A lot of things happened. Here are some of the things. This is TPM’s Morning Memo. Sign up for the email version.
Terrorist Attack In Jacksonville
America is living through a reign of white supremacist terror, but we won’t bring ourselves to call it that, treat it that way, or hold accountable the provocateurs in the Republican Party who are catalyzing and instigating the attacks.
You might be forgiven for missing the significance of the weekend news that a gunman who fits the profile of domestic right-wing terrorist – white, male, 21 years old – allegedly targeted Black people and opened fire in a Jacksonville Dollar General store, killing three people of color before committing suicide.
It’s easy and not entirely erroneous to drop this incident in the bucket of runaway gun crimes in an America with few gun regulations. But it’s the wrong bucket to put in it. This is the runaway violence of white supremacists against minority groups happening in tandem with the rise of a radical right-wing Republican Party, but with little public acknowledgment or understanding of what’s really happening.
Thank god, though, for Jacksonville’s Black police chief, who went out of his way to call this what it is. “He targeted a certain group of people, and that’s Black people,” Jacksonville Sheriff T.K. Waters said in a Saturday news conference.
The terror attack is being investigated as a hate crime, and the feds are involved. The pattern is familiar, according to early accounts from law enforcement:
- The gunman was heavily armed and in tactical wear.
- He had Glock and an AR-15-style rifle marked with swastikas.
- He lived with his parents.
- He had authored several “manifestos” with a racist ideology.
The rush to reassure the public that he was a lone actor is itself not reassuring. Labeling it stochastic terrorism doesn’t make it less threatening or less systemic. An ongoing series of terror attacks by so-called lone wolfs in an environment full of right-wing hate, calls to violence, and demonization of minorities ends up looking a lot like the Islamic extremism American imagination’s conjure whenever the word “terrorism” is used.
More On the Jacksonville Terror Attack
- Daily Beast: ‘Racially Motivated’ Gunman Once Held Involuntarily Under Florida Law
- NYT: 11 Fatal Minutes That Have Jacksonville Confronting Racism Yet Again
- WaPo: Jacksonville shooter bought guns legally before racist attack that killed 3
Big Day Ahead
Let me just put it in one place: for your ease of reference:
- Trump Jan. 6 case: Hearing at 10 a.m. ET on a potential trial date in front of U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan in DC. Remember: Trump is the sole defendant here and wants a laughable 2026 trial date.
- Georgia racketeering case: Hearing at 10 a.m. ET on Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows’ motion to remove his case from state to federal court in front of U.S. District Judge Steve Jones. Remember: Meadows is one of 19 defendants, but he struck first with his removal motion and hence is the first to court.
What To Expect In The Jan. 6 Hearing
We’ll get another early read on how much Trump bullshit U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan is willing to tolerate.
Trump has requested an absurd trial date of April 2026. Chutkan will not go for that. Special Counsel Jack Smith has sought to begin jury selection in December and begin trial after the holidays. Those are the dueling bookends of the range Chutkan will consider, but in truth Trump gave up his ability to shape her decision very much by his ridiculous proposal. Expect Chutkan to land somewhere in 2024, but pay attention to how she thinks about and navigates Trump’s many pending legal matters all vying for court time in the coming months.
Chutkan, 61, is an Obama appointee and has been on the bench since 2014.
Electronic devices are allowed in the media room in the federal courthouse in DC so we should have real-time accessibility to the hearing. Stay tuned for our coverage.
What To Expect In Mark Meadows Hearing
Altanta DA Fani Willis has subpoenaed at least four witnesses for the hearing. Whether she ends up calling them to testify remains to be seen. It’s not clear if Meadows will call witnesses, submit affidavits or present other kinds of evidence.
U.S. District Judge Steve Jones, 66, is an Obama appointee and has been on the federal bench since 2011.
No electronic devices allowed in the courthouse in Atlanta, so we probably will have very limited real-time visibility into what is happening in this hearing. So stay tuned for coverage later in the day on what went down exactly.
In the meantime, you can catch up on removal law (if you are so inclined) with this FAQ from Just Security.
Fox News Makes Rare Apology
Fox News has taken down and apologized for a false story that claimed a Gold Star family had had to pay $60,000 itself to repatriate the remains of Marine Sgt. Nicole Gee, who was killed in a terror attack at the Kabul airport as the U.S. was withdrawing its forces in 2021.
A lot of credit for the retraction belongs to Military.com, which did a story on the efforts of the Pentagon to convince Fox News the story was wrong.
Credit also to CNN media reporter Oliver Darcy for uncommon bluntness when talking about Fox News:
In this case, Fox News did not publicly address the incident until the Military.com story ignited backlash against the outlet.
While unethical, the behavior is typical for Fox News. The outlet often breaks traditional news ethics and traffics in dishonest reporting and commentary.
Things Are Usually A Bit More Complicated On Closer Look
Oliver Anthony of “Rich Men North of Richmond” fame apparently doesn’t hanker to be a GOP pawn:
- NYT: Singer of ‘Rich Men North of Richmond’ Says It’s Not a Republican Anthem
- WaPo: After GOP debate, Oliver Anthony says politicians ‘weaponized’ his song
- CNN: Oliver Anthony says he ‘hates’ seeing his song ‘Rich Men North of Richmond’ be ‘weaponized’
The World Is Contemplating Trump 2.0
In assessing the international impact of a second Trump presidency, the WSJ comes up with a modest list of horrors:
- Trump could spark a global trade war;
- Trump could withdraw the U.S. from NATO;
- Trump could withdraw support for Ukraine;
- Trump could waver on support for Taiwan
Daily Beast: The Real Story Behind Ron DeSantis’ Newest Fired Prosecutor
- GOP Primary: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) canceled campaign events this week with Tropical Storm Idalia forecast to hit his state later this week at or near major hurricane strength.
- AZ-Sen: Kari Lake is still “contemplating” a run for the Senate in 2024 in Arizona.
- LOL: Former Sen. Joe Lieberman says “No Labels” plans to select a presidential ticket at its April convention in Dallas.
The Bottomless Cynicism of Tucker Carlson
David Corn on Tucker Carlson’s interview last week with Donald Trump:
Carlson was suggesting that Trump’s political foes are conspiring to kill Trump. In a divided country at a divisive moment, this is reckless and irresponsible. He was fueling hatred and paranoia. Imagine the actions that Trump devotees might consider if they were convinced Democrats, liberals, prosecutors, the media, and others were bent on killing Trump?
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