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‘Ludicrous’: Democrats demand Trump State Department turn over ‘secret plan’ to slash Social Security amid pandemic

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House Democrats are demanding that the Trump administration turn over to Congress all documents related to an internal State Department plan that reportedly proposes giving Americans direct cash payments in exchange for cuts to their Social Security benefits, an idea advocacy groups denounced as “monstrous.”

In a letter (pdf) sent late last week to Keith Krach—Under Secretary for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment at the State Department—Reps. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas) and John Larson (D-Conn.) called on the administration to release in full the so-called “Eagle Plan,” the existence of which was first reported last week by the Washington Post.

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“In this moment of crisis, when millions of Americans are struggling to make ends meet and fear for their retirement, we should be enhancing Social Security, not developing policies to reduce benefits,” the lawmakers wrote. “The idea that you would ask individual Americans to sell out their hard-earned retirement security as the price of desperately-needed help during a crisis is unacceptable.”

The Post reported that the “Eagle Plan” was written by Paul Touw, chief strategy officer to Krach, and forwarded to the White House Council of Economic Advisers by President Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner.

In a statement, Castro characterized the internal State Department proposal as “a secret plan to cut hard-earned Social Security benefits.”

“This should not be a surprise after earlier this year in Davos when President Trump said, ‘At the right time, we will take a look at that,'” Castro said. “Jeopardizing retirement security during a health and economic crisis that disproportionally impacts older Americans is not the ‘right time’—we should only be strengthening Social Security.”

Larson, who has proposed an emergency expansion of Social Security benefits during the coronavirus crisis, echoed Castro, saying “the idea that we would ask Americans to sell out their retirement and long-term security for assistance during a crisis is insane.”

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“Social Security is here for Americans for times exactly like the ones we face today,” said Larson. “It is time we strengthen it. This attempt is ludicrous.”

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According to the Post, the “Eagle Plan” is one of two proposals to cut Social Security that senior White House officials have considered in recent days as the administration and congressional Republicans claim to be concerned about the rising deficit. Progressives have warned that the GOP’s renewed deficit hawkery is a cynical ploy to justify gutting safety net programs.

Alex Lawson, executive director of advocacy group Social Security Works, said in a statement last week that the “Eagle Plan” would “force people to choose: Go hungry today or work until you die.”

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“The Trump administration is obsessed with using the coronavirus crisis to undermine our Social Security system,” said Lawson. “Social Security is an earned insurance benefit. It is not a piggy bank.”

“This plan, and any plan that raids Social Security, is a moral abomination,” Lawson added. “Instead of trying to steal the earned benefits of desperate people, the government should be sending $2,000 a month to everyone in America, as Democrats in Congress have proposed.”


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Stephen Colbert hilariously mocks Oklahoma governor ‘Stitt for brains’ for catching COVID-19 after ignoring masks

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Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) revealed Wednesday that he is positive for the coronavirus. It could have been the exposure he incurred at the Trump rally. Or it could have been all of those times he went out without a mask saying he was "social distancing." Either way, it was something "A Late Show" host Stephen Colbert found to be a hilarious example of schadenfreude.

"All the people in charge who told us the pandemic wasn't a big deal are looking big dumb right now like Oklahoma governor and chunky Dracula Kevin Stitt, cuz remember Trump's rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma full of unmasked open mouth screamers," said Colbert. "Lots of people called it a terrible idea, said it should be canceled. Not Governor Stitt."

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The problem isn’t the campaign manager — it’s Trump: Republican analyst

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Switching up the campaign manager four months before the election when the latest poll shows you 12 points down has nothing to do with the campaign's leadership, Republican analyst Amanda Carpenter explained on CNN Wednesday.

"The problem isn't that Donald Trump has a bad campaigner," said Carpenter in an interview with CNN's Don Lemon. "They're raising tons of money. They have a boatload of surrogates. The problem is that he has a bad presidency. And no one -- no one, no spin master, not Kellyanne Conway, not Brad Parscale can spin the most important number of this election, and that's -- at present, 137,000 dead and rising. And so what we need to see if Donald Trump wants to turn this around is to turn around his white house. And I have four words of advice: More Fauci, less Kayleigh."

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Here’s what you need to know about Bill Stepien — the man who just took over Trump’s fledgling campaign

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President Donald Trump announced that his campaign manager, Brad Parscale, is being shoved out of his role given the failures the campaign has suffered over the past seven months.

In his place, for now, at least, will be Bill Stepien.

If that name sounds familiar, it may be because Stepien was part of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's Bridgegate scandal, where, as punishment to Mayor Mark Sokolich, two of three toll lanes were closed during a Monday morning rush hour and weren't reopened until Friday.

The court case quoted Bill Stepien's name over 700 times, including an email in which he claimed, "It will be a tough November for this little Serbian." The mayor was born in Fort Lee, and his lineage isn't Serbian, it's actually Croatian.

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