New cases and deaths from COVID in Florida continue to decline

While other states are dealing with increases of COVID-19 cases and deaths, Governor Ron DeSantis appears to have steered Florida through difficult times of COVID cases and deaths. With a 7-day average of 1,500 recent cases among Florida’s 21.5 million population, the state has 95 deaths over a 7-day average.

Palm Beach County had no deaths yesterday and has had a 7-day average of 5 deaths for its 1.5 million population. The county has had 103 new cases over a 7-day average.

U.S. House votes for $550 billion in new spending, promises higher spending bill passage before Thanksgiving

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Last night, the U.S. House voted in favor of $550 billion in new spending, and we expect President Joe Biden to sign it into law this morning. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act would spend the money on bridges, highways, and other transit-related projects. The Act would also spend $650 billion, which comes from existing sources like the gas tax. We expect the House to vote on an additional $1.2 trillion in additional infrastructure spending over the next eight years before Thanksgiving after the Congressional Budget Office determines the true cost of the legislation.

This bill will spend taxpayer money on highway, transit, highway safety, motor carrier, research, hazardous materials, and rail programs of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT).

Among other provisions, the bill

  • extends FY2021 enacted levels through FY2022 for federal-aid highway, transit, and safety programs;
  • reauthorizes for FY2023-FY2026 several surface transportation programs, including the federal-aid highway program, transit programs, highway safety, motor carrier safety, and rail programs;
  • addresses climate change, including strategies to reduce the climate change affects of the surface transportation system and a vulnerability assessment to identify opportunities to enhance the resilience of the surface transportation system and ensure the efficient use of federal resources;
  • revises Buy America procurement requirements for highways, mass transit, and rail;
  • establishes a rebuilding rural bridges program to improve the safety and state of good repair of bridges in rural communities;
  • implements new safety requirements across all transportation modes; and
  • directs DOT to establish a pilot program to show a national motor vehicle per-mile user fee to restore and maintain the long-term solvency of the Highway Trust Fund and achieve and maintain a state of good repair in the surface transportation system.

District 20 special primary Democratic Party results expected next Friday

There is a special election scheduled to fill the Florida Congressional District 20 seat left vacant by the passing of Alcee Hastings for January 11, 2022. This past week, there was a special primary election between Democrats and Republicans, the results of which will cause them to face Libertarian MIke ter Maat in the general special election on January 11, 2022.

Photo by Mikhail Nilov on Pexels.com

The recounts continue in the Democrat race with a difference of 4 votes between Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick and Dale Holness. A manual and electronic recount has already been done and some votes are still coming in from members of the military overseas.

Another wrinkle in the primary election is that the Republican winner, Jason Mariner, says he may be disqualified due to him being a convicted felon who may not have gone through the state’s process to restore his civil rights after his imprisonment. Although it may not be an issue, if officially challenged, Mariner’s win could be in jeopardy.

Regardless, the ultimate winners of the special primary will face Libertarian Mike ter Maat, two no-party affiliation candidates, and one write-in candidate.

Candidate Websites:

Mike ter Maat

Jason Mariner

Leonard Serratore

Jim Flynn (no website found)

Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick

Dale Holness

Shelley Fain

U.S. Supreme Court to decide if New York gun law violates U.S. Constitution

On Wednesday, the U.S. Supreme Court appeared ready to overturn New York’s restrictive concealed weapons law, though judges seemed concerned that an overly broad ruling could jeopardize gun restrictions on subways, bars, stadiums, and other locations. New York’s law puts on a burden to New Yorkers requiring them to show a “special need” to carry a firearm. Chief Justice John Roberts and other members of the court suggested that New York’s law had gone too far and may violate the Second Amendment to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

The Second Amendment, part of the Bill of Rights to the U.S. Constitution, reads, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

Second Amendment advocates hope the law is overturned to pave the way for similar laws to be repealed in California and other restrictive states who would also be ruled unconstitutional. About 80 million people live in such states who have had their ability to protect themselves highly limited due to highly restrictive gun laws. These laws cause law-abiding citizens to not own firearms to protect themselves, their families, and their property, while allowing criminals to run roughshod over them as they purchase firearms on the black market.

In 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the right to own and carry a gun under the Second Amendment gives Americans the right to have a gun in their home for self-defense. On Wednesday, the question arose about how far state and local governments can go to regulate whether a person can carry a weapon outside the home. New York states that its law is not an outright prohibition on carrying weapons but a more moderate restriction. During a two-hour discussion between lawyers and the justices, about six other states have similar laws like New York’s restrictive concealed weapons law.

Chief Justice John Roberts asked why should a person who requires a license to carry a gun in public for self-defense to prove a special need to do so. “The idea that you need a license to exercise the right, I think, is unusual in the context of the Bill of Rights,” he said.

Biden says reports his administration will pay immigrants $450,000 are ‘garbage’

President Joe Biden

President Biden on Wednesday said, “If you guys keep sending that garbage out, yeah. But it’s not true.” Biden is referring to the Wall Street Journal article that the United States will pay $ 450,000 to migrant children and separated parents. The Wall Street Journal first reported last week that families separated from the immigration policies of then-President Donald Trump at the border may receive hundreds of thousands of dollars in negotiations to resolve disputes between family lawyers and the Justice Department. According to this report, the government tried to resolve 940 complaints from such families, amounting to approximately $1 billion.

The Biden administration repeatedly considered this policy cruel and inhuman, promising that reunited families will still be divided. Michelle Brain, head of the Family Reunification Task Force, said earlier this month that the Biden administration could only reunite 52 of the over 1,000 separated families, a policy that has yet to be found. They will then give the reunited family a three-year probation period during which they can legally live and work in the United States, but do not provide citizenship opportunities. 

Leader of MS-13 in Honduras Added to the FBI’s List of Ten Most Wanted Fugitives, $100,000 reward offered

The FBI today announced the addition of the alleged leader of MS-13 for all of Honduras to the FBI’s list of Ten Most Wanted Fugitives. Fugitive Yulan Adonay Archaga Carias marks the 526th addition to the Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list. He should be considered armed and dangerous.

Archaga Carias is charged federally in the Southern District of New York with racketeering conspiracy, cocaine importation conspiracy, and possession and conspiracy to possess machine guns. Archaga Carias allegedly controlled MS-13 criminal activity in Honduras and provided support and resources to the MS-13 enterprise in Central America and the United States with firearms, narcotics, and cash. Archaga Carias is also allegedly responsible for supporting multi-ton loads of cocaine through Honduras to the United States and for ordering and participating in murders of rival gang members and others associated with MS-13. This case is being investigated as part of Joint Task Force Vulcan.

Select image to view Wanted poster, story, and additional information.

“Today’s announcement demonstrates the resolve of the FBI to aggressively pursue transnational criminal gangs like MS-13,” said Acting Assistant Director Jay Greenberg of the Criminal Investigative Division. “We will work with our law enforcement partners to find wanted fugitives like Archaga Carias wherever they seek refuge and hold them accountable for their crimes.”

Yulan Adonay Archaga Carias is described as a Hispanic male born in Honduras on February 13, 1982. He is 5’5” tall, weighs 160 pounds, and has black hair and brown eyes. He uses the alias of “Porky.”

Archaga Carias

Yulan Adonay Archaga Carias replaces Robert William Fisher on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list, which was established in March of 1950. Since then, 526 fugitives have appears on the list; 490 have been apprehended or located, with 162 of those as a result of citizen cooperation.

The FBI is offering a reward of up to $100,000 for information leading to the arrest of Yulan Adonay Archaga Carias. Anyone with information concerning Archaga Carias should take no action themselves, but should immediately contact the FBI’s toll-free number at 1-800-CALL-FBI (1-800-225-5324), the nearest FBI office, or the nearest American Embassy or Consulate. Tips can also be submitted online at tips.fbi.gov.

Additional information concerning Archaga Carias, including his wanted poster in English and Spanish and the FBI’s list of Ten Most Wanted Fugitives, can be found at fbi.gov/wanted/topten.

Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine Urges Sen. Booker’s Nutrition Hearing to Address Rising Obesity Rates With Plant-Based Diet

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Nutrition specialists with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, a nonprofit of more than 17,000 doctors, contributed a statement for the record for today’s United States Senate Agriculture Committee hearing entitled “The State of Nutrition in America 2021.” In its statement, the Physicians Committee urges Congress to explore the growing evidence of meat and dairy’s links to chronic disease and the many benefits of a plant-based diet.

The Senate Agriculture Subcommittee on Food and Nutrition, Specialty Crops, Organics, and Research is holding this hearing to examine the state of nutrition in this country and to explore the many disparities related to food policy. Subcommittee Chair Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Ranking Member Mike Braun (R-IN) recently introduced a bill to convene a new White House conference on food, nutrition, hunger, and health.

“Foremost in Congress’s minds should be rising rates of obesity in the United States, especially among people of color, and that nutrition policy in this country still does not warn against the risks of consuming processed meat or dairy, or the benefits of a plant-based diet,” says Neal Barnard, MD, FACC, adjunct professor of medicine at the George Washington School of Medicine and president of the Physicians Committee. “Additionally, more evidence shows that a plant-based diet may help prevent severe COVID-19.”

In 2015, after 22 experts from 10 countries assessed more than 800 epidemiological studies, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer classified consumption of processed meat as “carcinogenic to humans’ (Group 1) on the basis of sufficient evidence for colorectal cancer.”

Research shows that eating 50 grams of processed meat daily also increases the risk of breast cancer, prostate cancer, pancreatic cancer, and overall cancer mortality. Studies show that processed meat also increases the risk of death from cardiovascular disease. Other studies have linked it to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Red meat also increases the risk of heart diseasediabetes, and certain cancers.

Dairy products are a leading source of saturated fat in the American diet. Scientific evidence also shows that milk and other dairy products increase the risk of asthmabreastovarian, and prostate cancers, cognitive decline, and early death, and offer little if any protection for bone health.
Dairy products also cause bloating, diarrhea, and gas in the tens of millions of Americans who have lactose intolerance, the natural progression of not breaking down sugar in milk.

The National Institutes of Health estimates approximately 95% of Asians, 60% to 80% of African Americans, 80% to 100% of American Indians, and 50% to 80% of Hispanics are lactose intolerant. Though once considered a disease, lactose intolerance is actually the norm for most humans; after infancy, most people not of European descent—about 70% of the world’s population—become physically uncomfortable after consuming dairy.

“A plant-based diet, rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes, is a great way to achieve good health,” Dr. Barnard says. “These foods are full of fiber, rich in vitamins and minerals, free of cholesterol, and low in calories and saturated fat. Eating a variety of these foods provides all the protein, calcium, and other essential nutrients your body needs.”
Those who eat a plant-based diet lower their risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and other health conditions:

“Congress should have a frank and honest debate about what’s on Americans’ dinner plates and should highlight the links that meat and dairy—foods heavily subsidized by the federal government—have to chronic disease,” Dr. Barnard adds. “The Physicians Committee looks forward to continue to engage with federal policymakers on the benefits of a plant-based diet.”

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis comes to West Palm Beach to discuss mandates and election fraud

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis

Playing to a supportive crowd in West Palm Beach, Florida, Governor Ron DeSantis spoke mostly about election integrity and mask mandates this morning. DeSantis called on the Florida Legislature to further strengthen the integrity of Florida elections. DeSantis assured the crowd that there will not be any COVID vaccination mandates in Florida.

DeSantis said that if a Florida citizen witnessed ballot harvesting, which is illegal in Florida, and that citizen calls the incident in to a local Supervisor of Elections office, often, nothing happens. DeSantis said, “In Florida, it is Constitutionally mandated that only citizens are allowed to vote in Florida and yet you see examples of people, even though they [poll workers] check that they are not citizens, and they will still be given ballots.”

DeSantis called on the Florida legislature to add an office responsible for instigating election crimes which will employ law enforcement investigators to bring cases to the Florida Attorney General for prosecution.

Today’s press conference follows the announcement by Roger Stone this past weekend that if DeSantis does not do something about election fraud in Florida, then he will run against him in 2022.

DeSantis touted how Florida has one of the lowest if not the lowest COVID rates in the nation and how Florida has added a large number of jobs while other states have lagged in the job category. DeSantis said, “You shouldn’t have to lose your job over these COVID mandates. We need to stand up for people to make their own decisions and we shouldn’t have people lose their jobs over it.”

He also expects passage of a $5,000 signing bonus for out-of-state law enforcement officers who move to and employ themselves in law enforcement in Florida.

Amazon launching test satellites to bring internet to under served areas

Project Kuiper—our work to provide fast, affordable broadband to unserved and underserved communities around the world—plans to launch and deploy its first two satellites by the end of next year.

The satellites will allow Amazon to test the communications and networking technology that will be used in the last design and procedures for deploying the project’s full constellation of low Earth orbit satellites. The launches, in partnership with ABL Space Systems, will take place at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.

U.S. House District 20 primary winners to face Libertarian Mike ter Maat in January

Mike ter Maat, District 20 Congressional Candidate

With some vote-by-mail ballots still to be counted, Republican Jason Mariner has handily won. At press time, Democrats Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick and Dale Holness are too close to call and will trigger an automatic recount and potentially a run-off vote. The winner of the Democrat primary will face Mariner and Libertarian Mike ter Maat in the January 11, 2022, general special election to fill the seat. District 20 is holding a special election since Alcee Hastings passed away last year and voter turnout in Palm Beach County was 17 percent.

McCormick and Holness are within one percent of each other, which if that holds true later today after they counted all the votes, then that would trigger an automatic recount for only those two candidates and potentially a run-off vote. The winner will then run in the general special election being held on January 11, 2022. In addition to Mike ter Maat, there is Leonard Serratore and Jim Flynn running with no party affiliation, and Shelley Fain is the write-in candidate.

Candidate Websites:

Mike ter Maat

Jason Mariner

Leonard Serratore

Jim Flynn (no website found)

Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick

Dale Holness

Shelley Fain

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