Red meat
September 24, 2020

Some of the biggest and most deadly COVID-19 outbreaks in the U.S. stemmed from the meatpacking industry. But Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) was reluctant to call for accountability, including when it came to a Colorado-based plant Gardner received donations from, Business Insider reports.

Early in the pandemic, meatpacking factories' close quarters became home to massive COVID-19 outbreaks throughout the country. An outbreak at the JBS meatpacking plant in Greeley, Colorado led to at least 291 confirmed cases and six deaths — the biggest localized outbreak in the state. Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) explicitly called for an investigation at the facility, as did a JBS employee union, which called out Gardner for failing to provide promised coronavirus tests for workers. But Gardner wouldn't discuss the situation with Business Insider, and similarly avoided questions about JBS in a local radio interview.

Throughout his Senate career, Gardner has been one of the top recipients of donations from JBS; He has received $24,000 from the company over the years. This election cycle, he received the second most money from JBS of any senator, as well as the second largest contribution total from the meatpacking industry as a whole. Gardner is considered one of the most vulnerable senators this fall as he faces former Gov. John Hickenlooper (D). Kathryn Krawczyk

June 26, 2015

What's loving the Constitution done for you lately?

If you're down in the polls, the answer is "not a lot." After the Supreme Court legalized gay marriage nationwide today, some of the 2016 Republican candidates lambasted the justices as not just wrong, but illegitimate. Former Arkansas governor and 2016 GOP candidate Mike Huckabee set the stage with his statement, "I will not acquiesce to an imperial court," but Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal kicked in the finisher: "If we want to save some money let's just get rid of the court."

While the 2016 frontrunners don't go that far — Jindal is polling at a whopping 2 percent — that last statement does represent the bewildering if natural next step to the "illegitimate" argument. And who knows: In a world in which Donald Trump can take second place in a presidential primary, it might just work. Nico Lauricella

See More Speed Reads