JUICE – Florida Politics’ Juicy Read -8.27.20 – Florida’s Rx Drug Problem – Hurricane Laura -Handcuffing Police in Miami-Dade – More…
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JUICE – Florida Politics’ Juicy Read -8.27.20 – Florida’s Rx Drug Problem – Hurricane Laura -Handcuffing Police in Miami-Dade – More…

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HURRICANE LAURA

The storm made landfall with 150 mph sustained winds around the Lake Charles, Louisiana area and has caused severe damage to the city of Lake Charles.

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Here is the latest from the National Hurricane Center:

Hurricane Laura has weakened to a Category 2 storm with maximum sustained winds of 110 mph, with its center located 45 miles north-northwest of Lake Charles, La. The storm is still moving north at 15 mph, with hurricane conditions “spreading further inland” across southwestern Louisiana. “Catastrophic storm surge, hurricane force winds, and flash flooding will continue this morning,” the NHC said in an update.

The RNC and Police

Just as Vice President Mike Pence continued the praise and support for law enforcement during his speech at the RNC Convention Wednesday, the issue of defunding police as become a mainstay issue for Democrats across the country, even if they emphatically proclaim that they do not support defunding police.

This appears to be the case in the mayoral race in Miami-Dade, Florida, where Commissioner Danielle Levine Cava (D) says she doesn’t support defunding police, only allocating funds to social programs, and wants to all-but completely handcuff police when it comes to doing their jobs.

Her opponent, Commissioner Esteban Bovo (R) is running on a pro-Police platform. READ MORE

Drugs & Insurance

Overinflated Damages, Higher Cost of Insurance

By Doug Korinke for The Floridian

PBM’s continue to protect consumers from rising Rx drug costs

By Scott Lara for The Floridian

 

 

Mario Diaz-Balart @MarioDBThis is a significant development for #Floridians left unemployed as a result of #COVID19. I commend @POTUS for signing this executive order granting additional unemployment benefits to those in need, and I thank @GovRonDeSantis for his great work in our state.

Rick Scott @SenRickScott –Rick Scott –Hurricane #Laura has become an extremely dangerous storm. We are keeping those in Texas and Louisiana in our thoughts and prayers as it approaches and we hope every family is prepared. Florida stands ready to help.

US Rep Kathy Castor @USRepKCastor –100 years ago today, the #19thAmendment was enshrined in the Constitution of the United States, establishing for women the right to vote once and for all. Women suffered, bled and died for this hard-won victory in the fight for equality.

Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell @RepDMP –This #WomensEqualityDay South Florida is lighting up for women! Trailblazing women are a part of our roots—Miami is the only major American city founded by a woman. Let’s continue to make history & bring the glass ceiling crashing down!

Rep. Stephanie Murphy @RepStephMurphyKona & I had a chat today about at-home office etiquette and why he can’t bark during telephone town halls and interviews. It’s #NationalDogDay though, so he gets a pass (and who can stay mad at that face?).

AG Ashley Moody @AGAshleyMoody –Millions of students are headed back to school—many virtually. That means more time online, making them more vulnerable to online predators. As a mom, I know how scary that is, so I am issuing tips to help parents protect their children.

Bob Rommel @bob_rommel -Florida is no stranger to what Texas and Louisiana are braceIng for as the storm is headed their way. Because of that, our State and residents will assist when it’s needed.

Shevrin Jones @ShevrinJones -Stop tolerating relationships that are not helping you. If it’s stealing your peace or have you bound, it’s time to let it go. #GM #happyTHURSDAY #knowwhentoletgo

 

 

“Lincoln Project blames Trump for Kenosha shooting” by The Floridian’s Javier Manjarres – The Trump-obsessed Lincoln Project continues to show Americans that there is nothing they won’t blame on President Donald Trump. COVID-19? It’s Trump’s fault. The ailing U.S. economy? It’s Trump’s fault. Your car broke down? It’s Trump’s fault. You have bad gas? It’s Trump’s fault. The group of mostly disgraced Republicans, who it appears is completely funded by wealthy Progressive Democrats, is now blaming the shooting deaths of two individuals in Kenosha, Wisconsin after a police-involved shooting that sparked the demonstrations. The group tweeted that “Trump’s rhetoric” was “radicalizing our children” to presumably riot and shoot people. A 17-year-old has been arrested and charged with murder, but it’s still Trump’s fault, and Lincoln Project was quick to try to blame Trump, tweeting, “Who would want four more years of this?” Let’s put all the pieces together. A white police officer in Wisconsin shot and critically injured a black man. Riots ensued after the police-involved shooting, and after days of unrest and violence on the streets of Kenosha, a minor shot and killed two individuals that appear to have attacked him.

“Scott backs Trump’s condemnation of Erdogan’s Hamas Meeting” by The Floridian’s Daniel Molina – Shortly after news reached the airwaves that President Erdogan of Turkey had met with leaders of Hamas, which the United States and the European Union have both designated as a terrorist organizations, Erdogan received immediate criticism from the State Department. In a statement issued by Morgan Ortagus, the spokeswoman for the State Department, Erdogan criticized because of his “continued outreach to this terrorist organization only serves to isolate Turkey from the international community, harms the interests of the Palestinian people, and undercuts global efforts to prevent terrorist attacks launched from Gaza.” Moreover, Ortagus warned that the United States will “continue to raise our concerns about the Turkish government’s relationship with Hamas at the highest levels.” Now, Florida Senator Rick Scott (R), the former Governor of Florida, has taken to Twitter to voice his disapproval of the meeting, arguing that “Erdogan’s decision to once again meet with Hamas leaders, a terrorist organization that has targeted Israel and is responsible for the death of many innocent people, is dangerous to global efforts to counter terrorism.”

“MSNBC host promotes video of Russian military attacking U.S. forces” by The Floridian’s Javier Manjarres – MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell is openly anti-Trump and makes it a point criticize the administration whenever an opportunity presents itself, but now it appears as if O’Donnell may also have some ill-feelings for the U.S. military. O’Donnell retweet and commented on a video posted by a pro-Biden handle on Twitter that showed Russian military forces in Southern Syria assaulting U.S. forces. The “When the Russians see the American flag they drive straight into it” remark was nothing more than a slight against President Trump at the expense of the U.S. servicemen that were involved in the incident with the Russians. The video was shot and posted by the Russian military.

“Levine Cava’s police reform plan will handcuff officers” by The Floridian’s Javier Manjarres – Miami-Dade’s mayoral election is supposed to be a non-partisan contest between Miami-Dade Commissioners Esteban Bovo and Daniella Levine Cava and their respective messages for the residents of Florida’s largest county. But since the beginning of the race, Commissioner Levine Cava made it all about political affiliations, attacking Republican Bovo for supporting President Donald Trump and for his close ties to Sen. Marco Rubio, and painting herself as being the most progressive Democratic candidate in the race. Bovo surprised everyone by winning the August 18th primary race by garnering the Republican vote and garnering a significant number of Independents. Cava, who has promoted her unwavering support for Hillary Clinton during the primary, split the vote with former Mayor Alex Penelas. But now that the country is in full-swing presidential election mode, Cava has completely embraced the entire 2020 Progressive agenda, saying that she will all-but defund police. During a campaign Zoom call, Cava stated: “We are going to end knock-less warrants, to tamp down on foot-chasing, and various other activities that escalate violence and allow rogue officers to persecute our people. And so, all of these things together are part of my police reform program”

“Hillary Clinton Urges Biden Not to Concede ‘Under Any Circumstances’ On Election Night by The Floridian’s Mona Salama – Former 2016 Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton is continuing giving 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden her unsolicited advice, telling him do not concede “under any circumstance” on election night. Speaking with former communications director Jennifer Palmieri for Showtime’s “The Circus,” Clinton predicted the final results in the upcoming election are “going to drag out,” with Biden coming out as the winner. “Joe Biden should not concede under any circumstances because I think this is going to drag out, and eventually I do believe he will win if we don’t give an inch and if we are as focused and relentless as the other side is,” Clinton said in a preview clip. “So we’ve got to have a massive legal operation, I know the Biden campaign is working on that,” Clinton continued. “We have to have poll workers, and I urge people, who are able, to be a poll worker. We have to have our own teams of people to counter the force of intimidation that the Republicans and Trump are going to put outside polling places. This is a big organizational challenge, but at least we know more about what they’re going to do.” Clinton predicted a “couple of scenarios” the Republicans will do to win the 2020 race, alleging the other party will try to “mess up absentee balloting” to gain “a narrow advantage in the Electoral College” on Election Day. She mentioned Wisconsin’s primary that occurred in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic in April as an example where Republicans “did everything they could to mess up voting.”

“Florida shows small signs of partial economic recovery from coronavirus” by Tampa Bay Times’ Malena Carollo, Emily L. Mahoney and Sara DiNatale – Florida’s tourism-based economy is showing signs of a limited recovery after the pandemic devastated what was expected to be a record breaking year for everything from air travel to hotel stays. Indicators that tourists are returning to the state — such as airline passenger counts and hotel occupancy rates — inched up after May, particularly around the beaches, when the state began reopening. Unemployment claims have dropped since spring. But the visitors are nowhere near the usual masses, and unemployment remains perilously high. And the upticks are tempered by other areas of the economy that are still in distress. While home sales came surging back in June and July, there was also a second-quarter spike in the number of people who were delinquent on their mortgages. Bankruptcies, too, began to rise through June. And though the unemployment rate is falling after hitting historic levels, significant federal relief benefits for those out of work expired in July. A lesser replacement package appears on the way at last for Floridians. Here are some trend lines.

“Amid Florida’s budget shortfall, corporations lobby for more tax cuts” by Orlando Sentinel’s Jason Garcia – This spring, PetMed Express Inc., a nationwide pet pharmacy that sells nearly $300 million a year worth of medicines and supplies, got a six-figure gift from the state of Florida: A $285,000 income tax refund. Meanwhile, the company that owns Centennial Bank — which has branches in four states and $15 billion in assets — recently revealed that it paid $1 million less in Florida taxes last year. The tax savings for both companies stem from a roughly $2 billion package of temporary corporate tax cuts that some of the world’s biggest businesses lobbied through the Republican-controlled Florida Legislature in 2018 and 2019 — before the COVID-19 pandemic ripped a multibillion-dollar hole in Florida’s finances. Those corporate tax cuts are scheduled to expire at the end of next year. But now, citing the global pandemic, businesses are pushing state leaders to turn those temporary cuts into permanent breaks. In a new report issued this month, a “COVID-19 Taxpayer Task Force” — which is led in part by lobbyists representing Publix Supermarkets Inc., Walt Disney Co. and Walmart Inc. — called on state leaders to avert what it called a looming “tax increase” for corporations. “This tax increase would be a blow to companies trying to recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the task force wrote in its report. Opponents accuse corporate giants of exploiting the coronavirus crisis to continue a more than decade-long campaign to do away with Florida’s corporate income tax, which is already among the easiest to avoid in the nation. Only about 1 percent of Florida business pay the tax at all.

“Florida senators push for deal on COVID-19 relief package” by WWLP’s Kellie Meyer – After weeks of standoffs, Congress and the White House may be ready to return to the negotiating table for another round of COVID relief. “I can’t tell you we have a rock-solid deal signed on the dotted line, but we can,” Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) said Wednesday.Rubio sees the federal Paycheck Protection Program, that helped thousands of small business survive the early days of the pandemic, as the key to bringing Democrats and Republicans together. “Everyone wants PPP to be a part of the final deal because it’s what is going to get people to vote for it who may not otherwise vote for it,” Rubio added. The hardest part of making a deal may be what else gets included. Democrats want to see additional spending to boost state and local governments, but Republicans said the price tag is just too expensive. “Kellie, Democrats don’t want a deal,” Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) told Washington D.C. Correspondent Kellie Meyers. Scott said he’s working with the White House to find a solution. “I’m optimistic that we’ll get a very targeted bill passed,” Scott added. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) blamed Republicans for ignoring the $3 trillion relief bill the House passed in May. “That McConnell and Senate Republicans refuse to bring up for a vote,” Schumer said Wednesday. But Rubio hopes senate Democrats are ready to compromise.

“Top Florida Legislation Affecting the Construction Industry in 2020” by JDSupra’s Derrick Valkenburg – Earlier this year, the policymakers of Florida’s 2020 Legislative session tackled roughly 3,500 filed bills, passing roughly 200 and approving a $93.2 billion budget. Several pieces of this year’s legislative changes will substantially affect the construction industry.

This recap provides an overview of the notable legislation that stands to impact players within the construction industry: CS/HB 101 — Public Construction

·     This bill reduces the retainage cap from 10 percent of payments down to a flat rate five percent of payments throughout the term of the contract for construction services… The bill repeals:

o  The authority granted to a contractor to request the government entity to release up to half of the retained amount after fifty percent of the project is completed; and

o  The authority granted to a contractor to withhold more than five percent of each progress payment to his or her subcontractors after fifty percent of a project with a government entity is completed.

CS/CS/HB 441 — Public Procurement of Services

·     The bill amends the definition of “continuing contract” to increase the maximum dollar amount for each individual project and each individual study under the contract for construction projects. The maximum dollar amount for each individual project is increased from $2 million to $4 million, and the maximum dollar amount for each individual study is increased from $200,000 to $500,000.

“More scrutiny needed of Florida coronavirus isolation centers, seniors’ advocates say” by Advocates for nursing home residents have raised concerns that some facilities being used by Florida officials as isolation units for those who test positive for the coronavirus have a checkered history of citations. Despite official assurances that the facilities have been fully vetted, it’s a move they say could further endanger those who are already highly vulnerable. “Some of these centers are nursing homes that have been repeatedly fined or sued for negligent acts, including failing to institute adequate infection and disease control precautions,” said David Brevda, an attorney at the Boca Raton-based Senior Justice Law Firm. “We are dealing with numerous COVID-19 cases, and we have seen clients put into these amorphous ‘isolation’ centers. The rules and regulations governing these facilities are fast and ever-changing.” Four of the 23 Florida facilities set aside to serve as isolation centers for elderly coronavirus patients are on the American Health Care Association’s watch list for either failing to comply with the state’s minimum standards or operating under bankruptcy protection during the past 30 months. They are among the seven isolation facilities being used that currently hold ratings of “below average” by Medicare. One of the nursing homes, Avante at Boca Raton, was fined for more than $76,000 for various infractions in 2019. Florida has been a hot spot for the virus in recent weeks, averaging more than 3,000 new positive cases a day, though the figure has been falling since a peak last month. More than 4,000 of the state’s 10,500 coronavirus-related deaths have occurred at long-term care facilities.

“Florida Becomes 33rd State To Sign Up For Trump’s Extra Unemployment Payments” by Forbes’ Daniel Cassady – Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Florida would apply for President Trump’s enhanced unemployment program, becoming the 33rd state to do so, though it’s unclear how long the extra benefits, which are supplied by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, will last. DeSantis announced on Wednesday that Florida would apply for the enhanced unemployment program authorized by President Trump’s August 8 executive order, which would give out-of-work Floridians an extra $300 per week in federal benefits on top of the state’s maximum unemployment payout of $275. The benefit money comes from Federal Emergency Management Agency disaster relief funds, which also provides aid for hurricanes—once the state is approved, it should receive about three weeks worth of benefits, with additional benefits granted only with further approval and on a weekly basis. Since Trump signed the executive order on August 8, 32 states have signed up for the enhanced benefits, though so far, only Arizona, Texas and Missouri have been paid. According to Trump’s executive order, an additional $100 was supposed to be supplied to applicants by the states, bringing the total benefit to $400—but most states, suffering from shrinking tax revenue, have opted-out and plan on keeping the payments at $300. The extra benefits are capped at $44 billion, which means the funds, which are retroactive to August 1, will likely run out in early September.

“Syringe Exchange Programs Could Save Florida Hospitals Millions Of Dollars, Study Suggests” by WLRN’s Verónica Zaragovia – When people reuse syringes to inject intravenous drugs like fentanyl, they are at higher risk of infectious diseases like HIV or hepatitis C. In 2016, Miami-Dade County established Florida’s first legal needle exchange program in an effort to reduce problems that can come from sharing needles. It took years of campaigning by Dr. Hansel Tookes to get Florida’s Legislature to approve the Infectious Disease Elimination (IDEA) Act. At the time, Tookes was a student at the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine, where he now works as a professor. Based on the success of that pilot program, lawmakers approved a measure that Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law in 2019, which allows all of the state’s counties to set up their own programs. They often include not only the possibility to swap a used syringe for a new one, but also mental health counseling and HIV or hepatitis C testing, among other services. County lawmakers need to approve these exchanges in order to set them up, and they may use grants and private donations to fund them, for example, but not state, county or municipal dollars. These programs are slowly expanding across the state. In February, Hillsborough County approved its own. And Palm Beach County commissioners will vote Sept. 1 to potentially approve a program in the county. Two fourth-year students at the Miller School, and their faculty mentor, worked on a study — published in June — that suggests hospitals across the state save millions of dollars through these needle exchange programs because they avoid the spread of infectious diseases and because, usually, users are uninsured and need lengthy hospital stays to heal from severe infections

 

 

 

 

“Pence accepts VP nomination, warns voters ‘you won’t be safe in Joe Biden’s America’” by Fox News’ Paul Steinhauser – On a rare evening when he took top billing over his boss, Vice President Pence spotlighted President Trump’s accomplishments over the past four years and made the case for another term in the White House as he delivered his nomination acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention. But the vice president also painted a dark picture Wednesday of what the nation would look like if Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden wins November’s general election, warning that “you won’t be safe in Joe Biden’s America.” Pence said Biden “didn’t say one word” last week at the Democratic National Convention about the violence in American cities and then declared: “We will have law and order on the streets of this country.” The Trump re-election campaign previewed that the vice president would deliver an address with an “optimistic tone,” but Pence spent parts of his speech taking aim at the Democratic challenger and his party. Hammering home a theme the Trump campaign’s been voicing all summer, the vice president charged that “Joe Biden would be nothing more than a trojan horse for a radical left” and he emphasized that “the choice in this election has never been clearer and the stakes have never been higher.” Pence warned that “our economic recovery is on the ballot, law and order is on the ballot. But so are things far more fundamental and foundational to our country.” “President Trump set our nation on a path to freedom and opportunity from the very first day of this administration,” Pence said. “But Joe Biden would set America on a path of socialism and decline. But we’re not going to let it happen.”

“Lawsuit challenges Trump administration policy making it more difficult to get Green Cards” by CNN’s Geneva Sands – Advocate groups are challenging in federal court a Trump administration policy that makes it difficult for certain migrants to obtain Green Cards in the United States, as well as the appointment of Ken Cuccinelli, who oversaw the change. The lawsuit argues that a policy change, implemented last year when Cuccinelli was leading US Citizenship and Immigration Services, was done without a rationale for the change, was motivated by “animus against immigrants of color” and was carried out by an unlawful acting official. The case is the latest challenge to the legitimacy of the tenure of Cuccinelli, who now serves in the No. 2 spot at the Department of Homeland Security. The lawsuit comes just weeks after the Government Accountability Office concluded that acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf and Cuccinelli, the senior official performing the duties of deputy secretary, were appointed as part of an invalid order of succession. Seven migrants represented in the lawsuit allege that the change, issued as a “policy alert” last year, has prevented them from obtaining Green Cards. All seven plaintiffs have Temporary Protected Status, benefits from a decades-old program that provides deportation relief to immigrants from countries with armed conflict, natural disaster or disease. The Trump administration has moved to end this program for numerous countries, including Sudan, Nicaragua, Nepal, Honduras, Haiti and El Salvador, while also tightening restrictions on the program.

“Wisconsin Identifies Officer Who Shot Jacob Blake” by WSJ’s Erin Ailworth, Julie Wernau and Akane Otani – The state agency charged with investigating the police shooting of Jacob Blake said Wednesday that the 29-year-old Black man admitted to having a knife in his possession. It also identified the white police officer who shot him seven times in the back, setting off several nights of violent clashes, fires and looting. Meanwhile, a 17-year-old teenager was arrested in connection with a shooting that left two people dead and one injured during the unrest. Gov. Tony Evers said he authorized 500 Wisconsin National Guard members to assist Kenosha authorities in quelling the violence. By Wednesday evening, a diverse crowd of around 100 protesters marched through the streets of the city. Defying calls to stay home after the county’s 7 p.m. curfew, the protesters chanted, “Silence is violence” and “Enough is enough.” Many said they had been out on the streets for multiple nights to protest the police shooting of Mr. Blake. “We’re tired of this happening. We’re ready for people to truly accept that Black lives matter,” said Kimberly Williams, who live-streamed the march as she walked with the crowd. “It’s painful for our families, it’s painful for our communities, and it’s painful for us as American citizens,” she said.

“RNC speaker Madison Cawthorn rises out of wheelchair, after recalling accident that left him paralyzed from waist down” by Fox News’ Morgan Phillips – Madison Cawthorn, the 25-year-old North Carolina Republican vying for a House seat, on Wednesday night told his personal story of the tragic accident that left him paralyzed from the waist down before dramatically rising from his wheelchair to conclude his address. “This is a time of great adversity for our country,” Cawthorn began in a speech at the Republican National Convention. “And I know something about adversity.” At 18 years old, Cawthorn was left paralyzed from a car accident. “Instantly, my hopes and dreams were seemingly destroyed,” he said. “I was given a one percent chance of surviving.” Cawthorn said it took him a year to recover. “At 20, I thought about giving up,” he said. “However, I knew I could still make a difference. My accident gave me new eyes to see, and new ears to hear. God protected my mind and my ability to speak. At 20, I made a choice. In 2020, our country has a choice. We can give up on the American idea, or we can work together to make our imperfect union more perfect.” Cawthorn said he was fighting to “seize the high ground,” and that while Democrats want to “dismantle, defund, and destroy,” Republicans under President Trump want to “rebuild, restore and renew.” Cawthorn defeated Trump’s pick Lynda Bennett in June during the North Carolina primary. Still, Cawthorn at the time said his win wasn’t a rebuke of Trump, and that the president had called him to congratulate him on his victory. Cawthorn said he’d handily defeated his opponent because voters knew he was someone who could “ease this partisan divide” and bring voters together.

“Trump administration asks Supreme Court to reinstate medication abortion requirement despite Covid-19” by CNN’s Carolina Kelly – The Trump administration is asking the Supreme Court to reinstate a rule requiring abortion seekers to visit health care providers in person to acquire one of the pills for medication abortions, after lower courts blocked the rule during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The escalated fight surrounding the pills — which the Food and Drug Administration does not require to be taken while with the health care provider — is the latest development in a pandemic-era clash over abortion access that has increasingly manifested as a battle of regulations. “Given that surgical methods of abortion remain widely available, the enforcement of longstanding safety requirements for a medication abortion during the first ten weeks of pregnancy does not constitute a substantial obstacle to abortion access, even if the COVID-19 pandemic has made obtaining any method of abortion in person somewhat riskier,” acting Solicitor General Jeffrey Wall wrote Wednesday.

Medication abortion, a nonsurgical procedure effective until about 10 weeks into a pregnancy, typically entails taking two drugs several days apart. The contested regulation concerns mifepristone, the first drug, which works to block the hormone progesterone necessary for a pregnancy to continue. The FDA information page on mifepristone states that the drug “may only be dispensed in clinics, medical offices, and hospitals by or under the supervision of a certified healthcare provider,” but does not specify where the patient must take it. The second drug taken in a medication abortion, misoprostol, causes cramps and heavy bleeding as the uterus expels its contents. It can be taken “at a location appropriate for the patient,” according to the FDA.

“Unemployment Claims Expected to Remain Historically High” by WSJ’s Sarah Chaney – The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits likely held near one million last week, an indication that companies continue to lay off workers even as the broader economy shows signs of recovering from the economic downturn. New applications for unemployment benefits have stagnated around one million a week recently, significantly lower than a peak of near seven million in March but well above the pre-pandemic levels of about 200,000 claims a week. There are signs the labor market is healing, albeit more slowly than in the spring. The number of people collecting unemployment benefits through regular state programs, which cover most workers, fell to about 14.8 million for the week that ended Aug. 8. A decline in what are known as continuing claims indicates employers are continuing to bring back workers. “We’re chipping away at the losses in terms of the number of jobs and some of the weaknesses there, but there’s still a long ways to go,” said Sarah House, a senior economist at Wells Fargo Securities. Employers added 1.8 million jobs in July, the third consecutive month of hiring. The jobless rate fell last month to 10.2% after peaking near 15% in April. Still, weekly applications for jobless benefits are much higher than the pre-pandemic record of 695,000. “It’s massively concerning that five months into this crisis we are still seeing those levels,” said AnnElizabeth Konkel, an economist at the job site Indeed. “It’s just really pointing to how much economic pain there is right now, and I don’t really expect that to change anytime soon.”

“Democratic NC congressman calls on Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to resign over RNC appearance” by Fox News’ Michael Ruiz – U.S. Rep. David Price, a North Carolina Democrat, is calling on Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to resign after the latter’s appearance at the Republican National Convention. “Since the Secretary is incapable of rising above election year politics he must resign immediately and then personally repay the Treasury for all expenses related to this trip,” Price said in a statement Tuesday. “The American people deserve a secretary of state focused solely on them.” Pompeo recorded the speech in front of a backdrop of Jerusalem’s Old City, which prompted Price to demand the secretary reimburse the Treasury Department for the trip out of his own pocket. “The claim that his RNC speech was done on his own personal time ignores the fact that American taxpayers paid for his trip and that State Department personnel are accompanying him while abroad,” Price said. He said the top American diplomat prioritized partisanship over diplomacy. “The Secretary of State has a solemn duty to work on behalf of the American people and should be laser-focused on diplomatic efforts to ensure our national security by coordinating with our allies, keeping our adversaries at bay, and upholding American values abroad,” Price said. Pompeo had strayed from tradition by appearing at the convention — something past secretaries of state have not done. The speech stirred controversy and criticism from Democrats amid questions about whether it violates the Hatch Act.

“House Democrats narrow subpoena of Trump’s financial documents” by CNN’s Jeremy Herb and Katelyn Polantz – House Democrats have narrowed subpoenas from two committees for financial documents related to President Donald Trump and the Trump Organization, less than two months after the Supreme Court ruled the House can seek the records but sent the case back to the lower courts. The House Intelligence Committee said Wednesday that it was narrowing the scope of its subpoena of Deutsche Bank for financial records related to Trump and his family members. The House Financial Services Committee, whose subpoenas were also part of this lawsuit related to the President’s records, is dropping its subpoena of Capital One Bank and narrowing its subpoena of Deutsche Bank even further. The House and Trump’s legal team told the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday how they believed the Supreme Court case affected the subpoenas, which Trump has sued to block. The court had suggested the parties consider negotiating “in an effort to narrow the scope of the subpoenas,” because of the Supreme Court’s acknowledgment that standoffs between the executive branch and Congress have been resolved through negotiations for 250 years. The Financial Services panel says it now seeks from Deutsche Bank “only records that do not constitute the President’s information,” such as “internal Deutsche Bank analyses and documents concerning the accounts of the President’s adult children.” The committee said it believes these changes should avoid further litigation. The Trump family’s lawyers in the case say they still object to the narrower subpoena, according to the House’s filing.

“TikTok CEO Kevin Mayer Quits as Trump Pushes Chinese App to Sell U.S. Business” by WSJ’s Liza Lin – TikTok Chief Executive Kevin Mayer said he is leaving the social-media platform after being on the job for about three months, as the company comes under increasing pressure from the White House over its ties to China. In a letter to staff, Mr. Mayer said the political environment had sharply changed in recent weeks and the role of CEO at the hugely popular short-video app would be altered significantly after the expected sale of TikTok’s U.S. business. The Trump administration has pushed TikTok’s owner, Chinese technology giant ByteDance Ltd., to sell its American operations after targeting the app over national-security concerns. On Aug. 6, President Trump gave Beijing-based ByteDance an ultimatum: find a U.S. buyer in 45 days or it would effectively be banned. U.S. officials say they are concerned that TikTok could pass on data it collects from Americans streaming videos to China’s authoritarian government. TikTok has said it doesn’t share data with the Chinese government and wouldn’t do so if asked. Mr. Mayer, a longtime media executive who left Walt Disney Co. in May for TikTok, said he made the decision to step down after considering the corporate structural changes that would be required if the U.S. business was sold. Vanessa Pappas, currently the U.S. general manager of the app, would serve as interim head of TikTok, he said in the note, a copy of which was seen by The Wall Street Journal. “I understand that the role that I signed up for—including running TikTok globally—will look very different as a result of the U.S. administration’s action to push for a selloff of the U.S. business,” Mr. Mayer wrote. “I’ve always been globally focused in my work, and leading a global team that includes TikTok U.S. was a big draw for me.”

President Donald Trump @realDonaldTrumpGovernor should call in the National Guard in Wisconsin. It is ready, willing, and more than able. End problem FAST!

Adam Schiff @RepAdamSchiff –BREAKING: The House just voted to save the USPS from sabotage by the Trump Administration. We will protect our postal service: For veterans. For small businesses. For rural Americans. For our very democracy. Everyday Americans need the USPS — we won’t let Trump destroy it.

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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. 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]