GOP, Democrats Battle Over Infrastructure Plan

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GOP, Democrats Battle Over Infrastructure Plan GOP, Democrats Battle Over Infrastructure Plan Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., said the proposed rise in the corporate tax rate from 21% to 28% was "a big mistake for the administration." (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call via AP Images)

By Brian Freeman | Monday, 05 April 2021 10:04 AM

Republican congressmen are criticizing both the size of President Joe Biden’s proposed $2.25 trillion "infrastructure" plan and the fact that its funding is based on an increase in the corporate tax rate, while Democrats are touting it as a way to generate long-term job growth, The Hill reported.

"We think we can not only have a strong job rebound this year, but we can sustain it over many years,” National Economic Council Director Brian Deese told Fox News. “That’s the goal," adding that "let's also think to the longer term about where those investments that we can make that will really drive not just more job growth but better job growth, not just job growth in the short term but job growth in the long term by investing in our infrastructure, by investing in our research and development in a way that we haven't since the 1960s."

The Biden administration says its plan would provide billions of dollars to rebuild such structures as roads, bridges, and tunnels while also funding efforts to transition the United States away from the use of fossil fuels.

Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg explained on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that the legislation would be completely funded by an increase to the corporate tax rate and that it would also start cutting into the deficit after 15 years.

"Now is our chance to make infrastructure choices for the future that are going to serve us well in the 2030s and on into the middle of the century, when we will be judged for whether we met this moment here in the 2020s," Buttigieg said. He added that "across 15 years, it would raise all of the revenue needed for these once-in-a-lifetime investments. So by year 16, you'd actually see this package working to reduce the deficit."

But Republicans have slammed the tax hike included in the legislation, with Sen Roger Wicker, R-Miss, calling the rise in the corporate tax rate from 21% to 28% “a big mistake for the administration,” according to The Hill. Wicker added the proposal represented "a repeal of one of our signature issues in 2017," referring to the GOP tax reform bill that passed that year.

Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., stressed Republicans would be willing to back a smaller infrastructure package, telling Fox News that "I think there's an easy win here for the White House if they would take that win, which is make this an infrastructure package, which is about 30 percent [of what their proposal entails]… My advice to the White House has been take that bipartisan win, do this in a more traditional infrastructure way.”

It is unclear , however, if Democrats will attempt to gain Republican backing to help pass the bill, as there is disagreement in the party if the effort it worth it or if it is better to push through the legislation by usinig budget reconciliation.

Original Article

Rep. Issa: Border Patrol Officers Retiring Over Migrant Situation

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Rep. Issa: Border Patrol Officers Retiring Over Migrant Situation darrell issa speaks in hearing Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) speaks as U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken testifies before the House Committee On Foreign Affairs March 10, 2021 on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. (Ting Shen-Pool/Getty Images)

By Sandy Fitzgerald | Monday, 05 April 2021 09:38 AM

There is "already" a mass exodus of Customs and Border Patrol officers who are retiring or seeking other government work because of the spiraling situation at the nation's southern border and President Joe Biden's policies, Rep. Darrell Issa said Monday.

"What we are seeing is that anyone who can retire is retiring," the California Republican said on Fox News' "Fox and Friends." "Many are applying for other federal jobs. It's a demoralizing time and it's only going to get worse."

His comments come as more Americans disapprove than approve of how Biden is handling the immigration situation with thousands of unaccompanied migrant children showing up at the U.S.-Mexico border and larger immigration efforts, according to a new Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll.

The survey found that 40% of Americans disapprove of Biden’s handling of children reaching the border alone, compared with just 24% who approve. Thirty-five percent don't have an opinion either way.

Meanwhile, migrants are being sent to aging military bases across the country, and that is adding to the stresses being felt by agents from the Border Patrol and with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said Issa.

"Every time they find these remote facilities, that's more people within the system, the most challenged systems," said Issa. Border Patrol and ICE find themselves basically guarding people that shouldn't be in the country. They certainly shouldn't be sitting on old retired World War II military base re-purposed to hold these people. Not since the Haitian boat lift have we seen this kind of volume of people being placed on military bases."

In late March, the Pentagon approved a request from the Department of Health and Human Services to temporarily place unaccompanied migrant children at two Texas military bases, according to a CNN report. Children were to stay in a vacant dormitory at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland and temporary housing was to be built on an empty plot of land.

The Pentagon is also reviewing a request to house migrant children at Camp Roberts in California, chief Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said last week.

"We do have the request in the building. We are analyzing it as we have the others," Kirby told reporters during a news briefing at the Pentagon.

On Tuesday, the Department of Health and Human Services, who submitted the request for support to the DoD, conducted a site visit of the National Guard base in central California to determine whether it could be used as another location to temporarily house migrant children.

The Paso Robles Daily News reports that the California Department of Health and Human Services is sisting Camp Roberts with housing children ages 4 to 18 years old for four to six weeks. The initial request was for 1,500 beds but it could go higher, according to the news report.

The Biden administration has reportedly asked government employees to volunteer to go to the border to help with the influx of migrants, and Issa said that for some of what's going on, trained people aren't needed.

"It doesn't take a trained border patrol agent to basically say come on, get in the bus, and let's move you into America, and that's what's beginning to happen," said Issa. "The border patrol, with a rare exception of some high-value targets and a few recognized drug people for the most part they are, asked to be part of a welcome mat. There is no question at all."

He also said that the use of military bases like Camp Roberts ad the further use of federal troops will also "continue to spin out," as there will probably be more than 200,000 "so-called refugees in the way migrants coming north.

"Caravans that are absolutely forming to come north are going to dwarf anything that we have seen before," he warned.

Original Article

DNC Chairman: Democrat Brand Is Broken

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DNC Chairman: Democrat Brand Is Broken jamie harrison speaks into mic Democrat Senate candidate Jamie Harrison speaks at a watch party after losing the Senate race in Columbia, S. C. Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020. (Richard Shiro/AP Images)

By Charlie McCarthy | Monday, 05 April 2021 10:09 AM

The Democrat brand is broken and needs to be repaired, according to the Democratic National Committee chairman.

"It's not even just with Republicans," DNC Chairman Jaime Harrison told The Daily Beast's podcast The New Abnormal. "The Democrat brand with some of the folks who are core at the base of our party is not the greatest.

"And so I want to spend a lot of time, energy, and effort understanding why the brand is where it is, what it is and how, and what we can do in order to improve it."

Harrison, who took his position on Jan. 21, lost his bid for a Senate seat to incumbant Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., in November's election. He told the podcast how he dealt with a "tarnished" Democrat brand in South Carolina.

"I experienced it on my own race, Lindsey [Graham] and his crew of dark money effectively labeled me as somebody who believed in defunding the police," Harrison said, according to The Hill. "My grandfather on my stepfather's side was in the Detroit police department for 40 years. So I don’t believe in that.

"But they were able to do it because the Democratic brand had been so tarnished in South Carolina that people would believe anything. If they said, 'Jaime kicked a puppy the other day,' they would have believed it."

With President Joe Biden and Congressional Democrats having passed a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package, and now promoting a $2.25 trillion infrastructure plan, Harrison said his party needs to stress its accomplishments, especially in rural areas and red states.

"We have to take credit and claim the things that we will have gotten done over the course of this next two years," Harrison said. "We're going to do a lot for rural America.

"The American Rescue Plan has so much in there for rural communities across this country. And it will have a huge benefit, this infrastructure plan, when we get this done. The broadband component in it alone will totally transform rural America."

Harrison said the Democrat party's message to rural areas will help grow the base, and "persuade a few other folks to take a look at us."

"Those communities are also just as diverse as urban communities. We also need to make sure that we're listening to them," Harrison said. "And then, in the end, we've got to deliver and I believe we can do those things. Not only will we grow our base, but I think we also persuade a few other folks to take a look at us."

Both the DNC and Republican National Committee are gearing up for the 2022 election cycle. Traditionally, the sitting president's party loses seats in midterm elections.

Republicans hope to regain a majority in both the House and Senate. The upper chamber is currently split evenly along party lines, with Vice President Kamala Harris as the tiebreaking vote. Democrats hold a 219-211 edge in the House.

Although it has tended to take a less-active role in midterm elections, the DNC announced a coordinated effort last month to sell President Biden's coronavirus relief package to battleground state voters.

A message guide on how to promote the legislation was sent to Democrat state and national officials.

Original Article

Corporations Gave Over $50M to Voting Restriction Backers

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Corporations Gave Over $50M to Voting Restriction Backers at&t store sign (Lynne Sladky/AP Photo)

BRIAN SLODYSKO Monday, 05 April 2021 06:39 AM

While executives from Coca-Cola and Delta Air Lines got the spotlight for speaking out against Georgia's new voting law as unduly restrictive last week, leaders of many of the nation's most prominent companies are backing such moves with campaign contributions.

State legislators across the country who have pushed for new voting restrictions have reaped more than $50 million in corporate donations in recent years, according to a new report by Public Citizen, a Washington-based government watchdog group.

Telecom giant AT&T was the most prolific, donating over $800,000 since 2015 to authors of proposed restrictions, cosponsors of such measures, or those who voted in favor of the bills, the report found. Other top donors during the same period include Comcast, Philip Morris, United Health, Walmart, Verizon, General Motors, and Pfizer.

The money may not have been given with voting laws in mind, but it nonetheless helped cement Republican control in statehouses where many of the measures are now moving forward.

Whether companies continue to give to these lawmakers will test how far risk-adverse corporate leaders are willing to go in their increasingly forceful criticism of the restrictive efforts, which voting rights groups have excoriated as an attack on democracy.

"It really is corporate America, as a whole, that is funding these politicians," said Mike Tanglis, one of the authors of the report. "It seems many are trying to hide under a rock and hope that this issue passes."

More than 120 companies detailed in the report previously said they would rethink their donations to members of Congress who objected to the certification of President Joe Biden's win following the deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol.

The tension is most evident now in Georgia, where a far-reaching new voting law has drawn an intense national scrutiny, prompting the criticism from Delta and Coca-Cola. On Friday, MLB announced it would no longer host the 2021 All-Star Game in Atlanta.

Yet it's unclear whether this aggressive new posture will extend to corporate campaign donation practices. And early indicators show there is risk.

Georgia's Republican-controlled House voted to strip Delta of a tax break worth tens of millions of dollars annually for their criticism of the new law, though the action was rendered moot after the GOP Senate failed to take it up before the legislative session adjourned.

What is certain, though, is that withholding corporate donations to state-level candidates, like many companies did at the federal level, would have a far greater impact in statehouses.

"A contribution of $5,000 to a U.S. senator who is raising $30 million is a drop in a bucket. But in some of these state races, a few thousand dollars can buy a lot of ad time," said Tanglis.

Public Citizen analyzed about 245 voting restriction bills proposed before March 1. They culled a list of sponsors and cosponsors, while also analyzing vote roll calls. Then they cross-referenced the data with state-level donation records dating back to 2015, which included money from company-sponsored political action committees, as well as direct contributions from corporate treasuries.

Among their findings:

—Companies donated at least $50 million to lawmakers who supported voting restrictions, including $22 million in the 2020 campaign cycle.

—At least 81 Fortune 100 companies have given a combined total of $7.7 million to supporters of the restrictions.

—Nearly half of all Fortune 500 companies donated a combined total of $12.8 million to supporters of the restrictions.

—About three-quarters of the companies that changed their donation policies after the U.S. Capitol attack have also given to lawmakers who supported voting rights restrictions.

—More than 60 companies have given at least $100,000 to lawmakers who supported the restrictions.

—Separately, industry groups and trade associations contributed an additional $36 million to the lawmakers, $16 million of which was given during the 2020 cycle.

In response, AT&T said "the right to vote is sacred" but declined to say whether the company would withhold donations to state lawmakers as they did for members of Congress who objected to Biden's win.

"We understand that election laws are complicated, not our company’s expertise and ultimately the responsibility of elected officials. But, as a company, we have a responsibility to engage," AT&T CEO John Stankey said in a statement.

Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg said in a statement, "We strongly oppose the passage of any legislation or the adoption of any measure that would make it harder" to vote. But he stopped short of pledging any specific action.

Comcast said in a statement that "efforts to limit or impede access to this vital constitutional right for any citizen are not consistent with our values." The company would not comment on whether it would evaluate its giving to lawmakers who support the measures.

Altria, the parent company of Philip Morris, said in a statement that "every eligible voter should be able to exercise their right to vote" and pledged to monitor lawmakers' "alignment with our political contribution guiding principles when making future contribution decisions."

Other companies listed in the report declined to comment, or did not respond to inquiries from The Associated Press.

Pressure has been particularly intense in Georgia, where Republican Gov. Brian Kemp recently signed a sweeping new law that bans people from handing out food or water to voters waiting in line and allows the Republican-controlled State Election Board to remove and replace county election officials, among many other provisions.

Two of the top corporate contribution recipients detailed in Public Citizen's report were among the sponsors of the measure.

Since 2015, Republican state Sen. Jeff Mullis has collected more than $869,000 in donation from corporate PACs. Among his top corporate donors were AT&T ($15,900) and United Health Group ($12,900), according to the report. Mullis is chairman of the Georgia Senate’s Rules Committee, which plays a key role in determining which bills make it to the floor for a vote.

Republican state Sen. Butch Miller, another sponsor of the bill, has received at least $729,000 in corporate donations since 2015. Among his top corporate givers are United Health Group ($15,700) and AT&T ($13,600), the report states.

Miller and Mullis did not respond to requests for comment.

Original Article

Biden fails to mention Jesus in ‘Easter Address,’ speaks of COVID

WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 2: U.S. President Joe Biden pauses while speaking about the March jobs report in the State Dining Room of the White House on April 2, 2021 in Washington, DC. According to the U.S. Labor Department, employers added over 900,000 jobs in March, up from 416,000 in February. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Joe Biden. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 6:45 PM PT – Sunday, April 4, 2021

Joe Biden has come under fire for failing to mention Jesus Christ in his purported ‘Easter Address.’

However, Biden made sure to mention COVID-19 seven times.

“We share the sentiments of Pope Francis who has said that getting vaccinated is a moral obligation,” Biden said.

Biden, who claims to be a devout Catholic, took an opportunity to promote COVID vaccines in his address, which further stirred the latest fears of the coronavirus.

Critics said his address was an insult as he failed to honor the Christian symbol of faith and instead, used a supposedly religious message for political purposes. Biden’s COVID address also caused dismay among Christian communities, many of whom oppose vaccinations for any purpose.

Critics said the focus of Biden’s address showed the modern left was really worshipping money and power instead of Jesus.

MORE NEWS: GOP Senator Blasts Infrastructure Bill For Removing 2017 Tax Cuts

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Republicans: Government Overreach and Privacy Concerns Will Doom Vaccine Passports

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Republicans: Government Overreach and Privacy Concerns Will Doom Vaccine Passports a cell phone with a code for the passport in front of an american flag (Sipa via AP)

By Jim Thomas | Sunday, 04 April 2021 10:02 PM

Republicans are posturing against vaccine passports ahead of the 2022 midterms because of they believe their view is line with much of the public on the subject.

As part of the general strategy to take back the majority in the House of Representatives and recapture the majority in the Senate, Republicans believe that vaccine passports should not be mandated because they are violative of personal privacy rights and would be a product of government overreach by exerting too much public control over private lives, reports The Hill.

Outspoken Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) stated it was “unacceptable” for local governments or businesses to require proof of vaccination for people to “participate in normal society,” added The Hill. DeSantis also signed an executive order recently which banned any future vaccine certificate requirements in Florida. He also suggested that the Republican controlled state legislature draft a bill turning his executive order into state law.

“It’s a political winner,” Ford O’Connell, a Florida-based Republican strategist, said. “They look at it as an all-out assault on personal freedoms and the Constitution, but also, it’s about protecting the average, ordinary Floridian who wants to live their regular day-to-day lives,” according to the Hill.

GOP strategists are positioning campaigns on the proposition that vaccine passports will help them play on voters’ fears of government overreach and privacy violations. While there may be an increased desire to receive the COVID vaccination,there is still a strong reluctance to be required to carry a vaccine passport.

A Gallup poll released on Tuesday concluded that roughly 75% of those responding are willing to be vaccinated.

The White House said it expected the private sector to take the lead on verification of vaccine passports and would not issue a federal mandate requiring everyone to obtain a single vaccination credential, according to Reuters. However, the Biden administration was reviewing the issue and would make recommendations, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said on Monday, but she added, “We believe it will be driven by the private sector.”

“It’s not a COVID discussion for Republicans. It is a freedom discussion. It’s a role-of-government discussion,” one GOP strategist said. “Would I prefer to be having a COVID discussion next year? No. But we want to be having that freedom discussion.”

If strategists are correct, this position taken by Republicans on vaccine passports may put them over-the-top in their quest to recover the majority in both houses of Congress as they only need five seats in the House and only one in the Senate to seize the majority.

Not all in the GOP are confident that opposition to vaccine passports will be a winning issue.

“It’s red meat for the base, sure, but this doesn’t help us win back the middle,” one veteran GOP campaign aide reported to the Hill. “It’s just more of the culture wars … and it also means talking about COVID instead of the damage being done by Democrats.”

Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, said on a “Utah Politics” podcast Friday that it should be an optional business issue and not a government one.

“I think vaccines are good, and I think once people have gotten a vaccine that they have the ability to present credentials to private property owners who might decide they want their customers to have been vaccinated,” Lee said.

“You don’t ever want to get us in a position where our own government is playing any part in the way human beings move within our own borders,” he added. “That’s something the American people, regardless of their political leanings, don’t want.”

Since Trump has yet to weigh in about vaccine passports, some Republicans deferred their agreement until Trump addresses the topic, reports the Hill.

Stanford Holds Off Arizona 54-53 to Win Women’s NCAA Title

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Stanford Holds Off Arizona 54-53 to Win Women's NCAA Title players smile as the pose with the championship trophy

Stanford players celebrate with the trophy after the championship game against Arizona in the women's Final Four NCAA college basketball tournament, Sunday. (AP/Morry Gash)

DOUG FEINBERG Sunday, 04 April 2021 08:52 PM

Tara VanDerveer hugged each of her Stanford players as they climbed the ladder to cut down a piece of the net.

It took 29 years, but VanDerveer and the Cardinal are NCAA women's basketball champions again.

Haley Jones scored 17 points and Stanford beat Arizona 54-53, giving the Cardinal and their Hall of Fame coach their first national championship in 29 years on Sunday night.

“Getting through all the things we got through, we’re excited to win the COVID championship," VanDerveer said. ”The other one was not quite as close, the last one. But we’re really excited. No one knows the score, no one knows who scored, it’s a national championship and I’m really excited to represent Stanford. It’s a great team. We did not play a great game today, however. But if we can win, not playing as well as we need to, I’m excited."

It wasn’t a masterpiece by any stretch with both teams struggling to score and missing easy layups and shots, but Stanford did just enough to pull off the win.

Stanford (31-2) built a nine-point lead in the fourth quarter before Arizona (21-6) cut it to 51-50 on star guard Aari McDonald's 3-pointer.

After a timeout, Jones answered with a three-point play with 2:24 left. That would be Stanford's last basket of the game. McDonald got the Wildcats with 54-53 with 36.6 seconds left converting three of four free throws.

“I just owe it all to my teammates, they have confidence in me when I don’t have confidence in myself,” said Jones, who was honored as the tournament's Most Outstanding Player. “I saw they needed me to come up big and I did.”

The Cardinal, after another timeout couldn't even get a shot off, giving Arizona one last chance with 6.1 seconds left, but McDonald's contested shot from the top of the key at the buzzer bounced off the rim.

“I got denied hard. I tried to turn the corner, they sent three at me. I took a tough, contested shot and it didn’t fall,” said McDonald, who fell near midcourt, slumped in disbelief while the Cardinal celebrated.

It's been quite a journey for VanDerveer and the Cardinal this season. The team was forced on the road for nearly 10 weeks because of the coronavirus, spending 86 days in hotels during this nomadic season.

The team didn’t complain and went about their business and now have another NCAA championship. Along the way the Hall of Fame coach earned her 1,099th career victory to pass Pat Summitt for the most all time in women’s basketball history.

Now the 67-year-old coach has a third national title to go along with the ones she won in 1990 and 1992. That moved her into a tie with Baylor's Kim Mulkey for third most all time behind Geno Auriemma and Summitt.

VanDerveer had many great teams between titles, including the ones led by Candice Wiggins and the Ogwumike sisters — Nneka and Chiney, but the Cardinal just couldn't end their season with that elusive win in the title game until Sunday night.

It was the first women’s basketball championship for the Pac-12 since VanDerveer and Stanford won the title in 1992. The last time a team from the conference was in the title game was 2010 when the Cardinal lost to UConn. That game was also played in the Alamodome — the site of every game in this tournament from the Sweet 16 through Sunday’s championship game.

The entire NCAA Tournament was played in the San Antonio area because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

While Stanford had history on its side, Arizona has been building under coach Adia Barnes, who was the fourth Black woman to lead her team to the championship game, joining Carolyn Peck, Dawn Staley and C. Vivian Stringer. Peck and Staley won titles.

Barnes starred for the Wildcats as a player in the late 90s and came back to her alma mater five years ago. She guided the team to the WNIT title in 2019 and led them to their first NCAA title game ever. This was the team's first appearance in the NCAA Tournament since 2005 — although the Wildcats would have made the NCAAs last season had it not been canceled by the coronavirus.

The Wildcats started the season No. 7 in the poll and moved up to as high as sixth — the best ranking ever in school history —for a few weeks.

McDonald, who followed her coach from Washington as a transfer, has been a huge reason for the team's success. The 5-foot-6 guard, who is lightning quick, is one of the rare two-way players in the game who can make an impact on both ends of the court.

She struggled against the Cardinal, finishing with 22 points while going 5-for-20 from the field.

McDonald got the Wildcats on the board hitting a 3-pointer, but then Stanford scored the next 12 points. The Cardinal led 16-8 after one quarter.

Arizona got going in the second quarter and took a 21-20 lead before Stanford scored 11 straight points, highlighted by Lexie Hull's four-point play. The Cardinal led 31-24 at the half. McDonald missed nine of her 11 shots in the first half.

The Wildcats were trying to be only the fourth team to trail by double digits and win a championship.

These teams met twice during the regular season and Stanford rolled past Arizona both times, winning by double digits in each game.

TIP-INS:

Sunday night’s game was the first with two teams from west of the Mississippi playing for a title since 1986. … Notre Dame had the biggest comeback of any team in the NCAA title game rallying from 15 down to win the 2018 title on a last-second shot by Arike Ogunbowale.

STRUGGLING AGAINST STANFORD

Barnes has beaten VanDerveer just twice in her career as both a player and coach at Arizona. She lost seven of eight playing for the Wildcats in the late 90s. The lone victory came in her senior year on a last-second shot off a pass from Barnes to teammate Reshea Bristol, who hit a 20-footer for the win in 1998. As a coach she had lost 10 of the 11 previous matchups before Sunday with the only victory coming in overtime on Feb. 28, 2020.

Prayer Vigil Planned for Stricken Rapper DMX

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Prayer Vigil Planned for Stricken Rapper DMX Prayer Vigil Planned for Stricken Rapper DMX DMX (Getty Images)

Sunday, 04 April 2021 08:09 PM

A prayer vigil was planned for Monday outside the suburban New York hospital where rapper DMX remained on life support Sunday following a heart attack.

The family of the rapper said in an email Sunday that the vigil will be held outside White Plains Hospital at 5 p.m.

“On Friday night, April 2nd, 2021, our brother, son, father, and colleague DMX, birth name of Earl Simmons, was admitted to White Plains (NY) Hospital, facing serious health issues,” the family said through a publicist. “We ask that you please keep Earl/DMX and us in your thoughts, wishes, and prayers as well as respect our privacy as we face these challenges.”

Another statement released Sunday afternoon said the rapper remained in a coma and was on a ventilator.

Simmons' longtime lawyer, Murray Richman, said the rapper was admitted to the intensive care unit at White Plains Hospital after going into cardiac arrest. Richman said he could not confirm reports that DMX, 50, overdosed on drugs and was not sure what caused the heart attack.

DMX made a splash in rap music in 1998 with his first studio album “It’s Dark and Hell is Hot,” which debuted No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart. The multiplatinum selling album was anchored by several hits including “Ruff Ryders’ Anthem,” “Get At Me Dog” and “Stop Being Greedy.”

The rapper had four other chart-topping albums including “…And Then There Was X,” “Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood,” “The Great Depression” and “Grand Champ.” He has released seven albums and earned three Grammy nominations.

Along with his music career, DMX paved his way as an actor. He starred in the 1998 film “Belly” and appeared in “Romeo Must Die” a couple years later with Jet Li and the late singer Aaliyah. DMX and Aaliyah teamed up for the film’s soundtrack song “Come Back in One Piece.”

The rapper also starred in “Exit Wounds” with Steven Seagal and “Cradle 2 the Grave” with Li.

Over the years, DMX has battled with substance abuse. The rapper canceled a series of shows to check himself into a rehabilitation facility in 2019. In an Instagram post, his team said he apologized for the canceled shows and thanked his fans for the continued support.

Last year, DMX faced off against Snoop Dogg in a Verzuz battle, which drew more than 500,000 viewers.

Rosenstein: Wait, see what John Durham finds on Crossfire Hurricane

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 03: Former U.S. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is sworn in at a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill on June 03, 2020 in Washington, DC. The Republican-led panel is exploring issues raised with warrants issued in the FBI investigation, code named "Crossfire Hurricane" at the time, of Trump campaign officials in the 2016 presidential race. (Photo by Jim Lo Scalzo-Pool/Getty Images)

Former U.S. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. (Photo by Jim Lo Scalzo-Pool/Getty Images)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 7:45 PM PT – Sunday, April 4, 2021

Former Deputy U.S. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has tried to keep the Russia probe alive. During an interview Sunday, Rosenstein said the investigation was “not a witch hunt,” believing the DOJ had credible information.

In 2017, Rosenstein appointed former FBI Director Robert Muller to spearhead the investigation into Russian collusion with President Trump’s 2016 campaign. This came after several Obama-era officials flagged the campaign in their Crossfire Hurricane operation.

Rosenstein stood by his decision to look into Russian interference as he believed it would give closure to the American public.

“The Special Council operates within the mandate of the Department of Justice, so there was a significant difference structurally in, of course, Special Counsel,” Rosenstein said. “The reason I appointed him was because I believed that it was important to promote public confidence in the independence and outcome of the investigation of Russian election interference.”

In the meantime, Rosenstein urged Americans to “wait and see” what Special Council John Durham finds regarding the origins of the Russia probe. Durham has yet to reveal any findings of his investigation throughout his nearly two years looking into the matter.

MORE NEWS: Biden Fails To Mention Jesus In ‘Easter Address,’ Speaks Of COVID

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Cow Causes Slow Moooving Traffic in Atlanta

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Cow Causes Slow Moooving Traffic in Atlanta Cow Causes Slow Moooving Traffic in Atlanta A cow grazes on land. (Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty)

By Brian Freeman | Sunday, 04 April 2021 06:24 PM

A cow fell out of a trailer and held up traffic for about an hour on an interstate near Atlanta over the weekend, according to a tweet from the Dunwoody Police Department.

The cow was running down the I-285 highway on Saturday morning before police officers used a rope provided by a civilian to secure the animal.

Three lanes of the highway were closed while the cow was loose, with traffic returning to normal only about an hour later, according to WSB-TV.

A man headed to work who got caught in the traffic jam told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that “traffic was moving a little. Cars were slowly getting by. Then all the sudden this cow comes running around the corner with a gentleman chasing him.”

The newspaper noted that although such an incident is unusual, metro Atlanta traffic was actually snarled by cows on the highway in three separate incidents within a short time span a few years ago.

In the first incident, occurring in 2018, a tractor-trailer overturned on I-75, with 10 cows killed as a result.

Just a month later, another tractor-trailer crashed near I-285, killing three cows. Dozens of others spilled out on to the interstate.

Another tractor-trailer overturned on the the same highway the following year, with 11 cows killed, according to the newspaper.

Dick Morris Slams Infrastructure Bill as Ploy to Collectivize US

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Dick Morris Slams Infrastructure Bill as Ploy to Collectivize US Dick Morris Slams Infrastructure Bill as Ploy to Collectivize US US President Joe Biden speaks about the March jobs report in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, DC, on April 2, 2021. (Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty)

By Brian Freeman | Sunday, 04 April 2021 04:39 PM

President Joe Biden’s infrastructure proposal is meant to collectivize the nation, political strategist Dick Morris said Sunday in a harsh criticism of the bill.

Speaking on “The Cats Roundtable” radio show hosted by John Catsimatidis on WABC 770 AM, Morris, a former adviser to President Bill Clinton, said Biden’s infrastructure package is "designed to collectivize the United States, to regiment us, to unionize us, and to make us controllable and tractable as an economy.”

Stressing that “the metaphor that comes to mind is when Stalin insisted that all the farmers go to collective farms,” Morris cautioned that the main feature of the infrastructure legislation is that “you cannot get those funds unless you unionize. Davis-Bacon will control all of that spending. You have to have a union for your company to qualify. That’s going to force the entire construction industry and huge numbers of other industries into unionization.”

He also emphasized that Biden intends to make the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act part of the legislation bill, which he said would “be the greatest disaster we’ve ever had.”

Morris warned that the general public does not yet know about the PRO Act, but said that the end result would be that “nobody can work for themselves. Everybody has to be on a corporate payroll. If you are a consultant or a contractor or a freelancer, you have to close up shop and become an employee of your client or the people you contract with.”

He said that this means that some “30 to 40 million people who make their living that way are going to have to be now on payroll,” stressing that such a law is already in effect in California and has “totally deformed the economy” of that state.

Morris said that the overall goal of Biden’s strategy on this legislative package is “to organize our economy for more efficient government control. It sounds like in Germany where everybody basically works for a few large companies and there are only one or two large unions that represent everybody.”

Dick Morris Slams Infrastructure Bill as Ploy to Collectivize US

getfile.aspxguid04C90CB6 F174 4E37 B090 5A82F4AD243E

Dick Morris Slams Infrastructure Bill as Ploy to Collectivize US Dick Morris Slams Infrastructure Bill as Ploy to Collectivize US US President Joe Biden speaks about the March jobs report in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, DC, on April 2, 2021. (Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty)

By Brian Freeman | Sunday, 04 April 2021 04:39 PM

President Joe Biden’s infrastructure proposal is meant to collectivize the nation, political strategist Dick Morris said Sunday in a harsh criticism of the bill.

Speaking on “The Cats Roundtable” radio show hosted by John Catsimatidis on WABC 770 AM, Morris, a former adviser to President Bill Clinton, said Biden’s infrastructure package is "designed to collectivize the United States, to regiment us, to unionize us, and to make us controllable and tractable as an economy.”

Stressing that “the metaphor that comes to mind is when Stalin insisted that all the farmers go to collective farms,” Morris cautioned that the main feature of the infrastructure legislation is that “you cannot get those funds unless you unionize. Davis-Bacon will control all of that spending. You have to have a union for your company to qualify. That’s going to force the entire construction industry and huge numbers of other industries into unionization.”

He also emphasized that Biden intends to make the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act part of the legislation bill, which he said would “be the greatest disaster we’ve ever had.”

Morris warned that the general public does not yet know about the PRO Act, but said that the end result would be that “nobody can work for themselves. Everybody has to be on a corporate payroll. If you are a consultant or a contractor or a freelancer, you have to close up shop and become an employee of your client or the people you contract with.”

He said that this means that some “30 to 40 million people who make their living that way are going to have to be now on payroll,” stressing that such a law is already in effect in California and has “totally deformed the economy” of that state.

Morris said that the overall goal of Biden’s strategy on this legislative package is “to organize our economy for more efficient government control. It sounds like in Germany where everybody basically works for a few large companies and there are only one or two large unions that represent everybody.”

Original Article

Sen. Roy Blunt: GOP Would Support $615B in Actual Infrastructure

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Sen. Roy Blunt: GOP Would Support $615B in Actual Infrastructure Sen. Roy Blunt: GOP Would Support $615B in Actual Infrastructure Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) asks questions during a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs & Senate Rules and Administration joint hearing to discuss the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol on March 3, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Greg Nash-Pool/Getty)

By Eric Mack | Sunday, 04 April 2021 03:36 PM

The Biden administration is making a "big mistake" in loading up a $2.25 trillion infrastructure package with things that do not pertain to roads, bridges, airports, or technology, says Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., who rebuked the legislation as a "purely partisan exercise."

"I think there's an easy win here for the White House if they would take that win, which is make this an infrastructure package, which is about 30% – even if you stretch the definition of infrastructure some – it's about 30% of the $2.25 trillion we are talking about spending," Blunt said during an appearance on "Fox News Sunday."

Blunt noted about 30% of the proposal would be roughly $615 billion for roads, bridges, airports, transportation, services, and even things Democrats could loosely call infrastructure.

Instead, Blunt lamented, Democrats are pushing a massive spending package that includes a lot more non-infrastructure spending much like they did with the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill, the American Rescue Plan.

Democrats are "trying to take 70 percent of this bill and call it infrastructure in a new way than we've ever talked about infrastructure before," Blunt said. "That means you're looking at another partisan package just like we had with COVID."

Democrats are clever about sneaking spending measures under the umbrellas of popular spending bills like COVID-19.

"Obviously, Democrats have figured out that infrastructure is something we need and something that's popular," Blunt said, pointing to public-private partnerships in paying for infrastructure programs and perhaps user-fee related taxes like gas tax or road fares.

"Whatever it would be, it would be a true bipartisan discussion as opposed to asking every Republican in the Senate who was there in 2017 to change their mind on a tax package that frankly, that had a lot to do with 3.5% unemployment rate we had a year ago when COVID started," Blunt said. "I think people have always accepted the user-tax concept of the transportation system."

As for the Democrats seeking to tax corporations at a 28% rate instead of the Trump tax reform rate of 21%, Blunt suggested that the tax cut paid for itself with economic growth, corporate repatriation, and greater American growth domestic product.

Taking the U.S. back to 28% would make it the second-highest tax rate in the world, he said.

"Other countries saw the success we were having and many reduced their corporate tax rate to try to keep their jobs at home," he concluded.

Original Article

Chad Wolf Faults Lack of Enforcement, Accountability Amid Migrant Surge

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Chad Wolf Faults Lack of Enforcement, Accountability Amid Migrant Surge chad wolf Chad Wolf , former acting secretary of homeland security in 2020 in Washington, DC. (Samuel Corum/Getty Images)

Sunday, 04 April 2021 02:25 PM

Former acting Department of Homeland Security secretary Chad Wolf on Sunday lamented the lack of enforcement and accountability at the southern border as a massive surge of migrants continues.

In an interview on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures,” Wolf blamed the new Biden administration for policies that have tied the hands of Customs and Border Protection officials.

“The [Biden] administration right now is not enforcing” restrictions and “there is no immigration consequence to illegal behavior,” he charged.

“They are simply treating this as a capacity issue,” he said. “So they are building more facilities, they are trying to process more individuals through and they are not holding individuals accountable for that illegal behavior.”

According to Wolf, the situation is “absolutely frustrating for Border Patrol agents today and I talked to several of them.”

“Those in the Rio Grande Valley [sector]… ground zero, where a lot of the surge is occurring, almost half of them are no longer on the border doing the national security mission,” he said.

“The are back at Border Patrol stations caring and feeding for these thousands of individuals in their facilities,” he continued. “That's not what they signed up for. That's not their training. Their training is to enforce the law, making sure that drugs and contraband and other illegal migrants are not coming into the country. Over half of them in RGV are not doing that today.”

Wolf said Border Patrol agents, when they hear official announcements from the Department of Homeland Security and White House “saying the border is closed, the border is secure, they know that's a lie.”

“I believe there's a loss of confidence in both departmental leadership as well as in the White House with your agents,” Wolf said.

Wolf charged “over 5-6,000” unaccompanied minors were allowed across the border because the administration is not enforcing a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention public health order.

“They are using this public health authority to turn around single adults and some families who have minors and they are turning minors back to Mexico but they will not return minors to Northern Triangle and put them in families which is what we did during the Trump administration,” he charged.

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Original Article

AG Paxton Says Open Borders Cost Texas ‘Billions of Dollars’

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AG Paxton Says Open Borders Cost Texas 'Billions of Dollars' ken paxton stands at a mic with the court in the background Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton speaks outside of the US Supreme Court in 2019.(Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images)

Sunday, 04 April 2021 01:22 PM

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said Sunday President Joe Biden’s open border policies are costing the state “billions of dollars.”

In an interview on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures,” Paxton said the migrant surge is “a humanitarian disaster and the border towns are suffering more than any others.”

“We have the burdens in our state, we will have to educate them and take care of their health care, we have to figure out their family situation and deal with law enforcement issues,” he said. “It costs the state of Texas billions of dollars.”

“Every time the administration like Obama administration, the Biden administration, opens up the border, it increases our cost,” he added.“We also have the social cost, the crime, increased crime. I wish President [Joe] Biden would talk to the families that have been affected by the crime who have lost loved ones because of immigration. I think it might affect him and give him a different perspective on the downside of the policies that are devastating some of the families in my state.”

Paxton asserted Biden doesn’t have the power to change immigration law.

“He announced for the first 100 days of his administration that you can come across the border and you would not be deported,” he said. “That's not his job to change the law and I think his policies, his announced policies, send the signal to the world, ‘Come across the border and you'll be welcome, you'll be taken care of.’

“I think it's clear that he wants that to happen because he knows from past experience under the Obama administration that if you do that, people will come and it totally worked.”

Paxton also echoed the criticism of Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, of HR1.

“Labeling this the ‘corrupt politicians act’ is absolutely true because it would eliminate voter ID, which we do in our state to verify that you are the right person voting,” he said.

“It would push mail-in ballots which are the highest incidents of voter fraud and allow for felons to votes and would allow for illegals and do everything possible to open up elections so they are not credible anymore,” he continued.

“I think it will ruin the democracy and make our election totally unreliable in every single state instead of just a few,” he said.

But he said it was just one of the measures he is concerned about coming from the Biden administration.

“We are extremely concerned about what this administration is doing even with things like the Keystone pipeline,” he said. “We think they are in a war against fossil fuel and there's no good stated purpose for shutting down the Keystone pipeline… we are losing jobs and we have to ship that through railcar which is not environmentally friendly like pipeline. I have not heard one good reason for shutting down the pipeline.”

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Original Article

Ex-NYPD Commish Ray Kelly: Mayor de Blasio ‘Has Destroyed’ NYC

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Ex-NYPD Commish Ray Kelly: Mayor de Blasio 'Has Destroyed' NYC bill de blasio stands at a bank of microphones and speaks New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks at a press conference with Governor Andrew Cuomo in 2018. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

By Eric Mack | Sunday, 04 April 2021 12:59 PM

New York City remains "closed down" with no end in sight, and former NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly said Mayor Bill de Blasio has "destroyed" the city.

"Unfortunately, I don't see it coming back anytime soon," Kelly, the father of Newsmax TV host Greg Kelly, told "The Cats Roundtable" on WABC 770 AM-N.Y. "I love New York. I've lived here my whole life, was born here, going to die here, but it's not the place it was 10 years ago.

"Compare the end of the Bloomberg administration, a little less than 8 years ago, with the end of the de Blasio administration. It's the difference between night and day. This man has destroyed the city. This will be his legacy."

Most alarming for the longtime top cop and potential future mayoral candidate is the recent outlawing of qualified immunity for police officers in New York City, Kelly told host John Catsimatidis.

"Isn't it incredible, John, that these politicians think that their constituents are more concerned about hamstringing the police than in protecting them?" Kelly said. "They may be right. The world has turned upside down.

"This elimination of qualified immunity is just another example of politicians throwing obstacles in the path of police officers so they can't do their jobs. It's clear that they want cops to do literally nothing."

Qualified immunity had protected New York City police officers from civil lawsuits, but now criminals can sue police for alleged wrongdoing that will get tied up in courts and lead to cops "stepping back" from enforcing the laws and protecting the community, Kelly said.

"Police officers, they're not going to jeopardize the well-being of their family, their own well-being," he continued. "They will step back; they have stepped back

"If you look at crime reduction in New York City, it’s a very bleak picture. There's no light at the end of the tunnel."

Supporting police is so difficult politically now, Kelly said, noting none of the city's mayoral candidates have talked about being tough on crime, which used to be a platform selling point.

"The mayoral candidates so far are not talking about any sort of crime reduction," Kelly said. "It's all about monitoring, restricting the police. I just don't get it. I've been around a long time.

"You can remember the days when politicians would say, 'I'm tougher on crime than my opponent.' Now, you don't hear any of that."

Equally concerning to Kelly is the lack of talk about mental health issues in society leading to dangerous crime in New York City.

"That terrible attack on the Asian woman on Monday — it kind of made you sick," Kelly said of the women beaten outside of an apartment building in broad daylight. "I think it's indicative of a much deeper problem: the huge number of people who need mental health assistance on the streets of our city, roaming free. These are the people pushing subway riders onto the tracks. They are the ones who are creating assaults.

"We need something done. As far as I can see, there's nobody even talking about this issue."

Concern of the lack of safety in the city is only increasing, despite the coronavirus pandemic lockdowns making it a relative "ghost town," Kelly concluded.

"The Zoom phenomenon is upon us: People can stay home, people are staying home and doing work and getting paid for it," Kelly said. "Those businesses, mom and pop stores, if they even exist anymore, those restaurants are not going to come back unless you have pedestrian traffic. Look on the streets of Manhattan. You don't see anybody. 'It's a ghost town.

"I'm unfortunately pessimistic about the future of New York."

Original Article

Sen. Blunt Decries Infrastructure Bill’s Lopsided Focus on Electric Vehicles

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Sen. Blunt Decries Infrastructure Bill's Lopsided Focus on Electric Vehicles roy blunt gets off escalator and speaks into reporter's phones Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., talks with reporters in 2019. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call via AP Images)

Sunday, 04 April 2021 11:27 AM

Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., on Sunday railed at President Joe Biden’s infrastructure plan’s lopsided focus on charging stations for electric vehicles over roads, bridges and airports.

In an interview on ABC News’ “This Week,” Blunt charged only about a third of the massive plan addresses roads.

“I’ve reached out to the White House a couple of times now and said, you've got an easy bipartisan win here if you'll keep this package nearly focused on infrastructure, and then the other 70 or so percent of the package that doesn't have very much too do with infrastructure, if you want to force that in a partisan way, you can still do that,” he said.

“Why would you pass up the opportunity here to focus on roads, bridges, what's happening underground as well as above the ground on infrastructure, broadband, all of which wouldn’t be 40% of this package? And that would be a stretch I think to get all of those things to 40%.”

“There's more in the package for charging stations for electric vehicles, $174 billion, than there is for roads, bridges and airports and ports,” he said, adding, “If you're going to spend all this money on electric vehicles, which I think is part of the future, we need to figure out how electric vehicles pay for using the system just like gas-powered vehicles have always paid for it with a gas tax.”

According to Blunt, most people think infrastructure is primarily roads, bridges, ports and airports, yet “that’s a very small part of what they're calling an infrastructure package that does so much more than infrastructure.”

“I understand the dynamic of taking a popular title and put it, wrapping it around a bill that it's a fairly small percentage of, but it's the difference of whether you have a bipartisan, easy win or a very partisan, broad-based $2.25 trillion package,” he said.

“Every Republican in the Senate who was there in 2017 voted for the 2017 tax bill. To ask them to turn around, and within less than four years, turn that around is a very unlikely thing to happen,” he asserted.

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Original Article

Ohio’s JD Vance Brings Big Dollars to GOP’s Working-Class Party

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Ohio's JD Vance Brings Big Dollars to GOP's Working-Class Party JD vance speaks on the phone J.D. Vance, venture capitalist and author of 'Hillbilly Elegy,' in 2017. ( Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

By Eric Mack | Sunday, 04 April 2021 11:11 AM

J.D. Vance, a potential Republican Senate candidate from Ohio, is a rare breed in this hyper-political world: A working-class crusader backed big tech, ruling-class money, running as a conservative despite past praise of former President Barack Obama and disdain for former President Donald Trump.

None of it seems to fit in the normal lanes of politics, but the author of "Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis" is bringing money to the Republican Party's effort to rebrand as the working-class party, The Guardian reported.

Vance has yet to officially announce a run for the seat held by retiring Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, but he did already draw a $10 million donation from tech billion Peter Thiel – and an undisclosed amount from GOP mega donor Robert Mercer – to a super PAC in support of his candidacy. Vance has a Netflix adaptation of his book fueling his political cachet.

Vance, 36, a former U.S. Marine, Yale law school graduate, and venture capitalist, checks a lot of boxes for GOP donors, save for his past criticism of Trump and Obama praise, according to the report.

"I think that I'm going to vote third party because I can't stomach Trump," Vance told NPR when he released his book in 2016. "I think that he's noxious and is leading the white working class to a very dark place."

Then, in 2017, Vance wrote in The New York Times that he would "miss" Obama "and the example he set."

The former chairman of the Ohio Democratic Party David Pepper is skeptical of GOP efforts to take the "working-class" mantle from the big-budget, big-tech-backed Democrats.

"They're not going to get there on the standard worker issues," Pepper told The Guardian. "There's no way."

But Trump did carve into that voter base in the past two presidential elections with his America First platform.

"The Republican party is not the party of the country clubs, it's the party of hardworking, blue-collar men and women," Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said in his February CPAC speech.

And Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., tweeted after the November election: "We are a working-class party now. That's the future."

Even a former Obama adviser sees the transformative shift in politics for the working class.

"The Democratic party envisions themselves as the party of working people, but it doesn't feel that way to a lot of working people, and the party needs to figure that out," David Axelrod said after the election.

Vance, despite the big money, might fill the lane for the GOP in the battleground state of Ohio.

"He's clearly trying to mimic this Trump genuflection that we're seeing from some of the other candidates, which is kind of embarrassing for JD Vance, because his brand was very different just a couple years ago," Pepper told The Guardian.

Vance, if he decides to run, will at least bring a $10-plus million war chest.

"That's a lot of money, that will help him a lot, but if the only reason he's in the game is because of coastal big tech, it kills the 'I'm-a-Trump-guy' narrative – but it also kills his narrative about representing the working man," Pepper concluded to The Guardian.

Original Article

Turkey begins requiring negative PCR test for travel

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A woman wears a protective face mask while walking on Galata bridge in Istanbul, Turkey amid the outbreak of COVID-19. (Photo by OZAN KOSE/AFP via Getty Images)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 2:05 PM PT – Saturday, December 26, 2020

Turkey has begun requiring proof of a negative COVID-19 test in order to board an incoming plane. Turkey’s health minister announced the new policy Friday, which bars those who fail to comply.

All passengers flying in from Britain, South Africa or Denmark will be required to quarantine in addition to providing a negative test result. This is a change from Turkey’s previous policy, which only required a test for those showing symptoms.

One traveler said her trip to Amsterdam was derailed since she couldn’t get a PCR test on such short notice.

“Yesterday at 20 past 8 p.m., I got an email from Eurostar that if I want to go to Amsterdam, I need a PCR test,” the traveler said. “But how can I get PCR test in the night or even in one day?”

These new international requirements are effecting travelers worldwide. Only more changes are expected to come as countries continue to issue new policies to combat the pandemic.

MORE NEWS: Congress Is Focused On COVID-19 Relief Bill, Gov’t Funding

Original Article

Air Force Staff Sergeant Creating Wreaths From Old Uniforms

Air Force Staff Sergeant Creating Wreaths From Old Uniforms vintage marine uniform (Dreamstime)

By Sandy Fitzgerald | Friday, 25 December 2020 02:34 PM

An Air Force staff sergeant is repurposing old military uniforms into patriotic wreaths to allow owners to both remember family members' service while celebrating the holidays.

''I started the business because the Air Force was switching over to new uniforms, and I wanted to find a cool way to memorialize my old ones,'' Staff Sgt. Nicole Pompei, 29, of Texas, told People magazine. ''Thanks to some help from my crafty mother, we came up with this design.''

Pompei sells the uniforms through her company, Wreaths by Nicole, which was launched in July. She is on active duty with the Air Force, and also served with the Marine Corps.

Some of the wreaths, which come in various sizes and designs, reflect patriotic themes while others have a holiday theme. Pompei said it takes around four hours to make a wreath.

One of her more interesting wreaths was made for a customer who had sent her three uniforms from 1946.

"This was the second time I’ve received uniforms that were almost 80 years old,'' she said on her Facebook page. ''I almost didn’t have the heart to cut them. I’m happy I did. Now they have a blended memento that they can hold with them for a lifetime.''

Pompei said she never expected to make a business out of her hobby, but her Facebook inbox soon became full of requests.

''The most rewarding part is hearing all of the stories of my customers and their family members,'' she said. ''I feel so honored that I can memorialize and honor their service. I have such respect for anybody who has served in the military.''