JUICE – Florida Politics’ Juicy Read -11.10.20 – Rubio Runs For Reelection – Election Lawsuits Take Flight – Trump Fires Def Sec Esper – More…
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JUICE – Florida Politics’ Juicy Read -11.10.20 – Rubio Runs For Reelection – Election Lawsuits Take Flight – Trump Fires Def Sec Esper – More…

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Marco Rubio for U.S. Senate

Much to the surprise of certain Pinellas County-based Progressive bloggers with an appetite for just about everything edible in sight (They were wrong again), Senator Marco Rubio has announced that he would be seeking a third term in the U.S. Senate. 

Coming off the heals of Miami-based political consultant Ben Pollara’s new anti-Rubio effort to keep him from running for the U.S. Senate in 2022, Sen. Rubio announced that he welcomed the challenge to face off against the Socialist agenda that the Florida Democratic Party has embraced and lost with at the ballot box.

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The big question now is, who will Democrats recruit to challenge Rubio?

Rep. Val Demings? Rep. Stephanie Murphy? Rep. Ted Deutch?

They better keep looking, because all of these potential challengers have already compromised themselves by pushing the now-debunked, anti-Trump Russian collusion narrative and voted in favor of impeachment. Stick a fork in them.

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2020 Election Update

Now U.S. Attorney General William Barr Authorizes DOJ To Probe ‘Substantial Allegations’ Of Voter Fraud Claims

With voter fraud afoot in the Peach State, and with two key senatorial run-off election slated for December, Georgia Republican Senators Call On Georgia Secretary Of State To Resign

 

Debbie Wasserman Schultz @DWStweetsFor women, immigrants and people of color, the importance of Vice President-elect @KamalaHarris cannot be overstated. It’s a thrill to see such an inspirational candidate breaking so many barriers.

US Rep Kathy Castor @USRepKCastorCongratulations President-Elect Joe Biden and VP-Elect Kamala Harris! Let’s unite America and work together for a stronger, brighter future for all!

Rep. Stephanie Murphy @RepStephMurphyCongratulations to President-elect Joe Biden & Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. I look forward to working with this new administration to unite this country, rebuild our economy, & improve the lives of American families. #FlaPol #FL07

Ted Deutch @TedDeutch-President-elect Biden & VP-elect Harris will restore America’s place in the world. We will cooperate w/ our allies & oppose our foes. We will build up State Dept, use diplomacy to strengthen our natl security & will stand w/ democracies around the globe in support of human rights

Rep. Lois Frankel @RepLoisFrankeloe Biden is the next president of our country! My joy is through the roof. Now let’s unite and get to work.

Rep Frederica Wilson @RepWilsonCongratulation to #PresidentElectBiden and #VicePresidentElectHarris! Looking forward to getting to work!

Nikki Fried @nikkifriedAmericans have sent a message which cannot be ignored — we must build back better. @JoeBiden and @KamalaHarris will start us on the path to reverse the chaos and divisiveness that Donald Trump and his enablers cast across the United States for the past four years.

 

 

 

 

 

Sen. Marco Rubio

“Sen. Marco Rubio will run for reelection in 2022” by The Floridian’s Javier Manjarres – Florida Senator Marco Rubio has announced that he will seek a third term to the U.S. Senate in 2022. The Floridian first reported the probable run over the weekend, and now Rubio has confirmed it with a Facebook posting. “Not even a week has gone by since our election and Florida’s HUGE red wave and Democrats have already placed me under attack,” stated Rubio. ” Their sights for the next two years will be set on turning Florida BLUE in 2022. There’s a reason my only two enemies are Communist China and the Radical Left. It’s because I’m not afraid to speak out against them and their radical schemes to ruin our country. I’m ready for this fight and I welcome it. If you’d like to join me in my fight to protect our country’s freedoms from the Radical Left.” Considering that the Democratic Party lost statewide running on a very Progressive and Socialism-lite agenda, the Cuban-American and Venezuelan-American communities will break for Rubio. Rubio has long been persona non grata with the Socialist regime of Nicholas Maduro and of Communist Cuba, and Venezuelans living in South Florida know it. Cuban-Americans will most likely embrace their own “American Son” as will President Trump’s base of support. Rubio has defended President Trump to the very end and is supportive of the post-election legal remedies the president is seeking to root out voter fraud. This story is developing…

“Trump ‘Terminated’ Defense Secretary Mark Esper In A Tweet” by The Floridian’s Mona Salama – President Trump in a pair of tweets Monday afternoon terminated his Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and will replace the Pentagon chief with director of the National Counterterrorism Center Christopher Miller. “I am pleased to announce that Christopher C. Miller, the highly respected Director of the National Counterterrorism Center (unanimously confirmed by the Senate), will be Acting Secretary of Defense, effective immediately. Chris will do a GREAT job! Mark Esper has been terminated. I would like to thank him for his service,” Trump tweeted. The Pentagon chief who replaced James Mattis in July 2019 lost the respect of Trump after he publicly opposed the President threatening to deploy active-duty troops to quell the ongoing riots amid the death of George Floyd. In remarks to reporters, Esper said he did not support the invoking of the Insurrection Act, an 1807 act that allows the president to deploy active-duty U.S. troops to respond to civil unrest that was growing widely across the country. “I say this not only as Secretary of Defense, but also as a former soldier and a former member of the National Guard, the option to use active-duty forces in a law enforcement role should only be used as a matter of last resort, and only in the most urgent and dire situations. We are not in one of those situations now,” Esper told reporters in a news conference on June 3rd. “I do not support invoking the Insurrection Act.”

“Shevrin Jones Outlines People’s Agenda” by The Floridian’s The Floridian’s Daniel Molina – Senator-elect Shevrin Jones (D), on the heels of winning his state senate race, announced his People’s Agenda, which is billed as “a focused set of priorities reflective of his constituents’ interests that he will introduce in the upcoming 2021 session.” The issues that are highlighted in his agenda include “small business rehabilitation; worker retention; and police reform and accountability.” In a press release, Jones announced that “with COVID-19 cases on the rise, a mishandled pandemic response out of Tallahassee, and economics relief stalled in DC, Senator-elect Jones will make a people-first recovery a top priority in the upcoming legislative session.” Specifically, “Jones intends to introduce legislation focused on spurring opportunity, rehabilitating Florida small businesses, and retaining workers,” adding that “while serving in the Florida Harris, he introduced an internship tax credits bill to offer tax incentives to businesses that retain interns for employment following the end of the internship.” Jones asserted this as “a measure he will champion once again in the Senate.” Jones explained that “qualified local businesses will receive a tax credit for any income tax previously paid of $2000 or less or for the amount of the wages previously paid to a degree-seeking student during their internship,” but this will only happen under 3 stipulations.

“Gov. Cuomo Says Pfizer Vaccine Is ‘Bad News’ Because Trump Would Distribute It” by The Floridian’s Mona Salama – New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) told Good Morning America Monday morning after news broke that Pfizer says its COVID-19 vaccine is 90% effective in clinical trials, politicizing the development by saying it is “bad news” because it will happen “two months before Joe Biden takes over” the White House, therefore the Trump Administration will be the ones who will implement the vaccine plan. “Well, it’s good news-bad news. The good news is the Pfizer tests look good and we’ll have a vaccine shortly, the bad news is it’s about two months before Joe Biden takes over and that means this administration is going to be implementing a vaccine plan,” Cuomo told George Stephanopoulos in response to the breaking news. He didn’t provide any evidence of his baseless claims that a vaccine plan from the Trump administration will “leave out all sorts of communities” from its distribution. The Governor said that the plan from the Trump administration will be ineffective due to the private sector, not the government being the one administering the vaccine. “We have to do 20 million vaccines, and the Trump administration is rolling out the vaccination plan and I believe it’s flawed. I believe it’s it learns nothing from the past. They’re basically going to have the private providers do it. And that’s going to leave out all sorts of communities that were left out the first time when COVID ravaged them,” Cuomo said. “There was no mobilization of the government, and they’re still doing the same thing, they’re going to take this vaccine and they’re going to go through the private mechanism through hospitals through drug market change, etc. That’s going to be slow, that’s going to bypass the communities we call health care deserts. If you don’t have a Rite Aid or a CVS you’re in trouble.”

“Hastings Welcomes President-elect Biden” by The Floridian’s Daniel Molina – After news outlets projected that Vice President Joe Biden (R) would become the 46th President of the United States, a large number of prominent Democrats welcomed Biden as the President-elect. An even smaller number of prominent Republicans have also shared messages of support, calling for unity as the United States transitions to new leadership. However, this also comes at a time when President Trump (R) is still contesting the projected results, and it will likely take some time before Americans are sure of what the results are. Regardless of the litigations that are set to begin this week, Florida Democrats are reeling from the loss of a few House seats while also praising Biden for the current electoral map victory. Over the weekend, Rep. Alcee Hastings (D) released a statement on Twitter, announcing that “the American people have spoken, marking a new day of hope and change for our nation.” In the statement, the Florida Democrats expressed what a Biden victory means to him, detailing that “on the heels of one of the most tumultuous periods in recent history, the victory of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris symbolizes the unity, diversity, and resilience of the American people, despite the hardships our nation has endured over the past four years.” He also congratulated Senator Kamala Harris (D) for her achievement in being elected Vice President, adding that “she has undoubtedly paved the way for women of color to make a difference for our nation for generations to come.”

“Due to statute of limitations, Florida AG’s Catholic Church inquiry ends in no new arrests” by CBS 12’s Danielle Waugh – The Florida Attorney General’s Office ended a two-year investigation into the Catholic Church, and while prosecutors identified 97 Florida priests accused of sexual abuse, not a single priest or church official will face charges. “Prosecution of those allegations is barred by either the applicable statute of limitations or intervening death of the accused priest,” the newly released report states. The CBS12 News I-Team analyzed the list of accused priests in the AG’s report and found at least 11 had ties to the Palm Beach area. The Florida Attorney General investigation started after the state of Pennsylvania released its grand jury report detailing about 300 priests accused of sexual abuse. In 2018, Florida state prosecutors set up a hotline for clergy sexual abuse and received 260 tips. The Florida AG report states that investigators did not find any indication that Florida children are currently in immediate danger of sexual abuse by priests. In addition to the nearly 100 Florida priests accused of abuse, the investigation found in 81 cases, priests in other states were credibly accused of sexual abuse and were transferred within the church and relocated to work in Florida. “This potentially placed Florida’s children at a higher or heightened risk,” the report states. Investigators also found evidence of “potentially acts of criminal concealment” by church officials, but investigators say no one can be charged because the statute of limitations has expired. “Some of these people, we would have loved to have prosecuted,” statewide prosecutor Nick Cox told CBS12 News, calling the statute of limitations “an absolute bar.”

“FSU hosts CDC Director Robert Redfield for COVID-19 roundtable discussion” by FSU’s Kathleen Haughney – Florida State University welcomed Centers for Disease Control Director Dr. Robert Redfield as well as state health officials to campus Monday for a roundtable discussion on the university’s response to COVID-19. Redfield used the opportunity to deliver a clarion call: Keep wearing masks. “Masks work,” Redfield said. “They save lives.” FSU officials briefed Redfield, along with Florida Surgeon General Scott Rivkees and Deputy Secretary of Health Shamarial Roberson, on class delivery methods, the university’s COVID-19 testing operation and lab, contact tracing and student life. The CDC director said he was eager to learn how universities are successfully navigating the challenges of the pandemic, especially as the nation moves into the winter months and cases tick upward. “Somehow, we’ve learned how to take the highest risk group for infection – 18-25 year olds – where I thought we were in real trouble with college campuses, and in fact they’re a beacon of hope,” Redfield said. In preparation for the fall semester, the university reduced the number of students living on campus, moved many classes online and made special accommodations for courses that had to be taught in person. They also made adjustments for on-campus dining facilities, university libraries and health and fitness venues. The university also set up its own testing facility and processing lab to get results back to the university community in under 24 hours. “I’m proud of the creativity, flexibility and resilience that our students, faculty and staff have demonstrated as they have risen to meet the challenges of these unusual times,” FSU President John Thrasher told Redfield.

“Pence to spend time in Florida as Trump refuses to concede” by The Hill’s Brett Samuels – Vice President Pence is headed to Florida for a personal trip as President Trump refuses to concede the election several days after Joe Biden was projected to be the president-elect. Pence will leave Tuesday for Sanibel, an island near Fort Meyers, where he has vacationed before. A Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) advisory indicated the vice president would be there through Saturday. Spokespeople for Pence did not respond to requests for comment about whether the vacation was planned prior to the election. Pence has remained largely out of the public eye since appearing alongside Trump early Wednesday morning, where the president falsely claimed he had won the election. In the time since, Trump and some allies have alleged without evidence that widespread voter fraud is to blame for why Biden is leading in several battleground states. The vice president has been careful not to make such sweeping allegations while remaining supportive of the president. “Told @VP Team Today, ‘it ain’t over til it’s over.. and this AIN’T over!’ President @realDonaldTrump has never stopped fighting for us and we’re gonna Keep Fighting until every LEGAL vote is counted!” Pence tweeted Monday. But Pence has not made the same charges as Trump about the election being stolen. He has also carried on with his day-to-day duties in a way Trump has not.

“Florida to Watch Closely as Obamacare Again Goes Before Supreme Court” by Spectrum Pete Reinwald – Many in Florida are bracing as the Supreme Court hears arguments Tuesday that will determine the fate of the Affordable Care Act. The signature policy of former President Barack Obama brought health insurance to about 20 million people, and it remains especially popular in Florida, where more people registered for coverage this year than in any other state. The Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare, created exchanges or marketplaces through healthcare.gov that allow people to browse health care options outside of an employer plan. Proponents say the law has lowered costs for consumers. They also point to key consumer benefits. For example, the ACA prohibits insurers from denying coverage because of pre-existing conditions, and the law allows young adults to remain on their parents’s plans until age 26. “The bottom line, it’s a great deal for people,” said Anne Swerlick, senior policy analyst at the Orlando-based Florida Policy Institute. But opponents, including some doctors, maintain that high costs and deductibles are preventing some patients from getting the care they need. “It’s done so much damage,” said Dr. Suvarchala Dara, an Orlando cardiologist. Yet Floridians continue to demand it. Some 1.9 million Florida residents enrolled in plans though the healthcare.gov exchange for the 2020 benefit year. The open enrollment period for 2021 continues through November 15, and Florida could be on its way to again leading the country in Obamacare enrollment.

“Florida electors react after Biden declared winner” by WCTV’s Sophia Hernandez – Joe Biden is moving ahead with transition plans as media outlets project him to win the White House. However, President Donald Trump says he will challenge the election’s outcome, and there are still several weeks before results are official. The Electoral College, which chooses the president, does not cast its votes until Dec. 14. As of Monday afternoon, three states, Georgia, Alaska, and North Carolina, are still counting votes. Even when all the counting is done, there are several steps before Biden is officially elected president. Charlotte Flynt is a Republican Florida Elector. When mentioning Biden’s president elect title, her response was “I am sorry, AP does not rule the world.” She, along with fellow Florida Elector Jason Fischer, say the race for president was called too early. They are raising questions about voting irregularities. “It is in the best interest to wait to start declaring winners for president until those irregularities have been looked at, until the electoral college has gone and voted, because constitutionally that is when you get a president elect,” Fischer says. So far, there is no evidence of widespread voting issues, and no sign that the outcome will change. That is according to Florida State University Political Scientist Dr. Carol Weissert. “That would be very unusual and I think that is a little hysteria at this point,” Weissert says. Fischer also believes that the court system will iron out any irregularities. Steps still have to be taken in the electoral process. States like Georgia are still tabulating results, and with close margins, the ballots will get a look over. “This is not unusual,” Dr. Weissert says. “In 2018, we had three recounts in Florida for three statewide elections. A lot of times, they are very close and we want to make sure we have it right, so recounts are a perfectly normal thing to do.” Each state will certify its count a few weeks after the election. For Florida, that date is Nov. 17th, while in Georgia, it’s Nov. 20.

 

“Georgia official says state will find illegal votes, likely not enough to close gap” by Fox News’ Sam Dorman – A Georgia election official said on Monday that the state would find illegal votes but likely not enough to close the roughly 10,000-vote gap between former Vice President Joe Biden and President Trump. “We are going to find that people did illegally vote — that’s going to happen. There are going to be double voters. There are going to be people who did not have the qualifications for registered voters to vote in this state. That will be found, said Gabriel Sterling, who serves as Voting System Implementation Manager in the state. “Is it 10,353?” Sterling said, referring to Biden’s lead. “Unlikely. But every election, as I’ve said I think every day at this podium, is imperfect.” He added, however, that with the tight margins his state saw, he would thoroughly investigate the issue. “We know the system counted properly. We know the ballots that were there were counted properly and correctly. We know that. We’re going to have an audit to prove it,” Sterling said. His comments came nearly a week after election day on Nov. 3. While media outlets have already called the election for Biden, the Trump campaign is vowing to continue fighting as Georgia seemed poised for a recount. His comments came nearly a week after election day on Nov. 3. While media outlets have already called the election for Biden, the Trump campaign is vowing to continue fighting as Georgia seemed poised for a recount. In a statement Monday, the state’s Republican senators, Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, lambasted the elections as an “embarrassment” and called on Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to resign.

“Biden’s First Foreign Policy Task Is a Global Covid-19 Response” by WSJ’s Michael R. Gordon – President-elect Joe Biden is planning to move quickly to rebuild ties with longstanding U.S. allies and use those ties to coordinate international efforts to deal with Covid-19 and its economic and humanitarian consequences. Early steps will include rejoining and trying to reform the World Health Organization while using international venues such as the Group of Seven nations and Group of 20 major economies to focus on the coronavirus pandemic and its consequences, including a potential debt crisis in emerging markets and food insecurity in impoverished nations, a top aide to Mr. Biden said. As Mr. Biden campaigned for the presidency, he staked out sharply contrasting positions with President Trump on how to curb Iran’s nuclear program, pursue arms control with Russia and tackle climate change. But the necessity of dealing with the pandemic is expected to dominate the start of the incoming administration’s foreign-policy efforts. “There is an urgent leadership requirement internationally with regard to Covid-19,” said Antony Blinken, Mr. Biden’s senior foreign-policy adviser. “The first thing we have to deal with, domestically as well as internationally, is working to get out from under the Covid[-19] rock.” In an address on Monday following a coronavirus briefing, Mr. Biden emphasized the need to “restore U.S. global leadership to fight this pandemic.” Well before the coronavirus crisis, Mr. Biden underscored the need to close ranks with North Atlantic Treaty Organization allies and other international partners, which he said Mr. Trump has unfairly belittled. Mr. Trump has said it was necessary to take a firm stance to encourage NATO nations to increase their military spending. He has, however, made major decisions on removing U.S. troops from Europe and the Middle East without the traditional consultation with Western partners.

“DOJ’s top election crimes prosecutor quits in protest after Barr tells federal attorneys to probe unsupported allegations of voting irregularities” by CNN’s Evan Perez – The Justice Department’s top election crimes prosecutor resigned Monday in protest after Attorney General William Barr told federal prosecutors that they should examine allegations of voting irregularities before states move to certify results in the coming weeks. Richard Pilger, director of the elections crimes branch in the Justice Department’s Public Integrity Section, told colleagues in an email that the attorney general was issuing “an important new policy abrogating the forty-year-old Non-Interference Policy for ballot fraud investigations in the period prior to elections becoming certified and uncontested.” Pilger also forwarded the memo to colleagues in his resignation letter. Pilger’s resignation email didn’t make clear whether he plans to stay in the department in another capacity. Barr’s densely worded memo had told prosecutors they could take investigative steps such as interviewing witnesses during a period that they would normally need permission from the elections crimes section. It’s not clear what practical effect the policy would have in an election in which President Donald Trump trails President-elect Joe Biden by tens of thousands of votes in several key states. Barr didn’t provide any indication that the Justice Department has come up with evidence to support Trump’s claim of massive fraud in last week’s election. In his memo, Barr notes that while “most allegations of purported election misconduct are of such a scale that they would not impact the outcome of an election and, thus, investigation can appropriately be deferred, that is not always the case.”

“DC mayor disregarded own COVID restrictions to attend Biden victory speech, defends ‘essential travel’” by Fox News’ Bradford Betz – Despite Delaware being on District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser’s list of high-risk states, the mayor and her staff attended President-elect Joe Biden’s victory speech in Delaware Saturday, reportedly defending the trip as “essential travel.” Bowser’s justification for her travel was first reported by Mark Segraves of WRC, the NBC-owned station in Washington D.C., who quoted one of her staff members as saying the trip was “essential travel” and “excepted under Mayor’s order.” Segraves quoted Bowser’s Chief of Staff John J. Falicchio who said he, the mayor, and her senior advisers met with Symone Sanders, a campaign adviser for Biden. Delaware was among the states deemed “high-risk” in a list released by Mayor Bowser’s office just last week. The guidelines state that “anyone coming into Washington, DC from a high-risk state (within the prior 14 days) who was traveling for non-essential activities will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days from their arrival in the district.” It further states that “individuals traveling from high-risk states after essential travel or arriving in the District for essential travel are required to self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 for 14 days and, if they show signs or experience symptoms of COVID-19, they are to self-quarantine and seek medical advice or testing.” It wasn’t immediately clear if Mayor Bowser or the staff members who accompanied her to Biden’s victory speech in Wilmington, Delaware on Saturday were abiding by their own quarantine rules. Her office has not responded to Fox News’ request for comment. The mayor has also been mum on the thousands of Americans who celebrated in the streets over the weekend following Biden’s presidential victory. Countless images have emerged of participants packed should-to-shoulder in close quarters. Many – though not all – appeared to be wearing masks, but very few were abiding by social distancing as recommended for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“Trump Campaign Launches New Tactic in Legal Fight to Contest Election Results” by WSJ’s Rebecca Davis O’Brien, Corinne Ramey and Deanna Paul – The Trump campaign and its allies unveiled a new tactic to contest election vote counts, suing to stop state officials from finalizing results due to fraud allegations in Michigan and limits imposed on poll observers in Pennsylvania. Judges likely would be reluctant to take the rare step of blocking final vote counts without seeing substantial evidence of fraud or irregularities widespread enough to change the election, legal analysts said. President-elect Joe Biden was declared the winner by the Associated Press in Michigan and Pennsylvania by margins that election-law experts say would be difficult to overcome in court. In Michigan, Mr. Biden’s lead was 146,000 votes with 99% counted, and in Pennsylvania it was over 45,000 votes with 99% counted. The Trump campaign filed a federal lawsuit in Pennsylvania, and a conservative legal group said it filed a state lawsuit in Michigan, calling on judges to block state officials from certifying the election results. The Trump campaign’s Pennsylvania lawsuit alleges that poll observers were kept too far away from vote counters, and that voters in Republican- and Democratic-majority counties received different treatment during the election, in potential violation of the Constitution. The suit asks a judge to require Pennsylvania officials to invalidate ballots in cases where voters were notified and allowed to fix problems. Philadelphia election officials said they had set up an area where candidates and party representatives could view the room without impeding the vote-processing operation. State election officials have said they followed all laws. In Michigan, the Great Lakes Justice Center’s suit on behalf of two state residents alleges that Detroit elections officials counted ineligible absentee ballots and improperly excluded observers from the ballot-counting process. The lawsuit also contains the allegations of a Detroit elections employee who said she observed city employees coaching voters to cast ballots for Mr. Biden in the weeks before the election.

“Prospects for a stimulus deal fading in the lame duck” by CNN’s Lauren Fox and Manu Raju – The prospects for another coronavirus stimulus package appear to be slim in in the wake of the November elections — with both sides still badly divided over the size and scope of such a plan and lawmakers uncertain how President Donald Trump will handle the matter now that he’s lost his bid for reelection. “I think both sides are saying they want one, but both sides are saying they want the one they want,” Sen. Roy Blunt, a Republican from Missouri and a member of leadership said Monday at the Capitol. The election has left the chances of passing another stimulus package unclear, senators and congressional sources told CNN on Monday with top Republicans dead set against moving a massive package beyond $1 trillion. Democrats are demanding twice as much. Meanwhile, Trump — who once called on Republicans to accept “a big, beautiful” stimulus in hopes it would boost his election prospects — is now consumed by the fallout of his defeat. The White House’s lead stimulus negotiator, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, has taken a step back from the talks, and all eyes are on Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who had been on the sidelines of the negotiations throughout the summer and fall.

In recent days, McConnell has signaled an interest in getting a stimulus passed out of as his majority hangs in the balance with two crucial Senate races in Georgia headed for a runoff on January 5. But, McConnell emphasized once again Monday that anything that passes, must be “targeted.” “We need another rescue package,” McConnell said last week in Kentucky. “I think we need to do it and I think we need to do it before the end of the year.” Aides on both sides who have spent months watching the negotiations argue that there are no signs that a deal is on the horizon even if the balance of the Senate hangs in the balance. Both sides are still awaiting direction from their leadership on how to proceed and repeatedly failed talks have left members uncertain that a deal can get done when another spending deadline looms in December to keep the government funded. If anything, they argue that there are too many variables at this point to gauge whether a deal is possible in the lame duck at all. For one, with Mnuchin out of the picture, there are still questions about to what extent McConnell will take the helm and negotiate directly with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, or whether Trump will be willing to sign any deal at all.

“13 GOP women join the House, dominating congressional elections, making history” by Fox News’ Angelica Stabile – At least 13 Republican women are joining the 117th U.S. Congress after dominating the 2020 elections, making history for the highest number of women in the House of Representatives. Republicans have been watching their numbers in the House rise, and six of the eight seats flipped red were owed to women. According to The Washington Post, House Republican leaders estimate more than a dozen women could be added to the current 13, doubling the number in their caucus. The GOP congresswomen-elects are marking history themselves – South Carolina’s Nancy Mace being the first female elected in her state and Florida’s Kat Cammack being the youngest GOP woman elected – and are representing American women across the country. Lauren Boebert is the congresswoman-elect for Colorado’s third congressional district. Her campaign stood grounded in her advocacy for protecting gun rights, energy and the Constitution. Boebert is the owner and founder of the nationally known Shooter’s Grill in Rifle, Colo., a restaurant where staff proudly open carry while serving customers. Kat Cammack will be joining the 117th Congress as the youngest GOP woman in history. The elect has triumphantly gone from homeless to the House in under a decade. In 2011, Cammack’s family lost the cattle ranch she grew up on due to a failed Obama program. After months of being homeless, Cammack was asked by Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Fla., to join his campaign, on which she served as the longtime deputy chief of staff and campaign manager. Miami-native Maria Elvira Salazar has been elected to serve Florida’s 27th congressional district. Salazar learned the value of freedom at a young age when her parents fled from Cuba in the presence of Fidel Castro to become U.S. citizens. Now, the congresswoman-elect aims to end the coming of socialism in America.

“Trump Fires Mark Esper as Defense Secretary” by WSJ’s Nancy A. Youssef and Gordon Lubold – President Trump dismissed Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Monday, saying in a Twitter post that he had “terminated” his Pentagon chief and replaced him with a new acting secretary, signaling the start of a shake-up in the remaining weeks of the Trump administration. The acting secretary appointed by Mr. Trump is Christopher Miller, who had just become the director of the National Counterterrorism Center in August after being confirmed by the Senate. Mr. Miller on Monday walked into the Pentagon’s River Entrance, used by high-ranking officials, about an hour after the president’s tweet after arriving in a red Ford sedan, joking that he had almost tripped on the Pentagon’s first step. Mr. Trump, who hasn’t conceded the presidential election to victor Joe Biden, nominated Mr. Esper last year as his fourth defense secretary, but soured on him after a disagreement earlier this year over Mr. Trump’s interest in using U.S. troops to restore order during racial justice protests. Mr. Esper didn’t respond to a request for comment. Mr. Esper was one of several top administration officials and Trump appointees to draw the wrath of the president. Mr. Trump also has openly speculated about firing Federal Bureau of Investigation Director Christopher Wray, with whom he has disagreed on a number of issues from Russian election interference to the threat posed by left-wing protesters and allegations of voter fraud. Mr. Esper was told about Mr. Trump’s impending announcement by White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, who called minutes before to say that the president would be removing him immediately. Mr. Esper began packing his office shortly afterward, defense officials said, and released a one-page message to the force, calling his tenure the highlight of his life and thanking them for their work and honoring their “oath to the Constitution.”

“Georgia’s Republican secretary of state shoots down Republican senators’ call for his resignation” by CNN’s Paul LeBlanc – Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger on Monday rebuked calls from Republican US Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue to resign as both of their Senate races appear to be headed for a January runoff. “Earlier today Senators Loeffler and Perdue called for my resignation,” Raffensperger, who is also a Republican, said in a statement. “Let me start by saying that is not going to happen. The voters of Georgia hired me, and the voters will be the one to fire me.” “As Secretary of State, I’ll continue to fight every day to ensure fair elections in Georgia, that every legal vote counts, and that illegal votes don’t count,” Raffensperger continued. “I know emotions are running high. Politics are involved in everything right now. If I was Senator Perdue, I’d be irritated I was in a runoff. And both Senators and I are all unhappy with the potential outcome for our President.” Earlier Monday afternoon, Loeffler and Perdue called for Raffensperger’s resignation in a joint statement that bemoaned the state’s election process without offering any specific evidence to back their claims. “Georgians are outraged, and rightly so. We have been clear from the beginning: every legal vote cast should be counted. Any illegal vote must not. And there must be transparency and uniformity in the counting process,” the pair said, echoing President Donald Trump’s false claims that illegal ballots are shaping the election. Raffensperger, they maintained, “has failed the people of Georgia, and he should step down immediately.” Georgia Republican Gov. Brian Kemp’s press secretary, Cody Hall, similarly said in a statement that Raffensperger should “look at any and all voting irregularity allegations” but stopped short of calling for his resignation.

Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump “Only because of President Trump, we are going to have a Vaccine by the end of the year.” Ronny Jackson, Texas Congressman-Elect

Joe Biden @JoeBidenI won’t be president until January 20th, but my message today to everyone is this: wear a mask.

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Javier Manjarres is a nationally renowned award-winning political journalist. Diverse New Media, Corp. publishes Floridianpress.com, Hispolitica.com, shark-tank.com, and Texaspolitics.com He enjoys traveling, playing soccer, mixed martial arts, weight-lifting, swimming, and biking. Javier is also a political consultant and has also authored "BROWN PEOPLE," which is a book about Hispanic Politics. Learn more at www.brownpeople.org Email him at [email protected]