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18 and Counting: United Just Severed Ties With the NRA

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NRA Becomes Toxic

Add United Airlines to the list of companies that are severing partnerships with the NRA. Earlier Saturday morning Delta Airlines also cut ties to the gun group.

The NRA is facing a massive backlash unlike ever before, after 17 people were shot to death last week in a tragic high school massacre. Student survivors and activists and celebrities and many other Americans have been urging companies that partner with the NRA to stop their support of the gun lobby.

ThinkProgress has been one of the organizations leading the charge by identifying companies that have developed partnerships with the gun lobby. A story it published Tuesday has led to the now 18 companies, including United and Delta, who are finding the NRA is toxic.

RELATED: Delta Just Became the Latest Company to Join the Flight From Toxic NRA

Among them are these:

Alamo
Avis
Budget
Chubb
Delta
Enterprise
FNB Omaha
Hertz
LifeLock
MetLife
National
Norton
SimpliSafe
Teladoc
TrueCar
United

Image by InSapphoWeTrust via Flickr and a CC license

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Trump to Announce Billions in Aid To Puerto Rico in Desperate Attempt to Win Florida

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President Donald Trump on Friday will announce a multi-billion dollar federal aid package for Puerto Rico, with most of the funds to be used to rebuild the U.S. territory’s power grid, devastated by hurricanes that attack the island every year.

The desperately needed assistance comes after Trump has spent his entire tenure in office attacking Puerto Rico, its leaders, and complaining repeatedly about congressionally-approved funds for the overlooked island. Recently it was revealed he wanted to sell Puerto Rico, after the 2017 Hurricane Maria that took the lives of 3059 people, and did nearly $92 billion in damage.

CBS News’ David Begnaud broke the story:

Trump has fought giving assistance to Puerto Rico, and called it “one of the most corrupt places on earth.”

He denied the death toll from Hurricane Maria, which in large part came from his mismanagement of the crisis. Some have said his performance then was a precursor of his disastrous performance with the coronavirus pandemic.

Others note the announcement comes just weeks before the presidential election, and see it as an attempt to win Florida. Many Puerto Ricans moved to Florida after Hurricane Maria. Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens but do not have the right to vote. Those who moved to Florida do, after changing their residence.

They likely will not forget his visit in October of 2017, when he threw rolls of paper towels to Puerto Ricans in need at a disaster relief distribution center near San Juan.

The amount of federal funds appears to be in flux, with Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer saying the White House agreed to nearly $10 billion, and the Governor of Puerto Rico, Wanda Vázquez Garced, saying $13 billion. There are multiple aid packages which could account for the different amounts.

 

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DEPRAVED INDIFFERENCE

‘We’re Screwed’: New Details Emerge About Jared Kushner’s Refusal to Help Battle COVID-19

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Jared Kushner resisted taking a role in fighting the coronavirus pandemic from the very beginning, according to a new report about the White House response.

A bipartisan group of heavy hitters and business leaders met March 20 at the Federal Emergency Management Agency to discuss how to make and distribute personal protective equipment, and certain government officials urged them to return the next day to meet with President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior White House adviser, reported Vanity Fair.

“The federal government is not going to lead this response,” Kushner told the group at the start of the meeting, seated in a chair taller than the others around the conference table. “It’s up to the states to figure out what they want to do.”

Kushner had formed a “shadow task force” that ran parallel to one led by Vice President Mike Pence, and private sector representatives had pledged to produce PPEs if the federal government promised to buy them, and they wanted the president to invoke the Defense Production Act to make that happen quickly.

“We were all saying, ‘Mr. Kushner, if you want to fix this problem for PPE and ventilators, there’s a path to do it, but you have to make a policy change,’” recalled one person who attended the meeting.

Kushner got “very aggressive” and insisted they didn’t understand how government worked as well as he did, although that attendee said his arguments “made no sense.”

“It felt like Kushner was the president,” that person said. “He sat in the chair and he was clearly making the decisions.”

One attendee told Kushner that Americans were bidding against each other for the limited supply of PPE, and that person explained that businesses that wanted to help were looking for leadership from the federal government.

“Free markets will solve this,” Kushner replied. “That is not the role of government.”

That same person agreed that open markets could solve many problems, but he said the system was breaking under the crisis, pointing to a CNN report about New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s desperation for supplies.

“That’s the CNN bullsh*t,” Kushner told that person. “They lie.”

Another attendee said that prompted a rant by Kushner against the Democratic governor.

“Cuomo didn’t pound the phones hard enough to get PPE for his state,” Kushner said. “His people are going to suffer and that’s their problem.”

Other attendees were shocked and alarmed.

“That’s when I was like, we’re screwed,” an attendee said.

 

 

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WHAM!

Biden Slams Trump: If the President Had Any Confidence He Was Likely to Win the Election He Wouldn’t Be Doing This

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Former Vice President Joe Biden slammed President Donald Trump in a CNN town hall Thursday night.

“The president just this morning,” CNN’s Anderson Cooper told Biden, “tweeted that the results from the November election ‘may never be accurately determined.’ Given everything that we’ve been hearing from the president I’m wondering what you expect the days and weeks after the election to look like.”

“Look,” Biden responded, “if the president had even remote confidence he was likely to win the election he wouldn’t be doing this.”

“Remember,” Biden continued, “I said some months ago, I predict the president is going to try to move the election date. Everybody said he’d never do that. Guess what, he suggested maybe we should move the election date, postpone the election.”

“I mean,” Biden concluded, after slamming the postmaster general, “it’s just, it’s all about trying to de legitimize the effort.”

Watch:

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