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I’ve covered a lot of protests in my day, protests demanding all kinds of things, but Tuesday was the first time I’ve ever attended a protest where people were simply demanding the right to go to work at jobs they already have.

In Times Square Tuesday morning, an industry tired of being a scapegoat for hypocritical politicians who are destroying their livelihoods begged for the right to work. The right to feed their families, to buy their kids Christmas presents.

As one speaker put it, first in Spanish then in English, “We are tired of being the guinea pig of the government.”

And here’s the thing on that. The experiment was a success. The restaurants in New York City took temperatures, did contact tracing, maintained social distancing, and as a result Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s own data show that dining out is responsible for just 1.4 percent of the spread of the Chinese Virus.

Brian, a retired state auditor came out to support their cause. “I walked down from 72nd street,” he told me. “It’s terrible, people are hurting.”

A restaurant owner I spoke to told me the uncertainty was the worst part. He honestly has no idea if his business will survive another closure of indoor dining. And by the way, state taxes are due next week from these shuttered restaurants.

The crowd of a few hundred was loud, buoyant, and diverse. Among the groups present was the New York State Latino Restaurant, Bar & Lounge Association. They were handing out signs and t-shirts. This was far more organized than any of the other anti-lockdown protests I have seen in New York City. It speaks to the desperation these people feel as their ability to work for a living is stolen from them. They don’t want money from the government or their neighbors. They want to work, they want that dignity, and they deserve it.

This summer when New Yorkers were enjoying cocktails on St. Mark’s Place outside the bars and restaurants they couldn’t enter, our tough guy Emperor Cuomo tweeted out, “Don’t make me come down there.”

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Well, governor why don’t you come down here now? Why don’t you come to these protests and explain to these New Yorkers that you are thrusting them out of work when your own data say their establishments are safe? What? Are you a little worried about how you’d be received? Worried they won’t be big fans of your self-congratulatory book? You should be.

If this decision by the governor is not reversed, if Cuomo insists on plunging tens of thousands into poverty based on his capricious whims when even his own science mocks his mandate, then we can expect these protests to continue. The people are speaking out loud and clear, the city is listening, but sadly the governor is not.

Instead, he insults these workers with talk of outdoor dining the day before the city is expecting a blizzard. Cuomo might be looking at a blizzard of his own as his autocratic job killing diktats send more and more New Yorkers to the bread lines.

David Marcus is the Federalist’s New York Correspondent. Follow him on Twitter, @BlueBoxDave.



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Trump calls Limbaugh ‘legend,’ in first TV interview since Senate trial

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Former President Trump on Wednesday afternoon praised the career of conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh, who has died of cancer.

“He loved his country, and he loved his fans,” Trump said on the Fox News Channel. “He is a legend.”

The interview was Trump’s first since the conclusion of his Senate impeachment trial last week.

Limbaugh’s wife, Kathryn, announced her husband’s death earlier in the day on his radio show. He had been diagnosed about a year ago with Stage-IV lung cancer. He was 70.

The president also said he had a personal friendship with Limbaugh, who was an early supporter of his 2016 presidential bid and who, like Trump, thought the president won reelection in 2020.

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Trump also pointed out that Limbaugh was a provocateur in his views about conservative politics that often sparked backlash from liberals and other critics. 

Trump last year in his State of the Union address awarded Limbaugh the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

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Rep. Bennie Thompson targets Trump, Giuliani, Proud Boys and Oath Keepers in Capitol riot lawsuit

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Rep. Bennie Thompson is targeting former President Donald Trump, Rudy Giuliani, the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers in a suit alleging that they conspired to incite the violence that transpired at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

The lawsuit filed on behalf of the long-serving Mississippi Democrat by the NAACP and the Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll law firm claims that the defendants broke the 1871 Ku Klux Klan Act by attempting to meddle in Congress’s certification of the Electoral College count, according to NPR.

“The insurrection at the Capitol was a direct, intended, and foreseeable result of the Defendants’ unlawful conspiracy,” the lawsuit claims. “It was instigated according to a common plan that the Defendants pursued since the election held in November 2020.”

According to the outlet, Thompson told reporters on Tuesday: “I am privileged to partner with the NAACP to have my day in court so that the perpetrators of putting members of Congress at risk can be held accountable.”

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Trump was acquitted on Saturday in his Senate impeachment trial in a 57-43 vote. While a majority of senators voted that the former commander-in-chief was guilty regarding the single article of impeachment that was passed by the House last month during Trump’s waning days in office, the 57 guilty votes failed to clear the two-thirds supermajority required to secure a conviction.

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Judicial Watch sues U.S. Capitol Police in pursuit of emails and videos pertaining to Jan. 6 riots

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Judicial Watch has lodged a lawsuit against the U.S. Capitol Police in an effort to obtain emails and videos pertaining to the riot that transpired Jan. 6 at the Capitol.

The watchdog organization said in a press release that it filed the suit under the common law right of access to public records following the Capitol Police declining to provide materials sought in a Jan. 21 request.

“The public has a right to know about how Congress handled security and what all the videos show of the US Capitol riot,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in a statement. “What are Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer trying to hide from the American people?”

The January request sought all video from within the U.S. Capitol during a nine-hour period on Jan. 6.

The request also sought “Email communications between the U.S. Capitol Police Executive Team and the Capitol Police Board concerning the security of the Capitol on January 6, 2021. The timeframe of this request is from January 1, 2021 through January 10, 2021,” according to Judicial Watch. The request also sought, “Email communications of the Capitol Police Board with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security concerning the security of the Capitol on January 6, 2021. The timeframe of this request is from January 1, 2021 through January 10, 2021,” according to the watchdog group.

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The Capitol Police said in a Feb. 11 letter that the materials sought do not constitute “public records,” according to Judicial Watch.

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