web analytics



Copyright 2015 Libero Themes.
All Rights Reserved.

8:30 - 6:00

Our Office Hours Mon. - Fri.


Call For Free 15/M Consultation



Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "Trump, Donald J" (Page 14)

A Trump-Backed Senate Candidate’s Hedge Fund Disaster

President Trump’s favored Senate candidate in Alabama, Tommy Tuberville, is known for his career as a college football coach.

But he also had a brief stint as co-owner of a hedge fund. It did not go well.

A little more than a decade ago, after departing from Auburn University where he was head coach, Mr. Tuberville entered into a 50-50 partnership with a former Lehman Brothers broker named John David Stroud. Their ventures, which included TS Capital Management and TS Capital Partners — T for Tuberville and S for Stroud — turned out to be a financial fraud. Mr. Stroud was sentenced to 10 years in prison, and Mr. Tuberville was sued by investors, who accused him of fraud and violating his fiduciary duty to take care of their investments; he reached a private settlement in 2013.

The episode has been seldom discussed in Mr. Tuberville’s Republican primary campaign for the Senate, in which his opponent in the July 14 runoff is Jeff Sessions, the former senator and attorney general who became an object of Mr. Trump’s ire after recusing himself from the Russia inquiry. The winner will face Doug Jones, considered perhaps the most vulnerable Democrat in the battle for control of the Senate.

Asked about the hedge fund venture on the campaign trail in February, Mr. Tuberville described himself as “an investor like the rest of them,” much as he had in media reports at the time of the accusations.

“They sued me because I invested in it, and he used my name to get other people to put money in,” he said. “There was nothing ever implicated by anybody that I’d done anything wrong. I felt bad that he used my name.”

But a review of public court records shows that he had a broader role. While he was not picking stocks, or even a frequent presence in the office, Mr. Tuberville made introductions to potential investors, had business cards identifying himself as managing partner, and leased a BMW and got his health insurance through the company. Its offices in Auburn were filled with his coaching memorabilia. In 2010, he traveled to New York with Mr. Stroud to meet potential brokers for the fund, and was kept in the loop on decisions about hiring, according to email traffic.

In a statement, Mr. Tuberville’s lawyer and campaign chairman, Stan McDonald, said his client’s involvement in the company “was a big mistake, and he’s paid for it.”

“Coach Tuberville was as surprised as anyone to learn Stroud had lost all the money, including Coach’s. He never received a dime; it was a dead loss for him and his family,” Mr. McDonald said. “The Lord humbles us on many occasions, and this was such a moment for Coach.”

While the terms of the settlement have not been made public, Mr. Tuberville’s losses from the venture are estimated to have exceeded $2 million, including his legal bills, $450,000 in investment losses and the settlement payout, according to a person with knowledge of the details.

The plaintiffs who were reached declined to comment, as did their lawyers. The New York Times asked the Tuberville campaign to release the plaintiffs from the settlement’s confidentiality agreement, but it did not agree to do so. Mr. Stroud, who has been released from prison, did not respond to messages.

The runoff will test the endorsement power of Mr. Trump, who met with Mr. Tuberville last month on Air Force One and said recently that he would campaign with him in Mobile, Mr. Sessions’s hometown. (“He is a REAL LEADER who will never let MAGA/KAG, or our Country, down!” Mr. Trump tweeted about Mr. Tuberville in March. He later berated Mr. Sessions, “Jeff, you had your chance & you blew it.”)

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_169991964_2b87f062-6aba-4f8e-a438-d10f71c6b0c2-articleLarge A Trump-Backed Senate Candidate’s Hedge Fund Disaster United States Politics and Government Tuberville, Tommy Trump, Donald J Suits and Litigation (Civil) Stroud, John David Sessions, Jefferson B III Republican Party Hedge Funds Frauds and Swindling Football (College) Endorsements Elections, Senate Auburn University Alabama
Credit…Calla Kessler/The New York Times

While Mr. Sessions is trying to reclaim the Senate seat he held for 20 years before becoming attorney general, Mr. Tuberville is a first-time candidate whose main selling points are his football history and his fealty to the president. A recent poll showed him with a commanding lead over Mr. Sessions, though primary polling is often unreliable; both men lead Mr. Jones to varying degrees, depending on the pollster.

Mr. Tuberville may not be a football god on the order of Nick Saban, the coach of Auburn’s archrival, the University of Alabama. Still, he did lead Auburn to six straight victories over Alabama, and at the pinnacle of his 10 seasons there, in 2004, his team went undefeated, though it was not selected for the national championship game. That controversial outcome was among the factors that eventually led to the creation of a playoff system. Mr. Tuberville was less successful in his subsequent tenures at Texas Tech and the University of Cincinnati.

Court records provide a detailed account of what happened with the investment fund.

Mr. Tuberville and Mr. Stroud were introduced in 2008 by a fund-raiser for the Auburn athletic department, and they became friends. Mr. Stroud accompanied Mr. Tuberville and other friends and family on a trip to Jamaica. The next year, after Mr. Tuberville left Auburn, he was investing money with Mr. Stroud. Soon after, they started the fund.

During a deposition in the civil litigation, Mr. Tuberville was asked if he had done “anything to check out” Mr. Stroud’s background before embarking on their business venture. He said he had not. “I just got to know him more as a guy hanging around, going out with us,” he said, adding that he had not even Googled him.

He had assumed that Auburn had vetted Mr. Stroud as a potential donor. Jerry Smith, a local fund-raising consultant who has worked with the athletic department, met with Mr. Stroud, but was dubious.

“I couldn’t tell whether the guy was for real or not — he talked a good game,” Mr. Smith said in an interview. “I just didn’t believe some of the stories he was telling.”

The investors in the fund included friends of Mr. Tuberville, some of whom had connections to the football programs at Auburn and Texas Tech. Old clients of Mr. Stroud also invested, as well as employees of the small firm. One couple, a bookkeeper and a retired teacher, invested more than $800,000.

Things seemed to go smoothly for a time, and the two men even made a cameo appearance in the 2009 football movie “The Blind Side.” But trouble began in 2011, when Mr. Tuberville got a call from Mr. Stroud’s chief operating officer, Baron Lowe, whom he had not met.

“Coach, he is not paying his bills,” Mr. Lowe, who would later become a plaintiff in the civil suit against Mr. Tuberville, said, according to the court records. Mr. Tuberville called Mr. Stroud, who said, “I am a little behind.” Mr. Tuberville told Mr. Stroud to talk with Mr. Lowe, adding, “I am coaching and I don’t have enough time to mess with your business and mine at the same time.”

Mr. Lowe, who said at the time that the situation had “the optics of a Ponzi scheme,” according to the court records, testified that Mr. Tuberville assured him all investments would be repaid. They were not. Glen Williams, another investor and employee of the company, said Mr. Tuberville stopped returning his calls by October of that year, records show.

Mr. Tuberville testified that he told Mr. Stroud to repay everyone, but he clearly grew alarmed. In one text message, he told Mr. Stroud: “I hear the state securities commission is coming to investigate. I hope you have everything in order. Call me.”

Things went downhill from there. In March 2012, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission filed a complaint against Mr. Stroud, saying he had defrauded nearly $5 million from at least 17 investors in his own Stroud Capital Fund and in one of his ventures with Mr. Tuberville, TS Capital Fund. Not only had he racked up trading losses of nearly $1.2 million, he had misappropriated nearly $2.3 million, the complaint said, using it for “car payments, travel expenses, entertainment and retail purchases.” He also issued false accounting statements and tax records. Two months later, Mr. Stroud was indicted on 21 counts by a grand jury in Lee County, in a criminal case brought by the Alabama Securities Commission. He pleaded guilty to a felony fraud charge the next year.

“David was the one with the knowledge, and he is the more culpable of the two,” said Jason M. Folmar, a high school classmate of Mr. Stroud who briefly served as his lawyer. But “Tuberville knew what was going on.”

“We’re a huge football state, everything revolves around college football in Alabama,” Mr. Folmar said. “I just think because he was a football coach they didn’t charge him.”

State and federal investigators didn’t see it that way, saying Mr. Tuberville had been among those who were duped. “It appears from our investigation of the case that Mr. Tuberville was one of the largest victims in the Stroud theft, and that Mr. Tuberville did not do any actual trading himself,” said Joseph Borg, director of the Alabama Securities Commission. The Washington-based Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which is not known to favor Auburn football, also did not pursue a case against Mr. Tuberville.

Victor L. Hayslip, who represented Mr. Tuberville at the time, emphasized that his client had been a victim.

“It was bad judgment in that he got in bed with a guy who was a crook,” he said. “Being naïve is not a crime.”

Mr. Tuberville was not in the clear, however. Because he co-owned one of the main funds involved, he was sued by eight investors, who sought more than $1.7 million.

“He was the only deep pocket left standing,” Mr. Hayslip said.

Lawyers for the plaintiffs, in public court filings, called it a “sad irony that one of the escorts that Stroud frequented performed more due diligence on Stroud than Tuberville did,” adding, “She asked for references, confirmed contact numbers and websites, and refused to meet him until he provided the information she required.”

The suit progressed for more than a year and a half and was headed for court when Mr. Tuberville decided to settle, averting a trial that would have taken place during the football season. In a deposition, he said that the last time he had spoken to Mr. Stroud was in late 2011, two days before his Texas Tech team upset the University of Oklahoma.

“I lied to you,” he recalled Mr. Stroud telling him. “I have spent it all.”

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

At Mt. Rushmore, Trump Updates ‘American Carnage’ Message for the Election

Westlake Legal Group 04trump-facebookJumbo At Mt. Rushmore, Trump Updates ‘American Carnage’ Message for the Election Trump, Donald J Speeches and Statements Race and Ethnicity Presidential Election of 2020 Mount Rushmore National Memorial (SD) Monuments and Memorials (Structures) Black Lives Matter Movement

WASHINGTON — With his support falling even among Republicans as the coronavirus makes a frightening resurgence across the country, President Trump used a weekend dedicated to patriotism to signal that he will spend the final four months of his re-election effort digging deeper into the nation’s racial and cultural divides, creating an enemy for his supporters in what he branded the “new far-left fascism.”

Standing in front of Mount Rushmore on Friday night, participating in an official presidential event funded by taxpayers that looked more like a campaign rally, Mr. Trump promoted a version of the “American carnage” vision for the country that he laid out during his inaugural address — updated to include an ominous depiction of the recent protests over racial justice.

He signaled even more clearly that he would exploit race and cultural flash points to stoke fear among his base of white supporters in an effort to win re-election. As he has done in the past, he resorted to exaggerated, apocalyptic language in broadly tarring the nationwide protests against entrenched racism and police brutality, saying that “angry mobs” sought to “unleash a wave of violent crime in our cities” and that those seeking to deface monuments want to “end America.”

Though Mr. Trump avoided references on Friday to the symbols of the Confederacy that have been a target of many protests, referring instead to monuments of America’s “founders,” he has in the past defended statues honoring Confederate soldiers as “beautiful.” And he has resisted renaming military bases named after Confederate generals, even as military leaders signaled their support for such a move.

Mr. Trump followed up with a second Independence Day address on Saturday from the South Lawn of the White House where he repeated the themes from the previous evening.

“We will never allow an angry mob to tear down our statues, erase our history, indoctrinate our children or trample on our freedoms,” Mr. Trump said, claiming that protesters were “not interested in justice or healing.” Speaking to an audience that included front-line workers like doctors and nurses working to combat the coronavirus, Mr. Trump bragged about his administration’s response, even as the death toll has climbed higher than his original predictions and local officials warned against hosting a large gathering for the Independence Day holiday this year.

He claimed that an abundance of testing made the country’s cases look worse than they were because they “show cases, 99 percent of which are totally harmless.” And he raised expectations for a vaccine “long before the end of the year.”

His remarks at Rushmore, and repeated from the grounds of the White House, were a reflection of his dire political standing as he nears the end of his first term in office. Mr. Trump is trailing former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., the presumptive Democratic nominee, in national and battleground polls; lacks a booming economy or a positive message to campaign on as he tries to assign blame elsewhere for the spread of the coronavirus; and is leaning on culture wars instead to buoy his base of white supporters.

Sticking closely to the remarks on his teleprompter, with none of the joking and sarcastic asides that pepper his rally remarks, Mr. Trump delivered his speech in a grim monotone that he often employs when reading from a script.

The speech was drafted for Mr. Trump by his regular team of writers in the West Wing who are led by Stephen Miller. Some of those officials were also in contact with campaign advisers, who said on Saturday that they believed the speech struck exactly the right note for the moment.

“July 4 is the perfect time for a speech affirming American greatness from the president of the United States,” said Tim Murtaugh, the Trump campaign’s communications director.

Campaign officials have repeatedly said they expect backlash against the progressive “cancel culture” movement to help the president’s standing with white suburban female voters frightened by images of chaos in the city streets. That backlash has yet to reveal itself in polls. A recent New York Times/Siena College survey showed that 75 percent of moderates and even 53 percent of somewhat conservative voters have a favorable opinion of Black Lives Matter.

Central to Mr. Trump’s approach, however, is a belief he and some of his advisers share that voters are misleading pollsters about their support for the nationwide protests, several allies said. As he has sought to present himself as the candidate of law and order, Mr. Trump has rejected suggestions from some aides who have urged him to do more to address racism in America, in the aftermath of the killing of George Floyd in the custody of police officers in Minneapolis.

Instead, he has intensified his criticism of the Black Lives Matter movement. In a post last week on Twitter, he called the words Black Lives Matter a “symbol of hate” as he criticized plans by the mayor of New York City, Bill de Blasio, to paint the phrase on Fifth Avenue outside Trump Tower.

In this election, Mr. Trump is campaigning in much different circumstances: As an incumbent president, he will be judged more on his record than his rhetoric.

The searing tone he has adopted is in large part aimed at consolidating support within his own party. Private Republican polling indicates the president is slipping in red states, in large part because conservative-leaning voters are unsettled.

A recent Pew survey found that just 19 percent of Republicans said they were satisfied with “the way things are going,” down from 55 percent of Republican respondents in a previous version of the same poll.

“Trump needs — or thinks he needs — fear of ‘the other’ to motivate his base and create enthusiasm,” said Christine Matthews, a Republican pollster. “Right now, people are fearful of Covid-19, but that is inconvenient for Trump, so he is trying to kick up fear about something he thinks will benefit his re-election: angry mobs of leftists tearing down American history.”

Ms. Matthews noted that his rhetoric does little more than solidify the voters who were already likely to return to his corner. “He has no interest at all in expanding his base or even pulling back in those who have departed,” she said.

Patrick Murray, the director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute, said that past presidents have typically sought to diffuse cultural battles, “giving people this amorphous kind of middle where they can continue to live.” Mr. Trump, however, is unlike any of his predecessors.

“Donald Trump does not give you that choice — you are either with him or against him,” said Mr. Murray, whose latest survey this week showed Mr. Biden leading 53 percent to 41 percent. “He is forcing people to take sides. And when they take sides, more of them are moving to the other side.”

In Mr. Biden, Mr. Trump also faces a centrist opponent who is not easily branded as a radical liberal, but rather one who is seen as a palatable alternative to some older voters and Republicans in a way that Hillary Clinton was not. Mr. Biden, for instance, has said he does not support defunding the police, and has made careful distinctions between tearing down monuments to the country’s founding fathers and those commemorating Confederate leaders.

That hasn’t stopped the Trump campaign from claiming that in the black-and-white world it wants to present to voters in November, Mr. Biden is on the side of violent looters. “The first instinct of Joe Biden and his party is to agree with the agitators that there is something fundamentally wrong with America and that there always has been,” Mr. Murtaugh said.

The question for Mr. Trump and his political advisers is whether branding Mr. Biden as a puppet for far-left extremists will work. In a statement issued on Saturday in response to Mr. Trump’s speech, Andrew Bates, a Biden campaign spokesman, said: “Joe Biden is running on the opposite values — to win this battle for the soul of our nation, bring the American people together and rebuild the middle class stronger than ever before, bringing everyone along.”

Mr. Trump’s Friday night speech also revealed the president’s concern about his standing with evangelical voters and conservatives, who were crucial to his victory in 2016. On the list of great Americans that he said he wants to erect a statute to honor was the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, a conservative favorite.

In some ways, the divisive place that Mr. Trump has landed on Independence Day is where he has always felt most comfortable campaigning. “He’s totally opportunistic,” said William Kristol, the conservative writer and prominent “Never Trump” Republican.

He noted that Mr. Trump had never weighed in on the immigration debate before he made building a wall along the Mexican border the signature issue of his 2016 presidential campaign because he saw that it worked. “If you don’t care about damaging the country and abandoned normal guardrails of presidential discourse,” Mr. Kristol said, “you just keep trying things and hope something sticks.”

Jonathan Martin contributed reporting from Washington, and Shane Goldmacher from New York.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Trump Says He Will Create a Statuary Park Honoring ‘American Heroes’

President Trump ordered the federal government late Friday to design and construct a statuary park honoring “American heroes,” his latest embrace of American heritage in opposition to what he has described as a revolutionary leftist movement that would “erase our values.”

The White House issued the executive order shortly after Mr. Trump delivered a combatively political speech at Mount Rushmore denouncing recent acts by anti-racism protesters who destroyed or defaced national monuments. The order declares that he will “not abide an assault on our collective national memory.”

Mr. Trump directed the creation of a task force, chaired by the secretary of the interior, to “expeditiously” open a “National Garden of American Heroes” at a site to be determined. His order specifies 31 Americans whom the garden must memorialize, a group of mostly white men that includes former presidents, pioneers and explorers, abolitionists and civil rights heroes.

Mr. Trump’s list of those to be memorialized also singled out two recently deceased conservative icons: former Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and the evangelist Billy Graham, as well as former President Ronald Reagan. The lineup includes no equivalent contemporary liberals or Democrats. It does include the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., Harriet Tubman and Jackie Robinson, the first African-American player in modern major league baseball.

The list also includes John Adams, Susan B. Anthony, Daniel Boone, Davy Crockett, Frederick Douglass, Amelia Earhart, Alexander Hamilton, Abraham Lincoln, Douglas MacArthur, Christa McAuliffe, George S. Patton, Jr., Betsy Ross, Booker T. Washington, George Washington, and the Wright brothers.

Mr. Trump’s order, which does not put a price tag on the project, says only that it should be located near a population center “on a site of natural beauty that enables visitors to enjoy nature, walk among the statues, and be inspired to learn about great figures of America’s history.” It also notes that all statues in the garden “be lifelike or realistic representations of the persons they depict, not abstract or modernist representations,” echoing prior efforts within the Trump administration to reject modernist designs for federal projects.

“Presidents certainly have a role in shaping national conversations about the meaning of our history. But this comes off as a desperate act of political grandstanding to his base,” said Kevin K. Gaines, a professor of social justice and civil rights at the University of Virginia. “Washington D.C. is already full of national monuments to some of the revered figures on Trump’s roll call of heroes.”

Julian E. Zelizer, a professor of political history at Princeton University, agreed that Mr. Trump’s order appeared highly political.

“I can’t imagine this would not be used as a way not to honor American history but to put forth a very particular version of American history,” he said.

The order says the task force will consist of several federal officials, including the administrator of the General Services Administration and the chairpersons of the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. It directs the task force to submit a report within 60 days with proposed locations and other options for creating the site.

The order indicates that the future garden would feature more Americans than the ones Mr. Trump specifically named, offering mostly conventional categories for inclusion such as military heroes, entrepreneurs, astronauts, recipients of the Medal of Honor or Presidential Medal of Freedom, religious and labor leaders, “advocates for the poor and disadvantaged,” and “authors, intellectuals, artists, and teachers.”

The order also identifies as “historically significant” Americans “opponents of national socialism or international socialism” as well as “police officers and firefighters killed or injured in the line of duty.” “

“None will have lived perfect lives, but all will be worth honoring, remembering, and studying,” Mr. Trump’s order says.

Mr. Trump issued his order after speaking at the Mount Rushmore National Memorial, where he warned that he would be “deploying federal law enforcement” to protect national monuments and prosecute protesters who seek to deface or topple them.

Since the start of mass protests over the killing of George Floyd by a police officer in Minneapolis, protesters have toppled several statues to confederate generals and leaders, but in some instances have also spray painted or otherwise vandalized monuments to national icons like George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.

ImageWestlake Legal Group 04DC-TRUMPSTATUES2-articleLarge Trump Says He Will Create a Statuary Park Honoring ‘American Heroes’ United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J National Parks, Monuments and Seashores National Endowment for the Humanities National Endowment for the Arts Monuments and Memorials (Structures) Interior Department George Floyd Protests (2020) General Services Administration
Credit…Michael Reynolds/EPA, via Shutterstock

Mr. Trump angrily denounced such actions on Friday night, issuing a broader defense of American heritage against what he called “angry mobs” directed by radical leftists “trying to tear down statues of our Founders, deface our most sacred memorials, and unleash a wave of violent crime in our cities.”

“Their goal is not a better America, their goal is to end America,” Mr. Trump said.

His executive order added that “America owes its present greatness to its past sacrifices. Because the past is always at risk of being forgotten, monuments will always be needed to honor those who came before.”

Mr. Gaines said the order “proposes a redundant trial balloon with just enough examples of notable African-Americans and women to promote a mythic, racist authoritarian view of the past that glorifies white settler violence.

“What most people of conscience would acknowledge as tragic aspects of the past — the stolen lands of Indian nations and the stolen lives and labor of enslaved Africans — Trump evidently wants us to celebrate,” he added.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Kimberly Guilfoyle, Top Fund-Raising Official for Trump Campaign, Tests Positive

Westlake Legal Group kimberly-guilfoyle-top-fund-raising-official-for-trump-campaign-tests-positive Kimberly Guilfoyle, Top Fund-Raising Official for Trump Campaign, Tests Positive United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Jr Trump, Donald J Tests (Medical) South Dakota Quarantines Mount Rushmore National Memorial (SD) Guilfoyle, Kimberly Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)
Westlake Legal Group 03dc-virus-campaign-facebookJumbo Kimberly Guilfoyle, Top Fund-Raising Official for Trump Campaign, Tests Positive United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Jr Trump, Donald J Tests (Medical) South Dakota Quarantines Mount Rushmore National Memorial (SD) Guilfoyle, Kimberly Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)

Kimberly Guilfoyle, the girlfriend of President Trump’s eldest son and a top fund-raising official for the Trump re-election campaign, tested positive for the coronavirus on Friday before a Fourth of July event at Mount Rushmore, a person familiar with her condition said.

Ms. Guilfoyle traveled to South Dakota with Mr. Trump’s son Donald Trump Jr., in anticipation of attending a huge fireworks display where the president was set to speak. They did not travel aboard Air Force One, according to the person familiar with her condition, and she was the only person in the group who tested positive.

As a routine precaution, people who come in close contact with Mr. Trump are screened for the virus.

Ms. Guilfoyle is the third person in possible proximity to Mr. Trump known to have contracted the virus. A personal valet who served Mr. Trump his food and the press secretary for Vice President Mike Pence tested positive for the virus in May.Ms. Guilfoyle was not experiencing symptoms, the person familiar with her condition said. She and the younger Mr. Trump never met up with the president’s entourage, the person said. Out of caution, the couple plans to drive back from South Dakota to the East Coast, the person said.

Still, that another person who was expected to be near Mr. Trump tested positive — and someone who most staff aides consider a member of the Trump family — is likely to renew attention around potential risks to the president.

Ms. Guilfoyle attended Mr. Trump’s indoor rally last month in Tulsa, Okla. Before and since then, some campaign staff and Secret Service personnel have tested positive for the coronavirus. Herman Cain, a former Republican presidential candidate who was also at the rally, said this week that he had been hospitalized with the virus.

Even as outbreaks have emerged in the South and West and as states across the country report a record number of cases each day, White House officials — and Mr. Trump in particular — have minimized their focus on the virus in public appearances. In an interview on Wednesday, the president indicated that he believed the virus was “going to sort of just disappear.”

The president’s aides recently modified protocols for people entering the White House grounds, abandoning routine temperature checks, for instance. They have counseled people experiencing symptoms typical of the coronavirus to stay away.

But people who come in proximity to Mr. Trump and Mr. Pence are still tested for the coronavirus.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Trump’s Mount Rushmore Trip Highlights Disconnect With Virus’s Surge

Westlake Legal Group trumps-mount-rushmore-trip-highlights-disconnect-with-viruss-surge Trump’s Mount Rushmore Trip Highlights Disconnect With Virus’s Surge United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J secret service Presidential Election of 2020 Pence, Mike Noem, Kristi national park service Mount Rushmore National Memorial (SD) McEnany, Kayleigh Ingraham, Laura A Independence Day (US) (July 4) Fox News Channel Coronavirus Reopenings Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Biden, Joseph R Jr Beschloss, Michael R

WASHINGTON — Health officials across the country are urging Americans to scale back their Fourth of July plans as the coronavirus pandemic makes a frightening resurgence.

Most politicians, including former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., the presumptive Democratic nominee, are forgoing the traditional holiday parades and flag-waving appearances. The vast majority of fireworks displays in big cities and small rural towns have been canceled as new cases reported in the United States have increased by 90 percent in the past two weeks.

President Trump, however, has a different, discordant message: The sparkly, booming show must go on at all costs in the service of the messages and images he wants to promote.

Mr. Trump traveled to South Dakota Friday evening for a huge fireworks display at the Mount Rushmore National Memorial, a made-for-TV show of patriotism that he has spent years lobbying to revive. Because of fears that they might set off wildfires in the surrounding forest, there have been no fireworks at Mount Rushmore since 2009.

Under the granite gaze of Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt, Mr. Trump was expected to deliver a searing attack on what he has referred to as the “left-wing mob,” according to someone with knowledge of his remarks. He will address how “cancel culture” and the desire of some Americans to tear down statues amount to what one aide described as “totalitarian behavior” seeking to rewrite history.

As the president departed Washington for South Dakota on Friday, new virus cases surged above 50,000, and at least five states — Alabama, Alaska, Kansas, North Carolina and South Carolina — reported their highest single day of cases yet. Newly reported cases of the virus were rising in all but a handful of states, and many large cities, including Houston, Dallas, Jacksonville and Los Angeles, were seeing alarming growth.

ImageWestlake Legal Group 03dc-virus-trump-sub1-articleLarge Trump’s Mount Rushmore Trip Highlights Disconnect With Virus’s Surge United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J secret service Presidential Election of 2020 Pence, Mike Noem, Kristi national park service Mount Rushmore National Memorial (SD) McEnany, Kayleigh Ingraham, Laura A Independence Day (US) (July 4) Fox News Channel Coronavirus Reopenings Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Biden, Joseph R Jr Beschloss, Michael R
Credit…Anna Moneymaker for The New York Times

Mr. Trump planned to follow up his trip with a “Salute to America” celebration on Saturday on the South Lawn at the White House, marked by a military flyover and the launch of 10,000 fireworks on the National Mall.

Mayor Muriel E. Bowser of Washington has warned the gathering violates federal health guidelines. The Trump administration, which controls the federal property of the National Mall, pushed for the celebration, ignoring a mayor officials view as a political rival.

Throughout his presidency, Mr. Trump has tried to bend events to his will, often using social media to drive home his alternate version of reality and, thanks to the power of repetition and the loyal support of his base, sometimes succeeding. But the president’s attempt to drive deeper into the culture wars around a national holiday, during an intensifying health crisis that will not yield to his tactics, risked coming across as out of sync with the concerned mood of the country at a moment when his re-election campaign is struggling and unfocused.

“I don’t think it will work, because what he is trying to do is pretend that the situation is better than it is,” said Michael Beschloss, the historian and author of “Presidents of War.”

Mr. Beschloss compared Mr. Trump to Woodrow Wilson, who presided over the influenza pandemic in 1918 by trying to pretend it was not happening, and to Herbert Hoover, who in 1932 tried to project that the Great Depression was not as bad as people were saying.

“People voted him out because they felt he did not understand the suffering,” Mr. Beschloss said, referring to Hoover. Mr. Beschloss said that while presidents had always celebrated the Fourth of July, it was also highly unusual to turn it into a partisan rally.

“Most presidents in history have understood that when they appear at a national monument, it’s usually a moment to act as a unifying chief of state, not a partisan divider,” Mr. Beschloss said.

Mr. Trump has consistently played down the concerns over spikes in new cases, even as many cities and states have had to slow or reverse their reopenings, claiming that young people “get better much easier and faster,” that the death rate is declining and that the virus will “just disappear.”

On Thursday, he lauded his administration’s response, referred to the surge in new cases as “temporary hot spots” and focused instead on what he said was evidence of the economy bouncing back.

“A lot of people would have wilted,” Mr. Trump said at a news conference where he praised the latest job numbers. “We didn’t wilt. Our country didn’t wilt.”

In South Dakota, Mr. Trump enjoys the backing of Gov. Kristi Noem, a Republican, who said there were no plans to enforce social distancing for the president’s visit.

“We’re asking them to come, be ready to celebrate, to enjoy the freedoms and the liberties that we have in this country,” Ms. Noem said in an interview this week with the Fox News host Laura Ingraham. “We won’t be social distancing.”

Credit…Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

In recent weeks, South Dakota has had one of the country’s most encouraging trend lines. The state has averaged a few dozen new cases each day, including 85 announced Friday. There has not been a day with more than 100 new cases in South Dakota since late May.

In Washington, however, officials are adamantly opposed to the celebration that White House officials defended as a gathering people could enjoy safely. Administration officials noted that the celebration was scaled back from last year’s event, when Mr. Trump turned the holiday into a salute to the military, with tanks on the streets of the capital and flyovers from Air Force One as well as aircraft from each branch of the armed forces, as he delivered remarks from the Lincoln Memorial.

Kayleigh McEnany, the White House press secretary, said this week that Mr. Trump had recommended following guidelines set by local authorities only on wearing masks — not on social distancing overall. “The C.D.C. guidelines, I’d also note, say ‘recommended,’ but not required,” she said. “We are very much looking forward to the Fourth of July celebration.”

This year, the National Park Service said it was taking extra safety precautions on the National Mall, installing more than 100 hand-washing stations throughout the area, up from 15 last year. Officials also said they had 300,000 cloth facial coverings on hand to distribute.

“We are committed to providing the American people with a safe and spectacular celebration of our nation’s birthday in Washington D.C., which will honor our military with music, flyovers and fireworks,” a spokesman for the park service said. “We are doing so consistent with our mission and historical practices, and we hope everyone enjoys the day’s festivities.”

The president’s political opponents, however, said the celebrations were about one person, only: the president himself.

“Donald Trump is seeking to aggrandize himself and divide our nation at yet another rally,” said Andrew Bates, a spokesman for Mr. Biden. “Joe Biden believes the presidency is about serving the American people — whereas Donald Trump only exploits it to serve himself.”

On Friday, Mr. Trump spent the day at his golf course in Sterling, Va., before he departed for South Dakota, and White House officials said they had no safety concerns about the trip.

But the virus has already shown it can infiltrate the administration, and the White House has experienced the dangers of staging large gatherings as the pandemic rages. Vice President Mike Pence postponed a planned trip this week to Arizona after Secret Service agents set to accompany him tested positive for the coronavirus or showed symptoms. And at least eight campaign staff members who helped plan Mr. Trump’s indoor rally last month in Tulsa, Okla., have tested positive, either before the rally or after attending.

Before the president left for South Dakota on Friday, Trump campaign aides were circulating on social a doctored image of Mount Rushmore, featuring Mr. Trump’s face carved into the stone next to some of the nation’s most revered presidents.

“Mount Rushmore, improved,” one aide wrote.

Mitch Smith contributed reporting from Chicago.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

New Administration Memo Seeks to Foster Doubts About Suspected Russian Bounties

A memo produced in recent days by the office of the nation’s top intelligence official acknowledged that the C.I.A. and top counterterrorism officials have assessed that Russia appears to have offered bounties to kill American and coalition troops in Afghanistan, but emphasized uncertainties and gaps in evidence, according to three officials.

The memo is said to contain no new information, and both its timing and its stressing of doubts suggested that it was intended to bolster the Trump administration’s attempts to justify its inaction on the months-old assessment, the officials said. Some former national security officials said the account of the memo indicated that politics may have influenced its production.

The National Intelligence Council, which reports to the director of national intelligence, John Ratcliffe, produced the two-and-a-half page document, a so-called sense of the community memorandum. Dated July 1, it appears to have been commissioned after The New York Times reported on June 26 that intelligence officials had assessed months ago that Russia had offered bounties, but the White House had yet to authorize a response.

The memo said that the C.I.A. and the National Counterterrorism Center had assessed with “medium confidence” — meaning credibly sourced and plausible, but falling short of near certainty — that a unit of the Russian military intelligence service, known as the G.R.U., offered the bounties, according to two of the officials briefed on its contents.

But other parts of the intelligence community — including the National Security Agency, which favors electronic surveillance intelligence — said they did not have information to support that conclusion at the same level, therefore expressing lower confidence in the conclusion, according to the two officials. A third official familiar with the memo did not describe the precise confidence levels, but also said the C.I.A.’s was higher than other agencies.

A spokeswoman for Mr. Ratcliffe’s office declined to comment. The officials familiar with the memo described it on the condition of anonymity.

It is not uncommon for the intelligence council to produce short-notice, all-source assessments on important topics, especially if agencies’ analyses differ, said Gregory F. Treverton, the chairman of the council from 2014 to 2017. But he voiced concern that the assessment of the suspected Russian bounty program could be politicized to fit the White House’s characterization of the intelligence about it.

“I would hope the process still maintains its integrity, but I have real concerns, given the pressures these analysts are under,” Mr. Treverton said in a telephone interview.

Matthew G. Olsen, a former director of the National Counterterrorism Center who also held other national security posts during both the George W. Bush and Obama administrations, also said the account of the memo’s contents raised the appearance of potential politicization.

“These products are never definitive, ever — there’s always caveats and holes and judgments and qualifications,” Mr. Olsen said. “The White House has portrayed it as not verified, but it’s never verified, so that struck me as misrepresentation. It would be very easy, if you want to take a different spin, to draw those out and amplify the ways it’s inconclusive.”

Mr. Ratcliffe, formerly a Republican congressman known for his outspoken support for Mr. Trump, was confirmed in late May.

ImageWestlake Legal Group 03dc-intel-03-articleLarge New Administration Memo Seeks to Foster Doubts About Suspected Russian Bounties United States Politics and Government United States Defense and Military Forces Trump, Donald J Targeted Killings Taliban Russia Ratcliffe, John Lee (1965- ) National Security Agency National Intelligence Council GRU (Russia) Espionage and Intelligence Services Defense and Military Forces central intelligence agency Afghanistan War (2001- ) Afghanistan
Credit…Anna Moneymaker for The New York Times

The memo is said to lay out the intelligence that informed the agencies’ conclusions. It declared that the intelligence community knows that Russian military intelligence officers met with leaders of a Taliban-linked criminal network and that money was transferred from a G.R.U. account to the network. After lower-level members of that network were captured, they told interrogators that the Russians were paying bounties to encourage the killings of coalition troops, including Americans.

But, the two officials who discussed the memo in greater detail said, it stressed that the government lacks direct evidence of what the criminal network leaders and G.R.U. officials said at face-to-face meetings so it cannot say with any greater certainty that Russia specifically offered bounties in return for killings of Western soldiers.

Two suspected leaders of the criminal ring who were believed to have met with the G.R.U. — Rahmatullah Azizi, a onetime drug smuggler who grew wealthy as a middleman for the Russian spies, and a second man named Habib Muradi, according to three officials — fled to Russia after raids this year where several of their underlings were captured.

The memo also emphasized that the National Security Agency did not have surveillance that confirmed what the captured detainees told interrogators about bounties, according to the officials. The agency did intercept data of financial transfers that provide circumstantial support for the detainees’ account, but the agency does not have explicit evidence that the money was bounty payments.

The memo also said that the Defense Intelligence Agency did not have information directly connecting the suspected operation to the Kremlin, officials said. But earlier assessments had also said that it was not clear how far up in the Russian government the bounties were approved. Intelligence officials suspect that a G.R.U. section known as Unit 29155, which has been linked to assassination attempts and other covert operations in Europe intended to destabilize the West or exact revenge on turncoats, is behind the suspected plot.

The memo was produced as the administration, in response to bipartisan congressional demands, delivered briefings to lawmakers this week. Another person familiar with one of the briefings said that lawmakers were told that the intelligence community had high confidence that Russia was encouraging Taliban attacks on American and coalition forces and that the G.R.U. had officers in Afghanistan with links to the Taliban.

But, the person said, while there was chatter among Afghans about possible bounties for attacks, American officials were less sure when it came to trying to link Russians to the acts of specific Taliban militants or associated criminal units, or showing that the Russians had actually paid for specific attacks. At one point, about half a million dollars in cash was seized in a raid on a compound, raising suspicions, but investigators could not say for sure that it was bounty money.

Credit…Rahmat Gul/Associated Press

The briefers told Congress that it was not clear whether the Russians were behind or paid for one episode that investigators are said to be focused on: the killing of three Marines in an April 2019 bombing outside Bagram Air Base. One official said the new memo said that it cannot be established with certainty that Russian actions led to that attack.

The United States has accused Russia of providing support like small arms to the Taliban for years. After interagency vetting, the intelligence assessment that Russia’s support had escalated into directly encouraging more attacks on Americans and other coalition troops was included in Mr. Trump’s written daily brief in late February, officials have said.

Mr. Trump is known to only rarely read his daily briefing, however. Administration officials have said publicly that he was not “briefed” but remained coy about whether the assessment was in his written brief. In congressional briefings, according to participants, administration officials have stressed that Mr. Trump was not “orally” briefed.

The assessment of the problem also served as the basis of an interagency meeting in late March convened by the National Security Council, at the end of which officials were assigned to come up with a menu of potential responses. The ensuing list started with making a diplomatic complaint to Russia and escalated into sanctions and other punishments, officials have said.

But despite receiving that list months ago, the Trump White House has not authorized action. The administration appeared to have indefinitely sidelined the issue, the officials said, until The Times article last week caused an uproar in Congress, prompting a fresh look at it.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

For Maine Lobstermen, a Perfect Storm Threatens the Summer Season

OFF THE COAST OF MAINE — As he pulled alongside one of his lobster pots, marked by a red and yellow buoy on the Penobscot Bay, Mike Hutchings extracted and measured several of the crustaceans that would contribute to his 130-pound catch that day. It was a decent haul but his assessment of the fishing season was grim: “The worst it’s ever been.”

Mr. Hutchings’s catch on the final Saturday in June came as the lobster trade approached its money-making time. With the Fourth of July holiday around the corner, Mr. Hutchings and his fellow lobstermen were supposed to be gearing up for a major payday as out-of-staters, cruise ships, warmer weather and bounties of lobsters, having just molted their shells and been lured into the thousands of traps anchored on the rocky bottom of Maine’s coastal waters, came together in a seasonal windfall.

But like many businesses across the country, the Maine lobster industry, which makes up the bulk of the fishing revenue the state brings in every year, is being battered by the coronavirus, which has crushed the tourism trade that Mr. Hutchings and his fellow fishermen rely on for a living.

With fewer tourists expected to descend in search of lobster rolls, the immediate problem for Mr. Hutchings is simple: too many lobsters and not enough people to eat them. That has sent the price of lobsters plunging.

Credit…Tristan Spinski for The New York Times
Credit…Tristan Spinski for The New York Times

The pain is particularly unwelcome for an industry that has spent the past several years caught in the middle of political fights, including President Trump’s trade war with China, looming restrictions to protect an endangered whale species and bait quotas. And then there are the region’s warming waters, spurred by climate change, which have slowly shifted the areas conducive to lobster reproduction away from the coast.

The effect of the virus on the Maine lobster trade is the latest indication of how the disease is upending nearly all corners of business activity and inflicting economic pain poised to last longer than many had predicted. Last month, after groups of fishermen outlined their concerns for Mr. Trump at an event in Bangor, Maine, the president directed the Agriculture Department to provide federal assistance to lobster harvesters.

But that assistance, which has yet to be detailed or allocated, may come too late.

More than 30 million people typically visit Maine each year. The majority come in the summer months for the pleasant air of coastal New England, as well as for the lobster, a high-priced specialty that is a staple of tourist meals.

But the normal influx of visitors has been derailed by the virus, which is surging in some parts of the country, contributing to the general unease many Americans share when it comes to traveling. Further compounding the situation are the quarantine restrictions that Gov. Janet T. Mills, a Democrat, put in place for out-of-state travelers. (Maine has had about 3,300 virus cases, one of the lowest numbers in the country, according to data compiled by The New York Times.)

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_174035634_837a566e-74b9-465b-b044-8c1661351ec8-articleLarge For Maine Lobstermen, a Perfect Storm Threatens the Summer Season Wildlife Trade and Poaching Trump, Donald J Summer (Season) Penobscot Bay (Me) Maine Lobsters International Trade and World Market Fishing, Commercial Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)
Credit…Tristan Spinski for The New York Times

Unlike previous years, this summer will bring no cruise ships and few “no vacancy” signs. The typical rainbow of out-of-state license plates idling in bumper-to-bumper traffic on the bridge to Wiscasset is unlikely to materialize.

#styln-briefing-block { font-family: nyt-franklin,helvetica,arial,sans-serif; background-color: #F3F3F3; padding: 20px; margin: 37px auto; border-radius: 5px; color: #121212; box-sizing: border-box; width: calc(100% – 40px); } #styln-briefing-block a { color: #121212; } #styln-briefing-block a.briefing-block-link { color: #121212; border-bottom: 1px solid #cccccc; font-size: 0.9375rem; line-height: 1.375rem; } #styln-briefing-block a.briefing-block-link:hover { border-bottom: none; } #styln-briefing-block .briefing-block-bullet::before { content: ‘•’; margin-right: 7px; color: #333; font-size: 12px; margin-left: -13px; top: -2px; position: relative; } #styln-briefing-block .briefing-block-bullet:not(:last-child) { margin-bottom: 0.75em; } #styln-briefing-block .briefing-block-header-section { margin-bottom: 16px; } #styln-briefing-block .briefing-block-header { font-weight: 700; font-size: 16px; line-height: 20px; display: inline-block; margin-right: 6px; } #styln-briefing-block .briefing-block-header a { text-decoration: none; color: #333; } #styln-briefing-block .briefing-block-footer { font-size: 14px; margin-top: 1.25em; } #styln-briefing-block .briefing-block-briefinglinks { padding-top: 1em; margin-top: 1.75em; border-top: 1px solid #E2E2E3; } #styln-briefing-block .briefing-block-briefinglinks a { font-weight: bold; margin-right: 6px; } #styln-briefing-block .briefing-block-footer a { border-bottom: 1px solid #ccc; } #styln-briefing-block .briefing-block-footer a:hover { border-bottom: 1px solid transparent; } #styln-briefing-block .briefing-block-header { border-bottom: none; } #styln-briefing-block .briefing-block-lb-items { display: grid; grid-template-columns: auto 1fr; grid-column-gap: 20px; grid-row-gap: 15px; line-height: 1.2; } #styln-briefing-block .briefing-block-update-time a { color: #999; font-size: 12px; } #styln-briefing-block .briefing-block-update-time.active a { color: #D0021B; } #styln-briefing-block .briefing-block-footer-meta { display: flex; justify-content: space-between; align-items: center; } #styln-briefing-block .briefing-block-ts { color: #D0021B; font-size: 11px; display: inline-block; } @media only screen and (min-width: 600px) { #styln-briefing-block { padding: 30px; width: calc(100% – 40px); max-width: 600px; } #styln-briefing-block a.briefing-block-link { font-size: 1.0625rem; line-height: 1.5rem; } #styln-briefing-block .briefing-block-bullet::before { content: ‘•’; margin-right: 10px; color: #333; font-size: 12px; margin-left: -15px; top: -2px; position: relative; } #styln-briefing-block .briefing-block-header { font-size: 17px; } #styln-briefing-block .briefing-block-update-time a { font-size: 13px; } } @media only screen and (min-width: 1024px) { #styln-briefing-block { width: 100%; } }

Updated 2020-07-03T11:23:23.652Z

For Mr. Hutchings, 66, whose hands are worn from both line and lobster after fishing Maine waters for more than 50 years, the effect of the pandemic boils down to whether he can make enough money to keep his boat profitable.

His expenses include bait, fuel and his crew’s wages. And as the cost of a pound of lobster steadily drops, he has been weighing almost daily whether to leave his harbor in Lincolnville for good.

“If the price gets so low, I won’t go,” Mr. Hutchings said, standing as his stern man, Eddie Hustus, quickly moved herring and pogies into mesh bait bags below his boat. “I’m not going to do it for nothing.”

In the waning days of June, Mr. Hutchings said he was selling the more costly hard-shell lobsters at around $4.50 a pound, roughly half of what he was able to get for them a year ago. In Lincolnville Harbor, only three of eight boats in the cove had lobster traps in the water, Mr. Hutchings explained. The captains of the others were patiently waiting to see how prices shift.

Credit…Tristan Spinski for The New York Times
Credit…Tristan Spinski for The New York Times

The economic hit to lobstermen seemed a far cry from Mr. Trump’s declaration on social media just a few days earlier.

“Pres. Obama destroyed the lobster and fishing industry in Maine. Now it’s back, bigger and better than anyone ever thought possible,” the president said on Twitter. “Enjoy your ‘lobstering’ and fishing! Make lots of money!”

Maine’s lobster industry hit its peak in 2016, the last year of President Barack Obama’s second term, with 132 million pounds caught at a value of $540 million, according to state data. Maine’s fishermen sold less than $500 million during each of the first three years of the Trump administration, on par with Mr. Obama’s first term. In 2019, a particularly bad haul pushed the price per pound of lobster to $4.82, the highest since Maine began recording the data in 1880.

After his meeting in Bangor last month, Mr. Trump issued a proclamation directing the agriculture secretary to find ways to assist the lobster industry, which he said had been unfairly targeted with retaliatory tariffs by China.

Credit…Tristan Spinski for The New York Times

“From 2015 to 2018, American lobster was the most valuable single seafood species harvested in the United States, with Maine accounting for approximately 80 percent of that value each year,” Mr. Trump said in the proclamation, adding that his administration would “mitigate the effects of unfair retaliatory trade practices on this important industry.”

Mr. Hutchings, who supports Mr. Trump, called the Bangor event “a photo op,” but said he appreciated the president’s decision to sit down in Maine with the fishing industry, which he believed to be a presidential first, at least in his lifetime.

“Whether something good comes out of it, who knows,” Mr. Hutchings said.

Mr. Trump’s move to help Maine fishermen is aimed at strengthening his blue-collar bona fides during an election year. Yet for those affected, no number of presidential round tables adorned with lobster traps is likely to change what could be a terrible summer for Maine’s fisheries.

“I think there’s obviously a lot of uncertainty for local businesses and a lot of concern for fishermen and for everyone else who relies on tourist business,” said Marianne LaCroix, the executive director of the Maine Lobster Marketing Collaborative.

Credit…Tristan Spinski for The New York Times
Credit…Tristan Spinski for The New York Times

Raymond Young, 55, a third-generation lobsterman who grew up putting wood plugs in the claws of crustaceans and owns Young’s Lobster Pound, a Belfast, Maine, staple, has spent the past several years trying to adjust his business as Mr. Trump’s trade policies changed the market.

Beijing’s retaliatory tariffs on American lobster nearly crippled exports from wholesalers like Mr. Young. Maine lobster exports to China fell by 48.24 percent in 2019.

Canadian resellers have stepped in, buying shellfish from Maine wholesalers, albeit at a lower price, before sending it to international markets such as China and Europe. Mr. Trump has criticized Europe for charging a higher tariff on American lobsters than those from Canada, but that difference stems from a trade agreement the European Union and Canada signed in 2016, which lowered European tariffs on Canadian products.

Mr. Young’s excess lobsters often go to the Canadian freezer plants at the end of the season, but this year, with low sales and the coronavirus, his buyer’s plants are already full, he said.

“Last month we were trading an old dollar for a new one,” Mr. Young said, noting that he did not expect to receive federal aid anytime soon. “If the tourists aren’t here and we can’t ship the other product to Canada because they’re full, it’s going to be a different year as we try and find a home for some of this stuff.”

Credit…Tristan Spinski for The New York Times

A good season for Mr. Young means roughly 20 boats from a constellation of nearby towns like Searsport, Stockton Springs and Northport are selling their catch to him. So far this year, he has just two boats, leaving a glimmer of hope that fewer vessels on the water will translate to a smaller lobster yield and higher prices.

Mr. Hutchings’s 40-foot, Canadian-built, diesel-powered lobster boat, Fundy Spray, is one of those two boats. And on Saturday, Mr. Hutchings said he had decided to put the entirety of his 800 traps in the water this season just in case those prices do turn.

Adjusting his camouflage ball cap adorned with “Young’s Lobster Pound” atop his mop of white hair, Mr. Hutchings maneuvered his boat back toward Lincolnville’s harbor.

The wind picked up and the sun was out. The deck was covered in seaweed. Several small crabs scurried among the ocean detritus along with the red rubber bands that did not quite make it onto a lobster’s claw. Over the rhythmic churn of his boat’s engine and the occasional chatter from the marine radio, Mr. Hutchings muttered what could easily have been a Maine mantra.

“If you’re a fisherman, you have to make it work,” Mr. Hutchings said. “It’s what you do.”

Ana Swanson contributed reporting from Washington.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Dizzying Amounts of Money Pour Into the Biden and Trump Campaigns

Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and President Trump combined with the Democratic and Republican Parties to raise well over a quarter-billion dollars in June, setting new high-water marks for both men in 2020 and obliterating June fund-raising records from previous presidential cycles.

Mr. Biden and Mr. Trump each raised more last month than what Mr. Trump and Hillary Clinton combined to collect in June 2016 — a sign of the dizzying costs of a 2020 campaign that is already saturating the airwaves and screens in the most crucial battleground states.

For the second consecutive month, Mr. Biden’s haul ($141 million) was bigger than Mr. Trump’s ($131 million), a striking reversal after Mr. Biden had financially limped and skimped through much of 2019 and early 2020.

Mr. Biden had raised less than $9 million in a month as recently as January. But the former vice president’s upward trajectory has been dizzying ever since he became the presumptive Democratic nominee this spring: He raised just over $60 million with the Democratic National Committee in April, $80.8 million in May and then $141 million in June.

“These numbers are pretty astonishing,” said Catherine Gabel, a Democratic digital strategist who specializes in online fund-raising.

If Mr. Biden’s newfound gusher of money was the biggest story line of the latest fund-raising figures, the resilience of Mr. Trump’s donors despite a tumultuous month of bad headlines and even worse polling indicated that both sides are likely to be awash in money all the way through the November election. Record amounts arrived for both campaigns despite the continuing economic suffering brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

“What is happening for both parties is each side recognizes all the chips are in the middle of the table,” said Jeff Roe, a top Republican strategist who served as campaign manager for Senator Ted Cruz’s 2016 presidential bid. “This is not a small-ball election with little things being debated at the edges.”

Mr. Roe added: “Even if you’ve lost your job, that’s worth $38 to put your finger on the scale and try to decide the future of the country. You don’t have to wait until November. You can impact it now.”

Top Democratic donors, fund-raisers and strategists said the biggest difference for Mr. Biden was that he is now running against only Mr. Trump, instead of his fellow Democrats, and is able to draw support from the full diverse spectrum of the party. Many donors, big and small, are unnerved and fearful of Mr. Trump’s re-election chances, even as Mr. Biden has widened a sizable polling advantage, leading by 14 percentage points nationally in a recent New York Times/Siena College poll.

“I think Democrats have been wrong about enough elections at this point that there is nothing that’s going to alleviate the concerns,” said Tom Steyer, a billionaire and top Democratic donor who ran for president this year and was a co-host of a recent fund-raiser for Mr. Biden. “There’s no choice but to run through the tape.”

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_173936358_59f17097-0f3e-4333-8b41-08bbd3e7cd74-articleLarge Dizzying Amounts of Money Pour Into the Biden and Trump Campaigns United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Presidential Election of 2020 democratic national committee Campaign Finance Biden, Joseph R Jr
Credit…Erin Schaff/The New York Times

Mr. Trump still maintains an enviable war chest that now stands at $295 million. The Biden campaign has declined to disclose a full accounting of its cash on hand, but past spending patterns suggest the former vice president has sharply cut into Mr. Trump’s lead even as he remains significantly behind the president.

“It’s increasingly clear that we’re going to be highly competitive with our resources against Trump,” Jennifer O’Malley Dillon, Mr. Biden’s campaign manager, said in a recent interview before the latest figures were released. “But the more important thing is how you’re using those resources, and using them well.”

For a Biden campaign that entered April $187 million behind Mr. Trump and the Republican National Committee, the possibility of attaining financial parity, or even just approaching it, is a notable transformation.

“We won’t lose because of money — I’m absolutely sure,” said Ed Rendell, a former Democratic governor of Pennsylvania who co-hosted a fund-raiser for Mr. Biden last month. “Four months ago, I was worried.”

Neither the Biden nor the Trump campaign broke down how much of the money came from large contributors versus online grass-roots giving (a full report is required later in July), though both campaigns emphasized that they were relying heavily on small-dollar donations. Mr. Trump held only two in-person fund-raisers in June; Mr. Biden held zero in-person fund-raisers but averaged more than one big-dollar virtual fund-raiser every other day.

Mr. Biden’s June virtual fund-raising calendar was punctuated by major events headlined by former President Barack Obama, Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Senator Kamala Harris of California. But he was also hosted by leading Wall Street figures, including Hamilton E. James, the executive vice chairman of the Blackstone Group, and Hollywood titans like Jeffrey Katzenberg, the film producer.

Helping pad Mr. Biden’s recent hauls has been the fact that, as the presumptive nominee, he can raise money in tandem with the Democratic National Committee, swelling the size of checks he can accept from $2,800 during the primary to more than $620,000 now. Mr. Trump has been raising such $500,000-plus checks for months, including some at a small dinner in June that raised $10 million.

In fact, Mr. Biden’s June fund-raising haul was so large that, as the end of the month neared, a signal was received by some donors to hold their checks until July, according to two people familiar with the matter.

The sums that both campaigns took in last month were enormous historically. Mrs. Clinton did not raise $140 million until two months deeper in the cycle, in August 2016. That year, Mr. Trump never raised as much in a month as he did in June 2020. And the totals for both campaigns this June were greater than President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney posted in June 2012.

Mr. Biden’s campaign highlighted that it had added 2.6 million people to his email list in June, and that 68 percent of his contributors last month were new to his campaign. In May, half of Mr. Biden’s contributors were new, too, as the party base unified behind him.

“The enthusiasm is reflected both in polls and the fund-raisers,” said David Cohen, a top Comcast executive who hosted Mr. Biden’s first fund-raiser on the day he entered the race. “Right now, Joe Biden has an appeal. People in this country are tired about being embarrassed about this president.” Mr. Cohen added that there had been “a bit of a stampede at the grass-roots level.”

The Biden team is looking for even more. The campaign has recently been shopping around to find a new vendor that would replace the firm Anne Lewis Strategies to find new supporters online, according to people familiar with the matter.

Hollywood stars, musicians and other celebrities have lent Mr. Biden a hand, too.

Barbra Streisand (“I have every single album you have ever, ever made,” Mr. Biden told her), Willie Nelson (“An unadulterated fan,” Mr. Biden declared), John Legend, Andra Day, Jennifer Hudson, Mark Hamill, James Taylor, Forest Whitaker and Yo-Yo Ma have all made virtual appearances at recent Biden events.

“We’re depending on you to bring it all back together, Biden,” Ms. Hudson told the former vice president.

On Wednesday, Biden officials were downright gleeful, after Mr. Trump’s campaign first boasted of its $131 million haul. In particular, the president’s campaign manager had said on Twitter that Americans were “voting with their wallets.”

“Emojis won’t do justice to the emotions I felt when I saw the arrogance of this tweet,” wrote Rufus Gifford, Mr. Biden’s deputy campaign manager, and a former finance director for Mr. Obama, “knowing that we beat them.”

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Congress Eyes More Spending as Virus Surges and Economy Struggles

Westlake Legal Group merlin_174090336_2f3c3b33-0d5d-4827-9d8d-6de3e595fab4-facebookJumbo Congress Eyes More Spending as Virus Surges and Economy Struggles United States Politics and Government United States Economy Unemployment Insurance Unemployment Trump, Donald J Small Business Shutdowns (Institutional) Senate Recession and Depression Layoffs and Job Reductions Law and Legislation House of Representatives Federal Budget (US) Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (2020) Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)

WASHINGTON — There is a growing recognition across party lines that Congress will need to spend more money, soon, to continue to prop up the American economy during the coronavirus recession.

But there is little consensus on what that next aid package will look like and how quickly it will arrive before the end of summer, and there is a sense among Republicans and Democrats that the next bill will spend far less to help people and businesses than the nearly $3 trillion that Congress approved in March in a series of rapid-fire bills.

Some economists say lawmakers are risking further damage to an already fragile recovery by not moving more quickly. The unemployment rate has dropped from its April peak but was still at 11.1 percent in June. Forecasters at the Congressional Budget Office said on Thursday that they expect the economy to shrink by 5.9 percent this year, a contraction that would be more than twice as large as the one the United States experienced during the Great Recession in 2009.

Federal Reserve officials are worried that a possible “second wave” of the pandemic would further depress economic growth in a way that would be “more severe and protracted” than the current forecast, according to minutes from their most recent meeting published on Wednesday.

Virus cases have begun to surge in across much of the country. Real-time indicators of shopping patterns and business openings suggest that a once-brisk economic rebound stalled in June as the virus began spreading more rapidly in Texas, Florida and other states. Even the most encouraging signs of recovery — such as the report on Thursday that the economy added 4.8 million jobs in June — underscore how far the recovery still has to get back to what was normal before the virus: Nearly 18 million Americans remain unemployed.

Lobbyists and lawmakers say the Trump administration, which has lost several economic advisers in recent weeks, is not deeply engaged in devising another rescue package. Officials have hinted for weeks that they would formally propose tax cuts, infrastructure spending and other initiatives, but they have not followed through. President Trump has asserted that the economy is rebounding but has expressed support for additional tax cuts and government spending.

“Today’s announcement proves our economy is coming roaring back,” he said on Thursday after the jobs report. “It’s coming back extremely strong.”

#styln-briefing-block { font-family: nyt-franklin,helvetica,arial,sans-serif; background-color: #F3F3F3; padding: 20px; margin: 37px auto; border-radius: 5px; color: #121212; box-sizing: border-box; width: calc(100% – 40px); } #styln-briefing-block a { color: #121212; } #styln-briefing-block a.briefing-block-link { color: #121212; border-bottom: 1px solid #cccccc; font-size: 0.9375rem; line-height: 1.375rem; } #styln-briefing-block a.briefing-block-link:hover { border-bottom: none; } #styln-briefing-block .briefing-block-bullet::before { content: ‘•’; margin-right: 7px; color: #333; font-size: 12px; margin-left: -13px; top: -2px; position: relative; } #styln-briefing-block .briefing-block-bullet:not(:last-child) { margin-bottom: 0.75em; } #styln-briefing-block .briefing-block-header-section { margin-bottom: 16px; } #styln-briefing-block .briefing-block-header { font-weight: 700; font-size: 16px; line-height: 20px; display: inline-block; margin-right: 6px; } #styln-briefing-block .briefing-block-header a { text-decoration: none; color: #333; } #styln-briefing-block .briefing-block-footer { font-size: 14px; margin-top: 1.25em; } #styln-briefing-block .briefing-block-briefinglinks { padding-top: 1em; margin-top: 1.75em; border-top: 1px solid #E2E2E3; } #styln-briefing-block .briefing-block-briefinglinks a { font-weight: bold; margin-right: 6px; } #styln-briefing-block .briefing-block-footer a { border-bottom: 1px solid #ccc; } #styln-briefing-block .briefing-block-footer a:hover { border-bottom: 1px solid transparent; } #styln-briefing-block .briefing-block-header { border-bottom: none; } #styln-briefing-block .briefing-block-lb-items { display: grid; grid-template-columns: auto 1fr; grid-column-gap: 20px; grid-row-gap: 15px; line-height: 1.2; } #styln-briefing-block .briefing-block-update-time a { color: #999; font-size: 12px; } #styln-briefing-block .briefing-block-update-time.active a { color: #D0021B; } #styln-briefing-block .briefing-block-footer-meta { display: flex; justify-content: space-between; align-items: center; } #styln-briefing-block .briefing-block-ts { color: #D0021B; font-size: 11px; display: inline-block; } @media only screen and (min-width: 600px) { #styln-briefing-block { padding: 30px; width: calc(100% – 40px); max-width: 600px; } #styln-briefing-block a.briefing-block-link { font-size: 1.0625rem; line-height: 1.5rem; } #styln-briefing-block .briefing-block-bullet::before { content: ‘•’; margin-right: 10px; color: #333; font-size: 12px; margin-left: -15px; top: -2px; position: relative; } #styln-briefing-block .briefing-block-header { font-size: 17px; } #styln-briefing-block .briefing-block-update-time a { font-size: 13px; } } @media only screen and (min-width: 1024px) { #styln-briefing-block { width: 100%; } }

Updated 2020-07-02T19:37:14.980Z

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, appearing with Mr. Trump, said: “Our work is not done. Our work won’t be done until every single American that lost their job due to Covid is back to work.”

Senators are expected to leave Washington on Thursday after making only incremental progress toward an agreement to extend further relief to businesses and laid-off workers who are about to lose or have already exhausted federal assistance. Congress this week unanimously agreed to extend an aid program for small businesses through August, a move that small business groups called a good but insufficient step to help prevent bankruptcies. But the Senate’s Republican majority rejected a Democratic attempt to extend supplemental benefits for the unemployed until the economy has more fully recovered.

“I don’t understand how a senator can go home and not have delivered supercharged unemployment along the lines we’re talking about,” said Senator Ron Wyden, Democrat of Oregon, who introduced legislation on Wednesday that would allow expanded unemployment benefits to continue as long as the economy was weak.

But as is their tendency just before funding and programs are set to expire, several lawmakers expressed optimism that Senate Republicans could rapidly reconcile their divisions and deficit fears with the $3 trillion measure that House Democrats approved in May.

Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, told reporters on Tuesday that the focus of any legislation taken up in the Senate would be “kids, jobs and health care,” as well as liability protections for hospitals, doctors, nurses, businesses, colleges and universities.

Senator Roy Blunt, Republican of Missouri, said he had asked lawmakers and staff on the committee responsible for overseeing health, education and labor spending to begin compiling a package that “will ensure we have more testing, that we continue to work on therapeutics, and we have the money we need to move forward with a vaccine.”

A bipartisan group of lawmakers is also honing in on a deal to revamp the government’s efforts to help small businesses, likely including at least a partial shift from offering what were essentially grants to companies that kept workers on their payrolls to offering low- or no-interest, long-term loans.

A coalition of industry associations, led by the Economic Innovation Group, an entrepreneurship-focused think tank, called on lawmakers this week to give small businesses sufficient aid “to survive a prolonged period of lower consumer demand, ongoing operational disruption, and continued uncertainty until the availability of a vaccine and effective therapeutic treatment eliminate Covid-19 as a severe public health concern” — including simple, zero-interest loans.

@charset “UTF-8”; /* MODULE : GUIDE */ #g-inlineguide-headline { font-family: “nyt-franklin”, arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; font-weight: 700; line-height: 20px; max-width: 600px; padding: 0; } @media (min-width: 740px) { #g-inlineguide-headline { font-size: 16px; } } .g-inlineguide-list-circle li { position: relative; padding-left: 1.75em; } @media (min-width: 740px) { .g-inlineguide-list-circle p, .g-inlineguide-list-circle div, .g-inlineguide-list-circle li { padding-left: 0; } } .g-inlineguide-list-circle li:before { position: absolute; content: “•”; top: 2px; left: 1em; font-size: 15px; line-height: 24px; } @media (min-width: 600px) { .g-inlineguide-list-circle li:before { top: 3px; left: -1em; } } .g-inlineguide { background-color: #f3f3f3; text-align: left; margin: 30px auto; height: 380px; width: calc(100% – 40px); border-radius: 10px; transition: height 0.5s; } @media (min-width: 740px) { .g-inlineguide { max-width: 600px; } } #truncate-content { transition: height 0.5s; height: 300px; } .g-inlineguide-container { margin: 0 20px 0px 20px; padding: 20px 0 7px 0; } @media (min-width: 740px) { .g-inlineguide-container { margin: 0 35px 0px 35px; } } .g-inlineguide-container-wrapper { height: 100%; } .g-inlineguide-bottom { display: -ms-flexbox; display: flex; -ms-flex-align: center; align-items: center; -ms-flex-line-pack: center; align-content: center; -ms-flex-pack: center; justify-content: center; top: 10px; } .g-inlineguide-content { position: relative; height: 300px; max-width: 520px; overflow: hidden; } .g-inlineguide-logo { margin: 0 0 10px 0; } .g-inlineguide-date { font-family: “nyt-franklin”, arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 13px; font-weight: 500; line-height: 25px; color: #666666; max-width: 600px; margin: 5px auto 15px; } /* LINKS */ #g-inlineguide-id a { text-decoration: none; } .g-inlineguide a { color: #326891; text-decoration: none; border-bottom: 2px solid #CCD9E3; } .g-inlineguide a:visited { color: #333; text-decoration: none; border-bottom: 2px solid #ddd; } .g-inlineguide a:hover { border-bottom: none; } .g-inlineguide #g-inlineguide-headline a { color: #333; text-decoration: none; border-bottom: 0px solid #ddd; } .g-inlineguide #g-inlineguide-headline a:hover { border-bottom: 2px solid #ddd; } /* LIST */ .g-inlineguide-list-header { font-family: nyt-cheltenham, georgia, “times new roman”, times, serif; font-weight: 500; font-size: 26px; line-height: 30px; margin-top: 5px; margin-bottom: 5px; } @media (min-width: 740px) { .g-inlineguide-list-header { font-size: 30px; line-height: 36px; margin-bottom: 10px; margin-top: 10px; } } .g-inlineguide-item-list { font-size: 15px; line-height: 20px; font-family: “nyt-franklin”, arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-weight: 500; } #g-inlineguide-item-list li { padding-left: 15px; line-height: 20px; margin-bottom: 10px; } @media (min-width: 740px) { #g-inlineguide-item-list li { font-size: 17px; line-height: 24px; margin-bottom: 15px; } } #g-inlineguide-item-list li strong, #g-inlineguide-item-list li h4 { font-weight: 700; } #g-inlineguide-item-list li:before { color: #333333; margin-left: -15px; margin-right: 10px; top: 0; font-size: 16px; } @media (min-width: 740px) { #g-inlineguide-item-list li:before { left: 1em; } } ul.g-inlineguide-list { max-width: 600px; margin: auto; } .g-inlineguide-line-truncated { background-image: linear-gradient(180deg, transparent, #f3f3f3); background-image: -webkit-linear-gradient(270deg, rgba(255, 255, 255, 0), #f3f3f3); height: 50px; border-bottom: 0.5px solid #dcddda; width: calc(90% – 70px); margin-top: -55px; position: absolute; } @media (min-width: 740px) { .g-inlineguide-line-truncated { max-width: 520px; width: 90%; } } .g-inlineguide-truncate-button { display: -ms-flexbox; display: flex; -ms-flex-align: center; align-items: center; -ms-flex-line-pack: center; align-content: center; -ms-flex-pack: center; justify-content: center; margin: 10px 0 0 28px; } .g-inlineguide-truncate-button-text { font-family: “nyt-franklin”, arial, helvetica, sans-serif; margin-top: 9px; font-size: 13px; font-weight: 650; line-height: 28px; /* or 215% */ letter-spacing: 0.03em; text-transform: uppercase; color: #333333; background-color: transparent; } #g-inlineguide-expand-carat-transform { margin-top: 8px; width: 28px; height: 28px; margin-left: 3px; background-color: #F4F5F2; display: -ms-flexbox; display: flex; -ms-flex-align: center; align-items: center; -ms-flex-pack: center; justify-content: center; } .g-inlineguide-expand-carat-transform-show { transform: rotate(180deg); transition: transform 0.5s ease; } .g-inlineguide-line { border: 0.5px solid #dcddda; width: 100%; max-width: 600px; margin: auto; margin-top: 10px; } .g-inlineguide-headline-group{ display: flex; align-items: baseline; } .g-inlineguide-headline-carat{ margin-left: 6px; }

  • Frequently Asked Questions and Advice

    Updated June 30, 2020

    • What are the symptoms of coronavirus?

      Common symptoms include fever, a dry cough, fatigue and difficulty breathing or shortness of breath. Some of these symptoms overlap with those of the flu, making detection difficult, but runny noses and stuffy sinuses are less common. The C.D.C. has also added chills, muscle pain, sore throat, headache and a new loss of the sense of taste or smell as symptoms to look out for. Most people fall ill five to seven days after exposure, but symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as many as 14 days.

    • Is it harder to exercise while wearing a mask?

      A commentary published this month on the website of the British Journal of Sports Medicine points out that covering your face during exercise “comes with issues of potential breathing restriction and discomfort” and requires “balancing benefits versus possible adverse events.” Masks do alter exercise, says Cedric X. Bryant, the president and chief science officer of the American Council on Exercise, a nonprofit organization that funds exercise research and certifies fitness professionals. “In my personal experience,” he says, “heart rates are higher at the same relative intensity when you wear a mask.” Some people also could experience lightheadedness during familiar workouts while masked, says Len Kravitz, a professor of exercise science at the University of New Mexico.

    • I’ve heard about a treatment called dexamethasone. Does it work?

      The steroid, dexamethasone, is the first treatment shown to reduce mortality in severely ill patients, according to scientists in Britain. The drug appears to reduce inflammation caused by the immune system, protecting the tissues. In the study, dexamethasone reduced deaths of patients on ventilators by one-third, and deaths of patients on oxygen by one-fifth.

    • What is pandemic paid leave?

      The coronavirus emergency relief package gives many American workers paid leave if they need to take time off because of the virus. It gives qualified workers two weeks of paid sick leave if they are ill, quarantined or seeking diagnosis or preventive care for coronavirus, or if they are caring for sick family members. It gives 12 weeks of paid leave to people caring for children whose schools are closed or whose child care provider is unavailable because of the coronavirus. It is the first time the United States has had widespread federally mandated paid leave, and includes people who don’t typically get such benefits, like part-time and gig economy workers. But the measure excludes at least half of private-sector workers, including those at the country’s largest employers, and gives small employers significant leeway to deny leave.

    • Does asymptomatic transmission of Covid-19 happen?

      So far, the evidence seems to show it does. A widely cited paper published in April suggests that people are most infectious about two days before the onset of coronavirus symptoms and estimated that 44 percent of new infections were a result of transmission from people who were not yet showing symptoms. Recently, a top expert at the World Health Organization stated that transmission of the coronavirus by people who did not have symptoms was “very rare,” but she later walked back that statement.

    • What’s the risk of catching coronavirus from a surface?

      Touching contaminated objects and then infecting ourselves with the germs is not typically how the virus spreads. But it can happen. A number of studies of flu, rhinovirus, coronavirus and other microbes have shown that respiratory illnesses, including the new coronavirus, can spread by touching contaminated surfaces, particularly in places like day care centers, offices and hospitals. But a long chain of events has to happen for the disease to spread that way. The best way to protect yourself from coronavirus — whether it’s surface transmission or close human contact — is still social distancing, washing your hands, not touching your face and wearing masks.

    • How does blood type influence coronavirus?

      A study by European scientists is the first to document a strong statistical link between genetic variations and Covid-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus. Having Type A blood was linked to a 50 percent increase in the likelihood that a patient would need to get oxygen or to go on a ventilator, according to the new study.

    • How many people have lost their jobs due to coronavirus in the U.S.?

      The unemployment rate fell to 13.3 percent in May, the Labor Department said on June 5, an unexpected improvement in the nation’s job market as hiring rebounded faster than economists expected. Economists had forecast the unemployment rate to increase to as much as 20 percent, after it hit 14.7 percent in April, which was the highest since the government began keeping official statistics after World War II. But the unemployment rate dipped instead, with employers adding 2.5 million jobs, after more than 20 million jobs were lost in April.

    • How can I protect myself while flying?

      If air travel is unavoidable, there are some steps you can take to protect yourself. Most important: Wash your hands often, and stop touching your face. If possible, choose a window seat. A study from Emory University found that during flu season, the safest place to sit on a plane is by a window, as people sitting in window seats had less contact with potentially sick people. Disinfect hard surfaces. When you get to your seat and your hands are clean, use disinfecting wipes to clean the hard surfaces at your seat like the head and arm rest, the seatbelt buckle, the remote, screen, seat back pocket and the tray table. If the seat is hard and nonporous or leather or pleather, you can wipe that down, too. (Using wipes on upholstered seats could lead to a wet seat and spreading of germs rather than killing them.)

    • What should I do if I feel sick?

      If you’ve been exposed to the coronavirus or think you have, and have a fever or symptoms like a cough or difficulty breathing, call a doctor. They should give you advice on whether you should be tested, how to get tested, and how to seek medical treatment without potentially infecting or exposing others.

“As the shutdowns have grown longer, it has become clear that millions of small employers need additional help if they are to keep their heads above water and survive,” said Senator Susan Collins, Republican of Maine and one of the architects of the emerging plan to help businesses. “I believe that we are very close to reaching bipartisan agreement, and I know that for small businesses that are struggling, such an agreement cannot come soon enough.”

Other issues are much further from resolution, including whether to extend, possibly with modifications, the $600-a-week supplemental unemployment benefit that was passed in March and expires at the end of July. Top Republicans are also pushing to grant some form of immunity from lawsuits to companies, schools and businesses that reopen or have remained open while the virus continues to spread. And lawmakers will need to decide how much, if any, money to send to struggling state and local governments that have already begun laying off employees as tax revenue plummets.

Industries that have been particularly hard hit, like entertainment venues, continue to push for more generous and targeted aid to keep them afloat, like tax credits for a portion of refunded tickets.

“There is some growing recognition that there are many industries that are still suffering that might need to be addressed by sector by sector analysis,” said Senator Tim Scott, Republican of South Carolina.

“The president and the Democrats, both have signaled a desire,” he added. “The question is, how do you frame that?”

Some conservatives continue to push congressional leaders and Mr. Trump to resist any additional government spending. Many economists disagree, saying further aid is needed to support the economy through what could be a long and slow recovery.

Federal spending has been “very important” to preventing an even steeper economic nose-dive, said Aneta Markowska, chief economist at the investment bank Jefferies. But it is at risk of running out long before the economy is ready to stand on its own.

“The stimulus was very short-lived,” she said. ‘This problem is going to persist long beyond July.”

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Trump Is in Trouble in Pennsylvania, but ‘He’s Been Way Behind Before’

In political speeches for 40 years, Joseph R. Biden Jr. has evoked his scrappy childhood in Scranton, Pa. He kicked off his presidential run last year in Pittsburgh, and as he takes tentative steps out of home confinement in Wilmington, Del., the campaign trail has often led to the state next door.

Yet surprisingly, Mr. Biden is enjoying no special boost in his native Pennsylvania.

A New York Times/Siena College poll of six battleground states released last week showed that the former vice president’s net approval in Pennsylvania was largely the same as elsewhere: Fifty percent of registered voters viewed him positively and 48 percent saw him negatively.

President Trump, mired in the lowest point of his presidency, was viewed favorably by just 43 percent of voters in the six battlegrounds. It helped explain why he trailed Mr. Biden in all six states and by 10 percentage points in Pennsylvania, a dire picture of the president’s chances of re-election.

Still, with four months to go until Election Day, Mr. Trump could well become competitive again. Leaders of his campaign in Pennsylvania, seizing on Mr. Biden’s failure to shine as a favorite son, have sketched out a comeback path for Mr. Trump. Its steps include the Republican Party’s advantage in new voter registrations; a return to in-person organizing while Mr. Biden’s ground game remains virtual; and a range of issues — including energy policy, reopening the economy and defunding the police — that Republicans believe will peel away swing voters in a state Mr. Trump narrowly won in 2016.

“The 10 points doesn’t bother me,” said Lawrence Tabas, the chairman of the Republican Party of Pennsylvania, referring to Mr. Trump’s deficit in the Times poll. “He’s an incumbent president, there’s a crisis and people get angry. It’s a snapshot. He’s been way behind before.”

A spokeswoman for the Biden campaign, Emma Riley, said the former vice president considered Pennsylvania crucial to his 2020 chances.

“What’s become clear is that Pennsylvanians have outright rejected the Trump administration’s failed record of leadership, reckless trade wars and corruption that’s favored corporations and their wealthy C.E.O.s ahead of everyday Americans,” Ms. Riley said.

Pennsylvania Democrats cautioned that the president’s base of rural and exurban voters, who delivered him the state in 2016 in a startling upset, were still largely supportive.

“Pennsylvania is a swing state; it’s not the Democratic state that a lot of people think it is, not anymore,” said Ryan Bizzarro, a Democratic state representative from Erie County.

Mr. Trump’s victory in Pennsylvania by a mere 44,000 votes, out of more than six million cast, was a result of sweeping defections by white residents who once voted Democratic, largely in western and northeastern Pennsylvania.

In the 2018 midterm elections and in 2019 local races, Democrats came roaring back as a blue wave swept the Philadelphia suburbs. At the same time, Republicans seized control in blue-collar union counties outside Pittsburgh.

With both parties predicting higher turnout this year than in 2016, winning statewide depends on some delicate dial-twisting: Will the Republican surge in rural counties outweigh the rejection of Mr. Trump by suburban voters, especially independents and women?

And will turnout by Black voters in Philadelphia return to near 2012 levels and offset the inroads Mr. Trump made in the city in 2016?

“The Republican base is very strong outside southeast Pennsylvania,” said Rob Gleason, a former chairman of the state G.O.P., who lives in Johnstown, a city in central Pennsylvania. “It’s immovable. Whenever there’s any type of controversy about his administration, more Trump signs go up and flags get raised.”

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_172501674_cd9e29fe-64b1-4948-aa6b-a8547a0dab8d-articleLarge Trump Is in Trouble in Pennsylvania, but ‘He’s Been Way Behind Before’ Trump, Donald J Suburbs Republican Party Presidential Election of 2020 Polls and Public Opinion police Pittsburgh (Pa) Philadelphia (Pa) Pennsylvania George Floyd Protests (2020) Democratic Party Black Lives Matter Movement Biden, Joseph R Jr
Credit…Doug Mills/The New York Times

In Cambria County, which includes Johnstown, Democrats have lost 7,000 registered voters since 2016, while Republicans have gained 3,700. Statewide, Democrats retain a historical registration advantage, but the last four years have brought bad news for the party: Republicans have closed the gap on Democrats by 121,000 since November 2016, a measure of enthusiasm that favors the G.O.P.

Mr. Trump, unlike previous incumbents, has done little to reach beyond his core supporters. Since the killing of George Floyd by the police in Minneapolis, the president has played to white voters with racist and inflammatory messages about protesters, Civil War monuments and crime.

Bernadette Comfort, the chair of Mr. Trump’s campaign in Pennsylvania, disputed that he was running a base-only strategy.

“The president in fact appeals to the single mom in suburbia, the president appeals to the working-class Republican, Democrat, whatever,” Ms. Comfort said. “We will go after independents, Democrats, after those folks who did not come out in 2016.”

Nonetheless, the Times poll showed erosion in the president’s base. Mr. Trump was favored by 86 percent of Pennsylvanians who said they voted for him in 2016, down from 92 percent in a Times poll in October.

In contrast to western Pennsylvania, the growing and racially diversifying counties outside Philadelphia have moved in the opposite direction. Four years ago, registered Republicans outnumbered Democrats by more than 18,000 in Chester County; today, Democrats have an edge of about 1,000.

Shivani Jain, a bank analyst in Chester County, is among the 47 percent of Pennsylvanians with a “very unfavorable” view of Mr. Trump, leaving him a very narrow path to win the state. Ms. Jain, 25, has participated in recent protests.

“As a person of color myself, I find the last few years has been heartbreaking,” she said. “I’m hoping with what I’m seeing with the Black Lives Matter movement and how many of my generation have come out, people take that energy to the voting booth.”

An issue Republican officials believe will help the president is the cautious reopening of the state by Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat, which has met furious opposition in some regions with fewer coronavirus cases.

Cynthia Sabat, 52, a Trump supporter who lives east of Pittsburgh, called the governor’s support for the city’s ban on consuming alcohol in bars, after a spike in cases over the weekend, “moronic.”

“Wolf is horrible,” she said. “I don’t subscribe to conspiracy theories — I believe the virus is real — but you can’t just keep people from their livelihoods. They have a right to make a living.”

It is unclear, however, whether this will be a winning issue for the president. In the Times poll, only 27 percent of Pennsylvanians said stay-home orders had gone too far.

Since mid-June, the Trump campaign has returned to in-person door knocking and has held training sessions for volunteers without masks or social distancing. The campaign, which says it has 106 organizers in the state to identify and motivate supporters, appears to be ahead of Mr. Biden’s ground game.

“They haven’t hired a state director,” Michael Joyce, a spokesman for the Republican National Committee, said of the Biden team. “They simply don’t have the ground game, the data operation, the infrastructure every campaign needs to get their candidate across the finish line. It’s too late to catch up.”

Mr. Bizzarro, who witnessed Mr. Trump flip the longtime Democratic bastion of Erie County in 2016, said Mr. Biden needed a stronger ground game and in-person organizing.

“I’ve been on the phone with Biden’s national political director several times already this week,” he said. “The urgency is real. Banking on virtually touching enough voters to win isn’t something I’m comfortable with for Biden, myself as a candidate or any other candidate up and down the ballot.”

The Biden campaign did not dispute its lack of a state director, but said it was working with the Democratic National Committee and state parties to place hundreds of organizers in battleground states including Pennsylvania. Rebounding from 2016, when Hillary Clinton could not find enough local field staff members, Democrats have trained more than 100 organizers in communities of color in the state.

A potentially potent issue for Republicans is Mr. Biden’s energy policy, as progressives like Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York push him to endorse the Green New Deal.

“Joe likes to claim he’s for Pennsylvania and understands Pennsylvania — on that point alone, he will lose western Pennsylvania with this energy policy,” Ms. Comfort said.

A pro-Trump super PAC, America First Action, spent nearly $800,000 on attack ads in the state in June, claiming that Mr. Biden would ban fracking for natural gas, an industry that has brought thousands of jobs to southwestern Pennsylvania.

The ads misleadingly edit a statement of Mr. Biden’s from a debate to suggest he would “eliminate” coal and fracking. In the full quotation, he said he would eliminate “subsidies” for fossil fuels.

The Biden campaign said in a statement that Mr. Biden did not endorse the Green New Deal. His climate plan calls for a ban on new oil and gas drilling on public lands, though not on private property.

“There’s clearly an effort by the Trump campaign to mischaracterize his position,” said Representative Conor Lamb, a pro-fracking Democrat who won his seat in 2018 by carrying some of Pittsburgh’s red-hued suburbs.

Mr. Lamb said that four years after Mr. Trump campaigned by promising to restore blue-collar jobs, there was little to show for it. “We’ve seen steel-related jobs and coal-related jobs go away,” Mr. Lamb said. “The president has four years of a record and he hasn’t delivered.”

A third issue that Republicans said they would lean into in the state is the movement to defund police departments. That has become a focal point of some protesters, including those in South Philadelphia who have faced off against armed counterprotesters at a statue of Christopher Columbus.

“How many white women suburban voters will support that?” asked Mr. Joyce of the R.N.C., referring to calls to defund the police. The issue will “hand the suburbs right to us,” he added.

Tami Drumheller, a Republican in Berks County, in the exurbs of Philadelphia, might seem to be one such voter. She voted for Mr. Trump in 2016 but remains undecided this year. “He’s all for defunding the police and taking away our rights to defend ourselves,” she said of Mr. Biden. (While many Democratic officials support reallocating money from police departments to social services, Mr. Biden does not.)

Ms. Drumheller, an office administrator, might come home to the Republican Party in November. But to listen to her now, it is far from certain.

“He needs to be more understanding about where these people are coming from,” she said of the president and the protesters. “I am a middle-class white female. I do have African-American nephews.” It is not her own voice that society needs to hear, she said. “It’s my nephews’ voices.”

“How the president comes off,” she said, “he comes off very ignorant about everything.”

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com