McConnell: The private sector needs to stop acting like a ‘woke parallel govt.’

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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., addresses the media at a COVID vaccination site at Kroger Field in Lexington, Ky., Monday, April 5, 2021. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., addresses the media at a COVID vaccination site at Kroger Field in Lexington, Ky., Monday, April 5, 2021. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 12:48 PM PT – Monday, April 5, 2021

Major League Baseball’s decision to move the All-Star Game out of Georgia will reportedly cause the tourism industry to lose out on $100 million.

The Cobb County Travel and Tourism Bureau said the rescheduled game will negatively impact both the county and state, further slowing economic recovery efforts in the region.

This comes as the league decided to move the All-Star Game out of Atlanta in response to the state’s passage of a new voting law, which imposes identification requirements for voters. Critics have said the legislation will suppress minority voters while proponents of the law argue the bill will promote election integrity.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) took aim at corporate America for bending to the will of leftist ideals. In a statement Monday, he warned there would be “serious consequences” if the private sector doesn’t stop acting like a “woke parallel government.”

His comments came after the MLB made the decision to move the game based over the states new voter laws. Several other companies have also caved to the left by issuing negatives about election integrity laws nationwide.

McConnell noted, Americans don’t want big businesses to “amplify disinformation” or “react to every manufactured controversy.”

Meanwhile, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) suggested the MLB commissioner is being a hypocrite for moving the All-Star Game out of Georgia and keeping his membership with Georgia’s most prestigious golf club. He sent a letter to Commissioner Rob Manfred on Monday, asking if he would terminate his membership with Augusta National. This is an exclusive members-only club and annual host of The Masters.

Rubio and other Republicans alike are calling it a political stunt that “reeks of hypocrisy.”

MORE NEWS: Biden goes back on promise to shield families making under $400K/year from tax hike in infrastructure plan

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Iran rejects U.S. talks, pushes Biden to lift sanctions

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 6:57 AM PT – Monday, April 5, 2021

As U.S. officials head to Vienna to engage in talks with Iran, it appears one topic is already off limits.

In a statement Sunday, Deputy Iranian Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi said there will be no direct or indirect talks with the U.S. on the country’s nuclear program throughout the week. The Iranian diplomat reiterated Joe Biden has to lift all sanctions on Iran and pay compensation before any talks could begin.

“We are negotiating with the Joint Commission, meaning the 4+1 countries, we will relay to them our demand and condition for returning to the nuclear deal,” Araghchi stated. “Our demand is that America must first resume complying with its entire commitments.”

Last Friday, both countries agreed to send delegates to Vienna to discuss possible solutions to mutual tensions with U.S. officials saying they believed the focus of the discussion would be the JCPOA and Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

This combined photo released by the Iranian Foreign Ministry, shows Iranian diplomats attending a virtual talk on nuclear deal with representatives of world powers, in Tehran, Iran, Friday, April 2, 2021. The chair of the group including the European Union, China, France, Germany, Russia, Britain and Iran said that the participants "emphasized their commitment to preserve the JCPOA and discussed modalities to ensure the return to its full and effective implementation," according to a statement after their virtual meeting, referring to the acronym for the accord — the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. Abbas Araghchi, center, heads the Iranian diplomats. (Iranian Foreign Ministry via AP)

This combined photo released by the Iranian Foreign Ministry, shows Iranian diplomats attending a virtual talk on nuclear deal with representatives of world powers, in Tehran, Iran, Friday, April 2, 2021. (Iranian Foreign Ministry via AP)

“This is just the first step…its going to be a difficult path because of how much time has gone by and how much mutual distrust there is, but our goal is to discuss indirectly with our European and other partners who will discuss with Iran to see whether we could define those steps that both sides are gonna have to take,” explained Robert Malley, U.S. Special Envoy for Iran. “If were serious about coming back into compliance with the deal.”

However, Iran’s pull-back appears to demand a full U.S. capitulation and has reignited claims of the nation meddled in the 2020 election to get Democrats in office so that Trump-era sanctions, which have crippled their economy, could be lifted.

The talks are scheduled to begin Tuesday.

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Chris Christie: Biden is lying to the American people

File - New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie gestures as he speaks during a news conference, Jan. 9, 2014, at the Statehouse in Trenton. (Mel Evans/AP Photo)

File – Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) gestures as he speaks during a news conference at the Statehouse in Trenton. (Mel Evans/AP Photo)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 7:38 AM PT – Monday, April 5, 2021

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has accused Joe Biden of lying to the American people.

In an interview Sunday, the Republican said Biden was lying about the new election bill in Georgia. The legislation aims to ensure elections are protected from voter fraud.

Christie also commented on the MLB’s decision to move this season’s All-Star Game out of the state. He called the move a symptom of what’s happening in our country right now.

“Joe Biden has broken his own rule, 84 days, and now he’s lying to the American people,” stated the Republican. “He’s lying about this bill…he’s lying to the American people about it to cause this raging fire he said he was going to put out…I’m very disappointed.”

Christie went on to say Biden is lying to cause racial divisions in this country and doing exactly what he accused President Trump of doing.

MORE NEWS: Buttigieg: AOC infrastructure plan ‘bolder’ than Biden’s

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Ukraine-NATO to hold joint drills amid ongoing war with Russia

Ukrainian servicemen walk along a snow covered trench guarding their position at the frontline near Vodiane, about 750 kilometers (468 miles) south-east of Kyiv, eastern Ukraine, Saturday, March 5, 2021. The country designated 14,000 doses of its first vaccine shipment for the military, especially those fighting Russia-backed separatists in the east. Ukrainians are becoming increasingly opposed to vaccination: an opinion poll this month by the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology found 60% of the country's people don't want to get vaccinated, up from 40% a month earlier. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)

Ukrainian servicemen walk along a snow covered trench guarding their position at the frontline near Vodiane, about 750 kilometers (468 miles) south-east of Kyiv, eastern Ukraine, Saturday, March 5, 2021. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 7:24 AM PT – Monday, April 5, 2021

Ukraine is preparing to hold joint military drills with NATO forces amid a renewed threat of escalation in the ongoing conflict with Russia.

“On this path, we have everyone’s full and permanent support,” stated Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy. “Support by Ukraine’s international partners, by Europe and United States in particular.”

The leader of Ukraine said the EU and the Biden administration have provided security reassurances in case of a major Russian offensive in the Donbas region. However, experts pointed out the U.S. and EU have already failed to honor their previous guarantees under the Budapest Memorandum back in 2014.

“As for the situation in eastern Ukraine, in Donbass, complete ceasefire is a prerequisite to continue tough, though very important talks in the Minsk and Normandy formats,” stated President Zelenskiy. “I underline, once again, that our army is able to resist anyone’s attack and it strengthens our stance in settling the conflict by diplomatic means.”

Russia is reportedly moving its forces toward the Ukrainian border because the Kremlin believes the weak Biden administration will not risk a major war over Ukraine.

MORE NEWS: Australian T.V.: Biden is illiterate, incoherent & cognitively deficient

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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

Supreme Court Passes on Workplace Religious Bias Cases

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Supreme Court Passes on Workplace Religious Bias Cases Supreme Court Passes on Workplace Religious Bias Cases (BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

Andrew Chung Monday, 05 April 2021 09:58 AM

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday sidestepped a chance to further expand religious rights, turning away two cases in which employees accused companies of violating federal anti-discrimination law by insufficiently accommodating requests for time off to meet religious obligations.

The justices declined to hear appeals by two men of different Christian denominations – a Jehovah's Witness from Tennessee and a Seventh-day Adventist from Florida – of lower court rulings that rejected their claims of illegal religious bias. Lower courts found that the accommodations the men sought would have placed too much hardship on the employers.

In a dissent, conservative Justices Neil Gorsuch and Samuel Alito said the court should have taken up the case from Tennessee.

At issue in the cases was the allowances companies must make for employees for religious reasons to comply with Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employment discrimination based on religion as well as race, color, sex and national origin.

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

Twitter Again Suspends Rep. Taylor Greene’s Account ‘In Error’

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Twitter Again Suspends Rep. Taylor Greene's Account 'In Error' marjorie taylor greene speaks into mic outside the capitol Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) speaking at a press conference just outside the Capitol at the House Triangle. (Michael Brochstein/Sipa via AP Images)

By Charlie McCarthy | Monday, 05 April 2021 08:33 AM

Twitter on Sunday briefly suspended Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene's account for the second time in little more than two weeks.

The social media platform said in a statement Taylor Greene's account was locked mistakenly, due to a technical glitch.

"[An automated system] took enforcement action on the account referenced in error. This action has been reversed, and access to the account has been reinstated," a Twitter spokesperson told Mediaite.

Taylor Greene, R-Ga., took to the Twitter alternative site Gab to suggest her latest ban might have been due to a tweet in which she wished her followers a Happy Easter.

Happy Easter, everyone! He is risen!

"After tweeting, 'He is risen! Happy Easter!' I was suspended this morning for 12 hours!" Greene wrote on Gab. "Was it my Christian faith?"

Taylor Greene also suggested the suspension might have been the result of her "willingness to Fire Fauci."

"Message to Big Tech," she wrote. "I’LL NEVER STOP!!!"

Twitter previously suspended Taylor Greene’s account in January for spreading misinformation about the election.

Then on March 19, Twitter mistakenly suspended Greene again "in error."

"We use a combination of technology and human review to enforce the Twitter Rules across the service," a Twitter representative said at the time. "In this case, our automated systems took enforcement action on the account referenced in error. This action has been reversed, and access to the account has been restored."

Taylor Greene compared her March suspension to a person being wrongly convicted on Newsmax TV’s "National Report."

"My account was suspended for 12 hours and served the full 12 hours," Greene said. "So that's like being convicted and serving prison time when you never did anything wrong and serving the full sentence."

Taylor Greene, serving her first House term, won Georgia’s 14th Congressional district unopposed. She was removed by Democrats from her committee for her public statements and supposed threats – including a Facebook page posing with an AR-15 rifle and a collage of the members of the liberal “Squad.”

Rep. Jimmy Gomez, D-Calif., filed a resolution to expel Taylor Greene from the House.

"It would be very foolish for anyone in Congress to expel me when I have done absolutely nothing wrong," Greene said on "National Report."

"And if Democrats and Republicans join together to have me expelled for doing nothing wrong, for a few comments on social media, then this is a real precedent that the American people will not stand for, and my district would just reelect me and send me back, so their effort will fail."

Taylor Greene told "Greg Kelly Reports" she didn’t care politicians on both sides of the isle have shunted her.

"Here in the District of Communism, is what I call it, I get the cultural version of dirty looks all the time and I couldn’t care less because the people up here, in this military state, with our big border wall, with razor wire around the capitol complex, nobody here voted for me and put me in Congress, it’s the people back home that did that and that’s where the real America is," Taylor Greene said.

"You see, D.C. is like a big bubble. It’s a beltway. And they’re so disconnected from real people. They don’t understand that people don’t want be forced to walk around wearing these masks. A lot of these paper masks it’s like putting a napkin on your face and wrapping rubber bands around your ears."

Original Article

AP-NORC Poll: Border Woes Hurt Biden Approval on Immigration

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AP-NORC Poll: Border Woes Hurt Biden Approval on Immigration AP-NORC Poll: Border Woes Hurt Biden Approval on Immigration Central American migrants walk through Houston's airport during a transfer on March 30 after their release from a U.S. government holding facility in McAllen, Texas. (ED JONES/AFP via Getty Images)

WILL WEISSERT and HANNAH FINGERHUT Monday, 05 April 2021 08:06 AM

More Americans disapprove than approve of how President Joe Biden is handling waves of unaccompanied migrant children arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border, and approval of his efforts on larger immigration policy falls short of other top issues — suggesting it could be a weak point for the new administration.

A new poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research also shows that solving the problem of young people at the border is among Americans' highest immigration priorities: 59% say providing safe treatment of unaccompanied children when they are apprehended should be a high priority, and 65% say the same about reuniting families separated at the border.

Former President Donald Trump built his presidency around tough policies that expanded and fortified border walls, made it harder for people fleeing drug violence and other desperate circumstances in Mexico and Central America to seek U.S. asylum, and separated immigrant families.

Biden has tried to seize political momentum on the issue by promising a more humane and orderly system, but his administration has struggled to cope with rising numbers of migrants coming to the border, especially unaccompanied children.

Overall, 40% of Americans disapprove of Biden’s handling of children reaching the nation's southern border without their parents, compared with just 24% who approve. Thirty-five percent don't have an opinion either way.

“I don’t know how to politically correctly say this: I do feel that, because there’s this new administration, that people feel that they can come to the country,” said Mindy Kiehl, a 40-year-old real estate agent in Erie, Pennsylvania, who otherwise approves of Biden's handling of the presidency so far.

“I get it. They’re seeking refuge," Kiehl added. "But bringing these children, it’s not good for the children, it’s not good for the families. I don’t know how that’s going to solve the problem.”

Biden said at a recent news conference that “we’re sending back the vast majority of the families that are coming.” But his struggles on the issue go beyond unaccompanied minors.

Just 42% of Americans say they approve of how the president is handling immigration in general, and a similar share, 44%, say they approve of how he’s handling border security. Both are significantly lower than the 61% of Americans who say they approve of how Biden is handling his job overall and fall short of the president's rating on some other issues, including his response to the coronavirus pandemic and managing of the economy.

That gap comes despite the White House endorsing the most ambitious overhaul of the nation's immigration system in a generation on Biden's first day in office. It has stalled in Congress, though, and Republicans and even some top Democrats say passage will be difficult.

The plan would provide an eight-year path to citizenship for the estimated 11 million people in the U.S. illegally, but the poll shows doing so isn't high on the public's priority list. Only 29% of Americans overall, including 42% of Democrats and 14% of Republicans, called legal status for people in the country illegally a high priority.

Additionally, only a third of Americans each say that allowing refugees to come to the U.S. or expanding “guest worker” programs should be high priorities.

The gap between Biden’s overall approval rating and his handling of immigration crosses party lines. Seventy-four percent of Democrats and 10% of Republicans approve of Biden’s handling of immigration, compared with 96% of Democrats and 22% of Republicans who approve overall.

The difference also comes across racial and ethnic groups. Overall, 92% of Black Americans, 67% of Hispanics and 52% of white Americans say they approve of how Biden is handling his job. On immigration, 74% of Black Americans but only 50% of Hispanics and 34% of white Americans say they approve.

Jack Henes, a retiree in Sebastian, Florida, said Biden hasn’t handled immigration as well as some other hot-button issues while calling what's happening on the U.S. southern border an “administrative nightmare.”

While awaiting the larger legislative package, the Democrat-controlled House has passed smaller-scale reforms that face uncertain futures in a Senate split 50-50. Biden also has used executive actions to attempt to roll back many Trump administration immigration policies but has been criticized for failing to do enough fast enough.

Others feel he's already gone too far.

“My concern is that President Biden has allowed the world to feel it's OK to just come on in,” said Matthew Behrs, a Trump supporter in Wisconsin.

The poll shows many Americans rank some of the major goals of the Democrat proposal as moderate priorities instead of high ones, suggesting Biden lacks a clear mandate for how best to proceed on the issue, potentially hurting his leverage with Congress.

And many want to see efforts to step up enforcement be part of the conversation: For 53%, increasing security at the border is a high priority. Some 47% of Americans also say the federal government should make strengthening policies to prevent immigrants from overstaying their visas a high priority.

Fewer, roughly a third, say penalizing companies that hire immigrants living in the U.S. illegally and deporting immigrants living in the U.S. illegally should be high priorities.

The poll also finds Americans are more likely to favor than oppose providing a way for immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children to stay legally, 53% to 24%, with 22% saying they are neither in favor nor opposed. Still, just 41% call extending legal protections to so-called Dreamers a high priority. A plan approved by the House but awaiting Senate action seeks to do just that.

Biden has now assigned Vice President Kamala Harris to work with Central American countries to try to address the root causes of illegal immigration. Henes, the retiree, suggested that Biden has given the problem to Harris as a way of buying himself some time — but that it hasn’t helped.

“They’re still in the huddle,” Henes said. “They’re not ready to call a play.”

The AP-NORC poll of 1,166 adults was conducted March 26-29 using a sample drawn from NORC’s probability-based AmeriSpeak Panel, which is designed to be representative of the U.S. population. The margin of sampling error for all respondents is plus or minus 3.6 percentage points.

Original Article

DeSantis: ’60 Minutes’ Report on Vaccine Rollout a ‘Fake Narrative’

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DeSantis: '60 Minutes' Report on Vaccine Rollout a 'Fake Narrative' ron desantis speaks onstage at cpac Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at the opening of the Conservative Political Action Conference at the Hyatt Regency on February 26, 2021 in Orlando, Florida. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

By Sandy Fitzgerald | Monday, 05 April 2021 08:06 AM

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is fighting back against a report on the coronavirus vaccine rollout in his state as being a "fake narrative" with its allegations that he aimed the distribution and administration of the vaccination toward the wealthy and to his own campaign contributors.

CBS' Sharyn Alfonsi, in an extensive report for "60 Minutes," reported allegations airing Sunday night that the governor had privatized the state vaccine rollout to benefit large donors who donated to his campaign and that he'd funneled the vaccines to wealthy communities at a time when minorities have been struggling to have access to the vaccine.

Florida's Democrat leaders are seeking a Justice Department investigation to determine if DeSantis had been rewarding high-dollar donors through allowing special access to the vaccine.

There have also been other questions raised about whether DeSantis discriminated when picking communities for pop-up vaccination sites, including at Lakewood Ranch in Manatee County just south of Tampa.

In Feburary, the "60 Minutes" report said, the governor announced he was giving 3,000 doses to the community, because "we saw a need, we want to get the numbers up for seniors."

The Lakewood Ranch developer, Pat Neal, however, had donated $135,000 to the Friends of Ron DeSantis PAC, the segment noted.

Alfonsi also reported that the Republican governor had given a contract to the grocery chain Publix to distribute the vaccines exclusively in the Palm Beach area after the company donated $100,000 to his campaign.

DeSantis declined CBS's request for an interview, according to Alfonsi, so she caught up with him at an event near Orlando.

"Publix as you know donated $100,000 to your campaign and then you rewarded them with the exclusive rights to distribute the vaccine in Palm Beach," she said.

"So first of all what you're saying is wrong," DeSantis told her. "I met with the county mayor. I met with the administrator. I met with all the folks in Palm Beach County and I said, 'here's some of the options. We can do more drive-thru sites. We can give more to hospitals. We can do the Publix.' And they said, 'We think that would be the easiest thing for our residents.'"

Alfonsi also told DeSantis that his critics are saying that his awarding the contract amounted to a "pay for play" scheme, and he argued with her again.

"I just disabused you of the narrative and you don't care about the facts because obviously I just laid it out for you in a way that is irrefutable," he said. "So clearly it's not."

And when she tried to question him further, DeSantis shouted over her: "No, no, no. You're wrong. You're wrong. You're wrong."

Meanwhile, Publix responded that there was no connection between its campaign contributions to DeSantis and the partnership to administer the vaccine.

"The irresponsible suggestion that there was a connection between campaign contributions made to Governor DeSantis and our willingness to join other pharmacies in support of the state's vaccine distribution efforts is absolutely false and offensive," the chain said in a statement. "We are proud of our pharmacy associates for administering more than 1.5 million doses of vaccine to date and for joining other retailers in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia to do our part to help our communities emerge from the pandemic."

State Rep. Omari Hardy, a Democrat, told "60 Minutes" DeSantis' decision choice to privatize the rollout meant that low-income communities were left without a way to get the shots if they did not have a Publix grocery store. She noted that in one instance, a community's residents, including several elderly residents, had to travel nearly 30 miles to get a shot."

"Before, I could call the public health director. She would answer my calls. But now if I want to get my constituents information about how to get this vaccine I have to call a lobbyist from Publix? That makes no sense," Hardy said. "They're not accountable to the public."

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

Journalist Glenn Greenwald’s Harrowing Home Invasion Story

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Journalist Glenn Greenwald's Harrowing Home Invasion Story glenn greenwald speaks in court US journalist Glenn Greenwald, founder and editor of The Intercept website gestures during a hearing at the Lower House's Human Rights Commission in Brasilia, Brazil, on June 25, 2019. (EVARISTO SA/AFP via Getty Images)

By Jim Thomas | Monday, 05 April 2021 06:03 AM

Reading like a script from a thriller crime drama, journalist Glenn Greenwald shared a true-to-life story about what it was like to have his own home invaded by a group of 5 men at gunpoint.

He was inspired by a similar story he was working on involving an Oakland, California family who were also the victims of a home invasion, where that family was tied up, beaten, and threatened with death, mediaite.com reported.

His story begins at an isolated house on a farm near Rio de Janeiro that his family has been renting during the COVID-19 pandemic. Thinking ahead, he had hired an off duty local cop to provide security for him and his family. During the invasion, he was unfortunately in the farmhouse, but luckily his family was in Rio.

Suddenly on March 5 around 9:30 p.m., Greenwald’s dogs signaled something was wrong by loudly and frantically barking. Curious as to what all the fuss was about, Greenwald ventured outside to discover, "three men wearing full black face masks descending on me, all pointing guns at me."

The men then shoved their way into the house as two others held the security guard at bay with guns drawn. The intruders demanded cash; "they did not believe that there wasn’t much in the house, which drove them to a considerable amount of anger," he wrote.

"They repeatedly threatened to shoot the security in the head, repeatedly kicked him so hard that they cracked several of his ribs, ordered me to open my mouth and stuck a gun in it as they demanded to know where the rest of the money was, smashed my phone and tablet against a wall when they could not figure out how to erase the hard-drive, and just generally tried to create a climate of extreme fear," according to Greenwald.

The invaders bound his and the security guard’s arms and legs with cords, and then escaped in the Greenwald’s car after an hour of ransacking the home, Greenwald said.

All they got away with was "a couple hundred dollars, some kitchen appliances, and clothes for ourselves and our kids." Greenwald added.

Greenwald opined that the invaders were not professional criminals rather they were more the desperate kind. Following the invasion, they went on to commit "at least three other armed invasions of stores in the area using the car they stole from us."

Fortuitously, police spotted the car — registered to Greenwald’s husband, a member of Congress in Brazil — on security cameras, and soon uncovered the identity of the criminals.

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

Original Article

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.

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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Barrasso Says Easiest Way To Get Into US Is ‘Illegally’

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Barrasso Says Easiest Way To Get Into US Is 'Illegally' john barrasso stands in front of flags and speaks Senator John Barrasso, R-Wyo., speaks in 2020 in Washington, DC. (Nicholas Kamm-Pool/Getty Images)

Sunday, 04 April 2021 02:00 PM

Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., on Sunday decried the lack of enforcement and crucial checks at the southern border for migrants — and their quick release into the United States.

In an interview on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures,” Barrasso, who was part of a group of lawmakers who visited the border region, declared “the easiest way to get into the United States today is to do it illegally.”

“You don't have to show proof of anything and they will allow you into the country. That's the Biden policy,” he lamented.

Barrasso offered the example of a midnight patrol the lawmakers were allowed to witness.

“They will tell you their job got a lot harder when Joe Biden became president,” he said of Border Patrol agents. “Only one in three of them is on the ground trying to enforce the laws because two-thirds of them are involved in either providing day care or escorts to the migrants who are being shown by signs on the ground where to go to turn themselves in.”

“The Border Patrol talked to the transition team from the Biden administration before they came into office,” he continued. “They said, if you eliminate this program that worked that [former] President [Donald] Trump put in place, the Remain in Mexico program, we are going to have a massive humanitarian crisis at the border. The Biden administration ignored them and that's what we have now — highest numbers of all times coming into the country illegally.

“No identification, carrying who knows how many diseases, but certainly high percentage with coronavirus that they are then taking all across the country.”

He added that what he witnessed was “the highest in history” of unaccompanied minors.

“They have crammed in like sardines and this is what the Biden administration is trying to hide from the American public which is why we took video and the Biden administration tried to stop us," he said. "You put so many people in captivity in this sort of way and 10% are testing positive for coronavirus, Joe Biden is turning into this super spreader of coronavirus in our country.”

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