Memphis Police Report Four Christmas and Christmas Eve Homicides

The Memphis Police Department (MPD) reported that the city had a violent Christmas Eve and a violent Christmas day, including four homicides. MPD officials tweeted about one shooting homicide that occurred at 2:26 a.m. Saturday at the 1000 block of Haynes Street. Authorities transported the shooting victim to Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital in Memphis, where staff pronounced him deceased. MPD officials said they had no information about a suspect.

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Commentary: The Poison Fruits of Identity Politics in the Military

For many years, the U.S. military has been among the most trusted of American institutions, certainly the most trusted part of the U.S. government. It has maintained that status despite its failure to achieve success in the post-9/11 wars. Americans seem to have accepted the argument that this failure has more to do with the political constraints placed on the military than on the military’s doctrine, planning, and execution. They have continued to accept the military’s self-image as a profession rather than a self-interested bureaucracy, and have supported its professional ethos understood as duty, honor, and sacrifice.    

But attitudes toward the military seem to be changing. According to a recent survey conducted by the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute, the number of Americans who express a great deal of confidence and trust in the military has dropped from 70 percent to 45 percent in just the past three years, including an 11 percent drop since February.

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Official Washington Looks Ahead to a New Year with More COVID, Inflation, and Supply Chain Risks

President Joe Biden walks along the Colonnade with the Combatant Commander nominees U.S. Air Force Gen. Jacqueline Van Ovost and U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Laura Richardson on Monday, March 8, 2021, along the Colonnade of the White House.

Inflation, “softness” in the White House, and pandemic uncertainty make up some of the biggest risks to the U.S. economy in 2022, according to a Washington consulting firm.

“Every quarter, I take a macro look at trends driving politics and policy looking both backward and forwards and identify where key political risks may lurk and where political opportunities may present themselves,” Bruce Mehlman, former assistant secretary of Commerce in the George W. Bush administration, told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “The most recent analysis targets 2022 and identifies the emerging risks business and government leaders should anticipate and prepare for.”

A founding partner of the Washington, D.C.-based consulting firm Mehlman Castagnetti Rosen & Thomas, Mehlman advises prominent companies to understand and prepare for emerging trends and risks critical to the ever-evolving policy environment.

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Healthcare Activists Push for Policies to Hardwire Marxism in Medicine

Healthcare worker in hair net and mask on

The Biden administration proposed giving bonus payments to physicians who acknowledge systemic racism as the primary cause of health differences between racial groups and incorporate so-called “anti-racism” into their medical practices.

The move to pressure healthcare professionals to repeat the claim that racial health disparities are caused by racism and not lifestyle choices is part of a broader, years-long push to hardwire “race Marxism” into the medical field. The effort stretches from medical schools and research institutions to patient care and medical administration, with potentially devastating effects for patients and the healthcare system as a whole.

“Race Marxism,” analogous to “anti-racism” as popularized by Ibram X. Kendi, seeks to promote equal outcomes across racial groups, as opposed to a “colorblind” approach which favors equal opportunity and does not take race into account.

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‘Sci-Fi Becoming Reality’ as New Government Office Studies UFOs

The U.S. will establish a new government program that will investigate unidentified aerial phenomena, also known as UFOs, TODAY reported.

The National Defense Authorization Act called for the creation of the permanent office and was a part of a bipartisan effort spearheaded by Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York. “I really see this as trying to know what is knowable and not having a head in the sand perspective on this,” she told TODAY.

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Thousands of Accounts Spreading Chinese State Propaganda Are Evading Bans from U.S. Social Media

A network of social media accounts spreading Chinese state propaganda is thriving on tech platforms despite social media companies’ attempts to crack down on foreign influence campaigns.

Over 2,000 accounts are involved in a coordinated propaganda campaign to spread Chinese regime talking points on U.S. social media platforms, according to a report from Miburo, a research collective that studies disinformation campaigns. The accounts disseminate false or misleading claims including the denial of China’s ongoing mistreatment of Uyghur Muslims in the Xinjiang region of China, as well as criticism of Guo Wengui, a Chinese dissident and financial backer of U.S. social media site Gettr.

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Dog Tag Manufacturing Company Sues Department of Defense over Ban on Religiously-Themed Items

A company that specializes in creating military dog tags has sued the Department of Defense over a ban on its products, the Daily Caller reports.

Shields of Strength, a company that has produced dog tags for over twenty years, was first issued a cease-and-desist order back in 2019. That order was filed by the left-wing Military Religious Freedom Foundation, which accused Shields of Strength of producing “sectarian proselytizing merchandise” whenever its merchandise included religious themes.

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DeSantis Announces Three Appointments to Florida Gaming Control Commission

Ahead of the turn of the new year and the 2022 legislative session that begins on January 11th, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced his appointments for the first three of five seats in the Florida Gaming Control Commission (FGCC) on Wednesday.

The three appointments include Secretary of the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation, Julie Imanuel Brown, Chief of Staff at the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation, Michael Yaworksy, and Founder and President of Drago Professional Consultants, Charles Drago.

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Nobel Winner Desmond Tutu Dies at 90, Led Fight Against South Africa’s Apartheid

Desmond Tutu, the Anglican archbishop who won the Nobel Peace Prize for fighting apartheid in South Africa, has died at age 90.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa announced Tutu’s death on Sunday, as leaders around the world mourned the passing of an uncompromising voice for racial equality.

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United States Department of Justice Awards Grants Hamilton County Schools $260,000 Under the STOP School Violence Act

The United States Department of Justice U.S. Attorney’s Office Eastern District of Tennessee on Thursday announced Hamilton County Schools would receive a $266,314 grant under the Students, Teachers and Officers Preventing School Violence Act (STOP) School Violence Act. The grant is a part of a more than $125 million nationwide program aimed to help keep schools safe.

“The Justice Department has no greater responsibility than protecting Americans from harm,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a statement. 

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Commentary: Falling Unemployment Rate Is Entirely Due to Minnesotans Leaving the Labor Force

man in yellow hardhat and work jacket

‘Minnesota job growth outpaces US, unemployment at 3.3%‘– Duluth News Tribune

‘Jobless rate in Minn. hits pre-pandemic level‘ – MPR News

‘Minnesota jobless rate falls to 3.3%, lowest since pre-pandemic‘ – Fox 9

‘Minnesota Unemployment Rate Fell in November‘– Twin Cities Business

(Center of the American Experiment) — These were some of the headlines in Minnesota’s media covering the monthly jobs data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). They paint a pretty rosy picture. So what was the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal reporting with this headline: ‘Minnesota unemployment rate continues to drop, but labor force concerns grow‘?

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Over 2,000 Vaccine Religious Exemption Requests Denied by Air Force

On Tuesday, the U.S. Air Force announced that it had rejected approximately 2,130 requests from service members for a religious exemption from the COVID-19 vaccine mandate, as reported by the Daily Caller.

“More than 10,000 requests from across the Total Force have been received,” the Air Force’s statement read, “of which approximately 2,100 have been disapproved due to military readiness considerations.”

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Owner of Telemedicine Company Pleads Guilty in Health Care Fraud Conspiracy

A Kentucky telemedicine company owner pleaded guilty to health care fraud this week. The Department of Justice District Attorney’s office of the Middle District of Tennessee released in a statement that Elizabeth Turner worked with other marketers and physicians in locations including Tennessee and South Carolina to “offer, pay, solicit and receive illegal kickbacks and to defraud the Medicare and Medicaid Programs.”

Turner worked with Fadel Alshalabi, the owner of Crestar Labs, LLC, based in Spring Hill, Tennessee, Melissa Lynn “Lisa” Chastain, the owner of marketing company Genetix, LLC, located in Belton, South Carolina along with other physicians from approximately February 2018 to August 2019. 

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Democrats Resist Election Integrity Probes, Reforms Nationwide

Elected officials and like-minded activists across the country are refusing to cooperate with ongoing efforts to thwart voter fraud and promote the integrity of future elections, lambasting such efforts as antidemocratic campaigns to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.

The apparent resistance of mostly Democratic and some Republican figures to investigating allegations of election fraud and supporting reforms to decrease its likelihood comes at a time when millions of Americans say they don’t have faith in the country’s electoral process.

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Virginia Governor Northam, Law Enforcement Officials Launch Effort to Reduce Impaired Driving

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam and members of the state’s law enforcement agencies are working to reduce impaired driving over the holiday season.

The governor on Tuesday announced that the 116 Virginia law enforcement agencies will complement each other and support the Checkpoint Strikeforce campaign.

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New York Times Editor Dies of Heart Attack Day After Moderna Booster Shot

Just a day after taking the Moderna booster shot, a New York Times editor unexpectedly died of a heart attack. 

“This is Carlos’s wife, Nora. It’s with deepest sorrow that I have to share with you that Carlos passed away last night of a heart attack. I’ve lost my best friend and our kids lost a truly great dad. I will be off social media for awhile,” Carlos Tejada’s wife announced on his Twitter account on Dec. 18.

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United Employees Granted Vax Exemptions Put on Unpaid Leave, Can’t Work Elsewhere, Activists Claim

United Airlines plane on runway

United Airlines employees who have been granted exemptions to the company’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate are allegedly being placed on indefinite unpaid leave, unable to seek employment elsewhere within the industry, access their 401(k) retirement savings, or file for unemployment.

United Airlines Capt. Sherry Walker, who has been placed on indefinite unpaid leave, told Just the News that United employees seeking reasonable accommodation regarding the company’s vaccine mandate for religious or medical reasons are being placed on indefinite unpaid leave and cannot leave their job for another airline because of the noncompete clause in their contracts.

Walker is cofounder of Airline Employees 4 Health Freedom (AE4HF), which represents 4,000 airline employees, about half of whom are with United.

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Report: Weak Wind Power to Blame for European Energy Crisis, Greater Reliance on Fossil Fuels

Low wind power generation is largely to blame for Europe’s ongoing energy crisis and scramble to import more fossil fuels, according to a Reuters report.

Wind farms across Europe produced just 14% of their capacity from July-September compared to the previous average of 20-26%, market data from Refinitiv showed, according to Reuters. As a result, European energy providers have been forced to purchase more coal and natural gas which have skyrocketed in price as demand has increased.

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Minnesota Pedophile Sentenced to 24 Years in Jail

A Minnesota pedophile was convicted and sentenced to 24 years in jail after he produced child pornography. According to a press release from the United States Attorney’s Office in the District of Minnesota, Russell James Anderson-Baldwin, 39, created sexually explicit videos of minors using social media platforms like Instagram, Snapchat, and messaging apps.

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Commentary: It is Time to End Corporate Sports Welfare

Man swinging a golf driver

One of the biggest complaints the American people have about the federal government is that Washington, D.C. is infected with cronyism and special-interest favoritism. In the area of tax policy, the corporation with the best tax lobbyist usually gets preferential treatment.

Look at the Professional Golfers Association of America (PGA) as a case study in how wealthy, professional golfers are getting a subsidy from the federal government to make even more money. Just like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the PGA enjoys tax-exempt status as a 501(c)(6) nonprofit organization.

This tax status has been a big moneymaker for the PGA. ESPN reported back in 2013, that “the PGA Tour’s nonprofit business model has allowed it to avoid paying up to $200 million in federal taxes over the past 20 years, and its tournaments—designed to benefit local charities—operate in ways that fall short of acceptable charitable practices.” While the Biden Administration is intent on soaking the middle class for more taxes, apparently wealthy sports organizations don’t make that list. Just goes to show you, yet again, how unfair the U.S. tax system is; the middle class gets soaked while the well-connected elites game the tax code to add tens of millions annually to their bottom lines.

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Whitmer Kidnapping Plot Suspects Seek Dismissal of Charges, Say FBI Invented Conspiracy

Defense attorneys for five men accused of plotting to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D-Mich.) are seeking a dismissal of the indictment, citing “egregious overreaching” by federal officials, who they say invented a conspiracy and entrapped the men.

If convicted in the alleged extremist kidnapping conspiracy, the five men – ​​Adam Fox, 38, Barry Croft, 46, Kaleb Franks, 27, Daniel Harris, 24, and Brandon Caserta, 33 – face up to life in prison.

“When the government was faced with evidence showing that the defendants had no interest in a kidnapping plot, it refused to accept failure and continued to push its plan,” the mens’ attorneys wrote.

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Nashville Mayor Cooper Says Recycling Collector ‘Failed Us’

Nashville Mayor John Cooper tweeted this week his frustration towards the city’s recycling collector for not being able to collect the city’s trash and recyclables in a timely matter. The Nashville Metro Water services released a statement earlier last week that Red River Waste Solutions had not been able to collect all of Nashville’s trash, and would have to halt collections to allow trucks and staff to be reassigned. 

“Our city’s private trash collector, Red River, has failed us.” Cooper tweeted. “As Mayor and a resident, I share your frustration over the problem of collecting the garbage, resulting in a temporary delay in curbside recycling as we put all our resources in collecting the trash.”

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Minnesota Gives Non-White Patients Preferential Access to Life-Saving COVID Treatment

Minnesota says healthcare providers should provide non-white patients with preferential access to monoclonal antibodies (mAbs). This isn’t a conspiracy theory; it’s written in a state document and apparently upheld by local hospitals.

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) says in a document titled “Ethical Framework for Allocation of Monoclonal Antibodies during the COVID-19 Pandemic” that “race and ethnicity alone, apart from other underlying health conditions, may be considered in determining eligibility for mAbs [monoclonal antibodies].”

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Biden Administration Green-Lights Multiple Solar Projects to Power 274,000 Homes

The Biden administration approved two solar projects, and it is nearing approval of a third, that will power hundreds of thousands of homes in California.

Construction of the Arica and Victory Pass solar projects — the two that received administration approval — will begin immediately on a large swath of land in Riverside County, California, the Department of the Interior (DOI) announced on Tuesday. Together, the projects will cost $689 million, be able to produce 465 megawatts of electricity, store 400 megawatts of energy and power 132,000 homes.

Oberon, the third solar project mentioned in the announcement, would be built on 2,700 acres of public lands in Riverside County if approved, according to DOI. The project would generate 500 megawatts of electricity and power an additional 142,000 households.

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Paxton, Schmitt Ask Court to Require Biden Administration to Finish Border Wall

As Texas and Missouri attorneys general ask a federal court to require the Biden administration to immediately resume building the border wall with funds allocated by Congress, the Department of Homeland Security announced it was using the funds on environmental projects instead.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt sued the administration in October. In November, they filed a motion for a preliminary injunction to require it to resume building the border wall using funds already appropriated by Congress to do so.

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Most Americans Don’t Trust TikTok, Facebook to Keep Their Data Safe: Poll

Facebook logo with smartphone showing lock in front

A majority of Americans don’t trust major social media platforms, including TikTok, Facebook, and Instagram, to keep their data safe, according to a new poll.

Over 70% of American internet users say they don’t trust Facebook to responsibly manage their personal information or data related to their internet activity, according to the results of The Washington Post/Schar School poll released Wednesday. Similarly, 63% say they don’t trust TikTok to handle their data and 60% say they don’t trust Instagram.

Amazon and Apple were deemed the most trustworthy major tech companies, with just 40% of Americans saying they distrust the tech giants, according to the poll results.

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U.S. Life Expectancy Drops to Lowest Level Since Second World War

The U.S. life expectancy dropped to its lowest level since World War II in 2020, multiple sources reported.

Life expectancy fell from 78.8 years in 2019 to 77 years in 2020, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report, NBC News reported.

The average life expectancy for males fell 2.1 years from 76.3 in 2019 to 74.2 in 2020, NBC News reported. Women’s average life expectancy decreased 1.5 years from 81.4 in 2019 to 79.9 in 2020.

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Tennessee Valley Authority Recommends Curtains of Bubbles to Mitigate Asian Carp

he Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) recommended in their final programmatic environmental assessment to install what’s called a bio-acoustic fish fence (BAFF) that includes sound signals, directional strobe lighting, and a bubble curtain in order to keep the invasive species of Asian carp from Tennessee rivers.

According to the assessment, the species “has the potential to threaten native ecosystems, rare and protected species, sports fisheries, and public safety, which can lead to reduced recreation, tourism, and property values; and ultimately impact local economies.”

The TVA notes in their detailed report that there are are four fish that fall into the Asian carp family; the bighead carp, the silver carp, the black carp, and the grass carp. The species was introduced to America in the 1960s and 1970s. The fish were imported to improve the water quality in fish farms, and after they were utilized for other aquaculture purposes were allowed to be released into the Mississippi River.

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REVIEW: George Will’s Thoroughly Spectacular ‘American Happiness and Its Discontents’

The first book I ever read on public policy was Compassion Versus Guilt. A collection of columns by the great Thomas Sowell, it was what I regularly referred to on all questions economic toward the end of high school, in college, and well beyond. I have it to this day, and it informs my thinking to this day.

In many ways Sowell’s collection is a look back in time. Thanks to the internet, these kinds of compilations aren’t as common nowadays. This is unfortunate, but at the same time some writers are so prominent and popular that they still rate this kind of publication. Washington Post columnist extraordinaire George Will is one of them. Thank goodness. His latest collection of essays, American Happiness and Discontents: The Unruly Torrent 2008-2020 is nothing short of spectacular. Though a little under 500 pages, I read it in a few sittings so unputdownable was it. Every column had me wanting more, which meant a few late nights and early mornings in a very short, very busy 8-day stretch.

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Exclusive: Interview with Lisa Hanson About Her Christmas Behind Bars for Violating Minnesota Gov. Walz’s COVID-19 Indoor Service Ban

In an exclusive interview, the Hayward woman held for a 90-day sentence in the Freeborn County Jail after her conviction for violating Gov. Timothy J. Walz’s executive order banning indoor restaurant service told The Minnesota Sun she about her Christmas behind bars.

“Merry Christmas! I am doing well by the grace of our Lord,” said Melissa “Lisa” Hanson, whose Interchange Wine and Coffee Bistro was an institution here for the years before the state charged here for violating the Walz orders, followed by the city’s decision to shut down her restaurant and let her lease expire at the end of the year.

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Commentary: The East Slams the West’s Climate ‘Colonialism’

Narendra Modi

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent explosive comments about Western elites and their notions about climate policy are not surprising to anyone who has been closely observing the opposition of India and China to western pressure for policies contrary to the two countries’ economic objectives.

“The colonial mindset hasn’t gone,” Modi said at a Constitution Day event. “We are seeing from developed nations that the path that made them developed is being closed for developing nations . . . If we talk about absolute cumulative [carbon] emissions, rich nations have emitted 15 times more from 1850 till now . . . The per capita emission is also 11 times more in the U.S. and the EU.”

Senior ministers in the past have called out the colonial nature of climate politics. This is the first time, however, that Modi has publicly recalled in this context the colonialism of the 18th and 19th centuries, when Western countries denied basic rights and autonomy to India and other colonies.

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Department of Justice Awards $1.5 Million to Pennsylvania Counties to Fight Substance Abuse and Equip Law Enforcement with Body Cameras

Four different government agencies in western Pennsylvania will receive grants for the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), totaling than $1.5 million.

Armstrong, Washington, Mercer, and Allegheny Counties will be the destination of the funds administered through the DOJ’s Office of Justice Programs.

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Governor DeWine Signs $4.2 Billion Package to Invest Federal COVID Relief Funds

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine on Thursday signed a spending package to invest billions the state received from federal coronavirus funds.

House Bill 169, sponsored by State Representative Al Cutrona (R-Canfield), invests the funds in law enforcement agencies, education, and the state’s healthcare system.

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Vaccine Mandate Ruling Could Hurt Supply Chain, Amplify Labor Shortage in Virginia

A U.S. court of appeals ruling that will allow the federal government to impose a vaccine mandate on businesses could hurt the supply chain and amplify the labor shortage in Virginia and nationwide, according to a business group fighting against the rule.

An appeals court ruled Friday the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is allowed to enforce its vaccine mandate. The rule requires any business with 100 or more workers force every employee to receive a COVID-19 vaccine or be subject to a test every week. The National Federation of Independent Business and several other groups have filed lawsuits against the rule and plan to take the fight to the U.S. Supreme Court.

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Exclusive: Wisconsin U.S. Congressman Tiffany Blames Biden for Thousands of Dead Migrants

The freshman Wisconsin Republican congressman who traveled to witness the mass migration through Panama’s Darien Gap told The Wisconsin Star President Joseph R. Biden Jr., is responsible for thousands of deaths and other abuses suffered by migrants he invited to the United States.

“What’s very clear is that every state is how a border state and people are being resettled across America—it doesn’t matter if they are coming from across the Southern Border, part of the Afghanistan evacuation—these migrations are going to affect every community,” said Rep. Timothy P. Tiffany, who sits on the Immigration and Citizenship Subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee.

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State Senator Lena Taylor Suspends Campaign for Lieutenant Governor

Democratic State Senator Lena Taylor (D-Milwaukee) announced on Thursday that she will suspend her campaign for Wisconsin Lieutenant Governor.

According to a statement provided by Taylor, she believes she may serve best in a separate position to have a “direct impact on the concerns of constituents.”

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Newly Redrawn Congressional and Legislative Districts in Arizona Favor GOP Now, But May Not in the Future: Schweikert

David Schweikert

The Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission has mostly finalized its 10-year maps redrawing congressional and legislative districts in the state, and the results appear mixed for Republicans. While they appear to shift more districts in favor of Republicans, the advantage in some of those districts is so slim that in future years when the country’s mood shifts back against Republicans, several of those districts will be easier for the Democrats to capture, making it possible for the Democrats to take back the Arizona Legislature.

Rep. David Schweikert (R-06-Ariz.), whose district will become the most competitive after the redistricting, told The Arizona Sun Times, “The results are a mixed bag. While superficially it looks better for the GOP, in five of the districts there is such a small Republican advantage that we stand a good chance of losing all five of those seats to the Democrats in 2026 — and if we don’t take the White House back in 2024, we could lose them as soon as that year.”

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Biden Administration Labels Georgia’s Medicaid Work Requirements ‘Harmful,’ Abolishes Them

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) officials this week described Georgia’s Medicaid work requirements as “harmful” and announced that Peach State officials may no longer impose them as a condition of Medicaid eligibility. CMS officials also announced that Georgia officials no longer have the authority to charge premiums beyond those allowed under the Medicaid statute in its Georgia “Pathways to Coverage” demonstration.

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Sports Betting Officially Becomes Legal in Ohio

Sports Book Betting

Gov. Mike DeWine officially made sports betting legal in Ohio with his signature, but it will likely be more than a year before the first legal bet can be placed in the Buckeye State.

DeWine signed House Bill 29 into law late Wednesday, creating online, retail and kiosk legal sports gaming throughout the state, but officials believe it could be January 2023 before legal betting begins.

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Circuit Court Not Taking Up ‘Medically Fragile’ Children Ruling

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decided on Wednesday to not hear a case relating to “medically fragile” children being placed in nursing homes. A three-panel judge in 2019 ruled in favor of a U.S. Department of Justice’s (DOJ) authority to pursue a lawsuit against the State of Florida.

The issue originally began after the DOJ found Florida was institutionalizing children with severe medical conditions in nursing homes in 2012 and that Florida’s Medicaid program put more children at risk of being put into a home.

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Tennessee Department of Health Updates COVID Numbers, Adds Thousands of Additional Deaths

Officials within the Tennessee Department of Health (TDH) on Wednesday reconciled positive coronavirus cases and deaths throughout the state.

After the updated numbers, the department revealed the total number of deaths related to the virus from Spring 2020 to December 2021 is 20,644 individuals.

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