What Now?! – August 8, 2020

“Democratic leaders said Friday that the White House rejected an offer for a roughly $2 trillion coronavirus relief package,” The Hill reports.

“Democrats offered to reduce their $3.4 trillion price tag by $1 trillion if Republicans would agree to raise their roughly $1 trillion package by the same amount. That strategy, effectively trying to split the difference between the two sides, would result in legislation costing between $2 trillion and $2.4 trillion.”

Said Speaker Nancy Pelosi: “‘We’ll take down a trillion, if you add a trillion in.’ They said absolutely not.”

“Crisis negotiations between the White House and top Democrats teetered on the brink of collapse on Friday, as both sides said they remained deeply divided on an economic recovery package and President Trump’s advisers said they would recommend that he bypass Congress and act on his own to provide relief,” the New York Times reports.

“It was not clear what power Mr. Trump might have to move unilaterally to extend jobless aid or otherwise redirect federal relief money as he sees fit, since Congress controls spending.”

Playbook: “There are lots of political calculations in legislative negotiations: what to give away when, what to ask for, where to hold the meeting and what aide to bring in tow, for example. Perhaps nothing is more tricky than deciding when — and how — to walk away.”

President Trump has signed a new executive order which will block all transactions with Chinese tech firm Bytedance, TikTok’s parent corporation, in an effort to “address the national emergency with respect to the information and communication technology supply chain,” The Verge reports.

It isn’t effectively immediately, but has a 45 day deadline.

Politico reports a separate executive order with the same conditions was also issued to WeChat, another Chinese-owned smartphone app.

Trump asserted in his order that the apps “capture vast swaths of information from its users” and their data collection “allows the Chinese Communist Party access to Americans’ personal and proprietary information.”

A top intelligence official said in a statement that the government of China prefers that President Trump not win reelection in November, seeing the incumbent as “unpredictable,” the Washington Post reports.

Meanwhile, the same report says Russia wants diminish Joe Biden: “We assess that Russia is using a range of measures to primarily denigrate former vice president Biden and what it sees as an anti-Russia ‘establishment.’”

“Researchers behind an influential model are projecting that the US death toll from coronavirus could reach nearly 300,000 by December 1 — but that can be changed if Americans consistently wear masks,” CNN reports.

Amid escalating tensions with both North Korea and Iran, President Trump’s advisers hesitated to give him military options fearing the President might accidentally take the US to war and deliberately informed their counterparts in both countries that they did not know what the President would do next, CNN reports.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said all New York schools can reopen because of the state’s low coronavirus infection rate, the Wall Street Journal reports.

“Mr. Cuomo’s highly anticipated decision clears the way for New York City, the largest school district in the nation, to go forward with its plans to offer students a hybrid of optional in-person classes and remote-learning instruction in the fall.”

Said Cuomo: “We have the best infection situation in the country. If any state can do it, this state can do it.”

Dr. Anthony Fauci declined to tell the Washington Post if mail-in voting should be used as a public health measure amid the coronavirus pandemic, saying his statement would “almost certainly be used as a soundbite.”

He added: “It’s a sport now in Washington to pit me against the president and I don’t really want to do that. But someone will take a quote and, bingo, it’ll be me against the president and I don’t want to do that.”

A federal appeals court ruled that House Democrats can sue to force former White House counsel Donald McGahn to comply with a congressional subpoena, the Washington Post reports.

Wall Street Journal: “Friday’s decision, by the full membership of the appeals court, replaces a prior three-judge panel ruling from the same court that declined to enforce the subpoena on the grounds that the judiciary should not referee the dispute.”

“While the ruling removes a major hurdle for the House, it doesn’t fully clear the way for the Judiciary Committee to enforce the subpoena because Mr. McGahn has additional legal arguments that haven’t been resolved.”

As Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) “pushed this summer for schools to reopen, state leaders told school boards they would need Health Department approval if they wanted to keep classrooms closed,” the Palm Beach Post reports.

“Then they instructed health directors not to give it.”

“Following a directive from DeSantis’ administration, county health directors across Florida refused to give school boards advice about one of the most wrenching public health decisions in modern history: whether to reopen schools in a worsening pandemic.”

Said school Lake County School Board Marc Dodd: “When we voted to reopen schools, I’ll be honest and tell you I did it because we are under an executive order to do so. Do I think they’re safe? Absolutely not.”

A Republican official in Leelanau County, Michigan rejected calls for his resignation after he used the n-word at a public meeting, the Leelanau Enterprise reports. Said road commissioner Tom Eckerle: “Well, this whole thing is because of them n—–s in Detroit.”

When rebuked for using the language, he continued: “I can say anything I want. Black Lives Matter has everything to do with taking the country away from us.”

Eckerle doubled-down to Interlochen Public Radio: “I don’t regret calling it an n—-r. A n—-r is a n—-r is a n—-r. That’s not a person whatsoever.”

“The U.S. economy added 1.8 million jobs during the month of July, sending the unemployment rate down for the third straight month — a drop that fell in line with economist predictions and pointed to the recovery that began before infections started ticking up,” the Washington Post reports.

“The unemployment rate fell to 10.2 percent.”

“The job additions were sizable, but there are signs that the labor market recovery is cooling. In June, the economy added back 4.8 million jobs. In July, the number of coronavirus cases began surging and some employers either paused hiring or – in some cases – laid off workers for a second time.”

“The U.S. job market recovery appears to be starting to stall, threatening President Donald Trump’s narrative of a rapid American comeback and a quickly declining unemployment rate headed toward the November election,” Politico reports.

“President Trump can’t stall a defamation lawsuit filed by a New York advice columnist who claims he raped her two decades ago, a judge ruled, allowing the two sides to start digging for evidence,” Bloomberg reports.

“E. Jean Carroll, who went public with her claims last year and sued Trump after he called her a liar, will now seek to depose the president as well as get a DNA test from him to compare with a sample on a dress the author said she wore at the time of the alleged attack.”

Jerry Falwell Jr. will take an indefinite leave of absence from Liberty University after posting a racy photo to social media from his vacation where his pants were unzipped, his midriff was out, and he is standing next to a woman holding a glass of dark liquid, the Washington Post reports.

Axios: “The picture, which has since been deleted, drew backlash and charges of hypocrisy from conservative political figures because the university’s honor code strictly prohibits students from having ‘sexual relations outside of a biblically-ordained marriage,’ and recommends they dress with ‘appropriateness’ and ‘modesty.’”

New York Times: “Students from Liberty University expressed outrage about the photo on social media. Several pointed out that it was in direct violation of the school’s code of conduct.”

Delaware politics from a liberal, progressive and Democratic perspective. Keep Delaware Blue.

2 comments on “What Now?! – August 8, 2020

  1. cassandram

    “Trump asserted in his order that the apps “capture vast swaths of information from its users” and their data collection “allows the Chinese Communist Party access to Americans’ personal and proprietary information.””

    The real difficulty here is that there are plenty of US based apps that capture vast swaths of info from users too, giving the US government as well as others access to it. It is one of the reasons that the US data transfer agreements with the EU are collapsing as we speak.

  2. cassandram

    ““‘We’ll take down a trillion, if you add a trillion in.’ They said absolutely not.””

    This past week or so has been ONE MORE demonstration that Democrats need better amplification of their messages. There should have been targeted media and commercials in all of these GOP backyards making sure they knew that they were going to be on their own to recover from COVID unemployment. And that the GOP thought a 3 martini lunch was more important than whether their family could pay the rent/mortgage.

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