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)

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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

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

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

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.

Georgia GOP Legislators to Coca-Cola: We Want You Out

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Georgia GOP Legislators to Coca-Cola: We Want You Out Georgia GOP Legislators to Coca-Cola: We Want You Out Cans of Coca Cola are displayed on July 25, 2018 in San Rafael, California. (Justin Sullivan/Getty)

By Jim Thomas | Sunday, 04 April 2021 05:24 PM

Certain Republican Georgia lawmakers want Coca Cola products removed from their offices after the corporation spoke out against the state's new election law, reports the Hill.

In a letter to Kevin Perry, president of the Georgia Beverage Association, eight members of the Georgia House of Representatives —Victor Anderson, Clint Crowe, Matt Barton, Jason Ridley, Lauren McDonald III, Stan Gunter, Dewayne Hill and Marcus Wiedower —complained about Coca-Cola.

“Given Coke’s choice to cave to the pressure of an out of control cancel culture, we respectfully request all Coca-Cola Company products be removed from our office suite immediately,” they stated. “Should Coke choose to read the bill, share its true intentions and accept their role in the dissemination of mistruths, we would welcome a conversation to rebuild a working relationship.”

Coca-Cola said in a statement obtained by Newsweek that it had been working with the Metro Atlanta Chamber in "expressing our concerns and advocating for positive change in voting legislation. We, along with our business coalition partners, sought improvements that would enhance accessibility, maximize voter participation, maintain election integrity and serve all Georgians."

The company stated it would continue to advocate for its position on voting issues in Georgia.

"We will continue to identify opportunities for engagement and strive for improvements aimed at promoting and protecting the right to vote in our home state and elsewhere," the company said.

Coca-Cola CEO James Quincey publicly attacked Georgia Republican Gov. Brian Kemp for recently signing into law voting legislation Quincey declared as “unacceptable” and “a step backwards.”

The legislation expands early voting opportunities, weekend early voting and extends deadlines for absentee ballot requests. It also creates a state-wide voter ID absentee voting requirement and restricts ballot drop box usage.

Quincey said the new law moves Georgia backwards.

“Let me be crystal clear and unequivocal, this legislation is unacceptable, it is a step backward and it does not promote principles we have stood for in Georgia, around broad access to voting, around voter convenience, about ensuring election integrity, and this is frankly just a step backwards,” Quincey said.

One provision of the new law seems to be of particular interest to the Georgia Beverage Association: the prohibition on handing out either soft drinks or food voters waiting in a line at the polling station to vote, reports the Hill.

Original Article

Chris Christie: Biden Is a ‘Liar and a Hypocrite’ for Election Law Rhetoric

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Chris Christie: Biden Is a 'Liar and a Hypocrite' for Election Law Rhetoric chris christie and rudy giuliani walk through a door Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (L) and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani arrive at a news conference in the Briefing Room of the White House on Sept. 27, 2020 i(Joshua Roberts/Getty Images)

By Eric Mack | Sunday, 04 April 2021 01:30 PM

President Joe Biden is a hypocrite and a liar, according to Chris Christie, by pouring gasoline on raging election integrity and racial injustice fires for political expediency.

"Here's what Joe Biden's got to live with when he wakes up this morning on Easter morning: He is doing exactly what he sat around in the campaign and the transition and accused Donald Trump of doing; he is lying to cause racial divisions in this country," Christie told ABC's "This Week."

"That's what he accused Donald Trump of doing, and he's a liar and a hypocrite this morning."

Christie, the former GOP governor of New Jersey, had a firm back-and-forth with former Democrat Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel on whether or not Biden is lying in his rebuke of Georgia's election reforms, which were codified into law after Democrats used the guise of COVID-19 to make massive 2020 election changes without passing them through the state legislature.

Biden was lying because the Georgia election reforms "expands early voting in Georgia" when "the president said it ended it," according to Christie.

"Let's talk about what the Georgia law is really about because we haven't had much of that," Christie said. "Drop boxes now become a permanent part of the Georgia landscape. They were not prior to COVID. They are now.

"Minimum of 17 days of early voting, including two Saturdays and two optional Sundays. You're going to have all voters being able to have multiple ways to prove who they are, driver's license, last four numbers of your Social Security number, even a utility bill or a free ID provided by the state of Georgia, and voting is going to be until – from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. as it is right now in Georgia."

Christie noted other states do not have as expansive early voting as Georgia, so the Democrat narrative it is restrictive is a lie on Biden's part, he said.

"Well, Stacey Abrams, by the way, Stacey Abrams was in New Jersey, in my state, praising Phil Murphy this week for a voting law where New Jersey early voting is nine days – half, half of what Georgia is," Christie told ABC's George Stephanopoulos, a former communications director for ex-President Bill Clinton.

"Yet she's on TV in New Jersey – I saw it myself – saying that this is one of the greatest voting expansion bills we've ever seen, but this is Jim Crow? I'm sorry, George."

Christie said Biden has broken his inauguration vow for unity, seeking to divide Americans on constitutional election law changes duly passed by state legislators – while H.R. 1 seeks to do something on the Democrats' behalf in Congress.

"Politics need not be a raging fire that destroys everything in its path," Christie said. "Every disagreement doesn't have to be a cause for total war, and we must reject a culture in which facts themselves are manipulated or made up.

"And Joe Biden's broken his own rule, 84 days. And now, he's lying to the American people, George. He's lying about this bill. He's lying to the American people about it to cause the raging fire he said he was going to put out. I'm very disappointed."

Original Article

Gov. Reeves: Infrastructure Plan Is a ‘Political Statement’ Resembling Green New Deal

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Gov. Reeves: Infrastructure Plan Is a 'Political Statement' Resembling Green New Deal tate reeves stands in front of a campaign sign for himself and the trump pence campaing Mississipppi Gov. Tate Reeves (Brandon Dill/Getty Images)

Sunday, 04 April 2021 01:06 PM

Mississippi GOP Gov. Tate Reeves said Sunday the Biden administration’s infrastructure plan is a “political statement” that resembles the progressive Green New Deal more than a plan to rebuild the nation’s roads, bridges, trains and airports.

In an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Reeves said infrastructure repair need not be tied to a $2 trillion tax hike — and we shouldn’t spend more on electric vehicles.

“This plan spends $110 billion on roads and bridges and spends more than that on the combination of Amtrak and public transit,” he said. “What's even worse, it spends $100 billion on clean water, which Mississippi can certainly use.

“It spends more on subsidizing electric vehicles — $155 billion to subsidize electric vehicles,” he continued. “That is a political statement. It's not a statement on trying to improve our infrastructure in America so it looks more like the Green New Deal than an infrastructure plan. “

According to Reeves, the nation needs a plan “we can afford and pay for and to truly invest in the infrastructure needs in this country.”

“We don't have to hike tax by $2 trillion to do it,” he insisted.

Reeves asserted the infrastructure work could be paid for in “different ways,” though he wasn’t specific.

“One way you pay for it is by seeing significant improved economic growth,” he said. “We saw that throughout the Trump administration, because the policies were pro business. They were pro growth and revenue has improved.”

Reeves also weighed in on vaccine compliance, and said education — and not endorsements — is the key.

“The vaccine is our path towards normalcy. It's one that I hope more folks across the country will recognize,” he said.

“We need the educate folks, we need to make sure we educate all people and let them know this vaccine is safe. …I think the education piece is more important than the endorsement piece.”

“It's kind of like politics. Getting endorsements are important,” he added. “At the end of the day, you got to educate the voters on why you should be elected. So I think that's something we need to work on.”

Related Stories:

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

Downtown Nashville Explosion Knocks Communications Offline

Downtown Nashville Explosion Knocks Communications Offline Downtown Nashville Explosion Knocks Communications Offline (AP)

KIMBERLEE KRUESI and THALIA BEATY Friday, 25 December 2020 05:39 PM

A recreational vehicle parked in the deserted streets of downtown Nashville exploded early Christmas morning, causing widespread communications outages that took down police emergency systems and grounded holiday travel at the city's airport. Authorities said they believe the blast was intentional.

Police were responding to a report of shots fired Friday when they encountered the RV blaring a recorded warning that a bomb would detonate in 15 minutes, Metro Nashville Police Chief John Drake said. Police evacuated nearby buildings and called in the bomb squad. The RV exploded shortly afterward, Drake said at a midday news conference. Police did not immediately indicate a possible motive or the target.

“It looks like a bomb went off on Second Avenue,” Nashville Mayor John Cooper said after touring the site. Cooper issued a state of emergency and a curfew for the area.

Police did not immediately indicate a possible motive or the target.

Surveillance video published on a Twitter account Friday that appeared to be across the street from the blast captured the warning issuing from the RV, “… if you can hear this message, evacuate now,” seconds before the explosion.

The blast sent black smoke and flames billowing from the heart of downtown Nashville’s tourist scene, an area packed with honky-tonks, restaurants and shops. Buildings shook and windows shattered streets away from the explosion near a building owned by AT&T that lies one block from the company's office tower, a landmark in downtown.

“We do not know if that was a coincidence, or if that was the intention,” police spokesman Don Aaron said. Aaron said earlier that some people were taken to the department’s central precinct for questioning but declined to give details.

AT&T said the affected building is the central office of a telephone exchange, with network equipment in it. The blast interrupted service, but the company declined to say how widespread outages were.

“Service for some customers in Nashville and the surrounding areas may be affected by damage to our facilities from the explosion this morning. We are in contact with law enforcement and working as quickly and safely as possible to restore service,” AT&T spokesman Jim Greer said in an emailed statement.

The AT&T outages site showed service issues in middle Tennessee and Kentucky, including Bowling Green about 65 miles (105 kilometers) north of Nashville. Several police agencies reported that their 911 systems were down because of the outage, including Murfreesboro and Knox County, home to Knoxville about 180 miles (290 kilometers) east of Nashville.

The Federal Aviation Administration temporarily halted flights out of Nashville International Airport because of telecommunications issues associated with the explosion.

Three people were taken to area hospitals for treatment after the blast, although none were in critical condition, Aaron said. Cooper said the city was lucky that the number of injuries was limited. Authorities don’t know whether anyone was in the vehicle when it exploded.

Human remains were found in the vicinity, two law enforcement officials told the The Associated Press. It was unclear how the remains were related to the explosion or whether they might belong to the person believed to be responsible or a victim. The officials could not discuss an ongoing investigation publicly and spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity.

The FBI will be taking the lead in the investigation, agency spokesman Joel Siskovic said. Federal investigators from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were also on the scene. The FBI is the primary law enforcement agency responsible for investigating federal crimes, such as explosives violations and acts of terrorism.

A Philadelphia man staying in a nearby hotel said that when he heard the blast, he was knew it wasn’t harmless.

“We tried to rationalize it that it was an earthquake or something, but it was obvious it wasn’t an earthquake," Joseph Fafara said. He said he traveled to Tennessee with his family on Christmas because the state has looser COVID-19 restrictions than Philadelphia.

When he went to look at the damage, police barricades had already been put in place. At noon, police dogs continued to search cars and buildings in the nearby area.

Buck McCoy, who lives near the area, posted videos on Facebook that show water pouring down the ceiling of his home. Alarms blare in the background along with cries of people in distress. A fire is visible in the street outside.

McCoy said he heard gunfire 15 minutes before the explosion rocked his building, set cars in the street on fire and blew trees apart.

“All my windows, every single one of them got blown into the next room. If I had been standing there it would have been horrible,” he said.

“It felt like a bomb. It was that big,” he told The Associated Press.

President Donald Trump has been briefed, according to White House spokesperson Judd Deere. The U.S. Justice Department said Acting Attorney General Jeff Rosen was also briefed and directed all department resources be made available to help with the investigation.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee said on Twitter that the state would provide the resources necessary “to determine what happened and who was responsible.”

The American Red Cross of Tennessee announced that it was working with officials to open a shelter for victims.

Housing Boom Sparks Fears Over Lack of Land for New Homes

Housing Boom Sparks Fears Over Lack of Land for New Homes sign pointing to new homes for sale A sign is posted in front of new homes for sale at Hamilton Cottages on September 24, 2020, in Novato, Calif. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

By Jeffrey Rodack | Friday, 25 December 2020 02:20 PM

Builders are growing worried they are running out of land to meet the surging demand for new homes.

The Wall Street Journal reported record low interest rates and a new premium on space during the pandemic have generated the biggest housing boom in years.

And a shortage of previously owned homes on the market is leading to an increase in buyers wanting new construction.

Builders, with much of their land inventory still in the development process, face the prospect of a shortage of finished lots or land that can be built on, said Jody Kahn, senior vice president at John Burns Real Estate Consulting LLC.

And Phillippe Lord, chief operating officer at Scottsdale, Arizona-based builder Meritage Homes Corp. said: ''The competition for land is extremely high as the homebuying demand grows.''

New home sales soared 20.8% on a year-on-year basis. The government reported last week that single-family homebuilding, the largest share of the housing market, increased in November to the highest level since April 2007.

But persistent shortages of land, materials and skilled labor are increasing construction costs for builders.

Luke Pickerill, owner of MonteVista Homes in Bend, Oregon, said: ''In Central Oregon, I will literally be out of lots and I’ll have nothing to sell'' by next month. ''All of the inventory that we expected to be selling in quarter one and quarter two of next year, we’ve now sold through it already this year.''

Fauci Acknowledges He Increased His Estimates on Herd Immunity

Fauci Acknowledges He Increased His Estimates on Herd Immunity anthony fauci speaks at press conference Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

By Jeffrey Rodack | Friday, 25 December 2020 01:26 PM

Dr. Anthony Fauci admits he has been slowly increasing his estimates on what the U.S. would need to achieve herd immunity against COVID-19.

According to The New York Times, many epidemiologists have been estimating since the start of the pandemic that it would take 60% to 70% of the population to acquire resistance to the coronavirus in order for the disease to fade away.

And the Times noted Fauci, the most prominent U.S. infectious disease expert, tended to agree during the pandemic’s early days. But about a month ago he raised the estimate to ''70, 75%.'' In a Dec. 16 interview with CNBC he said: ''75, 80, 85%'' and ''75 to 80-plus percent.''

Fauci concedes he has been deliberately moving the goal posts, partly based on new science and his gut feeling the U.S. is finally ready to hear what he really believes.

He said it may take close to 90% immunity to stop the virus.

Now that some polls show that many more Americans are ready for vaccines, Fauci said he felt he could deliver the message that a return to normal might take longer than first believed, the Times noted.

''When polls said only about half of all Americans would take a vaccine, I was saying herd immunity would take 70 to 75 percent,'' Dr. Fauci said. ''Then, when newer surveys said 60 percent or more would take it, I thought, 'I can nudge this up a bit,' so I went to 80, 85.''

A Gallup poll last month showed that 58% of Americans are now willing to get the vaccine. The number is up from a low of 50% in September.