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“God Took The Rejected Stone And Made Him The Cornerstone …”
“God took the rejected stone and made him the cornerstone of a movement that’s going to change the whole wide world.”
-The Rev. Al Sharpton, referring to Psalm 118 in his eulogy
Real Life Changes Won By Protests
- Tactical rule changes: Dallas and Minneapolis mandated officers intervene when a colleague is using excessive force. Seattle banned the covering of badge numbers. Minneapolis banned chokeholds. Houston banned most of them. New York made them illegal.
- Budget cuts: Los Angeles is considering cutting its police budget by up to $150 million. NYC is considering cuts, but hasn’t disclosed specific numbers.
- Defunding: Minneapolis’ city council passed a resolution today to replace its police department with a community-centric model.
- School contracts axed: Minneapolis, Denver and Portland have moved to end the presence of police officers in local schools. Police officers have a presence in the 25 biggest school districts nationwide, per Chalkbeat.
- No-knock warrants ban: Louisville, Kentucky — where Breonna Taylor was killed by officers who raided her home with this type of warrant — has banned the practice.
- Police transparency changes: New York removed a shield clause that locked down records of officers who’d been investigated for excessive force.Between the lines: It is ridiculously hard to fire police officers in the U.S., let alone getting criminal charges to stick. Chalk that up to unions, or qualified immunity, or weakness from elected officials — but it’s a major roadblock to change. The Minneapolis Police Department said Wednesday that it is withdrawing from negotiations with its police union. The real effect of that is to be determined.”
Congress Is Quiet Today
‘Justice In Policing Act’
Politico “After holding a moment of silence in Emancipation Hall to honor George Floyd, congressional Democrats unveiled their sweeping legislation to reform police departments and stop police brutality. … House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said he plans to call the House back as soon as the bill is ready for a vote, likely before the end of June.
Sen. TIM SCOTT (R-S.C.) – leading the effort in the Senate — said he has some changes he’s making to the GOP police overhaul package, and hopes to file it by Tuesday or Wednesday. SO, TO RECAP: House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is for banning chokeholds, and declined to name any issues he had with the House Dem bill. And Paul is for banning no-knock warrants. There is common ground beginning to surface between the two parties .. but things are never that simple.”
Seismic Shift On Police Bias
10 Days Since Lafayette Square Have Not Been Kind To Trump
- The joint chiefs chair publicly apologized for his participation. “I should not have been there,” said Gen. Mark Milley.
- His defense secretary Mark Esper publicly disagreed with him about invoking the Insurrection Act to use active duty military to police U.S. cities. So did his previous defense secretary, James Mattis.
- His Senate allies broke with his Confederacy defenses: Only two, Sens. Josh Hawley and Tom Cotton, opposed an amendment to the annual defense funding bill that pushes to rename bases that honor Confederate generals. This was after Trump vowed no changes would be allowed.
- His House allies aren’t riding to his defense: Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said he isn’t opposed to renaming the bases, and House Democrats are working on a bill to remove Confederate statues from the U.S. Capitol.
- Across the South, statues honoring Confederate generals are coming down in states ranging from Virginia to Alabama and Kentucky to Florida.
- And NASCAR has publicly banned the display of the Confederate flag at its events, a suggestion that would have been inconceivable not so long ago.
THE BOTTOM LINE: Trump staked out his side of the culture wars a long time ago, but that side seems to be shrinking fast.
Axios “In a flash, the culture wars seem to be leaving President Trump behind — and his photo op last week seems to have accelerated the process.
“Demilitarize” Or “Defund” ?
Deep Dive … WaPo “The civil unrest that erupted in the summer of 2014 in Ferguson, Mo., drew attention to the heavy militarization of local police departments. The police officer who fatally shot Michael Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old black man, was never charged with any crime. But one consequence of the conflagration was an executive order by then-President Barack Obama to significantly curtail a Pentagon program that had transferred billions of dollars’ worth of equipment originally intended for overseas combat to local law enforcement agencies.
“We’ve seen how militarized gear sometimes gives people a feeling like they are an occupying force as opposed to a part of the community there to protect them,” Obama said as he announced the changes in May 2015, following the recommendations of a working group he appointed after the fires went out in Ferguson. “Some equipment made for the battlefield is not appropriate for local police departments.”
President Trump signed an executive order in August 2017 to rescind Obama’s restrictions on what is known as the 1033 program, allowing once again for the military to provide bayonets, grenade launchers, .50-caliber ammunition and other equipment to local law enforcement agencies. Police unions widely praised the move, which was championed by then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions. This helps explain the ubiquitous images of Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected vehicles, also known as MRAPs, deployed during nationwide protests of police brutality after George Floyd was killed in Minneapolis police custody on Memorial Day. … government data show that more than $7.4 billion of materials has been transferred to local law enforcement departments since the program started, and more than 8,000 agencies have benefited.These tactical vehicles, designed amid the Iraqi insurgency 15 years ago to withstand IED attacks, have been cruising around American cities, often accompanied by officers who are armed in ways that even infantry veterans of the global war on terrorism find themselves taken aback by.
Biden Opposes Defunding
We Are In A Recession, By The Way
“The committee has determined that a peak in monthly economic activity occurred in the U.S. economy in February 2020. The peak marks the end of the expansion that began in June 2009 and the beginning of a recession. The expansion lasted 128 months, the longest in the history of U.S. business cycles dating back to 1854. The previous record was held by the business expansion that lasted for 120 months from March 1991 to March 2001.”
Fed Gets More Generous For Main Street
Black-Owned Businesses Collapse By 41%
Little Better At Combating A Pandemic Than Our Great-grandparents
“Fifteen years ago, after the SARS and H5N1 outbreaks, this magazine ran an article called “Preparing for the Next Pandemic.” Two years later came “Unprepared for a Pandemic” … Cut to 2017, after MERS and Ebola and Zika: “Ready for a Global Pandemic? The Trump Administration May Be Woefully Underprepared.”
None of this was prescience. It was conventional wisdom among public health experts. Anybody who didn’t understand the danger just wasn’t paying attention.”
-Foreign Affairs editor Gideon Rose writes in the forthcoming issue
Americans may be moving on, but the virus is not.
“If you can do both, avoid the congregation of people and do the mask, that’s great.”
GOP Picks Jacksonville, FL
Chaos In Georgia
The Room Where It Happened … The White House
Axios … In a memoir coming June 23 that the White House has tried to delay, former national security adviser John Bolton will offer multiple revelations about President Trump’s conduct in office, with direct quotes by the president and senior officials, a source familiar with the book tells me.
In “The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir,” Bolton will go beyond Ukraine, and argue there was “Trump misconduct with other countries,” the source said. Axios granted anonymity to the source in order to give readers a window into the book ahead of publication.