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CORRUPTION

Exposed: The 7 Most Shocking Things In the 5,593 Page Stimulus Bill

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Mitch McConnell, Speaking on Fox News Sunday

On Monday, congressional leaders finally unveiled the text of the coronavirus stimulus package.

The bill is 5,593 pages, meaning it is basically impossible for any member of Congress to read the legislation prior to voting on it this evening.

“Let’s say the vote is at 8 pm in the House, lawmakers could technically read the Covid relief/omnibus bill at a rough rate of about 4 seconds per page,” HuffPost correspondent Tara Golshan reported. “Basically read Infinite Jest five times over and then some in six hours.”

Here are seven shocking facts about the legislation that have been discovered so far.

Five pages on reincarnation

Beginning on page 5099 of the bill PDF file, the bill spends five pages laying out the process for determining who will be recognized as the next reincarnation of the Dalia Lama.

The language on reincarnation was spotted by Lisa Desjardins of PBS news.

Filing for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) will be more difficult.

Unemployed workers seeking PUA will have to provide documentation within 21 days.

David Dayen, the executive editor of The Prospect, says the new rule is “an effective tax on people’s time.

Owners of race horses got a tax break

While Americans will only get up-to $600 in direct financial aid in the bill, racehorse owners will receive a tax break.

The tax break was noticed by Lee Fang of The Intercept.

Two new museums will be established

One of the little-notices aspects of the bill is that it will authorize two new museums.

CNN reporter Lauren Fox noticed the bill will establish a new American Women’s History Museum and National Museum of the American Latino.

The new eviction moratorium only lasts for five weeks

Despite the looming eviction crisis, the new bill only extends protections until the end of January.

The length of the eviction moratorium was noted by Elizabeth Landers of Vice News.

Stimulus bill decriminalizes unauthorized use of Smokey the Bear

Department of Agriculture propaganda icon Smokey the Bear was also included in the legislation addressing the coronavirus economic crisis.

The legislative language was reported by Erik Wasson of Bloomberg news.

Stimulus includes “three martini” lunch deductions for corporations

While Americans wait in bread lines, big corporations got the “three martini” tax cut that was pushed by Donald Trump, as reported by Jeff Stein of The Washington Post.

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CORRUPTION

Matt Gaetz Begged Donald Trump for a ‘Blanket Pardon’ Before He Left Office: NYTimes

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Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) was among those who asked for a pardon from President Donald Trump before he left office, the New York Times reported.

While Gaetz spoke to Fox News saying that Trump should pardon anyone and everyone, now it has been revealed why he was so excited about that.

A pardon requires that one outline the crimes that they were guilty of. According to the Times, however, Gaetz wanted a preemptive pardon for himself and “unidentified congressional allies for any crimes they may have committed, according to two people told of the discussions.”

At the time that Gaetz was calling for the pardons, and asking for his own pardon, the Justice Department had started questioning Gaetz’s associates about whether he had a sexual relationship with an underage girl that also violated sex trafficking laws.

“It was unclear whether Mr. Gaetz or the White House knew at the time about the inquiry, or who else he sought pardons for. Mr. Gaetz did not tell White House aides that he was under investigation for potential sex trafficking violations when he made the request. But top White House lawyers and officials viewed the request for a pre-emptive pardon as a nonstarter that would set a bad precedent,” the Times said, quoting the people familiar said.

Aides told Trump about the request, but it’s unknown if Gaetz reached out to Trump personally.

 

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CORRUPTION

Controversial High-Level Trump Official Banned From Federal Employment for 4 Years After Hatch Violation: Report

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A highly-controversial now-former Trump political appointee who worked at the Dept. of Housing and Urban Development has been fined $1000 and is banned from federal employment for four years, the U.S. Office of Special Counsel announced Tuesday.

Lynne Patton, who was hired by the Trump administration into a high-level role at HUD after being the wedding planner for Eric Trump and working at the Eric Trump Foundation, admitted to violating the Hatch Act.

“As part of the agreement Patton admitted to violating the Hatch Act by using her official position to produce a video about housing conditions for the Republican National Convention,” an OSC statement (below) reads. “As a HUD employee Patton received permission in early 2019 to temporarily live in and observe living conditions in the New York City Housing Authority. During her approximately one month stay Patton met residents and later leveraged one of those relationships to recruit participants to film a video that would air at the the RNC. Patton wanted NYCHA residents to appear in the video to explain how their standard of living had improved under the Trump administration.”

A 2016 Associated Press article on the lack of minority senior executives “in Trump’s empire” described Patton as “Eric Trump’s longtime personal assistant.”

“After the AP questioned the campaign’s citation of her as a Trump Organization executive, her title on the Eric Trump Foundation’s website and her profile on the LinkedIn service was changed to ‘vice president of the Eric Trump Foundation.’ That position did not appear on the foundation’s most recent tax filing for 2014, which said Patton was one of 16 unpaid directors who devote approximately one hour per week to the charity.”

Tenants were outraged at being used in the RNC video, according to this local NYC news report:

 

Related: Calls Grow for Trump Official to Resign After Calling Reporter April Ryan ‘Miss Piggy’

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CORRUPTION

‘60 Minutes’ Nails Ron DeSantis in Vaccine ‘Pay to Play’ — With Program Allowing the Rich to Fly in for Shots

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Last week, an angry Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) snapped at a CBS reporter asking about evidence showing a kind of “pay to play” scandal that favored the wealthy to get COVID-19 vaccinations first.

Community health officials have said that the Florida vaccine roll-out favors the rich over the rest of Florida residents, the report said.

“Florida’s rollout started pretty typically,” the report said. “The first doses were given to healthcare workers and nursing home residents in early December. But then, a few weeks later, Gov. Ron DeSantis, breaking from C.D.C. guidelines, announced he would not vaccinate teachers and essential workers next, but instead put ‘seniors first,’ making anyone 65 or over eligible for the vaccine, the first in the country to do that. DeSantis said seniors were at highest risk.”

Community health officials have said that the Florida vaccine roll-out favors the rich over the rest of Florida residents, the report said.

“Florida’s rollout started pretty typically,” the report said. “The first doses were given to healthcare workers and nursing home residents in early December. But then, a few weeks later, Gov. Ron DeSantis, breaking from C.D.C. guidelines, announced he would not vaccinate teachers and essential workers next, but instead put ‘seniors first,’ making anyone 65 or over eligible for the vaccine, the first in the country to do that. DeSantis said seniors were at highest risk.”

It caused a run on the vaccine, websites crashed and it was extremely difficult.

“Almost immediately the line-jumping started,” said the report.

West Palm Beach Mayor Keith James was trying to get vaccines for the town’s firefighters, but he later learned that some wealthy board members of a nursing home who were able to be vaccinated.

“Then, the private jets started arriving,” said the report. “Hollywood moguls, New York socialites and tourists from overseas were getting vaccinated in Florida, posting on social media and sparking outrage. Early on, there were no residency requirements to get vaccinated in the state.”

Mayor James said that there were simply no rules and everyone was taking advantage of it.

See the full report from CBS News:

 

Image by Gage Skidmore via Flickr and a CC license

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