From the outside, this church looks like any other. But step inside, and you’ll realize it’s something totally different
From the outside, this church looks like any other. But step inside, and you’ll realize it’s something totally different
Jill Biden's visit to Alabama is an early look at how the White House plans to deploy the first lady to connect her husband's message to struggling Americans, in red states especially.Driving the news: Axios traveled with Biden on Friday to Birmingham, accompanying her to the James Rushton Early Learning Center and a YWCA where Biden spoke about how the administration's $1.9 trillion stimulus law can help address child poverty. Both centers she visited run Head Start programs that benefit from the law.Get market news worthy of your time with Axios Markets. Subscribe for free."This pandemic will not break us," Biden said in her remarks. "I know that you would do anything for your child. You want to give them the world. Every parent does."Why it matters: Democrats passed the massive spending package with no Republican support. Now President Biden is seeking to highlight what's in it for Americans in every state, as the administration sets the table for an even bigger infrastructure bill the GOP leadership also has vowed to oppose.The COVID-19 pandemic has hit Alabama hard, disproportionately affecting Black residents and increasing hunger and unemployment across the state.The child tax credit provision in the law could cut child poverty by half, according to the Center on Poverty and Social Policy at Columbia University.Details: Jill Biden, who is continuing to work as a community college professor, brought English papers to grade aboard the flight. Her work as an educator is woven through her speeches and personal interactions.She quoted Mr. Rogers in one set of remarks to community members and elected officials.She grabbed a pipette and joined preschoolers in a science experiment around chemical reactions that involved baking soda.Rep. Terri Sewell, the state's only Democratic member of Congress, introduced her to students by saying, "She's a teacher. She's also the first lady. Isn't that cool?" The big picture: Alabama overwhelmingly backed former President Trump over President Biden last November, with 62% of the vote. But reaching across the aisle and engaging with Republican-controlled states is a key part of the Biden message. Alabama was No. 47 of 50 for education in the latest U.S. News & World Report ranking of states, 45th for health care and 37th for opportunity.Meanwhile, Georgia's pivotal shift to Biden underscores the power of engaging voters of color and progressives in Southern states that once were considered deep red.With Republican Sen. Richard Shelby's decision not to seek reelection next year, some Democrats see Alabama as an opportunity to pick up a seat — though most strategists agree it would be a long shot.Between the lines: Jill Biden made several stops in Alabama during the 2020 Democratic primary campaign, helping her husband compete against rivals Michael Bloomberg — who invested heavily in staffing and ads there as part of a Super Tuesday strategy — and Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont.During her previous visits there, she got to know Sewell as well as Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin, both of whom were part of the Friday trip.And the Bidens have long been close to Doug Jones, a Democrat and former prosecutor who served as Alabama's senator for three years.Jones was seated after Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions left his seat early to join the Trump administration and the Republican nominee in the race was beset by scandal. Jones decisively lost his reelection bid last year.What they’re saying: Jones, who also was part of Friday's entourage, told Axios that sending the first lady to Alabama sends precisely the message President Biden has sought to convey. “You don’t just go to your supporters,” he said. “You go to some places where there might be some skepticism.”Like this article? Get more from Axios and subscribe to Axios Markets for free.
The number of counties with unfilled vaccine appointments at chain retailers Walmart, CVS and Rite Aid grew about 60% this week over last week.
Federal regulators are probing financial reporting discrepancies stemming from an effort to funnel $75 million through state Republican parties to the national GOP effort to reelect Donald Trump, Axios has learned. Why it matters: In comments to Axios and filings with the Federal Election Commission, some state party officials seemed unaware of their roles.Get market news worthy of your time with Axios Markets. Subscribe for free.What they’re saying: "I am not sure what report your (sic) looking at please point me toward it or forward the link to it to me," Vermont GOP chair Deb Billado told Axios when asked about nearly $400,000 sent to the state party by the Trump Victory joint fundraising committee last year and immediately routed to the RNC. The Vermont GOP disclosed those transfers in its FEC filings, as required. But Billado said in an email the state party had "not interfaced with other states nor the national RNC on fundraising.” She did not respond to subsequent questions about how such large transfers could have taken place without her knowledge.The FEC asked the Republican Party of New Mexico last month to explain why it initially failed to report more than $550,000 in payments in September from Trump Victory and to the RNC. The state party replied it wasn’t until about six weeks after the fact that “information was received” regarding those transfers.The Hawaii Republican Party amended multiple FEC filings in February to note for the first time that it was a Trump Victory beneficiary — and to disclose nearly $1.7 million it received months earlier and immediately passed on to the RNC. It hasn’t responded to the FEC’s request for a more detailed explanation.The intrigue: It’s not clear mechanically how such large transfers could have taken place without explicit buy-in from state parties ostensibly responsible for them.One clue might lie with the Hawaii GOP. In addition to noting its Trump Victory participation, it told the FEC in February it had a previously undisclosed bank account — not in Hawaii, but at Chain Bridge Bank in McLean, Va.That same bank is used by the RNC, Trump Victory and other GOP state parties.In making its acknowledgment, the Hawaii party told the FEC the bank account was “associated” with Trump Victory. Acting state party chair Boyd Ready would not speak on the record about the nature and use of the account.The big picture: Trump Victory made 260 disbursements to the state parties last year, totaling more than $75 million. In every case, the state parties — usually on the same day — passed on the precise sums they’d received to the RNC.The RNC says the transfers were fully above board. "We only accept and disburse contributions in accordance with the law, and the RNC was proud to have invested more in our state parties last cycle than ever before," a committee official told Axios.It’s a tactic pioneered by the Democratic National Committee during Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign. And it’s legal, as long as the state parties actually take control of the funds before sending it to their national affiliate.A Biden joint fundraising committee also engaged in some similar transfers last year, though not in as large or comprehensive a fashion as Trump Victory.How it works: After locking up the 2016 Republican nomination, Trump set up Trump Victory, a joint fundraising committee designed to raise funds for his campaign, the RNC and 11 state Republican parties. Joint fundraising committees like Trump Victory can “stack” contribution limits for each campaign or party organ for which they raise money.For example, if a JFC benefits three campaigns, an individual donor can give three times the maximum contribution it could provide to a single candidate. The JFC then distributes the money evenly to its three beneficiaries.By the 2020 election, Trump Victory had 48 beneficiaries: the RNC, the Trump campaign and 46 state parties. The annual contribution limit to the group was a whopping $817,800, or the combined total of allowable donations to each of those 48 entities.State parties can donate unlimited sums to the national party. By routing all of their Trump Victory receipts back to the RNC, the latter could keep far more of the JFC haul than contribution limits would normally allow.The bottom line: Critics have used terms like “laundering” to describe the tactic. But the FEC has never agreed to pursue an investigation of the practice, even when Trump Victory itself faced similar questions after the 2016 election.Hit with an FEC complaint in 2017, state Democratic parties that routed $92 million to the DNC insisted they had controlled the money and passed it along to the national party of their own accord.The FEC's general counsel, citing a fact pattern nearly identical to Trump Victory transfers last year, called those claims "not credible" and recommended the FEC investigate.The commission deadlocked, effectively blocking the probe.More from Axios: Sign up to get the latest market trends with Axios Markets. Subscribe for free
House Democrats still reeling from the Jan. 6 Capitol assault have found a new refuge: a group text chain in which they share everything from their anxieties to recipes and other attention-shifters.What they're saying: “I liken it to that experience when I was in combat,” said Rep. Jason Crow (D-Colo.), a decorated Army Ranger and veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan who's one of about 20 members in the “Gallery Group."Stay on top of the latest market trends and economic insights with Axios Markets. Subscribe for free“When you go through a traumatic experience and a situation like that together, it brings you together in a way that is very unique," Crow said.The group — whose members hunkered down together in the House Gallery as a pro-Trump mob tried to break into the chamber — was organized by Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.).Why it matters: Many lawmakers and staffers from both political parties still struggle with trauma and fear. Some members have added cameras to their homes to increase security back in their districts. Rep. Angie Craig (D-Minn.) told Axios she now has a bulletproof vest.Rep. Susan Wild (D-Pa.) said she won't be holding town hall meetings with her constituents for the foreseeable future. Crow gripped her wrist on Jan. 6 as they laid on the floor of the Gallery.Aides to multiple Republican House members said their boss would not be comfortable speaking about the topics and would not facilitate connecting them to Axios.Three months later, Congress has yet to decide on permanent security measures, including recommendations from a month-old report by a Capitol review panel.The concern was rekindled on April 2, when a man rammed a car into the north entrance of the Capitol grounds. A Capitol Police officer was killed in the attack and two others were injured.Lawmakers were amid a two-week recess at the time, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters Thursday that Congress is "going to have to pass" legislation to improve on Capitol security "very soon."She gave no firm timeline, but lawmakers return this week.How it works: The Democrats on the group chat connect through a secure app, virtual Zoom meetings and in-person gatherings.It's a group with wide-spanning ages, geographic locations and ideologies who share their communal bond from riding out the attack.The Zoom meetings started four days after the insurrection, with the help of the Office of Employee Assistance. The congressional office routinely provides support services to the House of Representatives community.Flashback: This particular group of lawmakers was among the last to evacuate the House chamber. Some of them walked past rioters being held at gunpoint by police, while other law enforcement officials whisked them off to an undisclosed location.In the following days, the group text they'd begun became — for many of them — the first thing to read in the morning and the last before going to bed, Rep. Norma Torres (D-Calif.) told Axios.Another member is freshman Rep. Sara Jacobs (D-Calif.). The 32-year-old was just days into the job on Jan 6.She ducked behind a chair in the Gallery and waited for guidance.The group's conversations have evolved to include discussions about their families, recipes and plans for the weekends.Crow says he’s still subjected to “unrelenting hell” by the group for bringing cookies to a potluck gathering after initially volunteering to bring a key lime pie."That did not go over well,” he said with a laugh.Like this article? Get more from Axios and subscribe to Axios Markets for free.
The Yankees avoided being swept by the Rays, scoring 4 runs in the 10th and taking the series finale, 8-4. Manager Aaron Boone: 'Thought it was a really good job coming out here, turning the page and playing winning baseball'. Boone and Aaron Judge credited Gio Urshela for leading the way, going 4-for-5 and hitting his first homer of the year.
According to Sunrun Solar, installers of commercial solar panels in Melbourne, the biggest hurdle for most businesses looking to switch to solar is the out-of-pocket costs. Fortunately, a new rebate has been announced to reduce the up-front costs associated with solar power systems.
See all the winners and nominees for this year's British Academy Film Awards.
Kyle Seager hit his second homer of the game, a three-run drive in the ninth inning to complete the Seattle Mariners' rally from a six-run deficit to beat the Minnesota Twins 8-6 Sunday. Seager had four hits and Taylor Trammell also homered for Seattle, which trailed 6-0 going into the sixth. The Mariners won a road series for the first time since Sept. 11-13, 2019, at Arizona.
The biggest night in the British film calendar, the Bafta Awards, is taking place in London.
A senior Apple Inc executive has agreed to testify before the U.S. Senate on competition issues related to mobile app stores, days after panel leaders criticized the company for refusing to appear. The company said in a letter sent to senators, seen by Reuters, that Chief Compliance Officer Kyle Andeer will be available to testify at an April 21 hearing held by part of the Senate Judiciary Committee. App makers have long complained that mandatory revenue sharing payments and strict inclusion rules set by Apple's App Store for iPhones and iPads, along with Google's Play store for Android devices, amount to anticompetitive behavior.
The Rangers were shutout for the second time in the series, which made Mike Foltynewicz a tough luck loser.
The drama wins four prizes including best film, while Promising Young Woman wins best British film.
Even with social distancing there was plenty of humour, glamour and surprises at the virtual event.
Chilean authorities on Sunday backed the country's widespread use of the COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by Chinese firm Sinovac after China's top disease official appeared to make conflicting statements about its efficacy. Gao Fu, the director of the Chinese Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told a conference in the Chinese city of Chengdu on Saturday that the country was considering mixing COVID-19 vaccines since currently available vaccines "don't have very high rates of protection." Available data shows Chinese vaccines lag behind others including Pfizer and Moderna in terms of efficacy, but require less stringent temperature controls during storage.
From pet beds, harnesses and more, we've rounded up the best pet deals to shop for National Pet Day 2021.
With Chloe Zhao’s expected DGA win last night, and her film Nomadland taking the lion’s share of BAFTA wins today for Best Film, Director, Actress Frances McDormand, and Cinematography, the Searchlight film would seem to be an overwhelming favorite to repeat at the Oscars. Who would bet against a film that has swept the season […]
Philadelphia police have arrested a woman in connection with the death of a missing pregnant mother in Delaware County, Pennsylvania.
Constellation Brands (NYSE: STZ) just finished a strong year on a positive note. The alcoholic beverage giant this week announced solid growth in its beer portfolio despite weak demand at bars and restaurants. The wine and spirits division continued to struggle on both the sales and profit fronts, but management had a surprisingly bright outlook for that segment, too.
Byron Buxton is so hot, he received the ultimate compliment Sunday: The umpires believed the Mariners might have been throwing at him. Yet he got upstaged by a Mariner hitting .226 entering the game. Buxton singled, doubled and homered in his first three at-bats, driving in four runs and raising his batting average to .500 on the season. But Kyle Seager, 1-for-7 in the series and homerless on ...