The world got a small glimpse at George and Amal Clooney’s newborn twins on Wednesday, as the couple and their children, Alexander and Ella, exited a plane in Italy. They were spotted arriving in Milan in a private jet, marking the first time they’ve been seen in public with their new bundles of joy. George carried…
Merrick Garland hearing goes off the rails as Jim Jordan demands to play video of parents at school board meetings
The House Judiciary Committee hearing with Attorney General Merrick Garland was briefly derailed on Thursday after Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) demanded to play a video.
Committee Vice Chair Madeleine Dean (D-PA) objected, saying Jordan had not followed the committee's audio-visual protocol by providing 48 hours notice.
Chair Jerry Nadler (D-NY) sustained the objection, ruling the video out of order.
Jordan reportedly wanted to play video of parents speaking at school board meetings. In recent months, meeting have grown contentious with threats against those advocating for public health measures during the pandemic.
Garland has spoken out against "harassment, intimidation and threats of violence against school board members, teachers and workers in our nation's public schools."
Gov. Greg Abbott on Thursday appointed John Scott — a Fort Worth attorney who briefly represented former President Donald Trump in a lawsuit challenging the 2020 election results in Pennsylvania — as Texas' new secretary of state.
As secretary of state, Scott would oversee election administration in Texas — a task complicated in recent years by baseless claims of election fraud from Republicans in the highest levels of government, fueled by Trump. The former president has filed a flurry of lawsuits nationwide and called for audits in Texas and elsewhere to review the results of the 2020 presidential elections. Trump's own attorney general, Bill Barr, said there was no evidence of widespread voter fraud nationwide, and in Texas, an official with the secretary of state's office said the 2020 election was "smooth and secure."
On Nov. 13, Scott signed on as counsel to a lawsuit filed by Trump attempting to block the certification of Pennsylvania's election. A few days later, Scott filed a motion to withdraw as an attorney for the plaintiffs. Scott's motion also asked to withdraw Bryan Hughes, a Texas state senator from Mineola who works for Scott's law firm, as an attorney for the case.
Scott will eventually have to be confirmed by the Legislature, which is not scheduled to meet again until 2023. Until then, he'll serve as interim secretary of state.
Abbott's announcement of Scott's appointment did not mention Scott's work for Trump — even as Abbott has endured mounting pressure from Trump supporters to call for audit elections.
"John Scott is a proven leader with a passion for public service, and his decades of experience in election law and litigation make him the ideal choice for the Texas Secretary of State," Abbott said in a statement. "John understands the importance of protecting the integrity of our elections and building the Texas brand on an international stage. I am confident that John's experience and expertise will enhance his oversight and leadership over the biggest and most thorough election audit in the country."
Scott will also be the state's liaison to Mexico, the state's biggest trading partner, and will advise Abbott on border and trade affairs.
Scott has 33 years of legal experience, arguing more than 100 legal cases in state and federal courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court. Working at the attorney general's office under Abbott, Scott was deputy attorney general for civil litigation, overseeing more than 22,000 lawsuits for the state. He later was appointed chief operating officer of the state's Health and Human Services Commission, where he was in charge of 56,000 employees and a biennial budget of $50 billion.
Scott also has served as board chair for the Department of Information Resources. He has law offices in Fort Worth and Austin.
Disclosure: The Texas secretary of state has been a financial supporter of The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization that is funded in part by donations from members, foundations and corporate sponsors. Financial supporters play no role in the Tribune's journalism. Find a complete list of them here.
Five military veterans have resigned from a board advising Sinema on policy issues.
"In a letter to Sinema, they confronted her with a litany of offenses—accusing her of using them as 'window dressing' for her political brand, ignoring their recommendations, and going back on her campaign promises to protect voting access and reduce the price of prescription drugs," said the report.
"Are you choosing to answer to big donors and lobbyists rather than Arizonans?" they asked in the letter. "These are not the actions of a maverick."
It's an accusation that Sinema has faced over the past several months after a slew of fundraisers were the only way that Arizona constituents could interact with the senator because she's didn't host any public meetings or town halls during the August recess.
Sinema revealed that she opposed President Joe Biden's Build Back Better plan because it includes raising taxes on corporations and wealthy individuals. Zip Recruiter reported that the average annual salary in Arizona is a little over $57,000
"Sinema's objections could well reduce the size of that legislation by at least $1 trillion and scuttle elements that are broadly popular in the party—like raising taxes on the wealthy to pay for investments in health care and energy," said the report. "Unlike fellow objector Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), Sinema has largely been silent on her positions through negotiations, exasperating Democrats who need her support in order to pass the bill."
Sinema's allies have reporetdly been shocked by her leadership in the Senate over her first term. She's growing increasingly isolated and alienating much of her former political network. Already one of her biggest allies is considering running against her and others who helped elect her are now running a PAC against her.
The veterans said that they worked very hard to help her win in 2018, using their own pro-military credentials to help promote her dedication to veterans and soldiers in a state with 500,000 former servicemembers.
"Nobody knows what she is thinking because she doesn't tell anybody anything," Sylvia González Andersh, one of the veterans who served on Sinema's board, told the Times. "It's very sad to think that someone who you worked for that hard to get elected is not even willing to listen."
In the past month, Sinema has lost a lot of support in her state and if the election were held today she would lose. A text poll to registered Arizona Democrats shows that Sinema has an approval rating of 25 percent and a disapproval of 70 percent, with a margin of error of five. By contrast, Sen. Mark Kelly (D-AZ) enjoys an 85 percent approval, as does Joe Biden. The decline was so dramatic that one reporter said that it should "terrify" the junior senator.
A Morning Consult poll shows that Sinema's polling among both parties means that she's dropped to 42 percent approval, thanks to the dramatic decrease in Democratic support.
Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Raw Story Investigates and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.
$95 / year — Just $7.91/month
I want to Support More
$14.99 per month