New York judge approves congressional map, throwing Democrats into disarray

May 21 (Reuters) – A New York judge approved a new congressional map that pits two veteran Democratic incumbents against one another and boosts Republican odds of capturing more seats in November’s midterm elections, further endangering Democrats’ fragile U.S. House majority.

Justice Patrick McAllister, a judge in rural Steuben County, signed off on the map just before midnight on Friday, weeks after New York’s top court ruled that the redistricting plan passed by the Democratic-controlled legislature was unconstitutionally manipulated to benefit the party.

The Democratic map would likely have given the party control of 22 of the state’s 26 congressional seats this fall, serving to counterbalance similarly partisan maps passed in Republican-dominated states such as Florida, Georgia and Texas.

Republicans need to flip only five seats in November to win a majority in the House, which would enable them to block much of President Joe Biden’s agenda.

The court-appointed special master who drew the new map, Jonathan Cervas, said in a court filing that his plan creates eight competitive districts, along with 15 Democratic-leaning seats and three Republican-leaning seats.

The map merged the Manhattan districts of Jerrold Nadler and Carolyn Maloney, who have each served in the House for 30 years and now appear headed for what will be an expensive and high-profile August primary battle.

In Westchester County, north of New York, the homes of two Black Democratic first-term congressmen, Mondaire Jones and Jamaal Bowman, were drawn into the same district.

Meanwhile, Sean Patrick Maloney, the chair of the Democratic Party’s national congressional campaign arm, said this week he would run in a new district that included most of Jones’ current seat, angering many of Jones’ allies who said he would be forced into running against either Maloney or Bowman.

But Jones said early on Saturday he would instead run in the new 10th district that includes parts of Brooklyn and Manhattan. Bill de Blasio, the former New York City mayor, has already announced his intention to run for the district, which is expected to draw a crowded field of candidates. read more

The new map represents a bitterly disappointing outcome for Democrats, who used their legislative majorities to push through an aggressive gerrymander. But after Republicans sued, the courts ruled that the Democratic map ran afoul of a 2014 constitutional amendment aimed at removing partisanship from redistricting.

Cervas said he had reviewed thousands of comments since the release of a draft version on Monday and made some changes, including reuniting several Black communities and Asian American communities in New York City that he had originally split.

Source: Reuters

Kansas’ new Republican-drawn congressional map is legal, court rules

May 18 (Reuters) – Kansas’ new Republican-backed congressional map does not violate the state constitution, the state’s top court ruled on Wednesday, a decision that could endanger the state’s only Democratic U.S. representative in November’s midterm elections.

The state Supreme Court order reversed a lower court ruling that had found the map intentionally and illegally diluted the voting power of Democratic and minority voters.

The map splits Wyandotte County, the home of Kansas City, into two districts, making Democratic U.S. Representative Sharice Davids’ seat more Republican. The state’s other three districts are seen as solidly Republican. Several civil rights and Democratic-aligned groups filed lawsuits challenging the map in February.

Davids was the first Democrat to win a congressional seat in Kansas in a decade when she won in 2018; she is one of two Native American women to have ever been elected to Congress.

“From rushed hearings to backroom deals for votes, the redistricting process did not instill a sense of transparency or confidence,” Davids said in response to the decision.

“I look forward to introducing myself to the new voters in the Third District, continuing my work to find common ground and tackle the everyday issues facing our community, and showing all Kansans that to me, their voice matters,” she added.

Republican state Attorney General Derek Schmidt, whose office defended the map, said the decision showed the map was “constitutionally sound.”

Republicans need to flip only five Democratic U.S. House seats in November to take over the chamber, allowing them to stymie much of President Joe Biden’s agenda.

Under U.S. law, congressional districts are redrawn every 10 years to account for population changes. In most states, the legislature controls the process, which can allow lawmakers to manipulate the lines to benefit one party over another, a practice known as gerrymandering.

Five of the state’s justices were appointed by a Democrat, two by a Republican.

Source: Reuters

Dr. Oz Tells CBN News the USA Founded as a Judeo-Christian Country, Weighs in on 2020 Election, Puberty Blockers, and More

CBN News Chief Political Analyst David Brody spoke with Dr. Mehmet Oz about his bid for Pennsylvania’s Senate seat as the state’s voters choose the Republican and Democrat candidates in primary voting.

President Trump has endorsed Dr. Oz and that has given him a boost in his attempt to win the GOP Pennsylvania primary.

We all know Dr. Oz the TV personality, offering medical tips and lifestyle ideas. But who is Dr. Oz as a person, and where does he stand on hot button issues?

Dr. Oz on Religion

In a wide-ranging interview, the candidate opened up about his Muslim beliefs saying he’s married to a Christian and has Christian kids. “I’m a secular Muslim. I don’t want any of these religious fanatics playing a role in American society,” he explained.

He further clarified, “We don’t want Sharia Law in America.” Sharia law is a harsh brand of Islamic law that overrides any secular laws in countries and regions where Muslims practice it.

When Brody asked whether he believes America was founded on Judeo-Christian principles, he answered bluntly, “Yes, of course, it is. That’s demonstrably true.”

Click here to read more.
Source: CBN

There’s a Devil Loose and There Is Ignorance Loose: US Congresswoman Introduces Resolution to Label Israel’s Founding a ‘Catastrophe’ – She Ought to Be Kicked Out of Congress for Suggesting This Foolishness

JERUSALEM, Israel – Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) on Monday introduced a new House resolution to recognize the “Nakba,” the Arabic term for “catastrophe” that Palestinians use to describe the mass displacement of Arabs during the establishment of the modern State of Israel in 1948.

Tlaib, who is a Palestinian-American, submitted the resolution to coincide with “Nakba Day”, when Palestinians commemorate the event.

The resolution claims that Palestinians were “expelled or fled” from their homes by Israelis before and during Israel’s war for independence in 1948. The war, which Israel won, began when five Arab nations attacked the Jewish nation after it declared independence in territory that was formerly controlled by the British.

The resolution states that by the end of the war, “Israel had depopulated more than 400 Palestinian villages and cities, often demolishing all structures, planting forests over them, or repopulating them with Jewish Israelis.”

Israel contends that had the Arabs not rejected the 1947 UN partition plan for the creation of a Palestinian state and Jewish state, there would have been no war for independence and 750,000 resulting Palestinian refugees. Israel also argues that 800,000 Jews indigenous to the Middle East and North Africa were expelled from Arab countries during the creation of modern Israel.

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Source: CBN

Recount Expected in Pennsylvania Senate Race as Trump-backed Dr. Oz and McCormick Neck and Neck

The results of Pennsylvania’s Republican primary race for an open U.S. Senate seat are too close to call. When polls closed on Tuesday, Dr. Mehmet Oz, the celebrity heart surgeon endorsed by former President Donald Trump, was neck and neck with former hedge fund manager David McCormick.

“So, we’re not going to have a result tonight. When all the votes are tallied, I am confident we will win,” Oz told supporters.

McCormick also sounded confident after the election. “We can see victory ahead, and it’s all because of you,” said McCormick.

The winner will face off against John Fetterman. The state’s lieutenant governor won the Democratic nomination for Senate, despite undergoing an urgent heart procedure following a stroke last week.

The Pennsylvania primary has been closely watched around the country. The Republican field was a very tight three-person race between Oz, McCormick, and media commentator Kathy Barnette.

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Source: CBN

“Christian” Brother Madison Cawthorn, Who Attended the Very Conservative Christian Patrick Henry College, Loses Re-election Bid Largely Due to Homosexual Acts and Dressing Up in Drag Among Other Foolishness; Surprising Trump Support Was Not Enough to Push Young Congressman to Victory After Scandal-plagued Campaign as State Senator Chuck Edwards Wins Primary Race

Rep. Madison Cawthorn lost his first re-election bid on Tuesday after serving in Congress for less than two years and racking up a litany of scandals that turned longtime members of his own party against him.

It’s a big upset for former President Donald Trump, who reasserted his support for Cawthorn in the early hours of Monday morning and implored voters to give him a ‘second chance.’

The young lawmaker conceded the Republican primary election for North Carolina’s 11th Congressional district to state Senator Chuck Edwards after a painstakingly close race.

‘I received a call from Congressman Cawthorn just a few of minutes ago. Just as I expected, he presented himself in a very classy and humble way and offered his support to our campaign in absolutely anyway that we can use him,’ Edwards told reporters according to CNN.

Edwards had been backed by Senator Thom Tillis, a fellow member of North Carolina’s Congressional delegation who has become one of Cawthorn’s most vocal critics.

Edwards released a statement on Tuesday night declaring his victory to be ‘incredible.’

‘Against all odds, we fought hard to win this election and provide clear conservative leadership for the mountains. I am so grateful for the support I received and am forever indebted to the hardworking people of this district who made this victory possible,’ Edwards said.

Cawthorn whittled the local lawmaker’s lead down to single digits after initially falling behind Edwards by more than 10 points However he ultimately failed to catch up.

The 26-year-old Republican’s re-election bid was widely seen as one of the most critical tests of Trump’s endorsement strength. Supporters of Cawthorn and the former president hoped Trump’s backing could push him over the line despite a litany of recent public relations crises.

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Source: Daily Mail

Former Trump Aide Posts Searchable Online Database Containing Huge Trove of More Than 120,000 Emails From Hunter Biden’s Abandoned Laptop and Calls Them ‘a Modern Day Rosetta Stone of White and Blue Collar Crime’

More than 120,000 emails found on Hunter Biden’s discarded laptop have been posted online by a former Trump White House staffer.

Garrett Ziegler, a former aide to Peter Navarro in Donald Trump’s Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy, uploaded 128,775 emails to a searchable database this week through his organization Marco Polo.

The site, BidenLaptopEmails.com, also allows users to download all the emails for Mac or Windows computers.

Among the thousands of emails in the publicly posted database is the infamous ’10 for the big guy’ message, in which Hunter’s business partner James Gilliar appeared to suggest Hunter should hold 10% of the equity in their multi-million-dollar deal with the Chinese on behalf of his father, President Joe Biden.

Another email in the database, previously published by DailyMail.com, shows Hunter describing an extraordinary apparent quid pro quo with a Mexican billionaire’s son, outlining how he got him into the White House and inauguration, and thanking him for visits to his villa.

Some messages did not appear to be included in the database. One email published by DailyMail.com shows Hunter inviting his foreign business partners and associates to a 2015 dinner at Washington DC restaurant Café Milano.

In the email he reveals that his father will secretly be joining – and says that the dinner is ‘ostensibly to discuss food security’. The White House at first denied the then-vice president was there, but eventually admitted it when photographs emerged from the event.

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Source: Daily Mail

2 Important Democrats Suffer Strokes

With control of the U.S. Senate hanging in the balance in the midterm congressional elections this year, two important Democrats in that political fight were sidelined by strokes this weekend.

Maryland Democrat Sen. Chris Van Hollen announced Sunday that he suffered a minor stroke and had been hospitalized.

Van Hollen, 63, said doctors at George Washington University Hospital, where he is being treated, told him there are no long-term effects or damage and he expects to be back at work later this week.

In a statement Sunday night, Van Hollen said he has been advised by doctors to remain under observation at the hospital for a few days out of an abundance of caution.

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Source: CBN

Florida Secretary of State Laurel M. Lee to Resign

FILE - Florida secretary of state Laurel Lee speaks at pre-legislative news conference on Tuesday Oct. 29, 2019, in Tallahassee, Fla. Lee is resigning her post as the state’s top election official. Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis' office made the announcement Thursday, May 12, 2022. (AP Photo/Steve Cannon, File)
FILE – Florida secretary of state Laurel Lee speaks at pre-legislative news conference on Tuesday Oct. 29, 2019, in Tallahassee, Fla. Lee is resigning her post as the state’s top election official. Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis’ office made the announcement Thursday, May 12, 2022. (AP Photo/Steve Cannon, File)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida Secretary of State Laurel M. Lee is resigning her post as the state’s top election official, Gov. Ron DeSantis’ office said Thursday.

In a resignation letter, Lee, a Republican, said she would step down Monday and thanked the governor, who appointed her in 2019. Her letter did not specify a reason for leaving but news outlets have reported that she is considering a run for Congress.

“I am grateful for your support throughout my tenure, and I am honored to have been part of your vision for our state,” she wrote in her resignation letter to DeSantis. “I will continue to seek what’s best for the citizens of Florida and will always be proud of what we accomplished together.”

DeSantis’ office said it would soon have an announcement on Lee’s replacement.

“Over the past 20 years, Florida has become one of the best states in the nation at administering elections, and Secretary Lee built on that tradition,” said DeSantis spokeswoman Taryn Fenske. “As Secretary of State, she helped ensure Florida had an efficient election in 2020, with accurate results.”

Prior to becoming secretary of state, Lee was a judge in Hillsborough County, a former federal prosecutor and federal public defender. DeSantis appointed Lee in early 2019. Her predecessor, Michael Ertel, abruptly stepped down after a newspaper obtained photos of him in blackface at a party in 2005. Ertel later apologized.

Source: Associated Press

Jan. 6 Panel Subpoenas Kevin McCarthy and 4 Other Republican Lawmakers

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., heads to his office surrounded by reporters after House investigators issued a subpoena to McCarthy and four other GOP lawmakers as part of their probe into the violent Jan. 6 insurrection, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, May 12, 2022. The House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack has been investigating McCarthy's conversations with then-President Donald Trump the day of the attack and meetings that the four other lawmakers had with the White House as Trump and his aides conspired how to overturn his defeat. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., heads to his office surrounded by reporters after House investigators issued a subpoena to McCarthy and four other GOP lawmakers as part of their probe into the violent Jan. 6 insurrection, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, May 12, 2022. The House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack has been investigating McCarthy’s conversations with then-President Donald Trump the day of the attack and meetings that the four other lawmakers had with the White House as Trump and his aides conspired how to overturn his defeat. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

WASHINGTON (AP) — A House panel issued subpoenas Thursday to House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy and four other GOP lawmakers in its probe into the violent Jan. 6 insurrection, an extraordinary step that has little precedent and is certain to further inflame partisan tensions over the 2021 attack.

The panel is investigating McCarthy’s conversations with then-President Donald Trump the day of the attack and meetings the four other lawmakers had with the White House beforehand as Trump and his aides worked to overturn his 2020 election defeat. The former president’s supporters violently pushed past police that day, broke through windows and doors of the Capitol and interrupted the certification of President Joe Biden’s victory.

The decision to issue subpoenas to McCarthy, R-Calif., and Reps. Jim Jordan of Ohio, Scott Perry of Pennsylvania, Andy Biggs of Arizona and Mo Brooks of Alabama is a dramatic show of force by the panel, which has already interviewed nearly 1,000 witnesses and collected more than 100,000 documents as it investigates the worst attack on the Capitol in two centuries.

The move is not without risk, as Republicans are favored to capture back the House majority in this fall’s midterm elections and have promised retribution for Democrats if they take control.

After the announcement, McCarthy, who aspires to be House speaker, told reporters “I have not seen a subpoena” and said his view on the Jan. 6 committee has not changed since the nine-lawmaker panel asked for his voluntary cooperation earlier this year.

“They’re not conducting a legitimate investigation,” McCarthy said. “Seems as though they just want to go after their political opponents.”

Similarly, Perry told reporters the investigation is a “charade” and said the subpoena is “all about headlines.”

Neither man said whether he would comply.

The panel, made up of seven Democrats and two Republicans, had previously asked for voluntary cooperation from the five lawmakers, along with a handful of other GOP members, but all of them refused to speak with the panel, which debated for months whether to issue the subpoenas.

“Before we hold our hearings next month, we wished to provide members the opportunity to discuss these matters with the committee voluntarily,” said Mississippi Rep. Bennie Thompson, the Democratic chairman of the panel. “Regrettably, the individuals receiving subpoenas today have refused and we’re forced to take this step to help ensure the committee uncovers facts concerning January 6th.”

Rep. Liz Cheney, the panel’s Republican vice chair, said the step wasn’t taken lightly. The unwillingness of the lawmakers to provide relevant information about the attack, she said, is “a very serious and grave situation.”

Congressional subpoenas for sitting members of Congress, especially for a party leader, have little precedent in recent decades, and it is unclear what the consequences would be if any or all of the five men decline to comply. The House has voted to hold two other noncompliant witnesses, former Trump aides Steve Bannon and Mark Meadows, in contempt, referring their cases to the Justice Department.

In announcing the subpoenas, the Jan. 6 panel said there is historical precedent for the move and noted that the House Ethics Committee has “issued a number of subpoenas to Members of Congress for testimony or documents,” though such actions are generally done secretly.

“We recognize this is fairly unprecedented,” said Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger, the other GOP member of the panel, after the committee announced the subpoenas. “But the Jan. 6 attack was very unprecedented.”

Kinzinger said it is “important for us to get every piece of information we possibly can.”

McCarthy has acknowledged he spoke with Trump on Jan. 6 as Trump’s supporters were beating police outside the Capitol and forcing their way into the building. But he has not shared many details. The committee requested information about his conversations with Trump “before, during and after” the riot.

McCarthy took to the House floor after the rioters were cleared and said in a forceful speech that Trump “bears responsibility” for the attack and that it was the “saddest day I have ever had” in Congress — even as he went on to join 138 other House Republicans in voting to reject the election results.

Another member of the GOP caucus, Washington Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, said after the attack that McCarthy had recounted that he told Trump to publicly “call off the riot” and said the violent mob was made up of Trump supporters, not far-left antifa members, as Trump had claimed.

“That’s when, according to McCarthy, the president said, ’Well, Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are,” Herrera Beutler said in a statement last year.

The GOP leader soon made up with Trump, though, visiting him in Florida and rallying House Republicans to vote against investigations of the attack.

The other four men were in touch with the White House for several weeks ahead of the insurrection, talking to Trump and his legal advisers about ways to stop the congressional electoral count on Jan. 6 to certify Joe Biden’s victory.

“These members include those who participated in meetings at the White House, those who had direct conversations with President Trump leading up to and during the attack on the Capitol, and those who were involved in the planning and coordination of certain activities on and before January 6th,” the committee said in a release.

Brooks, who has since been critical of Trump, spoke alongside the former president at the massive rally in front of the White House the morning of Jan. 6, telling supporters to “start taking down names and kicking ass” before hundreds of them broke into the Capitol.

Perry spoke to the White House about replacing acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen with an official who was more sympathetic to Trump’s false claims of voter fraud, and Biggs was involved in plans to bring protesters to Washington and pressuring state officials to overturn the legitimate election results, according to the panel. Jordan, the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, spoke to Trump on Jan. 6 and was also involved in strategizing how to overturn the election.

Several of their efforts were detailed in texts released to the panel by Meadows, who was Trump’s chief of staff at the time.

“11 days to 1/6 and 25 days to inauguration,” Perry texted Meadows on Dec. 26, 2020. “We gotta get going!”

___

Associated Press writer Marc Levy in Harrisburg, Pa., contributed to this report.

Source: Associated Press