Like many Muslims, I remember feeling excited as a child each year when Ramadan came around. Though I didn’t entirely understand the purpose of fasting, I was proud of being Muslim and was eager to emulate my parents. Since I began fasting in second grade, Ramadan has been a core part of my practice of Islam.
A veteran pollster for Republican candidates and officials over the past several decades has a warning for his party: Pushing former President Donald Trump’s “big lie” about election fraud may cause a GOP midterm election loss. Midterm elections usually go badly for the political party associated with the president currently in office. Only two presidents since Franklin Roosevelt have seen gains in Congress for their own political party in a midterm race after winning a presidential election: Bill Clinton in 1998 and George W. Bush in 2002.
This week’s news of the Biden-Harris administration’s about-face on U.S. refugee policy was a win for all the progressive forces that have been pressuring Biden to discontinue Trump’s egregiously low cap on the number of refugees accepted each year. But the victory did nothing to change the other massive structural ways in which the Biden-Harris administration is continuing to perpetuate the humanitarian crisis at the border through its embrace of Trump’s other asylum policies.
Four former Minneapolis police officers were charged by a federal grand jury on Friday for willfully violating George Floyd’s constitutional rights when Derek Chauvin violently murdered the 46-year-old Black man. Chauvin is charged with violating Floyd’s constitutional right to be free from unreasonable seizure and unreasonable force. Former officers Tou Thao and J. Alexander Kueng, who did not intervene when Chauvin kneeled on Floyd’s neck for over nine minutes, are also charged with unreasonable seizure. Chauvin, Thao, Kueng and another former officer Thomas Lane are charged with failing to provide Floyd medical care. Lane and Kueng had helped to restrain Floyd, and prosecutors say that Thao had held back bystanders while Chauvin was killing Floyd.
The April employment report was considerably weaker than had generally been expected, with the economy adding just 266,000 jobs. Furthermore, the prior two months numbers were revised down by 78,000. The unemployment rate edged up to 6.1 percent, but this was entirely due to more people entering the labor force. The employment-to-population ratio (EPOP) also edged up by 0.1 percentage point to 57.9 percent. That is still 2.9 percentage points below its average for 2019. Performance Across Sectors Was Very Mixed The leisure and hospitality sector accounted for more than all the gains in April, adding 331,000 jobs. Restaurants added 187,000; arts and entertainment added 89,600; and hotels added 54,400. State and local government added a surprisingly low 39,000 jobs, almost all in education. Employment in state and local governments is still 1,278,000 below the pre-pandemic level. There should be large employment increases here as more schools reopen in May.
Texas House Republicans passed a voter suppression bill early Friday morning despite a tough fight put up by Democrats, who offered over 130 amendments from late Thursday into the night. Democrats were able to water down the bill, SB 7, and cut into some of the most punitive proposals, but the final vision retained restrictive proposals like limiting ballot drop boxes and prohibiting counties from sending unsolicited absentee ballots. The House voted at 3 am to advance the bill, which contained 20 of the provisions proposed by Democrats, who had slim chances of outright stopping the bill. Texas’ House is controlled by Republicans by a wide margin; the bill passed 81-64.
Amid growing concerns that Republicans will try to use new voting laws to overturn elections in the wake of a campaign of lies stoking unfounded fears about vote-rigging, GOP-led state legislatures across the country are already trying to reverse popular ballot initiatives approved by majorities of voters. Missouri voters last year passed a ballot initiative to expand Medicaid. Arizona approved a new tax on the wealthy to fund schools. South Dakota legalized marijuana. But Republicans are trying to block those measures from being implemented and dozens of state legislatures are pushing new bills to make it harder to get voter initiatives on the ballot in the first place.
A man who took part in the Capitol breach on January 6 said this week that his actions weren’t 100 percent his fault. Rather, he said, was influenced into being a part of the violence that day by something his lawyer called “Foxmania,” which resulted in him believing false claims about election fraud in the 2020 election. Anthony Antonio surrendered to police in April and was charged with five federal crimes related to the January attack, including violent entry and disorderly conduct while in the Capitol, and impeding law enforcement. One video of Antonio’s actions during the day shows him shouting at officers, telling them, “You want war? We got war. 1776 all over again.”
This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.AMY GOODMAN: “Old Man River,” sung by Paul Robeson, who had his passport taken by the U.S. government, who...
This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The Quarantine Report. I’m Amy Goodman. Oh, you can sign up for...