SCOTUS CONFIRMATION HEARINGS CONTINUE
You all saw Day 2 of the hearings. This image of Judge Amy Coney Barrett summed it all up.
Armed with notes, pictures, and other props, Senate Democrats rightfully posed some important questions to Judge Barrett, who came armed with only a blank sheet of paper.
Aside from the Senator Mazie Hirono’s unbelievable and unacceptable request of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to divulge if she has ever sexually harassed anyone, Texas Senator John Cornyn (R) request to see what Judge Barrett was reading at her confirmation hearings caused quite a stir on social media.
‘Can you hold up what you have been referring to in answering our questions? Is there anything on it,” asked Sen. Cornyn
Judge Barrett held up a blank sheet of paper saying that the piece of paper only had “the letterhead that says United States Senate.”
Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell @RepDMP-Our schools should be a safe space, but instead, teachers and students are exposed and vulnerable to COVID. The Senate must pass my legislation to fund resources and safety equipment at our schools and provide a better, safer education for our children.
Rick Scott @SenRickScott -The @UN Human Rights Council must be confused about their purpose – to promote and protect human rights across the globe. Allowing #Cuba, an oppressive and murderous regime, to be a member of the council is outrageous and validates their vile treatment of the people of Cuba.
“Foreign policy influencing Cuban-American voters to back Trump” by The Floridian’s Javier Manjarres – With the latest Pew Research poll showing that the majority of Cuban American voters will be supporting President Donald Trump over former Vice President Joe Biden this November, the Trump campaign can be heard letting out an enthusiastic Cubaniche “Acere, Que Bola!?” or ‘What’s Up buddy! The numbers are very telling. There are currently 1.4 million registered Cuban-American voters in the U.S., with roughly 65% of them residing in the biggest swing state of them all, Florida, and with the recent polling showing that not just Cuban Americans appear to be supporting President Trump, a surge in support for the president in Miami-Dade county alone could tip the scale for Trump in Florida. So why are Cuban Americans breaking for Trump? Even though there is a growing number of Cuban Americans voters identifying themselves as Republican, Cuban voters have been paying close attention to the Castro-influenced violence and authoritarianism that has been cultivating in countries like Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Argentina, and Nicaragua. In all 75% of Cuban Americans believe that foreign policy and violent crime are the top issues for them in the 2020 election. Foreign policy is the one issue that sets Cuban voters apart from Puerto Rican, Mexican, and other Hispanic voting blocs, as only 45% of them believe foreign policy is “very important” when decided on who to vote for as President of the United States.
“Wasserman Schultz: ‘GOP Senators are cramming’ Trump’s ‘right-wing justice’” by The Floridian’s Javier Manjarres – Congressional Democrats and Republicans are accusing that each other of “court-packing” as the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Justice nominee Amy Coney Barrett continues. When President Donald Trump announced that he would be nominating a Jurist to replace the late-Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Democrats threatened to add more seats to the Supreme Court if Barrett was confirmed and if they won the White House. The last time an attempt to “pack the court” was in 1939 when then-Democrat President Franklin Delano Roosevelt tied and failed to add more seats to the highest court in order to pass his political agenda. Republicans are rightfully calling the Democrat threat as “court-packing” and now Democrats are pushing the narrative that Judge Barrett’s nomination is the epitome of “court-packing” because Republicans are forcing a vote to happen before the November 3 general election.
“OPINION: Buyer Beware: Counterfeit Goods Flooding the Digital Retail Market” via The Floridian – As the holiday shopping season kicks off, consumer advocates, law-enforcement officials, and even major brands are warning that online shoppers should be on high alert for stolen and counterfeit goods being sold on some of the largest online shopping platforms. Broadly speaking, the problem involves third-party, online platforms where criminal networks have been able to anonymously sell stolen or counterfeit products to consumers who may not know any better. The platforms include eBay, Amazon, and Facebook Marketplace. But the more immediate concern involves Amazon, the nation’s largest online retailer, as it launches this week its fifth annual Prime Day, a shopping event featuring sales and promotions exclusively available to Amazon Prime subscribers. Originally scheduled for July but postponed due to the pandemic, Amazon is now holding Prime Day — which rivals Black Friday and Cyber Monday as one of the biggest shopping days of the year — on October 13 and 14. Despite lingering uncertainty around how consumers will spend in the midst of a pandemic that continues to upend the economy, some experts expect record spending, as analysts have suggested that this year’s Prime Day could approach in $10 billion.
“Fried Urges Farmers to Apply for Disaster Assistance” by The Floridian’s Daniel Molina – Florida’s Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried (D) is urging farmers to apply for assistance through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program for any losses they may have experienced in 2018 and 2019. In a statement, Commissioner Fried explained that “for generations, Florida’s farmers have worked to feed our communities, country, and the entire world, and their success has come despite challenges like hurricanes, droughts, and wildfires.” Moreover, “despite being adaptive in the face of adversity, as these disasters seem to occur more frequently and with greater strength, our state’s agricultural producers need help to remain competitive – and this support from the USDA is crucial.” Finally, Commissioner Friend asserted that “all of Florida’s farmers who are eligible to contact their country Farm Service Agency office today” should “start the application process immediately.”
“Deutch continues to denounces anti-Semites, but still thinks Trump is a bigot” by The Floridian’s Javier Manjarres – Florida Rep. Ted Deutch (D), who has been a huge political figure in support of Israel and Judaism, has praised Facebook for the efforts to prevent anti-Semites and Holocaust deniers from propagating their hatred across its platform, saying that, “Denying the Holocaust not only disrespects the memory of 6 million Jews murdered but corrupts our efforts to prevent atrocities & combat antisemitism in the future.” Deutch has also denounced the rehiring of a Boca Raton High School principal after he was fired for denying the Holocaust ever existed in 2019. Deutch’s children attended this very same school. “It’s unthinkable that anyone, especially an educator, could speak like this,” said Rep. Deutch. “Sadly, it is part of a growing trend in our country.” When the Holocaust-denying issue first came up in 2019, Deutch stated that he was troubled that 2/3 of young Americans could not identify Auschwitz and over 40% believe less than two million Jews were killed. “As a member of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council and a founder of the Bipartisan Task Force for Combating Anti-Semitism, I am immensely troubled that 2/3 of young Americans could not identify Auschwitz and over 40% believe less than two million Jews were killed. “I am just shocked that the Spanish River principal couldn’t say the Holocaust is a factual, historical event. And I cannot believe the school district labeled this incident and the principal’s leadership a ‘distraction.’” But just as Deutch asserts the fact that two-thirds of Americans are not aware of the Holocaust, he has accused President Donald Trump of supporting anti-semites, fueling antisemitism and racism since coming into office.
“Biden Finally Responds To Court-Packing Question: ‘I’m not a fan of court packing’” by The Floridian’s Mona Salama – Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, who has avoided for weeks answering the question regarding packing the Supreme Court has finally responded Monday evening, saying he is “not a fan” of this proposal. “I’ve already spoken on — I’m not a fan of court-packing. But I’m not — I don’t want to get off on that whole issue,” Biden said during an interview with Cincinnati local WKRC-TV. “I want to keep focused.” Biden added that President Trump “would love nothing better than to fight about whether or not I would in fact pack the court or not pack the court.” He then went on to criticize Trump for trying to get Judge Amy Coney Barrett confirmed to the high court just three weeks before Election Day. “That’s the court-packing the public should be focused on,” Biden said. “The focus is why is he doing what he’s doing now? Why now with less than 24 days to go until the election?” Biden for weeks has refused to answer this question, on whether he would respond to Trump’s nomination of Barrett by adding more justices to the court if elected president. Prior to winning the nomination, Biden has expressed opposition to adding justices on the high court, calling the issue a “political football.”
“Southwest Florida connects to 5G” by Wink News – More access to faster internet is on the way. Apple announced on Tuesday its first 5G compatible iPhones, but the technology has been around for a while, with the first all-5G smartphone released in March. So, what’s new? Small cell wireless technology hitting our streets – literally. By now, you might have noticed more of these “small cell” sites popping up. There are different kinds of 5G, ranging in data transmission speed. High band or millimeter wave is the fastest, then mid-band, and low band, which is the slowest – but still slower than 5G. 5G researcher Dr. Tim O’Shea said that right now, low band is most common in less dense cities, providing speeds roughly twice as fast. “So many more people can get more bandwidth, more download speed faster, with faster response times,” he said. Carriers across the country are still building their networks, and for the fastest speeds – where you can download a movie in seconds – that requires many more of these. “Basically those shorter wavelengths with millimeter waves just can’t travel as far; you need to be much closer to the bay station for millimeter bands to work well,” O’Shea explained. Lee County said telecom companies have submitted a combined 41 permits for 5G sites. So far, 12 are active on the right-of-ways on county roads.
“Florida deputy attacked while chasing suspect: ‘He stabbed me in the neck’” by Fox News’ Louis Casiano – A Florida sheriff’s deputy was stabbed in the neck Sunday while chasing a suspect through a wooded area, authorities said Monday. The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office released body-camera footage of the incident showing deputies responding to a home in the Tampa suburb of Lithia to assist another agency with an involuntary mental health evaluation. Nicolas Furgason, 21, was cooperating with deputies when he fled after learning he would be admitted to a mental health facility under a state law that allows involuntary institutionalization. He ran into a wooded area and was pursued by Deputy Charles Williams on foot while another pursued him in a patrol vehicle. Williams caught up with Furgason on a trail and tried to de-escalate the situation, authorities said. “Unknown to the deputy, Furgason had a knife on him,” the Sheriff’s Office wrote on its Facebook page. “Furgason pulled the knife out and stabbed Deputy Williams in the neck before fleeing the area and ignoring verbal commands to stop.” Williams chased Furgason for another 100 yards before using a Taser and detaining him. Willaims was taken to a hospital and released Monday morning. Furgason was treated at a hospital and arrested on suspicion of attempted murder of a law enforcement officer, resisting an officer with violence and resisting an officer without violence. “Deputy Williams used an incredible amount of restraint after being stabbed in the neck by deploying less-lethal force on an individual who attempted to take his life,” Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister said.
“As MAST Academy reverts to virtual learning, more South Florida schools confirm COVID-19 cases” by Local 10’s Hatzel Vela, Amanda Batchelor, Trent Kelly, and Christian De La Rosa – One public school in Miami-Dade County temporarily went back to virtual learning just a week after schools began reopening. MAST Academy closed its campus Monday after two students tested positive for COVID-19. Superintendent Alberto Carvalho said the high school planned to reopen Tuesday after “a deep sanitization.” “In an abundance of caution and in consultation with the Florida Department of Health in Miami-Dade, schoolhouse instruction has pivoted to online learning to ensure that all individuals who came in close contact with the two students are notified, through the District’s school investigation and contact tracing protocols,” Miami-Dade County Public Schools spokeswoman Natalia Zea said in a statement. “The school has been thoroughly sanitized. The wellbeing of our students and employees is our top priority at Miami-Dade County Public Schools.” MAST, however, isn’t alone with coronavirus cases. Miami-Dade County Public Schools’ dashboard shows new cases at Flagami Elementary, Royal Green Elementary, North Dade Center for Modern Languages Elementary and two at Coral Park Elementary. Also, a robocall went out Monday night to parents of students at G. Holmes Braddock Senior High School in Southwest Miami-Dade, alerting them that the state Department of Health confirmed that a student had tested positive for COVID-19.
“VIDEO: Florida’s senior voters weigh in on Trump vs. Biden” by CNN – CNN’s Randi Kaye speaks with Florida seniors about their vote in the upcoming 2020 presidential election.
“Florida House speaker questions COVID-19 death toll” by News 4 Jax’s Chrstine Sexton – The Florida House speaker on Tuesday called into question the state’s COVID-19 death toll, warning that it was based on compromised data and used a methodology that inflated death rates. Speaker Jose Oliva, R-Miami Lakes, sent a memo Tuesday to all House members announcing the findings of an-in house analysis he ordered of the state’s COVID-19 death numbers and cautioned lawmakers against using the data for policy purposes. The death totals are released daily by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration. “Precision in data is imperative, not just for proper decision-making, but also for public confidence and consistency of response,” Oliva wrote in the memo accompanying the analysis. “The great disparity of perspective between the political parties has been further exacerbated by the loosening of process and fidelity to established norms in classification. Our leaders cannot build upon the soft-footing of compromised data.” Oliva issued the memo and analysis weeks before he leaves office following the Nov. 3 elections. New lawmakers and new leaders will be sworn in during a Nov. 17 organization session. Rep. Anna Eskamani, D-Orlando, said she initially was surprised by Oliva’s memo, given the Florida Senate’s recent decision to hire Tampa General Hospital to develop an infection-prevention plan to take steps to improve the safety of senators and staff members.
“CHARGES DROPPED AGAINST FLORIDA HOUSE CANDIDATE FRED HAWKINS” by Positively Osceola – It’s not a secret, Fred Hawkins, has been challenged by some rather untimely accusations over the last few months while trying to win the Florida House of Representatives open seat in District 42, which includes portions of both Osceola and Polk Counties. On Tuesday, Hawkins looks to have received some good news for his campaign as he will no longer be facing a criminal trial on election day, and did not enter into a plea deal. According to Hawkins’ campaign spokeswoman, Christina Johnson, “Commissioner Hawkins and the state attorney’s office came to an agreement that the charge stemming from nearly a year ago from a contentious HOA meeting in which Hawkins tried to bring law and order to a volatile situation would be dismissed. In an effort to bring this matter to a speedy and certain dismissal, Mr. Hawkins elected this course of action to bring closure on this matter.” Hawkins was arrested in July after a dispute outside a meeting of a homeowners’ association in Kissimmee in November 2019 when he showed honorary credentials given to him by the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office. According to a Florida Department of Law Enforcement report, he threatened the security guard with arrest. Hawkins was later charged with impersonating an officer.
“Florida man brings AR-15 to Disney World for family’s safety amid protests” by Fox 8’s Staff and Nexstar Media Wire – A Florida man brought an AR-15 rifle and a handgun to Disney World because he was concerned for his family’s safety amid the racial justice protests in Central Florida last month, according to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office. In a newly released sheriff’s incident report, the Orlando Sentinel says a 43-year-old Palm Beach Gardens man checked into the Polynesian Village Resort with guns in a tennis bag on the Saturday of the Labor Day holiday weekend. The Orlando Sentinel said the bellman handling the man’s bag when escorting it to his room noticed how heavy it was, checked inside, and reported it to his manager who in turn contacted the sheriff’s office. The report said the man had a concealed weapons permit and was not arrested and Disney stored his guns for him until the end of his trip. Disney policy states that “Guests are not permitted to have firearms, ammunition, knives or weapons of any kind at or in Disney Resort Hotels and Disney Vacation Club Resorts, including in hotel rooms, units, vacation home villas and general public areas within the hotels and resorts.”
“Florida prisons chief offers encouragement amid COVID-19 pandemic” by News Service of Florida – In a lengthy message Tuesday to inmates and offenders, Florida Department of Corrections Secretary Mark Inch called a reduction in COVID-19 cases “encouraging” — but also acknowledged that the pandemic remains a threat. Inch said in the memo that he hopes to “never see another two months like this past July and August,” when cases spiked in the corrections system before declining in September. He said the improvement contributed to his decision to allow visitation to resume at prisons after being suspended for months to try to prevent the spread of the disease. “Am I trying to say the pandemic is over and paint you a rosy picture? No, quite the opposite,” Inch wrote. “We are still in a serious pandemic, and we cannot let down our guard. The risk is still real. The potential for a second outbreak and serious consequences for those with underlying medical conditions remain. But if we can manage infection rates more in line with September, until the arrival of a successful vaccine, I consider that a realistic expectation and satisfactory. If we see indications of rising infection rates like July, we will have to again suspend visitation and volunteer programs.” The message, titled “Find the Good,” thanked the inmates and offenders for taking steps to prevent the spread of the virus and also urged them to get flu shots.
“Florida doctors have harsh words for DeSantis, Trump following ‘unacceptable’ display at Sanford rally” by Local 10’s Amy Viteri – South Florida doctors are weighing in after seeing video of Gov. Ron DeSantis high-fiving people at President Trump’s rally Monday night in Sanford. He apparently also touched his face with that same hand. The rally was packed full of supporters of the president, with little to no social distancing, and not many were wearing masks, including DeSantis. 11 days after his COVID-19 diagnosis, President Trump was also not wearing a mask, but he was throwing masks out to supporters at Monday’s rally. “I feel so powerful,” Trump said. “I’ll walk into that audience; I’ll kiss everyone in that audience.” DeSantis, after being seen high-fiving supporters, at one point appeared to wipe his nose. “He actually was filmed touching his face. In the middle of a pandemic where hand hygiene is a key recommendation to reducing spread, this type of behavior is unacceptable for the leader of our state,” said cardiologist Dr. Bernard Ashby. Tuesday, Florida doctors had harsh words for the governor, issuing a call to the president to stop holding rallies in the state which place the public health at risk, if prior events are any indication. “Having a rally where there is no social distancing and no one is masking this is clearly a super spreader event,” said St. Petersburg allergist and immunologist Dr. Mona Mangat. Monday night, the president praising DeSantis for reopening businesses statewide, something health experts say has been done without precautions in place to keep coronavirus cases down.
“Florida House speaker questions COVID-19 death data” by Fox 35’s Christine Sexton – The Florida House speaker on Tuesday called into question the state’s COVID-19 death toll, warning that it was based on compromised data and used a methodology that inflated death rates. Speaker Jose Oliva, R-Miami Lakes, sent a memo Tuesday to all House members announcing the findings of an-in house analysis he ordered of the state’s COVID-19 death numbers and cautioned lawmakers against using the data for policy purposes. The death totals are released daily by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration. “Precision in data is imperative, not just for proper decision-making, but also for public confidence and consistency of response,” Oliva wrote in the memo accompanying the analysis. “The great disparity of perspective between the political parties has been further exacerbated by the loosening of process and fidelity to established norms in classification. Our leaders cannot build upon the soft-footing of compromised data.” Oliva issued the memo and analysis weeks before he leaves office following the Nov. 3 elections. New lawmakers and new leaders will be sworn in during a Nov. 17 organization session. Rep. Anna Eskamani, D-Orlando, said she initially was surprised by Oliva’s memo, given the Florida Senate’s recent decision to hire Tampa General Hospital to develop an infection-prevention plan to take steps to improve the safety of senators and staff members.
“Open Florida primaries? Democrats and Republicans unite against it.” By Tampa Bay Times’ Mary Ellen Klas – Faced with a constitutional amendment that threatens to undermine political party dominance over legislative races, a bipartisan pair of legislative leaders announced Tuesday that a lawsuit financed by the GOP was filed in the Florida Supreme Court asking the court to remove Amendment 3 from the November ballot. The citizen initiative known as All Voters Vote asks voters to end the practice that prevents anyone who has not registered with a party — about one-fourth of all voters — from deciding who runs in the general election.
If approved by 60 percent of the electorate in November, all voters could vote in state and legislative races regardless of party affiliation, forcing candidates to appeal to a broader constituency beginning in 2024. The two candidates, even two from the same party, who get the most votes in each primary would then advance to the general election. The last-minute attempt to derail the amendment was announced by Rep. Chris Sprowls, a Palm Harbor Republican and incoming House speaker, and Sen. Janet Cruz, a Tampa Democrat and former Senate Democratic leader. The plaintiff is Glenton “Glen” Gilzean Jr., who works for the Central Florida Urban League and is a former vice president for Step Up for Students, the nonprofit scholarship-funding organization that promotes school vouchers.
“Amy Coney Barrett’s calm demeanor during hearings is her ‘superpower,’ Harmeet Dhillon says” by Fox News’ Angelica Stabile – Judge Amy Coney Barrett made it through day two of her Supreme Court confirmation hearings and Trump 2020 advisory board member Harmeet Dhillon told Fox Business Network’s “The Evening Edit” that her ability to stay cool, calm and collected is almost supernatural. Democratic senators have repeatedly attempted to catch Barrett off guard about her stance on the Affordable Care Act, but Dhillon told host Elizabeth MacDonald she doesn’t think they even “landed a finger on her.” “In fact, it’s almost like she has a superpower by calmly sitting there and politely responding to these questions,” she said. “I think she made each and every one of them look silly or worse.” Dhillon argued that the hearings so far have been a “failure” and said the Democrats should call it quits. “The Democrats would’ve been better off actually not having a hearing at all … and voting because I don’t think they convinced anybody with this charade,” she said. Democratic lawmakers were quick to criticize Barrett for allegedly “evading” questions, when the Ginsburg rule, named after Barrett’s would-be predecessor, prevents nominees from discussing their personal views on matters that may surface before the court. “The judge did exactly what other judges have done in the same seat and what they should do,” Dhillon said. “No judge could honestly answer how they would vote on a case that they don’t know the facts of, and neither would it be appropriate.” “I hope in the future if Democrats are ever in the same position where they’re nominating justices, those justices take the same position as Amy Coney Barrett and really everybody has done over the last 30 years,” she concluded.
“Obama to hit the campaign trail for Biden in final stretch” by CNN’s Arlette Saenz and Jeff Zeleny – Former President Barack Obama is expected to hit the campaign trail next week, Democratic officials tell CNN, as he looks to step up his work in support of his one-time partner — former Vice President Joe Biden — in the final stretch of the election. Obama intends to focus his efforts on early voting states in the final two weeks of the race, the officials tell CNN. The former President will not aggressively barnstorm swing states, but rather intends to visit a handful of critical battlegrounds where voting is underway. His schedule has not been finalized, officials said, but states under consideration for his solo appearances include Florida, North Carolina, Wisconsin and more. “He’s doing enough for our campaign,” Biden told reporters before boarding a flight in New Castle, Delaware, Tuesday. “He’ll be out on the trail and he’s doing well.” Obama’s expected return to the campaign trail could energize Democratic voters in the final weeks before the election as the former president remains among the Democratic Party’s most popular figures. The Biden campaign believes Obama can help in three particular areas, officials say, including: Black men, Latinos and young voters. The events will be socially distant — similar to the tactics adopted by the Biden campaign during the coronavirus pandemic — but are designed to garner local media coverage in key areas. President Donald Trump’s campaign has dispatched far more surrogates ahead of the election — along with the President’s rallies — and the Obama visits are designed to help Biden draw more attention in places where voting is happening.
“Trump’s Drug-Discount Cards Expected to Reach Medicare Recipients After Election” by WSJ’s Stephanie Armour – President Trump’s plan to send 33 million Medicare beneficiaries a card that can be used to help pay for as much as $200 in prescription drug costs won’t be completed until after the election, according to a person familiar with the plan. The cards will be mailed in phases, with some likely going out later in October but most not until after the Nov. 3 presidential election, the person said. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is spending an estimated $20 million for administrative costs to print and send letters to Medicare beneficiaries informing them that they will be getting cards, the person said. Plans for the overall drug-discount program have been sent to the Office for Management and Budget, the person said. It is unclear if or when the office will approve the program, which could cost $8 billion, the person said. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which oversees Medicare designed for people 65 and older, is unable to say exactly when the cards will go out because the proposal is still at OMB. Beneficiaries will have two years to use the discount cards, the person said. Low-income beneficiaries who don’t already get financial assistance for medications would likely get the cards, according to the person familiar with the planning, rather than everyone in Medicare Part D, which helps cover prescription drug costs for people 65 and older.
“Anchorage, Alaska, mayor resigns over sex scandal: ‘I am deeply sorry’” by Fox News’ David Aaro – Anchorage, Alaska, Mayor Ethan Berkowitz resigned Tuesday, a day after apologizing for what he described as a “consensual, inappropriate messaging relationship,” with a local television anchor. Berkowitz, 58, who is married, announced his resignation in a statement read by his chief of staff during a meeting of the Anchorage Assembly. The Democrat will remain mayor until Oct. 23 at 6 p.m. “It is with profound sadness and humility that I resign as Mayor of the Municipality of Anchorage,” the statement said, according to the Anchorage Daily News. “My resignation results from unacceptable personal conduct that has compromised my ability to perform my duties with the focus and trust that is required.” “I know my conduct has done great injury to my family, my staff, to Municipal employees, and to the people of our community, and for that, I am deeply sorry,” the statement continued. A crowd gathered at the meeting erupted into cheers after the announcement was read, until Assembly Chair Felix Rivera called for them to stop. “There is a God,” one man yelled. Berkowitz, 58, on Monday admitted to having the relationship with Maria Athens, who was the anchor/reporter for television stations KTBY and KYUR which operate jointly as Your Alaska Link. “I apologize to the people of Anchorage for a major lapse in judgment I made several years ago when I had a consensual, inappropriate messaging relationship with reporter Maria Athens,” Berkowitz wrote in a statement. “I’m embarrassed and ashamed for the hurt I’ve caused my family and our community. I take responsibility for my actions.”
“Supreme Court grants Trump administration’s request to halt census count while appeal plays out” by CNN’s Ariane de Vogue and Gregory Wallace – The Supreme Court on Tuesday granted a request from the Trump administration to halt the census count while an appeal plays out over a lower court’s order that it continue. The administration had asked the high court for “immediate relief” because a lower court order would have required the census count to continue until October 31. The Trump administration argued that would have prevented Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross from delivering a count of the nation’s population to President Donald Trump by December 31. The ruling is a win for the administration, which argued the shortened deadline is necessary to give the Commerce Department enough time to meet the December deadline. The administration noted that the count had been delayed by Covid-19 but that if the time spent counting were shortened, that deadline could still be met.
Justice Sonia Sotomayor dissented from the order, fearing that the shortened timeline would produce inaccurate results. “Because the harms associated with an inaccurate census are avoidable and intolerable, I respectfully dissent from the grant of stay,” she wrote. No other justice noted a dissent. Attorneys for the groups that sued the administration told CNN they will wait to see the Census Bureau’s next steps to determine how to respond. “Every day has mattered, and the Supreme Court’s order staying the preliminary injunction does not erase the tremendous progress that has been made as a result of the district court’s rulings,” Melissa Arbus Sherry, an attorney at Latham and Watkins who argued the case in the trial court, said in a statement.
“Theater Chain AMC Says It Could Run Out of Cash by Year-End” by WSJ’s Matt Grossman and Alexander Gladstone – The world’s largest movie-theater company may run out of cash by year’s end if it doesn’t raise additional funds or get more people back to theaters following pandemic shutdowns that have disrupted businesses dependent on consumers gathering in public spaces. AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. AMC -13.24% said Tuesday that it has reopened 83% of its U.S. theaters, but that attendance is down about 85% at those theaters from the year before. At the company’s current cash-burn rate, its reserves would be depleted by the end of this year or early next year, Kansas-based AMC said. Movie-theater operators have been devastated this year as officials enforced restrictions against gatherings and people have avoided indoor crowds amid the pandemic. The sharp downturn in theater attendance has caused Hollywood studios to delay major movie releases and focus more on providing streaming entertainment to reach consumers at home, giving them less incentive to go to theaters. The pandemic and government restrictions on public gatherings also have hurt other industries, but some have been able to pivot more easily. For example, restaurants are focusing more on outdoor dining and delivery, while retailers are emphasizing online sales. Shares of AMC closed at $3.54 a share on Tuesday, down more than 13%. The stock is down roughly 51% so far this year. AMC is exploring raising funds through selling shares, taking on debt, selling assets or other arrangements. The company said it has already raised approximately $37.8 million by selling shares. In September, AMC launched efforts to raise $180 million. It sold its nine locations in Europe’s Baltic region for roughly $77 million in August.
“Trump can beat Biden on issue of ‘who can better restart the economy,’ Karl Rove says” by Fox News’ Angelica Stabile – More than half of all Americans think they are better off now than they were in 2016, despite the economic devastation wrought by the coronavirus pandemic, according to a recent Gallup Poll. “Why do 56% say [they’re better off]?” asked former George W. Bush adviser and Fox News contributor Karl Rove on “Hannity”. “I think they say it because in 2017, 2018, 2019 and through February of this year, they realized they were enjoying better prosperity than they had been enjoying for years and they gave President Trump credit for it.” By comparison, Rove pointed out, 45% of Americans said in 2012 they were better off than they had been four years prior. In 2004, 47% percent said they were better off than in 2000. In both years, the incumbent president was reelected. “Today, even with all the difficulties we’ve got, it shows the strength of the economic issue, the issue of who can better restart the economy is one that Donald Trump can beat Joe Biden on,” he emphasized. In order for Trump to repeat his 2016 victory, Rove suggested the president tell Americans that Biden is “not shooting straight” with the American people. “All the president needs to do is … go around the country saying, ‘Here’s what [Biden] said. Here’s what he wants to do,’” he explained. “He led you to believe he was a different kind of guy, a traditional Democrat in the primaries. Now he’s showing his true colors, but denying that he’s in favor of all these things he’s endorsed … And Trump can do that.”
“Group charged in Michigan governor kidnap plot discussed targeting Virginia governor, FBI agent says” by CNN’s Sonia Moghe, Sara Sidner and Eric Levenson – The group charged with plotting to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer also discussed kidnapping Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, an FBI agent testified in court on Tuesday. FBI agent Richard Trask testified during a preliminary hearing that the group discussed taking out sitting governors due to their “coronavirus-related lockdown orders.” “They discussed possible targets, taking a sitting governor, specifically governors of Michigan and Virginia, over shut down orders,” Trask said.
“The understanding at the time was to potentially kidnap a sitting governor and remove them from office,” he added. The FBI obtained this information during a June 6 meeting in Dublin, Ohio. A person who attended the meeting came forward to authorities “based on concerns (over) some of the directions that the group was headed and potential violence.” The court hearing came days after 13 people were charged in an alleged domestic terror plot to kidnap Whitmer. The alleged scheme included plans to overthrow several state governments that the suspects “believe are violating the US Constitution,” according to a federal criminal complaint.
Six people were charged federally with conspiracy to kidnap, and seven other people, associated with the paramilitary group “Wolverine Watchmen,” were charged by the state, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced. Whitmer and Northam, both Democrats, were among the governors who issued coronavirus-related executive orders in the spring that closed gathering places like gyms, bars and restaurants.
“Joe Biden Keeps Everyone Guessing On Wall Street Regulation” by WSJ’s Julie Bykowicz and Ted Mann – Fifteen years ago, Joe Biden defended credit-card companies during a testy Senate exchange with Elizabeth Warren over legislation curtailing consumers’ ability to shed their debts in bankruptcy. This March, he adopted her argument entirely. Mr. Biden spent 36 years as a senator from the credit-card and corporate mecca of Delaware, where he built relationships and a voting record that provided ammunition for his opponents during a bruising Democratic presidential primary. Now, he is edging left on a range of issues from student debt to stock buybacks, leaving both progressives and Wall Street Democrats guessing whose side of the financial-regulation fight he is on. Mr. Biden’s allies say he has always favored Main Street over Wall Street. Critics, including Vermont Senator and primary rival Bernie Sanders, often have portrayed him as favoring lenders over the little guy. Mr. Sanders backs Mr. Biden in the general election. President Trump hasn’t made a campaign issue of his opponent’s ties to lenders and voting record on financial regulation. Mr. Biden has focused on his plan to revive an economy reeling from the Covid-19 pandemic, eschewing the kinds of proposals to rein in Wall Street that have been pillars of past Democrats’ presidential campaigns. All that makes this crucial area of policy even harder to parse. Advocates on all sides of the debate can see elements of Biden’s record that give them both comfort and concern.
Donna Shalala @RepDonnaShalala -This is now the #TrumpSpread. President Trump is now moving around country, hosting rallies and spreading this disease. The thought that he is doing this as part of a political campaign is outrageous and immoral.