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Sanders: $3.5 Trillion Spending Bill Won’t Add to Inflation Since Its Paid for ‘Significantly by Higher Taxes’

On Wednesday’s broadcast of CNN’s “Situation Room,” Senate Budget Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders (I-VT) argued that the $3.5 trillion spending bill won’t add to inflation issues because it will be paid for “significantly by higher taxes on the wealthy and large corporations.”

Sanders said, “I am concerned about inflation, among many other things. As I think you know, this bill, this 3.5 trillion, and then there’s another 600 billion in a so-called bipartisan infrastructure bill, will pay for itself. It will be paid for in a variety of ways, but significantly by higher taxes on the wealthy and large corporations. So, that should not add to the inflation concerns.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

Originally found on Breitbart Read More




LISTEN: 911 calls from Florida condo collapse reveal confusion and chaos as building came down

We can’t see a thing. It’s all smoke here, Okay. I heard, I heard Miami Beach say something about a bridge collapse. Yeah. A bridge collapsed, building collapse. He’s asked where I’m going that way. You got to open up. I looked outside and I saw the patient Castillo area started sinking down. What started thinking the patio area, the poorer areas in poorer areas of the sinking down building just went to the sink hole. So there will be many, many people there.

LISTEN: 911 calls from Florida condo collapse reveal confusion and chaos as building came down

Recordings of 911 calls after an oceanfront Florida condominium building collapsed in the middle of the night show disbelief, panic and confusion as people tried to comprehend the disaster.”Oh my God! The whole building collapsed!” one caller said to a dispatcher at the Miami-Dade Police Department, which released the recordings Wednesday from the June 24 collapse of Champlain Towers South. The names of the callers were not released.”We’ve gotta get out. Hurry up, hurry up. There’s a big explosion,” a second caller said. “There’s a lot of smoke. I can’t see anything. We gotta go. I can’t see nothing but smoke.”At least 97 people died in the collapse, and a handful of others are still missing. A cause has not yet been pinpointed, although there were several previous warnings of major structural damage at the 40-year-old building in Surfside.One 911 caller, a woman, said she saw what appeared to be a large depression near the swimming pool, which had concrete problems that investigators are looking into as they try to identify a cause.”I woke up because I was hearing some noise. I couldn’t understand what was happening. I looked outside and I saw the patio area sinking down. The pool area started sinking down,” the caller said. “There are many parts of the building that went down. The building just went into a sinkhole. There will be many, many people dead.”Yet another female caller said she was stuck near the building parking garage and needed help. Part of the condo remained standing after the collapse but was taken down later by a demolition crew.”Can somebody help me get out, please? If the building comes down, it will come down on my head,” the caller said.Release of the calls Wednesday came as a judge approved the sale of the oceanfront property, with proceeds intended to benefit victims of the deadly disaster. At a hearing, Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Michael Hanzman ordered that the process begin to sell the site of Champlain Towers South, which could fetch $100 million to $110 million according to court records.The court-appointed receiver handling finances related to the condo, attorney Michael Goldberg, said the judge wants the sale to move quickly.”He wants us to start exploring a potential sale,” Goldberg said of the judge in an email. “He did say he wants the land to be sold and the proceeds to go directly to the victims as soon as possible.”Goldberg said the decision did not necessarily preclude a buyer from turning at least a portion of the site into a memorial, as some people have advocated. Other survivors want the structure rebuilt so they can move back in.Hanzman’s ruling came as part of a series of lawsuits filed in the wake of collapse. The judge put the lawsuits on a fast track and authorized Goldberg to begin disbursing Champlain Towers insurance money to the victims and families.The judge also approved returning $2.4 million in deposits that some Champlain condo owners had already made toward an assessment to pay for $15 million in planned major repairs.In nearby Miami Beach, residents of an 82-year-old, two-story apartment building were ordered to evacuate because of concrete deterioration. The city ordered the evacuation of Devon Apartments on Monday and is giving residents until next Monday to leave the building, city spokeswoman Melissa Berthier said in an email Wednesday.The apartment building is about 2 miles from Champlain Towers South. After the collapse, Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava ordered an audit of all buildings over 40 years old. A condominium in nearby North Miami Beach also was ordered evacuated over safety concerns shortly after that audit started.The collapse left officials around the county grappling with concerns about older residential buildings. Manny J. Vadillo, an attorney who represents the owners of the Devon Apartments, told WTVJ that they have worked “diligently” with the city since deciding in May to demolish the building by December. He said they have started to “vacate the building in an orderly fashion,” adding that 14 people remained inside. He said the owners are helping residents move.”My clients are extremely sensitive to safety and, in fact, visited the property several times since last week to speak with tenants when communications started with the city to ensure tenants were not caught by surprise,” Vadillo said. “Some tenants have been there many years.”Resident Esmart Romero told WSVN that he was not surprised the city deemed the building unsafe.”If you look at the condition of this apartment, it’s not good,” Romero said. “You get what you pay for.”___Anderson reported from St. Petersburg and Frisaro from Fort Lauderdale. Associated Press writers Bobby Caina Calvan in Orlando, David Fischer and Kelli Kennedy in Miami, and R.J. Rico in Atlanta contributed to this report.

Recordings of 911 calls after an oceanfront Florida condominium building collapsed in the middle of the night show disbelief, panic and confusion as people tried to comprehend the disaster.

“Oh my God! The whole building collapsed!” one caller said to a dispatcher at the Miami-Dade Police Department, which released the recordings Wednesday from the June 24 collapse of Champlain Towers South. The names of the callers were not released.

“We’ve gotta get out. Hurry up, hurry up. There’s a big explosion,” a second caller said. “There’s a lot of smoke. I can’t see anything. We gotta go. I can’t see nothing but smoke.”

At least 97 people died in the collapse, and a handful of others are still missing. A cause has not yet been pinpointed, although there were several previous warnings of major structural damage at the 40-year-old building in Surfside.

One 911 caller, a woman, said she saw what appeared to be a large depression near the swimming pool, which had concrete problems that investigators are looking into as they try to identify a cause.

“I woke up because I was hearing some noise. I couldn’t understand what was happening. I looked outside and I saw the patio area sinking down. The pool area started sinking down,” the caller said. “There are many parts of the building that went down. The building just went into a sinkhole. There will be many, many people dead.”

Yet another female caller said she was stuck near the building parking garage and needed help. Part of the condo remained standing after the collapse but was taken down later by a demolition crew.

“Can somebody help me get out, please? If the building comes down, it will come down on my head,” the caller said.

Release of the calls Wednesday came as a judge approved the sale of the oceanfront property, with proceeds intended to benefit victims of the deadly disaster.

At a hearing, Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Michael Hanzman ordered that the process begin to sell the site of Champlain Towers South, which could fetch $100 million to $110 million according to court records.

The court-appointed receiver handling finances related to the condo, attorney Michael Goldberg, said the judge wants the sale to move quickly.

“He wants us to start exploring a potential sale,” Goldberg said of the judge in an email. “He did say he wants the land to be sold and the proceeds to go directly to the victims as soon as possible.”

Goldberg said the decision did not necessarily preclude a buyer from turning at least a portion of the site into a memorial, as some people have advocated. Other survivors want the structure rebuilt so they can move back in.

Hanzman’s ruling came as part of a series of lawsuits filed in the wake of collapse. The judge put the lawsuits on a fast track and authorized Goldberg to begin disbursing Champlain Towers insurance money to the victims and families.

The judge also approved returning $2.4 million in deposits that some Champlain condo owners had already made toward an assessment to pay for $15 million in planned major repairs.

In nearby Miami Beach, residents of an 82-year-old, two-story apartment building were ordered to evacuate because of concrete deterioration. The city ordered the evacuation of Devon Apartments on Monday and is giving residents until next Monday to leave the building, city spokeswoman Melissa Berthier said in an email Wednesday.

The apartment building is about 2 miles from Champlain Towers South.

After the collapse, Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava ordered an audit of all buildings over 40 years old. A condominium in nearby North Miami Beach also was ordered evacuated over safety concerns shortly after that audit started.

The collapse left officials around the county grappling with concerns about older residential buildings.

Manny J. Vadillo, an attorney who represents the owners of the Devon Apartments, told WTVJ that they have worked “diligently” with the city since deciding in May to demolish the building by December.

He said they have started to “vacate the building in an orderly fashion,” adding that 14 people remained inside. He said the owners are helping residents move.

“My clients are extremely sensitive to safety and, in fact, visited the property several times since last week to speak with tenants when communications started with the city to ensure tenants were not caught by surprise,” Vadillo said. “Some tenants have been there many years.”

Resident Esmart Romero told WSVN that he was not surprised the city deemed the building unsafe.

“If you look at the condition of this apartment, it’s not good,” Romero said. “You get what you pay for.”

___

Anderson reported from St. Petersburg and Frisaro from Fort Lauderdale. Associated Press writers Bobby Caina Calvan in Orlando, David Fischer and Kelli Kennedy in Miami, and R.J. Rico in Atlanta contributed to this report.

Originally found on Read More




VP Kamala Harris Praises “Courageous Stand” Of Texas Democratic Lawmakers

Vice President Kamala Harris, who is leading the administration’s efforts on voting rights, praised the Texas legislators during a meeting with them in Washington.

Q Madam Vice President, do have any comment on your conversation with the Texas legislatures — legislators from yesterday? And do you know if the President plans to meet with them at all?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: We’ve had an extensive meeting — I had an extensive meeting yesterday with, I think, some of the most courageous elected leaders that we could note at this moment.

I said it yesterday, and I’ll say it again: They took bold, courageous action, in line with the legacy of everyone from Frederick Douglass — who is over my right shoulder — when he fought for the right of Black men to vote in America; to the legacy that includes all of those women who marched down Pennsylvania Avenue for women’s right to vote; to all of those folks who shed their blood on the Edmund Pettus Bridge to make sure that we would, in 1965, pass the Voting Rights Act.

And now we have, in 2021, the Texas legislature — many of them traveling to Washington, D.C., at great sacrifice, both personally and political, to stand up for Americans’ right to vote unencumbered.

Originally found on Real Clear Politics Read More




Viewership For MLB All-Star Game Barely Increases From Record Low 2019

The MLB’s ratings have lagged in recent years.

Originally found on Forbes Read More




Lea Seydoux Will Be Skipping Cannes Film Festival After Testing Positive For COVID-19

It’s official – Lea Seydoux will not be making an appearance at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival this year.

The 36-year-old actress has four films debuting at the prestigious film festival – The French Dispatch, France, Tromperie, and The Story of My Wife – and will miss many events due to testing positive for COVID-19.

Click inside to read Lea’s statement…

In a statement to Variety, Lea shared her regrets about missing the festival.

“Sadly, I have to self-quarantine in Paris and won’t be able to attend the Cannes Film Festival this year,” Lea shared. “I wish I could celebrate the return of cinema to my favorite festival, but it is in everyone’s best interest to err on the side of caution and do my part to keep everyone safe and healthy.”

She added, “I applaud all four of my directors and the cast ensembles for their remarkable achievements. From a distance and in thoughts, I am with you with all my heart.”

Lea had tested positive for COVID-19 despite being fully vaccinated and asymptomatic.

See her all her red carpet looks from the 2019 festival below:

Originally found on Just Jared Read More




Senate Democrats Echo Biden’s Claim of ‘Attack on Voting Rights,’ While Republicans Defend State Reforms

Senate Democrats condemned recent state election reform laws as a “Tsunami of voter suppression” and a declaration of “open season on voting rights” during a tense subcommittee hearing Wednesday on proposals to federalize election law and regulation.

Officially, the hearing of the Constitution Subcommittee of the Senate Judiciary Committee was focused on two recent Supreme Court decisions that Democrats argue gutted two key sections of the 1965 Voting Rights Act (VRA).

The Shelby County, Alabama v. Holder, Attorney General case in 2013 was a 5-4 decision that limited Section Five of the VRA, which empowered unelected Department of Justice (DOJ) officials to pre-clear or deny proposed changes in election laws of specific Southern states to ensure they aren’t discriminatory.

In Brnovich, Attorney General of Arizona v. Democratic National Committee, a 6-3 decision announced July 1, the High Court upheld states’ authority to ban election practices like “ballot harvesting” where political activists go to voters’ residences to pick up their ballots and take them to counting stations. Democrats argue the decision emasculated the VRA’s Section 2 that gives private citizens standing to bring voting rights litigation.

But virtually all of the discussion centered on allegations of recent voter suppression and the adequacy of the Democrats’ two main voting rights legislative proposals, versus Republican claims that recent election reforms in Arizona, Georgia and other states enjoyed widespread public support regardless of ethnicity.

The (S1/HR1) “For the People Act” effectively federalizes elections that are now state responsibilities, while the (HR4) “John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act” is viewed by congressional Democrats as a substitute for S1/HR1 if the latter is rejected by Congress.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), the subcommittee’s chairman, condemned Republican opposition to bringing to the Senate floor the Democrats’ proposed S1/HR1 “For the People Act.”

If the GOP opposition continues, Blumenthal warned, Senate Democrats “will be forced to consider all of our options, including eliminating the filibuster.” He was referring to changing Senate rules from requiring 60 votes to end a filibuster to a simple majority.

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), a former chairman of the judiciary panel, told the hearing that the Supreme Court’s Brnovich decision amounted to a “declaration of open season on voting rights.”

The subcommittee Democrats were echoing comments Tuesday by President Joe Biden who said during a speech at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia that, “there is an unfolding assault taking place in America today, an attempt to suppress and subvert the right to vote in fair and free elections, an assault on democracy, an assault on liberty, an assault on who we are, who we are as Americans.”

The yawning gulf between Democrats and Republicans on voting rights issues was evident in an exchange between Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) and a hearing witness, Judicial Watch Senior Attorney T. Russell Nobile.

Cornyn, who was Texas Attorney General prior to first being elected to the Senate in 2002, pointed out that “in Texas, we have 17 days of early, in-person voting. In Connecticut, [Blumenthal’s state], they have zero days of early, in-person voting.”

Cornyn asked Nobile if those facts show Connecticut officials are suppressing minority voters.

In response, Nobile said that if Congress updated the VRA’s formula for determining which states should be subject to pre-clearance by DOJ, “New England would be Patient Zero, Massachusetts, Connecticut, all of them. The data shows racial disparities in voter registration is worse there than almost anywhere else in the country.”

The Cornyn-Nobile exchange contrasted sharply with testimony from Janai Nelson, the Associate Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, who claimed voter suppression “metastasized alarmingly” after the Shelby County decision.

In another telling exchange, Blumenthal asked Jose Garza, a San Antonio-based lawyer who represents minority voters challenging what they view as discriminatory Texas election regulations, about reforms now being considered by the Lone Star State’s legislature.

“To begin with, the stated purpose of enacting these provisions is to avoid voter fraud, but there’s been no evidence associated with that,” Garza responded. He added that historically “voting has been considered a privilege, not a right, in Texas.”

But another witness, former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, pointed out that there have been 500 voter fraud prosecutions in Texas in connection with the 2020 and 2018 elections.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), the Ranking Minority Member of the panel, asked Cuccinelli how there could be so many voter fraud cases when “Democrats tell us it never occurs under any circumstance anywhere in the universe.”

Cuccinelli responded that “well of course it has happened and it goes both ways. In 2019, we re-ran a congressional race because of Republican operatives committing fraud in that race in North Carolina.” He was referring to the Ninth Congressional District race that was re-run in September 2019.

During his prepared testimony, Cuccinelli said public discussion of election reforms is greatly hindered by the “hyperbolic and libelous rhetoric that each and every rule and procedure is not only an onerous restriction but is allegedly knee-jerkingly racist, because in America today it is easier to vote than ever before.”

Congressional correspondent Mark Tapscott may be contacted at Mark.Tapscott@epochtimes.nyc

Originally found on Epoch Times Read More




Minnesota Gov. Walz to ban gay conversion therapy, bypassing legislature: report

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz will sign an executive order Thursday bypassing the state legislature and banning the controversial practice of “gay conversion therapy.”

Walz, a Democrat, is expected to sign the order alongside Lt. Governor Peggy Flanagan on Thursday morning in defiance of the Republican-held state senate, which doesn’t support the move, according to local media.

VATICAN: CATHOLIC PRIESTS, MINISTERS CAN’T BLESS SAME-SEX UNIONS

Gay conversion therapy, which is typically intended to change the sexual orientation of homosexual individuals to heterosexual through intense therapy, has been banned for use with minors in at least 20 states.

The gay conversion therapy debate has been raging in Minnesota for over 14 years, and LGBT advocacy groups have long maintained that the practice is abusive, especially when minors are involved.

GORSUCH SLAMS MINNESOTA COUNTY FOR VIOLATING RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF AMISH OVER SEPTIC SYSTEM DISPUTE

“There’s insufficient evidence to support the use of conversion therapy, and not only that, but that it leads to harmful effects in many cases, and those harmful effects are depression, anxiety, engagement in high-risk behavior, suicidal thoughts, feelings, and attempts, increased self-hatred, negative perceptions about same-sex attractions,” says Dr. Margaret Charmoli, a former president of the Minnesota Psychological Association. “So, there’s just a lot of bad things that come out it.”

Many Republicans across the country, including in Minnesota, have objected to the ban, arguing that it encroaches on religious freedom.

Walz has been a vocal critic of the controversial practice over the last few months and promised last spring that it would come to an end in Minnesota at some point.

“The idea that this absolutely discredited, Byzantine, torturous way of telling our children they are not who they are has got to end and will end,” Walz said last year.

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Gov. Walz’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Fox News.

Originally found on Fox News Read More




How Have School Boards Been Covered On Television News?

How much attention have school boards received on television news? The timeline below traces the total monthly mentions of “school board” across CNN, MSNBC and Fox News over the past decade. School boards have received little attention over the past decade, with a spike in 2020 regarding Covid-19 measures like virtual school and a sharp vertical surge on Fox News since December 2020, rising sharply since Biden’s inauguration and continuing through 2021 to present.

Fox News has mentioned school boards more than CNN and MSNBC combined over the past decade.

Personality-driven shows dominate mentions of school boards, showing that much of the coverage is analysis and discussion.

Originally found on Real Clear Politics Read More




Buccaneers, Chris Godwin not expected to reach deal ahead of franchise tag extension deadline, per report

Cliff Welch/Getty Images

Several big names are preparing to play the 2021 NFL season on the franchise tag, with Allen Robinson and Brandon Scherff among Pro Bowlers reportedly unlikely to strike long-term agreements with their respective teams ahead of Thursday’s deadline for extending tagged players. It appears like we may be able to add one more name to that growing list as Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network reports that the Buccaneers and Chris Godwin are not expected to reach a long-term deal prior to the deadline. Rapoport adds that Tampa Bay will work to keep him long-term this coming offseason.

By signing his tag, the 25-year-old Godwin ensured he’ll earn just under $16 million guaranteed playing for Tampa Bay in 2021. While an extension may not be reached prior to the deadline, Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times has previously reported that there have been ongoing discussions between the two sides and could very well reach a deal before the start of the new league year in 2022.

Godwin will enjoy a significant pay raise at any rate, having earned just $2.3 million during the team’s 2020 Super Bowl run. One possible reason for the holdup to a potential long-term deal is Tampa Bay’s current salary cap situation. The Bucs have an estimated $488,886 in current space, which ranks dead last in the NFL.

“If the Bucs and Godwin don’t strike a long-term deal by Thursday,” Stroud notes, “they have until the start of the next league year next March to do so.” Both sides have publicly expressed interest in staying together, with Godwin telling reporters in March that he “loves it here in Tampa” and would be more than willing to play out the 2021 season with or without a long-term agreement.

The Bucs proved early this offseason they can be creative when it comes to retaining key players. In addition to tagging Godwin, they successfully re-signed almost every notable free agent from their Super Bowl-winning lineup, from running back Leonard Fournette and wide receiver Antonio Brown to tight end Rob Gronkowski and linebacker Lavonte David. They also extended star pass rusher Shaquil Barrett on a four-year deal worth $72 million ahead of free agency. Speaking of Barrett, he could be a blueprint for how Godwin’s situation may play out. He was tagged for the 2020 season and later inked an extension. So long as Godwin plays to the level in which we’ve seen throughout his career, he could be going down a very similar path.

Originally found on Read More




Air Arabia Adds To Glut Of Global Airline Launches With New National Carrier For Armenia

More than 40 new airlines were launched around the world between January 2020 and June 2021 and at least 36 more are planned

Originally found on Forbes Read More