Don't Worry, the Senate Has Its Priorities in Check!

Illustration for article titled Dont Worry, the Senate Has Its Priorities in Check!
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Barf BagWelcome to Barf Bag, a daily politics roundup to help you sort through the chaotic Trumpian news cycle.

On Friday morning, Americans woke up to the news that over 6,000 Americans have died from covid-19; unemployment numbers were shockingly high for March and are expected to be even higher in April; and the country’s medical professionals on the frontlines of the covid-19 pandemic are still forced to reuse old masks and other protective gear, if they have gear at all. On top of that, non-existent rent suspensions and days of busy signals at the state unemployment office have left countless people frayed, broke, and stressed over what’s to come. Luckily, the Republican-controlled Senate had these struggling citizens in mind and they decided to give what the American people really want: A full-fledged investigation into Hunter Biden.

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Politico reports that the Senate’s Homeland Security Committee is moving forward with a probe against Joe Biden’s son, who was on the board of Ukrainian energy company Burisma and is accused of being a useful idiot for the State Department during the Obama era. And now the Dems and Republicans are beefin’.

From Politico:

The probe, which Democrats vigorously oppose, has fueled tension among the Senate’s ranks, even breaking out into a rare and previously unreported verbal altercation between senators during a classified briefing.

[...]

“While the chairman is primarily focused on the once-in-a-generation crisis we’re experiencing, our oversight staff is continuing to push ahead with their work. Nothing has changed in our long-term plans for our investigations,” said Austin Altenburg, a spokesman for the committee’s chairman, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.).

In fact, a Senate staffer working on the probe explicitly told one witness’ legal team several weeks ago — just before the wave of lockdowns — that the coronavirus pandemic would not impede the committee’s probe, according to a source familiar with the matter.

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The Biden controversy was the basis of the Trump-Ukraine impeachment clusterfuck, which was a political loss for the Democrats and did little to hinder the Republicans’ craven obsession with making Democratic Presidential nominees the center of federal probes during election years. While Hunter’s position at Burisma reeks of nepotism, any reasonable person would agree that this shit should at the bottom of any elected official’s priorities at the moment.

Looks like they could use a “Kim, there’s people that are dying” reminder:


The hits keep coming with the Trump administration’s covid-19 incompetence: The Los Angeles Times reports that the administration nixed a $200 million pandemic early-warning program, just two months before the novel coronavirus swept Wuhan, China.

Two! Months!

Two months!

Two goddamn months.

From the LA Times:

The project, launched by the U.S. Agency for International Development in 2009, identified 1,200 different viruses that had the potential to erupt into pandemics, including more than 160 novel coronaviruses. The initiative, called PREDICT, also trained and supported staff in 60 foreign laboratories — including the Wuhan lab that identified SARS-CoV-2, the new coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

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Look, this isn’t to say that the alarming rise of covid-19 cases in the United States could have been prevented if the program was still in place. The ignorance of the Trump administration truly has no bounds, and even having the most competent people at the helm can only do so much if Trump and his lackeys are determined to undermine them. But it’s galling that the administration never took seriously the threat of a global pandemic, despite the constant reminders over the years from people much smarter than them.

To say there is blood on Trump’s hands is a massive understatement.


  • Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers wants to allow all-mail voting in the state with a May 26 ballot submission deadline.
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  • Did you happen to catch haunted doll Jared Kushner at the White House daily press briefing on Thursday? Did you happen to hear him say that the Strategic National Stockpile is not for state use? Ha, well, about that:
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  • In other slimy Kushner news: His company could benefit big time from a freeze on federal mortgage payments. Why does God allow suffering? [Politico]
  • It looks like some experts doubt Trump’s covid-19 death toll estimates. [Washington Post]
  • Here’s a video of some service members cheering Captain Brett Crozier, who was fired after he sounded the alarm about a covid-19 outbreak on his ship:
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  • In a surprising turn of events: Republicans are very fucking mad at Florida Republicans Gov. Ron DeSantis and Sen. Rick Scott over the way the state’s fucked-up unemployment system is hurting Floridians. Hm, yeah, wouldn’t want to piss off people in a pivotal swing state during an election year! [Politico]
  • This just in: Court appointments are still happening and they’re still garbage!
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  • Robert F. Kennedy’s granddaughter and her son are missing after a boating accident. [ABC]
  • If there’s just one silver lining to this shitty day, at least Don, Jr is eating garbage right now courtesy of his girlfriend Kimberly Guilfoyle. RIP to that dry-ass pasta:

Staff writer, mint chocolate hater.

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DISCUSSION

theghostofjimmadison
The Ghost of James Madison's Rage Boner

I’ve become increasingly convinced that the coronavirus was genetically engineered to destroy the right wing in this country. They can’t take much more of this:

Also, a bit more on Kushner: