Thousands Attend Trump Rally in Phoenix, Hosted by Turning Point Action and Featuring GOP Candidates

PHOENIX, Arizona – The Star News Network Wire Service – The energy of the thousands of attendees of former President Donald Trump’s rally on Saturday, hosted by Turning Point Action at the Phoenix Federal Theater, carried over to the constant stream of Republican politicians who appeared over the more than three hours of the event prior to the the former president taking the stage.

Trump took advantage of the “Protect Our Elections” theme to detail many of the November 2020 election irregularities in Arizona and other states, as well as to thank the “brave and unyielding warriors in the Arizona State Senate,” who initiated the forensic audit in Maricopa County.

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Former President Trump Holds Rally in Phoenix, Highlights Election Security

PHOENIX, Arizona – The Star News Network Wire Service – Former President Trump took the stage to thunderous applause at his rally in Phoenix, Arizona on Saturday, where he highlighted efforts across the country he said are needed to ensure the integrity of elections.

“Thank you to Charlie [Kirk] for that introduction which was so beautiful, and for   your fearless leadership at Turning Point Action and Turning Point USA,” Trump told the crowd as he began his speech at 3:55 p.m. Mountain Standard Time.

“Let me also express my appreciation to the thousands of bold, young, and proud American Patriots that are with us today. What a crowd, what a crowd … You are the pulse of our movement, you are the ones who will make America Great Again,” the 45th President of the United States added.

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Newt Gingrich Commentary: Critical Race Theory Can Only Hurt the Military and the Country

Guy in military uniform

Critical race theory has now taken hold in the U.S. military. And I have to say, I find it perplexing. My father served for three decades in the U.S. Army. I grew up understanding that the military is about forming a bond, a unit, a team working toward the same goals and protecting each other while achieving them.

So, you can imagine my shock when I started to learn how seriously the leaders at the Pentagon were starting to integrate critical race theory (CRT) in their curriculua. In fact, a professor at the U.S. Air Force Academy, Lynne Chandler Garcia, wrote in a Washington Post op-ed, “I teach critical race theories to our nation’s future military leaders because it is vital that cadets understand the history of racism that has shaped both foreign and domestic policy.”

As Mark Davis opined in Newsweek, “Finding such warped content in today’s liberal college classrooms is not surprising. But finding it at the U.S. Air Force Academy is unacceptable.” I couldn’t agree more.

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Commentary: Supreme Court Raised the Bar for Challenge to Georgia Election Law

The Supreme Court’s recent decision in Brnovich v. Democratic National Committee has prompted extensive commentary about the implications for future challenges to election laws under Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. Litigants arguing that some laws, such as Georgia’s newly enacted SB 202, disproportionately affect racial minorities may have a greater challenge meeting the standard set forth by the court than the standard that some lower courts had been using in recent years.

But while the justices split on a 6-3 vote on whether a pair of Arizona statutes ran afoul of the Act, it voted 6-0 (with three justices not addressing the question) in concluding that Arizona did not act with discriminatory intent. This holding sets the stage for the Justice Department’s recent lawsuit against Georgia, and it offers hints at how district courts and reviewing courts should behave. In short, the Justice Department has an uphill battle.

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Labor Shortage Slows Oil Production in Major Fracking State

A shortage of workers has contributed to a significant crude oil production slowdown in North Dakota, the second-largest U.S. oil hub behind only Texas.

The labor shortage has caused oil output to become “flat as a pancake,” North Dakota State Mineral Resources Director Lynn Helms told The Bismarck Tribune. Energy companies have struggled to find workers needed to do the laborious work — injecting water, sand and chemicals into wells to extract oil — associated with fracking.

“Most of these folks went to Texas where activity was still significantly higher than it was here, where they didn’t have winter and where there were jobs in their industry,” Helms said, according to the Tribune. “It’s going to take higher pay and housing incentives and that sort of thing to get them here.”

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Kids’ Suicide, Mental Health Hospitalizations Spiked Amid COVID Lockdowns, Research Finds

Girl with blonde hair, covering her face with her hands

COVID-19 policies had disastrous results on children, especially in California, according to medical researchers at the University of California San Francisco.

Jeanne Noble, director of COVID response in the UCSF emergency department, is finishing an academic manuscript on the mental health toll on kids from lockdown policies. She shared a presentation on its major points with Just the News.

Suicides in the Golden State last year jumped by 24% for Californians under 18 but fell by 11% for adults, showing how children were uniquely affected by “profound social isolation and loss of essential social supports traditionally provided by in-person school,” the presentation says.

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Oregon Senator Ron Wyden Delays Confirming Biden’s CBP Head

Democratic Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden will delay President Joe Biden’s Customs and Border Protection (CBP) head confirmation until the federal government answers about how officials responded to civil unrest in Portland, Oregon, last year, CNN Politics reported Thursday.

Wyden said he would not advance Tucson, Arizona, Police Chief Chris Magnus‘ confirmation to CBP commissioner, according to CNN. Wyden won’t move forward with Magnus’ nomination “until DHS and DOJ give Oregonians some straight answers about what they were up to in Portland last year, and who was responsible,” the senator said in a statement.

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U.S. Set to Hit Debt Ceiling Within Four Months, Congressional Budget Office Estimates

The federal government is on track to reach the statutory debt limit in the fall, which would trigger a government shutdown, according to a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimate.

The U.S. is projected to reach the debt ceiling of $28.5 trillion by October or November, a CBO report released Wednesday stated. If Capitol Hill lawmakers don’t reach an agreement on raising the limit higher, the government could undergo its third shutdown in less than four years.

“If the debt limit remained unchanged, the ability to borrow using those measures would ultimately be exhausted, and the Treasury would probably run out of cash sometime in the first quarter of the next fiscal year (which begins on October 1, 2021), most likely in October or November,” the CBO report said.

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Nashville Will Extend $4.9 Million COVID Disparities Grant to Refugees, Immigrants for Testing and Vaccinations

Refugees and immigrants will have a share in Metro Nashville’s $4.9 million grant for COVID-19 health disparities in certain racial, ethnic, and rural demographics. Metro Nashville City Council adopted the resolution to accept the funds during its meeting last Tuesday. In its resolution, the council expanded the CDC’s definition of underserved populations to include refugees and immigrants.

“This [grant’s purpose] includes implementation of a collaborative, multilevel, culturally informed approach to expand access to COVID-19 testing and vaccine administration and to reduce disparities among Nashville’s underserved African American, Hispanic, immigrant, and refugee communities,” read the resolution analysis.

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Federal Judge Blocks Arkansas Pro-Life Law, Calls It ‘Imminent Threat’ to Women

A federal judge blocked a pro-life law Tuesday that would have banned almost all abortions in Arkansas, calling the law an “imminent threat” to women seeking abortions.

Judge Kristine Baker issued a preliminary injunction blocking authorities from enforcing the Arkansas Unborn Child Protection Act until she issues a final ruling, according to the Washington Post. The law was set to go into effect July 28.

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Mississippi Attorney General Urges Supreme Court to Overturn Roe v. Wade

Mississippi’s Attorney General Lynn Fitch called on the Supreme Court Thursday to defend the right of states to pass laws protecting “life and women’s health,” urging the court to overturn the landmark abortion case Roe v. Wade.

The attorney general filed a brief in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which the court will hear beginning in October, slamming Roe as “egregiously wrong” and calling on the Supreme Court to uphold Mississippi’s ban on abortions after 15 weeks.

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Commentary: America’s Revolutionary Beginnings

Boston Tea Party

Warren climbed the wide steps from Marlborough Street to the door of the Province House, the old mansion with its Tudor-style chimney stacks and ornate gables built a century ago by a wealthy Boston merchant. But for generations now it had been the residence of the royal governors of Massachusetts. For a moment he studied the large royal seal affixed over the door, a reminder of the awesome empire that the governor represented, then looked above it to the eight-sided cupola crowning the mansion, noting the weathervane at the very top shifting in the breeze.

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Tennessee Comptrollers Allege Massive Theft with Head Start Program

Tennessee Comptrollers this week announced that government officials in Carter and Greene counties allegedly, in separate cases, stole thousands of dollars for their own personal benefit. According to a Comptrollers’ press release, authorities in Carter County have indicted Joyce Parsons, the former administrative assistant for Carter County’s Head Start program.

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Georgia to Issue Licenses to Companies for Medical Marijuana Production

Zane Bader

The Georgia Access to Medical Cannabis Commission will pick six companies to start producing the plant for medical uses in the state.

Nearly 70 companies applied for licenses to grow marijuana and convert it to oil to treat various illnesses. Once the commission approves them, the companies could be looking at paying up to $200,000 in licensing fees to the state. They will have one year to get product to thousands of Georgians who have been waiting for more than five years.

Patients with a Low THC Oil Registry card legally can purchase up to 20 fluid ounces of the THC oil from licensed dispensaries or pharmacies under legislation signed into law by former Gov. Nathan Deal in 2015. However, without guidelines and a medical marijuana marketplace, the 14,000 registered patients in Georgia have no way of legally obtaining the oil.

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Minneapolis Homeless Encampment Creates Growing Problem

Group of tents on a sidewalk; homeless people

A homeless encampment in Minneapolis is a growing problem and is causing concerns among residents. The encampment has been near Sheridan Memorial Park since the summer of 2020, on property belonging to the city. City Council Member Steve Fletcher called removing the encampment “not a good strategy.”

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Virginia Won’t Require Masks at Schools, Encourages Local Mask Rules

Little girl wearing pink mask, hair up in a braid, sitting at a table

Toward the end of the month, a state-imposed mask mandate at Virginia schools will no longer be enforced, but the state’s Department of Health is encouraging school divisions to create mask policies.

On July 25, the public health order forcing schools to require face coverings will expire and will not be renewed. However, the VDH issued guidelines that strongly recommend school divisions impose mask mandates for students, staff and teachers.

“Virginia has followed the science throughout this pandemic, and that’s what we continue to do,” Gov. Ralph Northam said in a statement. “This guidance takes into consideration recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and the American Academy of Pediatrics, and will provide necessary flexibility for school divisions while ensuring a safe, healthy, and world-class learning environment for Virginia’s students. Again, I strongly urge every eligible Virginian to get vaccinated. Getting your shot will protect you, your family, and your community—and it is the only way we can beat this pandemic once and for all.”

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Ohio Lawmaker Plans Legislation to Stop Election Changes

Bride Rose Sweeney of Cleveland, Ohio.

Ohio churches, businesses, schools or any nongovernment group no longer can partner with local boards of election to help educate or register voters or for anything related to voting or an election.

An Ohio state representative wants that changed.

The election reforms passed as part of the state budget after failing to make it out of the House when they were introduced with other election changes as a standalone bill. The new law prohibits any public official from collaborating with nongovernmental groups or individuals on any election-related activity.

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Mineral Town Council in Virginia Split by Surprise Vote to Revoke Charter

The Town of Mineral voted three to two to launch the process of dissolving the town at its monthly meeting on July 12, according to The Central Virginian. In a special meeting Thursday, town residents turned out to protest the decision in a public hearing, and three of the six members said they didn’t support disbanding the town.

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Florida Representative Anthony Sabatini Files E-Verify Bill

Florida state Representative Anthony Sabatini announced this week that he has filed a bill that will mandate the use of E-Verify by all public and private employers.

Sabatini tweeted, “JUST FILED my first Bill for the 2022 FL Legislative Session. HB 6001 will mandate the use of E-Verify in FL, requiring ALL workers prove that they are legal BEFORE they can work in our State. With 70% of all new illegals coming straight to Florida, we MUST pass this Bill!”

This is his fourth time that Sabatini has filed a bill related to E-Verify since he was elected to the Florida House in 2018.

E-Verify is a web-based system that allows enrolled employers to confirm the eligibility of their employees to work in the United States. E-Verify employers verify the identity and employment eligibility of newly hired employees by electronically matching information provided by employees on the Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, against records available to the Social Security Administration (SSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

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FBI Tapes in Federal Corruption Trial Casts Florida Political Players in Unflattering Light

This week’s witnesses in the federal corruption trial of J.T. Burnette, a Tallahassee businessman standing trial for federal extortion and racketeering, described the “dirty politics of getting things done” in Tallahassee.

The testimony exposed some of the true “power behind the throne” like that wielded by Burnette and his wife, Kim Rivers, CEO of the mega medical marijuana company, Trulieve, and by a former “rising star” in Florida Democratic politics, Scott Maddox.

Burnette is facing federal charges of racketeering, and extortion stemming from a multi-year FBI investigation into political corruption in Tallahassee. Government prosecutors are trying to prove Burnette arranged bribes for Maddox, through Governance Services, LLC, a lobbying firm owned by Maddox’s close friend and business partner Paige Carter-Smith.

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Appeals Court Vacates Decision Requiring Vaccines for Florida Cruise Ship Industry

Cruise ship next to dock

The U.S. Appeals Court for the 11th Circuit on Friday vacated its recent decision that allowed the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention to enforce its COVID-19 safety rules related to the Florida cruise ship industry.

Just before the decision, Florida asked the United States Supreme Court to intervene and reverse the appeals court’s decision.

“I’m glad to see the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals reverse its prior decision and free the cruise lines from unlawful CDC mandates, which effectively mothballed the industry for more than a year,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “The importance of this case extends beyond the cruise industry. From here on out a federal bureau will be on thin legal and constitutional ice if and when it attempts to exercise such sweeping authority that is not explicitly delineated by law.”

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Mitch McConnell Mocks Amy Klobuchar, Other Democrats for Georgia Hearing

U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) reportedly disapproves of a field hearing that U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) held in Georgia last week to undermine that state’s new voter integrity law, Senate Bill 202. This, as Klobuchar and four other Democratic U.S. senators who attended refused to answer The Georgia Star News’ questions about other states whose voting requirements are stricter than Georgia’s.

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FBI Investigating Agent Who Allegedly Violently Assaulted Wife

The lead investigator in the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) case against more than a dozen men who allegedly plotted to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) has legal troubles of his own, as reported by The Detroit News. 

“An FBI agent at the center of the investigation into the plot to kidnap and kill Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is accused of smashing his wife’s head against a nightstand and choking her after a dispute stemming from their attendance at a swingers’ party, according to court records,” that news outlet reported this week. 

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Judge Will Decide Whether to Keep Ohio’s Pandemic Unemployment Benefits

A Franklin County judge may reimplement Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) benefits in Ohio after they were ended by Gov. Mike DeWine (R) in June. 

The extra $300 per week in unemployment benefits, part of a federal government program to help Americans survive the COVID-19 pandemic, officially ended in Ohio on June 26. DeWine cited a labor shortage in the state, as most businesses reopened as normal after pandemic restrictions were lifted. 

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Four People Indicted for Fraud at Higley Unified School District in Gilbert

After an investigation by the Arizona Auditor General into alleged financial mismanagement at Higley Unified School District in Gilbert, a grand jury indicted four people for fraud. Dr. Denise Birdwell, a former superintendent of both Higley and Scottsdale Unified School Districts, was indicted on 18 felony counts related to reportedly misusing $6 million of public monies, including conspiring to get around school district rules in order to make sure Higley’s $2,557,125 contract went to a certain vendor. Birdwell’s domestic partner, Hartwell Hunnicutt, and two men from the vendor, Gary Aller and Steven Nielsen, were indicted on related felonies. 

State Rep. Jake Hoffman (R-Queen Creek), who served on the Higley school board from 2013-2015 while much of this took place under Birdwell, said he was attacked and stonewalled by district administrators as he and another board member fought to get to the bottom of serious concerns and suspicions that many people had at the time.

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Tennessee Experiences 27 Deaths in More Than 1,000 ‘Breakthrough’ Cases Among Vaccinated Individuals

Tennessee Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Lisa Piercey announced on Friday that more than 1,000 individuals throughout the safe have tested positive for the coronavirus after being fully vaccinated.

Of the fully vaccinated individuals who have suffered these numerous “breakthrough” cases, 195 have been hospitalized, with 27 patients passing away.

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