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@LauraClawson

Attacks On Postal Service Hurt Democracy — And That’s The Point

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Donald Trump continues to both demonize the idea of vote by mail and dismantle the U.S. Postal Service, and it's making a predictable mess. The House Oversight and Reform Committee is calling new Postmaster General Louis DeJoy to testify about changes to the Postal Service, but they're letting that testimony wait until September 17, because apparently this isn't super urgent, even though "While these changes in a normal year would be drastic, in a presidential election year when many states are relying heavily on absentee mail-in ballots, increases in mail delivery timing would impair the ability of ballots to be received and counted in a timely manner—an unacceptable outcome for a free and fair election," as committee Chair Carolyn Maloney wrote to DeJoy.

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Hospitals In New Virus Epicenters Are Dangerously Full

Reprinted with permission from DailyKos

Coronavirus is starting to overwhelm hospitals in the states that have become the new epicenters of the disease. Arizona and Nevada reported their highest levels of hospitalizations (so far) in recent days and, according to Austin, Texas, Mayor Steve Adler, "If we don't change this trajectory, then I am within two weeks of having our hospitals overrun."

Donald Trump, who got us here, said over the weekend that "99 percent" of COVID-19 cases are "totally harmless." Which would likely come as news not just to the more than 130,000 people who have died so far but to the people in those hospitals in danger of being "overrun."

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Coronavirus Spiking In Tulsa As Judge Approves Trump Rally

Reprinted with permission from DailyKos.

Donald Trump's big return to campaign rallies can go ahead, a Tulsa judge said Tuesday in rejecting a bid by Tulsa residents and business owners to block the event as a coronavirus risk. The lawsuit described the plans for an indoor rally in the 19,000-seat BOK Center as "a substantial, imminent, and deadly risk to the community."

Charles Brewster, the attorney who filed the suit, said: "Over the last several days, we were hoping this lawsuit would not be necessary, that the people putting the rally on would listen to reason and understand that such a collection of people in such tight quarters would result in a 'super spreader event.'" But obviously the Trump campaign is not going to listen to reason, and the venue management's position is that "government officials have advised that the campaign rally as planned is consistent with the guidance." Sure, if "the guidance" is wildly irresponsible.Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum is trying to distance himself from the event without actually doing anything to stop it.

"Do I share anxiety about having a full house at the BOK Center? Of course. As someone who is cautious by nature, I don't like to be the first to try anything. I would have loved some other city to have proven the safety of such an event already," he said in a statement.

A Tulsa World editorial called this "the wrong time" and Tulsa "the wrong place" for a big Trump campaign rally, even after Trump changed the rally's date to not coincide with Juneteenth.

In line with rising COVID-19 across the South, Oklahoma set a new state record for infections on Tuesday. Trying to bolster the case for the rally, Mike Pence recently claimed that "Oklahoma has really been at the forefront of our efforts to slow the spread, and, in a very real sense, they flattened the curve. And today, their hospital capacity is abundant. The number of cases in Oklahoma has declined precipitously." But, uh, no. In fact, Tuesday's new record was the third such record in a week's time: "The one-week average is now higher than it was when the outbreak first peaked," a local ABC affiliate reported.

House Republicans Seek To Stonewall Voter Suppression Probe

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

Republicans are strongly hinting to state officials that they should stonewall the House Oversight Committee’s investigation into voter suppression. A letter signed by Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) and other Republicans claims that the investigation raises “serious federalism concerns” and is “partisan.” Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), the committee chair, responded forcefully: “With a Democratic President, there was no allegation too small to investigate, but now that Donald Trump is in the White House, there is apparently no scandal too big to ignore.”

Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), the chair of the civil rights subcommittee carrying out the investigations into voter suppression in Kansas, Texas, and Georgia, likewise pushed back, citing a “solemn duty” to investigate “state-based assaults on popular democracy like the reported purges of hundreds of thousands of voters and the relocation of municipal polling places outside of municipal boundaries.” And that solemn duty is absolutely within the committee’s rights, Raskin added: “It is obviously within our power under the Supremacy Clause and the Bill of Rights to conduct constitutional oversight in order to protect voters’ rights in the states, resistance by partisan state officials notwithstanding.”

This isn’t the first time House Republicans have tried to get the subjects of Democratic investigations to stonewall. They’ve also been sending letters to drug companies suggesting they not comply with information requests on prescription drug prices.

Those Republicans sure do like to stand up for the little guy, taking sides against voters and people struggling to pay for prescription medications.

IMAGE: Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), ranking member of the House Oversight Committee.