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June 4, 2020

Defund the Police Movement Picks Up Steam

This Day in History | 2003

A federal grand jury serves Martha Stewart and her former stockbroker with a nine-count indictment, including charges of obstruction of justice, securities fraud, conspiracy and making false statements.

Good Morning Middle Americans, 

Has it really come to this? Singer John Legend, soccer star Megan Rapinoe, actresses Natalie Portman and Jane Fonda, among others have launched and backed an online petition to defund police departments across the country. Easy for them to say, they can all afford their own private security. But what happens to the poor communities in America if they can’t afford their own security? We’d be some of the first to admit that largest police departments in this country can afford to take a bit of a haircut, but that’s not the way these far left  campaigns work. It’s all or nothing. 

Read all about it. 

-Fraser Dixon

Movement to Defund Police Gains ‘Unprecedented’ Support Across US

(The Guardian) – The movement to defund the police is gaining significant support across America, including from elected leaders, as protests over the killing of George Floyd sweep the nation.

For years, activists have pushed US cities and states to cut law enforcement budgets amid a dramatic rise in spending on police and prisons while funding for vital social services has shrunk or disappeared altogether.

Government officials have long dismissed the idea as a leftist fantasy, but the recent unrest and massive budget shortfalls from the Covid-19 crisis appear to have inspired more mainstream recognition of the central arguments behind defunding.

“To see legislators who aren’t even necessarily on the left supporting atleast a significant decrease in New York police department NYPD funding is really very encouraging,” Julia Salazar, a New York state senator and Democratic socialist, told the Guardian on Tuesday. “It feels a little bit surreal.

Read more here

Related: Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, City Officials Cutting $100 Million-$150 Million From LAPD Budget, Funds To Be Reinvested In Communities Of Color

Pentagon-Trump Clash Breaks Open Over Military and Protests

(AP) – President Donald Trump’s Pentagon chief shot down his idea of using troops to quell protests across the United States, then reversed course on pulling part of the 82nd Airborne Division off standby in an extraordinary clash between the U.S. military and its commander in chief.

Both Trump and Defense Secretary Mark Esper also drew stinging, rare public criticism from Trump’s first defense secretary, Jim Mattis, in the most public pushback of Trump’s presidency from the men he put at the helm of the world’s most powerful military.

Mattis’ rebuke Wednesday followed Trump’s threats to use the military to “dominate” the streets where Americans are demonstrating following the death of George Floyd, a black man who died when a white police officer pressed his knee into his neck for several minutes. Trump had urged governors to call out the National Guard to contain protests that turned violent and warned that he could send in active duty military forces if they did not.

Esper angered Trump when he said he opposed using military troops for law enforcement, seemingly taking the teeth out of the president’s threat to use the Insurrection Act. Esper said the 1807 law should be invoked “only in the most urgent and dire of situations.” He added, “We are not in one of those situations now.”

Learn more here

Top Republicans are reportedly getting very worried about Trump’s re-election odds

(The Week) – President Trump is now 7.8 percentage points behind Vice President Joe Biden in RealClearPolitics’ polling average, and when you scratch deeper than the national head-to-head polling, his numbers have “turned from mixed to bleak,” Axios reports. He and Biden are statistically tied in Texas, per a Quinnipiac Poll released Wednesday, and in Ohio, according to a new Fox News poll. Fox News’ pollsters also have Trump losing badly in Wisconsin and modestly in Arizona, both states he needs to win.

Top Republicans say “Trump’s handling of the nation’s civil unrest, including his hasty photo op at St. John’s Church after the violent clearing of Lafayette Park, make them much more worried about his chance of re-election than they were one week ago,” Axios reported Thursday morning. And “yesterday, advisers admit, was inarguably brutal,” with Defense Secretary Mark Esper dissenting from Trump’s use of active-duty troops and Esper’s predecessor, James Mattis, excoriating Trump as divisive, immature, and a violator of the Constitution who must be held to account.

Read more here

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