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DOJ investigating why consumers are paying record prices for beef during pandemic: report

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On Monday, Politico reported that the Justice Department and Agriculture Department are looking into what they consider to be suspicious price increases of beef for American consumers — on the suspicion that the recent spike in prices may be a result of price-fixing.

“Supermarket customers are paying more for beef than they have in decades during the coronavirus pandemic,” reported Leah Nylen and Liz Crampton. “But at the same time, the companies that process the meat for sale are paying farmers and ranchers staggeringly low prices for cattle.”

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“The Department of Justice is looking at the four largest U.S. meatpackers — Tyson Foods, JBS, National Beef and Cargill — which collectively control about 85 percent of the U.S. market for the slaughter and packaging of beef, according to a person with knowledge of the probe,” said the report. “The USDA is also investigating the beef price fluctuations, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue has confirmed.”

“It’s evidence that something isn’t right in the industry,” said Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), who has warned about corporate consolidation in the meatpacking industry and called for an investigation into cattle markets in April.

“Meatpackers say beef prices have spiked during the pandemic because plants are running at lower capacity as workers fall ill, so less meat is making its way to shelves,” continued the report. “The four companies didn’t respond to requests for comment about the probes.”

You can read more here.


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Internet buries Betsy DeVos for ‘total trainwreck’ CNN interview: ‘Why is she in charge of ANYTHING?’

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Education Secretary Betsy DeVos both stunned and appalled Twitter commentators on Sunday morning after she spent nearly 24 minutes sparring with CNN host Dana Bash over reopening the schools during a pandemic while misrepresenting the health risks to children that led the "State of the Union" to fact-check her.

With Bash closing the contentious interview by smirking at another non-answer from the Trump administration official, Twitter commenters flooded the social media platform with comments over what one called a "total trainwreck" cable news appearance.

You can see a few below:

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2020 Election

Trump melts down over media reporting he’s playing golf: ‘I play VERY fast, get a lot of work done’

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Donald Trump kicked off his Sunday morning complaining about the media reporting on the massive amount of time he spends on the golf course, tweeting that he plays "VERY fast" and he gets "a lot of work done on the golf course."

According to the president, "I know many in business and politics that work out endlessly, in some cases to a point of exhaustion. It is their number one passion in life, but nobody complains. My 'exercise' is playing, almost never during the week, a quick round of golf. Obama played more and much longer rounds, no problem. When I play, Fake News CNN, and others, park themselves anywhere they can to get a picture, then scream 'President Trump is playing golf.' Actually, I play VERY fast, get a lot of work done on the golf course, and also get a 'tiny' bit of exercise. Not bad!"

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CNN

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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