House Dems call for mandatory COVID vaccination or twice weekly testing for lawmakers, Capitol Hill staff

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More than a dozen members of the House Democratic caucus are calling for a mandate that would require members of Congress and staff of the U.S. Capitol complex to get vaccinated against COVID-19 or else get tested twice per week.

“We write to you today to express our belief that the U.S. Congress should be considering a vaccine requirement for Members and staff of the U.S. Capitol complex or, at minimum, twice per week testing for those who are unable to verify positive vaccination status,” the letter to Attending Physician for the U.S. Congress Brian Monahan declares.

“We look forward to continuing the conversation about ways that we can promote safety on Capitol Hill and appreciate your serious consideration of a vaccine requirement for Members and staff of the U.S. Capitol complex,” the letter states.

The letter said that staff face a heightened coronavirus risk due to visitors coming from throughout the nation and due to the significant amount of domestic and international travel by people who work there.

“We feel the utmost responsibility to prioritize the safety of our staff, just as any employer should feel towards those who report to them,” the letter stated. “Many other government agencies, businesses, universities, and hospitals are beginning to implement vaccine requirements. The science is clear that vaccinations can save lives and help guide our country out of this terrible pandemic,” the House members stated.

The letter also said that “a vaccine requirement issued by the nonpartisan Office of the Attending Physician may even contribute to the depoliticization of the COVID-19 vaccine on Capitol Hill and back home.”

Last week after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued guidance that recommended that the fully vaccinated wear masks in indoor public spaces in parts of the country with substantial or high transmission, Monahan issued a memo which stated that “for meetings in an enclosed US House of Representatives controlled space, masks are REQUIRED.”

President Biden announced last week that federal government employees must attest to their vaccination status and that those who have not been vaccinated will be required to get tested once or twice per week, wear a mask, and engage in social distancing.

Man tries to get past couple blocking escalator at Brooklyn train station — but the couple wouldn’t let him through. Then he’s stabbed in stomach amid argument.

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Police said a 47-year-old man was going down an escalator near the A and C lines at the Broadway Junction subway station in Brooklyn around 4 a.m. Wednesday, the New York Post reported.

But Jareill Finely, 28, and Alasha Landall, 25, were blocking the man’s path down the escalator, cops told the paper.

What happened next?

What’s more, when the man attempted to get past Finely and Landall, they didn’t allow it, authorities added to the Post.

With that, an argument commenced, police told the paper.

And then it soon turned violent, as Finely stabbed the man in the stomach, police added to the Post.

What happened to the stabbing victim?

The paper said the stabbing victim was taken to Brookdale University Hospital Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries.

What happened to the couple?

A short time later responding officers caught up with Finely, of Queens, and Landall, of Brooklyn, and charged them with assault, the New York Daily News reported.

The Post, citing police, noted that Finely also was charged with criminal possession of a weapon.

Their arraignments in Brooklyn Criminal Court were pending Wednesday, the Daily News said.

Anything else?

Violence appears to have been surging in New York City of late:

ADL chief rips into socialist Democratic Rep. Tlaib for ‘ugly antisemitic dog whistling’

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Leftist Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib accused people “behind the curtain” of making money off the abuse and exploitation of people “from Gaza to Detroit” during recently posted remarks to the 2021 Democratic Socialists of America National Convention.

Her claims have the leader of the Anti-Defamation League fuming and accusing her of “ugly antisemitic dog whistling,” Newsweek reported Wednesday.

What did Tlaib say?

In comments to the DSA convention, “From the Ashes of the Old: Socialism for a New Tomorrow,” which is taking place virtually through Sunday, Tlaib told viewers, “For me, as a Palestinian-American, we also need to recognize as I think about my family and Palestine that continue to live under military occupation and how that really interacts with this beautiful Black city that I grew up in.”

“I always tell people cutting people off from water is violence,” she added. “And they do it from Gaza to Detroit. And it’s a way to control people, to oppress people, and it’s those structures that we continue to fight against.”

Of course, the lawmaker who has a reputation for making anti-Semitic remarks and accusing Israel of all sorts of atrocities, knew exactly whom to blame: The people “behind the curtain” who “make money” off the exploitation and harm of Palestinians and others.

I know you all understand the structure we’ve been living under right now is designed by those that exploit the rest of us for their own profit. I always say to people, “I don’t care if it’s the issue around the issue of global rights, and our fight to free Palestine, or to pushing back against those that don’t believe in a minimum wage or … a right to health care and so much more.” And I tell those same people, that if you open the curtain and look behind the curtain, it’s the same people that make money and — yes they do — off of racism, off of these broken policies. There is someone there making money, and you saw it, it was so exposed during the pandemic.

Because of all those structures — everything that was set up — they made record profit when we were all having some of the challenging, most difficult times in our lifetime, at that moment. And again, they made record profit, so if anything this pandemic has just exposed what we all have been fighting against.

How did the ADL respond?

Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt hopped on Twitter on Tuesday to call out the socialist lawmaker for what was, in his mind, a clearly anti-Semitic diatribe complete with dog whistles for her intended audience.

“Stunning to hear @RashidaTlaib claim ‘behind the curtain,’ those who prevent a ‘free Palestine’ are the “same people’ who exploit ‘regular Americans,'” he wrote.

This kind of rhetoric isn’t new, Greenblatt noted.

“We’ve heard this kind of ugly #antisemitic dog whistling before, but it’s appalling when it comes from a member of Congress,” he tweeted.

ADL chief rips into socialist Democratic Rep. Tlaib for ‘ugly antisemitic dog whistling’

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Leftist Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib accused people “behind the curtain” of making money off the abuse and exploitation of people “from Gaza to Detroit” during recently posted remarks to the 2021 Democratic Socialists of America National Convention.

Her claims have the leader of the Anti-Defamation League fuming and accusing her of “ugly antisemitic dog whistling,” Newsweek reported Wednesday.

What did Tlaib say?

In comments to the DSA convention, “From the Ashes of the Old: Socialism for a New Tomorrow,” which is taking place virtually through Sunday, Tlaib told viewers, “For me, as a Palestinian-American, we also need to recognize as I think about my family and Palestine that continue to live under military occupation and how that really interacts with this beautiful Black city that I grew up in.”

“I always tell people cutting people off from water is violence,” she added. “And they do it from Gaza to Detroit. And it’s a way to control people, to oppress people, and it’s those structures that we continue to fight against.”

Of course, the lawmaker who has a reputation for making anti-Semitic remarks and accusing Israel of all sorts of atrocities, knew exactly whom to blame: The people “behind the curtain” who “make money” off the exploitation and harm of Palestinians and others.

I know you all understand the structure we’ve been living under right now is designed by those that exploit the rest of us for their own profit. I always say to people, “I don’t care if it’s the issue around the issue of global rights, and our fight to free Palestine, or to pushing back against those that don’t believe in a minimum wage or … a right to health care and so much more.” And I tell those same people, that if you open the curtain and look behind the curtain, it’s the same people that make money and — yes they do — off of racism, off of these broken policies. There is someone there making money, and you saw it, it was so exposed during the pandemic.

Because of all those structures — everything that was set up — they made record profit when we were all having some of the challenging, most difficult times in our lifetime, at that moment. And again, they made record profit, so if anything this pandemic has just exposed what we all have been fighting against.

How did the ADL respond?

Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt hopped on Twitter on Tuesday to call out the socialist lawmaker for what was, in his mind, a clearly anti-Semitic diatribe complete with dog whistles for her intended audience.

“Stunning to hear @RashidaTlaib claim ‘behind the curtain,’ those who prevent a ‘free Palestine’ are the “same people’ who exploit ‘regular Americans,'” he wrote.

This kind of rhetoric isn’t new, Greenblatt noted.

“We’ve heard this kind of ugly #antisemitic dog whistling before, but it’s appalling when it comes from a member of Congress,” he tweeted.

Jason Whitlock: Here’s why American sports may NEVER be ‘Great Again’

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In the latest episode of “Fearless,” BlazeTV host Jason Whitlock and James “Uncle Jimmy” Dodds take a look at the current “woke” state of professional athletics and lamented the loss of American exceptionalism.

“I look at professional sports, the NBA, the NFL, in particular, Major League Baseball, all of them — hell, even NASCAR went woke. It’s all about message, not about product, and I don’t know if we can ever recover,” Jason said. “I guess, now that I’m saying this out loud and listening to what I’m actually saying, [I realize] this whole ‘Make America Great Again’ thing …”

“…it ain’t gonna happen,” Uncle Jimmy finished.

Jason argued the “no consequences” attitude of today’s society may have damaged American exceptionalism beyond repair, especially when it comes to sports.

Watch the video clip from Jason Whitlock’s “Fearless” below:

Want more from Jason Whitlock?

To enjoy more fearless conversations at the crossroads of culture, faith, sports, and comedy with Jason Whitlock and Uncle Jimmy, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution, and live the American dream.

Suspect stabs Pentagon police officer to death at transit station: report

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A Pentagon police officer is dead after a suspect stabbed him to death outside the Pentagon Metro entrance on Tuesday morning,
NBC News reported.

On Wednesday,
WBAL-TV reported that the late officer was identified as Officer George Gonzalez, a New York native and Army veteran who previously served in Iraq.

What are the details?

The suspect, identified by the Associated Press as 27-year-old Austin William Lanz of Georgia, reportedly stabbed the police officer in the neck multiple times during an incident that took place at 10:37 a.m.

Gonzalez was able to fire on the assailant after the stabbing took place, and the suspect died at the scene after additional responding law enforcement officials began firing.

According to the report, “the ensuing violence, which included a volley of gunshots, resulted in ‘several casualties,'” and officers said they believe two bystanders were injured in the attack.

During an afternoon briefing, Pentagon Police Chief Woodrow Kusse said that the scene, which prompted a lockdown, was quickly secured following the incident.

Kusse declined to provide what the outlet said was “basic information” about how the Tuesday morning violence unfolded or even how many deaths occurred as a result of the attack, and would only say that “gunfire was exchanged.”

“Kusse and other officials declined to rule out terrorism or provide any other potential motive,” the report continued.

“I can’t compromise the ongoing investigation,” Kusse added in his remarks during the press conference.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation continues to investigate the attack.

What else?

In a statement, the Pentagon Force Protection Agency said it “mourns the tragic loss of a Pentagon Police Officer, killed during this morning’s incident at the Pentagon bus platform.”

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the Officer’s family,” the statement added, according to NBC News.

In a statement on the officer’s murder, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin ordered flags to be flown at half-staff.

“This fallen officer died in the line of duty,” Austin said, “helping protect the tens of thousands of people who work in — and who visit — the Pentagon on a daily basis.”

Austin’s statement continued, “He and his fellow officers are members of the Pentagon family, and known to us all as professional, skilled, and brave. This tragic death today is a stark reminder of the dangers they face and the sacrifices they make. We are forever grateful for that service and the courage with which it is rendered.”

The Associated Press reported that Georgia authorities arrested Lanz in April on criminal trespassing and burglary charges. That same day, the report added, a separate criminal case was filed against the suspect with six additional charges including two counts of aggravated battery on police, a count of making a terrorist threat, and a charge for rioting in a penal institution.

On Wednesday morning, the Pentagon Force Protection Agency
tweeted about Gonzalez’s murder, writing, “End of Watch Aug. 3, 2021. Last night, the Pentagon Force Protection Agency observed End of Watch for Pentagon Police Officer George Gonzalez who was tragically killed yesterday during the incident at the Pentagon bus platform.”

“A native of Brooklyn, New York, he was a die-hard Yankees fan. He was a graduate of New York City’s Canarsie High School. George Gonzalez joined the @PFPAOfficial as a police officer on July 22, 2018,” the statement continued. “As a Pentagon Police officer, he took our mission of ‘protecting those who protect our nation’ to heart. He was promoted twice and attained the rank of Senior Officer in 2020.”

“A gregarious officer, he was well-liked and respected by his fellow officers,” the post added. “As a military and police veteran, Officer Gonzalez had served previously with the Federal Bureau of Prisons, the Transportation Security Administration, and United States Army. He was awarded the Army Commendation Medal for his service in Iraq. Officer Gonzalez embodied our values of integrity and service to others. As we mourn the loss of Officer Gonzalez, our commitment to serve and protect is stronger. Officer Gonzalez’s family is in our thoughts and prayers. May he rest in peace.”

VIDEO: AOC caught putting on mask for photo op, goes without it before and after

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Progressive Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was caught recently donning a mask solely for the purposes of a photo op on Capitol Hill.

The lawmaker was reportedly attending a demonstration calling for the nationwide eviction moratorium to be extended on Tuesday when Breitbart News filmed her engaging in the politically motivated stunt.

Based on video of the incident posted to Twitter, Ocasio-Cortez can be seen mingling in a crowd of people without wearing a mask both before and after photographs were taken. Breitbart News reported that the lawmaker had been maskless for the previous 45 minutes.

But when one protester suggested to the group that a photo should be taken to “keep the pressure up” and encourage other lawmakers to join, Ocasio-Cortez pulled a mask from her pocket and placed it over her mouth and nose.

According to the Post Millennial, only seconds after the photos were taken, the lawmaker proceeded to remove the mask and continue talking with people around her.

“Housing is a human right!” the group chanted during the photo op.

Breitbart News reported that Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) similarly put on a blue surgical mask for the purposes of being photographed only to pull the mask off his chin moments after the photos were taken. He can be seen sitting in front of Ocasio-Cortez in the video.

Democratic socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and progressive Rep. Cori Bush (D-Mo.) were also reportedly in attendance at the demonstration.

Neither Washington, D.C., law nor current U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines require vaccinated people to wear a mask outdoors and, based on the footage, virtually no one around Ocasio-Cortez was wearing a mask.

But that didn’t stop the lawmaker from choosing to fake her mask adherence, perhaps hoping to stress the importance of remaining steadfastly cautious amid the pandemic. Unfortunately for Ocasio-Cortez, however, the video footage only serves to subvert her political posturing.

“Is there anything about this digbat [sic] @AOC that isn’t scripted and contrived?” asked one commenter on Twitter.

“It’s theater!” another declared.

Still another added, “How are we supposed to take the mask seriously when even our ‘leaders’ know it’s only for show?”

‘Should there be age-appropriate porn’ so teens ‘can learn about consent and what’s respectful?’ BBC Women’s Hour asks. And a few folks seem open to it.

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On the heels of British journalist Flora Gill getting savaged on Twitter last week after pushing “porn for children” and saying “young teens” need a “soft core site where everyone asks for consent,” the BBC Women’s Hour on Wednesday took that very question to their Twitter followers:

“What’s the best way to inform teenagers about porn?” the program wondered. “Should there be age-appropriate porn as has been suggested so they can learn about consent and what’s respectful and what’s not? What do you think? Email us your opinions.”

How did folks respond?

While the vast majority of commenters were horrified by the program’s question and stated in no uncertain terms that pornography and those under the age of consent do not go together — “How about age appropriate sex for minors, and age appropriate heroin? Kids could learn a lot!” one commenter reacted sarcastically — a few seemed open to the idea:

“Stop treating it as crime of the century,” one commenter wrote. “Kids need to see naked bodies in life; it’s not rude, it’s what humans look like. Take away the stigma, take away the mystery = take away the problem.””My teenage boys were upset by the hardcore porn their friends would show and talk about in school,” another commenter shared. “Boys are always going to look for porn, so I agreed with the original suggestion that there should be age-appropriate porn. I have no idea why people got do cross about this.” (It’s worth it to note a particularly witty reply to the previous reaction: “Which women and girls would you like to be exploited for your sons’ amusement?”)”Honestly porn was the only place I saw people being affectionate with each other as a kid, I’m thankful for it,” another commenter revealed. “If they want to find it, they will always find it.””I think the problem is that porn is so easily accessible now that teenagers can have access to extreme stuff early on and normalize,” another commenter said. “It’s a difficult discussion, one where I wouldn’t even know how to begin, but it might be one worth having.”

City of McAllen, Texas, says Biden administration released more than 7,000 COVID-positive migrants into the community

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The city of McAllen, Texas, said this week that, since mid-February, U.S. Customs and Border Protection released more than 7,000 illegal immigrants with confirmed COVID-19 cases into their community, including more than 1,500 new cases in just the past week.

Those astounding numbers came as the city announced Tuesday it would create a temporary emergency shelter to provide housing for the overflowing surge of migrants being released into the city by immigration enforcement agents.

The city is now asking Hidalgo County, located in the Rio Grande Valley in South Texas, to place a “temporary emergency shelter on property in McAllen on 23rd Street for the overwhelming number of immigrants stranded in McAllen by U.S. Customs and Border Protection,” according to KVEO-TV.

A news release from McAllen officials asked the Biden administration for relief from the vast numbers of migrants being released into the city.

The current immigration surge began in 2014 under the Obama administration and has continued for seven years to the present surge the community is now experiencing …

For context, in 2020 the total number of Title 42 Expulsions on the Southwest Border was 381,928. To date in 2021, in less time, a total of 566,959 Title 42 Expulsions have occurred on the Southwest Border.

Border Patrol agents encountered more than 200,000 migrants at the southern border in July, smashing records that were nearly two decades old. During the first 29 days of July, CBP encountered an average of 6,779 individuals per day, including 616 unaccompanied children and 2,583 migrants traveling as families. Assistant Secretary for Border and Immigration Policy at the Department of Homeland Security David Shahoulian said in a court filing the agency encountered a “record” 19,000 unaccompanied minors in July, and the second-highest number of family unit encounters at nearly 80,000.

Tens of thousands of these illegal immigrants are being released by the Biden administration after detention without being given a date to appear in court for their immigration cases to be processed.

The news release noted that migrants are being released to a local Catholic charity, the Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley, which gives them food and housing and has provided this service for the past seven years. However, the recent surge of illegal immigration is overwhelming the charity’s ability to help these people, and the matter is complicated by migrants who are sick with COVID-19.

Previously, Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley said in a statement that the migrants are tested for COVID-19 before being released. The charity pays for positive cases to be isolated with their families in hotel rooms, where they are instructed to quarantine to prevent the virus from spreading.

“Despite the City of McAllen and its community partners’ best efforts, the sheer number of immigrants being released into the city has become a crisis: a crisis the City of McAllen did not create and has proactively tried to avoid for seven years,” the charity told KVEO-TV.

The city of McAllen issued a local disaster declaration on Monday, triggering the mechanism for Hidalgo County and the state of Texas to provide additional resources.

Hidalgo County Judge Richard Cortez, who has called for the federal government to pause migrant releases, said that 16% of the migrants released into Hidalgo County are testing positive for COVID-19.

Local officials say the federal government has been unresponsive to their needs during this crisis.

Awkward silence ensues after female weightlifters are asked about trans athlete Laurel Hubbard competing. ‘No, thank you,’ one finally says.

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Transgender weightlifter Laurel Hubbard may have the support and approval of left-wing politicians, woke media figures, and the International Olympic Committee. But based on their response during a recent podium news conference, the female weightlifters who defeated the New Zealand athlete in this year’s competitions feel differently.

What happened?

During a news conference Tuesday, the women’s weightlifting podium refused to comment on their counterpart, Hubbard, a biological male who identifies as a female and was cleared to compete against women at the Tokyo Games.

After an Olympics reporter asked them how they felt about Hubbard competing, the trio of medalists — which included gold medalist Li Wenwen of China, silver medalist Emily Campbell of Great Britain, and bronze medalist Sarah Robles of the U.S. — sat in awkward silence until one finally announced their tacit disapproval.

“There was a historic night here with Laurel Hubbard competing as the first openly transgender in an individual event,” the reporter said. “I was wondering what you felt about that and what you felt that took place in your sport?”

A painstaking eight seconds passed before anyone said anything.

“Li was unfazed, Campbell did not move, and Robles sipped water,” Insider reported.

Then, finally, Robles chimed in and said, “No, thank you.”

The athletes weren’t tight-lipped before that moment. Only seconds before, Campbell had spoken at length to a reporter about how grateful she was to have trained alongside Robles ahead of the competition, calling her American friend a “sweetheart.”

Why does it matter?

Hubbard, the first openly transgender athlete to compete at the Olympics, had exited early from the women’s +87kg competition on Monday after failing to register a single lift on three attempts. Of their group, Hubbard was the only competitor not to advance to the Clean & Jerk stage.

Nevertheless, the Kiwi’s storyline dominated all the headlines surrounding women’s weightlifting.

One could imagine the ire some of the other competitors may have felt as their athletic accomplishments were routinely overshadowed by a completely separate storyline.

Li set three Olympic records en route to her gold medal victory, in which she posted 140 kilograms (309 pounds) in the snatch, 180 kilograms (397 pounds) in the clean and jerk, for a total of 320 kilograms (706 pounds). Robles also made history as the first American woman to win two Olympic weightlifting medals, Insider reported.

Yet the spotlight has remained on Hubbard.