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‘He basically threw a tantrum’: Kavanaugh performance would have left woman in a ‘straight jacket’ says former prosecutor

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Following a combative day of confirmation hearings for Judge Brett Kavanaugh, a former federal prosecutor described his testimony as a tantrum.

Former federal prosecutor Cynthia Alksne went on MSNBC as “the expert” to dissect the implications of the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.

“It doesn’t seem to me like a real defense, he had this global defense, I never did anything,” anchor Chris Matthews noted. “I heard a guy defending his resume, I didn’t hear a guy showing indignant emotions that anybody would say he would behave like this.”

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“He seemed uncomfortable and seemed to be hedging,” Matthews observed.

“I had a couple of thoughts about him,” she replied.

“First, I thought he had a tantrum and showed that he doesn’t have the temperament to be a Supreme Court justice,” Alksne concluded. “And he also showed that his — he can be an angry and belligerent person and it just felt like, ‘oh, that is what he’s like when he’s angry and belligerent when he’s drunk.'”

“Can you imagine if a woman came into the Senate chamber and screamed and hollered at senators like that and interrupted them and was that rude?” she wondered.

“She’d be taken out in a straight jacket, because it is Judge Kavanaugh, he got away with it,” she noted. “I thought it was shocking.”

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“And additionally, he really hurt his credibility by dancing around and trying to avoid responding to the question about an FBI investigation,” she argued.

The FBI’s inability to question Mark Judge also damaged the nominee’s trustworthiness.

“There is no excuse that he hasn’t been called and the way that judge was constantly trying to get away from responding to that damages his credibility beyond repair for me,” she concluded.

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Trump administration quietly guts COVID-19 paid leave provision that already excluded 75 percent of workers

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The Trump administration has quietly issued new guidance that will exempt many small businesses from having to provide some workers with paid leave during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Department of Labor issued a temporary rule Wednesday that effectively exempted businesses with fewer than 50 workers from being required to provide 12 weeks of paid leave for workers whose children are suddenly at home from school or child care under the coronavirus stimulus package signed by President Donald Trump.

This article first appeared in Salon.

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Trump is deploying national guardsman to provide pandemic support without any health benefits: report

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The National Guard are an essential part of the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, and thousands of them have potentially been exposed to infected civilians, making it a particularly dangerous and important time to serve.

But according to The Daily Beast, the guard has been deployed in a way that prevents them from being eligible for the military's health care system.

"The approximately 20,000 guardsmen who have been called up to help states around the country deal with the spread of the coronavirus are federalized on what’s called Title 32 status, which puts them in command of their various state governors but with the federal government paying costs," wrote senior national security correspondent Spencer Ackerman. "But according to the National Guard’s advocates and the U.S. governors’ association, the guardsmen are activated on orders that last 30 days. That puts them one single day shy of the requirement allowing the military health insurance system known as TRICARE — think of it as Medicare For All In Uniform — to cover them."

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Vaccine researchers grew ‘alarmed’ as Trump’s CDC wasted weeks of their time with a flawed coronavirus test: report

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According to a report from the Washington Post, in the early days as health officials became concerned about the possibility of the COVID-19 pandemic blossoming out of China, researchers sat and wasted days they could have used to start developing a vaccine because they were assured by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) that a testing kit was on its way.

As it turned out, that test was flawed.

Relying on emails and interviews, the Post is reporting, "On a Jan. 15 conference call, a leading scientist at the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention assured local and state public health officials from across the nation that there would soon be a test to detect a mysterious virus spreading from China. Stephen Lindstrom told them the threat was remote and they may not need the test his team was developing 'unless the scope gets much larger than we anticipate,' according to an email summarizing the call."

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