NEW YORK — A Black New York City firefighter charges in a federal lawsuit that he was suspended for opposing his boss’s call to turn fire hoses on George Floyd protesters last year — a brutal tactic used on civil rights protesters in the deep South decades earlier. The 13-page filing details the alleged retaliation against FDNY veteran Omar Wilks after the May 2020 confrontation with his boss and the firefighter’s continued outspokeness over racism in the department. “These defendants sought to muzzle plaintiff and inhibit his speech,” the papers filed in Brooklyn federal court charged. “They ...
For months, as Democratic voters in California seemed complacent in the face of the Republican effort to recall Governor Gavin Newsom, much of the national political and punditry class in the media claimed California would send dire warnings to the Democratic Party.
But now that Newsom trounced in a spectacular victory, with 64% of Californians voting no to the recall, the same political media — always pandering to a bullying GOP — is saying not to read much into the outcome in California.
In their latest iteration, Newsom "got lucky" because his chief opponent was Larry Elder, right-wing extremist and 25-year radio former radio host who pundits said had a lot of "baggage." This presupposes that some other mythical GOP candidate could have pulled it out. But no other candidate could emerge that didn't support Donald Trump, which is the real poison here.
What actually killed Elder wasn't his "baggage" in the form of things he said on the radio over the years. It was his embracing Trumpism in the here and now. He attacked vaccine and mask mandates, vowing to end them as soon as he took office. That turned out to be a driving force that got many California Democrats and independents concerned about the pandemic to pay attention.
And he promulgated the Big Lie — which he actually previously didn't support, having said earlier this year that "Biden won the election fair and square," only to reverse in August after Trumpists expressed anger. Then he went further and actually promoted a "big lie" about the recall, saying it was tainted with "fraud" before it was even over, following up on Trump's same claim about the recall.
As extreme as all that sounds, it's now pretty standard for GOP elected officials and candidates all across the country. Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida and Governor Greg Abbott of Texas promote both dangerous themes, as do the vast majority of GOP governors.
Former Nevada attorney general Adam Laxalt, challenging Democratic Senator Catherine Cortez Mastro, is endorsed by Trump, supports the Big Lie, is against vaccine mandates and is even hinting he's ready to go to court to contest the 2022 election should he lose. Republican Glenn Youngkin, running for governor in Virginia this November and having hugged Trump to get the support of his base, has attended right-wing "election integrity" rallies built on the Big Lie and talks about making "reforms" to battle election "fraud."
I could go on and on, as scores of GOP House, Senate, gubernatorial and state legislative candidates are doing the exact same thing.
And they have no choice because Trump has taken the entire party hostage. That's why it's completely false to say Newsom "got lucky" with Elder. If he got lucky, then every Democrat in a competitive race is going to get lucky.
And what does that claim even mean? It's not like Elder was picked out of thin air and put into place as the main contender to Newsom just by chance. There were over 40 candidates vying to topple Newsom in the recall. Elder rose to the top because that is what the GOP base is now, built on hardcore Trumpism.
And it's even worse — for the GOP — than it seems. In polls before the race, Elder was leading the others with 26% of the vote and would have been elected governor if voters had voted yes on the first question to recall Newsom. But in the election tallies, of those who voted for a candidate after the first question on the recall, Elder pulled in 47% of the vote. That means the GOP consolidated and rallied around him, even as there were more moderate GOP candidates in the race.
The base of the GOP, in California and everywhere, wants Trumpist candidates, because Trump has transformed the party into a ghoulish nightmare of hate and lies, bringing in more and more conspiracists and pushing out people who've rejected Trumpism.
The Washington Post, in a piece that broke from much of the media's narrative, rightly noted that the recall made Newsom stronger, able to repel challengers and look to the future. What he did in California is key for Democrats everywhere: Focus on the dangers of GOP candidates and their embrace of Trump. In races in House battleground districts and in competitive Senate races in 2022, that kind of campaign can make a big difference.
The conventional wisdom that the party in power loses seats in the mid-terms can and must be turned on its head because we are in an extraordinary time in which democracy is in the balance. "Trumpism is not defeated in this country," Newsom said in his victory speech in offering both a warning and a blueprint to Democrats. They need to take that to heart.
Donald Trump Jr. cries Biden has ‘blood’ of his ‘red state enemies’ on his hands as HHS moves to avoid COVID drug shortage
Donald Trump, Jr. is falsely claiming President Joe Biden is responsible for the impending deaths of Americans sick with COVID-19 after the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services bought an additional 1.4 million doses of Regeneron's monoclonal antibody treatments. After discovering that 70% of all monoclonal antibody treatment doses were being ordered by just seven states, HHS announced it is taking over distribution of the life-saving drug.
Florida, Texas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, and Louisiana – states that have some of the highest per-capita cases of COVID-19 and some of the lowest vaccination rates, have been limiting the supply of monoclonal antibody treatments to the rest of the nation, CNN reports.
"Given this reality, we must work to ensure our supply of these life-saving therapies remains available for all states and territories, not just some," an HHS spokesperson said.
"HHS will determine the amount of product each state and territory receives on a weekly basis. State and territorial health departments will subsequently identify sites that will receive product and how much," the spokesperson said. "This system will help maintain equitable distribution, both geographically and temporally, across the country - providing states and territories with consistent, fairly-distributed supply over the coming weeks."
That's akin to killing people, Donald Trump, Jr. is suggesting.
"Americans will die because of Biden's despicable decision to punish his political enemies in red states by restricting their ability to secure life-saving monoclonal antibody treatments for all that need them," the former president's son, who is not a medical expert, declared on social media. "Their blood is directly on Joe's hands," he added, disrespectfully refusing to address President Joe Biden by his elected position.
Americans will die because of Biden's despicable decision to punish his political enemies in red states by restricting their ability to secure life-saving monoclonal antibody treatments for all that need them.
Their blood is directly on Joe's hands.
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) September 16, 2021
When his father was president Donald Trump, Jr. repeatedly praised the coronavirus vaccine and the Trump administration's Operation Warp Speed. But after Joe Biden became President Trump Jr. switched tactics, repeatedly attacking any efforts to promote vaccination or help keep Americans safe through social distancing measures including masks. At least 17 times since Biden was elected Trump Jr. has railed against "vaccine passports" and other methods of protecting Americans' health from the coronavirus that has already killed over 650,000 people in the U.S.
Donald Trump reportedly views an upcoming rally for jailed Jan 6 rioters as a "setup" -- but he issued a public statement of support two days before the event is set to take place in Washington, D.C.
The twice-impeached one-term president doesn't intend to appear at the "Justice for J6" rally organized by former campaign operative Matt Braynard, which sources say he sees as a way to make him look bad, but he publicly backed the jailed supporters who stormed the U.S. Capitol in an effort to overturn his election loss.
"Our hearts and minds are with the people being persecuted so unfairly relating to the January 6th protest concerning the Rigged Presidential Election," Trump said in a statement posted on Twitter by spokeswoman Liz Harrington.
Law enforcement has issued warnings that the Sept. 18 rally could spark another round of violence in Washington, and lawmakers have been cautioned to stay away from the Capitol as a precaution.
"In addition to everything else, it has proven conclusively that we are a two-tiered system of justice," Trump added. "In the end, however, JUSTICE WILL PREVAIL!"
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