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Brooklyn bridge: How two New York City Democrats could be top congressional leaders

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It was not clear whether House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., would stay in leadership or move on when incoming House members gathered at the Capitol for freshmen orientation last week.

“I hope so,” replied Rep.-elect Glenn Ivey, D-Md., when asked if Pelosi should make another run at a leadership post. “The Bulls would still love to have Michael Jordan. I’d still love to have Nancy Pelosi, for sure.”

The Chicago Bulls no longer have Jordan. Or Scottie Pippen. Or Dennis Rodman.

Next year, House Democrats will go to battle without Pelosi and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md. House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., will remain on board, prospectively in the position as “assistant leader.” However, that slot is outside the top tier of the House Democratic leadership hierarchy.

Do not forget, Jordan actually retried twice. 

Pelosi is 82, and it is doubtful that she plays minor league baseball, or makes some comeback into the leadership ranks, à la Jordan.


“A new day is dawning on the horizon,” said Pelosi on the House floor in her valedictory. “The hour has come for a new generation to lead the Democratic Caucus that I so deeply respect.”

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer listens as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi speaks.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer listens as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi speaks.
(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

However, Pelosi will remain as a rank-and-file member. The same with Hoyer, as both just won re-election to their House seats and will stay on board.

It is not unprecedented for senior Congressional leaders to return to rank-and-file ranks after serving in leadership.

Republicans lost control of the House in 2006. Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., indicated he would not seek a leadership post for 2007. Hastert remained in office for slightly less than a year before resigning.

Former House Majority and Minority Leader Dick Gephardt, D-Mo., stepped aside from his leadership slot in 2002. Gephardt remained on board as a rank-and-file member as he unsuccessfully sought the Democratic presidential nomination in 2004. In fact, it was Gephardt’s decision to move away from leadership which gave Pelosi the opportunity to matriculate from Minority Whip to Minority Leader in early 2003. Pelosi led House Democrats as either speaker or minority leader ever since.


Most Republicans are happy to see Pelosi go. However, as Republicans encounter the prospects of a narrow majority next year, they secretly wish the party had someone with Pelosi’s political and vote-counting acumen on their side. Pelosi’s hallmark was passing major bills like Obamacare or the so-called Inflation Reduction Act, with only a vote or two to spare. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., both in line to lead House Republicans next year, have yet to demonstrate such legislative finesse. 

Pro tip: Watch to see how a potential Speaker McCarthy handles an “Office of the Former Speaker” for Pelosi.” Pelosi and McCarthy have a limited relationship and there is enmity between the two. In fact, McCarthy did not even head to the floor to listen to Pelosi’s retirement address. Scalise did. 

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Calif., speaks at an event early Wednesday morning, Nov. 9, 2022, in Washington. 

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Calif., speaks at an event early Wednesday morning, Nov. 9, 2022, in Washington. 
(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

After Hastert stepped aside, Pelosi afforded the Illinois Republican a small office near the House floor out of courtesy. This was years before it became public that Hastert did time for bank fraud. Hastert is the highest-serving U.S. official to ever go to jail. At his sentencing, it became public that Hastert molested multiple teenage boys when he was a high school history teacher and wrestling coach.

However, at Pelosi’s departure, even some Republicans applauded the outgoing speaker.


“It’s really a changing of the guard. It’s history being made. In other countries, you see tanks rolling down the road in the middle of something like this. Everybody’s freaking out. But it’s democracy. It’s a beautiful thing,” said Rep. Tim Burchett, R-Tenn. “We don’t agree on anything. And I went up and talked to her and she hugged my neck.”

It was long thought that Pelosi’s departure would trigger a seismic shock on Capitol Hill. Her departure certainly registers on the political Richter Scale. However, the transition from Pelosi and Hoyer to a younger generation of leaders was velvet-smooth compared to what some political observers forecast for years.

House Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries is poised to succeed Pelosi next year and become House Minority Leader. Rep. Katherine Clark, D-Mass., is slated to become Minority Whip. House Democratic Caucus Vice Chairman Pete Aguilar, D-Calif., will lead the caucus.

However, Pelosi’s departure presents Republicans with another opportunity to demonize the House’s top Democrat. Democrats are now trading in a “San Francisco liberal” for a “New York City liberal.” Jeffries may be the right lawmaker to lead Democrats, presumably running unopposed for the party’s top post. However, there is a reason why House Democrats now struggle to elect members in middle America. It was not that long ago that Democrats held a number of House seats in Oklahoma, Kentucky, Missouri, Indiana, North Dakota and South Dakota. Now, those Democrats are hard to find. The party is now bi-coastal and oriented toward a progressive, urban base.

Republicans will burn a lot of political capital on efforts to introduce their version of Jeffries to voters.

“He’s even further to the left of Nancy Pelosi,” said incoming House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer, R-Ky., on Fox. “This is further proof that the Democrat party has been taken over by the far left.”


However, political analysts disagree with Comer’s assessment. Jeffries worked with Jared Kushner on prison reform and has squabbled with the “Squad.”

“I think progressives kind of view Jeffries as a kind of Wall Street guy. A kind of corporate Democrat,” said David Cohen of the University of Akron. “And I don’t think he’s particularly well trusted [by progressives].”

House Democratic Conference Chair Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., said Americans will feel effects from the Inflation Reduction Act on health costs, prescription costs and energy costs. 

House Democratic Conference Chair Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., said Americans will feel effects from the Inflation Reduction Act on health costs, prescription costs and energy costs. 
(Tyler Olson/Fox News)

Members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) embraced the promotion of Jeffries as the first minority to lead a party in Congress.

“He’s been mentored by Jim Clyburn and I think he is ready,” said CBC Chairwoman Rep. Joyce Beatty, D-Ohio. “He is brilliant. He is timely and people follow him.”

However, the decision of Pelosi and Hoyer to remain as Members of Congress could present a problem for Jeffries. There may be the temptation to become political “helicopter parents,” but Pelosi has a way of saying things in a direct fashion which could impact the new leaders.

A longtime Pelosi aide once told a story of how another female aide came into the office wearing bright red shoes.

“Those shoes are red,” declared Pelosi.

Pelosi only commented on the color of the shoes, technically not indicating whether she liked or disliked the footwear. The comment revealed it was clear that Pelosi did not think much of the aide’s shoes.


It is doubtful that Pelosi and Hoyer would ever be discourteous in their counsel to Jeffries or overstep their bounds. Both had been the top Democrats in Congress for two decades. That does not dissipate immediately. Both must be guarded in their comments and actions, lest they be interpreted as undercutting the new leaders. Additionally, rank-and-file Democrats must resist the temptation to run to Pelosi and Hoyer with their problems and instead hit up Jeffries and Clark.

Former Senate Majority and Minority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D., was said to have a “Byrd problem” when Daschle assumed control of House Democrats in 1995. Late Senate Majority Leader Robert Byrd, D-W.V., stepped aside from his leadership post in1989. Former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell, D-Maine, succeeded Byrd, but Daschle initially struggled under Byrd’s shadow in the first few months of his tenure.

All Daschle could do was stand by on the floor late one night in February 1995 when late Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole, R-Kan., abruptly called off a vote on a Constitutional balanced budget amendment because it lacked the votes. Byrd seized the floor ahead of Daschle and upbraided Dole. 

President Biden walks with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., at the Capitol in Washington.

President Biden walks with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., at the Capitol in Washington.
(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

At the time, Daschle was less than two months into the job. It was as though Byrd was saying that going toe-to-toe with Dole was not a job for a rookie just called up from the minors. The situation required a seasoned Senate master like Byrd.

Also, Congressional Democrats also face a “Beastie Boys” conundrum. Both Jeffries and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., hail not only from the same city but the same borough of New York City, Brooklyn.


“No Sleep Till Brooklyn.” Republicans are certain to highlight this dynamic. The Brooklyn duo of Jeffries and Schumer is emblematic of where the Democratic Party stands on a host of issues, but it does not help the party speak to the middle of the country, where it now struggles to resonate with voters.

It remains to be seen if Jeffries and Schumer can bridge that divide.

However, it will have to be a “Brooklyn Bridge.” 



Here’s what these Americans think of the Senate’s new dress code: ‘Sway from tradition’

Americans are split in their opinions on the Senate’s new dress code allowing for casual wear by senators.

Fox News Digital asked several Americans in northern Virginia — a short way from Washington, D.C. — about their thoughts on the upper chamber relaxing the longstanding precedent for suits, ties or similarly formal attire this week after Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., dropped the dress code.

The change in the dress code came as a surprise and has been dubbed the “Fetterman rule” due to Democrat Pennsylvania Senator John Fetterman’s penchant for casual wear in the Capitol.


Democrat Pennsylvania Sen. John Fetterman

The change in the dress code came as a surprise and has been dubbed the “Fetterman rule” due to Democrat Pennsylvania Senator John Fetterman’s penchant for casual wear in the Capitol. (Screenshot/NBC)

Americans were split on the issue, with some decrying the rules as a breakdown of decorum, and another saying casual garb is “not only more friendly to people, but also to the environment.”

“I prefer traditional wear,” one person said. “I think that should be a standard.”

“Maybe a Friday you can take a bit of a lax stance, maybe a hot summer, but I would not sway from tradition,” she continued.

“And I think it conveys a sense of confidence, and that is something that is not to be taken for granted,” she added.

US Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer walks through the halls of Congress

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., relaxed the Senate’s dress code this week to allow for casual wear. (MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)

Another person said he thinks the dress code change is “cool,” even though he’s not very into politics.

One respondent said he thinks the change is “a good thing” for the cases when senators need to act fast on a quick vote.

“But in terms of actual Senate decorum and actually the work there, I think it’d be better if they wore a full suit or a full dress,” he added.

Conversely, another person said he thinks the change is “wonderful.”

Democratic West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin and wife Gayle Manchin

West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, a Democrat, introduced a Senate resolution to restore the dress code. (ALEX EDELMAN/AFP via Getty Images)

“It’s a lot more comfortable for the senators to not have to wake up in the morning and think about what tie to put on or what suit to wear,”

“It saves them time so they can help the community more and serve us,” he added.

The new dress code change has ruffled some feathers on both sides of the aisle in the Senate after Schumer made the change.

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., is preparing to issue a bipartisan resolution next week that would re-institute the Senate’s dress code, after Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., relaxed the rules last weekend.


The resolution would revert the dress code back to requiring senators to don coats, ties or business attire while on the Senate floor.

“Next week, Senator Manchin intends to file a bipartisan resolution to ensure the Senate dress code remains consistent with previous expectations,” a spokesperson for Manchin’s office told Fox News Digital in a statement Friday.

Fox News Digital’s Jamie Joseph contributed reporting.

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‘Swatting’ gets a terrifying new update as criminals now wreaking ‘emotional havoc’ as a paid service

Artificial intelligence advancements have helped drive an increase in swatting calls, forcing police to dash to scenes prepared for the worst and endangering Americans’ emotional health or even their lives, a 22-year FBI veteran told Fox News.

“They’re doing it to create chaos,” said James Turgal, vice president of the information security company Optiv. “They’re utilizing this technology, which emboldens them because it’s so much harder for law enforcement to track that back.” 



Swatting — when someone makes a false 911 report to illicit a large and aggressive police response — has become increasingly common over the last decade as it becomes easier for callers to mask their voices, phone numbers and IP addresses to remain anonymous. A nationwide database the FBI created this year because of the rise recorded over 200 occurrences since May 1, according to the FBI. 

“The FBI takes swatting very seriously because it puts innocent people at risk,” a FBI spokeperson told Fox News on Thursday. “We will continue to work with our local, state, and federal law enforcement partners to gather, share, and act upon threat information as it comes to our attention.”

Before the database’s inception, swatting calls were not officially tracked. But a former FBI agent, Kevin Kolbye, estimated incidents jumped from 400 in 2011 to over 1,000 in 2019, according to a Anti-Defamation League report.

Armed law enforcement officers

Swatting calls are false 911 reports that are made in an attempt to trigger a powerful police response. Growing concerns about swatting led the FBI to start a national database for tracking the incidents.  (iStock)


“They’re utilizing different virtual private networks, they’re bouncing off of IP addresses from different places trying to anonymize themselves, and it’s really the ability to wreak as much emotional havoc as possible,” Turgal said. “There’s a number of different motivations for it, and none of them are good.”

Turgal said swatters want to create emotional distress and put Americans in harm’s way. He estimated that swatting incidents have at least doubled in the last year. 

“There are some threat actors out there that actually do this as a service, as sick as that sounds,” Turgal said. “They actually put themselves out on the dark web and think, ‘well, we’ll dox, or we’ll SWAT any type of organization that you want us to. You pay us a fee, and we’ll do it.'”

He also said overseas terrorists could use AI masking technology to make swatting calls.

Cybercrime and security expert

James Turgal, a 22-year FBI veteran and the vice president of a information security company, says swatting could allow threat actors from overseas to cause harm on Americans. He says advanced technology has made swatting incidents occur at a higher scale.  (Fox News Digital )

“There’s a lot of countries out there now, not to be named, that would like to see the U.S. in chaos,” Turgal added. “They would like to create help to create that situation.” 

Schools have also become targets for fake threats. Nearly 64% of all violent incidents for the 2022-2023 school year were false active shooter reports, according to the Educator’s School Safety Network

“Threat actors out there are utilizing this technique to really cause a lot of harm and a lot of damage to a lot of local schools,” Turgal said. “It’s not just the law enforcement officers that are there rolling into this situation that they don’t know what it is. It’s the students. It’s the faculty. It’s the parents.”

Shooting threat at a U.S. school

School shootings have been on the rise in the U.S., but now some criminals are putting in fake shooting hoaxes at schools to cause emotional distress.  (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey, File)

“There is a tremendous mental and emotional impact that occurs with these cases, and that’s why they’re so difficult,” he continued. 

On March 30, for example, 36 false reports of mass shootings affected nearly 230 New York Schools, ABC News reported

Some swatting calls have even turned deadly. A police officer, for example, shot and killed a Kansas man during a response to a hoax call in 2017. 


Thor Eells, executive director of the National Tactical Officers Association, trains around 12,000 law enforcement officers annually. He said his group has to consider the added concerns from advanced AI when it teaches about swatting. 

Former police officer

Thor Eells, executive director of the National Tactical Officers Association, says they have done more training for law enforcement in recent years about swatting. He says artificial intelligence’s ability to make voices sound more credible is concerning.  (Fox News Digital)

“The authenticity component of the AI is frightening,” Eells told Fox News. “It’s really incumbent upon us now to be more proactive than ever in recognizing that these technologies can be used in a negative manner as well as a positive manner.”


One of the concerns police officers face when handling a false threat is the possibility that the hoax was staged so someone could distract law enforcement as they commit a crime elsewhere, Eells said. 

Police and law enforcement on scene

Eells raises concerns about criminals drawing cops attention away from where they aim to commit a crime by calling in a false threat elsewhere.  (Credit: Fox 29)

“When you do draw limited resources away from an area and then have an incident of legitimate criminal purpose take place, it’s a delayed response,” Eells said. “That could have an impact on the outcome.”  


Eells stressed communication between police, schools and the community as the key factor in curbing cyber crime threats.

“It is very, very important for law enforcement … from their 911 communications centers to their first responders, to their supervisors, to be proactive,” Eells said. They should be “educating, gaining knowledge, and putting steps and procedures into place to mitigate and to minimize the dangers involved with this.” 

Ramiro Vargas contributed to the accompanying video.

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Mark Levin: The Democratic Party has ‘devoured the culture,’ forcing failed Marxist ideology on free people

Mark Levin’s new book “The Democrat Party Hates America” is aptly named because the leftist party has “devoured the culture” and is set on foisting Marxism on a country founded on personal liberty, the “Life, Liberty & Levin” host said.

Levin was interviewed on his own program by “FOX & Friends Weekend” co-host Pete Hegseth, who praised his colleague’s newest work, which was released Sept. 19.

Hegseth remarked that Americans might think they know the Democratic Party, but that Levin’s book depicts why they might not fully comprehend its history and platform.

Levin has long spoken of the Democratic Party as the preeminent political force in the Confederacy during the Civil War, and that it was the party of former President Woodrow Wilson, who infamously showcased a Ku Klux Klan-friendly film at the White House. 

During the interview, Levin detailed why he believed Wilson to be a “closet racist.”


Mark Levins Book

Mark Levin’s book “The Democrat Party Hates America” was released Sept. 19.  (Simon & Schuster)

“I decided on the title when I finished the book, same with [my previous book] ‘American Marxism,’ and that title describes what’s going on in this country today,” Levin said.

“Marxism is obviously an alien ideology. It is a dangerous ideology. It’s responsible for the death of 100 million people. Why? Because it’s a failed ideology. The ideology is inhumane. It tries to take the human character and rejigger it and re-engineer it and build an entire ideology and society around this rejiggered, this re-engineered individual.”


Levin said a major flaw in Marxism’s quest to “rejigger” individuality is that only God can create or intrinsically change man, man cannot change his fellow man.

“We can create an environment where we can have law and order, where we can have a civil society, where people can flourish if we emphasize liberty and an economic system that works with liberty, capitalism, if we recognize sovereignty and a culture and assimilation into that culture.”

He said America has long embraced that thought, to its great benefit, adding that now forces within the Democratic Party want to “destroy it.”

“We’re now living in a society where nobody talks about liberty — where they trash our history, they rewrite our history that the Democrat Party has essentially devoured the culture,” he added.


Later in the interview, Levin said the Democratic Party “defended slavery” in the 19th Century and was the party of the Confederacy under Jefferson Davis.

“That was the party opposed to reconstruction,” he said. “That is the party that pushed segregation for 100 years after the Civil War. It is the party of eugenics. It is the party of racism, segregation. It is the party that really segregated the military after the Republicans desegregated it.”

Levin later described how, in the book, he wrote that Democrats are far different than Republicans, calling the GOP an “ineffective” party that is the “default” for Americans who don’t approve of Democratic “radicalism.”

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