ICYMI: Your TPM Weekend News Roundup

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March 19, 2021 4:30 p.m.

GA Shooting Massacre Deepens Pain Of Asian American Community

  • Eight people, six of whom were women of Asian descent, were killed in a series of shootings at three spas in or near Atlanta, Georgia on Tuesday night
  • While authorities have not officially released a motive for the shooting, nor have they classified it as a hate crime, the violence was a painful example of the rise of anti-Asian attacks across the country amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • A spokesman for the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office, Captain Jay Baker, sparked outrage when he told reporters during a briefing that the suspected gunman had a “really bad day” before the alleged massacre.
  • A House subcommittee held a hearing on Thursday focusing on anti-Asian discrimination and violence. A number of Asian American women lawmakers shared their own experience with racism and bias, while also tying former President Trump’s racist rhetoric to the rise in hate crimes targeting people of Asian descent.

Tennessee Republicans Fight To Preserve KKK Leader’s Bust

  • Here’s a story that might have been under your radar this week: Just days after the Tennessee Historical Commission voted overwhelmingly to remove a bust of Nathan Bedford Forrest, the Confederate general and first Ku Klux Klan grand wizard, several Republicans state lawmakers are pushing to replace the entire commission with new members, Matt Shuham reports.
  • The bust of Forrest was installed at the state Capitol in the late 1970s, and has been the subject of protests pretty much ever since.
  • But the effort to sack the historical commission is just the latest in a years-long bureaucratic struggle over monuments to Confederate history in Tennessee, Matt reported. In fact, the current rules for removing monuments date back to 2013, when the state passed the Heritage Protection Act, barring the removal of monuments on public property without a two-thirds waiver vote from the commission.

GOP Tries To Bludgeon Biden With Border Surge

  • Fresh off President Biden’s legislative victory with the COVID-19 relief bill, which polls have shown is overwhelmingly popular with the American public, Republicans are hoping to latch onto a new wedge issue to damage the President politically.
  • It started Monday, when a group of House Republicans, led by Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), took a trip to the U.S.-Mexico border to call attention to “Biden’s border crisis.”
  • To be fair, there has has been an influx of young unaccompanied minors traveling to the border. But the GOP’s argument against Biden drips with irony. Republican lawmakers are all of a sudden sounding the alarm about undocumented immigrants bringing COVID-19 into America, after spending the past year downplaying the pandemic and bristling at mask mandates.
  • At a House Freedom Caucus press conference on Wednesday, GOP lawmakers took the attacks a step further. Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-AZ) accused Biden of being “culpable of child abuse.” We rounded up five bad faith arguments from the GOP on the border surge here.
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