Breakthrough COVID-19 Cases Surge in Arizona to Almost 50,000

Sick person talking to CDC employee

Although the COVID-19 vaccine has been widely available since spring, so-called “breakthrough” cases, where someone contracts the coronavirus after being vaccinated, are spiking in parts of the country including Arizona. Nearly 18 percent of new COVID-19 infections in September were among the vaccinated. The majority of them received the Pfizer vaccine, although substantial numbers of breakthrough cases happened after receiving the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

According to the Arizona Department of Health Services, in mid-April, there were 495 breakthrough cases in Arizona. Now, there are 49,962. Of those, 376 people have died, although their cause of death wasn’t specified. 

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Blackburn Aims to Block Biden Reparations for Illegal Border-Crossers

Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) is spearheading a measure to ensure the Biden administration does not pay reparations to illegal-immigrant families.

On Thursday, Blackburn joined her Montana GOP colleague Steve Daines and a number of other Republican senators in cosponsoring the amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act for the next fiscal year.

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Texas Education Agency Opens Backdoor to ChiCom Surveillance of Students Through Virtual Tutorial Firm

  The Texas Education Agency contracted with a virtual-tutorial marketing company through the end of the 2022-2023 school year that relies on tutorial services from VIPKids, the Beijing-based company backed by the Chinese technology conglomerate Tencent tied to surveillance and censorship. “We believe all students deserve equal access to rigorous…

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Job Creators Network Suing Biden Administration over Vaccine Mandate

The Job Creators Network (JCN) Thursday announced a lawsuit against the Biden Administration just hours after the announcement that a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for all companies with 100 employees or more will take effect on January 4. 

That mandate is expected to affect 84 million Americans.

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U.S. Trade Deficit Hits New Record as Inflation Grows and Supply Chain Issues Worsen

The U.S. trade deficit hit a record high of $80.9 billion in September as exports fell sharply while imports increased amid supply chain problems and growing inflation.

The trade deficit of goods and services grew 11.2%, driven by demand for items like computers, electrical equipment and industrial supplies, the Commerce Department announced Thursday.

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Jobless Claims Drop to 269,000, a Post COVID-19 Low

The number of Americans who filed for new unemployment claims decreased to 269,000 in the week ending Oct. 30 as the labor market continues to improve and the economy recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics figure released Thursday shows a 14,000 claim decrease compared to the week ending Oct. 23, when jobless claims dropped to 283,000. Thursday’s release marks the lowest number of initial claims since March 14, 2020, when the number of new jobless claims was 256,000.

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Immigration Advocates in Biden Administration Were Totally Unprepared for Border Crisis, AP Says

Immigration advocates working as advisers for the Biden administration were completely unprepared for the border crisis rolling back former President Donald Trump’s immigration policies would create, the Associated Press reported on Wednesday.

Supporters of immigration on the Biden administration’s transition team dismissed estimates predicting increased migration to the U.S. if Trump’s policies were repealed and instead tried to see how fast they could get rid of the practices, according to obtained internal documents and interviews conducted by the AP.

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Congressman Mark Green Explains the Progressive Alternative Worldview: The Triangle of Tyranny

Thursday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Congressman Mark Green to the newsmakers line to discuss the progressive alternative world view he coined as the Triangle of Tyranny.

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Mark Pulliam Talks About His Latest Piece at American Greatness Regarding Parental Rights

Thursday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Misrule of Law Blog Creator and attorney Mark Pulliam to the newsmakers line to discuss his recent piece at American Greatness.

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Federal Reserve Scales Back Bond Purchases as Inflation Rises

The Federal Reserve announced Wednesday that it would begin scaling back its monthly bond purchases in November, marking the first step towards ending its pandemic stimulus as inflation surges.

The scaling of bond purchases, more commonly known as tapering, will start “later this month,” the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) said in a statement. The Federal Reserve will reduce its purchases by $15 billion each month — $10 billion less in Treasury bonds and $5 billion less in mortgage-backed securities — from the current $120 billion figure.

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Judge in Rittenhouse Trial Slams Media for ‘Totally Bizarre’ Statements About Case

The judge presiding over the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse criticized the media’s “totally bizarre” coverage of the case on Wednesday.

Judge Bruce Schroeder made the comments as prosecutors attempted to play video footage from the night Rittenhouse allegedly shot three people, killing two of them, in Kenosha, Wisconsin, during a Black Lives Matter riot.

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Commentary: The Migrant Surge at the Southern Border Fuels Massive American Fentanyl Overdoses

On a September afternoon, Allyssia Solorio wondered why her energetic young brother hadn’t emerged from his bedroom in their Sacramento, Calif., home. When she opened his door, she saw 23-year-old Mikael leaning back on his bed with his legs dangling over the side. She rushed to her brother and shook him, but to no avail. He was dead. A counterfeit pharmaceutical pill laced with illicit fentanyl had killed him.

Mikael Tirado was one of an estimated 93,331 overdose fatalities in the United States last year – an all-time high. Nearly five times the murder rate, the deadly overdose toll was primarily caused by fentanyl, a highly lethal synthetic opioid. It’s manufactured mostly by Mexican cartels with ingredients imported from China, and then smuggled over the southwestern U.S. border. Fentanyl has been arriving in larger quantities each year since at least 2016.

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Russian Analyst, Primary Source for Steele Dossier Charged with Repeatedly Lying to FBI

Special Counsel John Durham on Thursday unsealed a federal grand jury indictment charging the primary source for the now-discredited Steele dossier with repeatedly lying to the FBI during the Russia collusion investigation that falsely tarred Donald Trump’s presidency.

The 39-page indictment alleges Russian analyst Igor Danchenko misled the FBI about his contacts with Russian government officials and a Democrat-connected public relations executive, falsehoods that materially affected the FBI’s investigation and its representations to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to get warrants targeting Trump’s campaign and one of its advisers.

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Republican Truck Driver Who Spent $153 on Campaign Unseats Top Democrat in Stunning Upset

Edward Durr, a Republican truck driver and political newcomer, officially unseated New Jersey Senate president Steve Sweeney.

Durr, who spent just $153 on his New Jersey State Senate campaign, was declared the winner Thursday morning, the Associated Press reported. Almost half of Durr’s campaign funds were reportedly spent at restaurant chain Dunkin’ Donuts, according to The Washington Free Beacon.

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Fulton County Elections Director Is Resigning Following Criticism of Chronic Election Failures

Fulton County, Ga. Registration and Elections Director Richard Barron is stepping down on Dec. 31, according to County Board of Commissioners Chair Robb Pitts.

The Fulton County Election Board had voted in February to fire Barron following scathing criticism of his handling of the 2020 elections, Fox 5 Atlanta reported. However, the county’s commissioners overruled the electoral board’s decision, according to Georgia Public Broadcasting.

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Amherst County Grassroots Blocks Rosie’s Referendum with Under $9,000

Amherst County voters killed a proposal to bring a Rosie’s Gaming Emporium by the Colonial Downs Group, voting 54.06 percent to 45.94 percent of about 13,000 total votes, according to partial unofficial results. A couple of hours’ drive away, Emporia voters approved a similar proposal, 65.63 percent to 34.37 percent of about 2,000 total votes. The referenda were to approve pari-mutuel wagering, a slots-like gaming experience based on horse racing results.

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Wisconsin Congressional Delegates Respond to Occupational Safety and Health Administration Vaccine Mandate

Wisconsin Congressional Delegates responded to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) COVID vaccine mandate that was announced Thursday. Representative Scott Fitzgerald (R-WI-05) said in a tweet that President Joe Biden couldn’t have chosen a worse time.

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Anti-Critical Race Theory Candidates Elected to School Boards Across the Minnesota

Candidates opposed to Critical Race Theory and COVID-19 mandates won school board seats across Minnesota Tuesday night, often in areas controlled by Democrats.

In one of the most stunning upsets of the night, Matt Audette defeated opponent Dave Dirkswager by well over 30 points in Anoka-Hennepin. Audette’s campaign was centered on his opposition to Critical Race Theory, mask mandates, and “forced COVID vaccinations.”

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Danville Approves Sales Tax Increase, Pittsylvania’s Sales Tax Increase Hangs in the Balance

Danville voters resoundingly approved a referendum for a one percent sales tax increase to pay for school renovation projects 60.43 percent to 39.57 percent according to unofficial results. But their neighbors in Pittsylvania County may have barely killed a similar proposal; the sales tax referendum is losing by just 44 votes out of 25,404 — 0.18 percent. Elections officials are still counting mail-in ballots, according to Pittsylvania County Schools (PCS) Superintendent Mark Jones.

He said elections officials think there are more than 44 outstanding ballots, and final results will be certified Friday.

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Minnesota Rep. Stauber Demands Biden Admin Halt Vaccine Mandate for Border Patrol

Minnesota Rep. Pete Stauber has demanded that the Biden Administration halt the COVID vaccine mandate for those serving as Border Patrol agents. Stauber said in a tweet, “Border Patrol agents are heroes [and] shouldn’t be fired over their vaccination status. We need every one of them to address the Biden Border Crisis.”

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Ohio Attorney General Yost Files Lawsuit Against Biden’s Vaccine Mandate

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost has filed a federal lawsuit challenging the authority of  the Biden administration to requiring all federal contractors to require staff COVID-19 vaccinations, calling the mandate a threat to public safety.

Yost filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court fin Frankfort, Ky., in conjunction with the attorneys  general of Kentucky and Tennessee; the sheriff’s office of Seneca County, Ohio; and the prosecuting attorney and sheriff’s office of Geauga County, Ohio even as the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced extension of  COVID vaccination and masking requirements for up to two-thirds of  the private-sector workforce.

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Arizona Governor Ducey Blasts Upcoming Biden Vaccine Mandate, Promises to ‘Continue Fighting’

Governor Doug Ducey on Thursday spoke out against the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate, pledging to “continue fighting.”

The mandate will force companies with 100 or more employees to mandate the coronavirus vaccine or weekly testing for unvaccinated individuals.

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University of Michigan Paid $20,000 to Critical Race Theory Guest Lecturer

Michigan taxpayers footed the $20,000 bill for a one hour guest lecture on Critical Race Theory (CRT) via Zoom, The Federalist reports. 

Beverly Daniel Tatum headlined the University of Michigan’s (UM) annual “Nancy Cantor Lecture on Intellectual Diversity.”

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Georgia Rep. Jody Hice Says Democrats’ Hypocrisy on Energy Issues Is Insane

Representative Jody Hice (R-GA-10) this week blasted President Joe Biden and other Democrats for asking the nation’s largest energy producers to reduce their energy production, all while energy prices continue to rise. Hice made his remarks during a House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing.

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Poll: Wisconsin Gov. Evers, Sen. Johnson Underwater with Likely Voters

The latest Marquette Law School Poll says both Gov. Tony Evers and Republican U.S. Senator Ron Johnson would lose their elections if voters went to the polls today.

The poll released Wednesday shows Johnson, who has had low approval ratings for years, remains in the polling doldrums.

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AOC Complains Progressives Weren’t Invited to Help McAuliffe Campaign

Progressive Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY-14) complained on Instagram that the far-left wing of the party was not called in to help failed gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe in Virginia. 

“I know that Virginia was a huge bummer,” she said, “and honestly, if anything, I think the results show the limits of trying to run a a fully, 100 percent fully moderated campaign that does not excite, speak to, or energize a progressive base. And frankly, we weren’t really even invited to contribute on that race.” 

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Florida Seeking Injunction Against Biden Vaccine Mandate

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody (R) is seeking an injunction against the federal government and President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate. The mandate would require federal contract workers to be vaccinated against COVID. Moody’s lawyers filed a motion for an injunction in federal court in Tampa.

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September General Revenue in Florida Exceeds Economic Forecasts

Florida’s general revenue collections in the month of September were $442.2 million, or 15.7%, more than what economist for the Office of Economic and Demographic Research (EDR) expected in their predictions made at the General Revenue Estimating Conference in August.

The estimated total for general revenue in September was $2.809 billion, while the actual total was $3.251 billion. Additionally, September was the 14th consecutive month that the state of Florida recorded more than what the EDR predicted.

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Lawsuit Alleges Michigan Secretary of State Failed to Maintain Accurate Voter Rolls

A lawsuit, initiated by the Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF), on Thursday alleges that Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson has continuously failed to maintain accurate and current voter rolls, as required by federal law.

The suit, filed in the United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan, details that Benson has failed to remove deceased registrants from the voter rolls.

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Tennessee Attorney General Sues Joe Biden over COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate for Federal Contractors

Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery has announced that he and the attorneys general in Ohio and Kentucky have filed suit against the Biden administration’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for federal contractors. This, according to a press release that members of Slatery’s staff emailed Thursday.

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