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Sept 1, 2020: Trump Defends Teen Shooter
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TODAY'S HEADLINES:

President Trump defended militia member Kyle Rittenhouse, refusing to condemn the two killings the 17-year-old Trump supporter committed in Kenosha, Wisconsin last week.

Meanwhile, New York City’s teacher are preparing to strike if Mayor Bill de Blasio doesn’t meet their demands for mandatory testing, which would be one of the largest actions in the ongoing nationwide battle over reopening schools.

And lastly, a whistleblower report alleges that the L.A. Sheriff’s Deputy who shot 18-year-old Andres Guardado was quote “chasing ink,” or attempting to join one of the violent gangs that exist inside the Sheriff's department.

THESE ARE THE STORIES YOU NEED TO KNOW:

At this point, nobody should be expecting Donald Trump to condemn the things his supporters do, but after last week’s shooting in Kenosha, Wisconsin, the president appears to have thrown his lot entirely behind the right-wing defense of Kyle Rittenhouse.

Rittenhouse shot three protesters, killing two, during a chaotic incident in the middle of protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin after the police shooting of Jacob Blake.

When asked about the shooting at a press conference on Saturday, Trump leaned into the right-wing narrative that Rittenhouse’s shootings were committed in self-defense, saying quote: “I guess he was in very big trouble. He probably would have been killed,” endquote.

Trump also refused to condem the widespread violence perpetrated by his supporters in Portland over the weekend, where a truck convoy of Trump supporters sprayed protesters with mace and shot them with paintballs. Trump referred to his supporters as quote “Peaceful,” and added quote “paint is not bullets.” Those confrontations also ended in violence, when one right-wing militia member was shot and killed in the city on Saturday.

The Trump campaign and other conservative voices have sought to blame the increasing violence at protests around the country on Joe Biden, alleging that Biden is somehow supportive of incidents of violence, looting or rioting. But in a speech on Monday, Biden wasted no time in decrying all such behavior. He said quote:

“I urge the President to join me in saying that while peaceful protest is a right — a necessity — violence is wrong, period. No matter who does it, no matter what political affiliation they have. Period.

“If Donald Trump can’t say that, then he is unfit to be president, and his preference for more violence — not less — is clear.”

Trump plans to visit Kenosha on today, so look out for even more dangerous rhetoric from him then.

NYC Teachers Prepare to Strike

The battle over returning to school is coming to a head in New York City, as the city’s powerful Teachers Union says a strike is still on the table if mayor Bill de Blasio doesn’t meet their demands.

The sticking point right now is a mandatory testing program for students and staff returning to school. United Federation of Teachers president Michael Mulgrew said quote:

“I cannot and I will not back off the fact that I said we would not go back unless independent medical experts gave us a stamp of approval. So it’s not like the mayor is going to convince me not to have a mandated testing program. It’s not happening.”

If that wrinkle isn’t ironed out, Mulgrew left the door open for a major labor action, including a strike.

The UFT is also pushing for a delayed start to the year, which is supposed to begin on September 10.

While many teachers across the country have already been pushed back into classrooms, this battle in one of the largest school systems in the country could set a precedent for other unions fighting for mandatory testing as well.

Earlier in the year, Chicago’s powerful teachers’ union, which has gone on strike just last year over contract negotiations, threatened another strike in July if the city did not meet their demands to hold remote classes -- and hours later, got what they wanted.

Now, New York is laying the same threat on the table. We’ll see how de Blasio responds.

Killer LA Sheriff Was Chasing Gang Ink

A new whistleblower complaint claims that the L.A. Country Sheriff’s Deputy who shot 18-year-old Andres Guardado was in fact “chasing ink,” or trying to join an organized police gang that rewards its members for brutality.

The fact that there are active, violent gangs inside the LA Sheriffs Department is nothing short of absurd.

But Guardado’s killing came after knowledge of the gangs was widespread, which means that the forces inside the department weren’t cowed by external pressure or an FBI investigation.

According to the new complaint, Deputy Miguel Vega was trying to get into an exclusive clique inside the Sheriffs Office known as the Executioners.

Another deputy, Art Gonzalez, alleged in a sworn whistleblower statement that the Executioners have more than a dozen members with matching tattoos, who often host parties after an officer has shot someone in which they may be inked.

In other words, Guardado’s death may have come at the hands of a cop looking to kill someone to buy his way into a gang. Gonzalez, the whistleblower, testified for nearly six hours under oath, according to Spectrum News 1 in LA.

AND NOW FOR SOME QUICKER QUICKIES:

Trump’s environmental protection agency is quietly relaxing another key anti-pollution measure, this time weakening Obama-era regulations on coal waste. The new rules drastically increase the daily thresholds for amounts of toxic elements that plants can release into the water supply.

Spain is officially going through a true “second wave” of coronavirus infections, as its rate of infections has been higher than the U.S., France, Germany and most of the rest of Europe in the past week. Spain had a brutal first wave of infections which were only broken by a strict lockdown -- but after a rapid reopening program, the virus is creeping back in.

Airlines are making one major change in the attempt to coax customers into flying again: they’re permanently dropping change fees for most domestic flights. Delta, United and American are all following this plan, which will certainly give travelers who have to fly a bit more peace of mind, as it’s clear the actual process isn’t and won’t be safe for a while.

In slightly terrifying news, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg officiated a wedding and was pictured not wearing a mask just weeks after being hospitalized for liver cancer. The bride claimed that quote “we tested negative,” but still. Probably not a great risk to take.

Sept 1, 2020 - AM Quickie

HOSTS - Sam Seder & Lucie Steiner

WRITER - Jack Crosbie

PRODUCER - Dorsey Shaw

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER - Brendan Finn