Trump’s efforts to project normalcy run into reality as virus courses through the White House, the Capitol and the Pentagon.

President Trump’s efforts to project normalcy after being hospitalized with Covid-19 a month before Election Day ran into a major stumbling block on Tuesday: the reality on the ground in Washington, where the coronavirus outbreak has upended the federal government.

  • The White House, the leading coronavirus hot spot in the nation’s capital, resembled a ghost town, with its most famous inhabitant convalescing in the residence, as a number of advisers and other officials stayed home, either because they had contracted the coronavirus or had been near people who did, including the press secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, who announced on Monday that she had tested positive.

  • The Capitol, a beehive workplace for 535 legislators and thousands of staff, was eerily empty on Tuesday after Senate leaders agreed to adjourn for two weeks beginning Monday, even as Republicans are trying to fast-track Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to the Supreme Court. More than 40 senators, along with more than a dozen congressional aides and reporters, have been tested for the coronavirus since late last week, officials said on Tuesday. Three Republican senators — Mike Lee of Utah, Thom Tillis of North Carolina, and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin — have tested positive in recent days.

  • Gen. Mark A. Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, along with several of the Pentagon’s most senior uniformed leaders, was quarantining after being exposed to the coronavirus, a Defense Department official said on Tuesday. The official said almost the entirety of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, including Gen. James C. McConville, the Army chief of staff, are quarantining after Adm. Charles Ray, the vice commandant of the Coast Guard, tested positive for coronavirus.

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Ex-Virginia House speaker files papers to run for governor

RICHMOND, Va. — Former Virginia House Speaker Kirk Cox has filed paperwork with the state to run for governor next year, joining a small field of Republicans looking to enter the race.

Cox, a retired school teacher who has served in the House of Delegates since 1990, on Wednesday filed a “statement of organization” to establish a campaign committee. Cox said he will not formally enter the race until after the presidential election in November.

Cox, 63, was elected as speaker in 2018, but lost that role after Democrats won a majority in both the House and Senate in November. He announced in August that he was seriously considering a run for governor, citing what he called a “vacuum of leadership” created by Democrats.

Cox has criticized Democrats during the current special legislative session, which was called by Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam to deal with the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic and to consider dozens of criminal justice and police reforms in the wake of the killing of George Floyd while in police custody in Minneapolis. Cox has characterized some of the police reforms as “anti-law enforcement.”

In a written statement released Thursday, Cox said the special session has convinced him “that Republicans not only need to put forward a strong candidate that can actually win statewide, but also a series of ideas and policies that will improve lives and livelihoods.”

Cox has strong pro-business and anti-abortion credentials, but also helped push through Medicaid expansion, which conservatives opposed.

Firebrand conservative state Sen. Amanda Chase has announced she’s running for governor. Northern Virginia businessman Pete Snyder may also run.

Republicans have not won a statewide race in Virginia since 2009. Several Democrats, including former Gov. Terry McAuliffe, have either announced they are running or have indicated they might. Virginia law blocks Gov. Northam from running for re-election.

Cox represents the 66th District, which includes Colonial Heights and parts of Chesterfield.

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A Garden Designed to Run Wild

In “To the Small Celandine” (1815), William Wordsworth marvels at the itinerant nature of the flowering plant: “Careless of thy neighbourhood, / Thou dost show thy pleasant face / On the moor, and in the wood.” The ode is one of three the poet wrote to his favorite flower — commonly known as the lesser celandine or fig buttercup and recognizable for its glossy, egg-yolk-yellow blooms — which is also a persistent weed. This fact, that what some see as a flicker of natural brilliance is to others a nuisance to be removed, puts the lesser celandine, along with many other wildflowers, in a precarious position. And indeed, so many gardeners come down on the side of “nuisance” that to cultivate wildflowers purposely, to allow them to be the focus of one’s labors, even, is something of a rebellious act.

This is an idea that has captivated Caroline Kent, the founder of the British stationery company Scribble and Daub — which offers letterpress cards hand-drawn with vibrant pen-and-ink illustrations — ever since she first encountered the gardens at Great Dixter in East Sussex, England, an ongoing source of inspiration for her, almost a decade ago. The historic estate consists of a mid-15th-century timber-framed manor house that, in the early 20th century, the architect Edwin Lutyens, acting on commission from the house’s owner, Nathaniel Lloyd, combined with a 16th-century yeoman’s hall; Lutyens also laid out a six-acre garden. In 1954, Lloyd’s son Christopher, who had always loved working in the property’s garden with his mother, Daisy Lloyd, and who had recently been working as a lecturer in horticulture in Kent, returned to the family home to open a plant nursery on the grounds, which are now preserved by a trust. Working from Great Dixter until his death in 2006, Christopher became one of Britain’s most pre-eminent gardeners and garden writers — he completed 25 books and had a longstanding weekly column in Country Life magazine. He was known for his willingness to deviate from tradition, once telling the horticultural writer Rosemary Verey, “a garden is a garden [and] whether it looks English or not, I wouldn’t care.”

“Upon entering the property, you see stately York sandstone flags and an ancient gate,” says Kent. But then these elements give way to something wilder: In tension with the considered architecture of Lutyens’s gardens, done in an Arts and Crafts style consisting of a series of distinct “rooms,” Lloyd’s plantings are profuse, bold and joyfully informal — as he put it, there are “shrubs, climbers, hardy and tender perennials, annuals and biennials, all growing together and contributing to the overall tapestry.” He, along with his mother, until her death in 1972, also tended to the property’s various swaths of dedicated meadowland, from which, come the warmer months, wildflowers, including orchids, yellow rattle and buttercups, emerge at random. “Many traditional gardeners find it outrageous,” says Kent. (This is, after all, the same country where she once witnessed a neighbor trim the edges of a flower

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Space Station bathroom renovation launching on next cargo supply run

It’s a home makeover but 200 miles above Earth: The next resupply delivery mission to the International Space Station will include a new re-designed commode for the astronauts.

A cargo re-supply launch is scheduled to liftoff on a Northrop Grumman Antares rocket Sept. 29 from NASA’s Wallops Island Flight Facility carrying supplies for the astronauts, research, hardware and a marketing experiment for the makeup company Estee Lauder.

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Loaded up among nearly 8,000 pounds of supplies, the Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus cargo spacecraft will also deliver a new “Universal Waste Management System,” also known as a space toilet, to the floating laboratory in space and home to astronauts 365 days a year.

The system actually has two important purposes on the ISS. Outside the bathroom needs, it also cleans water to be used again by the astronaut

“We recycle about 90% of all water-based liquids on the space station, including urine and sweat,” NASA astronaut Jessica Meir said in a news release. “What we try to do aboard the space station is mimic elements of Earth’s natural water cycle to reclaim water from the air. And when it comes to our urine on ISS, today’s coffee is tomorrow’s coffee!”

The engineers behind the low-gravity loo spoke about the technology during a press call Thursday with reporters.

The new toilet design will be used on the ISS and for NASA’s second Artemis mission to the moon with astronauts. According to government contracts, NASA awarded two contracts totaling more than $18 million to design and build the new system.

The new toilet is 65% smaller and 40% lighter than the current potty on the ISS. It’s about the same size as what you might see in a camper, according to Melissa McKinley, NASA Advanced Exploration Systems Logistics Reduction project manager.

The new toilet has also been optimized for female astronauts.

“NASA spent a lot of time working with the crew members and doing evaluations to improve the use of the commode seat and the urine funnel to make it more accommodating to the use by female crew members,” McKinley said.

The new toilet will have a fan that helps pull urine and feces away from the body because, without gravity, humans need a little help.

“We have gravity that helps pull the feces and urine away from our body and into the toilet,” Collins Aerospace engineer Jim Fuller said. “In space where we have microgravity, we don’t have that luxury. So this dual-fan separator actually creates the motive force by creating a strong airflow that helps pull the urine and feces away from the body.

It’s been a while since the space station got a full bathroom upgrade.

“We’re really excited about this new toilet,” Fuller said. “I don’t think we’ve developed a new toilet in a couple of decades.”

The launch is scheduled for 10:27 p.m. EDT Tuesday and

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Katherine Clark, who has swiftly climbed the House ranks, will run for assistant speaker

Clark officially entered what so far is a three-person field — Representatives Tony Cárdenas of California and David Cicilline of Rhode Island already are running — with a letter to her colleagues on Tuesday morning.

Clark’s swift and quiet rise up the ranks of power in the House since arriving in late 2013 has reportedly earned her the nickname “the silent assassin,” and a win could put her on a path to climb higher.

“Effective leadership is not about individual ambition,” Clark wrote in her letter, “but collective good.”

The assistant speaker position, which is held by Representative Ben Ray Luján, a New Mexico Democrat who is running for Senate, is the fourth-ranking spot in the House leadership. Clark currently holds a lower leadership position as vice chair of the Democratic caucus. She is expected to be reelected in November and Democrats are forecast to hold the House majority.

Members of the Massachusetts congressional delegation have a storied history of ascending to the highest ranks of power on Capitol Hill — but nearly all of them have been men, including the eight House speakers from the state and every committee chair from Massachusetts except for Edith Nourse Rogers, a Republican who led the Veterans Affairs committee from 1947 to 1949 and 1953 to 1955.

“She would be the first woman, and have done it in the shortest amount of time — especially coming on the heels of getting elected to the district in a state that’s still woefully pitiful when it comes to electing women,” said Mary Anne Marsh, a Boston-based political consultant. “You can’t underestimate the effectiveness of Katherine Clark.”

Clark has become a prolific fund-raiser for the party. Her allies describe her as a listener more than a talker with a deep understanding of different constituencies within the Democratic caucus, a progressive from a safe blue district who spent much of the 2018 cycle traveling the country to recruit — and then to elect — members in swing districts.

“She looks out for them,” said New Hampshire Representative Annie Kuster, a Democrat from a fairly moderate district, who described Clark speaking up in leadership meetings to remind her colleagues which votes would be difficult for members in competitive districts to take.

Clark, a former state lawmaker, won a 2013 special election to fill Edward J. Markey’s House seat after he was elected to the Senate. She has made headlines at certain points in her tenure — including in 2016, when she and the late Representative John Lewis led a 25-hour sit-in on the House floor to pressure Republicans to act on gun control measures. But over the past few years, she has focused on getting new Democratic candidates elected and quietly building alliances.

Now, she’s hoping that work will draw enough loyalty from new members — as well as her longtime colleagues — to elevate her further in the House. “She’s got a whole freshman class who’s indebted to her,” Marsh said.

Representative Sylvia Garcia of Texas, a

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New Bill Would Create a Conservation Job Corps Run By Interior and USDA

A legislative proposal unveiled on Tuesday would create a jobs program overseen by the Interior and Agriculture departments to tackle conservation projects. 

Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., introduced the “RENEW Conservation Corps Act” to mirror President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s Civilian Conservation Corps created during the Great Depression in the 1930s. The National Bureau of Economic Research proclaimed in early June that the U.S. economy entered into a recession in February due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. Durbin’s bill is one of several introduced over the last few months to create civilian jobs programs for matters such as expanding the public health workforce and safely administering elections during the pandemic. 

“America’s outdoor spaces have provided recreation for generations, and this year we’ve seen how important and valuable they’ve been to countless Americans looking for a respite,” Durbin said in a statement on Wednesday. “This bill is a straightforward approach to creating 1 million jobs that can address maintenance and restoration of our greatest natural resources and recreation areas… [and] is an investment to protect the beauty of America’s natural treasures.”

If enacted, the bill would authorize $55.8 billion over a five-year period for 1 million Americans over the age of 16 to work on conservation projects nationwide. These could involve: planting trees, restoring wildlife habitats and wetlands, controlling invasive species, conducting fish and wildlife surveys, monitoring water quality and other projects deemed necessary by the Interior and USDA secretaries. 

Participants’ terms would be at least 12 weeks, but no more than a year. They would be paid what is “appropriate for the type of work” they do, but no less than $15 per hour and could receive up to a $5,500 credit for post-secondary education and training for future jobs. The bill says that the Interior and USDA secretaries and their program partners must ensure that “participants reflect the demographics of the area” where they are working.

“Access to public and natural spaces is an essential part of our individual and collective health and well-being,” said Jerry Adelmann, president and CEO of Openlands, a conservation organization in the Chicago area. “With the RENEW Conservation Corps Act, we will welcome a new generation of jobs that restore and preserve our natural lands and waters, and create more inclusive and inviting places for all to enjoy and connect with nature.”

The legislation would also create a national council that will meet annually to assess the jobs program and its possible projects. Members will include top officials from the Bureau of Indian Affairs; Bureau of Land Management; Natural Resources Conservation Service; Bureau of Reclamation; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; National Park Service; National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; Office of Personnel Management; Environmental Protection Agency; Council on Environmental Quality; and the Corporation for National and Community Service. 

The bill was referred to the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. There is not a companion version in the House yet. 

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Salon owner who tangled with Pelosi responds to Trump’s call for her to run for House

EXCLUSIVE: She’s a salon owner and a single mom, and Erica Kious told Fox News Thursday she just may not be able to work in a new assignment from President Trump – Speaker of the House.

After Kious found herself tangling with Nancy Pelosi, who got an illicit blowout at Kious’s E SalonSF in violation of coronavirus restrictions, Trump decided he liked her style. In a tweet Thursday and later at a rally in Pennsylvania, he floated the idea of Kious running for the House of Representatives and taking over as speaker.

TRUMP SUGGESTS HAIR SALON OWNER SHOULD BE ‘RUNNING’ THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES AFTER PELOSI CONTROVERSY

“I want the salon owner to lead the House of Representatives,” Trump said at the Latrobe rally.

Kious heard the commander-in-chief’s call, and responded in a phone interview with Fox News late Thursday.

“I see how hard the president fights for America and it has inspired me to do what is right for the people in my industry and small businesses everywhere,” Kious said. “I never expected all of this, but the House I am focused on right now is the House with two little girls under 10, with social-distanced learning. But I appreciate the sentiment.”

Kious added: “But he is my president and I will do what I need to do.”

Earlier, the president tweeted, “Nancy Pelosi says she got ‘set up’ by a Beauty Parlor owner. Maybe the Beauty Parlor owner should be running the House of Representatives instead of Crazy Nancy?”

Fox News first reported the California Democrat’s visit to the San Francisco hair salon despite it being closed due to coronavirus-related local ordinances.

In security footage obtained by Fox News, and timestamped Monday at 3:08 p.m. Pacific Time, the Californian speaker is seen walking through ESalonSF in San Francisco with wet hair, and without a mask over her mouth or nose.

The stylist doing her hair can be seen following her wearing a black face mask.

EXCLUSIVE: PELOSI USED SHUTTERED SAN FRANCISCO HAIR SALON FOR A BLOW-OUT, OWNER CALLS IT ‘SLAP IN THE FACE’

Pelosi dug in over the controversy and claimed that she was “set up” at the hair salon, which she said she had been to “over the years many times.”

“I take responsibility for trusting the word of the neighborhood salon that I have been to many times,” Pelosi told reporters Wednesday. “When they said they could accommodate people one at a time, and we can set up that time, I trusted that.”

Salons in San Francisco had been closed since March and were only notified they could reopen on Sept. 1 for outdoor hairstyling services only.

“The salon owes me an apology for setting me up,” she added.

Pelosi, on Wednesday, downplayed the fact that she didn’t wear a mask in the salon.

“I just had my hair washed. I don’t wear my mask when I’m washing my hair,” she said. “Do you wear one when you wash your hair?”

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Want to Run a Property Background Check on a House? Here's How!

Hunting for a new house can be thrilling, yet it is also stressful now and again. If you are in the market for a new home, then naturally you understand there's a good deal to keep in mind. Sadly, it's not just as easy as picking out a home and giving over a check. One of the simplest ways to ensure you buy the house you've always wanted and get the best price is to utilize a property records check.

Determining how much to spend on a house is ordinarily the first step. You must figure out a location that you are happy to live in. Do you desire a big kitchen. The list goes on!

When you have decided on all the elements you're looking for, you can go out and start exploring! And eventually, you're going to discover a couple homes that interest you. This is when it becomes fun, however you can't just make the purchase. Here it's important that you do your investigating and look more into the place you are considering.

This is where it's important to use a property background search to get full information on the property you're looking at. Making use of this type of property check is one of the greatest ways to get find additional information on any home you're interested in.

A property records search will teach you plenty of important info including current and prior owernship info, prior sale prices, property tax information, mortgage records, house purchase and current assessment info, neighbor details – it's a long list!

If there is a lien on the house, you can have the home snatched away from you, even if you weren't aware of it when you bought it. Naturally it's the very last thing you want to have happen, and simply by using a property background check gives you the security you need to not stress over it.

The information you gain from a property records check will also give you a big edge when the final price. This alone could potentially save you thousands of dollars.

Running a property records check is a snap thanks to the internet. There are now websites that offer records searches online. When you utilize a background check website, you just punch in the home address and you are then given access to the info. The cost for using a check does not cost much – usually you can even pay a one-time fee for unlimited searches to help you if you are considering more than one place.

If you're anticipating being hunting for a house anytime soon, make sure that you take the right measures to get the best price and your dream house! A property background check will give you the piece of mind of learning all the important details about the house you decide to purchase.

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