August 15, 2020

Week 196

Experts in authoritarianism advise to keep a list of things
subtly changing around you, so you’ll remember.

This week, presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden chose his running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris, the first Black and Asian American vice presidential candidate. An oddly unprepared Trump campaign and Republican Party reacted with a deluge of sexist and racist attacks, including shameful accusations of “birtherism.” Trump also threw his support behind a House candidate who espouses the QAnon conspiracy theory and is openly racist, raising serious concerns again about the future of the Republican Party.

This week, as polls continued to show Trump down to Biden nationally and in key battleground states, and despite the pandemic continuing to impact much of the country, Trump openly said he would block needed funding for the U.S. Post Office in an effort to thwart mail-in voting for the November election. An incredible admission, but yet Republicans seemed largely unwilling to call him out, or band with Democrats to protect this basic tenet not only of American democracy, but of everyday life. As democracies around the world looked on in horror at a stolen election in Belarus, Americans were left to wonder if we were next — with Trump’s efforts to compromise the upcoming election.

This was another week full of stories of corruption, kleptocracy, and division, as an exhausted America, that couldn’t even agree on a scientifically proven measure like wearing masks, faced an uncertain election in 80 days. Even as tens of millions of Americans were still without a weekly unemployment payment, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell adjourned the Senate until mid-September, and Trump headed back to the golf course.

  1. On Sunday, the U.S. surpassed 5 million coronavirus cases. It took 99 days to reach 1 million cases, 43 days to reach 2 million, 28 days to reach 3 million, 15 days to reach 4 million, and 17 days to reach 5 million.
  2. Five states — California, Florida, Texas, New York, and Georgia — made up 40% of cases. Nearly 163,000 had died. Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced New York, with a positivity rate below 1%, would reopen schools.
  3. On Monday, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association said in a report at least 97,000 U.S. children tested positive for Covid-19 in the last 2 weeks of July alone. 338,000 children have tested positive overall since the pandemic began.
  4. The report also found a 90% increase in children testing positive in the last four weeks. There were nearly 180,000 new Covid-19 cases among children between July 9 and August 6, although fewer than 0.5% had died.
  5. On Sunday, CNN reported a new report by Bambridge Accountants found a record 5,800 Americans gave up their citizenship in the first six months of 2020, up from 2,072 for all of 2019.
  6. On Wednesday, NYT reported that a video of a Bible burning in Portland, widely shared by conservative media including The Federalist and New York Post, as well as Sen. Ted Cruz, originated with a Kremlin-backed video agency.
  7. The video, which appeared to show a stack of Bibles being burned and then topped off with American flags, but was really a few protestors burning a single Bible, was the first viral Russian disinformation hit of the 2020 election.
  8. On Saturday, Connecting Vets reported veterans were reporting long wait times to receive critical medication due to Postal Service delays. Nearly 80% of Department of Veterans Affairs prescriptions are filled by mail.
  9. On Saturday, WAPO reported White House chief of staff Mark Meadows no longer holds daily 8 a.m. meetings with health officials on the pandemic, instead focused on convincing the public Trump has it under control.
  10. Meadows is also skeptical of Drs. Deborah Birx and Anthony Fauci, questioning their expertise, and during meetings has repeatedly questioned the scientific consensus on wearing masks to contain spread.
  11. Although Birx and Fauci sit in on task force meetings, decisions are made by Meadows, Jared Kushner, and strategic communications director Alyssa Farah. The policy process has fallen apart under Meadows.
  12. Sources say a “politics-first, science-second attitude” has become pervasive in the White House. To help Trump’s re-election chances, the regime had a stand down on publicly engaging on the virus for all of June.
  13. In July, when cases surged in red-leaning states Arizona, Texas, and Florida, and polling on Trump’s handling of the coronavirus sank, the regime restarted public activity on the virus, and is now all hands on deck.
  14. Trump and top aides talk about the virus as a plague that will dissipate, despite Trump’s Council on Economic Advisers predicting a looming disaster, with an new uptick starting in late August in the Midwest and elsewhere.
  15. Trump solicits advice from many voices. Trump met with Andrew Whitney, a biopharmaceuticals exec with limited health background, who pitched a botanical extract. The meeting was arranged by the CEO of MyPillow.
  16. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi blamed Trump for the summer resurgence, saying, “The delay, the denial …the hoax that it’s going to go away magically…we’ll be in church together by Easter, caused death.”
  17. On Saturday, Trump attempted to bypass Congress, signing four executive orders at a news conference at his Bedminster club, which would make dramatic changes to tax and spending policy.
  18. Trump blamed Democrats for not meeting his demands, and said his orders “will take care of pretty much this entire situation.” He also incorrectly characterized them as bills, which is what Congress passes.
  19. One measure would provide $400 in unemployment aid per week, but required states to put up 25% and administer the program. Experts said it would take months to set up. Trump did not consult with governors ahead of the order.
  20. Another measure would defer, not cut, payroll tax payments for those making less than $100,000. Trump said if he wins reelection, he would “terminate” the taxes owed — which he would not have the power to do.
  21. Trump claimed he would use unspent money from the Cares Act to extend unemployment benefits. However, some experts said he has no legal basis to unilaterally do so. The orders also did not address multiple critical issues.
  22. Experts noted that employers would be under to obligation to stop withholding payroll taxes, and lawmakers from both parties noted that those programs finance both Social Security and Medicare.
  23. At the news conference, Trump also falsely claimed Democrats are trying to end signature verification for ballots, saying, “They want to try and steal this election because, frankly, it’s the only way they can win the election.
  24. Sen. Ben Sasse was the only Republican to speak out on the executive order, saying in a statement, “the pen-and-phone theory of executive lawmaking is unconstitutional slop.”
  25. On Saturday, Forbes reported Trump’s much-hyped $765 million plan to turn filmmaker Eastman Kodak Company into a pharmaceutical maker was put on hold after concerns over insider trading.
  26. The U.S. International Development Finance Corp, or DFC, the obscure government agency Trump tapped to figure out how to spur U.S. production said, “recent allegations of wrongdoing raise serious concerns.”
  27. Kodak, which nearly went bankrupt, said in a news release it was appointing a “special committee of independent directors…to oversee an internal review of recent activity by the company and related parties.’
  28. On Sunday, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow attempted to explain how the $400 per week payment would work, and seemed confused himself, admitting the regime had not spoken to governors.
  29. Kudlow also said Trump “did not mean that he was eliminating the Social Security tax” with his orders, and again seemed confused about the intent and difference between deferral and forgiveness.
  30. On Sunday, Pelosi told “State of the Union” Trump’s orders are “absurdly unconstitutional,” adding either Trump “doesn’t know what he’s talking about” or how to meet “the needs of the American people at this time.”
  31. Pelosi also told “Fox News Sunday” Trump’s payroll tax order “is undermining Social Security and Medicare, so these are illusions,” adding, “Social Security and Medicare are funded through payroll taxes.”
  32. On Sunday, NSA Robert O’Brien told “Face the Nation” there would be “severe consequences” for election interference by foreign nations, adding, “Whether their leaders prefer Joe Biden or prefer Donald Trump.”
  33. O’Brien conflated Russia, Iran, and China as having having equal efforts. Pressed on the steps taken to counter interference by Russia, which is clear, O’Brien said, “there’s almost nothing we can sanction left of the Russians.”
  34. O’Brien also seemed to brag of a broken norm of NSA staff being on calls for prior administrations, saying, “Unlike my predecessors, I don’t get involved in conversations the President has with foreign leaders.”
  35. On Sunday, NYT reported Trump met with then newly elected South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem in late 2018 in the Oval Office to say he was interested in having his image etched on Mount Rushmore.
  36. Again in 2019, a Trump aide reached out to Noem to ask about the process to add him. When Trump traveled to SD for July 4th, Noem greeted him with a four-foot replica of Mount Rushmore which included his likeness.
  37. Shortly after, Trump tweeted, “This is Fake News by the failing @nytimes & bad ratings @CNN,” which confirmed NYT reporting, claiming he “Never suggested it,” but added, “sounds like a good idea to me!”
  38. On Sunday, NBC News reported images from Sturgis of packed crowds with no masks at a Smash Mouth concert drew widespread outrage. South Dakota had seen a uptick in cases in recent weeks.
  39. On Sunday, Atlanta Constitution Journal reported Paulding County high school, which became infamous in Week 195 over its crowded hallway photos, will be online for two days after six students and three staffers tested positive.
  40. On Sunday, NYT reported since Canada closed its border to U.S. travelers over the pandemic, Canadian citizens have also taken matters into their own hands and reported Americans trying to cross the border illegally.
  41. Canadians have also damaged cars with U.S. plates on them, for fear of the pandemic spreading. Americans who try to cross the border away from checkpoints face possible fines, jail, or even being banned from Canada.
  42. On Sunday, the New Zealand Ministry of Health confirmed the country had gone 100 days with no new coronavirus cases. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who has been widely praised, is up for re-election in September.
  43. On Sunday, WAPO reported Kanye West’s presidential bid is being buoyed by GOP operatives in at least five states, including some who have publicly supported Trump and a lawyer who worked for his 2020 campaign.
  44. On Sunday, WAPO reported Trump’s public claims and pronouncements are increasingly being ignored, after 3 1/2 years of making outlandish or false statements, leaving him minimized and ignored around the world.
  45. Last week when Trump claimed the deadly explosion in Beirut was an “attack,” without evidence, it was met with a shrug. Normally such a pronouncement by a U.S. president would set off worldwide alarms.
  46. In battling Covid-19, many governors and school districts have disregarded Trump’s nebulous recommendations. Trump’s own public health officials often contradict him in public.
  47. Congressional Republicans never seriously entertained Trump’s desire for a payroll tax cut in the relief bill. Biden often ignores Trump, and has made Trump’s lack of credibility eroding the presidency a core theme.
  48. Later Sunday, Attorney General William Barr told Fox News liberals are intent on “tearing down the system,” adding, “They’re not interested in compromise,” and, “It’s a secular religion. It’s a substitute for a religion.”
  49. Barr also called Black Lives Matter “a revolutionary group that is interested in some form of socialism, communism,” adding, “They’re essentially Bolsheviks.”
  50. Barr also called antifa a “new form of guerrilla warfare,” who are “shrouding themselves in First Amendment activity,” and lied that “They hijack these demonstrations and they provoke violence.”
  51. Later Sunday, Trump told reporters while departing from Bedminster that Democrats had reached out to him to make a deal on the relief package, after he took unilateral action with executive orders.
  52. Later Sunday, widespread protests broke out in Belarus after Alexander Lukashenko, who has ruled for 26 years, claimed he won a landslide victory. Riot police used teargas, pepper spray, and rubber bullets.
  53. Clashes continued in the streets of Minsk and other cities in the following days as Lukashenko’s opponent Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya left the country. The E.U. warned of possible sanctions due to a massive police crackdown.
  54. On Monday, China announced sanctions on 11 Americans, including six lawmakers, for “behaving badly on Hong Kong-related issues.” Sens. Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and Josh Hawley were among those sanctioned.
  55. On Monday, Trump attacked Sen. Sasse, calling him “RINO” and saying he “needed my support and endorsement in order to get the Republican nomination… (Thank you President T)” and now has “gone rogue, again.”
  56. On Monday, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer told MSNBC Trump’s claims that Democrats called Trump were “fables,” adding, “That’s what he seems to specialize in. I didn’t call him. Speaker Pelosi didn’t call him.”
  57. Shortly after, Trump tweeted, “So now Schumer and Pelosi want to meet to make a deal,” claiming they want “BAILOUT MONEY for Democrat run states and cities that are failing badly…They know my phone number!”
  58. On Monday, CNN reported that Trump and Pelosi have not spoken for nearly 10 months. Trump called three times last Thursday during the negotiations, but only spoke to Meadows.
  59. On Monday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the new head of the National Association of Governors, said he had spoken to other governors and Trump’s plan for states to pay $100 of the $400 a week was not workable.
  60. Cuomo said, “I hope this was just a tactic” by Trump, adding, “If he thinks this is a resolution, this only makes a bad situation worse,” and, “My advice to the president is when you are in a hole, stop digging.”
  61. On Monday, former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci accused Trump on Fox News of politicizing the coronavirus and shrinking the GOP base, adding, “He is a divider…He is creating hate.”
  62. Shortly after, Trump tweeted Scaramucci “made a fool of himself,” adding, he “only lasted 11 days…before being fired for, again, making a fool of himself. Anthony is a loser who begged to come back. I said “No Thanks”.”
  63. On Monday, amid unrest in Chicago and Portland, Trump tweeted Portland “is out of control, should finally, after almost 3 months, bring in the National Guard,” adding, “The Guard is ready to act immediately.”
  64. On Monday, Detroit Free Press reported the Big Ten presidents voted 12-2 to cancel the football season, with only Nebraska and Iowa voting to play, due to the coronavirus.
  65. Shortly after, as other leagues were evaluating whether to cancel, Trump tweeted, “Play College Football!
  66. On Monday, Vice President Mike Pence also tweeted, “America needs College Football!” adding, “These Great athletes have worked their whole lives for the opportunity compete” and they “deserve” to play.
  67. On Monday, Trump tweeted his renomination speech would take place at either the Civil War battlefield in Gettysburg or the White House. Both raise ethical issues of conducting partisan business on federal property.
  68. Historian David Brinkley called it “a bit nutty,” saying Trump giving a self-aggrandizing speech in “the middle of the battlefield and cemetery at Gettysburg. I can’t think of a worse idea.”
  69. On Monday, Georgia State Rep. Beth Moore said she has received 200 whistleblower emails from teachers, including one with 27 kids and no masks: “My principal is joking to people that this is ‘god’s cleansing plan’.”
  70. On Monday, Texas Tribune reported the amount of coronavirus testing has plummeted by 42% in Texas from two weeks earlier, while the positivity rate has jumped from 14% to 20%.
  71. On Monday, a viral video in Arizona showed a son carrying his father out of a supermarket after his anti-mask rant, and threatening customers, saying, “Show me how tough you are. I’ll beat that f — -ing mask off your face.”
  72. On Monday, a 17-year-old worker at Pennsylvania theme park Sesame Place suffered a displaced jaw after he was assaulted by a couple for reminding them to wear a mask.
  73. On Monday, Jeanne Shaheen, ranking member on the Senate Commerce-Justice-Science Appropriations Subcommittee, called for the Commerce Department IG to investigate the decision to cut the census count short.
  74. Shaheen wrote, “I believe that this deviation…is driven not by expert opinions of career Census Bureau employees but by external pressure” from the White House, and asked the IG to access the impact on the accuracy of the count.
  75. On Monday, NPR reported according to a postal service worker in Waterloo, Iowa, the USPS had a sorting machine moved out of her area as well as others in Iowa, and has banned overtime, as mail piles up.
  76. She also said the Postal Service’s new polices are “not allowing us to deliver every piece every day, adding the measures will not save money but will “undermine the public confidence in the mail service.”
  77. On Monday, NBC News reported an internal investigation by Facebook uncovered thousands of groups and pages, with millions of members and followers, that support the QAnon conspiracy theory on its platform.
  78. A Facebook employee said the investigation results will inform steps the platform takes to address the issue. An announcement is also set to address “militias and other violent social movements” on the platform.
  79. On Monday, at his daily briefing, Trump was abruptly pulled out of the briefing room by Secret Service after shots were fired outside the White House by a 51 year-old man who charged at an officer and was shot.
  80. The White House complex was not breached. Shortly after, Trump returned to the lectern. Asked if he was rattled, he said, “I don’t know….do I seem rattled?” adding the world has “always been a dangerous place.”
  81. Trump doubled down on his claim from last week that Biden is anti-religion, saying Biden is “against God” based on the policies in his unity task force with Bernie Sanders, saying, “you just can’t put that into the realm of a religious group of people, I will say that.”
  82. Trump also lied, saying, “Look, the Obama campaign spied on our campaign and they’ve been caught…Now let’s see what happens to them,” adding, “It’s probably treason. It’s a horrible thing they did.”
  83. Asked about his push to reopen schools despite the spike in children’s cases, Trump said, “for the most part, they don’t get very sick,” and if they do “there’s a tiny fraction of death…and they get better very quickly.”
  84. Trump also sought to downplay the virus saying, “Countries in every continent are seeing increases in cases in recent days,” citing a series of countries, most of whose outbreaks were not as severe as the U.S.
  85. Trump also compared Covid-19 to the 1918 flu pandemic— which he continued to call the “1917” flu — claiming the 50 to 100 million people lost “probably ended the Second World War” — which ended in 1945.
  86. Asked about foreign interference, Trump pivoted to criticize mail-in voting, and falsely claimed, “I’ll tell you who is meddling in our election: The Democrats.”
  87. Trump also falsely claimed there were thousands of “missing” and “fraudulent” ballots in a New York Democratic congressional primary, and lied about Virginia ballot applications, calling it “a disaster.”
  88. On Monday, NYT reported the White House has circulated a proposal giving border authorities the extraordinary power to block U.S. citizens and permanent residents from entering from Mexico over Covid-19.
  89. It was unclear if the move would be legal, but one official said the regime is considering declaring a public health emergency to allow it to do so. Health experts say the measure would do little to help given U.S. spread.
  90. On Monday, in a letter to the federal judge, Trump’s lawyers moved to force Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance, Jr. to reveal the details of his inquiry, saying the subpoena amounted to illegal “harassment.”
  91. On Monday, NYT reported Trump’s E.P.A. is expected to lift Obama-era controls on the release of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, in a new rule, the latest in a long series of rules to weaken environmental standards.
  92. The new rule, expected to be announced Friday, would eliminate requirements for oil and gas companies to install technology to detect and fix methane leaks from wells, pipelines, and storage sites.
  93. On Tuesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the Health Ministry had approved the first coronavirus vaccine, offering as proof that one of his daughters had been inoculated.
  94. Russian authorities offered up no proof to back up the vaccines’s safety or effectiveness. The announcement was met with international skepticism, as the shots have been tested on just dozens of people.
  95. On Tuesday, Trump blamed his reluctance to believe U.S. intelligence on Russia on “sleazebags at the highest level like James Comey, proven liar James Clapper,” and “Wacko John Brennan who headed the CIA.”
  96. Trump also attacked John Bolton for comments in an interview in which he claimed Trump trusted Putin more than U.S. intelligence, calling him “one of the dumbest people I’ve met in government.”
  97. On Tuesday, in an interview with Fox Sports Radio, Trump criticized the NBA, saying, “the way they bowed to China, is a disgrace,” and NBA players who kneeled, calling them “very, very nasty and, frankly, very dumb.”
  98. Trump also said NFL officials “want to open badly and they’ve been working with government,” but added, “If they don’t stand for the national anthem, I hope they don’t open.”
  99. On Tuesday, NBC News reported as Trump pushes for schools to reopen, Education Department Secretary Betsy DeVos is working remotely from Michigan in her sprawling waterfront estate, with taxpayer paid security.
  100. On Tuesday, NYT reported 76% of Americans live in states where they will be eligible to vote by mail, the largest amount in history. Roughly 80 million Americans are expected to vote by mail.
  101. In eight states and D.C., every registered voter will be mailed a ballot. In 34 states, voters can cite the pandemic as a reason to vote absentee or can cast an absentee ballot without specifying a reason.
  102. On Tuesday, NYT reported Ivanka and Jared met with Kanye West privately last weekend in Colorado. West was camping with his family in Colorado, and flew without his wife to meet them in Telluride.
  103. Asked to comment, West tweeted, “I’m willing to do a live interview with the New York Time about my meeting with Jared,” saying they discussed his upcoming book. He did not elaborate in a follow up interview.
  104. On Wednesday, West told the Daily Beast that he and Jared speak “almost daily” since he announced his run for president. Sources say Jared has been preying on West’s mental illness.
  105. On Thursday, at a press briefing, Jared said his meeting with West was “a general discussion” about policy, but gave little further detail, adding, “Kanye’s been a friend of mine for, I’ve known him for about 10 years.”
  106. Asked if the two had discussed the 2020 campaign, which would have violated federal law, Jared said, “We had a general discussion, more about policy.”
  107. On Tuesday, WAPO reported judges in a full federal appeals court seemed unlikely to immediately dismiss Michael Flynn’s case, voicing skepticism about preventing Judge Emmet Sullivan from reviewing the DOJ’s actions.
  108. Judge Cornelia Pillard said Sullivan did not appoint the former judge to decide the case, but in an effort to ensure courts “get the law right,” saying, “The integrity and independence of the court is also at play here.”
  109. On Tuesday, Biden announced Sen. Kamala Harris as his running mate for 2020. Harris was the country’s first Black and Asian-American woman candidate for vice president. Harris is of Jamaican and Indian descent.
  110. On Tuesday, at his daily briefing, a subdued Trump said of Harris, “She was extraordinarily nasty to Brett Kavanaugh.” Trump used the word “nasty,” a word he frequently uses on women, four times in his diatribe.
  111. Trump added, “She was nasty to a level that was just a horrible thing. The way she was — the way she treated now-Justice Kavanaugh. And I won’t forget that soon.”
  112. Trump also invoked the racist and misogynistic angry Black woman trope, saying when Harris left the Democratic primary, “She left angry, she left mad,” and added, “There was nobody more insulting to Biden than she was.”
  113. On Tuesday, Trump called in to Fox News host Sean Hannity’s show, calling Harris “the most liberal person, supposedly, in the Senate,” adding, “I’m not sure that’s what the country wants — if it is, we’ve got problems.”
  114. Although the purpose of the interview was meant to focus on Harris, Trump then veered off to a variety of topics from Hillary Clinton to pontificating about “windmills.”
  115. Trump ally Fox News host Tucker Carlson mispronounced Harris’ name and compared Harris to unethical “time-share salesmen.” Eric Trump tweeted then deleted that Harris was a “whorendous pick.
  116. On Wednesday, Trump continued to invoke the suburbs in his failed attempts to win back that key GOP demographic, tweeting, “The “suburban housewife” will be voting for me. They want safety.”
  117. Trump bragged of ending Obama’s anti-discrimination policy, calling it a “program where low income housing would invade their neighborhood,” and said Biden would put Corey Booker, who is Black, in charge.
  118. On Wednesday, a Politico/Morning Consult poll found Biden leading Trump 49% to 40%, and Kanye West drawing 2% support.
  119. On Wednesday, Trump congratulated Marjorie Taylor Greene, a QAnon conspiracy theorist who won her primary in Georgia, calling her a “future Republican Star” and tweeting she “never gives up — a real WINNER!”
  120. In addition to being a QAnon-supporter, Greene has a record of racist, anti-Semitic and Islamophobic comments. At her victory speech Tuesday, she said of Pelosi, “We’re going to kick that bitch out of Congress.”
  121. GOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger condemned QAnon, calling it “a fabrication,” and tweeting, “Could be Russian propaganda or a basement dweller. Regardless, no place in Congress for these conspiracies.”
  122. On Wednesday, the Treasury Department announced the federal deficit grew by $63 billion in July, to a record $2.8 trillion from October through July — a 224% jump from the $867 billion gap a year earlier.
  123. On Wednesday, Reuters reported that Trump has privately discussed replacing Defense Secretary Mark Esper after the election, following a growing number of differences, including the Confederate flag.
  124. On Wednesday, Politico reported Senate Homeland Security Committee Chair Ron Johnson said in an interview that Republicans on his panel are blocking subpoenas to James Comey, John Brennan, and others.
  125. Johnson was pressed by host Hugh Hewitt, saying, “If there’s a senator who is blocking a subpoena, we need to know who that is so we throw them out,” but Johnson said, “I’m just not going to be naming names.”
  126. On Wednesday, Politico reported Trump appointee Michael Pack has continued the purge of the U.S. Agency for Global Media, firing more senior executives.
  127. Two firings were said to be in retaliation for standing up to Pack. Both the chief financial officer and general counsel were fired. Pack already fired the heads of Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.
  128. On Wednesday, Bloomberg reported the Energy Department proposed a rule to ease water efficiency requirements for shower heads, following repeated public complaints by Trump about low water flow.
  129. At his rally in Week 195 in Ohio, Trump said, “if you’re like me, you can’t wash your beautiful hair properly.” If finalized, the rule would subvert a 1992 law signed by George H.W. Bush to save water and energy.
  130. On Wednesday, Motherboard reported, according to interviews with postal workers, the Postal Service is deactivating mail sorting machines ahead of the election, without explanation.
  131. These machines would be used for sorting ballots. Motherboard identified 19 machines at five processing facilities that were already deactivated. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy said on August 7 the USPS has “ample capacity” to handle ballots.
  132. On Wednesday, WAPO reported USPS General Counsel Thomas Marshall informed state leaders sending mail-in ballots using third class may cause voters to miss crucial cutoff points, saying it may take three to 10 days to deliver.
  133. Traditionally, postal workers have treated election mail, including voter registration materials, voter information, and ballots, as first-class which takes two to five days to deliver.
  134. The 47 Democrats in the Senate and 170 House Democrats wrote letters to DeJoy Wednesday night urging him not to change election mail processing practices.
  135. The Postal Service said in a statement it has consistently recommended jurisdictions use first-class mail. The USPS IG found in the 2018 midterm election “facilities typically process[ed] political mail as first-class mail.”
  136. On Wednesday, CNN reported financial disclosures reveal DeJoy holds a large equity stake in his former company, XPO Logistics, a contractor for USPS and other agencies, valued between $30–75 million.
  137. DeJoy also owned stock options which would allow him to benefit if Amazon traded lower. USPS officials signed off on his filing, but federal ethics experts told CNN they were shocked he was granted approval.
  138. On Wednesday, the Cherokee County School District in Georgia said 1,156 students and 37 staffers were under quarantine after reopening last week. The district has reported over 70 positive cases across 21 schools.
  139. A third of those quarantined were from Etowah High School, where dozens of seniors packed shoulder-to-shoulder for a class photo last week. The high school will remain closed until August 31.
  140. On Wednesday, Trump, Pence, and DeVos hosted an event billed as “Getting America’s Children Safely Back to School.” Rather than discussing how to safely reopen, Trump instead threatened funding.
  141. Trump said, “I think the money should follow the student,” adding, “That’s something we want to do, and we’re having a hard time with the Democrats,” and, “If a school is closed, why are we paying the schools?”
  142. Trump’s threat came as the relief bill was held up, and schools faced massive budget shortfalls to cover costs of remote learning such as IT costs, and in class costs to updating schools to meet CDC guidelines.
  143. DeVos, who had just returned to D.C., blamed Democrats for politicizing school reopening, saying, “We know for students and their families they can’t be held captive to the people’s fears and politics.”
  144. On Wednesday, after the Big Ten and the Pac-12 formerly called off their fall football seasons, saying it was simply too dangerous, the Big 12, ACC, and SEC said they would begin playing next month.
  145. On Wednesday, the chair of Augusta National Golf Club announced the 2020 Masters in November would be played without fans, after considering “how best to host a global sporting event amid this pandemic.”
  146. On Wednesday, the U.S. reported the highest number of daily deaths at nearly 1,500 — the most since mid-May. Georgia reported its third day of triple digit deaths, and Texas reported 324 daily deaths.
  147. On Tuesday, WAPO reported as Florida hit a daily record for deaths, Marion County Sheriff Billy Woods prohibited his deputies from wearing face masks at work. The ban also applied to visitors to the sheriff’s office.
  148. On Wednesday, WAPO reported Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis compared reopening public schools to the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, noting in a speech that a superintendent said it was “akin to a Navy SEAL operation.”
  149. On Wednesday, after alarming images from the Sturgis rally of massive crowds with no masks or social distancing, GOP Gov. Chris Sununu announced face coverings would be mandatory in New Hampshire.
  150. The move came ahead of the Laconia Motorcycle Week, a week-long event that begins August 22. Face coverings will be mandatory for crowds of 100 or more people. Last year, Laconia had 250,000 attendees.
  151. On Wednesday, at his daily briefing, Trump said, “We’ve got to open up our schools and open up our businesses,” saying of schools, “99.9 percent” of deaths from the coronavirus pandemic involve adults.
  152. He threatened to divert funds from schools that go online, saying, “When you sit at home in a basement looking at a computer, your brain starts to wither away,” adding, “resume in-person classes as soon as possible.”
  153. Trump said of college football, “Go play football. I spoke to some of the great football players. College Players. Trevor (Lawrence) and a lot of great players called…They want to play football. Let ’em play.”
  154. Trump said of the election, “It’s going to be the greatest fraud in the history,” adding, “you always talk about Russia, Russia, Russia and China, Iran on voting — the biggest problem is going to be with the Democrats.”
  155. Trump added he would not approve $25 billion of funding for the USPS, or $3.5 billion supplemental for the election: “They don’t have the money to do the universal mail-in voting. So therefore, they can’t do it, I guess.”
  156. Asked if he agrees with Greene on the QAnon conspiracy theory, Trump refused to answer, saying, “Well, she did very well in the election. She won by a lot. She was very popular. She comes from a great state.”
  157. Later Wednesday, political media brand The Recount put clips side-by-side of Trump’s daily news conferences this week, and found he was repeating the same, mostly false talking points on Covid-19 each day.
  158. On Wednesday, Fox News host Jeanine Pirro speculated on “The Five” that “something’s going to happen” to Biden, “and he’s not even going to be on the ticket” — seeming to suggest Harris would be the candidate.
  159. After audible gasps from “The Five” co-hosts, Pirro seemed to qualify her remarks, saying, “We certainly don’t hope that anything happens to Vice President Joe Biden anytime soon.”
  160. Shortly after, Fox News anchor Brett Baier pushed back on Pirro’s comments on the Democratic ticket, saying he respects “her fiery passions about things,” but “It is Biden-Harris. He is going to be the nominee.”
  161. On Wednesday, a Reuters/Ipsos poll found nearly 9 in 10 Democrats approve of Harris as the party’s VP nominee, and that she is more popular among women, young voters, and Republicans than Biden.
  162. The poll also found that 60% of Americans, including 87% of Democrats and 37% of Republicans, view the nomination of Harris as the first Black and Asian American woman to be a “major milestone” for the country.
  163. On Wednesday, WAPO reported Trump and his GOP allies have been unable to come up with a coherent, consistent message of attack on Harris, indicating a lack of preparation and agreement on how best to attack her.
  164. Allies labeled Harris as both too tough on crime, and too soft on crime. She was too moderate, and would institute socialism. Some conservative media including Fox News host Tucker Carlson mispronounced her first name.
  165. Fox News host Laura Ingraham said Biden was enfeebled and Harris would be “running the show if he wins in November,” others made birtherism claims, and a widely circulated meme labeled her a “high-end call girl.”
  166. On Wednesday, the Twitter account of Herman Cain, who died recently of Covid-19, tweeted a video on Biden and Harris, “Just in case you thought Biden’s candidacy was going to be anything other than completely nuts.”
  167. On Wednesday, conservative law professor John Eastman, who unsuccessfully ran for California AG, questioned in an op-ed at Newsweek if Harris was eligible for Vice President. Harris was born in California.
  168. Eastman also floated a false conspiracy theory that Harris may have “owed her allegiance to a foreign power or powers” if her parents were “temporary visitors” and not residents.
  169. Amid widespread cries of birtherism, Newsweek ran an Editor’s Note, claiming the piece was not racist, but about the “subject to the jurisdiction thereof” in the Citizenship Clause of the 14th Amendment.
  170. On Thursday, thousands of women in Belarus, dubbed “the Women in White” for wearing white and holding white flowers and balloons, lined the streets of Minsk for a fifth day of demonstrations.
  171. Authorities say 6,700 have been arrested, but protests showed no signs of slowing. Across the country, women formed “solidarity chains” while wearing white ribbons, bracelets, and shirts, which have become symbols of the movement.
  172. As military and police crack down on protestors, often brutally, some appeared to be turning against Lukashenko and support the opposition. Lukashenko downplayed violently cracking down on his opponents.
  173. On Thursday, Trump called in to Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo’s show. Trump called Harris “a mad woman, I call her, because she was so angry and — such hatred with Justice Kavanaugh.”
  174. Trump added, “I mean, I’ve never seen anything like it. She was the angriest of the group and they were all angry…These are seriously ill people.” He also called Pelosi “stone cold crazy.”
  175. Trump also said of his opposition to funding the USPS, and holding up the relief bill, that Democrats “need that money in order to make the post office work so it can take all of these millions and millions of ballots.”
  176. Further revealing his intent quite clearly, Trump added, “But if they don’t get those two items, that means you can’t have universal mail-in voting, because they’re not equipped to have it.”
  177. Trump also attacked his appointee, FBI Director Christopher Wary, for not supplying more documents to John Durham for his investigation, saying, “We have an election coming up. I wish he was more forthcoming.”
  178. Trump added of Durham’s supposed independent probe into the origins of the Russia investigation, “There are documents that they want to get, and we have said we want to get,” adding Wray has been “very protective.”
  179. Trump added Wray “was put there for a good reason, he was chosen by a certain person, and I said, go ahead,” adding, “Let’s see how Wray turns out. He’s either going to turn out one way or the other.”
  180. Trump also seemed to publicly push Barr on the investigation, saying, “Bill Barr has a chance to be the greatest of all time. But if he wants to be politically correct, he’ll be just another guy.”
  181. On Thursday, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow told CNBC that funding for voting rights is a “really liberal left” wish list item, hours after Trump explicitly tied USPS funding to stopping mail-in voting.
  182. Kudlow added, “They are asking too much money, $3.5 trillion, we have already spent over $3 trillion,” claiming that so much of what Democrats asked for is for “voting rights and aid to aliens and so forth.”
  183. On Thursday, the White House announced Israel and the U.A.E. reached a landmark accord brokered by Trump, to “full normalization of relations,” in exchange for Israel suspending annexation of the West Bank.
  184. At a White House briefing on the accord, NSA Robert O’Brien said because of the accord Trump “should be a front-runner for the Nobel Peace Prize.”
  185. On Thursday, the Labor Department reported weekly jobless claims fell to 963,000, marking the first time the weekly number fell below 1 million since mid-March.
  186. On Thursday, CDC Director Robert Redfield said in an interview with WebMD that a coronavirus surge, along with flu season, could create the “worst fall” that “we’ve ever had” if people do not follow guidelines.
  187. On Thursday, a CDC report found 41% of Americans were suffering from one or more symptoms of serious mental health problems due to the pandemic, including a sharp rise in depression and heavy drinking.
  188. On Thursday, in a study published in JAMA, scientists said the coronavirus could be as deadly as the 1918 flu pandemic if world leaders and public health officials fail to adequately contain it.
  189. On Thursday, Michael Cohen released the cover of his new book, “Disloyal, A Memoir,” and also teased the content, calling Trump a “cheat, a liar, a fraud, a bully, a racist, a predator, a con man” whom he loyally served.
  190. Cohen said content will include a back channel to Putin, “golden showers” at a Vegas sex club, tax fraud, catch and kill, and said Trump “colluded with the Russians” and “cheated in the election, with Russian connivance.”
  191. The White House said, “Cohen’s book is fan fiction. He readily admits to lying routinely but expects people to believe him now so that he can make money,” and added, the “media is exploiting this sad and desperate man.”
  192. On Thursday, the USPS confirmed it removed four blue mailboxes from Portland and 27 from Eugene, Oregon and said more would be removed from Portland next week, citing “declining mail volume” in the pandemic.
  193. On Thursday, in a court filing, Pennsylvania Department of State election officials sought to extend the deadline for receiving mail-in ballots by three days in the general election, citing the slowdown in the mail.
  194. The filing said state officials “were in close contact with representatives of the Postal Service in the months leading up to the June 2020 primary,” and were not given any reason to expect a delay in first-class mail.
  195. On Thursday, Pew Research found that just 50% say it will be easy to vote in the election, down from 85% in October 2018. By party, 64% of Republicans say it was be easy, while just 40% of Democrats agree.
  196. On Thursday, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp dropped his lawsuit against Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and other city officials over their mask mandate and other coronavirus restrictions.
  197. On Thursday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell adjourned the Senate until September 14, with no relief bill signed. McConnell and other GOP leaders had not been part of the negotiation.
  198. CNN reported in July, U.S. Census Bureau polling showed almost 30 million Americans said they did not have enough to eat at some point before July 21, and 5.4 million said they “often” didn’t have sufficient food.
  199. Feeding America said since the start of the pandemic, demand had spiked 50% over the same period last year, and August will be event worse without the $600 weekly unemployment benefit over the entire month.
  200. On Thursday, Axios reported an economist at Deutsche Bank said the U.S. economy is already feeling the effects of ending the weekly payment, holding down retail purchases, foot traffic, and a decline in local spending.
  201. On Thursday, Fauci told National Geographic, “Bottom line is, I’m not pleased with how things are going,” adding that Americans need to become more unified about following public health guidance
  202. Fauci added, “When you look at other parts of the country — this is the thing that’s disturbing to me — is that we’re starting to see the inkling of the upticks in the percent of the tests that are positive.”
  203. On Thursday, WSJ reported Trump is adding Scott Atlas, a radiologist who frequently appears on Fox News, and whose views closely align with his own on ending lockdowns and reopening schools, as a coronavirus adviser.
  204. The addition comes as Trump has continually publicly marginalized Fauci, and this week Dr. Deborah Birx has been absent from the public stage after Trump said she “took the bait” and called it “pathetic” last week.
  205. On Thursday, at his daily briefing,Trump said “sure” he would sign a relief bill that included money for the USPS, but “it’s not going to be an honest and fair election, people really need to think long and hard about it.”
  206. S.V. Dáte of HuffPost asked, “Mr. President, after three and a half years, do you regret at all, all the lying you’ve done to the American people?” Trump looked confused, and when pressed, he called on another reporter.
  207. A video of the exchange had millions views. Dáte, a thirty-year veteran, wrote about Trump’s repeated lies in January, calling it “exhausting.” He urged journalists to “be more concerned about getting lied to.”
  208. Asked the birtherism op-ed, Trump encouraged the conspiracy theory, saying, “I heard it today that she doesn’t meet the requirements,” adding, “I have no idea if that’s right” — a tactic he uses to give validity.
  209. Trump further embraced the conspiracy, saying, “I would have thought, I would have assumed, that the Democrats would have checked that out before she gets chosen to run for vice president.”
  210. By the time of the news conference, NYT reported the op-ed had reached 14.3 million people on Facebook, Reddit, and Twitter. Experts in constitutional law disparaged the op-ed and called it dangerous.
  211. Trump relentlessly questioned Barack Obama’s citizenship, and in 2011 offered his tax returns for Obama’s birth certificate. Obama produced it, but Trump flaked. Trump also questioned Cruz’s citizenship in 2016.
  212. Later Thursday, USA Today reported that despite his rhetoric on mail-in voting, Trump requested a mail-in ballot for himself and first lady Melania on Wednesday, the Palm Beach County elections website showed.
  213. On Thursday, the DOJ accused Yale University of discriminating against white and Asian applicants, an escalation of the Trump regime’s battle against race-based admissions policies at elite universities.
  214. The DOJ called on Yale to suspend consideration of race or national origin in admissions for one year, saying, “Unlawfully dividing Americans into racial and ethnic blocs fosters stereotypes, bitterness and division.”
  215. Later Thursday, seemingly in response to Trump’s conversation with Bartiromo, Barr told Fox News there would be a development Friday that was “not earth shattering” but also there would be “significant developments before the election.”
  216. Barr also directly answered a comments made by Trump, saying, “As to the political correctness, if I was worried about being politically correct I would not have joined this administration.”
  217. On Thursday, WAPO reported changes in the Department of Homeland Security’s mission under Trump, focusing it on immigration arrests and construction of his wall, and being used against protestors in Portland, has critics calling for its break-up.
  218. Former DHS Secretary Tom Ridge said of Trump’s use of force in Portland, “I wasn’t just disappointed — I was angry,” adding Trump “has perverted the mission of DHS,” and used it as “a political arm of the president.”
  219. The Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center said in a report that DHS should focus on protecting the country from external threats and major security risks like the pandemic, climate change, and foreign interference.
  220. On Friday, the Government Accountability Office found acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf and acting Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli were invalidly appointed to serve in their top DHS slots.
  221. The GAO found after Kirstjen Nielsen resigned in April 2019, an improper succession occurred, with Kevin McAleenan taking over. McAleenan then altered the order of succession for other officials to succeed him.
  222. The GAO found, “Because the incorrect official assumed the title of Acting Secretary at that time [McAleenan], subsequent amendments to the order of succession made by that official were invalid.”
  223. The GAO referred the matter to the DHS IG for review and action. A DHS spokesperson called it a “baseless report.” However, the report could invite lawsuits about the legitimacy of actions taken by Wolf and Cuccinelli.
  224. On Friday, WAPO reported a group of House Republicans are privately questioning whether Leader Kevin McCarthy is putting loyalty to Trump over the good of the conference, and should be replaced post election.
  225. The matter resurfaced as Taylor Greene, who espouses the QAnon conspiracy theory and who has made numerous racist comments, won her primary, after McCarthy refused to support her primary opponent.
  226. Ten House Republicans also expressed frustration that with Trump sinking in the polls to Biden, McCarthy still refused to stand up to Trump or act as a buffer to distinguish the conference from Trump.
  227. On Friday, Sen. Mitt Romney broke from Trump on mail-in voting during an interview with the Sutherland Institute, saying, “I don’t know of any evidence that voting by mail would increase voter fraud.”
  228. Romney, the first Republican to break from Trump, added, “My biggest concern, frankly, with regards to voting fraud has been that there would be some kind of hacking of our voting electronic systems.”
  229. On Friday, WAPO reported DeSantis pressured Hillsborough County, the eighth-largest school system in the country, to reopen by the end of August, by threatening to withhold up to $200 million in state aid.
  230. DeSantis is also playing hardball with other districts that are concerned about reopening. CDC guidance is to reopen if positivity rate is below 5%, but much of the state, including Hillsborough at 8%, is higher.
  231. On Friday, Trump retweeted insults about Harris posted by a Twitter egg account (meaning no real public identity), referring to her as a “camel laugh.”
  232. On Friday, when Jared was asked if Trump was “promoting” questions on Harris’s place of birth, he told CBS News, “I don’t see that as promoting it. But look, at the end of the day, it’s something that’s out there.”
  233. On Friday, Newsweek editors apologized to Harris: “The op-ed was never intended to spark or to take part in the racist lie of Birtherism…we should have recognized the potential, even probability, that that could happen.”
  234. On Friday, WSJ reported, in a departure from previous nominating events, Trump will be featured each day of the Republican National Convention. Typically the party candidate appears just on the last of the four nights.
  235. On Friday, AP reported Kevin Clinesmith was expected to plead guilty in the first criminal case arising from John Durham’s investigation of the Trump-Russia probe review.
  236. Clinesmith was expected to admit making a false statement related to the altering of a government email about former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, who was a target of FBI surveillance.
  237. Clinesmith was referred for potential prosecution by the DOJ IG’s office. Trump and his allies seized on the news, which comes 24 hours after Trump’s Fox Business appearance, to help his flailing reelection.
  238. On Friday, WAPO reported DeVos’s new controversial rules on campus sexual assault went into effect. The new directive covering Title IX replaces an Obama-era rule that was supported by victims’ rights advocates.
  239. DeVos’s new rules, hailed by men’s right advocates, expands the rights of the accused by giving the right to a live hearing with multiple panel members and the ability to cross-examine accusers.
  240. A lawsuit filed by 17 states and D.C. tried to block the rules from taking effect citing the pandemic. But a judge ruled for the Education Department, saying, “schools had long known the rule was coming.”
  241. On Friday, CNN reported despite Trump claiming on Sunday “well, I didn’t speak to the Postmaster General,” the White House confirmed the two did meet last Monday, ahead of DeJoy’s meetings with lawmakers.
  242. Caught in the apparent lie, the White House claimed, “It was a congratulatory meeting” between the two.
  243. On Friday, Motherboard reported internal USPS documents showed the agency proposed removing 20% of letter sorting machines, before settling on closer to 15%, or 502 machines to be taken out of service.
  244. One document, titled “Equipment Reduction,” was dated May 15, before DeJoy took over as postmaster, and broke down the number of machines the USPS slated to remove by region and facility.
  245. Multiple USPS sources said they have seen the machines, costing millions of dollars, being destroyed or thrown in the dumpster, undermining a USPS narrative they are being moved around their network.
  246. On Friday, NPR reported a bipartisan group of secretaries of state responsible for running elections requested a meeting with DeJoy this week to discuss mail-in ballots, but that the meeting has yet to be scheduled.
  247. Election officials said it was unclear why the meeting was not scheduled, saying the delay was highly unusual, given officials will be sending out absentee ballots as soon as September.
  248. Many states are also considering setting up secure drop boxes for voters to deposit their ballots, and can be collected by election officials, so as not be as dependent on the USPS.
  249. On Friday, Barack Obama said in an interview Trump is trying to “actively kneecap the Postal Service” to affect mail-in voting, and urged lawmakers and citizens to take actions to “protect the integrity” of the election.
  250. On Friday, NBC Montana reported 68 USPS collection boxes were set to be removed. At 3:10 in the afternoon, the removal was put on hold statewide, after Friday’s public pressure according to a union official.
  251. On Friday, the National Association of Letter Carriers, a union that boasts nearly 300,000 active and retired postal workers, endorsed Biden, warning the “survival” of USPS was at stake.
  252. On Friday, CNN reported that the USPS general counsel has warned several states in a letter that voters risk not getting their ballots back to election offices in time because of lags in mail delivery.
  253. The letter said of mailing to voters, “State or local election officials may generally use either First-Class Mail or Marketing Mail to mail blank ballots to voters,” not the nonprofit marketing rate many states used.
  254. WAPO reported that 46 states and D.C. received letters. Depending on the states, the letter range from endorsing their mail-in ballot plan to warnings that USPS delivery standards could not meet state deadlines.
  255. WAPO also reported the American Postal Workers Union filed a grievance, saying removing sorting machines could hinder processing election mail. The Post found at least 671 machines have been removed since June.
  256. On Friday, CNN reported the USPS Inspector General, Tammy Whitcomb, a career official who has served at USPS for 15 years, is reviewing DeJoy’s policy changes and potential ethics conflicts.
  257. Sen. Elizabeth Warren had requested the review after lawmakers from both parties — mostly Democrats — and postal union leaders have sounded alarms over recent actions. The scope of the investigation was unclear.
  258. On Friday, Democrat Rep. Bill Pascrell announced he made a criminal referral to the New Jersey AG calling for an investigation into Trump and DeJoy, alleging they have possibly subverted the November election.
  259. On Friday, Trump tweeted, “I have done more for WOMEN than just about any President in HISTORY!” It was unclear what Trump was referring to. Despite his pleas to suburban women, Trump lags Biden by 20 to 30 points in recent polls.
  260. Trump added, “As we celebrate the 100th Anniversary of women’s voting rights, we should build a BEAUTIFUL STATUE in Washington D.C. to honor the many brave women.” Trump retweeted this on Saturday.
  261. Trump also ripped “politically correct” Fox News, saying it is “no longer the big deal” in the 2020 election, and added “Crooked Hillary Clinton was much smarter and sharper than Slow Joe.”
  262. On Friday, GOP candidate Marjorie Greene tried to distance herself from QAnon, telling Fox News she does not consider herself a QAnon candidate, saying her campaign was about “Save America, stop socialism.”
  263. On Thursday, District Judge J. Nicholas Ranjan, a Trump appointee in Pennsylvania, told the Trump campaign and Republican Party they must produce evidence they have of vote-by-mail fraud in the state by Friday.
  264. The case was brought to curtail mail-in voting, claiming concerns about the accuracy of election results “and ultimately chaos.” Democrats said the Trump lawsuit was an attempt to stoke fears about unproven fraud.
  265. Later Friday, Trump headed back to his Bedminster golf club for the second weekend in a row. Trump took a Marine One helicopter to New York City to visit his brother Robert, who is said to be seriously ill, at the hospital.
  266. Later Friday, the LA Times reported the GOP-led Senate Intelligence Committee sent a bipartisan letter to the DOJ, asking federal prosecutors to investigate Stephen Bannon for possibly lying to lawmakers.
  267. The letter, sent on July 19, 2019, cites testimony during the panel’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. It was not clear what actions have been taken by the DOJ.
  268. The letter also cited conflicting testimony from Donald Jr., Jared Kushner, former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, and former White House Communications Director Hope Hicks.
  269. On Saturday, according to a check of the docket for Trump Campaign v. Boockvar, the Trump campaign did not file anything by the Friday deadline.
  270. On Friday, Fox News host Tucker Carlson opened his show with a segment harshly critical of Fauci, calling him “another oily politician,” adding he “is featured on the cover of InStyle magazine, photographed by the pool.”
  271. On Saturday, asked about Carlson’s continual diatribes, Fauci dismissed the criticism to WAPO, but added, “it triggers some of the crazies in society to start threatening me, actually threatening, which actually happens.”
  272. On Saturday, Trump golfed at his Bedminster club for the 290th time. He also actively retweeted, including one of his own tweets. Mainstream media has largely stopped covering much of Trump’s Twitter activity.
  273. On Saturday, NYT reported about 100 protestors gathered outside DeJoy’s D.C. apartment complex, banging spoons on pots, blaring horns and chanting for him to “resign.” Most wore masks and socially distanced.
  274. On Saturday, Trump withdrew his controversial nomination of William Perry Pendley, who had advocated for selling off public lands, to lead the Bureau of Land Management. Pendley served as acting director for a year.
  275. As the week came to a close, there were 21,270,160 worldwide cases and 767,241 dead from the coronavirus. The U.S. had 5,328,568 cases (25.1%), 168,761 deaths (22.0%), and a mortality rate of 3.2%.

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Copyright Amy Siskind, August 15, 2020

The removal of dozens of U.S. Postal Office blue boxes in a handful of states including Oregon, Montana, and New York this week set off a social media panic and some high-profile attention, causing the agency to say it would stop removing the boxes nationally until after the election. Courtesy NY Metro APWV