Over a Hundred Conservative Groups Call on U.S. Education Secretary to Resign over Infamous Letter Equating Concerned Parents to ‘Domestic Terrorists’

National School Boards Association meeting

Over 100 conservative groups and leaders are calling on Education Secretary Miquel Cardona to resign over allegations that he collaborated with the National School Boards Association (NSBA) to draft the infamous letter equating parents to domestic terrorists.

The Conservative Action Project (CAP), along with 120 conservative groups and leaders, released a letter Monday calling on Cardona to resign immediately, following reports that he worked with the NSBA and the Department of Justice (DOJ) to silence parents from speaking out about their concerns at America’s public schools, citing “threats” they posed to school boards.

School boards have been battlegrounds for culture wars over mask rules, COVID-19 vaccinations, schools reopening, Critical Race Theory (CRT), gender ideology and remote learning. The Monday letter also calls on Congress to further investigate the NSBA letter “to ensure any other Biden administration officials who were inappropriately involved are held accountable.”

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Commentary: Critical Race Promoters Are More Odious than Marxists

Of late, Fox News has been hosting a series called “The MisEducation of America” featuring gatherings of critical race theory’s critics—such as Carol Swain of Vanderbilt University—focusing on the danger of teaching racially divisive versions of American history. According to Swain, a black professor of political science at Vanderbilt, forcing kids to do things like play games called “privilege bingo” are “a prime example of how CRT, has seeped down to K-12 education, and it disturbs students.” Further: “All of these critical theories with Marxist roots are destroying American education, and parents have to save their children. But they also have to work to save other people’s children.”

Although the media and our universities may choose to ignore Swain’s complaint, she is actually understating the problem she and “MisEducation” host Pete Hegseth are featuring. I’m not sure I see “the Marxist roots” of the crusade against white people and their history in quite the same way Swain and Hegseth see it. We are indeed witnessing class warfare but not of the kind that Marx foresaw. It is a war being waged by white elites against the “basket of deplorables,” the predominantly white, working-class, and small-town Americans whom these elites hate and want to divest of human dignity. Similar conflicts are going on simultaneously in other Western countries, featuring equivalent social conflict.

In none of these cases do we find Marx’s appeals to the proletariat to rise up against those who control the means of production. In fact, we are witnessing exactly the opposite. An alliance of corporate capitalists, feminists, the LGBT lobby, and black race hustlers are directing their fire on the working class, which seems to be the least affected by the hegemonic ideology of wokeness. If anything, we are now looking at what Pedro Gonzalez has characterized as “the counterrevolution of the ruling class.” If Marxist theory, which supposedly is “seeping in” has any application, it would be as an analysis of how our elites are suppressing those they are stepping on and trying through increasingly vicious hate speech to isolate.

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16 Republican AGs Seek Federal Pressure on China, Mexico over Fentanyl Crisis

Antony Blinken

Sixteen Republican state attorneys general are calling on Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken to take action against China and Mexico for their role in creating a fentanyl crisis in the U.S.

“China’s complete unwillingness to police the production and distribution of fentanyl precursors and Mexico’s subsequent failure to control illegal manufacturing of fentanyl using those precursors,” the attorneys general argue, poses a daily threat to Americans.

West Virginia and Arizona are leading the effort. Joining them are the attorneys general of Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, South Carolina, South Dakota and Texas. They say they’ve witnessed an “extraordinary tide of senseless death from fentanyl” in their states.

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Commentary: Woke Is Broke and Costing Democrats

We are in the first month of 2022, and, from every sign, it appears my Democratic friends are determined to stick to their guns when it comes to both their agenda and how they intend to sell it. In other words, America has not heard the last of the Woke Police.

The 2021 elections, especially in Virginia, could have served as a wake-up call for Democrats. When Terry McAuliffe announced he thought parents should not be telling schools what to teach, the voters spoke loudly and clearly that they felt differently. Attempts to make Republican Glenn Youngkin into the Old Dominion’s version of Donald Trump fell flat as he scored a solid victory.

You might think that after the events of 2021, Democrats would be inclined to engage in some self-reflection. You would be wrong. How do we account for the largest increase in the inflation rate in a generation? President Biden has decided Sen. Elizabeth Warren has it right. Defying logic, gravity, and common sense, they have placed the blame on “meat conglomerates.” Why the cost of a steak would cause spikes in the cost of so many other items, including gasoline, is a carefully guarded secret. Why don’t Democrats in a position of leadership make clear they will not submit to viewpoints held by such a small percentage of the public?

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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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Commentary: The Pathetic and Political Sedition Case Against the Oath Keepers

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.

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Commentary: $800 Billion Stimulus Program Failed Terribly and Mostly Benefited the Wealthy, MIT Economist Finds

Close up of federal check

The federal government has spent an astounding $42,000 per federal taxpayer on so-called “stimulus” efforts since the pandemic began. Where did all that money go? Well, as it turns out, one of the biggest stimulus programs, the Paycheck Protection Program, failed miserably.

At least, that’s the finding of a new study from MIT economist David Autor and nine coauthors. They examined the $800 billion Paycheck Protection Program, which gave “loans,” most of which won’t have to be paid back, to businesses. It was created by Republicans and Democrats in Congress alike in hopes of helping businesses preserve their employees’ jobs for the duration of the COVID-19 crisis. 

The study tracks the money to see where it ended up and what it achieved. The results… aren’t pretty. 

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Judge Denies Missouri AG Request to Stop St. Louis County Mask Requirement

Eric Schmitt

A Circuit Court Judge on Wednesday denied Missouri Republican Attorney General Eric Schmitt’s request for a temporary restraining order to stop a mask requirement approved by the St. Louis County Council on Jan. 5.

Democrat Rita Heard Days, chair of the Council, didn’t know what to expect from the court.

“At this particular point, I’m not surprised about anything,” Days told The Center Square after an event in Hazelwood on Thursday. “This thing has taken a life of its own. People are trying to cope with all of this. We just hope we can get over this and move on.”

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Commentary: Get Ready for a New Roaring Twenties

Statue of Liberty

On New Year’s Eve of 2019, revelers gathered around the globe to ring in a new decade. Many jubilantly attended “Roaring Twenties” parties, adorned in elegant evening wear, cloche and Panama hats, and knickerbockers, harkening back to an exciting, culturally vibrant era of economic prosperity. But whatever veiled hopes partygoers had for a booming future soon met jarring realities: a once-in-a-century pandemic, global lockdowns, an economic recession, and widespread civil unrest stemming from an incident of police brutality. The Roaring 2020s were not to be, it seemed.

Take heart: Mark P. Mills, a physicist, senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, faculty fellow at Northwestern University, and a partner in Montrose Lane, an energy-tech venture fund, is out to rekindle our collectively dashed hopes. In his new book, The Cloud Revolution: How the Convergence of New Technologies Will Unleash the Next Economic Boom and a Roaring 2020s, Mills convincingly argues with verve, vitality, and – most importantly – evidence, that humanity is about to take a great step forward in the coming decade. And unlike the first Roaring Twenties, these won’t need to end with a Great Depression.

In the opening pages, Mills reminds us that the original Roaring Twenties didn’t start off so auspiciously, either. In fact, separated by a century, our situation seems eerily similar. The 1918 flu pandemic ran well into 1920, triggering a severe U.S. recession that lasted through summer 1921. Violent riots and political instability were also prevalent. Yet from this pit of public despair, Americans pulled themselves out. Propelled by remarkable advancements in mass production, medicine, electrification, communications via telephone and radio, movies, automobiles, and aviation, the United States saw its GDP rise by an astounding 43% between 1921 and 1929.

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Commentary: The Democrats Embrace Voter Intimidation

Person voting in poll booth

Joe Biden has claimed “democracy is under attack” and that to save “democracy” we must annihilate Senate norms such as the legislative filibuster. If you don’t believe that this crisis exists and act immediately, his argument goes, the sun won’t rise ever again; the oceans will dry up, and you’re an evil racist like Jefferson Davis, Bull Connor, and George Wallace (Democrats every last one—and Biden actually sought Wallace’s support back when Biden wanted to be liked by the Wallaces and Byrds of the Democratic Party.) But why let facts get in the way of a good Grandpa Dementia bedtime story? 

Of course the real reason for the shrieking hysteria from Biden and the Left is that they’re confronting what is likely to be an electoral tsunami in the fall. Most Americans with half a brain have realized after a year under the Biden presidency that the Left’s policies and politicians are absolute failures. That’s why Biden has a 33 percent approval rating. And it’s why moderate Democrats like Senators Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) want nothing to do with Biden, his policies, or his efforts at rewriting Senate rules.

Progressives of course had a premonition that their policies would wreak havoc upon the American people. To protect themselves from electoral accountability they immediately introduced a bill to federalize election law for the Left’s partisan advantage. This comes as no surprise from the Democratic Party of Tammany Hall, which has a long, sordid history of rigging election laws to hang onto power through the intimidation of voters. 

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Commentary: More Trouble for the FBI in the Whitmer Kidnapping Case

Gretchen Whitmer

The media went wild last week after Joe Biden’s Justice Department finally produced a criminal indictment to support the claim that January 6 was an “insurrection” planned by militiamen loyal to Donald Trump: Eleven members of the Oath Keepers, including its founder, Stewart Rhodes, face the rarely used charge of seditious conspiracy for their brief and nonviolent involvement at the Capitol protest that day.

Journalists luxuriated in the news, jeering those of us who had correctly noted that the Justice Department had failed to charge anyone with insurrection or sedition for more than a year.

But the press does not share the same zeal in covering another politically charged investigation: the imploding criminal case against five men accused of plotting to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer in 2020. The kidnapping narrative shares many similarities with their preferred telling of January 6, not the least of which is that alleged militias incited by Trump attempted to carry out a domestic terror attack.

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Missouri Legislators Remain Divided over Critical Race Theory Bill

Bob Onder and Nick Schroer

If criticism of two Republican members of the Missouri House of Representatives is any indication, a bill to ban critical race theory (CRT) will face challenges.

More than a thousand people filed digital testimony forms on the bill and the Elementary and Secondary Education Committee’s hearing lasted more than four hours.

State Rep. Nick Schroer, R-O’Fallon and a candidate for the term-limited Senate seat of Bob Onder, R-St. Charles, testified on HB1474 on Tuesday. State Rep. Doug Richey, R-Excelsior Springs, joined Schroer as they teamed to combine the banning of critical race theory with Richey’s “Parents’ Bill of Rights,” HB1995.

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Report: More than 50,000 Illegal Immigrants Released into U.S. Don’t Show for Court Hearings

U.S. Border Patrol agents assigned to the McAllen station encounter large group after large group of family units in Los Ebanos, Texas, on Friday June 15. This group well in excess of 100 family units turned themselves into the U.S. Border Patrol, after crossing the border illegally and walking through the town of Los Ebanos.

More than 50,000 illegal immigrants released into the U.S. by Immigration and Customs Enforcement failed to report to their deportation proceedings during a five-month period analyzed last year, according to a report provided by the Department of Homeland Security to U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wisconsin. The report also states that ICE doesn’t have court information on more than 40,000 individuals it’s supposed to prosecute.

“Between March and August 2021, as a result of the Biden Administration’s failed border policies, over 270,000 illegal aliens have been dispersed into the United States with little chance for removal,” Johnson said in an announcement accompanying the report, which didn’t include data from the other seven months of the year.

Over the same time period, “over 50,000 illegal aliens – more than half of the aliens released into the interior of the United States under a Notice to Report (NTR) – failed to appear to begin deportation proceedings,” the DHS report states.

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Delegate Tim Anderson Commentary: A Legal Analysis of Executive Order Two – Masks in Schools

I have received many requests from you regarding how Gov Youngkin’s order applies to school masking requirements.

For private schools – the answer is easy. Private schools were ordered by the former health commissioner to require masking in schools. That order is rescinded. Private schools should rely on the parental choice option and create a policy allowing mask wearing to be optional.

Public schools: This is more complicated. Last year a law was passed (SB1303) that requires public schools (only public – not private) to be open for in-person learning 5 days weeks while requires “ii) provide such in-person instruction in a manner in which it adheres, to the maximum extent practicable, to any currently applicable mitigation strategies for early childhood care and education programs and elementary and secondary schools to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 that have been provided by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”

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Commentary: Replacing the Irreplaceable Nancy Pelosi

President Joe Biden walks with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., as he departs the U.S. Capitol after addressing the House Democratic Caucus, Thursday, October 28, 2021, in Washington, D.C. (Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz)

Last week there was quite a lot of news media chatter about swapping Hillary Clinton for Joe Biden on the 2024 Democrat presidential ticket, a fascinating concept that pundits couldn’t stop talking about. It didn’t receive nearly the headlines, but whispers involving the impending retirement of Speaker Nancy Pelosi — and her eventual replacement — have also begun in earnest.

Of course, there’s been no formal announcement that she’s leaving — either from the Speaker herself or the poohbahs at Democrat National Committee headquarters. But like all worst kept secrets, everyone with a brain and some knowledge of American politics understands that Pelosi shares characteristics with a ticking time bomb set to go off later this year.

With the prospects for Democrats holding the majority after this year’s federal midterm elections growing dimmer by the day, folks have initiated a political death watch for the soon-to-be 82-year-old gavel bearer. A large number of veteran party incumbents have officially indicated they’re heading for the exits after this session concludes. Combined with redistricting changes (after the 2020 census) and a basketful of “moderate” (they’re really not balanced, but that’s how the media refers to them) Democrats facing fierce headwinds in their swing districts, and the numbers bloodbath could/should be scary.

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Recent Breakthroughs in 2020 Election Probes Undercut Narrative That Legal Avenues Are Exhausted

Mail in voting envelopes with masks on top

More than a year after the disputed 2020 presidential election, a series of legal breakthroughs in the investigation of the electoral process in decisive swing states — including official inquiries, court rulings, audits and finial disclosures — has unfolded in rapid succession recently, even as election integrity opponents continue to insist that all legal avenues for questioning the outcome have long since been exhausted.

Interviewing former Trump senior economic advisor Peter Navarro about the election earlier this month, MSNBC TV host Ari Melber argued that the “outcome was established by independent secretaries of state, by the voters of those states, and legal remedies had been exhausted with the Supreme Court never even taking, let alone siding with, any of the claims that you just referred to.”

Melber’s assertion echoed a mainstream political and media narrative firmly in place since Donald Trump’s large Election Day leads over Joe Biden in key swing states evaporated over the course of the ensuing week, when The New York Times reported, “Election officials in dozens of states representing both political parties said that there was no evidence that fraud or other irregularities played a role in the outcome of the presidential race.”

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GOP Senator Seeks to Stop Purported Biden Plan to Let Anatomical Men into Women’s Prisons

Tom Cotton

State-level fights over housing anatomically male prisoners in women’s prisons based on their gender identity may soon be joined by a federal battle.

A purported draft executive order by President Biden directs the attorney general to identify “necessary changes” to the Bureau of Prisons’ (BOP) Transgender Offender Manual so that the agency can “designate individuals to [federal] facilities in accordance with their gender identity.”

The bracketed paragraph is found on the 15th of an 18-image series of grainy photographs of a computer screen obtained by The Federalist. The word processing document is marked “draft – deliberative and pre-decisional – privileged and confidential,” and it deals with criminal justice reform.

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Senators Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to End U.S. Reliance on Chinese Minerals

Mark Kelly and Tom Cotton

A Republican and Democratic senator introduced legislation Friday that aims to end U.S. reliance on rare-earth metals sourced from and produced in China.

The Restoring Essential Energy and Security Holdings Onshore for Rare Earths (REEShore) Act would prevent supply disruptions and bolster domestic production of the minerals, according to Sens. Tom Cotton and Mark Kelly, the bill’s sponsors. They said the legislation is important for American national security and development of advanced technologies.

“The Chinese Communist Party has a chokehold on global rare-earth element supplies, which are used in everything from batteries to fighter jets,” Cotton said in a statement. “Ending America’s dependence on the CCP for extraction and processing of these elements is critical to winning the strategic competition against China and protecting our national security.”

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Commentary: We Are All ‘Domestic Terrorists’ Now

Paul Hodgkins, according to Joe Biden’s Justice Department, is a domestic terrorist.

A working-class man from Tampa, Hodgkins committed what Democrats and the media consider a murderous crime comparable to flying a packed jetliner into a skyscraper or detonating a truck filled with explosives under a crowded federal building.

Paul Hodgkins entered the Capitol building on January 6, 2021.

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Democratic U.S. Rep. Ro Khanna Calls out Twitter for Trying to Hide Hunter Biden Laptop Story

Ro Khanna

Democratic California Rep. Ro Khanna criticized Twitter and Facebook for censoring the New York Post’s story on Hunter Biden, saying the story should not have been blocked.

“I thought it was a mistake for Twitter to take down some of this stuff about Hunter Biden, or Facebook to do that,” Khanna said during an interview with Joe Lonsdale on the American Optimist podcast while promoting his book “Dignity in a Digital Age: Making Tech Work for All of Us.”

The New York Post published a story in October 2020 detailing a meeting between Hunter Biden, then-Vice President Joe Biden and a top executive at Ukrainian gas company Burisma in 2015, relying on data recovered from a laptop reportedly belonging to Hunter. Shortly after the story was published, Twitter blocked users from sharing the link and suspended accounts that attempted to tweet it out.

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Climate Activists Oppose Major Solar Projects over Deforestation Concerns

A group of environmentalists voiced opposition to potential Massachusetts solar projects that could generate at least 250 kilowatts of electricity.

The majority of those who attended a public hearing hosted by the Amherst, Massachusetts, Community Resources Committee said they supported a moratorium on such projects that would expire in May 2023, the Daily Hampshire Gazette reported. The proposed moratorium would prohibit surrounding municipalities from green lighting any solar project that exceeds the 250-kilowatt-capacity threshold.

The moratorium was proposed by three town councilors after an 11-megawatt solar farm was proposed in the area, the Gazette reported. A solar field that produces 250 kilowatts of electricity would power 71 households while one that produces 11 megawatts would power more than 3,000 homes, according to a federal estimate.

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Commentary: All Hail Joe Biden, King of the Elites

Jim Gaffigan said on Joe Rogan’s program, “I’d still take Biden’s corpse over Donald Trump.” Congratulations, elites! You’re now being governed by a political corpse. Elites will be fine with a dead president governing a zombified American economy and society. Working and middle-class Americans? Not so much.

How dead is Joe Biden’s political life? Joe Biden is so toxic politically that Stacey Abrams, governor of the Georgia of her mind, refused to stand with him in the state she ostensibly governs about the legislation that is her signature issue: codifying the ability to commit election fraud at the federal level. Abrams was absent while a bunch of masked black people stood stoically behind the bellicose president. The optics were bad in every aspect. The content was worse.

Did Biden address the distress of the 1982-ish 7 percent inflation numbers crushing the lower and middle class? No. Did the president encourage people in the face of year three enduring the out-of-control omicron variant? No. Did the president discuss job innovation? No.

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Judge Rules Absentee Ballot Drop Boxes Illegal in Wisconsin, Regulators Must Retract Guidance

People at a voting location, voting early at polls

A Wisconsin judge has ruled that the absentee ballot drop boxes widely deployed during the 2020 election are not allowed under state law, a decision that could dramatically impact voting ahead of the swing state’s midterm elections.

Waukesha County Circuit Court Judge Michael Bohren ordered on Thursday the Wisconsin Elections Commission to retract its instructions to election officials on how to use drop boxes. Bohren declared that the WEC had overstepped its authority in issuing the guidance in the first place.

Bohren called the WEC’s guidance a “major policy decision that alter[s] how our absentee ballot process operates,” that was significant enough that it should have required approval by the Legislature.

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Commentary: The Sinking Ship of the Democratic-Media Alliance

Almost no one seems to grasp the colossal irony of the current American political condition. The uniquequality of it is that the country is divided between two political forces which, in the tedious hyperbole of contemporary political jargon, view each other as an “existential threat to democracy.” The Democrats can’t sell the bunk that January 6 was an “insurrection;” they can’t wish away concerns about the integrity of the 2020 election. All they have is the tired claim that Trump is a threat to democracy, and in their advocacy of that falsehood, they have made themselves the threat to democracy.

Trump emerged politically in 2015 to universal mockery. Nothing could have been more certain than that this vulgar and sleazy huckster (as he was portrayed,not without some reason), would bomb out trying to recalibrate his downmarket celebrity brand to catapult him into the White House.

As Trump cleaned up in the 2016 Republican primaries, the Democratic strategists reached to the bottom of their campaign bag of tricks. Late in the campaign came the 11-year-old Billy Bush tape, in which Trump had made some inelegant locker-room macho comments about how a celebrity could take almost unlimited liberties with women. This failed to kill him. It was stale, dated, and not exactly a startling revelation.

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Commentary: Police Officer Who Killed Ashli Babbitt was Cleared of Criminal Wrongdoing Without Interview

When U.S. Capitol Police Lt. Michael Byrd went on “NBC Nightly News” to tell his side of shooting and killing unarmed Jan. 6 rioter Ashli Babbitt, he made a point to note he’d been investigated by several agencies and exonerated for his actions that day.

“There’s an investigative process [and] I was cleared by the DOJ [Department of Justice], and FBI and [the D.C.] Metropolitan Police,” he told NBC News anchor Lester Holt in August, adding that the Capitol Police also cleared him of wrongdoing and decided not to discipline or demote him for the shooting.

Byrd then answered a series of questions by Holt about the shooting, but what he told the friendly journalist, he likely never told investigators. That’s because he refused to answer their questions, according to several sources and documents reviewed by RealClearInvestigations.

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Missouri Economic Leaders Give Glimpse of How $2.6 Billion in Federal Pandemic Funds Will be Spent

Maggie Kost

Missouri’s Department of Economic Development (DED) recently previewed how Gov. Mike Parson plans to allocate the state’s $2.6 billion portion of federal pandemic funds.

In late December, Maggie Kost, acting director of the DED, outlined major priorities for Missouri’s portion of the more than $195 billion in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds. A total of $350 billion will be delivered to the 50 states and the District of Columbia and local and Tribal governments throughout the nation to support the response and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The total amount of ARPA funds, passed in March 2021, is $1.9 trillion.

“We want to give you an idea of what to expect as we get into the legislative and budget session here in January,” Kost said. “As you’re planning and setting priorities locally for communities, we want to make sure you have an idea of what’s to come so you can think about how to leverage state funds as you’re building out your local priorities.”

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Awaiting Supreme Court Decision, Iowa OSHA Blocks Vaccine Mandate for Businesses

man in yellow hardhat and work jacket

Iowans are waiting for the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on the COVID-19 vaccine mandate for businesses with at least 100 employees. In the meantime, they’re moving ahead with actions of their own.

Iowa Department of Education Communications Director Heather Doe told The Center Square in an emailed statement that since Iowa is a state-plan state, the Iowa Division of Labor typically enforces workplace safety in Iowa instead of the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The state is required to notify OSHA whether it will adopt a given Emergency Temporary Standard or provide notice it will not adopt it because its standards are as effective as the new federal standard. Iowa needed to respond to the standard by Jan. 7.

Iowa Labor Commissioner Rod Roberts did so, saying that the Hawkeye State will not adopt or enforce the mandate.

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Georgia’s Raffensperger: ‘Nationwide There Should Be a Law That Bans Ballot Harvesting’

Sign that says "protect election integrity"

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger says he supports a national law that bans ballot harvesting, the third-party gathering and delivering of absentee ballots for voters.

“One thing that I do think we need is to make sure that nationwide there should be a law that bans ballot harvesting,” the Republican politician said Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” “I don’t think that ballot harvesting is good. The only person that should touch your ballot is you and the election official. So I think that’s one solid election reform measure.”

Ballot harvesting is legal in some states but not in Georgia.

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Republican Shakes Up Race for California Fiscal Watchdog

Lanhee Chen

Lanhee Chen, an educator and GOP policy adviser to presidential candidates, could have reconsidered his plans to run for state controller in California after the recall election against Gov. Gavin Newsom flopped so badly in September.

Despite false poll-driven drama over the summer, Newsom easily sailed to victory in a state where Democrats outnumber Republicans nearly two to one and Republican registrations have continued to dwindle in recent years.

Chen, 43, certainly doesn’t need the unglamorous and usually thankless job. In recent years, the statewide-elected controller post, California’s top bean-counter and auditor, has mainly operated outside the media spotlight even though the office holder is considered the state’s chief financial officer. That could change if the next controller is willing to shake up business as usual in Sacramento— exactly what Chen is pledging to do.

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Securities and Exchange Commission to Crack Down on Private Companies, Heighten Disclosure Requirements

Securities and Exchange Commission building

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) plans to crack down on private companies, forcing them to disclose financial and operation statements more frequently, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Regulators have grown more concerned over the lack of oversight regarding private fundraising for companies, the WSJ reported. The private investment market has become a popular way for companies to raise money without undergoing the regulatory scrutiny required for public trading.

“When they’re big firms, they can have a huge impact on thousands of people’s lives with absolutely no visibility for investors, employees and their unions, regulators, or the public,” SEC Commissioner Allison Lee told the WSJ. “I’m not interested in forcing medium- and small-sized companies into the reporting regime.”

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Antifa-Linked Organizers Hosted a ‘Candlelight Vigil’ for January 6 Anniversary

Woman holding a candle in the dark

Democrats commemorated the January 6 riots with the help of far-left, antifa-linked agitators who planned to disrupt former President Trump’s inauguration in 2021 had he won the election, counterterrorism expert Kyle Shideler reported on Twitter.

A group called Movement Catalyst, led by longtime direct action community organizer Liz Butler, is organizing the Democrats’ “Candle Light Vigil for Democracy” Thursday afternoon, according to WUSA.com.

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Senior White House Climate Official Resigns

Three wind turbines

Cecilia Martinez, a member of the White House Council for Environmental Quality (CEQ), announced that she would resign Friday, nearly one year after accepting the role.

Martinez explained that she needed rest and wanted to spend more time with her family in an interview with the Associated Press. She was in charge of crafting the White House’s aggressive environmental justice policy which had been lauded by climate activists but criticized by Republicans and the fossil fuel industry.

“It was a hard decision,” Martinez told the AP.

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Republicans Hold the Population Edge over Democrats in States with One-Party Majorities in the Gov and State House

crowd of people in a city

At the start of 2022, 36.5% (120 million) of Americans lived in a state with a Democratic trifecta, while 41.8% (137 million) lived in a state with a Republican trifecta. The other 71 million Americans lived in a state with a divided government.

A state government trifecta is a term to describe single-party government, when one political party holds the governorship and majorities in both chambers of the state legislature. At the start of 2022, there were 38 trifectas—15 Democratic and 23 Republican.

Virginia’s will change from a Democratic trifecta to a state with divided government when legislators and Governor-elect Glenn Youngkin (R) are sworn into office on Jan. 12. In the 2021 elections, Republicans won control of the Virginia House of Delegates and the governor’s office, currently held by Democrat Ralph Northam. Democrats still control the Virginia State Senate.

When this happens, 33.9 percent of Americans (112 million) will live in a state with a Democratic trifecta, 41.8 percent (137 million) will live in a state with a Republican trifecta, and 24.3 percent (78 million) will live in a state with divided government.

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Vaccine Mandate Critics Urge Highest Court to Defend Individual Freedom

Supreme Court reflecting on the pool at the National Mall

President Joe Biden’s series of controversial federal vaccine mandates faced their first day before the U.S. Supreme Court Friday, and critics are urging the justices to side with personal freedoms over what they call executive branch overreach.

National Federation of Independent Business v. Department of Labor, the first of two cases heard by the court Friday, considers a vaccine mandate on private employers with 100 or more employees. The second case, Biden v. Missouri, challenges Biden’s mandate on health care workers.

“Today was one of the most important moments in our nation’s history,” Heritage Foundation President Kevin Roberts, which has joined the legal challenges to Biden’s mandate push, said. “The Biden administration, and many on the far left, believe that the federal government has the right and the authority to dictate personal and private medical decisions to the American people, and coerce their employers into collecting protected health care data on their employees. This overreach is a fundamental violation of the American spirit of freedom and personal responsibility and represents the left’s assault not just on common sense, but our constitutional rights.”

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Federal Judge Tosses Lawsuit Challenging Biden’s Authority to Block Keystone Pipeline

Keystone XL Pipeline

A federal district court judge granted the Biden administration’s request to dismiss a lawsuit filed by more than 20 Republican attorneys general challenging the Keystone XL Pipeline’s permit revocation.

Judge Jeffrey Brown, of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, ruled that he couldn’t determine the constitutionality of President Joe Biden’s action because TC Energy, the pipeline’s developer, had abandoned the project. On June 9, TC Energy announced its intention to permanently halt construction of the pipeline, saying it would focus on other projects.

Biden canceled the pipeline’s federal permit immediately after taking office on Jan. 20 in an executive order. The order said the U.S. “must prioritize the development of a clean energy economy” and that the Keystone project would undermine the nation’s role as a climate leader on the world stage.

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Activist Pressure to Nix DOJ Program to Catch Chinese Spies Grows Despite Conviction of Harvard Professor

Charles Lieber

Aloose coalition of lawmakers, nonprofits, and academics has continued to pressure the Biden administration to end the so-called China Initiative, despite the Justice Department program to thwart Chinese spies winning a key conviction last month of a high-profile Harvard professor.

The Trump administration launched the China Initiative in 2018 to preserve America’s technological edge. The program, which the Biden administration has so far continued, is designed to identify and prosecute those engaged in hacking, stealing trade secrets, and conducting economic espionage for the Chinese government on U.S. soil.

Charles Lieber, a renowned nanotechnology professor who chaired Harvard’s Chemistry Department, became one of the China Initiative’s most prominent targets. Federal prosecutors accused him of lying to government authorities about multiple links to Beijing.

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One Year After Disputed 2020 Election, Many Practices That Riled Conservatives Still in Effect

Mail in ballot with U.S. flag

Just a year after the disputed 2020 election, states are in various stages of reforming election laws. Many of the same practices that angered conservatives are still in effect.

The Heritage Foundation published an Election Integrity Scorecard of all 50 states and the District of Columbia on their election laws. The scorecard examines voter ID implementation, the accuracy of voter registration lists, absentee ballot management, vote harvesting/trafficking restrictions, access of election observers, verification of citizenship, identification for voter assistance, vote counting practices, election litigation procedures, restriction of same-day registration, restriction of automatic registration, restriction of private funding of election officials or government agencies.

During a Just the News Special Report with Heritage Action for America and Real America’s Voice, HAFA Executive Director Jessica Anderson praised Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, and Texas for their efforts on election integrity reform this past year. Those states currently rank at no. 19 (tied with Mississippi and Pennsylvania), 4 (tied with Arkansas), 1, 11 (tied with Kentucky), and 6, respectively.

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Commentary: Joe Biden’s Failed Policies Has Lead to a COVID Test Shortage

President Joe Biden walks with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., as he departs the U.S. Capitol after addressing the House Democratic Caucus, Thursday, October 28, 2021, in Washington, D.C. (Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz)

America has basically run out of tests for Covid-19 as lines are forming at emergency rooms, urgent care facilities and doctors’ offices, and now patients are simply being turned away nationwide. In the meantime, tests are being rationed to those with greater risk factors just a month after President Joe Biden was pushing “test to stay” in order for Americans to be allowed to go to work, school and to travel.

This comes as the Institutes for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) project an estimated 1.9 million probable Covid infections in the U.S per day — and rising. By the end of January, IHME estimates as many as 2.8 million new cases per day, largely thanks to the new omicron variant that accounts for 95 percent of all new cases, the Centers for Disease Control say.

For perspective, last year, IHME estimated cases peaked at over 500,000 a day in early Jan. 2021.

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Washington Gov. Jay Inslee Announces Intent to Regulate Lying

Jay Inslee

Democratic Washington Gov. Jay Inslee announced plans Thursday to introduce legislation that would regulate candidates and elected officials from spreading lies about elections that are likely to result in violence.

The legislation, which is still being written and has yet to be released, would be “narrowly tailored” to cover “false statements” made for the “purpose of undermining the election process or results,” according to Inslee’s announcement.

“This legislation attempts to follow the relevant U.S. and state supreme court opinions on this issue. We’re talking about candidates and elected officers knowingly throwing bombs at democracy itself when doing so is likely to result in violence,” Inslee said in a statement.

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Poll: Majority Supports Blocking Biden’s Private Sector Vaccine Mandate as U.S. Supreme Court Weighs Challenges

The majority of Americans support Congressional efforts to block President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandates for large businesses ahead of a U.S. Supreme Court hearing on that very issue, according to a new poll.

Convention of States Action, along with the Trafalgar Group, released the poll, which found that 51.1% of surveyed voters support a bill in Congress to stop Biden’s vaccine mandates for large businesses. The poll reports that 40.6% of voters do not support the bill while 8.3% of voters are unsure.

The U.S. Senate passed a bipartisan measure in December to block Biden’s mandate, which requires employers with at least 100 workers to ensure they are vaccinated or undergo weekly testing. Businesses that do not comply face hefty fines. The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) would enforce the mandate.

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Commentary: One Year Later, More Lingering Questions About January 6

Large group of people storming Washington D.C. in protest on January 6.

A bombshell report just published in Newsweek details an in-depth, secret operation conducted by the Justice Department before and during January 6. Contrary to the lamentations of FBI Director Christopher Wray that he wished his agency had had better resources to prevent the Capitol breach, hundreds of elite forces under Wray’s authority were on stand-by days just before the protest, and even on the ground as it happened.

The “shadowy commandos” stationed at Quantico, home of the FBI Academy, on January 2, 2021 included the FBI’s Hostage Rescue Team and SWAT teams. 

“On the morning of January 6, most of these forces staged closer to downtown Washington, particularly after intelligence was received indicating a possible threat to FBI headquarters building or the FBI’s Washington Field Office,” Newsweek investigative reporter William M. Arkin wrote. “FBI tactical teams arrived on Capitol Hill early in the day to assist in the collection of evidence at sites—including the Republican and Democrat party national headquarters—where explosive devices were found. FBI SWAT teams and snipers were deployed to secure nearby congressional office buildings. Other FBI agents provided selective security around the U.S. Capitol and protection to congressional members and staff.”

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Iowa Leaders React to Biden Administration’s $1 Billion for Expanding Independent Meat and Poultry Processing Capacity

Inside of a butcher shop with meat hanging up

The Biden Administration announced Monday it will spend $1 billion in American Rescue Plan Act funds to increase independent meat and poultry processing capacity.

The administration will invest $375 million on independent processing plant projects that fill a need for diversified processing capacity, spend up to $275 million in working with lenders to increase availability of loans, particularly to underserved communities, for independent processors, and spend $100 million to back private lenders investing in independently owned food processing and distribution infrastructure to move product through supply chain.

It will spend and additional $100 million to support training, safe workplaces and jobs in meat and poultry processing facilities, $100 million in reducing overtime and holiday inspection costs for small and very small processing plants, and $50 million to provide independent business owners and producers with technical assistance and research and development.

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Commentary: ‘America First’ Has Answers for U.S. Crisis of Confidence

Joe Biden

A majority Americans begin 2022 full of worry and dread. During President Biden’s first year in the White House, societal anxiety surged, including among voters who identify as independents and Democrats. In the newest Axios/Momentive year-end survey, 2021 saw a 50% increase in fear about what 2022 will bring among independents. Democrats weren’t much more sanguine. They began last year with refreshing optimism as their party took control of the White House and Congress, with only 19% of Democratic voters declaring themselves fearful about 2021. By year’s end, that number had surged to 45%.

Reflecting this dour assessment, the RealClearPolitics polling average of Joe Biden’s approve/disapprove ratio also receded sharply for the last year, from a stellar 20-percentage-point surplus in his favor on Inauguration Day, to a minus- 10-point rating.

Given this environment, Republicans naturally grow more confident about the midterm elections. But taking nominal control of Capitol Hill won’t be enough. Will Mitch McConnell and Kevin McCarthy and their lieutenants be content with stopping the woke and socialist-inspired agenda of progressives? Or will they boldly implement a full-throttle populist nationalist “America First” agenda?  

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Commentary: The United States Should Avoid Waging a Two-Front Cold War

Xi Jinping, Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin

The Biden administration appears to be heading in the direction of waging a two-front Cold War over Ukraine in Eastern Europe and Taiwan in East Asia, both of which could turn “hot” any day. The imprudence of such an approach should be obvious, but the great danger is that such “crises” could get out of hand before the leaders involved step back from the brink.

Russia’s Vladimir Putin may want to extend Russia’s rule to Ukraine and other former Soviet republics, but he definitely wants to ensure the end of NATO expansion. China’s Xi Jinping, like all of his predecessors, wants Taiwan unified with the mainland, and while he would prefer to do it peacefully, he may be willing to risk war with the United States to achieve his goal–especially if he believes he can win such a war at an acceptable cost.

That leaves the Biden administration, which to date has been sending mixed signals to both Russia and China. Administration spokespersons have warned of severe consequences should Russia invade Ukraine, but President Biden has stated that those consequences will be primarily economic in the form of sanctions. Meanwhile, President Biden has stated that the United States will defend Taiwan in the event of a Chinese attack, but administration spokespersons have walked that back and reaffirmed the U.S. policy of “strategic ambiguity.” This is a recipe for confusion, misunderstanding, and possibly war on two fronts.

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Nationwide, Americans Brace for a Busy Election 2022 Year

This past week was the last one before the US officially entered a midterm election year. Below are the latest updates.

States

In Alaska, the Lieutenant Governor is not running for reelection. Meanwhile, former President Donald Trump has said he will endorse the incumbent Republican Governor Mike Dunleavy, so long as Dunleavy does not back incumbent Senator Lisa Murkowski.

In Colorado, Mesa County dropped a lawsuit against their County Recorder over an ongoing dispute about attesting to documents. The County Recorder is still facing other investigations.

In Georgia, a review of elections found that only four deceased people voted in the 2020 election.

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ANALYSIS: A Look at Universities’ Foreign Contribution Filings

College student studying

Data collected by the US Department of Education show that during 2021, colleges and universities amassed a total of $1.3 billion in contracts and gifts from foreign sources, including $337 million from foreign governments.

The U.S. Department of Education has expressed concern about foreign nations using funds to influence American institutions of higher education. “For at least two decades,” the Department said in a report published last October, “the industry has been on direct notice that at least some of these foreign sources are hostile to the United States and are targeting their investments (i.e., “gifts” and “contracts”) to project soft power, steal sensitive and proprietary research, and spread propaganda.”

Campus Reform has covered how China uses Confucius Institutes to exert influence on American schools. Needs a line about what Confucius Institutes are Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo designated the program as “part of the Chinese Communist Party’s global influence and propaganda apparatus.”

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Commentary: Republicans on College Campuses Struggle to Find Dates in Today’s Political Climate

Political polarization in the United States is bad. Americans don’t just dislike the other party; we hate anyone associated with it. We increasingly indulge our worst impulses. We grow ever-more biased against people with different political perspectives. Hatred for those in an opposition political party in the U.S. has risen steadily since 2000 – when around 10% to 20% of Democrats and Republicans said they despised the other party – to today, when about half say so.

There’s no end in sight. Generation Lab/Axios polling just released some disturbing new findings: Young Democrats really hate Republicans.

The poll asked 850 college students nationwide from Nov. 18 to 22 whether they would date someone who voted for the opposing presidential candidate. Seventy-one percent of Democrats said they would not date someone who voted for a Republican for president; 31% of Republicans said the same. Forty-one percent of Democrats said they would not shop at or support a business of someone who voted for the opposing presidential candidate; 7% of Republicans said the same. Thirty-seven percent of Democrats said that they would not be friends with someone who voted for the opposing presidential candidate; 5% of Republicans said the same. And 30% of Democrats said they would not work for someone who voted for the opposing presidential candidate; 7% of Republicans agreed.

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Facebook Suspends Marjorie Taylor Greene for 24 Hours

Smart phone with Facebook etched out

Facebook suspended the account of Republican Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene for 24 hours on Monday, one day after Twitter permanently suspended her account over repeated violations of COVID-19 misinformation policies.

Greene posted on Telegram that Facebook blocked her from posting or commenting for 24 hours for not abiding by the company’s “Community Standards” on Monday.

“This is because you previously posted something that didn’t follow our Community Standards,” Facebook’s temporary restriction announcement said, according to Greene.

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Commentary: Securing America’s Border and Communities Is Our Government’s First Duty

Group of people at a Trump rally, man in a "Keep America Great" hat

Remember when President George W. Bush said this?

I’ve had a lot of experience with dealing with borders, as the Governor of Texas. I know there’s a compassionate, humane way to deal with this issue. I want to remind people that family values do not stop at the Rio Grande River.

It was January 2005. Bush had just won reelection with a campaign strong on national security. Then after narrowly defeating John Kerry, Bush did what Bushes tend to do when they think they’re secure: He lurched to the Left and betrayed the base of his own party. He cast Americans who want a strong, secure border as racists—just four years after we had been attacked by international terrorists who exploited our weak immigration system to kill thousands of us. Bush behaved as if Americans didn’t know that Mexicans living south of the Rio Grande believe in family. Millions of Americans have Mexican heritage themselves. But they or their ancestors chose to be Americans.

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Alaska GOP Governor Secures Trump Endorsement Through ‘Non-Endorsement’ of Murkowski Reelection Bid

Mike Dunleavy and Lisa Murkowski

Former President Trump is issuing a public warning to Republican incumbents and those running for office: Don’t expect my endorsement without your “non-endorsement” of perceived GOP enemies.

He endorsed Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy for reelection Thursday night after the incumbent made clear he’d uphold the quid pro quo from Trump two days earlier: not endorsing for reelection Sen. Lisa Murkowski, one of seven Republicans to vote to convict Trump in his impeachment trial related to the Jan. 6 riot.

In a statement intended for Trump that the ex-president published, Dunleavy wrote: “With regard to the other issue, please tell the President he has nothing to worry about.”

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