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    Glenn Youngkin is set to become the first Republican to win statewide office in Virginia since 2009. Youngkin’s victory is also the first major rebound for the GOP after the double whammy of losing the presidency and the Senate in 2020 and early 2021. Cue the commentators scrambling to explain what this election means for the future of the Republican Party. On one side, the MAGA wing of the party will claim that Donald Trump’s support for Youngkin and the extreme popularity the former president retains in the party’s base helped push Youngkin over the edge. Trump himself has already claimed at least partial credit for the win. On the other side, moderates and anti-Trumpers will argue that since Youngkin kept Trump at arm’s length throughout the race, he resisted calls to campaign with Trump, the party is better off with him gone. In reality, this election didn’t show that Trump is still the kingmaker of the Republican Party or that it’s time to return to the milquetoast conservatism of Mitt Romney or Jeb Bush. Instead, it highlighted the triumph...
    Next Wednesday the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in an important gun case—New York State Rifle & Pistol Association (NYSRPA) v. Bruen. It seems likely the conservative majority’s ruling will, at the very least, make it easier to obtain a permit to carry a concealed firearm in public not only in the Empire State, but also in six other states with similar laws. But the case has the potential to produce a ruling that goes much further and expands on the Court’s most consequential gun ruling ever in District of Columbia v. Heller, made in 2008 when the conservatives’ grip on the majority wasn’t as strong as it is now. In Heller, five justices held that the Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to keep and bear arms in the home for lawful purposes such as self-defense with no requirement for any connection to a militia. A 2010 ruling in McDonald v. City of Chicago found that under the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment, Heller and Second Amendment protections in general apply to the states and localities. But neither ruling resolved whether this right to bear arms applies outside the...
    Last year was one for the record books. Not only did gun sales climb to unprecedented highs, but 40 percent of all purchasers were first-time gun buyers, estimated to be some 8.4 million people. The number of FBI NICS background checks – used for gun sales and transfers as well as for suppressor sales and concealed carry permits – was just under 40 million for 2020, the highest number since the agency began keeping records. Firearm imports for 2020 likewise exceeded every other previous year to date. According to Firearms Commerce in the United States (2021), the annual report issued by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), over 6.8 million guns were imported in 2020, compared to 3.9 million in the previous year. Another indicator of this extraordinary surge in Second Amendment activity is the number of carry permits issued across America in 2020. The latest annual report on concealed carry permits, prepared by Dr. John Lott’s Crime Prevention Research Center (CPRC), states that carry permit numbers in 2020 grew by a “record two million,” representing a 10.5 percent increase over permits counted a year...
    (CNN)On Thursday, Mitch McConnell was asked about the sluggish Covid-19 vaccination rates among his fellow Kentuckians -- and why he believed it to be the case."I'm perplexed by the reluctance of some to get vaccinated, totally perplexed," he said. Perplexed, eh? Let me help!Maybe just maybe -- and I am spitballing here -- the relentless efforts by former President Donald Trump and his Fox News cohorts to question the severity of the coronavirus, scoff at medical guidance on mask-wearing and cast the whole response to -- and vaccination for -- Covid-19 as an issue of freedom as opposed to one of public health might have something to do with it? Read MoreUh yeah.While Trump has been vaccinated -- and has said he thinks others should get vaccinated too -- he was the only living president not to participate in a public service announcement urging shots in arms, and he spent much of the previous 16 months downplaying the virus and vilifying the health care experts seeking to mitigate the number of dead from it. Fox News' most-watched primetime show has...
    Russian President Vladimir Putin rejected the notion of his country’s involvement in cyberattacks on elections and other economic infrastructure in the United States, calling accusations put forward by U.S. officials “farcical.” Putin's denial comes ahead of a scheduled meeting with President Joe Biden in Geneva, Switzerland, during which “state-sponsored cyberattacks” is expected to be a “topic of conversation” between the two leaders. “We have been accused of all kinds of things,” Putin told NBC News’s Keir Simmons. “Election interference, cyberattacks, and so on and so forth. And not once, not once, not one time, did they bother to produce any kind of evidence or proof. Just unfounded accusations.” Administration officials have their eyes on Russia following recent ransomware attacks targeting two major companies operating in the United States, as well as for election interference in 2016. BIDEN GEARS UP FOR SHOWDOWN WITH 'KILLER' PUTIN ON PLACID LAKE GENEVA JBS, the U.S.’s largest beef producer, said it paid an $11 million ransom to a Russian hacking outfit that targeted the company’s computer systems, forcing a temporary...
    (Photo by JEFF KOWALSKY / AFP) (Photo by JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP via Getty Images) More than 100 self-described scholars of democracy issued a “Statement of Concern” warning that democracy in the United States is in peril. “Specifically,” the statement reads, “We have watched with deep concern as Republican-led state legislatures across the country have in recent months proposed or implemented what we consider radical changes to core electoral procedures in response to unproven and intentionally destructive allegations of a stolen election.” The statement says that these changes “are transforming several states into political systems that no longer meet the minimum conditions for free and fair elections.” Since the 2020 election and Donald Trump’s repeated false claims about the election being stolen from him, hundreds of bills to restrict voting have been introduced across the country, according to the Brennan Center for Justice. According to one report, 22 laws designed to restrict voting have been enacted across 14 states since the election. The scholars’ statement took several states to task for considering and in some cases implementing such measures: The refusal of...
    Unemployment applications are seen as City of Hialeah employees hand them out to people in front of the John F. Kennedy Library on April 08, 2020 in Hialeah, Florida.Joe Raedle/Getty Images Workers asked to repay unemployment benefits issued during the Covid pandemic may be getting a refund. However, it may take states up to a year to issue the money, according to a memo issued Wednesday by the U.S. Labor Department. States tried clawing back benefits from hundreds of thousands of Americans since spring 2020. More from Personal Finance:More than 1 million new $1,400 stimulus checks have been sentMontana opts to end $300 unemployment boost. Other states may, tooPaycheck Protection Program has run out of money for most borrowers Many had received money through a new federal program, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, created by the CARES Act to expand aid to a large pool of people typically ineligible for state benefits.   States rushed to issue benefits amid a flood of claims, only later realizing some had been paid in error — due to mistakes from both applicants and state labor...
    During Saturday’s broadcast of CNN’s “Smerconish,” Rep. Mondaire Jones (D-NY) decried GOP opposition to making the District of Columbia a U.S. state. The New York State congressman called it “racist activity” to oppose the push and compared the population of Washington, D.C. to Vermont and Wyoming. “In the case of the debate today, it is because when you listen to the explanation set forth by my Republican colleagues, you can see quite clearly that they are not offered in good faith,” he said. “And the fact is, and something that I’m hoping people increasingly become aware of is that if you oppose systems of white supremacy, each if you do not consider yourself to be racist you are engaging in racist activity.” “There are 700,000 people in the District of Columbia, more than in the state of Wyoming and Vermont,” Jones continued. “And so, the idea that we would disenfranchise those people, that we would tax them without representation, something we fought in the Revolutionary War, by the way, is unconscionable. And when you compare the states that we have...
    Authorities in the US state of Oregon have discovered “ideas of white supremacy” in traditional mathematics. They call it racist objectivity and focus on the right answer. According to FoxNews, their preference is to introduce a new subject instead of algebra – “ethnographic mathematics”. “The goal is now considered racism, and that is part of the problem. If there are right and wrong answers, it is racism,” said Libby Editor-in-Chief Libby Emmons. One of the problems with this program is that teachers in the classroom support racism because “they do not see racists and their own affiliations.” The second problem lies in the practice of mathematics as a “white discipline”. The basic absurdity of this is obvious to anyone who has read this issue at least a little. The third issue is called “soft chauvinism of low expectations.” People are being told that white students cannot meet the standards, so the standards need to change, ”Emans said. Earlier, US President Joe Biden had promised that the United States would defeat racism, extremism and terrorism during his tenure. Translation and...
    Janet Yellen said that the Treasury Department is working to develop guidance about a provision added to the $1.9 trillion spending package that could spark a major legal battle for the Biden administration. The secretary spoke at a Wednesday hearing before the Senate Banking Committee alongside Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell. Yellen was asked about the provision, which targets $350 billion in aid for state and local governments but bars states from using the funding to offset tax cuts or credits “directly or indirectly.” “There are a host of thorny questions that we have to work through,” Yellen said. Last week, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration, alleging that the provision is unconstitutional because it exceeds the authority the federal government has over state tax policy and thus affects how it can spend its aid. BIDEN FACES DEADLINE TO AVERT TAX WAR WITH GOP STATES Additionally, 21 Republican attorneys general signed an open letter to Yellen calling for clarification about the provision and menaced legal action if a...
    LONDON (Reuters) - Britain said on Thursday that there were lumps and bumps in the global vaccine supply chain that were causing slower deliveries than expected and scolded the European Union for threatening to slap a ban on vaccine exports. British health officials cautioned the health service on Wednesday that there would be a significant reduction in vaccine supplies from March 29 though Pfizer Inc and AstraZeneca Plc said their delivery schedules had not been impacted. "We always said right from the beginning that a new manufacturing process would have its lumps and bumps and that has been the case in the past and I'm sure it will be in the future," Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick told Sky. "We're sourcing vaccines from all over the world and we are experiencing occasionally some issues and that's led to this, this issue with some supply in the coming weeks," he said. Britain is on track to have given a first COVID-19 shot to half of all adults in the next few days, making it one of the fastest countries in the world...
    Reuters March 3, 2021 0 Comments Facebook Inc will lift its temporary ban on political advertising in the United States on Thursday, the company said in a blog post on Wednesday. The social media giant has had a months-long freeze on political, electoral and social ads, which it introduced as part of an effort to crack down on misinformation and abuses around the Nov. 3 elections. Facebook had temporarily lifted its ad pause in Georgia for the state’s January runoff elections but put it back in place. Alphabet Inc’s Google, which had lifted its own political ad ban in December, later reinstated it following the Jan. 6 siege at the U.S. Capitol by supporters of former President Donald Trump. Google lifted the ban last week. Democratic and Republican digital strategists have argued that such bans were overly broad and failed to combat the issue of organic misinformation on the platforms. Earlier on Wednesday, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) and Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) issued a statement criticizing Facebook for not committing to a clear date to end...
    Savannah Rychcik January 17, 2021 0 Comments Dr. Scott Gottlieb, the former head of the Food and Drug Administration, is hopeful President-elect Joe Biden’s plan to distribute 100 million vaccines in 100 days could work. Still, he is also concerned demand could prove to be a problem. “I think they will hit that 100 million mark. I think the issue’s going to become demand. I think they’re going to have the supply in place and the distribution in place to do that,” Gottlieb said during an appearance on CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday. He added, “Right now 30 million doses have been shipped to the states. About another 15 [million] will be made available to the states as of this Tuesday and 5 million have been ordered by the states, but not yet shipped. So that’s a total of 50 million doses.” Gottlieb said Biden’s plan he put out “makes a lot of sense” and called it an “all of the above approach.” Watch the video below: .@ScottGottliebMD predicts @JoeBidens administration’s ambitious plan to push...
    Texas on Friday morning filed a "reply brief" with the Supreme Court as it asks the tribunal to hear its lawsuit that aims to essentially nullify the presidential elections in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Georgia and Wisconsin -- putting the ball in the justices' court to issue an order in the case. The "briefing stage" of Supreme Court litigation consists of the first party, in this instance, Texas, asking the court to hear the case. Then opposition briefs are filed by those on the other side of the case. Then the first party is allowed to file a "reply brief," which Texas did Friday morning.  "Defendant States do not seriously address grave issues that Texas raises, choosing to hide behind other court venues and decisions in which Texas could not participate and to mischaracterize both the relief that Texas seeks and the justification for that relief," the Texas brief says of the opposition briefs filed by Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Georgia Thursday. Texas continues: "An injunction should issue because Defendant States have not—and cannot—defend their actions." President Donald Trump watches as Supreme Court...
    Washington (CNN)Deadlines for some voters to correct issues with their ballots are nearing, including in Georgia, where any issues must be fixed by Friday. The process has become especially important this year because of the unprecedented amount of mail-in and absentee ballots, which require signatures or other validation before they can be counted. But when a signature is missing or doesn't match the one on file, or there is another issue with how the voter completed the ballot, some states require officials to contact the voter so they can correct the mistake, a process known as "curing." Most states allow you to check the status of your ballot online. Do that to see if officials flagged it because of an issue with the signature part of it or another portion. If there is one and you haven't been contacted by election officials, reach out to them to see about "curing" your ballot. Here's a list of the ballot "curing" deadlines for the key states that allow voters to correct their ballot.Read MoreGeorgia: Friday, November 6 (Track your ballot here)Arizona: Tuesday,...
    As U.S. cases of COVID-19 surge, filling up hospitals and setting new records, Republicans are tiptoeing around the pandemic on national and local airwaves. A review of the top issues addressed in television advertising in 11 battleground states reveals coronavirus ranked as one of the top five issues in GOP ads in only two states in the presidential race from September 1 through October 24, according to CBS News political unit associate producers Sarah Ewall-Wice and campaign reporter Nicole Sganga. Over 228,000 people have died in the U.S. from COVID-19, and there were 88,000 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday. According to Johns Hopkins University, there have been more than 9 million cases nationwide. And yet, the coronavirus is a top-five issue in Republican ads in only two states, Michigan and Minnesota, according to a review of TV ads by Kantar/Campaign Media Analysis Group. There have been more than 167,500 cases of COVID-19 and more than 7,250 deaths in Michigan, while in Minnesota, there have been more than 142,000 cases and 2,400 deaths. In Michigan, just under a third of Republican ad spending -- 32%...
    (CBS4) – The final presidential debate that was held Thursday night was far less combative and more substantive. CBS4 Political Specialist Shaun Boyd sat down with analysts Democrat Mike Dino and Republican Dick Wadhams to discuss if it made any impact on undecided voters. President Donald Trump and Democratic Presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden during the final presidential debate at Belmont University in Nashville on Thursday.(Photos by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI,JIM WATSON,MORRY GASH/POOL/AFP via Getty Images) “First of all, I wish the Donald Trump of last night had shown up at the first debate,” Wadhams said, “his demeanor was much better. It made him a better debater.” “I don’t think it was a clear victory for Trump. I think it was a narrow victory but I do think there were a couple of important issues that came out of the debate that will help Trump in some states he needs to wins this election, (one) being fracking,” Wadhams said. “I think the vice president handled it very poorly and that’s going to move numbers in Pennsylvania and Ohio, and...
    The cannabis vote, a bloc largely made up of young people who might not vote otherwise, is still coveted in election season, even in Colorado. Several local ballots (those of Lakewood, Littleton and Broomfield, in particular) will include questions about allowing recreational cannabis sales, and both the presidential and congressional elections will have an impact on the future of federal pot legalization. For the Cannabis Voter Project, though, the plant is just the tip of the iceberg. A nonprofit that informs and registers people who are interested in cannabis issues, the Cannabis Voter Project uses pot legalization to encourage potential voters to take part in all of their democratic duties on election day, not just the weed-related ones. The organization is currently running campaigns in the five states voting on cannabis legalization this year — Arizona (recreational), Mississippi (medical), Montana (recreational), New Jersey (recreational), South Dakota (medical and recreational) — to increase overall turnout at the ballot box.Related Stories Colorado Towns Considering New Marijuana Businesses Loveland Won't Vote on Recreational Marijuana Sales This Year Schools Expect Nearly $500 Million in Pot Tax...
    Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden (L) attends a 9/11 memorial service at the National September 11 Memorial and Museum on September 11, 2020 in New York City. (Photo by Amr Alfiky – Pool/Getty Images) President Donald Trump is trailing Joe Biden nationally and in most swing states. He trails on questions of character, the coronavirus, health care, and even crime. Read More: Trump says George Floyd is ‘looking down’ in awe of economy, draws outrage According to Yahoo News, most voters think that Biden is more empathetic, honest, and more trustworthy than Trump. But when it comes to the economy, Americans in battleground states continue to put their faith in Trump. As Election Day nears, Biden supporters are becoming nervous about Trump’s edge on the economy, and they’re worried that the president could use his advantage to nail down swing voters. Surprisingly, Trump’s lead in battleground states persists. That’s despite an 8.4% unemployment rate during a recession that Democrats say has worsened due to Trump’s mishandling of the pandemic. Democratic presidential nominee and former Vice President...
    If you've received a mysterious package of seeds in the mail lately, don't plant them.Several states are issuing warnings after residents across the nation have reported receiving unsolicited packages that appear to have originated in China. The packages typically have Chinese characters on the label and contain a sealed packet of unknown seeds that some state agriculture departments say could be invasive plant species."Invasive species wreak havoc on the environment, displace or destroy native plants and insects and severely damage crops," the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services said in a news release on July 24."Taking steps to prevent their introduction is the most effective method of reducing both the risk of invasive species infestations and the cost to control and mitigate those infestations."It's unclear who exactly is sending these packages, why they're being distributed and whether the seeds are actually harmful. The department asked that anyone who has received this type of package in the mail contact the Office of Plant Industry Services.Agriculture departments in Kansas, Kentucky, Ohio, South Carolina and Washington state are among state agencies that...
    Each state is allowed to donate two statues of "persons notable in their history" for display in the Capitol's National Statuary Hall Collection. This bill would allow states who have selected Confederates to transport them home and replace them with others. As the Hill reported in June, current statues on display include former Confederates Joseph Wheeler of Alabama, Uriah Milton Rose of Arkansas, Edmund Kirby Smith of Florida, Alexander Hamilton Stephens of Georgia, Edward Douglass White of Louisiana, Jefferson Davis and James Zachariah George of Mississippi, Zebulon Baird Vance of North Carolina, Wade Hampton of South Carolina, Robert E. Lee of Virginia, and John Kenna of West Virginia. The legislation comes as communities across the world have begun removing monuments to racist figures, often in response to pressure from anti-racism protesters. On Tuesday, a descendant of Robert E. Lee and several Black historians urged Congress to remove the statues. “We cannot remain silent anymore,” Robert W. Lee told a House subcommittee. “If we do so, our silence becomes agreement and endorsement to complicity.” But Donald Trump and other Republicans have defended...
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