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April 27, 2020: Corporations Leech Off Bailout
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Welcome to Majority.FM's AM QUICKIE! Brought to you by justcoffee.coop

TODAY'S HEADLINES:

A new report shows that massive corporations received millions in federal aid meant for small businesses under the first miserly coronavirus bailout.

Meanwhile, new evidence supports Tara Reade’s allegations of sexual assault against Joe Biden, bringing fresh attention to the presumptive Democratic nominee’s history and fitness for office.

And lastly, Trump’s conduct in office and declining poll numbers have the GOP running scared that he may drag the whole party down with him. Sure, we’ve heard this one before, but there are some signs that battleground states could be slipping away.

THESE ARE THE STORIES YOU NEED TO KNOW:

Surprise -- the meager loan program intended to keep small businesses afloat during the coronavirus recession has instead funnelled millions of dollars into big corporations.

The Paycheck Protection Program, or PPP, ran out of money almost immediately, so we knew that businesses would be left in the lurch -- especially when big chains like Shake Shack and Ruth Chris’s Steakhouse got a piece of the pie.

But the New York Times found that dozens of other companies with millionaire executives, some of which were even under financial investigation, managed to secure loans.

A few examples: Autoweb, a digital marketing firm, scored a $1.4 million loan. It’s CEO made $1.7 million in salary last year. MiMedX, a biopharma company in Georgia that the Times didn’t name but we tracked down easily enough on Google, paid the Justice Department a $6.5 million settlement after allegedly illegally inflating its prices to the department of Veterans Affairs. Guess what happened next? It got a $10 million loan.

This program was meant to save mom-and-pop companies like the restaurants, bars, barbershops, and stores run as small businesses across the country.

Instead, it’s pretty clear that publicly-traded corporations have been descending on it like flies while worthy companies wither and die.

And since the Trump administration isn’t being transparent about where all this money is going, it’s almost certain that there are even bigger offenders out there. Sure sounds like the American dream to me.

New Evidence for Biden Allegations

New details arose this weekend that support Tara Reade’s allegations that Joe Biden sexually assaulted her in the early 1990s.

Reade, who alleges that Biden sexually assaulted her while she was a Senate aide in 1993, told the Intercept that she informed her Mother, brother, and a close friend about the event at the time. Both the brother and the friend have confirmed that Reade told them about Biden’s abuse at the time, but Reade’s mother died in 2010.

However, Reade also told the Intercept that her mother called in to Larry King Live on CNN, and referenced the event -- and on Friday, the specific audio from the show surfaced, almost 27 years later.

In the recording, a caller from San Luis Obispo, CA, where Reade’s mother was living at the time, references her daughter working for a prominent senator with whom she had quote “problems,” but chose not to go to the press out of respect for his office. Reade confirmed that the caller’s voice is her mother.

The call audio is yet more evidence that Reade’s allegations against Biden are credible. Biden is now the presumptive Democratice nominee for president, and while his campaign has thus far managed to push the allegations aside with a denial, it’s unlikely that they will stay out of the front pages for long. In other words, the Democrats have a real problem on their hands, and it’s very possible that Biden has a victim who deserves justice.

As many people have noted, it’s not too late to replace him with someone else: between now and November, almost anything could happen.

Trump in Trouble? We'll See

Meanwhile, the Republicans forsee some serious problems of their own. Trump’s more ludicrous than normal conduct at press conferences and sinking poll numbers have some GOP strategists worried that he may lose both the White House and the Senate.

The Times reports that one Republican pollster said quote: “we have the foundation of the campaign yanked out from underneath us.” Endquote, as the economy is tanking and everyone but the most die-hard supporters seems to be angry at the president.

Trump is now behind in the polls in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Florida.

Clearly, Biden has his own issues. But Trump losing popularity can only be a good thing regardless of who the Democrats put up against him in November, because it could create opportunities for Democrats to take back key senate seats.

In tight races, the Republicans’ hopes are tightly linked to the President: if he doesn’t win big and turn out his base, the Democrats may be able to swipe a seat or two.

His administration is obviously doing damage control: just look at the press briefings, which have been pared back significantly since Trump suggested that people perhaps inject cleaning supplies to cure the disease.

To be sure, we’ve heard the whole “Trump is doomed” song and dance plenty of times before, and it’s not wise to get comfortable. But if the pillars of Trump’s electoral hold over the country look shaky, that can only be a good thing.

AND NOW FOR SOME QUICKER QUICKIES:

Bernie Sanders is currently fighting to stay on the primary ballot in New York, and to keep his delegates from the California primary. While Sanders’ campaign may be suspended, the amount of influence he has over the Biden campaign -- or eventual nominee -- could depend on his delegate pull at the convention.

Donald Trump is still waging war on the post office, threatening on Friday to withhold future coronavirus relief it the agency does not raise its prices four or five times over, which is just wildly unrealistic.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is either alive or dead, depending on which rumors or TMZ report you believe. The South Korean government, for its part, once again claimed over the weekend that it does not think there is anything out of the ordinary going on, so perhaps rumors of the Supreme Leader’s death have been greatly exaggerated.

The Congressional Budget Office predicts that the country will hit 16 percent unemployment by the third quarter of 2020, an absolutely devastating number. During the 2008 recession, the highest it ever got was 10 percent.

That’s all for the Majority Report’s AM Quickie today. We’ll be back this afternoon.

HOSTS - Sam Seder & Lucie Steiner

WRITER - Jack Crosbie

PRODUCER - Dorsey Shaw

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER - Brendan Finn