Election Day Eve
And the shenanigans have already started.
CBS12 in Palm Beach County has posted their election night results a full 48 hours before polls even open.
You can’t make this up. I am trying to find some explanation for this but nothing is coming to mind. MUST READ
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D) was accused over the weekend of accosting and assaulting one of her primary opponent’s underage volunteers at an early voting poll in Pembroke Pines. READ MORE
***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.***
Marco Rubio @marcorubio –Since March I warned #COVID19 was serious,helped save millions of #smallbusiness jobs & told everyone to use a mask But @Cbrennansports is too lazy to learn that. And so biased she calls retweeting athletes who say #WeWantToPlay “political posturing”
Debbie Wasserman Schultz @DWStweets –Now more than ever, we must protect Floridians’ rights to work safely, secure a retirement and earn a living wage. I’m proud to be endorsed by @SEIUFL and to join them and the entire labor movement in fighting for workers and their families.
Congressman Greg Steube @RepGregSteube –With the election coming up in November, DC Democrats have hyper-politicized future CARES Act negotiations.Rather than putting politics aside and drafting legislation that would pass Congress, they choose to load the bills with leftist poison pills.
US Rep Kathy Castor @USRepKCastor –Specialized health care is coordinated in one place. Drs & nurses develop relationships with the families to the benefit of all. The pandemic hasn’t slowed the ‘round-the-clock care provided by St. Joe’s & our other children’s hospitals. I’m proud to continue to #SpeakNowForKids.
Rep. Donna E. Shalala @RepShalala–This week we will celebrate the 85th anniversary of Social Security, a program that changed what it means to grow old in America.Thank you to everyone who worked to pass and implement this extraordinary legislation.
Rep. Val Demings @RepValDemings–We have heard from caregivers that they lack adequate PPE and testing supplies. This is dangerous and not acceptable. I’ve joined a new letter led by @RepCharlieCrist to @AHCA_FL asking for a complete and public inventory of PPE at all long term care facilities in Florida.
Congressman Charlie Crist @RepCharlieCrist –Long-term care workers are putting their lives and the lives of those in their care at risk every day they go without adequate PPE. After hearing from staff, we’re calling on the State of Florida to get workers the protection they need NOW.
“Wasserman Schultz accused of assaulting minor during early voting” by The Floridian’s Javier Manjarres – As the final weekend of early voting comes to a close, an alleged altercation occurred between Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D) and one of her Democratic primary opponent’s volunteers. Attorney Jen Perelman tweeted out that her volunteer, Martina Velasquez, 16, was “physically shoved” and “verbally accosted” by Rep. Wasserman Schultz for questioning her “record on the environment while passing out campaign literature. Perelman then tweeted what appeared to be a veiled threat, tweeting,” I’m only going to say this once: If you want to put your hands on anyone, try it with me. Don’t you EVER touch my volunteer.” Velasquez then took it upon herself to release this video of her recounting the alleged incident, calling the veteran congresswoman “a monster.” “She ended up shoving me more than once and calling me a liar to my face,” said Velasquez. We could not reach Wasserman Schultz or her campaign for comment, but we did speak to Perelman about the incident. Perelman reiterated what her volunteer stated on her video, adding that Wasserman Schultz would “reach right over her (Martina) to talk to voters and say,” don’t vote for her, she’s my opponent.”
“Republican Party of Florida disavows ‘dishonest’ Trump group and it’s leader” by The Floridian’s Javier Manjarres – Less than 24 hours after The Floridian published a story that brought into question a recent voter guide that Annie Marie Delgado, president of the Trump Team 2020 for-profit corporation, put out to voters in Palm Beach County, the Republican Party of Florida has formally disavowed Delgado and her voter guide as being “dishonest”. The statement is a full repudiation of Delgado and her organization for leading voters to believe that she is somehow connected to the official Trump Victory campaign and the RPOF. “It is unfortunate to have to comment but it is necessary because this organization’s leader continues to intentionally confuse voters for personal gain after ignoring several cease and desist orders.”-RPOF Here is the statement: “Trump Team 2020 Florida LLC is not affiliated with the Republican Party of Florida, the Donald J. Trump for President campaign or Trump Victory. To be clear, its leader, Annie Marie Delgado has been dishonest about her organization, which is a distraction to the hard work being done by thousands of staff and volunteers across the Sunshine State to elect Republicans.”
“Aquino claims Trump will be endorsing his congressional campaign” by The Floridian’s Javier Manjarres – The Republican congressional primary race in Florida’s 19th District has become one of the most contentious and dirtiest races in the state this election cycle. Businessman and veteran Casey Askar has been gunning for all of the presumed frontrunning candidates – Reps. Byron Donald, Dane Eagle, and Dr. William Figlesthaler. Donalds and Eagle have both launched their fair share of attacks during the cycle, leaving “Dr. Fig” as the only candidate that has not gone negative. All of the candidates are claiming frontrunner status in the race, but could one of the other candidates turn out to be the spoiler, and perhaps sneak past the field and win the race outright? Darren Aquino’s campaign Twitter account has just announced that President Donald Trump will be endorsing his congressional campaign. The Floridian reached out to Trump Victory to confirm the imminent endorsement, but have not heard back. Aquino, who is running a gorilla warfare campaign has announced in an earlier campaign video that he is “the frontrunning candidate,” “the true frontrunner.” Aquino also claims that President Trump has been a friend of his family for 30 years and has called all of the recently released internal polls in the race “phony” and even went as far as to call his opponents as being “phony.” “We can’t send them to Washington. They lied now, they’ll lie then,” stated Aquino Eagle, Donalds, Figlesthaler, Askar, and Aquino are all running on a pro-Trump platform, with both Eagle and Donalds having had close ties to the campaign in the past, and have actually shared a stage with the president.
“Roger Stone endorses Spalding’s candidacy to defeat Wasserman Schultz” by The Floridian’s Javier Manjarres – Veteran political operative Roger Stone has picked a side in the Republican congressional primary race in Florida’s 23rd district. Stone has told The Floridian than he is endorsing Navy veteran Carla Spalding’s bid to unseated Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D). In an exclusive statement to The Floridian, Stone used the commutation of his prison sentence to take a swipe at Rep. Wasserman Schultz over her involvement in the Awan brothers theft case, calling the Florida congresswoman an “accessory to a felony in their crimes.” Stone also reminded Americans that the Democratic National Committee (DNC) under the leadership of Rep. Wasserman Schultz, “cheated” 2016 presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, and handed the nomination over to Secretary Hillary Clinton. Here is Stone’s statement in support of Carla Spalding: “I am proud to endorse Carla Spalding for Congress in the 23rd District. As a veteran and a nurse, she has a keen understanding of the problems our country is facing. Carla Spalding will be a practical and hard-working member of Congress and will represent the interests of her district rather than representing a completely partisan political agenda.”
“NYC Police Union Endorses Trump: ‘We Need Your Strong Voice’” by The Floridian’s Mona Salama – The New York City Police Benevolent Association formally endorsed President Trump re-election bid Friday evening, praising the law and order president for his “strong voice” supporting our New York’s finest and police officers across the nation. “I have 36 years in this job, 21 as a president of this fine organization. I cannot remember when we’ve ever endorsed for the office of President of the United States, until now — that’s how important this is,” PBA President Pat Lynch said while presenting Trump a bronze statue of a police officer with one hand on the shoulder of a child and the other holding the flag. “We need your strong voice across the country to say we have the support of law enforcement across this country.” “Mr. President, we are fighting for our lives out there. We don’t want this to spread to the rest of this country,” Lynch added. “Now, many times people say that a union like ours, law enforcement group, gives endorsements. Not in the New York City PBA, sir. In the New York City PBA, Mr. President, you earn the endorsement and you’ve earned this endorsement. I’m proud to give it,” Lynch added. The NYC PBA represents 24,000 rank-and-file cops — the nation’s largest of the city’s police unions. Trump warned the few hundred NYPD officers in attendance at his private club in Bedminster, N.J. if his opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden and his newly anointed running mate Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) are elected, they would immediately pass legislation to “gut every single police department in America.”
“FLASHBACK: Kamala Harris in 2018 Jokes About Killing Trump” by The Floridian’s Mona Salama – Presumptive Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris in an appearance on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” back in April 2018 laughed hysterically while joking about killing President Trump and members of his administration in an imagined elevator emergency scenario. During a segment called “20 Questions,” Harris was asked towards the end of the rapid-fired light-hearted questions: “If you had to be stuck in an elevator with either President Trump, Mike Pence or Jeff Sessions who would it be?” After rolling her eyes and turning her head away for a split second, Harris quipped “Does one of us have to come out alive?” then hysterically laughing for several seconds. The audience would then follow suit and roared into laughter from Harris response, with DeGeneres putting down her question cue cards to clap and dying into laughter. Obviously, Harris’s response was a joke and didn’t literally mean what she said about actually killing Trump or Pence. But, the fact that this was the first thing Harris thought about when she heard Trump’s name and the possibility of being stuck alone in an elevator is frankly quite disturbing.
“Trump Signs Bipartisan Bill Addressing Racial Inequalities” by The Floridian’s Daniel Molina – President Trump (R) has announced that he signed the Commission on the Social Status of Black Men and Boys Act into law, which establishes the Commission on the Social Status of Black Men and Boys within the United States Commission on Civil Rights’ Office. The office will be in charge of recommending policies that will improve current government programs. Specifically, Florida Senator Marco Rubio (R) partnered with Florida Rep. Frederica Wilson (D) to help pass the bill through both the House and the Senate this year. In response to the passage of the bill, Senator Rubio applauded the President in signing it, arguing that “America is more successful when its citizens have equal access to economic opportunity and prosperity, and this is particularly relevant for young black men.” The Florida lawmaker added that “for too long, our nation has ignored this challenge,” noting that he is “grateful for Representative Frederica Wilson, and her decades-long partnership on these critical issues.” In addition, Rubio asserted that “now more than ever, it is imperative that we take action to address the racial inequalities that continue to plague our nation,” adding that “as we confront the challenges of the 21st Century, we will need to rely on the talents and contributions of every American.”
“Trump Slams Biden For Taking Credit For UAE-Israel Peace Deal” by The Floridian’s Mona Salama – President Trump laughed off presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden for trying to take credit for the “historic peace deal” the Trump Administration brokered between Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) slamming the Obama-Biden administration “weak” foreign policy that led to the “terrible deal with Iran.” “We announced the deal and even the New York Times gave it great coverage and editorials today, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post everybody was saying great,” Trump told reporters when asked his response to Biden’s statement. “This is something we’ve been working very hard on. And I saw where Sleepy Joe tried to claim credit for it, and I’m trying to figure out how that one works.” Trump on Thursday announced the United States brokered a “Historic Peace Agreement” between the United Arab Emirates and Israel, saying the diplomatic breakthrough amongst the two Middle East nations have agreed to “full normalization of relations.” “This historic diplomatic breakthrough will advance peace in the Middle East region and is a testament to the bold diplomacy and vision of the three leaders and the courage of the United Arab Emirates and Israel to chart a new path that will unlock the great potential in the region,” according to the joint statement released after the three leaders — Trump, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed spoke Thursday morning.
“Trump To Counter DNC Programming With Visit To Four Swing States” by The Floridian’s Mona Salama – President Trump will hit the road next week, campaigning in four states the same time Democrats will virtually gather for the Democratic National Convention. On Monday, Trump will visit Minnesota and Wisconsin while on Tuesday will head to Arizona to hold events highlighting “Joe Biden’s record of failures” and draw contrasts with his opponents on issues like “law and order, jobs, the economy, and immigration.” The travel plans, according to a Trump campaign staffer includes stops in Mankato, Minnesota, and Oshkosh, Wisconsin where Trump will speak at both stops on the issue of the economy and jobs. For Tuesday, Trump will travel to Yuma, Arizona to discuss immigration and the expected plan for Thursday will be scheduled before Biden gives his acceptance speech will be on the topic of former Vice President record of failure that includes jobs and trade policy. The events will seek to counter the Democratic convention that is officially being held virtually. During the two days, Trump will hold events, former Presidents Obama and Clinton, former First Ladies Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton, Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and others are expected to address the convention remotely. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is scheduled to speak on Tuesday, but will only get 60 seconds to speak. Trump is also expected to travel to his presumptive Democratic nominee opponent Joe Biden hometown of Scranton, Pa., next Thursday, the same day the former Vice President will give his acceptance nomination speech in Delaware. This trip, according to the Trump campaign has yet to be officially announced.
“Local Florida officials become latest to create Eviction Diversion Program to help renters” by Fox Business’ Lucas Manfredi – More relief is on the way for Orange County, Florida tenants in imminent danger of eviction due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Orange County Board of County Commissioners has unanimously approved the Orange County COVID-19 Eviction Diversion Program, an income-based assistance program that will provide tenants unable to pay their rent with up to $4,000 in relief. “COVID-19 adds a lot of stress to our lives. One thing I don’t want our Orange County residents – especially the very low and low income – is to worry about being evicted from their homes,” said Orange County Mayor Jerry L. Demings in a statement. “This new assistance program will help our residents stay afloat during this unprecedented time.” Those eligible to apply for the program must meet the following criteria:
· Orange County resident
· Property is the tenant’s primary residence
· Lease is in the tenant’s name and tenant is responsible for paying a portion or the full amount
· One or more members of the household experienced a documented, involuntary loss of income that occurred due to the COVID-19 public health emergency
· Date of job loss, reduction in employment hours or pay occurred between March 13, 2020 and September 1, 2020
· Must have received an eviction notice, letter from their landlord to participate in the program or referral from the court
· At least two months behind in rent and the arrears were accrued between April 1, 2020 and August 11, 2020
· No other person in the household has applied for or will apply for the Orange County COVID-19 Eviction Diversion Program
· Required to certify their household income prior to and after April 1, 2020
· Eligibility is income-based with a focus on very low and low income
· Demonstrates ability to pay rent after arrears are paid by Orange County
“After anti-Semitism outcry, Florida State U makes changes for Jewish students” by Times of Israel/JTA – Six weeks after thousands of Florida State University students petitioned for their student body president to be removed over social media posts they described as anti-Semitic, the school’s president has announced several changes aimed at making Florida State more hospitable for Jewish students. In an open letter to the campus community, John Thrasher said he wanted “to reaffirm that anti-Semitism and religious discrimination have no home at Florida State University” and outlined what he said were “significant developments on campus to combat Antisemitism.” A task force will review Jewish student life on campus, students will be surveyed about anti-Semitism on campus and staff will be trained annually on issues including anti-Semitism, religious discrimination and ways to foster a more inclusive campus for Jewish students and employees, he wrote. Plus, the school has reestablished a Jewish Student Union and is creating an alumni network “to provide enhanced support and educational resources for all our students,” Thrasher wrote, while the university calendar will be revised to include “all significant religious holidays.” Thrasher’s letter comes about six weeks after more than 8,000 FSU students signed an online petition to remove the student senate president over social media posts described as anti-Semitic, and less than a month after the student senate passed a resolution that would help to combat anti-Semitism on campus, which also recognized the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of anti-Semitism.
“Florida COVID Positivity Rate Continues to Fall” by Tallahassee Reports Staff – The latest reports from the Florida Department of health show that for the second consecutive day the COVID positive test rate is below 8%. The numbers for August 15 show that 7.73% of 50,486 tests were positive. The August 14 update reported a 7.69% positive rate with 96,000 tests. The chart below shows the 7-day average of the Florida COVID positive test rate has been trending down since a 15.44% rate on July 8, 2020. After the peak, the 7-day average has fallen to 9.13% as reported on August 15th. The current COVID hospitalizations are following a similar trend with the peak occurring around July 20th.
“Central Florida Parents Anxious as New School Year Begins” by My New 13’s Rachael Krause – Some students across Central Florida have already started the school year with virtual learning underway for the fall semester. On Monday, students across Seminole County will start their school year, some virtually and others in-person as they head back to the classroom. Parents could choose between virtual, Seminole Connect, a hybrid model and in-person instruction for the upcoming school year. “I’m stressed a little bit of how everything is going to go down,” said Mia Diercks, a Seminole County Schools parent. With the start of SCPS now hours away on Sunday, Diercks’s third and eighth grade kids will go back virtually. Even with both parents working from home, this choice for her kids was far from simple. “It was a last-minute decision. We decided to keep them with Seminole Connect for nine weeks and just kind of feel it through, see what happens. But we did go back and forth a lot, like three times a day,” Diercks said. For Diercks, fears of her kids or others getting sick topped the need for socialization and experiences that in-person learning can bring. Those concerns over the health and safety of students are growing for many after the American Academy of Pediatrics released data finding a 90-percent increase in new cases of coronavirus in children in the past four weeks. “So that increase worries me because we know that kids will continue as these numbers are rising, more kids can be infected,” said Dr. Candice Jones, American Academy of Pediatrics Spokesperson and Orlando Pediatrician.
“Florida felons voting clarification comes too late for the primary” by WEAR TV’s Mike Vasilinda – The Florida Secretary of State quietly published guidance for people with felon convictions to determine whether they are eligible to register to vote. There was no press release. The Felon Voting Rights guidance just appeared on the Division of Elections website. It even caught Desmond Meade by surprise. He led the charge for the 2018 felons voting rights amendment. “They didn’t give notice to any of the organizations that they know are working to help returning citizens participate in our democracy,” said Meade, who serves as Executive Director of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition. The new guidance clarifies as long as a felon has paid the total of what the originally owed they can register. Additional fees or interest added to their original debt can’t count against them. Felons can also ask the Secretary of State to determine if they’re eligible, but Meade said even with the new guidance that the process hasn’t been fleshed out. “They’re not telling a person exactly what to do and in addition, they’re not even giving the timeline for a person to get a response,” said Meade. Meade called the guidance too little too late. “We have hundreds of thousands of returning citizens in the State of Florida who wish they could have been participating in the primary elections that’s going on right now in their community,” said Meade.
“Florida congressman wants Lake O releases stopped completely on East Coast” by Wink News’ Stephanie Byrne – One look at Lake Okeechobee, and you immediately can see its vastness and beauty. But it’s what’s lurking in the water that has people on both coasts of Florida concerned. Neither side wants the government to release water in its direction because of algal blooms. U.S. Rep. Brian Mast (Fla-R), who represents District 18 on the East Coast, is pushing legislation that in part, asks the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to study the impact of stopping discharges from Lake O to the east. “That provision in the Water Resources Development Act that talks about a complete end to discharges to the St. Lucie is asking that the Corps of Engineers do a study and come back with, ‘This would be the result of a total end to all discharges to the St. Lucie,’” Mast said. In short, it’s to weigh the possibilities. “To be fair, we don’t know everything that it looks like for the West Coast, or for the Everglades, or for the St. Lucie or the Lake Worth Lagoon or anywhere else,” Mast said. “But that’s why we’re asking the Corps of Engineers to go out there and actually look at that.” Now retired and living in Florida, Doug Akins of North Fort Myers spends his mornings fishing. “I get up every morning … get ready, get my gear ready and walk down to the pier,” Akins said. Akins pays attention to what comes down the river and doesn’t want harmful discharges from the lake.
“Democratic convention sees party unity mission: Keep ‘restive’ Bernie Sanders supporters from blowing this” by Fox News’ Paul Steinhauser – For a party that endured a wide-open presidential primary with more than two-dozen candidates ranging from the left to the middle – and with the wounds of disunity from 2016 still healing – achieving party unity at this week’s Democratic National Convention is a top priority. And Democrats are intent on making sure history doesn’t repeat itself. Four years ago after a divisive primary battle, populist champion Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont endorsed presumptive nominee Hillary Clinton. But there was plenty of bad blood at that summer’s Democratic convention. The confab, held in hot and humid Philadelphia, was rocked by progressive protests that were televised live on the national cable news networks. The deep divisions were a contributing factor in Donald Trump’s upset victory over Clinton. Fast forward four years and once again the left fell short, as progressive standard-bearers Sanders and Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts were defeated in the primaries by more moderate former Vice President Joe Biden. But this time around, with a common enemy in the White House, the worst pandemic this country’s faced in a century and a primary process that ended much earlier than four years ago, a repeat performance of the widescale enmity of 2016 could well be avoidable.
“Judge orders Trump campaign to produce evidence of voter fraud in Pennsylvania” by CNN’s Katelyn Polantz – A federal judge in Pennsylvania told the Trump campaign and the Republican Party that they must produce evidence they have of vote-by-mail fraud in the state by Friday. The judge’s order, in a high-profile case about vote-by-mail in the battleground state, essentially forces the Trump campaign to try to back up President Donald Trump’s false claims about massive voter fraud in postal voting. “The Court finds that instances of voter fraud are relevant to the claims and defenses in this case,” District Judge J. Nicholas Ranjan wrote on Thursday, telling Republicans that they need to provide evidence of fraud to the Democratic Party and the Sierra Club, which are part of the lawsuit. The Democrats had asked for information and documents that would show steps the Republicans took to study the possibility of fraud, especially related to the use of dropboxes, ballot collection and mailed-in ballots in the primary elections. The Trump campaign and Republicans had refused to do so. But with Thursday’s court order, they must answer questions from the Democratic groups and turn over records of communications — or say they have none. The Trump campaign has until Friday to respond, the judge said. The Trump campaign “should not be permitted to raise such spectacular fraud related claims, particular in this national climate,” lawyers representing the Democrats wrote.
“Democrats Press Postmaster General to Testify Before Congress” by WSJ’s Andrew Restuccia, Natalie Andrews and Alexa Corse – Democratic lawmakers called the leaders of the U.S. Postal Service to testify before Congress and said the House would return early from recess to vote on related legislation, amid concerns over mail delays ahead of an election season in which some states are expanding mail-in voting because of the coronavirus pandemic. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) and top Democrats called for new Postmaster General Louis DeJoy and Robert Duncan, chairman of the Postal Service Board of Governors, to appear at a hearing Aug. 24. She also said the House would reconvene this week for a rare August vote on legislation prohibiting the Postal Service from implementing operational changes. A Democratic aide said the vote would likely be on Saturday. Dozens of Democratic state attorneys general held a conference call Sunday to discuss potential options, including litigation, to ensure that ballots sent by mail are counted. The moves come as the Postal Service has warned it can’t promise it will deliver all ballots in time to be counted if they are mailed close to Election Day. The White House has balked at Democrats’ postal-funding requests and President Trump has spoken out against widespread mail-in voting. Meanwhile, postal-union representatives and some customers have complained about significant delays in recent weeks, which come after Mr. DeJoy started implementing cost-saving measures that had been recommended earlier by the agency’s watchdog.
“Biden-Harris ticket aims to spark enthusiasm at Democratic convention after low-key campaign” by Fox News’ Paul Steinhauser – For the past five months, President Trump, his campaign and his allies have mercilessly ridiculed Democratic challenger Joe Biden for “hiding in his basement” of his home in Wilmington, Delaware. Monday’s kickoff to the Democratic National Convention marks Biden’s moment to reset the narrative about the energy behind his candidacy. For one, he’ll get out of the “basement,” even as the pandemic-afflicted convention will be largely virtual — planning to deliver his nomination address later in the week from a convention center in Delaware. The star-studded lineup will aim to fire up a base that has suffered from an enthusiasm deficiency ever since Barack Obama stopped topping the Democratic ticket, with musical guest performances from John Legend and others stacked alongside addresses by the Obamas, the Clintons and (briefly) AOC. “A huge priority has to be making the people who are watching from all around the country are enthusiastic about the national ballot, that they are excited about making their voices heard and that they feel invested and hopeful,” longtime Democratic consultant and communications strategist Lynda Tran said. The four-day affair will also mark the test run for how the unprecedented virtual convention can be conducted, before Republicans follow suit the following week. For their part, the GOP is ready to batter Biden and his party for the duration of convention week. Expect to hear echoes of the allegations they’ve piled on the former veep all season.
“South Dakota turns down Trump’s unemployment benefits boost” by CNN’s Tami Luhby – Unemployed South Dakota residents will not see a $300 federal boost in weekly jobless benefits after Gov. Kristi Noem opted to turn down President Donald Trump’s executive offer. “South Dakota’s economy, having never been shut down, has recovered nearly 80% of our job losses,” Noem, a vocal supporter of the President, said in a statement on Friday. “South Dakota is open for business — that applies to our business owners and their employees.” In an executive action announced last weekend, Trump said the federal government would provide the jobless with a $300 payment, using $44 billion in disaster relief money from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The move came after Congress failed to extend its unemployment supplement, which expired at the end of July after providing the unemployed with $600 a week for four months. But states would have to accept the Trump administration’s offer, which would require they create a new payment system since it’s not part of the existing unemployment program. Initially, the President said the unemployed would receive as much as $400 a week, but that states would have to put up $100 of that amount. After an outcry from cash-strapped states, the Department of Labor said states can count the state benefits they are already paying toward the match requirement. It could take weeks for the Lost Wages Assistance money to start flowing to the unemployed, according to some experts, though the administration said it can be done in two weeks. Payments will be retroactive to the week ending August 1 but may last for only six weeks if all states sign up.
“Trump Administration Eyes New Phase of Syria Sanctions” by WSJ’s Ian Talley and Benoit Faucon – The Trump administration is readying new rounds of sanctions against Syria, U.S. officials said, planning to expand its blacklist by focusing on financial-support networks outside the war-torn nation in a renewed effort to coerce Damascus into peace talks. As President Bashar al-Assad has secured military and political gains in recent months, the U.S. officials say that targeting the regime’s financial lifelines from supporters in other countries will escalate international pressure for a negotiated peace and political transition. To do that, the U.S. wants to cut off financing for the Assad regime from abroad, investigating the networks of international companies connected to the regime and stepping up diplomatic efforts to pressure governments, including U.S. allies, to sever cash flows, the officials said. The efforts follow moves by the U.S. Treasury and State Department to sanction nearly three dozen individuals and businesses over the last two months, particularly focusing on Assad family members who the U.S. says form the core of the Syrian president’s power structure and help finance the regime. Recent targets include Mr. Assad’s son and British-born wife, who U.S. officials say is overseeing a large portfolio of commercial assets. The Trump administration has sanctioned members of the Assad family and others under the Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act, which seeks to pressure the regime over violence against civilians. Additional sanctions are being prepared, U.S. and Western officials say, with several other contacts and networks under scrutiny. Those include supporters and associates of the Syrian regime in Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates, as well as real estate and other firms in Europe tied to the Assad family and to a leading Syrian businessman who is related to Mr. Assad, they said.
“Trump slams Kamala Harris as ‘the worst in the Senate,’ says she is ‘more liberal’ than Bernie Sanders” by Fox News’ Brooke Singman – President Trump slammed Joe Biden’s running mate Kamala Harris as “the worst in the Senate,” casting her as “more liberal” than progressive Sen. Bernie Sanders. During an interview with Sinclair’s Eric Bolling on “America This Week” over the weekend, the president slammed Harris, D-Calif., as the “nastiest” of any senator. “She’s the nastiest of anybody in the Senate. She was the worst, meanest person to Judge Kavanaugh who became Justice Kavanaugh,” Trump said. “I’ve never seen anything like it.” The president went on to say that he “heard actually that she is the most liberal person in all of Congress.” “That’s what I’ve heard,” he said. “More liberal than Bernie Sanders, believe it or not.” The president was apparently referring to GovTrack.us, which ranked Harris as the “most liberal” U.S. senator in 2019. The organization tracks Congress and information on lawmakers and their voting records, touting itself as “one of the oldest government transparency websites in the world,” The website noted that Harris was “ranked most liberal compared to all senators” in 2019. The group’s analysis was based on senators’ “legislative behavior by how similar the pattern of bills and resolutions they cosponsor are to other members of Congress,” according to its website. “The score can be interpreted as a conservative-liberal scale, although of course it only takes into account a small aspect of reality,” the website stated.
“Voters in North Carolina have received absentee ballot request forms in the mail with Trump’s face on them” by CNN’s Fernando Alfonso III – Given the crisis facing the United States Postal Service before a presidential election, the last thing John Herter expected to receive in the mail Saturday was an absentee ballot request form with President Donald Trump’s face on it. “Is this a joke?” Herter said his wife told him as she opened up the mailer to reveal a photo of Trump grinning underneath the words, “Are you going to let the Democrats silence you? Act now to stand with President Trump.” Herter, of Lincoln County is among a group of voters in North Carolina to receive the mailer over the past few days after Trump said that he opposed crucial USPS funding because he doesn’t want to see it used for mail-in voting this November.
During an interview on Fox News last week, Trump said that if USPS does not receive the additional $25 billion funding request that Democrats included in the ongoing stimulus negotiations, then he believes the Post Office won’t be able to handle the influx of mail-in ballots in the upcoming election. The pandemic has led to high levels of voting-by-mail, but the President has tried to restrict this method because he said it is filled with fraud and abuse, claims that CNN has fact-checked multiple times and which are largely without merit.
“Stimulus Stalemate Leaves Vulnerable Lawmakers Empty-Handed” by WSJ’s Natalie Andrews – The stalemate over the next phase of legislation to combat the coronavirus pandemic means people will see cuts to benefits as the campaign season gets into full swing and incumbents are forced to explain to voters why they were unable to provide more relief. In an election that will be largely a referendum on the Trump presidency, some strategists in both parties say that what Congress does in the next few months won’t matter because most voters’ minds are made up. But for the tens of millions out of work, the cut in their unemployment checks will be visible, and lawmakers will likely hear about it during their August recess. Those in competitive races are taking steps to try to break the logjam and get people back to the negotiating table. As members of the Problem Solvers Caucus, Democratic Reps. Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey, Abigail Spanberger of Virginia and Dean Phillips of Minnesota—all lawmakers in competitive seats—met with White House chief of staff Mark Meadows on Friday, along with Reps. Jimmy Panetta (D., Calif.), Tom Reed (R., N.Y.), Anthony Gonzalez (R., Ohio) and Pete Stauber (R,. Minn.). The group plans to meet again. Democrats have said they are willing to move to $2 trillion on the next coronavirus bill, a step down from the $3.5 trillion of a bill they passed in May. The administration has set its goal for the size of the next bill at $1 trillion, which Democrats say isn’t enough to handle the needs of states and cities, schools, the unemployed and those struggling to eat. Republicans are divided on whether more relief is necessary and don’t want to give money to states for budget shortfalls that existed before the pandemic.
President Donald Trump @realDonaldTrump–Vote for TRUMP on November 3rd. I am going to bring our beloved New York back!
Nancy Pelosi @SpeakerPelosi –The assault by President Trump & his mega-donor Postmaster General Louis DeJoy on the Postal Service threatens lives, livelihood & life of our American democracy. I am calling on the House to return to vote on Chairwoman Maloney’s “Delivering for America Act.”