It’s going to be “Infrastructure Week,” again, apparently.
President Donald Trump on Tuesday tweeted that he wants to begin “Phase 4” (there was never an actual Phase 1, 2, or 3) of “our decades long awaited Infrastructure Bill” – proving he has never accomplished this goal that he keeps trotting out, often as a distraction.
“With interest rates for the United States being at ZERO, this is the time to do our decades long awaited Infrastructure Bill,” Trump tweeted. “It should be VERY BIG & BOLD, Two Trillion Dollars, and be focused solely on jobs and rebuilding the once great infrastructure of our Country! Phase 4.”
The Washington Post’s JM Rieger notes this would be at least the eighth time Trump has tried this.
Trump calls for new infrastructure legislation amid the coronavirus pandemic.
— JM Rieger (@RiegerReport) March 31, 2020
Economist David Rothschild says if Trump had actually done a trillion-dollar infrastructure bill when he first took office it would have been “popular” and “productive.”
All kidding aside, if President Trump actually did $1 trillion infrastructure investment 3 years ago: roads, trains, broadband, etc., would have been super popular & productive. But controlling Congress, he focused on cutting tax for super rich & ending healthcare for 30+ million
— David Rothschild (@DavMicRot) March 31, 2020
Many on social media noted that construction workers, like many if not most Americans, are currently under stay-at-home directions, what the nation really needs right now is PPE, ventilators, and rent and mortgage checks, and food. Some called for a focus on creating a now very-proven necessary universal healthcare system. And some called for invoking the 25th Amendment.
The green new deal is an infrastructure bill
— Patrick Staunton (@PatrickinNOLA) March 31, 2020
With the Coronavirus death toll peak still weeks away and many Americans with ZERO access to healthcare, this is the time to do our decades long awaited Universal Healthcare System. It should be VERY BIG & BOLD, and ensure healthcare for all people like in civilized countries. https://t.co/fvmfDpv49r
— Stonekettle (@Stonekettle) March 31, 2020
Also, there is no economic stimulus until the Americans are protected from evictions and utility shutoffs because they can’t work.
— Tom Shafer (@TomShafShafer) March 31, 2020
— Spartan Jay Jay (@SpartanJayJay) March 31, 2020
Ah, so it’s infrastructure week again. The writers are getting lazy. https://t.co/UP0kzHtcvA
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) March 31, 2020
G-d help us. We need the 25th Amendment. You are nuts!
— Amy Siskind 🏳️🌈 (@Amy_Siskind) March 31, 2020
Infrastructure now = Ventilators
— Henrynathanmia (@henrynathanmia) March 31, 2020
If a pandemic is not the wakeup call to have universal healthcare, then nothing will be. Doctors have already turned away a 17-year-old boy desperately seeking help because he had no health insurance. They told him to go to the ER and he had a heart attack on the way and died.
— Eugene Gu, MD (@eugenegu) March 31, 2020
— Paul van der Meer (@Paul_VanDerMeer) March 31, 2020
How are we gonna pay for that, Donald? Last I checked you wanted to cut healthcare and food stamps for the poor, so clearly we don’t have money.
— Chris B (@ChrisBEsq) March 31, 2020
It’s always Infrastructure Week in Coronamerica https://t.co/Qj8uN6Ceyi
— Xeni Jardin, Isolated (@xeni) March 31, 2020
Do cemetery plots fall with the scope of Infrastructure Week?
People are dying and Trump is talking about interest rates.
— Red T Raccoon (@RedTRaccoon) March 31, 2020
Infrastructure Week Apocalypse Edition.
How about we just focus on not managing to kill 200,000 Americans and calling it a victory for now, chief? https://t.co/vrUE1Fbk4A
— Shelly (@TexHellCat) March 31, 2020
Nobody does better job of proving @realDonaldTrump's a dangerously unfit malignant narcissist than the man himself, who can't resist throwing anything out there he thinks will save his butt, which only succeeds in making his lack of fitness more clear.#25th https://t.co/6Tv6JjuvIR pic.twitter.com/h2sjV7RbeY
— Terri Fraracci (@TerriFraracci) March 31, 2020
infrastructure week is back, so, locusts https://t.co/3Vs2JImvNq
— Oliver Willis (@owillis) March 31, 2020
Image: Official White House Photo by Benjamin Applebaum via Flickr
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Watch: Dr. Fauci Turns Tables on Rand Paul, Smacks Down Senator for Pushing for Kids to Go Back to School
“We really better be very careful, particularly when it comes to children.”
Dr. Anthony Fauci turned the tables on Senator Rand Paul Tuesday, after the Kentucky Republican suggested the immunologist and director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) should be more humble and even point-blank told him he was not the “end all” when it comes to knowing about the coronavirus.
Senator Paul, who recovered after contracting COVID-19, was pushing for schools to re-open, suggesting the coronavirus doesn’t kill many children.
“Shouldn’t we at least be discussing what the mortality of children is?” Paul asked Fauci, saying for those 18 and younger it “approaches zero.”
“We never reached any sort of pandemic levels in Kentucky and other [rural] states,” Paul insisted. “Outside of New England, we’ve had a relatively benign course for this virus nationwide.”
That’s false. New York, which has been the epicenter of the disease for most of the time, is not in New England. Illinois now ranks number three in total deaths. Louisiana ranks fifth in deaths per capita. D.C. ranks sixth, followed by Michigan – which ranks fourth in total deaths.
Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA) tweeted a quick smack-down of Senator Paul’s provably false claims: “Warren County, Kentucky – where Rand Paul lives – has more COVID-19 cases per capita than 51 of the 67 counties in New England states.”
Sen. Paul then went after Dr. Fauci, saying, “I think we ought to have a little humility in our belief we know what’s best for the economy.”
“As much as I respect you Dr. Fauci, I don’t think you’re the end-all. I don’t think you get to make a decision.”
Paul also said “the facts” will show there will not be another surge, saying, “I think it’s a huge mistake if we don’t open the schools in the fall.”
Fauci never advocated for not opening schools, so it’s unclear why Paul was attacking him for that. Even Chairman Lamar Alexander suggested Fauci tell Paul he had not said that.
“I have never made myself out to be the ‘end all’ and only voice in this,” Fauci responded. “I’m a scientist, a physician and a public health official. I don’t give advice about economic things, I don’t give advice about anything other than public health.”
And then he delivered a smack-down to Senator Paul.
“You used the word that we should be ‘humble’ about what we don’t know. And I think that falls under the fact that we don’t know everything about this virus, and we really better be very careful, particularly when it comes to children.”
“Because the more and more we learn, we’re seeing things about what this virus can do, that we didn’t see from the studies in China, or in Europe. For example, right now, children presenting with COVID-19 symptoms, who actually have a very strange inflammatory syndrome, very similar to Kawasaki Syndrome,” he said.
“I think we better be careful that we’re not cavalier, in thinking that children are completely immune to the deleterious effects,” Fauci warned.
Sen. Rand Paul: “I don’t think you’re the end all. I don’t think you’re the one person that gets to make a decision.”
Dr. Anthony Fauci: “I have never made myself out to be the end all and only voice in this. I’m a scientist, a physician and a public health official.” pic.twitter.com/Nqlg3zOqn3
— CSPAN (@cspan) May 12, 2020
Listen: Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Burns Trump’s Solicitor General During Landmark Tax Return Case
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg burned the Justice Department’s solicitor general during a hearing on President Donald Trump’s tax records.
The court heard arguments Tuesday in Trump v. Mazars USA, LLP, where solicitor general Jeffrey Wall argued that Congress should not be able to subpoena the president’s personal tax records without a clear legislative purpose — and Ginsburg fired back.
“The purpose of investigation is to frame the legislation,” Ginsburg said. “You don’t have the legislation in mind. You want to explore what is the problem, what legislative change and reduce or eliminate the problem. For example, the Ethics in Government Act, Congress may decide that it needs to beef up that legislation. It may also decide that, for financial disclosure purposes, there should be disclosure of tax returns, so those are legislative purposes, investigate to see if you need legislation of that sort.”
The justice then called out the solicitor general for holding Congress to a lower standard than the court typically held a police officer working a beat for argument’s sake.
“To impugn Congress’s motive, and even the policeman on the beat, if he stops a car and gives a reason that the car went through a stop sign, you don’t allow an investigation into what the subjective motive really was,” she said. “Here you are distrusting Congress more than the cop on the beat.”
Wall insisted he agreed that Congress had the authority to carry out investigations to determine whether legislation was necessary, but he said the standard should be higher when it involved a president’s conduct.
“When the inquiry involves the president, that you need a somewhat higher standard with respect to purpose because the room for regulating the president is so much narrower with respect to private parties,” Wall argued. “Because of the dangers of harassing and distracting and undermining the president, and that is a common theme that runs through the court cases, that the president has some measure of protection because you cannot proceed against the president as against an ordinary litigant. I’m saying Congress is not met that standard here.”
Ginsburg got in one last jab before her time ran out.
“How did that work out in the Paula Jones case?” she said.
‘One of the Really Dumb Ideas of All Time’: Cuomo Blasts McConnell’s ‘Ugly’ Call to Withhold Funds From Blue States
New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo is criticizing Senate Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s refusal to allow the federal government to help states struggling under the weight of millions if not billions of dollars of unexpected coronavirus spending while seeing their revenues drastically contract.
Gov. Cuomo called McConnell’s desire to withhold aid from states, because states that need the help the most are largely blue states, “dumb” and “ugly,” and McConnell’s desire to divide the nation during a pandemic “irresponsible” and “reckless.”
“How ugly a thought,” Cuomo declared during his Thursday news conference. “Just think of what he’s saying. ‘People died. 15,000 people died in New York, but they were predominantly Democrats, so why should we help them?’”
“For crying out loud, if there was ever a time, for you to put aside your pettiness and your partisanship, and this political lens that you see the world through – ‘Democrat and Republican and we help Republicans but we don’t help Democrats’ – that’s not who we are,” Cuomo calmly said, blasting McConnell.
Cuomo also criticized McConnell’s “obsessive political bias and anger.”
Cuomo slams McConnell’s “irresponsible and reckless” comments on “blue state bailouts.” pic.twitter.com/y7tX2uohej
— TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) April 23, 2020
Calling helping out states burdened by coronavirus a “blue state bailout,” McConnell on Wednesday said governors “would love to have free money.”
“I would certainly be in favor of allowing states to use the bankruptcy route,” McConnell added. There is no current “bankruptcy route” for states – the Constitution prohibits it.
Gov. Cuomo called McConnell’s bankruptcy suggestion “one of the really dumb ideas of all time.”
— CBS News (@CBSNews) April 23, 2020
Cuomo also reminded McConnell that his home state of Kentucky takes in billions more from the federal government than it sends to the federal government. New York is one of just seven states that sends more to the federal government than it receives back.
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