It’s a somber Monday in America, as the nation reels from yet another mass shooting — this time in a synagogue in Pittsburgh where attendees were gathered for sabbath services as well as to celebrate new life at a baby’s bris.
The shooting is being treated as a hate crime, with the accused gunman, Robert Bowers, having a long online trail of hateful comments against Jews.
In fact, the thing that seemed to set Bowers off was a baseless Fox News-driven conspiracy theory that Jews (like George Soros — a target of last week’s attempted bombings) are funding the migrant caravan traveling through Mexico toward the U.S.
The incident has led to yet more calls for Trump and Republicans to tone down their rhetoric. Those calls began last week, when a Florida man and Trump fan was arrested and charged with sending more than a dozen bombs to individuals whom Trump has verbally attacked over the years.
Here’s what’s happening in Trump’s America:
• Trump has no public events on his schedule. The only thing listed is his daily intelligence briefing at 11:30 a.m. Usually when he has a free schedule, Trump gets himself in trouble with tweets.
About the weekend: Gun control debate starts anew after Pittsburgh shooting
With eight days to go until the midterm elections, the nation is once again plunged into the gun control debate — after 11 people were killed and several injured in a mass shooting at a synagogue in Pittsburgh.
The gun control debate ramps up after almost every mass shooting, as Democrats call for “commonsense” gun reforms and Republicans insist more guns are needed to solve the scourge of gun violence.
In fact, Trump himself has already said the shooting in Pittsburgh could have been thwarted if there were armed guards at the synagogue — despite the fact that multiple police officers who are trained to use guns were also shot by the gunman during the attack.
In February, after the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, teenagers impacted by the attack became national figures in their call to change the country’s gun laws.
Polls at the time showed the debate could drive younger Americans — who often stay home during midterm elections — to vote, a demographic that would benefit Democrats at the ballot box. A focus on gun control in the final days of the midterms could once again wake that portion of the electorate up.
Today in Trump’s America: Final midterms countdown
With the midterm elections finish line in sight, Trump will ramp up his campaigning this week in an effort to pick up Republican Senate seats and save some gubernatorial contests and the House majority.
Trump will travel to Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Missouri, Montana, Ohio, Tennessee and West Virginia. Almost all of those states play host to top Senate and gubernatorial races.
Trump carried all of those states in the 2016 presidential election, yet Republicans haven’t put any of those races away and are actually behind in a number of races in those battlegrounds.
In fact, it’s notable that Trump is heading to Tennessee, where Democrat Phil Bredesen is running for the open Senate seat being vacated by GOP Sen. Bob Corker. It’s a sign Republicans do not view that race as in the bag.
And same for Georgia, a traditionally red state where Democrat Stacey Abrams is still in the hunt in the Peach State’s gubernatorial election.
As for the House, Republican ad spending in a number of seats that were once considered safe bets for the GOP to win signal the universe of competitive seats has expanded to benefit Democrats.
For example, Republicans are going back on air in Texas’ 23rd District, a GOP-held seat where polls showed the Republican incumbent ahead. The renewed Republican ad spending in the race is a signal polls have shifted or Republicans are seeing the race trending toward Democrats in the last days of the race.
And the rest...
Fox News under fire after synagogue shooting: Fox News was forced to condemn comments made on its airwaves about the migrant caravan headed toward the U.S., after a the alleged Pittsburgh gunman appeared to be driven by baseless conspiracies that aired on the news network about Jews funding the migrants.
“A lot of these folks have affiliates that are getting money from the Soros-occupied State Department,” Chris Farrell, director of investigations and research at the conservative organization Judicial Watch’s, said on Lou Dobbs’ Fox Business Network show last week of the migrants.
Brazil elections: Brazilians elected a new president, Jair Bolsonaro, who once said a female lawmaker was “not worthy” of being raped, and he would rather his son “die in a car accident than be gay.” Trump called Bolsonaro to congratulate him on his win.
Merkel on her way out: German Chancellor Angela Merkel has told her party leadership this is her final term as leader of the country, the Associated Press reported. This comes after her party, the Christian Democratic Union, lost a number of seats in the Hesse state election.