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Senate speeds up confirmation vote for intelligence director

Senate speeds up confirmation vote for intelligence director 1

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate is poised to vote Thursday on the nomination of Texas GOP Rep. John Ratcliffe to be Director of National Intelligence, potentially confirming him sooner than expected, as senators are eager to quickly fill the post.

Democrats have been opposed to Ratcliffe’s nomination, and most are expected to vote against it. But they dropped their usual objections to holding a quick vote as members of both parties want a Senate-confirmed nominee in the job. Democrats usually force procedural votes that slow the nomination process, but are allowing a quick vote Thursday before the Senate leaves town for the next week.

Source: Senate speeds up confirmation vote for intelligence director

Today’s Top Stories: May 7, 2020

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The Lede

Schumer, Pelosi set to unveil ‘Rooseveltian’ relief package

Editorial: They are right. Something very big and bold needs to be done, as economists are warning that 40 percent of the lost jobs thus far (33 million) will be permanent.

That signals, at least to me, that they expect a HUGE decline in GDP. And it’s not going to stop when the “economy re-opens.”

A. We’re going to get a second wave of infections.

B. Many people won’t go back to normal even when businesses open back up. I know I won’t be.

Schumer on Thursday said the fiscally cautious approach now being taken by Republicans like McConnell and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (Calif.) reminded him of President Hoover’s response to the 1929 stock market crash and the onset of the Great Depression.

“The people like McConnell and McCarthy and even [President] Trump who say, ‘Let’s wait and do nothing,’ well, they remind me of the old Herbert Hoovers. We had the Great Depression — Hoover said let’s just wait it out. It got worse and worse,” Schumer said.

Hoover famously, and wrongly, predicted a rapid economic recovery in 1930. Instead, the Great Depression lasted until 1939.

Schumer said the better course of action is to follow in the footsteps of President Franklin Roosevelt, who oversaw the largest expansion of the federal government and is credited by many historians with helping to end the Great Depression.


Coronavirus update:

3,781,896 confirmed infections, up from 3,691,683 yesterday.
264,602 confirmed deaths, up from 258,256 yesterday.

US stats:

  • 1,231,943 confirmed infections, up from 1,206,886 yesterday.
  • 73,566 confirmed deaths, up from 71,220 yesterday.
May 7, 2020 COVID-19 pandemic map
Source

Relevant COVID-19 stories:


Politics:

Biden can’t shrug off Tara Reade allegation – Left bucks Biden over Reade allegation

Relevant Politics stories:


Economy Update:

Editorial: 3.17 million more jobs lost last week, bringing the total to about 33 million since the shutdown.

The Dow is up about 300 points, still in the high 23k range.

May 7, 2020 DJIA stock chart
Source

Upcoming economic reports this week:

  • Tuesday – Trade deficit – $44.4 billion (March), slightly up from $39.8 billion in February.
  • Wednesday – ADP employment report – down 20.2 million jobs. It’s even worse than this report suggests. This is a lagging indicator. Wait until next month…
  • Thursday – Jobless claims – another 3.17 million down, productivity – down 2.5 percent (bright side: estimates were at 5.5 percent down)
  • Friday – Unemployment rate – expect the unexpected

Source: https://www.marketwatch.com/tools/calendars/economic

Relevant Economy stories:

Learn how to turn your hobbies into hustles – check out Gig Economics.


Offbeat Story of the Day:

Axl Rose, Steven Mnuchin and the pandemic Twitter feud no one saw coming

The Guns N’ Roses frontman called Mnuchin an expletive, prompting the treasury secretary to respond, “What have you done for the country lately?”

But just when it seemed like things couldn’t possibly get any weirder, Wednesday night rolled around with a Twitter feud no one could have anticipated: Guns N’ Roses frontman Axl Rose vs. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

Axl Rose and Steven Mnuchin are apparently fighting on Twitter. I don’t think anyone saw that one coming.

— Jeffrey Goldberg (@JeffreyGoldberg) May 7, 2020

Rose threw down the gauntlet shortly before 6:30 p.m. Wednesday when he hopped on his seldom-used Twitter account and declared to his 1.2 million followers, without context, “Whatever anyone may have previously thought of Steve Mnuchin he’s officially an a–hole.”

“It’s official!” tweeted the rock star, who is a prominent critic of President Trump.

Then, in a move that prompted collective surprise, Mnuchin hit back.

“What have you done for the country lately?” he tweeted, tacking what appeared to be an emoji of the United States flag to the end of his response.

Upon closer examination, however, eagle-eyed social media users noticed that Mnuchin had actually used an icon of the flag of Liberia, which is nearly identical to the American flag except instead of 50 stars it has only one. The original tweet was deleted and replaced with one using the correct flag, but not before numerous images had been taken.

The flag mix-up didn’t escape Rose’s attention either.

“My bad I didn’t get we’re hoping 2 emulate Liberia’s economic model,” Rose tweeted sarcastically, before revealing what prompted him to go after Mnuchin in the first place.

“But on the real unlike this admin I’m not responsible for 70k+ deaths n’ unlike u I don’t hold a fed gov position of responsibility 2 the American people n’ go on TV tellin them 2 travel the US during a pandemic,” he wrote.

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Today’s Top Stories: May 5, 2020

Today’s Top Stories is brought to you by My Daily Grind News.

The Lede

Models Project Sharp Rise in Deaths as States Reopen

An internal Trump administration report expects about 200,000 daily cases by June. The White House bars coronavirus task force officials from testifying to Congress without approval.

A Trump administration projection and a public model predict rising death tolls.

As President Trump presses for states to reopen their economies, his administration is privately projecting a steady rise in the number of coronavirus cases and deaths over the next several weeks. The daily death toll will reach about 3,000 on June 1, according to an internal document obtained by The New York Times, a 70 percent increase from the current number of about 1,750.

The projections, based on government modeling pulled together by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, forecast about 200,000 new cases each day by the end of the month, up from about 25,000 cases a day currently.

The numbers underscore a sobering reality: The United States has been hunkered down for the past seven weeks to try slowing the spread of the virus, but reopening the economy will make matters worse.

“There remains a large number of counties whose burden continues to grow,” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned.


Coronavirus update:

3,606,038 confirmed infections, up from 3,529,408 yesterday.
252,151 confirmed deaths, up from 248,025 yesterday.

US stats:
1,180,634 confirmed infections, up from 1,159,245 yesterday.
68,934 confirmed deaths, up from 67,710 yesterday.

May 5, 2020 COVID-19 pandemic map
Source

Relevant COVID-19 stories:


Politics:

Watch: Senate Considers Intelligence Director Nomination Amid COVID-19 Disaster

Relevant Politics stories:


Economy Update:

Treasury plans to borrow $3 trillion from April through June as enormous coronavirus costs pile up

The Dow is up over 350 points, rising again into the 24k range.

May 5, 2020 DJIA stock chart
Source

Upcoming economic reports this week:

  • Last Friday – Motor vehicle sales (annual rate) 8.6 million, up from 7.3 million last month
  • Tuesday – Trade deficit – $44.4 billion (March), slightly up from $39.8 billion in February.
  • Wednesday – ADP employment report – more bad news? Yes.
  • Thursday – Jobless claims, Productivity – expect gruesome numbers
  • Friday – Unemployment rate – expect the unexpected

Source: https://www.marketwatch.com/tools/calendars/economic

Relevant Economy stories:

Learn how to turn your hobbies into hustles – check out Gig Economics.


Offbeat Story of the Day:

Florida Woman, 56, Busted After Allowing Her Breasts To Break Quarantine | The Smoking Gun

A Florida Woman who insisted to cops that she was allowed to go topless while cleaning out her garage–in full view of her neighbors–was arrested for indecent exposure, according to a police report.

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Watch: Senate Considers Intelligence Director Nomination Amid COVID-19 Disaster

Watch: Senate Considers Intelligence Director Nomination Amid COVID-19 Disaster 3The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence has convened an extraordinary hearing to fill the longstanding vacancy atop the U.S. spy world. Watch it here at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday.

The Senate intelligence committee convened an extraordinary hearing on Tuesday morning at which members are considering the nomination of Rep. John Ratcliffe, R-Texas, to become the director of national intelligence.

The session not only intersects with a number of white-hot political storylines in Washington, but also made history simply for taking place amid continued social distancing and other mitigation measures aimed at containing the coronavirus.

Source: Watch: Senate Considers Intelligence Director Nomination Amid COVID-19 Disaster