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July 12, 2020

Trump Wears Mask During Walter Reid Visit

This Day in History | 1862

Abraham Lincoln creates the Congressional Medal of Honor by signing into a law an order to create a commendation for “…noncommissioned officers and privates as shall most distinguish themselves by their gallantry in action, and other soldier-like qualities during the present insurrection.” 

Good Morning Middle Americans, 

We’ve entered a new, and dark phase of the Coronavirus pandemic. The most glaring example of that has to be the president of the United States donning a black face mask with the Presidential Seal. Trump has worn a mask before, but never as publicly as he did this weekend. Is it a sign of acceptance,  resignation to the fact that this virus ain’t going anywhere anytime soon? The data, specifically the number of deaths,  makes it getting harder and harder to spin any of it as ‘good news’. 

Robert Mueller has emerged after the commutation of Roger Stone’s three year prison sentence. Stone, convicted of obstruction of justice and lying to Congress received a presidential reprieve from his old friend Donald Trump on Friday. In typical fashion, the move has pissed off everyone outside of MAGA-world. It’s elated everyone in it. But, some people might say – with coronavirus deaths on the rise, and unemployment settling in at about 10%, will anyone care about the presidential commutation of Roger Stone in two weeks? You better believe it. The president’s move has not only upset democrats, but I’d be willing to bet, it’s also angered a bunch of Republicans. We are still a long ways from knowing how those Republicans will seek revenge on President Trump for letting the self-described “dirty trickster” off the hook. But it’s coming. 

We’ll also be watching to see what happens next with the McCloskeys in St. Louis. They are the couple – forced to defend their home with guns when rioters attached to a Black Lives Matter rally illegally entered their neighborhood.  After that incident, they’ve been seemingly harassed by local authorities. Their home was raided by police. There were guns seized. What happens if violent protestors come knocking again? 

Also today we have stories about Seattle’s Police Chief and Mayor now in panic mode after a veto-proof majority of the city’s councilmembers now support defunding the police department by at least 50%. Are logins for sale on the dark web? And Ben Still refuses to cut Donald Trump from Zoolander. 

Read all about it. 

-Fraser Dixon 

Trump Wears Mask During Walter Reid Visit 

(Fox News) – President Trump visited the Walter Reed Military Hospital Saturday where he was spotted wearing a face mask in public for the first time amid surging cases of coronavirus in the U.S.

Trump flew by helicopter to the military hospital to meet with wounded soldiers and medical staff, telling reporters at the White House prior to his departure that he would “probably wear a mask.”

“When you’re in a hospital, especially… I think it’s expected to wear a mask,” the president said after months of refusing to wear one in public.

As the coronavirus pandemic has surged in the U.S. — with over 3.2 million confirmed cases and more than 134,000 deaths — several GOP members have come out urging people to wear masks, adding that it should be an issue of health, not politics.

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Robert Mueller on Roger Stone: ‘Convicted Felon, and Rightly So’ 

(The Guardian) – The former special counsel Robert Mueller made a rare move on Saturday to publicly defend his two-year investigation into allegations of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia in the 2016 election – and to castigate US president Donald Trump’s decision to commute Roger Stone’s prison sentence.

Mueller wrote an opinion article for the Washington Post [paywall] published under the headline “Roger Stone remains a convicted felon, and rightly so”.

“The work of the special counsel’s office – its report, indictments, guilty pleas and convictions – should speak for itself,” he wrote.

“But I feel compelled to respond both to broad claims that our investigation was illegitimate and our motives were improper, and to specific claims that Roger Stone was a victim of our office …

“Stone was prosecuted and convicted because he committed federal crimes. He remains a convicted felon, and rightly so.”

Trump commuted the sentence of Stone on Friday night, sparking outrage from Democrats and some senior Republicans.

Stone was a former campaign adviser to the president, convicted in November 2019 of seven crimes including obstruction of justice, lying to Congress and witness tampering.

Find out more here

Police Serve Search Warrant to St. Louis Couple who Defended Home with Guns

(Daily Mail) – Police executed a search warrant and seized the rifle brandished by a St. Louis man when Black Lives Matter protesters marched through his gated community.

On Friday, authorities searched the home of lawyers Mark and Patricia McCloskey, who made headlines on June 28 when a video went viral showing them waving firearms at protesters who had massed outside their home. 

The search turned up the AR-15 that had been held by Mark McCloskey, while a handgun brandished by Patricia McCloskey was already in possession of her attorney, Fox reports.

Learn more here

Related: McCloskey’s Had a History of Suing Neighbors 

Seattle Police Department, Mayor Warn of Consequences of Defunding Police

(KIRO 7) – The majority of Seattle City Council is now backing proposals to defund Seattle’s police department by 50%, despite concerns from the mayor’s office and Seattle’s police chief that council members are moving too quickly and without enough widespread community engagement.

A coalition called Decriminalize Seattle presented a plan to the budget committee to redirect millions from the city budget to community organizations. 

“The status quo is no longer acceptable,” Council President Lorena Gonzalez said Thursday, adding that while she previously believed in police reform, she now believes in rebuilding. “We have to take away the things that no longer and should have never belonged to law enforcement in the first place,” she said.

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Are Your Logins For Sale on the Dark Web?

  • 15 Billion Stolen Logins Are Circulating on the Dark Web

(Wired) – It’s no secret that hacker forums on the dark web are teeming with stolen credentials. But a recent audit from security firm Digital Shadows has put a number on just how large a problem that’s become. The data loss detection firm found 15 billion login pairs—usernames and passwords—stemming from 100,000 breaches. Five billion of those were unique. The survey also details pricing, which varies widely based on how recent the breach is and what type of site it accesses. Financial services and banking passwords, unsurprisingly, command a much higher sum than file sharing or video game accounts. As always, WIRED recommends using a password managerto minimize the fallout when a company coughs up your sign-in info.

Read more here

Ben Stiller Refuses to Cut Trump from Zoolander, Despite Fan Backlash

(Indiewire) – Ben Stiller has revealed that, despite outcry from fans calling for a brief scene featuring the current United States President to be cut from the film, he won’t be editing Donald Trump out of his 2001 comedy “Zoolander.” Stiller discussed the controversy on a recent episode of The Daily Beast’s podcast “The New Abnormal.”

“I’ve had people reach out to me and say, you should edit Donald Trump out of ‘Zoolander,’” Stiller said, referring to a scene set at the VH1 Fashion Awards that includes Donald and Melania Trump as red-carpet interviewees discussing the greatness of self-obsessed male model Derek Zoolander. “But at the end of the day, that was a time when that exists and that happened,” said Stiller about requests to edit the film.

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