Lee’s Criminal Justice Reform Focuses on Re-Entry, Imprisonment Alternatives

Bill Lee

Gov. Bill Lee has promised criminal justice reform in Tennessee, and several of his proposed bills that are set to move forward in coming weeks could have a significant effect on those in the state’s prison system.

“I’ve been thinking about it for 20 years,” Lee said recently during a roundtable he held on the subject last week. “Now, we’re in spot in Tennessee to really make substantive change.”

Many of the changes proposed in the bills and in Lee’s amended budget aim to reduce the prison population while focusing on re-entry for nonviolent offenders.

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Commentary: The Washington Post Fact-Checker and Holding Biden Accountable

After four years of relentless fact checks of statements by President Trump, many wondered whether fact-checkers would apply similar scrutiny to President Biden.

Responding to right-leaning critics who “have been urging fact checks of ‘Biden lies,’” Glenn Kessler, editor and chief writer of the Washington Post’s Fact Checker, tweeted, “We have no plans to start a Biden false or misleading claims tracker, just as we had no plans at this point to start a Trump tracker. The constant tweeting of falsehoods forced our hand. But we have an open mind and if the need arises we will consider one.”

Some remained skeptical. “We have no plans to hold Biden accountable the way we did the previous administration,” tweeted journalist Stephen Miller, mockingly interpreting Kessler’s statement. “Glenn, I for one thank you for this refreshing bit of honesty.”

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Report: Three-Fourths of All 2019 Property Insurance Suits in U.S. Were Filed in Florida

In 2019, Florida homeowners accounted for 8.16 percent of the nation’s property insurance claims, but more than 76 percent of property insurance lawsuits lodged against insurers.

Pointing to this “disparity,” Florida Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier in a five-page April 2 letter to House Commerce Committee Chair Rep. Blaise Ingoglia, R-Spring Hill, outlined four proposals to reduce property insurance litigation.

Insurers cite rampant litigation, ballooning reinsurance costs, “loss creep” from 2017-18 hurricanes and coastal flooding as a “perform storm” of coalescing factors leading to double-digit property insurance rate hikes that Florida businesses and 6.2 million homeowners are seeing or will see when renewing policies.

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Arkansas Legislature Passes Bills Tightening Signature Verification, Absentee Ballot Requests

Asa Hutchinson

Arkansas became the latest state to pass a series of voting reforms this week, sending multiple bills to Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s desk.

The bills, overwhelmingly passed by the state’s Republican legislature, focus on in-person and absentee voting, while a third transfers additional authority to county election commissioners instead of local clerks. Hutchinson has not publicly said whether he plans to sign them.

The Arkansas Senate passed HB 1715 Tuesday, which prohibits clerks from sending unsolicited absentee ballots to voters and requires them to report how many absentee ballot applications they receive each day. It also requires a voter’s signature to match their signature from when they first registered to vote, and forbids county clerks from providing a ballot if they do not match.

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‘God Loves Me’: 10-Year-Old Trans Child Quotes Bible to Tell TX Legislators Why They Shouldn’t Ban Trans Surgeries, Procedures for Minors

Kai Shappley

A 10-year-old transgender child quoted the Bible testifying before Texas lawmakers on bills banning transgender procedures and surgeries for minors.

Kai Shappley spoke to lawmakers Monday regarding Texas Senate Bill 1646, legislation that classifies it as child abuse for anyone to administer puberty suppression drugs, hormone replacement therapy, transgender surgeries or medical procedures to minors.

Video footage posted by the American Civil Liberties Union shows the 10-year-old child reading remarks from an iPhone, criticizing legislators for “attacking me since pre-K” and explaining, “I’ve been having to explain myself since I was three or four years old.”

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Hunter Biden’s Book ‘Beautiful Things’ Sells Less Than 11k Copies in First Week, Despite PR Rush

unter Biden’s memoir sold less than 11,000 copies in its debut week, despite a massive promotional campaign that included appearances by the author and presidential son on CNN, CBS News and ABC’s late-night talk show “Jimmy Kimmel Live!”

As of Friday, first-week sales of “Beautiful Things: A Memoir” were 10,638 copies, according to Publishers Weekly.

The book by President Biden’s son came in 12th, just behind “The Calcium Connection: The Little-Known Enzyme at the Root of Your Cellular Health,” by Brunde Broady, a book about teeth health.

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Commentary: Ballot Equality and Who Really Defends the Votes of Black Americans

Protestors in D.C.

Buried in the liberal lie that vote security somehow “suppresses” votes of black Americans is the truth: it protects their vote security, as well. Even in minority communities, ballots themselves are color blind.

Deep in the cynical assertion that protecting votes is “racist” is the inference that black votes aren’t important enough to be protected. Liberals and their Democrat allies face two stumbling blocks in demonstrating legitimate concern about minority voting — the past and the present. They own the history of voting discrimination based on race, and they still practice it today.

To assert that vote security is “racist,” it must first be established that minorities are separate and unequal from other voters, and less competent at meeting voting requirements. But all Americans must show ID for driving, banking, voting in union elections, going to post-secondary school, and purchasing certain products. The Left’s anti–vote security influencers are currently focused on Georgia’s new voting laws, which require voter identity verification with photo ID. Democrats claim this discriminates against black voters in particular.

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Poll Finds That Most Americans Oppose Left-Wing Corporations Influencing Politics

Cincinnati Red Stadium

A new poll found that well over half of Americans are against large and left-wing corporations attempting to influence government and everyday politics, as reported by Breitbart.

The poll of registered voters, conducted by NPR and PBS, asked if they are for or against corporations using their size, wealth, and influence to have a role in political, cultural, or societal change; 58 percent of respondents were against it, while only 35 percent were in favor, and 7 percent were unsure. When the question turned to professional sports organizations, such as the MLB, 56 percent voiced their opposition to such influence, with 39 percent in favor and just 5 percent unsure.

In recent months, the attempts by major corporations to influence politics have gone beyond the usual large donations to political campaigns or individual candidates. Following Georgia’s passing of an election integrity law aimed at cracking down on voter fraud after widespread irregularities altered the result of the 2020 election, multiple companies came out against the law and even suggested boycotting the state of Georgia. Among these were Coca-Cola, Delta Airlines, and Major League Baseball (MLB).

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Trump Critics in Congress Have Spent Tens of Thousands on Private Security Since the Capitol Riot

People protesting with police

Prominent lawmakers have spent tens of thousands of dollars in private security following the Capitol riot on Jan. 6, according to first-quarter Federal Election Commission reports obtained by Punchbowl News.

Security expenditures were especially common among high-profile Democrats and Republicans who voted to impeach or convict former President Donald Trump for his role in inciting the riot.

Republican Reps. Liz Cheney of Wyoming and John Katko of New York paid $50,400 and $19,874 in private security, according to Punchbowl. Ohio Republican Rep. Anthony Gonzalez paid $1,540, according to the report.

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Chincoteague Church Tries Again with Lawsuit Against Northam for 2020 Capacity Limits

Chincoteague-Island-based Lighthouse Fellowship Church (LFC) has filed a second opening brief in a lawsuit against Governor Ralph Northam over 10-person capacity limits instituted in Spring 2020. Although Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Arenda Wright Allen ruled that the church couldn’t sue the governor and that the case was moot since Northam had ended the capacity restriction, Liberty Counsel argues on behalf of the church that Wright was mistaken.

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Minneapolis Public Schools to Resume In-Person Learning Monday, Will Close for Chauvin Trial Results

After delaying the return of in-person learning over COVID-19 concerns, Minneapolis Public Schools have announced their intention to return to the classroom Monday. 

But they’ll soon return to virtual learning, according to a Friday statement.

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Warner, Kaine Introduce Red-Flag, Other Federal Gun Control Changes to Mirror Virginia Law

U.S. Sens. Tim Kaine and Mark Warner introduced federal gun control legislation Thursday to mirror some of the laws that recently passed their home state of Virginia.

The policies include expanding background checks, limiting handgun purchases and enacting red flag laws at a national level. The senators are calling the legislation the Virginia Plan to Reduce Gun Violence Act.

“Virginia knows all too well the heartbreaking consequences of gun violence,” Warner and Kaine said in a joint statement. “We’ve seen it in the tragedies of Virginia Tech and Virginia Beach and the countless drive-by shootings, domestic violence, and suicides by firearm across the country. We’re proud of the Commonwealth for leading the way to advance gun reform; now it’s time for Congress to save lives.”

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Michigan’s Bar and Restaurant Job Losses During Pandemic Lockdowns Greater Than Neighboring Great Lakes States

Empty bar in restaurant

A new study published by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy concludes states in the Great Lakes region with the strictest lockdown measures also suffered the greatest increases in job losses.

“The Costs of Michigan’s Second Lockdown” was authored by Chris Douglas, the department chair of the UM-Flint Economics department.

All told, Douglas concluded the costs associated with the state’s second lockdown, which began in mid-November, outweigh the benefits it provided. He also said there was no correlation between the lockdown and a reduction in COVID-19 related fatalities.

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Jody Hice Says D.C. Statehood Would Add Two More Democrats to the U.S. Senate

Washington DC

U.S. Rep. Jody Hice (R-GA-10) told constituents in an emailed newsletter this week that he opposes statehood for Washington, D.C. “and all other reckless attempts by the Democratic Party to cement their power.” Hice specifically referred to H.R. 51, which would, if enacted into law, admit the District of Columbia into the United States as the state of “Washington, Douglass Commonwealth.” Hice said Democrats are moving the bill through the U.S. House Oversight Committee.

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House Republicans Offer Tax Cuts, School Funding Change in New Ohio Budget Proposal

Group of young students

Ohio House Republicans announced Tuesday they want to put the focus on funding the state’s schools and tax breaks.

The House Finance Committee accepted a substitute bill containing the House GOP’s version of a new two-year state budget, which also includes COVID-19 relief help for small businesses and more oversight of state spending.

“This is a thoughtful, structurally balanced and comprehensive budget plan that funds Ohio’s priorities and invests in Ohio’s future,” said Finance Committee Chair Rep. Scott Oelslager, R-North Canton.

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