Voice of America Director Amanda Bennett, Deputy Sandy Sugawara Resign as Trump-Appointed Chief Takes Over

The director of U.S.-funded Voice of America and her deputy resigned Monday following recent clashes with the Trump administration that have sparked fears for its independence.

Amanda Bennett and Deputy Director Sandy Sugawara announced they were leaving the organization as Trump ally and conservative filmmaker Michael Pack takes over leadership of the agency that oversees VOA.

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Supremes Revive Permit for Pipeline Under Appalachian Trail

The Supreme Court on Monday paved the way for a critical permit for a proposed natural gas pipeline that would cross under the Appalachian Trail, siding with energy companies and the Trump administration.

The justices ruled 7-2 to reverse a lower court ruling that had thrown out the permit for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. It would bring natural gas from West Virginia to growing markets in Virginia and North Carolina. Its supporters say the pipeline would bring economic development, thousands of jobs and reduced energy costs for consumers.

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Wall Street Veers Higher on Fed Plan to Buy Corporate Bonds

Stocks swung solidly higher on Wall Street in afternoon trading Monday after the Federal Reserve said it would begin buying individual corporate bonds, the central bank’s latest move to prop up volatile financial markets through the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.

The S&P 500 was up 1% after being down as much as 2.5% shortly after trading began in New York. The gains followed sharp losses in Asia and more moderate ones in Europe. Worries were on the rise that new waves of coronavirus infections around the world could derail the swift economic recovery that Wall Street had seemed sure just a week ago was on the way.

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Kentucky Governor Beshear Participates in Jefferson Davis Statue Removal from State Capitol

  FRANKFORT, Kentucky (AP) — Having led the push to take down a statue of Jefferson Davis from the Kentucky Capitol, the state’s governor had a ceremonial role Saturday in its removal from the place it stood for generations. Gov. Andy Beshear pushed the button to a rig that lifted…

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Top FBI Lawyer Who Authorized Carter Page Surveillance Forced to Resign

The FBI lawyer who signed a surveillance order against former Trump aide Carter Page that the Justice Department has deemed invalid submitted his resignation on Friday, the FBI said.

Dana Boente, the FBI general counsel, has recently come under scrutiny over his role in the various investigations against former Trump advisers, including Michael Flynn and Carter Page.

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Sen Ron Johnson Considers Subpoenas for Clinton Cronies Who Peddled a Second Trump Dossier

Sen. Ron Johnson, the Republican chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, is weighing subpoenas for two longtime Hillary Clinton associates who peddled a dossier of allegations about Donald Trump that mirrored those in the infamous report compiled by Christopher Steele.

Johnson seeks documents and testimony from Sidney Blumenthal and Cody Shearer, the two Clinton cronies, and 33 other witnesses as part of a sprawling probe of the FBI, State Department and other agencies.

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Ellison Says Black People in Minneapolis Have Reason to Fear and Distrust Local Police, Claims MPD Has ‘Endemic Problem’

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison said during an interview Sunday morning that he believes African-Americans in Minneapolis have reason to distrust and fear their local police.

“Sadly, yes. There is a history that has been repeated time and time again. I want to say that many officers are great people. I know so many of them and I think the chief is an extraordinary person, and the mayor and the council deserve a lot of credit for appointing Mr. Arradondo, but it is an endemic problem in the Minneapolis Police Department,” Ellison said on Fox News Sunday.

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National Security Adviser ‘Wouldn’t Be Surprised’ if China Steals US Coronavirus Vaccine

by Jason Hopkins   White House National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien on Sunday suggested that the Chinese Community Party would very likely try to steal American developments on a coronavirus vaccine. During an appearance on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” O’Brien predicted that the United States would be the first country…

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Industry Officials: Deregulation Helps Freight Industry Thrive Without Federal Bailout

After $3 trillion in federal stimulus money went to individuals, corporations, hospitals and numerous industries, the Class 1 freight industry has maintained its transportation operations and provided critical resources nationwide without asking for, or receiving, federal taxpayer money.

Other industries and lawmakers can look to how the freight industry has weathered the economic downturn and coronavirus restrictions without receiving any federal bailout money, analysts note.

“The freight rail industry is one of the most cost-effective and efficient transportation networks in the world,” the American Railroads Association (ARA) argues. “Fueled by billions of dollars in annual private investment – $25 billion on average – railroads maintain and modernize the nation’s nearly 140,000-mile private rail network to deliver for America.”

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Illegal Aliens Can Begin Applying for Cash Assistance in California

by Jason Hopkins   Illegal aliens can apply for direct cash assistance from the California state government as of Monday, marking the implementation of the first relief program of its kind. California Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, announced in April the launch of The Disaster Relief Fund, a $125 million coronavirus relief program…

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New Poll Shows Overwhelming Support for Candidates Promising to ‘Make America Self-Sufficient’

A new Arizona opinion poll shows overwhelming public support for a “plan to make America self-sufficient” by producing more food, energy and medicine at home.

In the statewide public opinion poll, conducted by OH Predictive Insights, 75 percent of respondents said that they would be more likely to support a candidate that had a plan to make the United States more self-sufficient in those three areas.

The question had majority support from all demographics, including gender, age and region groups.

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Senator Lindsey Graham Sets Vote to Subpoena Comey, Brennan and Dozens More in Oversight of Crossfire Hurricane

The Senate Judiciary Committee will vote on June 4 whether to authorize subpoenas for documents and testimony from more than 50 current or former government officials, including James Comey and John Brennan, as part of the panel’s investigation into abuse of the surveillance process during Crossfire Hurricane.

The committee will debate and vote June 4 on whether to issue the subpoenas, said Sen. Lindsey Graham, the chairman of the Judiciary panel.

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State Department Inspector General Is Fired, Was Investigated for Mishandling Sensitive Information

President Donald Trump fired Steve Linick, the State Department’s inspector general, on Friday night, sources told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

Trump notified House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that he was removing Linick from office, effective in 30 days. He said in the letter that “it is vital that I have the fullest confidence in the appointees serving as Inspectors General.”

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John Brennan Says He Is Willing To Meet With Prosecutor Investigating Origins Of Russia Probe

Former CIA Director John Brennan said Friday that he has yet to be interviewed by the federal prosecutor investigating the origins of the Trump-Russia probe, but that he is willing to do so and has “nothing to hide.”

“I feel very good that my tenure at CIA and my time at the White House during the Obama administration was not — that was not engaged in any type of wrongdoing or activities that caused me to worry about what this investigation may uncover,” Brennan said in an interview with MSNBC’s Chris Hayes.

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Republican Lawmakers Introduce Bill to Cut Waste from Coronavirus Bill

U.S. Representatives Ted Budd (R-NC-13) and Ken Buck (R-CO-04) introduced the Getting Americans Back to Work Act to amend a portion of the CARES Act, which resulted in some unemployed filers receiving higher wages through unemployment compensation than through their previous jobs.

The bill caps the amount an individual can receive from unemployment insurance at 100 percent of their previous wages.

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Report: DNI Grenell Wants to Unmask the Obama Officials Who Unmasked Michael Flynn

Richard Grenell, the acting director of national intelligence, visited the Justice Department last week seeking to declassify documents related to Obama administration officials’ unmasking of Michael Flynn in transcripts of phone calls he had with Russia’s ambassador, ABC News is reporting.

Grenell is asking the Justice Department to declassify a list of names of officials involved in the unmasking process, a senior intelligence official told ABC.

Unmasking refers to a process where top U.S. government officials can request information on American citizens picked up during electronic surveillance of foreigners. Flynn was unveiled as taking part in a Dec. 29, 2016 phone with Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador.

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Cherry Health, CBS News Slammed for Adding Staffers to Coronavirus Testing Line

A Michigan health system and CBS News have come under fire after Project Veritas revealed that a line for a COVID-19 testing site was staged for television cameras.

Cherry Health and CBS News denied directing staffers to form a line to appear as patients for a coronavirus testing site before later reversing their statement and saying that the staffers were in line to “provide a visual backdrop.”

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More California Churches, Sheriffs Announce Defiance of State, Local Orders

California entered phase 2 of its reopening plan Friday, but that excluded houses of worship being able to hold in-person services. Regardless, several thousand church leaders say they plan to reopen by May 31 no matter what the governor says.

California Church United, a network of 3,000 California churches, representing 2.5 million members, announced it plans to open May 31, instead of waiting until the state implements phase 3, which includes allowing modified reopening of houses of worship.

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Former Warren Aide on Commission Overseeing COVID Stimulus Is Married to Lawyer Who Defends Big Corporate Clients

One of the regulators pegged to oversee the coronavirus stimulus is married to a corporate attorney who touts her history of defending companies in civil and criminal enforcement cases before the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC), public records show.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer tapped attorney Bharat Ramamurti to sit on the Congressional Oversight Commission, a five-member panel Congress created in March to oversee the $2.2 trillion stimulus package. The commission’s statute does not explicitly require members to disclose their finances, though three of the members are obligated to provide disclosures as they are lawmakers.

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Trump Campaign Launches ‘Moms For Trump’ Coalition

President Donald Trump’s campaign launched a “Moms for Trump” coalition ahead of Mother’s Day during an online broadcast Saturday night.

The campaign’s online broadcast aired at 8 p.m., Trump campaign spokeswoman Sarah Matthews told the Daily Caller News Foundation. It featured top Trump 2020 advisers Lara Trump, Mercedes Schlapp, Katrina Pierson and national chair of Trump Victory Finance Committee Kimberly Guilfoyle.

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Commentary: America’s Rock-n-Roll Architect Little Richard Has Died

Richard Wayne Penniman, better known as “Little Richard,” died on Saturday at his Nashville home. He was 87. Millennials and such may be unaware of the man and the great American music he pioneered.

As the big-band era of the 1940s began to wane, musicians opted for smaller combos. They pounded out a rollicking sound with a heavy backbeat, honking saxophones, percussive pianos, and simple lyrics that lingered in the mind. When Chuck Berry sang “roll over Beethoven, dig these rhythm and blues,” that was the music he was talking about. By the mid-1950s, rhythm and blues had been rebranded as rock and roll, and Little Richard was the king.

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STUDY: Anxiety From Reactions to COVID-19 Will Destroy at Least Seven Times More Years of Life Than Can Be Saved by Lockdowns

One of the most important principles of epidemiology is weighing benefits and harms. A failure to do this can make virtually any medical treatment seem helpful or destructive. In the words of Ronald C. Kessler of the Harvard Medical School and healthcare economist Paul E. Greenberg, “medical interventions are appropriate only if their expected benefits clearly exceed the sum of their direct costs and their expected risks.”

Likewise, a 2020 paper about quarantines published in The Lancet states: “Separation from loved ones, the loss of freedom, uncertainty over disease status, and boredom can, on occasion, create dramatic effects. Suicide has been reported, substantial anger generated, and lawsuits brought following the imposition of quarantine in previous outbreaks. The potential benefits of mandatory mass quarantine need to be weighed carefully against the possible psychological costs.”

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Internal Chinese Report Warns Beijing to Prepare for Armed Conflict with US Over COVID-19 Backlash, Sources Say

An internal Chinese report warns Beijing officials that backlash from the coronavirus pandemic risks tilting China into a full bore armed conflict with the United States, Reuters reported Monday.

Anti-China sentiment hasn’t been this white-hot since the Tiananmen Square crackdown more than three decades ago, sources familiar with the paper told Reuters. They spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the report, which the sources say was presented to Chinese President Xi Jinping and other officials in April.

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ICE Detainees Refuse Coronavirus Tests, Rush Officers and Trash Detention Center

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainees in Massachusetts rushed officers, barricaded themselves inside the facility and caused more than $25,000 worth of damage after being told they would be transferred to a medical wing of the facility and tested for coronavirus, authorities said.

Roughly 10 inmates at an immigration detention center in Dartmouth, Massachusetts reported symptoms of COVID-19 to medical personnel, according to a press release from the Bristol County Sheriff’s Office.

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ICE Detainees Refuse Coronavirus Tests, Rush Officers and Trash Detention Center

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainees in Massachusetts rushed officers, barricaded themselves inside the facility and caused more than $25,000 worth of damage after being told they would be transferred to a medical wing of the facility and tested for coronavirus, authorities said.

Roughly 10 inmates at an immigration detention center in Dartmouth, Massachusetts reported symptoms of COVID-19 to medical personnel, according to a press release from the Bristol County Sheriff’s Office.

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Using Smartphones to Gauge Social Distancing Raises Privacy Concerns

Some governments are using smartphone tracking to make sure people are following social distancing rules in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Google announced it will use its massive collection of mobile location data to measure how closely people across the globe are following government directives to remain at home.

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Commentary: Small Businesses Urge Federal and State Governments to Reopen America ASAP

Due in large part to government edicts, religious, social, and political gatherings, have been cancelled or drastically altered to meet government requirements. Schools and colleges have closed so there will be no proms or graduations to attend this spring. Restaurant dining rooms are closed, as are community centers, fitness centers, salons, barbershops, theaters, retail stores, and malls. Theme parks, beaches, and even some public parks are closed. Air travel and the use of public transportation has declined precipitously. Traffic on the roads is eerily light, and parking lots are nearly empty.

Of the businesses that have remained open, many have reduced their operating hours. While one can reasonably expect that stay-at-home orders will reduce Chinese coronavirus cases, it remains to be seen what the human and economic toll of these orders will be; but we do know that they are devastating to small businesses and their employees.

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Commentary: Joe Biden’s China Syndrome Will Sink His Shaky Presidential Hopes

Mark Twain once famously said, “Everybody complains about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.”*

Twain said and wrote a lot of quirky/funny things in his lifetime but this particular observation is one of his most relevant and quotable because its analogical truth fits just about any situation. And the wisdom certainly works these days when thinking about the hegemonic and totalitarian nation that is communist China. American politicians have been griping and moaning about Asia’s self-possessed and secretive Middle Kingdom for a generation, but none — except for President Donald Trump — ever seriously proposed backing up the rhetoric with actual policy gravitas.

Trump’s concentration and emphasis on trade has been a refreshing departure from previous presidents of both parties who waxed poetically about “fair trade” and “helping American producers” but then went about making sure global powers like China had much leeway to dictate their own terms for sending goods across the seas while maintaining barriers to United States-made products at home. In China’s case, the country has manipulated its currency for years so as to protect Chinese industries — a gigantic corporate welfare subsidy that makes consumer goods — and everything else — appear inexpensive to the world’s buying public.

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Pro-Trump Super PAC Files FEC Complaint Alleging Bloomberg’s $18 Million DNC Donation Was Illegal

A political action committee  supporting President Donald Trump filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission saying former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s donation to the Democratic Party was illegal.

Bloomberg’s $18 million donation to the Democratic National Committee is an attempt to circumvent contribution limits and violate campaign finance laws, Great America PAC said in the March 26 complaint. The FEC is reviewing the complaint and will determine later if it will investigate.

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3.3 Million File Unemployment Claims in U.S. – a Record Number

Nearly 3.3 million Americans filed unemployment claims last week, a record number as businesses were forced to shut down to help slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The U.S. Department of Labor reported Thursday that 3.28 million claims were filed in the week that ended March 21. That marked an increase of more than 3 million claims over the week prior, when 282,000 claims were filed.

The previous high in a single week, according to the department, was in October 1982, when about 695,000 claims were filed. The nearly 3.3 million claims filed last week is nearly five times the prior record.

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Minneapolis Source Says Ilhan Omar Told Her Friends That Her Second Husband Was Her Brother

A source in Minneapolis’ Somali community said this week that Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN-05) told her friends years ago that her second husband was in fact her brother.

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Commentary: How the Ruling Class Might Elect Bloomberg and Realign American Politics

The Democratic Party’s establishment might well succeed in making Michael Bloomberg president of the United States—not on Election Night 2020, however. But it could happen if a third party were to win some electoral votes and, with no candidate receiving a majority of them, the House of Representatives was called upon to choose between the top-two electoral vote-getters.

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Trump Activists Mobbed on Ohio University Campus While Officers Watched

Two conservative activists were mobbed and harassed Monday on Ohio University’s Athens campus while multiple police officers watched.

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Commentary: The Myth of the Moderate Democrat

Our friend Deroy Murdock posted a great column about the Democrat candidates for President which we caught on NewsMax.

Mr. Murdock’s point was that while not all of those still in the race for the Democratic Party’s nomination for President may not be full-blown socialists, like Senator Bernie Sanders, the balderdash that they are even vaguely centrist is either desperately uninformed or deliberately dishonest.

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ICE Slaps Another ‘Sanctuary’ State with Subpoenas to Force Cooperation

Immigration and Customs Enforcement(ICE) served immigration subpoenas to the State of Connecticut demanding information on three criminal illegal aliens, whom local officials refused to hand over and instead released back into the community, ICE said in a statement.

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Rivals Target Bloomberg as He Rises in Democratic Presidential Race

Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s name is not on any of the ballots for the first four U.S. Democratic presidential nominating contests, and he has yet to qualify for the candidates’ next debate on Wednesday night.

But it is Bloomberg who has quickly become a key figure in the Democratic contest, rising to third in national political surveys of Democratic voters behind Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Vice President Joe Biden.

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Commentary: On Presidents Day, Remembering Why We Have a Strong Commander in Chief

On Presidents Day, we celebrate the life and accomplishments of our first president, George Washington, the father of our country, and Abraham Lincoln, our 16th president and one of our most renowned statesmen.

On that day, Feb. 17 this year, we should remember that the Framers of the Constitution wanted to ensure that an American president – such as Washington and Lincoln – would have the power to defend the country when the safety, security, and independence of its people are threatened.

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Commentary: The GOP’s Silly ‘Carbon Capture’ Dodge

House Minority leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA-23) is releasing a climate bill this week. The purpose is “to put the GOP on the map on climate” in response to polls reporting that enough young voters have finally succumbed to a lifetime of being propagandized on climate.

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