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Poll: Majority of Americans Support Unions and Support Strikes

A new Gallup poll shows Americans are overwhelmingly in favor of labor unions.

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A new poll from Gallup shows the vast majority of Americans approve of labor unions.

Gallup found that 67 percent of Americans approve of unions nationwide, in a poll conducted earlier this month. This is the fifth consecutive year that the number has surpassed the longtime average of 62 percent and is a dramatic increase since the all-time low of 48 percent approval in 2009, after the Great Recession.

Approval has taken a slight, four-percentage-point dip since last year. One reason why this may have happened could be the drop in Republican approval. In 2022, 56 percent of Republicans approved of labor unions, and in 2023, that number dropped to 47 percent.

The numbers from Gallup match previous polls that say the same thing: Americans like unions. An AFL-CIO poll published Tuesday found that 71 percent of Americans support labor unions. That number increases to 88 percent for Americans under the age of 30.

The poll also has inspiring numbers for workers currently on strike, or those threatening to do so.

United Auto Workers last week voted to authorize union strikes against General Motors, Ford Motor, and Stellantis. Gallup found that 75 percent of Americans side with UAW members, compared to just 19 percent who side with the auto companies. Seventy-two percent of Americans also side with television and film writers, and 67 percent side with television and film actors over Hollywood.

The number of strikes and striking workers has dramatically increased over the last three years. This year, 119,000 workers went on strike from January to May—nearly the same number as in all of 2022. This has been a hot strike summer. The Writers Guild of America has been striking for over 115 days, since the beginning of May. We’ve also seen strikes from actors, hotel workers, and nurses.

What Just Happened to Mitch McConnell in This Press Conference (Again)?

A new video shows the Republican senator, 81 years old, frozen and unable to respond to a reporter’s question.

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On Wednesday, Republican Senator Mitch McConnell froze midway through a press conference, requiring aides to escort him from the scene after he was seemingly unable to respond.

The incident happened after a reporter asked the 81-year-old Senate minority leader about his plans for reelection.

McConnell stared off into space, before an aide asked him, “Did you hear the question, senator? Running for reelection in 2026?”

The aide then escorted McConnell away from the lectern.

A McConnell spokesman later said the senator “felt momentarily lightheaded.”

The incident is a near copycat of what happened last month, when McConnell appeared to simply have shut down in the middle of a press conference at the Capitol. In that instance, McConnell trailed off midsentence, and as several of his colleagues asked if he was all right, he turned away and stepped to the side.

McConnell has made no recent indication that he plans on retiring, even as concerns about his health continue to mount. After last month’s incident, The New Republic’s Pablo Manriquez asked the senator whether he had someone in mind to replace him. McConnell glared at him, then smiled and walked away. McConnell did not explain what happened to him during the press conference.

This is the second-oldest U.S. Senate in history—and McConnell’s health has been an area of specific concern.

In March, McConnell tripped and fell, suffering a concussion and cracked rib as a result; these injuries forced him to forgo his duties for nearly six weeks before he was finally able to return to Congress. His injury is a common one among older people, as an estimated 800,000 seniors per year are hospitalized for injuries from falling. After last month’s incident, reporters revealed that McConnell has fallen multiple times this year and has taken to using a wheelchair in airports to avoid future accidents.

Even McConnell’s Republican colleagues are worried, with some suggesting that he should step down. One senator anonymously told Politico that “the next leadership election is well underway.” Another told NBC that McConnell is “just not processing.”

“I’d hate to see it forced on him,” the senator said, referring to McConnell’s resignation. “You can do these things with dignity, or it becomes less dignified. And I hope he does it in a dignified way—for his own legacy and reputation.”

Trump County in Iowa Ousts Conspiracy Theorist, Elects Democrat Instead

The election in Iowa’s Warren County offers major lessons for Democrats organizing in other red states.

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Voters in a small pro-Trump county in Iowa have voted out an election auditor who repeatedly shared conspiracy theories, including about QAnon and the 2020 election. Then they replaced him with a Democrat.

Warren County voted 57.3 percent for Donald Trump in 2020, slightly higher than the overall state outcome. The county’s all-Republican board of supervisors appointed David Whipple as county auditor in June. Iowa’s county auditors oversee elections.

Whipple’s appointment quickly sparked outrage after his social media activity came to light. After the 2020 election, Whipple made multiple posts on Facebook insisting that the vote had been fraudulent, despite widespread evidence disproving that claim. He also shared conspiracy theories from QAnon and about the 9/11 attacks.

In the two weeks following Whipple’s appointment, county Democrats petitioned to force a special election. They gathered 3,400 signatures, about 1,000 more than they needed. Democratic deputy auditor Kimberly Sheets announced she would run against Whipple—so he placed her on leave.

Sheets handily defeated Whipple on Tuesday, winning 66.5 percent of the vote. Whipple walked away with just 33.4 percent.

Sheets’s victory is an unusual plot twist in Iowa, which has been moving decidedly rightward in recent election cycles. But it reflects a larger trend that was seen during the 2022 midterms. Voters rejected conspiracy theorists across the country, resulting in major local Democratic wins.

Broke Rudy Giuliani Ordered to Pay Damages to Georgia Election Workers He Defamed

Rudy Giuliani is facing at least a six-figure fine in a defamation case brought by Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss.

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A judge issued a default judgment against Rudy Giuliani Wednesday in a defamation lawsuit brought by two women who worked during the Georgia 2020 election.

Judge Beryl Howell sanctioned Giuliani for failing to provide discovery documents and other evidence requested by lawyers for Ruby Freeman and Shaye Moss. Howell ordered him to pay $133,000 in sanctions and gave the two sides until September 20 to set up a trial date to determine how much Giuliani also owes the women in compensatory and punitive damages. If he fails to comply, Giuliani will face further sanctions.

“Just as taking shortcuts to win an election carries risks—even potential criminal liability—bypassing the discovery process carries serious sanctions,” Howell said in her ruling. She slammed Giuliani for complaining about the plaintiffs’ efforts to make him comply with the discovery process, which he called “punishment by process.”

“Donning a cloak of victimization may play well on a public stage to certain audiences, but in a court of law this performance has served only to subvert the normal process of discovery in a straightforward defamation case,” Howell said.

Giuliani denied any wrongdoing in a statement and called for Howell’s ruling to be overturned. He described it as “the weaponization of the justice system,” a popular Republican dog whistle.

Giuliani, then acting as former President Donald Trump’s personal attorney, for months accused Freeman and Moss of election fraud. The man once known as “America’s mayor” insisted that security footage of the pair proved that thousands of ballots in Georgia were mishandled or sabotaged.

His claims have been widely and repeatedly disproven by both state and federal investigators, but Trump and his allies have held up Giuliani’s statements as evidence the 2020 election was rigged. Freeman and Moss sued Giuliani for defamation and told the House January 6 investigative committee that they have faced threats and experienced damage to their livelihoods as a result of Trump’s and Giuliani’s actions.

Giuliani finally conceded in July that he had made “false” statements about Freeman and Moss, but he worded his admission in a way to meet the barest-minimum level of accountability. He insisted that he only made the concession to move the lawsuit along and that he believed he still had legal defenses he could pursue.

Just two weeks later, Giuliani was indicted alongside Trump and 17 other co-defendants and charged with felony racketeering for their role in efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election results in Georgia.

This article has been updated.

UNC Student Paper Front Page Captures Horrors of Living Through School Shooting

The Daily Tar Heel showed exactly what students were feeling as an active shooter was on their campus.


The front page of the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill’s student newspaper has gone viral for showing the terror of being caught in a school shooting.

Print managing editor Caitlyn Yaede posted the front page of the latest print edition of The Daily Tar Heel on X, formerly known as Twitter, Tuesday night. The front page is filled with haunting text messages from UNC students and their loved ones during a lockdown that occurred on Monday due to an active shooter on campus.

Messages like “Guys I’m so fucking scared,” “Multiple voices and loud banging,” and “Texts won’t go thru” were printed in black and red font, taking over the newspaper’s entire cover.

“I shed many tears while typing up these heart-wrenching text messages sent and received by UNC students yesterday,” Yaede wrote on X. “Beyond proud of this cover and the team behind it.”

The Daily Tar Heel also provided updates on the shooting for its campus community while on lockdown.

One faculty member was killed in the shooting, which took place in the center of the campus and left the school in lockdown for hours. The motive remains unclear, and the suspect has been taken into custody.

MAGA State Senator Goes There: “Do You Want a Civil War?”

A far-right state senator is warning that Donald Trump’s trial could lead to a civil war.

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A Secret Service agent keeps an eye on Trump supporters as the former president visits the Iowa State Fair, August 12, 2023.

Georgia’s far-right state Senator Colton Moore suggested that a civil war will break out when Donald Trump goes to trial for trying to overturn the 2020 presidential election.

Trump surrendered to Georgia authorities last week on charges of felony racketeering for trying to overturn the state’s election results. He will be arraigned next week—and Moore is already sounding the alarms.

“I told one senator, I said, ‘Listen … we’ve got to put our heads together and figure this out. We need to be taking action right now. Because if we don’t, our constituencies are going to be fighting it in the streets,’” Moore said Tuesday on Steve Bannon’s War Room.

“Do you want a civil war? I don’t want a civil war. I don’t want to have to draw my rifle. I want to make this problem go away with my legislative means of doing so.”

Moore has also urged his fellow legislators to defund Fani Willis, the Fulton County District Attorney who investigated Trump. Moore called two weeks ago for a special session of the Georgia state legislature to investigate and potentially impeach Willis. Only a handful of other lawmakers have backed his proposal, which is unlikely to work and has been shut down by Georgia’s Republican Governor Brian Kemp.

There is reason to be concerned about how people will react to Trump’s trial. A poll conducted by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution found that 61 percent of likely Republican Party primary voters believe the 2020 election was fraudulent. A lawmaker talking about civil war is dangerous and incredibly irresponsible.

Frighteningly, Moore is now at least the third Republican to mention civil war in relation to Trump’s many indictments. Sarah Palin called for people to “rise up” and potentially start a civil war over Donald Trump’s arrest in Georgia. And Trump himself mused about a potential civil war during a recent interview with Tucker Carlson.

Republicans’ tacit condoning—and sometimes explicit encouragement—of violent attacks is dangerous. Political violence has been steadily increasing in recent years, and it can be directly traced back to this kind of rhetoric.

Canada Issues Travel Advisory Warning LGBTQ Travelers About Visiting U.S.

Canada is warning its citizens about visiting certain states.

Pride flag raised during protest

Canada has issued a travel advisory for LGBTQ people thinking of going to the United States, warning them about the increasingly restrictive local laws.

At least 495 bills attacking LGBTQ rights have been introduced in states throughout the country since the start of the year, according to the ACLU. These include laws banning drag performances, banning transgender people from using the bathroom that matches their gender identity, banning discussion of gender and sexuality in schools, and banning gender-affirming health care for trans and nonbinary minors.

Some states have enacted laws and policies that may affect 2SLGBTQI+ persons. Check relevant state and local laws,” the Canadian government said in the advisory, which was issued Tuesday. “2SLGBTQI+” refers to people who identify as two-spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer/questioning, intersex, and more.

The advisory does not mention specific states or laws. Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freedland said it is not politically motivated but instead is intended to protect Canadians traveling abroad.

“Even as we work hard on that government-to-government relationship, every Canadian government, very much including our government, needs to put at the center of everything we do the interests and the safety of every single Canadian and every single group of Canadians,” Freedland said at a press conference Tuesday.

“That’s what we’re doing now.”

Canada has become a popular destination for Americans fleeing the U.S. out of fear that they will be persecuted for their identity. And it’s no surprise: Republicans and GOP-led states are increasingly embracing extremist stances on LGBTQ rights, curbing them every chance they get. Several of the Republican presidential candidates have openly embraced anti-LGBTQ stances.

Florida Wanted “Opposing Viewpoints” on Slavery in A.P. African American Studies Course

The DeSantis administration was fighting with the College Board for an astonishing reason, according to a new report.

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Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’s administration officials opposed the College Board’s new Advanced Placement African American studies course due to its lack of “opposing viewpoints” on slavery.

A new report from the Miami Herald sheds more context on Florida’s fight against the College Board and Black history specifically.

According to internal state comments, the reviewers believed the A.P. course’s depiction of chattel slavery did not promote both sides of history. One lesson on how Europeans benefited from trading enslaved people “may lead to a viewpoint of an ‘oppressor vs. oppressed’ based solely on race or ethnicity,” reviewers noted.

The DeSantis administration successfully got the College Board to water down its A.P. African American studies course earlier this year. The new curriculum cut lessons on critical race theory, reparations, Black Lives Matter, and several prominent queer Black writers.

Florida officials’ objection to the lack of “opposing viewpoints” on slavery occurred numerous times and was not previously reported.

“There is no other perspective on slavery other than it was brutal,” Mary Pattillo, a sociology professor and the department chair of Black Studies at Northwestern University, told the Miami Herald. “It was exploitative, it dehumanized Black people, it expropriated their labor and wealth for generations to come.”

Earlier this summer, Florida unveiled new social studies school curriculum that teaches students that enslaved people benefited from slavery and that Black people were also perpetrators of violence during race massacres.

The DeSantis administration also approved curriculum for public schools from the right-wing advocacy group PragerU last month. Course content includes a lesson in which Frederick Douglass calls slavery a “compromise.”

Tennessee Republicans Block Gun Reform, Abruptly Adjourn Until Next Year

The House floor broke out into chants of “Vote them out,” after Republicans adjourned the session.

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Protesters gather inside the Tennessee State Capitol to demand gun control in March.

The Tennessee House of Representatives burst into chaos Tuesday when Republicans voted to adjourn a special session on public safety, after ignoring widespread demands for increased gun control.

The state legislature convened the special session last week in response to a mass shooting in March, when a gunman opened fire on an elementary school and killed three children and three adults. State Republicans have insisted that there is nothing they could have done or could do differently to prevent such a tragedy—and they appear determined to make good on that claim.

The Senate had adjourned earlier Tuesday, closing the chamber until January. House Republicans forced through a motion to adjourn the chamber, also until January, moments before Democratic Representative Justin Jones—one of the formerly expelled Tennessee Three—could call for a vote of no confidence of Speaker Cameron Sexton. When Sexton gaveled through the motion adjourning the House, the chamber erupted.

Spectators began to chant, “Vote them out!” and “Shame!” As Sexton tried to leave, Jones and Democratic Representative Justin Pearson, another member of the Tennessee Three, followed him, waving protest signs. At one point, Sexton’s shoulder appeared to bump Pearson. Another Republican blocked Pearson from getting closer, while Sexton wheeled around and shouted at him, waving his finger in Pearson’s face.

Jones then went up to the speaker’s podium, banged the gavel, and shouted, “This House is out of order!” Pearson joined the protesters outside the chamber in the Capitol rotunda.

Democrats were infuriated by Republicans’ refusal to pass any gun control measures. “No one should leave this building today saying we made Tennessee safer,” Senate Minority Leader Raumesh Akbari said. “Because that is simply not true. We didn’t enact any new policies, we didn’t meet the needs of these parents, who are just crying out for us to do something.”

“How long? How much longer will we allow ourselves to remain in this state?”

The special session has been tense from the start, when Republicans tried to ban signs from the House chamber, a direct response to the many protesters demanding increased gun control. Republicans also voted Monday to silence Jones for the day, prompting Democrats to walk out of the session in solidarity.

This was not the first time Republicans had tried to silence Jones. The GOP voted in March to expel Jones and Pearson, both of whom are Black, for allegedly breaking House rules by joining thousands of pro–gun control protesters. Republicans fell one vote short of expelling Gloria Johnson, a white woman, who also joined the protest.

Jones and Pearson were unanimously reinstated by their district councils and then reelected in landslide victories in a special election earlier this month.

Federal Prosecutors Want to Know How Drunk Giuliani Was While Advising Trump

Special counsel Jack Smith is investigating whether Trump was taking advice from an inebriated lawyer when trying to overturn the 2020 election.

Rudy Giuliani, standing at a podium, points to a sign with a map of the United States and the title "Multiple Pathways to Victory"
Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc/Getty Images
Rudolph Giuliani, then attorney for President Donald Trump, conducts a news conference at the Republican National Committee on November 19, 2020.

Jack Smith has been asking witnesses whether Rudy Giuliani was regularly drunk on and after Election Day 2020. If he was, and Donald Trump knew, then it could undermine one of the former president’s main defenses in his federal election interference lawsuit.

Trump was indicted for his role in the January 6 insurrection and other attempts to overturn the 2020 presidential election, one of four indictments. He is charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to corruptly obstruct an official proceeding, obstruction of and attempt to obstruct an official proceeding, and conspiracy against the right to vote. One of his main defenses has been that he really believed he had won the election and was acting on the advice of his counsel—in this case, Giuliani.

But investigators for Smith, who is probing Trump for election interference and for allegedly mishandling classified documents, have repeatedly asked whether Giuliani was drunk in the weeks he was advising Trump about how to stay in office, Rolling Stone reported Tuesday, citing anonymous sources familiar with the matter.

The investigation team has asked whether Trump ever mentioned Giuliani’s drinking habits or complained that the drinking affected Giulinia’s decision-making process. Investigators also asked whether Trump was warned about Giuliani’s allegedly excessive drinking, especially after the 2020 election.

Some witnesses reportedly told Rolling Stone that they saw Giuliani drinking heavily or could smell alcohol on his breath, including on Election night, and that his behavior changed before and after he drank. Some witnesses also said that Trump had previously spoken negatively about Giuliani’s drinking.

If Smith’s team can prove this in court, then they could undermine Trump’s advice-of-counsel defense. If Trump relied on a lawyer that he knew was drunk and acting recklessly, then that would add to the prosecutors’ argument that Trump was acting with willful recklessness in his attempts to overturn the election.

Giuliani denied the allegations of drunkenness. “It’s unfortunate that political opponents would use a serious problem like alcoholism as part of their efforts to smear Mayor Rudy Giuliani—a man who took down the Mafia, cleaned up New York City, and comforted the world following the September 11th terrorist attacks,” Giuliani’s political advisor Ted Goodman said in a statement to The New Republic.

This isn’t the first time that Giuliani’s alleged drunkenness has come up in a lawsuit. Giuliani’s former associate Noelle Dunphy sued him in May, accusing him of promising to pay her a $1 million annual salary but instead raping and sexually abusing her over the course of two years. Her lawsuit alleges that Giuliani was constantly drunk, talked openly about trying to overturn the 2020 election, and even plotted to sell pardons with Donald Trump for $2 million each.

This article has been updated.