Donald Trump loses it after the person who feeds him tests positive for coronavirus. And once again, the White House has been busted censoring public health information.
Meanwhile, the Justice Department drops its case against Trump’s favorite spy, Mike Flynn – even though Flynn already pleaded guilty. It’s a great week for public corruption, all around.
And lastly, a civic coalition in Toronto succeeds in stopping a corporate takeover downtown. Instead of a private neighborhood for Google, now they might build public housing.
THESE ARE THE STORIES YOU NEED TO KNOW:
One of Donald Trump’s personal White House valets has tested positive for the coronavirus, CNN reported yesterday. This person serves in the US Navy, and their duties include serving Trump meals, and shining his shoes. When Trump found out, he didn’t offer sympathy. Instead, staff claim, he got QUOTE lava-level mad ENDQUOTE. Apparently Trump expects staff to protect his health at the same time they’re stuffing his face with cheeseburgers. He and Vice President Mike Pence are still said to be ’rona-free. But Trump told reporters he will now be getting tested daily, instead of weekly. This is the same guy who just said it’s not important for us to get tested. May he gag on a swab.
Also, the Associated Press reported the White House is preventing federal experts from telling the public how to stay healthy. Trump’s lackeys suppressed a seventeen-page the Centers for Disease Control report that contained step-by-step guidance for schools, bars, churches, and so on, about reopening safely. But the White House doesn’t want people to be too safe, you see. The document said restaurants that reopen should make sure diners are seated six feet apart. That advice was removed, along with many other specifics. The CDC document was supposed to be published today. The new advice is... I don’t know, work hard and pray?
Trump isn’t the only one who’s taken to blaming the help. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar told members of Congress that dirty, filty workers were to blame for spreading coronavirus in meat packing plants across the country. According to Politico, Azar blamed unsanitary working-class homes -- rather than, say, factory conditions – for major
workplace outbreaks in the food industry. At least two dozen meatpacking plants have closed and supermarkets are facing some shortages. Instead of improving conditions at factories, Azar suggested sending more police into workers’ communities to enforce social distancing. Does he really think putting more people in jail will slow the spread of COVID-19? Or is just the classist garbage it seems to be? These people running the country are truly twisted.
DOJ Drops Flynn Case
Crime does pay if your name is Mike Flynn and you are the former National Security Adviser to Donald Trump. Twice, he admitted guilt in lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. But yesterday the Justice Department said it was dropping all charges against Flynn. Again, he’d already pleaded guilty. And, typically, prosecutors, including Attorney General Bill Barr, prefer to secure convictions. Instead of, you know, letting criminals free after they admit guilt. Let’s just say it very, very rarely happens that they up and drop a case like this. The new DOJ filings basically say Flynn did nothing wrong and echo Trump’s own view of the case. Prosecutors didn’t try to argue that Flynn actually told the truth, simply that he never should have been interviewed. Imagine if Flynn stole a forty-ouncer from the corner store. If every defendant got this treatment, America’s jails would be empty. Responding to the news, Trump ranted about punishing those responsible for a treasonous conspiracy.
Elsewhere in justiceland, the Supreme Court, in a rare unanimous decision, overturned the convictions of two Chris Christie associates involved in the 2013 Bridge-gate scandal. One, Bridget Anne Kelly, wrote the infamous email telling saying it was QUOTE time for some traffic problems ENDQUOTE, before closing the world’s busiest bridge as political payback. The other lucky wire fraud convict, Bill Baroni, worked at the Port Authority. The Supreme Court did not say Kelly and Baroni weren’t corrupt -- only that it wasn’t the kind of corruption the court was concerned with. See? Crime does pay sometimes. The former New Jersey Governor got to brag he was vindicated. Whatever you say, man -- you’re still Chris Christie.
Toronto Defeats Google Takeover
Google is pulling the plug on what was supposed to be showcase for its effort to take over urban planning, city by city, around the world. The company is blaming coronavirus for its decision. But locals in Toronto are crediting two years of political pressure by a broad coalition
of local interests_._ Toronto is where Google’s Trojan Horse subsidiary, Sidewalk Labs, had hoped to build a private neighborhood called Quayside on the downtown lakeshore. The project was at one point supposed to encompass over one-hundred and ninety acres. That’s well over one-hundred city blocks. This proved controversial. Especially since planners approved a more modest, twelve-acre project -- before Google came back with this crazy plan to take over the city. Some of the company’s ideas weren’t even legal. It wasn’t even critics saying that, it was Waterfront Toronto, the quasi-public agency that was Google’s partner in the deal.
In addition to the expanding size of the project, many locals were concerned about digital spying. Naturally, Google’s idea of a smart city is one that’s totally covered in cameras and sensors. Others warned that Google wanted to claim an ownership interest in the work done by small businesses in the neighborhood. According to the Globe and Mail newspaper, it was activism around these kind of issues, as much as the real estate downturn, that made Google give up. Now Waterfront Toronto says it might build more public housing at the site. Wait, the real estate people want to do something helpful? And necessary? Are they feeling okay?
AND NOW FOR SOME QUICKER QUICKIES:
A California newspaper obtained what it says is the first known public record confirming sexual assault allegations by Tara Reade against her former employer, Joe Biden. A court declaration from 1996 found by the San Luis Obispo Tribune shows Reade told her ex-husband about the alleged assault in 1993. It doesn’t prove Biden assaulted Reade – but it does show Democrats were not smart to base their defense of Biden on a lack of records. Separately, Fox News released part of its interview with Reade. She says it’s too late for an apology and Biden should end his presidential campaign.
If you live on the East Coast, or the West Coast, expect a spell of intense weather starting today. But as some forecasters are saying, it’s like the coasts will be entering different seasons. Out West, there will be record heat. Back East, record cold. On Saturday, Anchorage, Alaska, will be fifteen degrees warmer than Washington, DC. The weather folks say it’s not normal for so much arctic air to head south at this time in the spring. As you may have noticed, climate change is making extreme weather more common.
Two white men in Georgia were finally charged for the murder of a young black man jogging through the suburbs. The arrests took place yesterday, more than two months after the killing but only days after a graphic video emerged. Gregory and Travis McMichael, sixty- four and thirty-four years old, chased down twenty-five-year-old Ahmaud Arbery in their truck and shot him unprovoked. Prosecutors in two counties initially declined to pursue the case. State police made yesterday’s arrests only after public outcry.
Former Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says he believes in extraterrestrials. Reid, now eighty, retired from the Senate in 2017. In Congress, he was responsible for funding at least two formerly secret programs to investigate UFOs. But his Vice News interview published yesterday was the first time he linked that subject to a search for alien life. He said his former colleagues in Congress should pursue the subject even if their staff try to convince them otherwise. Anything else you want to tell us, Harry?
That’s all for the AM Quickie. Join us this afternoon on the Majority Report. And remember, this Sunday is Mother’s Day.
HOSTS - Sam Seder & Lucie Steiner
WRITER - Corey Pein
PRODUCER - Dorsey Shaw
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER - Brendan Finn