Greatest Country On Earth, Folks!

Illustration for article titled Greatest Country On Earth, Folks!
Image: CNN
Barf BagWelcome to Barf Bag, a daily politics roundup to help you sort through the chaotic Trumpian news cycle.

As of September 3, 2019, 29 million Americans are receiving unemployment benefits, a number greatly exacerbated by the ongoing covid-19 pandemic. In the last week alone, 1.6 million new unemployment claims were filed. Enhanced unemployment benefits expired nearly a month ago, and Congress is at a stalemate over how best to relieve the financial burden of their constituents. And on top of all that, cash-strapped Americans have been trudging along without nationwide rent or mortgage forgiveness, and eviction moratoriums have come to an end for many.

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And thanks to government inaction on housing stability, countless people face homelessness in the middle of a pandemic. On Wednesday night, CNN aired a devastating segment highlighting just who this incompetency harms. Cameras followed a family in Houston gathering the few belongings they had left in a stroller, clutching their small children and admitting that they had nowhere to go.

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Without a car, they took off on foot. Viewers also met an elderly woman who was left out in the blazing Texas sun while her apartment was evicted; the police officer overseeing the eviction eventually gave her a day’s reprieve, worried about her health in the heat.

This is the country that politicians boast is the greatest country on earth.

The picture of poverty in America only gets bleaker when considering food scarcity: A haunting new interactive feature in the New York Times highlights hunger in the United States, noting that “in the pandemic economy, nearly one in eight households doesn’t have enough to eat.”

Thankfully we have a president who is worried about this and other equally important matters.

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Speaking of the president, his boner for punishing cities run by Democratic mayors continues. President Trump has reportedly asked federal officials to figure out how he can cut funding to cities controlled by Democrats, claiming that they’re hotbeds for anarchy and disorder.

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From the New York Times:

Mr. Trump laid out the directive in a memo, released Wednesday, to Russell T. Vought, the director of the Office of Management and Budget, and Attorney General William P. Barr. It accuses state and local officials of abdicating their duties.

“Anarchy has recently beset some of our states and cities,” Mr. Trump wrote in the memo, mentioning a few cities specifically: Portland, Ore.; Washington; Seattle; and the president’s birth city, New York. “My administration will not allow federal tax dollars to fund cities that allow themselves to deteriorate into lawless zones.”

[...]

“To ensure that federal funds are neither unduly wasted nor spent in a manner that directly violates our government’s promise to protect life, liberty and property, it is imperative that the federal government review the use of federal funds by jurisdictions that permit anarchy, violence, and destruction in America’s cities,” the memo said.

It gives Mr. Barr 14 days to identify “anarchist jurisdictions” where officials have “permitted violence and the destruction of property to persist and have refused to undertake reasonable measures,” although it does not specify particular cities.

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This is a cheap political stunt intended as an extra special “fuck you” to his old stomping grounds of New York City, a city that absolutely hates his ass. Whether anything will become of this is unclear, but what is clear is that Trump has a grudge, and when Trump has a grudge he won’t rest until he acts on it (and, you know, becomes president).


  • Joe Biden met with the family of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin Thursday. Despite the Trump administration’s request, the Blake family did not meet with the president during his visit two days prior. [AP]
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  • Former awful Republican Governor of Michigan, Rick Snyder, says he’s voting for Biden. [Politico]
  • Attorney General Barr is living on a different planet when it comes to race in America [Politico]
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  • Here are some polls:
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  • Fun fact: USPS paid Louis DeJoy—the current Postmaster General who is happily fucking the institution over—$286 million since 2013. [New York Times]
  • Let’s think of all the fun things that could happen if Trump stays in office, shall we? [Washington Post]
  • And if that doesn’t cheer you up, how about this read on highly organized right-wing pro-Trump militias in Oregon? [Guardian]
  • When will Andrew Cuomo and President Trump fight? [Washington Post]
  • And if Trump doesn’t fight Trump, he might fight... Maggie Haberman?

Staff writer, mint chocolate hater.

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DISCUSSION

roaringgirl
Roaring Girl

Congress is at a stalemate over how best to relieve the financial burden of their constituents.

No, Congress is not “at a stalemate” about how to do anything, and I wish the media would stop with this “bothsiderism:” the Republican Party is refusing to do anything about the situation, because they don’t believe that helping not-people rich is a legitimate function of government.

That’s it. That’s all there is. The GOP doesn’t believe in government except as a means to safeguard the gains of the rich and drag the country back to the 1950s, when women found it very hard to be heard, and minorities were invisible—and when they weren’t, they took off their hats and moved out of your way in the street. Oh, and ideally left town after sunset.

And if the Democrats did break this so-called “stalemate” and come to a compromise? You’d be writing about how weak and feckless they are, how useless, how predictably spineless, why hasn’t anyone forced Pelosi into retirement, etc., etc., etc.

I know you’re writing for the clicks, but can Jezebel come up with a new shtick?