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THE BIG NEWS
18 Dead Is Enough to Swing 1 Vote for Gun Control
Is this what it takes to concede the obvious? Not just another routine massacre, but an especially bloody one, and in one's hometown? Centrist Democratic Rep. Jared Golden of Maine yesterday asked "for forgiveness and support" from his constituents and announced that he was reversing his opposition to a nationwide assault weapons ban. Golden was one of only five House Democrats to vote against the proposed ban last year, and it helped to earn him an A+ rating from a Maine gun rights group, higher even than his GOP challenger.
"I had the false confidence that our community was above this," explained Golden, a Marine Corps veteran who grew up in Lewiston, the scene of America's deadliest mass shooting so far this year. He also copped to "many other misjudgments" that informed his past position on gun control.
Fellow Democrats in the house including Florida Rep. Maxwell Frost and New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez praised Golden's courage in changing his position. But one must ask, how could any American in 2023 – a year that has seen 36 mass shootings so far, the second-highest number on record – seriously imagine that their community is immune from such bloodshed? As belated as Golden's awakening may be, Republican Sen. Susan Collins remains still soundly asleep. She stood alongside Golden at the same press conference and declined to back the assault weapons ban, while proposing another compromise measure and saying "there's always more that can be done." Sure. Whatever. Spoken like a politician who expects to get away yet again with doing nothing at all.
The massive police manhunt for the suspected Lewiston shooter, 40-year-old Army Reserve Sgt. Robert R. Card II, continued last night. Thousands of people stayed locked inside their homes as Maine's largest city, Portland, closed public buildings and Canada's Border Services Agency put its officers on alert. Card's rampage at a bowling alley and a bar killed at least 18 people, some of whom tried to fight back, survivors tell the Washington Post. As with many mass shooters, there were abundant warning signs including prior threats. But contrary to initial reports from police, the Army says it did not train Card as a firearms instructor.
The last word goes to famous Maine author Stephen King, who lives fairly near to where the shootings took place. "It's the rapid-fire killing machines, people," he wrote. "This is madness in the name of freedom. Stop electing apologists for murder."
MORE STORIES TO WATCH
Israel-Gaza War: 27 EU Leaders Call for Cease-Fire
- Pentagon Insists Strikes on Iranian Targets Are a 'Separate and Distinct' Middle East Conflict Iran-backed militia in Syria and Iraq have launched rocket or drone attacks at U.S. troops nearly every day for the past 10 days, injuring 21, and President Joe Biden just ordered two retaliatory strikes on buildings in eastern Syria used by Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps. via the New York Times.
- Israeli Night Raid in Gaza With Tanks, Armoured Bulldozers, Previews 'the Next Stages of the War' Satellite photos show Israel's 'round-the-clock bombing campaign has already transformed parts of Gaza into a "moonscape," with rows of residential buildings "reduced to smears of dust and rubble." via the Guardian and the Associated Press.
- California Senate Race Shows Democrats' Foreign Policy Fault Lines Rep. Barbara Lee backs a cease-fire, while Rep. Adam Schiff vows "unequivocal support" for "the right of Israel to defend itself" and Rep. Katie Porter says it's time to do something about Iran. via the Los Angeles Times.
- Elon Musk's Recommended X Accounts for War News Are Run By an Antisemitic Teen and a U.S. Soldier Who Spreads Russian Propaganda Both misinformation sources "describe themselves as news aggregators and reporters of 'open-source intelligence,'" but they fail to cite sources or include links. via the Washington Post.
Ice Cream Salesman Hopes to Primary Biden
NBC News reports that many Republicans are convincing themselves of a conspiracy theory that President Joe Biden's reelection campaign is a ruse and "the real leaders of the [Democratic] party," as one Iowa Trump voter puts it, will swap him out with another candidate at the last minute. They bring up Michelle Obama's name a lot, though the former first lady "has given zero indication she wants to be in public office." Biden has picked up another primary challenger, however: third-term Minnesota Rep. Dean Phillips, a member of the flaky centrist Problem Solvers Caucus and an "heir to a Minnesota liquor company who also ran the gelato company Talenti." He says he's running because Biden is too old, basically. If I had to bet, I'd guess Marianne Williamson will get more votes that this guy in the New Hampshire primary.
- Racist Georgia Voting Maps Drawn By GOP Must Be Redone for 2024, Judge Rules "A new map could shift one of Georgia's 14 congressional seats from Republican to Democratic control." via the Associated Press.
- Hurricane Otis Kills at Least 27 in Mexico "It was the most terrible thing I ever lived through," says a 61-year-old survivor from a village near Acapulco. "It was two hours of fear and panic. Everything was flying. I saw entire trees flying, and the tin roofs of houses flying off." via the Los Angeles Times.
- Florida, Other States Provide a Haven for Dirty Money from Illegal Amazon Timber and Mining Outfits A new report from the Financial Accountability and Corporate Transparency Coalition calls on the U.S. "to establish anti-money-laundering obligations in the real estate market, to provide support for Amazon nations to improve financial oversight, and to implement the Corporate Transparency Act, which would establish a database of true 'beneficial' owners of all companies." via the Guardian.
- Charlottesville's 'Cursed' Robert E. Lee Statue Melted Down at Secret Location "'This metal has a lot of bad juju stuck in it,' the foundry owner said, studying the lumpy bronze." via the Washington Post and the Guardian.
10 of 13
That's how many of the emergency requests for relief that Biden administration lawyers have brought to the Supreme Court came in response to decisions from the far-right 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, covering Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi. One law professor calls the 5th Circuit "a meth lab of conservative grievance," per the Washington Post, and as such it has become "the favored launchpad for right-leaning politicians and organizations seeking groundbreaking judicial decisions."
ON THE SHOW TODAY
DON'T MISS MR CLIPS
Owen Shroyer "'helped create January 6,' prosecutors wrote."
Debate carried on yesterday.
"I feel we stood our ground for what needs to be done for the working-class people."
-- Chicago Ford worker Vicky Gossett, speaking to the Washington Post about the United Auto Workers strike and the union's tentative deal with Ford. Per the New York Times, that deal will likely serve as a template for new contracts with General Motors and Stellantis, and could prompt non-union automakers to "decide to pre-emptively hand out raises to keep labor organizers at bay."
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