U.S. Congressman Charlie Crist says he will run for Florida governor in 2022.
- Business Insider
CNN's medical analyst called Tucker Carlson a vaccine 'saboteur,' and challenged him to say if he has taken the jab
Dr Jonathan Reiner used a CNN appearance to tear into Carlson, who has used his show to cast doubt on the safety and effectiveness of vacicnes.
- Business Insider
A Corn Palace official says there has been 'amazing' demand ahead of a rally by MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell
Management at the Corn Palace, a multipurpose facility and the location of Mike Lindell's rally, says it's "aware of some of the controversy."
The Biden administration said it's "working with" fuel pipeline operator Colonial Pipeline to try and restart operations after a ransomware attack took it offline.Why it matters: Friday night's cyberattack is "the most significant, successful attack on energy infrastructure" known to have occurred in the U.S., notes energy researcher Amy Myers Jaffe, per Politico.Stay on top of the latest market trends and economic insights with Axios Markets. Subscribe for freeThe Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration issued a regional emergency declaration for 17 states and Washington, D.C., to keep fuel supply lines open. The big picture: Colonial Pipeline carries 45% of fuel supplies in the eastern U.S. Some 5,500 miles of pipeline has been shut down in response to the attack.While gasoline and diesel prices aren't expected to be impacted if pipeline operations resume in the next few days, fuel suppliers are becoming "increasingly nervous" about possible shortages, Bloomberg notes.What's happening: The emergency declaration covers: Alabama, Arkansas, D.C., Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.The DoT agency said in a statement the declaration "addresses the emergency conditions creating a need for immediate transportation of gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, and other refined petroleum products and provides necessary relief."Colonial said in a statement Sunday while its main fuel lines remained offline, some smaller lines between terminals and delivery points were now operational."[We] will bring our full system back online only when we believe it is safe to do so, and in full compliance with the approval of all federal regulations."Excerpt from Colonial statement What they're saying: Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo told CBS' "Face the Nation" there's an "all hands on deck" effort to resume operations."We are working closely with the company, state and local officials, to make sure that they get back up to normal operations as quickly as possible and there aren’t disruptions in supply," she told CBS' John Dickerson.Of note: The shutdown follows other significant cyberattacks on U.S. companies and the federal government in recent months.Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.More from Axios: Sign up to get the latest market trends with Axios Markets. Subscribe for free
- WLS – Chicago
Illinois health officials said 1,741 COVID-19 cases and 30 deaths were reported Sunday.
- The New York Times
On March 21, 1950, an Illinois congressman named Ralph Church suddenly slumped in his seat while testifying before a House committee. His colleagues rushed to administer aid, but he was pronounced dead of a heart attack at 66. He was neither the first nor the last member of Congress to die in office. Sign up for The Morning newsletter from the New York Times “You look back in history, nearly 1 in 10 members of Congress have,” said Jane L. Campbell, president of the U.S. Capitol Historical Society. That history has some Democrats worried that deaths or illnesses could derail President Joe Biden’s efforts to pass ambitious bills through Congress, which his party controls by the narrowest margins in decades. “Our ability to make good on Biden’s agenda is pretty much dangling by a thread,” said Brian Fallon, a former aide to Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., the majority leader. “I don’t think it’s uncouth to talk about it. I think it’s a reality that has to inform the urgency with which we approach those issues.” More than 1,160 sitting members and members-elect have died from accidents, disease and violence since the first Congress met in 1789, according to a New York Times analysis of House and Senate records. They include multiple House speakers, famed senators and two former presidents: John Quincy Adams and Andrew Johnson, who both returned to Congress after leaving the White House. The pandemic and the Jan. 6 Capitol uprising fueled fears that this Congress was particularly vulnerable to such deaths. But with most members vaccinated and security tightened, old age may be a bigger threat. The average age of a sitting senator is 64, and for a representative it is 58, making this Congress one of the oldest. “Heart disease and cancer are really the two most common causes of mortality, and they are both things that increase with age,” said Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, a professor of medical ethics and health policy at the University of Pennsylvania, who served on Biden’s pandemic task force before he took office. On average, 10 lawmakers have died in each two-year Congress: seven House members and three senators. Deaths peaked in the 1940s, and have slowed in recent decades. But every Congress except two has lost at least one member. In the House this term, deaths have already affected the parties’ close margins. Three members — Ron Wright of Texas and Rep.-elect Luke Letlow of Louisiana, both Republicans; and Democrat Alcee Hastings of Florida — have died, the most in a Congress in its first three months since the early 1980s. (Wright and Letlow died from COVID-19.) Health problems have also dogged the Senate. Patrick Leahy, 81, D-Vt., was briefly hospitalized in January. Thom Tillis, 60, a North Carolina Republican, underwent cancer treatment. Questions have been raised about the health of Dianne Feinstein, 87, a Democrat who has represented California since 1992. Vermont’s other senator, Bernie Sanders, 79, had a heart attack in 2019. In the most extreme case, deaths could end Democrats’ ability to pass legislation without Republican support — or even flip control of either chamber. That is more likely in the evenly divided Senate, where a single Democratic vacancy could hand Republicans committee gavels and the power to schedule votes until a Democratic successor was appointed or elected. A serious illness could also upset the party’s delicate legislative arithmetic. “Schumer needs all 50 votes,” said Fallon, now the executive director of Demand Justice, a progressive advocacy group focused on the federal judiciary. “If somebody is laid up or is hospitalized for a long period of time and their vote’s not there, then having the majority is somewhat meaningless.” It is also possible that a special election or governor’s appointment could shift Senate control more lastingly. Several states require governors to fill vacancies with a temporary replacement of the same political party as the departed senator. But nine senators in the Democratic caucus represent states with Republican governors who can appoint anyone they choose. That could let a Republican governor name a Republican replacement, giving Republicans the majority, even if it may be temporary. (Six Republican senators represent states with Democratic governors who have similar authority.) House vacancies are filled by special election, and relatively few seats are competitive, lowering the chances that deaths could alter partisan control. No special election to Congress so far this year has flipped a seat. But special elections take time to organize; delays could further shrink Democrats’ single-digit margin for error. Though House control has never changed mid-session, Republicans could push to elect a new speaker and take over committees if vacancies forced Democrats below a majority of seats, said Sarah Binder, a George Washington University political scientist who has studied congressional deaths. “There’s so much at stake for Democrats in losing control of one or both chambers midstream of a brand-new president with an ambitious agenda,” she said. “The loss of unified control would be devastating.” Of course, deaths or illnesses could accrue to Democrats’ political benefit. The early retirement of ailing Republican Sen. Johnny Isakson of Georgia in 2019 left his seat open. Kelly Loeffler was appointed to it and lost to Raphael Warnock in January, helping give Democrats their current majority. Deaths have altered the balance of power, and changed American history, before. In the 1930 midterm elections, Republicans narrowly won the House. But a combined 14 representatives-elect in the two parties died before Congress convened 13 months later, and growing discontent over the Depression helped Democrats flip enough seats to claim a majority. They used it to pass legislation — including economic relief, protections for organized labor and higher taxes on the rich — over President Herbert Hoover’s opposition, emphasizing his indifference to the Depression and bolstering the Democrat who ultimately defeated him: Franklin Roosevelt. “I would not argue that Franklin Roosevelt would have lost in 1932 if it hadn’t been for the Democrats gaining control of the House,” said Andrew E. Busch, a professor of government at Claremont McKenna College. “But it definitely is the case that they established the groundwork for the New Deal and helped Roosevelt to distinguish his program from Hoover’s.” More recently, the 2009 death of Sen. Ted Kennedy of brain cancer — and Scott Brown’s upset victory to fill his seat — cost Senate Democrats their filibuster-proof majority. That forced the House to abandon its more progressive version of the Affordable Care Act and pass a stingier bill that had already cleared the Senate. “Losing Kennedy’s seat forced Democrats to settle for a bill that had even more compromises than they had hoped,” said Jonathan Cohn, who recounts the passage of the ACA, also known as "Obamacare," in a new book. Kennedy’s death may have also indirectly empowered legal threats to Obamacare’s survival. The Senate version was hastily written and lacked a so-called severability clause, which protects laws from being overturned entirely if parts of them are ruled unconstitutional. That omission is now the reason a pending Supreme Court case could invalidate Obamacare in full. “The entire law is at risk because there’s no severability clause,” Cohn said. Of course, past is not necessarily prologue. Congressional deaths have declined sharply over the last several decades, amid medical advances and lengthening life spans. And members may not be a representative sample. “Statistics are averages, and we’re dealing with individuals,” Emanuel said. Lawmakers “tend to be well off and well educated, and those are predictors for longer life expectancy than the average.” But some of them appear to recognize the potential for deaths to help or hinder Democrats. Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., the 79-year-old minority leader, recently got the Kentucky Legislature to change the state’s appointment rules, requiring the state’s Democratic governor to fill vacancies with a member of the departing senator’s party. Still, recent history — including Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death in September and the pandemic’s devastation — suggests that mortality can unexpectedly shape political outcomes. For today’s Democrats, moving quickly may be the surest way to prepare for the unthinkable. “We have maybe a once-in-a-generation window to enact major reforms,” Fallon said. “We may not have a full two years to pace ourselves.” This article originally appeared in The New York Times. © 2021 The New York Times Company
- Business Insider
Democrats are barely holding onto the Senate. So the right time for Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer to retire is now.
- Business Insider
'It makes us look like idiots': Arizona state senator disowns widely criticized election recount after seeing it in action
Paul Boyer voted in favor of the election audit in Maricopa County. He told The New York Times on Friday that he now considers it an embarrassment.
- Rolling Stone
A guide to the centrist Democrat who can make or break President Biden’s agenda
- National Review
The Biden administration is reversing a rule initiated by former President Donald Trump that defined “sex” as biological, in an effort to prevent “discrimination” against transgender people in health care practices, the Department of Health and Human Services announced on Monday. The notice of enforcement, while not a binding federal rule, signals that the federal government will begin interpreting Section 1557 — the non-discrimination provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act — to include a ban on discrimination based on sexual identity, rather than simply banning discrimination based on biological sex, as the Trump administration had. The change will likely require that states, which set their own Medicaid eligibility requirements, provide gender-reassignment surgery and hormone therapy to Medicaid recipients. “The Supreme Court has made clear that people have a right not to be discriminated against on the basis of sex and receive equal treatment under the law, no matter their gender identity or sexual orientation (SOGI). That’s why today HHS announced it will act on related reports of discrimination,” HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra said in a statement announcing the change. Many private insurers, such as Aetna and Blue Cross Blue Shield, and managed care organizations, such as United Healthcare, already cover transition surgeries and hormone therapy, and have an incentive to comply with the Biden administration’s definition of discrimination in order to avoid expensive litigation. Certain state governments, especially the Republican-dominated, may decide to fight the disputes in court for a number of reasons, including to control cost via a medical necessity determination and to prevent controversial medical procedures from being performed in the state. Republican states could face lawsuits over the issue via two avenues: Medicaid claim denial and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission(EEOC) claim. Since state governments are also employers, transgender employees could allege that their employer’s healthcare plan is discriminatory, and demand the court force coverage for gender identity medical treatment. For now, the notice allows exemptions for religiously-affiliated organizations to survive, in adherence to the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) and subsequent court rulings. This means hospitals and healthcare providers with religious objections will not be coerced to participate in transgender “transition” interventions by the Office of Civil Rights, the enforcement arm of HHS. However, The Equality Act pending in the Senate, which President Biden has agreed to sign, poses an existential threat to the RFRA protection in matters of gender identity, sexual orientation, and abortion. Soon after taking office, Biden signed Executive Order 13988, which tasked federal agencies with drafting plans to better enforce sexual orientation and gender identity rights by an April 30th deadline. The HHS regulatory guidance, released Monday, coincides closely with that stipulated deadline.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) -U.S. safety officials investigating the cause of a Tesla Model S crash that killed two men in Texas last month said on Monday that testing suggested the vehicle's automated steering system was "not available" on the road where the accident occurred. But the car's cruise-control function could still have been in operation, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said in its preliminary report. The NTSB and local police are still investigating.
Several thousand Armenians rallied in the capital Yerevan on Sunday to show their support for a new political alliance created by former president Robert Kocharyan ahead of an early election next month. The alliance, called Reviving Armenia, will run in early parliamentary elections set to take place on June 20. In a speech to thousands of supporters chanting "Armenia" and waving flags, Kocharyan pledged his alliance would help revive the economy and recover from ethnic Armenians' loss of swathes of territory in and around the Nagorno-Karabakh region in a six-week conflict with Azerbaijan last year, local news outlets reported.
- The Telegraph
The Government will set out its legislative agenda for the new parliamentary session in the Queen's Speech on Tuesday, but the ceremony will be different to normal because of coronavirus restrictions. This is what will happen, and what to expect: What time is the Queen's speech? This year’s Queen’s Speech will take place on Tuesday, May 11, and is expected to be delivered between 11am and 12:30pm, with exact timings yet to be confirmed. The speech, delivered by Her Majesty, is drawn up in close consultation with the Government and outlines the laws ministers hope to pass in the coming year. The State Opening of Parliament is officially triggered after the Queen reads out her speech from a throne in the House of Lords. The speech normally lasts around 10 minutes. Will it be affected by Covid rules? This year’s Queen Speech will look a bit different due to Covid restrictions and a slimmed-down guest list. As per tradition, the speech and ceremony will take place in the House of Lords Chamber, but only 74 people will be allowed to watch from the main Lords chamber. An additional 34 MPs and peers will also be watching from the Royal Gallery. Traditionally Robert Buckland, in his role as Lord Chancellor, would hand the speech to the Queen for her to read out - instead, he will place it on a table. All those attending will be required to wear a mask and produce a negative Covid test in advance of the ceremony. There will be no horse-drawn carriages this year - the Queen will instead travel to and from Parliament in a Bentley state limousine. The traditional military presence and guard of honour will be absent from this year’s proceedings. What will be in the speech? Boris Johnson is expected to introduce long-awaited legislation to reform social care. It is unclear what details the reform will take, but the proposals are expected to be mentioned within the context of an NHS reform bill which will see a merging of local community services with the nationwide system. The Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill - which grants police in England and Wales greater powers to shut down protests - will be reintroduced after it was shelved following a string of ‘Kill The Bill’ protests in Bristol and other parts of the UK earlier this year. The speech is also likely to include a national security bill - legislation that will make it easier to crack down on foreign agents in the UK. Mr Johnson is expected to axe the Fixed Term Parliaments Act - first introduced under the Cameron-Clegg coalition government in 2011 - which would restore the PM’s power to call early general elections. New laws on Northern Ireland legacy issues are expected to be announced, which will ban the prosecution of Northern Ireland veterans and former IRA members alike. A new Sovereign Borders Bill designed to toughen up the asylum system is likely to be announced. Stricter measures to combat voter fraud including proof of identification are expected to be introduced in an Elections Integrity Bill . In a bid to raise animal welfare standards, animals “with a backbone” will have their right to happiness enshrined in law as part of the new Animal Sentience Bill. The Telegraph will be liveblogging the ceremony. Read more: Queen’s Speech: The new laws Boris Johnson wants to push through
- Business Insider
More than 50 House Democrats have signed a letter supporting $8 billion to replace USPS trucks with electric vehicles: report
Postmaster General Louis DeJoy has told Congress it would be "unfeasible" to replace its aging trucks with electric vehicles without billions in aid.
- Yahoo News
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Monday that the Biden administration would not “take a stance in the middle of negotiations” about abolishing qualified immunity.
People who wrote to the agency were told an investigation of his death, which had been ruled a suicide, was outside the FBI's jurisdiction.
- Associated Press
A news release from the Baltimore County Police Department identified the victims and offered the clearest picture so far of what the department said unfolded on a residential street in suburban Baltimore early Saturday morning. According to police, a preliminary investigation indicates 56-year-old Everton Brown forced his way into a neighboring house, where he stabbed and shot Ismael Quintanilla, 41. As Sara Alacote, 37, ran from that home in an attempt to escape, Brown chased her outside, fatally shooting her several times, the news release said.
The U.S. State Department has approved the potential sale to Canada of 4 AEGIS Combat Systems made by Lockheed Martin in a deal valued at up to $1.7 billion, the Pentagon said on Monday. The Pentagon said the sale of the powerful missile and radar systems to the NATO ally would "significantly improve" network-centric warfare capabilities for U.S. forces operating globally alongside Canada's. The package would include four shipsets worth of the AEGIS Combat System and three shipsets of the MK 41 Vertical Launch System as well as support equipment, spares and technical support, the Pentagon said.
Former President Barack Obama’s dog Bo died Saturday after a battle with cancer, the Obamas said on social media. News of Bo’s passing was shared by Obama and his wife Michelle on Instagram, where both expressed sorrow at the passing of a dog the former president described as a “true friend and loyal companion.” “He tolerated all the fuss that came with being in the White House, had a big bark but no bite, loved to jump in the pool in the summer, was unflappable with children, lived for scraps around the dinner table, and had great hair,” Barack Obama wrote.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) -President Joe Biden on Monday urged U.S. companies to help workers gain access to vaccines and to raise their pay while touting an infusion of $350 billion in federal aid to state and local governments, saying that will help more parents obtain child care and return to work. Biden's remarks were designed to address ways employers can hire more workers and to help more people take jobs. The Labor Department reported on Friday the economy added 266,000 jobs in April, short of the million jobs that most forecasters had expected.
- Los Angeles Times Opinion
The state took the high road reforming its redistricting process. But now it will have one fewer tool in the battle to keep Democrats in power.