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NYT editorial board slams McConnell for blocking stimulus with ‘political charade’ as he goes on vacation

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Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) addresses the Republican National Convention at the Quicken Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. (mark reinstein/Shutterstock.com)

On Tuesday, The New York Times editorial board tore into Congress for going on vacation while crucial unemployment benefits and stimulus lapsed for millions of Americans.

“Preventing this widespread suffering should be the top priority for lawmakers,” wrote the board. “Instead, the Republican-led Senate dragged its feet for months on another aid package. The Democratic-led House of Representatives passed a $3 trillion relief plan in mid-May. It took until July 27 for the Republican Senate leaders to offer their anemic, $1 trillion counterbid, which everyone seems to have a problem with, albeit for differing reasons.”

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In particular, the board focused on the antics of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).

“The Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, is engaged in a political charade in which he proclaims himself a hapless bystander, buffeted by the whims of the White House on one side and House Democrats on the other. He is not even attending key meetings between Democratic leaders and the administration’s top negotiators,” wrote the board. “But Mr. McConnell is far from without leverage. He must make clear to his members that they need to compromise and help the millions of their fellow Americans who are stuck in miles-long food lines, a hair’s breadth from eviction, jobless, financially ruined or ill because of this terrible disease. One quick and direct way to send a message: Cancel the Senate’s August recess, or at least postpone it until a deal is reached.”

Part of the issue is that McConnell is demanding any bill include a provision giving near-total legal immunity to corporations that negligently spread COVID-19 to employees.

The board concluded that the only solution is to cancel the Senate recess. “Nothing focuses the congressional mind quite like anxiety about one’s own political fortunes. Staying in Washington until they get this crucial piece of the job done is the least that senators can do to show their solidarity with the legions of Americans who are facing far worse this summer than a canceled holiday.”

You can read more here.

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Trainer for anti-COVID lockdown group caught on camera telling supporters how to break the law

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A signature-gathering trainer for a Michigan group working to overturn Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's pandemic restrictions has been caught on camera advising the group's supporters on how to break the law.

The Detroit Free Press, which obtained a copy of the video, reports that trainer Erik Tisinger instructed supporters for Unlock Michigan in assorted nefarious practices for illegally collecting signatures.

Among other things, Tisinger told Unlock Michigan backers that it is "super easy" to give misleading answers under oath if they're compelled to testify by a court of law about their activities; that they could leave copies of their petitions with store clerks to collect signatures even though getting signatures without properly witnessing them would be illegal; and that they could trespass on private property to collect signatures even without business owners' permission.

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Trump’s latest COVID-19 lie is both ‘dangerously misleading and aggressively hypocritical’: analysis

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In an analysis for the Washington Post this Tuesday, Philip Bump says that President Trump's recent downplaying of the coronavirus' effects on young people is "both dangerously misleading and aggressively hypocritical."

“You know, in some states thousands of people, nobody young — below the age of 18, like nobody — they have a strong immune system. Who knows. You look — take your hat off to the young because they have a hell of an immune system, but it affects virtually nobody," Trump said at a rally in Ohio on Monday.

Bump points out that as Trump spoke, the death toll from the virus approached 200,000 -- a boundary that Trump repeatedly insisted this spring and summer that we probably wouldn’t near. While it's true that the virus affects primarily older people, the notion that “virtually nobody” who is younger has been affected simply isn't true.

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Mike Pence’s chief of staff belittles former staffer on MSNBC after she comes out against Trump

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Mike Pence's chief of staff, Marc Short, belittled a former staffer who has now come out against President Donald Trump for his failed response to the coronavirus pandemic.

In an NBC News interview, Olivia Troye, who advised Pence on homeland security, counterterrorism and the coronavirus, explained that the main conversation in the White House over the coronavirus was about Trump's image, and not saving Americans.

"He's not actually looking out for you," Troye said. "He's not looking out for these people. He's not looking out for them. He just wants you in that audience so he can have the camera shot of, you know, his fanfare and the people around him. But the truth is, he's putting those lives at risk.”

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