Scotties Toy Box

August 11, 2020

The global coffee crisis is coming

I am posting this to show how climate change is destroying everything good we have known.   Humans like all other species need a certain habitat, and we had grow with ours, until we began to destroy it.   We are literally destroying the very world  / environment we need to survive.   We are like the story of the frog in the pot of slowly heating water, we do not even understand our death is coming.    Hugs

White Evangelicals Love Trump Because He Feeds Their Persecution Complex

White Evangelicals Love Trump Because He Feeds Their Persecution Complex

If you believe they were telling the truth about their supposed values, then their support for him has to be the epitome of hypocrisy. Trump clearly sees the Bible as a strategic tool and nothing else. His corruption is breathtaking. He has caused more death, through his incompetence and neglect, than anyone thought imaginable. His racism is overt. Cruelty seems to be his only guiding light. There’s nothing Jesus-like about him.

But if you understand that white evangelicals have never cared about those values, and that using religion to acquire political power has always been their end game — and they’ve been doing this over and over for decades, changing their values to suit the times (like fighting for segregation to fighting against abortion rights when the former became untenable) — then their support for a modern American dictator makes perfect sense.

They support Trump because he really does represent everything they want: Power with no regard for the consequences.

 

In a front-page story in today’s New York TimesElizabeth Dias dives into whether evangelical support for Trump is hypocritical, transactional, or something else entirely.

She comes to this conclusion:

Evangelicals did not support Mr. Trump in spite of who he is. They supported him because of who he is, and because of who they are. He is their protector, the bully who is on their side, the one who offered safety amid their fears that their country as they know it, and their place in it, is changing, and changing quickly. White straight married couples with children who go to church regularly are no longer the American mainstream. An entire way of life, one in which their values were dominant, could be headed for extinction. And Mr. Trump offered to restore them to power, as though they have not been in power all along.

I would phrase that differently: White evangelicals have always lied to themselves about being persecuted. Trump gives them a chance to be the persecutors. They don’t want religious freedom. They want religious supremacy. Trump gives it to them. And if a bunch of people have to die or suffer because of Trump’s malice, those evangelicals don’t give a damn.

That’s what Christianity has come to represent in the age of Trump: The people who constantly claim to be morally superior would rather have the trophy than earn the title.

You know what would happen to Christians if Joe Biden win the election? Nothing. They would still be able to worship, promote their beliefs, have access to the same resources as everyone else. But they’re not interested in equality, so they treat it as persecution.

 

They didn’t cause all the problems, and no one ever said they did. But they’re viewed as bigots and racists because they are bigots and racists. They oppose civil rights for LGBTQ people — which has nothing to do with their private religious beliefs — and even today they treat Black Lives Matter protesters as part of some Marxist cabal.

Don’t complain if the description fits. More to the point, don’t complain when the reason that stereotype spreads is because people constantly quote Christian leaders verbatim and expose their beliefs through video clips and screenshots. (As someone who’s been blogging about this stuff for more than a decade, it’s safe to say this site wouldn’t exist without evangelical Christians constantly providing material.)

Ultimately, a lot of these people will vote for Trump because they’re unable to see the world except through a lens of Christian persecution. If a minority group is struggling, and people can’t feed their families, and strangers are dying — all because of what Republicans in power do — we can’t rely on evangelicals to do anything about it.

They have all the power in the world, and they’re using it to keep themselves in power, not to make anyone else’s lives better.

There is more at the link above.   Interesting take on the religious and tRump I think.   Hugs

How did Americans become such Wimps? Silence as Trump kills tens of Thousands, Destroys Social Security and Post Office, Plots Election Fraud

Filed under: Economics, Education, Fascism, Greed, History, Memes, News, Political, Questions, Reason — Scottie @ 09:42

An interesting article.   I found the premise quite plausible.   Hugs

https://www.juancole.com/2020/08/americans-thousands-security.html

 

By feeding us decades of propaganda against unions and “socialism,” the American rich have broken the legs of the people, and left them to twitch helplessly as more and more indignities are heaped on them. They’ve divided us by race (Trump is not alone in this tactic, only the least subtle), they’ve convinced us to give the super-rich power because they will make us rich too. (How is that working out for you?).

There is now no mainstream political party in Western Europe that is anywhere near as far right as the GOP. The closest analogues to today’s Republican Party in Europe are the far right white supremacist parties, like Marie LePen’s National Front in France or the AfD in Germany.

It appears that a plutocracy produces fascism, since appeals to racialist superiority and playing on fears of a brown and black Other are the only things that can convince people to give up their basic human rights (like a comfortable life in retirement, which they have paid for, or the right to cast a mail in ballot during a pandemic).

These quotes are from the end of the article.   There is a lot more information at the link above.   I recommend reading it.   Hugs

Daily morning cartoon / meme roundup: tRump a legend in his own mind

Mike Luckovich Comic Strip for August 11, 2020

Kevin Kallaugher Comic Strip for August 11, 2020

Chip Bok Comic Strip for August 11, 2020

 

 

 

Political Cartoon U.S. Trump Corrupt Election Vote by Mail

Political Cartoon U.S. Trump USPS 2020 election

Tom Toles Comic Strip for August 11, 2020

Signe Wilkinson Comic Strip for August 11, 2020

Clay Bennett Comic Strip for August 11, 2020

 

 

Chris Britt Comic Strip for August 10, 2020

Robert Ariail Comic Strip for August 10, 2020

Walt Handelsman Comic Strip for August 10, 2020

 

Matt Davies Comic Strip for August 09, 2020

 

 

Moderately Confused Comic Strip for August 11, 2020

Jeff Stahler Comic Strip for August 11, 2020

John Deering Comic Strip for August 11, 2020

Home of the hypocrites

Filed under: Cartoons, Education, Memes, News, Political, Questions, Reason, Religion — Scottie @ 04:18

Steve Benson Comic Strip for August 10, 2020

August 10, 2020

Coronavirus cases in children jump as they prepare to go back to school

Study: Coronavirus cases in children rise sharply in the second half of July, with more than 97,000 infections

Again do not open the schools!   Hugs

https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2020/08/09/study-coronavirus-cases-children-rise-sharply-second-half-july-with-more-than-97000-infections/

More than 97,000 U.S. children tested positive for the coronavirus in the last two weeks of July, more than a quarter of the total number of children diagnosed nationwide since March, according to data from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association.

The report cited data from 49 states, New York City, Washington, Puerto Rico and Guam, most of which defined children as younger than 19 years old.

As of July 30, there were 338,982 cases reported in children since the pandemic began. Still, that was a relatively small fraction of the total number of coronavirus cases nationally — 8.8 percent. As of April 14, children made up just 2 percent of cases nationwide, according to the data.

The jump in pediatric cases comes as children are entering close quarters for the first time in months as some schools open their doors to students again. For months, teachers, parents and politicians have argued over whether the risks that the novel coronavirus pose to children outweigh the benefits of in-person learning.

Many school districts have chosen to operate entirely remotely until case numbers drop. Some have opted for hybrid learning systems in which children attend school in-person only a few days a week to limit crowding. But even schools with measures limiting crowds have suffered outbreaks already.

 

North Paulding High School, near Atlanta, made news last week when pictures spread on social media of students crowded in hallways and not wearing masks. Sunday, the school sent a letter to parents announcing the campus would be closed to in-person learning for at least two days after nine people tested positive for the virus.

Seven out of 10 new pediatric cases were reported in southern and western states, according to the report. Northeastern states saw much more limited growth in children’s cases. Arizona reported the most cases per 100,000 children, with more than 1,000 per 100,000 on July 30. Louisiana, South Carolina and Tennessee were the only other states with more than 800 cases per 100,000.

Pediatric deaths from covid-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus, remained rare, accounting for fewer than 1 percent of the national total, the report concluded. And children represented a small share of patients hospitalized with the illness. A report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday found that Hispanic and Black children were substantially more likely to be hospitalized with covid-19 than their White peers.

tRump created the lie that kids do not get the virus, and Republicans are repeating it.   In order to get the money flowing to keep the stock market happy peopel need to buy and sell again.   To do that people have to have money and the Republicans are against giving government services and and any money to workers so they must force them back to work.  The peons and wage slaves must toil.  To be able to do that the kids must be warehoused somewhere.    So they demand the opening of schools.   Hugs

Really? With the healthcare systems at the breaking point? Why is the governor trying to kill off the people he is sworn to protect? Just to please the cult leader? Hugs

US tops 5 million confirmed virus cases, to Europe’s alarm

Filed under: Death, Economics, Family, Fascism, Greed, Health, News, Political, Questions, Reason, Science — Scottie @ 07:54

https://apnews.com/2a03a4e685316eb7d5a6e7181000fbfe

With confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. hitting 5 million Sunday, by far the highest of any country, the failure of the most powerful nation in the world to contain the scourge has been met with astonishment and alarm in Europe.

Perhaps nowhere outside the U.S. is America’s bungled virus response viewed with more consternation than in Italy, which was ground zero of Europe’s epidemic. Italians were unprepared when the outbreak exploded in February, and the country still has one of the world’s highest official death tolls at over 35,000.

But after a strict nationwide, 10-week lockdown, vigilant tracing of new clusters and general acceptance of mask mandates and social distancing, Italy has become a model of virus containment.

“Don’t they care about their health?” a mask-clad Patrizia Antonini asked about people in the United States as she walked with friends along the banks of Lake Bracciano, north of Rome. “They need to take our precautions. … They need a real lockdown.”

Much of the incredulity in Europe stems from the fact that America had the benefit of time, European experience and medical know-how to treat the virus that the continent itself didn’t have when the first COVID-19 patients started filling intensive care units.

ore than four months into a sustained outbreak, the U.S. reached the 5 million mark, according to the running count kept by Johns Hopkins University. Health officials believe the actual number is perhaps 10 times higher, or closer to 50 million, given testing limitations and the fact that as many as 40% of all those who are infected have no symptoms.

“We Italians always saw America as a model,” said Massimo Franco, a columnist with daily Corriere della Sera. “But with this virus we’ve discovered a country that is very fragile, with bad infrastructure and a public health system that is nonexistent.”

With America’s world’s-highest death toll of more than 160,000, its politicized resistance to masks and its rising caseload, European nations have barred American tourists and visitors from other countries with growing cases from freely traveling to the bloc.

Europe as a whole has seen over 207,000 confirmed virus deaths, by Johns Hopkins’ count.

In the U.S., new cases are running at about 54,000 a day — an immensely high number even when taking into account the country’s large population. And while that’s down from a peak of well over 70,000 last month, cases are rising in nearly 20 states, and deaths are climbing in most.

In contrast, at least for now Europe appears to have the virus somewhat under control.

“Had the medical professionals been allowed to operate in the States, you would have belatedly gotten to a point of getting to grips with this back in March,” said Scott Lucas, professor of international studies at the University of Birmingham, England. “But of course, the medical and public health professionals were not allowed to proceed unchecked,” he said, referring to President Donald Trump ’s frequent undercutting of his own experts.

When the virus first appeared in the United States, Trump and his supporters quickly dismissed it as either a “hoax” or a scourge that would quickly disappear once warmer weather arrived. At one point, Trump suggested that ultraviolet light or injecting disinfectants would eradicate the virus. (He later said he was being facetious).

Trump’s frequent complaints about Dr. Anthony Fauci have regularly made headlines in Europe, where the U.S. infectious-disease expert is a respected figure. Italy’s leading COVID-19 hospital offered Fauci a job if Trump fired him.

Trump has defended the U.S. response, blaming China, where the virus was first detected, for America’s problems and saying the U.S. numbers are so high because there is so much testing. Trump supporters and Americans who have refused to wear masks against all medical advice back that line.

When he gets on Zoom calls with counterparts from around the globe, “everyone cannot believe what they’re seeing in the U.S. and they cannot believe the words coming out of the leadership,” he said.

Amid the scorn from other countries, Trump national security adviser Robert O’Brien, newly recovered from a bout with the virus, gave an upbeat picture Sunday on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”

“We’re going to fight like heck. We’re working hard on vaccines. We’re working hard on testing machines that are portable and fast. … We’re working on therapeutics,” he said. “I’m so impressed with our scientists and our doctors and our first responders and the folks who are attacking this disease, and God bless them all.”

Many Europeans point proudly to their national health care systems that not only test but treat COVID-19 for free, unlike the American system, where the virus crisis has only exacerbated income and racial inequalities in obtaining health care.

“The coronavirus has brutally stripped bare the vulnerability of a country that has been sliding for years,” wrote Italian author Massimo Gaggi in his new book “Crack America” (Broken America), about U.S. problems that long predated COVID-19.

There is more at the link above including pictures and graphs.   Please note that people over seas in real advanced / developed countries have healthcare systems that help the people, not drain them of all their money.    Hugs

Disabled WA Man Suffers Broken Jaw In Mask Assault

WTF has happened in the US.  Is there lead in the water?   I don’t get that so many lack any control of their anger or rage, and only seem able to process their immediate wants and feelings.   I am stunned reading today’s news?  Hugs

Disabled WA Man Suffers Broken Jaw In Mask Assault

Fox News reports:

A man in Washington state was arrested Saturday and charged with assault after allegedly breaking the jaw of a 72-year-old disabled veteran in a hotel lobby in a dispute over coronavirus masks.

Cody P. Hansen, 35, [photo] was arrested at his home in Spokane, Wash., on Saturday after police received an anonymous tip. He has been charged with second-degree assault in relation to the incident.

He is accused of attacking the 72-year-old veteran in the lobby of the Red Lion Inn and Suites in Kent, Wash., on July 18. Surveillance video showed a man, later identified as Hansen, approach a partially disabled man sitting in the lobby with his cane and dog nearby.

The victim tells police that he asked Hansen’s girlfriend to wear a mask in the hotel’s lobby.

From the comment section, which I recommend reading or at least skimming over. 

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From profane tirades to a nude photo, Massachusetts COVID-19 compliance hotline drew some fake complaints, too

What the fuck is wrong with the people in this country.  They are acting like thugs and assholes.   They claim to be the law and order party but obeying a healthcare directed mandate to wear a small piece of cloth blows their minds.   Are they going to protest wearing pants next for it violates their liberty?   What a bunch of bullshit from a bunch of butt hurt snowflakes.    Hugs

https://www.masslive.com/politics/2020/08/from-profane-tirades-to-a-nude-photo-massachusetts-covid-19-compliance-hotline-drew-some-fake-complaints-too.html

Hours after its launch, Gov. Charlie Baker’s COVID-19 compliance hotline was hit with profane tirades about the governor’s restrictions, fake complaints and even a picture of a man’s genitalia.

The pornographic missive, sent the day of the reporting line’s launch, was sent by an account named “Good German” with the subject line “no mask compliance.” An email to the address was not returned Friday.

That email was tucked between messages calling the new reporting portal a “rat line” and complaints about Baker for not wearing a mask while delivering his COVID-19 briefings, even though he usually stands 6 feet away from others.

“How many times have we seen Gov. Baker (R.I.N.O.) giving press conferences without himself (wearing a mask)” one complaint said, calling Baker a “Republican In Name Only.”

“Is this a new Communist site?” another person asked.

Dozens of messages like this came into the state, though it made up a small fraction of the more than 900 complaints the Department of Labor Services received in the reporting system’s the first week.

A handful of people filed other fake complaints, such as reports of unmasked dogs, or asked to report the Legislature or governors that condoned Black Lives Matter protests. (The BLM protests in Massachusetts, however, were largely masked and 2.5% of demonstrators who participated in testing tested positive for COVID-19.)

Still, the reporting line has its detractors. Some of the emails the state portal received in its first days accused the state of unfairly targeting struggling businesses and called on the Baker administration to speed up its reopening process. A handful of the calls and emails were little more than rants cursing out the governor.

More at the link above.   The humans in the US are devolving at a rapid rate.   Hugs

 

 

New Zealand Goes 100 Days Without New COVID Case

Filed under: Death, Economics, Health, News, Political, Questions, Reason, Science — Scottie @ 07:02

The way it should have been done here.   We call our country the greatest on earth and ride the coat tails of the preceding generations.   If we would take that damn chip off our shoulder and look around the world we see a better way to deal with this.   Ah but the Dear Leader of the tRump cult would have to admit he was wrong and that won’t ever happen.   Hugs

New Zealand Goes 100 Days Without New COVID Case

Business Insider reports:

New Zealand has made it 100 days without a single new local case of COVID-19, the country’s Ministry of Health announced Sunday. The public health milestone comes as coronavirus cases are spiking in other countries, including nearby Australia. The total number of cases in the US surpassed 5 million Sunday — by contrast, New Zealand has only reported 1,219 cases of the virus, most in April and May, and 23 of those cases remain active.

New Zealand took an early, aggressive approach to stop the spread of the virus. The country of 5 million people entered a hard lockdown in April that closed schools and nearly all businesses, including food delivery. By June, most restrictions were lifted in the country, but New Zealand’s borders remain closed to foreigners and incoming New Zealanders are required self-quarantine for two weeks after arriving.

More at the links above.    Hugs

Nine COVID Cases Reported At Georgia School After Photos Showing Crowded Hallways Went Viral

https://www.ajc.com/education/9-cases-of-covid-19-reported-at-north-paulding-high-school/OWH6MN7DZ5A2XDQMXX337AQEWI/

The Paulding County high school that became infamous for hallways crowded with unmasked students will retreat online for at least a couple days this week after revealing that a half-dozen students and three staffers were diagnosed with COVID-19.

The district said it needs time to disinfect the North Paulding High School building and look for other potentially infected individuals.

“On Monday and Tuesday, the school will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected, and the district will consult with the Department of Public Health to assess the environment and determine if there (are) any additional close contacts for confirmed cases who have not already been identified,” Paulding Superintendent Brian Otott wrote in a letter to parents Sunday.

Otott said parents will be notified Tuesday evening about whether North Paulding High School will reopen Wednesday.

Otott’s letter followed one Saturday by Principal Gabe Carmona disclosing to parents that six students and three staff members who were in the school last week had reported getting positive tests for the coronavirus.

The school made national news after it opened Monday and images of the crowded hallways quickly went viral on social media.

The school district suspended two students, including one who publicly acknowledged posting one of the photos on Tuesday. The punishment led to a national outcry from critics who said school leaders were trying to silence the students. After the pushback, the district relented and lifted the suspensions on Friday.

Angie Franks said both her nephews who attend the school have tested positive for COVID-19. One came home from school Monday unable to smell, she said in an interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. His mother took him for testing and got results the next day that showed he had been infected with the coronavirus, Franks said. By then, his brother was exhibiting symptoms and was also tested. His positive results were returned Wednesday.

The students are quarantining at home, but both went to North Paulding High on the first day of school last Monday. Franks said the boys’ father notified the school on Tuesday and Wednesday after getting their test results.

“They sat in class all day long with no masks and not social distancing,” Franks said. “And I have no idea how many kids they came into contact with.”

She said the boys did not grasp the gravity of the virus and weren’t encouraged to wear masks in classrooms or hallways by the school. Paulding County’s school system is not mandating masks for students and staff, although it is supplying them for teachers.

There is a lot more at the link above.   The nurse even resigned because it was clearly unsafe.   There is no way to do this safely and there is no reason to do so.  I am tired of the Right wing misinformation on this virus, it is now a health crisis with many people dying.    I just got done listing to a CNN interview with a tRump supporter, a cult member I would say, who claimed it was all hype, planned to help Democrats and hurt the great and grand Dear Leader, it was not as bad as the flu, doctors agree it is just a minor thing, that there is no large number of people dying from it, and on and on.   Every time the interviewer pushed back the guy would pivot to anything right wing media talking point.  I will leave the link below and hope it works.   Hugs

 

CORONAVIRUS Florida sets record for coronavirus hospitalizations: 3,355 in one week

Florida’s governor is trying to use the tRump method of managing the virus crisis to please his Dear Leader tRump.  Lie, obscure, and deny all the facts and instead make up fake ones showing everything is good again and getting better.  The fact is this is seriously stressing the capacity of our local medical systems.   Hospitals are not able to take more seriously ill patients.  Especially as most of those seriously ill will not be able to afford the care.   Hugs

https://www.orlandosentinel.com/coronavirus/os-ne-florida-coronavirus-sunday-august-9-20200809-wbtuwanjmnf3zfxpt6ovi6lhgu-story.html

Florida closed out the week with a record for weekly reported hospitalizations due to COVID-19, as the state’s case total and death toll continued to grow.

From Sunday to Sunday, the state saw 3,355 hospitalizations, a new record for COVID-19 admissions in one week. In the span of five days alone — Tuesday to Saturday — the state reported more than 500 new hospitalizations per day, including a high of 621 on Wednesday.

 

To date, 30,505 people have been hospitalized in Florida, the state’s COVID-19 dashboard shows, up 254 more than a day earlier.

 

From June through mid-July in Florida, there were 207 new hospitalizations a day on average. That has spiked to a daily average of 447 since mid-July.

With 77 new fatalities reported Sunday, 8,186 Florida residents are now dead. When including the 129 deaths among nonresidents, the state toll is 8,315. The state’s daily reports include deaths from several previous days, as it can take two weeks or more for fatalities to be logged.

 

From Sunday to Sunday, there were 45,674 new cases reported and 1,102 deaths, the latter just falling short of the previous week’s record.

Statewide, Florida’s Department of Health reported a positivity rate of 8.46% for Saturday, but that’s for new cases only and excludes anyone who previously tested positive. For all cases including retests of those previously infected, yesterday’s positivity rate was 12.07%.

South Florida, home to 29% of Florida’s population, accounts for about 44% of cases with 231,749 total. That includes 2,318 new cases reported Sunday among Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties.

 

South Florida’s reported deaths on Sunday rose by 43 for a total of 3,599, about 44% of the state’s total.

Nine Democratic state senators on Thursday sent DeSantis a letter asking him to reconsider a push to reopen schools, saying “This is not the time for another premature victory.”

“What parent is prepared to play Russian roulette with their child’s life?” the letter said.

 

Experts encourage Central Florida residents to “double down” on wearing masks and social distancing.

The virus has infected over 19.6 million people and has killed over 727,000 worldwide, according to the Johns Hopkins University & Medicine Coronavirus Resource Center. The U.S. has over 5 million cases, the highest in the world, and over 161,000 are dead.

Many Americans have resisted wearing masks and social distancing, calling such precautions an overreaction or an infringement on their liberty. Public health experts say the problem has been compounded by confusing and inconsistent guidance from politicians and a patchwork quilt of approaches to containing the scourge by county, state and federal governments.

 

The U.S. has the most fatalities by far, followed by Brazil with over 100,000, Mexico with over 52,000, the United Kingdom with over 46,000, India with over 43,000, Italy with over 35,000, and France with over 30,000.

There is more information and accessible links to the data at the link above.   Please note in the middle of all this death and sickness because adults can not agree to do simply precautions, the Republican leaders are insisting that schools reopen and kids to do what adults wont?   As we have seen in Georgia kids and young people simply wont wear masks and social distance, which in hallways and other rooms in schools it is simply not possible to distance.   They had to close their school because so many students and teachers now are testing positive for the Covid virus.   But the state can not collect more taxes if people are not back to working and businesses are not selling goods and services.  And that can not happen if parents have to stay home to watch their children.   So this failed attempt to force the opening of schools.   People are hurting and dying but tRump and DeSantis wants to pretend everything is rosy and please just go back to living as you use to do.   Hugs

Daily morning cartoon / meme roundup: People are dying because of tRump, vote him out and hold him accountable

 

 

Non Sequitur Comic Strip for August 10, 2020

Clay Jones Comic Strip for August 10, 2020

Ken Catalino Comic Strip for August 09, 2020

Tom Toles Comic Strip for August 10, 2020

Gary Markstein Comic Strip for August 10, 2020

Brian McFadden Comic Strip for August 10, 2020

 

 

 

August 9, 2020

These groups gave $1.2M to senators leading fight against workers’ rights

Corporate money in politics is not only crushing workers it is also killing democracy.   I find it is weird that corporations are people with all the rights included but no responsibility to society,  yet females have government interference with their reproduction rights.  Then there is this.   Hugs

https://americanindependent.com/gop-senators-liability-shield-coronavirus-lawsuits-mitch-mcconnell-john-cornyn-covid-19/

 

A bill written by Senate Republicans would make it harder for workers to sue their employers if they contracted the coronavirus on the job.

 

Business groups pushing to make it harder for employees to sue the companies they work for if they contract the coronavirus on the job have given more than $1.2 million to the two Senate Republicans leading the charge to include a corporate “liability shield” in any new pandemic relief legislation.

And one of those senators is threatening to block any relief legislation until the shield becomes law.

Sen. John Cornyn of Texas and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell are the co-authors of the so-called Safeguarding America’s Frontline Employees To Offer Work Opportunities Required to Kickstart the Economy Act. The act requires workers who contract the coronavirus to show that they did so due to their employer’s “reckless disregard” for safety measures.

The act says that a plaintiff must establish “clear and convincing evidence that the individual or entity was not making reasonable efforts in light of all the circumstances to comply with any of the conflicting applicable government standards and guidance issued by any government to whose jurisdiction the individual or entity is subject.”

Cornyn has received more than $430,000 from trade associations’ political action committees since 2016. McConnell has received more than $825,000.

Under current law, if a business’s customer or employee gets sick, in most states they can sue if they can prove the business was responsible and did not take reasonable precautions. Proving this is already an “uphill battle,” employment lawyer Jonathan Segal told USA Today in April.

Corporations are pushing to make that hill even steeper.

Though relatively few cases have been brought by employees so far, businesses have argued that expensive bogus lawsuits could bankrupt them without such a shield.

Workers say such a law would put them at even greater risk than they already are.

“We’re getting $12 an hour. We have no sick days,” airport security guard Mercedes Taylor told Time magazine last Thursday. “For them to be concerned about the liability of employers and them not being sued versus the employees who have been consistently showing for work and providing a service? I’m very disappointed.”

“Black, Latinx, and workers of color will be most directly impacted by the corporate immunity bill,” National Employment Law Project staff attorney Hugh Baran told the American Independent Foundation in a recent interview. “Gross negligence is already as a general manner an extremely difficult thing to prove. You virtually have to prove intent — that you wanted your workers to get hurt or sick. This actually raises the bar so high that no worker or consumer will ever be able to” meet its standard.

Last week, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and 494 other business groups sent Congress what they titled a “Coalition Letter on Coronavirus Liability Protections.”

“The undersigned organizations urge you to support the timely, targeted, and temporary liability relief provisions contained in S. 4317, the ‘SAFE TO WORK Act,'” the groups wrote:

These crucial protections would safeguard healthcare workers, providers, and facilities, as well as businesses, non-profit organizations, and educational institutions against unfair lawsuits so they can continue to contribute to a safe and effective economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. This legislation is critically needed and should be enacted as soon as possible. To that end, we strongly urge you to support the inclusion of these provisions in a Phase IV COVID-19 relief package.

Cornyn wrote last month, “As states gradually reopen their economies, front line health care workers, small businesses, and schools face a second pandemic of frivolous lawsuits threatening to bankrupt them. This legislation would protect those acting in good faith from being sued into oblivion while ensuring bad actors who willingly put their patients, employees, or customers in danger will still be held accountable.”

McConnell said in April that the Republican majority would not let the Senate pass any new virus relief legislation that does not contain the provision. “Let me make it perfectly clear that the Senate is not interested in passing a bill that does not have liability protection,” he told Fox News. “So, that’s an integral part of our economy getting back to normal. … What I’m saying is, we have a red line on liability. It won’t pass the Senate without it.”

Donald Trump has backed the liability shield.

A review of Federal Election Commission data finds that of the 495 trade groups pushing for the shield, at least 72 have sent political action committee contributions to Cornyn, McConnell, or both in the past few years. Their combined donations exceeded $1.2 million.

The contributions were made over the 2016, 2018, and 2020 campaign cycles and included donations to both the senators’ campaign committees and their leadership political action committees.

The donors were:

  • AdvaMed – Advanced Medical Technology Association: Gave $1,462.92 to Cornyn and $5,000 to McConnell. The group did not respond to an inquiry for this story.
  • Airlines for America: Gave $10,000 to McConnell. A spokesperson said in an email that the group supports “candidates who understand and appreciate the value that U.S. airlines deliver to our nation’s economy, jobs and the traveling public” and appreciates “the efforts of the Senate as they work to provide relief for both individuals and businesses that are critical to relaunching the economy as our country continues to combat challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic. We look forward to working with Congress as they address vital economic needs including measures that would ensure liability protections, help businesses retain employees and provide safe workplaces.”
  • American Academy of PAs: Gave $1,500 to McConnell. The group did not respond to an inquiry for this story.
  • American Bakers Association: Gave $2,500 to Cornyn and $5,000 to McConnell. The group did not respond to an inquiry for this story.
  • American Bankers Association: Gave $20,000 to Cornyn and $12,500 to McConnell. The group did not respond to an inquiry for this story.
  • American Chemistry Council: Gave $10,000 to Cornyn and $7,000 to McConnell. A spokesperson said in an email that the group backs the liability protection: “We believe that companies that are following federal, state and local public health guidelines, and are committed to controlling the spread of this disease, deserve appropriate legal protection to help ensure businesses are not hampered by unnecessary litigation, so that the U.S. economy is well positioned for recovery.” He added that the group’s donations go to members of Congress in both parties who “are working to advance sensible policies and regulations that drive creation of groundbreaking products that improve lives and our environment and enhance the economic vitality of communities everywhere.”
  • American Council of Engineering Companies: Gave $2,500 to Cornyn and $5,000 to McConnell. The group did not respond to an inquiry for this story.
  • American Council of Life Insurers: Gave $5,000 to Cornyn and $12,000 to McConnell. A spokesperson said in an email that “life insurers have been providing invaluable support to consumers and the U.S. economy” throughout the pandemic.
  • American Dental Association: Gave $25,000 to Cornyn and $30,000 to McConnell. In an emailed statement, the group said, “Dentists continue to care for patients throughout this pandemic helping people maintain both oral and overall health. Yet dentists remain vulnerable to the threat of unwarranted and unfair lawsuits,” adding that it “urges Congress to consider targeted and limited liability protections for dentists in the same way they are considering liability protection for other health care professionals who continue to treat COVID-19 under unprecedented conditions. … The American Dental Political Action Committee (ADPAC) is a bipartisan political action committee that supports candidates from all political parties, in order to provide dentists a voice in the public policy arena on behalf of their patients, dental practice and profession.”
  • American Forest and Paper Association: Gave $6,000 to Cornyn and $10,000 to McConnell. A spokesperson said in an email that the group’s political donations “are consistent cycle after cycle in that we give to both Democrats and Republicans in House and Senate leadership,” and that the group signed on to the letter because “Essential businesses are facing unprecedented challenges. They deserve commonsense protections so they can continue to focus on fueling our recovery and helping manufacturers respond to this crisis.”
  • American Gas Association: Gave $11,000 to McConnell. The group did not respond to an inquiry for this story.
  • American Health Care Association & National Center for Assisted Living: Gave $3,000 to Cornyn and $17,500 to McConnell. A spokesperson said in an email that the group is “advocating for limited and reasonable liability protection to cover providers and staff members for making good faith efforts. Our health care heroes in long term care are on the frontline of this pandemic response, and it is critical that the federal government and states provide the necessary liability protection staff and providers need to continue to offer quality care during this challenging time without fear of reprisal.”
  • American Hotel & Lodging Association: Gave $25,000 to Cornyn. The group did not respond to an inquiry for this story.
  • American Institute of CPAs: Gave $22,500 to Cornyn and $28,000 to McConnell. The group did not respond to an inquiry for this story.
  • American Medical Association: Gave $20,000 to Cornyn and $5,000 to McConnell. The group did not respond to an inquiry for this story.
  • American Property Casualty Insurance Association: Gave $7,000 to McConnell. The group did not respond to an inquiry for this story.
  • American Resort Development Association: Gave $2,500 to Cornyn. The group did not respond to an inquiry for this story.
  • American Trucking Associations: Gave $3,000 to Cornyn and $2,500 to McConnell. The group did not respond to an inquiry for this story.
  • American Veterinary Medical Association: Gave $2,000 to McConnell. The group did not respond to an inquiry for this story.
  • Argentum: Gave $12,500 to Cornyn. The group did not respond to an inquiry for this story.
  • Asian American Hotel Owners Association: Gave $12,000 to McConnell. The group did not respond to an inquiry for this story.
  • Associated Builders and Contractors: Gave $20,000 to Cornyn and $30,000 to McConnell. The group did not respond to an inquiry for this story.
  • Associated Equipment Distributors: Gave $10,000 to McConnell. The group did not respond to an inquiry for this story.
  • Associated General Contractors of America: Gave $40,000 to McConnell. A spokesperson confirmed the information in an email, writing that the group’s political action committee supports “candidates of either party that support common-sense, pro-growth economic measures that stimulate demand for new infrastructure and development projects” and that “the majority of our members tell us the measure they need most out of Washington is liability reform so that employers who have put in place all appropriate coronavirus safety precautions are not forced to endure needless litigation.”
  • Biotechnology Innovation Organization: Gave $1,000 to Cornyn and $1,000 to McConnell. The group did not respond to an inquiry for this story.
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield Association: Gave $21,000 to Cornyn and $30,000 to McConnell. The group did not respond to an inquiry for this story.
  • Consumer Bankers Association: Gave $7,500 to McConnell. The group did not respond to an inquiry for this story.
  • Council of Insurance Agents and Brokers: Gave $2,500 to Cornyn and $5,000 to McConnell. The group did not respond to an inquiry for this story.
  • Credit Union National Association: Gave $1,000 to Cornyn and $32,500 to McConnell. The group did not respond to an inquiry for this story.
  • CTIA-The Wireless Association: Gave $2,000 to Cornyn and $7,500 to McConnell. The group did not respond to an inquiry for this story.
  • Distilled Spirits Council of the United States: Gave $10,000 to McConnell. The group did not respond to an inquiry for this story.
  • Edison Electric Institute: Gave $25,000 to McConnell. The group did not respond to an inquiry for this story.
  • Federation of American Hospitals: Gave $10,000 to Cornyn and $28,500 to McConnell. The group did not respond to an inquiry for this story.
  • Independent Electrical Contractors: Gave $1,500 to McConnell. The group did not respond to an inquiry for this story.
  • Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America: Gave $2,500 to Cornyn and $5,000 to McConnell. A spokesperson said in an email that the group’s PAC “is bipartisan and distributes millions of dollars each election cycle, supporting the campaigns of Democratic and Republican candidates for federal office that support small business.”
  • International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions: Gave $1,000 to McConnell. The group did not respond to an inquiry for this story.
  • International Council of Shopping Centers: Gave $11,000 to Cornyn. The group did not respond to an inquiry for this story.
  • International Foodservice Distributors Association: Gave $10,000 to McConnell. The group did not respond to an inquiry for this story.
  • International Franchise Association: Gave $6,500 to Cornyn and $10,000 to McConnell. The group did not respond to an inquiry for this story.
  • Manufactured Housing Institute: Gave $7,500 to McConnell. The group did not respond to an inquiry for this story.
  • Medical Device Manufacturers Association: Gave $5,000 to McConnell. The group did not respond to an inquiry for this story.
  • Motion Picture Association: Gave $3,500 to McConnell. The group did not respond to an inquiry for this story.
  • National Apartment Association: Gave $26,000 to McConnell. The group did not respond to an inquiry for this story.
  • National Association of Broadcasters: Gave $25,000 to Cornyn and $52,400 to McConnell. The group did not respond to an inquiry for this story.
  • National Association of Chain Drug Stores: Gave $10,000 to McConnell. The group did not respond to an inquiry for this story.
  • National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions: Gave $11,000 to McConnell. The group did not respond to an inquiry for this story.
  • National Association of Manufacturers: Gave $5,000 to McConnell. A spokesperson noted in an email that in April the group “released targeted Pandemic Liability Policy Recommendations as part of the American Renewal Action Plan” and pointed to a July 28 statement in favor of the legislative proposal.
  • National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies: Gave $12,500 to McConnell. A spokesperson said in an email: “NAMIC believes that businesses, health care providers, non-profits, and other entities making a good faith effort to adopt health guidance to prevent the spread of COVID-19 should not also have to worry about frivolous lawsuits as they try to survive this pandemic.”
  • National Association of Professional Employer Organizations: Gave $2,500 to McConnell. The group did not respond to an inquiry for this story.
  • National Association of REALTORS: Gave $30,000 to Cornyn and $35,000 to McConnell. The group did not respond to an inquiry for this story.
  • National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors: Gave $5,000 to Cornyn and $5,000 to McConnell. A spokesperson responded to an inquiry for this story by sending a conservative group’s description of the American Independent Foundation.
  • National Automobile Dealers Association: Gave $25,000 to Cornyn and $35,000 to McConnell. The group did not respond to an inquiry for this story.
  • National Community Pharmacists Association: Gave $2,500 to McConnell. A spokesperson said in a phone interview that the group tries to balance donations to both parties and typically supports leadership and committee chairs. “We’re certainly grateful that both of them support that legislation but it isn’t the singular factor. There’s lots of other reasons,” he said. He noted that the liability shield is a “huge priority for independent pharmacists because they’ve remained open, they’re essential businesses, and they’ve done so to take care of their patients. One lawsuit can wipe them out,” adding that they have “operated in completely good faith and should have some protection from the kind of predatory lawsuits that are bound to come when this is all over.”
  • National Cotton Council: Gave $17,000 to Cornyn. The group did not respond to an inquiry for this story.
  • National Electrical Contractors Association: Gave $5,000 to McConnell. The group did not respond to an inquiry for this story.
  • National Grocers Association: Gave $5,000 to McConnell. The group did not respond to an inquiry for this story.
  • National Independent Automobile Dealers Association: Gave $2,500 to Cornyn. The group did not respond to an inquiry for this story.
  • National Mining Association: Gave $10,000 to McConnell. The group did not respond to an inquiry for this story.
  • National Multifamily Housing Council: Gave $10,000 to Cornyn and $35,000 to McConnell. The group did not respond to an inquiry for this story.
  • National Ready Mixed Concrete Association: Gave $7,500 to McConnell. The group did not respond to an inquiry for this story.
  • National Restaurant Association: Gave $20,000 to Cornyn and $25,000 to McConnell. A spokesperson said in an email that the group is working to help restaurants stay open safely. “As the nation’s second-largest private sector employer, the restaurant industry will be an essential component of our recovery from this national health crisis,” he wrote. “We engage with elected officials through our grassroots network, through restaurant owners and employees, and through our political action committee to ensure their understanding of the unique business operations of this industry and the role it plays in driving the economy.”
  • National Retail Federation: Gave $5,000 to Cornyn and $6,000 to McConnell. A spokesperson confirmed the information.
  • National Roofing Contractors Association: Gave $17,500 to Cornyn and $5,000 to McConnell. The group did not respond to an inquiry for this story.
  • National Shooting Sports Foundation: Gave $24,500 to Cornyn and $10,000 to McConnell. The group did not respond to an inquiry for this story.
  • National Federation of Independent Business: Gave $9,500 to McConnell. The group did not respond to an inquiry for this story.
  • North American Meat Institute: Gave $5,000 to McConnell. The group did not respond to an inquiry for this story.
  • Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America: Gave $5,500 to Cornyn and $12,500 to McConnell. The group declined to comment for this story.
  • Portland Cement Association: Gave $1,000 to McConnell. The group did not respond to an inquiry for this story.
  • Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association: Gave $7,500 to Cornyn and $12,500 to McConnell. The group did not respond to an inquiry for this story.
  • The Aluminum Association: Gave $2,500 to McConnell. The group did not respond to an inquiry for this story.
  • The Real Estate Roundtable: Gave $1,000 to Cornyn and $15,000 to McConnell. The group did not respond to an inquiry for this story.
  • U.S. Chamber of Commerce: Gave $5,000 to Cornyn and $12,500 to McConnell. A spokesperson said in an email that the letter “states our position on the issue.”

Neither McConnell nor Cornyn responded to inquiries for this story.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

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