Former Dem Rep. Dan Lipinski to Speak at March for Life

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Former Dem Rep. Dan Lipinski to Speak at March for Life Former Rep. Dan Lipinski Former Rep. Dan Lipinski, D-Ill., in 2007. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

By Theodore Bunker | Friday, 21 January 2022 11:49 AM

Former Rep. Dan Lipinski, who represented a district in Illinois as a Democrat for eight terms in Congress, will speak at the March for Life on Friday, the Washington Examiner reports.

A self-described anti-abortion, pro-union, blue-collar Democrat, Lipinski told the Examiner that he lost in 2020 to a primary challenger, Rep. Marie Newman, D-Ill., after she won the support of multiple progressive groups and leaders in the party who targeted him because of his views on abortion.

“Clearly, if all that effort was expended by the other side to get me out of Congress, they feared my pro-life voice in the Democratic Party, no two ways about it,” Lipinski said.

“They came after me in the Democratic primary because they wanted to silence all pro-life Democratic voices,” he added. “And despite my loss, I haven't been silenced. In pro-life, Democrats aren't going to be silenced.”

Lipinski went on to say: “We need the pro-life movement to not be a partisan issue. So I want to encourage pro-life Democrats to keep at it and sort of emphasize the importance of this not becoming just a partisan issue because it hurts the pro-life movement.”

He argued that “The party is just, it's hurting itself. It doesn't make any sense. If they're just looking at it politically, and I've gone through recently, and it looked at the sort of evolution of the Democratic Party platform through the years on abortion — you know, it used to be [that] the Democratic Party recognized that there are differing views, and it took the position that it opposed overturning Roe v. Wade, but the platform said that we understand that people have different views on this and essentially said that we respect that.

"That's the position, I think, the Democratic Party should get back to at least; or else the party could, you know, it just politically is really hurting itself.”

Original Article

Rep. Comer to Newsmax: Vital to Investigate Hunter Biden Over Cobalt Deal

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Rep. Comer to Newsmax: Vital to Investigate Hunter Biden Over Cobalt Deal (Newsmax/"Wake Up America")

By Sandy Fitzgerald | Friday, 21 January 2022 10:36 AM

Rep. James Comer, the leading Republican on the House Oversight Committee, told Newsmax on Friday that it is vitally important that the National Archives release any information about Hunter Biden's alleged involvement in the sale of an African cobalt mine to a Chinese company in 2016, as the matter is one of vital national security.

"Hunter Biden, in one of his consulting firms, worked with China to be able to navigate a sale that never should have happened, a sale from an Arizona-owned company for that mine's cobalt in the Congo," the Kentucky lawmaker said in a panel discussion on Newsmax's "Wake Up America," about President Joe Biden's son.

"Hunter Biden just made the sale without any restrictions or any hesitation or any problem from the federal government," said Comer. "China is a threat to our national security, and at this time, the Obama administration was pushing more electric vehicles [and] cobalt is an essential component of making batteries for electric vehicles."

Last month, The New York Times reported the president's son was a part-owner in an investment firm involved in a Chinese conglomerate's $3.8 billion buyout of one of the world's largest cobalt deposits, located in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The sale makes the United States "even more dependent on China," and that means a "national security threat to the United States," Comer told Newsmax.

It also means that "Hunter Biden is a national security threat," said Comer.

"We want to preserve the documents so that when we have subpoena power, Hunter Biden can come before the House Republicans and explain exactly what happened," said Comer, noting a probe could happen in January 2023, "when the House flips and we can finally provide some type of oversight for the Biden administration."

Comer said Republicans on the committee want to know why the Obama Administration didn't intervene to stop the sale.

"We'll try to communicate with people from the Obama administration, but it just seems like any time Hunter Biden's involved in some money-making scheme, whether it's with the current Biden administration or the former Obama-Biden administration, he just gets a free path," said Comer. "We believe some of the artwork that he sold ended up in China. We're still working on that, but back to this cobalt.

"This is a serious issue because the more essential rare Earth minerals that China monopolizes the harder it's going to be for the United States to convert to electric batteries."

There are also questions about how much money Hunter Biden made from the sale that "should never have happened," said Comer. "The federal government is supposed to have checks and balances to prevent China from continuing its domination of the world market of these rare Earth minerals, but the American government turned a blind eye to Hunter Biden."

Meanwhile, China is in a "tremendous financial position" as its GDP will likely pass that of the United States in the next year, said Comer.

"They continue to purchase all the rare Earth mineral mining sites all across the world," he said. "At one point, American companies owned 100% of the majority of these rare Earth minerals that are used to manufacture batteries.

"Now we don't own any, and it's a huge problem because if we convert to electric vehicles, especially in the military, China could shut us off."

But the Biden administration won't hold China accountable for the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic let alone for buying up companies to put the United States at an economic disadvantage, said Comer.

The lawmaker also spoke about Biden's "mistake" by suggesting earlier this week that a response to a lower level of engagement by Russia against Ukraine would be met with a lower response from the United States.

The comment has been clarified by the White House and again by Biden, but Comer said the damage is done.

"That sent the signal to our adversaries: to Russia, to China, that the United States isn't as strong as it was under Donald Trump, and I just don't think Putin is very scared of Joe Biden's threats," said Comer, adding that Russian president Vladimir Putin and North Korea were "afraid" of Trump.

"We've got a long way to go to build back our reputation on the national level, on the international level," he said.

Note: See Newsmax TV now carried in more than 100 million U.S. homes, on DirecTV Ch. 349, Dish Network Ch. 216, Xfinity Ch. 1115, Spectrum, U-verse Ch. 1220, FiOS Ch. 615, Frontier Ch. 115, Optimum Ch. 102, Cox cable, Suddenlink Ch. 102, Mediacom Ch. 277, AT&T TV Ch 349, FUBO and major OTT platforms like Roku, YouTube, Xumo, Pluto and most smart TV’s including Samsung+, Sony, LG, Vizio and more – Find All Systems that Carry Newsmax – Click Here

Original Article

Rep. Comer to Newsmax: Vital to Investigate Hunter Biden Over Cobalt Deal

getfile.aspxguid58EEDF3A 8E01 4872 9150 433050C6E125 1

Rep. Comer to Newsmax: Vital to Investigate Hunter Biden Over Cobalt Deal (Newsmax/"Wake Up America")

By Sandy Fitzgerald | Friday, 21 January 2022 10:36 AM

Rep. James Comer, the leading Republican on the House Oversight Committee, told Newsmax on Friday that it is vitally important that the National Archives release any information about Hunter Biden's alleged involvement in the sale of an African cobalt mine to a Chinese company in 2016, as the matter is one of vital national security.

"Hunter Biden, in one of his consulting firms, worked with China to be able to navigate a sale that never should have happened, a sale from an Arizona-owned company for that mine's cobalt in the Congo," the Kentucky lawmaker said in a panel discussion on Newsmax's "Wake Up America," about President Joe Biden's son.

"Hunter Biden just made the sale without any restrictions or any hesitation or any problem from the federal government," said Comer. "China is a threat to our national security, and at this time, the Obama administration was pushing more electric vehicles [and] cobalt is an essential component of making batteries for electric vehicles."

Last month, The New York Times reported the president's son was a part-owner in an investment firm involved in a Chinese conglomerate's $3.8 billion buyout of one of the world's largest cobalt deposits, located in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The sale makes the United States "even more dependent on China," and that means a "national security threat to the United States," Comer told Newsmax.

It also means that "Hunter Biden is a national security threat," said Comer.

"We want to preserve the documents so that when we have subpoena power, Hunter Biden can come before the House Republicans and explain exactly what happened," said Comer, noting a probe could happen in January 2023, "when the House flips and we can finally provide some type of oversight for the Biden administration."

Comer said Republicans on the committee want to know why the Obama Administration didn't intervene to stop the sale.

"We'll try to communicate with people from the Obama administration, but it just seems like any time Hunter Biden's involved in some money-making scheme, whether it's with the current Biden administration or the former Obama-Biden administration, he just gets a free path," said Comer. "We believe some of the artwork that he sold ended up in China. We're still working on that, but back to this cobalt.

"This is a serious issue because the more essential rare Earth minerals that China monopolizes the harder it's going to be for the United States to convert to electric batteries."

There are also questions about how much money Hunter Biden made from the sale that "should never have happened," said Comer. "The federal government is supposed to have checks and balances to prevent China from continuing its domination of the world market of these rare Earth minerals, but the American government turned a blind eye to Hunter Biden."

Meanwhile, China is in a "tremendous financial position" as its GDP will likely pass that of the United States in the next year, said Comer.

"They continue to purchase all the rare Earth mineral mining sites all across the world," he said. "At one point, American companies owned 100% of the majority of these rare Earth minerals that are used to manufacture batteries.

"Now we don't own any, and it's a huge problem because if we convert to electric vehicles, especially in the military, China could shut us off."

But the Biden administration won't hold China accountable for the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic let alone for buying up companies to put the United States at an economic disadvantage, said Comer.

The lawmaker also spoke about Biden's "mistake" by suggesting earlier this week that a response to a lower level of engagement by Russia against Ukraine would be met with a lower response from the United States.

The comment has been clarified by the White House and again by Biden, but Comer said the damage is done.

"That sent the signal to our adversaries: to Russia, to China, that the United States isn't as strong as it was under Donald Trump, and I just don't think Putin is very scared of Joe Biden's threats," said Comer, adding that Russian president Vladimir Putin and North Korea were "afraid" of Trump.

"We've got a long way to go to build back our reputation on the national level, on the international level," he said.

Note: See Newsmax TV now carried in more than 100 million U.S. homes, on DirecTV Ch. 349, Dish Network Ch. 216, Xfinity Ch. 1115, Spectrum, U-verse Ch. 1220, FiOS Ch. 615, Frontier Ch. 115, Optimum Ch. 102, Cox cable, Suddenlink Ch. 102, Mediacom Ch. 277, AT&T TV Ch 349, FUBO and major OTT platforms like Roku, YouTube, Xumo, Pluto and most smart TV’s including Samsung+, Sony, LG, Vizio and more – Find All Systems that Carry Newsmax – Click Here

Former Vermont Lawmaker Dies Using End-of-Life Law He Helped Pass

getfile.aspxguid8478A89C 7CDD 404C B58A 8122351EE22C

Former Vermont Lawmaker Dies Using End-of-Life Law He Helped Pass Former Vermont Rep. Willem Jewett, left, and his daughter, Anneke Former Vermont Rep. Willem Jewett, D-Ripton, left, with his daughter, Anneke, during the first day of the legislature, in Montpelier, Vermont, on Jan. 5, 2004. (AP Photo/Toby Talbot)

By Jeffrey Rodack | Friday, 21 January 2022 10:07 AM

Willem Jewett, a former state lawmaker from Vermont who had been diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer, died using a prescription he obtained through a medical aid-in-dying law he helped pass nearly nine years earlier.

Jewett, 58, died Jan. 12 at his home in Ripton, Vermont, according to The Washington Post.

The VTDigger website reported: "Jewett chose to end his life using a prescription obtained through the law, with family and friends by his side.”

He had been diagnosed over a year ago with mucosal melanoma, a rare form of cancer.

The Washington Post noted that Vermont is among nine states and the District of Columbia where terminally ill patients can get prescriptions to end their life.

The law in Vermont, called Act 39, is also known as Vermont’s Patient Choice and Control at End of Life Act.

Jewett, a Democrat who had once served as House majority leader in Vermont, retired from politics in 2017.

State Sen. Dick McCormack, who voted for the 2013 law, recalled Jewett’s commitment to Act 39 even as it faced opposition in the General Assembly.

“What I knew of Willem is that he was a compassionate guy, and had a libertarian streak as well. Willem had a great capacity for that when he saw something clearly,” McCormack, also a Democrat, told the Post.

Jewett is survived by his wife, Ellen Blackmer McKay, and two daughters from his first marriage.

Original Article

Former Vermont Lawmaker Dies Using End-of-Life Law He Helped Pass

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Former Vermont Lawmaker Dies Using End-of-Life Law He Helped Pass Former Vermont Rep. Willem Jewett, left, and his daughter, Anneke Former Vermont Rep. Willem Jewett, D-Ripton, left, chats with his daughter, Anneke, during the first day of the legislature, in Montpelier, Vt., on Jan. 5, 2004. He died Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2022. Jewett, who had cancer, helped pass a Vermont's aid-in-dying law that allows terminally ill patients to ask their doctors for a lethal dose of medication. (AP Photo/Toby Talbot)

By Jeffrey Rodack | Friday, 21 January 2022 10:07 AM

Willem Jewett, a former state lawmaker from Vermont who had been diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer, died using a prescription he obtained through a medical aid-in-dying law he helped pass nearly nine years earlier.

Jewett, 58, died Jan. 12 at his home in Ripton, Vermont, according to The Washington Post..

The VTDigger website reported: "Jewett chose to end his life using a prescription obtained through the law, with family and friends by his side.”

He had been diagnosed over a year ago with mucosal melanoma, a rare form of cancer.

The Washington Post noted that Vermont is among nine states and the District of Columbia where terminally ill patients can get prescriptions to end their life.

The law in Vermont, called Act 39, is also known as Vermont’s Patient Choice and Control at End of Life Act.

Jewett, a Democrat who had once served as House majority leader in Vermont, retired from politics in 2017.

State Sen. Dick McCormack (D), who voted for the 2013 law, recalled Jewett’s commitment to Act 39 even as it faced opposition in the General Assembly.

“What I knew of Willem is that he was a compassionate guy, and had a libertarian streak as well. Willem had a great capacity for that when he saw something clearly,” McCormack told the Post.

Jewett is survived by his wife, Ellen Blackmer McKay, and two daughters from his first marriage.

Report: US Weighing Evacuation of Diplomat Families in Ukraine

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Report: US Weighing Evacuation of Diplomat Families in Ukraine A soldier walks in a trench A Ukrainian soldier walks in a trench at the line of separation from pro-Russian rebels, Donetsk region, Ukraine, on Jan. 10. (AP Photo/Andriy Dubchak)

By Charlie McCarthy | Friday, 21 January 2022 09:42 AM

The Biden administration is considering the evacuation of diplomat family members in Ukraine, it was reported Friday.

More than 100,000 Russian troops appear primed to invade Ukraine – something seemingly made more likely after President Joe Biden's comments during a Wednesday press conference.

"Scoop: The U.S. is weighing whether to evacuate family members of diplomats stationed in Ukraine, sources tell @AlbertoNardelli and me. Announcement expected in the coming days," Bloomberg News senior foreign policy reporter Nick Wadham's tweeted Friday morning.

Bloomberg reported that nonessential staff would be able to leave voluntarily while family members would be ordered to return home.

Sources told Bloomberg that a decision to evacuate simply reflects prudent preparations and not a sign the U.S. is certain Russia will invade.

Biden appeared to suggest that there could be a lower cost for a "'minor incursion'" by Russia in Ukraine as opposed to a full-scale invasion.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Thursday attempted to clarify Biden's remarks.

"President Biden has been clear with the Russian President: If any Russian military forces move across the Ukrainian border, that's a renewed invasion, and it will be met with a swift, severe, and united response from the United States and our allies," Psaki said in a statement.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov met in Geneva on Friday, trying to avert a possible Russian invasion of Ukraine amid Moscow’s demands for concessions from NATO over its relationship with the former Soviet republic.

Blinken agreed to provide written responses to Russian demands and meet again in an effort to resolve the impasse over Ukraine diplomatically, Bloomberg reported.

Blinken told reporters "if Russia wants to begin to convince the world that it has no aggressive intent toward Ukraine, a very good place to start would be de-escalating," Bloomberg reported.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Jim Jordan Wants House Judiciary to Probe DOJ, Southern Border, Fauci

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Jim Jordan Wants House Judiciary to Probe DOJ, Southern Border, Fauci Jim Jordan speaks into a microphone Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, speaks during a news conference in front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. on July 27, 2021. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

By Charlie McCarthy | Friday, 21 January 2022 09:14 AM

Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, said he plans to investigate the Justice Department, the southern border crisis, and Dr. Anthony Fauci if he becomes chairman of the House Judiciary Committee next year.

Jordan, the committee’s current ranking member, figures to become chairman if Republicans capture control of the House in November's midterm election. That would give the GOP subpoena power and the ability to set the agenda.

Jordan appeared on The Truth with Lisa Boothe podcast Thursday and discussed his priorities should he become committee chairman.

First on the docket will be "the DOJ, what they're doing to parents."

Jordan was referencing last year's National School Boards Association letter that compared parents attending school board meetings to domestic terrorists, and the ensuing DOJ memo that directed the FBI to help police deal with alleged threats against school board members.

"Priority No. 2, equally as important, is the chaos that is now our southern border and has been that way for a year, ever since [President Joe] Biden took office," he told Boothe. "We have to get control of that and we have to highlight how wrong [it has been]."

Jordan added that he will call Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to testify before House Judiciary Committee – something Mayorkas has yet to do.

The strong supporter of former President Donald Trump then said his committee and the House Committee on Oversight and Reform jointly will conduct a probe on the origins of the coronavirus, and on Dr. Fauci's actions during the pandemic. He added that he would like Sens. Rand Paul, R-Ky., and Ron Johnson, R-Wis., to assist in the investigation.

"In simple terms, Dr. Fauci knew from the get-go that we were funding gain-of-function research, and the origins of the virus likely came from the lab in the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China," Fauci told Boothe.

“What Fauci did is the template for how the left operates. Fauci said, 'I’m going to get these individuals who get government money to write the story I want them to write. We’re then going to cite that story as the basis for the message we want out there, and were going to mislead the American people.”

Fauci, Biden's chief medical adviser, will not be the committee's only COVID-related focus, however.

"There are six or seven things that they misled, and there's a bunch of other things they misled us on," Jordan told Boothe. "So we need oversight and the truth to get to the American people on that issue as well."

Jordan also raised questions about Hunter Biden, son of the president, whose foreign business dealings have been a cause for concern.

He said he wanted to look into the "collusion between Big Media and Big Tech" that led to the suppression of reporting on a laptop believed to belong to Hunter Biden "in the weeks right prior to the election."

Original Article

Pence to Speak at South Carolina Pregnancy Center Dinner

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Pence to Speak at South Carolina Pregnancy Center Dinner Pence to Speak at South Carolina Pregnancy Center Dinner (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

MEG KINNARD Friday, 21 January 2022 09:13 AM

As he positions himself for a possible White House bid, former Vice President Mike Pence is returning to the early-voting state of South Carolina, slated to give the keynote address at a fundraising banquet for a Christian pregnancy center that's become a regular stop for GOP presidential hopefuls.

In May, Pence will speak at a dinner on behalf of the Carolina Pregnancy Center, according to a copy of the invitation obtained by The Associated Press. The organization, which executive director Alexia Newman describes as a “pro-life ministry,” offers Christian counseling and adoption services, and free supplies to women who opt to have babies following unplanned pregnancies.

South Carolina holds the first presidential primaries in the South, and candidates of both major parties typically spend more than a year in the state ahead of those votes, introducing themselves and trying to secure support.

Republican candidates often use South Carolina's conservative voters as a proving ground to test their “pro-life” mettle. Nearly a year ago, Pence chose the fundraiser of another conservative Christian nonprofit in South Carolina as the scene of his first public address since the end of the Trump administration.

That dinner for Palmetto Family, which lobbies for what it considers to be “biblical values,” such as heterosexual marriage, gave Pence a backdrop for some of the issues for which he long advocated as an Indiana congressman-turned-governor, such as restrictions on abortion and support for the overturn of Roe v. Wade, the landmark ruling that ensured a woman’s constitutional right to an abortion.

Carolina Pregnancy Center, the host of Pence's May return, is based in the state’s conservative northwest and has frequently played host to Republicans seeking their party's nomination. In the 2016 cycle, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Dr. Ben Carson and businesswoman Carly Fiorina all visited the Spartanburg facility.

It's the kind of political issues trip that Pence has made with regularity during political seasons. In September 2020, he visited a Florida pregnancy center, highlighting his anti-abortion and conservative Christian viewpoints.

A month later, he met with abortion opponents at a women's clinic in Raleigh, North Carolina, also participating in a political rally featuring candidates who oppose abortion and calling the Democratic Party “the party of abortion on demand."

Since leaving office, Pence has worked to construct a post-White House operation that includes a political advocacy group, speeches, fundraising and shoring up relationships that could help him, should he choose to run for president in 2024.

Much of that has included efforts at deepening his appeal to his white Evangelical Christian base, as well as Trump supporters and those who may have been fond of former President Donald Trump’s policies, but not his style. Speaking at a September forum devoted to demographics and family values in Budapest, Pence told attendees that he was hopeful the new conservative majority on the Supreme Court created during his and Trump’s administration will soon overturn abortion rights in the United States.

Ahead of U.S. Supreme Court arguments in an abortion case, Pence in November called on the high court to “make history” and overturn Roe v. Wade, calling the 1973 ruling a “misguided decision” that has “inflicted a tragedy not only on our nation, but on humanity."

Meg Kinnard can be reached at http://twitter.com/MegKinnardAP.

Original Article

Gallup Poll: Congressional Approval Rating Plunges to 18%

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Gallup Poll: Congressional Approval Rating Plunges to 18% The American flag flies in front of the U.S. Capitol dome. The American flag flies in front of the U.S. Capitol dome in Washington, D.C. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

By Jeffrey Rodack | Friday, 21 January 2022 08:50 AM

Only 18% of Americans approve of the job Congress is doing – the lowest rating in more than a year, according to a new Gallup poll.

The poll shows that around 80% of Americans disapprove of the way Congress is handling its job.

The approval of Congress has fallen five points since December.

The last time the overall congressional job rating was lower was in the December 2020 Gallup poll, which found 15% approved of the job performance Congress was doing, while 82% disapproved.

Here are how the survey results, released Friday, break down:

  • 9% of Republicans approve of the job Congress is doing, compared to 7% who approved a month ago.
  • 26% of Democrats approve of the job Congress is doing – down 10 points in one month,
  • 17% of independents approve of the job performance of Congress – a drop of five points from a month ago.

“With the midterm elections less than 10 months away, pressure is mounting on Democratic legislators to deliver for their constituents,” the pollster noted. “Democrats may be vulnerable as approval of the democratically controlled 117th Congress is at its lowest point, and recent legislative failures, including the inability to pass social spending, climate change and voting rights bills have frustrated their party's base.”

The poll, conducted Jan. 3-16, surveyed 811 adults. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

Original Article

Biden, White House Defend Wallace, Bull Connor Comparisons

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Biden, White House Defend Wallace, Bull Connor Comparisons Joe Biden talks to reporters U.S. President Joe Biden talks to reporters in the Cabinet Room at the White House in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 22. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

By Sandy Fitzgerald | Friday, 21 January 2022 08:30 AM

Republicans are outraged over President Joe Biden's comparisons of people who oppose proposed voting legislation to segregationists Bull Connor and George Wallace and the leader of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis, but he and the White House are standing behind his comments.

"He was not comparing them as humans," White House press secretary Jen Psaki has said about the controversy, reports The Washington Post Friday. "He was comparing the choice to those figures in history and where they’re going to position themselves as they determine whether they’re going to support the fundamental right to vote or not.”

Biden last week sparked the complaints when, while pushing the voting legislation, he asked elected officials if they wanted to be remembered as being "on the side of Dr. [Martin Luther] King or George Wallace? Do you want to be on the side of John Lewis or Bull Connor? Do you want to be on the side of Abraham Lincoln or Jefferson Davis?”

Wallace, a one-time presidential candidate and former governor of Alabama, had fought to stop the integration of Alabama State University. Connor, meanwhile, was a Southern sheriff and white supremacist who is infamous for turning police dogs and fire hoses on civil rights activists.

But Republicans, speaking out about the comparisons, are quick to point out that Wallace, Connor, and Davis were all Democrats.

"That's the history of the Democrat Party," Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., told Newsmax's "National Report" Thursday. "Jim Crow in the South was foisted on us by Democrats."

Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, also spoke out about Biden's remarks, commenting on the Senate floor that Biden "accused a number of my good and principled colleagues in the Senate of having sinister, even racist inclinations."

Senate Minority Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., was also furious at the comparisons and called Biden's speech "deliberately divisive" and said the president "invoked the bloody disunion of the Civil War to demonize Americans who disagree with him. He compared a bipartisan majority of senators to literal traitors."

Biden called McConnell a friend and tried to stop to visit the senator the next day at his office on Capitol Hill, but the minority leader wasn't there.

But Biden, on Wednesday during his two-hour press conference, pushed back against people complaining about his remarks.

"I did not say that they were going to be a George Wallace or a Bull Connor," Biden said. "I said we’re going to have a decision in history that is going to be marked just like it was then. You either voted on the side — that didn’t make you a George Wallace or didn’t make you a Bull Connor."

He also got angry when he was asked again about the comments, challenging the reporter to "Go back and read what I said and tell me if you think I called anyone who voted on the side of the position taken by Bull Connor that they were Bull Connor."

He added that he was "making the case" that the bill's opponents' votes would "stick with you the rest of your career and long after you’re gone."

Eddie Glaude, chair of African American studies at Princeton University, told The Post that the reaction was "disingenuous.”

“So you’re going to clutch your pearls when someone implies you’re on the side of Bull Connor when you are making decisions that are based out of the era from which Bull Connor came?” he said. “People are more concerned with being called a racist than they are with the racist implications of their practices.”

But Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, D-Ill., called Biden's analogy "stark" and told CNN that the president "went a little too far in his rhetoric."

However, he said the principles and values at stake with the legislation "are very similar."

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, while agreeing with what Biden had said, commented that Biden should have used more modern figures who people would recognize.

"Nobody knows who Bull Connor is," the California Democrat told reporters last week. "You know, if we’re making the case to say, ‘We’re going to be with Martin Luther King or Bull Connor — who’s that?"

The comparisons seemed to be inspired by those made by historian Jon Meacham, who said similar comments during a panel discussion on the first anniversary of the Jan. 6 attacks.

Meacham helped Biden with his Jan. 6 speech, and told Politico that he "was happy to offer that language for the president to use if he wished.”

Original Article

Scalise Rips Biden Over Afghanistan Remarks

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Scalise Rips Biden Over Afghanistan Remarks Steve Scalise speaks during a news conference Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., speaks during a news conference with fellow House Republicans at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 20. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

By Jeffrey Rodack | Friday, 21 January 2022 08:15 AM

Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., is blasting President Joe Biden for not apologizing for the way the Afghanistan withdrawal was handled.

Scalise's comments came in a Thursday tweet and pertained to Biden’s remarks made during a press conference the day before.

Biden had said: “There was no way to get out of Afghanistan, after 20 years, easily. Not possible no matter when you did it. And I make no apologies for what I did.”

But Scalise took exception to the remarks and tweeted: “Seriously? No apology to the families of the 13 troops killed? To the Americans still stuck there? To the women and girls now living under Taliban rule? For handing our military equipment to terrorists? Shameful.”

In an attached video, Scalise said: “Weakness has consequences. We saw that in Afghanistan. For the president to say that he would do it over again the same way. My God, what a frightening thought it is to us here in the United States, to our allies all around the world, but also to our adversaries.

“We know Russia was watching what happened in Afghanistan. We know that China was watching, Iran…

“All of our adversaries around the world were watching and they saw the weakness. And they’re capitalizing on it right now.”

Original Article

Minimum Wage for US Federal Employees Raised to $15

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Minimum Wage for US Federal Employees Raised to $15  Minimum Wage for US Federal Employees Raised to $15 Director of U.S. Office of Personnel Management Kiran Ahuja speaks during a roundtable last fall with Labor Secretary Marty Walsh in the background. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

Friday, 21 January 2022 07:14 AM

U.S. federal agencies have been directed to raise the minimum wage for government employees to $15 an hour, according to a new guidance from the Office of Personnel Management (OPM).

The directive will impact almost 70,000 federal employees most of whom work at the Departments of Defense, Agriculture and Veteran Affairs, OPM said in a statement on Friday.

President Biden made supporting blue-collar workers a priority of his presidential campaign, saying strong unions and higher wages could resurrect America's middle class while helping bridge economic and racial inequities.

Last year Biden issued an executive order raising wages of federal contract workers to $15 an hour.

"Raising pay rates across the federal government to a minimum of $15 per hour reflects our appreciation for the federal workforce and our values as a nation," Kiran Ahuja, Director of the Office of Personnel Management, said in the statement.

OPM has asked agencies to implement the new wage by Jan. 30, and it excludes the U.S. Postal Service and Postal Regulatory Commission, the statement said.

Original Article

March for Life Activists Take to Streets of Washington

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March for Life Activists Take to Streets of Washington Antiabortion activists protest outside of a Planned Parenthood clinic (Allison Bailey/NurPhoto via AP)

Gabriella Borter Friday, 21 January 2022 01:32 PM

Tens of thousands of people gathered in Washington on Friday for the annual March for Life, their mood boosted by recent state abortion restrictions and the possibility that the U.S. Supreme Court could soon upend the Roe v. Wade ruling that legalized abortion nationwide.

Despite freezing temperatures, marchers assembled on the National Mall, bearing signs that read "I am the post-Roe generation" and "The future is anti-abortion."

The event marks the 49th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. But Friday's marchers were optimistic that this would be the last march to occur before the overturn of the landmark 1973 ruling that established a woman's right to terminate a pregnancy before the fetus is viable, at around 24 weeks.

Rachel Young, 19, came from northeastern Ohio with her fellow students at Franciscan University of Steubenville, a Roman Catholic school that sent several busloads of students on the 5-hour trip to Washington.

Young said it was her third time attending the March but that it was a uniquely exciting occasion because of how close the Supreme Court is to overturning Roe.

"I just can’t even believe it," she said. "I am so thankful that God has brought us here. And that we are so, so close."

In December, the Supreme Court signaled its openness to overturning Roe during arguments for a case out of Mississippi. The conservative justices, like Samuel Alito and Brett Kavanaugh, indicated sympathy for Mississippi's 15-week abortion ban.

If the conservative-leaning court rules in Mississippi's favor, it could overhaul abortion rights protected in the United States for nearly half a century. A ruling is expected by the end of June.

Jeanne Mancini, president of March for Life, the national anti-abortion group organizing Friday's event, said activists are hopeful "this year will bring us much closer to building the culture of life we have all marched for since Roe v. Wade was imposed on our nation nearly 50 years ago."

Abortion has long been a politically divisive issue in the United States, with abortion opponents concerned about preserving life from conception and abortion supporters standing for a woman's bodily autonomy.

In recent years, Republican-controlled states have advanced legislation and policies making it harder for women to get an abortion. The Guttmacher Institute, an abortion rights organization, found that 2021 saw the most restrictions of U.S. abortion rights in decades, with 108 abortion restrictions enacted in 19 states as of Dec. 31.

Liberate Abortion, a national coalition of more than 100 proabortion groups, was not planning any in-person counterprotest at the March for Life because of the recent spike in COVID-19 cases, coalition campaign director Sharmin Hossain said. The coalition instead will hold a series of virtual events to mark the anniversary of Roe v. Wade this week.

"I think it's ironic that they call themselves March for Life because they ideologically do not support people living their best lives, lives filled without shame and stigma," Hossain said, adding that mobilizing large unmasked gatherings disregards public safety.

The antiabortion movement also is celebrating a Texas law that banned abortion after six weeks and empowered private citizens to sue anyone who assists someone getting an abortion past that gestational limit. The Supreme Court has allowed that law, which took effect in September, to stand as it's challenged in lower courts.

Mark Lee Dickson, director of Right to Life of East Texas, said he would attend the March for Life in Washington for the first time, inspired by the large crowds of anti-abortion protesters who gathered outside the Supreme Court for the oral arguments in the Mississippi case.

"There may not be another March for Life with Roe on the books, so I want to be a part of this," he said.

Trump: Rift With Gov. DeSantis ‘Totally Fake News’

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Trump: Rift With Gov. DeSantis 'Totally Fake News' Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks alongside then-President Trump with a sign we're in this together behind them Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks alongside then-President Trump on July 31, 2020. (Patrick Semansky/AP)

By Eric Mack | Thursday, 20 January 2022 10:31 PM

The media has pitched a rift between Florida GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis and former President Donald Trump, but the former president considers it a push of politics of division.

"It's totally fake news," Trump told Fox News' "Hannity" on Thursday night, refuting any talk of a rift between the top 2024 GOP presidential contenders. "I think Ron said last week, he said it very publicly, 'The press is never going to get in the middle of my friendship with Donald Trump. We're not going to do that stuff.'

"And he said it very strongly. I thought that was very interesting, actually, and very nice. But he said that, and I agree with him 100%. I have a very good relationship with Ron and intend to have it for a long time."

Trump noted DeSantis was a House member when he first entered the Oval Office, and helped push him to the governor's mansion in 2018. DeSantis is running for reelection as governor of Florida this year, making any 2024 presidential ticket talk premature.

"I get along great with Ron," Trump said. "Ron was very good on the [special counsel Robert] Mueller hoax. He was right up front with Jim Jordan and all of the others. He was fantastic. The Republicans really stuck together, and it was a great thing and Ron was one of them.

"Ron wanted to run and I endorsed him, and that helped him greatly. He has gone on and done a terrific job in Florida. Ron has been a friend of mine for a long time."

Original Article

Trump: Rift With Gov. DeSantis ‘Totally Fake News’

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Trump: Rift With Gov. DeSantis 'Totally Fake News' Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks alongside then-President Trump with a sign we're in this together behind them Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks alongside then-President Trump on July 31, 2020. (Patrick Semansky/AP)

By Eric Mack | Thursday, 20 January 2022 10:31 PM

The media has pitched a rift between Florida GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis and former President Donald Trump, but the former president considers it a push of politics of division.

"It's totally fake news," Trump told Fox News' "Hannity" on Thursday night, refuting any talk of a rift between the top 2024 GOP presidential contenders. "I think Ron said last week, he said it very publicly, 'The press is never going to get in the middle of my friendship with Donald Trump. We're not going to do that stuff.'

"And he said it very strongly. I thought that was very interesting, actually, and very nice. But he said that, and I agree with him 100%. I have a very good relationship with Ron and intend to have it for a long time."

Trump noted DeSantis was a House member when he first entered the Oval Office, and helped push him to the governor's mansion in 2018. DeSantis is running for reelection as governor of Florida this year, making any 2024 presidential ticket talk premature.

"I get along great with Ron," Trump said. "Ron was very good on the [special counsel Robert] Mueller hoax. He was right up front with Jim Jordan and all of the others. He was fantastic. The Republicans really stuck together, and it was a great thing and Ron was one of them.

"Ron wanted to run and I endorsed him, and that helped him greatly. He has gone on and done a terrific job in Florida. Ron has been a friend of mine for a long time."

Florida Man Charged After 4 Found Dead at Canada-US Border

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Florida Man Charged After 4 Found Dead at Canada-US Border A border marker, between the United States and Canada is shown just outside of Emerson, Manitoba A border marker, between the United States and Canada is shown just outside of Emerson, Manitoba. (John Woods/AP)

Thursday, 20 January 2022 10:01 PM

A Florida man was charged Thursday with human smuggling after the bodies of four people, including a baby and a teen, were found in Canada near the U.S. border in what authorities believe was a failed crossing attempt during a freezing blizzard.

The United States Attorney's Office for the District of Minnesota said Steve Shand, 47, has been charged with human smuggling after seven Indian nationals were found in the U.S. and the discovery of the bodies.

Court documents filed Wednesday in support of Shand's arrest allege one of the people spent a significant amount of money to come to Canada with a fraudulent student visa.

"The investigation into the death of the four individuals in Canada is ongoing along with an investigation into a larger human smuggling operation of which Shand is suspected of being a part," John Stanley, a special agent with Homeland Security Investigations, said in court documents.

According to documents, a U.S. Border Patrol in North Dakota stopped a 15-passenger van just south of the Canadian border Wednesday. Shand was driving and court documents allege he was with two undocumented Indian nationals.

Around the same time, court documents said five other people were spotted by law enforcement in the snow nearby. The group, who were also Indian nationals, told officers they had been walking for more than 11 hours outside in frigid conditions.

A woman stopped breathing several times as she was transported to hospital. Court documents said she will require partial amputation of her hand. A man was also hospitalized for frostbite but was later released.

One of the men in the group was carrying a backpack that had baby supplies in it. Court documents said he told officers it belonged to a family who had become separated from the group overnight.

RCMP Assistant Commissioner Jane MacLatchy told a news conference in Winnipeg Thursday that once Mounties were notified the family might still be in Manitoba officers immediately began to search the area.

After a difficult search in nearly impassible terrain, she said officers found three bodies together — a man, a woman and a baby — just 10 meters from the border near Emerson, Man. The search continued and a teen boy was found a short distance away. It is believed they died from exposure.

"It is an absolute and heartbreaking tragedy," MacLatchy said.

They were wearing winter clothing, she said, but it would not have been enough to save them with the freezing conditions.

"These victims faced not only the cold weather but also endless fields, large snowdrifts and complete darkness," MacLatchy added.

Shand was arrested Wednesday and remains in custody. American authorities allege in court documents that Shand has likely been involved in other border crossings, including two recent incidents in December.

Officials in both countries said it is more common to see crossings north from the U.S. into Canada. Border crossings into Canada on foot increased in 2016 following the election of former U.S. president Donald Trump.

That December, two men lost their fingers to severe frostbite after getting caught in a blizzard while walking from the U.S. into Manitoba. A few months later, a woman died of hypothermia near the border on the American side.

In 2019, a pregnant woman who walked across the border was rescued after she became trapped in a snowbank and went into labor.

Emerson-Franklin Reeve Dave Carlson said illegal crossings there have dropped significantly in recent years. He was surprised to learn of the four deaths.

"If you look at the political climate on both sides of the border, it's just mind-boggling to me that anyone had that sense of desperation to try and cross in extreme conditions."

Deputy Patrick Klegstad with the Kittson County Sheriff's Office in Minnesota said his department is supporting the American side of the investigation. Its officers patrol the "desolate" open fields near the border every day, he said, and the area where people crossed is treacherous, especially in the cold.

"Why they picked that spot to travel would be the million-dollar question."

Klegstad, echoing Canadian officials, said it is uncommon to have people make the harrowing journey from Canada into the U.S.

"It's not very often we do have southbounders."

Biden threatens economic response to alleged Russian invasion of Ukraine

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A convoy of Russian armored vehicles moves along a highway in Crimea, Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2022. Russia has concentrated an estimated 100,000 troops with tanks and other heavy weapons near Ukraine in what the West fears could be a prelude to an invasion. The Biden administration is unlikely to answer a further Russian invasion of Ukraine by sending U.S. combat troops. But it could pursue a range of less dramatic yet still risky options, including giving military support to a post-invasion Ukrainian resistance. (AP Photo)

A convoy of Russian armored vehicles moves along a highway in Crimea, Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2022. Russia has concentrated an estimated 100,000 troops with tanks and other heavy weapons near Ukraine in what the West fears could be a prelude to an invasion. The Biden administration is unlikely to answer a further Russian invasion of Ukraine by sending U.S. combat troops. But it could pursue a range of less dramatic yet still risky options, including giving military support to a post-invasion Ukrainian resistance. (AP Photo)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 1:52 PM PT – Thursday, January 20, 2022

Joe Biden issued a new round of threats against Russia as he repeats claims of an alleged Russian invasion of Ukraine. In a statement Thursday, he tried to walk back his Wednesday remarks about a “minor incursion” and threatened “consequences” if Russian troops crossed into Ukraine.

Biden said Russia would face a “severe and coordinated” economic response if that were to happen. However, White House officials have struggled to explain what they would actually do in that scenario. Biden also threatened a U.S. response to Russian paramilitary actions and cyber attacks.

“Remember when they moved into the Donbas, the little green men?” he asked. “They were dealing with those who were Russian sympathizers and said that Russia had nobody in there. Well, that includes little green men in uniforms as well as cyber attacks. We have to be ready to respond to these as well, in a decisive and united way, with a range of tools at our disposal.”

The Russian foreign ministry said rhetoric is designed to frame the narrative to justify provocations in Ukraine and blame Russia for it.

Meanwhile, Vice President Kamala Harris said Russia will face severe costs if it takes military action against Ukraine. She made those remarks during an interview Thursday morning. Harris claimed the Biden administration has been clear and consistent in its stance on the matter.

“And on the subject on Ukraine I will tell you that the President has been very clear and we as the United States are very clear: if Putin takes aggressive actions, we are prepared to levy serious and severe costs,” Harris stated.

Still, Biden’s initial comments have led to speculation Russia could feel empowered to launch an invasion of Ukraine in coming weeks.

MORE NEWS: GOP Reps. Slam Biden’s Foreign Policy Failures

Original Article Oann

Manchin Says Further Talks on ‘Build Back Better’ Act Will Start From Scratch

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Manchin Says Further Talks on 'Build Back Better' Act Will Start From Scratch Manchin Says Further Talks on 'Build Back Better' Act Will Start From Scratch

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va. (Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

By Luca Cacciatore | Thursday, 20 January 2022 09:27 PM

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., told reporters on Thursday that talks over the Biden administration's "Build Back Better" Act would start ''from scratch'' in another blow to the president's climate and social spending plan, The Hill reported.

''We're going to start with a clean sheet of paper and start over,'' Manchin said. He added that his previous $1.8 trillion offer to the White House was no longer available.

We'll ''just be starting from scratch,'' he said.

Manchin said he was primarily concerned about forwarding legislation focused on tackling inflation and the rise of the COVID-19 omicron variant.

''The main thing we need to do is take care of the inflation. Get your financial house in order. Get a tax code that works,'' Manchin said. ''We can do a lot of good things. … But get your financial house in order. Get this inflation down. Get COVID out of the way, and then we'll be rolling.''

President Joe Biden conceded earlier this week that "Build Back Better" was most likely going to be broken up, according to The Hill. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., downplayed the change of pace from Biden to reporters on Thursday.

''What the president calls 'chunks' I would hope would be a major bill going forward. It may be more limited, but it is still significant,'' Pelosi said.

Manchin also responded to criticism about his vote against changes to the Senate filibuster on Wednesday to pass Democratic voting legislation.

''First of all, I think everyone should be respectful that we have a 50-50 [Senate]. … I think I've been more than considerate on the things that I've been, and where I can't, I've been telling them from day one. They knew exactly,'' Manchin said.

''I'm not a Washington Democrat, so the base they have is a different base than I have,'' he added.

Original Article

Biden Starts Second Year With Charm Offensive, and Terrible Polls

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Biden Starts Second Year With Charm Offensive, and Terrible Polls Biden Starts Second Year With Charm Offensive, and Terrible Polls (Getty)

by Sebastian Smith Thursday, 20 January 2022 09:08 PM

The White House launched a charm offensive, complete with a Tom Hanks video, to mark Joe Biden's first year as president Thursday, but dire new polls and a major congressional setback told another story.

Biden, who was sworn in to replace Donald Trump at noon last Jan. 20, marked the day by meeting with top cabinet members in charge of rolling out his signature infrastructure spending plan, a $1.2 trillion splurge he got passed in November with rare bipartisan support.

"Our nation has never fully made this kind of investment," Biden said, celebrating one of his biggest wins of last year — and a project that should keep delivering good news as bridges, roads and other large public works roll out.

The previous evening, the 79-year-old Democrat held an epic press conference lasting an hour and 52 minutes. Defending himself on his handling of the pandemic and roaring inflation, Biden said he'd got "a lot done" in the face of unprecedented difficulties for a president.

"He was having a good time," press secretary Jen Psaki said of his marathon performance.

Despite the cheerful messaging, Biden begins his second year as president facing a slew of bad news, including failure in the Senate late Wednesday of his cherished push for election law reforms — something he has claimed is needed to safeguard democracy from attempts at fixing the vote.

The polls also seem to be getting only worse. According to new NBC and AP-NORC polls, 54 percent and 56 percent of Americans respectively disapprove of Biden's performance.

The numbers point ominously to what most analysts expect to be a heavy defeat for Democratic legislators in November midterm elections, leading to Republicans taking control of Congress.

Asked about his sliding popularity, which is now in the area that Trump consistently inhabited, Biden told the press conference Wednesday: "I don't believe the polls."

– Tom Hanks reassures America –

Biden likes to laugh off doomsayers, telling them to share his trademark sunny outlook.

And his aides and allies did their best to spread the mood Thursday.

In a two-minute video, Hollywood legend Hanks recounted in his gravelly voice how the country's economy is bouncing back from the pandemic. The video featured clips of ordinary people, like a UPS delivery driver declaring "the fear is gone."

"We are strong, we are courageous, we are resilient, we are America — the land of the brave," Hanks said in the video, which ended with Biden pronouncing, "I've never been more optimistic about America's future."

Vice President Kamala Harris appeared on CBS, ABC and NBC networks, while Chief of Staff Ron Klain spoke on MSNBC. A slew of cabinet secretaries gave interviews to media more off the beaten track, including women's magazines and rural outlets, the White House said.

Psaki went one step further, making a relatively rare appearance on Fox News.

As for the second year, the White House seems to hope it can change gears, partly by getting Biden beyond the Washington bubble, meeting voters and spending more time with legislators in relaxed settings.

At his press conference, Biden said his top goal was to "get out" and "connect with people."

Psaki said "he absolutely loves talking to people who agree with him, people that don't agree with him."

"You'll see him out on the road more," she said. "You'll see him probably bring members of Congress with him on Air Force One, as he's done recently, and he's really enjoyed the opportunity to be able to have those free ranging conversations with them."

As Biden began his second year, he joked about the experience of the first 12 months, telling Vice President Kamala Harris in a late-evening meeting of Democratic allies: "Sometimes it seems longer, doesn't it, Kamala?"

Original Article