Obama targets Texas in first round of 2020 endorsements

Obama targets Texas in first round of 2020 endorsementsFormer President Barack Obama unveiled his first round of 2020 endorsements on Monday, and he's got his eyes on Texas, at least at the local level.Obama is endorsing 27 Democratic candidates in Texas, including 19 for the state House, where Democrats need to win nine seats to grab the majority. The focus seems to make sense for Obama, The New York Times notes, because Texas districts will be redrawn after the 2020 census, and Democrats want to gain a foothold before that happens. The former president has made it a priority to back candidates whom the National Democratic Redistricting Committee has labeled key to the redistricting process.He decided to stay out of Texas' Senate race between incumbent Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) and his Democratic challenger MJ Hegar, however. Obama similarly avoided other key Senate races in Republican states, including Montana, Kentucky, and Georgia, where his public support may not provide a boost, or could even prove harmful.> What's missing? Some key red state Senate races, including MT, KY, GA and TX where it is less clear that Obama's public backing would be a benefit.https://t.co/9rIjcI7SvE> > — Shane Goldmacher (@ShaneGoldmacher) August 3, 2020In races at the national level, Obama endorsed 52 Democratic House candidates and five for the Senate in battleground states, and he's set to announce a second wave of endorsements for states who have yet to hold their primaries. Read more at The New York Times.More stories from theweek.com The most damning inside portrait of the Trump administration yet 5 brutally funny cartoons about Bill Barr’s brand of justice Why Democratic voters might stay home on Election Day

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Navarro Throws Another White House Health Expert Under Bus Over Hydroxy

Navarro Throws Another White House Health Expert Under Bus Over HydroxyWhite House trade adviser Peter Navarro publicly bashed yet another White House public health expert on Monday while touting an unproven anti-malarial drug, saying he took “exception” to coronavirus testing czar Brett Giroir dismissing hydroxychloroquine as an effective coronavirus treatment.Days after CNN cut short a Navarro interview after he kept repeating the racist phrase “China virus,” the network invited him on for yet another contentious segment that featured the combative Trump aide disseminating coronavirus disinformation.Navarro, who has been an outspoken proponent of hydroxychloroquine and has repeatedly attacked top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci for warning about the drug’s lack of efficacy, doubled down on his embrace of the drug while taking aim at Giroir.“One of the president’s chief advisers on the coronavirus pandemic, Adm. Giroir, he said given five studies now that have found the drug hydroxychloroquine—that there’s no proof that it helps with COVID-19 patients,” host Jim Sciutto noted. “I just wonder, given your past public support for it, is it time for the administration to focus on proven treatments for COVID rather than one that has not been proven?”Navarro—who recently groused that the government is “sitting on millions of doses” of the drug—shot back that he takes “exception to Giroir’s analysis, adding that the HHS official “hasn’t looked at the data” within the past two weeks.“It’s his job to look at data,” Sciutto interjected.After demanding that CNN bring on a couple of doctors who claim the drug is beneficial for COVID-19 patients—CNN had actually interviewed one of them hours earlier—Navarro brushed off the large number of experts criticizing hydroxychloroquine.“My view of this now is doctors' opinions are a dime a dozen and some doctors say it doesn’t work,” he exclaimed. “You’ve got some doctors who say it does.”The CNN host, meanwhile, retorted that this isn’t a “both sides thing,” prompting Navarro to insist that is exactly what it is.“No, it is a both sides. It is—it is both sides,” he declared.Sciutto went on to note that several high-quality double-blinded clinical trials show that there is no benefit to the drug and that the FDA has revoked emergency use of hydroxychloroquine due to concerns over potentially deadly side effects.“This hasn’t passed muster so why all the focus on that drug,” the CNN anchor wondered aloud. “Why not focus on things that work like remdesivir?”Undeterred, Navarro claimed that there is now a study that shows hydroxychloroquine “works better” than remdesivir—even though White House coronavirus coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx said just last week that randomized trials have shown the anti-viral drug has no efficacy as a treatment. She also reiterated that there appears to be no benefit to hydroxychloroquine.Team Trump has suddenly rallied back around the controversial malaria drug after a fringe doctor—who believes that demon sperm causes female medical problems and “alien DNA” is being used in medication—proclaimed it a coronavirus “cure” in a viral video last week. Despite that doctor’s bizarre past claims, President Donald Trump has called her “spectacular,” “very respected,” and an “important voice.”Chris Wallace Confronts Trump Campaign Spox Jason Miller: Admit ‘You’re Losing’Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.



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Annual Sturgis rally expecting 250K, stirring virus concerns

Annual Sturgis rally expecting 250K, stirring virus concernsSturgis is on. The message has been broadcast across social media as South Dakota, which has seen an uptick in coronavirus infections in recent weeks, braces to host hundreds of thousands of bikers for the 80th edition of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. More than 250,000 people are expected to rumble through western South Dakota, seeking the freedom of cruising the boundless landscapes in a state that has skipped lockdowns.



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Homicides Spike in 50 Largest Cities across Nation

Homicides Spike in 50 Largest Cities across NationHomicides and gun violence have spiked in major cities around the country since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, spurred by an economic recession and unrest that arose from protests against police brutality.Across the nation’s 50 largest cities, homicides are up 24 percent this year, totaling 3,612 so far, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of police department data. In 36 of those cities, the homicide rate increased by double digits.Shootings have also surged, but other kinds of violent crime have declined, including robberies, which sank 11 percent across the 41 cities that provided such data.Chicago saw the largest jump in homicides, reporting more than 400 more homicides than last year, an increase of more than 50 percent. Philadelphia and New York City came in just behind the country's third-largest city, both tallying more than 200 more homicides this year. Along with Chicago, Austin and Fort Worth, Tx. saw the largest increase in murders.The staggering increase in violence comes after months of protests against police departments that have included calls to defund and dismantle departments in Minneapolis, where the police custody death of George Floyd sparked national outrage. Homicides in Minneapolis have nearly doubled, with 41 homicides compared to 21 by this time last year.Police and crime experts have attributed the spike in violence to a variety of factors, including a rise in gang violence, an economic recession caused by the shutdown of businesses, and the lack of activity during the pandemic by social institutions that historically help tamp down crime, such as churches and schools.Meanwhile, lockdown orders that have kept residents in their homes may help explain the decline in robberies and rapes, since burglars are less likely to target a home with residents inside, and fewer potential victims were on the streets, experts said. The rise in shootings and murders was particularly stark in disadvantaged neighborhoods rather than the sites of protests against racism and police brutality in many cities.The homicide rate in the nation's major cities is still a far cry from the crime levels of previous decades, such as in 1990, when New York City recorded a total of 2,262 murders.



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Leaked report shows DHS targeted Americans who fought against ISIS in attempt to tie antifa to foreign power

Leaked report shows DHS targeted Americans who fought against ISIS in attempt to tie antifa to foreign powerA Department of Homeland Security intelligence report leaked to The Nation has some experts skeptical of the department's motives.The report targeted several left-wing American activists whom the department would normally be prohibited from gathering intelligence on unless they had reason to believe the individuals were operating on behalf of a foreign power. The people named in the report, many of whom have identified with far-left causes, do have connections abroad — they traveled to Syria in the past and fought against ISIS alongside Kurdish factions like the YPG, PKK, and the Peshmerga.The U.S., of course, considers ISIS an enemy, as well, so it may seem surprising that the U.S. government would focus on people who volunteered to fight against the terrorist group, but critics argue the Syria connection could be a front to root out potential antifa members. (Some of the individuals denied membership in antifa, which does not necessarily operate in any organized capacity to begin with.)> This is a big deal. Much as Trump et al want, domestic groups like the anti-fascist movement can't be formally labeled terror orgs. But tying them to foreign groups like the YPG (based on <12 people, incl. those who don't ID as antifa) opens them to otherwise-illegal surveillance https://t.co/upHP57QLdD> > — Kelly Weill (@KELLYWEILL) August 3, 2020The report eventually appears to conclude there is no evidence of a "centralized effort to give marching orders to returning antifa-affiliated" U.S. residents, but either way, the briefing didn't sit well with everyone. "They targeted Americans like they're Al-Qaeda," a former intelligence officer in the department with knowledge of the operations told The Nation. "They were essentially violating people's rights like this was the 60s." Read more at The Nation.More stories from theweek.com The most damning inside portrait of the Trump administration yet 5 brutally funny cartoons about Bill Barr’s brand of justice Why Democratic voters might stay home on Election Day



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Diesel truck soot likely sparked major California wildfire

Diesel truck soot likely sparked major California wildfireA California wildfire raging through dry brush and timber east of Los Angeles, forcing thousands of people from their homes, was likely sparked by burning soot from the exhaust of a diesel truck, investigators said on Monday. The blaze, dubbed the Apple Fire, has scorched more than 26,000 acres (10,500 hectares) since erupting last Friday in the Riverside County community of Cherry Valley, about 70 miles (120 km) east of Los Angeles, and was only 5% contained as of Monday, fire officials said. The fire posed an immediate threat to some 2,400 homes, prompting mandatory weekend evacuations of some 7,800 residents, said Fernando Herrera, a Riverside County Fire Department captain and spokesman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CalFire).



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Obama is now on a head-on collision course with Trump to save the 2020 US election

Obama is now on a head-on collision course with Trump to save the 2020 US electionBack in February 2008, congressman John Lewis had some bad news for Hillary Clinton and her presidential campaign.It was true that just a few months earlier, the civil rights hero had backed her bid to become the nation’s first woman president. But now, painfully and after no small consideration, he was having to take that endorsement back.



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Chris Wallace Confronts Trump Campaign Spox Jason Miller: Admit ‘You’re Losing’

Chris Wallace Confronts Trump Campaign Spox Jason Miller: Admit ‘You’re Losing’Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace interrupted his guest’s attacks on Joe Biden to bring up some important points about the Trump campaign this weekend.“Despite what you say about the Biden campaign, the fact is it is the Trump campaign that just replaced your campaign manager,” Wallace told Trump campaign adviser Jason Miller. “It’s the Trump campaign that just paused all television advertising for six days to recalibrate.” From there, Wallace put up on the screen a series of polling averages that show Trump trailing Biden by wide margins both nationally and in three of the crucial swing states he won in 2016. “How do you turn this around, because at this point, Jason, you’re losing?” the host asked.Unsurprisingly, Miller dismissed the premise of the question. “Well, we think we’re in great shape and well positioned to win this,” Miller said in response. He then falsely stated that in all the states President Trump needs to get to 270 electoral votes “he’s either leading or within the margin of error.” He also cited the outlier Rasmussen poll that has Trump with a 50 percent approval ratings as of this past Friday.‘He’s Terrified of Losing’—Trump Goes Into Hyperdrive to Delegitimize the ElectionBut when he started to attack Fox News’ polling specifically, Wallace stopped him. “I think the Fox poll compares very favorably to the Rasmussen  poll in terms of accuracy,” Wallace said. “I knew you were going to attack one poll. As I said the national poll is based on nine polls. The state polls, based on multiple polls as well. Are you really going to blame this—it seems to me that you hurt your credibility if you don’t admit, yeah, we’re losing and we’ve got to turn things around.”“I disagree,” Miller replied. Undeterred, he insisted, without evidence, that Trump is “in a good position right now.” Stephen Miller Spreads Blatant Lies About Mail-In Voting on ‘Fox & Friends’Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.



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Pelosi calls Barr 'despicable' after contentious appearance before House panel

Pelosi calls Barr 'despicable' after contentious appearance before House panelHouse Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) believes Attorney General William Barr accomplished one thing during his appearance before the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday.Barr "demonstrated to the American people the contempt that he has for our democracy," Pelosi told MSNBC's Ari Melber. Throughout the hearing, Barr was on the defensive, as Democrats accused him of intervening in the criminal cases of people close to President Trump and questioned him about his role in sending federal agents to cities where anti-racism and anti-police brutality protests are taking place.Pelosi was not impressed by anything Barr had to say, telling Melber, "I just thought he was despicable and so beneath the dignity of the attorney general." Pelosi called Barr out for his "inconsistencies" in "not sending law enforcement in when people invaded the legislature in Michigan" while carrying guns, but saying that in cities where "demonstrators are out on the streets, that's violent."She also said Barr should be "answering for what he did at Lafayette Square," when he ordered that peaceful protesters be pushed out of the Washington, D.C., park ahead of a Trump photo op at St. John's Episcopal Church. Barr denied that tear gas was used against the protesters, and Pelosi called the entire incident "a disgrace. He was like a blob, just a henchman for the president of the United States, instead of the attorney general of the United States of America."Pelosi told Melber she paid particular attention to questions "related to upholding the Constitution of the United States," and felt Barr "fell very short in that regard. He is there to support the president of the United States, Donald Trump, no matter what. He's not the president's lawyer, that was Michael Cohen, and you know what happened to him." > WATCH: @SpeakerPelosi hits back at AG Barr for criticizing her "stormtrooper" comment. pic.twitter.com/iYQ0y6OyD5> > — The Beat with Ari Melber on MSNBC (@TheBeatWithAri) July 29, 2020More stories from theweek.com Rep. Louie Gohmert told his staff he tested positive for coronavirus in person Even mild coronavirus cases can cause lasting cardiovascular damage, study shows Michelle Obama's podcast sounds suspiciously like a stump speech



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Lebanon PM slams 'dangerous' Israeli border escalation

Lebanon PM slams 'dangerous' Israeli border escalationLebanon’s premier condemned Tuesday a “dangerous military escalation” by Israel after a security incident at the border led the Jewish state to fire artillery across the frontier. “Israel has once again violated Lebanon’s sovereignty… in a dangerous military escalation,” Hassan Diab said on Twitter, in his government’s first official response to Monday’s shelling. The Israeli army had said a group of three to five men armed with rifles crossed the UN-demarcated Blue Line in the disputed Mount Dov area, claimed by Lebanon, Syria and Israel.



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Alabama Republican celebrates KKK member's birthday as state remembers civil rights hero John Lewis

Alabama Republican celebrates KKK member's birthday as state remembers civil rights hero John LewisA Republican senator in Alabama celebrated a Ku Klux Klan (KKK) member’s birthday at the same time hundreds were honouring the life of civil rights hero John Lewis.State Representative Will Dismukes took part in an event marking the KKK grand wizard and former Confederate Army General, Nathan Bedford Forrest, as Alabama honoured the late Georgia Democrat this weekend.



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Prosecutors: 'Alarming' that Maxwell may publicize victims

Prosecutors: 'Alarming' that Maxwell may publicize victimsSome witnesses in the criminal case against Jeffrey Epstein’s former girlfriend may face harassment and intimidation and could be reluctant to cooperate with the government if defense attorneys are allowed to discuss them publicly, prosecutors said Tuesday. Prosecutors asked a Manhattan federal court judge to block lawyers for British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell from publicly identifying women who have already spoken about the financier or Maxwell on a public forum. “The victims of Ghislaine Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein have suffered enough,” prosecutors said, urging privacy for accusers except for anyone who acknowledges publicly they are part of the criminal case against Maxwell.



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Kayleigh McEnany Struggles to Defend Trump’s Demon Sperm Doctor Retweets

Kayleigh McEnany Struggles to Defend Trump’s Demon Sperm Doctor RetweetsKayleigh McEnany had a difficult job even before her boss started retweeting conspiracy theories from a fringe doctor who blames demon sperm and alien DNA for America’s health problems. CBS This Morning co-host Anthony Mason wasted no time getting to that particular story when he invited the White House press secretary on his show Wednesday morning. “Why is the president pushing hydroxychloroquine again when his own health experts say it’s not effective in treating the virus?” he asked. McEnany began by explaining that, despite science to the contrary, Trump has a “positive outlook” on the drug’s potential as a “prophylaxis in the early stages.” The president famously told the press he was taking hydroxychloroquine two months into the pandemic because he had “heard a lot of good stories” about it. “He wants to save lives, that is his goal here,” she added. “That is why he’s promoting this drug as a prophylaxis but only in consultation with your doctor.” Kayleigh McEnany Urges Fox News Viewers to ‘Follow Trump’s Lead’ on MasksAfter pointing out that Dr. Anthony Fauci has contradicted the president’s “positive outlook” on the drug by citing medical evidence, Mason zeroed in on the video that Trump retweeted of Dr. Stella Immanuel in which she not only promoted hydroxychloroquine as a miracle “cure” for COVID-19 but also declared that people “do not need to wear masks” and that shutdowns are “unnecessary.” “This just comes a week after the president said masks are ‘patriotic,’” the host continued. “There’s a shift in tone here and what appear to be very mixed messages. Why?” McEnany’s defense? “That was a three-second remark in a more than five-minute video,” she said, arguing that Trump was simply using Dr. Immanuel’s video to push the unproven drug he likes. When she started praising Trump for finally wearing a mask in public months into the crisis, Mason pushed back. “But there’s a message in there that says it’s not necessary and it comes from the president who has 80 million followers!” he replied. “Did he not look at the whole video?” “The president did look at the whole video,” McEnany said, perhaps not helping her case. “And the overarching message of the video, more than five minutes from this doctor, was talking about hydroxychloroquine.” Trump himself seemed to predict this controversy during an interview last week when he said, “You know what I find? It’s not the tweets, it’s the retweets that get you in trouble.” The president then admitted that when he “sees something that looks good” on Twitter, he doesn’t always “investigate” it before hitting the retweet button. Trevor Noah Unloads on Trump for Trusting ‘Dr. Demon Sperm’Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.



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