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Trump should be very worried about retiring GOP lawmakers who no longer fear him: Ex-Obama official

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On MSNBC Saturday, former Obama Deputy Secretary of Labor Chris Lu said that when it comes to impeachment, the Republicans President Donald Trump should fear most in a trial are those who are retiring from office soon.

“Politico is putting out a report … titled “Vow of impeachment silence spreads in Senate,” talking about how some Republican senators, that would include Lamar Alexander and Susan Collins, that they’re pointing to their potential roles as jurors when asked about their views on impeachment,” said host Alex Witt. “Should Democrats interpret that silence as meaning that their votes are up for grabs or not?”

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“You know, look, in this Trump era, it’s hard to find many examples of Republicans exercising political courage and standing up against the president,” said Lu. “I would say what the president really should be concerned about, probably Susan Collins, but really, Lamar Alexander and other Republicans that are retiring, not only in the Senate and the House, because for them, they don’t have to fear the wrath of Trump and his base.”

“And as you see this increasing number of House Republicans, most recently Congressman Francis Rooney, who’s been critical of President Trump as well, saying he’s not running — this is kind of a wild card group of people who both either in the House or the Senate could potentially vote on impeachment charges,” said Lu. “But again, the past record of Republicans defying the president hasn’t been great.”

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Trump fears his base will turn on him if he flips and calls for nationwide mask guidelines: CNN

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On CNN Saturday, analyst Ron Brownstein outlined the key reason President Donald Trump is struggling to adapt his message to proper public health guidance on the coronavirus pandemic.

"Ron, there is a retail trade group that has asked President Trump to institute federal, nationwide mask guidelines at stores across the country as the country continues to re-open," said anchor Alex Marquardt. "Experts are saying that masks could save thousands of lives in the coming months. Do you see a scenario in which — any chance in which he would issue that?"

"I think the short answer is no, and for a revealing reason," said Brownstein. "He is in a trap of his own construction. On coronavirus, we talk all the time about how President Trump's base is bonded to him, immovably. He's also bonded to the base in the other direction, that he is very reluctant to get out crosswise with a base that includes the kind of people that showed up at the Michigan capital to protest lockdown without wearing masks and waving Confederate flags and carrying automatic weapons."

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2020 Election

Trump and the GOP have become the party of the dead

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There are few morbid topics subject to greater speculation than the religious loyalty of President Donald Trump's "base." Why an alarmingly large amount of Americans refuse even to entertain any criticism of Trump deserves scrutiny from political scientists, psychologists and perhaps horror novelists working in the school of Edgar Allan Poe.

This article first appeared in Salon.

What is abundantly clear is that no matter who votes for Trump, he and the Republican Party on the national level have no interest in governing on the behalf of living human beings — with the exception of ensuring that a tiny minority of billionaires and multimillionaires enlarge their investment portfolios. Trump evinces no concern for Americans dying of the coronavirus, racist violence or any other malady or injustice. He demonstrates no regard for health care professionals courageously trying to save their patients from dying, and appears cruelly indifferent to the struggles of millions of workers whose livelihoods have been destroyed by COVID-19. Needless to say, Trump also shows contempt for Black Lives Matter, immigrants and anyone who opposes his re-election, which at this moment (and throughout his presidency) is more than half of the American public.

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As coronavirus seizes the state, Florida hospitals are in panic mode

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As Florida experiences a surge in coronavirus cases, the residents of the state are facing obstacles like overwhelmed hospitals and a looming shortage in beds.

This article first appeared in Salon.

There are 47,663 hospital beds in the state right now with 11,782 available (meaning a remaining capacity of 19.82 percent) and a total staffed bed capacity of 59,445, according to the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration's Hospital Bed Capacity Dashboard. The state Department of Health also reported on Friday that, out of 95,300 individuals who received coronavirus test results over the course of the previous day, 11,433 tested positive for COVID-19 (all but 90 of whom were Florida residents), meaning that more than 12 percent of the new cases had positive test results. The state also reported 93 new deaths due to COVID-19. (Salon reached out to the Florida Department of Health for comment on this story.)

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