Friday's Mini-Report, 6.26.20

Today's edition of quick hits.
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By Steve Benen

Today's edition of quick hits:

* Pandemic: "The governors of Florida and Texas closed down the bars Friday to slow down the spread of the coronavirus that has been rampaging at record levels through their states."

* On the Hill today: "The Democratic-controlled House approved a bill Friday to make the District of Columbia the 51st state, saying Congress has both the moral obligation and constitutional authority to ensure that the city's 700,000 residents are allowed full voting rights, no longer subject to 'taxation without representation.'"

* On the Hill yesterday: "The House passed a sweeping police reform bill on Thursday largely along party lines to address systemic racism and police brutality in the wake of the death of George Floyd.... Americans have since been demanding that that 'moment of national agony become one of national action,' Pelosi said hours before the 236-181 vote."

* I meant to mention this yesterday: "The U.S. economy shrank at a 5.0% rate in the first quarter with a much worse decline expected in the current three-month economic period because of the coronavirus pandemic."

* Dr. Rick Bright: "A top official at the Department of Health and Human Services who says he was ousted from a key pandemic response job for pushing back against demands to sign off on a coronavirus treatment the president had advocated said Thursday he'd been further retaliated against by the department's head."

* The Senate Judiciary Committee: "The Republican-controlled Senate on Thursday advanced an effort to expand the power of the Justice Department's independent watchdog to investigate allegations of ethical violations and professional misconduct by department lawyers, overriding the objections of Attorney General William P. Barr."

* DOD: "The Pentagon is facing a hemorrhage of talent as senior officials resign amid continued efforts by the White House to purge those perceived as political foes, including the Army lieutenant colonel who testified in the House impeachment hearings."

* Anthony Tata's nomination should be in trouble: "More than 50 advocacy groups are calling on senators to oppose Anthony Tata, President Donald Trump's nominee to be Pentagon policy chief. In a letter to senators Thursday, 51 minority, LGBT, disability and employee advocacy groups called Tata 'patently unfit' for the post of undersecretary of defense for policy, citing derogatory comments he has made."

* Remember him? "The Justice Department is prosecuting the legendary lobbyist Jack Abramoff on felony conspiracy charges. Again. More than 14 years after he pleaded guilty in the biggest Washington lobbying scandal in a generation, Abramoff has agreed to enter guilty pleas on charges of criminal conspiracy and failing to register as a lobbyist for his role in two separate schemes, according to the Justice Department."

Have a safe weekend.