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January 1, Trump Rushed to White House Bunker Amid Protests



This Day in History | 1980

CNN, the world’s first 24-hour television news network, makes its debut from Atlanta, Georgia.  The first story is on the attempted assassination of civil rights leader Vernon Jordan.

Good morning Middle Americans, 

We can still say good morning right? Hard to tell, with these protests spreading and getting more violent each day. Another question we have this morning is, who are all these rioters, looters and arsonists? We are hearing more from the right and the left about outside agitators. The blame being extended to extremists from the left and right. Antifa and White Supremacist. Are we really that weak as a nation? Or are we more like this group in Long Beach California who prevented more looting by joining together to say ‘they’re not with us.” Are we going to be like the truck driver who’s been arrested for running down a crowd of protesters? Or the Oklahoma police officers who took a knee in solidarity with protestors. 

Today president Trump is planning to name Antifa a terror organization, a label that he has already given to white supremacist organizations.  We should all listen to the voice of George Floyd’s brother who is saying to everyone, ‘relax’.

In other news, we’re sure you’ve noticed food prices are up and your grocery bill is higher. We have a story below to explain why things are probably going to stay that way. 

Finally, checking in on Joe Biden’s campaign. You may have missed it, but the former vice president released his tax plan last Friday. And according to New York Magazine, it’s indefensible. 

Read all about it. 

-Fraser Dixon

Secret Service Rushed Trump to White House Bunker During Floyd Protest

(New York Times) – Inside the White House, the mood was bristling with tension. Hundreds of protesters were gathering outside the gates, shouting curses at President Trump and in some cases throwing bricks and bottles. Nervous for his safety, Secret Service agents abruptly rushed the president to the underground bunker used in the past during terrorist attacks.

The scene on Friday night, described by a person with firsthand knowledge, kicked off an uneasy weekend at the White House as demonstrations spread after the brutal death of a black man in police custody under a white officer’s knee. While in the end officials said they were never really in danger, Mr. Trump and his family have been rattled by protests near the Executive Mansion that turned violent for a third night on Sunday.

After days in which the empathy he expressed for George Floyd, the man killed, was overshadowed by his combative threats to ramp up violence against looters and rioters, Mr. Trump spent Sunday out of sight, even as some of his campaign advisers were recommending that he deliver a nationally televised address before another night of violence. The building was even emptier than usual as some White House officials planning to work were told not to come in case of renewed unrest.

Thousands of protesters demonstrated peacefully near the White House during the day, but by nightfall, with hundreds still in the streets, the scene turned more volatile as crowds surged forward against lines of riot police with plastic shields as the two sides vied for control of Lafayette Square across from the White House. Protesters threw water bottles, set off fireworks and burned a pile of wood and at least one car.

Read more here

Trump Says He’s Naming Antifa a ‘Terrorist Organization.’ Can he Do That?

(Politico) – President Donald Trump tweeted on Sunday that the U.S. government would be “designating ANTIFA as a Terrorist Organization.”

There were just two problems with that. First, he doesn’t appear to have the legal authority to do so. And second, it’s by no means clear the loosely defined group of radical activists is an organization at all.

The Trump administration’s push to crack down on antifa — short for “anti-fascist” — comes as large and small businesses in a host of American cities were looted and vandalized as people protested the death of a black man, George Floyd, at the hands of a white police officer in Minneapolis.

The president and his top officials, including Attorney General Bill Barr and national security adviser Robert O’Brien, have blamed antifa for violence and property damage. In an on-camera statement Saturday, Barr said the Justice Department wouldn’t hesitate to prosecute people who crossed state lines to participate in violence, citing his authorities under anti-riot legislation.

Barr did not invoke laws against terrorism, which do not let the U.S. government designate purely homegrown groups as terrorist organizations.

Find out more here

‘Just Relax’: George Floyd’s Brother Condemns Violent Protesters

(ABC News) – The younger brother of George Floyd is pleading with protesters not to “tear up your town” as violent demonstrations have wracked numerous cities across the country.

In an interview with ABC News’ Alex Perez, Terrence Floyd said that he understands why people are angry, but he worries his brother’s memory will be overshadowed by the destructive protests.

“[S]ometimes I get angry, I want to bust some heads, too,” Terrence Floyd said. “I wanna … just go crazy. But I’m here. My brother wasn’t about that. My brother was about peace. You’ll hear a lot of people say he was a gentle giant.”

George Floyd died in Minneapolis on Memorial Day while in police custody. A bystander’s viral cellphone video showed a former police officer, Derek Chauvin, kneeling on George Floyd’s neck, while George Floyd repeated “I can’t breathe.” Those final words have become an anthem for the Blackd Lives Matter movement.

Find out more here

US Food Prices See Historic Jump and are Likely to Stay High

(ABC News) – As if trips to the grocery store weren’t nerve-wracking enough, U.S. shoppers lately have seen the costs of meat, eggs and even potatoes soar as the coronavirus has disrupted processing plants and distribution networks.

Overall, the cost of food bought to eat at home skyrocketed by the most in 46 years, and analysts caution that meat prices in particular could remain high as slaughterhouses struggle to maintain production levels while implementing procedures intended to keep workers healthy.

While price spikes for staples such as eggs and flour have eased as consumer demand has leveled off, prices remain volatile for carrots, potatoes and other produce because of transportation issues and the health of workers who pick crops and work in processing plants.

In short, supermarket customers and restaurant owners shouldn’t expect prices to drop anytime soon.

“Our biggest concern is long-term food costs. I believe they will continue to go up,” said Julie Kalambokidis, co-owner of Adriano’s Brick Oven, a restaurant in Glenwood, Iowa.

Read more here

Op-Ed: Joe Biden’s New Tax Pledge Is Indefensible

(New York Magazine) – Joe Biden wants a tax code that supports the everyday, salt-of-the-earth Americans who earn $400,000 a year.

In an interview with CNBC Friday morning, the Democratic nominee sounded some populist notes while defending his (quite progressive) ideas for raising taxes on capital gains, corporations, and the labor income of the super rich. “My tax policy is based on a simple proposition,” Biden explained, “which is, stop rewarding wealth and start rewarding work a little bit.”

But while blue America’s standard-bearer evinced enthusiasm for soaking the super rich, he vowed to preserve the (historically low) tax rates that America’s merely rich currently pay: Under a Biden administration, “Nobody making under 400,000 bucks would have their taxes raised. Period. Bingo,” the candidate declared.

Biden’s position here is neither new nor strictly true. Although the candidate has never formally pledged to preserve the Trump tax cuts for America’s top 5 percent, his long-public proposal for increasing Social Security benefits raises payroll taxes only on workers who earn more than $400,000. And none of Biden’s other tax plans raise the marginal rates of workers whose incomes fall below that threshold.

Learn more here

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