It’s Tuesday, February 15th, and this is your Morning Wire. Listen to the full podcast:
1) Trudeau Invokes Emergency Powers Against Truckers
The Topline: Police have cleared trucks blocking a major trade-route at the U.S.-Canadian border, but the trucker protest known as the Freedom Convoy continues in Ottawa as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau declares a national emergency, allowing him to temporarily suspend civil rights.
Quote Of The Day: “This is not a peaceful protest. We will not allow illegal and dangerous activities to continue.”
– Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
Ambassador Bridge from Detroit into Ontario has now been cleared, with fewer than a dozen people arrested, but there are now reports that the truckers are blocking other bridges into the country, including one from Washington into British Columbia.
In response to the new demonstrations, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced he’s going to invoke a 1988 emergency act preventing protestors from blocking those crossings and against the convoy currently occupying Parliament Hill.
The act allows the federal government to override the provinces’ authority with temporary security measures intended for national emergencies. It’s only been used once before in peacetime when a group of militants kidnapped a British diplomat.
The deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance said one of those measures is going to include cracking down on the crowdfunding platforms supporting the truckers.
The premiers of Alberta, Manitoba, Quebec, and Saskatchewan are saying they oppose the invocation of this emergency act.
On The Ground
Trudeau has reportedly had trouble getting on-the-ground authorities to cooperate. Reports on social media claim many police are supporting the protesters on Parliament Hill instead of removing them. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reported, “the tow truck operators on contract to the City of Ottawa are] taking a hard pass on requests to haul vehicles out of protest areas.”
Several members of Trudeau’s party have broken with him and Ontario is no longer requiring people to show proof of vaccination to enter indoor spaces.
While lots of media coverage has characterized these protestors as anti-vaccine, an estimated 90% of the Canadian truckers are already vaccinated.
President Joe Biden has urged Trudeau to use any means at his disposal to get the situation under control, while Republicans such as Kentucky Senator Rand Paul say they’re behind the truckers.
2) Radical San Francisco School Board Facing Recall Election
The Topline: After making headlines for implementing radical policies over the past year, three members of the San Francisco school board — including the President — are facing a recall election.
Quote Of The Day: “They have become a distraction, and if they really genuinely cared about our kids they would get out of the way and allow us to move forward with people who understand financial management, who understand the need to put children before anything, before politics…”
– San Francisco Mayor London Breed (D)
The San Francisco school board has garnered nationwide attention after passing a series of far-left measures.
Specifically, the board got rid of merit-based admissions at a high school because most of the students were Asian, changing it instead to a lottery system.
They also stirred controversy after attempting to rename schools which were named after people like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Abraham Lincoln – before reversing course after facing backlash.
The parents who started the recall attempt have said it stems from issues with how the board handled a budget crisis, as well as their failure to get public schools open during the pandemic.
What Happens Next: Each of the individual members will be voted on, so all of them could be stripped of their roles, or a few of them could be. If the members are removed, Mayor Breed selects and appoints new members for the rest of the 4 year term.
3) NFL Season Comes To An End
The Topline: After a highly competitive postseason, the NFL season came to an end Sunday night, with the Los Angeles Rams defeating the Cincinnati Bengals 23-20 in the Super Bowl.
The game was hosted at SoFi stadium in Los Angeles, a city which is still in a state of emergency due to COVID-19. In order to enter the stadium, fans were required to show either proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test. Once inside, masks were required, though the rule was blatantly disregarded – even by some famous figures, including Ellen Degeneres, LeBron James, Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti (D) was also pictured speaking closely with a group of people while maskless.
Political Angle: The Black National Anthem was sung prior to the game. However, there was also a rendition of the national anthem and God Bless America, accompanied by a massive American flag, and there was a military flyover.
The NFL just saw their highest regular season numbers in six years, averaging 17.1 million viewers per game. The four divisional playoff games averaged 37.1 million viewers, a 21% increase over last year.
For the Super Bowl, the preliminary numbers look positive. Super Bowl 56 is expected to have brought in a viewing audience of around 117 million viewers, making it the most watched Super Bowl of all time.
The strong ratings are in stark contrast with the Beijing Olympics, which saw a 55% decrease in primetime viewership as of last week.
Other Stories We’re Tracking
Yesterday afternoon, Ukraine’s President Zelensky said he’s expecting Russia to invade Ukraine on Wednesday. He spoke to his country’s citizens in a video posted to social media, in which he said, “We are told that February 16 will be the day of attack. We will make it a union day. The decree has already been signed.”
Soon after, however, Ukrainian officials said he was being “ironic.” On Sunday, President Joe Biden was the latest leader to speak with Russian President Vladimir Putin. After the hour-long call, the White House said that war is still a “distinct possibility,” while the Kremlin is accusing the U.S. of creating “unprecedented hysteria.” Meanwhile, the U.S. is sending more fighter jets to Poland.
Several major U.S. banks and the New York Stock Exchange will stop mandating that vaccinated people wear masks.
Norway is dropping nearly all of its remaining COVID-19 restrictions, citing a lack of a major health threat despite continued Omicron cases.
On Saturday, the U.S. State Department announced that Americans fleeing Ukraine ahead of a potential invasion by Russia will be welcomed into Poland, but must show proof of COVID-19 vaccination to gain entry into the country.
Whoopi Goldberg returned to “The View” on Monday after being suspended for eight episodes. The network, which is owned by Disney, suspended Goldberg for comments she made in late January about the Holocaust.
Washington D.C.’s mayor announced Monday the district will lift its mask requirements for bars, restaurants, and some other businesses. The mandate will remain for some schools, childcare facilities, libraries, healthcare facilities, jails, and on public transit.