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January 1, Dorian Makes Landfall in North Carolina, Bahamian Death Toll Rises



Good Morning Middle Americans!

Hurricane Dorian has finally come onshore in the mainland U.S., making landfall at North Carolina’s Outter Banks .  As of this morning, there are about 250,000 people without power. Charleston’s Market Street was about a foot underwater during the storm. But the situation in the Bahamas is much worse. On Thursday the death toll climbed to 20, and it is expected to climb even higher today.  Panicked tourists told the BBC that people were threatening to shoot others for their supplies. 

Meanwhile, President Trump refuses to take a loss on “sharpiegate” – his now notorious Hurricane Dorian map that included a hand drawn line showing Alabama in the potential impact zone. Also today – red flag laws, aimed to combat mass shootings are increasing, but lawyers say they laws are not jibbing with our constitutional right to due process. Also on the topic of guns, San Francisco has declared the NRA a domestic terror organization. The move is purely symbolic, but it shows how politicians are trying to push back against gun culture at a time when Washington seems paralyzed by partisanship.  Read all about it 

– Fraser Dixon 

Trump drags ‘Sharpiegate’ Into Second Day as Latest Self-Inflicted Wound Festers

(Roll Call) -The president contended in one tweet thread that early government projections took Dorian across South Florida and “certain models strongly suggested that Alabama & Georgia would be hit as it made its way through Florida & to the Gulf….”

“In the one model through Florida, the Great State of Alabama would have been hit or grazed,” he said. “What I said was accurate! All Fake News in order to demean!”

The black marker line beside the computer-generated white ones on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration-prepared map amounted to yet another self-inflicted wound for Trump and his team as they ramp up a reelection effort. It only handed foes like Buttigieg a new tool with which to bludgeon what they see as an incompetent president and administration.

Lean more from Roll Call here

Red Flag Gun Laws Spur Debate Over Due Process

(Pew Research) – “It’s almost like a shiny new toy for law enforcement,” Kendra Parris, an Orlando based Attorney said,  “filing them left and right.”

“Rather than find clear and convincing evidence, [courts are] basically saying, ‘Better safe than sorry,” She added.

Many law enforcement officials firmly believe the laws save lives, and lawmakers say they can craft legislation that won’t infringe on civil liberties.

But for two decades, since the first such law was enacted in Connecticut, civil and gun rights advocates have protested that the seizures violate the U.S. Constitution’s due process guarantee — meaning residents have a right to fully argue their case in court.

Read more from Pew Research here

San Francisco Declares the N.R.A. a ‘Domestic Terrorist Organization’

(The New York Times) – “The N.R.A. exists to spread pro-gun propaganda and put weapons in the hands of those who would harm and terrorize us,” Ms. Stefani said in a statement. “Nobody has done more to fan the flames of gun violence than the N.R.A.”

While the resolution has no practical effect, Ms. Stefani said in an interview on Wednesday, “I firmly believe that words matter, and I think this is a step in fighting the negative impact of the N.R.A.”

The N.R.A. saw the action as a publicity stunt.

Read more from the New York Times here

This Day in History | 1995

Baltimore Orioles shortstop Cal Ripken Jr. breaks Lou Gerig’s record for consecutive games played.

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