential “for the global good of the future transplant recipients.” Chen followed up by revealing that the transplant team had disregarded the family’s wishes for another brain-damaged patient, Andrey Jurtschenko. Knowing that he never wanted to be a burden on them, his children sought a do not resuscitate order, which could potentially have lowered the hospital’s survival rate. The medical team deflected the request. The transplant team’s elevation of statistics over empathy caused a furor, in New Jersey and beyond. In response to Chen’s article about Darryl Young’s plight, multiple federal and state regulators started investigations, including the FBI, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the New Jersey Department of Health and the state’s Board of Medical Examiners. The hospital also hired independent consultants to conduct an internal review and placed Zucker on administrative leave. Following its investigation, CMS found that Newark Beth Israel placed patients in “immediate jeopardy” by repeatedly failing to implement corrective measures after botched surgeries, and by violating the rights of patients and their families after not obtaining informed consent and inquiring about advance directives. It required the hospital to submit a plan of correction, which Newark Beth Israel has now completed. Learn about all of this year’s Livingston Awards winners here.
Ocasio-Cortez Endorses Jamaal Bowman’s Progressive Primary Challenge Against Longtime Rep. Eliot Engel
on June 4, 2020 at 16:12
Julia Conley, staff writer”This moment requires renewed and revitalized leadership across the country AND at the ballot box.”
Staffer Outrage, Sickout Spurred by NYT Publication of Sen. Cotton ‘Send in the Troops’ Op-Ed
on June 4, 2020 at 15:51
Andrea Germanos, staff writer”Running this puts @nytimes’ Black staff in danger.”
Rick Wiles Hopes Trump Will Round-Up Liberal Activists and Torture Them
by Kyle Mantyla on June 4, 2020 at 15:48
End Times broadcaster Rick Wiles has been warning for years that liberals intend to use the power of government to round up conservative Christians, place them in concentration camps, and kill them. Though such plans exist only in the fevered minds of right-wing conspiracy theorists, Wiles was aghast that anyone would ever plan such horrible
Democratic Candidates Should Be Campaigning to End Toxic Policing
by John Nichols on June 4, 2020 at 15:44
John Nichols Kentucky US Senate candidate Charles Booker gets it right when he says, “If you are saying you are going to stand up for people, then do it.” The post Democratic Candidates Should Be Campaigning to End Toxic Policing appeared first on The Nation.
Fossil Fuel Industry Could Face $25 Trillion Collapse Due to Clean Tech, Climate Policies, and Covid-19 Pandemic
on June 4, 2020 at 15:36
Jessica Corbett, staff writerIn a new analysis welcomed by climate campaigners, the London-based financial think tank Carbon Tracker warned Thursday that declining demand and rising investment risk due to cheaper renewable technologies, more aggressive government policies, and the coronavirus pandemic could cause a $25 trillion collapse in future fossil fuel profits.
Trump Says Robert Mueller Proved “I Must Be the Most Honest Man in America”
by Darragh Roche on June 4, 2020 at 15:31
Donald Trump went on a tweeting and retweeting spree on Thursday, sharing praise of himself and criticism of his opponents. The President was particularly keen to highlight former deputy AG Rod Rosenstein. Rosenstein testified before the Senate on Wednesday. Republicans grilled him as part of their continued push to undermine the Russia probe and the … Continue reading “Trump Says Robert Mueller Proved “I Must Be the Most Honest Man in America””
AFL-CIO’s Veteran Council Demands Resignation of Defense Secretary and Joint Chiefs Chair Over Violent Clearing of Lafayette Square
on June 4, 2020 at 15:16
Jon Queally, staff writer”President Trump has set a violent and misguided tone in the wake of George Floyd’s tragic murder. It is time for our leaders at every level to challenge and repudiate this dangerous rhetoric—and for those at the top of our military, who failed in this responsibility, to step down.”
Chris Loesch Determines Man With Neo-Nazi Tattoos is ‘ANTIFA’
by Jared Holt on June 4, 2020 at 15:10
Chris Loesch, an outspoken right-wing activist, assessed a contextless photo of a man with neo-Nazi tattoos at a protest against the police killing of George Floyd, a black man, and determined that the individual pictured must be an anti-fascist activist. The husband and manager of right-wing broadcaster and former National Rifle Association spokesperson Dana Loesch, Chris
‘The Planet Is at Stake’: DNC Panel Pushes Biden to Back $16 Trillion Plan to Fight Climate Crisis
on June 4, 2020 at 15:00
Jake Johnson, staff writer”Trump’s going to call Biden a lefty no matter what, right? So let’s energize our base, let’s energize the middle. Let’s do what’s right.”
Trapped at Sea, Alone With Her Assailant, He Told Her “You’re Mine for the Week”
by by Kyle Hopkins, Anchorage Daily News on June 4, 2020 at 15:00
by Kyle Hopkins, Anchorage Daily News ProPublica is a nonprofit newsroom that investigates abuses of power. Sign up to receive our biggest stories as soon as they’re published. This article was produced in partnership with the Anchorage Daily News, a member of the ProPublica Local Reporting Network. Hearing the boat motor click off, she burrowed deep into her sleeping bag. It was 4:30 a.m. one August morning in 2013 and they had been traveling for hours. Just Cathleen and the captain aboard a fishing boat little bigger than a minivan, now bobbing somewhere in Prince William Sound. She had met the captain a few months earlier. Old enough to be her father, he liked to sit for hours drinking coffee at the cafe where she worked, chatting with townies. But soon after setting off from harbor, as Cathleen’s cellphone lost service and the shoreline fell away, he began to talk about how much he’d always wanted to kiss her, she said. When he let her steer the boat, the fisherman’s hands crept under her shirt. Stop, she told him. She was just here to work. She had a boyfriend at home. “What happens on the boat stays on the boat,” the captain said. At 24, Cathleen, who asked to be identified here only by her middle name for fear of retribution, had already launched herself on countless Alaska adventures. Hunting, fishing and camping side by side with rough-and-tumble outdoorsmen. The guys had always acknowledged unspoken boundaries; kept their hands to themselves. This time was different. It felt scary and wrong. Barely able to keep her eyes open, Cathleen told the captain she was going to bed. They previously agreed that she’d get the only bunk, and he’d sleep elsewhere. Now, the boat quiet and adrift, she cinched the mummy bag tight. “Oh shit. Ohshit ohshit ohshit.” The captain appeared above her. The sound of his zipper. Cathleen told him no. She fought. The fisherman yanked her hands apart and forced open the sleeping bag, she said. She was still fully clothed and reached into her jeans pocket for a 2.5-inch blade, a gift from her brother. The captain wrested the knife away and it clattered across the cabin floor. “He grabbed both my wrists with just one hand and put them behind my neck so I couldn’t move my arms,” Cathleen said. “Then he started undoing my pants.” The captain raped her and then spooned her, his arms and legs wrapped around her body. He whispered: You’re mine for the week. They were five hours into a multi-day fishing trip. In the morning the man made coffee as if nothing had happened. “I asked him to take me home a thousand times. I said I would pay him,” Cathleen said. “I said, ‘‘You don’t have to pay me.’ I said I’d do anything just to go home.” No, he said. They had work to do. The next night Cathleen slept on the wet deck. Sometimes she thought he might kill her. In other moments, sitting on the deck and watching the sea, she thought of killing herself. “I was thinking, ‘There’s no way that I’m going to get out of here because I have no cell service and nobody knows where we are,” she said. “I don’t even know where I am.” When the boat returned to harbor, Cathleen immediately told her boyfriend what had happened. The boyfriend, in an interview, said the couple then drove to Anchorage to report the sexual assault to Alaska State Troopers. Cathleen underwent a sexual assault exam. An investigator told her prosecutors wouldn’t charge the boat captain with rape unless they recorded the man confessing to the crime. Cathleen tried to get troopers what they needed. The fisherman had never paid her for the week, giving her an excuse to meet with him in person. (He eventually gave her $300 of the promised $500, saying she didn’t end up doing much work.) In a post office parking lot she wore a microphone under her bra and asked him why he forced sex on her. He admitted to making a mistake, but the detectives told her they didn’t have enough evidence. No charges were filed. What’s more, because she had willingly agreed to be on the boat, investigators said they couldn’t arrest him for kidnapping. Almost seven years have passed. Cathleen said she’s heard about other potential victims and shared that information with a detective in 2018. A trooper spokeswoman declined to discuss details of the case, saying it is still considered an open investigation. When contacted by a reporter, the boat captain declined to speak on the phone but denied, by email, that he had ever had nonconsensual sex with anyone on his boat. Cathleen, meantime, said her body and mind have never been the same. She snaps awake some nights to panic attacks. Her thoughts race and scatter. Shiny scars line her forearms from a suicide attempt, and she hasn’t had a serious relationship since the rape. “I’m angry all the time,” Cathleen said. “So fucking angry.” Mostly, she said, she wonders about the other women.
Trump Is Deploying Troops Against Americans, and Military Leaders Are Abetting Him
by Andrew J. Bacevich on June 4, 2020 at 14:58
Andrew J. Bacevich High-ranking military officials have a choice: Obey the orders of your commander in chief or your oath to the Constitution. The post Trump Is Deploying Troops Against Americans, and Military Leaders Are Abetting Him appeared first on The Nation.
‘Starve the Beast’: A Q&A With Alex S. Vitale on Defunding the Police
by Zachary Siegel on June 4, 2020 at 14:00
Zachary Siegel We spoke to Vitale about the failures of Obama-era police reform efforts and why reducing police power is one of the best solutions available. The post ‘Starve the Beast’: A Q&A With Alex S. Vitale on Defunding the Police appeared first on The Nation.
ADULTHOOD’S END: Did Kathleen Parker do the right thing?
by <b>bob somerby</b> on June 4, 2020 at 13:43
THURSDAY, JUNE 4, 2020Could the monsters be something like us?: We’ve noted the fact that, in cases like this, the facts are always wrong.The logic is often cockeyed too! Consider what happened yesterday when CNN anchor Brianna Keiler interviewed CNN correspondent Omar Jimenez.Excitement was running high in this, the 2 P.M. Eastern hour. It had been announced that Minnesota’s attorney general had reached a decision concerning possible charges against all four officers on the scene at the time of George Floyd’s death.Keilar began the hour with an exchange in which she and correspondent Josg Campbell pretended that they didn’t know what the decision would be. They also pretended that the community had so much confidence in Ellison that they would accept his decision whatever it might turn out to be.Surely, everyone already knew what the decision would be—what it would have to be. But Keilar was now engaged in the active play-acting which passes for journalism among such creatures as we.Campbell played his assigned role well. Then, Keillor turned to Jimenez and she offered this:KEILAR (6/3/20): And Omar, you’ve spoken with so many people there in Minneapolis. And we’ve heard from them over and over again, right? They say, if these were three people who were not police officers and they witnessed someone, they just stood by, feet away, doing nothing for minutes and minutes, and they witnessed third-degree murder, they would be held accountable. So why aren’t these police officers being held accountable? Say what? In fact, various people who weren’t police officers had done exactly that! As they “stood by, feet away,” they witnessed Officer Chauvin choking the life from Floyd.None of them intervened, though several of them had videotaped the events. But to say what is blindingly obvious, none of those people are going to be “held accountable” for failing to intervene, and no one has ever suggested that they should be.Except as an example of outrage- and narrative-formation, Keilar’s statement made no earthly sense. In fairness, she seemed to have conflated a few mandated talking points, creating a ludicrous muddle.Keilar’s statement made no earthy sense. That said, Jimenez, a good decent person who’s also quite sharp, knew how he had to respond:JIMENEZ (continuing directly): Well, that’s right, Brianna… At one time, the customer was always right. Today, the anchor is. Meanwhile, because the facts are always wrong, Jeffrey Toobin soon pitched in with a statement “based on the video I’ve seen,” a statement which plainly seems to be wrong. We don’t know what video he has been seeing. But you can search that one out for yourselves. At any rate, so it goes on cable where, along with everything else, the facts are always wrong. We expect to explore the wrongness of facts in the week or so to come. For today, we ask two important questions:In the course of human events, how do monsters get invented? Also, did Parker do the right thing?We have no doubt that Kathleen Parker is a good, decent person. Long before these current events, before she was hired by the Washington Post, we reviewed her syndicated columns with respect to a certain topic.We were surprised to see that Parker hadn’t demonized Naomi Wolf during Campaign 2000 in anything resembling the way other columnists had. This was back in the days when the mainstream journalists we’re trained to respect were sliming Wolf in ways which were often openly misogynistic and were absurdly misleading or bogus.The “liberal” persons and groups we’re trained to respect made no attempt to challenge this horrible conduct. A war against Candidate Gore was on—he was a stand-in for President Clinton—and the people we’re trained to respect were almost all complicit in the wildings which occurred.We were surprised to see that Parker hadn’t played that game with respect to Wolf in the way others had done. We refer to the game which sent George W. Bush to the White and the army into Iraq.Parker had played it much more straight with respect to Wolf and Gore. We had a different reaction to yesterday’s column in the Washington Post.In that column, Parker discussed the presence of monsters in our lives. Along the way, she also showcased the manner on their invention.We all have nightmares involving monsters, Parker wrote at the start of her column. When we startle awake, we realize that monsters aren’t real.Now, though, we see that monsters are real. Today, these monsters even have names. In this passage, Parker named one:PARKER (6/3/20): Now we wake, if we sleep at all, and the nightmare is real—and the monsters have names.Chauvin, charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, is surely the loneliest man on the planet. How does he sleep at night? I try to imagine what he thinks about in those dark hours when the wolf closes in, sniffing the hollowness at the threshold of his cell. Does he replay those nine minutes trying to understand why he did what he did? Does he even care? Former officer Derek Chauvin is one such monster, Parker said. Indeed, Chauvin’s videotaped behavior last week does indeed seem monstrous.”Does he even care?” Parker asked. We’d offer this provisional answer:According to a pair of high-profile studies, 3-5 percent of adult males could be diagnosed as sociopaths—and it’s commonly said that sociopaths have no ability to care. If we substitute that slightly more grown-up term, it may be that Chauvin doesn’t care—though we’d rather see a medical specialist discuss this matter as opposed to ourselves or to Parker.Is Derek Chauvin a sociopath? We have no way of saying. But as she continued, Parker seemed to spot three additional monsters. In the course of making her accusation, did Parker do the right thing?PARKER (continuing directly): We don’t have to second-guess what happened to George Floyd. We saw the video and recoiled in horror. Nor do we have to deploy euphemisms or dodgy words like “apparently” or “allegedly” to recount how Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes, cutting off blood and oxygen as the prone and cuffed man begged for air and his life.From the video, it’s easy to see that Chauvin not only kept his knee in place despite outraged pleas from onlookers; he pressed his full body weight into Floyd’s neck. Why didn’t the other three officers stop this horror? What fear or evil allowed them to look away? Why didn’t the people taking video compel Chauvin or his brethren to stop? That’s impunity, incarnate.The minds of monsters are hard to read. They are not like us. Monsters are without qualms, hesitations, empathy or remorse. Certitude animates the beast; power feeds its lust for more. Monsters “aren’t like us,” Parker writes. We’re not sure we agree with that.You’ll note a remarkable point. Parker almost seems to include those civilian bystanders among her list of monsters. They didn’t compel Chauvin or his brethren to stop, the way we would have done. The people who were taping the incident didn’t force Chauvin to stop! If one of them had done such a thing—if one of them had pushed Chauvin off his handcuffed victim—then George Floyd might be alive today, but the person who behaved that way would likely be in jail.Do we really expect people to do things like that? Apparently, that’s what we would have done. Do we really call them monsters when they don’t do that?As emotion runs off with her wisdom, Parker seems to say that. But she certainly says that the other three officers are monsters. As her column ends, there’s no Little about that:”The monsters in this nightmare are real, sure enough. But we know their names,” Parker writes.According to Parker, the other three officers “were without qualms, hesitations, empathy or remorse.” She says that those monsters weren’t like us.We’re not sure we agree with that. Consider a few of the things you weren’t told in Parker’s column. These are things you haven’t been told pretty much anywhere else:Chauvin, an 18-year veteran, was the senior officer in the group. His partner, Tou Thau, was also an experienced officer.The other two officers—Richard Lane and J. Alexander Keung—were rookies. They were new to the force.As we noted yesterday, one of the rookies, Thomas Lane, suggested to Chauvin on several occasions that he ought to stop. According to Parker, good people “like us” would have gone even further. We would have shoved our superior officer off the neck of Floyd.Really? How often does anyone actually do something like that? We will guess that the examples are few and far between.Are Minneapolis police cadets trained to do that when confronted with such crazy behavior? We’ve seen no such discussion.Back in the days of the war against Gore, Parker certainly didn’t do something like that. She didn’t oppose what her higher-ranking colleagues were doing when they conducted their long, ugly war. But dearest darlings, use your heads! That might have harmed her career!Is former officer Lane a monster? Parker tells us that he is. As she does, she withholds elementary facts about his rookie status and about his statements to Chauvin, the superior officer.In doing so, she is creating the kind of fairy tale which has often been built around cases of this type in the past eight years. She is creating the fairy tale in which the wolf drops down on the little girls’s back, or the one in which an innocent party is shot dead as he tries to surrender, hands over head, for the crime of walking down the street.In withholding complexity from her readers, is Parker herself a monster? Should she be locked up in jail? Should she be hauled off next?That way lies perdition, but such is the way of our modern-day upper-end “press.” Every such situation must be dumbed down. All complexity must disappear. We must give consumers heroes and demons. We must feed them childish fairy tales in a version of adulthood’s end.Should former officer Lane have been charged with a crime? We have no idea. We have no legal expertise around here. Instead, we write about the press corps, and concerning the press, we’ll say this:Concerning the press corps, there Parker goes again. Our journalists have created monsters in many of these high-profile, high-emotion cases over the past eight years. They’ve done so by inventing false facts; by disappearing actual facts; and by stressing completely irrelevant facts.This is the life style they have chosen. According to major anthropologists, it’s also the way we’re all wired.People are dead all over the world because they’ve done these things. Because we’ve been trained to respect these people, it may not occur to us that we’re being misled as they do this.When in her life did Kathleen Parker ever do the right thing? When did she ever behave in the way she says those rookie officers—even those civilian bystanders!—should have behaved that day?We assume we all know the answer to that. But our pundits and our anchors keep feeding us monsters. This lets us pretend that we’re better than them, better than them by far.Sad! In our view, the monsters of Parker’s imagination may be a great deal like the people who steal our discernment from us.Tomorrow: Snapshots of modern-day Minnesota. “Who killed Davey Moore?”
Donald Trump Is an Autocrat. It’s Up to All of Us to Stop Him.
by James Risen on June 4, 2020 at 13:32
Each incremental step toward dictatorship can be explained away. While it is happening, no one can quite believe that they are on the road to serfdom. The post Donald Trump Is an Autocrat. It’s Up to All of Us to Stop Him. appeared first on The Intercept.
by Sanika Phawde on June 4, 2020 at 12:30
Sanika Phawde Beware of snake-oil salespeople. The post Unrecommended Cures appeared first on The Nation.
‘What Authoritarianism Looks Like’: Trump Condemned as Busloads of US Soldiers Arrive in Nation’s Capital
on June 4, 2020 at 11:02
Jake Johnson, staff writer”The numbers of U.S. military security forces in D.C. right now is just ridiculous. This is pure intimidation. Trump is very afraid. The longer we stay in the streets, the more frightened he gets.”
She Paid Thousands for a Visa to Work in the U.S. Then She Got Laid Off. Now, She’s Trapped.
by by Bernice Yeung on June 4, 2020 at 11:00
Is This Trump’s Reichstag Fire Moment?
by Deconstructed on June 4, 2020 at 10:15
Is the president taking advantage of nationwide protests to advance an even more authoritarian agenda? The post Is This Trump’s Reichstag Fire Moment? appeared first on The Intercept.
I Cover Cops as an Investigative Reporter. Here Are Five Ways You Can Start Holding Your Department Accountable.
by by Andrew Ford, Asbury Park Press on June 4, 2020 at 10:00
Larry Kramer’s Righteous Rage
by Alisa Solomon on June 4, 2020 at 09:45
Alisa Solomon His jeremiads against the state and those complacent during the AIDS crisis galvanized generations of activists. The post Larry Kramer’s Righteous Rage appeared first on The Nation.
A Lavender League of Their Own
by Peter Dreier on June 4, 2020 at 09:35
Peter Dreier Just in time for Pride Month, a new documentary brings an episode in baseball history out of the closet. The post A Lavender League of Their Own appeared first on The Nation.
The Pandemic Is a Threat. The President Is Worse.
by Gregg Gonsalves on June 4, 2020 at 09:30
Gregg Gonsalves Going to demonstrations isn’t risk-free, but we have a duty to resist. The post The Pandemic Is a Threat. The President Is Worse. appeared first on The Nation.
These Hospitals Pinned Their Hopes on Private Management Companies. Now They’re Deeper in Debt.
by by Brianna Bailey, The Frontier on June 4, 2020 at 09:30
‘This Isn’t Going Away’: Defying Curfews and Police Brutality in Relentless Push for Justice, Uprising Over Killing of George Floyd Keeps Growing
on June 4, 2020 at 09:04
Jake Johnson, staff writer”Essential workers are exempt from the curfew, and what we are doing here is essential.”
The Forgotten Workers of Tiananmen Square
by Tobita Chow on June 4, 2020 at 09:00
Tobita Chow The 1989 massacre didn’t just end China’s democracy movement. It ushered in a new era of US-inspired worker suppression. The post The Forgotten Workers of Tiananmen Square appeared first on The Nation.
The Only Hospital in Town Was Failing. They Promised to Help but Only Made It Worse.
by by Brianna Bailey, The Frontier on June 4, 2020 at 09:00
White House Forced to Retract Claim Viral Videos Prove Antifa Is Plotting Violence
by Robert Mackey on June 4, 2020 at 04:29
Within minutes, journalists discovered that most of the viral clips of bricks included in a White House video had already been investigated and debunked. The post White House Forced to Retract Claim Viral Videos Prove Antifa Is Plotting Violence appeared first on The Intercept.
On TV, protesters are faceless rabble while cops are bestowed with humanity
by Melanie McFarland on June 4, 2020 at 01:17
If there’s a tendency to dismiss demonstrations as chaotic and violent, that may be due to how they’re played on TV
Right Wing Round-Up: A Tiny Little Short Period of Time
by Kyle Mantyla on June 3, 2020 at 21:37
Ian Millhiser @ Vox: The 3 former officers who aided Derek Chauvin are charged in George Floyd’s killing. John Fea: Court Evangelical Johnnie Moore Brings the Spin on Trump’s Appearance at St. John’s Church. David Edwards @ Raw Story: ‘Like George W. Bush after 9/11’: Kayleigh McEnany declares Trump Bible photo op a historic moment.
NYT Rebuked for Tom Cotton Op-Ed Calling for US Military to Use ‘Overwhelming Show of Force’ Against Protests
on June 3, 2020 at 21:37
Andrea Germanos, staff writer”This is the most openly authoritarian piece of writing I’ve read from an American politician who has been in power during my lifetime.”
Right Wing Bonus Tracks: The Man Is Sending a Message
by Kyle Mantyla on June 3, 2020 at 21:33
Curt Landry claims that activists can go to George Soros’s website and sign up to be paid to riot. You can’t. Dan Bongino is outraged that the media is painting President Donald Trump as a coward for hiding in a bunker during the recent protests, especially after Trump showed his “stones” by staging his Bible
As groceries board up amid protests, food inequality worsens for communities of color
by Ashlie D. Stevens on June 3, 2020 at 21:30
“What we’re advocating for is a place that is not going to close the doors when the community needs them most”
‘Yes, I Will Name Names’: AOC Leads Charge Against Empty Corporate Claims of #BlackLivesMatter
on June 3, 2020 at 21:29
Julia Conley, staff writerRep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez set the record straight for wealthy corporations on Wednesday, rejecting what she called “bland statements” of support for the Black Lives Matter movement and calling on the companies to take concrete action to further racial justice.
Olympian Gwen Berry to the USOC: ‘Where’s My Apology?’
by Dave Zirin on June 3, 2020 at 21:26
Dave Zirin The US Olympic Committee is speaking out against racism. Gwen Berry, who raised her fist on the medal stand in 2018 and was punished, wants to see their words matched with deeds. The post Olympian Gwen Berry to the USOC: ‘Where’s My Apology?’ appeared first on The Nation.
Failure to Protect: How Minneapolis Police Cater to White Privilege
by Ally Nissen on June 3, 2020 at 20:57
Even in protests against racial policing, the city’s cops have shown more concern for the safety of white people.
Majority of Americans Believe Actions and Anger of George Floyd Protesters Justified, Polling Shows
on June 3, 2020 at 20:45
Eoin Higgins, staff writer”The current findings represent a marked change in public opinion from prior polls.”
Putin Declares Federal Emergency After Diesel Fuel Spill in Arctic River That Could Take Decades to Recover
on June 3, 2020 at 20:33
Jessica Corbett, staff writerRussian President Vladimir Putin declared a federal emergency Wednesday to help clean up an estimated 20,000 tonnes of diesel fuel that poured into Ambarnaya River Friday after an accident at a power station near Norilsk, an industrial city in the eastern Siberian region of Krasnoyarsk.
‘Should Be Bigger News’: Analysis Finds Nearly One Third of Owed Unemployment Benefits Have Not Been Paid
on June 3, 2020 at 19:34
Jake Johnson, staff writerBloomberg found a $67 billion gap between the sum of benefits paid out by the Treasury Department and the amount that is owed to jobless Americans.
Sen. Warren Demands Federal Probe Into Attorney General Barr’s Order to Tear-Gas Peaceful Protesters
on June 3, 2020 at 19:33
Julia Conley, staff writerSen. Elizabeth Warren demanded answers on Tuesday evening regarding the Trump administration’s violent dispersal of protesters near the White House the previous night, when federal police sprayed tear gas and flash-bang grenades to clear Lafayette Park of dozens of demonstrators.
Statistics can be very hard!
by <b>bob somerby</b> on June 3, 2020 at 19:30
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 3, 2020Locking up rookies is easy: Earlier today, we linked to a recent post by New York magazine’s Eric Levitz. Levitz began his post with an inaccurate statement. Overall, he made a good point about the absurdity of a narrative which quickly emerged in the aftermath of the killing of George Floyd.Where looting occurred, so did this peculiar story line. Plainly, the looting was being done by people from out of state:LEVITZ (6/1/20): The account was first articulated by officials in the Twin Cities. “The people that are doing this are not Minneapolis residents,” Mayor Jacob Frey said of the violence in his city Friday night. “They are coming in largely from outside of this city, outside of the region, to prey on everything we have built over the last several decades.”Mayor Melvin Carter of St. Paul echoed this assessment, announcing that “every single person” who’d been arrested on his city’s streets Friday night had been “from out of state.”In Minnesota, both major mayors made the charge. In fairly ridiculous fashion, so did Governor Walz, who somehow escaped being named by Levitz.Levitz went on from there. But the claim traveled far and wide, possibly seeming to defy several points of logic.There is some truth to the claim, Levitz said. But when he offered his overview of the matter, a statistical claim was observed:LEVITZ: Fundamentally, the very concept of the “outside agitator” is incoherent in the context of nationwide protests over a nationwide problem. America saw 1,004 of its people killed by police officers last year, a higher tally than any nation besides Brazil, Venezuela, the Philippines, or Syria. A majority of those killed had light skin. There is no one in the United States who lacks standing to protest this state of affairs. Police departments may be local, but their capacity to use force is expanded or constrained by federal policy. If one wishes to see one’s representatives in D.C. pursue police reforms, traveling to the Twin Cities to join in its protests—and thus amplify its message of discontent with the status quo—is a reasonable thing to do.Police killings are indeed a problem in this country. We base that claim on the assumption that we’d rather not have any such killings in a given year, as opposed to 1,004.Is it true that “a majority of those killed had light skin?” Since we don’t quite know what the statement means, we aren’t sure how to answer. We assume this is away to say, without saying that police kill many more “white” people as opposed to people who are “black.”Within the next week, we may review the data on police killings compiled by the Washington Post. Earlier this year, the Post abandoned its multiyear effort, perhaps acknowledging an obvious fact:No one cares about this topic. At least, no one cares about it enough to ever discuss such data, or to attempt to say what such data might mean.Indifference to suffering, disadvantage and death is part of the modern condition. Our guess? In Minnesota, politicians were leaping to blame outsiders, sometimes to an absurd degree, as a way of dodging the role they themselves may have played in the Twin Cities’ ongoing problems.Unflattering reports about the Minneapolis police department have continued to emerge. What did Walz or Frey do, over the years, to address these ongoing problems? To address the state’s widely-discussed public school “achievement gaps,” the largest in the nation?So too perhaps with Amy Klobuchar and with Keith Ellison. What have those two ever done? Or were they merely standing around all these years, perhaps a bit like the rookie police officers they now want to send off to prison?For all we know, Ellison may be the world’s nicest person. On Sunday’s Meet the Press, he made the remark we’ve liked the least of all the remarks we’ve seen this past week:ELLISON (5/31/20): Well, Minnesota is a kind of a tale of two cities. It really is a beautiful, wonderful place. I love it here. I’ve raised all four of my kids here. There’s so many great things about it. So many great people. And yet we have very stark disparities when it comes to African-Americans. Health disparities in health care, health disparities in housing, health disparities when it comes to employment. And disparities all around.I’ll give you a quick example, about 70 some percent of Minnesotans own their own homes. But only about 27% of African Americans do. African Americans are in a fragile economic position in this state. And we need massive investment. And what I say to people is, “Look, if we can have some of the highest SAT scores in the country, if we can have some of the highest voting participation in the country, highest voter—home-ownership in the country for whites, we can do it for everyone. We just have to have the will to do it for everybody. And I think that this sad, tragic situation might give us the energy to really, really make those kind of commitments because they are absolutely needed.It’s what he says to people! If Minnesota can have some of the highest SAT scores in the country, Minnesota can do it for everyone!We’ve seen people making jive remarks of that type since the 1960s. Such jive remarks convey the sense that the speaker just really believes and cares.Out in cable land, we liberals are dumb enough to buy it. It doesn’t occur to us to wonder what Ellison has ever done to achieve this nirvana over the past many years.Or has he just been standing around? To us, his comment seemed very familiar and very faux. To us, his comment was the standard remark of the fake and the uncaring.Meanwhile, statistics can be hard! According to Levitz, Amerika “saw 1,004 of its people killed by police officers last year, a higher tally than any nation besides Brazil, Venezuela, the Philippines, or Syria” (our italics).Here we go again! That italicized claim is only true because of the fact that Amerika has the world’s third largest population. If you adjust for population size, Amerika falls behind a much longer list of nations when it comes to the rate of police killings.We also rank at the very top among fully developed, first-world nations. At that point, you might want to starting adjusting for the number of guns in circulation. But also perhaps for the overall rate of violent crime.We’ll have more on this in the week ahead. Meanwhile, statistics and caring can be hard. Locking up scapegoats is easy.
Global Meat Giants Fuel Major Future Risk of Creating Next Pandemic, Investor Group Warns
on June 3, 2020 at 19:20
Andrea Germanos, staff writer
After Nearly 10,000 Arrested During Week of Protest, Three Other Police Officers Finally Charged Over Murder of George Floyd
on June 3, 2020 at 18:27
Eoin Higgins, staff writer”All you had to do was arrest three more.”
Jane Goodall Warns Humanity Will Be ‘Finished’ After Covid-19 Without Ending ‘Absolute Disrespect for Animals and the Environment’
on June 3, 2020 at 17:56
Jessica Corbett, staff writerIn a webinar Tuesday about pandemics, wildlife, and intensive animal farming, world renowned primatologist and conservationist Jane Goodall warned of dire consequences if humanity fails to reform the global food system and keeps destroying natural habitats.
Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Buddy Used His “Shadow” Sway Over the VA to Promote His Comic Book Empire
by by Isaac Arnsdorf on June 3, 2020 at 17:26
The Corona Class War
by Sam Pizzigati on June 3, 2020 at 17:12
Will the crisis reduce economic inequity or just be another sop for the rich?
Pandemic Ramps Up Risks for the Homeless
by Hank Kalet on June 3, 2020 at 16:35
Situation becomes more precarious as COVID-19 shuts down access to shelters.
Sanders Calls on Democrats to Embrace 8-Point Plan to End Police Brutality, Protect Communities
on June 3, 2020 at 16:28
Jake Johnson, staff writer”We have got to act boldly to eradicate systemic racism and police violence. I am calling for sweeping policy reforms to protect people—particularly communities of color—who have suffered violence for far too long.”
‘Deplorable Monument to Racism’ Gone After Philadelphia Removes Statue of Former Mayor Frank Rizzo
on June 3, 2020 at 16:14
Eoin Higgins, staff writer”While we are glad that the symbol is removed, we will continue to fight until the white supremacy that allowed Rizzo to come to power in the first place is eradicated.”
Trump’s War on the Hungry
by Karen Dolan on June 3, 2020 at 16:13
The Trump administration has waged war on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, commonly called food stamps.
Trump Is Using the Military to Hide His Weakness
by Jeet Heer on June 3, 2020 at 15:23
Jeet Heer The president’s show of strength demonstrates the precariousness of his authority. The post Trump Is Using the Military to Hide His Weakness appeared first on The Nation.
Hope for Other Cities to Follow After Minneapolis School Board Votes Unanimously to End Police Contract
on June 3, 2020 at 15:21
Julia Conley, staff writerThe Minneapolis school board unanimously voted Tuesday evening to terminate the district’s $1.1 million yearly contract with the city’s police department, a week and a half after the police killing of George Floyd.
To the White People Who Keep Asking How to ‘Help’
by Elie Mystal on June 3, 2020 at 15:18
Elie Mystal Spare me the sympathy. It’s outrage that matters. The post To the White People Who Keep Asking How to ‘Help’ appeared first on The Nation.
ACLU Lawsuit Accuses Police in Minnesota of ‘Targeting and Attacking Journalists’ Covering George Floyd Protests
on June 3, 2020 at 15:01
Jessica Corbett, staff writerThe ACLU of Minnesota filed a class-action lawsuit overnight Tuesday against the city of Minneapolis and local and state law enforcement for “targeting and attacking journalists” covering ongoing protests over police violence toward people of color sparked by the May 25 killing of George Floyd.
D.C. Statehood Is the Answer to Trump’s Abuse of Washington
by John Nichols on June 3, 2020 at 14:00
John Nichols The president says he is determined to “dominate” Washington with military might. Democrats must rise to D.C.’s defense. The post D.C. Statehood Is the Answer to Trump’s Abuse of Washington appeared first on The Nation.
Just Like Covid-19, Racial Justice Is a Climate Story
by Mark Hertsgaard on June 3, 2020 at 14:00
Mark Hertsgaard And Joe Biden’s possible endorsement of a Green New Deal is a good way to tell it. The post Just Like Covid-19, Racial Justice Is a Climate Story appeared first on The Nation.
‘We Need to Put Guardrails in Place’: Senator Unveils Plan to Bar Use of US Military Force Against Protesters
on June 3, 2020 at 13:46
Jake Johnson, staff writer”I thought that would seem obvious to everyone. But as we take up the NDAA next week, I’m going to be pushing to ensure the president can’t treat the U.S. military as his personal palace guard.”
ADULTHOOD’S END: Did Officer Lane try to do the right thing?
by <b>bob somerby</b> on June 3, 2020 at 13:42
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 3, 2020The facts are still always wrong: Yesterday morning. we shared a highly important though somewhat surprising fact:The facts are always wrong! We refer to the standard sets of facts which emerge as our own tribe’s sachems describe emotional incidents involving race and gender. Yesterday, it was Chris Wallace whose factual statement seemed to be wrong. In fairness to Wallace, he was simply repeating a claim which had been widely stated all over “cable news” during the preceding week.Wallace’s highly familiar statement may well have been wrong. In fairness, the facts always are! Consider what happened next:After we finished yesterday morning’s report, we proceeded to read this post at New York magazine. Below, you see the very first paragraph of the very first post we read after noting that the facts are always wrong:LEVITZ (6/1/20): A white police officer pinned a handcuffed black citizen to the ground by the neck. The black citizen said that he could not breathe. Some bystanders asked the officer to cease obstructing the man’s breath; the three uniformed bystanders made no such suggestion. The officer kept kneeling for eight minutes and 46 seconds—long enough to take the life out of George Floyd’s body and George Floyd out of the lives of his friends and family. The three uniformed bystanders made no such suggestion? Wearily, we turned to the analysts, and they were crying:The facts are always wrong, we told them again, with aplomb.In the videotape of the incident in question, the behavior of Officer Derek Chauvin looks remarkably heinous. We remind you that, according to a pair of authoritative professional studies, 3-5 percent of adult males could be diagnosed as sociopaths.Chauvin’s behavior that day would have been astonishing in the dark of night, at 2 A.M., behind some abandoned warehouse. It’s astounding to think that he did the things he did right there, in broad daylight, with bystanders taping his actions.In this morning’s Washington Post, Kathleen Parker calls Chauvin a “monster.” To our ear, she seems to say that the other three officers are monsters too. After all, “the three uniformed bystanders made no such suggestion.” By now, the whole nation knows that!That said, who are the monsters—is it them, or could it be us? We ask because we’ve read the official “Statement of probable cause”—the criminal complaint which charged Office Chauvin with murder and manslaughter.In places, that document is very murkily written. But along the way, as you can see, the document says this:STATEMENT OF PROBABLE CAUSE (5/29/20):[…]The defendant pulled Mr. Floyd out of the passenger side of the squad car at 8:19:38 and Mr. Floyd went to the ground face down and still handcuffed. Kueng held Mr. Floyd’s back and Lane held his legs. The defendant placed his left knee in the area of Mr. Floyd’s head and neck. Mr. Floyd said, “I can’t breathe” multiple times and repeatedly said, “Mama” and “please” as well. The defendant and the other two officers stayed in their positions.The officers said, “You are talking fine” to Mr. Floyd as he continued to move back and forth. Lane asked, “Should we roll him on his side?” and the defendant said, “No, staying put where we got him .” Officer Lane said, “I am worried about excited delirium or whatever.” The defendant said, “ That’s why we have him on his stomach.” None of the three officers moved from their positions.[Body camera] video shows Mr. Floyd continue to move and breathe. At 8:24:24, Mr. Floyd stopped moving. At 8:25:31 the video appears to show Mr. Floyd ceasing to breathe or speak. Lane said, “want to roll him onto his side.” Kueng checked Mr. Floyd’s right wrist for a pulse and said, “I couldn’t find one.” None of the officers moved from their positions.”Lane” is former officer David Lane, one of Parker’s apparent monsters. At the time of the awful events in question, he was a rookie policeman in his probationary period. Chauvin, who had his knee on the neck of the late George Floyd, was am 18-year veteran of the force. Because we ourselves aren’t monsters yet, we think what follows should perhaps and possibly matter:Readers of New York magazine now know, or think they know, that none of the uniformed monsters suggested that Chauvin should stop. According to the document which charged Chauvin with murder, that seems to be another one of those familiar facts, the ones which are always wrong..The fact that the document makes an assertion doesn’t prove that the assertion true. But according to that official document, Lane seems to have made that suggestion at two or three different points. As noted above, Lane was a rookie officer in his probationary period. Chauvin was an 18-year veteran.What else should the rookie cop have done? To date, we’ve seen no such discussion. What kind of training do police cadets receive to prepare them for such situations? We haven’t seen that discussion either.We mention these points for one main reason. We mention them to help establish our basic award-winning point:The facts are always wrong.The facts are always wrong, at least in these types of cases. The facts are always part of a novelized tribal account, a moralized rendering of some situation which may even start to resemble a fairy tale. In these moralized renderings, we are the very good people; targeted others are vile. If facts must be changed to establish such narratives, the facts will just have to be wrong.Once again, we recommend our basic finding—the facts are always wrong. As we do, we look ahead to tomorrow, when we’ll ask the following question about this appalling event:Did Officer Lane try to do the right thing on that terrible day? If we don’t want to be monsters ourselves, it’s a question we maybe should ask.Tomorrow, we’re going to broaden that question, skillfully asking this:Has Kathleen Parker ever done the right thing during her journalistic career? Beyond that, how many people in the upper-end press corps have ever done the right thing in a similar situation?Go ahead! Can you name even one? (We can think of a few.)What should Officer Lane have done that day? We’ve seen few discussions of that question. Are rookie cops trained for such situations? If not, why not? Have you seen a discussion of that?We’ve seen no such discussions. Instead, we’ve seen attorney Crump spreading a claim which is probably false, trying to get Lane arrested too. We the people want to see the very bad others locked up!Crump has spread misinformation before. Has Kathleen Parker ever done the right thing when it comes to matters like this?Tomorrow: Parker is a good decent person. Her column is highly instructive.Expected on Saturday: “Who killed Willie Moore?” (Way back when, Bob Dylan asked.) Featuring major Minnesotans of the present day!
by Sylvia Hernández on June 3, 2020 at 12:30
Sylvia Hernández Black Lives Matter, always. (Additional artwork provided by Miguel Hernández) The post Injustice appeared first on The Nation.
‘One Racist Down. Hundreds in Office to Go’: Applause as Bigot Steve King Ousted in Iowa Primary
on June 3, 2020 at 11:00
Jake Johnson, staff writer”Goodbye, Rep. Steve King. You are certainly not the only white supremacist in federal government, but you were among the most prominent,” tweeted Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Debt Relief for Tyrants Is a Terrible Idea
by Helen C. Epstein on June 3, 2020 at 10:05
Helen C. Epstein Bernie Sanders and Ilhan Omar want to cancel the debts of the world’s poorest countries. In some cases, that’s a big mistake. The post Debt Relief for Tyrants Is a Terrible Idea appeared first on The Nation.
Masha Gessen on Trump’s ‘Autocratic Attempt’ on America
by Stephanie deGooyer on June 3, 2020 at 10:00
Stephanie deGooyer The author of Surviving Autocracy argues that ideals are needed to defeat Trumpism but they’re missing from the Democratic Party. The post Masha Gessen on Trump’s ‘Autocratic Attempt’ on America appeared first on The Nation.
Moses Sumney’s Songs of Freedom
by Stephen Kearse on June 3, 2020 at 09:45
Stephen Kearse His immersive album græ explores the costs of personal and artistic autonomy. The post Moses Sumney’s Songs of Freedom appeared first on The Nation.
Covid-19 Is Straining the Concept of the Family. Let’s Break It.
by Sophie Lewis on June 3, 2020 at 09:30
Sophie Lewis The care and love we extend to one another can no longer be confined to house-sized pockets. The post Covid-19 Is Straining the Concept of the Family. Let’s Break It. appeared first on The Nation.
Could Covid-19 Mean the End of Asylum Law in the United States?
by Jack Herrera, Quito Tsui on June 3, 2020 at 09:30
Jack Herrera, Quito Tsui “Public health” fears are being used to keep out asylum seekers and immigrants—will they ever be let back in? The post Could Covid-19 Mean the End of Asylum Law in the United States? appeared first on The Nation.
‘Justice Does Not Equal Convictions’
by Anna Simonton on June 3, 2020 at 09:15
Anna Simonton Scenes from a pandemic: 10 The post ‘Justice Does Not Equal Convictions’ appeared first on The Nation.
‘They’re Afraid’: GOP Ripped for Enabling Trump as McConnell Blocks Resolution Condemning Assault on Peaceful Protesters
on June 3, 2020 at 09:07
Jake Johnson, staff writer”They’re afraid of Donald Trump. And that leads to Donald Trump getting worse and worse and worse. It’s appalling.”
The President Wants You to Be Misinformed
by Rebecca Gordon on June 3, 2020 at 09:00
Rebecca Gordon Trump’s presidency is the culmination of decades of misinformation emanating from the White House. The post The President Wants You to Be Misinformed appeared first on The Nation.
How White People Can Step Up—and Step Back—Right Now
by Joan Walsh on June 3, 2020 at 09:00
Joan Walsh Listen, learn, and do what you’re asked to do. The post How White People Can Step Up—and Step Back—Right Now appeared first on The Nation.
How Germany Saved Its Workforce From Unemployment While Spending Less Per Person Than the U.S.
by by Alec MacGillis on June 3, 2020 at 09:00
Why Punks Need the Post Office
by Mark Hassenfratz on June 3, 2020 at 05:00
DIY record labels have long relied on the Post Office for cheap shipping—it must be defended, not defunded.
The FBI Finds ‘No Intel Indicating Antifa Involvement’ in Sunday’s Violence
by Ken Klippenstein on June 2, 2020 at 23:18
Ken Klippenstein Trump wants to designate antifa a terrorist organization, despite lack of authority and evidence of wrongdoing. The post The FBI Finds ‘No Intel Indicating Antifa Involvement’ in Sunday’s Violence appeared first on The Nation.
Military Leaders Have an Extraordinary Choice to Make as the Nation Protests
by Andrew McCormick on June 2, 2020 at 22:13
Andrew McCormick Officers swear an oath to the Constitution, not to the president. Trump’s threat to deploy the military domestically challenges that. The post Military Leaders Have an Extraordinary Choice to Make as the Nation Protests appeared first on The Nation.
Life on the Edge
by Frances Moore Lappe on June 2, 2020 at 21:54
The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown the world into uncharted territory, with challenges that we have never seen before, but also fresh opportunities.
Overtly Racist Trump Brags No President Has Done More Than Him for Black Community ‘Since Abraham Lincoln’
on June 2, 2020 at 21:21
Common Dreams staffLatest gaslighting efforts comes less than one day after order to have nonviolent civil rights protesters swept off the streets of Washington, DC in a volley of rubber bullets, tear gas, and flash grenades.
Of Plowshares and Protests: The Moral Obligation to Resist
by Kathy Kelly on June 2, 2020 at 20:40
On nuclear weapons and police brutality, what’s our excuse not to do more?
Donald Trump’s lunacy seems to deepen!
by <b>bob somerby</b> on June 2, 2020 at 20:31
TUESDAY, JUNE 2, 2020The problem which can’t be named: Donald Trump’s manifest lunacy seemed to deepen last night. Paul Krugman was left saying this at the end of this morning’s column:KRUGMAN (6/2/20): On one side, he’s effectively inciting violence by his supporters. On the other, he’s very close to calling for a military response to social protest. And at this point, nobody expects any significant pushback from other Republicans.Now, I don’t think Trump will actually succeed in provoking a race war in the near future, even though he’s clearly itching for an excuse to use force. But the months ahead are still likely to be very, very ugly.After all, if Trump is encouraging violence and talking about military solutions to overwhelmingly peaceful protests, what will he and his supporters do if he looks likely to lose November’s election? Krugman is tougher on Trump’s supporters than we’re inclined to be. But what might Trump himself decide to do if it looks like he’s going to lose in November?We don’t have the slightest idea! But that’s a question we’ve been asking for more than a year. What makes us so sure that there’s going to be an election this year at all?Over at Slate, Fred Kaplan seems to misconstrue the problem. During Campaign 2016, our sachems refused to interview Kaplan when he explained the foolishness of the claim that Candidate Clinton had exposed our nation’s most priceless secrets in a handful of meaningless emails.Our sachems just gamboled and played. Now, in response to King Donald’s growing madness, Kaplan has offered a piece which explains that Trump couldn’t get away with trying to stay in office if he loses to Biden. Presumably, that’s true. But that isn’t the (possible) problem.The problem is what he might do to try to forestall such a loss—a loss which would make him a “loser.” That’s the problem Krugman cites at the end of this morning’s column.Behind all this lies a public madness; the upper-end press corps has agreed that they mustn’t discuss Trump’s madness. It’s the growing problem which has no name—which can’t be named, by high-end agreement.Bandy X. Lee, a failing nation with flailing elites turns its eyes to you!
The New York Times reports on Reade!
by <b>bob somerby</b> on June 2, 2020 at 19:38
TUESDAY, JUNE 2, 2020″Tends to dissemble,” Times says: Yesterday, under cover of mayhem, the New York Times ran a lengthy front-page report concerning Tara Reade.In the understatement of the century, three Times reporters say this:RUTENBERG, SAUL AND LERER (6/1/20): In many ways, The Times’s findings comport with the autobiography Ms. Reade, now 56, has rendered in cinematic detail across blog posts, online essays and court statements. But in the dramatic retelling of her life story she has also shown a tendency to embellish—a role as a movie extra is presented as a break; her title of “staff assistant” with clerical responsibilities in Mr. Biden’s office becomes “legislative assistant” when his shepherding of the Violence Against Women Act is an asset for her expert-witness testimony in court.At this point, saying that Reade has displayed “a tendency to embellish” is akin to saying that swordfish have a tendency to be found at various spots in the ocean. In our view, people who “have [fairly obvious] problems” shouldn’t be trashed for that fact. But the Times records examples of Reade’s “embellishing” which go on and on and on and on, as have other news orgs which have explored the outlines of her life.By now, you’d have to be crazy to think of Reade as someone whose word a person can trust. Having said that, where does someone like Biden go to get his reputation back? And when will Professors Mann and Hirshman be asked to explain what they think of their latest truth-teller now?The answer to that last question is simple. The professors will never be asked, and they’ll never be criticized or critiqued for their knee-jerk insistence that Reade’s claim about Biden should be believed. At this point, the higher-end liberal world will simply sidle away from Reade, and everyone will agree to forget how deeply unwise our highest-end academic elites have once again turned out to be. The Times report goes on and on with accounts from the three million people Reade has duped in the past. Along the way, the three reporters engage in some classic examples of journalistic bad judgment.Please don’t make us discuss them. But by the way, make no mistake:The next time an accuser comes along to insert herself into a White House campaign, the usual suspects will once again stand in line to insist that we have to believe her. (If it’s plain that she’s seeking a massive pay day, we’ll dub her a “feminist icon!”)Our tribe is skilled at spotting the lunacy which takes place in the other tribe. We refuse to see our own foolishness, and our own tribe’s foolishness is viral, virile and vast.We’re dumb as rocks, and at the same time we’re convinced of our tribe’s sacred narratives. Nothing will ever cure us of that, and the others can see this about us.Way back when, Emily Bazelon warned the well-behaved boys with whom she spoke that Reade might turn out to be be a “liar” or that she might “have problems.” We’re disinclined to savage people who have problems, but the problems of people like Mann and Hirshman will never be going away.The true beliefs of our truest believers have caused the deaths of people all over the world. They helped elect Bush, then they helped elect Trump. But they are never going to stop, and we dummies will never rebuke them.Go ahead—read the report. It goes on for quite a long time.How do you like your blue-eyed [accuser] now? The Post’s Paul Farhi asked Ryan Grim. You can read all about it here.
Unequal Justice: Trump, Twitter, and the Narrative of Chaos
by Bill Blum on June 2, 2020 at 18:56
Trump now has a pathway to reelection—by repackaging himself as the champion of law and order.
The Question Isn’t Whether Trump Will Go Full Authoritarian—It’s How We’ll Respond
by Elie Mystal on June 2, 2020 at 18:32
Elie Mystal We know that no one is coming to save us from Trump. So how will we save ourselves? The post The Question Isn’t Whether Trump Will Go Full Authoritarian—It’s How We’ll Respond appeared first on The Nation.
Poem: Jesus and the Black Body
by Linda Wiggins-Chavis on June 2, 2020 at 18:26
Arms and legs of burnished bronze
Contractors for Trump’s Controversial $3 Billion Food Aid Program Have Hired a Longtime Lobbyist to Tout Their Work
by by Isaac Arnsdorf on June 2, 2020 at 18:14
These Kids Are All Right: From Tragedy to Activism
by Ed Rampell on June 2, 2020 at 17:42
A review of the new documentary ‘Parkland Rising.’
We Really Need to Tax the Rich
by Jane McAlevey on June 2, 2020 at 15:00
Jane McAlevey In California, they’re making it happen. The post We Really Need to Tax the Rich appeared first on The Nation.
Time to Fundamentally Rethink What Trump Means by Security
by Katrina vanden Heuvel on June 2, 2020 at 14:34
Katrina vanden Heuvel The challenge for his successor will be how to dig out from the rubble. The post Time to Fundamentally Rethink What Trump Means by Security appeared first on The Nation.
ADULTHOOD’S END: Had Chris Wallace done the right thing?
by <b>bob somerby</b> on June 2, 2020 at 14:16
TUESDAY, JUNE 2, 2020The facts are always wrong: It’s a fact which has been widely noted. In recent years, Chris Wallace has possibly been the best performer among the hosts of the five Sunday morning shows.Because Wallace is host of Fox News Sunday, this fact has occasioned surprise. That said, Wallace has often been tougher on Trump-aligned guests than other Sunday hosts have been. He’s often done the best work.Wallace has often done the best work—though this past Sunday, he may have messed up at one point. On the brighter side, his apparent error helps us establish a basic point:In emotional matters involving race and sex, the basic facts you’re led to believe will almost always be wrong.The facts are always wrong! In this instance, Wallace was interviewing Andy Skoogman, executive director of the Minnesota Chiefs of Police. At one point, Wallace said this:WALLACE (5/31/20): I want to pick up, though, because the police report that was filed after the incident said that George Floyd, the man who was killed, resisted arrest. And it also said that he died at the hospital, when in fact it appears clear that he was dead at the scene.Those were both lies, which raises the question, if there had mot been a video in this case, isn’t it possible, even likely, that these four officers would still be on the street? In the end, does it even matter? Quite possibly not.Presumably, it wouldn’t matter, in the present case, whether George Floyd resisted arrest at some point. Rather plainly, the police behavior which led to his death seems to have been egregious. If Floyd had resisted arrest in some way at some previous point, that subsequent police behavior would still seem egregious.That said, you’d like to think that someone like Wallace was keeping abreast of the facts, insofar as the facts could have been known on Sunday. In this instance, we got the distinct impression that he hadn’t yet read the official “Statement of probable cause” in which former officer Derek Chauvin was charged with murder and manslaughter in the matter of Floyd’s death.We had read that official statement; it had been filed on Friday. While charging Chauvin in the manner described, it seems to say, at several points, that Floyd had resisted arrest.Quite sensibly, Wallace was criticizing the initial police report, a masterwork of deception. But here are some passages from the criminal complaint, the document which charged one of the officers with murder:STATEMENT OF PROBABLE CAUSE (5/29/2020):[…]While Officer Kueng was speaking with the front seat passenger, Officer Lane ordered Mr. Floyd out of the car, put his hands on Mr. Floyd, and pulled him out of the car. Officer Lane handcuffed Mr. Floyd. Mr. Floyd actively resisted being handcuffed.[…]Officers Kueng and Lane stood Mr. Floyd up and attempted to walk Mr. Floyd to their squad car (MPD 320 ) at 8:14 p.m. Mr. Floyd stiffened up, fell to the ground, and told the officers he was claustrophobic.[…]The officers made several attempts to get Mr. Floyd in the backseat of squad 320 from the driver’s side. Mr. Floyd did not voluntarily get in the car and struggled with the officers by intentionally falling down, saying he was not going in the car, and refusing to stand still.At various places, that “Statement of probable cause” is poorly written, to a remarkable degree. Also, the fact that this document makes a particular claim doesn’t prove that the claim is accurate.Still, this criminal complaint seems to say that Floyd resisted arrest at at least two separate junctures. Presumably, that can’t and doesn’t justify Chauvin’s subsequent conduct—but we evaluate the work of journalists here, not that of police officers.Everybody makes mistakes. Wallace’s work on many Sundays has been “best in class.” That said, we got the definite impression this Sunday morning that Wallace might be behind on his background reading. Even worse, he didn’t denounce the particular statements in question as being “false” or “wrong,” which it probably wasn’t.He denounced the statement as “a lie.” Given the rules of modern speech, this proves that he’s one of ours!In fairness to Wallace, the claim that Floyd never resisted arrest had been bruited all over cable news in the preceding week. That said, the document charging Chauvin with murder had seemed to say something different.As we’ve long noted, high-profile cases of police shootings or alleged sexual assaults have consistently featured bogus facts over the past eight years. Again and again, we liberals have invented false facts, disappeared real facts, and called attention to irrelevant facts as we’ve created the novelized tales which show the world how much we care and how strikingly moral we are.Beyond that, we now describe all misstatements as lies, excluding only the many misstatements which have come from within our own tents. In such ways, we announce adulthood’s end—the end of the need to pay attention to the complexity of many events which actually happen out there in the real world.We’ve done this for the past eight years; we’re never going to stop. Despondent anthropologists repeatedly say that this is the best our species can do, that this is the way we’re wired.At any rate, Wallace’s surprising statement extended this long campaign, this war on unsanitized facts.Does it matter if Floyd resisted arrest at some point? In our view, it doesn’t seem that it does.That said, this claim will likely play a role in Chauvin’s defense if this matter goes to trial. Also, Wallace’s statement reminds us of a remarkably stable state of affairs:In emotional matters of this type, the facts are always wrong!Had Wallace failed to do the right thing prior to Sunday’s program? We’re guessing that he had. That said, everyone makes mistakes, including the four officers we now want to ship off to jail.One of the four has already been charged. Concerning one of the other three, we were struck by several things we read in that same statement of probable cause. The document is amazingly jumbled at several points; the writing is strikingly bad. Still, we were struck by something we hadn’t heard about one of the other three policemen whose heads we now want on a pike.Did one of them try to do the right thing? Also, what would doing the right thing have looked like in that circumstance?Tomorrow: Did Officer Lane try to do the right thing? Why haven’t you seen this discussed?Coming: Can you name anyone in our own tribe who has ever done the right thing?
Letters From the June 15/22, 2020, Issue
by Our Readers on June 2, 2020 at 14:00
Our Readers Don’t blame the Boasians… Tilting at windmills… Dark recesses… The road already taken… Submerging the valley… The post Letters From the June 15/22, 2020, Issue appeared first on The Nation.
Little Donald’s Sneeze
by Peter Kuper on June 2, 2020 at 13:44
Peter Kuper The post Little Donald’s Sneeze appeared first on The Nation.
by Ennio Moltedo on June 2, 2020 at 13:41
Ennio Moltedo The post 105 appeared first on The Nation.
A Fourth Inspector General Bites the Dust
by Calvin Trillin on June 2, 2020 at 13:38
Calvin Trillin The post A Fourth Inspector General Bites the Dust appeared first on The Nation.
Black Lives Matter, Tribute to Breonna Taylor
by Andrea Arroyo, Steve Brodner, Peter Kuper on June 2, 2020 at 12:30
Andrea Arroyo, Steve Brodner, Peter Kuper On March 13, Breonna Taylor was murdered in her own home by Louisville, Ky., police officers. Read the article. The post Black Lives Matter, Tribute to Breonna Taylor appeared first on The Nation.
Senior Citizens in Subsidized Housing Have Been Dying Alone at Home, Unnoticed Because of Coronavirus Distancing
by by Mick Dumke and Haru Coryne on June 2, 2020 at 10:00
Where Does America Go From Here?
by Sasha Abramsky on June 2, 2020 at 09:45
Sasha Abramsky As protesters face off with militarized police across the country, Trump’s ineptitude and cruelty feel more painful than ever. The post Where Does America Go From Here? appeared first on The Nation.
The Troubling Origins of Birthright Politics
by Nathan Perl-Rosenthal on June 2, 2020 at 09:30
Nathan Perl-Rosenthal Two new works of history examine how the politics of birthright citizenship can be a vehicle for liberation and equality and serve the cause of exclusion. The post The Troubling Origins of Birthright Politics appeared first on The Nation.
The Fight for the Soul of the Democratic Party Is a Fight for the Future
by John Nichols on June 2, 2020 at 09:15
John Nichols Henry Wallace, FDR’s vice president, argued 75 years ago that Democrats had to go big on economic and social and racial justice. That’s still true. The post The Fight for the Soul of the Democratic Party Is a Fight for the Future appeared first on The Nation.
The Suburban Commute Is a Soul-Crushing, Environment-Destroying Invention
by Elie Mystal on June 2, 2020 at 09:15
Elie Mystal The last few months have shown us that we can do away with it forever. The post The Suburban Commute Is a Soul-Crushing, Environment-Destroying Invention appeared first on The Nation.
The Year of Making America Great
by Tom Tomorrow on June 2, 2020 at 09:00
Tom Tomorrow The first half of 2020 shows Trump’s true incompetence. The post The Year of Making America Great appeared first on The Nation.
This Treasury Official Is Running the Bailout. It’s Been Great for His Family.
by by Justin Elliott, Lydia DePillis and Robert Faturechi on June 2, 2020 at 09:00
Police Need Real Reform, a Fresh Start
by David C. Couper on June 1, 2020 at 20:49
Because policing has for so many years been the realm of white males, there are still vestiges of white supremacy and racism within its ranks.
Midwest Dispatch: White People, Do Something
by Sarah Lahm on June 1, 2020 at 20:30
As protests and riots spread to cities across the world, white people are being asked to join the fight against police brutality.
‘I Believe in Building Systems’
by John Nichols on June 1, 2020 at 18:51
Stacey Abrams outlines a vision for a fairer and more democratic society.
Adams describes one of the groups!
by <b>bob somerby</b> on June 1, 2020 at 18:27
MONDAY, JUNE 1, 2020You may not hear this on cable: Eric Adams is Brooklyn borough president. Before that, he spent 22 years in the NYPD.In this interview with New York magazine, he describes who you’re currently seeing each night in scenes from Gotham’s streets:ADAMS (6/1/20): We’re at a unique place, and many people don’t understand: The righteous protesters who deal with police abuse—what’s different now is that we have professional agitators, and their goal is not police abuse but to burn our cities. And that’s why you see fire-bombings—the people who are doing the Molotov cocktails. These are professionals who know how to do incendiary devices. They carry bags of rocks and stones so they can resupply agitators. We found a vehicle on Eastern Parkway in Crown Heights that had incendiary devices, a trunkful of gasoline. New York may not realize it, but they’ve never been here before. I’ve been speaking with some of the organizers and telling them they have to identify the people who are from outside the city that are here to hijack their movement, to destroy and harm the city.Last night, someone on cable defined the three groups now in the streets. Those three groups are these:The protestersThe agitators/arsonistsThe lootersIn the passage posted above, Adams is discussing the second group. We can’t tell you much about any of this, and some of our stars seem to be trying to keep our tribe from breaking through the Pabulum Curtain.On CNN and MSNBC, you’re being deluged with propaganda which says that the looters are only stealing all that stuff because they’re so hurt and upset. When others see our tribunes saying such things, they line up to vote against whoever our tribe prefers.That interview with Adams is well worth reading. In our view, Cuomo and Lemon spent hours last night turning our brains to mush. More on the agitators: The next exchange reads like this:NEW YORK MAGAZINE: So are those people sympathetic to the cause or are they alt-right people, or something else?ADAMS: No, they’re—I think it’s an interesting combination, with similar goals at opposite ends of the spectrum. There are far-right people who want to see a race riot between cops and young blacks, and they’re doing everything they can to aggravate that, throwing stones, throwing liquid substances that burn the skin. And then there are these sorta anarchists who are saying We want to destroy government, because government has been unfair, as they see it, to the poor. You have this mixture that’s really infiltrated these organizations.Adams is Brooklyn borough president. There’s every chance that he knows whereof he speaks. Or you can listen to Lemon as he flogs his disappointment with his know-nothing Hollywood friends.
Did Val Demings do the right thing?
by <b>bob somerby</b> on June 1, 2020 at 17:59
MONDAY, JUNE 1, 2020The facts are always wrong: Val Demings is very impressive.Today, she’s a member of the House, representing Florida’s 10th congressional district. Earlier, she was chief of police in Orlando, a major American city located in the South.We’re going to guess that people have always found Val Demings impressive. We get that impression from a story in her column in yesterday’s Washington Post:DEMINGS (6/31/20): I joined the Orlando Police Department when I was 26 years old—a young black woman, fresh out of an early career in social work. I am sure you can imagine the mental and physical stress of the police academy. Not only exams and physical training, but the daily thoughts of, “What am I doing here?” as I looked around and did not see many people who looked like me.But I made it. I was elected class president and received the Board of Trustees’ Award for overall excellence. I proudly took an oath to the Constitution and to protect and serve. I was on my way to fulfill my dream of “saving the world.” Of course, I went straight to the midnight shift, but I loved the job. I truly felt like I was serving my community, responding to calls from people in distress. Val Demings was 26 in 1983. (Today, she’s 63.) Way back then, she was elected class president at the Orlando police academy. If such assessments were fashionable, that might be seen as a very large sign of progress way back then.Demings was “a young black woman” in a Southern jurisdiction. Beyond the racial dynamic, she was entering a profession which had always belonged to the men.She says that when she looked around, she didn’t see “many people who looked like [her].” She doesn’t say whether that means that there were few black women, or few black recruits at all. Personally, we aren’t fans of that rapidly trending “looks like me” locution. Personally, we think it may be more constructive to say that we all pretty much look alike, what with the two eyes, the nose and the mouth, and the ear on each side of the head.We think it may be more constructive to emphasize similarity rather than to keep insisting on perceived difference. That doesn’t mean that Demings isn’t impressive, because she plainly is.All the way back in 1983, a bunch of guys at the Orlando police academy were willing to notice this fact. If seeing the glass half full was more fashionable today, this might look like a marker of long-ago progress.That said, current fashion favors seeing the glass as shockingly empty. This leads us to ask if, in one particular matter, Demings has done the right thing.We refer to a major break from tradition which has been occurring in the past week. That break from tradition can perhaps be seen in this part of Demings’ thoroughly sensible column:DEMINGS: My heart goes out to the families of those who have lost loved ones. But we must also offer justice through full and swift accountability—not just for their loved one, but for the future.In Minnesota, we have no choice but to hold the officers accountable through the criminal-justice system. But we cannot only be reactive. We must be proactive. We must work with law enforcement agencies to identify problems before they happen.[…]As law enforcement officers, we took an oath to protect and serve. And those who forgot—or who never understood that oath in the first place—must go. That includes those who would stand by as they witness misconduct by a fellow officer.Four officers came to the scene last week when a clerk called police accusing George Floyd of a (possible) crime. One of the four, Derek Chauvin, has been charged with murder and manslaughter.That’s where the break with tradition starts coming in.From Governor Walz on down, has any official in the state of Minnesota not prejudged this criminal case? Starting with Governor Walz, we’ve seen one office-holder after another announce that George Floyd’s death was a murder, full stop, with no possible need for “alleged.”In that way, these officials have broken with two long traditions. They’ve broken with the presumption of innocence, and they’ve broken with the insistence that public officials not make public statements prejudging a criminal case.We were once shocked when Nixon did that. This past week, everyone has.Has Demings broken with that tradition when she says that we should hold the officers (plural) “accountable through the criminal-justice system?” Beyond that, did she recommend, in the passage we’ve posted, that all four officers should be charged with crimes, not just the current one?Judgments on those questions may differ. But given the current state of play, it’s hard to imagine any politician arguing for the older way, in which office holders were never supposed to prejudge criminal cases.Did Rep. Demings prejudge the case against the other three officers? If she has, could that mean that she has failed to do the right thing?On those questions, opinions will differ. That said, we the people have been howling for the necks of the three officers who haven’t yet been charged with a crime. Full disclosure! It doesn’t seem obvious to us that the other three officers should be charged with a crime. One thing does seem perfectly clear:As we the people continue to howl, it’s unlikely that you will ever see a serious discussion of that question. Or of anything else, of course!Tomorrow morning, we’re going to take you through the official document in which Chauvin was charged with murder and manslaughter (the “statement of probable cause”). We’re going to guess that you might be surprised by some of what that document says.We’ll start with a statement Chris Wallace made on yesterday’s Fox News Sunday. He joined the mob that’s out for blood—and as he did, it seemed quite clear that he hadn’t yet read the official criminal complaint.Do you watch CNN or MSNBC? If so, you heard accounts of this case, all last week, which are contradicted by statements made in that official complaint. These contradictions don’t come from Chauvin’s defense attorney; they come from the man who has charged him with murder. When we read that official document, we were surprised—but in another way, not surprised—by some of the things we read.The facts you’re handed are always wrong. It’s been this way for years.Also, this statement by Demings: We liked Demings even more when we read this unusual statement in the passage we’ve posted above:I was on my way to fulfill my dream of “saving the world.”In the summer of 83, Demings was dreaming of saving the world! We had that goal at 26 too. It was a difficult burden.
Days of Rage in Milwaukee
by Isiah Holmes on June 1, 2020 at 16:34
City rocked by weekend of protests and clashes.
ADULTHOOD’S END: The New York Times comes out of its shell!
by <b>bob somerby</b> on June 1, 2020 at 14:13
MONDAY, JUNE 1, 2020We hear Norman Brown singing: We’ve never met Tanya Faison of Sacramento, California.That said, Tanya Faison of Sacramento is a good, decent person. Also, she has made a difficult choice, due to a need she feels.In this morning’s editions, the Washington Post describes the choice Faison has made. Decent people have made such decisions at various times in world history:BAILEY ET AL (6/1/20): Less visible is the private weariness and anguish felt by many black people in the country, some of whom are either too fearful for their health to join the protests or who may disagree with the methods of some of the most riotous demonstrators.“I’m exhausted,” said Tanya Faison, an activist in Sacramento. “All of these things build up, and they make your soul feel such unrest. And then you add that to all the lives that nobody got justice for.”For months, Faison has been sheltering in place at home, worried that if she catches the virus, she may die because of a preexisting respiratory condition. But the fear of the coronavirus, she said, is outweighed by the urgent need to push for change while political leaders and nonblack communities are paying attention.“There comes a time when you need to figure out what’s more of a risk,” she said. “So I’m going to put my mask on, I’m going to put my gloves on, and I’m going to protest.” Decent people have put themselves at risk many times in the planet’s past. Then too, there’s the remarkable conduct being put on display by the Hamptons-based upper-end sociocrats who parade about, announcing their virtue, at the Gamptons-based New York Times.This very morning, the New York Times’ front page represents a type of coming out. From this day forward, nothing is hidden. The Hamptons-based paper is no longer trying to hide who and what it is.Tanya Faison is a good, decent person. We’d be inclined to suggest that folk at the Times may, by contrast, be lost.Today’s front page strikes us as astounding, yet perhaps as refreshingly undisguised. For starters, though, and with possible reference to Faison, or to other decent people like her, let’s recall what we saw on the paper’s front page just two days ago.The report appeared on the Times front page. Right there in paragraph 6, the New York Times offered this:FURBER ET AL (5/30/20): The case has become part of a now-familiar history of police violence in recent years in which African-American men have died in encounters that were shockingly mundane in their origins—Eric Garner, who died after a 2014 arrest in New York for selling cigarettes without tax stamps; Michael Brown, who died in an encounter with the police the same year in Ferguson, Mo., after walking in the street instead of using the sidewalk. Amazing, isn’t it? You’ll have to admit that it is!More specifically, is it true? Did the late Michael Brown die in an encounter with police which was “shockingly mundane in [its] origins?”Plainly, that’s what three reporters said, abetted by unnamed editors. According to Furber, Burch and Robles, Brown died in an encounter with police “after walking in the street instead of using the sidewalk.” Full and complete total stop!As you know, those statements by the three reporters were technically accurate. Assuming even minimal competence, they were also baldly dishonest.We don’t believe that Furber, Burch and Robles are really that unaware. Similarly, we don’t believe that their unnamed editors could possibly be that clueless.According to the formal Justice Department report which Attorney General Eric Holder explicitly endorsed, Brown was killed after assaulting a (much smaller) convenience store clerk and subsequently attempting to seize a (somewhat smaller) police officer’s gun.He was spotted walking in the street, but he was being sought because of the earlier assault. For whatever tragic reason, he was charging the (somewhat smaller) police officer when the fatal shots were fired. According to the formal report which Attorney General Holder endorsed, every shot the officer fired was justified, given the circumstances.(We’re not sure we agree with that judgment, but the Obama officials who reached that conclusion know much more about police work than we do. At any rate, we’re familiar with the basic facts which are described in their lengthy, report. Assuming even the tiniest competence, the New York Times knows those facts too.)We find it hard to believe that Matt Furber, Audra Burch and Frances Robles don’t know those basic facts. We don’t believe that their unnamed editors are ignorant of these facts.On the other hand:Many good, decent people are ignorant of those facts. As Saturday’s front-page report helps us see, newspapers like the New York Times are still working to keep things that way.What goes through the mind of a journalist who puts such a baldly misleading passage in print? We don’t know, and no one is ever going to ask Furber, Robles or Burch.Our upper-end news orgs don’t engage in such conduct. Homey don’t play it that way!At any rate, our point this morning is very simple. It goes exactly like this:Counterintuitive though it may be, our nation’s upper-end journalists have been doing this forever. More specifically, they’ve been misreporting and disappearing basic facts in cases of this type ever since the shooting death of Trayvon Martin launched the movement of which decent people like Faison are part.Those decent people have repeatedly been misled and misinformed by our upper-end journalists. As they’re handed childish, fabulized accounts of these very important milestone cases, they’re robed of the chance to understand the complexity of the world, and their anxiety and sense of anguish may tend to grow.We cover journalism at this site. We don’t pretend to have expertise concerning police conduct and/or misconduct.For more than twenty years, we’ve been describing the behaviors in which our nation’s upper-end journalists engage. This morning, we’re going to tell you this:People like Faison have been misled and misinformed by people like Furber every step of the way over the past eight years. We refer to cases involving police shootings, and to cases of alleged or proven sexual assault.In this instance, readers can see what the New York Times wrote. Last Saturday, the report appeared above the fold on the newspaper’s front page.Why was such an absurdly deceptive presentation on the paper’s front page? We’ll be asking such questions all this week as we discuss adulthood’s end—as hear Norman Brown singing.On this morning’s front page, we’d say the New York Times has fully come out of its shell. We’d say it reveals itself, without any hint of disguise, as an upper-class organ of disinformation and performative Hamptons-based virtue.When you read the New York Times, upper-end reporters are happy to signal that they themselves, and chosen others, are the good decent people, while targeted others are not. And by the way, while we have you here:Is this perhaps a tiny bit like the way President Nixon got elected? Is it possible that President Trump could be getting himself re-elected as folk at the Times, and on the two cables, play these eternal games? We can’t answer that question—but the Furbers misstate, and many good people writhe. Complexity has been taken from them in this, the eternal way of the guild, the clan and the tribe.By the way, who the heck was Norman O. Brown? He started out as a classicist, but you’re asking a very good question.His books became very big in the mid to late 1960s (Life Against Death, Love’s Body). He seemed to think that he could hear our culture’s end drawing near.Tomorrow: Adulthood’s end continues
Havoc Comes to Madison
by Alice Herman on June 1, 2020 at 05:00
A weekend of protest, and an excessive police response.
This has been happening for a long time!
by <b>bob somerby</b> on May 30, 2020 at 15:36
SATURDAY, MAY 30, 2020We don’t mean that as a compliment: In print editions, this front-page report in the New York Times appears beneath this headline:Fatal Encounter Wasn’t First Time Paths CrossedEye-catching! But in the actual report, readers seem to be told that there’s no particular reason to think that their paths ever had crossed:FURBER, BURCH AND ROBLES (5/30/20):Mr. Floyd had been a star football and basketball player in high school, moving to Minneapolis about five years ago. When he returned to Houston for his mother’s funeral two years ago, he told a cousin that Minneapolis had come to feel like home. “He was such a happy guy, he loved to be around people, loved to dance and he loved Minneapolis,” said Jovanni Thunstrom, who owned the Conga Latin Bistro where Mr. Floyd worked security on salsa nights. “He walked in every day with a smile on his face.”It was another club, El Nuevo Rodeo, where both Mr. Floyd and Mr. Chauvin worked. Maya Santamaria, who sold the club in January, said she doubted that the two men interacted.Mr. Floyd worked the occasional weeknight, she said, while Mr. Chauvin worked security on weekends over the past 17 years.That was the full discussion of whether their paths had ever crossed. That said, what the heck! It was close enough for New York Times front-page headline work!Through a pair of links, the report connects to the formal criminal complaint in which Officer Chauvin is charged with murder and manslaughter. The document tells a more complicated story than any we’d previously heard.None of that is why we offer this post. We offer this post because of the following sleight-of-hand:FURBER, BURCH AND ROBLES: The case has become part of a now-familiar history of police violence in recent years in which African-American men have died in encounters that were shockingly mundane in their origins—Eric Garner, who died after a 2014 arrest in New York for selling cigarettes without tax stamps; Michael Brown, who died in an encounter with the police the same year in Ferguson, Mo., after walking in the street instead of using the sidewalk.The second highlighted passage is stunningly disingenuous.As has been widely noted, the original police report about George Floyd’s death was remarkably deceptive. Everything included was accurate. But dear God! The facts which got left out!So too with that highlighted passage, which omits the reason why Michael Brown was being sought on the fateful morning when he was spotted “walking in the street instead of using the sidewalk.” As someone at the Times surely knows, he was being sought because he’d just assaulted, and stolen from, a much smaller convenience store clerk. First the police report, then the Times! This is the world we all live in.
Chait and Flynn and the Post oh my!
by <b>bob somerby</b> on May 30, 2020 at 14:18
SATURDAY, MAY 30, 2020The end of competent journalism: We’ve read and seen some horrible journalism in the past 24 hours.For one example, consider this lengthy front-page report in today’s Washington Post. More specifically, consider two of the various things you never learn about the fatal police shooting incident with which the report begins:Did the late Wayne Reyes have a shotgun with him when he was shot and killed? Also, had he in fact “stabbed his girlfriend and another friend” in the minutes, or perhaps in the hour, before he was shot and killed?Despite the length of this front-page report, you’re never told such things. We’d give this report a failing grade, except as an example of unfortunate story-shaping.We’re going to make a confession today. Like you, we’ve never been a police officer.Unlike Jeronimo Yanez (see Post report); unlike Mohamed Noor (see Post report); we’ve never been dispatched, in the dead of the night, to police an incident in which a gun eventually appeared, or in which a sexual assault was said to have occurred right out in the street.We’ve never had to do that! For that reason, we’re slow to judge people who are required to do such things. We ourselves have never made the brave, dead-of-night decision, as everyone else has done.It’s hard to imagine any excuse for Derek Chauvin’s recent conduct. He’s been charged with murder and with manslaughter, and the conduct in which he engaged does in fact seem to have been deranged and depraved.(How do people end up that way? We’ve wondered about that all week. So far, there’s been little background reporting.)In other cases involving police officers, we’re inclined to be slower to judge. Luckily, everyone else is willing to leap, and reporters like Bailey and Berman are prepared to sift the information we’re given about various events.That front-page report is terrible work, but it’s also a sign of the times. As a matter of anthropology, it may be the best our species can be expected to do. It may be that, at times ;like these, we human beings are hard-wired to novelize such reports.A second report, from the Post’s page A2, is shorter and more straightforward. Now that transcripts have been released, it reports what Michael Flynn said to Russkie ambassador Kislyak in December 2016.This second, shorter report was written by Barrett and Miller, a pair of experienced, top-level reporters. Barrett and Miller do not report that Flynn was “undermining” the Obama administration’s policy on sanctions. (In the report which appears in our hard-copy Post, the word does not appear.)Jonathan Chait does make that claim. As he does, we weep for the species.In the end, of course, it all depends on what the meaning of “undermine” is. Chait is certain that “undermining” occurred. He says so in this paragraph:CHAIT (5/29/20): The transcripts today quote Flynn telling Kislyak, “Do not, do not uh, allow this (Obama) administration to box us in, right now, okay?” If that does not constitute “undermin[ing] the outgoing administration’s policy,” what does?What would have constituted undermining the policy? Frankly, we’re not sure.The outgoing Obama administration had three more weeks to serve. The incoming Trump administration was going to have every right to adopt a different sanctions policy.The existing policy stayed in effect right through inaugural day. On that day, President Trump addressed the largest, most admiring crowd in solar system history. Nothing Flynn said to the Russkie affected, or could have affected, the continuing operation of the Obama policy until such time as Obama was no longer president. We have no idea what it means to say that Flynn “undermined” that policy, nor does Chait, full of certainty, bother to explain why he says it did.By way of contrast: In the fall of 1968, President Johnson may have been on the verge of a peace deal with the North Vietnamese. By common understanding, Candidate Richard M. Nixon tried to keep a peace deal from happening. So it says in this factually accurate New York Times news report:BAKER (1/2/17): Richard M. Nixon told an aide that they should find a way to secretly “monkey wrench” peace talks in Vietnam in the waning days of the 1968 campaign for fear that progress toward ending the war would hurt his chances for the presidency, according to newly discovered notes.In a telephone conversation with H. R. Haldeman, who would go on to become White House chief of staff, Nixon gave instructions that a friendly intermediary should keep “working on” South Vietnamese leaders to persuade them not to agree to a deal before the election, according to the notes, taken by Mr. Haldeman.The Nixon campaign’s clandestine effort to thwart President Lyndon B. Johnson’s peace initiative that fall has long been a source of controversy and scholarship. Ample evidence has emerged documenting the involvement of Nixon’s campaign. But Mr. Haldeman’s notes appear to confirm longstanding suspicions that Nixon himself was directly involved, despite his later denials.It’s easy to see why someone would say that Nixon and/or the Nixon campaign sought to undermine Johnson’s possible peace deal. For all we know, they may have kept it from happening!But in what way did Flynn’s remarks to the Russkie undermine the Obama policy? To this day, we have no idea—nor does Chait attempt to explain. To Chait, it’s just blindingly obvious!So it tends to go at highly tribal times such as these. We were similarly stunned, but also dismayed, by the peculiar way this early report from Minneapolis ended, a report about the use of tear gas.Unlike everyone else, we’ve never been a police officer. But we think we can answer the following questions, at least on a provisional basis:Why might a police department use tear gas in a situation where arson and looting were occurring? Also, why might a police department decline to use tear gas in a situation where as far as we know, for better or worse, no crimes were being committed?Despite our lack of experience, we think we can answer those questions! At New York magazine, but also in this remarkable piece at Slate, these behaviors indicate the existence of preferential racist behavior on the part of police.The woods are lovely, dark and deep—but our species isn’t, and never was, “the rational animal.”According to reams of decorated top major anthropologists, man (sic) was always the tribal animal. Our war-inclined species was always wired to generate stories which favor the clan or the tribe. This is now happening all over “the news.” It’s even happening Over Here, among the admittedly good smart brilliant thoughtful unbiased humans.How did we ever make it this far? For all their brilliance and erudition, despondent major anthropologists are completely unable to say.Postponed today: The decline of the once seminal book, The Family of Man (sic). Also, postponed again: What did Rachel Maddow say? On that same night, Adam Schiff!The Post, in print and online: The online version of the Post’s report about Flynn includes material in which an “analyst” seems to say that Flynn’s phone calls did undermine the Obama policy. The professor in question doesn’t explain why he uses that term.In the report which appears in our print edition, the word (and the analyst) never appear. The report appears on page A2 of our hard-copy Post.The online report is longer. On the other hand, it isn’t included on the list of reports you access by clicking the link, “Today’s print stories.” Online, the report is longer—but you have to hunt it down!
Smart Ass Cripple: Going to the Doctor While Deaf
by Mike Ervin on May 29, 2020 at 22:49
If you’re deaf and need to communicate with hospital staff during the pandemic, that’s when the nightmare really begins.
From the rubble (and death) of Minneapolis…
by <b>bob somerby</b> on May 29, 2020 at 20:24
FRIDAY, MAY 29, 2020…standardized narratives form: We still owe you an account of what Rachel Maddow said about Deborah Birx last Friday night.As of yesterday, our leading slacker cable news channel had posted the transcript from last Friday’s shows. We still promise to show you what was said, but for today, let’s defer to events from Minneapolis.We’re not sure that we’ve ever been glad to hear that someone has been arrested and charged with a crime. That said, if anyone was ever going to get arrested and charged with a crime, it would have to be Officer Chauvin. Many questions remain to be asked about his remarkable conduct, and about the conduct of the other three officer on the scene.That said, we cover the public discourse here, not the mysteries of (some) police conduct. In these latter days of our failing republic, we’ve been amazed by some of the scripts which have emerged from our own struggling tribe.Remember, this site is all anthropology now. We no longer expect to see any sensible, sound discussions, whether about this or about some other important topic.At this site, it’s all about the ancient wiring which leads us to behave in the tribal ways we do. With respect to that ancient questions, highly expert anthropologists wake us on a nightly basis to contradict Aristotle:Man [sic] is the tribal, script-reading animal, these despondent future scholars all say.At some point, we’ll offer examples. For today, we’ll only say this, after watching CNN. We really don’t think that Crispus Attucks is part of what happened this week.How did we ever make it this far? Can anyone riddle us that?
Trump’s Dangerous Drug of Choice
by Rachel Charlton-Dailey on May 29, 2020 at 17:09
Trump’s advocacy of taking hydroxychloroquine to combat COVID-19 is putting vulnerable people in unnecessary danger, at the potential expense of people who need the medication to live.
IMITATIONS OF DISCOURSE: Candidate Mondale’s etiquette gaffe!
by <b>bob somerby</b> on May 29, 2020 at 14:02
FRIDAY, MAY 29, 2020As gaffe culture emerged: We self-defined, self-impressed “human beings” can be amazingly dumb.Let’s make that observation a bit more interesting. The intellectual leaders among us humans can be amazingly dumb!Wittgenstein sketched one of the ways that dumbness can work among the highest academic elites. This morning, though, the New York Times seems to go out of its way to showcase this hard-wired dumbness.How dumb can the dumbness get? Consider the way this letter begins. The New York Times chose to publish this letter at the very top of today’s letters column:LETTER TO THE NEW YORK TIMES (5/29/20): Amy Cooper is surely a Karen (an entitled white woman), and a bad dog owner, and probably a little racist, but does she deserve to have her life ruined over this incident—and perhaps be permanently banned from the park, as the Central Park Civic Association has asked?So the letter begins. It begins by normalizing a mocking, derogatory term which is applied to a wide swath of people on the basis of race (and gender).In fairness, this writer says a “white woman” is only a “Karen” if she is “entitled.” Only a fool would think that a group denigration of that type can be contained in such ways.This morning, the Times helps enable the current superspread of this derogatory race- and gender-based term. In doing so, it joins The Atlantic, and the Central Park birder himself, along with that Harvard man’s sister and a growing cast of thousands.(Stating the obvious: in terms of misogyny and woman-hating, the term plays a role similar to that of the previous term, “dumb blonde.” You’d think that anyone could see that, but our brightest lights routinely won’t.)In The Atlantic, a Kaitlyn offered this chirpy analysis back on May 6. (She referred to the term as “a popular joke.”) Her piece was linked to this very week by a David Graham. It should be hard to be this dumb, but our high-end journalists are up to the task. Such observations help us recall the birth of the modern-day gaffe.Michael Kinsley explained the emerging phenomenon in the trivia-pimping year of 1984. The whole point of the gaffe, he claimed, was that the much-maligned statement in question had to be trivial, pointless.In that sense, the ensuing pseudo-discussion had to be defiantly dumb. The ensuing bafflegab would therefore, by definition, be an imitation of discourse, even perhaps of life.Back in 1984, modern gaffe culture had begun to emerge. Today, it helps define the simple-minded world of our upper-end press corps, many of whose silly-Bill members have “gone to the finest schools.”(Stating the regrettable: When Bob Dylan presented that phrase in what may be his most famous song, he was, by fairly obvious inference, perhaps and possibly tilting toward the denigration of women.)Today, the press corps [HEART] gaffes! Over the past three or four decades, gaffe culture has expanded to include a wide array of monumentally pointless missteps.As we’ve noted, the press corps will seize on the spoken gaffe, but also on the wardrobe or hairdo gaffe. They’ll note the cheese on the cheesesteak gaffe. For decades, they’ve discussed the gaffe which involves asking for the wrong type of beverage when in a bar or saloon.In 2008, the Wall Street Journal’s Amy Chozick discovered the “too skinny to get elected” gaffe. In a sensible world, this would have meant that no serious newspaper would ever have wanted to hire any such Amy.In our world, the reverse was true. When the New York Times saw her “too skinny” piece, they knew they had to recruit her! (Or so perhaps it went.)We’ve listed many kinds of gaffes this week, but we haven’t yet mentioned the etiquette gaffe. According to a report by Gay Jervey, that gaffe was invented by a Maureen. It happened in 1984, the year of Kinsley’s excavations.Jervey’s report was sourced to Bill Kovach, Washington bureau chief at the New York Times during the era in question. Kovach’s story appeared in Jervey’s profile of Dowd in the late, lamented Brill’s Content.Kovach had a major career. But good God! This story:JERVEY (June 1999 issue): Even as a young reporter Dowd had an eye for telling detail and nuance…“We were on deadline,” Kovach explains. “Mondale and Ferraro had just been nominated…As the candidates stood on the platform, Maureen jumped up and grabbed me and said, ‘Look! Look! There is the story. Mondale doesn’t know whether to hug his wife or Ferraro. He doesn’t know what to do.’ She saw that signaled a new era, with women playing a whole new role in politics and men not quite knowing what to do.” That keen observation…crystallized for Kovach just how clairvoyant a reporter she was.In this way, Dowd’s brilliance was discovered by her newspaper’s power brokers. Sixteen years later, she built seven (7) columns around Candidate Gore’s bald spot. Candidate Bush won by a hair, then sent our army into Iraq. People are dead all over the world because of the gaffe of the bald spot.Concerning Mondale’s etiquette gaffe—he didn’t know which Karen to hug!—please consider the following:On that same evening, Candidate Mondale was caught in public making an accurate statement. During the speech in which he accepted his party’s nomination for president, Mondale said that he would have to raise taxes—and that his opponent, Ronald Reagan, was going to do the same thing, although he wouldn’t tell us.In this emerging age, this was the ultimate gaffe. No, it wasn’t a trivial statement, but it was an accurate statement—and according to Kinsley’s various definitions, a gaffe occurs when a politician says something that’s actually true.This spoken gaffe dealt with a major policy topic. For many years thereafter, Mondale was ridiculed, by reporters and pundits, for having made that accurate statement.That said, up in a sky box, a Karen had reportedly spotted a gaffe—in this case, an etiquette gaffe. It didn’t get a lot of play as campaign reporting unfolded, but it presumably led to this Karen’s ascent, and onward to the “Creeping Dowdism” which came to engulf the Times.It was a Katherine, Katherine Boo, who stood up on her two hind legs and tried to warn us about that creeping investment in trivia. In the years which followed his disregarded warning, trivia may be their most important product as the Samsons of the guild proceeded to dumb the world down.That said:Regarding Aperol Spritz and Taylor Swift, you can check the original document here. We don’t want to offer that document as a criticism of the youngish reporter who wrote about Candidate Biden’s gaffe last week, linking it to Candidate Clinton’s previous “hot sauce” gaffe. Boo tried to serve the nation well, and so will that youngish reporter.To us, that document showcases something else. It documents the way New York Times editors seem to love our nation’s trivia and those who pursue it well!No, you can’t run a modern nation this way. In the words of a famously average Joe, just “take a good look around.”Tomorrow: The Family of Man, the book
Immigrants in Limbo Speak Out
by James Goodman on May 29, 2020 at 12:00
DACA and Temporary Protected Status holders seek road to citizenship.
Human Capital Stock
by Mark Fiore on May 29, 2020 at 09:00
The Trump Administration is handling the COVID-19 pandemic in the same way the Trump Organization has handled the real estate business—with bluster, overconfidence, and fudged numbers.
Mourning and Organizing
by Sarah Jaffe on May 28, 2020 at 21:46
Collective grief, from Minneapolis to vigils for victims of COVID-19, is inseparable from rebellion.
Speaking of “mentally deranged”…
by <b>bob somerby</b> on May 28, 2020 at 21:41
THURSDAY, MAY 28, 2020…this is our species on journalism: We’re big fans of [the bulk of] Kevin Drum’s work. We think his body of work on lead abatement has been about the best work to emerge form the Internet.That said, today he said this, at the end of a short post. We’ll explain below:DRUM (5/28/20): Is Trump mentally unstable? I don’t know. But he’s sure not mentally all there, is he? What kind of leader decides he can just shut his eyes to a deadly pandemic and instead spend all his time plotting revenge on enemies both real and imagined? Only a mentally deranged one. When will the Republican Party finally realize just what kind of trouble they’ve gotten us into?Within one paragraph, Kevin said this:He doesn’t know if Trump’s “mentally unstable.” But he does know he’s “mentally deranged.” (The headline on the post says this: “Donald Trump Is Mentally Unhinged.”)Our best guess concerning a translation:Mainstream news orgs won’t let their employees discuss Trump’s possible mental illness. “Journalistically,” it’s against the rules to discuss what’s right there in front of our faces.This is our species on journalism! Mental health issues are widely discussed in all other contexts. They just can’t be discussed here.Fuller disclosure: Donald J. Trump, who can’t be discussed, holds the nuclear codes.
Journalists keep offering “links to nowhere!”
by <b>bob somerby</b> on May 28, 2020 at 18:23
THURSDAY, MAY 28, 2020Links which don’t support claims: Yesterday afternoon, we discussed the recent adventure in which we labored to compare New York City’s experience with Covid-19 to that of Los Angeles.Due to an oddity in the far west, it was hard to learn how many people had died of Covid-19 in Los Angeles. As you may recall, our search began with this short paragraph from this op-ed column in the New York Times:WILENTZ (5/25/20) And indeed, the pandemic in Los Angeles has not been anywhere as intense as in New York, where as of this week the number of deaths was about eight times what it was in Los Angeles. We know people in New York who’ve died of Covid-19; here, so far, we know no one.In fact, as of last weekend, the number of deaths in New York City was about sixteen times what it was in Los Angeles. That said, in discussing our recent adventure, we forgot to mention one point:We forgot to mention where our adventure began. It began with a “link to nowhere.”As you can see from the online version of the column, that one short paragraph carries three (3) separate links. We clicked the link beneath the words “about eight times” to see if we could validate that claim about New York City and Los Angeles deaths.As you can see from clicking that link, the link in question took us to this news report. The report supplied the number of coronavirus deaths in Los Angeles County, but it didn’t give the number for New York City or for the city of Los Angeles itself.In short, that link didn’t support the claim it seemed designed to support. It seems to us that “links to nowhere” of this type are appearing more and more often in work at upper-end news orgs.Consider the latest example:The first report we read this morning was this report at Slate. The piece adopts a somewhat tendentious approach to the recent phone call to 911 from inside New York’s Central Park.The author took us inside the mind of Amy Cooper, the person who made the unfortunate phone call in question. The writer tells us what Cooper thought and felt as she made the call. This seems a bit presumptuous to us, given Cooper’s extremely disordered behavior and apparent state of mind.For ourselves, we’d be slow to read the mind of such a disordered person. At any rate, in paragraph 4, the author moves on to say this:GRUBER (5/27/20): For decades, conservative and liberal women alike have been taught that the key to empowerment against men who pose a threat, real or imagined, is to call the police. As high as the stakes were for Christian, they were nonexistent for Amy. For upper- and middle-class white women, the demographic least likely to be arrested or face state violence, a call to the police appears to be a no-lose proposition.Is it true that “upper- and middle-class white women” are “the demographic least likely to be arrested?” On its face, we didn’t (and don’t) find that hard to believe. (We’d be curious to see the corresponding rate for Asian-American women.) We’d also be curious to see how different the rates of arrest might be for other groups of women.Meanwhile, is it true that “upper- and middle-class white women” are “the demographic least likely to face state violence?” We wondered what that term might mean. Skillfully, we proceeded to click that paragraph’s two links.The first link seems designed to support the claim about rates of arrest. As best we can see, nothing in the lengthy report to which we were taken says anything about the socioeconomic status of the three groups of women under discussion (white, black, Latina).As such, the report to which the link leads doesn’t support the pleasing claim in question. Nor does the report explicitly say that white women are arrested less often than Latinas!Indeed, based on what the report does say, it seems possible that white women are arrested more often than Latinas. (Asian-American women aren’t included in the report.) Meanwhile, there’s no attempt in the report to discuss socioeconomic status of the three groups in question. The report to which we were taken doesn’t address, let alone support, the claim it’s supposed to support. As such, the link in question is another link to nowhere! It seems to us that we’re finding them more and more often these days.So how about that second link—the link designed to support the claim that “upper- and middle-class white women” are “the demographic least likely to face state violence?” Slate’s link in apparent support of that claim takes us to this study, whose title refers to “police violence.” Rather, it takes us to the abstract for that study, whose full text we weren’t able to access. Based on the abstract, that study doesn’t seem to include socioeconomic status either. Nor does it include data for Asian-American women.Meanwhile, good news! According to the first linked report, Latinas are less likely than white women to experience a traffic stop. They’re also less likely than white women to experience a “street stop” by police. Overall, it isn’t clear who gets arrested more often.Out of all this, the author came up with a pleasing claim about upper- and middle-class white women. Again and again, more and more often, this is the way our politicized journalism seems to work in these latter days of extremely high tribalization. (More examples to come.)Links to nowhere seem rather common. Do “editors” ever check those links before they put essays in print?For extra credit only: According to the essay in Slate, Amy Cooper’s crazy phone call poaed no threat to her. “As high as the stakes were for [her target], they were nonexistent for Amy.”Amy Cooper has lost her job and she’s lost her dog. Compare and contrast. Discuss.
IMITATIONS OF DISCOURSE: Did Joe Biden commit a gaffe?
by <b>bob somerby</b> on May 28, 2020 at 14:05
THURSDAY, MAY 28, 2020Are more such vile comments to come?: In this morning’s New York Times, a letter writer in Los Angeles discusses Joe Biden’s alleged gaffe.The New York Times published his letter.The writer is a recent graduate of the law school at the University of the Pacific. We’re sure that he’s a good, decent person—but his letter helps us contemplate the logic of modern gaffe culture:LETTER TO THE NEW YORK TIMES (5/28/20): How does The New York Times decide which offensive comments made by presidential candidates are worth writing full articles about? Joe Biden’s comment on “The Breakfast Club” radio show—that voters “ain’t black” if they are torn between him and Donald Trump—was obviously a gaffe and he was right to apologize for it, but it was not the worst thing said by a presidential candidate this past week.The day before, President Trump visited a Ford factory and stated that the Nazi sympathizer Henry Ford had “good bloodlines.” The comment was not even mentioned in your article about Mr. Trump’s factory visit, despite being arguably more vile than anything Mr. Biden said during his “Breakfast Club” interview.Will The New York Times repeat its missteps of 2016, or will Mr. Biden’s gaffes, of which there are sure to be more, be put into their proper context and held up against the words and actions of his opponent? The writer agrees that Biden committed a gaffe. Indeed, he says it’s “obvious” that he did so. As he closes, he even says that there are sure to be more to come!The writer seems to say that a “gaffe” is an “offensive comment.” At one point, he even seems to say that Biden’s comment was “vile.” It’s just that something Trump said about Henry Ford was “arguably more vile.”(Warning! The writer says that Trump’s remark was arguably more vile than “anything Mr. Biden said” during last week’s radio program. This seems to imply the possibility that Biden may have made other vile comments that day!) That’s what the letter writer said. If we might adapt Wittgenstein’s first sentence in Philosophical Investigations:”These words, it seems to me, give us a particular picture of the essence of [modern gaffe culture].”Those who adhere to modern gaffe culture see the world as a brutal place. They are constantly being assailed by the vile, offensive remarks made by politicians.It falls to them, in their goodness, to rank these comments in order of their vileness. The writer scolds the New York Times for failing to see that Trump’s remark about Henry Ford was arguably more vile than anything Biden said.The letter writer sketches the essence of modern gaffe culture. That said, the gaffe was a different animal back in 1984, when Michael Kinsley began trying to define its emerging role in pseudo-journalistic culture.Thanks to Jonathan Chait, we can see one of the original New Republic columns in which Kinsley began his discussion of this blossoming art form. The backstory goes like this:While seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, Candidate Gary Hart had made a snide remark. He’d complained about having to campaign in New Jersey while his wife got to campaign in California. “Journalists” seized upon this obvious gaffe. Kinsley stood apart from the crowd, as he frequently did at that time. Michael Kinsley wasn’t buying! His second column on gaffe culture started off like this:KINSLEY (6/18/84): We have reached a political nadir of some sort if the Democratic Party candidate for the leadership of the free world is chosen on the basis of a casual remark about New Jersey. Yet it seems possible history will record that Gary Hart lost his chance to be President when he stood with his wife, Lee, on a Los Angeles terrace and uttered these fateful words: “The deal is that we campaign separately; that’s the bad news. The good news for her is she campaigns in California, and I campaign in New Jersey.” Lee Hart mentioned that in California she’d held a Koala bear, and the Senator added in mock rue that in New Jersey he’d held “samples from a toxic waste dump.”The TV networks played this incident very big, the analysts of the print media went to work on it, and it appears to have blossomed into a gaffe. This could cost Hart the New Jersey primary—and therefore, everyone agrees, any hope of the nomination.The “gaffe” is now the principal dynamic mechanism of American politics, as interpreted by journalists. Each candidacy is born in a state of prelapsarian innocence, and the candidate then proceeds to commit gaffes. Journalists record each new gaffe, weigh it on their Gaffability Index…and move the players forward or backward on the game board accordingly. In this morning’s New York Times, we seem to learn that the modern gaffe is a statement which is offensive and vile. This follows our emerging brain-dead culture over here on the pseudo-left, in which our lives are built around performative virtue in response to obvious, grotesque moral failures on the part of pretty much everyone else on the face of the earth. We liberals and progressives! In large part, we have our assistant, associate and adjunct professors to thank for this loud, self-admiring culture, in which we trumpet our own moral greatness while issuing amazingly broad denunciations of large swaths of dveryone else.(See the astoundingly broad constructions which drive today’s column by an Australian author and doctoral candidate. The New York Times chose to publish it. It appears in this morning’s Times, opposite the letter.)To this morning’s letter writer, the modern gaffe seems to be a vile, offensive remark. That isn’t what a gaffe was said to be back in Kinsley’s day.To Kinsley, there were two defining characteristics of the classic gaffe. According to Kinsley, for a statement to be a gaffe, the statement had to plainly true, and it had to be trivial, pointless. So Kinsley craftily said as he continued his column:KINSLEY (continuing directly): Hart’s Jerseyblooper contained both of the key elements of the gaffe in its classically pure form. First, as explained in this space three weeks ago, a “gaffe” occurs not when a politician lies, but when he tells the truth. The burden of Hart’s remark was that, all else being equal, he’d rather spend a few springtime weeks in California than in New Jersey. Of course he would. So would I. So would Walter Mondale, no doubt, along with the vast majority of Americans, including, quite possibly, most residents of New Jersey…The second element of the classic gaffe is that the subject matter should be trivial…[T]he ideal “text” for political journalism to chew on is an episode of no real meaning or importance—such as a small joke about New Jersey—which can then be analyzed without distraction exclusively in terms of its likely effect on the campaign. Kinsley refers to the classic gaffe. This implies that this journalistic monster predated the 1984 campaign, which ended with Reagan winning big after Mondale had been observed in public making several accurate statements.At any rate, Kinsley said the classic gaffe had to satisfy two criteria. The classic gaffe was plainly true, and it was wholly trivial.In the Jerseygate matter, the gaffe might also be a joke. That’s how some people, including Paul Krugman, saw Biden’s vile remark last week—as a quip, a joke, a jest, a jibe or possibly just a sally.We’ve come a long way since 1984! Today, the tendency is to see the gaffe as a statement which reveals some vile hidden moral belief. According to the letter writer, Biden made at least one such remark last week, and he will surely make more.Have we mentioned the fact that the letter writer is surely a good, decent person? For ourselves, we’d have to say that we regard Biden’s remark as trivial. Roughly three million blue-leaning pundits, observers and nutcakes have made similar remarks in the past. As we noted yesterday, we wouldn’t make such a remark ourselves. But we don’t regard it as a window into a soul more offensive and vile and than our own.That said, it’s all anthropology now—and it’s close to becoming all vanity. Our warlike species is highly tribal. We’re wired to denigrate others, and possibly to find such specimens under every rock. Our assistant professors have come a long way and have given us many new tools. Tomorrow, we’ll look behind the journalistic trivia which might be said to lie behind this latest front-page gaffe. We might even visit the high-profile news site Kinsley founded to see what they care about now.There are still mountains of trivia out there. Much of it comes straight from us.Tomorrow/still coming: Aperol Spritz and Taylor Swift! Plus, who authored the first modern-era gaffe? Did JFK ever commit one?For extra credit only: Does Trump know anything about Henry Ford? We can think of no reason to think so.
How many people have died in L.A.?
by <b>bob somerby</b> on May 27, 2020 at 18:32
WEDNESDAY, MAY 27, 2020Also, where are last Friday night’s transcripts?: This Monday, we were struck by the highlighted statement in a New York Times opinion column:WILENTZ (5/25/20): For years, New Yorkers like me have mocked and reviled Los Angeles because of its messy residential sprawl and its out-of-control car culture. They’ve asked: Can you even call that a city? But sprawl and cars means Los Angeles doesn’t have much in the way of virus vectors like subways and residential elevators.And indeed, the pandemic in Los Angeles has not been anywhere as intense as in New York, where as of this week the number of deaths was about eight times what it was in Los Angeles. We know people in New York who’ve died of Covid-19; here, so far, we know no one. The column was written by Amy Wilentz. According to the leading authority, she actually grew up in New Jersey, though that could always be wrong. Today, though, she’s a professor at Cal Irvine and is the author of well-received books.We were struck by the highlighted sentence because it referred to “deaths” rather than to death rates. To some, this will seem like a trivial point. To others, this will recall the remarkable problems our upper-end news orgs often have with the simplest types of statistical constructions.New York is much larger than Los Angeles. For that reason, it doesn’t exactly make sense to compare the number of deaths which have occurred in the two famous cities.We’ll guess that Wilentz presented a more sensible comparison, and that some editor changed it. At any rate, we decided to take a look at the record! We decided to see how many people have died in the two famous cities, and also to see how the two cities’ death rates compare.How many people have died in L.A.? You’d think it would be easy to get that information. In fact, it took us roughly half an hour on Monday morning, though we found the figure more easily today. The problem was the surprising dominance of a jurisdiction known as Los Angeles County. Frankly, who knew? The story goes like this:The City of Los Angeles—the jurisdiction commonly known as L.A.—currently boasts a population of roughly 3.96 million. (Good luck finding any such figure at the city’s own web site.) That said, the city is part of the much larger jurisdiction we’ve cited above—the County of Los Angeles. As of last year, the county’s population had nudged up just over 10 million—and to our surprise, it dominates the more famous city which shares its name, statistical information-wise.Go ahead! If you go to the Los Angeles Times, they will tell you the number of deaths for Los Angeles County. If you go to the web site for the city itself, they’ll do the same darn thing! (Once you’re able to find any statistic at all.)The city will tell you how many people have died in Los Angeles County; as of yesterday, the number was 2,143. But how many people have died in Los Angeles itself? How many people have died in the world-famous city?The number is remarkably hard to find, even at the city’s own web site.Eventually, we did manage to find it, although we had to leap one more rather comical hurdle. You’ll be able to find it too, if you’re willing to struggle a bit. Assuming the accuracy of the city web site’s data, the number of deaths by coronavirus currently stands at 1,051 in the very famous city commonly known as L.A.By way of contrast, deaths for New York City currently stand it 16,410, as you can easily learn. This means that New York City has roughly sixteen rimes as many deaths as Los Angeles, not the eight the Times reported, if we’re discussing what everyone means when they refer to “Los Angeles.”New York City has sixteen times the number of deaths, but its population is slightly more than twice as large as L.A.’s. That means its death rate is roughly eight times that of L.A. We’ll assume that’s what Wilentz wrote, and that some editor changed it, hoping to make things easier for people who read the Times.Does this matter? As the past three decades have made clear, virtually nothing does! We paraphrase pols in the ways which feel good. We generate gaffes to keep script alive. Routinely, the simplest kinds of statistical matters are simply too much to deal with.There’s one other point we should mention:We tell you these things in our afternoon post because the all-time slacker “cable news” channel still hasn’t posted transcripts for last Friday’s night’s programs. We’ll show you what Rachel said about Dr. Birx if the slackers at that channel ever find their way back to work from their three-day weekend.At the upper end of the social scale, nothing much actually matters. It’s been this way for a rather long time, and it helped give us our Trump.
IMITATIONS OF DISCOURSE: Krugman calls it a harmless gaffe!
by <b>bob somerby</b> on May 27, 2020 at 13:20
WEDNESDAY, MAY 27, 2020A statement of opinion: Just for starters, let it be said:Paul Krugman’s assessment of Biden’s remark is a matter of judgment—a matter of opinion.Last week, Biden was speaking with a radio host who calls himself Charlamagne Tha God. According to the New York Times, the radio host “has been called out for his own gaffes and homophobic, transphobic and sexist comments.”Not that there’s anything wrong with it! That said, Biden forgot the basic rule of modern outrage-era politics: The politician has to be especially careful about what he says to someone named Tha God.Ignoring this well-known rule, Biden proceeded to make a remark which had been made about three million times by blue-leaning pundits before him. Because we live in The Age of the Gaffe, this set off storms of complaint, largely among a certain subset of blue-leaning pundits. Krugman was stating his view about this set of events. Midway through his column, he referred to Biden’s fleeting remark as “a harmless gaffe”—but as he started, he stated his basic view of the matter:KRUGMAN (5/26/20): Last week Joe Biden made an off-the-cuff joke that could be interpreted as taking African-American votes for granted. It wasn’t a big deal—Biden, who loyally served Barack Obama, has long had a strong affinity with black voters, and he has made a point of issuing policy proposals aimed at narrowing racial health and wealth gaps. Still, Biden apologized.And in so doing he made a powerful case for choosing him over Donald Trump in November. You see, Biden, unlike Trump, is capable of admitting error. Was Biden’s off-the-cuff remark actually a “joke?” In the hubbub which has ensued, contradictory views have been stated.Was Biden’s possible joke “a big deal?” Krugman said the comment wasn’t a big deal; he also said it was “harmless.” Others expressed alternate views. Last Saturday, the controversy hit the front page of the Washington Post. One day later, it led the National section of the New York Times—and in the Times, inevitability struck: Readers were told that Biden’s remark recalled Candidate Clinton’s “hot sauce” remark. That remark touched off a gaffe watch during our last presidential campaign, the one which (ever so barely) sent Donald J. Trump to the White House. So it has gone in our White House campaigns during this, The Age of the Gaffe. During this, The Age of the Gaffe, our journalists have helped us that the gaffe can take many forms. As we noted yesterday, there is the spoken gaffe. But there’s also the wardrobe gaffe and the hairdo gaffe, and there’s the gaffe of the cheese placed on the cheesesteak.There’s the spousal imperfection gaffe. There’s the gaffe of what you order to drink while campaigning in a saloon, lounge, dive, restaurant, private club, hell-hole or bar.Closely related to the gaffe is the question of whether the politician knows the price of a loaf of bread or a gallon of milk. There’s the gaffe of crying or seeming to cry, even if major journalists have to dream tears up.Long ago and far away, when the gaffe was being invented, Michael Kinsley defined the emerging phenomenon. According to Kinsley’s formulation, “A gaffe is when a politician tells the truth.” Kinsley stated that view in 1984, a year in Walter Mondale was caught making accurate statements in public on at least several occasions. By now, the frontiers of the gaffe have been expanded. Indeed, the leading authority on the topic now offers this gaffe catalog:The term gaffe may be used to describe an inadvertent statement by a politician that the politician believes is true while the politician has not fully analyzed the consequences of publicly stating it. Another definition is a statement made when the politician privately believes it to be true, realizes the dire consequences of saying it, and yet inadvertently utters, in public, the unutterable. Another definition is a politician’s statement of what is on his or her mind—this may or may not be inadvertent—thereby leading to a ritualized “gaffe dance” between candidates…A propensity to concentrate on so-called “gaffes” in campaigns has been criticized as a journalistic device that can lead to distraction from real issues. The Kinsley gaffe is said to be a species of the general “political gaffe.” Etcetera and so forth and so on! We’ll only note that this catalog of gaffes fails to mention a wide array of possible gaffes, including the wardrobe gaffe, the hairdo gaffe, and the gaffe which occurs when the politician tells a joke which is then excitedly treated as a serious comment.(See Candidate Gore, September 2000, “union lullaby” joke. See giant mainstream press hubbub which followed. See subsequent extremely narrow win by Candidate Bush.)Was Candidate Biden telling a joke on that radio show? Did he possibly author a jest or a jibe? Was his comment “harmless?” Those are all matters of opinion. And Biden’s remark was made in this, the tribalized era characterized by the deathless cry, No Offense Left Behind.Because of the nature of the age, offense was instantly taken. This sent Biden to the front page of the Washington Post, the same front page which, today, is discussing the latest pathological insults delivered by the other presumptive candidate in our coming White House election, assuming some such election actually happens.For ourselves, we wouldn’t have made Biden’s comment. We think so-called race is correctly regarded as a “suspect category,” and not just under strictures of constitutional law.We would be extremely loath to make joking remarks in the general area of “race.” It’s generally a bad idea for a pol to do so, even if he’s talking to someone who calls himself Tha God.For the record, we don’t mean to criticize Charlamagne by making such comments. He isn’t one of the people who turned Biden’s off-the-cuff comment into a front-page gaffe. Tomorrow, we’ll look at a few who did. They were expressing their opinions, just as Krugman later did. Such behavior is of course allowed, though it may not always be helpful or wise.We’re going to close by repeating something we just said. For ourselves, we wouldn’t have made Biden’s comment.His comment dealt with so-called race, and for reasons which are blindingly obvious, our brutal history has made that an extremely difficult topic. It’s also true that people of various “races” are allowed to support Donald J. Trump. Clarence Thomas’ views, and those of the grandfather who raised him, are part of the American experience too. No group of people has ever agreed on any one topic. No group can sensibly be expected to do so, and no group ever will. That said, long before Biden spoke, three million blue-leaning pundits had offered some version of his remark, often while killing time on 24-hour cable. Such remarks are occasionally part of the dumbness of Our Own Tribe. Everyone says what Biden said! Still, a basic reason to avoid joking as Biden did was captured in the account given above:The term gaffe may be used to describe an inadvertent statement by a politician that the politician believes is true while the politician has not fully analyzed the consequences of publicly stating it. We’d advise against making a comment like Biden’s because you know exactly how a bunch of people will quickly and loudly react.Later in his column, Krugman expressed a view about Biden’s opponent this fall, assuming we have an election. Intriguingly, Krugman said this:KRUGMAN: Trump’s pathological inability to admit error—and yes, it really does rise to the level of pathology—has been obvious for years, and has had serious consequences. For example, it has made him an easy mark for foreign dictators like North Korea’s Kim Jong-un…Is Biden’s possible opponent caught in the grip of an actual “pathology?” We’d like to see some major journalist stand on his or her hind legs and examine that question in a serious way.We’d like to see medical and psychological specialists consulted on that difficult question, but only if they’re non-partisan. But until the time when someone is willing to take that route, gaffe culture is going to work its eternal will:Over the weekend, it had the guy who doesn’t seem to be mentally ill on the front page with the guy who apparently is. We liberals often refer to that as “moral equivalence,” until we ourselves want to spout.The age of the gaffe is the age of the quick declamation. Tomorrow, we’ll ponder an historical question:Which politician authored the very first modern gaffe? When was modern gaffe culture born? Who stands as its very first victim?Tomorrow: Exploration of “the star-making machinery behind the Aperol Spritz,” along with “a standout piece on [a journalist’s] change of sides in the Kanye vs. Taylor Swift debate.”Plus, who authored the first modern gaffe? Does it go back to Muskie?
What explains those varying deaths rates?
by <b>bob somerby</b> on May 26, 2020 at 19:23
TUESDAY, MAY 26, 2020Some comparisons you’ve never seen: What explains the varying death rates from coronavirus in different nations? In today’s Washington Post, this report seeks to explain Germany’s relative success as compared to its major European neighbors.Canada is often praised too. On the other hand, if we consider death rates from various states, here’s how some numbers look:Coronavirus deaths per million population, as of May 26Canada: 176Arizona: 116Missouri: 113Florida: 110Germany: 101California: 97Wisconsin: 89North Carolina: 75Texas: 55Oregon: 36California’s right there with Germany. Texas has them both beat.Those are some of our less afflicted larger states. Meanwhile, Europe’s most afflicted nations don’t look quite so bad when compared to our most afflicted states:Coronavirus deaths per million population, as of May 26:New York: 1443New Jersey: 1260Connecticut: 1045Massachusetts: 939Belgium: 806Spain: 580United Kingdom: 546Italy: 545Michigan: 526France: 437United States: 303Presumably, many factors go into those widely varying numbers. At any rate, we’ve never seen such comparisons before. We compile, you ponder/rue this terrible affliction/seek to explain.
Chris Wallace batters McEnany!
by <b>bob somerby</b> on May 26, 2020 at 17:48
TUESDAY, MAY 26, 2020Maddow slimes Dr. Birx: Friday afternoon’s White House press briefing was a genuine lollapalooza.At the start of the event, President Trump came storming out to insist that churches reopen. He threatened to override any governor who tried to stand in the churchhouse door, failing to say on what authority he thought he’d be able to do so.The president stormed away after roughly two minutes. At that point, Kayleigh McEnany praised the president for his brilliant remarks. Thirty-five minutes later, near the end of the briefing, McEnany slimed the press with an inane remark about the way they seem to hate religious belief. “And boy,” she thoughtfully said. “It’s interesting to be in a room that desperately wants to seem to see these churches and houses of worship stay closed.”To his vast credit, Reuters’ Jeff Mason directly challenged McEnany’s remark. That said, the dumbest was yet to come.McEnany then sought, and received, a ludicrous “question” from OAN’s half-crazy Chanel Rion. To be specific, Rion asked whether President Trump is planning to pardon President Obama for his Obamagate crimes. Yes, that’s what she asked! Thus emboldened, McEnany ended the briefing with several minutes of snide and stupid remarks. Her condescending diatribe started like this:MCENANY (5/22/20): I have not spoken to the president about that, but who I did speak to about President Obama and unmasking Michael Flynn were the men and women in this room. I haven’t spoken to him on that specific point. Have spoken to him about the matter generally. And I laid out a series of questions that any good journalist would want to answer about why people were unmasked, and all sorts of questions. And I just wanted to follow up with you guys on that.Did anyone take it upon themselves to pose any questions about Michael Flynn and unmasking to President Obama’s spokesperson? [DRAMATIC PAUSE]Oh, not a single journalist has posed that question. Okay!So I would like to lay out a series of questions. And perhaps if I write them out in a slide format, maybe we’re visual learners, and you guys will follow up with journalistic curiosity.So, number one…From there, McEnany listed five questions the journalists would certainly want to ask. Just in case the reporters are a bunch of visual learners, she had prepared her five questions in a slide format.For the record, yes. As McEnany took her dramatic pause, Jonathan Karl tried to object to her premise. He tried to note that reporting has said that Flynn’s name had actually never been masked, and therefore had never been unmasked. Skillfully, McEnany ignored what Karl was saying and continued with her scolding.You can read the transcript of the full briefing at this site. You can watch the tape of the full briefing here, with accompanying transcript.For the record, no—McEnany actually isn’t that dumb. She proved that again and again during her time as a CNN contributor.Presumably, this is the persona she has adopted in service to her new boss. And hallelujah! On Sunday morning, Chris Wallace let McEnany have it, but good, right there on Fox News Sunday.Wallace berated McEnany up one side and down the other. Reports of this matter have tended to focus on McEnany’s one remark questioning the reporters’ attitudes about religion. Plainly, Wallace was also battering McEnany for the stupid, condescending list of questions with which she ended her briefing.The session had begun with Trump the Avenger; it ended with Kayleigh the Scold. That said, the bulk of the session belonged to Dr. Deborah Birx and the unending stream of slides she flashed before the reporters.By our count, Dr. Birx presented 23 slides, many of which were poorly explained, as part of a 23-minute presentation. She then took a few questions.That night, Rachel Maddow characterized Birx’s presentation in about as phony a way as you’ll ever see. We aren’t big fans of Dr. Birx, but Maddow’s account of her presentation was absolutely crazy. Assuming MSNBC emerges from its weekend stupor and posts the transcript of Maddow’s remarks, we’ll show you what she said tomorrow.Trump and McEnany acted like clowns. Maddow may have topped them. This is where our discourse goes as we split into warring tribes.Presumably, Maddow’s conduct is good for corporate ratings. Throughout the course of human history, such conduct has also been the stuff of our highly tribal species’ destructive tribal wars.We get conned by our stars too! We continue to think that you ought to know that.
IMITATIONS OF DISCOURSE: “No big deal,” the Times seems to say!
by <b>bob somerby</b> on May 26, 2020 at 13:55
TUESDAY, MAY 26, 2020Earlier, the Times had spotted the latest gaffe: We were surprised by something we read in this morning’s New York Times, print edition only.It seemed to come right at the start of today’s featured editorial. At any rate, we were surprised to read this:APPARENT NEW YORK TIMES EDITORIAL (5/26/20): Last week Joe Biden made an off-the-cuff joke that could be interpreted as taking African-American votes for granted. It wasn’t a big deal—Biden, who loyally served Barack Obama, has long had a strong affinity with black voters, and he has made a point of issuing policy proposals aimed at narrowing racial health and wealth gaps. Still, Biden apologized. Biden’s remark was no big deal, the apparent editorial said. We were surprised by that assessment, in part because we’d read the New York Times over the weekend, on Saturday and Sunday both.On Saturday, the Times had devoted this full-length news report to Biden’s troubling remark. On Sunday, things got worse.On Sunday, there was no way to move the topic to the New York Times front page. On Sunday, the Times front page was wholly devoted to a bit of performative mourning on the part of what has become our most tribal blue newspaper. That said:On Sunday, the featured report in the paper’s National section concerned Biden’s remark. The topic led the National section. A youngish writer had been assigned the task of analyzing Biden’s comment. In fairness, yes, this is the guild this youngish reporter has chosen. Despite that fact, we can’t blame the youngish reporter for what you’ll see below. The youngish reporter didn’t invent the journalistic world into which she has emerged after graduating from college in 2014. But with a pitch-perfect ear for her newspaper’s gaffe culture, she wrote this about the radio show on which Biden committed his comment:MZEZEWA (5/24/20): “The Breakfast Club” airs every weekday from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Eastern and from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. on Saturdays on Power 105.1. Before the pandemic, its three hosts welcomed guests into their studio in Manhattan to discuss everything from music to celebrity gossip to politics. Many fans of the show listen to it on podcast apps, too.Interviewees have been known to walk out if they don’t like a question. Even DJ Envy, a host, once walked out on the show. No one who enters the studio or, now, joins a video call with any member of the hosting trio is safe from commentary and criticism. And when the hosts upset listeners, people take to Twitter, where Charlamagne has been called out for his own gaffes and homophobic, transphobic and sexist comments.In its nearly decade-long run, the show has created viral moments with rappers, actors, and politicians. As it has carved out a space for serious conversations about politics, it has become an important stop for candidates who desperately want to appeal to black voters. After all, it was on this show that Hillary Clinton said that she carried hot sauce in her bag, just like Beyoncé.Mrs. Clinton appeared in April 2016, and since then the show has become an even more crucial campaign stop for presidential hopefuls who want to reach the show’s mostly black, young listeners and viewers. The radio host with whom Biden spoke “has been called out for his own gaffes”—also, for his homophobic, transphobic and sexist comments. For now, let’s forget about that.Also, and much more significantly, “it was on this show that Hillary Clinton said that she carried hot sauce in her bag, just like Beyoncé.” Candidate Clinton made this remark in April 2016, the youngish reporter now said.The youngish reporter didn’t seem to feel the need to explain the inclusion of such a trivial matter in her news report. She (and her editor) possibly thought that readers would remember the candidate’s “hot sauce” remark.Mind-reading skillfully, she did suggest that this remark by Candidate Clinton had signaled her “desperate” desire to appeal to black voters. Reporters have long been able to discern the motives behind such otherwise trivial comments.For those condemned to recall such matters, Candidate Clinton’s “hot sauce” disclosure touched off one of the braindead gaffe-based culture wars which have increasingly defined our presidential politics over the past several decades. It was right up there with Candidate Kerry’s terrible gaffe when he ordered the wrong kind of cheese to go on his Philly cheesesteak during Campaign 2004. It was right up there with the three million sartorial gaffes committed by Candidate Gore during Campaign 2000, when he even wore suit jackets with three buttons instead of the much-preferred two.Braindead members of the upper-end guild have patrolled such campaign gaffes for decades. They’ve patrolled the candidates’ spoken gaffes. They’ve patrolled the candidates’ wardrobe gaffes.They’ve patrolled an array of hairdo gaffes, including those committed by spouses. Here was Maureen Dowd, patrolling the various gaffes of Candidate Dean’s unacceptable wife, once again during Campaign 2004:DOWD (1/15/04): Even by the transcendentally wacky standard for political unions set by Bill and Hillary Clinton, the Deans have an unusual relationship.[…]The first hard evidence most people had that Howard Dean was actually married came with a startling picture of his wife on the front page of Tuesday’s Times, accompanying a Jodi Wilgoren profile.In worn jeans and old sneakers, the shy and retiring Dr. Judith Steinberg Dean looked like a crunchy Vermont hippie, blithely uncoiffed, unadorned, unstyled and unconcerned about not being at her husband’s side—the anti-Laura [Bush]. You could easily imagine the din of Rush Limbaugh and Co. demonizing her as a counterculture fem-lib role model for the blue states.”Judith Steinberg has shunned the role of helpmeet,” Dowd reported as she continued. And not only that! Dearest darlings, the clothing in that startling photo! And that uncoiffed hair!Dowd went on to pen a second column discussing Candidate Dean’s living, breathing gaffe of a non-Stepford wife. In fairness to Dowd, she wasn’t the only major pundit frisking Dean’s inexcusable spouse. Sadly, this is an integral part of the braindead culture into which youngish reporters must emerge when they join the upper-end press corps.This morning, we were surprised! We were surprised when it seemed that the Times editorial board had declared that Candidate Biden’s recent remark “wasn’t a big deal.” As it turned out, that wasn’t the editorial board voicing that judgment at all! In fact, the essay was written Paul Krugman. It was his regular Tuesday column. The authorship of the piece is clear if you read the Times online. In print editions, the Krugman column is positioned in such a way that it may appear to be the day’s featured editorial. This is a type of unwise visual misdirection in which the routinely unwise editorial board has recently begun to engage.We can’t blame that youngish reporter for becoming a part of gaffe culture. Nor was the New York Times alone in treating Biden’s “off-the-cuff joke” as a major topic. On Saturday morning, Biden’s remark was the subject of a full-blown front-page news report in the Washington Post’s print editions. On Sunday, the opinion columns followed. So it long has gone within the press corps’ prevailing gaffe culture, a culture maintained by a circle of adepts who are devoted to The Cult of the Offhand Comment.Unfortunately, there’s more to say about Biden’s remark and its coverage. There’s a great deal more to say about the guild’s never-ending gaffe culture.Such discussions are nothing but anthropology now, of course. Nothing will ever change this guild’s attraction to trivia and the irrelevant.For decades now, this low-IQ culture has produced the imitations of discourse which pose as campaign coverage. You might even refer to these manifestations as “imitations of life.”We’ll explore this culture all week. Krugman’s comments about Biden’s remark are, of course, matters of opinion and judgment. That said, the press corps’ judgment has often been amazingly poor down through these many long years. As Sunday’s report in the Times helps us see, the judgment of us the people is often even worse. All hail social media, with its rampaging furious Dowdism! All hail the three million ways we humans will wander off point!Coming: Rational animals are asked to recall the book called “The Family of Man [sic]”
Also, there was no Professor Reade!
by <b>bob somerby</b> on May 23, 2020 at 14:04
SATURDAY, MAY 23, 2020Donald Trump as his state’s greatest baseball player: When the New York Times reported on Tara Reade’s apparent misstatement, they cited CNN as the original source of their report.Reade had always claimed to be a graduate of Antioch University. But, as CNN had reported, the university has now said that it just isn’t so.As we noted yesterday, this is emerging as a rather familiar pattern. But when we read CNN’s lengthy report, the problem seemed to be even worse:LEE AND KAUFMAN (5/19/20): Reade has said that she changed her name to Alexandra McCabe and fled from her ex-husband [in 1996]. Some details of Reade’s personal life are hazier after that.Reade told CNN that she received a bachelor of arts degree from Antioch University in Seattle under the auspices of a “protected program,” personally working with the former president of the school to ensure her identity was protected while she obtained credits for her degree. She also said that she was a visiting professor at the school, on and off for five years.Presented with this, Karen Hamilton, an Antioch University spokesperson, told CNN that “Alexandra McCabe attended but did not graduate from Antioch University. She was never a faculty member. She did provide several hours of administrative work.”An Antioch University official told CNN that such a “protected program” does not exist and never has.Oof! According to Antioch, Reade doesn’t hold a degree from the school—and she was never a professor there! For whatever reason, CNN didn’t start discussing these problems until paragraph 17 of its largely ho-hum report. When they did, they only said that the facts here seem to be “hazy.”We can’t swear who’s right about these matters, but in this morning’s Washington Post, the story seems to get worser. In this passage, the reporters are discussing assertions by Reade in her work as an alleged “expert witness” in various court proceedings:VISER AND SCHERER (5/23/20): While Reade told the court she had worked as a legislative assistant to Biden, she actually held the job of staff assistant, a more junior role, according to Senate records. And while her résumé, shared with the defense by the district attorney before she appeared in court, said she worked in Biden’s office from 1991 to 1994, records show she was there only eight months, from Dec. 2, 1992, until Aug. 6, 1993.A spokeswoman for Antioch University said that, contrary to Reade’s claim, she did not graduate from the school, as first reported by CNN. The spokeswoman also said that Reade never worked as an “online visiting professor,” as she claimed on the résumé shared as part of the court proceedings.In testimony that she gave in December 2018, she was asked if she was licensed to practice law in California, and she responded that she had not taken the bar exam.But Reade herself published a blog in 2012 documenting her third attempt to pass the California bar exam. The blog was titled “California Bar Exam: Three Times A Charm.”Oof! According to the Post’s report, Reade misstated the nature of her job with Biden. She misstated the length of time she worked for Biden, turning eight months into three or four years.She falsely claimed to be a graduate of Antioch. She falsely claimed that she had been a professor at the school.Beyond that, she claimed that she’d never taken the bar exam. Earlier, she’d apparently said that she had taken the exam three times. We can’t straighten out these various contradictions. But we can recall the headlines on Professor Manne’s highly instructive essay:I Believe Tara Reade. And You Should, Too.We already knew that Biden is the type. Had we as voters and had the Democratic Party taken this seriously, we wouldn’t be in this mess nowProfessor Manne believed Tara Reade. She said that you should too. Why did she believe Tara Reade? In part because, as the headline explained, Biden is “the type!”Appallingly, Professor Manne is a ranking philosophy professor, at Cornell. Her essay appeared in The Nation.Each of these facts should tell us something about the way our absurdly self-impressed tribe has been contributing to our failing nation’s breakdown in intellectual order. Concerning Reade, the pattern which seems to be emerging is quite familiar. As we tell you every time, none of this can possibly prove that Reade’s claim about Biden is false. But, for whatever reason, some people do make false accusations of this type. At this point, does Reade really seem like someone you’d be inclined to trust?(For the record: Natasha Korecki’s report about Reade stressed her endless money problems. Could Reade be on the Putin payroll? Yes, of course she could! She’s written at least one crazy essay about the sexy Russkie hunk. Also, everything’s possible, and it always has been!)Does Reade seem like someone you can trust? Instead, might she be a person who “has problems,” as Emily Bazelon suggested at Slate way back in April, speaking to a pair of hopelessly scripted male colleagues?In the the words of the embarrassing Manne, does Reade seem like someone you should believe? Sadly, Professor Manne is a real professor, and she’s part of our own failing tribe!This brings us to the question of President Trump, whose statements are generally semi-coherent but rarely seem to be accurate.This morning, perusing the Washington Post, we were struck by the headline above Colbert King’s weekly column. We became even more intrigued when we saw the way King began:KING (5/23/20): All the president’s liesWhen President Trump announced this week that he is taking the drug hydroxychloroquine, I was working my way through The Post’s new book, “Donald Trump and His Assault on Truth,” written by the newspaper’s Fact Checker staff.The thought that Trump would ignore warnings from the Food and Drug Administration and deliberately ingest a drug that could have serious side effects was disturbing. Equally upsetting, however, was the thought that the president may have taken to the airwaves to tell a flat-out lie. Why should we believe he’s taking the drug? After all, America has come to this: a president of the United States whose word cannot be trusted.As a general matter, it’s certainly true that President Trump’s “word cannot be trusted.” President Trump emits bogus, false and misleading statements in much the way dark storm clouds will toss off showers of rain.That said:If Trump is taking hydroxychloroquine, that would seem to indicate that he actually hasn’t been lying when he’s said that he thinks it’s safe. If he thought the drug was going to kill him, we’ll guess that he wouldn’t be taking it.Is he actually taking the drug? There’s no way to be sure. But that headline talks about the president’s “lies,” and the Washington Post’s Fact-Checker site has never used that term. Playing by older, sounder rules, the site continues to tabulate the president’s “false or misleading claims.” And, as everyone used to know, a false statement isn’t a lie if the speaker believes the statement is true.The Fact-Checker site has bowed to that old understanding. Until today, when King proceeds to quote Glenn Kessler, the site’s major player:KING (continuing directly): Fact Checker editor and chief writer Glenn Kessler labels Trump “the most mendacious president in U.S. history.” And the 344-page book backs up that charge.Mendacity is a form of lying. It may be that Kessler is held to one set of rules in the Post itself, but has been able to state a different judgment in this new book.We haven’t seen the new book. We do recommend the possibility that Trump is disturbed and disordered—that the fellow “has problems.” Consider two apparent misstatements by Trump. Just this week, at a public event, he claimed, apparently falsely, that he was honored as Michigan’s “Man of the Year” a few short years ago.It seems quite clear that there is no such prize, and that Trump wasn’t so honored. But was Trump lying when he said that? Is it possible that he’s so delusional that he believes that claim?In asking that question, we refer you to another absurdly swollen claim Trump has made down through the years. Linking to a fascinating report in Slate, Tyler Lauletta summarized the lunacy here:LAULETTA (5/6/20): President Trump’s recollections of his career as a high school baseball player have come under scrutiny.Trump has claimed that he was a standout player, capable of making the big leagues had he desired.”I was captain of the baseball team,” Trump said in a 2010 interview with MTV. “I was supposed to be a professional baseball player. Fortunately, I decided to go into real estate instead. I played first base and I also played catcher. I was a good hitter. I just had a good time.”In a 2013 tweet, Trump went as far as to say that he was the best player in the state of New York in his high school days.Actually, Trump only said in that 2013 tweet that he was said to be the best player in the state. Exaggerations and misstatements are part of the human condition!That said, was Trump the best baseball player in the state of New York during his high school days? Asking a slightly different question, was he any darn good at all?Wonderfully, Leander Schaerlaeckens decided to check it out! In his lengthy, detailed report for Slate, it becomes fairly clear that Trump wasn’t an especially good high school player at all, let long the best player in the state.Question: When Trump made this ridiculous claim, was he actually lying? Or could it be that he’s so disordered that he thought his false claim was true?If he knew his claim was false, he was lying. If he actually thought it was true, does some larger problem exist?Is Donald J. Trump a liar, or might he simply “have problems?” We think that question is worth exploration. This seems to put us in the minority in our own infallible tribe.Like all tribes in all of human history, our tribe likes to make the sweeping moral denunciation. We tend to opt for the simplest accusation against the other or others.You can’t believe a thing Trump says, but how often is he actually lying? We’d like to see medical specialists tease that question out, if they can be nonpartisan in their discussions.Concerning Reade, it seems that a certain familiar pattern has emerged. Our big news orgs are actually discussing that pattern this time. They were never willing to do so in the history-altering cases of Gennifer Flowers and Kathleen Willey, who never stopped being regarded as the most credible people on earth.An unfortunate pattern has also emerged among some of our tribe’s professors. Recent essays by Professors Hirshman and Manne constitute an embarrassing indictment of one branch of our own failing tribe..The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but our self-impressed species is deeply tribal. At times like these, we aren’t inclined to be real bright—and that cab even be true Over Here, among our most brilliant sachems.
Progressives Mobilize to Pass Heroes Act, House COVID Relief Bill
by MoveOn on May 12, 2020 at 20:09
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE PRESS CONTACT: Valerie Jean-Charles email@example.com Progressives Mobilize to Pass Heroes Act, House COVID Relief Bill Groups Vow to Continue Fighting for Improvements and Additional Relief WASHINGTON, D.C. — Leaders of the country’s biggest progressive organizations pledged today to mobilize their millions of members to pass the HEROES Act relief package just proposed The post Progressives Mobilize to Pass Heroes Act, House COVID Relief Bill appeared first on MoveOn.Org | Democracy In Action.
Our Statement on Tara Reade’s Allegations Against Vice President Biden
by MoveOn on May 1, 2020 at 22:06
Believe survivors has always meant that people who come forward with allegations of sexual violence deserve the presumption of truth, and that their allegations should be heard and respected, not ignored or dismissed. Sexual violence is an epidemic in our country. We owe survivors a process where they are treated fairly, in a trusted system. The post Our Statement on Tara Reade’s Allegations Against Vice President Biden appeared first on MoveOn.Org | Democracy In Action.
MoveOn, Indivisible, Community Change Action Alarmed By ‘Inadequate Half Measures’ Proposed In Negotiations Between Trump, Pelosi and Schumer
by Nick Berning on April 8, 2020 at 21:43
“To be clear, it is the White House and Senator McConnell who are trying to force a business-only measure that completely ignores the needs of American families. But that is sadly expected. We need more from Democratic leaders. We call on Speaker Pelosi and Leader Schumer to use the profound power they hold in this moment to provide solutions that will save lives and help families survive this crisis.” The post MoveOn, Indivisible, Community Change Action Alarmed By ‘Inadequate Half Measures’ Proposed In Negotiations Between Trump, Pelosi and Schumer appeared first on MoveOn.Org | Democracy In Action.
We’re in this together
by Tillie McInnis on April 3, 2020 at 20:27
How MoveOn members came together in March in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic It’s clear that we are living in an unprecedented moment. Within all of the uncertainty, MoveOn members across the country have pulled together to stand up for one another, keep each other safe, and hold decision-makers accountable. There’s so much The post We’re in this together appeared first on MoveOn.Org | Democracy In Action.
Imagining A New World on the Other Side of the Pandemic
by By Truthdig Staff on March 20, 2020 at 21:08
At The Nation, Atossa Araxia Abrahamian has a provocative piece that imagines how future historians may come to write the story of the Covid-19 pandemic. The speculative history takes the form of a “best-case” scenario that serves as both a challenge and a salve, an inspirational fantasy to help balance out the more easily imagined
Senator Dumped Up to $1.7 Million of Stock After Reassuring Public About Coronavirus Preparedness
by By Robert Faturechi and Derek Willis / ProPublica on March 20, 2020 at 20:43
Soon after he offered public assurances that the government was ready to battle the coronavirus, the powerful chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Richard Burr, sold off a significant percentage of his stocks, unloading between $628,000 and $1.72 million of his holdings on Feb. 13 in 33 separate transactions. As the head of the intelligence
If Trump Declares Martial Law Due to Coronavirus, Can He Suspend the Election?
by By Martina Moneke / Truthdig on March 20, 2020 at 05:52
Following the criticism that he has mismanaged the nation’s response to the coronavirus epidemic, Trump has declared himself a “wartime president.” If martial law is next, what will happen to the November election?
Not Giving Up on Happiness: Care of the Self and Well-Being in a Plague Year
by By Juan Cole / Informed Comment on March 19, 2020 at 23:32
The specter of plague haunts our world, and it brings with it not only the ghouls of disease and death but vast economic and social uncertainty of a sort only the most elderly among us remembers (the Great Depression and World War II). My father is 90 and when I called him a child of
The Dem Primary is Over, and We Need Bernie Sanders to Lead on Health Care From the Senate
by By David Faris / Informed Comment on March 19, 2020 at 22:56
On Tuesday, I cast a joyless vote for the very much politically doomed Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in the Illinois primary, in an elementary school where hushed whispers and fearful glances had replaced the normal din of an election day. There was no one standing just outside the perimeter hustling me to vote for this
These Are the 51 GOP Senators Who Just Voted Against Expanding Paid Sick Leave to Protect Americans
by By Jake Johnson / Common Dreams on March 19, 2020 at 20:17
Republican senators on Wednesday teamed up to kill an amendment introduced by Democratic Sen. Patty Murray that would have expanded paid sick leave to millions of U.S. workers left out of a bipartisan coronavirus relief package. Every Republican present for the vote, 51 in total, voted against the amendment while every Senate Democrat voted in favor.
Elections May Have to Change During the Coronavirus Outbreak. Here’s How.
by By Rachel Glickhouse / ProPublica on March 19, 2020 at 17:12
As the novel coronavirus spreads through the U.S. during presidential primaries, election and government officials are scrambling to figure out how to allow voters to cast their ballots safely ― or postpone primaries altogether. Managing in-person voting during an unprecedented pandemic has forced authorities to overcome new virus-related hurdles: providing sufficient cleaning supplies to polling
17 Years Later: The Consequences of Invading Iraq
by Medea Benjamin and Nicolas J. S. Davies on March 19, 2020 at 15:10
While the world is consumed with the terrifying coronavirus pandemic, on March 19 the Trump administration will be marking the 17th anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq by ramping up the conflict there. After an Iran-aligned militia allegedly struck a U.S. base near Baghdad on March 11, the U.S. military carried out retaliatory strikes against five
Trump Uses Coronavirus to Spread Racism
by By Sonali Kolhatkar / Truthdig on March 19, 2020 at 12:00
There is nothing like a global pandemic to unleash the forces of racism in society. Trump is now routinely calling the novel coronavirus strain “the Chinese virus.”
Here’s Why Americans Need a Basic Income During the Coronavirus Outbreak
by By Anne Kim / The Washington Monthly on March 18, 2020 at 19:53
Dramatic action is needed now to blunt the immediate pain of vulnerable workers.
MoveOn Kicks Off $20 Million Effort to Win Progressive Governing Majority in Nov. Elections
by Nick Berning on February 7, 2020 at 16:04
MoveOn Political Action today announced the launch of its “America for All” 2020 election program to mobilize millions of members to defeat Donald Trump, end Republican control of the Senate, and help Democrats hold the majority in the House of Representatives. The post MoveOn Kicks Off $20 Million Effort to Win Progressive Governing Majority in Nov. Elections appeared first on MoveOn.Org | Democracy In Action.
MoveOn asked progressives around the country what they think about the 2020 election as part of a fundraising appeal. Here’s what they said.
by Oscar De los Santos on January 10, 2020 at 15:43
Progressives around the country strongly urge the 2020 candidates to take bold and fearless stances on several policy issues from immigration to a Green New Deal to Medicare for All. The results are in! In recent weeks, MoveOn sent a 2020 National Presidential Survey to tens of thousands of MoveOn members and other progressives around The post MoveOn asked progressives around the country what they think about the 2020 election as part of a fundraising appeal. Here’s what they said. appeared first on MoveOn.Org | Democracy In Action.
MoveOn members in 2019: Putting our people power to work
by Peyton Forte on December 31, 2019 at 19:41
MoveOn members began 2019 with new hope for our future as a new Congress was sworn in—the most diverse House of Representatives in history, with many progressive champions MoveOn members played pivotal roles in electing. And we ended the year with the impeachment of Donald Trump—a critical achievement to help check his administration’s rampant abuses of power, even as his lawlessness and attacks on so many communities continue. The post MoveOn members in 2019: Putting our people power to work appeared first on MoveOn.Org | Democracy In Action.
Frequently Asked Questions: Our New Petition Platform
by Tillie McInnis on December 4, 2019 at 00:00
We are upgrading our petition system! Please take a look at the FAQs below: The new system: Will the petition site be down during the upgrade? Yes. Certain MoveOn petition pages will be down beginning Monday, December 9 while we complete the upgrade. This means you won’t be able to sign or share petitions or The post Frequently Asked Questions: Our New Petition Platform appeared first on MoveOn.Org | Democracy In Action.
MoveOn Criticizes Sen. Coons’ Reckless Comments on Iran
by Brian Stewart on September 16, 2019 at 20:57
After Senator Chris Coons (D-DE) appeared on Fox and Friends this morning and said military action may be called for against Iran, MoveOn had the following statement. Statement of MoveOn campaigns director Justin Krebs: “Senator Coons going on Fox and giving ammunition to Trump administration war hawks who are trying to push the U.S. into The post MoveOn Criticizes Sen. Coons’ Reckless Comments on Iran appeared first on MoveOn.Org | Democracy In Action.
Fox guest on possible troop withdrawal from Afghanistan: “The solution is more blood, sweat, and tears”
by Media Matters for America on August 2, 2019 at 16:02
JOHN HANNAH (FORMER VP CHENEY NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER): The president, you know, is signaling that he wants done with this. There may be some kind of remnant of counter-terror mission here, but I think the danger is that once we withdraw our support for the Afghan government on the basis of a very phony promise from the Taliban that they are not going to try and reestablish their jihadist tyranny — and in very much in cooperation still with Al Qaeda, that once that Afghan government is brought down, Taliban, Al Qaeda come back. It’s going to be infinitely hard for the United States to conduct an effective counter-terrorism mission without an Afghan government there. BILL HEMMER (CO-ANCHOR): I apologize for the interruption there. Do you have a better solution then, John? HANNAH: No, I mean, listen, the solution is more blood, sweat, and tears. I think the mission in Afghanistan, as frustrating and as long as it’s been, Bill, with those several thousand troops there supporting an Afghan government — we’re not in the front lines doing the fighting — I still think it’s a sustainable mission if you believe that things can actually get much, much worse. But it needs a president who actually believes that avoiding a Taliban/Al Qaeda resurgence in the place that spawned 9/11 is important enough to continue this kind of sacrifice. Previously: Fox & Friends guest says a war against Iran would be “pretty quick and easy” The Trump-Fox feedback loop could cause a war with Iran Tomi Lahren: “If the plan were to send a huge surge of land and war power to wipe out Iran and turn it into glass … that might actually solve the problem.”
Fox host defends Trump: “Just because you use harsh language doesn’t mean your intent is to denigrate another race”
by Media Matters for America on August 2, 2019 at 15:48
STUART VARNEY (HOST): Are you a racist if you criticize an African-American politician? The left says, oh, yes you are. The charge, Trump is a racist, is now an established theme in the Democrats’ 2020 campaign. I object. Just because you use harsh language doesn’t mean your intent is to denigrate another race. Throwing that word around, racist, shuts down the debate. You can’t solve problems if you can’t speak freely. The word racist is applied to just about anybody. It no longer has bite. Baltimore has brought the racist charge to a boil. In a series of tweets, the president has criticized Congressman Elijah Cummings. He is a Democrat who has represent a major — majority Black district for over 20 years. The president described Cummings’ district as quote, “A disgusting rat and rodent-infested mess where no human being would want to live.” Oh, that caused outrage. The media jumped on it, and from there on out, branded the president a racist and a bigot. Again, I object. The president was describing reality. Bernie Sanders has said exactly the same thing, but he wasn’t called a racist. Oh, no, he’s a socialist. Now we find that Congressman Cummings himself had used similar language. He said Baltimore was quote, “drug-infested, and the residents walked around like zombies.” He was saying same thing as the president. Nobody criticized him for telling it the way it is, but Trump is a racist. This smearing, this name calling is a deliberate political tactic, and I think it’s going to fail. The weak performance of Democrats running big cities can no longer be covered up. This president, unlike any other president, is prepared to call it how he sees it, and damn the consequences. The president wants the votes of African-Americans. He’s courting them. Instead of pandering with offers of money, he is asking what happened to the billions already spent? Baltimore got 1.8 billion just from the stimulus package. What happened to it? Where did the money go? The Democrats have opened Pandora’s Box without realizing it. They thought that calling him a racist would silence him. Wrong. They’ve given him a campaign theme. And that theme is, the Democrats failing their own supporters. Previously: Fox host defends Trump’s racist tweets: He was just saying Democrats and liberal policies have destroyed Baltimore Fox’s Brian Kilmeade on Baltimore: “I don’t think anyone passed statewide tests in some of these inner-city schools” Fox host makes bizarre defense of Trump’s racism: Trump “probably never watched The Wire ”
Fox News is talking more about abortion than the Democratic debates did
by Media Matters for America on August 2, 2019 at 15:21
Melissa Joskow / Media Matters During the four nights of the two Democratic presidential primary debates in June and July, Fox News outpaced CNN and MSNBC in the amount of time it gave to abortion coverage even though the network didn’t host either debate. CNN moderators failed to ask a single question about abortion during the second primary debate this week. And even though MSNBC moderators asked the candidates questions about the topic during the network’s debate in June, Fox News spent more time discussing the issue than CNN, MSNBC, or the candidates themselves did. Right-wing media have been regularly dominating the conversation about abortion ahead of the 2020 elections, filling a void of abortion-related coverage by spreading misinformation and stigma about it. Fox News has been a frequent promoter of anti-abortion misinformation — including the allegation that Democratic support for abortion access is “extreme.” Given this emphasis, as well as the decreasing accessibility of abortion care across the United States, it is essential that moderators ask candidates specific and nuanced questions about abortion during the debates. This trend of right-wing media dominating abortion coverage continued during three of the four nights of the Democratic debates. Media Matters monitored both debates and live pre-debate and post-debate coverage on MSNBC, CNN, and Fox News and found that Fox News discussed the topic for almost 26 minutes total. In comparison, the topic was discussed on MSNBC for 11 and a half minutes and on CNN for about six minutes; this count includes the time when abortion was discussed on the debate stage as well as during pre-debate and post-debate coverage. CNN’s moderators failed to ask the candidates any questions about abortion during the network’s two nights of debates. The only time abortion was discussed during CNN’s July 31 debate night was when Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) asked former Vice President Joe Biden about his different positions on the Hyde Amendment. Notably, even when discussing the Hyde Amendment (which prohibits federal funds from supporting abortion care except in cases of rape or incest), neither Harris nor Biden used the word “abortion.” The topic was also essentially absent from the July 30 debate. Even though abortion was discussed during both nights of the MSNBC debate in June as moderators questioned candidates about it, Fox News still discussed the topic more each night than the debate participants and commentators on MSNBC or CNN did. During the first night of the June debate, Fox News discussed abortion for about nine minutes and 19 seconds between 8 p.m. and 1 a.m. In contrast, debate participants and commentators on MSNBC discussed the topic for only about four minutes and 15 seconds, and CNN commentators discussed abortion for only two minutes. This disparity was even greater during the second night of the MSNBC debate. During the same time period of 8 p.m. to 1 a.m., Fox discussed abortion for 15 minutes and 48 seconds, while debate participants and MSNBC commentators discussed the topic for four minutes and 44 seconds. Commentators on CNN discussed abortion for less than two minutes. Though there are many important topics that moderators should be raising during the 2020 Democratic presidential primary debates, Democratic voters are clear that they want to hear candidates discuss abortion. If moderators continue to prioritize optics, vacuous political theater, and right-wing talking points over substantive questions, right-wing media will continue dominating the discussion and will keep spreading anti-choice misinformation unabated on their own platforms. Methodology Media Matters searched the SnapStream video database for mentions of the following keywords: “abortion,” “Roe,” “reproductive rights,” “right to choose,” “pro-life,” “pro-choice,” “anti-choice,” “pro-abortion,” “decisions about her body,” “infanticide,” or “Hyde.” We searched on Fox News Channel, CNN, and MSNBC between 8 p.m and 1 a.m. for the June debates and between 7 p.m. and 1 a.m. for the July debates due to the earlier start time. We timed segments, which we defined as instances in which a speaker in the debate or on a network discussed abortion or a related topic. Segments included host monologues, news reports or packages, interviews, and guest panels. We did not include teasers for upcoming segments or rebroadcasts.
Fox & Friends touts Trump’s “connections to Ohio” without noting they involve housing discrimination
by Media Matters for America on August 2, 2019 at 15:21
STEVE DOOCY (CO-HOST): The president of the United States was in Cincinnati last night. You saw the rally right here on Fox News Channel. There were 17,500 people there at the U.S. Bank Arena in Cincinnati. The president has connections to Ohio, he’s talked about it in the past. Fifty years ago his father actually owned the Swifton Village housing complex in the Bond Hill area. So he’s got a connection, not only through his family, but also, he won Ohio last time. He needs to win Ohio again this time. … AINSLEY EARHARDT (CO-HOST): He’s familiar with Skyline Chili and Graeter’s ice cream because he said to that entire audience, he said, “I worked for my dad in the Swifton Village.” He said, “Does anyone know where the Swifton Village is?” And some people, you know, clapped and got excited about it. It’s always nice when someone famous comes into your town and they can relate to the people, and that’s what he does there.
The only Black Republican in the House announced he will not seek reelection. Fox News covered it for 20 seconds.
by Media Matters for America on August 2, 2019 at 14:32
Rep. Will Hurd (R-TX) announced on August 1 that he is not seeking reelection in 2020. I have made the decision to not seek reelection for the 23rd Congressional District of Texas in order to pursue opportunities outside the halls of Congress to solve problems at the nexus between technology and national security. https://t.co/GeZ4Hh264f — Rep. Will Hurd (@HurdOnTheHill) August 2, 2019 Politico described the importance of Hurd’s retirement: If you are a House Republican, this has been an absolutely gutting few weeks. And, truly, if someone is trying to spin you on how the political picture is not that bad for the House GOP right now — at this moment — you ought to discount them as a political professional or analyst. Because it’s really, really bad, deflating and discouraging. On Thursday night, Texas Rep. Will Hurd — the only black Republican in the House — announced he would not run for reelection. He beat Democrat Gina Ortiz Jones by fewer than 1,000 votes in 2018 in a large district that runs the stretch of the Texas-Mexico border — and she is running again. Republicans like to say this is an R+1 — fine, perhaps — but it’s an R+1 that Hillary Clinton won by 3 points, so it’s not much of an R+1. Others agreed. But while much of the political world is talking about the retirement announcement, Fox News is not as interested. Hurd was not mentioning at all during Thursday’s evening programming or Fox & Friends on Friday, and he has received only 20 seconds of coverage so far during Friday’s America’s Newsroom: Both CNN and MSNBC covered Hurd’s announcement on Thursday and Friday. Fox News has spent plenty of time touting President Donald Trump’s alleged support in the Black community despite polls showing widespread disapproval of the president. Hurd spoke about his decision not to run again with The Washington Post, calling out Trump’s racism: In an interview Thursday with The Post, Hurd criticized Trump’s racist tweets last month in which the president said four Democratic minority congresswomen should “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.” Three of the women are from the United States; a fourth, Rep. Ilhan Omar (Minn.), is a Somali refugee who became a U.S. citizen as a teenager. “When you imply that because someone doesn’t look like you, in telling them to go back to Africa or wherever, you’re implying that they’re not an American and you’re implying that they have less worth than you,” Hurd said. Hurd recently told Meet The Press, “I shouldn’t be the only African-American Republican in the House of Representatives.”
Fox’s Newt Gingrich complains about Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren: “I don’t remember us electing an angry president literally in my lifetime”
by Media Matters for America on August 2, 2019 at 14:31
BILL HEMMER (CO-ANCHOR): Go ahead and frame the argument that the president is making there from last night, sir. NEWT GINGRICH (FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR): Look, I think Kim Strassel did a great job with the column where she said the choice is between the left and the crazy left, and the crazy left is winning. I watched the first night. It was amazing the level of anger that you got out of Bernie Sanders and Senator [Elizabeth] Warren. I mean, these are really angry people, and it was kind of amazing to watch them. It’s the opposite of how people normally win the presidency. You go back and you watch Barack Obama with a big smile. You watch Ronald Reagan with a big smile. I don’t remember us electing an angry president literally in my lifetime. And yet you have these people who were almost in a rage. You also had the fact that they’re all drifting towards cloud cuckoo land. I mean, when you have a number of moderate Democrats on the stage — and they’ll all be gone soon because they’re not getting enough support to survive. But they’re on the stage and they’re saying — one of them said if we go down this road of taking away everybody’s health insurance we’ll be lucky to carry two states. Now that was a Democrat in the debate warning his follow Democrats that they could be throwing away the presidency. And I think we have to take that seriously. And of course, the president is watching all this and he’s exactly right, and he wants to stoke the fire a little bit about Obama. What’s turned out is that President Obama is no longer radical enough for the left wing of the Democratic Party. So you’re going to end up with Biden defending Obama while the rest of the party attacks him. The truth is, on things like deportation, President Obama deported more illegal immigrants than any other president in American history. In terms of the Affordable Care Act, which was not affordable, but it didn’t cover everybody that left-wingers want to cover. And so you can go down a list and you realize there’s a real fault line in the Democratic Party, and we’re watching it play out in these debates. Previously: After Democratic debate, Fox’s Newt Gingrich calls Democrats “an anti-American party” Fox’s Jason Chaffetz on Democratic debates: “They were doing everything they could to take away your freedoms” Fox & Friends complains that “the thing that was lacking” in Democratic debates over immigration “was the word illegal”
Fox’s Stuart Varney: Electing a Democrat as president will lead to an economic contraction
by Media Matters for America on August 2, 2019 at 12:52
AINSLEY EARHARDT (CO-HOST): The president was touting the economy last night. STUART VARNEY (FOX BUSINESS HOST): No wonder the Democrats failed to mention the strong economy in their two debates this week, because they don’t have a growth plan, and obviously, President Trump does. The Democrats seem to me to have a contraction plan. No fossil fuels, no private health insurance. That’s a contraction of the economy, rather than the expansion that President Trump’s got. … EARHARDT: Stuart, you mentioned jobs reports, they’re coming out this morning. What can we expect? VARNEY: I think you’ll see the unemployment rate stay around 3.7%. EARHARDT: It’s amazing. VARNEY: Do you realize how low that is? I mean, I have lived in America for 40 odd years, I haven’t seen 3.7% before. Maybe [3.6%] under Trump, I don’t know, but that’s near historic level. EARHARDT: The president said 7 million Americans are off food stamps. Think about that. That’s wonderful. VARNEY: That’s right. That’s right. That’s right. And what is it, 125,000 extra employed people in the state of Ohio? STEVE DOOCY (CO-HOST): And the job number today is expected to be about 164,000 new jobs. VARNEY: About that. That’s still pretty strong. It might be stronger than that. But here’s something that was buried by the media. DOOCY: Shocking. VARNEY: Right. In the first two years of the Trump presidency, wages and salaries increased 42% more than in the last two years of the Obama administration. EARHARDT: That’s great. VARNEY: Forty-two percent more. EARHARDT: So people can ask themselves are you better off today? VARNEY: How about that? Yes. EARHARDT: Are you better off today and the answer for most people is yes. VARNEY: Well, it shows you — it’s the Trump presidency which turned the economy around. Don’t give me this, that Obama started the recovery. Well, maybe the recovery started in the Obama years, but the expansion, that started with President Donald J. Trump. Previously: Fox Business host Stuart Varney says repealing Trump’s tax cuts for the rich and corporations “would ruin the economy” After first Democratic debate, Fox’s Stuart Varney lashes out at candidates for promising to tax the wealthy: “They attacked the rich” Fox Business host blames stock market decline on House Speaker Pelosi’s press conference
New Bureau of Land Management head complained that federal employees aren’t held “personally responsible for the harm that they do”
by Media Matters for America on August 2, 2019 at 12:43
Melissa Joskow / Media Matters William Perry Pendley, the new head of the Bureau of Land Management, complained in a 2018 interview that employees like the ones he now manages aren’t held “personally liable” or “personally responsible for the harm that they do” regarding federal land management. He also said that one thing that would prevent such problems in the future “is the federal government owning less land.” President Donald Trump’s administration this week appointed Pendley, a right-wing lawyer and commentator, as the acting head of the Bureau of Land Management after he worked at the agency for just a few weeks. Media Matters documented that he has argued that climate science isn’t real, claimed that environmentalists want to “destroy” civilization, and once asked, “How many have died and how many more will die because of diversity and race-based decision making?” Conservation and environmental groups have heavily criticized Pendley’s hiring. Kayje Booker, the policy and advocacy director at Montana Wilderness Association, said: “It’s hard to imagine anyone in this position more dangerous or more conflicted than William Perry Pendley.” Members of the Blackfeet Nation have also criticized the appointment. As The Washington Post summarized, Pendley is “still the counsel of record representing an aging businessman, Sidney Longwell and his small company Solenex. Solenex leased 6,247 acres in northwest Montana in 1982 during the Reagan administration for about $1 an acre. Longwell wants permission to build a six-mile service road and bridge over the Two Medicine River on lands considered sacred by the Blackfeet tribe. Interior wants to cancel the lease. He would use the road to bring in drilling rigs and other oil exploration equipment.” Pendley takes over an agency that’s responsible for managing public lands even though he once wrote a 2016 National Review opinion piece which argued that the federal government should sell its public lands. In response to concerns about Pendley’s views, an Interior Department spokesperson claimed: “This administration has been clear that we are not interested in transferring public lands.” However, Pendley also said in a previously unreported television interview that one of the ways to solve alleged problems with land management is for the government to own “less land.” He also criticized his future employees, saying they’re not held “personally liable” or “responsible for the harm that they do.” Pendley appeared on the January 26, 2018, edition of the Colorado-based libertarian show Devil’s Advocate with Jon Caldara and talked about his cases against the federal government and the Bureau of Land Management. During the show, he said that “the federal government is the world’s worst neighbor. It absolutely is the worst neighbor.” Later during the program, Pendley said that unlike private individuals, the federal government can dodge responsibility for their problems, alleging: “These agencies, these employees, they’re not personally liable, they’re not personally responsible for the harm that they do. They’re going to move down the hall, they’re going to move across the country.” Pendley was then asked how to prevent such alleged problems with the federal government. He responded: “One of the things that prevents it is the federal government owning less land. We recognize the federal government, the United States government owns a third of the country, including especially here in the West.”
Sean Hannity says one of his main criticisms of Republicans is that they aren’t more like Rush Limbaugh
by Media Matters for America on August 2, 2019 at 02:35
SEAN HANNITY (HOST): I actually see similarities between you and Trump. Let me tell you what two of them are. Number one, you’ve got to be able to take a punch. You paved the way for a lot of us that are conservatives in the media. You’ve taken more than your fair share. And then, you’ve got to fight for what you believe. My biggest criticism of Republicans is they are weak, a lot of them, and timid and afraid to do what you do every day. To do what Trump is doing. You’re right, showing them the way. Just fight for what you say you were going fight for. … RUSH LIMBAUGH: This fear of the media, this fear of being called a racist, everyone needs to get over that now because all of us are racists. Everybody’s racist, they can’t talk about anybody now without labeling them racist. Previously: Rush Limbaugh has ramped up his Fox News appearances in 2019 On Fox News, Rush Limbaugh says that “climate change is what allows them to poison the minds of young kids” On Fox, Rush Limbaugh complains about efforts to address the climate crisis: “There is no man-made climate change”
On Fox, Rush Limbaugh complains about efforts to address the climate crisis: “There is no man-made climate change”
by Media Matters for America on August 2, 2019 at 02:13
SEAN HANNITY (HOST): Three words I want to throw at you — Green New Deal. RUSH LIMBAUGH: Well, it’s — it is a trick, the Green New Deal. Even Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, her chief of staff, sackrat — sakreet — sakrot — whatever, Chakrabarti, admitted that it’s not even about the climate. It’s not even about the weather. It’s an economic plan, and it is. It’s designed to get massive federal power, grow the federal government, under the pretense that average Americans cannot be left to live their lives without ruining things, especially for the Democrat Party. It’s unaffordable, it will never happen, and the premise behind it is bogus. There is no man-made climate change. There is nothing we can do to stop whatever the weather is going to do. We can’t make it warmer, we can’t make it colder. We can’t change hurricanes’ directions, we can’t dissipate them. We can’t create them. And yet, they are campaigning and trying to convince people. I mean, look at millennials. It’s really sad, there’s a lot of young people that really think this planet is not going to be habitable by the time they hit 65. These people are ruining people’s lives, they’re ruining their futures all in the pursuit of power for themselves. It’s disgusting on one level to me, and I think that they need to be called out and I think they need — this stuff needs to be said point blank to them, because the media it is not — the media’s their best buddies, the media is their support group, and so forth. It’s a big battle. I’m just — I’m just optimistic, I’m confident that these people can be beat back. Previously: In Hannity segment attacking Green New Deal, climate denier Joe Bastardi says “people are ungrateful” for fossil fuels Hannity invites climate denier Joe Bastardi on his show to deny link between climate change and extreme weather — again Rush Limbaugh on Hurricane Florence: “The forecast and the destruction potential doom and gloom is all to heighten the belief in climate change”
On Fox News, Rush Limbaugh says that “climate change is what allows them to poison the minds of young kids”
by Media Matters for America on August 2, 2019 at 01:51
RUSH LIMBAUGH: Climate change is what allows them to poison the minds of young kids. To blame people for causing a problem and then offer them redemption, make them feel like they have meaning in their lives by saving the planet. Previously: Rush Limbaugh has dramatically ramped up his Fox News appearances in 2019 Less than 10% of questions were about climate change at CNN’s two-night debate in Detroit Rush Limbaugh shares fake story that sharks are flying around in Hurricane Florence
Lou Dobbs says Donald Trump can’t be racist because Mexico is helping the United States
by Media Matters for America on August 2, 2019 at 01:02
LOU DOBBS (HOST): This fellow can’t be too much of a quote-unquote “racist,” in point of fact embracing Mexico, its president, its government, because of all of the help they are providing America, acknowledging it, and doing so warmly. Previously: Lou Dobbs laughs at Fox’s effort to restrain anti-Semitism on his show Lou Dobbs guest: “We’ve seen this in Europe, we’re seeing it here, and they are attempting to replace us” Lou Dobbs Says People Should Credit Obama’s Race For His Election Lou Dobbs attacks the media for reporting on DeSantis’ racist comments Lou Dobbs asks if it’s “time for the Trump administration to outright defy the activist” Supreme Court over census ruling
Tucker Carlson: Cory Booker was “trying to sound like a Nation of Islam recruiter”
by Media Matters for America on August 2, 2019 at 00:27
TUCKER CARLSON (HOST): Cory Booker meanwhile is in the process of transitioning to a brand-new identity, he spent most of the evening trying to sound like a Nation of Islam recruiter rather than the deeply privileged son of two IBM executives which is what he is. Previously: Tucker Carlson’s descent into white supremacy: A timeline Tucker Carlson touts hardline approach of far-right ethnonationalists to immigration Tucker Carlson and guest mock the term “person of color,” call it a racist term because “everyone has a color”
Amid unprecedented attacks on reproductive rights, CNN debate moderators completely ignore abortion
by Media Matters for America on August 1, 2019 at 23:28
Melissa Joskow / Media Matters During the July 30 and 31 presidential debates, CNN moderators Jake Tapper, Dana Bash, and Don Lemon failed to ask 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls a single question about abortion. Nationally, as state legislatures continue to push an increasing number of abortion restrictions — and with right-wing media already amplifying anti-abortion misinformation ahead of the 2020 elections — the primary debates are a crucial opportunity for moderators to ask precise, nuanced questions about how presidential candiates would protect abortion access. CNN’s failure to ask about abortion was out of step with what Democratic voters wanted to hear about during the debates and was a missed opportunity to break right-wing media’s dominance of abortion-related conversations on cable news. Abortion rights garnered hardly any recognition from moderators or candidates alike during the July 30 Democratic primary debate. Montana Gov. Steve Bullock briefly referred to himself as “pro-choice” in his opening statement. The only substantive conversation about abortion happened during the July 31 debate. On stage, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) confronted former Vice President Joe Biden over his past support of the Hyde Amendment, a legislative provision that forbids the allocation of federal funds for abortion care except in limited cases. This amendment disproportionately affects people of color and those of lower socioeconomic status who might depend on federal support to access health care. Although this short exchange was the only discussion of abortion during both nights of the CNN moderated debates, neither candidate said the word “abortion.” In fact, five hours of political discourse yielded a mere two minutes of abortion conversation without anyone — the 20 candidates or three moderators — saying the word “abortion.” This is not the first time CNN moderators have excluded discussion of abortion during presidential debates. After a 2016 Democratic primary debate, critics called out the network for not asking any questions about abortion despite coming days after the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, a case concerning anti-abortion restrictions in Texas. After this week’s debates, abortion rights groups were confounded again by the lack of action Given the already precarious state of abortion access, debate moderators need to ask candidates specific and nuanced questions on abortion — otherwise right-wing media and anti-choice outlets will continue to dominate the conversation with harmful misinformation.
Fox hosts shout down colleague Juan Williams when he notes that Trump’s racism is a fact
by Media Matters for America on August 1, 2019 at 22:20
JUAN WILLIAMS (CO-HOST): Let me tell you, it’s a fact, it’s a fact, it is a fact. GREG GUTFELD (CO-HOST): No, Juan, it’s an opinion, it’s an opinion. … That’s called an opinion Juan, it’s not a fact. I could keep saying it, he won’t listen. Previously: Fox & Friends guest attacks news outlets noting Trump’s racism: It is “an opinion, not a fact” Tomi Lahren previously pushed the same sexist smear about Kamala Harris on Fox Nation
MoveOn members demand Congress Close the Camps
by Heather Kachel on July 3, 2019 at 18:38
Every day immigrants are suffering from intentional inhumane conditions created by the Trump administration. News continues to pour out that the Trump administration’s escalation of brutal attacks against immigrants and refugees has reached new, even more horrific lows, with children being held in unspeakable conditions in concentration camps at the border. Just yesterday, more images and stories The post MoveOn members demand Congress Close the Camps appeared first on MoveOn.Org | Democracy In Action.
Seven actions you can take right now to help close immigrant detention centers.
by Tillie McInnis on June 28, 2019 at 20:37
In the last eight months, six migrant children are known to have died after being taken into U.S. immigration custody. This tragic tally includes 16-year-old Carlos Hernandez Vásquez, 2 ½-year-old Wilmer Josué Ramírez Vásquez, 16-year-old Juan de León Gutiérrez, 7-year-old Jakelin Caal Maquin, 8-year-old Felipe Gomez Alonzo, and 10-year-old Darlyn Cristabel Cordova-Valle. And a 18-month-old The post Seven actions you can take right now to help close immigrant detention centers. appeared first on MoveOn.Org | Democracy In Action.
Elizabeth Warren in First Place, Bernie Sanders In Second In MoveOn’s Latest Member Straw Poll
by Brian Stewart on June 25, 2019 at 10:00
Members say they want a candidate who ‘inspires the public with deep progressive values’ and ‘makes the connections between racial, social, and economic injustice.’ WASHINGTON, DC — Sen. Elizabeth Warren leads a new MoveOn straw poll with the support of 38% of members nationwide, followed by Bernie Sanders with 17%. Warren is also in first The post Elizabeth Warren in First Place, Bernie Sanders In Second In MoveOn’s Latest Member Straw Poll appeared first on MoveOn.Org | Democracy In Action.
MoveOn 2020 Straw Poll Results, June 2019
by Brian Stewart on June 25, 2019 at 10:00
Nationwide First Choice Second Choice Elizabeth Warren 37.8% Bernie Sanders 16.5% Joe Biden 14.9% Pete Buttigieg 11.7% Kamala Harris 6.8% Undecided 2.2% Beto O’Rourke 1.8% Andrew Yang 1.1% Jay Inslee 1.1% Cory Booker 1.0% Amy Klobuchar 1.0% Tulsi Gabbard 0.8% Marianne Williamson 0.8% Someone Else 0.4% Michael Bennett 0.3% Julián Castro 0.3% John Hickenlooper 0.3% The post MoveOn 2020 Straw Poll Results, June 2019 appeared first on MoveOn.Org | Democracy In Action.
Clinton’s Lost Votes
by Ron Chusid on May 30, 2019 at 17:57
Establishment Democrats love to blame third party voters for Clinton losing, but The New York Times recently had data… Posted by Ron Chusid on Monday, May 20, 2019 Establishment Democrats love to blame third party voters for Clinton losing, but The New York Times recently had data disputing this. They looked at people who voted for
What Mueller Did Not Say Today
by Ron Chusid on May 29, 2019 at 15:55
What Mueller did not say today:1) When he said Russia interfered in the election, he left out the important… Posted by Ron Chusid on Wednesday, May 29, 2019 What Mueller did not say today: 1) When he said Russia interfered in the election, he left out the important perspective that interference in foreign elections is common
Rahna Epting Will Be MoveOn’s Next Leader
by Nick Berning on May 29, 2019 at 14:06
MoveOn announced today that after an intensive multi-month search process, its boards have selected Rahna Epting to serve as the next executive director of MoveOn Political Action and MoveOn Civic Action, beginning this fall. The post Rahna Epting Will Be MoveOn’s Next Leader appeared first on MoveOn.Org | Democracy In Action.
Castro, Gillibrand, Harris, Sanders, and Warren To Appear On Stage At MoveOn’s “Big Ideas Forum” June 1 In San Francisco
by Brian Stewart on May 9, 2019 at 17:02
2020 Democratic presidential candidates Secretary Julián Castro, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Senator Kamala Harris, Senator Bernie Sanders, and Senator Elizabeth Warren will all appear on stage at MoveOn’s “Big Ideas Forum” in San Francisco, California, on June 1. At the event, each candidate will present “One Big Idea” that will change people’s lives for the better. The post Castro, Gillibrand, Harris, Sanders, and Warren To Appear On Stage At MoveOn’s “Big Ideas Forum” June 1 In San Francisco appeared first on MoveOn.Org | Democracy In Action.
MoveOn’s First Endorsement of 2020 Cycle: Ilhan Omar for Congress
by Iram Ali on April 24, 2019 at 16:16
The results are in: With 77% of votes cast in favor, MoveOn members in Minnesota’s 5th District have voted overwhelmingly to endorse Ilhan Omar for re-election to Congress! Representative Ilhan Omar’s endorsement for re-election marks MoveOn’s very first endorsement for the 2020 cycle. Rep. Omar is a uniquely powerful, compelling member of Congress. She ran The post MoveOn’s First Endorsement of 2020 Cycle: Ilhan Omar for Congress appeared first on MoveOn.Org | Democracy In Action.
2020 Candidates Skip AIPAC!
by Iram Ali on March 22, 2019 at 21:28
After MoveOn members asked candidates to skip the AIPAC conference, no 2020 Democratic presidential candidates are yet publicly committed to attend the AIPAC conference in DC this weekend! The story comes after a number of leading candidates—Sen. Bernie Sanders, Sen. Kamala Harris, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Beto O’Rourke, Mayor Julián Castro, Governor Jay Inlsee, and Mayor The post 2020 Candidates Skip AIPAC! appeared first on MoveOn.Org | Democracy In Action.
MoveOn: 2020 Presidential Candidates Should Not Attend AIPAC Conference
by Iram Ali on March 20, 2019 at 18:21
NEW SURVEY: Over 74% of MoveOn Members Believe 2020 Presidential Candidates Should Not Attend AIPAC Conference AIPAC conference to be headlined by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Vice President Mike Pence, Rep. Nancy Pelosi, Sen. Mitch McConnell, Sen. Chuck Schumer & Rep. Kevin McCarthy A new survey from MoveOn Political Action asked members if they The post MoveOn: 2020 Presidential Candidates Should Not Attend AIPAC Conference appeared first on MoveOn.Org | Democracy In Action.
by Ron Chusid on March 1, 2019 at 19:55
A Good Sign For Bernie
by Ron Chusid on March 1, 2019 at 19:51
Russiagate And Censorship
by Ron Chusid on March 1, 2019 at 19:47
Democrats Can’t Take Progressive Votes For Granted
by Ron Chusid on March 1, 2019 at 19:45
by Ron Chusid on March 1, 2019 at 19:43
How To Get Rid Of Donald Trump
by Ron Chusid on March 1, 2019 at 19:41
A Younger, Fresher Progressive Candidate
by Ron Chusid on March 1, 2019 at 19:39
Delegitimatizing Anti-War Candidates
by Ron Chusid on March 1, 2019 at 19:36
Politician For Sale
by Ron Chusid on March 1, 2019 at 19:34
The Damage From Russiagate
by Ron Chusid on March 1, 2019 at 19:31
by Ron Chusid on March 1, 2019 at 19:29
Mueller Wrapping Up Soon
by Ron Chusid on March 1, 2019 at 19:28
I will be glad when we stop hearing Russiagate conspiracy theorists say “wait for Mueller to finish.” What will they say if he finishes and still has provided zero evidence to support their claims? Hopefully they will be satisfied with the overwhelming evidence that Trump is a crook, and drop the Russia conspiracy theories about
Con Men And Liars Of Hollywood
by Ron Chusid on February 25, 2019 at 16:59
PHOTOS: Amazing Fake Trump Emergency Protests
by Brian Stewart on February 19, 2019 at 02:58
277 events. 48 states. At least 50,000 attendees. That’s what power looks like. Donald Trump may control the White House for the moment, but we are not giving up on what this country can be. And on Presidents Day, tens of thousands of MoveOn members and allies hit the streets to build a vision of a country where all people—including those seeking The post PHOTOS: Amazing Fake Trump Emergency Protests appeared first on MoveOn.Org | Democracy In Action.
MoveOn Statement on Deal to End the Government Shutdown with No Wall
by Brian Stewart on January 25, 2019 at 21:02
“Congress must not give into Trump’s demand for increased funding for a wall, his deportation machine, or border militarization in the next round of this fight” WASHINGTON, DC — Moments ago, Donald Trump announced a deal with Congress to end the government shutdown and reopen the federal government for three weeks with no funding for The post MoveOn Statement on Deal to End the Government Shutdown with No Wall appeared first on MoveOn.Org | Democracy In Action.