President Donald Trump

Our show today focuses on a newly publsihed book that's widely seen as the definitive journalistic account of former President Trump's final year in office. The book is "I Alone Can Fix It: Donald J. Trump's Catastrophic Final Year," and it's written by Philip Rucker and Carol Leonnig, the Pulitzer-Prize winning Washington Post reporters who earlier gave us "A Very Stable Genius." Rucker is our guest on StudioTulsa.

Yes, the nation is deeply, counter-productively divided -- and yes, American politics and American culture probably haven't been this divided in decades.... But what can we DO about such polarization? Our guest is Peter T. Coleman, a professor of psychology and education at Columbia University, where he holds a joint appointment at Teachers College and the Earth Institute.

whitehouse.gov

Oklahoma Republican lawmakers have jump-started their efforts to rename a stretch of road in Cimarron County "President Donald J. Trump Highway."

An omnibus renaming measure, Senate Bill 624, stalled last month after Sen. Carri Hicks (D-Oklahoma City) asked Sen. Rob Standridge (R-Norman) whether his proposal complied with state law on highway dedications.

Trump Campaign

A plan to dedicate a stretch of state highway in Cimarron County "President Donald J. Trump Highway" hit a speed bump this week.

With an omnibus highway dedication bill up for a floor vote, Oklahoma City Democratic Sens. Kay Floyd and Carri Hicks pointed out under state law, most people must have been dead three years before they’re honored with a highway dedication.

Serge Melki

Oklahoma Republican lawmakers again resurrect a controversial bill that appeared done for the session.

Sen. David Bullard (R-Durant) in committee on Tuesday amended a House bill on emergency plans for athletics events to bring back a Senate bill to ban the teaching of "divisive concepts," a push back against analyzing issues like systemic racism.

National Park Service / Liberty Bell Center (nps.gov)

It's well-known that Americans today -- in so many cases, if not in most cases -- inhabit completely different worlds when it comes to acquiring news and daily information. But do we also have completely different understandings of our country's history? On this edition of ST, we're discussing the official report of the "1776 Commission." This report was released by the Trump Administration on Monday of this week...and then removed from the White House website two days later by the newly-incumbent Biden Administration.

Blaming Inhofe, Trump Vows Veto Of Defense Bill

Dec 4, 2020
Facebook / Sen. Jim Inhofe

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is closing out his relationship with Congress with one more power jab, threatening to veto a hugely popular defense bill unless lawmakers clamp down on big tech companies he claims were biased against him during the election.

Trump is demanding that Congress repeal so-called Section 230, a part of the communications code that shields Twitter, Facebook and others from content liability. His complaint is a battle cry of conservatives — and some Democrats — who say the social media giants treat them unfairly.

Joel Kowsky / NASA

Former Oklahoma U.S. Rep. and President Trump appointee Jim Bridenstine said he will not stay on as NASA administrator even if asked to by President-elect Joe Biden.

Bridenstine has been in the post since 2018 after six years representing Oklahoma’s first congressional district. Bridenstine told Aerospace Daily his decision was not partisan but in the space agency’s best interest.

Facebook / Tulsa County Democratic Party

President Donald Trump matched his 2016 winning streak in Oklahoma, claiming victory in all of the state's 77 counties in this year's presidential contest. But that wasn't enough to stave off an Electoral College defeat, as Democrats Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will be the next President and Vice President of the United States, respectively.

Our guest is Jared Yates Sexton, whose writing has included books and articles on politics, culture, and social justice, as well as works of fiction; he's an associate professor of creative writing at Georgia Southern University. He joins us to discuss his new book, which argues that the idea of "American exceptionalism" is not only false -- but it's been false since the country was founded.

Virginia Man Pleads Guilty to Cyberstalking Bynum

Oct 21, 2020

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — A Virginia man who sent dozens of harassing emails and phone messages to Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum and his family in a failed attempt to stop President Donald Trump’s campaign rally in June pleaded guilty Wednesday to cyberstalking.

Appearing via video from his home state, Adam Maxwell Donn, of Norfolk, admitted during a federal court hearing in Tulsa that he sent Bynum and his wife 44 emails and left them 14 phone messages in June, some of which referenced the couple’s children and their home address, U.S. Attorney Trent Shores said in a news release.

White House coronavirus task force

One week after the release of a White House coronavirus task force report stating that many of Oklahoma's recent COVID-19 deaths were preventable, which provoked a response from a spokesperson for Gov. Kevin Stitt disputing that as an "editorial opinion," a new report recommends the state ramp up its coronavirus response or risk further deaths.

Our guest is Dan Alexander, a senior editor at Forbes Magazine, who joins us to discuss his new book, "White House, Inc." It's an in-depth investigation into President Trump's business holdings, and into how he used the highest office in the land to enrich these holdings. In order to document the president's endeavors to make money from his office, the book examines his exclusive clubs, luxury hotels, overseas partnerships, commercial properties, and personal mansions.

White House coronavirus task force

This week's report for Oklahoma from Vice President Mike Pence's White House coronavirus task force says Oklahoma continues to outpace nearly every other state in the country for new infections and test positivity rate, but that the Tulsa metro has exited the highest risk category for the first time since mid-July.

The organization known as MS-13 -- often in the headlines, especially since they've been repeatedly referred to by President Trump -- is thought to have approximately ten thousand members located in dozens of states across the US, and it's routinely linked to thousands of murders each year in this country and abroad. But MS-13 is also widely misunderstood, as we learn on today's ST.

Facebook / Governor Kevin Stitt

In a Thursday press conference at the Capitol, Gov. Kevin Stitt acknowledged that hundreds of Oklahomans continue to be admitted to hospitals with COVID-19, but touted advancements in medical treatments for those who become infected.

Our guest is TU's Phi Beta Kappa Carl F. Cranor Visiting Scholar, Corey Brettschneider. He joins us to talk about his recent book, "The Oath and the Office." This book will form the basis for his upcoming, free-to-the-public Phi Beta Kappa lecture, which Brettschneider will give online this evening (the 17th) at 5pm.

Twitter / @realdonaldtrump

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma’s former state epidemiologist warned that President Donald Trump’s rally in Tulsa in June could lead to as many as nine deaths and 228 new cases of COVID-19, according to documents released Wednesday.

The Tulsa Police Department has released body cam video of the arrest of protester Sheila Buck at June’s Trump campaign rally.

The hour-plus video starts with Officer Matthew Parker confirming with his supervisor Buck is to be arrested for trespassing. Parker then confers with a private security guard for the event just before Buck, who sat silently inside the event fence and was wearing an “I Can’t Breathe” shirt, is pulled to her feet, handcuffed and led out of the fenced area in front of several reporters.

Inhofe Press Office

The New York Times has obtained a recording of a phone call between President Trump and Oklahoma U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe this week in which they discuss keeping the name of at least one Confederate leader on a military base.

"We’re going to keep the name of Robert E. Lee," Trump said on the call.

"Just trust me, I’ll make it happen," Inhofe replied.

President Trump tweeted Friday morning he has Oklahoma U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe’s assurance that when the National Defense Authorization Act reaches his desk, it will not include a provision to remove confederate leaders’ names from military installations.

Inhofe confirmed to the Oklahoman he would work to remove the provision.

Twitter / @realdonaldtrump

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — President Donald Trump’s campaign rally in Tulsa in late June that drew thousands of participants and large protests “likely contributed” to a dramatic surge in new coronavirus cases, Tulsa City-County Health Department Director Dr. Bruce Dart said Wednesday.

Chris Polansky / KWGS

Black community leaders in Tulsa, including one of Mayor G.T. Bynum's opponents in the upcoming election, made one final call Saturday for President Trump's campaign rally later that night to be canceled.

They said the president's visit was emboldening his supporters, citing threats made against speakers at the Juneteenth celebration on Greenwood and north Tulsa residents harassed by people with Trump 2020 flags on their vehicles.

Rev. Robert Turner of Vernon African Methodist Episcopal Church said Trump's presence was divisive for a city that was trying to move forward.

KGOU

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump, pressing ahead in a pandemic even as campaign staff tested positive for the coronavirus, looked to reverse a decline in his political fortunes by returning Saturday to the format that so often has energized him and his loyal supporters: a raucous, no-holds-barred rally before tens of thousands of ardent fans, this time in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Courtesy

The Oklahoma Democratic Party addressed President Trump’s Tulsa campaign rally, which will happen Saturday night.

Chair Alicia Andrews said the president has gone from saying it’s about Oklahoma’s COVID numbers to saying it’s about celebrating Juneteenth, and she’s not sure what the real reason is.

"And frankly, no one wants him to celebrate Juneteenth. Juneteenth also marks the fact that slaveholders benefitted from two and a half more years of free labor. We get to celebrate the end of chattel slavery. The celebration is not for the oppressor," Andrews said.

As new COVID-19 infections skyrocket in Oklahoma, Gov. Kevin Stitt defended Saturday's Trump campaign rally in Tulsa.

Appearing on Fox News on Friday, Stitt was asked how he responds to public health officials who have said the rally should be postponed.

North Peoria Church of Christ

Black Tulsa clergymen said Friday they have sent President Trump a letter demanding he institute nationwide police reforms.

The steps they are calling for include civilian oversight boards for most local police departments, national policing and training standards, and background checks that identify ties to hate groups.

The Rev. Rodney Goss said the Black community is not afraid, they are tired.

The Oklahoma Public Media Exchange as part of Oklahoma Engaged is continuing to cover the developing story around Juneteenth celebrations, Donald Trump's rally and protests in Tulsa from June 19-21, 2020. Bookmark this page for the latest updates.

Odell Architecture

Updated June 18, 6:55 p.m. to include a statement from the mayor's office.  

The authority that oversees City of Tulsa–owned venues does not believe it can move Saturday’s Trump campaign rally.

Despite concerns about filling a 19,000-seat arena in the middle of a spike in COVID-19 cases, members of the Tulsa Public Facilities Authority concluded they don’t have power to cancel contracts entered into by ASM Global, the company that manages the BOK Center.

Chris Polansky / KWGS News

A new nationwide survey estimates that only seven states in the country are currently adequately staffed with contact tracers to manage the novel coronavirus.

Oklahoma is not one of them.

The NPR analysis found that only Alaska, Massachusetts, Montana, New York, Oregon, Vermont and West Virginia have enough active contact tracers. Six other states have enough if counting reserve staff. 

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