JUICE – Florida Politics’ Juicy Read -12.3.20 – MARCO RUBIO EXCLUSIVE – Democrats “High” On Pot Bill, Not COVID – Raschein, Rick Scott, Trump, Murphy, And More…

JUICE – Florida Politics’ Juicy Read -12.3.20 – MARCO RUBIO EXCLUSIVE – Democrats “High” On Pot Bill, Not COVID – Raschein, Rick Scott, Trump, Murphy, And More…

Javier Manjarres
Javier Manjarres
|
December 3, 2020

 

EXCLUSIVE Sit Down With Senator Marco Rubio

I, your loveable little fuzzball (HT to Rush Limbaugh) of a Publisher/Reporter sat down with Florida Senator Marco Rubio yesterday in his DC office to do what else, talk politics.

Full transparency– The discussion kind of started the day before on the American Airlines flight we were both on. As always, we compared health tips, talked about my torn bicep tendon surgery, and his son’s budding football career.

Contrary to what some in the media want to believe, Rubio did not ask President Trump to resign. Rubio wants the legal process to play out because it’s in the best interest of the country.

After all, he is right. Failed Georgia candidate, Stacey Abrams, who is currently being investigated for voter fraud, has never conceded her gubernatorial race and has claimed that it was stolen from hers.

So why should President Trump concede to Biden?

Here is a clip of what Rubio said. Stay tuned for the rest of the interview…

“I do believe the president as any candidate does has the right to use all the processes the law allows and provides – go to canvassing boards go to court present evidence in court and in many cases because it’s the presidential race that takes it all the way to the Supreme Court…But Stacey Abrams still hasn’t conceded her loss in Georgia.. to this day she claims it was stolen from her.

She ran for governor Georgia she lost right and she to this day, claims that it was stolen and that the Republicans cheated. I don’t see the outrage in the media”

Oh, and President Trump just teased a 2024 run for the White House. MUST READ

 

Rick Scot@SenRickScottIt is simply naive to go on pretending Communist China is an ally…

Rep. Ted Deutch @RepTedDeutchDeSantis made masks political instead of patriotic.

He adopted a reckless and fringe view of herd immunity & prohibited our local officials from acting to stop the spread of COVID-19 in our communities.

Our own governor has made us less safe.

Rep. Lois Frankel @RepLoisFrankel-Having reliable, affordable health insurance is more important than ever during the #COVID19 pandemic.

Rep. Stephanie Murphy @RepStephMurphy-My family fled a communist dictatorship, so I’ve never taken America’s democracy for granted. The President’s claims of election fraud are discredited and dangerous, nothing more than a cynical attempt to subvert the will of the American people.

Rep. Matt Gaetz @RepMattGaetzThis Department of Justice and FBI targeted President @realDonaldTrump and wanted to accuse him of crimes when he was the INCOMING president.

What do you think they’re going to do if they think he’s the outgoing president?

 

 

 

 

 

 

stephanie murphy

Stephanie Murphy says Democrats are a “big tent party,” embraces House Progressives by The Floridian’s Javier Manjarres

The ‘Squad’ Claps Back At Obama For Criticizing ‘Defund The Police’ As ‘Snappy’ Slogan by The Floridian’s Mona Salama

“House Democrats “high” on legalizing marijuana, place COVID funding bill on ice” by The Floridian’s Javier Manjarres – With the 2020 legislative session in the U.S. Congress coming to a close next week, one would think that Washington legislators would tackle the big important issues, like the NDAA and COVID-19 stimulus funding before anything else like legalizing marijuana, right? Wrong. Congressional Democrats, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer are instead “high” on passing a bill that would legalize marijuana, and passing The Big Cat Public Safety Act, a bill that would prohibit the private ownership of lions, tiger, and other bigger, aggressive and dangerous wild kitty cats. @SpeakerPelosi [email protected] have blocked multiple attempts to pass targeted COVID relief for American workers and small businesses,” stated Sen. Scott. “And here’s what the House is focused on. Shameful.” Florida Senator Rick Scott has been quite vocal about Speaker Pelosi and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s refusal to pass a pandemic stimulus bill, saying that two members of Congress “have blocked multiple attempts to pass targeted COVID relief for American workers and small businesses.” Earlier this year, Sen. Scott, along with just about every Republican legislator, admonished Democrats for blocking COVID-19 funding because Republicans refused to accept a bill that was full of non-Covid-related funding projects.

“Trump Teases 2024 Presidential Run: ‘I’ll See You In Four Years’” by The Floridian’s Mona Salama – President Trump hinted to supporters Tuesday evening in a private White House Holiday party that he may launch a 2024 presidential run if the ongoing legal challenges ultimately fail at overturning the 2020 election results.“It’s been an amazing four years. We are trying to do another four years,” the president said during a White House holiday party with Republican National Committee members. “Otherwise, I’ll see you in four years.” In the video posted on Facebook by Attendee Pam Pollard, an Oklahoma GOP national committeewoman who live-streamed the remarks, Trump said the “rigged election” is the result of his defeat. “This was certainly an unusual year. We won an election, but they don’t like that,” Trump declared. I call it a rigged election, and I always will.” Speculation about Trump attempting to make the ultimate comeback in 2024 has swirled when the media claimed Biden the apparent winner of the 2020 presidential race. According to the Daily Beast, Trump has privately discussed with close advisers and confidants the possibility of a 2024 run to reclaim the White House, as well as discussing specifics of a campaign launch. One idea Trump floated as strategy in announcing his 2024 bid would be an event happening at the same time during Biden’s inauguration week, or even simultaneously on the same day and time of the Democrat’s actual inauguration swearing-in event.

“Holly Raschein Named AshBritt Environment’s Director of Government Relations” by The Floridian’s Daniel Molina – Former Florida State Rep. Holly Raschein (R), who represented the Keys and parts of South Miami-Dade before becoming term-limited, has just announced that she was named Director of Government Relations for the national disaster recovery firm AshBritt Environment, which is headquartered in Deerfield Beach. The firm is a leading rapid-response disaster recovery, logistics, and environmental services company. In the announcement, Brittany Perkins Castillo, the CEO of AshBritt Environment, commented that the firm “is excited to welcome a leader of Holly’s caliber and expertise to the AshBritt team.” Castillo expressed that “Holly’s leadership, including during Hurricane Irma, commitment to community members, and her passion for protecting and preserving the environment aligns with our company’s mission to help communities recover after a disaster.” She concluded that “with Holly’s knowledge and impressive government experience, tremendous opportunity lies ahead.” After being elected to the Florida House in 2012, Holly focused on environmental issues in her 8 years in office, championing legislation that would protect Florida’s fragile ecosystem and natural resources. She served as the Chair of the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Appropriation Subcommittee and also served as the Chair of the House Natural Resources and Public Lands Subcommitee.

“Murphy Calls Trump’s Claims “Discredited and Dangerous”” by The Floridian’s Daniel Molina – While some Republicans and Democrats have gone on the offensive, supporting President Donald Trump and his efforts to question the legitimacy of the November elections, members of both parties have also called the President’s attempts an attack against Democracy, and one of those lawmakers is Florida Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D). Responding to comments made by Christopher Krebs, the former top federal government election security official, the Florida lawmaker said that her “family fled a communist dictatorship, so I’ve never taken America’s democracy for granted.” Moreover, she expressed that “the President’s claims of election fraud are discredited and dangerous, nothing more than a cynical attempt to subvert the will of the American people.” President Trump, who is obviously continuing to contest the 2020 election results, has maintained that he will cooperate with the transition process, but he has been stern on his effort to combat the election results, citing widespread voter fraud that projected Vice President Joe Biden (D) as the winner of the election. However, this week brought difficulties to the Trump legal team after Attorney General William Barr announced in an Associated Press interview that the Department of Justice had found there was no widespread voter fraud that would change the outcome of the election, admitting that “to date, we have not seen fraud on a scale that could have affected a different outcome in the election.”

“Florida attorney under investigation for registering to vote in Georgia, encouraging others to do the same” by WSBTV’s Nicole Carr – A Florida attorney is at the center of a new state investigation after elections officials say he recently attempted to register to vote in Georgia and instructed other Florida Republicans on how to do it. Bill Price is seen in a now-deleted Facebook Live video, speaking to the Bay County GOP members in Florida on Nov. 7th. It was about half an hour after the election was called for the Joe Biden-Kamala Harris ticket. Channel 2 investigative reporter Nicole Carr recorded the nearly hour-long video Tuesday afternoon, shortly before it was deleted. Price begins by sharing his legal expertise with the crowd, telling them lawsuits challenging the presidential race are likely to fail. “I’d love to tell you that there are legal avenues for success in the courts, but as a realist and as a lawyer myself, I know that that’s just not going to happen,” he said. Instead, Price encouraged the crowd to work toward a “billion-man” march at the State Capitol, show up in Atlanta on Election Day, and move if they can do it. “We absolutely have to hold the Senate and we have to start fighting back, and we have to do whatever it takes,” Price said in the video. “And if that means changing your address for the next two months, so be it. I’m doing that. I’m moving to Georgia and I’m gonna fight and I want you all to fight with me.”

“Florida reports nearly 10,000 new COVID-19 cases with vaccine on horizon” by Click Orlando’s Thomas Metevia – Florida on Tuesday joined Texas and California in surpassing 1 million confirmed COVID-19 cases as Gov. Ron DeSantis vowed not to adopt any further restrictions or impose closures like those enacted in the spring and summer. While vaccines could arrive as early as this month, officials say it will be spring at the earliest before most people can receive the shots. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said Tuesday on Twitter that the priority for the allocation of the new vaccines should be to residents of long-term care facilities who are “by far the most likely demographic to die with COVID.” At a news conference on Monday, DeSantis said that lockdowns and closures have not worked and vowed not to issue any further restrictions that would hurt the state’s economy. DeSantis ordered school districts to stay open for in-person instruction and require some students to return to the classrooms if they have been falling behind due to virtual instruction. Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has also advised to keep children in school but has recommended adopting other measures such as closing bars to keep the community spread low.

“Florida Gov. DeSantis says Disney layoffs mainly hit California, though thousands of Orlando staff lost jobs” by Fox Business’ Daniella Genovese – Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said Monday that the bulk of Disney’s layoffs are in California despite the fact that Orlando reportedly already cut at least 18,000 jobs. During a press conference Monday, DeSantis said of Disney’s 32,000 planned layoffs, most were in California because the state “will not let the theme parks operate.” However, the Sunshine State accounted for 56% of the layoffs, according to state records and reports from Disney union leaders obtained by the Orlando Sentinel. The layoffs come after Disney parks closed in the spring in order to stem the spread of infections. However, while the Florida parks reopened this summer, California parks remain shuttered until the company is given guidance on how to reopen safely. Even with some parks operating, the “limited capacity due to physical distancing requirements” and the uncertainty of the duration of the pandemic forced the company to reduce its workforce, Josh D’Amaro, Disney’s chairman of parks, experiences and products, announced in September. The company took such a hit that in recent weeks it increased the number of planned layoffs for 2021 by 4,000 – mostly in its theme parks. In September, the company first disclosed that it would reduce its workforce by 28,000 employees. At the time, a letter the company filed with state and local officials noted that at least a quarter of the 28,000 layoffs planned for its parks division would be in Florida. The letter said that at least 6,390 non-union Disney employees in Florida will be laid off starting in early December. It also noted that the number of Florida layoffs could grow as the company negotiates terms with a coalition of unions that represents 43,000 employees at Walt Disney World.

“Florida inmate COVID-19 deaths up to 189” by News Service of Florida – The death toll of Florida prison inmates from COVID-19 has reached 189, with two additional deaths listed Wednesday on the state Department of Corrections website. Since the start of the pandemic, 17,021 inmates and 3,845 corrections workers have tested positive for COVID-19, department numbers show. As of Wednesday, 420 inmates were in medical isolation — with 316 of those at Walton Correctional Institution in the Panhandle. Meanwhile, 93% of the corrections workers who tested positive have been cleared to return to their jobs. It was not immediately clear where the two additional inmate deaths occurred. But information on the state Department of Health website shows that at least 42 inmate deaths have been linked to the Reception and Medical Center in Union County, at least 21 have been linked to the South Florida Reception Center in Miami-Dade County and at least 14 have been linked to Union Correctional Institution.

“Florida Faces Lawsuit Over Medicaid Records” by News Service of Florida’s Christine Sexton – Two advocacy groups on Tuesday filed a lawsuit in Leon County circuit court asking that a judge require the state to make available records that show how final decisions are made in Florida’s multibillion-dollar Medicaid program. Filed by the Florida Health Justice Project and the National Health Law Program on behalf of plaintiff Nancy Wright, a Gainesville attorney, the lawsuit also asks the court to declare that the Agency for Health Care Administration is precluded from charging special fees associated with redacting information from final orders issued by the agency’s Office of Fair Hearings. Florida Health Justice Project attorney Katy DeBriere said details in the Office of Fair Hearings final orders can provide the public with insights into standards that hearing officers consider when settling disputes between Medicaid beneficiaries and managed-care plans and health providers. Having access to the final orders not only helps attorneys prepare clients for Medicaid appeals, but it makes transparent decisions the state has rendered and helps ensure that rules and laws are being uniformly applied, DeBriere told The News Service of Florida on Tuesday. “To make those fair hearings decisions publicly available is important for the most basic sense of equity,” she said, adding that accessing the orders allows people to “get down to the nitty gritty of due process.” The suit was filed after Wright made a public records request with AHCA this year for copies of final orders issued between Jan. 1, 2017, and July 29, 2020, involving disputes over some home- and community-based services for Medicaid beneficiaries.

“Florida women plead guilty in sex sting involving Patriots owner Robert Kraft” by Associated Press – Two of four women charged in a South Florida prostitution sting that also involved New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft have taken plea deals this week, court records show. Lei Wang, 41, and Shen Mingbi, 60, each pleaded guilty in Palm Beach County circuit court to one count of soliciting another to commit prostitution, records show. They were fined $5,000 each and ordered to complete 100 hours of community service. A misdemeanor charge against Kraft was dropped earlier this year after courts blocked their use of video that allegedly shows him paying for sex. Kraft had pleaded not guilty but issued a public apology for his actions. Two other women who worked at the Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter previously reached deals with prosecutors. Hua Zhang, 59, pleaded guilty last month to two misdemeanors. Lei Chen, 45, pleaded guilty to eight counts of offering to commit prostitution in February. The four women, Kraft and two dozen other men were charged in February 2019 in a multicounty investigation of massage parlors that included the installation of video cameras in the Orchids of Asia’s lobby and rooms under the ruse that a bomb threat required its evacuation. Police say the recordings show Kraft and other men engaging in sex acts with women and paying them. Those recordings where later thrown out after a county court judge ruled the warrant allowing the cameras’ installation didn’t sufficiently protect the privacy of innocent customers who received legal massages. An appeals court sided with the judge.

“Florida unemployment ‘glitch?’ Benefits mysteriously put on hold for those who claimed weeks on Thanksgiving” by WFLA’s Victoria Price – 8 On Your Side is trying to figure out why hundreds – if not thousands – of Florida unemployment recipients had their benefits put on hold over the Thanksgiving holiday. The common denominator appears to be if people claimed their benefits on Thanksgiving itself. However, it’s unclear if the issue is connected to the holiday. The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity warned claimants that deposits would be delayed due to the holiday. However, this was not anticipated. A spokesperson for the DEO tells 8 On Your Side the agency is “researching the issue.” Lee Swole, a laid-off construction worker, is one of the victims of the Thanksgiving glitch. He says it’s the first major DEO issue he’s faced since applying for unemployment benefits earlier this year. Swole claimed his benefits on Thanksgiving, just like he does every other Thursday. He expected to not get paid until this week but he didn’t expect to log on Monday and find his two weeks of benefits mysteriously on hold. “I have a wife and two kids to take care of, my rent was due Saturday,” he said. “It’s just a crying shame what they’re doing to us.” It’s unclear if this issue is connected to other glitches 8 On Your Side has reported on in recent months.

 

“Trump says if he’s right about election fraud, ‘Biden can’t be president’” by Fox News’ Matt Leach and Paul Steinhauser – President Trump is once again charging that last month’s presidential election was rigged and rampant with fraud. In an address posted on his Twitter and Facebook pages that the president described as possibly “the most important speech, I’ve ever made,” Trump charged that “lots of bad things happened” during the election. And he argued that “if we are right about the fraud, Joe Biden can’t be president. We’re talking about hundreds of thousands of votes. We’re talking about numbers like nobody has ever seen before.” Taking aim again at the surge in absentee balloting and early voting due to health concerns amid the coronavirus pandemic, the president emphasized that “we used to have what was called Election Day. Now we have election days, weeks and months, and lots of bad things happened during this ridiculous period of time.” “The mail and voting scam is the latest part of their four-year effort to overturn the results of the 2016 election. And it’s been like living in hell,” Trump argued. And the president vowed that he’s “determined to protect our election system,” which he claimed, “is now under coordinated assault and siege.” Twitter, as it has for numerous Trump tweets regarding charges of election fraud, added a disclaimer that said “This claim about election fraud is disputed.” And Facebook noted that “Joe Biden is the projected winner of the US Presidential election.”

“Biden’s stern warning: ‘You cannot be traveling during … holidays’” by Fox News’ Paul Steinhauser – President-elect Joe Biden says he doesn’t “want to scare anybody,” but he’s pleading with Americans to not travel during the upcoming holiday season. With no let up in the surge in the coronavirus pandemic across the nation the past month, Biden emphasized on Wednesday that people need to “understand the facts. We’re likely to lose another 250,000 people. Dead. Between now and January. You hear me? Because people aren’t paying attention.” Two weeks ago Biden warned that “as many as 200,000” more people across the nation could die from COVID-19 by the time he gets inagurated on Jan. 20. And the president-elect, speaking during virtual roundtable with workers and small-business owners impacted by the economic crisis, stressed, “You cannot be traveling during these holidays, as much as you want to.” Biden spotlighted his own small gathering during Thanksgiving, which broke a decades-old tradition of large family gatherings, and asked Americans to heed the advice of public health experts and pass on large get-togethers later this month. “Christmas is going to be a lot harder,” he noted.

“Obama accuses Republicans of ‘bait-and-switch’ on deficit, urges ‘bold government steps’ from Biden” by Fox News’ Sam Dorman – Former President Obama argued on Wednesday that Republicans would hypocritically warn about the fiscal impact of economic recovery proposals after passing deficit-inducing tax cuts under President Trump. “The recovery is going to require government to step in even more than it already has and you can already hear Republicans trying to run the same game they ran when I was president, where suddenly once the Democrats are in office they start worrying about deficits and why are we spending money providing poor folks and small-businesses relief when they were happy to spend a trillion dollars on tax cuts, or eliminating taxes for big corporations?” he told activist Al Sharpton on his radio show. He continued, “And that kind of bait-and-switch, I think, is something that Joe Biden’s going to confront and I want voters to be paying attention when that happens because the truth is is that we are going to need the kind of bold government steps and relief and programs that can help lift folks up from the bottom, not just help folks at the top.” His comments came as President-elect Biden’s team urged Congress to address the financial fallout of the coroanvirus pandemic. Many of his economic advisers also served in Obama’s administration. While it’s unclear how much Biden’s stimulus would cost, Congress and the White House has already passed a $2 trillion relief package — the largest in U.S. history. Obama’s inauguration in 2009 came as the nation reeled from a housing crisis that prompted him to pass an $831 billion economic stimulus package. By contrast, Trump’s Tax Cut and Jobs Act has been estimated to cost between $1-2 trillion.

“Senate GOP warns Biden on Cabinet picks as some Democrats push for more liberal choices” by CNN’s Manu Raju – Joe Biden is facing dueling headwinds as he looks to fill out his Cabinet: Senate Republicans want the President-elect to consult with them and choose nominees who could win their support, while liberal Democrats are pushing him to name progressives who could shape the policies of his government. And Republicans, if they keep control of the chamber, are not committing to scheduling votes on nominees they consider out of the mainstream, nor are they vowing to quickly let Biden’s picks get confirmed in the first days of his administration despite the private and public lobbying by top Democrats. What could delay deliberations further: President Donald Trump’s refusal to concede, coupled with Republicans’ reluctance to say Biden is the winner, meaning few them are ready to engage over the President-elect’s choices or hold courtesy meetings as Democrats are beginning to do.

As Biden moves quickly to fill key slots — ranging from health to education to defense — lawmakers are warning who they would accept and who they wouldn’t. “I think he has made some very good choices,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat, told CNN on Wednesday. “I’d like to see some strong progressives on the team.” Others made clear that Biden should make bolder picks if their party wins the two Georgia Senate races in January and takes control of the chamber.

“Census officials discovered data issues that could delay its completion, internal documents show” by CNN’s Gregory Wallace and Caroline Kelly – Census Bureau officials discovered data issues while working through 2020 Census responses, which include several “high complexity” problems and threaten to delay completion of a key tally until February, according to a new set of internal Census documents shared by House Democrats on Wednesday. That delay would mean the Trump administration would be unable to implement its plan to exclude undocumented immigrants when dividing seats in the US House of Representatives, as President Donald Trump leaves office on January 20. Several federal courts have blocked this policy, and on Monday the Supreme Court heard arguments over the matter. Several of the issues are of “high complexity” and incorrect handling would skew the count smaller or larger in some areas, the documents say. The issues include the ways the Census Bureau accounts for multiple responses and responses that are not linked to a specific address. The documents do not specify the precise extent of the largest issues. But the documents estimate an additional 20 days are needed for data processing, putting completion in late January or early February. The Census Bureau issued a statement later Wednesday asserting that “these kinds of anomalies and issues are expected and are similar to the Census Bureau’s experience in prior decennial censuses.” “Internal tracking documents would not convey the uncertainty around projected dates and may fail to reflect the additional resources employed to correct data anomalies,” the statement said. “The anomalies affect less than seven-tenths of one percent of records and are being resolved as expeditiously as possible.”

“Obama cautions activists against using ‘defund the police’ slogan” by CNN’s Chandelis Duster – Former President Barack Obama cautioned young activists against using the slogan “defund the police” to achieve changes in policing practices, instead urging them in a new interview to have a more inclusive discussion to better enact changes. In doing so, the former president, who still holds enormous influence in the Democratic Party and has voiced support for protesters in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death, is taking a strong stance on a contentious phrase that is a dividing point among Democrats, and speaks to the friction between the more liberal wing of the party and President-elect Joe Biden’s calls for a moderate path forward. “If you believe, as I do, that we should be able to reform the criminal justice system so that it’s not biased and treats everybody fairly, I guess you can use a snappy slogan like ‘Defund The Police,’ but, you know, you lost a big audience the minute you say it, which makes it a lot less likely that you’re actually going to get the changes you want done,” Obama told Peter Hamby on Snapchat’s “Good Luck America” when asked what his advice is to an activist who believes in using the slogan although politicians are likely to avoid it. “But if you instead say, ‘Let’s reform the police department so that everybody’s being treated fairly, you know, divert young people from getting into crime, and if there was a homeless guy, can maybe we send a mental health worker there instead of an armed unit that could end up resulting in a tragedy?’ Suddenly, a whole bunch of folks who might not otherwise listen to you are listening to you.” Obama, who previously said he would not defund police departments, said the key is for activists to decide whether they want to get something done or feel good among people they agree with.

“Coronavirus-Stimulus Efforts Pick Up Speed” by WSJ’s Kristina Peterson – Democratic leaders signaled Wednesday they were prepared to reduce their demands for the next round of coronavirus relief, fueling hopes that an agreement could be reached with Republicans by year’s end to boost struggling businesses and households. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) and Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York, the chamber’s Democratic leader, said that a new, bipartisan $908 billion coronavirus relief proposal released Tuesday should serve as the starting point for talks to try to resolve months of disagreement with GOP leaders and the White House. “Of course, we and others will offer improvements,” Mrs. Pelosi and Mr. Schumer said in a joint statement, “but the need to act is immediate and we believe that with good-faith negotiations we could come to an agreement.” Democrats had coalesced earlier around a $2.4 trillion bill passed in the House, which contains measures including funding for state and local governments and food stamps, among others, which GOP proposals have excluded. Republicans leaders’ most recent bill cost around $500 billion. But on Tuesday, a new bipartisan group unveiled the $908 billion proposal, designed to help buoy workers and businesses through March. Senate Majority Whip John Thune (R., S.D.) said Democratic leaders’ call to center negotiations around the bipartisan proposal was a move in the right direction. “They’ve gotten reasonable and I think that could help us get to a solution,” he said. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) didn’t comment on the Democratic leaders’ statement, but he said earlier in the day that they were showing “a new willingness to engage in good faith.”

“Mnuchin Defends Decision to End Fed Lending Programs” by WSJ’s Nick Timiraos and Paul Kiernan – Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin defended his decision to allow a suite of emergency lending programs to expire at the end of the year against criticism from Democrats who said he had misinterpreted the law that enabled them. At a House oversight hearing on Wednesday, Mr. Mnuchin said the $2 trillion Cares Act pandemic relief bill that Congress approved on a bipartisan basis in March didn’t allow him to extend five emergency loan programs. The Fed and Treasury had established those programs with some of the $454 billion Congress had made available in the law. “This was not a political decision. I was merely implementing the Cares Act,” Mr. Mnuchin said, echoing comments he made on Tuesday before the Senate Banking Committee. Mr. Mnuchin also said that the programs weren’t needed anymore and that the money he hadn’t approved for the programs, as well as other funds that wouldn’t be needed, would be better used on another pandemic relief bill. Mr. Mnuchin said he had explained his reasoning and underscored that his decision wasn’t politically motivated in a recent phone call with Janet Yellen, who is President-elect Joe Biden’s nominee to serve as the next Treasury secretary. He said she didn’t express an opinion during the call. The Treasury Department’s decision last month to allow loan backstops for corporate, municipal and other credit markets, as well as a program to support lending to small and midsize businesses and nonprofits, to expire on Dec. 31 touched off a partisan fight over whether and how the Biden administration should be allowed to use the programs.

“Democrats’ Unease Mounts as Biden Considers a CIA Director” by WSJ’s Dustin Voltzz, Warren P. Strobel and Tarini Parti – Some Democratic senators have privately expressed concern to Joe Biden’s transition team about the president-elect’s consideration of intelligence veteran Michael Morell to lead the Central Intelligence Agency, citing Mr. Morell’s defense of the spy agency’s interrogation tactics after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, according to people familiar with the matter. Within the past two weeks, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D., Vt.) and Sen. Martin Heinrich (D., N.M.) voiced reservations about Mr. Morell, a former acting director of the CIA who had been widely seen by lawmakers and former officials as a top contender for the job, these people said. Their doubts add to those publicly expressed last week by Sen. Ron Wyden (D., Ore.), who said he would oppose Mr. Morell’s nomination for the post, which has been left unspecified even as Mr. Biden has moved quickly to name other senior national-security personnel. The behind-the-scenes outreach came as other names have emerged as potential picks for the job, including David Cohen, a former top Treasury Department official who later served as deputy CIA director under President Barack Obama and is being actively considered by Mr. Biden, according to a person familiar with the matter. Unlike Mr. Morell, Mr. Cohen isn’t seen by progressives as someone who has defended the interrogation program. Mr. Cohen, a partner at the WilmerHale law firm, spent much of his government career specializing in sanctions and financial intelligence, overseeing efforts at Treasury to counter money laundering, halt terrorist financing and craft sanctions regimes on Russia, North Korea and other entities. He joined the CIA in 2015, long after the interrogation program ended.

Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrumpIn Arizona, it turns out that 3% of the votes cast in the 100 count vote sampling were tainted or worse. This would be, if carried forward, approximately 90,000 votes more than we would need to win the State. Now we were granted a much larger sample to work with. Wow!

Joe Biden -Zzzzzz

 

Subscribe to the newsletter everyone in Florida is reading.

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]