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‘Not normal’: Veteran reporters sound the alarm on Trump’s unprecedented power grab

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President Donald Trump keeps asserting more and more power for the executive branch in a move that veteran reporters Mike Allen and Jim VandeHei describe as “not normal.”

Writing at Axios, the two reporters break down just how unprecedented Trump’s latest power grabs have been.

“In the past week, Trump has purged internal dissenters, imported loyalists, pardoned political and financial criminals and continued a running commentary on live Justice Department criminal cases — despite an unprecedented public brushback from his attorney general,” they write. “Trump does everything bigger and bolder than any predecessor dared — and all nakedly in the open, fearing no consequences from a Republican Party he fully commands.”

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Among the many disturbing actions taken by the president has been his overt pressure campaign against the Department of Justice to prosecute his political enemies.

“Other presidents pressured their Justice Department, but never so nakedly and publicly,” they write. “Trump, asked this week if he agreed with Attorney General Bill Barr that White House tweets made it impossible to do the job, said: ‘I do agree with that. I think that’s true… I’m allowed to be totally involved. I’m actually, I guess, the chief law enforcement officer of the country.”

Read the whole breakdown here.


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2020 Election

How a general strike might play out in the United States

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The idea that pandemic-related economic insecurity might spur a general strike has been trending among pundits and the public in the past week. Such a labor action, which would imply a complete shutdown of all industries as all workers cease showing up to work, would be historically unprecedented, a prominent historian told Salon.

This article first appeared in Salon.

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‘Pure retaliation’: Former House national security official slams Trump for firing inspector general

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On Friday evening, President Donald Trump stunned observers by announcing he would be dismissing Michael Atkinson, the intelligence community inspector general who first relayed the whistleblower complaint about Trump's phone call with the president of Ukraine.

Daniel Goldman, a national security advisor for the House Intelligence Committee, slammed the decision on Saturday, calling it "pure retaliation" and noting that his only offense was following the law when the president did not.

I saw Michael Atkinson up close. He followed the law with the utmost integrity. He did nothing to lose Trump’s confidence other than lawfully and properly expose Trump’s misconduct and the ensuing efforts to cover it up. This is pure retaliation, retribution and reprisal. https://t.co/GStcTOJn4J

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Trump’s new plan for covering COVID-19 patients has administration officials scrambling once again: report

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According to Politico, President Donald Trump's decision not to reopen the Affordable Care Act's health insurance exchanges, and to instead pay hospitals to treat uninsured coronavirus patients, blindsided not just insurance companies, but his own health officials — and left everyone scrambling to implement his orders.

"The rollout of the new hospital pay program capped a frenetic several days within the administration, prompted by a White House official’s confirmation Tuesday that there would be no reopening of the Obamacare markets," wrote Adam Cancryn, Nancy Cook, and Susannah Luthi. "That declaration surprised even some officials in the Health and Human Services Department, who believed the concept was still under consideration. And amid a crush of criticism from Democrats led by 2020 front runner Joe Biden, it worried officials who viewed the verdict as an unforced error in the middle of a historic pandemic."

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