... During the Democratic primary, Biden spoke of restoring normalcy after four years of Donald Trump, frequently appealing to voters’ nostalgia for the presidency of Barack Obama. But now, as he faces the general election amid the deepening economic turmoil, the presumptive Democratic nominee is reaching for the legacy of a radical American president: Franklin Delano Roosevelt.https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/may/22/joe-biden-radicalism-fdr-economic-crisis-coronavirus
“The blinders have been taken off,” Biden told supporters recently during a virtual fundraiser from his Delaware home, where he has been since March. “Because of this Covid crisis, I think people are realizing, ‘My Lord, look at what is possible. Look at the institutional changes we can make.’” ...
Last week, Biden announced six policy taskforces – centered around issues that include healthcare, climate and the economy – that pair his supporters with ideological allies of Sanders. Among those chosen to participate are some of the young, progressive leaders most skeptical of his approach, including the New York congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. ...
In yet another assault on checks and balances, President Trump abruptly removed the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) independent watchdog late Friday – the same night he announced plans to fire the State Department Inspector General (IG). At DOT, the acting IG was overseeing a high profile investigation of Secretary Chao’s alleged favoritism benefiting her husband Senator Mitch McConnell’s political prospects, but has now been replaced with a political appointee from within the agency. The acting IG’s ouster calls into question the future of the Chao-McConnell investigation, other critical oversight, and whether the watchdog was dismissed for unearthing damaging information.https://www.citizensforethics.org/trump-removed-watchdog-investigating-elaine-chao-mcconnell-vetted-replacement/
This move is the latest salvo of Trump’s assault on oversight. And it looks like the President made sure to cover all his bases to block accountability, not only nominating an IG to succeed the experienced watchdog who held the post, but also demoting the acting IG who was investigating Chao, and installing a political appointee to serve in his place while the Senate considers a permanent replacement. To make matters worse, Trump’s pick to be the new acting IG, Howard “Skip” Elliott, already has a job overseeing the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), an office he will now also be in charge of policing.
Trump’s decision to sideline DOT acting IG Mitch Behm (who has 17 years of experience with OIG) was lost in the shuffle of outrage following the announcement that Trump planned to fire the State Department IG, but potential conflicts of interest abound. The most high profile is the DOT OIG’s review of allegations that Secretary Chao gave Senator McConnell’s constituents special treatment and helped steer millions of federal dollars to Kentucky as he is facing low approval ratings and a tough reelection bid. ...
“when you face a crisis and you spend much money in addressing the economic and health implications of that crisis...businesses that don’t pay tax shouldn’t benefit from interventions the government is making.https://www.thelondoneconomic.com/politics/wales-moves-to-deny-covid-19-support-to-businesses-based-in-tax-havens/14/05/
“...we are not going to go back to business as usual after this crisis.”
Last month France joined Denmark and Poland in blocking firms registered in offshore tax havens from claiming aid from its government coronavirus bailout.
Conservative MPs including a health minister have shared an edited video of Keir Starmer from a “far-right” Twitter account.They deleted their tweets and in one case her account but they should have tweeted a full and abject apology. They went after a top lawyer and this could, and should, comes back to bite them.
The world’s most robust study of universal basic income has concluded that it boosts recipients’ mental and financial well-being, as well as modestly improving employment.Of course, you might have to have a government like Finland's for it to work so well.
A secret government report that said the UK was not prepared for a pandemic and forewarned of the Covid-19 crisis in care homes is being published by the Guardian.#Covid-19 #CoronaVirus #UK #politics
Boris Johnson wants people in the UK to be back at work by the end of May if coronavirus cases are low enough, it has been reported.The news comes from "a Downing Street source" and was reported in The Sun, so I'll believe it when I hear it from an official source. But it could be good news, although a lot of people will now be reluctant to start going back outside for long periods of time.
According to the Sun, the Prime Minister and other officials hope some shops, offices and factories can reopen on May 26, the Tuesday after the bank holiday.
Shoppers have been told they can click-and-collect items from outlets categorised as “non-essential”, but Downing Street has denied a quiet loosening of the lockdown.Well, thanks for making that clear right from the start. 🤨
Boris Johnson’s spokesman denied a shift, saying: “No, I don’t think that means the advice has changed.
“It has always been the case that there were businesses such as pubs – which couldn’t open in the usual way – but could make things available to collect.
Inquests into coronavirus deaths among NHS workers should avoid examining systemic failures in provision of personal protective equipment (PPE), coroners have been told, in a move described by Labour as “very worrying”.#Covid-19 #CoronaVirus #politics #PPE
Health secretary Matt Hancock announces life assurance scheme as he revealed 82 NHS and 16 social care staff had lost their lives to the coronavirus.This is what the government thinks each of these heroes is worth. And this comes on the day when the BBC's Panorama reveals that the government has been lying about the amount of PPE it has supplied them with.
The government failed to buy crucial protective equipment to cope with a pandemic, a BBC investigation has found.This is an absolute scandal! The kind of scandal that could topple the government, though I bet it won't. They've been lying to us for a long time. No change there. But this time it's involved the deaths of health workers.
There were no gowns, visors, swabs or body bags in the government's pandemic stockpile when Covid-19 reached the UK.
NHS staff say they are being put at risk because of the shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE).
Ministers were warned last year the UK must have a robust plan to deal with a pandemic virus and its potentially catastrophic social and economic consequences in a confidential Cabinet Office briefing leaked to the Guardian.This document shows just how much warning the Conservative U.K. government had and how very little they had done to prepare. Would it have been different if we'd had a unity government from the start of the epidemic? Who knows? But with the dire consequences of this lack of preparation, and the continually missed targets and broken promises, perhaps it's time we had one now.
The recommendations within it included the need to stockpile PPE (personal protective equipment), organise advanced purchase agreements for other essential kit, establish procedures for disease surveillance and contact tracing, and draw up plans to manage a surge in excess deaths.
Exclusive: Leaked list reveals presence of Johnson adviser and Vote Leave ally on supposedly independent body#science #medicine #health #Covid-19 #CoronaVirus# #politics #DominicCummings #WormTongue
Ministers want to expand the scope of UK surveillance laws to give more public authorities – including a pensions watchdog and the Environment Agency – the power to access vast databases of personal phone and computer data.#government #politics #surveillance #privacy #security #uk
Five additional public bodies are to be allowed to obtain communications data under the Investigatory Powers Act – frequently dubbed the snooper’s charter – as they are “increasingly unable to rely on local police forces to investigate crimes on their behalf”, according to documents published by the government.