OAKLAND, Calif. — When Joe Biden’s vice presidential search committee met with a who’s who of California Democrats on a Zoom call late last month, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf used up every second of her turn to make an urgent pitch for Kamala Harris, a self-described proud “daughter of Oakland, California.”Schaaf has known the U.S. senator since they were both barely 30 years old and extolled her virtues as a fierce advocate for Oakland’s progressive values.But Oaklanders know that Harris won’t be the only one in the spotlight if she’s who Biden chooses to join the Democratic ticket for the Whi...
American Library Association sounds alarm on hundreds of right-wing campaigns aimed at censoring books
On Tuesday, CNN reported that the American Library Association is sounding the alarm over right-wing efforts around the country to censor LGBTQ and racial content from books in libraries.
"Since June 1, the ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom has tracked 155 incidents across the country and has provided support and consultation in 120 of those cases, the association said," reported Nicole Chavez. "In a statement, the group's executive board said a few organizations have pushed the idea that 'the voices of the marginalized have no place on library shelves' by falsely claiming some books are subversive, immoral and induce people to 'to abandon constitutional principles, ignore the rule of law, and disregard individual rights.'"
The report goes on to document how many of the incidents are in states where Republican governors have made campaigning against teaching critical race theory a major culture war issue.
"The group's statement comes after numerous schools in Texas, Florida and several other states have received complaints involving certain books," said the report. "The trend emerged from the critical race theory debate and the panic over how history, race and queer themes are being taught to children. In Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott has called on the state's school boards to remove books he described as 'pornography' after at least two state lawmakers asked officials to investigate books in schools."
This issue also emerged in the closely watched Virginia governor's race earlier this year, when Republican Glenn Youngkin promoted a right-wing activist who has tried to have Toni Morrison's "Beloved" removed from school libraries on the grounds of obscenity. In Tennessee, a group called "Moms for Liberty" wants to remove books about Martin Luther King Jr., and even pictures of seahorses they consider too "sexy."
In some parts of the country, students themselves are fighting back, with one effort to remove an LGBTQ book in a Chicago public school library thwarted when kids showed up to protest the effort.
A Democratic state lawmaker in Virginia claims a Republican sheriff retaliated against her by firing her husband after she shared video of one of his deputies allegedly participating in the Capitol insurrection.
State Del. Kelly Convirs-Fowler said Tuesday she recently informed Virginia Beach Sheriff Ken Stolle, a Republican, about a video that appears to show one of his deputies at the Capitol on Jan. 6.
The video had been shared with Convirs-Fowler by a concerned citizen.
"I have been a target to some of these extremist(s), so I let (Stolle) know hoping he would help," Convirs-Fowler wrote on Twitter. "Did Stolle do anything? Yes! He fired my husband this morning."
According to the Virginian-Pilot, Convirs-Fowler said her husband had been working for the sheriff's office for nearly 15 years.
"A few hours later, the Virginia Beach Sheriff’s Office shot back in a comment on the delegate’s tweet, denying that her husband had been fired or that the sheriff’s office’s actions had anything to do with the Capitol riot," the newspaper reported. "Stolle fired back in a comment, too, accusing Convirs-Fowler of lying."
In a statement, the sheriff's office said Convirs-Fowler's husband, Sgt. W.D. Fowler, had merely been placed on "administrative leave" until the end of the year — when his "term" expires. Sheriff Stolle also notified Sgt. Fowler that he would not be appointed to a new four-year term in 2022.
"In the Commonwealth of Virginia, all sheriffs' office personally are constitutional appointees who serve at the pleasure of the elected sheriff in their jurisdiction," according to the sheriff's office's statement. "Sheriffs can terminate an appointment at any time."
Stolle also claimed that he had spoken with the FBI and "ensured no one of my staff broke any law."
"The officials went back and forth on Twitter into the evening, with Convirs-Fowler posting screenshots of texts between herself and Stolle, alleging that he hasn’t met with her to discuss the video despite her requests," the newspaper reported.
In one tweet, Convirs-Fowler alleged that the deputy shown in the video is a member of the Three Percenters militia group, adding that she's particularly concerned because he is assigned to train other law enforcement officers.
After the sheriff accused Convirs-Fowler of a "political stunt," she responded: "How would I be pulling a stunt? I didn’t know you were ‘firing’ him? He didn’t know he had to meet with you until yesterday afternoon. I mean there’s a paper trail and documentation so I’m not sure you realize how obvious this is to everyone."
"It must be a coincidence that my husband was put on 'administrative leave' this morning and told that he would NOT be reappointed on 1/1/22 after almost 15 years with the department," she added. "I thought the (sheriff's office) was short staffed? Even lowering the hiring age recently?"
"I still haven’t been able to share the video and information with (Stolle)," she wrote. "The Deputy that was at the Capitol has extremist stuff all over his social media. ... I don’t feel safe and I even expressed that to (Stolle)."
A concerned citizen shared a video with me of a @VBSO Deputy at the Capitol on January 6. I have been a target to some of these extremist, so I let our Sheriff @kenstolle know hoping he would help. Did Stolle do anything? Yes! He fired my husband this morning. \n#detoxVBpic.twitter.com/vxg038y2JU— Del. Kelly Convirs-Fowler (@Del. Kelly Convirs-Fowler) 1638289857
1/3 A concerned citizen sent me a video of a @VBSO Deputy at the Capitol on January 6th. I reached out to Sheriff @kenstolle to give him a heads up. Yesterday was my last text and I left him a voicemail around 3:30. Full text thread below.pic.twitter.com/NnkwYx2Kx9— Del. Kelly Convirs-Fowler (@Del. Kelly Convirs-Fowler) 1638313526
Kevin McCarthy told Marjorie Taylor Greene to stop inter-GOP feuds — and she walked out on him: CNN reporter
On CNN Tuesday, congressional correspondent Manu Raju reported that Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) simply blew off a plea from House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) to cease her feud with fellow Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC).
"Just this evening, behind closed doors, Kevin McCarthy summoned each of them for private meetings, discussing with them and telling them this message, he wanted them to, quote, 'stop it,'" explained Raju. "That message ... did not take hold. Greene emerged from the meeting and told our colleague Melanie Zanona that she would support a primary challenge against Nancy Mace. And she also said that Donald Trump would support a primary challenge against Nancy Mace."
Greene and Mace have been in a feud all day that started with Mace criticizing Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) for her Islamophobic attacks on Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN). Greene lashed out, saying that Mace was "trash," to which Mace responded that Greene is "insane."
McCarthy had a meeting with Greene and Mace and told them to stop. Greene walked out of the meeting, ignored McCarthy, and started telling a reporter that she supports a primary challenge against Macepic.twitter.com/hJ4yohW2uS— Acyn (@Acyn) 1638318743