Towards an issues-based 2020 election (65)

===2020 Big Picture===
“40 Coronavirus Cases In Milwaukee County Linked To Wisconsin Election, Health Official Says”
– @WUWMradio, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. We desperately need to establish a #VoteByMail system in order to avoid a repeat of #WisconsinPandemicVoting in November.

The “centrist’s” war against the Democratic base continues…
Ocasio-Cortez blasts New York elections board for canceling presidential primary

What a self-own by New York Democrats — kicking Bernie off the ballot is an effort to protect
down ballot incumbents.  Establishment wonders “Why are people so cynical?”
Answer doesn’t require being a rocket scientist, a political scientists, or a brain surgeon….

Rs shut down primaries in a number of states to prevent voters from choosing delegates
who disagreed with Trump’s agenda. It was a shameful, anti-democratic act. It is every bit
as shameful for Ds to shut down the NY primary to prevent voters from choosing Sanders

See picture…
The New York State Board of Elections has decided that these are non-essential voters.

Yang sues over NY’s shutdown of presidential primary: Former D candidate argues that
axing primary would deny voters due process and hurt down-ballot candidates.
@AndrewYang is 100% right about this.
If Joe Biden was smart, he’d back this suit.

The U.S. Postal Service says that mail-in ballots can still be delivered without a stamp.
“It is the postal service’s policy not to delay the delivery of completed absentee or vote-by-mail ballots even if no postage has been affixed.”

Senator #BernieSanders just won 142,906 votes in the Ohio Dem primary – gaining 13 more delegates.
Since Sanders suspended his campaign, it has added 38 delegates to its convention total of 952. Those are votes for a progressive platform: #Medicare4All #GreenNewDeal #FreeCollege.

Democrats grapple with how to hold state conventions amid pandemic

Question: How does one debate by phone?

My husband died a week ago; his posthumous test was COVID-19 positive. Our daughter is battling it now. He worked tirelessly for decades on Dem voter registration and get-out-the-vote efforts. In honor of all lost this week, we need massive registration & turnout in Nov 2020.

“I don’t think there is a choice if the goal is to defeat Trump.
I think you have to support the democratic nominee.
That doesn’t mean you can’t criticize or pressure that nominee to be better.
Joe Biden needs a lot of pushing.” – @DavidSirota on getting Trump out of office (video)

Side note: shaming and insulting people for expressing entirely honest and legitimate issues
with Biden is not only immoral and gross, it’s a strategic mistake. It’s not a way to ultimately
get those folks to work hard to defeat Trump in the election.


Responding to a question…
Every election is a choice between the lesser of two evils
Picking dessert is choosing the lesser of two evils
Not voting is greater of two evils
I’ve voted Green before; Voted for Nader twice – in blue states
A 2020 3rd party vote in a swing state is a vote for DT
And you don’t have a uterus

Responding to a comment…
“Being Entitled” is voting Green Party 2020 in a swing state because you don’t have a uterus.

We need leadership that promotes a sense of solidarity right now. And yet, Trump’s maliciousness, mendacity & incompetence coupled with Dems being on recess & Biden remaining low profile — all of it sends the opposite message. It tells Americans that we’re all alone, on our own.

===2020 Issues===
350.orgs BIPOC Climate Leadership Program Application

The Cornavirus is Rewriting Our Imaginations
What felt impossible has become thinkable. The springof 2020 is suggestive of how much, and how quickly, we can change as a civilization.

Bill McKibben on Earth Day at 50: We Must Stop Subsidizing Fossil Fuel Industry Wrecking the Planet

Fifty Years Past the First Earth Day, a Frayed Planet – and a Sublime One

Greta Thunberg: Climate Activists Have Not Lost Hope Amid Pandemic. We’re Changing How We Organize.

Paris and now Milan announce plans to rapidly increase space for biking and walking, and eventually reopen their economies with transformed citywide transportation networks.
NYC is losing a once in a lifetime opportunity because of Bill de Blasio.

An Earth Day Reminder of How the Republicans Have Forsaken the Environment

As usual, @ElizKolbert is exactly on target. I remember interviewing Pete McCloskey
about that first Earth Day – he described GOP colleagues ‘lined up in the hall to ask
about this ecology stuff’ the next morning

A Big Oil Bailout Would Be the Opposite of the Green New Deal We Need

I warned about this very thing last week. 3 reasons this is a horrible idea:
– Oil & gas firms made up 91% of defaulted corporate debt in Q3 2019
– They’ve made 10 years of bad bets
– Even the major producers can only turn profits at $31/barrel
The Postal Service Deserves a Permanent Bailout

Tyson Foods Helped Create the Meat Crisis It Warns Against
– Outlook for shortages is ‘100% a symptom of consolidation’
– Three companies sell about two-thirds of America’s beef

CBPP: States Can Quickly Expand Medicaid to Provide Coverage and Financial Security to Millions

CBPP’s Greenstein: New COVID-19 Bill Helpful But Inadequate – More Needed for States and Localities, the Most Vulnerable, and the Economy
While providing needed support to small businesses and hospitals, the new COVID-19 package announced today falls short even as an interim measure, failing to deliver crucial state and local fiscal relief and food assistance.

Great time for special 10 pp one-time increment to income tax for high earners. It would also apply to unrealized cap gains and lasts for 2020 and 2021. (Also tax corps 10 pp on stock gains and dividend payouts from trough to end of year)

The Ten Percent Solution, my special gift to all the rich and powerful folks
who are  making a fortune off the pandemic bailout

More Thoughts on a Wealth Tax and Alternatives


Obama’s Original Sin
A new insider account reveals how the Obama administration’s botched bailout deal not only reinforced neoliberal Clintonism, but also foreshadowed an ongoing failure to fulfill campaign promises.

Note: Economists knew how much stimulus was needed but too many ignored them.

.@AOC: If you’re worried about the deficit, let’s raise some taxes. Let’s make sure that Jeff Bezos pays what he needs to pay. Let’s make sure Facebook pays taxes for once. Let’s make sure Walmart pays taxes for once. (video)


Responding to Steve Forbes…
Payroll tax cuts are too slow, favor the wealthy & ignore tens of millions of unemployed people. A far better plan would include direct aid for states & cities in budget crisis to help preserve vital local services and jobs under threat.

Private Hospitals, Now Demanding Bailouts, Lobbied to Defeat Cost-Saving Health Reform as Coronavirus Crisis Grew. The $3 million spending spree went toward attacks on a Colorado plan that would have provided a “public option” for those without employer-based coverage.

2015 Context: How Marco Rubio (R-TX) is quietly killing Obamacare
Rubio … has quietly pushed the ACA into what may prove to be a death spiral.

…Many insurers worried that there would not be enough healthy people paying in to cover the costs of sick people. So the administration created a “risk corridor” program to help prop up insurers who lost money in the first three years of the law. Profitable insurers would pay some of those profits into a pool to help insurers who lost money. If the amount insurers lost exceeded what the companies paid in, the government would step in and make up the difference.

…Rubio last year quietly inserted language into the omnibus government spending bill that barred the Department of Health and Human Services from dipping into general funds to pay failing insurers. …

Last year, insurers lost $2.9 billion more than expected on the ACA. But insurers had paid only $362 million into the program – leaving it more than $2.5 billion short. Thanks to Rubio’s provision, the administration was allowed to pay only 13 cents of every dollar insurers requested. Without the taxpayer bailouts, more than half of the the ACA insurance cooperatives created under the law failed. …

  2020: Supreme Court Sides With Insurers In $12B Case
Over Promised Risk-Corridor Funds Under ACA

Cigna executives told analysts the pandemic wouldn’t hurt its business, while the health insurance lobby asked Congress for aid.

The Nursing Home Coronavirus Pandemic

Dr Gerald Friedman and Wendell Potter…
Don’t waste the public’s money bailout out private health insurers.

…extending the enrollment period in a corporate health insurance marketplace isn’t a
long-term solution for people who lost their job and now can’t afford a health insurance premium.
Medicare for All is an *actual* solution.

Sanders: Here’s How to Cover Uninsured Americans During the Pandemic
Empowering Medicare to cover our health needs is comprehensive and cost-effective.

Bernie Sanders is right. Subsidizing COBRA would lead to massive profits for insurers
while leaving tens of millions uninsured or underinsured

RJ Eskow: This Democratic plan (to extend COBRA) for health insurance
during the pandemic would be a huge mistake

House members come up for re-election every two years. Push…
House Democrats could right now pass existing Democratic legislation to prevent pharma from profiteering off a COVID treatment. But so far Dems have refused — as pharma has mounted a lobbying blitz and poured big money into the 2020 election

2009 Related:

Kimberle Crenshaw: ‘The political process has pushed black people so far to the margins that they can’t protect themselves’

(The president’s new) Nuclear Plan Favors Uranium Mining Bordering the Grand Canyon

Urgent action is needed to put the lid on a new and costly global arms race.

The Blob Attacks: Gaslighting or Just Gasbagging?
After a 75-year-run of failure, the foreign policy elite is on the wane, with some clearly taking it harder than others.

Ladies, gentleman and others: I present the biggest, dumbest, most dangerous weapon we don’t need and would be better off without: The New ICBM. Insightful analysis by @mattkorda


See referenced comment…
The president’s continued issuing of orders to our military via tweet is a threat to our national security and, if followed without clear guidance and rules of engagement, will unnecessarily escalate tensions with Iran and possibly lead to all-out-conflict.

I have deployed to the Gulf on multiple ships and been personally involved
in these at-sea interactions with the Iranians dozens of times.

The Iranians routinely conduct harassing actions towards our ships and have done so
for decades. We train for this and respond in a measured and responsible way
to de-escalate these provocations.

Moreover, if these are hollow threats, they weaken our stance and embolden Iran to continue
to harass our forces unabated. Sometimes restraint is the greatest show of strength.



By my count, 18 of the signatories of this letter are staff or board members of @FDD + @UANI
Padding the list shows how isolated they are on this issue. These are lonely voices
who want to maximize the misery and hardship of ordinary Iranians *during a pandemic*.

This is a great point. There is a small cadre in Washington who are paid handsomely
to promote regime change or even war with Iran. They are skilled at presenting themselves
as bigger and more important (and more rational) than they are. Don’t be fooled.

Most of the rest of the world supports easing sanctions on Iran, and even US military
intelligence documents admit sanctions have impeded the pandemic response. But that
would stall plans for war, so Pompeo FDD and a smattering of others oppose:

In 2003, the House of Representatives passed a resolution supporting President Bush’s
decision to provide humanitarian aid to Iran in the wake of a devastating earthquake.
The vote was 381-0.

As Trump threatens Iran, “We’re watching and preparing,” @rahnamepting said, “so that
if we need to take action to push back against war with Iran – or with whatever country
this president may feel the desire to provoke in the moment – we will be ready.”

Reports of threats to US military forces have been greatly exaggerated, I tell @USATODAY. This is a diversion to feed the narrative of a “wartime president,” not genuine threats to our security.


Related II:

The NYT should print the names of the State Dept lawyers who supposedly argued that the U.S is still part of the Iran deal that Trump renounced
Everyone should know who these liars are

In tortured logic, Trump begs for a do-over on the Iran nuclear deal

EU high rep for foreign policy dumps cold water on @secpompeo latest #Iran sanctions gambit

See referenced Mark Dubowitz’s (FDD) comment
Pro tip: Don’t deliberately misrepresent what lawmakers say like this
If the letter endorsed using the “snapback” mechanism to permanently kill the Iran deal and
reimpose all United Nations sanctions like Pompeo intends, it wouldn’t have any signers
except hardline right-wingers

This is ridiculous. The drafters of Resolution 2231 (Iran Deal) should have anticipated that a
state might argue that it is both a JCPOA participant and choosing not to participate in the
JCPOA at the same time? And US credibility is dealt another blow…

===2020 Watch List===
See picture…
An anonymous account with 630 followers puts out an obviously fake photoshop calling Bill Gates a eugenicist, claims the tweet has already been taken down, and gets 32,000 retweets.
We’re so unbelievably scr-wed.

The lack of a daily Democratic Party briefing on how Trump Admin is screwing up the public health & economic policy response to #coronavirus continues to break my brain.
I called for this mid-March & our team published this in February, no 2nd guessing:

Why is Congress allowing Donald Trump to frame the debate about the #CoronavirusPandemic?
Why isn’t Congress in session remotely? Why are there no virtual oversight hearings?
No debates? No votes? Why let Trump be the face of the Federal government?


Important reporting on the health care industry spending big money to try to stop Colorado Democratic lawmakers from passing a bill to lower the cost of medical care during the pandemic

See text graphic…
As millions lose private health insurance & polls show surging support for Medicare for All, Obama’s campaign manager @Messina2012 is still loyally shilling for corporations by insisting swing voters won’t be deterred in their alleged love for private health insurance companies.

“12M to 35M people will lose job-based insurance because of the pandemic.” What should we tell
these people? That they’re out of luck? That we’re too scared to take on the insurance industry –
or just too attached to the campaign money the industry supplies?


‘A Bomb in the Center of the Climate Movement’: Michael Moore Damages Our Most Important Goal

Basically, Moore and his colleagues have made a film attacking renewable energy as a sham and arguing that the environmental movement is just a tool of corporations trying to make money off green energy. “One of the most dangerous things right now is the illusion that alternative technologies, like wind and solar, are somehow different from fossil fuels,” Ozzie Zehner, one of the film’s producers, tells the camera. When visiting a solar facility, he insists: “You use more fossil fuels to do this than you’re getting benefit from it. You would have been better off just burning the fossil fuels.”

That’s not true, not in the least – the time it takes for a solar panel to pay back the energy used to build it is well under four years. Since it lasts three decades, it means 90 percent of the power it produces is pollution-free, compared with zero percent of the power from burning fossil fuels. It turns out that pretty much everything else about the movie was wrong – there have been at least 24 debunkings – -, many of them painfully rigorous; as one scientist wrote in a particularly scathing takedown – -, “Planet of the Humans is deeply useless. Watch anything else.” …


===2020 Watch List-Bias===
Corporate Media Deny Their Own Existence, Despite Driving Biden’s Primary Victory

“It’s indisputable that the legacy, corporate, billionaire owned media – didn’t treat us fairly.
Anybody who pretends @BernieSanders wasn’t held to a different standard
than every other candidate – it’s nonsense.” – @DavidSirota … (video)

Carville then (Feb) and now…


===2020 Presidential Candidates===
Elizabeth Warren… Feb 9th (Suspended Campaign)
I #StandWithEssentialWorkers on the frontlines of this crisis who are striking today for fair pay & basic protections. And I’m fighting for Congress to include my Essential Workers Bill of Rights with many of these priorities in the next relief package.

My oldest brother, Don Reed, died from coronavirus on Tuesday evening. He joined the Air Force at 19 and spent his career in the military, including five and a half years off and on in combat in Vietnam. He was charming and funny, a natural leader.

See referenced Amber Tamblyn comment…
Elizabeth Warren might have been the Democratic nominee if she hadn’t decided to never echo her past righteous criticism of Joe Biden’s ties to the financial industry. I don’t know why she made the decision to be silent on that. She woulda been a better nominee than Biden.
Bernie Sanders… Feb 19th (Suspended Campaign)
The Foundations of American Society Are Failing Us.
Joe Biden… April 25th
Context: It’s time to move past employer-based health insurance
The coronavirus shows tying health insurance to jobs is a disaster. Let’s fix it.

See Biden’s mischaracterization…
You’re pushing a health care plan that would leave millions of people uninsured.
Maybe you should fix that – it would make your case against Trump a lot stronger.

Click text graphics…
I don’t think Biden should try to lie his way through the general election. It would be better
if he just made his positions better – then he could be honest in his case against Trump,
which would be more compelling.

Of course this story is written backward, Biden favors having the government make a coronavirus vaccine expensive. He wants the government to grant a patent monopoly for a vaccine that will have been developed largely with public money.

2013 Context: The Smart Boys: Larry Summers and Jeff Bezos

While most of us really don’t have any idea of how smart Summers actually is, we do have some basis to assess his record. He was a big proponent of deregulation of the financial sector in 1990s and in the last decade, right up to when the collapse of the housing bubble led to the financial crisis. Apparently his meta-cognition skills didn’t help him much on that one.

Summers also was an opponent of actions to break up the big banks even when they when they were bankrupt and would have collapsed if the market was allowed to work its magic. Largely as a result of Summers’ actions, the big banks are bigger and more profitable than ever.

Summers also played a role in getting President Obama to accept a less than adequate stimulus and then shifting his focus to deficit reduction, even when the economy clearly needed more stimulus. The weak recovery and continued high unemployment is the price that we are paying for these policies. Whatever meta-cognition skills Summers may have, they do not seem to have benefited the country thus far.

  Larry Summers Advising Biden Campaign on Economic Recovery

Run. Screaming. From. The. Room.

See referenced comment…
…a lot of workers might be pi–ed if Biden pushes the trade, deregegulation and anti-worker
ideology that Summers has championed and that has crushed the working class for decades

Debt and Deficits with the Coronavirus


Joe Biden has always been a deficit hawk, including on Social Security

Just read the Coronavirus memo from @KBeds, deputy campaign manager for @JoeBiden. It mentions “China” or “Chinese” 33 times in 4 pages. These people are obsessed with red-baiting Trump. Americans don’t care about this. We care about saving lives, saving jobs. Get on message.

Did China downplay the virus, hide the facts? Yes. Lots of governments did, allies and
adversaries. China should have done better, but it is not uniquely responsible. Nor should
it be the main charge against Trump’s criminal failures.

U.S. intelligence agencies warned (the president) more than a dozen times in the
President’s Daily Brief during January and February, the period during which (DJT)
dismissed the danger,  @gregpmiller & @nakashimae report

Video: It’s a hoax (cough) – a highlight reel of pandemic pandering and political hubris


…new on-point @washingtonpost editorial criticizing both (the president) and Biden for their
red-baiting on China: “Treating China as an enemy would invite a disastrous escalation of
international tensions.”

Both … “portray China, and Chinese people, as enemies at a time when Asian Americans
are already being subjected to unconscionable attacks, and it could complicate cooperation
with China that will be necessary to defeat the novel coronavirus,” say the Post Editors.

Ever since JFK slammed Nixon for a “missile gap” that didn’t exist, Dems have tried
to get to the right of GOP on national security. They rarely succeed. Case in point,
explains @PeterBeinart

On China, Biden Falls Into Trump’s Xenophobia Trap
In his new attack ad, Biden dabbles in “Yellow Peril” rhetoric to defend his record.


As he huddled with advisers on Friday evening, President Donald Trump was still fuming over his sliding poll numbers and the onslaught of criticism he was facing for suggesting a day earlier that ingesting disinfectant might prove effective against coronavirus.

Within moments, the president was shouting — not at the aides in the room, but into the phone — at his campaign manager Brad Parscale, three people familiar with the matter told CNN. Shifting the blame away from himself, Trump berated Parscale for a recent spate of damaging poll numbers, even at one point threatening to sue Parscale. It’s not clear how serious the president’s threat of a lawsuit was.

But Parscale, who has been working from his south Florida home for the past month, flew back to Washington on Tuesday to get some face time with his boss.

Two sources familiar with the matter said Parscale spent several hours at the White House where he discussed reelection strategy with Trump and secured his approval for new campaign ads that will knock former Biden for his stance on China.

“Everything he ever did was bad. His foreign policy was a disaster,” Trump told Reuters Wednesday. Trump told the outlet he believes “China will do anything they can to have me lose this race” because he believes they want Biden to win the race.

Note: Anything Biden says Trump will throw back in his face …with no regard for the truth. Biden needs to start campaigning for the support of the entire Democratic base and stop prioritizing for right-leaning Independents and Republicans. Now!
Compare / Contrast that thought with this one: Keep in mind… Buttigieg is a “centrist” who also lied about M4A
Want to be popular? Pursue popular policies!


I think I have identified someone to take over as policy director for the Biden campaign. (video)

“Biden Needs to be Different Than He Has (been) in Past to Beat Trump,”
Says Former Top Sanders Advisor Sirota on LIVE

For too many reasons to list in a tweet, Biden has to choose his VP wisely.

Note: Hillary Clinton, a “centrist,” picked another “centrist” as her running mate. Don’t repeat that mistake.

Bernie is the top choice of Dem voters for VP. Obviously that is not happening but Dem primary voters seem to be serious about unifying the party in a meaningful way even if Biden is only interested in inadequate “concessions” like task forces.


Different poll picked Warren…

Jan: The Sanders campaign looked into whether Warren could serve as
vice president and treasury secretary at the same time, according to report

This is an important piece of additional reporting further bolstering the claims of #TaraReade, and undermining the story that has been told by the Biden campaign that no one EVER complained of harassment in his office. Will @UDelaware release the records??


Insider sought access to Biden’s senatorial papers, which are housed at the University of Delaware, to search for records that may shed light on Reade’s claims. The university denied the request, saying Biden’s papers “will remain closed to the public until two years after Mr. Biden retires from public life.”

  A public university funded by taxpayers is denying public access to government documents
about a former public official until it is more politically safe for that official, who is facing
s-xual assault allegations. Whether you’re a Dem or a GOPer, you should admit
this is messed up.


It’s almost too predictable that the state that lets multinational corporations hide everything is also the state whose public university hides
government documents for politicians

Related: (search for Delaware)

Click text graphic…
Matriarch, a group that helps progressive, working-class women run for Congress, calls on
presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden to give “a comprehensive, detailed
response” to allegations made by former staffer. @MatriarchOrg

Biden campaign talking points “inaccurately suggest a New York Times investigation
found that Tara Reade’s allegation ‘did not happen.’ Our investigation made no conclusion.” …

Joe Biden denies sexual assault allegation from former staffer Tara Reade

Biden said he would ask the National Archives to make public any record of a complaint his accuser, Tara Reade, says she filed at the time. Biden said any such document would not be kept at the University of Delaware, among his Senate papers.

Morning Joe co-host Mika Brzezinski repeatedly asked if he would authorize a search of his Senate papers. He declined, insisting they “do not contain personnel files”.

In a statement, Rainn, an anti-sexual violence organization, called for the release of “any and all records that may be relevant, including those housed at the University of Delaware”.

“We urge him, his campaign and former staff to cooperate fully and provide complete transparency,” said Heather Drevna, a spokeswoman.

  Anita Hill tells @jessicabennett and I that she’s calling for an independent investigation
into the charges against Mr. Biden and Mr. Trump.


Note: This Lindsey Graham (R-SC) comment brought the following to mind…

Sept: Joe Biden’s non-apology to Anita Hill casts long shadow over 2020 run
Biden’s bid for president has invited renewed questions over his handling of Hill’s
1991 testimony – and his failure to say sorry

As Tara Reade becomes a household name ahead of the election, can most voters name
even one of Trump’s 25 sexual assault accusers? The group of them shouldn’t be collectively
reduced to a footnote in the Reade/Biden coverage. My latest:

Is this satire? “unbiased, apolitical panel, put together by the DNC”

Biden Operative Wants FBI to Investigate Journalists
for Covering Tara Reade Sexual Assault Allegation

Note: The original tweet was deleted – – so the operative might have been reined in. Hopefully that’s the case. Here’s a picture of the tweet:

Maybe not… The following link has a picture of a similar tweet from a different sender.


I’m not saying the accusation is true,
but lack of proof isn’t proof, David Axelrod. Refute the claims.

Former AG and “centrist”l who failed to prosecute Wall Street fraud

Biden: “The Trump Admin is currently responsible for one of the most significant failures of governance of any admin in modern history. It failed to heed warnings and adequately prepare our nation. It has failed to sufficiently ramp up the production of critical equipment.”
Michael Bloomberg… Nov 2019 (Suspended Campaign)
Michael Bloomberg’s March campaign finance report is out:
He ended up spending over $1 *billion* on his presidential campaign.

Mike Bloomberg is agreeing to pay for health care through November for the more than 2,000 campaign staffers he laid off as he faces public pressure and multiple lawsuits over allegations he let go of workers he’d promised to keep employed through 2020.

Donald Trump…
34 days of pandemic: Inside (the president’s) desperate attempts to reopen America
Though (the president) remained fixated on reopening the economy, he and his administration fell far short of making that a reality

A contrast in priorities; See referenced comment by the president…
US state governors have been begging for money to plug upcoming budget holes, and were told they need to wait.

See picture of swastica & the president’s name…
Waiting for Trump and Pence to distance themselves from such folks… Waiting…Waiting..

Admits Middle East wars are about oil…
(The president) told Saudi: Cut oil supply (to drive up prices) or lose U.S. military support – sources

The effort illustrated Trump’s strong desire to protect the U.S. oil industry from a historic price meltdown as governments shut down economies worldwide to fight the virus. It also reflected a telling reversal of Trump’s longstanding criticism of the oil cartel, which he has blasted for raising energy costs for Americans with supply cuts that usually lead to higher gasoline prices. Now, Trump was asking OPEC to slash output.

A senior U.S. official told Reuters that the administration notified Saudi leaders that, without production cuts, “there would be no way to stop the U.S. Congress from imposing restrictions that could lead to a withdrawal of U.S. forces.” The official summed up the argument, made through various diplomatic channels, as telling Saudi leaders: “We are defending your industry while you’re destroying ours.”

Despite the agreement to cut a tenth of global production, oil prices continued to fall to historic lows. U.S. oil futures dropped below $0 last week as sellers paid buyers to avoid taking delivery of oil they had no place to store. Brent futures, the global oil benchmark, fell towards $15 per barrel – a level not seen since the 1999 oil price crash – from as high as $70 at the start of the year.


The national security cost of Trump’s politicization of US intelligence

Sen. Mark Warner: “Efforts by this president to intimidate and extract personal loyalty
from U.S. intelligence services may be politically advantageous in the short term,
but over time the consequences for our country will be disastrous.”

They Were Willing to Make the Ultimate Sacrifice for the U.S.,
but (the president) Won’t Let Them Become Americans

Blockbuster story on Trump’s deep financial debt to China.
– $200MM loan from the state-owned Bank of China
– State-owned Chinese developers building Trump properties in UAE and Indonesia
– Chinese government awarded several trademarks to @IvankaTrump

(The president) is marching meatpacking workers off to their deaths.
The president’s executive order to keep meat plants open
shows contempt for workers’ health and public health

…900 cases at Smithfield in Sioux Falls, SD
890 at Tyson in Logansport, IN,
237 at JBS in Grand Island, NE
189 at Tyson in Columbus Junction, IA  …

Death toll tops 50,000.
Unemployment tops 20%.
President suggests mainlining lysol.


The Kansas Poison Control Center reported an increase of more than 40% in cleaning
chemical cases, days after Trump suggested that household disinfectants could be injected
“almost as a cleaning.”

(The president) says briefings ‘not worth the effort’ amid fallout from disinfectant comments
The president remained behind closed doors after advisers reportedly warned him that the
briefings were hurting his campaign

Birx, Fauci to take “back seat” as White house shifts to economic message…

Trump administration ducks and dodges to justify wall spending

…President Donald Trump’s border wall is now a story of two walls at once.

One is the giant, steel barrier in the Southwest, powered by a steady stream of contract awards, including four worth over $900 million in April alone during the lockdown.

The second is back in Washington, where the Defense Department continues to withhold information as to how precisely it diverted $3.6 billion in military construction appropriations to help speed this work.

Treasury Secretary Mnuchin Must Answer For Removing Safeguards Against Another Financial Crisis

The Secret Service rented a room at Trump’s D.C. hotel for 137 consecutive nights in 2017 –
paying Trump’s company more than $33,000 – so it could guard Treasury Secretary Mnuchin
while he lived in one of the hotel’s luxury suites.

Trump Appointees Manipulated Agency’s Payday Lending Research, Ex-Staffer Claims

Three prominent lawyers, representing disparate points on the political spectrum, say Trump’s name should not be on stimulus checks. By Federal Insider @JoeDavidsonWP

Robert Wilkie is under investigation after a complaint that he sought information to discredit a House staffer who said she was sexually assaulted in a VA hospital. Wilkie denied discussing her with Rep. Dan Crenshaw. But an email indicates he did.

Mapping Corruption in the Executive Branch
The Trump administration has brought its brand of corruption and self-dealing to every agency in the federal government.

(The president’s) D.C. hotel wants a break on its rent because of the pandemic. The hotel’s landlord is the Trump administration.
(The president’s) family business pays at least $3 million a year for the lease on the hotel, which is all but empty because of the virus.

2016, as candidate Donald Trump ran for office…
Donald Trump Won Control Of A Prized D.C. Landmark – Here’s How
“The Trump people said all the right things,” said a former member of his team.
“He never intended to stick with it. He thought, ‘Well, let’s get to the next phase
and then we’ll do what we want to do.'” A BuzzFeed News Investigation.

2018: Saudi lobbyists bought 500 nights at Trump’s DC hotel after 2016 election: report

2018: (The president’s) Inauguration Paid (the president’s) Company – With Ivanka in the Middle
As the inaugural committee planned the landmark celebration, internal concerns were raised
about whether Trump’s Washington hotel was overcharging for event space. The spending
could be a violation of the law.

2018: We’ve Found $16.1 Million in Political and Taxpayer Spending at Trump Properties
Most came from political entities such as the Trump campaign, but government agencies
chipped in, too. “I could offer clarity,” one federal employee explained, “but I choose not to.”

(The president’s) campaign still owes El Paso more than $500,000 for a 2019 rally. City officials may sue to get the money.
City officials sent the campaign the most recent invoice in February. The mayor on Tuesday said the city should consider filing a lawsuit to recoup the money as it faces down a budget shortfall from the new coronavirus.


…The Fed is opening the door to the worst kind of bailout –> an insolvency-driven bailout of executives and shareholders, not workers –> and almost entirely *unrelated* to COVID pandemic. And what upside do the taxpayers get? None. Just the climate risks

Details (thread)

Trump’s Paycheck Protection Program is a major corruption scandal, but it isn’t being treated as such. Perhaps that’s because its major beneficiaries are corporations – and its most direct victims are some of the most invisible members of society. My latest.


New (4th) spending bill…
CBPP’s Greenstein: New COVID-19 Bill Helpful But Inadequate – More Needed for States and Localities, the Most Vulnerable, and the Economy
While providing needed support to small businesses and hospitals, the new COVID-19 package announced today falls short even as an interim measure, failing to deliver crucial state and local fiscal relief and food assistance.

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