2020 Congressional Elections

Social Media Posts ‘Reveal’ Trump-Loving MAGA Candidate Ted Howze Is A Gross Bigot

GOP leadership is shocked, shocked!

California Republican Ted Howze thought he could run for Congress without anyone checking his social media, or maybe he assumed everyone would stop using social media and have more “game nights" with their families. Neither happened and now he has to answer for offensive posts about Muslims and immigrants that appeared on his Facebook and Twitter accounts.

The inflammatory content is your typical Rush Limbaugh/Ann Coulter garbage: Hillary Clinton is accused of murdering Seth Rich. Rep. Maxine Waters doesn't just have distracting black lady hair, she's also a crackhead. Parkland shooting survivor David Hogg is a fraud who hasn't witnessed real gun violence. Also, Islam sucks. None of this is true or all that “shocking." It's boilerplate rhetoric from your MAGA relative. But Republicans like to gaslight us into thinking their party isn't a pack of bigots.

Howze claimed he didn't know how those "negative and ugly" posts got on his accounts. He certainly didn't write them! He was a regular user of Facebook, but he apparently never read its security guidelines, so he gave people access to his accounts ... for reasons. Facebook isn't Netflix or Hulu. Facebook is free.

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coronavirus

Super Negotiator Trump Pays Four Times Contracted Price For Ventilators, Not One Penny Less

Probably ordered the undercoat, too.

Back in 2014, the US Department of Health and Human Services signed a contract with Dutch electronics giant Philips to develop an inexpensive, easy to use ventilator that could be manufactured quickly and provided to hospitals for use during a possible pandemic. HHS paid Philips Respironics $13.8 million to develop the ventilator, which the health agency wanted for the Strategic National Stockpile. In July of 2019, the ventilator, called the "Trilogy Evo Universal," was approved by the FDA, and in September, HHS signed a contract for Philips to make 10,000 of the things for the low, low cost (seriously, that's very low!) of just $3,280 per unit.

(This is a totally different low-cost-ventilator deal than the one that was in the news a few weeks ago. That one was signed under Obama and was moving along nicely until a medical giant bought the company and asked to get out of the contract; it is suspected they bought the smaller company to keep it from undermining their own more expensive ventilators.)

But instead of filling up the stockpile with inexpensive ventilators, Philips dedicated its American factory, in Pennsylvania, to churning out pricier commercial versions of the Trilogy Evo, which it sold to American and overseas customers. Exactly zero Trilogy Evo Universals went into the stockpile, and the government didn't even demand delivery of the inexpensive models once the actual COVID-19 outbreak started to hit the USA.

But there's some excellent news this week, at least if you're Philips Respironics! HHS announced Wednesday that it's signed a new contract with Philips to buy 43,000 ventilators from the company. Not the inexpensive model developed at taxpayer expense, which has never gone into mass production, but instead the commercial variant, the Trilogy EV300, for which HHS will pay more than $15,000 each, at a total cost of $646.7 million.

Isn't America just the best?

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News

Amy Klobuchar Shows The Love For Uncle Joe, Even Bernie, On ‘The View'

Is she our next vice president?

“The View" is a depressing sight these days. Co-hosts Sunny Hostin and Meghan McCain are on opposite ends of the table, keeping a safe six feet distance apart. That's good news for Hostin, but it makes for a somber set. Joy Behar stopped coming into the studio last week and is in self-quarantine for her own safety. Whoopi Goldberg's working from home because she's a national treasure and must remain safe if civilization is to endure after the coronavirus.

Goldberg interviewed Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar via Skype Wednesday. She even let McCain participate. Klobuchar did a fine job auditioning for vice president. She talked up Joe Biden as the person to lead America during these challenging times.

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2020 presidential election

Texas Just Shutting Down All Polling Places That Aren't At Ted Cruz's House

Shameful yet predictable, isn't it?

The saying goes that Texas isn't truly a "red" state; it's a non-voting state. Texas ranked 41st in the nation for voter turnout in 2018 — the year of the Blue Wave, when nationwide turnout was through the roof. Texas is the second-largest US state, so that's especially alarming.

Why don't Texans vote? It's not that they just don't give a damn: Texas officials go out of their way to keep Texans from voting. Last year, Texas closed down more polling places than any other state. According to a report from the Leadership Conference Education Fund, Texas closed down 750 polls since 2012. The closures are obviously and grossly targeted to disenfranchise minorities.

From The Guardian:

McLennan county, home to Waco, Texas, closed 44% of its polling places from 2012 to 2018, despite the fact that its population grew by more than 15,000 people during the same time period, with more than two-thirds of that growth coming from Black and Latinx residents.

It's shameful, and more evidence that Chief Justice John Roberts helped make Jim Crow great again when he gutted the Voting Rights Act. It doesn't even matter whether deliberate malice or incredible naïveté motivated Roberts, the ramifications have been grotesque.

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