A year ago, “defund the police” activists were having quite a time. Outlets like CNN and Vox were publishing fawning profiles. Social media sensations like Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar were leading the parade. Cities like Los Angeles, Minneapolis, and Austin even approved partial defundings. It was a juggernaut.
Now? A tough-on-crime former cop just won the Democratic mayoral nomination in Bill de Blasio’s New York. Former President Barack Obama is warning fellow Democrats, “You lost a big audience the minute you say [‘defund the police’].” Sen. Bernie Sanders has rejected calls for “no more policing.” And White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, a few weeks ago, bizarrely claimed that it was not Democrats but Republicans who wanted to defund the police (because they opposed President Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus bill).
What happened? Intoxicated by a few policy wins in deep blue cities, enthusiasm in the left-leaning Twitter echo chamber, and their viselike grip on the national media, “defund” activists overlooked one important detail: Their agenda was deeply unpopular with most Americans. A summer 2020 YouGov poll found that just 16 percent of adults wanted to cut police funding — much less “defund” the police. Indeed, 81 percent of black Americans wanted police to spend as much or more time in their communities. During a year when major American cities saw an unnerving increase in homicides, after years of declines, that reaction was not just understandable, it was wholly predictable.
During a press conference Monday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki dodged addressing whether the White House will reveal which Facebook posts it flags as misinformation.
Psaki said last week that the White House will flag posts deemed vaccine misinformation to Facebook. But the White House press secretary did not address Monday whether the White House will “publicly release information on posts that it considers misinformation on vaccines that it’s asked Facebook to block.”
The Tennessee Department of Education has announced 29 new virtual schools have been created and approved to begin for the 2021-22 school year.
The new schools bring the state’s total to 57 virtual schools in operation across the state. Tennessee public schools have continued to add more virtual learning options, beginning with 2011 legislation and an added emphasis during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The virtual schools are created, operated and overseen by a local school district and hold students to the same academic standards as in-person schools, but the virtual schools provide all or most of their education remotely.
Randi Weingarten, the gaffe-prone president of the American Federation of Teachers has outdone herself, and that isn’t easy. In a series of seven open letters over the years, I have playfully chided the union boss about her trove of inane and bizarre musings. But now she has jumped the proverbial shark.
An assistant professor at Appalachian State University recently argued that enforcing behavioral standards in public high schools is rooted in racism and unfairly affects Black students.
In the article “’Press Charges’: Art Class, White Feelings, and the School-to-Prison Pipeline,” Albert Stabler writes that the desire to punish students for violating school rules, especially when the police are involved, is the result of “the overvaluation of White feelings” harming non-Whites.
A week after journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones spurned its tenured job offer, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill tells The College Fix it will attempt to fill her vacant position this fall.
“We have two open Knight Chairs to fill,” Hussman School of Journalism and Media spokesperson Kyle York told The Fix in an email. “We are building search committees and plan to begin searching in the fall.”
Hannah-Jones was offered a prestigious Knight Chair at UNC, a position endowed by the Knight Foundation to teach and practice journalism. Even though she eventually turned the school down after they reversed course and offered her a tenured position, UNC will keep the Knight endowment.
As the COVID-19 pandemic seems in many ways to be winding down, journalists and academics are reflecting on the performance of our official institutions, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in handling this global health disaster.
The New York Times Magazine recently published an article titled “Can the C.D.C. Be Fixed?” by Times staff writer and editorial board member Jeneen Interlandi. As her analysis shows, the actions of the nation’s health protection agency throughout its COVID-19 response does not bode well for its ability to steward the nation through future catastrophes, or even more ordinary public health issues.
The city of Austin faces a crisis of rising violent crime after the City Council voted last year to drastically reduce the police department’s budget, interim Police Chief Joseph Chacon says.
Last summer, the Austin City Council voted to defund the police department by $150 million, which resulted in canceling multiple cadet classes and disbanding multiple units responsible for responding to DWIs, domestic violence calls, stalking, and criminal interdiction.
Instead, the council redistributed the money to other city programs and suggested that community organizers respond to 911 calls, instead of the police department.
The country is opening up and travel is increasing, but visitors are finding the rental car landscape a bit empty.
Rental car companies are continuing to have a hard time keeping up with demand after selling off fleets to stay afloat during the pandemic.
“The fundamental thing that’s causing it is the very rational corporate response to the pandemic and the almost shutting down of international and domestic travel for most of 2020 and the first half of 2021,” Gregory Scott, spokesperson for the American Car Rental Association (ACRA), told The Center Square. “Airport rentals dropped 70-90% in March and April of last year, and as a result there were literally tens of thousands of vehicles sitting unrented and unwanted because people stopped traveling.”
The Biden administration announced Monday the first transfer of a Guantanamo Bay prisoner back to his home country.
Abdul Latif Nasir was sent back to his home country of Morocco on Monday, the first detainee to be repatriated under the Biden administration, the Department of Defense (DOD) announced in a statement. Nasir, detained over ties to al-Qaeda, was captured by U.S. forces in Afghanistan and had been imprisoned in Guantanamo Bay Detention Facility since 2002, the Associated Press reported.
Davidson College in Davidson, North Carolina will spend $1 million teaching “white dominant” churches how to strive for racial equity.
According to Davidson’s official news service, the college received a $1 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc., a private philanthropic foundation that donates to race and faith-related charitable projects.
The partnership with Davidson is a fraction of the $93 million in grants the Lilly Endowment will offer throughout North America via its Thriving Congregations Initiative.
An influential COVID policy skeptic is threatening to sue Facebook for suspending his account based on a graphic he posted Tuesday, titled “Masking Children is Impractical and Not Backed by Research or Real World Data.”
Justin Hart was identified in a recent MIT paper as one of a handful of “anchors” for the anti-mask network on Twitter. He’s also chief data analyst for the COVID contrarian website Rational Ground.
A warning letter to Facebook from Hart’s lawyers at the Liberty Justice Center said the graphic was “science-based and contains footnotes to scientific evidence supporting its claims.” Facebook issued him a three-day suspension the next day, citing the post as misinformation. The page remains live but the post is no longer there.
AFlorida man, who breached the U.S. Capitol on January 6, was sentenced to eight months in prison on Monday. Paul Allard Hodgkins pleaded guilty last month to one count of obstructing an official proceeding – Congress’ certification of the 2020 presidential election results.
Prosecutors, who asked for an 18-month sentence, argued that Hodgkins, “like each rioter, contributed to the collective threat to democracy.”
“Although you were only one member of a larger mob, you actively participated in a larger event that threatened the Capitol and democracy itself. The damage that was caused that way was way beyond a several-hour delay of the vote certification. It is a damage that will persist in this country for several decades,” said U.S. District Court Judge Randolph Moss of Washington, DC.
The number of coronavirus infections among Democratic lawmakers who fled to Texas to stall a voting reform bill increased over the weekend.
At least five members of the Democratic delegation have tested positive for the virus, a person familiar told the Associated Press. The Texas House Democratic Caucus announced three of the lawmakers had tested positive as of Friday, but said the entire group had been fully vaccinated.
The top quarter of American income earners can expect to live a decade longer than the bottom quarter, medical research shows. This health disparity seems downright cruel. Not only do those in poverty have to pay more for things like credit and insurance, they also pay more years to the Grim Reaper.
Unlike income inequality, transferring years of life from the rich to the poor is not a feasible option. To find a real solution, we must know what drives the inequity.
Monday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed the original all-star panelist Crom Carmichael in studio to discuss the recent deaths of two entrepreneurs that embodied the American character.
Monday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed the original all-star panelist Crom Carmichael in studio to compare the differing views of White liberals with Black Americans and the fascism of China.
Monday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed GOP Candidate for the Arizona gubernatorial race Kari Lake to the newsmakers line to describe her motivation for running, her values, and her grassroots campaign.
Representative John Thompson has challenged the authenticity of the abuse allegations brought against him. Thompson has become the focal point in Minnesota news after it was discovered that he has never held a Minnesota driver’s license and that his Wisconsin license was suspended for failing to pay child support.
Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said the 15-month backlog for processing transactions through her office should be cleared by Labor Day or the end of September.
Outside a Mason branch office, Benson touted her efforts to slash down part of the backlog after all 131 branch officers were shuttered to walk-in service in response to COVID-19 by opening 350,000 additional appointments by optimizing appointment times, extending hours, and offering more services online.
From July 19 to Sept 30, all offices will stay open until 6 p.m. on Mondays and Thursdays and open at 8 a.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Previous office hours were 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Monday through Friday.
U.S. House of Representatives candidate Mike Carey enters the last two weeks of his campaign for the GOP nomination to represent Ohio’s 15th congressional district playing his Trump card in a telephonic rally set for the early evening of July 20.
Carey, a leading contender to replace retired U.S. Representative Steve Stivers, will feature President Donald Trump as the headliner for the hour-long telephonic rally 14 days before the Aug. 3 special election. Those wishing to listen in to the call can sign up and receive instructions to access the rally at https://careyforcongress.com/trumpcall/.
The Center for the American Experiment’s (CAE) Raise Our Standards Tour made it to Duluth after four venues declined to host the event, where attendees were met by protesters. According to the Duluth News Tribune, the event drew about 30 attendees and 40 protesters. Before the event started, “protesters gathered along Minnesota Avenue with flags and signs promoting racial justice.”
Ohio school districts are about ready to pull the trigger on a lawsuit against the state over the expansion of Ohio’s school choice voucher program.
The Ohio Coalition for Equity and Adequacy of School Funding is an association of over 500 Ohio school districts. Through its sister organization Vouchers Hurt Ohio, it has reportedly retained the law firm of Walter Haverfield, though the firm has not yet filed a legal challenge.
The coalition opposes Ohio’s EdChoice Scholarship program. That program currently provides vouchers to students who reside in school districts that meet certain conditions of poor academic performance and also to students in families whose income is at or below 250% of the federal poverty guidelines, according to the Ohio Legislative Service Commission.
Georgia’s Speaker of the House David Ralston is demanding an investigation to “determine if any irregularities or willful fraud occurred” in the state’s largest metropolis last November, saying recent revelations about problems with vote counting in Fulton County merit an independent probe.
Ralston sent a letter late last week to Fulton County election officials requesting that the Georgia Bureau of Investigation be allowed to conduct the investigation.
The request comes after Just the News reported last month that an independent observer for Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger noted two dozen pages of irregularities in the Atlanta vote counting center last Nov. 3, including double scanning of ballots, insecure transportation of ballots and possible voter privacy violations.
Prince William Supervisor Jeanine Lawson is running for the GOP nomination for Virginia’s 10th Congressional District. Lawson joins four other candidates for the nomination; the winner will challenge incumbent Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton (D-Virginia-10.)
ATLANTA, Georgia — U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) came to Atlanta Monday to bash Georgia’s Senate Bill 202, and she left believing she had uncovered “a smoking gun” that proved the law was a case of overreach.
That “smoking gun” was testimony from Georgia State Sen. Sally Harrell (D-Atlanta). But Harrell’s words were refuted by another state legislator — a Republican — when The Georgia Star News contacted that man Monday.
Governor Ralph Northam, Senator Mark Warner (D-Virginia), and top General Assembly finance Democrats are proposing using $700 million of the Commonwealth’s $4.3 billion American Recovery Plan Act (ARPA) funds to make sure every Virginian has access to broadband by 2024.
“It’s time to close the digital divide in our Commonwealth and treat internet service like the 21st century necessity that it is—not just a luxury for some, but an essential utility for all,” Northam said in a press release.
According to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), drug overdoses are on the rise in Florida. Specifically, the death toll rose by about 37 percent from 2019 to 2020 in Florida.
One of the most notable trends was the amount of synthetic opioid fentanyl in Florida, and how so many people have become dependent upon drugs to cope with the COVID pandemic and economic hardship.
Just days after Gov. Mike DeWine (R) signed HB 244, banning colleges and public schools from forcing students to take the COVID-19 vaccine, one Ohio lawmaker wants to ban mask mandates in public schools too.
“Senate Bill 209, introduced by state Sen. Andrew Brenner, R-Powell, is unlikely to impact school districts’ decisions for the fall, as lawmakers are on break until after most schools return to class,” News 5 reported. “SB 209 would prohibit the state school board, the Ohio Department of Education or individual school districts’ boards of education from requiring anyone to wear facial coverings in a public education setting.”
Sixteen months after the COVID-19 pandemic began, Michigan is still behind 322,000 jobs compared to pre-pandemic in Feb. 2020.
Michigan’s seasonally adjusted jobless rate of 5% percent was unchanged in June, according to data released by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget.
“Michigan’s labor market indicators were little changed in June,” Wayne Rourke, the associate director of the Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives, said in a statement. “The Michigan unemployment rate has been near 5.0 percent for five consecutive months. Payroll job counts in June were similar to March levels.”
The future of Florida’s cruise ship industry remains in question after a panel of three judges for the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a stay, or suspension, on a preliminary injunction blocking the CDC’s authority in allowing cruise ships to set sail.
U.S. District Judge Steven Merryday in Tampa issued the now-lifted injunction in June after siding with the state that the CDC’s guidelines overstepped its legal authority to control an entire industry.
A recent poll conducted on the Arizona election audit demonstrated high levels of support from Republican voters and that almost half of the state’s residents believe the ballot examination is important.
The Arizona Public Opinion Pulse poll showed that the majority of Republican voters view the audit favorably, and 62% believe that the results of the audit will show that former president Donald Trump received more votes in Arizona than President Joe Biden.
Arizona Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake is calling for “the most partisan Secretary of State in the history of Arizona,” Democrat Katie Hobbs, to recuse herself from overseeing the governor’s race. Hobbs is also running for governor. Lake cited Hobbs’ behavior during the 2020 election and aftermath, her “history of irrational bias and disdain toward Republicans in addition to what election investigators have reported to the public about serious issues affecting tens-of-thousands of ballots and voters.” She said, “Arizona voters have lost confidence in Katie Hobbs to run another election.”
Lake is concerned that Hobbs will not conduct the election fairly for Republicans like herself in the race. She asked other candidates to join her demand. She cited a tweet from Hobbs in 2017, where Hobbs said, “[email protected] has made it abundantly clear he’s more interested in pandering to his neo-nazi base than being @POTUS for all Americans.” Hobbs did not delete the tweet.
Monday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Dr. Carol Swain to the newsmakers line to discuss the woke NFL, critical race theory, her new book and offered advice to MNPS.
One Georgia election official who gained national notoriety for pushing back against former President Donald J. Trump’s claims of voter fraud in the state is now shrugging off proof that such fraud existed.
After a voter data analyst named Mike Davis said thousands of Georgians voted in the wrong counties in 2020, based on data he requested from Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger’s office.
A highschool in Owatonna has introduced an elective class about critical race theory. The course is applicable for college credit. The course description says that taking Introduction to Education is strongly encouraged as a prerequisite. The description says that students will be taught the five tenets of critical race theory (CRT) and will be shown how to “isolate race.”
After a tirade against parents who support Critical Race Theory was caught on video, Fairfax’s NAACP Vice President Michelle Leete has resigned from her position onthe Virginia Parent Teacher Association (PTA).
“Today, the Virginia PTA executive committee requested and received the resignation of Michelle Leete, who served as Vice President of Training,” the Virginia PTA said in a statement. “While not speaking in her role within the Virginia PTA, we do not condone the choice of words used during a public event on Thursday, July 15, 2021.”
Former U.S. Republican Sen. Bob Corker this granted an exclusive interview to The Atlantic, and he used the occasion to voice his differences with the Tea Party. This, while the writer of the article, Emma Green, touted Corker as someone who called out the “racism” and “moral failings of the Republican Party.