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US Monthly Headline News July 2021

Analysis by Stephen Collinson, CNN

(CNN) Former President Donald Trump is facing a wall of accountability and truth as new revelations and investigations expose his abuses of power, delusional lies about the election and business conduct to ever greater scrutiny. Just consider what has taken place over the last several days: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Monday announced a House Select Committee to investigate the January 6 insurrection Trump incited. Details in new books about Trump's misconduct in office underscore the depth of his autocratic threat. A stunning report revealed that former Attorney General William Barr thought his voter fraud claims were "bull---," shattering Trump's voter fraud lies. more...


Former President Trump has begun to publicly campaign against Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, but will his endorsement of her GOP challenger hold any weight? In the latest episode of The Point, CNN's Chris Cillizza explains how Murkowski's Senate race is a proxy fight for the war between the Republican establishment and Trump's Republican Party. video...

By MARYCLAIRE DALE

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Pennsylvania’s highest court overturned Bill Cosby’s sex assault conviction Wednesday after finding an agreement with a previous prosecutor prevented him from being charged in the case. Cosby has served more than two years of a three- to 10-year sentence at a state prison near Philadelphia. He had vowed to serve all 10 years rather than acknowledge any remorse over the 2004 encounter with accuser Andrea Constand. He was charged in late 2015, when a prosecutor armed with newly unsealed evidence — Cosby’s damaging deposition from her lawsuit — arrested him days before the 12-year statute of limitations expired. The court said that District Attorney Kevin Steele, who made the decision to arrest Cosby, was obligated to stand by his predecessor’s promise not to charge Cosby when he later gave potentially incriminating testimony in Constand’s civil suit. There was no evidence that promise was ever put in writing. more...

The new drive is worrying state election administrators, who say the efforts will further inflame conspiracy theories and erode faith in the American democratic system.
By ZACH MONTELLARO

A monthslong examination of all the ballots from the 2020 election in Arizona’s most populous county may be winding down soon. But now the state is spreading the “audit” playbook across the country. Supporters of former President Donald Trump — fueled by Trump’s false claim that he did not lose the 2020 election — are behind a new push to review the results in states including Michigan, Georgia, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. The new drive is worrying state election administrators, who say the efforts will further inflame conspiracy theories and erode faith in the American democratic system. more...

Maggie Fitzgerald

Robinhood will pay roughly $70 million in penalties for its systemwide outages and misleading communication and trading practices, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority said Wednesday. The settlement regards the technical failures Robinhood experienced in March of 2020, Robinhood’s lack of due diligence before approving customers to place options trades and purveying misleading information to customers about aspects like trading on margin. The stock market was diving that month in especially wild trading amid the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. more...

By Kara Scannell, Erica Orden and Sonia Moghe, CNN

New York (CNN) New York prosecutors investigating the Trump Organization are scrutinizing cash bonuses as part of their focus on whether the company failed to pay taxes on benefits provided to some of its employees, people familiar with the matter say. The interest in cash payments, which has not been previously reported, is part of investigators' look at whether executives and the company failed to pay appropriate taxes on benefits, including school tuition, cars and rent-free apartments, the people said. It's not clear who received the bonuses or how much they totaled. The Manhattan district attorney's office and the New York attorney general's office have been investigating the Trump Organization and its employees for potential tax-related frauds, and charges could come as soon as this week, CNN has reported. more...

By Nicole Sganga, Melissa Quinn, Stefan Becket

Washington — Ronald Fischetti, a lawyer representing former President Trump in his stand-off with New York prosecutors, expects the Manhattan District Attorney's Office to bring criminal charges against Mr. Trump's company, the Trump Organization, in the coming days, but told CBS News he does not foresee charges against the former president himself. During a virtual meeting with prosecutors last Thursday morning, Fischetti said he asked Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. for details on the charges that are under consideration. "I asked specifically, 'Are any of these charges related to Donald Trump?' And the answer was no," Fischetti told CBS News on Tuesday. more...

Trump in financial and political danger as company faces possible criminal charges
New York prosecutors may soon bring indictment against Trump Organization tied to perks for top executives
David Smith

Donald Trump is facing a potentially crippling financial and political blow as state prosecutors consider filing criminal charges against his family business this week. Prosecutors in New York could soon bring an indictment against the Trump Organization related to the taxation of lucrative perks that it gave to top executives, such as use of apartments, cars and school tuition. The 45th president is not expected to be personally charged but the legal drama could bankrupt his company by damaging its relationships with banks and other business partners, as well as clouding his political comeback. Ron Fischetti, a lawyer for the Trump Organization, held a virtual meeting with prosecutors last Thursday for about 90 minutes in an effort to dissuade them from pursuing criminal charges against the company. more...

Obama: Trump broke ‘core tenet’ of democracy with ‘bunch of hooey’ over election
Ex-president calls for action to stop ‘delegitimizing of democracy’ during redistricting fundraiser
barack obama speaks at biden rally
Guardian staff and agencies

Barack Obama said on Monday that his successor in office, Donald Trump, violated a “core tenet” of democracy when he made up a “bunch of hooey” about last year’s election and refused to concede he lost. Speaking at his first virtual fundraiser since the 2020 election, the former Democratic president said former Republican president’s claims undermined the legitimacy of US elections and helped lead to other anti-democratic measures such as efforts to suppress the vote. “What we saw was my successor, the former president, violate that core tenet that you count the votes and then declare a winner – and fabricate and make up a whole bunch of hooey,” Obama said. Trump has continued to falsely claim that his defeat was the result of widespread fraud, which has been rejected by multiple courts, state election officials and members of his own administration. more...


Axios

Former Attorney General Bill Barr said the Justice Department always knew Trump's claims of election fraud were "bullsh*t," according to an excerpt from journalist Jonathan Karl's upcoming book published in the The Atlantic.

Why it matters: Barr's new comments come as Trump continues to propagate the lie that the 2020 election was "rigged." Republicans in swing states now are conducting "audits" of election ballots based on false conspiracies about the election.

Flashback: Last December, Barr told the AP: "To date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have affected a different outcome in the election." That comment infuriated then-President Trump, Barr told the Atlantic. “How the f*ck could you do this to me? Why did you say it?” Trump asked Barr. Barr responded that he said it because it was true. “You must hate Trump. You must hate Trump," Trump said, referring to himself in the 3rd person, according to Barr. more...

Emma Newburger

New York Attorney General Letitia James announced on Saturday that Johnson & Johnson has agreed to halt sales of opioids nationwide in a $230 million settlement with New York state. As part of the settlement, the company will resolve opioids-related claims and allocate payments over nine years. It could also pay $30 million more in the first year if the state executive chamber signs into law new legislation creating an opioid settlement fund, according to the press release from James’ office. The settlement follows years of lawsuits by states, cities and counties against major pharmaceutical companies over the opioid crisis, which has killed nearly 500,000 people in the U.S. in the last couple decades. more...

Michael Fanone has meeting with House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy and says ‘this is not something I enjoy doing’
Martin Pengelly

A Washington police officer who suffered a heart attack and a brain injury after being beaten by Trump supporters during the deadly Capitol attack emerged from meeting House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy on Friday to tell reporters: “I need a drink.” “This experience for me is not something that I enjoy doing,” Michael Fanone said. “I don’t want to be up here on Capitol Hill. I want to be with my daughters.” Ten Republicans in the House voted to impeach Donald Trump for inciting the attack on 6 January. But Trump was acquitted in the Senate and under McCarthy the House caucus has remained in line behind the former president and his lie that his defeat by Joe Biden was the result of electoral fraud. more...

By Gregory Krieg and Curt Devine, CNN

(CNN) The collapse of a high-rise condo tower in South Florida early Thursday morning has left at least four people dead and 159 more currently unaccounted for. Now, as the search for survivors continues, a critical question looms: What caused the building to fall? Officials are promising an urgent inquiry as engineers have said it is impossible, at this stage, to pinpoint a precise reason. Local officials familiar with the condo complex, which is only four decades old, have repeatedly shot down rumors that it was in any unusual state of disrepair. But a new report surfaced overnight and an older study of the building and surrounding areas have begun to suggest warning signs were there to see. more...

Crystal Hill·Reporter

Former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin was sentenced Friday to 22 and a half years in prison for the murder of George Floyd, more than one year after Floyd’s death sparked an international movement against police brutality. Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill, who presided over Chauvin’s murder trial, handed down a sentence of 270 months for charges of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in Floyd’s May 25, 2020, death. Chauvin received a credit of 199 days served in prison. A jury convicted him of the charges on April 20. more...

Dan Mangan

A Minnesota judge Friday rejected a request for a new trial for former Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin in the killing of George Floyd. The denial came just hours before the judge is due to sentence Chauvin for the murder of Floyd, a Black man whose videotaped brutal killing in May 2020 sparked demands for reform of U.S. police departments. Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill, in an order, wrote that Chauvin’s lawyer Eric Nelson had failed to show that Cahill committed errors that deprived Chauvin of a fair trial or that prosecutors engaged in misconduct. more...

11Alive

The move comes 2 weeks after Attorney General Merrick Garland said the DOJ would scrutinize a wave of new voting laws in Republican-controlled states. video...

After six months of relative hibernation, the former president is reentering the campaign fray. It will likely get messy.
By MERIDITH MCGRAW and JAMES ARKIN

Former President Donald Trump is bronzed, rested and politically bloodthirsty. Having spent months in semi-retirement after his election loss in 2020, Trump is set this weekend to kick off a series of political events. Aides and confidants say the goal is to boost his standing in anticipation of a possible future run and to scratch that never-soothed itch he has for publicity. But it’s also to exact some revenge. more...

Craig Mauger | The Detroit News

Lansing — A long-awaited report on the 2020 election from a GOP-controlled Michigan Senate committee recommended that Democratic Attorney General Dana Nessel consider investigating individuals who pushed false claims "to raise money or publicity for their own ends." The suggestion was among the most striking details of the Senate Oversight Committee's recap of a months-long examination of the presidential election. The report was released Wednesday with its main author, Sen. Ed McBroom, R-Vulcan, saying he found "no evidence of widespread or systematic fraud," contradicting months of assertions from some members of his own party, including former President Donald Trump. "The committee finds those promoting Antrim County as the prime evidence of a nationwide conspiracy to steal the election place all other statements and actions they make in a position of zero credibility," the report said. more...

Gina Barton, Kyle Bagenstose, Pat Beall and Aleszu Bajak | USA TODAY

A Florida high rise that collapsed early Thursday was determined to be unstable a year ago, according to a researcher at Florida International University. The building, which was constructed in 1981 on reclaimed wetlands, has been sinking at an alarming rate since the 1990s, according to a 2020 study conducted by Shimon Wdowinski, a professor in the Department of Earth and Environment at Florida International University. When he heard the news that a condo had collapsed, he immediately knew which building it was, Wdowinski said. “I looked at it this morning and said ‘Oh my god.’ We did detect that,” he said. more...

Republicans stonewalled attempts to establish an independent commission.
By Allan Smith

Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Thursday that the House will establish a select committee to investigate the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. "This morning, with great solemnity and sadness, I am announcing the House will be establishing a select committee on the January 6th insurrection," Pelosi said at a news conference. Last month, Senate Republicans blocked House-passed legislation to establish a bipartisan commission to probe the attack. That legislation failed a key procedural hurdle after 54 senators voted in favor of it, short of the needed 60 votes. That bill passed the House last month by a 252-175 vote, with 35 Republicans voting in favor of it. It was the product of negotiations between House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., and Rep. John Katko, R-N.Y., the ranking member of the committee. more...

By Kate Sullivan and Phil Mattingly, CNN

(CNN) President Joe Biden said Thursday he has agreed to a deal on infrastructure with a bipartisan group of senators after White House officials and the senators had a massive breakthrough the night before in their infrastructure negotiations. Both Republican and Democratic senators said Wednesday evening there was an agreement reached with White House officials and 10 senators on a bipartisan infrastructure deal. And on Thursday afternoon, Biden said he had signed off on the agreement. more...

Ryan Lucas

A New York state court has suspended Rudy Giuliani from practicing law after concluding that he made false statements alleging rampant fraud to try to overturn Donald Trump's loss in the 2020 presidential election. In a 33-page decision released Thursday, a New York state appellate court said there was "uncontroverted evidence" that Giuliani "communicated demonstrably false and misleading statement to courts, lawmakers and the public at large in his capacity as lawyer for former President Donald J. Trump and the Trump campaign in connection with Trump's failed effort at reelection in 2020." more...

DHS's top counterterrorism official told members of Congress about the departments concerns in a private briefing.
By BETSY WOODRUFF SWAN

The conspiracy theory that Donald Trump will be reinstated as president in August has sparked concerns at the Department of Homeland Security, a top official there told members of Congress on Wednesday. The exchange came in a members-only briefing that John Cohen, the department’s top counterterrorism official, gave to the House Committee on Homeland Security. Three people familiar with the briefing described it to POLITICO. They requested anonymity to discuss the private conversation. more...

All three have been sued by Dominion Voting Systems for pushing false claims.
By Olivia Rubin

As Republicans around the country continue to rally around false claims of fraud in the 2020 election, three of former President Donald Trump's closest allies who helped push those false claims are scheduled to appear in court today for the first time as part of three defamation lawsuits filed against them. Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, former Trump legal team member Sidney Powell, and MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell are scheduled to appear in court in Washington, D.C., for a hearing in the billion-dollar defamation lawsuits brought by Dominion Voting Systems, the voting machine company at the center of numerous conspiracy theories related to the election. more...

By Marshall Cohen, Katelyn Polantz and Hannah Rabinowitz, CNN

(CNN) A Trump supporter who spent 10 minutes inside the US Capitol during the January 6 insurrection was sentenced to probation Wednesday, avoiding jail, becoming the first rioter to learn their punishment in the riot investigation. At a hearing in DC federal court, Judge Royce Lamberth said the insurrection was a "disgrace" and forcefully rebuked the "utter nonsense" coming from some Republican lawmakers and other right-wing figures who are whitewashing what happened. "I don't know what planet they were on," Lamberth said of the GOP lawmakers, without mentioning any names. Recent releases of videos from the attack "will show the attempt of some congressman to rewrite history that these were tourists walking through the capitol is utter nonsense." more...

Anna Morgan-Lloyd will also perform community service and pay $500 restitution.
By Olivia Rubin and Alexander Mallin

A grandmother from Indiana who participated in the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol was sentenced Wednesday to three years of probation for her participation in the riot, making her the first person sentenced in the attack. Anna Morgan-Lloyd, a 49-year-old hair salon owner, pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of parading, demonstrating, or picketing in a capitol building, which carries a maximum sentence of six months in jail and a $5,000 fine. Washington, D.C., District Judge Royce Lamberth also ordered her to complete 40 hours of community service and pay $500 in restitution. more...

Erin Doherty

A grandmother from Indiana who participated in the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, was sentenced Wednesday to three years of probation for her involvement in the riot, ABC News reports.

Why it matters: Anna Morgan-Lloyd — a 49-year-old hair salon owner who pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of parading, demonstrating or picketing in a Capitol building — is the first person to be sentenced in the attack. She was ordered to complete 40 hours of community service and pay $500 in restitution. more...

My parents and many other African Americans in Southern states could not cast ballots until President Lyndon Johnson signed the 1965 Voting Rights Act.
Donna Brazile

This is personal to me. Senate Republicans have won an important battle in their disgraceful war on democracy, but it was a major defeat for the American people and our right to vote – a fundamental right long denied to millions of Black Americans, including my enslaved ancestors and my own grandparents and parents born in the South after slavery ended. Coming just a week after congressional Republicans joined Democrats to designate Juneteenth as a federal holiday marking the end of slavery, the Republican opposition to even debating the For the People Act makes a mockery of their support for the new holiday. Making Juneteenth a holiday shines a long overdue spotlight on America’s immoral embrace of slavery and racism. But suppressing the votes of Black Americans and other Americans is a fresh assault on our rights. more...

McKenzie Sadeghi | USA TODAY

The claim: An image shows President Joe Biden sleeping at G-7 summit

An image purportedly showing President Joe Biden sleeping during the annual Group of Seven summit in Cornwall, England, is making the rounds on social media. The claim follows Biden's first trip overseas, which included meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Queen Elizabeth II, as well as stops at G-7 and NATO summits. The international gatherings have sparked misinformation online. Some social media users are now using a manipulated photo of Biden resting his head on a desk with his eyes closed to claim he was asleep while meeting with world leaders. more...

Joseph Zeballos-Roig

The White House ruled out a gas-tax increase to finance a major infrastructure overhaul, arguing it would violate a central campaign pledge to shield average Americans from any tax hikes. "An idea that's been floating around that certainly the president would not support is a gas tax which would raise taxes on people making less than $400,000 a year," White House press secretary Jen Psaki told "CBS This Morning" on Monday. "We're just not going to stand for that and we're not going to accept it." Another key Democratic senator strongly indicated it was no longer in the package. Sen. John Hickenlooper of Colorado, a Democratic negotiator, said its "clearly off the table" in an MSNBC interview on Monday. more...

Talis Shelbourne, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

MILWAUKEE, Wis. — You could see this coming. On Saturday, during an otherwise joyful celebration of Juneteenth Day in Milwaukee, U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson made an appearance at a Republican Party booth. Johnson told reporters that his experience interacting with attendees had been generally positive, except for "one nasty comment." However, as more people recognized him, he was drowned out by a chorus of boos. Members of a growing crowd swore at him and said, "We don't want you here." more...

Donald Trump with Bill Barr in 2019. In Barr, Trump appeared to find someone almost entirely aligned with the idea of doing his bidding.
Peter Stone

New investigations will examine the scale of wrongdoing – and experts say there could be more revelations of abuse to come. Donald Trump never did much to hide his dangerous belief that the US justice department and the attorneys general who helmed it should serve as his own personal lawyers and follow his political orders, regardless of norms and the law. Former senior DoJ officials say the former president aggressively prodded his attorneys general to go after his enemies, protect his friends and his interests, and these moves succeeded with alarming results until Trump’s last few months in office. But now with Joe Biden sitting in the Oval Office, Merrick Garland as attorney general and Democrats controlling Congress, more and more revelations are emerging about just how far Trump’s justice department went rogue. New inquiries have been set up to investigate the scale of wrongdoing. more...

Martin Pengelly

Tucker Carlson of Fox News is a “go-to source” for the US political media he claims to “hate” and has called “cowards” and “cringing animals not worthy of respect” – according to a columnist for the New York Times. Ben Smith, a former editor-in-chief of BuzzFeed News, outed Carlson as “the go-to guy for sometimes-unflattering stories about Donald J Trump and for coverage of the internal politics of Fox News (not to mention stories about Mr Carlson himself)”. Carlson has become a star of the pro-Trump right – even figuring in polls regarding the next Republican presidential nomination, although he told a podcast last week he will not run – and a hate figure on the US left. Referring to Carlson’s role stoking culture wars over Covid-19, Smith wrote that he dodged the question of whether he has been vaccinated himself. more...

David Smith

Young alligators swam in the water or lazed on artificial rocks as a waterfall cascaded nearby. “Alligators are found primarily in freshwater and swamps and marshes,” noted a nearby sign. “… Alligators are opportunistic feeders.” The “Gator Springs” exhibit greeted religious conservatives this week as they made their way through the vast atrium of the Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, to regroup after Republicans’ loss of power in 2020 and test early contenders for the presidential nomination in 2024. After riding up an escalator, attendees at the Faith & Freedom Coalition’s annual Road to Majority conference met with a registration sign slapped with two additional labels: “Trump: Take America Back, 2024” and “Trump Store, Vendor Exhibits”. more...

Brigid Kennedy, Contributing Writer

Over the last decade, Democrats in key states have relinquished control of redistricting to "independent commissions ... free of partisan interference," a decision made for the sake of "good government" that could, however, affect the left's ability to hold onto their majority in 2022, Politico writes. Despite agreeing that redistricting reform is needed, Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) added that Republicans are "carving up left and right" in rabidly partisan states, while Democrats, rather, are "unilaterally disarming," per Politico. For example, when Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek (D) this spring offered an effective redistricting veto in exchange for the right's cooperation with her legislative agenda, Democrats were "unsparing" in their condemnation, writes Politico. Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.) said that was like "shooting yourself in the head." Added Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.): "It was just an abysmally stupid move on her part." more...

Democrats have greater control of state legislatures than in the last round of redistricting but have turned over map-making powers in some states to independent commissions.
By ALLY MUTNICK

Oregon Democrats had finally secured total control of redistricting for the first time in decades. Then, just months before they were set to draw new maps, they gave it away. In a surprise that left Democrats from Salem to Washington baffled and angry, the state House speaker handed the GOP an effective veto over the districts in exchange for a pledge to stop stymieing her legislative agenda with delay tactics. The reaction from some of Oregon's Democratic House delegation was unsparing: “That was like shooting yourself in the head,” Rep. Kurt Schrader told POLITICO. Rep. Peter DeFazio seethed: “It was just an abysmally stupid move on her part.” more...

It’s a showdown more than half a year – perhaps even decades - in the making.
By Rick Klein, Averi Harper, and Alisa Wiersema

It’s a showdown more than half a year – perhaps even decades - in the making. This week, Senate Democrats will try to pass a voting-rights overhaul that President Joe Biden has identified as critical to his agenda. The outcome is virtually preordained, with only 49 Democrats and not a single Republican expected to support the “For the People Act,” a version of which has already passed the House. But whether the expected failure of this bill marks the end of something or the beginning of something else depends on how things play out. Biden and Senate Democratic leaders are challenging Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on terrain he’s familiar with, and with much of Biden’s domestic agenda in the balance. more...

Tom Porter

Former Vice President Dick Cheney called his daughter Rep. Liz Cheney on January 6 to warn her of the danger she faced as a recent target of President Donald Trump, The New York Times reported. Liz Cheney has emerged as one of the most adamant critics of Trump in the GOP. In May, she lost her place in the party's congressional leadership over her opposition to the former president in the wake of the Capitol riot. Her father and political mentor, Dick Cheney, is no stranger to political controversy and is regarded as a master of the political dark arts. As the vice president to George W. Bush, he was the architect of the US invasion of Iraq. more...

Elizabeth Dias and Ruth Graham

Pope Francis and President Joe Biden, both liberals, are the two most high-profile Roman Catholics in the world. But in the United States, neither of these men is determining the direction of the Catholic Church. It is now a conservative movement that decides how the Catholic Church asserts its power in America. That reality was unmistakably declared last week, when the country’s bishops voted overwhelmingly to draft guidelines for the Eucharist, advancing a conservative push to deny Biden Communion over his support for abortion rights. more...

Analysis by Stephen Collinson, CNN

(CNN) Republicans justify their plan to block sweeping voting rights legislation in the Senate this week by arguing that it's a huge federal power grab. But their past words and actions suggest they are again prioritizing their own political advantage over defending democracy. When former President Donald Trump lost last year's election, most Republicans didn't do what most losing parties do -- agonize over how to modify their message and appeal to a majority to deliver them future power. Instead, party leaders in Washington and the states dedicated themselves to enshrining his anti-democratic behavior as GOP orthodoxy and whitewashing events that led to Trump's disgrace, including his pandemic failures, lies about non-existent major electoral fraud and the Capitol insurrection. more...

By Ariane de Vogue and Chandelis Duster, CNN

(CNN) A unanimous Supreme Court said on Monday that student athletes could receive education-related payments, in a case that could reshape college sports by allowing more money from a billion-dollar industry to go to the players. Justice Neil Gorsuch delivered the opinion of the court. College sports raise billions of dollars from ticket sales, television contracts and merchandise, and supporters of the students say the players are being exploited and barred from the opportunity to monetize their talents. In 2016, for example, the NCAA negotiated an eight-year extension of its broadcasting rights to March Madness, worth $1.1 billion annually. more...

By Evan Perez, Pamela Brown, Katelyn Polantz and Jeremy Herb, CNN

(CNN) The subpoena that swept up the records of two Democratic congressmen, their staff and family members in 2018 appears to have been the result of a leak investigation that initially included scrutinizing a senior aide on the House Intelligence Committee, and not the lawmakers themselves, sources told CNN. The Justice Department's original secret subpoena to Apple, sources say, was an effort to identify people connected with the staffer. Apple provided names connected to the accounts the company had records for, including then-House Intelligence ranking member Adam Schiff and Rep. Eric Swalwell, two vocal political enemies of former President Donald Trump. This was potentially the first instance federal investigators knew they had records of the two California Democrats, according to the sources. more...

Anderson Cooper 360

William Braddock, a Republican congressional candidate in Florida, can reportedly be heard threatening the life of political rival Anna Paulina Luna, according to a secret phone call recording exclusively obtained by Politico. CNN's Leyla Santiago has more. video...

By Kaleigh Rogers and Jasmine Mithani

Think of a conspiracy theorist. How do they see the world? What stands out to them? What fades into the background? Now think of yourself. How does the way you see things differ? What is it about the way you think that has stopped you from falling down a rabbit hole? Conspiracy theories have long been part of American life, but they feel more urgent than ever. Innocuous notions like whether the moon landing was a hoax feel like child’s play compared to more impactful beliefs like whether vaccines are safe (they are) or the 2020 election was stolen (it wasn’t). It can be easy to write off our conspiracy theorist friends and relatives as crackpots, but science shows things are far more nuanced than that. There are traits that likely prime people to be more prone to holding these beliefs, and you may find that when you take stock of these traits, you aren’t far removed from your cousin who is convinced the world is run by lizard people. more...

Analysis by Stephen Collinson, CNN

(CNN) The Republican Party has turned to another page in the authoritarian playbook as it whitewashes the history of Donald Trump's presidency. It's as if the fawning over Vladimir Putin never happened. Or Trump's assurance that Covid-19 would simply "go away" never passed his lips. Trump's acolytes have, meanwhile, rebranded the worst assault in American democracy in modern times into a January 6 tourist jaunt as they seek to cleanse the reputation of the former President who told rioters to "fight like Hell" and, months later, still holds enormous sway over the GOP. Trump and conservative propaganda media are also assailing Dr. Anthony Fauci to expunge the ex-President's neglect of a pandemic that killed hundreds of thousands of Americans on his watch. more...

Republicans are pushing hundreds of bills to limit voting access. Some measures may get in the way of their own voters
Joan E Greve

As the coronavirus wreaked havoc around the world, lawmakers in the US were faced with a monumental task: carrying out a presidential election in the middle of a once-in-century pandemic. Concerned about the possibility of virus spread at polling places, Democrats pushed the federal government to approve more funding for states to expand absentee and early-voting options. But Donald Trump was against the idea for a single reason: he thought it would make it harder for Republicans to win. Trump said in a Fox News interview in March of last year that, if early and absentee voting options were expanded as Democrats wanted, “you’d never have a Republican elected in this country again.” Other Republicans have echoed Trump’s argument in recent months, as the party has pushed hundreds of bills to restrict voting access in dozens of states. more...

Tucker Higgins

The Supreme Court on Thursday ruled against Texas and other Republican-led states seeking to strike down Obamacare in the law’s latest test before the nation’s highest court. The top court voted 7-2 to reverse an appeals court ruling that had struck down the law’s individual mandate provision. Justice Stephen Breyer, who authored the opinion of the court, said that Texas and the other states that challenged the law failed to show that they were harmed by it. In legal terms, the states failed to demonstrate that they had standing. more...

A measure to award the officers a Congressional Gold Medal still overwhelmingly passed the House of Representatives on Tuesday
By Virginia Chamlee

Twenty-one Republicans voted against a measure that would award medals to police some five months after the deadly U.S. Capitol insurrection that led to the death of one officer and four others. The measure to award three Congressional Gold Medals (one to the U.S. Capitol Police force, one to the Metropolitan Police Department and one to display at the Smithsonian Institution) still overwhelmingly passed the House on Tuesday, despite the objections from some lawmakers. more...

In a fiery speech, Rep. Brian Sims accused Republicans of “unnecessary overreach” during a debate on a proposal to regulate discarding fetal remains.
By Curtis M. Wong

A Pennsylvania lawmaker isn’t backing down after a heated exchange in which he lambasted his state’s Republican delegation for pushing a “predictably misogynistic agenda.” State Rep. Brian Sims, a Democrat who is running for lieutenant governor, spoke out Wednesday against House Bill 118, otherwise known as the Unborn Child Dignity Act. The controversial bill, introduced by state Rep. Frank Ryan (R), would require medical providers to offer the option of burial or cremation after the loss of a pregnancy. more...

NBC News

FBI Director Christopher Wray testified on his department's response after the Capitol riot on January 6, calling it "domestic terrorism" and "an affront to the rule of law" in his opening statement. video...

The Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) — A police officer has been charged with murder and two officers charged with attempted murder in connection with the fatal shooting of a 16-year-old boy, Honolulu prosecutors said Tuesday. The charges come after a grand jury last week declined to indict the same three officers in the shooting that killed Iremamber Sykap on April 5. Geoffrey H.L. Thom was charged with one count of murder in the second degree. Zackary K. Ah Nee and Christopher Fredeluces were each charged with one count of attempted murder in the second degree. more...

The former president's aides and emissaries pressed Justice Department leaders to join legal challenges to the vote.
By JOSH GERSTEIN

Top Justice Department officials derisively dismissed a series of last-ditch efforts by then-President Donald Trump’s aides and emissaries to get DOJ lawyers and the FBI to investigate outlandish election fraud claims in the waning weeks of Trump’s presidency, newly-released emails show. The emails — made public by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee — detail the Justice Department’s response to attempts by Trump’s chief of staff Mark Meadows to get investigators to look at bizarre allegations in a YouTube video where a former intelligence officer named Brad Johnson asserted that individuals in Italy were manipulating votes in the U.S. through satellites. more...

BBC News

The measure now heads to the Democratic-led House, where it is all but certain to pass. Democratic and Republican senators hailed the rare bipartisan measure in the evenly split chamber. Juneteenth marks the day on 19 June 1865 when enslaved black people in Texas learned they had been freed. Charles Schumer, the Democratic leader of the Senate, said: "Making Juneteenth a federal holiday is a major step forward to recognise the wrongs of the past, but we must continue to work to ensure equal justice and fulfil the promise of the Emancipation Proclamation and our Constitution." more...

Marquise Francis·National Reporter & Producer

The Senate passed a bill Tuesday to establish Juneteenth, the day marking the end of slavery in the United States, as a national holiday. After passing by unanimous consent, the bill now heads to the House of Representatives, where its passage is all but assured, then on to President Biden’s desk for signature into law. Celebrated on June 19, Juneteenth, or Freedom Day, recognizes and marks the emancipation of formerly enslaved African Americans, commemorating the date in 1865 when slaves in Galveston, Texas, learned of their freedom. more...

By Joe Mullin

Imagine this: a limited liability company (LLC) is formed, for the sole purpose of acquiring patents, including what are likely to be low-quality patents of suspect validity. Patents in hand, the LLC starts approaching high-tech companies and demanding licensing fees. If they don’t get paid, the company will use contingency-fee lawyers and a litigation finance firm to make sure the licensing campaign doesn’t have much in the way of up-front costs. This helps give them leverage to extract settlements from companies that don’t want to pay to defend the matter in court, even if a court might ultimately invalidate the patent if it reached the issue. more...

Fadel Allassan

The Biden administration on Tuesday released the first-ever "National Strategy for Countering Domestic Terrorism," following a 100-day comprehensive review ordered by President Biden on his first day in office.

Why it matters: It's the first national plan for countering what the White House is calling "the most urgent terrorism threat the United States faces today," echoing previous assessments by Attorney General Merrick Garland, FBI Director Christopher Wray and the intelligence community. more...

John L. Dorman

GOP Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio on Monday appeared to criticize President Joe Biden for attending the Group of Seven and NATO summits in recent days, saying that the president should instead focus his energies on the US-Mexico border. "While President Biden pals around with his buddies in Europe, the border crisis rages at home," Jordan, a conservative lawmaker and staunch ally of former President Donald Trump, wrote on Twitter. This, despite Biden attending the same diplomatic summits that Trump did during his single term in office. Biden attended the 47th G-7 summit in the English county of Cornwall this past weekend. more...

Mitch McConnell and the republicans are trying to pack the Supreme Court. Mitch McConnell is planning to steal another Supreme Court seat; this is not how our democracy is supposed to work. Mitch McConnell and the republicans are once again depriving the American people who voted their rights and their votes.

By Mark Joseph Stern

On Monday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt that he would refuse to let President Joe Biden fill a Supreme Court seat in 2024 if Republicans win the Senate next year. McConnell also suggested that he would not let Biden fill a Supreme Court vacancy in 2023, even if the president nominated “a normal mainstream liberal.” These comments are not remotely surprising. The Republican Party has outsourced much of its agenda to the federal judiciary, a strategy that requires its lawmakers to ruthlessly extinguish Democrats’ influence over the courts. To that end, a GOP-controlled Senate will never again confirm a Democratic president’s Supreme Court nominee. Not in an election year or any other year. Not in your lifetime or mine. Never. more...

Mitch McConnell and the republicans are trying to pack the Supreme Court. Mitch McConnell is planning to steal another Supreme Court seat; this is not how our democracy is supposed to work. Mitch McConnell and the republicans are once again depriving the American people who voted their rights and their votes.

Chelsey Cox | USA TODAY

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell suggested Monday that he would block a Supreme Court nominee in 2024 if Republicans regain control of the Senate after the 2022 midterm elections. The Kentucky senator told conservative talk radio show host Hugh Hewitt that he would oppose a confirmation because, he says, it is not typical for a Senate of the opposite party of the president to confirm a nominee during an election year. "In fact, no, I don’t think either party if it controlled, if it were different from the president, would confirm a Supreme Court nominee in the middle of an election," McConnell said. more...

By Whitney Wild, Jeremy Herb, Lauren Fox, Zachary Cohen and Ryan Nobles, CNN

(CNN) New emails from Justice Department and White House officials show how President Donald Trump's allies pressured then-acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen to consider false and outlandish allegations that the 2020 election had been stolen at the same time that Rosen was being elevated to lead the Justice Department in December 2020. The emails show how Trump's White House assistant, chief of staff and other allies pressured the Justice Department to investigate claims of voter fraud in the 2020 election -- and how Trump directed allies to push Rosen to join the legal effort to challenge the election result, according to a batch of emails released by Democrats on the House Oversight Committee on Tuesday. The documents also offer a window into how Rosen dealt with the political pressure coming from the White House. more...


(CNN) New emails from Justice Department and White House officials show how President Donald Trump's allies pressured then-acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen to consider false and outlandish allegations that the 2020 election had been stolen. The documents were released Tuesday by the House Oversight Committee. Read the documents here: more...

By Kristin Wilson, Ryan Nobles and Paul LeBlanc, CNN

Washington (CNN) Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene on Monday apologized for her "offensive" comments comparing Capitol Hill mask-wearing rules to the Holocaust after visiting the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington. "There are words that I have said, remarks that I've made that I know are offensive, and for that I'd like to apologize," the Georgia Republican said Monday, adding that she had taken a lesson from her father, who died in April, about owning up to mistakes. "So I should own it," she said. "I made a mistake." The apology -- a dramatic shift in tone that comes in the face of a censure resolution in the House -- was offered weeks after Greene compared House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's decision to continue requiring members of the House to wear masks on the chamber floor as a Covid-19 precaution to steps the Nazis took to control the Jewish population during the Holocaust. more...

Dan Mangan

A federal judge declined Monday to order the Department of Justice to release the second part of a memo about the Mueller report written to former Attorney General William Barr, which argued that there was not enough evidence to prosecute then-President Donald Trump for obstruction of justice. Judge Amy Berman Jackson said in a ruling that she wanted to allow the DOJ time to follow through on its appeal of her earlier decision ordering the release of the entire memo by the department’s Office of Legal Counsel. more...

John Demers' resignation, which comes as Attorney General Garland looks to overhaul procedures for obtaining lawmakers' records, is unrelated to the controversy, an official said.
By Ken Dilanian and Dareh Gregorian

The top national security official at the Department of Justice is resigning as the department grapples with the fallout over its subpoena of the phone records of members of Congress and reporters during the Trump administration, a DOJ official confirmed Monday. The resignation comes as Attorney General Merrick Garland announced an overhaul of DOJ's procedures amid revelations that the agency seized Democratic lawmakers' communication records. John Demers, who's been the head of DOJ's national security division since 2018, plans to step down at the end of next week, the DOJ official told NBC News. more...

By Evan Perez and Chandelis Duster, CNN

(CNN) John Demers, the Trump-appointed head of the Justice Department's national security division, is leaving at the end of the month as planned, a person briefed on the matter told CNN Monday. The national security division plays a large role in leak investigations and was involved in the records seizures that have become public involving members of the media, and lawmakers. The Biden administration's nominee, Matt Olsen, is awaiting Senate approval. Demers has emerged as a key figure in the widening scandal over the Justice Department's pursuit of records from journalists and political opponents as part of a leak investigation. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on Sunday demanded Senate Republicans join Democrats to subpoena Demers, as well as Trump-era Attorneys General Jeff Sessions and William Barr, following the revelations. more...

“They could say whatever they wanted so long as there was no imminent threat of harm,” Evy Poumpouras said of the racism leveled at the former first lady.
By Lee Moran

A former Secret Service agent has detailed the racist abuse that was leveled at Michelle Obama during her time as first lady, and her frustration and inability as an assigned protector to do anything about it. “I could do nothing,” Evy Poumpouras told Insider in an article published Wednesday. “There’s freedom of speech in the United States, and even if I personally feel that speech is wrong, the law doesn’t give me the power to take that person’s speech away.” “When it came to speech, they could call them names,” Poumpouras recalled. “They could say whatever they wanted so long as there was no imminent threat of harm.” more...

By Jason Johnson

Across the country, Republicans like Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis are fighting against critical race theory, even if they don’t know what it is. Professor Ibram X. Kendi joined us on Friday’s episode of A Word to explain critical race theory, so even racists can understand. He’s the author of How to Be an Antiracist and the director of the Boston University Center for Antiracist Research. He’s also the host of a new podcast, Be Antiracist With Ibram X. Kendi. Our conversation has been edited and condensed for clarity. more...

Joe Biden and Merrick Garland are acting like Donald Trump was a crazy dream. But the threat to American democracy will only get worse the longer we ignore it.
By Dahlia Lithwick

Things are supposed to feel better now—better than they felt during the Trump administration, at least. The Biden administration and the Justice Department appear hellbent on restoring the (appearance of) normalcy, boring us to death, and getting past the days of a citizenry held captive to madcap tweets. That’s why the administration is focusing on infrastructure, COVID relief, economic recovery, and the workaday acts of governance. Except that alongside these acts of sleepy normalcy we see constant reminders of where we have been and where we are still heading. In the past few days we have learned—among other object horrors—that Donald Trump’s Justice Department seized metadata records for members of the House Intelligence Committee and their families, whom it suspected of leaking. We learned that Trump supporters have been leveling crippling death threats against state election workers. We learned that White House counsel Don McGahn had been instructed to fire Robert Mueller. We learned that in 2019, Rudy Giuliani, acting in his capacity as Trump’s personal lawyer, pressed Ukraine to announce baseless investigations about alleged Ukrainian meddling in the 2016 election. more...

The electric-car maker halted car purchases with bitcoin in mid-May due to concerns over how cryptocurrency mining contributes to climate change.
By Emma Newburger, CNBC

Tesla CEO Elon Musk on Sunday said the company will resume bitcoin transactions once it confirms there is reasonable clean energy usage by miners. “When there’s confirmation of reasonable (~50%) clean energy usage by miners with positive future trend, Tesla will resume allowing bitcoin transactions," said in a tweet. Musk was reacting to comments from Magda Wierzycka, CEO of South African asset manager Sygnia, who said that Musk’s tweets on bitcoin prices were “market manipulation” and should have triggered an investigation by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. more...

Greg Rosalsky

For a city as opulent as San Francisco, it's long been jarring to see the extreme poverty of those experiencing homelessness on its streets. If you walk around downtown, tents, makeshift cardboard beds and human excrement can be seen littering the sidewalks. Impoverished people lie on the ground as a blur of highly paid professionals whiz by. In 2018, a U.N. official visited San Francisco on a world tour examining housing conditions. She was shocked by what she saw. Her official report concluded that the city's treatment of unhoused people "constitutes cruel and inhuman treatment and is a violation of multiple human rights, including rights to life, housing, health, water, and sanitation." The number of homeless San Franciscans has only grown since then to more than 8,000 people, most of whom sleep on the streets, not in shelters. more...

BY CHRISTINA ZHAO

Right-wing radio host Alex Jones is facing online calls for his arrest after social media users resurfaced the conspiracy theorist's nearly $500,000 donation to a January 6 rally that preceded the Capitol riot. In a video posted from Washington D.C. on January 6, Jones said his media company paid to organize the pro-Trump rally that took place prior to the insurrection. He also claimed that the White House instructed him to lead the march to the Capitol. "No one would book the Ellipse, no one would book the other areas. No one would pay for it. We went and paid for it," he said. "It cost close to half a million dollars." more...

By COLLEEN LONG

WASHINGTON (AP) — Former President Donald Trump has made no secret of his long list of political enemies. It just wasn’t clear until now how far he would go to try to punish them. Two House Democrats disclosed this week that their smartphone data was secretly obtained by the Trump Justice Department as part of an effort to uncover the source of leaks related to the investigation of Russian-related election interference. It was a stunning revelation that one branch of government was using its power to gather private information on another, a move that carried echoes of President Richard Nixon during Watergate. more...

By Veronica Stracqualursi and Daniella Diaz, CNN

Washington (CNN) The Trump-era Justice Department's decision to secretly seize data of Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee went even beyond the nefarious actions of former President Richard Nixon, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Sunday. The California Democrat also believes former Attorneys General Jeff Sessions and William Barr, as well as former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, should testify before Congress. "What the administration did, the Justice Department, the leadership of the former President goes even beyond Richard Nixon. Richard Nixon had an enemies list. This is about undermining the rule of law," Pelosi told CNN's Dana Bash Sunday on "State of the Union." more...

By THOMAS BEAUMONT

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — When Minnesota Republican Tyler Kistner announced his candidacy for the U.S. House in April, he asked voters to ponder two questions: “What America will we leave for our children?” and “Will they be taught to hate their police?” Across the Mississippi River in Wisconsin, Republicans in the 3rd Congressional District aired a digital ad this spring to demand that their Democratic congressman “stand up to attacks on law enforcement.” And in Iowa, a Republican governor who had promised additional checks on police conduct after George Floyd was killed by a Minneapolis police officer plans to sign a law making it harder for police to be sued on the job. more...

The way Republicans have pushed the myth marks a dangerous turn from generalized allegations of fraud to refusing to accept the legitimacy of elections, experts say
Sam Levine | guardian.org

Just a few days after the polls closed in Florida’s 2018 general election, Rick Scott, then the state’s governor, held a press conference outside the governor’s mansion and made a stunning accusation. Scott was running for a US Senate seat, and as more votes were counted, his lead was dwindling. Targeting two of the state’s most Democratic-leaning counties, Scott said there was “rampant fraud”. “Every person in Florida knows exactly what is happening. Their goal is to mysteriously keep finding more votes until the election turns out the way they want,” he said, directing the state’s law enforcement agency to investigate. “I will not sit idly by while unethical liberals try to steal this election from the great people of Florida.” more...

The Amazon founder and his brother also plan to take the July 20 trip.
By Michelle Acevedo and Dennis Romero

A high bid of $28 million won the auction for a seat aboard Blue Origin's New Shepard rocket trip to the edge of space in July, the company announced Saturday. The high bidder in the monthlong auction would be revealed in the upcoming weeks, Blue Origin tweeted, and will be joined by owner Jeff Bezos and his brother, Mark, for the ride scheduled on July 20. Though the Blue Origin rocket-propelled capsule can handle six passengers, this trip will be for four, and a fourth rider will also be announced at a later time, the company said. more...

By Jason Lemon

A Republican election analyst who voted for former President Donald Trump in the 2020 election said he's "just aghast" at the way the GOP-backed election audit in Arizona's Maricopa County has moved forward. Meanwhile, a Republican state senator threatened to imprison Attorney General Merrick Garland after he announced that the Justice Department would scrutinize any post-election audits to ensure they comply with voting laws. The audit of Maricopa County's 2.1 million ballots has been widely criticized, including by a number of Republicans. Arizona's Republican state Senate President Karen Fann and fellow state GOP lawmakers pushed forward the audit based on former President Donald Trump's baseless claims that the 2020 election was "rigged" or "stolen" by President Joe Biden and the Democrats. more...

By WSBTV.com News Staff

SAVANNAH — Savannah police are investigating what is being called a “mass shooting” after eight people were injured and one killed in a Friday night shooting incident. Savannah ABC Affiliate WJCL-TV reports two kids, one age 13, the other 2, were among those shot, police told the TV station neither were considered seriously injured. more...

Police investigate the scene of a mass shooting in the 6th Street entertainment district area of Austin, Texas.
Associated Press in Austin

Police in Austin, Texas, said they were searching for a suspect in a shooting early on Saturday that injured 13 people in the city’s downtown entertainment district. Authorities said they had responded to reports of multiple shots fired about 1.30am and had initially located several victims who had sustained gunshot wounds and were injured. A total of 13 victims sustained gunshot wounds or were injured, Austin PD said in a statement. Eleven victims were in stable condition, and two victims were in critical condition. No fatalities have been reported. more...

Steve Kovach

Apple said Friday it didn’t know former President Donald Trump’s Department of Justice was asking for the metadata of Democratic lawmakers when it complied with a subpoena seeking the information. Apple’s admission that it complied with the DOJ’s request demonstrates the thorny position tech companies are placed in when forced to balance their customers’ private online activity with legitimate requests from law enforcement. In general, companies like Apple challenge such requests, but in this case a grand jury and federal judge forced Apple to comply and keep it quiet. more...

By PETER SMITH and TRAVIS LOLLER

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Releases of leaked letters and secret recordings from within the Southern Baptist Convention intensified Thursday as critics sought to show top leaders were slow to address sexual abuse in the nation’s largest Protestant denomination and worried more about its reputation and donations than about victims. A former executive of the denomination’s ethics agency posted audio clips he clandestinely recorded in internal meetings to bolster claims that leaders of the SBC’s Executive Committee sought to slow or block policies responding to abuse by ministers and other church leaders, and that they tried to intimidate those seeking a more robust response. more...

Joe Hernandez

Darnella Frazier, who was 17 when she recorded George Floyd's murder in Minneapolis last year, was awarded a special citation by the Pulitzer Board on Friday. The video played a major role in igniting a global protest movement against police violence, and was used as evidence in the trial of Floyd's killer. Committee officials who give out the prestigious prize in journalism and the arts said Frazier's recording highlighted "the crucial role of citizens in journalists' quests for truth and justice." more...

By Clare Foran, Lauren Fox, Evan Perez and Manu Raju, CNN

(CNN) The Justice Department's inspector general will investigate the department's handling of a leak investigation into former President Donald Trump's political enemies that included a subpoena to collect metadata of lawmakers, staff and some family members, the office announced Friday.
The request comes as House Intelligence Committee Democrats held a briefing led by Chairman Adam Schiff. A source said that members were 'animated' in trying to figure out who at the Justice Department and in the Trump administration were behind the effort to seize their records. more...

Josh Meyer, Kristine Phillips | USA TODAY

WASHINGTON – The Justice Department’s independent watchdog on Friday announced that it was launching a broad investigation into whether the Trump administration and its two attorneys general improperly seized phone records of House Democratic lawmakers, their staff and journalists as part of an aggressive 2018 leak investigation. Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz confirmed that he would launch an investigation into it as well as the use of subpoenas to obtain journalists' phone records. Horowitz also said his watchdog agency would look beyond subpoenas to “other legal authorities [used] to obtain communication records … in connection with recent investigations of alleged unauthorized disclosures of information to the media by government officials.” more...

Kevin Breuninger

House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., is demanding answers from the Department of Justice on the heels of a bombshell report that the Trump administration had secretly subpoenaed Apple for his data. But the Biden administration has so far shared little with the committee about the Trump-era seizures of at least two House Democrats’ records, one frustrated official on the intelligence panel told NBC News. “We have repeatedly posed basic and readily answerable questions to the Department for more than a month, but have received virtually no information beyond a confirmation that the investigation is closed,” the official told NBC on Friday. more...

Andrew Romano·West Coast Correspondent

Many conservative-leaning U.S. states and communities are nowhere near reaching the level of COVID-19 vaccination that could keep them safe from future outbreaks of the highly contagious Delta coronavirus variant, according to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And numbers from the National Institutes of Health suggest they probably shouldn’t be relying on natural immunity to protect them, either. Across America, the people most at risk of serious illness or death from COVID-19 — senior citizens — have been vaccinated at the highest rates so deaths and hospitalizations will never again reach their horrific winter highs. Overall, experts agree, the worst of the pandemic is behind us. more...

Krishnadev Calamur

The Trump Justice Department subpoenaed Apple in 2018 in order to obtain the metadata of at least two Democratic members of the House Intelligence Committee, as well as their current and former staff, and even family, including a minor, a committee official tells NPR's Ryan Lucas. The story was first reported by the reported by The New York Times. The subpoena was part of an effort to find the source of leaks of classified information in the early years of the Trump administration. Ultimately, the data did not tie the committee to the leaks. Apple informed the committee that the metadata had been seized after a gag order in the matter was lifted in May 2021. The committee contacted the Biden Justice Department, which informed them that the investigation had been closed, the committee official says. more...

“Texas will not sit idly by as this crisis grows,” the governor said in announcing his plan.
By Rebecca Shabad

WASHINGTON — Texas Gov. Gregg Abbott said Thursday that his state would build a wall along the border with Mexico and blamed President Joe Biden’s policies for a humanitarian crisis at the southern border. The Republican governor announced the plan to build the barrier at a border security summit he hosted in Del Rio, a city along Texas’ southwestern border, and said he would release more details next week. It’s unclear whether Abbott has the authority to build a wall on his state’s southern border; while some of the land is owned by the federal and state governments, much is also private property, which was an obstacle the Trump administration faced in its efforts to construct a wall. more...

At least two House members including Adam Schiff targeted in 2018, say officials familiar with the investigation
Adam Gabbatt

The records of at least 12 people connected to the House intelligence committee were eventually shared, including Schiff, the panel chairman. The US justice department under Donald Trump seized data from the accounts of at least two members of the House of Representatives intelligence committee in 2018 as part of an aggressive crackdown on leaks related to the Russia investigation and other national security matters, according to a committee official and two people familiar with the investigation. Prosecutors from the previous president’s DoJ subpoenaed Apple for the data, according to the people, who were granted anonymity to discuss the secret seizures first reported by the New York Times. The records of at least 12 people connected to the intelligence panel were eventually shared, including the chairman, Adam Schiff, who was then the top Democrat on the committee. more...

CARLY CASSELLA

Psychoactive drugs, historically taken at parties, are increasingly looking to be suitable tools for treating mental illness. In phase III clinical trials, MDMA has emerged as a highly effective treatment for post traumatic stress disorder, and in recent studies, oral ketamine has been found to significantly lower suicidal ideation.  Nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, is now joining the ranks. A new trial on 24 participants in the United States has found a low dose of this gas can relieve symptoms of depression otherwise resistant to current drugs. Even better, the benefits appear to last for several weeks and come with very few side effects. more...

Analysis by Chris Cillizza, CNN Editor-at-large

(CNN) Everywhere you look within the Republican Party these days there is an effort to forget -- and minimize -- what happened at the US Capitol on January 6. A Senate report released this week -- aimed at examining the security failures that led to the riot -- left the word "insurrection" entirely out except when quoting someone using the term. The reason? "Aides also steered clear of language that could turn off some Republicans, including not referring to the attack as an 'insurrection,' " reported CNN. Republican leaders have insisted that it's time for the country to move on -- and that Democrats' only motivation in pushing for a commission to investigate what happened on January 6 is to score political points. more...

David Taintor

Louie Gohmert is just asking questions. Questions such as, could the US government possibly, maybe alter the Earth’s orbit around the sun? Wait, what? Let’s back up a moment. The eyebrow-raising question came during a House Natural Resources Committee hearing on Tuesday. The Texas Republican congressman pointed to the United States Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) working to combat the climate crisis before asking about a rather novel way to address the warming planet, something he has argued in the past is actually a good thing. “Is there anything that the National Forest Service or BLM can do to change the course of the moon’s orbit or the Earth’s orbit around the sun?” Mr Gohmert asked, adding: “Obviously that would have profound effects on our climate.” more...

David Knowles

During a Tuesday hearing of the House Natural Resources Committee, Rep. Louie Gohmert seemed to float a novel idea for solving the climate crisis: changing the orbits of the Earth and moon. Gohmert, R-Texas, posed that highly speculative theory in the form of a question to Jennifer Eberlien, associate deputy chief of the National Forest System.  more...

Mara Liasson

It's hard to make an intellectual argument in favor of the Electoral College. Most people feel that the person who gets the most votes should become president. After all, that's how we run every other election in this country, says Jesse Wegman, the author of Let the People Pick the President. "If anything, representative democracy in the 21st century is about political equality. It's about one person, one vote — everybody's vote counting equally," he said. "You're not going to convince a majority of Americans that that's not how you should do it." Another way the Electoral College is unfair, says Harvard University political scientist Gautam Mukunda, is that each state gets electors based on its representation in the House and Senate, which means small states get extra votes. more...

Igor Derysh

Sen. Joe Manchin, the West Virginia Democrat famous for his vow to maintain the Senate filibuster and thereby scuttle much of President Biden's agenda, recently published an op-ed opposing the For the People Act, Democrats' whopping voting-rights bill. That article strongly echoed talking points from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce — and appeared shortly after the influential pro-business lobby resumed donations to Manchin's campaign after nearly a decade. more...

By Brian Fung, CNN Business

(CNN Business) The meat supplier JBS USA paid an $11 million ransom in response to a cyberattack that led to the shutdown of its entire US beef processing operation last week, the company said in a statement Wednesday evening. The ransom was paid after most of the company's facilities had come back online, JBS said. more...

Jeff Cox

Consumer prices for May accelerated at their fastest pace in nearly 13 years as inflation pressures continued to build in the U.S. economy, the Labor Department reported Thursday.
The consumer price index, which represents a basket including food, energy, groceries, housing costs and sales across a spectrum of goods, rose 5% from a year earlier. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones had been expecting a gain of 4.7%. The reading represented the biggest CPI gain since the 5.3% increase in August 2008, just before the financial crisis sent the U.S. spiraling into the worst recession since the Great Depression. more...

Dave Davies

Do Black people have full Second Amendment rights? That's the question historian Carol Anderson set out to answer after Minnesota police killed Philando Castile, a Black man with a license to carry a gun, during a 2016 traffic stop. "Here was a Black man who was pulled over by the police, and the police officer asked to see his identification. Philando Castile, using the NRA guidelines, alerts to the officer that he has a licensed weapon with him," she says. "[And] the police officer began shooting." In the 1990s, after the assault on the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas, the National Rifle Association condemned federal authorities as "jackbooted government thugs." But Anderson says the organization "went virtually silent" when it came to Castile's case, issuing a tepid statement that did not mention Castile by name. more...

Domenico Montanaro

Less than a month remains until the Fourth of July, which was President Biden's goal for 70% of American adults to have gotten at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. It looks like it's going to be a stretch to get there. As of Tuesday, nearly 64% of U.S. adults have had at least one shot, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The key issue is that demand has dropped off. After an initial crush, the number of doses being administered daily is on a steep decline from the early April peak. So what's going on? A few things to note: more...

Sam Levine and Anna Massoglia | guardian.org

Dark money groups pushing baseless election claims appear to be playing key role in unprecedented review of 2.1m ballots. Dark money groups tied to Donald Trump’s inner circle and backed by people who have spread baseless claims about the 2020 presidential election appear to be playing a key role in funding an unprecedented review of 2.1m ballots in Arizona. Republicans in the Arizona state senate, which authorized the inquiry, allocated $150,000 in state funds to pay for it – just a fraction of the projected overall cost, which is still unknown. The state senate had enough money in its operating budget to pay for the investigation, the Arizona Mirror reported in April, but chose not to pay the full price. Instead, the effort is being paid for by private donors, who remain hidden from the public, according to a review by OpenSecrets and the Guardian. Arizona Republicans and Cyber Ninjas, the Florida-based company overseeing the review, have refused to say who is providing the rest of the money. more...

By Kristen Holmes, CNN

(CNN) Senate Republicans are holding up President Joe Biden's nominee to lead the Office of Personnel Management over concerns about her stance on critical race theory. GOP Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri has placed a hold on Kiran Ahuja's nomination to lead the federal personnel agency "because of her history promoting radical critical race theorists," Hawley spokesperson Kelli Ford said. "These associations merit real scrutiny, especially in light of Ms. Ahuja's nomination to a role that would allow her to reinstate race-based training sessions throughout the entire federal government," Ford said in a statement. more...

Outlets questioned whether Mayweather actually held up a knocked-out Paul to keep the fight going.
By Ron Dicker

Fight fans blasted the Logan Paul-Floyd Mayweather Jr. boxing match for the constant clinches, but one of their ring hugs really caught the attention of some news outlets. (See the video below.) USA Today’s For the Win and the New York Post called out Mayweather for possibly propping up Paul after he may have knocked him out. In a clip that spurred the accusation, former boxing champ Mayweather punched the YouTuber Paul in the head with a few seconds left in the round. Paul seemed to go limp and Mayweather “appeared to hold him up off the floor, preventing a knockdown ― or, perhaps, a knockout,” the Post wrote. The tabloid called the video “suspicious” and suggested the 8-round exhibition “may have gone as far as to be fixed.” “Did Mayweather knock out Paul? And did Mayweather then do his best to prevent the fight from ending by holding up his opponent?” For the Win asked. more...

Brian Schwartz

The political advocacy group backed by billionaire Charles Koch has been pressuring Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., to oppose key parts of the Democratic agenda, including filibuster reform and voting rights legislation. That lobbying effort appears to be paying off. Manchin, in a recent op-ed, wrote that he opposed eliminating the filibuster and that he would not vote for the For the People Act, which, advocates say, would limit the influence of big money donors on elections. President Joe Biden has called some of the voting restrictions proposed by Republican leaders in several states “sick” and “un-American.” The president has praised the For the People Act and has said the filibuster must be changed. more...

By Brian Stelter, CNN Business

This article is adapted from the new edition of "Hoax: Donald Trump, Fox News, and the Dangerous Distortion of Truth," which was published in paperback on Tuesday. When Donald Trump lost the presidency last November, Fox News lost too. But unlike Trump, Fox was never in denial about its loss. The network's executives and multi-million-dollar stars stared the ratings in the face every day and saw that their pro-Trump audience was reacting to the prospect of President Biden by switching channels or turning off the TV. "We're bleeding eyeballs," a Fox producer remarked in December. "And we're scared." To fix the problem, Fox ran even further to the right. And here's the thing: It worked. It was toxic for the American political system, but it was profitable for Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch. "Fox is a really different place than it was pre-election," a commentator said to me, with regret, after Biden took office. more...

By: Stephen Alpher, SA News

Today's FUD is that the FBI's seizure of the Colonial Pipeline ransom (which was paid in bitcoin), means that Bitcoin (BTC-USD) is easily hackable. Of course that's not anywhere close to the case, as Bitcoin OG Adam Back explains, but in a bear market (and Bitcoin/crypto is surely in one), even the hint of bad news is enough to send prices lower. Bitcoin (BTC-USD) and Ethereum (ETH-USD) this morning are both lower by about 10%. more...

Ryan Browne

Bitcoin’s price slipped again Tuesday. The reason for the move was unclear, however it may be related to concerns over security of the cryptocurrency after U.S. officials managed to recover most of the ransom paid to hackers that targeted Colonial Pipeline. Court documents said investigators were able to access the password for one of the hackers’ bitcoin wallets. The money was recovered by a recently launched task force in Washington created as part of the government’s response to a rise in cyberattacks. The world’s largest cryptocurrency slid over 7% at 7:30 a.m. ET to a price of $32,936, according to Coin Metrics data. Smaller digital coins also slumped, with ether falling more than 7% to $2,512 and XRP also losing around 7%. more...

The report found the Capitol Police command system broke down during the riot. One officer said a lieutenant asked via radio, "does anybody have a plan?"
By Ken Dilanian and Frank Thorp V

WASHINGTON — U.S. Capitol Police leaders learned that Trump supporters were discussing ways to infiltrate tunnels around the complex and target Democratic members of Congress on Jan. 6 but failed to act on the threats, according to a new Senate report summing up what it says were profound intelligence and security failures that contributed to one of the worst incidents of domestic terrorism in U.S. history. The report also says that officers complained about a lack of leadership within the department as they tried to repel the attack — and that top leaders were virtually silent as they begged for help. Through tips from the public and other sources, Capitol Police "knew about social media posts calling for violence at the Capitol on January 6, including a plot to breach the Capitol, the online sharing of maps of the Capitol Complex's tunnel systems, and other specific threats of violence," the report said, but the police force's intelligence division "did not convey the full scope of known information to USCP leadership, rank-and-file officers, or law enforcement partners." more...

Analysis by Chris Cillizza, CNN Editor-at-large

(CNN) In the space of just 1,000 words on Sunday, West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin (D) effectively quashed any chance for major liberal legislation between now and the 2022 election. In an op-ed to the Charleston Gazette-Mail, Manchin made clear that not only will he vote against the "For the People" Act, the package of election reforms being pushed by his party but also opposed any effort to end the legislative filibuster as a way to pass several of President Joe Biden's policy proposals. Both pronouncements do considerable damage to Democrats -- not only on the policy front but also as both parties begin to prep their arguments ahead of the 2022 midterms. Let's take a look at the "For the People" Act first. more...

By Erica Orden, CNN

New York (CNN)The Justice Department argued in a brief filed Monday that it should be permitted to substitute itself for former President Donald Trump as defendant in a defamation lawsuit brought by a longtime magazine columnist, E. Jean Carroll, who accused him of rape, continuing the argument it had initiated under the previous administration even as the White House has changed hands. "Then-President Trump's response to Ms. Carroll's serious allegations of sexual assault included statements that questioned her credibility in terms that were crude and disrespectful," Justice Department lawyers wrote in a brief to the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals. "But this case does not concern whether Mr. Trump's response was appropriate. Nor does it turn on the truthfulness of Ms. Carroll's allegations." Rather, the lawyers wrote, because they believe Trump was an employee of the government and that he acted "within the scope of employment," the department, rather than Trump personally, should serve as defendant in the case. more...

Bart Jansen | USA TODAY

WASHINGTON – Rudy Giuliani, former President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, repeatedly pressured the Ukrainian government to investigate Democrat Joe Biden over a 40-minute phone call in 2019, according to an audio recording obtained by CNN. During the call with U.S. diplomat Kurt Volker and Andriy Yermak, a senior adviser to Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky, Giuliani can be heard urging an investigation of Biden, who unseated Trump in the 2020 election. Giuliani said a public announcement would “clear the air really well” and allow for a possible meeting between Zelensky and Trump. more...

By Zachary Cohen, Manu Raju, Whitney Wild and Lauren Fox, CNN

(CNN)A new Senate report reveals previously unknown details about the stunning security breakdowns ahead of the January 6 US Capitol attack, including a finding that the US Capitol Police's main intelligence unit "was aware of the potential for violence" beforehand.
The report adds an authoritative emphasis to previous evidence that there were massive intelligence failures, critical miscommunications, and unheeded warnings that ultimately led to the chaotic response that day. Among the failures was an inability by intelligence officials to tie together a swirl of troubling internet chatter leading up to the riot and a reliance on using past, non-violent Trump rallies in security planning. There are also several glaring omissions in the report including any examination of Donald Trump's role in the riots, raising questions about whether lawmakers, in their quest for bipartisanship, exposed the limits of a Congress divided and unable to agree on certain truths, particularly those related to the former President's actions. more...

By Ben Westcott, CNN

(CNN) It was supposed to be the underworld's impenetrable communication tool, a digital safe space to plot crimes ranging from drug trafficking to murder away from the prying eyes of the law. But for nearly three years, an encrypted app used by criminals was covertly monitored by the FBI and Australia's Federal Police (AFP) -- leading to hundreds of arrests and tens of millions of dollars in asset seizures, authorities revealed on Tuesday. In a statement, the AFP said they and the FBI had been reading the clandestine communications of criminals since 2018 on the ANoM app -- a black-market product only accessible on specially prepared mobile phones. According to the AFP, intelligence gathered from the decrypted messages led to the arrest of 224 suspects on more than 500 charges and the seizure of 3.7 metric tons of drugs and nearly $35 million in cash over the past three years in Australia. more...

By Nicole Sganga, Clare Hymes

Washington — The federal government has recovered millions of dollars in cryptocurrency paid in ransom to cybercriminals whose attack prompted the shutdown of the country's largest fuel pipeline and gas shortages across the southeastern U.S. last month, the Department of Justice announced Monday. On May 8, Colonial Pipeline paid a ransom worth roughly $4.3 million in bitcoin to the Russia-based hacking group known as DarkSide, which had used malicious software to hold the company hostage. Colonial Pipeline CEO Joseph Blount told The Wall Street Journal that the company paid the pricey ransom because the company feared a prolonged shutdown and did not know how long it would take to restore operations. more...

Consumers are absorbing higher labor and materials costs in the form of thinner rolls, smaller cans and lighter bags, and experts say such ‘shrinkflation’ will ramp up in the months to come.
By Abha Bhattarai

Consumers are paying more for a growing range of household staples in ways that don’t show up on receipts — thinner rolls, lighter bags, smaller cans — as companies look to offset rising labor and materials costs without scaring off customers. It’s a form of retail camouflage known as “shrinkflation,” and economists and consumer advocates who track packaging expect it to become more pronounced as inflation ratchets up, taking hold of such everyday items such as paper towels, potato chips and diapers. “Consumers check the price every time they buy, but they don’t check the net weight,” said Edgar Dworsky, a consumer advocate and former assistant attorney general in Massachusetts, who has been tracking product sizes for more than 30 years. “When the price of raw materials, like coffee beans or paper pulp goes up, manufacturers are faced with a choice: Do we raise the price knowing consumers will see it and grumble about it? Or do we give them a little bit less and accomplish the same thing? Often it’s easier to do the latter.” more...

By Daniel Politi

Fox News Sunday anchor Chris Wallace thinks Sen. Joe Manchin is missing the big picture and isn’t thinking strategically. And he wasn’t shy about giving the senator from West Virginia a piece of his mind during an interview Sunday that came after Manchin shook up Washington with an op-ed saying he will vote against sweeping voting-rights legislation that is a Democratic priority. In the op-ed, Manchin also reiterated his opposition to eliminating the filibuster. And Wallace confronted Manchin on whether his insistence on maintaining the filibuster wasn’t counterproductive with his stated goal of more bipartisan cooperation. more...

By Devan Cole, Aileen Graef and Daniella Diaz, CNN

Washington (CNN) Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin on Sunday defended his decision to vote against a sweeping voting rights bill and reiterated his opposition to gutting the filibuster, declaring in the strongest terms yet that he is not willing to change Senate rules to help his party push through much of President Joe Biden's agenda. "I believe that partisan voting legislation will destroy the already weakening binds of our democracy, and for that reason, I will vote against the For the People Act. Furthermore, I will not vote to weaken or eliminate the filibuster," Manchin, a moderate Democrat from West Virginia, wrote in an op-ed published in the Charleston Gazette. Manchin's opposition to changing filibuster rules stands as a major roadblock to Biden's legislative priorities, as current rules allow Republicans to hold up many of the progressive bills the administration supports, including infrastructure spending, federal voting legislation and climate change legislation. more...

Former president to give speech at North Carolina Republican convention as Arizona emails show how audit came to be set up
Martin Pengelly and Victoria Bekiempis

Donald Trump was forced to confront his drastically diminished online presence this week, as a two-year suspension from Facebook for inciting the Capitol attack followed the closure of his blog, an endeavour which failed to attract an audience. Nonetheless, the former president was poised to return to the public arena on Saturday night, with a speech to the North Carolina Republican convention in Greenville. Trump, who will be 75 on 14 June, was impeached for inciting the Capitol attack as part of his lie that his electoral defeat was the result of mass fraud. He was acquitted thanks to Republican supporters in Congress, who also blocked a bipartisan investigation of 6 January, and remains eligible to run for office again. The former president is reportedly due to hold rallies this summer in other keenly contested states, Florida and Georgia among them. In Arizona, meanwhile, emails were released on Friday in which the Republican president of the state senate said Trump called her after his defeat by Joe Biden in November, to thank her “for pushing to prove any fraud”. more...

Just beneath a thin veneer of orderliness, the United States faces a set of perilous, unresolved threats.
David A. Graham | Staff writer at The Atlantic

Squint the right way and things look almost normal. The barriers around the Capitol are gone. People are taking off their masks and going out. The Nats and Orioles are in the basement. Most of all, politics is boring again. That’s not to say Washington is working well, mind you. Consider this week’s negotiations between President Joe Biden and Senator Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, a Republican, over infrastructure spending—a priority that both parties (theoretically) support but one that has nonetheless been stuck in purgatory for months. Things are broken in the most normal of ways, though: Mindless partisan deadlock is the sort of dysfunction Americans have long accepted. Last Monday, The Washington Post published an entire story about how dull and workaday Biden’s prior week had been. more...

The Arizona audit will only undermine faith in democracy.
David A. Graham | Staff writer at The Atlantic

For critics who say that an audit of 2020 votes in Maricopa County, Arizona, is just a costly exercise in misinformation, the Republican state senators who ordered the count have a simple question: If you’re sure that the votes were counted correctly, then what’s the harm in counting them again to reassure voters who aren’t convinced? “We are here to make sure Arizona voters can have faith and confidence that elections conducted in this state and this county have integrity,” Ken Bennett, a former Arizona secretary of state working for the state Senate on the audit, said in April. “We’re going to be able to tell everyone in Arizona in a few weeks that they can have complete trust in their elections—or we have some areas that can be improved.” more...

Conservatives may disagree with one another about what happened in 2020, but they’re converging on a belief that Democrats win close elections only through fraud.
David A. Graham | Staff writer at The Atlantic

Former President Donald Trump has been speaking publicly about running to reclaim the White House in 2024, but he’s also reportedly expecting to make a comeback before then. “Trump has been telling a number of people he’s in contact with that he expects he will get reinstated by August,” Maggie Haberman, the New York Times’ ace Trump reporter, tweeted Tuesday. There’s no such thing as reinstating a president, but Trump is echoing claims made by Sidney Powell, the lawyer who briefly pursued his specious election-fraud claims in court after the November election. Trump “can simply be reinstated,” she said this weekend. “A new inauguration date is set, and Biden is told to move out of the White House, and President Trump should be moved back in.” Powell is the same person who argued in a court filing this spring that no reasonable person would believe her election-fraud arguments. more...

Gavin Newsom responds after Judge Roger Benitez compares AR-15s to Swiss army knives ‘good for both home and battle’
Martin Pengelly

In a strongly worded attack, the Democrat added: “Comparing an AR-15 to a Swiss army knife is a disgusting slap in the face to those who have lost loved ones to gun violence.” Newsom issued his stinging statement late on Friday after Roger Benitez, a district judge in San Diego appointed by George W Bush, ruled that the state was unlawfully depriving law-abiding Californians of weapons allowed under US supreme court rulings, denying their right to bear arms. “Under no level of heightened scrutiny can the law survive,” Benitez wrote, issuing a permanent injunction stayed for 30 days. The California attorney general, Rob Bonta, called Benitez’s ruling flawed and said it would be appealed. more...

Carol Anderson

A series of slave revolts terrified white residents and helped fuel the rationale for gun ownership. Bodies are piling up all over the second amendment as two of America’s pandemics converge. The “plague of gun violence” and the inability to mount an effective response, even in the wake of multiple mass shootings, is, unfortunately, rooted in the other pandemic gripping the United States: anti-Blackness and the sense that African Americans are a dangerous threat that can only be neutralized or stopped by a well-armed white citizenry. For too long, the second amendment has been portrayed with a founding fathers aura swaddled in the stars and stripes. But “a well-regulated militia” wasn’t, as the story goes, about how valiant and effective the militias were in repelling the British. George Washington was disgusted with their lack of fighting ability and the way the men would just cut and run from battling against a professional army. Nor was the militia reliable as a force to uphold the law. In Shays’ Rebellion, bands of armed white men, who were in the state’s militia, attacked the Massachusetts government because of foreclosures and debt seizures, demonstrating, again, how unreliable the militia were. Boston merchants had to hire mercenaries to put down the rebellion. more...

Domenico Montanaro

A day after being suspended from Facebook for another two years, former President Donald Trump returns to the political arena Saturday night, poised to get back into his comfort zone speaking from the kind of platform he seems to enjoy most. He's making a speech before the North Carolina Republican Party convention, kicking off what's likely to be a spree of summer campaigning. It's his first public speech since his address at the Conservative Political Action Conference in February. Trump called it "a great honor to be speaking" before the group. "I understand the place will be packed, all records broken!" he boasted in an emailed statement. more...

By Alexandra Meeks and Josh Campbell, CNN

(CNN) In a ruling that compared the AR-15 to a Swiss Army knife, a federal judge overturned California's longtime ban on assault weapons on Friday, ruling it violates the Second Amendment's right to bear arms. Assault weapons have been banned in California since 1989, according to the ruling. The law has been updated several times since it was originally passed. According to the ruling by U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez of San Diego, the assault weapons ban deprives Californians from owning assault-style weapons commonly allowed in other states. Benitez issued a permanent injunction Friday so the law cannot be enforced. more...

Taryn Ryder

Jared Drake Bell is facing serious legal trouble in Ohio. The Drake & Josh star, who played Drake on the hit Nickelodeon show, has been charged with attempted endangering children and disseminating matter harmful to juveniles. Bell, 34, appeared in Cuyahoga County Court on Thursday where he pleaded not guilty to both charges. The actor posted a $2,500 bond and was released — after smirking in his mugshot. Bell was ordered not to have contact with his alleged victim and he agreed. The alleged incident occurred on December 1, 2017. It's the same day Bell, who also goes by Drake Campana, was scheduled to play Cleveland's The Odeon Concert Club. more...

Vaccine-related freebies get more and more creative.
Nur Ibrahim

Numerous states have been offering a range of free items or prizes in the hopes of getting more Americans to sign up for the COVID-19 shot. Now West Virginia has joined the trend. The state government announced a lottery for Father’s Day, which falls on June 20, 2021, with numerous prizes offered including shotguns and rifles, and only people who are vaccinated at least once will  qualify. Gov. Jim Justice announced the initiative on June 1. The government will be giving away two brand-new trucks, two scholarships for students from the ages of 12 to 25, a number of weekend getaways to state parks, five lifetime hunting and fishing licenses, and even $1 million to a lucky winner. But that’s not all. “We are gonna give 5 custom hunting rifles, and 5 custom hunting shotguns away, on Father’s Day,” Justice said. more...

By Rachel Janfaza and Jamie Crawford, CNN

Washington (CNN)FBI Director Christopher Wray likened the challenge posed by the recent spate of damaging ransomware attacks on the US to the September 11 terrorist attacks and called for a similar sense of urgency and response in a new interview. "There are a lot of parallels, there's a lot of importance, and a lot of focus by us on disruption and prevention," Mr. Wray said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal on Thursday. "There's a shared responsibility, not just across government agencies but across the private sector and even the average American." "The scale of this problem is one that I think the country has to come to terms with," he added. more...

By Tal Axelrod

he Republican Study Committee (RSC) will huddle with former President Trump next week in New Jersey as conservatives plan their messaging efforts heading into the 2022 midterms. Spokespeople for both Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.), the RSC’s char, and Trump confirmed the meeting will take place at Trump’s Bedminster resort. The summit was first reported by the New York Post. Banks, who has emerged as an increasingly influential force among House Republicans said the meeting will serve as an opportunity to sync up messaging and what policies the GOP can try to push for on the campaign trail and in the House, both before and after the 2022 elections. more...

Peter Weber

President Biden didn't just lower the proposed price tag for his American Jobs Plan to $1 trillion, from $1.7 trillion, in a Wednesday meeting with Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), the GOP point person on infrastructure negotiations. He also said he's open to dropping his proposal to fund the bill by raising the corporate tax rate to 28 percent, from 21 percent, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post report, citing people familiar with the talks. Instead, the package would create a new 15 percent minimum corporate tax rate. Republicans insist any bipartisan infrastructure bill not touch their 2017 $1.5 trillion tax cut package, their crowning legislative achievement of the past decade. A 15 percent minimum tax wouldn't technically change that 2017 law, and according to a White House document from earlier this year, only about 180 of the largest U.S. corporations would qualify for the minimum tax and just 45 would have to pay, the Journal reports. more...

By Veronica Stracqualursi, CNN

(CNN) US Capitol Police Sgt. Aquilino Gonell, who was wounded while defending the US Capitol during the January 6 insurrection, said Thursday night that he feels "insulted" after Republicans blocked the formation of an independent commission last week. "I feel insulted. I feel like they don't have the courage. They demand something from us that they're not willing to do, which is sacrifice their livelihood," he said in an interview with CNN's Don Lemon Thursday night of the lawmakers who did not support the bill establishing the commission. Capitol Police officers are increasingly sharing their frustration publicly as efforts for a commission to investigate the attack and bolster funding for Capitol Hill security have stalled, further exposing the fractured relationship between lawmakers and the officers who protect them. Gonell told CNN's Lemon that officers "feel insulted, because the very minimum that everybody should agree is how to prevent this from happening again." more...

By Madeline Holcombe, CNN

(CNN) The US is pushing to have 70% of adults get at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine by July 4, but an expert said that number is important to reach at the state level too -- and those states who are falling well below may be vulnerable to another outbreak. "There are 12 states that are already at 70%. I worry about the ones that are way below that, and they are sitting ducks for the next outbreak of Covid-19 -- which shouldn't have to happen now," National Institutes of Health Director Dr. Francis Collins told CNN's Chris Cuomo. Sixty-three percent of adults have received at least one Covid-19 vaccine dose, according to data published Thursday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But President Joe Biden's goal of 70% of adults having at least one vaccine dose has met a significant obstacle -- a dwindling number of people who want to get vaccinated. more...

Jon Ward | Yahoo News

The Republican Party finds itself in befuddling circumstances as former President Donald Trump prepares to hold political rallies again, beginning this weekend with an appearance in North Carolina. Trump was one of the only Republican candidates to lose a high-profile competitive race in 2020. GOP candidates won the majority of close races across the country, in the U.S. Senate, in the U.S. House and in state legislatures and gubernatorial races. Yet the party remains stuck with Trump as its standard bearer for the foreseeable future, due to his intense popularity with a vocal portion of the party. A substantial majority of Republicans also say they believe his claims that the election was stolen from him, according to a recent Yahoo News/YouGov survey, and he leads the rest of the hypothetical GOP field in some early polls for the party’s nomination in 2024. more...

In states where Republicans control the legislature, American life is rapidly changing.
Ronald Brownstein

It’s not just voting rights. Though this year’s proliferation of bills restricting ballot access in red states has commanded national attention, it represents just one stream in a torrent of conservative legislation poised to remake the country. GOP-controlled states—including Florida, Tennessee, Georgia, Texas, Arizona, Iowa, and Montana—have advanced their most conservative agenda in years, and one that reflects Donald Trump’s present stamp on the Republican Party. Across these states and others, Republican legislators and governors have operated as if they were programming a prime-time lineup at Fox News. They have focused far less on the small-government, limited-spending, and anti-tax policies that once defined the GOP than on an array of hot-button social issues, such as abortion, guns, and limits on public protest, that reflect the cultural and racial priorities of Trump’s base. more...

By Leonard Pitts Jr.

It’s not just Tulsa. From the 2019 premiere of HBO’s “Watchmen,” which introduced many Americans to a racial atrocity they’d never heard of, to all the recent media attention — CNN, the New York Times, NPR — marking this week’s centennial, the Tulsa Race Massacre of May 31 to June 1, 1921, has lately been inescapable. As well it should be. It stands out for multiple reasons. There is the sheer size of it: at least 35 square blocks leveled by white mobs. There is the death toll of it: an estimated 300 African Americans — the exact number will never be known — killed. And there is the cussed gall of it. Barred from white community and society, Black people created a thriving community and society of their own, a “Black Wall Street” — only to have white people burn it to the ground. more...

MARQUISE FRANCIS | Yahoo News

One hundred years ago, on May 31, 1921, an angry white mob beat and murdered at least 300 Black residents in a Tulsa, Okla., neighborhood known as “Black Wall Street.” The incident became known as the Tulsa Race Massacre, one of the worst acts of racial violence in U.S. history. But two years prior to the carnage in Tulsa, another violent wave of hate, which came to be known as the “Red Summer” of 1919, took hold in the country. Just a year after the end of World War I, the U.S. was coming out of a third wave of the Spanish flu epidemic. Many white Americans had returned home from Europe to find more than 500,000 Black Americans had migrated from the South to northern cities and had taken many factory, warehouse and low-level government jobs. Racial tensions flared as whites began to blame Black migrants for spreading the flu and began to seize on rumors, amplified by local newspapers, that Black men were assaulting white women. more...

By Jeremy Herb, Katelyn Polantz and Annie Grayer, CNN

(CNN) Former Trump White House Counsel Don McGahn is testifying Friday before the House Judiciary Committee about former President Donald Trump's attempts to obstruct the Russia investigation, in a closed-door interview that's the culmination of a two-year court fight Democrats waged against the Trump administration. The interview is poised to have McGahn put on record with Congress about some of the most pivotal moments of the Trump presidency, such as when Trump directed McGahn to fire then-special counsel Robert Mueller and McGahn refused. These incidents were documented in Mueller's final report then were nearly eclipsed from public discussion during inter-branch power struggles in 2019 and 2020. more...

By Donie O'Sullivan, CNN Business

(CNN Business) Facebook (FB) on Friday plans to announce new rules for world leaders who use its platform that could limit what politicians can get away with posting, a source familiar with the plan told CNN Business. The change comes after Facebook took the unprecedented step of suspending then-President Donald Trump from its platforms in January. Politicians have typically been given leeway because Facebook operated on the assumption that their posts were newsworthy and part of the public debate. As a result, the company did not apply its regular rules to their posts. But now Facebook will no longer assume newsworthiness for the posts of world leaders, the source said. more...

Ryan W. Miller, Matthew Brown | USA TODAY

A highly anticipated government report did not find evidence that the unexplained aerial phenomena likened to "UFOs" that Navy pilots have witnessed in recent years are alien spacecrafts, but the report also does not definitively say they aren't, The New York Times and CNN reported. The two news outlets cited multiple unnamed officials said to have been briefed on the contents of the government report but not authorized to speak publicly. The New York Times was first to publish details on the report expected to be publicly released in the coming weeks by the Pentagon and the US intelligence community. The government has not reached a definitive conclusion about what these "unidentified flying objects" are, and many of their qualities remain a mystery, the officials told CNN and the Times. more...

By Manu Raju and Jeremy Herb, CNN

(CNN) Two Senate committees plan to release a flurry of recommendations in a thorough 100-page-plus report about what went wrong on January 6, but they will stop short of examining former President Donald Trump's role in the run-up to the attack on the US Capitol, which is likely to fuel the partisan debate about whether further investigation is needed. The Senate Rules and Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs committees are expected to release their findings on the security failures that led to the January 6 attack on the US Capitol next week, which includes a detailed look at how security failures, poor planning, slow response time from law enforcement and lackluster sharing of intelligence and communications all contributed to the deadly insurrection where the Capitol was breached, according to sources familiar with the effort. The report's recommendations are likely to provide the basis of a new funding package in the Senate aimed at beefing up Capitol security, an issue that became mired in a partisan fight in the House last month. more...

Analysis by Chris Cillizza, CNN Editor-at-large

(CNN) The evidence is everywhere. CNN's Dana Bash reported Thursday morning that former President Donald Trump is "more obsessed than ever with the 2020 election," with one former Trump aide telling her that the former President is only listening to "the bottom of the bottom of the crazies in the barrel." That follows on reporting from The New York Times and The Washington Post that Trump is convinced that he will, at some point this summer, be reinstated as president once a variety of kooky and non-credible audits come to, uh, fruition. "Trump has become so fixated on the audits that he suggested recently to allies that their success could result in his return to the White House this year, according to people familiar with comments he has made," wrote the Post. more...

By Paula Reid and David Shortell, CNN

Washington (CNN) The Justice Department is investigating potential obstruction of justice connected to the ongoing probe of Rep. Matt Gaetz and his alleged sexual relationship with a minor. According to two people familiar with the matter, federal investigators' concerns over efforts to obstruct the probe date back to at least last fall, when the examination of the Florida Republican was not yet public knowledge. One of the people said investigators have been told about Gaetz and an associate discussing a plan to talk with Gaetz's ex-girlfriend in October 2020 about the ongoing sex crimes investigation. Investigators have also been provided material about the alleged discussion, the person said. more...

Anderson Cooper 360

CNN's Dana Bash reports that a former Trump adviser says the former president is so focused on the lie that the 2020 election was stolen from him that he's listening to "the bottom of the bottom of the crazies in the barrel." video...

The Associated Press

DETROIT — The world's largest meat processing company has resumed most production after a weekend cyberattack, but experts say the vulnerabilities exposed by this attack and others are far from resolved. In a statement late Wednesday, the FBI attributed the attack on Brazil-based meat processor JBS SA to REvil, a Russian-speaking gang that has made some of the largest ransomware demands on record in recent months. The FBI said it will work to bring the group to justice and it urged anyone who is the victim of a cyberattack to contact the bureau immediately. REvil has not posted anything related to the hack on its dark web site. But that's not unusual. Ransomware syndicates as a rule don't post about attacks when they are in initial negotiations with victims — or if the victims have paid a ransom. more...

Democratic campaigns can overcome some, but not all, of the Republican Party’s efforts to disenfranchise voters.
By Ian Millhiser

Democrats — and democracy — won what is likely to be a very temporary victory in Texas this past weekend. On Sunday evening, Texas Republicans expected to pass Senate Bill 7, which contains several provisions making it harder to cast a ballot in Texas. But Democrats took advantage of two procedural constraints to temporarily block the bill. The legislative session expired at midnight, placing a hard deadline on all bills that Texas lawmakers hoped to enact, and the state House must have two-thirds of its members present to conduct business. So Democrats ran out the clock by abandoning the House chamber before Republicans could call a vote on the bill. more...

By Erin Donaghue

Derek Chauvin asked a judge to sentence him to a term of probation or a shorter prison term than suggested by Minnesota guidelines in a sentencing memorandum filed Wednesday. The memo cites Chauvin's lack of previous criminal history, his previous work as a police officer and the risk he could be victimized in prison as factors the judge should consider as he weighs a sentence. But in another memorandum filed Wednesday, prosecutors asked for a sentence of 30 years for the convicted former Minneapolis officer, a term they said would "properly account for the profound impact of [Chauvin's] conduct on the victim, the victim's family, and the community." more...

Miles Parks

To Matt Masterson, the review of 2020 ballots from Maricopa County, Ariz., that's underway is "performance art" or "a clown show," and definitely "a waste of taxpayer money." But it's not an audit. "It's an audit in name only," says Masterson, a former Department of Homeland Security official who helped lead the federal government's election security preparations leading up to November's election. "It's a threat to the overall confidence of democracy, all in pursuit of continuing a narrative that we know to be a lie." By lie, he means the assertion from former President Donald Trump and some of his allies that election fraud cost him a second term in the White House. more...

Peter Weber

After President Biden hosted Republican infrastructure negotiator Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) on Wednesday afternoon, the White House called the Oval Office meeting "constructive and frank" while Capito's office said she was "encouraged that negotiations have continued." But despite these "bland statements," Politico reports Thursday morning, Biden made a new offer and "the GOP is considering another counteroffer that could come as soon as Friday, when Capito will be talking to Biden again, this time likely by phone." Capito briefed her fellow GOP negotiators Wednesday night, and three people familiar with the talks told Politico that Biden's new offer is $1 trillion in new spending, down from $1.7 trillion and his initial $2.3 trillion plan. Biden also is reportedly insisting that the spending be partially paid for by raising the corporate tax rate. The Republicans, who raised their initial $568 billion counteroffer to $928 billion, with only $257 billion in new spending, "weren't happy, to say the least," Politico says, and Capito and her group haven't decided what their next move will be. more...

Christopher Wilson

A partisan audit of the 2020 election in Arizona continued this week, with further accusations of ineptitude against the firm running it and a gubernatorial campaign launch from a top Democrat opposing it. The audit of votes in Maricopa County, which has drawn criticism from a number of local Republican officials, will not affect the actual results of November’s election but has been used in right-wing media to justify the widespread belief among Republicans that the 2020 results were fraudulent. It’s being spearheaded by Cyber Ninjas, an obscure Florida-based cybersecurity firm whose CEO has promoted election conspiracies, and which was hired by the GOP-controlled state Senate to handle the process. more...

By Jacqueline Howard, CNN

(CNN) In an interview with CNN on Thursday, Dr. Anthony Fauci said that an email he received last year from an executive at the US-based EcoHealth Alliance has been misconstrued and offered a hint of regret about a February 2020 email downplaying the need to wear a mask. Earlier this week, news outlets including CNN, BuzzFeed News and The Washington Post obtained thousands of emails Fauci sent and received since the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases became a household name early last year. In one email sent to Fauci last April, an executive at EcoHealth Alliance, the global nonprofit that helped fund some research at China's Wuhan Institute of Virology, thanked Fauci for publicly stating that scientific evidence supports a natural origin for the coronavirus and not a lab release. (The origins of the virus remain unclear.) more...

Barbara Sprunt

Last month, Republican lawmakers decried critical race theory, an academic approach that examines how race and racism function in American institutions. "Folks, we're in a cultural warfare today," Rep. Ralph Norman, R-S.C., said at a news conference alongside six other members of the all-Republican House Freedom Caucus. "Critical race theory asserts that people with white skin are inherently racist, not because of their actions, words or what they actually believe in their heart — but by virtue of the color of their skin." more...

The Associated Press

SANTA CLARITA, Calif. — An off-duty Los Angeles County firefighter fatally shot a fellow firefighter and wounded another at their small community fire station Tuesday before going to his nearby home, setting it on fire and apparently killing himself, authorities said. A 44-year-old fire specialist died and a 54-year-old firefighter was shot when the gunman opened fire shortly before 11 a.m. at Fire Station 81, which is about 45 miles (72 kilometers) north of Los Angeles, Fire Chief Daryl Osby told reporters. The wounded man was in critical but stable condition at a hospital. The shooter was a firefighter specialist and engineer, authorities said. The fire chief said he could not speak to the motive for the attack and doesn't know about any disciplinary actions. more...

CNN

Former White House ethics lawyer Richard Painter spoke to CNN's Ana Cabrera about former President Trump's one-time national security adviser Michael Flynn appearing to endorse a Myanmar-style coup in the United States. video...

Dan Mangan

The Federal Election Commission will let former President Donald Trump avoid punishment for directing hush money payments to his alleged ex-mistress Karen McDougal — but the publisher of The National Enquirer agreed to pay more than $187,500 for its role in the scandal, records showed Tuesday. The FEC recently likewise failed to approve a recommendation from staff that it sanction Trump for directing a $130,000 hush money payout to former porn star Stormy Daniels, who has said she had sex with him years ago, according to the advocacy group Common Cause. That group had filed FEC complaints related to payments to both women. more...

By AMY FORLITI

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The former Minneapolis police officer convicted of murder in George Floyd’s death made his initial appearance Tuesday on federal charges alleging he violated Floyd’s civil rights by pinning the Black man to the pavement with his knee. Derek Chauvin, 45, wore an orange prison shirt when he appeared in federal court via videoconference from Minnesota’s maximum-security prison in Oak Park Heights, where he’s being held as he awaits sentencing following his April conviction on murder and manslaughter charges. more...

The Guardian

On the 100-year anniversary of the Tulsa race massacre, artist Bayeté Ross Smith uses archival photos to create immersive 360 scenes of these events. He finds that the underlying political and economic injustices were not only never addressed, but repeated time and again over the past century. video...

By Ewan Palmer

Retired four-star U.S. Army General Barry McCaffrey has said that former national security adviser Michael Flynn may face criminal charges for suggesting a Myanmar-like military coup "should happen" in the U.S, during a QAnon conference. Flynn has been widely criticized for the remarks at the "For God & Country Patriot Roundup" in Dallas on Sunday. While taking questions from the audience at the $500-a-head event, one man asked Flynn: "I want to know why what happened in Myanmar can't happen here?" more...

Joe Hernandez

A New York City art gallery featuring tributes to those who were killed in the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921 was vandalized with white paint in what owners have described as hate speech. The Black Wall Street Gallery in SoHo said in an Instagram post that either late Sunday or early Monday morning, someone smeared white paint on the gallery's glass facade, covering up its name. NYPD spokesperson Detective Denise Moroney said in a statement that no arrests have been made in the ongoing investigation and that the Hate Crimes Task Force was notified. The gallery said police initially did not appear to believe the vandalism constituted hate speech. more...

By Tom Polansek, Mark Weinraub

CHICAGO (Reuters) - JBS canceled shifts at large U.S. and Canadian meat plants on Tuesday after the company was hit by a cyberattack over the weekend, threatening to disrupt food supply chains and further inflate food prices. The attack caused JBS’s Australian operations to shut down on Monday. The company, the world’s largest meatpacker, said it was working to resolve the incident, which has stopped livestock slaughter in JBS plants in several U.S. states. “On Sunday, May 30, JBS USA determined that it was the target of an organised cybersecurity attack, affecting some of the servers supporting its North American and Australian IT systems,” it said in a Monday statement. more...

By Mychael Schnell

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) fired back at Michael Flynn on Monday for comments he made during a conference in Texas that appeared to suggest a Myanmar-like coup should take place in the U.S. “No American should advocate or support the violent overthrow of the United States,” Cheney wrote in a tweet referring to Flynn, who served as national security adviser in the Trump administration. Flynn, while speaking at a conference in Dallas over the weekend, which was attended by a number of supporters of the QAnon conspiracy theory, was asked why a coup like the one that occurred in Myanmar could not happen in the U.S. more...

By Kate Sullivan, CNN

(CNN) President Joe Biden will visit Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Tuesday to mark the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre and announce new actions his administration will take to reduce the racial wealth gap as he commemorates one of the worst acts of racial violence in US history. The President will deliver remarks to memorialize the hundreds of Black Americans who were killed by a White mob that had attacked their neighborhood and burned dozens of city blocks to the ground. He will meet with surviving members of the community, tour the Greenwood Cultural Center and outline his administration's efforts to combat racial inequality in the nation. more...

Ayesha Rascoe

President Biden will travel to Oklahoma on Tuesday to mark the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre, a visit that comes amid a renewed reckoning over a long-overlooked attack that left as many as 300 people dead in a community once known as Black Wall Street. On May 31 and June 1, 1921, an armed white mob attacked the all-Black district of Greenwood. The violent racist mob destroyed the area, leaving 40-square-blocks in ruins and nearly 10,000 people homeless. A century later, it remains one of the worst episodes of racial violence in U.S. history. For decades after the massacre, the violent attack was covered up and not well known nationally. But as the national conversation has increasingly focused on the issue of systemic racism and police violence over the last several years, the incident has received more attention both in the mainstream news media and popular culture. more...

Opposition from Republicans and some of their own senators has left Democrats struggling to determine whether they should try to nix the filibuster to save a top priority.
By Nicholas Fandos

WASHINGTON — In the national struggle over voting rights, Democrats have rested their hopes for turning back a wave of new restrictions in Republican-led states and expanding ballot access on their narrow majorities in Congress. Failure, they have repeatedly insisted, “is not an option.” But as Republican efforts to clamp down on voting prevail across the country, the drive to enact the most sweeping elections overhaul in generations is faltering in the Senate. With a self-imposed Labor Day deadline for action, Democrats are struggling to unite around a strategy to overcome solid Republican opposition and an almost certain filibuster. more...

The 45th president has brought new voices and voters to the party, but he’s driven them out too. Insiders fear the repercussions.
By MERIDITH MCGRAW, DAVID SIDERS and SAM STEIN

As Donald Trump ponders another presidential bid, top Republicans have grown fearful about what they’re calling the party’s “lost generation.” In conversations with more than 20 lawmakers, ex-lawmakers, top advisers and aides, a common concern has emerged — that a host of national and statewide Republicans are either leaving office or may not choose to pursue it for fear that they can’t survive politically in the current GOP. The worry, these Republicans say, is that the party is embracing personality over policy, and that it is short sighted to align with Trump, who lost the general election and continues to alienate a large swath of the voting public with his grievances and false claims that the 2020 election was stolen. more...

By Celine Castronuovo

Miami police are offering a $130,000 reward for information that could aid them in their search for suspects in Sunday morning’s mass shooting that left two people dead and at least 20 injured. Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava (D) said in a press conference Monday morning that authorities are working to do “everything we can, and use every resource available to bring these people to justice.” “We will leave nothing behind to bring these shooters to justice,” she added. more...

By Cammy Pedroja

Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott said Monday he would withhold pay from Texas lawmakers by vetoing the section of the state budget that funds their paychecks. His announcement comes just hours after Texas Democrats walked out of the House, breaking quorum, and blocking the possibility of a vote before a midnight deadline. "I will veto Article 10 of the budget passed by the legislature. Article 10 funds the legislative branch. No pay for those who abandon their responsibilities," Abbott tweeted Monday afternoon. "Stay tuned." more...

As Liberty University plots its post-Falwell future, young people want to steer clear of politics. The trustees aren’t buying it.
By MAGGIE SEVERNS

For years, there was an adage around Liberty University that if God split Jerry Falwell in half, you would have his sons Jerry and Jonathan. Jerry Jr. inherited his father’s desire to be a force in American politics, and his post as Liberty University president, while Jonathan inherited his father’s gift for evangelical uplift and became pastor of his church. Now, 14 years after Jerry Falwell Sr. died and nine months after Jerry Jr. was ousted in a scandal, Liberty is enmeshed in a debate that could have profound implications for the nation’s religious right: Whether it should keep nurturing Jerry Jr.’s focus on politics and maintain its high-flying role in the Republican Party, or begin to change its culture and back away from politics, an approach increasingly favored by younger evangelicals. more...

Alexander Wright, 48, of Manhattan, was charged with one count of assault as a hate crime, assault and criminal possession of a controlled substance in connection with the incident.
By Wilson Wong

A man was arrested after video captured him punching a 55-year-old Asian woman in the face in New York City's Chinatown on Monday, authorities said. Alexander Wright, 48, of Manhattan, was charged with one count of assault as a hate crime, assault and criminal possession of a controlled substance in connection with the "unprovoked" attack, according to officials. The woman was walking down Bayard Street shortly after 6 p.m. ET when a man in the opposite direction randomly punched her in the face, causing her to fall to the ground, according to police and surveillance video that New York state Assemblymember Yuh-Line Niou posted on Twitter. more...

The Los Angeles Police Department plane landed on Highway 101 north of Los Angeles.
By Tim Stelloh

A Los Angeles Police Department airplane made an emergency landing on a busy California highway Monday without crashing or injuring anyone, authorities said. Aaron Figueroa, a dispatcher with the California Highway Patrol, said the plane touched down shortly before 7 p.m. local time on U.S. 101 about 35 miles north of Los Angeles. Only the pilot was on board, and no one was injured, he said. more...


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