👋 Away Message: So we had a little scheduling snafu here at WTF HQ, where both myself and Joe (voice of the pod) double-booked ourselves with personal and professional obligations next week. Oopsie! Not a very great job using a calendar on my part, I guess. On the other hand, it appears the government isn't going to be open for business anyway... Unless something truly WTF-y happens, I'll see you all again on Tuesday, October 10th, because Monday is a holiday (Indigenous Peoples' Day).
In the mean time, try our little news aggregator tool – currentstatus.io – to keep you up-to-date on the daily shock and awe. Thanks for understanding and for being here. I'm going to miss you.
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😷 Dept. of “We Have It Totally Under Control.”
Global: Total confirmed cases: ~22,245,000; deaths: ~784,000
U.S.: Total confirmed cases: ~5,517,000; deaths: ~173,000
Source: Johns Hopkins University
🗳 How To Vote In The 2020 Election In Every State. Everything you need to know about mail-in and early in-person voting in every state in the age of COVID-19, including the first day you can cast your ballot in the 2020 election. (FiveThirtyEight / NBC News / Wall Street Journal)
1/ The Senate Intelligence Committee made criminal referrals of Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, Steven Bannon, and other Trump allies to federal prosecutors in 2019. The bipartisan referrals were meant to pass along their suspicions that the men may have misled the committee during their testimony. The committee also made criminal referrals of Blackwater founder Erik Prince and former Trump campaign co-chair Sam Clovis. A criminal referral to the Justice Department means Congress believes a matter warrants investigation for potential violation of the law. There has been no public indication of any investigation. Attorneys for Trump Jr., Kushner, Bannon, and Clovis previously denied that their clients misled the committee. (NBC News / Washington Post / Los Angeles Times)
Trump dismisses new report on 2016 election interference as his allies continue to pursue theories it debunks. “Trump has pushed the debunked theories that Ukraine, not Russia, interfered in the 2016 election and that it did so on behalf of his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton. The report found that Russian intelligence operations manufactured that theory, which Trump has never disavowed and which played a role in his impeachment when he pressed the issue in a 2019 phone call with Ukraine’s president.” (Washington Post)
[IDEAS] Russiagate Was Not a Hoax. The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence confirmed what the Mueller report could not. (The Atlantic)
2/ Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer accused the Trump administration of “concealing” its role in selecting Louis DeJoy as postmaster general. In mid-June, Schumer had asked the USPS Board of Governors for documents and information related to the executive search firm that helped select DeJoy. The secretary of the board, Michael Elston, responded in early July that “with respect to the specific information you requested, much of it is confidential.” A lawyer for the executive search firm said the board refused to waive a nondisclosure agreement, blocking congressional lawmakers from conducting “oversight obligations to better understand the selection of Mr. DeJoy.” (Washington Post / CNBC)
- White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows claimed that Louis DeJoy did not consult with Trump before “suspending” changes to U.S. Postal Services operations. “The postmaster general did that on his own,” Meadows said. “That was an independent decision that was made by the postmaster general and the board of governors.” (The Hill)
3/ House Speaker Nancy Pelosi accused Louis DeJoy of not committing to replacing the sorting machines, mailboxes, and other mail infrastructure that has already been removed. Following a conversation with DeJoy, Pelosi released a statement, saying: “The Postmaster General frankly admitted that he had no intention of replacing the sorting machines, blue mailboxes and other key mail infrastructure that have been removed and that plans for adequate overtime, which is critical for the timely delivery of mail, are not in the works.” Pelosi added that Dejoy’s “suspension” of cost-cutting and operational changes are “wholly insufficient and does not reverse damage already wreaked.” Meanwhile, some postal union leaders doubt that the mail-processing equipment that remains in place would fully restore the capacity of the Postal Service. (Axios / CNN)
4/ Trump’s reelection campaign sued New Jersey over the state’s decision to mail a ballot to all residents. The lawsuit alleges that Gov. Phil Murphy’s executive order usurps the legislature’s authority to decide when and how elections are held. Murphy responded, saying “the President’s campaign is putting itself on record as wanting to delegitimize our November election instead of working with us to ensure that voters rights are upheld alongside public health.” (CNN)
5/ The Trump administration said it would consider the Democrats’ plan to spend $25 billion on the U.S. Postal Service as long as lawmakers include coronavirus relief payments and additional funding for small businesses through the Paycheck Protection Program. The new stimulus package has been stalled with Democrats and Republicans at least $1 trillion apart. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi plans to hold a vote Saturday on $25 billion in funding for the Postal Service. (Bloomberg)
6/ White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany declined to say whether Trump would accept the election results if he lost, saying Trump has been clear that he will “see what happens” in November. On Monday, Trump told reporters that “the only way we’re going to lose this election is if the election is rigged.” (CBS News)
- White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany defended Trump’s support of far-right House candidates with histories of racist remarks, saying Trump hadn’t done a “deep dive” into their pasts. Trump congratulated Laura Loomer, a self-described Islamophobe, for winning in Florida’s 21st Congressional District. Last week Trump called Marjorie Taylor Greene, a QAnon conspiracy theorist caught making racist rants, a “future Republican Star.” McEnany suggested Trump congratulated them as a matter of routine. (Politico)
7/ Trump called for a boycott of Goodyear tires after an employee posted a photo of the company’s policy banning employees from wearing “MAGA Attire” in the workplace. During a diversity training event at the company’s Topeka, Kansas plant, a slide labeled “Zero Tolerance” was presented and spelled out appropriate and inappropriate displays in the workplace. “Black Lives Matter” and “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Pride” were considered appropriate, while “Blue Lives Matter,” “All Lives Matter,” “MAGA Attire,” and “Political Affiliated Slogans or Material” were considered inappropriate. “Don’t buy GOODYEAR TIRES,” Trump tweeted. “They announced a BAN ON MAGA HATS. Get better tires for far less! (This is what the Radical Left Democrats do. Two can play the same game, and we have to start playing it now!)” Goodyear denied that the slide was created or distributed by their corporate office and claimed it was not part of a diversity training class. Meanwhile, several photos surfaced on social media showing Goodyear tires on Trump’s presidential limousine. When asked whether Trump would order the tires removed, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany responded: “I’m not going to comment on security matters.” (Politico / CNN / Washington Post / Bloomberg / WIBW)
poll/ 22% of college students don’t plan to enroll this fall. Of those not returning to school, 73% are working full time, 4% are taking classes at a different university, and 2% are doing volunteer work. 85% of students believe they are likely or very likely to be exposed to the coronavirus if they return to campus this fall. (Axios)
poll/ 68% of Americans say they’re embarrassed by the U.S. response to the coronavirus. 62% say Trump should be doing more to fight it. 58% disapprove of the way Trump has handled the outbreak, and 55% say the worst is yet to come. 67% say they know someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19. 79% of Americans are angry about the way things are going in the country today. (CNN)
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