Florida Democrats Split on Defunding Police?
This is the political funny season, so should anyone be surprised that the Democratic Party or the Republican Party has some rogue players working against the common cause of their respective teams?
This is the case for the Florida Democrats as several members of its team have taken it upon themselves to contradict the overall message of the national party and of Vice President Joe Biden.
One staffer even went as far as to openly criticize Biden’s actions on social media for all the world to see.
The staffers in question support defunding police and have been unapologetically disparaging law enforcement even as Biden has made the case for his support of police and opposition to defunding police. READ MORE
This is the same Florida Democratic Party that took issue with Gov. Ron DeSantis’ support for legislation that would defund municipalities that sought to defund police forces. READ MORE
New future job for Sen. Rick Scott?
This month is Hispanic Heritage month and Sen. Rick Scott is out interviewing Hispanic leaders in Florida about their individual stories. Is Scott feeling out a new post-Senate job in the media? Here is his latest interview with former Congressman Lincoln Diaz-Balart (R) WATCH
Marco Rubio @marcorubio–Remember when Democratic leaders were demanding more briefings on election interference? Senate Intel Committee scheduled one today with Bill Evanina who leads our nations election security efforts Sen. Schumer had a temper tantrum over SupCt & used procedural move to cancel it
Rep. Donna E. Shalala @RepShalala–My hope is that the United States Senate can honor Ruth’s final wish and wait until a new president is installed to nominate her replacement.
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz @RepDWStweets –.@GovRonDeSantiswould rather scare up bogeymen around Florida’s overwhelmingly peaceful protests than address his inept management of the #COVID crisis. 200K Americans are dead, millions have no job, and too many in FL have paltry UI or lack health care. This is not leadership.
Rep. Stephanie Murphy @RepStephMurphy-We cannot bring SFC Alwyn Cashe back, or erase the pain felt by those who loved him and those who served alongside him. But I’ll keep fighting to pay tribute to his life and his legacy by ensuring he receives the Medal of Honor he earned for his heroic actions
Congressman Charlie Crist @RepCharlieCrist –Devastated to hear of the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. She was an American icon and pillar of justice, and we mourn her loss while celebrating the monumental legacy she leaves behind. May her fighting spirit inspire all of us to keep moving forward.
“Florida Democratic Party Staffers at odds with Biden over defunding police” by The Floridian’s Javier Manjarres – After being accused of supporting the “Defund Police” initiative that has been spurred on by the Black Lives Matter movement, a defensive Vice President Joe Biden has emphatically said that he does “not support defunding police.” The Democratic National Committee (DNC) has also come out in defense of Biden and has disavowed defunding law enforcement, as the group’s communications director Xochitl Hinojosa was been insistent that the DNC does “not support defunding police.” “The campaign has been very clear when it comes to defunding the police,” Hinojosa said during the DNC convention. “They do not support defunding the police and I don’t know how many times we have to say this on this network or others, but that is the case.” The Biden for President campaign and national Democrats seem to be on the same page with the defunding police narrative, but it seems as if state Democratic Parties, specifically the Florida Democratic Party, didn’t receive the group memo about where they all should stand when it comes to defunding law enforcement. The Florida Democratic Party has not made a definitive statement denouncing the call to defund police, but several of their key staffers might want to stick to Biden’s script and not go off the reservation by calling for the defunding of police and not make disparaging remarks against police.
“Rigor Gap Poses Threat to Students’ Future Success” by The Floridian’s Daniel Molina – A research paper produced by Florida’s Council of 100, a non-profit and private nonpartisan organization that’s dedicated. To improving the quality of life for Floridians through the pursuit of effective, business-driven public policy, shows that there is a statewide gap between students’ classroom grades and the actual mastery of skills they have achieved based on their scores on standardizes tests. This gap is called the Rigor Gap. Critics are alarmed at the gap, citing that it could potentially signal a disconnect between the grades that students are receiving from their teaches and what is expected by them from the standards placed by the state. In response to the findings, the Florida Council of 100 argue that “this data is a clear sign that Florida can do more to align efforts on student growth by helping students and families in real time.” Moreover, the Council expressed that “the data clearly illustrates that Florida can do better in accurately communicating academic achievement to students and their parents before it is too late to empower the students to grow and thrive in their unique scholastic ways.” In the findings, the Council discovered “that almost three-quarters of high school English 2 students and more than half of Algebra I students who failed the corresponding EOC exam earned a classroom grade of C or higher” while “more than one-third of English 2 students and 12% of Algebra I students who failed the relevant EOC earned a classroom grade of B or higher.”
“FL Dems Slam DeSantis’ “Scary and Dangerous” Proposal” by The Floridian’s Daniel Molina – With Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ (R) announcement of the “Combatting Violence, Disorder and Looting and Law Enforcement Protection Act,” there’s been pushback from Democratic lawmakers that have called it an attempt at creating an authoritarian police state.
In response to the proposal, Democratic lawmakers organized a virtual press conference to discuss their thoughts on the proposal, which received disapproval from across the board of panelists. Hosted by Florida Rep. Shevrin Jones (D), the lawmaker called it a “total violation of civil liberties,” saying that it is a blatant overreach… undermining the constitution.” Jones expressed that “we were built and shaped as a result of peaceful demonstrations and protests,” adding that, for Republicans, it’s “a desperate violation of our constitutional rights” before warning the Governor that “I’ll tell you like my mother used to say to me – you know better.” Florida Rep. Anna V. Eskamani (D) also attended the press conference, expressing that this legislation is just another example of “Governor DeSantis… taking a page from President Trump’s playbook.” State Senator Oscar Braynon II (D) optioned that the Governor should call lawmakers into a special session, but he argued that the likes of that happening are slim because he’s “done such a piss poor job with COVID” that DeSantis does not “want us to address his track record” as Rep. Eskamani added. Moreover, she slammed DeSantis and Republicans for supporting a proposal that is “tone deaf,” “scary and dangerous.”
“Romney Backs Senate Voting on Justice” by The Floridian’s Daniel Molina – After the passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, there was a bipartisan outpouring of love and support to remember the trailblazing Justice. However, as the 2020 presidential election looms closer, President Donald Trump (R) has already signaled that he will be nominating a new Justice by the end of the week, and this move has been met with pushback by Democrats. Senator Mitt Romney (R), a Republican that has long criticized the President, has surprised many this week by announcing that he supports the move for the Supreme Court to vote on President Trump’s nominee. And, with that support, it clears the way for the President to pick another Supreme Court Justice. In a statement, the former 2020 presidential candidate, argued that “my liberal friends have over many decades gotten very used to the idea of having a liberal court but that’s not written in the stars.” Moreover, he said it was “appropriate for a nation that is… center-right to have a court which reflects center-right points of view.” Democrats have criticized the move, saying that it’s something that should be done after the elections have concluded. Specifically, they have warned that another conservative Supreme Court Justice would prove detrimental to Roe v. Wade.
“‘For Real’: Biden Botches Pledge Of Allegiance” by The Floridian’s Mona Salama – Democratic Presidential candidate Joe Biden in yet another gaffe this time just days before the first debate against President Trump, completely botched the Pledge of Allegiance Monday during a campaign event in Wisconsin. “I don’t pledge allegiance to the red states of America or blue states of America,” Biden said, plagiarizing the infamous “red states or blue states” line used frequently by former President Obama. “I pledge allegiance to the United States of America, one nation, indivisible, under God, for real,” Biden declares. “I’m running as a proud Democrat. But I’m not going to govern as a Democratic president, I’m going to govern as president.” The actual text of the pledge reads, “I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” The Biden campaign released the remarks to reporters shortly after Biden spoke. The remarks are the same text used for the teleprompter that the former Vice President frequently depends on when giving his speeches. Based on the transcript, it shows that it was actually the Biden campaign who butchered the Pledge of Allegiance when formulating the speech while Biden just reading word by word off the teleprompter, not realizing when he was reciting the sentence that words were missing.
“Florida high school bans football team’s police flag after critics deem it “openly racist”” by Fox News’ Lucas Manfredi – A thin blue line flag has been banned by a local high school in Neptune Beach, Florida following a series of complaints that circulated on social media, according to a report by News4Jax. According to the outlet, the Fletcher High School football team started carrying the pro-law enforcement flag last year, as a way for one of its players, Caelan Lavender, to honor his late father, Cpl. Andy Lavender. Mr. Lavender was a Jacksonville Beach police officer who unexpectedly passed away in August 2019 after 29 years in law enforcement, and was active in sports programs. “He was one of a kind,” his wife, Lorie Lavender, told News4Jax. “And he is very much missed and loved.” The team’s use of the symbol received swift backlash online, with some calling the move “openly racist.” Debate over the flag’s meaning has come into question amid widespread protests against police brutality sparked by the death of George Floyd back in May. The flag is known as a pro-law enforcement symbol. As a result of the backlash, Fletcher High School’s principal, Dean Ledford, reportedly issued a statement announcing the flag would be banned. “The flag, which is known as the Thin Blue Line flag, has different meaning for different people, and rather than representing the young man’s personal feelings, it was being interpreted as a political statement of the team and of the school,” Ledford said. “In consultation with the coaches, I determined that the act of using this flag in this personal way, while in the context of the football game opening ceremony, could easily be construed as representing a political position of our school and not just the personal feelings of the student and his teammates. Therefore, I have determined that it is no longer appropriate to continue.”
“Florida men charged in Nevada unemployment scam, found with Balenciaga bags, $90K” by News 3 LV’s Peter Valencia – High-dollar merchandise along with tens of thousands of dollars of cash were seized during a stop on the Las Vegas Strip. The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department said it charged and arrested two individuals for allegedly stealing Nevada unemployment insurance debit cards. Officers made the arrest during a traffic stop near Harmon Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard on Sept. 18. In an arrest report obtained by News 3, officers made the initial stop after noticing a black Mercedes-Benz was swerving lanes without signaling. Authorities conducted a consensual search of one of the suspect’s Balenciaga bags and found 16 debit cards with different names. Statements provided by Emelio Rochester and Joesph Holmes admitted the cards were there’s but a friend named “Ace” or Andy, who was staying at the Bellagio. Police also recovered five cell phones, three laptops and a tablet during the vehicle search, the arrest report revealed. All items were seized as evidence and remained at the Convention Center Area Command. Both Rochester and Holmes had addresses from Tallahassee and Fort Lauderdale, Florida, according to investigators.
“Bloomberg Raises $16 Million to Help Florida Ex-Felons Register to Vote” by NY Mag’s Matt Stieb – In the 2018 midterm, more than 1.5 million Floridians regained the right to vote when a successful ballot initiative reversed a Jim Crow–era law by restoring access to the ballot to ex-felons. But the largest act of enfranchisement since the passage of the 26th Amendment was largely blocked by Florida Republicans; they passed legislation in 2019 which requires these new voters to pay off any court fines and fees related to their offenses before they can register to vote. That measure, more commonly referred to as a poll tax, was overturned earlier this year by a federal judge who noted the “racial impact” of the GOP-written law. But the poll tax was reinstated earlier this month by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals on a 6-4 ruling, featuring a vote in the majority from Barbara Lagoa, a potential Supreme Court candidate who the president is reportedly meeting with on Friday. Now, at the end of this judicial back-and-forth, 430,000 Florida residents who were granted access to the ballot by a majority of their peers in November 2018 may not be able to vote in November 2020. Enter Michael Bloomberg: On Tuesday, the billionaire announced that his political operation had raised over $16.1 million in the past week to pay off court fines and fees for 32,000 Black and Latino ex-felons in Florida, allowing them to register for the upcoming election before the deadline of October 5.
“Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ Protest Proposal Decried As ‘Racially Motivated’ Ploy” by CBS Miami – Gov. Ron DeSantis suggested Tuesday that the Republican-dominated Legislature could consider a controversial proposal aimed at cracking down on disorderly protests when lawmakers return to Tallahassee in November for an organization session, as Democrats declared war on what they decried as a racially motivated election-year ploy. DeSantis’ law-and-order package, backed by incoming GOP legislative leaders, would create new felony crimes when property is damaged or when people are injured as a result of protests involving seven or more individuals. The measure would also make it a crime to obstruct traffic during unpermitted protests or demonstrations and do away with bail or bond for people involved in violent protests. The proposal comes as Republicans double down on efforts to deliver a second presidential victory to Trump in Florida, a battleground state with 29 prized electoral votes, on Nov. 3. “It’s going to have broad support, certainly from the Republican caucuses, in both chambers. It may be something that you need to act,” DeSantis told reporters following a state Cabinet meeting Tuesday. “Florida has handled it better, but at the same time, you constantly hear these reports of unrest. You hear threats of more unrest. That is not something that we want to deal with, without having all the tools at our disposal.” Lawmakers are slated to return to the Capitol on Nov. 17 for an organization session where incoming Senate President Wilton Simpson, R-Trilby, and incoming House Speaker Chris Sprowls, R-Palm Harbor, will take over as leaders of their respective chambers. Organization sessions are largely ceremonial and typically last just a day, but DeSantis also could call a special session to take up the protest proposal.
“Florida activists push back against proposed increased punishment for protesters” by News 4 Jax’s Travis Gibson and Mike Vasilinda – A day after Gov. Ron DeSantis rolled out a legislative package aimed at cracking down on protesters by creating a host of new crimes, a group of Florida civil-rights activists on Tuesday came out strong against the proposed laws. The Governor’s efforts to curb violent protests with longer jail time, temporarily denying bail and felony charges for obstructing traffic during un-permitted protests brought disdain from protestors from across the state. Representatives from the Tallahassee Community Action Committee, Southern Poverty Law Center Florida, and a St. Augustine pastor who is known for leading peaceful protests and others were among those who spoke out during a virtual press conference against what they called “draconian rhetoric” that Gov. DeSantis is using in his proposed legislation. They say the new laws could threaten and criminalize peaceful protesters. “We believe that this proposed policy is being used to distract the media and organizers from focusing on the real problem: Governor DeSantis’s failures as a governor,” the group of activists wrote in a press release. The proposal announced by DeSantis, a staunch supporter of Trump, would create new felony crimes when property is damaged or when people are injured as a result of protests involving seven or more individuals. The measure would also make it a crime to obstruct traffic during unpermitted protests or demonstrations and do away with bail or bond for people involved in violent protests.
“In Florida school reopening lawsuit, sides find little agreement” by Tampa Bay Times’ Jeffrey S. Solochek – In their battle over the Department of Education’s July school reopening order, lawyers for the Governor’s Office and the Florida Education Association have concurred on one point: Both wanted to see the appeal of the trial judge’s ruling go directly to the state Supreme Court. The 1st District Court of Appeal didn’t send the case along as requested. Since then, the sides have returned to their regular disagreements on points large and small, as the state tries to get the case thrown out while the union pushes to get its injunction complaint back on track. A week ago, the state filed a new set of motions asking the appellate panel to reconsider the union’s standing in the case. The appeal court asked for arguments on whether this motion, seeking dismissal of the matter, should be combined with the appeal of the circuit court ruling in favor of the union’s challenge. The opposing attorneys took opposite positions. In their latest filing, published Monday, the state’s lawyers argued that the questions should be rolled together. “[T]hey arise from the same underlying cases, involve the same parties, and raise the same threshold legal issues: whether Plaintiff-Appellees have standing to obtain the relief they seek, whether these cases raise nonjusticiable political questions, and whether they are barred by Florida’s Constitutional Separation of Powers,” the lawyers wrote. “Failure to consolidate these actions will only result in a waste of resources and the possibility of inconsistent rulings.”
“South Florida Short Film Shows Shows the Effects of the Opioid Epidemic Through the Lens of a Child” by NBC Miami’s Sheli Muniz – Recovering from alcohol or drug abuse can be challenging enough, but during a pandemic it can be tougher. September is National Recovery Month and a new Jim Wahlberg film is showing you just how far-reaching this opioid epidemic can be through the eyes of a little girl. “We often think about addiction and we hear about the alarming number of overdose deaths we have to think about all the people that it affects,” Jim Wahlberg told NBC 6 anchor Sheli Muñiz. Filmmaker, author, and executive director of the Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation, Wahlberg has a powerful story of recovery himself. He’s been sober for 32 years. In Jim Wahlberg’s short film, “What About the Kids?”, we see that through 8-year-old Chloe. Muñiz: Who does Chloe represent or what does she represent? Wahlberg: Chloe represents a generation of babies, little babies, if you think about it, she is just an 8-year-old girl. She represents a whole generation of young people that are being raised without parents because of this opioid epidemic…Recovery is community, it’s connection, it’s love, it’s a real sense of togetherness. These are all tough in the middle of a pandemic making recovery feel isolating. Overdose rates and death rates have spiked. Addiction alone is isolation, pain, depression but add COVID to that, a pandemic of forced isolation.
“Florida Cabinet Holds Its First Meeting At Capitol In Seven Months” by WUFT’s Stephany Matat – Florida’s Cabinet of top elected leaders met face-to-face Tuesday in the Capitol for the first time in seven months, after concerns about health safety during the pandemic canceled two other in-person meetings earlier this year. Political tensions were clear. The Cabinet approved resolutions and rules from a number of state boards and agencies, many regarding Hurricane Sally, which flooded Pensacola last week. It also established September as a month to commemorate law enforcement service and sacrifice, and a week in October as fire prevention week. Just weeks ahead of November’s election, Florida’s top Democrat sat at a distance from her Republican counterparts – including Gov. Ron DeSantis. Agriculture Secretary Nikki Fried had a terse exchange with DeSantis as the two agreed to work on emergency loans to farmers affected by Hurricane Sally. At the last Cabinet meeting, held as a video conference in May, Fried sharply criticized the governor for failing to meet regularly during the worst of the pandemic so far. DeSantis responded, “Anybody else?” Fried is expected to run against DeSantis in 2022. Tuesday’s meeting represented the third Cabinet meeting of the year, compared to 14 last year. Fried had asked to discuss using federal stimulus money for nutritional programs in schools, but that was not on Tuesday’s agenda. Fried conducted a preview meeting Monday with her supporters to discuss recent issues in headlines: Florida’s dire economic situation, concerns about transparency with COVID-19 data, the flawed clemency process and restoring voting rights of felons.
“Epstein victims group endorses Florida legislation to ban ‘lifelike sex dolls’ used by child sex offenders” by Fox News’ Vandana Rambaran – Victims who allege they were sexually abused by Jeffrey Epstein have endorsed new legislation in Florida to ban lifelike sex dolls that resemble children in an effort to protect minors. The bill — introduced by Rep. Vern Buchanan in the state where Epstein was convicted of solicitation of prostitution involving an underage victim in 2008 — builds upon the CREEPER Act, an existing bill introduced to Congress in 2017. The original bill banned the transportation and importation of child sex dolls but languished in the U.S. Senate. Buchanan’s CREEPER 2.0 includes language that also makes it illegal to sell or possess the dolls. Florida, Tennessee, and Kentucky are the only states that currently ban the dolls. Experts say pedophiles use the lifelike dolls to “normalize” sex acts against children and prey on minors. “These dolls not only violate children mentally and emotionally but also deny their privacy rights. We cannot permit these products to make their way into Americans’ homes, potentially enabling a first step to even more heinous crimes against our children,” co-chair of the Florida congressional delegation, Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Fort Lauderdale, said in a statement. Several victim’s advocacy groups, including Victims Refuse Silence, the Child Rescue Coalition, and the Selah Way Foundation all endorsed the bill, with more endorsements expected this week. Disgraced financier Epstein allegedly sexually abused and trafficked dozens of girls and women for many years.
“Why Florida is a battleground state like no other” by Fox News’ Paul Steinhauser – New polls released six weeks before the November election in two states President Trump won in his 2016 White House victory indicate that the race is currently deadlocked between the president and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. The former vice president and Trump are tied at 47% among likely voters in Iowa according to a Des Moines Register/Mediacom poll released on Tuesday. Four percent of those questioned in the public opinion survey said they would vote for someone else, and three percent were unsure. An average of all of the most recent public opinion polls in Iowa compiled by Real Clear Politics indicates the president with a slight 1.4 percentage point edge over Biden. President Barack Obama carried Iowa in the 2008 and 2012 elections, but Trump flipped it from blue to red four years ago, topping 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton by 9 points. An average of all of the most recent public opinion polls in Iowa compiled by Real Clear Politics indicates the president with a slight 1.4 percentage point edge over Biden. President Barack Obama carried Iowa in the 2008 and 2012 elections, but Trump flipped it from blue to red four years ago, topping 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton by 9 points. An average of all of the most recent public opinion polls in Iowa compiled by Real Clear Politics indicates the president with a slight 1.4 percentage point edge over Biden. President Barack Obama carried Iowa in the 2008 and 2012 elections, but Trump flipped it from blue to red four years ago, topping 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton by 9 points.
“’Everything is on the table’: GOP’s Supreme Court push escalates Democratic debate over packing court” by CNN’s Gregory Krieg and Dan Merica – The death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg weeks before the presidential election has turned Democratic nightmares into a crushing reality. Impervious to cries of hypocrisy and pleas to adhere to a standard they set in 2016, Republicans are bulling forward with plans to fast-track her replacement. Liberal hopes that enough GOP senators might stand in the way have been all but dashed with Utah Sen. Mitt Romney’s announcement Tuesday that he supports a vote on President Donald Trump’s eventual nominee. The confirmation of a new justice appointed by Trump would establish a hard conservative majority on the high court, shifting its balance of power while immediately endangering the Affordable Care Act. The court could also emerge as a reliable mechanism of the right for undermining big ticket legislation passed by Democrats in the future, even if the party wins the presidency and control of Congress. With that daunting prospect in mind, long simmering conversations on the left over the merit and possibility of abolishing the legislative filibuster, which could pave the way for expanding the number of seats on the Supreme Court and pursuing statehood for Washington, DC, and Puerto Rico, have been elevated into the mainstream. Many top Democrats, including moderates like Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York, are repeating a new mantra: “Everything is on the table.” The momentum behind the push, though, has already run up against the cautious nature of former Vice President Joe Biden, once a long-serving senator and ardent institutionalist who has come out in the past against changing the current rules.
“GOP Senators Push to Confirm Trump’s Supreme Court Nominee by Election Day” by WSJ’s Siobhan Hughes – More Republicans are pushing to get a successor to Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg confirmed by the November elections, after senators dashed Democrats’ efforts to stop President Trump from moving ahead with a nominee. The speedy time frame could further energize voters of both parties and add a new member to the court in time to consider a major health-care case. Democrats’ hopes of stopping or at least slowing down Mr. Trump’s coming pick dimmed Tuesday morning when Sen. Mitt Romney (R., Utah) said he supported moving forward. Only two GOP senators, Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, have said they oppose the nomination effort, which wouldn’t be enough to derail it, given the GOP’s 53-47 Senate advantage. Mr. Trump thanked Mr. Romney for saying Tuesday that he would be willing to vote for a Supreme Court nominee before the election. “He was very good today,” Mr. Trump said during a campaign rally in Pittsburgh. “Now I’m happy.” Mr. Trump has said he has a short list of five women judges, and he has begun meeting with possible nominees. Federal appellate judge Amy Coney Barrett of the Seventh Circuit is believed to be a leading contender, as is Judge Barbara Lagoa of the 11th Circuit in Atlanta, according to a Republican close to the process. “I’ve spoken to many and we are getting close to a decision,” Mr. Trump told reporters at the White House as he left for the campaign rally. He said he would announce his decision at 5 p.m. on Saturday.
“Kayleigh McEnany scolds CNN’s Jim Acosta over Trump coronavirus question” by Fox News’ Brian Flood – Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany accused CNN’s Jim Acosta of taking President Trump out of context during Tuesday’s White House press briefing. CNN’s senior White House correspondent asked McEnany about a partial quote President Trump said during an Ohio campaign rally on Monday when speaking about the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. “I think he was talking about younger Americans, He said it ‘affects virtually nobody,” Acosta said. “But he said to Bob Woodward that ‘it’s not just older people, it’s young people, too,’ at 200,000 deaths shouldn’t be telling people the truth about this virus at his rallies?” McEnany shot back, “The president is telling people the truth.” Acosta interrupted, repeating that Trump said coronavirus “affects virtually nobody” and said he’s not telling the truth. “Jim, but, you’re again taking the president out of context. I have his full quote here and you’re right that he was referring to young people. He said this,” McEnany said before Acosta interrupted again. “I’m not taking it out of context,” the CNN reporter said. “You are taking it out of context because you’re making an assertion that he’s not giving critical information when, in fact, he is and I will underscore exactly what he said,” McEnany said. “He said this, ‘You know, in some states thousands of people, and they’ve had nobody young, below the age of 18 like nobody. They have a strong immune system.’ That is factually true, you can go to the America Academy of Pediatrics website, the Children’s Hospital Association and they list a number of states that have had zero pediatric deaths.”
“First Trump-Biden debate to focus on Supreme Court, coronavirus and race” by CNN’s Dan Merica – The first presidential debate between President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden will focus on a number of topics, including the coronavirus pandemic, the Supreme Court and the racial reckoning in the country, the debate commission announced on Tuesday. The first presidential debate, slated for September 29 at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, will be broken into six 15-minutes segments. The commission said that the topics are subject to change based on “news developments,” but the six segments will be “The Trump and Biden Records,” “The Supreme Court,” “Covid-19,” “The Economy,” “Race and Violence in our Cities” and “The Integrity of the Election”. Fox News’ Chris Wallace will moderate the first debate. Both Trump and Biden are preparing for the presidential debates in their own way. Trump said this month that he prepares for the debates “everyday” by “just doing what I am doing.” “I’ve been all over the place, and I watch this guy sitting home, and I think, maybe I’m doing it wrong,” Trump told Fox News. Biden has said that he is “looking forward” to debating Trump and “holding him accountable.” “I know how to handle bullies — we’ll find out,” Biden said as a fundraiser this month. “I hope I don’t get baited into getting into a brawl with this guy. It’s going to be hard because I predict he’s going to be shouting.”
“U.S.-China Rift Worries World Leaders at the United Nations”\ by WSJ’s William Mauldin and James T. Areddy – World leaders sounded alarms Tuesday over the widening rift between the U.S. and China, warning that a lack of cooperation could worsen the coronavirus pandemic, slow a global economic recovery or even lead to outright conflict. “We must do everything to avoid a new Cold War,” United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said in opening the annual U.N. General Assembly meeting in New York. “A technological and economic divide risks inevitably turning into a geostrategic and military divide.” Chinese leader Xi Jinping, appearing at the U.N. like other leaders via video message, said Beijing has “no intention to fight either a cold war or a hot one with any country.” Yet the growing U.S.-China divide was on display as President Trump slammed Beijing for allowing the coronavirus to spread and took aim at China’s environmental and trade record. The two leaders, who fought a bitter trade war ending in an uncertain truce this year, disagreed about the role of U.N. agencies and other global organizations as a way to grapple with the virus and other global problems. The two governments have also clashed over the South China Sea, India, Hong Kong and Taiwan, where China flexed its military muscle with flights into its airspace after a U.S. State Department official in recent days visited what Beijing considers a renegade province. In his prerecorded U.N. speech, Mr. Trump reiterated his “America first” position, criticizing the World Health Organization and urging other heads of state to get their domestic houses in order as a way of helping the world. “Only when you take care of your own citizens will you find a true basis for cooperation,” he said.
“FDA set to announce greater restrictions for COVID-19 vaccine: Report” by Fox News’ Sam Dorman – The Food and Drug Administration is expected to announce new standards for approving a coronavirus vaccine in an apparent attempt to shore up confidence with the American people, according to a report. The Washington Post reported on Tuesday that two individuals familiar with the issue said the FDA will ask manufacturers to follow clinical trial participants for at least two months in order to obtain an emergency authorization. Additionally, trials will have to show evidence surrounding more severe cases and older people, making it unlikely that a vaccine will be finished before the 2020 presidential election. Moderna and Pfizer each started their trials in July. The enrollment process took about a month with a second round of shots being administered after three or four weeks in the trial. The White House has indicated a vaccine could be approved by November. President Trump told “Fox & Friends” earlier this month that an approval could come within “a matter of weeks.” He also indicated during a press conference that distribution could begin in October. Centers for Disease Control Director Robert Redfield previously told Congress that health care workers, first responders and others at high risk would get the vaccine first, perhaps in January or even late this year, but it was unlikely to be available more broadly before late spring or summer. Polling has shown Americans becoming increasingly resistant to a potential vaccine. Pew Research Center reported last week that only 21% of U.S. adults say they would “definitely” get the vaccine, down from 42% in May. Meanwhile, the percentage of people who said they would “probably” or “definitely” not receive the vaccine increased from 27% to 49%. Dr. Anthony Fauci, one of Trump’s top advisers, also said the administration could see results for a vaccine before the end of the year. “I have said from the beggining, given the way the trials have emerged now, including the one on hold now, the projection that I’ve made — and will stick by it — is that we’ll likely get an answer if it’s safe and effective by the end of the year, likely November or December,” he said on Sept. 9.
“FBI warns against foreign disinformation regarding election results” by CNN’s Marshall Cohen and Caroline Kelly – The FBI and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency warned the public Tuesday that foreign actors might spread disinformation about the results of the 2020 election and encouraged voters to be patient with delayed results. “The increased use of mail-in ballots due to COVID-19 protocols could leave officials with incomplete results on election night,” the agencies said in a statement, highlighting the possibility that “foreign actors and cybercriminals” could use disinformation to “exploit the time required to certify and announce elections’ results.” The warning follows news of a CIA assessment that Russian President Vladimir Putin and his top aides “are aware of and probably directing Russia’s influence operations” aimed at interfering in the 2020 election, according to a Washington Post report published Tuesday. President Donald Trump and several top Republican allies have recently sought to cast China as the greatest threat to the election, even as evidence continues to emerge suggesting Russia is already interfering, as FBI Director Christopher Wray explicitly told House lawmakers last week. The statement released Tuesday advised Americans to get information from “trustworthy sources” like official government election websites. The warning also said that Americans, when dealing with reports of problems with voting or results, should “verify though multiple reliable sources” and think twice before sharing unverified material on social media. The agencies specifically said foreign actors might try to confuse voters by creating and spreading disinformation about “voter suppression, cyberattacks targeting election infrastructure, voter or ballot fraud” after the polls close. While the warning focused only on foreign-based disinformation, domestic actors have recently spread similar claims about the upcoming election results.
“House Passes Short-Term Spending Bill to Keep Government Funded Through Dec. 11” by WSJ’s Kristina Peterson and Lindsay Wise – The House Tuesday night passed a short-term spending bill keeping the government funded through Dec. 11, after Democrats reached a deal with the White House over farm aid and food assistance. The bipartisan agreement between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, reached just hours before the vote, is expected to smooth the bill’s passage in the GOP-controlled Senate and avert a partial shutdown when the government’s funding expires next Thursday. The bill passed in a 359-57 vote in the House. The Senate is expected to vote on it this week, aides said. The agreement between Mrs. Pelosi (D., Calif.) and Mr. Mnuchin would add to the spending bill $21 billion sought by the White House for the Commodity Credit Corp., or CCC, a Depression-era program designed to stabilize farm incomes that permits borrowing as much as $30 billion from the Treasury to finance its activities. The agreement prohibits any payments from going to fossil fuel refiners and importers, a concern of Democrats, and includes roughly $8 billion in additional nutrition funding. “Our main goal is to keep the government funded, and we’re optimistic the principles outlined here can get us there,” a White House official said. Tuesday night’s agreement restored provisions that lawmakers had been discussing last week but got left out of the bill introduced Monday. Republicans lauded the addition of farm-aid funds, while Democrats highlighted the new food assistance for children and families. The spending bill “reflects bipartisan agreement and includes nearly $8 billion in desperately needed nutrition assistance for struggling Americans,” House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita Lowey (D., N.Y.) said in a statement.
President Donald Trump @realDonaldTrump–I hardly know Cindy McCain other than having put her on a Committee at her husband’s request. Joe Biden was John McCain’s lapdog. So many BAD decisions on Endless Wars & the V.A., which I brought from a horror show to HIGH APPROVAL. Never a fan of John. Cindy can have Sleepy Joe!
Adam Schiff @RepAdamSchiff–Mr. President, this is low. Even for you. No, I didn’t write Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s dying wish to a nation she served so well, and spent her whole life making a more perfect union. But I am going to fight like hell to make it come true. No confirmation before inauguration.