Florida’s 2022 Gubernatorial Race Takes Off And The Virus
AG Commissioner Nikki Fried (D) continues to lob her political grenades at Gov. Ron DeSantis in hopes to soften him up for what many politicos in the state believe is a prelude to the 2020 gubernatorial contest between the two lawmakers.
Fried would be the logical choice for Democrats to challenge DeSantis in 2022 because who else do they have to run against him, Andrew Gillum?
Fried, who is calling DeSantis reckless and “out of control” over his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, did run statewide and won (barely) so it’s smart to believe that she can do it again and win, right? READ MORE
Meanwhile, vice president Mike Pence is calling bullsh*t over the media’s sounding the alarm of a ‘second wave’ of the coronavirus. READ MORE
***GrayRobinson today announced Office of Governor Ron DeSantis Director of Policy Chris Spencer, Florida Department of Education (DOE) Chief of Staff J. Alex Kelly, and Hillsborough County Schools Superintendent Addison Davis will join its President and CEO Dean Cannon and Senior Government Affairs Consultant Kim McDougal in a virtual pop-up forum on the reopening of Florida schools this Thursday, June 18, 2020, from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Police Have Killed 10,000 Black Americans Over A Few Years. Huh?
Rep. Al Lawson (D) stated this week that over the past few years, police have killed no less than 10,000 Blacks. This figure is way off. But because Lawson is such a nice guy, we’ll just say that he misspoke, or did he? READ MORE
Lawson’s comment comes less than two hours before President Donald Trump signed a police reform executive order READ MORE
Rep. Shevrin Jones (D) has garnered the coveted SEIU endorsement in his state Senate primary race.
“Across the state, SEIU Florida members provide vital services as nurses and doctors in our hospitals and nursing homes, instructional and support staff at public schools and state colleges, municipal and county governments employees, and property service employees at malls, airports, and universities. I am humbled and honored to have their support in this race,” said Rep. Shevrin Jones
In his efforts to take on and defeat Rep. Cindy Polo (D), Tom Fabricio has landed yet another endorsement for his state House campaign.
Frank Mingo has endorsed him in the race for State Representative in District 103. Mingo was the Republican nominee for this seat in 2018. He served as Vice-Mayor until 2018 and was elected to the Miami Lakes Town Council in 2013.
Lee County Commissioner Ray Sandelli announced today the endorsement of State Attorney Amira Fox in his election bid to retain the District 3 seat on the Board of County Commissioners.
FL’s CD 3 race to replace retiring Rep. Ted Yoho (R) is as competitive as any race can get. Ryan Chamberlin has announced that former Marion County School Board Member Sue Mosley has endorsed his campaign for Congressional District 3.
In her endorsement, Sue Mosley said: “Ryan Chamberlin is an outsider, a conservative, and a successful businessman. Plus, he is the only candidate in this race from Marion County. He will be a great voice for our community in Washington.”
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“DNC Launches First General Election Attack Ad Against Trump” by The Floridian’s Mona Salama – The DNC launched its first 2020 general election offensive ad against President Trump, tying the president’s five-year anniversary announcing his presidency to the decline of America. Titled ‘Descent,’ the DNC ad begins with the images of Trump descent down the golden escalator at Trump Tower and tying it to the decline of American jobs, health care, race relations, and immigrant rights. “Five years ago — Donald Trump descended to the basement of Trump Tower. And for the last five years, he’s brought America down with him, attacking healthcare for patients with pre-existing conditions, giving massive tax cuts to billionaires, not working families, arising white supremacists, stoking racial division,” the narrator says in the one-minute ad. “A White House in chaos,” it continues. “Losing 300,000 jobs in a failed trade war with China, locking children in cages, he ignored science on coronavirus and misled the American people stating it would ‘miraculously’ go away.
“House Democrat Lawson falsely states police have killed 10,000 Blacks” by The Floridian’s Javier Manjarres – With all of the tension between the black community and police departments across the country after the murder of George Floyd and most recently, Rayshard Brooks, who was shot by Atlanta police, it’s understandable if some elected officials misspeak and state wrong police shooting statistics. This appears to be the case with Florida Congressman Al Lawson (D) who while appearing on Fox News’ “The Daily Briefing” with host Dana Perino, stated that because “police officers are turning this thing into the wild wild west,” that over the last couple of years 10,000 African-American men and women have been killed by the police.” “It’s been over the last couple of years 10,000 African-American men and women have been killed by the police, which is very unacceptable,” said Rep. Lawson Lawson’s remark caused Perino to question, “10,000?” Lawson responded by doubling down, saying that “10,000 that have been killed in some form or fashion by the police…”
“Read: Trump Executive Order On Safe Policing For Safe Communities” by The Floridian’s Mona Salama – President Trump on Tuesday signed an executive order on police reform, titled “Safe Policing for Safe Communities,” amid growing calls from weeks of protests across the nation for action to reform the police in the wake of George Floyd’s death. The executive order addresses officers’ use of chokeholds “except in those situations where the use of deadly force is allowed by law,” calls for police departments to be eligible for federal grants if they pass a certification process, directs Attorney General William Barr to create a database “concerning instances of excessive use of force related to law enforcement matters, accounting for applicable privacy and due process rights,” and also directs the Justice Department to promote training for law enforcement in dealing with homeless individuals and those suffering from addiction, as well as to encourage programs in which social workers are “co-responders” in certain situations.
“Rep. Kathy Castor’s ‘sleepy’ response to Atlanta Police-involved shooting” by The Floridian’s Javier Manjarres – Rep. Kathy Castor (D) is usually focused on climate change and environmental issues that affect Americans, especially in her homes state of Florida, but the recent police shooting in Atlanta has pressed her to opine about the incident, an shooting that is fueling the existing racial unrest that stems from the George Floyd murder. Rep. Castor tweeted that when Atlanta police shot Rayshard Brooks last Friday night it brought into question whether he presented a threat to police or anyone else for that matter. “The fact that being asleep in his car could escalate to his death is unconscionable,” stated Castor. The truth of the matter is that Mr. Brooks had been drunk driving and passed out in his car in the drive-thru of an Atlanta area Wendy’s restaurant. Police body cam video clearly shows Brooks awake and talking to police before failing the field sobriety tests administered to him. When police went to arrest him for DUI, Brooks struggled with the two officers and video shows him clearly swinging his fists and assaulting the two officers before taking one of their Tazer guns.
“Trump Signs Executive Order On Police Reform” by The Floridian’s Mona Salama – President Trump signed an executive order on police reform, titled “Safe Policing for Safe Communities,” on Tuesday that directs police departments across the country to adopt new standards for the use of force, following weeks of national unrest in response to the death of George Floyd in police custody last month. “Today is about pursuing common sense and fighting — fighting for a cause like we seldom get the chance to fight for. We have to find common ground. That is why today I’m signing an executive order encouraging police departments nationwide to adopt the highest professional standards to serve their communities,” Trump said in remarks at the Rose Garden before signing the executive order. “Americans also believe we must improve accountability, increase transparency, and invest more resources in police training, recruiting, and community engagement. Reducing crime and raising standards are not opposite goals, they are not mutually exclusive; they work together.” Before the Rose Garden event, Trump said he met with several families who “loved ones in deadly interactions with police” in the White House. The members included families of Ahmaud Arbery, Botham Jean, Antoine Rose, Jamel Roberson, Atatiana Jefferson, Michael Dean, Darius Tarver, Cameron Lamb, and Everett Palmer.
“Rick Scott says Democrats have gone off the “Deep end” over disbanding police” by The Floridian’s Daniel Molina – With ongoing protests across the country calling for police departments to be defunded and disbanded, the conversation is also gaining traction in the sunshine state, as Florida Rep. Val Demings (D), a former police chief and shortlister to become former Vice President Joe Biden’s (D) pick for VP, has touted the idea of disbanding police departments as “thoughtful.” In addition, to ease rising tension and showcase his work as Broward Sheriff, Gregory Tony recently released an advertisement highlighting the work he’s done to induce a higher standard to policing. Now, Florida Senator Rick Scott (R) is adding his voice to the conversations, noting that things have dramatically changed since his time as Florida Governor and he’s warning that the ideas being debated in the political arena are dangerous. Questioning “the idea that we’re gonna get more security by getting rid of the police” during an interview, Senator Scott admitted that “the left has just gone off a deep end.” He went on to explain his views by saying that the country has “wonderful police. Are there bad apples that do the wrong thing? Absolutely. We’ve gotta get rid of them.”
“Civilian oversight of police one step closer in Miami-Dade” by Channel 10’s Glenna Milberg – The Miami-Dade Commission voted 9-4 Tuesday in favor of resurrecting a civilian oversight panel for when police are accused of wrongdoing. After passing that first vote, details including funding and the composition of the panel will need to be ironed out before a second vote could put it into law. A civilian panel had been in place in the county years ago but was defunded. “It’s the bad apples that we want to get, that we want to get rid of,” Commissioner Barbara Jordan, who sponsored the idea of the panel, said last week. “We want to make sure that there are policies in place that … would hold them accountable.” Commissioners voting to advance the plan were: Jordan, Daniella Levine Cava, Audrey Edmonson, Sally Heyman, Eileen Higgins, Jean Monestime, Dennis Moss, Rebeca Sosa and Xavier Suarez. Voting against: Steve Bovo, Pepe Diaz, Joe Martinez and Javier Souto. Public comments Tuesday were been largely in favor of civilian oversight, though mindful that Miami-Dade is not Minneapolis, and recognizing the county’s police force for its community-minded approach. In the plan advanced Tuesday, county commissioners will pick panel members with input from the community.
“278 complaints filed against Central Florida businesses amid coronavirus” by Click Orlando’s Erik Sandoval – The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation received 278 complaints against Central Florida businesses during the coronavirus pandemic, according to records obtained by News 6. The complaints were made by citizens in Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Brevard, Volusia, Flagler, Lake, Sumter and Marion counties using the DBPR complaint portal between March 27 and May 22. Records show complaints were made against a variety of business, including restaurants, retail stores, hair salons and rental properties. Kissimmee businesses saw the most complaints with 45 registered with the state, while Orlando saw the second highest number with its businesses receiving 39 complaints. One resident in Melbourne complained a restaurant “is still open when they should be closed. They could be infecting many people.” In Clermont, a person noticed patrons were “playing pool and drinking. They are not social distancing.” “We’re always trying to be clean and everything because that’s one of the most important things in barbering — being clean,” said Noel Guadalupe with RG Barbershop in Orlando.
“Gov. DeSantis says COVID-19 spike will not slow Florida’s economy” by Associated Press’ Terry Spencer – Governor. Ron DeSantis has no intention of reclosing Florida’s economy as the state’s daily reported coronavirus cases rose sharply to a record level. Gov. DeSantis said Tuesday that many of the newly detected are young and healthy and unlikely to suffer serious illness or death. Gov. DeSantis said much of the two-week spike in confirmed infections that pushed the daily total past 2,700 Tuesday can be traced to hot spots such as farm labor camps or particular businesses. Given those circumstances, Gov. DeSantis said it makes no sense to again severely restrict the state’s economy as it was from late March into May. “We’re not rolling back,” Gov. DeSantis said on Tuesday.
“Process to rename some Florida schools named after Confederate leaders passes unanimously” by WFLA’s A resolution to start the process to rename all schools named after Confederate leaders passed 7-0 Tuesday evening in Duval County. According to First Coast News, the list of schools affected would include:
Joseph Finegan Elementary School
Stonewall Jackson Elementary School
Jefferson Davis Middle School
Kirby-Smith Middle School
J.E.B. Stuart Middle School
Robert E. Lee High School
First Coast News reports that according to school board policy the naming or renaming schools is up to the school board. “Community input is desired and highly valued; however the School Board has final authority over the name of any school,” the policy states.
“Florida man charged in deaths of BLM protester and another woman” by Associated Press – Authorities say a Florida man faces murder and kidnapping charges in the deaths of two women. Tallahassee police say 49-year-old Aaron Glee Jr. was arrested in Orlando on Sunday, a day after 19-year-old Oluwatoyin Salau and 75-year-old Victoria Sims were found dead in a Tallahassee home. Officials didn’t say whether the women had been previously connected to each other or Glee. Authorities say Salau, who had been active in recent Black Lives Matter demonstrations, was reported missing by family members earlier this month. Sims also was reported missing by her family, authorities said. Officers found that her home had been ransacked and burglarized, and her vehicle was missing. An investigation led to Glee’s Tallahassee home, where both women were found dead, authorities said. Tallahassee police said they learned that Glee had fled on a bus to Orlando before they arrived at his home and Orlando police were able to arrest Glee/ Glee was being held at the Orange County jail on a Leon County warrant. Jail records didn’t list an attorney for Glee.
“Florida’s Val Demings: On police reform, ‘the president does not go far enough’” by Florida Phoenix’s Isaac Morgan – Top Florida Democrats were largely unmoved Tuesday by President Trump’s new executive order on police misconduct, saying it didn’t address key issues related to racism amid nationwide outrage over injustices in communities of color. Trump’s order, signed earlier in the day, seeks to bolster efforts to track police misconduct and encourage tougher police trainings and standards. It would also require police departments to report misconduct to a national database. U.S. Rep Val Demings, an Orlando Democrat, acknowledged that the president’s order would help but said it didn’t go far enough. “I think the president is certainly on the right track with a national database so we can prevent officer misconduct, and prevent officers who may be fired from one agency and prevent them from going and being hired by another agency,” Demings said. “On the other hand, and it doesn’t surprise me, the president does not go far enough. He’s still campaigning and not looking at the obvious problem right in front of us — what happened to George Floyd, what happened in Atlanta, that we’ve got to make sure that we’re acknowledging that systemic racism still exists and it rears its ugly head,” she added.
“’Dangerous Drilling’: Coral Gables Lawyer Files Motion for Class Certification Against Florida Power & Light” by Law.com’s Michael A. Mora – A Broward judge will soon hear arguments about whether Florida Power & Light Co. should be held accountable for a 2019 water main break. The dispute stemmed from Florida Power & Light allegedly boring a hole into a major water pipe at Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport. It deprived the plaintiffs and 80,000 other businesses who were unable to operate due to deficient water service, according to the lawsuit. Adam Moskowitz, managing partner at The Moskowitz Law Firm in Coral Gables, has now filed a motion for class certification in the case. If the class is certified and the suit succeeds, thousands of businesses could obtain compensation based on allegations that Florida Power & Light placed profits before the interests of its customers. The court is set to hold a hearing in September to consider whether to certify the class. Until then, a trial to determine liability and the scope of damages will be delayed. Moskowitz claimed in the lawsuit that Florida Power & Light was careless when its electrical project resulted in the July 17, 2019, water main break despite employees stating it would be “a walk in the park” and that there was “no reason to screw it up.” The motion included a diagram as an exhibit, which suggested that Florida Power & Light knew the exact location of the water main but did not discuss it with contractors.
“Your coronavirus need-to-knows: Florida sees record number of daily infections; cheap drug may help patients survive COVID” by USA Today’s Rachel Aretakis – Daily coronavirus cases are on the rise in dozens of states, including Florida, which saw a record 2,700 new cases reported in one day. The state entered its second phase of reopening on June 5. As infections rise, Florida’s former top data scientist launched a website showing far more COVID-19 information – and more reported infections – than she said the state allowed her to report as an employee. Rebekah Jones, who was fired and later built FloridaCOVIDAction.com, says the information her dashboard reports comes from publicly available state data that’s buried in thousand-page reports or scattered PDF files, and it also includes hard-to-find hospital capacity information. “People have a right to know what’s going on in a straightforward nonpolitical kind of way,” Jones said. Meanwhile, news broke early Tuesday that we might finally have a drug that improves the survival for coronavirus patients. Researchers in England say a steroid called dexamethasone reduced deaths by up to one third in severely ill hospitalized patients. “This is an extremely welcome result,” one study leader, Peter Horby of the University of Oxford, said in a statement. “… Dexamethasone is inexpensive, on the shelf, and can be used immediately to save lives worldwide.”
“Nikki Fried: Gov. DeSantis has ‘lost control of Florida’s COVID-19 response’” by WEAR Staff – Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried is criticizing Gov. Ron DeSantis’ handling of the COVID-19 pandemic as the state saw it’s largest one-day recorded number of cases on Tuesday. Florida reported 2,783 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday — this topping the previous high of 2,581 cases on Sunday. In all, Florida is now at 80,109 total cases. Fried released this statement Tuesday afternoon: “Today’s record-high new cases makes it clear: Governor DeSantis has lost control of Florida’s COVID-19 response. His policies are simply not working, and he’s recklessly reopening Florida despite the data screaming for caution. Refusing to acknowledge the alarming patterns in cases, hospitalizations, and positivity is not only arrogant, but will cost lives, public health, and our economy. To our citizens, I implore you to wear masks and continue social distancing – and just because a place is open, doesn’t mean it’s safe to go there. To our local governments, please encourage your residents to stay home, mask up, and socially distance. If the Governor is unwilling to make the right decisions, then they must be made in our cities, our states, and our homes. We are in this together, and I will continue fighting on behalf of all Floridians.”
“Graham: Every black man in America ‘feels threatened’ when stopped by cops” by Fox News’ Marisa Schultz – Sen. Lindsey Graham kicked off a Senate hearing Tuesday on police brutality by contrasting his experience with police with that of his fellow South Carolina GOP colleague Sen. Tim Scott to illustrate the problem with policing today and to make the case for federal reform legislation. Scott, the Senate’s lone black Republican, revealed in an emotional 2016 speech that he was stopped seven times in one year by law enforcement and experienced discrimination even on Capitol Hill as a sitting senator. “Tim and I have completely different experiences with the cops,” Graham, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said in his opening remarks. “There is no getting around that. It is now time to have an honest conversation about why is that? How can it be that if you’re a United States senator from South Carolina, and you’re black, you get stopped five or six times? And you’re white, you never get stopped?” Graham said he’s learned to understand the fright black men have of police and how getting pulled over can be a “traumatic experience.” “Every black man in America apparently feels threatened when they’re stopped by the cops,” Graham said. “It’s not 99 percent. It’s like 100 percent.”
“Some states see Covid-19 cases surging as restrictions are relaxed” by CNN’s Madeline Holcombe, Holly Yan and Theresa Waldrop – As states move forward with relaxing virus-compelled restrictions — and as people grow weary of complying with them — some areas are reporting a record number of new daily cases. Arizona and Texas on Tuesday reported a record high in their daily numbers of new COVID-19 cases. Florida on Monday had the highest number the state has yet seen of new and confirmed cases in a single day, after three record-breaking days late last week. Eight states, including Florida, Oklahoma and Louisiana, have seen coronavirus numbers surge more than 50% in the past seven days compared to a week earlier, according to a CNN analysis of data from Johns Hopkins University. The other five states are South Carolina, Alabama, Wyoming and Montana. How states are trending:
· 18 states are seeing upward trends in newly reported cases from one week to the next: California, Oregon, Nevada, Arizona, Montana, Wyoming, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Alaska and Hawaii.
· 10 states are seeing steady numbers of newly reported cases: Washington, Utah, South Dakota, Kansas, Iowa, Tennessee, Ohio, West Virginia, Maine and Rhode Island.
· 22 states are seeing a downward trend: Idaho, Colorado, New Mexico, Nebraska, North Dakota, Minnesota, Missouri, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire and Delaware.
· One state, Michigan, has seen a decrease of at least 50%.
“U.S. Retail Sales Rose Record 18% in May” by WSJ’s Harriet Torry and Sarah Nassauer – U.S. shoppers opened their pocketbooks at malls and auto dealerships in May as states eased restrictions to contain the novel coronavirus, boosting retail spending and adding another sign the economy is recovering from earlier lockdowns to contain the pandemic. Retail sales, a measure of purchases at stores, at restaurants and online, increased a seasonally adjusted 17.7% in May from a month earlier, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. Data released separately pointed to other signs of life in May for an economy that went into a deep freeze in mid-March when the pandemic hit the U.S. The Federal Reserve reported a moderate increase in May industrial production, including a pickup in manufacturing activity. A measure of builder confidence also improved. The increase in retail sales was the biggest in records dating back to 1992. Still, retail spending remained below pre-pandemic levels in May, totaling $485.5 billion compared with $527.3 billion in February. From a year earlier, retail sales were down 6.1% in May. “The U.S. consumer’s back big time and she’s spending,” said Craig Johnson, president of Customer Growth Partners, a retail consulting firm. Stock markets jumped on the retail-sales news.
“Ahmaud Arbery’s mother says Trump was ‘very compassionate’ during White House meeting” by Fox News’ Nick Givas – Wanda Cooper-Jones, the mother Ahmaud Arbery, said President Trump was “very compassionate” when he met with various families behind closed doors on Tuesday, prior to signing an executive order geared toward reforming the country’s policing tactics. Fox News host and anchor Bret Baier played a sound bite of Cooper-Jones on “Special Report” of her describing the experience of meeting with the commander in chief. “I was very, very emotional throughout the whole conference,” she said. “[Trump] was very compassionate. He showed major concern for all families. Not just one family, but for all families.” Cooper-Jones added: “I can say that President Trump was very receiving. He listened and he addressed each and every family accordingly.” Trump tweeted later Tuesday night that Cooper-Jones is “A GREAT woman. Her son is looking down from heaven & is very proud of his wonderful & loving mom!!!” Arbery was a black man who was shot dead on Feb. 23 while out jogging in Brunswick, Ga. Trump met with families of other victims of racially-charged violence, as well.
“Trump administration sues Bolton over book dispute” by CNN’s David Shortell, Kaitlan Collins and Jeremy Diamond – The Trump administration asked a federal judge on Tuesday to order former national security adviser John Bolton to stop the publication of his upcoming book on his White House tenure, arguing in a lawsuit that Bolton had breached non-disclosure agreements and was risking national security by exposing classified information. The suit, filed in Washington, DC, federal court, alleges that Bolton’s 500-plus page manuscript was “rife with classified information,” and prosecutors say that Bolton backed out of an ongoing White House vetting process for the book that he’d been obligated to do as a result of the agreements. “(Bolton) struck a bargain with the United States as a condition of his employment in one of the most sensitive and important national security positions in the United States Government and now wants to renege on that bargain by unilaterally deciding that the prepublication review process is complete and deciding for himself whether classified information should be made public,” prosecutors write. The lawsuit marks the most significant escalation of a months-long battle between the White House and Bolton over the release of the book, which is billed as an insider’s rebuke of President Donald Trump’s foreign policy. The legal approach in the case is one of the more extreme attempts in recent years to stop a former Trump adviser from recounting his experience, and the administration’s longshot attempt to stop the book’s publication raises major First Amendment implications.
“U.S. Files Breach-of-Contract Suit Against Ex-National Security Adviser John Bolton” by WSJ’s Rebecca Ballhaus and Aruna Viswanatha – The U.S. on Tuesday filed a breach-of-contract lawsuit against former national security adviser John Bolton, seeking to delay the publication of his book, which the suit alleges contains classified information that could compromise national security. The lawsuit, filed by the Justice Department and the U.S. attorney’s office in Washington, accuses Mr. Bolton of breaching the contract he signed as a condition of his employment and to access classified information. The suit marked the latest effort by the Trump administration to block the publication of “The Room Where It Happened”—set for June 23—which is expected to be harshly critical of President Trump. “We are reviewing the Government’s complaint and will respond in due course,” said Mr. Bolton’s lawyer, Charles Cooper. The book’s publisher, Simon & Schuster, said in a statement Tuesday that the lawsuit is “nothing more than the latest in a long running series of efforts by the Administration to quash publication of a book it deems unflattering to the President.” Mr. Cooper has said a National Security Council official informed him in April the review of the manuscript was complete, but never sent a letter formally clearing the book. Mr. Cooper has accused the White House of seeking to block the book’s publication for political reasons.
“Richmond police chief resigns as tensions escalate in Virginia capital” by Fox News’ Nick Givas – Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney announced on Tuesday that he’d requested Police Chief Will Smith’s resignation, in light of how local law enforcement has handled various protests over the past several weeks. Stoney, a Democrat, said Smith complied with the request to step down and then thanked him for his past public service. “At a very minimum, I expect [the police] to be able to come to the table with the community to reform public safety. So it boils down to whether the leadership of [the Richmond Police] embraces the change,” Stoney said during a press conference. “That is why as of this morning, I requested Chief Smith’s resignation and he accepted,” he continued. “I want to take a minute to say, Chief Smith is a good man. He served this city for a very long time. He put his heart and soul into service in this department and to this city and I thank him.” Maj. Jody Blackwell will serve as the interim police chief until a permanent replacement is chosen. The move comes after an incident on Saturday night. A police SUV drove through a group of protesters who were demonstrating near a statue of Robert E. Lee, on Monument Avenue, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch. The officer driving the SUV has reportedly been placed on leave until a full investigation can be conducted. On Sunday and Monday night, police officers also fired pepper spray at protesters. A witness, Jimmie Lee Jarvis, told the Times-Dispatch that none of the demonstrators threw anything at law enforcement officials until police fired pepper spray into the crowd.
“Pentagon warns China is exploiting the coronavirus pandemic to wage ‘economic warfare’ on the US” by CNN’s Nicole Gaouette, Barbara Starr and Vivian Salama – Defense officials are increasingly concerned China is using the coronavirus crisis to gain stakes in strategically important businesses as the pandemic leaves struggling companies urgently in need of capital. But even as the Defense Department works to improve supply security, procurement experts warn that the Pentagon may not have the visibility required to vet or help protect smaller companies down the chain. They say the job is only getting harder as the pandemic has broadened the definition of national security interests to include medical supplies. And they point to at least one Chinese-owned company that asked to bid on a Pentagon contract. “We have to be very, very careful about the focused efforts some of our adversaries have to really undergo sort of economic warfare with us, which has been going on for some time,” Ellen Lord, undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment, told reporters in April. A defense official told CNN that “we are paying close attention to any indicators that China is leveraging Covid-19 to take advantage of a situation where defense companies need capital more than ever.” The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States protects against hostile countries gaining ownership in companies that are strategically important to the US. And a 2006 law banned US military use of Chinese-made military equipment, according to Bill Greenwalt, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council and former Pentagon official who specialized in procurement.
“Rockets Fired Into Baghdad Airport Complex Used by U.S.-Led Coalition” by WSJ’s Ghassan Adnan and Isabel Coles – Rockets landed inside the Iraqi capital’s airport complex in the early hours of Tuesday, the latest in a spate of recent attacks on facilities hosting U.S. personnel that threaten to undermine efforts to mend frayed ties between Washington and Baghdad. Three rockets landed near a guesthouse within the perimeter of the airport, where the U.S.-led coalition has a presence, but caused no damage, Iraqi security officials said. In the past week, rockets were also fired at an Iraqi base near Baghdad where American troops are based, and near the U.S. Embassy in the capital. No one has yet claimed responsibility for the attacks. Iran-backed factions in Iraq were blamed by the U.S. for dozens of rocket attacks on facilities used by American personnel last year, prompting American airstrikes in response after U.S. casualties. The U.S. in January also killed a top Iranian general it accused of orchestrating the attacks. The latest uptick in rocket attacks, after a monthslong pause, comes as Washington and Baghdad embark on a strategic dialogue over the terms of their relationship—which broke down after the killing of Iranian Maj. Gen Qassem Soleimani on Iraqi soil. They pose a test for Iraq’s new prime minister, Mustafa al-Kadhimi, as he grapples with an economic crisis brought on by the collapse in oil prices
President Donald Trump @realDonaldTrump–96% Approval Rating in the Republican Party. Thank you!
Rep. Ted Deutch @RepTedDeutch –Trump undermined Congress by forcing through 22 “emergency” arms sales in spring 2019 over opposition of Admin officials & bipartisan majority in Congress. We must strengthen our oversight, which is vital to separation of powers & achieving US interests.