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Who's Organizing the Lockdown Protests?

Source: NYT

The Daily Podcast

Across the United States, protests are erupting against orders to remain at home, close nonessential businesses and limit travel. So who is behind these protests? And what do they stand to gain

Background reading:

Conservative groups in a loose coalition have tapped their networks to drive up turnout at recent rallies and financed lawsuits, polling and research to combat stay-at-home orders.

Crowd sizes at the protests remain small -- ranging from a few dozen to several thousand at a rally in Michigan. Polls suggest that most Americans are in favor of cautious lockdown measures.

Jim Rutenberg, a writer-at-large for The New York Times.

Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/22/podcasts/the-daily/coronavirus-lockdown-protests.html

For more detailed information listen to the 28-minute Podcast.


Read the Complete Transcript here: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/22/podcasts/the-daily/coronavirus-lockdown-protests.html?showTranscript=1

Joe Biden for President Ad from "The Lincoln Project"

There first pro-Biden ad

Citi 1Q profit falls 46% as virus hits US, global customers

Source: AP

NEW YORK (AP) — Banking conglomerate Citigroup says first-quarter profit dropped 46% as it set aside billions to cover potentially bad loans. Citi set aside $7.03 billion for loan losses this quarter, up from $1.98 billion in the same period a year earlier. Citi is a large credit card issuer, focused primarily on consumers who keep and revolve a balance. Those customers are now at greater risk of default because many of them have lost their jobs. Citi also has a large international banking franchise and lends to companies around the globe, and some could default on their loans as business dries up.

Bank of America reported Wednesday that its quarterly profits dropped by 45% from a year ago, the latest major bank to say it took a hard hit from the coronavirus pandemic.

Like JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo, Bank of America had to set aside billions of dollars to cover potentially bad loans. Many of these loans were fine only weeks ago, but the pandemic has caused companies to shutter and millions of Americans to be put out of work.

The amount of money BofA set aside for loan losses nearly quintupled from a year ago, from $1.01 billion to $4.76 billion. The losses came from the bank’s consumer lending division — BofA is a large credit card issuer and has a massive consumer banking business. The bank also reserved for bad loans in its lending division to businesses.

Read more: https://apnews.com/66b6a574386b82357167e1d5b72fffbe

In nod to governors, Trump walks back total authority claim

Source: AP

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump said he’s open to some states “reopening” before federal social distancing guidelines expire at the end of month, as he appeared to back off his claim of absolute authority to decide when the time was right to act.

Hours after suggesting that the bipartisan concerns of governors about his assertion of power would amount to an insurrection, Trump abruptly reversed course Tuesday, saying he would leave it to governors to determine when and how to revive activity in their states. He said he likely would discuss his plans with governors on Thursday.

“The governors are responsible,” Trump said. “They have to take charge.”

Still, he insisted, “The governors will be very, very respectful of the presidency.”

Democratic and Republican governors had objected after Trump asserted Monday that he alone would determine when and how to reopen the economy, despite clear constitutional limitations on federal powers.

Trump said Tuesday he would authorize governors “of each individual state to implement a reopening — and a very powerful reopening — plan of their state at a time and in a matter as most appropriate.” Trump added that he would support moves by states that haven’t been hit hard by the outbreak to ease restrictions even before federal guidelines on social distancing expire April 30.

Read more: https://apnews.com/420a38ec14101eab70e07be367ee6422

Trump's narcissism is endangering his reelection. His own advisers admit it.

April 10, 2020 at 9:24 a.m. CDT
President Trump’s advisers are reportedly deeply worried that his narcissistic daily briefings on coronavirus are hurting his reelection chances. That’s revealing, in that it shows Trump’s unshakable faith in his ability to manipulate the news cycle with his magical reality-bending powers is not shared by his data-focused team.

But what’s even more revealing is what those advisers won’t say about these displays. This shows the limits on what constitutes acceptable criticism of Trump among those who have a big stake in his political success.

In short: It’s only okay to leak criticism of Trump for things that are perceived to harm him politically in the most superficial of ways, never mind the danger that his failings continue to pose to the country.

That Trump’s magical reality-bending powers are failing him is borne out by a new ABC News/Ipsos poll finding that only 44 percent of Americans approve of his handling of coronavirus, versus 55 percent who disapprove, a sizable swing from last week. A new CBS poll also finds this approval sliding into negative territory, as did this week’s CNN poll.

It turns out some Republicans — and some of Trump’s own advisers — agree with this, and are deeply worried about it.

A remarkably revealing New York Times report details these concerns, with a focus on how Trump’s daily coronavirus briefings are working against him.



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