WASHINGTON -- Former Gov. Chris Christie said he expected another top official in President Donald Trump's administration to be out of a job soon. Christie said he didn't expect Trump's Environmental Protection Agency administrator, Scott Pruitt, to remain in office following revelations that he rented space in a Capitol Hill condominium owned by the wife of a prominent energy lobbyist.
South Dakota's Republican Governor Kristi Noem refuses to mandate masks for schoolchildren and teachers but she's trying to make students pray in public. Gov. Noem, who is widely expected to run for president in 2024, has let the coronavirus run rampant in her state of just 886,667 people – a population so small New York City's is ten times larger. And yet coronavirus is running rampant in South Dakota, which ranks number eight in the nation for coronavirus cases per capita.
Governor Noem just made clear she does not see herself as a government or political leader, but as a religious one. Speaking to Real America's Voice personality David Brody, Noem declared she will bring back prayer in schools (even though voluntary prayer has always been legal) and thinks political leaders are supposed to "minister" to their constituents.
Complaining that the actions other government leaders are taking "are not biblical," Noem says they are supposed to "line up with God," which is false.
"I think that it's really time for all of us to look at the actions of our leaders and see if they line up with the word of God," Noem said, "see if they're biblical and if they really are following through on those actions that God's called us to do to protect people, to serve people, and to really minister to them."
Protecting, serving, and ministering – but not in the fight against the deadly pandemic.
"We've seen our society, our culture, degrade, as we've removed God out of our lives, and people become what they spend their time doing," Noem declared. "When I was growing up, we spent every Sunday morning, every night, every Wednesday night in church, we were our church, family was a part of our life, we read the Bible every day as a family together, and spent time with each other, recognizing that we were created to serve others."
Again, Noem makes clear she does not believe serving and protecting others has anything to do with COVID-19.
"I don't know families do that as much anymore and those biblical values are learned, in the family, And they're learned in church when the doors are open so people can be there and be taught."
"We in South Dakota, have decided to take action to really stand for biblical principles. We had a bill that was passed during legislative session two years ago that put the the motto 'In God We Trust' in every single school building it is displayed. Now in every K-12 school building in the state of South Dakota.
"I have legislation that we'll be proposing this year that will allow us to pray in schools, again, I really believe that focusing on those foundational biblical principles that teach us that every life has value every person has a purpose will recenter our kids and help us really heal this division that we see taking over our country."
MSNBC's Steve Benen notes, "given that the United States is a democracy, and not a theocracy, officials' actions are supposed to line up with the Constitution and the rule of law, not how some people interpret scripture."
"What the governor seemed to be suggesting, however, isn't a system in which students pray on their own," he adds, "but one in which school officials intervene in children's religious lives. In the United States, that's not legal: As my friends at Americans United for Separation of Church and State recently explained, 'The South Dakota Supreme Court struck down mandatory recitation of the Lord's Prayer in the state's public schools in 1929. The U.S. Supreme Court invalidated school-sponsored prayer and Bible reading in public schools in 1962 and '63.'"
As the long and much-publicized saga of the search for a new full-time "Jeopardy!" host continues, it looks like fan-favorite LeVar Burton might have dodged a bullet. And it sounds like he might even agree.
Since the search for a replacement for the late, great Alex Trebek began last November, Burton, who formerly hosted "Reading Rainbow," emerged as a leading fan pick, propelled by his legions of loyal followers. A change.org petition for Burton to succeed Trebek has more than 300,000 signatures.
"I discovered then that the generation of adults now, who grew up on 'Reading Rainbow' — they were down with whatever it is I wanted to do, and the same was true with this 'Jeopardy!' thing," Burton told Noah. "I made it public that I wanted it for myself, that it made sense to me, and they were all about it. It made as much sense to them as it did to me. And, so, they wanted it for me as much as I wanted it."
Of course, for reasons unknown, the "Jeopardy!" search committee, which included Mike Richards, had other plans, initially selecting Richards and actress Mayim Bialik as co-hosts. The show has since been mired in scandal over choosing Richards, when previous lawsuits against Richards and sexist, racist comments he made on a 2014 podcast came to light.
Richards parted ways with the show, but Burton made it clear to Noah that he's no longer interested in being considered.
"The crazy thing is that when you set your sights on something, you know, they say be careful of what you wish for, because what I found out is that it wasn't the thing that I wanted after all," Burton explained. "What I wanted was to compete. I mean, I wanted the job, right, but then, when I didn't get it, it was, like, well, okay, what's next?"
Since not being chosen by "Jeopardy!," Burton revealed he's received numerous "opportunities that have come my way as a result of not getting that gig" — opportunities that he "couldn't have dreamt up."
"If you had given me a pen and paper and said, 'Well, so what do you want this to really look like?' If it doesn't include 'Jeopardy!' I wouldn't have been this generous to myself," he said.
In other words, as Noah put it, for Burton, "Jeopardy!" was really just "the shipwreck that leads you to the magical island."
When Noah then suggested Burton start his own game show, the "Star Trek: Next Generation" star – who produces his own podcast "LeVar Burton Reads" – seemed open to this idea. "There's got to be some sort of game show in and around books. There's got to be something in that world," said Noah.
"We are working on creating exactly what that is," said Burton. "I never thought about hosting any other game show outside of 'Jeopardy!.' But now, they went in a different direction with their show, which is their right, and now I'm thinking, well, it does kind of make sense, let me see what I can do. So we're trying to figure out what the right game show for LeVar Burton would be."
This week, "Jeopardy!" announced that as it continues its search for a full-time co-host for Bialik, Ken Jennings, a former contestant and the guest host who received the highest ratings this past season, will co-host on an interim basis through the rest of 2021. The trivia show clearly has a lot to figure out these days — but Burton, on the other hand, sounds like he's exactly where he needs to be.
You can watch Burton's full "Daily Show" interview with Trevor Noah below.
LeVar Burton - Growing Up Reading & His Dreams of Hosting “Jeopardy!” | The Daily Show www.youtube.com
The U.S. geological survey on reported a 4.3 magnitude earthquake occurred at approximately 8 p.m. local time.
"The earthquake was felt across Southern California, from the San Fernando Valley to Santa Ana. The temblor occurred less than a mile from West Carson, one mile from Los Angeles, two miles from Torrance and two miles from Long Beach," the Los Angeles Times reported. "An average of five earthquakes with magnitudes between 4.0 and 5.0 occur per year in the greater Los Angeles area, according to a recent three year data sample."
Breaking: A magnitude 4.4 earthquake was reported Friday evening in Carson, according to the @USGS The earthquake… https://t.co/WDA3w9R49c— Los Angeles Times (@Los Angeles Times) 1631934336.0
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