Donald Trump’s war on the postal service continues, and the House agrees to reconvene to try to fight back as distressing reports filter in of the agency removing post office boxes from streets.
Meanwhile, a new report shows that the Trump administration has been using a private security company to detain migrant children and their families at major hotel chains before ejecting them from the country.
And lastly, protests intensify in Chicago, Stone Mountain Georgia, and Portland Oregon, as Black Lives Matter protesters clash with right wing nationalists and fascist cops alike.
THESE ARE THE STORIES YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi called her part of Congress back late on Sunday night, saying that the Democrat-led House of Representatives would meet in order to pass emergency legislation that would help save the U.S. Postal Service before the November election.
Trump has been systematically destroying the Post Office for months, using his pet Postmaster General Louis DeJoy to gut the organization in order to cast more doubts on nationwide voting by mail.
So far, according to the Washington Post, DeJoy has used absurd cost cutting measures to slash post carriers’ overtime and other strategies to get the mail on time, as well as removing physical inventory like mail-sorting machines and making it so mail-in ballots are no longer automatically sorted as priority mail.
Reporters and social media users in multiple cities reported the Postal Service physically removing its own letter boxes from the streets as part of a scaling-back process.
According to CNN, the agency says it will stop this practice for at least the next 90 days, which is good news for the election, but it’s completely clear the DeJoy is trying to demolish any chance of a workable mail-voting system before Trump goes up against Biden.
The House is back in session this week to pass a bill putting a band-aid on this, but you can imagine how far that’s going to get with the Republican Senate. At least they’re trying.
Trump Keeping Migrant Kids in Hotels
A new report by the New York Times shows that despite the catastrophic pandemic, the Trump administration is still finding new and depraved ways to treat immigrant families on the border.
According to the Times, government data and private court documents show that the Trump administration has massively increased detentions of migrants in private hotel chains before deporting them, often placing children as young as a year old under the supervision of transportation workers not licensed to provide child care.
At first glance, this doesn’t sound so bad: a hotel room is likely far more comfortable that the dystopian concentration camps that the Trump administration is also using to detain kids and adults on the border. But as the Times notes, this is all being done by a private security company called MVM Inc, which is completely outside of the scope or oversight of normal government operations: there’s no accountability or transparency here.
The new wave of expulsions are justified under Trump’s new pandemic border rules, which is basically just kicking people out of the country en masse, including unaccompanied children, without any thought to the consequences or the condition of the people under their care.
The Times reports that under the new policy, most children just put on planes and sent back to their home countries, though some get turned over to child services in Mexico, which often forces parents into confusing, desperate searches to track them down.
Protests Continue in Portland, Chicago, Stone Mountain
Widespread protests continued to rage across the country this weekend, with major actions in Portland, Oregon, Stone Mountain, Georgia and Chicago, Illinois. We’ll run down some of the major events.
In Portland, far-right members of the Patriot Prayer and Proud Boys clashed with protesters and allegedly fired a gun, while other members dueled with paintball guns and mace. Some reports on social media suggested that a small plastic pipe bomb was tossed as well.
In Stone Mountain, Georgia Black Lives Matter counterprotesters faced down a smaller contingent of white nationalist three-percenter militia members who had applied for a permit to hold a rally in the park, ostensibly to defend the massive Confederate monument there.
In both of these places it looks like the far right is getting more and more bold in pushing for conflict with protesters.
And in Chicago, the police cracked down hard on protests and again blamed outside agitators for escalating demonstrations, despite evidence that the cops used aggressive tactics like kettling and baton charges.
Chicago Police claim that 17 officers were injured during a protest on Saturday. There’s no clear accounting on how many protesters have been hurt so far, of course.
AND NOW FOR SOME QUICKER QUICKIES:
The big story this week we didn’t get to up top is that the Democratic National Convention starts this week. Because pretty much everything in Milwaulkee is canceled, DNC officials are going to try to juggle hundreds of different live streams to keep the atmosphere festive and lively for... well, whoever’s actually watching. Tune in! What could go wrong.
In case you were wondering how the rich and famous are faring through all this: a new report by the New York Times shows that the wealthy elites are throwing parties in the Hamptons and other wealthy enclaves where private, lightning-fast coronavirus testing happens at the door, provided you can pay. Gee, I wonder who’s going to get the vaccine first when it comes out?
In a surreal turn of events, a Government Accountability Audit shows that Acting DHS secretary Chad Wolf, as well as deputy secretary Ken Cuccinelli may have been illegally appointed to their positions by the Trump administration. These are the guys ordering many of the federal goons breaking up protests, who may not even legally deserve the authority they’re abusing.
And finally, the Trump administration is planning to jack up the costs involved with becoming a U.S. citizen in the fall, as part of a systemic push to keep poorer immigrants out of the country.
That’s all for the Majority Report’s AM quickie today. Stay tuned for the full show with Sam this afternoon.
Aug 17, 2020 - AM Quickie
HOSTS - Sam Seder & Lucie Steiner
WRITER - Jack Crosbie
PRODUCER - Dorsey Shaw
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER - Brendan Finn