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Trump's deregulation of greenhouse gases has a direct connection to lives lost to COVID-19

Daily Kos - Tue, 07/14/2020 - 10:22

When efforts were made to address acid rain in the original Clear Air Act, dire consequences were predicted. Industry experts tallied up associated costs that ran well into the billions, and predictions were made that electricity would become too expensive for many Americans. Similar predictions were made about automobiles when new rules were put in place to reduce emissions. Every time there is an attempt to rein in pollution, it’s a sure bet that someone will be standing by to have a scary price tag. But what never seems to get mentioned is the cost of not addressing these issues. Particulates from power plants generate everything from asthma to cancer. Emissions from all sources don’t just devastate wildlife and the environment, they generate lost work, healthcare costs, and missed opportunities. In 2016, the estimated cost of pollution was $4.6 trillion a year, and every dollar spent in the U.S. addressing issues of pollution had generated over $23 dollars in return.

Since Donald Trump took charge, deregulation has been the name of the game on every front. And, of course, the results of this deregulation are described as “savings.” Because they absolutely do provide additional profits to the companies creating pollution. This is particularly true on climate change, where the supposed benefits of deregulation have been very much exaggerated, while the cost of failing to act has been continuously undervalued.

Categories: Politics

Enhanced unemployment for more than 30 million runs out in 11 days, while Republicans play politics

Daily Kos - Tue, 07/14/2020 - 10:17

In 11 days, enhanced federal unemployment will start to expire for the more than 30 million Americans who've been shut out of their jobs because of a global pandemic. If those extra benefits are gone, real pain will start. "We'd basically have to choose between paying bills and eating," Erin Walker told The Washington Post.  Walker was furloughed from her job as a dining manager at a college campus near Summerville, S.C., at the end of April. "I honestly don't know what I would do."

The White House is now leaning toward approving an extension of those enhanced benefits, but not at the current $600/week level. They argue that it is too nice for the plebes, and makes people not want to work. You might have thought it was the idea of entering a workplace full of potentially sick people and becoming part of the body count that was keeping people away from their jobs. But you would be a person with normal human feelings, not a Republican. Thus Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says the administration is going to make sure that those benefits are extended, but reduced to "no more" than 100% of the worker's prior wages. Which, the Post reports, "surprised some congressional Republicans who thought he shared their strong opposition to extending the benefits."

Categories: Politics

America now faces a wave of evictions and homelessness even as the pandemic gets worse

Daily Kos - Tue, 07/14/2020 - 10:08

I really don't know how we can properly convey how bad things are about to get in the United States. Americans are losing their jobs. They are running out of money. We are on the brink of a homelessness crisis, and all of that is happening even before the pandemic began to get much much worse.

In an interview with CNBC, American Bar Association Task Force Committee on Eviction Chair Emily Benfer estimates that between 20 and 28 million Americans will face eviction between now and September; for context, 10 million were evicted during the Great Recession. She is urging a nationwide moratorium on eviction. But it has to happen soon. Very soon.

Categories: Politics

White House instructing governors to send National Guard to hospitals to oversee data on COVID-19

Daily Kos - Tue, 07/14/2020 - 08:50

There are a number of jobs that the National Guard has been trained to perform. Though many Americans most recently saw the guard pressed into service to confront protesters, for decades they’ve engaged in far more welcome roles, from rescuing those trapped by rising floods to delivering supplies into areas ravaged by hurricane. But if there’s one task that is not associated with the traditional role of the National Guard it might be this—emergency accountancy.

But that seems to be exactly that the White House is proposing. The right-wing media continues to spread conspiracy theories that COVID-19 deaths are being overstated. Donald Trump continues to insist that the growing surge of cases, including overrun hospitals and rising deaths, is somehow the fault of more testing. And Trump is pressing states to allow the National Guard to come into hospitals to “improve data collection.” If that sounds to you like a plan to downplay the crisis … it sounds that way to everyone.

Categories: Politics

Tucker: We Are Shocked, Shocked That There Is White Nationalism On Our Staff!

Crooks and Liars - Tue, 07/14/2020 - 08:44

Tucker Carlson is a very good liar. As the WASP racist he is, he really knows how to take the edge off, mask his racism with coded language. No wonder Fox pays him all that money: racism is their brand, and he's their best brand ambassador! So of course we knew there was nothing authentic in his little speech last night about Blake Neff, his white supremacist minion, resigning his job.

Via Media Matters:

Carlson has long sneered at the implication that there’s anything racist about his show, with particular vitriol for those who point out the long track record of Caller staff hired under his tenure and later revealed to have white nationalist ties.

But as Washington Post media columnist Erik Wemple pointed out, CNN’s report “removed any plausible deniability” for Fox. “Of course Carlson wouldn’t cop to harboring racist thoughts,” Wemple wrote. “His innovation lies in finessing the hatred. … Thanks to Darcy’s exposé, the public can now view that mindset in its raw, repugnant format.”

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Categories: Politics

Morning Digest: Massachusetts could become second state to adopt instant runoffs with vote this fall

Daily Kos - Tue, 07/14/2020 - 08:00

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

MA Ballot: On Monday, supporters of a referendum to institute instant-runoff voting in Massachusetts announced that officials have verified that they've turned in enough valid signatures to make the November ballot. If this measure wins a majority this fall, then Massachusetts will be the second state after Maine to use this method to decide many of its elections.

If passed, instant-runoff voting (also known as ranked-choice voting) would, starting in 2022, apply to both primaries and general elections for governor and other statewide offices; U.S. Senate and House; the state legislature; and countywide posts such as district attorney and sheriff. The measure would not impact presidential elections or races for city and town offices.

Categories: Politics

Cartoon: Postal service of the future

Daily Kos - Tue, 07/14/2020 - 07:50

If you are able, please consider joining the Sorensen Subscription Service!

Follow me on Twitter at @JenSorensen

Categories: Politics

Cheers and Jeers: Tuesday

Daily Kos - Tue, 07/14/2020 - 07:50


Lou Dobbs, a leading candidate for Trump's presidential fossil garden, has officially added the Supreme Court to his list of evil entities operating as tentacles of The Deep State. The following are also on his latest list of deep-state plotters trying to bring him down:

Clinton, Soros, Pelosi & Obama, Inc…congresswomen of color…his VCR that still blinks "12:00"…fact checkers…the parking police…blue states…the lid on the jar of mayonnaise he can't open…the mama who never hugged him…the dozens of people who flip him off while he's being driven to and from work…Sean Hannity's roughhousing…chemtrails (of course)…that voice in his head, the one that sounds like Emo Phillips…whoever’s been stealing the Sears catalog out of his mailbox since 1993…the pool guy who didn’t remove that dead moth like he asked him to...and, always at the top of the list: his natural hair color.

Updates will be posted as needed. Thank you.

Categories: Politics

Abbreviated pundit roundup: White House attacks Fauci instead of dealing with the pandemic

Daily Kos - Tue, 07/14/2020 - 07:31

We begin today’s roundup with reaction to the opposition research the White House has released attacking Dr. Anthony Fauci, who has been sidelined from the White House’s coronavirus response messaging because he dares to speak the truth about the pandemic raging across America. 

First up, Michael D'Antonio at CNN:

Note the difference between Fauci and Trump: One man, a dedicated public servant, offered his best analysis and, when new data emerged, corrected himself without hesitation so that lives might be saved. The other dug in to a don't-worry-about it position and has refused to budge as the passing months have led the US to become the leading global hotspot
Just as the pandemic has revealed Trump's tragic limitations, his abuse of Fauci confirms the President's deep character flaws. Fauci's lifelong devotion to science has been guided by a commitment to facts and a focus on helping others. Trump's lifelong devotion, on the other hand, has been to himself. This has led him to consistently deny facts that conflict with his ends, while he seeks credit for all that is good and blames others for everything that goes wrong. Along the way he keeps a mental scoresheet, noting who places Trump above all else, and who might value, say, human life more.
Categories: Politics

WHOA: It's So Close, Joe Biden Is Spending On Campaign Ads In Texas

Crooks and Liars - Tue, 07/14/2020 - 07:30

John Berman introduced Joe Biden's new ad that's airing in Texas, and explained why it's significant.

"CNN's Arlette Saenz joins us now with more. This is a real digital buy, Arlette, and it includes the state of Texas," Berman said.

"That's right, john. Joe Biden is wading into Texas with his first general election TV ad of this campaign, a spot that will focus on the coronavirus pandemic as that state has seen an uptick in covid-19 cases in recent weeks," she said.

"Now, I'm told this is part of a mid-six-figure buy in television and digital. and while the ad makes no direct mention of President Trump by name, Biden's advisers believe that the tone and message of this ad will present a stark contrast with the president's handling of the coronavirus pandemic. Now, here is the very first look of this new ad set to run in the Lonestar state."

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Categories: Politics

Daily Kos Radio is LIVE at 9 AM ET!

Daily Kos - Tue, 07/14/2020 - 07:00
Listen to our archived episodes: RadioPublic|LibSyn|YouTube Support the show: Patreon|PayPal: 1x or monthly|Square Cash

Hello, and happy Tuesday!

I forgot to tell you, I’m going trout fishing today! And I forgot to tell myself how long I’ll be trout fishing for! Or where I’ll be fishing!

Luckily, Joan McCarter is scheduled to stop by, and she’s from Idaho. Where they have trout. Which I have totally been planning for a very strongly long time to go fishing for in that place.

So I can ask her about what sort of trout gun I’ll need!

Listen right here at 9:00 AM ET! Even more ways to listen, live or by podcast, below the fold.

Categories: Politics

Ad Roundup: Traitor In A Mask Doesn't Own The American Flag

Crooks and Liars - Tue, 07/14/2020 - 06:30

Vote Vets has had some of the best and hardest-hitting ads of this election cycle. This one builds on a prior one where they just came out and called him the traitor he is. No group has more moral standing to hammer Trump than veterans, especially after the revelations about Putin's bounties and Trump's ongoing silence.

For a more patriotic feel and an actual pitch for Biden, there's this one from Don Winslow.

Categories: Politics

Ron DeSantis Heckled At Press Conference: 'You Are An Embarrassment!'

Crooks and Liars - Tue, 07/14/2020 - 06:30

Hard to seriously argue with anything the heckler said. As far as worst responses by Governors go, you'd be hard-pressed to choose a worse one than Florida's Ron DeSantis. Beyond inept, almost criminal malfeasance.

Video by the Washington Post.

Source: Miami Herald

A Miami-based activist interrupted a Monday press conference by Gov. Ron DeSantis and Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez, calling attention to government shortcomings that intensified the spread of COVID-19 in the state.

“Shame on you,” he said. “You are an embarrassment... We’re getting record-breaking cases every day, and you are doing nothing.”

The heckler who cried out at DeSantis’ press conference at Jackson Memorial Hospital was Thomas Kennedy, the Florida director of United We Dream, a national immigrant advocacy group.

Public health experts now consider Miami-Dade the new “epicenter” of the pandemic, attributing the surge in cases to the state reopening too early with few restrictions.

And here's Thomas Kennedy's tweet.

read more

Categories: Politics

Newt Gingrich Had a Question For Me. I Had Answers For Him

Balloon Juice - Mon, 07/13/2020 - 23:02

Newt Gingrich Had a Question For Me. I Had Answers For Him 5Earlier this evening Newt Gingrich, or rather whomever he was paying to spam people’s cell phones with text messages, texted me.

Newt Gingrich Had a Question For Me. I Had Answers For Him 1 Newt Gingrich Had a Question For Me. I Had Answers For Him 2

Newt Gingrich Had a Question For Me. I Had Answers For Him 4

Newt, or whomever he paid to spam texts to people’s cell phones never responded to my reply.

Also, I checked with my county’s supervisor’s of elections office website tool for checking my voter registration. I’m registered and my standing order for a mail in ballot is both good until December 2022, but I am confirmed to receive my mail in ballot for the 2020 election. Of course, for some reason, Newt seems to think I’m still living in Pennsylvania based on the link he texted me. As Charlie Pierce likes to say: “Newt Gingrich, a stupid person’s idea of a smart person”.

Open thread!



The post Newt Gingrich Had a Question For Me. I Had Answers For Him appeared first on Balloon Juice.

Categories: Politics

On The Road After Dark – Albatrossity – Hovenweep and Chimney Rock

Balloon Juice - Mon, 07/13/2020 - 22:00

If not for the first photo, I might call this a study in blue from Albatrossity.  I think my favorite is the snowmelt pools reflecting the turquoise sky.  Probably not a surprise coming from someone who calls herself WaterGirl!

This is a two-part story about other ancient Puebloan sites that you might want to visit. The first is a place called Hovenweep; the second is a so-called Chacoan outlier site in southwestern Colorado.

The Ancestral Puebloan culture center in Chaco Canyon was not the only center of civilization in the southwestern US a millennia ago. There were others, including the cliff dwellings at Mesa Verde (which most folks have heard about and even visited) as well as some which are less well known. Hovenweep, which lies on the border between southwestern Colorado and Southeastern Utah, is one of those.

The canyonlands at Hovenweep were peopled by hunters and farmers for millennia, but in mid 9th century AD these people started construction of larger permanent structures. Sometime between AD 1200 and 1300, they built some of the most amazing buildings of the time, multi-story towers of stone. Some are round, some are square, and all are built in sandstone canyons on very irregular sites. Some are right on the canyon edge.

The function(s) of these structures are a mystery; speculation has centered on defense, storage, celestial observation, ceremony, or perhaps all of the above. We might never know, since, like the Chacoans, the people who built these edifices fled to the current Pueblos of the Rio Grande Valley of New Mexico and the Colorado River basin in Arizona, after a series of devastating droughts at the end of the 13th Century. The Hopi and Zuni People, as well as all the Pueblo people of the Rio Grande Valley, are thought to be the descendants of the ancient architects of Hovenweep, Mesa Verde, and Chaco.

The post On The Road After Dark – Albatrossity – Hovenweep and Chimney Rock appeared first on Balloon Juice.

Categories: Politics

Seth Meyers In-Law Sessions: Donald Trump Is the Last Person We Can Trust to Safely Reopen Schools

Little Green Footballs - Mon, 07/13/2020 - 21:39

Seth takes a closer look at President Trump trying to force students and teachers back to school without a plan to keep them safe.

Categories: Politics

2020 Is Just So Weird

Balloon Juice - Mon, 07/13/2020 - 20:47

I feel like I am always out of time, always busy, yet never accomplish anything. Am I the only one?

The post 2020 Is Just So Weird appeared first on Balloon Juice.

Categories: Politics

Repub Stupidity Open Thread: Cue the Nano-Violin Orchestra!

Balloon Juice - Mon, 07/13/2020 - 18:26

They’re just… bad at their highly-compensated jobs. Parscale at least has the excuse, such as it is, that he’s too busy grifting to put any real energy into his work. But his detractors (hi, Jarvanka!) sending out ‘anonymous leaks’ about how Dear Leader totally sees through that terrible Death Star dude is just… amateur. If only they’d had the luxury of hiring a real campaign manager, and not just some code jockey bent enough to serve as a conduit for the GRU!

And when the Permanent GOP Party — as embodied by Steve Guest — decides to step in and Show How It Is Done… Well, in a climate where the old rules applied, the Biden campaign would have to cite Guest’s tweets as an in-kind contribution.

First, Mr. Parscale’s problems, per the Washington Post:

Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale had an unusual cameo in the president’s first television ad of the year: Sandwiched among images of President Trump and Vice President Pence, the bearded Parscale appears twice, taking a selfie with supporters and hugging girls in red ball caps.

It was an unprecedented use of an ad — one that cost $142,655, according to the firm Advertising Analytics — to promote a campaign staffer. It sent a clear message to Trump’s orbit: Parscale, a colorful and outspoken public face of Trumpism, was the leader of the campaign.

But the image concealed a more complicated reality. As Trump’s reelection effort struggles, Parscale, despite his self-promotion, increasingly finds himself out of favor with his boss and hemmed in by newly hired staffers and recently promoted advisers, according to people familiar with the campaign.

A political novice who became a Republican celebrity after running Trump’s online ad effort in 2016, Parscale has long operated without a campaign manager’s usual autonomy, as Trump family members exert their influence.

Now Parscale’s role is being further threatened. Trump has made clear his displeasure with Parscale, especially after a disappointing rally in Tulsa, and the campaign has expanded its senior team in ways that diminish his role, according to multiple campaign and administration officials.

Trump’s new kitchen cabinet, a combination of White House and campaign employees led by White House senior adviser Jared Kushner, includes Parscale’s recently promoted deputy, Bill Stepien, and two communications aides from the 2016 campaign — Hope Hicks and Jason Miller, who was recently hired by the campaign and is increasingly seen as its principal strategist…

Parscale, 44, has long occupied a unique spot in Trump’s orbit. At 6-foot-8 with a dramatic red beard, he cuts a brash figure and is given to statements such as comparing the Trump campaign to the Death Star, a superweapon in the Star Wars movies. In many ways, his self-promotion and aggressive style mirror Trump’s.

In a statement for this report, Parscale denied any weakening of his position and rejected criticism of his performance.

“This is the same tired story being shopped every week by the same lowlife anonymous sources who are putting their own personal interests ahead of the president and his campaign, in a misguided attempt to weasel their way in to resurrect their failed and disgraced careers,” Parscale said.

But campaign and White House officials say Parscale does not always appear to understand the political dynamics of crucial swing states. In a recent meeting at RNC headquarters, an official said, Parscale asked questions about the reelection budget that suggested he did not fully grasp it. Trump and Kushner have begun interrupting him more frequently when he speaks, this person said.

Allies of Parscale say that he maintains the trust of the Trump family — including Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law — and that he continues to advise the president and travels weekly to the White House. Many on the expanded team, they said, work well with Parscale, and he is largely responsible for the massive reelection operation, with its million-plus volunteers, nearly $300 million in cash and extensive data operation.

[Translation: They can’t let him go until he releases the database passwords, not to mention the account numbers on both the ‘official’ and the actual campaign accounts.]

“Brad is absolutely the right man for the job,” said House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.). “His work ethic and command of what it takes to run a successful campaign in 2020 is second to none.”…

[And Kevin McCarthy is being set up as a fall guy, since he’s too dumb to understand his plight in time to sell out to the authorities.]

The official said the most important people in Trump’s orbit still trust Parscale. “In this town, you have a lot of people who are the political consultants who are always trying to position things,” the official said. “That is not Brad. We know he has the same intention as the family.”

That confidence, however, has not prevented internal complaints about Parscale’s frequent absence from campaign headquarters. Parscale lives in Florida, while the campaign is based in Northern Virginia. Staffers say that when they talk to him, he is often by his pool in Fort Lauderdale…

[Skilled grifters know: Never take a day off; somebody might go through your desk drawers and find the keys.]

Parscale added, “These anonymous cowards have no valid criticisms of the job I’m doing, so now they’re attacking where I sit.”

The dissent comes as several longtime Trump advisers are trying to lift the president out of his dismay over the state of his campaign.

Former New Jersey governor Chris Christie recently sent Trump a lengthy memo explaining that the president could not run the same campaign in 2020 as in 2016 and offering various ways to improve his standing. Other informal advisers, such as Chris Ruddy, the chief executive of Newsmax, have counseled the president to change course in ways that would appeal to independent-minded voters…

The amount of money that Parscale has personally earned from the campaign is undisclosed in Federal Election Commission reports, because the reports do not distinguish between the money that goes directly to him and the payments that go to his firm, Parscale Strategies, for pass-through costs.

Between September and May, those accounts paid Parscale Strategy an average of $100,905 a month. Still, the payments included multiple salaries for other people, including campaign adviser Lara Trump, who is the wife of the president’s son Eric Trump, and Kimberly Guilfoyle, a campaign fundraiser who is dating Donald Trump Jr., according to a person familiar with the situation…

That’s the problem with being a criminal enterprise like the Trump family: The only way to safely fire underlings is to have them killed. And IMO one sign that Putin isn’t as invested in the Trump / GOP campaign this year is that none of the various ‘traitors’ to the Squatter-in-Chief *have* been ‘disappeared’… yet.

Also, terrible as Parscale’s ‘Death Star / Trojan horse’ ads might be, they’re still an improvement over those of Mr. Guest, political publicity understander and Trump supporter:

Trump’s camp hastens to reassure him: No way will his opponents be able to find a picture of Mr. Trump cuddling any of his young offspring! Heck, he didn’t even hold Ivanka until she was old enough to fondle inappropriately, right, sir?…

The post Repub Stupidity Open Thread: <em>Cue the Nano-Violin Orchestra!</em> appeared first on Balloon Juice.

Categories: Politics

Are 20 Million People at Risk of Eviction by October?

Kevin Drum - Mon, 07/13/2020 - 18:20

I’ve seen quite a few pieces lately about the dire condition of renters and homeowners as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. For example:

The COVID-19 Eviction Defense Project, a coalition of economic researchers and legal experts, estimates that 19 million to 23 million Americans are at risk for eviction by the end of September.


Today, upwards of 20 million U.S. renters are poised to be evicted between now and September, according to Emily Benfer, the chair of the American Bar Association’s Task Force Committee on Eviction.

How bad are things, really? That’s difficult to say because there are so many different ways of measuring housing insecurity. However, near the beginning of the year the Census Bureau put together a survey specifically designed to find out how people were being affected by the pandemic. One of the questions was about the ability to make rent or mortgage payments:

It’s frustrating that the survey doesn’t start until April 23, which means we don’t know the level of housing insecurity prior to the pandemic. That said, my interpretation of this data is that as the stimulus checks and UI bonuses finally made their way to families, they became less concerned about missing rent payments. Then, in June, as they spent down the one-time stimulus and started to worry about the end of the UI bonus, housing insecurity rose.

An increase of four percentage points may seem small, but it represents about 10 million people. If housing insecurity rises to 30 percent by September, that would represent about 20 million people. So it’s fair to say that something like 20 million people might be at risk of eviction by September. It all depends on what Congress does. They have two choices:

  • Twiddle their thumbs and let people be evicted.
  • Extend the UI bonus and do it now. This would most likely keep housing insecurity from rising at all.

Which do you think they’ll do?

Categories: Politics

Cartoon: Friends of Trump

Daily Kos - Mon, 07/13/2020 - 17:50

If you would like to see editorial cartooning like this continue, consider supporting my work on my Patreon Page for as little as $1 a month, or you can just buy me a coffee. You can also buy some merchandise like T-shirts with my cartoons on them here.

Categories: Politics