Arizona Senate President Warns State Could Take Control of Maricopa Election After Audit Red Flags

Following the release of explosive findings by an independent forensic audit of the 2020 election in Arizona’s Maricopa County, the state may step in to assume direct control of election administration there before the next election, Arizona Senate President Karen Fann hinted Friday.

The long-awaited results of an outside audit of the county’s 2020 election process were announced Sept. 24. While confirming the rough accuracy of county vote tabulation giving Joe Biden a razor-thin victory in Arizona, the auditors flagged more than 50,000 suspect ballots for further investigation of issues ranging from people voting from addresses from which they had already moved to residents voting twice.

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Jury Finds Tennessee State Senator Katrina Robinson Guilty of Multiple Wire Fraud Counts

On Thursday, a 12-person federal jury found Tennessee State Senator Katrina Robinson (D-Memphis) guilty of four of five counts of wire fraud. Robinson was facing federal wire fraud charges after she was accused of using federal grant money awarded to a health care school – The Healthcare Institute – in which she operates.

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Commentary: Trying to Prevent Illegal Conduct from Deciding an Election Is Not Endorsing a ‘Coup’

The media-generated controversy over the legal memo I wrote in January (a preliminary, incomplete draft of which was recently made public) outlining the possible scenarios for the certification of the electoral vote is another instance of the press whipping up a frenzy around a false narrative and thereby further undermining its own legitimacy.

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Report: COVID-19 Hit More Vulnerable Schools Hardest

A new report found that only 12% of educators in some schools believed students would complete the 2020-21 school year proficient in math, English Language Arts, science, or social studies.

That’s according to Michigan State University’s Education Policy Innovation Collaborative (EPIC) report that found Partnership districts were hit harder by COVID-19 as they remained remote longer than schools in more affluent areas.

This report is part of a multi-year evaluation of Michigan’s Partnership Model district that aims to improve outcomes in the lowest-performing schools by serving districts’ specific needs. If these goals aren’t met by the end of the three years, the schools could close.

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Push to Reverse Arizona Election Reform Laws Fails to Make Ballot

Arizona Capitol

An effort to reverse three recently enacted election integrity laws has failed.

Petitioners couldn’t collect the required signatures to put three questions on the 2022 general election ballot regarding whether to reverse three laws passed by the Republican-controlled Legislature and signed by Gov. Doug Ducey over the summer.

“We did not collect enough signatures to submit to the Secretary of State to stop SB1485, HB 2569 and SB 1819 by the deadline today, so the fight to protect voting rights will go on,” Arizona Deserves Better, who spearheaded the drive, said Tuesday.

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Commentary: Virginia Rep. Bob Good Seeks to Defund Critical Race Theory in Public Schools

Rep. Bob Good (R-Va.) introduced the Defending Students’ Civil Rights Act of 2021 to prohibit the indoctrination of racially divisive curriculum within our nation’s schools. Good’s bill would prohibit the use of Critical Race Theory or (CRT) critical race pedagogy in any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance. Any attempt to teach or implement critical race theory in federally funded institutions would be a violation of a student’s civil rights, punishable by law.

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Fossilized Footprints Found in New Mexico Believed to Be 23,000 Years Old

Fossilized footprints found in New Mexico show that human beings were living in North America roughly 23,000 years ago, the Associated Press reported Friday.

The footprints were found in a dried-up lake bed in the White Sands National Park in 2009, according to the Associated Press. Scientists and the U.S. Geological Survey analyzed seeds embedded in the footprints to determine that fossils were 22,800 to 21,130 years old.

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Inflation Hits Another Multi-Decade High After Fed Boosts Projection

A key economic index used by the Federal Reserve to measure inflation surged to another 30-year high in August as Americans continued to experience sticker shock.

The personal consumption expenditures (PCE) index increased 4.3% over the 12-month period ending in August, according to a Department of Commerce report published Friday. The figure represented the index’s highest increase since January 1991 when it surged at an annual rate of 4.5%, government data showed.

Minus energy and food prices, which are notoriously more volatile than other sectors, the PCE index increased at an annual rate of 3.6% in August, the Commerce Department reported. That is also the highest increase in more than 30 years.

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Republicans Demand Release of Marine Lt. Col. Jailed for Criticizing Afghanistan Withdrawal

Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller

Republican lawmakers in both houses of Congress are demanding that the United States Marine Corps release a Lieutenant Colonel who was jailed earlier this week for criticizing military leadership after the failed Afghanistan withdrawal, Breitbart reports.

A Marine spokesperson confirmed that Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller is currently in pre-trial confinement in the Regional Brig of Marine Corps Installations East, in Camp Lejeune, as he awaits an Article 32 hearing. Although he has not yet been formally charged, Scheller faces the possibility of being charged under a handful of articles, including “contempt toward officials” (Article 88), “willfully disobeying superior commissioned officer” (Article 90), “failure to obey lawful general orders” (Article 92), and “conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman” (Article 133).

Scheller first made his criticisms in a viral video he posted to Facebook on August 26th, the same day that a suicide attack at the Hamid Karzai International Airport in the capital city of Kabul claimed the lives of 13 American servicemembers, as well as hundreds of Afghan civilians. Scheller demanded accountability from military leadership for a withdrawal that has been universally viewed, both domestically and internationally, as a disaster.

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Tennessee Congressman David Kustoff Weighs In on Congressional Baseball Game and Congress Decorum

Thursday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed (R) Congressman David Kustoff of Tennessee’s 8th Congressional District to the newsmakers line to talk about the excitement at the congressional baseball game and the troubles in Congress.

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Commentary: New Ways to Diagnose Alzheimer’s Are Here, and Better Ones Are on the Way

In sharp contrast to every other top-ten cause of death, Alzheimer’s disease has long lacked affordable and accessible ways to diagnose it. While doctors have been able to tell patients with almost 100% certainty whether they have diabetes, heart disease or cancer, until recently, Alzheimer’s was a diagnosis of exclusion.

Doctors could look for signs of Alzheimer’s. They could test memory and other cognitive skills, judge a patient’s ability to perform routine tasks, and ask their friends and family about any behavior changes. MRIs could determine brain volume, which diminishes as Alzheimer’s progresses. But blood and other diagnostic tests were used only to rule out other possible causes of their symptoms, such as B12 deficiency or thyroid disorders.

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Border Patrol Agents Could Be Fired If They Don’t Get Vaccinated for COVID-19

Border Patrol agents could be fired if they’re not vaccinated for COVID-19 by the end of November, two active agents and a union official told the Daily Caller News Foundation on Thursday.

Border officials have until Nov. 22 to get vaccinated or face three levels of discipline including “verbal counseling, one – 14 days without pay and removal from service,” a senior Border Patrol agent told the DCNF. The agent spoke on the condition of anonymity since they weren’t authorized to discuss the matter.

“So it’s official now. They are implementing disciplinary action for the unvaccinated,” the agent told the DCNF.

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Virginia Redistricting Commission Frustrated by Partisan Deadlocks

The Virginia Redistricting Commission spent its Friday meeting discussing drafts of House maps, but got bogged down during consideration of greater Hampton Roads and Richmond-area maps. Although there is general agreement over much of the geographic areas considered, proposals from partisan map drawers differ in more populated areas, leaving the commission deadlocked and unable to move forward. While debating the Richmond-area maps, commissioners broke out into a frustrated discussion of the process. On Saturday, the commission is scheduled for a final meeting before presenting the proposed House and Senate maps for public consideration — the commission must finalize its House maps, including discussion of Northern Virginia, and finalize its Senate maps in that meeting. 

“I don’t know if I want to come back tomorrow, or stay the night. If we’re not going to get anywhere, I just don’t see — and I understand the desire to keep tweaking and working,” Delegate Marcus Simon (D-Fairfax) said. “And what it seems to have devolved to is we’ve got Republican map makers and lawyers trying to minimize the number of Democratic districts they have to draw, and maximize the number of Republican districts they have to draw. and I could say the same thing here on both sides. I think we kind of have to pick.”

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Georgia Senate Committee Weighs Pension Changes to Attract and Retain Troopers

A committee established this year to examine retirement security for Georgians focused on public servants’ retirement needs in a hearing Thursday, particularly those of law-enforcement officers strained by heightened crime and a hostile media.

Members of the Senate Retirement Security for Georgians Study Committee examined pension reform—specifically the potential shifting from the current 401(k) system to an entirely defined-benefit plan for state law-enforcers—to attract and retain more personnel.

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DeSantis Administration Responds to Leon County Vaccination Mandate

The Florida Department of Health (FDOH) has responded to the reminder letters sent this week by Leon County Government informing employees that without proof of a COVID vaccination they would be terminated on October 4, 2021.

In response to Leon County’s communication, the letter from FDOH Division Director David Woodlief to County Administrator Vince Long seeks information about those impacted by Leon County’s vaccine mandate policy.

Specifically, FDOH is seeking the names of employees that received the letters and the names of employees who submitted documentation as proof of vaccination.

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Newt Gingrich Commentary: Youngkin’s Parents vs. McAuliffe’s Union Bosses

Terry McAuliffe and Glenn Youngkin

The Virginia governor’s race may be developing into an argument with a clear choice that has real implications for campaigns across the country in 2022.

Tuesday night’s debate clarified the dramatic gap between Republican Glenn Youngkin and Democrat Terry McAuliffe. It is clear Youngkin stands with parents who care about their children’s education, and McAuliffe stands with the union bosses who want total control of our lives.

During the debate, McAuliffe made what may be an election-collapsing mistake. He spoke honestly about the degree to which he would exclude parents from their children’s educations.

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Ohio GOP Candidates for U.S. Senate Pan $3.5 Trillion Budget Reconciliation Plan

Republican candidates running for the party nomination for the U.S. Senate race in 2022 have formed a solid wall of opposition to the $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill stuck in congressional negotiations this last week.

But Ohio Senator Matt Dolan, R-Chagrin Falls, breaks with pack with his support of the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act backed by U.S.  Senator Rob Portman, R-OH, who has led negotiations on what is billed as a bipartisan effort to fix crumbling roads and bridges across the U.S.

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Virginia Beach School Board Member Leading Recall Effort Against Six Other Members

Virginia Beach School Board Member Victoria Manning is one of the leaders of a group trying to recall six other school board members. Students First VA (SFVA) announced this week that it is collecting signature for the recalls, focusing on 2020-2021 virtual learning.

“We believe that students should always be first and that the goal of the school system, the goal of the board, the goal of the administration, the goal of the teachers should be to put those interests above all else. And we’re not convinced that’s been done around the state, but especially focused here in Virginia Beach,” SFVA President Tim Mack told The Virginia Star. “If you look both at the recall petition themselves as well as our website and other sources, you’ll see that the school board certainly had information to make a different decision than it did and decided to close schools against the wishes of parents, against the direction of local physicians, and healthcare providers, as well as the CDC. And we think that those decisions were not good for all the students in the school, in particular, those with special needs.”

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Florida Lawmaker Proposes Film Industry Incentives

Florida State Rep. Dana Trabulsy (R-FL-84) has filed legislation with the intention of reviving Florida’s television, media, and film industry. Trabulsy filed HB 217 which would create the Film, Television, and Digital Media Targeted Rebate program within the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO).  

Companies that produce shows in Florida would be eligible for the rebate, which would cover the lesser value of either 23 percent of the total cost of the production, or $2 million.

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Progressive Group Continues to Beat Up Arizona Sen. Sinema, This Time over Infrastructure Bill

Progress Arizona, which played a role in electing Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) to the U.S. Senate, is once again attacking the moderate Democrat, who won’t budget on her party’s proposed $3.5 trillion infrastructure bill. 

“This is our moment to deliver on all of the promises that we made,” Emily Kirkland, executive director of the nonprofit, reportedly said. “She is just absolutely standing in the way of that, without making clear what she wants.”

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Florida Rep. Greg Steube Hits Out-of-the-Park Home Run During Congressional Game

U.S. Representative Greg Steube (R-FL-17) on Wednesday hit a rare, out-of-the-park home run during the annual Congressional baseball game.

The contest, which was played at the home of Major League Baseball’s (MLB) Washington Nationals, allowed lawmakers from both sides of the political aisle to compete in the game.

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Georgia General Assembly Democrats Say New State Program Could Make Them Liable for Criminal Activity

Five Democrats in the Georgia General Assembly said that the Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) has created a program that could put them and other state legislators in legal jeopardy. GDOL spokeswoman Kersha Cartwright said Friday that this Legislative Portal Access pilot program gives legislators and members of their respective staffs access to certain unemployment information. Legislators may use this information to act on behalf of their constituents. But each constituent must grant his or her consent first, Cartwright said.

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24 Legislators Want Ducey to Declare a State of Emergency on the Border Crisis

A significant group of Arizona Republican legislators is calling upon Gov. Doug Ducey to declare a state of emergency over the crisis on the border between Arizona and Mexico. The 24 senators and representatives sent the letter to Ducey on Tuesday.

Rep. Leo Biasiucci (R-Lake Havasu), the Majority Whip, told The Arizona Sun Times, “I think all of America can agree that our southern border is a complete disaster. As this Biden-Harris administration continues to ignore our calls for help, thousands of illegal immigrants are pouring into our state daily. This administration is signaling to the world that we have an open border. Myself, along with my Republican colleagues at the Arizona Legislature, will not tolerate this lawlessness anymore. We are a land of law and order. But when the federal government fails at their duty to protect our border, it is up to us to uphold our oath to the constitution and do whatever it takes to help stop this invasion.”

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Appeal Court to Hear Florida Transgender Bathroom Case

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is set to hear a transgender bathroom case in February originating out of St. Johns County, Fla. The case revolves around a student at a high school, Drew Adams, who desired to use the boys’ bathroom. Adams was previously required to use a gender-neutral or girls’ bathroom, as Adams was born a biological female.

Adams identifies as a transgender male, and a 3-judge panel ruled this past July that the St. Johns County school board policy preventing Adams from using the boys’ bathroom was “arbitrary.”

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University of Michigan-Flint Grant to Support 300 Jobs, $10.4M Investment in Flint

The U.S. Secretary of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) awarded a $3.8 million Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) Recovery Assistance grant to the University of Michigan-Flint, Flint, to construct the university’s new College of Innovation and Technology.

The grant, to be matched with $4.9 million in local funds, is expected to create 126 jobs, retain 175 jobs, and generate $10.4 million in private investment.

“We are grateful to Secretary Raimondo and the Biden Administration for investing in University of Michigan-Flint’s College of Innovation and Technology,” Whitmer said in a statement. “This grant will help us usher in a new era of prosperity by supporting over 300 good-paying jobs and generating $10.4 million in private investment.” 

Mayor Sheldon Neeley welcomed the investment.

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Marsha Blackburn and Lindsey Graham Tell Joe Biden to Turn Migrant Caravan Around

U.S. Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) said Friday that she and U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) have formally asked U.S. President Joe Biden to tell the massive migrant caravan approaching the U.S. southern border to turn around. Blackburn and Graham addressed Biden in a letter dated Thursday.

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