Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Photo by The White House

Donald Trump lied on Friday when he claimed that he was authorizing a new round of direct payments to Americans, but that Democrats in Congress were holding them up.

"I have directed [Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin] to get ready to send direct payments ($3,400 for family of four) to all Americans," Trump tweeted. "DEMOCRATS ARE HOLDING THIS UP!"

In fact, House Democrats passed a bill authorizing those very same payments back on May 15.

According to Congressional Research Service analysis, the bill House Democrats passed, called the HEROES Act, would have disbursed "$1,200 per eligible individual" with "$2,400 for married taxpayers filling a joint return."

"Taxpayers would also receive $1,200 for each dependent, up to three dependents. Hence, the largest payment would be $6,000 for a married couple with three or more dependents," the analysis showed.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, however, has refused to put that bill up for a vote.

Trump also claimed Friday that he wanted to send more aid to state and local governments, but that Democrats were blocking him.

"I am ready to send more money to States and Local governments to save jobs for Police, Fire Fighters, First Responders, and Teachers. DEMOCRATS ARE HOLDING THIS UP!" Trump tweeted.

Once again, this is a lie.

The bill House Democrats passed on May 15 would have provided nearly $1 trillion to "state, local, territorial, and tribal governments who desperately need funds to pay vital workers like first responders, health workers, and teachers," according to a summary of the legislation.

But McConnell has called giving state and local governments more money a "blue state bailout," and has said he wants to take any more funding for those state and local governments off the table in talks for future coronavirus relief bills.

Studies have found that McConnell's refusal to give money to state and local governments could cost 4 million jobs.

This is not the first time Trump has lied about the negotiations surrounding virus aid.

On July 29, he falsely said that Democrats were the ones not making unemployment insurance payments "high enough."

In fact, it's Senate Republicans who are demanding cuts to weekly unemployment insurance checks.

Democrats voted in May to extend the additional $600 in weekly unemployment benefits tens of millions of laid off workers were receiving through the end of the year. The bill Senate Republicans introduced, but never voted on, would have cut those payments to $200 per week.

McConnell sent the Senate home this week for nearly a month, without ever taking a vote on a virus relief bill.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Photo by Mediamodifier from Pixabay

Reprinted with permission from TomDispatch

When it rains, pieces of glass, pottery, and metal rise through the mud in the hills surrounding my Maryland home. The other day, I walked outside barefoot to fetch one of my kid's shoes and a pottery shard stabbed me in the heel. Nursing a minor infection, I wondered how long that fragment dated back.

A neighbor of mine found what he said looked like a cartridge case from an old percussion-cap rifle in his pumpkin patch. He told us that the battle of Monocacy had been fought on these grounds in July 1864, with 1,300 Union and 900 Confederate troops killed or wounded here. The stuff that surfaces in my fields when it storms may or may not be battle artifacts, but it does remind me that the past lingers and that modern America was formed in a civil war.

Keep reading... Show less