Georgia Gov. Kemp Officially Launches 2022 Campaign

Governor Brian Kemp of Georgia has officially launched his 2022 campaign, according to a press release from his campaign.

“Brian Kemp has a strong, conservative record of fighting for life, standing up for law enforcement, cutting taxes, protecting lives and livelihoods against the COVID-19 pandemic, and defending election integrity,” Kemp’s campaign manager said the statement. 

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Georgia’s Embattled Secretary of State Raffensperger to Seek Another Term

Controversial Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger confirmed on Tuesday that he will seek another term. 

Raffensperger has been the focal point of criticism of Georgia’s election from both sides of the political aisle. He routinely ignored the widespread concerns over election security throughout the state.

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Bill Would Make Ohio State School Board Completely Elected

Rep. Miller speaks with Rep. Adam Miller (D-Columbus) before House session

Two members of the Ohio House want the state’s board of education to be more connected to the public by reducing the number of members and eliminating nonelected members.

Eight of the current 19 members receive appointments from the governor, but House Bill 298 eliminates each of those positions when current terms expire, reducing the board to its 1995 level of 11 members.

“The State Board of Education is an important body and the members of its Board should be accountable to the voters,” Rep. Adam Bird, R-New Richmond, said. “Right now, 42% of the members of the State Board of Education are not elected and, therefore, not accountable to anyone. To have almost half the board unelected and unaccountable does not reflect the transparency and responsiveness that Ohioans need and deserve.”

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85 Percent of 59,000 Absentee Ballots Placed in Fulton County Drop Boxes in 2020 Election Were Not Transported to Registrar ‘Immediately’ As Georgia State Rule Requires; 5 Percent Were Delivered BEFORE They Were Picked Up

Ballot transfer forms from Fulton County reveal that 86 percent of the more than 59,000 absentee ballots analyzed from drop box locations, required to be “immediately transported” to the county registrar according to Emergency Rule of the State Election Board for Absentee Voting, took more than one hour to be transferred to election officials.

State Election Board Emergency Rule 183-1-14 relative to securing absentee ballot drop boxes, which went around state law, was adopted by the State Election Board at their July 1, 2020, meeting.

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Commentary: You Don’t Need a Permission Slip to Go Back to Normal

Group of people together socializing at dinner table

Last week, the Centers for Disease Control did an about-face, announcing that the fully vaccinated among us may resume normal activities. The news came more than a year after California initiated the first lockdown on March 19, 2020.

The CDC’s new posture comes with some narrow exceptions. If you’re traveling on a plane or find yourself in a homeless shelter or in a medical or correctional facility, you still need to wear a mask; and the CDC made sure to clarify, apparently out of great deference for federalism and Hayekian spontaneous order, that its guidance does not predominate over the requirements of federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.

Before the CDC updated its pandemic guidance, this was exactly the position espoused by libertarian law professor Ilya Somin of George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia School of Law. Writing from his regular perch at the legal blog The Volokh Conspiracy, Somin’s argument is summarized nicely in the subheading of his piece, “Free the Vaccinated from COVID Restrictions”: “Doing so will protect constitutional rights, reduce vaccine hesitancy, and increase liberty—all at once.”

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Former Ohio State Professor Sentenced to Prison for Lying About China Ties

Song Guo Zheng, a former professor and researcher at Ohio State University, will spend 37 months in prison after being convicted of lying about his ties to the Chinese government on applications for NIH grant funding and failing to disclose his China ties to his employers. Zheng will also be required to pay roughly $413,000 to Ohio State University and $3.4 million to the National Institutes of Health.

“Zheng pleaded guilty last November and admitted he lied on applications in order to use approximately $4.1 million in grants from NIH to develop China’s expertise in the areas of rheumatology and immunology,” said the DOJ when it announced the sentencing.

Zheng’s teaching and scholarship were in the medical field, with emphasis on rheumatology and immunology at Ohio State University. Zheng’s researcher biography states that he has also taught at the University of Southern California and Penn State University. 

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Trump Releases Statement on Georgia Lieutenant Governor

President Donald Trump released a statement on Monday celebrating the decision that Georgia Lieutenant Governor Geoff Duncan will not seek a second term. 

“Good news for Georgia and the Republican Party. Lieutenant Governor Geoff Duncan won’t be running again for office. He was the one who, along with Governor Brian Kemp, stopped the Georgia State Senate from doing the job they wanted to do on the 2020 Presidential Election Fraud,” Trump said. 

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Commentary: Facebook ‘Fact-Checkers’ Disagree About University COVID Vaccine Mandates

Mark Zuckerberg

Facebook’s “fact-checkers” cannot agree on the legality of university COVID vaccine mandates.

Disagreement about the legality of the COVID vaccines is understandable — The College Fix explored this topic several weeks ago in our own article, but the problem is that a Facebook fact-check on an article can lead to reduced distribution.

And enough strikes against a page can lead to a permanent ban. The College Fix has seen this firsthand, after Facebook overlords punished us for sharing the comments of an epidemiologist who made a prediction about what would happen if lockdowns were lifted.

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Music Spotlight: Halle Kearns

NASHVILLE, Tennessee-  Halle Kearns is an artist who always knew what she wanted to do. Her family usually had country music playing in her house and she remembers singing along to 90s country in her car seat.

She stated, “I grew up on Dixie Chicks, Martina McBride, Faith Hill (Ladies of the 90s). The very first song I ever got caught singing on video was the Dixie Chicks song, “If I Fall.”

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House Approves Bill Aiming to Address Anti-Asian Hate Crimes; Biden Has Previously Pledged to Sign

Person with "stop Asian Hate" sign on Capitol steps

The House of Representatives on Tuesday decisively passed the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act, a bill that seeks to address hate crimes targeting Asian Americans.

The House approved the measure in a 364-62 vote. The legislation, which had been passed last month in the Senate by 94-1, will head to President Biden who has previously pledged to sign it.

“For more than a year, far too many Asian Americans have woken up each morning increasingly fearful for their safety and the safety of their loved ones,” Biden said in an April statement. “They have been scapegoated, harassed, and assaulted; some have even been killed. It has been over a year of living in fear for their lives, as acts of anti-Asian bias and violence have accelerated from coast to coast — an unconscionable burden our fellow Americans have been forced to bear, even as so many Asian Americans serve their communities and our nation tirelessly on the front lines of the pandemic.”

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19 States Urge Biden to Reinstate Keystone After Colonial Pipeline Hack Caused Mass Gas Shortages

Out of service gas station

A 19-state coalition urged President Joe Biden to reinstate the Keystone XL Pipeline and reverse his energy policies because of the recent gas shortages.

Gas shortages along the east coast caused by a cyberattack on the Colonial Pipeline prove the need for reliable gas pipelines in the U.S., the 19-state coalition led by Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen wrote in a letter to Biden on Monday. The U.S. needs better energy infrastructure if the shutdown of one pipeline leads to such extreme spikes in prices and lines at gas stations, the state attorneys general said.

“A temporary shutdown of one pipeline’s full-capacity operations shouldn’t bring half the country to the brink,” the coalition of states wrote to Biden. “We need more safe and clean energy sources. And that includes the Keystone XL Pipeline.”

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Under Pressure from Activists, Biden Admin Agrees to Bring in Thousands of Refugees a Month

The Biden administration will admit more than 7,000 migrant refugees into the U.S. monthly as part of negotiations in a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union over a Trump-era rule prohibiting migrants from obtaining asylum during the pandemic, the Associated Press reported Tuesday.

Former President Donald Trump implemented public health order Title 42 which allowed border officials to rapidly expel migrants from the U.S. and prevented them from applying for asylum due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the AP reported. The Biden administration’s concessions would change how border officials rely on Title 42 and potentially allow more migrants to seek asylum in the U.S.

The Biden administration and American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) agreed to “a streamlined process for assessing and addressing exemption requests brought by particular vulnerable families and other individuals,” ACLU attorney Lee Gelernt said, according to the AP.

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Officers Will Not Be Charged in Fatal Shooting of Andrew Brown Jr., DA Announces

Pasquotank County District Attorney Andrew Womble

The police officers who fatally shot Andrew Brown Jr. in April outside of his North Carolina home will not be charged,  Pasquotank County District Attorney Andrew Womble announced Tuesday.

“After reviewing the investigation conducted by the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, Mr. Brown’s death, while tragic, was justified,” Womble said during a press conference Tuesday. “[His] actions caused three deputies within the Pasquotank County Sheriff’s Office to reasonably believe it was necessary to use deadly force to protect themselves and others.”

Brown was shot on the morning of April 21 in Elizabeth City, a small town in the eastern part of the state, after officers approached him with a search warrant and pair of arrest warrants on felony drug charges. Womble testified a week later that Brown made contact with officers while in his car, and that they opened fire afterwards.

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Inflation Increasing Quicker Than Expected, Former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers Says

Larry Summers

Top American economist Larry Summers is sounding the alarm on rising U.S. inflation, saying that it is ticking up quicker than he originally expected.

Inflation is increasingly a more concerning and larger threat as consumer prices continue to rise, former National Economic Council Director and Treasury Secretary Larry Summers told Axios on Monday. He also criticized the Federal Reserve’s policies, suggesting that its decision to keep interest rates low could harm the economy.

“Data are pointing more towards higher inflation than I expected, and sooner,” Summers told Axios. “With more inflation signs sooner than I would have expected.”

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Supreme Court Unanimously Rules Against Warrantless Gun Seizures

Disassembled Glock G43X (barrel, guide rod, and slide removed), loaded magazine, and 9mm round.

On Monday, in a rare unanimous decision, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled against the Biden Administration in a case regarding the legality of warrantless searches and seizures of firearms, The Epoch Times reports.

The case, Caniglia v. Strom, began oral arguments roughly two months ago. The case stems from an incident in Cranston, Rhode Island, back in August of 2015, where a man named Edward Caniglia had an argument with his wife of 22 years. Eventually, Caniglia withdrew an unloaded gun and suggested that his wife shoot him and “get me out of my misery.” His wife then called the police asking them to carry out a welfare check, where Caniglia was taken to the hospital.

Despite the police’s assurance that his guns would not be confiscated, they ultimately did seize his firearms without a warrant after he had been hospitalized, and refused to return them to him after he was discharged. Caniglia subsequently sued, claiming that the exception for community caretaking, which is what the police claimed to have used in this case, should not apply inside his home.

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Most Americans with Children to Receive Monthly Federal Payments Starting in July

Man with two children

Millions of American families will receive hundreds of dollars in regular federal payments beginning next month, the Internal Revenue Service said Monday.

The IRS announced July 15 as the start date for monthly child tax credit payments that would affect the vast majority of Americans with children.

“Eligible families will receive a payment of up to $300 per month for each child under age 6 and up to $250 per month for each child age 6 and above,” the IRS said in a statement.

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Commentary: Montana Governor Strips Mask Fanatics of Their Power

Monanta Gov. Greg Gianforte

Republican Gov. Greg Gianforte of Montana delivered mask fanatics a hefty, but essential, blow last week when he signed House Bill 257 into law, stripping the few remaining left-leaning health departments in the state of their ability to use their clout and control to dominate the population through unquestioned mask enforcement. The bill declares that counties can no longer require businesses to enforce health mandates, such as mask-wearing or capacity limits and restrictions, or pursue other whimsical edicts or decrees, such as cancel farmer’s markets, prohibit school parades, ban families of spectators at high-school athletic events.

While most Montana counties and towns (including Billings, the largest city in the state with a population of approximately 110,000) removed their mask mandates several weeks, if not months, ago, the university-dominated cities of Missoula and Bozeman, as well as the small, politically mixed capital city of Helena, seemed to be only tightening the screws on chronic mask-wearing. They repeatedly hid, changed, or lied about the markers and metrics for mask mandates’ removal, inexplicably shifting from one theoretical possibility or scenario to another. In the meantime, COVID-19 vaccinations have increased to the point where testing sites and vaccination camps are virtually empty, hospitalizations have plummeted to nonexistent, and deaths from the virus have fallen to the level somewhere between venomous snake bites and automotive fatalities. Yet paradoxically, the healthier and the more strengthened the state, and the more that it has recovered from the numbing side effects of the shameful lockdowns, the further away the remaining mask-obsessed health departments have pushed the date of mask abolition.

Without House Bill 257, the remaining communities would have stayed perennially under the twisted, tight-fisted influence of a handful of marginally knowledgeable, power-intoxicated, unelected bureaucrats who were playing the “follow the Fauci” model of single-minded governance. Wear a mask. Wear a mask. Wear a mask. In fact, it would not be hard to imagine a scenario in which one government employee with a mask fetish would continue to bully the populace, terrorizing the summer camps into outside mask-wearing through the hottest days of August or perpetuating mask requirements for children straight into the fall of 2021 or beyond.

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