Virginia Extends Expanded Childcare Subsidies for the Rest of the Year

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.”

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Commentary: What Americans Lost When We Abandoned the Secret Ballot

Person putting mail-in ballot in ballot return box

My father likes to say that the secret ballot means that he doesn’t have to listen when I tell him how I voted. This joke conceals a serious point: Ballot secrecy is not just a right of the individual but also a guarantee to all that my vote was not wrung from me by bribery or intimidation.

Out of a desire to make voting “easier” and perhaps exaggerated fears of public gatherings during the pandemic, most U.S. jurisdictions permitted unrestricted mail-in balloting in 2020. What did Americans lose when ballot secrecy was attenuated or vanished altogether?

Make no mistake, ballot secrecy is incompatible with secure mail-in balloting. At the polls, we each go into a little booth and make our choices in private. By contrast, no one knows where a mail-in ballot was filled out, or if a party or union activist hovered over the voter or even filled in the circles. Nobody knows what inducements, whether cash or threats, were offered to ensure that the person voted “correctly.” And if the ballot was “harvested” – turned in to the vote-counters by activists instead of by voters themselves – our suspicions deepen.

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Three Scientists Remove Their Names from Lancet Statement Denouncing Lab-Leak Theory

Doctor with protective gloves handling vaccine

Although the magazine Lancet has doubled down on its efforts to defend China and claim that there is no evidence behind the lab-leak theory of the coronavirus origins, three prominent scientists who originally agreed with this assessment were absent from the magazine’s latest statement, according to the Washington Free Beacon.

On July 5th, the magazine published yet another statement, with numerous signatories, claiming that there is no “scientifically validated evidence” to suggest that the coronavirus pandemic originated at the suspicious Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV). Although many of the names signed onto the statement were the same as those who made a similar assertion back in February of 2020, at least three names are missing.

One of the names is William Karesh, who serves as the executive vice president for health policy at the nonprofit EcoHealth Alliance. As has been widely documented, EcoHealth was a major benefactor of the WIV, providing gain-of-function research funding directly to the institute after the funds had been granted to the nonprofit by the United States government.

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Exclusive Premiere: Jarod Grubb’s Tiki Bar on the Beach

NASHVILLE, Tennessee –  About as far away as you can get from a beach, Jarod Grubb grew up near Glacier National Park in northwest Montana.

Like many young boys, his dream was to be a professional baseball player. And he was good enough to get a scholarship to play baseball in college.

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Business Insider Compiles Database to Track Former Trump Officials

President Donald Trump meets with (from left) U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price; Vice President Mike Pence; Speaker of the House Paul Ryan; Dr. Zeke Emanuel; and Andrew Bremberg, Dir. Domestic Policy Council, Monday, March 20, 2017, in the Oval Office. (Official White House Photo by Benjamin Applebaum)

A Business Insider list of former President Donald Trump’s officials tracks where these figures are working since departing the administration, warning that like Trump, these former staffers are “nowhere close to being gone.”

Insider said it combed through the interviews, LinkedIn profiles, and public records of over 327 former Trump staffers and compiled a searchable database “to show where they all landed.”

The publication noted that almost 100 former staffers have obtained “establishment” jobs, that over 40 of these former Trump officials still work in the government or in politics, and that at least 85 have gone “off the grid with no information available about their next move.”

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Commentary: Naming the Capitol Police Officer Who Killed Unarmed January 6 Rioter Ashli Babbitt

US Capitol Police at The Supreme Court

Most police departments — including Washington, D.C.’s Metropolitan Police — are required to release an officer’s name within days of a fatal shooting. Not the U.S. Capitol Police, which is controlled by Congress and answers only to Congress. It can keep the public in the dark about the identity and investigation of an officer involved in a shooting indefinitely.

Which is what happened with the Jan. 6 shooting of Ashli Babbitt, an unarmed protester in the U.S. Capitol riot who was fatally wounded by a plainclothes police lieutenant as she attempted to breach a set of doors inside the building. 

For the past six months, as Congress has proposed legislation to reform  police departments across the country, the Capitol Police has stiff-armed government watchdogs, journalists and even lawyers for Babbitt, who have sought the identity of the officer and additional details about the shooting. The USCP still refuses to release his name, in stark contrast to recent high-profile police shootings around the nation.

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Jobless Claims Increase to 373,000, Above Economists’ Predictions

The number of Americans filing new unemployment claims increased to 373,000 last week as the economy continues to recover from the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Department of Labor.

The Bureau of Labor and Statistics figure released Thursday represented a slight increase in the number of new jobless claims compared to the week ending June 26, when 371,000 new jobless claims were reported. That number was revised up from the 364,000 jobless claims initially reported last week.

Economists expected Thursday’s jobless claims number to come in around 350,000, The Wall Street Journal reported.

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Commentary: A Warning About Joe Biden’s Power Plan

Joe Biden

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.
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.

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36 States Sue Google over Alleged Anticompetitive Practices in Play Store

Google Play Store on Android

State attorneys general of 36 states and the District of Columbia filed an antitrust lawsuit against Google on Wednesday alleging the company engaged in anticompetitive practices in its Play Store for Android.

The complaint argues Google holds and unlawfully maintains a monopoly in the market of “Android app distribution,” using anticompetitive tactics such as blocking competitors from accessing the Play Store, discouraging the creation of competing app stores, and acquiring smaller app developers. The complaint also alleges Google charges app developers up to a 30% commission when customers purchase their products through the Google Play Store.

“Google has taken steps to close the ecosystem from competition and insert itself as the middleman between app developers and consumers,” the plaintiffs argue.

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Arizona Secretary of State Requests Investigation into Former President Trump and Allies for ‘Election interference’

Katie Hobbs, the Arizona Secretary of State who recently launched a bid for governor, sent a letter to Attorney General Mark Brnovich and requested that he open an investigation into former President Donald Trump and his allies over allegations of “election interference.” 

“I urge you to take action not only to seek justice in this instance, but to prevent future attempts to interfere with the integrity of our elections. If your ethical duties prevent you from investigating this matter, I ask that you refer it to another enforcement agency,” Hobbs said in her letter to Brnovich.

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Possible Conflict of Interest Takes Center Stage Before Virginia Gubernatorial Debate

As Virginia’s gubernatorial candidates approach their first possible debate, questions of a possible conflict of interest are muddying the waters. 

The Virginia Bar Association (VBA) has invited both former Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe, the Democrat candidate for his old job, and Glenn Youngkin, the Republican candidate for governor, to debate. The VBA customarily hosts a debate between the state’s gubernatorial candidates. 

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