Texas, The COVID Star State
The cases of COVID-19 in Texas have skyrocketed, Gov. Greg Abbott (R) continues to stand by his decision to re-open the state, saying that Texans still needed to keep with “minimum standards health protocols” that have been put in place. In other words, wear a damn mask, people!
Now Texas Reps. Al Green (D), Sheila Jackson Lee (D), Lizzie Fletcher (D), and Sylvia Garcia (D), have all signed a letter that asks FEMA to continue its efforts to combat the coronavirus pandemic that continues to affect their Houston-centric congressional districts.
FEMA was supposed to pull out of the area but now may have to stick around because of the spike in case.
Sen. John Cornyn (D) has also requested that the Trump administration support and continue COVID-19 testing in the Lone Star state. READ MORE
Burning America Down
Just as one of the leaders of the militant Black Lives Matter movement calls for “burning the system down,” anarchists continue to try to tear down symbols of America. President Trump says that he will not support this kind of violence and vandalism. Trump just called in the National Guard… READ MORE
Rep. Joaquin Castro (D) has turned his Twitter account into a remembrance page for victims of apparent police brutality, posting story after story of incidents where police appear to have committed crimes. Rep. Castro has been pushing for a complete and comprehensive reform of law enforcement.
Senate Democrats have now blocked the proposed Police reform bill, refusing to engage in the conversation.
‘Let the record reflect that this morning, the Senate had the opportunity to take the first step toward passing reforms that would begin to heal the divisions and distrust between law enforcement and the communities they serve, and our Democratic colleagues unequivocally and shamelessly stood in the way.’- Sen. John Cornyn
“Cornyn Asks Trump for COVID Testing Funding” by Texas Politics’ Daniel Molina – As states continue to experience spikes in terms of their COVID-19 cases, Texas Senator John Cornyn (R) has asked the Trump administration to extend its support for coronavirus testing in the Lonestar state. With the White House’s announcement that it would cease federal support for 7 coronavirus testing centers in Texas, the Texas Senator commented on the decision in a press conference with Texas reporters. In a statement, Cornyn noted that he understands “there’s concern, concern I share over some of the statements being made about withdrawing federal support for coronavirus testing in Texas at the end of June.” He added that “it’s pretty clear to me, and I think it’s clear to all of us, that with the uptick of cases, now is not a time to retreat from our vigilance in testing.” Cornyn concluded by saying that he believes “that they need to extend that federal support in Texas, at least until we get this most recent uptick in cases addressed.” While speaking to KBTX, a CNN affiliate, Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R) expressed that people should stay inside because of the recent rise in COVID cases. Abbott explained that “because the spread is so rampant right now, there’s never a reason for you to have to leave your home.” “Unless you do need to go out, the safest place for you is at your home,” he reaffirmed.
“National Guard Troops Deployed to Protect DC National Monuments Amid Protests” by Texas Politics’ Mona Salama – The National Guard Bureau on Wednesday has deployed unarmed personnel in the nation’s capital to assist with additional security in guarding monuments and infrastructure amid protests over the death of George Floyd. “The District of Columbia National Guard is responding to a request to support law enforcement officials and has dispatched unarmed personnel, with others on stand-by,” National Guard spokesman Maj. Robert Perino said in a statement. “Activated Guardsmen are expected to provide security for local monuments and critical infrastructure.” Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy signed the memo Tuesday authorizing the activation of the DC National Guard forces after the National Park Police made a request for the assistance. “They remain on standby at the DC Armory at this time. They will support U.S. Park Police at key monuments to prevent any defacing or destruction,” an Army spokesman said in a statement. “The National Guard personnel will not be armed, and will serve as a uniformed deterrence and crowd management capacity to maintain closures and restricted areas.”
“New York and New Jersey place COVID travel advisory on Texas” by Texas Politics’ Javier Manjarres – New York and New Jersey Governors Andrew Cuomo (D) and Ned LaMont (D) have just announced that Americans coming from Texas and other states are subject to a new travel advisory, and because of the “significant community spread of COVID” in their communities would have to “quarantine for 14 days.” The announcement was made at a live press conference moments ago and was echoed on Cuomo’s Twitter account. “The data includes new cases reported by Johns Hopkins through Tuesday. The states seeing record-high averages are Alabama, Arizona, California, Florida, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina and Texas,” stated a CNN report. In the early days of the pandemic, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) implemented the same policy for New Yorkers traveling to Florida. Connecticut is also part of this travel pact. Texas as seen huge surge of COVID-19 cases since Gov. Greg Abbott (R) first started to re-open the state.
“Pelosi Says GOP Are ‘Trying To Get Away With Murder’ On Police Reform Bill” by Texas Politics’ Mona Salama – House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) in a radio interview Tuesday evening asserted that Senate Republicans are “trying to get away with the murder of George Floyd” with their version of the police reform bill. “In other words, for something to happen, they’re going to have to face the reality of police brutality, the rallies of the need for justice in policing and the recognition that there are many, many good people in law enforcement but not all, and that we have to address those concerns,” Pelosi said in an interview with CBS Radio. “So, when they admit that and have some suggestions that are worthy of consideration, but so far they were trying to get away with murder, actually, the murder of George Floyd.” Pelosi pointed to the difference both parties have on the issue of chokeholds, emphasizing how the GOP bill incentivizes police departments to ban the use of chokeholds as opposed to the House proposed bill that would federally outright ban chokeholds.
Why wait until November 3? Show all of America who you’re voting for in 2020
“Well, would you be the judge of. We’re saying no chokeholds, they’re saying maybe, they’re not saying no chokeholds. I mean, there’s a big difference there. What’s the compromise? Some chokeholds? I don’t see what the compromise is. The press has given them so much play for this unsalvageable piece of legislation and then say, ‘well, can’t you compromise with that?’ No, it’s because it is ‘no’ and we are ‘yes’, it isn’t ‘maybe.’”
“Obama Tells Biden’s Supporters At Joint-Fundraiser: ‘Whatever You’ve Done So Far Is Not Enough’” by Texas Politics’ Mona Salama – Former President Barack Obama joined his former vice president Joe Biden in a virtual fundraiser Tuesday evening, promising that “help is on the way” and urging supporters not to be “complacent or smug” declaring that “whatever you’ve done so far is not enough.” “I am here to say the help is on the way if we do the work because there’s nobody I trust more to be able to heal this country and get it back on track than my dear friend Joe Biden,” Obama said during the 90-minute video conference. “I appreciate you all being on this call but man, this is serious business. Whatever you’ve done so far is not enough. And I hold myself and Michelle and my kids to the same standard.” The joint-fundraiser event, Obama’s first appearance with his former Vice President was billed as a grassroots event. However, the fundraiser was a secretive event, requiring supporters to “chip in any amount” to watch the live-stream, and press access was limited to “pencil only,” with no video stream made available for media access or public viewing. During the virtual event, Obama warned Democratic voters that they shouldn’t be “complacent or smug” in taking this presidential election for granted just because Biden is currently leading Trump in every major poll. “We can’t be complacent or smug or sense that somehow it’s so obvious that this president hasn’t done a good job because, look, he won once and it’s not like we didn’t have a good clue as to how he was going to operate the last time,” Obama said, according to a pool report of the remarks.
“Senate Democrats Threaten to Block GOP Police Reform Bill” by Texas Politics’ Mona Salama – Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) signaled on Tuesday that Senate Democrats are prepared to block the GOP police reform from advancing, calling the measure “woefully inadequate” and urged Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to back down from holding a procedural vote. “We Democrats are certain that the McConnell plan will not, indeed cannot, result in any legislation passing. It’s clear that the Republican bill, as is, will not get 60 votes. There’s overwhelming opposition to the bill in our caucus,” Schumer said speaking from the Senate floor on Tuesday. “We don’t need to study the problem of police misconduct and violence, we need to solve it.” The Minority Leader called the measure from the GOP a “bad” and “ineffective” bill. “Because the bill needs such large-scale and fundamental change, there is no conceivable way that a series of amendments strong enough to cure the defects in the bill garner 60 votes either. So no bill will pass as a result of this ploy by Sen. McConnell,” Schumer said. “The longer you look at the Republican policing reform effort, the more obvious the shortcoming and deficiencies. If we pass a bill that’s ineffective, and the killings continue and police departments resist change and there is no accountability, the wound in our society will not close, it will fester.” He added, “The Republican majority has given the Senate a bad bill and proposed no credible way to sufficiently improve it.”
“Texas-based conservative group funding ‘green’ PAC in MT” by KTVH’s Mike Dennison – HELENA — A political-action committee backing the Green Party candidate in Montana’s high-profile U.S. Senate race is being funded by a Texas-based conservative group, records show. The group, CSG Action, also has ties to a Texas oil-and-gas executive who’s donated to the Montana Republican Party and the campaign of Republican U.S. Sen. Steve Daines, and who bankrolled a group that opposed Democratic U.S. Sen. Jon Tester in 2018. The PAC, Go Green Montana, was formed in early May and last week reported spending $27,000 on digital ads, mailings and a website to support Wendie Fredrickson, the Montana Green Party for U.S. Senate. Fredrickson, a former auditor for the state Department of Public Health and Human Services, won the June 2 Green Party Senate primary, defeating Dennis Daneke of Missoula. She will appear on the general election ballot, along with Republican U.S. Sen. Steve Daines and his Democratic challenger, Gov. Steve Bullock. The Montana Republican Party financed the effort to qualify the Green Party for the 2020 Montana ballot, enabling candidates to run under that banner. GOP officials said they wanted to give Montana voters “more choices.”
“Texas’ Hispanic population grew by 2 million in the past decade, on pace to be largest share of state by 2021” by Texas Tribune’s Alexa Ura and Anna Novak – Texas’ Hispanic population has grown by more than 2 million since 2010, according to new population estimates released Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau, and the state’s demographer now predicts that Hispanics will be the state’s largest population group by mid-2021. An annual gain of 201,675 between July 2018 and July 2019 pushed the count of Hispanic residents to more than 11.5 million, the census estimates show. Although annual growth has slowed slightly in recent years, the new figures put a sharp point on how quickly the Hispanic population continues to climb. The annual growth in Hispanic residents has outpaced the combined growth among white, Black and Asian residents every year since 2010. Texas still has a bigger white population — up to 11.95 million last year — but it grew by just 36,440 last year and by about half a million since 2010. White population growth has been so sluggish this decade that the increase in the number of Asian Texans, who make up a small share of the total population, has almost caught up with the increase in white Texans.
“Judge cites pandemic in rejecting lawsuit over Texas voting” by Associated Press – Saying that voting is “wrought with uncertainty” this year regardless because of the coronavirus pandemic, a federal judge Wednesday allowed Texas to proceed with banning straight-ticket voting this November, dismissing a lawsuit brought by Democrats. Most states don’t offer straight-ticket voting, which allows voters to simply choose a party’s entire slate of candidates at a stroke. Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed a law in 2017 to scrap straight-ticket voting starting this fall. But in March, on the heels of long lines snaking outside Texas polling stations during the Super Tuesday primaries, Democrats argued that forcing voters to individually select every race would create even longer wait times. That would disproportionately impact Black and Latino community in big urban counties, the Texas Democratic Party argued, because ballots are already longer in those places. U.S. District Judge Marina Garcia Marmolejo ruled that Democrats lacked standing to bring the suit but said that, regardless, “many Texans will endure longer lines at polling-places indefinitely” this year because of the pandemic. “All things considered, in-person voting at polling-places is wrought with uncertainty,” Garcia Marmolejo wrote.
“Texas to impose new safety rules for child care centers over rising COVID-19 cases” by Texas Tribune’s Alex Samuels – Gov. Greg Abbott directed a state health agency Tuesday to enact new safety standards for child care centers during the coronavirus – more than a week after prior rules for the centers were made optional. His order, which comes as new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations surge in the state, doesn’t immediately make clear what the standards will be. A spokesperson for the governor told The Texas Tribune that the state health commission will be releasing the guidelines Wednesday. A spokesperson for the Health and Human Services Commission said Tuesday evening that the emergency rules are still in development. Abbott also gave local officials the green light Tuesday to impose more restrictions on public gatherings of more than 100 people. Previously, local officials could only regulate outdoor gatherings of more than 500 people. “These are just some of the steps Texas will take to contain the rise in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations,” Abbott said in a statement. “Today’s proclamation and emergency rules will aid in that effort in two key ways: allowing restrictions on large gatherings where COVID-19 is easily spread and implementing a statewide standard of infection control for child care centers.” Abbott said that both actions are based on data showing an increase in coronavirus cases stemming from both large gatherings and child care centers. The state reported 576 positive cases of the coronavirus – 382 staff members and 194 children – in child care facilities as of Tuesday. That’s up from 59 cases in mid-May.
“Army suspects foul play in Texas soldier Vanessa Guillen’s disappearance, official says” by Associated Press – U.S. Army investigators are suspecting foul play in the disappearance of a Texas soldier who has been missing for two months, a congresswoman confirmed Tuesday. Pfc. Vanessa Guillen’s disappearance is being treated as a criminal investigation after she went missing April 22, U.S. Rep. Sylvia Garcia said Tuesday at a news conference with the solider’s family. “We don’t want just attention. We want action. We want answers,” Garcia said Tuesday. “We’ve got to remember that this is a family that is hurting.” Garcia, a Democrat representing Texas’s 29th congressional district, and Guillen’s family met with Army leaders to discuss the investigation into the disappearance of the 20-year-old Fort Hood soldier. During the meeting, family members told Army officials that Guillen told them she’d been sexually harassed by her superiors. But Guillen didn’t report the harassment because she was afraid of retaliation, said Natalie Khawam, the family’s attorney. Khawam said she wants Congress to conduct an investigation into how the case is being handled because Army investigators haven’t been disclosing details. The only information Army leaders provided is Guilan’s last known contact on April at 11:30 a.m., Garcia said.
“Grieder: Texas GOP needs to separate itself from heavy-handed activists at Empower Texans” by Houston chronicle’s Erica Grieder – You may never have heard of the right-wing advocacy group Empower Texans or its leader, Michael Quinn Sullivan. But he and his cohorts at the conservative nonprofit that promotes free-market principles have been harassing Republican members of the Texas Legislature for years and, as we’re learning, not in the most civil ways. On Friday, the arrogance and ugliness of their tactics was laid bare in a profane recording first published by the Quorum Report. It captures a candid exchange between Tony McDonald, the general counsel for Empower Texans, and Cary Cheshire, the vice president of a spinoff group, Texans for Fiscal Responsibility. In the recording — apparently posted accidentally, after the two finished recording their podcast — the two mock Gov. Greg Abbott’s confinement to a wheelchair before lambasting him in personal terms for his leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic. “He’s such a revolting piece of (expletive),” Cheshire says.
Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick were among the Republican leaders to swiftly denounce the two staffers after the recording was released. Some added that their comments point to a deeper problem at Empower Texans. Although Sullivan said he was “heartbroken by the language and tone” of the two staffers and suspended them from public activities, Sullivan didn’t fire McDonald or Cheshire or disavow their criticisms of Abbott’s leadership.
“Unemployment claims in west Texas seeing decrease in June” by CBS4’s David Cross – Workforce Solutions Borderplex shared the latest data on unemployment claims in west Texas from the Texas Workforce Commission Monday. According to the data, 2,463 claims were made in west Texas from June 14 through June 20. The area covered by the data includes Brewster, Culberson, EL Paso, Hudspeth, Jeff Davis and Presidio Counties. The data shows unemployment claims during the month of June on track to stay below the more than 17,000 claims made in the area in the month of May. During the peak of COVID-19 closures in April, 34,577 people filed unemployment claims in west Texas.
“Texas county may decide next week on Tesla tax deal; residents debate factory” by Reuters’ Tina Bellon – A central Texas county may decide as early as next week whether to approve millions in tax subsidies to Tesla Inc if it builds a $1.1 billion vehicle factory in their community. Commissioners in Travis County, which includes Austin, heard conflicting opinions from residents in a hearing on Tuesday. Tesla has said it wants to start building a large vehicle assembly plant in the southwestern United States as early as the third quarter of this year, and the company is also still considering another location in Oklahoma. Tesla has asked Travis County for an 80% rebate on its property taxes for 10 years, then a 65% rebate for the next 10 years. The rebate would be worth $14.7 million in the first 10 years. “We will take no action today, will be back on the agenda next week. We might make a decision then, depending on the court’s readiness,” County Judge Samuel Briscoe said at the end of Tuesday’s virtual hearing of the county commissioner’s court. During the nearly four-hour session, residents spoke both in favor and against the factory.
“Texas military bases contributed $123.6B to state economy, 630K jobs in 2019, officials say” by Fox News’ Michael Ruiz – Texas officials saluted the U.S. military’s bearing on the state’s economy this week, crediting the armed forces with a $123.6 billion financial impact and hundreds of thousands of jobs last year. Gov. Greg Abbott made the announcement in a press release Monday, based on the findings of a study by the state’s comptroller of public accounts on the influence of military bases in the Lone Star State in 2019. “Not only are these military installations critical for the defense of our nation, they support more than 630,000 jobs in communities across this great state and are a key driver of the Texas economy,” Abbott said. “Now more than ever, these jobs add critical stability for communities focused on economic recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic.” The state’s 15 military installations, along with the Army Futures Command in Austin, directly employ more than 225,000 people, according to the study, but indirect employment ratchets that number up above 630,000. “The military installations in Texas are a vital contribution to our strategic national defense and provide a significant economic impact on the entire state economy,” said Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar. “In most cases these bases and the men and women who work there are the lifeblood of their communities — supporting local businesses, buying homes and creating the fabric of their neighborhoods.”
“Wray reveals FBI ‘looking carefully’ at foreign interference in protests following George Floyd’s death” by Fox News’ Gregg Re – The FBI is “looking carefully” at the possibility that foreign actors are influencing the sometimes-violent nationwide protests in the wake of George Floyd’s in-custody death, FBI Director Christopher Wray exclusively told Fox News’ Bret Baier on Wednesday. Wray also revealed that “the FBI has over 2,000 active investigations that trace back to the government in China,” marking “about a 1,300 percent increase in terms of economic espionage investigations with the Chinese nexus from about a decade ago.” Also in the interview, Wray declined to directly answer whether he was personally “responsible for holding back from Congress” relevant materials concerning key documents, including some relating to former national security adviser Michael Flynn. The Daily Caller has reported, citing a source, that Wray was involved in withholding exculpatory evidence in Flynn’s case. “We have certainly seen in the past a variety of foreign adversaries looking to amplify controversy in this country,” Wray said. “And they use state media. They use social media. Some of that is through propaganda, some of that’s through disinformation, some of that’s through just fake information. And we are looking carefully at the prospect of foreign influence or foreign interference in all of the protests and activities that have occurred over the last few weeks.”
“US immigration agency prepares to furlough more than half of its workforce” by CNN’s Priscilla Alvarez – The federal agency charged with granting immigration benefits, processing visa applications and approving citizenship is preparing to furlough more than half of its workforce unless Congress provides additional funding, according to a spokesperson. US Citizenship and Immigration Services notified Congress of its projected budget shortfall last month. While conversations with the Hill are ongoing, according to the agency’s statement, preparation is underway for furloughs. Approximately 13,400 employees will be notified whether they’ll be furloughed beginning August 3, an agency spokesperson said. The agency has nearly 20,000 employees. USCIS is primarily fee-funded and typically continues most operations during lapses in funding, such as last year’s government shutdown. But during the pandemic, the agency suspended its in-person services, including all interviews and naturalization ceremonies. “This dramatic drop in revenue has made it impossible for our agency to operate at full capacity,” the spokesperson said in a statement. “Without additional funding from Congress before August 3, USCIS has no choice but to administratively furlough a substantial portion of our workforce.”
“Coronavirus Cases Are Accelerating Across U.S.” by WSJ’s Sarah Krouse, Anthony DeBarros and Brianna Abbott – Covid-19’s spread is picking up steam in a larger swath of the U.S. as cases have increased at a faster rate nationwide for nearly two weeks, an acceleration that isn’t attributable solely to increased testing, a Wall Street Journal analysis shows. Thirty-three states, from Oklahoma to South Carolina and Washington, had a seven-day average of new cases on Tuesday that was higher than their average during the past two weeks, according to a Journal analysis of Johns Hopkins University data. That was the situation in 21 states at the start of the month, so the data reflect recent increases in new cases. The seven-day average of new cases nationwide has been growing faster than the 14-day average since June 13, after lagging behind it since late April. Comparing the one- and two-week averages of new cases helps smooth out anomalies in the data, such as states not reporting cases during a weekend. New York and nearby states such as New Jersey were early pandemic hot spots, but cases and deaths in those states continue to fall. Now, public health officials are expressing concern about rising case counts, the positive percentage of tests, and hospitalizations in Southern and Western states. The recent case increases have already started to delay some plans to reopen economies. Oregon Gov. Kate Brown earlier this month paused the relaxation of coronavirus restrictions as cases in the state rose. In Louisiana, Gov. John Bel Edwards on Monday postponed moving the state into Phase 3 of its reopening for an additional 28 days amid a surge in cases and hospitalizations there.
“Seattle CHOP zone prompts lawsuit from businesses, residents: reports” by Fox News’ Dom Calicchio – Numerous Seattle businesses – including an auto repair shop, a tattoo parlor and a property management company – sued the city Wednesday, alleging city officials were complicit in allowing an “occupied protest” that has made them feel unsafe in their neighborhood, according to reports. Workers and residents also joined the lawsuit over CHOP, the Capitol Hill Occupied Protest, which drew scorn from President Trump and other critics who accused Mayor Jenny Durkan, the city’s police chief and other city leaders of turning the area over to “anarchists.” Organizers of CHOP — part of the widespread rioting and demonstrations that followed the May 25 death of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis — said they sought to establish a “police-free” area in Seattle’s Capitol Hill district. Since the occupation began June 8, the area has seen shootings, vandalism and other crimes. Last Sunday a 17-year-old victim was shot in an arm and last Saturday a 19-year-old man was shot dead and another person was critically wounded, Q13 FOX of Seattle reported. In both cases, hostile crowds slowed police efforts to reach the crime scenes, the station’s report said. One local business owner, Joey Rodolfo of Buki clothing, told “Fox & Friends” this week that he plans to move out of state because of what he described as Seattle’s lack of governmental leadership.
“House to vote on police reform bill named in honor of George Floyd” by CNN’s Clare Foran and Haley Byrd – House Democrats are set to pass a policing reform proposal on Thursday named in honor of George Floyd, whose death in police custody has sparked nationwide calls to address police misconduct and racial injustice and prompted weeks of protests and civil unrest. The vote comes a day after Democrats blocked a competing Republican bill in the Senate. The House bill is expected to pass largely along party lines, with Republicans opposing it. The legislation — titled the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2020 — has provisions to reform qualified immunity for law enforcement, prohibitions on racial profiling on the part of law enforcement and bans no-knock warrants in federal drug cases. It would ban chokeholds at the federal level and classify them as a civil rights violation and establish a national registry of police misconduct maintained by the Department of Justice. But it has little chance of becoming law. Despite calls from both parties for quick action to address police misconduct, efforts to find common ground have largely devolved into partisan finger-pointing as both sides take issue with the other party’s approach.
“Madison Cawthorn, 24, Beats Trump-Backed Candidate in North Carolina Primary” by WSJ’s Julie Bykowicz – Madison Cawthorn, still a few months shy of the Constitution’s required age for the job he is seeking, upset a Republican backed by President Trump to win a North Carolina primary runoff for a congressional seat. Mr. Cawthorn—who turns 25 in August, making him old enough to take office if he wins the heavily GOP district in November—would be one of the youngest members of Congress in history. When he was just out of high school, Mr. Cawthorn worked in the district office of the former congressman he hopes to replace, Mark Meadows, who resigned late last year to become Mr. Trump’s chief of staff. In an interview Wednesday, Mr. Cawthorn said he saw himself as a possible Republican counterpart to young Democrats such as New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, age 30. “They’ve really done a great job of winning the hearts and minds of young people, and Republicans have been essentially powerless to stop that wave,” he said. “I like to think I can help, especially in the new town square of social media. I have the same conservative values as older Republicans but maybe can reach more generations and seem less abrasive.” Mr. Meadows and Mr. Trump endorsed Mr. Cawthorn’s opponent, Lynda Bennett, making Tuesday one of just a few times a Trump-favored candidate lost a primary race. The president had tweeted earlier this month his “Complete and Total Endorsement of a great fighter and ally in North Carolina, @LyndaBennettNC,” and Ms. Bennett called herself “President Trump’s pick” in campaign literature.
“DOJ whistleblower admits to seeking job with House Democrats during Trump impeachment” by Fox News’ Thomas Barrabi – Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., had a testy exchange Wednesday with a Justice Department whistleblower who admitted during a House Judiciary Committee hearing that he sought to work House Democrats during the Trump impeachment proceedings. John Elias, a senior career official in the Justice Department’s antitrust division, is one of two whistleblowers who testified before the Democrat-led committee on alleged politically-motivated overreach by Attorney General William Barr and other appointees. During his testimony, Elias accused his supervisors of improperly investigating mergers involving cannabis companies because of a “personal dislike of the industry.” Collins questioned Elias on his own political background, asking the official if he considered himself to be nonpartisan at work. When Elias responded that he did, Collins asked him if he had ever sought to work with Democratic leaders on the House Judiciary Committee. “I, like people, over time have explored various career options,” Elias said, adding that he had a “very preliminary conversation” with House Democrats about a position. Collins pressed Elias on his conversations with Democrats and whether he had sought a position to work with them during the Trump impeachment. Initially, Elias said he had asked to work on antitrust policy.
“Senate confirms Trump’s 200th judicial nominee” by CNN’s Devan Cole and Ted Barrett – President Donald Trump’s 200th judicial nominee was confirmed by the Republican-controlled Senate on Wednesday, marking a significant milestone in a presidency that has tilted the federal judiciary in a conservative direction for decades to come. With the confirmation of Judge Cory Wilson to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, Trump has successfully appointed 53 appeals court judges, 143 district court judges, two US Court of International Trade judges and two Supreme Court justices — Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh — according to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s office. By comparison, former President Barack Obama successfully appointed 334 federal judges during his two terms, according to the US Courts. Former President George W. Bush successfully appointed 340 judges during his eight years in office, while former President Bill Clinton put 387 judges on the bench during his two terms.
Trump, with the help of a determined McConnell and Senate GOP majority, has significantly reshaped the judiciary during his first term, and the 200th appointment milestone illustrates how lasting his legacy will be, as federal judges serve lifetime appointments and many of Trump’s picks have been young judges who can serve for many years.
“White House National-Security Adviser Warns of China’s Bid to ‘Damage Our Economies’” by WSJ’s Gordon Lubold – White House national-security adviser Robert O’Brien added his critical voice to the Trump administration’s growing condemnation of Beijing on Wednesday, calling China’s Communist Party a threat to the sovereignty and the economies of the U.S. and its allies. “Together with our allies and partners, we will resist the Chinese Communist Party’s efforts to manipulate our people and our governments, damage our economies, and undermine our sovereignty,” Mr. O’Brien told a small, socially-distanced audience of more than two dozen business executives at the Arizona Commerce Authority. “The days of American passivity and naivety regarding the People’s Republic of China are over.” Mr. O’Brien condemned Beijing for intellectual-property theft, its crackdown on human rights, its aggressive expansionism, its “coverup” of the coronavirus pandemic’s origin in Wuhan province, its use of social media in propaganda and misinformation campaigns, and the ideology that drives it all. China, Mr. O’Brien said, is making an alarming play for a more dominant role at other nations’ expense. “Americans should be concerned—not only for the Chinese people but for ourselves,” he said.
President Donald Trump @realDonaldTrump– Cases are going up in the U.S. because we are testing far more than any other country, and ever expanding. With smaller testing we would show fewer cases! Speaker Nancy Pelosi –The President and his cronies have chosen to protect Trump’s personal & political interests over those of the American people by interfering in numerous criminal investigations involving the President & his associates