The DC: 💳 Buying Greenland, and... Should the U.S. revive mental institutions to address mass shootings?
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by Countable | 8.19.19
Welcome to Monday, August 19th, AMs and FMs...
It was a weekend of protests.
In Hong Kong, over 1 million people rallied for the 11th weekend of pro-democracy protests. Organizers on Sunday's march - named "Peaceful, Rational, and Non-Violent Protesters Stand Out" - called for Hong Kong's police chief and security secretary to resign over their conduct towards activists.
Back on American soil, Portland police on Saturday arrested 13 people - and seized weapons including metal poles and bear spray - as 1,200 far-right demonstrators and anti-fascist counterprotesters rallied in Oregon's largest city.
The Proud Boys have vowed to return to Portland every month unless its mayor removes the "scourge of violent domestic terrorists from his city." The far-right group is referring to Antifa, who attacked a conservative journalist last month.
President Donald Trump tweeted ahead of the rallies: "Major consideration is being given to naming ANTIFA an 'ORGANIZATION OF TERROR.' Portland is being watched very closely. Hopefully the Mayor will be able to properly do his job!"
On the Radar
Greenbacks for Greenland
The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that President Donald Trump, “with varying degrees of seriousness,” has discussed with advisers the possibility of purchasing Greenland from Denmark.
If the Trump administration moves forward with the idea and makes an offer, it would be the latest expression of U.S. interest in acquiring the autonomous, glacier-covered Danish territory that dates back more than 150 years.
President Donald Trump confirmed on Sunday that he's "interested" in buying Greenland, regardless of whether it's for sale.
"It's something we talked about," he told reporters. "Denmark essentially owns it, we're very good allies with Denmark."
Trump said the transaction would "essentially" be a "large real estate deal." "Strategically it's interesting and we'd be interested, but we'll talk to them a little bit," Trump said.
Gun Control Bills
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) announced that his committee will end its summer recess five days early to hold hearings on three bills aimed at preventing gun violence.
"These should not be partisan issues, and it is my hope we can move forward on these matters with support on both sides of the aisle, including the president," Nadler said in a statement.
- The Extreme Risk Protection Order Act of 2019 would provide grants to states to adopt laws providing for Extreme Risk Protection Orders to prevent those deemed a risk to themselves or others from accessing firearms, and establish procedures for obtaining ERPOs in federal court.
- The Keep Americans Safe Act would ban high capacity ammunition magazines.
- The Disarm Hate Act would make people convicted of misdemeanor hate crimes ineligible for gun ownership.
Under the Radar
Bringing Mental Institutions Back
President Trump is appearing to distance himself from expanding gun background checks in favor of reopening mental institutions.
"There is a mental illness problem that has to be dealt with. It's not the gun that pulls the trigger—it's the person holding the gun," Trump said to a standing ovation at a rally in Manchester, New Hampshire, last week.
The president said the U.S. "will be taking mentally deranged and dangerous people off of the streets."
"Years ago, many cities and states I remember so well closed mental institutions for budgetary reasons...We're going to have to give major consideration to building new facilities to those in need, we have to do it...We don't have those institutions anymore and people can't get proper care."
Mental health experts have repeated what they’ve said after previous mass shootings—the majority of people suffering from mental illness are not violent, and are actually more likely to be the victims of violent crime than perpetrators.
Detained Migrant Children Entitled to Soap, Toothpaste
A California appeals court has ruled that detained immigrant children must be provided with soap, clean water, toothbrushes, and edible food.
In June, the Trump administration argued in court that "safe and sanitary" conditions - required by the 1997 Flores settlement - may not necessarily mean that a toothbrush and soap are provided for detained immigrant children during short stays, and that the children could be allowed to sleep on concrete floors.
A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected this argument, ruling:
"Assuring that children eat enough edible food, drink clean water, are housed in hygienic facilities with sanitary bathrooms, have soap and toothpaste, and are not sleep-deprived are without doubt essential to the children's safety."
Your Gov at a Glance 👀
The White House: President Trump in D.C.
- At 11:30am EDT, the president will receive his intelligence briefing.
The House of Representatives: Out
- The House will return Monday, September 9th.
The Senate: Out
- The Senate will return Monday, September 9th.
What You're Saying
Here's how you're answering Should Specially-Trained U.S. Postal Workers Search Mail from Foreign Countries for Illegal Drugs Like Fentanyl?
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But wait, there's more!
- What the Trump Home Dialysis Plan Would Really Look Like
- Should the Prison Term For Stalking a Minor be Increased by 5 Years?
And, in the End…
It's World Photo Day.
Any guess which U.S. president was the first to be photographed?
John Quincy Adams, the sixth president of the United States. He had his daguerreotype taken in 1843 (he left office in 1829).
As for the first POTUS to have a photo taken while in office, that honor goes to James Polk, #11, in 1849:
May all your photos be Instagram-worthy,
Talk to us via email at contact [at] countable.us. And don’t forget to keep in touch @Countable.
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