Eddie Van Halen Has Died
That’s it. That’s the lead for today’s JUICE.
Does anything else really matter? The Rock & Roll legend lost his fight with cancer yesterday.
If you are interested in reading about President Trump shutting down COVID relief negotiations and then calling for a “stand-alone” stimulus bill, READ MORE HERE
If you are interested in reading about how Puerto Rico’s governor endorsed Trump, READ MORE HERE
If you care to read how Biden is trying to co-opt Trump’s Venezuela foreign policy, READ MORE HERE
Want to read how Sen. Scott wants Chinese-backed media companies held accountable, READ MORE HERE
The Who @TheWho-“A man in his rightful place, so happy to be doing what he did.” ~ Pete Townshend. Eddie van Halen 1955-2020. Rest in peace.
GavinDeGraw @GavinDeGraw-First concert I ever went to was Van Halen at Orange County Fairgrounds in Middletown, NY and Eddie was ablaze up there w/ the rest of the fellas. Here’s part of the setlist us fans devoured that night. He’ll live forever in my memory. #EddieVanHalenRIP
Edward Norton @EdwardNorton–Eddie Van Halen. Ah man..even if hair bands weren’t your scene, who had the power to turn your shitty Ford Escort into a Ferrari under you more than Eddie? Nobody. No matter what else you were into, the first time you heard those opening riffs of Mean Street, Unchained, ATBL..
“Trump receives coveted endorsement from Puerto Rico’s governor” by The Floridian’s Javier Manjarres – After Hurricane Maria passed through Puerto Rico in 2017, the Puerto Rican people have persevered and have all-but come back from the catastrophic destruction the storm left behind. Governor Wanda Vasquez, who has lead the recovery efforts since 2019 after taking over gubernatorial duties from Gov. Ricardo Rosello after he resigned, has now come out in support of President Donald Trump’s 2020 re-election effort. During a Spanish-language TV interview on Telemundo-Puerto Rico this week, Gov. Vasquez urged Puerto Ricans to go out and vote, vote for President Trump. “I ask that all Puerto Ricans listening to me that they have to go out and vote,” said Vasquez. You have to go out and vote, it’s our right to do so, and evaluate and consider who is the candidate that thinks of the Puerto Rican community and its needs.” When asked by the Telemundo anchor is she was referring to President Trump, Vasquez affirmed that it was “Donald Trump.” Vasquez’s endorsement could hold significant weight this election cycle, especially in Florida’s I-4 corridor and in Miami-Dade County, where tens of thousands of highly coveted Puerto Rican voters could take Vasquez’s suggestion straight to the ballot box, and deliver President Trump the votes he needs to win the state of Florida.
“Scott Wants Chinese-Backed Media Held Accountable” by The Floridian’s Daniel Molina – Florida Senator Rick Scott (R) announced today that he was introducing the Chinese-Backed Media Accountability Act. The bipartisan bill introduced with Tennessee Senator Marsha Blackburn (R) aims to create accountability for Communist China’s censorship of free speech. As well, it confronts what the lawmakers argue is China’s failure of treating American journalists fairly. In a statement, the former Governor of Florida argued that “for years, the Communist government in China has tried to push its propaganda in America through state-owned media outlets, while refusing to treat American journalists in China fairly.” Moreover, Scott explained that “General Secretary XI wants to punish anyone that disagrees with him and has built his regime on censorship of free speech,” asserting that “we can’t allow this to continue and we have to take action.” He went on to detail that “the Chinese-Backed Media Accountability Act prevents new visas from going to media backed by the Communist Party of China until we know exactly how many Chinese propaganda outlets are operating in the United States.” In turn, “it also creates reciprocity by making sure the number of Chinese-backed journalists in the United States is equal to the amount of independent American journalists allowed in China.” Senator Scott concluded by warning that the United States must “stand up and say that this behavior by Communist China is unacceptable.”
“Rubio says Biden trying to co-opt Trump’s Venezuela policy” by The Floridian’s Daniel Molina – After former Vice President Joe Biden’s (D) trip to South Florida to rally support, Florida Senator Marco Rubio (R) shared his own thoughts on Fox and Friends, discussing Vice President Biden’s policy proposals towards both Venezuela and Cuba. “On the issue of Venezuela, he’s basically describing the Trump policy, except Trump’s actually done it,” said Senator Rubio, adding that Biden is proposing “more sanctions – that’s what we’ve done – crippling sanctions.” He shared that Biden is now expressing “support for Democratic actors” when “the President of the United States was the first world leader to recognize the interim president Juan Guaido, and then all of these other countries followed.” The Florida lawmaker who has been critical of the Communist regimes in both Venezuela and Cuba noted that Biden’s “acting like when the Obama policies were in place they were closer to democracy.” Rubio expressed that “all of the things he just criticized were in place when the Obama policies that he supports – and I imagine that’s what he means by different policy, going back to the Obama policies.” South Florida is home to a number of Cuban and Venezuelan exiles who have fled their countries because of their respective Communist regimes, but a recent poll shows that Vice President Biden has gained a number of support in the state that President Trump (R) won in the 2016 presidential election. If the President is to win the election in the upcoming November general election, he would once again need the support of Florida and its 29 electoral college votes.
“Biden says he doesn’t know what Justice Barrett would do on Abortion” by The Floridian’s Javier Manjarres – During his Miami “infomercial,” aka Townhall, Vice President Joe Biden put himself at odds with congressional Democrats on the issue of Abortion and President Trump’s Supreme Court Justice nominee, Judge Amy Coney Barrett. Biden was asked what he would do about “women’s reproductive rights in the US” if Judge Barrett as confirmed to the court. “We don’t know exactly what she will do,” answered a stumbling Biden Although the expectation is that she may very well moved over, ruled overview, overrule Roe and with the only thing the only responsible response to that would be to pass legislation making Roe vs Wade the law of the land.” Yes, Biden wants to pass and sign legislation that makes Roe v Wade law, but his assertion that it’s unknown how Justice Barrett would side on the abortion issue is in direct conflict with the current Abortion narrative. Florida Reps. Ted Deutch, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, and Lois Frankel, all believe the Justice Coney Barrett would overturn Roe vs. Wade. Rep. Deutch, who sits on the House Por-Choice Caucus, recently signed a letter urging Senate Republicans “to abstain from considering” President Trump’s nomination. Trump has stated that he would appoint pro-life judges to the U.S. Supreme Court. “They will be pro-life,” said President Trump on 60 Minutes in 2016.
“First-time voter relieved registration was extended in Florida” by News 4 Jax’s Kelly Wiley – In Florida, voters got more time to register to vote in the November presidential election after the state’s website crashed. Florida’s secretary of state said the website was taking 1.1 million requests per hour Monday, which was originally the final day to register. One of those requests came from Don Riggs, who lives in Jacksonville. The 64-year-old, who uses a wheelchair to get around, said he’s been sick, and he was counting on the website to work properly. An accident at work left him unable to walk without assistance. For the first time in his life, he decided to do something he’s never done — register to vote. “I always thought, what difference is one vote going to make? And it does make a difference,” Riggs said. “If everyone thinks like me, votes, it will make a difference.” On what was the very last day to register to vote in Florida, Riggs logged on from his phone and tried to register. “I go to the online voting registration program through my cellphone, and I filled the information out several times, submitted it, and it said it couldn’t verify my information,” Riggs said. “This year, I could not physically go anywhere because I had a medical issue. So, I was stuck in the bed. I relied on the online application. I needed it to be there and to work.” Florida Secretary of State Laurel Lee said the state is working with law enforcement authorities to investigative whether the crash was “a deliberate act against the voting process.” The deadline was extended through 7 p.m. Tuesday.
“Florida law prohibits unofficial ‘poll watchers’ outside voting locations” by Fox 13 News’ Evan Axelbank – Hillsborough’s Election Supervisor says he is confident that state law will prevent intimidation at the voting booth if unofficial “poll-watchers” show up. The Justice Department and FBI say they’re stepping up Election Day security, bracing for unrest, given the current climate of the country. During last week’s debate, President Trump said, “I am urging my supporters to go into the polls and watch very carefully.” Hillsborough elections supervisor, Craig Latimer says he has heard from voters who want to find out if people are allowed to do that, and such actions constitute voter intimidation. “There has been a lot of talk about telling people just to show up to the polls to watch, and in Florida, you can’t just do that,” Latimer said. “People can pull in, park, and walk to the polling site without getting hindered or bothered by anybody.” The only people allowed within 150 feet of a polling location are those in line to vote and poll workers, including poll deputies, exit pollers, and those with official poll watcher credentials, which are issued by the supervisor’s office. Official poll watchers are named by the political parties or candidates and are only allowed to talk to the person in charge of that voting site if they see something they believe needs attention. “I don’t think we are going to have the problems in Florida because we have some great laws around it,” said Latimer, who also said he has not been made aware of any threats of voter intimidation to any of Hillsborough County’s 26 early voting sites or 239 Election Day polling places.
“Florida official says state and federal law enforcement found no ‘malicious activity’ in voter site outage: reports” by Fox News’ Michael Ruiz – Investigators looking into Florida’s voter registration website crash Monday reportedly found “no evidence of interference or malicious activity” in connection with the fiasco, which prompted officials to extend the registration deadline to Tuesday evening. Florida Secretary of State Laurel M. Lee said Monday that the Online Voter Registration system went out “for about 15 minutes” due to an influx of web traffic. It was supposed to be the last day of voter registrations, with a midnight deadline. But on Tuesday, after meeting with Gov. Ron DeSantis, Lee’s office said the deadline would be extended until 7 p.m. for both online and in-person voter registration. Voters could also turn in their registration to the offices of their local county elections supervisors, tax collectors, and transportation offices or through the mail postmarked by Oct. 6. In a statement, Lee said the outage stemmed from “unprecedented volume and traffic” to the site. “During the last few hours, the RegisterToVoteFlorida.gov website was accessed by an unprecedented 1.1 million requests per hour,” Lee said. “We will work with our state and federal law-enforcement partners to ensure this was not a deliberate act against the voting process.” In a follow-up statement Tuesday evening, she said investigators had not turned up evidence that that was the case.
“Florida sheriff’s dispatcher fired, arrested for stealing from church” by NBC2 News – A Walton County Sheriff’s Office dispatcher was fired from his post and arrested on Monday after an investigation into embezzlement at a DeFuniak Springs church. The finance committee at Friendship Baptist Church church approached Roger McLaney, 47, last month after noticing inconsistencies in the church’s bank account, investigators reported. Investigators said McLaney, who served as the church’s treasurer since 2016, embezzled more than $100,000 from the church. Bank transfers and cash offerings were taken, according to investigators. McLaney is facing a first-degree felony charge for fraud over $50,000.
“Florida secretary: No evidence of malicious activity with voter registration site” by WTSP – Florida election officials, so far, have found no signs of “interference or malicious activity” affecting the state’s voter registration website following issues on the final day of sign-ups. People who had not yet registered to vote but wished to do so had until 11:59 p.m. Oct. 5 to visit RegistertoVoteFlorida.gov to complete the process, but technical issues plagued the site for hours up until the deadline. Gov. Ron DeSantis on Tuesday announced that because of the issues, the deadline was extended to 7 p.m. Oct. 6. An “unprecedented” 1.1 million requests per hour were received on the registration website, Florida Secretary of State Laurel M. Lee said Monday, but it wasn’t known at the time whether the web traffic was legitimate. Clinton Daniel, a cybersecurity specialist at the University of South Florida, said if, in fact, what crashed Florida’s registration site was something nefarious, it could’ve been what’s known as a “denial of service” attack. It’s where the hacker bogs down the site with so many access requests that it just buckles. “This is the most common approach,” Daniel said. “It’s not a human sitting behind a machine but someone who has designed a program that does the work automatically… it can just repeat things over and over again.” It’s the exact kind of attack the FBI and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency just warned elections officials about last week, reports the Associated Press. But so far, officials say, there’s been no evidence of anything nefarious.
“Florida healthcare union sues Postal Service over mail ballots” by Tampa Bay Times’ Mary Ellen Klas – The union representing Florida healthcare workers on Tuesday filed a lawsuit against Postmaster General Louis DeJoy asking a court to order him to reverse actions that it claims will delay the delivery of vote-by-mail ballots and disenfranchise Florida voters. The lawsuit, by 1199SEIU, the Florida chapter of the United Healthcare Workers, was filed in federal district court in Miami. It asks the court to order the U.S. Postal Service to disclose information about whether it is complying with its obligations under the law and following recent court orders issued in other states. For example, the union wants the agency to show that it is processing ballots whether or not the mail has the correct postage, as the courts have required, to describe the process by which it will expedite the delivery of ballots to voters and back to elections offices, and whether DeJoy has restored the sorting machines that were decommissioned this summer and caused delays in mail delivery. “A common concern I hear from voters I talk to every day is: ‘I don’t trust the mail,’ ” said Dale Ewert, executive vice president of 1199SEIU’s Florida chapter. “People have to have trust in the mail and trust in the voting process. We’re running out of time here. We need to have answers.” Several federal courts have ordered the Postal Service to postpone changes ordered by DeJoy until after the election “because those changes threatened to disenfranchise large numbers of voters,” said Jonathan Manes, attorney at the MacArthur Justice Center, which represents 1199SEIU in the lawsuit.
“Testing aid going to senior communities in Florida” by News Service of Florida – Florida has received its first shipment of 400,000 rapid “antigen” test kits from the federal government, and Gov. Ron DeSantis announced at a news conference Tuesday that 100,000 will be sent to assisted living facilities to test staff members and visitors for the novel coronavirus. DeSantis has directed that another 180,000 of the BinaxNOW COVID-19 Ag Card test kits go to senior and retirement communities, including The Villages, Sun City Center in Tampa, the four Center Village communities in South Florida and On Top of the World Communities in Ocala. DeSantis will divide the remaining 120,000 between public schools and state-supported testing sites. None of the test kits will go to nursing homes because they are already receiving kits from the federal government. Two types of diagnostic tests are used to detect the virus — molecular tests, such as RT-PCR tests, that detect the virus’s genetic material, and antigen tests that detect specific proteins on the surface of the virus. Produced by Abbott, the BinaxNOW COVID-19 Ag Card delivers test results in 15 minutes. But the rapid antigen tests are only recommended for use on symptomatic people and aren’t as reliable as the PCR tests. Because of those limitations, Florida Surgeon General Scott Rivkees, opposed efforts to require people to take tests prior to visiting residents at long-term care facilities. While he acknowledged that the rapid antigen tests are a”little less sensitive,” DeSantis said he thought the PCR tests were too sensitive and returned positive results in people who aren’t contagious.
“Florida man arrested for threatening census taker with gun” by KMOV 4 – A Florida man was arrested for using an assault-style weapon to threaten a census taker who had come to his house for the nationwide count of every U.S. resident. Michael Cooper, 32, was arrested Monday after threatening census taker Johnny Swinney, according to a police report. Neighbors told deputies that Swinney’s U.S. Census Bureau badge was clearly identifiable when he approached Cooper sitting on the porch of his home and the census taker identified himself as a federal worker, according to an incident report. Cooper yelled at Swinney to leave, went into his home and returned with an assault-style weapon. He loaded the chamber and Swinney returned to his vehicle, where his wife was. His wife, Nicole, told deputies that she saw Cooper pointing his weapon at her husband’s back as he walked away from the house. Once in the vehicle, they heard a shot fired in an unknown direction, according to the incident report. Cooper told deputies that Swinney was trespassing and that he didn’t see an identification badge. He said he shot a round into the ground because he didn’t want to leave it in the chamber. Cooper is facing a charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon without intent to kill. No lawyer was listed for him on an online court docket. Jail records showed Cooper being held on a $7,500 bond at the Flagler County Jail on Tuesday. In response to an email inquiry, the Census Bureau said it was checking on how many threats have been made against census takers during the 2020 count.
“Explaining Florida Amendment 6: Tax discount for spouses of certain deceased veterans” by Local 10’s Glenna Milberg – Local 10′s “Amendments 101” series breaks down each Florida constitutional ballot question on the 2020 ballot, to help you make an informed decision. This is the last of six on this year’s ballot, and its full name is: Ad Valorem Tax Discount for Spouses of Certain Deceased Veterans Who Had Permanent, Combat-Related Disabilities. This and all constitutional amendments need a supermajority 60% support to pass. Amendment 6 is the second of two ballot questions that have to do with property taxes. And this one helps the surviving spouses of disabled veterans. Here’s how: Veterans with combat-related disabilities already get an extra homestead property tax discount. Florida voters decided that a few years ago. Amendment 6 would allow that tax break to pass along to those veterans’ spouses after the veterans’ passing, as long as that spouse is still the homeowner and still lives in the home. As with every tax break, there is a cost, and this one is estimated to be a $5 million per year hit to the local governments and schools funded by those property taxes.
“Report: Florida man who requested mail-in ballot for dead wife wanted to ‘test the system’” by Click Orlando’s Adrienne Cutway – A Florida man who requested a mail-in ballot for his wife who died in 2018 said he just “wanted to test the system,” according to the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office. Deputies said the local supervisor of elections contacted them on Sept. 17 about possible voter fraud after they received a request for a mail-in ballot for Ursula Wiggins, who has been dead for two years, and noticed that the signature on the form didn’t match the signature on her prior voter registration records. A search was conducted that showed the woman’s address was the same as her husband’s, Larry Wiggins, and he, too, had requested a mail-in ballot and the signature on his form matched the signature on his late wife’s form, according to authorities. Deputies said they went to Wiggins’ home in Sarasota and Wiggins said he had seen recent reports on TV about voter fraud with mail-in ballots and he “wanted to test the system.” Records show Wiggins admitted to filling out the mail-in ballot request form for his wife. He’s facing voting violation charges, however, Wiggins told WFLA that he just wanted to send in the form to see if the elections office would actually send back a ballot for his late wife. “I heard so much about ballots being sent in and people just having found them in different places,” Wiggins told the TV station. “I feel like I haven’t done anything wrong.”
“CareerSource Central Florida CEO Pam Nabors Says Internship Program Helps Connect Workers With Companies Which Are Hiring” by WMFE’s Danielle Prieur – CareerSource Central Florida received 7 million dollars in CARES Act funding to help residents find jobs after they were furloughed or laid off during the pandemic. About two million dollars is going towards a paid internship program. CareerSource CEO Pam Nabors talked with 90.7 WMFE about how the program connects workers with companies which are hiring. Danielle: Tell me about how the internship program works and what different industries might be represented? Pam: So actually the internship program, it works in concert with the person who is impacted. So first of all, when an individual applies to Help is Here, we identify and make sure that they’re qualified for Help is Here. They have to be an Orange County resident, they have to have had an impact to their job, or their business from the coronavirus crisis. And then we determined through assessment what really is the best next step for them. So internship might be one opportunity, but it also might be a direct referral to an open job. Or it could be looking at a short term skills training. So it’s very customized to each individual. In terms of the kinds of internships really, we have many different kinds of internships, both in the public and private sector. We have law office clerks, we have educational opportunities, teaching assistants, not just with educational institutions, but also with nonprofit organizations. We have production assistant, we have a nutritionist, for example. And many times these internships, this temporary opportunity can be that runway to an actual job.
“Supreme Court will hear Georgia-Florida water rights case this term” by AJC’s Tamar Hallerman – The U.S. Supreme Court plans to hear Florida’s long-running water rights case against Georgia in the months ahead after the two states were unable to reach a compromise despite years of mediation. A 7-year-old suit filed by Florida was included in a 67-page order justices released Monday, the first day of their 2020-2021 term. The court did not set a date for oral arguments but said they would occur “in due course.” That it would be left to the high court to resolve the dispute seemed inevitable. Georgia and Florida — as well as Alabama, which is not a party to this suit but has sided with Florida — have been fighting over water rights for three decades. The Supreme Court conducted an initial round of oral arguments in January 2018, and, in a 5-4 ruling several months later, directed an expert judge to reexamine the case and determine whether water in the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-
“Florida principal fired after Holocaust comments could be rehired this week” by Fox News’ Frank Miles – A high school principal in Florida who was fired after he told a student’s mother “not everyone believes the Holocaust happened” may be rehired, according to a report. Schools Superintendent Donald Fennoy recommended to the Palm Beach County school board that William Latson, former principal of Spanish River High School in Boca Raton, receive a new school district position and $152,000 in back pay. The board will meet Wednesday to decide. Fennoy wants Latson placed, if rehired, in the district’s assessment department as a “principal on assignment.” The Palm Beach County school board voted 5-2 last October to fire Latson on ground of “ethical misconduct” and “failure to carry out job responsibilities.” The state administrative court ruled in August that Latson’s actions weren’t “just cause” for termination. “These acts of poor judgment on Dr. Latson’s part should result in a verbal or written reprimand, the lowest rungs on the ladder of progressive discipline,” the judge wrote. Outrage was sparked after Latson told a student’s mother via email he was not allowed to say whether the Holocaust occurred because of his employment with the School District of Palm Beach County.
“Trump authorizes declassification of all Russia collusion, Hillary Clinton email probe documents” by Fox News’ Brooke Singman – President Trump on Tuesday said he has “fully authorized the total Declassification of any & all documents” related to the Russia investigation and the FBI’s investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server. “I have fully authorized the total Declassification of any & all documents pertaining to the single greatest political CRIME in American History, the Russia Hoax. Likewise, the Hillary Clinton Email Scandal. No redactions!” The president tweeted Tuesday night. “All Russia Hoax Scandal information was Declassified by me long ago,” Trump tweeted. “Unfortunately for our Country, people have acted very slowly, especially since it is perhaps the biggest political crime in the history of our Country.” He added: “Act!!!” Last year, the president gave Attorney General Bill Barr authority to declassify any documents related to surveillance of the Trump campaign in 2016. Trump, at the time, also ordered members of the intelligence community to cooperate with Barr’s probe. Allies of the president, including Republicans on Capitol Hill leading their own investigations into the origins of the Trump-Russia probe, have criticized officials like FBI Director Christopher Wray and CIA Director Gina Haspel, claiming that the directors have been blocking the release of documents.
“Pence preps for debate as chances to shake up the race dwindle” by CNN’s Betsy Klein – Vice President Mike Pence is set to square off with Sen. Kamala Harris at the vice presidential debate Wednesday in Salt Lake City just over one exceptionally long week since President Donald Trump faced former Vice President Joe Biden on the debate stage. In the days since, the White House and nation have been rocked by the President’s positive coronavirus diagnosis, hospitalization and subsequent return to the White House. It’s long been said that vice presidential debates are unlikely to significantly move the election needle, but with questions surrounding the health of both presidential candidates in sharper focus given the events of the past week, Wednesday night’s debate will give voters a closer look at the person they are electing to be second in command and the solemn role they vow to uphold. “Both candidates right now have a lot of questions of health, which makes the VP debate this year even more important. With a vice president, voters are looking for stability, they’re looking for assurance,” a former Pence aide told CNN. The former aide added: “The vice presidential race doesn’t necessarily make a huge impact on the final tally, but it’s something that voters are absolutely considering when they’ve got to vote for one of two candidates that are in their 70s.” Pence, who traveled to multiple states for indoor and outdoor campaign events and participated in numerous White House events and meetings in that time, has repeatedly tested negative, his office said.
“White Supremacists, Russia Pose Top Threats, Homeland Security Says” by WSJ’s Rachael Levy – White supremacists and Russian election interference are among the top threats facing the United States, the Department of Homeland Security warned in a new report released Tuesday. “Racially and ethnically motivated violent extremists…specifically white supremacist extremists…will remain the most persistent and lethal threat in the Homeland,” according to the report. The assessment is part of the department’s new plan, announced last September under the department’s previous acting head Kevin McAleenan, to counter “terrorism and targeted violence.’’ Among so-called “domestic violent extremists,” white supremacists carried out half of all deadly attacks—eight out of 16—in 2018 and 2019, according to the report. Those attacks resulted in the majority of deaths—39 of 48, the report said. Homeland Security said it was still evaluating data for this year. The department said white supremacists “have demonstrated longstanding intent to target racial and religious minorities, members of the LGBTQ+ community, politicians, and those they believe promote multi-culturalism and globalization at the expense of the [white supremacist extremist] identity.” Homeland Security also highlighted Russia as a potential cyber threat, as it has “some of the most sophisticated cyber capabilities in the world” which “can disrupt or damage U.S. critical infrastructure.” Foreign countries, primarily Russia, are targeting the election, the agency said. “Russia is the likely primary covert influence actor and purveyor of disinformation and misinformation within the Homeland,” the report said.
“More evidence of Cal Cunningham affair rocks North Carolina Senate race” by Fox News’ Evie Fordham – North Carolina Democratic candidate Cal Cunningham is staying in the race for one of the state’s U.S. Senate seats even as his campaign was rocked by allegations he engaged in an extramarital affair as recently as this summer. A Cunningham campaign spokeswoman declined on Tuesday to comment on newly emerged text messages between Cunningham and a married woman and said his Republican opponent is trying to “exploit a personal matter.” “Senator [Thom] Tillis and his allies are trying to exploit a personal matter and ignoring a family’s request for privacy to make desperate attacks in hopes they can distract from Senator Tillis’ record of blocking Medicaid expansion, voting to take protections away from North Carolinians with pre-existing conditions, and failing to pass needed COVID-19 relief for our communities,” the campaign spokeswoman said in a statement to Fox News. A week ago, conservative website National File.com published text messages between Cunningham and Arlene Guzman Todd, a public relations strategist from California, that suggested a personal relationship. North Carolina Democratic candidate Cal Cunningham is staying in the race for one of the state’s U.S. Senate seats even as his campaign was rocked by allegations he engaged in an extramarital affair as recently as this summer. A Cunningham campaign spokeswoman declined on Tuesday to comment on newly emerged text messages between Cunningham and a married woman and said his Republican opponent is trying to “exploit a personal matter.”
“White House email says ‘all contact tracing’ is complete” by CNN’s Vivian Salama – The White House told staff in an email on Tuesday that it had completed “all contact tracing” for positive Covid-19 cases identified at the White House, and urged anyone who hasn’t been contacted and suspects they have had contact with someone infected by the virus to reach out to the White House Medical Office. The email, reviewed by CNN, was sent to staff working across the White House complex, following revelations of new infections that include President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump, as well as many top White House advisers. The West Wing had been reluctant to enforce any such regulations among staff, particularly with regard to masks, for fear of undermining the President’s efforts to show that his administration has the pandemic under control. But after several of the President’s top aides, including Hope Hicks, press secretary Kayleigh McEnany and senior adviser Stephen Miller, tested positive in recent days, as well as other midlevel staffers, the White House has been forced to take rushed steps to prevent the spread from getting even worse. However, New York Times White House correspondent and CNN contributor Michael Shear, who tested positive for the virus following direct interaction with White House officials, told CNN late Tuesday that there’s been no outreach by the White House to do contact tracing or to follow up on his condition. At least one other White House official told CNN that they’ve also alerted officials that they have had direct contact with positive White House personnel, and received no guidance on how to proceed.
“Trump Halts Covid-19 Relief Aid Talks Until After Election” by WSJ’s Kristina Peterson, Andrew Deuhren, and Nick Timiraos – President Trump pulled the plug on ongoing bipartisan coronavirus relief talks, putting off efforts to send more federal aid to households and businesses at least until after Election Day, an abrupt move that jolted Wall Street and surprised lawmakers of both parties. “I have instructed my representatives to stop negotiating until after the election when, immediately after I win, we will pass a major Stimulus Bill,” Mr. Trump wrote Tuesday on Twitter. Mr. Trump’s tweet appeared to end, at least for now, a long-running effort between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to negotiate an agreement on another trillion-dollar-plus coronavirus relief deal. It also marks another development in the home stretch of the 2020 campaign, on top of a contentious Supreme Court nomination and Mr. Trump’s recent hospitalization with Covid-19. The call to end talks came hours after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell warned of dire economic consequences if Congress and the White House don’t provide additional support to households and businesses disrupted by the pandemic. Stocks turned lower on Mr. Trump’s tweets after trading higher earlier in the day. The S&P 500 ended the session down 1.4%. “Walking away from coronavirus talks demonstrates that President Trump is unwilling to crush the virus,” Mrs. Pelosi said of his decision to end talks. The two sides had been edging closer, after the House passed a $2.2 trillion bill last week, down from its earlier $3.5 trillion package. Mr. Mnuchin had proposed a $1.6 trillion offer last week in response. The two sides remained at odds over how much state and local aid to include in an agreement, a source of disagreements for months, as well as other issues, aides said.
“Biden says there shouldn’t be second debate if Trump still has COVID-19” by Fox News’ Caitlin McFall – Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden told reporters while boarding a plane to Delaware from Maryland on Tuesday that next week’s presidential debate should be canceled if President Trump is still positive for COVID-19. “I think if he still has COVID, then we shouldn’t have a debate,” Biden said Tuesday evening. Trump announced he had tested positive for coronavirus last Friday — three days after the first debate — though there has been some speculation that he was diagnosed as early as Thursday, the Wall Street Journal reported. Several members of the West Wing, the Trump campaign, and the Republican Party have announced that they too have tested positive for the virus. Biden was tested for coronavirus Tuesday – for at least the fourth time in the past couple of days – and his campaign said the former vice president had once again tested ngative for COVID-19. The Democratic challenger said he was “looking forward to being able to debate him” but added “we’re going to have to follow very strict guidelines.” Biden’s comments come one day after he told reporters that he’d listen to what the experts say to determine whether it’s safe for him to face off next week in Miami against the president in the second of three scheduled debates with Trump. “I’ll do whatever the experts say is appropriate for me to do,” Biden told reporters as he boarded a flight Monday to campaign in the battleground state of Florida. “Listen to the science. If scientists say that it’s safe…then I think that’s fine.”
“Michelle Obama releases closing campaign message calling Trump’s actions ‘morally wrong’ and ‘racist’” by CNN’s Sarah Mucha and Jeff Zeleny – Former first lady Michelle Obama made her closing message to Americans in a campaign video released less than a month before Election Day, saying President Donald Trump and his allies are “stoking fears about Black and Brown Americans” to win an election and calling the President’s actions “morally wrong” and “racist.” “But right now, the President and his allies are trying to tap into that frustration and distract from his breathtaking failures by giving folks someone to blame other than them,” she said. “They’re stoking fears about Black and Brown Americans, lying about how minorities will destroy the suburbs, whipping up violence and intimidation — and they’re pinning it all on what’s been an overwhelmingly peaceful movement for racial solidarity.” “So what the President is doing is, once again, patently false. It’s morally wrong and yes, it is racist. But that doesn’t mean it won’t work.” She called this American era a “difficult” and “confusing” time and warned that the President is good at using divisiveness, fear and “spreading lies” as tools to win as she made a plea for empathy as a Black woman. “I want everyone who is still undecided to think about all those folks like me and my ancestors,” she said, “the millions of folks who look like me and fought and died and toiled as slaves and soldiers and laborers to help build this country.” “Racism, fear, division, these are powerful weapons,” Obama warned, “And they can destroy this nation if we don’t deal with them head on.” The former first lady specifically addressed Black and Brown people in her message: “To all the young people out there, to all the Black and Brown folks, to anyone who feels frustrated and alienated by this whole system, I get it. I really do.”
“Former CIA director accuses intel chief of selectively declassifying documents to help Trump” by CNN’s Zachary Cohen and Alex Marquardt – Former CIA director John Brennan on Tuesday accused current intelligence chief John Ratcliffe of selectively declassifying documents ahead of the November election that benefit President Donald Trump, telling CNN that the decision to release materials gathered by the agency on Russian allegations that Hillary Clinton was planning on “stirring up a scandal” against her Republican rival in 2016 was motivated by politics. In an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper, Brennan responded to Ratcliffe’s recent decision to declassify notes written by the former CIA director in 2016 after he briefed then-President Barack Obama on intelligence related to Russian security service reporting that Clinton approved “a proposal from one of her foreign policy advisers to vilify Donald Trump by stirring up a scandal claiming interference by the Russian security service.”
“John Ratcliffe is anything but an intelligence professional. It is appalling his selective declassification of information. It is designed to advance the political interests of Donald Trump and Republicans who are aligned with him,” Brennan said of the director of national intelligence. “These were my notes from the 2016 period when I briefed President Obama and the rest of the national security council team about what the Russians were up to and I was giving examples of the type of access that the US intelligence community had to Russian information and what the Russians were talking about and alleging,” he added. The former CIA director also pushed back on Ratcliffe’s declassification of a heavily redacted CIA memo related to the investigative referral forwarded to the FBI at the time. The memo notes that the Russians allege Clinton’s effort to stir up a scandal was “a means of distracting the public from her use of a private email server.”
“Trump Administration Announces Overhaul of H-1B Visa Program” by WSJ’s Michelle Hackman – The Trump administration announced an overhaul of the H-1B visa program for high-skilled foreign workers that will require employers to pay H-1B workers significantly higher wages, narrow the types of degrees that could qualify an applicant and shorten the length of visas for certain contract workers. The changes, introduced by the Departments of Labor and Homeland Security on Tuesday, will likely make it tougher to qualify for one of the coveted visas. Ken Cuccinelli, the No. 2 official at DHS, said on a news conference call Tuesday that he expects about one-third of H-1B visa applications would be rejected under the new set of rules. Mr. Cuccinelli and Patrick Pizzella, the deputy secretary of labor, said the changes were necessary to protect American workers, whom the administration believes are being undercut by foreign workers on H-1B visas who are paid lower wages to perform similar jobs. “America’s immigration laws should put American workers first,” Mr. Pizzella said, pointing to what he described as insufficiently stringent wage requirements on foreign workers in the H-1B visa program. “The result is U.S. workers are being ousted from good-paying, middle-class jobs and being replaced by foreign workers,” he said. The policy changes have been expected since 2017, when the administration first announced intentions to revamp the H-1B visa program. Even before these formal changes were announced, however, the Trump administration tightened issuance of H-1B visas, rejecting 15.1% of applications in 2019 compared with 6.1% in 2016, according to figures from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Business groups and immigrant advocates criticized the overhaul, saying the Trump administration was attempting to solve a problem that doesn’t exist on a broad scale.
– paying his children as consultants
– writing off personal lifestyle expenses
– writing off campaign spending
– inventing false spending
The IRS needs to investigate.