CARES Act Extends Michigan’s Unemployment Benefits to Self-Employed, Independent Contractors, and More

The state and the U.S. Department of Labor agreed to expand unemployment benefits to Michigan workers who previously didn’t qualify.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced the agreement Monday. The benefits extension will be funded by the $2 trillion federal CARES Act President Donald Trump signed into law on Friday.

The extension includes self-employed, 1099-independent contractors, gig, and low-wage workers who can no longer work because of temporary business closures to slow the spread of COVID-19.

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Commentary: Joe Biden’s China Syndrome Will Sink His Shaky Presidential Hopes

Mark Twain once famously said, “Everybody complains about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.”*

Twain said and wrote a lot of quirky/funny things in his lifetime but this particular observation is one of his most relevant and quotable because its analogical truth fits just about any situation. And the wisdom certainly works these days when thinking about the hegemonic and totalitarian nation that is communist China. American politicians have been griping and moaning about Asia’s self-possessed and secretive Middle Kingdom for a generation, but none — except for President Donald Trump — ever seriously proposed backing up the rhetoric with actual policy gravitas.

Trump’s concentration and emphasis on trade has been a refreshing departure from previous presidents of both parties who waxed poetically about “fair trade” and “helping American producers” but then went about making sure global powers like China had much leeway to dictate their own terms for sending goods across the seas while maintaining barriers to United States-made products at home. In China’s case, the country has manipulated its currency for years so as to protect Chinese industries — a gigantic corporate welfare subsidy that makes consumer goods — and everything else — appear inexpensive to the world’s buying public.

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The Department of Justice Is Probing Senator Richard Burr’s Stock Trades: Report

The Justice Department is probing a series of stock trades that Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr (R-NC) made in the weeks after receiving briefings about the coronavirus pandemic, CNN reported.

The Justice Department is coordinating with the Securities and Exchange Commission on the matter, and the FBI has contacted Barr, a North Carolina Republican, according to CNN, which cited two people familiar with the matter.

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FDA Issues Emergency Authorization Of Anti-Malaria Drugs As Doctors Herald Results For Coronavirus Patients

The United States Food and Drug Administration issued an emergency use authorization for donated anti-malaria drugs hydroxychloroquine sulfate and chloroquine phosphate as doctors say the drugs are showing positive results for coronavirus patients.

The FDA issued the authorization to allow doctors to distribute and prescribe the anti-malaria drugs to hospitalized teen and adult patients who have coronavirus, the Department of Health and Human Services said in a press release. Doctors may distribute and prescribe the drugs “as appropriate, when a clinical trial is not available or feasible.”

The emergency authorization was issued to the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response’s Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, which is working with the National Institute of Health to plan clinical trials of the drugs.

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Commentary: Viral Prerequisites and Nationalist Lessons in a Time of Plague

President Donald Trump has courted endless controversies for promoting nonconventional policies and entertaining contrarian views. From the outset, he oddly seemed to have believed that having navigated the jungles of the Manhattan real estate market – crooked politicians, mercurial unions, neighborhood social activists, the green lobby, leery banks, cutthroat rivals – better prepared him for the job than did a 30-year tenure in the U.S. Senate.

Certainly, candidate and then President Trump’s strident distrust of China was annoying to the American establishment. The Left saw China in rosy terms as the “Other” that just did things like airports, high-speed rail, and solar panels better than did America’s establishment of geriatric white male has-beens. Many on the Right saw China as a cash cow that was going to take over anyway, so why not milk it before the deluge?

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Trump Administration Includes Unaccompanied Minors in Border Closure Order

Customs and Border Protection (CBP) confirmed that underage minors who unlawfully enter the United States without any parents or guardians are subject to immediate deportation, the latest action in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Trump administration, under orders from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), earlier in March declared that the northern and southern borders would be sealed off to all non-essential traffic as a way to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. While nearly all illegal aliens would be immediately repatriated under the order, CBP originally made an exception for unaccompanied minors.

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Pro-Trump Super PAC Files FEC Complaint Alleging Bloomberg’s $18 Million DNC Donation Was Illegal

A political action committee  supporting President Donald Trump filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission saying former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s donation to the Democratic Party was illegal.

Bloomberg’s $18 million donation to the Democratic National Committee is an attempt to circumvent contribution limits and violate campaign finance laws, Great America PAC said in the March 26 complaint. The FEC is reviewing the complaint and will determine later if it will investigate.

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Michigan Has Third-Highest Rate of Infection in Country at 35.3 Percent

Michigan is keeping pace with some of the most-infected states in the country, with more than 35 percent of tests coming back with confirmed positive cases of the coronavirus, according to data from the COVID Tracking Project.

As of Monday evening, Michigan has 6,498 confirmed positive cases out of 18,391 total tested — an infection rate of 35.3 percent. By comparison, New Jersey has an infection rate of 39.7 percent with 16,636 confirmed cases and New York has an infection rate of 35.7 percent with 66,497 confirmed cases. New York and New Jersey are the top two most-infected states in the country, followed by Michigan. California is currently the fourth most-infected state with 6,447 confirmed cases and an infection rate of 21.5 percent.

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