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August 9, 2020

Trump Takes Lead on COVID Relief with Four Executive Orders

This Day in History | 1969

Members of Charles Manson’s cult kill five people in Beverly Hills, California, including the pregnant wife of director Roman Polanski, actress Sharon Tate. The group killed again, , two days later, murdering Leno LaBianca and his wife in their home. The savage crimes shocked the nation and turned Charles Manson into a criminal icon.

Good morning Middle Americans, 

President Trump has Nancy Pelosi in a bit of a pickle. Everyone (who hasn’t been living under a rock) knows that she and Democrats are obstructing Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans’ efforts to slim down the latest and very-bloated COVID-19 relief bill proposal. So the president called her bluff. Now, he doesn’t necessarily have the authority to bypass the House of Representatives, which technically has control of the country’s checkbook according to the Constitution. But we’re about to see how Pelosi reacts. Pelosi,perhaps the most calculated person in Washington D.C., getting outplayed by Trump should elicit a certain response.

Also today, the Postmaster General announced a massive reorganization at the US Postal Service. The Shakeup prompted calls from Democrats to investigate the recent changes which have led to delays with mail deliveries. A surge of mail-in ballots is expected in the 2020 presidential election. Nearly 100,000 children tested positive for the coronavirus in the last two weeks of July, a new report from the American Academy of Pediatrics finds. Health Officials in South Dakota are bracing for Friday. That’s when 250,000 people from across the country are expected to descend on Sturgis, South Dakota for one of America’s biggest motorcycle rallies in the world. 

And finally, a warning for all you electric bike enthusiasts out there.  Former American Idol host Simon Cowell has been taken to hospital with a broken back after falling off an electric bike in California.

Read all about it. 

-Fraser Dixon

Trump Signs Four Executive Orders After Economic Relief Talks with Dems Collapse

(Washington Post) – President Trump on Saturday attempted to bypass Congress and make dramatic changes to tax and spending policy, signing executive actions that challenge the boundaries of power that separate the White House and Capitol Hill.

At a news event in Bedminster, N.J., Trump said the actions would provide economic relief to millions of Americans by deferring taxes and, he said, providing temporary unemployment benefits. The measures would attempt to wrest away some of Congress’s most fundamental, constitutionally mandated powers — tax and spending policy. Trump acknowledged that some of the actions could be challenged in court but indicated he would persevere.

Read more here

Lawmakers Call for an Investigation into Delayed Mail Ahead of 2020 Election

(Business Insider) – Postmaster General Louis DeJoy announced a massive reorganization to the US Postal Service’s leadership structure on Friday, amid calls from Democrats to investigate recent changes resulting in delayed mail deliveries. A surge of mail-in ballots is expected in the 2020 presidential election. 

According to a new organizational chart released Friday, USPS is reassigning or displacing 23 postal executives including the two top officials who oversee day-to-day operations, The Washington Post reported. The agency is also implementing a management hiring freeze and will request volunteers for early retirements. 

“This organizational change will capture operating efficiencies by providing clarity and economies of scale that will allow us to reduce our cost base and capture new revenue,” Louis DeJoy, who was appointed in May, said in a public statement. “It is crucial that we do what is within our control to help us successfully complete our mission to serve the American people.”

Find out more here

97,000 Children Reportedly Test Positive for Coronavirus in Two Weeks as Schools Prep for Opening

(CBS News) – Nearly 100,000 children tested positive for the coronavirus in the last two weeks of July, a new report from the American Academy of Pediatrics finds. Just over 97,000 children tested positive for the coronavirus from July 16 to July 30, according to the association.

Out of almost 5 million reported COVID-19 cases in the U.S., CBS News’ Michael George reports that the group found that more than 338,000 were children. 

Vanderbilt University’s Dr. Tina Hartert hopes increased testing of children will help determine what role they play in transmission, as school districts around the country return to some form of school. She is leading a government-funded study that saw DIY testing kits sent to some 2,000 families.

“The kits are shipped to the families, they are taught how to collect these samples, and then the samples are sent back by the families to a central repository,” she said.Get the latest here

250,000 Bikers Expected at a South Dakota Rally

(Houston Chronicle) – Health officials are still warning against even small gatherings, and states with relatively low spread are ordering visitors from hot spots to self-quarantine.

But come Friday, about 250,000 people from across the country are still expected to start descending on a roughly 7,000-person community in South Dakota for one of the biggest motorcycle rallies in the world, a 10-day extravaganza so deeply rooted that Sturgis calls itself the City of Riders.

The mayor of Sturgis says there’s not much to do but encourage “personal responsibility,” set up sanitation stations and give out masks – though face coverings won’t be required.

Find out more here

Simon Cowell Breaks Back Falling off Electric Bike in US

(The Guardian) – Simon Cowell has been taken to hospital with a broken back after falling off an electric bike in California.

His spokeswoman said the 60-year-old music mogul, who has a home in Malibu, was undergoing surgery for his injuries but was “doing fine”.

“Simon had a fall from his bike testing his new electric bike in the courtyard at his house in Malibu with his family. He hurt his back and was taken to hospital. He’s doing fine, he’s under observation and is in the best possible hands,” she said on Saturday.

“Simon has broken his back and is having surgery this evening,” she later added.

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