McConnell plans coronavirus aid vote as Pelosi says White House stimulus plan falls short

  • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell plans a vote on limited coronavirus stimulus legislation based around the Paycheck Protection Program this month.
  • Meanwhile, President Donald Trump tweeted that lawmakers should “go big or go home” ahead of the 2020 election.
  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who is negotiating a potential stimulus deal with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, said the latest White House proposal “falls significantly short” of what is need to address the crisis.

Senate will take up Covid-19 small business relief when it returns, says Mitch McConnell

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The Senate will vote on a limited coronavirus stimulus bill this month, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday, as lawmakers stumble in their push to send aid to Americans before the 2020 election.

In a statement, the Kentucky Republican said the Senate would take up aid legislation after the full chamber returns on Monday. McConnell called the plan “targeted relief for American workers, including new funding” for Paycheck Protection Program small business loans. Speaking at an event in his home state, he said the bill would also include money for schools, an unemployment insurance boost and liability protections for businesses.

McConnell said in his statement that the Senate would have enough time to both pass the relief proposal and confirm Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett “unless Democrats block this aid for workers.” Democrats have in recent days targeted Republicans for moving forward with Barrett’s nomination while millions of Americans left jobless by the virus outbreak await federal assistance.

Democrats, who blocked a roughly $500 billion Republican plan in the Senate last month, could dismiss the latest GOP proposal as inadequate. A spokesman for Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer did not immediately respond to a request to comment on whether Democrats would support the new Republican bill.

McConnell announced plans for a vote as hopes for new spending to boost the health-care system and economy dim. Democrats and the Trump administration have failed to strike a relief deal as the U.S. creeps closer to Election Day on Nov. 3. Meanwhile, the White House and Senate Republicans appear more out of sync than ever on what the federal response will require.

“STIMULUS! Go big or go home!!!” President Donald Trump tweeted Tuesday shortly after McConnell detailed plans to vote on narrow legislation.

Over the weekend, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin offered House Speaker Nancy Pelosi a roughly $1.8 trillion plan — about $400 billion less than the bill House Democrats passed earlier this month. Pelosi has dismissed the proposal, and on Tuesday suggested Trump “only wants his name on a check to go out before Election Day and for the [stock] market to go up.”

“Over 215,000 Americans have died, nearly 7.8 million have been infected and millions more are still without jobs or income security and therefore struggling to make rent and put food on the table,” she wrote to House Democrats. “Tragically, the Trump proposal falls significantly short of what this pandemic and deep recession demand.”

Pelosi for

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Short the dollar if Biden wins the White House, Goldman Sachs suggests

The dollar may tumble to its lows of 2018 on the rising likelihood of Joe Biden winning the U.S. election and progress on a coronavirus vaccine, according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc.



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“The risks are skewed toward dollar weakness, and we see relatively low odds of the most dollar-positive outcome—a win by Mr. Trump combined with a meaningful vaccine delay,” strategists including Zach Pandl wrote in a note Friday. “A ‘blue wave’ U.S. election and favorable news on the vaccine timeline could return the trade-weighted dollar and DXY index to their 2018 lows.”

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The ICE U.S. Dollar Index has fallen more than 3% so far this year — trading just over the 93 level on Monday — as investors reacted to unprecedented pandemic-related monetary stimulus from the Federal Reserve and rock-bottom interest rates. The gauge traded below 89 in 2018, a level which would imply a further slide of more than 4%.

Goldman joins the likes of UBS Asset Management and Invesco Ltd. in predicting a weaker dollar as Biden extends his lead over President Donald Trump with less than three weeks to election day. It recommends investors short the dollar against a volatility-weighted basket consisting of the Mexican peso, South African rand and Indian rupee.

The strategists also suggest buying the euro, Canadian and Australian dollars against the greenback. The firm is keeping open long recommendations for the yuan through unhedged Chinese government bonds.

“The wide margin in current polls reduces the risk of a delayed election result, and the prospect for near-term vaccine breakthroughs may provide a backstop for risky assets,” they wrote.

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Mary Berg of Mary’s Kitchen Crush shares three favourite short story collections by Canadian women

Mary Berg is the Ontario home cook who was a winner of TV’s MasterChef Canada and is currently host of Mary’s Kitchen Crush. Berg is also the author of her debut cookbook, 2019’s Kitchen Party. 

Berg is an avid reader and loves short stories: “I’ve always found short stories to be such an interesting way to gather information and learn about whatever the author’s trying to tell us.”

She spoke with Shelagh Rogers about three of her favourite short story collections by Canadian women authors: Shut Up You’re Pretty by Tea Mutonji, Guest Book: Ghost Stories by Leanne Shapton and Even that Wildest Hope by Seyward Goodhand.

Shut Up You’re Pretty is a book by Téa Mutonji. (Arsenal Pulp Press, Sandro Pehar)

“The short stories here definitely read more like a novel, especially in comparison to a lot of the other short story collections I read, which are usually not linked by a protagonist or a narrator. 

“You kind of jump forward in time from the protagonist Loli. She’s this very young girl, a new immigrant to Scarborough. You’re just watching this person get dropped into the middle of cold Canadian winter, figuring out their life and trying to find a space for them.

The short stories here definitely read more like a novel, especially in comparison to a lot of the other short story collections I read, which are usually not linked by a protagonist or a narrator.

“The writing of that first story of that very young protagonist was really fascinating to me because it sounded young. It didn’t sound like an adult woman was writing it. But it also still kept the distance that is kept throughout the short story collection. 

But it’s almost like you and the narrator Loli are standing on one side of a fogged piece of glass. You’re looking at her life. And it’s very pragmatically told. Horrible things are happening and beautiful things happen but it’s all told very pragmatically and very matter of fact and very these are the things that happened.

Which to me makes me love the character more because it makes me dig in and figure out why they’re being like that and why they present their life in such a way.

The Next Chapter17:00Téa Mutonji on Shut Up You’re Pretty

Téa Mutonji talks to Shelagh Rogers about her Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize nominated novel, Shut Up You’re Pretty. 17:00

Guest Book is a book by Leanne Shapton. (Robbie Lawrence/Penguin Random House Canada)

“I was trying to read it at nighttime and I had to pull the covers up and tuck my legs up — because it’s eerie and spooky.  The haunted nature of it is so much more beautiful than any scary movie or anything I’ve ever read before. It was really something. 

The first story in the collection showcases really someone just watching people walk through street lights and the street lights, in my mind, kind of act similar to how a short

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Udall Leads Short List of Candidates for Biden’s Interior Secretary

(Bloomberg) — Retiring Senator Tom Udall is leading a short list of candidates to run the Interior Department if Joe Biden wins the presidency next month — a role that would put him to work in a building named for his father.

Udall, a New Mexico Democrat, is a top contender to be Biden’s secretary of the Interior and would consider the role if asked, according to people familiar with the matter who sought anonymity to discuss the personnel search.



Tom Udall wearing a suit and tie: Senate Passes Measure To Limit Trump On Iran That Faces Veto


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Senate Passes Measure To Limit Trump On Iran That Faces Veto

Senator Tom Udall

Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

“It’s hard to find someone who’s been a bigger champion of public lands than Tom Udall, whether you’re talking about in his state, New Mexico, or nationwide, advocating for the Arctic refuge and fighting climate change,” said Athan Manuel, director of the Sierra Club’s land protection program. “It’s in his genes.”

Representative Deb Haaland, another Democrat from New Mexico, and Representative Raul Grijalva, a Democrat from Arizona who leads the House Natural Resources Committee, also have won praise from environmental groups and been recommended to head the Interior Department.

The agency acts as the nation’s landlord, overseeing grazing, recreation, energy development and other activities on about a fifth of the U.S. The department also is in charge of the national park system and regulates energy development in coastal waters, including offshore wind farms and drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.

Tom Udall’s father, Stewart Udall, was Interior secretary from 1961 to 1969 and is credited with a major expansion in federal land protection, including the creation of dozens of wildlife refuges, national parks and recreation areas. He died in 2010, and the agency’s headquarters building in Washington was named for him three months later.

Under President Donald Trump, the Interior Department has encouraged mining and drilling for oil and gas on federal real estate, while creating new hunting and fishing opportunities at wildlife refuges and hatcheries. Under Biden, the department would take a sharp left turn, pivoting to focus aggressively on conservation while clamping down on drilling.

“If we’re going to save the human species and save animal species, we need to take dramatic action,” Udall said Monday, during an online event environmental groups organized to celebrate the lawmaker’s legacy.

Udall spokesman Ned Adriance declined to answer questions about the senator’s potential role as Interior secretary. “Right now, Senator Udall is focused on a strong finish to his Senate term, and he’s also working hard to help the Biden-Harris ticket win New Mexico, win the West and win the election,” Adriance said.

Udall has laid out plans to enlist federal lands in the fight against climate change — transforming the territory into uninterrupted habitat for vulnerable species and a sponge for carbon dioxide instead of a prime U.S. source of fossil fuels and the greenhouse gas emissions that come from burning them.

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Reboot Test Kitchen Returns with A New Interactive Animated Short

Seattle’s Reboot Test Kitchen is returning this October to workshop an interactive tale that will explore gender identity.

Seattle’s Reboot Test Kitchen is returning this October to workshop an interactive tale that will explore gender identity through the larger than life imagination of a child.

Writer Adam Kern is hopeful that his “_____form Prologue” will develop into an interactive animated short. The medium will be a natural fit as the piece features slice-of-life moments that often erupt into epic clashes of dragons and fantasy. The project is designed to showcase the internal weight and importance that identity can carry for the young protagonist.

The workshop highlights an inclusive and diverse cast of actors, featuring professional voice-over artist Julie Rei who also served as an invaluable consultant on the piece.

‘Trans representation in art is not only a personal mission of mine, but also aligns with the mission of Reboot Theatre Company,” says Jasmine Joshua, founder and Artistic Director of Reboot Theatre Company. “I chose Adam’s script because I wanted to encourage writers of all backgrounds to include trans narratives in their work and, as a trans writer, artist, and producer, I wanted to help him develop it and provide the dramaturgical support needed to make the piece as authentic and uplifting as possible.’

Kern says, “As a cis-gendered gay man, I’ve always realized that my understanding of the complexities these characters are going through are not to the level of those who have actually lived through them. Authentic feedback and assistance have always been one of our major priorities and the Test Kitchen will continue to be a natural extension of that goal.”

Kern, a professional actor who also co-owns and directs for an immersive theatre company in Cleveland, has produced 30-40 readings of other artists work, but states that he’s beyond thrilled to watch his words come to life as a first-time writer himself.

Producer Clint Sears adds that he was immediately on board for the idea the moment Kern pitched it. “Empathy starts with understanding and Adam is crafting something that’s not only entertaining but accessible for everyone. To find the balance in a work that has authentic representation and speaks to cultural awareness as well would be the ultimate success.”

The performance and workshop will be on Monday, October 12th, between 7:00-9:00 PM PT, and will include work from five other artists. More information available at https://www.reboottheatre.org.

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