Facing intensifying criticism from Democratic lawmakers, journalists, and even some federal judges for not seeking harsher punishment against January 6 protesters, Attorney General Merrick Garland finally produced charges to appease his detractors. Last week, more than a year after the so-called insurrection, Garland charged 11 members of the Oath Keepers with seditious conspiracy.
The star of the new indictment, handed down by a grand jury on January 12, is Stewart Rhodes, the founder of the alleged militia group. (His co-defendants were charged with several other offenses months ago.)
Rhodes, described only as “person one” for nearly a year in numerous criminal indictments related to his organization, has been a free man since January 6, 2021, raising plausible suspicions that he may have been a government informant at the time. After all, the FBI has a longstanding pattern of infiltrating fringe groups such as the Oath Keepers and moving them to commit indictable crimes. Read More
On Friday, Democratic Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers vetoed five bills restricting abortion that were passed by the Republican-majority state legislature.
“I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again today: as long as I’m governor, I will veto any legislation that turns back the clock on reproductive rights in this state—and that’s a promise,” Evers tweeted.
He said he firmly opposed all five bills, which would have restricted abortion by allowing third parties to pursue damage claims in cases of unwanted abortions and requiring more stringent reporting requirements on patients and providers, according to The Hill.
One of the bills, the Shield the Vulnerable Act, would have banned abortions performed on the basis of race, sex, or disability diagnosis of the unborn baby. It would have also allowed third parties such as a spouse, partner, or family member of a woman to bring damages to court if they did not want her to have the abortion, the news outlet reported. Read More
In response to the Kyle Rittenhouse case, Kenosha’s three Democratic lawmakers have introduced a plan to make it illegal for anyone under 18 to carry a rifle or a shotgun unless they are hunting.
“While Wisconsin law generally prohibits a minor from possessing a dangerous weapon, there is an exception which allows a minor to possess a long gun or rifle if the barrel is longer than 16 inches,” Sen. Bob Wirch, D-Somers, along with Reps. Tod Ohnstad, D-Kenosha, and Tip McGuire, D-Kenosha, said in a statement. “The exception was made to respect Wisconsin’s sporting heritage. This bill simply clarifies that a minor may only possess a long gun or rifle if they are legally hunting and in compliance with hunting laws.”
Prosecutors in the Rittenhouse case tried to charge him with illegal possession of a firearm, but that charge was dropped because Wisconsin law allows some teenagers to carry certain rifles and shotguns. Read More
U.S. Representative Andy Biggs (R-AZ-05) advised both Democratic and Republican lawmakers that they will regret the passage of a $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill passed earlier this month.
Pointing to the rising cost of energy consumption and many other services, Biggs described that the new legislation may impose added “inflationary pressure.” Read More
Several state lawmakers want the Minnesota School Boards Association to withdraw from the national affiliate after it compared concerned parents to domestic terrorists.
The National School Boards Association wrote to President Joe Biden in September regarding an alleged increase in “acts of malice, violence, and threats against public school officials.”
The infamous letter described this alleged behavior as “equivalent to a form of domestic terrorism and hate crimes.” Read More
Surrounded by states that have legalized sports betting, some Minnesota lawmakers will push to create additional tax revenue and entertainment next session.
Rep. Zack Stephenson, DFL-Coon Rapids, held a press conference to announce his plan to pursue legalized sports betting.
“Minnesotans deserve the chance to engage in safe and legal sports betting right here in Minnesota,” Stephenson said. “That is why I am announcing I will lead an effort to legalize sports betting during the next regular session of the Legislature.” Read More
ASouth Carolina congressman has introduced legislation to open a dozen new ports of entry in America, seeking to shift the burden of President Joe Biden’s border crisis from Texas to wealthy enclaves favored by Democrats like Martha’s Vineyard, New York’s trendy suburbs and Silicon Valley.
Rep. Ralph Norman, a Republican, said he introduced the Stop the Surge Act last week as a companion to similar Senate legislation sought by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas). It would require all future illegal aliens captured at the border to be shipped to the wealthy, liberal enclaves.
“All these prosperous areas that you see, you know, million dollar houses, let’s send them there,” Norman told John Solomon Reports podcast. “And let’s let them exercise what they claim to be compassion on illegals. Read More
The Democrats’ reconciliation package will likely include more than $500 billion worth of climate provisions, more than the entire Department of Energy budget, the White House said, according to The Hill.
The budget represents an opportunity for “historic investment in climate change,” White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain said during an event hosted by The Hill on Tuesday evening. The likely price tag for climate programs included in the bill is likely to fall somewhere between $500 billion and $555 billion, Axios previously reported. Read More
The red state/blue state dichotomy is not simple.
Nowhere is that more apparent than Tennessee where—despite having one of the most conservative electorates in the country—the leadership has been passive at best in responding to the wishes of their supporters during these days of great crisis. Read More
Another former Facebook employee filed a whistleblower complaint Friday with the Securities and Exchange Commission alleging that the tech giant misled its investors by failing to combat the spread of hate and misinformation on its platform, The Washington Post reported.
The former employee, whose name is not yet public, alleged that Facebook executives chose not to pursue adequate content moderation policies related to hate speech and misinformation for the sake of maximizing profits. The complaint also alleges that Facebook did not do enough about alleged Russian misinformation on the platform for fear of upsetting former President Donald Trump.
In particular, the complaint alleges that Trump and his associates received preferential treatment, according to the Post. Read More
Top lawmakers in the House Judiciary antitrust subcommittee met with Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen on Thursday, a person familiar with the matter confirmed to the Daily Caller News Foundation.
Democratic Rep. David Cicilline, who chairs the subcommittee, and Republican Rep. Ken Buck, who serves as ranking member, held a meeting with Haugen to discuss Facebook and issues related to social media competition, Politico first reported, citing two sources. A person familiar with the matter confirmed the meeting to the DCNF, and said the lawmakers also discussed potential antitrust reforms, as well as matters related to privacy and social media algorithms.
Buck and Cicilline worked together to advance a series of antitrust bills targeting major tech companies out of the House Judiciary Committee in June, and have both advocated for breaking up Facebook and other large platforms. The antitrust bills are currently set to reach the House floor in November. Read More
Tennessee lawmakers in the General Assembly introduced a bill Friday that would ensure that Tennesseans who quit their jobs over vaccine mandates receive unemployment benefits. Representative Rusty Grills (R-Newbern) is sponsoring the bill while Representative Jason Zachary (R-Knoxville) signed on as a co-sponsor.
Currently, voluntarily quitting a job typically disqualifies someone from receiving unemployment. In some cases, the vaccine requirements, including from President Biden, include a weekly COVID-19 testing option. Read More
Ten years after Act 10 became law and changed what Wisconsin school teachers can include in their school contracts, Democratic lawmakers in the state continue to try and roll it back.
Sen. Chris Larson, D-Milwaukee, and a handful of Democrats this week introduce what they are calling the Collective Bargaining for Public Education Act.
“Wisconsin’s public education sector has a unique and critical role to play in our state. To ensure the effectiveness of these institutions, we rely on highly qualified individuals and their talents to move our state forward,” Larson said in a statement. “The legislation we have introduced establishes the right of employees of school districts, CESAs, technical college districts, and the UW System to collectively bargain over wages, hours, and conditions of employment.” Read More
A number of Pennsylvania educators said Thursday the Department of Health hands down COVID-19 mitigation orders and doesn’t back them up when it comes to enforcement, leaving schools in a difficult spot.
Michael Bromirski, superintendent of Hempfield School District in Lancaster County, told the Senate Education Committee that since pandemic mitigation rules lifted earlier this summer, school districts no longer handle quarantine orders for students exposed to the virus after the department told them it’s the state’s responsibility – and authority – to do so.
Except, parents rarely receive such instructions, generating confusion and frustration. Read More
A bipartisan group of 32 state attorneys general sent a letter to leading lawmakers in the House and Senate on Monday urging the passage of a series of antitrust bills targeting major technology companies.
The letter, led by attorneys general Phil Weiser of Colorado, Douglas Peterson of Nebraska, Letitia James of New York, and Herbert H. Slatery III of Tennessee, was addressed to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. The attorneys general urged Congress to modernize federal antitrust laws and enhance consumer protections by passing a series of bills introduced in the House Judiciary Committee in June that target big tech companies.
“A comprehensive update of federal antitrust laws has not occurred in decades,” the attorneys general wrote. “The sponsors of these bills should be commended for working to ensure that federal antitrust laws remain robust and keep pace with that of modern markets.” Read More
New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez may have violated a myriad of House ethics rules for attending the ritzy Met Gala on Monday evening while wearing a “tax the rich” dress, a conservative watchdog group alleged in a complaint obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation.
The watchdog group, National Legal and Policy Center, alleged in a complaint filed with the Office of Congressional Ethics on Thursday that Ocasio-Cortez’s acceptance of free tickets to the event, which reportedly run at $35,000 apiece, for both herself and her boyfriend violated House Gift Rules. The group also alleged that Ocasio-Cortez received a prohibited gift from a paid attendee of the Met Gala by sitting at a sponsored table during the event, which are reportedly valued at up to $300,000.
In addition, the watchdog group alleged that Ocasio-Cortez may have accepted prohibited in-kind gifts due to her use of her custom-designed “tax the rich” dress and other services and amenities. Read More
Anew poll on the recall election for California Gov. Gavin Newsom shows voters appear essentially locked into their position on whether to remove the embattled Democrat lawmaker.
The poll released Thursday by the nonpartisan The Public Policy Institute of California found 58% of likely voters surveyed oppose removing the governor from office, compared to 39% who support recalling him.
The numbers are largely consistent with those the pollsters collected in March and May – 40% to 56% and 40% to 57%, respectively, in the largely Democrat-leaning state. Read More
The State Department is endangering the lives of Americans and others still in Afghanistan, lawmakers and others allege, even as the State Department claims it has accomplished an unprecedented, global evacuation effort.
Military veteran Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas) who has called on President Biden to resign over Afghanistan, is calling on Americans to demand that Secretary of State Antony Blinken get stranded Americans out of Afghanistan immediately. Read More
The battle to “Save Women’s Sports” resulted in a slew of legislation banning biological males from girls’ sports and conversations on the national stage about gender, sex, individual dignity, and much more. Now the advocacy groups behind this push are assembling to battle the next burgeoning culture war issue — transgender sex change surgeries and procedures for minors.
Progressive activists, media, lawmakers, and even some medical professionals call such procedures “gender affirming medical care” and protest that denying an individual this “care” is cruel, regardless of age. Republican Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson vetoed the state’s SAFE Act in April, arguing that the legislation was a “vast government overreach” and that it shouldn’t jump into every ethical issue.
But advocacy groups like the Family Policy Alliance (FPA) insist these procedures irrevocably hurt children. And backed by a network of about 40 independent, state-based family policy councils, FPA aims to multiply the number of states across the nation that legally protect children from gender transition. Read More
Despite calls for increased regulation of the tech industry, Congress has yet to pass any major legislation, leaving it up to the states to take action curbing tech companies’ power and influence.
Meanwhile, state legislatures have introduced and enacted legislation on data privacy, antitrust, and content moderation, while state attorneys general have issued a number of legal challenges alleging anticompetitive business practices. Read More
House lawmakers are set to return from recess Monday and will likely take up the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill the Senate passed last week — and with it, a controversial and last-minute cryptocurrency tax provision.
The bill contains a tax reporting mandate forcing cryptocurrency “brokers” to disclose gains and transactions to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as part of a scheme designed to help cover part of the infrastructure bill’s cost. However, the bill’s definition of “broker” has been criticized by the cryptocurrency community and pro-crypto lawmakers as vague, expansive and potentially unworkable, with many fearing it could stifle the industry and force crypto companies to collect personal information on their customers.
The provision defines a broker as “any person who is responsible for regularly providing any service effectuating transfers of digital assets on behalf of another person,” and forces brokers to report transactions to the IRS in a form similar to a 1099. This means brokers have to collect and report customer information such as names, addresses, and taxpayer identification numbers. Read More
The leaders of the Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) knew as early as Jan. 6 they erred in developing qualifications for benefits, but didn’t tell the 700,000 Michiganders affected for nearly six months.
The Detroit News first broke the story.
After Jan. 6, the UIA tried to retroactively charge some benefit recipients up to $27,000 for the state’s mistake, instead of admitting it erred. Read More
The state has been paying some Ohio farmers for the past two years in an effort to reduce Lake Erie water contamination, and at least one city has spent two decades dumping sewage into the lake with little punishment.
Rep. Jon Cross, R-Kenton, said he wants that to change and has proposed legislation that would ban cities from dumping sewage into Lake Erie and increase fines for violators.
“Instead of blaming northwest Ohio farmers, we should thank them for their work to help reduce Lake Erie algae,” Cross said. “The vast majority of farmers are good stewards of the environment.” Read More
Ohio churches, businesses, schools or any nongovernment group no longer can partner with local boards of election to help educate or register voters or for anything related to voting or an election.
An Ohio state representative wants that changed.
The election reforms passed as part of the state budget after failing to make it out of the House when they were introduced with other election changes as a standalone bill. The new law prohibits any public official from collaborating with nongovernmental groups or individuals on any election-related activity. Read More
With President Biden pressing on with attacks against America’s oil and natural gas workers to push his environmental agenda, it’s past time to shed a little light on the failure he’s promoting. He may claim that his proposal to produce 80% of America’s electricity through non-carbon sources is a bold new idea, it’s actually a green failure that he’s trying to recycle…and we’ve got the receipts from two states to prove it.
Let me introduce you to California and Arizona, two neighboring states where one has embraced the Biden Green Plan for years while the other rejected it. Rest assured, Biden, John Kerry, and their army of eco warriors are hoping you ignore the following inconvenient truths. Read More
In November 2018, Arizona voters soundly defeated Prop 127 by a margin of more than 2 to 1. The ballot measure was heavily pushed by former presidential candidate current extreme eco-leftist billionaire Tom Steyer. Similar to Biden’s plan, Prop 127 required Arizona to get 50 percent of its power from “renewable” sources by 2030. Keep in mind, these are the same voters that would elect a Democrat to the US Senate and give its electoral votes to Biden just two years later, tipping the presidential race toward the left. In other words, Prop 127, less restrictive than the Biden plan, proved to be too extreme for down-the-middle voters.
Additional childcare subsidies provided during the COVID-19 pandemic will be extended until the end of 2021, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam announced Wednesday.
The state program, which provides financial assistance for childcare services, temporarily loosened the eligibility requirements through July 31, 2021. Northam directed the Virginia Department of Education to continue covering copayments through December 31, using federal COVID-19 relief funds.
“Access to high-quality child care is not only critical to the health and safety of Virginia’s children, but it is also important for advancing a strong, equitable recovery,” Northam said in a statement. “Extending these resources through the end of 2021 will help close the affordability gap for parents and providers, allowing thousands of Virginians to return to work, support their families, and grow our economy.” Read More
Are you having a hard time understanding why the housing market is heating up, and why the cost of essentials such as milk, eggs, and gas is climbing? Are you in the market for a used car? Then you know how expensive those are right now. And why can’t businesses find employees, yet millions remain unemployed? Economists agree the recovery isn’t like anything we’ve seen before. That’s because we’ve never had a situation before where the heavy hand of government shut down private enterprises on a nationwide scale. The market distortions are enormous. As states reopen, there is a herky-jerky feel to the economy that has many people unsettled.
Former Federal Reserve vice chairman Alan Blinder wrote in the Wall Street Journal recently, “the recovery is not linear. Rather, it is proceeding in fits and starts. Sales of physical goods, for example, dipped only briefly when Covid hit, recovered quickly, and are now well above their pre-pandemic levels. In stark contrast, businesses that deliver personal services, such as restaurants and hotels, suffered a devastating depression and are still below their pre-pandemic levels.”
By far the most uneven outcome so far since the economy crashed in spring 2000, besides the 7.6 million fewer jobs compared to pre-pandemic levels, has been inflation, which is up 5 percent the past 12 months. Read More
Hundreds of people concerned about the integrity of the Nov. 2020 election gathered outside the Michigan Capitol Thursday to protest and deliver roughly 7,000 affidavits claiming fraud and demanding a forensic audit.
Michigan Conservation Coalition spokesperson Matt Seely said thousands of Michigan voters have questioned the integrity of the 2020 election.
“If we do a deep-dive forensic audit similar to Arizona, it will do either one of two things. It will prove that all of the politicians who say there’s nothing to see there, that they were right. Or it will prove that there’s a big problem with the integrity of our elections and that we need to address it in a major way,” he told The Center Square in a phone interview. Read More
The U.S. Capitol Police on Monday morning conducted what it called a “routine” training exercise on the grounds of the Capitol. The stagecraft, almost five months to the day from the January 6 protest, involved emergency vehicles and helicopters. The agency warned area residents not to be “alarmed,” which of course was the exact reaction USCP wanted.
Call it insurrection theater. The USCP has acted as the Democratic Party’s stormtroopers since January 6, attacking peaceful Americans during the protest, lying about the death of officer Brian Sicknick, and now making officers available for embarrassing cable news hits where they share their hurt feelings and the permanent trauma they’ve suffered since enduring the supposedly harrowing ordeal. The distressed officers, however, seem just fine with the fact that a still-unidentified colleague shot and killed an unarmed woman, Air Force veteran Ashli Babbitt.
Capitol-employed apparatchiks have played a key role in shaping the narrative about what happened on January 6, all in service to their Democratic paymasters. Read More
Dennis Smith, an attorney and former Republican state legislator, announced his campaign for attorney general last week.
“I’m running for Attorney General to build a future Minnesotans deserve,” Smith said in a press release. “For too long, the office of Attorney General has been used for politics, and that must end!”
The position is currently occupied by Democrat Keith Ellison, whose office led the successful prosecution of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. Read More
Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott said Monday that he would veto funding for his state’s legislature after Democrats delayed the passage of an expansive elections bill.
Democrats in the state House quietly left the floor late Sunday with just hours to spare in the legislative session, preventing the bill from coming up for a vote. If signed into law, Senate Bill 7 would enhance voter ID provisions, empower partisan poll watchers and ban ballot drop boxes and drive-thru voting centers, which were used disproportionately in Texas’ biggest counties.
It would also make it easier to overturn an election in the state, allowing courts to throw out the results of an entire election if the amount of illegally cast votes exceeds the margin between two candidates, regardless of which candidate received more fraudulent votes. In 2020, there were just 43 documented cases of voter fraud, according to the Houston Chronicle. Read More
Two Ohio lawmakers plan to introduce a resolution next week calling for a convention of states to address the size of the federal government.
State Reps. Riordan McClain, R-Upper Sandusky, and Craig Riedel, R-Defiance, said they plan to introduce the resolution, which would create a convention that could discuss the topics of “limiting the power and jurisdiction of the federal government, term limits for Congress and other government officials, and fiscal restraints for the federal government.”
“The size and scope of the federal government have long been unsustainable, and we have waited long enough for Congress to fix itself,” McClain said. Read More
The two top lawmakers on the House Homeland Security Committee reached an agreement Friday on legislation that would create a bipartisan, 9/11-style commission to investigate the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
The bill, authored by Mississippi Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson and New York Republican Rep. John Katko, is focused exclusively on the attack and not other episodes of political violence as multiple Republicans earlier insisted. Though it has the support of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, it is unclear whether Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and other members of his caucus support it.
“I haven’t read through it,” McCarthy told reporters when asked about the bill Friday morning. Read More
Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott indicated Thursday that he will sign a heartbeat abortion bill banning abortions after the unborn baby has reached six weeks gestation.
Texas’ Heartbeat Act passed the state’s Senate Thursday. Abbott highlighted the bill’s passage in a tweet that noted the bill was “on its way to my desk for signing.” The governor also thanked Republican state lawmakers Bryan Hughes and Shelby Slawson for their leadership in introducing the legislation. Read More
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s COVID-19 recovery plan requires the state must reach 70% of Michiganders ages 16 and older with a first vaccine injection before dropping all COVID-19 restrictions.
But the state doesn’t know how many residents have already been vaccinated in other states unless residents give that information to the state health department. Read More
The speaker of the New York Assembly announced Thursday he authorized an impeachment investigation into allegations of misconduct against Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
“I am authorizing the Assembly Judiciary Committee to begin an impeachment investigation, led by Chair Charles D. Lavine, to examine allegations of misconduct against Governor Cuomo,” Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said in a press release.
“The reports of accusations concerning the governor are serious,” Heastie, a Democrat, said. “The committee will have the authority to interview witnesses, subpoena documents and evaluate evidence, as is allowed by the New York State Constitution.” Read More
A right-wing plot to storm the Capitol and remove lawmakers did not materialize on Thursday, after the FBI, DHS, and Capitol Police issued bulletins warning that they had intelligence identifying “credible threats” to that effect.
In dozens of reports, the corporate media hyped the “potential threat” of a QAnon uprising in our nation’s Capitol.
In response, the House of Representatives suspended its Thursday session and Capitol Police and National Guard troops went on “high alert.” Read More
Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said Monday that “faith-oriented” people in Congress have told her they “don’t believe in science.”
The California Democrat spoke Monday on the house floor where she discussed coronavirus relief and the recently approved vaccines, accusing the White House of spreading “quackery” notions of herd immunity. Read More