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Name: Don
Gender: Male
Hometown: Massachusetts
Home country: United States
Member since: Sat Sep 1, 2012, 03:28 PM
Number of posts: 60,536

Journal Archives

High anxiety over Trump in Georgia GOP

BY MAX GREENWOOD - 03/31/21 06:00 AM EDT

Georgia Republicans are growing anxious that former President Trump’s continued influence within the GOP and the party’s deepening internal divisions could undermine their standing in critical races in 2022.

The GOP is gearing up to try to unseat Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.) in next year’s midterm elections while also defending the governor’s mansion.

But several GOP strategists and operatives expressed concerns that Trump’s looming intervention in the midterms — especially his pledge to support a primary challenge to Gov. Brian Kemp (R) — could only serve to deepen their losses in one of the nation’s fastest-growing and most diverse battleground states.

“He’s done a real number on us already,” one Republican consultant in Georgia said, blaming Trump for the GOP’s losses in two January Senate runoffs. “My concern is Trump becomes a distraction. You never want to have to deal with nonsense, and right now we really can’t afford his nonsense.”


Some Capitol riot suspects apologize as consequences sink in

Source: The Associated Press

2 hours ago

PHOENIX (AP) — The helmet-wearing Idaho man photographed dangling by one hand from the Senate’s balcony during the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol turned himself in six days later. While buckled in the vehicle delivering him to the Boise jail, Josiah Colt made a video apologizing and expressing shame for storming the building.

Jacob Chansley, the self-described QAnon Shaman who posed for photos on the Senate dais while sporting face paint and a furry hat with horns, also lacks the enthusiasm he once showed for the riot. A month later, he wrote an apology from jail, asking for understanding as he was coming to grips with his actions.

Confronted with compelling video and photographic evidence in court, dozens of rioters have apologized and expressed regret as the consequences of their actions have started to sink in. The ramifications include potential job losses, financial ruin and possible time behind bars.

“This is going to have consequences for these people for the rest of their lives — and it should,” said John Flannery, a former federal prosecutor and Capitol Hill lawyer.

Read more: https://apnews.com/article/capitol-siege-politics-phoenix-idaho-3bbabae61323f77b0af3102497c0ede9

QAnon supporters pledge loyalty to Matt Gaetz after learning of underage sex trafficking probe

Brad Reed
March 31, 2021

Some backers of the QAnon conspiracy theory are proudly sticking with Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) even after learning he's facing a sex trafficking investigation involving a 17-year-old girl.

Twitter account @pinealdecalcify, which follows QAnon Telegram channels, has found that many Q devotees believe that Gaetz is being set up by the feds as a way to cover up for Democrats' purported global sex trafficking ring.

"The SMEARING of MAGA patriots has no end!" declared one QAnon devotee.


Many Q believers also raised suspicions about the fact that Gaetz is being investigated for potentially dating a 17-year-old girl -- the number 17 has specific relevance to QAnon supporters, as Q is the 17th letter in the alphabet.

"The '17' is a dead giveaway on BS!" wrote one Q fan.


Florida prosecutor explains why Matt Gaetz can't talk his way out of trouble

Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine 100 percent effective in teens

Source: Politico

Pfizer said it will seek permission in the coming weeks from the FDA and the European Medicines Agency to market the vaccine for teens.


03/31/2021 06:58 AM EDT

Updated: 03/31/2021 07:37 AM EDT

The coronavirus vaccine made by Pfizer and its partner BioNTech was completely effective in preventing infection among teens 12-15 in a late-stage trial, the companies said Wednesday.

The preliminary findings of the trial that enrolled nearly 2,300 U.S. adolescents suggest the vaccine is even more effective for that age group than for adults, with similarly mild side effects.

No teen who received the vaccine in a late-stage trial developed Covid-19, Pfizer and BioNTech said. By contrast, 18 teens in the placebo group became infected.

Why it matters: Pfizer said it will seek permission in the coming weeks from the Food and Drug Administration and the European Medicines Agency to market the vaccine for teens. That suggests at least one coronavirus vaccine could be available for younger teens before the start of the new school year in the fall.

Read more: https://www.politico.com/news/2021/03/31/pfizer-biontech-vaccine-effective-teens-478688

Biden administration's global human rights report is a rebuke of Trump priorities

Tracy Wilkinson 31 mins ago

In a rebuke of how its predecessor attempted to recast and limit the defense of human rights, the Biden administration on Tuesday issued an annual global report that promises to renew focus on women's issues and reproductive rights.

It also lays out sharp criticism of the Trump administration for placing religious freedom above all other rights, even if it meant excluding fair treatment of the LBGTQ community and others.

"Human rights are also co-equal; there is no hierarchy that makes some rights more important than others," Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in releasing the report.

"Past unbalanced statements that suggest such a hierarchy, including those offered by a recently disbanded State Department advisory committee [on the "unalienable right" of religious freedom], do not represent a guiding document for this Administration."



McConnell's tough sell: Brighter days ahead don't belong to Democrats



Mitch McConnell can see the future — and knows it’s likely to place Republicans in a pickle.

He sees a rapidly recovering economy, an increasingly vaccinated population and general optimism budding across the country like bluegrass at the start of springtime. And he’s realized the GOP needs an explanation for the shower of good news coming in the opening months of a new Democratic administration.

McConnell’s response, sprinkled in a drumbeat of speeches and media appearances during the month of March, is that the past is prologue. President Joe Biden and Democrats shouldn’t get the credit for all of this, he says, when it was the Republican-led work during former President Donald Trump’s final year in office that set the stage for this moment to begin to emerge from the pandemic.

“Because of last year’s bipartisan work, our economy was already poised for an historic comeback,” McConnell said on the Senate floor last week before the chamber adjourned for a two-week recess. “So I’ll be joining Kentuckians to celebrate what’s gone well, thanks to our bipartisan work last year.”

It’s a message he’s been carrying ever since Democrats were on the cusp of passing their $1.9 trillion Covid rescue plan earlier this month with zero Republican votes — and a message that he’s been plugging with more urgency now that Americans are receiving their stimulus checks and Biden is receiving the preponderance of the credit.


NATO scrambles jets 10 times to track Russian military planes across Europe

Source: CNN

By Barbara Starr, CNN Pentagon Correspondent

(CNN) - NATO scrambled fighter jets 10 times Monday to track and intercept an unusually "rare peak" of Russian bombers and fighters flying over the North Sea, Black Sea and Baltic Sea, according to a NATO official.

"NATO aircraft intercepted six different groups of Russian military aircraft near alliance airspace in less than six hours," the organization said in a statement.

The Russian activity across an unusually wide area of European skies came on the same day North American Aerospace Defense Command said it tracked Russian aircraft off the coast of Alaska.

None of the Russian aircraft entered the national airspace of NATO nations in Europe and the intercepts were considered safe, but an alliance statement detailed the activity.

Read more: https://www.cnn.com/2021/03/30/politics/nato-russia-jets/index.html

AG Merrick Garland hones in on hate crime enforcement, calls for 30-day review

Source: USA Today

Kevin Johnson

WASHINGTON - Citing an "urgent" need to reset hate crime enforcement strategy, Attorney General Merrick Garland launched a 30-day review to assess the government's tracking capabilities and prosecution of hate offenses that are surging across the country.

"The recent rise in hate crime and hate incidents, particularly the disturbing trend in reports of violence against members of the Asian American and Pacific Islander community since the start of the pandemic, requires renewed energy...," Garland said in a memo to all Justice Department staffers.

Garland did not specifically refer to the recent mass shooting in Georgia, where six of eight victims were of Asian descent, but the attorney vowed to "seek justice for the victims of the hate-fueled mass murders that we have seen too many times in the past several years."

The slayings, Garland said, have "shaken our communities, torn at our social fabric and undercut our most basic values."

Read more: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2021/03/30/garland-launches-review-us-hate-crime-tracking-enforcement/4805988001

US Olympic Committee will allow kneeling, raised fists at qualifying trials

Source: The Hill

BY MYCHAEL SCHNELL - 03/30/21 01:28 PM EDT

The U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) on Tuesday announced that certain racial and social justice demonstrations will be permitted at qualifying trials, including kneeling and raised fists.

Wearing a hat with phrases such as “Black Lives Matter,” vocally advocating for equal rights for minority groups, holding up a fist at the start line or on the podium, and kneeling on the podium or at the start line during the national anthem are all acceptable demonstrations, the committee said. Athletes who engage in these demonstrations will not be sanctioned.

“The USOPC values the expressions of Team USA athletes and believes that their right to advocate for racial and social justice aligns with the fundamental values of equality that define Team USA and the Olympic and Paralympic movements,” an overview of the rules from the committee reads.

The policy only affects trial events, not the Olympic and Paralympic Games. In the coming months, the committee said it will issue separate guidance for the Games.

Read more: https://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/545573-us-olympic-committee-will-allow-kneeling-raised-fists-at-trials
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