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Wealthy Florida Community Got COVID Vaccine Before Anyone Else — Then the Governor Got a $250,000 Contribution

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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis may have scored big in the CPAC Straw Poll last weekend, but his citizens aren’t likely to appreciate wealthy communities being able to jump the line for the COVID-19 vaccine.

The Miami Herald reported Wednesday that Florida’s elderly are still struggling to sign up to get their first dose of the vaccine, but in a wealthy gated enclave in the Florida Keys, everyone was vaccinated in January.

A Jan. 22 newsletter sent to the Herald revealed that the Ocean Reef Club in north Key Largo despite the rest of the state struggling to get the vaccine, “Over the course of the last two weeks, the Medical Center has vaccinated over 1,200 homeowners who qualify under the State of Florida’s Governor’s current Order for those individuals who are 65 years of age or older.”

“We are fortunate to have received enough vaccines to ensure both the first and second for those vaccinated,” the newsletter message continued. “At this time, however, the majority of the State has not received an allocation of first doses of vaccines for this week and beyond, and the timing of any subsequent deliveries remains unclear.”

The Herald questioned whether the Republican donors who live in the area are behind the decision to give quick and easy access.

“In fact, the only people from Key Largo who gave to DeSantis’ political committee live in Ocean Reef,” said the report. “All 17 of them had given the governor contributions of $5,000 each through December 2020, according to the Florida Division of Elections.

One donor, in particular, gave Gov. DeSantis an extra $250,000 after the area got their vaccines in mid-January.

Read the full report at the Miami Herald.

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Chauvin Defense Falsely Claims Congresswoman Threatened ‘Violence’ and Requests ‘Mistrial’ – Judge Refuses

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After a full day of closing arguments and the judge in the Derek Chauvin trial instructing the jury, defense attorney Eric Nelson falsely claimed U.S. Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), who he did not mention by name, had “threatened violence” if the jury does not convict.

“Now that we have U.S. Representatives threatening acts of violence in relation to this specific case, it’s mind-boggling,” Nelson told Judge Peter Cahill, asking for a mistrial.

“I’ll give you that Congresswoman Waters may have given you something on appeal that may result in this whole trial being overturned,” Judge Cahill replied, but he denied Nelson’s request for a mistrial.

Jurors have spent weeks in the case of the now-former police officer who pressed his knee of George Floyd’s neck for 9 minutes and 29 seconds.

After jurors were excused, Nelson, who was criticized by pundits during the trial and for a long and boring closing argument, registered other complaints with the judge.

“I felt this jury should have been sequestered from the very beginning,” Nelson told the judge, repeatedly using the word “mistrial.” He also claimed “prosecutorial misconduct.”

Nelson told the judge the jury had not been instructed to stay away from news stories, the judge and the prosecutor disagreed, providing examples.

The judge scolded elected officials for discussing the trial, calling doing so “abhorrent.”

“I wish elected officials would stop talking about this case,” Judge Peter Cahill said. “Their failure to do so is abhorrent but … a congresswoman’s opinion really doesn’t matter a lot. So, motion for mistrial denied.”

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Maxine Waters: Republicans Like Marjorie Taylor Greene Are Using My Words to ‘Send a Message’ to White Supremacists

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Maxine Waters: Republicans Like Marjorie Taylor Greene Are Using My Words to ‘Send a Message’ to White Supremacists

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U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) is denouncing Republicans like Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) and others who she says are falsely framing her words and trying to have her expelled. Waters, the Chair of the House Financial Services Committee who has been in Congress since 1991, says she is not “intimidated” or “afraid,” and she will “do what needs to be done.”

Waters says the GOP is using her to raise money for Republicans and to “send a message” to white supremacists, the KKK, and groups like the Oath Keepers and the Proud Boys.

Greene says she is seeking to “expel” Waters. Others in the House GOP, from Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy to Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-GA), along with some in the right wing media, have attacked Congresswoman Waters after she traveled to Minnesota to speak at a Black Lives Matter protest about the police killing of 20-year old Daunte Wright.

“I am nonviolent,” Chairwoman Waters told The Grio. “Republicans will jump on any word, any line and try to make it fit their message and their cause for denouncing us and denying us, basically calling us violent … any time they see an opportunity to seize on a word, so they do it and they send a message to all of the white supremacists, the KKK, the Oath Keepers, the [Proud] Boys and all of that, how this is a time for [Republicans] to raise money on [Democrats] backs.”

“This is a time for [Republicans] to keep telling our constituents that [Democrats] are the enemy and they do that time and time again,” Waters said, describing the GOP’s strategy. “But that does not deter me from speaking truth to power. I am not intimidated. I am not afraid, and I do what needs to be done.”

Waters on Saturday told BLM protesters, “We’ve got to stay on the street and we’ve got to get more active, we’ve got to get more confrontational. We’ve got to make sure that they know that we mean business.”

Congresswoman Waters explained what she meant: “I talk about confronting the justice system, confronting the policing that’s going on, I’m talking about speaking up. I’m talking about legislation. I’m talking about elected officials doing what needs to be done to control their budgets and to pass legislation.”

“I am not worried that they’re going to continue to distort what I say,” she added. “This is who they are and this is how they act. And I’m not going to be bullied by them.”

Greene is not the only right-winger taking advantage of an opportunity.

“Other Republicans,” Forbes reports, “called for punishment but stopped short of advocating expulsion: Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.) called for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to ‘take immediate action,’ Rep. Jodey Arrington (R-Texas) said to ‘sanction‘ Waters, and Rep. Jody Hice (R-Ga.) called to ‘hold her accountable.'”

“If Speaker Pelosi doesn’t act against this dangerous rhetoric,” Leader McCarthy threatened, “I will bring action this week.”

 

Image by Gage Skidmore via Flickr and a CC license

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Jen Psaki Schools CNN Reporter Who Wants to Know if Biden Will Be ‘Disappointed’ if Chauvin Found Not Guilty

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White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki on Monday was forced to respond to a reporter wanting the White House to overstep its constitutionally-necessary separation of powers role to weigh in on the trial of Derek Chauvin, who is facing second degree murder charges for killing George Floyd. The jury on Monday is hearing closing arguments from both sides.

In what has become a regular requirement, Psaki was forced to educate a press pool reporter, in this case CNN Chief White House Correspondent Kaitlan Collins, who asked, “If it is a not-guilty verdict will the President be disappointed?”

In a previous administration Donald Trump might have weighed in frequently, likely demanding the jury acquit Chauvin, while attacking the victim.

Psaki took the high road, as best as possible.

“I think we’re not going to get ahead of the jury, the legal process and the jury making their deliberations, Kaitlan, and when the jury makes their deliberations and concludes and a verdict is found, I’m certain the President will speak to that.”

Collins is a former reporter for Tucker Carlson’s white nationalist-aligned Daily Caller website, and replaced CNN’s Jim Acosta when the Biden administration entered the White House.

 

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