Manchin Says He Won’t Vote for Mass Spending, Climate Bill, Dealing Blow to Biden

Senator Joe Manchin speaking

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.V., declared Sunday he won’t vote for President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better Act, saying he feared the bill’s mass spending and climate provisions may worsen inflation.

“This is a no,” Manchin told Fox News Sunday, “I have tried everything I know to do.”

The West Virginia Democrat’s decision all but dooms Biden’s signature legislation in an evenly divided Senate.

Manchin said he was concerned about the continuing effects of the pandemic, inflation, and geopolitical unrest. His decision came after an intense lobbying campaign by the president and fellow Democrats failed to change his mind.

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Pennsylvania Senate Passes Bipartisan Probation Reform

Lisa Baker

Members of the Pennsylvania Senate on Wednesday passed legislation that will alter the state’s current probation system.

Senate Bill 913, sponsored by Senator Lisa Baker (R-Luzerne), would provide an opportunity for some inmates to secure early release from probation and aims to encourage fewer individuals to return to prison.

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Commentary: The Kavanaugh War and the End of Honor Culture

In the 2000 political drama “The Contender,” an opposition research attack is launched against a woman named Laine Hanson (Joan Allen) who has been nominated for the vice presidency. Part of the assault is a rumor, supposedly confirmed with actual videotape, that Hanson partook in group sex while she was in college. It turns out that the oppo was faked, part of a conspiracy not just to derail Hanson politically, but also to destroy her life. Still, Hanson will not go out and refute or deny the rumors even after they have been exposed as fake. In a key scene, Hanson is confronted by an irate president (Jeff Bridges) via his staffer (Sam Elliot), who demands she deny and debunk the rumors.

Hanson explains why she won’t address the scandal. It’s not just the questions they wanted to ask, she says. It’s that they felt it was OK to ask them in the first place. And it’s not. To respond to them is to forfeit dignity and honor. Hanson was not willing to do that.

It’s a remarkable scene because it is so rare these days that anyone in Hollywood or on the Left defends the concept of honor. 

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Tennessee Valley Authority Approves Plan to Limit Asian Carp Invasion

Official photo of freshman Rep. Tim Burchett of Tennessee's 2nd district from the 116th Congress

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) on Friday approved a plan to limit the spread of Asian carp in Tennessee’s waterways, releasing a final Environmental Assessment on the project.

According to the TVA’s recommendation, barriers need to be installed in seven dams along the Tennessee River.

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Charlie Kirk and Tucker Carlson Kick Off Turning Point USA’s AmericaFest 2021 Conference in Phoenix

Tucker Carlson and Charlie Kirk

Turning Point USA is holding their annual AmericaFest 2021 conference this weekend in Phoenix, where they are based. Founder Charlie Kirk and Fox News personality Tucker Carlson spoke Friday on opening night. 

Kirk opened the event, hitting on a lot of social and cultural issues during his speech. He told the attendees not to let it bother them when the left calls them names for saying something true. He acknowledged that it’s so bad that if you speak out, “you might not be able to get a job in your field.” 

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Wisconsin Mom Says Five-Year-Old Child Accessed Porn Website, ‘Inappropriate Content’ with School iPad

Students at a Wisconsin school district were able to access pornography on their school’s iPads for months due to a lack of “working” filters, according to the mom of a student who accessed the material and spoke during the public comment portion of the district’s school board meeting Tuesday.

Kindergarteners at Burleigh Elementary School at Elmbrook Schools in Brookfield, Wisconsin were exposed to pornography and “other inappropriate content” on a school-issued iPad, because it had “no working filter” outside of the school environment between September 2021 and Nov. 22, 2021, mother Elizabeth Theis said during the public comment portion of the school board meeting.

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Commentary: Christmas Movies Without the Hollywoke Scrooge

Christmas tree, TV playing The Grinch and stockings on chimney

Hollywoke may be spearheading the War on Christmas, but three cable channels are mounting a far more effective counteroffensive, running traditionalist Christmas movies 24/7. And one of them, Lifetime, is a surprising beachhead. While HBO Max is showcasing the insufferable Seth Rogan’s latest bomb, Santa, Inc. (angry elf girl wants to succeed white male Santa Claus), the once male-bashing Lifetime “for Women” now boasts such romantic “heteronormative” fare as My Sweet Holiday, A Sweet Christmas Romance, and A Christmas Village Romance. Lifetime has joined the Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movies and Mysteries to reflect a realistic rather than fantastical vision of and for women, and their genuine desire for true love over a feminist-fueled man-light career pursuit.

Some Grinches criticize the films as bland, corny, and predictable. They’re certainly not on par with Yuletide classics by Ernst Lubitch (The Shop Around the Corner) or Leo McCarey (An Affair to Remember), and they do stress a secular more than spiritual Christmas magic. But normal viewers gleam from them values no longer found in the tiresomely “dark, edgy” mainstream series and feature films, such as beauty, sensitivity, warmth, uplift, and niceness.

Start with beauty. The movies are gorgeously photographed to resemble, yes, Hallmark cards. Many depict Robert Frostian villages and valleys in holiday winter, but even major cities like San Francisco in A Christmas Village Romance, Chicago in A Kiss Before Christmas, and New York in the majority appear as lovely metropoles instead of the crime-ridden progressive hellholes the Left has made of them.

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Senate Parliamentarian Blocks Immigration Reform from Democrats’ Spending Bill for Third Time

U.S. Border Patrol agents assigned to the McAllen station encounter large group after large group of family units in Los Ebanos, Texas, on Friday June 15. This group well in excess of 100 family units turned themselves into the U.S. Border Patrol, after crossing the border illegally and walking through the town of Los Ebanos.

Senate Parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough rejected another Democratic effort to include immigration reform in President Joe Biden’s spending bill.

MacDonough’s ruling, which came late Thursday, is Democrats’ latest setback in their bid to overhaul the nation’s immigration system via the reconciliation bill. She rejected two bids earlier this year to include a pathway to citizenship in the package, ruling that the provisions did not meet the criteria to be included in the filibuster-proof legislation.

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Boeing Suspends Vaccine Mandate for Employees

Boeing Friday said it has suspended its requirement that U.S.-based employees be fully vaccinated or face losing their jobs.

The announcement comes as several attempts by President Joe Biden to require vaccinations for workers in various settings have been blocked by courts in recent weeks.

“Boeing is committed to maintaining a safe working environment for our customers, and advancing the health and safety of our global workforce,” a company spokesperson told KOMO News. “As such, we continue to encourage our employees to get vaccinated and get a booster if they have not done so. Meanwhile, after careful review, Boeing has suspended its vaccine requirement in line with a federal court’s decision prohibiting the enforcement of the federal contractor executive order and a number of state laws.”

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Commentary: As Biden Courts Unions, Poll Shows Voter Split on Labor

Staff were still finding their desks at the White House when the new first lady hosted a summit to celebrate educators. There were just two guests invited on that first full day of the new administration: the leaders of the two largest public teacher unions in the country. And not that there was ever any confusion, but Jill Biden assured them both that organized labor “will always have a seat at the table.”

That has been true throughout the 46th president’s first year. For the Bidens, unions aren’t a casual part of some coalition. Labor is family. The first lady is a card-carrying member of the National Education Association. It is personal when Joe Biden promises to govern as “the most pro-union president you’ve ever seen.”

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Cereal Giant Reaches Deal with Union Group After Months of Labor Strike

Kellogg announced Thursday that it reached a tentative agreement with employees, potentially ending a 10-week labor strike at the company.

The agreement between the cereal giant and The Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers’ (BCTGM) International Union and four other unions representing 1,4000 workers would cover five years, and two parties will vote on the terms by Monday, according to a Kellogg press release.

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Commentary: The Collapse of Yellow School Bus Transport

Between 2012 and 2019, student ridership on school district buses declined nationally by 3.8 million riders. The drop is owed to various factors, especially increased demand for drivers in private industry. The COVID-19 pandemic intensified the trend, via a combination of even more demand for drivers with Commercial Drivers Licenses and reluctance of older drivers to return to work after the shutdown. A nationwide bus driver shortage has been in the headlines this fall, with stories focusing on stranded students and; most dramatically, Massachusetts governor Charlie Baker called out the national guard to drive buses.

The decline of the yellow bus system presents an equity challenge for students. In a choice-based education system, lack of bus transport in certain areas means that children in those areas will have fewer schooling options. The problem will require an urgent effort to modernize. Nationwide, only about a third of students took buses to school in 2017, but in some states the figure is considerably lower – such as Arizona, where it had 23% by 2019.

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Two Airline CEOs Challenge Mask Mandates on Planes

Mask mandates do little, if anything, to make the air safer inside airplanes, two major airline CEOs argued before Congress Wednesday.

“I think the case is very strong that masks don’t add much, if anything, in the air cabin environment,” Gary Kelly, chief executive of Southwest Airlines, told lawmakers. Being inside a plane “is very safe and very high quality compared to any other indoor setting,” Kelly said. The air filters on planes turn over clean air every three minutes, eliminating nearly all airborne pathogens, he explained.

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New York Can Force Photographer to Take Pictures for Same-Sex Weddings, Court Rules

A federal district court ruled that the state of New York can force a photographer to take pictures depicting same-sex weddings.

In the decision issued Monday, U.S. District Judge Frank P. Geraci, Jr. dismissed the First Amendment claims of Emilee Carpenter, represented by the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF). Geraci was appointed to the federal bench in 2012 by former President Barack Obama.

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Another CNN Producer Accused of Sexual Improprieties Involving Minors

Just last week, a CNN producer was arrested by the FBI for shocking sex crimes against young girls. The producer, John Griffin, was charged by a grand jury in Vermont “with three counts of using a facility of interstate commerce to attempt to entice minors to engage in unlawful sexual activity.”

According to the indictment, Griffin admitted to having groomed and sexually trained girls as young as 7 year old.

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Virginia Governor’s Office Believes Object Found in Lee Monument Pedestal Is the Missing Time Capsule

Crews dismantling the Lee Monument pedestal in Richmond found what they believe to be an 1887 time capsule believed to contain Confederate memorabilia and a possible photograph of Abraham Lincoln, the Governor’s office announced Friday.

“Workers noticed something that looked ‘different’ this morning, so they chiseled down with a hammer and found the top of what appears to be the time capsule–located inside a large block, under one inch of cement. It was located approximately 20 feet in the air, in the tower, not in the pedestal’s base. It was located approximately 8 feet from the outside of the granite and about one foot from the edge of the core. It appears to be largely undamaged,” the announcement states.

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Michigan’s $25 Million Catastrophic Victim Crash Fund Hasn’t Spent a Cent

Not a cent from a $25 million relief fund created four months ago has been spent on medical providers to stabilize a July 45% fee cut for Michigan’s auto accident insurance providers.

DIFS spokeswoman Laura Hall told The Center Square in an email that the agency hasn’t received any complete applications for the Provider Fund as of Dec. 13, noting only one company submitted an incomplete application.

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Affordable Housing Crisis Lights Up Florida’s Political Landscape

Florida progressives are calling on Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) to declare a state of emergency regarding housing affordability, and DeSantis is redirecting the angst toward President Joe Biden (D) and Democrats whose policies, he says, are raising rent costs.

More than approximately two dozen Florida Democrat lawmakers penned a letter saying Floridians can no longer afford to pay rent and called on Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody (R) to “enact price gouging consumer protections for renters.”

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Amid Rising Crime, Twin Cities Boost Police Funding

With two 30-year veteran police chiefs retiring amid surging record violent crime, Minneapolis and St. Paul are increasing police funding.

Both cities have either surpassed their record homicide numbers or are single digits from it with 15 days left in 2021. The Pioneer Press reported a Dec. 2 fatal stabbing over a parking dispute pushed St. Paul to its record 35th homicide in one year.

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Minnesota Has Room to Improve Its Disclosure of COVID Relief Funds, Report Says

Minnesota neither is an “exemplary state” at disclosing CARES Act assistance spending nor a state that has “inadequate or no disclosure,” a new report from national policy resource center Good Jobs First says.

Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan and Wyoming provide a clear picture of how they spend Coronavirus Relief Fund monies, earning them designation as having “exemplary disclosure,” the report said.

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6th Circuit Ruling Restoring Employer Vaccine Mandate Falsely Claims ‘Options Available to Combat COVID-19 Changed Significantly’ When ‘FDA Granted Approval to One Vaccine on August 23, 2021’

The majority opinion released on Friday by the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, which restored the Biden administration’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) requiring employers with more than 100 employees to mandate that all employees take a COVID-19 vaccinefalsely asserts that Pfizer’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) fully approved vaccine is currently available and in use among the general public.”

“At the same time, the options available to combat COVID-19 changed significantly: the FDA granted approval to one vaccine on August 23, 2021, and testing became more readily available,” the majority opinion asserts on page 24 of the ruling.

The majority opinion was written by Obama-appointed Judge Jane Branstretter Stranch of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.

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More Ohio Employers Need In-Demand, Critical Jobs Filled

The need for Ohio businesses to fill job openings stretches beyond entry-level or relatively low-paying positions and more employers have turned to a state-run database created two years ago to help.

More than 13% more Ohio employers included needs on TopJobs.Ohio.gov than the state’s previous response rate. The website reflects current workforce needs for in-demand and critical jobs across the state, according to Gov. Mike DeWine.

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Minnesota Seeks to Lower Sentencing Guidelines, Major Pushback from Republican Lawmakers

Anne Neu and Erik Mortensen

Minnesota is seeking to lower sentencing guidelines with a new proposal that gets rid of the points system that Minnesota has operated on. The current guidelines give each perpetrator points based on the type of crime and how many previous crimes have been committed. The more points a convicted criminal has, the longer the sentence.

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Senate Confirms Milwaukee Mayor to Biden Administration Position, Sets Up Contested Campaign to Fill Role

Tom Barrett

The U.S. Senate on Friday confirmed Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett to a position in the Biden administration as U.S. ambassador to Luxembourg.

Barrett, who has served in the position since 2004, is expected to vacate his role by the end of the year while transitioning to the new job.

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Minnesota Woman Who Lost Job After School Board Comment Files Lawsuit Alleging First Amendment Violation

Shakopee High School

A Shakopee woman, Tara McNeally, who was fired from her job after questioning her children’s school board, has filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court against the school and her former employer. The lawsuit filed by McNeally reportedly asks for “compensatory and punitive damages,” and seeks to prohibit the defendants from “engaging in wrongful conduct.” McNeally is requesting a jury trial for those involved.

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Buckeye Institute Appeals Biden Vaccine Mandate Ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court

The Buckeye Institute, an independent research and educational institution, filed a motion with the U.S. Supreme Court for an emergency stay of the Biden administration’s Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) vaccine mandate.

The filing followed a decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit that allowed the mandate, which will demand all companies with at least 100 employees to require the vaccine or regular testing, to be reinstated.

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Leon County Supervisor of Elections Verifies Seven Felons Voted in 2020

Leon County Supervisor of Elections, Mark Earley, told The Florida Capital Star that he has begun the process of removing seven felons from the Leon County voter registration system. Earley noted that all seven voted in the 2020 general election.

The voters were discovered by a private citizen who forwarded 12 names to Earley’s office. Earley told The Florida Capital Star that after research by his office it was determined that seven of the voters were convicted sex offenders and should not have been allowed to register to vote. Earley said further research is needed to determine the fate of the other four names.

Earley said that his office takes all input from citizens seriously and in this case there were problems with several registered voters.

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State Rep. Jake Hoffman Only Arizona Legislator to Score 100 Percent in American Conservative Union’s 2021 Ratings

The American Conservative Union rates members of Congress and state legislators every year, and this past year Rep. Jake Hoffman (R-Mesa) was the only member of the Arizona Legislature to receive a perfect 100% rating. Other high scorers included Sen. Warren Petersen (R-Mesa), Rep. Judy Burges (R-Prescott), and Rep. Travis Grantham (R-Gilbert), who scored 98%.

The lowest scoring Republicans were Sen. T.J. Shope (R-Florence) with 78%, Rep. John Joel (R-Buckeye) with 71%, Rep. Joanne Osborne (R-Goodyear) with 73%, Rep. David Cook (R-Globe) with 76%, the late Rep. Frank Pratt (R-Casa Grande) with 77%, and Rep. Tim Dunn (R-Yuma) with 78%.

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Medical Experts Gather in Gallatin to Share COVID-19 Findings That Federal Health Agencies Ignore

GALLATIN — Physicians, scientists, and frontline professionals gathered Saturday to discuss and analyze their findings regarding proper COVID-19 treatment and care, and they said these are findings that federal agencies either don’t report or don’t acknowledge. These speakers assembled at the United Church in Gallatin.

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