Knox Democrats Tue, 11 Jan 2022 15:53:44 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Knox Democrats 32 32 Analysis: Republicans on the verge of success in 2022 midterm election Tue, 11 Jan 2022 13:52:00 +0000



(The Center Square) – With less than a year to go until the November 2022 midterm election, Republicans are in a position to win more seats than expected after the constituency redistribution is finalized in the states and 44 members of Congress, including a majority of Democrats, are retiring or not running for re-election.

Soaring inflation and energy costs and declining poll numbers for President Joe Biden could result in Democrats losing dozens of congressional seats, political analysts say.

This month, six sitting members of the United States Senate and 38 members of the United States House are stepping down, according to Ballotpedia calculations. Of the 37 leaving the United States House, 26 are Democrats and 12 Republicans.

The majority – 28 – are retiring. They include six senators, including five Republicans, and 22 deputies, including 17 Democrats.

The others, 15, are running for another job. Eight members of the House are running for a seat in the US Senate, split evenly between Republicans and Democrats, with four each. They come from Vermont, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Florida, North Carolina, Ohio, and Alabama.

Three members of the House are running for governor – a Democrat and a Republican in New York, and a Democrat in Florida.

Others show up for state and local offices in Texas, Maryland, California and Georgia. They include a Republican running for secretary of state, a Republican and Democrat running for attorney general, and a Democrat running for mayor.

No US senator is a candidate for another office; all six are retiring. They include Republicans Richard Burr of North Carolina, Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, Rob Portman of Ohio, Richard Shelby of Alabama and Roy Blunt of Missouri, and Democrat Patrick Leahy of Vermont.

A Washington Post / ABC News survey found that Republicans hold a 10-point margin over Democrats in a generic congressional race. Close. Biden’s approval rating on the economy was 39% and his overall approval rating was 41% at the time.

A December survey by Rasmussen Reports also found voters preferred Republicans over Democrats by 13 points, 51% to 38%, at the time.

An even wider 22% margin was found among voters who identify as independents, who said they would choose a generic Republican over a generic Democrat with a 48% -26% margin.

Currently, Democrats hold a majority of nine seats in the United States House. The US Senate is divided, with 50 Republicans, 48 ​​Democrats and 2 Independents, the Independents forming a caucus with the Democrats and the Democratic Vice President acting as a tiebreaker.

That could change with West Virginia Democratic Senator Joe Manchin considering leaving the Democratic Party. “I would like to hope that there are still Democrats who feel like me,” Senator Manchin told a local West Virginia radio station, as reported. by the Washington Post. “Now if there aren’t Democrats like that, then they’ll have to push me where they want me.”

Senator Manchin also told reporters last month that he would consider quitting the Democratic Party if he became “an embarrassment to my fellow Democrats” as a “moderate centrist Democrat”. He said he would still be in caucus with the Democrats, allowing them to temporarily retain a majority.

Historically, since the end of World War II, the incumbent president’s party has lost seats in almost every midterm election.

A total of 469 seats in Congress are awaiting re-election in 2022, including 34 in the Senate and 435 in the House.

As a result of the demographic changes reported by the 2020 census, six states won seats in Congress, with Texas winning two. Five states won seats: Colorado, Florida, Montana, North Carolina and Oregon. Seven states lost a seat: California, Illinois, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

Democrats seek to renew pressure for Voting Rights Protection Bill – Live | US News Mon, 10 Jan 2022 23:03:09 +0000

Hello readers! Gabrielle Canon here, taking over from the West Coast.

Aiken clay – who rose to fame early after finishing second on American Idol – is officially a candidate for Congress. The self-described ‘strong and proud Democrat’ shared the news in a video on Twitter posted today, where he sat on a stool and spoke openly to potential voters.

Tell viewers that his life these days is a lot more “like yours than Justin Bieber’s” Aiken has explained the reasons for which he presents himself, including access to health care, inclusion, climate change and income equality.

“It was in North Carolina that I first found out that I had a voice – and it was a voice that could be used for more than just singing,” he says, adding that the state was once the progressive lighthouse in the south. “Back then, the loudest voices in our government were progressives who kept our state moving forward. But then things changed.

Aiken clay

Can you believe it has been almost 20 years since I was able to share my voice with you for the first time? It’s a long time. A LOT has changed!

We need strong voices more than ever, so I am running for Congress.

And my voice is even louder now! 😉 #JoinTheChoir

January 10, 2022

Aiken is seeking a seat in a new district which includes areas represented by retired Democrat David E. Price. “One of my first experiences in politics and government was asking Congressman Price to speak to my eighth grade class – an invitation he graciously accepted,” Aiken wrote on his website, adding : “I would be honored to take his place.”

It is Aiken’s second attempt to represent the state, after losing to an outgoing Republican in 2014.

The 2022 primary was recently postponed to May 17th, according to the New York Times, which also reports that the new legislative districts are facing the prosecution of the democrats and defenders of the right to vote.

Aiken steps into a crowded area but has already secured some high level vocal support. “My amazing friend @clayaiken comes to Congress in North Carolina! ” New York City Council Member Erik Bottcher tweeted urging subscribers to donate to the campaign. “If elected, he will be the first southern LGBTQ congressman.

Meghan mccain also shared Aiken’s campaign video, Tweeter, “. @clayaiken! We love you!”

January 6 isn’t America’s greatest threat – it’s the Democratic Party: Mark Levin Mon, 10 Jan 2022 03:08:40 +0000

Mark Levin slammed Democrats for trying to compare the Jan.6 Capitol riot to civil war and said the left-wing party was the biggest threat to America in Sunday’s “Life, Liberty & Levin” .

“Look at how the Washington establishment, the media, the Democratic Party, the Democrats in Congress, the universities and all have brought together the same organizations, the same people who pushed the collusion with Russia,… the dismissals and the beatings. ‘State … Now they tell us that January 6 is [and] … Was the greatest threat to America since the Civil War. Of course it is a dishlie. The biggest threat to America is the Democratic Party, ”Levin said.

President Biden with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi at the United States Capitol to mark a year since January 6.
(Stefani Reynolds / Pool via AP)

The Fox host then went on to highlight what he believed to be the Democrats’ grand scheme.

“Whether it’s slavery or segregation, whether it’s Jim Crow, whether it’s what they call democratic socialism or what really is American Marxism. They want to destroy and nationalize our electoral system, so that they can turn the whole country into California. And the Republicans can never win, “continued Levin.


The left-wing media are working in tandem with the Democrats to bring about this socialist revolution and conspire against the individual, according to Levin.

“They want to eliminate the capitalist system and replace it with… a socialist system. They want a centralized government, even though our Constitution is established as a federalist system to divide power to protect us. The whole purpose of the declaration is on the inalienable rights of the individual. The focus of Biden and the Democrats in the media is against the individual. “

Vice President Harris speaks at the United States Capitol to mark one year since Jan.6.

Vice President Harris speaks at the United States Capitol to mark one year since Jan.6.
(AP Photo / Andrew Harnik)

In order for Democrats to bring about this revolution, they are targeting free speech, Levin said.

“If you have a different point of view, you dare not mention it in class today. You dare not mention it on social media. You will be censored. You will be banned. You will be destroyed. It is the nature of totalitarian regimes, not Americanism. “

President Biden wipes his eyes as Vice President Kamala Harris speaks on the United States Capitol to mark a year since January 6.

President Biden wipes his eyes as Vice President Kamala Harris speaks on the United States Capitol to mark a year since January 6.
(Drew Angerer / Pool via AP)


Levin did not apologize for the violence that occurred on January 6 and said those who were violent and attacked cops should be prosecuted, but he pointed out what he believes to be bias in the system. judicial.

“So what happened to Black Lives Matter? What happened to Antifa?… City after city destroyed people, killed people, [and] crippled. Ah yes, yes! – but it was above all peaceful, according to the press, ”he declared. “We conservatives oppose violence. We believe in civil society. We believe in law and order. January 6 is a demonstration of what Democrats believe in. What do they believe in? They believe in power. “

]]> I’m going from Republican to Independent in the US House race in Alaska. Here’s why. Sun, 09 Jan 2022 19:16:57 +0000

I announced my campaign for Alaska’s sole seat in the United States House of Representatives on Independence Day in 2021. I applied as a Republican, after competing in the Republican primary for a State House race in 1994 – I lost by five points, 52.5% -47.5%. Since I started my campaign for Congress last summer on July 4, things have changed.

During the election campaign, many people told me that the Republican and Democratic parties had derailed on concerns of importance to Alaskans. I agree, and like many Alaskans, I no longer feel at home in either party. I am still a conservative in principle, pragmatic, successful, without drama, conservative. But now I believe I can better represent the independent-minded Alaskans of Last Frontier in Congress as an Independent.

I declare myself independent for three reasons. First, Republican senators and members of Congress, with too few exceptions, are distracted by relegating the latest election and not working passionately to solve the truly difficult issues facing Alaskans and the country today. There is no excuse for this neglect of their primary mission and there is no sign that the situation is improving.

Second, too many active Republicans are either silent or deaf on some important issues facing Alaskans. They are silent when it comes to the widespread lack of affordable housing, homelessness, health care and the high cost of prescription drugs. They are turning a deaf ear to the call to our generation in Alaska to develop balanced strategies to create jobs and help our economy recover from COVID-19, while facing the fierce emergency of climate change. And Republicans generally seem frozen with inaction in the face of internet scams, cybersecurity and privacy, as well as protection against identity theft, spyware and ransomware.

The third and deepest reason I now declare myself independent is the growing effort of the Republican Party to undermine the integrity of elections and democracy across the country. In 2021, Republican lawmakers introduced bills in Arizona, Missouri, and Nevada that would allow state legislatures to override and veto the votes of their constituents and directly or indirectly reject the results of the elections. presidential and other elections. For example, Arizona HB 2027 would grant the state legislature the ability to revoke the secretary of state’s certification “by majority vote at any time prior to the presidential inauguration.” Thank goodness none of these bills have become law yet.

Democracy is sacred. Voting is sacred. Voters are sacred. These are fundamental American principles that date back to before the founding of the country. The Boston Tea Party was a fight for “taxation without representation” – the vote. We waged our war for independence from the dictatorial king of England to rule us through legally eligible voters voting for our government leaders. Any attempt to erase legitimate votes is sacrilege.

Sadly, some Alaskan Republican candidates might now be flirting with that. Maybe more will as this campaign season unfolds. I support the right of these candidates to express themselves in the ideas market. But I will not remain silent while fundamental democratic values ​​are under attack. As an independent, I will put my competing message in the same market: voters, not partisan or other legislatures, are the ultimate voice in our democracy. I also want to show our young people how to protect the democracy imagined by the founders of our nation. Our ancestors fought for democracy. I will too.

On the other side of our two-party system, the Democratic Party is also a mixed bag for Alaska. The $ 1 trillion package currently being proposed by the Democrats contains things we need for Alaskans, including climate change mitigation measures. But he also has a lot of lard. Sadly, Democrats live up to their well-deserved reputation for overspending.

However, Democrats have also laudably generated the Infrastructure Bill which will bring roughly $ 10 billion or more to critical projects in Alaska. Senator Lisa Murkowski bravely helped negotiate this, and the entire Republican delegation in Congress from Alaska voted in favor. They did so despite opposition from a majority of Republican senators and U.S. officials who ignored the extensive needs of their home states with the futile goal of denying Democrats a legislative victory.

I recently served as director of the two largest local governments in Bristol Bay, where I helped protect these communities from COVID-19 during the annual summer wave of thousands of commercial fishermen and canneries in the heart of the world’s largest sockeye salmon fishery. I know firsthand the immeasurable value these billions of dollars will bring to repairing Alaska’s aging roads, ferries, water and sewer systems, communications and ports. It does not matter who initiated this important piece of legislation. It is important that we have it.

I went from Republican to Independent on January 6, the first anniversary of the violent attack on the United States Capitol. This attack was an attempt to obstruct America’s greatest triumph of democracy – the peaceful transition of our country’s political leadership. On the anniversary, the state and National Republican Party websites went silent. No. We must see January 6 for what it was and must never let it happen again.

Neither side has a monopoly on crafting effective solutions to Alaska’s problems, or making mistakes along the way. But, in my opinion, neither side is actually putting in all the energy and creativity that we need now. Alaska needs a new conservative, creative and independent voice in Congress to meet a new generation of challenges in Alaska. I am ready to take on these challenges and will work with anyone who strives with me to serve the interests of Alaska.

Gregg B. Brelsford is an independent candidate for Alaska’s sole seat in the United States House of Representatives in the 2022 election. He competed in a Republican primary for the Alaska House of Representatives in 1994. Brelsford is a former Director of the Borough of Bristol Bay and the Town of Dillingham (acting). He is also a former CEO of the Aleutian Islands / Pribilof Associations, one of the state’s 12 regional tribal governing bodies. In addition, he served on the board of directors of the Alaska Federation of Natives. He now lives in Anchorage.

The opinions expressed here are those of the author and are not necessarily endorsed by Anchorage Daily News, which welcomes a wide range of views. To submit an item for consideration, send an email comment (at) Send submissions under 200 words to Where click here to submit via any web browser. Read our full guidelines for letters and comments here.

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Lat: Biden remakes federal justice Sun, 09 Jan 2022 08:13:41 +0000

What will historians say Joe Biden and Donald Trump had in common? Their greatest presidential legacy could end up being how they shaped the federal justice system.

Despite failures on other fronts, Trump has appointed more than 200 judges, including three Supreme Court justices – who may soon vote to overturn Roe v. Wade, a longtime target of the conservative legal movement. With a 42% Trump-style approval rating, President Biden finds himself in rough waters. But on December 18, Biden witnessed the confirmation of his 40th federal judge – the highest number in a first year since Ronald Reagan.

And it’s not just numbers. Biden and those in his administration who choose judges, including White House attorney Dana Remus and Chief of Staff Ron Klain, are smart and strategic. Instead of following the approach of the Obama administration, which hasn’t won many confirmations, the Biden administration is taking a page out of Trump’s playbook by aggressively advancing on nominations – and using the process to do so. advance political and political interests.

First, Biden prioritizes diversity: So far, around 80% of confirmed Biden nominees have been women and 65% have been people of color. Diversity strengthens the judiciary because diverse perspectives improve decision-making. Various appointees are also helping Biden and the Democratic Party, bolstering the support and enthusiasm of two key constituencies: women and minorities (some of whom have recently moved to the right).

There is still room for more progress. The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund recently noted that Biden’s six applicants this year in the Central District of California included only one Latino, for a district whose population is now 46% Latino and is expected to be. more in the decades of 2021 nominee terms. LGBTQ representation also lags in California. But when it comes to the various presidential candidates, Biden is still far ahead of Trump, whose appointees were predominantly white and male (84% white, 76% male).

Second, just as Trump chooses extremely conservative candidates, Biden selects extremely liberal candidates. In the absence of an organization as influential as the Federalist Society to verify ideological good faith, his administration has skillfully found professional attorneys for progressive politics, turning to areas whose practitioners tend to be very liberal: public defenders, lawyers. of public interest and lawyers representing unions. It’s too early to say anything definitive, but I predict Biden’s judges will be the most liberal since those of President Jimmy Carter.

Finally, and strategically, Biden emphasizes young people. As George Washington University law professor John Collins Jr. writes in an article analyzing Biden’s candidates, “President Biden’s freshman judges suggest Democrats are finally coming of age too. serious than the Republicans. … At (about 48), the average age of his freshman candidates is eight years younger than senior circuit judges in President Obama’s first year. This relative youth is important because, thanks to seniority, young judges sit longer. So even seemingly small age differences can lead to big differences in legal influence over time.

So the Biden administration’s selection of young liberal judges is good for the administration and the Democratic Party. Is it good for justice?

There is – or should be – a difference between law and politics. The law should not be, to paraphrase Carl von Clausewitz’s commentary on war, the continuation of politics by other means. Instead, judges should do their best to apply the law to the facts of the cases before them, as objectively as possible. The goal of a judge should be to dispense justice under the law, not to advance an ideological agenda. Unfortunately, judges on both the right and left have too often treated the law as a vehicle for partisan politics. The process of selecting judges could bear some of the blame.

It might be better if the judiciary in Biden – and all presidents, for that matter – focused relatively little on youth and ideology.

This was essentially the approach of the Obama administration, partly because it was Obama’s own centrist inclination and partly because at the time when the filibuster was in effect, it was impossible to confirm judges too far from the center.

To avoid further politicization (if at all possible), we could consider structural changes to the appointment process for future administrations.

First, we could bring back the filibuster of judicial candidates, eliminated for lower court judges in 2013 (when Democrats controlled the Senate) and Supreme Court judges in 2017 (when Republicans controlled the Senate). When the systematic obstruction was in effect, judicial candidates did need 60 votes for confirmation. This ensured that any successful candidate would have at least a few votes from the other party, making it difficult to appoint extreme or unqualified judges. (Of course, bringing back the filibuster would also require a return of senators voting for the other party’s judicial candidates as long as they are qualified, ideological disagreements notwithstanding – which is, admittedly, far away. of today’s party line votes on clearly qualified candidates.)

Second, we could consider something for lower court judges that is currently the subject of extensive discussion for Supreme Court judges: tenure. If the judges sat, say, 18 years rather than life, the parties would be under less pressure to nominate the youngest and more ideological candidates, as the current system encourages them. But realistically, nothing will happen anytime soon to change breeding strategies.

President Biden, I have a perfect choice for you: my 4 year old. He’s young, smart, diverse – and very, very opinionated.

David Lat is the author of Original Jurisdiction, a newsletter on the law and the legal profession. From the Los Angeles Times.

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Kamala Harris echoes Jimmy Carter and blames American “malaise” for Biden’s woes Sat, 08 Jan 2022 20:28:00 +0000

Vice President Kamala Harris acknowledged a “level of unease” among Americans – and channeled one of the lowest moments of Jimmy Carter’s presidency – in an interview this week.

“I fully understand that there is a level of discomfort,” Harris said Thursday during an appearance on “PBS Newshour,” in response to a question about why President Joe Biden’s social spending program has stalled.

Harris has sought to link Americans’ fatigue with the ongoing COVID crisis to falling Biden poll numbers amid rising inflation and high energy costs.

“We’ve been in this thing for two years, you know,” Harris said at anchor Judy Woodruff. “People – we want to get back to normal, we all do. “

Critics quickly took to the comment, which referred to the so-called “Discomfort speech” of July 1979 – a disastrous speech that blamed Americans for the economic difficulties that had sparked widespread anger against his administration.

“Jimmy Carter 2.0”, Fox News commentator Michael Tammero noted on Twitter.

Carter’s speech, which foreshadowed his electoral defeat by Ronald Reagan a year later, made the term “unease” taboo among American politicians.

Vice President Kamala Harris acknowledged a “level of unease” among Americans – and channeled one of the lowest moments of Jimmy Carter’s presidency – in an interview this week.
The speech of
Carter’s 1979 “malaise” speech blamed Americans for the economic problems that had sparked widespread anger against his administration.

Harris’ comment aired just hours after she sparked outrage over a speech at the United States Capitol that equated the January 6 riot with some of the most heartbreaking and murderous days in American history, including the terrorist attacks of September 11 and the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor. .

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Democrats and Cruz ready to face the Russian pipeline Sat, 08 Jan 2022 10:50:55 +0000

Democrats are heading for a showdown with Sen. Ted cruzRafael (Ted) Edward Cruz Overnight Health Care – Brought to you by AstraZeneca and Friends of Cancer Research – Former advisers urge Biden to revise strategy (R-Texas) for his attempt to force the Biden administration’s hand on a Russian gas pipeline.

Within the framework of an agreement concluded by Cruz and the leader of the majority Charles schumerChuck Schumer Whether you like it or not, all the roads Democrats have to go through Joe Manchin Pelosi: It was “inexplicable” why it took so long for the National Guard to be activated on January 6 Biden, Obama to speak to Reid’s funeral in Nevada MORE (DN.Y.), the Senate will vote next week on Tory Burnout legislation to impose sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which will transport gas from Moscow to Germany.

Cruz needs the help of 10 Democrats to pass the bill through the Senate and has said he thinks his chances of reaching that threshold are “good”. But Democrats are raising red flags on the bill, even though they have already backed similar sanctions.

“I have spoken to a number of my colleagues, and they have raised serious questions about the Cruz Amendment. … It’s a bit much, ”said the senator. Dick durbinDick Durbin Democrats skeptical of McConnell’s offer to talk about electoral law Democratic agenda stuck in limbo Struggling Federal Bureau of Prisons director resigns MORE (D-Ill.), Senate Democrat No.2, asked if 10 Democrats would support the bill.

Cruz’s legislation requires the administration to impose penalties related to the pipeline within 15 days of the bill coming into force. But a big sticking point for Democrats, raised by Senators who spoke to The Hill, are restrictions on Biden’s ability to lift the sanctions, including the ability for Congress to vote to reinstate the sanctions if they do. are lifted.

“I have been opposed to Nord Stream 2. I am still opposed to Nord Stream 2. However, there are some things in the Cruz Amendment that are unprecedented. It gives me a break, ”the senator said. Ben cardinBenjamin (Ben) Louis Cardin Lawmakers discuss changes to counting law after January 6 US lawmakers assess new COVID-19 stimulus funding for businesses Former RNC chief Michael Steele opts against the governor’s candidacy PLUS (Md.), A senior Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee.

Senator Tim kaineTimothy (Tim) Michael Kaine’s Virginia Democrats brace for a rare confirmation fight against Wheeler. (D-Va.) Noted that the foreign relations committee, on which he sits with Cruz, had been “fairly uniformly against Nord Stream 2” and in favor of sanctions, but “the question is, what are the conditions, l executive get the chance to lift the sanctions? “

The vote could be politically awkward for Democrats, forcing them to choose between supporting a president they align with politically or cracking down on a pipeline they oppose even if they don’t agree with Cruz’s tactics. Cruz also opened the door to lifting part of his blockade on Biden’s candidates if his bill goes through the Senate.

The Biden administration previously lifted sanctions against the pipeline company Nord Stream 2 AG, a subsidiary of Russian company Gazprom. Voting for Cruz’s amendment would effectively support the decision to reject Biden.

Democrats have come under pressure from the Biden administration and its European allies to reject the imposition of financial sanctions on the pipeline.

Secretary of State Anthony Blinken previously pressured Democrats to reject Cruz’s proposal last year when he proposed it as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), a bill large-scale defense policy.

Blinken, in a speech this week, argued that the pipeline could be used as a brake on Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, where Moscow has amassed troops along the border.

“This pipeline is currently not crossed by gas and if Russia renews its aggression against Ukraine, it would certainly be difficult to see gas cross it in the future,” Blinken said.

Germany is unlikely to certify the pipeline for operation in the first half of the year, according to the head of the federal gas and infrastructure authority, Reuters reported, citing regulatory requirements that have yet to be met. .

State Department spokesman Ned Price added that the administration is working with members of Congress and European allies “on a package of sanctions … which maximizes the potential costs to Russia if Moscow continues its aggression against it. ‘Ukraine’.

Highlighting the complicated diplomatic dance undertaken by the White House, the vote will coincide with diplomatic summits next week with Russia and other partners to address and ease tension on the Ukrainian border. Russia has amassed nearly 100,000 troops on the Ukrainian border, raising fears of an invasion.

Kaine, who said he is still reviewing Cruz’s legislation, acknowledged that the Biden administration was concerned about transatlantic tensions at a precarious time, but noted that a new German government and increased Russian aggression could “change. a little dynamic “.

“I want to know what the administration position is, but president obamaBarack Hussein ObamaOvernight Energy & Environment – Virginia Prepares To Fight Trump Era Official Biden Honors Sidney Poitier The Hill: Biden’s 12:30 p.m. report released in 2022 MORE was a friend and I voted for things he didn’t like. We do our job, and then the chair does his job. … If he really doesn’t like what we’re doing, he can veto it, ”he said.

Nord Stream 2 pipeline sparked broad bipartisan backlash on Capitol Hill over fears it might strengthen Russian president Vladimir PoutineVladimir Vladimirovich Putin Overnight Defense & National Security – White House responds to report on US forces NATO rejects Russian demands to stop expansion White House denies report that it plans to withdraw troops from Europe from Europe ‘Is morehand over Europe.

Senator Jeanne ShaheenCynthia (Jeanne) Jeanne Shaheen Ukrainian President and US lawmakers stand together amid tensions with Russia Angelina Jolie returns to Congress to advocate for violence against women law Biden tries to ease tensions with appeal by Poutine PLUS (DN.H.), for example, recently co-wrote an op-ed with Sen. Rob portmanRobert (Rob) Jones Portman McCaul Tests Positive for COVID-19 in Latest Congressional Breakthrough The Hill’s Morning Report – Brought to you by Altria – Democrats see same games hoping for better results (R-Ohio) urging the Biden administration to “seriously reconsider the imposition of [Nord Stream 2] punishments.”

The House also previously voted to approve the Nord Stream 2 sanctions as part of its defense policy bill. But the provisions were removed from the final agreement between the House and the Senate.

If the Democrats block his bill, Cruz is already signaling that he will arm a “no” vote because the Democrats are lenient with Russia.

“Virtually all Democrats have voted several times for sanctions on Nord Stream 2. If it was a substantive vote, it would be unanimous or almost unanimous. There are several Democrats who have told me that they are going to vote for this, or that they are strongly considering voting for it, ”said Cruz.

Cruz added that supporting his bill “should be an easy vote,” before offering a likely glimpse of how he will characterize a defeat of the legislation.

“Every Democrat is going to have to make a choice,” he said, “if his partisan loyalty to the White House is greater than his willingness to stand up to Russia and stop Putin’s aggression.

2 Republicans in AP: Wisconsin Sen. Johnson running for a 3rd term Fri, 07 Jan 2022 23:32:27 +0000

MADISON, Wisconsin (AP) – Republican U.S. Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, one of former President Donald Trump’s most vocal supporters, has decided to run for a third term, two Republicans told The Associated Press on Friday knowing the plan. .

Johnson has been coy about his intentions for months, but recently indicated he would announce his decision soon. Republicans aware of his plans have not been allowed by Johnson to speak publicly about his intentions, but have said he could make an announcement as early as next week. Johnson did not return a text message or phone call asking for comment.

A Johnson candidacy would avoid a widely open GOP primary in the tightly divided swing state.

Johnson pledged in 2016 not to run for the third time, but he rescinded that pledge and started running again for months, saying circumstances changed when Democrats took full control of Congress and the White House.

Johnson, 66, has long said he prefers to retire after two terms.

Even with Johnson in the race, Wisconsin is up for grabs with majority control of the Senate at stake. President Joe Biden won the state by less than 21,000 votes after Trump’s equally slim victory in 2016.

Still, Republicans have reason to be optimistic about regaining control of the Senate 50-50. The party that does not hold the White House usually wins seats in the midterm legislative elections. Former President Barack Obama’s Democratic Party, for example, lost 63 seats in the House and six in the Senate in 2010.

Johnson left the Tea Party movement in 2010, defeating U.S. Democratic Senator Russ Feingold that year and in 2016. Johnson has long been aligned with Trump’s tough policies and politics. He led the investigation to investigate Biden’s son, Hunter, and rarely broke with Trump’s White House.

Johnson became one of Trump’s loudest supporters in 2020, particularly after his electoral defeat, and that support continued after the insurgency on the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. Johnson held a hearing during which unfounded conspiracy theories of widespread election fraud were given a platform. He also espoused the Capitol Raid conspiracy theories that attempted to blame Trump supporters for what happened.

Just before the Capitol was stormed a year ago, Johnson opposed the Arizona Electoral College vote count.

Trump endorsed Johnson in April and encouraged him to run.

Johnson’s position angered many Tories in Wisconsin. The state’s two largest newspapers in Milwaukee and Madison have called for his resignation.

Johnson has been a strong voice for unproven COVID-19 treatments, and he has accused the medical establishment and health agencies of failing to explore and promote the use of relatively inexpensive drugs previously approved for other uses as early interventions against the coronavirus.

Democrats in the running include Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes; Alex Lasry, manager of the Milwaukee Bucks; State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski; Outagamie County Director Tom Nelson; and Steven Olikara, founder and CEO of the nonprofit Millennial Action Project.

“Wisconsin voters will appreciate the opportunity to fire Ron Johnson, who has used his Senate power to enrich himself and his wealthiest donors at the expense of the middle class,” said Wisconsin Democratic Party Chairman Ben Wikler.

Many would-be Republican candidates waited for Johnson before deciding to run. Former US Representative Sean Duffy announced this week that he is not running for the Senate or Governor. Former Navy Kevin Nicholson, who lost a Republican Senate primary in 2018, has said he will run for governor if Johnson seeks re-election.

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Supreme Court appears poised to block Biden vaccine and testing rules for businesses Fri, 07 Jan 2022 19:17:00 +0000 But in a separate challenge, some judges appeared more open to a vaccine mandate targeting certain healthcare workers.

The court heard arguments for nearly four hours as the number of infections skyrocket and 40 million adults in the United States still refuse to be vaccinated.

The three liberal judges of the court clearly expressed their approval of the rules of the administration in both areas.

Two sets of rules were released in November. The first would impact some 80 million people and force large employers to force their employees to be vaccinated or to undergo weekly tests. A second regulation requires certain health care workers who work for establishments participating in Medicare or Medicaid programs to be vaccinated.

Critics of the demands, including a coalition of Republican-led business and state groups, say the Biden administration has exceeded its authority by issuing such sweeping warrants that could lead to massive staff shortages and billions. dollars in compliance costs. The administration, meanwhile, is focusing on the impact of the virus, which has already killed some 800,000 Americans, closed businesses and kept children out of classrooms.

Already, judges have overturned a separate attempt by the president to soften the impact of the virus. Last August, a 6-3 court blocked the government’s moratorium on evictions, ruling that the agency involved in the case, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, had overstepped its authority.

“There is no question that the public has a strong interest in combating the spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant,” the court said at the time. But in an unsigned opinion, the majority added: “Our system does not allow agencies to act illegally even in pursuit of desirable goals.” The three liberal judges, Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor were dissenting.
Judge Sonia Sotomayor did not take the bench participated remotely from her chambers. A court spokesman said Sotomayor “is not sick”.
Sotomayor is fully vaccinated and the court announced this week that she had received her booster. Liberal justice has worn a mask in previous disputes probably due to the fact that she suffers from diabetes.

Large employers

The first set of arguments on Friday focused on the rule put forward by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration – an agency that reports to the US Department of Labor and is responsible for ensuring a safe workplace. OSHA requires employers with 100 or more employees to ensure their employees are fully immunized or undergo regular testing and wear face coverings at work. There are exceptions for those who have religious objections.

Two different views on the Covid pandemic exposed to the Supreme Court

The agency said it had the power to act under a temporary emergency standard designed to protect employees if they are exposed to “serious danger.”

The Biden administration is defending the settlement, arguing the nation faces a pandemic “that’s sickening and killing thousands of workers across the country” and that any delay in implementing the requirement for a vaccine or undergoing regular testing “will result in illness, hospitalization and death.

Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar told judges in court documents that if the court were to rule in favor of the challengers, it would leave OSHA “powerless” to respond to “serious workplace hazards posed by existing viruses and ‘other infectious diseases, as well as future pandemics. ”

At the very least, she argued, if the court says employers can’t force employees to get vaccinated, it should leave another requirement for frequent masking and testing in place.

The Supreme Court upheld national and local vaccine mandates.  It may not save Biden.

But an attorney for the National Federation of Independent Businesses, representing a coalition of business groups, told the court OSHA lacks the power to put in place a vaccine and testing regime that would cover two-thirds. of all workers in the private sector. Attorney Scott A. Keller pointed out that OSHA’s requirement would impose substantial compliance costs on companies that will face the cost of testing for millions of employees who refuse to vaccinate.

Keller argues the rule will trigger serious staff shortages when workers who oppose the demands step down. “The resulting labor disruption will devastate already fragile supply chains and labor markets at the height of the holiday season,” he wrote in court documents.

Keller told judges that if the court were to rule in favor of the government in the dispute, it would “significantly” expand the agency’s authority over industries that cover a significant portion of the economy. “Congress failed to give OSHA the power to impose emergency warrants and monitor 84 million employees for a known and pervasive hazard that poses no unique hazard to identified workplaces,” did he declare.

Keller is supported by a coalition of states represented by Ohio Solicitor General Benjamin M. Flowers, who told judges that the mandate encroaches on states’ sovereign authority to “adopt and enforce policies that come into effect. conflict ”with a federal vaccination or testing requirement.

A divided panel of judges from the 6th United States Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the administration, believing that Covid -19 has “continued to spread, mutate, kill and block return in Safe US Workers at Their Work “OSHA” can and should be able to respond to hazards as they evolve.

But a well-respected Conservative judge from the same court expressed his dissent during an earlier phase of the case. Judge Jeffrey Sutton acknowledged “the usefulness of vaccines”, saying: “This is the rare federal judge who didn’t get the message.” He argued, however, that regardless of the political advantages of a well-meaning settlement, “a court cannot enforce it if the agency’s scope goes beyond the scope of a law.”

OSHA has said it will not issue citations for non-compliance to employers until Jan. 10.

Over 10 million healthcare workers

The second rule concerns a vaccination policy rolled out in November by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid of the US Department of Health and Human Services, which sought to require the Covid-19 vaccine for certain healthcare workers in hospitals, homes nursing and other facilities. who participate in Medicare and Medicaid programs.

According to government estimates, the mandate regulates more than 10.3 million healthcare workers in the United States. Covered personnel were originally scheduled to receive the first dose by December 6, and the warrant allows for certain religious and medical exemptions.

Senior Deputy Attorney General Brian H. Fletcher is asking the Supreme Court to overturn two opinions from lower courts that have blocked tenures in 24 states, arguing that the “unprecedented pandemic” has killed 800,000 Americans and that “the Secretary of State for Health and Human Services has exercised its express legal authority to protect the health and safety of Medicare and Medicaid patients. ”

Fletcher said the requirement “would save hundreds if not thousands of lives every month” and pointed out that patients who participate in Medicare and Medicaid programs are of advanced age or have a disability and are at higher risk. to develop serious complications if they are infected with Covid19.

“It is hard to imagine a health and safety condition more paradigmatic than a requirement that workers in hospitals, nursing homes and other medical facilities take the measures that most effectively prevent the transmission of a deadly virus to vulnerable patients, ”Fletcher said. He also pointed out that while CMS may not have directly required vaccination in the past, workers at Medicare and Medicaid facilities have long been subject to employer or state vaccination requirements for the virus. flu or hepatitis B.

Lawyers for two different groups of states counter that CMS acted outside its authority when issuing the warrant because Congress never specifically authorized the agency to issue such a broad rule. They also accuse the agency of having circumvented normal procedures that would have allowed stakeholders to influence the mandate.

Jesus A. Osete, assistant attorney general for Missouri, called the tenure an “unprecedented sweep” and said it would create a crisis in healthcare facilities in rural America as it would force “millions of workers to choose between losing their job or complying with an illegal federal mandate.

He called the healthcare workers who fought the pandemic “heroes” and said some of them could soon find themselves out of work and stressed that the federal government did not have the power “to force them. health workers to undergo a permanent medical procedure ”.

Separately, Louisiana Solicitor General Elizabeth Murrill, representing another set of states, said the term is also unconstitutional. She argued that under the Constitutional Congress Expenses Clause, the power to legislate “rests on the state knowingly and willingly accepts the terms” of a contract.

In this case, she said, institutions that accept federal funds had no notice of the mandate. She also argued that Congress cannot simply delegate the power to a federal agency to require vaccines for more than 10 million healthcare workers without a clear statement of intent.

“There is no question that mandating a vaccine for 10.3 million healthcare workers is something that should be done by Congress, not by a government agency,” a US District Court judge said. United for the Western District of Louisiana in a ruling against the Biden administration. in November.

The judges agreed to hear the case in a rush with a truncated briefing schedule and it is unclear how fast they will act.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story twisted previous positions of judges on state efforts to mandate vaccines.

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Ron DeSantis tears up Kamala Harris for equating 9/11 Capitol riots as ‘stupid’ Fri, 07 Jan 2022 10:59:00 +0000

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has slammed Vice President Kamala Harris for her comments comparing the January 6 Capitol riots to the September 11 attack. Harris made the comments during the memorial service hosted by Democratic politicians marking one year of the horrific MAGA riots of 2021. In addition to criticizing Harris, DeSantis also criticized the media for extensive coverage of the event and treating it as “Christmas “.

“Look, if you obstruct a process, it’s about holding people accountable. If you organize riots, hold them accountable. But let’s be clear here: when they try to act like this, it’s something like the 9/11 attacks, it’s an insult to the people who entered these buildings, ”Ron DeSantis said in a recent speech. to the media. Her jibe referred to Harris’ highly controversial remark on January 6, 2022, where she referred to the Pearl Harbor bombing, the September 11 attack and the Capitol riots as horrific tragedies of similar magnitude.


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In his speech, Harris specifically mentioned, “Certain dates resonate throughout history, including dates that instantly remind all who lived through them where they were and what they were doing, when our democracy was under attack. December 7, 1941, September 11, 2001 and January 6, 2021. “

She further added: “What the extremists roaming these halls were aiming for was not just the lives of the elected leaders … and standing up for. We cannot let our future be decided by those who are determined to do so. silence our voices, overthrow our votes and peddle lies and misinformation by a radical faction that may be newly reborn, but whose roots run deep and old. “

She continued, “‘I wonder, how will we remember January 6? Will it be a moment that hastened the dismantling of the world’s oldest and greatest democracy? Or a time when we have decided to secure and strengthen our democracy for generations to come? “

Highlighting the fact that over 2,000 Americans lost their lives in both the Pearl Harbor and 9/11 attacks, Ron DeSantis said, “It is interesting how everything in our society is becoming very politicized, and so today. ‘yeah – honestly, I’m not going to watch anything – you’re going to see the DC / New York media, it’s their Christmas, January 6th.

His jibe at Veep has been praised by MAGA supporters on social media, one of whom hailed DeSantis as “one of the greatest governors of all time.” Another DeSantis supporter tweeted: “Ron DeSantis tears N2 Kamala 4 apart comparing Jan 6 to Sept 11: Florida governor says ‘it’s insulting’ people who have been to the towers and call Democrats birthday ‘Christmas’. Blame Willie Brown 4 that! She’s a shame 2 everything. “

“@VP has no idea and should be ashamed of the comparison! Thank you @GovRonDeSantis for calling her! How many were killed on January 6th?” noted another.

However, not everyone liked DeSantis’ comments because one user dragged them, “It’s because they understand the story and you don’t.” Another said: “@GovRonDeSantis I guess you are just stupid. Our nation was attacked on September 11 by a terrorist. Our nation was attacked on January 6 by a @GOP terrorist supported by you. Your attempt to cropping, not good. “

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