Trump continues to make DeSantis smile and win
President Trump’s best amigo in Florida is Gov. Ron DeSantis, and whenever Ron needs something, he picks up the phone and calls The White House.
Last week we reported that DeSantis was all giddy that the Trump administration was inching closer to bringing in cheaper Rx drugs from Florida, a move that would help cut the cost of healthcare.
Florida’s “Green” Governor takes another victory lap, as President Donald Trump’s newly-signed federal budget secured the $200 million Gov. Ron DeSantis and Senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott requested for Everglades restoration earlier this year. READ MORE
Meanwhile, President Trump was in Palm Beach, Florida at the TPUSA Student Action Summit where he tossed out the red meat to the thousands of MAGA kids.
Upon leaving the rally, I, your loveable and handsome Journo ran into an old friend, White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, and shared a chuckle about how the president absolutely loves these rallies. Mick and I agreed that the enthusiasm from the crowd drives him, and this, of course, makes the speeches run well over scheduled the time.
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“DeSantis keeps winning, secures $200 million for Everglades restoration,” by The Floridian’s Javier Manjarres – Florida’s “Green” Governor takes another victory lap, as President Donald Trump’s newly-signed federal budget secured the $200 million Gov. Ron DeSantis and Senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott requested for Everglades restoration earlier this year. According to DeSantis’ executive office, ”the $200 million federal appropriations secured by President Trump for South Florida Ecosystem Restoration is a $130 million increase in Everglades restoration funding from last year.” “President Trump has followed through on his promise to deliver for Florida and America’s Everglades,” said Governor DeSantis. “This investment in Everglades restoration will build on our efforts at the state level for critical projects like the EAA Reservoir, the Caloosahatchee Reservoir and the C-44 Reservoir and Stormwater Treatment Area. I look forward to continuing to work with the President and our local, state and federal partners on preserving and restoring Florida’s environment.”
“Republicans run for congress in SW Florida as Trump candidates,” by The Floridian’s Javier Manjarres –With Rep. Francis Rooney (R) having announced his retirement from the U.S. House of Representatives, a slew of would-be successors have filed or will file to run for this highly-coveted Republican congressional seat. The winner of the Republican primary race could rest assured they will be the next member of congress. Most, if not all of the current field of candidates appear to be running on President Trump’s presidential coattails, but of the group, who is truly the most aligned with the president? Mirror, Mirror on the political wall, who is the most Trumpiest one of all?
“Trump, Giuliani Meet in Florida” by Newsmax’s Solange Reyner – President Donald Trump and Rudy Giuliani spoke briefly at Mar-a-Lago Saturday, according to Bloomberg News. Giuliani, Trump’s personal lawyer and a central figure in the president’s impeachment, is facing legal scrutiny from federal prosecutors in New York. Trump is headed for an impeachment trial in the Senate following the House’s vote in favor of two impeachment articles. It wasn’t clear what Trump and Giuliani discussed at the president’s resort, per Bloomberg. The report comes as Giuliani continues digging into purported wrongdoing by Trump’s political rivals. Just last week, the former New York City mayor traveled to Europe to meet with former Ukrainian prosecutors whose claims have been embraced by Republicans and a former Ukrainian prosecutor who has become a key figure in the impeachment trial, Yuriy Lutsenko.
“Florida Unemployment Rate Drops to Historic Low 3.1-Percent, First Time Since March 2006” by Space Coast Daily – Governor Ron DeSantis announced Florida’s unemployment rate dropped to a low 3.1 percent, a historic low, recorded only twice in more than 40 years and the first time since March 2006. Also, in November, the labor force increased for the sixth consecutive month. Over the year, Florida businesses created 201,700 private-sector jobs and the state’s annual private-sector job growth rate of 2.6 percent continues to outpace the national job growth rate of 1.6 percent. “Florida continued to experience positive economic indicators throughout 2019, including a consistently low unemployment rate,” said Governor DeSantis. “Though we have had a successful year, the state of Florida will not rest on our laurels. My administration is committed to the success of this state and all Floridians. Moving forward, I will continue to prioritize investments in Florida’s workforce and infrastructure to provide continued opportunities for our communities to be resilient and prepared for the future.”
“Tuesday Deadline To Apply For Florida Supreme Court Seats” by News Service of Florida – Many Floridians will spend part of this week tearing into presents, sipping eggnog or gazing at blinking Christmas lights as they gather with family and friends to celebrate the holidays. But some top-notch lawyers and judges will be polishing their resumes as they try to get appointed to the Florida Supreme Court. Wannabes for two seats on the high court face a Tuesday deadline to submit applications. As of Friday evening, 12 applicants had already handed in their paperwork in a process that stems from President Donald Trump naming former Florida Supreme Court justices Robert Luck and Barbara Lagoa to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The Atlanta-based court handles cases from Florida, Alabama and Georgia. The openings offer Gov. Ron DeSantis an opportunity to appoint two more justices to a Supreme Court he’s already reshaped. Shortly after taking office in January, DeSantis named three conservative jurists --- Luck, Lagoa and Carlos Muñiz --- to replace three liberal-leaning justices who were forced to step down after reaching a mandatory retirement age. The applicants as of Friday evening included lawyer Belinda Noah, along with five Florida appellate judges and six circuit judges from across the state.
“Florida Increasing Minimum Wage Starting January 1st Ahead of Vote on Major Increase” by NBC Miami – If you work a job that pays minimum wage in the state of Florida, you are going to see a slight – and we mean slight – raise coming in the New Year. Florida, which is one of eight states that raises its wages based on the annual cost of living calculations, will raise them by 10 cents to $8.56 starting on January 1st. Tipped employees will see their wages, right now at $5.44, go up just over one percent. Voters will get a chance on Election Day 2020 to vote on a proposed amendment that would set a new hourly wage at $10 in 2021 and increase it by one dollar yearly to $15 in 2026 with future increases being calculated by cost of living.
“FHP: Truck crashed into historic Florida landmark in Yeehaw Junction” by FOX 13 Tampa Bay – The Desert Inn suffered major damage after a truck hauling orange juice crashed into it early Sunday morning, troopers said. The motel is a historic landmark in Yeehaw Junction, a small community north of Okeechobee. The Inn dates back to the 1880's when it was a bar and brothel for cowboys and lumberjacks. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1994. Troopers said charges against the driver are pending.
“Florida man pays off 36 neighbors’ utility bills for Christmas” by New York Post’s Paula Froelich – Here’s a Florida man to be respected. The Christmas spirit is alive and well with Michael Esmond, a pool installation company owner in Gulf Breeze, who was inspired to “take a little bit of stress out” of the season for his neighbors and secretly shelled out $4,600 to help 36 families pay their water and gas bills. Esmond, 73, took the initiative after noticing the due date on his own bill was Dec. 26 and it came with a warning: that supplies may be cut if not paid by then. Remembering a winter when his own power was cut off, Esmond contacted the city of Gulf Breeze, and asked about helping any neighbors in his community of 6,000 whose payments were overdue. “Back in the ’80s I actually lived that,” Esmond told Pensacola local station WEAR TV. “I experienced a time where I had trouble paying bills. And we actually had the gas disconnected. It happened to be one of the coldest winters in history.”
“Homeowner kills masked intruder in Florida gunbattle” by Associated Press – A Florida homeowner killed a masked intruder during a gunfight inside his home, police said. Lauderhill police spokesman Lt. Michael Santiago told reporters that the gunfight broke out at 12:45 a.m. Saturday. He said the intruder broke into the home and he and the resident exchanged fire. The homeowner then fled the home. When police arrived, they found the intruder dead inside. Santiago said the investigation is ongoing. Lauderhill is a suburb of Fort Lauderdale. Further details were not available.
“Trump calls ‘Never Trumpers’ the “dumbest human beings,” by HISPOLITICA – West Palm Beach — President Donald Trump tossed out the political read meat to the thousands of supporters at the Turning Point USA Student Action Summit in Palm Beach County, which was held just a few miles from the Winter White House, Mar-A-Lago. As always, Trump’s address was filled with barbs against the “do-nothing Democrats” and against the impeachment vote he calls a “hoax.” “When it comes to the military, there is no budget,” stated Trump when talking about his fiscal responsibility and budgetary prowess. At one point, Trump held a floor vote about which campaign slogan he should use in the 2020 election.
“Dan Crenshaw: “They (Democrats) kind of like mob rule,” by HISPOLITICA – Speaking at the Turning Point USA Student Action Summit in West Palm Beach, Florida, Texas Rep. Dan Crenshaw (D) didn’t give a Ra Ra speech to the masses, rather he outlined the stark differences between Republicans and Democrats. Crenshaw’s intro video was of him in military garb aiming a M-4 Carbine with his good eye press firmly against the sight of the weapon, before sharing the last picture taken of him before losing his right eye. The plain-speaking Crenshaw did not mince his words, as the former Navy Seal stated that House Democrats were out to get President Trump because he threatened “the power that they seek,” and that they supported and adopted a “mob rule” mentality.
“Senate Republicans question House Democrat’s “vendetta” impeachment,” by The Floridian’s Javier Manjarres – Shortly after the U.S. House of Representatives voted to impeach President Donald Trump, Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that she could stall sending the articles of impeachment over to the Senate if prior rules to a trial were not determined and whether witnesses would be called. Florida’s Republican Senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott have both expressed their distaste over how the impeachment process took place in the House, and now that the measure is expected to be addressed in the Senate, both Rubio and Scott have a lot more to say over. While Scott believes the impeachment inquiry was nothing more than a “vendetta” against the president, Rubio questioned Democrats over their “fair” impeachment process and calling for witnesses during a Senate trial.
“Rubio Blasts Media for Sensationalizing Impeachment,” by The Floridian’s Daniel Molina – Florida Senator Marco Rubio (R) took to Twitter to call out the mainstream media, which he says is focused on sensationalizing the impeachment effort against President Trump instead of reporting on the progress being made. This aligns with President Trump’s consistent bashing of the mainstream media, calling them “fake news” that is more focused on furthering a liberal agenda rather than reporting news in an objective manner. The sunshine state lawmaker noted that the mainstream media has been “obsessed” with the President’s impeachment and has “ignored GOP Senate confirming 13 more judges this week alone.”
“Biden says “Yes’ to sacrifice hundreds of thousands of American jobs,” by The Floridian’s Daniel Molina – This week, the Democratic presidential candidates took the stage to once again address the American people. As the Democratic base fires up after the House voted to impeach the president, the candidates still have to distinguish themselves to come out ahead and win the nomination. And, former Vice President Joe Biden (D), currently polling ahead of the other candidates, caused some ears to perk up when answering an economic question relating to shifting to a greener economy. When asked, “as president, would you be willing to sacrifice some… growth, even knowing potentially that it could displace thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands of blue collar workers in the interest of transitioning to that greener economy?” the former Vice President quickly said that “the answer is yes!”
“Analysis: Trump is gaining ground heading into 2020” by CNN’s Harry Enten – First things first: The theme song of the week is the closing credits from Perfect Strangers. Poll of the week: A new CNN/SSRS poll finds that former Vice President Joe Biden leads President Donald Trump 49% to 44% in a potential general election matchup. Matchups between Trump and other leading Democratic contenders (South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren) are even closer. Compared to polling taken back in October, the Democratic margin in all the head-to-heads has been cut by at least 5 points. What's the point: Public opinion on Trump has been remarkably stable throughout his presidency. His approval rating has mostly been stuck in the high 30s to low 40s, and he's consistently trailed his most likely Democratic opponent (Biden) in the polls by high single to low double digits. But as we close out 2019 and head into 2020, it seems that Trump is gaining ground. Beyond our poll, the average live interview poll shows significant movement toward Trump over the last two months. Biden's lead over the President in a potential matchup has dropped from 12 points to 7 points, which is still the largest advantage of any of the top Democrats against Trump. Trump picked up at least 4 points against the other leading Democrats since October.
“Democratic senator says House cohorts have 'gaps' in impeachment case” by CNN’s Allison Gordon – A Democratic senator facing a tough reelection fight in a deep red state on Sunday described the allegations against President Donald Trump as "serious" but said he is keeping an open mind when it comes to the Senate impeachment trial. Appearing on ABC's "This Week," Sen. Doug Jones of Alabama said he has been reviewing information about the allegations that Trump used his office to pressure Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky to dig up dirt on a potential political rival. "I'm trying to see if the dots get connected. If that is the case, then I think it's a serious matter. I think it's an impeachable matter," he said. "But if these dots aren't connected and there are other explanations that I think are consistent with innocence, I will go that way too. "What I really want to see, though, is to fill in the gaps," he said. "There are gaps." Jones stressed the importance of understanding the situation in its entirety. "People can make up their mind with gaps in testimony, but I would like to see a full and complete picture. And we don't have that because the President has refused to have his people come and testify and deliver documents," he added. Jones is among the more moderate members of his party in the Senate, although Alabama itself is still considered overwhelmingly Republican, and his seat is viewed as a top target for the GOP in 2020. A former prosecutor, Jones was elected to fill the Senate seat left open when Trump appointed Jeff Sessions to be attorney general, and his vote on impeachment is sure to be scrutinized in his reelection fight.
“US on high alert for possible ‘Christmas gift’ missile from North Korea” by Fox News’s Bradford Betz – U.S. officials are on high alert for signs of a possible missile launch from North Korea in the coming days that officials have referred to as a “Christmas gift.” A significant launch or nuclear test would raise the end of North Korea's self-imposed moratorium on missile launches and tests. It would also be a major blow to one of President Trump’s major foreign policy goals to get North Korea back to the negotiating table to eliminate its nuclear weapons. Earlier this month, the North conducted what U.S. officials say was an engine test. Experts believe it may have involved an engine for a long-range missile. "North Korea has been advancing. It has been building new capabilities," said Anthony Wier, a former State Department official who tracks nuclear disarmament for the Friends Committee on National Legislation. "As long as that continues, they gain new capabilities to try new missiles to threaten us and our allies in new ways," North Korea warned of a possible "Christmas gift" in early December, saying the Trump administration was running out of time on nuclear negotiations, and it was up to the U.S. to choose what "Christmas gift" it gets from Pyongyang. Victor Cha, a Korea expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said a review of the possible launch sites in North Korea shows they are a "basically ready to go." Defense Secretary Mark Esper told reporters earlier this week that the U.S. has heard all the talk of a possible upcoming test around Christmas. "I've been watching the Korean Peninsula for a quarter-century now. I'm familiar with their tactics, with their bluster," he said. "We need to get serious and sit down and have discussions about a political agreement that denuclearizes the peninsula. That is the best way forward and arguably the only way forward if we're going to do something constructive."
“Mary Anne Marsh: Trump, Pelosi agree! What part of impeachment drama has them on the same side?” by Fox News’s Mary Anne Marsh – Nancy Pelosi wants a fair impeachment trial in the Senate … and Donald Trump is helping her get one. Before the House voted to impeach Trump, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that he would work in “total coordination” with the White House on the Senate trial. Immediately after the vote to impeach, Pelosi said she wouldn’t send the articles of impeachment to the Senate until she knew what kind of trial McConnell would conduct. “Let me tell you what I don’t consider a fair trial,” the House speaker explained. “This is what I don’t consider a fair trial — that Leader McConnell has stated that he’s not an impartial juror, that he’s going to take his cues, in quotes, from the White House, and he’s working in 'total coordination' with the White House counsel’s office.” Pelosi rightfully wants to know the process McConnell is undertaking so she can determine how many House managers to send to make the case against Trump and whom. Like the master strategist she is, Pelosi wants to send her best lineup to argue for removal against McConnell’s team. That’s the right way to do it and it’s smart politics. But, there’s more to it. A fair trial would have witnesses, testimony, a presentation of the facts, and no predetermined outcome. That is what Pelosi wants in the Senate. By refusing to send the articles of impeachment, Pelosi is negotiating the terms the trial that will be conducted by McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. McConnell doesn’t want any of it. The shorter the trial the more McConnell can control the outcome. But there is one person who wants a high-profile trial with witnesses, testimony and fanfare – Donald Trump.
“American service member killed in action in Afghanistan” by Associated Press – An American service member was killed in action on Monday in Afghanistan, the U.S. military said in a statement, without providing further details. The statement did not identify the U.S. soldier or say where in Afghanistan the service member was killed. It stressed that in accordance with U.S. Department of Defense policy, names of service member killed in action are being withheld for 24 hours, until the notification of the family is completed. Last month, two U.S. service members were killed in Afghanistan when their helicopter crashed in eastern Logar province. The Taliban claimed responsibility for that crash, saying they had downed the helicopter, causing many fatalities. The U.S. military dismissed the Taliban claim as false.
“Texas barber shot after argument over child’s haircut, police say” by Fox News’s Bradford Betz – A gunman opened fire on a worker at a Texas barbershop Saturday after an apparent argument over a child’s haircut, police say. The Harris County Sheriff’s office tweeted Saturday that they were looking for the man who shot a male employee of a barbershop in the Houston suburb of Katy. Witnesses said the argument was over a haircut given to the suspect’s 13-year-old son. The alleged shooter, described as black, left the barbershop in a grey, four-door sedan, according to the sheriff's office. The employee was shot three times and was in stable condition at an area hospital, KPRC-TV reported Saturday.
President Donald Trump @realDonaldTrump -The Democrats and Crooked Hillary paid for & provided a Fake Dossier, with phony information gotten from foreign sources, pushed it to the corrupt media & Dirty Cops, & have now been caught. They spied on my campaign, then tried to cover it up - Just Like Watergate, but bigger!
US Rep Kathy Castor @USRepKCastor -The House wrapped up business for the year with a consequential week: a historic impeachment vote & an impactful appropriations package that will benefit hardworking families, service members, seniors, students & veterans in Tampa Bay. More in HouseWatch
Rick Scott @SenRickScott -Cuba named Tourism Minister Manuel Marrero Cruz as the new Prime Minister, a position previously held Fidel Castro. With this new position, will Marrero follow in Castro’s footsteps or stand up for free & fair elections & democracy? He should choose wisely and choose democracy.
& ignored GOP Senate confirming 13 more judges this week alone. Impeachment is better for ratings,but what is going to matter more & longer? A partisan impeachment? Or 187 judges including 1/4 of appellate courts? Happy Sunday!
Debbie Wasserman Schultz @DWStweets - Why exactly are you bragging about this? Nobody is asking Santa for higher electric bills this year. This is just another part of Trump's planet-killing ideology.
Congressman Greg Steube @RepGregSteube - Hanukkah is a symbol of the dedication of the Jewish people to preserve their faith against great adversity. May this Hanukkah bring health and happiness to all those who celebrate. Happy Hanukkah.
Ron DeSantis @GovRonDeSantis -.@FLCaseyDeSantis and I would like to extend our warm wishes for a very Happy Hanukkah. May the bright lights of the menorah usher in a joyous holiday and 2020 for all our Jewish celebrants across the state of Florida.
Rep. Anna V. Eskamani @AnnaForFlorida - Important update in the work to combat the opioid crisis-- CMS has granted 17 states nearly $200 million over the next seven years to combat opioid misuse among expectant mothers and improve care for children impacted by the crisis.
Bob Rommel @bob_rommel - Let's keep it our secret, no income tax and less government regulation oh and a balanced budjet. SHHHHH!
Chip LaMarca @ChipLaMarca - Well done @heymikemayo but how can I try all of these favorites when I’m starting a diet? Meet you there PS: Important timely visit will be Eduardo de San Angel before 12/31.
“Florida man arrested for threatening to murder every gay in Tampa,” by Queerty’s David Reddish – In Florida news… Tampa police arrested Ralph Perkins, 50, on Tuesday, following threats he made to “wipe the whole gay community out in Tampa.” Apparently, Perkins had been rejected on a dating app. The Tampa police detailed the arrest in a statement: Tampa Police were made aware of a concerning conversation a complainant had on a dating app. After being rejected for an offer he made for companionship, the suspect, later identified as Ralph Perkins, posted threatening statements to the social media platform. Officers were able to quickly confirm Perkins identity and detectives immediately began an investigation. Once an arrest warrant was obtained, Tampa Police detectives, accompanied by Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office deputies, responded to Perkins’s house in the county. He was taken into custody and charged with Written Threats to Commit Mass Violence or an Act of Terrorism. Perkins confessed that made the threats via a dating app after he suffered rejection. “I like to take a gun I like to wipe the whole gay community out in Tampa and then kill myself,” he said. “That’s going to be my ultimate [Christmas] present to Tampa Florida is the annihilator the gay community before I kill myself.”
“Florida man sues sheriff's department after multiple arrests due to mistaken identity,” by Orlando Weekly’s Soloman Gustavo – David Sosa of Martin County does not have a warrant for his arrest for a 1992 crime in Houston. That would be another David Sosa. Not the married father who has worked in airplane engine research for over 20 years and owns a home in Stuart. Still, Sosa of Stuart says the Martin County Sheriff's Department has arrested him for the alleged crimes of a David Sosa in Houston. Twice. The second time, Sosa was booked into jail for three days. Because of the two mistaken-identity arrests and the weekend stay in jail, Sosa announced he has "filed a class-action lawsuit on behalf of all David Sosas who might travel through or chose to stay in Martin County."