California Woman Caught Allegedly Stealing from Tennessee Library, Tennessee Comptroller Says

The Tennessee Comptroller Office released a statement last week alleging a California woman was stealing money from a Tennessee Library.  The state’s comptroller’s audit determined that Shekinah Edwards stole $32,366.89 from the Elma Ross Public Library in Haywood County by issuing fraudulent checks addressed to herself. The allegations were referred to a Haywood County Grand Jury, who returned an indictment in November against Edwards of one count of theft of over $10,000.

From May 22, 2020, through July 10, 2020, the Comptroller’s office alleges, Edwards issued herself 14 checks with the forged signatures of the library officials. The fraudulent checks were discovered in July 2020, when the library director was reconciling the library’s bank account and realized the font on the checks was not the same as the checks routinely issued by the library.

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Commentary: Recall, Remove and Replace Every Last Soros Prosecutor

George Soros

Last year, our nation experienced the largest increase in murder in American history and the largest number of drug overdose deaths ever recorded. This carnage continues today and is not distributed equally. Instead, it is concentrated in cities and localities where radical, left-wing, George Soros progressives have captured state and district attorney offices. These legal arsonists condemn our rule of law as “systemically racist” and have not simply abused prosecutorial discretion, they have embraced prosecutorial nullification. As a result, a contagion of crime has infected virtually every neighborhood under their charge.

Soros prosecutors refuse to enforce laws against shoplifting, drug trafficking, and entire categories of felonies and misdemeanors. In Chicago, Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx allows theft under $1,000 to go unpunished. In Manhattan, District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. refuses to enforce laws against prostitution. In Baltimore, State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby has unilaterally declared the war on drugs “over” and is refusing to criminally charge drug dealers in the middle of the worst drug crisis in American history. For a time, Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascon even stopped enforcing laws against disturbing the peace, resisting arrest, and making criminal threats.

All of these cities have paid a terrible price for these insane policies. Last year, the number of homicides in Chicago rose by 56%, and more than 1,000 Cook County residents have been murdered in 2021. In New York City, murder increased 47% and shootings soared 97%. In 2020, the murder rate in Baltimore was higher than El Salvador’s or Guatemala’s — nations from which citizens often attempt to claim asylum purely based on gang violence and murder—and this year murder in Baltimore is on track to be even higher. Murder in Los Angeles rose 36% last year and is on track to rise another 17% this year.

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Independent Journalist Alex Berenson Sues Twitter for First Amendment Violation

Independent journalist Alex Berenson on Monday announced from his SubStack account, “Unreported Truths,” a lawsuit against Twitter for violating his First Amendment rights.

The lawsuit, which follows the social media giant banning the author from the platform, contends that multiple Twitter officials assured Berenson that he would have access to the platform, only to be kicked off later.

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$75 Million Equity Strategy Includes 40 New Faculty Hires to ‘Diversify’ Campus

Purdue University

Purdue University announced recently that it intends to hire 40 new faculty to “diversify the racial makeup” of its campus. 

The move is part of the Indiana school’s $75 million Equity Task Force strategy, a five-year project.

Purdue’s website lists 14 open positions and explains that the first cluster hire will focus on the fields of “Public Health, Health Policy, and Health Equity.”

Andy Sayles, the vice president of Purdue University’s Turning Point USA chapter, told Campus Reform that the amount of money the school is spending on the initiative is “alarming.” 

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Trump Ended His First Year with Big Tax Cut Win, Biden Finishes His with Crushing Manchin Loss

Buffeted by a Russia scandal that proved false, Donald Trump ended the first year of his presidency on a high note with passage of historic tax cuts. In contrast four years later, Joe Biden’s first year in office is ending with a stunning rebuke from a senator in his own party.

On Sunday, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) gave a resounding “No” to Biden’s signature Build Back Better legislation, leaving an uncertain path for the Democrats’ ambitious agenda despite the fact they control the Senate, House and White House.

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Chase Bank Fined $200 Million for ‘Widespread’ Record-Keeping Failures, Unapproved Communications

Federal regulators hit the largest bank in the U.S. with a $200 million fine Friday for failing to keep track of employees’ use of messaging apps, including WhatsApp, to evade federal record-keeping laws.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced Friday that a subsidiary of JPMorgan Chase & Co. would pay $125 million after admitting to “widespread” record-keeping failures. The bank will pay an additional $75 million fine to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission for allowing unapproved communications since 2015.

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Commentary: The Worst Excuses for the Lockdowns Were the Initial Ones

The following is an excerpt from “When Politicians Panicked: The New Coronavirus, Expert Opinion, and a Tragic Lapse of Reason” (Simon & Schuster, 2021).   

Let’s travel back in time to March of 2020. It was then that predictions of mass death related to the new coronavirus started to gain currency. One study, conducted by Imperial College’s Neil Ferguson, indicated that U.S. deaths alone would exceed 2 million.   

The above number is often used, even by conservatives and libertarians, as justification for the initial lockdowns. “We knew so little” is the excuse, and with so many deaths expected, can anyone blame local, state and national politicians for panicking? The answer is a resounding yes.

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FBI Now Warns of Missing Persons Scams on Social Media

There is a new type of cyber-enabled fraud that the Federal Bureau of Investigation is warning the public about – missing persons scams using social media. Scammers use information posted about missing persons on social media websites to target and exploit the victim’s family and friends network.

It is common for scammers to only request small amounts of money as missing persons scams tend to be a quick cash-grab. In addition to small requests, scammers tend to express some level of urgency in the payment by claiming the victim is either injured or sick.

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‘Truly Historic’: Biden Environmental Protection Agency Introduces New Regulations to Force Electric Vehicle Transition

The Biden administration rolled out a series of new emissions regulations for passenger vehicles and light trucks that it said would “unlock” $190 billion in benefits for American consumers.

The regulations will be enforced beginning with 2023 car models and will be revised with more stringent standards in 2027, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced. The EPA said the new emissions standards would ultimately quicken the transition from traditional engine vehicles to zero-emission cars.

“This day is truly historic,” EPA Administrator Michael Regan said during an event on Monday.

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‘They Know the Real Reason’: Manchin Fires Back at the White House After Gloves-off Statement Criticizes His Opposition to Build Back Better

Joe Manchin

West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin fired back at the White House Monday after it put out a blistering statement criticizing him for opposing President Joe Biden’s domestic spending package.

In an interview with West Virginia’s Hoppy Kercheval, Manchin said that while he “figured they would come back strong,” they knew that Manchin could not support the bill they were backing.

“You know me, always willing to work and listen and try. I just got to the wit’s end and they know the real reason” things fell apart, Manchin said, referring to the White House.

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Majority of Americans Say Pete Buttigieg Is Failing to Deal With Supply Chain Crisis: Poll

A majority of Americans say Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg is failing to handle the ongoing supply chain crisis, according to a new poll.

Roughly 55% of likely voters rated Buttigieg’s handling of the supply chain crisis as “poor,” according to the results of a Trafalgar Group/Convention of States Action poll released Monday, while around 30% said Buttigieg’s job performance on the crisis is “good” or “excellent.”

Republican voters particularly disapproved of Buttigieg’s job performance, with over 80% saying Buttigieg was doing a poor job handling the crisis. Democrats were more favorable to the secretary, with roughly one-third rating Buttigieg’s performance as poor.

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Republican Voters Show Stronger Support for Big Tech Reform, Poll Shows

Republicans are more likely than Democrats to back certain reforms targeting major tech companies like Amazon, Google and Apple, including a key bipartisan antitrust bill, according to a new poll.

There is a bipartisan consensus among voters in Republican-heavy Iowa to update legislation to hold tech companies accountable, though more Republicans than Democrats back measures curbing abuses of power by large technology firms and strengthening laws to keep markets competitive, according to the results of a poll by Data For Progress shared exclusively with the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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Challenges to Biden’s COVID Vaccination Mandate Head to Supreme Court

President Joe Biden and Personal Aide Stephen Goepfert walk through the Colonnade, Friday, August 6, 2021, on the way to the Oval Office of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz)

President Joe Biden’s mandate that all businesses with 100 employees or more require employee COVID-19 vaccinations is now with the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Buckeye Institute, a Columbus, Ohio-based policy group, became the first to file a motion for an emergency stay with the court, less than an hour after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit granted the government’s request Friday to dissolve an existing administrative stay previously issued by the Fifth Circuit.

The Liberty Justice Center filed a similar motion Saturday with the high court on behalf of a Louisiana grocery store owner and six Texas employees of CaptiveAire Systems.

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War Room Pandemic’s Steve Bannon Weighs in on the Collapse of the ‘Phony Biden Agenda’ on the John Fredericks Show

Steve Bannon

  Live from Virginia Monday morning on The John Fredericks Show –  weekdays on WNTW AM 820/ FM 92.7 – Richmond, WJFN FM 100.5 – Central Virginia, WMPH AM 1010 / FM 100.1 / FM 96.9 (7-9 PM) Hampton Roads, WBRG AM 1050 / FM 105.1 – Lynchburg/Roanoke and Weekdays 6-10 am…

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Include LGBTQ ‘Safe Zone’ Sticker in Syllabus, University Tells Professors

Albany State University (ASU) is requesting that professors include a LGBTQ “Safe Zones” section on their syllabi.

Campus Reform obtained a copy of the recommended syllabus statement, which explains that the university intends to establish “Safe Zone Spaces” across campus.

“The Safe Zone Project is to help educate people about sexual orientation and gender identity/expression issues and to create a visible network of allies to provide support to the ASU lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning (LGBTQ) community,” the statement reads.

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Chinese Spies Have Wormed Their Way into Taiwan’s Military

Policeman holding a rifle - in uniform

Chinese spies infiltrated Taiwan’s military as a part of a campaign to undermine the island’s defense, Reuters reported.

The effort involved recruiting senior officers at the center of the Taiwan’s armed forces, even reaching President Tsai Ing-wen’s security detail, Reuters reported. A retired presidential security officer and a serving military police lieutenant colonel in the unit had convictions upheld this year for leaking sensitive information about her security to Beijing.

“China is conducting a very targeted infiltration effort towards Taiwan,” retired Taiwanese navy Lieutenant Commander Lu Li-shih told Reuters.

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Version of Pfizer Vaccine that Predates FDA Approval Still Being Distributed in Pennsylvania

healthcare worker giving vaccination

Of the three companies producing COVID vaccines in the U.S., only one—Pfizer Inc.—has yet gained full FDA approval, and at least some Pfizer vaccines currently being administered in Pennsylvania come from inventory that predates that approval.

On Aug. 23, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a Pfizer shot to prevent severe COVID-19 cases. Like Johnson & Johnson and Moderna, Pfizer had been a manufacturing vaccine to fight the coronavirus under federal emergency-use authorization (EUA). The injection produced by Pfizer under EUA is known as Pfizer BioNTech and the company’s post-FDA approval vaccine is called Comirnaty (pronounced kuh-MUR-nit-ee).

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Stanford Extends Test-Optional Policy for Third Straight Year

Close up of a pencil on top of a multiple choice exam paper

Stanford University has made its admissions process test-optional for the third year in a row.

Following the arrival of COVID-19 in the United States, Stanford previously suspended standardized testing requirements for the 2020-21 undergraduate admissions cycle. Stanford School of Medicine ceased requiring the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT), and physics graduate applicants did not have to submit scores for the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) or the GRE subject test in physics.

Now, according to the university’s admissions site: “For both the current 2021-22 admission cycle and the following 2022-23 cycle,Stanford will not require ACT or SAT scores for first-year or transfer applicants. 

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Judge Removed After Allegedly Calling Colleague Names, Making Employee Take Diet Pills, Using Fake Facebook Accounts to Threaten Litigants

Jefferson County, Alabama, Judge Nakita Blocton was removed from her job after numerous accusations of abuse against employees, colleagues and litigants while reportedly under the influence of Phentermine or other prescription drugs.

Blocton was accused of calling another judge a “fat bitch” and “Uncle Tom,” according to the judgment of the Alabama Court of the Judiciary.

One employee accused Blocton of forcing her and others to take Phentermine, a diet pill, to “pep” them up after working late in a complaint to the Alabama Judiciary.

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Commentary: Poll Reveals Education Quality, Curriculum Stoke Parents’ Concern

After a year in which parents across the country began exercising more political power at school board meetings and through activist groups, the COVID-fueled parent movement is unlikely to subside any time soon, a new poll released Monday found.

Even as some school districts in Oregon and other locales this year suspended math and reading proficiency graduation requirements, most Americans believe public school academic standards aren’t high enough.

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Ohio National Guard Called to Help With Hospital Staffing Shortages

More than 1,000 Ohio National Guard members began working in hospitals across the state Monday to help combat what Gov. Mike DeWine called a growing strain caused by the rising number of COVID-19 hospitalizations.

The Ohio Department of Health also has begun working with a staffing company to bring more nurses and other providers from out of state to help ease pressure on current hospital staffs as the number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 has reached its highest level of the year.

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Democrats Elect Neubauer as New Assembly Leader

Democrats in the Wisconsin Assembly are looking to a younger woman as their next leader.

Democratic lawmakers on Monday unanimously elected Rep. Greta Neubauer, D-Racine, as their new Minority Leader.

Neubauer is 30-years-old, she replaces 48-year-old Rep. Gordon Hintz, D-Oshkosh, who has served in the legislature for 15 years.

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Donald Trump Jr. and Election Integrity Panel with Arizona Lawmakers Headline Second Day of Turning Point USA’s AmericaFest 2021

Turning Point USA’s AmericaFest 2021 conference kicked off the second day with a 9 a.m. speech by Donald Trump Jr. Other notable speakers on Sunday included Sarah Palin, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-14-Ga.), and Rep. Burgess Owens (R-04-Utah). The day wrapped up with breakout panels, including one on election integrity featuring Arizona lawmakers. 

Trump Jr. spoke about some of the most contentious issues facing patriots currently. “There are women who work their a**** off … they spent their lives trying to reach the pinnacle of success in a sport only to be beaten by 38 seconds in the 500 freestyle,” he declared, referring to a transgender who recently won a women’s swimming competition at the University of Pennsylvania.

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Florida Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy Will Not Run for Re-Election

Stephanie Murphy

Florida Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy (D-FL-7) announced she will not be running for re-election to her current post in 2022 but has not ruled out running for different office down the line.

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DeSantis Responds to Recent Spike of Omicron Cases in Florida

Ron DeSantis holds conference on COVID-19 variant

After more than three months of COVID-19 cases declining weekly since the summer spike in Florida, the holiday season welcomed in a new spike in cases due to the new Omicron variant that began Thanksgiving Day weekend and has boomed into the month of December.

According to the weekly COVID-19 case report provided by the Florida Department of Health (FDOH), the 13-week continuous decline of weekly cases ended on the weekend of November 26th through December 2nd, and recorded 10,875 new cases – a 1,234 increase from the previous week that recorded 9,641.

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Pennsylvania Commission’s Redistricting Proposals Draw Ire for Gerrymandering

PA State Rep. Bryan Cutler

After years of Pennsylvania Democrats excoriating Republicans for gerrymandering, the 2021 Legislative Reapportionment Commission’s state-level redistricting proposals are drawing ire from members of both parties.

Republicans have broadly opposed the preliminary redistricting plan for the Pennsylvania House of Representatives and at least one Senate Democrat, Lisa Boscola (Bethlehem), is incensed about changes to her chamber’s map.

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Potential Terrorist Apprehended at Southern Border in Arizona

Border Patrol agents working in the Yuma Sector apprehended a potential terrorist at the U.S. Southern border, according to border officials.

The individual, who entered the country illegally, came from Saudi Arabia and is connected to multiple Yemeni subjects of interest.

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Governor Whitmer Signs Bill to Modernize State’s Emergency Response System

Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed a bill to enact a bipartisan measure to fund the state’s emergency response system until December 2027.

House Bill 5026, sponsored by state Rep. Julie Calley (R-Portland), will allow the state to modernize its system to better its GPS location service to pinpoint the location of calls made from mobile phones.

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Virginia Testing In-Car Drunk Driving Prevention Technology, Could Serve as National Model

The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles is working with the Driver Alcohol Detection System for Safety (DADSS) and the Automotive Coalition for Traffic Safety (ACTS) on testing drunk driving prevention technology, which could serve as a national model.

The public-private partnership is starting its testing of the system in trucks.

The $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill that Congress passed last month requires drunk and impaired driving prevention technology as standard technology in vehicles as early as 2026. President Biden has signed the bill into law.

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Commentary: Sotomayor Is the 21st Century Roger Taney

Justice Sonia Sotomayor

The U.S. Supreme Court on December 10 handed down its much-awaited opinion in Whole Women’s Health v. Jackson. I’ll bottom-line the result as simply as possible.

The court concluded that Texas abortion providers may maintain a pre-enforcement challenge to the law at issue, S.B. 8, but only as against state licensing board officials, not other state officials such as the attorney general, judges, or court clerks. The decision to allow suit against the licensing officials was 8-1 (Justice Clarence Thomas alone would have directed the district court to dismiss the suit as against all defendants). The decision to preclude suit against the attorney general and court clerks was 5-4 (Chief Justice John G. Roberts and the three Democratic appointees were in the minority and would have allowed pre-enforcement challenges to proceed against the attorney general and court clerks).

I say all that just for context; the technical dimension of the opinion has been picked over thoroughly by legal academics and commentators since it was released. On that front, I don’t have much, if anything, to add.

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Pfizer to Distribute Remaining Stock of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine Before Switching to Comirnaty, Pharmaceutical Giant Says

Pfizer is still providing Virginia distributors the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine allowed by the FDA under the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA), not the Comirnaty-labeled identical-formulation vaccine that was fully approved by the FDA in August. Pfizer says it will use up its existing stock of vaccine made under the earlier label before distributing the new version.

“The FDA-approved COMIRNATY and the EUA-authorized Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine have the same formulation and, according to the FDA labeling, can be used interchangeably to provide the COVID-19 vaccination series,” a Pfizer statement provided to The Virginia Star said. “The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 EUA labeled product will still be shipped and usable until its expiry date, as long as authorized frozen storage conditions have been maintained.”

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Governor Tom Wolf Signs Bipartisan Bill to Address Substitute Teacher Shortage

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf on Friday signed a bill to address the statewide shortage of substitute teachers since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.

House Bill 412, sponsored by Rep. Barb Gleim (R-Cumberland), will reduce certain restrictions that dictate a person’s eligibility to serve in the position.

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Ohio Supreme Court Turns Away Lawsuit Aimed at State’s Vax-A-Million Lottery

The Ohio Supreme Court has turned away a challenge to Gov. Mike DeWine’s first COVID-19 vaccination incentive lottery without ruling on the merits of the program.

The court rejected the lawsuit, saying the group – Stand Up Ohio! – failed to meet the requirements to sue in the Supreme Court. The ruling said the group failed to prove how it or any of its members were personally harmed by the state’s Vax-A-Million lottery program.

The court did not decide on the merits of the case, only the group lacked standing to sue.

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COVID Vaccination Incentives for City Employees Could Cost Phoenix Up to $29 Million

The city of Phoenix will offer bonuses up to $2,000 to vaccinated city employees, costing the city between $25 million to $29 million.

The Phoenix City Council voted, 6-3, this week to approve the bonuses, which will go out to full and part-time employees by Jan. 18. City employees who do not have the option to work remotely already were set to receive $500 bonuses from American Rescue Plan Act funds.

Councilmembers decided to grant an additional premium bonus to those same employees if vaccinated.

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Delta Airlines Won’t Comment on Anthony Fauci’s Latest Remarks About COVID-19 Masks and Air Travelers

Officials with the Georgia-based Delta Airlines would not comment Monday about Anthony Fauci’s remarks this past weekend suggesting air passengers must continue to wear COVID-19 masks — indefinitely. Delta Airlines representatives did not return The Georgia Star News’ request for comment before Monday’s stated deadline.

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New Records Shows Zuckerberg Pumped $7.1 Million into Minnesota’s Election System

Mark Zuckerberg

Newly-released IRS filings show that a foundation funded by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg injected $7.1 million into local Minnesota electoral systems in 2020.

The Center for Tech and Civic Life (CTCL) is funded by Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan. The CTCL is a left-wing organization that spent a total of $350 million during the last presidential election on “grants to various jurisdictions throughout the United States to help them hire more staff, buy mail-in ballot processing machinery, and other measures they deemed necessary to properly handle the election amid the COVID-19 pandemic,” per Influence Watch.

The efforts of the CTCL have been honored by Time Magazine in its infamous article on how activists “fortified” the 2020 election and drawn the ire of Republican legislators who are calling for more transparency about the group’s activities and intentions.

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Memphis International Airport Gets More Than $17 Million in Taxpayer Money Through Infrastructure, Investment and Jobs Act

Memphis International Airport (MEM) will receive nearly $17.3 million in federal funding through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act that President Joe Biden signed into law last month. Representative Steve Cohen (D-TN-09) announced the news late last week.

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