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January 1, Barr Contradicts Trump on Bunker, Rejects Defunding Police



This Day in History | 1973

Secretariat became the first horse since Citation in 1948 to win America’s coveted Triple Crown: the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness and the Belmont Stakes. In one of the finest performances in racing history, Secretariat, ridden by Ron Turcotte, completed the 1.5-mile race in 2 minutes and 24 seconds, a dirt-track record for that distance.

Good morning Middle Americans!

William Barr remains the one guy who seems to be bigger than the moment. He’s a guy that the establishment wing of the GOP respects. The far-left progressive wing of the Democratic party fears him. He’s got the chops and the experience having been the Attorney General before under President George H. W. Bush. And it seems like he has a keen understanding of the Constitution and the separation of powers. He also seems to understand how to contain the president. If the president didn’t respect Barr, he would have already pardoned Roger Stone. Barr asked for a lower sentence, but stopped short of blessing a pardon before Stone spent some time behind bars. No pun intended. Stone’s set to report to prison in September, and if he’s pardoned before then, get ready to see a massive rift develop between President Trump and Attorney General Willam Barr. 

One thing that might cheer up the president – his rallies. They are set to resume in a couple of weeks. It was really the only move for the campaign to make considering the mass gatherings we’ve seen in the wake of George Floyd’s death. In a couple of days now, we’ll know if there’s any sort of significant increase of COVID-19 cases. But can you imagine if President Trump or even Joe Biden get sick on the campaign trail? No one knows what kind of impact that could have. 

Today we are following up on the “defund the police” movement with the exact response you’d expect from a business that was burned down during the riots in Minneapolis. They are leaving the city saying that the police department couldn’t protect them then, and they certainly won’t be able to now with the current political climate. 

Finally today, it wasn’t all bad. IBM announces it’s exit from the facial recognition business and calls on congress to act to put an end to the practice. 

Read all about it. 

-Fraser Dixon

Barr Contradicts Trump’s Claim he Went to the White House Bunker to Inspect it, Rejects Calls to Defund Police

(USA Today) – Attorney General William Barr said the Secret Service recommended that President Donald Trump go down to the White House bunker because protests outside the executive mansion had escalated, contradicting claims by the president that he went underground for an inspection.

Last week, Trump dismissed as “false” news reports that the Secret Service rushed him to the bunker as protests over the death of George Floyd escalated outside the White House gates. 

But in an interview Monday with Fox News host Bret Baier, Barr said: “Things were so bad that the Secret Service recommended the president go down to the bunker. We can’t have that in our country.”

Barr also rejected calls to defund police departments, saying punishing an entire agency over the actions of individual officers is both “dangerous” and “wrong.”

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Trump to Resume ‘Make America Great Again’ Campaign Rallies this Month

(Washington Examiner) – President Trump plans to hit the road in the next two weeks to resume his “Make America Great Again” campaign rallies despite the coronavirus pandemic.

Politico reported Monday that the president’s advisers are still determining where the rallies will take place and what safety measures will be implemented to protect the public amid the pandemic. Trump’s campaign manager Brad Parscale is expected to provide Trump with options this week.

“Americans are ready to get back to action and so is President Trump,” Parscale said in a statement. “The great American comeback is real and the rallies will be tremendous. You’ll again see the kind of crowds and enthusiasm that sleepy Joe Biden can only dream of.”

Trump has expressed interest in restarting his campaign rallies at other trips put on hold over the pandemic. News that the president’s campaign tour will continue comes amid recent polling showing him trailing presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.

Through the rallies, Trump’s team hopes to create a contrast with Biden, who largely remained at home throughout the height of the pandemic. The former vice president, however, emerged for events following the death of George Floyd in police custody last month.

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Rioters Burned Down Minneapolis Manufacturer. Now They’re Relocating, Taking Jobs With Them

(Minneapolis Star Tribune) – A Minneapolis manufacturing company has decided to leave the city, with the company’s owner saying he can’t trust public officials who allowed his plant to burn during the recent riots. The move will cost the city about 50 jobs.

“They don’t care about my business,” said Kris Wyrobek, president and owner of 7-Sigma Inc., which has operated since 1987 at 2843 26th Av. in south Minneapolis. “They didn’t protect our people. We were all on our own.”

Wyrobek said the plant, which usually operates until 11 p.m., shut down about four hours early on the first night of the riots because he wanted to keep his workers out of harm’s way. He said a production supervisor and a maintenance worker who live in the neighborhood became alarmed when fire broke out at the $30 million Midtown Corner affordable housing apartment complex that was under construction next door.

“The fire engine was just sitting there,” Wyrobek said, “but they wouldn’t do anything.”

Two days after the riots began, Gov. Tim Walz described the city’s response as an “abject failure.” Walz ordered the National Guard into Minneapolis to restore order at the request of Mayor Jacob Frey. The violence sometimes overshadowed peaceful protests over the death last month of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officers.

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IBM Exits Facial Recognition Business, Calls for Police Reform

(Reuters) – International Business Machines Corp disclosed Monday it will no longer offer facial recognition or analysis software in a letter to Congress calling for new efforts to pursue justice and racial equity, new Chief Executive Officer Arvind Krishna said.

The company will stop offering facial recognition software and opposes any use of such technology for purposes of mass surveillance and racial profiling, Krishna said, who also called for new federal rules to hold police more accountable for misconduct.

IBM did not explain the timing of its decision to exit facial recognition development but Krishna told lawmakers “now is the time to begin a national dialogue on whether and how facial recognition technology should be employed by domestic law enforcement agencies.”

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