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Bill Barr is about to take the fall for Trump’s coronavirus policy: report

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According to a report from the Daily Beast, Attorney General Bill Barr appears poised to take the lead and attempt to force governors to re-open their states during the coronavirus pandemic — even at the risk of ramping up the spread of the virus when it appears to be slowing down.

In the process, he could become the face of Donald Trump’s failures to stem the COVID-19 health crisis.

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“Donald Trump is calling for his followers to LIBERATE the states from the social distancing measures that are staving off an even greater coronavirus death toll. Trump’s enforcer, Attorney General Bill Barr, is now poised to support Trump’s call for insurrection by turning to the federal courts—seeded with a legion of newly installed right-wing jurists—to undermine critical public health protections on his boss’ behalf,” the Beast’s David Lurie wrote. “If Barr and Trump get their way, the states will soon be ‘opened up”’to the virus, and thus to a massive number of needless deaths.”

Pointing out that Barr already announced on Fox News that he would start scrutinizing actions taken by the states after April 30, Lurie suggests the attorney General will likely take his lead — as usual — based upon Donald Trump’s wishes, and that Barr will have some help from the slate of conservative judges installed by the president over the past three years.

“There is every reason to believe that Barr, as well as many of the judges Trump has placed on the bench, will enthusiastically comply with the new call to undertake an offensive against states’ emergency health measures,” Lurie wrote. “The spectacle of having judges second-guessing the determinations of state health professionals serves Barr’s and Trump’s broader goal: to undermine the legitimacy and authority of governors, some of them Democrats in swing states, who have received far more robust public support for their effective responses to the pandemic than has Trump for his catastrophically late efforts.”

The Daily Beast columnist also noted this should come as no surprise, as Barr has been remaking the Justice Department in his own image since being appointed by the president.

“Barr’s efforts now to undermine the authority of governors is of a piece with his past work undermining the legitimacy of his own Justice Department, as well as the nation’s intelligence community and diplomatic corps, to help Trump escape the consequences of his criminal conduct during Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election and then his scheme to pressure Ukraine to announce an investigation of his 2020 rival, Joe Biden,” he wrote.

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He then warned, “Yet while Barr’s past efforts to shred public confidence in governmental institutions have done a great deal of damage to the nation, the attorney general’s latest effort to misuse the authority of the law, and of the federal courts, to help Trump out of a political jam is likely to have more immediate, and fatal, consequences.”

You can read more here (subscription required).


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China vows to retaliate for Trump’s Rose Garden press conference — and could impose new sanctions on America

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US President Donald Trump said Tuesday he was ending preferential trade treatment for Hong Kong and had signed into law an act that authorises sanctions on banks over China's clampdown in the international finance hub.

In a discursive news conference dominated by attacks on his domestic rivals, Trump declared himself to be the toughest president ever on China, a country he is increasingly positioning as his nemesis ahead of November elections.

Trump announced that he had issued an executive order on Hong Kong as he predicted decline for the restless city, on which Beijing recently imposed a tough new security law.

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2020 Election

Trump’s former White House doctor Ronny Jackson wins GOP runoff for Congress in Texas

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Ronny Jackson, the former White House physician and President Donald Trump's onetime nominee for secretary of veterans affairs, has won his bid for the Republican nomination for a solidly red congressional seat in the Texas Panhandle.

With 100% of polling locations reporting, though some mail-in ballots will still need to be counted, Jackson held a lead of 11 percentage points over Josh Winegarner, a veteran agriculture expert and lobbyist. Jackson and Winegarner were competing for a seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Clarendon, who is retiring and held the seat since 1995.

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Ivanka Trump’s tweet raises eyebrows: ‘Why is a senior White House official endorsing a food product?’

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As her big brother was dragging their 14-year-old half brother into the 2020 campaign, senior White House advisor Ivanka Trump was endorsing a line of canned food products.

If it’s Goya, it has to be good. Si es Goya, tiene que ser bueno. pic.twitter.com/9tjVrfmo9z

— Ivanka Trump (@IvankaTrump) July 15, 2020

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