Coronavirus Worries Force Election Officials to Get Creative

The coronavirus has upended everyday life in ways big and small. What happens when those disruptions overlap with voting? Thousands of state and local election officials across the U.S are sharing ideas and making accommodations to try to ensure that voters and polling places are safe amid an unprecedented pandemic.

Some are finding ways to expand access to voter registration and ballot request forms. Others are testing new products, installing special equipment or scouting outdoor voting locations.

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Commentary: Meet the Democrats’ Newest Strategist

Her name is Vicky Osterweil. It’s a pity that she is only emerging on the scene now. Had her ideas enjoyed broad circulation even a month ago, she could have made a major and clarifying contribution to the Democratic Party’s platform.

Many commentators, from the Left as well as the Right, grumbled that the Democrats’ convention lacked a clear policy agenda. Sure, we all knew in general outline what they were about – they were “against racism,” “against white supremacism,” above all, they were “against Trump.” 

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Trump Supporter Killed in Antifa-BLM Riot Clash in Portland

One person was shot and killed late Saturday in Portland, Oregon, as a large caravan of President Donald Trump supporters and Black Lives Matter protesters clashed in the streets, police said.

It wasn’t clear if the shooting was linked to fights that broke out as a caravan of about 600 vehicles was confronted by protesters in the city’s downtown.

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Jeff Bezos’ Net Worth Reaches $200 Billion

Jeff Bezos, the founder and CEO of Amazon and owner of The Washington Post, solidified his status as the world’s wealthiest man after his net worth reached the $200 billion mark, according to the Daily Caller.

Bezos reached the astounding milestone on Wednesday, with the Caller noting that he is not alone in expanding his wealth during the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown, which has significantly increased business for Amazon due to the rise in online shopping. Two other prominent CEOs who saw their net worths reach significant landmarks are Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who both reached $100 billion.

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Martha Boneta Commentary: It Is Time to Declare Fentanyl a Weapon of Mass Destruction

When it comes to Fentanyl, it is hard for us to think beyond the sheer human tragedy. 

It is hard for us to think beyond the 32,000 lost to overdoses from this drug in 2018 – up from 28,000 the year before.  

It is hard for us to think beyond the suffering James Rauh of Cleveland has endured. His son, Thomas, injured himself in a roller-blading accident and was prescribed opioids to deal with the pain. The son became addicted, turned to heroin and died when unbeknownst to him, he injected a dose of pure fentanyl that was provided by the drug dealer.   

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Roger Stone Warns Churchgoers to Prep for the Fight for Western Civilization

  MOUNT JULIET, Tennessee — Under a large pitched tent and in sweltering heat, Roger Stone, a 40-year confidante of U.S. President Donald Trump, shared his personal testimony Sunday and said he’s “living proof prayer works” despite seemingly insurmountable odds. But Stone’s testimony also came with a warning. “We are in…

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College Towns Growing Alarmed Over Outbreaks Among Students

As waves of schools and businesses around the country are cleared to reopen, college towns are moving toward renewed shutdowns because of too many parties and too many COVID-19 infections among students.

With more than 300 students at the University of Missouri testing positive for the coronavirus and an alarming 44% positivity rate for the surrounding county, the local health director Friday ordered bars to stop serving alcohol at 9 p.m. and close by 10 p.m.

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Minnesota College Student Pleads Guilty to Offering Support to Terrorists

Minneapolis college student Tnuza Jamal Hassan pleaded guilty to attempting to provide support to the foreign terrorist organization, Al-Qaeda.

According to the defendant’s guilty plea and court documents, Hassan, while a student at St. Catherine University in St. Paul, Minnesota, drafted and anonymously delivered a letter encouraging two other students to join al-Qaeda.

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NFIB Survey: 1 in 5 Small Business Owners Say They Will Close If Economic Conditions Don’t Improve Within Six Months

More than 20 percent of small business owners said they will have to close permanently if current economic conditions do not improve within the next six months, according to a survey conducted by the National Federation of Independent Business.

The largest small business association in the U.S., headquartered in Nashville, conducted the survey to assess the financial health of small businesses.

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UAE Formally Ends Israel Boycott Amid US-Brokered Deal

The ruler of the United Arab Emirates issued a decree Saturday formally ending the country’s boycott of Israel amid a U.S.-brokered deal to normalize relations between the two countries.

The announcement now allows trade and commerce between the UAE, home to oil-rich Abu Dhabi and skyscraper-studded Dubai, and Israel, home to a thriving diamond trade, pharmaceutical companies and tech start-ups.

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Mitch McConnell Campaign Hires Covington Catholic Student Nick Sandmann as Grassroots Director

The reelection campaign of Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell announced on Friday that it had hired as a grassroots director Nicholas Sandmann, the Kentucky teen who was catapulted into national prominence last year due to an incident at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. 

Sandmann was among the teen students from Covington Catholic High School in Park Hills, KY, who in January of 2019 were videotaped in what initially appeared to be an aggressive confrontation of an elderly Native American man, Nathan Phillips, at the Lincoln Memorial.

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Commentary: Coronavirus and the Perils of Disease Modeling

I’m pleased to announce the third in AIER’s book series on the virus: Coronavirus and Disease Modeling. This follows Coronavirus and Economic Crisis and Coronavirus and Economic Recovery. The third book focuses on the fallacies of epidemiological modeling and the social and economic planning that instituted its inspiration. 

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Over 100 Former Staffers Under Bush 43, McCain and Romney Endorse Biden for President

Over 100 former staffers for former President George W. Bush, the late Sen. John McCain and Sen. Mitt Romney endorsed Democratic nominee Joe Biden for president Thursday, Politico reported.

“What unites us now is a deep conviction that four more years of a Trump presidency will morally bankrupt this country, irreparably damage our democracy, and permanently transform the Republican party into a toxic personality cult,” Romney Alumni for Biden said in an open letter.

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Three-Quarters of Democratic Voters Still Believe Trump Campaign Colluded with Russia

Three-quarters of Democratic voters believe that the Trump campaign conspired with Russia to steal the 2016 election, according to a new Just the News Daily Poll with Scott Rasmussen.

Asked whether it was more likely that Trump colluded with Russia in 2016 or that the Obama administration spied on the Trump campaign that year, 73% of Democrats said the Russia collusion theory was more likely to have occurred.  

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AP Source: Big Ten Working on Multiple Options for Football

Big Ten coaches, athletic directors and medical personnel are working on multiple plans for staging a football season — including one that would have the league kicking off as soon as Thanksgiving weekend.

The conference is in the early stages of a complicated process that also involves broadcast partners and possible neutral site venues, a person with direct knowledge of the conference’s discussions told The Associated Press.

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New Poll Shows Trump Overtaking Biden in Michigan

President Donald Trump is leading former Vice President Joe Biden ahead of the November election in the battleground state of Michigan, according to a Republican-leaning poll published Friday.

The president carries a narrow 46-45 lead Biden in the state, a poll published by the Trafalgar Group shows. The poll, conducted between Aug. 14 and Aug. 23, comes a day after Trump wrapped up the Republican National Convention, and less than a week after the Democratic National Convention.

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Minnesota Mayors Endorse Trump Following Biden Announcement of In-Person Campaign to Minnesota

Six Democratic mayors from Minnesota’s Iron Range presented a letter in support of President Donald Trump during Vice President Mike Pence’s Duluth visit on Friday. They announced their support after presidential candidate Joe Biden shared his plans to campaign in Minnesota and other battleground states.

“Today, we don’t recognize the Democratic Party. It has been moved so far to the left it can no longer claim to be advocates of the working class,” wrote the mayors. “Lifelong politicians like Joe Biden are out of touch with the working class, out of touch with what the country needs, and out of touch with those of us here on the Iron Range and in small towns like ours across the nation.”

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Commentary: Trump for the Win

The Republicans have now forced the Democrats to change course and tactics, shed their narcissistic complacency, and recognize that they are in the fight of their lives.

When the history of this astonishing political year is written, there will be amazement that the Democrats ever imagined that they could preserve the entire election as a referendum on Trump based on the question of whether the population is content, and leave the president floundering in blustery self-justification while their nominee fielded soft pre-agreed questions from his home.

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‘Totally Lawless Situation’: Father of Man Killed in CHOP Files $3 Billion in Claims Against Local Government

The father of a young man killed in Seattle’s Capitol Hill Organized Protest (CHOP) zone has filed $3 billion in claims against King County, the city of Seattle, and Washington state.

Horace Anderson filed the lawsuit Thursday over the death of his 19-year-old son, Horace Lorenzo Anderson, alleging that the local government’s “inactions” and actions created a “hazardous, and lawless situation” that resulted in his son’s death, KING 5 news reported from a statement by the law firm representing Anderson.

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Steve Bannon Presents: CCP’s War Against the World

An all new LIVE STREAM of War Room: Pandemic starts at 9 a.m. Central Time on Saturday.

Former White House Chief Strategist Stephen K. Bannon began the daily War Room: Pandemic radio show and podcast on January 25, when news of the virus was just beginning to leak out of China around the Lunar New Year. Bannon and co-hosts bring listeners exclusive analysis and breaking updates from top medical, public health, economic, national security, supply chain and geopolitical experts weekdays from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon ET.

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Commentary: It’s Time for the Samuel Adams Option

In 2018, Rod Dreher published The Benedict Option: A Strategy for Christians Living in a Post-Christian World. In it, he argued that Christians needed to recognize that this is a post-Christian society, and that they should withdraw as much as possible from it and build up private Christian communities. His inspiration for this concept is Saint Benedict of Nursia, who founded 12 different communities for monks, which became repositories of learning and civilization during the barbarism that ensued after the collapse of the Roman Empire.

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Shinzo Abe, Japan’s Longest-Serving Prime Minister, Announces His Resignation

Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe announced his decision to step down from the post Friday, citing the return of a health problem, the Associated Press reported.

“It is gut-wrenching to have to leave my job before accomplishing my goals,” Abe said during a news conference announcing his decision, mentioning ongoing tensions with North Korea and a border dispute with Russia.

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District Court Blocks Betsy DeVos COVID Rule on Private School Funds

A judge blocked an Education Secretary Betsy DeVos policy on Wednesday that transfers COVID-19 relief funds from public school districts to private schools, Politico reported.

U.S. District Judge James Donato of the U.S. District Court Northern District of California granted a preliminary injunction for the plaintiffs, order Thursday, blocking release of additional relief funding to private schools.

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Sandmann Lawyer L. Lin Wood Offers to Represent 17-Year-Old Kenosha Shooter Pro Bono

The attorney who is representing Covington Catholic teen Nick Sandmann has offered to represent the Kenosha gunman Kyle Rittenhouse pro bono.

Rittenhouse, a 17-year-old Illinois resident, was arrested by police on Wednesday for first-degree murder after he allegedly fatally shot two rioters, and wounded another in Kenosha, Wisconsin, Tuesday evening.

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Commentary: Chaos v. Order on the Ballot … Again

Richard J. Daley, the old-school mayor of Chicago, told the city’s superintendent during the riots that followed Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination to “shoot to kill any arsonists” and “shoot to maim or cripple anyone looting.”

Another of President Lyndon Johnson’s staunchest allies offered a similarly sanguine prescription to the unrest taking place on campus that same month. “It would have been a wonderful thing,” longshoreman philosopher Eric Hoffer later testified before a Senate committee about the Columbia University student takeover, “if [Columbia President] Grayson Kirk got mad and got a gun and killed a few.”

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Trump Admin Asks Supreme Court to Require in Person Doctors Appointment for Women Seeking Abortion Pills

President Donald Trump’s administration asked the Supreme Court on Wednesday to reinstate a requirement that a woman must visit her health care provider to obtain abortion drugs.

“Given that surgical methods of abortion remain widely available, the enforcement of longstanding safety requirements for a medication abortion during the first ten weeks of pregnancy does not constitute a substantial obstacle to abortion access, even if the COVID-19 pandemic has made obtaining any method of abortion in person somewhat riskier,” acting Solicitor General Jeffrey Wall said, according to CNN.

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Detroit Public Schools Strike Deal to Return to School Safely

The state’s largest school district has struck a deal with the Detroit Federation of Teachers (DFT) union to return 51,000 students to school safely.

The four-page agreement lays out safety precautions for face-to-face instruction at the Detroit Public Schools Community District (DPSCD), including a 20-person cap on classes and desks separated by six feet.

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Michigan Taxpayers to Foot Major Portion of $20 Million Lincoln Motor Co. Redevelopment

The Michigan Strategic Fund has agreed to subsidize a major portion of a proposed $19.7 million redevelopment of the former Lincoln Motor Co. headquarters in the Northwest Goldberg neighborhood of Detroit.

More than half of those funds will derive from public taxpayer assistance, including a $5 million state grant, $2.7 million in additional tax transfers, and another $3.4 million in tax breaks.

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DC Protesters Put Trump Effigy Under Guillotine During White House RNC Speech

Protesters staged outside the White House Thursday night placed an effigy of President Donald Trump under a mock guillotine.

The demonstration occurred during Trump’s Republican National Convention speech, which was given on the White House South Lawn. Trump’s address concluded the four-night convention that featured a wide array of Republican leaders.

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Commentary: In Kenosha, The Seeds of Civil War

A previous entry in this space, written after an active-duty Army sergeant moonlighting as an Uber driver in Austin shot and killed a “mostly peaceful” anti-police protester who pointed his rifle at the driver at close range, talked about the make-believe revolution that has been taking place on the streets of America’s worst-run cities this summer:

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Commentary: Gallup Poll Shows Homeschooling Rate Doubles as School Satisfaction Plummets

Results of a new Gallup poll released this week may give us the sharpest look yet at how the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted American education and what may lie ahead. According to the poll, parents’ overall satisfaction with their child’s education dropped 10 percent over last year, while at the same time the number of parents saying they will choose homeschooling doubled in 2020 to 10 percent.

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Heidi Newfield Releases the Highly Anticipated Barfly Sessions, Vol. 1

When I interviewed Heidi Newfield in April 2020, I provided the “where she came from” story of this Northern California horsewoman and how she learned the harmonica, became part of the group Trick Pony and wrote the timeless lyrics to Johnny and June.

Now, on August 28, after releasing multiple singles, she has finally released her sophomore solo album and it is well worth the wait.

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Hurricane Laura Thrashes Louisiana, but Damage Is Less Than Predicted

One of the strongest hurricanes ever to strike the U.S., Laura barreled across Louisiana on Thursday, shearing off roofs, killing at least six people and maintaining ferocious strength while carving a destructive path hundreds of miles inland.

A full assessment of the damage wrought by the Category 4 system was likely to take days. But despite a trail of demolished buildings, entire neighborhoods left in ruins and more than 875,000 people without power, a sense of relief prevailed that Laura was not the annihilating menace forecasters had feared.

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More Than 20,000 Coronavirus Cases Have Been Counted at Colleges Since Late July: Report

Colleges across the United States have reported more than 20,000 coronavirus cases since late July, according to The New York Times.

At least 26,000 cases and 64 deaths have been reported from more than 1,500 colleges since the pandemic started, according to the Times survey of reported cases at U.S. universities.

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Analysis: Beware of ‘Fact Checkers’

We live in an age in which information is far more accessible than ever before in human history. However, so is misinformation. How can we sort out one from other?

Well, some people who call themselves “fact checkers” claim to have the answer. They say, “Trust us.” But all-too-often, they fail to get even basic facts correct. Let’s look at three prime examples. See if you notice a common thread between them.

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American CEO of TikTok Resigns Amid Trump Pressure on Chinese-Owned App

TikTok CEO Kevin Mayer resigned from the Chinese-owned application after less than four months on the job, CNN reported Thursday morning.

“The role that I signed up for — including running TikTok globally — will look very different as a result of the US Administration’s action to push for a sell off of the US business,” Mayer said in memo to employees obtained by CNN. “I’ve always been globally focused in my work, and leading a global team that includes TikTok US was a big draw for me.”

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AP Source: NBA Players Decide to Continue Season at Disney

A person with knowledge of the situation says NBA players decided Thursday that they want to continue the season, coming to that consensus one day after three postseason games were postponed in a protest of racial injustice.

It was not clear yet when the season would resume, according to the person who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because neither the league nor the National Basketball Players Association had announced anything publicly.

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Prison Union Calls for Removal of Michigan Prison Director for Coronavirus Response

A union representing Michigan prison officers has called for the removal of Corrections Department Director Heidi Washington due to the state’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic inside prisons.

According to a letter obtained by the Detroit Free Press, the Michigan Corrections Organization says it has lost confidence in Michigan leadership.

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Jobless Claims Fall Slightly to About 1 Million, Still at Historic Levels

The number of Americans filing new unemployment claims decreased to 1,006,000 last week as the economy continues to suffer the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Department of Labor.

The Department of Labor figure released Thursday represented a slight decrease of 98,000 new jobless claims compared to the week ending on Aug. 15. The number was about where Wall Street analysts expected it to be, according to CNBC.

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Commentary: Joe Biden Will Sell Out the American Worker Again

In 2016, President Donald Trump won on an America first message on trade, uniting blue-collar union and conservative households to get over the top in the Electoral College in the Rust Belt states of Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin and Ohio.

Trump successfully made the case that America had gotten ripped off in prior trade dealings, particularly in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and in trade dealings with China, and that he alone could negotiate a better deal.

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UN Watchdog: Iran to Allow Access to Two Suspected Nuke Sites

Iran has agreed to allow inspectors in to two sites where the country is suspected of having stored or used undeclared nuclear material, the U.N. atomic watchdog agency said Wednesday.

The International Atomic Energy Agency said Iran was “voluntarily providing the IAEA with access to the two locations specified by the IAEA and facilitating the IAEA verification activities to resolve the issues.”

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ISIS Has 10,000 Members and Has Bolstered Propaganda Efforts, Attacks During the Pandemic, UN Warns

Members of the Islamic State have reportedly attempted to use the coronavirus pandemic to their advantage, increasing propaganda and attacks, a United Nations counter-terrorism official announced Monday.

Since ISIS reportedly began to rally in Syria and Iraq this year, there has been an increase in threats made to conflict zones and a decrease in threats to peaceful zones experiencing coronavirus related lock-downs and restrictions, Head of the U.N. Office of Counter-Terrorism Vladimir Voronkov said.

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Woman Who Punched Philadelphia Churchgoer Will Not Be Charged, Police Say

The Philadelphia Police Department deferred charges against a woman who it says punched an unsuspecting churchgoer during Catholic Mass on Sunday.

Police chose not to charge the suspect, who they identified Monday, because of her mental health issues, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported. The decision was made with Catholic Church officials and the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office.

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