The RNC and Cuban Sandwiches
The center of the political world will be in Charlotte, North Carolina today as the RNC convention gets underway.
While members of the state GOP are already on the ground at the convention, and others like Rep. Matt Gaetz, Lt. Gov. Jeanette Nunez, Gov. Ron DeSantis, Sens. Rick Scott and Marco Rubio, could make a cameo appearance at the event, the big news of this past weekend was on Sunday as Sen. Scott reminded us all that it as National Cuban sandwich day.
Yes, the popular Florida eat has it’s own day of observance.
Oh, and by the way, Tropical Storm Laura will be taking a swipe at Florida as it travels south of Cuba. South Florida is expected to feels some occasion squalls but the eye of the storm will remain closer to Cuba.
Meanwhile, as the COVID-19 death rate in the state continues to drop, the case for getting back to a “new normal” continues to be made in Florida. Senator Rubio has been keeping Floridians updated on the downward trend of the virus with his daily Twitter postings.
Rep. Matt Gaetz @RepMattGaetz- America is not just an idea or a constitution. America is our home, and we must protect and defend our home.For if She falls, there is no alternative. There is no other place to go.Fight with all you have – for President @realDonaldTrump, for our country!
Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell @RepDMP –Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell–I joined @monroecounty for an update on #TropicalStormLaura. The Keys are under a Coastal Flood Watch starting tonight and ending late Monday. TS Laura will result in 1-2 additional feet of saltwater flooding. I will continue to monitor the storm.Stay safe everyone.
Rep. Stephanie [email protected] –Efforts to undermine @USPS—which is relied upon by all Americans—cannot stand. Today I voted to protect this vital agency from political interference and to give it the funding it needs to preserve the integrity of the upcoming election
Congressman Charlie Crist @RepCharlieCrist –#PeoplesHouse votes to #SaveUSPS, passing $25 billion in funding to protect Postal Service from cutbacks that delayed mail, hurting seniors, vets, and local small biz. Protecting Democracy and your right to vote by mail!
“Fly Wouldn’t Leave Mike Bloomberg Alone During Democratic Convention” by The Floridian’s Mona Salama – Billionaire Mike Bloomberg was given a prominent speaking spot, just before Democratic nominee Joe Biden took to stage to accept his nomination at the final night of the Democratic National Convention. His five minute remarks generated huge buzz, but not for what he said. A special guest was a flying bug that kept flying over Bloomberg and landed on his face a few times. Bloomberg slammed President Trump’s economic plan during his prime time speech on the final night of the Democratic National Convention, charging that he failed the American people “catastrophically” that must be defeated this November for the sake of the nation. “Why the hell would we ever rehire Donald Trump for another four years?! Bloomberg asked. “He has failed the American people, catastrophically.” Bloomberg would then unloading on Trump’s handling of the economy, saying he has done a “bad job.” “Tonight, I’m not asking you to vote against Donald Trump because he’s a bad guy,” he added. “I’m urging you to vote against him because he’s done a bad job,” Bloomberg said in his five-minute remark. “Let’s put an end to this whole sorry chapter in American history.” “Today, unemployment is at historic highs. And small businesses are struggling just to survive. It didn’t have to be this way,” Bloomberg continued. “Trump says we should vote for him because he’s a great businessman. Really?! He drove his companies into bankruptcy six times, always leaving behind customers and contractors who were cheated and swindled and stopped doing business with him.”
“Roger Stone Warns of Extensive Voter Fraud, Praises Laura Loomer” by The Floridian’s Daniel Molina – As the national dialogue continues regarding the upcoming general election and the accuracy of mail-in ballots, veteran political consultant Roger Stone sat down with The Floridian to share his thoughts on the divisive conversation that has erupted surrounding America’s presidential choice. When asked about mail-in balloting, Stone commented that “if the election were held today, I would be very concerned about the level of voter fraud I think is going to be across the board, across the country.” He expressed that this would negatively affect Trump’s reelection bid, and he pointed out some reasons as to why this is the case. “The growing internet censorship of Trump allies and supporters in social media is in preparation for this election,” he shared, adding that “the fake reporting by the mainstream media” also looks to damage the Trump presidency. As well, Stone questioned the Biden/Harris ticket in regards to the current political climate and the social justice changes that Democrats have been in support of in several states. “They want to defund the cops?” Stone questioned, noting that Democrats “just nominated the ultimate cop for Vice President.” “The only person on the political scene these days who’s locked up more poor, black people for the first-time non-violent crime of possessions of small amounts of drugs is Kamala Harris second only to Joe Biden who, as you know, is the architect of the 1994 crime bill they used to call the Biden bill,” Stone admitted.
“Married tax collector is accused of child sex trafficking and ‘illegally using state’s DMV database to look up a minor and women who he was engaged in “sugar daddy” relationships with’” by Daily Mail’s Luke Kenton – A former tax collector of a Florida county allegedly paid for sex with an underage girl and illegally used the state’s DMV database to look up information on the minor and women with whom he was engaged in ‘sugar daddy’ relationships with. The charges were unveiled against Joel Greenberg, the former tax collector of Seminole County until his resignation in June, in a criminal indictment filed by the US Attorney’s office on Friday. The document, which alleges six new counts against Greenberg in addition to six counts from two previous federal grand jury indictments, doesn’t offer specifics about the sex trafficking charge. However, the alleged incident involves a girl, aged between 14 and 17, and purportedly took place across a six month period in 2017. That charge alone is punishable by up to 10 years in prison. Greenberg, who is married, is also accused of violating the Driver’s Privacy Protection Act by using his access as an elected official to illegally look up information about the minor in The Florida Driver and Vehicle Information Database (DAVID). He reportedly looked up the girl’s photo, driver identification number, in addition to other information, according to the indictment. Prosecutors say he also used the database to look up other people, with whom he was embroiled in ‘sugar daddy relationships’ with, the document states. The term sugar daddy refers to an older, wealthy man who dates younger people and gives them gifts in exchange for companionship or sex.
“Florida woman shoots, kills man trying to break into her home” by Fox News’ Stephen Sorace – A Florida woman shot and killed a man who returned to her home after an argument early Saturday and tried to use a tire iron to smash his way inside, authorities said. The shooting happened just after 6 a.m. in an unincorporated area of Auburndale in Polk County, Sheriff Grady Judd said at a news conference. Judd said it appeared the “shooter was perfectly legal to defend her home from a burglar.” “You have a right to protect yourself in your home and be free from home invaders, armed burglars, and certainly he was armed with a tire iron and making an attempt to come in through the window,” Judd said. “She stopped him. She stopped him permanently.” The homeowner and the suspect were known to each other, the sheriff said. They had gone out the night before to a pool hall in Lakeland with another man and a woman who was the suspect’s live-in girlfriend. The group of four returned to the woman’s home around 4 a.m. after stopping at a liquor store for a bottle of whiskey. The suspect and his girlfriend got into a “heated argument” around 6 a.m., and the two men left the home, the sheriff’s office said in a news release. The two women stayed at the home. The suspect drove to the end of the street with his friend before deciding to turn around to get his girlfriend to go home with him, Judd said. The suspect banged and kicked the front door, demanding to see his girlfriend.
“Anti-Trump billboard funded by GoFundMe moved from Florida to Charlotte ahead of RNC” by WBTV – A Florida couple started a GoFundMe to raise money for an Anti-Trump billboard once they learned the Republican National Convention was being moved to Jacksonville. Matt Martz and his wife, of Street Smartz Consulting, a Democratic political firm, raised more than $3,400 for that billboard that reads, “150,000+ dead from the coronavirus…and Trump is asleep on the job.” However, since the RNC was moved from Jacksonville due to COVID-19 guidelines, Martz said he redirected the billboard to Charlotte where it will be moving around in a truck in uptown from the start of the RNC to the finish. WBTV saw the billboard on Sunday as it neared the Spectrum Center. “Our GoFundMe page was able to raise over $3,400 to send Trump a clear message that he wasn’t welcome in our community,” Martz said. “Trump’s lack of leadership has resulted in hundreds of thousands of Americans needlessly dying while other modern countries have largely restarted their economies and moved on from COVID-19.” The billboard, originally intended for Jacksonville, has already arrived in Charlotte in advance of Trump’s acceptance of the Republican nomination and will continue throughout the Republican National Convention. “We wanted to send a message that Trump has completely failed the COVID response and as a result, America is significantly behind every other developed country,” Martz said.
“Pam Keith wins Florida congressional primary with 80% of vote” by MSN – Florida congressional candidate and Navy vet Pam Keith has won her primary in a landslide with 80 percent of the vote. Jonathan Capehart talks with Keith about her big win, as one of the many black and other women of color running for Congress in unprecedented numbers.
“Florida Trump Supporter Charged After Allegedly Punching Biden Fan Over Yard Signs Quarrel” by CBS Miami – Deputies have charged a Florida supporter of President Donald Trump with a misdemeanor after they said he punched a Joe Biden fan because of a quarrel over yard signs. The Daytona Beach News-Journal reports that Anthony “Tony” Vullo, 55, is charged with misdemeanor battery after Volusia County sheriff’s deputies say he punched his 48-year-old neighbor, Joseph Lebert, on Friday outside their homes in DeBary. According to court records, Vullo had pulled up Lebert’s Biden sign and tossed it into Lebert’s yard. Vullo told reporters he did it because Lebert had put up his sign to block his Trump sign. Lebert confronted Vullo and Vullo punched him in the face, deputies and a neighbor say. Vullo told the paper that Lebert swung at him first. Vullo was released from jail Saturday and ordered to stay away from Lebert.
“Florida Surpasses 600,000 Coronavirus Cases” by Patch’s Paul Scicchitano – TALLAHASSEE, FL — The total number of coronavirus cases in Florida surpassed 600,000 Sunday as state health officials reported one of the lowest increases in new deaths in recent weeks and the 11th day where the daily positivity rate was under 10 percent. The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Florida climbed to 600,571 on Sunday, up from 597,597 a day earlier while Florida health officials reported 51 more deaths and 2,974 new cases of the coronavirus. Despite the apparent decline in people testing positive for the first time, Florida’s overall positivity rate was at 13.54 percent Sunday based on 4,435,417 total tests. Health officials said the daily positivity rate is calculated by taking the number of people who test PCR-or antigen-positive for the first time divided by all the people tested that day, excluding people who have previously tested positive. The total number of deaths in Florida rose to 10,325 Sunday from 10,274 a day earlier. Florida’s most recent one-day record of 276 reported deaths was set on Aug. 11. Health officials reported another 137 deaths involving non-Florida residents who died in Florida. Twelve of Florida’s 67 counties reported 52 new deaths on Sunday (health officials reported 51). That compares with 106 new deaths Saturday, 122 new deaths on Friday (health officials reported 119), 118 new deaths Thursday (health officials reported 117), 174 new deaths Wednesday, 219 new deaths Tuesday, 87 new deaths Monday (health officials reported 89 deaths) and 107 new deaths Sunday.
“Florida’s Pam Bondi, Jeanette Nuñez, Matt Gaetz to address Republican National Convention” by Tampa Bay Times’ Steven Contorno – Two of Florida’s most prominent Republican women will address the party faithful and the country at next week’s national convention. Lt. Gov. Jeanette Núñez and former Attorney General Pam Bondi are scheduled to speak Tuesday night at the Republican National Convention, the second day of the four-night confab. U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, a Panhandle Republican and one of Trump’s top allies in Congerss, will speak on Monday night. Meanwhile, some of the biggest names in Florida politics don’t have any announced role at the convention, including Gov. Ron DeSantis, U.S. Sens. Marco Rubio and Rick Scott. The inclusion of Núñez on the program is noteworthy given her past aversion to Trump. She tweeted during the 2016 election that Trump was “the biggest con-man there is” and insinuated that Trump was a supporter of the Klu Klux Klan. Núñez, a former South Florida lawmaker, supported Rubio in the GOP primary. She deleted the tweet when DeSantis named her his running mate in 2018. Bondi was one of Trump’s first supporters in the Sunshine State and was named one of president’s impeachment managers during the House hearings. Andrew Pollack, whose daughter Meadow was killed in the deadly 2018 Parkland high school shooting, is also scheduled to speak Monday. Another father of one of the slain students, Fred Guttenberg, addressed the Democratic National Convention last week.
“Six-year-old Florida girl becomes youngest person in the state to die from COVID-19” by ABC 7 – A six-year-old girl in Hillsborough County is now the youngest person to pass away from COVID-19 complications in Florida, according to a report by the Florida Department of Health. Her death was reported to the state on August 17. It is unknown if her case was travel-related or if she had any contact with someone who tested positive for the virus. So far, health officials say eight children, ages 17 and younger, have died from coronavirus complications since the pandemic began.
“Kim Jong Un in coma, sister set to take control, South Korean ex-diplomat alleges” by Fox News’ Bradford Betz – A South Korean diplomat is speculating that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has fallen into a coma and that his sister, Kim Yo Jong, is poised to take the rogue nation’s reins. Chang Song-min, a former aide to South Korea’s late president Kim Dae-jung, made the sensational claims to South Korean media, according to the New York Post. Chang suggested that Kim is in a coma, “but his life has not ended.” “A complete succession structure has not been formed, so Kim Yo-jong is being brought to the fore as the vacuum cannot be maintained for a prolonged period.” Chang’s allegation comes just days after South Korea’s spy agency said the North’s 36-year-old leader had delegated part of his authority to his close aides, including his younger sister, the Yonhap News Agency reported. In a private meeting with lawmakers last week, South Korea’s National Intelligence Service said that “Kim Yo-jong, the first vice department director of the Workers’ Party Central Committee, is steering overall state affairs on the delegation,” though Kim her brother still maintains “absolute authority.” Still, doubt lingers as to the veracity of the diplomat’s claims. Nor was it the first time that Kim’s prolonged absence from the public spotlight has fueled speculation about his health.
“Kushner says Israel-UAE deal ‘should increase the probability’ that UAE gets F-35 jets” by CNN’s Nick Neville – Jared Kushner suggested Sunday in an interview with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria that the recent peace agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates “should increase the probability” of an F-35 jet sale to the UAE. He said this had become a political issue in Israel over the last week or so, and acknowledged that the UAE has been trying to get the F-35 for a long time. “The group that wants them not to get it the most is obviously Iran because they’re right across the Strait of Hormuz from there,” he told CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria GPS” show. “And the reality is that this new peace agreement should increase the probability of them getting it, but it’s something we’re reviewing.” “Obviously we’ll look at the QME and we’ll do everything in accordance with the right standards, but it’s something that the State Department and the US military is looking at,” Kushner added. CNN reported last week that a secret push by Kushner to sell advanced arms — including F-35 stealth fighter jets — to the UAE has caused confusion and frustration among agencies and congressional committees that would normally be involved in such a sale but have been left in the dark. Kushner is supporting the administration’s discussions with the UAE about the potential advanced arms sale, which have been led by the NSC Senior Director for the Middle East, Miguel Correa, a senior administration official said.
“Former CIA Director Brennan Is Not Target of 2016 Election Probe” by WSJ’s Dustin Volz – Former Central Intelligence Agency Director John Brennan isn’t the subject of a criminal investigation related to an inquiry into the FBI’s counterintelligence probe of Russian interference in the 2016 election, a spokesman for Mr. Brennan said Friday. Mr. Brennan, who served under President Barack Obama, was interviewed for eight hours on Friday by Connecticut U.S. Attorney John Durham at CIA headquarters and asked about a “wide range” of intelligence-related activities undertaken by the CIA ahead of the 2016 presidential election, Nick Shapiro, who formerly served as Mr. Brennan’s chief of staff at the CIA, said. “Brennan was informed by Mr. Durham that he is not a subject or a target of a criminal investigation and that he is only a witness to events that are under review,” Mr. Shapiro said. The Justice Department didn’t immediately comment on the interview. Mr. Durham was selected by Attorney General William Barr more than a year ago to review the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s handling of its investigation into possible coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign. Earlier in the week, Mr. Barr said he might reveal before the November election at least some findings from Mr. Durham’s probe—remarks that came as Mr. Trump publicly expressed frustration with that investigation’s pace. In relation to Mr. Durham’s probe, a former FBI lawyer pleaded guilty this past week on a charge of altering a document used to seek the continued surveillance of former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.
“Trump aims for convention game change, planning patriotic program and Biden counterattacks” by Fox News’ Paul Steinhauser – The Republican National Convention kicking off Monday will be a four-day celebration of President Trump – and a visceral four-day condemnation of Democratic nominee Joe Biden and his party. Coming off a week during which Democrats used their quadrennial confab to hammer the president’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic and warn that another four years of Trump in the White House would threaten the nation’s democratic foundations, Trump is promising to counter the message with a positive vision of “American greatness.” Trailing the former vice president in the national public opinion polls – and more importantly also down by single-digit margins in many of the key general election battleground states that will decide the White House contest – Trump is working to create game-changing moments that can alter the long-standing dynamic in the 2020 presidential race. “Where Joe Biden sees American darkness, I see American greatness,” the president said Friday at a gathering of the Council for National Policy, which is composed of leading Republican donors. “Four straight days attacking America, as a racist, horrible country that must be redeemed,” Trump said as he painted a portrait of the Democratic gathering as the “darkest, gloomiest” convention. “Joe Biden grimly declared a season of American darkness, but look at what we’ve accomplished, until the plague came in, and look, we’re doing it again.” “Four straight days attacking America, as a racist, horrible country that must be redeemed,” Trump said as he painted a portrait of the Democratic gathering as the “darkest, gloomiest” convention. “Joe Biden grimly declared a season of American darkness, but look at what we’ve accomplished, until the plague came in, and look, we’re doing it again.” The president pledged to showcase “what we’ve accomplished,” touting his tenure as “the most successful period of time in the history of the country.”
“Major Trump federal voting Pennsylvania lawsuit effectively shut down” by CNN’s Katelyn Polantz – President Donald Trump’s plan to sue Pennsylvania in federal court to determine how the state conducts mail-in voting has been effectively shut down by a US district court judge. The judge, Nicholas Ranjan of the US District Court in the Western District of Pennsylvania, decided Sunday that Trump’s federal lawsuit against the Secretary of the Commonwealth over the use of drop boxes, poll watching and other voting processes should be put on hold, while state court cases about voting move forward. It’s a setback for Republicans where there are several ongoing cases that could determine how the battleground state’s voters cast ballots this election. Ranjan was appointed by Trump, and the federal courts in some instances can be considered friendlier to conservative interests. “After carefully considering the arguments raised by the parties, the Court finds that the appropriate course is abstention, at least for the time being. In other words, the Court will apply the brakes to this lawsuit, and allow the Pennsylvania state courts to weigh in and interpret the state statutes that undergird Plaintiffs’ federal- constitutional claims,” Ranjan wrote Sunday. Pennsylvania is one of only a handful of states where Trump has sued to make mail-in voting tougher making this case a closely watched one. “The President’s fight against the problems of Pennsylvania’s radical new vote-by-mail system has been running on parallel tracks in state and federal court for some time,” Justin Clark, Trump 2020 deputy campaign manager, said in a statement to CNN.
“Trump Trails Biden, but Polls Show the President Has Some Strengths” by WSJ’s Aaron Zitner – President Trump heads into this week’s Republican National Convention with national polls showing him trailing in his race for re-election. But surveys also identify strengths in his political standing, some of them not widely noted, that could help him close the gap by Election Day. Mr. Trump lags behind Democratic nominee Joe Biden by 9 percentage points, this month’s Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll found. The president’s share of support, now at 41%, hasn’t topped 44% this year against Mr. Biden. Mr. Trump also trails the former vice president in aggregated polling of most battleground states, though his deficit is smaller than in national polls. “The president’s struggles aren’t with one specific group,” said Nathan Gonzales, editor and publisher of the nonpartisan Inside Elections report. “He’s struggling in the suburbs but also underperforming in rural areas. We look at individual congressional districts, and I can’t think of one where he’s performing as well as in 2016.” But in a few ways, the president’s position is stronger than head-to-head polling shows. At this point in the last election, Mr. Trump trailed his Democratic opponent by 9 percentage points in Journal/NBC News polling, as he does today. Still, Mr. Trump won the Electoral College, which decides the president, that November. And his public image has picked up some shine. More voters saw Mr. Trump in a negative light than a positive one in the most recent poll, by a margin of about 12 percentage points. But at this time four years ago, negative views outnumbered positive ones by 33 percentage points.
“Trump announces emergency authorization of ‘breakthrough’ coronavirus treatment” by Fox News’ Bradford Betz – President Trump on Sunday granted an emergency authorization for the usage of convalescent plasma to treat coronavirus patients, dubbing it a “major breakthrough.” Speaking to reporters from the White House Sunday, Trump said the FDA has “issued an emergency use authorization… for a treatment known as convalescent plasma.” “This is a powerful therapy that transfuses very very strong antibodies from the blood of recovered patients to help treat patients battling a current infection,” Trump said, adding that the authorization will “expand access to this treatment.” “Based on the science and the data, the FDA has made the independent determination that the treatment is safe and very effective,” Trump said, before urging all recovered COVID-19 patients in the USA to donate their blood plasma. White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany announced Trump’s press conference in a Saturday-night tweet, writing it involved “a major therapeutic breakthrough on the China virus.” Trump’s announcement Sunday follows White House officials suggesting last week that there were politically motivated delays by the Food and Drug Administration in approving a vaccine and therapeutics for the coronavirus. The treatment takes convalescent plasma from patients who have recovered from the coronavirus and is rich in antibodies. Though it may provide benefits to those fighting the virus, the evidence has been inconclusive as to how it works or how best to administer it.
“USPS warns House bill will ‘constrain the ability’ of it to make operational changes” by CNN’s Kristine Holmes – As Postmaster General Louis DeJoy prepares to face on Monday his second congressional hearing in just a few days, the US Postal Service warned that some of the measures in the House postal bill passed Saturday “while well meaning, will constrain the ability of the Postal Service to make operational changes that will improve efficiency, reduce costs, and ultimately improve service to the American people.” The bill would forbid the USPS from making changes to its operations — such as dismantling sorting machines or removing collection boxes — until the coronavrius pandemic has ended. USPS has said such measures would help it deal with major losses. The bill, which passed in a mostly party line vote with 26 Republicans supporting it, is not expected to be taken up in the Senate.
In a Sunday evening statement, the USPS said it “greatly appreciates the efforts of the House of Representatives to assist us” but added it was “concerned” about the impact of the some of the bill’s requirements. “We look forward to continuing to work with Congress on more meaningful reform that will ensure our long-term health, and we remain a vital part of our nation’s critical infrastructure,” the statement read. As DeJoy told a Senate panel Friday, the USPS is reassuring the public about its ability to handle an expected major increase in the volume of vote by mail during this year’s election.
“House Passes Emergency Bill to Halt Immigration-Agency Cuts” by WSJ’s Michelle Hackman – The House on Saturday unanimously passed a bill to provide emergency funding to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the primary agency running the nation’s immigration system that is set to furlough roughly two-thirds of its employees at the end of this month. The bill passed moments after the House voted on legislation to prevent cutbacks at the U.S. Postal Service, which brought members of Congress back to Washington for a rare Saturday session. Rep. Jamie Raskin (D., Md.) brought up the bill using a procedure known as unanimous consent, which allows bills to bypass roll-call votes so long as no lawmakers object. Pressure has been mounting through the week to shore up USCIS, the agency that handles citizenship, green-card, visa and other immigration applications. The agency plans to furlough about 70% of its staff on Aug. 31, and should the furlough move ahead, most of the agency’s work is expected to come to a halt. That could potentially prevent more than 100,000 people waiting to take their citizenship oaths from becoming citizens ahead of November’s elections. In a written statement, Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D., Calif.), the bill’s sponsor, said the legislation should spur the Trump administration to delay its planned furloughs, which would affect about 13,400 employees. The bill’s path in the Senate wasn’t immediately clear. Though that chamber won’t return until September, any senator can bring up the bill using another unanimous-consent request. Spokesmen for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) and the White House didn’t return requests for comment.
President Donald Trump @realDonaldTrump–The greatest Election Fraud in our history is about to happen. This may top the Democrats illegally spying on my campaign!