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Reprinted with permission from Alternet

No sooner had Axios reported that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi planned to aggressively step up her attacks on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell than the New York Times reported that the House Oversight Committee had escalated its investigation of McConnell’s wife, Transportation Department Secretary Elaine Chao, by asking her to hand over documents pertaining to communication with her family’s shipping company.

Led by Rep. Elijah E. Cummings of Maryland, the House Oversight Committee is investigating Chao to determine if there are any conflicts of interest between her activities as Commerce Department secretary in the Trump Administration and her connection to Foremost Group — a New York City-based shipping company owned by Chao’s family. Activities that the House Oversight Committee considers questionable, according to New York Times reporters Eric Lipton and Michael Forsythe, include public appearances with her father James Chao (who founded Foremost Group) and plans to simultaneously meet with her father and Chinese government officials.

In a letter sent to Chao on Monday, the House Oversight Committee noted that “federal regulations prohibit federal employees from using their public offices for the ‘private gain’” of friends or family members. The letter, signed by Cummings and Democratic Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi of Illinois, reads, “Several reports indicate that you have used your official position to benefit Foremost Group, a shipping company owned by your father and sisters that is headquartered in New York and operates a fleet that transports materials to and from China.”

The letter also inquires about Chao’s failure to sell, in 2018, her interest in the company Vulcan Materials Company as she had promised. Vulcan manufactures road construction materials.

A spokesperson for Chao has stated that as Transportation Department secretary, she has taken no official action designed to boost Foremost Group.

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Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the MAGA movement and far-right Christian fundamentalists have downplayed its severity — inspiring critics to slam MAGA as a suicidal "death cult." Christian fundamentalist Joy Pullmann, in a shocking op-ed published by the far-right website The Federalist on the day of Gen. Colin Powell's death, argues that Christians should welcome death from COVID-19, like any other cause of death, as "a good thing." And she attacks the "pagan assumptions" of those who argue in favor of widespread vaccination.

"For Christians, death is good," Pullmann writes. "Yes, death is also an evil — its existence is a result of sin. But thanks be to God, Jesus Christ has redeemed even death. In his resurrection, Christ has transformed death into a portal to eternal life for Christians…. The Christian faith makes it very clear that death, while sad to those left behind and a tragic consequence of human sin, is now good for all who believe in Christ."

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Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Don Winslow, the author of several New York Times bestsellers, blasted Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) in a newly-released video shared on social media.

For months now, Manchin has positioned himself as one of the main roadblocks of President Joe Biden's proposed Build Back Better agenda, pushing back on key provisions including child tax credits and climate initiatives.

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