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Tuesday, September 01, 2020

U of Illinois Returns to School with 20,000 Saliva Tests Per Day

The school requires each student, faculty, and staff member to be tested twice per week and sends the results straight to their cell phones.

The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign announced in June that when students, faculty, and staff returned to campus for the fall semester, every individual would undergo rapid saliva testing for COVID-19 twice a week in order to swiftly quell any outbreaks. To process the 20,000 tests conducted each day, the university repurposed its veterinary lab. To take the test, a person only needs to spit into a tube, then the sample is heated for 30 minutes and scientists add chemical reagents to prepare the sample for RT-qPCR. Each test costs $10. The school budgeted $6 million for startup costs and up to $10 million for testing throughout the semester.

The initiative is supported by a cell phone app that immediately notifies individuals of their test results and can alert them if they’ve been in close contact with someone who has tested positive. Those who test positive are quarantined. Now, that plan is being put in place as school is getting underway.

The Scientist spoke with Martin Burke, a chemist at the university who helped develop the saliva test, about how the initiative has gone so far.
The Scientist: First, can you tell me about the tests that you developed that you’re using to do this mass testing?

Martin Burke: Sure. So back in April, we launched a project to try to figure out how to stand up and strategically deploy standard testing as part of the university’s effort to reopen as safely as possible. And we quickly realized that the standard nasal swab viral transfer media RNA isolation was not going to be sufficient. [It would be] too slow, too expensive, and have too many supply chain bottlenecks. So I teamed up with my colleague Paul Hergenrother [another chemist at the university] and launched kind of a Manhattan Project–style effort to find a way to test cheaper, faster, and without the supply chain bottlenecks.

Paul led an extraordinary team of students and postdocs and a bunch of us together and found we could skip the RNA isolation step, go directly from saliva to PCR, and thereby get rid of most of the supply chain bottlenecks, dramatically increase the speed, and reduce the cost. This is the backbone of the programs.


Delta, American join United in dropping most US change fees

DALLAS (AP) — This could be the final boarding call for the $200 ticket-change fee that has enraged so many U.S. airline travelers over the past decade.
Delta Air Lines and American Airlines said Monday that they are dropping the fee on most tickets for domestic flights, copying United Airlines’ move one day earlier.
Southwest Airlines didn’t levy change fees to start with, so Monday’s announcements mean that the four biggest U.S. carriers will have roughly similar policies.
Airlines are being battered by the coronavirus pandemic, as travel restrictions and fear of contracting the virus are keeping travelers at home. Normally in summer, 2 million or more people pass through security checkpoints at U.S. airports each day, but that number hasn’t been above 900,000 since mid-March, the early days of the pandemic.
To woo passengers, airlines have required face masks and stepped up cleaning of planes. A few, including Delta, Southwest and JetBlue, limit seating, although American and United try to sell every seat.

Robin Smith: Suddenly, the GOP's Platform Matters?

The RNC didn't feature a new platform, but Trump has fulfilled previous planks.

Where’s the platform? What does it mean to be a Republican? What are the specific policies instead of the personalities?

After the GOP declined to draft a 2020 platform, instead opting to run again on the 2016 version, these are a few of the questions coming from the professional opinion-writers class.

Suddenly, there’s clamor for a multi-page document that’s rarely reviewed or referenced by elected officials. Because the Republican National Committee convention planners chose to feature individuals whose lives have been positively impacted rather than speeches by elected Republicans whose pedigrees include decades of elected office and stacks of policy papers, the GOP has been declared rudderless and without stated purpose.

And Americans care … how much?

Yes, principles are important. Indeed, policies based on these foundational principles are critical. Yet, if history serves as a guide, the platform would almost be an ignored relic the moment it was published.


Fatal Portland shooting witness: 'Appalled' by 'people in the street celebrating' victim's death

Gabriel Johnson, a retired Marine who said he heard the gunshots that killed a man in Portland, Ore., on Saturday, told “Fox & Friends” on Monday that he was “appalled” by “all of the people in the street celebrating” his death.
Violent clashes between a massive pro-Trump caravan that drove through Portland and Black Lives Matter protesters left at least one person dead in a shooting Saturday evening, according to reports.
Video posted on social media showed a person suddenly dropping to the ground, and others rushing to assist, after what appears to be gunfire near an intersection as vehicles and pedestrians pass by.

The What & The Why – Kill or Stop?


Criminals attack someone in the US every day. It’s a regular occurrence. And it happens often, although some uninformed people think it is rare. Whether it is rare or not means little to the person who is attacked. That person is faced with the decision of what to do. If he or she is carrying a gun, he or she has more options than the person who is not carrying.

If the person attacked decides to shoot the criminal attacker to defend him- or herself, where should the person aim? People who know little or nothing about self-defense or guns often say to aim for an arm or a leg and wound the attacker. Often if the police have to shoot a criminal and the criminal dies, the cry from those people is the cop should have just wounded the criminal. But that’s a naive and unrealistic position to take.

Before answering where to aim, let’s take a look at reality. People who attack others have a wide variety of differences both physically and mentally. And because of these differences, the attacker will continue the attack until one of two things happen. One thing that might happen is the attacker will choose to stop the attack. Many do, but only after being persuaded in some way to do so. Others will stop attacking only if they are physically unable to continue the attack.


Democrats Tell Supporters To Punch People Then Blame Trump When Riots Start

The most violence-ridden cities in American are run by Democrats. Why then, should they be trusted to lead an entire nation of more than 330 million people?

Democrats have recently joined forces in blaming President Trump of fanning the flames of violence. While this is nothing new, it is concerning evidence of a pattern among the left. More particularly, the party that seeks to lead the nation is unwilling to take responsibility for the misdeeds of its members and is always looking to blame others. Americans should not trust this party to lead them.

As reported by The Hill, Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.) recently slammed the president’s scheduled visit to Kenosha, Wisconsin in wake of protests over the police shooting of Jacob Blake. “I think his visit has one purpose and one purpose only, that is to agitate things and make things [worse],” said Bass. “What happened in Portland, [was] you saw a parade of Trump supporters actively shooting paintballs at peaceful protesters, and the president, in my opinion, encourages that. He actually retweeted the people firing paint guns, I think he only means to agitate things.”


Thomas Gallatin: BLM Hijacks MLK's Dream

Al Sharpton keeps feeding the racial-grievance culture, which wasn't King's goal.

On the steps of the Lincoln Memorial 57 years ago Friday, Martin Luther King Jr. famously gave his “I Have a Dream” speech. Seeking to exploit and co-opt that momentous event in the history of the civil rights movement, the infamous race hustler Al Sharpton, along with members of his leftist National Action Network, organized a rally of Marxist Black Lives Matter activists entitled, “Commitment March: Get Your Knee Off Our Necks.”

“We don’t just want this to be a summer of discontent,” Sharpton explained. “We want to do as they did 57 years ago, to come to the national government and say we need legislation.” The legislation Sharpton references is the Democrats’ George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, which removes protections from police officers, making it easier for them to be prosecuted. Sharpton and the rest also want an update to the 1965 Voting Rights Act, which the Left says the Supreme Court “gutted” in 2013.

The great irony here is that extortionists like Sharpton and fellow race hustler Jesse Jackson, with their cottage industry aimed at stirring a culture of racial grievance and animosity, have done more to prevent King’s dream from being realized than any white supremacist. And rather than calling out the violence of the BLM rioting, Sharpton has only stirred the pot.


Zaid Jilani on whether Zuckerberg is personally liable for misinformation on Facebook inciting violence

Journalist Zaid Jilani said Monday social media has played a role in contributing to divisions in the U.S., but he thinks it may be “too far” to say CEOs in charge of those companies are personally liable for inciting violence.
Jilani, in an interview with The Hill.TV’s “Rising,” was asked to respond to claims that Facebook CEO and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg should be personally liable for destruction taking place across the U.S.
Jilani said the claim -- tweeted by Matt Stoller, head of The American Economic Liberties Project, an organization that fights to break up corporate monopolies -- may have gone “a little too far,” but he added that it is “very easy to spread contempt on the internet” and to “organize people to use violence itself.”

Chaffetz rips Schiff, says House Intel chair should 'lose his security clearance' for leaking classified info

If members of Congress have leaked classified information to the media, they should be prosecuted, former House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz said on "Outnumbered" Monday.
On Sunday, Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe defended his decision to scale back in-person briefings to lawmakers on election security, telling "Sunday Morning Futures" that "within minutes of one of those briefings ending, a number of members of Congress went to a number of different outlets and leaked classified information for political purposes to create a narrative that simply isn't true, that somehow Russia is a greater national security threat than China."

Trey Gowdy: CIA May Stop Giving Adam Schiff Information Because He Leaks ‘Like A Screen Door On A Submarine’

Former Republican South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy predicted Sunday that the U.S. intelligence community might stop providing information to House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff because he leaks “like a screen door on a submarine.”

Gowdy was asked to weigh in on Republicans’ decision Thursday to call on Schiff to step down as chairman of the House panel.

“Never seen that before,” said Gowdy, who served on the intelligence panel before leaving Congress in January. “We never voted to remove or ask a chairperson to step down.”

“Adam is a deeply partisan person. He did everything he could to make sure Hillary Clinton became president. And he’s done everything he could to keep a cloud over the Trump presidency,” Gowdy said of Schiff.


Governor Hogan Announces Beginning of Stage Three of Maryland’s COVID-19 Recovery, Additional Safe and Gradual Reopenings

Movie Theaters, Live Entertainment Venues Permitted to Reopen, Capacity Increased From 50% to 75% at Retail Shops and Religious ServicesStage Three Will Continue Flexible, Community-Based Approach; Jurisdictions to Decide Timing of ReopeningsMaryland Collaborates with Apple and Google on Launching State-of-the-Art Exposure Notification Tool
ANNAPOLIS, MD—Governor Larry Hogan today announced that, based on the state’s improving health metrics, Maryland will begin to move into Stage Three of the ‘Maryland Strong: Roadmap to Recovery,’ with additional safe and gradual reopenings. As with Stages One and Two, Stage Three will be implemented in multiple phases with a flexible, community-based approach that empowers individual jurisdictions to make decisions regarding the timing of reopenings.
“As we move into this third and final stage of our recovery, I want to sincerely thank our doctors, nurses, and public health officials, our small business community, and, most importantly, the people of Maryland who have pulled together over the last five months to respond to this unprecedented challenge with incredible courage and perseverance,” said Governor Hogan. “It is thanks to all of you that we have crushed the curve and saved lives, and that our state response to this global pandemic continues to serve as an example for the rest of the nation.”
As part of the state’s initial entry into Stage Three, Governor Hogan announced the following additional safe and gradual reopenings:
  • INDOOR THEATERS. Indoor theaters where live performances occur or motion pictures are shown may open to the general public at 50% capacity, or 100 people per auditoriumwhichever is lesswith appropriate health and safety protocols in place.
  • OUTDOOR VENUES. Outdoor venues where live performances occur or motion pictures are shown outdoors may open to the general public at 50% capacity, or 250 peoplewhichever is lesswith appropriate health and safety protocols in place.
  • RETAIL AND RELIGIOUS FACILITIES. Capacity for retail establishments and religious facilities may increase from 50 to 75 percent.
Read the governor’s order.Read reopening guidance for theaters.
MARYLAND PARTNERS WITH APPLE AND GOOGLE ON EXPOSURE NOTIFICATIONS EXPRESS. The governor announced today, in collaboration with Apple and Googlethat Maryland will be one of the first states to deploy a new exposure notification tool to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Exposure Notifications Express is designed to help public health officials more quickly and easily provide notifications for their residents about potential COVID-19 exposure and guide them on recommended actions. This new technology will be optional for users.
SCHOOLS. The governor thanked the State Board of Education for voting to require those school systems that have not developed a plan for returning any students for any in person instruction until 2021 to reevaluate their reopening plans by the end of the first quarter. Last week, the governor announced that, as a result of improved COVID-19 health metrics, every county school system in Maryland is authorized to begin safely reopening, but made clear that the legal authority and final decision making on safe openings rests with county boards of education. Guidance to support the safe reopening of schools can be found here.
YOUTH SPORTS. The governor reiterated that while counties may issue more restrictive rules, state health officials issued an order on June 12 allowing all youth sports gatherings and events to begin resuming. “County governments of course, by law, do have the power to be more restrictive, but it is the position of the State of Maryland that our young people should have the opportunity to play sports this fall, and we are encouraging local health officials to reassess their guidelines,” said Governor Hogan. 
ELECTIONS. The governor noted that, as of today, and after asking them to immediately do so nearly eight weeks ago, the State Board of Elections has mailed out ballot applications to every Maryland voter. Marylanders are strongly encouraged to take advantage of voting by absentee ballot or to participate in early voting. Those who choose to vote in-person on Election Day are encouraged to do so at off-peak times to avoid long lines and crowds.
Additionally, through the recruiting efforts of the Hogan administration, more than 11,000 Marylanders have signed up to serve as election judges. The governor continues to urge local election boards to immediately contact and train these election judges and poll workers.
Visit for more information about the ‘Maryland Strong: Roadmap to Recovery.’

China Enjoys Financial Recovery as COVID-19 Batters Global Economy

After shuttering its factories earlier in the year, China is showing optimistic signs of a recovery from the financial damage wrought by the coronavirus pandemic, according to a barometer of the country's economic health.
A measure of the mood among services and construction firms has shown that last month saw the fastest growth in China's non-manufacturing sector for more than a year and a half, while other data showed the fastest expansion in manufacturing in nearly a decade.
The non-manufacturing purchasing managers' index (PMI) for August was 55.2, according to China's National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Monday—a jump of one point from the previous month and the highest rate of expansion since January 2018, the South China Morning Post reported.

USPS removes mailboxes every year, despite worries

Despite the fact that the removal of USPS mailboxes is common practice throughout the country, the debate over mail-in ballots has put the matter front and center and politicized the issue, as the nation inches closer to Election Day.
The blue boxes have been swapped out for decades, according to a USA Today report. However, the COVID-19 pandemic and the fact that it is a presidential election year have placed the post office under a national microscope.
From 2010 through 2019, the Postal Service reportedly removed 3,258 drop boxes each year.
Despite this, Democrats have already gone on the offensive with regard to mail-in voting and grilled U.S. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy and Postal Service Board of Governors Chairman Robert M. Duncan on Capitol Hill last week about recent measures related to mail service.

The Radical Left's Ideas Could Destroy America for Generations

Rioting. Vandalism. Bullying opponents into silence. Calls to defund the police, abolish the Electoral College, and remake America as a socialist country. It’s hard to believe what we’re now seeing.

For months, the forces of Marxism, socialism, and anarchy have terrorized our streets and threatened the values that make America the greatest nation in the world. They have shown no signs of stopping, and many left-leaning politicians,members of the media, and celebrities either tacitly accept their behavior or openly cheer it on.

Today, America has a choice of two paths. We can embrace the foundational principles that created this nation of limited government and individual liberty. Or we can veer down the path of those who trash those principles, who teach our children that America was illegitimate from the start, and who want to make the vast majority of Americans subservient to an all-powerful government.


Army investigating officer who made Holocaust joke in viral video BY REBECCA KLAR - 08/31/20 07:07 PM EDT

The Army says it is investigating an officer who reportedly made a joke about Jews being killed in the Holocaust in a video posted to TikTok.
The video was shared on Twitter showing a user with the account “_itsnate” making an anti-Semitic joke and adding that “if you get offended, get the f--- out because it’s a joke.” The soldier was identified by Task and Purpose and Stars and Stripes as 2nd Lt. Nathan Freihofer.
Freihofer reportedly had nearly 3 million followers on TikTok.

Virginia Republicans Sign ‘Police Pledge’ to Back the Blue

The Virginia Republican Party is vowing to stand in support of law enforcement.

“We have seen countless attacks on our brave law enforcement officers, citizens, and neighborhoods,” Rich Anderson, chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia, said Thursday, announcing the state GOP’s commitment to supportinglaw enforcement on its website.

“It is critical to our national fabric that every Virginian and every American support the selfless men and women who serve as sworn and badged law enforcement personnel, provide for our public safety, serve our citizens, and ensure that families live in orderly and peaceful communities,” Anderson said Friday in a statement emailed to The Daily Signal.

He said his party has signed a pledge spearheaded by Heritage Action for America’s “Fight for America” campaign, which is designed to advocate American values, oppose the extremism of the far left, and support both law enforcement and accountability in the education system.


Alabama football coach Nick Saban leads hundreds of athletes in Black Lives Matter march

Hundreds of University of Alabama athletes marched on campus on Monday to protest against racial injustice, with football coach Nick Saban appearing to lead the crowd in photos and video of the event.
Athletes were seen donning "Black Lives Matter" and "Defend Black Lives" shirts as well as signs as they joined in the demonstrations, which according to including a march from Mal Moore athletic facility to Foster Auditorium’s schoolhouse door, followed by speeches from Saban and others.
The schoolhouse door once served as the infamous background of Alabama Gov. George Wallace resisting desegregation in 1963.

Nearly 9,000 Small Business Jobs Saved By Maryland’s COVID-19 Layoff Aversion Fund

Over $10 Million Awarded to 445 Small Businesses Through the Maryland Department of LaborAll 24 Jurisdictions and Over 20 Diverse Industry Sectors Received ReliefTestimonials: “We Used the Funds to Reinvent Our Business Model,” “We Can Maintain the Great Team That We Have Built” 
ANNAPOLIS, MDGovernor Larry Hogan today announced that more than $10 million has been awarded to 445 small businesses through the Maryland Department of Labor’s COVID-19 Layoff Aversion Fund, saving more than 8,800 jobs. One of several relief programs introduced by the governor in March, the COVID-19 Layoff Aversion Fund quickly provided crucial financial assistance to Maryland’s small businesses and helped them to forego layoffs and closures.
“The COVID-19 Layoff Aversion Fund is a critical part of our comprehensive relief efforts to help small businesses retain their employees and get through this difficult period,” said Governor Hogan. “We remain committed to doing everything we can to help hard-pressed Marylanders and small businesses weather this storm and come back stronger than ever.”
Maryland has gained more than 156,000 jobs during the COVID recovery, and the unemployment rate decreased to 7.6 percent.
Recipients represent nearly 20 diverse industry sectors, ranging from health care to retail, and are located in each of Maryland’s 24 jurisdictions. Grantees used the average award size of $22,738 per business for such things as purchasing remote access equipment and software to promote teleworking, assisting with employee training and education, purchasing cleaning supplies and services to maintain an onsite workforce, and taking advantage of Labor’s Work Sharing Unemployment Insurance Program by supplementing employee income.
“From the onset of Maryland’s response to the pandemic, our administration has delivered solutions-oriented programs designed to support Maryland’s small businesses and workers undergoing financial stress,” said Labor Secretary Tiffany P. Robinson. “In just a matter of days, Labor created the COVID-19 Layoff Aversion Fund, reviewed applications, and delivered essential financial relief directly to hundreds of small businesses, saving the jobs of nearly 9,000 Marylanders.”
Some of the Maryland small businesses that received assistance include:
MiY Home, Baltimore City
MiY Home, a furniture store located in Baltimore City, was awarded approximately $47,000 from the COVID-19 Layoff Aversion Fund and saved five jobs. MiY Home used the funds to purchase laptops for employees to use while working remotely and virtually communicating with customers. They installed a new door for their store with a high-tech entry system that allowed customers to book appointments and shop alone to prevent the spread of COVID-19. In addition to adding a live chat feature, MiY Home’s website will soon feature a 360 degree virtual showroom, so customers can view their inventory real time and shop on their website.
“When the state closed non-essential businesses due to the pandemic, we panicked. Our small business operates a furniture store in Fells Point that we live above, so losing the business would have meant losing our home,” said Michael Ryan Wright, CEO of MiY Home. “When I read about the COVID-19 Layoff Aversion Fund, the ability to ‘adopt other creative approaches and strategies to reduce or eliminate the need for layoffs’ stood out and we immediately applied. After quickly being approved, we used the funds to reinvent our business model to create an entirely new way of shopping for our customers, so our sales and delivery team are still working no matter what phase of the re-opening we are in.”
Bayside Community Network, Inc., Cecil County
Bayside Community Network, Inc. is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit organization in Cecil County that has been providing programs and services to adults with developmental disabilities since 1979. With an award of approximately $50,000, Bayside Community Network was able to save 165 jobs. 
“During this unprecedented time, our organization found comfort in the support that was offered through the COVID-19 Layoff Aversion Fund. As with all nonprofits, every dollar is essential to help the daily operations of the organization. An event as paramount as COVID-19 is not something that nonprofits have the financial flexibility to put dollars aside to cover,” said Executive Director Mary E. Falkenstein. “Through the generosity of the grant, funds were utilized to purchase much needed technology that kept our staff employed, our consumers engaged and socially interactive, and ensured that health needs were met through telehealth communications. Additionally, the funds helped to bridge the financial gaps in providing PPE, disinfecting supplies, and staff and consumer education. The COVID-19 Layoff Aversion Fund helped to ensure that our organization could continue to provide quality services that our consumers desperately needed while ensuring health and safety standards were met.”
Maryland Print House, Carroll County
Maryland Print House, a full service screen printing, embroidery, and branding business located in Carroll County, was awarded approximately $48,000 and saved seven jobs. Founded by a group of young entrepreneurs in early 2018, Maryland Print House used the funding to purchase new computers and software to allow their employees to work remotely. By avoiding layoffs for these valuable employees, this small business has stayed afloat by changing their business model to manufacturing and selling branded PPE to businesses. Since being awarded the funding, Maryland Print House has hired three additional employees to keep up with the demand.
“The funds not only provided us with materials to be able to work remotely, but also provided the motivation to keep our employees employed and find a way to survive COVID-19 as a business,” said Andrew Boone, Vice President of Maryland Print House.“We would like to thank the State of Maryland for giving us this opportunity to keep our staff on board, so we can maintain the great team that we have built.”

‘Staff Error’ Led to Padlock on Bronx Home to Contested Columbus Statue, Says Parks Dept.

The city Department of Parks and Recreation says that “staff error” led to the repeated padlocking of a green space in the Little Italy section of The Bronx where petition-signers are demanding the city remove a statue of Christopher Columbus.

That statue has been assigned a police guard, the Norwood News reported earlier this month, with a two-person unit outside the D’Auria-Murphy Triangle since June — one of a number of NYPD posts at Columbus statues in the city, including at Columbus Circle.

The park has been locked when police are not at the scene, said Felix Cepeda, 39, a Castle Hill resident who started the petition last month to take down the bust, citing Columbus’ legacy of slavery and brutality in the Caribbean, long documented by historians.


Two big names in the music industry sport mask for their performances!

Lady Gaga performed a medley of her album "Chromatica" at the 2020 MTV Video Music Awards on Sunday night while wearing a face mask in a nod to the coronavirus pandemic.
“I might sound like a broken record, but wear a mask," she told the audience during her award acceptance speech. "It’s a sign of respect.”
Ariana Grande, who performed a portion of "Rain on Me" with Lady Gaga, also wore a mask.

University Shouldn’t Punish Me for Not Addressing Male Student as ‘Ms.’

Returning from a sabbatical in my 21st year at Ohio’s Shawnee State University, I resumed teaching my regular political philosophy course.

Taking questions in one such class at the end of my first day back, I acknowledged a male student with a “Yes, sir?” (It’s my practice to address my students in this way and to call them Miss, Mrs., or Mr. to foster an atmosphere of seriousness and mutual respect.)

After class, the student approached me to explain that he identifies as a woman and hereafter expected me to refer to him with feminine titles and pronouns.

“I’m not sure I can do that,” I told him.

He didn’t like that. He began to pace in circles around me, his voice rising and taking on an edge. He suggested an unprintable name he might feel free to call me if I declined to indulge his demands. Moreover, he said, he would see to it that I lost my job.


Kanye West to appear on ballot in Iowa after state panel overrules objections

Kanye West will appear on the Iowa presidential ballot this November after state election officials threw out two challenges to his application Monday.
A news release from the Iowa secretary of state's office indicated that West, who announced his White House bid last month, would appear on the November ballot absent further challenges to his registration.
"The candidates who were challenged will appear on the November general election ballot," the office said in a statement.
National polling has shown West with the support of about 2 percent of voters.

As a Young Senator, Biden Supported Keeping 'Boat People' Out of the U.S.

As a freshman senator in 1975, Joe Biden joined Sen. Robert Byrd (D., W.Va.) in opposing legislation allowing 130,000 Vietnam War refugees asylum in the United States, including thousands of children.

President Gerald Ford proposed a Vietnam refugee relief program that would settle thousands of Vietnamese and Cambodian families in the United States. The bill was met with resistance from a Democratic majority in Congress. Sen. Byrd cited fear of admitting "undesirables" such as "barmaids, prostitutes, and criminals" to the country.

Biden also took issue with Ford's proposal. During a Foreign Relations Committee hearing with Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, Biden announced his concern with welcoming the refugees, charging that the Senate had not been informed of the number of refugees that the White House intended to offer safe harbor to.

Many of the refugees escaped communist rule and mass murder in Vietnam and Cambodia on leaky fishing boats. Thousands of these boat people, as they were called, died due to piracy, starvation, and drowning.


Democratic chair subpoenas postmaster general for documents on reforms

House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) on Monday announced her plans to subpoena Postmaster General Louis DeJoy for documents related to recent reforms to the U.S. Postal Service that have raised concerns nationwide.
Maloney wrote in a letter to committee members that she is issuing the subpoena following DeJoy's failure to send the committee documents on Postal Service changes that she and other Democratic committee members requested when the postmaster general testified before the panel last week.
Maloney had given DeJoy until last Wednesday to provide the documents, and accused DeJoy during the hearing of “withholding information from us, concealing documents and downplaying the damage you are causing” to the Postal Service.
“He has not produced a single additional document since the House and Senate hearings were held despite multiple conversations between Committee staff and Mr. DeJoy’s office over the past week,” Maloney wrote to committee members on Monday, referencing DeJoy’s testimony before the House panel and the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee earlier this month.

4Chan Users Appear to Have Identified Portland Rioter Who Shot and Killed Trump Supporter

The anonymous message board 4chan may have, once again, beat the media to identifying a violent rioter.

On Saturday night, a Portland Black Lives Matter militant shot and killed a member of the pro-Trump group Patriot Prayer.

Within minutes of the shooting, 4chan users got to work, and within hours… they had a name.

The message board quickly claimed that the shooter is Michael Reinoehl, 48, of Portland.


First Richmond gun show since new gun control laws took effect sees ‘record demand’

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC/WFXR) — Thousands turned out this weekend for the first gun show in Richmond since a new universal background checks laws took effect earlier this summer.
It was also the first event of its kind since the coronavirus pandemic began back in March, according to the Virginia Citizens Defense League.
Some have speculated that anxiety surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, months of civil unrest and a slew of new gun control laws in Virginia are contributing to above average sales for the gun industry.
According to data collected by Virginia State Police, 64,350 background checks were requested by federally licensed gun dealers in July 2020. That’s more than double the amount requested in July 2019.
The increase follows a record-setting month for estimated sales. June 2020 saw the highest total since VSP started recording this data in 1990 with 81,204 transactions.

You Can't Work From Home At The Salisbury Zoo, OR CAN YOU?

In this bizzarro world of the 2020 Pandemic we have a prime example of the inmates running the asylum. The Salisbury Zoo is only open on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday on any given week. The hours on those days are even more hilarious. They are open 10am-12pm and 1:30-3:30 on those three days!

So we live in an area in Maryland with the lowest number of Covid cases, your entering an outside venue and somehow from Monday through Thursday there is too much of a risk for the zoo to be open here.

I checked the Maryland Zoo (used to be called the Baltimore Zoo), The National Aquarium in Baltimore, and the National Zoo in DC and all have morning to late afternoon hours. They don’t close for an hour and half at lunchtime and they are all open 7 days a week.

Maybe someone can enlighten me. Is the Salisbury Zoo out of money and they cannot afford to stay open on those other days? Are they still fully staffed and working every day? After all, the animals have to be cared for daily anyway. Is the staff there playing cards when they aren’t doing what they used to when they were open to the public? What the heck is going on anyway?

I think the taxpayers deserve some answers.

Sorry Dems—'Trump's 2020 America' Is a Glorious Place

Here we are at the beginning of another week, for those of you still using calendars. Happy Monday, dear Kruiser Morning Briefing folk.

The seventy-two hours following the finale of the Republican National Convention were certainly telling. Those of us on the home team thought that President Trump stepped up to the plate and knocked one out of the park last Thursday night, but that’s not surprising. We were going to like it.

The greatest indication of how effective Trump’s speech was is the reaction from the other side. The Democrats have been awash in flop sweat and panic from the moment President Trump wrapped up his star turn in a glorious fireworks frenzy last Thursday.

Our friends on the other side are so used to controlling the media narrative that this past weekend they went into a place only the drunken and concussed can go: they tried to pin the violence that’s become a fixture in progressive cities on President Trump.

The new rallying cry for the Biden Democrats now is that the civil unrest in the United States is “Trump’s America.”

No, really.

Two things are in play here with this narrative.

First: The Democrats think that the electorate is dumb enough to believe that violence in cities that are, and have been forever, run by them are Trump’s fault.

Second: They’re obviously in a dead panic now.

We all are aware that I have been the resident pessimist about Trump’s chances here. I’m feeling better after the way Trump acquitted himself last Thursday. His speech was extraordinarily presidential and the Democrats’ reaction confirms that.

After almost completely ignoring the violent civil unrest during the Democratic National Convention the Dems have now decided to spin the narrative into a tizzy and make it a Trump thing.


Liberty University is opening an independent investigation into Jerry Falwell Jr.’s tenure as president

RICHMOND, Va. -- Liberty University is opening an independent investigation into Jerry Falwell Jr.'s tenure as president, a wide-ranging inquiry that will include financial, real estate and legal matters, the evangelical school's board announced Monday.
In a statement, the board said it had retained an outside firm to investigate “all facets” of the school's operations under Falwell, and that it was “committed to learning the consequences that have flowed from a lack of spiritual stewardship by our former president.”
Calls for such an investigation had been mounting since Falwell's departure last week from the post he had held since 2007.
Although the Falwells have acknowledged that Granda and Becki Falwell had an affair, Jerry Falwell has denied any participation. The couple allege that Granda sought to extort them by threatening to reveal the relationship unless he was paid substantial monies.

Richmond VA's Mayor Stoney awarded $1.8M contract for Richmond's Confederate statue removal to firm linked to political donor

Mayor Levar Stoney agreed to pay a firm linked to one of his political donors $1.8 million to take down Richmond’s Confederate statues last month, a newly released record reveals.
The city contracted with NAH LLC to remove Richmond’s Confederate iconography during ongoing civil unrest, according to documents the Stoney administration provided in response to a Freedom of Information Act request.
The entity, created 10 days before Stoney ordered the statues’ removal, is a shell company linked to Team Henry Enterprises, a Newport News-based contracting firm owned by Devon Henry, a Stoney donor.
Under an emergency order, Richmond officials, including its director of procurement, said Stoney executed the contract in compliance with state law, even without following procedures outlined under the city’s emergency procurement rules.
On Friday, Richmond's top prosecutor declined a request from a City Councilwoman to investigate Mayor Stoney's handling of the 


Wicomico County Government Offices will be closed Monday, September 07, 2020, in observance of the Labor Day holiday.


On Monday, September 07, 2020, the Newland Park Landfill, Convenience Center and Brush Pile, all external Convenience Centers, Whitehaven Ferry and Upper Ferry will be closed in observance of the Labor Day holiday.

For more information, please contact the Newland Park Landfill at 410-548-4935. Ferry information

is available by calling 410-543-2765.

Arizona student group slammed for raising money for gunman

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — A Republican student group at Arizona State University is receiving backlash for donating money to the 17-year-old gunman who fatally shot two protesters in Wisconsin.
College Republicans United announced this week that half of any funds they raise during the semester will go toward paying for the legal defense of Kyle Rittenhouse.
“He does not deserve to have his entire life destroyed because of the actions of violent anarchists during a lawless riot,” the group said in a tweet.
In a statement Saturday night, the ASU College Republicans denounced College Republicans United “radical, far-right extremist group.”
ASU College Republicans called for an investigation of the group.
ASU officials said in a statement the school cannot prohibit a group from fundraising. But the school does not endorse the fundraiser.
The group is not the only one raising money for Rittenhouse. A self-described Christian fundraising site, GiveSendGo, says it has raised more than $100,000 for his defense.

CDC: 94% of COVID-19 deaths had underlying medical conditions

ATLANTA, Ga. (NBC25/WKRC) - The Centers for Disease Control released information showing how many people who died from COVID-19 had underlying medical conditions that attributed to their death.

Click here to read the entire report from the CDC.

The CDC said:

Table 3 shows the types of health conditions and contributing causes mentioned in conjunction with deaths involving coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). For 6% of the deaths, COVID-19 was the only cause mentioned. For deaths with conditions or causes in addition to COVID-19, on average, there were 2.6 additional conditions or causes per death.


Northam announces $4 million in funding to support Virginia residents facing eviction

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Virginia Governor Ralph Northam announced $4 million in new funding for the Legal Services Corporation of Virginia. This will support 20 legal aid attorneys in providing services to Virginians facing eviction over the next two years.
Northam is matching a $2 million donation from IKEA U.S. Community Foundation. The governor’s contribution is coming from the Commonwealth’s COVID-19 relief fund from taxes on skills games.
“There is no good time for a family to lose their home but a pandemic is the worst time,” Northam said.
Gov. Northam says legal aid makes a real difference when families are facing eviction. According to Northam, 72 percent of the time families who have access to legal aid often have successful outcomes.
Although $1.5 million per year for Legal Aid was unallotted from Virginia’s biennial budget, this $4 million in funding will allow for additional support during the COVID-19 pandemic, Northam’s administation said in a release.
The urgency for legal aid has grown since the pandemic began. 10,000 eviction cases were docketed from mid-July to August.
The Virginia Rent and Mortage Relief Program, established at the end of June, has already served 3,100 households in Virginia. Over 60 percent of the homes served have children.
The Virginia Poverty Law Center estimates that more than 200,000 eviction cases could be filed by the end of the year.

What’s at Stake as Judge Pauses Law on Transgender Sports

A federal judge has temporarily blocked an Idaho law that essentially says biological males and females must compete separately in school-sponsored athletics. His action boosts an alarming new trend in sports that puts biological women at a disadvantage in high school and college sports.

Judge David Nye on Aug. 17 granted a motion for a preliminary injunction to halt the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act—which Gov. Brad Little, a Republican, signed in March—from taking effect.

This means that for now, Idaho may not ban biological males who identify as transgender from playing on girls or women’s sports teams with biological females.

President Trump was active on Twitter late Sunday and asked when 'Slow Joe Biden' is going to criticize the 'anarchists'

Protests continued in Washington, D.C., late Sunday with videos emerging online showing a group of protesters marching in the street, shining lights into homes and chanting, “Are you home, get into the street.”

D.C. has seen violent protests that seemed to reignite Thursday, on the final night of the Republican National Convention where six officers were reportedly hospitalized after confrontations with protesters.

The unrest continued and five people were arrested overnight Saturday after additional clashes with law enforcement officers.