Teachers and Educational Staff Moved Up into First Phase of Vaccine Priority List

The Tennessee Department of Health (TDH) announced Wednesday that it would be moving teachers and educational staff up on the vaccine priority list. TDH estimated that teachers and educational staff may receive vaccines starting around February or March of 2021.

This updated plan for vaccine distribution occurs in months-long waves: Phases 1a1, 1a2, 1b, 1c, 2a/b, and 3. Teachers and educational staff fall into Phase 1b. The last several phases don’t have projected dates as of yet. Those who qualify solely through age-based criteria will be eligible to receive their vaccine beginning in Phase 1a2, starting with those over 75 years old.

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DOJ Researcher Releases Study Indicating Massive Election Fraud in Georgia and Pennsylvania

A researcher at the Department of Justice on Tuesday released a 25-page report indicating a high probability of voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election. World-renown economist John Lott Ph.D., examined election results from Pennsylvania and Georgia, as well as potential election fraud in Arizona, Michigan, Nevada, and Wisconsin.

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McConnell Ties $2,000 Checks to Section 230 Repeal, Voter Fraud Investigation

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell introduced legislation authorizing direct cash payments of $2,000 Tuesday, but with a catch to which Democrats will likely object.

The bill combines $2,000 payments with a repeal of Section 230, a provision that grants social media companies liability protections against content users post on their platforms, and the establishment of a commission to study allegations of voter fraud in the 2020 election.

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Feds at Nashville Bomb Site Announce Plans to Finish Crime Scene Work

Federal officials said they may soon complete the crime scene where a massive Christmas Day explosion damaged at least 41 businesses on Second Avenue and collapsed one building. “FBI Evidence Response Teams and the ATF National Response Team members continue to recover evidence at the blast scene in downtown Nashville,” sad FBI Special Agent Jason Pack in a press release that Metro Nashville officials published Wednesday.

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ER Nurse Tests Positive for COVID-19 After Receiving Pfizer Vaccine

An emergency room nurse tested positive for COVID-19 over a week after getting the Pfizer vaccine, an ABC affiliate reported Monday.

A 45-year-old ER nurse identified as Matthew W., works for two hospitals San Diego, California, tested positive for COVID-19 eight days after receiving the vaccine, though experts say he could have been exposed prior to receiving the vaccine, 10 News reported.

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Tennessee Democratic House Caucus Chairman Questions Need for Legislature to Hold Special Session on Education Challenges

One Democratic leader in the Tennessee House is questioning the need for a special session to address education topics.

State Representative Vincent Dixie (D-Nashville), chairman of the Democratic House Caucus, is skeptical, Fox 17 News reported.

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Analysis: Federal Tax Overhaul Increased Taxes on Wealthy in Many Blue States

The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, harpooned by progressive Democrats as a handout to wealthy corporations, turned out to be more progressive in practice, new data from the federal government revealed. 

The federal tax reform measure supported by President Donald Trump increased taxes on some wealthy property owners in high-tax jurisdictions such as Illinois and New Jersey and decreased tax burdens on the middle class. 

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United Kingdom Approves AstraZeneca Coronavirus Vaccine

The United Kingdom became the first country to approve AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine as the nation combats a sharp spike in confirmed cases.

The vaccine, developed in partnership with Oxford University, can be stored at much warmer temperatures than other approved candidates. Its approval followed an official recommendation from Britain’s Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, and the country has already purchased 100 million doses, the company said in its statement.

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Martha Boneta Commentary: Many of Trump’s Massive Foreign Policy Gains Would Be Threatened If Biden Takes Over

It was hard to help but notice – and be somewhat sad about – all those happy faces Thursday afternoon when President Trump announced that Morocco had become the fourth Arab country, after Bahrain, Sudan and the United Arab Emirates to formally recognize Israel.  

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Questions Surrounding Administration of ‘Rollover’ Absentee Ballots in Fulton County Remain Unanswered Days Before Georgia U.S. Senate Runoff Elections

Just days before the statewide U.S. Senate runoff in Georgia, confusion over obtaining absentee ballots remains. 

“Georgians who are over the age of 65, members of the military or are physically disabled have the option of receiving absentee ballots for an entire election cycle by submitting a single application,” Atlanta radio station WABE reported in November. 

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Tom Emmer Only Minnesota Rep to Vote Against $2,000 Stimulus Checks

U.S. Rep. Tom Emmer, a Republican, was the only member of Minnesota’s congressional delegation to vote against a measure to increase COVID-19 stimulus checks to $2,000.

All of Minnesota’s Democratic members of Congress voted in favor of the proposal, which passed the U.S. House Monday in a vote of 275-134.

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Georgia Milestones End-of-Course (EOC) Exams Not Weighed During COVID-19 School Year, But Will for 2020-21

  The Georgia Department of Education (GDOE) unanimously voted to approve State School Superintendent Richard Woods’ recommendation of a .01 percent course grade weight for Georgia Milestones End-of-Course (EOC) exams for the 2020-21 school year. The exam is a part of state and federal requirement. According to Meghan Frick of…

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Michigan Gov. Whitmer Signs $106 Million COVID-19 Relief Bill

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Tuesday signed the $106 million Enrolled Senate Bill 748, which includes $55 million to assist the state’s small businesses and $45 million for laid off and furloughed workers.

Whitmer also signed bipartisan Senate Bill 604, which extends unemployment benefits for Michiganders from 20 to 26 weeks until the end of March 2021. SB 604 was sponsored by state Sen. Curtis Hertel.

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Criminal Records Expungement Expansion in Georgia Takes Effect January 1

Millions of Georgians will start the new year with a second chance. 

A new law that increases the number of criminal records that can be sealed takes effect Friday. The law, the result of Senate Bill 288, allows certain misdemeanors and nonviolent felonies to qualify for expungement.

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Princess Blanding Announces Third-Party Run for Virginia Governor

Community activist and mental health advocate Princess Blanding, whose brother was fatally shot by Richmond Police in 2018, announced her entrance into the 2021 Virginia governor’s race on Tuesday as a third-party candidate, joining a group of hopefuls featuring former and current state politicians.

Blanding, 38, will be running as an independent candidate under the Liberation Party, whose mission to advance equity by uplifting traditionally underserved and oppressed communities, according to a press release.

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Ohio AG Yost Files Brief in Favor of Religious Schools, Says Health Department Orders Unconstitutional

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost filed an amicus curiae brief with the United States 6th Circuit Court of Appeals backing three Ohio Christian Schools and a community organization who brought a lawsuit against the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department.  The department issued an order barring in-person learning for all students in grades 7-12 from December 4 to January 11.

Monclova Christian Academy, Emmanuel Christian, St John’s Jesuit and Citizens for Community Values (CCV) are the plaintiffs.    The Court demanded a response from Toledo-Lucas County Health Department on Tuesday, December 29.

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Biden and Harris to Stump for Warnock, Ossoff in Georgia Ahead of Senate Runoffs

Democratic candidates Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will visit Georgia to support the Senate election runoff candidates, Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, next week.

Biden and Harris will arrive in the days preceding the runoff elections, according to a press release from their team. Harris will precede Biden by a day, showing up to Savannah on Sunday. Biden will arrive on Monday in Atlanta. 

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$50 Insulin Co-Pay Cap Goes into Effect in Virginia in 2021

Monthly co-pays for insulin will be capped at $50 on January 1 in Virginia, thanks to HB 66, which the General Assembly passed in Spring of 2020. Politicians from both parties have called for strategies to make insulin more affordable. Delegate Lee Carter (D-Manassas) introduced the bill, initially calling for an even lower co-pay cap of $30 that was later amended to $50.

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Georgia Senate Hearing on Election Integrity Concludes with Order for Fulton County to Turn Over All Absentee Ballots to Investigators

Georgia State Senate Judiciary Subcommittee held another hearing on election fraud on Wednesday. Chairman William Ligon (R-GA-White Oak) oversaw the hearing.

Witnesses testified to multiple variants of election integrity issues, including the voting machines, voting systems, poll workers and adjudicators, and even the printed QR ballots themselves. A consistent message throughout the testimonies reflected a lack of helpfulness from the secretary of state’s office.

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More Than 1,200 Citizens Apply for Virginia Redistricting Commission

The application window for citizens to apply for the Virginia Redistricting Commission closed on Monday and a final tally from the Virginia Public Access Project (VPAP) showed that 1,238 Virginians are interested in serving on the extremely important and influential panel.

Just two weeks ago, however, only 88 citizens had applied for the commission since November 30 and Virginia Division of Legislative Services (DLS) Director Amigo Wade said they received 600-650 applications during the final days before the deadline.

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Georgia GOP Alleges Jon Ossoff Promoted Chinese Propaganda Outlet After Stint as National Security Aide

Members of the Georgia Republican Party alleged this week that U.S. Senate candidate Jon Ossoff’s ties to China run deeper than originally thought. Specifically, Georgia GOP officials, citing a new article in The Washington Free Beacon, said Ossoff once encouraged Twitter users to follow China state media. This happened in November 2012, according to Ossoff’s own Twitter feed.

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Tennessee U.S. Rep. Mark Green Explains Why He Supports Objection to Electoral College Certification

U.S. Rep. Mark Green (R-TN-07) announced Wednesday that he will support an objection to the Electoral College certification on January 6 of next year to determine who next occupies the White House. Green announced this in a press release that he published on his website.

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