New Unemployment Claims Jump 42 Percent in Tennessee

Nearly 9,400 new unemployment claims were filed in Tennessee last week; the highest weekly total since mid-April.

Only nine states had more new unemployment claims than Tennessee last week. The 9,376 new claims last week represented a 42% increase from the previous week’s 6,596 new claims.

The jump in new claims came after the state stopped its participation in the federal supplemental pandemic relief unemployment program, which gives those on unemployment an additional $300 weekly through the first week of September. The final two weeks of June were the lowest claims totals since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

Read More

Commentary: The Agenda Worse Than Critical Race Theory

BLM Protest in Denver

Few notice what is taught in school until it is too late. Today’s push for Critical Race Theory (CRT) is extraordinarily ambitious, and it is hard for defenders of traditional education to imagine anything more toxic than this theory that has seemingly burst on the scene.

But, as bad as it may seem, CRT is not thene plus ultra of pernicious radical ideology. It can get worse, and it is delusional to believe that just because a given idea is incredibly stupid and destructive, it is therefore impossible for something worse to come along. If that were true, today’s PC madness would have died out decades ago.

Read More

Louisiana’s Senator Kennedy Files Bill Targeting Social Media Companies That Promote Divisive Content

Lousiana Senator John Neely Kennedy

Louisiana U.S. Sen. John Kennedy has introduced a bill to limit protections for social media companies that secretly leverage user data to promote divisive content.

Kennedy, a Republican, blasted Silicon Valley behemoths such as Facebook and Twitter for “provoking” platform users and blamed the “manipulative” business practice for causing unnecessary social conflict.

“Social media giants are using people’s data to manipulate them into spending more time on their sites, but the price is a more polarized America,” Kennedy said in a statement. “It’s time to stop rewarding platforms that use their algorithms to target users with content that plays on individuals’ emotions without their consent.”

Read More

Newt Gingrich Commentary: The Mind of a Writer

Macbook pro with cup of black coffee and notepad next to it

The late Kurt Vonnegut had a simple yet profound approach to writing. “When I write,” he said, “I simply become what I seemingly must become.”

Stephen Hunter, another great American writer, has a similar approach to his craft today. His process isn’t so much about writing prose or creating plot or conducting research. What really matters, he says, is that the book becomes your life, always either on your mind or in your subconscious.

As Hunter explained to me this week on my podcast, “Newt’s World,” writing has become a part of his normal life, like brushing his teeth.

Read More

CBP Reports Nearly 190,000 Illegal Border Crossers Came into the U.S. from Mexico in June

Border officials encountered nearly 190,000 migrants at the southern border in June, a 5% increase over May’s numbers, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced Friday.

There was a significant increase in the number of re-encounters in June, with 34% of individuals having at least one prior encounter in the past 12 months, compared to the average one-year re-encounter rate of 14% for Fiscal Years 2014-2019, the agency said in a statement.

“The large number of expulsions during the pandemic has contributed to a larger-than-usual number of migrants making multiple border crossing attempts,” CBP said. “Which means that total encounters somewhat overstate the number of unique individuals arriving at the border.”

Read More

Psaki Doubles Down on White House’s Support for Tech Censorship

Psaki Tech Censors

Just a day after White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki admitted that the Biden administration is colluding with Facebook to censor “misinformation,” Psaki advocated for even more online censorship.

During a Friday press briefing, she advised social media companies to “create robust enforcement strategies that bridge their properties and provide transparency about rules.”

Read More

Federal Reserve Chair: Inflation to be ‘Elevated for Months’

Jerome Powell

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell tried to calm lawmakers’ fears about rising inflation but also said it would probably remain elevated for months to come.

Testifying before Congress this week, Powell said the Federal Reserve was willing to step in to address the situation, but that inflation should level out next year.

“As always, in assessing the appropriate stance of monetary policy, we will continue to monitor the implications of incoming information for the economic outlook and would be prepared to adjust the stance of monetary policy as appropriate if we saw signs that the path of inflation or longer-term inflation expectations were moving materially and persistently beyond levels consistent with our goal,” Powell said in his prepared testimony.

Read More

Average Tennessee Teacher Salary Surpasses $52,000 a Year

Tennessee Teacher Salary

The average public school classroom teacher in Tennessee made $52,596 during the 2019-20 school year, according to a new report from the Tennessee Comptroller’s Office of Research and Education Accountability.

The average salary rises to $55,210 if it includes classroom teachers and positions such as librarians, school counselors and principals, and it jumps to $55,554 if it includes all personnel in a school district with an educator’s license.

The Tennessee Department of Education’s budget was increased by $219 million in this year’s budget, which included $120 million for teacher raises, allowing teachers with no experience a staring salary of $38,000 a year or more. With an advanced degree, the minimum starting salary is $41,605.

Read More

CDC Sued by Watchdog Group for Withholding Communications Records with Teachers’ Unions

CDC Headquarters

On Thursday, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) was sued by a watchdog group after the agency failed to hand over requested documentation of communication between the government agency and the leaders of various teachers’ unions, Fox News reports.

The suit was filed by Americans for Public Trust (APT), a nonprofit based in Washington D.C. The group alleges that the documents they previously requested via the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) could prove that there was “undue political influence” expressed over the CDC by teachers’ unions, which ultimately dictated the CDC’s lockdown recommendations.

Read More

Three Texas Democrat State Legislators Who Fled to DC to Avoid Quorum Test Positive for COVID-19

Texas Democrats Test Positive for COVID

After more than 50 Texas Democrats fled the state to avoid a special legislative session, three of the lawmakers tested positive for COVID-19.

After one member tested positive for the virus on Friday, two more lawmakers received additional positive test results on Saturday.

Read More

No Diploma for California Students Not Versed in ‘Ethnic Studies’

California’s community college students are now required to fulfill an “ethnic studies” requirement in order to graduate.

On July 13, California’s Community Colleges Board of Governors announced that students seeking an associate degree must complete a three-unit semester or four-unit quarter class in ethnic studies. A task force will work to determine “the timing for implementation of the ethnic studies requirement as well as the definition of courses that will satisfy the requirement.”

“As the largest and most diverse system of higher education in the country, we have an opportunity to break down barriers to equity,” Board of Governors President Pamela Haynes said in the press release. “By building a faculty and staff that look like the students and communities we serve and by putting diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) and anti-racism at the heart of our work, we can help create a system that truly works for all our students.”

Read More

Clay Travis Will Headline Sen. Jack Johnson’s Boots and Jeans, BBQ and Beans Event

Clay Travis

Clay Travis, the founder of OutKick and a frequent sports analyst, will headline the annual Boots & Jeans, BBQ & Beans Event — hosted by state Senator Jack Johnson (R-Franklin).

The talk radio show host has raised his national profile over the past couple years, routinely conducting interviews with former President Donald Trump, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, and other notable figures.

Read More

Scientific Organization Erases Informal Names of Two Insects Due to ‘Racist’ Connotations

Gypsy Moth

On Wednesday, a scientific organization announced that it was changing the names of two species of insects, due to the informal names allegedly being “racist,” the Daily Caller reports.

The Entomological Society of America (ESA) announced in a statement that it would end the use of the terms “gypsy moth” and “gypsy ant,” the colloquial names for the Lymantria dispar and the Aphaenogaster araneoides, respectively. The statement, issued by ESA President Michelle Smith, claimed that these names were offensive to the Romani people in Europe, who have been known as gypsies for centuries.

Read More

Minnesota Democrats Ask Rep. John Thompson to Resign Citing Years of Abuse Allegations

Minnesota Democrats have called for Rep. John Thompson to resign nearly one year after his long history of alleged violence and domestic abuse became a topic of public discourse.

Thompson first achieved notoriety in August 2020 when he called for anti-police protesters to burn down the town of Hugo. Shortly after that incident, Alpha News unearthed and reported on his criminal record, which shows he has a history of domestic assault accusations. Despite this, the Minnesota DFL, Gov. Tim Walz and U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar upheld their endorsements of then-candidate Thompson.

Read More

Marco Rubio Criticizes Black Lives Matter Statement on Cuba Crisis

Marco Rubio

Cuban-American Senator Marco Rubio criticized the Black Lives Matter (BLM) organization after it posted a statement on Instagram Wednesday night, blaming the U.S. government for the current and historical crisis in Cuba.

In addition to pointing fingers at the U.S., the statement also highlights its praise and support of the Communist regime in Cuba because of the country’s so-called history of protecting “Black revolutionaries.”

Read More

Governor Ron DeSantis Joins Texas Governor Greg Abbott for Border Crisis Briefing

Governor Abbott Hosts Florida Governor DeSantis

Governor Ron DeSantis joined Governor Greg Abbott in Texas for briefing to address the current crisis that is currently happening at the border since the Biden administration lifted multiple border policies issued by former President Trump. 

Florida was the first state to provide help at the border after Governor DeSantis deployed law enforcement in June. 

Read More

Jobless Claims Falling in Florida

Man In Suit

A new report from the U.S. Department of Labor shows jobless claims in Florida are down from the week ending on July 3. There were 6,739 jobless claims filed by July 3, down to 6,430 for the week ending on July 10.

Across the country, 360,000 new claims were filed, which is down 26,000 from the previous week. This is the lowest the country has seen its jobless claims since the start of the pandemic, indicating the recovery of the economy is slowly getting back to pre-pandemic levels.

Read More

Biden Door to Door Vaccination Campaign Launched in Western Tidewater Region of Virginia

Door knocking

The United States federal government is coming to Virginians’ doorsteps to ask for their personal medical information and vaccination status.  Vaccination efforts in the western Tidewater counties of Franklin, Suffolk, Isle of Wight County, and Southampton County are ramping up to include door-to-door operations.

Read More

More Than $300M Available to Ohio Small Businesses

Mike DeWine OH Small Businesses

Government money that established grants for small businesses in Ohio has doubled since June and remains available, according to Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine.

DeWine initially established the grant program in June with $155 million in federal relief dollars. The fund doubled to $310 million at the beginning of July after DeWine signed the state’s new budget, which included the additional money approved by the General Assembly.

The money is meant to help small- and medium-sized businesses recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read More

Commentary: Florida Woman Received a $100,000 Fine for Parking on Her Own Property

Car Tire In Driveway

There’s nothing worse than when you’re having a bad day and come back to your car to find a parking ticket on your windshield. Except, maybe, if that ticket was for $100,000, and you got it for parking on your own property.

That’s what happened to Sandy Martinez, a resident of Lantana, Florida. Teaming up with attorneys at the libertarian-leaning Institute for Justice (IJ), she is suing the town over a parking violation fine assigned to her that totaled more than $100,000.

Read More

Hamline University Will Require COVID Vaccine for 2021 School Year

Hamline University announced that they will be requiring students to be vaccinated against COVID before classes commence in the fall. The University’s President Fayneese Miller said, “We want, and need, to be together as a community. We value a sense of community at Hamline and all that entails, but to return to what we value and who we are, mandating a COVID-19 vaccine is necessary.” The announcement was made on Thursday with the expectation that students will be fully vaccinated before returning to campus in August.

Read More

Gov. Whitmer Secures $10 Million Grant to Expand Employment Opportunities

A male doing electrical work with a ball cap and safety glasses on

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) has been awarded a $10 million federal grant to support the state’s registered apprenticeship expansion efforts.

“As we put Michigan back to work, Registered Apprenticeship programs offer on-ramps to high-demand, high-skill careers, and in Michigan we have committed to expanding these educational opportunities to ensure more Michiganders can get good-paying jobs,” Whitmer said in a statement.

“Increasing access to education and training opportunities will help us achieve our 60 by 30 goal to have 60% of Michigan’s adult with post-secondary education or skills training by 2030, improve the quality of life and help Michiganders secure good-paying jobs, and ensure businesses have the workforce they need to succeed and grow our economy.” 

Read More

Georgia Senate to Hold Hearing on Buckhead ‘Divorce’ from Atlanta

Atlanta skyline at night

The Buckhead neighborhood’s efforts to secede from Atlanta have cleared another hurdle, as the state Senate will convene to debate a pair of bills aimed at separating the suburb from the city during its upcoming special session. 

“Bill sponsor Sen. Brandon Beach (R-Alpharetta), who has served in the state legislature’s upper chamber for ten years, told Breitbart News he has ‘never seen’ Buckhead cityhood gain so much traction before,” Breitbart reported. 

Read More

Gov. Walz Requests USDA Help During Minnesota Drought

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz

Due to a severe statewide drought, Gov. Tim Walz sent a letter to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack, requesting assistance to aid Minnesota’s livestock producers by relieving the immediate impacts of drought on grazing land.

“Agriculture is the past, present, and future of Minnesota’s economy. We must do everything we can to address the challenges our farmers and ranchers are facing due to the severe drought conditions plaguing our state. That’s why I’m asking the U.S. Department of Agriculture for assistance,” Walz said in a statement. “The USDA’s ongoing support of Minnesota’s agricultural industry is well-recognized across the state, and with their continued assistance, our livestock producers will have a brighter outlook as we endure these harsh conditions and look forward to a thriving future.”

Walz supported implementing a plan to allow emergency haying and grazing on eligible Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) land counties experiencing Level D2 or greater drought conditions, reducing forage pressures on Minnesota’s livestock producers. The latest U.S. Drought Monitor update on July 8 reported nearly 40% of Minnesota is suffering under Level D2 or greater drought conditions.

Read More

As Economy Recovers, Arizona Businesses Struggle to Fill Job Openings

Help wanted sign

Recent Bureau of Labor Statistics data revealed that the nation hit a record high for job openings in April of 2021, yet employers around America are not receiving enough job applications to fill their available positions. 

Though the Bureau of Labor counted 9.3 million job openings in June, the unemployment rate remains at 5.8%, notwithstanding the millions of Americans not seeking employment. 

Express Employment Professionals, a staffing agency, suggested in a press release that stimulus payments, unemployment benefits, and recent tax refunds are deterring job applications as those on the hunt for employment have the option to hold out for jobs which meet their demands and goals. 

Read More

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Mandating COVID Vaccines for Employees

COVID Vaccine

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital will require employees without an exemption to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by September 24, or else they will be fired. The hospital offers employees to receive their vaccination without penalty until September 9. If an employee isn’t fully vaccinated by then, they will be placed on unpaid administrative leave until they either start or finish their vaccination process. Medical or religious exemptions are offered.

Dr. James Downing, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital President and CEO, issued the email. He stated that hundreds of millions of people around the world have received the COVID-19 vaccine safely. 

Read More