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Adam Kinzinger accepts place on Jan. 6 committee: 'When duty calls, I will always answer'

(The Week) Not long after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) indicated she wanted Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) to serve on the Jan. 6 select committee, Kinzinger confirmed on Sunday that he spoke with Pelosi and would accept her offer.

"For months, I have said that the American people deserve transparency and truth on how and why thousands showed up to attack our democracy, and ultimately, what led to the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021," he said in a statement.

Echoing others who argued Kinzinger shouldn't be described simply as an anti-Trump Republican, the congressman said he wanted to make it clear he is a "Republican dedicated to conservative values." But, he continued, "I swore an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution — and while this is not the position I expected to be in or sought out, when duty calls, I will answer."


Jill Biden brings a dose of normalcy to Olympic Games amid a pandemic

(CNN) At a very not-normal Olympic Games kick-off, first lady Jill Biden was, outside of the athletes themselves, perhaps the only normal part. With Covid-19 cases here spiking, more than 11,000 competitors from 206 countries are navigating the games after a year-long postponement, without fans in the stands and under stress-inducing pandemic precautions.

However, the first lady spent her two and a half days in Tokyo on a mission to put the concerns over coronavirus in second place and Team USA in first. Before the actual events started, Biden oohed and aahed over the American athletes. She told a group of a dozen or so during a virtual meet-up -- she from the US Chargé d'Affaires residence at the United States Embassy compound, they from their individual rooms at Olympic Village, or their training centers, miles away -- how proud she was of them.

"For most of you, the journey to Tokyo began long, long ago. It likely started at a young age. The first time you picked up a ball or jumped in the water. The first ride that made you feel really free. Or when the backflip you thought was impossible suddenly wasn't," Biden said. "You've given up so much to be here. You've sacrificed time with friends and pushed yourself harder than you thought you could."


Joe Biden's approval rating simply hasn't moved in six months

(CNN) President Joe Biden's presidency is now six months old. You'd be forgiven if you didn't realize how long Biden has been in office because Biden doesn't generate anywhere near the same news interest as his predecessor, former President Donald Trump, did. The lack of a topsy turvy first few months has translated to Biden's approval rating. It's been the most stable for any president since the end of World War II.

This, indeed, has been the story of the Biden presidency from a popularity standpoint. At every point at which I've checked in to see how Biden is doing from a historical perspective, nothing seems to shake his approval ratings. Right now, Biden's average approval rating rests at around 53%, no matter how you calculate said average. Over the course of Biden's first six months in office, his approval rating has never risen above 55% or fallen below 51% in an average of polls.


As coronavirus surges, GOP lawmakers are moving to limit public health powers

(Washington Post) Across the country, GOP lawmakers are rallying around the cause of individual freedom to counter community-based disease mitigation methods, moves experts say leave the country ill-equipped to counter the resurgent coronavirus and a future, unknown outbreak.

In some states, anger at perceived overreach by health officials has prompted legislative attempts to limit their authority, including new state laws that prevent the closure of businesses or allow lawmakers to rescind mask mandates. Some state courts have reined in the emergency and regulatory powers governors have wielded against the virus. And in its recent rulings and analysis, the U.S. Supreme Court has signaled its willingness to limit disease mitigation in the name of religious freedom.


'Recipe for disaster': As COVID rises, few Kansas City area schools heed expert advice

(KansasCity.com) Less than a month before the start of the new school year, as COVID-19 cases are surging and hospitals are turning away patients, few Kansas City area districts are heeding expert advice on opening classrooms safely. National and local health officials urge them to at least require unvaccinated students and staff to wear masks, worried that outbreaks could lead to more school closures. The highly contagious delta variant combined with students returning to school unmasked is a “recipe for disaster,” Dr. Angela Myers, division director of infectious diseases at Children’s Mercy, told reporters this past week.

But so far, only Kansas City Public Schools and the Kansas City, Kansas, district have said they plan to follow that guidance. The rest of the districts in the region have either made masks optional or are still undecided.


It's time to take back control of our collective future from the worst of us

(Steve Schmidt) I’d like to offer a couple of other thoughts around our great national hostage situation. The overwhelming majority has been taken hostage by an unyielding and ignorant minority that refuses, through their selfishness and stupidity to allow the nation to crush the Pandemic and move on. They will cause an unnecessary third wave, kill tens of thousands, harm the economy and disrupt education for a third consecutive year. They scream about rights and repeat nonsense like, “but HIPPA” with comprehension levels similar to a Parrot. We will never hear an utterance, from any of them, around concepts like responsibility and obligation as they invoke “rights” which don’t exist. What to do?


Arizona GOP Lawmaker Booed Off Stage at Trump Rally

(Newsweek) Arizona State Sen. Michelle Ugenti-Rita was booed off stage at a rally featuring former President Donald Trump. Ugenti-Rita, a Republican, was immediately met with a chorus of loud boos after taking the stage at a "Protect Our Elections" rally hosted by Turning Point Action in Phoenix on Saturday. "Why don't you listen to what I have to say?" Ugenti-Rita, who is running for Arizona secretary of state, asked the crowd after several failed attempts to get her speech going. "Listen. Fine, OK... I am running to be your next Secretary of State. I'm going to win the primary. Thank you very much," she said, before walking off after around 90 seconds on stage.


Repub. candidate drove several miles with accident victim's motorcycle stuck to front of car

(WPXI) Charlie Gerow, a Republican who announced his candidacy for governor last month, said Friday that he is cooperating with a police investigation into an accident in which a motorcyclist was killed, and that shut down the Pennsylvania Turnpike for seven hours. Gerow apparently drove for several miles with the motorcycle stuck to the front of his car, according to a witness. In a statement through a spokesperson, Gerow said he did not cause the accident and he was not injured.


The Supreme Court Needs to Be Cut Down to Size

(New York Times) On Tuesday, the Presidential Commission on the Supreme Court of the United States sat for its third public meeting. Formed in April by executive order, the 36-member commission exists to hear arguments for and against Supreme Court reform and to analyze and appraise the merits of specific proposals.

President Biden did not run on court reform and rejected “court packing” during the 2020 campaign. But after Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell pushed Amy Coney Barrett through the Senate in a hurried bid to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg before the presidential election, he could not resist calls from within the Democratic Party to do something.

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