Tennessee Fires Top Vaccine Official

The state of Tennessee Department of Heath on Monday fired one of the organization’s top vaccination officials, Dr. Michelle Fiscus.

Fiscus, the fired employee and medical director for vaccine-preventable diseases and immunization programs, claims she was blamed after the department faced heavy backlash from Tennessee state lawmakers over the department’s push to get children vaccinated.

Read More

Governor Lee Visits Border, Calls Situation a ‘National Security Crisis’

Gov. Bill Lee, on the right, sitting down in a room. Lee recently visited the southern border

Tennessee Governor Bill Lee visited the Southern border over the weekend and toured various sections of the area. Upon examining the situation, Lee called the state of affairs a “national security crisis.”

“What I saw at the border is unsustainable for our country and should be number one priority for national security. Tennessee will always step up and serve, but we need immediate reinforcements, like a finished border wall, to ensure our men and women in uniform have the tools they need to do their job,” Lee said.

Read More

Commentary: Leading the Charge Against Critical Race Theory

Young boy reading a book

Critical Race Theory continues to permeate our classrooms and infect our children’s minds with outrageous ideas about their nation’s history. But a growing number of Americans are standing up to fight back against its false tenets and demand its removal from K-12 education. At the forefront of this patriotic effort is 1776 Action, an advocacy group committed to the vital work of restoring honest and unifying education in public schools throughout the nation.

The group’s Candidate Pledge has garnered national attention in recent weeks for its emphasis on America’s values and its vow to eradicate divisive race- and gender-based ideologies such as CRT from America’s schools. Political candidates who sign the pledge commit to restoring “honest, patriotic education that cultivates in our children a profound love for our country” and to promoting a curriculum that “teaches that all children are created equal, have equal moral value under God, our Constitution, and the law, and are members of a national community united by our founding principles.” The pledge also seeks to prohibit any curriculum that divides students by race and sex – or sets out to infuse harmful ideologies into course material.

In May, Gov. Kristi Noem (R-SD) became the first candidate to sign the pledge, declaring that CRT and similarly divisive theories are “shameful [and] must be stopped.” Other high-profile conservatives running for office, such as Republican nominee for Governor of Virginia Glenn Youngkin, also vowed to replace CRT with “a high-quality civics curriculum.” The two Republican candidates for Governor of Kansas, former Gov. Dr. Jeff Colyer and Kansas Atty. Gen. Derek Schmidt, have also signed the pledge. As more candidates sign this pledge, it will put pressure on teachers, principals, and school boards to declare their stances on CRT and other key educational matters. It will also hold them accountable for the materials they teach and ensure our children are not indoctrinated with malicious theories that seek to denigrate our country and reduce students to their sex or skin color.

Read More

Carol Swain Says Facebook Has Shadow Banned Her Politically Conservative Posts

Carol Swain said Facebook staff members shadow banned her last week and restricted her from communicating her ideas to her more than 77,000 social media followers. Shadow banning occurs when someone posts something and that same person can see what he or she published on a social media network. No other person, however, can see or respond to the post. Swain said she saw her published posts and asked her friends if they also saw what she posted. They did not.

Read More

Walt Whitman Statue, a Target of Protests, to Be Removed From Center of Rutgers–Camden Campus

Rutgers University-Camden Walt Whitman statue

Rutgers University-Camden will remove a statue of the famous poet Walt Whitman from the center of campus as a result of activists’ petitions and a recommendation from a committee of scholars.

The statue of Whitman, featured prominently in the front courtyard of Camden’s Campus Center, will be “relocated to a historically relevant site on campus and contextualized,” interim Chancellor Margaret Marsh recently announced in an email to students and employees.

That new location has yet to be announced by campus officials.

Read More

Tennessee DA Cleared of Wrongdoing After Condemning Islam and Homosexuality as Against God

After two years of investigations, Tennessee district attorney general Craig Northcott was cleared of wrongdoing for arguing that Islam and homosexuality are against God. Following complaints against Northcott’s outspoken religious beliefs, the Tennessee Board of Professional Responsibility (TBPR) Disciplinary Counsel reportedly attempted to publicly censure Northcott. The TBPR claimed that Northcott violated the rules of ethics, which Northcott denied. TBPR never claimed that Northcott mishandled a specific case purposefully based on an individual’s theological beliefs or sexual orientation. Due to a lack of evidence indicating any professional misconduct, TBPR dropped the case.

As The Tennessee Star reported when the investigation first opened in 2019, TBPR was prompted to look into Northcott following multiple complaints over his social media posts concerning Islam. Northcott had responded to other comments referencing Muslims on a Facebook post asking whether it was acceptable to stereotype an entire group with mixed beliefs versus letting individuals be judged based on their own actions. In the comments, the original poster defended that not all Muslims were evil. Northcott opined that they were due to the inherent evil of Islamic teachings and texts.

Read More

White House Backs Teachers Unions, Critical Race Theory Curricula

Jen Psaki

The Biden administration signaled its support for the teaching of “anti-racism” curriculum in public schools Friday, wading into an ongoing culture war over critical race theory playing out on cable news and in school board meetings across the nation.

Asked about a recent decision by the National Education Association to throw its weight behind controversial progressive teachings about race, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told RealClearPolitics that President Biden believes “kids should learn about our history” including the view that “there is systemic racism that is still impacting society today.”

Psaki continued that the president and the First Lady, who is also a life-long educator, believe that “there are many dark moments, and there is not just slavery and racism in our history.”

Read More

California Spent $13 Million to Guard 120 Empty Homes

Several tents on the side of the street

The state government of California has been revealed to have spent $13 million on providing security for 120 empty houses for five months, even as a homeless crisis ravaged the state, Fox News reports.

In a report broken by local outlet Fox 11, the California Department of Transportation (CalTrans) paid $9 million to the highway patrol from November 2020 to April 2021, and gave another $4 million to a private security firm over the same period, all for the purpose of protecting the vacant houses in Pasadena.

In a statement addressing the report, CalTrans said that the houses had been purchased by the government 60 years ago, when there were plans for a change in the local infrastructure by connecting the 710 freeway to the 210. However, that project “is no longer moving forward,” the government statement declared.

Read More

Commentary: The Obamas’ Aggressively Political Netflix Show

Screenshot from Obama's Political Netflix show

No, Higher Ground isn’t where the Obamas plan to move to from their beachfront Martha’s Vineyard mansion when they flee the rising ocean levels caused by climate change. It’s the name of their production company, which in May 2018 inked a “high eight-figure” production deal with Netflix to go along with their $65 million contract with Viking Press to write their memoirs. Announcing the Netflix partnership, the former president promised that “these productions won’t just entertain, but will educate, connect, and inspire us all.” (That’s what Oprah always says, too, about her own noble but inert efforts as producer.)

Anyway, a year after their big announcement, the Obamas — apparently not wanting to rush too precipitously into anything — finally made public their first slate of Netflix projects. One is a biopic of Frederick Douglass. (That topic took a year to come up with?) Others include Bloom, a drama series about the “barriers faced by women and by people of color” in New York’s post-war fashion business, and Fifth Risk, a documentary series about “everyday heroes” in government. (Can I write the one on Maxine Waters?)

But the project we’re here to talk about is the just-released We the People. It’s a series of 10 civics lessons for kids, each in the form of a four- or five-minute piece of animation. (Somehow, the word “cartoon” seems inappropriate, given that this show is almost entirely lacking in humor.) Nine of the 10 episodes are music videos featuring original songs performed by some of the biggest names in the music business today. (I know that they’re some of the biggest names in the music business today because I’ve only ever heard of two of them.) The 10th features a poem. Perhaps needless to say, all of these videos exhibit the hyper-Benetton-ad-level diversity — e.g., hijabs galore, and more people in wheelchairs than you’ll ever see in real life — that is de rigueur everywhere in the entertainment industry nowadays.

Read More

Student Body President Faces Impeachment for Saying Gays and Lesbians Must be ‘Born Again’

Jake Statom

The University of North Alabama’s student government is threatening to remove its new president for saying gays and lesbians must be “born again.”

Jake Statom has already apologized for his short-lived Instagram Story, posted during LGBTQ+ Pride Month, but his colleagues warned that he will face impeachment proceedings if he does not resign.

The university has defended Statom’s “right to freedom of speech, even when it is offensive to others,” citing a recent Supreme Court ruling on student speech, but has not stated whether it will halt impeachment proceedings or overturn his removal.

Read More

Group of Police Officers Sue California City Over Black Lives Matter Mural

A group of five police officers in Palo Alto, California are suing the city after it allowed far-left radicals to create a pro-Black Lives Matter mural in one of the city’s main streets, according to ABC News.

The mural was painted last June following the death of George Floyd, a career criminal who fatally overdosed on fentanyl while in police custody in Minneapolis last May. His death sparked nationwide race riots, as well as a wave of anti-police sentiment, including a rise in attacks on police officers and calls from far-left politicians to defund police departments.

Among the most controversial images in the Palo Alto mural, painted across the street from City Hall, is a depiction of Joanne Chesimard, a black nationalist who murdered a New Jersey state trooper in 1973. Chesimard, who goes by the name Assata Shakur, fled the country and has been staying in Cuba ever since, where she continues to be venerated by modern black nationalists.

Read More

Shrier: ‘Aw Shucks Conservatives’ Are Handing America Over to the Woke

Christopher Rufo

Both meek “aw shucks” conservatives and “chest thumpers” conservatives are handing America over to woke activists, author Abigail Shrier claimed in a Monday Substack.

The journalist and author highlighted the successful work of anti-Critical Race Theory writer Christopher Rufo, who Shrier praised for speaking not to elites, but to Americans, by “gathering evidence and pointing out the glaring harm in clear, unapologetic (but never crass or rude) language.”

“Rufo is out there identifying the problem, alerting the public, and sounding all available alarms,” Shrier wrote. “If he hasn’t yet slain the beast, he has at least awakened American parents from their coma, convinced them that they cannot trust the teachers and administrators and school boards who treat children, not as students, but as recruits for their revolution.”

Read More

Clemson School Administrators Used COVID Caps and Fake RSVPs to Suppress Turnout at Conservative Event

Assortment of conservative buttons with a "Get Involved" Turning Point USA fillout

During the height of the pandemic, two college administrators from Clemson University used phony ticket reservations to suppress attendance at a conservative student event and bragged about it on Facebook.

The conservative group Turning Point USA’s local chapter hosted speakers Tomi Lahren, Brandon Tatum, and Graham Allen for an event on the South Carolina campus in April 2020.

The event was limited in capacity because of COVID-19, and people had to reserve tickets from a smaller pool in advance.

Read More

FDA Asks for Internal Review of Approval Process for Alzheimer’s Drug

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is asking for an internal review of its own approval process that gave a greenlight to a drug to treat Alzhiemer’s, a move that could shed more light on the controversial chain of decision-making that led to the drug’s being okayed for use.

The FDA last month approved drug company BioGen’s product Aduhelm, the first medicine greenlit in the U.S. to slow the cognitive decline of those living with Alzhiemer’s.

Yet that decision was shrouded in controversy: The approval went against the advice of an outside panel of FDA experts and even led to the resignation of several of those experts in protest.

Read More

Utah House Passes Bill to Ban Critical Race Theory in Public Schools

Students in class, listening to the teacher at the front of the room

Utah is one of many states in America considering banning critical race theory in public schools.

Republican State Representative Steve Christiansen sponsored a bill that takes direct aim at critical race theory concepts being taught in public education. The bill passed the Utah House and is awaiting the signature of the Speaker to move onto the state Senate.

That bill, HR901, calls on the Utah Board of Education for a re-evaluation of guidelines to weed out critical race theory in publicly funded classrooms.

Read More

Biden Admin, Echoing Trump, Warns That a Chinese Attack on the Philippines Will Draw Military Response

Large group of United States Military soldiers standing in straight line at a base

The Biden Administration continued the Trump-era rejection of almost all of China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea, warning the communist country that an attack on the Philippines would draw a significant U.S. response.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken reaffirmed the U.S.’ message in a statement Sunday, which was also the fifth anniversary of an international tribunal ruling in favor of the Philippines and against China’s maritime claims. China has rejected the ruling since it was first made.

“Nowhere is the rules-based maritime order under greater threat than in the South China Sea,” Blinken said, accusing China of attempting to “coerce and intimidate Southeast Asian coastal states, threatening freedom of navigation in this critical global throughway.”

Read More

Commentary: The Massive Pushback Brewing Against the Progressive Left Could Dwarf the Tea Party Sea Change of 2010

Joe Biden and Donald Trump

Victimizers quickly becoming victims is a recurrent theme of Thucydides’ history. In his commentary on the so-called stasis at Corcyra, he offers his most explicit warning about the long-term dangers of destroying legal institutions, customs, and traditions that serve the common good for short-term gain. 

The historian notes that in the inevitable yin and yang of politics, the destroyers inevitably will seek, but do so in vain, refuge in what they have destroyed. Between 2017 and 2021 the Left has done exactly that. 

What was common to the media’s deification of the criminally minded Michael Avenatti, and the promotion of a series of abject hoaxes? Do we remember the Steele “dossier,” the supposed authority of Fusion-GPS, the Schiff “report,” and the entire Russian “collusion” yarn? 

Read More

Crom Carmichael on Former Detroit Chief of Police James Craig and His Potential Run Against Incumbent Whitmer

Detroit Police Chief James Craig

Monday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed all-star panelist Crom Carmichael in studio to discuss the possible opponent to Gretchen Whitmer’s governorship, former Detroit Police Chief, James Craig.

Read More

Karol Markowicz on the Politicization of Teacher’s Unions, Public Versus Charter Performance, and Parental Involvement Against CRT

Karol Marowicz

Monday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed New York Post columnist Karol Markowicz to the newsmakers line to discuss teacher union power over public school education and how parents are fighting back.

Read More

Texas House Democrats Flee State on Private Jets

Sixty-seven Texas House Democrats fled Austin Monday for Washington, D.C. on private planes in a political maneuver that Gov. Greg Abbott said only hurts Texans.

Shortly after 2 p.m., House Democrats confirmed in a statement they were not returning to the state Capitol to complete an ongoing special session, which began July 8 and lasts for 30 days.

By leaving Texas, House Democrats avoided being arrested by a “Call of the House,” which Speaker of the House Dade Phelan could have initiated had the members left Tuesday, when the chamber is scheduled to be back in session. Because the legislature was out of session on Monday, Democrats had time to leave after having met over the weekend.

Read More

Southeastern Legal Foundation Attorney Cece O’Leary Gives Updates as Judge Rules American Rescue Act Unconstitutional

Southeastern Legal Foundation Attorney Cece O'Leary

Monday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Southeastern Legal Foundation Attorney Cece O’Leary to the newsmakers line to provide updates on the White farmer discrimination case as a judge rules it unconstitutional.

Read More

Crom Carmichael: ‘Republicans Need to Learn How to Use Government to Further an Agenda for All Americans’

Person in a crowd, holding the American flag

Monday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed the original all-star panelist Crom Carmichael in studio to discuss how Democrats have crafted a way to use the government for only their constituents and recommended advice to Republicans.

Read More

Three Year Old Shot in Minneapolis

Police line do not cross tape

A three year old was shot in Minneapolis over the weekend. In video footage obtained from a security camera, dozens of shots were being fired in a Minneapolis neighborhood, ending in a three year old child being hit in the leg. Due to the volume of blood he was losing it was obvious that his injuries were very serious. In order to save the child’s life, Minneapolis police officers applied a tourniquet and drove him to the hospital themselves.

Read More

DeSantis Backs Cuban Protestors, Media and Democrats Blame COVID

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis

Sunday on Twitter, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) extended his support to the Cuban protestors voicing their opposition to the communist regime who seized control of the government when the Cuban Revolution ended in 1958.

“Florida supports the people of Cuba as they take to the streets against the tyrannical regime in Havana,” DeSantis said. “The Cuban dictatorship has repressed the people of Cuba for decades & is now trying to silence those who have the courage to speak out against its disastrous policies”

Read More

Ohio Secretary of State Identifies More Than a Hundred Non-Citizens Who Registered to Vote in 2020 Election

Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose announced on Monday that his office has identified 117 non-citizens that registered to vote for the 2020 election — a violation of Ohio state law.

After identifying the individuals, LaRose referred the individuals to the Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost for investigation and potential prosecution.

Read More

Ohio Abortion Clinic Threw Dismembered Baby in Dumpster, Pro-Life Group Claims

Ohio Abortion Clinic

A pro-life group has accused an Ohio abortion facility of throwing a dismembered, aborted baby away in a dumpster.

Ohio Right to Life said Wednesday it found the remains of an aborted baby at about 17 weeks gestation discarded in dumpster behind Ohio Women’s Center (NEOWC) abortion clinic. The clinic, which has not responded to requests for comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation, denied that it improperly disposed of fetal remains.

“Ohio Right to Life is heartbroken and appalled by the abortion industry’s utter disregard for human life,” Mike Gonidakis, president of Ohio Right to Life, said in a statement. “This child suffered doubly at the hands of the abortion industry: first, by being subjected to a brutal death by dismemberment and second by the degradation of his or her broken body being dumped into the trash like garbage.”

Read More

Georgia U.S. House of Representatives Candidate Matt Richards Says His Neighbors Worry Most About Labor

Matt Richards, running to replace current U.S. Rep. Jody Hice (R-GA-10) in the U.S. House of Representatives, said Monday that people in his district worry most right now about a labor shortage. “I hear it every day from business owners,” Richards told The Georgia Star News this week.

Read More

Arizona Attorney General Seeks Injunction on Biden’s Order to End Border Wall Construction

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich is seeking an injunction on President Joe Biden’s executive order halting the border wall construction. Brnovich wants the Biden Administration to reverse their current border policies and refrain from any further action until they analyze the environmental impact of those policies per the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

The attorney general’s office submitted the injunction request in an amended complaint. The original lawsuit, State of Arizona v. Mayorkas et al, argues that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and federal officials violated NEPA by not providing environmental impact statements or assessments when they halted construction of the border wall and permitted additional migrant entry by ending the “Remain in Mexico” policy. 

Read More

Georgia Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan Defends SB 202, Despite Not Fighting for Special Session on the Matter Late Last Year

Georgia Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan appeared on FOX News this past weekend and defended the state’s new voter integrity law, Senate Bill 202. On Monday, though, Duncan and members of his staff would not say why he did not fight for a special session to address these matters late last year.

Read More

Ohio Restaurant Association to Laud Husted for COVID Work at Virtual Awards Ceremony

Lieutenant Governor Jon Husted

The trade association representing Ohio’s restaurant industry will recognize Lieutenant Governor Jon Husted as its Outstanding Public Official in fashioning COVID-19 policy at the onslaught of the pandemic 16 months ago.

Ohio Restaurant Association President and CEO John Barker credited Husted for working with an industry group formed to create an effective response to the  crisis with state  health advisers and others that maximized the flow of food to the public in the initial weeks and formulating a policy allowing further opening two months later.

Read More

Youngkin Ad Blasts McAuliffe for Dishonesty

Screencap of politcal ad of Glenn Youngkin

A new digital ad launched by the campaign for Republican nominee for Virginia governor Glenn Youngkin blasts Democrat opponent and former governor Terry McAuliffe, calling him “dishonest.” 

The ad claims that McAuliffe is tied to former President Donald J. Trump, who once supported McAuliffe with a $25,000 campaign donation, but now seeks to distance himself from Trump. 

Read More

ASU Professor Says Parents Should Lose Veto Power Over Children’s Transgender Medical Decisions

An Arizona State University (ASU) professor asserts that parents shouldn’t have a say when it comes to their children’s transgender medical decisions. These sentiments appeared in an article by ASU assistant philosophy professor and bioethicist Maura Priest, published early last month by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Priest argues that only the child can decide what’s best for them when it comes to medical treatments for transitioning genders. 

Read More

Flint Water Settlement Fairness Hearing Starts Monday

The hearing to determine the official approval of the state’s $600 million Flint water civil settlement began Monday at 10 a.m. in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.

In January, Judge Judith Levy preliminarily approved the settlement establishing the process for eligible Flint residents to file settlement claims processed and paid by the claims administrator.

In August, Attorney General Dana Nessel and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer  announced the state’s portion of the preliminary agreement to settle the lawsuits  after the city of Flint switched its public water supply to the Flint River in 2014.

Read More

Michigan GOP House Members Push Back Against State AG’s Investigation of Election Skeptics

Five Michigan House GOP members sent Attorney General Dana Nessel a letter threatening to file articles of impeachment against her if she prosecutes anyone profiting from spreading lies about the 2020 presidential election.

The irony is that a Senate GOP report “found no evidence of widespread or systematic fraud in Michigan’s prosecution of the 2020 election” and even asked Nessel to investigate Michiganders making “misleading and false information about Antrim County to raise money or publicity for their own ends.”

Read More

Ibram X. Kendi Says Teaching Young Students Anti-Racism Is ‘Prudent’

Ibram X. Kendi stated Wednesday that teaching young students anti-racism was a “prudent thing to do for teachers.” 

The Boston University professor was a featured speaker at the 2021 TEACH conference, a virtual event hosted by the American Federation of Teachers. 

The conversation occurred at a time of heightened focus across the nation on CRT in classrooms. It also represents the latest push by Kendi to advance anti-racism in American institutions. 

Read More

Ohio May Forgive Overpaid, Fraudulent Unemployment Payments

Woman on computer

Ohioans victimized by unemployment fraud or were overpaid unemployment benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic could be off the hook for repaying those funds, according to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.

ODJFS Director Matt Damschroder said late last week if a waiver is approved, claimants will not have to repay money previously labelled as an overpayment and also could receive benefits that have been withheld because of an overpayment status.

Claimants should be notified soon of how to apply for a waiver and processing could begin later in the summer, Damschroder said.

“We understand the hardships that overpayments caused during what is already a very stressful time.” Damschroder said. “Our unemployment program is in a much better position than it was a year ago.”

Read More

Hobbs’ Campaign Manager Calls Vietnamese-American State Legislator a ‘White Nationalist’ for Opposing CRT

Arizona State Rep. Martin Quezada (D-Maryvale), who is also the campaign manager for Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, tweeted on July 9 that fellow legislator, Vietnamese-American Quang Nguyen (R-Prescott), is a “white nationalist” for tweeting Governor Doug Ducey’s announcement of Arizona’s new law banning critical race theory. Nguyen, who is Vietnamese, fled Vietnam with his brother during the Vietnam War as a refugee, living in refugee camps until they were reunited with their parents four months later. 

Nguyen tweeted a news release from the governor’s website, “Governor Ducey, Legislature Take Strong Action to Stop Critical Race Theory” with a link. Quezada copied the tweet and wrote, “This is what #WhiteNationalism looks like,” with an arrow pointing at Nguyen’s tweet. 

Read More

Ramsey County Sheriff Accused of Racism After ‘Sundown’ Comment

Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher

Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher was accused of racism after making a comment about criminals leaving town by “sundown” during a Live on Patrol video. Critics called his comment “disgusting” and “unacceptable.” In the clip of the incident, Fletcher says, “100 years ago, though, we woulda just told them, ‘OK, son, you got ’til sundown to get outta of town.’”

Read More

McAuliffe Fundraises Off FiveThirtyEight Blog ‘Warning’ of GOP Gubernatorial Victory as Trump Supports Youngkin Again

Terry McAuliffe, Glenn Youngkin and Donald Trump

Expectations for Virginia’s gubernatorial race have stayed stable – multiple experts rate the race as Lean Democrat. Still, Terry McAuliffe’s campaign is fundraising off of a June 7 FiveThirtyEight article that argues the GOP has a chance.

“With FEC reports releasing this week, there’s a lot going on, but we had to reach out with this news. Analysts at Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight are saying that Virginia is ‘the GOP’s best shot at flipping a Governorship in 2021,'” a Monday McAuliffe email states.

Read More

Michigan Supreme Court Nixes Secretary of State Benson’s Redistricting Extension Request

The Michigan Supreme Court denied a request from Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson and the Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission to grant an extension for redrawing the state’s district map.

Benson and the ICRC filed a Petition for Relief with the Court in April, asking the Court to recognize the ICRC’s constitutionally imposed deadline as “unrealistic.” The petition argued the new timeline would ensure the Bureau of Elections had sufficient time to update the state’s voter registration database with the new district lines. Additionally, they argued, local clerks would be able to create and provide every voter with a correct ballot.

The extension was requested because of the six-month delay of 2020 U.S. Census data due to the coronavirus pandemic, which, it anticipated, would precipitate lawsuits. U.S. Census data is scheduled to become available Oct. 1. The ICRC was seeking to move its deadline from mid-September to Dec. 11, which would push back approval of final district maps to Jan. 25, 2022. The deadline for the filing of candidates for the November 2022 election is April 15.

Read More

Thiel Ally Blake Masters Launches Arizona Senate Campaign

Thiel Ally Blake Masters

Blake Masters, the COO of Thiel Capital and the President of the Thiel Foundation, announced on Monday that he will seek the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate.

“This country used to work. Now it doesn’t. The Biden Administration is a train wreck, and Mark Kelly is nowhere to be found. We have to take this seat — and the United States Senate — back,” the Tucson native said in a video announcing his candidacy.

Read More

Broward County Man Connected to the Assassination of Haiti’s President

Christian Emmanuel Sanon

Christian Emmanuel Sanon, a self-proclaimed doctor who lives in Broward County, Florida, has been arrested for being one of the masterminds behind the brutal assassination of Haitian President, Jovenel Moïse on July 7th.

The head of Haiti’s police force, Léon Charles, says that Sanon is responsible for recruiting the gunmen involved in killing the President through a firm that provides politicians with security.

Read More

Red Tide Resurging Along Tampa Bay Coastline

Shoreline in Tampa Bay, Florida

Red Tide is hitting the Tampa Bay area and this flare up predated Tropical Storm Elsa, although the storm might have increased its severity.

According to Tampa area officials, 15,000 dead fish were collected on Jul. 9 alone, and over a total of 25,000 dead fish have been collected in the 10 days leading up to the ninth. St. Petersburg officials have over 120 employees working to remove dead fish, while the numbers are increasing daily.

Read More

Virginia Closes Admissions at Five State Mental Health Hospitals

Allison Land

Five of Virginia’s eight state-owned adult mental health hospitals will be closed to new admissions temporarily, due to staff shortages. On Friday, Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services Commissioner Allison Land sent a letter announcing the shortages, citing 1,547 direct patient support staff vacancies out of about 5,500 state staff, with 108 resignations occurring in the past two weeks. Contract staff are also leaving, due to “unrelenting stress, required overtime,” and a “dangerous environment.”

Read More

Twenty-One Tennessee Teachers Vow to Defy State Law and Teach Critical Race Theory

Teacher reading to student.

A petition circulated by the Zinn Education Project has collected more than 5,000 signatures from teachers who claim they will teach Critical Race Theory in their classrooms, regardless of whether it is outlawed in their respective states. 

Twenty-one of those teachers are from Tennessee. 

Read More