COVID-19 has destroyed too many jobs. It has also shattered families, exposed the flaws in our healthcare system, and diminished the United States’ leadership role in the world. Remember, the world watched as the President suggested we all drink bleach and shine ultra-violet light through our bodies. Our economy, and our credibility, must be rebuilt, and it must start now. Our phones ring throughout the day with constituents who have lost their jobs and don’t have the money to make ends meet or keep their homes. Their jobs may not be there when the economy recovers. Unemployment insurance, personal stimulus monies, and small business support cannot be neglected. Donald Trump’s lack of leadership, knowledge, science-driven policy has paralyzed the United States’ ability to reverse the deadly COVID-19 pandemic. We cannot “re-open” our economy until the public health situation is under control, and our kids are back in school, no matter how much wishful thinking we possess. How can it be that we are 4% of the global population, yet we have 25% of the world’s COVID-19 cases and casualties? We are approximately 6 months into this tragedy and we may soon experience a 2nd wave. President Trump does not have this under control. The upcoming election cannot come soon enough. We need Joe Biden in the White House to act immediately to bring science into the conversation (not conspiracy theories and lies) and coordinate our nation’s governors, mayors, local officials, business leaders, tribal leaders, religious leaders, science and technology leaders, and others, to implement a national strategy to tackle this virus aggressively once and for all. I want to return to the U.S. Congress because the House of Representatives will play a key role in developing and launching the necessary programs to compliment President Biden’s efforts. This includes establishing a strong contact-tracing and reporting regime; assuring that our medical solutions are science based, and that a safe vaccine comes to the market as soon as possible; making certain our front line healthcare workers have all the necessary PPE to assure their safety; cautiously work to reopen our economy and our schools in safe ways; and protect the most vulnerable amongst us – particularly our nation’s seniors. All of this must be achieved before we can expect to re-grow a robust American economy capable of creating jobs and putting America back to work. Among the legislation that needs to pass is HR 2, the Moving Forward Act which creates a comprehensive infrastructure program that includes among many other things surface transportation program, mass transit, rail, rebuilding rural grant program, and investments in many other sectors. As a labor union member myself, I will support the legislation that facilitates workers joining and creating unions and makes union busting harder to accomplish. Union workers across the board earn significantly more that nonunion workers in the same jobs. If we are to rebuild the middle class, we need to empower labor unions to collectively bargain and to protect their members.
Illinois’ 5th district deserves a representative in congress who will stand up against corruption, not enable it, fight to expand healthcare, not strip it from those who need it most, work to combat the dangers of climate change, not deny that they exist, and work tirelessly to ensure our city and region has the funding necessary to maintain and improve our infrastructure and standard of living. While in Congress, I’ve helped bring billions of federal dollars back to the Chicagoland area for CTA modernization, new Metra trains, rebuilt roads and bridges, and to combat disruptive aircraft noise around O’Hare International Airport. As Vice-Chair of the House Appropriations Transportation and Housing and Urban Development (THUD) subcommittee, I am well positioned to continue to ensure that key Chicago construction projects like the Red Line Extension, the 75th Street Corridor Improvement Project, and McCook flood abatement reservoirs continue without delay. In addition, as Chairman of the Financial Services and General Government appropriations subcommittee, I’ve worked tirelessly to support community based financial institutions, ensure our elections remain secure and free of interference, and against unconscionable cuts to the Postal Service. Finally, as a Member of the House Intelligence Committee, I was a key member of the investigation into President Trump’s efforts to pressure a foreign leader to attack Vice President Biden for his own political gain and if elected, I will continue to lead the effort to keep our Intelligence Community independent and protect those that work so hard to keep us safe.
President Trump ignored every pressing topic Monday as he welcomed one of his favorite things to the White House.
The New York Times dropped a bombshell report Sunday evening revealing Trump leveraged business losses to avoid paying taxes for years, as well as used other dubious financial strategies to lower his tax bills. Trump denied the report in a Sunday press conference, and on Monday, avoided questions about his tax returns altogether as he praised an electric pick-up truck.
The White House unexpectedly called reporters to the South Lawn on Monday, where they found Trump inspecting a Lordstown Motors 2021 electric pick-up truck. “We’ve all done a good job,” Trump said after praising the truck’s manufacturers, and then, out of nowhere, said “it’s hotter now than it was before, and that’s something really different.” But before he could get too close to acknowledge fossil fuels’ roles in warming the Earth, he pivoted to call the truck “an incredible piece of science” and implied electrification is sure to “happen with more and more trucks and cars.” He then walked away to reporters shouting “can you say anything about the tax returns?” and “when are you going to release them?”
MOMENTS AGO: President Trump leaves truck event, not answering as reporter yells: “Can you say anything about the TAX RETURNS, Mr. President? When are you going to RELEASE THEM?” pic.twitter.com/b1ZNJ5rLRa
— The Hill (@thehill) September 28, 2020
It’s far from the first time Trump has brought trucks to the White House, though they’re usually a bit bigger than this one. And as The Washington Post has reported, it’s something his advisers will do to cheer the president up when he’s “inconsolable.”
More stories from theweek.com
Trump literally can’t afford to lose the election
Most of Trump’s charitable tax write-offs are reportedly for not developing property he owns
5 outrageously funny cartoons about Trump’s election scheming
“Isn’t the question whether the information is classified or not?” Lamberth prodded Bolton’s defense. “You’ve engaged in that whole political diatribe, but it really has no place in what we’re arguing today.”
The oral argument came after a lawyer for the career government official who conducted the initial review for classified information in Bolton’s manuscript contended in a letter to the court that Trump aides had “commandeered” the process, then erroneously claimed the memoir contained classified information and failed to propose edits to facilitate publication.
Lamberth refused to halt publication in a June 20 ruling, saying the government acted too late to prevent the sale of already distributed books.
At issue Thursday was Bolton’s motion to toss out the case, and the government’s motion for a summary ruled that the government can seize Bolton’s profits because the book contained classified information.
Bolton attorney Charles J. Cooper argued that the government had failed to allege he knowingly disclosed such information and asserted that the nondisclosure agreements he signed required him to obtain written authorization to release only material he knew to be classified.
If unsure, Cooper argued, he was required only to confirm from “an authorized official” — in this case, he said, Ellen Knight, the National Security Council’s senior director for records access — that the information was unclassified. Cooper claimed that this is what Knight verified by phone and email after the initial review and that Bolton knew of no other classified information remaining in the manuscript he submitted to his publisher April 27.
“The government must be able to allege that Bolton knew or had reason to believe that his manuscript contained SCI, or it contained a description of activity that derived from SCI,” the most sensitive compartmented information, Cooper argued. “They have not alleged that, and we would submit they cannot allege that.”
Arguing for the government, Deputy Associate Attorney General Jennifer B. Dickey denied that the contracts required violations to be known. Dickey said there was no dispute that Bolton gave the manuscript to his publisher without receiving formal written authorization that the pre-publication review he initiated was concluded.
The government earlier produced six samples of what it asserted was classified material, three of which were classified before April 27 and one Gen. Paul M. Nakasone, director of the National Security Agency, said in a declaration “implicates” the most sensitive level of material.
“It would make no sense for the pre-publication review to attach and then say an author could opt out before written authorization that it was completed,” Dickey argued. If he objected with the process, Bolton should have sued instead of walking away.
“What is unprecedented is for the most recent national security adviser, who had been entrusted with classified information on a daily basis, who has a Yale law degree and experienced counsel, would think it’s consistent with his contractual or fiduciary duty to simply sign off to his publisher on April 27 without waiting for written authorization that it did not contain
Welcome to Hillicon Valley, The Hill’s newsletter detailing all you need to know about the tech and cyber news from Capitol Hill to Silicon Valley. If you don’t already, be sure to sign up for our newsletter with this LINK.
Welcome! Follow our cyber reporter, Maggie Miller (@magmill95), and tech reporter, Chris Mills Rodrigo (@chrisismills), for more coverage.
TIKTOK TUSSLE: A deal to avert a U.S. ban on TikTok appears to have been reached over the weekend, but several questions remain about the contours of the pending agreement.
The most pressing is what role the short-form video app’s China-based parent company, ByteDance, will have in the newly formed entity TikTok Global.
President Trump suggested Monday that the deal could be in jeopardy if Oracle and Walmart – the two American companies involved in the proposal – do not have full control of the new TikTok.
“And if we find that they don’t have total control, then we’re not going to approve the deal,” he said during an appearance on “Fox & Friends.”
One of the next steps in the approval process includes a review by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS).
Without a term sheet being public, it is difficult to know the exact breakdown of the agreement, which was tentatively approved just before a Commerce Department order would have barred TikTok from appearing in U.S. app stores.
But from what is known, it appears that the deal falls far short of the full-on sale of TikTok to an American company that Trump originally called for in August.
Together, Oracle and Walmart will take only a 20 percent stake in the new company, TikTok said in a statement over the weekend.
According to ByteDance, other U.S.-based TikTok investors like Sequoia Capital and General Atlantic will stay on in the newly formed company, which has an estimated value of between $50 billion and $60 billion.
Even with the financial stakes of four U.S. companies, it is difficult to envision a scenario where ByteDance entirely removes itself from involvement in such a successful video app.
In a statement Monday, ByteDance emphasized it will remain in control of the new TikTok business and, crucially, the recommendation algorithm that makes the platform so popular.
That position was directly contradicted by Oracle executive vice president Ken Glueck, who said Monday that “Americans will be the majority and ByteDance will have no ownership in TikTok Global.”
The discrepancy may be explained by ByteDance’s ownership of TikTok Ltd., a business incorporated in the Cayman Islands that currently owns TikTok’s American operations.
Read more here.
ALGORITHMIC BIAS TEST CASE: Twitter is investigating the algorithm it uses to crop pictures for its mobile platform after several users pointed out a tendency to zero in on white faces.
Soon-to-be former San Luis Obispo Police Chief Deanna Cantrell is facing scrutiny in Fairfield, just weeks before starting her new job — over her lost gun incident and the department’s handling of Black Lives Matter protests.
According to the Daily Republic newspaper in Solano County, two members of the Fairfield City Council raised concerns at a meeting Sept. 15 about Cantrell’s handling of the weapons incident, noting they received calls from city residents on the issue.
“I think we will have a better sense of the police chief when we meet her,” Vice Mayor Pam Bertani told the Daily Republic. “I have never talked to her or met her. … I think her presence will make a difference.”
Prior to her resignation from her post as head of San Luis Obispo Police Department in August, Cantrell was the subject of some high-profile local incidents.
In July 2019, she left her gun in an El Pollo Loco bathroom in San Luis Obispo. The follow-up search for her missing weapon led to an investigation and arrest of an unrelated suspect.
Fairfield Councilwoman Catherine Moy said at the Sept. meeting that she wanted to hear more from Cantrell on the gun incident and the subsequent investigation.
“My concern is the arrest of a person who did not at all look like the person who they believed took (the gun), and they got him for something else,” Moy said in the Daily Republic article. “I believe that is a violation of his civil rights.”
At the meeting, Cantrell was also criticized for the handling of Black Lives Matter protests in San Luis Obispo.
During as march in June, the San Luis Obispo Police Department fired tear gas at protesters. The department later arrested activist Tianna Arata and asked the district attorney to file eight criminal charges against her for leading a separate July protest.
According to the Daily Republic, Fairfield city manager Stefan Chatwin, who was responsible for hiring Cantrell, said he stood behind his decision, noting Cantrell was the clear favorite for the position after community, professional and staff panel interviews of the top candidates.
Cantrell began the recruitment process for the Fairfield chief job in May. Her last day with the San Luis Obispo Police Department will be Sept. 30.
Committee chairman Rep. Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (D-Va.) said that the board’s ongoing refusal to provide the documents suggests that the board is covering up malfeasance, according to a letter from Scott to the panel to NLRB Chairman John Ring.
“[T]he continued refusal to give the Committee certain documents indicate that the NLRB has something to hide regarding decisions that are likely tainted by a defective process, such as the McDonald’s case and the joint employer rulemaking,” Scott wrote in the letter, sent earlier this month. “The Committee is left to conclude that the NLRB’s sole motivation for refusing to produce requested documents is to cover up misconduct.”
The NLRB says that though it has not given the documentation over, it has offered the committee the ability to review some of the documents in private.
“The Committee knows it is not entitled to the documents it is demanding,” Ring said in a statement. “This is a made-up controversy solely for political theater.”
A spokesman for the NLRB called the subpoena “unprecedented,” in a statement, adding the “disclosure of these pre-decisional documents would discourage agency employees from providing candid advice and undermine the internal deliberations of the Board.”
The Committee disagrees, saying that it is entitled to the information that is being shielded from it.
The documentation requested involves the issue of joint employer classification, which is an issue when there is more than one employer involved, such as when one of the employers is a franchise. Joint employer labor issues could have implications for millions of workers at large corporations like McDonald’s.
The NLRB, under President Barack Obama, focused on making it easier for workers to hold joint-employers accountable for their working conditions — such as workers who work for McDonald’s franchisees seeking redress from the McDonald’s Corp. But the Trump administration has worked to narrow these protections.
The first case the committee has sought more information on was a decision made by the NLRB in December to approve a settlement between McDonald’s franchisees and workers that absolved McDonald’s from direct responsibility over workers, as a joint employer — a legal win for the company.
William Emanuel, an appointee to the board by President Trump, was asked to recuse himself by the workers’ lawyers, because he worked for a law firm that had helped set up a hotline for McDonald’s franchise owners to call for legal advice about how to respond to some of the protests by workers, according to the committee and Bloomberg Law.
Emanuel participated in the McDonald’s decision — a violation of an executive order that prohibits appointees from participating in any matter that is “directly and substantially related” to former employers or former clients, said Josh Weisz, a spokesman for the House Education Committee.
The committee also wants more information on the NLRB’s decision to hire a contractor to sort and categorize public comments on the joint-employer rulemaking process.
The NLRB board disagrees that its members have been involved in any conflict of interests.
Have you ever taken the time to imagine how incredibly beautiful the Garden of Eden must have been? I have seen amazing artwork that takes a stab at picturing this awe-inspiring place, but I have a feeling that no one has any idea of how magnificent it truly was. The beauty alone must have been been breathtaking, but the fact that Adam and Eve had unhindered and intimate communication with their Father must have been the greatest part of that one-time garden. The Garden of Eden can be a place that many children will enjoy imagining, but it is also important to point out the tragic history of mankind's beginnings. I believe it is crucial that our children have a handle on the basics of the topic of the Garden of Eden and here are 11 Bible trivia questions that you can easily integrate into any lesson on Adam and Eve's first home.
Bible Questions and Answers About the Garden of Eden:
1. Question: Who was the first man's name?
Answer: The name of the first man was Adam.
2. Who was the first woman's name?
The name of the first woman was Eve.
3. Where did Adam and Eve live?
Adam and Eve lived in a beautiful garden, which God planted for them.
4. What was the garden's name?
The garden's name was Eden.
5. What was in the Garden of Eden?
In the Garden of Eden there were beautiful flowers, and fruits that were good to eat, and beautiful birds.
6. Did Adam and Eve always live in Eden?
No; Adam and Eve were forced to leave Eden.
7. Why did God force Adam and Eve to leave the Garden of Eden?
Adam and Eve disobeyed God and ate the fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.
8. What did God put in front of the Garden of Eden to stop Adam and Eve entering there again?
He placed an angel and a flaming sword in front of the garden.
9. Were Adam and Eve happy outside of the garden?
They were unhappy because they sinned against God and He punished them.
10. Does God always punish sin?
Yes, God always punishes sin.
11. How should we behave then if God punishes sin?
We need to obey God in all that He asks of us and love Him because He is so good.
These questions are based upon the text entitled Primary Bible Questions for Young Children by S. Root, published in 1864 (in public domain).Read more