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June 19, 2020

Happy Juneteeth!

All Eyes on Tulsa for Trump Rally

This Day in History | 1865

Juneteenth is an unofficial American holiday and an official Texas state holiday, celebrated annually on the 19th of June in the United States to commemorate Union army general Gordon Granger announcing federal orders in the city of Galveston, on this day in 1865, proclaiming that all slaves in Texas were now free. Although the Emancipation Proclamation had formally freed them almost two and a half years earlier and the American Civil War had largely ended with the defeat of the Confederate States in April, Texas was the most remote of the slave states, with a low presence of Union troops, so enforcement of the proclamation had been slow and inconsistent.

Good morning Middle Americans.

In case you weren’t aware until now, Juneteeth is kind of a big deal. President Trump seems to think he got everyone talking about. But if you believe the New York Times, the president, and his campaign staff were completely ignorant of what this day is all about. According to The Times, “Mr. Trump and his aides failed to grasp the significance of holding a rally on Juneteenth, a holiday celebrated annually on June 19 that honors the end of slavery in the United States. Nor did they appear to realize that Tulsa was the site of one of the country’s bloodiest outbreaks of racist violence.” Woops. So it goes with our 45th President, and the current state of affairs in America. 

GOP Senator John Cornyn from Texas is proposing a bill to make today a federal holiday. So if anything else, you might get the day off in the future. 

The Trump rally in Tulsa tomorrow poses a huge risk from a public health standpoint alone. And you could say there’s an even bigger political risk.  Some of the president’s own allies are urging him to only hold outdoor events moving forward.  Can you imagine if this becomes one of those super spreader events? Will it actually happen? That’s a good question, the Oklahoma Supreme Court will be weighing in on that today

The Supreme Court dealt President Trump another blow yesterday by slapping down his attempt to devoid DACA protections for the children of undocumented immigrants. 

And if that wasn’t bad enough for the president, according to a new poll 63% of Republicans, Republicans think the country is headed in the wrong direction. 

Meanwhile in Atlanta – a legal defense fund for the police officer arrested and now facing murder charges for the shooting death of Rayshard Brooks – has raised more than $200,000. The City of Atlanta is also giving it’s police force a $500 dollar bonus. This,  after cops started calling out sick, in protest of the charges against officers Garrett Rolfe and Deven Brosan.

Finally, new jobless claims were higher than expected, and according to new data, the United States isn’t such a great place when it comes to workers rights. 

Read all about it. 

-Fraser Dixon

Court Says Young Immigrants Can Stay, Rejecting Trump Order

(AP) – The Supreme Court on Thursday rejected President Donald Trump’s effort to end legal protections for 650,000 young immigrants, the second stunning election-season rebuke from the court in a week after its ruling that it’s illegal to fire people because they’re gay or transgender.

Immigrants who are part of the 8-year-old Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program will retain their protection from deportation and their authorization to work in the United States — safe almost certainly at least through the November election, immigration experts said.

The 5-4 outcome, in which Chief Justice John Roberts and the four liberal justices were in the majority, seems certain to elevate the issue in Trump’s campaign, given the anti-immigrant rhetoric of his first presidential run in 2016 and immigration restrictions his administration has imposed since then.

Read more here

63% of Republicans Say Country is Heading in the Wrong Direction

(Axios) – 74% of Americans say the country is heading in the wrong direction, including 63% of Republicans — up from 42% in May, according to a new poll by the AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

President Trump generally enjoys strong approval ratings within the Republican Party, but the state of the country may be eroding some of that support.

“Presidents seeking four more years in office typically rely on voters being optimistic about the direction the country is headed and eager to stay the course — a view most Americans don’t currently hold,” AP’s Julie Pace and Emily Swanson report.

Most Americans polled by AP-NORC were pessimistic about the country’s trajectory amid competing crises of outrage against racial injustice and police brutality, a global pandemic and sustained high unemployment.

Get more info here

$200K Raised for Officer Charged with Murder of Rayshard Brooks

(WSBTV) – Thousands of people are stepping up to provide support for the former officer charged with murder in the death of Rayshard Brooks.

More than $250,000 has been raised for former Atlanta police officer Garrett Rolfe’s legal fees, according to the Georgia Law Enforcement Organization.

The nonprofit organization says the “fundraiser is designed to help Officer Rolfe and his family to pay for legal services and general necessities.”

“We spoke to him to get all the details worked out as far as the fundraising goes and obviously to get his blessing on doing the fundraising on his behalf,” said Josh Watson, Georgia Law Enforcement chief operating officer.

Read more here

U.S. Ranked Worst for Workers’ Rights Among Major Economies

(Bloomberg) – The U.S. has the worst record among major developed countries when it comes to workers’ rights, according to a survey of labor unions.

The world’s largest economy is ranked a 4 in a scale by the International Trade Union Congress, meaning there are “systematic violations of rights.” Every other Group of Seven country ranks 3 or better.

Globally, the ITUC said the situation has worsened for workers, with violations of rights at a seven-year high. The worst region is the Middle East and North Africa, and the organization noted a number of countries have impeded the registration of unions, as well as banned strikes and collective bargaining.

Excluding countries where there are no rights due to a breakdown of the rule of law, the 10 worst in the survey are Bangladesh, Brazil, Colombia, Egypt, Honduras, India, Kazakhstan, Philippines, Turkey, and Zimbabwe. All are rated 5, for “no guarantee of rights.”

Read more here

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