Say It Ain’t So, Joe
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s 2008 Vice Presidential debate statement regarding Joe Biden continues to resonate as the gaffs keep rolling off Joe Biden’s tongue during this presidential election cycle. Team Trump is raising big coin off of Biden’s “you ain’t black” misstep just as Team Biden continues to try to find any excuse to dismiss the remark. Read More.
Black Republicans in Florida are offended (as they should be) over Biden’s remark. Okaloosa’s Superintendent of Schools questions Biden, “Who is Joe Biden to question someone’s blackness?” Must Read.
Trump is all but threatening the Republican National Convention from North Carolina. Florida has always been the ultimate swing state and could see the RNC Convention pop up in one of their cities. Jacksonville looks to be one of the likely candidates for the event, if the plug is pulled on North Carolina. Enter Jax Mayor Lenny Curry, a loyal, unabated, and unapologetic Trump supporter. Trump loves loyalists.
Here is a snapshot of the most up-to-date numbers from the Florida Dept. of Health:
Visit The Floridian
“Mucarsel-Powell Still Quiet About Biden’s “Workplace Harassment” Allegation” by The Floridian’s Daniel Molina – As the Biden campaign moves closer to picking a female Vice-Presidential candidate to join former Vice President Joe Biden (D) on the campaign trail, Florida Democrats are championing the anniversary of the passing of the 19th amendment. However, detractors are raising questions regarding Vice President Biden’s sexual-assault allegation that have not been directly addressed. Taking to Twitter to share some thoughts on the effects of the 19th amendment, Florida Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (D) commented that “it was fearless women organizing who moves us closer to our nation’s highest ideals.” She added that “a century later, women across the country carry on this tradition,” noting that “we show that we can and must rise together.” However, the pictures the Florida lawmaker shared are receiving some criticism because it shows lawmakers with political activists holding signs that read “End Workplace Harassment.” This comes during a time when Vice President Biden is receiving pushback for not directly addressing the sexual assault allegation that has been made by Tara Reade, who feels that the media has not done its due diligence when it comes to pressing Biden on the matter.
“Askar Ad Supports Trump’s COVID-19 Immigration Move” by The Floridian’s Daniel Molina – Casey Askar, a Republican vying for Florida Rep. Francis Rooney’s (R) congressional seat, has just released another advertisement in support of President Trump and his decision to suspend immigration during the COVID-19 pandemic. The advertisement, titled “Once and For All,” is set to play on TV, radio and digital mediums. In the advertisement, Casey applauds “President Trump’s early action to suspend immigration, slowing the spread of the Wuhan pandemic.” The Republican hopeful added that “this crisis illustrates just how important our nation’s borders are to maintaining domestic security.” In addition, he assured that when he’s “elected to Congress,” he vows to “work with President Trump to fix our broken immigration system once and for all.” Askar is running in a crowded congressional run for a hotly contested seat as Florida Rep. Rooney steps down from his seat, choosing at the end of 2019 to not seek reelection. He’s an Iraqi refugee, a U.S. Marine, and positions himself as “a political outsider running for Congress to be a fighter for our country, to defend our beliefs against the growing socialist movement and decades of bad foreign policy.” Furthermore, he vows to “bring real business experience to Congress and will be a leader on restarting our country’s economy.”
“Biden: Black Voters Considering Trump Over Him ‘Ain’t Black’” by the Floridian’s Mona Salama – Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden in a contentious Friday morning interview with a nationally syndicated hip-hop radio show defended his record on race, arguing that black voters who are undecided and have a “problem figuring out” on whether to vote for him or President Trump, then they “ain’t black.” Towards the end of the radio show on “The Breakfast Club,” Biden staff interrupted to cut off the interview because the vice president’s wife needed the makeshift studio for her upcoming interview. The host Charlamagne tha God jokingly interjected and said “you can’t do that to black media.” “I do that to white media and black media,” Biden responded. “Listen, you’ve got to come see us when you come to New York, V.P. Biden,” Charlamagne said. “It’s a long way until November. We’ve got more questions.” “You’ve got more questions?” Biden replied. “Well I tell you what, if you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black.” Charlamagne countered on Biden replied saying “it doesn’t have nothing to do with Trump, it has to do with the fact [that] I want something for my community.” Biden then replied by promoting his legislative record that he said were devoted to advancing civil rights. “Take a look at my record, man! I extended the Voting Rights [Act] 25 years. I have a record that is second-to-none,” he said. “The NAACP’s endorsed me every time I’ve run. I mean, come on. Take a look at the record.”
“Biden Says He Was ‘Cavalier’ For Controversial ‘You Ain’t Black’ Comment” by The Floridian’s Mona Salama – Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden in a call with black business leaders said he “should not have been so cavalier” with his controversial remarks for insinuating that black voters unsure about whether to support him or President Trump “ain’t black.” “I should not have been so cavalier. I’ve never, never, ever taken the African American community for granted,” Biden said, addressing the controversy within the session starting in a phone call with the U.S. Black Chambers Friday afternoon. “I shouldn’t have been such a wise guy.” He went on to say his choice of words was “unfortunate,” and was only trying to make a point contrasting his records with President Trump. “No one should have to vote for any party based on their race, their religion, their background,” Biden said. “There are African Americans who think that Trump was worth voting for, I don’t think so. I’m prepared to put my record against his. That was the bottom line and it was really unfortunate I shouldn’t have been so cavalier.” The former vice president acknowledged that his comment made it seem like he was taking “the African American vote for granted.”
“Trump To Attend Historic SpaceX Launch In Florida” by The Floridian’s Mona Salama – President Trump will attend the SpaceX launch at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida next Wednesday, to witness the launch of Americans into space for the first time in nearly a decade from American soil. “Our destiny, beyond the Earth, is not only a matter of national identity, but a matter of national security,” Trump said in a statement. SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon spacecraft are scheduled to fly on May 27 at 4:33 pm ET, lifting off from the Kennedy Space Center complex at Cape Canaveral for a months-long mission on the International Space Station. NASA Astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken will launch on SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, owned by tech billionaire Elon Musk, who founded SpaceX and the electric-car company Tesla. It will be the first time that NASA has launched astronauts from the United States to the International Space Station since 2011 — and the first time NASA is sending astronauts into orbit aboard a spacecraft built by a private company. Vice President Pence said in an interview with Fox News that he thinks the timing of the launch will show the American people that America leads with “courage and with bravery” in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Allen West Recovers, Speaks after Motorcycle Accident in Texas” by The Floridian’s Javier Manjarres – After being hurt in a motorcycle accident on Saturday, former Congressmen Allen West (R) is resting from his injuries, none of which are life-threatening. Early reports state West was airlifted in stable condition to a local hospital after being cut-off by a vehicle when leaving a rally on his motorcycle. Just moments ago, we spoke to Allen West from his hospital bed, where he informed us that outside a slew of cuts and scrapes, not to mention sustaining a shoulder injury, he is doing the best he possibly can considering the circumstances. Col. West is a friend, and we took the opportunity to poke a little fun at our tricycle –riding amigo. True to his form, West quipped back stating, “Oh, you’ve got jokes today.” We suggested to him that 90 –year-olds shouldn’t be out riding around on toys fit for youngsters. We also threatened Allen that we would be visiting him at the hospital (nursing home- ha ha ha) where he is currently residing in Texas. West is currently running for chairmen of the Texas Republican Party. All joking aside, our thoughts are with Angela, Aubrey, Austen, and Allen. We are praying for a speedy recovery.
“Iran and Venezuela’s Partnership a Threat to U.S.” by The Floridian’s Daniel Molina – The United States has long been a proponent of free elections around the world, and one country that has received heavy criticism for not providing free elections for its people is Venezuela. Most recently, the U.S. placed additional sanctions on the country, but the threat Venezuela poses against its people and on the world continues, especially now with its partnership with Iran. This week, it was reported that Iran and Venezuela, both receiving sanctions and feeling the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, are strengthening their relationship through a partnership, which provides a lifeline that President Nicolas Maduro has desperately been looking for. The relationship also provides Tehran with the opportunity to be the center of influence across the Caribbean Sea from the sunshine state. This relationship expressed itself when five oil tankers were found steam across the Atlantic Ocean while carrying around 60 million gallons of Iranian gasoline, which analysts argue was bought with Venezuelan gold. This, Iran has denied. Taking to Twitter to voice her disagreement of the relationship, Florida Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (D) commented that “Maduro is dangerous to the people of Venezuela & Latin America at large, & these latest interactions with Iran further illustrate that fact.”
“Trump capitalizes on Biden’s “You ain’t black” remark” by The Floridian’s Daniel Molina – “If you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you aint black,” said former Vice President Joe Biden (D) during an interview with Charlamagne tha God on the Breakfast Club. Since then, the presidential candidate has apologized for his remarks, which many saw as racist. While speaking in a conference call with African American business leaders, the former Vice President commented that he “should not have been so cavalier,” adding that he’s “never, never, ever taken the African American community for granted.” Biden then clarified that “no one should have to vote for any party based on their race, their religion, their background.” However, Republican African American lawmakers and supporters have slammed Biden for his words, and the Trump administration has responded by releasing merchandise that celebrates the African American voices that support the president in his reelection bid. As well, the Trump campaign has released an advertisement criticizing Biden for his choice of words, dubbing Vice President Biden a racist.
“Florida Attorney General Joins Bipartisan Group Urging Congress to Fund Broadband” by Space Coast Daily – Millions of Americans are learning, working, and seeking healthcare from home during this pandemic to social distance—making internet access crucial for participation in everyday academic and economic activities. “With many studying, working, and seeking health care from home during COVID-19, internet access is more important than ever before,” said Moody. Congress must act and must act now to help ensure Americans living in rural parts of our country can participate in school, work and other activities vital to our everyday lives.” In a letter sent to Congressional leaders, Attorney General Moody and the bipartisan coalition of attorneys general urged Congress to:
• Provide state, territorial and local governments with adequate funding expressly dedicated to ensuring that all students, patients, and senior citizens have adequate internet-enabled technology to participate equally in online learning and telemedicine; and
• Increase funding to the U.S. Federal Communication Commission Universal Service Fund, that provides vital funding to rural and low-income populations, healthcare providers, and educators with the goal of bridging the digital divide.
“Florida can’t stop poor felons from voting, federal judge says” by WSJ’s Arian Campo-Flores via Fox News – A federal judge declared unconstitutional parts of a Florida law that would require people with felony convictions to pay off financial obligations before regaining their right to vote, paving the way for hundreds of thousands of Floridians to register to vote. The decision, which likely will be appealed and could reach the U.S. Supreme Court, comes less than six months before a presidential election, in a crucial swing state where contests often are decided by paper-thin margins. In his decision Sunday, U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle ruled that the procedures put in place by the law amounted to an “unconstitutional pay-to-vote system.” He said “the State can condition voting on payment of fines and restitution that a person is able to pay but cannot condition voting on payment of amounts a person is unable to pay or on payment of taxes, even those labeled fees or costs.” A 2018 constitutional amendment approved by nearly 65 percent of Florida voters ended the state’s permanent disenfranchisement of felons. The measure restored voting rights to those who completed all terms of their sentences, including parole or probation, but excluded people convicted of murder or felony sexual offenses. After it took effect, the Republican-led legislature last year passed a bill, signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis, a fellow Republican, that supporters said was needed to clarify the amendment’s language.
“Audit finds 2018 election in Broward County was marred by waste, extra votes, unnecessary delays” by Sun Sentinel’s Anthony Mann – Multiple shortcomings contributed to a problem-plagued 2018 election in Broward County, many of which were on public display while a national cable TV audience waited for Florida to recount votes in elections for governor and U.S. Senate. A controversial audit 18 months later is now detailing even more failings.Among the issues raised in the audit:
· Half of Broward County’s election precincts reported more ballots cast than the number of voters. Backlogs in processing mail ballots snarled reporting of results.
· Confusing ballot design may have led thousands of voters to inadvertently skip an important contest.
· Money was wasted on unneeded blank ballots, which weren’t adequately tracked and were eventually destroyed.
· After election day, auditors found the recount was plagued by poor planning, inadequate staffing and equipment, and poor quality control. The findings led to a troubling conclusion from Broward County Auditor Bob Melton, whose office examined what went wrong in 2018. “We conclude that the November 2018 election was not efficiently and effectively conducted,” Melton wrote in to county commissioners. “Based on the totality of these issues, we are unable to provide assurance over the accuracy of the November 2018 election results as reported.”
“‘Always an afterthought.’ Strategists question Biden strategy to win Florida Latinos” by Miami Herald’s Bianca Padro Ocasio and David Smiley – After months of Democrats’ hand-wringing about Joe Biden’s efforts to win over Hispanic voters in Florida and other 2020 battleground states, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee’s campaign this week hired a national senior Latino adviser, began to sharply attack President Donald Trump over the state’s Latino unemployment rate and moved to host regular Spanish-language virtual chats with Florida allies. But Democratic activists still worry that Biden has done too little with Hispanic voters to take back the nation’s largest swing state from President Donald Trump. And some say that, soon, it may also be too late. In the midterm elections, Democrats widely blamed narrow losses in races for governor and U.S. Senate on poor Hispanic outreach. Now, some strategists are concerned that Biden is making the same mistake. With less than six months to go until Election Day, the former vice president is preaching patience to frustrated grassroots activists who are questioning the campaign’s dedication to winning over minority voters in the state. “It’s unclear whether the Biden campaign is going to invest in the levels necessary [to reach Hispanic voters] in a state like Florida, which is distressing to those of us on the ground here,” said Andrea Mercado, executive director of New Florida Majority, one of the state’s largest grassroots political organizations.
“Broward County mayor endorses Gregory Tony for sheriff” by Sun Sentinel’s Skyler Swisher – Broward County Mayor Dale Holness endorsed Gregory Tony for sheriff on Thursday, providing a lift to a campaign that has been besieged by a barrage of damaging headlines. Holness said in a statement he has been impressed with Tony’s work on a $30 million regional training center and the creation of a real-time crime center. “He has held bad actors accountable and put together the most diverse command staff we’ve ever seen,” Holness said. “Sheriff Tony has truly proven himself more than deserving of the support of our community.” Tony will face his predecessor Scott Israel, along with retired Broward Sheriff’s Col. Al Pollock and other lesser-known candidates in the Democratic primary. Because Broward County is overwhelmingly Democratic, the winner of the August primary is expected to prevail in the general election. Gov. Ron DeSantis appointed Tony in January 2019 to replace Israel, whom he ousted amid fallout from the Feb. 14, 2018, Parkland school shooting. As a first-time candidate, Tony has faced scrutiny for not disclosing on a 2005 job application with the Coral Springs Police Department that he shot and killed an 18-year-old man in 1993 when he was a teenager. Tony, 41, was not found guilty of wrongdoing in the shooting, and he says it was self-defense.
“Florida justices consider recreational marijuana ballot amendment” by Tampa Bay Times’ Jim Saunders and Tom Urban – With Attorney General Ashley Moody, lawmakers and groups such as the Florida Chamber of Commerce trying to block the measure, the state Supreme Court on Wednesday heard arguments about a proposed constitutional amendment that would allow people to use recreational marijuana. The political committee Make It Legal Florida is seeking to put the proposal on the 2022 ballot but needs the Supreme Court to sign off on the ballot title and summary — the wording that voters would see when they go to the polls. State Solicitor General Amit Agarwal, representing Moody, argued Wednesday that the Supreme Court should reject the proposal because it would be misleading to voters. Agarwal focused, in part, on wording in the ballot summary that says the amendment “permits adults 21 years or older to possess, use, purchase, display, and transport up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana and marijuana accessories for personal use for any reason.” Agarwal said that is misleading because such things as possession and purchase of marijuana would remain illegal under federal laws. “Voters should be told the truth,” Agarwal said. “They should be given the tools that they need to make a fully informed decision on this ballot initiative. Voters right now are told, expressly and unqualifiedly, that the proposed amendment would permit something that it quite simply would not permit.”
“Michigan Gov. Whitmer caught in Memorial Day lockdown controversy over husband’s reported boat request” by Fox News’ Morgan Phillips – Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer faced backlash from Republican lawmakers after a reported request from her husband to get the family’s boat out on the water before Memorial Day weekend — far from their home in Lansing.
Whitmer, a Democrat, famously has imposed one of the strictest lockdowns in the country, sparking frequent protests. What’s more, she’s told people not living in Northern Michigan to stay away from vacation spots there during the holiday weekend. In Facebook posts no longer visible to the public, NorthShore Dock LLC and its owner, Tad Dowker, focused on what Dowker said was a request last week by Whitmer’s husband, Marc Mallory. The posts caught the attention of Republican state lawmakers, who said the governor’s family may not have wanted to follow the guidance she’s issued for the rest of the state. “This morning, I was out working when the office called me, there was a gentleman on hold who wanted his boat in the water before the weekend,” Dowker posted. “Being Memorial weekend and the fact that we started working three weeks late means there is no chance this is going to happen.” He continued, “Our office personnel had explained this to the man and he replied, ‘I am the husband to the governor, will this make a difference?'” The docking company later noted that Mallory respectfully accepted that the accommodation would not be possible. Whitmer spokeswoman Tiffany Brown refused to comment on the matter, saying the administration wouldn’t address “every rumor that is spread online,” The Detroit News reported.
“Trump campaign plans $1 million advertising attack after Biden’s black voters comment” by CNN’s Ryan Nobles – The Donald Trump campaign is planning to launch a $1 million advertising attack centered around Joe Biden’s comment Friday to a popular black radio host that if anyone is struggling to decide whether to support Biden or President Donald Trump in the general election then he “ain’t black.” The campaign has seized on the remarks since Biden made them in an interview on the radio show “The Breakfast Club” in which host Charlamagne Tha God told Biden he should come to the studio in New York City for another interview, telling the former vice president that “we’ve got more questions.” “You’ve got more questions?” Biden replied. “Well, I tell you what, if you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black.” Charlemagne responded that “it don’t have nothing to do with Trump. It has to do with the fact” that he wants something to benefit the African American community. Since the comments, the Trump campaign has attacked Biden on various forms of social media and held a press call with South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, the sole black Republican serving in the US Senate. In the phone call Friday with reporters and Trump campaign senior adviser Katrina Pierson, Scott said he was “shocked and surprised” by Biden’s comment.
“Trump Considers Forming Panel to Review Complaints of Online Bias” by WSJ’s John D. McKinnon and Alex Leary – President Trump is considering establishing a panel to review complaints of anticonservative bias on social media, according to people familiar with the matter, in a move that would likely draw pushback from technology companies and others. The plans are still under discussion but could include the establishment of a White House-created commission that would examine allegations of online bias and censorship, these people said. The administration could also encourage similar reviews by federal regulatory agencies, such as the Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Election Commission, they said. “Left-wing bias in the tech world is a concern that definitely needs to be addressed from our vantage point, and at least exposed [so] that Americans have clear eyes about what we’re dealing with,” a White House official said. Mr. Trump has long expressed that viewpoint, and in a recent Twitter post indicated that a plan to address complaints of bias is in the works. “The Radical Left is in total command & control of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Google,” Mr. Trump tweeted May 16, adding that his administration is “working to remedy this illegal situation.” Facebook Inc., which also owns Instagram, defended its practices when asked for a response to the nascent proposal. “People on both sides of the aisle disagree with some of the positions we’ve taken, but we remain committed to seeking outside perspectives and communicating clearly about why we make the decisions we do,” the company said.
“Three Republican groups sue California governor over mail-in-vote order” by Reuters’ Shubham Kalia – The Republican National Committee (RNC) and two other Republican groups on Sunday filed a lawsuit against California Governor Gavin Newsom over his executive orders to use mail-in ballots for the November election. California was the first state in the country to commit to sending mail-in ballots to all registered voters for the November election, a move responding to the coronavirus pandemic. “Democrats continue to use this pandemic as a ploy to implement their partisan election agenda, and Governor Newsom’s executive order is the latest direct assault on the integrity of our elections,” RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said bit.ly/2Xqmqy9 in a statement. The RNC said that voting by mail creates an opportunity for fraud. Republicans, including U.S. President Donald Trump, have claimed mail-in voting is susceptible to rigging. “No state that conducts all-mail elections automatically mails ballots to inactive voters because it invites fraud, coercion, theft, and otherwise illegitimate voting,” it added. The lawsuit asks for Newsom’s order to be barred as unlawful and was filed by the RNC, the National Republican Congressional Committee, and the California Republican Party.
“Coronavirus is just ‘tip of iceberg,’ Chinese researcher cautions” by New York Posts’ Kate Sheehy via Fox News – China’s “bat woman” researcher warns that the deadly coronavirus surfacing now is “just the tip of the iceberg” in terms of what humans may soon face without a global effort to prevent similar infectious outbreaks. “If we want to prevent human beings from suffering from the next infectious-disease outbreak, we must go in advance to learn of these unknown viruses carried by wild animals in nature and give early warnings,” Shi Zhengli, a top Chinese scientist specializing in viral transmissions from bats, told CGTN in an interview that aired Monday. “If we don’t study [the viruses], there will possibly be another outbreak,” warned Shi, whose was dubbed “bat woman” by the press because of her research involving the mammals. The coronavirus has killed more than 345,000 people across the world since it appears to have first surfaced in Wuhan, China, late last year. The Wuhan lab where Shi is deputy director has been suspected of accidentally unleashing the virus on humans. China also has been accused of not coming clean on the danger soon enough and consistently lying about the virus’s toll on its citizens. Shi has denied that her lab was involved in the pandemic, saying the strains it has been researching are different.
“Hassett says unemployment rate could be ‘north of 20%’ in May with possible double-digits in November” by CNN’s Devan Cole – A senior White House economic adviser on Sunday again forecasted the US could see steep unemployment rates in May and June amid the coronavirus crisis, with the possibility of double-digit jobless numbers in November. Kevin Hassett, a senior economic adviser to President Donald Trump, said in an interview with CNN’s Dana Bash on “State of the Union” that the unemployment rate — which has already reached Great Depression-level figures — for May could be “north of 20%” if “some technical things that kind of messed up” with the claims reporting are fixed. “My expectation is that since there’s still initial claims for unemployment insurance in May, that the unemployment rate will be higher in June than in May, but then after that it should start to trend down,” Hassett said. Asked by Bash if “it’s possible that unemployment will be in double digits in November,” Hassett replied: “Yes, I do. But I think that all the signs of economic recovery are going to be raging everywhere.” “Of course you could still not be back to full employment by September or October,” he added. “If there were a vaccine in July, then I’d be way more optimistic about it.” A dismal unemployment rate could negatively impact Trump’s reelection prospects, as he’s made the strong employment numbers that have existed for most of his presidency a key talking point during rallies and interviews. The comments from Hassett come two days after he told CNN that he thinks the unemployment rate, which hit 14.7% in April, may rise to 22% to 23% by May and edge up a bit in June before heading lower. “June will be higher,” he said on Friday. “That will be the turning point.”
“Optimism Over Reopening Pushes Global Stocks Higher” by WSJ’s Caitlin Ostroff and Joanne Chiu – Global stocks rose Tuesday on optimism about economies reopening and the potential development of a coronavirus vaccine. Futures linked to the S&P 500 advanced 1.9%, suggesting U.S. stocks could gain when they resume trading Tuesday after the long weekend. The pan-continental Stoxx Europe 600 advanced 0.9%, led by gains in bank shares and the travel and leisure sector. Investors were cheering signs of economic activity resuming faster than some people had expected across parts of the U.S. and elsewhere in the world. Restaurant bookings and spending on hotels and airlines appears to be picking up in the U.S., and coincide with a decline in the daily number of new infections. The U.K. has laid out plans to reopen retail stores next month, while Italy, one of the hardest-hit countries, saw people return to bars and restaurants over the weekend. “The market will drift higher from here, but it will be more of a grind as we tiptoe to normality,” said Hani Redha, a multiasset portfolio manager at PineBridge Investments. A second wave of infections would be “the litmus test of this rally. What happens when we go back and how does the infection rate respond?” Investors are also betting that one of at least 10 coronavirus vaccines under development will eventually come to market, halting the spread of the coronavirus and allowing normal business and social activity to resume. On Monday, Novavax Inc. said it started the first human study of its experimental vaccine. Drugmakers including Pfizer Inc. and Moderna Inc. are also racing to develop a vaccine. In premarket trading, shares of Novavax gained 15%.
“U.S. drilling industry says offshore ban would crush jobs, government revenues” by Reuters’ Nichola Groom – A U.S. ban on new offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, which presidential hopeful Joe Biden promised to enact if elected, would lead to hundreds of thousands of job losses and billions in lost government revenue over 20 years, an offshore drilling industry group said on Tuesday. The report by the Washington-based National Ocean Industries Association comes as Biden and other Democrats hoping to unseat Republican President Donald Trump in November’s election have vowed to shift the country away from planet-warming fossil fuels to help avert the worst impacts of climate change. “It’s important for the public and policymakers to understand the ramifications, which are severe,” NOIA President Erik Milito said in an interview about the study. Biden has said that moving away from fossil fuels would pave the way for big job gains in renewable energy. NOIA said it conducted research on the economic impact of an offshore drilling ban, and analyzed two scenarios: one assuming no new leases, and another assuming no new drilling permits issued beginning in 2022. If no new permits are issued, the offshore industry would have 179,000 jobs in 2040, less than half the 370,000 jobs it would be projected to support under current policies, the report said. Government revenues from the industry, meanwhile, would be $2.7 billion a year instead of $7 billion, it said. With no new leases, jobs and revenues would each be more than 25% lower than the business-as-usual forecast.
“Ilhan Omar: ‘I do believe’ Tara Reade’s claims against Joe Biden” by Fox News’ Morgan Phillips – Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., said she believes Tara Reade’s sexual-assault claim against Joe Biden, and that if it were up to her, Biden wouldn’t be the Democrats’ nominee for president. “I do believe Reade,” Omar told the British Sunday Times. “Justice can be delayed but should never be denied.” The freshman progressive “Squad” member had endorsed and campaigned for Biden’s rival, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. Tara Reade, a former Biden staffer, accused the former vice president of cornering her in a Senate office and sexually assaulting her in 1993. Biden repeatedly had denied the claims, and told MSNBC in an interview earlier this month he did not remember Reade. He said anyone who believed her allegations “probably shouldn’t vote for me.” “Well, I think they should vote their heart and if they believe Tara Reade, they probably shouldn’t vote for me. I wouldn’t vote for me if I believed Tara Reade,” Biden said. “Look at Tara Reade’s story. It changes considerably. And, I don’t want to question her motive, I don’t want to question anything other than to say the truth matters. This is being vetted, it’s been vetted, and people, scores of my employees over my whole career. This is just totally, thoroughly, completely out of character. And, the idea that in a public place, in a hallway, I would assault a woman? I mean, it’s just — I — anyway, I promise you. It never happened.” Reade was dropped by her attorney on Friday after new questions arose about her past work. However, the lawyer, Douglas Wigdor said his move to sever ties was “by no means a reflection on whether then-Senator Biden sexually assaulted Ms. Reade.”
“Outgoing acting director of national intelligence will also step down as US ambassador to Germany” by Kylie Atwood and Zachary Cohen – Richard Grenell, who this week will leave his position as acting director of national intelligence, acknowledged on social media he will also step down from his other job as US Ambassador to Germany. The decision to resign his ambassadorship had been expected. Grenell on Sunday replied with notes of thank you to several supporters who tweeted messages referencing the news he will not stay on as ambassador and expressing appreciation to him. The German publication Die Welt first reported the news he would not continue as ambassador. The State Department did not return a message seeking comment. Last week, Grenell traveled back to Germany for a short visit as his successor in the intelligence position, John Ratcliffe, was confirmed by the Senate, three sources familiar with his trip told CNN. When President Donald Trump tapped Grenell as the acting intelligence director in February, he continued in his role as the ambassador to Germany. Grenell became the Trump administration’s highest ranking gay official when he was sworn in as ambassador in February 2018. His colleagues in Berlin last week asked if he would be coming back. He responded something along the lines of “you will know soon enough,” a State Department official told CNN. CNN has reported that while his final decision was not known, colleagues in Washington were skeptical that Grenell would return to his ambassadorship, because they thought he would seek a more prominent position, two sources familiar with his thinking told CNN.
“GOP Considers Back-to-Work Bonuses” by WSJ’s Siobhan Hughes and Lindsay Wise – Senate Republicans are examining offering cash incentives for unemployed Americans returning to work, looking for an alternative to the extension of enhanced jobless benefits supported by Democrats. Republicans are concerned that the current $600 a week unemployment payment—on top of state unemployment benefits—is so generous that it is discouraging people from going back to work and damping the economy’s reopening amid the coronavirus pandemic. Democrats want to extend the payments, which are set to end in July, into next year, an idea Republicans have rejected. “This will not be in the next bill,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) said last week in a call with House Republicans, according to a person briefed on the call, referring to the proposed unemployment payments. Later, on Fox News, Mr. McConnell said that “in order to create jobs, we need to incentivize people to go back to work, not encourage them to stay home.” With the country in the grips of a historic economic slump—and in the middle of an election year—Republicans face the political difficulty of stopping or reducing a popular benefit for Americans who lost their jobs during the pandemic. Some are now discussing ways to pare back the government payout while also helping to revive the labor market. The U.S. unemployment rate surged to a record 14.7% in April. One idea is a proposal from Sen. Rob Portman (R., Ohio) to provide a temporary $450-a-week bonus for unemployed workers returning to work, on top of their wages.
President Donald Trump @realDonaldTrump–Nobody in 50 years has been WEAKER on China than Sleepy Joe Biden. He was asleep at the wheel. He gave them EVERYTHING they wanted, including rip-off Trade Deals. I am getting it all back!
Chuck Schumer @SenSchumer-It’s May 25th, and President Trump still doesn’t have an adequate national testing strategy.
Everyone is too busy looking for an open barbershop today…Kidding