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Pandemic be damned, Secret Service just signed a new golf cart rental contract with Trump's VA club

During the months of January, February, and into March, President Donald Trump spent many of his weekends golfing at his favorite golf clubs, all of which he happens to own. Even on March 7, as COVID-19 was beginning to sweep through New York City’s metr
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Pandemic be damned, Secret Service just signed a new golf cart rental contract with Trump's VA club

During the months of January, February, and into March, President Donald Trump spent many of his weekends golfing at his favorite golf clubs, all of which he happens to own. Even on March 7, as COVID-19 was beginning to sweep through New York City’s metro area with a population of more than 18,000,000 residents, and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo was issuing a state of emergency, Donald Trump was still golfing. Even worse, he was attending a 51st birthday party for his son’s girlfriend alongside his bestie, Lindsey Graham. The party took place at Mar-a-Lago and the $50,000 tab for the party was reportedly paid for by Trump campaign donors. The grift never ends.  Now we know Donald Trump had been briefed for weeks or even months on the projected loss of life in the U.S. due to COVID-19. Top Army brass warned the White House on Feb. 3 that their analysis showed a loss of life between 80,000 to 150,000. And Donald Trump still golfed. 

Pandemic profiteers are making a fortune off the deaths of Americans, while Trump stands aside

What happens when you begin to research a story about how not-so-black market retailers are selling masks, gloves, and other protective gear at exorbitant prices during an unprecedented crisis? You get a browser filled with ads for masks, gloves, and other pr
Daily Kos

Pandemic profiteers are making a fortune off the deaths of Americans, while Trump stands aside

What happens when you begin to research a story about how not-so-black market retailers are selling masks, gloves, and other protective gear at exorbitant prices during an unprecedented crisis? You get a browser filled with ads for masks, gloves, and other protective gear, available to anyone willing to pay exorbitant prices … because God forbid Google and Facebook don’t get a cut of the action. Not only are pandemic profiteers setting 50 states and the federal government bidding against each other in a process that is costing billions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of lives—they’re doing it openly. This isn’t secret. This isn’t idiots in a truck, scouring a state for hand sanitizer. This is major suppliers, including manufacturers, raking in profits and shipping away the products that health care workers need to do their jobs. These are actions that the federal government could stop … but hasn’t.

Farm laborers are essential workers who need protections now, Congressional Hispanic Caucus says

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus is calling on Trump administration officials to ensure the protection of skilled and essential workers who are present in our everyday lives, yet are frequently overlooked: the farmworkers who labor in fields so that we ca
Daily Kos

Farm laborers are essential workers who need protections now, Congressional Hispanic Caucus says

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus is calling on Trump administration officials to ensure the protection of skilled and essential workers who are present in our everyday lives, yet are frequently overlooked: the farmworkers who labor in fields so that we can get our fruits and vegetables, and are now doing so at added risk due to the novel coronavirus crisis. “Throughout this public health crisis, there has not been a day when these essential workers have stopped showing up to work,” a statement said. “At the same time, farmworkers often do not have the necessary resources or information, health benefits, or direct cash assistance as other US workers.” 

'There’s no way to get out': Some 30,000 Americans abandoned abroad after countries close borders

Trenton Thurber, an asthma sufferer and Arizona resident studying abroad in Russia, told BuzzFeed News he knew when government officials started to announce soon-closing borders as a result of the coronavirus pandemic that he would need to get home. He book
Daily Kos

'There’s no way to get out': Some 30,000 Americans abandoned abroad after countries close borders

Trenton Thurber, an asthma sufferer and Arizona resident studying abroad in Russia, told BuzzFeed News he knew when government officials started to announce soon-closing borders as a result of the coronavirus pandemic that he would need to get home. He booked a flight and saw his luggage being taken onto a New York-bound plane on Monday at Moscow's airport, when all of a sudden the country closed its borders. His flight was canceled, also stranding 100 Russian citizens across the ocean in the epicenter for the virus that is New York, BuzzFeed reported. Thurber’s only advice from the U.S. Embassy was to get to the Finland border, which is about 700 miles away and far from a sure thing, the news website reported. "They said, ‘If you can get to the land border with Finland, that might be OK,’” Thurber told BuzzFeed. He didn’t want to risk it. Now he’s facing circumstances that more than 30,000 Americans left pleading with the U.S. government for assistance are also struggling through as they hemorrhage money. “There’s no way to get out,” Thurber told Buzzfeed.

COVID-19: The model behind Trump's numbers, and the numbers behind the model

On Tuesday, networks were once again ready to proclaim the day on which Donald Trump became president by noting that he stopped using third-grade nicknames long enough to deliver the message that as many as a quarter of a million Americans may die. Then he
Daily Kos

COVID-19: The model behind Trump's numbers, and the numbers behind the model

On Tuesday, networks were once again ready to proclaim the day on which Donald Trump became president by noting that he stopped using third-grade nicknames long enough to deliver the message that as many as a quarter of a million Americans may die. Then he went right back to talking about the important things—like how great the ratings are when he steps out to tell Americans how they’re going to die. It all gives the distinct impression that, had Trump known that reading a daily death sentence out for hundreds of thousands of viewers, Trump would have scheduled a pandemic long before this. But as Trump runs his fingers across a chart that turns killing 240,000 Americans into a “goal,” it’s worth examining … where are these numbers coming from? And is the doom Trump is pronouncing really as certain as it seems?

CDC doctors warned about dangers of pandemic in 2018—yet another warning Team Trump ignored

Another day, another report on a recent pandemic warning ignored by the Trump administration. In 2018, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention held a day-long conference to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Spanish flu pandemic, with sessions li
Daily Kos

CDC doctors warned about dangers of pandemic in 2018—yet another warning Team Trump ignored

Another day, another report on a recent pandemic warning ignored by the Trump administration. In 2018, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention held a day-long conference to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Spanish flu pandemic, with sessions like “Innovations for pandemic countermeasures.” “Are we ready to respond to a pandemic?” asked one of the doctors at the conference. “I fear the answer is no.” In one of many details that would seem over the top if this was all fictional, that doctor, Luciana Borio, was part of the National Security Council global health section that Donald Trump dismantled soon after the conference, making the U.S. even less ready to respond to a pandemic.

FEMA enters the fight against COVID-19 with order for 100,000 body bags and 85 refrigerated trucks

When it comes to ventilators, there has really been only one hoarder. Donald Trump has been sitting on a stack of the things, handing them out grudgingly to the states he favors and withholding them from the areas where COVID-19 is spiking. When it comes to p
Daily Kos

FEMA enters the fight against COVID-19 with order for 100,000 body bags and 85 refrigerated trucks

When it comes to ventilators, there has really been only one hoarder. Donald Trump has been sitting on a stack of the things, handing them out grudgingly to the states he favors and withholding them from the areas where COVID-19 is spiking. When it comes to protective gear, Trump has accused doctors and nurses of stealing masks, and done nothing at all about a robust and open market profiteering on death as all 50 states and the federal government bid against each other. Worse, the federal government has failed to step in as masks, gloves, and other vital equipment are shipped away from America to the highest bidder. But there is is one item where the federal government is getting ahead of the game. An item of coronavirus gear where they know there is going to be a big national need, and they’re actually getting in the request weeks, or at least days, before that need becomes desperate. This time FEMA is on top of—a request for 100,000 body bags for American dead.

6.65 million workers filed new claims for jobless benefits last week, 10 times the record set in '82

For the past several years, analysts have usually only glanced at the weekly number of new claims for unemployment benefits. These have remained historically low—just a bit above 200,000. The focus instead has been on the monthly report from the Bureau
Daily Kos

6.65 million workers filed new claims for jobless benefits last week, 10 times the record set in '82

For the past several years, analysts have usually only glanced at the weekly number of new claims for unemployment benefits. These have remained historically low—just a bit above 200,000. The focus instead has been on the monthly report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics as the growth in new jobs that began under President Barack Obama continued for 113 consecutive months. But as the first economic impacts of the coronavirus took hold, new benefit claims soared by 70,000 three weeks ago, hit a record-shattering 3.28 million two weeks ago, and last week the Labor Department announced today, rocketed another 6.65 million. That’s almost 10 times the record of 695,000 new claims set one week late in the recession of 1982. Add that combined total of nearly 10 million people to the 5.8 million already out-of-work, and it pushes the unemployment rate from 3.5% to 9.5%. But that’s not what the BLS report will show Friday. More about that in moment.

Morning Digest: Mirroring Trump, Texas GOP candidate's ad fans anti-Chinese racism over coronavirus

The Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest is compiled by David Nir, Jeff Singer, Stephen Wolf, Carolyn Fiddler, and Matt Booker, with additional contributions from David Jarman, Steve Singiser, Daniel Donner, James Lambert, David Beard, and Arjun Jaikumar. Lead
Daily Kos

Morning Digest: Mirroring Trump, Texas GOP candidate's ad fans anti-Chinese racism over coronavirus

The Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest is compiled by David Nir, Jeff Singer, Stephen Wolf, Carolyn Fiddler, and Matt Booker, with additional contributions from David Jarman, Steve Singiser, Daniel Donner, James Lambert, David Beard, and Arjun Jaikumar. Leading Off ● TX-22: While even Donald Trump has, at least for now, stopped dog-whistling to racists by calling the coronavirus the “Chinese virus,” self-funder Kathaleen Wall is just getting started. Wall is out with a new TV spot ahead of the July 14 GOP runoff that opens with a narrator charging, “China poisoned our people” as an animation shows arrows labeled “Chinese Virus” flying across the Pacific and landing in the United States. After praising Trump for using this racist term, the narrator says that Wall will “cut off trade, aid, and support to China.” The ad ends by calling the world’s largest country—and America's largest trading partner—“a criminal enterprise masquerading as a sovereign nation.”

Abbreviated pundit round-up: Calif. justice delayed; Republicans were warned; ignore the bankers

The Abbreviated Pundit Round-up is a regular feature of Daily Kos. Noah Feldman at Bloomberg writes—Coronavirus Shouldn't Delay Justice in California: In a little-noticed move over the weekend, California’s judicial council unanimously took some w
Daily Kos

Abbreviated pundit round-up: Calif. justice delayed; Republicans were warned; ignore the bankers

The Abbreviated Pundit Round-up is a regular feature of Daily Kos. Noah Feldman at Bloomberg writes—Coronavirus Shouldn't Delay Justice in California: In a little-noticed move over the weekend, California’s judicial council unanimously took some worrisome steps away from constitutional principles. Drawing on emergency powers conferred by state law and an executive order by the California governor, the council changed the deadline of 48 hours for arraigning arrestees to as much as a week. It also extended the date for a mandatory preliminary hearing in criminal cases from 10 days to 30 days; and it added an extra 30 days to the “speedy trial” deadlines for both misdemeanors and felonies.

Wednesday night owls: Sen. Warren blasts Trump regime for outbidding states on medical supplies

Night Owls is a themed open thread at Daily Kos. Julia Conley at Common Dreams writes—'Massachusetts Is Not Happy': Warren Condemns Trump for Outbidding States, Seizing Key Medical Supplies: Sen. Elizabeth Warren is demanding to know why the Trump admi
Daily Kos

Wednesday night owls: Sen. Warren blasts Trump regime for outbidding states on medical supplies

Night Owls is a themed open thread at Daily Kos. Julia Conley at Common Dreams writes—'Massachusetts Is Not Happy': Warren Condemns Trump for Outbidding States, Seizing Key Medical Supplies: Sen. Elizabeth Warren is demanding to know why the Trump administration earlier this month seized at least two shipments of badly-needed medical supplies to fight the coronavirus pandemic headed for her state of Massachusetts and accused the federal government of continually outbidding states as officials try to procure life-saving equipment.

Michigan man accidentally shoots himself in the leg with gun he purchased during coronavirus panic

Stupid decisions lead to stupid outcomes. A Michigan man accidentally shot himself in the leg with a gun he says he purchased to protect himself during the COVID-19 pandemic chaos. The man was reportedly treated at a hospital in Battle Creek, where he told p
Daily Kos

Michigan man accidentally shoots himself in the leg with gun he purchased during coronavirus panic

Stupid decisions lead to stupid outcomes. A Michigan man accidentally shot himself in the leg with a gun he says he purchased to protect himself during the COVID-19 pandemic chaos. The man was reportedly treated at a hospital in Battle Creek, where he told police that someone had shot him during an argument. Upon further investigation, the police discovered that he had accidentally shot himself in his living room. The man was subsequently arrested for being a felon in possession of a firearm and “reckless discharge of a weapon.” The NRA and other insecure gun profiteers have been successful in getting some states, like Michigan, to deem gun sellers “essential” during stay-at-home orders. The classic reasoning from the right wing of our political spectrum is that while there is nothing to worry about with the novel coronavirus—that it’s just like the flu and no one should panic—we should make sure that people have access to guns in case we need to panic due to some poorly defined apocalypse. Of course, nothing is going to happen and there’s no need to panic … but get a gun just in case. Guns don’t kill people. People holding guns who are afraid and making bad decisions kill people.

Spring breakers return to Austin with fond memories and positive results for COVID-19

In another case of spring break gone wild, a group of young adults from Texas came back from spring break with some rough news: They tested positive for coronavirus. About 70 adults in their 20s returned from a spring break trip in Mexico on March 19. Twenty-
Daily Kos

Spring breakers return to Austin with fond memories and positive results for COVID-19

In another case of spring break gone wild, a group of young adults from Texas came back from spring break with some rough news: They tested positive for coronavirus. About 70 adults in their 20s returned from a spring break trip in Mexico on March 19. Twenty-eight from the University of Texas at Austin have tested positive for COVID-19 since their return, health officials confirmed on Tuesday. According to the Austin Public Health Department, the group had departed together in a chartered plane, but some flew back on separate commercial flights. While four of the confirmed cases did not present any symptoms before testing positive, “dozens more are under public health investigation,” the department said. Mexico was not under a federal travel advisory while the spring breakers were gone; however, city officials said Austin residents should abide by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) travel guidelines that specify that individuals should refrain from all unnecessary international travel. The officials noted that this message should be applied to all ages and they encourage individuals to stay home. “A leisure vacation of any kind is not considered essential,” health officials said. In a statement, the Austin city health department confirmed that it has contacted every spring break attendee on the chartered plane after receiving flight manifests from the CDC. In addition, the agency confirmed that all “28 confirmed cases are self-isolating at this time,” while others are being monitored and tested.

When it comes to packing the federal courts, McConnell and Trump have no shame—and no principles

Focusing on the long-term—especially about matters of governmental and political process—isn’t exactly the easiest thing to do in the middle of a pandemic. However, Republicans never seem to think it’s the wrong time to push every button made availabl
Daily Kos

When it comes to packing the federal courts, McConnell and Trump have no shame—and no principles

Focusing on the long-term—especially about matters of governmental and political process—isn’t exactly the easiest thing to do in the middle of a pandemic. However, Republicans never seem to think it’s the wrong time to push every button made available to them in their quest to gain as much power as possible. No matter what constitutional or historical norms they have to trample on, Donald Trump and his party are determined to create a conservative judiciary at the federal level that will endure for a quarter-century or more. Let’s start, however, with what’s going on in 2020. Moscow Mitch—Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, that is—has been doing things the Founders likely never envisioned when they wrote our Constitution. He, along with allies, have been making calls to aging conservative jurists on the federal courts, reminding them that the clock is ticking—on Trump’s time in the White House, on the Republicans’ hold on the Senate, and, most appropriately given his embrace of the nickname “Grim Reaper,” on their very lives. McConnell has been urging them to all retire ASAP so that he and The Man Who Lost The Popular Vote can put as many young whipper-snappers as possible into lifetime seats on the federal bench, seats they’ll hold long past a Sasha Obama presidency.

Biden honors doctors, nurses, first responders in new video

Former Vice President Joe Biden followed up his video using Donald Trump's own words to devastating effect with another coronavirus-themed ad. After the first one showed Trump’s lack of leadership in the crisis, a new video features Biden talking about
Daily Kos

Biden honors doctors, nurses, first responders in new video

Former Vice President Joe Biden followed up his video using Donald Trump's own words to devastating effect with another coronavirus-themed ad. After the first one showed Trump’s lack of leadership in the crisis, a new video features Biden talking about how he would lead. It’s … different from Trump’s focus on Donald Trump. “I couldn’t be prouder of the American people and how they’re responding. We’re coming together, stepping up. You can see it all across the nation—ordinary Americans doing extraordinary things,” Biden says. He goes on to highlight the need for protective equipment, saying of health care workers and first responders: “This is a war and these are our soldiers. As president, I wouldn’t send an American soldier anywhere in the world without the equipment and protection they need—we should not do any less for the heroes on the front lines in this battle we’re in now.”

Caught in another lie: Trump claims COVID-19 testing isn't 'a problem' but quicker test on the way

President Donald Trump is covering his eyes again and telling people he doesn’t see a problem. This time, he told governors via conference call regarding the coronavirus Monday that he had not “heard about testing in weeks,” according to The New York
Daily Kos

Caught in another lie: Trump claims COVID-19 testing isn't 'a problem' but quicker test on the way

President Donald Trump is covering his eyes again and telling people he doesn’t see a problem. This time, he told governors via conference call regarding the coronavirus Monday that he had not “heard about testing in weeks,” according to The New York Times. “We’ve tested more now than any nation in the world,” Trump said, according to the newspaper.” Even though he claimed he hadn’t “heard about testing being a problem,” he also reportedly said, ”we’ve got these great tests and we’re coming out with a faster one this week.” So to recap, Trump sees nothing wrong with what the Times calls “a chronic lack of kits to screen people,” but just for kicks, his administration is coming out with new tests anyway. It’s no wonder why governors actually tracking COVID-19 response in their states called BS. 

COVID-19 news: Trump gaslights America, police close down reopened Hobby Lobby stores

Donald Trump's delays in responding to the building wave of a COVID-19 pandemic have now created a «best case» scenario of between 100,000—240,000 American deaths, according to government experts. The result: A new push by Donald Trump to insis
Daily Kos

COVID-19 news: Trump gaslights America, police close down reopened Hobby Lobby stores

Donald Trump's delays in responding to the building wave of a COVID-19 pandemic have now created a «best case» scenario of between 100,000—240,000 American deaths, according to government experts. The result: A new push by Donald Trump to insist that he had never downplayed the virus, despite many weeks and videotaped speeches in which Trump did exactly that. Already supported by Mike Pence and other fawning officials, it will be the greatest test yet of the administration's gaslighting strategies—a new claim that the virus killing family members, neighbors and friends was being taken seriously all along, despite weeks of Fox News coverage directly showing, and arguing for, the opposite. In today's other pandemic news:

Police close some Hobby Lobby locations after stores defy state order and reopen during pandemic

As the United States scrambles to handle the novel coronavirus pandemic, nonessential businesses have been closing across the nation. In an effort to minimize large crowds and the number of people being exposed (or exposing others), businesses like movie thea
Daily Kos

Police close some Hobby Lobby locations after stores defy state order and reopen during pandemic

As the United States scrambles to handle the novel coronavirus pandemic, nonessential businesses have been closing across the nation. In an effort to minimize large crowds and the number of people being exposed (or exposing others), businesses like movie theaters, spas, and gyms have been shuttering. While small businesses and service workers are understandably worried about the financial blow, closures make sense in terms of public health. Hobby Lobby, an arts and crafts chain, has started reopening stores—including in states that have orders against it, as reported by Business Insider. Now the police, as well as the local health department, are getting involved.

It’s census time. Here’s what it does, why it’s important, and what to expect amid COVID-19

Ever wonder how resources were allocated in your community? Or maybe why there are not enough hospital beds in the region where you reside? The census plays a big role in how state and local governments make decisions and how the federal government allocate
Daily Kos

It’s census time. Here’s what it does, why it’s important, and what to expect amid COVID-19

Ever wonder how resources were allocated in your community? Or maybe why there are not enough hospital beds in the region where you reside? The census plays a big role in how state and local governments make decisions and how the federal government allocates funds. There are billions of dollars in federal funding available for communities at stake. The census occurs every 10 years on April 1. It is an important reference date for counting people based on where they are living or usually residing as of that day. At this time, people living in the U.S. & U.S. territories have the opportunity to help inform and improve on the decisions being made by federal, state, and local governments about their communities.

California's SF Bay Area nailed coronavirus response, everyone should heed its lessons

Meet a real American hero, Sarah Cody. She is Santa Clara County’s (San Jose) Public Health Officer, and she was the individual who convinced seven San Francisco Bay Area counties  to shut down March 16. Those counties were the areas around San Francisc
Daily Kos

California's SF Bay Area nailed coronavirus response, everyone should heed its lessons

Meet a real American hero, Sarah Cody. She is Santa Clara County’s (San Jose) Public Health Officer, and she was the individual who convinced seven San Francisco Bay Area counties  to shut down March 16. Those counties were the areas around San Francisco, Silicon Valley, San Jose, and Oakland/Berkeley, with a population of around 7 million. ”She had just gotten off the phone with health officers Tomas Aragon from San Francisco and Morrow from San Mateo County. They debated the race-against-time decision, the consequences for faltering — the kinds of stuff of Hollywood scripts,” reported the San Jose Mercury News. “They compared the trend lines of COVID-19 cases in the Bay Area with Italy’s a week and a half earlier, just before the situation there turned dire. If they didn’t take bold action, the Bay Area could be next. ‘It was clear to me already how quickly it was moving, and that’s what gave me a sense of urgency,’ Cody said. ‘We just needed to embrace the risk and do it.’” Because of her actions, the San Francisco region appears to have its COVID-19 problem under control (furiously knocking on wood), while parts of the country burn. Meanwhile, places like Texas and Florida refuse to learn the lessons. 

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