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Aug 25, 2020: RNC Night One
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TODAY'S HEADLINES:

The RNC kicked off tonight with, who would have guessed, a controversy, as Trump narrowly decided against holding an illegal gathering in DC and went forward with plans to accept his party’s nomination from the White House, rather than a politically neutral site.

Meanwhile, in Wisconsin, protests erupt after police shot Jacob Blake, a black man, seven times in the back while he was attempting to get back in his car. Blake survived, but the outrage over his clearly unjust treatment caught on video has rocked the city of Kenosha.

And lastly, California is once again burning, as exhausted firefighters battle 625 active blazes across the state.

THESE ARE THE STORIES YOU NEED TO KNOW:

Here we go everyone, it’s the RNC. After last week’s Republican-lite convention put on by Joe Biden and the Democrats, it’s time to watch the full-fascist party put on their show.

Night one did not disappoint: Mark and Patricia McCloskey, the St. Louis couple who pointed guns at Black Lives Matter protesters outside of their mansion, leaned hard into false rhetoric that the Democrats would hand over citizens to criminals.

RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel praised Trump’s support of housewives and moms, and diaper-boy Charlie Kirk leaned in to his alt-right roots by making a pitch for Trump that included the words “Western Civilization.” You can see where that one’s going.

But all of this gabbling is mostly just window dressing. The more interesting story of the convention, like we mentioned yesterday, is the GOP’s full-throated endorsement of Trump without any concrete policy goals.

Late Sunday night, the Trump administration released a list of “goals” for a second term, which include everything from moon bases to intensely repressive immigration lists. The Republican party is on board with this till the bitter end.

The other theme is that the normal rules will not apply to this party or this President. On Monday, the White House constructed a stage in the Rose Garden, preparing for a big event on Thursday when the president will formally accept the nomination. It’s technically against ethics rules for the president to do partisan activities like campaigning on federal property, but Trump has decided that, like so many other laws and norms, doesn’t apply to him.

It’s all just part of him testing his limits to see just how far he can go. We’ll see on November 5th whether or not that’ll extend to free and fair elections, and we’ll see what other buttons Trump tries to press at the RNC the rest of this week.

Jacob Blake Shooting Fractures Kenosha

In Wisconsin, a new shocking incident of police violence has thrown a small city into turmoil, as massive protests and civil unrest erupted after police in Kenosha shot an unarmed black man seven times in the back.

The victim, Jacob Blake, was shot as he was attempting to get back into his car, which his three children were inside. He’s in stable condition in the hospital, miraculously.

But his shooting was captured on video, and within hours the city was on fire, as angry residents torched garbage trucks, parked cars, and looted businesses downtown. On Monday, the state deployed 100 national guard members and set an 8 p.m. curfew for the city to crack down on protests.

Blake was allegedly trying to break up a fight between two women when police arrived on scene, and appears to attempt to leave the situation as police yelled and pointed their weapons at him. As he attempted to get back into his car, an officer grabbed his shirt and shots rang out.

The city is still on edge, and while the police immediately opened an investigation, it doesn’t look like there will be an easy resolution anytime soon.

California Fights Over 600 Fires

California is on fire, as it is every year around this time. But due to the drastic effects of global climate change, every year seems worse than the last.

Right now, firefighters in the state are battling upwards of 625 active fires, including two of the biggest fires the state has ever seen. Together, over 1.4 million acres of land in the state have burned.

Many of the fires are sparked by lightning strikes, as dry fuel loads go up like matches during dry summer thunderstorms.

And of course, vulture capitalists have found a way to use the catastrophe to get richer: Common Dreams dot com reports that one hedge fund has added $3 billion to their coffers by buying up insurance claims.

Thanks to the megafires nearby, Oakland and much of the Bay Area is choked by smoke, closing state parks and schools already plagued by the pandemic.

Another thing weakened by the pandemic: the prison labor California and other states often use to fight wildfires. Thanks to early release programs aimed at releasing prisoners from the COVID-traps of the prison system, much of the state’s captive wildfire labor force is home, and not behind bars.

The prison labor system is an abusive form of modern slavery, which the most recent fires have exposed as an integral part of California’s response to wildfires. Clearly, the state needs a better system, because this is only going to get worse.

AND NOW FOR SOME QUICKER QUICKIES:

Kellyanne Conway announced she would leave the White House at the end of August, citing the need to focus on her family. It’s probably no coincidence that her daughter, who has promoted leftist causes on social media, has been publicly seeking emancipation from her parents, claiming that she’s disgusted with her mother’s job.

Researchers in Hong Kong confirmed the first case of coronavirus re-infection, raising concerns that having the virus will only make you resistant to it for a limited period of time, not indefinitely. The patient is asymptomatic and doing fine, but definitely appears to have caught two different strains of the virus months apart.

Hamas leadership in the Gaza strip reported the first cases of community spread of coronavirus, raising fears that the disease could rip through the blockaded, mostly captive populations there, who are underserved by healthcare networks.

Trump’s National Labor Relations Board announced last Friday that criticizing an employer’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic was not protected speech in the workplace, meaning companies could fire workers for speaking out. That means that under Trump, brave organizers like Amazon warehouse worker Chris Smalls can be axed with no government backup, just for trying to keep their coworkers safe.

That’s all for the Majority Report’s AM Quickie today! We’ll have more pre-recorded content for you this afternoon, as Sam and the Team are still on a well-deserved break.

Aug 25, 2020 - AM Quickie

HOSTS - Sam Seder & Lucie Steiner

WRITER - Jack Crosbie

PRODUCER - Dorsey Shaw

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER - Brendan Finn