‘Defeat the Mandate March’ in DC Joins Protests in over 180 Cities Worldwide to Rally for Freedom

Live feeds of the Defeat the Mandates rally in Washington DC are available here or here.

On Sunday, demonstrators will gather in more than 180 cities around the globe—including several U.S. cities—to protest vaccine mandates and passports in the “Worldwide Rally For Freedom.”

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The Ohio Star Podcast Kicks Off the First Episode with Roger Stone on DeSantis v. Trump, Ohio Political Strategist Matt Palumbo, and Reporter Peter D’Abrosca

The Star News Network launched its first episode of The Ohio Star Podcast Thursday, hosted by TSSN’s National Political Editor Neil W. McCabe, as part of its expanding coverage of the Buckeye State.

“The truth is we have great Ohio reporters breaking news and covering stories the mainstream outlets ignore,” said McCabe. “This new podcast is a way to bring our world-class content to a new audience through this powerful medium.”

McCabe said the first episode has three compelling guests.

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Nashville to Receive $3.65 Million in Federal Funds for a New Traffic Management Center

Nashville Mayor John Cooper announced that a $3.65 million dollar grant of federal dollars will fully fund a new traffic management center.

The $3.65 million dollars in federal funds comes from a Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement (CMAQ) program grant selected through the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT).

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‘Biden Should Apologize Immediately’: Senator Blackburn Calls for President Biden to Apologize to Journalist

Marsha Blackburn

On Thursday, President Joe Biden appeared to lash out at a reporter’s question about Russian President Vladimir Putin which led to Tennessee Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) calling for an apology from the President.

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Tennessee State Rep Files Resolution That Says an AP Article That Accuses the U.S. Military of a ‘Culture of Racism’ Is False

Bud Husley

A new resolution was introduced in the Tennessee General Assembly this week to claim an Associated Press (AP) article on racism in the U.S. Military as untrue. Representative Bud Hulsey (R-Kingsport) sponsored the resolution, which was explained as “Expresses sense of General Assembly that May 2021 Associated Press article alleging “deep-seated racism” and “culture of discrimination” in U.S. military is untrue.”

The resolution claimed the authors of the article did not use proper statistics in their study, and instead “of evidencing a culture of racism, this data, provided by the military, actually makes the opposite case that racism in the U.S. military is uncommon and not a largescale problem.”

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Commentary: The Plot to Sabotage Trump

This was the CNN headline as written by Jake Tapper: “Former Trump administration officials hold call to strategize against former boss’ efforts in 2022 and 2024”

This was the headline from London’s Daily Mail: “More than 30 former Trump officials hold secret call aimed at working against the former president’s efforts to sway 2022 midterms and 2024 presidential election”

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Republicans Push for Greater Access to COVID Therapeutics

Republicans are pushing for greater access to monoclonal antibody treatments for COVID-19 after the federal government took over the distribution of such drugs last year. 

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, filed Senate Bill 3440 to prohibit the federal government from limiting state access to monoclonal antibody treatments.

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Colorado Elementary School Teachers Begin ‘Rainbow Fridays’ to Promote LGBT Content to Kids

Two teachers at an elementary school in Lakewood, Colorado have started what they call “Rainbow Fridays” to push LGBT content on children.

According to Denver-based KMGH, Slater Elementary School Social Worker Davanta Greer and Physical Education teacher Karen Schroeder “dress in rainbow gear at the end of each week to perform these dance numbers on social media.” 

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Biden’s Fed Nominee Lisa Cook Criticized for Being Unqualified, Embellishing Resume

President Joe Biden’s latest high-profile Fed nominee is in danger of being struck down in the Senate because she is widely seen by her peers as a left-wing activist rather than a serious monetary economist, several economists told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

Biden appointed Lisa Cook, a professor of international relations and economics at Michigan State University and former Obama White House staffer, on Jan. 13 to serve on the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve, which regulates the banking industry.

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CDC Report Finds Natural Immunity Worked Better Than Vaccine Against COVID’s Delta-Variant Wave

Anew CDC report states a prior case of COVID-19 protected people from infection better than vaccinations did during the delta wave last summer and fall.

The findings were published Wednesday in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report and is based on new research from the agency and health officials in California and New York that appears to contradict public health messaging that pushed for vaccinations.

Still, experts say the vaccination shots remain the safest way to protect against the worse side effects of contracting COVID, according to NBC News. During the height of the virus’s delta-variant surge last summer, essentially all hospitalized COVID patients were not vaccinated.

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Commentary: Doctors Report Rare Cases of Swallowed Toothbrushes

several toothbrushes in a cup

Toothbrushing is a mindless activity that most of us have on autopilot, but in infinitesimally rare circumstances, it can result in a medical emergency.

Late last week, Drs. Gary G. Ghahremani and Katherine M. Richman, both radiologists at the University of California-San Diego Medical Center, published a paper in the journal Emergency Radiology detailing eight different accounts of adults ingesting toothbrushes. These cases join about fifty others previously reported in the medical literature.

All of the instances Ghahremani and Richman describe occurred at the UC-San Diego Medical Center between 2002 and 2015. Five of the patients, all of them with psychological disorders, intentionally swallowed toothbrushes, while the other three patients accidentally did so. In two of the accidental instances, the toothbrush’s head snapped off as a result of overly vigorous brushing.

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Tony Podesta Has Now Earned $1 Million Lobbying Biden White House for Blacklisted Chinese Tech Giant

Democratic lobbyist Tony Podesta has earned at least $1 million to lobby the White House on behalf of Huawei, a Chinese technology and telecommunications company blacklisted under the Trump administration.

Podesta, brother of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign chairman John Podesta, received $500,000 from Huawei to lobby the Executive Office of the President between October and December of 2021, according to lobbying disclosures filed late Thursday. Huawei first hired Podesta in July 2021 and paid the long-time Democrat operative $500,000 to lobby the White House from July to September 2021.

Podesta lobbied on “issues related to telecommunication services and impacted trade issues,” according to disclosure forms.

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Commentary: Truth Leaks Out

Wuhan Institute of Virology

The quest for truth-in-COVID did pick up some steam in late spring 2021.

Not about the vaccine, though.

About the origins of the virus.

From the first days of the epidemic, strong circumstantial evidence suggested Sars-CoV-2 had leaked from a Chinese lab. Both the virus itself and the facts around its emergence pointed to human intervention.

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States Across the Country Could See Marijuana on the Ballot in 2022

Ballotpedia is tracking 20 citizen-initiated measures in nine states related to marijuana that could appear before voters in 2022. As of 2022, recreational marijuana is legal in 18 states and Washington, D.C., and medical marijuana is legal in 36 states and D.C.

In Ohio, sponsors of an initiative to legalize recreational marijuana submitted an additional 29,918 signatures on January 13, after the secretary of state verified their initial petition contained 119,825 valid signatures–13,062 less than the number required. If enough of the additional signatures are found to be valid, the initiative will go before the state legislature. If the state legislature does not enact it outright, sponsors will have to collect a second round of 132,887 signatures to place it on the 2022 ballot. In 2015, Ohio voters defeated Issue 3 with a margin of 63.65% to 36.35%.

In Arkansas, voters could decide on two marijuana initiatives. One initiative would decriminalize marijuana, give limited immunity to cannabis businesses, and create regulations on the cannabis industry. The other would legalize marijuana use for individuals 21 years of age and older regardless of residency. Both campaigns have until July 8, 2022, to collect 89,151 valid signatures.

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Callista Gingrich Commentary: Protecting America’s First Freedom

On January 15, during a Sabbath service at the Congregation Beth Israel synagogue in Colleyville, Texas, four worshipers were taken hostage by Malik Faisal Akram.  Thankfully, all four hostages were freed, but that does not erase the evil and hate surrounding this terrorist attack.

Using Jewish worshippers as hostages to force the release of an imprisoned convicted terrorist was the explicit motive of Akram, as made clear by his statements during the attack.  The Washington Post reported, “Akram chose this place, according to people who heard him on the live stream, because it appeared to be the closest assemblage of Jews to a federal facility in Fort Worth where an American-educated Pakistani convicted terrorist is serving an 86-year sentence for shooting at U.S. soldiers and FBI agents.”

Ironically, the day after this horrific attack, the United States observed National Religious Freedom Day, which commemorates the passage of the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom in 1786.  This law later inspired and shaped the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

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IRS Will Soon Require Face-Scans to Access Certain Online Tax Features

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will soon require taxpayers to submit a scan of their face in order to access certain features and tax records.

The change, first reported on by Krebs on Security, will force users to sign into the IRS website through an account with third-party firm ID.me, and provide a government identification document with their photo alongside a selfie to verify their identity, according to the IRS website.

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Amazon and Facebook Spent More Money Than Ever Lobbying in 2021

Amazon and Facebook parent company Meta spent more money in 2021 lobbying lawmakers and officials than any year before, according to lobbying disclosure filings.

Amazon spent $20.3 million on lobbying while Meta spent $20.1 million in 2021, according to a review of lobbying disclosure filings by MarketWatch. The figures are record totals for both tech companies, who spent $18.9 million and $19.7 million on lobbying in 2020, respectively.

Google’s lobbying spend for 2021 clocked in at $11.5 million, while Microsoft spent $10.3 million and Apple spent $6.5 million, according to MarketWatch’s review.

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Jobless Claims Soar Past Economists’ Projections

Unemployment sign

The number of Americans who filed new unemployment claims increased to 286,000 in the week ending Jan. 15, as the labor market continues to recover after surging COVID-19 cases.

The Labor Department figure shows a 55,000 claim increase compared to the week ending Jan. 8 when claims increased to 231,000. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal expected claims would decrease to 225,000, MarketWatch reported.

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Arizona Democratic Party Censures Senator Sinema over Filibuster Stance

The Arizona Democratic Party executive committee approved a resolution on Saturday to censure Senator Krysten Sinema (D-AZ) because of her stance on the filibuster in the U.S. Senate.

Because of the long-standing rule that requires a 60 vote-threshold to advance certain pieces of legislation, Democrats were unable to advance “voting rights” bills.

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Florida Petition Signature Fraud Reported Amid DeSantis Election Security Proposal

As political partisans weigh-in against Governor DeSantis’ election security proposal which calls for an election oversight police force, recent reports indicate the presence of petition signature fraud in at least six Florida counties related to a gambling petition drive.

The election security proposal by DeSantis would put in place a special police force to help regulate state elections. The Office of Election Crimes and Security would be created in the Department of State. The proposal seeks approximately $6 million to hire 52 people to enforce election laws.

Critics note that the law could be used to intimidate voters.

“My number one concern is that this is going to be used as a tool to harass or intimidate civic-engagement organizations and voters,” said Jonathan Diaz, a voting rights lawyer with the Campaign Legal Center.

One state legislator pointed out the new office is not needed since Florida has had no issues during recent elections.

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Arizona Attorney General Brnovich Leads Coalition to Defend North Carolina’s Voter ID Law at the Supreme Court

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich is getting involved in another fight to combat election fraud, this time leading a coalition of eight other attorneys general in an amicus curiae brief at the Supreme Court regarding North Carolina’s voter ID law. They argued in Berger v. North Carolina State Conference of the NAACP that North Carolina’s General Assembly should be able to defend the law in court instead of Democratic North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper, since he opposed the law.

“It is incumbent on public servants to stand up and defend laws when others cower to political pressure,” Brnovich said in a statement. “I am proud that our recent win at the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the ability of states to administer elections and pass laws to protect the results.”

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Virginia Withdraws from Lawsuit over Mississippi Abortion Law

Virginia’s new Attorney General has withdrawn the state from a landmark lawsuit that could determine the legality of abortion nationwide. 

“Following the change in Administration on January 15, 2022, the Attorney General has reconsidered Virginia’s position in this case,” Attorney General Jason Miyares’ office said in a letter addressed to the Supreme Court. “The purpose of this letter is to notify the Court that Virginia no longer adheres to the arguments contained in its previously filed brief. Virginia is now of the view that the Constitution is silent on question of abortion, and that it is therefore up to the people in the several States to determine the legal status and regulatory treatment of abortion.”

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Georgia Felon Sentenced to More Than 50 Years in Prison for Violent Crime Spree

Federal officials in Savannah have sentenced a violent felon to more than 50 years in federal prison for attempted robbery, carjacking, and firearms offenses in Chatham and Ware counties. Court officials also said that that man, Alfred Wisher, 39, of Savannah sexually abused a juvenile at gunpoint during his crime spree.

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Bill Strips Ohio School Districts’ Ability to Challenge Property Valuations

Ohio State House

Property owners could be spared challenges to property valuations from local school districts and the potential of higher property taxes if a bill recently passed by the Ohio Senate clears the House and is signed by Gov. Mike DeWine.

Amended House Bill 126 stops local school districts from initiating challenges to property tax valuations and appealing a decision from the board of revision to the board of tax appeals if a property owner filed a challenge.

The Ohio School Boards Association (OSBA) called the legislation an overreach, while the Ohio Chamber of Commerce and the Ohio Realtors Association supported the bill and recently penned an opinion piece on it.

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Wisconsin Politicians, Abortion Organizations Call on State Legislators to Pass Abortion Rights Preservation Act on 49th Anniversary of Roe

Wisconsin politicians and abortion organizations took to Twitter to ask state legislators to pass the Abortion Rights Preservation Act on Saturday, the 49th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade court decision. A Better Wisconsin, a self-proclaimed research and communications organization for progressives, tweeted out, “Together, we must ensure that abortions are legal and safe for ALL who seek one.”

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Pennsylvania State Rep. Sturla Pitches New Sales Tax for Local Purposes

A Pennsylvania lawmaker wants to allow counties to enact a 1% sales tax that local municipalities can use to shore up pension obligations, maintain core services or put to other uses.

State Rep. Michael Sturla, D-Lancaster, spelled out the proposal in a legislative memorandum.

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Georgia Sues Biden Administration over Rejecting Medicaid Work Requirement

Georgia has filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration for rejecting the work requirement and premium proposal in Gov. Brian Kemp’s partial Medicaid expansion plan.

The plan, called Georgia Pathways, was approved by the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in October 2020 under former President Donald Trump.

President Joe Biden’s CMS sent a letter to Georgia officials in December, rescinding the selected parts of the plan because they counteract with the objectives of the program.

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53 Year Old Minnesota TikToker Pleads Guilty to Impersonating Federal Agent

A 53 year old Minnesota TikToker pled guilty to impersonating a federal agent on Friday. According to the District of Minnesota U.S. Attorney’s Office, the TikToker had over 10,000 followers on his account where he used a fraudulent name and pretended to be a federal agent with the United States Department of Homeland Security.

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Legislative Committee Members Grill Michigan Health Director over Nursing Home COVID Deaths

Michigan may never know the actual number of deaths resulting from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s executive order to place COVID-19 patients in long-term care (LTC) facilities.

That conclusion was the only verifiable takeaway from Thursday’s Senate and House Joint Oversight Committee meeting, where state senators and representatives grilled Michigan Auditor General Doug Ringler, Deputy Auditor General and Director of Audit Operations Laura Hirst, and Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Director Elizabeth Hertel.

The committee meeting spotlighted sharp differences between the Democratic Whitmer administration and the nonpartisan Auditor General (AG). It also brought into stark view thepartisan divisions between Senate and House legislators; namely, Democrats who either disparaged the AG’s methodology or defended Whitmer’s EO 2020-50; and Republicans, who argued the governor erred when she issued the order, and depicted the administration’s underreporting of the number of LTC deaths as a cover-up for her failed policy.

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