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Bannon is a red flag for voters

Steve Bannon has been indicted on charges of money laundering, fraud and conspiracy. He apparently embezzled $1 million from a GoFundMe account set up to help finance former President Donald Trump’s border wall.

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Commentary: Ohio Senate Race Turning on Biden Energy Policies

by Philip Wegmann


Until Wednesday, there was a routine at the White House.

The national average for a gallon of gasoline would drop, and the president’s staff would publicly celebrate the dip as more evidence that the decision to tap the strategic petroleum reserve was helping the everyday American. And while gas was not, and is still not, cheap, the downward streak was undeniable. It lasted 99 consecutive days.

But J.D. Vance doesn’t see that as meaningful progress when prices remain high. If anything, the Ohio Republican now says the streak “should be a national scandal.”

“The fact that we are depleting the petroleum reserve of this country, so Joe Biden can claim a victory on gas prices for a midterm election, is the most politically selfish thing an American president has done in recent memory,” Vance told RealClearPolitics.

Rather than release more than 240 million barrels from that emergency supply, first in response to the coronavirus pandemic and then the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Vance has a simpler suggestion for Biden, one ready-made for the campaign trail as he competes with Democrat Tim Ryan for the open Ohio Senate seat: “What Biden should be doing is letting American companies drill for oil, refine oil, and transport oil.”

Vance wants voters to hold Ryan responsible for Biden’s energy policies – to keep in mind, for instance, the White House moratorium on new federal oil and gas leases as they cast their votes in November. The Republican doesn’t frame this as merely an economic issue. He believes it is also emblematic of a larger class divide in America between those who can easily weather changes brought by new climate policies and those who cannot.

“The elites who drive Democratic policy all make too much money to care about inflation. They live in cities where many of them don’t even have cars to begin with,” he argued. “But here in Ohio, most of us need to buy gasoline in order to get to work to do the things that we need to do to live.”

That kind of populist message should resonate in a state that Donald Trump carried by eight percentage points in 2020. But Ohio’s Senate race remains a toss-up, and according to the RealClearPolitics average, Vance leads Ryan by just two points. One reason: Ryan has aggressively courted independent voters, campaigning on how he has split with his own party in Congress, even occasionally siding with Trump, and accusing his opponent – a Yale law school grad, former corporate lawyer and onetime Silicon Valley venture capitalist – of being the actual out-of-touch elitist.

But when Ryan recently told plumbers and steamfitters that it was time to “go all in on natural gas” and that the fossil fuel was “a hell of an opportunity for Eastern Ohio,” Vance pushed back.

“The guy is betting on us being stupid,” the Republican said, insisting that the “thrust” of Ryan’s “public policy career has been trying to ban fossil fuels, but now that he’s running for office in Ohio state-wide, he knows it is unpopular and he’s running away from it.”

The Vance campaign argues that Rep. Ryan, despite his blue-collar rhetoric, is no different than any other liberal progressive. Republicans highlight how the congressman from Youngstown told the Washington Post in 2019 that the federal government should “significantly ramp up oversight and regulation” of the natural gas industry and, if companies didn’t improve their environmental record, ought “to step in and halt fracking operations.” Vance also notes that Ryan supported Biden’s drilling moratorium and opposed legislation to deregulate the permitting process for oil and gas pipelines.

According to Vance, his opponent “totally abandoned” the oil and natural gas industry in the face of increased regulation from the current administration, “but he says he likes natural gas now because he knows that it is politically popular.”

The Ryan campaign argues the exact opposite, and they pointed RCP to the natural gas-fired power plants in his home district, like the one in Lordstown that he said in April would help “knock Vladimir Putin’s legs out from under him.”

Ryan’s team also cite a 2012 letter Ryan sent to then-President Barack Obama encouraging the administration to back the export of liquified natural gas, his support of a gas pipeline in Ohio, and his recent decision to co-sign legislation by Sen. Joe Manchin to streamline the permitting process for new domestic energy projects.

“Once again, San Francisco phony JD Vance is trying to hide the fact that he’s flip-flopped on his support for natural gas by lying about Tim’s long record of fighting like hell for Ohio’s energy industry,” said Ryan campaign spokesman Jordan Fuja, referencing remarks Vance made in 2020 voicing support of natural gas while noting its limitations to take the United States “to a clean energy future.”

While the White House has tried to curb rising energy costs, Biden has also cited higher gas prices as hastening the transition to a future where the country is less reliant on fossil fuels. His administration has pitched electric vehicles as a long-term solution that would insulate American drivers from pain at the pump brought on by geopolitical crisis like the current war in Ukraine. For his part, while running for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination in a crowded field that included Joe Biden, Ryan called for banning gas-powered vehicles.

“I hope we don’t have to wait until 2050. The way things are moving – Senator [Bernie] Sanders and I got into this in the debate a little bit. He was like, banning gas cars in 2040, and in my mind, in all honesty, it’s like okay, great, whatever,” Ryan told voters in New Hampshire. “But if we’re waiting for 2040 to get rid of gas vehicles, we’re doing something terribly wrong.”

His Senate campaign has since said that Ryan’s comments were meant to indicate his desire “to go all-in on creating new job opportunities” for Ohio. But Vance counters that Ryan’s call to ban gas vehicles has made the race something of a referendum on the internal combustion engine. He says “people should be able to drive whatever car they want.”

What of the administration promise that an electric vehicle future will bring with it manufacturing jobs? Vance found those “a little bit reminiscent” of the old Obama-era idea that out-of-work coal miners could be taught “to code.” He doesn’t besmirch new computer programming jobs, or new electric vehicle manufacturing for that matter. “But let’s not kid ourselves,” Vance said, “if you create 500 EV jobs but destroy 2,000 gas-powered auto worker jobs, then on net, Ohioans have really suffered.”

The batteries needed to power electric vehicles are so inextricably tied to Chinese lithium and cobalt mining, Vance added, that “unless you really develop a native American economy and all of those things, the investments in the EV industry might help a little bit but, on net, they’re going to make a lot of Ohioans worse off.”

Talk of a clean energy revolution from Democrats is lofty. The results, according to Vance, are disastrous.

“We’re living in the most inflated energy economy in my lifetime, at a time when we have the most aggressive clean energy policy,” he said. “The promise has clearly not met the reality. We’ve seen what these policies lead to – what they lead to is immiseration and theft from the American working class.” The disconnect between promises and results, Vance insisted, was another example of the “massive lifestyle difference from coastal liberals to actual middle-class people in Ohio.”

Vance and Ryan are backed by the champions of their respective parties who, in turn, are equally unpopular with opposite sides of the electorate. While Biden and Ryan appeared together at a groundbreaking ceremony for a new computer chip factory in Ohio earlier this month, the congressman says he is running as “an independent” and has publicly questioned if the president should seek a second term. Meanwhile Vance, once a Trump-skeptic like many conservatives, now welcomes Trump’s endorsement.

The former president praised Vance as an “incredible patriot who will take the fight to Biden and the radical left media every day” before blasting media reports that Republican Senate candidates were keeping him at a distance. Not Vance. That Ohio Republican, Trump told a crowd at a Saturday rally, was “kissing my ass.”

Asked about those choice words from Trump, Vance replied, “Look, I know we had a fun rally, and I think that he did exactly what he needed to do for the perspective of my campaign, which is highlight the fact that Tim Ryan is a lying fraud who pretends he supports Trump’s policies when, in fact, he supports Biden and Nancy Pelosi’s policies.”

– – –

Philip Wegmann is writer for RealClearPolitics.
Photo “Tim Ryan” by Tim Ryan. 





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'It could have killed her': Woman hit by falling cell phone at state fair hospitalized

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Two days after Rebecca Gillespie was injured after being hit by a falling cell phone, she’s back in the hospital.

Rebecca Gillespie was hospitalized late Wednesday after suffering from complications from a severe concussion. Image courtesy Sianna Gillespie.

Rebecca Gillespie and her family had just stepped in line for their very first ride at the OK State Fair on Tuesday when a cell phone came flying out of the sky, hitting her on the head.

Rebecca Gillespie was waiting in line for a ride with family when she was hit. Image courtesy Sianna Gillespie.

Video of the incident along with photos from bystanders caught the shocking scene, and the aftermath.

“[The phone] gashes her head open, shatters. Glass went everywhere,” said her mom Heidi Gillespie, motioning to her head.

Rebecca was rushed to the hospital with a deep wound and later diagnosed with a severe concussion.

Rebecca receiving treatment from a Good Samaritan at the Fair. Image courtesy Sianna Gillespie.

Doctors told Heidi the impact was like a small missile or flying object hitting at a high rate of speed.

“They did tell her she was really lucky because it could have killed her,” she added.

The eighteen-year-old was sent home late Tuesday with strict instructions to rest and symptoms to watch for in case there was a problem.

Closeup of Rebecca’s injuries after her first hospital visit. Image courtesy Sianna Gillespie.

On Wednesday, she was rushed back to the hospital after her boyfriend unconscious.

“She [was] kind of slumped over and wasn’t responding,” said Heidi.

“Does she have a brain bleed or is something going on or is she having a stroke? [There are] all the scenarios going through your head of what could be wrong,” she continued. 

In an interview Thursday with KFOR, her mom said doctors have now diagnosed her with a traumatic brain injury.

“She did not remember what day it was [and] she’s kind of lost [her senses] but they say that’s pretty normal,” added Heidi, describing Rebecca’s condition in the hospital.

State Fair officials said they work hard to provide a safe environment and whoever dropped the phone clearly didn’t follow posted rules.

“Things happen, but we’re prepared for the contingencies [and] there’s a whole list of rules and regulations based on the mechanics of the given ride,” said State Fair Spokesperson Scott Munz.

“The ride operator would have seen it and told [the owner] to leave it behind,” he continued.

Munz said the State Fair does not have any legal standing to charge the person who may be responsible for dropping the phone.

“It’s probably in the back of [Rebecca’s] mind that this is the worst thing that’s happened at the fair, because it happened to her,” he added, also noting that the State Fair has around 900,000 visitors each year.

Rebecca’s mom said while they’re concerned about a number of issues moving forward, including accountability and who could bear responsibility for impending medical bills, at the moment they are primarily concerned about her recovery.

“We’re kind of in a waiting game,” she said.

“It’s definitely going to be hard for her for a little while.”

The State Fair Spokesman told KFOR there was a State Fair investigator on the case, and the family may be contacted by the ride operator if they bear any responsibility.

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Suspect leaves several Middletown restaurants without paying, police say

Middletown Police
This is a file image of the Middletown Police Department. (WLNE)

MIDDLETOWN, R.I. (WLNE) — Police said on Thursday that a suspect didn’t pay their bill at several restaurants throughout Middletown in the past week.

“The individual is believed to have been frequenting local hotels and restaurants throughout Aquidneck Island,” according to Middletown police.

Police said a person of interest has been identified.

Any local restaurants that have experienced similar incidents are urged to call the Middletown Police Department at 401-846-1144.

No further information was released.

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Sports Scoreboard – Thursday, September 22, 2022

Potter County def. Stanley County, 25-21, 25-23, 17-25, 25-13
Sully Buttes def. Sunshine Bible Academy, 25-12, 25-10, 25-14
Bon Homme def. Chamberlain, 25-20, 25-15, 25-8
Burke def. Chamberlain, 25-5, 25-4, 25-15
Iroquois-Lake Preston def. Highmore-Harrold, 28-26, 25-21, 25-16
Jones County def. Todd County, 25-11, 25-7, 25-9
Wall def. White River, 17-25, 25-16, 25-18, 25-22
Wagner def. Kimball-White Lake, 25-14, 25-12, 25-13
Aberdeen Christian def. North Central, 25-22, 23-25, 25-18, 25-22
Ipswich def. Langford Area, 25-10, 25-14, 25-16
Faith def. New Underwood, 25-19, 25-22, 25-15
Aberdeen Roncalli def. Sisseton, 25-12, 26-24, 25-16
Andes Central-Dakota Christian def. Freeman Academy-Marion, 25-19, 25-18, 24-26, 27-25
Arlington def. Dell Rapids St. Mary, 25-21, 25-22, 23-25, 25-20
Avon def. Colome, 25-14, 25-22, 19-25, 25-21
Baltic def. Parker, 25-9, 25-13, 25-14
Burke def. Bon Homme, 18-25, 25-13, 25-19, 25-19
Canistota def. Bridgewater-Emery, 25-18, 25-22, 25-17
Chester Area def. Garretson, 25-23, 26-28, 25-21, 25-21
Clark-Willow Lake def. Deuel, 25-17, 19-25, 25-20, 25-18
Dell Rapids def. Flandreau, 25-19, 25-9, 25-17
Deubrook Area def. Estelline-Hendricks, 25-22, 16-25, 25-16, 25-22
Elk Point-Jefferson def. Alcester-Hudson, 25-13, 25-16, 25-19
Elkton-Lake Benton def. Colman-Egan, 3-1
Ellendale (ND) def. Leola-Frederick Area, 25-16, 25-14, 25-16
Freeman def. Menno, 25-13, 25-17, 25-21
Great Plains Lutheran def. Waverly-South Shore, 25-14, 25-9, 25-18
Groton Area def. Tiospa Zina, 26-24, 25-17, 25-10
Hamlin def. Webster Area, 25-8, 25-14, 25-11
Hanson def. Irene-Wakonda, 25-19, 25-16, 19-25, 25-22
Hill City def. Newell, 25-20, 25-15, 22-25, 25-23
Huron def. Brookings, 25-21, 25-23, 25-18
Madison def. Tri-Valley, 25-21, 25-20, 22-25, 25-16
McCook Central/Montrose def. Parkston, 25-13, 25-17, 25-18
Northwestern def. Waubay-Summit, 25-4, 25-4, 25-11
Oldham-Ramona/Rutland def. Sioux Falls Lutheran, 21-25, 25-18, 25-21, 25-16, 15-10
Rapid City Christian def. St. Thomas More, 25-13, 25-19, 25-22
Rapid City Stevens def. Rapid City Central, 25-13, 25-12, 25-13
Redfield def. Milbank, 17-25, 25-15, 27-25, 23-25, 15-10
Scotland def. Marty, 25-3, 25-20, 25-13
Sioux Falls Christian def. Dakota Valley, 25-15, 25-18, 25-21
Sioux Falls Jefferson def. Brandon Valley, 20-25, 25-19, 25-11, 25-22
Sioux Falls Lincoln def. Harrisburg, 25-13, 28-26, 25-22
St. Francis Indian def. Little Wound, 25-9, 21-25, 26-24, 22-25
Tri-State (ND) def. Wilmot, 25-13, 25-18, 25-11
Viborg-Hurley def. Centerville, 25-11, 25-4, 25-11
Watertown def. Mitchell, 25-19, 22-25, 26-24, 25-16
West Central def. Lennox, 25-17, 22-25, 25-21, 25-19
Wolsey-Wessington def. James Valley Christian, 25-12, 25-17, 25-12

Brandon Valley 0, Sioux Falls Roosevelt 0
Sioux Falls Christian 3, Garretson 0
St. Thomas More #, Sturgis #
Rapid City Stevens 6, Douglas/Rapid City Christian/New Underwood 0
Mitchell 4, Brookings 3
Watertown 10, Huron 0
Vermillion 5, Dakota Valley 1

Brookings 7, Mitchell 0
Belle Fourche 9, Custer 4
Vermillion 9, Dakota Valley 0
Sioux Falls Washington 2, Tea Area 1
St. Thomas More 3, Sturgis 2
Rapid City Stevens 8, Douglas/Rapid City Christian/New Underwood 0
Huron 0, Watertown 0

Cleveland 29, Pittsburgh 17

Kansas City 4, Minnesota 1
Texas 5, Los Angeles Angels 3
Seattle 9, Oakland 5
Tampa Bay 10, Toronto 5
Baltimore 2, Houston 0
New York Yankees 5, Boston 4 (10) – Yankees clinch playoff spot
Cleveland 4, Chicago White Sox 2

San Francisco 3, Colorado 0
St. Louis 5, San Diego 4
Chicago Cubs 3, Pittsburgh 2
Milwaukee 5, Cincinnati 1
Philadelphia 1, Atlanta 0
Los Angeles Dodgers 3, Arizona 2

West Virginia 33, Virginia Tech 10
Coastal Carolina 41, Georgia State 24
Illinois 31, Chattanooga 0

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Do you have one? These cork bottom promotional mugs are recalled for burn risk

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Thousands of promotional mugs with cork bottoms are being recalled for the risk of breaking when hot liquids are poured into them.

The mugs were made with a cork bottom, and were typically sold as promotional products for companies to add their own logos onto. The recall states that the coffee cups can crack or break when hot liquids are poured into them, potentially causing burns. Around 25,000 of the mugs are affected by the recall.

Boozy Mountain Dew now sold in Virginia – Here’s where you can find it

The mugs come in two colors, black and white, and were distributed by Accompany USA. Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled ceramic mugs and contact Accompany USA to receive a full refund.

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George Till: Dangerous misinformation vs. the facts on elective abortions

This commentary is written by Rep. George Till of Jericho, who is a board-certified obstetrician-gynecologist who has served in the Vermont Legislature since 2008. Dr. Till is also an associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the UVM School of Medicine.  

A lot of misinformation is being circulated regarding the abortion-rights amendment known as Article 22 or Proposal 5, which will appear as a ballot measure on Nov. 8. As a member of the state Legislature and a physician practicing obstetrics and gynecology for 40 years, I would like to offer my perspective. 

In addition to being a member of the Legislature, I serve as the division chief of general OB/GYN at University of Vermont Medical Center, the division responsible for providing termination of pregnancy services at UVMMC. 

Through these roles, I have learned the policies, health implications and political landscape surrounding abortion rights in our state. In summary, legislative restrictions on reproductive rights are a huge risk to women’s overall health.

Pregnancy terminations are very safe procedures, and the earlier in pregnancy they are done, the safer they are. When legislatures restrict access to reproductive health care, including abortion, we see a large overall increase in maternal morbidity and mortality. This is why the passage of of this amendment is so important. It will change nothing about current restrictions regarding pregnancy terminations in Vermont, but only prevent the political imposition of new restrictions in the future.

Perhaps the most common and disturbing piece of misinformation being circulated surrounding Article 22 is the idea that it will remove all restrictions on abortion and “enshrine elective pregnancy termination up to the time of birth.” This is blatantly untrue.   

There currently are and there will continue to be restrictions on abortion procedures in Vermont. What will be enshrined in our Constitution is that politicians (the Legislature and the governor) will not determine what restrictions should be placed on abortion procedures, but rather that these restrictions will be left — as they are now, and as they should be — to the hospitals, professional medical organizations, and the Board of Medical Practice, which set standards of care with which Vermont providers must comply.  

The Board of Medical Practice can revoke a physician’s license for a single episode of “failure to conform to the essential standards of acceptable and prevailing practice.” As such, practitioners are held to evidence-based standards. Additionally, state regulations require that every pregnancy termination be reported to the state, and if beyond 20 weeks, reported with a completed death certificate that requires extensive background information about the parents and medical situation.  

There is not currently, nor will there be due to this amendment, any provider or facility in Vermont doing elective terminations beyond the gestational age of 21 weeks, six days, with 22 weeks being the currently accepted threshold of viability. Very rarely are terminations done after 21 weeks and 6 days in Vermont, and those are done only in the hospital setting at UVMMC. Hospitals are very highly regulated and UVMMC maintains clear guidelines prohibiting elective terminations from 22 weeks onward. 

A pregnancy termination beyond 21 weeks and 6 days in Vermont only occurs in very specific circumstances, including for severe fetal anomaly, a fetal condition incompatible with life, or a dangerous, possibly life-threatening maternal health reason.

If termination is requested beyond 21 weeks and 6 days, an ethics consultation must be obtained to review the indications before the induction of labor or termination can be done. If the Ethics Committee does not agree, the termination is not done. We only do three to five terminations after 21 weeks and 6 days per year at UVMMC. The amendment will not change that.

Some Vermonters may wonder: Why is it important to make this constitutional change if we already have laws protecting reproductive rights in Vermont?   

In the last legislative session, there were no less than five proposed bills that would have restricted reproductive rights in Vermont. One stated specifically: “This bill proposes to narrow the right to reproductive choice.” Without the proposed constitutional amendment, we can expect continued attempts to restrict reproductive rights in every legislative session.

Passage of Article 22/Proposal 5 by popular vote on Nov. 8 would be the final step of this multi-stage process to amend the Vermont Constitution. The measure was originally approved by the House and Senate in the 2019–20 legislative biennium and, as required, was passed again by both chambers in the 2021–22 biennium. These were critical steps to protecting the right to access reproductive services in our state, but they will be meaningless if this amendment is not passed by a popular vote on Nov. 8.

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