Senator Lamar Alexander to Chair COVID-19 Hearing Tuesday

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) said Sunday that someone could potentially test themselves for COVID-19 using something as seemingly mundane as a lollipop.

Alexander said this on NBC’s Meet the Press.

“You might be able to put a lollipop in your mouth with a swab and take a picture of it with your cell phone. If it lights up then you’re positive,” Alexander told host Chuck Todd, while referring to one potential breakthrough.

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EXCLUSIVE: Trump Campaign Staffer Speaks Out after Targeted by Collusion Hoaxers

A former national security advisor to New York City developer Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign told Star Newspapers about his ordeal as he was hounded by Russian Collusion Hoaxers, Special Counsel Robert Mueller and their allies in the mainstream media.

“It was a waking nightmare for several years because of the chain reaction sparked by that opinion column,” said J.D. Gordon, who was also a national security advisor for the 2012 Herman Cain and the 2016 Michael Huckabee presidential campaigns.

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Black Lawmakers Want State to Stop Giving Names, Addresses of COVID-19 Patients to Police

The Tennessee Black Caucus of State Legislators wants the state to quit giving names and addresses of COVID-19 patients to police.

The caucus made the request to Gov. Bill Lee and the Tennessee Department of Health, WATE reported, citing a press release from Democratic Caucus Chairman Ken Jobe. Lee sent letters to Tennessee police offering to provide personal information to their departments once they’ve entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the state.

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Commentary: Export Bans and the Re-Emergence of the Nation-State

The COVID-19 pandemic has served to upend many long-held policy assumptions, but none so clearly as the theory that international trade rests purely on economic incentives, and that those economic incentives will always override a country’s more base instincts to act in its own interest because of the cost to global profits.

Responses from countries around the world to COVID-19 have significantly fractured this argument. It can no longer be said with unshakable confidence that nations will sidestep their own economic objectives, interests, and policies for the sake of a more profitable international economic integration.

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Database Swells to 1,285 Proven Cases of Voter Fraud in America

All-mail elections have received heightened attention in the media these past few weeks. Prominent liberals highly endorse the idea, claiming it allows people to do their patriotic duty without risking being infected by the coronavirus.

In reality, without rigid safeguards to prevent fraud, misuse, and voter intimidation, absentee ballot fraud—while it may occur sporadically—already has affected the outcome of elections in states and counties across the country.

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Former Rep. Trey Gowdy Identifies Reporters Who Allegedly Peddled Misleading Leaks by House Intelligence Oversight Chair Rep. Adam Schiff

by Chuck Ross   Former Rep. Trey Gowdy accused reporters from CNN, Politico and The New York Times on Sunday of helping House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff “peddle” the now-debunked conspiracy theory of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian government. Gowdy was asked in an interview on Fox…

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Georgia’s Restaurants, Barber Shops Are Coming Back to Life as Lockdowns Ease, Data Show

Georgia’s restaurants and barber shops are seeing a slow but steady increase in traffic after Gov. Brian Kemp began easing up the economic lockdowns he imposed to slow the coronavirus pandemic, location data show.

Visits to the state’s barber shops and tattoo parlors increased to 80% of pre-coronavirus levels after Georgia began rolling back own stay-at-home orders on April 24, according to data released by Foursquare, a location technology platform. Data also show restaurants are on the rebound.

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Court Rules Tennessee Can’t Process School-Voucher Applications During Appeal

A judge has blocked Tennessee from processing applications for a school-voucher program while the state appeals a ruling that said the program is unconstitutional.

Davidson County Chancellor Anne Martin ruled the state cannot remit funds for the program or engage with parents or schools about the program. The court also ordered the Tennessee Department of Education to post the current status of the lawsuit and encourage parents to have a backup plan in a statement on the program’s website in case the appeal fails.

“Whatever happens on appeal will happen, but the current status is the program is not going forward and parents need to be told and to have a Plan B,” Martin said Thursday in her ruling from the bench. “The court is going to deny the relief requested.”

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Sen Dianne Feinstein, Who Defended Christine Blasey Ford, Calls Tara Reade’s Accusation Against Joe Biden ‘Ridiculous’

Rep. Dianne Feinstein on Thursday called Tara Reade’s sexual allegations against former Vice President Joe Biden “ridiculous” and said she does not believe her.

The California Democrat discussed Reade’s allegations before reporters, and said Reade’s are “totally different” from the sexual assault allegations Christine Blasey Ford made against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

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Facebook Provides $16M in Grants to 200 Mostly Liberal Local Newsrooms

Facebook last week announced that more than 200 news organizations will receive nearly $16 million in grants through the Facebook Journalism Project’s relief fund for local news. These grants come from $25 million in relief funding announced in March from Facebook’s $100 million global investment in news. It includes:

$10.3 million being awarded to 144 US local newsrooms as part of the COVID-19 Local News Relief Fund Grant Program. The fund is supporting many publishers who are hardest hit by this crisis: nearly 80 percent of recipients are family- or independently owned and more than half are published by or for communities of color.

$5.4 million being awarded to 59 North American newsrooms that participated in Facebook Local News Accelerator programs focused on subscriptions and memberships.

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More California Churches, Sheriffs Announce Defiance of State, Local Orders

California entered phase 2 of its reopening plan Friday, but that excluded houses of worship being able to hold in-person services. Regardless, several thousand church leaders say they plan to reopen by May 31 no matter what the governor says.

California Church United, a network of 3,000 California churches, representing 2.5 million members, announced it plans to open May 31, instead of waiting until the state implements phase 3, which includes allowing modified reopening of houses of worship.

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Former Warren Aide on Commission Overseeing COVID Stimulus Is Married to Lawyer Who Defends Big Corporate Clients

One of the regulators pegged to oversee the coronavirus stimulus is married to a corporate attorney who touts her history of defending companies in civil and criminal enforcement cases before the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC), public records show.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer tapped attorney Bharat Ramamurti to sit on the Congressional Oversight Commission, a five-member panel Congress created in March to oversee the $2.2 trillion stimulus package. The commission’s statute does not explicitly require members to disclose their finances, though three of the members are obligated to provide disclosures as they are lawmakers.

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Trump Campaign Launches ‘Moms For Trump’ Coalition

President Donald Trump’s campaign launched a “Moms for Trump” coalition ahead of Mother’s Day during an online broadcast Saturday night.

The campaign’s online broadcast aired at 8 p.m., Trump campaign spokeswoman Sarah Matthews told the Daily Caller News Foundation. It featured top Trump 2020 advisers Lara Trump, Mercedes Schlapp, Katrina Pierson and national chair of Trump Victory Finance Committee Kimberly Guilfoyle.

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Commentary: America’s Rock-n-Roll Architect Little Richard Has Died

Richard Wayne Penniman, better known as “Little Richard,” died on Saturday at his Nashville home. He was 87. Millennials and such may be unaware of the man and the great American music he pioneered.

As the big-band era of the 1940s began to wane, musicians opted for smaller combos. They pounded out a rollicking sound with a heavy backbeat, honking saxophones, percussive pianos, and simple lyrics that lingered in the mind. When Chuck Berry sang “roll over Beethoven, dig these rhythm and blues,” that was the music he was talking about. By the mid-1950s, rhythm and blues had been rebranded as rock and roll, and Little Richard was the king.

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Half Of Minnesota’s Hospitality Businesses May Close Permanently Amidst Walz Shutdowns

Most of Minnesota’s hospitality businesses may be forced to close permanently as a result of Governor Tim Walz’s economic shutdown orders, warns Hospitality Minnesota.

Hospitality Minnesota is an association for lodging, restaurant, resorts and campgrounds, per the organization’s website. This group, along with the Minnesota Licensed Beverage Association, the Community of Minnesota Resorts and the Craft Brewers Guild say that existing releif packages aren’t doing enough to keep hospitality based businesses afloat in the state. As a result, over half of these businesses may be forced out of business forever if things don’t change soon, per a local CBS affiliate.

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Industry Leaders Warn Hundreds of Businesses Won’t Survive Reopening Plan, Extended Stay-Home Order

Michigan business leaders are concerned some businesses won’t survive Michigan’s mandated closures by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, which she extended yesterday through at least May 28.

Whitmer announced a plan to reopen the economy Thursday but provided no dates, other than for manufacturing, for when additional businesses could reopen.

Michigan Chamber President and CEO Rich Studley said the order “may be a foreclosure notice” for many small and seasonal businesses.

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Ohio Lawmaker: DeWine’s Budget Cut ‘an Alarming Divestment from our Public School System’

 A state senator from Toledo is blasting Gov. Mike DeWine’s decision to cut funding to public schools as part of a move to reduce spending amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Governor DeWine’s decision to slash more than $300 million from Ohio’s K-12 funding is an alarming divestment from our public school system during a time when schools need more support than ever,” state Sen. Teresa Fedor, D-Toledo, said in a statement. “Nearly half of the $775 million total in cuts to General Revenue spending will be stripped from Ohio’s public schools, which continue to serve more than 90% of children in our state.

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90 Percent of Ohio’s Economy Expected to Reopen This Week

An estimated 90 percent of Ohio’s economy will be reopened by the end of the week under Gov. Mike DeWine’s “Responsible Restart Ohio Plan.”

Since May 1, the healthcare industry has been able to perform all medically necessary procedures that do not require an overnight stay, such as routine check-ups, outpatient surgeries, imaging procedures, and diagnostic tests.

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Two More Rural Minnesota Cities Ask Walz to Reopen

Two more rural Minnesota cities passed resolutions last week asking Gov. Tim Walz to allow all businesses to reopen.

According to the Grand Forks Herald, the Roseau City Council unanimously approved of a resolution during its Monday meeting that asks the governor to lift restrictions on small businesses. Roseau Mayor Jeff Pelowski said in a letter to Walz that his city is “dealing with several inequities that need to be addressed.”

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Former Nashville Healthcare Executive Pleads Guilty to Embezzling More Than $700,000

The former president of Nashville-based Omnis Health pleaded guilty last week to embezzling $763,887 from the company and evading taxes.

U.S. Attorney Don Cochran for the Middle District of Tennessee said 50-year-old Robert Burton was charged in February with wire fraud and tax evasion related to his embezzlement scheme. Burton was the president of Omnis Health, which sells diabetic testing kits, from July 2013 to May 2017.

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