Three Republican U.S. House members have lost appeals challenging fines for not wearing face coverings on the House floor earlier this year. On Tuesday, the U.S. House Ethics Committee released statements noting that U.S. Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, Thomas Massie of Kentucky and Ralph Norman of South Carolina had failed in their appeals of $500 fines issued in May. The Republicans challenged the fines in June, arguing that the mandate was out of sync with recent federal guidance on face coverings during the COVID-19 pandemic. The vote in question happened a week after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued guidance noting that “fully vaccinated people can resume activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing.” At the time, face coverings were still required on the floor, a mandate put in place by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in June 2020.
OKLAHOMA CITY — Republican U.S. Sen. James Lankford would seem to have all the conservative credentials he'd need to coast to reelection in deep-red Oklahoma. A devout Baptist, Lankford was the director of the nation’s largest Christian youth camp for more than a decade. He speaks out regularly against abortion and what he describes as excessive government spending. And his voting record in the Senate aligned with former President Donald Trump’s position nearly 90% of the time. But like several other seemingly safe GOP incumbents, Lankford, who didn't even draw a primary opponent in 2016, finds himself under fierce attack by a challenger in his own party. The antagonist is a 29-year-old evangelical minister and political newcomer who managed to draw more than 2,000 people to a “Freedom Rally" headlined by Trump's former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, at which Lankford was accused of being not conservative enough.
NEW YORK — Let the fashion policing begin. The Olympics in Tokyo open today, when the world's athletes will march behind their flag-bearers. And when they do, the peanut gallery on what they're wearing will be open, too. Olympic gear makes for lively social media fodder, starting with the hours-long Parade of Nations. The year-long wait due to the pandemic has given enthusiasts extra time to ponder what they love or hate. There's the Czech Republic and its traditional indigo block-print design with matching fans, already the butt of some jokes. It follows the country's loud umbrellas and neon-blue Wellington boots of 2012 in London, along with its “Beetlejuice” stripes in Rio in 2016.