Time to Review the President’s Extraordinary Emergency Powers?

We have recently come to learn of at least a hundred documents authorizing extraordinary presidential powers in the case of a national emergency, virtually dictatorial powers without congressional or judicial checks and balances. President Trump alluded to these authorities in March when he said, “I have the right to do a lot of things that people don’t even know about.” No matter who occupies the office, the American people have a right to know what extraordinary powers presidents believe they have. It is time for a new select committee to study these powers and their potential for abuse, and advise Congress on the ways in which it might, at a minimum, establish stringent oversight.

John Kerry at The New York Times

Trump Has Crippled the CDC — It’s About Him and His Re-Election Effort

‘We’ve been muzzled’: CDC sources say White House putting politics ahead of science.

A senior official inside the CDC told CNN that the agency also alerted the White House to the virus’s rapid spread across Europe, but that “the White House was extremely focused on China and not wanting to anger Europe … even though that’s where most of our cases were originally coming from.”

“The CDC … were part of the mistakes with the early problems with testing, and it seemed like after that, they weren’t trusted as much,” said James Curran, dean of the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University and a former CDC official. But, he added, “there’s no place in the world that has more epidemiologists and scientists studying respiratory infections. … We need them now.”

CNN

Coronavirus: Republicans Engage in Lies, Deception, Withholding of Information

Arizona disbands team of health experts.

Hours after Doug Ducey, the Republican governor of Arizona, accelerated plans to reopen businesses, saying the state was “headed in the right direction,” his administration halted the work of a team of experts projecting it was on a different — and much grimmer — course.

On Monday night, the eve of President Trump’s visit to the state, Ducey’s health department shut down the work of academic experts predicting the peak of the state’s coronavirus outbreak was still about two weeks away.

Florida withholds medical examiner info.

“The Department of Health is telling the medical examiners it cannot release this information that the medical examiners have been releasing on a regular basis,” said Barbara Petersen, president emeritus of the First Amendment Foundation, an open-government watchdog in Tallahassee.

“For whatever reason, our governor is trying to hide information — first about nursing homes, and now from medical examiners. They are trying to paint a rosy picture by refusing to provide us accurate information that allows us to make informed decisions about the health and safety of our families,” Petersen said.

Australian intelligence knocks back US government’s Wuhan lab virus claim

Australian intelligence agencies have questioned evidence trumpeted by United States officials supposedly linking the coronavirus to a Wuhan laboratory as concerns within the government grow that the push will derail efforts to eliminate dangerous wildlife wet markets.

Senior members of the Australian intelligence community told The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age a research document shared in political circles under the Five Eyes intelligence arrangement was mostly based on news reports and contained no material from intelligence gathering.

The Sydney Morning Herald

The GOP Becomes the Party of Trump

Republicans adopt Trump’s mental illness manifestations as “strategy”: Lie, deny, blame others:

A new Republican strategy memo advises Senate candidates to blame China for the coronavirus outbreak, link Democrats to the Chinese government and avoid discussing President Trump’s handling of the crisis.

Washington Post

“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:

Coronavirus: Politics Trumps Public Health (and possibly life or death)

White House didn’t want to tell seniors not to fly.

The White House overruled health officials who wanted to recommend that elderly and physically fragile Americans be advised not to fly on commercial airlines because of the new coronavirus, a federal official told The Associated Press.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention submitted the plan this week as a way of trying to control the virus, but White House officials ordered the air travel recommendation be removed, said the official who had direct knowledge of the plan. Trump administration officials have since suggested certain people should consider not traveling, but they have stopped short of the stronger guidance sought by the CDC.

AP