California is once again burning, as new fires rip up national forest in the Sierra Nevadas and the rest of the state suffers a brutal heat wave.
Meanwhile, a new report alleges that Trump toady Postmaster General Louis DeJoy pressured employees at his last job to donate to GOP candidates and causes.
And lastly, the Trump campaign is increasingly leaning in to white nationalism to claw their way back into the general election race.
THESE ARE THE STORIES YOU NEED TO KNOW:
California Burns Again
California is once again being hit with a double blow of climate change woes, this time in the form of devastating wildfires and a brutal heatwave throughout the rest of the state.
Of course, California isn’t the only state suffering this summer: most of the U.S. west is plagued by fires, including major cities like Denver. But California got hit hard this weekend. In the Sierra Nevadas, the explosive Creek Fire went from a few hundred acres to 45,000 in the span of a weekend. It’s zero percent contained as of Sunday afternoon.
The Creek Fire rose up so fast that dozens of hikers had to be airlifted to safety by the National Guard. So far there’s no reports of deaths or casualties, as the residential areas its devastated were evacuated on time.
Elsewhere in the state, waves of smoke from previous fires have given way to heat, heat, and more heat. In parts of the LA Basin, temperatures climbed above 115 degrees Fahrenheit. Meteorologists told the LA Times those digits could break all time records in some cities.
What the heat wave means is that fire season is nowhere near over. These conditions are only going to get worse in the early fall and come back year after year.
DeJoy Gets Caught Doing Corruption Again
At this point, open corruption should sort of be the norm for the Trump administration, but it’s always fun when some of the worst characters in it get caught red handed. Up this weekend is Louis DeJoy, Trump’s toady Postmaster General last seen gutting his own agency to appease
Republican goals of voter suppression. According to a new report by the New York Times, DeJoy has been corrupt since way before Trump. Multiple former employees at New Breed Logistics told the paper that DeJoy pressured them to make political contributions to GOP candidates and causes, and rewarded them with bonuses if they did so.
This is following a report last week that showed that the Postal Service had paid one of DeJoy’s other former companies $286 million since 2013. So clearly he’s been in this game for a while.
The latest charge might stick, however, as the kind of corruption taking place at New Breed Logistics might actually be a crime. The difference rests on whether or not investigators can prove that DeJoy’s “bonuses” were reimbursing employee’s donations, instead of just incentivizing them.
Democratic leaders have immediately called for an investigation, but who knows if that due diligence will actually happen under Trump and Attorney General Bill Barr.
Trump Leans In to White Nationalism
Over the weekend, it’s become a lot more clear what Donald Trump thinks his pathway to victory in November in. You probably won’t be surprised to know the answer: it’s white nationalism.
The first new red flag came on Friday, when Trump ordered the federal government to cancel contracts that it had paid out for its branches to undergo racial sensitivity training.
Trump called such programs, which attempt to change systemic racism by generally teaching people how to not be racist in the workplace, were quote “divisive, anti-american propaganda.” Endquote. He then followed that quote up with another storm of tweets on the subject, saying basically the same thing.
So racism is American, being anti-racist is anti-American. Got it.
All of this is getting folded into his electoral strategy. As the New York Times points out, the RNC made its token appeal to minority voters with some black and hispanic speakers who claimed Trump wasn’t racist.
But the candidate himself has doubled down on racist rhetoric, decrying everything from the banning of the Confederate flag at Nascar races to the Black Lives Matter movement, while simultaneously pushing racist talking points about crime coming for Suburban households.
This isn’t a new strategy for Republicans, of course, but Trump has taken it to its most extreme. We’ll find out if it pays off -- to everyone’s detriment -- in November.
AND NOW FOR SOME QUICKER QUICKIES:
There’s an old labor movement saying: a rising tide lifts all boats. And now for a completely unrelated story: at a pro-Trump boat parade on a lake near Austin, Texas this weekend, five boats sank when their wakes collided to make a turbulent pit of water. No one was injured, so we can all laugh at this guilt free.
A newly declassified court ruling found that the F.B.I. had committed “widespread violations” of Americans’ privacy, without warrants in a surveillance program that’s existed since the Bush years. The court then signed off on another year of the program, which let investigators search through email repositories without a warrant. Sounds about right.
Northeastern University dismissed 11 students who threw a party in a hotel room despite coronavirus restrictions, and will not refund the tuition they had already paid. Let’s be real: the party was incredibly stupid, but expelling students and keeping their money after charging them over 35,000 for a study abroad program seems wildly harsh.
The mayor of Rochester, New York is promising police reform after widespread protests following the release of video depicting the death of Daniel Prude, who died in police custody in March. The promise of change may not do much to sway the protesters on Rochester’s streets, however, as police continue to deploy the standard tear gas, pepper balls, and rubber bullets.
That’s all for the Majority Report’s AM Quickie today. Happy Labor day! Organize your workplace.
Sept 7, 2020 - AM Quickie
HOSTS - Sam Seder & Lucie Steiner
WRITER - Jack Crosbie
PRODUCER - Dorsey Shaw
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER - Brendan Finn