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Pakistani ‘gender programs,’ horse-racing integrity, climate monitoring in Tibet: Just a few of the ridiculous things thrown into the COVID relief omnibus package

On Monday, Congress passed a long-awaited $900 billion coronavirus relief bill as a part of a $2.3 trillion omnibus spending package to fund the the government through next September, and as you might expect, the behemoth piece of legislation included far more than just stimulus checks and pay for government workers.

In fairness to the nation’s lawmakers, they were only granted a handful of hours to review the more than 5,000-page document before they were expected to vote for its passage. It’s doubtful that anyone outside congressional leadership read it, but nevertheless it received overwhelming support from both Republicans and Democrats in both chambers.

Now that the legislation has been approved, details about what exactly is in it have started to trickle out — and, needless to say, it’s not pretty.

What are the details?

Included in the bill are millions of dollars to fund “gender programs” in Pakistan, fund new cars for federal HIV/AIDS workers, and establish a Climate Security Advisory Council, according to Grabien Media founder Tom Elliott, who posted a lengthy Twitter thread with snapshots of the document Monday night.

Money is even set aside to fund an investigation of the “1908 Springfield Race Riot” and enforce horse-racing integrity.

Evidently, lawmakers thought it unacceptable not to provide funding for a museum to celebrate “the life, art, history, and culture of women.” Oh and they also made sure to appropriate funding for programs to discourage teenagers from drinking under age and engaging in unsafe sex.

Townhall reporter Beth Baumann even discovered a section of the bill where millions of dollars are set aside to monitor the climate change taking place in Tibet.

What else?

In a blistering speech on the Senate floor, Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.) denounced the bill and called out the so-called conservatives who abandoned their “soul” and their “fiscal integrity” to vote for it.

“If free money was the answer … if money really did grow on trees, why not give more free money? Why not give it out all the time?” the senator asked.

“Why stop at $600 a person? Why not $1,000? Why not $2,000?” he said in reference to the forthcoming stimulus checks set to be distributed to every American. “Maybe these new Free-Money Republicans should join the Everybody-Gets-A-Guaranteed-Income Caucus? Why not $20,000 a year for everybody, why not $30,000? If we can print out money with impunity, why not do it?”

The legislation passed in the Senate by a vote of 91-6. Five Republicans — Sens. Ted Cruz (Texas), Marsha Blackburn (Tenn.), Rick Scott (Fla.), Mike Lee (Utah), and Ron Johnson (Wis.) — joined Paul to vote against the bill. Prior to that, the bill passed in the House by a vote of 359-53, with only 53 members — 50 Republicans, 2 Democrats, and 1 independent — disapproving.

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Maxine Waters is outraged that people want Democrats to negotiate with Republicans on ‘coronavirus-19’ relief bill

Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters of California appeared to justify Democrats stalling on negotiations with Republicans on the coronavirus relief bill because of legal action taken by the president regarding the election.

Waters was on “The Reid Out” show with Joy Reid on MSNBC when she made the comments Tuesday. She recited a list of lawsuits that President Donald Trump and his team had filed in an attempt to overturn the results of the election and called it, “the highest form of voter suppression.”

She went on to claim that Democrats could not negotiate with Republicans on the coronavirus relief bill.

“Either they are so afraid so intimidated so bullied by the president of the United States, they can’t stand up for Democracy, and the Constitution. That is hard to believe, hard to understand,” said Waters.

“But when people say to us, ‘why don’t you negotiate with them on coronavirus-19 response, and help the people, why can’t you come to an agreement?’ Do you understand what we’re dealing with?” she asked rhetorically.

“We’re dealing with people who [are] willing to undermine their Democracy, people who have claimed to be patriots, people who don’t have any respect for the Constitution, and you expect us to be able to sit down with them, and for them to negotiate with us in good faith!” Waters added.

“This is awful, the world is watching,” she concluded.

While Waters only implied that Democrats wouldn’t work with Republicans on getting relief to Americans suffering from the economic effect of the coronavirus lockdowns, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) outright admitted it was the case in an interview with Jake Tapper on CNN.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) also lashed out at a CNN reporter when he pointed out that Democrats were settling for far less in the relief package when they stalled before the election.

Here’s the video of Waters’ comments:

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Companies connected to Gov. Gavin Newsom received nearly $3 million in federal PPP loans: report

At least eight companies partially owned by California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) received millions of dollars through the Paycheck Protection Program, according to a new report.

PlumpJack, a wine business Newsom started in 1992, received nearly $3 million in PPP loans, according to a report from KGO-TV. The Small Business Administration’s loan program “helps businesses keep their workforce employed during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.”

PlumpJack Management Group LLC includes five restaurants and bars, four Napa Valley wineries, a ski resort, and retail establishments, according to the company. At least nine companies affiliated with the PlumpJack Group received PPP loans, the report states.

One of the companies featured in the report is Villa Encinal Partners Limited Partnership, which has 14 employees and received a loan for $918,720 on April 14, 2020, just 11 days after the lending program launched, according to SBA data. Villa Encinal Partners Limited Partnership is linked to the PlumpJack winery in Napa, according to state records.

The Small Business Administration requires companies to spend 60% of PPP loans on wages.

“Hypothetically, if divided equally, each of them would’ve received around $40,000 to cover their payroll over a period of three months — that would amount to an annual salary of around $160,000 per employee,” KGO-TV stated.

California wineries that received more than $900,000 in PPP funding had an average of 148 employees, according to the report.

Analysis from the report found that small businesses in California with 14 employees received an average PPP loan amount of $128,000; Villa Encinal Partners LP received seven times that amount.

“It’s unexpected for a 14 employee organization to get nearly $1 million,” said Sean Moulton, a senior policy analyst with the nonpartisan Project on Government Oversight. “The purpose behind this program was to save entry-level jobs, people going in and working on that paycheck. That was what we put this out there for, to stop unemployment.

“It seems to be a small business but it got a lot of money,” Moulton added. “I’m not sure how the company justifies taking that much money when there were a lot of companies looking to get assistance. You hope they’re using it wisely because there’s an opportunity cost there — that money didn’t get used for another small business that may be out of business now.”

Moulton, who specializes in tracking PPP funds, said the companies could have been given preferential treatment “not because the governor asked for it, but because of all the connections that exist.”

In 2018, Newsom placed his ownership interests in the PlumpJack Group into a blind trust. The Democratic governor of California is listed on the PlumpJack Group website as the founder, and his sister Hilary Newsom is listed as the company’s president and partner.

The PlumpJack Management Group released a statement:

Like many other companies facing extreme financial duress during the pandemic, we used loan monies to protect our workers and keep them employed. Our staff members and their loved ones have depended on these programs for their livelihoods. Gavin Newsom is not affiliated with the operation of the companies in any way. Any suggestion otherwise is unequivocally false.

Jesse Melgar, Newsom’s communications director, responded by saying, “Before taking office, the Governor transferred title and control of the businesses he founded to a blind trust, a step that goes beyond anything required by law.”

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Horowitz: GOP to sign on to trillion-dollar COVID bill to ‘stimulate’ lockdowns

If we are going to enslave our children with incorrigible debt by spending endless trillions of dollars on a stimulus bill, why won’t Republicans at least ensure the funding stimulates growth rather than facilitating more lockdowns?

The mayor of Los Angeles has now essentially criminalized basic physical and economic activity outside one’s home. Nearly every state is doubling down on eight months of failed policies that dangerously violate our core liberties and crush our lives and our economy. Republicans are now prepared to underwrite yet another bill that will enable them to continue this nuclear winter on America’s economy rather than at least using the funds as a carrot and stick to end the lockdowns and violations of civil liberties.

Last week, a bipartisan group of liberal senators unveiled a draft bill to throw another $908 billion at the COVID economic crisis they helped create. The group of senators includes Joe Manchin (D-W.V.), Mitt Romney (R-Utah), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Angus King (I-Maine), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), and Mark Warner (D-Va.). In addition, Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), and Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) indicated they would support the broad framework.

Undoubtedly, our politicians owe small business owners reparations for shutting down their businesses. But who should bear the burden for those policies? The ones who perpetrated them: the state and local governments. Let them be forced to either raise taxes to pay for them or to end the lockdowns altogether. I’m not against the $288 billion in the bill for small businesses, but it should come with strings attached to the states.

Also, the bill spends another $180 billion on unemployment benefits. A stimulus bill should stimulate employment, not unemployment. It should offer tax and regulatory incentives to business owners and perhaps certain employees to work – not to stay locked down.

Moreover, the bill gives state and local governments another $180 billion. Yes, the very people who are shutting down our lives, who belong in jail for their abuse of power, are being rewarded by Republicans with a massive slush fund to pay off special interests and further spy on us and enforce COVID fascism.

To add insult to injury, the proposed “stimulus” would throw another $80 billion at the education system. But for what? Zoom classes? More mask mandates and social isolation of our children? The evidence is now clear that children should be left alone to live their lives normally, yet this bill would not even pretend to use the funding to incentivize school districts to end the child abuse.

Almost every other line item of this bill fuels the counterproductive nature of the status quo from these states. The draft plan will basically underwrite every lockdown goal of the local fascists. Not only would Congress hand money to schools without conditioning it on full reopening, but the bill spends another $10 billion on child care. The premise of this funding is to help parents stay employed while their children are out of school. But again, how about a bill incentivizing more schooling, thereby obviating the need for childcare funding to begin with?

Likewise, the bill throws more money at “opioid treatment.” However, the reason why there is a massive increase in drug abuse is because of the depression brought on by the lockdowns and school closures that this bill helps stimulate and perpetuate. The proposal would further fund food and nutrition programs to the tune of $26 billion, but we already spend an enormous sum through the school systems. Reopen the schools and you will solve that problem.

The most tragic and ironic outcome of these “stimulus” bills, which help ensure cowardly governors can keep kids out of school without suffering the consequences, is that the children are the ones who will pay for this unfunded liability. They are paying for the destruction wrought by lockdowns, and they will pay all the debt on the bills that are allowing these governors to virtue-signal on the taxpayer dime.

The bill also offers billions in additional funding for contact tracing, aka spying on the American people. How can Republicans sign off on this without first fixing the problem with overly sensitive PCR testing that ensures the contact tracing and quarantines are locking down the wrong people?

The proposal further bails out the airlines with another $45 billion, after they received hundreds of billions earlier this year. Airlines are abusing passengers (even more than usual) with draconian mask mandates. It’s time for them to own their miserable travel accommodations, which were terrible even before COVID, and suffer the consequences.

Republicans, especially those running in the Georgia Senate runoffs, incessantly accuse Democrats of promoting socialism. But when it comes to the most expensive market-distorting bills, they are pushing them right alongside the Democrats. If this is not socialism, then what is?

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Bernie Sanders admits Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats walked away from coronavirus relief bill offered by Republicans

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) admitted that Democrats walked away from a coronavirus bill that the Republicans had put on the table.

Sanders made the comments during an interview with Jake Tapper on his CNN show Monday. He also voiced his opposition to a compromise bill to which Democrats had signaled approval.

“Well, you talked about that $1.8 trillion bill that the White House, Steve Mnuchin, the Treasury Secretary, was working on with the House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) um, the Democrats walked away from that bill,” Tapper said.

“Thats right!” interrupted Sanders.

“…because they wanted $2.2 trillion and they walked away from $1.8 trillion. Was that a mistake?” Tapper asked.

“Thats what I’m saying! That’s exactly what I’m saying!” exclaimed Sanders.

“Here was a proposal much much larger, Democrats are, ‘no that’s not good enough,’ and now we’re prepared to accept a proposal that has I think $350 billion dollars in new money?” Sanders continued.

Sanders argued that the bill being negotiated didn’t have enough of what Democrats and progressives wanted, and that the Democrats were going to give the Republicans “everything they want” in the proposed bill.

“I don’t think this is much of a compromise, I think the Republicans have probably gotten 90% of what they want. Our job is to fight and get at least a 50-50 deal,” Sanders said in the interview. “We gotta do a lot better and negotiate a lot harder.”

Others have questioned the Democrats’ rationale behind their acceptance of a bill that had far less than a previous bill that they rejected. On Friday, Pelosi snapped at a CNN reporter for asking her to explain why they were accepting the compromise bill.

“Let me tell you something!” Pelosi scolded CNN’s Manu Raju.

“Don’t characterize what we did before as a mistake, as a preface to your question, if you want an answer!” she added.

“That was not a mistake!” Pelosi exclaimed. “It was a decision, and it’s taking us to a place where we can do the right thing, without other, shall we say, considerations in the legislation that we don’t want.”

Pelosi went on to say that the big difference between the previous bill and the current bill was that former Vice President Joe Biden was going to govern according to the guidance of the scientific community. President Donald Trump is still contesting the results of the Nov. 3 election.

Here’s more of the interview with Sanders on CNN:

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Ted Cruz torches Alyssa Milano after she tries to blame Republicans for standoff on coronavirus relief

Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas took on liberal actress Alyssa Milano after she tried to blame him and his fellow Republicans for the lack of a deal on a new coronavirus aid package.

The Twitter feud began after Cruz posted a comment about the changing demographics of the Democratic Party based on statistics about the changing voting habits of the highest earning counties in the U.S.

“Today’s Dems are the party of the rich. GOP is and should be the party of the working class,” Cruz said.

Milano, a vehement and vocal critic of President Donald Trump and the Republican party, criticized Cruz in response.

“This is hilarious. Why is the GOP blocking covid relief from working class families if it’s the party of working class? Or blocking the bill to raise minimum wage to 15 dollars an hour. Sit down,” Milano tweeted, garnering almost 800 retweets for the retort.

“Alyssa, facts matter. Dems have TWICE filibustered $500Bn in emergency COVID relief,” tweeted Cruz in response.

“EVERY SINGLE Senate Dem voted to block relief — Pelosi refuses even to talk — bc they believe maximizing economic pain helped Biden & it helps Dems in GA,” he added, “[and] they trust the press to cover for them.”

Milano responded but ignored the specific points that Cruz raised in order to continue to blame Republicans.

“The American people aren’t dumb, Ted. 14 million children and 5.5 million seniors don’t have enough food to eat in this country and your party wants to bail out corporations and wealthy sycophants. Your president would rather claim unsubstantiated election fraud than govern,” she tweeted.

Cruz made similar arguments when socialist Democrat Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York attempted to make the same accusations against Republicans.

While experts are cautioning against opening up the economy in light of what appears to be a second spike in coronavirus cases, many workers and business owners are speaking out against lockdown measures and arguing that they are far too draconian.

Here’s more about the battle for the next relief bill:

Can Congress reach a stimulus agreement ahead of potential government shutdown?

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MSNBC’s Chris Hayes admits it’s ‘a little nuts’ that Pelosi is stalling on coronavirus relief

MSNBC’s Chris Hayes appeared exasperated at why House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) was stalling on a deal on coronavirus relief.

Hayes made the comments in a question to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on his show Tuesday.

“The president is all over the place, and doesn’t have the attention span to concentrate on this for more than five minutes,” said Hayes.

“[Senate Majority Leader] Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.)’s caucus hates the idea of passing a big rescue bill, and the House wants one, but the thing I can’t quite understand is that it seemed like there was a tentative deal at say $1.8 trillion between the White House and [Treasury Secretary Steve] Mnuchin and the speaker,” Hayes continued.

“And the speaker was on CNN today saying no, that’s not good enough, and that strikes a lot of people as a little nuts like, if that were the deal, wouldn’t you all take it?” he asked.

“Well, the speaker is right,” responded Schumer.

“First of all the $1.8 is not really the $1.8 that meets America’s needs. As she said, it contains all sorts of giveaways so the president can just give away money and leaves out huge numbers of things that are needed to help people,” claimed Schumer.

Hayes was referring to a combative interview where Pelosi angrily berated CNN host Wolf Blitzer for pressuring her on the relief bill negotiations.

Blitzer demanded to know why the speaker had not personally spoke to President Donald Trump to further the relief negotiations along, but Pelosi became very belligerent and accused Blitzer of being an “apologist” for the Republicans.

Critics of the president have accused him of also mucking up the progress on a bill after he announced that he would be pulling out of negotiations with the Democrats until after the election. Three days later he relented and said that not only would he seek a relief bill before the election but that he wanted one bigger than the one the Democrats were seeking, and bigger than the one that congressional Republicans were seeking.

Here’s the video of Hayes’ incredulity:

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VIDEO: Nancy Pelosi melts down on CNN, accuses Wolf Blitzer of being an ‘apologist’ for the Republicans

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) had a full blown melt down on CNN after anchor Wolf Blitzer pressured her on securing a deal for coronavirus relief for the American people.

Blitzer asked Pelosi to respond to a tweet from her Democratic colleague, Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), about the failed negotiations between Republicans and Democrats to pass another relief bill.

“78 million can’t afford normal expenses. 40 million are at risk of eviction. 8 million small businesses might close forever. Dems can’t wait for the perfect deal. We have a moral obligation to get folks relief, now,” said Khanna in his statement.

Pelosi angrily criticized Blitzer for bringing up complaints from Khanna and others who she said had no idea about the negotiations.

“Honest to God, you really, I can’t get over it because Andrew Yang, he’s lovely, Ro Khanna, he’s lovely, they are not negotiating this situation, they have no idea of the particulars. They have no idea of what the language is here,” said Pelosi.

“I didn’t come over here to have, so you’re the apologist for the Obama, excuse me, God forbid,” said Pelosi, clearly flustered.

“Madame Speaker, I’m not the apologist, I’m asking you serious questions because so many people are in desperate need right now,” responded Blitzer.

Blitzer went on to ask why Pelosi hadn’t talked directly to President Donald Trump about the negotiations.

“With all due respect, with all due respect, and you know we’ve known each other for a long time, you really don’t know what you’re talking about,” responded Pelosi.

“If the plural of anecdote is not data, yes there are some people who said this or that, overhlwemingly my caucus wants what’s right for the American people,” she added. “So do a service to the issue, and have some level of respect for the people who have worked on these issues, written the bill to begin with!”

The interview continued combatively until Pelosi accused Blitzer of being disrespectful to Democrats.

“You evidently do not respect the chairmen of the committees who wrote this bill, and I wish you would respect the knowledge that goes into, getting, uh, meeting the needs of the American people. But again, you’ve been on [unintelligible] defending the administration all this time with no knowledge of the difference between our two bills, and I think you for giving me the opportunity to say that to you in person,” said Pelosi, smiling sarcastically.

Blitzer tried to close out the segment, but Pelosi kept interrupting and scolding him.

Here’s the video of Pelosi’s melt down:

Nancy Pelosi loses it during interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer