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US/China Tensions Escalating

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(NewsBreakDaily.org) – With the COVID-19 pandemic holding the world in its grip, diplomatic and military relations between China, the United States and regional neighbors are heating up. Beyond the accusations flying back and forth between Beijing and Washington D.C. about where the novel coronavirus originated, China has chosen now to make a move on the territories of other nations.

In response, US Navy ships have made several “freedom of navigation” trips through what are officially international waters. China has unilaterally declared the Spratly Islands and the Paracel Islands official parts of their country, despite valid claims of Vietnam, Malaysia, and the Philippines to different areas of the South China Sea.

While the entire world tries to figure out how to save their people and their economies, China has decided to increase the sound of their saber-rattling. All things considered, the timing seems awfully…convenient.

Copyright 2020, NewsBreakDaily.org

Unemployment Over 30 Million

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(NewsBreakDaily.org) – The COVID-19 pandemic has caused most states to issue stay-at-home directives, leading over 30 million Americans to file unemployment benefit claims. With a historic event like this, the system has become overwhelmed, and some serious issues have cropped up because of it.

The fact is, there are only so many people to do the work, and only so much bandwidth computer networks can access. The influx which, as one Ohio official put it, “…came almost with a light switch on March 15th,” has pushed wait times for filing and receipt of money far out across the country.

Another issue that’s sure to become a political hot potato is the benefit status of people when their home states decide to reopen. Several states have already announced that those who refuse callbacks to work for fear of getting the virus may lose their unemployment payments.

America is in the midst of a crisis unlike any other in its history. The politicians are going to have to figure this out as they go along. Democrats have already shown their willingness to hold relief money hostage and use this situation to advance their agenda, so the country can expect a lot of finger-pointing in months to come. It is, after all, a presidential election year.

Copyright 2020, NewsBreakDaily.org

Socialism Rising: New Liberal Agenda

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(NewsBreakDaily.org) – Karl Marx’s slogan “from each according to his ability, to each according to his need” was his pie-in-the-sky sound bite for the Proletariat about his dream government. In reality, history has proven the harsh lesson that it doesn’t work, yet Congressional Democrats still push it.

Here’s the thing about Socialist regimes and their first cousin Communism: They. Do. Not. Work. The Soviet Union, Cuba, N. Korea, and Venezuela are all among the long list of failed experiments. Yet, Progressive Liberals who hold elected office like AOC — aka Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) — and The Squad keep trying to shove it down our throats.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) recently said adding a guaranteed monthly payment to everybody into the COVID-19 stimulus phase 4 package is something to consider. If AOC has her way, that would mean the government would provide, at a minimum, monthly payments of $2,000 per adult and $1,000 per child to everyone, including illegal aliens.

The pandemic that has the world in a chokehold is going to cause a fundamental change to America. There really is no question on that front. But if Progressive Liberals are allowed to foist their agenda upon us, it just might erase the freest system of government ever devised by mankind from existence.

Copyright 2020, NewsBreakDaily.org

COVID-19: Are Food Shortages Next?

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(NewsBreakDaily.org) – The havoc wreaked by the novel coronavirus pandemic has turned American society on its head and ravaged the economy. Now warnings are surfacing that the food supply, particularly meats, may become a problem because COVID-19 is decimating the workforce at major processing plants. John Tyson, chairman of the company that bears his name, sent up a warning flare regarding the nation’s food chain. It has garnered a lot of attention including one advisor to President Trump.

Tyson, whose company is the largest meat producer in the United States, expressed grave concerns regarding the ability to keep grocery store meat cases stocked. In his blog post, he predicted that “millions of pounds of meat will disappear” and that “millions of animals – chickens, pigs and [sic] cattle – will be depopulated because of the closure of our processing facilities. The food supply chain is breaking [emphasis added].”

This follows on the heels of the shutdown of numerous pork processing plants owned by Smithfield Foods which controls 28.3% of the market in pork and JBS SA whose plant closures alone counts for 10% of the industry’s capacity. Flattening the curve on COVID-19 will aid America’s recovery in one respect, but as this shows, it’s going to take some time to arrive at a “new normal,” whatever that might be.

Copyright 2020, NewsBreakDaily.com

The Term “Covidiot” is Spreading Like a Virus…

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Some wag did what they normally do during a time of crisis and coined a new word: covidiot. In other words, people who are too selfish or downright stupid when it comes to dealing with COVID-19. Sadly, there’ve been too many instances of this since the virus hit the American shores causing some officials to close beaches, parks, and hiking trails.

Here are just a few prime examples.

Cities around Tampa Bay, Florida were forced to close several public beaches. Drone footage captured a packed beach even after social distancing guidelines were put into effect.

In both Missouri and Virginia, covidiots took their lack of care and respect for their fellow human being to a whole new level. These jokers thought it would be “funny” to take videos of themselves coughing on or near customers and licking grocery store produce. In the Show-Me State at least, authorities weren’t laughing and have charged the man with making terrorist threats.

In Philadelphia, some people are taking Lionel Ritchie’s “All Night Long” a bit too literally. In one instance, a large group rented an Airbnb and partied until daybreak, and police said they’re aware of “several others.” To compound matters, the revelers decided to use at least one neighbor’s front porch as an overflow spot.

Panicking during the pandemic by hoarding supplies (Toilet paper? C’mon people!) will only make matters worse. However, ignoring reasonable practices for a pathogen that has a mortality rate more than 30 times that of influenza outbreaks is nothing but sheer stupidity.

Thank you to our friends at United Voice for contributing this piece. 

The Electoral College: Pros, Cons and Why It Exists

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(NewsBreakDaily.com) – Have you ever wondered how a presidential candidate can lose the popular vote yet still become President of the United States? In November 2016, President Donald Trump shocked the world by defeating Hillary Clinton in the presidential election, even though she had millions more votes.

The reason for his win? The electoral college. In fact, four Republican presidents have been elected this way — President Trump being the most recent. Since then, democratic presidential candidates have argued for the elimination of the electoral college system in favor of using the popular vote election system.

Our Founding Fathers created the electoral college as part of Article II of the Constitution (12th Amendment) because they didn’t want direct elections. At the time, they felt Americans wouldn’t know everyone on the list of candidates they’d be voting for.

They felt this method would help citizens make better decisions. And so, the electoral college became a compromise between the popular vote by citizens and a vote in Congress.

The other concern by our Founding Fathers was that more populated areas would dominate elections more so than areas with fewer people. This is why you have one elector allocated per senator so states with fewer people would have an equal vote.

What Is an Electoral College?

Many confuse the Electoral College as being a place. In actuality, it’s a process of selecting electors as well as counting the electoral votes by Congress.

There are a total of 538 electors, and to become president, a qualified person must get 270 electoral votes.

There are only two states that don’t have a winner-take-all policy where they only look at the winner of the popular vote: Maine and Nebraska. What they do, however, is appoint individual electors based on the winner of the popular vote for each Congressional district and then two electors for the overall state-wide popular vote.

How Are Electors Chosen?

Presidential candidates who win the nomination for their political party have their own group of electors, also known as slates. Each state varies how they select their slates but they’re generally chosen through political party affiliation.

According to the US Constitution, Article II, section 1, clause 2 provides that “…no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an elector.”

The 14th Amendment also states that any person who rebelled against the United States, gave aid to and comforted enemies, or engaged in insurrection is disqualified from serving as an elector.

How It Works

The office of the Federal Registrar is in charge of the Electoral College, which is part of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).

After each state has chosen electors who have pledged to vote for particular candidates in mid-December, voters take to the polls in November to select their choice for President and Vice President.

After the general election, states send their “Certificates of Ascertainment” to the Office of the Federal Register with the names of the electors who have pledged to vote for the winner of the popular vote.

The NARA reviews each state’s “Certificates of Ascertainment” to ensure the list of names meet all legal requirements to vote. Only after the lists have been vetted, can the selected electors cast their votes in mid-December.

The following year on January 6th, Congress meets in a joint session with electors to conduct an official count of votes. The vice president, as president of the Senate, presides over the count and announces the results of the vote.

The president of the Senate then announces the names of those selected as president and vice president of the United States. They’re then sworn into office on January 20th.

What Has to Happen to Change the Electoral College System?

Since the creation of the Electoral College System by the Founding Fathers, much has changed in the popular voting system as more citizens have been granted the right to vote, while the system itself hasn’t changed at all.

In the history of the United States’ presidential elections, only four candidates have become president through the Electoral College process while losing the popular vote; Rutherford B. Hayes (1876), Benjamin Harrison (1888), George W. Bush (2000), and Donald Trump (2016).

They were all Republican Party candidates. Perhaps this is why the majority in the Democratic Party are pushing to have the electoral college system eliminated in favor of the popular vote.

Critics of the Electoral College System argue that it’s undemocratic. In other words, a candidate shouldn’t win without winning the popular vote, and the winner-takes-all approach cancels the vote of the losing candidate.

Meanwhile, supporters of the Electoral College System argue that it requires candidates to earn the support of voters outside larger cities and influence smaller states. It legitimizes the electoral process more than that of a popular vote, and helps preserve a two-party system.

For now, many state governors are pushing for laws that would award electors to the winner of the popular vote.

In order to change the current Electoral College System, a constitutional amendment is needed, which would not only take a long time to implement but would also require a lot of support by the American people.

While many would like to see changes to the Electoral College System, it’s likely that it won’t happen any time soon.

Copyright 2020, NewsBreakDaily.com

The Battle Over Illegal Aliens

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(NewsBreakDaily.com) – One of the hot button political issues of the 21st century is the security of America’s Southern border. President Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton in 2016, in part, because of his promise to build a wall between the United States and Mexico.

Opinions

It comes as no surprise that Democrat and Republican views on this do not align. When asked if immigrants already here, contrary to the laws of the United States, should be allowed to stay in the country and apply for citizenship, 75% on the Left said yes, while only 19% on the Right agreed.

When the question was reversed, so were the numbers. Asked if illegal aliens should be deported the percentages flipped to 13% on the Dem side and 70% of Republicans voted yes.

The same divide is seen regarding the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program, which opened a path to citizenship for children and young adults who were minors when they arrived in the US. It should be noted this is not an official “act” as it was created out of thin air by the Obama Administration without any Congressional input or action.

On the Public Dole

It’s no secret that millions of American citizens do without health insurance. This is due, in part, because there’s only so much government money to go around even with a federal Medicaid budget of almost $600 billion in 2018. Now, Progressive Liberals are pushing to add noncitizens to the mix.

In mid-2019, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a program into law that provides so-called undocumented people under the age of 25 access to taxpayer-funded healthcare. Also, at one of the early Democratic Party Presidential debates, candidates were asked to “raise your hand if your government plan would provide coverage for undocumented immigrants.” Every single candidate put their hand up. Every. Single. One.

The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)

ICE was formed in 2003 to consolidate the roles of several agencies under one banner. It’s their duty to guard our borders and to remove people who, simply put, by law don’t belong here. However, that’s easier said than done when local and state governments decide federal laws don’t apply to them.

It’ll probably come as a shock to many, but former President Barack Obama had a strong record of deporting those who were in the country illegally in his first term. Although, that did drop off during his second term, and of course there’s the issue of the DACA program. It was one of the only points of contention between him and the other Liberals in the country.

This division led some state and local jurisdictions to refuse any kind of assistance to ICE. Of course, this idea went into overdrive after the election of President Trump, when these jurisdictions started forming sanctuary cities.

The problem is, these renegade locations aren’t just protecting the guy a few streets over who’s just keeping his head down and trying to feed his family. When someone who’s wanted for deportation is arrested, the system flags the name and the agency files a detainer with the arresting jurisdiction, which many will ignore. For example:

  • Officials in King County, Washington refused the detainer request for a man who was arrested for child molestation and convicted on reduced charges. Instead, they released him into the public. He was later arrested for threatening someone’s life in order to prevent prosecution.
  • Cicero, Illinois: Authorities arrested a man in connection to fraudulent identification, then later denied the ICE retainer. This seems like an innocuous enough crime, however, it’s the man’s history that a problem. He has a conviction for “ aggravated sexual abuse of a victim between the ages of 13 and 16 years old” and has already been deported twice.
  • El Paso County, Colorado: A man was arrested for “kidnapping, robbery, and assault 3rd degree. And, of course, the detainer was rejected.

One might ask why the Liberals are so intent on undermining the rule of law and protecting vicious criminals at the expense of the safety of American citizens? It may come down to seizing the White House by whatever means necessary, even if it jeopardizes the safety of their constituents.

While immigrants cannot vote for president…yet…they are tallied in the census. That means a greater percentage of seats in Congress, and also, coincidentally, of course, a mirror shift in Electoral College votes.

Copyright 2020, NewsBreakDaily.com

Perfecting Your Personal Healthcare

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(NewsBreakDaily.com) – One of the great things about American healthcare is the sheer number of options at our disposal. It’s never been easier to tailor a healthcare plan to your exact needs. However, these choices can make it difficult to determine the best course of action, especially if there are multiple underlying conditions to address.

The good news is that there’s plenty that you can personally do to perfect your personal healthcare strategy and save a few bucks in the process.

Cutting Insurance Costs

Lower premiums won’t always save you money. One of the essential balances to find in your healthcare plan is between your premiums and your deductibles. Low premiums often mean astronomical deductibles, which can hit harder than paying more upfront. When researching plans, it’s important to focus on the type of care you need, how often you visit doctors and specialists, and the costs of your medications.

This might take a lot of number crunching and specific knowledge, so working with a broker is often beneficial.

Ask for itemized bills when paying medical expenses. You could be paying extra for your healthcare without even realizing it. Healthcare facilities are not foolproof, billers and coders can easily make mistakes. Sometimes, it’s simply the cost of the procedure or medicine has increased across the board. Receiving itemized statements makes it easier for you to double-check prices and ensure that you’re not paying more than you should.

Are you medicating too much? If you’re on a number of medications, it’s possible that you may not need all of them, especially if some of your health conditions have improved over time. Re-evaluate your medication plan with your physician to ensure that you’re not taking or paying more than you have to.

Your insurance plan might pay for extra benefits. One hidden perk that not many know about when it comes to insurance plans is it often covers self-improvement elements. This includes gym memberships or workout equipment. Additionally, if you’re on Medicaid it could also pay for Medicare. Go over your insurance plan and search for any additional benefits you may not be aware of.

Look for hidden opportunities to cut back on costs. Negotiation is an underrated skill, but if you’re not comfortable with that, then ask about any discounts or alternative care plans. Some insurers offer incentives to clients who utilize fitness trackers and other high-tech devices. Don’t be afraid to ask about oddball possibilities that might cut costs!

Preventative Healthcare

If you’ve already maximized your insurance plan savings, then practicing preventative care could lower your bills even more by avoiding doctor visits entirely. Some of these options are readily available, while others may require specific equipment.

  • Regularly check your blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels if applicable
  • Keep up with seasonal vaccinations to prevent illness
  • Stay ahead of diseases by getting colonoscopies, mammograms, and other screenings

As the saying goes, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

Stay in Good Health

One of the best ways to avoid or mitigate healthcare expenditures is to stay as healthy as possible. As cliche as it might be, keeping up with your physical health is something we can all do a better job at. Your mental health is also important, so don’t neglect that.

Maintaining a balanced diet is extremely helpful. A diet doesn’t mean you have to subscribe to a weight-loss food program or other potentially draconian plans. There’s no one set solution to eating properly, so experiment with various diets, cut out foods that cause you problems, and consider consulting a dietician.

Regular exercise is essential for the body and mind to function properly. Even committing to a daily 15-minute brisk walk will put you miles ahead of others who stay inside most of the day, literally. If your body can handle it, lift heavy objects daily whether it be weights, boxes, or potting soil bags.

There’s more than one way to slash your healthcare expenditures. Whether you’re working within your insurance system or changing your daily routine, there’s always a way to stay healthier for cheaper. Get creative and look for unorthodox solutions to your healthcare bills!

Copyright 2020, NewsBreakDaily.com

Diplomacy: Sometimes it Works, Sometimes it Doesn’t

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(NewsBreakDaily.com) – The feud between the Hatfields and the McCoys is one of the most well-known in American history. Since millions can die when that kind of relationship exists between two or more countries, diplomacy was invented.

The United Nations (UN)

The UN, and its forerunner, the League of Nations, were put together so that there would be a (mostly) neutral place to discuss issues. However, it can get tricky at times. For example, the United States has no official diplomatic relations with several countries including North Korea and Iran.

The body meets in New York City to regularly debate world policy and issue edicts covering a wide variety of topics, up to, and including, military actions. One instance of this occurred when North Korea invaded the South in 1950 and a group of UN member states sent troops in to try and push them out.

War!

Sometimes the art of statecraft just doesn’t work, as the world found out after Adolf Hitler played British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain for a fool. In an attempt to appease Hitler, Chamberlain pushed through the Munich Agreement which ceded part of Czechoslovakia to the Nazis without a shot being fired. A year later, Hitler would forcibly take the rest.

Trying to maintain peace in today’s world is just as difficult, maybe more so. The weapons of modern warfare could make two hotspots erupt before the world had any idea what was happening.

Aggression Across the World

China has been very aggressive in the South China Sea, especially when it comes to one of America’s allies: Taiwan. The Chinese government considers the island nation to be nothing more than a province in rebellion, and the UN seems to agree with this position.

In the Middle East, a region sacred to Muslims, Jews, and Christians alike, the matter might even be worse. The leaders of the Islamic faith believe the Jewish State of Israel “has no right to exist.” Given the relatively small area involved and the fervor with which this belief is held, it’s a miracle things have been held to skirmishes instead of all-out war.

Will Rogers once said, “diplomacy is the art of saying ‘Nice doggie” until you find a rock.” That may be a bit cynical, but it definitely rings true. If organizations like the United Nations can get everyone working together, maybe all the rocks can get buried for good.

Copyright 2020, NewsBreakDaily.com

Voting in Today’s World

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(NewsBreakDaily.com) – Everyone knows how important it is to vote and if they don’t, they should. But what do you need to know to make sure you are able to vote on election day? Like anything else, it takes planning.

How to Register

The very first thing you need to do before you hit the polls is register. In most states, you can register online, if that’s not available in your state, you can register by mail with the National Mail Voter Registration Form.

You can also register in person at a state or local election office, DMV or BMV, armed forces recruitment centers, or county and state public assistance offices.

While the legal voting age in the US is 18, each state has its own rules for when you can register or pre-register. In some cases, you don’t have to be 18 yet, just by a certain date. If you’re unsure, check online to determine your eligibility.

Know What You’re Voting For

Once you’re registered to vote, make sure you know who you’re voting for. During an election, you’ll see a myriad of candidates running for positions at local, state, and federal levels, not just presidential options.

Research ahead of time to learn what will be on the ballot, both candidates and issues. Many times, you’re voting on specific local and state bills, too. Being informed ahead of time means no skipping questions or voting blindly.

Also ensure you know how your candidate’s name will appear on the ballot. Sometimes their full legal name can be different from what you are used to seeing. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) is one perfect example of this.

The ballot will be broken up according to the different issues and positions up for grabs. Some states still use paper forms while others provide computers for electronic votes.

Getting to the Polls

Knowing who the candidates are and what issues are at hand is only useful if you can get to the polling place. Every registered voter is assigned a specific voting location based on their address. If you’re unsure, contact your local election office or search online.

If you don’t drive, you’ll need to look at other options such as public transportation or ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft. Remember to bring your ID with you, otherwise, you’ll be turned away or asked to return.

Necessary Precautions

Unfortunately, for upcoming elections, you may need to think about making sure you are safe from contagions such as the novel coronavirus. When facing any kind of viral outbreak, it’s important to follow the guidelines set forth by the CDC and our government officials.

Remember to practice social distancing, meaning you should remain at least six feet away from other people. Wash your hands frequently and use a hand sanitizer when soap and water aren’t available.

The right to vote is something we tend to take for granted. But it’s a right that we need to exercise. Remember that who ends up in office is up to you and if you don’t vote, you may not be happy with the results.

Copyright 2020, NewsBreakDaily.com