Justice Clarence Thomas Hospitalized with Flu-Like Symptoms, Supreme Court Says

Justice Clarence Thomas

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has been in a Washington, D.C., hospital since Friday with flu-like symptoms, according to an announcement from the court.

“He underwent tests, was diagnosed with an infection, and is being treated with intravenous antibiotics. His symptoms are abating, he is resting comfortably, and he expects to be released from the hospital in a day or two,” the press release stated.

“Justice Thomas will participate in the consideration and discussion of any cases for which he is not present on the basis of the briefs, transcripts, and audio of the oral arguments,” according to the court.

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Republican Leaders Believe Tennessee School Funding Formula Will Pass This Session

As Sen. Jon Lundberg began Wednesday’s Senate Education Committee meeting, he joked the committee would not be getting to all 121 bills on the calendar.

That included the first thing on the body’s regular calendar: the new public school funding formula dubbed the Tennessee Investment in Student Achievement (TISA).

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Commentary: Republicans Are Poised for a Strong Midterm as Poll Numbers Show Strong Discontent Among Democratic and Independent Voters

Thirty-seven percent of Democrats and 62 percent of Independents say America is on the wrong track, according to the latest Reuters-Ipsos poll conducted from March 14 to March 15, signaling strong discontent among Democratic and Democratic-leaning voters headed into the Nov. 2022 Congressional midterms.

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Largest Treehouse Resort in the World Is Coming to the Smoky Mountains

The largest treehouse resort in the world is coming soon to the Smoky Mountain area of East Tennessee. The Sanctuary Treehouse Resort will be the world’s largest resort of its kind, situated on 40 acres in the Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee, according to the resort’s owners.

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ATC Drivetrain Announces New Manufacturing Operations in Knoxville

On Wednesday, Governor Bill Lee, Department of Economic and Community Development (TNECD) Commissioner Bob Rolfe, and ATC Drivetrain officials announced the company has selected Knoxville as the location for its newest manufacturing facility.

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Internet News ‘Truth Arbiter’ NewsGuard Won’t Say That Americans Should Trust Them After Hunter Biden Laptop Debacle

After its CEO suggested the now-infamous Hunter Biden laptop story was Russian Russian disinformation, NewsGuard, the self-styled arbiter of internet truth, is not backing down. 

“My personal opinion is there’s a high likelihood this story is a hoax, maybe even a hoax perpetrated by the Russians again,” NewsGuard CEO Steve Brill said on CNBC just before the 2020 presidential election. 

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Another Company Offers ‘Match Opportunity’ for Minnesota Freedom Fund Donations

Another leading Minnesota company matches employee donations to a nonprofit that has bailed out a repeat sex offender and numerous other violent criminals.

Medtronic, a biomedical engineering company that employs over 90,000 people worldwide and houses its operational headquarters in Minneapolis, provides a “match opportunity” for employees when they donate to the Minnesota Freedom Fund, according to a screenshot provided to Alpha News.

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Gov. DeSantis Signs Bill Ending End-of-Year Florida Standards Assessment Test

Gov. Ron DeSantis’ signed SB 1048 into law, which replaces the Florida Standards Assessment test, the major end-of-year exam students take with a new assessment called Florida Assessment of Student Thinking (FAST).

He announced the new system at Florosa Elementary School in Okaloosa County along with parents and teachers. Okaloosa County was among the first where students attended in-person instruction while students throughout the country were still at home, DeSantis said.

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Virginia’s 10th District GOP Picks Canvass to Nominate a Challenger to Rep. Wexton

Virginia’s Tenth Congressional District has attracted 11 candidates for the GOP nomination canvass, scheduled to be held on May 21. After redistricting, Republicans see an opportunity to defeat incumbent Representative Jennifer Wexton (D-Virginia-10).

“We think we’ve got a really good shot at winning this, and I think that’s why we have 11 candidates running,” Tenth District GOP Chairman Geary Higgins told The Virginia Star.

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Republicans Outraise Democrats by 88 Percent in Arizona House Races

Reginald Bolding and Mark Finchem

Campaign finance requirements govern how much money candidates may receive from individuals and organizations, how often they must report those contributions, and how much individuals, organizations, and political entities may contribute to campaigns.

While campaign finance is not the only factor in electoral outcomes, successful fundraising can provide a candidate with advantages during a campaign. Fundraising can also indicate party momentum.

This article lists top fundraisers in the Arizona House of Representatives, overall and by party. It is based on campaign finance reports that officeholders in and candidates for the House submitted to the Arizona Secretary of State. It includes activity between Jan. 1, 2021, and Dec. 31, 2021.

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Rochester Schools Paid $188,750 to Settle Lawsuit over District’s Dossier of Critical Parents

Rochester Community Schools (RCS) paid $188,750 to settle a lawsuit accusing the district of collecting a dossier of parents critical of school policies and calling one parent’s employer, leading to the parent’s dismissal.

The Center Square reported the lawsuit in February but couldn’t find the settlement amount except through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

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U.S. Senate Candidate Leora Levy Blasts Blumenthal over Stock Trading Controversy

U.S. Senate candidate Leora Levy blasted Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) over a controversy that centers around an ethics complaint against the lawmaker.

“Richard Blumenthal parsing & denying that he owns individual stocks is the 2022 version of ‘It depends on what the meaning of is, is…’ Just another double-speaking career politician who has lost his perspective on truth,” the candidate tweeted.

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New Local Taxes for Public Transit May Be on the Way for Some Pennsylvania Counties

Public transportation funding has been a growing concern in some cities, and a proposed bill could give some Pennsylvania counties the authority to levy local taxes to support their transit systems.

Rep. Tim Hennessey, R-Chester/Montgomery, introduced HB2366 to grant Allegheny, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties the ability to levy taxes “​​for transit and transportation systems and transportation infrastructure.”

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Commentary: Weird Things Happen When People Are Blindfolded for 96 Hours

brunette woman with a blindfold on

Vision is the primary way that humans sense the world, so what happens when you suddenly strip sight away? In 2004, researchers at Harvard Medical School found out.

Alvaro Pascual-Leone, a Professor of Neurology, led a team that blindfolded thirteen healthy young adults for 96 hours straight. During that time, as part of a broader study, participants were taught braille for four hours a day, engaged in tactile stimulation activities like puzzles and clay modeling, took daily brain scans, and otherwise lived their lives – they got dressed, they ate, they walked around, and they went to the gym, all in total, numbing darkness.

“A specially designed blindfold was worn that prevented all light perception,” the researchers described. “It was held in place by a Velcro strap and further secured by Ace bandages. The blindfold permitted full motion of the eyes as well as opening and closing of eyelids. Potential tampering with the blindfold by the subjects was controlled with the use of a piece of photographic paper attached to the inside of the blindfold.”

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Commentary: Citizenship, Immigration, and the Great Society

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

The Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and the Immigration Act of 1965 formed the core of the Great Society. Together, they became what some have called the “Second Reconstruction.” Professor Gabriel Chin noted that  “[i]n a remarkable fifteen-month span between July 1964 and October 1965 . . . these laws unquestionably marked a turning point in American history and dramatically changed American society.” 

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Virginia Ranks in Top Tier in New Report on Public Health Emergency Preparedness

The 2022 report from Trust for America’s Health placed Virginia in the top of three tiers for state readiness to respond to health emergencies, along with Maryland, 15 other states, and Washington, D.C. That’s the third time in a row for Virginia to hit the top ranking.

“This ongoing and repeated validation of Virginia’s public health emergency preparedness is a testament to the hard work of the thousands of employees of the Virginia Department of Health who day in and day out are focused on protecting the health and promoting the well-being of Virginians,” Acting State Health Commissioner Colin M. Greene, MD, MPH said in a joint press release from the Virginia Department of Health and the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association. “Our ongoing attention to preparedness means that when we are faced with situations such as this pandemic or severe weather events or calculated attacks, we have systems, guidance, relationships and community partnerships in place to launch a comprehensive response.”

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Hundreds of Yale Students Protest Free Speech Event Featuring Progressive and Conservative Speakers

A free speech event hosted at Yale University that featured both conservative and progressive speakers was shouted down last week by over 100 far-left radicals from the university’s law school.

According to the Washington Free Beacon, the panel was hosted on March 10th by the Yale Federalist Society, and featured Monica Miller of the left-wing American Humanist Association, and Kristen Waggoner of the conservative Alliance Defending Freedom. The purpose of the panel was to demonstrate that even two activists with such different political beliefs could agree on several things when it comes to the assault on freedom of speech in America today, as both groups had been involved in at least one Supreme Court case together dealing with violations of the First Amendment, when the Court sided with a Christian student in a Georgia university who was initially forbidden from preaching on campus.

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Lawmakers Want Georgia’s Labor Department to Stop Garnishing Wages

More than two dozen Georgia lawmakers want the state’s Department of Labor to stop garnishing the tax refunds of Georgians who are appealing possible Unemployment Insurance benefit overpayments.

More than 30 state legislators sent a letter Friday to Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler, asking the department to stop the garnishments and return the garnished wages until the appeals are resolved.

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American Elites Have Deep Ties to a New Chinese Spy Chief

The new deputy head of a propaganda and espionage agency in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has documented ties with business tycoons, university heads and other elite members of American society.

Chen Xu, former party secretary of one of the PRC’s most prestigious universities, Tsinghua, was promoted to deputy head of the United Front Work Department (UFWD), according to an updated leadership roster on the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) portal, which was first reported in Chinese media on Feb. 28.

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State Legislative Races Removed from Ohio’s May 3 Primary

Ohio voters will not be able to decide on candidates for the state Legislature during the May 3 primary after the state Supreme Court struck down new district maps for the third time.

In a letter to House and Senate leadership and Gov. Mike DeWine, Secretary of State Frank LaRose said it was no longer logistically possible to include district-specific legislative races on the ballots.

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Commentary: New Afghanistan Report Warns of China’s Emerging Role

man in green jacket standing through sun roof in a moving vehicle

At a time of tectonic shifts in foreign policy alliances, with Russia and China forming a new pact and aggressively asserting themselves on the international stage, Washington’s national security community is splintered across the ideological spectrum on how best to counter the dual threats.

Yet, even before Russia invaded Ukraine, a group of national security practitioners, military veterans, and scholars began trying to move beyond their policy differences to help repair the damage inflicted by the last U.S. foreign policy failure – the chaotic U.S. evacuation from Afghanistan nearly seven months ago.

When the Vandenberg Coalition, a group of primarily Republican experts representing diverse foreign policy views and approaches, began their Afghanistan assessment, its members couldn’t have known that international alarm over Russia’s bloody land grab would soon eclipse the U.S. evacuation of Afghanistan. Some national security experts believe that the two U.S. foreign policy nightmares are inextricably linked – that America’s ignominious retreat in Afghanistan emboldened Vladimir Putin to move on Ukraine.

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Ukraine Crisis Will Accelerate China’s Push for the Yuan as an International Currency

Xi Jinping

For years, Beijing has pushed to have the Chinese yuan accepted as an international currency, while countries unfriendly to the U.S. such as Venezuela, Iran, Russia, and North Korea have been looking for a dollar alternative for international trade. Western economic sanctions against Russia are now accelerating talks between Moscow and Beijing about finding “workaround” solutions, as Federal Reserve Chairman Jay Powell is warning the invasion of Ukraine may step up Beijing’s efforts to cut its dependency on the dollar.

Over the past decade, it has irked Beijing that, in spite of being the number two economic power, China’s currency has never become truly international. Technically, the yuan’s admission to the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) Special Drawing Rights currencies (SDR) in 2016 makes the yuan an international currency. In practice, however, the yuan has very limited internationalization. Only 10.9% of the SDR is comprised of yuan. The only country which recognizes the yuan as an official currency is China, whereas about 15 countries use the U.S. dollar as their only official currency or an additional official currency.

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Corporations Go Out of Their Way to Help Employees Get Abortions

Corporations, including Citigroup, Apple and Match, are helping their employees undergo abortions in light of new, state-level restrictions.

Citigroup announced a policy of covering travel costs for U.S.-based employees seeking abortions “in response to changes in reproductive healthcare laws in certain states” in a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing. The policy will cover airfare and lodging, according to Bloomberg.

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Jobless Claims Decrease by 15,000

The number of Americans who filed new unemployment claims decreased to 214,000 in the week ending March 12, the lowest level since the beginning of 2022, the Department of Labor announced Thursday.

The Labor Department figure showed a decrease of 15,000 compared to the week ending March 5, when new claims numbered just 227,000, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The week’s claims were below predictions of economists surveyed by Dow Jones, who estimated that new claims reported Thursday would total 220,000.

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