Senate Confirms Lloyd Austin as First Black Defense Secretary

The Senate on Friday confirmed Lloyd Austin as the Pentagon’s first black defense secretary in a bipartisan 93-2 vote.

Only two Republicans, voted no — Sens. Josh Hawley (R-MO) and Mike Lee (UT). Those not voting included Sens. Richard Burr (R-NC); Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV); Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS); Jerry Moran (R-KS); and Thom Tillis (R-NC).

There was more opposition to Austin’s nomination in the House, but only the Senate has the job of confirming senior-level presidential appointees.

The relatively light pushback against Biden’s nominees so far from Senate Republicans shows their willingness to work with the Biden administration.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said Friday on CNN that he was voting in favor of Austin because “presidents should get real latitude in filling terms with qualified, mainstream people of their choosing.”

Austin’s Senate confirmation hearing was uneventful. Democrat senators pressed him to root out white supremacists and extremists from the military — which Austin said he vowed he would do, while Republican senators pressed him on being firm against China.

Austin tweeted shortly after he was confirmed:

Austin immediately began work at the Pentagon on Friday.

Shortly thereafter, Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said in a statement:

President Biden called Secretary Austin this afternoon, shortly after his arrival at the Pentagon. The President congratulated the Secretary on his swift confirmation and thanked the Secretary for agreeing to serve the country again. Secretary Austin expressed his gratitude to the President for his trust and confidence and for his support during the confirmation process.

Austin, 67, is a retired United States Army general who last served as former commander of U.S. Central Command during the Obama administration.

After leaving the military, he sat on the board of defense contractor Raytheon Technologies. His ties to Raytheon had raised concerns, mostly among Democrats.

What also raised concerns — among both Democrats and Republicans — was his military service only ending in 2016. Current law requires a defense secretary to be out of uniform for at least seven years, in order to preserve the principle of civilian control of the military.

Both houses of Congress had to pass a waiver for Austin to allow him to serve, which they did on Thursday.

The Senate passed a waiver on a 69-27 vote. Fourteen Senate Democrats voted against a waiver for Austin, and 13 Senate Republicans voted against the waiver, as Breitbart News reported Thursday.

More Democrats had voted against a waiver for former President Donald Trump’s first defense secretary Jim Mattis in 2017. Sixteen Democrats and one Independent, Sen. Bernie Sanders (VT), voted against a waiver then, while all Republicans voted for a waiver, except for two not voting.

Sixty-three House Republicans voted against granting Austin a waiver, including those who went on the record to oppose his nomination. The Republican Study Committee, the House conservative caucus, had laid out in a lengthy memo its reasons for opposing Austin’s nomination.

However, the waiver passed in the House on a largely bipartisan 326-78 vote, with 63 House Republicans voting no. Democrats had put up far more opposition to a waiver for Mattis during the Trump administration, with 150 Democrats voting no.

Follow Breitbart News’s Kristina Wong on Twitter or on Facebook.

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Charles Hurt: With Impeachment, Congress Trying to Overturn Future Elections

The last time these slinking mongrels in Congress impeached President Trump, a deadly disease from China was stalking our country, poised to pounce and kill close to 400,000 Americans.

In those crucial early months of the global pandemic, our federal government ground to a halt as Democrats in Congress pursued with blind fury a hotly partisan and clearly futile effort to remove Mr. Trump.

Democrats failed. Mr. Trump survived. Everyone knew the outcome of the fake charade from the start.

But as Democrats dawdled, bloviated and fawned for the cameras, the pandemic prevailed. If you want to know why Democrats are so hellbent on blaming the China virus on Mr. Trump, it is because the blood is actually on their hands.

Now comes Round Two of hopeless impeachment.

Still, the pandemic rages. This time they all know it. Yet, still, they pursue Mr. Trump with an ISIS-like zealotry in an effort to remove Mr. Trump a few days before he leaves office anyway.

Truly, these are the most fundamentally dishonest and unserious people ever to hold elected office. They are a mockery of self-governance and precisely why Mr. Trump got elected in the first place.

You might say House Speaker Nancy Pelosi presides over a circus of untrained animals and diabolical clowns, but that would be an unkind insult to clowns and penned animals, frantically pacing back and forth, back and forth inside their confined cages.

Speaking to her social media mob, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York laid out Mr. Trump’s impeachable offenses.

“A lot of people have drank the poison of white supremacy and that’s what Donald Trump represents,” she said. “Just is.”

That’s right. There is the evidence. There lies the proof. Forget hearings. Forget a trial.

“Just is.”

Hang him high!

If you really want to stir up one of these impeachment fanatics, just ask them to point to the one single line in Mr. Trump’s speech from before the raid against the Capitol that “incited” the violence.

They go full Adam Schiff and start making up quotes and manufacturing language that the president never used. Also, they refuse to acknowledge that the president implored his supporters to protest “peacefully.”

The reason they cannot hold hearings or hold a trial is because any such due process would prove that no such premeditated incitement of violence occurred.

If anything, it was unpremeditated incitement of peaceful protest — also known as our constitutional right to free speech, free assembly and the right to petition your government. Peacefully.

Among the clowns in Congress scrambling to shift blame for the mess they have made in Washington onto Mr. Trump are 10 Republicans in the House. One of them is Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, who is in the chamber because her father, Dick Cheney, was vice president.

I guess we should be thankful that finally someone in the Cheney family has found an “armed insurrection” that they are not lustily in favor of. Maybe Ms. Cheney would have been more enthusiastic about this eruption of violence if more American soldiers had been killed or maimed and it had cost taxpayers $2 trillion.

Another impeachment zealot is Rep. Jim Clyburn, South Carolina Democrat. To his credit, at least he is honest about his motives.

“This president must be impeached and convicted,” he thundered. “And he must be prevented from ever attempting to seize power again.”

There you have it. This is not even about removing Mr. Trump from office in the final week of his presidency. It is all about preventing him from ever running for office again.

In other words, Congress is scrambling to overturn the next election before it even happens. They are desperate to deny American voters the right to elect Donald Trump again.

Talk about an insurrection.

No wonder Liz Cheney is so excited about it.

• Charles Hurt is opinion editor of The Washington Times. He can be reached at churt@washingtontimes.com.

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D.C. Mayor Bowser: Dem-Led House, Senate Will Pass D.C. Statehood, Bring it to Biden’s Desk

Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser told  “Just the News” on Friday that the Democratic-led Senate and House will vote in favor of statehood for the District of Columbia and send the bill to President Joe Biden’s desk, who has expressed support for D.C. statehood in the past.

Bowser said, “The nation’s capital, the federal enclave, continues to exist as the nation’s capital and everything outside of those new boundaries becomes the 51st state. Our congresswoman – we had our first successful vote on statehood in the House of Representatives last year. She reintroduced the bill. She has a record number of sponsors.”

She continued, “It is going to be reintroduced in the Senate in a couple of weeks, and we expect to have a favorable vote in the Senate as well, and then it goes to the president of the United States. We have made a big focus to President Biden to support D.C. statehood and make it part of his 100-day agenda.”

She added, “Just like you, we pay the same federal taxes as every citizen of the fifty states of the U.S. expect we do not have two senators. We literally have no one to speak for us in the Senate. We have to have full representation.”

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN

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Here’s The Full List Of Every Lie Joe Biden Has Told As President

As President Joe Biden assumes the Oval Office, The Federalist will continue its rigorous coverage of the new White House, keeping the administration accountable with substantive fact-checking throughout Biden’s tenure.

Biden Claims Federal Government Never Acted with Urgency to Combat Pandemic

Joe Biden claimed the federal government failed to “act with the urgency” that was necessary to combat the coronavirus pandemic, apparently neglecting to mention the Trump White House’s Operation Warp Speed that produced two viable coronavirus vaccines by the year’s end.

Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn also pointed out that Congress passed trillions in stimulus, providing funds for pandemic efforts and economic recovery.

Biden Team Tells CNN Trump Offered No Plan for Vaccine Distribution

Sources within the Biden administration told CNN they inherited no vaccine distribution plan from the previous White House.

“There is nothing for us to rework. We are going to have to build everything from scratch,” one source reportedly told CNN’s MJ Lee, except there was, as outlined in Trump’s Operation Warp Speed, included below.

The Biden team’s statements were also contradicted by the National Institutes of Health Director Dr. Anthony Fauci the same afternoon.

“We’re certainly not starting from scratch, because there is activity going on in the distribution,” Fauci told reporters.

Biden White House Claims Elites ‘Celebrating’ Is Exception to Mask Edict

White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki justified Biden’s decision with his family to forgo face masks at the Lincoln Memorial after signing an executive order requiring them on all federal lands.

“He was celebrating a historic day in our country. … We have bigger things to worry about,” said Psaki, whose dismissal of the face mask as an insignificant issue was contradicted by the White House edict passed hours earlier.

Though Biden has received both shots of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines stipulate that vaccinated people are to continue wearing face masks, citing a lack of research showing whether those vaccinated can still spread the virus. While Biden likely did not need to wear a face mask, considering he was outside and adequately distanced from others, the absence of a mask flies in the face of Biden’s executive order, in which “celebrating” is not listed as an exception.

Biden Falsely Claims ‘All’ Media Smeared Vaccine Plan as ‘Impossible’

Joe Biden defended his administration’s goal to vaccinate 100 million Americans within his first 100 days in office after a reporter questioned whether the target was too modest.

“When I announced it, you all said it wasn’t possible. C’mon. Gimme a break, man,” Biden snapped.

While few articles at major publications have voiced some skepticism, they remained rare, undermining Biden’s claim that “all” media had been overwhelmingly pessimistic of the Biden administration reaching the 100 million mark by the end of April.

Biden Vows to Be Unity President After Smearing GOP Sens. as Nazis

Biden launched his first term as commander-in-chief by branding himself as the unifier-in-chief while aggressively pursuing a partisan progressive agenda promoting left-wing ideas of “social justice” after smearing two Republican senators as Nazi collaborators.

“To all those who did not support us, let me say this: Hear me out as we move forward. Take a measure of me and my heart,” Biden pleaded with the American people.

Less than two weeks prior, however, the “unity” president smeared Republican Sens. Josh Hawley of Missouri and Ted Cruz of Texas as Nazis.

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Joe Biden: ‘Nothing We Can Do’ to Change Pandemic’s Trajectory for ‘Several Months’

President Joe Biden on Friday lowered expectations of his administration’s ability to affect the ongoing coronavirus pandemic in the coming months.

Biden made the remark during a press conference addressing the signage of two more executive orders: one aimed at increasing food stamp benefits and the other for workers’ rights. 

“If we fail to act, there will be a wave of evictions and foreclosures in the coming months as this pandemic rages on,” Biden said. “There’s nothing we can do to change the trajectory of the pandemic in the next several months.”

Biden’s remark comes after the president signed an order mandating both masks and social distancing on federal property — a directive he and members of his family appear to have violated shortly after enacting it. On the day of his inauguration, Biden, first lady Jill Biden, along with several family members took photos with masks — and one without.

Earlier Wednesday, Biden said, “Wearing masks isn’t a partisan issue — it’s a patriotic act that can save countless lives.” When asked Thursday why the Biden family went maskless for a photo, White House press secretary Jen Psaki replied dismissively.

“He was surrounded by his family, we take a number of precautions but I think we have bigger issues to worry about at this moment in time,” Psaki explained. “I think he was celebrating in the evening of a historic day in our country and certainly he signed the mask mandate because it’s a way to send a message to the American public about the importance of wearing masks.”

When pressed on why Biden did not lead by the “power of his example” regarding masks, Paski shot back, “The power of his example is also the message he sends by signing 25 executive orders, including almost half of them related to COVID.”

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Joe Biden Preps to Completely F*** US Citizens, Undoing 4yrs of Accomplishments

Biden inauguration executive order

President Donald Trump spent much of his four years in office undoing his predecessor’s policies, and president-elect Joe Biden is reportedly set to do the same. Biden signed more than 10 executive orders on his first day in office, orders that permit rejoining the Paris climate accord and cancel the travel ban on some majority-Muslim countries that Trump put into place.

Biden reversing Trump’s policies on Day 1

In addition, Biden will sign executive orders to freeze evictions and defer student loan payments amid the COVID-19 pandemic. He’ll also issue a mask mandate on all federal property in an effort to stem the spread of the virus. And that’s just Day 1.

“During the campaign, President-elect Biden pledged to take immediate action to start addressing these crises and build back better,” Klain wrote in the memo. “As president, he will keep those promises and sign dozens of executive orders, presidential memoranda, and directives to Cabinet agencies in fulfillment of the promises he made.”

On Thursday, which will be Biden’s first full day in office, Biden is expected to sign more COVID-19-related executive actions to order schools and businesses reopened under new federal health guidelines. In the days that follow, Biden will announce a plan to reunite families separated by federal law enforcement at the U.S.-Mexico border, unveil criminal justice reform proposals and announce new strategies to battle climate change.

The day after Biden is inaugurated, Klain said he will “sign a number of executive actions to move aggressively to change the course of the COVID-19 crisis and safely re-open schools and businesses, including by taking action to mitigate spread through expanding testing, protecting workers, and establishing clear public health standards.”

From America First, to America Last

Klain said that “these actions will change the course of Covid 19, combat climate change, promote racial equity and support other underserved communities, and rebuild our economy in ways that strengthen the backbone of this country: the working men and women who built our nation.”

“While the policy objectives in these executive actions are bold, I want to be clear: the legal theory behind them is well-founded and represents a restoration of an appropriate, constitutional role for the president,” he said.

Last week, Biden announced a $1.9 trillion stimulus package to help Americans struggling through the pandemic. A House-approved bill to provide Americans with $2,000 checks failed last month in the Republican-controlled Senate, but Democrats are set to take over control of that chamber on Jan. 19.

Klain said the Biden agenda faces “a moment of profound crisis for our nation.” “We face four overlapping and compounding crises: the Covid 19 crisis, the resulting economic crisis, the climate crisis, and a racial equity crisis. All of these crises demand urgent action.”

Biden’s first orders will aim to “prevent other urgent and irreversible harms, and restore America’s place in the world,” Klain said.

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Trump reportedly offers D.C. Hotel to National Guard, law enforcement

Source: The Washington Examiner

Former President Donald Trump has reportedly opened his International Hotel in Washington, D.C. to the National Guard this week, according to reports.

This follows the outrage at National Guard troops being forced to sleep in a parking garage Thursday night have been allowed back into the Capitol Complex on Friday, but they may have another place to crash: the Trump International Hotel.

RELATED: National Guardsmen were forced out of the Capitol building to rest in a parking garage

“Trump International Hotel in D.C. houses law enforcement this week,” the Washington Examiner reported Friday afternoon on Twitter. “Treatment of military and officers has been in the spotlight this week as news broke of National Guard troops being forced to sleep in a parking garage.”

The Examiner included a video in their tweet of law enforcement officers relaxing in the lobby of the ornate hotel owned by former President Donald Trump on Pennsylvania Avenue.

In the video, however, it should be noted that there are no National Guardsmen visible—only what appears to be police of some sort.

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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Dallas cancels plan to prioritize vaccinating communities of color after state threatens to cut dose allocation

Vaccine and syringe injection. It use for prevention,immunization and treatment from corona virus infection(novel coronavirus disease 2019,COVID-19,nCoV 2019 from Wuhan). Medicine infectious concept.

Dallas County officials Wednesday axed a plan to prioritize vaccinating individuals residing in the county’s most vulnerable ZIP codes, predominately in communities of color, after the state threatened to cut the county’s dose allocation, The Texas Tribune reported Wednesday.

On Tuesday, a split Dallas County Commissioners Court had voted to prioritize COVID-19 vaccines at its Fair Park distribution center for people in predominately Black and Latino areas, a reflection of heightened vulnerability to the novel coronavirus in 11 Dallas County ZIP codes, The Dallas Morning News reported.

Throughout the whole United States, communities of color have been impacted the most by the coronavirus, and public health officials are trying to figure out how to ensure equity in vaccine distribution. According to The Tribune, in Dallas and other major Texas cities, distribution sites are more commonly stationed in white neighborhoods, and early data illustrated that Dallas County had distributed most of its shots to residents of whiter, more affluent areas.

Dallas officials tried to prioritize any residents who meet Texas’ qualifications to receive doses and reside in one of the 11 ZIP codes, The Dallas Morning News reported Tuesday. These 11 ZIP codes, according to The Tribune, are all completely or partially south of Interstate 30, a dividing line that splits the county along racial and socioeconomic lines.

However, in response to this proposal, state health officials warned that it was “not acceptable to [the Department of State Health Services.],” The Tribune reported.

In a letter obtained by The Tribune from Imelda Garcia, an associate commissioner with DSHS, to Dallas health officials, she said that the department will be forced to reduce the county’s vaccine allocation if it does not reverse course.

“While we ask hub providers to ensure vaccine reaches the hardest hit areas and populations, solely vaccinating people who live in those areas is not in line with the agreement to be a hub provider,” Garcia wrote. “If Dallas County is unable to meet these expectations, we will be forced to reduce the weekly vaccine allocation to Dallas County Health and Human Services and no longer consider it a hub provider.”

Moreover, Garcia requested an update on the vaccination plan from the county by Thursday morning, The Tribune reported. It should be noted that her letter came after Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins wrote to state officials asking if the county’s plan was allowed.

10% of the vaccines distributed in the county is how much the county government is responsible for, according to The Tribune. Most of the doses, however, are actually distributed by hospitals and other health-related institutions.

Wednesday evening, Jenkins successfully convinced commissioners to axe the plan during an emergency meeting. They could broach the issue again, he mentioned, but in the meantime they should ditch the prioritization plan to make sure the county receives its next shipment from the state, The Tribune reported.

Want more details about this story? Then read the full original Texas Tribune report here.

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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Whoa… Trump Announcement

Trump Announcement

Top Trump adviser Jason Miller has revealed important information about President Trump’s plans outside of the presidency.

During a January 21 interview with Carrie Sheffield on Just the News AM, Miller revealed that, in the coming months, Donald Trump will “emerge as the nation’s leader on ballot and voting integrity.”

Miller spent time with President Trump and his family during their flight on Air Force One from Washington, D.C. to Florida on January 20. He informed Sheffield that Trump “has a number of goals over the next couple of years… winning back the House and the Senate for Republicans in 2022 to make sure that we can stop the Democratic craziness.”

According to Miller, the important work of ensuring voter integrity can “never get done in Washington,” because Democrat politicians will not allow the issue to be taken seriously.

Miller also noted that the work that is necessary ensure voter integrity can “never get done in Washington,” because Democrat lawmakers won’t allow it to be taken seriously.

Republican lawmakers, President Trump, and his legal team all fought for the integrity of the 2020 election in the weeks after November 3, challenging the results of elections in multiple states with significant evidence of fraud and irregularities, and trying to make sure that legal votes were counted properly, and illegal votes were investigated and thrown out.

Legislative bodies also launched inquiries and investigations into the way ballots were counted in several states, and the lack of proper observation of the vote counting process. Eyewitnesses testified and gave first hand accounts of illegal or improper conduct that took place in ballot processing centers.

Miller said that President Trump’s plan is being developed and will be announced in the coming months, and will involve working with individual states and state legislatures to ensure the integrity of future elections, making sure that votes are counted fairly and the voting process is secure.

Trump has not yet indicated whether he will run for president again in 2024, but Miller is hopeful that Trump will return to the White House for a second term.

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Biden Admin Previews Fight Against ‘Serious Threat’ of ‘Domestic Violent Extremism’

President Joe Biden has asked the Office of the Director of National Intelligence to begin enhanced assessments of the threat posed by “domestic violent extremism,” according to the White House.

“The January 6th assault on the Capitol and the tragic deaths and destruction that occurred underscored what we have long known: The rise of domestic violent extremism is a serious and growing national security threat,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki announced at a press briefing Friday afternoon.

Psaki said that Biden had tasked the ODNI to request a “comprehensive threat assessment” of domestic violent extremism, including ways to strengthen government capabilities to monitor the threat.

“The Biden administration will confront this threat with the necessary recourses and resolve,” she said.

Psaki said that the Biden administration would prioritize “facts” and “objective rigorous analysis” claiming that the government could still maintain “respect for constitutionally protected free speech and political activities.” She stressed, however, that President Biden wanted to dramatically increase the level of intelligence and law enforcement directed at domestic violent extremism.

“We need to understand better its current extent and where they may be gaps to address so we can determine the best path forward,” she said.

Biden’s National Security Council, Psaki said, would ask three of his national security advisors, Joshua Geltzer, Liz Sherwood-Randall, and Russ Travers, to lead a policy review to properly “enhance and accelerate” the government threat of domestic violence.

“This considered NSC convened process will focus on addressing evolving threats, radicalization, the role of social media, opportunities to improve information sharing, operation responses, and more,” she concluded.

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