Democrats’ $3.5 Trillion Spending Package in Jeopardy, with Pelosi Appearing Short on Votes

Nancy Pelosi

Washington Democrats’ efforts to pass their signature, $3.5 trillion spending package is in jeopardy of falling apart, as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, leader of the Democrat-controlled chamber, does not appear to have the votes this week to advance the measure awaiting in the Senate.

The votes are set to be cast Monday and Tuesday, with House members returning for two days during their August recess to try to move forward the pending package.

Pelosi can afford to lose only three votes in the narrowly divided chamber. However, nine moderate Democrats have vowed to oppose the two voting measures until the House passes a roughly $1 trillion, bipartisan infrastructure spend package passed in the Senate before the recess.

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Catastrophic Flooding in Central Tennessee Leaves a Trail of Destruction and Death in Its Wake: UPDATE

Record-breaking rain and flash-flooding on Saturday devastated the small city of Waverly, in central Tennessee, leaving at least 16 people dead and 51 unaccounted for.

Rescuers are searching for those unaccounted for in Waverly, which is about 60 miles west of Nashville. “The waters tore up homes, flipped cars and led families desperate for answers to fill Facebook groups and comment chains with the names of their missing loved ones,” reported the Washington Post.

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Commentary: Between Afghanistan and Joe Biden, It Is a Struggle to See Which Fell Faster

Joe Biden

While the disadvantages of aging are often lamented and discussed, there are a few perks. One of which is having actual memories of events about which younger people can only read about or view on YouTube. For me, one of those memories etched indelibly in my mind is that of American helicopters airlifting diplomats and workers off of rooftops in Saigon as it fell.

I watched Vietnam fall with the voice of Walter Cronkite narrating. The symbolism of that long and failed endless American war was so vivid and so devastating that for me, like others in my generation, I was left to hope that the United States would never let something like that happen in the future.

Now, as I watch the scenes out of Afghanistan, I am put in mind of the immortal line given to us by New York Yankee legend Yogi Berra: It’s déjà vu all over again.

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After Recall, Newsom to Require COVID Vaccine Proof or Negative Test at Smaller Indoor Events

Californians wanting to attend events with more than 1,000 people will have to prove they have received a COVID-19 vaccine.

The California Department of Public Health announced attending indoor events with 1,000 or more guests will require either proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test within the last 72 hours. The requirement previously was triggered at events with 5,000 or more attendees.

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University of North Carolina’s Hussman School of Journalism and Media Dean Resigns Post after Nikole Hannah-Jones Controversy

Susan King of UNC

Susan King is stepping down as dean of the University of North Carolina’s Hussman School of Journalism and Media. 

The university announced the decision yesterday. 

The Hussman School faced backlash from progressives after it apparently backed off from a plan to give Hannah-Jones tenure for her work as the Knight Chair in Race and Investigative Journalism. 

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Fully Vaccinated Jesse Jackson Hospitalized with COVID-19

Jesse Jackson, the civil rights icon who was an of early recipient and champion of all the coronavirus vaccine, was hospitalized Saturday with COVID-19, his organization announced.

Jackson, 79, who suffers from Parkinson’s disease, and his wife Jacqueline, 77, were being treated at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, the Rainbow PUSH Coalition said.

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House Lawmakers Set to Square off with White House, Treasury Department over ‘Stifling’ Crypto Tax Plan

House lawmakers are set to return from recess Monday and will likely take up the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill the Senate passed last week — and with it, a controversial and last-minute cryptocurrency tax provision.

The bill contains a tax reporting mandate forcing cryptocurrency “brokers” to disclose gains and transactions to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as part of a scheme designed to help cover part of the infrastructure bill’s cost. However, the bill’s definition of “broker” has been criticized by the cryptocurrency community and pro-crypto lawmakers as vague, expansive and potentially unworkable, with many fearing it could stifle the industry and force crypto companies to collect personal information on their customers.

The provision defines a broker as “any person who is responsible for regularly providing any service effectuating transfers of digital assets on behalf of another person,” and forces brokers to report transactions to the IRS in a form similar to a 1099. This means brokers have to collect and report customer information such as names, addresses, and taxpayer identification numbers.

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Commentary: A Life Destroyed for ‘Parading’ at the Capitol

After Robert Reeder was arrested in February and charged with four misdemeanors for his involvement in the Capitol protest on January 6, he lost his job as a truck driver for FedEx. “As a result of his arrest in this matter, he has been placed on administrative leave/has been terminated,” Reeder’s attorney wrote in court filing. “He has not been able to secure steady employment since being charged in this matter.”

Reeder, like many Americans who attended Donald Trump’s speech then walked to Capitol Hill, went alone. He is a registered Democrat but supported some of Trump’s policies. The Maryland resident decided to travel to Washington on the morning of January 6, a “spur of the moment” decision, according to his attorney.

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Biden Administration Won’t Push Pandemic Unemployment Bonus Extension

The Biden administration signaled to Capitol Hill lawmakers Thursday that it will not support an extension of pandemic-related unemployment benefits.

President Joe Biden won’t advocate for an extension of the $300 unemployment bonus given to millions of out-of-work Americans on a weekly basis, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Labor Secretary Marty Walsh wrote in a letter to Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden and House Ways and Means Committee Chair Richard Neal. The Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program, which was implemented in March 2020 and extended by Democrats’ recent American Rescue Plan, is set to expire in early September.

“As President Biden has said, the boost was always intended to be temporary and it is appropriate for that benefit boost to expire,” the secretaries wrote.

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Student Government Nominee ‘Canceled’ over Social Media Posts Expressing Conservative Values

A junior nominated for a position on Auburn University’s student government was successfully shot down because he expressed Christian and conservative beliefs on social media.

Stephen Morris was nominated for the position of chief justice of Auburn University’s Student Government Association. To his surprise, at the session where his nomination was to be taken up, held remotely over video, several members of the student senate strongly opposed his nomination.

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Program Offering Low-Income Families up to $7k for K-12 School Choice over COVID Measures Begins

Governor Doug Ducey’s program offering up to $7,000 in grants for low-income K-12 parents wanting to relocate their students due to their current school’s COVID-19 protocols began Friday. Eligible families have a total household income at or below 350 percent of the Federal Poverty Level, and show proof that their current school has COVID constraints, including: mask mandates, quarantines, vaccine mandates, or discrimination based on vaccination status. The grant funds may be used for a variety of education-related expenses beyond tuition like transportation, online tutoring, and even child care.

Ducey announced the $7,000 booster on Tuesday. The governor’s office cited Yale University research that found COVID-based school closures disproportionately harm low-income students. More affluent students reportedly didn’t exhibit any significant impairments.

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Former Council Member Describes Minneapolis Neighborhood Plagued with Rampant Crime

A former member of the Minneapolis City Council painted a grim portrait of life in a neighborhood struggling with chronic lawlessness and virtually no police presence.

In an early August interview on “The Chad Hartman Show,” Don Samuels, a former Minneapolis City Council member, shared his thoughts on what he and his neighbors deal with on a regular basis.

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Commentary: Massive Nurse Shortage Hits Houston, Weeks After 150 Unvaccinated Nurses and Hospital Workers Fired

Jennifer Bridges knew what was coming when her director at Houston Methodist hospital called her up in June to inquire about her vaccination status.

Bridges, a 39-year-old registered nurse, responded “absolutely not” when asked if she was vaccinated or had made an effort to get vaccinated. She was terminated on the spot.

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Governor DeSantis Appoints Three New Members to the Florida Elections Commission

The Florida Elections Commission will look to add three new members after Governor DeSantis appointed Nicholas Primrose, Marva Preston and Carlos Lopez-Cantera to the panel on Friday, Primrose being the designated Chair.

DeSantis’ appointments are subject to confirmation by the Florida Senate and are the first in over a year to replace all current members of the FEC whose terms have expired but are still serving.

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Alliance Defending Freedom Asks Court to Reconsider Challenge to Virginia Values Act

The Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) wants the Loudoun County Circuit Court to reconsider its decision to dismiss a legal challenge to the Virginia Values Act. On Friday, the ADF filed a Motion to Reconsider Calvary Road Baptist Church v. Herring, a lawsuit that claims the VVA and an associated insurance law violate constitutionally-protected freedoms through hiring non-discrimination laws.

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Whitmer Calls on Michigan Utilities to Boost Payments to Customers Suffering Power Outages

In letter a letter collectively addressed to the state’s electricity providers, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer called for increased credits for residents who have endured power outages this summer.

“More than 750,000 Michiganders lost power over the last few weeks, with some outages lasting up to a week on some of the hottest days of the year,” the governor said in a statement. “Outages like these lead to fridges full of spoiled food, interfere with life-saving medical equipment, disrupt the workday, and exacerbate the dangers of unmitigated hot weather. We need tangible, immediate action from Michigan’s three largest utility companies to ensure the production and delivery of affordable, reliable energy to every family, community, and small business.”

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Air Force Academy Forces Students to Watch Pro-BLM Video

The newest class of cadets at the United States Air Force Academy, as part of their education, are being forced to watch a video that is supportive of the far-left domestic terrorist organization Black Lives Matter, Fox News reports.

The video in question portrays a fictional situation where a mixed-race student named Jose, who has a Nigerian mother and a Mexican father, is pressured into attending a Black Lives Matter rally on his campus by two of his friends. A third friend tries to convince him to not go, instead suggesting that “all lives matter” is a better slogan, since “black lives matter” would suggest to Jose that his mother’s life matters more than his father’s.

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Census, Fed Data on Minorities Challenge Critical Race Theory Narratives of White Suppression

Minorities have increased their mobility and financial standing over the last decade, according to federal data that challenges some of the narratives of the so-called Critical Race Theory spreading through schools and media.

While the Federal Reserve reports that “the typical white family has eight times the wealth of the typical black family and five times the wealth of the typical Hispanic family” it also acknowledges that African-American and Hispanic families have made significant gains.

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McAuliffe Fundraising Prowess Becomes Liability After Vineyard Gala, Disabilities Snub

Virginia Democrat Terry McAuliffe is famous for his voracious fundraising, from his roles as head of the Clinton money machine to his success the last time he was governor. But now his fund-raising is earning him some infamy.

McAuliffe, in a close race to reclaim the Virginia governorship against GOP nominee Glenn Youngkin, has for decades raised millions for his party and some of its marquee candidates including former President Bill Clinton and wife Hillary Clinton, a two-time White House candidate.

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Kari Lake Rally: ‘We Will Elect Arizona’s First Trump-Republican Governor’

Speaking to a packed crowd in Scottsdale Saturday night for her birthday, Arizona Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake declared, “We will elect Arizona’s first Trump governor!” Lake planned the huge birthday bash to include a live viewing of former President Trump’s speech at a campaign rally in Alabama. Afterwards, she gave a speech of her own to the well over a thousand who attended the Embassy Suites event.

Lake announced the results of a new poll taken by her campaign that showed her well ahead of the other Republican candidates. She came in at 37.4 percent, followed by Matt Salmon at 11.5 percent, Steve Gaynor with 2.7 percent, and Karrin Taylor Robson at 2.0 percent. She said one of her opponents also conducted a poll that showed her ahead in a “landslide.” She distinguished herself from the others, “I’m running against a bunch of swamp creatures.” 

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Former Head of OxyContin Giant Purdue Pharma Denies Fault or Blame in Opioid Crisis

The former president and board chair of Purdue Pharma testified in court on Wednesday that he, his family and the company are not at fault for the opioid crisis, CBS News reported.

Richard Sackler, 76, who is a member of the family that owns the OxyContin maker, denied responsibility at a White Plains, New York, bankruptcy hearing, CBS News reported.

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UK’s Parliament Holds Biden in Contempt as France and Britain Forced to Rescue Citizens Trapped in Kabul

The Biden administration’s botched withdrawal from Afghanistan and the desperate situation in Kabul has angered U.S. allies, leaving them scrambling to evacuate their citizens and the Afghans who supported them during the 20 year war.

The United Kingdom’s Parliament on Wednesday held Joe Biden in contempt for Afghan debacle, with one veteran MP saying the U.S. abandoned its Afghan allies and disregarded their sacrifices.

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More Than 21,000 Jobs Created Last Month in Ohio

Blue Collar worker with hard hat on

Ohio’s unemployment rate rose slightly in July, but the number of people in the workforce increased.

The state’s unemployment rate inched up from 5.2% in June to 5.4% in July, but the state’s labor force participation rose from 60.2% in June to 60.5% in July, a positive sign, said Rea Hederman Jr., executive director of the Economic Research Center at The Buckeye Institute and vice president of policy.

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DeSantis Press Secretary Suspended from Twitter Over Spat with AP

Last week, the Associated Press (AP) published a story regarding Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and his push for monoclonal antibody treatment, which is sold by Regeneron. In the wake of the article, DeSantis’ press secretary, Christina Pushaw, found her Twitter account suspended for allegedly “harassing” the reporter who broke the AP story.

In the original article, Brendan Farrington, who wrote the piece, noted Citadel, a Chicago-based hedge fund, owns over $15 million of Regeneron. The CEO of Citadel, Ken Griffin, is a multi-million-dollar donor to the DeSantis campaign.  

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Coalition Files Lawsuit Against Two Arizona Voting Laws, Claiming Voter Suppression

A coalition of groups filed a lawsuit against two voting laws passed in the last session, arguing that the statutes could disenfranchise thousands of voters. 

Mi Familia Vota, Arizona Coalition for Change, Living United for Change in Arizona (LUCHA), and Chispa Arizona alleged in the lawsuit filed on Aug. 17 that the bills “violate the right of all Arizonans to vote.”

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Wisconsin Republicans Ask Judge to Toss ‘Obstructionist’ Redistricting Lawsuit

Republicans in Wisconsin say Democrats are running to court before they’ve even had a chance to draw a new political map.

The Republican-led legislature on Tuesday filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit from a handful of voters that asks the federal court to draw Wisconsin’s new political map.

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Northam: Virginia Willing to Take in Thousands of Afghan Refugees

As the Taliban continues to take over the government of Afghanistan, Virginia is willing to take in thousands of Afghan refugees, Gov. Ralph Northam announced on Twitter.

“Last week I was honored to meet some of the thousands of Afghan citizens and families who have sought refuge at Fort Lee in Virginia,” Northam tweeted. “I’m coordinating with [Washington] DC and have made it clear: we’re ready and willing to take thousands more. Virginia will continue to serve as [a] safe harbor.”

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