Despite Unreliability, Former Tennessee Governor’s Solar Company Booming

A new report shows the unreliability of solar energy while Tennessee continues to pursue it as an alternative to fossil fuels. 

“Data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) show that production from solar panels plummets in the winter,” Isaac Orr, a Public Policy Fellow at the Center of the American Experience said. 

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Commentary: The FBI’s Criminal Lead Informant in Whitmer ‘Kidnapping’ Caper

Gretchen Whitmer

In June 2020, as the country attempted to recover from deadly and destructive riots after the death of George Floyd, a man from Wisconsin hosted a national conference of self-styled “militia” members in a suburban Columbus, Ohio hotel. Stephen Robeson, founder of the Wisconsin chapter of the Three Percenters, an alleged militia group on the FBI’s naughty list, pestered his contacts across the country to participate in the gathering.

People who attended the conference, including two men later charged with federal crimes related to a plot to abduct Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer from her vacation cottage in 2020, observed that the hotel was crawling with federal agents.

One of the feds at the conference was none other than Stephen Robeson himself.

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Vanderbilt University Postpones Start of Semester, Cites Surge in COVID Cases

Vanderbilt University announced on Thursday that the beginning of the semester will be delayed, due to the rise in positive coronavirus cases.

According to a statement from the university, the new timeline directs students to begin class on January 18. Originally, the semester’s classes began on January 10.

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Commentary: A Scientist Debunks His Own Study on the Implications of Finger Length

Take a look at one of your hands, specifically focusing on your index finger (2D) and ring finger (4D). If you’re a man, your index finger is probably slightly shorter than your ring finger. If you’re a woman, they’re probably about the same length. How these two fingers compare might not mean much to you, but some scientists think the ratio between the lengths of these two fingers (2D:4D) can predict your health, personality, musical ability, and even your sexual orientation. Why? Because these researchers think that 2D:4D is a biomarker of exposure to higher levels of testosterone in the womb, and this, they say, can have lasting effects throughout one’s life. One of them even thinks that sports teams should use the ratio as a criterion for selecting players!

Dr. James Smoliga, a Professor of Physiology in the Department of Physical Therapy at High Point University, is not one of those scientists. Reviewing some of the more than 1,400 papers published over the past two decades linking 2D:4D to pretty much anything (reduced risk for video game addiction, sumo wrestling success, artistic ability, penis size, etc.), he grew skeptical that this one physical trait could reveal so much about our lives.

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Rep. Ocasio-Cortez Vacations to Florida, Escapes NYC Lockdowns

While COVID-19 cases surged in New York City, Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was pictured vacationing in Florida, National Review reported.

Ocasio-Cortez was spotted drinking cocktails outside of a restaurant in Miami Beach on Thursday while New York City reported a record high number of COVID-19 cases, National Review reported. Ocasio-Cortez represents New York’s 14th congressional district, which includes parts of the Bronx and Queens.

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California Man Who Backed Clinton in 2016 Gets 35 Years to Life for Murder in Fight over Election

ACalifornia man who supported Hillary Clinton for president in 2016 was sentenced this week to 35 years to life in prison for fatally shooting a woman during an argument about the presidential race.

The incident occurred Jan. 10, 2017, when defendant John Kevin McVoy Jr. was told by a bandmate to “Get the f— out of my house,” after McVoy revealed he had voted for Clinton, the Democratic presidential nominee, according to Fox News.

McVoy then fired two shots. One hit the bandmate, identified by the Press-Enterprise of Southern California as Victor Garcia, in the head.

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In Shadows of Maxwell Trial, Sex Traffickers Continue to Exploit Porous Southern Border

The trial and conviction of Ghislaine Maxwell handed anti-sex trafficking advocates a big victory this week and focused public attention for a short while on a heinous criminal scourge. But in the case’s shadows, a painful reality plays out at America’s southern border, where U.S. Border Patrol agents almost daily encounter bad actors in the illicit sex trades.

The holidays were no exception.

A few days before Christmas, over a 24-hour period, Laredo Sector Border Patrol agents intercepted three human smuggling attempts which resulted in the apprehension of over 70 foreign nationals illegally in the U.S. They also recovered a stolen vehicle, and a methamphetamine seizure north of Laredo, Texas.

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Commentary: 12 Incidents of Defensive Gun Use Prove Armed Civilians That Make Situations Safer

I testified earlier this month at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in Chicago on underlying causes of the spikes in gun violence in that city and around the country.

Although Sen. Dick Durbin’s interruptions of my opening statement stole the show in many respects, it shouldn’t be overlooked that the Illinois Democrat also solicited disparaging remarks on the right to keep and bear arms from another witness—Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown.  

In direct response to one of Durbin’s questions, Brown remarked that armed civilians make police officers’ jobs more difficult, and that he never has seen a lawfully armed civilian make a situation safer.

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Commentary: The ‘Runner’s High’ May Result from Molecules Called Cannabinoids – the Body’s Own Version of THC and CBD

Woman running on the road

Many people have experienced reductions in stress, pain and anxiety and sometimes even euphoria after exercise. What’s behind this so-called “runner’s high”? New research on the neuroscience of exercise may surprise you.

The “runner’s high” has long been attributed to endorphins. These are chemicals produced naturally in the body of humans and other animals after exercise and in response to pain or stress.

However, new research from my lab summarizes nearly two decades of work on this topic. We found that exercise reliably increases levels of the body’s endocannabinoids – which are molecules that work to maintain balance in the brain and body – a process called “homeostasis.” This natural chemical boost may better explain some of the beneficial effects of exercise on brain and body.

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Majority of Voters Disapprove of Biden’s Handling of Crime and Immigration

More than half of likely voters expressed their disapproval of Joe Biden’s job as president in a recent Rasmussen poll, particularly with regards to his handling of the issues of crime and immigration, as reported by the New York Post.

According to the Rasmussen survey, 51 percent of voters rated Biden’s performance as “poor” on the issue of crime and law enforcement, with only 31 percent describing him as “good” or “excellent.” On immigration, 54 percent described him as “poor,” with only 27 percent rating him as “good” or “excellent.”

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China Made an Artificial Intelligence ‘Prosecutor’ That Can Charge People with Crimes

Chinese scientists reportedly developed an artificial intelligence (AI) program capable of filing criminal charges.

The AI “prosecutor” is given a verbal definition of a case and then decides whether to file charges, according to the South China Morning Post, citing researchers involved in developing the program. The prosecutor files charges with a 97% accuracy rate, and is intended to reduce prosecutors’ workload.

“The system can replace prosecutors in the decision-making process to a certain extent,” said Shi Yong, director of the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ big data and knowledge management laboratory that developed the program.

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Hy-Vee Shoppers Who Want to Defund the Police Angry When Store Debuts Its Own Armed Security

Hy-Vee shoppers who want to defund the police are upset that the popular Midwestern grocery chain has introduced armed security guards amidst rising crime.

Hy-Vee operates 285 stores in the Midwest, several of which are located in Minneapolis — where the City Council has allocated funds away from the police and into the Health Department to fund “civilian violence interrupters,” per MPR. However, Hy-Vee customers who support such efforts to defund the police are unhappy with how the grocery store has chosen to protect itself amidst a growing trend of mass thefts from big box retailers.

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Virginia State Sen. Morrissey Introducing Legislation to Strengthen Good Samaritan Law

Senator Joe Morrissey (D-Richmond) is drafting legislation to strengthen a Virginia law that protects people from arrest or prosecution for substance-related crimes when experiencing or reporting overdoses. The law was originally passed in 2015 to make sure that people needing emergency medical attention could get needed care. Morrissey said that Henrico Commonwealth’s Attorney Shannon Taylor’s office is circumventing the law.

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Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Makes Adjustments as Employees Catch COVID

Fairfax County Fire and Rescue is making major adjustments to its services as it deals with an outbreak of COVID-19 cases.

“Due to an increase in the number of COVID cases among staff, the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department (FCFRD) has implemented temporary staffing adjustments to ensure we maintain the highest level of service possible to our community while balancing personnel challenges,” the department said in a press release. “Currently, 66 employees have tested positive for COVID. An additional 12 FCFRD staff are in quarantine.”

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Twitter Users Have Fun Editing Error-Filled Arlington Education Association Letter

A letter from Arlington Education Association President Ingrid Gant is going viral after a social media user and her children edited the document, which featured errors including awkward sentences, homophone confusion, punctuation mistakes, and formatting problems.

“On behalf of the members of the Arlington Education Association, this dire expression lends great concerns for Arlington Public Schools (APS) return plan for January 3rd, 2022,” the first sentence of the letter states, according to photos shared by @ellenfgallery and American Federation for Children National Director of Research Corey DeAngelis.

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Arizona State Rep. Jake Hoffman Denounces Arizona State University’s ‘Slap on the Wrist’ for Students Who Kicked White Students Out of Multicultural Center

Two minority students at Arizona State University posted a video on Instagram on Dec. 22 announcing that ASU has disciplined them for forcing two white students on September 23 to leave the university’s multicultural center, an event captured on video that went viral. ASU first charged undergraduate student Mastaani Qureshi and graduate student Sarra Tekola with two Code of Conduct violations in November, stalking and interfering with university activities. A third student, Mimi Arayya, was also charged with the violations, but ASU later dropped them. 

According to Qureshi and Tekola in their video response announcing ASU’s discipline, the university first gave them a warning, then required them “to write a 3-page paper on how next time we talk to white people about race in society, we will be civil.” Qureshi said she will not comply with writing the statement and does not regret her actions.

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Philadelphia Sets New Murder Record; Pennsylvania Governor Blames Guns, Not District Attorney

With homicides in Philadelphia, PA reaching a new record high this year, Gov. Tom Wolf (D) has renewed his call for gun control, leaving progressive law-enforcement officials like Philadelphia’s infamously lenient District Attorney Larry Krasner (D) unmentioned. 

As of Dec. 29, 557 murders took place in Philadelphia in 2021, a 10.4-percent increase over the 499 murders that occurred during 2020—a year that itself saw 143 more murders than the previous year. (Homicides in Philadelphia have not numbered as many as 500 since 1990.) Gun robberies, vehicle theft and retail theft have all risen significantly. 

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Ohio Congressman Mike Turner Named Top Republican on House Intelligence Committee

Congressman Mike Turner (R-OH-10) was appointed Ranking Member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, making him the top GOP official on the committee.

Turner, who was first elected to Congress in 2002, has served on the committee since 2015 and is a subcommittee Chairman on the House Armed Services Committee, making him one of the few members of the House of Representatives to hold both positions.

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Michigan State University to Begin Semester with Virtual Classes Due to Spike in COVID Cases

Michigan State University (MSU) will begin the semester with remote learning for the first three weeks, according to a press release issued by the university on Friday.

Citing the rise in coronavirus cases throughout the state, MSU officials elected to delay the return to campus for most students, which was originally scheduled for January 10. 

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Minnesota Attorney General Candidate Jim Schultz: ‘Minnesota Crippled by Crime, Elected Officials Failed Us’

In an exclusive interview with The Minnesota Sun, candidate for Attorney General Jim Schultz said that over the past three years, Minnesota’s elected officials have “failed us.” Scultz, a graduate from Harvard Law, went on to say that he believes Minnesota has become “crippled by crime.”

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Palm Beach Smash and Grab Robbery Nets $1 Million in Merchandise

Only Authentics sign

On Christmas Eve, almost $1 million in handbags were stolen in a smash and grab robbery of luxury bag store Only Authentics in Palm Beach, Florida – a little more than two weeks after thieves initially stole close to $500,000 worth of bags, totaling almost $1.5 million.

The two robberies come even after Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody announced the state’s plan on December 2nd to help prevent such crimes through the creation of a statewide task force and database known as the Florida Organized Retail Crime Exchange, or FORCE.

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Exclusive: FBI Probing Ohio GOP Gubernatorial Candidate Blystone Campaign Finances Says Whistleblower’s Attorney

Joe Blystone

  In an exclusive interview with The Ohio Star, the lawyer representing a whistleblower and former co-campaign manager for Joseph K. Blystone‘s quest for the Republican gubernatorial nomination, Sarah Chambers that the Federal Bureau of Investigation agents are probing Blystone’s campaign finances. “Sarah and I met with them on Thursday,…

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Georgia Receives Oral Antiviral COVID-19 Treatments, But Still No Comirnaty

Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) officials this week announced they are allocating Merck and Pfizer oral antiviral treatments for COVID-19 to select retail pharmacies throughout the state. “Initial supply of Molnupiravir and PaxlovidTM from the federal government is very limited. DPH anticipates additional allocations in the coming weeks as production increases,” according to a DPH press release.

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State Benefits to be Reduced Due to Low Florida Unemployment Rate

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity announced earlier this week that an algorithm to determine the number of weeks of benefits will revert back to its pre-pandemic rate.

According to state law, when the state unemployment rate is below five percent, the number of weeks for an eligible Floridians to receive benefits is 12 weeks.

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Tennessee Receives Oral Antiviral COVID-19 Treatments, But No Comirnaty

Tennessee Department of Health (TDH) officials this week announced they have received shipments of the Merck and Pfizer oral antiviral treatments for COVID-19. “The Tennessee Department of Health coordinated a distribution plan of molnupiravir and Paxlovid with Walmart pharmacies across the state,” according to a TDH press release.

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