40 Times More People Came for ObamaÂ
Thursday afternoon Donald Trump held a concert to kick off hisÂ inauguration and a weekend of celebration at the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The president-elect tried to spin it, suggesting that maybe no one had ever held a concert there, pretending there were “tens of thousands of people” there, filling the space, “all the way to the back.”
Trump told attendees,Â â€œThis started out tonight being a small little concert, and then we had the idea maybe weâ€™ll do it in front of the Lincoln Memorial. I donâ€™t know if itâ€™s ever been done before,â€ he said, according to Buzzfeed. â€œBut if it has, very seldom. And the people came by the thousands and thousands, and here we are tonight, all the way back. All the way back.â€
Trump on Lincoln Memorial inaugural concert “I don’t know if it’s ever been done before” pic.twitter.com/YSNFXV6q3K
â€” BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) January 19, 2017
Later, at a donors’ dinner, Trump tried to spin a bit harder.
â€œWe thought it would be a small concert and tens of thousands of people were there,â€ the president-elect said. â€œIt went all the way to the back. They never had so many people. And very few people ever had a concert at the Lincoln Memorial.â€
None of his remarks were true.
According to an MSNBC crowd estimate, 10,000 people showed.
Meanwhile, eight years ago, Barack Obama held a pre-inauguration concertÂ at the National Mall.Â
â€œI donâ€™t know if itâ€™s ever been done before,â€ Trump says of inauguration concert at Lincoln Memorial. Hereâ€™s Obama doing it in 2009. pic.twitter.com/Ni7d7M0HD5
â€” Matt Viser (@mviser) January 19, 2017
“Rap fans danced to country music, elderly white men high-fived with young African Americans and tears mixed with laughter as a varied lineup of A-list stars and an equally diverse crowd jammed the grounds of the Lincoln Memorial to celebrate the nation and its historic president-elect yesterday,” The Washington Post reported Jan. 19, 2009.
“By some estimates, more than 400,000 people filled the western end of the Mall for the official start of a three-day jubilee of prayers, parades and parties. They endured long security lines and chilly weather for a two-hour salute to the man who will be America’s first black president and to the nation that elected Barack Obama to the White House despite centuries of racial divisiveness.”
This tweet sums it up:
â€” Mark Sundstrom (@106th) January 19, 2017
The photo above, a screenshot from CNN, was taken at 4:44 PM ET. Here’s video of Trump and his family arriving at 4:13 PM ET:
â€” CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) January 19, 2017
Many noted it didn’t help Trump wasn’t able to attract well-known talent:
Obama’s inauguration lineup vs Trump’s lineup pic.twitter.com/XFZes7mg0s
â€” derick (@DerickSmith_) January 19, 2017
Trump really drawing the same star-filled lineup as Obama was able to pic.twitter.com/TH4RzOOvfk
â€” #ThankYouObama (@lemonadenormani) January 13, 2017
Cause Obama had BeyoncÃ©! Trump has a lineup that would be lucky to play at county fairs! https://t.co/2zteeW5Fsn
â€” Zimri Padilla (@zimri_padilla) January 20, 2017
Friday doesn’t appear to be much different. D.C. should be packed. Trump and his team have been falsely claiming dress shops and hotels are sold out but according to many, including one New York Times reporter, the city is conspicuously empty:
Taking Metro to my inauguration ceremony location. Smooth ride, quiet, seats available. I’ve had more trouble getting to a Nats game.
â€” Katie Rogers (@katierogers) January 20, 2017
Buzzfeed editor tweets there’s a light crowd out Friday AM:Â
Not sure on lines getting into the National Mall, but a lot of empty space out there this morning… pic.twitter.com/0aj4DVv56L
â€” Austin Hunt (@AustinHunt) January 20, 2017
Enjoy this piece?
… then let us make a small request. The New Civil Rights Movement depends on readers like you to meet our ongoing expenses and continue producing quality progressive journalism. Three Silicon Valley giants consume 70 percent of all online advertising dollars, so we need your help to continue doing what we do.
NCRM is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. From unflinching coverage of religious extremism, to spotlighting efforts to roll back our rights, NCRM continues to speak truth to power. America needs independent voices like NCRM to be sure no one is forgotten.
Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure NCRM remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to NCRM, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.
On World AIDS Day, DOJ Says Tennessee Law Discriminates Against Those With HIV
The Department of Justice celebrated World AIDS Day by calling out a Tennessee law that discriminates against people with HIV.
The DOJ released a report Friday that the state’s aggravated prostitution law violated the Americans with Disabilities Act. A person arrested under the aggravated prostitution law is normally changed with a misdemeanor, and faces up to six months in prison and a $500 fine. However, if the person arrested has HIV, the crime becomes a felony, and if they’re convicted, they would face between three and 15 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
“Tennessee’s aggravated prostitution law is outdated, has no basis in science, discourages testing and further marginalizes people living with HIV,” Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division said in a statement. “People living with HIV should not be treated as violent sex offenders for the rest of their lives solely because of their HIV status. The Justice Department is committed to ensuring that people with disabilities are protected from discrimination.”
The law was originally passed in 1991. It classifies HIV-positive sex workers as violent sex offenders, according to WKRN-TV. This means that in addition to the sentence, those convicted are put on the Tennessee Sex Offender Registry, usually for the rest of their lives.
The DOJ advised the state—and particularly, the Shelby County District Attorney’s Office, which enforces the statute most frequently, the department says—to stop enforcing the law. It also calls on the state to repeal the law and remove anyone from the registry when aggravated prostitution is the only offense. If this doesn’t happen, Tennessee could face a lawsuit.
Tennessee isn’t the only state to have laws applying to only those living with HIV. In 1988, Michigan passed a law requiring those with HIV to disclose their status before sex, according to WLNS-TV. The law is still on the books, but was updated in 2019 to lift the requirement if the HIV-positive person has an undetectable viral load. The law now also requires proof that the person set out to transmit HIV.
Laws like these can work against public health efforts, according to the National Institutes of Health. The NIH says these types of laws can make people less likely to be tested for HIV, as people cannot be punished if they didn’t know their status. In addition, critics say, the laws can be used to further discriminate. A Canadian study found a disproportionate number of Black men had been charged under HIV exposure laws.
World AIDS Day was first launched in 1988 by the World Health Organization and the United Nations to highlight awareness of the then-relatively new disease. The theme of the 2023 World AIDS Day is “Let Communities Lead,” calling on community leaders to end the AIDS epidemic.
Featured image by UNIS Vienna/Flickr via Creative Commons License.
John Fetterman Says Bob Menendez ‘Senator for Egypt,’ Should Be Expelled Next
Senator John Fetterman (D-PA) called Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) a “senator for Egypt,” and said he needed to be expelled from Congress, much like the now-former Representative George Santos.
Fetterman appeared on The View on Friday. The live broadcast aired as Santos had been kicked out of the House. When host Joy Behar asked what he thought of the vote, Fetterman immediately replied, “I’m not surprised.”
“If you are going to expel Santos, how can you allow somebody like Menendez to remain in the Senate? And, you know, Santos’ kind of lies were almost, you know, funny,” Fetterman said. “Menendez, I think is really a senator for Egypt, you know, not New Jersey. So I really think he needs to go.”
Host Sunny Hostin then asked if Fetterman was uncomfortable with expelling Menendez, as, like with Santos, he had only been indicted, not convicted.
“He has the right for his day in court and all of it, but he doesn’t have the right to to have those kinds of votes and things. That’s not a right,” he said. “I think we need to make that kind of decision to send him out.”
This September, Menendez was indicted on corruption charges. He is accused of accepting bribes of cash, gold and a car, as well as giving “highly sensitive” information about U.S. Embassy staffers in Cairo to the Egyptian government, according to USA Today. Menendez was forced to step down as chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He was replaced by Ben Cardin, Maryland’s Democratic senator.
Menendez denied wrongdoing, and has refused to resign, despite many calls to do so from both Democrats and Republicans.
“For years, forces behind the scenes have repeatedly attempted to silence my voice and dig my political grave,” Menendez said in a statement following his indictment. “Since this investigation was leaked nearly a year ago, there has been an active smear campaign of anonymous sources and innuendos to create an air of impropriety where none exists.”
This is not Menendez’s first brush with the law. Menendez was indicted in 2015 on federal corruption charges. He was accused of helping Salomon Melgen, one of Menendez’s campaign contributors, by intervening in a dispute with federal regulators and helping Melgen get a port security contract in the Dominican Republic.
In 2017, Menendez’s trial ended with a hung jury, and the Department of Justice declined to retry the case, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. Menendez denied all wrongdoing.
House Votes to Boot George Santos 311-114
Representative George Santos (R-NY) has been expelled from Congress following a 311-114 vote; two House members voted “present.”
The expulsion of Santos follows a debate on his fate on Thursday. The vote required a two-thirds majority, or 290 of the 435-seat chamber. This is Santos’ third vote of expulsion; last month, a vote failed with 31 Democrats voting against, according to The Hill.
While the vote was decisive, some notable Republicans voted to save Santos, including House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) and House Majority Whip Tom Emmer (R-MN).
“We’ve not whipped the vote and we wouldn’t,” Johnson told CNN Wednesday. “I trust that people will make that decision thoughtfully and in good faith. I personally have real reservations about doing this, I’m concerned about a precedent that may be set for that.”
Santos himself had harsh words for the House following the vote. Leaving the capitol building, he briefly spoke with reporters.
“The House spoke that’s their vote. They just set new dangerous precedent for themselves,” he told CNN. “Why would I want to stay here? To hell with this place.”
He then cut his time short, telling reporters, “You know what? As unofficially no longer a member of Congress, I no longer have to answer your questions.”
Santos also faces 23 federal charges, which include fraud, money laundering and misuse of campaign funds, according to CNN. He has pleaded not guilty. An Ethics Committee report found evidence that Santos used campaign funds for Botox and even an OnlyFans account.
On Thursday, Santos said he refused to resign because otherwise, “they win.”
“If I leave the bullies take place. This is bullying,” Santos said. “The reality of it is it’s all theater, theater for the cameras and theater for the microphones. Theater for the American people at the expense of the American people because no real work’s getting done.”
Santos also threatened to file a resolution to expel Representative Jamaal Bowman (D-NY). Bowman pulled a fire alarm in September. Bowman pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor charge, and said it was an accident. He said he thought the fire alarm would open a locked door as he rushed to a vote. Bowman paid a $1,000 fine.
There have only been six total expulsions from the House, including Santos. Santos is the only Republican to ever be expelled from the House.
The previous expulsion was in 2002, when Representative James Traficant (D-OH) was expelled after a 420-1 vote. Traficant had been convicted on 10 counts of corruption-related crimes.
Before Traficant, Representative Michael “Ozzie” Myers (D-PA) was the first representative of the modern era to be expelled. Myers got the boot following his conviction for accepting bribes. Myers couldn’t keep out of trouble; in 2022, he was convicted and sentenced to 30 months in prison on charges of election fraud.
Prior to Myers, the only expulsions from the House were in 1861, at the start of the Civil War. Henry Cornelius Burnett (D-KY), John William Reid (D-MO) and John Bullock Clark (Whig-MO) were all expelled for joining the Confederacy.
- News3 days ago
‘Chutzpah’: Biden Blasts Johnson ‘Taking Credit’ for $30 Million Project He Voted Against
- News2 days ago
‘Outrage’: MSNBC Slammed for Canceling ‘Vital Voice’ Mehdi Hasan
- News2 days ago
‘If I Leave They Win’: Santos Claims ‘Bullying’ at Off the Rails Press Conference
- News2 days ago
Moms for Liberty Deletes Statement Supporting Co-Founder Whose Husband Is Accused of Sexual Battery
- News2 days ago
Math-Challenged GOPer Ridiculed for Bidenomics Gaffe: ‘Another Rocket Scientist’
- News2 days ago
Trump Gag Orders Reinstated
- News1 day ago
The Christian Ziegler/Moms for Liberty Scandal Could Hurt Ron DeSantis
- BREAKING NEWS1 day ago
House Votes to Boot George Santos 311-114