Tucker Carlson: This is an atrocity
WATCH: Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s Helicopter Hog Hunt Contest
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) refused to answer questions about the FBI’s raid on Mar-a-Lago, the home of former President Donald Trump.
During a press event, when McConnell was asked about his reaction to the FBI’s raid at Mar-a-Lago, he quickly responded, “I’m here today to talk about the flood and the recovery from the flood.”
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell refuses to answer question about FBI's raid of Trump's Mar-a-Lago residence
Q: What was your reaction to the FBI raid yesterday at Mar-a-Lago
McConnell: "I'm here today to talk about the flood and the recovery from the flood" pic.twitter.com/zfiQ0cBO8A
— Mona Salama (@MonaSalama_) August 9, 2022
Breitbart News attempted to reach McConnell’s office for comment earlier Tuesday morning and has not heard back by the time of publication. The minority leader has not made any public announcement regarding the raid and has appeared to show no concern.
At this time, three Republican senators in leadership have issued public statements condemning the raid, including Senate Republican Conference chair John Barrasso (R-WY), National Republican Senatorial Committee chair Rick Scott (R-FL), and Senate Republican Conference vice chair Joni Ernst (R-IA).
At the time, the White House “played dumb” by insisting that President Joe Biden had no prior knowledge of the raid. “The president was not briefed, was not aware of it. No one from the White House was given a head’s up,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre claimed on Tuesday.
On Monday night, the former president, in a lengthy statement, was the first to confirm the FBI raid of his home in Palm Beach.
“These are dark times for our Nation,” as his home “is currently under siege, raided, and occupied by a large group of FBI agents,” he said in a written statement. “Nothing like this has ever happened to a President of the United States before.”
The raid was reportedly focused on documents that Trump allegedly took with him from the White House to Mar-a-Lago. The report claimed that some of the material allegedly taken included classified information.
However, in an interview in May with Breitbart News’s Kristina Wong, Kash Patel, a former top Trump administration official, said the claims that “classified materials were found at Mar-a-Lago are misleading” since the “documents were actually already declassified by then-President Donald Trump, but the classification markings had not been updated.”
Many others responded to the raid, angered at the “abuse of power” by the FBI and the Democrats.
Donald Trump Jr., the eldest child of the former president, also reacted by saying the Democrats are “openly targeting their political enemies.”
“[President Joe] Biden’s out of control DOJ is ripping this country apart with how they’re openly targeting their political enemies,” Trump Jr. stated on social media. “This is what you see happen in 3rd World Banana Republics!!!”
Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel called the FBI’s “outrageous” raid an “abuse of power” that “must stop” and would be stopped by electing Republicans in November.
“Absolute power corrupts absolutely. Countless times we have examples of Democrats flouting the law and abusing power with no recourse,” McDaniel added. “Democrats continually weaponize the bureaucracy against Republicans.”
In fact, Florida state Rep. Anthony Sabatini, who is running for Congress in the Seventh Congressional District, called for an emergency legislative session to amend the state’s laws on federal agencies and to “sever all ties with DOJ immediately.”
“Any FBI agent conducting law enforcement functions outside the purview of our State should be arrested upon sight,” Sabatini said in a fiery statement following the raid.
Home Depot and Best Buy Take Drastic Measures to ‘Stop the Bleeding’ Caused by Crime Surge
With the peak gift-giving season of the year just around the corner, big box retailers are responding to increases in product theft with fewer items on the shelf and more stored under lock and key, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.
A Best Buy store in suburban Houston served as an example of this phenomenon with “hundreds of items” stored away from customers’ hands and signage in the aisles replacing the products, which were previously secured through anti-theft devices such as plastic product cases or security wire wraps, the report said.
The new signs inform customers, “This product kept in secured location,” and direct shoppers to locate an employee to assist them.
Gary Pearce, a frequent Best Buy shopper, told the Wall Street Journal, “There used to be a lot more on the floor itself than locked up in cages.”
In January, CNN reported on a major spike in shoplifting and the “emergence of coordinated and organized robberies at high-value stores.”
News reports and social media have reported widely on the trend as highlighted in a May compilation video from The Daily Caller that prominently featured incidents at Best Buy locations.
Best Buy CEO Corie Barry said during a call with analysts in November that the Minnesota-based retailer had seen a large jump in theft at its stores, with some involving assailants armed with a gun or a crowbar.
“This is traumatizing for our associates and is unacceptable,” she said, according to Chain Store Age. “We are doing everything we can to try to create … as safe as possible environments.”
Barry said her company was implementing several tactics in stores to reduce shoplifting and protect customers and employees. Those included locking up additional products and hiring in-store security where appropriate.
The Home Depot has responded in a similar way.
“It’s a triage-type scenario. It’s stop the bleeding and give yourself some time,” Scott Glenn, vice president of asset protection for the retailer, told the Wall Street Journal.
Glenn said theft attempts at Home Depot locations have continued to increase, leading to more items being put out of customers’ reach.
Shoppers aren’t pleased when confronted with items being locked up, he said, and the company tries to avoid it.
But Glenn said once a high-theft item is secured, the sales typically go up rather than down given that the store is able to more consistently keep the item in stock.
Simply put, he explained, at stores where Home Depot has introduced theft deterrents, loss to theft has been reduced.
Damien Harmon, executive vice president of omnichannel for Best Buy, told the Wall Street Journal that once an item is placed in lockup, the company monitors the sales trends — and it typically doesn’t receive many comments regarding the change.
He said store inventories are being managed differently than they have been in the past, with fewer products on the floor in part because more purchases occur online.
Since the product goes directly to the customer, this has the added benefit of reducing theft as well, Glenn said. A Best Buy spokeswoman said the company’s internal customer experience scores for its stores were at a 15-year high.
Burt Flickinger, managing director of retail consultancy Strategic Resource Group, told CNN that theft has a serious impact on companies’ bottom lines.
“For every $330 worth of products stolen, a retailer has to sell an incremental $300,000 worth of goods to break even,” he said.
Flickinger added, “We’ve talked to retailers across America who say shoplifting is now 2% to 3% of their total sales. That’s up from 0.7 to 1% pre-pandemic.”
Kamala Harris to Finally Visit the Border – In Korea
Vice President Kamala Harris, the Biden administration’s southern border czar, will be visiting a contentious border spot this week — on the other side of the world.
Harris will travel to the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) between North Korea and South Korea Thursday where she will “tour sites at the DMZ, meet with service members and receive an operational briefing from U.S. commanders,” the White House confirmed. The vice president’s scheduled trip to the DMZ will follow her Tuesday meeting with South Korean Prime Minister Han Duck-soo.
“Your visit to the DMZ and Seoul will be very symbolic demonstrations of your strong commitments to the security and peace to Korean Peninsula, and we are working with you and U.S. in dealing with North Korea,” Han told Harris at the bilateral meeting.
According to the White House, Harris’ trip to South Korea affirms America’s commitment to its relationship with the country after North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un’s puppet parliament passed a law allowing the leader to fire a preemptive nuclear attack. North Korea’s new law also ensures that the country will “automatically and immediately” retaliate with nuclear weapons if Kim is killed in an attack.
The trip to the Korean border also comes as the Biden administration faces intensifying backlash for the crisis on its own border. The vice president has been criticized for seemingly ignoring the crisis after being tapped as the border czar in March 2021. Harris’ first and only trip to the U.S.-Mexico border came in June of last year.
In an interview with MSNBC’s Chuck Todd Earlier this month, the vice president claimed, “We have a secure border,” but then explained that “there are still a lot of problems that we are trying to fix given the deterioration that happened over the last four years,” in an apparent attempt to blame-shift the border crisis onto the Trump administration. In reality, Harris has seen a record two million border encounters in the past fiscal year alone.
In her interview with Todd, Harris also called on Congress to grant amnesty to the millions of illegal immigrants in the country.
“I think that there is no question that we have to do what the president and I asked Congress to do. The first request we made, pass a bill to create a pathway to citizenship,” Harris said. “The border is secure, but we also have a broken immigration system, in particular over the last four years before we came in, and it needs to be fixed.”
"We’re gonna have 2 million people cross this border for the first time ever." Chuck Todd doesn't appear to buy VP Harris' claim that the border is secure. pic.twitter.com/7K6Txsxc0Z
— Virginia Kruta (@VAKruta) September 11, 2022
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) slammed President Joe Biden during a press conference Tuesday as the state prepares to be hit by a category 3 hurricane.
The remarks from DeSantis come after Biden held separate calls earlier in the day with Mayor Jane Castor of Tampa, Mayor Ken Welch of St. Petersburg, and Mayor Frank Hibbard of Clearwater. An official White House readout of the calls made no mention of the president speaking with DeSantis.
A reporter asked the governor how he would characterize his conversations with Biden as the hurricane prepares to make landfall.
“So I have not personally spoken with the president, but FEMA has approved our pre-landfall request,” DeSantis said.
“We feel like we have a good relationship with FEMA,” he continued. “You know, I’m happy to brief the president if he’s interested in hearing what we’re doing in Florida, you know, my view on all this is like you got people’s lives at stake, you got their property at stake, and we don’t have time for pettiness. We got to work together to make sure we’re doing the best job for them.”
“So, my phone — my phone line is open,” DeSantis concluded. “But we are — we do appreciate the quick approval of the pre-landfall declaration.”
The remarks from DeSantis come as the hurricane is strengthening while in the Gulf of Mexico and could make landfall as a category 4 hurricane.
The National Hurricane Center has warned that Ian is “an extremely dangerous major hurricane.”
"I’m happy to brief the President if he’s interested in hearing what we’re doing in Florida… You've got people’s lives at stake…no time for pettiness, we've gotta work together to make sure we’re doing the best job for them. So my phone line is open." @RonDeSantisFL on Biden pic.twitter.com/d2FkngDq5J
— DeSantis War Room 🐊 #FloridaStrong (@DeSantisWarRoom) September 27, 2022
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre did not give any details about why the president has not called DeSantis, and FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell dodged a question from a reporter about the matter during the press briefing.
“In the past … President Biden, excuse me, has made calls to governors in situations of natural disasters. Kay Ivey in Alabama or Asa Hutchinson in Arkansas or the governor of Texas,” the reporter said. “Is there any, can you articulate I guess, how those determinations are made and why, why it hasn’t been made in this case to have the president call the governor?”
“Yeah, the president is very focused on making sure that the federal family has the right resources available to support this,” Criswell said. “That is why I contacted the governor right away. And we have a team of my senior leadership that are embedded with the governor to make sure that we’re supporting that.”
“Our focus today is making sure that we have the right measures in place to support the life saving activities that need to happen,” she added. “Any conversations afterwards, will need to be, we need to see what the damages are.”
Several black rights groups in Texas recently took to the state capital of Austin to protest against illegal immigration and in favor of their Second Amendment rights and black reparations.
On Saturday, the groups, led by the Elmer Geronimo Pratt Pistol and Rifle Gun Club, held the third annual “Second Amendment Unity Walk,” chanting various slogans, including:
- “What do we want?” “Closed borders!” “When do we want them?” “Now!”
- “Guns up!” “Shoot back!”
- “Black power!”
- “We all we got!” “We all we need!”
They also carried a banner that read, “REPARATIONS NOW!”
One person reportedly even tried to begin a “Build the wall!” chant in reference to former President Trump’s call to build a wall on the U.S. southern border, but the rest of the crowd did not follow along with it.
At least one group leader stated very candidly that the marchers do not necessarily align with those on the political right.
“Republicans, do not dare to make the mistake of thinking you will get our vote just because we believe in exercising our Second Amendment,” the unnamed woman said into a microphone.
“Yes, I’m talking to you, [Senator] Ted Cruz and Governor [Greg] Abbott,” she continued. “Don’t think we are standing with you because we are against illegal immigration.”
Various speakers also called out Vice President Kamala Harris for failing to protect black Americans by failing to secure the border. The founder of the EGP gun club, Nick Bezzel, elaborated on the reasons why his fellow marchers believe illegal immigration is particularly harmful to the black community.
“We don’t have a problem with immigration itself,” Bezzel said, “but we do have a problem with illegal immigration because, a lot of times, jobs are taken away from black people.
“Black people are locked out from employment due to illegal immigration,” he added.
Bezzel also argued that reparations are a matter of justice.
“What we don’t want to hear is ‘America doesn’t have the money,'” he said, especially as the federal government continues to send money overseas to foreign allies such as Ukraine.
Now that the march is over, the gun club and other groups say they plan to continue lobbying politicians in Austin until they address what marchers called the “black agenda.”
And the gun club views the so-called “black agenda” as multifaceted. In addition to advocating for “responsible gun ownership, gun safety, and protecting our Black communities,” the EGP also works to end no-knock raids and collects food, clothing, and hygiene products for the homeless and those in single-parent homes. Whether the club distributes these items exclusively to black recipients is unclear.
California Passed a New Minimum Wage Bill. Now Chipotle Is Testing a Robotic Chip Maker.
Chipotle announced the rollout of an automated chip machine in southern California on Tuesday.
According to a press release, the company is testing Chippy — an autonomous kitchen assistant designed by Miso Robotics — at a restaurant in Fountain Valley, California, before the Mexican fast food giant considers a “national implementation strategy.” The device has already been tested in Chipotle’s technology innovation facility.
“We are always exploring opportunities to enhance our employee and guest experience,” Chipotle Chief Technology Officer Curt Garner said earlier this year. “Our goal is to drive efficiencies through collaborative robotics that will enable Chipotle’s crew members to focus on other tasks in the restaurant.”
The company also revealed on Tuesday that select restaurants in California are testing a kitchen management system that will optimize ingredient use and cooking activities — a solution that will eliminate “manual tasks” for employees, according to Garner, while “ultimately enabling them to focus on an exceptional culinary and an outstanding guest experience.”
Chipotle’s rollout of automation solutions occurs weeks after Governor Gavin Newsom (D-CA) signed AB 257 — legislation that creates a “Fast Food Council” responsible for drafting “sectorwide minimum standards on wages, working hours, and other working conditions,” according to a summary of the bill.
Members of the Fast Food Council are permitted to raise minimum wages up to $22 per hour, representing an increase of over 40% from the $15.50 per hour minimum wage slated to take effect in 2023. Last year, Chipotle boosted hourly wages to range between $11 per hour and $18 per hour.
The legislation, which applies only to restaurants with 100 or more locations across the United States, faced considerable opposition from fast food chains. Chipotle joined Yum Brands, In-N-Out Burger, and other firms in spending over $1 million to lobby against the bill, according to a report from Forbes.
The bill also comes one year after a sizable portion of California restaurants were forced to close their doors following some of the nation’s most aggressive government lockdowns. In a letter denouncing the legislation, McDonald’s USA President Joe Erlinger noted that the provisions impose “higher costs on one type of restaurant, while sparing another.”
“If you are a small business owner running two restaurants that are part of a national chain, like McDonald’s, you can be targeted by the bill,” Erlinger explained. “But if you own 20 restaurants that are not part of a large chain, the bill does not apply to you.”
The legislation includes a carveout for restaurants that operate a bakery that “produces for sale bread as a stand-alone menu item.” Erlinger said that “backroom politicking” could explain the exemption.
An analysis from the California Department of Finance said that the legislation introduces a “fragmented regulatory and legal environment for employers” that could “raise long-term costs across industries.” Chipotle has nearly 450 restaurants in the Golden State, according to the company’s website.
Businesses have struggled to fill positions as labor force participation has lagged over the past two years — worsening a decades-long trend of low engagement in the job market. The metric dropped from 63.4% in February 2020 to 60.2% in April 2020 alone amid government lockdowns and business closures, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. As of August 2022, labor force participation climbed to 62.4%.
WHO DID IT? “Unprecedented” Mystery Leaks Detected in Nord Stream Gas Pipelines — No Gas This Winter
The Kremlin said on Tuesday that it cannot rule out “sabotage” as the cause of significant damage to the Nord Stream pipeline network that carries gas from Russia to Germany.
The same thought occurred to various European officials as they turned gimlet eyes upon Russia as a potential suspect.
The Nord Stream AG consortium called the multiple leaks in both of its Baltic Sea pipelines “unprecedented” and said on Tuesday it was “not yet possible to estimate the timing of the restoration of the gas transport infrastructure.”
Russia stopped sending gas to Germany in retaliation for sanctions against the Russian invasion of Ukraine, but the pipelines were still filled with gas. Up to 177 million cubic meters of gas may have already leaked from the breach in Nord Stream 2, with as-yet-unknown environmental impact.
— Forsvaret (@forsvaretdk) September 27, 2022
There is also the risk of an explosion, although environmental analysts said the gas would probably disperse enough in the Baltic waters to make that unlikely. The Danish maritime authority nevertheless issued an advisory that the Nord Stream 2 leak is “dangerous for ship traffic” and advised ships to stay at least five nautical miles away.
The Danish military published footage from the site of the leak on Nord Stream. pic.twitter.com/OgoXeWPDSF
— NEXTA (@nexta_tv) September 27, 2022
“The multiple undersea leaks mean neither pipeline will likely deliver any gas to the EU over the coming winter, irrespective of political developments in the Ukraine war. Depending on the scale of the damage, the leaks could even mean a permanent closure of both lines,” a notice from the Eurasia Group, a risk consulting firm, said on Tuesday.
”Leaks of this size are a severe safety and environmental hazard, especially should Russia not stop pumping gas into the system,” the Eurasia Group noted.
“We are currently in contact with the authorities concerned in order to clarify the situation. We still have no clarity about the causes and the exact facts,” the German government said on Monday.
On Tuesday morning, Germany officially declared its suspicion that the damage to Nord Stream was caused by “sabotage.”
“Today we faced an act of sabotage, we don’t know all the details of what happened, but we see clearly that it’s an act of sabotage, related to the next step of escalation of the situation in Ukraine,” Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki declared on Tuesday at the opening ceremony for another pipeline connecting Norway to Poland.
“We are talking about three leaks with some distance between them, and that’s why it is hard to imagine that it is a coincidence,” Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen observed.
Ukraine called the pipeline breaches a “terrorist attack” perpetrated by Moscow to permanently compromise Europe’s fuel supply, and perhaps to nullify gigantic lawsuits from Russia’s gas customers by creating a legal status of force majeure.
“This is very concerning news. Indeed, we are talking about some damage of an unclear nature to the pipeline in Denmark’s economic zone. This is an issue related to the energy security of the entire continent,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said at a press conference on Tuesday.
Royal Danish Defense College researcher Anders Puck Nielsen found the timing of the explosions “conspicuous” given the opening of the rival Poland-Norway pipeline on the same day. Nielsen thought the Nord Stream sabotage might have been “a signal that something could happen to the Norwegian gas.”
“The arrow points in the direction of Russia. No one in the West is interested in having any kind of instability in the energy market,” he noted.
Other theories point to radical environmentalists determined to keep Europe from relying on fossil fuels, or possibly even U.S. President Joe Biden, who blurted in a February interview that his administration would “bring an end” to the Nord Stream 2 pipeline if Russia invaded Ukraine.
“I promise you, we will be able to do that,” Biden replied when asked by a reporter how he would propose shutting down an undersea pipeline controlled by Germany.
“There are some indications that it is deliberate damage. You have to ask: Who would profit?” an exasperated European security source told Reuters on Tuesday while contemplating the longest list of suspects since Murder on the Orient Express.
Sweden’s state broadcast network SVT on Tuesday cited data from the Swedish National Seismic Network that strongly suggested powerful underwater explosions occurred in the vicinity of the gas leaks on Monday. One of the explosions was large enough to be detected by 30 different Swedish monitoring stations.
“There is no doubt that it was a blast,” said Bjorn Lund, a seismology lecturer with the Swedish National Seismic Network. Lund added that the area was not normally used for naval exercises that might explain the detonations, and said his network has received no information about such exercises taking place on Monday.
PHOTOS: Kamala Harris’ Stepdaughter Goes Braless For Latest Ad Campaign
Vice President Kamala Harris’ stepdaughter Ella Emhoff posed braless for the latest ad campaign that she’s part of in photos she posted on Instagram Tuesday.
Emhoff posted a series of snaps of her modeling for Calvin Klein, showing her wearing various outfits while going without a bra.
In the first shot, Emhoff posed wearing black jeans with an extremely cropped top that went above the bra line.
In the second photo, she appears in a black-and-white snap wearing jeans, high heels, and a button-up top left unbuttoned.
And finally, in a third photograph, the model poses with two other people. She’s seen wearing a white cropped tank top and blue jeans.
Earlier this month, Emhoff made headlines when she hit the runway during 2022 New York Fashion Week going topless, as The Daily Wire previously reported.
In photos that surfaced from the Spring/Summer 2023 Prabal Gurung fashion show, Harris’ stepdaughter’s outfit showed her braless and topless wearing little more than a sheer mint green floor-length scarf for a top. She topped the look with a black leather mini skirt, black wrap-up high heels, and long black leather gloves.
The photos from the show surfaced all over social media.
Emhoff, the daughter of the second gentleman Doug Emhoff with his first wife Kerstin Emhoff, was signed to IMG Models following her appearance at President Joe Biden’s inauguration in January 2021.
View this post on Instagram
In February that year, she made her runway debut at New York Fashion Week for the Proenza Schouler Fall/Winter 2021 fashion show. Then, in March 2021, Emhoff posted photos on her Instagram, teasing her first magazine shoot and cover photo.
In a New York Times interview, Emhoff called her sudden modeling career surprising.
“I was pretty surprised when everything with IMG was happening because when I was younger, I never saw that as being part of my timeline,” Emhoff shared at the time. “As someone who, like a lot of young girls out there, had self-confidence issues, it is intimidating and scary to go into this world that is hyper-focused on you and the body.”
She also told the NYT that the attention to her inauguration outfit was something she didn’t expect.
Republican Senator C.B. Embry Resigns Amid Battle With Cancer
Kentucky Republican Sen. C.B. Embry has stepped down from the General Assembly.
The Republican lawmaker from Morgantown submitted his resignation letter on Monday to Senate President Robert Stivers amid his battle with cancer.
Embry was elected to the Kentucky House of Representatives in 2002. He was then elected to the Senate in 2014 and has served on several committees, including his current position as chair of the Veterans, Military Affairs, and Public Protection Committee.
Over the last 50 years, the Republican lawmaker has been elected 12 times to five different public offices.
Earlier this year, Embry announced he planned to step down due to a long battle with cancer. The Republican would undergo cancer treatment during legislative sessions so he was able to cast votes and uphold his duty to his constituents.
“It has been an honor of a lifetime to serve the Commonwealth of Kentucky and the good of the people of District 6,” Embry said in his resignation letter. “During my time in the Senate, I can truly say that I and my colleagues worked each day to make Kentucky an even greater state.”
“C.B. Embry is one of the kindest souls I encountered during my tenure in Frankfort. His dedication to representing his constituents, upholding his duty as a public servant, and sticking to his values are unmatched. Nothing but respect,” Republican communications official Noah Lucas tweeted.
“C.B. Embry is the epitome of a committed public servant who traveled back and forth to Frankfort, scheduling his treatments around our floor and committee activity, @kysenatepres Robert Stivers said.
— KY Senate Majority (@KYSenateGOP) September 26, 2022
In a statement, Senate President Stivers called Embry “the epitome of a committed public servant”, while House Speaker David Osborne called him an “indomitable advocate for the people of his district.”
“C.B. is the very definition of a servant leader, guided by his faith to be an indomitable advocate for the people of his district,” Osborne said. “That same faith has made him an inspiration as his commitment to family and service has not waivered during this long and arduous battle with cancer. I wish he and Wanda the very best and the comfort of knowing that they are both leaving here after a job well done.”
“While I am saddened to learn that Senator Embry has resigned, I respect his decision as I respect him for his lifelong commitment to bettering our commonwealth,” Osborne said. “It was an honor to serve with him in the House and a privilege to work with him after he was elected to the Senate.”
“They don’t make public servants more dedicated than CB Embry. Carlos Brogdon Embry, Jr., is a genuinely decent human being, an elected leader who personally engages daily with his constituents and proudly stands up for them. What a life of service. I’ll miss CB & Mrs. Wanda,” said Whitney Westerfield, a Republican state senator who also serves as the chairman of the state Senate Judiciary Committee.
They don’t make public servants more dedicated than CB Embry. Carlos Brogdon Embry, Jr., is a genuinely decent human being, an elected leader who personally engages daily with his constituents and proudly stands up for them. What a life of service. I’ll miss CB & Mrs. Wanda. pic.twitter.com/Kpumoe3w9f
— Whitney Westerfield (@KyWhitney) September 27, 2022
“Despite undergoing cancer treatment C.B., & his wife Wanda, always made it to Frankfort so he could fulfill his obligations as a State Senator. Both he and Wanda are incredible examples and his constant fight and presence made us better colleagues & a stronger legislative body,” said Kentucky GO state Senator Wil Schroder.
Kentucky Secretary of State Michael Adams tweeted: “We are grateful to Senator Embry for his many years of public service and wish him the very best.”
“Always gracious, always willing to talk about what could best meet the needs of students, Sen. C.B. Embry served with distinction. I am glad I had the opportunity to know him and wish him all good things as he leaves public service,” said Alicia J. Sells.
‘Flagrantly Illegal’: Lawsuit Hits Biden Over Student Debt Cancellation
The Pacific Legal Foundation filed suit on Tuesday against the Biden administration for its policy to cancel up to $10,000 in student debt for millions of borrowers.
The group argued in a complaint that President Joe Biden’s use of the HEROES Act, a 2003 law meant to aid Iraq War veterans and their families, as justification for the move occurred with “breathtaking informality and opacity.” Frank Garrison, a public defense attorney at the Pacific Legal Foundation and the plaintiff in the lawsuit, will personally face a tax liability from the state of Indiana due to the cancellation of his debt.
“Congress did not authorize the executive branch to unilaterally cancel student debt,” Pacific Legal Foundation attorney Caleb Kruckenberg said in a statement. “It’s flagrantly illegal for the executive branch to create a $500 billion program by press release, and without statutory authority or even the basic notice and comment procedure for new regulations.”
The student loan cancellation plan applies to individuals earning less than $125,000 annually. Biden also decided to extend the pause on federal student loan repayment to January 2023 and will permit borrowers with undergraduate loans to cap payments at 5% of monthly income.
The complaint added that the Department of Education failed to comply with the “notice-and-comment process required for rulemaking” when charting the debt cancellation policy and did not “solicit any public input.”
“Cancelling student debt is unjust to those who have paid their loans or never took any. It will only lead to more calls for government intervention in education at taxpayers’ expense,” Pacific Legal Foundation senior attorney Steve Simpson added. “Loan cancellation will make Americans more divided, as those who paid their loans — or never went to college — will have good reason to think that we no longer have a government of, by, and for the people.”
Indeed, one-third of student debt is held by the wealthiest 20% of households, according to data from the Brookings Institution. In comparison, only 8% is owed by the bottom 20% — largely because graduate degrees are often necessary for high-paying professions.
Eliminating $10,000 of student loans per borrower will cost $298 billion in 2022 and a total of $329 billion by 2031 if the policy is renewed each year, according to a nonpartisan analysis from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, which also found that 42% of the benefit would impact Americans earning more than $82,400 per year. Another estimate from the Congressional Budget Office forecasts that the overall cost will be $400 billion, with another $20 billion incurred by the extended pause on repayments.
The Wharton analysts said that a permanent loan cancellation announcement could prompt students to “eventually reorganize their financing toward additional borrowing.” Although the policy could increase access to higher education, universities themselves could capture the value “in the form of higher prices” as they raise tuition.
The Pacific Legal Foundation contended that the student loan cancellation is an “election year ploy” — marking the most severe abuse of power since former President Donald Trump imposed a nationwide eviction moratorium ahead of the 2020 election through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The agency claimed that “eviction moratoria — like quarantine, isolation, and social distancing — can be an effective public health measure utilized to prevent the spread of communicable disease.”
Sen. Joe Manchin Caves On Energy Deal After Democrats Revolt
Democratic West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin backed down from including his energy permitting overhaul in a government funding resolution Tuesday evening after a bipartisan group of senators threatened to block it.
Federal funding is scheduled to run out Sept. 30, and the continuing resolution introduced by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York would pay for the government to stay open through Dec. 16. As part of Manchin’s support for the Inflation Reduction Act, Schumer promised the moderate that the Senate would pass his permitting reform proposal.
The Energy Independence and Security Act would speed up completion of the Mountain Valley Pipeline, a more-than-300 mile pipeline that would transport natural gas from West Virginia to Virginia, and amend the National Environmental Policy Act or the Clean Water Act to require federal agencies to approve or reject energy projects faster.
“It is unfortunate that members of the United States Senate are allowing politics to put the energy security of our nation at risk. The last several months, we have seen firsthand the destruction that is possible as Vladimir Putin continues to weaponize energy.”
“A failed vote on something as critical as comprehensive permitting reform only serves to embolden leaders like Putin who wish to see America fail. For that reason and my firmly held belief that we should never come to the brink of a government shutdown over politics, I have asked Majority Leader Schumer to remove the permitting language from the Continuing Resolution we will vote on this evening,” Manchin said in a statement.
“I stand ready to work with my colleagues to move forward on this critical legislation to meet the challenges of delivering affordable reliable energy Americans desperately need,” he added.
Manchin had previously threatened to side with Republicans and shut down the government if his permitting reform was removed from the continuing resolution. Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, as well as left-wing House Democrats led by Arizona Rep. Raul Grijalva, also threatened a government shutdown. Other Democratic opponents included Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine and Illinois Sen. Tammy Duckworth.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky whipped Republicans against the provision, although Manchin’s fellow West Virginia senator, Republican Shelley Moore Capito, came out in favor of it.
“Given what Senator Manchin did on the reconciliation bill, [it’s] engendered a lot of bad blood,” Republican Texas Sen. John Cornyn told Politico of the package. “There’s not a lot of sympathy on our side to provide Sen. Manchin a reward.”
Manchin announced his support just hours after 17 Republican senators voted in favor the CHIPS and Science Act. McConnell had threatened to pull Republican support from the research and development package if Democrats continued with reconciliation negotiations.
The Senate voted 72-23 shortly before 7 p.m. to open debate on the continuing resolution. The final bill must become law by Saturday to avoid a government shutdown.
One Student Dead, 3 Injured in Shooting After High School Football Scrimmage
One teen who was killed Tuesday was among five Philadelphia high school students who were shot following a football scrimmage, police said.
The shooting occurred around 4:40 p.m. at Roxborough High School in the rear of the campus, the Philadelphia Police Department said. The shots rang out following a scrimmage between Roxborough, Northeast High School and Boys Latin High School, police said.
After the scrimmage, two gunmen “ambushed” a group — believed to be Roxborough football players — walking near the school and shot five students, Deputy Police Commissioner John Stanford told reporters at the scene.
“There’s one family that their son won’t make it home today,” he said.
Responding officers initially found two 14-year-olds, a 17-year-old and another victim suffering from gunshot wounds, according to preliminary information from authorities, Fox Philadelphia reported.
The victims were taken to Temple University Hospital and Einstein Medical Center. One of the 14-year-olds died, police said. A fifth student was treated at the scene for a graze wound.
“I am absolutely outraged, I’m shocked. Quite frankly, I’m a little shaken,” Philadelphia County District Attorney Larry Krasner said. “Schools are supposed to be the answer, they’re supposed to be the answer; we keep kids in schools so they don’t get involved in shooting.”
No arrests have been made. Authorities were looking for at least two shooters.
“Schools used to be a safe haven for our young people,” special adviser on school safety Kevin Bethel told reporters. “To see that now our young people can’t even come to a scrimmage game and be shot is totally unacceptable.”
The suspects fled from the scene on foot. Investigators will review footage from video cameras in the area, police said.
The shooting came as the city approached 400 killings as of Monday, according to police data. Philadelphia experienced 404 homicides in the same time frame last year.
WATCH: Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s Helicopter Hog Hunt Contest
Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene is making liberals crazy again.
Just like when she stirred it up with AR-15 rifle giveaways, this time also involves guns — and much more.
“We’re going HOG HUNTING!” the conservative pro-gun Republican said in a new YouTube offer. “Enter for the chance for you and a guest to join me in Texas for a good ole’ fashioned hog hunt,” she added.
In her latest online contest, she tied Democrats “destroying farmers” to overpopulated wild hogs, especially in the South, that tear up crops.
“We’ve got skyrocketing inflation, high diesel fuel, and Democrats’ ‘America last’ policies. Democrats aren’t the only ones destroying farmers’ ability to put food on the table. We’ve got wild hogs destroying farmers’ fields, so we decided to go hog hunting,” Greene said as the video showed her helicopter hunting with an AR-15.
“Let’s help American farmers out. Sign up below, and let’s go with that helicopter and go hog hunting,” she added.
Like her previous gun contests, the hog hunt is not a fundraiser and goes through Election Day.
She told Secrets, “I’m excited to offer the opportunity for a lucky supporter to join me in a good ole’ fashioned hog hunt. Except we’re obviously doing it a bit differently. The experience of hunting hogs from a helicopter with my favorite rifle, an AR-15, is something I want to share. And I can’t wait to go again!”
While filming the contest promotion, Greene said she shot hogs from the helicopter, and she’s shown on the ground with one of her trophies.
“It’s absolutely so much fun,” she said.
‘We Are Done Tolerating the … Sexualization of Our Children’: Armed Protests Arise Outside Drag Event Hosted by Texas Church
Over the weekend, a church in Texas became a lightning rod for protestors and counter-protestors alike when it invited members of “all ages” to a drag event to support so-called “trans and exploring” minors.
On Saturday evening, the First Christian Church of Katy, Texas, an affiliate of the Disciples of Christ denomination, held a bingo event featuring drag queens that was billed as fun for the whole family.
“[W]e create a place for people to feel welcomed and understand that there will always be people who disagree with us,” said Reverend Heather Tolleson, the pastor of the church.
The purpose of the bingo event — and the adults-only drag show later that night — was to raise funds for the church’s “Transparent Closet,” a resource where “trans and exploring teens, youth and young adults” can find cross-sex clothing, shoes, and accessories such as makeup.
The church itself claims to be “a place where all are welcome,” and nearly all of the events and ministries listed on its website reference LGBTQ issues in some way.
However, the all-ages drag event outraged many others in the community, including parents and members of other churches, who claim that drag queens and those who sponsor them have no business marketing such entertainment to children.
Rebecca Clark, a member of the Fort Bend-based County Citizens Defending Freedom, denounced the drag bingo event.
“We are done tolerating the exploitation and sexualization of our children in this country,” Clark told the Epoch Times.
“Drag queens and children don’t mix,” added Sarah Feigleson of CCDF. “These events are happening in your backyard. Stand up and raise a respectful ruckus.”
Along with CCDF, members of the Proud Boys protested the event, as did other churches. Several Catholics prayed the rosary.
On the other side of the street stood supporters of the family drag bingo day. Members of Antifa wore all black and obscured their faces. Others who were not associated with Antifa proudly showed their identities and their support for exposing kids to LGBTQ-themed entertainment.
“[D]rag in itself is just a costume,” said one unnamed man wearing a facemask and holding a pride flag. “It’s no different than someone dressed up like a superhero at a comic convention or someone who puts on a Halloween costume.”
Both sides were heavily armed, and a steady police presence remained in the middle of the road to help keep the peace during drag bingo night. There were no reports of violence or arrests, and only church members were allowed to enter the property.
Though the event itself was controversial, there was yet another aspect of it which drew further ire from critics. The event was originally supposed to feature drag queen Tisha Flowers, a.k.a. Jaysen Kettl. Not only does Kettl now don a macabre persona when dressed as Flowers, but he also has a troubling past. Back in 2004, Kettl, then 17, pled guilty to conspiracy to commit capital murder after administrators at his school learned that he and at least one other student had plotted to commit a mass school shooting. Thankfully, the plot was foiled before anyone could carry it out.
However, once Kettl’s criminal history was made known, the church quietly removed him from event promotions. It is unclear whether Kettl attended the event.
Despite the controversy, the event sold out and was deemed a success, Rev. Tolleson claimed.
Anthony Bourdain Final Texts Before Death Revealed
Anthony Bourdain struggled with fame and heartbreak in the days leading up to his death by suicide, a new book reveals.
In an unauthorized biography titled “Down and Out in Paradise: The Life of Anthony Bourdain,” journalist Charles Leerhsen includes text messages sent by the late celebrity chef in his final days that give insight into his mindset.
“I hate my fans, too. I hate being famous. I hate my job,” Bourdain wrote to his ex-wife Ottavia Busia-Bourdain, who had become one of his close confidants, per an excerpt published by the New York Times. “I am lonely and living in constant uncertainty.”
Leerhsen also notes in the book, due out Oct. 11, that Bourdain and his then-girlfriend of two years, Asia Argento, often had fits of jealousy.
Five days before he died in June 2018, the CNN host saw photos of Argento, 47, dancing with French reporter Hugo Clément in a Roman restaurant the couple would frequent together.
According to the book, Bourdain was “incensed” over the images and searched the “Land of the Dead” star’s name online “hundreds of times,” causing them to argue over the phone and via text.
“I am okay. I am not spiteful. I am not jealous that you have been with another man. I do not own you. You are free. As I said. As I promised. As I truly meant,” the “Parts Unknown” star reportedly texted Argento a day before his death.
“But you were careless. You were reckless with my heart. My life.”
Bourdain noted in the same conversation that he was most hurt by the fact that the Italian actress’ alleged tryst took place at a hotel in Rome that they loved.
Argento then reportedly wrote back to him, “I can’t take this.”
The “XXX” star proceeded to break up with Bourdain over his “possessiveness,” according to the book.
A day later — after a full day of filming followed by a night of drinking — the beloved chef reached out to Argento once more.
“Is there anything I can do?” he reportedly asked, to which his ex replied, “Stop busting my balls.”
Bourdain, according to the book, simply wrote back, “OK” and then hanged himself.
The New York Times reached out to Argento for comment, and she told the newspaper that she had not read the book but said of Leerhsen, “I wrote clearly to this man that he could not publish anything I said to him.”
Argento has said in the past that her infidelity was not to blame for Bourdain’s death.
“People say I murdered him. They say I killed him. I understand that the world needs to find a reason. I would like to find a reason too,” she said on “DailyMailTV” in September 2018. “People need to think that he killed himself for something like this. He cheated on me, too. It wasn’t a problem for us.”
She added, “He was a man who traveled 265 days a year. When we saw each other, we took really great pleasure in each other’s presence, but we are not children. We are grown-ups.”
Flights Grounded, Evacuations Ordered: DeSantis Warns of ‘Life-Threatening’ Storm Surge as Hurricane Ian Nears Florida
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has warned that Hurricane Ian will cause ‘catastrophic’ flooding across the Sunshine State and urges people to prepare for the ‘historic’ storm.
DeSantis told Floridians not to ‘put themselves in harms way’ as he said the state is expecting unoprescendented storm surges and flooding to cause major damage from the 15ft waves and 140mph winds.
Speaking at a press conference, DeSantis said that ‘safety is paramount’ for anyone in the state, and warned those on the north coast and gulf coast that they could be hit hardest by the ‘different’ storm.
He added: ‘Mother nature is a very fearsom adversary, please heed those evacuation warnings. You could see power ourages, inland flooding, various types of tree damage from wind so be prepared for that.’
DeSantis declared a state of emergency in all 67 counties as he called up 7,000 National Guard members to help with the effort, with 2.5million people under an evacuation order.
Mandatory evacuation orders continue in several areas of Florida, millions of people are on alert, Tampa’s airport is shutting down and theme parks are scaling back operations as Hurricane Ian continues its trek toward the Gulf Coast.
The storm is expected to bring life threatening storm surge of up to 10 feet and damaging winds. The impacts could be catastrophic.
“There is a danger of life-threatening storm surge along much of the Florida west coast where a storm surge warning has been issued, with the highest risk from Fort Myers to the Tampa Bay region,” the National Hurricane Center said.
Schools in 26 districts across Florida have announced that they will be closed, with some shutting their doors on Tuesday, and all remaining closed through to Friday.
Universities and Florida Colleges are also closing their doors in an attempt to protect the students from the storm.
The monster storm has been upgraded to a Category 3 hurricane, as it is currently lashing Cuba, with the National Guard on standby in Florida.
Here Are the 8 Key House Races That Could Flip This November
Though Democrats currently have a majority in the House, Republicans feel confident they will flip enough seats to regain control of the chamber when midterm election results are announced on Nov. 8.
Every one of the House’s 435 seats is up for grabs. At least 212 lean Republican while 192 favor Democrats, the Cook Political Report announced on Sept. 21. The organization rates 31 elections as toss-ups.
There are dozens of races that could result in new party representation. Newly drawn maps that now favor one party over another will have an impact on some districts. Some races feature battles between first-time candidates vying to replace longtime representatives who are retiring or seeking another office.
There are also districts where Democrats were elected during former President Donald Trump’s term and now face steep re-election challenges at a time when President Joe Biden’s approval rating is low and the economy is plagued with high inflation.
Based on one or more of the aforementioned factors, here are eight examples of House seats that could flip and determine which party has control.
Rep. Cindy Axne advanced to the general election without competition in Iowa’s June 7 Democratic primary, but her tenure in Congress could reach an end in her midterm election against Trump-endorsed Zach Nunn.
The Cook Political Report and Sabato’s Crystal Ball rate Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District race as “lean Republican” while Inside Elections calls it a toss-up.
Republicans believe they can flip Iowa’s only blue district, which is now rated R+2 by FiveThirtyEight after redistricting.
In 2018, Axne defeated two-term incumbent Republican David Young, 49 percent to 47.5 percent. She edged Young again in 2010, 48.9 percent to 47.6 percent.
The new 3rd Congressional District includes nine counties that tend to vote Republican and supported Trump in 2020.
Nunn is a current state senator and a former state representative who served as a U.S. Air Force combat aviator in Afghanistan and Iraq and director of cybersecurity on the National Security Council.
Axne was first elected in Iowa’s 3rd CD in 2017. She previously worked for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Iowa Department of Management, and Iowa Department of Administrative Services from 2005 to 2014.
She is supported by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), who campaigned with Axne on July 9.
Nunn received the Trump endorsement on July 6.
“Zach Nunn is a conservative warrior running to represent Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District!” Trump wrote in a statement through his Save America PAC.
“A combat veteran, Zach knows how to strengthen our military, defend our country, and care for our brave veterans.
“In Congress, Zach will tirelessly work to support our great farmers, cut taxes, and protect our Second Amendment,” Trump added.
Congressional voting records show that Axne has voted with Biden and Pelosi 100 percent of the time, a fact that the National Republican Congressional Committee is emphasizing in ads.
Axne is positioning herself as a moderate and is attacking Nunn for his opposition to abortion.
Pennsylvania CD 7
Pennsylvania’s 7th Congressional District general election features a rematch between incumbent Rep. Susan Wild (D-Pa.) and business owner Lisa Scheller.
The circumstances are different this year compared to 2020, when Wild defeated Scheller, 51.9 percent to 48.1 percent.
With President Joe Biden’s low approval rate, a high inflation rate, and a rising cost of living, Wild has those obstacles to overcome. The GOP is reminding voters that she has consistently supported Biden and Pelosi.
The Cook Political Report rates the 7th Congressional District race as “leans Republican.” FiveThirtyEight calls it “highly competitive” with a slight Republican lean. Sabato’s Crystal Ball and Inside Elections call it a toss-up.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee named Wild to its “Frontline” program, which provides extra resources and support to vulnerable candidates.
The National Republican Congressional Committee added Scheller to the “Young Guns” program, which is led by House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy and provides candidates with “the tools they need” to win.
Wild was an attorney and the city solicitor in Allentown before she was elected to fill the remainder of Rep. Charlie Dent’s (R-Pa.) term in Pennsylvania’s 15th Congressional District in a special general election in May 2018.
That same month, she won the Democratic primary for the 7th Congressional District and then decisively defeated Republican Marty Nothstein in the general election in November 2018.
In 1945, Scheller’s grandparents founded Silberline Manufacturing, which makes aluminum-based pigments for paints and coatings.
When her brother died in 1998, Scheller took over running the Tamaqua, Pennsylvania-based company, which is located in the Lehigh Valley.
She currently serves as its chairman and president. Scheller is also a former Lehigh County Commissioner,
Wild topped Scheller by more than 14,000 votes (195,475 to 181,407) in 2020.
Redistricting is expected to be a factor in the race.
The 7th Congressional District spans Lehigh, Northampton, and Carbon counties along with a small part of Monroe County.
Carbon County, which Trump prevailed with 65 percent of the vote in 2020, was added to the congressional district, while most of Monroe County, where Trump received just 44 percent support in 2020, was removed.
Tennessee CD 5
Democrats have held Tennessee’s 5th Congressional District since 1875, when Ulysses S. Grant was president. Republicans believe that Trump-endorsed Andy Ogles can defeat state Sen. Heidi Campbell.
Redistricting split Davidson County through downtown Nashville, and shifted portions of the former 5th District to the mostly rural and historically Republican 6th District and 7th District.
Rep. Jim Cooper, the Democratic incumbent, has represented the district since 2003 but announced in February that he wouldn’t seek reelection.
Ogles is the mayor of Maury County and has campaigned as a pro-Trump “America First” conservative. He topped a crowded field on Aug. 4 to win the 5th district Republican nomination.
Campbell was mayor of Oak Hill, Tennessee before serving as a state senator.
Her campaign released an internal poll in August that claimed she held a three-point lead over Ogles.
The district is rated as solid Republican by the Cook Political Report, safe Republican by Sabato’s Crystal Ball, and likely Republican by Inside Elections.
Michigan CD 3
In a race that received widespread national attention and generated millions of dollars in spending, Trump-endorsed Republican challenger John Gibbs stunned Rep. Peter Meijer in Michigan’s 3rd Congressional District primary in August.
Meijer, whose surname is familiar because of his family’s national supercenter chain that’s based in Michigan, was the only freshman legislator in the group of 10 House Republicans who chose to impeach the president in the final days of his administration.
Gibbs is the underdog again in the general election against Grand Rapids attorney Hillary Scholten, who was unopposed in the Democratic primary.
The redrawn 3rd District is now seen as Democratic-leaning.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) issued a statement attacking Gibbs as a “far-right extremist who was carried over the finish line in his primary only by the most fringe elements of his party.”
A U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) official during the Trump administration, Gibbs was appointed by Trump to lead the Office of Personnel Management but wasn’t confirmed by the U.S. Senate.
Gibbs grew up in the Lansing area and didn’t live in western Michigan until last year.
He earned a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Stanford University and a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University, served as a missionary in Japan, and worked in Silicon Valley as a software engineer before his role at HUD.
Meijer defeated Scholten in 2020, 53 percent (213, 649) to 47 percent (189,769).
Political analysts cannot agree on the pulse of the race.
The Cook Political Report rates it as “lean Democrat,” Inside Elections calls it “tilt Democrat” and Sabato’s Crystal Ball defines it as a toss-up.
Ohio’s CD 9
When the calendar turns to January 2023, some residents will be in for a shock in Ohio’s redrawn 9th Congressional District.
Whether longtime Democratic Rep. Marcy Kaptur keeps her seat, or if Republican U.S. Air Force veteran and nuclear energy executive J.R. Majewski prevails, a segment of the population in northwest Ohio will have a representative whose platform is drastically different.
Kaptur is 76 and is closely aligned with President Joe Biden. She has a lifetime rating of 11.85 by the American Conservative Union. Biden was given a 12.57 rating during his tenure in the U.S. Senate.
She was first elected to the U.S. House in 1982 when President Ronald Reagan was midway through his first term.
Kaptur is the longest-serving woman in the history of the House. If she defeats Majewski and takes office for a 20th term, she will surpass former Sen. Barbara Mikulski as the longest-serving female member in the history of Congress.
The 42-year-old Majewski gained national acclaim when he painted a Trump 2020 sign in the yard of his Port Clinton home near the Lake Erie shoreline.
He built a career managing nuclear power plants before mounting a grassroots campaign.
Majewski announced he was running for the 9th District Republican nomination before the map was redrawn.
The first-time candidate faced long odds running against state Rep. Craig Riedel and state Sen. Theresa Gavarone, who had more money and name recognition.
Yet, when results were announced in the May 3 Republican primary, Majewski earned the nomination with 35.7 percent of the vote compared to Riedel’s 31 percent and Gavarone’s 28.5 percent.
For a decade leading to the current election cycle, the 9th District covered 140 miles of Lake Erie’s coastline, including the Democratic strongholds of Toledo in northwest Ohio and Cleveland in the state’s northeast corner.
Kaptur breezed to election victories, consistently securing more than 60 percent of the vote.
Now, after the most recent redistricting process, the 9th District includes Ohio’s rural northwestern corner, which Kaptur has never represented. Voters there are more conservative, while Democratic-leaning Cleveland is no longer in the district.
Political forecasters give Republicans a slight edge in winning the district.
Kaptur was added to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s (DCCC) “Frontline” program for vulnerable House members.
Majewski was named one of the National Republican Congressional Committee’s (NRCC) “Young Guns,” which identifies the party’s top U.S. House recruits for 2022.
Last week, the Associated Press reported that Majewski exaggerated or misrepresented portions of his resume, including a mention that he deployed to Afghanistan.
The NRCC decided to cancel a $960,000 ad buy in the Toledo market that would have supported Majewski.
The New American reported that military documents it received from Majewski illustrate that he deployed to a classified location not long after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. He was given a secret clearance level, the outlet wrote.
The AP reported that files show Majewski “never deployed to Afghanistan but instead completed a six-month stint helping to load planes at an air base in Qatar, a longtime U.S. ally that is a safe distance from the fighting.”
Majewski told The New American that his mission to Afghanistan was classified and records are not available through a public records request.
In a press conference on Sept. 23, Majewski said that he provided his personal military information and photographic proofs to the AP in July. Military absentee ballots are scheduled to be mailed in late September, he added, limiting his time to respond to the accusations.
In a Facebook video posted on Sept. 24, Majewski said, “Here’s how it works. The AP writes a hit piece about you, slander your name, and sit on it for three months. When they release it, you can’t defend yourself because what you need to defend yourself is constrained by time. Rules for radicals are lie, lie, lie, and accuse opponents of what you are doing.”
Texas CD 15
Considered by many political pundits as Texas’s most competitive congressional midterm race, progressive Democrat Michelle Vallejo faces Trump-endorsed Monica De La Cruz.
Vallejo embraces abortion rights and “Medicare for All” while De La Cruz is a staunch conservative who opposes abortion and touts the “America First” platform.
Vallejo finished second behind Ruben Ramirez in the Democratic primary but then defeated him in the runoff election.
The seat is open because Democratic Rep. Vicente Gonzalez is running in the newly redrawn 34th Congressional District, which is considered friendlier to Democrats.
Vallejo and De La Cruz are first-time candidates in a redrawn south Texas district that Trump would have won by 2.8 points in 2020.
De La Cruz lost to Gonzalez by less than three 3 percentage points in 2020 in a traditionally Democratic district.
The Cook Political Report and Inside Elections call the race “lean Republican” while Sabato’s Crystal Ball says it is “likely Republican.”
New Hampshire CD 1
At 25, Karoline Leavitt barely met the minimum age requirement to serve in the US House. She won a crowded Republican primary that included 2020 nominee Matt Mowers.
She became the second Generation Z candidate to win a congressional primary in 2022. Florida Democrat Maxwell Alejandro frost was the first.
In a race that Cook Political Report and Sabato’s Crystal Ball rate a toss-up, Leavitt faces incumbent Democratic Rep. Chris Pappas, who called “the most extreme, out-of-step nominee that 1st District voters have ever seen.”
Leavitt is a former Trump White House assistant press secretary. She was director of communications for House Republican Conference Chair Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) after leaving the White House.
Trump did not endorse a candidate in the primary but offered praise to Leavitt after her victory.
“Amazing job by Karoline Leavitt in her great New Hampshire victory,” Trump said in a post to Truth Social. “Against all odds, she did it—and will have an even greater victory on Nov. 8. Wonderful energy and wisdom!”
Pappas, who is openly gay, served as a member of the New Hampshire Executive Council and was first elected in 2017.
Ohio CD 1
While Republicans are hopeful that Majewski will end Kaptur’s 40-year reign in northern Ohio, Democrats believe they can unseat longtime Republican Rep. Steve Chabot in a redrawn district in southwest Ohio that now leans blue.
Chabot is running for a 14th term. He was first elected in 1994 and has served in congress so long that he was House impeachment manager during the impeachment trial of former President Bill Clinton.
Redistricting now puts Chabot at a disadvantage as the new boundaries cover an area that Biden would have won by around 9 points in 2020. Cincinnati City Councilman Greg Landsman is a former Cincinnati Public Schools teacher who won the Democratic primary.
Political analysts call the race a toss-up.
Chris Wallace Show Tanks on CNN, Loses Big to His Former Network
Former “Fox News Sunday” anchor Chris Wallace’s CNN show debuted with lackluster ratings — losing big to his former network’s Sunday evening show hosted by former Congressman Trey Gowdy (R-SC).
According to a report from RadarOnline, Wallace’s much-touted interview show — titled “Who’s Talking to Chris Wallace?” — racked up only 43,800 viewers in the key 25-54 age demographic. Wallace scored just 401,000 total viewers during his show, which aired in the 7 p.m. ET hour.
In comparison, the former South Carolina Congressman hosted “Sunday Night in America with Trey Gowdy” — and pulled in more than triple Wallace’s total viewers with over 1.3 million. He also nearly doubled Wallace’s number in the key demographic, racking up 78,000 viewers aged 25-54.
“Total Bomb!” @johnnydollar01 shared the news. “Chris Wallace’s CNN Show Premiere Tanks, Pulls Only 44k Viewers In Key Demo. The program was down double digits across every category vs the 2022 average. On Fox @TGowdySC scored a massive 1.3M viewers with 78k in the key 25-54 age demo …”
Critics were quick to pile on Wallace — who abruptly left “Fox News Sunday” in December of 2021 — suggesting that perhaps he was beginning to wish that he had stayed put.
“FoxNews made Chris Wallace, didn’t need him. Ratings don’t lie,” Mike Cernovich tweeted.
Wallace initially said when he left the network, he was just looking for a change.
“After 18 years, I have decided to leave FOX. I want to try something new, to go beyond politics, to all of the things I’m interested in,” he explained during his final “Fox News Sunday” broadcast. “I’m ready for a new adventure, and I hope you’ll check it out. And so, for the last time dear friends, that’s it for today.”
Wallace later claimed that he had found the situation at FOX — particularly in the wake of January 6th — to be “unsustainable.”
“I’m fine with opinion: conservative opinion, liberal opinion,” Wallace said. “But when people start to question the truth — Who won the 2020 election? Was Jan. 6 an insurrection? — I found that unsustainable. I spent a lot of 2021 looking to see if there was a different place for me to do my job,” he said.
Within days of leaving FOX, Wallace had announced his plan to move to CNN+ — but the streaming service launched, floundered, and folded in less than a month.
‘The Worst Is Yet to Come’: Top Hedge Fund Manager Compares American Inflation to the Fall of Rome
Carl Icahn, the chair of hedge fund Icahn Enterprises, warned last week that inflation in the United States is comparable to the monetary phenomena that contributed to the fall of the Roman Empire.
Price levels between August 2021 and August 2022 rose 8.3%, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, marking a slight moderation from an 8.5% year-over-year increase in July and a 9.1% year-over-year increase in June. The Federal Reserve responded on Wednesday by increasing the target federal funds rate by 0.75% — a move that caused a stock market selloff and mirrored identical aggressive rate hikes in June and July.
During an interview with MarketWatch, Icahn pointed to the central bank’s quantitative easing regime over the past two years as the key impetus for soaring inflation and warned that “the worst is yet to come.”
“We printed up too much money, and just thought the party would never end,” remarked Icahn, who worked as a special regulatory reform adviser during the Trump administration.
To encourage business and consumer activity during the lockdown-induced recession, the Federal Reserve had pegged a near-zero target interest rate and acquired bonds from the market. The rollback of the monetary stimulus occurs as price levels rise at the fastest rate in four decades.
“Inflation is a terrible thing. You can’t cure it,” Icahn added, observing that rapidly rising price levels led to the collapse of the Roman Empire. “You can’t get that genie back in the bottle too easily.”
In addition to political turmoil and military conflict, the period between 200 AD and 300 AD saw multiple currency devaluations, with prices rising nearly 1,000% between 258 AD and 275 AD alone, according to a lecture from Baruch College history professor Joseph Peden. The last Western Roman emperor was deposed by Germanic barbarian forces in 476 AD.
However, policymakers have sought to convince market actors that the Federal Reserve is serious about curbing inflation. During a speech at the central bank’s symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said that officials are prepared to “bring some pain” to combat rising price levels and return inflation to the long-term target of 2%.
“Price stability is the responsibility of the Federal Reserve and serves as the bedrock of our economy,” he asserted. “Without price stability, the economy does not work for anyone. In particular, without price stability, we will not achieve a sustained period of strong labor market conditions that benefit all.”
The central bank’s newfound hawkishness has provoked criticism from other experts. Steve Forbes, the chair of Forbes Media and editor-in-chief of Forbes Magazine, argued on Monday that monetary policymakers do not need to dampen the economy in order to fight inflation. “No central banker today — hardly any — talks about stable currencies. It’s about depressing the economy to fight inflation,” Forbes remarked. “With unstable currencies you get less productive long-term investments, which is key to economic growth.”
Lawrence Summers, who led the Treasury Department and the National Economic Council during the Clinton and Obama administrations, said that policymakers will likely fail at curbing inflation without increases in joblessness. “Core inflation is higher this month than for the quarter, higher this quarter than last quarter, higher this half of the year than the previous one, and higher last year than the previous one,” he said.
WATCH: Man Tries to Tow with His Electric Truck — It Was a Total Disaster
While EV trucks may lessen your “environmental impact,” some most definitely fail to perform what should be one of a truck’s most basic functions — towing over long distances. Take the 2023 Ford F-150 Lightning, for example.
Automobile savant and commentator Tyler “Hoovie” Hoover decided to test the Lightning’s towing capacity in a video uploaded to his YouTube channel on Friday.
The experiment didn’t go so well, to say the least.
Hoover’s goal was to drive the truck 32 miles with only an empty trailer in tow, load up his recently purchased 1930 Ford Model A pickup truck and then tow it back the same 32 miles.
The automotive aficionado was originally going to make the trip a second time, so he could load up something heavier to test the Ford’s maximum tow capacity. After the first trip ended in “total disaster,” however, Hoover determined it wouldn’t even be worth trying.
Upon simply loading up the empty aluminum trailer and driving roughly one-quarter mile out of his neighborhood, the EV had already used up 3 miles of range. By the time Hoover traversed the first 32 miles, the Ford had lost a whopping 68 miles of range. As you might imagine, once he loaded up the Model A truck, the situation took a sharp turn for the worse.
Despite having the EV charged for 200 miles of range at the start of the 64-mile trip, by the time he returned with his Model A truck in tow, only 50 miles of range remained.
“Are you kidding me? That’s almost 90 miles of range in 30 miles. Are you serious,” Hoover said in the video, clearly bewildered.
“That’s nuts. What a joke,” Hoover added as he laughed.
At the end of the video, Hoover gave a brief overview of the experience.
In his view, if you’re wanting to buy a truck for appearance’s sake, the Ford F-150 Lightning is a fine vehicle.
However, if you need a truck that actually functions like a truck, Hoover recommended his viewers not opt for an EV.
“If the future is electric, there has to be some kind of solution for this,” Hoover said, speaking to EV’s towing issues. “If a truck towing 3,500 pounds can’t even go 100 miles … that is ridiculously stupid.”
“This truck can’t do normal truck things. You would be stopping every hour to recharge, which would take about 45 minutes a pop, and that is absolutely not practical.”
This isn’t the only time the F-150 has failed to tow effectively. Two journalists from MotorTrend tested out the truck’s towing range capacity, and their test didn’t go much better than Hoover’s. “With the largest available battery pack, a fully charged 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning electric truck has less energy onboard than a regular F-150 with four gallons of gas in its tank,” the two journalists reported.
Similarly, YouTuber Fast Lane Truck ran a test on the Lightning’s towing range capacity, finding that the truck’s range was left wanting. The EV needed to charge roughly 85 miles earlier than initial estimates indicated.
According to Autotrader, towing large loads reduces the range of electric cars significantly, sometimes by as much as one-third or one-half.
Maybe transitioning to electric is the future.
But in the here and now, EVs like the Ford Lightning simply cannot replace their fuel-powered counterparts when it comes to towing something farther than your city limits.
New Study Reveals Trace Amounts of COVID Vaccine mRNAs Found in Breast Milk
A new study published Monday revealed trace amounts of COVID-19 vaccine mRNAs were found in the breast milk of some lactating women.
The Journal of the American Medical Association, an international peer-reviewed general medical journal published since 1993, released the study to the public and has now issued a warning for women breastfeeding infants younger than six months.
“Caution is warranted regarding breastfeeding infants younger than six months in the first two days after maternal COVID-19 vaccination,” the journal said in a tweet.
Trace amounts of #COVID19 vaccine mRNAs were detected in the breast milk of some lactating women. Caution is warranted regarding #breastfeeding infants younger than six months in the first two days after maternal COVID-19 vaccination. #Research https://t.co/zH8nyLleVC #Research
— JAMA Pediatrics (@JAMAPediatrics) September 26, 2022
The study included 11 healthy lactating women that were asked to collect and immediately freeze samples of their breast milk after receiving either the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine within six months of delivering their newborn babies.
Participants also provided breast milk samples before vaccination and for five days post vaccination.
Of the 11 volunteers, 7 samples from 5 women showed trace amounts of both the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, with the mRNA samples appearing in higher concentrations than whole milk.
The study said, however, that no vaccine mRNA was detected in pre-vaccination or post-vaccination samples beyond two days of collection.
“The sporadic presence and trace quantities of COVID-19 vaccine mRNA detected in EBM suggest that breastfeeding after COVID-19 mRNA vaccination is safe, particularly beyond 48 hours after vaccination,” the study reads.
Officials said that despite believing it is safe to breastfeed after maternal COVID-19 vaccination, they did not “test the possible cumulative vaccine mRNA exposure after frequent breastfeeding in infants.”
“In addition, the potential interference of COVID-19 vaccine mRNA with the immune response to multiple routine vaccines given to infants during the first 6 months of age needs to be considered,” the study reads. “It is critical that lactating individuals be included in future vaccination trials to better evaluate the effect of mRNA vaccines on lactation outcomes.”
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration held off on approving vaccinating infants younger than six months until more data on how it could impact their immune system became available.
However, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended offering the COVID-19 mRNA vaccines to breastfeeding women.
“Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) blasted President Joe Biden over his “abuse of power” by pushing a vaccine mandate.
“Now we find out that Biden’s vaccine mandates caused infants (for which no safe dose has been established) to receive mRNA through their mother’s breast milk,” Massie said. “Does abuse of power get any more evil?”
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