Illustration for article titled i/iNYC Mayor Bill de Blasio Appears to Have Used Wife Chirlane McCray as a Literal Human Shield
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Barf BagWelcome to Barf Bag, a daily politics roundup to help you sort through the chaotic Trumpian news cycle.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has never been very popular with the people who voted him into power, much to his continual confusion and chagrin. But it’s safe to say that de Blasio has never been reviled quite like he is at the moment!

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Though he stumbled into office with a vague agenda of revising policing, since then he’s done anything but reform the NYPD. Under de Blasio’s watch, the department’s budget has ballooned, with bloated funds used to ramp up the “broken windows” policing that disproportionately criminalizes black and brown people, all while the city’s cultural and civic institutions receive deep and devastating cuts. On Wednesday, more than 200 of de Blasio’s current and former staffers published an open letter to their one-time boss demanding that the mayor radically change his governance. Good job, buddy!

But like all good villains, as protests across the city have raged on and demanded an end to violent policing, de Blasio has busted out his stunning true colors. He’s spewed disinformation that the protesters are “outside agitators,” and implemented a curfew, the first in New York City since WWII, designed to quash the uprisings, a step he didn’t take for—I don’t know, A DEADLY PANDEMIC??? De Blasio was very worried about the damage done to the police cars that ran into a group of peaceful protesters, who, as he has made perfectly clear, he believes have made their point and should definitely just go home.

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So it isn’t surprising that his appearance at a vigil for George Floyd held in Brooklyn wasn’t particularly welcome. The announcement of de Blasio’s arrival was met with a chorus of deep “Boos,” even after the MC shouted at the audience to treat the mayor with respect, even leading them in a quick chant.

Not one to actually face criticism when it can be avoided, de Blasio appears duck away from the mic, literally shoving his wife, Chirlane McCray, an artist, one-time activist, and (conveniently for de Blasio’s optics) a black woman, in front of his body.

Now one might argue, as de Blasio is likely to, that the Mayor is making a thoughtful gesture, and placing a black woman at the center of the conversation that she certainly is more qualified than her sad-sack husband to lead and contribute to.

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But perhaps he might not have thrust her body in front of his so gustily—the inverse of the technique, I might add, being deputized at some rallies wherein white protesters place their bodies in front of black protesters to avoid police escalation.

Chirlane, how is your marriage these days? Our tip box is open.


Sen. Lisa Murkowski has been doing some thinking recently and boy is she struggling. The Republican senator from Alaska, part of a dwindling group of slightly moderate conservatives in Congress, is now unsure about whether she will vote for Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election.

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“I am struggling with it. I have struggled with it for a long time,” she told a Washington Post reporter on Thursday, who promptly shared the update with other political reporters on the hill.

But what has prompted Murkowski’s inner turmoil? Is it the president’s apathetic and ignorant response to covid-19, actions that lead to tens of thousands of deaths, his violent and racist rhetoric, the gassing of peaceful protesters just in front of the White House lawn?

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Stunningly it is none of these things! It’s an interview with General James Mattis published in the Atlantic, where he criticizes the president for such horrific faults and failing to “unite the American people.”

Nonetheless, Murkowski was stirred. “When I saw Gen. Mattis’s comments yesterday I felt like perhaps we’re getting to the point where we can be more honest,” she told the reporter, adding that perhaps conservatives might harness “the courage of our convictions and speak up.”

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Seems unlikely, since her fellow somewhat moderate Republican Senators Mitt Romney and Susan Collins responded to the column with a word salad that when went something like this: Gen. Mattis respect hero much very good honorable.

Jury’s out on whether Murkowski really will harness her convictions, but November is coming up soon! [The Hill]

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  • If there can be any silver lining in the civil unrest, massive unemployment, and swiftly spreading disease that is the direct result of Trump’s incompetence, it’s that re-election is looking less and less likely. [New York Times]
  • Still, the other guy isn’t great either. [New York Times]
  • Police groups are mad at Joe Biden for expressing his support for the protesters and are hesitant to give him money. Which honestly—byeeeeeeee bitch! [Politico]
  • Piers Morgan and Rudy Giuliani had an incomprehensible television fight, which is notable only because Giuliani appears to forget how to speak midway through. [Good Morning Britain]
  • Los Angeles is reportedly considering $150 million in cuts to the LAPD’s budget, which would be invested in programs in communities of color. It’s not everything, but it’s a start. [Los Angeles Times]
  • Now, in the inevitable post-campaign meltdown, Bernie Sanders’s staffers have some feelings. [Politico]
  • Here’s some uncorroborated but interesting tea on Wendy’s—yes the fast-food chain—political PAC, which employees are strong-armed into funding and which reportedly only benefits conservative candidates. [Twitter]

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