JUICE – Florida Politics’ Juicy Read – 2.24.20 – Bernie Loves Fidel – Trump Wins Re-Election – Omar Boasts About Herself
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JUICE – Florida Politics’ Juicy Read – 2.24.20 – Bernie Loves Fidel – Trump Wins Re-Election – Omar Boasts About Herself

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They Did It Their Way (Right into the ground)

As vice president Joe Biden, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, and the rest of the field of 2020 presidential candidates sing their very own somber version of Paul Anka’s classic “My Way,” Senator Bernie Sanders’ is celebrating his Nevada Caucus win and front runner status by doubling down on his support of Cuba’s Communist Dictator and murderer Fidel Castro.

“And now, the end is near and so I face the final curtain” …Yeah, they all bit off more than they could chew.

Does anyone know if Sanders ever met with and broke bread with Sanders, because Sanders’ bromance with the late-dictator would make anyone think the two men had to be chummy at some point?

During last night’s 60 Minutes, Sanders praised and defended Castro’s social programs. READ AND WATCH how Sanders just delivered President Donald Trump his re-election to The White House.

Sanders all but served up the win on the backs of the millions of oppressed and murdered Cubans, not to mention the scores of individuals maimed and killed in other Cuban-influenced countries like Venezuela, Nicaragua, Ecuador, and Bolivia.

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“Ilhan Omar appears to taunt detractors with descriptive tweet of herself” by The Floridian’s Javier Manjarres – One of Sen. Bernie Sanders’ staunches 2020 presidential surrogates has decided to take to Twitter to flaunt the controversy surrounding her by boasting adjectives she has labeled herself with. According to the tweet, Rep. Ilhan Omar, who has in the past stated anti-Israel, anti-Jewish remarks that have condemnation from both Republicans and Democrats, describes herself as a “Hijabi, Muslim, Black, Foreign, Refugee, Somali,” and someone that “easily triggers conservatives, Right-wing bloggers, and anti-Muslim bigots, tin-foil conspiracy theorists, birthers, pay me a $ to bash Muslims fraudsters, pro-occupation groups and every single xenophobe since 2016.” It is not clear what ‘triggered’ Omar to tweet out this message, but in looking at her feed, nothing stands out being a reason for doing so. The freshman congresswoman was not responding to any particular tweet as she is known to do. Earlier in the day, Omar did retweet support for Bernie Sanders’s statement that he would not be attending the next AIPAC conference. “The Israeli people have the right to live in peace and security. So do the Palestinian people. I remain concerned about the platform AIPAC provides for leaders who express bigotry and oppose basic Palestinian rights. For that reason I will not attend their conference.”- Senator Bernie Sanders. Omar has been under fire ever since taking office in 2018 for her controversial remarks against Israel and perceived bigoted remarks about Jewish people. House Democrats have pass anti-Semitism resolutions but failed to call her out directly for her behavior.

“As Bernie defends Fidel Castro, Rubio reminds him of his atrocities” by The Floridian’s Javier Manjarres – He’s an unrepentant self-described “Socialist Democrat” who was cheated out of the Democratic presidential primary election in 2016 and is the current frontrunner in the 2020 presidential sweepstakes, but does Sen. Bernie Sanders speak for the majority of Americans? The answer is probably not. To win the presidency, Sanders must-win Florida, which will prove to be a heavy, almost impossible lift after a video released of him praising Cuba’s Communist Dictator Fidel Castro. What’s worse for Sanders is that he doubled down on his support for Castro’s polices Sunday night on CBS’ 60 Minutes, defending Cuba’s former strongman and murderer by saying that it was unfair to say that everything he did was. “We’re very opposed to the authoritarian nature of Cuba but you know, it’s unfair to simply say everything is bad. You know? When Fidel Castro came into office, you know what he did? He had a massive literacy program. Is that a bad thing? Even though Fidel Castro did it?” Sanders told Anderson Cooper. Florida Senator Marco Rubio, whose family escaped Cuba, says Sanders was wrong in asserting that the Cuban people did not overthrow Castro because “he educated their kids,gave them health care.” “Likely Dem nominee praised the supposed “achievements” Castro regime And he’s wrong about why people didn’t overthrow Castro,” stated Rubio “It’s not because “he educated their kids, gave them health care” it‘s because his opponents were jailed, murdered or exiled.” To win Florida, Sanders will need to convince many Cuban-American, Venezuelans, and pro-Venezuelan/anti-Maduro Latin Americans to win the state.

“Buttigieg Warns That Sanders’ ‘Inflexible, Ideological Revolution’ Can’t Defeat President Trump” by The Floridian’s Mona Salama – In his Las Vegas concession speech, Former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg made his most explicit case against Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), warning a “rush to nominate” the Democratic Socialist would be a disaster for Democrats up and down the ballot, as well as beating President Trump in the general election. “I congratulate my competitors on a vigorous campaign here in Nevada, and I congratulate Senator Sanders on a strong showing today knowing that we celebrate many of the same ideals,” Buttigieg said in remarks after Nevada called the race for Sanders. “But before we rush to nominate Senator Sanders in our one shot to take on this president, let us take a sober look at what is at stake for our party, for our values, and for those with the most to lose.” Buttigieg, who had spent the most time in Nevada than all of his, used most his concession speech to cast himself as one who is capable of building a broad Democratic coalition that doesn’t “leaves out most Democrats, not to mention most Americans” in the hopes to defeat Trump. “Senator Sanders believes in an inflexible, ideological revolution that leaves out most Democrats, not to mention most Americans,” Buttigieg said. “I believe the only way to truly deliver any of the progressive changes we care about is to be a nominee who actually gives a damn about the effect you are having, from the top of the ticket, on those crucial, front-line House and Senate Democrats running to win, who we need to win, to make sure our agenda is more than just words on a page,” Buttigieg added. “Sen. Sanders, on the other hand, is ignoring, dismissing, or even attacking the very Democrats we absolutely must send to Capitol Hill in order to keep Nancy Pelosi as Speaker, in order to support judges who respect privacy and democracy, and in order to send Mitch McConnell into retirement. Let’s listen to what those voices are telling us.”

“Bernie Sanders Wins Nevada Democratic Caucuses” by The Floridian’s Mona Salama – Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) cementing his status as the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination after a strong showing winning the Nevada caucus Saturday night, giving him a continuous momentum as moderate Democrats find it difficult to stop him.  “In Nevada we’ve just put together a multigenerational, multiracial coalition, which is going to not only win in Nevada, it’s going to sweep this country,” Sanders said to an enthusiastic crowd of supporters at a rally in San Antonio, Texas. “No campaign has a grassroots movement like we do, which is another reason why we’re going to win this election.” “Based on what I have seen in Texas, don’t tell anybody, I don’t want to get them nervous, we are going to win the Democratic primary in Texas,” he predicted. With 50 percent of the precincts reporting, Sanders had 46.6 percent of the vote, while Former Vice President Joe Biden came in second with 19.2 percent. Coming in third was former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg who had 15.4 percent while Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) is in fourth place with 10.3 percent. The Vermont senator defeated his opponents by a large margin, showing strength with minority and working-class voters. He won several downtown Las Vegas caucus sites, underscoring his strong support among the labor union rank and file who are a powerful force in Nevada politics. Multiple News Network and the Associated Press officially called the race for Sanders shortly before 8 pm ET, with less than 4 percent of the totals in. Entrance polls indicate Sanders carried a strong lead among Latino voters, as well as having about a quarter of black voters, trailing behind Biden, who got 36 percent. Nevada, the third state to vote, is the first with as significant minority population. About 30% of the population are latinos, with 10% is black, and 10% is Asian American and Pacific Islander.

“Bloomberg Says He Will Release Women From NDAs if They Request it” by Mona Salama – Democratic presidential contender Mike Bloomberg announced Friday that he cleared the way for his company to release the women who accused him of sexual harassment from their nondisclosure agreements. “I’ve had the company go back over its record and they’ve identified 3 NDAs that we signed over the past 30-plus years with women to address complaints about comments they said I had made,” Bloomberg said in a statement released by his campaign. He said the agreements had been signed “over the past 30-plus years,” but did not provide a specific timeframe. “If any of them want to be released from their NDA so that they can talk about those allegations, they should contact the company and they’ll be given a release. The former New York mayor also said that after “a lot of reflecting,” going forward he would not offer confidential agreements to resolve sexual misconduct claims. The announcement comes after Bloomberg faced significant backlash over a litany of NDA’s agreed upon with female employees during the Democratic debate earlier this week.

“Wassermann Schultz Applauds Trump’s Oil Sanctions Against Maduro Regime” by The Floridian’s Daniel Monlina – For the better part of 2019, the United States was involved in placing sanctions against Venezuela’s Communist Maduro Regime. President Donald Trump was among the first world leaders to slam Maduro and support Juan Guaido, which caused some contention with Democratic leaders in the United States. However, this week, Florida Democrats are praising the Trump Administration for sanctioning Rosneft Trading S.A., a Russian Oil Firm that is also a Russian-controlled oil brokerage firm that has supported the Maduro Regime in Venezuela. On Twitter, Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D) commented that she has “raised alarm bells on Maduro’s Russian coordination, so I welcome these oil sanctions.” She added that “Congress’s just-assed Verdad Act includes my legislation requiring a clear State Dept. strategy to combat Kremlin influence in Venezuela.”

The controversial Florida lawmaker asserted that “we still have work to do,” and the goal is to get it done. This week, the Trump Administration also designated Didier Casimiro, the chairman of the board of directors and president of Rosneft, for acting on behalf and purporting to act on behalf of the firm, directly or indirectly.

“Charlie Crist Thanks Trump Admin. for Coronavirus Response” by The Floridian’s Daniel Molina – Since the news of the deadly Coronavirus spread throughout the United States and the globe, world leaders have rushed to keep their countries safe and to respond to the call of containing it from spreading further. In response, the Trump Administration declared it a health emergency, and now the president is receiving some support from Florida Democrats.

Today, Florida Rep. Charlie Crist (D) took to Twitter to comment on the Coronavirus and to also praise the President and his administration for its swift response to the hazardous sickness. “Americans have already invested almost $700 million into coronavirus research,” informed the former Republican Governor of Florida. “That’s why I joined 40+ of my colleagues calling on Trump Admin. to make sure folks have access to a COVID-19 vaccine or treatment that’s affordable & accessible for all,” he added. Attached to the tweet is a letter directed to the President, saying that “as the world works to confront the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) health threat, we are proud that the United States is a leader in developing a new vaccine and new treatments to protect patients.” As well, the Florida lawmakers makes a call, asking the President “to ensure that any vaccine or treatment developed with U.S. taxpayer dollars be accessible, available and affordable,” noting that the “goal cannot be met if pharmaceutical corporations are given authority to set prices and determine distribution, putting profit-making interests ahead of public health priorities.”

“House passes school board term limits” by The Capitolist’s  Jordan KirklandThe Florida House unanimously passed a school board term limits bill that will put 8-year school board term limits on the November ballot. The constitutional amendment (HJR 157). which passed in the Republican-led House on Wednesday with 79-39 vote, would impose eight-year term limits on school board members. The resolution was introduced by State Representative Anthony Sabatini, a Howey-in-the-Hills Republican. Sabatini, who represents Florida’s 32nd District, says the referendum is a bi-partisan way to drain the swamp. “There is no better way to create limited-government than enacting term limits for ever elected official,” Sabatini said. Today’s passage would implement longstanding term limits on school board members similar to the ones imposed on state lawmakers. Florida-based U.S. Term Limits, the nation’s oldest and largest pro-term limits group, applauded today’s vote in the Florida House. “This vote is a tremendous step forward,” said Nick Tomboulides, Executive Director of USTL. “School board term limits will elevate new voices and ideas to give all students the great education they deserve. Now that the House has done its job, we encourage the State Senate to move swiftly, put this on the ballot and let the people decide.” The measure also has the support of Governor Ron DeSantis, who endorsed Sabatini’s bill in 2019 and did so again in when the lawmaker refiled the bill for 2020. “The benefits of term limits are clear,” DeSantis said. “When an elected official is first seated, he or she comes in with a reformer spirit and desire to deliver change. But perpetual re-election tends to erode that public service outlook and replace it with one of entitlement. Long tenure in office tends to make people forget they work for us, and not the other way around.”

“Moody issues statewide consumer alert on voice cloning technology” by The Capitolist’s Jordan Kirkland – Attorney General Ashley Moody issued a consumer alert on Thursday to make Floridians aware of an new, innovative phone scamming technology that recreates familiar voices in an attempt to steal money. The new voice cloning technology allows people to use near-perfect reproductions of real people’s voices with less than a five-second recording of a person speaking. Scammers could use the technology to pose as the target’s family member or friend asking for money in an emergency. Bad actors may also use the scam to target businesses by acting as a vendor who asks for payment. “Imagine receiving a call. The voice on the other end of the phone is familiar and is begging for help. Sadly, today, you may not always be able to trust what you hear. We all want to be there for those we love and care about, but with the emergence of new voice cloning technology, Floridians must be more vigilant than ever in watching for imposters and fraud before sharing financial or personal information, Moody said. “This is one of the scariest scams I have heard about since becoming Attorney General and I want to make sure consumers are aware of the ways technology can be used to exploit their good intentions.” The Attorney General’s Office has released several tips to keep Floridians from being taken advantage of by the new technology. Those include never giving out personal information, double-checking the validity of statements from the caller in question, and hanging up and redialing the number.

“Opioid Crisis Affecting the Youth, Florida Legislature Reacts” by Florida Political Review – The opioid epidemic has been an ongoing issue facing the United States for years, increasingly affecting the youth. Now Florida is responding with a drug that can prevent an opioid fatality amongst students.  On Nov. 12, 2019, the Florida Senate Education Committee passed a bill that would allow schools to administer Narcan (naloxone) to students. Naloxone is a drug used to prevent or reverse an opioid overdose.  Naloxone has been proven to be effective in the reversal of opioid overdoses. A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed that Narcan kits were responsible for reversing nearly 27,000 overdoses.  Under the bill, schools would have to establish a protocol that will train school staff to identify when a child is having an opioid overdose. A trained physician would have to train the staff on how to properly administer the drug.  Florida schools would have the option of choosing the distributor of the drug. Many distributors have already offered to donate naloxone to the schools. The bill establishes that schools would not need permission from the student’s parents to administer the drug. The intended purpose is to allow staff to respond to an emergency overdose promptly.  Schools would be protected from any liability under the bill allowing for further emergency response from the employees at the schools.  The bill was initiated by Democratic Sen. Jason Pizzo as a response to the growing number of opioid overdose-related deaths amongst Florida’s children.

“Matt Gaetz clashes with Joy Behar, asks if she’s mourning death of political left as ‘Venezuela wing’ takes over” by Fox News’s Sam Dorman – Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., came out swinging on “The View” Thursday, asking co-host Joy Behar if she was wearing black to mourn the death of the Democratic Party after Wednesday’s debate. “I was just wondering if you were wearing black as a consequence of, like, the death of the political left in the debate last night,” he said. Behar responded by telling him not to “count the dead yet.” Earlier in the show, Behar predicted that former Vice President Joe Biden would be the Democratic nominee after what she called a failed performance by former New York City Mayor MIchael Bloomberg. Gaetz disagreed, arguing that he should be able to count Biden, at least, out of the race. “What states is he going to win?” Gaetz asked. He added that the whole “premise of the Biden campaign” was his electability, but he’s failed to win in both Iowa and New Hampshire. Matt Gaetz reacts to Michael Bloomberg candidacy: ‘Third place has never cost so much’ Sanders on the debate: ‘The targeting of Bloomberg helps Bernie win the primary’ Henninger argues socialist Bernie Sanders’ ‘vulnerabilities’ were exposed during Las Vegas debate. “So, now you have socialist Bernie Sanders against billionaire Michael Bloomberg,” he said. He went on to argue that Democrats likely wouldn’t nominate a Democrat. “They’re either going to nominate a socialist or someone who some time ago was a Republican,” he said.

“Parental Consent Goes to DeSantis for Signature” by The News Service of Florida’s Christine Sexton – Minors who seek abortions would be required to obtain parental consent or convince judges to waive the requirement under a bill that received final legislative approval Thursday and has the support of Gov. Ron DeSantis. Thursday’s 75-43 vote in the House was a victory for DeSantis, who said on the opening day of this year’s legislative session that he hoped the proposal “will make its way to my desk during this session.” The Senate voted 23-17 to pass the bill (SB 404) on Feb. 6. Before the vote Thursday, DeSantis said Florida’s current abortion laws involving minors are an “outlier” among other states. Regardless of the “underlying issue,” he said, parents “want to be involved with what’s going on with their kids.” Laura Goodhue, Planned Parenthood of Florida PAC campaign manager, issued a statement following the vote accusing Republicans of playing politics in an election year and vowing to mobilize what she called an “unprecedented campaign to register, educate and turn out Floridians who will vote to hold these politicians accountable.” “So, legislators, if you voted for this assault on our rights and our health, we have a message for you — we’ll see you at the polls,” Goodhue said. The bill passed on a near party-line vote, with Rep. Heather Fitzenhagen, R-Fort Myers, and Rep. Holly Raschein, R- Key Largo, joining Democrats in opposition. Rep. James Bush, D-Miami, Rep. Kimberly Daniels, D-Jacksonville, Rep. Al Jacquet, D-Riviera Beach, and Rep. Anika Omphroy, D- Lauderdale Lakes, voted with Republicans to support the bill.

“Political Insider: Will debate curb Bloomberg’s Florida momentum?” by Herald Tribune’s Zac Anderson – Sarasota Democrat Bruce Wertheimer took notice when Michael Bloomberg opened a campaign office in town recently. Wertheimer, 90, had been leaning toward Joe Biden in the presidential primary but now wonders whether Biden has what it takes to beat President Donald Trump. Bloomberg is piquing Wertheimer’s interest. He plans to stop by the Sarasota campaign office and is considering helping with the campaign. “He was highly successful, I thought, as New York mayor,” Wertheimer said of Bloomberg in an interview early last week before the presidential debate. “And he gets things done. He’s a pretty straight shooter and I think he’s got a pretty good wit about him that I think can stand up to Trump’s tweets and stuff.” Bloomberg has been on the rise nationally, polling well enough to make his first debate appearance last week. The billionaire former mayor of New York is spending big, forgoing the early states to focus on Florida and other primary contests that are later in the calendar and have larger delegate prizes. The Florida investment has been paying off. There is growing interest in Bloomberg’s campaign statewide and locally. Bloomberg’s Sarasota office opening drew a crowd of roughly 250 people and he has fared well in straw polls taken by local Democratic groups. The monthly straw poll conducted by the Anna Maria Island and West Manatee Democratic Club shows the Bloomberg surge in miniature. In December just three club members voted for Bloomberg, and in January just four. But in February Bloomberg won the poll with 24 votes, while Biden got just five votes. Recent statewide polls also have put Bloomberg in the lead in Florida. The reason for Bloomberg’s surge is simple: Many Democrats began to believe he has the best chance of beating Trump.

 

“No evidence of Russian ‘play’ to help Trump, briefer may have ‘overstated’ intelligence, official says” by Fox News’ Gregg Re, John Roberts – Contrary to numerous recent media reports, there is no evidence to suggest that Russia is making a specific “play” to boost President Trump’s reelection bid, a U.S. intelligence official told Fox News on Sunday. In addition, top U.S. election official Shelby Pierson, who briefed Congress on Russian election interference efforts, may have overstated intelligence regarding the issue when speaking to the House Intelligence Committee earlier this month, the source added. The Wall Street Journal reported last week, citing people familiar with her work, that Pierson “has a reputation for being injudicious with her words and not appreciating the delicate work of corralling federal agencies, technology firms and state election officials to collaborate on election security.” U.S. intelligence officials have publicly testified only that the Russians have been using “information warfare” ahead of the election. Fox News is told Democrats pressed Pierson on whether Russia was trying to help Trump, and accurate context or perspective to her responses failed to emerge. Intelligence agencies have made great strides in preventing Russian interference this year, Fox News also was told. Republican lawmakers who were in the Pierson briefing noted that Trump has taken on Russia in numerous ways, one official present told The Associated Press. The White House has opposed Russia’s major proposed pipeline in Germany, provided deadly arms to Ukraine and accused Russia of violating key arms treaties, among other measures. The whiplash came as fears of Russian intervention have gripped the 2020 presidential race following an unverified report by The New York Times and CNN that Russia wanted to help Trump, which CNN has since walked back. Then, it was reported that U.S. intelligence officials had briefed Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders that Russia was trying to help his campaign too, although it was unclear how or why the alleged support for the self-described democratic socialist was occurring.

“AIPAC blasts Sanders after 2020 frontrunner says he’ll skip conference” by Fox News’ Edmund DeMarche – The American Israel Public Affairs Committee late Sunday called out Sen. Bernie Sanders over his decision to skip its conference next month in Washington and blaming his decision on his concern that the group provides a platform for leaders to “express bigotry” and oppose basic Palestinian rights. Sanders, who is on the heels of an emphatic win in the Nevada Caucuses, took to Twitter on Sunday to voice his concern about the influential lobby. The Vermont senator vowed that if elected president he would work with both Israelis and Palestinians to bring peace and stability to the region. AIPAC wasted little time to respond to the public rebuke and called his comments an ill-informed and an “odious attack.” The pro-Israel lobby said Sanders never attended a conference, which is “evident in the outrageous comment.” “Senator Sanders is insulting his very own colleagues and the millions of Americans who stand with Israel,” the statement read. “Truly shameful.” Last year, liberal groups like MoveOn called on Democratic candidates to sidestep the annual conference. The groups claimed that the lobby tried to thwart the Iran nuclear deal and backed Israel’s unfair settlement policies, according to reports. A candidate’s decision to shun the conference could bolster his progressive support. Last year, Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., one of the first Muslim women in Congress, insinuated that lobbyists with AIPAC were paying lawmakers to support Israel. Her remark drew bipartisan criticism and a rebuke from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Omar ended up apologizing for her comments. Presidential candidates used to view the AIPAC gathering as a crucial campaign stop. President Trump used the decision by top Democrats to skip last year’s AIPAC event as evidence that they are anti-Israel.

“Sotomayor issues scathing dissent in Supreme Court order that could reshape legal immigration” by CNN’s Ariane de Vogue – Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote a scathing dissent late Friday night, castigating the government for repeatedly asking the Supreme Court on an emergency basis to allow controversial policies to go into effect and charging her conservative colleagues on the court with being too eager to side with the Trump administration on such requests. The justice wrote that granting emergency applications often upends “the normal appellate process” while “putting a thumb on the scale in favor of the party that won.” Targeting her conservative colleagues, she said “most troublingly, the Court’s recent behavior” has benefited “one litigant over all others.” Sotomayor’s dissent was in response to the court’s 5-4 order granting the government’s request to allow its controversial “public charge” rule to go into effect in every state. The rule makes it more difficult for immigrants to obtain legal status if they use public benefits like food stamps and housing vouchers. Although the three other liberal justices on the bench also dissented, they remained silent and did not join Sotomayor’s decision. “Claiming one emergency after another, the Government has recently sought stays in an unprecedented number of cases,” Sotomayor said. “It is hard to say what is more troubling,” she said, pointing to the case at hand, “that the Government would seek this extraordinary relief seemingly as a matter of course, or that the Court would grant it.” She noted that in the case at hand, the lower court order that the Supreme Court lifted was narrow and only impacted one state. Sotomayor’s comments come as the Supreme Court is in the midst of a blockbuster term considering issues such as abortion, LGBTQ rights, the Second Amendment, immigration and President Donald Trump’s effort to shield his financial records.

“White House expected to ask Congress for coronavirus funds this week” by CNN’s Sarah Westwood – White House officials are expected to ask Congress for emergency funding this week to battle the coronavirus amid growing fears of a larger outbreak in the US, two officials familiar with the forthcoming request said. Government aides worked throughout the weekend on the supplemental request, which is still not final but could be sent to Capitol Hill as soon as Monday, according to a person familiar with the plans. That source said Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar has ruffled feathers through the process by requesting amounts of money that “have been seen as largely out of proportion.” The source noted HHS already has money that could be used for coronavirus issues, but claimed Azar “has been pushing hard for this to overcompensate” for management decisions regarding coronavirus containment that the source criticized. The US now has 35 confirmed cases of coronavirus. Fourteen Americans who tested positive for the disease returned to the US this week after spending weeks in isolation on the luxury cruise ship Diamond Princess docked in Japan. A spokesperson for HHS referred questions to the Office of Management and Budget. Another person familiar with the talks vehemently disagreed with the characterization that Azar had asked for too much funding or mismanaged any part of the coronavirus response effort. An HHS spokesperson noted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has already notified Congress of its intent to spend up to $66 million from its Infectious Diseases Rapid Response Reserve Fund to respond to the coronavirus outbreak. The supplemental funding request was first reported by Politico.

“Twitter Suspends Some Accounts Backing Michael Bloomberg” by WSJ’s Betsy Morris – Twitter Inc. has removed some accounts supportive of Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg for possible content manipulation, in a potential setback for his expansive social-media strategy. The Wall Street Journal this past week reported that Mr. Bloomberg’s campaign was hiring hundreds of workers in California to spread messages supporting his candidacy on their personal social-media accounts and by sending text messages to their friends. Mr. Bloomberg, a billionaire, has used his personal wealth to fund large ad-buying sprees on TV, radio and sites such as Facebook. A Twitter spokeswoman Saturday said it suspended the accounts for violating its rules against platform manipulation and spam, such as efforts to artificially boost messages on the company’s platform. Twitter’s rules prohibit “coordinating with or compensating others to engage in artificial engagement or amplification, even if the people involved use only one account.” A spokeswoman for Mr. Bloomberg’s campaign said “we ask that all of our deputy field organizers identify themselves as working on behalf of the Mike Bloomberg 2020 campaign on their social-media accounts.” The campaign, she said, was using an app that used Twitter-approved features so staff and volunteers can share messages. The activity, she said, “was not intended to mislead anyone.” U.S. presidential candidates on both sides of the aisle are betting that large social-media drives—some relying on grass-roots support, and others on campaign financing—will help win voters. But the efforts also take place at a time when election-related activities on social-media platforms are under scrutiny after a Senate committee report in October criticized U.S. tech companies for helping spread disinformation during the 2016 election.

“Bernie Sanders Was Warned Russia Is Trying to Boost His Presidential Campaign” by WSJ’s Dustin Volz – U.S. officials have informed Sen. Bernie Sanders that Russia is actively trying to support his campaign for the Democratic nomination as part of Moscow’s broader efforts to interfere in the 2020 election, according to two people familiar with the matter. President Trump and a small number of lawmakers have been briefed on the same intelligence, the people said. The classified FBI briefing wasn’t of the type routinely given to presidential campaigns about election security, those people said. It was given in reaction to intelligence considered compelling enough that Mr. Sanders needed to be alerted, one of the people said. But the intelligence suggested that the Russian effort to bolster Mr. Sanders hasn’t approached the scale or scope of operations to support Mr. Trump’s campaign in 2016, the person said. The Washington Post earlier reported Mr. Sanders received a briefing that Russia was seeking to support him in the primary. Speaking to reporters Friday, Mr. Sanders acknowledged a briefing had taken place but said it wasn’t clear what role Russia was attempting to play in the election. “We were told that Russia and maybe other countries were getting involved in the campaign,” Mr. Sanders told reporters in Bakersfield, Calif. “And look, here is the message to Russia, ‘Stay out of the American election.’ ” Mr. Sanders, who has been criticized for online vitriol some of his supporters have directed against his opponents, also said in a statement that it was possible “ugly stuff” that has been attributed to his campaign was actually coming from fake internet accounts. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Homeland Security declined to comment.

“’Namaste Trump!’ India Greets U.S. Leader With Epic Party — And Modest Policy Aims” by NPR’s Colin Dwyer – President Trump would be the first to tell you: He and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, despite some economic friction between their countries, share a warm personal friendship. And Modi, as Trump’s friend, evidently knows just how to greet the U.S. president when he drops in for a visit — with throngs of adoring fans. Shortly after touchdown in Ahmedabad, the largest city in the prime minister’s home state of Gujarat, Trump is heading to a rally at the massive Sardar Patel Stadium. Billed as the largest cricket stadium in the world, the newly renovated facility is hosting a party that also happens to bear the president’s name: “Namaste Trump,” a nod to the similarly gargantuan “Howdy Modi” fete for the prime minister last fall at Houston’s NRG Stadium. For all the physical enormity of the event, though, expectations of Trump’s two-day visit remain modest — even from Trump himself. The president has carefully downplayed the prospect of a major trade deal anytime soon. The two countries enjoy a robust trading relationship, totaling more than $142 billion as of 2018, but as that relationship has grown, so too have the frictions between them. The U.S. runs a goods trade deficit with India that crested $23 billion last year alone, and the Trump administration has chafed at the tariffs protecting Indian markets from foreign competition as “the highest of any major economy.” “We’re doing a very big trade deal with India. We’ll have it. I don’t know if it’ll be done before the [U.S. presidential] election,” Trump told reporters last week at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, “but we’ll have a very big deal with India.” “We’re not treated very well by India,” Trump added, “but I happen to like Prime Minister Modi a lot.”


President Donald Trump @realDonaldTrump – America and India will strengthen their countries, enrich their people, make big dreamers bigger and make their future brighter than ever … and this is only the beginning.

(((Rep. Nadler))) @RepJerryNadler – Adam Schiff @RepAdamSchiff– Nice deflection, Mr. President. But your false claims fool no one. You welcomed Russian help in 2016, tried to coerce Ukraine’s help in 2019, and won’t protect our elections in 2020. Now you fired your intel chief for briefing Congress about it. You’ve betrayed America. Again.

 

 

 

 

Rick Scott @SenRickScott – The Cuban regime has arbitrarily arrested @OscarBiscet. Oscar is a former political prisoner and human rights advocate who has remained steadfast in his fight against the Castro regime. Cuba continues to persecute those who stand in their way. We demand his immediate release!

Rep. Ted Deutch @RepTedDeutch – In 2018, Floridians overwhelmingly supported restoring voting rights to over 1.6 million former felons. The court’s ruling is an important reminder to legislators that a person’s voting rights shouldn’t be determined by their ability to meet financial requirements.

Debbie Wasserman Schultz @DWStweets – I raised alarm bells on Maduro’s Russian coordination, so I welcome these oil sanctions. Congress’s just-passed Verdad Act includes my legislation requiring a clear State Dept. strategy to combat Kremlin influence in #Venezuela. We still have work to do

Matt Gaetz @mattgaetz – Mick & I both spoke at an event in FL Saturday & he used the same line. All 300+ in the room understood it correctly – as giving reverence to the President’s sound discernment in a sea of varying views and high-pressure decision points. Mick was praising the President.

Ron DeSantis @GovRonDeSantis – I was pleased to award the City of Green Cove Springs in Clay County with $250,000 through the Job Growth Grant Fund today. Details here

Rep. Anna V. Eskamani  @AnnaForFlorida – I heard today was #LoveYourPetsDay but as cat lady I will take really any opportunity to post photos of our little stinkers. Will be seeing them soon!

Dane Eagle @DaneEagle –We just passed a bill in the Florida House requiring parental consent for minors to receive an abortion. When @GovRonDeSantis signs this bill into law, it will be a huge win for LIFE! I will always speak up for the voiceless and defend the unborn!

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Javier Manjarres is a nationally renowned award-winning South Florida-based political journalist owns Diverse New Media, Corp. which publishes Floridianpress.com, Judicialpost.com, shark-tank.com, and Hispolitica.com He enjoys traveling, playing soccer, mixed martial arts, weight-lifting, swimming and biking. He ran as a Republican in the 2018 congressional primary race in Florida's CD 22. Javier is also a political consultant, and has also authored "BROWN PEOPLE," which is a book about Hispanic Politics. Learn more at www.brownpeople.org Email him at [email protected]