JUICE - Florida Politics' Juicy Read -11.18.20 - Rubio Continues Backing Trump's Election Effort - American Energy Wins Big - Murphy, Waltz Push Medal of Honor for Fallen FL Soldier -More...

JUICE - Florida Politics' Juicy Read -11.18.20 - Rubio Continues Backing Trump's Election Effort - American Energy Wins Big - Murphy, Waltz Push Medal of Honor for Fallen FL Soldier -More...

Javier Manjarres
Javier Manjarres
November 18, 2020



Counting All The Votes


President Donald Trump and his campaign team are pressing forward with their litigation in several key battleground states where they believe rampant voter fraud has occurred and hope that recounts and a possible Supreme Court move could flip the results of the general election in their favor.

Senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott have been backing the president’s ‘count all the votes’ play, and rightly so. Both men have 2024 presidential ambitions, and both would need Trump’s support (if he doesn’t run again) or at the very least, they would hope that he would stay on the sidelines.

Remember, Trump commands 72 million votes. Biden’s 78 million votes is marred by one great big asterisks because 51 percent of those who voted for him actually cast their vote against Trump.

“That some counties let voters fix or “cure,” mail-in ballots while others in the same state didn’t is a legitimate due process & equal protection claim even if by itself it would not impact enough votes to alter the outcome of the election,” stated Rubio.

Oh wait, there is some controversy here READ MORE

So what has President Trump been up to besides firing the nation’s top cybersecurity guy? READ MORE

Well, for starters, he just reversed the government’s decision to cancel the traditional Wreaths Across America event at Arlington National Cemetery.

“I have reversed the ridiculous decision to cancel Wreaths Across America at Arlington National Cemetery,” tweeted President Trump. “It will now go on!” 


Big Oil

In addition, Trump scored another big win for U.S. energy producers by renewing a license to work lease in Venezuela for 5 American energy companies, including Halliburton and Chevron.

Remember, if and when Dictator Maduro falls, a U.S. oil presence is critical, because if American companies move out, Russia and oil baron Vlad Putin will completely absorb all of Venezuela’s oil production. READ MORE


2020 Election Update

>>> Trump Campaign Faces Wednesday Deadline and $8 Million Cost For Recount Request

>>> Georgia Recount Finds More Than 2,600 Uncounted Ballots

Debbie Wasserman Schultz @DWStweets-Trump is doing everything he can to ruin our environment on his way out of Washington. The latest: he’s auctioning off oil drilling rights in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to the highest bidder.

Rep. Matt Gaetz @RepMattGaetz -There's something a little suspicious about the fact that we've have COVID vaccine breakthroughs days AFTER the election.

No American president or politician in recent history has been tougher on Big Pharma than President @realDonaldTrump

Ron DeSantis @GovRonDeSantis -Congratulations to @FSUSoccer on their seventh ACC Championship and a perfect season! This achievement is the result of hard work and dedication and these accomplished women continue to inspire millions of young student-athletes across our great state.

Congressman Charlie Crist @RepCharlieCrist -Pinellas families and our economy can’t afford to wait any longer for COVID relief. Took to House Floor today calling on Congress to rise to the occasion, put differences aside, and pass relief that will help folks in need. Let’s get it done.

Anthony Sabatini @AnthonySabatini-Good to be back in Tallahassee—time to eliminate tyrannical government, stop taxpayer theft, and protect freedom

FL Dept. of Agriculture & Consumer Services @FDACS-Scammers prey on consumers of all backgrounds, ages, and incomes, making all Floridians increasingly vulnerable to becoming victims of fraud.









“U.S. Treasury extends critical license for American energy companies in Venezuela” by The Floridian’s Javier Manjarres – With election legal challenges continuing, and with less than 3 months until the end of President Donald Trump’s term in office, the Trump administration continues to project its strong pro-American foreign policy agenda across the globe, and in particular in the Middle East and the Western Hemisphere. As it was widely expected, Trump’s U.S. Treasury department just extended a license to five American energy companies to continue working in Venezuela until June 3, 2021. The license, which has been renewed six times, was up for renewal on December 1, 2020. The license extension provides a waiver that exempts Chevron, Halliburton, Schlumberger Ltd, GE company Baker Hughes and Weatherford International from sanctions on Venezuela’s oil sector but with significant limitations. These are the same limitations that were included in the last waiver and which do not authorize the companies to drill, sell ship,s or trade Venezuelan oil. The license allows these five U.S. companies to carry out transactions in the country that are essential to preserve their assets, keep employees safe and pay contractors. It should be noted that the waiver does not require the companies to close their operations or exit the country by that date.

“Murphy, Waltz Urge Trump to Award Presidential Medal of Honor to Sgt. Cashe by The Floridian’s Daniel Molina – Earlier this month, it was reported that the Senate passed a bill that would honor Sgt. First Class Alwyn Cashe posthumously for the heroic actions he took during Operation Enduring Freedom in 2005. Now, the bipartisan coalition behind the bil is urging the Defense Department that it should recommend that President Trump (R) award the Medal of Honor to the fallen soldier. Florida Reps. Stephanie Murphy (D), Michael Waltz (R) and Texas Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R) have directed a letter to Chris Miller, the Acting Secretary of Defense, formally requesting that President Trump should posthumously award the Medal of Honor to U.S. Army Sgt. First Class Alwyn Cashe in honor of the actions taken in Iraq on October 17th, 2005. While in duty, Cashe saved the lives of multiple soldiers after their Bradley fighting vehicle struck an improvised explosive device and caught on fire. Repeatedly returning to the vehicle to pull out the wounded soldiers, he was left open to enemy gunfire and was also set on fire. He would later pass away from his wounds.

“Trump Campaign Faces Wednesday Deadline and $8 Million Cost For Recount Request” by The Floridian’s Mona Salama – The Trump Campaign is mulling its final decision to request a recount in Wisconsin and has until Wednesday to submit and pay nearly $8 million to do so after a completed statewide canvass showed the president trailing Democrat opponent Joe Biden by only 0.62 percentage points. The final canvassed totals report was submitted to the state elections commission on Tuesday and found the final tally showing Biden leading Trump by 20,608 votes or 0.6 points — below the 1% mark and enough for the Trump campaign to request for a recount. Based on the canvassed results compared with unofficial totals posted by the counties reported that Biden widened his lead over Trump by 62 votes. In Milwaukee County completed canvas, it showed Biden gained 19 votes while Trump gained two votes. The Wisconsin Elections Commission said the deadline for the Trump campaign to file for a recount and submit the payment is Wednesday at 5 pm CT/ 6 pm ET. According to Wisconsin’s chief elections official Meagan Wolfe, the price tag for a recount is projected to cost $7.9 million, 4 times higher than what it cost Green Party candidate Jill Stein for her request of a recount in the 2016 election. Wolfe defended the recount cost increase, citing the expenses are due to conducting a recount during the coronavirus pandemic, as well a short time frame and increased security measures.

“Georgia Recount Finds More Than 2,600 Uncounted Ballots” by The Floridian’s Mona Salama – More than 2,600 early voted ballots in Georgia have reportedly been uncovered during its recount process that weren’t originally included in the state’s original overall results. The ballots were found in Floyd County — a GOP stronghold and tentatively confirmed that 1,643 new votes went for President Trump, 865 for Democratic opponent Joe Biden and 16 for Libertarian candidate Jo Jorgensen. As a result of the discovered ballots, the new tally shows that Trump would gain nearly 800 net votes to help reduce his 14,156 vote deficit. According to the Secretary of State’s website — 27,120 Floyd County residents cast a ballot for Trump, 10,972 for Biden, and 496 for Jorgensen. The newly reported numbers weren’t included in the totals. Georgia began recounting over 5 million ballots by hand last Friday that was authorized by Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger due to the narrow gap between Trump and Biden. The states’ 159 counties and thousands of county and poll workers have a deadline of Wednesday, Nov. 18 at midnight to finish the recount.

“Biden Warns ‘More People May Die’ If Trump Continues Blocking Transition Process” by The Floridian’s Mona Salama – Possible President-Elect Joe Biden in his first economic remarks warned Monday if President Trump continues to block a coordination of an orderly transition, including hampering access to Operation Warp Speed vaccine distribution plan would lead to more Americans who “may die” from the coronavirus. “More people may die if we don’t coordinate,” Biden responded when asked what does he see as the “biggest threat” to his transition process due to Trump’s “unprecedented attempt to obstruct and delay a smooth transfer of power.” “So how do we get the vaccine? How do we get over 300 million Americans vaccinated? What’s the game plan? It’s a huge, huge, huge undertaking to get it done, prioritize those with greatest need, and working our way through it,” Biden added. “And so they say they have this Warp Speed program that the not only dealt with getting vaccines, but also how to distribute this. If we have to wait until January 20th to start that planning, it puts us behind over a month, month and a half. And so it’s important that it be done, that there be coordination now. Now as rapidly as we can get that done.”

“OPINION: Mr. President, let’s not lose Venezuela” via The Floridian – Among President Trump’s wisest foreign policy strategies has been his tough sanctions against the brutal and illegal seizure of power by Venezuela’s Maduro regime. Nicolas Maduro is one of the world’s most corrupt and murderous world leaders. Chaotic protest scenes have broken out in the nation’s largest city, Caracas, the nation’s economic infrastructure has collapsed, and its citizens are starving. This is the evil of socialism in full view. America’s “liberals” cheered Hugo Chavez and have been quietly supportive of Maduro. By contrast, ousting Maduro is one of Trump’s highest unflinching foreign policy and human rights objectives, as well it should be. America’s goal here is to replace Maduro with a stable, free, and pro-America regime. Trump has so far wisely protected U.S.-owned assets in Venezuela because property rights are critical to economic recovery and because of worries our adversaries, including Russia and China, will seize the assets. Venezuela’s principal asset is its vast oil fields. It sits atop one of the largest oil fields with an estimated 20% of the world’s reserves. Many of these fields are owned and operated by American energy companies. While tightening the screws on the Maduro regime is appropriate, forcing American companies to surrender these assets is a risky strategy that could only give the Russians and Chinese a foothold in South America. China would love to control the hundreds of billions of dollars of energy assets held by Petroleos de Venezuela. This outcome would be utterly contrary to America’s economic and national security interests. We don’t want to repeat the mistakes we made with Cuba in the 1960s when the Soviets seized effective control of the economy and assets.

“Farmers, Truck Drivers and other Essential Workers in Florida’s “Blue Collar” Economy Gain Political Strength following November Election” by The Floridian’s Javier Manjarres – With Republicans making big gains across the country on Election Day – with one major exception at the top of the ticket – it is clear that the biggest winners this year were the American workers. Americans voted in great numbers in opposition to the progressive/socialist agenda of the Democratic Party. In Florida, this was seen particularly in Miami-Dade County, where working-class Hispanic voters led the charge against candidates supporting the broken policies that have resulted in relaxed foreign trade and sent American jobs overseas. As a result, in 2020, President Trump lost Miami-Dade County by only 7 points compared to 29 points against Hillary Clinton four years ago. In other races, Democratic candidates such as Congresswoman Debbie Mucarsel-Powell and state representative Javier Fernandez lost. In recent years, jobs like those held by farmers, electricians, welders, truck drivers, and others tied to domestic economic activity have been at risk due to the progressive agenda that Democrats have put forth. COVID-19 has altered perceptions this year, with many of these “essential” jobs now properly recognized as highly valuable to American survival and quality of life. According to the US. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), the following were deemed part of our nation’s critical worker infrastructure, and as a result never stopped working despite progressives’ calls to shut down the economy: medical and healthcare, telecommunications, information technology systems, defense, food and agriculture, transportation and logistics, energy, water and wastewater, and law enforcement.

“Sanders Says Nobody He Knows Talks About ‘Defunding The Police’” by The Floridian’s Mona Salama – Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) tries to distance himself from the idea of abolishing or defunding police departments, claiming that “nobody I know who’s running” ever talked about it during the election, apparently forgetting that members of ‘The Squad’ he adores have vocally expressed support for this movement into becoming a reality. “Nobody I know who’s running for office talks about defunding the police,” Sanders said in an interview on CNN’s “State Of the Union” Sunday morning. “What we talk about is making police officers accountable, making sure that police departments do what they can do best, figuring out how you deal with mental illness, how you deal with homelessness, whether those are, in fact, police responsibilities, making sure the police officers are not killing innocent African-Americans. That is not defund the police.” The host, Jake Tapper appeared senile as well and refused to correct or pressed Sanders’ assessment, despite the fact he had one of ’The Squad’ on his show talking about defunding police. Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-NY), appearing on the same show back in June amid the death of George Floyd stated that she wants a full dismantle of the Minneapolis Police Department. “You can’t really reform a department that is rotten to the root. What you can do is rebuild,” Omar told Tapper in June, while dismissing moderate democrats who voice their opposition to the movement. “The current infrastructure that exists as policing in our city should not exist anymore. And we can’t go about creating a different process with the same infrastructure in place. And so dismantling it, and then looking at what funding priorities should look like as we reimagine a new way forward is what needs to happen.”

“Obama Urges Trump To Concede And ‘Think Beyond Your Own Ego’ by The Floridian's Mona Salama – Former President Obama in an interview with CBS’ 60 Minutes Sunday thinks it is time that President Trump concedes the 2020 election to Democrat Joe Biden, saying this should have been done within the first two days after Nov. 3rd while giving his personal advice to his successor telling him “think beyond your own ego” in order to “put country first.” “I think it was time for him to concede probably the day after the election or at the latest two days after the election,” Obama told 60 Minutes when asked about his view of Trump refusing to concede. “When you look at the numbers, objectively, Joe Biden will have won handily. There is no scenario in which any of those states would turn the other way and certainly not enough to reverse the outcome of the election.” “A president is a public servant. They are temporary occupants of the office, by design,” Obama said. “And when your time is up, then it is your job to put the country first and think beyond your own ego, and your own interests, and your own disappointments.” “My advice to President Trump is, if you want at this late stage in the game to be remembered as somebody who put country first, it’s time for you to do the same thing,” Obama added. Obama, who is promoting his new memoir “A Promised Land” that is scheduled to come out on Tuesday believes there will be “consequence” with the lack of transition not moving forward in terms of foreign policy.

“Israeli Officials Angered Over CNN’s Holocaust Comments” by The Floridian’s Daniel Molina – For much of President Trump’s (R) presidency, he has been engaged in conflict with the mainstream media, calling them fake news and criticizing them for biased reporting. The fight now continues with CNN, but this time the comments aimed at the news network are not coming from the President. Over the weekend, CNN correspondent Christiane Amanpour likened President Trump’s term to Kristallnacht, which is the 1938 Nazi pogrom against the Jewish people. The Floridian was the first media outlet to report on Amanpour’s statement. This comment angered Israel’s Foreign Ministry along with its Diaspora Affairs Ministry, who in turn requested that CNN denounce the comments made by Amanpour. In a letter sent to CNN President Jeffrey Zucker by Diaspora Affairs Minister Omer Yankelevich, Amanpour was asked to issue an “immediate and public apology,” adding that her comments were an “unacceptable comparison.” The letter detailed that “we find hereby the false equivalence made between the actions of a sitting US president and the atrocities of the Kristallnacht pogroms which were carried out by the Nazis eighty-two years ago belittling of the immense tragedy of the Holocaust.”

“Florida Democrats cite blunting GOP ‘opportunism’ as 2021 priority” by The Center Square ‘s john Haughey – Recognizing there’s little likelihood that many of their priorities will advance, Democrat leaders in the Florida Legislature say they’ll blunt Republican “opportunism” when the 60-day legislative session begins March 2. New Senate Minority Leader Gary Farmer, D-Fort Lauderdale, said Democrats, who are outnumbered 24-16, fiercely will contest Gov. Ron DeSantis’ “anti-mob” proposal that extends Stand Your Ground to property crimes and efforts to exploit pandemic-induced budget constraints to slash health and human services spending. The governor’s “anti-mob” initiative is “a nonstarter for our caucus,” Farmer said Monday. “To cut services now would just be pouring salt on the wounds of Floridians who are already hurting in a variety of ways.” Florida House Democrats on Monday selected Rep. Bobby DuBose, D-Fort Lauderdale, and Rep. Evan Jenne, D-Dania Beach, as co-leaders of their chamber caucus. They will lead a delegation outnumbered by Republicans, 74-46. Monday’s caucuses preceded Tuesday’s one-day organizational session to swear in newly elected legislators and install Sen. Wilton Simpson, R-Spring Hill, as Senate President and Rep. Chris Sprowls, R-Palm Harbor, as House Speaker. Farmer said Senate Democrats would call for maintaining health care spending, fixing the state’s collapsed unemployment system and combating the COVID-19 pandemic to accelerate the state’s economic recovery. He said the pandemic has exposed gaps in mental health services that must be addressed.

“Why ‘Socialism’ Killed Democrats in Florida” by NY Mag’s Ben Jacobs – “It was a McCarthyism type of pounding,” said Congresswoman Donna Shalala, looking back on the election she narrowly lost this month. Shalala had spent eight years serving in the Cabinet of Bill Clinton, the paragon of Democratic moderates, but by the end of her reelection campaign, she told Intelligencer, people were coming up to her and saying, “You’re a communist.” “It was nasty, I’ve been in politics for a long time, this was vicious,” she said, as it was for a number of other Democrats in south Florida who lost their seats in races up and down the ticket in Miami-Dade County as it shifted over 20 points toward Trump. Hillary Clinton won the county by almost 300,000 votes in 2016, Joe Biden won it by only 85,000 — which made winning the state’s 29 electoral votes all but impossible for him. By the end of Election Night, Florida had been called for Donald Trump and the traditionally swing state was starting to look red. The dramatic and unexpected shift in Miami-Dade was concentrated among Hispanics, who make up 71 percent of the county’s population. According to over a half dozen current and former Democratic and Republican elected officials and operatives who spoke to Intelligencer, the biggest factor in the swing toward Republicans was that these voters had a negative response to the Democratic Party’s shift to the left nationally and the rise of self-described democratic socialists such as Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. In south Florida, many Hispanics are immigrants or the descendants of immigrants from countries with left-wing dictators, fleeing countries like the Cuba of the Castros and the Venezuela of Hugo Chávez and Nicolás Maduro. “Cuba, Venezuela, Colombia, and Nicaragua are local issues [in south Florida] and these are things people follow and talk about every day,” former Republican congressman Carlos Curbelo told Intelligencer.

“Florida unemployment agency will ask for $5M to hire staff as claims remain unresolved for 6 months or more” by WFLA’s Victoria Price – Florida’s unemployment agency will ask lawmakers for $5 million during the upcoming legislative session to hire roughly 100 additional employees to tackle the increase and complexity of pandemic-related claims. “The additional staff will help meet the current needs of the program and our customers,” a Department of Economic Opportunity spokesperson wrote in a statement to 8 On Your Side. Recently-appointed DEO Director Dane Eagle called hiring additional staff trained to process the complicated claims put aside due to high volume “a priority” when he spoke with us in early October. But with the legislature not in session until March, those hires won’t be made until next year, even if the money is approved. Bill McVey of Hernando County says he’s one of the hundreds, if not thousands, of laid-off workers whose been waiting six months for benefits and says he can’t wait another six months. For 22 years, McVey was a sales executive at Lazydays RV in Seffner. But then came the pandemic in March and, at 73 years old, concerns about his health. “I asked them to work from home and they said I couldn’t do that,” McVey explained. “I was laid off the next day.” McVey filed for unemployment and received a few checks. But he also received a job offer at another RV lot, which he gladly accepted until that position was eliminated about three weeks later. “I’ve sent letters, emails, phone calls,” he said. “I’ve got hundreds of hours on the phone to DEO explaining to them that I stopped working at the end of May. But for whatever reason, McVey’s DEO account won’t update and still shows him working that new job. His benefits have been on hold now for 22 weeks, and he’s owed approximately $12,000.

“Border Patrol agents arrested 15 on Florida shore” by Fox 13’s Staff – U.S. Border Patrol agents arrested 15 people who made shore in Palm Beach in what authorities called a “maritime smuggling event.” According to John R Modlin, Chief Patrol Agent of the Miami Sector the US Border Patrol, the 15 were comprised of 14 Haitians and one Bahamian. The foreign nationals were taken into federal custody near Mar-a-Lago. Border Patrol told CBS12 News that none of the 15 were injured in the incident. Officials said the 15 individuals beached the boat they were in, and then tried to escape from authorities. After a search, all were taken into custody. The boat, a 26-foot Scarab, was also seized. U.S. Border Patrol sent CBS12 the following statement: “Fortunately, no members of the group were injured during this dangerous journey across rough seas. Smugglers are not concerned with the safety of the people they are smuggling, rather they continue to put the lives of migrants at risk. We work with our investigative partners to prosecute the smugglers associated with these events. The event is still under investigation."

“DeSantis' post-election vanishing act — Florida hits highest one-day coronavirus total since July — Historic Sunday night launch” by Politico’s Gary Fineout – Good Monday morning. The daily rundown — Between Saturday and Sunday, the number of Florida coronavirus cases increased by 10,105 (nearly 1.2 percent), to 885,201; active hospitalizations went down by 34 (nearly 1.1 percent), to 3,118; deaths rose by 29 (nearly 0.2 percent), to 17,518. Provocative — In the immediate aftermath of the election, Gov. Ron DeSantis went on Fox News and floated the idea that GOP-controlled Legislatures in Michigan and Pennsylvania should overturn the results and name electors for President Donald Trump. Governor who? — Since then, the governor hasn’t been out in public much. Or talked to the press. Low-profile — Save a brief appearance on The Weather Channel to discuss Tropical Storm Eta, DeSantis has been holed up at the mansion or his office and said little about President-elect Joe Biden. DeSantis skipped holding press briefings on the tropical storm that hit the state twice (something that would have never happened under Gov. Rick Scott). Getting ready — DeSantis spokesman Fred Piccolo told our Arek Sarkissian that DeSantis is preparing for the 2021 session that starts in March. Although the governor’s budget recommendations are due a month in advance, Piccolo, who relishes in Twitter combat, told a newspaper editor on Sunday that the governor would “likely” meet with the press this week “assuming there are serious questions I think he’d take Plenty of them.”

“Florida looks to close book on school reopening fight” by News Service of Florida’s Jim Saunders – Trying to end months of legal wrangling, the state is urging an appeals court to keep in place a decision that backed Gov. Ron DeSantis and Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran in a fight about reopening schools during the COVID-19 pandemic. Attorneys for DeSantis and Corcoran filed documents late Tuesday asking the 1st District Court of Appeal to deny requests by the Florida Education Association teachers union and other plaintiffs for a rehearing in the high-profile case. The plaintiffs last month sought a rehearing after a three-judge panel of the appeals court overturned a circuit judge’s ruling that said Corcoran violated the Florida Constitution when he issued a July order aimed at reopening schools. The plaintiffs filed two similar motions asking for a rehearing by the three-judge panel or by the full appeals court, a request known as seeking an “en banc” hearing. But in the documents filed Tuesday, attorneys for DeSantis and Corcoran contended that the plaintiffs had not offered grounds to justify a rehearing in the case. The plaintiffs have contended that Corcoran’s July order violated a constitutional guarantee of “safe” and “secure” public education. Leon County Circuit Judge Charles Dodson agreed with the plaintiffs and issued a temporary injunction in August. But the panel of the appeals court on Oct. 9 flatly rejected Dodson’s ruling, saying that nothing in Corcoran’s order “requires any teacher or any student to return to the classroom.” The panel said Corcoran’s order gave school districts discretion about how to handle the situation.

“Joe Biden’s Florida Nightmare” by WSJ’s Daniel Henninger – The U.S. is in postelection hell today because of what happened in Florida 20 years ago. Joe Biden remembers that 2000 presidential-election nightmare. Well, it has come back to haunt him as he treads water waiting for Donald Trump to concede. It doesn’t matter if you were 5 years old in 2000. If this past week you were dancing in the streets to celebrate Democratic war horse Joe Biden’s nominal defeat of Donald Trump, not least among the reasons is payback for what happened in Florida, today known simply as Bush v. Gore. The inconsolable political bitterness today between Republicans and Democrats began in Florida’s recount struggle at the end of the 2000 presidential election. The Democratic nominee was Al Gore, Bill Clinton’s stolid vice president. The Republican candidate was Texas Gov. George W. Bush. Former President Bush is widely admired today. Not then. It is impossible to overstate the derision Democrats and the media dumped on Gov. Bush, seeing him as an unworthy, cartoonlike character who had stumbled into his party’s nomination. History really does repeat itself. Any website can provide the details of this high Florida melodrama, in which the election came down to one state and two candidates separated by fewer than 600 votes, not tens of thousands in multiple states as now. After weeks of litigation over counting Florida’s now-infamous hanging-chad ballots, the Supreme Court put the country out of its recount pain by voting 5-4 in favor of a result that gave Gov. Bush Florida’s electors and victory.

“Businesses take another financial hit after Florida Classic game canceled” by Click Orlando’s Jerry Askin – Businesses near Camping World Stadium, many of which have already been struggling because of the coronavirus pandemic, are suffering another financial hit this weekend because the Florida Classic game is canceled because of COVID-19. The Florida Classic is the biggest rivalry game each year and one of the largest athletic fundraisers between Florida A&M University and Bethune Cookman University. Many businesses say they’re trying to make ends meet since the week-long events for the Florida Classic are going virtual, but it has been tough. Peter Daley owns Caribbean Sunshine Bakery and usually has a food truck outside of Camping World Stadium on game day. “Every year around this time we look forward to the classic weekend,” said Daley. “A lot of people depend on our jerk chicken and our beverages.” He said business this weekend will be much different from years past when he usually sees a big boost. It’s also happening at a time where he, like many local business owners, are seeing a major decline in holiday catering orders this year. “We were hit hard enough this year, so that’s one of the things we were looking forward to,” said Daley. “Compared to last year, we are forecasting another 20% down.”

“178 arrested in child sex trafficking operation in north Florida” by Fox 13’s Staff – Police in north Florida announced the arrests of 178 people following a "large-scale" human trafficking operation. Tallahassee police held a press conference Tuesday morning on "Operation Stolen Innocence," their two-year-long investigation into trafficking in Florida's capital city. Police Chief Lawrence Revell said the operation began back in November 2018, after investigators discovered a 13-year-old child's image on a prostitution website. Their Special Victims Unit rescued the girl, and their overall investigation ultimately resulted in the 178 arrests announced Tuesday. Revell said 106 people have been charged with felonies, while 72 face misdemeanor charges. Another 19 suspects will face federal charges, he said. The charges include production of child pornography, human sex trafficking of a minor and solicitation of prostitution. All of the suspects are from the southeast, going as far as Alabama and Mississippi. "Human sex trafficking is a 150 billion industry worldwide," Revell said. "Florida ranks in the top 5 in the nation for reports of human trafficking."

“Florida sees lack of doctors to meet demand in state amid pandemic” by WINK News – Florida is short about 1,700 primary care physicians. The struggle to find physicians could pose a real problem for people’s health during a pandemic. Doctors told us getting an appointment during the busy season is always hard. There is increased worry with the addition of the pandemic, and not enough students are able to get the training needed to become a physician, making the current shortage in the state worse. “I can tell you that as a primary care physician that my phone rings constantly with patients looking for a doctor,” said Dr. Rebekah Bernard, the president of Collier County Medical Society. “My practice is full.” Before the pandemic, there was already a primary care physician shortage. Experts say that’s because there aren’t enough doctors in the area to meet the demand of the growing population. That includes doctors retiring and not enough residency positions available for students working to become doctors. Bernard says the pandemic is causing another strain for students fighting to get a residency spot. “Not all practices are able to accommodate the same level of students and residents as they might have been able to before the pandemic,”” Bernard explained. “Hospitals have had to address some of the challenges of limiting the clinical rotations because of all of the precautions and protections that are in case to go to go to the threat of COVID,” said Mary Mayhew, the president and CEO of Florida Hospital Association. Bernard thinks, as COVID-19 cases increase, doctors will begin to see another shortage of personal protective equipment to keep them safe. They say doctors will get sick, adding to the shortage.

“Lil Wayne charged with federal gun offense in Florida” by CBS – Rapper Lil Wayne was charged Tuesday in Florida with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, a federal offense that carries a potential sentence of up to 10 years in prison. Documents filed in Miami federal court say the rapper, whose real name is Dwayne Michael Carter Jr., had a gun and ammunition on December 23 of last year despite knowing he had the previous felony on his record. Authorities said the 38-year-old rapper acknowledged owning the gold-plated handgun after his luggage was searched upon arriving in Miami on a private plane. A search warrant, first reported by the Miami Herald, said Carter told investigators the gun was a Father's Day gift. Carter's attorney, Howard Srebnick, said in an email that there are legal questions about whether mere possession of a weapon by a felon not judged to be dangerous fits the definition of a crime. "Carter is charged with possessing a gold-plated handgun in his luggage on a private plane. There is no allegation that he ever fired it, brandished it, used it or threatened to use it," Srebnick said. "There is no allegation that he is a dangerous person." Investigators also reported finding suspected illegal drugs in the luggage, but Carter has not been charged with a drug offense. An initial court date on the weapons charge is set for December 11 in Miami federal court. The charge stems from a weapons conviction of Carter in New York more than a decade ago, for which he was sentenced to eight months in prison. Convicted felons are barred under federal law from owning firearms.

“Police: Florida man who questioned government powers slain” by AP’s Curt Anderson - A Florida man who questioned government authority over individuals living in the U.S. through an online forum was fatally shot, allegedly by a woman who has espoused similar “sovereign citizen” views, police said Tuesday. The Marion County Sheriff's Office said in a news release that Neely Petrie-Blanchard was arrested in Georgia one day after the killing of Christopher Hallett in his Ocala-area home. Witnesses to the shooting said Petrie-Blanchard accused Hallett of working with the government to deny her custody of her children. Hallett, 50, ran an entity called E-Clause LLC that featured a Facebook page filled with documents, graphics and articles about whether governments have authority in many instances over individuals. This viewpoint is frequently summarized as the “sovereign citizen” movement. Petrie-Blanchard, who turns 34 on Thursday, was being held without bail Tuesday in a jail in Lowndes County, Georgia. It was not clear if she had a lawyer to represent her. Lowndes County Sheriff Ashley Paulk said Petrie-Blanchard, after her arrest, began questioning whether his office had authority to detain her. “She’s one of these people who claim they’re not part of the United States – sovereign people,” Paulk said. “They don’t believe any of the laws apply to them. Obviously, she's not leaving.”


“Biden’s COVID advisers stress there’s ‘no time to waste’ on coronavirus transition” by Fox News’ Paul Steinhauser – The co-chairs of President-elect Joe Biden’s COVID advisory board are emphasizing that “there’s no to time to waste” in the transition from President Trump’s administration to the incoming Biden administration when it comes to combating the coronavirus pandemic. “We need to be allowed to immediately begin work with our colleagues in the current administration to plan to execute a national vaccination effort and end this pandemic,” David Kessler, a co-chair of the advisory board and former FDA commissioner, told reporters on Tuesday. The president-elect's team cannot communicate with the Trump administration, Kessler said. And he stressed that it would be better for Americans on the whole for Biden's team can meet with government officials soon. Fox News, other news networks and the Associated Press, projected that Biden would win the state of Nevada and the commonwealth of Pennsylvania, which would give the Democratic presidential nominee the electoral votes needed to defeat Trump and become president-elect. But Trump has yet to concede, as he hopes that a spate of apparent longshot lawsuits he’s filed and a couple of recounts in key states will reverse Biden’s victory. The president on Sunday tweeted that "I concede NOTHING! We have a long way to go." And on Monday the president claimed on Twitter that “I won the Election!” General Services Administration chief Emily Murphy, who was appointed by Trump, has yet to sign a letter of “ascertainment,” which until now was a mostly controversial-free process of declaring the winner of the White House race. The document gives the president-elect's transition team access to the federal agencies, and money to fund the transition.

“Trump fires director of Homeland Security agency who had rejected President's election conspiracy theories” by CNN’s Kaitlan Collins and Paul LeBlanc – President Donald Trump on Tuesday fired the Department of Homeland Security official who had rejected Trump's claims of widespread voter fraud. Trump announced on Twitter he was firing Chris Krebs, the director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, and directly tied it to Krebs' statement that said there "is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised." "The recent statement by Chris Krebs on the security of the 2020 Election was highly inaccurate, in that there were massive improprieties and fraud," Trump said in a tweet that also repeated other baseless conspiracy theories about the election and was flagged by Twitter as "disputed." "Therefore, effective immediately, Chris Krebs has been terminated as Director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency." CNN reported that Krebs, who ran the cyber arm of the Department of Homeland Security, expected to be fired. A source close to Krebs told CNN he knew he might get in trouble for telling the truth, but realized his dismissal could come soon when media organizations that are friendly to the President started to attack him. He learned from Trump's tweet he had been fired, the source said, and responded on Twitter himself shortly afterward, saying, "Honored to serve. We did it right. Defend Today, Secure Tomrorow. #Protect2020." CISA Deputy Director Matt Travis, the No. 2 official at the agency, resigned in the wake of Krebs' firing, a source familiar with the matter told CNN. Travis resigned after the White House made clear he would not take the helm at CISA.

“Trump Fires Top Cybersecurity Official Who Defended Integrity of Election” by WSJ’s Dustin Voltz – President Trump fired the top cybersecurity official at the Department of Homeland Security, Chris Krebs, who oversaw efforts to safeguard the presidential election from foreign interference and in recent weeks disputed unsubstantiated claims of fraud advanced by Mr. Trump. “The recent statement by Chris Krebs on the security of the 2020 Election was highly inaccurate, in that there were massive improprieties and fraud - including dead people voting, Poll Watchers not allowed into polling locations, ‘glitches’ in the voting machines which changed…votes from Trump to Biden, late voting, and many more,” Mr. Trump said Tuesday on Twitter. “Therefore, effective immediately, Chris Krebs has been terminated as Director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.” Last week, Mr. Krebs’s agency and organizations representing secretaries of state and other top election officials across the country said in a joint statement there had been no evidence that voting systems were tampered with during the presidential election, rebuking Mr. Trump’s claims without naming him directly. Mr. Krebs didn’t respond to a request for comment on his firing, but from his personal Twitter account said: “Honored to serve. We did it right.” Mr. Krebs in recent weeks had repeatedly said the presidential election had been secure from tampering or rigging, and, while he never mentioned Mr. Trump, he was vocal in refuting disinformation about the results that had been shared by Mr. Trump and some conservatives, who haven’t recognized President-elect Joe Biden’s electoral victory. Mr. Trump hasn’t conceded.

“Michigan's Wayne County certifies election results in reversal of earlier decision” by Fox News Thomas Barrabi – Election officials in Michigan’s largest county voted to certify election results on Tuesday night, ending a short-lived deadlock that could have delayed the state from confirming a victory for President-elect Joe Biden. The Wayne County Board of Canvassers voted 4-0 to certify results. As part of the agreement, the board, which consists of two Republicans and two Democrats, asked Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson to audit the election process and pursue reforms to prevent discrepancies in the future, according to local reports. The reversal came just hours after a previous vote resulted in a 2-2 deadlock along party lines. Republicans who initially voted against certification cited concerns related to absentee poll books in certain Detroit-area precincts that did not match. Had the county’s certification vote failed, state canvassers would have been tasked with certifying election results. The initial result stoked outrage among Democratic officials, including Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, as well as praise from Republicans in support of Trump’s ongoing challenge of election results. The board met after days of unsuccessful litigation filed by Republican poll challengers and Trump allies. They claimed fraud during absentee ballot counting at a Detroit convention center, but two judges found no evidence and refused to stop the canvassing process. Earlier Tuesday, Trump campaign attorney Jenna Ellis touted the Wayne County Board of Canvassers’ failure to certify the vote as a “huge win” for the president. Trump’s campaign has alleged election fraud and filed legal challenges over results in several states. The president’s team has yet to react to the Wayne County Board of Canvassers’ reversal.

“Graham probed state officials in three states Trump lost” by CNN’s Manu Raju and Alex Rogers – Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina acknowledged on Tuesday that his efforts to probe state officials went beyond Georgia into two other states where Democratic President-elect Joe Biden also won, while President Donald Trump sought to discredit the result of the election. Graham, a top Trump ally, defended his outreach to officials in Arizona, Nevada and Georgia as an attempt to learn how these states validate signatures on mail-in ballots, arguing it was part of his effort to determine whether any changes needed to be made. But the senator revealed to CNN that he had privately pushed Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger for tougher mail-in voting rules in the Peach State ahead of two crucial runoff elections on January 5 that will determine the next Senate majority. "If we're going to expand voting by mail, which we probably will, I want to make sure that we're taking the precautions necessary to validate signatures like we do if you show up on Election Day," Graham told CNN. Graham, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has no oversight over election matters, which falls under the jurisdiction of the Senate Rules Committee, and has faced a barrage of criticism for his interventions in the democratic process. Asked why it was appropriate for him to probe state officials who are responsible for setting their own rules, Graham said he was well within his rights to do so, and defended his call to Raffensperger on Friday.

“Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley Tests Positive for Covid-19” by WSJ’s Natalie Andrews – Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley, third in line to the presidency and longest-serving Republican in the chamber, said Tuesday that he had tested positive for Covid-19. “I’m feeling good + will keep up on my work for the ppl of Iowa from home,” the 87-year-old posted on Twitter. He was already in Washington, D.C., because he voted on Monday, and an aide said he would stay in his home nearby. The senator disclosed earlier in the day that he had learned that he had been exposed to a person who had tested positive and would quarantine. Mr. Grassley didn’t identify the infected person, and his office declined to say. Also on Tuesday, Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D., Colo.) said he had tested positive for Covid-19. “As of now, I am asymptomatic and I’m feeling good,’’ he said in a statement, adding that he planned to work and vote remotely from his Washington, D.C. home. Mr. Grassley’s quarantine raised doubts about the Senate’s continued operations for the week. It also forced the senator to miss a vote after he had participated in 8,927 consecutive votes, the longest streak in Senate history. Mr. Grassley hadn’t missed a vote since 1993 when he was in Iowa addressing flooding in his state. Mr. Grassley, elected to the Senate in 1980, is third in line to the presidency by virtue of his status as president pro tempore of the Senate. The Senate voted 53-43 on Tuesday to confirm the nomination of Kristi Johnson as a district judge for the Southern District of Mississippi. Later, a procedural vote to confirm Judy Shelton to the Federal Reserve’s board of governors failed because of the absence of Republican senators. GOP Sen. Rick Scott of Florida also is isolating after exposure to the virus.

“Cuomo blames drug companies, President Trump for speedy COVID-19 vaccines” by Fox News’ Bradford Betz – New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday said the speedy process by which coronavirus vaccine trials are being rolled out are being driven both by President Donald Trump’s ego and the profit motivation of the drug companies manufacturing the vaccines. The Democrat made the comments during an interview on Hot 97’s Ebro in the Morning radio show. His appearance came as Moderna Inc. and competitor Pfizer Inc. recently announced preliminary results showing their vaccines appear more than 90% effective, at least for short-term protection against COVID-19. President Donald Trump on Monday praised Moderna as one of two recent “great discoveries.” “Another Vaccine just announced. This time by Moderna, 95% effective,” Trump tweeted. “For those great ‘historians’, please remember that these great discoveries, which will end the China Plague, all took place on my watch!” Host Ebro Darden told Gov. Cuomo he had spoken with people, including “people who claim to be nurses,” who said they “do not trust this vaccine” and feel that it has been rushed. Cuomo said the vaccine was moving ahead so quickly because of “money and ego,” noting that the first drug company to get the vaccine will profit handsomely. “You didn’t need Trump to tell the vaccine companies you should develop a vaccine. He had nothing to do with it,” Cuomo said. Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, they all know this is billions of dollars, whoever gets to the market first. So, it’s in their economic interest to push this fast,” Cuomo said.

“Biden could face a student loan mess if Trump allows pandemic relief to expire” by CNN’s Katie Lobosco – Student loan borrowers haven't had to make payments since March -- but that piece of federal pandemic relief is set to expire on December 31, unless President Donald Trump or Congress act to extend it. If neither push the deadline back, millions of student loan payments will come due a couple of weeks before President-elect Joe Biden takes office on January 20. Even if Biden reinstates the pause retroactively, it could create confusion for borrowers as well as a mess for student loan processors who aren't built to suddenly stop or start payments -- all while the economic recovery slows and Covid-19 cases surge. And either way, Biden will be left with a choice: Keep Trump's policy in place, or go bigger and cancel debt altogether, a step some Democrats argue Biden can take without Congress. Biden on Monday sidestepped a question about whether he would use executive power to forgive student debt. Instead, he expressed support for the House Democrats' stimulus package, which would extend the suspension of payments through September 2021 and cancel some student debt. "Legislation from the Democratic House calls for an immediate $10,000 forgiveness of student loans," Biden said. "It's holding people up. They're in real trouble. They're having to make choices between paying their student loan and paying the rent, those kinds of decisions. It should be done immediately," he added.

“Fed’s Powell Says Rising Coronavirus Cases Pose Threat to Economy” by WSJ’s Nick Timiraos – Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said the increased spread of the coronavirus posed an important risk to the economy in the months ahead and said it was too soon to say how a potential vaccine would change the outlook. “With the virus now spreading at a fast rate, the next few months may be very challenging,” Mr. Powell said during a virtual question-and-answer session Tuesday. “We’ve got a long way to go.” While recent news about successful vaccine trials was “certainly good news, particularly in the medium term, in the near term there are significant challenges and uncertainties,” Mr. Powell added. “Even in the best case, widespread vaccination is months into the future.” Promising reports about the efficacy of new vaccines have propelled stocks to records this week. But the pace of improvement in the labor market has slowed in recent months and a report on October sales at U.S. retailers showed growth posted the smallest monthly rise since May, when spending rebounded from sharp declines in the initial phase of the pandemic. The spread of the coronavirus is “the near-term risk that we’re most focused on,” Mr. Powell said. As case counts climb and hospitalizations rise, more states are beginning to impose restrictions on commercial activity. “The concern is that people will lose confidence in efforts to control the pandemic, and…we’re seeing signs of that already,” he said.

Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump-Wow! Governor Kemp will hopefully see the light before it is too late. Must finally take charge! Two GREAT Senators, who do so much for Georgia and truly love the USA, are in a must win battle with two incompetents who don’t have a clue!

Joe Biden -Today, @KamalaHarris and I met with some of our country's most experienced national security experts to discuss the challenges facing our nation, our institutions, and the world. We're ready to tackle the challenges our administration will inherit on day one.

Javier Manjarres

Javier Manjarres

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]

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