Donald Trump put the kibosh on Congressional efforts to boost the economy during the pandemic. The message to struggling American families and businesses is clear: no help is coming until Trump leaves the White House.
Meanwhile, the military’s top brass are in quarantine after being exposed to coronavirus. So is Trump adviser Stephen Miller, the architecht of many of his most cruel domestic policies.
And lastly, a huge crowd of protesters swarmed government buildings in Kyrgyzstan and began naming new public officials following a contested election. That’s one way to do it!
THESE ARE THE STORIES YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Trump scuttles stimulus discussions
On the very day that the chairman of the Federal Reserve warned that the economy would suffer without further stimulus measures, Donald Trump announced that he was breaking off negotiations for another bailout bill.
Speaking at the annual meeting of the National Association for Business Economics, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said a rise in coronavirus cases this inter could further burden the economy. He said that too little government support for the economy would lead to a weak recovery, creating unnecessary hardship for households and businesses. Over time, household insolvencies and business bankruptcies would rise, harming the productive capacity of the economy and holding back wage growth. By contrast, Powell added, the risks of overdoing it with a stimulus package are smaller. He said QUOTE Even if policy actions ultimately prove to be greater than needed, they will not go to waste ENDQUOTE. In short, he was telling Congress and the White House to do something or things will get worse.
But Trump wasn’t having it. In a series of Tweets that sent the stock market into a nosedive, he said he’d instructed aides to stop negotiating for a stimulus with Democrats until after the election. He added that he wants Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to focus on getting his Supreme Court nominee, Amy Coney Barrett, confirmed.
Even by Trump standards it’s a truly baffling decision. He could easily approve another round of checks for taxpayers just in time for the election. Instead, he apparently wants voters to see that he’s doing nothing for the economy, despite tens of millions of Americans out of work. Maybe he’s still feeling punchy from the Covid treatments. Steroids can mess with your head!
Stephen Miller has COVID
The coronavirus cluster around Donald Trump continues to grow. Yesterday the military’s top leadership entered quarantine after the Coast Guard’s second-in-command tested positive for the coronavirus. According to the Washington Post, those quarantined include General Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; General John Hyten, the vice chairman; Admiral Michael Gilday, the chief of naval operations; General James McConville, the Army chief of staff; General Charles Brown, the Air Force chief of staff; General John Raymond, the Space Force chief of staff; General Daniel Hokanson, the chief of the National Guard Bureau; and General Paul Nakasone, the head of U.S. Cyber Command. Last one out of the Pentagon please turn off the lights.
Attorney General Bill Barr was reportedly planning to limit his time at the Justice Department, after testing negative for the fifth time since Friday. Meanwhile, more White House aides tested positive – including Stephen Miller. And elected leaders in the Washington, DC region – including DC mayor Muriel Bowser – called on the White House to follow pandemic safety protocols. Ahead of tonight’s debate with Democratic Vice Presidential nominee Kamala Harris, Mike Pence’s physician released a memo saying he does not need to quarantine and is not a close contact with any individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19. Huh?
As late as last night, Pence and Harris continued to tangle over health and safety measures for their debate at the University of Utah tonight. At issue: a plexiglass divider between the candidates and the moderator. Pence’s chief of staff, Marc Short, said Harris is QUOTE more than welcome to surround herself with plexiglass if that makes her feel more comfortable. It’s not needed ENDQUOTE. As though anyone from the Trump administration can be trusted, especially on this issue. They are basically engaged in open biological warfare at this point. The debate starts at 9 p.m. Eastern time.
Protesters take over Kyrgyzstan
Protesters demanding a change in government stormed the White House yesterday – in the Central Asian Republic of Kyrgyzstan. That’s what they call the building that houses the executive and legislative branches of government in the capital city of Bishkek. The country held an election on Sunday, and the president’s allies won a majority of seats. But yesterday, as protests intensified, the country’s electoral commission nullified the results.
According to the New York Times, a small group of protesters tried to gain entry to the White House overnight. After the police tried to disperse them, hundreds more joined in the assault and soon took control. On Tuesday, the Times said, the streets of Bishkek were littered with burned out cars and piles of stones, while photos emerged of the broken down gates to the White House. Inside the building, videos and photos showed broken glass and piles of debris, including government papers, with protesters wandering the offices.
The president, Sooronbai Jeenbekov, said yesterday he was willing to meet with the leaders of all sixteen parties that had competed in the election. But, per the Times, it was not clear that he was still in control. Protesters continued to seize government buildings and appoint their own officials. Two big-city mayors announced their resignation, and Jeenbekov’s predecessor as president, as well as two former prime ministers, were freed from prison. The Health Ministry says one person was killed and nearly seven hundred injured during the protests. So it wasn’t a bloodless revolution, but it sure could’ve been worse.
AND NOW FOR SOME QUICKER QUICKIES:
Facebook said yesterday that it is banning all Q-Anon accounts from its platforms. Per NBC News, a company spokesperson said the enforcement is in keeping with other steps the company has taken with regard to what it called militarized social movements, such as militia and terror groups that repeatedly call for violence. The ban won’t necessarily apply to individual posts and instead focuses on accounts dedicated to spreading the conspiracy theory. Better late than never.
A report published yesterday by the AFL-CIO shows that Latino workers, especially whose who are immigrants, continue to be at increased risk of dying on the job. Most of the Latino workers who die on the job work in construction, followed by motor vehicle operators, maintenance workers and agricultural workers. The union is calling on the Occupational
Safety and Health Administration to expand protections for temporary and contract workers and to implement national safety standards for Covid-19. ¡Vamos!
Australian government scientists took core samples from the ocean floor at six remote sites off the country’s southern coast. What they discovered is evidence that at least fourteen million tons of microplastics are sitting at the bottom of the world’s oceans – more than thirty times what scientists think is floating on top. The microplastic pollution is concerning because the plastics can return to our bodies through the food chain. Gross.
Guitar hero Eddie Van Halen, of the eponymous rock band Van Halen, died yesterday following a years-long fight with cancer. He was sixty five. As Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready put it, QUOTE Eddie was like Mozart for guitar ENDQUOTE. Shred in peace.
That’s all for the AM Quickie. Join us this afternoon on the Majority Report.
Oct 7, 2020 - AM Quickie
HOSTS - Sam Seder & Lucie Steiner
WRITER - Corey Pein
PRODUCER - Dorsey Shaw
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER - Brendan Finn