Everything is big in Texas, and when President Trump comes to town, the state just swells up.
During his stop in Midland to tout his new energy endeavor, the president authorized the construction and maintenance of “existing pipeline facilities.
“While my administration is fighting for workers like you, the radical left is fighting to abolish American energy, destroy the oil and gas industries, and wipe out your jobs,” Trump said. “Washington Democrats have embraced Representative Ocasio- Cortez’s nearly $100 trillion Green New Deal disaster. I’ve added the fourth word — it’s a “disaster” which would ban oil and gas leasing on all federal lands. If these far-left politicians ever get into power, they will demolish not only your industry, but the entire U.S. economy.” – READ MORE
The Texas Oil & Gas Association has been putting out the fires that the anti-Oil lobby has been starting, and has reverted to have to defend the industry they represent.
“The Oil and natural gas industry provides the foundation for the U.S. economy and quality of life while also upholding the highest safety standards, proving this industry is committed to health and safety of its employees and communities around the country.”
Will Texas vote for Socialism?
There is very little doubt in the minds of most Americans that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D) is the most socialist-minded member of the U.S. House of Representatives, but if Texas Democrat Mike Siegel were to win his congressional race later this year, well, he would dethrone AOC as the most socialist member of the House… READ MORE
“Cornyn Bill Extends Employer Health Plan for Workers” by Texas Politics’ Daniel Molina – As Texas continue to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, Senator John Cornyn (R) has introduced legislation that would help Texans who are being laid off or furloughed as a result of COVID-19. With the legislation, Texans would continue on their employer’s health plan until December 31st, 2020. In a statement, Cornyn explained that “as the coronavirus wreaks havoc on our job market, it’s vital that Texans continue to have health care options, especially while case numbers are on the rise.” He added that “this legislation will provide some degree of certainty to folks who have found themselves. Out of work through no fault of their own.” Cornyn also made sure to highlight that the legislation includes strong pro-life protections, ensuring that no federal assistance would be offered towards abortion services. This has been a contentious issue in several states as Republican lawmakers have argued that federal assistance should not go towards abortion services. Moreover, Cornyn’s legislation would ensure that Americans do not have to restart their deductible halfway through the year while also incurring additional out-of-pocket costs.
“Biden’s Personal Notes On Kamala Harris: ‘Do Not Hold Grudges’” by Texas Politics’ Mona Salama – Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden on Tuesday was photographed holding handwritten notes with Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) name featured along with a set of cryptic bullet points about her, fueling speculation that the California Senator is the leading contender to be his running mate. During a rare news conference after unveiling the fourth installment of his “Build Back Better” economic plan, Biden held a note pad filled with notes that were captured by an Associated Press photographer. Harris’ name was scribbled at the top and under her name featured five talking points. “Do not hold grudges,” “Campaigned with me and Jill,” “Talented,” “Great help to campaign,” and “Great respect for her.” The prepped notes suggested that Biden was anticipating a question regarding his relationship with Harris following a recent Politico report that former Sen. Chris Dodd is critical of a Biden-Harris ticket. Dodd, who co-chairs Biden’s vice presidential vetting committee is reported to have concerns about Harris having “no remorse” when he asked her about her ambush on Biden during the democratic debate last year regarding his past work with segregationist senators on opposing school desegregation busing.
“Barr Tells Nadler He’s ‘A Real Class Act’ After Denying Request For Five-Minute Break” by Texas Politics’ Mona Salama – Attorney General William Barr said House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) is a “real class act” after Nadler refused to grant him a five-minute break during the several hours of questions from the Judiciary Committee hearing on Tuesday. “I’m sorry, Mr. Chairman, could I — could we take a five-minute break,” Barr asked Nadler during a transition between committee member questioning. Nadler screamed “No!” in response. “I waited 45 [minutes], an hour for you this morning, I haven’t had lunch. I’d like to take a five-minute break,” Barr fires back. Barr was referring to the delay start of the hearing due to Nadler being involved in a minor car accident on his way to Capitol Hill early Tuesday morning. It was initially scheduled to take place at 10 a.m. but didn’t begin until after 11 a.m. Nadler insisted that the hearing was “almost finished.” “Mr. Attorney General, we are almost finished. We are going to be finished in a few minutes. We can certainly take a break but,” Nadler stated. Barr shot back at Nadler, “You’re a real class act, Mr. Chairman. A real class act.”
“Biden Says He Will Choose His Running Mate ‘First Week In August’” by Texas Politics’ Mona Salama – Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden told reporters on Tuesday that he will choose his running mate “the first week in August.” “I’m going to have a choice in the first week in August,” Biden said in response to a reporter’s question after unveiling the fourth pillar of his “Build Back Better” plan. “I promise, I’ll let you know when I do.” Biden did not specify when he would publicly announce his decision. He dodged the question regarding whether he would be able to interview the finalists in person, joking that he is going to “try to figure out a way to trick” the press because they are always “crews outside my house” staking out his home. “I’ve got to try to figure out how to trick you all so I can meet with them in person,” Biden said. “You’ve got crews outside my house. I don’t think it matters, actually.” The new deadline is now pushed to a week later from Biden’s previous commitment to announce by the end of July. During a fundraiser co-hosted with former Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg in late May, Biden told donors that he hoped to name his pick by August 1.
“Twitter Temporarily Suspends Donald Trump Jr. Account Over Hydroxychloroquine Video Tweet” by Texas Politics’ Mona Salama – Twitter temporarily suspended Donald Trump Jr.’s account after the president’s son shared a video showing doctors touting hydroxychloroquine as a COVID-19 treatment. In the now-removed tweet, Trump Jr. captioned the video Monday evening writing, “This is a much watch!!! So different from the narrative that everyone is running with.” Trump Jr. spokesman Andrew Surabian tweeted the suspension news, saying “Big Tech is the biggest threat to free expression in America today.” “@Twitter & @jack have suspended @DonaldJTrumpJr for posting a viral video of medical doctors talking about Hydroxychloroquine,” Surabian tweeted Tuesday morning. “Big Tech is the biggest threat to free expression in America today & they’re continuing to engage in open election interference — full stop.” In a statement, Surabian said the suspension was “further proof that Big Tech is intent on killing free expression online.” “Twitter suspending Don Jr. for sharing a viral video of medical professionals discussing their views on Hydroxychloroquine is further proof that Big Tech is intent on killing free expression online and is another instance of them committing election interference to stifle Republican voices,” Surabian said. “While there is indeed much disagreement in the medical community about the efficacy of Hydroxychloroquine in treating coronavirus, there have been studies reported on by “mainstream” outlets like CNN suggesting that it may in fact be an effective treatment. Those pretending otherwise are lying for political reasons.”
“Texas Democrat’s support for Fidel Castro, Socialist agenda could derail congressional run” by Texas Politics’ Javier Manjarres – There is very little doubt in the minds of most Americans that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D) is the most socialist-minded member of the U.S. House of Representatives, but if Texas Democrat Mike Siegel were to win his congressional race later this year, well, he would dethrone AOC as the most socialist member of the House. Siegel checks off all the boxes for Democrats this year. He supports Medicare for All, defunding police, wealth redistribution, gun control, and the Green New Deal. But for Siegel to get to Congress, he must first defeat Congressman Michael McCaul (R), who has already been pointing to Siegel’s “radical ideas” and socialist policies.” Rep. McCaul’s most recent campaign ad hits Siegel hard over his praise for Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who he refers to as being a “tremendous leader” and calls him “the most radical liberal running for congress anywhere in America.” Siegel doesn’t try to hide his ideology, and McCaul appears all to willing to help Texans understand Siegel’s support for the “far-left” and “socialist agenda” that Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren and Speaker Nancy Pelosi prescribe to.
“Texas congressman tests positive for COVID-19 after inconsistently wearing a mask” by WFAA’s Teresa Woodard – Congressman Louie Gohmert was supposed to fly Wednesday to Midland to be by President Donald Trump’s side during a visit to Texas. But a negative coronavirus test is required before anyone can board Air Force One, and on Wednesday morning, Gohmert, a Republican representative from Tyler, tested positive for COVID-19 at the White House. “I’m asymptomatic. I don’t have any of the symptoms listed as part of COVID-19,” Gohmert said in a tweeted video, “but apparently I have the Wuhan Virus.” Some consider that term to be racist. After a second positive test at the White House confirmed the diagnosis, Gohmert returned to his office at the capitol.n He told KYTX-TV of Tyler that staff members were leaving to get tested and he did not come close to them. Gohmert did not have on a mask while questioning U.S. Attorney Bill Barr on Tuesday during a House judiciary committee hearing, but he said House rules allow for a mask to be taken off when a member is asking questions. In previous House hearings, he’s been seen on video with a cloth mask around his neck even while he is not questioning a witness.
“Texas Education Agency will not fund schools closed by local health officials” by Chron’s Rebecca Hennes – Shortly after Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton sent out a guidance letter stating local health authorities cannot issue orders that close schools as a preventive measure to slow the spread of COVID-19, the Texas Education Agency issued guidance that said it will not fund schools that are closed under local health orders. The announcement conflicts with the agency’s previous guidance stated earlier this month that it would fund school districts if local health officials closed campuses due to COVID-19, the Texas Tribune reported. Harris County public and non-religious private schools were ordered by local officials and health authorities last week to delay in-person classes until at least Sept. 7 Many of Houston’s largest school districts have already announced plans to do so, including Houston ISD, Katy ISD and Fort Bend ISD. Paxton’s letter states school officials should be the ones to decide when and how to open their campuses, not local officials. “Nothing in the law gives health authorities the power to indiscriminately close schools—public or private—as these local orders claim to do,” Paxton said in the statement. “The decision to close schools on such a preventative basis— whether public or private—remains with school system leaders who should consult with relevant public health authorities, including the department and local health authorities”
“Texas Universities Preparing For A Fall Like No Other During Coronavirus Pandemic” by CBS DFW’s Carolina Vandergiff – Texas universities are preparing for tens of thousands of students to return to campuses this fall. Each is coming up with plans to keep students and faculty safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. UT Austin, SMU, TCU and Baylor released more information about their plans this week. TCU is encouraging students to pledge to ‘Protect the Purple’ before coming back to school. The university says everyone has to take personal responsibility to keep people safe and healthy on campus, as they make changes designed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. “We’ve made substantial investments in technology upgrades and have thoughtfully reconfigured academic spaces so students can learn safely among their classmates,” said TCU Provost Teresa Abi-Nadar Dahlberg, in a video for students and their families. Students, faculty and staff must wear face coverings, and they’ll notice hand sanitizer stations set up all over campus. Cleaning crews will be disinfecting high-touch areas twice a day. Classrooms and common spaces have been reconfigured as well. SMU is enacting similar measures to ensure in-person learning can continue. “We can shift if necessary, but let’s be clear – we intend to stay on campus the full semester,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner.
“California, Florida and Texas see record rise in COVID-19 deaths” by Reuters’ Lisa Shumaker and Rich McKay – California, Florida and Texas, the three largest U.S. states, all set one-day records for fatalities from COVID-19 on Wednesday, a Reuters tally showed, and the Miami-area school district said students would not return to classrooms when the new academic year begins as deaths from the virus spiked nationwide. The United States has registered 10,000 deaths over the last 11 days, the fastest surge since early June, prompting heated debates between the American public and its leaders over the best course forward. New infections do not appear to be rising at the same pace. “In light of viral surge in our community, it’s in the best interest of students and employees to commence the 20-21 school year at a distance,” Miami-Dade County Public Schools said on Twitter. Classes are set to begin Aug. 31 in Miami-Dade, which has more than 350,000 students, making it the country’s fourth largest school district. With the scheduled reopening of schools days away in some states, President Donald Trump has pushed for students to return to class while teacher unions and local officials have called for them to stay home.
“Errors, discrepancies found between state and federal COVID-19 data for Texas nursing homes” by KXAN’s Avery Travis – Christie Schultz used to be able to visit her mom through the window of her Austin nursing home, but she said her mom was recently moved. Now, she hasn’t seen her face in days. “You’re literally kind of banging on the doors, trying to get information,” Schultz said. She said one staff member at Windsor Nursing and Rehabilitation Center of Duval told her father there were more than 20 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Meanwhile, she said the state’s Office of the Long Term Care Ombudsman told her there were as many as 55 positive cases at one point. “You’re not even sure at that point if it’s accurate anymore. Maybe it’s outdated?” she said.n State data, released this week for the first time by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, shows zero confirmed cases among residents or staff at Windsor as of July 14. Federal data, reported by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, shows one resident and seven staff testing positive as of July 12. KXAN Investigators found hundreds of discrepancies between state data reported by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission and federal data reported by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid.
“Trump says Harris would be ‘fine choice’ as Biden running mate” by Fox News’ Paul Steinhauser – President Trump is weighing in on one of the likely top contenders Democratic challenger Joe Biden’s considering as his running mate. As he was departing the White House for a trip to Texas on Wednesday, the president was asked about Sen. Kamala Harris. Trump answered that the senator from California would “be a fine choice” as Biden’s vice presidential nominee. Harris – a former Democratic presidential candidate who took aim at Biden last year on the debate stage – is considered to be one of the top contenders that the presumptive Democratic nominee is considering as his running mate. The former vice president told reporters Tuesday in Delaware that he would choose his running mate by “the first week in August.” Saturday is the first day of the new month. Biden has said for a couple of months that his running mate announcement would come in early August, ahead of the Democratic National Convention, which starts on Aug. 17. The former vice president told reporters, “I promise, I’ll let you know when I do.” Speculation that Harris might be Biden’s choice increased on Tuesday – after notes that Biden held in his hand during the news conference had Harris’ name scribbled across the top, as seen in a photo from the AP. The senator’s name was followed by five talking points: “Do not hold grudges.” “Campaigned with me & Jill.” “Talented.” “Great help to campaign.” “Great respect for her.”
“As US passes 150,000 coronavirus deaths, experts at Johns Hopkins call for reset in national response” by CNN’s Jason Hanna, Madeline Holcombe and Shelby Lin Erdman – The United States on Wednesday surpassed 150,000 recorded Covid-19 deaths — a milestone that comes as the country’s number of daily coronavirus deaths is the highest it’s been since the spring. The first death in the US was reported on February 29. The country reached 50,000 deaths 54 days later on April 23, and 34 days later, on May 27, crossed 100,000 deaths. It has taken 63 days to add another 50,000 to reach the 150,000 mark. The country’s coronavirus death toll was 150,676 as of Wednesday evening — more than a fifth of the world’s recorded deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University. “I think the fact that we as a country have not been able to get our arms around this, have not prioritized preventing those deaths is all that much more maddening. And so, for me it’s frustration, it’s sadness. And a resolve to try to figure out how we prevent the next 150,000,” Dr. Ashish Jha, director of the Harvard Global Health Institute, told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. “I think we can, but we’re really going to have to work for it,” he added. Some states are seeing their highest death tolls. California on Wednesday reported 197 Covid-related deaths in a single day, according to state Department of Public Health. That total far outpaces the previous high of 159, recorded just last week.
“Congress grilled the CEOs of Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google. Here are the big takeaways” by CNN’s Brian Fung – The most powerful figures in tech were hit with tough questions and documents that raised concerns about their competitive tactics during a high-profile antitrust hearing on Wednesday. Of the tech titans, which included the CEOs of Amazon (AMZN), Apple (AAPL), Facebook (FB) and Google (GOOGL), some fared better than others in the first hours of the hearing. Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s CEO, acknowledged, albeit earnestly and transparently, that Amazon may have improperly used third-party seller data to inform its own product decisions — a key concern over the company’s approach to competition. Apple CEO Tim Cook, on the other hand, got off pretty lightly. Despite some early questions about whether Apple favors certain developers on its App Store, there were relatively few questions about Apple’s App Store guidelines for developers, which have been a main complaint among critics. For over a year, top lawmakers in Congress have been investigating the four tech giants to determine whether the companies have abused their power and dominance in the online marketplace. Wednesday’s event marked the culmination of that process and is the biggest hearing of its kind since Microsoft’s Bill Gates went to Washington in 1998.
“Pentagon to Move Nearly 12,000 U.S. Troops From Germany” by WSJ’s Michael R. Gordon and Nancy A. Youssef – The U.S. military plans to move nearly 12,000 troops from Germany, relocate its major European headquarters to Belgium and send F-16 fighters to Italy to implement President Trump’s decision to shrink the U.S. military footprint in the NATO ally, Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Wednesday. In ordering the move last month, Mr. Trump said that it was intended to punish Germany, which he asserted had not spent enough on defense. But Mr. Esper cast the shift, which will cost billions of dollars and could take years to achieve, as a way to update its efforts to deter Russian aggression. The plan, Mr. Esper asserted, will cut U.S. personnel in Germany to 24,000 from the current level of 36,000 “in a manner that will strengthen” the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and “enhance the deterrence of Russia.” The U.S. military and allies were caught by surprise by Mr. Trump’s troop withdrawal decision, which was encouraged by Richard Grenell, the former U.S. ambassador to Germany. Minutes after Mr. Esper and Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Air Force Gen. John Hyten explained the plans at a briefing, Mr. Trump told reporters outside the White House that the plan could change should Germany pay more of its gross domestic product toward defense.
“Wolf vows federal agents won’t leave Portland until courthouse at center of rioting is ‘safe and secure’” by Fox News’ Charles Creitz – Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf told “Bill Hemmer Reports” Wednesday that federal agents will not leave the city of Portland, Ore. until a federal courthouse that has been repeatedly attacked by rioters is “safe and secure.” “We will continue to keep law enforcement officers in the area to make sure that that courthouse is secure at the end of the day,” Wolf told host Bill Hemmer. Earlier Wednesday, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown announced that federal agents would begin a “phased withdrawal” from Portland Thursday. Wolf said that he and the governor had agreed on a plan to end “the violent activity in Portland directed at federal properties and law enforcement officers” that called for “the robust presence of Oregon State Police in downtown Portland.” “Over time,” Wolf told Hemmer, “if the Oregon State Police and the plan that has been put in place is successful, and we can responsibly draw down law enforcement assets there, then we will.” Portland has seen 62 consecutive nights of protests and demonstrations stemming from the May 25 death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody. Brown and Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler have repeatedly described the federal presence in terms of an “occupying force” and accused the Department of Homeland Security of an “illegal occupation” that has incited more violence in the city.
“This sheriff said he wouldn’t respond to calls at the county’s library, after it expressed support for BLM” by CNN’s Leah Asmelash – A Nevada sheriff told a local library system not to bother calling 911 after it expressed support for the Black Lives Matter movement. That message came from Douglas County Sheriff Dan Coverley this week, a day before the county’s public library system was set to discuss a proposed diversity statement that mentions they “support #BlackLivesMatter.” “Due to your support of Black Lives Matter and the obvious lack of support or trust with the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, please do not feel the need to call 911 for help,” the sheriff wrote in a public letter to the library system Monday. “I wish you good luck with disturbances and lewd behavior, since those are just some of the recent calls my office has assisted you with in the past.” The sheriff and library system director said they discussed the issue the next day and agreed it had been an “unfortunate circumstance of misunderstanding.” The meeting discussing the statement was meant to happen Tuesday but has now been rescheduled for an unspecified date. The library’s proposed diversity statement said in part that it “denounces all acts of violence, racism, and disregard for human rights. We support “BlackLivesMatter. We resolutely assert and believe that all forms of racism, hatred, inequality, and injustice don’t belong in our society.”
“Fed Maintains Stimulus Commitment as Economic Outlook Dims” by WSJ’s Nick Timiraos – Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said on Wednesday the U.S. economy faces a long road to recovery that will require greater public vigilance to prevent the spread of the coronavirus pandemic and more spending from Congress and the White House. Fed officials didn’t announce new policy steps at the conclusion of their two-day meeting Wednesday and reiterated their pledge to maintain aggressive measures to support the economy. “The path of the economy is going to depend to a very high extent on the course of the virus, on the measures that we take to keep it in check,” Mr. Powell said at a news conference. “We can’t say it enough.” The economic backdrop has weakened somewhat since the Fed’s rate-setting committee last met seven weeks ago. After surprising rebounds in employment in May and June, many states have seen significant increases in virus infections, leading to renewed curbs on certain commercial activities and a dampening of consumer confidence. Mr. Powell said various data sources the Fed monitors suggested hiring and consumer spending had slowed recently. He encouraged greater adoption of measures to contain the virus by disputing the idea of a trade off between virus suppression and a resumption of commercial activity.
“Trump Administration, Oregon Agree to Reduce Federal Agents in Portland” by WSJ’s Rachael Levy and Sadie Gurman – Oregon and the Trump administration said they had reached a deal Wednesday for a potential drawdown in Portland of federal agents whose controversial presence has been at the heart of recent violent protests in the city. The administration also said it was sending federal agents into several Midwestern cities in a separate push to fight violent crime. State police will deploy to downtown Portland and defend the exterior of the federal courthouse, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown said. She added that agents from Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement would leave the downtown area beginning Thursday, while remaining in the city. Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf declined to confirm those details. On a conference call Wednesday, he said officers from his department, which includes CBP and ICE, would remain in Portland “until we are assured that the courthouse and other federal facilities will no longer be attacked nightly and set afire.” About 45 CBP agents have been deployed in Portland, including members of the Border Patrol’s most elite and highly trained unit, who wear camouflage and have numerical identifiers on their arms instead of nametags, alongside patches that many civilians have had difficulty recognizing.
President Donald Trump @realDonaldTrump– Germany pays Russia billions of dollars a year for Energy, and we are supposed to protect Germany from Russia. What’s that all about? Also, Germany is very delinquent in their 2% fee to NATO. We are therefore moving some troops out of Germany!
Requiring campaigns to disclose foreign offers of campaign assistance is common sense, even if not in the Senate.
Americans decide American elections.