HOW A FLORIDA BILL BECOMES A LAW
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis may have developed a mild form of writer’s cramp this week when he sat at his desk to sign over 20 bills into law.
One of those bills was Senator Lauren Book’s patient consent bill that would outlaw the practice of performing pelvic exams on unconscious women during different medical procedures.
Yeah, you heard right. Some doctors and many medical students would use the opportunity a woman was unconscious to perform the very invasive procedure. READ MORE
Another no-brainer bill that was signed was the “Jordan’s Law” bill filed in the house by Reps. Jennifer Webb and Chris Latvala, and in the Senate by Sen. Darryl Rouson and Ed Hooper. Considering that DeSantis has (3) little whippersnappers of his own, this bill was a slam dunk for him. READ MORE
U.S. Congress of only BORN IN THE USA Americans
Should members of the U.S. Congress have to be born in the U.S?
This Republican congressional candidate thinks so, and if you vote him into office, he will file a bill to outlaw “unnatural American citizens” from being able to go to Congress. READ MORE
Gavin Rollins, Republican candidate to replace Ted Yoho in Florida’s Third Congressional District, racked up another endorsement today from Keystone Heights City Councilman, Larry Peoples, Sr.
ICYMI- Former State Senator Denise Grimsley has endorsed Kat Cammack for Congress in FL CD 3. The same district Gavin Rollins is running in.
2020 PRESIDENTIAL RACE
The latest Fox News poll shows that vice president Joe Biden has widened his lead over President Donald Trump. Biden holds a 50-38 percentage point lead over the president.
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Rick Scott @SenRickScott– If everyone takes steps to buy products “Made in America” it will ensure America remains strong as a leader of the global economy. I’m proud to lead a bipartisan resolution to encourage Americans to #BuyAmerican and stop buying products from Communist China.
Rep. Matt Gaetz @RepMattGaetz -Nestor is the light of my life. I couldn’t imagine loving him any more if he was my own flesh and blood. I’m proud of him. I’ve raised Nestor to believe we treat everyone equally. It doesn’t matter what their background or race is. We treat every American with respect.
Rep. Carlos G Smith @CarlosGSmith -New York may or may not impose a mandatory quarantine on travelers from Florida into their state, but what stands out to me isn’t the bickering between Governors. It’s how quickly the surge in new cases has gotten out of control in Florida. #WearADamnMask
Shevrin Jones @ShevrinJones -The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards JUSTICE.
Debbie Mayfield @debbie_mayfield– Work search and registration requirements for reemployment assistance claimants has been extended through July 4th. Additionally, the waiting week requirement will continue to be waived through August 1, 2020.
Senator Lori Berman @loriberman –#DACA recipients are Americans. They’ve attended our schools, served in our military, opened new businesses, and employed their fellow Americans. They deserve a life here, free from the threat of deportation.
“DeSantis signs Lauren Book’s ‘Fertility Fraud & Pelvic Exam’ Bill” by The Floridian’s Javier Manjarres – Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) has signed another 21 bills into law, one of them being Democratic Senator Lauren Book’s SB 698, a measure that requires that the Florida Department of Health “suspend the license of certain health care practitioners under certain circumstances” who perform pelvic exams on a patient without getting consent first. Earlier this year, Sen. Book told The Floridian that this was a very common practice within the medical community, adding that “women should give express consent” before they undergo an exam that carries “no medical benefit” to them. Book’s bill establishes “the criminal offense of reproductive battery.” In a statement shortly after DeSantis signed her bill, Book stated that women will now be “protected from a group of predatory physicians who commit selfish narcissistic acts.” ““The signing of this bill into law is a victory in the fight for women to have control over their own bodies. Women seeking fertility treatment in Florida will now be protected from a group of predatory physicians who commit selfish narcissistic acts; and pelvic exams will now require specific consent, except in cases of emergency, finally halting the wholly inappropriate practice of unapproved pelvic exams on unconscious women.”
“DeSantis signs Chris Latvala’s ‘Jordan’s Law’” by The Floridian’s Javier Manjarres – State Rep. Chris Latvala (R) is elated today after Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) signed into law his “Jordan’s Law” bill, a measure named after Jordan Belliveau who went missing and later found dead in 2018, passed unanimously in the Florida legislature. The child abuse bill almost didn’t survive last year but Rep. Latvala along with fellow Reps. Jennifer Webb and Ben Diamond, and Sens. Ed Hooper and Darryl Rouson, pressed on and re-filed the bill this year. According to previous reports, “Prosecutors say his mother, Charisse Stinson, lied about his disappearance. She is facing first-degree murder, aggravated child abuse and providing false information to a law enforcement agent during an investigation charges.” Latvala stated that today’s signing was the “proudest day as a member of the Florida House,” and thanked DeSantis.
“House Democrat plays race card, Gaetz responds with a Trump card” by The Floridian’s Javier Manjarres – For years, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R) has kept his son out of the public eye, and for good reason. But now after a Black Democratic member of Congress, Rep. Cedric Richmond played the race card against House Republicans on Wednesday, Gaetz had no choice but to introduce his son Nestor to the nation. An offended Rep. Richmond acknowledged that he knows of “Republicans on the committee who “have Black grandchildren,” but he added, “It is about Black males, Black people in the streets that are getting killed, and if one of them happens to be your kid, I am concerned about them, too. And clearly I am more concerned about him than you are.” “I appreciate your passion,” Gaetz interrupted. “Are you suggesting none of us have non-white children?” After Gaetz questioned Richmond, the Louisiana congressman quickly and angrily took back the remainder of his time to speak. Enter Nestor. Gaetz posted a picture of his son Nestor, who is of mixed race and from Cuba.
“White House advisor accuses John Bolton of ‘Revenge Porn’” by The Floridian’s Javier Manjarres – Appearing on Fox News, White House trade adviser Peter Navarro equated former Ambassador John Bolton’s tell-all book to “revenge porn.” Navarro excoriated Bolton, saying that Bolton simply upset after being fired from his post and that his actions a form of “revenge porn.” Navarro also accused Bolton of solely focused on wanting to set up coups in countries like Venezuela and that Bolton, with his “seer-sucker suits” and “big mustache” was only “throwing grenades at this administration to make money.” President Trump recently told Sean Hannity that Bolton “broke the law.” “He broke the law, very simple,” Trump repeated. “I mean, as much as it’s going to be broke. This is highly classified. That’s the highest stage. It’s highly classified information and he did not have approval. That’s come out now very loud and very strong.” President Trump has been hammering away at Bolton’s decision to divulge private government information, calling the former ambassador a liar for making statements that were “pure fiction.”
“Republicans begin mudslinging in Florida’s CD 19” by The Floridian’s Daniel Molina – Tension continues to rise in the race to replace Florida Rep. Francis Rooney (R) in Florida’s 19th Congressional district as Republicans have turned on each other in the hopes of coming out on top as the Republican nominee. In a new print advertisement that has been delivered to potential voters, Dr. Fig takes aim at his Republican rivals, Fort Myers Mayor Randy Henderson and Florida Rep. Dane Eagle. In a statement printed on the advertisement, Dr. Fig affirms that he’s “running for Congress because Southwest Floridians deserve to have a representative who answers only to them.” Moreover, he asserts that he “CAN’T BE BOUGHT.” And, noting that if he should make it to Washington, “I will fight for our shared conservative values, NOT SPECIAL INTERESTS.” Criticizing his Republican opponents, Dr. Fig highlights that Henderson supported Secretary Clinton’s (D) bid for the White House in 2016. As well, he argued that Rep. Dane Eagle would be a lawmaker that would give the 2nd amendment to voters at “50% off!” Rep. Byron Donalds (R) jumped right into the political gutter as well, calling out both Figlesthaler and Casey Askar of “trying to BUY this election by writing six and even seven-figure loans” to the respective campaigns.
“AOC Kicks Out Reporters Covering In-Person NY-14 Debate” by The Floridian’s Mona Salama – Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) in the eleventh hour accepted to face off her democratic primary opponents in-person ahead of next week’s primary, but the incumbent made sure there was a lack of media coverage as she demanded that reporters be removed from the venue before taking the stage. AOC had planned to skip out on the city’s only in-person showdown, citing social distancing guidelines and she previously participated in two hour-long debates that were held virtually. “The good thing is I’m not skipping debates. My predecessor, he had skipped debates until he was forced to show up,” Ocasio-Cortez said on Monday to reporters while out campaigning in The Bronx. “This one [Wednesday’s] is in-person, so we’ve had certain issues with that being done during phase one, if that would be violating the Phase One and Phase Two scheduled reopening by the governor. Which is why we’ve committed to virtual debates and are happy to participate in them.” However, despite claiming social distancing as an excuse to not attend, AOC was seen earlier this month handing out masks to Floyd protesters in Queens and hosting a graduation party in a church parking lot on Sunday, next to an early voting site.
“Mucarsel-Powell accuses Matt Gaetz, Republicans of human trafficking” by The Floridian’s Javier Manjarres – When Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz (R) excoriated House Democrats during a House Judiciary Committee hearing, accusing them jumping the shark for supporting and funding “an organization that wants to destroy the United States of America” and “dismantle the state,” members of the Democratic caucus were visibly taken back, even those that chose not to make the trip to Washington and vote by proxy. Fellow Florida Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (D) delivered an angry response to Gaetz from the comfort of her home, telling that if he “would rather be acting, than he should go to Hollywood.” Rep. Mucarsel-Powell took deep offense with Rep. Matt Gaetz and Republicans, saying that the party of Lincoln was “complicit” in human trafficking, equating the border crisis to actual human trafficking. “Human trafficking you say? Kids that are being trafficked? You were responsible for being complicit, detaining almost 3,000 kids in my district, separating them from their families at the border,” said Mucarsel-Powell “So please spare me the hypocrisy of wanting to have security, separating families, keeping kids detained. We are talking about police brutality, you are talking about militarizing our police.”
“Democrat lawmakers in Florida discuss racial inequalities in America” by Click Orlando’s Troy Campbell – The Florida Democratic Party held a virtual meeting on Thursday evening to talk about racial injustice in America. Democratic members of the U.S. Congress from Florida all spoke about how best to use the momentum built up from protests during the past several weeks. Rep. Val Demings said that she took her experience as a social worker with her when she joined the Orlando Police Department. “I went to the police department with a social worker’s attitude and realized that we could not arrest our way out of every problem that we had to address some of the social issues that cause decay in the community in the first place,” said Demings. During the discussion, Rep. Stephanie Murphy shared how her family was a minority in the community where she grew up. Murphy went on to say that systemic racism goes beyond the criminal justice system, mentioning unequal access to healthcare and education. “If we are going to heal as a country, it’s got to start with us first, strongly stating what we believe. If we are going to live up to America’s foundational creed, that every person has the right to life and liberty,” said Murphy. Civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump said that recent outrage across the country is partially because people have access to videos showing alleged police brutality.
“Florida and Texas governors blame spike in cases on increased testing” by CNN’S Maeve Reston – As coronavirus cases spike in Florida and Texas this week, the state’s Republican governors attributed the alarming trends to increased testing, outbreaks in high-risk areas like jails and assisted living facilities, or in Florida’s case, migrant worker communities. They’ve also brushed away pleas from local officials for stronger requirements to wear masks. The explanations echo the Trump administration’s current positioning on the state of Covid-19 in America: denial and excuses. At a time when Floridians continue to pack bars and restaurants, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis brushed away questions about his culpability in aggressively reopening his state during a press conference this week. In remarks layered with racial overtones, he blamed the surge in cases, in part, on crowded living conditions in migrant families. He said the state would also take a closer look at the spread of the virus among construction workers and day laborers, who he said are “overwhelmingly Hispanic.” Pointing to one outbreak at a watermelon farm in Alachua County and another in a migrant community known as Indiantown in Martin County, DeSantis argued that “the close contact” in those households as well as the work environments of farm laborers are “really providing areas for the virus to thrive.”
“Florida’s top Democrat purges ‘inner circle’ after police escort her fiancé from hotel” by Politico’s Marc Caputo and Arek Sarkissian – Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried dismissed three top aides just before midnight Thursday, citing their complaints that her fiancé was “abusive” to her during a weekend argument at a Fort Lauderdale resort where police escorted him off the property. Fried, the state’s top elected Democrat, told aides by text message late Wednesday that they could no longer be in her “inner circle” but offered to find them “other roles.” She said it “breaks my heart” they believed her fiancé was abusive during the incident, which occurred Saturday at the Westin Beach Resort and Spa. No one was hurt. POLITICO obtained copies of Fried’s texts and the Fort Lauderdale police report. The upheaval spilled into public view Thursday morning after Fried’s top political adviser, Eric Johnson, told POLITICO he was resigning from Fried’s political committee. Fried accused Johnson of political retribution and said he had been fired. Her fiancé, medical marijuana entrepreneur Robert “Jake” Bergmann, in a text to POLITICO said he was not abusive to Fried. Tensions in Fried’s political operation have brewed for months over her sometimes-stormy romantic relationship, according to Johnson, who said he decided to speak out because he was concerned about Fried’s well-being.
“Florida’s corrections chief gets heat for Black History comments” by Tampa Bay Times’ Samantha J. Gross – At a Black History Month Luncheon in February, Department of Corrections Secretary Mark Inch spoke to a largely black audience, describing — according to one listener — how he fought and distrusted black people growing up, and noting that Americans should celebrate “Scottish Heritage Month” in addition to black history. Tiffany Gray, a former FDC human resources employee who was at the luncheon, filed an internal complaint about Inch’s remarks. Just over a month later, she was fired. The state’s Commission on Human Relations, which enforces the Florida Civil Rights Act and hears complaints about discrimination and retaliation, recently said she deserves whistle-blower status and urged the state to rehire her. The government has asked the commission to reconsider. In a termination letter dated March 27, the department said she was being discharged on the basis of a “substandard quality of work” and “conduct unbecoming of a public employee.” She said she learned of the firing on April 2. According to Gray, Inch’s winding speech included many anecdotes from his past, including a story about being beat up by the only black student in his class in elementary school. He recalled how his family once welcomed a man from Nigeria into their home and how Inch’s grandfather remarked on how “clean” he was. Inch talked about visiting Nigeria and how the trip was a “culture shock,” she said. He said it would be like if those in the room visited Norway, she added.
“Cuomo ‘considering’ two-week quarantine for people coming to NY from Florida” by NBC News Channel – If you have plans to visit New York City, you may end up quarantined. Florida has had a mandatory quarantine in place since May directing anyone coming to Florida from “areas with substantial community spread” to self-isolate for 14 days specifically naming the New York tri-state area, which includes New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo says he could enact mandatory quarantines for Floridians as coronavirus cases are on the rise. “I’m considering it now. In some ways, you want to talk about a full 180, for those people who don’t remember back to day one.. Florida and other states imposed a quarantine on New Yorkers. If you went to Florida, you had to quarantine for two weeks because they were afraid that New Yorkers were bringing the virus. Fast forward 100 days now we’re afraid they’re bringing the virus to our state. This is a tale of two cities, two countries, who would believe this 180 turn around? I haven’t made a decision yet but I have had experts advise me of that, it is a real concern. You’re right, it could happen and it’s something I am considering.”
“Florida Sen. Rick Scott Says RNC Attendees Will Have To Social Distance, Wear Masks” by WBUR’s Jeremy Hobson – In the last 14 days, 20 states have seen an increase in newly reported coronavirus cases, according to data from The New York Times. COVID-19 cases have spiked in areas such as Texas, Georgia, Oklahoma and Republican Sen. Rick Scott’s home state of Florida. Scott says his family has been “very, very, very cautious” about coronavirus measures. He encourages other Floridians to do the same. “I hope everybody is wearing masks, social distancing and getting tested,” he says. After backing out of Charlotte, North Carolina, the Republican National Convention, which is scheduled for late August, will now be held in Jacksonville. While Scott says he’s glad the convention is taking place in the Sunshine State, he says RNC organizers must make sure it’s safe for all attendees. “They’re going to have to social distance,” he says. “They’re going to have to wear masks.”
“Trump calls for ‘new justices’ on Supreme Court, as conservatives rage at Roberts” by Fox News’ Adam Shaw – President Trump, in the wake of Thursday’s defeat at the Supreme Court in his efforts to repeal the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, called for new justices as conservatives took aim at Chief Justice John Roberts for what they called a “pattern” of siding with the liberal wing in key decisions. “The recent Supreme Court decisions, not only on DACA, Sanctuary Cities, Census, and others, tell you only one thing, we need NEW JUSTICES of the Supreme Court. If the Radical Left Democrats assume power, your Second Amendment, Right to Life, Secure Borders, and … Religious Liberty, among many other things, are OVER and GONE!” he tweeted. He went on to promise that he will release a “new list of Conservative Supreme Court Justice nominees, which may include some, or many of those already on the list, by September 1, 2020.” Trump’s call comes after the court ruled Thursday, in a 5-4 decision penned by Roberts, that his reversal of former President Barack Obama’s executive order – that shielded immigrants who came to the country illegally as children from deportation – was in violation of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), which sets out rulemaking procedures for federal agencies.
“Facebook takes down Trump ads ‘for violating our policy against organized hate’” by CNN Business Donie O’Sullivan – Facebook (FB) on Thursday said it had taken action against ads run by President Trump’s re-election campaign for breaching its policies on hate. The ads, which attacked what the Trump campaign described as “Dangerous MOBS of far-left groups,” featured an upside-down triangle. The Anti-Defamation League said Thursday the triangle “is practically identical to that used by the Nazi regime to classify political prisoners in concentration camps.”
“We removed these posts and ads for violating our policy against organized hate. Our policy prohibits using a banned hate group’s symbol to identify political prisoners without the context that condemns or discusses the symbol,” Andy Stone, a Facebook spokesperson, told CNN Business. The hate group to which Facebook was referring in its statement is Nazis, the company confirmed. The ads targeted the far-left group antifa, calling on Trump supporters to back the President’s calls to designate the group a terrorist organization. Responding to criticism of the ad earlier Thursday, the Trump campaign claimed the red triangle was “a symbol widely used by Antifa.” The campaign pointed CNN Business to several links to poster, sticker, and magnet websites that sell unofficial merchandise designed by their users that contains the symbol. The campaign did not point to any examples of antifa activists wearing the symbol. The ADL said Thursday that some antifa activists have used the symbol, but it is not particularly common.
“U.S. Sanctions Firms, Tankers It Accuses of Exporting Venezuelan Oil” by WSJ’s Ian Talley – The Trump administration on Thursday blacklisted more than a dozen individuals, their businesses and tankers alleged to have been involved in as much as 40% of Venezuela’s crude-oil exports in recent weeks. The U.S. Treasury Department, announcing the sanctions, alleged the operations formed an effort by the Maduro regime to siphon state resources into personal accounts. A senior U.S. Treasury official said a much longer list of vessels had been planned, as previously reported by The Wall Street Journal, but emergency action taken by the private sector to stop Venezuela transactions prompted the administration to prune the list. The Treasury also took two of four companies and their tankers recently sanctioned by the U.S. off its blacklist, because it said the companies cut their ties to Venezuela. The official said the action showed the effectiveness of the administration’s broader campaign to cut off funding to the regime of President Nicolás Maduro as companies responded by cutting business ties to the country. The action targeted a Mexico-based trade company called Libre Abordo S.A. de C.V. that signed contracts with Venezuela’s state companies to ship food to the country in exchange for crude exports. The company sold oil worth roughly $300 million in recent weeks, but hasn’t shipped any food to Venezuela, the Treasury alleged.
“’Fed up’ police rally behind their own in face of post-George Floyd scrutiny” by Fox News’ Marisa Schultz – Americans reacted with disgust when a video rippled through the nation showing police officers in Buffalo shoving a 75-year-old man to the pavement, which caused blood to come out of his head. Politicians sprang into action, with Gov. Andrew Cuomo encouraging the firing of the two officers and potential criminal charges, saying the video made him “sick to my stomach.” The next day, the district attorney filed second-degree assault charges against the officers. But at the Buffalo police union, officers felt their two colleagues were unfairly punished and fell victim to political winds after George Floyd’s death. To protest their disgust with the swift discipline, 57 fellow Buffalo officers resigned from the special riot unit. Hundreds of supporters including off-duty police, firefighters, law enforcement officers from neighboring communities, crowded outside the courthouse where the two officers were arraigned June 6 and erupted in cheers for the men. The police union president called the courthouse turnout “tremendous” and unlike anything he’s ever seen in 19 years of policing to protest the “politically motivated attack on these officers.” “This administration left them to hang out to dry horribly,” John Evans, president of the Buffalo Police Benevolent Association, told Fox News. “We just want to keep their spirits up … so they know that we are behind them 100 percent. We’re going to remain with them to the end here. It’s really shameful that our administration has not come out to support these officers.”
“John Roberts defies Trump and conservatives with another legacy decision” by CNN’s Joan Biskupic – Chief Justice John Roberts saved Obamacare in 2012 — a move forever earning him the wrath of many Republicans — and on Thursday he preserved an Obama-era program that protects young immigrants who came to the US without proper papers, a direct rebuke to President Donald Trump. Both times, Roberts joined with the court’s four liberals, as he did last year when he cast the crucial fifth vote to block a citizenship question on the 2020 census — another insult to the President. “Do you get the impression that the Supreme Court doesn’t like me?” Trump tweeted. The conspicuous moves by a generally reliable conservative reveal a chief justice trying to defuse disputes that bring the nation’s high court into tension with the US president. They also reflect a pattern distinct to Roberts, who has shown in some rulings a pragmatic and political understanding of polarized America. Roberts, who presided over Trump’s impeachment trial and acquittal earlier this year, has long demonstrated an interest in shielding the integrity of the judiciary and his own reputation. Throughout Thursday’s decision in the highly charged immigration dispute, his cool, lawyerly language focused on procedural matters belied the emotional stakes for nearly 700,000 people. The chief justice wants officials, especially those in this Trump administration, to play by the rules.
“U.S. Unemployment Claims Edge Lower but Remain Historically High” by WSJ’s Eric Morath – The number of workers applying for and receiving unemployment benefits has stabilized at historically high levels, signs that while the labor market is healing hundreds of thousands of workers are still losing their jobs each week. New applications for benefits edged lower by 58,000 to a seasonally adjusted 1.5 million in the week ended June 13, the Labor Department said Thursday. While it is the fewest weekly applications since mid-March, it also showed the pace of layoffs is no longer significantly easing. The number of Americans receiving benefits payments fell by 62,000 to 20.5 million in the week ended June 6. Those continuing claims are reported with a one-week lag. A stable level of people on benefit rolls suggested that new layoffs are being offset by employers hiring or recalling workers as states have allowed more businesses to reopen in recent weeks. Other signs of economic growth have emerged, including a May rebound in retail spending that followed record declines. But with the economy having slipped into recession this year, many firms have remained cautious about rehiring, leaving millions of people out of work since the pandemic hit. Employers added to payrolls in May but only offset about one in 10 jobs lost in April and March. Recent data indicate a higher volume of workers are moving in and out of jobs, said Roiana Reid, an economist at Berenberg Capital Markets.
“Amy Klobuchar withdraws from Biden VP selection to make room for ‘woman of color’: report” by Fox News’ Brie Stimson – Sen. Amy Klobuchar announced Thursday she was removing herself as a candidate to be former Vice President Joe Biden’s vice presidential pick. Klobuchar told MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell she called Biden Wednesday evening with her decision, saying she believes “this is a moment to put a woman of color on that ticket.” Biden pledged earlier this year to pick a woman to be his running mate as is currently considering about a half dozen candidates, including several women of color. “After what I’ve seen in my state and what I’ve seen across the country, this is a historic moment and America must seize on this moment,” she said. “There are so many incredibly qualified women. But if you want to heal this nation right now — my party, yes, but our nation — this sure is a hell of a way to do it. And that’s just what I think after being through this in my state.” The police custody death of George Floyd last month, a black man who died after a white officer kneeled on his neck for nearly nine minutes in Minneapolis, had already complicated Klobuchar’s case to be Biden’s pick as her record as a Minnesota prosecutor came under new scrutiny. Her record of not bringing charges against officers involved in alleged cases of police brutality against black men espeically became a liability, according to The New York Times. Klobuchar dropped out of the Democratic primary shortly before Super Tuesday and immediately endorsed Biden.
“Senate GOP defiant over decision to block Bolton from testifying” by CNN’s Manu Maju and Jeremy Herb – Senate Republicans are unmoved by the stunning allegations in former national security adviser John Bolton’s forthcoming book, saying Bolton’s accusation that President Donald Trump sought reelection help from Chinese President Xi Jinping did not change their minds against calling him as a witness in the impeachment trial. The reaction amounted to the latest example of most Republicans shrugging their shoulders at the steady stream of controversies surrounding the President — whether it was the clearing out of peaceful protesters near the White House, him floating a baseless conspiracy theory about an injured Buffalo demonstrator or seeing his former Secretary of Defense, James Mattis, call Trump a threat to the Constitution. Republicans on Capitol Hill are growing used to ignoring the controversies — even from something as serious of allegedly inviting a foreign power to help him win his reelection — as they battle to keep control of the Senate with the help of the President. Asked about Bolton’s allegation Trump explicitly tied an ask for China to boost purchase of agriculture products to help his reelection, GOP Sen. John Barrasso said: “Every President has, one way or another, thought they ought to be reelected. I think President Trump should be reelected. I support his reelection, I’m for it.” Bolton accused House Democrats of committing “impeachment malpractice” by not broadening out their impeachment investigation beyond Ukraine, and he wrote that Trump told him US aid to Ukraine should not be released until an investigation was conducted into his 2020 rival, former Vice President Joe Biden.
“Pelosi Orders Removal of Portraits of Former House Speakers Who Served in Confederacy” by WSJ’s Natalie Andrews – House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is removing from the Capitol portraits of former speakers who served in the Confederacy, the latest move in her effort to rid the historical building of art featuring people who turned against the Union in the Civil War. “The halls of Congress are the very heart of our democracy,” Mrs. Pelosi (D., Calif.) said in her letter to the clerk of the House of Representatives. “There is no room in the hallowed halls of Congress or in any place of honor for memorializing men who embody the violent bigotry and grotesque racism of the Confederacy.” In many states, Confederate monuments and symbols are quickly being removed amid protests sparked by the May 25 killing of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis. Some activists have called for the removal of all statues of people who owned slaves. Mrs. Pelosi has said artwork commemorating people who served in the Confederacy should be removed, saying these people betrayed the country. The four previous House speakers who served in the Confederacy are Robert Hunter of Virginia, who was speaker from 1839 to 1841, Howell Cobb of Georgia (1849 to 1851), James Orr of South Carolina (1857 to 1859), and Charles Crisp of Georgia, who was speaker after the Civil War, from 1891 to 1895. Portraits are hung in the speakers’ lobby and around the House chamber, a place generally closed to the public. Most recently, a portrait was added of John Boehner of Ohio, House speaker from 2011-2015.
President Donald Trump @realDonaldTrump–Floridians will get $10M grant from @USDOT for @MyFDO’s I-4 to improve technology to provide travelers with better information and important messages in real time! Will make getting BACK TO WORK easier. Great work @GovRonDeSantis!
Rep. Donna E. Shalala @RepShalala–The Trump administration may have used $600 million in assets seized from Maduro & his thugs to pay for his border wall. This stolen money belongs to the Venezuelan people! It should be used to restore democracy – not further a xenophobic agenda.