After winning control of Virginia’s state government this November, Democrats promised to pass a series of run-of-the-mill gun control laws, including background checks and a ban on military-style assault weapons — policy proposals that sparked the furor of the state’s gun rights activists. Now, some of these activists are warning of violence, even sending death threats to multiple lawmakers, Lois Beckett reports for The Guardian.
“At heated public meetings across the state and in long social media comment threads, some gun rights supporters are openly discussing the possibility of civil war,” Beckett writes. “Many have warned of the need to fight back against ‘tyranny’ or have compared Democratic lawmakers to the British forces during the revolutionary war.”
Extremist gun rights groups also attract militias and white supremacists who hope to use the growing pro-gun protest movement “as a potential flash point that could lead to civil war and social breakdown, according to an analyst at the Anti-Defamation League.”
“Some observers worry these tensions may come to a head on 20 January, when a lobby day against gun control at Virginia’s state capitol is expected to attract thousands of people, including members of anti-government groups from other states,” writes Beckett. “Local residents are concerned the day could turn violent, like the 2017 Unite the Right rally in nearby Charlottesville, Virginia.”
Read Beckett’s full report over at The Guardian.
‘Friday Night Massacre’ at US Postal Service as Postmaster General—a major Trump donor—ousts top officials
Government watchdogs, Democratic lawmakers, and pro-democracy advocates declared it a "Friday Night Massacre" for the U.S. Postal Service after news broke in a classic end-of-the-week dump that Louis DeJoy—a major GOP donor to President Donald Trump and the recently appointed Postmaster General—had issued a sweeping overhaul of the agency, including the ouster of top executives from key posts and the reshuffling of more than two dozen other officials and operational managers.
According to the Washington Post:
Virus outbreak in Houston-area nursing home kills 17
A novel coronavirus outbreak at a Missouri City nursing home, outside of Houston, has killed 17 residents, according to data from state officials.
City officials issued a press release this week raising alarm over 19 deaths that they said occurred at the Paradigm at First Colony Nursing Home but nursing home officials told The Texas Tribune that the number is incorrect and declined to provide the correct number.
The city also reported that the facility has 24 infected staff members and the nursing home reported 11 currently infected residents who are in stable condition.
“This harrowing development speaks to the severity of this pandemic and how everyone needs to take it even more seriously,” said Missouri City Mayor Yolanda Ford of the outbreak in a Wednesday press release.
‘Gullible’ Trump administration paid up to $500 million too much for these ventilators: investigators
Citing “evidence of fraud, waste, and abuse,” a congressional subcommittee investigating the federal government’s purchase of $646.7 million worth of Philips ventilators has asked the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General to launch its own investigation of the deal.
The House subcommittee launched its review after ProPublica stories in March and April showed how a U.S. subsidiary of Royal Philips N.V. received millions in federal tax dollars years ago to develop a low-cost ventilator for pandemics but didn’t deliver it. Instead, as the coronavirus began spreading around the globe and U.S. hospitals were desperate for more, Philips was selling commercial versions of the government-funded ventilator overseas from its Pennsylvania factory. Then in April, despite having not fulfilled the initial contract, the Dutch company struck a much more lucrative deal to sell the government 43,000 ventilators for four times the price.