NEWSSTAND

Alleged Teacher Hoped Trump Voters Died in Las Vegas

Following the Las Vegas shooting, the nation mourned the 59 dead and hundreds injured by a gunman. Some, however, took the opportunity to wish death on their political opponents.

A twitter user who called herself @theresistANNce wrote, “Pray only trumptards die.” In the bio, this twitter user claimed to be a teacher.  No school district has verified the teacher’s identity or employment.

Following the tweet, @theresistANNce received a great deal of backlash, and she appears to have deleted her account, which is no longer active. Unfortunately, she was not the only person to let politics get in the way of condolences.

Political Posturing

Hayley Geftman-Gold, formerly a vice president at CBS, openly disrespected the victims, wrote on Facebook: “I have no hope that Repugs will ever do the right thing. I’m actually not even sympathetic to country music fans bc country music fans are often republican gun toters.”

In an official statement, CBS announced that Geftman-Gold’s post was unacceptable, and that she had been dismissed from the network. CNN’s Jeff Zeleny also thought it necessary to point out that many of the country music fans present might have been Trump supporters.

Even Trump opponents abroad made a mockery of the attack. Notorious British atheist Richard Dawkins openly derided the Second Amendment and those who support it. Dawkins tweeted, “Cool dude sertin’ he’s 2nd Mendment rahts. Hell yeah!” He continued, writing “Every country has its psychopaths. In US they have guns.”

In contrast, country music’s biggest stars offered their condolences to the victims and their families. A group of country musicians and fans gathered on Monday night for a vigil to honor those who tragically lost their lives.

Trump Visits Puerto Rico, Explains Recovery Challenges

Faced with the logistic problems of restoring electricity and water to an isolated island, the Trump administration has been working non-stop to help Puerto Ricans get back on their feet. On Tuesday morning, President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump landed on the destroyed island.

Trump met with local leaders, including San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz. Yulin Cruz has made a name for herself by claiming the President is failing Puerto Rico. However, others claim that she has failed to attend FEMA meetings, and has more interest in television appearances than she does in the relief effort. Trump extended an olive branch to one of his fiercest detractors.

The President helped distribute goods at a relief center, though the huge crowd made clear that recovery will take time. Part of the delays result from the lack of local truck drivers who can distribute generators, food, and water to rural part of the island. President Trump mentioned that supplies from the federal government still needed drivers to transport them to hurricane victims. As he said, “We need their truck drivers to start driving trucks. On a local level, they have to give us more help.”

During his trip, President Trump was briefed by officials at the Luis Muniz Air National Guard base. He met with storm victims to hear their experiences and their needs. Following that, he met with the governors of the United States Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico on a Navy ship.

In a part of the United States plagued by an ineffective local government and weak infrastructure, recovery will not be easy. The area’s mountainous geography only makes relief efforts more difficult.

To make the situation worse, a naval base on the island is no longer open to help coordinate relief efforts. The Naval Station Roosevelt Roads used to exist at Ceiba, Puerto Rico. After protests by locals, it was eventually shuttered in 2004. Now, a part of the former military base is used as a ship recycling facility. While this might make the island more environmentally sustainable, it has resulted in one less military base for relief efforts.

Currently, the military, first responders and FEMA are all working to improve conditions on the island. [3] Puerto Rico is without electricity, water and transportation on many parts of the island. Food shortages are common as Puerto Ricans work to recover from the storm. Despite the difficulties faced by the administration, relief efforts are still soldiering on. President Trump maintains that the government has done an excellent job responding to this brutal hurricane season.

Librarians Snub Melania Trump’s Dr. Seuss Donation

First Lady Melania Trump celebrated “National Read a Book Day” by donating a package of 10 Dr. Seuss books to one school library in all fifty states. The classic American children’s books were received warmly…except in Massachusetts.

A Condescending Rejection

An elementary school librarian named Liz Phipps Soeiro rejected the books. Soeiro sent a snotty letter back to the First Lady. She claimed that the “award-winning” school didn’t “NEED” the books, and that the library would not accept them. In the letter, Soeiro writes, “Dr. Seuss’s illustrations are steeped in racist propaganda, caricatures, and harmful stereotypes.” The librarian rejected the donation on behalf of the school, whose students perhaps could have enjoyed the free books.

Soeiro also sent Melania a list of children’s books with social justice themes, including several that discuss immigration. Melania Trump has her own immigration experience. Perhaps Soeiro ought to pick up a biography of the First Lady, who herself came to America as an immigrant.

Social Justice Hypocrisy

Soeiro decries the supposed racism of Dr. Seuss now, but photos have emerged of her dressed up as The Cat in the Hat for a reading presentation. Apparently, Dr. Seuss only became a problem when Trump became president. Theodore Geisel, the writer and artist who wrote under the Dr. Seuss pseudonym, did in fact create racist political cartoons. His World War II-era drawings about Japanese people contain harmful and hateful stereotypes. The books, however, contain no such hatred. For generations, kids have learned to read through Dr. Seuss’s whimsical stories.

Melania isn’t the first of the First Ladies to share the joy of Dr. Seuss with young readers. Michelle Obama read Dr. Seuss at education events, as did Barbara Bush and Hillary Clinton.

Since Soeiro published her angry letter, the school district has announced that she had no authorization to accept or reject books on behalf of the district.

 

Protesters Disrupt GOP Health Care Hearing

U.S. Capitol Police removed protestors from a Senate Finance Committee hearing on Monday, as they tried to shut down a hearing on the Graham-Cassidy bill. The hearing was an opportunity for Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Bill Cassidy (R-LA) to rally support for their bill among Senate colleagues.

Though Democrat protesters tried to shut the hearing down, Democrats in Congress actually called for the hearing. Republicans agreed to the hearing as a chance to share more information about the bill, amid calls for additional transparency.

If passed, the Graham-Cassidy bill would change the funding system for the entitlement program Medicaid, and eliminate the individual mandate requiring Americans who choose not to purchase health insurance to pay a tax penalty. Although the bill received a hearing, it does not enjoy the full support of Republicans. Republican senators including Susan Collins, John McCain, Ted Cruz, and Rand Paul do not support the bill in its current form, and Democrats continue to oppose any attempt to repeal Obamacare.

Progressive activists assembled outside the committee chamber in advance of the meeting, and heckled Republican senators on their way in. Chants of “No cuts to Medicaid, save our liberty” and other interruptions could be heard throughout the proceedings. The repeated disturbances prompted Hatch to direct U.S. Capitol police to remove no fewer than 20 individuals from the committee chamber. “If this hearing is going to devolve into a sideshow or a forum simply for putting partisan points on the board, there’s absolutely no reason for us to be here,” Hatch said.

Monday’s protests came ahead of the Senate’s September 30 reconciliation deadline, after which Democrats can filibuster any repeal bill. Under reconciliation rules, the Senate can pass a bill with only 51 votes, but only if the bill will help reduce the federal deficit. If progressive opponents of repeal get their way, negotiations on the bill will drag on past September 30, and Democrats will be able to obstruct new efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare.

Victory! Justice Clarence Thomas Gets Spot in Smithsonian

The National Museum of African American History and Culture will finally include an exhibit about our nation’s first African American Supreme Court Justices.

One year after its opening, the NMAAHC has announced a new exhibit on Justice Thurgood Marshall and Justice Clarence Thomas. Thomas has served on the nation’s highest court for over 26 years. In 1991, President George H.W. Bush appointed Thomas to fill Justice Thurgood Marshall’s seat on the Supreme Court.

Thomas’ confirmation hearings included national controversy regarding the testimony of Anita Hill. Hill’s testimony had its own place in the museum, but not Justice Thomas – until now.

Conservative Exclusion?

When the museum first opened in Fall of 2016, visitors noticed that several prominent black conservatives were missing. Famed economist Thomas Sowell received no mention, nor did former GOP Chairman Michael Steele.

Some saw the oversight as intentional. A petition on StandUnited to include conservatives, including Thomas, in the museum garnered over 17,000 signatures.

One Year Later

Smithsonian’s exhibit on Justices Marshall and Thomas opened on September 24th – the museum’s first anniversary. 1.7 million people visit the NMAAHC every year. Starting this week, they’ll learn from the life story and achievement of Justice Thomas, too.

The Steeler Who Stood

Before the Pittsburgh Steelers faced the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin made a controversial announcement. The Steelers would not take the field for the national anthem. The team’s leadership sought to avoid the controversy over national anthem protests by skipping the event altogether.

The players, as employees of the team, went along with the bosses’ request. All of them…except for one. Before yesterday, you probably never heard of Alejandro Villanueva. He’s an offensive lineman for the Steelers. Linemen typically don’t gain the fame and notoriety of quarterbacks, runningbacks, and receivers. In terms of NFL players, Villanueva runs under the radar.

He also served 3 tours in Afghanistan. When the national anthem began at the stadium, Villanueva walked out of the players’ tunnel. He put his hand over his heart. He stood – alone – for the anthem.

In the tunnel behind Villanueva, several of his teammates also stood. Just out of public view, they quietly supported the teammate who fought for their freedom.

Villanueva literally took a stand, and fans took notice. His jersey, Steelers number 78, became the top-selling jersey in the NFL store within 24 hours of Sunday’s game. Villanueva criticized anthem protests when they began last season. He said, “I don’t know if the most effective way is to sit down during the national anthem with a country that’s providing you freedom, providing you $16 million a year … when there are black minorities that are dying in Iraq and Afghanistan for less than $20,000 a year.”

Vandals Deface Statue Honoring National Anthem Writer

On September 13, 1814, the British Fleet bombarded Ft. McHenry in what would become known as the Battle of Baltimore. A young lawyer watched the battle rage, while the American flag stayed waving atop an American ship’s mast. That lawyer’s name was Francis Scott Key. He wrote The Star Bangled Banner to commemorate what he witnessed. On September 13, 2017, the 203rd anniversary of America’s national anthem, vandals in Baltimore damaged a statue honoring Francis Scott Key. The vandals covered the statue in red and black paint. Then, they spray-painted “racist anthem” on the side of the monument.

The defacing of Key’s statue is the latest in a string of vandalism during the heated debate over our historical monuments. Some view the statues as honoring the people who held slaves and fought to tear this country apart. Others see the monuments as valuable historical markers worthy of preservation.

Historical Context

Francis Scott Key faces criticism because he owned slaves. Some feel that our national anthem should not come from the words of a slaveowner. Additionally, the anthem has more words than most Americans realize. The general public knows the first stanza, since we hear it before baseball games and at the start of certain school days. However, the next three stanzas contain different material. A line in the third stanza reads, “No refuge could save, Hireling or slave, From terror of flight, Or gloom of grave.” That line is singled out often for how it treats the “Hireling” or “slave.”

In August, Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh ordered the removal of four Confederate monuments in the city in response to the protests following the violence in Charlottesville. This move emboldened protesters to vandalize the Key statue. Several weeks ago, protesters damaged a nearby monument honoring Christopher Columbus. A chilling video of that incident shows individuals smashing the monument and holding signs reading “Racism: Tear it down.”

Video

Pugh stated that the city has no plans to remove these monuments. The city plans to reopen the monuments – including the monument to Francis Scott Key – after their repairs and cleaning.

A majority of Americans support preserving public historical monuments, including those that commemorate the Civil War and the Confederacy.  A mid-August Reuters/Ipsos poll found that 54 percent of the country felt that Confederate monuments “should remain in public places.” Only 27 percent responded in favor of removal. Another poll reported even more stunning results: A Marist poll that found that 62% of the public supported leaving statues and monuments of Confederate leaders standing.

 

Beware Linda Sarsour’s Hurricane Relief Scam

Linda Sarsour is raising money in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. The Women’s March organizer and Muslim activist asked her fans to donate to the Hurricane Harvey Community Relief Fund.

The donation page says, “Your donation is vital to ensuring that we have the resources we need to organize and fight for Texans devastated by Hurricane Harvey!” Sounds like a charity, right? Not so fast.

Where the Money Goes

The money won’t be funding rebuilding efforts or buying food for those in need. Instead, Sarsour is sending the cash to the Texas Organizing Project and Education Fund (TOP). TOP organizes rallies and events for left-wing causes. It also lobbies the government for increased welfare programs.

Sarsour’s critics say she is exploiting a disaster for political gain. She has not denied using the money for political action, but maintains that all of the money will go towards helping Texans…via political action.

 

Smithsonian to Honor Colin Kaepernick, Skip Clarence Thomas

Colin Kaepernick’s national anthem protest will get a coveted spot in Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. The museum will feature artifacts from Kaepernick’s on-field activism, including a jersey.

Kaepernick wore the jersey during one of the instances when he remained seated during the national anthem. A new Smithsonian exhibit on the Black Lives Matter movement will feature his jersey and other artifacts from his protests.

This is the same museum that failed to include anything on Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, citing a lack of space. Now, they’ve managed to make room for Kaepernick’s jersey. The Smithsonian’s glaring omission of Thomas leads some to speculate that the museum deliberately excludes conservatives.

Justice Thomas grew up in poverty in the segregated South, made it to Yale law school, and went on to have an illustrious career capped off by years on the Supreme Court. Apparently that is not enough for the museum to include him. Kaepernick’s anti-police protest, however, gets him a place of honor in the museum.

 

Trump Team Turned DOWN Russia Meeting

New evidence shows that Donald Trump’s top campaign staff turned down a meeting with Russian leaders.

Campaign consultant George Papadopoulos sent an email with the subject “Meeting With Russian Leadership – Including Putin.” If any of them wanted to collude with Putin, the email was a golden opportunity. Any candidate who sought Russian interference would have jumped at the opportunity to meet.

Instead, those closest to Trump expressed severe concerns with such a meeting. According to the Washington Post:

“The proposal sent a ripple of concern through campaign headquarters in Trump Tower. Campaign co-chairman Sam Clovis wrote that he thought NATO allies should be consulted before any plans were made. Another Trump adviser, retired Navy Rear Adm. Charles Kubic, cited legal concerns, including a possible violation of U.S. sanctions against Russia and of the Logan Act, which prohibits U.S. citizens from unauthorized negotiation with foreign governments.”

Avoiding Collusion

Clovis and Manafort understood the laws, and the international treaties, that made the proposed meeting a bad idea. Papadopoulos was undeterred. He sent no fewer than six requests for the Trump team to meet with Russian officials.

This new revelation casts serious doubt on the mainstream media narrative of Russian collusion.

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