By Robert A. Vella

Let’s get right to it.

Trump Shenanigans

From:  Trump Organization under investigation for ‘insurance and bank fraud,’ filing suggests

Attorneys for Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance argued Monday that President Donald Trump should be forced to comply with a subpoena for his tax documents — and suggested that his company was under investigation for alleged insurance and bank fraud.


Vance’s office subpoenaed Trump’s accounting firm, Mazars USA, in 2019 as part of an investigation into the Trump Organization about payments made to two women who have alleged affairs with the president, which he has denied. But the latest filing suggests Vance’s probe extends beyond the hush-money payments.

See also:

[Dr. Deborah] Birx stung by first public attack from Trump

Trump doubles down on well-wishes for alleged sex trafficker Ghislaine Maxwell

Trump wants the Treasury to get a substantial cut of any TikTok acquisition. China’s state media says that would be ‘open robbery.’

Government and Politics

From:  FCC chair says agency will take public comment on Trump social media petition

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Federal Communications Commission will take public comment for 45 days on a petition filed by the Trump administration seeking new transparency rules in how social media companies moderate content, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said on Monday.

Pai rejected calls from Democrats that he summarily dismiss the petition without public comment. The decision came after President Donald Trump directed the Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to file the petition after Twitter Inc in May warned readers to fact-check his posts about unsubstantiated claims of fraud in mail-in voting.

See also:

Trump’s New Adviser Steve Cortes Thinks He Hasn’t Been ‘Fascist’ Enough

Divisive Trump nominee gets new Pentagon post, despite snub by Congress

White House Withdraws Nomination Of FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly, Who Doubted Donald Trump’s Executive Order On Social Media

Trump appointee Merritt Corrigan fired from USAID amid anti-LGBTQ tweets

Judge voids Trump administration restrictions on coronavirus sick leave

Judge: ‘Discriminatory’ to deny Puerto Rico access to US aid

Election News

From:  Republicans race to promote mail voting as Trump’s attacks discourage his own supporters from embracing the practice

President Trump’s unfounded attacks on mail balloting are discouraging his own supporters from embracing the practice, according to polls and Republican leaders across the country, prompting growing alarm that one of the central strategies of his campaign is threatening GOP prospects in November.

Multiple public surveys show a growing divide between Democrats and Republicans about the security of voting by mail, with Republicans saying they are far less likely to trust it in November. In addition, party leaders in several states said they are encountering resistance among GOP voters who are being encouraged to vote absentee while also seeing the president describe mail voting as “rigged” and “fraudulent.”

As a result, state and local Republicans across the country fear they are falling dramatically behind in a practice that is expected to be key to voter turnout this year. Through mailers and Facebook ads, they are racing to promote absentee balloting among their own.

See also:

Nevada approves plan to mail ballots to all registered voters

[Federal] Judge orders that NY ballots on House primaries be counted

Morality and Religion

From:  Do we need God to be good? Here’s what a massive Pew Research survey says

In Kenya, for example, the country with the lowest gross domestic product per capita in the survey, 95% of people said belief in God is necessary for a person to be moral.

In Sweden, the richest country, just 9% of people connected God with good morals. (The survey did not break down respondents by religion.)

Even within countries, the rich and poor don’t agree on God and morality, the survey said.

In the United States, to take one example, there is a gap of 24 percentage points between high and low income Americans. The poor were much more likely to say belief in God is necessary to be good.

“People in the emerging economies included in this survey tend to be more religious and more likely to consider religion to be important in their lives,” wrote the authors of the study.

Pew’s study seems to lend weight to the secularization thesis: the idea that nations become less religious as their people get richer and more educated.

For decades, the United States defied this theory by being both rich and religious. But even that is changing, according to a number of other studies.

In 2002, 58% of Americans said belief in God is necessary to be good. In 2019, that number slipped to 44%.

Coronavirus Pandemic

Global Cases Top 18 Million; Lockdowns Increase: Virus Update

New cases of coronavirus are down but death is rate up, says FEMA

Tens of Thousands Positive COVID Results in Texas Not Reported, Officials Say

260 employees in Georgia’s largest school district test positive for COVID-19 or are exposed

Hogan overrules Maryland county order delaying in-person education at private schools, including Barron Trump’s

2 in 3 say US is handling pandemic worse than other countries: NPR poll

Satisfaction With U.S. Plummets as Trump Faces Reckoning Over COVID-19

Trump’s base starting to erode, new poll shows

World is facing “generational catastrophe” in education, UN warns

Top Federal Reserve official says US needs another lockdown to save economy

Protests, Racism, and Public Health

40 people arrested in Austin during weekend protests

Police committed 125 human rights violations during Floyd protests: Amnesty

‘Racist incidents’ stop construction work on FC Cincinnati stadium

Judge starts new injunction barring Lee statue removal

Judge Salas breaks silence in heartbreaking video tribute after son’s shooting death

Many Americans Are Convinced Crime Is Rising In The U.S. They’re Wrong.

People live longer in blue states than red; new study points to impact of state policies

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