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Minneapolis suburb: On second thought, let’s bring back the Pledge of Allegiance

Politics Hot Air

'A month ago , the city council for St.Louis Park decided to end the practice of reciting the Pledge of Allegiance at its meetings to be more “inclusive.” After getting an earful from locals as well as national figures, the council reversed itself last night.In a unanimous vote on an unscheduled motion, city councilors decided that the Pledge was pretty darned inclusive after all . Or perhaps it was more of an admission that they should have been focused on more substantial matters all along: The pledge was not scheduled to be discussed Monday night, but Council Member Thom Miller made a motion to reinstate it because the city has been inundated with e-mails and phone calls, some that Miller believed endangered city staff and residents. “There are many from outside of St.Louis Park who are abusing and harassing our city staff, making it very difficult for them to serve the residents and businesses in our city, which is the very reason our local government exists,” he said at the meeting.A short time later, council members voted 7-0 to reinstate the pledge.There were protesters present supporting the council’s earlier decision, some holding signs saying “You are welcome here,” according to the Star Tribune.Councilor Kirsten Brekke Albright said that the protest against the initial decision “saddens” her because it came from “mindless, but very effective, agitators and organizers.” Still, she threw in for repealing the earlier decision because she wanted to get back to work.That prompts the question: why did the council go out of its way to take the action in the first place?If Albright wanted to focus on work a month ago instead of symbolic nonsense, St.Louis Park would never have ended up in the national spotlight in the first place.Albright and the council wanted to make a public spectacle with their virtue signaling by banning the pledge.Now they’re shocked,  shocked to find that when elected officials grandstand, people not only notice but feel empowered to respond.Talk about  mindless . The lament about national reaction wasn’t false, though.Even Donald Trump weighed in on it a couple of times on Twitter: Outrage is growing in the Great State of Minnesota where our Patriots are now having to fight for the right to say the Pledge of Allegiance.I will be fighting with you! @foxandfriends — Donald J.Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 9, 2019 The Pledge of Allegiance to our great Country, in St.Louis Park, Minnesota, is under siege.That is why I am going to win the Great State of Minnesota in the 2020 Election.People are sick and tired of this stupidity and disloyalty to our wonderful USA! — Donald J.Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 11, 2019 It was a dumb fight for the St.Louis Park city council to pick, and not just because of Trump’s criticisms.At least some of their constituents didn’t appreciate the council’s implications either, regardless of the “agitators and organizers.” One woman wanted to know what exactly  wasn’t welcoming and inclusive in the Pledge?Marni Hockenberg of Rose­ville said the protesters believe the council’s initial decision was another freedom “being taken away from us bit by bit.” “Why take that right away from other Americans who are really proud to be united and indivisible in one nation?” she said. “I think the Pledge of Allegiance celebrates our diversity, that we’re all united.” Want to bet that none of the councilors ever answer that question — at least not in public?The Star Tribune reports that most of the people in the room agreed with Hockenberg, not the council — and so did the “large overflow crowd” standing in the hallway outside.One suspects that the next city council election in St.Louis Park will be a livelier affair than usual.Although, perhaps not.As I explained to a friend who asked me about the initial decision last month, “Forget it, man … it’s MN-05 Town.” I’m delighted to have underestimated the people of this CD.For a shining moment, even Rep.Ilhan Omar’s district managed to generate some popular support for symbolic shows of patriotism and inclusion.For Albright and the rest of the St.Louis Park city council, this Captain Louis Renault award is for you. . The post Minneapolis suburb: On second thought, let’s bring back the Pledge of Allegiance appeared first on Hot Air .'

Trump: Detention Facilities Are ‘Not Concentration Camps, They’re Really Well-Run’

Politics Politics | The Epoch Times

President Donald Trump defended the conditions of U.S. border facilities on July 16, saying that the immigrant detention centers at the southern border are “not concentration camps,” as described by some Democratic lawmakers. Trump made the comments
'President Donald Trump defended the conditions of U.S.  border  facilities on July 16, saying that the immigrant detention centers at the southern border are “not concentration camps,” as described by some Democratic lawmakers. Trump made the comments to reporters during a cabinet meeting, where he countered the allegations made by “very radical left Democrats” that the United States is running “concentration camps.” “They’re not concentration camps. They’re really well-run,” Trump said. “Actually, in the case of the children, they weren’t crowded at all. People came back—and even some of the news, which was shocking, frankly—said they were very well-run, very clean.” “We had an adult center of males, many of these people are criminals. We’re not letting them out, can’t let them out. And it was crowded, very crowded,” he continued. The president comments come after Vice President  Mike Pence  visit to the Donna Holding Facility in Texas. Joining him were senators from the Senate Judiciary Committee, Kevin McAleenan, acting secretary of Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and his wife Second Lady Karen Pence. Vice President Mike Pence tours the Donna Holding Facility in Donna, Texas on July 12, 2019. (Veronica G. Cardenas/Reuters) After visiting the facility, Pence said at a news conference that he was not surprised by what he saw. “I knew we’d see a system that was overwhelmed,” Pence told reporters. “This is tough stuff.” Toured the Donna Processing Center with @SecondLady and saw firsthand how even in the face of our overwhelmed facilities, @CBP is providing humane and compassionate care. Congress MUST reform our laws to end this unsustainable crisis of illegal immigration at the border. pic.twitter.com/zQZkJKRGU4 — Vice President Mike Pence (@VP) July 12, 2019 The Trump administration has repeatedly warned about the crisis at the southern border, saying the unprecedented influx of family units has overwhelmed border patrol facilities and resources. In May, Border Patrol agents detained more than 144,000 people crossing from Mexico—the highest level in more than a decade, according to Customs and Border Protection (CBP) data . After Pence’s tour at the facility, Trump took to Twitter to criticize the coverage of the visit , singling out a  New York Times  report that appears to have cherry-picked negative details of the visit. “Friday’s tour showed vividly, to politicians and the media, how well run and clean the children’s detention centers are. Great reviews! Failing New York Times story was FAKE! The adult single men areas were clean but crowded – also loaded up with a big percentage of criminals,” Trump wrote on social media. “Sorry, can’t let them into our Country. If too crowded, tell them not to come to USA, and tell the Dems to fix the Loopholes – Problem Solved!” The 384 single men at the facility were given three hot meals a day from a local restaurant, but some had to sleep on the ground because there wasn’t enough room for cots where they were being held. Many of the men hadn’t showered for 10 to 20 days because the facility didn’t previously have showers, according to Michael Banks, a patrol agent, who said it now has a trailer shower. Banks said the longest any man had been at the facility was 32 days. “I very much want to thank Vice President Pence for taking a whole delegation of people down to see the things that one of our very radical left Democrats called ‘concentration camps,'” Trump said during the cabinet meeting while referring to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s (D-N.Y.) description for the facilities. Ocasio-Cortez received widespread condemnation after she compared U.S.  border  facilities to “concentration camps” in an Instagram video last month while adding the phrase “never again,” a term synonymous with crimes committed by Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Germany during World War II. Despite the backlash, the freshman congresswoman has refused to apologize for her remarks and instead doubled down on her comments as she hit back at her critics. Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) speak at a press conference at the U.S. Capitol on July 15, 2019. (Holly Kellum/NTD) The progressive lawmaker’s comments also sparked a debate as to whether the immigration facilities are in fact “concentration camps,” with academics and media personalities openly arguing their understanding of the term. During his comments on July 16, the president offered a solution to address the border crisis. “The best way they can solve that is not come up. … We want to take people in legally. We want to take them through merit. And we want our companies to be helped. All these companies that are pouring into the United States because we’re the hottest country in the world right now,” Trump said. Zachary Stieber and Ivan Pentchoukov contributed to this report.'

‘Blatant, Unacceptable Discrimination’: Reading Mayor Calls Off Ceremony To Raise LGBTQ Flag Over City Hall

Politics CBS Philly

Acting Managing Director Osmer Deming said Mayor Wally Scott believes the 'pride flag' represents a political movement and flying it is against city policy.
'READING, Pa. (CBS/AP) — The mayor of the eastern Pennsylvania city of Reading called off a scheduled ceremony to raise the LGBTQ rainbow flag over City Hall for the first time, calling it a political symbol. Acting Managing Director Osmer Deming said Mayor Wally Scott believes the “pride flag” represents a political movement and flying it is against city policy. Council president Jeffrey Waltman Sr. said he found out just before arriving for the ceremony Monday evening and tried unsuccessfully to change the mayor’s mind. “He has concerns for flying a flag for one specific cause because it could raise questions,” Waltman told The Reading Eagle . “I didn’t even have time to debate that with him” The LGBT Center of Greater Reading blasted the decision, saying “what was supposed to be a proud and historical moment” became “blatant, unacceptable discrimination.” The Reading Eagle reports that a POW/MIA flag flies below the U.S. flag at City Hall and flags of other countries have been raised there. (©Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)'

The Atlantic Politics & Policy Daily: Disorder in the House

Politics theatlantic.com

House Democrats will vote on a resolution to condemn the president’s racist tweets. Plus: Can Mark Esper really help steer Trump?
'Were you forwarded this email? Sign yourself up here. We have many other free email newsletters on a variety of other topics. Browse the full list. What We’re Following Today It’s Tuesday, July 16. ‣ Representative Al Green of Texas said he will file articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump tonight. More than 80 members have so far called to begin an inquiry. ‣ The House is preparing to vote tonight on a resolution condemning Trump’s racist tweets, as Trump and his defenders continue to push back. ‣ The Justice Department said it will not bring federal charges against the New York City police officer involved in Eric Garner’s death five years ago. Gwen Carr, the mother of Eric Garner, speaks to the media about the decision to not prosecute NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo. (Brendan McDermid / Reuters) Here’s what else we’re watching: Secretary of Defense on Defense: Senators pressed Mark Esper today during his confirmation hearing on whether he would—as the defense secretary, a position that’s gone seven months without a confirmed person—stand up to President Donald Trump if he disagreed with him. Esper conveyed that he would be willing to. But in this administration, there’s a limit to anyone’s influence, Kathy Gilsinan writes. A ‘Rhetorical Swiss Army Knife’: The Trump administration is reshaping government for generations to come by embracing a two-word phrase that no reasonable person can oppose: religious freedom. Mattathias Schwartz spoke with Ambassador Sam Brownback on what’s afoot. Update on 2020: Several Democratic presidential candidates, from Kamala Harris to Beto O’Rourke, have a new tactic for reaching black Americans: Writing op-eds in publications like Essence and other magazines with predominantly black readerships, Adrienne Green reports. But paying attention to black media is hardly the same as offering tangible support to black communities. + Mark Sanford, the former governor of South Carolina, told reporters that he’s considering challenging Trump for the GOP nomination (he has a specific bone to pick with Trump). Sanford has a lot of experience campaigning for office … but there’s at least one example of his time on the trail going south. — Elaine Godfrey Ideas From The Atlantic Can’t Impeach Trump? Go After His Cabinet. (Garrett Epps) “Although Speaker Nancy Pelosi has frozen talk of removing the president, making a lot of Democratic voters angry, let’s remember that the impeachment power is not just for presidents.” → Read on. Leave the Jews Out of It (James Kirchick) “If Trump & Co.’s intent is to spark a ‘Jexodus’ from the Democratic Party, it would be hard to find a less effective catalyst, notwithstanding all the positive things this administration has done for the Jewish state.” → Read on. Am I an American? (Ibram X. Kendi) “We were rarely told to go back to our country when we did kneel, when we did not kneel, when we did as told by the slaveholder and the abolitionist, by the segregator and racial reformer, by the American mentor telling us to pull up or pull down our pants. Am I an American only when I act like a slave?” → Read on. House Insurrections Are Here to Stay (Steve Israel) “Speakers can count on unrest, because members know they have little to lose in opposing their leaders.” → Read on . What Else We’re Reading ‣ The American right defines patriotism as complacency about racism (Eric Levitz, New York) ‣ A border patrol agent reveals what it’s really like to guard migrant children (Ginger Thompson, ProPublica) ‣ 5% of Congress was born abroad. Those members show what it means to be American. ( The New York Times ) (🔒 Paywall) About us: This newsletter is a daily effort from The Atlantic ’s politics writer Elaine Godfrey. It’s edited by Shan Wang. Were you forwarded this email? Sign yourself up here. We have many other free email newsletters on a variety of other topics. Browse the full list.'