Posts Tagged ‘GOP’

In Mid-Pandemic, Trump Challenges Obamacare in Court

June 29, 2020

In Mid-Pandemic, Trump Challenges ObamaCare in Court

On Thursday, in a literal 11th-hour brief, an hour before a midnight deadline, the Trump administration asked the Supreme Court to invalidate the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, and strip healthcare from 23 million Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic. Thursday also marked the largest single-day increase in diagnosed Coronavirus cases in the U.S. to date, the day when the CDC admitted that coronavirus cases may be 10 times higher than reported.

More:

“Trump Administration Asks Supreme Court to Strike Down Affordable Care Act,” Sheryl Gay Stolberg, New York Times

“Trump administration asks Supreme Court to strike down Obamacare,” Meagan Flynn and Tim Elfrink, Washington Post

“Trump, Intent on Self-Destruction, Asks Supreme Court to Kill Obamacare,” Ed Kilgore, New York Magazine

Update:

“Obamacare Versus the G.O.P. Zombies,” Paul Krugman, New York Times

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Trump Will End Coronavirus Crisis with Tax Cuts for the Rich

May 8, 2020

Trump Will End Coronavirus Crisis with Tax Cuts for the Rich

“We’ve all hoped and prayed for something to save us from this pandemic. Will it be a vaccine? A therapeutic drug? Large-scale testing and tracing? An antibodies-rich llama or pack of virus-sniffing dogs?

Nope. According to the White House, the real coronavirus cure is even more magical: tax cuts.”

— The White House’s coronavirus cure is even more magical than we could have imagined,” Catherine Rampell, Washington Post
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Coronavirus Task Force Disbanding

May 6, 2020

Coronavirus Task Force Disbanding

The day after President Trump admitted that 100,000 Americans will die in the current wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, he announced that his Coronavirus Task Force will disband:

“Mike Pence and the task force have done a great job, but we’re now looking at a little bit of a different form, and that form is safety and opening. And we’ll have a different group probably set up for that.”

Mr. Trump has decided that restarting the economy is worth sacrificing the lives of workers, first responders, and their friends, families, and neighbors. But the president is also thinking about safety measures — for corporations. Republicans want to shield employers against COVID-19 damage claims by workers and consumers.

More:

“Administration to Phase Out Coronavirus Task Force,” Noah Weiland, Maggie Haberman and David E. Sanger, New York Times

“White House plots breakup of coronavirus task force,” Gabby Orr, Nancy Cook, and Brianna Ehley, Politico

“Trump gives up on virus fight to focus on economic recovery – and re-election,” David Smith, The Guardian

“Trump Admits ‘There’ll Be More Death’ After Economy Reopens,” Justin Baragona, Daily Beast

“‘Death Is Not An Economic Motivator’: Pelosi Emphasizes Dangers Of Reopening Economy,” Cristina Cabrera, TalkingPointsMemo

“Trump Says Nation Needs to Accept More Deaths: ‘We Have to Be Warriors,” Justin Baragona, Daily Beast

Updates:

“Trump reverses course and says White House coronavirus taskforce will stay,” David Smith, The Guardian

“Trump: COVID-19 task force not dismantling, just refocusing,” Zeke Miller, Jill Colvin, and Darlene Superville, Associated Press

Related:

“New projection puts U.S. COVID-19 deaths at nearly 135,000 by August,” Rich McKay, Reuters

“Meatpacking Crisis Shows Limits of Human Sacrifice As Recovery Plan,” Eric Levitz, New York Magazine

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Coronavirus Stimulus Tax Break Benefits Millionaires

April 16, 2020

Coronavirus Stimulus Tax Break Benefits Millionaires

“More than 80 percent of the benefits of a tax change tucked into the coronavirus relief package Congress passed last month will go to those who earn more than $1 million annually, according to a report by a nonpartisan congressional body ….

The provision, inserted into the legislation by Senate Republicans, temporarily suspends a limitation on how much owners of businesses formed as ‘pass-through’ entities can deduct against their nonbusiness income, such as capital gains, to reduce their tax liability. The limitation was created as part of the 2017 Republican tax law to offset other tax cuts to firms in that legislation.

Suspending the limitation will cost taxpayers about $90 billion in 2020 alone, part of a set of tax changes that will add close to $170 billion to the national deficit over the next 10 years, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT), the nonpartisan congressional body.”

— “Tax change in coronavirus package overwhelmingly benefits millionaires, congressional body finds,” Jeff Stein, Washington Post

More:

“Coronavirus stimulus law has a tax loophole just for millionaires, report says,” Charles Duncan, McClatchy

“Millionaires to reap 80% of benefit from tax change in US coronavirus stimulus,” Amanda Holpuch, The Guardian

Related:

“White House, GOP face heat after hotel and restaurant chains helped run small business program dry,” Jonathan O’Connell, Washington Post

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Wisconsin: Voter Suppression by Germ Warfare

April 13, 2020

Wisconsin: Voter Suppression by Germ Warfare

Wisconsin’s COVID-19 stay-at-home order went into effect on March 25th, and the governor tried to delay in-person voting until June, but the state’s Republican-majority legislature, in a session attended by only 2 members, convened for 17 seconds to force voting in person on April 7th, pandemic be damned. The Republican-dominated State Supreme Court voted to overturn the governor’s delay order, and a 5-4 U.S. Supreme Court decision backed that up.

Thus, on April 7th, the GOP compelled a death march of Wisconsin voters to polling places in the middle of the US coronavirus outbreak. Poll workers, largely elderly and at risk of COVID-19, stayed away, reducing the number of polling places and causing hours-long lines of masked voters in the few that were open. Many voters who requested absentee ballots did not receive them before election day.

Why this unseemly, unhealthy haste? It is a truth universally acknowledged that Republicans must be in want of low voter turnout to continue their gerrymandered stranglehold on the Nation’s body politic. If a pandemic can help them, they’re okay with that. Wisconsin votes will be tallied today, April 13th. Perhaps “I Voted” stickers will get civic-minded victims priority in the state’s ICUs.

Due to the pandemic, many states are transitioning to vote-by-mail systems. Republicans are against it, including President Trump, who recently voted by mail.

More:

“Wisconsin: the state where American democracy went to die,” Sam Levine, The Guardian

“The Wisconsin GOP Is Risking Voters’ Lives to Protect Its Minority Rule,” Eric Levitz, New York Magazine

“Wisconsin tracking potential spread of coronavirus from Tuesday’s election,” J. Edward Moreno, The Hill

“Wisconsin health officials step up efforts to track coronavirus exposure from primary election,” Quint Forgey, Politico

“Gerrymandering Meets the Coronavirus in Wisconsin,” Michael Li, Brennan Center

“How Wisconsin’s election disenfranchised voters,” Vox

Related:

“Trump says Republicans would ‘never’ be elected again if it was easier to vote,” Sam Levine, The Guardian

“Trump Wants 50 Wisconsins on Election Day,” Jamelle Bouie, New York Times

“Republicans Could Use the Coronavirus to Suppress Votes Across the Country. This Week We Got a Preview,” Carol Anderson, Time

Update:

“Thousands of Wisconsin ballots could be thrown out because they don’t have a postmark,” Ian Millhiser, Vox

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Roy Moore Loses In Alabama

March 6, 2020

Roy Mooredefrocked judgegun-slingingtheocraticracist homophobe, and alleged child molester, came in 4th in Alabama’s GOP senatorial primary on Super Tuesday, losing his bid for a general election rematch with Democrat Doug Jones. So you won’t find Judge Moore in the U.S. Capitol in 2021, but he might be hanging out near Claire’s in Gadsden Mall.

More:

“Accused pedophile Roy Moore flames out in Alabama GOP Senate primary,” Matthew Rozsa, Salon

“At Least Roy Moore Won’t Be a U.S. Senator,” Zak Cheney-Rice, New York Magazine

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Doctors: Trump’s separation of families is torture

March 3, 2020

Doctors: Trump's separation of families is torture

“The trauma Donald Trump’s administration caused to young children and parents separated at the US-Mexico border constitutes torture, according to evaluations of 26 children and adults by the group Physicians for Human Rights (PHR).

The not-for-profit group’s report provides the first in-depth look at the psychological impact of family separation, which the US government continued despite warnings from the nation’s top medical bodies.”

Legal experts have argued family separation constituted torture, but this is the first time a medical group has reached the determination.”

— “Trump’s separation of families constitutes torture, doctors find,” Amanda Holpuch, The Guardian

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Mike Pence, Coronavirus Czar

February 28, 2020

Mike Pence, Coronavirus Czar

President Trump has named Vice President Mike Pence to lead his administration’s fight against the Coronavirus epidemic. Mr. Pence gained extensive medical experience during his stint as Indiana governor, when his Medicaid “expansion” cut health coverage for thousands. His response to the state’s HIV epidemic was to “go home and pray on it,” a policy that caused HIV deaths to spike. A longtime critic of science-based policy, he denied that smoking causes cancer while running for Congress in 2000.

Since joining the Trump administration Mike Pence has filled the federal health establishment with Indiana cronies like former pharmaceutical lobbyist and drug company exec Alex Azar, now Secretary of Health and Human Services, who tripled the price of insulin when he headed Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly. In congressional testimony last Wednesday Mr. Azar would not guarantee that any coronavirus vaccine would be affordable.

More:

“Trump Put Mike Pence In Charge Of The Coronavirus Response. Public Health Experts Aren’t Having It.” Brianna Sacks, BuzzFeed

“Let’s Revisit Coronavirus Czar Mike Pence’s History on Public Health Initiatives,” Shannon Palus, Slate

“Mike Pence was criticized for his handling of Indiana’s HIV outbreak. He will lead the U.S. coronavirus response.” Washington Post

“Mike Pence ‘not up to task’ of leading US coronavirus response, say experts,” Adam Gabbatt, The Guardian

Uh-Oh:

“Was Mike Pence exposed to coronavirus?” Kathryn Krawczyk, The Week

“Student Quarantined Days After Classmates Shook Mike Pence’s Hand, Report Says,” Jamie Ross, Daily Beast

Updates:

“Trump wanted, and got, a coronavirus lead who would give politics primary consideration,” Philip Bump, Washington Post

“Pence Will Control All Coronavirus Messaging From Health Officials,” Michael D. Shear and Maggie Haberman, New York Times

“Coronavirus: Pence defends Trump Jr claim Democrats want ‘millions’ to die,” Martin Pengelly and Amanda Holpuch, The Guardian

“HHS Secretary Azar: ‘I’m still chairman of the task force’ on coronavirus after Trump says Pence is leading response,” Caroline Kelly, CNN

“Trump backers see a coronavirus conspiracy,” Ben Schreckinger and Alice Miranda Ollstein, Politico

“Mick Mulvaney: Media Is Exaggerating Coronavirus Coverage to ‘Bring Down the President,’” Pilar Melendez, Daily Beast

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Ginni Thomas, Spy Hunter!

February 26, 2020

Ginni Thomas, Spy Hunter!

Rightwing lobbyist, Supreme spouse, and Tea Party cultist Ginni Thomas is making a list, checking it twice, and ridding the Trump White House of spies, snakes and traitors, those professional civil servants more devoted to the Constitution than personal loyalty to Donald Trump. That sounds better to conspiracy nuts when they call the Civil Service the “Deep State.”

Since 2013 Ginni Thomas has been part of the ad hoc Groundswell group, a rightwing cabal opposed to GOP centrists as much as liberal Democrats. In January she and other Tea Party survivors met with President Trump in the White House with a belated Christmas gift, their Naughty/Nice List. The Goundswell goons called for the firing of qualified federal government professionals and the hiring of Trump toadies, hard right wingnuts, Fox News talking heads, and other incompetents in their stead.

After getting her fringe-group friends into high White House places, Ms. Thomas plans to defend the Trump-archy in the 2020 election through her own MAGA-supporting PAC.

More:

“Trump’s ‘Deep State’ hit list,” Jonathan Swan, Axios

“Among Those Pressing Trump to Weed Out Disloyalty: Clarence Thomas’s Wife,” Maggie Haberman, New York Times

“Clarence Thomas’ Wife Is Helping Trump Purge ‘Snakes’ From the White House — and Replace Them With Fox News Regulars,” Travis Gettys, The New Civil Rights Movement

“Ginni Thomas’ White House Meeting Was Just Another Grift,” Mark Joseph Stern, Salon

Updates:

“Trump acknowledges lists of disloyal government officials to oust,” Jacob Knutson, Axios

“Trump Claims Purging Officials Who Are ‘Disloyal’ To Him Is Good For America,” Cristina Cabrera, TalkingPointsMemo

“Baby-faced assassin: the 29-year old at the heart of Trump’s ‘deep state’ purge,” Tom McCarthy, The Guardian (also “A new senior leader at the White House personnel office: A college senior,” Daniel Lippman and Meridith McGraw, Politico).

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Wilbur Ross on the New U.S. Economic Stimulus: Coronavirus

February 5, 2020

Wilbur Ross on the New U.S. Economic Stimulus: Coronavirus

Commerce Secretary, inveterate liar, and noted grifter Wilbur Ross is going viral for claiming that China’s novel coronavirus epidemic “will help to accelerate the return of jobs to North America.” Kinda like how the Black Death stimulated real estate opportunities by emptying Europe’s cities, apparently.

The comment is not just morally appalling, it demonstrates complete ignorance of 21st century manufacturing processes, just what you want in a Secretary of Commerce. Vehicles assembled in the U.S., for example, contain 40 to 50 percent imported parts and components. If China’s factories shut down due to quarantine, U.S. auto assembly lines will grind to a halt. The Rust Belt won’t save the day by sprouting new factories. the corporate billions liberated by the Trump tax cuts were supposed to fund factory development but were used for unproductive stock buybacks instead.

More:

“Wilbur Ross Says Coronavirus Could Bring Jobs Back to the U.S.,” Ana Swanson and Alan Rappeport, New York Times

“Wilbur Ross says Coronavirus could boost US jobs,” BBC News

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