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    President Joe Biden defended teachers Wednesday, decrying Republican-led efforts in some states to ban books and bar sexually explicit or overly politically correct curriculum.  'Today, there are too many politicians trying to score political points banning books,' Biden said in the East Room as he hosted the Teachers of the Year. 'All because it doesn't fit somebody's political agenda.' He added of teachers, 'We have got to stop making them the target of the culture wars.'  In comments that quickly incensed conservatives online, Biden told the group representing the best reachers in the nation, 'They are all our children.'  'They are not somebody's else children. They're like yours when they're in the classroom,' the president said.  President Joe Biden defended teachers Wednesday, decrying Republican-led efforts in some states to ban books and bar sexually explicit or overly politically correct curriculum 
    Conservative Disney employees are slamming their coworkers for creating an 'environment of fear' and calling on the entertainment company to remain 'politically neutral' in the face of protests against Florida's Don't Say Gay bill. 'The Walt Disney Company has come to be an increasingly uncomfortable place to work for those of us whose political and religious views are not explicitly progressive,' workers said in an unsigned letter published Monday.  'We watch quietly as our beliefs come under attack from our own employer, and we frequently see those who share our opinions condemned as villains by our own leadership.' They accuse their liberal colleagues of calling them 'bigots' and criticized CEO Bob Chapek's 'evolving response' after he walked back comments saying that corporate statements do nothing but divide a company and its customers. The letter was released a day before Disney workers staged walkouts in Los Angeles over the company's slow response to Florida's 'Parental Rights in Education' bill, which would ban classroom lessons on sexuality, gender identity and sexual orientation 'in a manner that is not age appropriate.'  On Wednesday, actress Raven-Symoné, 36,...
    Facing a barrage of criminal investigations, former President Donald Trump is making attempts to undermine the credibility of prosecutors' investigations in hopes of salvaging his already-sordid reputation. Now, one history professor is pushing back against those arguments. In an op-ed published by The Guardian, Heather Cox Richardson, a Boston College history professor and the co-host of NPR's "Freak Out and Carry On" podcast, explained why Trump's arguments are not only reprehensible but also dangerous. She highlighted Trump's remarks made last week when he sounded off about the latest unfavorable legal developments. Trump suggested Democrats had crafted a smear campaign targeting him as he claimed judges' "hatred" toward him is impacting the fairness of his case; all of which are not true. The former president claims that “[T]he Radical Left Democrats don’t want [him] to run again,” and, per Richardson, "their targeting of him 'represents an unconstitutional attack on our Country… a continuation of the greatest Witch Hunt in history.' Finally, he said, 'I can’t get a fair hearing in New York because of the hatred of me...
    Americans have started factoring a state's political ideology into their decision to move as the nation grows increasingly polarized. A survey from Redfin, a real-estate brokerage firm based in Seattle, predicted more people would vote with their feet in 2022, moving to states that align with their political beliefs about abortion, civil rights, mask mandates and critical race theory.  'Now that workers have more control over where they live, more people will seek out areas where there are like minded people with laws that fit their political beliefs,' wrote Daryl Fairweather, chief economist for Redfin.  'We will also see more blue enclaves grow within red areas and vice versa, as parents select school districts that align with their preferences regarding mask mandates, critical race theory and other controversial issues.'  A Redfin survey found about 25 per cent of its Los Angeles users preferred to stay in a blue state while nearly 10 per cent have chosen to go red in the third quarter of 2021 More and more people are moving to states that have abortion laws that fit their...
    Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE) has been charged with concealing information and making false statements to the FBI. Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE) is raising money for his legal defense fund by falsely claiming that he has been charged with "fake crimes" and that federal agents are targeting him because of his politics. Fortenberry is facing a federal indictment on accepting a large campaign donation from a foreign national in violation of federal law, and for lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. "Politically motivated FBI agents can and do lie in order to manufacture fake crimes against patriots," Fortenberry's wife, Celeste, wrote a fundraising email for her husband. "I'm writing you today because this has become my family's story." The investigation stems from a $30,000 donation to Fortenberry's 2016 re-election campaign from a billionaire who is not American. Under U.S. federal law, candidates for political office are prohibited from accepting campaign contributions from foreign nationals. On Oct. 19, a federal grand jury charged Fortenberry with "concealing information and making false statements to...
    Jason Aldean's wife is speaking out once again. Brittany Aldean is not one to shy away from sharing her political opinions online, often sparking debate with those who disagree with her, but also praise from those who do. On Tuesday evening, she once again took to social media to voice her opinion – and to indicate that she's not slowing down any time soon. "My prayer as a Mama is that my babies are raised in a loving, safe place, where they have the ability to grow into the best versions of themselves," she began alongside a picture of herself, her husband, 44, and their two children: Memphis, 3, and Navy, 2.  BRITTANY ALDEAN, HER KIDS SPORT ANTI-JOE BIDEN CLOTHING ON SOCIAL MEDIA
    This content was republished with permission from WTOP’s news partners at Maryland Matters. Sign up for Maryland Matters’ free email subscription today. Roy McGrath, the former Hogan administration official who was charged by federal and state prosecutors this week, lashed out against his accusers in a Facebook post Thursday and said he is confident “the exculpatory facts will come to light and speak for themselves.” McGrath, the one-time chief of staff to Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. (R) and former director of the Maryland Environmental Service, faces more than 30 state and federal criminal charges for wire fraud, misconduct in office and improper use of state funds, according to cases filed Tuesday. More Maryland News More from Maryland Matters Prosecutors maintain that McGrath misrepresented his compensation to Hogan and the MES board of directors, recorded phone calls between top public officials without consent, and improperly directed state funding to a Talbot County museum where he sat on the board. McGrath’s attorney, Bruce L. Marcus, denied the charges in terse statements released shortly after the criminal charges were made public. But now...
    Avid supporters of Arizona's Republican-led election audit are turning against each other after the effort failed to provide solid evidence to back former President Donald Trump's claims of widespread voter fraud. In fact, according to The Daily Beast, some audit supporters are now circulating even more misinformation alleging "interference by the 'deep state.'" After the audit results were made public on Friday, September 24, Republicans were left aghast when it was confirmed that President Joe Biden actually won by a larger margin than previously thought as the audit ultimately led to a 231-vote deduction from Trump's count. During an appearance on The Daily Beast's "Fever Dreams," Arizona Mirror reporter Jerod MacDonald-Evoy spoke with podcast hosts Asawin Suebsaeng and Will Sommer. He detailed the aftermath currently unfolding in Arizona as Republican audit backers point the finger at each other. "Some people who were involved in the report say the deep state kept the real truth out," Sommer said. MacDonald-Evoy offered a quick overview of audit backers' claims about what led to the audit outcome. Those displeased with the results insist "politically...
    A Yale University study supports the idea that social networks have become a place for the proliferation of issues that generate outrage instead of being neutral spaces for conversation and debate. According to researchers from the Department of Psychology, social networks, powered by their algorithms, reward more users who share messages that generate outrage and promote that feeling of anger over time. “Social media incentives are changing the tone of our political conversations online,” says William Brady of Yale, a researcher in the Yale Department of Psychology and author of the study led with Molly Crockett Professor of Psychology. The Yale team thought that Twitter was the best option to carry out their experiment. For it, measured expressions of outrage on that social network during controversial real-life events. He also studied people’s behaviors to determine whether the algorithms fostered feelings of anger. In order for the study result to be considered as strong evidence, the researchers had to include an enormous number of tweets. As it was impossible to collect the information manually, they developed machine learning software capable...
    Expressions of outrage are effectively encouraged on platforms like Facebook and Twitter because they are rewarded with 'likes' and 'shares', a study has concluded.  Researchers from Yale University used artificial intelligence to scan the tweets of more than 7,000 individuals and see how levels or moral outrage changed with time. Their analysis revealed that the more positive responses people got for expressing outrage online, the more likely they were to post more indignant content in future. They also found politically moderate individuals to be more susceptible to the social rewards of expressing outrage — showing how they may be radicalised over time. These findings challenge the claims of social media firms that their platforms just provide a neutral venue for conversations that would otherwise happen elsewhere. Expressions of outrage are effectively encouraged on platforms like Facebook and Twitter because they are rewarded with 'likes' and 'shares', a study has concluded MORAL OUTRAGE!!!  According to the researchers, their study did not aim to determine when social media's amplification of moral outrage was a bad or good thing. On the one...
    (CNN)The partisan divide in the campaign to vaccinate Americans against the coronavirus may be about to go into hyperdrive on Thursday. That's when President Joe Biden is expected to announce that all federal employees and contractors must be vaccinated or face regular testing. Vaccine mandates are likely to be a politically divisive position and split the country along political lines in a way that vaccines overall do not. They could, however, get more people vaccinated. Take a look at a June Kaiser Family Foundation poll on the topic. The pollster specifically asked whether or not employers should require vaccinations unless they have a medical exemption. This question is slightly more strict than what Biden is implementing, though it is in the same general ballpark. Just 51% of Americans supported such a move. It was opposed by 46%. At the time, by comparison, 65% of American adults said they had received at least one Covid-19 vaccine dose in the poll. In total, 68% had either received one or were going to get one as soon as possible. This lines up closely...
    Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell went after Senate Democratic leadership for wanting former Attorneys General Bill Barr and Jeff Sessions to testify before Congress over the Trump-era Justice Department's decision to secretly go after records of Democrats and journalists.   'Late last week the Democratic leader and the Democratic whip gave in to the urge to pick at the scab of politically motivated investigations that have become their party's favorite weapon against the previous administration,' McConnell said Monday on the Senate floor.  McConnell said it 'rings completely hollow' for Democrats to be howling about the recent revelations that the DOJ tried secretly obtaining records from House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff and Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell - along with eight journalists - when 'clear abuses of power' infected the investigation into former President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign.   Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Monday he was against having former Attorneys General Bill Barr and Jeff Sessions testify before Congress over the DOJ's decision to secretly go after the records of top House Democrats and journalists Senate Majority Leader...
    Donald Trump Jr spoke out against the investigations into his family's business dealings that are costing his father a fortune. Trump Jr spoke to Fox News host Tucker Carlson on Tuesday - weeks after New York Attorney General Letitia James announced last month that her civil probe into the Trump Organization's business dealings had turned into a criminal one. 'Even if they don't get anything, they get you to spend millions of dollars and that's sort of a win in of itself. And its tens of millions of dollars,' Trump Jr said.  During the segment, Trump Jr railed against James for 'political persecution' - while revealing his father's potential defense strategy if he is indicted on criminal charges by targeting James for campaigning on promises to investigate Donald Trump.  'It's a political persecution. I know that because she literally campaigned on it. She was going to investigate the crimes,' Trump Jr said. 'The problem is it wasn't as if she was a part of this office – she had no idea – but, in New York, it's okay to try...
    By Russ Bynum | Associated Press SAVANNAH, Georgia — With coronavirus shots now in the arms of nearly half of American adults, the parts of the U.S. that are excelling and those that are struggling with vaccinations are starting to look like the nation’s political map: deeply divided between red and blue states. Out in front is New Hampshire, where 65% of the population age 18 and older has received at least one dose of the vaccine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Following close behind are New Mexico, Connecticut, Maine and Massachusetts at 55% or greater. All have a history of voting Democratic and supported President Joe Biden in the 2020 election. Meanwhile, at the bottom are five states where fewer than 40% have rolled up their sleeves for a shot. Four of them — Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana and Tennessee — lean Republican and voted for Donald Trump last fall. The fifth is Georgia, which has a Republican governor and supported GOP presidential candidates for nearly three decades before narrowly backing Biden. The emerging pattern: Americans...
    (CNN)Many millions of Americans are now vaccinated and itching to get on with something resembling their pre-pandemic lives, but new Covid strains are afflicting younger people who have had less access to vaccines and are less likely to maintain social distance. The Biden administration announced Tuesday its goal of opening vaccine eligibility to all Americans over the age of 16 by April 19. It also made clear it would not create a federal "vaccine passport" or require vaccines for travelers or businesses."The government is not now, nor will we be, supporting a system that requires Americans to carry a credential. There will be no federal vaccinations database and no federal mandate requiring everyone to obtain a single vaccination credential," White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters.The next question for many Americans is how to make sure the person nearby -- on a plane, in a restaurant, at school -- has been vaccinated against Covid.The two emerging schools of thought are:Read MoreCreate a nongovernment system by which people can prove their vaccinations to take part in some aspects of life;...
    The US Navy's training on 'extremism' says staff can advocate for Black Lives Matter (BLM) while at work but service members are not allowed to discuss 'politically partisan issues', training slides reveal.  The Navy described BLM as a 'public policy issue' in the slides and advocating for the organisation was allowed as long as the behavior is lawful.  But they stated that advocacy would be prohibited if it was 'politically partisan in nature'.  In the 'scenarios for discussion' slides, obtained by Fox News, Navy personnel were asked if they think BLM is 'political stuff' that those in command are 'not supposed to be talking about at work'.    In response, the Navy stated that BLM is a 'public policy issue' and advocating for the global organization was allowed 'as long as the behavior is otherwise lawful and the advocacy is not politically partisan in nature'.  The US Navy's training on 'extremism' says staff can advocate for Black Lives Matter (BLM) while at work but service members are not allowed to discuss 'politically partisan issues', training slides reveal. Pictured: US sailors...
    American Airlines has announced that it will no longer serve alcohol on flights to and from Washington D.C. after flight attendants 'were forced to confront passengers exhibiting politically motivated aggression towards other passengers and crew.'  The move is one of several new 'precautionary' measures taken by the airline and comes as thousands of fanatical Trump supporters descended on the Capitol, with several haggling Senator Mitt Romney on his flight to DC just moments prior.  'We are working closely with local law enforcement and airport authority partners to ensure the safety of our customers and team members on the ground and in the air,' the airline's statement said, CNN reports.  No specific incident was highlighted by the American Airlines as having been the reason for the move.  The move is one of several new 'precautionary' measures taken by the airline and comes after videos showed various flights where Trump supporters heckled Senator Mitt Romney on his flight to DC Alcohol will no longer be served on American Airline flights to and from D.C. As American Airlines made its announcement,...
    Republican South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott told Fox News’ “Watters’ World” Saturday night that the Georgia U.S. Senate runoff elections are “more consequential” politically “than anything we’ve ever seen in our lifetimes.” Republican Georgia Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler face off against Democratic challengers Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock in the Tuesday runoff that will decide which party controls the U.S. Senate. With a 50-48 majority to this point, Republicans must win one of two seats to keep their slim margin. Scott discussed the ramifications of a potential loss with guest host Dan Bongino. “This is every single thing we fought for the last four years,” Scott said. “President Trump standing in the fire himself. That is what’s up for grabs this time. We could literally lose it all if we don’t show up on Tuesday.” WATCH: “The only way we lose on Tuesday is if we don’t show up,” he continued. “President Trump has made it possible for this country to have the most inclusive economy in my lifetime. He has made it possible that we have...
    Police in Britain have become too politically correct, and woke attitudes have done little to actually help ethnic minorities in the country, the president of the National Black Police Association said. Inspector Andy George of the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) said that focussing on language and taking offence has not improved the lives of real people in the UK and that addressing issues like poverty would serve minority communities far better. The officer told The Sunday Telegraph: “I think with political correctness it was probably an attempt to do the right thing and to get things right but I think a lot of the stuff that was brought in was done without a lot of consultation with those who are probably affected most. “I think things did shift in a certain direction, potentially even too far in some stages, around being too politically correct and not being able to call a black coffee a black coffee. “It kind of takes away from the wider issues on things that are impacting on black and minority ethnic communities everyday, the...
    BEIRUT (Reuters) - Prominent Christian politician Gebran Bassil, the son-in-law of Lebanon's president, said on Sunday that U.S. sanctions against him were unjust and politically motivated and came after he refused to break ties with Hezbollah to protect Lebanon. Bassil, in a televised speech, denied U.S. accusations of corruption. "These sanctions are an injustice and I will fight them and sue for damages," he said. The United States on Friday blacklisted Bassil, the leader of Lebanon's biggest Christian political bloc, accusing him of corruption and ties to the Iranian-backed Shi'ite Hezbollah movement that Washington deems a terrorist group. (Reporting by Laila Bassam and Ghaida Ghantous; Writing by Ghaida Ghantous) Copyright 2020 Thomson Reuters. Tags: Lebanon, United States, Middle East, international trade
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