Who Says the U.S. Congress Can’t Work Together? (Sarcasm)
Forget that the nation is still locked down due to the COVID-19 virus. Forget that Russia and China continue to try to undermine our elections and our way of life. Forget that there are Islamic terrorists out there trying to kill us simply because our way of life does not conform with their religious views. The House Democrats appear to think that these issues should a back seat to their political and ideological agenda, and because of this apparent jaded mindset, House Republicans are now suing them over their “proxy” voting endeavor. Read More.
“You Ain’t Black” Lives Matter
More and more Black Americans, including congressional Democrats, are cringing at Vice President Joe Biden’s recent and controversial “you ain’t black” joke and could be the final nail in the coffin for his presidential campaign. Read More.
Speaking of funerals and coffins, Trump wants to be the funeral itching to be the funeral director. Read More.
Here is a snapshot of the most up-to-date numbers from the Florida Dept. of Health:
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“Clyburn ‘Cringed’ At Biden’s Controversial ‘You Ain’t Black’ Remark” by The Floridian’s Mona Salama – House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn said he “cringed” when he heard presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s controversial remarks “you ain’t black” regarding black voters unsure about whether to support him or President Trump. “I cringed, no question about that,” Clyburn said during Tuesday’s appearance on ABC’s “The View” when asked about Biden’s remarks he made during a radio show last week. “I know [Charlamagne] very well and I know his job is to push the buttons and he does that very well. In this instance, Joe did not do as well as I had hoped in responding, but I will say this — I go about my business every day comparing Joe Biden to the alternative — not the almighty.” Clyburn, a top Biden surrogate, defended the former Vice President saying he “is not a perfect person.” “He is not a perfect person, none of us are, so my decision now is to determine who I feel should be the next president of the United States, and I do that by comparing the candidates to each other, not to the almighty,” he stated. Last Friday, Biden in a contentious radio interview with “The Breakfast Club,” a radio show that caters primarily to a black audience responded to a question from Charlamagne Tha God saying that, “If you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black.”
“House GOP Plan to Sue Pelosi To Block Proxy Voting” by The Floridian’s Mona Salama – House Republicans plan to file a lawsuit Tuesday against Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) in an effort to block the chamber’s new proxy voting system amid the coronavirus pandemic, citing the new rules are unconstitutional. The lawsuit was first reported by the Wall Street Journal. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) is expected to spearhead the suit against Pelosi in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., along with the support of 20 GOP lawmakers. The 20 GOP lawmakers included in the legal action are House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA), GOP Conference Chairwoman Liz Cheney (R-WY), Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX), as well as four constituents from different states have also signed onto the lawsuit against Pelosi, as well as the House Clerk and the Sergeant at Arms who are also named in the suit. Republicans’ legal team will be led by Chuck Cooper, chairman of Cooper & Kirk, PLLC, and Elliot S. Berke, managing partner of Berke Farah LLP. The GOP lawsuit alleges that the new rules are unconstitutional because the Constitution requires a quorum, or a majority, of lawmakers to be physically present to conduct business.
“Rubio Says Leaks Caused Tremendous Damage to FBI” by The Floridian’s Daniel Molina – During an interview with Fox and Friends earlier today, Florida Senator Marco Rubio (R) commented on the recent developments regarding General Michael Flynn’s case while also commenting on the FBI’s involvement. During the investigation and now that it’s come to a close, the FBI has received heavy criticism from detractors. And, supporters of the Trump administration are interested to see what’s next in General Flynn’s political life. In the interview, the Florida lawmaker noted that “the way the whole thing has played out where a judge decides to review this matter and take it in an alternative route is very unusual to say the least,” adding that “there’s another point that needs to be made about this whole situation with Mr. Flynn, and that is that information that individuals in the previous Administration become privy to was leaked to the media.” Senator Rubio detailed that “someone took information that was classified and decided to leak it to a reporter to further a narrative,” expressing that “that’s actually been a process here that has done tremendous damage to the FBI and to the intelligence community… And it’s unfortunate because the overwhelming majority of the people in the FBI don’t behave this way, but a handful of people in important positions obviously did things that have now caused great harm to the reputation of the FBI and the intelligence community.”
“Will Biden Choose Demings as VP?” by The Floridian’s Daniel Molina – As the Biden campaign continues to struggle with gaffes from the former vice president, many supporters argue that announcing his pick for Vice President would reinvigorate the campaign and possibly draw some positive attention to Vice President Biden’s (D) presidential candidacy. Although Biden has not made a formal announcement as to who will be his pick for the vice presidency, the presidential hopeful did announce that there is a shortlist of qualified female lawmakers that he has in mind, and one of those lawmakers is Florida Rep. Val Demings (D). Having been appointed as chief of the Orlando Police Department in 2007, she was the first woman to lead the department, and Democrats argue that picking her as his Vice President would help him with his backing of the past crime bill that has been viewed as controversial in hindsight. However, although some might see Demings as a strong candidate to revitalize the Biden campaign, detractors argue that her time spent as part of the Orlando Police Department is marred by controversy as well. Serving as chief from 2007 to 2011, the police department was heavily criticized with allegations of using excessive force along with receiving criticism for having a lack of transparency that dated back before her time as chief. In addition, between 2010 and 2014, the department issued $3.3 million in damages regarding at least 47 lawsuits that dealt with excessive force, false arrests and numerous other complaints.
“Desantis: ‘Florida Would Love To Have The RNC’” by Mona Salama – Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said the sunshine state would “love” to host the Republican National Convention in August, making his offer as a potential site after President Trump threatened to move the convention from North Carolina. “Florida would love to have the RNC,” DeSantis said at a press briefing in Miami. “Heck, I’m a Republican, it would be good for us to have the RNC in terms of the economic impact when you talk about major events like that. So my posture on all this is we should try to get it done as best we can in accordance with whatever safety requirements.” President Trump on Monday threatened to “reluctantly forced to find” a new site for the GOP convention, stating the Democratic Governor. Roy Cooper is was still in “shutdown mood.” Cooper last week in an interview stated that “data and science” will guide his decisions on whether the state can fully occupy the convention site and the state. “I love the Great State of North Carolina, so much so that I insisted on having the Republican National Convention in Charlotte at the end of August,” Trump said in a series of tweets. “Unfortunately, Democrat Governor, @RoyCooperNC is still in Shutdown mood & unable to guarantee that by August we will be allowed full attendance in the Arena.
“Rubio Denounces Bailing out Blue States” by The Floridian’s Daniel Molina – Florida Senator Marco Rubio (R) was interviewed this morning on Fox & Friends on numerous topics, which included his continued support for small businesses, the threat that China continues to pose on the United States and the world, and also his disapproval with the federal government bailing out blue states. In the interview, the senator doubled down on blue states not being given the opportunity of a bailout by the federal government, arguing that he doesn’t “think the federal government is in a position to be bailing out jurisdictions, whether it’s a country or a city or a state that made bad decisions in the past.” He added, “the one thing I’m open about and I think the White House has expressed flexibility on as well is, there is a baseline of ongoing operations, you know you need police officers, you need sanitation workers, you need the basic services of government and that’s been hurt by the downturn.” “We don’t want any of these cities laying off police officers,” he reaffirmed,” noting that “you separate that from… a city or state for that matter that made bad decisions over the last 10 or 15 years.” He concluded by saying that “they have a huge debt coming into this crisis – a pre-existing problem,” and “that is not something the federal government should be bailing out.” Earlier this month, Florida Senator Scott (R) also voiced his disapproval of bailing out blue states in a letter to the editor of the New York Times. The letter was in response to an editorial that asked for federal funding to bail out states.
“NRCC Calls Out ‘Deadbeat’ Democrats Over Their ‘Staycation’” by The Floridian’s Javier Manjarres – The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) is now using very harsh language in depicting House Democrats that are now allowing other members or proxies to vote on their behalf. Of those House Democrats that have already avoided “showing up for work” in their so-called “staycation,” are Reps. Ted Deutch (FL), Veronica Escobar (TX), Lois Frankel (FL), Eddie Johnson (TX), Al Lawson (FL), Marc Veasey (TX), Filemon Vela (TX), and Vicente Gonzalez (TX). NRCC Spokeswoman Camille Gallo said that House Democrats, “officially turned over their vote to another member of Congress, depriving their districts of representation during a global pandemic.” But while Gallo aims at all Democrats, it appears her focus is on Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, who is in one of the most competitive districts in the entire country, a seat that Republicans may be in a position to win back. Rep. Mucarsel-Powell is currently self-quarantining after possible exposure to the COVID-19 virus after visiting a nursing home in her district. Gallo points to that self-quarantine, calling it a “political stunt” and referring to the Congresswoman’s actions as “stupid.” “Will her own stupidity force her to leave her constituents without representation? Or will she vow to show up for work?” questioned Gallo.
“Gov. Cuomo To Meet With Trump To Discuss Infrastructure Projects” by The Floridian’s Mona Salama – New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) announced that he will travel to Washington D.C., on Wednesday to meet with President Trump to discuss ways of jump-starting New York economy efforts through major infrastructure projects. During his daily press conference on coronavirus, Cuomo made the announcement that he will meet with the president to discuss critical infrastructure projects that were put on the sidelines amid the coronavirus pandemic. “I’m going to go to Washington tomorrow,” Cuomo said Tuesday at the New York Stock Exchange. “Scheduled to meet with the president to talk about a number of things.” “Everyone has identified the same problem, Democrats and Republicans, but nobody has done anything,” Cuomo said Tuesday. “If there’s ever a time to actually take on this overdue need of major infrastructure construction, now is the time. There is no better time to build than right now.” Cuomo highlighted several infrastructure projects such as the Empire Station Project that would renovate and expand Penn Station, an AirTrain for LaGuardia Airport, the Cross-Hudson Tunnels, and the Second Avenue subway line expansion as examples that are “long overdue” and would like a partnership with the federal government.
“Trump Shares Biden Campaign Funeral Video” by The Floridian’s Javier Manjarres – In the latest jab at Vice President Joe Biden’s “You Ain’t Black” remark that has incensed both Republican and Democrat African Americans across the country, President Donald Trump shared on his Facebook page a very “morbid” video of a funeral that depicts the final nail in the coffin of the Biden Campaign. In the video, a group of black pallbearers, quite possibly of direct African descent, is shown lifting and dancing around a coffin with a superimposed “Biden for President” logo, seemingly to reference the death of Biden’s campaign. Did Biden stick a fork in himself? Is Biden’s campaign dead on arrival? Has the fat lady already sung at Biden’s funeral?
“Hospitals in Sarasota-Manatee aren’t strained by COVID-19” by Sarasota Herald-Tribune’s Zac Anderson – It has been nearly three months since Doctors Hospital of Sarasota was revealed to have one of the first two COVID-19 cases in Florida, and since then local hospitals have dealt with a steady stream of individuals sickened by the novel coronavirus. But so far hospitals in Sarasota and Manatee counties easily have absorbed the number of COVID-19 patients needing hospital care in the two-county region. And most local hospitals are heading into the summer with plenty of available beds. Since April 28, 123 people have been hospitalized with COVID-19 in the two counties, a manageable number in a region with 1,491 hospital beds. As of Monday there were 28 people hospitalized with COVID-19 in Sarasota County and 30 in Manatee County, according to the Florida Department of Health. That’s one COVID-19 hospitalization for every 12,913 people in Manatee County, and one for every 15,224 people in Sarasota County. The DOH reported one new hospitalization in Manatee Tuesday and two in Sarasota. Sarasota County started the week with 321 available hospital beds, while Manatee had 255 available beds. More than a quarter of the region’s hospital beds were empty on Tuesday. Hospital bed availability is a key data point that state health officials and emergency planners are tracking as Florida prepares to enter Phase 2 of Gov. Ron DeSantis’ reopening plan.
“Florida revenues fall by nearly $900 million amid pandemic” by Associated Press – he state of Florida might have lost nearly $900 million in tax revenues in April, as the coronavirus pandemic siphoned away tourist dollars and other revenues from the state’s coffers. The outbreak was certain to impact the state revenues, but it became clearer Tuesday by just how much. The state Legislature has yet to send the $93.2 billion budget it approved in March to Gov. Ron DeSantis for his signature. Lawmakers approved the budget just days after the governor began shuttering some businesses and putting stay-at-home measures in place. Florida officials had expected to take in nearly $3 billion last month, but fell short by $878 million.
“After two-month delay, Florida governor appoints two Florida Supreme Court justices” by Ballotpedia’s Sara Reynolds – Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) appointed John Couriel and Renatha Francis to the Florida Supreme Court on May 26, 2020. Couriel and Francis succeeded Justices Robert J. Luck and Barbara Lagoa, who vacated the seats in November 2019 after being elevated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit. Couriel and Francis will join one other DeSantis nominee, Justice Carlos Muñiz, on the seven-member supreme court. Under Florida law, state supreme court justices are chosen using the assisted appointment method, where the governor chooses a nominee from a list of potential candidates provided by a judicial nominating commission. Newly appointed judges serve for at least one year, after which they appear in a yes-no retention election held during the next general election. If retained, judges serve six-year terms. To remain on the bench, Couriel and Francis must run for retention in 2022. The appointments were delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Normally under state law, DeSantis would have needed to select the new justices by March 23. He delayed the appointments in March, saying he had not had time to review the candidates’ application materials. Couriel is an attorney at Kobre & Kim in Miami. Before that, he was an assistant U.S. attorney in the Southern District of Florida’s Criminal Division. Couriel obtained his bachelor’s degree (A.B.) and his J.D. from Harvard. He was a 2016 Republican candidate for Florida House of Representatives District 114 and a 2012 Republican candidate for Florida State Senate District 35.
“Fired Florida data scientist had been axed by FSU years ago for affair with student, report says” by Fox News’ Miles – One of the people entering data into Florida’s coronavirus website was fired in a dispute over what information should be made public and was allegedly, according to a report in The Daily Mail, also fired from Florida State University in 2017 for having an affair with a student — and later was charged with cyberstalking. Rebekah Jones, who says she helped design the site, said she was fired because she would not manually change data to support Gov. Ron DeSantis’ decision to begin the reopening of the state. DeSantis denied that, saying Jones was fired for insubordination and should never have been hired because she is being investigated for cyberstalking. He said she was not one of the site’s designers but someone who entered data. The Daily Mail reported Jones was charged with three counts of cyberstalking her student Garrett Sweeterman, then 21, who filed a restraining order against her. She allegedly created a “revenge porn” website called SurvivingGarrett and sent the link to online boards focusing on feminism and the #metoo movement. Jones also wrote a 342-page manifesto with a narrative of her affair with Sweeterman; she posted online at least 60 pages, including screen grabs of their sexts. In the manifesto, she said she was impregnated by Sweeterman: she gave birth to a girl in mid-2018, and she has an 8-year-old son with her husband. Jones, whose dismissal as an information systems manager with the Florida Department of Health was first reported by Florida Today, could not be reached for comment.
“Florida Angles to Serve as Surrogate Host for Pro Sports, Political Conventions” by Bay News’ Tryoy Kinsey – As other states take a slower approach to easing their coronavirus restrictions, Florida has emerged as a prime contender for their business. From baseball games to political conventions, the Sunshine State is being positioned as a surrogate host to some of the nation’s marquee events, opening the door to an economic resurgence that could nonetheless carry some significant risks. As part of his ‘Safe, Smart, Step-by-Step’ plan to reopen Florida’s economy, Gov. Ron DeSantis is now inviting professional sports franchises to play games in Florida if they agree to do so in arenas devoid of fans. Major League Baseball is a particular prospect as its 2020 season remains suspended amid continuing state lockdowns. And Tuesday, the governor spoke favorably of a Sunday suggestion by Vice President Mike Pence that the Republican National Convention could be relocated to Florida if officials in North Carolina block the event from taking place in Charlotte for health reasons. In fact, DeSantis said, both major parties should think seriously about holding their nominating conventions in the Florida. “Florida would love to have the RNC,” he told reporters. “Heck, I’m a Republican; it would be good for us to have the DNC in terms of the economic impact, when you talk about major events like that. So, my posture on all this is, we should try to get it done.”
“Will a judge be able to force Florida to speed up unemployment fixes, payments of benefits?” by WTSP’s Josh Sidorowicz – A judge might soon step in and force the state of Florida to do more to get unemployment benefits out faster to jobless Floridians still waiting for payments. One after another, unemployed Floridians were called to the stand to testify before Leon County Circuit Judge John Cooper on Tuesday about the state’s unemployment system. Due to the coronavirus, the hearing happened virtually. Cooper wanted to see evidence to determine whether to dismiss parts of a class-action lawsuit filed against the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity and Deloitte, the company that made the clunky CONNECT unemployment website. Attorneys for unemployed Floridians want a judge to step in and order the state to fix issues and get payments out faster. They argue the state knew about problems plaguing the unemployment system for years but failed to fix them, even after such issues were detailed in several audits. The state’s attorneys argue a judge does not have the authority to order the state to do more because of sovereign immunity, something the judge admitted could be true. The state’s attorneys also contend the Florida DEO is already working to fix problems and pay out benefits. Damon Steffens, CFO of the Florida DEO testified the state has made improvements to its servers to better process claims and has hired thousands of more people to take calls.
“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– Psycho Joe Scarborough is rattled, not only by his bad ratings but all of the things and facts that are coming out on the internet about opening a Cold Case. He knows what is happening!
Chuck Schumer @SenSchumer- Every day, we are seeing more examples of how President Trump—enabled by Senate Republicans—has been abusing this pandemic to eliminate honest, independent public servants and inspectors general who are willing to speak truth to power.
Everyone is too busy looking for an open barbershop today…Kidding