☕ Cover: President Donald J. Trump aboard Marine One approaches for a landing on the South Lawn of the White House Sunday, June 14, 2020, concluding his trip to Bedminster, N.J. (Official White House Photo by Tia Dufour)
Good Morning. Here’s what you need to know to start the day, along with perspective from both sides for calmer coffee conversations with your family, friends, colleagues, and co-workers. Plus, a bit of good news: A singer wanted to perform for seniors. So she rented a cherry picker and sang from outside their windows.
📰 TOP STORY
The Multi-Pronged Effort on Police Reform: On Tuesday President Trump announced an executive order addressing police reform amid growing calls for action in the wake of George Floyd’s death. Trump told reporters at the White House that, “The overall goal is we want law and order and we want it done fairly, justly. We want it done safely.” Today we look at what’s included in the President’s executive order, what Senate republicans are planning to announce, how both differ from the Democrats’ proposal, and if there is any common ground between all three initiatives:
On the Right / From the White House: President Trump’s executive order has three main pillars. The first is to provide credentials and certifications that will motivate police departments to update their use-of-force practices. The second is the creation of a database to track abusive officers that can be shared between different departments. The third is pairing social service workers with police officers on nonviolent response calls. The aim of the final component is to help officers better deal with issues such as mental health, drug addiction, and homelessness. According to Alex Leary and Kristina Peterson of The Wall Street Journal, “the actions are incentives rather than mandates, though higher standards could help departments compete for federal grants.” While President Trump’s executive order won’t satisfy police-reform advocates who want to “defund” or reallocate police budgets, it’s a step in the right direction. It may act as an influential stepping-stone for more concrete pieces of legislation working their way through both chambers of congress. Speaking of which, House Democrats and Senate Republicans are working on bills of their own:
On the Right / In the Senate: Today, Senate Republicans led by Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C) will likely unveil their own police reform bill. The focus will be on limiting the use of chokeholds and providing more federal funding for deescalation training. According to Axios the Senate’s proposal will also, “create a national database of officers who use excessive force, make federal lynching a hate crime, [and] provide a new funding stream for jurisdictions to purchase and implement body cameras.” The biggest takeaway, however, is that “qualified immunity” — which protects officers from lawsuits against their actions in the field — is not currently addressed in the bill. Let’s see if that changes when it’s released later today.
On the Left / In the House and Senate: On Monday, June 8, House and Senate Democrats unveiled a piece of legislation titled the “Justice in Policing Act of 2020.” The bill has more than 200 sponsors and is expected to be approved by the House Judiciary Committee today before a vote of the full House later this month. Most notably, the Democrats’ bill would curb the “qualified immunity” protection established by the Supreme Court. Specifically, it would allow citizens to collect some damages if their constitutional rights are found to be violated by police. The Justice in Policing Act of 2020 would also ban chokeholds at a federal level, prohibit no-knock warrants in drug cases, set up a public national registry of police misconduct, and establish a database to better track when police officers use force.
Flag This: In the past, “Congress has often struggled to address policing issues on a bipartisan basis as some say decisions about policing tactics, training, and strategies should be solved at the state and local level,” NPR reports. That said, this time is different as evidenced by the multi-pronged initiatives outlined above. As noted, President Trump’s EO provides an executive branch foundation for talks between the legislative arms of the government. There is a lot of common ground that lawmakers seem to agree on including banning chokeholds, establishing a database, and even allocating more federal funds to training officers or making sure they have social workers by their sides. The biggest stumbling block looks like it will be addressing qualified immunity. What’s interesting is that the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday refused to reexamine qualified immunity. The announcement was overshadowed by the Justices’ decision regarding employment discrimination against LGBTQ workers. This means that Democrats have an uphill battle if Senate Republicans decide not to include it in their proposal today. Despite obstacles in the past, we think there is a high percentage chance some form of legislation gets passed addressing police reform. If not, government leaders will likely face not only a potential “second wave” of coronavirus infections, but a “second wave” of protests as well.
🦅 US NEWS
Poll: Americans are the unhappiest they’ve been in 50 years
“It’s been a rough year for the American psyche,” Tamara Lush writes for the Associated Press. In fact, “Folks in the U.S. are more unhappy today than they’ve been in nearly 50 years.” According to a study conducted by NORC at the University of Chicago, “just 14% of American adults say they’re very happy, down from 31% who said the same in 2018. That year, 23% said they’d often or sometimes felt isolated in recent weeks. Now, 50% say that.”
- Flag This: In addition to America’s unhappiness, new polling numbers from Gallup suggest that pride in our country is dipping as well. As noted by Chris Cillizza of CNN, “Just over 4 in 10 Americans (42%) said they were ‘extremely proud’ to be an American, the lowest number to say so since Gallup began asking the question in 2001. The total of people saying they were “extremely” or “very” proud to be an American — 63% — was also the lowest ever measured by Gallup.” Keep reading.
New Numbers on Nursing Homes
A Wall Street Journal tally of state data compiling fatalities from COVID-19 underscores the virus’s heavy cost to those living in long-term-care facilities Jon Kamp and Anna Wilde Mathews write. What’s Happening: “Deaths among senior-care center staff and residents appear to represent at least 40% of the overall count of more than 116,000 U.S. fatalities related to COVID-19. ” By the numbers: “The Journal’s tally shows more than 51,000 COVID-19-associated deaths tied to long-term-care facilities, including nursing homes and assisted-living sites, along with more than 250,000 cases.
- Flag This: “The true toll of cases in long-term-care facilities is likely higher because of reporting lags and differences in how states report.”
🌎 WORLD NEWS
“Researchers in England say they have the first evidence that a drug can improve COVID-19 survival: A cheap, widely available steroid reduced deaths by up to one third in severely ill hospitalized patients,” AP’s Marilynn Marchione writes. Sarah Owermohle of POLITICO adds, “The inexpensive steroid dexamethasone is the first drug known to reduce risk of death in COVID-19 patients, British researchers announced Tuesday. The medicine cut deaths by up to a third in coronavirus patients on ventilators and cut deaths by one-fifth in patients on oxygen, according to data from a trial run by scientists at Oxford University.”
- Flag This: “Dexamethasone, widely used to treat inflammation since it was first approved by the FDA in 1958, helps reduce inflammation that develops when the body overreacts to the virus. There is no evidence the drug helps mildly ill patients, but in those on ventilators — more than half of whom die, according to recent studies — the impact would be significant.”
India says 20 soldiers killed in clash with Chinese troops
“The Indian Army late Tuesday night raised the death toll in a clash with Chinese troops on a disputed Himalayan border from three to 20 Indian soldiers,” Aijaz Hussan writes for the AP. Why it matters: “The clash — during which neither side fired any shots, according to Indian officials — is the first deadly confrontation between the two Asian giants since 1975.”
- Flag This: India and China fought a border war in 1962. The two countries have been trying to settle their border dispute since the early 1990s without success.
🗞️ BIZ, SPORTS, & TECH
Advertising Dip & Sales Surge
GroupM, the world’s largest ad buyer, said that spending on US advertising will fall by 13% this year. Despite the plunge, it won’t be as bad as the 16% drop seen during the prior financial crisis in 2009. Also: US retail sales jumped 17.7% in May, recording the highest monthly spike on record. Clothing and accessories led the rebound with a 188% gain.
Goodell: I ‘encourage’ a team to sign Colin Kaepernick
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said he supports and encourages teams to sign quarterback Colin Kaepernick. In a conversation with Mike Greenberg for ESPN’s The Return of Sports special, Goodell said it would be up to a team to sign Kaepernick and said he welcomes Kaepernick’s voice on discussions of social issues. Keep reading.
Apple of the EU’s Eyes
The European Union launched two antitrust investigations against Apple on Tuesday, specifically taking aim at the tech-giant’s app store and payment platform. In recent months the EU has also launched antitrust investigations into Google, Amazon, and Facebook.
📢 PRESENTED BY KENNY FLOWERS
🗳️ FLAG POLLS
Results From Last Week’s Flag Poll
President Trump said he would overrule any governor who disagreed with him that places of worship should be allowed to reopen in accordance with new CDC guidelines. Do you think congregations should be allowed to reopen? 86% said Yes, 14% said No. Full results and comments.
This Week’s Flag Poll
Do you support President Trump’s Executive Order against social media companies? Click here to vote.
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