Headlines: September 4, 2020
Listen to story:
Download: mp3 (Duration: 8:18 — 7.6MB)
The suspect in the Portland, Oregon killing of a rightwing Trump supporter has been killed by law enforcement during an attempted arrest. Michael Forest Reinoehl was facing arrest in the shooting death of Aaron Danielson that happened last weekend during a pro-Trump action aimed at countering on-going Black Lives Matter protests. The 48-year old Reinoehl was shot and killed by Federal officers in the U.S. Marshals as part of what the New York Times called, “a federally led fugitive task force.” The Marshals put out a statement saying, “Initial reports indicate the suspect produced a firearm, threatening the lives of law enforcement officers…Task force members responded to the threat and struck the suspect who was pronounced dead at the scene.” The Times also explained that, “Mr. Reinoehl, who lived in the Portland area, had been a persistent presence at the city’s demonstrations over recent weeks, helping the protesters with security and suggesting on social media that the struggle was becoming a war where ‘there will be casualties.’” Just a day before Reinoehl’s killing, Vice News published an interview with him where he admitted that he killed Danielson saying he had no choice.
In other news, 7 police officers in Rochester, New York have been suspended over the killing by asphyxiation of a Black man named Daniel Prude who was naked and defenseless in the middle of the street this past March. Prude’s last moments resemble a police lynching, as per a video of the incident. Public outrage over the brutal and shocking killing was aimed at the city mayor and other officials over their inaction for many months after Prude’s killing. At a protest on Thursday evening, police used what one witness called “an irritant” into the crowd. In New York City, where a crowd had gathered to protest Prude’s killing, a car drove through those that had gathered. According to the Guardian, “Video posted on social media showed the car jerking through the crowd with its horn blaring as demonstrators scream and scramble out of the way.” It has become a common tactic of opponents of racial justice to plow their cars through peaceful protests in a manner similar to the terrorist Islamic State.
Meanwhile a new report on the mass Black Lives Matter protests that swept the nation this year shows that about 93% of those actions were peaceful and nonviolent. Democratic Presidential nominee Joe Biden on Thursday visited Kenosha, Wisconsin where police had shot a black man in the back 7 times paralyzing him. The former Vice President said that President Donald Trump “legitimizes the dark side of human nature.” Biden met with the family of the victim, Jacob Blake and heard from community members. A number of top law enforcement officials both current and former, have signed onto a letter supporting Mr. Biden for President and calling Trump “lawless.” A new poll by ABC shows that a majority of Americans see Trump’s rhetoric on police violence as worsening racial tensions. A GOP Congressional candidate in Georgia, Marjorie Taylor Greene, who won her first primary this year has posted a photo of herself holding a rifle on social media with a threatening message against three young Congresswomen of color: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, and Rashida Tlaib. The caption says among other things, “We need strong conservative Christians to go on the offense against these socialists who want to rip our country apart.” Greene, who has been endorsed by Trump, is a self-avowed QAnon believer. QAnon is the cultish movement of conspiracy theorists who believe Democrats are child-sex trafficking pedophiles.
An article in The Atlantic about Trump’s view of veterans and American soldiers who died in battle has put the President on the defensive. Atlantic Editor-in-chief Jeffrey Goldberg wrote the piece exposing how during a state trip to Paris in 2018 Trump canceled a visit to a military cemetery where World War II US soldiers were buried because he worried the rain would ruin his hair. According to the article, Trump said, “Why should I go to that cemetery? It’s filled with losers.” Additionally, “In a separate conversation on the same trip, Trump referred to the more than 1,800 marines who lost their lives at Belleau Wood as ‘suckers’ for getting killed.” The claims were based on “four people with firsthand knowledge of the discussion that day.” Trump also denigrated the late Republican Senator and war veteran John McCain saying he would not support, “that loser’s funeral,” “and used expletives to denounce him. Trump has now vehemently and angrily denied the report. One retired Major General named Paul Eaton posted a video denouncing Trump saying, “You’re no patriot.”
In financial news, the US economy added 1.4 million new jobs in August, which was a slowdown in the rate of job growth. The official unemployment rate fell to 8.4%. There are still at least 11 million fewer people with jobs than before the pandemic began. More troublingly, the unemployment gap between Black and white Americans widened for four consecutive months. Senate Republicans, who have refused to consider a massive financial relief bill passed by the Democrat-dominated House, are struggling to come together over a new bill. The division is over a $5 billion tax credit proposed by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos for charter schools.
A new study by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington estimates that the death toll from the coronavirus pandemic could more than double by the end of the year reaching a whopping 410,000. Right now the grim tally is already exceedingly high at about 183,000. The model predicts that the worst case scenario of more than 400,000 deaths could come about as result of changing weather and increased indoor social mingling during the cooler months.
Attorney General William Barr in an interview on CNN this week had cited a case of voter fraud saying “we indicted someone in Texas, [who collected] 1,700 ballots … from people who could vote, he made them out and voted for the person he wanted to.” It turns out that there was never such an indictment and that a case that came the closest to Barr’s description was nothing of the sort of fraud he claimed. Meanwhile Trump once more advised voters to send in their ballots by mail and then vote a second time at the polls – essentially recommending voter fraud and the committing of a felony. The state of North Carolina, where Trump first recommended felony voter fraud, has kicked off its mail-in balloting process two months ahead of the November 3rd race.
And finally, the US Justice Department has announced that it could file an anti-trust lawsuit against Google as early as this month. The Washington Post cast it as, “one of the most high-profile assaults against big tech by the Trump administration.” But, as most things in the Trump era are politicized, this lawsuit appears to be as well. According to the Post, “Federal officials have sought to expedite their work in recent weeks, aiming to file a complaint ideally before the 2020 presidential election.” While many experts agree that Google is indeed a giant monopoly and in violation of anti-trust laws, Trump has long railed against tech companies saying they censor rightwing views. In fact, there is evidence of the opposite — that tech companies favor conservative views.