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)

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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

Original Article Oann

Trump Puts Off Presidential Library

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Trump Puts Off Presidential Library donald trump stands onstage under spotlight Former President Donald Trump addresses the Conservative Political Action Conference held in the Hyatt Regency on February 28, 2021 in Orlando, Florida. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Mark Niquette and Jennifer Jacobs Monday, 05 April 2021 07:11 AM

Donald Trump is spending his first months as an ex-president trying to ensure that he’s remembered the way he wants — but he’s holding off on plans to establish a library that would enshrine his version of his presidency.

Planning for a library would suggest he’s done being president and that’s not something he’s ready to concede, say people familiar with his thinking. Trump has publicly dangled the possibility that he will seek the Republican nomination in 2024.

“Once he says, ‘I am going to be raising money for my library,’ he’s given up even the pretense of trying to run again,” said Anthony Clark, who has written about the politics and history of presidential libraries.

By delaying a library, Trump puts aside, at least for now, a chance to shape the story of his presidency — as Richard Nixon initially did at his museum by describing the Watergate scandal as a Democrat coup attempt, or as George W. Bush did with a theater that allows participants to vote on the options that he faced such as whether to invade Iraq but ends with a video of Bush explaining his decision.

All presidents since Franklin D. Roosevelt have pursued a presidential library as a way to archive and house their records for researchers as well as to burnish their legacies. Bill Clinton joked at Bush’s library opening in 2013 that it was the “latest, grandest example of the eternal struggle of former presidents to rewrite history.”

Before Barack Obama, presidents created nonprofit foundations to raise money from private donors to build libraries and museums that they then donated or leased to the federal government to staff and operate using taxpayer funds. The foundations pay for and create the exhibits, with the National Archives helping to develop the content.

Obama is having his private foundation build and administer his presidential center while allowing the National Archives to handle his records. Nixon initially did that as well with the library he opened in 1990 at his birthplace of Yorba Linda, California, before it was turned over to the government to run in 2007.

Clark said he doubts that Trump will ever have a presidential library because of how expensive and complicated they are to build, how difficult it is to secure a location, and because he didn’t start raising money and planning before leaving office as other presidents did.

Obama started his library foundation in 2014 for an expected $500 million presidential center in Chicago, his adopted hometown, but groundbreaking isn’t expected until this year because of delays from federal reviews and litigation.

The George W. Bush Presidential Center, which includes a library with his records, a museum, the Bush policy institute, and the offices of Bush’s foundation, opened on the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas — former first lady Laura Bush’s alma mater — in 2013 after finalists for the site were announced in 2005.

The National Archives has already set up a Trump Presidential Library website with information about the former president and first lady Melania Trump, and holds the records of the Trump administration, which will start to become available in 2026 — though Trump can restrict access for 12 years.

While Trump may want the imprimatur of a library run by the federal government, he’d likely follow Obama’s and Nixon’s early model of having the National Archives handle records separately from a museum that he can fully control, said Timothy Naftali, who served as the first director of the Nixon Presidential Library and Museum after it became part of the federal system and created a new, nonpartisan Watergate gallery.

If Trump built a private library or tourist attraction for his supporters, that would allow him to depict his presidency the way he wants, Naftali said.

“His museum will have the same spirit as the private Nixon library’s museum,” said Naftali, now a presidential scholar and a clinical associate professor at New York University. “His tweets could be used as the banners for various galleries in the museum. It’ll be a center of Trumpism.”

With the delay, Trump is not only letting others write the history of his presidency, he’s giving up one opportunity to deploy his wildly successful fund-raising skills. Trump and his affiliated committees have raised more than $2.3 billion since he began his presidential campaign in 2015.

He told supporters before he left office in January that he wanted to raise $2 billion for a presidential library, according to The Washington Post, which would be the most ever. The most likely vehicle would be a nonprofit charity, the model used by modern presidents, because donations are tax deductible and the entity doesn’t have to pay tax on the money it raises, said Paul Seamus Ryan of the government-accountability group Common Cause.

He could legally accept money in unlimited amounts from sources including foreign countries, and disclosure of the donors’ identities isn’t required except by registered lobbyists who give $200 or more.

Yet such a charity requires that expenditures are used for the public good and not for private benefit of individuals.

Still, a former Nixon library official says that shouldn’t stop Trump from raising money for it.

“Donald Trump proved in 2020 that he had no problems raising money, and he now has four years, if he wants to, to just dangle that prospect of a return to power in front of potential donors,” said Paul Musgrave, a former special assistant to the director at the Nixon Presidential Library and Museum.

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.

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.

Pentagon Approves Third Military Base to House Migrant Children

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Pentagon Approves Third Military Base to House Migrant Children Pentagon Approves Third Military Base to House Migrant Children A migrant from Guatemala holding a child arrives in the U.S., crossing the Rio Grande in a raft piloted by smugglers on March 30, 2021 in Roma, Texas. (Joe Raedle/Getty)

By Nick Koutsobinas | Sunday, 04 April 2021 05:50 PM

The Pentagon on Friday approved the use of a California Army National Guard base to house unaccompanied migrant children traveling alone, reports The Associated Press. The housing, located at Camp Roberts in central California, is said only to be temporary. It is not known how many children will be placed there.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said Saturday it has not finalized its decision and that the camp is “under active consideration.”

“When HHS decides to activate an Emergency Influx Site for unaccompanied migrant children we will notify state and local authorities as well as members of Congress,” the department said in a statement.

But a defense official told Fox News HHS approved the decision.

"On April 2, the Department of Defense approved a request for assistance from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for facilities and land to temporarily house unaccompanied children at Camp Roberts, California."

"This support is being provided on a fully-reimbursable basis… DoD only provides this kind of support where it has no impact on military readiness and its ability to conduct its primary missions."

Border authorities have encountered more than 9,000 children since February, a record high since May 2019, which saw 11,000 unaccompanied children at the border. President Joe Biden during his first month in office suspended Title 42 for unaccompanied children only. The policy, which began last March under the Trump administration, allows Customs and Border Protection to expel undocumented migrants to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus in holding facilities.

According to Fox, Customs and Border Protection encountered approximately 171,000 migrants in March.

Former CBP Commissioner Mark Morgan and Heritage senior research fellow Lora Ries say the crisis is only getting worse.

"We have a crisis on the border, even though the Biden administration still refuses to acknowledge it… Today's numbers are just more evidence of this undeniable reality – and proof that President Biden's policies are driving this crisis."

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.