Things That Matter

Canada’s Former Prime Minister Says She Was Joking When She Wished For Hurricane Dorian To Hit Mar-A-Lago, But People Are Not Laughing

Floridians have been warily watching the powerful storm named Dorian that continues to gain in strength just off the coast. Experts project that Hurricane Dorian will make landfall near President Trump’s Mar-A-Lago home as a Category 4 or 5 storm on Labor Day. When Former Canadian Prime Minister Avril Phaedra Douglas “Kim” Campbell learned of this, she tweeted out, “I’m rooting for a direct hit on Mar a Lago!” The tweet has prompted outrage from Trump supporters and Floridians alike.

Avril Pheadra Campell is Canada’s first female Prime Minister, serving in 1993 after the resignation of Brian Mulroney.

Credit: @AKimCampbell / Twitter

She served between June and November 1993, one of the shortest-lived serving Prime Ministers in Canada. Today, she’s the chairperson for Canada’s Supreme Court Advisory Board. 

The next day, Campbell tweeted that she hoped the storm would “shake up Trump’s climate change denial!”

Credit: @AKimCampbell / Twitter

As Hurricane Dorian strengthens and threatens the United States, Trump’s administration removed regulations to control the emission of methane, a greenhouse gas that is 10x as damaging to our ozone as carbon dioxide. Our ozone helps to protect the earth from allowing powerful heat from the sun to enter our atmosphere, where it creates a “greenhouse” effect to further heat the earth. Hurricanes thrive in warm water, and climate change experts have long been predicting more powerful and frequent storms, pointing to the aftermath of Hurricane Maria as further proof of climate change.

Campbell has since deleted the tweet and apologized.

Credit: @AKimCampbell / Twitter

This isn’t the first time Campbell has caused controversy around Trump. During the government shutdown, Campbell called Trump a “motherf****r” for deflecting a reporter’s question about paying government employees by responding with a bite about border security.

Still, Floridians have responded with shock to Campbell’s comment.

Credit: @realdonaldtrump / Twitter

Twitter user and Miami resident Miguel Diaz tweeted, “IT IS UNBELIEVABLE KIM CAMPBELL FORMER CANADAS PM WISHES HURRICANE DORIAN DESTROYS TRUMP MAR A LAGO HOME. I LIVE IN MIAMI AND I KNOW THE DESTRUCTION OF A HURRICANE. THIS LEFT WING MONSTERS LIKE MS CAMPBELL, HAVE A BLACK EVIL SOUL. MAGA 2020 ALL THE WAY!!!” Another Palm Beach resident responded to her apology tweet to let her know, “I live in the area. Thank you. Your rebuke brought tears to my eyes. Most people are so good and compassionate. She has no idea how it feels to have this monster headed in our direction.”

Meanwhile, Canadians are taking it upon themselves to apologize for Campbell.

Credit: @realBrianReid / Twitter

“On behalf of Canada, I’d like to apologize to all our American brothers and sisters for the remarks of our once and very brief PM, Kim Campbell,” tweets Brian Reid. Another Canadian, Twisha, commented, “Meh. Don’t sweat it. I enjoyed it.” Another comforted Campbell by tweeting, “Your comments are totally fine with me Prime Minister. I think them each and every day. You are not alone!”

Meanwhile, others are sarcastically anticipating Trump to scapegoat the damage from Dorian onto Mexicans. “Or the mayor of San Juan.”

Credit: @debbiedonothing / Twitter

“He’ll blame it on the gays,” tweets Kurt in response.  A Puerto Rican comes out to say that, actually, “he’ll blame it on Puerto Rico for not taking the full hit.” Some folks on Twitter are suggesting authorities rename the hurricane from Dorian to “Karma,” for Trump’s family separation policies. 

“Gotta love the pearl-clutching from the Trumpists about Kim’s Mar-a-lago comment,” commented another Twitter user. “Remember, these are the same humanoids that are applauding Cheeto Benito’s genocidal immigration policies, so their alleged concern over human life is predictably selective and certainly laughable.”

Trump has since described the storm as an “absolute monster.”

Credit: @realdonaldtrump / Twitter

In a video taken in the Rose Garden, Trump said that “we all got lucky, it missed Puerto Rico.” He goes on to say that “it’s looking like it could be an absolute monster,” and that the administration is shipping food and water to Florida. Mysteriously, throughout the video, Trump keeps referring to Dorian as hitting “dead center,” but doesn’t tell us where the dead center is to him.

Nonetheless, Hurricane Dorian is a major storm that should be taken very seriously.

@realdonaldtrump / Twitter

Just yesterday, the Governor of Florida issued an executive order declaring a state of emergency for 26 counties within the state. Mar a Lago is settled into Zone B of the disaster areas, and has yet to be ordered to evacuate. According to Trump, “we’re still waiting,” to see. In the meantime, Floridians are preparing by shuttering their homes, filling up gas tanks, and clearing grocery stores of food and water.

READ: Tropical Storm Dorian Could Hit Puerto Rico And People On The Island Aren’t Taking Any Chances

Florida Republicans Just Introduced Four Anti-LGBTQ Bills On The Last Day Possible And People Are Asking Why Now?

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Florida Republicans Just Introduced Four Anti-LGBTQ Bills On The Last Day Possible And People Are Asking Why Now?

Ben Wassenhatch / Flickr

Seven Republican lawmakers in Florida filed four anti-LGBTQ bills hours before the deadline for the upcoming legislative session this week. The bills undo many of the protections that exist for LGBTQ Florida residents. The four bills would repeal county and municipal ordinances for LGBTQ workers, legalize gay conversion therapy, and ban transgender healthcare for children, according to NBC News. 

The homophobic and transphobic legislation was introduced by representatives Anthony Sabatini, Bob Rommel, Michael Grant, and Byron Donalds, along with Senators Joe Gruters and Keith Perry. Florida Rep. Shevrin Jones, who is a member of the LGBTQ community, and other advocates are now fighting against the bills’ passing. 

Advocates respond to the bill calling it “discrimination and hate.”

“Clearly they’ve decided that discrimination and hate are central to their election-year platform despite our state’s incredible diversity,” Jones said in a statement. “Just as I’ve done since I was elected in 2012, I will continue to fight any legislation that marginalizes or threatens any Floridian’s shot at a secure, safe, and bright quality of life.”

Jones also accused Florida Republicans of, “wasting tax dollars attacking Florida’s most vulnerable communities rather than prioritizing the issues that impact everyday people’s lives.” 

Equality Florida released a statement highlighting many of the consequences such a bill would have. 

“This is the most overtly anti-LGBTQ agenda from the Florida Legislature in recent memory,” Jon Harris Maurer, the group’s public policy director, said. “It runs the gamut from openly hostile legislation that would arrest and imprison doctors for providing medically necessary care, to legislation that would carelessly erase critical local LGBTQ protections.”

Senator Gruters defends the bill, claiming it “includes protections.”

“The bill certainly does not authorize an employer to discriminate against employees who are members of protected classes, whether protected by federal or state law or local ordinance,” Gruters told NBC News via email.  “While I do not believe the bill has any impact on local anti-discrimination ordinances, in an abundance of caution, I included language in the bill’s preamble to make clear that the preemption would not affect local anti-discrimination laws, and any court would interpret the preemption consistent with that preamble.” 

While Gruters claims it would include protections, Joe Saunders, senior political director at Equality Florida, claims that these so-called protections are merely a part of the bill’s preamble and would carry no weight should the bills become law. 

“We appreciate that Sen. Gruters put that in,” Saunders said. “It’s not policy; it’s not considered part of the bill.”

Democratic senator Lori Berman suggested the bill was nothing more than a political stunt to garner votes from homophobic and transphobic constituents. 

“I’m disappointed to see some of my colleagues proposing this regressive and discriminatory anti-LGBT agenda,” Berman wrote on Twitter. “What benefit to the public does this legislation actually serve, apart from tossing red meat to a political base in an election season?” 

Trans children are particularly vulnerable to the policies. 

“Transgender youth are some of the most at risk in our community,” Gina Duncan, Equality Florida’s director of transgender equality, told NBC News. “It is outrageous that conservative legislators would threaten their health and safety. Medical professionals, not politicians, should decide what medical care is in the best interest of a patient. Forcing a doctor to deny best practice medical care and deny support to transgender youth can be life-threatening.”

Making it illegal for doctors to provide necessary care to trans children certainly goes against the Hippocratic oath, but if you think something so dystopian can’t happen just look at how Republicans have slowly chipped away at abortion rights – another form of necessary care that can be life-saving. 

Just yesterday South Dakora Republican lawmakers introduced a bill that would also ban doctors from performing gender-affirming surgeries or treatments on children. Similar bills have been filed in Texas, Georgia, and Kentucky. 

According to the Associated Press, “The Endocrine Society, which is the leading professional organization for doctors who specialize in hormones, does not recommend gender-transition medical treatment before puberty for children who do not identify with their biological gender. For youths experiencing puberty and older adolescents, the Endocrine Society recommends that a team composed of expert medical professionals and mental health professionals manages treatment.”

Opponents of these anti-trans bills believe the laws interfere with the doctor-patient relationship and contradict the widely accepted practices of the medical community. 

“Sadly, the medical care of transgender youth has been sensationalized and politicized,” Jack Turban, a researcher at Harvard Medical School, told NBC News. “Gender-affirming medical care for transgender adolescents is endorsed by major medical organizations, including the Endocrine Society, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. It should go without saying, but providing standard medical care should not be a felony.”

American Latinos United Launches Committee To Take Down President Trump In 2020

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American Latinos United Launches Committee To Take Down President Trump In 2020

Gage Skidmore / Flickr

On Monday, American Latinos United (ALU) made the announcement that it would be forming a committee to create a new super PAC, “focused on defeating President Donald Trump by activating Latino voters in key battleground states.” As the 2020 election cycles draw closer and closer, political groups are already looking to key battleground states where Latino voters will play a key role in determining the next president. 

Backed by former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and entrepreneur Fernando Espuelas, the new committee will be targeting Latinos in six key battleground states: Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. The ALU does not appear to be backing or supporting any specific Democratic candidate as of now. Instead, it will be placing emphasis on Latino voter engagement in these key states. 

This year will be a historic one for Latinos as for the first time ever, they will become the largest minority group of potential voters in the United States. The ALU wants to be sure that a majority of those eligible to vote actually do so. 

The 2020 election has a lot on the line besides just the presidential nomination. For Latinos, issues like healthcare, immigration, and the economy are some of the biggest factors they’ll be considering when heading to the ballot box this November. The ALU plans to energize Latino voters on these issues through specifically targeted technology, culturally appropriate messaging, and on-the-ground work to turn out voters. The committee will also have ads that will be played in English and Spanish across traditional media and digital platforms.

The ALU points to the 2016 election as an example of the importance of having Latinos come out and vote. The number of eligible voters of Latino background who did not cast a ballot in 2016 was overwhelmingly high, 14 million, considering the anti-Latino sentiment heard from Trump on the campaign trail. 

According to the Pew Research Center, over half of the 27 million eligible Hispanic voters stayed home. That may be credited to not only Trump but a lack of enthusiasm when it came to Hillary Clinton. This year hopes to be different as 32 million Latinos will be eligible to vote in 2020, compared with 30 million African-Americans.

“President Trump captured about 30 percent of the Hispanic vote in 2016. If he falls under that threshold in 2020, key battleground states will be out of his reach,” Espuelas said in a press release. “With the Electoral College in play, we intend to empower Latinos in battleground states to defeat Trump with their votes.”

The ALU called out President Trump and his administration for “incompetence and corruption.” It warns if voter turnout this year is anything like 2016, Trump will surely be re-elected. 

In advancing its message, the ALU hopes to also hope to connect with Latinos on single-issue voters that have previously not voted Democrat. In doing so, they will also educate voters on the “moral danger that Trump represents” and the consequences of reelection victory for his administration. 

 “Our country is on a precipice. President Trump’s incompetence and corruption are threatening our democracy and the American way of life,” Villaraigosa said. “Latino voters can make all the difference – if we know how to engage and activate the millions of people that sit out most elections. Through ALU, we’ll connect deeply with our community and create the mechanisms to turn out the vote in historic proportions.”

While most Latinos tend to vote Democratic, that shouldn’t make their vote an automatic given. Many Latinos have cast doubt over the party in recent years, some even pointing anger towards former President Obama who deported more than three million undocumented immigrants. 

The ALU wants to change the narrative on the 2020 election not being just about a party but about having your voice heard. The 2018 midterm elections saw some momentum when it came to the Latino vote as about 40.4 percent of eligible Latino voters came out to the polls, about 11.7 million voters in total, according to the Pew Research Center

“American Latinos United can stop him. We are everywhere. All across the country—around kitchen tables, in-office conference rooms, on busways and buses, in town halls— American Latinos are talking, planning, gathering force and strength,” the ALU website reads. “We have the power to stop Trump. And we can shine the unwavering light of truth on the corrupt Republican party that enables him.

READ: A Man Suspected Of Raping And Killing A 6-Year-Old Girl Was Burned Alive By Angry Residents In Chiapas