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Aug 27, 2020: Wisconsin Activates National Guard
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TODAY'S HEADLINES:

A teenage wannabe cop and militia member was arrested for shooting and killing two people at a protest against police violence in Kenosha, Wisconsin. The Milwaukee Bucks then launched a solidarity strike with protesters, leading to the postponement of the basketball playoffs, which will definitely get the attention of people who might not have noticed or cared.

Meanwhile, Texas and Lousiana braced for a massive Category Four hurricane that was set to make landfall last night. And thousands more homes are at risk of burning in California.

And lastly, there was a courtroom a victory for transgender equity in Virginia yesterday. A federal appeals court upheld the right of a transgender male student to use the boy’s bathroom at school, regardless of how many bigoted adults may feel about it.

THESE ARE THE STORIES YOU NEED TO KNOW:

Police in Lake County, Illinois arrested a seventeen-year-old boy for shooting three people and killing two at ongoing protests in nearby Kenosha, Wisconsin. According to Vice News, the young man, Kyle Rittenhouse is an aspiring police officer, and online videos showed him milling about with local police, as well as with right-wing militia members, and carrying an assault rifle. The militia claimed to be on the scene to protect businesses and property from rioters and QUOTE evil thugs ENDQUOTE. An event page set up by the militia was removed from Facebook, but not before the event was promoted by Alex Jones’ Infowars.

Prosecutors in Illinois called Rittenhouse a fugitive who fled Wisconsin to avoid accountability for the shooting. He is being charged with first-degree murder. Videos show Wisconsin police allowed Rittenhouse to leave the scene with his rifle. Photographer Brent Ford witnessed the entire scene and told Vice News QUOTE He had his hands up and they told him to get out of there, even though everyone was yelling that he was the shooter. The police didn’t seem to hear or care what the crowd was saying ENDQUOTE. Yesterday the Kenosha police chief told reporters that if everyone involved had respected the curfew that was in place, QUOTE perhaps the situation that unfolded would not have happened ENDQUOTE.

The shooting took place just before midnight on Tuesday, which was the third night of protests in Kenosha following the police shooting of an unarmed black man, Jacob Blake. Yesterday, Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers said he was calling up five hundred members of the National Guard to support police in Kenosha County. A curfew was set for seven P.M. Donald Trump was also tweeting about the situation yesterday, which is sure to help. More importantly, players with the Milaukee Bucks decided to go on strike in solidarity with the protests over Jacob Blake’s shooting, prompting the National Basketball Association to postpone all of yesterday’s playoffs games.

*Editor's Note: A previous version of this report said that police killed Jacob Blake. Blake was not killed but he was shot by police seven times and as a result has been paralyzed from the waist down

Hurricane hits Gulf states

National Guard were also deployed in Texas and Louisiana, which are in the way of Hurricane Laura. The storm yesterday was upgraded to a Category Four, with peak winds reaching one-hundred and forty-five miles per hour. It could be the strongest storm to hit Louisiana in one-hundred and sixty years, according to Bloomberg News. The National Hurricane Center said an unsurvivable storm surge with large and destructive waves could penetrate thirty miles inland, causing catastrophic damage from Sea Rim State Park, Texas, to Intracoastal City, Louisiana, including Calcasieu and Sabine Lakes. The American Red Cross is putting emergency evacuation protocols in place for both states. In all more than a half a million people have been ordered to evacuate the coastal areas.

Meanwhile, firefighters in California, aided by cooler weather, have made some progress containing the wildfires that are ravaging the state. Nearly two thousand buildings have already burned, according to the Los Angeles Times. Officials say that number could double before the fires are finally extinguished. Since August 15, when the state was first hit with a so-called lightning siege that sparked the flames, more than seven hundred wildfires have burned one point three million acres around the north and central parts of the state. While progress is being made, crews are still busy responding to new fires. Another four hundred and twenty three lightning strikes hit the state in the twenty-four hour period ending yesterday afternoon, causing fifty new fires. More than one hundred and thirty-six thousand Californians have been evacuated, and Governor Gavin Newsom has warned everyone in the state that they may need to flee their homes at some point on account of the fires. At least seven people have died so far in the fires.

Transgender bathroom rights upheld

A federal appeals court in Virginia yesterday sided with a transgender student in a bathroom-access case. The Fourth US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the Gloucester County School Board and said the transgender student was protected both by a federal law preventing sex discrimination in education, as well as by the US Constitution’s equal protection clause. The lawsuit dates to 2015, according to NBC News. It was filed by Gavin Grimm, who is now a college student. Grimm was assigned female at birth but identifies as male. School officials had forbidden him from using the boy’s restroom.

Writing for the court, which sided with Grimm in a two-to-one vote, Judge Henry Floyd wrote that school officials were guilty of a special kind of discrimination against a child, based in the fantastical fears and unfounded prejudices of adults. Floyd wrote QUOTE the proudest moments of the federal judiciary have been when we affirm the burgeoning values of our bright youth, rather than preserve the prejudices of the past ENDQUOTE.

Grimm’s case was originally going to be heard by the US Supreme Court in 2017, but it was removed from the calendar after Donald Trump rescinded a federal rule on transgender bathroom access put into place by Barack Obama. It’s possible, even likely, that the question of transgender rights will come before the high court again.

Grimm was represented by the American Civil Liberties Union. In a statement following the verdict, he said QUOTE all transgender students should have what I was denied: the opportunity to be seen for who we are by our schools and our government ENDQUOTE.

AND NOW FOR SOME QUICKER QUICKIES:

Mike Pence was the marquee name last night at the Republican National Convention. Separately, a Politico story blamed Pence for doing his part to slow down the nation’s coronavirus response. Donald Trump spent part of the day at his namesake hotel in Washington, DC, meeting with donors. According to the Washington Post, among the sundry events scheduled for the Trump International Hotel yesterday was a panel on Defeating the Deep State, featuring, among other panelists, Sebastian Gorka. There was also a bourbon tasting with Kentucky Senator Rand Paul. Boy howdy.

Four US service members suffered concussion-like symptoms after an altercation with Russian forces in Syria this week. Video of the incident emerged yesterday, and it showed a Russian helicopter flying low over US armored vehicles, which were then rammed by a Russian vehicle on the ground. A draft statement written by US Central Command and cited by Politico blamed the Russians for unsafely pursuing then intentionally ramming the American forces. The Pentagon offered no comment.

The ACLU of Oregon filed a lawsuit yesterday in federal court on behalf of Portland protesters who say they were beaten by federal agents or snatched into unmarked rental vans, Portland’s Willamette (WILL-AM-ET) Week newspaper reported. Donald Trump, the Department of Homeland Security and the US Marshals Service are named as defendants. One of the plaintiffs, Mark Mark Pettibone, was snatched up by federal agents and tossed into an unmarked van. He said QUOTE I still haven't fully come to terms with what it means that I was kidnapped by my government ENDQUOTE. Same here buddy.

The US Centers for Disease Control revised its guidance for COVID-19 testing this week, saying people who were exposed to the virus but are not showing symptoms should not be tested. Public health experts expressed concern over the revision, saying all who were exposed should be tested. After word got out about the changes, the New York Times reported that CDC officials were pressured to make the change by higher-ups in the Trump administration. Apparently Trump officials took advantage of the absence of Doctor Anthony Fauci, who was undergoing surgery for polyp on his vocal cords, to ram through the change. I don’t know about you, folks, but this is all the nonsense I can take today.

That’s all for the AM Quickie. Join us this afternoon on the Majority Report.

Aug 27, 2020 - AM Quickie

HOSTS - Sam Seder & Lucie Steiner

WRITER - Corey Pein

PRODUCER - Dorsey Shaw

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER - Brendan Finn