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GOP senator: ‘I hope’ pandemic stimulus talks fail — so the government doesn’t spend more money

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Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI). Image via screengrab.

On Monday, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) said that he “hopes” bipartisan talks on the next round of coronavirus pandemic stimulus break down — because he doesn’t want the federal government to spend any more money on it.

“Johnson said in a Friday interview with Breitbart News Tonight that he hopes negotiations stay broken down between the Trump administration and House Democratic leaders on a new pandemic relief package given the trillions Democratic leaders proposed in new spending,” reported Molly Beck. “‘From my standpoint, the breakdown in the talks is very good news. It’s very good news for future generations,’ Johnson said. ‘I hope the talks remain broken down.'”

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Johnson was a supporter of the 2017 Republican-backed tax bill that gave hundreds of billions of dollars to corporations and billionaires, with no means of paying for it.

Negotiations have stalled because the House and Senate can’t agree on the broad outlines of how much to spend. In the meantime, President Donald Trump has signed four executive orders of uncertain legality that are intended to extend portions of the previous round of stimulus.


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‘Good German genes’: Trump’s ‘racehorse theory’ of genetics is profoundly racist — it’s also why he thinks he’s a natural-born genius

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Over the past five years or so, I've had no problem using the "F" word (fascism) to describe what's been happening under President Trump and the Republican Party. I wrote about it here in Salon all the way back in 2015, noting that I wasn't the only one. In fact, it was his fellow Republicans who were the first to use the term to describe him. All you have to do is go back and read that full-page newspaper ad Trump took out in 1989, headlined "Bring Back the Death Penalty, Bring Back Our Police," to understand his fundamental authoritarian nature.
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Health care group sponsoring South Dakota indoor country music festival that doesn’t require masks: report

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On Monday, The Daily Beast reported that South Dakota is poised to hold an indoor country music festival that won't require face masks and has not yet confirmed whether they will require social distancing — and it's being sponsored by a local nonprofit health care organization.

"Sanford Health of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, is presenting the Oct. 24 event in conjunction with the state’s governor, Kristi Noem," reported Michael Daly. "She endorsed the Sturgis motorcycle rally last month, where nearly half a million people gathered, largely without masks or social distancing, for 10 days before returning home, which a report by a team of economists with the Center for Health Economics & Policy Studies at San Diego State University estimates to have resulted in more than 260,000 COVID-19 cases. She will now be hosting the annual Governor’s Pheasant Hunt, which this year will include a musical event."

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Top Mueller deputy reveals why he chickened out of forcing Donald Trump Jr. to testify

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One of the mysteries left in the wake of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation was why Donald Trump Jr., who infamously met with Russian agents to discuss the hacking of Hillary Clinton's stolen emails, was never forced to testify.

Andrew Weissmann, who served as one of Mueller's top deputies during the probe, has now given an answer.

In an excerpt of Weismann's upcoming book on the investigation obtained by The Atlantic, Weissmann claims that Mueller was too worried about the president shutting down the entire probe if they subpoenaed his family members to testify.

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