The Rundown for September 8, 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 6,256,723 and the nation’s death toll stands at 189,206, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… Despite a lowering in cases, officials are warning that there could be an uptick after Labor Day and going into the fall. The 31,395 cases reported Sunday was the lowest number reported since July and followed a spike in mid-August.

TRUMP CAMPAIGN SQUANDERS FUNDRAISING ADVANTAGE… The New York Times reported yesterday that President Trump’s re-election campaign has spent more than $800 million of the $1.1 billion it raised from early 2019 to July. In squandering its early cash advantage, the campaign is having to implement stricter financial planning for the duration. The spending included $11 million on Super Bowl ads in a “vanity splurge” to match Michael R. Bloomberg’s spending. During the early months of the pandemic, Trump also refused to hold virtually costless Zoom fundraisers like his opponent Joe Biden.

BIDEN TARGETS MILITARY IN CAMPAIGN RELAUNCH… Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden is relaunching a $47 million digital advertising campaign targeting military service members. The relaunch the recent bombshell report claiming President Trump privately referred to fallen U.S. soldiers as “losers” and “suckers.” The ads will target voters living near military bases in the swing states of Wisconsin, North Carolina, Florida, Pennsylvania and Arizona. The ads feature Biden interacting with military service members and originally launched in January.

CONGRESSIONAL DEMS SEEK DeJOY INVESTIGATION… Congressional Democrats are calling for an investigation into Postmaster General Louis DeJoy’s employee campaign contributions during his oversight of a North Carolina-based logistical company between 2000 and 2014. The lawmakers want to know if DeJoy committed campaign finance violations following Sunday’s Washington Post report that accused him of reimbursing employees he pressured to make donations. Former employees of New Breed Logistics told the Post that DeJoy encouraged them to attend fundraisers and donate generously to Republican candidates. Two employees said DeJoy then arranged for them to receive bonuses that matched the donations plus any taxes due.

DOZENS OF HOMES BURNED IN CALIFORNIA FIRE… The California wildfire that forced the evacuation of about 200 campers from a popular reservoir over the weekend has burned through at least two dozen homes in the small mountain town of Big Creek. No injuries have been reported. The Creek Fire has grown to 78,790 acres with 0% containment, prompting new evacuations for Fresno and Madera counties.

S… Former The Temptations singer Bruce Williamson died Sunday night at his home in Las Vegas after battling COVID-19, family members announced yesterday. He was 49. Williams sang with The Temptations from 2006 through 2015. He performed with the group in concert and television, as well as recorded with it on the albums “Back to the Front” and “Still Here.”

ACTOR KEVIN DOBSON DIES… Veteran television star Kevin Dobson died on Sunday of undisclosed causes. He was 77. Dobson played Detective Bobby Crocker opposite Telly Savalas on the crime drama “Kojak” from 1973 to 1978. He also played Mack MacKenzie in more than 290 episodes of the primetime soap drama “Knots Landing.”

Philadelphia 9 – N.Y. METS 8
(10 innings)… The Phillies recovered to down the Mets after blowing a 6-0 fifth-inning lead. Jean Segura homered with a runner aboard in the top of the fifth inning and finished with five RBIs. Rhys Hoskins and J.T. Realmuto also went deep.

Miami 5 – ATLANTA 4 (10 innings)… Miguel Rojas’ fourth hit of the game with a double that drove in the decisive run in the top of the 10th inning and the Marlins made it stand in outlasting the Braves. Rojas also doubled home a run in the second.

MINNESOTA 6 – Detroit 2… Michael Pineda (1-0) held the Tigers to two runs on three hits over seven innings. Ryan Jeffers homered and singled home a run. Byron Buxton also went deep.

CHI CUBS 5 – St. Louis 1… Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks (5-4) held the Cardinals to a run on seven hits over eight innings. Willson Contreras stroked a two-run double for Chicago.

SEATTLE 8 – Texas 4… The Mariners doubled up on the Rangers to complete a series sweep and run their winning streak to six games. Dylan Moore homered and slammed a bases-clearing double. Kyle Seager homered with a runner aboard. Marco Gonzalez (5-2) allowed two runs on four hits over seven innings.

WASHINGTON 6 – Tampa Bay 1… Max Scherzer (4-2) scattered six hits over seven shutout innings and the Nationals cruised past the Rays. Kurt Suzuki went 3-for-4 with an RBI.

CLEVELAND 5 – Kansas City 2… Zac Plesac (3-1) held the Royals to a run on seven hits over seven innings. Tyler Naquin drove in two runs for the Indians.

TORONTO 12 – N.Y. Yankees 7… The Blue Jays erupted to score 10 runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to overcome a 6-2 deficit and get past the Yankees. Jansen’s grand slam capped the big inning. The loss was New York’s fourth in a row.

SAN FRANCISCO 4 – Arizona 2… The Giants scored all four runs in the bottom of the sixth inning and held off the Diamondbacks. Mike Yastrzemski’s run-scoring single sparked the rally. Kevin Gausman (3-2) surrendered a run on two hits over six innings.

OAKLAND 6 – Houston 0… Athletics starter Chris Bassitt (3-2) combined with two relievers in the shutout of the Astros. Bassitt gave up seven his over seven inning. Sean Murphy homered and lined a two-run single.

SAN DIEGO 1 – Colorado 0… Jurickson Profar doubled home pinch-runner Jorge Mateo with the game’s only runs in the bottom of the ninth inning as the Padres clipped the Rockies. The game featured a duel between San Diego Starter Danielson Lamet and his counterpart Kyle Freeland, but neither got a decision.

Oakland (Frankie Montas, 2-2; Mike Minor, 0-0) is at Houston (Zach Greinke, 0-0); Brandon Bailey, 0-0…
Philadelphia (Zach Eflin, 2-1) hosts Boston (Martin Perez, 2-4)…
Tampa Bay (Ryan Yarbrough, 0-0) is at Washington (Anibal Sanchez, 1-4)…
Cleveland (Triston McKenzie, 0-0) hosts Kansas City (Brady Singer, 1-4)…
Minnesota (Jose Berrios, 2-2) is at St. Louis (Carlos Martinez, 0-0)…
St. Louis (Daniel Ponce de Leon, 0-0) hosts Minnesota (Randy Dobnak, 6-2)…
the N.Y. Yankees (J.A. Happ, 1-1) are at Toronto (Taijuan Walker, 2-2)…
Pittsburgh (Joe Musgrove, 0-0) hosts the Chi. White Sox (Reynaldo Lopez, 0-0)…
Boston (Nick Pivetta, 0-0) is at Philadelphia (Vince Velasquez, 0-0)…
Atlanta (Kyle Wright, 0-0) hosts Miami (Sixto Sanchez, 1-1)…
Baltimore (Adam Wojciechowski, 1-3) is at the N.Y. Mets (Robert Gsellman, 0-0)…
Detroit (Spencer Turnbull, 3-2) hosts Milwaukee (Adrian Houser, 1-3)…
the L.A. Angels (Julio Teheran, 0-0) are at Texas (Lance Lynn, 4-1)…
the Chi. Cubs (Alex Mills, 3-3) host Cincinnati (Tyler Mahle, 1-1)…
Colorado (Chi Chi Gonzalez, 0-0) is at San Diego (Mike Clevinger, 1-1)…
Arizona (Luke Weaver, 1-6) hosts the L.A. Dodgers (Walker Buehler, 0-0)…
Seattle (Ljay Newsome, 0-0) is at San Francisco (Logan Webb, 2-3)

NBA PLAYOFFS SCORES (games in Orlando)…
Boston 111 – Toronto 89
… The Celtics held the Raptors to 11 first-quarter points on their way to building a 27-point halftime lead and never looked back in taking a 3-2 lead in the series. Jaylen Brown scored a game-high 27 points. Kemba Walker added 21 points. Game 6 is tomorrow.

L.A. Clippers 113 – Denver 107
… The Clippers pulled past the Nuggets in the fourth quarter to go up 3-2 in the series. Paul George pumped in 32 points. Kawhi Leonard had 23 points and 14 rebounds. Game 6 is tomorrow.


Milwaukee vs. Miami in Game 5 with the Heat leading 3-1

the L.A. Lakers vs. Houston in Game 3 with the series tied 1-1

(in Toronto)
Tampa Bay 8 – N.Y. Islanders 2… Braydon Point found the net twice and had three assists as the Lightning walloped the Islanders in the Eastern Conference final opener. Yanni Gourde also scored two goals. Game 2 is tomorrow.


Vegas vs. Dallas in Game 2 with the Stars leading 1-0

The Rundown for June 18, 2020

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE… The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the U.S. has reached 2,163,290 and the nation’s death toll stands at 117,717, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University. 10 states have reported record seven-day high averages of new cases since the pandemic began. The states include Alabama, Arizona, California, Florida, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina and Texas. Despite the uptick in the number of cases and hospitalizations in his state, Texas Governor Greg Abbott yesterday announced he was barring cities from implementing any rules that would require face coverings.

BOLTON BOOK EXCERPTS… Multiple media outlets that obtained advanced copies of former national security adviser John Bolton’s upcoming book,”The Room Where It Happened,” reported that it contains some damaging details about the Trump White House. Bolton, who served as Trump’s national security adviser from April 2018 to September 2019, said at last June’s G20 Summit in Osaka, Trump pleaded with Chinese President Xi Jinping to help him win the 2020 re-election by purchasing more U.S. farm products. Among other claims, Bolton says Trump tried to halt criminal investigations to help “dictators he liked” and there were multiple instances when Trump sought to intervene in law enforcement matters for political reasons. Bolton also noted that Trump was apparently not aware that Britain is a nuclear power and didn’t know that Finland is not part of Russia. Bolton says he reported cases of Trump’s potential abuses of power to Attorney General Bill Barr. Last night, the Justice Department stepped up its effort to block publication of the book by filing an emergency request. The new filing came in the same civil lawsuit the Justice Department filed the day before seeking to recoup whatever earnings Bolton made from the book. A second tell-all book about Trump by his niece, Dr. Mary Trump, is scheduled for release next week. The president is reportedly looking into suing his niece, who was the source behind a New York Times Pulitzer-winning exposé on Trump’s tax schemes.

ATLANTA COPS CHARGED… Prosecutors have filed 11 charges, including felony murder and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon against Garrett Rolfe, the white Atlanta police officer who fatally shot a Black man twice in the back last week during a foot pursuit outside a Wendy’s restaurant. Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard said yesterday that Brooks was not a deadly threat and that the officer kicked the wounded black man and offered no medical treatment for over two minutes as he lay dying on the ground. At the time of the shooting, 27-year-old Rayshard Brooks was holding a taser he had snatched from officers but held no darts and he was beyond its effective range anyway, Howard said. A second Atlanta police officer, Devin Brosnan, is facing three charges, including aggravated assault and violation of oath, for his role in the deadly encounter. Both officers have been fired and have until 6 p.m. today to surrender themselves.

AUNT JEMIMA, UNCLE BEN’S TO CHANGE BRANDS… Weeks of civil unrest has prompted the makers of Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben’s rice to rebrand the products. Quaker Oats said it will replace the image of an old Black woman in its Aunt Jemima’s line because it was “based on a racial stereotype.” Mars, which owns Uncle Ben’s, said it would find a replacement for the 70-year-old image of an old man on the label, which was rooted in slavery and servitude. Quaker also announced a pledge of $400 million toward initiatives to oppose racial injustice.

NEW YORK MAKES JUNETEENTH A HOLIDAY… New York Governor Andrew Cuomo yesterday signed an executive order recognizing Juneteenth as a paid holiday for state employees to commemorate the emancipation of slaves in the U.S. The governor also vowed to propose legislation next year making June 19 a permanent state holiday. The legislature is already considering a bill that honors the day in 1865 when news of President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation reached slaves in Galveston, Texas, who became among the last to be freed by a proclamation that had taken effect on January 1, 1863. Texas was the first state to make it a state holiday in 1980. On Tuesday, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam proposed making Juneteenth a state holiday there.

ILLINOIS GOVERNOR SIGNS VOTER LEGISLATION… Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed legislation yesterday to expand the state’s vote by mail availability and make election day a state holiday. The legislation also extends early voting hours at permanent polling places and improves the signature verification process. Voters who submit their application for a VBM ballot by October 1 will receive their VBM ballot by October 6.

… Actor Danny Masterson, best known as the star of “That ’70s Show,” was arrested in Los Angeles yesterday and charged with the forcible rape three women in separate incidents between 2001 and 2003. Masterson posted bond at L.A. County Jail and is scheduled for arraignment in September. He faces 45 years to life in prison if convicted.

D’ELIA FACING ONLINE SOLICITATION ACCUSATIONS… Multiple women have stepped forward on Twitter yesterday with claims that comedian and actor Chris D’Elia sexually harassed them when they were underage. The women accused D’Elia of grooming them and soliciting them for nude photos or sexual encounters. One Twitter user posted screenshots of DM conversations she said she had with D’Elia when she was 16 years old in 2014. D’Elia responded to the accusations by denying any wrongdoing and promising “to do better.”

… Negotiations between major league baseball owners and the players union appear to have taken a significant step toward the resumption of a 2020 season. ESPN reported that the owners yesterday submitted to the union a proposal that calls for a 60-game season at full prorated pay. The season would reportedly begin July 19 and include an expanded playoff format.