JUICE — Florida Politics’ Juicy Read — 4.13.2021 — Nikki Fried Slams DeSantis (VIDEO) — Fried Steps On The Gas? — Gaetz, Trump, Miller — More..

JUICE — Florida Politics’ Juicy Read — 4.13.2021 — Nikki Fried Slams DeSantis (VIDEO) — Fried Steps On The Gas? — Gaetz, Trump, Miller — More..

Florida Politics' Daily Political Read

Javier Manjarres
Javier Manjarres
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April 13, 2021

Nikki Fried Gases Up for Long Campaign

Fresh off getting the surgical boot removed and slipping on her loafers, AG Commissioner Nikki Fried was down in the Boogie Down also known as Miami to address the gas skimming problem South Florida is facing. READ MORE

After talking about the skimming issue, Commissioner Fried took a big swipe at Gov. Ron DeSantis, calling his healthcare round table meetings “Fake News.” (She didn’t actually say “Fake News”

“We still have thousands of people every single day contracting COVID, hundreds still dying in our state, and we need to be working together to make sure that everybody’s getting the vaccine, that we’re giving out accurate information, and every time the Governor has these round tables with healthcare experts, that is, talking about things that are inaccurate, that are not following the science, it’s endangering the livelihoods of people here in our state.”

She continued (Video)…READ MORE

 

Rick Scott @SenRickScott– Congratulations to the people of Ecuador and the President-elect @LassoGuillermo, A great victory for democracy and freedom in the region!

Rep. Ted Deutch @RepTedDeutchGod, this is painful. First, we hear that there’s been another school shooting. Reports of “multiple people being shot.” Now we all refresh Twitter praying for a low number. That’s America right now. And it’s awful.

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz @RepDWStweetsFlorida has 408 bridges and 3,500+ highway miles in poor shape. Commute times are up 11% since 2011. Bad roads cost Floridians $425 in yearly repairs. @POTUS‘ #AmericanJobsPlan invests $115B to repair America’s failing roads & bridges

Rep. Anthony Sabatini @AnthonySabatini-The single biggest problem with our elected @GOP officials is LACK OF COURAGE

Matt Gaetz
Matt Gaetz

Nikki Haley Says She ‘Would Not Run’ For President In 2024 If Trump Does by The Floridian’s Mona Salama

Trump Calls ‘Fake News CNN’ Report Of Snubbing Rep. Gaetz Of Meeting ‘Completely False’ by The Floridian’s Mona Salama

Fried calls DeSantis ‘Corrupt’ and Doubles-Down On ‘Pay-to-Play’ Narrative (Video) by The Floridian’s Javier Manjarres

Nikki Fried Addresses Gas Skimming Schemes in Florida, Threatens Criminals by The Floridian’s Jim McCool

Trump Receives First Annual NRSC ‘Champion for Freedom’ Award by The Floridian’s Mona Salama

Biden Taps Vocal Trump Critics To Lead Top Immigration Agencies Amid Border Surge by The Floridian’s Mona Salama

FL GOP Preps Huge $1B Tax Break by The Floridian’s Jim McCool

Donalds Calls “Hypocrisy” on Biden’s gun Control Executive Order by The Floridian’s Daniel Molina

Lives Matter Founder Cashes in on Racism by The Floridian’s Javier Manjarres -It appears as if racism pays big bucks. Just as the non-profit Black Lives Matter organization —which propagates a racist blacks-only agenda —was organizing and carryout riotous demonstration last summer as a result of George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Black Activists and Democratic lawmakers were duped into thinking that the founders of the Black Lives Matter movement were actually going to give back to the Black community with millions of dollars they have raised.

Progressives Call on Liberal Supreme Court Justice Breyer To Quit by The Floridian’s Javier Manjarres – The U.S. Supreme Court is under siege once again by Left-wing activists, but their not targeting justices like Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch, and Brett Kavanaugh, they are going after one of their own, Justice Stephen Breyer.

FL DOE and DeSantis Shake Up School System by The Floridian’s Jim McCool – The Florida Department of Education has issued Emergency Order 2021-EO-02, which is essentially an amendment to a previous emergency order to create conditions for the reopening campaign of public schools.

FL Schools to Gain Huge Tech Jump with HB 1279 by The Floridian’s Jim McCool – The higher educations appropriations subcommittee in the Florida House convened this past week to listen to testimony for four bills. One of those bills being, HB 1279.

Republicans Drop the Ball On DeSantis’ Big Tech Bill by The Floridian’s Javier Manjarres

Fried Praises Biden’s COVID funding, Slams “Thankless” DeSantis by The Floridian’s Daniel Molina

Scott Slams Cuomo’s “Shameful Misuse” of COVID Funds by The Floridian’s Javier Manjarres

President Trump Offers ‘Complete and Total Endorsement’ to Rubio by The Floridian’s Javier Manjarres

Declares Gun Grab Executive Actions Won’t ‘Impinges On The Second Amendment’ by The Floridian’s Mona Salama

“Murphy Champions Biden’s Order to Curb Gun Violence,” by The Floridian’s Daniel Molina

OPINION: The Fight to Save Florida’s Medical Marijuana Program” by State Presentative Spencer Roach – In 2016, Florida voters overwhelmingly expressed their desire for a safe and accessible medical marijuana program, and I am fighting to preserve the medical nature of the program that voters demanded. What we have now is a recreational drug program masquerading as a medical marijuana program, and the long-term societal carnage attendant with unfettered access to high-potency THC demands legislative action. That’s why I filed HB 1455. THC is the psychoactive component in marijuana that produces the ‘high’ which, like other narcotics, causes cognitive impairment, deterioration of motor skills, and euphoria. THC is highly addictive and many studies indicate a strong association with first-episode and chronic psychosis from frequent use of high-potency THC. Perhaps more alarming are the effects on brain development in children: impaired brain function, high probability of graduating to other ‘hard’ drugs, impairments in learning and IQ reduction, and earlier onset of schizophrenia. Opponents of the bill are quick to state that marijuana is ‘natural.’ But the THC potency in today’s marijuana is anything but – modern cannabis has been genetically engineered and chemically processed to radically increase the potency – and the high – derived from marijuana. An average ‘joint’ in the 1970’s contained about 3% THC. Today the THC in our medical program ranges from 10%-28% for flower and up to 100% for other products. Studies indicate the medicinal value of THC in treating neuropathic pain is between 3 and 7%. There is no credible study anywhere in the world that demonstrates a medicinal value of THC above 10%. The limits proposed in HB 1455 limit THC potency to 10% THC on smokable marijuana and 60% for other products, with exceptions for terminally ill patients. Opponents argue that a potency limit would only force them to buy more marijuana to achieve the same effect; they are correct: if they are using medical marijuana to get high, this bill makes that more difficult, which is precisely the intent.

 “DeSantis Dismantles 60 Minutes “Big Lie” About His Vaccine Rollout” by The Floridian’s Javier Manjarres – During a press conference in the state capitol to address this debunked 60 Minutes segment accusing him of “pay-to-play” with Publix Supermarkets, Governor Ron DeSantis, with his PowerPoint remote control in hand, pounced on CBS for airing what he called the “big lie.” “The whole thing is a big lie,” said Gov. DeSantis as he began to take apart the media outlets reporting. DeSantis focused on the “exclusive deal” with Publix he was accused of striking and the fact 60 Minutes championed that the deal was evident in the county of Palm Beach. “So when they say there was an exclusive deal for Publix in Palm Beach, 60 minutes is lying to you. They knew they were lying and they kept on lying,” stated DeSantis. “It is a lie to say that Publix had exclusive rights.” Using the aforementioned PowerPoint, DeSantis showed how there were some 31 locations that were distributing the vaccine in Palm Beach County in addition to Publix in January, and by April, there were a total of 97 locations open. “When does this exclusive clause kick in,” mocked DeSantis. DeSantis dropped a 10-ton anvil on the heads of CBS, saying that “Even the dimmest bulb in the New York corporate media constellation would have been able to realize that was false” DeSantis even called out Rep. Omari Hardy (D) in the presentation for saying that the DeSantis administration wasn’t doing enough to help the Black Community in Palm Beach County. DeSantis posted a screengrab of a Palm Beach Post story where Rep. Hardy is seen at the Black Tabernacle Baptist Church in West Palm Beach overseeing COVID-19 vaccinations earlier this year.

“Rep. Rodriguez Wants to Scrap Alimony Laws in FL” by The Floridian’s Jim McCool – Usually, Florida leads the state in ambitious reforms of all kinds, and now it could be alimony laws. Making such changes would allow Florida to set a precedent on the prohibition on perpetual alimony. Rep. Anthony Rodriguez (R-118) hopes to be the pilot of that change by sponsoring HB 1599. As the bill was proposed in a committee hearing recently, Rodriguez told his fellow lawmakers that the bill “is supported by real people whose lives have been destroyed by this antiquated law”, summarizing that it was “time to retire Florida’s antiquated alimony policies.” Rodriguez also drafts this legislation in the spirit of Florida being one of the United States’ leaders in increased economic opportunities, and these laws only hold that title back from so many Floridians. For example, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics finds that women’s to men’s earnings ratio stood at 85.1%, higher than the nationwide average of 81.5%. These statistics come from the increasing trend in women earning higher wages, and frankly the rapid decline of men’s enrollment in universities. On top of all that, your child is legally an adult come their 18th birthday, Rodriguez finds that it “Doesn’t make any sense” to keep financing a child that has now become an adult.

“Trump Breaks Silence In Defending Matt Gaetz Over Allegations” by The Floridian’s Mona Salama – Former President Donald Trump in his first defense of one of his strongest political ally Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) issued a brief statement refuting reports that claim the Florida congressman sought a preemptive presidential pardon. Trump in the short statement highlighted Gaetz also “totally denied” the allegations. “Congressman Matt Gaetz has never asked me for a pardon. It must also be remembered that he has totally denied the accusations against him,” Trump said in a statement issued from his 45 office Wednesday. The statement from the former president came after The New York Times reported Tuesday, citing two sources with knowledge of the claim that Gaetz sought in the final weeks of Trump’s presidency blanket pre-emptive pardons for himself and an unnamed congressional allies “for any crimes they may have committed.” However, top White House lawyers and officials viewed Gaetz’s request for a pre-emptive pardon as a nonstarter that would set a bad precedent. Gaetz’s spokesman denied that the Florida lawmaker had ever requested a pardon from Trump at the same time he was cooperating with the Justice Department inquiry. “Entry-level political operatives have conflated a pardon call from Representative Gaetz — where he called for President Trump to pardon ‘everyone from himself, to his administration, to Joe Exotic’ — with these false and increasingly bizarre, partisan allegations against him,” the spokesman said in a statement to The Times. “Those comments have been on the record for some time, and President Trump even retweeted the congressman, who tweeted them out himself.”

“Democratic Legislators Demand COVID Funds go to ‘Fully Restore Arts’” by The Floridian’s Daniel Molina – Florida Rep. Anna V. Eskamani (D), who’s rumored to be eyeing a gubernatorial run in the upcoming midterm election, is joining forces with Democratic colleagues in order to “fully restore arts/culture grants to 730 non-profits.” Lawmakers are set to come to an agreement today on whether or not funds from President Biden’s “rescue package” should be reappropriated for the project. Making the call for the project is Florida Rep. Carlos G. Smith (D) who shared the House Appropriations Bill Amendment on Twitter, arguing that it’s a decision that would “support these grants & grow our economy!” Critics of President Joe Biden’s (D) relief package have argued that the package is filled with “pork-ridden dollars,” but Democrats like Eskamani and Smith believe that it will help non-profits from across the Sunshine State that have faced economic devastation as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. “So, let me get this straight. Eskamani and Smith want to use COVID relief dollars to pay for this wishlist project? The federal government already set aside money to pay for these unnecessary projects. Why not ask this money be given directly to Floridians,” stated Publisher Javier Manjarres. Eskamani, who has hinted that she may run against Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) in 2022, shared her support for the amendment on Twitter, calling on Florida to “get it done.”

“Mucarsel-Powell Joins Giffords’ ‘Courage’ Gun Violence Movement” by The Floridian’s Daniel Molina – Although Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (D) lost her reelection campaign in Florida’s 26th Congressional district, she’s been rumored to be eyeing another run for office in the upcoming 2022 election. Now focusing on tackling gun control, Mucarsel-Powell has joined Giffords Courage, an organization dedicated to saving lives “in the grip of a gun violence epidemic.” Calling it her “life mission,” she has taken the rank of Senior advisor for Giffords Courage, adding that “this is personal for Gabby as it is for me.” “Together we’ll make sure we do everything we can to protect our children from gun violence,” she expressed on Twitter. In 1996, Mucarsel Powell lost her father to gun violence, sharing that “the image of seeing my father laying there with gunshot wounds are very traumatic.” In her new position as Senior advisor, Mucarsel-Powell says that she is committed to ensuring that a divided Senate passes gun safety legislation like the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2021. Gifford’s Courage is named after Arizona Rep. Gabby Giffords (D), a gun control advocate who stepped down from office after suffering a brain injury during an assassination attempt.

“Toxic wastewater reservoir on verge of collapse in Florida could cause “catastrophic event”” by CBS’s Li Cohen – Hundreds of residents in Manatee County, Florida, were ordered to evacuate their homes over Easter weekend as officials feared that a wastewater pond could collapse “at any time.” On Saturday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency for the area, and the local state of emergency was extended by county commissioners on Tuesday. County officials said the pond, located at the former Piney Point phosphate processing plant, had a “significant leak,” according to CBS affiliate WTSP-TV. The Manatee County Public Safety Department told people near the plant to evacuate due to an “imminent uncontrolled release of wastewater.” “A portion of the containment wall at the leak site shifted laterally,” said Manatee Director of Public Safety Jake Saur, “signifying that structural collapse could occur at any time.” Acting Manatee County Administrator Scott Hopes met with Manatee County commissioners Tuesday morning and said the situation remains “dynamic,” but also signaled a more optimistic outlook. About two weeks after the latest issues were first detected at Piney Point, a team of engineers and experts was assembled. Hopes said that the one leak of major concern at the moment is the one in the southeast corner of the south pond. On Sunday night, thermal imaging detected a change in temperatures in the pond that were thought to be another breach. Hopes said on Tuesday that further investigation showed that vegetation had sparked the temperature change, and that there was no second breach.

“End of an era? Senate proposes end to most live racing in Florida” by Tampa Bay Times’ Mary Ellen Klas – With the clock running out on the 60-day legislative session, the Florida Senate on Wednesday released an ambitious proposal to end live racing and jai-alai at most of the state’s gambling venues and put the state’s antiquated regulatory structure under a newly-created gaming commission. Three bills, scheduled to be heard Monday by the Senate Regulatory Industries Committee, attempt to modernize an industry that has been shifting for generations by creating a new regulatory structure and allowing casinos to operate card games without running harness or quarter-horse races or jai-alai matches, a concept known as decoupling. The Senate also would create a five-member Gaming Control Commission appointed by the governor and housed in the office of the Florida attorney general and it establishes a public records exemptions for the new commission. “As we do with other industries, we have a responsibility to ensure our laws are updated to reflect current realities of the industry and that those laws are properly enforced.,’’ said Senate President Wilton Simpson, R-Trilby, in a memo to senators Wednesday. The bills are considered by some in the industry to be a “Hail Mary pass” by Simpson who has been stymied at achieving his goal of reaching a broader gaming deal with the Seminole Tribe of Florida this session. Simpson had hoped to reach agreement on a plan to bring in $650 million in additional gaming revenue by allowing the Seminole Tribe to operate craps and roulette at their seven casinos and have the exclusive license to operate online sports betting in exchange for the Tribe’s resuming revenue sharing payments to the state.

“Trump denies Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz sought pre-emptive pardon from him” by Boston Herald’s Joe Dwindell – Former President Donald Trump is denying reports that embattled Florida congressman Matt Gaetz sought a pre-emptive pardon from him. Trump said in a brief statement from his 45 Office email feed that “Matt Gaetz has never asked me for a pardon. It must also be remembered that he has totally denied the accusations against him.” The New York Times and CNN, among others, are reporting that Gaetz “privately asked the White House for blanket pre-emptive pardons for himself and unidentified congressional allies.” It’s not clear, the outlets add, if Gaetz was aware of any ongoing investigation on him or if the pardon request was made directly to the president. Gaetz, a Republican who represents Florida’s 1st District, has long been a staunch Trump supporter. His district is in the Sunshine State’s panhandle. Gaetz remains under fire over allegations that he paid for sex with an underage girl, the Associated Press is reporting. He continues to vehemently deny the allegations. The AP adds the investigation by the Justice Department into the congressman is for allegedly having sex with an unidentified 17-year-old girl in exchange for covering her expenses, including travel and accommodation. It’s part of a larger probe into a past associate already indicted on sex trafficking charges. A spokesperson for Gaetz has denied any pardon request was tied to any probe, according to the New York Times.

“Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis Receives Single-Dose COVID-19 Vaccine” by NBC 6 – Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has received a single-dose coronavirus vaccine, his office confirmed Wednesday. A spokesperson for the Republican governor declined to provide details, including when exactly the Republican governor received the dose. But it was later disclosed that the governor last week received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine requiring only a single dose. The spokesperson, Meredith Beatrice, acknowledged the governor’s vaccination during an interview. DeSantis had recently said he would be vaccinated soon — but no announcement was made by his office when he received it and no journalists were on hand. Even some of his top lieutenants said they were unaware the governor had been vaccinated as they continued to urge Floridians to get inoculated against a virus that has killed nearly 34,000 people statewide. More than 2 million people in Florida have been infected. Some governors, including DeSantis, had not rushed to get vaccinated, saying they would wait their turn. But eligibility requirements are now nearly universal — except for children under the age of 16. DeSantis had previously said he preferred getting a shot of the vaccine manufactured by Johnson & Johnson because it requires just single shot, unlike the two-shot regimen required by the two other vaccines approved for use in the United States. The governor is now one of more than 1.2 million Floridians who have been vaccinated. Florida earlier this week opened vaccinations to anyone over age 16 as the state attempts to reach so-called “herd immunity.”

“Bill Nelson Nominated for NASA Administrator” by Florida Political Review – Three years ago, former Florida Senator Bill Nelson told Politico, “The head of NASA ought to be a space professional, not a politician.” Now, his wish may come true — somewhat. On March 19, Nelson was nominated to lead NASA into the next stage of space exploration. Nelson, a three-term Florida Senator, has an almost unparalleled history of involvement in space policy. As the chair of the House Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics, Nelson was an integral part of many policy decisions, none more significant than the 2010 NASA Authorization Act. This monumental bill allocated $58 billion to NASA and detailed the agency’s goals for the early part of the decade. The passage of the Authorization Act is a perfect example of one of Nelson’s most important qualities: his widespread bipartisan appeal. The act was authored jointly by the Republican Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison and Nelson, and passed unanimously in the Senate. Nelson’s nomination has received bipartisan support. Rep. Bill Posey, R-Rockledge, told Florida Today that there are no predicted obstacles in the way of Nelson’s confirmation. Nelson’s belief that space policy ought to be spearheaded by those with experience led him to become the first sitting House member to enter orbit. In 1986, Nelson was among eight men who spent six days orbiting around the Earth. In his memoir, he explained that he felt he needed to experience space firsthand to “speak about the space program accurately in Congress.”

“Northwest Florida political experts react to Gaetz’s reported pardon request” by WEAR-TV’s Olivia Iverson – A New York Times report released on Tuesday night says in the final weeks of Trump’s presidency, Representative Matt Gaetz privately asked the White House for a pre-emptive blanket pardon. Former president, Donald Trump, responded Wednesday morning saying the Congressman never asked him for a pardon. The statement went on to say: “it must also be remembered that he has totally denied the accusations against him.” Channel 3 News spoke with a University of West Florida Assistant Professor Adam Cayton about the reported pardon. He says a president issuing blanket pardons is rare. “It would be a pardon similar to the one Nixon, which Nixon was pardoned for any crimes he may have committed, or be thought to have committed while he was president of the United States,” says Adam Cayton. “That’s rare. In almost all cases, presidents pardon people for specific crimes — not just to say ‘if you committed any crimes during this window of time, you’re pardoned.” Cayton emphasized he didn’t want to speculate why Gaetz may have asked for the pardon. Trump issued 143 — most in the last month of his term. None were granted to Congressman Gaetz. “That’s part of why there are pardoning powers in the constitution. It’s to offer forgiveness that might be controversial. Of course, that power can be abused or misused, but that’s usually a matter of interpretation,” said Cayton.

“University bias bill passes, awaits DeSantis’ OK” by Gainesville Sun’s Tristan Wood – Florida lawmakers Wednesday passed a controversial bill to require Florida’s public universities to ask students and faculty to complete yearly surveys to identify political bias in college classrooms. It passed the Senate in a 23-15 vote and awaits the governor’s signature. The bill also would allow students to record their professors during lectures to show evidence of political bias. The sponsor of the House version of the legislation, Rep. Spencer Roach, R-North Fort Myers, said he has not spoken with Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis but expects his support. The Republican-backed bill passed in both houses mostly along party lines. The House passed it 77-42 last month. Sen. Lori Berman of Boynton Beach and Rep. James Bush III of Opa Locka were the only Democrats supporting it. Sen. Jennifer Bradley of Orange Park and Rep. Rene Plasencia of Titusville were the only Republicans who opposed it. The bill would measure whether “competing ideas and perspectives” are fairly presented and encouraged during class lectures. It is intended to help increase the Republican party’s appeal to young voters, who traditionally lean Democrat. If it becomes law, the Florida Board of Governors, which oversees the state university system, will be required to survey whether students, faculty and staff feel comfortable expressing their political beliefs on campus. The surveys’ responses would be anonymous and taking the survey would be optional. Results would be published each year on Sept. 1.

“Florida governor rebuts vaccine ‘pay-to-play’ report on CBS” by AP’s Mike Schneider and Terry Spencer – Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis pushed back aggressively Tuesday against a “60 Minutes” report that suggested he initially made a deal to distribute COVID-19 vaccines in a South Florida county at Publix Super Markets pharmacies because the company made a donation to his political action committee. The Republican governor warned of unspecified “consequences” over the report that aired Sunday night on CBS, which stood behind the story. The report focused on the vaccine rollout in Palm Beach County and also suggested Florida’s vaccine distribution had generally favored the wealthy and well-connected. “These are smear merchants,” DeSantis said during a news conference in Panama City. “They knew what they were doing was a lie.” The governor said his office had offered people to be interviewed about Florida’s vaccine rollout for the report but the news show declined. He called the “pay-to-play” allegations in the report, “lies built on lies.” CBS said in a statement that “60 Minutes” interviewed dozens of people about the story and requested interviews with DeSantis, who declined, and Florida Division of Emergency Management Director Jared Moskowitz, who declined to be interviewed on camera until after the story’s deadline. “When Florida state data revealed people of color were vaccinated at a much lower rate than their wealthier neighbors, ’60 Minutes’ reported the facts surrounding the vaccine’s rollout, which is controlled by the governor,” the CBS statement said. “For over 50 years, the facts reported by ’60 Minutes’ have often stirred debate and prompted strong reactions. Our story Sunday night speaks for itself.”

National:

“Trump relaunches his fundraising machine after months of quiet” by Politico’s Alex Isenstadt – The screaming, all-caps texts and emails are returning. The red “Make America Great Again” hats are back in stock. Former President Donald Trump is reigniting his small-dollar fundraising operation for the first time since leaving the White House, part of his political ramp-up to stake out an outsize role in the 2022 midterm elections and expand his financial network ahead of a potential 2024 comeback bid. Trump on Wednesday reopened his online merchandise store, which was shuttered following the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, when Shopify, the e-commerce company that had been hosting the site, closed it down. The former president’s political operation also sent out text messages to supporters directing them to the store, which is promoting new items like “Don’t Blame Me I Voted for Trump” emblazoned bumper stickers, doormats and yard signs. Trump’s email and text messaging machine — which blasted out thousands of fundraising appeals during the 2020 election — has been largely dormant since he left the White House. For weeks, the former president’s top political advisers, including Gary Coby and Brad Parscale, have been working behind the scenes to stand up his financial apparatus.

“Biden to unveil long-awaited executive action on guns” by Politico’s Anita Kimar – President Joe Biden will unveil a package of executive actions to curb gun violence on Thursday — a step that is likely to be cheered by increasingly impatient advocates despite being relatively modest in scope. The announcement will come nearly three months into Biden’s term, a delay that had frustrated activists who wanted the president to fulfill a campaign pledge to take action on gun violence on his first day in office. That frustration only grew after a slate of mass shootings in Colorado, Georgia and California. “The president will not wait for Congress to act before the administration takes our own steps — solely within the administration’s authority and the Second Amendment — to save lives,” a senior administration official told reporters Wednesday evening. Among the actions Biden will take will be to direct the Department of Justice to begin, within 30 days, the process of requiring buyers of so-called ghost guns — homemade or makeshift firearms that lack serial numbers — to undergo background checks and, within 60 days, regulating concealed assault-style firearms, according to the White House. More than 100 House Democrats wrote to Biden last week, urging him to take action on the concealed assault-style firearms, which is similar to the one used in the Colorado shooting in which 10 people were killed.

“Biden Softens Tax Plan Aimed at Profitable Companies That Pay Little” by WSJ’s Richard Rubin and Kate Davidson – A 15% minimum tax on large, profitable corporations that is part of President Biden’s infrastructure agenda would affect far fewer companies than the version he campaigned on, according to details the Treasury Department released Wednesday. The tax—aimed at companies that report large profits to investors but low tax payments—would apply only to companies with income exceeding $2 billion, up from the $100 million threshold that Mr. Biden pushed during the campaign. The Biden plan would now also let companies subject to the tax get the benefit of tax credits for research, renewable energy and low-income housing, a recognition that the campaign-trail version could have undercut the president’s preference to encourage companies to invest in those areas. The result is that just 180 companies would even meet the income threshold and just 45 would pay the tax, according to administration estimates that assume the rest of the administration’s plan gets implemented. Nearly 1,100 U.S.-listed companies would meet the $100 million threshold, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence. Many of them would still face sharply higher tax bills from the rest of the Biden agenda, which raises rates on domestic and foreign income.

“For George Floyd’s Family, Chauvin Trial Is Painful to Watch” by WSJ’s Erin A As a jury watched video footage of George Floyd’s death, his family members watched along with them in the Minneapolis courthouse where the former police officer charged in his death is being tried. During the first week of testimony, prosecutors repeatedly played the bystander videos, security footage and body-camera recordings of the deadly May 25 encounter between Mr. Floyd and former officer Derek Chauvin, and questioned witnesses who were there that day. “It hit me hard, it hit me hard,” Rodney Floyd, Mr. Floyd’s youngest brother, said of watching the trial, whether seated as the one family member allowed to sit in the courtroom or gathered with other family members in a private viewing room inside the courthouse. When he sat in the courtroom on March 31, Rodney Floyd looked down, holding his hands and shaking his head, as video played of George Floyd struggling with officers as they tried to put him in a squad car. Some said they had to leave the viewing room when video of Mr. Floyd’s death played. Others have avoided the courthouse altogether, saying they can’t bear to see Mr. Chauvin, the first of four former officers involved in Mr. Floyd’s arrest to go on trial.

“McConnell stands by criticism of companies and accuses Democrats of misrepresenting restrictive voting laws” by CNN’s Ted Barrett – Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Wednesday that the complaints he had leveled a day earlier at corporations for publicly protesting a new Georgia voting law were not said “very artfully” even as he stood by his criticism of the CEOs who he charged “ought to read the damn bill.” McConnell also defended changes being made to voting laws by several states and insisted “there is nothing remotely involved in suppressing the vote by the adjustments the Georgia law made.” His remarks came the day after he had said corporations were “stupid” for getting involved in the issue.

“Republicans buy stock, fly on planes and drink Coca-Cola too. So what I’m saying here is this is quite stupid, to jump into the middle of a highly controversial issue, especially when they got their facts wrong,” the Kentucky Republican said Tuesday in response to a question at a news conference in Louisville. “I didn’t say that very artfully yesterday. They are certainly entitled to be involved in politics,” McConnell told reporters Wednesday in his home state of Kentucky about corporate entities like Delta Airlines, Coca Cola and Major League Baseball. “My principle complaint is that they didn’t read the darn bill.” On Wednesday, McConnell highlighted remarks from President Joe Biden asserting that the Georgia law was designed to suppress minority voters and McConnell suggested the corporations didn’t do their own assessments before criticizing the law.

“Ten more members of Congress join NAACP lawsuit against Trump and Giuliani for conspiring to incite US Capitol riot” by CNN’s Jessica Schneider – Ten members of Congress who were in the House gallery as rioters breached the Capitol on January 6 are adding their names to the lawsuit first filed in February against former President Donald Trump and his former personal attorney Rudy Giuliani. The lawsuit, first brought by House Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson and the NAACP, accuses Trump and Giuliani of conspiring with extremist groups the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers to incite the riot at the Capitol. The amended lawsuit now details the personal stories of each member, describing how they narrowly escaped the mob, and how some still have nightmares and anxiety months later. “As I sat in my office on January 6th with rioters roaming the hallways, I feared for my life and thought I was going to die,” Rep. Steve Cohen of Tennessee said in a statement. “This invasion was a direct result of Donald Trump’s rhetoric and words. His calls to gather in Washington on January 6th and his message to ‘be strong’ thwarted the functioning of our Constitution.” Cohen reveals in the lawsuit that he escaped to his office near the Capitol when the mob invaded it on January 6, sitting with the lights turned off and a baseball bat in his hand for protection for two to three hours. The members joining the lawsuit are Cohen, Reps. Karen Bass of California, Bonnie Watson Coleman of New Jersey, Veronica Escobar of Texas, Hank Johnson Jr. of Georgia, Marcy Kaptur of Ohio, Barbara Lee of California, Jerry Nadler of New York, Pramila Jayapal of Washington and Maxine Waters of California.

“Texas Gov. Abbott blames Biden as allegations emerge of sexual assault at child migrant facility” by Fox News’ Caitlin McFall – Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott demanded that the White House close a San Antonio facility housing migrant children Wednesday following allegations that children there were being sexually assaulted. During a Wednesday evening press conference, Abbott said he received tips that alleged the children at the Freeman Coliseum facility were being sexually abused and were not eating enough. “These problems are a byproduct of President Biden’s open border policies and the lack of planning for the fallout for those disastrous policies,” Abbott told reporters. The governor said that separate complaints were sent to the Department of Health and Human Services and the Texas Department of Family and Protective services Wednesday, alleging four different kinds of child abuse. The agencies then informed the state leadership. Abbott said allegations of sexual assault, an insufficient number of staffers, children not eating, and an inability to separate COVID-19 positive children from virus-free children, were the most critical complaints the Texas government has received. “In short, this facility is a health and safety nightmare. The Biden administration is now presiding over the abuse of children,” Abbott told reporters, calling on the White House to immediately shut down the facility.

“Biden to target ‘ghost guns,’ stabilizing braces in new gun control actions” by Fox News’ Brittany De Lea – President Biden will announce gun control measures on Thursday that an administration official described as an initial set of actions aimed at addressing all forms of gun violence. The president will detail several initiatives to be achieved through a mix of executive and legislative action, the official told reporters. Biden will call on the Department of Justice to issue proposed rules to stop the proliferation of so-called “ghost guns” within 30 days. Ghost guns refer to kits that allow the recipient to assemble the firearm using provided parts. These guns do not have commercial serial numbers and are difficult to track. The Justice Department will be given 60 days to issue a separate rule on stabilizing braces, which can turn a pistol into a more accurate weapon that fires like a rifle. Sixty days will also be provided for the DOJ to develop model “red flag” legislation that would allow friends and family members to identify an individual as a potential danger, thereby temporarily preventing the person from accessing a firearm. The president will also highlight the steps his administration is taking to invest in community violence interventions and call on the DOJ to issue a firearms trafficking report.

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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]