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Pro-GOP group places billboards near closed schools where Dem races are at stake in 2022

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A pro-Republican group in a dozen congressional districts controlled by Democrats is putting up advertisements targeting the issue of reopening schools during the coronavirus pandemic, Fox News reported Thursday.

On Thursday, the American Action Network (AAN) is unveiling a new issue advocacy campaign that calls for House lawmakers to support the safe reopening of U.S. schools, Fox News reported. The advertisements, which were first shared with Fox News, will appear in 12 districts represented by Democrats viewed as possibly weak in the 2022 midterm elections and who voted recently against the Reopen Schools Act sponsored by Rep. Ashley Hinson (R-Iowa).

The legislation would have provided full federal funding to schools that reopen for in-person learning during the pandemic and punished those that stay closed.

President Joe Biden’s administration, amid the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, has been pushing for schools to reopen soon, though teachers unions in major cities across the country have been fighting aggressively against this, calling for more protections and more vaccination of teachers. This has put Biden, seen by many as an ally of unions, in an awkward position as Republicans turn up the heat against him and Democrats for the slow march toward school reopenings and continued closures.

“Kids are falling behind, yet liberals in Congress seem not to care,” AAN president Dan Conston charged in a statement.

“[E]ven though the science shows it’s safe for children to return to school, teachers unions continue to keep students locked out of their classrooms,” Conston said, citing studies such as one from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicating that, when mask-wearing and social-distancing policies are practiced, the risk of COVID-19 spreading in schools remains low.

RELATED: CDC Director: Vaccinating teachers ‘not a prerequisite’ for safely reopening schools

“Liberals in Congress — awash in teacher union cash — are picking the unions over America’s kids,” he added. “Our children have fell behind enough, it’s time Congress supported safely reopening schools now.”

Across the country, several teachers unions are demanding more COVID-19 testing, vaccinations, and other protection measures before returning to in-person learning. The CDC is expected to publish new and more detailed guidance later this week on reopening schools, according to Fox News.

Part of the new AAN campaign features billboards nearby shut-down schools in the districts of Democratic Reps. Andy Kim (N.J.), Susan Wild (Pa.), and Elaine Luria (Va.). Moreover, this trio and nine other House Democrats will also be hit with digital advertisements in their districts and what the AAN calls “grassroots phone calls to their district offices,” according to Fox News.

The other nine others are Reps. Josh Harder (Calif.), Cheri Bustos of (Ill.), Haley Stevens (Mich.), Chris Pappas (N.H.), Tom Malinowski (N.J.), Matt Cartwright (Pa.), Education and Labor Committee chair Bobby Scott (Va.), Abigail Spanberger (Va.), and Ron Kind (Wis.), Fox News reported.

The AAN, a nonprofit advocacy group founded in 2010 along with its sister organization, the Congressional Leadership Fund (CLF), raised more than $215 million during the 2020 election cycle, according to Fox News. The latter was the largest spender among outside organizations supporting House Republicans, and the AAN spent millions advocating for conservative policies in Washington, D.C., as Fox News pointed out.

In order to retake the Democrat-controlled House in 2022, Republicans only need to flip five seats. In the 2018 midterms, Democrats ended eight years of GOP control in the lower chamber, however, Republicans surprised pollsters in 2020 by eating away at the Democratic majority. A phenomenon that has often repeated itself in contemporary politics is that the party in control of the White House typically loses House seats during the first midterm elections of the new administration.

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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Trump: Tanks to Ukraine could escalate to use of ‘NUKES’

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Former President Donald Trump stated bluntly on Truth Social,  “FIRST COME THE TANKS, THEN COME THE NUKES. Get this crazy war ended, NOW. So easy to do!”

Trump was referring to the escalation of war in Ukraine. He, like many other commentators and lawmakers, are warning that the decision to continue sending weapons – and now tanks – could potentially lead to the use of “nuclear weapons.”

It’s mission creep and it’s dangerous, they say.

Why? Because Russian President Valdimir Putin has indicated in two different speeches that he would use nuclear weapons to defend Russia, if needed. Those warnings are not just bluster but a very real possibility.

And the escalation of war is visible.

Russia launched 55 missiles strikes across Ukraine Thursday, leaving 11 dead. The strikes come one day after the United States and Germany agreed to send tanks to Ukraine in an effort to aide the country. 47 of the 55 missiles were shot down according to Ukraine’s Air Force command.

Eleven lives were lost and another 11 were injured additionally leaving 35 buildings damaged in the wake of the attacks. According to The New York Times, Denys Shmyhal, said in a post on Telegram. “The main goal is energy facilities, providing Ukrainians with light and heat,” he said.

Ukraine is now demanding that they need F-16 fighter jets. In a post on twitter Ukrainian lawmaker, Oleksiy Goncharenko said, “Missiles again over Ukraine. We need F16.”

The US has abstained from sending advanced jets in the chances that a volatile decision could foster more dangerous attacks like former President Trump’s post on Truth referred to. If the US did authorize the decision to lend Ukraine the F-16 jets Netherlands’ foreign minister, Wopke Hoekstra, would be willing to supply them. According to The New York Times, Hoekstra told Dutch lawmakers, “We are open-minded… There are no taboos.”

F-16 fighter jets are complex to work on, they are not the average aircraft that can be learned in a matter of weeks. It can take months for pilots to learn how to fly these birds. European and US officials have the concern that Ukrainian forces could potentially use the jets to fly into Russian airspace and launch attacks on Russian soil.

Western allies are trying to avoid such a provocation, because that could lead to nuclear warfare in reference to what Putin has said he would do to defend his country.

 

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