Approximately 840,000 U.S. Workers File New Claims for Unemployment Benefits

An additional 840,000 American workers filed initial unemployment claims in the week ending Oct. 3, down about 9,000 from the previous week’s revised number but still well above pre-pandemic levels.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the advance seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 7.5 percent for the week ending Sept. 26, a decrease of 0.7 percentage points from the prior week. Unemployment rate data lags the new initial claims report by a week.

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Senate Lawmakers Send Numerous Bills to Joint Conference Committees with House

The Senate sent a number of bills to be considered by joint conference committees, and appointed conferees to join their colleagues in the House of Delegates to consider legislation on Wednesday.

Three or four Senators and Delegates are assigned to different conference committees and must try to agree on compromised language for similar bills from each body or the legislation will die. If compromised versions are agreed upon, those bills will go back to the House and Senate for a final passage vote.

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Kamala Harris Refuses to Answer Question on Packing the Supreme Court

Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris wouldn’t answer a question about packing the Supreme Court during the vice presidential debate Wednesday.

Harris refused to explain her position on packing the court during a discussion on the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to fill the vacancy left by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Vice President Mike Pence pushed Harris on her position multiple times.

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McCloskeys Indicted on Gun Charges From Standoff at St. Louis Mansion

Mark and Patricia McCloskey, the St. Louis couple charged in July with brandishing weapons at rioters who broke into their gated community, have been indicted by a grand jury.

The McCloskey’s were indicted Tuesday on felony charges of unlawful use of a weapon and evidence tampering, according to their attorney Al Watkins, Fox News reports.

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Voters Increasingly Support Amy Coney Barrett for Supreme Court, Poll Shows

Voters are increasingly backing the confirmation of President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett, a Morning Consult and Politico poll released Wednesday showed.

Almost half, 46%, of voters polled by Morning Consult/Politico between Oct. 2 – 4 said that the Senate should confirm Barrett, the poll found. These numbers were up 9 percentage points since Trump first announced he was nominating Barrett on Sept. 26, according to the poll.

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Mike Flynn Seeks to Remove Judge Overseeing Case, Alleging Bias

In a dramatic escalation of a long-running feud, lawyers for former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn on Wednesday filed a motion to disqualify U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan from considering the request to dismiss their client’s case, arguing the jurist has demonstrated “contempt and disdain for the defense.”

The filing by attorneys Sidney Powell and Jesse Binnall came after the defense and judge clashed several times at a hearing last week. It also follows Flynn, retire Army lieutenant general, having tried to get an appeals court to issue a writ of mandamus forcing Sullivan to immediately dismiss the case.

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Commentary: Three Inconvenient Truths 60 Minutes Forgot to Mention in Its Story on California Wildfires and Climate Change

CBS journalist Scott Pelley recently visited Butte County, California, to report on the wildfires devastating the Golden State.

Government statistics show that more than 8,300 wildfires have burned some 4 million acres to date. The flames have claimed 31 lives and destroyed nearly 8,700 structures. One of those structures belonged to Fire Station 61 Chief Reed Rankin, who saw his home reduced to a charred skeleton after a September blaze.

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Biden Says He Would Make Abortion Access ‘Law of the Land’ If Amy Coney Barrett Moves to Overturn Roe v. Wade

Former Vice President Joe Biden said Monday that making Roe v. Wade the law of the land is the only “responsible response” to possible attempts from Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett to overrule Roe.

Biden discussed the possibility that Barrett will be confirmed to the United States Supreme Court during a Monday NBC town hall.

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White House to Block FDA Vaccine Guidelines That Would’ve Delayed Approval Past Election

The White House blocked new vaccine guidelines proposed by health officials within the Trump administration, which likely would have pushed the approval of a coronavirus vaccine past the election.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which is in charge of approving vaccines, proposed the guidance on Sept. 21, according to The New York Times. White House chief of staff Mark Meadows raised concerns with one provision of the guidelines which said vaccine trial subjects should be examined for two months following their final dose, a senior administration official told the Times.

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95 Percent of Silicon Valley Donations Have Gone to Joe Biden

A new Wired report shows overwhelming support from Silicon Valley employees for Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden. The magazine states that almost 95 percent of donations from employees at Silicon Valley tech giants such as Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, and Oracle went to the Democratic presidential nominee, Breitbart reports.

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‘Oil Barons and Railroad Tycoons’: Big Tech Must Be Restructured, House Report Says

Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google have abused their monopoly power and must undergo significant restructuring, according to a House report released Tuesday.

Lawmakers who wrote the report said the four tech companies had grown into monopolies akin to “oil barons and railroad tycoons” and suggested an overhaul to U.S. antitrust laws, according to The New York Times. The lengthy report, spearheaded by Democratic Reps. Jerrold Nadler and David Cicilline, is the result of a 15-month House Judiciary Committee investigation into the companies collectively known as Big Tech.

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Trump Administration to Sharply Limit Skilled-Worker Visas

The Trump administration announced plans Tuesday to sharply limit visas for skilled workers from overseas, a move officials said was a priority amid job losses caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Department of Homeland Security and Department of Labor officials said new rules for what’s known as the H1-B program will restrict who can obtain a work visa and will impose additional salary requirements on companies seeking to hire foreign workers.

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Kamala Harris Dodges Addressing Whether China Is an Ally or Adversary

Democratic California Sen. Kamala Harris dodged addressing whether China is an ally or an adversary during Wednesday night’s vice presidential debates.

Moderator Susan Page asked Harris how she would describe the United State’s “fundamental relationship with China,” asking Harris whether China is a competitor, adversary, or enemy. Harris dodged addressing this question and instead focused on President Donald Trump’s actions.

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In the Dead of Night, House Speaker Filler-Corn Removed Confederate Statues for $83K – and Lied About the Documents, Lawsuit Claims

Virginia House Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn (D-Fairfax) faces a lawsuit for falsely denying the existence of records documenting the $83,000 removal of the Capitol’s Confederate monuments.

The plaintiff in the case, David Webster II, requested documents under the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) from Filler-Corn upon learning she’d removed the Confederate statues and busts. In her response, Filler-Corn states repeatedly “The requested records do not exist.” However, Webster II discovered many of the documents in question.

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Show Me the Money: Congressman Morgan Griffith Outlines Pelosi Plan to Line the Pockets of Fat Cat Millionaires in Bogus Stimulus Plan

Friday morning on The John Fredericks Show, host Fredricks welcomed Virginia Congressman Morgan Griffith to the show to outline why Trump ceased negotiating a second CARES Act and Nancy Pelosi’s tax cuts for her millionaire donors.

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Richmond’s Summer of Blood

Richmond Police Chief Gerald Smith announced 24 homicides occurred July 1 through September 3, a 60 percent increase compared with the same period in 2019. In Smith’s quarterly report violent crime overall was up four percent. Cases of arson were up by 17 percent, for a total of 21.
“After the civil unrest we still have experienced some arsons,” Smith said. Smith was hired at the beginning of July after downtown Richmond suffered violent protests.

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Gov. Northam Fights to Keep Virginia in Perpetual Shutdown

Only 22 percent of ventilators in Virginia hospitals were in use as of Wednesday. Fifty-two percent of ICU beds were available, according to the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association. Only 1,003 potential COVID-19 patients were currently hospitalized. However, Governor Ralph Northam’s executive orders surrounding social distancing and mask wearing remain in effect.

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Top High School in U.S. Releases New Admissions Plan Based on ‘Racial Equity’ Lottery Instead of Academic Merit

Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) released a new admissions plan for Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology largely based on lottery rather than academic merit. The new plan proposed by FCPS Superintendent Scott Brabrand omits the current standardized testing requirements.
FCPS says it will admit 100 students based on high evaluations. The high school would select the remaining 400 at random through something they call a “merit lottery.”

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TRUMPDATE: Latest From the Team Trump Virginia Campaign for October 8

Welcome to the Thursday edition of our daily Virginia Trump campaign update! We will provide our readers with daily updates on the Trump Virginia campaign from today to November 3 (and after…if need be!).

It’s officially 26 days until the election on November 3 – and 23 days until early voting in Virginia closes. The deadline to register to vote in time for the 2020 election is October 13, six days from today.

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Never-Trump PAC Gave $2 Million to Biden in Virginia

Anti-Trump conservative political action committee Defending Democracy Together (DDT) has given over $2 million to the Biden campaign in Virginia, placing them second-highest on a list of outside spending in Virginia.

“They’re just another bunch of loser never-Republicans frozen out of the greatest movement in America,” said Trump Virginia Delegation Chairman John Fredericks. “They want their old Republican party back.”

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