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Graham Calls On Schumer To ‘Dismiss’ Impeachment Article Against Trump In Senate

Sun, 01/17/2021 - 23:52

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) asked Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) to vote to dismiss the article of impeachment against President Donald Trump that was passed in the House last week.

Graham cautioned that the dismissal of the impeachment in the Senate once it’s received is vital for the healing of our nation.

“My letter to Democratic Leader Schumer,” the South Carolina Republican captioned his lengthy letter via Twitter. “The Senate should vote to dismiss the article of impeachment once it is received in the Senate. We will be delaying indefinitely, if not forever, the healing of this great Nation if we do otherwise.”

“[I]n your first act as majority leader, rather than begin the national healing that the country so desperately yearns for, you seek vengeance and political retaliation instead,” Graham wrote to Schumer. “While the vice president and Senate Republicans rejected unconstitutional actions, you seek to force upon the Senate, what would itself be but one more unconstitutional action in this disgraceful saga — the impeachment trial of a former president.”

“The Senate’s attempt to disqualify a president from future office who is no longer in office, would be an unconstitutional act of political vengeance, not a righteous constitutional act to protect the nation by removal of an incumbent president,” he continued. “Such a gratuitous, meaningless effort by the Senate of the United States is neither worthy of our great institution, nor a service to the nation and the American people. It will incite further division.”

“The Senate should vote to dismiss the article of impeachment once it is received in the Senate. We will be delaying indefinitely, if not forever, the healing of this great nation if we do otherwise,” Graham closed. “Our obligation to the people we represent is clear. History will judge us harshly, as it should, if we do not rise to the occasion of this historic moment in our history.”

My letter to Democratic Leader Schumer.

The Senate should vote to dismiss the article of impeachment once it is received in the Senate. We will be delaying indefinitely, if not forever, the healing of this great Nation if we do otherwise. pic.twitter.com/fjVcf7iVPf

— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) January 17, 2021

Despite his move to dismiss the article of impeachment, Graham made it clear following the breach at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 that his “journey” with President Trump was over.

“I hate it to end this way. Oh my God, I hate it,” Graham said. “From my point of view, he’s been a consequential president. But today, first thing you’ll see. All I can say is, count me out. Enough is enough. I’ve tried to be helpful.”

“He’s (Joe Biden) the legitimate President of the United States,” the senator added. “I cannot convince people, certain groups, by my words. But I will tell you by my actions that I, above all others in this body, need to say this, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are lawfully elected and will become the president and vice president of the United States on Jan. 20.”

Last week, Graham warned his colleagues not to “legitimize” the rushed and divisive impeachment.

“To my Republican colleagues who legitimize this process, you are doing great damage not only to the country, the future of the presidency, but also to the party. … The individuals who participated in the storming of the Capitol should be met with the full force of the law. They should and will be held accountable,” he said in the statement.

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Twitter Says ‘Bug’ Kept Users From Searching ‘The Lincoln Project’ Amid Co-Founder’s Sexual Misconduct Allegations

Sun, 01/17/2021 - 23:46

Twitter blamed a bug for the inability of users to search for The Lincoln Project as news circulated about its co-founder’s sexual misconduct.

“This was a bug that was fixed yesterday,” a Twitter spokesperson told The Daily Caller News Foundation on Saturday. The statement apparently did not elaborate on why the bug occurred when news was spreading that John Weaver, one of the co-founders of the anti-Trump political action committee, had been accused by several young men of sexual harassment.

Earlier this month, conservative writer Ryan Girdusky broke the story about the allegations against Weaver after several men sent him evidence of Weaver’s inappropriate advances, in which he allegedly promised career advancement in exchange for sexual favors.

Weaver, who was a top adviser to Republicans such as the late Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and former Ohio Gov. John Kasich, eventually admitted to sending “inappropriate messages” to young men, according to Axios.

As The Daily Wire reported:

John Weaver, co-founder of the anti-Trump organization Lincoln Project, has admitted to sending “inappropriate messages” to young men and come out as homosexual.

In a statement first sent to Axios, Weaver used the same tactic as actor Kevin Spacey when he was accused of sexual misconduct: Acknowledge that he was gay.

“For too long I have tried to live a life that wasn’t completely true, where I cleaved off an important part of myself in order to maintain what I thought was happiness and normalcy in the other part. I was lying [to] myself, to my family who gave me nothing but unconditional love, and to others, causing a great deal of pain to all,” Weaver said in the statement. “The truth is that I’m gay. And I have a wife and two kids who[m] I love. My inability to reconcile those two truths has led to this agonizing place.”

Weaver then apologized to “the men I made uncomfortable through my messages,” saying that he viewed those messages “as consensual mutual conversations at the time.”

Later in the statement, Weaver blamed “Donald Trump’s enablers” for leveling “other smears” at him, though he did not list what those smears were. Allegations against Weaver began surfacing anonymously over the summer and were finally compiled by Ryan Girdusky at The American Conservative. Girdusky had been contacted on Twitter by a young man claiming to know of several others who were allegedly “solicited by Weaver for a job, after which he propositioned them for sex as part of the offer.” Direct messages from one of the young men said he had been “strung along for days about a possible job,” and agreed to meet Weaver at his hotel, where Weaver allegedly demanded sex. The young man reportedly consented but never received the promised job. Other young men started telling Girdusky similar tales, some of which merely involved compliments on social media and not sex or promised jobs.

“While I am taking full responsibility for the inappropriate messages and conversations, I want to state clearly that the other smears being leveled at me by Donald Trump’s enablers as a way to get back at the Lincoln Project for our principled stand for democracy are categorically false and outrageous,” Weaver wrote in his statement to Axios.

Twitter has before faced accusations of suppressing information unflattering to anti-Trump individuals.

Related: Lincoln Project Co-Founder Admits To Sending ‘Inappropriate Messages’ To Men

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Democrat Senator Joe Manchin: ‘I Really Do’ Support De-Platforming Trump, Hawley, Parler

Sun, 01/17/2021 - 23:29

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) told PBS last week that he supports companies that have recently started to de-platform Republican politicians, saying, “Thank goodness they’re pushing back now.”

Manchin made the remarks during an interview on “Firing Line with Margaret Hoover” when asked about the response to the recent riot in the nation’s capital.

“You called for Twitter to suspend President Trump’s accounts hours before they did permanently last Friday—” Hoover said.

“Days, days before they did,” Manchin interrupted.

“The president has been now banned from Facebook,” Hoover continued. “Parler, an app that is preferred by some conservatives, has been booted off of Apple, Amazon, and Google. The PGA has pulled its 2022 Championship from the Trump National Golf Course in New Jersey, and Simon & Schuster has dropped Josh Hawley’s book. Do you support all these examples of de-platforming?”

“I do. I really do,” Manchin responded. “I think there’s a responsibility they all have. These are private platforms. These are private individuals. These are basically publicly owned companies, and thank goodness they’re pushing back now.”

“Change comes, the markets change because of the pressure that’s put on,” Manchin continued. “So, maybe this will give my Republican colleagues some support that they can be free. The truth will set you free. Maybe they can break the bonds, these chains that they have of captivity within the Republican ranks, that they’re afraid they’re going to be primarried or there’s going to be challenges or things that they have to deal with that they’d rather not.”

WATCH:

PARTIAL TRANSCRIPT:

MARGARET HOOVER, HOST: “You called for Twitter to suspend President Trump’s accounts hours before they did permanently last Friday—”

SEN. JOE MANCHIN (D-WV): “Days, days before they did.”

HOOVER: “The president has been now banned from Facebook. Parler, an app that is preferred by some conservatives, has been booted off of Apple, Amazon, and Google. The PGA has pulled its 2022 Championship from the Trump National Golf Course in New Jersey, and Simon & Schuster has dropped Josh Hawley’s book. Do you support all these examples of de-platforming?”

MANCHIN: “I do. I really do. I think there’s a responsibility they all have. These are private platforms. These are private individuals. These are basically publicly owned companies, and thank goodness they’re pushing back now. Change comes, the markets change because of the pressure that’s put on. So, maybe this will give my Republican colleagues some support that they can be free. The truth will set you free. Maybe they can break the bonds, these chains that they have of captivity within the Republican ranks, that they’re afraid they’re going to be primaried or there’s going to be challenges or things that they have to deal with that they’d rather not.”

HOOVER: “What is your response to those who fear that by de-platforming President Trump, you further embolden the kind of people who stormed the Capitol and those who are sympathetic with their movement?”

MANCHIN: “That’s the reason I say we need the time. That is exactly, you put it better than I can, that’s exactly. And we will embolden, and it will happen. It will entrench them more. Okay? And the true believers will be even stronger [and] using more radical tactics maybe. We just want the facts to come out that everyone felt the same that we do. We have to do this to save our country.”

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Gillibrand: Schumer Can Bring Country Together, May Be Best American Alive ‘To Get Things Done’ In Congress

Sun, 01/17/2021 - 23:17

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), the failed 2020 Democratic presidential primary candidate, suggested Sunday morning that Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) may be the best person “alive in America today” to bring the country together and get things done in Congress.

During a press conference, Gillibrand praised Schumer, who is poised to take the reigns as Senate majority leader, as the ideal Senate counterpart to President-elect Joe Biden to handle the COVID-19 crisis and “the financial collapse corresponding” to the pandemic.

“Chuck Schumer understands states and communities all across this country better than anybody, he’s worked to get people elected in every part of this country — red, blue, and purple — and he understands that this country needs to heal, that we have to bring people together, that we have to get things done,” remarked Gillibrand.

The junior New York senator added: “I don’t think there’s a human being alive in America today that could do a better job than Chuck Schumer in this moment to bring this country back together again, to get things done, to get the economy moving. His life and dedication to public service has prepared him for this moment better than anyone, and so I am so optimistic that in this new Congress, we will be able to govern, we will be able to get resources to our cities, our states, our communities. We’ll be able to help people who have no jobs get jobs, we’ll be able to help families that are hungry get food, we’ll be able to help kids that don’t have resources, the tools they need to study and learn in school.”

“I see everything as possible now because of that one change. And so I just want Senator Schumer to understand that he is the right person at this time for this moment to deliver the relief that hopefully President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris will bring forward,” she said.

Schumer, who has served in the Senate since 1998, became the highest-ranking Democrat in the body after Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) retired in 2017. In light of the GOP’s senatorial losses in Georgia, Schumer will soon begin his first stint as Senate majority leader, which will mean Congress will be under complete Democratic control.

Biden, who assumes office on Wednesday, has vowed to send a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package to Congress that contains $1,400 stimulus checks, $3,500 child tax credits, and a $400 weekly unemployment benefits boost to last until late September.

The president-elect also wants the relief package bill to increase the federal minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $15 an hour. Although a $15 minimum wage has been a rallying cry among progressives for years, only states have enacted a $15 minimum wage.

Back in 2019, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) blocked a House-passed proposal to increase the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour, saying that such an increase would “kill jobs and depress the economy” in the midst of an economic boom. As The Washington Post notes, Democrats would need to gain 10 Republican votes in order to pass a federal minimum wage increase.

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CIA Declassifies Nearly 3,000 Documents On UFOs, Revealing Mysterious ‘Information’ Was Analyzed In 1976

Sun, 01/17/2021 - 21:34

Forget that headline. The one in the U.K.’s Sun newspaper last week was waaaay better.

“CIA’s declassified UFO documents are now online as ‘Black Vault’ reveals ‘mystery explosions’ and ‘contact with aliens,’” said the paper.

If you’ve got a lot of time on your hands, you can read all 2,780 pages at The Vault website, which detail observations of Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAPs), the government’s preferred term for Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs). But we’ll run through the good ones detailed by the Sun and another British paper, the Daily Mail.

“An ongoing DailyMail.com review of the files has uncovered a bevy of perplexing – yet unverified – accounts of mysterious disks tracking across the sky, spewing beams of light across small towns, causing explosions and even a few claims of military officers confronting aliens that come out of outlandish vehicles,” the Mail wrote. “Other documents show correspondence between CIA officers about the UFO sightings. Sometimes the officers brush off observers’ stories as purely superstitious, even when another explanation isn’t clear. But in several instances the officers show genuine concern that perhaps something … is at play.”

For instance, in 1985, a Russian airliner crew describes coming within 50 kilometers of a yellow disk that was shooting out beams of light while flying over Belarus.

Decades earlier, in 1953, a Swedish pilot and flight mechanic spotted a “completely unorthodox, metallic object” flying at “the speed of sound” outside Stockholm. A CIA report from April 1954 includes three newspaper articles about a purported UFO sighting five months earlier in Sweden, the Mail wrote.

Meanwhile, the Sun wrote that “within the pages are a bizarre story of a mysterious explosion in a small Russian town.” “Residents reported seeing a ‘moving fiery sphere,’ sparking UFO fears, but local military men concluded that a store of ammonium nitrate was the source of the blast. The CIA’s investigation was inconclusive.”

Another file details a dispute with a Bosnian fugitive who claimed to have made contact with aliens.

John Greenewald Jr., who operates the Black Vault website, says one incident piqued his interest — “a report about seemingly urgent UFO information being hand-delivered to an Assistant Deputy Director for Science & Technology at the CIA in April 1976. Most details about the information were redacted in the document, but Greenewald said he is determine [sic] to uncover more through further FOIA requests,” wrote the Mail.

The order to release the information within 180 days was part of the $2.3 trillion COVID-19 relief and government funding bill passed by Congress and signed into law by President Trump last month. “The provision received very little attention in part because it wasn’t included in the text of the 5,593-page legislation, but as a ‘committee comment’ attached to the annual intelligence authorization act, which was rolled into the massive bill,” Fox News reported.

The comment, which came from the Senate Intelligence Committee — of which Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) is acting chairman — instructed the director of national intelligence, secretary of defense, “and the heads of such other agencies” to “submit a report within 180 days of the date of enactment of the Act, to the congressional intelligence and armed services committees on unidentified aerial phenomena.”

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Senate Swing Vote Joe Manchin: 14th Amendment ‘Should Be A Consideration’ In Handling Hawley, Cruz

Sun, 01/17/2021 - 20:40

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), who is soon to become a key swing vote for the Democrats in the United States Senate, told PBS’s “Firing Line” that Congress should consider using the 14th Amendment’s section 3, which provides a way for Congress to expel one of its own, to punish Republicans who objected to certifying the Electoral College vote.

Manchin made the statement specifically in regard to Sens. Josh Hawley (R-MO) and Ted Cruz (R-TX), who were the first to agree to raise objections to certifying certain states’ Electoral College votes in the Senate — an extreme position akin to that taken by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY).

Asked whether he’d consider using the 14th Amendment as a potential remedy for Republican malfeasance, Manchin said he was open to the possibility and that Cruz, particularly, should expect it.

“That should be a consideration,” he said. “[Ted Cruz] understands that. Ted’s a very bright individual, and I get along fine with Ted, but what he did was totally outside of the realm of our responsibilities or our privileges.”

The 14th Amendment’s section 3 provides that Congress can expel any member that “shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the [United States], or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.” A member may be expelled on a two-thirds majority vote in both houses of Congress — no easy task.

Although Democrats and media figures have tried to tie both Hawley and Cruz to the riots hat overtook the Capitol on January 6th, both legislators are mostly responsible for leading a Congressional charge to question vote totals in key states, like Arizona, Georgia, and Pennsylvania.

And although Hawley and Cruz were responding to President Donald Trump’s largely unsubstantiated claims of widespread vote fraud when they lodged their complaint — the same claims that, reportedly, motivated the rioters — they are hardly the first members of Congress to raise objections to an Electoral College vote. No less than the New York Times noted that Democrats were quick to object to key states’ results in 2000, 2004, and in 2016, when President Donald Trump won election over Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), was the first legislator to officially raise the prospect of using the 14th Amendment in a statement made last week, but Pelosi was not looking to begin the process. Rather, the Speaker suggested she was looking for input on whether Congress could pursue such an action if a Congressional lawmaker were found to have actively aided and abetted the Captiol Hill rioters; in a speech Friday, she seemed to lean more toward filing criminal charges against complicit members of Congress.

Manchin’s support for using the 14th Amendment is notable, though. With the Senate evenly split between Republicans and Democrats, moderates like Manchin will likely become key to passing any legislation, particularly if Democrats do away with the Senate filibuster, as they’ve regularly discussed. If Manchin can be convinced to use more extreme measures to address the Capitol Hill riots, Democrats may be more likely to pursue such avenues.

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12 Unforgettable Supporting Characters From TV’s Modern Era

Sun, 01/17/2021 - 20:22

We all know, and can’t get enough of, Jack Bauer, Tony Soprano, Liz Lemon, Walter White, and other icons of television’s new Golden Age.

What about the other characters on those shows, the ones who make everything better, funnier, more entertaining?

The following 11 characters do just that. They’re not lavished with the attention given to the main characters, but they deserve credit for making today’s TV as mesmerizing as it is.

This list is by no means complete given the crush of stellar shows created over the past 20-plus years, so feel free to add your choices in the comments section.

Mickey Donovan, “Ray Donovan”

It’s not a stretch to say Jon Voight’s conservative politics cost him an Emmy or three for his work on this Showtime series.

How could his turn as Ray’s irredeemable fah-ther not have netted him endless Emmy nominations, if not a few outright wins?

That’s a theft even Ray Donovan couldn’t solve, apparently.

Voight’s Mickey is a singular delight, a crook whose biggest con is pretending he cares more about family than himself. It’s always about Mickey, something his friends and family learn as the show progressed.

Still, no one could charm quite like this ex-con. As played by Voight, Mickey turns ordinary moments into the stuff of TV legends. He’s seductive and silly, bubbling with a new get rich quick scheme every other episode.

The Oscar-winner’s body of work speaks for itself, but his “Ray Donovan” performance could be his finest achievement.

Boyd Crowder, “Justified”

Every law and order story needs a villain, but they often let their actions speak for them.

Not Boyd Crowder. Heck, if you listen to him long enough you might just join his gang or be his getaway driver. Walton Goggins’ sociopath is that persuasive, powered by a wit that’s always a few paces ahead of Johnny Law.

Raylan Givens begged to differ, of course.

Boyd’s skirmishes with star Timothy Olyphant gave the show its crooked heart. We always rooted for Raylan to prevail, but a small part of us hoped Boyd would wriggle free in the end.

Teddy, “Bob’s Burgers”

He’s the poorly shaven soul who wolfs down a burger a day at the eponymous restaurant. In between bites, he’s a capable handyman, but that’s where his skill set abruptly ends.

In short, Teddy’s a mess, but a lovable one you can’t help rooting for on the long-running sitcom.

“Bob’s Burgers” creatively limped into its current season, no. 11, but the show picks up every time Teddy graces the screen.

Gob Bluth, “Arrested Development”

The celebrated sitcom stuck around too long thanks to a Netflix-powered extension. Still, those first three seasons proved magical, especially when failed prestidigitator George Oscar “Gob” Bluth dropped in.

Will Arnett’s deeper than Johnny Cash on a bender voice, paired with that idiotic grin, made Gob the best character in a show teeming with outsized figures. David Cross’ is-he-or-isn’t-he shtick proved hilarious, but Gob’s incessant plotting trumped all the Bluths.

Gemma Teller Morrow, “Sons of Anarchy”

You had to be tough, really tough, to survive seven seasons on this brutal FX series. Katey Sagal’s Gemma qualified, and then some.

The brawling matriarch made life interesting for Jax Teller (Charlie Hunnam) and everyone else in the motorcycle club. Gemma loved as hard as any of them and had the emotional scars to prove it. She also protected her brood with a fury that took our breath away.

Eleven, “Stranger Things”

Some shows sock the zeitgeist square in the jaw. This Netflix series did just that with its lovable young cast, ‘80s vibe, and patient creature reveal. Young Millie Bobby Brown tied it all together as Eleven, the nearly bald girl who might just save the town … and beyond.

That’s plenty of weight to place on an unknown child actor, but Brown never buckled. Eleven’s charming bond with Mike (Finn Wolfhard) and a budding father/daughter subplot with Chief Jim Hopper (David Harbour) made her an indelible Netflix presence.

Leon Black, “Curb Your Enthusiasm”

You may start laughing at J.B. Smoove before he opens his mouth on the HBO series. That’s the kind of comic energy Smoove first brought to the show when his Leon Black character joined the series in season 6.

Leon makes Larry David’s blunt anti-hero look polite by comparison. Leon lacks any kind of filter – his critiques flow without a thought to how they may land.

He’s not spouting anti-P.C. bromides, just unvarnished truths according to Leon. That kind of unhinged character needs a master’s touch to pull off, and Smoove is up to the task.

Jack Donaghy, “30 Rock”

Alec Baldwin’s many off-screen missteps should have gotten him canceled from Hollywood years ago. Still, he’s a considerable talent who can shift from comedy to gritty drama like few of his peers.

His Jack Donaghy character on Tina Fey’s NBC sitcom offers a prime example of the star at his best. Sure, “30 Rock” used Jack’s conservatism to mock the right, but Baldwin had so much fun in the role it felt like the joke was on the writers, not the character.

The same proved true 30-odd years ago when “Family Ties” introduced us to a young Alex P. Keaton.

It helped that early “30 Rock” episodes similarly teased liberal sensibilities, an even-handed approach no network show would attempt today.

John Short, “Life in Pieces”

The sly CBS comedy lasted four seasons, all under the massive shadow of ABC’s “Modern Family.” “Pieces” deserved a better fate, if only for its superlative cast.

We could praise Zoe Lister-Jones, who played the family’s hard-edged Jen, or perennial stand-out Dianne Wiest, a Woody Allen regular comfortable with comedy.

What about James Brolin’s puzzled patriarch? The handsome star forged a career from playing straight, sturdy leaning man types. Who knew he could also deliver a sozzled ex-pilot trying to keep tabs of his brood?

Brolin’s John stole so many moments it’s hard to tally them all. If you doubt his comic chops, try watching his experiment with puppetry, yielding the ghastliest dummy in recent memory … Cheeto.

Phil Dunphy, “Modern Family”

Like “Life in Pieces,” this Emmy winner boasted a killer cast that makes selecting just one supporting superstar a chore.

Nah. It’s Ty Burrell in a walk.

The chatty real estate salesman could crush us by sucking up to his father-in-law (Ed O’Neill) or pretending he’s the next great stand-up.

He hit his stride when flirting with his on-screen wife, Claire (Julie Bowen), especially when the couple attempted some role-playing romance. Burrell’s bumbling attempts at seduction gave the show its funniest moments.

Daryl Dixon, “The Walking Dead”

It’s not Norman Reedus’ fault the zombie show won’t die, even after losing its grip on pop culture long ago. “TWD” shuffles on until 2022, but Daryl will team with co-series regular Carol (Melissa McBride) for their own anthology horror yarn.

The franchise cannot be killed. Oh, the irony.

Still, there’s little debate over Daryl’s role in “TWD” lore. His hardscrabble hero, a guy who’s tough to love, but impossible to kill, gave the series its swagger.

Daryl’s ill-tempered brother Merle (Michael Rooker) epitomized how Hollywood too often portrays Southerners in Season One. Daryl quickly shook off his brother’s hate to become a full-bodied character in his wake.

BONUS: Fleabag, “Fleabag”

Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s character is the star of the show, not a supporting player, but in every other way she’s like a scene-swiping addition.

The unnamed character, dubbed Fleabag in the credits, is rude, hyper-sexual, and brave in her own weird way. Waller-Bridge, the show’s creative force, wisely ended the series after two short but razor-sharp seasons. Fleabag’s tics may be best consumed in small, scabrous portions.

The views expressed in this opinion piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.

The Daily Wire is one of America’s fastest-growing conservative media companies and counter-cultural outlets for news, opinion, and entertainment. Get inside access to The Daily Wire by becoming a member.

She Said She Was Raped At A Houston Immigration Detention Center. She Lied To Get A Visa.

Sun, 01/17/2021 - 19:54

In 2018, a Mexican woman was detained at a Houston immigration detention center after getting released from prison for abusing a child. Two years later, in 2020, she filed a lawsuit claiming she had been raped and even impregnated during the two months she was in the center – a lie she hoped would get her a visa.

The woman, referred to only as Jane Doe because she used a pseudonym in court documents, had lived in Texas illegally for 10 years, the Houston Chronicle reported. She had spent two years in prison after she was convicted of causing injury to a child, and was transferred to the Houston Processing Center because U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement placed a detainer on her following her release from prison.

Jane was in the Center for two months, and claimed she was raped the night before she was to be deported. Two years later she filed a lawsuit against CoreCivic Inc., the company that actually ran the Center. She claimed that she was raped in a dark room at the facility after being taken there by guards. She said two other women were in the room during the assault. Jane demanded monetary damages and sought a visa to remain in the U.S.

Her lies were uncovered when a transcript of a phone interview between Jane and a Harris County Sheriff’s Office investigator and ICE special agent contained her confession that she made up the story in order to get a visa.

“In the interview, the agents informed the plaintiff that they found and interrogated the other two women, who said they were not raped and did not witness any sexual assault. The accuser, insisting that she was raped, then admitted it did not happen at the CoreCivic facility, as stated in the lawsuit,” the Chronicle reported.

She changed her story to say that she was raped in Nuevo Laredo in Mexico after she was deported. Jane told investigators that she was raped, but not at the Houston detention center, but in Mexico. She said she was impregnated and didn’t know who the father was because she had been raped by three strangers.

Jane said women in the town told her to say she had been raped in order to qualify for a visa to go back to the U.S. Women can claim they were raped and abused and easily obtain a visa, which provides a perverse incentive to lie.

The Daily Wire previously reported on similar abuse of the visa system, in the form of women who marry men to get a green card and then claim abuse in order to get divorced and start a life of their own. The law that allows this is known as the Violence Against Women Act, which offers perverse incentives for women to lie about abuse in order to gain personal benefits. VAWA conveniently keeps the government from investigating marriage-fraud claims, and heavily discourages questioning of women’s claims.

Jane’s lawyers dismissed their lawsuit after she confessed.

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Feds Arrest ‘Hardcore Leftist’ Who Planned Attack On Pro-Trump Demonstrators At FL Capitol

Sun, 01/17/2021 - 18:59

Federal law enforcement officials arrested a self-described “hardcore leftist” and alleged Antifa supporter last week for allegedly issuing a call to arms for a violent attack on pro-Trump protesters at Florida’s Capitol.

Authorities “arrested Daniel Baker of Tallahassee for transmission, in interstate commerce, of a communication containing a threat to kidnap or to injure,” U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Florida announced in a statement. “Baker issued a call to arms for like-minded individuals to violently confront protestors gathered at the Florida Capitol this Sunday. He specifically called for others to join him in encircling any protestors and confining them at the Capitol complex using firearms.”

The criminal complaint filed by prosecutors shows that Baker describes himself as a “hardcore leftist” and allegedly has shown support for Antifa, a far-left extremist group. The criminal complaint also said that Baker participated in the far-left protests over the summer which included joining the “CHOP/CHAZ movement in Seattle, Washington during the summer of 2020.” The charging document says that Baker used “social media as a way to promote, circulate, encourage and educate followers on how to incapacitate law enforcement officers while at a protest.”

Charging documents highlight alleged social media posts from Baker where Baker calls for people to take up arms against President Donald Trump and called for “Trump terrorists” to be corralled “into the Capitol building.”

U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Florida added:

Baker, a former U.S. Army Airborne infrantryman who was kicked out of the service, has a history of expressing his belief in violent tactics. In recent days his social media posts had escalated significantly. He specifically expressed an intent to violently disrupt protests occurring between now and Inauguration Day next Wednesday, January 20, and was actively recruiting others to join him. …

After approximately one year in the Army, Baker received an other-than-honorable discharge in 2007 after he went AWOL before his unit was to deploy to Iraq. In 2017, he joined the People’s Protection Units (YPG), a group fighting in Syria against ISIS and the Turkish government. He claimed on social media that he was a trained sniper for the YPG, and he can be seen in a documentary film fighting ISIS and Turkish militants. YPG is a sub-affiliate of the Kurdistan’s Working Party (PKK), which is designated by the United States government as a Foreign Terrorist Organization.

Baker can be seen in photos and YouTube videos with a variety of firearms, including those with high-capacity magazines. Social media posts also show that he was actively attempting to purchase additional firearms within the last 24-48 hours. A chronological account of Baker’s social media posts, along with additional information about his self-declared attempts to incite violence at past protests, can be found in the affidavit below.  

“Extremists intent on violence from either end of the political and social spectrums must be stopped, and they will be stopped,” Lawrence Keefe, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida, said. “The diligent work in this case by the FBI and other public safety organizations has averted a crisis with this arrest, and we will not stop in our efforts to detect, deter, and disrupt anyone else planning to incite or commit violence.”

“This arrest serves as a message to anyone who intends to incite or commit violence in the Northern District of Florida: If you represent a threat to public safety, we will come for you, we will find you, and we will prosecute you,” Keefe continued. “Daniel Baker’s actions show that he is a dangerous extremist, and the law-abiding public is safer now that he has been arrested. We are, and will remain, on high alert and will take all appropriate actions against credible threats to the people of our District.”

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He Tossed Out A Hard Drive In 2013. He’s Offering City Officials $70 Million If He Can Find It In A Landfill.

Sun, 01/17/2021 - 18:55

A British man is, once again, pleading with his local city council to let him excavate a landfill for a key that he says will allow him to finally access a long-lost nine-figure digital fortune. 

James Howells, 35, has offered tens of millions of dollars to the city council in Newport, Wales, if he gets permission to excavate and if he manages to find the hard drive he tossed out in 2013, reports CNBC. That hard drive, says Howells, contains the only copy of the cryptographic key that will let him access his 7,500 Bitcoin trove, which currently holds an estimated value of $280 million. 

Should Howell recover the hard drive, the city would receive 25% of the value of the Bitcoin — roughly $70 million at current prices.

“There is a good chance the platter inside the drive is still intact,” said Howells, who cannot excavate the landfill without authorization. “Data recovery experts could then rebuild the drive or read the data directly from the platter.”

The city council, however, hasn’t budged on its answer, and says it doesn’t even have the authority to let him excavate for his long-lost crypto key. 

“The council has told Mr Howells on a number of occasions that excavation is not possible under our licencing permit and excavation itself would have a huge environmental impact on the surrounding area,” the council spokesperson told CNBC. 

“The cost of digging up the landfill, storing and treating the waste could run into millions of pounds — without any guarantee of either finding it or it still being in working order,” said the spokesperson. 

Howells told CNN that his plan would be to “dig a specific area of the landfill based on a grid reference system and recover the hard drive whilst adhering to all safety and environmental standards.” He believes that the city council hasn’t been listening to him or his plan, which he says also involves receiving financial backing from an unspecified hedge fund that has promised to help him. 

“Without even having heard our plan of action or without being given a chance to present our mitigations to their concerns regarding the environment, it’s just a straight up ‘no’ every time,” said Howells, reports CNBC. 

According to estimates from Forbes, a handful of cryptocurrency pioneers currently have a net worth exceeding $1 billion solely from their cryptocurrency investments. Others, while not Bitcoin billionaires, still have amassed cryptocurrency fortunes worth millions or even hundreds of millions. 

But there are also millions of Bitcoin that appear to have been lost or otherwise inaccessible to their owners. The New York Times reports that, of the 18.5 million Bitcoin in existence, about 20% of them appear inaccessible. Currently, Bitcoin trades at $36,084, meaning the world’s lost Bitcoin is valued at over $130 billion. 

One man, Stephan Thomas, told The New York Times in an interview that he only has two guesses left to figure out the password he needs to access his Bitcoin trove. If those two guesses fail, Thomas will be locked out of the encrypted hard drive containing his cryptographic key, and his Bitcoin, currently valued at $220 million, will be encrypted forever.

He’s since moved the hard drive to a secure facility at an undisclosed location — out of sight, out of mind — just in case a new method of cracking his hard drive’s long-lost password becomes available one day.

“I got to a point where I said to myself, ‘Let it be in the past, just for your own mental health,’” Thomas told the Times.

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Fauci Warns Of ‘More Ominous’ Strains Of COVID-19 Emerging Worldwide

Sun, 01/17/2021 - 18:42

Dr. Anthony Fauci on Sunday warned that there are “more ominous” strains of COVID-19 that are emerging in South Africa and Brazil.

Fauci, an immunologist and director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases who served on the White House Coronavirus Task Force, said U.S. researchers are “very carefully” examining the two new mutant strains, as well as another first detected in the United Kingdom that is reportedly far more contagious.

“People need to realize there’s more than one mutant strain,” Fauci said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

“There’s one from the UK that’s essentially dominated There’s another more ominous one that’s in South Africa and Brazil,” he said. “The Brits have made it very clear that [the strain detected there is] more contagious,” Fauci said.

“They say that it isn’t more virulent. But, you know, we’ve got to be careful because the more cases you get, even though on a one-to-one basis it’s not more virulent, meaning it doesn’t make you more sick or more likely to die, just by numbers alone the more cases you have, the more hospitalizations you’re going to have,” he noted.

Fauci said it’s unknown if the existing vaccines currently being distributed across the U.S. will target the newly emerging strains.

“The thing we really want to look at carefully is that does that mutation lessen the impact of the vaccine?” he said. “And if it does, then we’re going to have to make some modifications… We’re looking at that really very carefully.”

Fauci said last week it’s a “possibility” a new, mutated strain of the COVID-19 virus could be behind a sudden spike in cases across the U.S., which had dropped dramatically since April. He said the new rise in the U.S. is similar to what’s been occurring in the United Kingdom, where a new strain emerged last month.

“It could be — a possibility — that we have our own mutant that’s being more easily transmissible,” Fauci told The Washington Post on Monday. “We don’t know. We’re looking for it…If you look at the slope of our curve, which is very steep, it looks a bit like the curve in the UK.”

The White House Coronavirus Task Force last week “there may be a USA variant that has evolved here, in addition to the UK variant that is already spreading in our communities,” according to reports obtained by CNN. But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says it has found no evidence of that a new strain of the virus in in the U.S., while other health experts say the sudden spike in cases could be happening because of other causes.

“Based on scientific understanding of viruses, it is highly likely there are many variants evolving simultaneously across the globe,” a CDC spokesman said in a statement emailed to CNN.

“Additionally, there is a strong possibility there are variants in the United States; however, it could weeks or months to identify if there is a single variant of the virus that causes COVID-19 fueling the surge in the United States similar to the surge in the United Kingdom,” the spokesman added.

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‘They’re Not Even Following Their Own Rules’: Packers’ Aaron Rodgers Slams Pelosi, Newsom

Sun, 01/17/2021 - 18:35

Green Bay Packers All-Pro quarterback Aaron Rodgers expressed his disgust with Democratic politicians like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and California governor Gavin Newsom for their hypocrisy in supporting draconian shutdowns of the economy while they were “not even following their own rules.” He added, “I mean, how many people have gotten caught?”

Rodgers, a California native who formerly starred at the University of California, Berkeley, spoke on “The Pat McAfee Show” about his $500,000 donation to the Dave Portnoy’s Barstool Fund, which has been sending relief to many small businesses desperate to keep their businesses afloat. After McAfee, a former All-Pro punter for the Indianapolis Colts, congratulated Rodgers on his $500,000 donation, Rodgers stated of Portnoy, “I’ve been following El Presidente on social media for a while; I’ve enjoyed his takes on many different things. And when he got kind of challenged, I was wondering how he would respond. Initially, it was ‘Here’s $500,000, you take it; you figure how to go with the money.’ That changed pretty quickly into him and his folks there figuring out how to get the money out. It’s just an amazing deal, what they’re doing; to be able to not only change people’s lives and livelihoods, but to do it in such a timely fashion. I mean, the money is going out every 24 to 72 hours.”

“I think there was such a need,” Rodgers continued. “If you look around our environment today, it’s not like the government is really helping anybody out in a timely fashion. I mean, they took forever to figure out how to give $600 checks away, and then you know may or may not get to $2,000 at this point. That’s not life-changing money. What Dave and his folks are doing with the Barstool Fund is life-changing money. It’s sustainability for these people, and I think that’s the thing that you gravitate towards the most is just not having a reliance on the government to help you out, because obviously it’s shown that’s not going to be the way they’re going to do it.”

Then Rodgers targeted Pelosi and Newsom as he slammed hypocritical politicians instituting lockdowns:

I mean, they put these rules in place. They’re not even following their own rules. I mean, how many people have gotten caught? “Don’t travel. Don’t leave the state.” Oh, here’s so-and-so on a vacation. Oh, here’s so-and-so at a salon. “Don’t eat out at a restaurant unless you’re wearing a mask and separate.” Oh, here’s a picture of the governor of California violating those rules. Oh, public schools are closed, but I can send my kids to a private school in person.

Rodgers commented, “For us to count on the government to help us out is becoming a joke at this point.”

Of Portnoy’s efforts, Rodgers concluded, “It’s really a call to action for those of us who can donate. Let’s donate. Let’s help our brothers and our sisters out because these are our people. We’re all we got.”

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While Deaths From Virus Spiral To Record Highs, CA Has Nearly 2 Million Vaccines Lying Unused, Report Says

Sun, 01/17/2021 - 17:41

While Californians are dying at a record rate from the coronavirus, with the number now reaching 525 per day, according to ABC News, while the concomitant demand for vaccines to fight the virus soars, nearly two million doses of vaccines for the coronavirus are lying unused, “locked up in cold storage,” as the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

“California has among the lower rates of vaccine administration in the country, with only 38% of the 3.1 million doses delivered to the state actually being given so far — leaving close to 2 million doses apparently stored in freezers and awaiting recipients,” The Chronicle notes, adding that the state’s ineptitude in vaccinating its residents is “putting the nation’s largest state far behind West Virginia, the Dakotas and most other states in the proportion of population that has been vaccinated.”

The method California uses to distribute vaccines is this: the state has 58 local health departments and three city health departments; sometimes the local health department schedules vaccine appointments; but private providers also offer vaccines. According to the California Department of Public Health, they do not ever possess the vaccines; instead,  the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines doses are sent to the county health departments and large health care providers.

The counties and big health systems order from the state, which in turn transfers the requests to the federal government. “The federal government decides how many doses it will allocate each state, and directs the manufacturers and distributors to ship doses accordingly. The state allocates doses to the counties and health systems; the counties deliver vaccine to some smaller local providers or give the shots at community clinics,” the Chronicle writes, adding, “… the state has provided little transparency about the number of doses delivered to and administered by each provider. That makes it difficult to pinpoint where exactly the unused doses are.”

As some private providers are allocated vaccines directly by the state, some counties are unaware how many vaccines the private providers have obtained.

Santa Clara County Supervisor Joe Simitian stated, “Is it any wonder, given the Rube Goldberg contraption that’s been designed for (vaccine) delivery, that people are confused and uncertain about where the next doses comes from? To call it convoluted is an understatement. … The system is built in a way that does not provide for accountability. Everybody has somebody else to blame, and that is not serving us well at this particular time. In order for the system to work there has to be simplicity and convenience. And so far we’ve seen precious little of either.”

The Los Angeles Times reported on Friday:

More than 530 Californians are now dying every day from COVID-19, pushing several counties past new, grim milestones. Just this week, Santa Clara County and Sacramento County each reported its 1,000th cumulative COVID-19 death, while San Diego County notched its 2,000th. And Los Angeles County, long the epicenter of California’s coronavirus outbreak, officially surpassed 13,000 pandemic-related fatalities Thursday — a death toll larger than all but nine states.

L.A. County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer stated, “This disease is running rampant right now, and we continue to plead with residents, businesses and government, the community, to do all possible to stop the spread.”

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House Dems Launch Probe Into Capitol Attack, Pelosi Suggests Republican Lawmakers Could Face ‘Criminal Charges’

Sun, 01/17/2021 - 17:40

Four prominent Democrats announced Saturday that they plan to launch a joint investigation into intelligence and planning failures that may have led to an attack on the United States Capitol that took place on January 6th.

The four committee chairs —  House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA), House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), House Oversight Committee Chairman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY). and House Homeland Security Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-MS) — will also be looking into whether members of the GOP assisted the Capitol rioters.

As the Daily Wire reported last week, New Jersey Democrat Rep. Mikie Sherrill and others claimed that “Republican Congressional colleagues led people through the United States Capitol last Tuesday on what appeared to be a ‘reconnaissance’ mission ahead of Wednesday’s attack.” Sherrill led a group of lawmakers in demanding that the Capitol Police and other federal law enforcement agencies look into the possibility that rioters had inside help.

“I also intend to see that those members of Congress who abetted him, those members of Congress who had groups coming through the Capitol that I saw on Jan. 5 for reconnaissance for the next day,” Sherrill said in a Facebook Live event. “Those members of Congress who incited the violent crowd. Those members of Congress that attempted to help our president undermine our democracy, I’m going see that they’re held accountable.”

Neither Sherrill nor any of the other 29 signatories referred to any Republican by name, nor did they provide specific evidence of their claims. Previous reports have suggested that several Republican lawmakers communicated with organizers of the January 6th rally, but those reports have yet to be substantiated.

“The committee chairs said in a letter released Saturday that emerging evidence shows federal intelligence officials and law enforcement agencies received information about the likelihood of violence targeting Congress, but a breakdown in the information-sharing process left the Capitol vulnerable, despite widely anticipated efforts to disrupt the lawmakers’ session to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s victory,” according to Politico.

“They’re also asking specific questions, including on the evidence each intelligence agency gathered ahead of Jan. 6 and what they did with it; if there was evidence of any foreign efforts to either assist the insurrection, spread misinformation about it or exploit the aftermath; if any current or former officials with security clearances participated in the insurrection; and what policy responses the intelligence agencies have implemented to apprehend rioters and disrupt potential future actions,” the outlet continued.

The Committees will conduct robust oversight to understand what warning signs may have been missed, determine whether there were systemic failures, and consider how to best address countering domestic violent extremism, including remedying any gaps in legislation or policy,” the letter itself noted.

On Friday, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) suggested that, if lawmakers are found to have aided and abetted the Capitol rioters, they could face criminal charges.

“We must trust each other, respect the people who sent us here. We must also have the truth, and that will be looked into,” she said. “If, in fact, it is found that members of Congress were accomplices to this insurrection — if they aided and abetted the crime — there may have to be actions taken beyond the Congress, in terms of prosecution for that,” she told media, referring specifically to Sherrill’s allegations.

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Biden To Ask Congress On First Day To Grant Legal Status To 11 Million Illegal Aliens

Sun, 01/17/2021 - 17:22

As one of his first acts in office, President-elect Joe Biden will ask Congress to offer legal status to an estimated 11 million foreigners in the country illegally.

Biden will announce legislation to provide a pathway to citizenship for millions on his first day, according to The Associated Press.

The president-elect campaigned on the issue — an issue on which he is diametrically opposed to President Trump, who sought to shut down the southern border with Mexico and banned foreigners from several countries from coming into the U.S.

“This really does represent a historic shift from Trump’s anti-immigrant agenda that recognizes that all of the undocumented immigrants that are currently in the United States should be placed on a path to citizenship,” Marielena Hincapie, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center, who was briefed on the bill, told the AP.

“The bill also would provide a shorter pathway to citizenship for hundreds of thousands of people with temporary protected status and beneficiaries of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals who were brought to the U.S. as children, and probably also for certain front-line essential workers, vast numbers of whom are immigrants,” Yahoo News reported.

Under Biden’s plan, illegal aliens would become eligible for legal permanent residence after five years and for U.S. citizenship after another three years, a faster path to citizenship than in other bills.

Democrats now control the House and on Jan. 19, when the Senate reconvenes, the two parties will each have 50 senators. After noon on Jan. 20, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will be the tiebreaking vote, giving Democrats control of that chamber, too.

If Congress passes Biden’s proposal, it would be the first time illegal aliens will be granted status since President Ronald Reagan bestowed amnesty on nearly 3 million people in 1986. But two other efforts to overhaul immigration policy failed in 2007 and 2013.

Domingo Garcia, former president of the League of Latin American Citizens, told the AP that Biden told advocates on a call Thursday about his plan. “I was pleasantly surprised that they were going to take quick action because we got the same promises from Obama, who got elected in ’08, and he totally failed,” Garcia said.

The release of Biden’s plan comes as a caravan of Honduran migrants is approaching the U.S. border. “The group of migrants was originally anywhere between 2,000 and 4,000 strong, although their numbers have dwindled as the march towards the United States has continued,” The Daily Mail reported.

“‘We recognize the importance of the incoming Government of the United States having shown a strong commitment to migrants and asylum seekers, which presents an opportunity for the governments of Mexico and Central America to develop policies and a migration management that respect and promote the human rights of the population in mobility,’ said a statement from Pueblo Sin Fronteras, a migrants right group. We will advocate that the Biden government honors its commitments.'”

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Company Cancels Sponsorship Of PGA Golfer Justin Thomas In Wake Of Anti-Gay Slur

Sun, 01/17/2021 - 17:17

When top PGA golfer Justin Thomas missed a seven-foot putt on January 9th in the third round of the Sentry Tournament of Champions in Hawaii, he uttered an anti-gay slur — at himself.

The utterance caused a stir, and on Friday, the Ralph Lauren Corporation announced it “decided to discontinue our sponsorship” of  Thomas.

“We are disheartened by Mr. Thomas’s recent language, which is entirely inconsistent with our values. While we acknowledge that he has apologized and recognizes the severity of his words, he is a paid ambassador of our brand, and his actions conflict with the inclusive culture that we strive to uphold,” the company said in a statement.

“In reflecting on the responsibility we have to all of our stakeholders, we have decided to discontinue our sponsorship of Mr. Thomas at this time. As we make this decision, our hope is that Mr. Thomas does the hard and necessary work in order to partner with us again – truly examining this incident, learning, growing, and ultimately using his platform to promote inclusion.”

The company also said: “At the Ralph Lauren Corporation, we believe in the dignity of all people, regardless of age, race, gender identity, ethnicity, political affiliation, or sexual orientation. This is part of our longstanding commitment to foster cultures of belonging – in the workplace and in communities around the world.”

Thomas, who had been sponsored by Ralph Lauren since turning pro in 2013, apologized after his round for saying the “f-word.”

“There’s just no excuse,” Thomas told Golf Channel shortly afterward. “I’m an adult. I’m a grown man. There’s absolutely no reason for me to say anything like that. It’s terrible. I’m extremely embarrassed. It’s not who I am. It’s not the kind of person that I am. But unfortunately, I did it and I have to own up to it and I’m very apologetic.”

“Like I said, it’s inexcusable. I’m speechless. It’s bad. There’s no other way to put it. I need to do better. I need to be better. It’s definitely a learning experience. I deeply apologize to anyone and everybody who I offended and I’ll be better because of it,” he said.

The PGA Tour has also spoken out about the incident. “As he expressed after his round, we agree that Justin’s comment was unacceptable,” the PGA Tour said in a statement, according to Golf Digest. Thomas still faces the possibility of being fined by the Professional Golfers Association.

It isn’t the first time a professional golfer has expressing anti-gay sentiments. Last year, four-time PGA Tour winner Scott Piercy was dropped by five sponsors after sharing a homophobic meme on Instagram that mocked former Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg, who is gay. Afterward, Piercy wrote on social media: “Whenever i [sic] post my intent is NEVER to offend. I want to apologize if any of my recent story posts have been offensive. I will do better!”

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Murders In New York City Already Up 125% In First Two Weeks Of 2021

Sun, 01/17/2021 - 17:14

The shocking spike in crime that plagued New York City in 2020 is continuing into 2021, according to the New York Post, with both shootings and murders up dramatically over the same period in 2020.

“Murders in the Big Apple spiked 125% in the first 10 days of 2021 compared to the same period in 2020, increasing from four to nine,” the Post reported Sunday. “And shootings continued to surge — up 24% — increasing from 25 to 31 over the same period in 2020, data show. The number of gunshot victims nearly tripled, with 36 so far this year compared to 28 during the same snapshot in 2020, a 29% increase.”

The first shooting in NYC took place almost immediately after midnight on January 1st. “Just minutes after the ball dropped in Times Square welcoming in 2021, the city had its first shooting — a 33-year-old Brooklyn woman struck by a stray bullet as she lay in her bed,” the Post reported.

Like most major cities, New York City experienced a major increase in crime in 2020, in the weeks and months following the city’s coronavirus-related lockdowns. In a story from early January, the Post noted that New York City experienced more shootings in 2020 than in the previous two years combined.

“NYPD statistics released Friday show that 1,868 people were hit by gunfire in 1,531 separate shooting incidents last year — matching the totals for both categories in 2018 plus 2019,” they noted. “Police reported a total of 1,820 victims and 1,531 shooting incidents in those two years, the stats show.”

The NYPD seems to blame an “imploding” criminal justice system that became the victim of major budget cuts in 2020, following a nationwide call to “Defund the Police” in the wake of George Floyd’s death while in the custody of the Minneapolis Police Department. The NYPD saw major changes and cuts in 2020, according to local media, and NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio has proposed a billion-dollar cut to the NYPD’s yearly budget.

“The approved budget includes nearly $484 million in cuts and will reallocate $354 million to other agencies ‘best positioned to carry out the duties that have been previously assigned to the New York Police Department,’ like the Department of Education, the Department of Health & Mental Hygiene and the Department of Homeless Services. Another $162 million was slashed through ‘associated costs,'” according to CNN.

One criminal justice expert suggested to the Post that progressive bail reform is also a likely factor in the crime spike.

“It’s only going to get worse,” he told the Post, referring to reform “laws enacted in 2020 mandate that suspects in a long list of crimes go free without having to post bail.” “It’s a year later and if bail reform was such a success, the architects and academics that helped design it would be shouting from the mountain tops. They aren’t.”

Democrats have been reticent to blame their campaign to defund the police for the rise in crime and, as The Daily Wire reported back in July as murders and shootings were just beginning to spike in the city, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) claimed the increase in criminal behavior was the result of an increase in pandemic-driven poverty.

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‘I Have Demanded The Resignations’ Of Cruz, Hawley, McCarthy: Ocasio-Cortez

Sun, 01/17/2021 - 17:07

Revving up her rhetoric, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), who has been rumored to be considering a run for New York Senator Chuck Schumer’s seat, announced she has issued a “demand” for the resignations of GOP senators Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley, and House Minority leader Kevin McCarthy, among others, in the wake of the breach of the U.S. Capitol on January 6.

Ocasio-Cortez intoned, “What we saw last week was not just a violent coup attempt, but we also saw a dereliction of duty and a betrayal of our country and a betrayal of the oath that we swear. And that is why I have demanded the resignations of senators (sic) Ted Cruz, senators (sic) Josh Hawley, Majority Leader, Republican Major— rather, Republican Minority Leader in the House McCarthy, Kevon McCarthy, along with many others, because this is not just about political opinion or partisanship. This was about the abandonment of our sworn oath.”

“For what?” she continued. “For personal ambition? For greater loyalty to a base?”

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: "I have demanded the resignations of Sens. Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley, Republican Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy." pic.twitter.com/A3oLgjjDL8

— The Hill (@thehill) January 17, 2021

Ocasio-Cortez’s new “demands” follow her comments last week on Instagram in which she railed, “And so, I want to be clear to Senator Ted Cruz, you do not belong in the United States Senate. I want to be clear to Senator Josh Hawley, you do not belong in the United States Senate. You do not belong in any democratically elected seat when you don’t, when you do not believe that that election was even legitimate, according to your self-serving claims. So get out.”

“If they had any shred of integrity, any shred of integrity about their claims, their lies really, but their claims about this election, they would take off their pin and turn it in,” she continued. “But this isn’t about the truth to them. This is about if they want to be president in 2024. Let me give you a sneak peak. You will never be president. You will never command the respect of this country. Ever. Ever. And you should resign. So should every member of Congress that voted to overturn the results of our election.”

Ocasio-Cortez’s desire to exert control over Congress dovetails with her recent statements about how she wants to “rein in our media environment.” As The Daily Wire reported on Friday:

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) is facing backlash for saying this week that she has discussed media literacy initiatives with members of Congress to “rein in” reporting that is either misinformation or disinformation.

Ocasio-Cortez made the remarks during an Instagram Live video in response to the following question: “Any discussion in Congress about federal truth and reconciliation or media literacy initiatives to help with healing?”

“What I can say is that there’s absolutely a commission that’s being discussed, but it seems to be more investigatory in style rather than truth and reconciliation and so I think that’s an interesting concept for us to explore,” Ocasio-Cortez responded. “And I do think that several members of Congress in some of my discussions have brought up media literacy because that is a part of what happened here and we’re going to have to figure out how we rein in our media environment so that you can’t just spew disinformation and misinformation.”

She added, “It’s one thing to have differing opinions but it’s another thing entirely to just say things that are false and so that’s something that we’re looking into.”

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Loews Hotel Chain Cancels Josh Hawley Fundraiser Following Pressure From Social Media

Sun, 01/17/2021 - 16:44

Loews Hotels has booted a “Family Fun Day” fundraiser for Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) from one of its Orlando, Florida, area hotels after a lawyer on social media tweeted out a link to the event’s flier, calling Hawley a “traitor.”

Loews Portofino Bay Resort at Universal Studios Orlando announced Saturday in a statement posted to Twitter that they are “horrified and opposed to the events at the Capitol and all who supported and incited the actions,” and that, “in light of those events and for the safety of our guests and team members, we have informed the host of the Feb. fundraiser that it will no longer be held at Loews Hotels.”

We are horrified and opposed to the events at the Capitol and all who supported and incited the actions. In light of those events and for the safety of our guests and team members, we have informed the host of the Feb. fundraiser that it will no longer be held at Loews Hotels.

— Loews Hotels (@Loews_Hotels) January 16, 2021

The “Fun-Filled-Family-Friendly” weekend event, sponsored by the Fighting for Missouri PAC, was slated to take place in mid-February, and tickets to the event were listed at between $1,000 and $5,000 plus travel expenses and room rates. Fighting for Missouri is a primary fundraiser for Hawley, having netted more than a quarter-million for the Missouri Senator in 2020.

“The fundraiser was canceled after liberal lawyer Daniel Uhlfelder tweeted a photo of the event on Friday branding Hawley a traitor. He also asked Loews Hotels and Universal Orlando why their Portofino Bay Hotel [was] hosting the February event for the Republican,” the Daily Mail reported Sunday.

Uhlfedler is a left-leaning provocateur, perhaps best known for his attention-grabbing decision to visit Florida beaches dressed as the Grim Reaper after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis lifted the state’s pandemic-related lockdown over the summer. He and others have been targeting Hawley following the Missouri Senator’s decision to become one of the first members of Congress to announce he would challenge the Electoral College’s vote certifying Democrat Joe Biden as the winner of November’s presidential election.

Uhlfelder started a trend on social media that eventually pushed Loews into canceling Hawley’s event, according to the Orlando Sentinel. The pressure came from some of the state’s elected officials, including Rep. Anna Eskamani (D-FL), who branded Hawley a traitor and a “seditionist.”

“Is @Loews_Hotels / @UniversalORL going to cancel this fundraiser being hosted by seditionist @HawleyMO in Orlando or are they going to just be chill with a treasonous politician who would rather see Democracy burn for his own political gain?” Eskamani tweeted.

She followed up on her post by demanding an end to “corporate money in politics,” though Loews does not appear to have contributed to Hawley’s campaign. The hotel chain does have its own political action committee, but it gave primarily to Democrats in the 2020 election cycle, according to Open Secrets. Hawley is not among the few Republicans who received donations from the PAC.

“Thank you @Loews_Hotels/@UniversalORL for keeping your word to no longer engage w/treasonous politicians like @HawleyMO. Ya never should have let him plan this in the first place! Now can we just end corporate money in politics please?” she said.

Hawley has become a top target of left-leaning activists looking to punish members of Congress who they claim helped incite a violent riot at the United States Capitol that left five people dead and dozens injured. Simon and Schuster announced, shortly after the attack, that they were pulling out of a publishing deal with Hawley and, following pressure from a progressive journalist, several other PACs have pulled planned donations to Hawley’s campaign.

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Trump Plans Unprecedented Military ‘Farewell Event’ With Red Carpet, 21-Gun Salute: Report

Sun, 01/17/2021 - 16:12

President Trump wants to go out in style.

Trump, who has announced he will skip Joe Biden’s inauguration as the 46th president and plans to leave Washington, D.C., Wednesday morning, is reportedly planning an unprecedented farewell event at Joint Base Andrews, an Air Force base in Maryland where Air Force One is hangared.

“Officials are considering an elaborate send-off event reminiscent of the receptions he’s received during state visits abroad, complete with a red carpet, color guard, military band and even a 21-gun salute, according to a person familiar with the planning who spoke on condition of anonymity ahead of a formal announcement,” The Associated Press reported.

Leaving while he is still president will allow Trump to use the presidential plane and use the call sign “Air Force One” for his flight to Palm Beach, Florida. If Trump were to leave Washington after Biden was sworn in, he would have to ask Biden for permission to use the plane for his trip home.

“Trump told people he did not like the idea of departing Washington for a final time as an ex-president, flying aboard an airplane no longer known as Air Force One,” CNN reported. “He also did not particularly like the thought of requesting the use of the plane from Biden, according to a person familiar with the matter.”

“Final plans for Trump’s departure were still being laid a week ahead of time, but Trump has expressed interest to some in a military-style sendoff and a crowd of supporters, according to a person with whom he has discussed the matter,” CNN reported. “Whether that occurs at the White House, Joint Base Andrews or his final destination — Palm Beach International Airport — wasn’t clear. Trump is expected to be ensconced in his Mar-a-Lago club or his nearby golf course by noon on Inauguration Day, when his term officially ends.”

But Defense One, a military website, said the Pentagon will offer no farewell ceremony for Trump.

“The Pentagon, in a break with recent tradition, will not host an Armed Forces Farewell tribute to President Donald Trump,” Executive Editor Kevin Baron wrote in a commentary piece.

“It’s a shame, but not a surprise. Trump will leave office in disgrace, one week after the House voted a second time for his impeachment, two weeks after his supporters staged a deadly siege in the Capitol Building, six months after he dragged his Joint Chiefs chairman into a political firestorm, and after four years of nonstop assaults on truth. One of those disgraces is how he is ghosting the U.S. troops that he commanded,” Baron wrote.

The city is locked down after the violent riot that broke out at the Capitol on Jan. 6. Thousands of National Guard soldiers are in town to make sure violence doesn’t spark again.

Biden’s inaugural parade has been canceled to limit crowds during the COVID-19 pandemic. Organizers announced the decision earlier this month, saying that a “virtual parade across America” will be held instead.

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