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What Now?! – 8/6/19

Former President Barack Obama issued a statement demanding action on gun control in the aftermath of the El Paso and Dayton mass shootings.

Although he did not mention his successor by name, Obama called on Americans to “soundly reject language coming out of the mouths of any of our leaders that feeds a climate of fear and hatred or normalizes racist sentiments.” Obama argued that such language is “at the root of most human tragedy throughout history.”

Ah, a real President.

“President Trump responded to the El Paso and Dayton mass shootings by insisting that ‘mental illness pulls the trigger not the gun,’ but shortly after taking office he quietly rolled back an Obama-era regulation that would have made it harder for people with mental illness to buy guns,” NBC News reports.

“Trump did so without any fanfare. In fact, the news that Trump had signed the bill was at the bottom of a White House email that alerted the media to other legislation signed by the president.”

“And it came after the House and Senate, both of which were Republican-controlled at the time, passed a bill, H.J. Res 40, which revoked the Obama-era regulation.”

Zachary Wolf: “He did blame violent video games, mental illness, the internet and a culture that promotes violence for helping to foster white nationalism and hatred behind at least one of the shootings that shocked the country.”

“He did not acknowledge the fact that he often traffics in some of the same language as white supremacists like the one who killed 22 people in El Paso.”

“Reading from a teleprompter at the White House, the President sounded nothing like the Trump who goes off-script when he tweets or is whipping up crowds of political supporters at campaign rallies. That’s why many are laying some blame for the shooting at the feet of the nation’s leader.”

Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer released a joint statement calling for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to bring the Senate back from recess and vote on the House-passed background check bill in wake of mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton, NBC News reports.

Rosie Phillips Davis, president of the American Psychological Associates, released a statement on the mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton: “Routinely blaming mass shootings on mental illness is unfounded and stigmatizing. Research has shown that only a very small percentage of violent acts are committed by people who are diagnosed with, or in treatment for, mental illness.

The rates of mental illness are roughly the same around the world, yet other countries are not experiencing these traumatic events as often as we face them. One critical factor is access to, and the lethality of, the weapons that are being used in these crimes. Adding racism, intolerance and bigotry to the mix is a recipe for disaster.”

New York Times: “When a draft of his Monday morning remarks began circulating on Sunday night, they did not mention background checks.”

“A new version Monday morning did not mention background checks or immigration, those people said. So aides were startled to discover that the president, sitting in the White House residence, had posted a tweet linking the two issues.”

President Trump misstated the location of one of two mass shootings that occurred over the weekend during a speech condemning the violence, referring to Toledo, Ohio, instead of Dayton, Ohio, The Hill reports.

Said Trump: “May God bless the memory of those who perished in Toledo, may God protect them. May God protect all of those from Texas to Ohio. May God bless the victims and their families.”

Brian Stelter: “It is strange watching this speech being analyzed as a serious text when the president got the name of the city wrong at the end. Presumably someone on his staff wrote Toledo instead of Dayton, and no one caught it, not even the president.”

President Trump took heat for his incorrect reference to Toledo, Ohio earlier today. But CNN points out that the president’s teleprompter was clearly visible and naming the wrong city appears to be entirely his own mistake.

Jennifer Rubin: “In sum, we are awash in hate crimes and white nationalist-inspired mass murders. We have a president whose words inspire and bolster perpetrators of these heinous acts. That makes Trump not only a moral abomination, which no policy outcome can offset, but a threat to national security. Those encouraged by his words in recent years kill more Americans than Islamist terrorists.”

“If that is not justification for bipartisan repudiation of this president and removal from office at the earliest possible moment I don’t know what is. Those who countenance and support this president for his white-grievance mongering are not merely ‘deplorable’ but dangerous.”

“The U.S. Treasury Department officially labeled China a currency manipulator after the country’s central bank allowed the yuan to fall below 7 per dollar in retaliation for new tariffs on its imports,” Bloomberg reports.

Axios: “Under a 2015 law, in order to be a currency manipulator, a country needs to spend 2% of GDP on currency manipulation over a 12-month period. China is not doing this. If anything, China was keeping the yuan artificially strong until Trump ratcheted up the trade war on Thursday.”

“President Trump has pledged the federal government will provide ‘whatever is needed’ to help El Paso, Texas, recover from a mass shooting Saturday that killed 22 people,” the Center for Public Integrity reports.

“But Trump’s own 2020 re-election committee still hasn’t paid hundreds of thousands of dollars in police and public safety-related bills and late fees that El Paso city officials say it owes from Trump’s campaign visit on Feb. 11.”

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler said that his panel “could recommend articles of impeachment by late fall, sketching a rough timeline for potential efforts to remove President Trump just days after a majority of House Democrats signaled their willingness to support an impeachment inquiry,” Politico reports.

House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) told MSNBC that President Trump’s response to mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton over the weekend “reminds me of the 1930s in Germany.”

Said Nadler: “What’s connection between background checks and immigration reform? That we have to keep guns out of the hands out of the invading hordes?”

Nebraska state Sen. John McCollister (R) called out President Trump and the Republican party for “enabling white supremacy,” the Washington Post  reports.

Said McCollister: “We have a Republican president who continually stokes racist fears in his base. He calls certain countries ‘shitholes,’ tells women of color to ‘go back’ to where they came from and lies more than he tells the truth. We have Republican senators and representatives who look the other way and say nothing for fear that it will negatively affect their elections.”

He added: “No more. When the history books are written, I refuse to be someone who said nothing. The time is now for us Republicans to be honest with what is happening inside our party. We are better than this and I implore my Republican colleagues to stand up and do the right thing.”

Reuters: “China let the yuan breach the key 7-per-dollar level on Monday for the first time in more than a decade, in a sign Beijing might be willing to tolerate more currency weakness that could further inflame a trade conflict with the United States.”

“The sharp 1.4% drop in the yuan comes days after U.S. President Donald Trump stunned financial markets by vowing to impose 10% tariffs on the remaining $300 billion of Chinese imports from Sept. 1, abruptly breaking a brief month-long ceasefire in the bruising trade war.”

“Some analysts said the yuan move could unleash a dangerous new front in the trade hostilities – a currency war.”

The DOW promptly collapsed by 950 points. Recession is now likely within 6 months.

Jeffrey Goldberg: “This most recent phase of the Trump presidency is the most dangerous so far. He has, of course, encouraged violence, or suggested its efficacy, on many occasions in the past… But in this latest phase, his rhetoric has become particularly sweeping. Brown people in general have become his targets. And there is no reason to hope that he will reform. His followers reward his radicalism, and his handlers are among the most cynical figures in American political history.”

“Mexico on Sunday threatened to take legal action against the United States for failing to protect its citizens after this weekend’s mass shooting in the border city of El Paso,” NBC News reports.

“Of the 20 people gunned down at a Walmart at the Cielo Vista Mall, at least three were Mexican citizens, and Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard promised Mexico City will act.”

Delaware politics from a liberal, progressive and Democratic perspective. Keep Delaware Blue.

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