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June 3, 2020

GOP Senators Leery of Trump’s Military Deployment

This Day in History | 1943

A group of U.S. sailors marches through downtown Los Angeles, carrying clubs and other makeshift weapons and attacking anyone wearing a “zoot suit”—the baggy wool pants, oversized coats and porkpie hats favored by many young men of color at the time.

Good morning Middle America, 

In the span of a couple of weeks we went from fighting against government overreach and unjustified lockdowns to fighting back looters and rioters.

The goal of both protests is the same, and dare I say very “American” — life, more specifically a livelihood, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. 

And for the most part, the vast majority of the police officers who’ve been there for all of it, attempting to maintain some sense of order, have been true examples of American greatness.

That’s not to say bad cops don’t exist. They do – and we need to root them out. But we also need to make the job better.  

Being a police officer in America today is, in my opinion, one of the hardest and least rewarding jobs in the world. They deal with a lot of domestic violence on the job – and at home too. 

Date shows that police officers – male and female have a much higher divorce rates, and reports of domestic abuse in their own homes. It’s a symptom of how stressful the job can be. 

But America’s rank and file police force has been abandoned by their leadership in places like New York City. And in Minneapolis. And in Philadelphia. And we could go on. 

They’ve empty out prisons and jails – including murders and child rapists for the pandemic?

It’s no wonder the country is on edge. From a deadly pandemic to wide scale rioting in a fortnight? Plus now, everyone’s wearing masks out in the streets at night. We’ve all been conditioned since childhood to believe that wearing masks at night is scary. 

Speaking of life imitating “art” –  In the HBO adaptation of the Watchmen – The officers of Tulsa Police Department have to wear masks to protect their identities from terrorist organizations, including the Seventh Kavalry – a fictitious white supremacy group. Only in real life, it’s not just white supremacy groups who are killing police. 

A beloved and retired black police chief, and long time St. Louis police leuitenant was killed by someone during riots, the whole thing streamed live on Facebook. Police officers, including retired ones,  have the right to pursue happiness and liberty too. These riots are not about race anymore. They are about chaos. 

That’s a message for the executive leadership of law enforcement and elected officials like New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio – who is checked out and seems more concerned about, the safety of his daughter, who’s been an active participant in these protests, and  his political future than the safety and security of his constituents. 

And its because of that failure of leadership… that President Trump has had to invoke the Insurrection Act of 1807 to show that we will not surrender the streets of American cities to rioters and looters. 

President Trump certainly deserves criticism for some of the things he’s said and done over these last few weeks. But, if you’ve ever read the Constitution, you understand that our system of government wasn’t built for the executive branch to solve all our problems. So if we are even talking about the commander in chief – using the regular military to quiet things down on U.S, you know we are dealing with a worst case scenario.

Read all about it. 

-Fraser Dixon 

GOP Senators Leery of Trump’s Military Deployment 

(The Hill) – President Trump’s warning that he could deploy the U.S. military if state and local officials aren’t able to quell days of riots is facing skepticism and in some cases pushback from GOP senators.

Trump, speaking at the White House, said he would deploy the military — sparking a new wave of speculation that he could invoke the Insurrection Act, which would allow him to deploy active military troops to states and cities.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) warned against further militarization in response to the protests.

“I don’t think militarization is the answer to the anxiety and fear, the distrust … that we feel right now. It is not the response,” she said.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), a close Trump ally, said the law should be invoked as a “last resort.”

“I don’t think the Pentagon’s keen on getting brought into this unless they absolutely have to. We need to restore order, but using active-duty military troops in circumstances like this is a fairly rare occurrence — so as a last resort,” he told reporters.

Sen. John Thune (S.D.), the No. 2 Republican senator, told reporters he would “prefer that these things be handled by the state and local authorities. … You want to de-escalate rather than escalate.”

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Trump’s Bible Photo-Op Ruffles GOP Feathers

(USA Today) – Republican senators were split on President Donald Trump’s decision Monday to push back protesters from an area surrounding the White House so he could visit a historic church across the street to take a photo with a Bible.

“I’m against clearing out a peaceful protest for a photo op that treats the Word of God as a political prop,” said Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., in a statement. While there is no right to riot or destroy property, he said, there is a “fundamental — a Constitutional — right to protest.” 

The split reaction from Republicans came after another day of protests in the nation’s capital and across the country over the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in the custody of Minneapolis police May 25. Former police officer Derek Chauvin was charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter in Floyd’s death. 

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Gun Stocks Rally as Continued Surge in Background Checks, Violence Stoke Demand

(Market Watch) – Shares of gun and ammo makers surged again Tuesday, as data showing a continued surge in firearm background checks and reports of another night of street violence helped fuel investor demand.

The stocks’ rallies come after another night of protests following the police killing of George Floyd turned violent in some areas, with President Donald Trump threatening to mobilize the U.S. military to keep the peace.

Late Monday, federal police fired tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse a crowd before a 7 p.m. curfew went into effect, as Trump walked across the street to have a photo taken at the St. John’s Episcopal Church. 

Shares of the guns and ammunition maker have run up 17.1% amid a 3-day winning streak and have soared 51.3% this year.

Smith & Wesson Brands Inc.’s stock SWBI, +10.14% ran up 10.1%, to the highest close since September 2018. The firearm maker’s shares have hiked up 42.2% over the past 4 sessions and have powered up 61.5% year to date.

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Mark Cuban Writes Dear White People Letter

(Fort Worth Star-Telegram) – Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has a message for white people. “The problem is ours.”

As racial unrest flared again at protests sparked by the death of George Floyd, Cuban took to social media Monday night to express his thoughts.

Cuban attached an open letter written by Emerson College president M. Lee Pelton, along with his own thoughts on what white people — including himself — need to change in their lives.

The letter, titled “America Is on Fire” speaks of the death of George Floyd and other racially charged injustices that have rocked minority communities across the nation.

“America is on fire, I thought” Pelton wrote. “Even in the face of a viral pandemic that had closed down much of human society, it could not stop a black man from being murdered in public view.”

Floyd, who is black, died on May 25 in the custody of Minneapolis police, with one officer pressing his knee into Floyd’s neck for almost nine minutes.

Cuban, who on Sunday took part in a vigil to honor the memory of Floyd, told The Dallas Morning News that “this is our community; our country. Both are hurting. I wanted to be here to listen. To understand better the pain the African-American community is going through.”

He followed those comments on Monday with tweets on what he believes needs to change.

“I used to think treating people equally meant treating them the same,” he tweeted. “Like it was a math equation. I was wrong.”

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