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House Republicans move to slash summer food aid to urban kids, but can’t explain why

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In a new draft of the House GOP Agriculture bill, Republicans have sought to save money by slashing summertime food aid to inner city children while continuing to assist children living in rural poverty.

Talking Points Memo pointed to a passage in a Politico piece about the bill that said, “(I)n a surprising twist, the bill language specifies that only rural areas are to benefit in the future from funding requested by the administration this year” in “a modest summer demonstration program to help children from low-income households — both urban and rural — during those months when school meals are not available.”

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The program operates on a modest — by federal government standards — budget of $85 million per year. The White House asked for an additional $30 million to continue the effort to reach nutritionally vulnerable children.

The House replied by declining to fund the White House program, but offering $27 million for a pilot program intended to provide nutritional assistance to the children of the rural poor.

“That of the total amount available, $27,000,000 shall remain available until expended to carry out section 749(g) of the Agriculture Appropriations Act of 2010 (Public Law 111–80) in rural counties designated in 40 U.S.C. 14102,” stipulated the House bill.

The original 2010 mandate read, “Section 749(g) directed that the Secretary of Agriculture shall carry out demonstration projects to develop and test methods of providing access to food for children in urban and rural areas during the summer months when schools are not in regular session to reduce or eliminate the food insecurity and hunger of children; and to improve the nutritional status of children.”

“Democrats were surprised to see urban children were excluded,” wrote Politico’s David Rogers. “And the GOP had some trouble explaining the history itself. But a spokeswoman confirmed that the intent of the bill is a pilot project in ‘rural areas’ only.”

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“I guess that is surprising,” said Kevin Drum at Mother Jones. “Usually they’re a little more subtle in their contempt for poor people in urban areas.”

“Poor white kids will get extra money for meals when school is out of session,” Drum said. “Poor black kids won’t.”

[image of kids in school lunch line via Shutterstock.com]

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2020 Election

Trump officials could face criminal charges for USPS sabotage — and the president may not be able to pardon them

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Members of the Trump administration could face legal jeopardy over efforts to sabotage U.S. Postal Service operations to interfere with the 2020 presidential elections.

"Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ) made a criminal referral to the New Jersey Attorney General on Friday night, asking him to impanel a grand jury to look at possible breach of state election laws by President Trump, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy and others for 'their accelerating arson of the post office,' he said. Alarming headlines have emerged in recent days as many states prepare to facilitate widespread mail balloting due to the coronavirus pandemic. President Trump openly admitted he was withholding federal aid from the postal service to prevent mail-in voting, and USPS has notified 46 states and D.C. that it will struggle to deliver some mail ballots on time," The Daily Beast reported Friday.

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Maddow reveals how one state stood up to Trump’s USPS cuts — and won

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MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow's opening segment on Friday focused on a positive story of political pressure stopping one of the Trump administration's attacks on the U.S. Postal Service.

Maddow reported how NBC Montana reporter Maritsa Georgiou had doggedly reported on the removal of postal boxes in Missoula, where she is based. Missoula has been a long-time Democratic Party stronghold.

Montana has a competitive U.S. Senate election in 2020, with Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock challenging first-term Republican Sen. Steve Daines.

As Georgiou chased the story, she learned there were also plans to remove boxes in the battleground of Billings. And more planned for the blue town of Bozeman. And other towns.

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2020 Election

Pepsi joins the chorus of people dunking on Tucker Carlson over Kamala Harris

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The Pepsi soda company mocked Fox News personality Tucker Carlson on Friday evening.

On Tuesday, Carlson flipped out after a guest attempted to teach him how to pronounce the name of Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), who is running for vice president on Joe Biden's ticket.

Video of the exchange was posted on Twitter by Nikki McCann Ramirez, a researcher at the watchdog group Media Matters for America.

Tucker Carlson loses it when a guest corrects his pronunciation of Kamala Harris's name pic.twitter.com/1fHIrPGuwN

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