Judge Halts Debt Relief Program for Farmers of Color After White Farmers Sue

A federal judge Thursday afternoon suspended a loan forgiveness program that issues relief to farmers and agricultural workers of color.

Judge William Griesbach of Wisconsin’s Eastern District handed down a temporary restraining order after the conservative Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty (WILL) filed a lawsuit in April. The group alleged in its announcement that President Joe Biden’s relief program was unconstitutional and that white farmers should have been included in the loan program.

“The Court recognized that the federal government’s plan to condition and allocate benefits on the basis of race raises grave constitutional concerns and threatens our clients with irreparable harm, said Rick Esenberg, WILL’s president and general counsel, in a press release Thursday. “The Biden administration is radically undermining bedrock principles of equality under the law.”

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Peter Navarro: ‘St. Fauci’ and Others Have Blood on Hands after Blocking Trump Admin. from Distributing 60 Million HCQ Tablets

Hydroxychloroquine tablets

It turns out that the anti-malaria drug former president Trump famously touted in March of 2020 as a promising treatment for COVID-19, would indeed have been a “game changer” if only it had been widely used.

Use of Hydroxychloroquine to treat the coronavirus can increase survival rates by over 100 percent, according to a new study.

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Texas Governor Greg Abbott Announces Statewide Plan to Build Border Wall and Arrest Illegals

Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R-Texas) announced on Thursday that the state of Texas will take action on its own to address the worsening border crisis, including by building its own border wall and taking extra steps to arrest illegal aliens who are released by federal border authorities, according to CNN.

Abbott made his announcement at a Border Security Summit with other Texas officials present, saying that he would dedicate $1 billion to border security and create his own task force to address the issue.

Abbott said that the efforts would build off of his disaster declaration that was issued last week, which directed Texas’s Department of Public Safety to more strictly enforce laws against criminal trespassing, smuggling, and human trafficking, while also allowing the Texas Health and Human Services Commission to crack down on “any child care facility that shelters or detains unlawful immigrants.”

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Ohio Holidays Could Pack More Punch with Fireworks

Fireworks in the night sky

It may not come in time for the Fourth of July, but Ohioans could add some excitement to certain celebrations if a bill passed Wednesday by the Ohio Senate eventually clears the House and gets signed into law.

Senate Bill 113 would allow people to have consumer-grade fireworks in the state and set them off on certain days and holidays.

Ohioans would be allowed to set off fireworks on New Year’s Day; Chinese New Year; Cinco de Mayo; Memorial Day weekend; Juneteenth; July 3, 4 and 5, along with the Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays preceding and following; Labor Day weekend; Diwali; and New Year’s eve. Local communities, however, can eliminate any of those days or ban the practice entirely.

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Manchin to Vote Against Bill Federalizing Elections, Dealing Major Blow to Democrats

Joe Manchin

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.V., declared Sunday he will oppose his party’s legislation to federalize how elections are conducted, dealing a severe blow to Democratic passage in the evenly divided Senate.

The For The People Act would among other things ban voter ID requirements, mandate mail-in voting options and begin registering voters at age 16. It has faced uniform Republican opposition.

In an op-ed published in the Charleston Gazette-Mail, Manchin declared the bill as too partisan and divisive.

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Commentary: A Cautionary Tale of Unintended Consequences

For as long as politicians have been passing legislation, there have been measurable consequences to that legislation – both intentional and unintentional. Usually, the final impact is not known for years after a law is passed. We could write a book predicting problems with the proposed federal bill, H.R.1, the so-called For the People Act, but the state of Connecticut has given American taxpayers a timely preview of the burdens and waste we can expect from just one of the bill’s many government mandates. Specifically, the requirement that states must mail out ballot applications to all registered voters will unnecessarily spend, and ultimately waste, hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars.

The 2020 elections in Connecticut provide a cautionary preview of this proposed requirement in H.R. 1 to send absentee ballot applications (ABR) to every registered voter. Connecticut Secretary of the State Denise W. Merrill (pictured) did exactly that, spending $7.1 million in federal taxpayer money sending out unsolicited ABRs for the primary and general elections. A total of 3.6 million applications were mailed, yet only 865,000 were converted to actual votes. That’s a cost of $8.20 per ballot returned – by any measure, a poor yield on that investment.

The sad irony about this waste of taxpayers’ money is that the applications were available to voters free of charge either at town halls or on the State of Connecticut website. One had only to pick up the form in person or download and print it in the comfort of his own home. Other states have similarly convenient options for obtaining ABRs and provide for ballot applications to be requested online, by email or by phone. Citizens in these states take responsibility for their right to vote, and the states facilitate their doing so, rather than mandate it.

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High Court Hears Arguments on Tennessee’s School-Choice Program

ORNL Traveling Science Fair at the TN 4th Annual Tennessee STEM Innovation Summit and STEMx Event, Nashville, TN

Tennessee’s highest court heard arguments on a disputed school choice program.

Tennessee’s Education Savings Accounts (ESA) pilot program, approved by the state Legislature in 2019, would provide state-funded scholarships of about $7,100 to low-income students in Nashville and Memphis – home to the state’s two lowest-performing school districts. Students would be able to use the funds to attend nonpublic schools of their choice.

A district court ruled the program unconstitutional when the two counties sued the state to stop the program. The state Court of Appeals upheld that ruling, and the state Supreme Court agreed to hear the case.

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Greg Abbott Says He’ll Suspend Lawmakers’ Pay After Democrats Walk Out on Election Bill

Greg Abbott

Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott said Monday that he would veto funding for his state’s legislature after Democrats delayed the passage of an expansive elections bill.

Democrats in the state House quietly left the floor late Sunday with just hours to spare in the legislative session, preventing the bill from coming up for a vote. If signed into law, Senate Bill 7 would enhance voter ID provisions, empower partisan poll watchers and ban ballot drop boxes and drive-thru voting centers, which were used disproportionately in Texas’ biggest counties.

It would also make it easier to overturn an election in the state, allowing courts to throw out the results of an entire election if the amount of illegally cast votes exceeds the margin between two candidates, regardless of which candidate received more fraudulent votes. In 2020, there were just 43 documented cases of voter fraud, according to the Houston Chronicle.

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Florida Bans Biological Men from Competing in Women’s Sports

Women's volleyball game

Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill Tuesday banning biological males from women’s sports.

The Fairness in Women’s Sports Act prohibits biological males from participating in athletic teams or sports designated for female students and requires that a student’s school or institution “request a certain health examination and consent form or other statement from the student’s health care provider to verify the student’s biological sex under certain circumstances.”

“The Fairness in Women’s Sports Act will empower Florida women & girls to be able to compete on a level playing field,” DeSantis tweeted Tuesday. “This will help ensure that opportunities for things like college scholarships will be protected for female athletes for years to come.”

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Nevada Bill Would Knock Iowa from Being the First Presidential Primary State

Nevada Legislature Building, Carson City, Nevada

The Nevada legislature passed a bill Monday seeking to make the state the first in the country to hold its presidential primary.

If adopted, it would upend a decades-long political tradition that saw Iowa and New Hampshire go first and second during primary season respectively. The change would likely result in pushback from Iowa and New Hampshire in order to keep their coveted spots.

The bill passed the state Assembly Wednesday 30-11 and the state Senate Monday 15-6, and awaits the signature of Nevada Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak. However, the bill would need the approval of both the Republican and Democratic parties to actually take shape ahead of 2024.

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Senators Propose $1 Billion to Aid DHS in Addressing Future Migrant Surges

Members of Galveston County S.W.A.T. work with with Customs and Border Protection Agents during Maritime Tactical Operations Group vessel boarding training in the Houston Ship Channel, Aug. 23, 2016.

Senators introduced legislation that would require federal agencies tasked with managing migration at the border to make strategic plans and allow access to $1 billion in contingency funding, lawmakers announced Friday.

Republican Ohio Sen. Rob Portman and Democratic Arizona Sen. Mark Kelly introduced the Border Response Resilience Act that would establish a $1 billion “Irregular Migration Border Response Fund” for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to provide food, clothing, blankets, and transportation for unaccompanied migrant minors and family members without having to transfer funding allocated to border security, according to the lawmakers. The act would require federal officials to make plans and “conduct exercises to improve the federal response to increased migration at the border.”

“DHS has been unprepared for unlawful migrant surges at our southern border in 2014, 2019, and again during the current crisis. This is unacceptable. DHS and other federal agencies must be able to respond immediately to the need for shelter for migrants as well as additional personnel to handle surging numbers of unlawful migrants at our border,” Portman said in a statement.

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Texas Democrats Walk out to Stop GOP Voting Reform Bill, Abbott to Call Special Session

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott speaking at FreePac, hosted by FreedomWorks, in Phoenix, Arizona.

Texas House Democrats on Sunday night staged a walkout to block their Republican counterparts’ sweeping voter-reform legislation.

The move blocked the passage of the bill by effectively ending the Texas legislature’s session. However, GOP Gov. Greg Abbott quickly announced that he would order a special session to finish the process, and achieve a top state GOP legislative priority.

The walkout is one of Democrats’ biggest protests to date against Republican efforts across the country to enact measures to tighter security on state election systems, according to the Associated Press.

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Gov. Lee’s Signature Makes Tennessee a Second Amendment Sanctuary

Guy shooting hand gun at gun range

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee signed a bill Wednesday that makes the state a Second Amendment sanctuary.

Senate Bill 1335 prevents any “law, treaty, executive order, rule, or regulation of the United States government” that violates the Tennessee Constitution or the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution from being enforced in the state.

That violation would have to be determined by either the Tennessee or U.S. Supreme Court. The stipulation was added during debate of the bill in the Tennessee House, and the Senate concurred.

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Two Ohio Lawmakers Want State to Call for Convention of States

Rep. Riordan McClain

Two Ohio lawmakers plan to introduce a resolution next week calling for a convention of states to address the size of the federal government.  

State Reps. Riordan McClain, R-Upper Sandusky, and Craig Riedel, R-Defiance, said they plan to introduce the resolution, which would create a convention that could discuss the topics of “limiting the power and jurisdiction of the federal government, term limits for Congress and other government officials, and fiscal restraints for the federal government.”

“The size and scope of the federal government have long been unsustainable, and we have waited long enough for Congress to fix itself,” McClain said.

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Biden Administration Aid to the Palestinians Could Go to Hamas

Hundreds march in New York City to support Palestinians and resistance in Gaza

A spokesperson for the Biden Administration’s State Department confirmed the possibility that some of the aid being sent to the Palestinians could go to the terrorist organization Hamas, according to the Washington Free Beacon.

The administration is allocating up to $100 million of American taxpayers’ money to go to the Palestinians, but has repeatedly declined to confirm if there are any safeguards in the aid package that could prevent some of the funds from going to Hamas, the terror group that is responsible for thousands of unprovoked rocket attacks on Israel in recent weeks.

An unnamed senior official with the State Department said that “as we’ve seen in life, as we all know in life, there are no guarantees,” with regards to the possibility of terrorists getting their hands on some of the funds.

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Senate Republicans Kill Bipartisan Bill Establishing 9/11-Style Commission into January 6 Capitol Attack

Jan. 6 Capitol Riot

Senate Republicans killed a bipartisan bill establishing a commission to investigate the Jan. 6 attack at the Capitol, filibustering the first legislation since President Joe Biden took office after a multi-hour, overnight session pushed the vote back a day.

The bill failed 54 to 35, getting the support of six Republicans instead of the 10 that it needed to overcome the Senate’s 60-vote threshold required to begin debate. The bill would have established a 10-member, bipartisan commission into the Capitol riot, when pro-Trump rioters attempted to block Congress from certifying Biden’s victory.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell led the Republican opposition, and called the bill “slanted and unbalanced” last week.

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‘I Still Felt Incomplete’: Detransitioned Men, Women Describe How Frighteningly Easy it Was to Get Trans Surgeries, Hormones

Doctors room with surgeons

Multiple men and women who have detransitioned described how easy it was for them to get transgender surgeries and hormones in a new CBS segment — and how the surgeries or treatment negatively impacted them.

As lawmakers across the country introduce and pass bills focused on gender transitions, Lesley Stahl interviewed multiple medical experts and former or current transgender people who expressed fear that transgender surgeries and hormone treatments, often irreversible, are too easily attainable.

The CBS host said that the program “interviewed more than 30 detransitioners, who say they also had experienced regret, including these four, who hadn’t met before now.”

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Utah Legislature Passes Resolution to Ban Critical Race Theory from Schools

House Speaker Brad Wilson

Republicans in Utah’s state legislature passed a resolution on Wednesday to instruct the state’s schools to ban Critical Race Theory from their curriculum, as reported by Breitbart.

During the vote in the Utah House of Representatives, every single Democrat walked off the floor in protest of the bill, thus allowing the legislation to pass with only Republican votes. The “House Resolution on Critical Race Theory in Public Education” was subsequently passed by the Utah Senate. Because the measure is a resolution rather than a bill, it did not need the signature of Governor Spencer Cox (R-Utah) in order to pass.

House Speaker Brad Wilson (R-Utah) said that with the resolution, the state legislature was “calling on the state school board to look at the curriculum and determine what the right parameters for this discussion to happen.”

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‘Meet the Press’ Anchor Chuck Todd Was Senator Klobuchar’s Landlord, Never Disclosed Relationship

Amy Klobuchar and Chuck Todd

Sen. Amy Klobuchar rented a Virginia home from NBC host Chuck Todd, who never disclosed the relationship during his many interviews with the Minnesota politician.

That’s according to a Thursday report from Breitbart editor Alex Marlow, who discusses the relationship in his new book, “Breaking the News: Exposing the Establishment Media’s Hidden Deals and Secret Corruptions.”

Marlow states that Klobuchar and her husband, attorney John Bessler, began renting an Arlington, Va., home from Todd in 2008, shortly into her first term as a U.S. senator. Monthly rent for the three-bedroom house was $3,200, earning Todd $38,400 annually.

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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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Over a Year into the Pandemic, Politicians Are Still Getting Caught Ignoring Their Own COVID Restrictions

Mask with smartphone that reads "COVID-19"

Many lawmakers who have ordered or urged citizens not to leave their homes due to the coronavirus pandemic have not followed their own advice.

The Daily Caller News Foundation has kept track of those politicians or local lawmakers who spurned their own COVID-19 rules to attend President Joe Biden’s inauguration and the lawmakers who flouted their own advice and then excused their behavior as essential, compiling lists of the biggest offenders such as Democrats New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and many more.

The DCNF searched for, but did not find, examples of prominent Republicans who urged citizens to stay home due to COVID-19 and then did not follow their own advice. Republican Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, for example, sparked a backlash when he traveled to Cancun in February as Texans struggled without power under heavy ice storms.

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Lawmakers Reach Deal on Bipartisan 9/11-Style Commission to Investigate Capitol Riot

The two top lawmakers on the House Homeland Security Committee reached an agreement Friday on legislation that would create a bipartisan, 9/11-style commission to investigate the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

The bill, authored by Mississippi Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson and New York Republican Rep. John Katko, is focused exclusively on the attack and not other episodes of political violence as multiple Republicans earlier insisted. Though it has the support of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, it is unclear whether Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and other members of his caucus support it.

“I haven’t read through it,” McCarthy told reporters when asked about the bill Friday morning.

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Texas Bill Will Ban Abortions After an Unborn Baby’s Heartbeat Can Be Detected

Close up of baby feet lying in bed

Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott indicated Thursday that he will sign a heartbeat abortion bill banning abortions after the unborn baby has reached six weeks gestation.

Texas’ Heartbeat Act passed the state’s Senate Thursday. Abbott highlighted the bill’s passage in a tweet that noted the bill was “on its way to my desk for signing.” The governor also thanked Republican state lawmakers Bryan Hughes and Shelby Slawson for their leadership in introducing the legislation.

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Commentary: Biden Must Reverse Course on Iran Before It’s Too Late

President Joe Biden walks along the Colonnade with the Combatant Commander nominees U.S. Air Force Gen. Jacqueline Van Ovost and U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Laura Richardson on Monday, March 8, 2021, along the Colonnade of the White House.

Media outlets around the world recently reported on leaked audio comments in which Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif admitted that Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps controls all of Iran’s foreign policy decisions.  Although President Joe Biden was careful to mention neither Zarif nor Iran in his speech before Congress last month, Zarif’s embarrassingly candid revelations have direct implications for Biden’s entire Iran policy: namely, it underscores that reducing economic sanctions in order to moderate the Iranian regime cannot work.

For decades, U.S. policy toward Iran has produced disappointing results, largely because American administrations have underestimated the entrenched ideology of Iran’s theocratic dictatorship and mistakenly assumed the regime can be tamed by conciliatory diplomacy.  Western efforts to placate Tehran have failed consistently since the revolutionaries took power in 1979, yet recent reports indicate President Biden is in the process of repeating this failure. 

Just as the Obama administration did with its disastrous 2015 Iran nuclear deal, the Biden administration is now seeking to lift economic sanctions against Iran in exchange for temporary commitments from Tehran to curb its nuclear program.  A senior State Department official recently revealed that the Biden administration is reviewing all U.S. terrorism and human rights sanctions on Iran since 2017 to assess whether those sanctions were “legitimately imposed,” and that some sanctions will need to be lifted to ensure Tehran is “benefiting” from the nuclear deal.  Like Obama, Biden hopes that relaxing economic pressure can convince the regime to put aside its nuclear ambitions, focus on Iran’s economy and people, stop bankrolling terrorist proxies, and become a normal member of the international community. 

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McConnell Says He Supports $800 Billion Package Focusing on ‘Traditional’ Infrastructure

Sen Mitch McConnell (R-KY)

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell suggested that Republicans could back an infrastructure package costing up to $800 billion, a higher total than a plan Senate Republicans put forward in April.

Speaking with Kentucky Educational Television Sunday, McConnell reaffirmed Republicans’ opposition to President Joe Biden’s sweeping $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan, which covers both traditional infrastructure and Democratic priorities like child care, affordable housing and climate change. McConnell said that any package must be limited to “traditional” infrastructure items like roads, bridges and ports to gain GOP support.

“The proper price tag for what most of us think of as infrastructure is about $600-800 billion,” McConnell said.

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Business Fairness Act Would Allow Ohio Businesses to Stay Open During Emergencies

Mike DeWine

Ohio businesses would be able to continue to operate during a public health emergency if a bill passed by the Ohio House clears the Senate and is signed by Gov. Mike DeWine.

House Bill 215 would require businesses to comply with safety standards from government orders or regulations to stay open, but it does provide an avenue to keep businesses up in running in times of emergency.

“Small business owners had their worlds turned upside down when they were forced to shut down last year,” Rep. Jon Cross, R-Kenton, said. “Getting this bill signed into law will send a strong message that Ohio will remain open for business and keep our economy moving forward.”

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Wyoming Becomes Latest State to Ban Vaccine Passports

People walking in airport

Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon on Friday issued a directive blocking state agencies from using vaccine passports.

The directive requires state agencies, boards and commissions to “provide full access to state spaces and state services, regardless of a constituent’s COVID-19 vaccination status.”

The directive also urges local governments and private businesses to align their policies and practices with the state.

“Vaccine passport programs have the potential to politicize a decision that should not be politicized,” Gordon, a Republican, said in a statement. “They would divide our citizens at a time when unity in fighting the virus is essential, and harm those who are medically unable to receive the vaccine. While I strongly encourage Wyomingites over the age of 16 to get vaccinated against COVID-19, it is a personal choice based upon personal circumstances.”

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Hundreds of Millions in Paycheck Protection Program Loans Went to CCP-Backed Firms, as U.S. Small Businesses Went Under

U.S Small Business Administration

The Golden Horseshoe is a weekly designation from Just the News intended to highlight egregious examples of wasteful taxpayer spending by the government. The award is named for the horseshoe-shaped toilet seats for military airplanes that cost the Pentagon a whopping $640 each back in the 1980s.

This week, our award is going to the United States Small Business Administration and Treasury Department for awarding at least $200 million, but as much as $420 million, to Chinese Communist Party-linked businesses by way of the Paycheck Protection Program, intended to assist U.S. small businesses that were devastated by the coronavirus pandemic, widely believed to have originated in China.

A report from the Horizon Advisory strategic consulting group illustrates how negligible congressional oversight allowed at least 125 Chinese firms to “take advantage of the international disaster” by benefitting “directly from U.S. investment and relief measures.”

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American Medical Association CEO Calls Laws Banning Kids Trans Surgeries ‘Dangerous Governmental Intrusion’

Doctors performing surgery

The American Medical Association urged governors Monday to take a stand against laws banning transgender surgeries and procedures for minors.

American Medical Association (AMA) CEO James Madara sent an open letter to the National Governors Association Monday calling laws banning transgender surgeries for minors “a dangerous governmental intrusion into the practice of medicine,” noting that transgender and nonbinary gender identities “are normal variations of human identity and expression,” according to NBC News.

“As with all medical interventions, physicians are guided by their ethical duty to act in the best interest of their patients and must tailor recommendations about specific interventions and the timing of those interventions to each patient’s unique circumstances,” Madara wrote, the publication reported.

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Ohio City Income Tax Law Continues to be Challenged

Robert Alt

An Ohio think tank’s fight over the state’s municipal income tax laws, which continue to be an issue during the COVID-19 pandemic, has moved to the state court of appeals.

The Buckeye Institute, a research and education think tank based in Columbus, has filed four lawsuits challenging the state law that requires taxes to be paid to the city where work is actually done. During the pandemic, however, more and more people were working from home but still paying taxes to cities where their office was located, rather than where they actually worked.

The Buckeye Institute appealed Thursday to the Ohio Tenth District Court of Appeals its case of three of its employees who worked from home after the state’s stay-at-home order but continued paying taxes to city of Columbus. A Franklin County judge dismissed the case Tuesday.

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GOP Senator Demands Watchdog Investigate Energy Secretary’s Involvement with Electric Car Company3

Senator John Barrasso

Republican Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso asked the Department of Energy’s watchdog to investigate Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm’s continued involvement with an electric car company.

Sen. John Barrasso, the ranking member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, wrote a letter of concern to Department of Energy Inspector General Teri Donaldson Tuesday, warning of the potential conflict of interest. Barrasso said Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm continues to own millions of dollars worth of stock in Proterra, a company that has a direct stake in her department’s work.

“Proterra, Inc. is a leading manufacturer of electric buses, batteries, and charging stations — and has been described as such by officials within the Biden Administration,” Barrasso wrote.

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Ron DeSantis Signs Bill Scrapping All of Florida’s Covid Restrictions

Gov. DeSantis discussing COVID-19 bill.

Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis signed an executive order Wednesday scrapping all COVID-19 restrictions throughout the state and an accompanying bill that limits localities’ ability to enforce emergency precautions.

“I think that’s the evidence-based thing to do,” DeSantis said during a press conference Tuesday announcing the executive order. “I think folks are saying they need to be policing people at this point, if you’re saying that, then you’re really saying you don’t believe in the vaccines.”

DeSantis signed SB 2006, which says that any emergency orders can last no longer than six weeks. It gives him the authority to overrule cities that adopt restrictions deemed too harsh or unnecessary, and gives city and county commissions the power to overrule mayors.

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Battle Brews Between Conservative Authors and Mainstream Publishers in Era of Cancel Culture

Simon and Schuster

It’s a contentious time for conservatives in the publishing industry, and it’s a contentious time for publishing houses working with those in the conservative industry.

“As the cancel culture has revved up, the pressure has heated up on all of these big New York publishers,” says Marji Ross, the former president of conservative Regnery Publishing.

In recent months, New York publishing house Simon & Schuster has canceled Missouri GOP Sen. Josh Hawley’s forthcoming book about Big Tech, decided not to distribute a book written by the Louisville police officer who was shot while executing a no-knock warrant at the home of Breonna Taylor, signed a $3-4 million deal with former Vice President Mike Pence, and received a letter from more than 215 members of its staff demanding that the company not publish any books written by members of the Trump administration.

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Prior to Youth Sports Pause, Minnesota State Officials Admitted to Lack of Evidence, Emails Suggest

Young boy hitting a baseball

In the weeks leading up to Gov. Tim Walz’s “pause” on youth sports, state officials were privately scrambling for evidence to support the restrictions, at times admitting that “there isn’t much,” emails released Monday reveal.

“Here’s the way it should work: There is data, then there is a decision, then there is communication,” Sen. Michelle Benson, R-Ham Lake, explained at a Monday Senate hearing. “It’s not, ‘We need a message. Go find me the data that matches it.’”

Benson and her Republican colleagues published a trove of emails between state health officials and members of Gov. Walz’s staff ahead of Monday’s informational hearing.

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Commentary: President Biden’s Tax Hike Hits Keep on Coming

Joe Biden

Just over three months into his presidency, Joe Biden has been nothing if not active. Fresh off proposing two bills that could end up costing taxpayers $5 trillion over the next decade, the President is now proposing yet another $1.5 trillion spending package. This plan, intended to fund expanded childcare and education initiatives, would include huge tax hikes that would act as yet another sucker punch to a still-rebounding economy.

About the only tax increases the President hasn’t supported thus far arewealth taxes and financial transaction taxes. But just because the tax hikes in this package are less exotic doesn’t mean they wouldn’t prove to be harmful.

In keeping with Biden’s ongoing efforts to undo the 2017 tax reform law, the first tax increase proposed is the restoration of the top tax bracket to 39.6 percent, the level it was at before the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) lowered the rate to 37 percent. The top individual rate isn’t the most influential piece of the tax code on economic growth — as the Tax Foundation estimated prior to the passage of the TCJA — but it’s also far from the only tax hike that Biden is proposing.

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Ohio Democrats Attack GOP Plans to Rewrite State Election Laws

Elizabeth Walters

Ohio Democrats blasted a Republican proposal to rewrite the state’s election law to stop off-site ballot boxes, eliminate early-voting options and strengthen Ohio’s voter ID regulations.

The proposal, however, also includes creating an automated voter registration plan and easier access to absentee voter requests.

Reps. Bill Seitz, R-Cincinnati, and Sharon Ray, R-Wadsworth, plan to introduce what they call a comprehensive modernization and reform bill, while Democrats believe it’s more extreme restrictions on the right to vote that continue across the country.

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Hawley Plan Gives ‘Marriage Bonus’ to Married Parents with Young Children

Josh Hawley

Missouri Republican Sen. Josh Hawley introduced a bill Monday aimed at providing support for families with young children.

Hawley’s plan would give single parents with children under 13 $6,000 in parent tax credits and married parents with children under 13 $12,000 in parent tax credits, according to a press release.

“Starting a family and raising children should not be a privilege only reserved for the wealthy,” Hawley said in a statement. “Millions of working people want to start a family and would like to care for their children at home, but current policies do not respect these preferences.”

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Senate Foreign Relations Committee Overwhelmingly Approves Bill That Orders Assessment Into Lab Leak Theory

Joe Biden signing order

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee overwhelmingly approved a wide-ranging and bipartisan bill on Wednesday that lays out a unified strategic approach towards the threat China poses to America’s national and economic security.

Among the measures in the 281-page Strategic Competition Act of 2021 is a provision ordering the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) to produce a report assessing the likelihood that COVID-19 could have entered the human population due to a lab leak from the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) and other origins theories such as zoonotic transmission and spillover.

“It is critical to understand the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic so the United States can better prepare, prevent and respond to pandemic health threats in the future,” the bill states. “Given the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on all Americans, the American people deserve to know what information the United States possesses about the origins of COVID-19, as appropriate.”

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Commentary: Senate Republicans Just Handed Matches to Arsonists

One of the most fateful decisions of Donald Trump’s presidency happened just weeks after Inauguration Day.

In March 2017, Republican lawmakers joined Democrats to demand Jeff Sessions, a former Senate colleague and Trump’s new attorney general, recuse himself from anything related to the investigation into alleged Russian election collusion. Sessions’ two brief meetings in 2016 with Russian ambassador Sergei Kislyak—a figure who appeared often in collusion-related drama—amounted to evidence of collusion, collusion perps insisted.

Senators Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) were just a few top Republicans who asked Sessions to step aside—so he did.

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Kansas Governor Vetoes Ban on Biological Males on Women’s Sports

Laura Kelly

The governor of Kansas has vetoed a bill that would have banned biological males from participating in women’s sports.

Democratic Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly vetoed the “The Fairness in Women’s Sports Act” Thursday, saying in a news release that the legislation “sends a devastating message that Kansas is not welcoming to all children and their families, including those who are transgender — who are already at a higher risk of bullying, discrimination, and suicide,” according to local outlet KMBC.

“As Kansans, we should be focused on how to include all students in extracurricular activities rather than how to exclude those who may be different than us,” Kelly said. “Kansas is an inclusive state and our laws should reflect our values. This law does not do that.”

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Election Integrity Bill Fails in Arizona Senate After One Republican Betrays Party

Kelly Townsend

Abill that was set to strengthen election integrity in Arizona by cracking down on voter fraud failed in the Republican-led State Senate, after a Republican member went against the party and voted it down, as reported by ABC News.

The bill, SB 1485, would have made it easier to remove inactive names from the state’s early voting list by removing the word “permanent” from the state’s definition of said list. Following this change, anyone on the list who did not vote in the state’s elections after a certain period of time could have their names removed completely. Inactive names remaining on a state’s voting rolls, such as in Arizona, can lead to a greater chance of voter fraud when those names are used to sway an election in a crucial swing state.

But a single Republican state senator, Kelly Townsend (R-Ariz.), voted with the Democrats against the bill. Her reasoning, ostensibly, was to wait for the results of a GOP-led audit of all 2.1 million ballots in Maricopa County from the 2020 election.

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Ohio Democrats Propose New Gun Control Legislation

Mike DeWine

Ohio Democrats continue to criticize the state’s new stand your ground law and unveiled a package of gun control legislation Monday that goes further than a proposal from Gov. Mike DeWine that has seen no movement in nearly two years.

Monday’s call comes 20 months since a mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio, and less than a week after another one in Indianapolis. It also comes nearly two weeks after a law that removes the duty to retreat from Ohioans to defend themselves with deadly force went into effect.

“Ohioans have spoken loudly and clearly that we need to do something to end gun violence. Democrats are listening to you, the people of Ohio who overwhelmingly support commonsense solutions to keep our kids and communities safe,” House Minority Leader Emilia Strong Sykes, D-Akron, said Monday at a news conference. “In the 20 months since Dayton, shootings have gone up, not down. We need reform now to ensure the promise of safety and security for all Ohioans.”

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Poll: Majority of Americans Oppose Expanding the U.S. Supreme Court

U.S. Supreme Court

Democrats enthralled their base and alarmed Republicans with the recent announcement of a new push to add four justices to the U.S. Supreme Court, but the latest polling suggests the majority of Americans don’t favor expanding the highest court in the land.

New polling released by Rasmussen Tuesday found that only a third of likely voters support adding justices to the Supreme Court. Meanwhile, 55% of likely voters oppose expanding the bench, which has remained at nine justices for over 150 years.

The poll surveyed 1,000 likely voters between April 15 and April 18 of last week. Respondents were asked:

“The U.S. Supreme Court as defined by law has nine members – a chief justice and eight associate justices, all appointed to lifetime terms. Do you favor or oppose increasing the number of justices on the U.S. Supreme Court?”

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Proposed Florida Vote-By-Mail Restrictions Scaled Back, But Opponents Not Swayed

Dennis Baxley

A key Senate panel Wednesday amended a controversial bill imposing a range of restrictions on the state’s vote-by-mail (VBM) laws but did not vote on the measure after an exhaustive debate.

The Senate Rules Committee ran out of time before it could issue a verdict on Senate Bill 90 during a fiery marathon meeting that began with an hours’-long fracas over a proposed bill preempting local governments from regulating ports in areas “of critical state concern.”

Committee chair Sen. Kathleen Passidomo, R-Naples, concluded the meeting without calling for a vote on SB 90, saying the panel could take up the measure in its Friday meeting or next week. The bill was not on panel’s Friday agenda as of Thursday afternoon.

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Commentary: Keep Nine to Keep the Independent Judiciary

Congressional Democrats have introduced legislation that would add four more justices to the U.S. Supreme Court, boosting the number of justices on the bench from nine to 13, as Democrat congressional leaders are going all-in on packing the Supreme Court.

This is just more evidence that the very slender, far-left Democrat majority intends to seize and maintain power using any tactic available, even if it means destroying the independence of the judicial branch of government.

Given that court packing is now actively in play, every GOP Senator and House Member along with any rational Democrat members of Congress must push back by cosponsoring the Keep Nine constitutional amendment by Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas), S.J. Res. 9, and Rep. Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.), H.J. Res. 11.

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Biden’s Court Packing Committee Contains an Army of Professors Open to Altering Supreme Court

Joe Biden walking with his administration, wearing masks

President Joe Biden unveiled a new commission to explore the possibility of packing the Supreme Court. Although the commission does contain some constitutional originalists, it is heavily staffed by legal professors with revisionist views on the nation’s top judicial body.

The Biden administration unveiled a “Presidential Commission on the Supreme Court of the United States,” which will “provide an analysis of the principal arguments in the contemporary public debate for and against Supreme Court reform” — including “the length of service and turnover of justices on the Court” and “the membership and size of the Court.”

Although the White House insists that the commission is meant to be “bipartisan,” several of its members — both right-leaning and left-leaning — appear to hold some degree of revisionist views on the Supreme Court.

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West Virginia Governor Will Not Veto Bill Banning Biological Males from Women’s Sports

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice

The governor of West Virginia signaled that he will not veto a bill banning biological males from women’s sports.

Republican West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice discussed HB 3293 during a coronavirus briefing Wednesday saying that he would either “let it become law or sign it,” according to The Hill. The governor also said that he would “absolutely not” veto the bill, the publication reported.

“From the standpoint of how I feel about it personally… I just can’t possibly get through my head that it is the right thing for us at a middle school level or a high school level in our state for me not to support the bill,” Justice said, according to the Hill. “So, I do support the bill.”

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Andrew Yang Has Commanding Lead in NYC Mayoral Race, Poll Shows

Andrew Yang

Former presidential candidate Andrew Yang holds a commanding lead over his Democratic opponents in New York City’s mayoral race, according to a Thursday Data for Progress poll.

The poll found Yang with 26%, double the support of Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams. City Comptroller Scott Stringer was third with 11% and MSNBC analyst Maya Wiley was fourth with 10%, while every other candidate had single-digit support.

Yang leads among virtually every demographic, according to the poll: black, Asian, Hispanic and white voters as well as men, women and voters with and without college degrees.

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