We no longer have to wonder whether Donald Trump will try to sabotage the election by making it really hard to vote by mail. He just came out and said it.
Meanwhile, the stress of the coronavirus pandemic is really getting to people. A new survey shows Americans are more anxious, depressed, and traumatized than ever.
And lastly, hundreds of people swarmed an Immigration and Customs Enforcement vehicle to prevent two men from getting taken away from their families. We’ll take a look at this flash mob for justice came together.
THESE ARE THE STORIES YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Donald Trump now admits he wants to deny twenty five billion dollars in emergency funding to the US Postal Service in order to prevent mail-in voting from functioning smoothly during the coronavirus pandemic. He’s basically bragging about trying to rig the election, while complaining that the election will be rigged. Typical.
Yesterday, in an interview with Fox News, Trump laid out his thinking in denying funding for the Postal Service. He said QUOTE they need that money in order to make the Post Office work, so it can take all of these millions and millions of ballots... Now, if we don’t make a deal, that means they don’t get the money. That means they can’t have universal mail-in voting -- they just can’t have it. Sort of a crazy thing, ENDQUOTE. Yeah, sort of a crazy thing, you might say. A spokesman for Joe Biden said Trump is QUOTE sabotaging a basic service that hundreds of millions of people rely upon, [and] cutting a critical lifeline for rural economies and for delivery of medicines, because he wants to deprive Americans of their fundamental right to vote safely ENDQUOTE.
Separetely, Vice News reported that the Postal Service’s management is removing mail sorting machines from facilities around the country without any explanation. These machines are the same ones that will be used to sort ballots for the November presidential election. A postal worker who spoke to Vice compared it to a grocery store removing one-third of the checkout machines and expecting the same level of customer service. While the
consequences of removing the machines has yet to be felt, Vice reports that the decision fits with a pattern of sudden, opaque, and drastic changes made by the new Postmaster General, Louis DeJoy, in his first two months on the job. DeJoy is a longtime Republican fundraiser and Trump donor. Go figure! His real job seems to be bureaucratic sabotage.
Survey shows Americans depressed
Americans are losing it, according to a new study by the Centers for Disease Control. And the pandemic is to blame.
The study surveyed more than fifty-four hundred Americans, according to Yahoo News. Nearly forty-one percent of people reported at least one mental or behavioral health problem. Approximately one in three suffered from anxiety or depression. One in four showed symptoms of a traumatic disorder. One in five said they were using drugs or alcohol more heavily – or, for the first time – in order to cope. One in ten said they had seriously considered suicide. That’s really bad! Please call someone if you are feeling that way.
They’re pretty sure the pandemic is to blame because it’s not the first time the CDC has carried out this mental health survey. Compared to the same period last year, frequency of anxiety symptoms tripled. Depression quadrupled. And serious suicidal ideation doubled. More than ninety percent said they were not being treated for anxiety, depression or posttraumatic stress before the pandemic struck.
Compared to other demographics, younger adults, non-whites, essential workers and unpaid adult caregivers are faring QUOTE disproportionately worse ENDQUOTE. As if the coronavirus itself wasn’t bad enough. Can we get some Medicare for All please?
Activists surround ICE vehicle
Early on Wednesday morning, Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents arrested two men in Bend, Oregon, then loaded the men onto buses. One of the men, named Marcos, was allowed to call his wife at around one in the afternoon. That call set off a chain reaction on social media, and soon people began driving from all over central Oregon to surround the ICE buses. Hundreds of people swarmed the area and spotted the buses in a parking lot
behind a hotel. Some people, including a member of the city council, parked their cars in front of the buses to prevent them from leaving. Others simply stood in front of the ICE vehicles. According to Oregon Public Broadcasting, family members of the detained men wept against the sides of the bus, pleading with the ICE contractors operating the bus to allow them to give the men food and water. A small boy cried: “Papa, Papa, I love you.”
This went on for ten hours. Local police came, first in SWAT attire, then in regular uniforms. Then the local police chief made a personal appearance and warned the crowd that more federal agents were on their way. Around eleven o’clock at night, more Border Patrol officers showed up and pepper sprayed some people in the crowd. The agents succeeded in removing their colleagues as well as the detained men. But civil liberties groups used the time they gained thanks to the impromptu action to file an emergency motion in federal court on behalf of the men. The motion seeks to prevent the men from being removed from central Oregon and taken away from their families. The local district attorney, John Hummel, later wrote QUOTE I’ve never been so disgusted by my government, and so proud of my community ENDQUOTE.
AND NOW FOR SOME QUICKER QUICKIES:
Israel and the United Arab Emirates have struck a deal to normalize their diplomatic relations. As part of the deal, Israel will reportedly forego its attempts to annex more land in the West Bank. In a White House statement, Trump took credit for brokering the agreement, but his actual involvement remains unclear. From Gaza, Hamas denounced the deal and called it QUOTE tantamount to a free reward for the Israeli occupation ENDQUOTE.
The Trump administration is getting rid of environmental rule limiting how much methane oil and gas companies can allow to leak into the atmosphere from wells, pipelines, and storage tanks. This is a terrible idea, because methane warms the atmosphere even faster than carbon dioxide. Environmental Protection Agency administrator Andrew Wheeler announced the new rule in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, making no attempt to hide the fact that it’s an election-year political gambit. Sad!
The city council in Austin, Texas, approved a new budget yesterday that cuts one hundred and fifty million dollars from the city’s police force. Some twenty million in cuts will take effect immediately. According to the Austin-American Statesman, much of the police funding will be redirected to a wide variety of programs and departments, including emergency medical services, mental health response, a family violence shelter, parks and trails, abortion access, and substance abuse care. The new budget was approved unanimously, after months of public outcry over police brutality.
South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem plans to build a wall around her official residence. The project, budgeted at four hundred thousand dollars, consists of eight-foot-tall fencing made of powder-coated steel. The governor’s office cannot cite any specific threats to justify the expense, according to CBS News. An earlier design for the wall included a guardhouse but that feature has apparently been dropped. What, no machine gun turrets? Why is Governor Noem caving to the libs?
That’s all for the AM Quickie. Join us this afternoon on the Majority Report.
Aug 14 2020 - AM Quickie
HOSTS - Sam Seder & Lucie Steiner
WRITER - Corey Pein
PRODUCER - Dorsey Shaw
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER - Brendan Finn