According to a report from Block Club Chicago, the managers of Donald Trump's Chicago Trump Tower are being investigated for jumping their employees to the front of the line for COVID-19 vaccinations by misusing a city program designed to help out the harder-hit poorer areas of Chicago.
Reported by Kelly Bauer, Stephanie Lulay and Bob Chiarito, the report states that Department of Public Health officials are looking into how employees of the luxury tower were allowed to get vaccinations using the Protect Chicago Plus program in a part of town that was not included as a designated area by health officials.
According to the three reporters, "The Protect Chicago Plus campaign is meant to target residents of 15 community areas on the city's South and West sides hit hard by COVID-19. The Downtown area, where Trump Tower is located, is not among them."
In an interview, a spokesperson for the health department stated, "We're looking into it. I will say the Protect Chicago Plus program is intended for those designated communities, so we will be looking to find out what happened."
The report states that a vaccination event occurred last week and was held after a Trump manager wrote that a "medical facility that is 'part of the Protect Chicago Plus network' identified and contacted Trump Tower."
However, the three reporters wrote the tower and its staff do not fall under the guidelines of the program.
"A health department spokesman confirmed to Block Club hotel employees shouldn't be vaccinated yet under current vaccination guidelines. City officials there aren't aware of the March 10 vaccination event described by the executive and are looking into it, the spokesman said," they wrote adding, "While it's possible employees could individually be vaccinated in Chicago for other reasons — like if they have a second job where they've been deemed a frontline worker, if they're 65 or older or if they live in a Protect Chicago Plus community — those criteria would not apply to the Trump Tower organization vaccinating a broad swath of employees Downtown."
You can read more here.
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New York Justice Arthur F. Engoron has imposed a daily $10,000 fine on real estate giant Cushman and Wakefield for failing to turn over documents to state investigators examining in Donald Trump inflated the value of his real estate holdings.
"On Tuesday afternoon, a clearly irked Justice Arthur F. Engoron signed an order ripping into the real estate behemoth for missing a deadline to turn over documents—after having two months to meet it," The Daily Beast reported. "He criticized the company, which routinely helped Trump value properties in ways that benefited him directly, for dragging its feet."
In April, the same judge ruled that Cushman & Wakefield lied and broke its own internal policies to help the Trump Organization.
"The massive, national real estate firm was supposed to deliver documents related to its valuations of all kinds of properties—so that state investigators could compare how the company treated other projects compared to Trump developments," The Beast reported. "The office of New York Attorney General Letitia James issued subpoenas between September 2021 and February 2022 that the firm still hadn’t complied with, so the judge ordered the company to play ball in April. But the firm fought that in appellate court—and lost."
The company had failed to comply with a June 29 deadline set by the judge.
"Time is of the essence. State investigators are set to interview former President Donald Trump and two of his children—Don Jr. and Ivanka—in closed-door depositions the week of July 18. And investigators have said they need to review the evidence from Cushman and Wakefield before those interviews," The Beast noted.
Read the full report.
Christian Right facing 'credibility' issues — just as they try to force their will on everyone else: analyst
On Tuesday, writing for MSNBC's ReidOutBlog, Ja'han Jones outlined how the Christian Right is facing renewed moral scrutiny and a crisis of "credibility" — at exactly the moment they have captured the Supreme Court and have begun striking down rights and protections they have long declared to be counter to moral society.
Specifically, he argued, the latest rash of sex abuse allegations against conservative Christian institutions puts their moral authority on the line.
The Catholic Church has long faced criticism for overlooking and shielding priests accused of molesting children — but now, noted Jones, other denominations are coming under scrutiny for similar alleged misconduct.
"First, there’s the scandal still unfolding at Agapè Boarding School, a Christian facility for young men in Missouri that's facing a slew of child abuse allegations. Agapè pitches guardians on its ability to 'biblically teach your child the importance of submission to authority and the joys of being an obedient law-abiding citizen,'" wrote Jones. "The Missouri State Highway Patrol has been investigating Agapè for systemic child abuse for more than a year now. On Monday, The Daily Beast reported new details about several students who have filed lawsuits alleging they were sexually abused and beaten by workers at the school."
"That alleged culture of abuse sounds similar to the one victims say was fostered by the Southern Baptist Convention, an ultraconservative denomination of Christian nationalists," wrote Jones. "In May, church leaders released a report showing hundreds of pastors and church workers have been accused of sexual abuse. The SBC, which is in ideological lockstep with the conservative movement, has since released the names of pastors it says were accused between 2000 and 2019. When the news dropped, SBC President Ed Litton said in a statement there 'are not adequate words to express my sorrow at the things revealed in this report,' and that Southern Baptists 'must resolve to change our culture and implement desperately needed reforms.'"
All of this, he noted, comes as many right-wing Christian organizations are claiming that their hate speech and discrimination against LGBTQ people is in the name of "defending children." And this is "an impossible sell when the worlds they operate appear even more broken than the one they want to 'fix.'"
You can read more here.
Analyst Phillip Bump cited the recent editorial by Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) in The Atlantic that argued once again that former President Donald Trump is destroying the Republican Party. But Bump argued in the Washington Post that if Romney wants to complain about Trumpism he might look at his own home state of Utah.
"President Joe Biden is a genuinely good man, but he has yet been unable to break through our national malady of denial, deceit, and distrust," Romney wrote. "A return of Donald Trump would feed the sickness, probably rendering it incurable. Congress is particularly disappointing: Our elected officials put a finger in the wind more frequently than they show backbone against it. Too often, Washington demonstrates the maxim that for evil to thrive only requires good men to do nothing."
This comes after Utah elected two Republican legislators who scored a Trump endorsement at the last minute. Utah state Reps. John Curtis and Blake D. Moore easily scored a win.
Romney's Senate colleague Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) has flown under the radar when it comes to his support of Donald Trump. He started out as a Trump critic, but in April it was revealed Lee was actually working to help Trump overthrow the 2020 election results. Trump was pushing the lie that he won but Lee was frantically sending text messages to chief of staff Mark Meadows begging for a way to spin claims he acknowledged were absurd.
Yet, people like Lee and the other two Trump champions aren't stacking up to what Utah voters want. Bump cited the past several elections which showed major showings for Republican candidates, except when it came to Donald Trump. In 2016 they voted only "about 20 points more Republican than the national margin," which Bump explained is below the average of what normal red states end up with. In 2020 it was only slightly above the average.
Utah voters are just as skeptical of Trump as Romney appears to be.
The state's large Mormon population takes issues with Trump who has a tendency to swear, is addicted to Diet Coke and hs extra-marital affairs. Voters who belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were courted by Donald Trump Jr., who was dispatched to Utah to try and bring the voters into the Trump fold. Some Republicans even thought Don Jr. "may want to convert." The swearing, shouting, shooting, insult machine didn't change a lot of minds, surveys showed. Trump did about 12 points better than in 2016, but that was without Independent Evan McMullin on the ballot to take votes away. Biden got 10 points higher than Hillary Clinton did in Utah just four years later.
Bump closed by suggesting GOP chair Ronna Romney McDaniel "could speak to how LDS voters viewed Trump, though: She is a member of the church. And she might feel a bit more sting from Mitt Romney’s criticism of weak-kneed leaders than others: She is his niece."