The Sorensen Monologues

Archive for August, 2020

Honest Headlines

News broke a week ago that the Trump campaign did, in fact, collude with Russia in 2016. You’ll recall that when the Mueller Report came out, Bill Barr generated massive headlines with his false summary of the findings. Now that we have damning evidence — from the Republican-led Senate, no less! — no one cares. It disappeared from the headlines within a day. The top story on the NYT shortly afterwards was about blood plasma. It goes without saying that a blockbuster report showing Hillary Clinton colluded with Russian intelligence to win a US election would not disappear so quickly.


First They Came for the Mailboxes…

Post office aside, it’s hard to imagine Trump & Co. going quietly into that good night. Just a few weeks ago, Senate Republicans stripped language from an intelligence bill requiring presidential campaigns to disclose offers of foreign help. You would think this would be uncontroversial, but of course we have the new Senate intelligence committee report that came out today that shows a breathtaking degree of shady contact between the Trump campaign and Moscow in 2016.

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Home of the grave

The Vanity Fair article referenced in the last panel is here. Key paragraphs:

…the prospect of launching a large-scale national plan was losing favor, said one public health expert in frequent contact with the White House’s official coronavirus task force.

Most troubling of all, perhaps, was a sentiment the expert said a member of Kushner’s team expressed: that because the virus had hit blue states hardest, a national plan was unnecessary and would not make sense politically. “The political folks believed that because it was going to be relegated to Democratic states, that they could blame those governors, and that would be an effective political strategy,” said the expert.

That logic may have swayed Kushner. “It was very clear that Jared was ultimately the decision maker as to what [plan] was going to come out,” the expert said.

That anyone on the White House pandemic team would suggest this is beyond scandalous. And yet, how many people know about this story?


Immunity Impunity

According to Ian Millhiser on Vox, the Republican bill places a “wide array of obstacles before workers and consumers who allege that they were infected due to a business’s negligence — or even against plaintiffs who allege they were infected because of truly reckless behavior by a business.” It also, breathtakingly, “allows businesses to sue — and collect damages and attorney’s fees from — anyone who so much as writes a letter to a business demanding compensation for certain Covid-19-related legal violations, if the allegations in that letter are later deemed ‘meritless.’ And it allows the United States attorney general to sue law firms, unions, and other entities that are ‘engaged in a pattern or practice’ of seeking compensation for similar violations.” So if you merely try to hold a business accountable, they can sue your pants off. Brilliant!

Now for the kicker: Do you know what this bill is called? The SAFE TO WORK Act! You can’t make this stuff up! (Actually, you can, and George Orwell did.) 


Jen Sorensen is a nationally-published political cartoonist. She is a 2017 Pulitzer finalist and recipient of the 2014 Herblock Prize and a 2013 Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award.

 

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