Thursday's Mini-Report, 7.23.20

Today's edition of quick hits.
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By Steve Benen

Today's edition of quick hits:

* 4 million: "The U.S. reached another grim milestone Thursday as the number of coronavirus cases across the country surpassed 4 million, according to data compiled by NBC News."

* Probing Portland: "The inspector general for the Department of Justice announced Thursday he was investigating use of force allegations against federal law enforcement officers in Portland, Oregon as well as their response to protesters in Washington D.C.."

* This is getting ridiculous: "Senate Republicans delayed the release of their coronavirus relief package Thursday as they struggled to resolve policy disputes and iron out details of the trillion-dollar initiative."

* On a related note: "Democratic leaders on Thursday panned the emerging Republican package for coronavirus relief, calling it an 'unserious' proposal that won't pass Congress."

* NDAA: "The Senate overwhelmingly passed its $741 billion defense policy legislation on Thursday, with the Republican-led body defying a threat from President Donald Trump to veto legislation that would force the removal of Confederate names from Army bases."

* This was impressive: "Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., excoriated Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Fla., on the House floor Thursday, a day after he denied calling her a 'f---ing b----,' 'crazy,' and 'disgusting' on the steps of the Capitol this week."

* Another discouraging trend: "More people are on track to be hospitalized with the coronavirus in the United States than at any point in the pandemic, a disturbing sign of how the current surge has spread widely and is seriously sickening as many people as ever."

* Now all we need is a vaccine: "The Trump administration will pay Pfizer nearly $2 billion for a December delivery of 100 million doses of a COVID-19 vaccine the pharmaceutical company is developing, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar announced Wednesday."

* A good bill in the House, Part I: "The House on Wednesday voted to repeal the Trump administration’s travel ban and further restrict the president’s power to limit entry to the U.S., a symbolic victory for Muslim American and civil rights groups."

* A good bill in the House, Part II: "The House has approved a bill to remove statues of Gen. Robert E. Lee and other Confederate leaders from the U.S. Capitol, as a reckoning over racial injustice continues following the police killing of George Floyd, a Black man, in Minneapolis. The House vote also would remove a bust of Chief Justice Roger B. Taney, the author of the 1857 Dred Scott decision that declared African Americans couldn’t be citizens."

* Juneteenth: "A bipartisan effort to make Juneteenth a federal holiday failed in the Senate on Wednesday after Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) blocked it from advancing."

* Have I mentioned lately that I'm a big Dave Grohl fan? "Foo Fighters creator Dave Grohl is pushing back against the Trump administration's plans to reopen schools in the fall as coronavirus cases skyrocket across the country. The former Nirvana drummer and Foo Fighters creator said teachers 'deserve a plan, not a trap' in a YouTube video titled, 'In Defense of Teachers,' the first audio episode of "Dave's True Stories" series. "

* Someday, I'll hear "Space Force" and I won't chuckle to myself: "The U.S. Space Force revealed its new logo and motto as the service seeks to build branding and cultural identity. The black-and-silver service logo unveiled July 22 has the delta wing as its central element that is also found in the Space Force seal and flag. There is a 'Space Force' horizontally shaped logo and a USSF vertical logo. The Space Force motto 'Semper Supra' means 'always above.'"

See you tomorrow.