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Susan Collins praises Biden’s Supreme Court pick after meeting

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Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsSusan Collins praises Biden’s Supreme Court pick after meeting This week: Congress races shutdown clock amid Ukraine crisis Harris says Ketanji Brown Jackson ‘stands on the shoulders of giants’ MORE (R-Maine) praised Judge Ketanji Brown JacksonKetanji Brown JacksonKey GOP senator warns against ‘arbitrary timeline’ for court nominee Reinstatement of marathon bomber’s death sentence exposes Democrats’ need to hide radicalism The Hill’s Morning Report – Presented by Emergent BioSolutions – Ukraine aid, Russian oil top Congress’s to-do list MORE, President BidenJoe BidenBiden phones family of American detained in Russia Susan Collins praises Biden’s Supreme Court pick after meeting Former Bernie Sanders press secretary: proposed defense budget includes excessive amount for private contractors MORE‘s Supreme Court nominee, on Tuesday, fueling Democratic hopes that they could pick up her vote.

Collins met with Jackson for roughly an hour and a half. She cautioned that she wouldn’t decide on whether to support Jackson until after the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings, which are scheduled to start on March 21.

“I had a lengthy and very productive conversation today with Judge Jackson. I thought it went well. … It’s clear that her credentials and the breadth of her experience are impressive,” Collins said.

“Obviously, I don’t agree with her on every decision she has rendered. … But I felt that what I did get from her is that she takes a very thorough, careful approach in applying the law to the facts of the case, and that is what I want to see in a judge,” she added.

Collins has voted for every Supreme Court nominee since she joined the Senate in 1997 except Justice Amy Coney BarrettAmy Coney BarrettSusan Collins praises Biden’s Supreme Court pick after meeting Key GOP senator warns against ‘arbitrary timeline’ for court nominee Supreme Court sides with defendant in Armed Career Criminal Act case MORE. Collins said at the time that her “no” vote wasn’t tied to Barrett’s qualifications but the timeline for confirming her just days before the 2020 presidential election. 

Collins is potentially Democrats’ best chance of picking up a Republican senator to support Jackson’s nomination. She was one of three GOP senators, in addition to Sens. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiSusan Collins praises Biden’s Supreme Court pick after meeting EU prepares new sanctions against Russia, Belarus: report Politics of Russian oil ban fuels Democratic angst   MORE (Alaska) and Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamSusan Collins praises Biden’s Supreme Court pick after meeting Ukraine launches Telegram bot to collect evidence of war crimes The Memo: A long war in Ukraine will test American voters MORE (S.C.), who voted for Jackson’s nomination last year to be an appeals judge.

Murkowski, who is up for reelection, has cautioned that her previous vote doesn’t automatically mean she’ll support Jackson to be a member of the Supreme Court.

Meanwhile, Graham publicly urged the Biden administration to pick District Judge J. Michelle Childs, who was also on the Supreme Court shortlist. Republicans don’t expect him to support Jackson, but Graham hasn’t announced how he will vote and says he plans to meet with Jackson.

Democrats have worked to woo Collins.

Biden has spoken to Collins multiple times, in addition to her conversations with White House officials. Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick DurbinDick DurbinSusan Collins praises Biden’s Supreme Court pick after meeting Durbin blasts Cotton over GOP delays on judicial nominees Politics of Russian oil ban fuels Democratic angst   MORE (D-Ill.) also reached out to her quickly after Justice Stephen BreyerStephen BreyerSusan Collins praises Biden’s Supreme Court pick after meeting Reinstatement of marathon bomber’s death sentence exposes Democrats’ need to hide radicalism Harris says Ketanji Brown Jackson ‘stands on the shoulders of giants’ MORE announced his intention to retire as he works to try to reassure Republicans that they’ll be able to meet with her and he fields documents request.

Collins previously told The Hill that she thought Durbin’s outreach had been “terrific.” She added on Tuesday that she has “confidence” in his ability to hold a “fair and thorough set of hearings.”

Democrats can confirm Jackson on their own if all 50 of their members are present and stick together. But being able to peel off at least one GOP vote would let them be able to tout Jackson’s nomination as bipartisan.

Jackson’s nomination, so far, has been relatively drama-free. 

Sen. Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleySusan Collins praises Biden’s Supreme Court pick after meeting Key GOP senator warns against ‘arbitrary timeline’ for court nominee Black Chambers endorses Jackson for Supreme Court MORE (Iowa), the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee, did raise concerns this week about the timeline for starting a committee hearing on March 21, saying that Democrats shouldn’t “rush” the nomination to meet an “arbitrary timeline.”

But he also downplayed speculation that Republicans could boycott the committee vote to try to bottleneck her nomination at the committee level. 

“I haven’t heard anybody else even say they want to boycott,” Grassley said. 

Collins also indicated on Tuesday that she was comfortable with the timeline, noting that Jackson had previously gone through the Senate confirmation process for a lower court.

“I think it’s important to recognize that she has been confirmed three times now, so this is not a candidate that is a blank slate,” she said.

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Hailey Bieber Details Terrifying ‘Life-Altering’ Mini-Stroke She Suffered And Procedure To Close Hole In Her Heart

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Hailey Bieber has spoken out in her “own words” about the “life-altering,” “scariest moment” of her life she had after suffering what she called a mini-stroke, and later underwent a procedure to close a hole in her heart.

The 25-year-old supermodel and wife of superstar singer Justin Bieber took to her YouTube channel Wednesday and opened up about the terrifying experience of being hospitalized last month after she suffered a blood clot to her brain that traveled through a hole in her heart between 12 and 13 millimeters, reported People magazine.

“I had, like, a very scary incident on March 10, basically,” Bieber shared. “I was sitting at breakfast with my husband, having a normal day … and all of the sudden, I felt this really weird sensation that kind of like traveled down my arm from my shoulder all the way down to my fingertips. And it made my fingertips feel really numb and weird.”

“Justin [her husband] was like, ‘Are you okay?’” she added, as she explained that she tried to respond to him, but she “couldn’t speak.” “The right side of my face started drooping; I couldn’t get a sentence out.”

“Obviously, immediately, I thought I was having a stroke,” the supermodel continued. “He thought I was having a stroke. Right away, he asked for somebody to please call 911 and get a doctor.”

Hailey said that where they were, there happened to be a medic who started asking her lots of questions and testing her arms, calling it definitely the “scariest moment” of her life. The model talked about how the “facial drooping lasted for probably like thirty seconds.” Her speech did came back, but her “anxiety” about what was happening just made “everything worse.”

“By the time I got to the emergency room, I was pretty much back to normal – [I] could talk, [I] wasn’t having any issues with my face or my arm,” Bieber explained.

She said scans revealed she had, in fact, suffered a “small blood clot” to her brain which was labeled a “TIA” [Transient Ischemic Attack]. Hailey told her followers it was basically like having a “mini-stroke.”

Doctors still weren’t sure what caused it, but she said it was widely believed it was a combination of birth-control issues, recently having COVID-19, and having just traveled “to Paris and back in a very short amount of time,” calling it a “perfect storm.”

Further testing at the University of California, Los Angeles, revealed Bieber had a Grade 5 PFO [a small opening in the heart that usually closes after birth]. The outlet said the hold measured between 12 and 13 millimeters. She later underwent a procedure to close the hole, and said it went “very smoothly” and she’s recovering.

“The biggest thing I feel is I just feel really relieved that we were able to figure everything out, that we were able to get it closed, that I will be able to just move on from this really scary situation and just live my life,” Hailey shared.

“If there’s anybody that watches this that has gone through the same thing or something similar, I definitely really empathize with you,” she concluded. “And I understand how life-altering and scary it is.”

Bieber, who’s the daughter of actor Stephen Baldwin and Kennya Baldwin, married her husband Justin in 2018.

Related: Hailey Baldwin Credits Christian Faith For Marriage To Justin Bieber

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Wikipedia’s Left-Wing Bias

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I love Wikipedia. I donated thousands of dollars to the Wikimedia Foundation.

Before Wikipedia, all we had were printed encyclopedias—out of date by the time we bought them.

Then libertarian Jimmy Wales came up with a web-based, crowd-sourced encyclopedia.

Crowd-sourced? A Britannica editor called Wikipedia “a public restroom.” But Wales won the battle. Britannica’s encyclopedias are no longer printed.

Congratulations to Wales.

But recently, I learned that Wikipedia co-founder Larry Sanger now says Wikipedia’s political pages have turned into leftist “propaganda.”

That’s upsetting. Leftists took over the editing?

Sadly, yes. I checked it out.

All editing is done by volunteers. Wales hoped there would be enough diverse political persuasions that biases would be countered by others.

But that’s not what’s happening.

Leftists just like to write. Conservatives build things: companies, homes, farms.

You see the pattern comparing political donations from different professions: Surgeons, oil workers, truck drivers, loggers, and pilots lean right; artists, bartenders, librarians, reporters, and teachers lean left.

Conservatives don’t have as much time to tweet or argue on the web. Leftists do. And they love doing it. This helps them take over the media, universities, and now, Wikipedia.

Jonathan Weiss is what Wikipedia calls a “Top 100” Wikipedian because he’s made almost half a million edits. He says he’s noticed new bias: “Wikipedia does a great job on things like science and sports, but you see a lot of political bias come into play when you’re talking current events.”

Weiss is no conservative. In presidential races, he voted for Al Gore, Ralph Nader, and Barack Obama. Never for a Republican. “I’ve really never identified strongly with either political party,” he says.

Maybe that’s why he notices the new Wikipedia bias.

“People on the left far outweigh people on the center and the right … a lot [are] openly socialist and Marxist.” Some even post pictures of Che Guevara and Lenin on their own profiles.

These are the people who decide which news sources Wikipedia writers may cite. Wikipedia’s approved “Reliable sources” page rejects political reporting from Fox but calls CNN and MSNBC “reliable.”

Good conservative outlets like The Federalist, the Daily Caller, and The Daily Wire are all deemed “unreliable.” Same with the New York Post (That’s probably why Wikipedia called Hunter Biden’s emails a conspiracy theory even after other liberal media finally acknowledged that they were real).

While it excludes Fox, Wikipedia approves even hard left media like Vox, Slate, The Nation, Mother Jones, and Jacobin, a socialist publication.

Until recently, Wikipedia’s “socialism” and “communism” pages made no mention of the millions of people killed by socialism and communism. Even now, deaths are “deep in the article,” says Weiss, “treated as an arcane academic debate. But we’re talking about mass murder!”

The communism page even adds that we cannot ignore the “lives saved by communist modernization”! This is nuts.

Look up “concentration and internment camps” and you’ll find, along with the Holocaust, “Mexico-United States border,” and under that, “Trump administration family separation policy.”

What? Former President Donald Trump’s border controls, no matter how harsh, are very different from the Nazi’s mass murder.

Wikipedia does say “anyone can edit.” So, I made a small addition for political balance, mentioning that President Barack Obama built those cages.

My edit was taken down.

I wrote Wikipedia founder Wales to say that if his creation now uses only progressive sources, I would no longer donate.

He replied, “I totally respect the decision not to give us more money. I’m such a fan and have great respect for you and your work.” But then he said it is “just 100% false … that ‘only globalist, progressive mainstream sources’ are permitted.”

He gave examples of left-wing media that Wikipedia rejects, like Raw Story and Occupy Democrats.

I’m glad he rejects them. Those sites are childishly far left.

I then wrote again to ask why “there’s not a single right-leaning media outlet Wiki labels ‘reliable’ about politics, [but] Vox, Slate, The Nation, Mother Jones, CNN, MSNBC” get approval.

Wales then stopped responding to my emails.

Unless Wikipedia’s bias is fixed, I’ll be skeptical reading anything on the site.

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Public Health England to blame for sending patients to care homes without Covid tests

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Speaking on condition of anonymity, Whitehall officials alleged that Prof Duncan Selbie, the former PHE chief executive, was ultimately responsible for informing Mr Hancock of the risks.

Prof Selbie is working as a senior adviser to the DHSC. Neither he nor the department responded to requests for comment on Wednesday.

Mr Hancock, who was replaced by Sajid Javid last year, claimed the High Court ruling had exonerated him and the had been cleared “of any wrongdoing” because PHE “failed to tell ministers what they knew about asymptomatic transmission”.

The High Court judges concluded that care home policies in March and April 2020 were “irrational” because they failed to advise that those discharged from hospitals “should, so far as practicable, be kept apart from other residents for up to 14 days”.

“Since there is no evidence that this question was considered by the secretary of state, or that he was asked to consider it, it is not an example of a political judgment on a finely balanced issue,” they said. “Nor is it a point on which any of the expert committees had advised that no guidance was required.”

After the ruling, Boris Johnson said he wanted to “renew my apologies and sympathies” to relatives who lost loved ones, adding: “The thing we didn’t know in particular was that Covid could be transmitted asymptomatically in the way that it was.”

However, the risks of asymptomatic transmission had been highlighted by Sir Patrick Vallance, the Government’s chief scientific adviser for England, who said it was “quite likely” as early as March 13 2020. Varying levels of risk had been outlined in papers from late January, the ruling said.

The judicial review was brought by Dr Cathy Gardner and Fay Harris, whose fathers, Michael Gibson and Donald Harris, died after testing positive for Covid.

‘Opens the floodgates for potential claims’

Paul Conrathe, a solicitor at Sinclairslaw who was instructed by both women, said: “It’s possible that care home providers and relatives who lost loved ones in the first wave could bring compensation claims. The Government was found to have acted ‘irrationally’ – that’s a very high legal hurdle.”

Nadra Ahmed, who chairs the National Care Association, said the ruling “opens the floodgates for potential claims to be brought against government policy”.

“This will be especially pertinent where the individual was not given a choice,” she said. “There will be a lot of people assimilating to the information as they consider if the loss of their loved one was premature, and holding the Government to account is the only way forward for them.”

Helen Wildbore, the director of the Relatives and Residents Association, said that the ruling proved “the protective ring around care homes was non-existent” and that older people were “abandoned at the outset of the pandemic”.

A government spokesman said it had been a “very difficult decision” to discharge hospital patients into care homes, taken when evidence on asymptomatic transmission was “extremely uncertain”.

The spokesman added: “We acknowledge the judge’s comments on assessing the risks of asymptomatic transmission and our guidance on isolation, and will respond in more detail in due course.”


‘He was in a home and should have been safe’

They stood outside the Royal Courts of Justice, two women unknown to each other before the Covid pandemic but brought together by tragedy, writes Tom Ough.

Cathy Gardner spoke first, delivering a steely reading of a statement. Matt Hancock’s boast of a “protective ring” encircling care homes, Dr Gardner said, was “a despicable lie of which he ought to be ashamed and for which he ought to apologise”.

Fay Harris, more downcast in demeanour but no less forthright, told journalists: “I have lost precious years with my wonderful Dad.”

Both women lost their fathers in early 2020, arguing that they might still be alive were it not for hospital patients having been discharged into care homes without having been tested for Covid.

Michael Gibson, born in 1931, had been a superintendent registrar of births and deaths. “He was in a home and should have been safe,” Dr Gardner told The Independent after his death.

Mr Gibson, who had advanced dementia, had fallen ill a couple of weeks before the first lockdown. Staff at his care home were unable to procure tests for Covid, but the virus is believed to have struck him down.

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