Landlord Killed by Beheading. Will More of the Same Occur Because of Republicans?

The coronavirus relief bill expired on July 31, 2020. The House (Democrats) passed a coronavirus recovery bill over 2 months ago. The Senate (Republicans) refused to act on it as Republicans fail to address the issue.

Connecticut man who was behind on his rent brutally killed his landlord when confronted over the late payments, according to multiple reports. Jerry David Thompson was arrested last week for the grisly crime that allegedly included decapitating his landlord, Victor King, with a samurai sword in a home in Hartford.

NewsOne

Trump Admin. Refuses to Disclose Corporate Recipients of $500 Billion in Coronavirus Bailout Funds

Progressive critics and advocacy groups are responding with alarm and anger to the Trump administration’s refusal to disclose the names of more than 4.5 million companies that have collectively received over $500 billion in corporate bailout money through a federal program created to provide businesses with relief from the coronavirus pandemic.

The over $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act signed by Trump in March established the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) with $349 billion in funding for forgivable loans. After the initial capital ran out in just 13 days, lawmakers approved $310 billion more

Common Dreams

Pompeo for President in 2024? – His Hometown Newspaper Writes About “One Bold Hustle”

Secretary of Defense and Trump suckup Mike Pompeo has been profligately spending taxpayer money. He has had aides (on taxpayer payroll) walk his dog, collect his dry cleaning, and probably more. He has hosted dinners (“Madison” dinners he called them) where the rich and powerful were invited … and encouraged to contribute money to Pompeo.

The Kansas City Star writes:

Even in a town built on a swamp, this is one bold hustle by the former congressman from Wichita, who is still regarded as an automatic frontrunner if he decided to make a late jump — yes, even if pushed — into this year’s U.S. Senate race in Kansas. Do we really have no standards?

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

Understanding Republicans: They Need An Enemy.

The Republican party needs a perpetual liberal enemy.

In other countries — Canada, for example — the coronavirus has created unprecedented levels of cross-party cooperation and consensus, as everyone recognizes that it’s in the common national interest to fight the virus through mass measures like social distancing.

In the United States, by contrast, even positions on basic medical issues, like whether hydroxychloroquine should be promoted as an effective therapy for the virus, are becoming partisan-signaling fights. Conservative media in the US is touting a more relaxed “Swedish response” to the crisis — despite Sweden’s lack of restrictions producing far higher death tolls than those of its neighbors — and arguing that liberals are exploiting the restrictions to impose their agenda on the country.

Vox

GOP Tax change in coronavirus package overwhelmingly benefits millionaires, congressional body finds

The provision, included by Senate Republicans, would cost taxpayers approximately $90 billion in 2020

More than 80 percent of the benefits of a tax change tucked into the coronavirus relief package Congress passed last month will go to those who earn more than $1 million annually, according to a report by a nonpartisan congressional body expected to be released Tuesday.

USA Today

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.

#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