Monday Reads: The One Year Anniversary of the Uvalde School Shooting (and Other News)Posted: May 22, 2023 Filed under: Donald Trump, just because | Tags: debt ceiling crisis, Evan Corcoran, F-16 warplanes, Florida, Joe Biden, Kevin McCarthy, LULAC, NAACP, Ron DeSantis, stolen documents case, Ukraine, Uvalde school shooting 11 Comments
I’m filling in for Dakinikat this morning, because she’s working down to the wire to get her final grades turned in today. Biden and McCarthy are still haggling over the debt ceiling, Ron DeSantis will soon announce his candidacy for president, and we’re still waiting for the next Trump indictment to drop. But I’m going to begin with stories marking the anniversary of the Uvalde school shooting which will be on Wednesday, May 24.
From Raw Story:
UVALDE — At 7 a.m. on a Monday in February, Jessica Treviño, with squinty eyes, goes into her sons’ bedroom and in a low, raspy voice tells them to wake up. Eleven-year-old David James rolls out of bed, but 9-year-old Austin, the youngest of the four Treviño children, doesn’t move from the lower bunk bed.
The siblings get ready for school. David James grabs the car keys and starts the family’s black Ram 1500 truck for his mother.
Austin, who is still in bed covered by a blanket, tells his mother he doesn’t want to go to school.
“I can’t leave you by yourself,” Jessica, 40, tells him, leaning over his body as their fat bulldog, Chubs, tries to jump on the bed. “You have to go to school.”
Austin doesn’t move. The night before, the sound of police sirens woke him.
“It’s ’cause there were cop sounds last night so he’s kinda scared,” David James tells his mother.
It’s not the first time one of the children won’t go to school because something spooked them. And Jessica knows it won’t be the last.
These kids survived the Uvalde mass shooting.
Three of the four Treviño children were students at Robb Elementary on May 24, 2022, and were on campus for an awards ceremony as an 18-year-old with an AR-15 rifle approached the school.
That day, Jessica picked up David James, Austin and her now 12-year-old daughter, Illiaña, from the school about 11:30 a.m.
Jessica later found out that as she was driving off, the shooter had just walked into a classroom, killing two teachers and 19 students — including Illiaña’s best friend, a 10-year-old student in room 112, who was Illiaña’s defender when other children made fun of her.
A few days after the shooting, Jessica took Illiaña, whom she calls Nana, to Uvalde’s plaza to leave a teddy bear and flowers at a memorial for her friend. Suddenly, Illiaña’s heart began to race and she had trouble breathing. Jessica took her to the local hospital, which transferred her to an intensive care unit in San Antonio. The doctor there told Jessica that Illiaña was suffering cardiac arrest and her body shut down from acute stress. She was released after a week.
That’s severe PTSD. Read the rest and see photos at the Raw Story link.
Khloie Torres was the 10-year-old who repeatedly called 911 on the day of the Uvalde mass shooting. “Please hurry. There is a lot of dead bodies,” she told the dispatcher.
She took blood from some of the other students and smeared it all over herself to make it seem like she was already dead.
CNN reporter Shimon Prokupecz spoke to Khloie’s mother who told him, “Knowing the police didn’t do anything, it’s just crazy. It doesn’t make any sense.”
“Does she ever ask you why the police took so long?” Prokupecz asked.
“She does. She’s like, Mom, why did it take police so long to come in here? I don’t even know what to say to her. She don’t (sic) trust any police now,” the mom, Jamie Torres, explained. “They let everybody in those conjoined rooms down. The families have changed forever because they were too weak to go in the room, but my 10-year-old sitting across the door was offering to open it. And they still didn’t want to go in.”
The mother told CNN to show the body camera footage of her daughter. The police are shown leading Khloie out, and the next footage shows her on the bus covered in blood. She’s trying to speak through tears. Sitting in the seat in front of her is her best friend, 9-year-old Kendall Olivarez, who was losing consciousness. She was shot twice, once in the left shoulder and in her back. In the video, first responders were shouting at her to stay with them. A wailing cry is then heard.
“Please help! I don’t want to die,” Khloie cried to the 911 dispatcher.
“It’s definitely stressed her out,” Jamie Torres explained. “PTSD, all of that. She has all of that. You know, she can’t walk into a restaurant or any kind of building without counting every exit of the door.”
“She counts exits?” Prokupecz asked.
“Yes, if we go to McDonald’s, she sits closest to the door that she can,” the mother said.
NBC News: An Uvalde victim’s family feels betrayed by officials withholding details from that day.
UVALDE, Texas — Javier Cazares is haunted by the 30 minutes or so that passed after his 9-year-old daughter, Jacklyn, was shot and before law enforcement officers finally confronted the gunman firing an AR-15 inside Robb Elementary School.
“She wasn’t shot in the very beginning. She was shot somewhere in the middle. If they had gone in 30 minutes, 40 minutes” earlier, he said in an interview, “maybe she could still have been alive.”
A total of 73 minutes passed before law enforcement stopped the 18-year-old armed with an assault rifle.
The loss has been worsened, according to Cazares, by the refusal of people in power to take responsibility for their failures, to fill in the details for the grieving parents who need to know more about what happened each minute of that deadly day, to own up to fateful mistakes and remove those who made them, to make sure the families get the support they need when they need it, and to change gun laws.
“The first couple months, you know, it still seemed unreal,” he said. “And now, it’s like betrayal.”
A new CNN special on Sunday by Shimon Prokupecz revealed new video footage not previously made public of the Uvalde, Texas, school shooting.
After an hour of doing nothing, the shooter was finally dead, and police moved in.
The show opens with the sound of gunfire from the shooter and from the police. The next scene is a group of officers finally entering the classroom. What follows is a collection of body camera footage showing officers vomiting outside. Others were sobbing and holding each other. A different video showed an officer shaking while trying to clean blood off their hands.
Before that, the video that was released showed the police standing around, trying to figure out what to do.
Sorry, but the blood is still on their hands, and they’ll never be able to wash it off.
The footage that CNN showed was approved by the parents to reveal to the public. Prokupecz explained to viewers that the families hope that showing the footage in the special will help create more motivation to do something more to help stop the mass shootings.
Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin told Prokupecz that they’ve fought for the information previously blocked from the public. In some cases, it’s only because of the media that any parents can access information about what happened that day.
Biden and McCarthy are meeting again today about the debt limit. The New York Times:
President Biden and Speaker Kevin McCarthy agreed on Sunday to meet on Monday afternoon to try to jump-start talks aimed at averting a default on the nation’s debt, capping a tumultuous stretch of negotiations that faltered over the weekend as the two sides clashed over Republicans’ demands to cut spending in exchange for raising the debt limit.
Mr. McCarthy announced the meeting — his third with Mr. Biden this month, scheduled for after the president’s return from the Group of 7 summit in Hiroshima, Japan — after he concluded a call with the president on Sunday sounding more sanguine than before about the prospects for a deal.
The speaker said House G.O.P. and White House negotiators would continue talks at the Capitol on Sunday to lay the groundwork. White House negotiators left the Capitol on Sunday night after a two-and-a-half-hour bargaining session with their Republican counterparts but said they intended to keep working before Monday’s session.
Mr. Biden “walked through some of the things that he’s still looking at, he’s hearing from his members; I walked through things I’m looking at,” Mr. McCarthy said. “I felt that part was productive. But look — there’s no agreement. We’re still apart.”
I sure hope that Biden isn’t going to back down like Obama did in 2011.
On Ukraine, The New York Times reports: Biden Announces More Aid for Ukraine as Group of 7 Powers Meet in Japan.
HIROSHIMA, Japan — President Biden and other leaders of the world’s major industrial democracies rallied around Ukraine on Sunday with vows of resolute support and promises of further weapons shipments even as Russian forces claimed to have seized full control of a bitterly contested city.
Mr. Biden and his counterparts figuratively and, in some cases, literally wrapped their arms around President Volodomyr Zelensky of Ukraine, who made an audacious journey halfway around the world from his ravaged homeland to Hiroshima, Japan, to solicit aid for the first time in person from the Group of 7 powers at their annual summit.
“Together with the entire G7, we have Ukraine’s back, and I promise we’re not going anywhere,” Mr. Biden told Mr. Zelensky while announcing another $375 million in artillery, ammunition and other arms for Ukraine. At a later news conference, Mr. Biden voiced defiance of President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia.
“I once more shared and assured President Zelensky, together with all G7 members and our allies and partners around the world, that we will not waver,” he said. “Putin will not break our resolve, as he thought he could.”
Zelensky got what he has long asked for.
Mr. Zelensky won the major prize he sought a day before arriving in Hiroshima when Mr. Biden reversed himself and agreed to make it possible for Ukraine to obtain F-16 warplanes. Mr. Biden on Sunday defended his long reluctance to allow such jets to be sent to Ukraine by saying the time had not yet been right and arguing that they would not have stopped Russia from taking Bakhmut in months of grinding ground combat.
“F-16s would not have helped in that regard at all,” he told reporters. “It was unnecessary. For example, let’s take just Bakhmut, for example. It would not have any additional added consequence.”
In authorizing the F-16 training now, Mr. Biden said he was preparing Ukraine for the day down the road when it would need to deter further Russian aggression.
A new story from Hugh Lowell of The Guardian on the stolen Trump documents investigation: Trump was warned about retaining classified documents, notes reveal.
Federal prosecutors have evidence Donald Trump was put on notice that he could not retain any classified documents after he was subpoenaed for their return last year, as they examine whether the subsequent failure to fully comply with the subpoena was a deliberate act of obstruction by the former president.
The previously unreported warning conveyed to Trump by his lawyer Evan Corcoran could be significant in the criminal investigation surrounding Trump’s handling of classified materials given it shows he knew about his subpoena obligations.
Last June, Corcoran found roughly 40 classified documents in the storage room at Mar-a-Lago and told the justice department that no further materials remained at the property. That was later shown to be untrue, after the FBI later returned with a warrant and seized 101 additional classified documents.
Biden advisers believe they can hold up what the GOP governor calls his “Florida blueprint” as a warning to the country about what would happen if DeSantis or any other Republican wins the White House in 2024 – a human embodiment, essentially, of Biden’s argument that “MAGA extremism” goes beyond Donald Trump.
And along the way, they believe the Florida governor’s record may give them a chance at the state’s 30 electoral votes.
The Biden campaign has quietly started putting campaign cash and efforts into Florida – and will decide in the coming months whether to put more – as it gauges the president’s chances of reversing the reddening of a state he lost by a wider-than-expected margin in 2020.
It’s an insurance policy strategy for a campaign that has so far almost exclusively focused on Biden as the alternative to Trump, who continues to lead Republican primary polls and whom DeSantis has already spent months trying to knock out of the way.
And it comes as Biden advisers push back on ongoing criticism from Florida Democrats that they flubbed their chance last year to damage DeSantis early by not investing much energy or money against him as he ran for reelection, racking up a whopping 19-point victory and tens of millions in campaign funds, likely now headed to a supportive super PAC.
“They’ve realized the outcome of their negligence. [DeSantis] now has a lot of resources that he can use,” said former Democratic Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, who won a Miami-area House seat in the 2018 blue wave but lost it two years later as Trump carried the state. “You don’t want to lose your democracy? You want to stop fascism? Then do something about his reelection. We could have stopped [DeSantis] in 2022. No one did anything.”
That’s all I have for you today. This is an open thread–please feel free to discuss these stories or post your own suggested links on any topic.