Schools and The Bug
COVID-19 cases in Florida are down and schools are now open (virtually), but all that could change as school officials statewide continue to discuss when to officially allow in-person education to begin.
Gov. Ron DeSantis’ recent extension of the deadline for 2020 high school graduates to earn a high enough ACT or SAT score to be eligible for the state’s Bright Futures scholarship, which is welcomed good news.
But all of this does not matter to Florida Democrats, as officials like Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D) continue to be skeptical about how DeSantis and the higher-ups in the state are handling the pandemic, questioning their “fumbled messaging.”
Rep. Wasserman Schultz held another online Facebook Live event with health officials to discuss the “premature opening of business and schools” that could once again cause the same uptick in coronavirus cases that we saw earlier in the summer.
Wasserman Schultz is right about reopening up schools.
While schools need to proceed cautiously in reopening, they need to reopen and officials need to have in place safeguards to help mitigate the spread of the disease through children, who as we all know, tend to sneeze and cough all over each other and bring the boogies and germs back home.
My youngest booger just came home from daycare with a cold and voile, we all got it! After a day or so of downing Mucinex and Nyquil, we are germ-free. The threat of another outbreak is very real. Wear your masks.
Democrats and Defunding the Police
Progressive Democrat Pam Keith impugned every single police officer across the country as being criminal, corrupt, or simply bad, stating that “even the good ones” were causing “more harm than good” with their presence, and no one caught it until we did. Keith says she does not believe in defunding police, but…READ MORE
The Kennedy Family suffers Historic Political Loss
Incumbent Sen. Ed Markey’s defeat of Rep. Joseph Kennedy III in the hotly contested senate race in Massachusetts marked the first time a Kennedy has lost an election in that state…READ MORE
Solar Stuff in Florida… READ MORE
Marco Rubio @marcorubio –#Maduro has “pardoned” a group of political prisoners of crimes they didn’t commit. Don’t fall for these manipulative tactics whose only intent is to legitimize an upcoming fraudulent election.
Rep. Matt Gaetz @RepMattGaetz -Democrats want to scare the American people about Russia and diminish the real threat China poses. The Mueller investigation didn’t result in the conviction of a single Russian. The show from @RepAdamSchiff and the Dems was all about press and politics.
Rep. Donna E. Shalala @RepShalala -Each year, Census data informs federal funding for more than 100 programs, including school lunches, highway construction, and education.
Rick Scott @SenRickScott–China has turned a once thriving city into a prison as brave Hong Kongers attempt to flee the oppression resulting from China’s crackdown on freedom and human rights. The new security law is only the latest act of aggression from the Chinese Communist Party.
Rep. Michael Waltz @RepMichaelWaltz–Small businesses make up 95% of total businesses in our community and are essential to our local economy and way of life. Thanks to the Paycheck Protection Program, nearly 80% of these businesses received loans, saving 83,000 jobs in our area. Proud to support the PPP.
Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell @RepDMP –The president is trying to undermine free and fair elections by sabotaging mail-in voting during a pandemic. This is right out of the authoritarian playbook. We must ensure Americans who need to vote by mail can do so in a safe way and know their ballot will be counted.
Rep. Lois Frankel @RepLoisFrankel –The new @CDCgov guidelines on #COVID19 testing are gravely concerning. This pandemic is very real–it’s killed +180,000 Americans & we’re still struggling to get it under control. Testing for asymptomatic cases is CRUCIAL to tracking its spread.
“Progressive Pam Keith impugns all police officers nationwide, “even the good ones”” by The Floridian’s Javier Manjarres – After cruising to victory in both the 2016 and 2018 election cycles, Rep. Brian Mast (R) now faces a much tougher race for reelection as he squares off against devout Progressive and former U.S. Navy JAG officer Pam Keith. Keith’s campaign to defeat Rep. Mast is simple — tie him to President Donald Trump. Florida’s 18th congressional district has a large population of retired military veterans and law enforcement, so one would think that Mast and Keith would cancel each other out when it comes to shoring up the veteran vote, right? Think again, as that conventional wisdom has been thrown right out the window with the current “Defund the Police” movement being propagated by radical activist groups like Black Lives Matters and ANTIFA. Keith is on the record of saying that she “DOES NOT support abolishing police” but her support for defunding police activists and their agenda paints a different picture. On June 5th, as rioters across the nation continued to injure and kill law-abiding Americans and vandalize private and public property, Keith took to Twitter to ask mayors of cities like Seattle and Portland to order their “police forces to stand down.” Keith impugned every single police officer across the country as being criminal, corrupt, or simply bad, stating that “even the good ones” were causing “more harm than good” with their presence, and suggested that those “good” and bad police officers should only be wearing bulletproof vests, and not dressed in riot gear.
“Pelosi Gets Special Indoor Hair Care Treatment At Closed San Francisco Salon” by The Floridian’s Mona Salama – House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) got a special treatment to get her hair done at a San Francisco salon and is seen walking around without a face covering on Monday — despite local city rules keeping salons closed since March amid the coronavirus pandemic. According to the security footage obtained by Fox News, the Speaker is seen moving through the salon with wet hair wearing a salon black robe, but not wearing a facial mask to cover her mouth or nose. The hair salon was identified as eSalon. Security footage obtained by the outlet shows the California Democrat strolling through eSalon in the city’s Pacific Heights neighborhood at around 3:10 p.m. on Monday. Since March, hair salons and barbershops in San Francisco have been shuttered, and city officials on Monday gave the approval for salons to operate for outdoor service only starting Tuesday. Plans to open indoor operations are set to begin in October. Salon owner Erica Kious called the congresswoman’s visit “a slap in the face,” given that local rules have kept her salon and others closed for six months. “It was a slap in the face that she went in, you know, that she feels that she can just go and get her stuff done while no one else can go in, and I can’t work,” Kious told Fox, “We have been shut down for so long, not just me, but most of the small businesses and I just can’t – it’s a feeling – a feeling of being deflated, helpless and honestly beaten down.”
“Sen. Scott Pledges Support for Law Enforcement” by The Floridian’s Daniel Molina – Florida Senator Rick Scott (R) announced today that he is pledging to support law enforcement during this time, and he also announced that he’s done so by signing the Heritage Action’s Police Pledge. In a statement, the former Florida Governor commented that “law enforcement officers across America risk their lives every day to keep people safe.” Scott added that he always makes decisions “to support our brave men and women in uniform,” noting that “stripping our law enforcement of the resources necessary to protect our communities would do nothing to keep Americans safe.” As such, the Florida Senator vowed to not “let the radical Left use the crimes of a few bad actors to demonize good, hard-working police officers.” Jessica Anderson, the President of Heritage Action for America praised Scott’s actions, saying that “Floridians and all Americans are thankful for elected officials like Senator Scott for taking a strong stand for our nation’s law enforcement and signing Heritage Action’s Police Pledge.” Anderson expressed that “as the Left abandons the men and women keeping our communities safe, it is more important than ever for our leaders and citizens to support law enforcement officers and oppose mob rule.”
“Quest data dump raises new concerns about whether COVID data is under-reported” by Miami Herald’s Mary Ellen Klas – For months, Florida officials have used test results as the foundation on which it has built a response to the coronavirus pandemic, but the revelation Tuesday that a lab that has supplied 22% of all of the test results has been withholding results for months has raised new concerns about whether the state has been under-reporting its data. “It’s rank incompetence on the state and federal level,’’ said Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber after the Florida Department of Health announced it had severed ties to Quest Diagnostics because the laboratory violated state law and failed to report nearly 75,000 coronavirus tests. “No national testing program and absurd turnaround times on the state level means we are flying blind.” Miami-Dade County has been the epicenter of Florida’s coronavirus crisis, and elected officials have relied on data compiled by the state and reported by private labs, many of them with state and federal contracts, to produce a real-time picture of how widespread the infection is in their communities. For months, the Miami Herald and other news organizations have asked the Department of Health to be transparent about its testing backlog, as absent data could obscure the pandemic’s size and hamper efforts to decide when it’s safe to loosen restrictions. Although the state pays the private labs for the services, and private labs complete more than 90% of Florida’s tests, the governor and state health officials never required private labs to report the backlog. “This is the most egregious dump we have had,’‘ DeSantis said Tuesday at a media event in Jacksonville.
“Long-Term Care Facility Visitations Returning In Florida, With Some Limitations” by WUSF’s Sky Lebron – Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law recommendations that his Task Force on the Safe and Limited Re-Opening of Long-Term Care Facilities has given him. “Many of the folks understand that they have loved ones who are in the last stage of their life,” DeSantis said in Jacksonville Tuesday. “They’re not demanding a medical miracle, they’re not having unrealistic expectations. They just would like to be able to say goodbye or to hug somebody.” DeSantis appeared to tear up when talking about the measures the state took to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in long-term care facilities. In order for a long-term care facility to qualify for allowing visitors once again, it must have had at least two weeks without any new coronavirus cases among its residents or staff. Visitations will be accepted by appointment only, and when they get to the facility, they’ll need to go through a screening process that includes answering questions, along with a temperature check. Residents can designate up to five visitors, but only two will be allowed at a time. Minors will not be allowed to visit the facilities yet, according to DeSantis, although it’s something he says could change “very soon.” Visitors will need to bring their own personal protective equipment. General visitors will have to keep a six-foot distance from the resident, but people who are designated as a caregiver – meaning they help with daily life assistance – will be allowed to touch them.
“Florida DJ found dead less than month after rape charge” by Associated Press – South Florida DJ and music producer Erick Morillo was found dead at his home Tuesday morning, weeks after being charged with sexual battery, authorities said. Miami Beach police officers found the 49-year-old Morillo’s body after responding to a 911 call, police spokesman Ernesto Rodriguez said in an email. Officials didn’t immediately report a cause of death. Morillo was best known for house music and the 1993 hit “I Like to Move It,” which is featured prominently in the “Madagascar” animated film franchise. Morillo has won several awards at the DJ Awards, including Best International DJ. Morillo had been free on a $25,000 bond, and his next hearing scheduled for Friday. He was arrested in August after a woman he met at a party reported to police that he raped her. The woman told investigators that she, Morillo and another woman went back to Morillo’s house after the party. The woman told police Morillo made several sexual advances, but she refused them. She said she eventually went to sleep in Morillo’s bedroom fully clothed and woke up later naked with Morillo standing naked next to the bed. The woman said she left the home and called 911. The woman was taken to a Miami rape treatment center, police said. Investigators identified Morillo’s DNA from a rape kit. When questioned by Miami Beach detectives, Morillo said he didn’t have sex with the woman who called 911. He said he had sex with the other woman, who confirmed that they had had sex.
“Vote-by-mail deadlines to know in Florida ahead of 2020 election” by Click Orlando’s Lauren Cervantes – Tuesday marks 63 days until Election Day in November, and over the last several weeks, there has been a lot of discussion regarding mail in voting. News 6 wanted to take a look at important dates in our Central Florida counties that are just around the corner, to make sure your vote counts. The Lake County Supervisor of Elections Alan Hays said in Florida the term “absentee ballot” was replaced by the term “vote-by-mail” in 2016. “The biggest difference is the spelling,” Hays said. Hays said, in Florida, if a person is not able to go to the polls or does not want to go vote in person for any reason, they can participate in what’s called “no excuse vote by mail.” “Here in Florida, the voter must request a vote-by-mail ballot, we do not send them to all registered voters, and there’s very good reasons for that,” Hays said. He said thousands of residents in Lake County are already scheduled to receive a vote-by-mail ballot. However, Hays said, for those looking to vote-by-mail, there are some important dates to keep in mind. “We cannot mail them after eight days before the election; that eighth day before the election is the last time we’re allowed to mail the ballots,” said Hays. But not every county in Florida starts mailing their vote-by-mail ballots on the same day. Here is a list of when counties will begin mailing overseas and when domestic initial mailing begins…
“Man Formerly Charged in Florida Massage Prostitution Probe Sues City for Filming Him” by YC News – A Florida sheriff was hit with a multi-million dollar lawsuit Tuesday for allegedly filming a man who was getting a massage and involving him in a prostitution probe, Your Content has learned. Martin County Sheriff William Snyder was hit with a Federal Civil Rights lawsuit Tuesday for his actions and those of his department regarding the “covert” viewing and recording of hundreds of Treasure Coast residents who received massages in 2018. The lawsuit was filed by Daniel Cash, a customer of a Martin County spa who was arrested following his massage, according to an announcement from the Law Office of Kibbey Wagner. State prosecutors ended up dismissing the prostitution-related charges brought against him, according to CBS12. Cash says he had to move out of town after being dubbed a pervert by cops. What’s more, as a result of his arrest, Cash was fired from his job after the details of his arrest were made public, including his mugshot, according to the announcement. The news comes after a Florida appeals court ruled that police violated the rights of New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft and others when they secretly video recorded them paying for massage parlor sex acts, barring the tapes’ use at trial and dealing a potentially deadly blow to their prosecution.
“Charges dropped in Florida shopper confrontation over mask” by Associated Press – Authorities say felony charges have been dropped against a Florida man who pointed a gun at another Walmart shopper in a dispute over not wearing a mask. The Sun-Sentinel reported Tuesday that prosecutors will not pursue charges against 28-year-old Vincent Bruce Scavetta of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and improper display of a firearm. Prosecutors say in court documents there is not enough evidence to prove a crime was committed. Investigators also say Scavetta had a valid concealed carry permit for his gun and that the man involved in the dispute struck him with an umbrella.
“South Florida restaurants and casinos reopen as governor vows no more COVID-19 shutdowns” by Associated Press – Some coronavirus restrictions started easing up Monday in parts of South Florida. In Miami-Dade County, restaurants were allowed to welcome back diners to indoor seating for the first time in almost two months, provided masks were worn and the establishments operated at 50% capacity. In Palm Beach County, officials issued an order allowing tattoo and body piercing parlors, as well as tanning salons, to reopen starting Monday. In Miami-Dade County, most indoor dining has been banned in the county since early July to stop the spread of the coronavirus. “This does not mean this is over by a long shot,” Mayor Carlos Gimenez said in an online news conference. “While we’re heading in the right direction, we’re not out of the woods.” The loosening up of restrictions in South Florida comes after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said he was considering allowing South Florida to move into Phase 2 , which would allow more businesses to resume operations. DeSantis reiterated that idea Monday at a news conference in The Villages retirement community, saying he’s looking at reopening bars and nightclubs and wants the three South Florida counties – Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade – to join the rest of the state in reopening businesses.
“Declining COVID-19 numbers could help usher in Phase 3 of Florida’s reopening” by Fox 35’s Valerie Boey – With a decline in coronavirus cases in Orange County, many business owners hope more customers return soon. Evan Dimov, the owner of Too Much Sauce, said his restaurant gains more business with each phase of reopening. “We need people to come in fast,” he explained. “The day they announced 50% capacity, we saw a huge increase in business. People feel more confident, more comfortable and then they go out.” Now with COVID-19 cases decreasing, could we be headed towards Phase 3? “The phases will be decided by the state, but with regard to the county, the county is in very good shape,” said Orange County Health Director Dr. Raul Pino. According to Orlando Mayor Jerry Demings, last week, the county had 799 new cases. It’s the first time the county has been below 1,000 in nearly three months. “Just gonna have to wait for the data to come in. The data will drive the decision making,” Demings said. Mayor Dyer said they have been meeting with businesses, telling them to have a plan in place if the state goes to Phase 3. “Actually have a plan that they can refer their employees and their customers to, they’re working some with the Orlando Health team that’s been working with businesses. Some of those businesses are bars.” “Tell me what I have to do, how high I have to jump and I will do it,” Dimov added. Dimov said his takeout orders have increased, but he’s ready for the next step in getting more of his customers back into his restaurant.
“Federal jobless benefits approved for Florida” by News Service of Florida – Florida’s request to tap into federal money to provide additional unemployment benefits has been approved, the Federal Emergency Management Agency said over the weekend. The Lost Wages Assistance program is intended to provide $300 a week on top of regular state unemployment benefits for people who can show they were put out of work due to the coronavirus and are eligible for at least $100 a week in state assistance. No timeline has been set for the money to reach qualified applicants. “FEMA will work with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to implement a system to make this funding available to Florida residents,” the federal agency said in an online post. President Donald Trump announced the assistance after a program that provided $600 a week in federal unemployment benefits expired in July. That amount, approved in a stimulus plan in the spring, came on top of state jobless benefits. Congressional leaders and the Trump administration have been unable to reach agreement on extending or revamping the $600-a-week assistance. Florida provides up to $275 a week in state benefits that last for 12 weeks, a period that ended long ago for many people who started getting assistance early in the pandemic.
“Broward private school student tests positive for coronavirus” by Local 10’s Sanela Sabovic and Andrea Torres – A boy who is an eighth-grade student at Westminster Academy, a private school in Fort Lauderdale, underwent a coronavirus test after a relative tested positive, and he too was diagnosed with COVID-19. According to Joel Satterly, the school’s headmaster, the school staff on Sunday quickly notified the families of students who may have been in direct contact with the student. On Monday evening, the Florida Department of Health in Broward County also notified the parents of all of Westminster Academy’s eighth-grade students. Blake J. Matthews, a spokesman for the school, referred to authorities’ additional calls as “confusing and conflicting” because “this is an isolated incident with little potential exposure to other students.” Amid heated public debate over the safety of reopening schools, Westminster Academy reopened classrooms Aug. 12. The school used Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church property to adapt to social distancing requirements. They also provided parents with a remote learning option; Matthews said only 10% of students are using it. President Donald Trump, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and Gov. Ron DeSantis have urged Florida schools to reopen classrooms. With a higher testing positivity rate in the area, public schools in Miami-Dade and Broward counties decided to start the school year with remote learning.
“Trump campaign calls on CNN to fire Joe Lockhart after he suggested POTUS had ‘stroke’” by Fox News’ Joseph A. Wulfsohn – The Trump campaign is firing back at CNN political analyst Joe Lockhart, who speculated that the president had a “stroke” that he has been hiding from the public. In a Monday tweet, Lockhart asked, “Did @realDonaldTrump have a stroke which he is hiding from the American public?” after reporting from New York Times reporter Michael Schmidt’s forthcoming book, which claims Vice President Mike Pence was “on standby to take over the powers of the presidency temporarily if Trump had to undergo a procedure that would have required him to be anesthetized” during his November 2019 visit to Walter Reed Medical Center. Trump denied on Twitter that he suffered from “mini-strokes” and the White House physician released a statement saying that the president “remains healthy.” However, a statement issued by the Trump campaign is calling on Lockhart to be held responsible for theorizing about the president’s health. “CNN should fire Joe Lockhart, a lifetime failure who thought it was a great idea for fellow loser Michael Dukakis to put on that stupid helmet, for knowingly pushing a conspiracy theory about President Trump’s health,” the campaign said. “Great political expert that he is, Lockhart single-handedly sank the John Kerry campaign and now he’s doing the same to Joe Biden from a distance.”
“Biden campaign is expected to announce it raised more than $310 million in August” by CNN’s Dan Merica, Jeff Zeleny and Sarah Mucha – Joe Biden’s presidential campaign is expected to announce it raised more than $310 million in August, three sources familiar with the campaign’s fundraising tell CNN, a record-breaking haul propelled by fundraising around the selection of California Sen. Kamala Harris as Biden’s running mate and the Democratic convention. The bulk of the haul comes from an uptick in grassroots fundraising, sources told CNN, which Democrats are taking as a sign that their base is animated by the Biden-Harris ticket and the prospect of defeating President Donald Trump in November. The New York Times was the first to report the expected haul. Multiple Biden campaign officials declined to comment on their expected fundraising figure. Biden entered 2020 at a substantial fundraising disadvantage to Trump, but because of a post-primary uptick in fundraising and the fact that the campaign is not spending considerable money on travel and events due to the coronavirus, the Democratic nominee has closed the gap. Despite Trump and the Republican National Committee outraising Biden and the Democratic National Committee in July — $165 million to $140 million — the Democrats ended that month with $294 million in the bank, just $6 million less than the $300 million Trump and the RNC reported having on hand.
“Barr Tightens Rules for FBI Surveillance of Political Candidates, Staff” by WSJ’s Sadie Gurman – Attorney General William Barr put new restrictions Tuesday on government surveillance of political campaigns, the latest fallout from an inspector general report that found problems with the way the FBI sought to monitor a former Trump campaign adviser. One new rule requires officials from the Federal Bureau of Investigation to consider warning a political candidate, elected official, aides or staffers that a foreign government might be targeting them before seeking a warrant from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance court to secretly tap their communications. If the agency opts not to do so, the FBI director must document the reasoning for such a decision in writing. The application must go through several layers of review, including a signoff from the attorney general. Another new policy sets up an internal office within the FBI to more broadly scrutinize the bureau’s national security work. “The American people must have confidence that the United States government will exercise its surveillance authorities in a manner that protects the civil liberties of Americans, avoids interference in the political process and complies with the constitution and laws of the United States,” Mr. Barr said in announcing the policies. The rules, which Mr. Barr outlined in a pair of memos, are the latest in a number of changes to the Justice Department’s surveillance procedures in response to the findings of an inspector general who reviewed the bureau’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
“Pelosi used shuttered San Francisco hair salon for blow-out, owner calls it ‘slap in the face’” by Fox News’ Brooke SIngman – House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited a San Francisco hair salon on Monday afternoon for a wash and blow-out, despite local ordinances keeping salons closed amid the coronavirus pandemic, Fox News had learned. In security footage obtained by Fox News, and timestamped Monday at 3:08 p.m. Pacific Time, the California powerhouse is seen walking through eSalon in San Francisco with wet hair, and without a mask over her mouth or nose. The stylist doing her hair can be seen following her wearing a black face mask. Salons in San Francisco had been closed since March and were only notified they could reopen on Sept. 1 for outdoor hairstyling services only. Salon owner Erica Kious, in a phone interview with Fox News on Tuesday, shared details of Pelosi’s visit. Kious explained she has independent stylists working for her who rent chairs in her salon. “One of the stylists who rents a chair from me contacted me Sunday night,” Kious said. A screengrab of the text message she received from one of her stylists, and obtained by Fox News, said: “I’ll be there at 2:45 tomorrow. Pelosi assistant just messaged me to do her hair.” Kious replied: “Pelosi?” “I was like, are you kidding me right now? Do I let this happen? What do I do?” Kious told Fox News, while noting that she “can’t control” what her stylists do if they rent chairs from her, as “they’re not paying” at this time. Kious cast Pelosi’s visit as a double standard. “It was a slap in the face that she went in, you know, that she feels that she can just go and get her stuff done while no one else can go in, and I can’t work,” Kious told Fox News, adding that she “can’t believe” the speaker didn’t have a mask on. (From the footage, it appears Pelosi had some kind of covering around her neck.)
“Sen. Ed Markey defeats a Kennedy in Massachusetts” by CNN’s Alex Rogers – Sen. Ed Markey beat back a bid on Tuesday from Rep. Joe Kennedy, to end his nearly 50 years in elected office, humbling the Democratic Party’s family dynasty that had never before lost an election in Massachusetts. Kennedy told supporters he had called Markey to concede the race on Tuesday evening. The longtime legislator won the primary by campaigning as the most progressive person in the race, while emphasizing his roots as the son of a milkman from Malden.
About a year ago, when it became clear that the congressman would run, Markey visited his parents’ gravesite, contemplated what to do, what his parents would do, and concluded he had to run for reelection, according to campaign manager John Walsh. His decision could’ve been described as foolish. Kennedy, 39, led in the polls from the get-go, launching a campaign focused on social and economic justice while offering a generational change to the 74-year-old Markey, who has served in Congress for over four decades. But his critics attacked Kennedy for not articulating a reason for running besides his own ambition, and Markey deflected his opponent’s shine by projecting the power of some of the party’s brightest stars. The two Democrats didn’t disagree much on policy, but Markey established himself early on as the earliest adopter of liberal causes, pointing to his co-authorship of the Green New Deal and support of “Medicare for All.” Markey wore retro-hip Nikes and aligned himself with New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the party phenom, and the Sunrise Movement, a youthful group focused on combating climate change, to show he was of the times.
“USPS delivery delays on everything from medicine to baby chicks deepen concerns about mail-in voting” by CNN’s Maine resident Jennifer Jones says US Postal Service mail delays killed over half the baby chickens she ordered this summer for backyard farming. In 15 years, Jones says she’s ordered thousands of chicks with no issues. USPS normally delivers them within 24 hours. This time, though, it took days. “They came within two to three days, which is much longer than normal,” Jones told CNN of her July order. “Upon arrival, 13 were dead. We lost four more over the week.” With more Americans than ever expected to vote by mail in November’s presidential election due to health concerns around Covid-19, delays like the one Jones experienced are deepening concerns about the Postal Service’s capacity to handle a flood of ballot mail. In documents recently handed over to Congress, USPS showed mail on-time performance dropped significantly after Postmaster General Louis DeJoy implemented operational changes on July 10. Amid a rising public outcry, DeJoy last month said he was reversing some changes and pledged to Congress that the Postal Service is ready for the fall. “While we have had temporary service decline, which should not have happened, we are fixing this,” DeJoy said in his testimony to the House Oversight and Reform Committee on August 24. “In fact, last week service improved across all major mail and package categories and I am laser focused on improving service for the American public.”
“Facebook Removes Accounts Tied to Russia’s Internet Research Agency” by WSJ’s Sarah E. Needleman – Facebook Inc. FB 0.76% took down recently created accounts and pages linked to a Russian group that U.S. authorities have accused of interfering in the 2016 presidential election, the social-media giant said Tuesday. The detection of the operation ahead of November elections show that the Internet Research Agency, a “troll farm” indicted by federal authorities in 2018, remains a thorn in Facebook’s side. But the company said the recent effort’s small reach—totaling 13 accounts and two pages—shows Facebook is getting better at detecting foreign political manipulation efforts before such content spreads widely. Facebook revealed the takedown in a report Tuesday, the latest of several efforts to improve the quality of its platforms. Assisting in the effort was Graphika, an independent research firm that contracts with Facebook on investigations into foreign social-media manipulation. The Russian-led networks were less significant than the IRA’s past efforts to sow discord on Facebook, said Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook’s head of security, during a conference call with journalists. “Their operational security has improved, but their impact is getting smaller,” he said. “For all their increased efforts, they’re not being terribly successful.” Mr. Gleicher said the Russian group used English but largely targeted foreign audiences and had a small following. It failed to get Facebook’s approval to run U.S. ads, he said. Much of its efforts were tied to a website called PeaceData.net, for which the IRA allegedly tried to recruit freelance journalists as writers.
“Pence says ‘I don’t recall’ being put on ‘standby’ over Trump health concerns” by Fox News’ Yael Halon – Vice President Mike Pence told Fox News Tuesday that he does not remember being told to be “on standby to take over the powers of the presidency temporarily” if President Trump had to undergo a procedure during a visit to Walter Reed Medical Center last year. “I don’t recall being told to be on standby,” Pence told “Special Report” host Bret Baier in an exclusive interview. “I was informed that the president had a doctor’s appointment, [but] I’ve got to tell you, part of this job is you are always on standby if you are Vice President of the United States.” New York Times reporter Michael Schmidt made the claim in his forthcoming book, “Donald Trump V. The United States,” writing that Pence was put on alert to assume presidential powers “if Trump had to undergo a procedure that would have required him to be anesthetized.” On Tuesday, Trump denied a related claim that he had “a series of mini-strokes” that prompted the unscheduled Nov. 16, 2019 visit, which he previously told Fox News was part of his annual physical. “It never ends! Now they are trying to say that your favorite President, me, went to Walter Reed Medical Center, having suffered a series of mini-strokes,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “Never happened to THIS candidate — FAKE NEWS. Perhaps they are referring to another candidate from another Party!” Pence told Baier that he is “always informed of the president’s movements” and that he recalls “nothing out of the ordinary about that moment or that day.
“Trump Visits Kenosha Amid Clash Over Race Relations and Public Safety” by WSJ’s Rebecca Ballhaus and Catherine Lucey – President Trump said recent violence sparked by the police shooting of a Black man in Kenosha, Wis., amounted to “domestic terror” in a visit to the embattled city, where he called for greater support for law enforcement. The police shooting of Jacob Blake touched off both peaceful daytime demonstrations in Kenosha and nights of violence, property destruction and clashes that led to the fatal shooting of two protesters by an out-of-state teenager and that left areas of the city in ruins. Mr. Blake remains hospitalized and paralyzed after a white officer shot him seven times in the back on Aug. 23. Democratic local and state officials had asked Mr. Trump to stay away, expressing concern that his visit could further inflame tensions. Mr. Trump has made public safety a central theme of his re-election campaign and expressed skepticism that broader underlying issues were a factor in the unrest. On Tuesday, Mr. Trump said he didn’t believe police violence was a systemic problem, saying it was more a matter of some officers “choking” under the pressure. He didn’t directly answer a question about whether he believes systemic racism exists. “I keep hearing about peaceful protests, and then I come into an area like this,” Mr. Trump said of his visit, which included stops at a burned-out building and a torched store. “By and large, this is not peaceful protests.” Mr. Trump said his administration would give $1 million to Kenosha law enforcement, $4 million to help small businesses and $42 million to support public safety in the state.
President Donald Trump @realDonaldTrump–Mike Pence was never put on standby, & there were no mini-strokes. This is just more Fake News by @CNN, a phony story. The reason for the visit to Walter Reed, together with the full press pool, was to complete my yearly physical. Short visit, then returned (with press) to W.H…
Nancy Pelosi @SpeakerPelosi –From the start, President Trump has denied the facts about how to best fight the coronavirus. Now, he wants Americans to put loyalty to him ahead of the health of their children, parents, and siblings.