Allen West to Challenge Abbott in Texas Governor’s GOP Primary Next Year

Allen West, a retired Army officer, former congressman and Texas GOP chairman, used Independence Day to launch a Republican primary challenge to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.

West released a YouTube video and made an appearance at Sojourn Church in Carrollton, Texas, to announce his 2022 bid, saying he was focused on illegal immigration, the Democrat assault on energy resources and human trafficking.

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Tennessee’s Public School Enrollment Mirrors National Decline

Group of young students

Tennessee matched the national trend as public school enrollment this past school year was down 2.9% in the state compared with the 2019-2020 school year, according to preliminary data released by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).

The decline in enrollment will not affect state funding for Tennessee’s public schools in the short term. Gov. Bill Lee signed a bill that holds harmless Tennessee’s public schools in the state’s funding formula for the 2021-22 school year despite changes in enrollment. Funding is determined by school enrollment from the previous year.

Sen. Jack Johnson, R-Franklin, said he expects that adjustment to be a one-year, one-time exception to the Basic Education Program state funding formula, expected to cost the state an additional $8.9 million, according to the bill’s fiscal note.

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Commentary: It is Time to Fight for the Rights of Independent Businesses

As a very young man, I was fortunate enough to start my own company out of my apartment using a small amount of investment capital from friends and family. Over time, that business grew to have over 6,000 employees and revenues in excess of $2 billion. Over nearly a 40-year span, my team and I built what some would consider a remarkable track record, as measured by both sales and profits.

Because of my experience growing that business, I feel a special kinship with small, privately owned businesses and their owners. I also come from a middle-class background, one that shaped me into the person I am today. It is through both the lens of entrepreneur and member of the middle-class that I look through when reflecting upon this Independence Day.

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Workers’ Coronavirus Fears Hit Pandemic Low

U.S. workers’ fear of contracting coronavirus while on the job has hit a pandemic low as the economy continues its steady recovery.

The number of Americans not working due to their fear of getting the virus while at their job dipped to 3.05 million by the end of June, according to the Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey released Wednesday. The figure hit its peak in July 2020 when 6.24 million unemployed Americans reported not looking for a job due to coronavirus fears, Axios reported.

“People are feeling safer about returning to work, which should help businesses staff-up to meet the tremendous demand we’re seeing right now,” Wells Fargo senior economist Sarah House told Axios.

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Republicans Embrace Immigration Restriction with Trump Border Visit

Trump Border Visit

With President Donald Trump paying his first visit to the southern border since leaving the White House, numerous Republicans in Congress and various state offices solidified their support for his agenda of immigration hawkishness, as reported by Politico.

President Trump had been invited to the border by Texas Governor Greg Abbott (R-Texas), and after weeks of preparation, the president finally made his visit on Wednesday. Governor Abbott, in his introduction of the president, pointed out that he had done “more to secure the border than anybody and any president ever has.”

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State Department Will Let People Choose Their Gender on Passports

Photo of two passports in person's hand

The State Department will allow people to choose their gender on passports, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement Wednesday.

The State Department will let people “self-select their gender as ‘M’ or ‘F’” and will waive the required medical certification for individuals whose gender on their citizenship or ID doesn’t match their “self-selected gender,” Blinken said.

Blinken also said his department was also working toward adding “non-binary, intersex, and gender non-conforming persons” gender markers for passport applicants.

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Commentary: Dissenting from Woke Superstition

Person sitting down. Praying hands on a Bible

A few weeks ago, I offered commentary on wokeism as a new iteration of Karl Marx’s notion of religion as the opiate of the people. Specifically, I made the case that wokeism is not so much Marxism but a heretical Christian construct that oligarchs exploit for the sake of their own preservation and dominance. Wokeism hoodwinks labor—those we often call the forgotten middle class—into serving the interests of monopolistic Big Tech and Wall Street capital, and its handsomely compensated technocrats (those Marx called the petty bourgeoisie).

Other recent pieces, including “The Art of Spiritual War,” by Michael Anton (which discusses wokeism as a parallel to the corrupted Christianity of Machiavelli’s day) suggest a growing consensus that wokeism, rather than something new under the Sun, has characteristics of something old, namely religion. Understanding wokeism as a religion, cult, or spiritual phenomenon may help us challenge and defeat it.

They Believe In Something Else 

Permit me to borrow for a moment a thought from a friend. Deion Kathawa wrote recently that our modern, technology-driven immorality may represent “a worldview that is closed off to the supernatural.” But this is only a superficial closing off. It is a fundamental feature of human psychology that it is never truly closed off to the supernatural.

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Facebook Is Spamming Conservative Users With Messages About a Support Group for ‘Extremists’

Facebook users are expressing shock and dismay after being spammed with messages touting a support group for people concerned about “extremists.”

“Are you concerned that someone you know is becoming an extremist?” the message begins. “We care about preventing extremism on Facebook. Others in your situation have received confidential support,” the message continues.

The Facebook message goes on to suggest that “you can help” by joining their support group. “Hear stories and get help from people who have escaped violent extremist groups,” the message concludes.

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Left-Wing Politicians Push Claim That Chauvin Sentence Is Not ‘True Justice’

Screen cap in Hennepin County on Chauvin case

A slew of left-wing politicians and activists continue to push the rhetoric that Derek Chauvin’s sentence does not show justice, but only “accountability.”

Chauvin was sentenced to 22½ years in prison for the murder of George Floyd. In April, a jury found him guilty on all charges, which included second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter.

Following his sentencing Friday, Rep. Ilhan Omar released a statement implying that the U.S. justice system does not promote “true justice.”

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Big Tech Cracks Down on Robert Malone, mRNA Vaccine Pioneer Who Warns About Their Risks

A scientist who credits himself as the inventor of mRNA vaccines, and has warned that they carry risks downplayed in the COVID-19 pandemic, said this week that LinkedIn “shut down” his personal account without explanation.

“The historic record of what I have done, stated, figured out (and when) etc. over time is a key part of establishing my credibility and track record as a professional,” Robert Malone tweeted Wednesday. “And that has been erased completely and arbitrarily without warning or explanation.”

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House Appropriations Committee Votes to Prohibit Funding to Wuhan Institute of Virology

The House Appropriations Committee in meeting

The House Appropriations Committee voted to include an amendment to prohibit funding to the Wuhan Institute of Virology for the upcoming fiscal year on Thursday.

The amendment was introduced by Republican Rep. Guy Reschenthaler of Pennsylvania for the State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Bill. “It is deeply disturbing that American taxpayers footed the bill for over $1 million to support dangerous and potentially deadly research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, a laboratory run by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and tied to military biological research,” Reschenthaler said in a press release Thursday.

“I thank my colleagues for including my amendment to end the flow of federal dollars to the WIV. We must ensure Americans’ hard-earned money never again funds risky experiments in labs operated by our adversaries,” he added.

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Tennessee Republican’s Donation Funded South Dakota National Guard Deployment to Texas

National Guard on duty securing the Capitol building ahead of Joe Biden’s inauguration.

A Tennessee Republican billionaire offered South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem funding to send National Guard troops to Texas to help manage the border crisis, the Associated Press reported Thursday.

Willis Johnson, 74, who earned his fortune by creating an international junkyard empire, offered Noem $1 million to deploy the South Dakota National Guard to the southern border, according to the AP. Noem accepted the donation despite Johnson living in Tennessee, earning skepticism from experts who said the donation could set a precedent for wealthy individuals to essentially activate the U.S. military for political reasons.

“I didn’t know it would build into a bonfire,” Johnson told the AP. “It’s getting out there a lot more than I thought.”

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University of North Carolina Grants Tenure to ‘1619 Project’ Author Nikole Hannah-Jones

Nikole Hannah-Jones

The University of North Carolina’s Board of Trustees voted on June 30 to grant tenure to Nikole Hannah-Jones, author of the “1619 Project,” who will be the Knight Chair in Race and Investigative Journalism.

It is rare for a university to grant tenure to someone who has not climbed the academic ranks through teaching and research. Tenure, which virtually guarantees job security, is usually the result of a multi-year process, not a privilege granted before a professor teaches a single class.

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Congress’ Antitrust Legislation Avoids Regulating Many Big Tech Companies

Last-minute changes to major antitrust legislation working its way through the House appears to exempt several Big Tech companies from being affected by its regulations.

The legislation, which has been months in the making and was crafted to take on Big Tech monopolies, targets a handful of companies while excluding others that also have massive market power, a leading expert told the Daily Caller News Foundation. Existing federal and state antitrust law already prohibits a wide range of anticompetitive business activity across all industries like unlawful mergers and monopolization.

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McCarthy: Maybe Cheney Is ‘Closer’ to Pelosi Than GOP Conference After Joining January 6 Committee

House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy said Thursday that Republican Rep. Liz Cheney accepting House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s nomination to the Jan. 6 Select Committee is “unprecedented” and “shocking,” suggesting that the Wyoming congresswoman might be “closer” to Pelosi than the GOP conference at this point.

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Republicans Demand Biden Include Historic Bipartisan Pro-Life Protections in Budget Request

Over 170 Republican members of Congress called on President Joe Biden Thursday to include pro-life protections in his budget request, warning that the current budget is “an affront to the majority of Americans who do not want their tax dollars funding abortion on demand resulting in the death of children in the womb.”

The Daily Caller News Foundation first obtained the letter warning the president that his fiscal year 2022 budget request will remove bipartisan pro-life protections such as the Hyde Amendment, which bans the use of federal funds for abortions and has been included in appropriations legislation every year since 1976.

Republicans emphasized that Americans who oppose abortion should not be forced to see their taxpayer dollars fund a “brutal procedure that ends the lives of unborn children.”

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Catholic University Professor in Ohio Undertakes COVID Research Following Pro-Life Principles

A biology professor at Franciscan University of Steubenville has started a study to look at herd immunity, while ensuring that his research also upholds pro-life principles.

Part of Professor Kyle McKenna’s research into herd immunity involved the development of an antibodies test that “did not utilize any materials produced in cell lines derived from aborted fetal tissue,” he said.

“The Catholic Church has indicated the need for alternatives to the use of cell lines, derived from tissues of elective abortions, in vaccines and medical testing,” McKenna told The College Fix via email. “We saw the opportunity to provide an alternative by creating a test for evaluating antibody responses to SARS-CoV-2 that used no materials that were produced in cell lines derived from elective abortions,” McKenna said.

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Virginia Theological Seminary Pays First Round of Reparations Checks

Virginia Theological Seminary is paying reparations to descendants of Black slaves that worked on the institution’s campus prior to abolition.

Curtis Prather, the school’s director of communications, explained to Campus Reform that Virginia Theological Seminary has a research team dedicated to investigating records and claims. He said the school has made 16 payments to date using funds from a $1.7 million endowment established in 2019.

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Virginia Board Might Change, End Confusing COVID-19 Regulations Tuesday

A Virginia board will meet Tuesday to consider changing or ending business regulations it introduced to curb the spread of COVID-19 during the pandemic, some of which have been confusing business owners.

Earlier this year, the Department of Labor and Industry established permanent regulations on businesses, which could only end or be changed through another meeting by the department’s Safety Health Codes Board. When the board adopted the regulations, it also added a provision that required it to meet within two weeks after the state of emergency for COVID-19 ended. The last day of the emergency declaration was June 30.

The rules were initially in line with Gov. Ralph Northam’s executive orders, but after the governor rescinded some of the requirements, the two standards seemed to contradict on certain issues. The governor requires some employees to wear masks if they are not fully vaccinated. The DOLI regulations require those employees to wear masks and make no mention of vaccinations, but later guidance stated vaccinated individuals were not required to wear masks.

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Michigan State University Student Government Demands Free Menstrual Products in All Campus Bathrooms

Free menstrual products in all campus bathrooms is the latest demand of the Michigan State University student government. 

Passing a resolution June 24, the Associated Students of Michigan State University assert “transgender people, non-binary people, gender non-conforming people,” and women are able to menstruate. 

Further, these groups “are not given the same access to these products in the restrooms that coincide with their gender.” 

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Dumpster Full of Books Found Outside Minneapolis Elementary School

A dumpster full of old books was found outside a Minneapolis Elementary School. A neighbor discovered the dumpster outside of Bryn Mawr while on a walk. According to Bring Me the News, the school went through it’s books to get rid of ones that were damaged or “the inclusion of content that isn’t culturally or historically accurate.”

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Florida COVID Cases Up, Deaths Continue to Decrease

The latest state reports show that Florida COVID cases and the positivity rate increased during the week ending July 1st. Also, hospitalizations remained the same, while deaths continue to decrease.

The state reported 15,978 cases during the week ending July 1st, compared to 11,807 cases for the week ending June 25th. The increase follows a consistent downward trend since the state reported approximately 37,000 cases for the April 23rd week. New cases reached a low during the June 11th week with 10,459.

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Ohio Ranks Low in Actual Independence

Ohio State flag

Celebrating Independence Day means a little more for some states than others, at least in terms of being independent and self-sufficient.

A report from personal finance website WalletHub showed which states were the most-self-sufficient, and Ohio ranked 36th in where Americans are the most self-reliant despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

To determine the ranking, WalletHub compared five sources of dependency: consumer finances, the government, the job market, international trade and personal vices. Those categories were broken down into 39 key indicators.

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Georgia U.S. Rep. Buddy Carter Accompanies Donald Trump to Border, Describes Mayhem

U.S. Rep. Buddy Carter (R-GA-01) traveled with former U.S. President Donald Trump to the U.S.-Mexico border last week and said he saw “the opposite of progress.” “When Vice President Kamala Harris claimed the Biden Administration, ‘made progress,’ during his visit to our southern border last week, I was intrigued.  I was appalled by what I saw when I visited the border in May and hopeful that the Biden Administration was finally taking this situation seriously,” Carter told his constituents in an emailed newsletter Sunday.

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U.S. Department of Education Questions DeSantis Teacher Bonus Plan

Th U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) has questioned Governor Desantis’ announcement to give Florida teachers a $1,000 bonus for returning to the classroom for the upcoming school year.

On Wednesday, the USDOE sent a letter to Florida Education Commissioner, Richard Corcoran, that claimed the approved bonuses do not fit the eligible guidelines set by federal agency, as reported by the Associated Press (AP). 

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Arizona Official Says California’s Electrical Power Grab Could Lead to Outages

Silhouette of powerlines

The head of the Arizona Corporate Commission worries that California power officials moving their wattage to the front of the line would export power outages to Arizona and elsewhere.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) recently decided to allow the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) to prioritize energy flow throughout California over Arizona. This concerns to the chairwoman of the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC), Lea Márquez Peterson.

CAISO petitioned FERC to make changes to its tariff related to transmission priority through California in response to the extensive blackouts in August 2020. The summer readiness plan approved by California’s primary grid operator deprioritized the electrical wattage sent outside the golden state when the power demand is high.

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Tennessee Stands Will Soon Launch Statewide Tour to Promote Liberty

Members of the Williamson County-based Tennessee Stands announced Sunday they will soon launch a statewide tour to promote individual liberty, and their first stop is in northeast Tennessee. “There is a growing movement across the state of Tennessee for those who understand the state and nation’s Constitution. These people are no longer willing to allow their rights to be eroded or infringed upon. With these rights and values in mind, Tennessee Stands is launching the Freedom Matters Tour to promote constitutional values and to encourage Tennesseans to STAND UP for their personal liberties,” according to an email that members of the group sent to their followers Sunday.

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