Why did protesters have to follow Sen. Sinema into a bathroom? – National & International News – WED 6Oct2021

Protesters says they resorted to following Democratic Senator Kyrsten Sinema into a bathroom because "there’s a price tag of several hundred thousand dollars to meet with her anywhere else".

 

Why Sinema’s bathroom confrontation is a long time coming. FBI to track threats to school officials. China-Taiwan military tensions grow.

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Protesters have to follow Sen. Sinema into a bathroom to be heard

In recent days, the press has been full of condemnation for activists who followed Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (AZ) into a bathroom to confront her about her opposition to her party’s $3.5 trillion Build Back Better (BBB) Act. Arizona immigration activists from Living United for Change (LUCHA), who had previously campaigned for Sinema, resorted to following her into a women’s bathroom on the Arizona State University campus where Sinema teaches a class.

The protesters, along with much of the country, wanted answers as to why Sinema is stonewalling the BBB Act. Sinema has voiced her opposition to the bill, but has not made herself available for interviews or any other interaction with the public to explain her position.

The Phoenix Sphinx

Political commentators have dubbed Sinema “the Phoenix Sphinx” due to her tight-lipped refusal to explain her reversal on progressive ideals she once championed. Earlier this year, she cheerily voted “no” on the $15 minimum wage. As LUCHA explained following the bathroom incident, Sinema’s opposition to the BBB act is “blocking a path to citizenship, deportation protection, paid family care, climate justice, lower drug costs and so many other things we need”. 

Many of Sinema’s constituents have expressed frustration with Sinema’s refusal to offer any public accounting for her positions . LUCHA explained that Sinema has “denied our requests, ignored our phone calls, and closed her office to her constituents. She hasn’t had a public event or town hall in years. No one wants to meet with their senator in the restroom. But it seems like there’s a price tag of several hundred thousand dollars to meet with her anywhere else”.

Fundraiser flip

There’s a ready explanation for Sinema’s political turnaround, whether or not she chooses to offer one herself. While Sinema has been unavailable to meet with members of her own party and former supporters, she has been meeting with numerous fundraisers for major corporate interests, including Big Pharma companies. 

Sinema met with major donors at a high-end resort and spa on Saturday. Meanwhile, Sinema’s office explained her absence from D.C. during pivotal negotiations with an excuse about a medical appointment for a foot injury.

Over the last several months, Sinema’s campaign has raked in over $750,000 in donations from Big Pharma lobbyists and nearly a million from other industry groups opposing the BBB Act.

 

FBI to combat threats to school officials over masks, critical race theory

Attorney General Merrick Garland has asked the FBI to cooperate with state and local officials over threats to school officials from conservative extremists. School board members and teachers have reported receiving threats of violence from parents and members of the public over school masks policies and critical race theory.

The FBI is tasked with tracking credible threats and instructing school officials on how to appropriately report them. Garland’s memo follows numerous viral videos of physical altercations and verbal threats at school board meetings across the country.

Ideological opposition to mask mandates and any teaching acknowledging race disparities in the U.S. have put teachers and school boards on the firing line. Garland says “Threats against public servants are not only illegal, they run counter to our nation’s core values. Those who dedicate their time and energy to ensuring that our children receive a proper education in a safe environment deserve to be able to do their work without fear for their safety”.

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INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Chinese flyovers raise military stakes over Taiwan

Starting last Friday, China sent about 150 military planes to conduct flyover’s of Taiwan’s airspace over 4 days. The show of force coincided with a nationalistic holiday in China. Taiwan’s defense minister Chiu Kuo-cheng says the incursions escalated military tensions with Mainland China to a 40-year high.

Since 1949, Taiwan has considered itself an independent breakaway nation and the last vestige of the pre-Communist Republic of China. Since that time, Beijing’s government has repeatedly vowed to bring the island back under its control. China’s appetite for reconquest of the island rose again in response to the Trump administration’s support for Taiwan’s independence as a democratic nation.

The Biden administration’s stance on Taiwan has been less clear. Over the weekend, the State Department said Beijing’s antics were “destabilizing, risks miscalculations, and undermines regional peace and stability”. But, Biden said yesterday during a chopper talk that he had spoken to Chinese leader Xi Jinping. Biden said he had told Xi the U.S. would abide by the “Taiwan agreement” and urged Xi to do the same.

The “Taiwan agreement” Biden was referring to probably refers to the long-standing U.S. policy of dealing diplomatically with Beijing rather than Taipei. The Taiwan Relations Act stipulates that this arrangement is contingent on Taiwan’s ultimate fate being decided through peaceful rather than military means. But, the Act also binds the U.S. to provide militarily for Taiwan’s defense.

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