U.S. Senate Confirms Barrett to Supreme Court, Giving Conservatives a 6-3 Majority

The U.S. Senate confirmed Amy Coney Barrett to be an associate justice on the nation’s highest court Monday. 

Barrett fills the vacancy of the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died in September at the age of 87 from complications of metastatic pancreatic cancer. 

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Citizens Groups Hold Rallies in Franklin, Knoxville to Declare ‘We Will Not Comply’ With Mask Mandates

Grassroots movements combating Tennessee’s never-ending mask mandates are gaining steam.

Tennessee Stands held a “Mask Free Tennessee Rally” Saturday on the Public Square in Franklin. A similar rally was held Sunday in Knoxville by No Mandates Tennessee.

Tennessee Stands organizers on Saturday evening posted on their Facebook page, “So thankful to all of the patriots that showed up today for the Mask Free Tennessee Rally today in Franklin! Our voices are louder together. We will not give in to the mob. We will not relinquish our liberty. We. Will. Not. Comply.”

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Commentary: It’s Decision Time for the Costco Mom

Earlier this year, a strange spectacle kept recurring at one of the country’s most popular big box stores.

Costco shoppers across the land wrestled each other for industrial-sized packages of toilet paper; as panic set in about the looming coronavirus pandemic, well-heeled suburbanites quickly depleted the retailers’ nationwide supply of Charmin and Quilted Northern. Even the store’s discount Kirkland brand sold out fast.

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Black Tennessee Business Owner Says Donald Trump is the Better Candidate for His Bottom Line

Madison, Tennessee resident and businessman Robert Sherrill, currently seeking a federal pardon from U.S. President Donald Trump for past federal drug offenses, appeared on FOX News twice last week.

Sherrill first appeared with a panel of other Nashville business owners where they shared their thoughts on the presidential election. Sherrill said at the time — before Thursday’s presidential debate in Nashville — that he had not yet decided on whether to support Trump, the incumbent, or Trump’s challenger, former Vice President Joe Biden.

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AstraZeneca, Johnson and Johnson Resuming U.S. Tests of COVID-19 Vaccines

Two drugmakers announced Friday the resumption of U.S. testing of their COVID-19 vaccine candidates.

Testing of AstraZeneca’s vaccine candidate had been halted since early September, while Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine study was paused at the beginning of last week. Each company had a study volunteer develop a serious health issue, requiring a review of safety data.

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Report: Some Public Schools Obstructing Parents’ Efforts to Withdraw Children for Home-Schooling

Some public schools are telling parents they can’t withdraw their children to home-school or aren’t following the TEA guidelines for withdrawal, according to a new report published by the Texas Home School Coalition Association (THSC).

The largest statewide advocacy organization for home educators in the state sent a written notice to 9,500 school administrations in August, clarifying the Texas Education Agency policy for student withdrawal.

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Commentary: Why Democrats Still Love to Spy on Americans

The very last op-ed progressive journalist Michael Hastings wrote for BuzzFeed was titled, “Why Democrats Love To Spy On Americans.” Ten days later, on June 17, 2013, Hastings emailed his BuzzFeed associates warning them, “The Feds are interviewing my ‘close friends and associates.’ ” He added that he was “onto a big story” and had to go “off the rada[r] for a bit … hope to see you all soon.”

Hastings did not get to see those associates soon or otherwise. In the early morning hours of June 18, his leased Mercedes crashed into a palm tree at high speeds in a residential Los Angeles neighborhood. The car burst into flames upon impact, and Hastings’s body was burned beyond recognition.

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Crews Vacuum ‘Murder Hornets’ Out of Washington Nest

Heavily protected crews in Washington state worked Saturday to destroy the first nest of so-called murder hornets discovered in the United States.

The state Agriculture Department had spent weeks searching, trapping and using dental floss to tie tracking devices to Asian giant hornets, which can deliver painful stings to people and spit venom but are the biggest threat to honeybees that farmers depend on to pollinate crops.

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Senate Votes to Advance Barrett; Confirmation Expected Monday

Senate Republicans voted overwhelmingly Sunday to advance Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett toward final confirmation despite Democratic objections, just over a week before the presidential election.

Barrett’s confirmation on Monday was hardly in doubt, with majority Republicans mostly united in support behind President Donald Trump’s pick. But Democrats were poised to keep the Senate in session into the night in attempts to stall, arguing that the Nov. 3 election winner should choose the nominee to fill the vacancy left by the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

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Federal Agency Secretly Offered FBI Documents on Trump Officials, Senate Report Says

The federal agency that stores records for presidential transition teams volunteered to provide documents to the FBI regarding the Trump presidential transition team in early 2017, in possible violation of an agreement with the Trump campaign to destroy the records, according to a Senate report released on Friday.

The report from Republicans on the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee says that officials at the General Services Administration (GSA) contacted the FBI on Feb. 15, 2017 to inquire whether they should preserve documents related to Michael Flynn.

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Republicans Want to Know Whether Amtrak Have Any Perks to Biden

Republicans on the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee want to know whether Amtrak gave Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden special treatment.

In a letter to Amtrak President and Chief Executive Officer William Flynn, the lawmakers ask whether the former vice president’s use of a chartered Amtrak train for a recent campaign trip disrupted Amtrak service or interfered with freight train operations. They also want to know how many employees were “taken off their regular duties to staff the Biden campaign charter train, including any overtime hours worked.”

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Dems With Power Flex Their Muscles Ahead of Election Day to Push Agendas, Punish Trump Supporters

As Election Day draws near, Democrat business owners and politicians are increasingly flexing their muscles to push their politics into peoples’ faces and punish those who have opposing views. There have been multiple reports in the past year about Trump supporters being fired for expressing their support for the president.

In the past couple of weeks, two more Trump supporters have been fired and a CEO of a major software company has sent a mass email to millions of customers telling them to vote for Joe Biden.

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Constitutional Scholar Alan Dershowitz Spoke, Fielded Questions at the 2020 National Constitution Bee

Leading constitutional law scholar Alan Dershowitz spoke during the 2020 National Constitution Bee on Saturday. All contestants had the opportunity to join the video call and ask questions afterwards.

Dershowitz touched on topics including Electoral College, impeachment, equal protection, and Supreme Court justice term limits.

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Facebook Demands Academics Disable Ad-Targeting Data Tool

Academics, journalists and First Amendment lawyers are rallying behind New York University researchers in a showdown with Facebook over its demand that they halt the collection of data showing who is being micro-targeted by political ads on the world’s dominant social media platform.

The researchers say the disputed tool is vital to understanding how Facebook has been used as a conduit for disinformation and manipulation.

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College President Publicly Condemns Prof’s ‘Hateful,’ ‘Vile’ Tweets Exposed by Campus Reform

After Collin College received backlash from a story by Campus Reform regarding a professor calling Vice President Mike Pence “a demon” and to “shut his little demon mouth up,” the college president publicly came out and condemned the comments. 

President Neil Matkin wrote in a public statement on the school’s website that the professor’s comments were “hateful, vile, and ill-considered.”

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‘Brian’s Song,’ ‘Roots,’ ‘Purple Rain’ Screenwriter William Blinn Dies

William Blinn, a screenwriter for the landmark TV projects “Brian’s Song” and “Roots” and the Prince film “Purple Rain,” has died. He was 83.

Blinn died Thursday of natural causes at an assisted living community in Burbank, California, his daughter, Anneliese Johnson, said Saturday.

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Ohio Boat Parades, Road Rallies Buoy Trump and His Supporters Across the Country

When a flotilla of pontoon and fishing boats decked out with “Trump 2020” flags cruised past him this summer, Dale Fullenkamp got an idea.

“I figured I don’t have a boat, but I do have a tractor,” he said.

Soon he was leading nearly 300 combines and tractors pulling hay wagons and manure spreaders through the western Ohio village of Fort Recovery, one of many parades nationwide organized by a swell of grassroots supporters for President Donald Trump.

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Rand Paul, Ted Cruz Stump for Virginia Republican Candidates

It was cold and rainy, but approximately 150 people attended the Chesterfield GOTV Rally in a covered arena at Keystone Acres on Sunday afternoon. Senators Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) headlined the event. Virginia candidates Nick Freitas, Daniel Gade, and Leon Benjamin appealed to supporters to not only vote, but to encourage friends and community members to vote.

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Gov. Walz Activates National Guard after Chauvin’s Third Degree Murder Charge Dropped

Gov. Tim Walz activated the Minnesota National Guard on Thursday to assist local law enforcement in protecting the greater Twin Cities.

“In light of developments in the George Floyd case, we’ve taken the precautionary step of asking the Minnesota National Guard to prepare to help ensure safety for Minnesotans,” Walz said in a statement. “I want to remind Minnesotans that today’s ruling marks a positive step in the path toward justice for George Floyd.”

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Gov. Whitmer Near Bottom of Economic Freedom Report

According to a report from a center-right organization The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), Gov. Gretchen Whitmer earned a fifth-to-last ranking among all 50 governors in the United States.

The 2020 Laffer-ALEC report on Economic Freedom ranks all 50 governors by results and policy.

Whitmer ranked 43rd for results, 41st for policy and 46th overall.

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Mass Data Collection of License Plate Numbers Upheld by Virginia Supreme Court

The Virginia Supreme Court has ruled Fairfax County’s mass collection of vehicle license plate numbers does not violate legal privacy protections in a decision criticized by civil liberty advocates.

The Fairfax County Police Department won a lawsuit that challenged its use of automated license plate readers, which tracks times and locations of drivers. Because the court ruled the information the readers compile is not legally protected as personal, identifying information, Fairfax Police and other police departments in the commonwealth can continue to use them.

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TRUMPDATE: Latest From the Team Trump Virginia Campaign for October 26

Welcome to the Monday edition of our daily Virginia Trump campaign update! We will provide our readers with daily updates on the Trump Virginia campaign from today to November 3 (and after…if need be!).

It’s officially eight days until the election on November 3 – and five days until early voting in Virginia closes.

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The Committee Shaping Policy and Curriculum at Loudoun County Public Schools

Behind the scenes at Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS), many of the policy and curriculum changes reflecting social justice initiatives are driven by the Minority Achievement Advisory Committee (MSAAC). MSAAC is an advisory committee under Superintendent Eric Williams and the LCPS School Board.

MSAAC was formed in 1994 to advise and discuss LCPS board and administration on minority student achievement. MSAAC was designed to ensure “advantages in academic, vocational, physical, cultural, and social education” for all students.

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Justin Fairfax Says He is Poised to Help All Virginians as the Next Governor

If elected governor, Justin Fairfax is determined to bring the Commonwealth and its residents out from underneath the current issues plaguing Virginia brought forth by the coronavirus pandemic and a destructive political landscape. 

Last month Lt. Gov. Fairfax officially announced his entrance into the 2021 gubernatorial election, hoping to follow in the footsteps of former state governor L. Douglas Wilder and become the second black man elected to the Executive Mansion. 

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No. 18 Michigan Tops No. 21 Minnesota 49-24 in Milton Debut

After playing sparingly for Michigan as a backup his first two years and waiting for this virus-shortened season to start seven weeks late, Joe Milton’s time at quarterback had finally come.

The enormity of the moment hit him in the locker room, just before taking the field at Minnesota.

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Tennessee Officials Announce New Vaccination Plan, COVID-19 Strategies

Tennessee Department of Health officials this week announced the state’s infrastructure plan to distribute COVID-19 vaccines once they are available.

TDH, coordinating with other state and local agencies, submitted an initial draft of the COVID-19 Vaccination Plan for Tennessee to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this month.

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