Three Dead after White Nationalist Rally
Sunday, August 13, 2017
Vol. 6, No. 214
Nation Divided: Virginia’s governor declared a state of emergency after one person was killed in Charlottesville as white nationalists clashed with counter-protesters in a fight over the removal of statues honoring Confederate heroes.
President Trump has been criticized for issuing a tepid response to the incident.
Police arrested the driver of a car that smashed into the crowd of counter-protesters yesterday, killing a 32-year-old woman and injuring 19 other people. The 20-year-old driver was charged with 2nd-degree murder.
A state police helicopter monitoring the street disturbance also crashed, killing its two occupants.
The violence had broken out at a long-planned white nationalist rally to protest the planned removal of a statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee. White nationalists gathered at the statue chanting “You will not replace us” and “Jews will not replace us.” Hundreds of counter protesters surrounded them. As the demonstration moved to Emancipation Park, scuffles broke out and police cleared the area. The car drove into the crowd after the white nationalists had left.
President Trump later condemned “hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides,” but did not directly condemn the white racists. He said, “It’s been going on for a long time in our country, it’s not Donald Trump, it’s not Barack Obama,” oddly dragging in the former President.
He also shallowly tweeted, “Condolences to the family of the young woman killed today, and best regards to all of those injured, in Charlottesville, Virginia. So sad!”
Trump has previously been accused of creating a friendly atmosphere for racists during his election campaign. Former Ku Klux Klan Imperial Wizard David Duke said yesterday that the protesters were “going to fulfill the promises of Donald Trump” to “take our country back.”
Among Trump’s critics was Charlottesville Mayor Mike Signer, who said, “I do hope that he looks himself in the mirror and thinks very deeply about who he consorted with during his campaign.”
West Wing: The NY Times reports that Special Counsel Robert Mueller is in talks with the White House to obtain interviews with current and former staffers, including former Chief of Staff Reince Priebus. The paper reports that on the agenda of questions is Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey.
Environmental Disaster: Despite the Trump administration’s failure to pass a single piece of major legislation, they are having an enormous impact through administration and regulation dismantlement, particularly at the Environmental Protection Agency.
The NY Times published a long story detailing how EPA administrator Scott Pruitt, who nearly made a career out of fighting the agency he now runs, is secretly taking it apart. The paper describes locked doors, security escorts when seeing Pruitt, and orders to keep no paper records of regulatory changes. The story says, “As he works to roll back regulations, close offices and eliminate staff at the agency charged with protecting the nation’s environment and public health, Mr. Pruitt is taking extraordinary measures to conceal his actions.”
The story goes on, “Together with a small group of political appointees, many with backgrounds, like his, in Oklahoma politics, and with advice from industry lobbyists, Mr. Pruitt has taken aim at an agency whose policies have been developed and enforced by thousands of the E.P.A.’s career scientists and policy experts, many of whom work in the same building.”
Agony of Defeat: Jamaican runner Usain Bolt, the greatest sprinter in history, pulled up short yesterday with a leg injury and fell to the track, losing the 4×100 relay and the final race of his career at the world championships in London. As the crowd roared over what became a tight race, the British team beat the Americans by five one-hundredths of a second.
Bolt appeared to have suffered a muscle injury in his left leg. He had mentioned prior to the race that it was cold in the call room and the runners had been held there for too long.