BOMBSHELL: Prosecutors Reassembled McCloskey’s Non-Working Gun to Make It ‘Lethal’ So They Could Charge a Crime

The gun Patricia McCloskey waved at Black Lives Matters protesters was incapable of firing and St. Louis prosecutors ordered that it be reassembled to make it "readily capable of lethal use" so that they could charge her with a crime, according to a local NBC affiliate.

Mark and Patricia McCloskey were each charged on Monday with one count of unlawful use of a weapon by St. Louis circuit attorney Kimberly Gardner, a Democrat.

  • The charges came after Gardner’s office investigated video of the McCloskeys brandishing firearms at protesters trespassing in their private St. Louis neighborhood on June 28.

Charging documents filed Monday revealed that assistant circuit attorney Chris Hinckley directed crime lab workers to disassemble and reassemble the McCloskey's handgun, which resulted in the gun becoming operable, KSDK reported.

  • After field stripping the weapon, workers discovered the firing pin spring was in front of the firing pin, which was facing the wrong direction, and the gun could not fire.
  • They reconstructed the firearm correctly and, after conducting a firing test, found the weapon was now capable of shooting.

The McCloskeys knew the gun didn't work: As part of a past lawsuit, the McCloskeys intentionally made the handgun inoperable to bring it into a courtroom.

  • The McCloskeys attorney, Joel Schwartz, said the gun was incapable of firing when Patricia McCloskey waved it at protesters.
  • “It’s disheartening to learn that a law enforcement agency altered evidence in order to prosecute an innocent member of the community,” Schwartz told KSDK.

The law: In Missouri, authorities are required to show a weapon is "readily capable of lethal use" in order to convict someone of unlawful use of a weapon.

An American couple: The McCloskeys, both trial attorneys, became a cause celebre on the right after footage went viral of the couple brandishing firearms and facing down the crowd of anti-racism protesters that had marched into their neighborhood.

  • Many conservatives have held up the couple as champions of law and order and living arguments for the Second Amendment.
  • In memes and social media posts, the McCloskeys drew praise for their home maintenance in addition to their perceived bravery.
  • Their cause has been taken up by President Donald Trump, who said last Tuesday that prosecution of the couple was a “disgrace," as well as Missouri's Republican governor, Mike Parson, and the state's attorney general, Eric Schmitt.

Gardner's office did not immediately respond to We'll Do It Live's request for comment, and told KSDK it could not comment on a pending case.

President Donald Trump on Wednesday boasted about his performance on a test of his cognitive abilities, leaving many of his critics angry and stupefied.

The video: Trump described the exam in extensive detail during an interview with Fox News medical contributor Marc Siegel that mostly focused on the U.S. coronavirus response.

  • "The first questions are very easy, the last questions are much more difficult. Like a memory question. It’s like, you’ll go, 'Person. Woman. Man. Camera. TV.' So they’d say, 'Could you repeat that.' So I said, 'Yeah. So it’s, 'Person. Woman. Man. Camera. TV,'" Trump said.
  • "It’s actually not that easy. But for me it was easy." 
  • Trump repeated the sequence of another time during the riff: "'Person. Woman. Man. Camera. TV.'"
  • "I do it because I have, like, a good memory. Because I'm cognitively there," he explained.

Trump then challenged Joe Biden, his Democratic opponent in the 2020 election, to take the cognitive test "because something's going on."

  • The president, 74, suggested the former vice president, 77, is too cognitively impaired to serve as commander-in-chief.

In a follow-up segment on "Fox and Friends" on Thursday, Siegel, an associate professor at New York University's medical school, described the president as having been "extremely sharp."

Trump previously recounted how he "aced" a "very hard" mental acuity test during an interview on Sunday with Fox News anchor Chris Wallace and, before that, in a July 9 appearance on Fox News host Sean Hannity's show.

  • In both cases, Trump also defied Biden to match his performance.

According to The Washington Post, Trump took the Montreal Cognitive Assessment, a 10-minute test designed to detect mild cognitive impairment, during his annual physical in 2018.

  • He determined he "could weaponize his performance against Biden," the paper reported on Wednesday.

Biden's mental sharpness has been widely speculated about on the right and, at least before he became the presumptive nominee, on the left, too.

Well, actually: Many left-leaning news outlets, journalists and commentators derided Trump's comments to Siegel even as they struggled to make sense of them.

The Post article quoted medical experts to make the case that "the cognitive exam is not what Trump seems to think it is — an indicator of IQ or a cudgel to be wielded against a political opponent like a debate challenge."

A New York Times report about Wednesday's interview asserted Trump had "tried to defend how own mental fitness for office."

MSNBC producer Kyle Griffin tweeted he could not "stop watching Trump on the cognitive test."

The Times national correspondent Shane Goldmacher said on Twitter the president's words were "mesmerizing."

Jon Cooper, a Biden organizer, joined a number of liberal commentators in interpreting Trump's comments as stupid.

But to Pro-Trump conservatives, the left seemed to have once again failed to get the joke.

Source: Flickr

"Not an elite:" Roger Stone, a longtime friend whom Trump recently sprung from jail, once described the president as having a "regular guy" sense of humor that's enhanced by his "terrific memory."

An Ohio man was arrested on Wednesday after allegedly kneeling on the neck of a 2-year-old child in a photograph that has circulated widely online.

The man: Isaiah Jackson, 20, was booked in the Clark County Jail on a probation violation, WHIOTV reported, citing jail records.

  • The Clark County Sheriff’s Office said a case against Jackson for his alleged role in the photo has been presented to prosecutors, and felony charges are pending.
  • Deputies said they on Tuesday launched an investigation into the disturbing photo.

The child, who has not been identified, was taken to the hospital and found not to have sustained injuries, according to Dayton 24/7 Now.

The photo: Many social media users have responded with outrage to the viral image and called for punitive justice.

  • The photo appears to show a man with his knee on the neck of a baby, who is crying as a second person holds the child's arms back.
  • A caption reads, "BLM now mf," apparently referring to the Black Lives Matter movement.

Some noted the man's pose resembled that of Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin when he allegedly killed George Floyd during a May 25 arrest.

  • Footage of that incident triggered mass protests against police and racism and elevated the Black Lives Matter cause to national prominence.

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler was tear-gassed by federal law enforcement on Wednesday night as he tried to show solidarity with protesters against the officers' presence in the Oregon city.

“It’s hard to breathe — it’s a little harder to breathe than I thought,” he told The Washington Post as he coughed and choked on the fumes outside a fence guarding the federal courthouse in downtown Portland. "This is abhorrent. This is beneath us."

"I'm not gonna lie, it stings. It's hard to breathe," Wheeler said while wearing lab goggles and a blue surgical mask in a video posted to Twitter.

Wheeler, a Democrat, said in the video that the use of tear was was an "egregious overreaction" by the federal officers, whose ranks were bolstered by President Donald Trump last week in an effort to restore order in Portland after nearly two months of protests and street violence.

  • The mayor, along with Gov. Kate Brown, a fellow Democrat, and other state and local officials, has for days demanded Trump withdraw the officers.
  • He has called them an "occupying force" and blamed them for the continuation of street violence that predated their arrival by nearly two months.

Many protesters, though, seemed unimpressed by Wheeler's words or by his display of self-sacrifice.

  • Some taunted him about having been tear-gassed, shouting, "How does it feel, Teddy?" "Does it burn?" and "How can you let your people get gassed out here every night?"

Earlier in the day, Wheeler, who faces a primary challenge from his left, addressed the protesters from the steps of the Multnomah County Justice Center.

  • "The reason I am here tonight is to stand with you no matter what," he said. "And if they launch the tear gas against you, they’re launching the tear gas against me!"
  • Some cheered, but others expressed skepticism, according to news reports.

Wheeler was shouted down when he tried to denounce Trump's recent declaration that he will "surge" federal agents in other American cities experiencing spates of crime.

  • Protesters demanded Wheeler oust the agents from their city and make sweeping reforms to the police.
  • As the mayor moved through the crowd trying to talk with his constituents, he was repeatedly heckled, with chants breaking out of "Quit your job."
  • The demands echoed a list posted on a wall of Justice Center.

After being tear-gassed, Wheeler said the experience had convinced him Portland police should no longer be allowed to use tear gas against rioters — a longstanding demand of activists.

  • Wheeler made his way out of the protest about an hour later, escorted by a security team.
  • As he walked through the crowd, footage shows protesters threw water bottles at him and scuffled with his guards.

Shortly after the mayor left, Portland police declared the 55th night of protests in the city a riot.

  • They ordered the activists to disperse, or risk being tear-gassed by them.

Videos appears to show Chinese officials burning documents at China's consulate general in Houston on Tuesday hours after the Trump administration ordered the closure of the diplomatic compound.

The videos: Police and fire officials responded on Tuesday night to reports documents were being burned in the consulate's courtyard, according to the Houston Police Department.

  • A bystander told local NBC affiliate KPRC2 that “you could just smell the paper burning," but that firefighters surrounding the building did not go inside.
  • The State Department confirmed the consulate had been ordered to close "to protect American intellectual property and Americans’ private information," Bloomberg reported.
  • Two Chinese hackers working for Beijing attempted to steal or stole data, some of it related to coronavirus research, from governments, companies and organizations in several Western nations, the Justice Department alleged on Tuesday

Chinese backlash: Wang Wenbin, a spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, on Wednesday decried the closure as illegal and an "unprecedented escalation" after the State Department gave the consulate 72 hours to pack up.

  • "China strongly condemns such an outrageous and unjustified move which will sabotage China-U.S. relations," Wang said.
  • "We urge the U.S. to immediately withdraw its erroneous decision. Otherwise China will make legitimate and necessary reactions."
  • The U.S. has five consulates in mainland China and one in Hong Kong.

Sen. Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican said on Wednesday — in an interview on Fox Business and later on Twitter — that the shuttering of the Chinese consulate in Houston was necessary.

  • "It is the central node of the Communist Party’s vast network of spies & influence operations in the United States," Rubio tweeted.

Trump v. Beijing: Long a vocal critic of China on trade and intellectual property theft, Trump has in recent weeks unleashed a wave of rhetorical and diplomatic punishment on America's largest economic rival.

  • The president has effectively cut off trade talks, sanctioned Chinese officials over their internment of Muslims and encroachment in Hong Kong, revealed plans to cancel visas for some Chinese students in the United States, restricted Chinese journalists and vowed retaliation for Beijing’s handling of the coronavirus.
Source: KPRC2

Liberal journalists seemed unwilling to believe reports a Michigan teacher had been fired for saying "Trump is our president" and characterized conservatives as "gullible."

The story: Justin Kucera, 28, said Oakland County School officials brought him into a meeting on July 10 and demanded that he resign or be fired from his positions as a social studies teacher and varsity baseball coach at Walled Lake Western High School, the Washington Free Beacon reported on Tuesday.

  • Kucera was pushed out after he tweeted vaguely pro-Trump sentiments, including, "I'm done being silent. @realDonaldTrump is our president ... Don't @ me," and retweeted Trump's declaration, "SCHOOLS MUST OPEN IN THE FALL!!!"
  • The Oakland County School District declined to comment on the specifics of Kucera's dismissal, but said "no disciplinary action was taken as a result of any support of President Trump," The Detroit News reported.
  • Other Walled Lake teachers have not faced disciplinary action for making political statements, including calling Trump a "sociopath" and "narcissist," according to the Free Beacon.
Source: Washington Free Beacon

The reaction: Joshua Holland, a contributor to The Nation, responded to the Free Beacon's report by averring that even though he hadn't read the story about Kucera, "I can say for sure that this obviously didn't happen."

"I'm always amazed by how gullible right-wingers are," Holland added.

Parker Molloy, a transgender rights activist and editor at large for Media Matters for America, weighed in by unearthing a supposedly damning tweet Kucera had posted on July 6.

Molloy said the tweet, in which Kucera declared "Liberals suck man," was "clearly the one that got him in trouble."

Noam Blum, an editor at Tablet Magazine, mocked Molloy and Holland's skepticism, suggesting it was another example of progressives denying the existence of "cancel culture."

Who's gullible? Whatever the precise motives behind Kucera's firing, liberals would be hard-pressed to prove their "side" is uniquely immune to confirmation bias.

Recent examples of left-leaning journalists and commentators mistaking stereotypes about the right for reality include:

Holland, for his part, has downplayed the political significance of the Smollett story.

Kucera did not immediately respond to an interview request.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on Tuesday that Republicans want to send Americans a second stimulus check as part of the next coronavirus relief bill.

"Speaking of building on what worked in the CARES Act, we want another round of direct payments, direct payments to help American families keep driving our national comeback," McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, said from the Senate floor.

The $2.2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, passed in March, included a one-time $1,200 payment for Americans who make up to $75,000 per year.

  • Higher earners got proportionally smaller checks up to an income level of $99,000 per year.

McConnell in his speech did not provide details on the size or scale of the promised second round of stimulus checks.

  • But he has repeatedly hinted at capping the annual-income ceiling to qualify for the potential payments at $40,000.
  • Republican lawmakers have previously resisted sending additional stimulus checks, including shooting down the Trump administration's request for a second round as part of the CARES Act.

President Donald Trump said in a July 1 interview on Fox Business that he supports a "larger" followup payment than the Democrats have proposed.

  • Trump was apparently referring to the one-time, $1,200 check proposed by House Democrats in the HEROES act, a $3 trillion relief bill they passed in May.
  • Other Democrats have advocated much more generous payments.

According to McConnell, Republicans' forthcoming coronavirus relief proposal will also include a second tranche of funding for the Paycheck Protection Program, which proved successful in paying smaller companies not to fire their workers but is running out of money.

  • McConnell said Republicans would refund the P.P.P. "with a special eye toward hard-hit businesses."

Senate Republicans were expected to put out their legislation on Wednesday or early Thursday.

  • Democrats have said they will only begin negotiations at that point.
  • The two parties were reportedly far apart on the contents of the bill and also internally divided.

Meanwhile, the U.S. economy has appeared to stall along with local reopening plans amid a resurgence of coronavirus cases across the country.

Tucker Carlson's reaction to fellow Fox News host Sean Hannity's apparent defense of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos had tongues wagging on Tuesday night.

Carlson goes after corporatocracy: In a fiery rant on his eponymous show, Carlson slammed Bezos for making a record-breaking $13 billion in one day while Americans faced economic hardship and uncertainty.

  • "Millions of Americans remain out of work; many more are draining their savings; once the government stops paying a huge portion of the population to stay at home, we don't know what will happen," he said.
  • "But at least one person has become extremely rich, richer than any man in history, from all of this, including a lot of the suffering. That would be Amazon CEO, Democratic donor, owner of the Washington Post, Jeff Bezos."
  • "Twenty years ago, if that had happened, if a captain of industry had made $13 billion in a single day while the country got poorer, the Democratic party would have had something to say about it," he continued.
  • "Not anymore, because the people getting rich are members of the Democratic party."

Carlson went on to discuss with Spectator USA editor Chadwick Moore how, in the host's words, "something is skewed with the system."

  • He then wrapped the show and handed off to Hannity, whose show follows Carlson's in prime time.

Hannity defends the "free market": Hannity took the opportunity to seemingly dispute Carlson's criticisms of Bezos in the preceding segment.

  • "People can make money, they provide goods and services people want, need, and desire? That’s America," he said.
  • "It’s called freedom, capitalism, and as long as it’s honest, right? People decide."
  • "Alright, Tucker, great show," Hannity concluded before launching into his opening monologue.

Carlson, whose show recently surpassed Hannity's as the highest-rated cable news program in history, said nothing but appeared visibly perturbed by his colleague's unsolicited commentary.

Hannity v. Carlson? Social media users quickly took note of exchange, with some suggesting a feud was brewing between the two men.

Emily Larsen, a politics reporter for the Washington Examiner, called the televised tension "Super awkward" but also "New populist right vs. free market conservatism in a nutshell."

Commenting on a clip of the handoff posted to Twitter by the Daily Caller, Carlson's former news site, Hannity apologized "for any misunderstanding to Tucker and the fox audience."

  • Hannity went on to say he had only meant to reiterate Carlson's support for "honest capitalism" and claimed not to have heard most of the segment in question.

New orthodoxies: Hannity and Carlson's apparent ideological divergence echoed a long-brewing schism between traditional free-market conservatives and an ascendant populist right, which has been more skeptical of capitalism and more amenable to activist government.

  • Under the "America First' presidency of Donald Trump, Carlson has emerged as a leading voice of the populists, with many Republicans touting him as a potential 2024 GOP presidential candidate.
  • Meanwhile, establishment conservatives like David French of The Dispatch, who almost ran against Trump in 2016, have warned that Tucker's insurgency could produce "worse dysfunction" than what it replaces.
Source: YouTube

"Saving Justice: Truth, Transparency and Trust," the title of James Comey's forthcoming book, is eliciting scoffs from the former FBI director's critics.

The book: Comey's latest work is set for release on Jan. 12, Axios first reported on Wednesday.

  • "Saving Justice" follows Comey's 2017 New York Times best-seller, "A Higher Truth," in which he chronicled his relationship with President Donald Trump and compared the president to a mob boss.
  • Trump fired Comey in May 2017, and the two men have publicly traded barbs ever since.

The reaction: Comey's detractors reacted on social media by mocking his attempt to position himself as a champion of justice and integrity.

"self-awareness never was your forte," quipped Jessica Fletcher, a social media editor at The Blaze.

"The guy who side-stepped every protocol with FISA, the Steele dossier and setup 3 star general @GenFlynn wrote a book about justice. Up is down," tweeted one commenter.

Source: Twitter

The real Jim Comey? Comey has long faced accusations of playing politics and grandstanding from both the left and the right.

  • The president and his supporters have alleged that Comey weaponized the FBI against Trump as part of a politically motivated "witch hunt," which culminated in special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation.
  • Comey admitted last December that there "was real sloppiness" in how the Russia probe was conducted.

Meanwhile, a series of Justice Department inspector general reports have confirmed some of Comey's critics' worst suspicions about his conduct as FBI director.

  • According to Inspector General Michael Horowitz, Comey violated bureau policy by leaking memos about his conversations with Trump as director, and oversaw widespread misuse of federal surveillance powers, including in the early stages of the FBI investigation of contacts between Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and Russians.

"Former Director Comey failed to live up to this responsibility," Inspector General Michael Horowitz wrote in the August 2019 report. "By not safeguarding sensitive information obtained during the course of his FBI employment, and by using it to create public pressure for official action, Comey set a dangerous example for the over 35,000 current FBI employees — and the many thousands more former FBI employees — who similarly have access to or knowledge of non-public information."


President Donald Trump tweeted a photo of himself wearing a mask on Monday and suggested it was "patriotic" to do so, igniting both praise and criticism from his supporters.

The photo: In a caption to the black-and-white image, which elicited hundreds of thousands of comments on Twitter, the president declared that Americans "are United in our effort to defeat the Invisible China Virus."

  • "[M]any people say that it is Patriotic to wear a face mask when you can’t socially distance," he said, adding, "There is nobody more Patriotic than me, your favorite President!"

Earlier this month, the president wore a mask in public for the first time while visiting Walter Reed National Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.

Trump, in keeping with the general consensus among his base, had previously exhibited reluctance to fully embrace masks and appeared to mock 2020 presidential candidate Joe Biden for wearing one in May.

The reaction: The sentiment among Trump's critics on social media was that it was too little too late.

"Trump putting on a mask now is like wearing a condom after his mistress is already 4 months pregnant," tweeted Nick Jack Pappas, a comedian and liberal activist.

A substantial contingent of the president's supporters, many of them professed face-mask skeptics, celebrated the gesture, with some saying Trump looked "like a boss" wearing a mask.

Other Trump supporters, like The Daily Wire pundit Michael Knowles, were critical of the president's apparent reversal on the issue.

"Sorry President! I stop won't wear one," tweeted Deanna Lorraine, a Trump-supporting former Republican candidate for California's 12th congressional district. "And no it's not 'patriotic' to wear a face mask. It's about obedience and makes no medical sense."

Trump's longtime refusal to wear a mask in public and his rhetoric against anti-pandemic restrictions have helped make the accessory a culture wars symbol.

  • Officials reversing themselves on the need for the public to wear masks, as well as sometimes-ideological policy responses, have fueled skepticism about government guidance and edicts, especially among conservatives.

Still, mask-wearing is becoming more widespread and less partisan, according to polls.

In related news, Trump met with top GOP officials in the White House on Monday to discuss what will likely be the final congressional coronavirus relief package this year.

According to reports, major divisions between Senate Republicans and both the White House and House Democrats mean no comprise is expected any time soon.

Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt on Monday evening moved to dismiss felony charges against a St. Louis couple who pointed guns at Black Lives Matter protesters allegedly threatening their home last month.

Mark and Patricia McCloskey were each charged earlier on Monday with one count of unlawful use of a weapon by St. Louis circuit attorney Kimberly Gardner, a Democrat.

  • The charges came after Gardner's office investigated video of the McCloskeys brandishing firearms at protesters trespassing in their private St. Louis neighborhood on June 28.

Schmitt on Monday night filed an amicus brief defending the McCloskeys and also posted to Twitter a video expressing his support for them.

  • The attorney general, a Republican, said the right to keep and bear arms has "the highest level of protection" in Missouri law and called the circuit attorney's actions a "political prosecution."
  • “Enough is enough. As Missouri’s chief law enforcement officer I simply will not stand by while a Missouri law’s being ignored," he said.
  • "That’s why I’m entering this case and seeking dismissal of this case to protect the rights of Missourians to defend themselves and their property under Missouri's Castle Doctrine."

Schmitt also appeared on Fox News on Monday night, where he said the right to keep and bear arms was "God-given" and "unalienable."

  • He called Gardner "a rogue prosecutor," and said, "This is a politically motivated prosecution by a prosecutor who's not interested in prosecuting violent crime, has an abysmal record."

American Karens or American heroes? The McCloskeys, who are both trial attorneys, became a cause celebre on the right after footage went viral of the couple brandishing firearms and facing down the crowd of anti-racism protesters that had marched into their neighborhood.

  • Mark McCloskey told local CBS affiliate KMOV4 his family was “in fear for our lives”after the crowd broke down the gate.
  • "This is all private property. There are no public sidewalks or public streets. We were told that we would be killed, our home burned and our dog killed. We were all alone facing an angry mob," he said. 

Many conservatives have held up the couple as champions of law and order and living arguments for the Second Amendment.

  • In memes and social media posts, the McCloskeys drew praise for their home maintenance and fashion sense in addition to their perceived bravery.

Their cause has been taken up by President Donald Trump, who said last Tuesday that prosecution of the couple was a "disgrace."

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson, a Republican, told the Washington Post the next day, "The president said that he would do everything he could within his powers to help with this situation and he would be taking action to do that."

Source: Flickr.

Sen. Josh Hawley, a Missouri Republican, on Thursday requested a Justice Department probe into Gardner's handling of the case.

Some liberals, meanwhile, have condemned the McCloskeys as racists and called for them to be arrested.

Fox News host Tucker Carlson on Monday accused The New York Times of planning to publicize the location of his home in an attempt to endanger his family.

The video: Carlson made the sensational claim about what he said was a forthcoming news article about him by The Times during the concluding segment of his show.

The "Tucker Carlson Tonight" host claimed the write-up would be an intentional act of ideologically motivated intimidation.

  • According to Carlson, "there is no conceivable justification for a story like that.
  • "So why is the New York Times doing a story on the location of my family's house?" he said. "Well, you know why. To hurt us. To injure my wife and kids so I will shut up and stop disagreeing with them. They believe in force; we've learned that."

Carlson, a father of four, noted that his home address in Washington, D.C., was made public in 2018, prompting a group activists affiliated with a local anti-fascist group to show up outside one night to protest. 

  • "A group of screaming antifa lunatics showed up while I was at work, they vandalized our home, they threatened my wife," he said.
  • According to Carlson, the activists returned the following week and continued to target the house over the next year by mailing death threats, leading his family to move out.
  • “But the New York Times followed us,” he said. “Their story about where we live is slated to run in the paper this week. Editors there know exactly what will happen to my family when it does run.”

Carlson identified freelance writer Murray Carpenter, freelance photographer Tristan Spinski and media editor Jim Windolf as journalists working on the story.

  • "What if we published the home address of every one of the soulless, robot editors at The New York Times, who assigned and managed this incitement of violence against my family?" he said. "We could do that. We know who they are."

The Times in a statement on Monday night denied Carlson's characterization of what it planned to report, though not that a story was in the works.

The reaction: Many conservatives on social media reacted with fury to Carlson's accusations and rallied to his defense.

Rep. Rick Crawford, an Arkansas Republican, tweeted on Monday that the Times' alleged plans "should be condemned by any news entity who has any credibility left."

Acting Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Ken Cuccinelli retweeted criticism that the Times was promoting violence against Carlson, adding “That is clearly their intent,” and Meghan McCain, co-host of ABC’s “The View,” condemned doxing as “the most violating thing in the entire world.”

Some of Carlson's supporters responded by posting what they said were Murray and Spinski's addresses.

A number of liberals, meanwhile, accused Carlson of manufacturing the controversy to distract from a lawsuit filed against Fox and several of its hosts earlier in the day.

  • The suit claims that former Fox News anchor Ed Henry raped Fox Business Network employee Jennifer Eckhart and that he, Carlson and other prominent commentators at the network verbally sexually harassed her and guest commentator Cathy Areu.

In a statement to the Washington Post, Fox said the lawsuit's allegations against its current anchors were "false, patently frivolous and utterly devoid of any merit."

  • "Ms. Areu and Jennifer Eckhart can pursue their claims against Ed Henry directly with him, as Fox News already took swift action as soon as it learned of Ms. Eckhart’s claims on June 25 and Mr. Henry is no longer employed by the network."
  • Carlson did not address the lawsuit on Monday's show; Henry denied the allegations against him through his lawyer.

Journalist Jemele Hill on Sunday declared anyone who votes for Trump is racist — before being reminded that she once said her own mother voted for the president.

Now: Hill, a contributing writer for the Atlantic, made the blanket statement about Trump voters in a tweet, adding there is "no wiggle room."

Then: In a 2017 Twitter thread that resurfaced on Monday, Hill revealed that her mother was a reliable Republican voter who had pulled the lever for Trump in 2016.

Conservative writer Stephen Miller first pointed out in a viral tweet that Hill seemed to be implying her mother was a racist.

Amid backlash to her comments, Hill on Monday endorsed a broad definition of racism and retweeted a fellow journalist's defense of her, which said "some minorities can (and do) reinforce systemic white supremacy."

  • Attempts to reach Hill for comment through The Atlantic and her representatives were not immediately successful.

Hill has been an outspoken critic of Trump and what she sees as his promotion of racism in America.

In September 2017, Hill's then-employer, ESPN, suspended her for tweets calling Trump a "white supremacist who has largely surrounded himself w/ other white supremacists."

While Trump's supporters are frequently derided as racists by some on the left, polling has consistently shown racist attitudes and implicit bias among white Republicans, and among white voters in general, to be marginal marginal and in decline.

  • University of Pennsylvania political scientist Dan Hopkins last year found average levels of anti-black and anti-Hispanic prejudice expressed by white Americans dropped significantly after Trump's election.

In one of the most talked about moments of Donald Trump's interview on "Fox News Sunday," the president called for a chart to dispute anchor Chris Wallace's claim that the United States has the seventh highest COVID-19 mortality rate in the world.

The moment: Trump asked White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany to provide the data after saying he'd heard the U.S. mortality rate was among the lowest in the world.

  • "Number, number one low mortality rate. I hope you show the scenario because it shows what fake news is all about," Trump said after McEnany handed him the material he'd requested.
  • "You said we had the worst mortality rate in the world," Trump told Wallace. "And we have the best."

The discrepancy: Fox News cut away from the sit-down interview, filmed at the White House, and Wallace explained in a voiceover that he and the president were citing figures from different sources.

  • "We went with numbers from Johns Hopkins University which charted the mortality rate for 20 countries hit by the virus. The U.S. ranked seventh – better than the United Kingdom but worse than Brazil and Russia," Wallace said.
  • The White House used data from the European Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, which showed that countries such as Spain and Italy had worse coronavirus mortality rates, but nations such as Brazil and South Korea were doing better than the U.S.
  • Other countries with lower mortality rates, such as Russia, were omitted from the European CDC's chart.

Zoom out: Mainstream media outlets correctly noted Trump's claim that the United States has the "best" mortality rate in the world was inaccurate.

  • But the president's broader point appeared to be that the criticism of the U.S. response to the pandemic has been overblown and has failed to take into account the country's internationally unmatched level of testing per capita.
  • According to the same data cited by Wallace, the United States' mortality rate is nearly five times lower than that of the United Kingdom.
  • As Trump highlighted during the interview, much of the hand-wringing in the media over a shortage of ventilators and other medical supplies seems to have evaporated.

Later in the interview, Wallace confronted Trump over his criticism of how the anchor has covered the 45th presidency.

  • Trump, though refused to back down, saying, "It just seems to me that you are very prone to be nice to the Democrats ..."

Two black women dumped paint on a "Black Lives Matter" mural on a street outside Trump Tower in Manhattan on Saturday in an attempt to cover up the slogan.

The video: While pouring the black paint over the yellow letters, Bevelyn Beatty, a 29-year-old pro-life activist and evangelist from Staten Island, accused the Black Lives Matter movement of being anti-black.

  • "Black Lives Matter, but you want to defund the police for black people," she said in a live video that was posted to her Facebook page and widely circulated online.
  • "They're lying. We're not standing with Black Lives Matter," she said. "You all don't care. Refund the police!"
  • The mural near Trump Tower had previously been defaced three times in the past week, as have similar paintings in other U.S. cities.
We are going to take our country back! By any means necessary!!! #RiseUp #JesusMatters

We are going to take our country back! By any means necessary! #JesusMatters #RiseUp We Are: At The Well Ministries #USA #Trump2020 #NYC #NewYorkCity #ReFundThePolice #GodBlessBlue ( #BlackLivesMatter #BLM is a domestic terrorist organization. They don't care about black lives. They support the killing of more than 600K Black Babies every year! ) - - - - - - - - - **UPDATE** Our Website is currently crashed. We are working on getting it back up ASAP. Many have been messaging us asking how they can help and how to donate. For those who have asked how to donate and help financially please choose one of the following ways. 1. Donations can be made on our website (once back online ) 2. Quickpay with Zelle | Use 3. Cashapp -$atthewell 4. PayPal - use email address #JesusMatters

Posted by Bevelyn Beatty on Saturday, July 18, 2020

New York Police Department officers arrested Beatty along with her fellow activist and Long Islander Edmee Chavannes, 39.

  • Beatty and Chavannes were charged with criminal mischief, but they were released just hours later.
  • According to followup Facebook videos, Beatty and her crew went on to splash paint on two other officially sanctioned "Black Lives Matter" murals, in Harlem and Brooklyn, respectively, overnight Saturday.
  • In a video on Sunday, Beatty said, “Y’all, we did an all-nighter. Let me tell you something, yesterday was epic.”
  • She said the police had treated her and Chavannes "like princesses."

Bernard Kerik, a former New York City Police Department commissioner, used Beatty's stunt to criticize Mayor Bill de Blasio for allegedly not cracking down on unrest in the city linked to nationwide protests against police and racism.

Beatty previously gained attention in June when a video of her arguing with demonstrators in Seattle's "Capitol Hill Occupied Protest" zone went viral.

  • "These Democrats… they hate black people," she said in the clip.
Source: Monmouth

Crime wave: As violent crime has spiked in New York City, a number of black community leaders have come out against Black Lives Matter's campaign to defund law enforcement.

  • A June Monmouth poll found that 72 percent of black Americans were satisfied or very satisfied with their community police.
  • Still, a June Pew survey found that 86 percent of them supported Black Lives Matter.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has been accused of hypocrisy after telling residents to stop socializing due the coronavirus pandemic.

Now: Garcetti, a Democrat, said at a press conference on Monday that such gatherings are an unacceptable form of complacency that put lives at risk.

  • He also announced the city's second coronavirus lockdown in response to a surging caseload in California.

"Do not host a party, do not attend a gathering, don't treat this like a normal summer break," he said.

  • The clip was later posted to the mayor's Twitter and Facebook accounts as a standalone public service announcement.

Then: Social media commentators noted that Garcetti had appeared without a face mask at a Black Lives Matter protest outside LA City Hall on June 2.

Garcetti, who unsuccessfully banned fireworks displays ahead of July Fourth, had initially removed his mask to deliver a speech to the crowd.

A double standard? After seeing how opinion-makers evaluated the public health threat from Black Lives Matter protests versus from gatherings cherished by conservatives, some skeptics have concluded the standards depend on whether or not you have the right political views. 

Rep. Ilhan Omar has paid her new husband's company more than $1 million from her campaign in this election cycle.

Omar, a first-term Minnesota Democrat, last quarter funneled $228,000 to the E Street Group, a Washington, D.C.-based consulting firm run by her husband, Tim Mynett, according to Federal Election Commission records released this week.

The payments, which were mostly for digital and fundraising services, came after Omar doled out $815,000 to Mynett's company in 2019 and the first quarter of 2020.

  • Omar first hired E Street during her 2018 congressional bid.
  • His company has repeatedly been her campaign's highest-paid vendor, accounting for 44 percent of expenditures between April 1 and June 30.

Omar and Mynett announced in March they had gotten married after having denied they were having an affair.

The progressive congresswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment the payments to E Street.

Omar has also faced scrutiny over a lack of transparency about her two previous marriages, campaign finance violations and a potential violation of House ethics rules regarding the advance she received on her recently published memoir.

According to the latest FEC filings, Omar's Democratic primary opponent Antone Melton-Meaux greatly out-raised her in the second quarter, $3.2 million to $471,000.

Journalists and commentators misrepresented White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany's comments on Thursday about President Donald Trump's support for reopening U.S. schools in the fall.

What she said: Speaking at a press briefing, McEnany addressed concerns that sending children back to school could worsen the coronavirus pandemic, saying the "science should not stand in the way."

  • McEnany went on to cite research on the subject, saying, "science is on our side."
  • But her comments were widely reported out of context, creating the false impression that the White House was rejecting science.

Here are a few of the takes by leading news outlets, members of the media, politicians and pundits.

The Washington Post:

Jim Acosta, CNN chief white house correspondent:

(A followup clarifying tweet by Acosta received much less engagement.)

Joaquin Castro, failed 2020 presidential candidate:

Rep. Ted Lieu, California Democrat:

Bill Nye, science guy:

Ken White, attorney and blogger:

McEnany later set the record straight in a tweet of her own, slamming what she called a "Case Study in Media Bias."

  • "[L]eave it to the media to deceptively suggest I was making the opposite point!" she said.

For the record: In making the case for Trump's demand that U.S. schools reopen, McEnany cited data showing minimal fallout in many European countries and research finding low-risk from COVID-19 to children in North America.

  • She also appealed to the expert opinion of former Stanford Neuroradiology Chief Dr. Scott Atlas
  • "We encourage localities and states to just simply follow the science. Open our schools," McEnany said. 

James Murdoch, son of Fox Corp. owner Rupert Murdoch, and his wife have donated $1.23 million to Joe Biden’s Democratic presidential campaign. 

The couple each gave $615,000 to the Biden Victory Fund in June, according to Federal Election Commission filings. 

Kathryn Murdoch, James Murdoch’s wife, is “increasingly giving to Democrats this cycle, including $1 million to help Senate Democrats,” The Washington Post reported last month.

Murdoch left the family business last March after losing a succession race to his more conservative brother, Lachlan Murdoch.

  • Since then, he and Kathryn Murdoch have become more outspoken about their relatively liberal political views, and have publicly criticized Fox News. 
  • James Murdoch in October publicly endorsed Pete Buttigieg in the Democratic presidential primary after giving the maximum allowed contribution, $2,800, to his campaign. 
  • At the same event, he said he no longer watches Fox News, which his father has temporarily helmed.

Rupert Murdoch’s wife, Jerry Hall, also sent a $500 check to Biden’s campaign in May after previously donating $1,000 to Buttigieg in the primary.

Meanwhile, President Donald Trump and some of his supporters have questioned Fox News' right-wing bona fides.

Biden out-raised Trump in May and June, but the Republican still had a more than $50 million advantage coming into July. 

The Murdoch patriarch, who has personally contributed over $500,000 to federal political causes since 1987, has so far kept his wallet and his mouth shut in 2020. 

Murdoch actively opposed his fellow business titan's 2016 campaign before belatedly getting on the bandwagon.

MSNBC anchor Chuck Todd claimed on Wednesday that "there is no editorial point of view" on any of "MSNBC's newscasts in the daytime.”

Todd made the dubious assertion after Trump campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh suggested MSNBC and other networks have a liberal bias when it comes to their coronavirus coverage. 

  • Fellow MSNBC anchor Katy Tur attempted to rebut Murtaugh in a lengthy monologue, prompting him to sarcastically thank her for “the speech.”

The reaction: Conservative commentators, like radio host Mark Levin, ridiculed Todd's pretension to journalistic objectivity.

Progressive activist and commentator Cenk Uygher called the notion "Hilarious."

Here are a just few examples of Todd, Tur and other MSNBC newscasters appearing to display an "editorial point of view" in 2020.

1. March 3: Katy Tur is shocked that a Latino American is planning to vote for President Donald Trump.

Katy Tur evinced disbelief when a Latino man in east Los Angeles told her translator that his daughter would be voting to reelect Trump in 2020.

  • "Por que?" she exclaimed.

The translator later struggled to explain to Tur on-air why a "stubborn" minority of Latino voters "still" support Trump — ultimately concluding it's because they're conservatives.

2. May 28: Correspondent Ali Velshi reports that riots in Minneapolis are peaceful as a building burns down behind him. 

"I want to be clear on how I characterize this. This is mostly a protest. It is not generally speaking unruly, but fires have been started, and this crowd is relishing that," said Velshi during a live broadcast from the city days after the death of George Floyd in local police custody.

"There is a deep sense of grievance and complaint here, and that is the thing. That when you discount people who are doing things to public property that they shouldn't be doing, it does have to be understood that this city has got, for the last several years, an issue with police, and it's got a real sense of the deep sense of grievance of inequality."

While Velshi downplayed the destruction, a liquor store and a smoke shop went up in flames in the background.

Minutes prior, Velshi had covered rioters overrunning the Minneapolis Police Department’s Third Precinct and setting it ablaze as a crowd cheered, chanted and set off fireworks. 

  • Velshi also pointed out another nearby liquor store that rioters had burned.

MSNBC anchor Craig Melvin said earlier the same day on Twitter that the network's policy was not to use the word "riots" to describe the situation in Minneapolis. 

3. June: MSNBC starts caring about Juneteenth once it becomes an anti-Trump talking point.

Juneteenth was mentioned an impressive 365 times on MSNBC in June 2020, according to an analysis by The Washington Free Beacon.

Many of the references concerned the outcry over Trump having scheduled a political rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on June 19, the date of the holiday celebrating the emancipation of the last U.S. slaves.

  • Other mentions of Juneteenth on MSNBC related to the president's decision to delay the rally in deference to those who deemed the timing racially insensitive.

But MSNBC very rarely covered Juneteenth before it was championed by Trump's critics.

According to the Beacon, the word was uttered a total of just 30 times on MSNBC's airwaves during the previous eight Junes.

4. July 7: Medical correspondent John Fair issues a major correction about his reporting on his battle with COVID-19. 

Earlier this month, after documenting his personal battle with COVID-19 on MSNBC over the course of several weeks, Dr. Fair announced on Twitter that he never had the disease after all.

  • He said he had tested negative for the antibodies and that the illness that hospitalized him in May "remains an undiagnosed mystery."

Fair had broadcast from a New Orleans hospital bed on May 14, saying he suspected he contracted the coronavirus through his eyes on a crowded plane.

  • He updated MSNBC viewers on his condition on May 18 and again on June 14, when he told "Meet the Press" it was the "worst I've ever felt."
  • "I did not expect if I got COVID-19 that I would get that ill," he said.

5. July 9: Todd objectively reports that Trump "is trying to live in a pair of alternate realities."

Just last week, Todd delivered what he apparently felt was an impartial overview of Trump's handling of the coronavirus pandemic and his fight to prevent Congress from subpoenaing his financial records.

"This president is trying to live in a pair of alternate realities: one where he enjoys absolute immunity as president, and another where he has all but defeated the virus," Todd said on "Meet the Press."

Two days later, on July 9, MSNBC announced its popular morning show host Joy Reid would be promoted to anchor of a new nightly show on the network.

  • In its report on the move, The New York Times noted that Reid "rose to television fame as a sharp critic of President Trump and commentator on liberal politics and race."


President Donald Trump announced on Wednesday that he would be replacing his long-time campaign manager, Brad Parscale — and many conservatives welcomed the news.

Parscale out: Taking over for Parscale is Bill Stepien, who previously served as White House political director and Trump’s deputy campaign manager.

  • Parscale will retain a senior adviser role in the administration.

A needed change? According to a Politico report last month, citing multiple people close to the president, Trump has privately conceded what the majority of polls reflect: He’s on course to lose to Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee.

  • Also on Wednesday, two national polls indicated Biden continues to lead Trump by a substantial margin.
  • Some observers have cautioned against reading too deeply into poll results, pointing to Trump’s 2016 upset victory over Hillary Clinton.
  • A statistical model that correctly predicted five of the six most recent presidential elections has given Trump a 91 percent chance of winning reelection in 2020.

The reaction: Trump's campaign shakeup was widely cheered by his supporters on social media.

  • Sentiment had been growing in MAGA world that the current strategy wasn't serving the president well and a reset was needed.

The Spectator USA's Amber Athey reported that Trump's allies have expressed cautious optimism about Stepien's ability to get the campaign back to winning.

  • Conservative activists told Athey they are "aghast with some of the campaign’s messaging" thus far.
  • But insiders said Stepien excels "on broader messaging and campaign strategy," an area where they feel Parscale falls short.
  • The union of Parscale's digital savvy with Stepien's messaging expertise and links to the party establishment is perceived as a "step in the right direction," Athey reported.

Mainstream media outlets and some on the populist right, though, predicted little would really change because Jared Kushner remained the person shaping Trump’s campaign strategy.

  • Stepien has been described as an “ally” to Kushner, who hired both him and Parscale.

"Brad took the bullet for Jared,” an anonymous source close to the White House told NBC News.

"Jared Kushner was the campaign manager yesterday, is the campaign manager today, and will be the campaign manager tomorrow," the source said.

Activist and Trump supporter Mike Cernovich tweeted on Wednesday that Parscale had fallen “on his sword” as "Jared’s scapegoat."

  • Like many populists, Cernovich has seen Kushner as a nefarious liberal force in the White House who has kept Trump from more fully delivering on his "America First" agenda.

Who is Bill Stepien? Stepien, 42, is a veteran political operative who managed both of Republican Chris Christie’s successful gubernatorial campaigns in blue-leaning New Jersey, which has had mostly Democratic governors since the 1990s.

  • Christie fired Stepien from his deputy chief of staff role in 2014 following the “Bridgegate” scandal.
  • Stepien also worked for George W. Bush’s 2004 re-election campaign and as the national field director for late Sen. John McCain, an Arizona Republican, in 2008.


The culture war over Goya continued on Tuesday after Twitter said it mistakenly censored a photo containing the company’s products.

A spokesperson for the company told Fox Business Twitter had flagged at least one post, but did so “in error” and eventually corrected the mistake.

The offending images: The Media Research Center on Monday reported that two images posted on July 11 by the same Twitter user, Frank Rizzo, were marked as “potentially sensitive” content.

One of the posts depicted a can of Goya-brand black beans wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat.

Some conservatives interpreted Twitter’s actions as a deliberate shot at them and at Goya, which has faced backlash from liberals after its CEO last week voiced support for President Donald Trump.

Goycott: Democrats, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and failed 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Julián Castro, have pushed a boycott of the Latino-owned company over the issue.

Meanwhile, Trump, his daughter and adviser Ivanka Trump and other prominent conservatives have promoted Goya products.


A post shared by President Donald J. Trump (@realdonaldtrump) on

Big tech censorship: The president in May threatened the business model of many internet platforms after Twitter started placing warning labels and fact checks on his tweets.

Like many on the right, Trump has alleged that powerful tech companies are actively suppressing conservative viewpoints while claiming to adhere to ideologically neutral user policies.

Burger King announced on Tuesday it was launching an initiative to fight climate change by cutting back on its beef cows’ flatulence — an issue that famously concerns Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

The fast-food giant unveiled the plan on social media with a music video in which a yodeling child cowboy explains how feeding cows lemongrass can reduce livestock’s sizable contribution to greenhouse gas emissions.

In a follow-up video that Burger King posted to Twitter on Wednesday, company officials and scientists further explained the science behind their “solution.”

The reaction: Burger King’s announcement was widely celebrated on Twitter as an example of “corporate responsibility.”

  • The tweet was liked more than 16,000 times, and the cowboy video racked up 2.2 million views. 

But conservative commentators were less impressed by Burger King’s participation in “Woke Capitalism.”

“Humanity is doomed,” tweeted Sen. Ted Cruz, a Texas Republican. 

Tim Young called the ad campaign “a complete waste of money on marketing for some stupid virtue signaling.”

Others recalled how an initial outline of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal proposal in 2019 named “farting cows” as an obstacle to reaching “net-zero emissions” in 10 years. 

  • The New York Democrat later clarified that her plans to overhaul the economy for social justice wouldn't “get rid of agriculture” or “force everybody to go vegan."
  • But she said Americans should cut back on hamburgers.


President Donald Trump is appointing Sebastian Gorka, his former deputy assistant, to a role in his administration, the White House announced Tuesday.

Gorka’s back: The Dragon of Budapest, as he’s been dubbed by awestruck political opponents, will serve a four-year term as a member of the National Security Education Board, the office of the press secretary said in a press release.

Gorka, a British-born Hungarian-American military intelligence analyst, left his adviser position in the White House in 2017 after John Kelly was appointed chief of staff and began ousting various non-establishment figures in Trump’s orbit.

Fear and trembling: The recent appointment of Gorka, who’s boasted of his ability to reduce liberals to “little puddles on the floor” at the mere sound of his voice, sparked consternation among his critics, some of whom have labelled him a “far-right nativist.”

“The Dragon of Budapest rises again,” warned one leftist Twitter user.

Qassim Rashid, a Democratic candidate for Virginia’s 1st Congressional District, hand-wrung over the announcement that Gorka would be coming back to the Trump administration.

Gorka, for his part, appeared unfazed by critics and on Wednesday posted a photo with White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany to celebrate his return to the West Wing.

Gorka takes on all comers: Liberals have made Gorka a target for parody over what they perceive as a groveling devotion to the president wedded to a flair for the melodramatic.

A video shared to Twitter last year by Gorka, in which he said “the Kraken has been unleashed” after Trump expanded Attorney General Bill Barr’s authority to investigate the origins of the Russia investigation, was singled out for ridicule.

But Gorka has remained steadfast in the face of media criticism and has been more than willing to punch back.

He's been engaged in a long-running feud with Mediaite journalist Caleb Ecarma, whom he reportedly told to "f--- off" during the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2018.

Daily Beast investigative reporter Lachlan Markay has claimed that Gorka accused him of having a cocaine habit.

Gorka appeared to nearly come to blows with CNN political analyst Brian Karem during a White House event in July 2019.

The president weighed in following the scuffle, tweeting, “@SebGorka Wins Big, No Contest!”

Fox News host Tucker Carlson on Monday night addressed bigoted remarks made by a former writer for “Tucker Carlson Tonight” and announced he’d be taking a “long-planned” vacation from the show.

The video: Carlson condemned the comments posted anonymously to a public internet forum by Blake Neff, who served as head writer for the show until he resigned on Friday after a CNN investigation.

“What Blake wrote anonymously was wrong. We don’t endorse those words. They have no connection to the show,” Carlson said. “It is wrong to attack people for qualities they cannot control. In this country, we judge people for what they do, not for how they were born.”

  • But Carlson also slammed people celebrating Neff’s disgrace, calling them “ghouls now beating their chests in triumph at the destruction of a young man.”
  • Before closing out his show, the top-rated cable news host said he’d be taking a break from the program to go trout fishing for several days.

What did Neff say? Fox News executives on Saturday issued a memo to employees condemning the “horrendous and deeply offensive racist, sexist and homophobic comments” Neff made to the public forum AutoAdmit over a period of several years.

  • CNN Business reported that, as recently as last week, Neff replied to one AutoAdmit poster’s query asking, “Would u let a JET BLACK congo n****er do lasik eye surgery on u for 50% off?” by commenting, “I wouldn’t get LASIK from an Asian for free, so no.”
  • In another post last month, Neff commented, "Black doods staying inside playing Call of Duty is probably one of the biggest factors keeping crime down."
  • According to Carlson, Neff was “horrified” and “ashamed” by the unearthing of his comments.


A Michigan congresswoman said she’s been “literally begging” fellow Democrats not to believe polling that suggests President Donald Trump is poised for a big loss in November. 

Elissa Slotkin, a moderate first-term Democrat who flipped a longtime Republican district that went for Trump in 2016, told Politico in a magazine feature published on Friday that she “doesn’t believe” the polls.

“I think they’re inaccurate,” she said. 

Slotkin, a former CIA intelligence analyst and Iraq War veteran, said her campaign pollster once told her the Trump vote was “fundamentally undercounted” ahead of the last presidential election.

The experts “screwed up in 2016,” she said, and, “I believe that same thing is happening right now.”

“I don’t for one minute think this [presidential] race is safe in anyone’s column,” she said. “I’ve been literally begging people to ignore those polls.”

The polls are even worse for Trump than they were in 2016.

  • Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee, has consistently polled nearly 10 points ahead of the president in national polls and was recently found to have big leads in six swing states.
  • Trump and his team, while publicly defiant, have privately accepted that he’s losing, according to reports.

But Slotnick’s fears are backed by at least one prominent expert, and his forecasting model has an impressive track record.  

  • Helmut Norpoth, a professor of political science at Stony Brook University, has given Trump a 91 percent chance of winning a second term.

The model — which relies largely on primary performance, not on opinion polls — famously called Trump’s upset victory in 2016.

  • It has correctly predicted five of the past six elections, and applied retrospectively, would have been right on 25 of the 27 elections since the primary era began in 1912, Norpoth has said. 

“My forecast is unconditional and final,” he told We'll Do It Live. “The polls don’t faze me.”

A former Green Beret has developed a fire-proof American flag designed to thwart attempted burning by protesters.

Retired Staff Sgt. Kyle Daniels, 35, an Iraq War veteran based in Denver, co-founded the Firebrand Flag Company after seven years in Army Special Operations.

In a July 2 interview with KFTK-FM radio, Daniels said he “fought for people’s right to” protest, but that “doesn’t mean I like seeing flags being burned.”

  • So, I decided to take burning out of the equation and make a flag that couldn’t be treated that way.”
  • “I got sick to my stomach watching the American flag being burned as a means of protest. That flag means so much more to me now after seeing the sacrifice of my brothers and sisters in arms made to defend what it represents,” he told an interviewer in 2017.

Here’s what it can look like when a protester loses a fight with an American flag:

At a June 20 rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, President Donald Trump suggested legislating jail time for flag burners.

  • "We talk about freedom of speech ... but that’s desecration,” he said.

Daniels said on KFTK that the biggest challenge so far with the rollout of the fire-proof American flag has been meeting the demand.

An Alexandria, Virginia man may be holding up the Washington Redskins' attempt to change their name to something more racially sensitive.

The Washington Post, citing sources close to the NFL team, reported Monday’s announcement of a name change did not include a new mascot because trademark issues had derailed the process.

Philip Martin McCaulay, 61, a government risk-management expert, has filed trademark claims for 44 potential Washington team names.

In a 2015 interview, McCaulay, a longtime actuary at the U.S. Department of Energy, told the D.C. Fox News affiliate he could "really see into the future on this issue.”

  • He predicted the Redskins would change their name to the Warriors or the Americans within 10 years.
  • The Washington Warriors is currently said to be the team’s top choice. 

Both names, the Warrior and the Americans, are on McCaulay’s reported list of trademark claims along with: the Red Wolves, the Tribe, the Redtails, the Monuments, the Veterans, the Freedom Fighters, the War Hogs, the Red-Tailed Hawks and the Potomacs.

CBS Sports writer Will Brinson on Monday praised McCaulay’s ingenuity, saying he had "trademarked every single possible new Redskins nickname."

McCaulay said to the Richmond Times-Dispatch on Saturday that he started collecting trademark claims on the team names in 2014 as a “hobby.”

  • He did not immediately respond to We'll Do It Live for a request for comment.

What they did say: “In light of recent events around our country and feedback from our community, the Washington Redskins are announcing the team will undergo a thorough review of the team’s name,” the Redskins announced on Monday. “This review formalizes the initial discussions the team has been having with the league in recent weeks.” Owner Dan

Team owner Dan Snyder added: “This process allows the team to take into account not only the proud tradition and history of the franchise but also input from the alumni, the organization, sponsors, the National Football League and the local community it is proud to represent on and off the field.”

Critics on Sunday attacked Scott Adams, the creator of the "Dilbert" comic strip and a prominent supporter of President Donald Trump, for marrying his long-time girlfriend.

The photos: On Sunday, Adams, 63, shared photos to social media of his wedding a day earlier to Kristina Basham, a 32-year-old model. The reaction: While there were a number of well-wishers in the comments, others showed up just take shots at the age difference between Basham and Adams.

Luke O’Neil, a liberal journalist known for his “edgy” swipes at conservatives, made a father-daughter joke that earned a retort from Adams. Some suggested Basham was in it for the money. But Adams' defenders suggested the critics were simply envious. Winning Bigly: Adams, a target of liberal ire ever since he predicted Trump’s 2016 election victory, is reportedly worth north of $75 million.

A post shared by Kristina Basham (@kristinabasham) on

Basham herself is said to have a $3 million in assets.
  • In addition to her modeling work, the new Mrs. Adams has a masters degree in economics and history, 4 million followers on Instagram and plays multiple musical instruments.
A statistical model that correctly predicted five of the six most recent presidential elections has given Donald Trump a 91 percent chance of winning reelection in 2020.

Helmut Norpoth, a professor of political science at Stony Brook University, said his forecast is "unconditional and final."

"The polls don't faze me," he told We'll Do It Live in an email exchange.

Norpoth famously called Trump’s upset victory in 2016 when almost all other modelers and pollsters had Hillary Clinton as an overwhelming favorite.
  • Since 1996, he has only erred in one election: Republican George W. Bush’s narrow defeat of incumbent Democratic Vice President Al Gore.
  • The model relies largely on primary performance, not on opinion polls.
Applied retrospectively back to 1912, when major party primaries were first introduced, Norpoth has said the model would have correctly guessed 25 of the 27 elections.
  • The only other miss would have been in 1960, when Democrat John F. Kennedy edged out another incumbent vice president, Republican Richard Nixon.
As in 2016, Trump, the Republican, is almost universally favored to lose this year.
  • Democratic challenger Joe Biden, a former vice president, has consistently polled nearly 10 points ahead of Trump in national polls and was recently found to have big leads in six swing states.
Keep America Great?: Trump and his campaign have publicly accused pollsters of again underestimating his appeal.
  • But the president and his advisers have privately accepted that he’s losing, according to reports.
  • Even Fox News host Tucker Carlson has warned Trump is at risk of defeat.
Still, Norpoth has defiantly stood by his prediction of a second Trump term, which he first announced on March 2. 

"The terrain of presidential contests is littered with nominees who saw a poll lead in the spring turn to dust in the fall," Norpoth told Mediate on Wednesday. "The list is long and discouraging for early frontrunners.”Fox News host Tucker Carlson broke with Donald Trump on the Alabama Senate race, praising candidate Jeff Sessions as one “of the very few politicians I respect.”

The video: Sessions appeared on "Tucker Carlson Tonight" last week to discuss the uphill battle against his GOP primary opponent, former college football coach Tommy Tuberville, who has Trump's coveted endorsement in the race. 
Carlson talked up Sessions for his record on an “America First” issue set – support for law and order, strict immigration enforcement and a opposition to “pointless” wars – and said Tuberville is “not as conservative.”
  • “It just seems like if we say we believe these things, then we should support politicians, the very rare politicians who stand up for them and you are one of those,” Carlson said.
  • It’s not the first time the top-rated news host has boosted Sessions' Senate bid – the ex-Trump attorney general appeared on the show in November to announce the launch of his campaign. 
The race: A University of Auburn poll released on Thursday, two days after Sessions' appearance with Tucker, showed Tuberville leading by 16 points ahead of Tuesday’s Republican primary runoff in Alabama.
  • Sessions is running to take back the Senate seat he held for four consecutive terms before he gave it up for what he described as his "dream job" in the Trump administration.
  • Trump fired Sessions immediately after the mid-term elections in November 2018. 
The president has repeatedly attacked Sessions for recusing himself from the Russia investigation in 2017 and said that is why he is urging voters to vote for Tuberville instead. 
  • In a recent Twitter spat with Sessions, Trump called him a “disaster” as attorney general.
3 years ago, after Jeff Sessions recused himself, the Fraudulent Mueller Scam began. Alabama, do not trust Jeff Sessions. He let our Country down. That’s why I endorsed Coach Tommy Tuberville (@TTuberville), the true supporter of our #MAGA agenda! Sessions, meanwhile, has attempted to persuade Alabamans that he, not Tuberville, is the candidate who will stay true to the agenda that helped Trump get elected in 2016.
  • "Tommy Tuberville, at age 65, Tucker, had never given any contribution to any candidate. He never even said he was a Republican. We don't know this man. He is a empty suit, a nubbin ... He doesn't have the convictions and the courage to represent us,” Sessions told Carlson.

The reaction: Some prominent Trump supporters, especially those associated with the right’s America First faction, have endorsed Sessions.

Former Republican congressman Jim DeMint, who was once described in Salon as “perhaps the most conservative member of the Senate,” joined Carlson in calling for Sessions’ election to Congress. Twitter pundit Bill Mitchell, who rarely falls out of lockstep with the president. Activist Michelle Malkin has also campaigned for Sessions, praising his “stalwart America First” record in an April interview and saying that “he is not beholden to special interests of any kind.”

Still, a significant mass of Trump supporters have not forgiven Sessions for his recusal, which they perceive as a betrayal. Zoom out: The right’s internal debate over Sessions highlights a split in the Trump-era GOP between hardliners who sometimes grumble that the president has failed to live up to his campaign promises and loyalists who argue that Trump’s instincts should be given a long leash. Some in the former camp have criticized Trump’s appearance on Friday on Telemundo, during which he said DACA recipients would be given a “road to citizenship” as part of an upcoming executive order on immigration. A New Jersey man was so enraged by a Trump flag flying outside a nearby house that he for months drove several miles before 5 a.m. to dump trash in the yard, the police said.

Richard Keller, 58, of Franklin Borough, has been accused of disposing his garbage at the Sparta Township home on numerous occasions over the past four months, reported last week.

Keller was arrested on July 1 on charges that included criminal mischief and harassment.

“I think you know why,” he allegedly said when police asked him to explain his behavior. “Because of that flag.”

Cameras installed by the unnamed homeowner caught a driver tossing garbage bags out of the car window while driving past the house at around 5 a.m. on June 1, according to the police.
  • The police said they also caught Keller in the act.
“Mr. Keller had such disdain for President Trump that it enraged him that someone was displaying a Trump flag,” Sparta Police Lt. John Lamon said in a statement. “He decided that he would keep throwing garbage on their driveway to cause them inconvenience.”

Keller did not seem to know the Trump supporter.
  • He would have needed to drive at least 4 miles to reach the neighboring town.
  • Neither police nor Keller immediately responded to requests for comment.
It wouldn’t be the first time MAGA-triggered rage has turned neighbor against neighbor.

A New Hampshire woman last month stole and purportedly“recycled” a local lawn sign depicting a Black Lives Matter protester hugging a person in a MAGA hat.
  • The woman, who is white, was unmoved to discover the law sign was a print of a painting by a black artist.
In a more serious incident in February, a Jacksonville, Florida man drove his van into a Republican voter registration tent in the city.

On July 4, a Trump-supporting couple painted over an officially sanctioned Black Lives Matter mural in their Bay Area town.
  • They were charged with hate crimes.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi at a press conference on Thursday effectively gave anti-racism protesters permission to continue illegally tearing down historic statues. 

Asked by a reporter about the toppling of a Christopher Columbus statue in her native Baltimore on July 4, Pelosi, a California Democrat, said the act of vandalism does not "diminish my pride in my Italian-American heritage."
  • "I don't care that much about statues," she added, referring to a nationwide spate of monument destruction in the name of fighting racism. 
  • When pressed on whether statue removal shouldn't be conducted through a formal democratic process rather than by "a mob in the middle of the night," Pelosi said: "People will do what they do."
Pelosi also reiterated her support for removing statues of Confederate "traitors" from the Capitol.
  • Last month, she took down portraits of Confederate former speakers that have long hung in the building. 
The reaction: Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican, who on Sunday called for Baltimore officials to "regain control of their own streets," slammed Pelosi's comments on Thursday.

"It's disappointing that Speaker Pelosi has lost touch with the Baltimore community that her family served," he said on Twitter, alluding to her family's historic role in governing the city.
  Baltimore Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young, A Democrat, on Thursday warned those who toppled the Columbus monument near the city's Little Italy neighborhood that “if we identify them, they will be brought to justice.”Federal health officials are considering using race to help determine who gets access to future coronavirus vaccines.

Some members of a key CDC committee have advocated putting black and Latino people ahead of others in line for the first doses of any effective vaccines, The New York Times reported on Thursday.

“I think it’s very important that the groups get into a high tier,” Dr. Sharon Frey, a professor of infectious diseases at St. Louis University, said at a recent meeting of the committee, citing health disparities between races.

“Maybe not an entire group, but certainly to address people who are living in the urban areas in these crowded conditions."

Dr. Dayna Bowen Matthew, the dean of the George Washington University Law School, who is serving as a CDC consultant on the issue, agreed.

“It’s racial inequality — inequality in housing, inequality in employment, inequality in access to health care — that produced the underlying diseases,” she told the Times.

“That’s wrong. And it’s that inequality that requires us to prioritize by race and ethnicity.”

But other experts have pushed back on the idea of race-based rationing, questioning the scientific and legal basis and worrying about a public relations nightmare.

“Giving it to one race initially and not another race, I’m not sure how that would be perceived by the public, how that would affect how vaccines are viewed as a trusted public health measure,” said Claire Hannan, executive director of the Association of Immunization Managers, a group represented on the committee.

Harald Schmidt, an assistant professor of medical ethics at the University of Pennsylvania, told We'll Do It Live by email that he agrees with the need "to promote social justice and reduce the effects of structural racism."
  • But he said explicitly race-based vaccine prioritization standards may be unworkable for "legal and practical reasons.”
  • "Safe and effective vaccines must not be allocated in a ‘colorblind’ way," he said.
Effective coronavirus vaccines could be on the market this winter, but may not be widely available to Americans for many more months.

Systemic anti-racism?: CDC officials would not be the first to bring anti-racism concerns to bear in responding to the coronavirus pandemic in the United States.
  • More than 1,200 public health figures have signed a letter supporting protests against systemic racism despite restrictions on public gatherings.
  • A former director of the CDC tweeted last month that the risk from COVID-19 was "tiny" compared to the threat of perpetuating racism.
  • New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who like other Democrats has adjusted his health policies to accommodate Black Lives Matter protesters, announced on CNN on Thursday that a ban on large public gatherings would not apply to them.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Thursday declared that the left’s suppression of free speech is mostly made-up by entitled and powerful people.

Tweeting into an internet storm over “cancel culture,” Ocasio-Cortez informed those who think they have been censured for their opinions they are probably “just being challenged, held accountable, or unliked.”
  According to Ocasio-Cortez, a New York Democrat, the real victims of “cancel culture” are left-wing activists — and her.
  The trigger: Ocasio-Cortez was responding to an open letter published on Tuesday in Harper’s Magazine that warned against a spreading culture of “censoriousness.”
  • The mini-manifesto was signed by 150 mostly left-leaning luminaries, including J.K. Rowling, Gloria Steinem, Malcolm Gladwell and Noam Chomsky.
“The free exchange of information and ideas, the lifeblood of a liberal society, is daily becoming more constricted,” the letter said, citing “an intolerance of opposing views, a vogue for public shaming and ostracism and the tendency to dissolve complex policy issues in a blinding moral certainty.”

Many other members of the social justice left — where “cancel culture” has long been downplayed or denied — joined Ocasio-Cortez in condemning the letter and its signatories as privileged and out of touch. Emily VanDerWerff, a transgender journalist, tweeted a letter to her editors at Vox complaining their colleague Matthew Ygelsias had made her feel “less safe” at work by signing the letter, which she said featured “anti-trans” signatories and “dog whistles.”
  Ygelsias, a reformed “cancel culture” denier, declined to comment other than voicing support for VanDerWerff.

While many of the signatories expressed pride in the letter, at least two disavowed their support amid the outcry.

  • Other prominent liberals boasted they had declined to sign in the first place.
  • More than 160 journalists and academics signed a counter-letter published on Friday criticizing their peers, “many of them white, wealthy, and endowed with massive platforms,” for failing to recognize those who have been “silenced for generations.”

Case in point: Writer Thomas Chatterton Williams, who spearheaded the Harper’s letter, said the reaction proved his point.

“The very few people distancing themselves from the letter have been pressured and shamed to do so, not because of the arguments in the text, but because of the presence of certain other signatories, which I think is all the more reason the document is necessary,” he told TheWrap on Thursday.

Chatterton Williams, who was raised black but has rejected race, said he had sought “as wide and diverse a range of signatories as we could feasibly get.”

  • Contrary to the claims by Ocasio-Cortez and other critics, many transgender, female and non-white people singed the letter.
  • And two of the signatories, Salman Rushie and Garry Kasparov, were persecuted by authoritarian regimes because of their ideas.

Conservative commentators generally agreed the letter was a good if flawed corrective to left-wing intolerance and the backlash was bad.

Seth Mandel, the editor-in-chief of the Washington Examiner, declared Ocasio-Cortez’s Twitter thread “the worst take” of all.

Actor James Woods was characteristically brutal in a reply on Friday.

Amid racial upheaval across the United States in recent weeks, several dozen people have been fired over often-dubious allegations of racism or racial insensitivity. 

Also on Friday, the CEO of Latino-owned food company Goya appeared on “Fox & Friends” and decried a boycott pushed by Ocasio-Cortez and other Democrats because he praised President Donald Trump during a White House visit the previous day.

  • Robert Unanue called the boycott “suppression of speech.”
A federal judge ruled last week that attorneys for one of Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged sex-trafficking victims must “destroy” documents believed to contain the names of the convicted sex offender’s business associates.

The ruling: Senior U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska determined Virginia Giuffre’s lawyers had improperly obtained the files in question and ordered they “be destroyed,” Newsweek reported.
  • The highly sought-after information, gathered in a 2015 civil suit filed by Giuffre, allegedly contains the names of people who conducted business with Epstein.
  • Preska’s ruling means that Giuffre’s legal team cannot possess the documents, but does not mean all copies must be wiped out.
  • The judge also asked Giuffre for proof the materials had been destroyed.
Dershowitz: Preksa’s ruling came on the heels of a request by Alan Dershowitz, an attorney and former member of President Donald Trump's legal defense team, to review the files from the Giuffre lawsuit.
  • Preska denied the former Harvard Law professor’s request, saying his petition to view documents “with over a thousand docket entries" amounted to a “carpet bombing.”
  • Giuffre has claimed that Epstein forced her to have sex with Dershowitz, a charge which prompted the prominent attorney to file a defamation suit against her last year.
  • Dershowitz, meanwhile, slammed Preska’s decision, telling Newsweek, “I oppose the destruction of evidence that may contain smoking gun proof that my false accuser made up her story.”
Epstein’s crimes: Epstein, a wealthy and well-connected financier, pleaded not guilty last year to a range of crimes involving alleged sex trafficking and abuse of girls as young as 14.
  • Giuffre has also said Prince Andrew and other powerful men had sex with her at Epstein's direction when she was underage. 
  • alleged that Epstein forced her to have sex with powerful and high-profile men, including Prince Andrew, while she was underage.
  • Esptein was found dead in his Manhattan jail cell in August.
  • Epstein’s death was officially ruled a suicide and medical examiners determined that he hung himself.
His death was officially ruled a suicide, but widely believed conspiracy theories hold that he was murdered to prevent him from testifying against powerful associates. 

Epstein's alleged fixer, Ghislaine Maxwell, was arrested by the FBI last week in New Hampshire on charges of luring underage girls to be abused by him.A viral video shows a former wide receiver and retired U.S. Marine’s dramatic rescue of a 3-year-old boy thrown from the balcony of a burning building, but he says the real hero is the child’s mother.

The video: Bystander footage of the incident, which occurred on July 3, captures Philip Blanks as he makes a diving catch to save the child, who was tossed from the third story of a Phoenix apartment.

The hero: Blanks, 28, told CBS affiliate WMMT that he raced over to the burning complex after hearing screams while working out with a friend next door.
  • "People were screaming, 'There are kids up there,' and to throw the kids down," he said.
The heroine: Another video of the incident shows a woman, believed to be Rachel Long, throwing her son from the fiery balcony in a last ditch effort to save his life.
  • Long’s family told the station that even though she was on fire, she went back into the building to save her other child, an 8-year-old girl.
  • But unbeknownst to Long, the girl had already been rescued by a good Samaritan; Long did not survive the blaze.
  • "She's the real hero in this story, not me," Blanks said. "She had the strength and the courage to get them outside – that's powerful. To be in that type of situation and still care about life, not yours, that's very strong of her. She's a warrior. She was a warrior."
A man who recently ran for county commissioner in Oregon has confessed to writing a racist letter to himself, but said he "never meant to mislead” the public.

Jonathan Lopez, who was a runner-up in Umatilla County's May Democratic primary, reported on Facebook last month that he had received a threatening letter that used anti-black and anti-Mexican slurs.
  • Lopez shared a photo of the typo-filled missive, which said he was “not welcome” in the county and could be killed and used a fertilizer for crops because of his Mexican heritage.
  • “Go back to your worthless country … Theres no room for people like you here!” the text said. 
  • “America is for the God fearing, pro gun, pro life humans who refuse to be controlled by the government.”
  • The letter was addressed to “Mr lopez” and signed, “Sincerely, America.”
In the Facebook post, Lopez, a pentacostal pastor and entrepreneur in Hermiston, Oregon, said he had no “resentment” for whoever wrote the letter and called for unity.
  • He also expressed pride in his Mexican grandparents and claimed to have served in the U.S. Coast Guard.
  • The post has since been deleted. 
After Lopez’s claims made local news, Hermiston police opened an investigation.

Police Chief Jason Edminston said in an email to the East Oregonian newspaper on Monday that Lopez had formally acknowledged that he "fabricated" the letter and the district attorney was considering a misdemeanor charge of initiating a false report. 
  • Edminston said Lopez's deception had strained his department's limited resources and "needlessly" addded to "the incredible tension that exists in our nation today."
  • "As a lifelong resident of this diverse community, I’m disgusted someone would try to carelessly advance their personal ambitions at the risk of others,” he said. 
  • Edminston also said Lopez had lied about doing Coast Guard service in a campaign document, a federal crime under the Stolen Valor Act of 2013.
Lopez confirmed his confession to the East Oregonian, and said he had simply wanted to start a conversation about racism in Umatilla County.
  • “I never meant to file a report, it just kind of spiraled out,” said Lopez, a member of Hermiston’s Hispanic Advisory Committee.
Whoops: A number of false-alarm hate crimes have made national headlines in recent weeks amid heightened sensitivity to racism in American culture. 
  • Last month, NASCAR mistook a garage door pull for a noose initially said to be targeting black driver Bubba Wallace. 
  • Such cases, as well as what have appeared to be outright hoaxes, like black and gay actor Jussie Smollett's alleged attack, have led some commentators to identify a trend of fake hate crimes in the Trump era. 
  • According to experts, hate crimes are a difficult category to track, and hate crime hoaxes even more so, due to the self-reported nature of most claims.
Conservatives on social media have accused Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of hypocrisy after viral photos emerged showing the New York Democrat removing her mask and blowing bubbles toward a young girl. 

The photo: The images, which were taken last month and widely disseminated online this week, captured Ocasio-Cortez kneeling on the street to play with the child in Queens, a New York City borough that falls partly in her congressional district. 
  Ocasio-Cortez has been a vocal proponent of mask-wearing as a CDC-recommended means of preventing transmission of the novel coronavirus. 
  • In April, she slammed Vice President Mike Pence for not wearing a mask while he was visiting patients at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.
  • The first-term congresswoman also distributed masks to protesters at a Black Lives Matter rally in Queens last month.

The reaction: Some Ocasio-Cortez fans defended her gesture and claimed the soap would have neutralized any coronavirus she had exhaled toward the girl in the photos (though that reasoning ignored the blowing and the time duration thought to be required to kill the virus).

Many on the right, meanwhile, joined commentator Mia Faith in deriding what they said was Ocasio-Cortez's recklessness and stupidity.

  • Some deemed the first-term congresswoman's soapy emanations “COVID bubbles.”
Others pointed to a purported disconnect between Ocasio-Cortez’s pro-mask rhetoric and her actions.
  A double standard? After seeing how opinion-makers evaluated the public health threat from Black Lives Matter protests versus from gatherings cherished by conservatives, skeptics have concluded the standards depend on whether or not you have the right political views. CNN anchor Don Lemon agreed with then-Fox News host Bill O’Reilly about the causes of what he called “black on black crime” in a resurfaced clip from 2013.

Lemon, who is black, sounded very different seven years ago than he has when speaking about race and crime in America in recent years. 

Then: In the CNN segment, which was resurfaced by conservative commentators on social media on Wednesday, Lemon played a clip of O’Reilly saying “violence and chaos in black precincts” is the result of “the disintegration of the African American family” and “personal decision[s]” made by many “young black men.”

Lemon said O’Reilly was “right” but “doesn’t go far enough: Addressing “black people,” the anchor suggested five ways they could “fix the problem”:
  • “Pull up your pants.”
  • "Stop saying the “N-word.”
  • “Respect where you live,” and stop littering.
  • “Finish school,” and stop telling kids who attend class and “speak proper English” they’re "acting white.”
  • “Just because you can have a baby, it doesn’t mean you should”: Absent fathers are an “express train right to prison. And the cycle continues.”
Lemon, echoing then-President Barack Obama, went on to urge “black folks” to “pay close attention to the hip-hop and rap culture that many of you embrace, a culture that glorifies everything I just mentioned, thug and reprehensible behavior, a culture that is making a lot of people rich, just not you. And it’s not going to.” Tucker Carlson played part of Lemon’s 2013 clip on his top-rated Fox News show on Wednesday night.
  • “Wow, Can you imagine what would happen if Don Lemon or his body-building buddy over there or any of these hair hats said something like that on ‘CNN Tonight’ or MSNBC?” Carlson said, apparently singling out another CNN anchor Chris Cuomo.
  • “That would be their last live broadcast ever. They would be fired immediately. You can’t express views like that, and so they don’t. Tells you a lot.”

To be fair, Lemon did receive some backlash at the time. 

Now: Amid nationwide protests and social upheaval over U.S. racism, Lemon has lately argued on "CNN Tonight" that black Americans are systematically oppressed and has rejected the kind of personal responsibility rhetoric he once espoused.

On the show on Monday, Lemon chastised actor Terry Crews for his criticism of the Black Lives Matter movement as “extreme” and divisive.”

“It’s got to be all black lives matter,” Crews said, adding that “black people need to hold other black people accountable.”

But Lemon disagreed: “Black Lives Matter is about police brutality and about criminal justice. It’s not about what happens in communities when it comes to crime. People who live near each other, black people, kill each other. Same as whites … it happens in every single neighborhood.”

"CNN Tonight" did not respond to a request for comment. 

Lemon is one of many prominent liberals who have changed their tune on racial issues as cultural norms have rapidly shifted, coating dozens of people in media and other industries their jobs.
  • Sen. Tammy Duckworth, an Illinois Democrat and vice presidential contender, on Sunday decried Mount Rushmore as land “stolen from Native Americans” just a few years after she hailed the national memorial as a symbol of patriotism.
The band formerly known as Lady Antebellum is suing a black singer who goes by Lady A after adopting the same stage name as her in a stated effort to fight racism. 

Lady A, a country music group, announced the name change last month amid nationwide anti-racism protests and social upheaval.
  • The band, made up of Hillary Scott, Charles Kelley and Dave Haywood, said they had realized “Antebellum” invokes of pre-Civil War slavery and makes people feel “unsafe, unseen or undervalued.”
“We’ve watched and listened more than ever these last few weeks, and our hearts have been stirred with conviction, our eyes opened wide to the injustices, inequality and biases Black women and men have always faced and continue to face everyday,” they said in an Instagram post.

Dear Fans,⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣ As a band, we have strived for our music to be a refuge…inclusive of all. We’ve watched and listened more than ever these last few weeks, and our hearts have been stirred with conviction, our eyes opened wide to the injustices, inequality and biases Black women and men have always faced and continue to face everyday. Now, blindspots we didn’t even know existed have been revealed.⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣ After much personal reflection, band discussion, prayer and many honest conversations with some of our closest Black friends and colleagues, we have decided to drop the word “antebellum” from our name and move forward as Lady A, the nickname our fans gave us almost from the start.⁣⁣⁣ ⁣⁣⁣ When we set out together almost 14 years ago, we named our band after the southern “antebellum” style home where we took our first photos. As musicians, it reminded us of all the music born in the south that influenced us…Southern Rock, Blues, R&B, Gospel and of course Country. But we are regretful and embarrassed to say that we did not take into account the associations that weigh down this word referring to the period of history before The Civil War, which includes slavery. We are deeply sorry for the hurt this has caused and for anyone who has felt unsafe, unseen or unvalued. Causing pain was never our hearts’ intention, but it doesn’t change the fact that indeed, it did just that. So today, we speak up and make a change. We hope you will dig in and join us.⁣⁣⁣ ⁣ We feel like we have been Awakened, but this is just one step. There are countless more that need to be taken. We want to do better. We are committed to examining our individual and collective impact and making the necessary changes to practice antiracism. We will continue to educate ourselves, have hard conversations and search the parts of our hearts that need pruning—to grow into better humans, better neighbors. Our next outward step will be a donation to the Equal Justice Initiative through LadyAID. Our prayer is that if we lead by example…with humility, love, empathy and action…we can be better allies to those suffering from spoken and unspoken injustices, while influencing our children & generations to come.

A post shared by Lady A (@ladya) on

It was widely reported at the time that a Seattle-based blues, soul, funk and gospel singer named Anita White had been going by Lady A for more than 20 years.
  • White demanded $10 million for the name and told American Songwriter, “It shouldn't have taken George Floyd to die for them to realize that their name had a slave reference to it. It's an opportunity for them to pretend they're not racist.”
Lady A, the band, on Wednesday filed a lawsuit against White — rejecting her demand for payment and citing its trademark of the name back in 2010.

“When we learned that Ms. White had also been performing under the name Lady A, we had heartfelt discussions with her about how we can all come together and make something special and beautiful out of this moment,” said the band in a statement. “We never even entertained the idea that she shouldn’t also be able to use the name Lady A, and never will — today’s action doesn’t change that,” according to The Associated Press.

The reaction: White responded on Twitter with biblical defiance. 
  She was backed by commentators on the left and right alike.

Blaze TV host of The Chad Prather summed up the situation, and the prevailing sentiment. 
  CNN anchor Don Lemon advocated on his show on Tuesday for former President Barack Obama’s bust to be added to Mount Rushmore.

Lemon mocked conservatives for opposing Black Lives Matter and the toppling of historic statues.
  • According to Lemon, the right “as a whole” thinks: “It’s our country. This is the country that we built.”
But Lemon said black people helped build the country while being enslaved and discriminated against and yet “are not on statues” or on Mount Rushmore.
  • “If they are going to put someone on Mount Rushmore, considering the history of the country, the first black president should be front and center,” he said.

Lemon has previously defended BLM and demeaned Trump supporters as racist and poorly educated.

Monumental controversy: CNN, along with other news outlets, liberal activists and Democrats, have lately deemed Mount Rushmore “problematic.”
  • They note two of the presidents featured on the national memorial — George Washington and Thomas Jefferson — owned slaves, and the site in the Black Hills of South Dakota was taken from the Lakota Indians.
  • Dozens of historic statues have also been toppled amid nationwide anti-racism protests.
Fox News host Tucker Carlson on Tuesday escalated his harsh criticism of Sen. Tammy Duckworth, an Illinois Democrat who lost both her legs during combat in Iraq.

​​​​​​Then: Carlson initially slammed Duckworth, a retired lieutenant colonel, on "Tucker Carlson Tonight" on Monday, suggesting she hated America. 
  • He took issue with her appearance on CNN over the weekend, when she said Americans should be open to arguments for the removal of statues of George Washington.
On CNN, Duckworth also criticized a speech delivered by President Donald Trump at Mount Rushmore on Friday in which he denounced the tearing down of historic statues, stressed the richness of America's heritage and defended the founders.
  • Duckworth said Mount Rushmore stood on land "stolen from Native Americans" and claimed that Trump in his speech “spent all his time talking about dead traitors," though he did not actually mention any Confederates. 
  • "It's long been considered out of bounds to question a person's patriotism," Carlson said, after playing a clip of Duckworth's comments on CNN. "It's a very strong charge and we try not to ever make it. But in the face of all this, the conclusion can't be avoided: These people actually hate America."
Now: Carlson said on the latest episode of his show that Duckworth's Army service should not make her immune to censure and that she was a “moron” and “coward” for not coming on his show.
  • “You’re not supposed to criticize Tammy Duckworth in any way because she once served in the military. Most people just ignore her,” he said.
  • The top-rated prime-time host also said that Duckworth viewed Washington as “just some old white guy who needs to be erased.”
  • “Let’s tear down his statues, rename our capital city Sharpton or Mandela and let the revolution continue!” Carlson said sarcastically, referring to black rights activist Al Sharpton and anti-apartheid revolutionary and former South Africa President Nelson Mandela.

David French, a senior editor at The Dispatch, tweeted on Tuesday that there was “far more objective evidence that Tammy Duckworth loves this country than there is that Tucker Carlson does.”

"You know what's unpatriotic? Calling your opponents unpatriotic," said CNN senior political analyst John Avlon on-air on Wednesday.

Vice President Duckworth? Duckworth has reportedly made the short list to be presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s running mate.

  • Some have predicted Carlson’s attacks have boosted her odds of getting the job.
Two Trump supporters were charged with hate crimes on Tuesday for painting over a Black Lives Matter mural in California’s Bay Area on July 4, officials said.

Nicole Claudia Anderson, 42, covered up the mural in downtown Martinez, and David Richard Nelson, 53, directly aided in her alleged criminal conduct, the Contra Costa District Attorney’s Office said.
  • In addition to the hate crime charges, Anderson and Nelson each face a charge of vandalism under $400 and possession of tools to commit vandalism or graffiti.
  • If convicted, the couple face up to a year in jail, the district attorney’s office said.
“The mural completed last weekend was a peaceful and powerful way to communicate the importance of Black lives in Contra Costa County and the country,” said Diana Becton, the district attorney.

The city quickly restored the authorized mural, which featured “Black Lives Matter” scrawled on the street in front of a courthouse in yellow block letters.
  • Similar murals have been painted in cities across the country, including Washington, New York, Dallas and Los Angeles.
Onlookers filmed Anderson and Nelson, both residents of Martinez, during the incident, and footage went viral online.
A number of people heckled and confronted the couple, with one woman accusing them of being colonizers who “aren’t from here.”

Nelson, who was wearing Trump campaign gear, at one point shouted, “Keep America Great Again.”
  • “We’re sick of this narrative: The narrative of police brutality, the narrative of oppression, the narrative of racism,” he also said. “It’s a lie from the media, the liberal left.”
  • Keep this” in New York, said Anderson, who wore a red patriotic T-shirt as she dabbed black paint on the mural. “This is not happening in my town.”
Overnight on Tuesday, somebody painted "White Lives Matter" on a street in Martinez. 
  • The city quickly painted over the graffiti. 
  • No arrests have been made. 
Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged fixer has a secret stash of sex tapes that could take down many powerful people, according to her former friend.

Ghislaine Maxwell, a former girlfriend and longtime associate Epstein, was arrested by the FBI in New Hampshire last Thursday on charges of luring underage girls so the late disgraced financier could sexually abuse them.

The ex-friend, in an anonymous interview published on Monday by Daily Mail, predicted Maxwell would try to leverage the tapes with federal authorities as a “get out of jail card.”

"Ghislaine has always been as cunning as they come. She wasn't going to be with Epstein all those years and not have some insurance," the source said. "The secret stash of sex tapes I believe Ghislaine has squirreled away could end up being her get out of jail card if the authorities are willing to trade. She has copies of everything Epstein had. They could implicate some twisted movers and shakers."

"If Ghislaine goes down, she's going to take the whole damn lot of them with her," the ex-friend added.

Rumors of dirt: A New York Times journalist revealed last August that Epstein in 2018 told him he had dirt on an “astonishing number” of celebrities and powerful people.
  • A friend told Vanity Fair in an article published the same day that Maxwell said she and Epstein filmed the guests on his private "Pedophile Island" for use "as an insurance policy, as blackmail.”
The pair of reports came shortly after Epstein was found dead in his Manhattan jail cell while awaiting trial on charges of sex trafficking girls as young as 14.
Epstein entertained the likes of former President Bill Clinton, Prince Andrew of the British royal family and President Donald Trump at his homes and on his private jet, known as the Lolita Express.
  • According to a book published last month, Clinton had an affair with Maxwell, a British socialite, amid his numerous trips and visits with Epstein.
  • Epstein reportedly kept kept a bizarre painting of Bill Clinton in drag on prominent display in his New York townhouse.
  • Clinton's spokesman has called the allegation of an affair with Maxwell a "lie," and all three men have denied any wrongdoing in their relations with Epstein. 
CNN viewers were left stunned after a person, who appeared to be a homeless woman, wandered into a live CNN broadcast from Santa Monica, California, on Monday morning. 

The video: As correspondent Sara Snider was reporting on a surge in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations in the state and nationwide, the unidentified woman stopped in the background.
  • The woman put down a garbage bag she was carrying, removed her pants and squatted on the beach. 
  • It can be assumed she proceded to relieve herself.
The reactions: A number of Americans watching "CNN Newsroom" at home expressed shock and horror on social media. 
A Native American activist who appeared on MSNBC on Saturday to discuss what he said was racist police violence praised protesters for looting coporate retailers, which he accused of oppressing "our people."

The video: Gyasi Ross, an attorney and a member of the Blackfeet Nation, said on "AM Joy" that the likes of Target and Walmart basically had it coming. 
  • "But thank goodness for the looters, man. You have a place called Target, you have a store called Target, you’re going to be a target," he said.
  • Ross also said corporate retailers had “contributed to the oppression of our people” and that there was “over-policing of brown and black bodies within retail spaces.”
The case for looting: Some commentators sympathetic to racial justice protesters’ cause have justified riots and vandalism and even claimed they are legitimate forms of activism.
  • Last month, a 28-year-old progressive data analyst was fired for tweeting research by a leading black political scientist that suggests nonviolent protest is more effective than the violent kind. 
A photo of a newborn baby holding an apparently unsuccessful birth control device has gone viral.

Tran Viet Huong, the head of obstetrics at Hai Phong International Hospital in Vietnam, said the baby grabbed his mother's intrauterine device after it came out during his birth last Monday.

Huong shared photos of the baby to his department's Facebook page, and the post garnered several thousand comments and shares and earned tabloid coverage.
  • The mother and her child were not identified. 

"After delivery, I thought him holding the device was interesting, so I took a picture. I never thought it would receive so much attention," Phuong told Vietnam’s VNExpress newspaper.

IUDs prevent conception by releasing copper into the womb, and are supposed to be the most reliable form of contraception.

via Gfycat

Religious organizations in the United States have fiercely opposed an Affordable Care Act requirement that employers provide free birth control coverage, citing the constitutional right to religious freedom.
  • The Supreme Court was set to rule sometime this month on whether an exemption for houses of worship should be extended to religious nonprofits.
Jimmy John's announced on Monday the firing of all employees involved in a now-viral video that appeared to show workers staging a mock hanging with a noose made of dough.

In the clip, which was taken at one of the sandwich franchise’s locations in Woodstock, Georgia, a young man in an apron and Jimmy John's T-shirt puts the noose around his neck as three of his apparent coworkers carry out the faux execution. 
  • One of the giggling coworkers intones: "You have disrespected our store, and now you are set to die."
  • The 16-second video was uploaded to Snapchat with a “Happy 4th of July” filter, and later spread to other social media platforms.
  • Versions of the footage have been viewed more than 2 million times on Twitter.
The reaction: The employees, at least three of whom appeared to be white, made no discernable reference to race in the video — but a number of Twitter activists and news outlets asserted they were being racist.  Jimmy Johns replied to several of the videos circulating on Twitter to say that all four unidentified employees involved in the incident had been "quickly investigated" and “terminated” by the franchise ownership for their "unacceptable" behavior. 
  • “We have zero tolerance for racism or discrimination in any form,” the company said. 
Who's getting canceled: Amid an ongoing campaign to purge racism from American culture, several dozen people, from unknown workers to industry leaders, have in recent weeks lost their jobs over allegations of racism that have in some cases been highly dubious. 
  • Innocent ropes have in more than one headline-making instance been mistaken for racist symbols of lynching and caused national outcry. 
During a Zoom meeting of the New York City Community Education Council for Manhattan District 2 last week, a board member expressed outrage at a colleague for holding a non-white friend’s nephew on his lap.

The video: Robin Broshi, a public education advocate, who is white, is seen in a now-viral video of the meeting chastising Thomas Wrocklage, a fellow progressive who is also white, and telling him to read “White Fragility,” the anti-racist handbook that has skyrocketed up best-seller lists amid an ascendant racial justice movement.
  • "It hurts people when they see a white man bouncing a brown baby on their lap,” Broshi says in the roughly minute-long clip, which has been viewed more than half a million times.
  • After Wrocklage asks how holding his friend’s nephew on his lap is racist, Broshi instructs him to, “Read a book. Read ‘White Fragility.’”
  • Early on in the video, Broshi denies that she is a “social justice warrior,” a pejorative term for hysterical adherents to progressive ideology.
The Great Awokening: In the wake of George Floyd’s death, racial justice sentiment and Black Lives Matter protests have swept the nation in what many liberals see as a long overdue cultural reckoning.
  • These campaigns have had tangible consequences, especially in the media, entertainment and sports industries.
  • Confederate flags have been banned, alleged violators of progressive orthodoxy have lost their jobs and purportedly racially insensitive scenes have been scrubbed from TV shows.
Conservatives and skeptics of progressivism have united in forcefully pushing back against the overreaches of so-called “cancel culture,” at times comparing the moment to Maoist China.Some liberals on social media celebrated Charlie Daniels' death on Monday, citing the iconic country singer’s conservative politics. 

Daniels, perhaps best known for his 1979 smash hit “The Devil Went Down to Georgia,” died of a hemorrhagic stroke on Monday morning at the age of 83.

The reaction: Many Twitter users, including a several with blue check-mark verified status, took the occasion of Daniels’ death to slam him for his political views.

Just hours after the Country Music Hall of Fame member’s death was announced, Justin Hendrix, the executive director of NYC Media Lab and a former executive at The Economist Group, remembered Daniels as “a racist, a stalwart confederate and a Trump apologist.”
  Others mocked Daniels' criticism of Democrats and support for President Donald Trump.  Julius Sharpe, a writer for “Family Guy" and other TV shows, sarcastically lamented that Daniels had not lived to see Trump's "racist sports tweets," an apparent reference to the president's Twitter criticism of NASCAR for its handling of the Bubba Wallace noose controversy. 

About Benghazi: A number of liberals got posthumously upset about one of Daniels' final tweets before his death, a reference to the 2012 Benghazi attack, for which he faulted then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the Obama administration in general.  For some, Daniels' oft-stated concern about what Clinton eventually admitted was a mishandled operation was part of a larger problem with elderly conservatives. 

Charlie Daniels's last moments on earth were spent furiously tweeting outraged about Benghazi and abortion, which is how a significant number of elderly people whose brains have been rotted on right wing media are going to go out


— Climate Doomer (@MenshevikM) July 6, 2020

"Artist, Patriot, Legend": Most Twitter users, though, expressed sadness at Daniels' death and admiration for his talent and love of country. Resurfaced CNN footage of Bernie Sanders making a presidential campaign stop at Mount Rushmore in 2016 has gone viral.

Donald Trump’s 2020 reelection campaign unearthed the segment on social media after CNN joined other news outlets and liberal activists in suggesting the president’s Fourth of July address at the national memorial was racially problematic. 
  • The clip, in which Sanders and CNN waxed patriotic about the American founding, has been viewed more than 4 million times on Twitter. 
Then: “This is our country at its very best,” Sanders said, as he gazed in apparent awe at the busts of Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Teddy Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln carved into the Black Hills of South Dakota.

Sanders, an Independent Vermont senator, was echoed by a CNN correspondent Jeff Zeleny, who remarked on the “majesty” of Mount Rushmore, which he called “a monument to four great American presidents.” Sanders went on to lose his bid for the Democratic nomination in 2016 and failed again in 2020. 

Zach Parkinson, the Trump campaign’s deputy communications director, noted that CNN correspondents also gushed over Mount Rushmore when Barack Obama visited during his successful 2008 presidential campaign.
  • Jim Acosta at the time called it a “fitting campaign stop for a presidential contender looking to make history,” according to a transcript.
Now: Ahead of Trump’s Friday night speech in front of Mount Rushmore, CNN correspondent Leyla Santiago said the president would be “standing in front of a monument to two slaves owners and on land wrestled away from Native Americans.” The reaction: “Double standard, anyone?” tweeted Sen. Ted Cruz, a Texas Republican in response to the Sanders clip.

"You have to be fricken kidding me!!!" said Donald Trump Jr. in a tweet. 

The Intercept’s Glenn Greenwald joked on Twitter that “both CNN and Bernie Sanders ought to repent for this praise" based on the media's “new moral stricture” that “Mount Rushmore is a shameful monument to racism and white supremacy.”
  • Donald Trump retweeted Greenwald's commentary. 
CNN is not alone in its rapid evolution on the moral status of Mount Rushmore.
  • Sen. Tammy Duckworth, an Illinois Democrat and 2020 vice presidential hopeful, in an appearance on the network on Sunday, abandoned her past enthusiasm for the monument to bash Trump for what she called a divisive speech on “ground stolen from Native Americans.”
  • She also said, "we should listen to the argument’ for removing statues of George Washington and other American founders, as anti-racism protesters nationwide have unilaterally toppled memorials to historic American figures. 
Sanders, a vocal defender of Indigenous land rights, has yet to comment on the controversy.Freedom-loving Americans in Los Angeles County ignored state and municipal government fireworks bans and put on a magnificent Fourth of July show, as seen in aerial footage.

The video: Local news station KTLA broadcast a live drone video of thousands of private fireworks exploding in the skies of Los Angeles on Saturday night and early Sunday morning. Too much freedom?: The particulate from the fireworks rendered the air hazardous in parts of Los Angeles County and Orange County on Sunday afternoon, according to the South Coast Air Quality Management District.
  • Philip Fine, deputy executive officer for planning and rules for the SCAQMD, said it was "one of our worst years for July 4 and July 5 fireworks episodes."
  • The Los Angeles Fire Department reported a nearly 25 percent increase in calls for service in the city on Saturday.
  • The Los Angeles County Fire Department reported almost a 40 percent increase in calls.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti at a press conference on Wednesday forcefully echoed a June 29 county order that prohibited fireworks displays in the name of stemming renewed spread of the novel coronavirus. 
  • "Gatherings of people you do not live with are not allowed," Garcetti said.
At a press conference on Thursday, California Gov. Gavin Newsom also said local governments should cancel their fireworks displays amid the pandemic. 

Many California municipalities altered their planned Independence Day celebrations to accommodate the state and local restrictions.
  • Napa replaced its real-life fireworks show with virtual display as well as an online pet costume competition.
  • But the city of Lancaster in Los Angeles County refused to alter its holiday plans other than by shooting the fireworks higher in the sky to increase their visibility.
A 2020 Democratic vice presidential hopeful on Sunday slammed President Donald Trump for speaking at Mount Rushmore, saying the site was “stolen from Native Americans.”

But Sen. Tammy Duckworth, an Illinois Democrat, was until recently such a fan of the national memorial that she wanted to wear it as a symbol of her patriotism, Washington Examiner Jerry Dunleavy noted.

Then: Duckworth tweeted on July 4, 2015 that she planned to dress up as Mount Rushmore for the next Fourth of July.
  Duckworth was at the time a congresswoman for Illinois, known for combining a progressive policy platform with unapologetic patriotism.

Now: The now-senator, who is reportedly a top contender for the Democratic vice presidential nomination, appeared on CNN's "State of the Union" and criticized Trump for his July Fourth celebration at Mount Rushmore.
  • Duckworth dodged when asked to comment on anti-racism protesters who have torn down statues of American founders, like George Washington, and pivoted back to bashing Trump.
  • "Remember that the president at Mt. Rushmore was standing on ground that was stolen from Native Americans who had actually been given that land during a treaty," she said.
Pressed by host Dana Bash on whether presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden needs to choose a black woman as his running mate, Duckworth did not offer a definitive response.
  • Biden “needs to make his own mind and will make his own mind,” she said.
At least four black women are said to be on Biden' all-female shortlist for vice presidential nominee.
  • Duckworth is Thai American.
  • She did not respond to request for comment.
Former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick said on Saturday that July Fourth is a “celebration of white supremacy,” a stark contrast to his comments about Independence Day in 2011, when Barack Obama was president.

Then: July 4, 2011. Kaepernick was spending his rookie NFL season as the San Franciso 49ers' backup quarterback at the time.  Now: July 4, 2020. Last July Fourth, Kaepernick reportedly got Nike, which he gets paid lucractively to represent, to cancel an Independence Day sneaker featuring the "Betsy Ross flag" over racism concerns. 
  • In 2017, he celebrated "Unthanksgiving" with Native American activists, saying, "The US government has stolen over 1.5 billion acres of land from Indigenous people."
During nationwide anti-racism protests in recent weeks, Kaepernick has supported the demonstrators, calling them "freedom fighters" and promising to pay some of their legal fees.  From 49er to activist: Kaepernick began his transition from NFL football player to professional activist in 2016 by kneeling during the national anthem at games to protest racism and police violence toward black Americans. 

Kaepernick's journey to wokeness has paralleled the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement, which emerged in the Obama era and has only accelerated during Trump’s presidency.
  • Many conservatives have said Obama “excacerbated racism” by being too deferential to activists who villified police and sought to reduce America to its legacy of racial discrimination.
  • Peter Beinart, a left-wing political commentator, has argued that Obama ushered in a more progressive future, and that the country will only get more liberal. 
  • Conservatives and liberals alike have attributed the left's continued radicalization on race in part to fierce opposition to Trump. 
The president has supported peaceful anti-racism protests, but he has denounced street violence and activism that he sees as desecrating American symbols, including Kaepernick-inspired anthem protests. President Donald Trump on Monday condemned the toppling of a statue of Frederick Douglass a day earlier in Rochester, New York. 

The statue was dislodged from its pedestal and moved from Maplewood Park to the edge of the nearby Genesee River Gorge, according to police. 
  • Officers are investigating; no arrests have been made. 
Trump in a tweet blamed "anarchists" for the act of vandalism, linking it to a nationwide spate of statue-topplings in the name of fighting America's legacy of racism. 
  Carvin Eison, a project director at Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Commemorations, told the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle the statue was too damaged to repair and would be replaced with a new likeness of Douglass.

“Is this some type of retaliation because of the national fever over confederate monuments right now? Very disappointing, it’s beyond disappointing,” Eison said to WROC, a local CBS affiliate. 

At least 15 statues of Douglass have been erected in Rochester, where the famous abolitionist and orator lived for about 30 years and helped shuttle slaves to freedom along the Underground Railroad.
  • Two college students vandalized another one of the statues in 2018, claiming they had been “extremely drunk.”
As Trump predicted back in 2017, activists have moved on from destroying statues of Confederate leaders to those of American founders, like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson.
  • Some have even called for the elimination of Mount Rushmore, where Trump on Saturday held a defiant Fourth of July celebration. 
The Chicago Police Department celebrated July Fourth by touting its confiscation of several firearms, including the recovery of a gun emblazoned with President Donald Trump’s image.

"Outstanding work": Chicago authorities on Saturday tweeted out photos of the weapons they seized in the Englewood district of the gun violence-plagued city.
  The seizure of the Trump gun, a Glock 19, came during a traffic stop on Friday night, according to the Chicago Tribune.
  • Four people were in the vehicle, but none of them were in possession of the weapon at the time, police said.
  • Ahead of the holiday weekend, Police Superintendent David Brown said law enforcement would undertake “strategic missions” to confiscate illegal guns.
  • Mayor Lori Lightfoot blamed "too many guns on the streets" and coronavirus lockdowns for an uptick in violence around Chicago.
Chicago "carnage": Trump has been a frequent critic of the high rate of gun violence in Democrat-run Chicago and recently penned an open letter slamming Lightfoot and Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker over their handling of the issue.
  At least 77 people were shot and 14 of them died in Chicago over the weekend, ABC affiliate WLS reported.
  • A child has been shot in Chicago each of the past three weekends, and nine children have died of gunshot wounds in the city since June 20.
Anti-racism activists are coming for the U.S. national anthem, and one prominent liberal journalist has suggested a “beautiful” replacement. 

Kevin Powell said in an interview last week with Yahoo News that the anthem is "problematic" because it was written by a slaveholder and originally contained a possibly racist verse. 

Powell, a black activist and Washington Post Magazine contributor, proposed America’s new official song be John’s Lennon's secular globalist ballad “Imagine.”
  • According to Powell, the song is "the most beautiful, unifying, all-people, all-backgrounds-together kind of song you could have."
“The Star Spangled Banner” has come under increasing fire from the left amid a national reckoning with racism in American history and culture.

The reaction: Some conservatives, including former Fox News anchor Megn Kelly, saw Powell’s comments as the latest overreach by emboldened activists.
Others suggested “Imagine” was a bizarre choice for a national anthem given that Lennon was British and the song pines for a world with “no countries,” “no possessions” “and no religion too.”
But Daily Wire editor-in-chief Ben Shapiro said it was “the national anthem we deserve. Because we are a fallen people and fall further from God's grace each day. We must be punished with this final indignity.”
Lennon, Beatles' frontman, once described “Imagine" as "virtually the Communist Manifesto.” 
  • Hollywood celebrities in March performed a version of the song in a widely mocked attempt to rally Americans during the coronavirus pandemic. 
A cultural revolution: In the Yahoo News interview, Powell echoed other critics who have noted Francis Scott Key, the author of “The Star Spangled Banner,” owned slaves and held some racist views.
  • In a verse whose meaning has long been debated by historians, the song referred to "the hireling and slave” fleeing and dying during the American Revolutionary War. 
Key and the anthem, which he wrote as a poem in 1814 and which was adopted by the United States in 1931, have already been “cancelled” in some places
  • Protesters tore down a statue of Key in San Francisco on June 19 because of his slave ownership.
Athletes and others have been kneeling during the national anthem to protest racial injustice in the United States. 

Other American symbols have also been the targets of anti-racism fervor. 

As President Donald Trump predicted back in 2017, statue-toppling activists outraged by America’s legacy of racism have moved on from Confederate leaders to American founders, like George Washington,Thomas Jefferson and even Mount Rushmore. A Florida sheriff effectively dared rioters to come to his county, saying he was prepared to deputize every legal gun owner as law enforcement if necessary.

In a PSA posted to his office’s Facebook page on Tuesday, Clay County Sheriff Darryl Daniels said: "We’ll be waiting on you and give you everything you want: all the publicity, all the pain, all the glamour and glory for all that five minutes we’ll give you."

Daniels, who was wearing a cowboy hat and flanked by 18 uniformed deputies, took issue with the “mainstream media” narrative that “law enforcement is bad.”

As dramatic background music played, he faulted the media and Black Lives Matter for godlessly “disrupting what we know to be our quality of life in this country.”
  • “In Clay County, we have a great quality of life,” he said. “We have a great relationship with our community.”
  • "Lawlessness? “That's unacceptable in Clay County,” added Daniels, who has overseen a 6.7 percent drop in crime in his three years as sheriff.
Addressing would-be violent protesters, Daniels warned: “If we can’t handle you, I’ll exercise the power and authority as the sheriff, and I’ll make special deputies of every lawful gun owner in the county, and I’ll deputize them to this one purpose: to stand in the gap between lawlessness and civility.”
Some liberals decried Daniels’ comments as dangerous and ill-considered, and others accused him of using his office to campaign for reelection ahead of the August Republcian primary.

But the reaction was very different on the right, where patience with weeks of anti-racism protests and riots across the country protests has worn thin. In local TV interview last month, Daniels expressed understanding of outrage over the May 25 death of George Floyd, a fellow black man, in Minneapolis police custody.
  • But referring to violence by protesters, he said: "Two wrongs don't make a right."
The state attorney whose office dropped charges against Jussie Smollett in his high-profile hate crime hoax case announced on Tuesday she would do the same for hundreds of Chicago-area protesters.

Kim Foxx told local news outlets her Cook County office will begin next week dropping misdemeanor charges against as many as 817 defendants arrested during sometimes-violent protests against police and racism.
  • Prosecutors will be instructed to review disorderly conduct, public demonstration and unlawful gathering charges with "presumption of dismissal,” she said.
  • Resisting arrest, mob action and aggravated battery to a police officer, she said, will be dismissed in the absence of incriminating body cam or dash cam footage.
Foxx, a Democrat, said her leniency was motivated by a lack of resources and cited a 10-percent budget cut to her office announced earlier in the day.
  • She used the same justification for her controversial policy of not bringing felony charges against shoplifters caught with less than $1,000 worth of stolen goods.
“The question it comes down to is, is it a good use of our time and resources?” she said to the Chicago Sun-Times. “No, it’s not.”

Last March, Foxx dropped felony disorderly conduct charges against Smollett, a black and openly gay actor, over his alleged faking of a bigoted attack against himself.
  • The move drew widespread condemnation, including from Chicago officials and police.
  • Smollett was again indicted for allegedly lying to police in February 2020 as part of an investigation of Foxx's alleged mishandling of the case. 
  • The actor has maintained his innocence.
Foxx, while admitting she did not handle the Smollett prosecution well, has decried the new charges and defended her record as a progressive prosecutor.

She has often sought to portray herself as an answer to President Donald Trump. 
  • When protests against police erupted in late May, Foxx called Trump’s threat to crackdown on rioters “hateful and racist rhetoric.”
  • In a June 10 op-ed for the Sun-Times, she voiced support for the protests and said racism in America is “intentional and structural.”
  • Foxx later announced she was ending her office’s tradition of cutting prosecutors’ necktimes after they won their first case, saying it might be based on racism and lynching.
The City of Albuquerque removed a likeness of Jeffrey Epstein from in front of the old city hall on Wednesday after residents reported seeing a “statue” of the convicted sex-offender.

What is that? Earlier in the week, concerned citizens sent photos of the bronze-painted mannequin to ABC-affiliate KOAT, the TV station reported.
  • “He had a home in New Mexico, Zorro Ranch. He was also a rapist who died in prison,” read a plaque below the mannequin.
  • The plaque also listed numerous court cases involving Epstein and his alleged victims.
  • Authorities are looking into how the mannequin appeared on city property – Mayor Tim Keller told KOAT, “There's a lot of mystery, this doesn't even make any sense."
Epstein’s crimes: Epstein, a wealthy and enigmatic financier, pleaded not guilty last year to a range of crimes involving the alleged sex trafficking and abuse of underage girls.
  • The well-connected socialite was found dead in his Manhattan jail cell in August.
  • Epstein’s death was officially ruled a suicide and medical examiners determined that he hung himself.
However,  many see Epstein’s death as shrouded in mystery, and it has spawned numerous conspiracy theories on both left and right alleging that he was murdered.

On Thursday, Epstein's alleged fixer, Ghislaine Maxwell, was arrested by the FBI in New Hampshire on charges of luring underage girls to be abused by him. A Louisiana man seen swimming in a Bass Pro Shop aquarium in a viral video has been arrested and charged by police.

The video: Footage shared widely on social media last week shows Kevin Wise, 26, discarding his coronavirus face mask to plunge into the 13,000-gallon fish tank in a Bossier City Bass Pro Shop.

The crime: Wise was arrested by citation and charged with simple criminal damage to property, a misdemeanor, NBC affiliate KTAL reported.

  • Authorities received a complaint on Friday after Bass Pro Shop learned there would be costs associated with cleaning the tank.
  • Wise was eventually released on a summons to appear in court.
  • Wise told CBS affiliate KSAL that he jumped into the tank as part of a stunt to celebrate getting 2,000 likes on TikTok.
The reaction: Social media commenters were mostly amused by Wise’s actions.

Some couldn’t help but politicize the moment. Others saw in Wise an exemplar of the free-wheeling, rebellious American character. In the culture war over liberty versus safety during the resurgent coronavirus pandemic, Bass Pro Shop has defended what it says is its Second Amendment right to stay open and sell firearms.
  • Apparently, though, the company believes there is such a thing as too much freedom. 
A socialist Seattle City Council member appeared to blame capitalism for the death of a 16-year-old killed in a drive-by shooting at the Capitol Hill Occupied Protest on Monday.

The tweet: Kshama Sawant tweeted later in the day that the teen’s “tragic killing” highlighted “capitalism’s brutality & endemic violence.” Sawant, a member of the Trotskyist Socialist Alternative political party, has been a vocal supporter of the CHOP and radical solutions to address police brutality and racial inequality following the death of George Floyd.
  • She said the CHOP victim’s death illuminated the need to “Defund the Police by at least 50 percent,” tax Amazon to fund housing and jobs and release arrested protesters without charging them.
  • The third-term city council member also suggested police might have played a role in the drive-by shooting death, although she stopped short of accusing officers of killing the victim.
CHOP chaos: The CHOP, formerly known as the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone, was established June 8 as an occupation protest free of government and police control.
  • Since that time, multiple shootings have occurred in the police-free zone, leaving several wounded and two dead.
  • The latest CHOP shooting claimed the life of one 16-year-old and left a 14-year-old severely injured.
  • Seattle police cleared out the zone on Wednesday morning, arresting approximately a dozen protesters who refused to leave.
Idiot Sawant: Jenny Durkham, Seattle’s Democrat mayor who has broadly been supportive of protesters and their racial justice cause, has clashed with Sawant repeatedly over the latter’s radical tactics.
  • Durkham sent a letter to the Seattle City Council on Tuesday, asking it to investigate Sawant’s actions and possibly expel her.
  • In the letter, the mayor accused Sawant of allowing hundreds of protesters into City Hall after hours and leading a protest to Durkham’s home.
  • Durkham also accused Sawant of encouraging protesters to occupy Seattle’s East Precinct despite the city’s attempts to deescalate the movement.
Lauren Boebert, a restaurateur and gun rights activist who has expressed support for the QAnon conspiracy theory, took down fifth-term Republican congressman Rep. Scott Tipton in Colorado’s GOP primary election on Tuesday.

Shock result: Boebert handily defeated Tipton by 9 points, The New York Times reported.
  • Despite President Donald Trump having endorsed Tipton early on, Boebert ran a campaign in which she questioned her opponent's pro-Trump bonafides.
  • The border wall supporter slammed Tipton for his record on immigration and for co-sponsoring legislation that would allocate coronavirus aid spending to local governments.
  • Boebert has also earned grassroots support among Trump’s base for her stance on coronavirus lockdown measures – she recently defied state coronavirus restrictions by refusing to turn away patrons from Shooter’s Grill, her gun-themed restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, where servers carry openly.
The reaction: Among her admirers, Boebert has gained a reputation as an uncompromising fighter willing to denounce political adversaries in the bluntest terms.

Liberals, however, reacted with horror after she clinched the primary on Tuesday night. Raw Story breaking news reporter Matthew Chapman said Boebert was “completely f---king insane.”

“She owns a BBQ restaurant full of guns that was fined for defying COVID orders. She has also spoken admirably of QAnon and the Branch Davidians,” he tweeted on Tuesday.

Charlie Pierce, a sportswriter and liberal pundit, accused Boebert of being “15 bulbs short of a chandelier.” The new GOP? Boebert’s victory will likely be viewed as another indication of the ideological and tactical shifts within the GOP, whose establishment in recent years has grappled with stiff challenges from populist factions.
  • The National Republican Congressional Committee rejected the Democratic Congressional Committee’s calls to disavow Boebert.
  • “We’ll get back to you when Cheri Bustos and the DCCC disavow dangerous conspiracy theorists like Nancy Pelosi and Adam Schiff who have pushed without evidence their wild-eyed claims that the president of the United States of America is actually a secret Russian double agent under control of the Kremlin,” NRCC spokesman Bob Salera said in a statement.
Amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, a 16-year-old actress revealed on Monday that her attempt to take precautionary measures while getting her ears pierced did not go according to plan.

Sissy Sheridan, host of the Nickelodeon web series “DIY With Me,” shared a video to TikTok documenting the painful mishap she had when she visited an Icing by Claire’s store in Virginia on Sunday.

moral of the story. don’t get your ears pierced during a pandemic

♬ original sound - itssissysheridan
Sheridan said she’d worn two masks just to be safe.
  • "I’m wearing two masks because one covered more than the other. The blue one didn’t cover as much, and I knew the woman [doing the piercing] would be pretty close to me," she told Buzzfeed News.
  • Unfortunately, the Icing by Claire’s employee ended up piercing one of the masks she was wearing into her ear, according to Sheridan.
Lockdown fatigue: While many, especially conservatives, have expressed frustration with coronavirus lockdowns that have shuttered businesses and generally upended life in America, Sheridan views her experience as a cautionary tale about opening up businesses too soon.
  • "In Virginia, the masks are mandatory. It’s ignorant to ask someone to take their mask off for something so minor as an ear piercing," she told Buzzfeed News, adding, "Maybe they should stop with piercings right now."
Aunt Jemima, the syrup and pancake mix brand, announced on Wednesday that it will change its name and image following a social media furor. 

One video, posted to TikTok on Tuesday by musician who goes by KIRBY, has been credited with elevating the campaign to "cancel" Aunt Jemima. 
  • "Black lives matter, people, even over breakfast," KIRBY says while dumping out a box of the offending pancake mix. 
  • The 37-second clip has been viewed 150,000 times. 
The 130-year-old Aunt Jemima icon was originally dressed as a minstrel character.
  • Nancy Green, a former slave, was hired to officially portray the character from 1890 until her death in 1923. 
Quaker Oats, a PepsiCo subsidiary that owns Aunt Jemima, has updated her appearance several times over the years in an effort to be less offensive. 
  • But in a statement announcing the overhaul of the brand, Quaker acknowledged the changes had not been enough. 
““We recognize Aunt Jemima’s origins are based on a racial stereotype," said Kristin Kroepfl, vice president and chief marketing officer of Quaker Foods North America.

"As we work to make progress toward racial equality through several initiatives, we also must take a hard look at our portfolio of brands and ensure they reflect our values and meet our consumers’ expectations."

Aunt Jemima, in likeness and then name, will begin disappearing from packaging toward the end of this year, according to Quaker. 

On social media, some users said it was about time Quaker made the move, while others demanded additional black personas be removed from food products, including Cream of Wheat porridge, Uncle Ben's rice and Mrs. Butterworth's maple syrup and pancake mix. 
Quaker and Pepsico have joined a corporate rush to express solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement amid nationwide anti-racism protests, though the companies have often faced accusations of hypocrisy. 
  • Pepsico CEO Ramon Laguarta wrote in Fortune on Tuesday that “the journey for racial equality has long been part of our company’s DNA.”
  • Pepsico in 2017 apologized for running an ad featuring Kendall Jenner, a white model, that was criticized for trivializing the Black Lives Matter movement.
  • Quaker in 2014 got a lawsuit by descendants of the second Aunt Jemima, Anna Harrington, thrown out, saying: “The image symbolizes a sense of caring, warmth, hospitality and comfort and is neither based on, nor meant to depict any one person."
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