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‘The View’ hosts corner Ted Cruz over lame attempt to blame Democrats for COVID-19 deaths

September 28, 2020 in Blogs

By Alex Henderson

Under President Donald Trump’s leadership, the United States has the highest COVID-19 death count in the world — and states with Republican governors, including Florida and Texas, had some of the worst coronavirus surges over the summer. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas tried to defend the GOP response to the COVID-19 pandemic during a Monday, September 28 appearance on ABC’s “The View” — and it didn’t go well for the GOP senator.

Grilling Cruz forcefully, liberal co-host Joy Behar noted that Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis “recently lifted all restrictions on businesses, allowing bars and restaurants to operate at full capacity without a mask mandate. He said they won’t be closing anything going forward.” Behar asked Cruz if Texas should do the same thing, and he responded by trying to blame Democrats for coronavirus deaths — especially New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Cruz claimed that the death rates have been “much, much lower” in Florida than in states with Democratic governors, failing to mention how quickly Cuomo enacted a stay-at-home policy.

Behar, however, reminded Cruz that New York was “hit early” by the pandemic. And when Cruz wouldn’t say anything about DeSantis’ policies, Behar told the senator, “You are deflecting, sir. You are deflecting the question.”

Whoopi Goldberg, another co-host, jumped in, reminding Cruz how disastrous Trump’s response to the pandemic has been at the federal level.

“Had the man who is running the country right now given us this information in January when he had it — when we could have maybe done something a little differently — it might have worked differently,” Goldberg told Cruz. “I just wanted to point that out. It’s not about whose people died more. People died, and they didn’t have to.”

Watch the video below:


Idiot Ted Cruz – YouTube

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Source: ALTERNET

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DeJoy and Trump lose a third time in federal court as Postal Service works to undo sabotage

September 28, 2020 in Blogs

By Joan McCarter

For the third time in a matter of weeks, a federal court has warned that the sabotage at the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) at the hands of Postmaster General Louis DeJoy is politically motivated and aimed at crippling the USPS’ work in helping secure a free and fair election. U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan of Washington, D.C., ordered DeJoy to halt implementing the changes that have resulted in mail delivery delays nationwide. His is the third such ruling. A fourth case was heard last week in Pennsylvania.

At this point, DeJoy is enjoined from continuing his “trucks on time” delivery restrictions that have upended the system, leaving mail behind for days and sometimes weeks and resulting in empty trucks leaving distribution centers when they couldn’t be loaded according to schedule. He has been ordered to stop removing mail sorting machines and collection boxes now by three courts, and by all accounts has halted these operational changes. This is as clear a demonstration of why the independent courts are so vital to the nation as you’re going to get, because every judge who has intervened has called out the blatant politicization of the institution by Trump and DeJoy. “It is clearly in the public interest to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, to ensure safe alternatives to in-person voting, and to require that the USPS comply with the law,” Sullivan wrote.

That follows a ruling in New York last week in which a federal judge blasted DeJoy, Postal Service leadership, and Donald Trump. “They have not provided trusted assurance and comfort that citizens will be able to cast ballots with full confidence that their votes would be timely collected and counted,” Judge Victor Marrero wrote. “The right to vote is too vital a value in our democracy to be left in a state of suspense in the minds of voters weeks before a presidential election, raising doubts as to whether their votes will ultimately be counted,” Marrero said in his opinion.

Judge Stanley Bastian in Washington State was even more pointed. DeJoy and Trump, he wrote, are “involved in a politically motivated attack on the efficiency of the Postal Service” and said “this attack on the Postal Service is likely to irreparably harm the states’ ability to administer the 2020 general election.” …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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CNN’s Avlon slams Trump as a pseudo-populist ‘fraud’ for paying less in taxes than ‘the average school teacher'

September 28, 2020 in Blogs

By Alex Henderson

Next to President Donald Trump formally announcing that he had chosen Judge Amy Coney Barrett as his nominee to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the U.S. Supreme Court, the biggest political bombshell of the weekend was the New York Times’ damning report on Trump’s tax returns. And CNN’s John Avlon analyzed that bombshell during a Reality Check segment aired on the morning show, “New Day,” on Monday, September 28 — stressing that Trump is hardly the populist he pretends to be.

“Question: who pays more in federal income taxes than President Trump?,” Avlon told CNN viewers. “Basically, every American who works hard and plays by the rules.”

Avlon noted that according to the Times, Trump “paid no federal income taxes ten out of 15 years starting in 2000″ — adding, “And get this: during his campaign (and) in the first year of his presidency, the Times says Trump paid only $750.”

The fact that Trump paid so little in federal income taxes considering how wealthy he is, Avlon argued, is “evidence of a broken system.”

“Donald Trump, with a tower on 5th Avenue and an estate in Palm Beach, paid less in taxes than the average household in America — which makes just shy of $69,000 a year,” Avlon noted. “In fact, Trump paid less in federal income taxes than the average single grade school teacher, nurse, cop, farmer, firefighter and truck driver.”

Avlon added, “And that’s not all. Trump’s $750 in federal income taxes is less than the monthly average rent families pay in Pennsylvania, Florida, Michigan or Wisconsin, according to a 2017 survey. This is real man-of the-people stuff here….. And he and his companies paid more in taxes to Panama, India and the Philippines than to his own country.”

Trump, Avlon noted, “kept living a lavish lifestyle while losing millions and parlayed it into becoming president, in part, by assuring Americans he was a successful businessman.”

Avlon wrapped up his Reality Check segment by quoting “another infamous New York real estate magnate”: the late Leona Helmsley, who went to prison for tax evasion. Helmsley, Avlon recalled, infamously said, “We don’t pay taxes. Only the little people pay taxes” — and Avlon added, “Only this time, the contempt for hard-working men and women who pay their taxes comes straight from the president of the United States.”

Watch:

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Source: ALTERNET

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Trump wanted to tap daughter Ivanka as his running mate in 2016: Rick Gates

September 28, 2020 in Blogs

By Alex Henderson

During his 2016 presidential campaign, President Donald Trump showed the Christian Right how badly he wanted their votes when he picked then-Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, a far-right social conservative, as his running mate. But in a new book, Rick Gates — who served as a deputy campaign manager for Trump in 2016 — reveals that before he picked Pence, Trump was seriously considering someone else: his daughter Ivanka Trump, now a White House senior adviser.

Rosalind S. Helderman and Tom Hamburger of the Washington Post report that according to Gates, Donald Trump told a group of allies, “I think it should be Ivanka. What about Ivanka as my VP?…. She’s bright, she’s smart, she’s beautiful, and the people would love her.”

Trump’s suggestion, Helderman and Hamburger note, was not a “passing fancy,” but an idea that he brought up “repeatedly over the following weeks, trying to sell his campaign staff on the idea — insisting she would be embraced by the Republican base.”

It was Ivanka Trump herself, according to Gates, who dissuaded her father.

Helderman and Hamburger explain, “Trump was so taken with the concept of his eldest daughter as his vice president — and so cool to other options, including his eventual selection, then-Indiana Gov. Mike Pence — that his team polled the idea twice, according to Gates. It was Ivanka Trump who finally ended the conversation, Gates writes, going to her father to tell him it wasn’t a good idea. Trump eventually came around and selected Pence.”

Had Donald Trump chosen his daughter as his running mate, she would have been just barely old enough. Ivanka Trump, born in New York City on October 30, 1981, was 34 when her father was considering her for his running mate and turned 35 — the minimum age to be president or vice president — on October 30, 2016. A presidential candidate’s running mate, under the U.S. Constitution, can be 34 but has to be 35 by Inauguration Day.

Gates’ book, “Wicked Game: An Insider’s Story on How Trump Won, Mueller Failed, and America Lost,” is due out on October 13. Helderman and Hamburger note that unlike other Trump-related books released in 2020, “Wicked Game” is not a tell-all book but rather, a “defense of the president and how he and others helped elect him.”

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Source: ALTERNET

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Taxpayers looking at their monthly bills have a lot of thoughts about Trump's $750 tax bill

September 28, 2020 in Blogs

By Daily Kos

The $750 in federal income taxes that Donald Trump paid in 2016 and 2017 is an attention-grabbing number—in large part because $750 is a number that a lot of people can wrap their heads around. It’s not on the massive scale of federal budget numbers or even of only-for-billionaires expenditures. For people making minimum wage or just above, it may in fact be their annual tax bill. “We’re talking about someone who works at a McDonald’s, and not someone who is managing it,” Joseph Bankman, a tax law expert at Stanford Law School, told The Washington Post. “This is an hourly worker at a fast-food restaurant.”

But lots of people have something to compare that number to: monthly insulin costs for some diabetics. A DACA renewal. Rent, rent, rent. An emergency room visit. A family’s monthly grocery budget. And, of course, while the Trumps are only paying $750 in income tax, you can look at their lifestyle and make plenty of comparisons of a different kind.

It’s about half of 1% of the Secret Service’s golf cart rental contract at Trump’s New Jersey golf club … for summer 2020.

There’s Ivanka’s $750 shoes. Melania’s $795 shoes—or her $51,500 coat or estimated $114,000 in Hermès Birkin bags.

$750 was a little less than two nights at Trump’s Washington, D.C., hotel in August—except for the nights right around the Republican National Convention, when $750 was only slightly more than one night there. It’s also a little less than getting the “restore and revive ritual” and “contour and lift” facial at that hotel’s day spa.

A table of four could very easily spend $750 at one meal at the steak restaurant in that hotel.

It’s less than 1% of the $77,000 in taxpayer money for Don Jr. to get Secret Service protection on a hunting trip to Mongolia to kill a threatened argali sheep. We don’t have enough information to speculate about the relationship of $750 to Junior’s bleary-eyed, sweaty appearances of late.

$750 is also a little less than …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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The Mariel Boatlift: How Cold War Politics Drove Thousands of Cubans to Florida in 1980

September 28, 2020 in History

By Karen Juanita Carrillo

After Fidel Castro loosened emigration policies, some 125,000 Cubans landed on U.S. shores over a span of five months.

The Mariel Boatlift of 1980 was a mass emigration of Cubans to the United States. The exodus was driven by a stagnant economy that had weakened under the grip of a U.S. trade embargo and by Cuban President Fidel Castro‘s exasperation with dissent.

“Those who have no revolutionary genes, those who have no revolutionary blood…we do not want them, we do not need them,” Castro declared in a May 1, 1980 speech. In a stance that reversed the Communist regime’s closed emigration policy, Castro told Cubans who wanted to leave Cuba to leave, and directed would-be emigrants to go to the Port of Mariel.

Some 125,000 Cubans took Castro up on his words and boarded fish and shrimp vessels, crossed the treacherous Florida Straits and arrived at U.S. shores. Their arrival—over the course of five months—infused the United States with a dynamic group of new immigrants and raised alarm about strains on resettlement facilities and the U.S. economy.

READ MORE: Communism Timeline

Under Cold War: Cuban Economy Vulnerable

Castro’s surprise opening of his nation’s border came at the heels of a series of events demonstrating Cuban dissidents’ desire to leave the country. As other global powers allied themselves with the United States in a Cold War against Cuba, the island’s foreign trade was crippled. Cuba faced an economic crisis brought on by pressure from a U.S. trade embargo that began in 1962 and from the slow dissolution of its main commercial support, the Soviet Union.

Cubans—even those who had initially supported the 1959 Cuban Revolution—began to lose faith in the nation. Asylum efforts began in the late 1970s and continued throughout the early 1980s with attempted forcible entries into both the Venezuelan and Peruvian embassies along Havana’s Embassy Row.

On May 13, 1979, a group of Cubans crashed a bus into the Venezuelan Embassy in order to seek asylum. Later that year on June 11, Cuba’s National Revolutionary Police (Policía Nacional Revolucionaria, PNR) opened fire on a group of Cubans trying to force their way into the Venezuelan Embassy. And on July 16, 1979, two Cubans sought asylum at the Venezuelan Embassy. The following year, on April 1, 1980, six Cuban dissidents seeking political asylum rammed a bus into the perimeter fence of Havana, Cuba’s Peruvian embassy.

Cuba’s PNR officers fired submachine …read more

Source: HISTORY