Loudoun County Moves Forward with Collective Bargaining

The Loudoun County Board of Supervisors voted to direct staff to draft a collective bargaining ordinance that will be presented to the board in a closed meeting, with a public hearing on October 13. On Tuesday, the board’s three Republican supervisors voted against moving forward with drafting the ordinance, but the motion passed six to three.

At the beginning of discussion, Chair Phyllis Randall (D) addressed common concerns she had heard about collective bargaining. She said participation in unions under the ordinance wouldn’t be mandatory, and employees wouldn’t be required to pay dues if they weren’t members.

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Commentary: No Longer ‘Democrats’

Democrats No Longer

In the old days, Democrats had predictable agendas, supposedly focused on individual rights, the “little guy,” and distrust of the military-industrial-intelligence complex.

The Left, often on spec, blasted the wealthy, whether the “lucre” was self-made or inherited. The old-money rich were lampooned as idle drones.

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Senate Republicans Propose Making Big Tech Pay for Internet Infrastructure

Big Tech Internet Infrastructure

Three Senate Republicans introduced a bill Wednesday requiring the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to consider collecting revenue from major tech companies to fund broadband internet.

The Funding Affordable Internet with Reliable Contributions Act, introduced by Sens. Roger Wicker, Todd Young, and Shelley Moore Capito, directs the FCC to consider collecting Universal Service Fund (USF) contributions from Big Tech companies “such as YouTube, Netflix, and Google,” the lawmakers announced in a statement Wednesday. USF is a subsidy fund of the FCC that dispenses around $10 billion a year for broadband internet infrastructure in rural areas, according to the FCC website.

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Alleged Extremists in Michigan Gov. Whitmer Kidnapping Plot Claim FBI Set Them Up

Whitmer Kidnapping Suspects

Militiamen arrested for the alleged plot to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer claim the government set them up.

Court documents obtained by Buzzfeed show government informants played a crucial role in the kidnapping plot. One informant posed as a demolition expert who advised members of the Wolverine Watchmen militia where to plant explosives and even offered to get them as much as they needed. The informant was vouched for by another informant, leaving unclear how many confidential informants existed compared to actual extremists.

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Treasury Department Has Distributed Fraction of Emergency Rent Assistance with Just Days Until Evictions Begin

US Treasury Dept

The Department of the Treasury has awarded a small fraction of the tens of billions of dollars Congress appropriated for pandemic rental assistance since January.

The federal government has expended less than $3 billion of the $46.6 billion in funds given to the Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) program, the Treasury Department announced on Wednesday. The U.S. doled out $1.49 billion from January through May and $1.5 billion in June to low-income renters nationwide, according to a spreadsheet published by the Treasury.

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Commentary: Attend a School Board Meeting

If you want to know, up close and personal, the banality of evil, attend a school board meeting. With critical race theory and forced vaccination and masking all the rage, I did just that last night.

This board meeting wasn’t my first. When I was a kid, my dad ran for school board and won after a terrible teacher (a feel-good hippie) allowed one of my classmates to steal my work all year and put his name on it. Said teacher taught us second-graders macramé and little else. My family had moved from a high-performing school district to this less-than-stellar place. For about three years, I learned nothing new. My parents were incensed. So my dad ran for board treasurer, got elected, and promptly pissed everyone off.

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Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework Fails to Advance in the Senate

US Capitol Infrastructure

Senate Republicans rejected an effort Wednesday to begin debate on the bipartisan infrastructure deal endorsed by President Joe Biden, saying that the vote came too early and that the bill was not yet finalized.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer scheduled the procedural vote in an attempt to begin debate on the package, but after filing cloture on Monday Republicans came out against it on the grounds that the deal had yet to be put into text and that senators were still finalizing how the plan would be financed. The bill failed 49-51, with Schumer voting no so that he can bring it up again in the coming days.

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Jobless Claims Surge Past 400,000, Far Higher Than Economists’ Expectations

The number of Americans filing new unemployment claims increased to 419,000 last week as the economy continues its recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Department of Labor.

The Bureau of Labor and Statistics figure released Thursday represented a large increase in the number of new jobless claims compared to the week ending July 10, when 368,000 new jobless claims were reported. That number was revised up from the 360,000 jobless claims initially reported last week.

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Opponents of Pennsylvania Gov. Wolf’s COVID Orders Present Case to Third Circuit Court

Before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Philadelphia on Thursday, legal counsel for several Pennsylvania counties as well as numerous public officials and private companies, argued Governor Tom Wolf (D) abused his police powers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Specifically, the private-sector compainaints charge that the governor’s shutdown of and other demands on businesses during parts of 2020 and 2021 violate the takings clause and the due-process clause of the U.S. Constitution. All plaintiffs, governmental and private, further insist that the governor’s restrictions on public gatherings over the past year violated the rights of assembly, association and religion secured by the First Amendment. 

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Catholic School in Michigan Argues Mask Mandates Hide ‘God’s Image,’ Violate Religious Liberty

Resurrection School Mask Lawsuit

A court of appeals in Michigan will hear a case from a Catholic school arguing mask mandates violate religious liberty because they cover “God’s image and likeness.”

“Unfortunately, a mask shields our humanity and because God created us in His image, we are masking that image,” the institution – the Resurrection School, in Lansing – told The Washington Post.

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Report: Biden Admin Will Keep Restrictions Allowing Border Officials to Expel Migrants for Another Month

Crowd of immigrants

The Biden administration will reportedly keep restrictions allowing border officials to expel most migrants for another month, The Monitor reported Wednesday.

The Trump administration implemented public health order Title 42 prohibiting some individuals from entering the U.S. in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, according to Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Border officials encountered nearly 190,000 migrants at the southern border in June and over 100,000 of those were rapidly expelled under Title 42, according to CBP.

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Parents Concerned About Critical Race Theory in Schools, Poll Says

Parents Mad About CRT

The Biden administration has sparked controversy for endorsing elements of critical race theory in education programs, and the latest polling reveals a source of that concern.

A poll released by Convention of States Action found that many Americans are opposed to critical race theory in curriculum, and are open to removing their kids from public schools to avoid it.

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Arizona Gov. Ducey Urges Continuation of Title 42 Border Restrictions

Gov. Ducey Title 42

Gov. Doug Ducey has called on Arizona’s congressional delegation to urge the Biden administration to maintain Title 42 restrictions, which allow federal officials to prohibit entry into the U.S. for those posing a potential health risk.

“I am writing to you today to share details of the impact this dangerous and misguided idea would have on Arizona and to request your assistance on behalf of the people of Arizona in urging the Biden administration to maintain these critical protections,” Ducey wrote last week in a letter to Arizona’s 11 members of Congress.

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Albemarle County Considers Gun Ban on County Property

After lengthy discussion, public hearing, and a pro-gun protest outside the Albemarle County Office Building, the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors (BOS) decided to postpone a decision on a gun ban on county property. In the board’s virtual meeting Wednesday, many public speakers spoke against the proposed ordinance, while others argued for a gun ban. But the supervisors seemed to take a more nuanced approach, discussion exemptions for concealed handgun permit holders and trying to make sure people wouldn’t accidentally violate the law.

Vice Chair Donna Price said, “One of the interesting things when you talk about weapons/guns: on either extreme there are people who believe there should be no regulations or total regulation, and both parties argue that if you don’t follow their belief, that there will either be anarchy or tyranny. And I tend not to believe either of those to be likely.”

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