Friday's Mini-Report, 7.31.20

Today's edition of quick hits.
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By Steve Benen

Today's edition of quick hits:

* As if there weren't enough to worry about, it's hurricane season: "A hurricane watch was issued for parts of the Florida coast Friday as Hurricane Isaias takes aim at the Sunshine State. Isaias -- a Category 1 hurricane with winds of 75 mph -- was located 295 miles southeast of Nassau and moving northwest at 16 mph, as of the 11 a.m. advisory from the National Hurricane Center."

* Here's hoping he's right: "Dr. Anthony Fauci said Friday that he is 'cautiously optimistic' that a coronavirus vaccine in the U.S. could prove effective by 'late fall or early winter.'"

* I guess it was inevitable that there was a Florida angle to this mess: "Three people have been charged with carrying out the hacking attack on Twitter in mid-July in which the accounts of prominent people were taken over. State authorities in Florida say 17-year-old Graham Ivan Clark 'was the mastermind' of the attack. He now faces 30 state felony charges, and federal charges may also be filed."

* I do enjoy unintentional irony: "White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany on Friday denounced as anti-democratic Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam’s decision to delay legislative elections by a year due to coronavirus concerns. McEnany’s condemnation comes one day after President Donald Trump suggested the United States postpone its own election in November."

* It sounds like state Sen. Katrina Robinson (D) is going to need a good lawyer: "A Tennessee state senator was indicted Thursday on dozens of counts of stealing more than $600,000 in federal funds received by a health care school she directed and using the money to pay for personal items and expenses."

* Another potential fiasco to watch: "The Census Bureau is cutting short critical door-knocking efforts for the 2020 census amid growing concerns among Democrats in Congress that the White House is pressuring the bureau to wrap up counting soon for political gain, NPR has learned."

* A Capitol Hill ethics mess: "The House ethics committee said on Thursday that it had ordered Representative David Schweikert, Republican of Arizona, to pay a $50,000 fine and face a reprimand by the House after finding that he violated 11 House ethics rules."

* This seems easy to believe: "The FBI reportedly stashed away crucial documents in its Russia-Trump campaign investigation, including FBI Director James Comey’s memos on his conversations with President Donald Trump, out of fear that Trump would shut down the probe. According to CNN, the FBI took several steps to shield the documents under then-FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe’s leadership after Trump fired Comey in 2017."

* What a coincidence: "President Donald Trump had his public schedule clear through mid-afternoon Thursday -- right up until his predecessor Barack Obama was about to take the dais at civil rights leader John Lewis’ funeral 600 miles to the southwest -- when suddenly, reporters and cameras were called into the Oval Office."

Have a safe weekend.