Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Egghead Week: Methinks They Doth Protest Too Much

The protests are beginning in earnest now.

Oh, not of people angry at Trump's failures and that nearly 30,000 Americans have died so far.

This is America, the country that elected Trump in the first place.

No, these protests are of people angry at social distancing orders that save lives.

A crowd of protesters organized by a conservative group descended on Michigan's state Capitol on Wednesday to protest Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's (D) stay-at-home order during the coronavirus outbreak.

Supporters of the Michigan Conservative Coalition (MCC) urged Whitmer to reopen the state's nonessential businesses on May 1 while urging their own members to practice social distancing during the "Operation Gridlock" protest, local news radio station WWJ reported.

Video of the event posted on Twitter showed some demonstrators on the Capitol steps while others remained in their vehicles, honking loudly.

“When did one size solve everyone’s local issues?" one unidentified organizer asked WWJ. "Gov. Whitmer will put you out of business before allowing mere citizens to be responsible for their own behavior. That is madness.”

Whitmer has ordered Michigan residents to stay at home unless performing essential tasks until April 30, and has closed nonessential businesses in the state, though activists are complaining about which businesses have been allowed to stay open — as well as the de facto cancellation of Easter and Passover services.

And of course, this is about as grass roots as the Brooks Brothers riots back in Florida in 2000.

In a statement at a news conference earlier this week, the governor pointed out that the MCC is funded in large part by the family of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, which is very active in Michigan conservative politics.

"This group is funded in large part by the DeVos family," she said Monday, according to WWJ. "And I think it's really inappropriate for a sitting member of the United States president's Cabinet to [be] waging political attacks on any governor."

Whitmer added: "I think that they should disavow it, and I encourage people to stay home and be safe."

That's right.

Trump's Education Secretary is funding protests in her home state in support of getting stupid people back to work so that they can die from COVID-19 for billionaires like the DeVos family.

That's where we are.

Similar protests took place in North Carolina yesterday and in Ohio on Monday, Pennsylvania is their target next week.

All of these protests taking place in battleground states that Trump needs to win of course.  Most have Democratic governors. There's a method to this madness.  Expect Wisconsin to have these soon.

The protests are already here in Kentucky.

After all, it's an honor to die for you new God, Donald Trump.

Egghead Week: Check Out, The Name

To recap, Donald Trump's malignant, clinical narcissism is so completely pervasive that tens of millions of CARES Act COVID-19 relief checks will be delayed so that Treasury can print his fucking name on them.

I'm sorry.  This makes me livid.  The entire regime makes me livid, but this is just so completely idiotic, and not a Republican dares to say a word, mind you, that the whole lot of them need to be fired into the sun.

The unprecedented decision, finalized late Monday, means that when recipients open the $1,200 paper checks the IRS is scheduled to begin sending to 70 million Americans in coming days, “President Donald J. Trump” will appear on the left side of the payment.

It will be the first time a president’s name appears on an IRS disbursement, whether a routine refund or one of the handful of checks the government has issued to taxpayers in recent decades either to stimulate a down economy or share the dividends of a strong one.

Treasury officials disputed that the checks would be delayed.

While some people receiving the checks — the centerpiece of the U.S. government’s economic relief package to stave of the effects of the coronavirus pandemic — may not care, or observe, whose name appears on them, the decision is another sign of Trump’s effort to cast his response to the pandemic in political terms.

Trump had privately suggested to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who oversees the IRS, to allow the president to formally sign the checks, according to three administration officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly.

But the president is not an authorized signer for legal disbursements by the U.S. Treasury. It is standard practice for a civil servant to sign checks issued by the Treasury Department to ensure that government payments are nonpartisan.

And let's not forget, people won't be getting these checks in some cases until August or even September, because Trump is an absolute sack of garbage.  Oh, and if you owe your bank money?  They can take all of it.

Congress did not exempt CARES Act payments from private debt collection, and the Treasury Department has been reluctant to exempt them through its rulemaking authority. This means that individuals could see their payments transferred from their hands into the hands of their creditors, potentially leaving them with nothing.

Banks would be first in line to grab the payments to offset a delinquent loan or past-due fees. Even if the individual thinks their account with that bank is closed, if the payments post there, the bank could conceivably use them to cover old debts.

The Treasury Department effectively blessed this activity on a webinar with banking officials last week. In audio obtained by the Prospect, Ronda Kent, chief disbursing officer with Treasury’s Bureau of the Fiscal Service, can be heard explaining that banks had posed questions to her about “whether these payments could be subject to collection from the bank to which the money is deposited, if the payee owes an outstanding loan or other payments to the bank.” She responded—twice—that “there’s nothing in the law that precludes that action,” while counseling that the banks’ compliance officers should consult with their legal offices about what policies their banks will implement. “You will want to know for your bank what your bank has decided to do,” Kent said.

Zandardad taught me that everyone is capable of good, because we're all human and all given free will.  But man, Donald Trump tests that theory daily. And you know what?  Trump isn't the only monster in the GOP.  Far from it.
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