U.S. Unemployment Claims Top 40 Million Since March

More than 40 million Americans have filed unemployment claims since mid-March, when state governments across the U.S. began restrictions to slow the spread of COVID-19, including closing businesses deemed nonessential.

Last week, an additional 2.12 million workers filed claims, according to U.S. Department of Labor data released Thursday, the 10 consecutive week in which new jobless claims were in the millions. The 2.12 million claims from the week ending July 23 is down 323,000 from the 2.44 million workers who filed for benefits in the week ending May 16 and is the lowest number of new claims since the week ending March 15.

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New Email Shows Gretchen Whitmer’s Office Gave the ‘Green Light’ to Award Coronavirus Contract to Democratic Firms

Democratic Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer distanced herself from a much-criticized decision to award a no-bid contract to two Democratic firms to handle the state’s coronavirus contact tracing.

But a senior adviser in the Michigan Department of the Health and Human Services said that the executive office of the governor [EOG] gave the contract a “green light,” a newly public email shows.

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Commentary: Let America Work Again

It was Monday morning on March 10, 2019, when Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 lurched away from the gate, rolled to a sprint, and peeled its wheels off the runway for the last time. Aboard, 157 souls including eight Americans and one veteran on vacation doing missionary work, were flying.

Six minutes after takeoff, Flight 302 plunged back to earth, trailing white smoke across the sky until reaching its terminus near Bishoftu, Ethiopia. All aboard perished when the Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft screamed into the ground at nearly 700 miles per hour, leaving a massive crater with wreckage driven up to 30 feet deep into the soil.

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Commentary: Liberal Group ‘Veterans Education Success’ Seeks to Re-Instate Obama-Era Education Policy Targeting Private Colleges

A new TV ad campaign seeks to overturn a key reform of the Trump administration. In the name of veterans, the campaign attempts to lure President Trump into breaking his word, endangering educational institutions in a difficult time.

In an ad by “Veterans Education Success,” we see servicemembers in uniform, overseas, and hugging their children, and shaking hands with President Trump. The images remind me of the strong support the President has had among active and retired military, who voted for him by 60-34 percent in 2016.

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Shocking Footage Shows Minneapolis Protesters Wreaking Havoc on Police Precinct, Destroying Squad Cars, Looting Target

Officers with the Minneapolis Police Department were reportedly attacked with rocks and paintballs Tuesday night as protesters rioted in response to the death of George Floyd.

Video from the tragic Monday night incident shows a Minneapolis police officer pressing his knee into the neck of a handcuffed Floyd, who repeatedly said he couldn’t breathe. Floyd was pronounced dead shortly after he was taken into custody.

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Senators Graham, Cornyn, Murkowski and Lankford Among Republicans Set to Block Trump’s Guest Worker Immigration Pause

Several Republican senators asked President Donald Trump to preserve key guest worker programs for foreign nationals, revealing a split in the conservative base on how to best protect U.S. workers and the economy.

Nine GOP senators signed onto a letter delivered to the president on Wednesday, asking that he keep in place non-immigrant temporary visa programs as a means to aid the recovery of the U.S. economy. Their request came in sharp contrast to immigration hardliners who have recently pressed Trump to scrap the programs amid record job losses.

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California DA Launches Investigation into Whether Tara Reade Lied While Testifying as Expert Witness

A California district attorney’s office is investigating whether 2020 presidential candidate Joe Biden’s accuser Tara Reade lied while acting as an expert witness.

Reade testified for a number of years in domestic violence cases as an expert witness for the Monterey County District Attorney’s office, Politico reported. Media coverage of Reade’s academic credentials has thrown her years testifying as an expert under the spotlight, prompting concerns that Reade lied about her credentials in order to qualify as an expert.

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Twitter Dings Trump’s Tweets But Refuses to Fact Check Chinese Officials’ Virus Misinformation

Twitter has declined to take action against Chinese officials who spread coronavirus misinformation even after the company fact-checked President Donald Trump for suggesting California’s mail-in ballots are fraudulent.

A tweet from Chinese politician Lijian Zhao in March suggesting that the U.S. inserted coronavirus into China has not been removed or fact-checked. Twitter has previously said that Zhao’s tweets do not violate the company’s rules, but Twitter updated its policies on May 11, effectively making tweets from world leaders subject to misinformation labels.

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‘I Dial And Dial And Dial’: California’s Million-Dollar Aid Program for Illegal Aliens Clogged by Thousands of Calls

California’s multi-million dollar aid program for illegal aliens has been bogged down by technical issues, with many applicants inundating phone lines every day to no avail, according to NPR.

The implementation of California’s Disaster Relief Fund, a $125 million initiative backed by Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom that provides one-time cash payments to undocumented immigrants, remains rocky as there are simply too many callers for workers to handle. Reports of jammed phone lines and unanswered calls have plagued the program’s rollout.

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Commentary: Are States That Refuse to Reopen Losing the Consent of the Governed?

What happens to a government when the consent of the governed breaks down?  History has many instances of this some ending with peaceful transformation, others with successful revolution as in our own history and still others with military crackdowns as we currently see in Hong Kong.

Thomas Jefferson wrote in our nation’s founding document, the Declaration of Independence, which was written as a series of reasons why the American colonists no longer accepted the rule of King George III.  The opening two paragraphs of this seminal document used to be memorized by school children as part of their school exercises, a practice which was largely abandoned in the 1960s. So as a refresher, here is what Jefferson penned:

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Minneapolis Mayor Calls for Charges Against Officer in George Floyd Case

Mayor Jacob Frey called on the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office to pursue charges against a Minneapolis police officer involved in a viral incident that led to the death of George Floyd.

The global community erupted in outrage after video showed a Minneapolis officer, who has been identified in some reports as Derek Chauvin, pressing his knee into the neck of a handcuffed Floyd, who repeatedly said he couldn’t breathe.

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Oil and Gas Industry Reports Record-Breaking Job Losses in April

The oil and gas industry lost 26,300 jobs in April, the largest drop of industry jobs in a single month, according to job data dating to 1990.

Texas saw a record surge of more than 2 million claims for unemployment in roughly a six-week period after Gov. Greg Abbott’s executive order in March shut down businesses he deemed nonessential to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, and to tanking oil prices resulting from an oil war between Saudi Arabia and Russia. The economic fallout also sent commodity prices to historic lows.

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Whitmer Asks EGLE to Investigate Failure of Midland Dams

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer sent a letter to the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy on Wednesday asking the department to investigate what caused the failure of the Edenville and Sanford dams.

The two dams failed last week after heavy rainfall in mid-Michigan. The resulting flood displaced around 10,000 people across several counties and was so heavy it was classified as a 500-year flood, meaning it is likely to happen only once every 500 years, according to MLive. Whitmer issued an emergency declaration and sent in the National Guard.

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EXCLUSIVE: Female U.K. Scholar False-Flagged as Flynn’s Russian Spy Recruiter

  The Cambridge University academic portrayed in the mainstream media as retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn’s Russian mistress and spy recruiter told the Star Newspapers about her ordeal—caught in the web of fake news and the Russian Collusion Hoax. “In April 2016, the Obama administration renewed General Flynn’s…

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YouTube Automatically Deletes Any Comments That Contain Certain Phrases Insulting to Chinese Communist Party

YouTube’s enforcement algorithm is automatically removing any comments that contain one of two Chinese-language phrases that are critical of the ruling Chinese Communist Party.

Any comment posted to YouTube, which is owned by Google, that contains the phrase “共匪,” which stands for “communist bandit,” or “五毛,” which translates to “wumao” and stands for “50-cent party,” is deleted within seconds without notification to the user, The Verge reported Tuesday.

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Commentary: Can the Economy Withstand a Second Round of COVID-19?

Some 100 million people in China are now back in lockdown as fears of a second wave surge. Now that the US and the rest of the world is opening up, the probability of infection will most likely go up, as will the number of infections. What does that mean for the economy?

First, uncertainty and fear of another lockdown will negatively influence business decisions and overall economic recovery. Even if your business survived the first wave, would you be willing to go all in, invest, rehire people, renew leases, etc., if you think you will be shut down in the autumn?

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Commentary: Life Is Risky

Perhaps the most unserious response to the coronavirus pandemic has been the facile assertion that lockdowns, the destruction of the economy, and the suppression of our historic freedoms are all justified if they “save just one life.” As Joe Biden put it on Twitter, “I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: No one is expendable. No life is worth losing to add one more point to the Dow.”

While every person is unique and has an immortal soul, we do not do anything and everything to save lives from all hazards, nor should we. Adults know that there are no easy solutions to most problems, and real life consists of tradeoffs.  

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Commentary: Michigan Deserves Compensation from China

Washington is right to demand financial compensation from China, whose leaders must be held accountable for lying to the world about the devastating COVID-19 pandemic that originated in their country. Michigan should throw its weight behind the effort, as well.

Around 4,500 Michiganders have already paid the ultimate price for China’s deadly coronavirus coverup, and thousands more are fighting for their lives against this ruthless disease every day. While the federal government’s bold emergency initiatives have helped save countless American lives, our country should have never had to fight this invisible enemy in the first place.

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ICE Agents Arrest Convicted Killer of NYPD Officer

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) took custody of a Panamanian national earlier in May, over 40 years after he was convicted of killing a New York City police officer.

ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) division assumed custody of Carlos Celestino Payne-Archer, a 64-year-old man and Panamanian national, on Thursday, the agency announced in a press release. The apprehension came after Payne-Archer was convicted of first-degree murder of an NYPD detective in March 1978.

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Florida, Georgia Would Happily Play Host to Republican National Convention If It leaves North Carolina

After President Donald Trump took to Twitter to threaten pulling the Republican National Convention out of Charlotte, N.C, other southeast states with Trump allies as governor have offered to host the convention.

The GOP convention is scheduled for late August in Charlotte. North Carolina entered phase two of its reopening plan amid the coronavirus pandemic last week under Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper, who has been cautious in lifting restrictions.

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Health Care Group: It Would Cost $440 Million to Provide 3 Million Tests for All Nursing Home Residents and Workers

Testing every nursing home resident and care facility worker in the U.S. for COVID-19 would cost $440 million in federal and state funding, a health care group found. 

Doing so would require almost 3 million tests, according to the American Health Care Association’s National Center for Assisted Living, an industry group representing nursing homes and assisted living centers that calculated how much it would cost for states to receive adequate funding so all resident and care facility workers could be tested.

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Sue Ellen Browder Wrote Fake News for Cosmopolitan and Now Regrets Misleading Women on Feminism

LANDER, Wyo.—Sue Ellen Browder wrote fake news before “fake news” was ever a thing. Except she prefers not to call it that—not because she’s embarrassed to admit she wrote fake news (although she’s certainly not proud), but because she thinks the term “fake news” is too vague to understand.

Browder, a Cosmopolitan magazine writer for 20 years, describes what she wrote as “propaganda.”

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Ilhan Omar Says She Believes Tara Reade, Will Vote for Biden Anyway

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN-05) said in a recent interview that she believes the sexual assault allegations against former Vice President Joe Biden, but will vote for him anyway.

Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, has been accused by a former Senate staffer, Tara Reade, of sexually assaulting her in 1993. According to Reade’s account, Biden kissed her and penetrated her with his fingers without her consent – an accusation Biden has denied.

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Despite Allegations, Minnesota DFL Picks Joe Biden to Keynote State Convention 

The Minnesota DFL Party announced Tuesday that former Vice President Joe Biden will be the keynote speaker for its upcoming state convention.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the two-day convention will be held virtually on Saturday and Sunday. During the convention, the DFL will announce its U.S. Senate endorsement, as well as Minnesota’s DNC representatives, presidential electors, and delegates to the Democratic National Convention.

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Coalition of Michigan Gyms Sues Whitmer, Cites Infringement on Constitutional Rights

An organization representing more than 120 Michigan gyms has filed a lawsuit against the state to protest continued closures from the coronavirus pandemic.

The lawsuit, filed Friday by the League of Independent Fitness Facilities and Trainers, names Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Robert Gordon, the director of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. It alleges that the executive orders shutting down gyms are “broad and overreaching” and “not narrowly tailored to their purpose, as required under constitutional law,” according to a statement from LIFFT.

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Whitmer Says She Censors Herself So Trump Won’t Cancel Aid to Michigan

by Mary Margaret Olohan   Democratic Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said she censors her criticisms of President Donald Trump to ensure that Michigan continues to receive aid from the federal government. Asked in an Axios interview if she censors her comments about POTUS “for the sake of continuing to receive federal assistance,”…

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Upper Peninsula Legislators Protest Michigan Department of Natural Resources’ Early Termination of Dickinson County Mining Lease

Two Upper Peninsula legislators are protesting the Michigan Department of Natural Resources scuttling of a plan to repurpose a dormant mine in the Upper Peninsula’s Dickinson County.

Sen. Ed McBroom, R-Waucedah Twp., and Rep. Brett LaFave, R-Iron Mountain, issued statements in response to the DNR’s determination to terminate a lease with Saucon Minerals for a project located at the Groveland Mine.

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Commentary: The Media-Education-Entertainment-Tech Complex’s Latest Victim

The History Channel premiered a three-part miniseries about Ulysses S. Grant Monday. Produced by the arch-leftist and globalist Leonardo Di Caprio, with commentary by left-wing reparations activist Ta-Nehisi Coates, the show is based on Ron Chernow’s 2017 biography. This is the same Chernow who excoriated President Trump at the 2019 White House Correspondents’ Dinner and says Alexander Hamilton would have supported Trump’s impeachment.

But I am not interested in revisiting the endless spurious assertions we’re sure to hear from the people who produced what is sure to be another tired, this-is-who-we-are jeremiad pushing progressive liberalism. 

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President Trump Says He Has a Chance ‘to Break the Deep State,’ Teases New Revelations from Declassification

by Chuck Ross   President Donald Trump on Sunday hailed recent disclosures of information regarding government surveillance of the Trump campaign, saying that it has afforded him a chance to “break” the so-called “deep state.” In an interview with journalist Sharyl Attkisson, Trump suggested that additional information is going to come out…

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Once a Staunch Opponent of De-Classification, Democrat Rep. Adam Schiff Now Calls for Releasing ‘Any Flynn Transcripts’

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff on Friday called for transparency in the release of a transcript of former national security adviser Michael Flynn’s phone calls in late December 2016 with a Russian ambassador.

“We need to ensure a transparent and complete public record free of political manipulation,” Schiff wrote in a letter to Richard Grenell, the acting director of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI).

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In a Sharp Reversal, Sen. Elizabeth Warren Will Host A High-Dollar Fundraiser for Joe Biden: Report

Democratic Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren made opposition to high-dollar campaign fundraisers a staple of her 2020 presidential campaign, swearing off such events for her campaign and criticizing opponents who didn’t, but now she’s reportedly hosting one for former Vice President Joe Biden.

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Commentary: The Citizen Army Amassing in California to Recall Gavin Newsom and Challenge Democrat Supremacy

Even in deep-blue California, it is possible to achieve the impossible. The technology to facilitate mass uprisings is mature and ubiquitous and will function with or without the complicity of the social media and search monopolies. The political realignment we are witnessing in California is not partisan, it is not conservative or liberal, Right or Left, or Republican or Democrat. It is comprised of old and young, rich and poor, black and white, and everyone else. This is a mass uprising.

California’s pandemic shutdown isn’t just pushing the economy to the brink, it’s taken away whatever remained of the trust that Californians had in their elected officials.

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Michigan Reports Lowest Daily Death Toll from Coronavirus Since March 22

Michigan reported its lowest single-day death count from the coronavirus since March over the weekend, with just five deaths in Sunday’s report.

The lowest daily report before Sunday was on March 22, shortly after the first case of COVID-19 was reported in the state, according to data analysis from the Detroit Free Press.

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President Trump Reportedly Considering Forming Panel to Review Anti-Conservative Bias in Big Tech

President Donald Trump is considering forming a commission to review anti-conservative bias on social media platforms, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the idea.

A potential White House-created commission would examine allegations of online bias and censorship, according to the report. The administration will also encourage the Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Election Commission to conduct similar reviews, the sources told the WSJ.

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Judge Michael Warren Commentary: Remembering What Memorial Day Actually Means During COVID-19 Times

With much of the nation shutdown due to COVID-19, one might not even remember that May 25, 2020 is a Monday – or, more importantly, Memorial Day. The customary Memorial Day festivities of barbecues, beer, wearing white, traveling, and shopping will be truncated, if not arrested. But perhaps this is a sublime unintended consequence of social distancing and sheltering at home orders. If it settles our minds and let us focus on first things first – actually giving Memorial Day its due.

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Democrat Senators Support Resolution Calling ‘Chinese Virus’ Racist

A former Democratic presidential candidate has introduced a resolution condemning the phrase “Chinese Virus” as racist.

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) ran unsuccessfully for president and has since endorsed presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. Harris introduced Wednesday in the U.S. Senate a resolution, which states, “whereas the use of anti-Asian terminology and rhetoric related to COVID–19, such as the ‘’Chinese Virus,’ ‘Wuhan Virus,’ and ‘’Kung-flu,’ have perpetuated anti-Asian stigma.”

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College Republicans Ask Trump To Roll Back Employment Programs For Foreign Nationals Amid Economic Downturn

In the face of an unprecedented economic downturn caused by the coronavirus, leaders of College Republican groups across the U.S. have asked President Donald Trump to roll back two temporary worker programs for foreign nationals.

In a letter delivered to the White House Friday, College Republican leaders from several universities urged Trump to suspend the country’s H-1B program and abolish the Optional Practical Training program (OPT) — two programs that temporarily employ foreign workers.

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Students Sue Harvard Citing ‘Subpar Online Learning Options’ During Coronavirus Pandemic

On Wednesday, students sued Harvard University for not refunding tuition and fees after the coronavirus pandemic forced classes online.

This makes Harvard at least the fourth Ivy League school to be targeted for failing to reimburse educational costs, following Brown, Columbia, and Cornell. The school is facing a $5 million federal class-action lawsuit.  Students chose to pursue legal action as a result of not having “received the benefit of in-person instruction or equivalent access to university facilities and services.” 

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Commentary: An Open Letter to the D.C. ‘Right’

I’m addressing this to several of you whom I know in Washington, D.C. Not all of you, but some of you.

I’ve known you for decades. You’re think-tankers, government officials, political journalists, and pundits. Some of you have been all these things.

For a long while, I thought you were the good guys. You talked about individual liberty. Some of you identified as conservatives, others as libertarians, still others as classical liberals. None of you are outright leftists.

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National Security Adviser ‘Wouldn’t Be Surprised’ if China Steals US Coronavirus Vaccine

by Jason Hopkins   White House National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien on Sunday suggested that the Chinese Community Party would very likely try to steal American developments on a coronavirus vaccine. During an appearance on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” O’Brien predicted that the United States would be the first country…

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Industry Officials: Deregulation Helps Freight Industry Thrive Without Federal Bailout

After $3 trillion in federal stimulus money went to individuals, corporations, hospitals and numerous industries, the Class 1 freight industry has maintained its transportation operations and provided critical resources nationwide without asking for, or receiving, federal taxpayer money.

Other industries and lawmakers can look to how the freight industry has weathered the economic downturn and coronavirus restrictions without receiving any federal bailout money, analysts note.

“The freight rail industry is one of the most cost-effective and efficient transportation networks in the world,” the American Railroads Association (ARA) argues. “Fueled by billions of dollars in annual private investment – $25 billion on average – railroads maintain and modernize the nation’s nearly 140,000-mile private rail network to deliver for America.”

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Business Leader Erik Kiilunen Is Fighting to Reopen Michigan

After Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued executive orders forcing the closure of many of the state’s businesses amid the coronavirus pandemic, small-businessman Erik Kiilunen said he saw $600,000 in contracts disappear overnight.

Kiilunen, of Ahmeek, Michigan, runs Kiilunen Manufacturing Group, which makes construction materials.

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Pew Report: Expect Increase in Debt Collection Lawsuits, Debt Collectors Seizing Stimulus Checks

A new report published by Pew Charitable Trusts suggests that with the increase of debt collection lawsuits, “debt collectors may seize $1,200 coronavirus checks intended for household expenses.”

Before the coronavirus restrictions began, American household debt had already increased by $1.5 trillion between 2008 and 2019. As debt increased, so also did an aggressive approach made by creditors and third-party firms to use state civil courts to pursue collections through debt claims, Pew says.

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Commentary: Conservatives and Liberals Are Responding to COVID-19 in Such Different Ways

In a 2008 TED Talk, psychologist Jonathan Haidt said the worst idea in psychology is the notion that humans are born as a “blank slate.”

Like the cognitive psychologist Steven Pinker, Haidt was rejecting the notion that the human mind is a blank slate at birth, an idea that can be traced to thinkers from Aristotle, to John Locke, to B.F. Skinner and beyond.

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Judge Sanctions Trump Admin After Citizenship Question Lawsuit

An Obama-appointed federal judge sanctioned the Trump administration on Thursday, ruling that the White House did not provide sufficient documentation amid its failed attempt to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census.

Jesse Furman, a federal judge for the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, ordered the Trump administration on Thursday to pay attorney fees as punishment.

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Conservatives Ask Amazon to End SPLC’s Role as ‘Hate Group Sheriff’

A conservative free-market group hopes to convince Amazon, the world’s largest retailer, not to rely on the Southern Poverty Law Center as a gatekeeper for its philanthropic giving.

The scandal-plagued SPLC, a left-wing advocacy organization, routinely labels mainstream center-right organizations as “hate groups” on a list that includes actual hate groups such as the Ku Klux Klan or neo-Nazis. 

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Philadelphia Election Official Pleads Guilty to Stuffing Ballots in Return for Bribes

A former Philadelphia judge of elections pleaded guilty in federal court to stuffing ballots in return for bribes during primary elections between 2014 and 2016.

Domenick Demuro, 73, admitted during a sealed proceeding in March to using his position as an elections judge, which granted him the responsibility of overseeing the entire election process in his jurisdiction, to add fraudulent votes for politicians supported by an unidentified political consultant who had paid him bribes ranging from $300 to $5,000 per election.

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Rubio Calls for SBA to Investigate $80 Million in Coronavirus Funding to Planned Parenthood

Republican Florida Sen. Marco Rubio called Friday for the Small Business Administration to investigate how 37 Planned Parenthood affiliates received $80 million in coronavirus stimulus loans.

In a letter to SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza, Rubio told Carranza that “the application for and receipt of loans through the program suggests unlawful conduct,” noting that “the application for a loan through the program would have required a Planned Parenthood affiliate to list the national organization as an affiliate organization.”

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Commentary: The Delusional Premises of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Welcome to yet another example of the nexus between climate change alarmism and a socialist redistribution agenda fueled by racial resentment. That may be old news to those of us paying attention, but thanks to birdbrained stooges like U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY-14) the blatant race-baiting rhetoric is being turned up a notch.

And why not? If you’re a socialist, or a globalist, there is only upside to tagging nations of European heritage with guilt for the problems facing their “communities of color,” or the problems in the rest of the non-European world. It would be far too painful to consider the alternative explanation, which is that socialism, in all of its antecedents and derivatives, is the primary cause of the societal afflictions that plague “people of color” both in America and abroad.

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Owosso Barber Granted Legal Reprieve from Governor’s Lockdown Order

The ongoing saga of Owosso barber Karl Manke’s battle against Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s executive order to shutter businesses during the coronavirus pandemic turned another page on Thursday.

Shiawassee County Circuit Judge Matthew J. Stewart determined state attorneys failed to convince him Manke’s refusal to comply with the governor’s order posed an imminent threat to the public. As a result, Manke’s shop on Owosso’s Main Street will remain open and the 77-year-old barber will be cutting hair for the foreseeable future.

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