Stimulus Checks May Be Delayed As Trump Requires U.S. Treasury to Print His Name on Them

Late Monday evening, the U.S. Treasury Department ordered the Internal Revenue Service to print President Donald Trump’s name on the stimulus checks it is sending to millions of Americans nationwide, reports The Washington Post.

The Treasury Department’s order could cause the checks to be delayed by several days or longer, senior agency officials told the publication.

The unprecedented decision will mark the first time in history that a president’s name has ever appeared on an IRS disbursement. Usually, presidents’ names don’t appear on checks issued by the Treasury Department in order to keep such payments non-partisan.

Newsweek

Dissecting the Corruption Known as Mitch McConnell

Jane Mayer has published an excellent biography of Mitch McConnell, the leader of the Senate who has done more than anyone to destroy the Senate. The article is here.

A few excerpts:

Yarmuth, who began as a Republican and worked in a statewide campaign alongside McConnell in 1968, said that McConnell had readily adapted to the Republican Party’s rightward march: “He never had any core principles. He just wants to be something. He doesn’t want to do anything.”

…He’s truly the most corrupt politician in the U.S.”

“McConnell loves money, and abhors any controls on it,” Fred Wertheimer, the president of Democracy 21, a group that supports campaign-finance reform, said. “Money is the central theme of his career. And, if you want to control Congress, the best way is to control the money.”

Money from the coal industry, tobacco companies, Big Pharma, Wall Street, the Chamber of Commerce, and many other interests flowed into Republican coffers while McConnell blocked federal actions that those interests opposed: climate-change legislation, affordable health care, gun control, and efforts to curb economic inequality.

“In a way, McConnell and Johnson are very similar. They both used the rules and procedures of the Senate with great deftness. But, in a more significant way, they couldn’t be more diametrically opposite. Johnson, for all his faults, in his later years used the rules and procedures to turn the Senate into a force to create social justice. McConnell has used them to block it.”

Norman Ornstein, a political scientist specializing in congressional matters at the conservative-leaning American Enterprise Institute, told me that he has known every Senate Majority Leader in the past fifty years, and that McConnell “will go down in history as one of the most significant people in destroying the fundamentals of our constitutional democracy.” He continued, “There isn’t anyone remotely close. There’s nobody as corrupt, in terms of violating the norms of government.”

The most famous example of McConnell’s obstructionism was his audacious refusal to allow a hearing on Merrick Garland, whom Obama nominated for the Supreme Court, in 2016. When Justice Antonin Scalia unexpectedly died, vacating the seat, there were three hundred and forty-two days left in Obama’s second term. But McConnell argued that “the American people” should decide who should fill the seat in the next election, ignoring the fact that the American people had elected Obama. As a young lawyer, McConnell had argued in an academic journal that politics should play no part in Supreme Court picks; the only thing that mattered was if the nominee was professionally qualified. In 2016, though, he said it made no difference how qualified Garland, a highly respected moderate judge, was. Before then, the Senate had never declined to consider a nominee simply because it was an election year. On the contrary, the Senate had previously confirmed seventeen Supreme Court nominees during election years and rejected two. Nevertheless, McConnell prevailed.

He has since vowed to fill any Supreme Court vacancy that might open this year, no matter how close to the election it is. Indeed, according to a former Trump White House official, “McConnell’s telling our donors that when R.B.G. meets her reward, even if it’s October, we’re getting our judge. He’s saying it’s our October Surprise.”

How Trump turned ventilators into a form of patronage

A seemingly innocuous tweet President Donald Trump posted about Colorado receiving ventilators from the government actually raises troubling questions about the extent to which the president is using lifesaving medical equipment as a form of political patronage.

On Wednesday Trump announced that he was sending 100 ventilators to Colorado — a development he credited to a request from a Republican senator facing an uphill reelection campaign this year, Cory Gardner.

Vox

Related:

Denver Post: It’s the worst imaginable form of corruption — playing political games with lives.

“Let Them Fail”: This Guy Gets It

WHY are we bailing out corporations?
To save the outrageous salaries their executives receive?
While probably laying off workers?

There’s another way. Let them declare bankruptcy.
This guy gets it:

As pandemic deepens, Trump cycles through targets to blame

Trump’s mental illness will not allow him to accept blame. He always finds someone (or something) else to blame for his failures.

First, it was the media that was at fault. Then, Democratic governors came under fire. China, President Barack Obama and federal watchdogs have all had a turn in the crosshairs. And now it’s the World Health Organization that’s to blame.

President Donald Trump is falling back on a familiar political strategy as he grapples with the coronavirus pandemic: deflect, deny and direct blame elsewhere.

As he tries to distance his White House from the mounting death toll, Trump has cycled through a long list of possible scapegoats in an attempt to distract from what critics say were his own administration’s missteps in slowing the spread of the coronavirus on American shores.

AP

#TrumpVirus: Republicans Attempt to Protect Trump by Projecting Blame for Coronavirus onto China

As the deadly pathogen has raced through parts of the United States and the Trump administration has struggled to mount a coordinated response, the matter of China’s management of the disease has begun moving to the center of the domestic political debate over who is to blame for its rapid spread.

While Democrats have focused squarely on Trump’s initial attempts to minimize the threat of the virus and his unsteady leadership, Republicans have countered by aiming attention at Beijing’s early coverup of the disease and emerging evidence that the Communist Party has continued to severely underreport the number of cases in China. They have often accused critics of the administration’s handling of the crisis of peddling Chinese talking points.

WaPo

Faux News Sued for Calling Coronavirus “A Hoax”, Airing False Information

An obscure Washington state group has become the first in the nation to sue Fox News over its coronavirus coverage, asking a state court to keep the cable network from airing false information about the pandemic.

The 10-page complaint — filed Thursday in King County — also names as defendants Fox News Corp., owner Rupert Murdoch, AT&T TV and COMCAST.

It seeks an injunction to prohibit the conservative-leaning outlet from “interfering with reasonable and necessary measures to contain the virus by publishing further false and deceptive content.”

Times of San Diego

Coronavirus: How Teabaggers Screwed America.

Fiscal restraints imposed by Republicans in Congress in the early years of the Obama administration left the U.S. less prepared to respond to the coronavirus pandemic today.

Dire shortages of vital medical equipment in the Strategic National Stockpile that are now hampering the coronavirus response trace back to the budget wars of the Obama years, when congressional Republicans elected on the Tea Party wave forced the White House to accept sweeping cuts to federal spending.

Pro Publica

Trump Hates Immigrants. Except When He Doesn’t.

The Trump administration is still soliciting immigrants for specific jobs despite droves of Americans filing for unemployment.

It is urging medical professionals to contact a U.S. embassy to move their application process along, cognizant of the coronavirus pandemic sweeping America.

It is easing requirements for immigrants to get jobs as farm workers, landscapers and crab pickers, aware that industries, including those that fill grocery store shelves, could be hurt if they couldn’t hire foreign employees.

Politico