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‘Does Quarantine Not Apply to Senators?’: Ted Cruz Blasted for Garland Questions – and for Going to DC After Cancun

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U.S. Senator Ted Cruz is once again under fire, this time for traveling to Washington, D.C. to attend the Judiciary Committee’s confirmation hearing of Biden Attorney General pick Merrick Garland, and for his line of questioning as well. The Texas Republican first came under fire for traveling to Cancun, Mexico last week while millions of his constituents were without electricity, heat, and running water.

Cruz returned on Thursday, after falsely blaming his children for his Mexican vacation (while leaving the family dog at home in a cold house.)

But CDC guidelines are very clear on what Americans should be doing – including warning that no one should travel to Mexico at all, given its high rate of coronavirus in the population.

“Travelers should avoid all travel to Mexico,” CDC states.

“Before traveling back to the United States by air, get tested with a viral test no more than 3 days before your flight departs. The test result must be negative,” it adds. Cruz’s office says he has been tested and it came back negative. It did not specify which test Cruz took. Some, like the ones the Trump White House used, are only designed to detect coronavirus infection in those displaying symptoms.

“After you travel, get tested 3–5 days after travel AND stay home to self-quarantine for 7 days after travel. If you don’t get tested, it’s safest to stay home to self-quarantine for 10 days,” CDC adds.

Yahoo News reports “essential workers like lawmakers are allowed to continue doing their duties if they are symptom-free,” but as many noted, this is just one more example of Cruz putting himself ahead of others.

Cruz also came under attack for the extreme partisanship and politicization of his questions of Merrick Garland, who, as President Barack Obama’s nominee to fill a Supreme Court seat was denied that chance when Republicans refused to even hold hearings on his nomination.

Sen. Cruz all but charged President Joe Biden with a “future crime,” saying he is certain Biden will politicize the Dept. of Justice. Many were stunned, given there is no reason to believe that, and that Cruz was silent when President Donald Trump did for four years.

Here are some responses:

 

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Outrage After Fox News Hires ‘Known Liar and Propagandist’ Kayleigh McEnany

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Fox News says it has hired former Trump White House press secretary and campaign advisor Kayleigh McEnany, just one day after she whitewashed the former president’s reaction to the January 6 insurrection he incited. Massive online outrage followed, with some media watchers calling McEnany a “known liar and propagandist.”

“Former White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany has joined the Fox News family,” Fox News stated in a news article, not an official company announcement.

“Harris Faulkner informed viewers on Tuesday during an exclusive interview with McEnany on ‘The Faulkner Focus,'” the article adds. “It is my distinct pleasure today to welcome Kayleigh McEnany to the Fox family. We will be seeing much more of her in the future,” Faulkner, a Fox News host, said.

No role or area was announced for McEnany.

NBC News adds that the announcement “comes after weeks during which the network had equivocated about McEnany’s role at the network.”

Strangely, a Fox News spokesperson “declined to comment beyond Faulkner’s statements.”

In an interview that aired Monday and Tuesday McEnany falsely told Faulkner “everyone” at the White House was horrified when they say the violent insurrection. It was a direct attempt to whitewash President Donald Trump’s behavior, which has been described as “delighted” and gleeful.

Fox News has become a landing zone for former Trump officials. McEnany joins one of her predecessors, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who became a Fox News contributor in August of 2019. More recently, former Director of the Trump White House’s National Economic Council, Larry Kudlow, landed at Fox with his own show on Fox Business Network. In between two stints at the Trump White House Hope Hicks served at Fox’s corporate parent as an executive vice president.

The outrage was palpable, including from media watchers and experts, and even inside Fox News.

Here’s CNN’s chief media correspondent:

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$15 Minimum Wage Dealt a Blow – Not Allowed in COVID Relief Bill, Senate Parliamentarian Rules

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The Democrats’ plan, engineered by Budget Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders (I-VT), to pass a nationwide $15 minimum wage cannot be achieved by including the legislation in the Biden administration’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill, the Senate parliamentarian ruled Thursday evening, CNBC reports.

Democrats intend to pass the relief bill via reconciliation, a method that would require just a simple majority.

Politico reported late last week Sen. Sanders was “confident” the $15 minimum wage could be achieved through the reconciliation process, adding that “President Joe Biden has not been as optimistic as the Vermont independent about the prospects of minimum wage working via reconciliation, though he supports a $15 minimum wage.”

“President Biden has promised to support a standalone bill to raise the minimum wage to $15/hour, but it’s unlikely to get any Republican support,” Axios has also reported.

A $15 minimum wage would life 900,000 people out of poverty.

 

This is a breaking news and developing story. 

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Democrats Pass LGBTQ Equality Act With Support of Just Three Republicans

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House Democrats have passed the historic LGBTQ Equality Act, legislation that expands the protections of the 1964 Civil Rights Act to protect against sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination. The vote was 224-206. Just three Republicans voted in favor of the bill.

President Joe Biden has said he wants to sign the legislation into law during his first 100 days. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) will be in a position to make that possible, should all Democratic Senators support the bill. 60 votes will be needed under current filibuster rules.

The House also passed similar legislation in May of 2019, but then-Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refused to allow the bill to come to the floor for a vote.

Some news outlets are characterizing the bill as offering “sweeping” protections, but contrary to what most Americans believe, LGBTQ people have no federal law offering them specific protections. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 offers appropriate, not “sweeping” protections.

Recent court decisions, including the Supreme Court’s 2020 Bostock decision, have ruled the Civil Right Act applies to LGBTQ people, but the Equality Act will ensure these protections are realized.

In a sign of the further extremism of the Republican Party, the 2019 Equality Act passed with five more GOP votes than it did today.

Two Republicans who voted to pass the bill in 2019 voted against passing today’s bill.

This is a breaking news and developing story. 

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