Florida Politics’ Juicy Read – 8.3.20 – Floridians Start Voting Today – Charlie Crist Isn’t So Moderate – DeSantis Says Florida Is Ready For Election – More…
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Florida Politics’ Juicy Read – 8.3.20 – Floridians Start Voting Today – Charlie Crist Isn’t So Moderate – DeSantis Says Florida Is Ready For Election – More…

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Charlie Crist in the Hot Seat?

It’s been 10 years since then-Republican Gov. Charlie Crist jumped ship (jumped the shark) and became an Independent voter before eventually becoming a registered Democrat.

What a betrayal that was. Charlie’s switch of political affiliation still has us talking, but now that he is finally in the U.S. Congress, how long will he last?

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As I said, Crist is now a member of the U.S. House of Representatives and is touting his ‘centrist’ ways, but unfortunately for him, his voting record is nothing not one of a ‘moderate’ Democrat, rather it’s one of a Progressive Democrat. READ MORE

 

Voting is happening.

From today until August 18th, Floridian will be heading to the polls vote early, but will COVID-19 keep many of them home?

Florida could see a very low turnout this primary election cycle, but that could be more to do with the fact that there aren’t big names like Trump or DeSantis driving people to the polls, than with the virus.

Some of the big congressional primary races to watch are Makki vs. Luna in CD 13, Loomer vs. 5 crazies in CD 21, and the GOP primary race in CD 19.

 

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***Your morning JUICE is also sponsored by Fran Flynn. Fran Flynn is a Republican running for Congress in Florida’s 22nd congressional district. She’s Pro-Trump, Pro-Gun, Pro-Life.***

 

Commissioner Nikki Fried @NikkiFriedFL –With natural gas prices set to double in the next decade, Florida must increase investments in sustainable and renewable energy sources to power our communities. Our @FDACS Office of Energy is working to improve statewide energy efficiency and expand renewable energy production.

Rep. Anthony Sabatini @AnthonySabatini –Barack Obama is one of the worst Presidents in American History

AG Ashley Moody @AGAshleyMoody –I am urging the Senate to pass @SenRickScott and @MarcoRubio s “Cut Profits to the Cuban Regime Act” to put an end to the Castro dictatorship’s #HumanTrafficking scheme. I am proud to stand up for survivors who now call Florida home.

Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell @RepDMP-Today we celebrate the 55-year anniversary of Medicare and Medicaid. For thousands of seniors, individuals with disabilities & families in South Florida, it’s made all the difference in the world. I will continue fighting to protect Medicare and Medicaid from any attacks.

US Rep. Al Lawson Jr @RepAlLawsonJr –More than 4.3 million people. That’s how many confirmed cases there have been in America. Children are going hungry & families are struggling to make rent. In what world do business lunches rank as more important than helping our most vulnerable?

Rep. Ted Deutch @RepTedDeutch –#Medicare & #Medicaid have been crucial lifelines for older Americans, women, children & the disabled for 55 years and are especially critical during COVID-19. We must continue our fight to #ProtectOurCare and preserve these programs for future generations.

Gus Bilirakis @RepGusBilirakis –I recently spoke with our local Supervisors of Elections @votepasco & @VotePinellas I am confident that Florida will be ready to #vote come November 3rd.

 

“Charlie Crist votes with Nancy Pelosi 100% of the time” by The Floridian’s Javier Manjarres – With $3 million dollars resting comfortably in his campaign bank account, Rep. Charlie Crist (D) is probably not all that worried about losing his re-election bid in November. Rep. Crist will soon face off against one of two Republican women – Anna Paulina Luna and Amanda Makki – who are running in a very contentious primary race that will culminate on August 18th. Both women have raised a decent amount of cash, Makki having about $800,000 in the bank, and Luna about $330,000 cash on hand. But while Republicans are planning for a political fundraising slugfest in the general election with Crist, Crist‘s not-so-Blue Dog Democrat voting record will only benefit his eventual Republican opponent, and the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC). The former popular governor of Florida is by far the most successful and likable retail politician in the state’s history, but just as Crist tries to sell himself as a “moderate,” more centrist elected official, that so-called moderate voting record is non-existent. According to the official Blue Dog Coalition caucus in the House of Representatives, which Crist is a member of, the group is comprised of “pragmatic Democrats” that appeal to the‘mainstream values of the American Public.

“Mucarsel-Powell’s voting 100% with Pelosi could hurt her re-election” by The Floridian’s Javier Manjarres – Because she only won her race by less than 2-percentage points against then-Congressman Carlos Curbelo (R), Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (D) knew that her re-election to the House of Representatives was going to be very difficult considering that her congressional district is listed as a “Toss-up” by The Cook Political Report. In a fundraising email sent out by Rep. Mucarsel-Powell’s campaign, Team DMP references that The Cook Report has “officially” called Florida’s 26th congressional district a “COMPLETE TOSS-UP!” Mucarsel-Powell is saying that Cook is now reporting what they knew all along, but the truth is that this seat has always been considered a “toss-up.” President Donald Trump and the entire Republican political apparatus is eyeing Mucarsel-Powell’s seat, with the president’s son Eric telling The Floridian that this was indeed one of the seats that Trump Victory was targeting. Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez (R) appears to be the Republican nominee but hw must first get past Firefighter Omar Blanco, who has run a spirited campaign but has not been able to raise the campaign dollars needed to win the primary race against Gimenez.

“Club for Growth ad hits Scott Franklin for supporting Alex Sink” by The Floridian’s Daniel Molina – A new advertisement titled “Money Talks,” released by Club for Growth, is slamming congressional hopeful Scott Francis (R) in his bid for House District 15 against Rep. Ross Spano (R). In the advertisement, Francis is hit for donations he made to Alex Sink and Adam Putnam, which contrasts with the support that Club for Growth has thrown for Ross Spano (R), who the organization endorsed in May. Spano himself has touted his support for President Trump (R) and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R). In a statement, regarding their endorsement of Spano, Club for Growth PAC president David McIntosh commented that “Rep. Ross Spano is a principled, pro-growth conservative, and his race is being targeted by liberal groups because of his consistent support for economic freedom as opposed to socialism.” Moreover, the organization added that they “are proud to endorse Rep. Spano and look forward to supporting his campaign to victory in both the primary and general election.”

“Florida House Democrats split on limiting military recruitment ads” by The Floridian’s Javier Manjarres – Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s House Amendment to limit the U.S. military’s recruitment ads to “young impressionable teens” has been summarily defeated by a 292-126 vote margin, even after the lawmaker gave an impassioned pitch to help sway votes in support of her legislation. “War is not a game,” she wrote. “Twitch is a popular platform for children FAR under the age of military recruitment rules. We should not conflate military service with ‘shoot-em-up’ style games and contests.” Florida’s House Democratic Caucus was split on whether to support the bill with Reps. Ted Deutch, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Kathy Castor, Alcee Hastings, and Frederica Wilson, all having supported Rep. Ocasio-Cortez’s’ amendment. But like we mentioned, not all House Democrats supported the measure. Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, Al Lawson, Jr., and Stephanie Murphy voted against the amendment. All three Democratic legislators are expected to face tough re-election challenges in the coming months. But just as the vote failed, Ocasio-Cortez saw a silver lining in her amendment’s defeat, even though a significant number of Democrats voted against it.

“Miller Calls Mail-in Voting “Catastrophic”” by The Floridian’s Daniel Molina – One day after President Trump drew ire from critics for suggesting that the upcoming 2020 Presidential election should be postponed for what he believes would be voter fraud as a result of mail-in-ballots, Stephen Miller, political advisor to the President, is doubling down on the idea. In an interview with Fox news, the controversial political advisor said that the idea of mail-in-voting is “catastrophic, arguing that “nobody has their identity confirmed” when it comes to voting by mail. In speaking to Fox and Friends, Miller commented, “here is a shocking thing for your audience to consider: nobody who mails in a ballot has their identity confirmed.” He added, “nobody checks to see if they’re even a U.S. citizen. Think about that.” He slammed Democrats for the HEROES Act, calling it an “insane” plan that’s “barring voter identification as part of any mail-in balloting.” Because of this, Miller believes that voting by mail will invite interference that will happen on “a scale potentially millions of people.” Specifically, “any foreign national – talk about foreign elections interference – can mail in a ballot and nobody even verifies if they’re a citizen in the United States of America.”

“Trump vs Biden: can America conduct a fair election?” by Financial Times’ Courtney Weaver – It is a scenario that the US state department has warned about the world over: an incumbent politician in a democracy with weak institutions tries to hold on to power by casting doubt on an election that should have swept him out of office. Now, in a twist of irony, it is the United States that election experts and officials are worrying about — thanks to a global pandemic, record-low trust in government, an archaic electoral system and, most of all, a president who has demonstrated a willingness to shatter norms of governance. In his new book Will He Go? Trump and the Looming Election Meltdown in 2020, the Amherst College law professor Lawrence Douglas lays out exactly how such a scenario could happen, beginning late on the night of November 3. Most television networks call the election for the Democratic challenger Joe Biden — with the exception of Fox News. Donald Trump refuses to concede. What could ensue if no winner is agreed upon, Mr Douglas argues, is nothing less than a constitutional crisis, with Mr Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi — next in command under the 1947 Succession Act — each declaring themselves commander-in-chief on inauguration day, January 20, 2021, and the US constitution and federal election law powerless to facilitate a solution.

“’Castro sympathizer’: Florida GOP moves to sink Bass over Cuba” by Politico’s Matt Dixon – Fidel Castro is once again casting a long shadow over U.S presidential politics. The former Cuban president is a topic of derision for both political parties in Florida and Republicans here used him on Saturday to bash Karen Bass, a California Democrat who is rising on Joe Biden’s vice-presidential shortlist. “She will be the highest-ranking Castro sympathizer in the history of the United States government,” Sen. Marco Rubio said on a conference call organized by the Trump campaign to trash Bass. Bass made numerous trips to Cuba dating back to the 1970s, and professed her sympathies when Castro died in 2016, a position that is politically poisonous in Miami, a key block of voters in a state central to President Donald Trump’s re-election bid. Much of the early focus when rumors emerged that Bass was rising among VP candidates was her description of Castro as “Comandante en Jefe” in a statement when he died, a phrase that translates to “commander-in-chief.” “As Cuba begins nine days of mourning, I wish to express my condolences to the Cuban people and the family of Fidel Castro,” her office issued in a statement marking the Cuban leader’s death. “The passing of the Comandante en Jefe is a great loss to the people of Cuba.”

“DeSantis says Florida is in a ‘good spot’ for elections” by News Service of Florida’s Jim Turner – Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday backed the efforts of the state’s elections chief and county elections supervisors after President Donald Trump suggested the possibility of postponing the November general election because of his aversion to “mail-in” ballots. “I think that Florida will be in a good spot to go,” DeSantis said during an appearance at Space Florida headquarters in Merritt Island. DeSantis, who had attended the morning launch of the Mars-bound Perseverance rover and Ingenuity helicopter at Cape Canaveral, was asked about elections issues because Trump in a morning tweet continued his attack on mail-in-voting and the potential legitimacy of the election. “With Universal Mail-In Voting (not Absentee Voting, which is good), 2020 will be the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history,” Trump tweeted. “It will be a great embarrassment to the USA. Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???” The general election date is set by federal law for the Tuesday after the first Monday in November – Nov. 3 this year. Trump would need to get an act of Congress to move the date, which is highly unlikely, especially with the U.S. House under Democratic control.

“SPACEX DRAGON ASTRONAUTS SAFELY BACK ON EARTH AFTER FLORIDA SPLASHDOWN” by ABC News – The first NASA-SpaceX astronauts have safely returned to Earth after more than two months in space, splashing down near Pensacola, Florida, at 2:48 p.m. ET. At 3:17 p.m. ET, Dragon Endeavour was lifted out of the water. Engineers then conducted a purge of vapor fumes around the spacecraft. At 3:59 p.m. ET, the hatch was opened to allow a NASA flight surgeon to check in on astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken. The men were taken out of the spacecraft at 4:07 p.m. and 4:11 p.m., prompting a round of applause at mission control. “You’re just hoping and praying that everything is going well, and of course when you get that first acquisition of signal, it’s a time we can all breathe a sigh of relief,” NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine told ABC News. “It has gone as flawlessly as it could possibly have gone,” he said. Hurley and Behnken, whose mission began on May 30, undocked from the International Space Station at about 7:30 p.m. ET on Saturday to head back to Earth. Stakes were high as the astronauts only had 48 hours of oxygen in their capsule after undocking. Crew Dragon Endeavour’s deorbit burn commenced at 1:56 p.m. ET Sunday and was completed at about 2:13 p.m. ET. At about 2:36 p.m. ET, a communications blackout began and the Dragon went fully autonomous. The blackout lasted about four minutes.

“Early Voting Starts Monday For Several Florida Counties’ Primary Elections” by WESF’s Robbie Gaffney – For some counties across Florida, early voting for the primary election starts Monday. However, things will likely look different this year. Health concerns due to the coronavirus are changing how voters approach the ballot box. Several Counties throughout the state, including Miami-Dade, Palm Beach, Orange, and Hillsborough, are starting early voting as soon as possible. They’re also taking steps to improve safety at the polls as concerns of catching the coronavirus weigh on many voters’ minds. To quell those anxieties, Hillsborough Supervisor of Elections Craig Latimer says his staff is taking extra precaution: “We’ve got plexiglass we’ve put in early vote sites to have between the poll workers and the voters. We’ll be cleaning the privacy booths in the polling room on a regular basis. We have a single-use combination-stylus pen… So [voters] can sign-in with a stylus and use the pen to fill their ballot in and take the souvenir with them.” Latimer says that one-third of Hillsborough voters generally opt for mail-in ballots, one-third go to early voting locations, and one-third vote on election day. But that can change. He explains offering the maximum two weeks for early voting gives residents more flexibility to cast their ballot: “I want to make it easier for them and accessible. People work on weekends. Sometimes they work different hours.”

READ MORE at THE FLORIDIAN

 

 

 

 

 

 “Pelosi announces she has ‘no confidence’ in top White House coronavirus adviser Deborah Birx” by Fox News’ Gregg Re – House Speaker Nancy Pelosi declared Sunday that she has “no confidence” in top White House coronavirus adviser Deborah Birx, just days after Pelosi reportedly called Birx “the worst” in a closed-door meeting and said the White House coronavirus team was in “horrible hands.” At the same time, Pelosi has praised Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIH), as a “hero.” Democrats have largely turned on Birx after a thinly sourced article in The New York Times criticized her for defending President Trump — but Fauci, who has repeatedly changed his view on key aspects of the pandemic, is now seen as more willing to challenge the president. “I think the president is spending — spreading disinformation about the virus and she is his — she is his appointee,” Pelosi told ABC News’ Martha Raddatz on Sunday. “So, I don’t have confidence there, no.” Pelosi’s remarks drew an immediate rebuke from the White House. “It is deeply irresponsible of Speaker Pelosi to repeatedly try to undermine & create public distrust in Dr Birx, the top public health professional on the coronavirus task force,” Alyssa Farah, the White House’s director of strategic communications, tweeted after the interview. “It’s also just wrong. Period. Hard stop.”

“The ‘Squad’ plays defense as Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar face primary challengers” by CNN’s Gregory Krieg – A series of galvanizing victories in Democratic congressional primaries this year have progressives poised to assert their growing influence in the next Congress. But plans for a larger and more robust “squad” hinge on securing its foundation — and defending the seats they first won in 2018. Over the next 10 days, Reps. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, will be tested by challengers who have sought to turn their star power against them, arguing, in both contests, that the freshmen lawmakers have chased the national spotlight at the expense of their districts. New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who brushed aside a well-funded centrist opponent in June to cement her status in the party and on Capitol Hill, heard a similar line of attack. It didn’t land. Allies of Omar and Tlaib, the first two Muslim women elected to Congress, say that their races will run a similar course, ending with decisive electoral confirmations that the Democratic Party’s future, even with former Vice President Joe Biden as its presidential nominee, is being driven by a younger, more diverse and increasingly liberal voter base. “There is a massive effort by Republicans and by the corporate wing of the Democratic Party to destroy the ‘squad’ and make it seem like they’re vulnerable and out of touch,” said Waleed Shahid, communications director for Justice Democrats, the group on the frontlines of the party’s progressive insurgency. “But AOC was already able to show that much of that is manufactured. In terms of Rashida and Ilhan, I just think that the ‘squad’ represents the direction that the Democratic Party is heading.”

“Marathon Petroleum to Sell Gas-Station Chain to 7-Eleven Owners for $21 Billion” by WSJ’s Rebecca Elliott – Fuel maker Marathon Petroleum Corp. MPC 0.32% said it has agreed to sell its gas stations to the owners of the 7-Eleven convenience store chain for $21 billion in the largest U.S. energy-related deal of the year. The all-cash agreement with 7-Eleven Inc. comes less than a year after Marathon agreed to spin off its convenience-store chain, known as Speedway, under pressure from activist investors including Elliott Management Corp. “This was the chance of a lifetime,” said Ryuichi Isaka, president of Seven & I Holdings Co., SVNDY -3.19% the Tokyo-based parent of 7-Eleven. He said he saw convenience stores in the U.S. as the biggest growth driver for the company, whose department stores and supermarkets in Japan are struggling. Findlay, Ohio-based Marathon had been close to a deal with Seven & I earlier this year, but talks fell apart in March as the coronavirus pandemic took hold. The company revived sales discussions months later, The Wall Street Journal reported in June. Other suitors included Canada-based convenience-store chain Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. ATD.B -1.77%. Marathon Chief Executive Michael Hennigan said the deal “crystalizes the significant value of the Speedway business” and “delivers on our commitment to unlock the value of our assets.”

“Joe Biden should not debate President Trump, Clinton’s ex-WH spokesman says” by Fox News’ Edmund DeMarche – Joe Lockhart, the former White House press secretary, penned an op-ed last week urging Joe Biden to skip debating President Trump prior to the November election. “Whatever you do, don’t debate Trump,” he wrote on CNN. “Trump has made more than 20,000 misleading or false statements according to the Washington Post. It’s a fool’s errand to enter the ring with someone who can’t follow the rules or the truth. Biden will undoubtedly take heat from Republicans and the media for skipping the debates. But it’s worth the risk as trying to debate someone incapable of telling the truth is an impossible contest to win.” Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, responded to the op-ed on Sunday, “Basement strategy, part 2.” Trump supporters have poked fun at the former vice president for conducting many of his interviews from home. Trump’s defenders have also speculated about Biden’s overall health, and Biden’s refusal to debate could provide more cannon fodder. Trump supporters have also said Democrats and their allies in mainstream media remember how effective Trump was in getting his message across to voters during live press conferences in 2016, and they do not want to give the president that kind of platform again. Lockhart pointed out that many polls are unfavorable for Trump and “every quantitative signal and historical precedent points to a surefire loss for the President in November.”

“RNC spokesman says ‘no final decision’ yet on whether GOP convention will be closed to press as officials weigh unprecedented move” by CNN’s Jeremy Diamond and Veronica Stracqualursi – A spokesman for the Republican National Committee tells CNN that “no final decision has been made” on whether reporters will be allowed to cover the Republican National Convention in person, a day after a convention spokesperson said the convention would be “closed press. “No final decision has been made and we are still working through logistics and press coverage options,” RNC communications director Michael Ahrens told CNN on Sunday. “We are working with the parameters set before us by state and local guidelines regarding the number of people who can attend events.” On Saturday, a convention spokesperson said given North Carolina’s health restrictions related to the coronavirus, they are “planning for the Charlotte activities to be closed press,” meaning reporters would not be allowed on site as delegates vote to formally nominate President Donald Trump as the 2020 Republican presidential nominee — an unprecedented restriction in modern American political history. A Republican official familiar with the planning told CNN the proceedings would instead be livestreamed. Ahrens confirmed Sunday that “a livestream is part of the press coverage options we are working through” for the convention, but made clear the logistics of the scaled-back convention remain in flux.

“Democratic, Administration Negotiators at Loggerheads Over $600 Jobless Benefit” by WSJ’s Josh Zumbrun – Democrats and Republicans remained at odds in weekend negotiations on a new coronavirus economic relief package, including aid to replace the federal $600-a-week boost to unemployment benefits that expired Friday. House Democrats led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi want any economic-relief package to include a long-term extension of the enhanced unemployment benefit, arguing the extra funds have been a critical support to those who lost their jobs amid the pandemic. The White House and Senate Republicans, however, want to trim that additional payment, saying in some cases people are being paid more to stay at home than if they returned to work. “The $600 is essential,” Mrs. Pelosi said on ABC News’s “This Week.” “It’s essential for America’s working families.” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said, also on ABC, “We absolutely agree on enhanced unemployment. We want to fix the issue where in some cases people are overpaid, and we want to make sure there’s the right incentives.” The Democratic-led House has passed a bill extending the $600 federal jobless benefit through January. In recent weeks, Republicans have publicly offered to extend it for one week to make room for negotiations, and to continue it through September at $200, or adjust aid to a portion of lost wages.

“Microsoft, TikTok officials in White House talks to prevent total ban” by Fox News’  Charlie Gasparino, Lydia Moynihan, Evie Fordham – As Microsoft considers a buyout of social media app TikTok, officials from the big tech company and well as executives representing TikTok have been in discussions with the White House to prevent the Trump administration from issuing a complete ban of the app, FOX Business has learned. Those discussions come as President Trump is poised to issue an order that could ban the app from being used in the U.S. over security concerns or allow a U.S.-based company to buy the outfit, pending a security review. A decision is expected either Monday or Tuesday, people close to the matter tell FOX Business. Confirming talks between CEO Satya Nadella and Trump, Microsoft said Sunday it is prepared to continue discussions to purchase TikTok’s U.S. operations until Sept. 15. “Microsoft fully appreciates the importance of addressing the President’s concerns,” the company said in a statement. “It is committed to acquiring TikTok subject to a complete security review and providing proper economic benefits to the United States, including the United States Treasury.”The Trump administration has been weighing TikTok’s fate since last year, launching an investigation into the short video company amid fears that its Bejing-based parent ByteDance shares customer information with the Communist Chinese government.

“Trump directed controversial Pentagon pick into new role with similar duties after nomination failed” by CNN’s Ryan Browne – A controversial Trump administration pick for a top Pentagon post has been placed into a senior role days after his nomination hearing was canceled amid bipartisan opposition to his nomination. Retired Army Brig. Gen. Anthony Tata has formally withdrawn his nomination to be the Defense Department undersecretary of defense for policy and has been designated “the official Performing the Duties of the Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Policy reporting to the Acting Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Dr. James Anderson,” a Pentagon spokesperson said in a statement. When the nomination hearing for Tata was canceled Thursday, President Donald Trump told aides the plan was to put him in a position he could have without a confirmation hearing, according to a source familiar with the discussions. The role he’ll be in now is essentially the deputy of the role he had been nominated for. It was previously reported that Trump had a call with Senate Armed Services Chairman Jim Inhofe the evening prior and that the Oklahoma Republican bluntly told the President his nominee was in trouble. Tata was expected to face a tough nomination hearing on Thursday before the committee after CNN’s KFile reported that he made numerous Islamophobic and offensive comments and promoted conspiracy theories.

“Supreme Court Signals Federal Judiciary Won’t Mediate Fights Over Voting and Virus” by WSJ’s Jess Bravin – If the coronavirus is pitting nervous voters against state election officials, don’t expect the federal courts to solve their problem. That is the message from a string of Supreme Court orders since April, which saw the conservative majority overturn lower court directives to extend balloting or take other measures because of the pandemic. The latest case came from Idaho, where over the state’s objection, a federal-district court ordered extra time for a citizen initiative to qualify for the ballot and authorized voters to use digital signatures. Advocates of the initiative argued a stay-at-home order and other public-health measures had essentially made it impossible to use the normal signature-gathering processes. State officials asked the Supreme Court to block those orders while it appealed, and on Thursday the justices agreed in an emergency order. “This is not a case about the right to vote, but about how items are placed on the ballot in the first place. Nothing in the Constitution requires Idaho or any other State to provide for ballot initiatives,” Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in an opinion accompanying the unsigned order, joined by fellow conservative Justices Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh.“Feinstein: Letting Americans sue China over coronavirus response would be ‘huge mistake’” by Fox News’ Nick Grivas – Allowing citizens to sue China for damages caused by the novel coronavirus would backfire and open up the United States to the same level of scrutiny from other countries around the world, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said Thursday. Feinstein, whose remarks came during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, said, “We launch a series of unknown events that could be very, very dangerous. I think this is a huge mistake.” “Where I live… we hold China as a potential trading partner,” she said earlier. “As a country that has pulled tens of millions of people out of poverty in a short period of time. And as a country growing into a respectable nation among other nations. And I deeply believe that. I’ve been to China a number of times. I’ve studied the issues.” Feinstein claimed other countries, including China, may decide to use the new legal precedent against the U.S., setting off a chain reaction, resulting in global chaos. Her comments come three months after Missouri’s Attorney General Eric Schmitt, a Republican, provided a statement to Fox News about a lawsuit he filed against China on behalf of the state, saying that the impact of COVID-19 has led to thousands of Missourians being infected, killed and economically devastated. “In Missouri, the impact of the virus is very real — thousands have been infected and many have died, families have been separated from dying loved ones, small businesses are shuttering their doors, and those living paycheck to paycheck are struggling to put food on their table,” he wrote.

“Amazon, Apple, Facebook Show Dominant Results, Grip on Society” by WSJ’s Sebastian Herrera – Amazon.com Inc. AMZN 0.60% delivered soaring quarterly sales and profit, leading a pack of tech giants on Thursday that reported thriving business during the throes of the coronavirus pandemic and highlighting the industry’s central place in business and society at a time of growing concern over its clout. The success of Amazon, Apple Inc. AAPL 1.21% and Facebook Inc. FB 0.52% in the face of a pandemic that has caused unprecedented economic disruption and millions of job losses shows how tech giants have become even more indispensable at a time when people are living and working more online. The companies showed strength in businesses ranging from gadgets and online retail to cloud computing and digital advertising. Amazon reported record revenue and profit even as it spent $4 billion between April and June to stabilize its supply chain and improve worker safety. The Seattle e-commerce pioneer now employs more than 1 million workers, the second-largest in the U.S. Amazon reported $88.9 billion in sales as a flood of customers grew to rely more than ever on online shopping. Profits doubled to a record $5.2 billion, far exceeding analyst expectations. Apple proved to be another example of the technology industry’s strength in the pandemic, reporting a better-than-expected 11% increase in quarterly sales due to strong demand for apps, work-from-home devices and a new, low-price iPhone.

“2 US oil executives released from Venezuela prison to house arrest” by CNN’s Vivian Salama – Two American oil executives held in an overcrowded Venezuelan prison for almost three years have been placed in house arrest, a sign that the embattled government of Nicolas Maduro may be easing its stance toward the detainees. Gustavo Cárdenas and Jorge Toledo were released on house arrest on Thursday evening, days after a humanitarian visit to Caracas by former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson and a team of nongovernment negotiators. A person involved in the negotiations called it a “positive first step” and thanked Maduro for the gesture, while also calling for the release of all six Americans detained. This is a breaking story and will be updated.

“Susan Eisenhower calls on US leaders to ‘unify this country,’ says division is a ‘national security issue’” by Fox News’ Yael Halon – Susan Eisenhower, the granddaughter of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, told “The Story” Thursday night that America’s leaders must find the “language, the methods and the means to unify this country” amid the coronavirus pandemic and increasing urban violence and unrest. “We really need leadership that leads the entire country,” Eisenhower told host Martha MacCallum, later adding, “it’s so serious, it really is a national security issue.” Susan Eisenhower, one of the 34th president’s four grandchildren, is the author of the forthcoming book, “How Ike Led: The Principles Behind Eisenhower’s Biggest Decisions.” In his first State of the Union address as president, Dwight D. Eisenhower famously declared his belief in “a middle way between untrammeled freedom of the individual and the demands for the welfare of the whole nation. This way must avoid government by bureaucracy as carefully as it avoids neglect of the helpless.” “One of the big changes between decades ago and now [is that] these political parties … are really only speaking to their base,” Susan Eisenhower said. As a result, she went on, the voices of a “large majority of Americans” are being drowned out. “I think another problem here too, [is] that the only voices really out there are the extreme voices …” she said. “I think the big middle is wondering, ‘What is the plan?’ and ‘How are we going to meet these goals?’ and both sides have not in any way satisfied that group.”

“GOP Leaders Rebuff Trump’s Suggestion of Delaying Election” by WSJ’s Tarini Parti and Alex Leary – President Trump floated the idea of delaying the November presidential election for the first time in a tweet Thursday until a time when “people can properly, securely and safely vote,” prompting top Republicans and Democrats in Congress to swiftly dismiss the idea. A record number of Americans are expected to vote by mail in the November election because of the coronavirus pandemic. After initially defending his tweet calling for an election delay, Mr. Trump said at a press conference later Thursday: “Do I want to see a date change? No, but I don’t want to see a crooked election.” The date of the election can only be changed by Congress, and lawmakers from both parties—including some of the president’s closest allies—said changing the date wasn’t an option. “We’ll cope with whatever the situation is and have the election on Nov. 3 as already scheduled,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) said in an interview with WNKY TV in Bowling Green, Ky. Election Day in the U.S. was fixed as the first Tuesday after Nov. 1 by an act of Congress in 1845 and would require new legislation for it to be delayed. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) responded to Mr. Trump’s tweet Thursday with a tweet quoting an excerpt from Article II, Section I of the Constitution stating that the authority to set election dates is held by Congress.

“EXCLUSIVE: Fearing Trump interference, FBI agents hid copies of Russia investigation docs” by CNN’s Jeffrey Toobin – In the hours after President Donald Trump suddenly fired FBI Director James Comey, on May 9, 2017, his former subordinates in the J. Edgar Hoover Building wondered if there would be more shoes to drop. Would Trump dismiss more people? Would he shut down the investigation of his campaign’s ties to Russia? Would the President demand that the Bureau cease its investigation of Michael Flynn, Trump’s onetime national security adviser?

In response to these concerns, the FBI took extraordinary — and previously undisclosed — steps to protect its investigations. From Comey’s first meetings with Trump, shortly after he won the presidency, the FBI director developed misgivings about his new boss’ behavior — about Trump’s demands for “loyalty,” and even more unnerving, his request that the Bureau drop its investigation of Flynn. Comey’s conversations with Trump had been so distressing that the director started writing up contemporaneous summaries of their interactions and sharing them with a handful of top officials at the Bureau. Now, suddenly, Comey was out — and the question arose of what to do with his memos about his conversations with the President.

“4 LA men admit to Skid Row voter-fraud scheme, DA announces” by Fox News’ Louis Casiano – Four men have admitted to offering homeless people in Los Angeles money and cigarettes in exchange for false and forged signatures on ballot petitions and voter registration forms, authorities said Wednesday. Richard Howard, 64, and Louis Thomas Wise, 37, pleaded no contest last week to one felony count each of subscribing a fictitious name, or the name of another to an initiative petition and registration of a fictitious person, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said. Christopher Joseph Williams, 41, and Nickey Demelvin Huntley, 45, each pleaded no contest to one felony count of circulating an initiative or petition containing false, forged or fictitious names. Four defendants — one of whom is still being sought by authorities — have yet to be sentenced, the district attorney’s office told Fox News. An office spokesperson declined to specify what group or organization the defendants were working with when they committed the alleged fraud. Prosecutors said the group solicited hundreds of false and forged signatures on state ballot petitions and voter registration forms in Los Angeles’s Skid Row neighborhood, a downtown area long plagued by homelessness. They allegedly offered individuals $1 and cigarettes for their participation in the scheme during the 2016 and 2018 election cycles.

“Families File First Wave of Covid-19 Lawsuits Against Companies Over Worker Deaths” by WSJ’s Janet Adamy – Employers across the country are being sued by the families of workers who contend their loved ones contracted lethal cases of Covid-19 on the job, a new legal front that shows the risks of reopening workplaces. Walmart Inc., Safeway Inc., Tyson Foods Inc. and some health-care facilities have been sued for gross negligence or wrongful death since the coronavirus pandemic began unfolding in March. Employees’ loved ones contend the companies failed to protect workers from the deadly virus and should compensate their family members as a result. Workers who survived the virus also are suing to have medical bills, future earnings and other damages paid out. In responding to the lawsuits, employers have said they took steps to combat the virus, including screening workers for signs of illness, requiring they wear masks, sanitizing workspaces and limiting the number of customers inside stores. Some point out that it is impossible to know where or how their workers contracted Covid-19, particularly as it spreads more widely across the country. The new coronavirus has created a global health and economic crisis, responsible for the death of more than 150,000 people in the U.S. while straining resources and institutions.

“Co-founder of influential conservative group: Trump’s tweet floating election delay is grounds for impeachment” by CNN’s Paul LeBlanc – The co-founder of the conservative Federalist Society said Thursday in a blistering New York Times op-ed that President Donald Trump’s tweet musing about a delay to November’s presidential election is grounds for impeachment. Steven Calabresi, a Northwestern University law professor who has offered broad defenses of the President in recent years, wrote, “I am frankly appalled by the president’s recent tweet seeking to postpone the November election. Until recently, I had taken as political hyperbole the Democrats’ assertion that President Trump is a fascist.” “But this latest tweet is fascistic and is itself grounds for the president’s immediate impeachment again by the House of Representatives and his removal from office by the Senate,” he said.It’s a significant break from the co-founder of one of the most influential groups in Republican politics. The Federalist Society has emerged as a leading conservative and libertarian voice in recent years, urging a limited role for judges in society’s problems. The group has also worked closely with Republican administrations to influence the selection of judges. Its leaders advised the George W. Bush administration on appointments and, for Trump, have become an even closer partner in screening candidates for the bench. The scathing assessment comes hours after Trump explicitly floated delaying November’s election in a tweet claiming without evidence that the contest will be flawed.

President Donald Trump @realDonaldTrump-FAKE NEWS IS THE ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE!

Rep. Nadler @RepJerryNadler– With more than 150,000 dead due to COVID19, our economy in a free fall, and federal unemployment benefits lapsing for millions of Americans, does President Trump really have nothing better to do than take down a social platform he does not like?
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Javier Manjarres is a nationally renowned award-winning political journalist. Diverse New Media, Corp. publishes Floridianpress.com, Hispolitica.com, shark-tank.com, and Texaspolitics.com He enjoys traveling, playing soccer, mixed martial arts, weight-lifting, swimming, and biking. He ran as a Republican in the 2018 congressional primary race in Florida's CD 22. Javier is also a political consultant, and has also authored "BROWN PEOPLE," which is a book about Hispanic Politics. Learn more at www.brownpeople.org Email him at [email protected]