GOP online donation platform tweaks fees, sending millions more to midterm campaigns

Source: Politico

“Republicans are making a small change to their online fundraising program that could have a big impact on the party’s finances heading into the 2022 midterm election. WinRed, the GOP’s principal small-dollar donation processor, is lowering the fees it charges candidates and committees for each contribution they receive through the platform. The shift — which follows months of behind-the-scenes deliberations involving the party’s most senior officials — could result in millions of dollars more being funneled into campaign coffers next year. Under the new plan, which WinRed President Gerrit Lansing outlined in a memo sent to senior Republicans this week, the platform will charge a flat 3.94 percent fee per donation. Until this point, the for-profit outfit had been charging 3.8 percent per contribution, plus another 30 cents. The change is set to go into effect Jan. 1.” (09/16/21)

MN: Supreme Court defers ruling on Minneapolis police

Source: US News & World Report

“The Minnesota Supreme Court issued a narrow ruling Thursday in the fight over a ballot question about the future of policing in Minneapolis, but it didn’t settle the bigger question of whether the public will get to vote on the issue. Chief Justice Lorie Gildea’s ruling lifted a small part of a lower court’s order that rejected the ballot language approved by the City Council, saying that elections officials don’t have to include notes with ballots instructing people not to vote on the question and that any votes won’t be counted. The order didn’t address the main issue in dispute: whether voters will get to decide on a proposed charter amendment that would replace the Minneapolis Police Department with a new Department of Public Safety that ‘could include’police officers ‘if necessary.'” (09/16/21)

Small agency, big job: Biden tasks OSHA with vaccine mandate

Source: Napa Valley Register

“The Occupational Safety and Health Administration doesn’t make many headlines. Charged with keeping America’s workplaces safe, it usually busies itself with tasks such as setting and enforcing standards for goggles, hardhats and ladders. But President Joe Biden this month threw the tiny Labor Department agency into the raging national debate over federal COVID-19 vaccine mandates. The president directed OSHA to write a rule requiring employers with at least 100 workers to force employees to get vaccinated or produce weekly test results showing they are virus free. The assignment is sure to test an understaffed agency that has struggled to defend its authority in court. And the legal challenges to Biden’s vaccine mandate will be unrelenting: Republican governors and others call it an egregious example of government overreach. [editor’s note: Now let’s see if he moves that new IRS subsidy to OSHA – SAT] (09/16/21)

US unemployment claims rise after hitting pandemic low

Source: Seattle Times

“The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits moved up last week to 332,000 from a pandemic low, a sign that worsening COVID infections may have slightly increased layoffs. Applications for jobless aid rose from 312,000 the week before, the Labor Department said Thursday. Jobless claims, which generally track the pace of layoffs, have fallen steadily for two months as many employers, struggling to fill jobs, have held onto their employees. Two weeks ago, jobless claims reached their lowest level since March 2020.” (09/16/21)

Haley on Milley’s phone calls: “You have the back of your president,” not the country

Source: Fox News

“Nikki Haley, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, said on ‘America’s Newsroom’ Thursday Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley has a lot of questions to answer at a Sept. 28 Senate hearing. ‘You don’t have the back of the Chinese, you have the back of your president,’ said Haley, reacting to reports Milley called Chinese officials at the end of the Trump administration. Haley said during her time in the Trump administration she observed that ‘there were multiple members of the administration that thought they knew better than the president. That’s a very dangerous thing!’ The former South Carolina governor pointed out that although it is not unusual for countries like China and Russia to call, the question lies with why Trump would have been left out of the loop.” (09/16/21)

Australia: Regime plans to build nuclear sub fleet with US, UK regime assistance; French regime whines

Source: Time

“Australia is joining a new Indo-Pacific security partnership with the U.S. and U.K. that will allow it to acquire nuclear-powered submarines, sparking a rift with France at a time when the Biden administration is pushing allies to counter Chinese assertiveness. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, U.S. President Joe Biden and U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the security partnership in a virtual meeting on Wednesday. France said the move halted a 2016 deal with French military shipbuilder Naval Group to build up to 12 submarines, a project that had blown out to an estimated A$90 billion ($66 billion). … In a press briefing, Morrison defended the decision and said he understands it’s disappointing for France. Touting a ‘forever partnership’ with the U.S. and U.K., he said would take as many as 18 months to work out details of the agreement before work on the subs begins.” (09/16/21)

NH: Court rejects truck driver’s appeal in crash that killed seven motorcyclists

Source: San Francisco Chronicle

“The New Hampshire Supreme Court on Thursday rejected an appeal for a bail hearing for a truck driver who’s been in jail since he was charged with causing the deaths of seven motorcyclists in 2019. Volodymyr Zhukovskyy, 25, of West Springfield, Massachusetts, is scheduled to face trial on Nov. 29 on multiple counts of negligent homicide, manslaughter, driving under the influence and reckless conduct stemming from the crash that happened in Randolph on June 21, 2019. He pleaded not guilty. The victims, members of the Jarheads Motorcycle Club, were from New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.” (09/16/21)

Fourth Circuit: US regime can do whatever it wants in secret

Source: Al Jazeera [Qatar state media]

“A US federal appeals court has upheld the dismissal of a lawsuit that challenged the National Security Agency’s (NSA) practice of mass interception and searching of US citizens’ international internet communications. The Wikimedia Foundation, which runs Wikipedia, said in its lawsuit that the NSA’s so-called ‘Upstream’ surveillance programme captures some of its international communications and is a violation of the US Constitution’s First Amendment free-speech rights and its Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable search and seizure. In a divided ruling on Wednesday, the 4th US Circuit Court of Appeals said the lawsuit must be dismissed after the government invoked the ‘state secrets privilege,’ which meant that a full exploration of the issue in a court would damage national security.” (09/16/21)

Southwest Airlines pays staff extra to get jabbed

Source: BBC News [UK state media]

“Southwest Airlines has become the latest big US airline to try to cajole workers into getting vaccinated as infection rates [sic] surge across the US. It said it would pay a bonus to staff who got jabbed, but also stop sick pay for unvaccinated workers who had to quarantine with Covid. It said it was unrelated to Joe Biden’s upcoming vaccine mandate for firms, but it plans to comply with the order. Delta, American and United Airlines have all made similar moves recently. In a memo to workers, Southwest said those who submit proof of vaccination to the company by 15 November would get 16 hours of extra pay.” [editor’s note: At least they are offering incentives rather than firing anyone who says no – SAT] (09/16/21)

Bulgaria: Interim regime sworn in until November election

Source: ABC News

“Bulgarian President Rumen Radev on Thursday reappointed a retired general as interim prime minister to lead a new caretaker government until the next early election is held in November. The Balkan country, which is the European Union’s poorest member, is gearing up for its third parliamentary election of the year after deep divisions between the parties in parliament prevented them from finding common ground for a coalition government. Radev presented the new caretaker Cabinet, which will have to organize snap parliamentary and regular presidential elections on Nov. 14th. It’s the first time that a caretaker government enters power after a previous caretaker Cabinet.” (09/16/21)